A/N: This is a day of firsts! My first try at a Glee fic and my first one written with my sister! She only wrote about 1,000 words, so that's why I get to put it under my account. You'll prolly be able to tell which section she wrote (hint: it's where all the grammar errors are, haha!). Just keeding, I wuv my dubby!
Summary: Kurt's not adjusting to Dalton as well as he thought he would, and Finn starts to notice, taking matters into his own hands. BigBrother!Finn, Sick/Stressed!Kurt. Also includes appearances by Mr. Schuester and Burt!
Disclaimer: Let's see, 20 year old Pre-Med student/intern/professional volunteer. Nope, definitely don't own Glee.
"Damnit!" Kurt exclaimed, launching the calculator across the room, narrowly missing Finn's head as it flew past, cracking against the wall of their basement/bedroom, and finally clattering to the floor.
"Whoa…" was all that escaped Finn's O-shaped lips as he turned from the object that nearly knocked him unconscious to his brother who had unmistakably thrown the offending instrument. Finn observed the shorter boy from his position across the room, still in shock from almost being attacked by the mathematical tool.
Even from the landing of the staircase, Finn could plainly notice something off about Kurt. It probably wouldn't do the other boy justice, but Kurt looked tired. The boy's usually perfectly coifed hairstyle was limp and lackluster, bangs partially covering his dulled blue eyes that were starkly outlines with dark circles. And even though Kurt had made it a point of freshening up the "drab" styling of the Dalton Academy issued uniform, Kurt's rumpled attire indicate that fashion had become the least of his concerns. –A detail that Finn had perceived with a feeling of alarm. "I seriously saw my life flash before my eyes just now."
Another very un-Kurt thing happened next: silence.
Not even a "Shut your mouth before I shut it for you, Finn Hudson." That probably meant the situation was worse than even Finn imagined. The tall boy cautiously approached his brother seated cross-legged on the bed, papers strewn in front of him as if he were stuck in a mind-numbing session of research. Kurt's fair and manicured hands were covering his entire face now and his elbows were propped up against his knees, his whole body hunched over in dejection.
All of this was very uncharacteristic of the typically stoic and sophisticated young man, and Finn tried to rid himself of the thought this was some alien that came to earth, replacing Kurt.
Goddamn the fact that they just watched The Body Snatchers last night…
Finn mustered up the courage to at least sit half his rear-end on the edge of Kurt's bed, hoping it appeared more like he was going to console the other boy and not try to make a quick exit if the situation presented itself. "Hey, dude, are you, like, okay? You seem kinda off, you know?" Finn inquired carefully as he watched Kurt just sit there in the same gloomy pose as before, looking for all the world like he was in complete despair.
Without even bothering to remove his hands from his face, Kurt replied in an incoherent jumble of words. Finn leaned forward too late and barely caught the last part of his brother's answer.
"Shigum frumin?" Finn repeated, wondering if the gibberish response was supposed to mean something to him.
Kurt's body shuddered and he swiftly dropped his hands to his lap this time, crying, "I don't get this! Okay?"
Finn almost fell all the way off the bed at the shorter boy's loud and sudden admission but it was the pain and frustration on Kurt's face that truly shocked Finn. It was so unlike the overly composed soprano, whose casual demeanor had the effect of intimidating the most confident of enemies. Yes, the look on Kurt's face of complete helplessness was getting seriously Twilight Zone for Finn, and his brother instinct kicked him, making him want to do whatever it took to fix Kurt's emotional turmoil.
The two were quiet for a moment; Kurt's heavy breathing being the only noise currently heard. But eventually that softened and Kurt released a heavy exhalation, looking dismally down at the sprawl of notebooks, papers, and text in front of his lap. Finn continued to watch him, eyeing the homework that was currently taking up most of the room on the bed. It didn't take a rocket scientist to understand what Kurt was so worked up over.
"Do you need any help with this stuff?" Finn awkwardly asked, already knowing that the Dalton Academy caliber of homework was not something in which he had any experience.
Kurt apparently knew this as well because he cast Finn one of the most humorless gazes he could gather. "Sure." He replied, despite his look though, surprising the long-legged jock.
"Seriously? What do you need?"
"I need you to get off my bed. You're sitting on my take-home exam."
Finn appeared sheepish as he fished the three-page exam out from beneath him. He tried to smooth out the wrinkles his butt had caused, but Kurt sharply snatched it from his grasp. Finn looked up at the boy whose countenance turned gloomy at the sight of the lengthy set of problems on the untouched test. "It's fine. Please, just leave, Finn."
