Author's Notes: Lo, the return of sympathetic!Will. Written for the glee_angst_meme, this prompt:

"So, Mr. Schuester gets a lot of crap for being oblivious and kind of selfish, but I know that deep down he really cares about his kids and would do anything for them. So...

Mr. Schue and one of the kids are the last ones as the school. Maybe he stayed late to help Kurt with a song, or he agreed to give Finn a ride home after football practice and Finn was the last one to leave, idk. Anyway, they're finally leaving the school when a group of men accost them and drag them back into the school with the intention of gang raping the student (don't care which student, btw) but Mr. Schue can't stand the thought of watching this happen to one of his kids and not being able to do anything.

He obviously can't take all the men on his own, so he does the only thing he can think of. He offers himself in the student's place.

I basically want him begging the men not to hurt the kid, and doing whatever he can to convince them to take him instead. Promising to do whatever they say, etc.

I would love something along the lines of this - 'I won't even fight.' 'Maybe I like a little fight.'


tl;dr : Mr Schue sacrificing himself to protect one of his kids."

Title comes from this quote by Henry Adams: "A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops."

Affecting Eternity

"Thanks, Mr. Schuester, for helping me out with this. I mean, I probably could have made do, but the multimedia aspect of the presentation was what I was going on about to Mrs. Kew, so I probably would have looked dumb if–"

"Don't worry about it," Will dismisses him, and Artie smiles as he wraps an electrical cord around his hand. "I hope it works out for you."

"I hope so too," says Artie. "I mean, it is my grade and everything."

"Exactly," says Will. "What time is it, anyway?" he checks his watch. "Wow, ten past six. Probably not meant to be here about this time."

"Okay, if anyone caught us they might be a little suspicious of us being the only two in the school this late," says Artie. "But that's still twenty minutes earlier than I expected to finish, so Mom won't show up 'til then, so..."

Will frowns in confusion. "Can't you just call and get her to pick you up early?"

Artie nods. "Good point." He fishes his phone out of his pocket, but frowns down at it. "Crap. Out of battery."

"Oh," says Will. He's half-way through getting his own phone out for Artie to borrow when the lights start fading out in the hallway, before the ones in the choir room do, like something out of a horror movie.

"...Okay," says Artie, slowly. "That can't be good."

Will shakes his head. "It's probably just a power failure or something. It is the middle of winter." Really, he's not sure it is and he's starting to worry, but – he doesn't want Artie to panic.

Artie cocks his head to the side. "Wouldn't that be more, uh, sudden? All the lights going off at once type thing?"

Damn students who are actually capable of logic.

Will sighs and heads for the door, but when he gets there it won't budge. He frowns and tries more, turning clockwise and anticlockwise, pushing and pulling (although he knows very well how this door opens), but nothing works.

"Mr. Schue?"

Will sighs, not turning around to face him. "It's locked," he says – that's probably fairly obvious. "Someone probably activated the electronic override from Figgins' office – we have that in case of a lockdown."

Will finally turns around to face him, and Artie is frowning. "Figgins isn't here, though," he says. "We saw him leave with all the garlic ages ago. Plus, this sort of seems like a dumb thing for a principal to do – you know, just locking a student and teacher in for kicks. So, um... who's in his office? Who's doing this?"

Will gapes at him. He doesn't have an answer, and thinking about the question makes his stomach churn. All he can think of is bad, and he won't share those thoughts with Artie, because – well, he's still Will's duty, and no matter the situation it's still Will's responsibility to take care of him. So he can't let Artie panic. Ergo, nice as it would be, he can't panic himself.

All questions are answered fairly quickly as Will spies three men walking down the corridor. They approach the choir room, and look somewhere between confused and entertained as they lay their eyes on Will and Artie. Will hears a key – the master key they must have stolen from Figgins' office – sliding into the lock and closes his eyes for a brief second.

"Okay, what is the point of a lockdown mode that can be overrode with a simple key?" asks Artie. "I mean, if there are guys with guns circling the school – what's to stop them breaking into the principal's office and just stealing the key? Like these guys did?"

