I started writing this sometime between Silly Love Songs and Comeback. I threw it aside because I thought it was horrible. (A writer's hardest critic is himself... or in my case, herself.) Anyway, I reopened it, finished it, and am quite pleased with this. For the record, I never meant to kill Kurt, and I don't think I will ever forgive myself for doing it. I'm not sure what swept over me. It's just happened. I guess I just needed to prove to myself that I could write something other than mindless fluff.
Disclaimer: Glee belongs to its respective owners; I only mindlessly play with the characters.
Summary: Rachel couldn't look over at the open casket, as butterflies swarmed her stomach. She was never nervous before a performance. Leave it to one Kurt Hummel to make her nervous to sing.
Rachel sat in the bathroom, with the door locked and barred, ignoring everyone's protests to join them in the main room. She believed that she had heard Finn call it a party. She scoffed, tears welling up in her eyes. This was the farthest thing from a party. She tugged at her little black dress, wondering when life had gotten so confusing. She figured that it must have been around the start of Senior year.
The school year started without a hitch. A week into October, Karofsky had been expelled (for good) after pummeling Justin, an out homosexual Freshman. He became the bully's replacement Kurt, who was still boarding at Dalton. However, Justin was smaller than Kurt, and bruised easier. As word spread that Karofsky had forced a kiss on Justin, it made the Glee Club wonder if he had done the same to Kurt. (They never received an answer from him to curb their curiosity.) Either way, McKinley was Karofsky-free, so Kurt came back.
It was now an unseasonably cold March day, where the gusts whipped and the wind chill plummeted far below freezing. Rachel had never pegged Kurt for the kind of person who plasters on a fake smile to hide all of the pain going on behind it. But, that's the kind of person he turned out to be. The only reason they all found out that Kurt was hurting was after the raid of his computer for some kind of clue as to why he had taken his own life.
"Rachel, I'm going to come in there if you're not out in five minutes," Quinn delicately said, knowing that she may be the last resort to get the brunette out of the bathroom. They somehow became friends after she fell off the top of the high school hierarchy.
Rachel choked back a sob, wondering why she was putting herself through the misery of thinking back to the events from the week before. Kurt had complied suicidal thoughts, recounts of Karofsky's continuing abuse in Lima, and every emotion he failed to show in school on a private blog. It nearly tore everyone in Glee apart. They hadn't even noticed that his life was falling apart at the seams. It would be an understatement to say that they didn't feel like complete failures.
"I hope she's not standing by the door," Puck muttered, before obeying Quinn's command to break the door down. The lock broke allowing the flimsy door to slam right down on the floor with just one knock of Puck's shoulder.
"Oh Rachel," Quinn said, comfortably wrapping her arms around the shaking girl, "You don't have to perform if you don't want to."
"No, I want to," Rachel squawked, before more confidently adding, "I need to."
"When Mr. Schue said it was time for everyone to take their seats for the eulogy, you locked yourself in here. It's okay to be scared. If you're not ready to do this, then no one is forcing you," Quinn gently said, rubbing her hand on Rachel's upper arm. Whether it's a heart attack or heartbreak, just like Broadway, the show must go on. Besides, she could just imagine Kurt's frown of amusement at Rachel Berry backing down from a performance.
"I'm ready," Rachel confidently said, breaking out of Quinn's grip as she stood up. She smoothed her skirt before walking out of the bathroom, and through the throng of her friends littering the small hallway to the main room.
"Rachel," Blaine said, putting his hand on her shoulder to stop her from breezing by. He was staring at her with a look of concern with red-rimmed eyes and tearstained cheeks, "We don't have to do this."
"I need to," Rachel droned, swallowing back a bout of tears that threatened to sting her eyes, "For him."
Blaine didn't say anything in return, just slightly nodded, as if he understood.
Rachel thought back to how close Kurt and her had gotten since they stopped battling over diva rights in Glee Club at McKinley. She knew that no matter how bad she was aching, that Blaine would always have it one step worse. Her heart went out to him, even though she could barely hold herself together at this point.
"Rachel, are you going on?" Mr. Schue asked, as Kurt's dad was recalling memories, which would have sent any person listening into a tizzy. She nodded, before just listening to Mr. Hummel's tone, which was heavily laced with nostalgia and love.
"He really looked up to you, you know?" Blaine's voice cracked, almost startling Rachel. She turned on her heel, cursing herself for having sensitive emotions that went into overdrive when she saw someone else crying.
"He used to talk about your future together after getting out of Ohio. You guys were going to get married," Rachel spoke of happy things, with a shadow of a smile, but couldn't stop the tears from cascading down her cheeks.