The taller boy was helpless as Kurt went back to completely ignoring him as if he hadn't just been displaying his feeling of aggravation and turmoil until just two minutes ago. Finn grew frustrated himself at how quickly Kurt could go about throwing up walls to people when he needed to be asking them for real, genuine assistance. The Karofsky incident from a few weeks ago flashed in Finn's head, causing him to tense with pent-up anger.
"No!" Finn yelled, causing Kurt's eyes to fly up at him, widened with surprise. "I'm not going to just let you do this by yourself. If you're having a problem, tell me and I'll totally try to do something!" His tone softened a little as he looked into his brother's eyes sincerely. "We're brothers, Kurt. Stop acting like everything's okay when it's obviously not."
Instead of being touched by Finn's offer though, Kurt became reproachful and annoyed at the other boy's obsession with trying to empathize with Kurt over something he didn't understand. "You want to help me, Finn Hudson. All right. Maybe you can explain to me how to integrate the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium into calculations about allelic and genotypic frequencies. Because, although I've spent the better part of an hour working on a single problem even though it is almost 6pm in the evening, this is soo easy, a CAVEMAN can do it!"
Kurt had sprung up from the bed and started gesturing wildly at Finn and his homework throughout his rant, but halted suddenly as he realized what he had just called Finn. The older boy's head dropped to his lap, causing Kurt's heart to swell in regret. Immediately, he began to apologize.
"I'm sorry, Finn. I didn't mean to call you that. It's just the stress of trying to survive this school and keeping up with all these Gossip Girl wannabes… It's starting to get the best of me." Kurt sighed, and seated himself on his bed again, this time his back was facing Finn as he looked down at the shag carpeting, shame-faced.
"I get it." Finn tried.
"Do you, Finn? I mean, at least with your school you have students with the IQs of disabled baboons. At Dalton, I'm the baboon, and I honestly haven't felt this totally out of place since attending McKinley. I'm starting to think that there really isn't anywhere I can belong…"
Finn's eyebrow furrowed in sadness for his brother. He knew how it felt to be the dumb one in the school; he was constantly given idioms about him not being the "sharpest tool in the shed" (whatever that meant.) But Finn guessed reminding Kurt just how stupid he was, just how useless he was to his brother when it came to homework, wasn't going to help the situation in the least.
Sliding his phone surreptiously from his jean's pocket, he searched his contacts for a number and tapped the "Call" button. Kurt's head quickly snapped to attention, confusion written on his face as he saw Finn holding the phone to his ear with no prior reason for doing so.
At the very least, Kurt's curiosity made him mouth the words, "Who are you calling?" to his brother, which Finn pointedly ignored, turning his eyes to stare up at a spot on the far wall. This irritated Kurt to no end, who had grown impatient with Finn's concealed antics. Hello? He could have sworn they were just having a serious conversation not 5 seconds ago!
"Hey, Mr. Shue!" Finn greeted cheerily and Kurt's stomach did a weird flip at the sound of his old glee club teacher's name. Finn was calling Mr. Schuester? After a millisecond, Kurt figured out Finn's sloppy and spur-of-the-moment planning and hastily started grabbing for the phone in the jock's grasp.
Finn at least had one advantage over Kurt (and the rest of McKinley High for that matter) and that was his height, which he was currently having to use to its full extent due to the fact that Kurt was nearly climbing on top of him, as if he were some kind of tree, to extricate the phone from his hold. "(Ow! Hey!) Uhh, could you come over ( ah!)- Could you come over to our house? I know you don't usually do stuff like this. (Stop it, dude!) Sorry. But it's for Kurt. He needs some help. (Ouch!) Really? Thanks so much, Mr. Shue! (Uh!) See you then!"
Finn clicked the "End" button on his phone and slid it back into his pocket with a self-satisfied smirk on his face as he stared happily down at the darkly glowering Kurt Hummell.
"I cannot believe you called him. You're insane!" Kurt cried.
"Hey, dude, you said it yourself: you need help. And I'm not exactly tutor material, if you haven't noticed, but Mr. Shue is, like, awesome and super smart. He'll totally help you understand all that Hardy-Weiner stuff." Finn assured him, still seeming much too pleased for Kurt's liking.
"It's Hardy-Weinberg, Gigantor," Kurt replied, flopping back down onto the bed, glad he was able to get a few good kicks to Finn's stomach and shins during that fiendish call to Kurt's former teacher. "And if you ever use your powers of height against me again, I will dye all of your jockstraps carnation pink."
Finn gulped, dually noting the other boy's threat.
It took about ten minutes, before the doorbell rang, and Burt Hummell opened the door to find the boys' brown-haired teacher standing in the doorway, wearing his usual tie, dress shirt tucked into blue jeans, and vest.