Will silences him with a dismissive hand gesture. Hey, he never said the system was perfect.

The three guys walk in, and despite himself Will holds his breath. "Well," says one of them; a tall guy with blond hair. "Guess there's someone still here after all."

"Hey!" Will hears Artie's voice ring out from behind him, and he spins his head around to see another man pushing Artie's wheelchair back and forth, and laughing.

"Man," the guy says, "It's just like a baby in a stroller or something."

The third guy smirks from where he is fingering some sheet music Will got from Rachel. "You are such a freaking pussy."

"Dude, shut up," says the second guy, and Will's stomach churns some more.

"Leave him alone," he says, striding forward to try and rescue Artie. But the first guy just punches him from behind and he collapses to the floor. "Fuck!"

"Now now," says the guy. "Watch your language. You have a student right here, after all."

"I can live with the swearing, believe me," says Artie, who is clearly trying to keep a brave face. "And seriously, that's making me dizzy."

The men share dangerous looks and sick smiles, and Will holds his breath in fear. What are they going to do?

"Fine," says the first man. "Joe?"

Suddenly, there's a loud crash and the wheelchair is tossed to the side, and Artie goes with it. "Argh!" he calls out. The two guys near him laugh and start looming over him, and all hint of Artie's game face is gone – he just shows wide open terror.

"Artie!" Will calls, struggling to get to his feet and help, but the man behind him pins his arms and keeps him down, keeps him still.

"Hold up, old guy," says the man behind him, even though he can't be much younger than Will himself. "You're a teacher. You're not going to steal the spotlight from a student, are you?"

"Fuck you," Will spits, trying to catch Artie's eye. He doesn't have a fucking clue what he can do, but...

"What the hell are you three doing back there?"

For a second, Will is naive enough to believe it's salvation. Relief. A janitor or something that stayed back and he and Artie just didn't know (shouldn't there be a janitor around anyway?) – this person has come to save them.

From the looks on their attackers' faces, Will can guess he's wrong.

"Hey. Found some people back here after all. Thought we might get their cash, then... have some fun."

Will blinks. Cash? If he just pays them, they'll go away – they'll leave Artie alone?

"What, you just want money?" he asks. "I, uh – my wallet's in my left pocket; I'd fish it out but you're holding my arms behind my back."

He can feel the blond man nod behind him. "Thanks." He pushes his hand into Will's pocket and gets out the wallet easily. "And now we can get onto the fun part."

Yeah, that was stupid.

Artie now has each of the two other men holding down one of his arms, as he tries to struggle with only the use of his torso. "Stop – stop, let me go!" he shouts, obviously on the edge of tears. Will tries to push against the grip of the man holding him back – he's not a weak guy; he should be able to fight this – but the guy just holds him back tighter.

It's about that point when Will starts to realize what 'the fun part' might be.

The man in the doorway – from the looks of it, he's sort of their leader – steps in slowly, walking straight past Will. "Let me get a look at the kid," he says, crossing the floor to kneel down beside Artie. He snags the glasses from off the boy's face.

He then stands back up, put them under his heel and stamps. Smash.

Will flinches at the sound of breaking glass. Artie whimpers, and the man brushes the shards away, kneeling again. He roughly grabs at Artie's face, and Will wants to be sick.

"You're a pretty kid," says the man. He then sends a look to the chair beside them. "Oh, you're a cripple? Figures. Didn't notice that quite before; was wondering why you weren't kicking back. Guess I'm just a retard, huh?"

Will can see Artie visibly summoning all his courage, before he spits in the man's face. "Fuck. You," he says. "And don't call me a cripple."

Will's more than a little proud.

He can see the fury in the man's face, but it twists into a sickly smirk. "Well," he says, wiping the saliva off his face, "you're not just going to lie there and take it. It's a nice surprise – I'd expect you to just feel sorry for yourself; 'oh, poor little innocent me, stuck in a wheelchair and now being brutally fucked up the ass by like four guys' – but it means more if we have to work for it."