Blaine squeezed his eyes shut, as Rachel pulled him into her arms. Quinn joined the embrace, before Mercedes and Wes made their way over. It slowly trickled into a group hug between all of the teenagers, Dalton and McKinley alike. They were holding onto each other as if the world was crumbling from right under their feet.
"Now, Rachel Berry has prepared a song, along with Blaine Anderson's piano accompaniment," Mr. Schue said, as Carole rushed her husband to a seat to ease his shaking shoulders and wobbly voice.
The Warblers and New Directions trickled into the room, leaving Rachel and Blaine to prepare for something that bound to break them wholly. Rachel couldn't look over at the open casket, as butterflies swarmed her stomach. She was never nervous before a performance. Leave it to one Kurt Hummel to make her nervous to sing.
Blaine's fingers softly pressed down the keys on the keyboard, before Rachel opened her mouth, "Something had changed within me. Something is not the same. I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. Too late for second guessing" – Rachel started to tear up, but would not let this be like Tina's My Funny Valentine debacle – "Too late to go back to sleep. It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap!"
Rachel's mind flashed back to when she found out that Kurt flubbed the High F. She hadn't won. He had let her win. She demanded for a re-diva off, which resulted in both of them flowing through the songs, hitting all the right notes. In the end, Kurt had been declared he rightful winner. Rachel should have felt crushed, but instead she felt inspired by the entire situation. She honestly thought that Kurt brought out the best in her.
"It's time to try defying gravity. I think I'll try defying gravity. Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity, and you won't bring me down!" Rachel forced her voice to hit the notes, with as little shakiness as possible.
"I'm through accepting limits cause someone says they're so. Some things I cannot change, but till I try, I'll never know. Too long I've been afraid of losing love..." Blaine sang, his voice breaking off at the end with a horrid sob, before slowly melting into a puddle of tears.
"Well, if that's love, it comes at much too high a cost!" Rachel quickly picked up (acapella and all), anticipating his breakdown after this. He had insisted on singing that one verse, and she didn't have the heart to tell him no.
"I'd sooner buy defying gravity. Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity. I think I'll try defying gravity. And, you won't bring me down!" Rachel sang, her voice loud, strong, and clear. She liked to think that Kurt wouldn't be the kind of person who would want people to wallow in their misery at his funeral. Oh God. Stop thinking about it, Rachel! She reprimanded herself, as tears pricked at her eyes.
"I'd sooner buy defying gravity. Kiss me goodbye," Mercedes started to sing, motioning for the rest of the choral group members to join in.
"I'm defying gravity. I think I'll try defying gravity, and you won't bring me down. Bring me down!" Rachel sang, her voice overpowering everyone else who was singing along with her.
Rachel ended her long note, feeling completely wiped of emotion. She was breathing heavily, choking back the sobs that threatened to escape. Her eyes slowly trailed over to the coffin, before her body was set in motion with the destination in mind. Her hand smoothed back his bangs, just like he always did when performing. A drop of mascara laced tear splashed on his cold eyelid that housed those vibrant glasz colored eyes that would never shine again.
A pair of arms wrapped around her waist from behind, as her tiny body wracked with sobs and free flowing tears, neither which she seemed to have control over. She could barely manage her thoughts, which were swirling around Kurt and his suicide.
"I should have known," Rachel muttered, her throat verging on closing up all together. A foreign hot tear splashed on her bare shoulder.
"None of us knew. You can't blame yourself," Blaine wisely said, cradling the smaller girl against his body. Neither one of them expected to grow so close after the Spin the Bottle scandal, but Kurt nearly insisted that they become friends.
Rachel bit down her lip, "We last talked about you."
"Oh really?" Blaine interestedly said, hoping that this wouldn't send him into a flurry of tears like Rachel's last comment about Kurt did.
"He was telling me about your plans for Spring Break," Rachel said, remembering just how excited he was at the prospect of spending an entire weekend gallivanting around Europe with his boyfriend and his family.
"He's always wanted to go to France," Blaine reminiscently said, as both of them seemed to maintain their tears, if for only a moment.
"He can go to France whenever he wants," Rachel said, her voice swelling with contentment, as Blaine furrowed his thick brows together, "He's an angel now."
"He was always an angel, Rachel," Blaine said, trying his best to think that Kurt finally found a piece of sanction away from Lima. He didn't agree with the actions taken, but Kurt Hummel never did go out without a bang.
I'm sorry for being horribly angst ridden. I'm not sure what overcame me. And, I'm sorry for the horribly clichéd ending. I'll just stop now. Reviews are like my crack.