"Kurt? Finn?" Burt yelled out into the direction of the boys' room, nodding slightly to Will Schuester's greeting before returning to the backyard where he was grilling burgers, three beef and one tofu, on the barbeque.
Prior to slipping out to the backyard, he asked Will how he liked his burger. To which Will replied, "I already ate."
"Not one of my burgers, you haven't. Medium rare it is!" Burt answered, sliding the rest of the backdoor shut.
Mr. Schuester blinked at where the man used to be standing and turned when he heard Finn's voice from behind him. "He's right. They are the best burgers I've ever had."
"Okay, I'll take your word for it." Will replied with a small smile before turning serious, almost worried. "Where's Kurt?"
"Uhh, he's downstairs. I gotta admit, he's not really happy that I called you, Mr. Shue, but you're, like, the smartest person I know. And you're really good at helping people so I thought, you know, maybe you could help him." Finn told him with a slightly shrug.
Will nodded. "You did the right thing, Finn. I'm proud of you. You're really doing a good job of being a good brother to Kurt."
This got him a grin on Finn's behalf, who liked it when people acknowledged his efforts-however misguided they sometimes turned out to be.
"Thanks. I think I'm gonna stay up here though." Will quirked an eyebrow in confusion at Finn's statement. "I kinda feel like Kurt's eyes are going to burn a whole through my chest."
Will laughed, "That bad, huh? Now you got me reconsidering going down there."
"No, no, you have to go!" Finn insisted, very urgently. "You totally don't understand what Kurt's going through!"
Will's jocular statement evidently backfired and his smile fell into a contemplative line. "Is everything okay?"
The tall teenager squirmed under his teachers' concentrated stare, making him rethink inviting the man to their house in the first place. "It's fine, I guess. It's really not my business to be talking about. It's Kurt's. I can't betray his trust like that… Even though I kinda already said something." Oops.
Will laid a placating hand on Finn's shoulder, squeezing it in comfort. "It's fine, Finn, I get it. I'll talk to him myself."
Finn nodded his head in appreciation and watched as his teacher descended the stairs leading to his and Kurt's temporary bedroom.
Will found Kurt sitting on the full-sized bed with the paisley green sheets pretty much in the same position as Finn found him earlier: hunched over, head in hands, and looking completely worn out. It was as if nothing had changed since the Karofsky incident and that made Will's stomach twist a little inside.
There was no way it could be bullying, especially since Kurt was the one who had assured all of them that Dalton had a no tolerance policy for bullying. He just prayed that whatever the situation, it didn't involved Kurt having to physically run away again…
Kurt looked up at his teacher and offered him the best smile he could come up with considering the circumstances. "Mr. Schuester."
"Kurt." Will said with a smile, happy to see his former, most flamboyant student again after a long three weeks. It was only then, as he was standing in front of the young man in Kurt's own bedroom, did Mr. Shue truly realize how much he missed the boy and all of his defining quirks and unique traits.
"Just to get it out in the open, I was very against the idea of you coming down here. Finn made the decision completely out of the blue and disabled me from stopping his actions. I'm very sorry you had to make the trip," Kurt said, with the same haughty tone that Will had come to recognize as a defense technique more than anything else.
"I'm not," Mr. Schuester said, and Kurt looked warily at his teacher. "Kurt, I told you before you left the school that day that I would always be there for you, and I plan to keep that promise."
Kurt flicked his eyes up and down as if sizing him up. "Nice vest." He said airily and slid some of his papers in neater piles.
Mr. Schue, assuming that this was an invitation, sat down on a non-cluttered portion of the bed. He noticed that it was the only messy part of Kurt side of the room. Everything seemed to be organized to an OCD-like tendency.
There were a few moments of silence and Mr. Schue cleared his throat, "So Kurt, do you want to let me in a little on why I was called? I only gathered as much that you needed my help."
Kurt adjusted himself on the bed, gathering his knee toward his chest. He fiddled with his sleeve and took a deep breath; "I'm," he broke off and looked at him with his large eyes, "Not stupid." He finished.
"Of course you're not, Kurt." Mr. Schue rushed in and Kurt lifted a hand.
"Yes, as I was saying, I'm not stupid but this-" He jabbed the papers that were lying in front of him, "is way beyond what I was taught in that poor excuse for a school where the flickering fluorescent lights in the basement are brighter than half the students."
Schue winced at the rapidly raising voice of the teenager. He placed a hand on the boy's shoulder and squeezed it.
"Hey, let's just take a look. I'm sure together we can figure it out."