Artie's eyes go wide, panicking again. "No, no, no!" He desperately struggles against the arms holding him down, but he doesn't have a chance, not really. "My parents are coming, you know; I told them to pick me up at six-thirty, so they'll figure out–"

"Guess we'll just have to get it over with quick, then," says one of the other guys – the one called Joe – and everyone murmurs in agreement. "Now shut up, cripple."

"Don't touch him!" he shouts, still struggling against the blond man holding him back – fuck, how strong is this guy?

All he gets in disbelieving looks and rolled eyes from the men surrounding Artie. "And, why not?" asks one of them – the third one, who isn't the leader and isn't named Joe.

Will catches Artie's eye. He can't just let this happen. Artie is... one of the bravest kids he's ever met. He's strong. He shouldn't have to go through this. He's seventeen, for christ's sake; he's got his whole life ahead of him, and he shouldn't have to be devastated like this.

What if one of these men is carrying something? That could... It could kill him, in the end. People would cry and grieve. Artie is surrounded by people who love him; Will is one of those people, though not in an illegal or creepy way.

Will thinks of Brittany. Poor, sweet, naive Brittany. How could she understand what happened to her boyfriend? How could she cope?

If this happens to Artie, it will ruin everything. Everyone will suffer. Artie's not an isolated, divorced thirty-two year old with enough issues already – he's a bright kid, despite everything, and he has hope for the future. Will can't let them take that away.

He knows what he has to do.

"Take me instead," he blurts out before he gets a chance to talk himself out of it. The men seem confused. Artie looks shocked.

"Huh?" asks Joe.

Will closes his eyes and takes in a deep breath before continuing. Oh god, I'm really doing this."Take me, instead of him," he says. "Do whatever you would to him, to me. Just leave him be."

The men still seem confused. "Um, what?" asks the man without an identifier. "Okay, why are you doing this? You a faggot and this is some kind of sick fantasy of yours, or...?"

Will flinches. "He's seventeen. He's just a kid. I can't let you do this him. Please."

The men share looks, before the one he's identified as the leader shrugged. "Fine with me," he says. "I'm not really big on jailbait anyway. Are you guys...?"

"Well, calling him jailbait because he's a kid is possibly the most ironic thing ever right now – that's not even under the age of consent here anyway – but if we switch it to this guy I probably get to go first, so sure, I'm cool with it."

"You selfish prick," says Joe, but he has a faint smile on his face. Will wants to puke. It's like his gangrape is some kind of friendly bonding ritual where they can tease each other. They sound like Puck, for christ's sakes.

This would be so much easier if they just seemed like gang members or something. They don't. They seem like friends.

"Uh, this is gonna sound stupid, but do I get to say something about this?" Artie blurts out, earning his own disbelieving looks from the men around them. He ignores them though, instead focusing on Will. "Seriously, Mr. Schue, don't. You can't... You don't deserve this. You're not a worse person than me or anything. I don't even think you're a stronger person than me. You don't have to sacrifice yourself for me, you know."

"Yes, I do." He's a teacher. His greatest responsibility is to protect his students no matter what.

"Mr. Schue–"

"Artie, don't. Please." Will can't let Artie try and talk him out of this either. There's too much of a chance it'll work, and he can't take that risk right now.

Unidentified Guy looks back and forth between the two of them. "You two realize you're fucking crazy, right? Offering to be the one raped for each other?" he says. "Just... throwing that out there."

The insult tires Will more than anything. There's a bundle of nerves wrapped tight in his stomach – he offered to do this and they agreed, so what are they waiting for? "Could you just... hurry up and get it over with?" he asks. "You said you'd have finish soon anyway, before Artie's parents get here."

"Mr. Schue, please don't–"

"Stay out of it, Artie!" Will snaps. Artie goes silent.

Leader looks back and forth between them again. "Why are you doing this anyway... Schuester, I think he said your name was?"

Will nods along. "William Schuester. Yes. And... what?"

