This story is my way of working through the million conflicted feelings I have as a Kurtofsky shipper following the events of "Furt". My blood actually chilled when Dave slowly drew his finger down Kurt's chest, with that incredibly creepy smile. There was a very dark undercurrent of sexual violence and control to it. And the fact that he did it right out there at the lockers made me very worried about how close Dave is to snapping completely. Max Adler is a really talented actor - he hardly has any lines, yet he manages to flip back and forth between completely menacing and scary to absolutely pitiful seamlessly. I didn't think it could be possible for me to feel sorry for him in this episode, but that look he gave Kurt as he left Sue's office was so wretched, I couldn't help myself.

The title of this story is from the Evanescence song, Tourniquet. ("My wounds cry for the grave, my soul cries for deliverance").

[/ longest AN ever]

Chapter 1

The Hummel-Hudson household was sitting down for dinner. Kurt was chattering excitedly about his day at Dalton, hands waving and a huge smile on his face. Burt, in particular, was delighted to witness it. After weeks of almost never mentioning it when he was still at McKinley, school was now Kurt's favorite topic of discussion. So much better than a honeymoon in Hawaii, Burt thought. He looked at the other boy sitting at the table, picking at his meatloaf absently. When Kurt paused to take a breath, Burt said, "And how was your day, Finn? Anything exciting?"

Finn looked up with a curious, deer-in-the-headlights expression. "Ummm…not really." he said, smiling uncomfortably. The table went quiet, Kurt and Carole looking at Finn with twin expressions of concern.

"Is something wrong, honey?" asked Carole.

Finn squirmed in his seat. "I don't think we need to talk about it now." he said, eyes sliding towards his step-brother.

Kurt looked down at his plate. He felt terrible that Finn felt like he couldn't talk about McKineley, or glee club, or whatever was bothering him at his own stinking dinner table. "It's okay Finn," he said, "I can leave the table for a little bit if you need me to."

He looked up at Finn, who looked very surprised. "No, it's not a secret, or anything. It's just…" he trailed off, helpless against the expectant gazes of his new family. He sighed heavily. "I don't want to upset you, Kurt. It's about, uh, Karofsky." Finn immediately felt like shit when everyone's expressions immediately changed; Burt looked pissed, his mom looked even more worried, and Kurt had gone as white as a sheet.

Kurt tried to act nonchalant, unaware of how pale he was. He reached for his water glass. "Oh really? What about the giant goon?" he said, in a voice that was amazingly not the least bit shaky. His hand was pretty steady, too. He hated falling back into the habit of pretending like he wasn't scared when he was, but he hated the awkwardness even more. He was desperate to smooth things over with the people he had come to love so much.

"He quit the football team today." Finn said quietly. "And told the hockey coach he wasn't coming back when their season starts." He paused, as if deciding if it was a good idea to continue on. "He's been really weird since he came back. I mean, I was thinking maybe being expelled scared him enough to lay off us freaks and geeks for a while, but it's been over a month and he's still acting…well, not like himself."

"He's not picking on people anymore?" asked Kurt, brows knit in confusion. "That is weird. I'd think after he totally got away with what he did to me, he'd be worse than ever."

"I know." said Finn. "But nothing. And it's not just that. He doesn't eat lunch or hang out with Azimio or the other jocks anymore. He walks around with his head down most of the time, and doesn't say a word in class, let alone give the teachers a hard time. A few days ago, I accidentally bumped into his shoulder in the hallway, and it was like he didn't even notice." Finn shrugged.

"I guess maybe the expulsion really taught him a lesson." said Burt, a satisfied note creeping into his voice. "Hopefully, one that'll stick."

"I guess." responded Finn, sneaking a peek at Kurt. He looked confused and not a little disturbed. Finn decided it would be an excellent idea to stop there, and not to mention the other strange thing he'd observed about Karofsky. A handful of times, Finn had spied him at a dead stop in front of what used to be Kurt's locker, face blank of any discernable expression. And once, he saw Karofsky reach towards the locker, like he wanted to touch it with his fingers. It was kind of creepy, and Finn remembered it had caused the hair on his arms to stand up for some reason.

Finn cleared his throat. "Anyway," he said, "Enough about that. It's just that we're going to have to find a new right wing, and just before playoffs, too. It's no big deal, just something Bieste's going to have to work around." He paused, glad to see that the color had mostly returned to Kurt's face, and Carole and Burt had more neutral expressions. He smiled. "Can I have some more mashed potatoes? They're awesome."

His mom complied, and everyone at the table was happy to move on to a completely different subject.

Just a warning, the next chapter is extremely angsty. I know it'll be hard for me to write, but I have to get it out of my head and onto the paper or it'll drive me mad. Reviews might make it a little easier, though. (hint, hint) ;-)