He didn't miss the skeptical look on Kurt's face or the sniffle that followed it.
Startled by the brief display of emotion, Will leaned in closer, "Hey, I know this is frustrating, it's alright to get a little upset. I was practically in tears in my senior year in college." He said in a placating tone.
Kurt grimaced, "I'm not crying, I just have a runny nose. Excuse me." He said pinched a vibrantly colored handkerchief out of his front pocket, flipping out with a flourish, he blew his nose. He looked down to his lap as he daintily folded the napkin in a neat triangle, appearing sad.
"Hey, it's all right to cry. You don't have to pretend around me," Mr. Schue said quietly. He placed a finger underneath Kurt's chin, lifting the boy's head so that he was eye level. Mr. Shue's eyebrows pinched together and he frowned, "Maybe you aren't pretending..." he curled his fingers and placed the back of his hand on Kurt's cheek. "Geez, Kurt, You're burning up!" He exclaimed.
Kurt jerked away with a scowl on his face. "With all due respect, Mr. Schue, I don't care. My health is the least of my worries right now. This is what I need to be focusing on." He said slapping his papers.
"Kurt, you're never going to be able to concentrate with such a high fever." He picked up a piece of paper, reading its contents with a cursory glance, "Instead of analyzing Oscar Wilde's motive in the Picture of Dorian Gray, you'll probably write mad raves spawned from some delusional hallucination. You need rest." His voice threw out the last sentence with stern emphasis as he smacked down the piece of paper.
Kurt stood up, his face coloring red all the way up to his ears; he crossed his arms, "Mr. Schue, if I knew you were going to come down here and play mommy I wouldn't have let you down here in the first place. I have a lot of homework and not enough time to argue about trivial matters like a little temperature." He took a deep breath, "So if you would kindly, please leave." He pointed to the door, his mouth set in a firm line and his breath heavy.
Mr. Schue slowly got up and approached him, causing Kurt to back up. Will jutted out his chin and pointed at the obstinate former-student.
"Kurt, you're sweating – you're going to get sicker if you just leave it." He said shaking his finger at each point, he then dropped his hands and his lip twitched, "Plus being sick is a perfect excuse to catch up on homework. You should be overjoyed for the release."
Kurt rolled his eyes and pushed his bangs out of his eyes. He guessed he was feeling a bit under the weather and this constant sweating was horrible for his complexion. He flopped on his bed and crossed one leg over the other.
"So what do you intend to do? Wave your magic wand? Pray for me?" His sarcastic tone did not go unnoticed. Chose your battles, Will reminded himself.
"We should probably take your temperature, just to make sure this isn't too serious."
Kurt stood up but Will placed both hands on Kurt's shoulders, pushing him gently back on the bed.
Kurt frowned, "Unless you have a thermometer in your pocket (and no that isn't a come on) I need to get mine out of my Kit." Mr. Schue looked up briefly, seemingly exasperated.
"I can get it; just tell me where it is."
Kurt rubbed an invisible wrinkle out of his pant leg, "Bookshelf by the privacy partition, third shelf, purple bag."
Privacy partition? Mr. Schue scanned the room and saw three bookshelves; he deduced that the one by the intricate wooden divider was probably the best bet. He walked over and crouched down to the third shelf and saw what looked like and designer old-fashioned doctor's bag.
He grabbed it, placed it on the floor and flicked open the two gold snaps to see the contents of the bag. There was a large zipped up binder inside and he struggled to pull it out. When he flipped it open he found various tools ranging from a stethoscope to a blood pressure cuff. He couldn't fathom where Kurt was able to get these.
"I have to be prepared." Kurt spoke up, answering the unspoken question; he flipped his hand a couple times, "I have to make sure my dad isn't going to have another, you know." It appeared Kurt was still uncomfortable with even stating the words "heart attack."
Will gave him a sympathetic smile, "It's alright, you don't have to explain." He caught sight of the thermometer and plucked it out. He walked to Kurt, "Ok, right under the tongue, there you go."
Will smiled and Kurt glared at him, "I nah ah kid." He garbled out with the thermometer sticking out.
Suddenly some loud clunking noise came from the stair and both of their heads snapped to the entrance for the basement. Finn came into view and gave a half wave, surprised at them both staring at him.
"Uh, hey guys – the burgers are ready." He looked at Mr. Schue and then at Kurt, seeing the thermometer in his brother's mouth, he frowned, "What's that? Are you sick or something?"
Kurt pulled the thermometer out, tilted his head and bit his lip, "Or something." He replied. Will pulled the thermometer out of his hands.