"First and last name before we fuck him. He has class," snarks Blond from behind him, and despite himself Will winces. Toughen up. They're about to do a lot worse than insult you.

Leader laughs. "Yeah. I'm just curious – why you care so damn much about him? Enough to give yourself in his place?"

"He's my student. It's my job," says Will.

"Uh-huh, sure," says Leader. "What were you doing back here anyway? Last two in the school?"

"I had a project–"

"You fucking him, Schuester?" asks Leader. "That's it. You're going to step in his place to protect your little boyfriend. Or are you just jealous; don't want anyone else getting their hands on him? Or maybe, maybe, your eye's been straying and this is an excuse to cheat without him getting mad at you for it?"

Will practically gags. "No, of course not. He's my student–"

"Hey, buddy, we're the guys raping you," says Joe. "You hardly have to worry about us judging you for dodging rules about teachers and students."

Will shudders and shakes his head. "Well, I'm not. And none of this is relevant. I told you, just... get on with it."

The men groan. Blond mutters "Little slut," behind Will's back, and it makes him want to puke.

"Actually, I'm still hoping it's not going to happen. Sorry, Mr. Schue," comes Artie's voice, and Will cringes. He's about to tell him to stop – Will is trying to cover for him and he really wants Artie to stop sabotaging his efforts – but the boy keeps talking. "This is completely insane and unnecessary. You didn't even know anyone was going to be here when you came. You're here to steal, right? You more or less implied that. So you need to rape anyone... why?"

He's panicking. Will can hear it in his voice. It breaks his heart. He's sort of panicking himself, but he's trying to hold it in, because... if he panics, he'll fight. If he fights, he's breaking whatever deal he just brokered – and they'll go back to Artie, and he can't let that happen.

Unidentified laughs at Artie. "Okay, if you're that naive, I sort of get why William over there feels some kind of need to protect your innocence," he says. "Okay, no, this wasn't the first point. But we all knew when we came here, if we found someone, we'd have some fun with it. Why do you think we activated the lockdown system? Trap the anyone there inside; we could get where we wanted to with the master key. And no, we don't need to do this. But we want to. So just lie there, shut up, and be happy this guy's so dedicated to his job or creepily obsessed with you or whatever that he's made it so you're not the one this is happening too."

"Damn straight," adds Joe.

"Fine," says Will. "Are you waiting for anything in particular?"

Leader shrugs. "Mostly for you to freak out and realize you can't do this for him. For anyone. Seriously, no-one can be that selfless."

Will shakes his head. "Not going to happen. I won't..." Suddenly, a little bubble of hysterical laughter bursts to the surface. "I won't even fight."

Leader pouts mockingly, before kneeling down in front of him. "Aww," he says. "What if we like a fight?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Will can see Joe and Unidentified's grip on Artie's arms tighten.

Will swallows hard and looks this man dead in the eye. "Then I'll fight," he promises. "Just stay away from him."

Leader meets Blond's eyes over Will's shoulder, and Will can see Artie holding his breath – Artie sees him seeing and dodges his eyes, ashamed. "It's not a big deal," Leader shrugs. "Wouldn't want you being dishonest or anything."

"Okay. I'm going to agree with this guy here and say – can we get on with it?" asks Blond. He shuffles closer and – oh god, he's hard. "Seriously."

"You two are going to give us both a shot, right? 'Cause it was be so unfair if we missed out just because we're the ones bothering to hold the cripple in place so he doesn't go call the cops or something," Unidentified says. Leader rolls his eyes.

"Yeah, yeah. You'll get your shot, don't worry. Think I want you punching me again?" asks Leader. The men chuckle, like it's some kind of inside joke. Will wants to be sick again. Will you people stop being human already? he thinks.

"Anyway," says Blond. "Move on?"

Leader nods and suddenly his hands are attacking the zip on Will's pants; Blond's grip on his arms tightens in case he struggles. Will can't help but gasp, because it's actually happening now and he just–

Artie's eyes go wide from the other side of the room and he surges up, like Frankenstein brought to life, trying to escape – to help. Poor kid feels responsible. Joe and Unidentified just hold his arms tighter, and no matter how hard Artie tries to twist against them nothing happens. Don't, Will tries to communicate with his eyes. I got you out of danger; stay out of it. I'm not worth it, really.

