Author's Note: I keep wondering, why is Kurt, who had been so brave in standing up to Karofsky in all previous episodes, so abjectly terrified of him at the start of 'Furt'? Why does that encounter in front of Kurt's locker go so differently from all the others? Why doesn't he tell the whole truth to the adults when given multiple chances to do so in that episode? How does Kurt feel about the people around him - teachers, family, friends and enemies, and how do his feelings change as he tries to cope with the evolving situation? This story is my attempt to find possible answers to those questions, working through the key bullying-related scenes from Kurt's perspective. All dialogue is taken from the episode 'Furt'. The first chapter deals with that confrontation in front of Kurt's locker. Thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you enjoy! Favorites and alerts are great, but reviews and concrit, well, those are golden!
Spoilers: for 'Never Been Kissed', 'The Substitute' and 'Furt'. The story also contains references to events in 'Theatricality' and 'Duets.'
Disclaimer: If I owned Glee, they'd sing more show tunes and Adam Lambert would have a recurring role as Kurt's older, wiser and even more fabulous countertenor cousin.
Song Reference: The story title and chapter headings are taken from the Kris Allen song, The Truth. I don't own that, either.
Rating: T for mature themes and foul language.
Chapter 1: Wishing I could disappear
"Thanks! It's a plan!"
Finn lopes away, genuinely convinced a mother-son dance will make him look like a stud! He's so clueless about this wedding, it's almost endearing (when it isn't totally annoying). But you'll write a great toast for him to give Carole and Dad, and maybe with some intensive dance lessons he won't crush his poor mother's feet (that will be Dad's job). You smile again at the bride and groom cake topper, the one Mom gave you all those years ago to beautify the nuptials for your Power Rangers. After a moment's thought, you decide to take it with you for inspiration.
You close your locker and out of nowhere Karofsky is there, standing way too close. Nothing separates your bodies but a few inches of thick, heavy air and your books, which you are now clutching for dear life. It suddenly occurs to you that the phrase "for dear life" isn't just an idiom. He wants what, to pile on more intimidation? Christ, why can't he just leave you alone!
Now he's inching forward, creeping, really, like the creeper that he is, and you, you're backing up. In fact, you started backing up the instant you saw him, but you didn't realize it for a few seconds. Fortunately, your body was way ahead of you, instinctively moving to protect itself. You've got to keep him from closing the very tiny gap between you. Above all, you want to stay away from those unwelcome lips, which are already much too near and compressed in a hard, cruel line.
No, stop looking at his mouth! He'll think you want another kiss. He'll think you wanted the last one, maybe even enjoyed it. That's probably what he's been telling himself – that he's not really gay, that McKinley's resident homo came on to him, that it was he and not you who spent the next 20 minutes after that lip-rape shaking and sickened, finally throwing up and then driving home through a haze of tears to hide in your room.
So you focus on his eyes, and – Oh god, looking into his eyes is even worse! They're cold and implacable and... predatory.
Well... well, this prey is fierce and fabulous and fighting back.
"I don't want you near me."
Okay, so you won't win any awards for best bad-ass delivery, but at least you got something out and it sounded sort of forceful. You've never wished more for a deeper voice than right at this minute, because a lower, more masculine tone might have hidden that tremor better. And where the hell is your bitch face, Kurt? You can see your reflection in his eyes and you're definitely not wearing it.
Karofsky crinkles his brow slightly as if to say It sucks to be you, then, and continues his slow advance, looking at you like... like he fucking owns you.
And you go cold, because suddenly you realize this isn't regular bullying. This isn't about the death threat, even. What's going on right now, this particular intimidation is... is... sexual. He's getting off on it!
So right at this moment the feeling engulfs you, drowns you – fear black as pitch, abject terror. Before this moment, you've never been especially afraid of Karofsky, not really. Certainly not down to your very core. Even in the locker room, you were more shocked than scared. And the death threat – that was Karofsky running scared. But the jock facing you now, he's not the Karofsky of two weeks ago. This one is a stranger, maybe even to himself, and you have no idea what he's capable of.
You're still moving backward and the guy in the Karofsky suit is still moving foward. There's no uncertainty, no doubt whatsoever on his face. He's absolutely sure he can do anything he wants – beat you, molest you, break every part of you, even choke the life out of you, right there in the hallway, in front of your own locker, in front of the entire school – and no one will stop him.
And no one will stop him. No one ever stops him.
That's why you can't manage the bitch face, isn't it? Because what Karofsky believes to be true you know to be true. The evidence is irrefutable. There was no audience for the kiss, but everything else? Insults, dumpster dives, slushies and shoves and covering bruises with makeup - months of performances played daily to packed houses, students and teachers with front row seats. Even Mr. Schue was an epic failure when he caught Karofsky throwing you around a few weeks ago. Asking "Is there anything I can do?" in his super sincere voice and then... handing you a glass of generic filtered water! Was Schuester fucking kidding or is he just that bad at his job?
When Karofsky jabs a finger into your chest, the rest of the world is just gone. Nothing exists now except you and Karofsky and the 10 precious inches between you. And the books you're gripping so firmly your arms begin to ache. And Mom's wedding cake topper. You want to hold it tighter, keep it safe, but it's fragile and you can feel the bride's plastic arms bending inward as your shoulder blades touch the wall and your hand tenses. Karofsky grins like a psychopath when he sees you realize that there's no more room to back up, that you're trapped. You'd give anything not to feel dirty and violated as he leans in and trails his finger slowly down your chest.
He snatches the cake topper and you flinch. "Can I have this?" He dangles it in front of you, and you want to feel, need to feel rage, indignation, rebellion. But all that floods in is despair.
No! A thousand times, no! Say it, Kurt, say:
"No, you can't have my cake topper, you pathetic, sadistic, closeted cave dweller. And you sure as hell can't have me!"
"No, you can't take things from me anymore – not my kiss, not my pride, not my confidence. You can't break me with threats or make me live in fear. You can't silence my voice."
Tell him, go on, tell him:
"I don't have time for this bullshit. Glee is getting ready for Sectionals. I'm trying to start a relationship with the boy of my dreams. I'm planning a wedding, for fuck's sake! For my father, who's fifty times the man you'll never be."
And warn him:
"No one pushes a Hummel around. So just give back my figurine and get the hell away from me before I start shouting at the top of my lungs that big, tough hockey jock Dave Karofsky is a queer, a faggot, a homo, a fairy, and every other disgusting slur you've ever thrown at me. Leave me alone or I will tell positively everyone that you kissed me. And how much you liked it, how turned on you got. It won't matter if you say I'm lying. The rumor will be enough, and you're straight facade will fall apart faster than those cheap Walmart poly-cotton blends you're wearing."
And you open your mouth to say all that. Or even just some of that. But nothing comes out. Karofsky's eyes gleam with triumph and the reflection of the cringing, cowering, devastated little boy he's just humiliated. A boy with no voice.
"Thanks." He says it very softly, very smugly, and behind that word you hear what he's really saying: I can do anything to you, Hummel. Anything at all.
Oh god, you can't take much more of this, you can't move, can't breath –
"Are you okay?" Mr. Schuester's voice, bringing the world back. You realize Karofsky is gone.
"N-n...n-no, no." Finally, you manage (barely) to gasp out the word! But this is a 'no' of defeat, not defiance. No, you are not the Kurt Hummel of two minutes ago and no, you are definitely not okay.