"Hmmm, 101 – that's not good." Will said sighing. He shook the thermometer. Finn wrung his hands nervously, not used to dealing with sick people.
"I could uh, boil some water and put your hamburger in there. Then you'd have hamburger soup; wouldn't that be awesome?" He said, smiling uncertainly. Kurt only hoped his brother was joking, but had an inkling feeling he wasn't.
Kurt struggled to keep the disgusted look on his face at his brother's well-meaning offer, "No thanks, Finn. I'm not that hungry."
"Finn, I'm gonna go tell Burt what the deal is and try to get Kurt the day off of school tomorrow." Will explained to the taller boy, who looked relieved to know that a plan was already in place to take care of his brother. "Can you stay with him a bit?"
"Sure thing, Mr. Shue," Finn replied with a thin-lipped smile, giving his Spanish teacher a sloppy salute. The two boys watched as the older man ascended the stairs before looking at each other.
"Okay," Finn said, with a clap of his hands. "I guess it's… time for bed," he told Kurt, who looked at him with a dull frown.
"Mr. Shue told you to stay with me, not tuck me in, Sasquatch," Kurt corrected.
"Dude, you're starting to kinda look like a ghost, and not the cute one, like Casper, more like… The ghost of Christmas Past, or something." Finn said, giving the scowling Kurt a critical once over. The boy wasn't pleased about being compared to the living dead, although that was exactly what he felt like.
"I still have work to do-" Kurt started as Finn cut him off by promptly stacking all the papers, books, and other miscellaneous supplies into a sloppy pile, dropping them with a resounding thud by the nightstand. With a gaping expression, Kurt looked at his haphazard stack of schoolwork then moved his icy blue eyes up to stare at Finn, who looked obstinate with his arms crossed firmly over his chest.
"Now you got room to get. Into. Bed." Finn said in a clipped and persistent tone, obviously a bit tired of the way Kurt had tried to pull the wool over his eyes about being sick.
Kurt withdrew himself a little at Finn's tone and the taller boy instantly regretted getting so riled up when Kurt was already more than stressed enough. The soprano turned his head to his lap, picking idly at the ornate covers to his bed, sniffling as the snot started dripping out of his nose in a very unflattering fashion. "You're mad at me, aren't you?"
Finn scratched the back of his head, not knowing how to respond. "No, man, not at all."
"Beause it's okay, if you are. Lately, I haven't been the most cordial of people in the world." Kurt said, his eyes still downcast as he studied the Dalton Academy tie in between his fingers.
"I'm not," Finn said, more insistently this time, causing Kurt to look up at him. Finn sighed a small sigh before scooting Kurt over on the small bed to sit beside him. "I'm not. It's just annoying me that I wasn't able to help you and stuff. I mean, you're obviously going through something, and I've just been totally stupid."
Kurt put a hand on Finn's, looking meaningfully into his brother's eyes, "You're not a bad person. I'm actually really happy you insisted on bringing Mr. Shue over. He was actually… pretty cool. You're a good brother; don't sell yourself short… Not like that's ever possible."
"Thanks," Finn said, squeezing Kurt's hand as he stood up. "But now I think it'd be better if we separated ourselves."
"What?" Kurt said, blinking. And here he thought they were bonding!
Finn had to laugh a little at Kurt's incredulous expression. "Dude, not to be a buzzkill, but you're totally contagious," Finn said with a smile, but it faltered when he saw the sad look on Kurt's face. "I'm just saying; let's try to keep the touching to a minimum until we get you better."
Kurt smirked. "Thank you, Finn." With that, he flung the covers down and climbed underneath them, nestling his head into the pillows with a slight smile and a sniffle.
Finn looked down at him, smoothing the now sweat-soaked hair away from his brother's face. "It's cool. I'm just glad we caught this sooner before Burt went all crazy."
"Hey, boys! Will told me everything. I'm calling your aunt; she's a doctor. She can handle this!" Burt yelled from the top landing of the stairs, the boys already able to hear the phone being dialed away.
Kurt grimaced with a smile, "Guess we weren't early enough…"
Finn laughed, caressing Kurt's warmed cheek. "Maybe his coddling will be a lesson to you: tell me the moment you start feeling sick. Or stressed. Or whatever. Like I said, dude, I got your back."
"I will, Finn," Kurt whispered, shutting his eyes, happy to be comforted for one night. "I will."
A/N: I don't think Kurt would ever let somebody touch his 'do. Kristine wrote that part. Oh, wait, no, I did! D: Haha! Seriously stressed right now because my kitty is in so much pain. Leave me a review to make it all better? :3 (actually, that prolly wouldn't fix anything, but it would certainly make me feel happy!)