Blond roughly shoves his pants off his waist, and Will unconsciously tries to push his body away. He's sort of kneeling, while Leader looks down at him with amusement. "Hey. Get out of the way so I can shove him down properly, man."

Leader holds his hands up in a gesture of surrender, moving aside on his knees. He seems to be watching, curious, as Blond finally lets go of Will's arms and shoves him to the ground. There is sickening thump, but not a crunch, and the pain is moderate so Will assumes nothing is broken. For now.

He's pretty sure it's meant to be the psychological trauma he'd be more worried about right now, but that will probably come later.

All hope that Blond letting go of his arms would open up a revenue of escape – not that Will would, because Artie – disappears as the man places his body weight over Will's, securing him against the floor. "There we go," says Blond, grinding against Will's ass slowly, almost sensually. It makes him want to puke. He cringes against the cold floor his face is pushed down on; he's getting dust everywhere.

"You are going to take your pants off, right?" comes Joe's voice from the other side of the room. "Not to criticize or anything, but – you know, that usually helps."

"Shut up." The upper half of his body is released a little, as Will hears the sound of Blond dragging his zip down and shucking off his pants. Will squirms against the floor. His first instinct is to run, or at least try, because he can't just let this happen, can he? But he knows exactly why he has to just let it happen. He can't forget that.

He forces his head of the floor, pulling his face up enough to rest his chin on the ground. It seriously stresses his neck, but he ignores that. He manages to meet Artie's eyes across the room.

The boy looks terrified, admittedly. But the two men holding him still are keeping to the arms, and seem more interested in Will right now, honestly.

Artie's safe. Will needs to hold onto that.

Blond's pressed up against him now, getting into position. Despite the vague knowledge it'll only make things more painful, he can't help but tense up. Oh god, this is actually happening.

"By the way," Blond mutters into his ear, "My name is Aaron."

He shoves in.

"Argh!" Will can't help but scream. Fuck, it hurts. His eyes go shut as he tries to brace himself, deal with the pain. He tenses his hands against the flat, slick floor, trying to hold onto something – there's nothing.

Blond – Aaron, no, Blond; he's taking his own identifications of these people over theirs, and besides, how does he know Aaron's even the guy's real name? – Blond sets about a pace, slow but rough, because he's obviously struggling with the friction and the lack of lube. Will squirms, trying to get away from the movement, and he vaguely wonders if that might be misinterpreted, but he doesn't care right now. It hurts.

It's then he realizes he's muttering "Stop, stop," under his breath.

His eyes wedge open a tiny amount, and he bites his lip to stop. Blond seems perfectly content ignoring that – or maybe he just didn't notice. The man gives rough, heady grunts, thrusting inside Will with vigor.

Will forces himself to open his eyes properly, staring straight ahead. At Artie. The boy's eyes are wide and horrified.

What if, when he'd said stop, Blond had done just that? Will knows the deal he made – him in exchange for Artie. As much as it hurts, and as much as he wants out, he can't let himself do that.

"...Fuck," whispers the boy from his held down position. Will tries to give him a smile, as if to communicate it's not that bad – which it absolutely is, but saying that isn't going to help. The other men look on interestedly at what Blond's doing to Will, practically ignoring the kid they're restraining, which is good.

Will tries to mouth "It's okay," at him too. Then Blond changes his angle, presses in deeper, and Will can't help but scream again.

He's bleeding. Will notices this. He can feel it dripping down his thighs. Blond's pace is increasing and he's gasping; Will realizes the man is close. Thank god, he thinks, although he knows that can't be the end of it.

Oh god, Blond is going to come in him, isn't he? Will's not sure he can cope with that.

"Come on, man, hurry up," mutters one of the men – Joe, he thinks – and Blond does just that, pushing himself harder and faster until Will can feel the man's nerves on edge. He braces himself to try and be surprised.

