i wish I couldlay your arms down
and let you rest at last
i wish I could slay your demons
but now that time has passed
Finn walked down the road, pulling his hood up to block the drizzling rain from dampening his head. He and Rachel had just had another fight, and Kurt still really wasn't talking to him, and his mom had yelled at him for forgetting to take the garbage out. This summer vacation wasn't going as well as he had hoped it would, but at least he had warm nights like these to escape for a little while.
He walked towards the Greenfield Bridge, humming to himself quietly. Sure, walking across a highway bridge in the dark was maybe not the best idea, but it was late and the cars were scarce and really, the view was stunning. It was the best spot to moon-watch in Ohio, he had concluded a couple years back, and his walks always included it at some point.
As he neared the bridge, he saw a figure already standing in the middle. He paused at first, wondering if it was a ghost or a serial killer and maybe he should run for it. But after a moment he saw that the figure was standing on top of the railing, clutching to the side of a post to keep his balance. The figure bent his knees, preparing to jump.
"HEY!" Finn shouted, sprinting to the figure. "DON'T!"
The figure looked back, shifting his weight like he wasn't sure if he should still jump or do what the stranger was telling him. Finn stopped in front of the figure – a teenage guy, probably his own age – panting heavily and waving his arms frantically. "DON'T-! DON'T-! DON'T JUMP! PLEASE!"
The boy looked away, out across the valley that the bridge spanned. "Why not?"
Finn looked at him like he was crazy. "Trust me, dude. I don't care how drunk you are, you won't be able to fly if you jump. That fall's gonna kill you."
The boy just laughed darkly. "That's the point, dude."
There was a moment of silence before it clicked in Finn's mind. "Shit! Man, don't do this. Don't go that way."
"And what do you care?" The boy asked, eyes fixed on the moon above their heads. "I'm nobody to you." He turned, and eyed Finn's football hoodie. "You're just like the others. If you knew what I was, you'd be pushing me yourself."
Finn gave the boy a weird look. "Dude, unless you're, like, a puppy serial killer, I highly doubt that."
The jumper chuckled a little at that, but his smile was quickly replaced with a look of pure devastation. "No, I promise you, you'll hate me, like the others. I thought I could run away from them. I thought I was safe at my new school. But they still live in my neighborhood; they still find me at the gas station, the drugstore, the parking lot of the mall. I can't outrun the world."
The tone in his voice was familiar to Finn, but just barely. It was the same tone Kurt used when he confessed to Finn about throwing the diva-off for the Defying Gravity solo; hurt, resigned, depressed. "Look, dude, just come down and tell me why I'd hate you. Just…come down from there."
The boy sighed, but stepped down from the railing, crumpling into a sitting position next to it. Finn sat next to him, clasping his hands on his knees. The boy – who, Finn noticed, was short – rested his head in his hands. "I…I'm gay."
Finn looked taken aback. "So?"
Looking up in surprise, the boy blinked rapidly in confusion. "I like guys."
The boy let out a breath. "It really doesn't bother you that I'm gay?"
Finn shrugged, sighing. "Look, just a few months ago, it would have made me uncomfortable, sure. But I would never hate you for it. Plus, my…well, I guess he's my soon-to-be-stepbrother…he's gay. And he gets a lot of shit for it. Which…I suppose you do, too?"
The kid nodded, running a hand through his curly hair. "Like you wouldn't believe. I transferred to a new school this year, one with a zero-tolerance no-harassment policy. I don't have to fear for my life walking down those halls, sure…but everywhere else? They ambushed me, once, when I was getting out of my car at home. Had to walk in with a black eye and explain it to my parents."
"That's rough, man," Finn said, grimacing. "I mean, that's really, really rough. But don't give up now. It'll get better one day."
Scoffing, the jumper lifted his head. "Right. Because the rest of the world is just so accepting. I just…I just want to stop burdening my parents with my problems. They don't deserve it."
The drizzling rain seemed to let up, and Finn lowered his hood. "Look, man…I don't know exactly what you're going through…but my soon-to-be-…you know, let's just call him Kurt. Kurt goes through so much of the crap you do. He has big plans for the future: something about fashion magazines and Broadway and red carpets. He's going to be famous one day, and he knows that if he just waits out the bad, the good will find him."
The short boy looked sad. "How? How does he do that? Be all…certain? Sure of himself?"
Finn shrugged. "Courage."
"Courage?" There was hope in his voice; only a little, but it was there.
"Courage." Finn nodded. "He has courage. And deep down, you do too."
The kid nodded, blinking. "You really think it's worth living? That I'm not some kind of freak who deserves to die by jumping off a bridge?"
"I just met you, and I can honestly say that yes, your life is worth living, and no, you aren't a freak. You're who you were born to be, and no one has the right to tell you that's wrong."
There was a pause in the conversation, and then a whisper: "Thanks…I really needed to hear that."
"No problem," Finn said, and the conversation lulled. Pulling his phone out, Finn nudged the boy on the arm and asked, "Do you wanna see Kurt?"
The kid looked a little weirded out, but nodded, craning his neck to see the phone screen. Finn pulled up a picture of Kurt and Mercedes from Sectionals, showing the kid.
"Wow…he looks so…happy." Finn nodded, grinning at the silly face Artie was making at the two in the background and the sweet look of adoration on Kurt's face as Mercedes kissed his cheek. "And he gets bullied? A lot?"
Finn nodded. "Yeah…but we're in glee club, you see, and the club is like a little family. I mean, sure, we have our drama, but we just…we help each other. Maybe that's something you could do at your school…join a club?"
The kid nodded, smiling slightly. "I've always liked singing. And our glee club looks fun…"
"There you go!" Finn said cheerfully, clapping the kid on the back as he put his phone away. "Once you find a group of friends to rely on, nothing can stop you."
They both stood up, dusting off their pants. "Well, I guess I'd better head home. It's a long drive," the curly-haired kid said, scratching his neck.
"Yeah, cool." Finn nodded. "Hey, look, just remember that your life is worth it."
"Thanks," the kid said, then held out his hand. "Blaine Anderson."
"Nice to meet you, Finn. I really can't thank you for what you did tonight. I just hope I can remember this feeling." He waved, and walked towards the edge of the bridge, where his car was pulled off to the side.
"Hey, Blaine?" Finn called after. Blaine turned, eyebrows raised. "Courage."
Blaine smiled, then disappeared into his car. Finn paused for a moment, feeling strangely uplifted and mature. He relished that feeling as he walked home. Maybe, just maybe, this could redeem him a little bit, even if he would never tell Kurt about it.
When Blaine Anderson saw Finn's stepbrother on the stairs at Dalton Academy, his jaw dropped a little. Here he was – the boy whose half-remembered face gave him hope and strength whenever he was sad was here, in the flesh.
Blaine called Kurt out on his spying pretty calmly, buying him coffee and listening to his troubles. The boy he admired without even knowing was breaking down, and Blaine just couldn't live with that.
So when Kurt seemed to be at wit's end, just completely fed up with life itself, Blaine remembered back to his conversation with Finn on the bridge, and a small smile came to his face.
"Courage, Kurt. You just need a little courage."
I have no idea what this is. I'm sorry. I'm sick and tired. Please review! Reviews make me feel less sickly.