Fuck, it's hot. Not in any colloquial sense of the term – no, he could never enjoy this – but a literal one. Will feels like someone poured boiling water inside him. He cries out, more out of shock than pain (okay, maybe a little out of pain – boiling water, remember).

Blond rides out his orgasm (oh god), shuffling his hips back and forth as he keeps spurting inside Will. Will bites his lip and tries to stay calm until Blond sloppily pulls out, freeing Will's body from his weight.

He doesn't try to get up. He doesn't try to run. What would be the point?

He manages to aim a weak half-smile at Artie across the room. Artie manages to send one back. Will's willing to call that progress.

"So, who's next?" asks Blond with a possessive squeeze of Will's shoulder.

Joe looks at his fellows. "Could I have a go?" he asks. "One of you'd need to come over here and hold the kid – not you, Jake; that would be pointless; you're already holding him – but it seems easy enough. Not that he could do much, but we don't want him crawling off and calling the cops or anything.

Apparently, Unidentified has a name. Will might use that one. Leader gives an easy shrug, and scoots over to take Artie's arm from Joe. Artie whimpers, and Leader rolls his eyes at him. "Oh, relax kid, alright? We made a deal. Your teacher for you. We just don't want you interfering, so calm the fuck down."

"Yes, because it is obviously impossible to care about anyone's safety other than your own and freak the fuck out for their sake, right?" Artie shoots back. "Don't tell me to calm down."

"Stop causing a fight with the spare kid," says Joe as he lowers his pants and lowers himself down on top of Will. "I mean, seriously."

The guys shrug, and Artie winces. Will keeps his breath steady, trying to focus on staying calm. Don't panic, he tells himself. Just act like it didn't stop.

That's not actually overly comforting, but it's pragmatic.

Joe eases his way in. Will tenses up and scrunches his eyes shut for a second, trying not to focus on how much the pain sharpens. Then he opens them again, because he can't afford to freak out like before.

Artie is breathing slow and steady now, following the man's movement with his eyes. He looks... resigned. Like he's realized there is nothing he can do. Will just hopes that means he'll keep himself safe, and not blame himself for what is happening.

The slow, steady thrusts ease the flow of blood. Will can feel it, and combined with the raw pressure against the tear, it makes him give choked sobs. He doesn't want to cry. He doesn't want to do anything that will lead him too far down the path of victimization and self-pity, because he can't afford to lose his head. Remember?

It's over quicker than he expects. Joe either has some kind of problem, or his sense of time is starting to distort. He actually expects the latter, given how the rest of the guys don't make fun of him for it or anything – from their 'friendship' (he really has no reason to put that in quotation marks – they seem perfectly genuine about being friends. It's just that they're evil), he would expect the guys to make fun of Joe for something like that.

Without a word, Leader takes Artie's left arm from Unidentified/Jake, freeing the man up to take his turn. Joe pulls away, and doesn't walk back into Will's field of vision. He hears a dull thud from behind him, and gasping, so he assumes Joe is resting against the wall.

He must want to see.

Unidentified/Jake kneels behind Will, roughly prodding at his bleeding hole. Will flinches in pain. "Oh, you left him bleeding. Thanks for the mess, guys. That doesn't make things harder."

Blond looks indignant, and Will can't see Joe but he bets it's the same. "Sorry," says Blond. "Is it really such a big deal?"

"Yeah," says Joe. "I mean, liquid – that's gotta make things easier, right?"

Despite the absurdity of the situation, Will rolls his eyes – although that's a little unfair, since he mostly knows better from Tara Kendrick's enraged rants after her science classes. "Uh, no. Blood is a coagulant; it's meant to get sticky. It does not work like lube. If it did, everyone'd wind up bleeding to death."

"If I was fifteen, I'd call you a nerd," grumbles Leader. "Now stop whining and get on with it."

"Fine," mutters Jake, who presses his body down over Will's. He shoves in quickly, and Will bites his lip.

Some of the blood actually is starting to dry, although it's all painful enough that Will can't really focus on the added discomfort. Plus, as long as the blood keeps flowing it doesn't get sticky.

He's starting to disassociate, isn't he?

Jake's grunts are loud. Animalistic. Will flinches when he hears them. From across the room, Artie is still staring... and he whispers "I'm sorry."

Will tries to shake his head, to reassure Artie it's not his fault, but Jake angles his thrusts in a way that makes Will give a whining noise of pain. He gets distracted.

He breathes in heavily as he lets the man keep thrusting in him. Focus on Artie, he reminds himself, which might sound creepy in some contexts but... he's not going to forget why he's doing it.

He breathes heavily, tries not to make too many sounds of pain, and doesn't forget.

Jake's hand is front of him, supporting the man's body weight. The gasping seems to signify the man is getting close. Will doesn't find it as terrifying as he did with Blond – he barely even noticed with Joe. He's getting used to it. That's incredibly depressing.

After a few seconds, Jake shoots. "Don't leave a mess," Joe snarks from behind them.

"Shut up," says Jake, roughly wiping the mess he did leave with the back of his hand – that makes Will shudder in pain, but he bites his lip to keep the sound in. "Your turn."

Leader gives an appreciative nod. Will closes his eyes and steels his resolve. Just one more. It'll be over soon. Hold on.

"Um, one of you going to come over here and help with the cripple kid?" he asks.

"I could probably handle him on my own," Blond says. "I mean, hell, even if I didn't – look at him. He's probably gone all broken spirit or whatever and even if we don't hold him down, he won't be able to bring himself to do anything."

"That was probably true until you just said it. Then you reminded me I should be fighting and want to spite you," says Artie, glaring at Blond. "So thanks."

"Fuck," Blond mutters.

Leader just glares at him. "Yeah, we don't take risks, remember? No surprises. No cops. Now Joey, get your ass over here!"

"Fine," grumbles the guy against the wall, walking over to take Artie from Leader. "You're more trouble than you're worth, kid."

"You'll excuse me if I don't take an insult from you so seriously, right?" Artie says.

Leader rolls his eyes as he walks over to Will, kneeling behind him. "You're kid practically fits in," he says. "They're all fucking intolerable, right?"

"Don't talk to me," Will chokes out. One more, hold on, don't panic, think about Artie.

Leader sighs. "Fine," he says. "Hold on, Schuester. We saved the best for last."

"Arrogant prick," says Joe.

He's in. And fuck, he's large. Is that what he meant?

Will tries to hold tight, breathe in and out, not panic. It hurts, but he's used to that. He focuses his now-bleary eyes back on Artie. He looks... pitying. Will could do without it, honestly, but he guesses it could be worse.

It's easier to cope with the rhythm than it should be. He's... he guesses he's used to it by now. Pain, ache, all that – he's accepted them and dealt regardless. He allows himself to close his eyes, and he doesn't panic. He doesn't squirm. He doesn't find himself muttering anything under his breath.

It's fairly depressing that this sort of mental and physical surrender actually counts as a victory in his mind, huh?

He follows the rhythm in his head. In, out, in, out. He waits for it to quicken; for the guy to get closer. Please, just get it over with, he pleads in his thoughts. There's just one more of you. Finish it already.

He can feel it getting faster, digging into him deeper; he braces itself and it happens. Leader comes. It's fucking finished.

"Well. That's that then," Leader pants, pulling himself out. "Unless anyone wants a second go?"

There's an awkward moment while all the men look at each other, and Will bites his lip. Please don't. "Don't think we'll bother," says Blond eventually, and the other two nod in agreement. They might just not want to hold the group up or something, but Will doesn't care – he just wants it finished.

"Alright then." Leader's standing up by now, and Will can hear his pants zip up. "Maybe we should go get stuff like we came for?"

The others nod, and Will wonders if he's meant to get up now. Cautiously, he places his hands on the floor and pushes himself up. No-one stops him, so he takes that as a sign of encouragement. He tries to stand up, but his legs are too shaky, the pain too intense and he trips over his pants (well, that's humiliating). He tries to sit, at least, but the pressure that puts... there hurts too much, and he hisses "Shit," in pain.

He winds up lying flat on his stomach, like before.

It's about then that it hits him. Oh god. These guys – these four guys just raped him and oh god, oh god. How the hell is he meant to react to that?

The men seem amused by his troubles.

"Well. Glad you're having fun," Jake says.

"You son of a bitch," Will spits back. He then sort of notices they haven't let Artie go yet. Along with making him feel bad that he didn't notice that earlier, it really worries him.

Joe checks his watch. "Fuck. It's six thirty-five," he says, confusing everyone. "Didn't you say your parents would pick you up at six thirty, kid?"

"What? I, uh – yeah," says Artie. Then he visibly steels his resolve again. "Actually, if it's that early – none of you lasted very long, you know that? And a seventeen year old guy is telling you this."

Will cringes. Artie, stop trying to annoy them. Thankfully, it doesn't work too much – the men either roll their eyes, or seem to find it endearing.

"Don't you love it when they act rude just to pretend they're not shit scared when they are?" asks Blond. Artie shivers a little, like being found out frightens him more.

"Yeah," says Joe. "Anyway, don't you think we should get a move on out of here before we get caught by the people who can call the police?"

"Good idea," says Leader, standing up. "I'll go get round up the others from wherever they got to, okay?"

"There are others?" Will asks weakly, but Leader easily walks out the door without answering. Will guesses it doesn't matter.

Jake looks thoughtful. "You know, if we came here to steal – didn't actually checking cripple kid for his stuff."

He makes a grab for Artie's pocket, on his hip. Artie can't smother a fearful gasp, and Will practically screams "Don't touch him!"

Jake shoots him a disbelieving look. "Okay, I'm stealing now, not raping him. I'll stick with the deal, and besides, we don't have the time. Get over yourself, Schuester."

He's still touching Artie, and the boy's still obviously terrified. Logically, Will thinks he should believe it – how could the man find the time? Aren't they all terrified of getting caught?

But he can't – he won't trust this man. After what he did... he's not sure if it's just spite, but it hurts his head.

He catches Artie's eye as Jake seems to delight in taking as long as possible to drag Artie's wallet out of his pocket. "It's okay," he says, even though he's deeply unsure of the truth of that statement.

"There," declares Jake as he finally removes the damn thing, holding it up like proof of something. Artie lets out a shuddering breath, and Will closes his eyes.

"Come on," says Joe, ushering them all up. "Tell me he didn't steal the freaking key."

"It's right there on the stereo," Blond points out, and Joe takes it, letting them all out. The door slams shut when they're gone. It's just Will and Artie alone.

Blood and come drips on the floor.

Will's just starting to panic; just starting to let the significance of what happened seep through the pain and shock, and... he can't. Not yet. He's not ready. He desperately tries to refocus, and... Artie. He did all this to keep the boy okay; he has to make sure that worked.

He asks just that. "Are you okay?"

Artie hesitates slightly before nodding. "Yeah." His voice is choked and hoarse like it's a lie, but they were speaking relatively anyway. "Oh god, Mr. Schue."

"I'm alright." He can't have Artie worrying about him; it has to be the other way around – that's his job. Unless Artie is worried about him because he didn't do his Spanish homework or something, he can't have Artie worrying about him.

Artie bites his lip. "You were about to give me your phone," he says. "Before... we need to call 911. My parents will come looking, but... you're bleeding."

It's now Will notices that awful bruise on the side of Artie's face, from being shoved to the floor. "Of course." He pushes himself off the floor, trying to get enough control of his legs to reach into his pocket and get the damn phone. It takes a lot of effort and pressure on his... wound, he guesses, but he manages it. He tosses the phone across the floor, for Artie to catch.

He takes it easily, but he hesitates before calling. He looks like he might cry. "It'll be okay, Mr. Schue."

The kid can't say that to him. That's not his job.

"It'll be okay, Artie."