Kurt Hummel, age five, stood nervously in the back of the room. Ms. Janet's class was going on a field trip to the butterfly garden with Mrs. Reed's class today. Both groups were squished into one room while the two teachers and other parent volunteers went over the itinerary again. Kurt fiddled with the buttons of his shirt, feeling awkward while all of the other kids laughed and played together.
"Okay, kids!" Ms. Janet finally called, quieting the children with her seemingly magic powers. "Everyone find a buddy!"
The small boy continued to stand in the back while all of the other kids chose partners. Kurt didn't have any friends going on the trip. His best friend, Mercedes, was sick and couldn't come. Kurt watched as everyone linked arms and hands, all smiles and laughter.
Just then, Dave walked by, shoving Kurt's shoulder and blowing a raspberry at him. Kurt wiped the saliva off his cheek with his sleeve and resisted the urge to cry. Why was Dave so mean? Kurt never did anything to him.
"Hey!" someone called. Kurt turned his head towards the voice, and found a boy who was just a little shorter than him, with curly black hair, green eyes, and a toothy smile. He was wearing a Harry Potter T-shirt. "Want to be buddies?" he asked. "I'm in Mrs. Reed's class."
"S-sure," Kurt said, a little surprised that someone had asked him.
"Cool. I'm Blaine," the boy said, still smiling. The shorter boy held out his arm.
"I'm Kurt," the shy boy smiled, linking his arm through the other's.
"Does everyone have a buddy?" Ms. Janet asked the large group. Which was answered with a chorused 'Yes!'
"Then let's get on the bus!"
Twenty minutes later, forty-two children sat side-by-side in two big, yellow buses. Each head was counted and recounted, then they were on their way.
"Who wants to sing a song?" one girl, Rachel, shouted above all of the noise. Before they knew it, a large rendition of 'The Wheels on the Bus' had begun. Kurt sung along quietly, leaning against the window and looking down at his knees. He was starting to feel shy again, so he stopped. Rachel had such a pretty voice; Kurt felt inadequate.
"Hey, why'd you stop?" Blaine questioned from next to him. "You're a good singer." Kurt blushed.
"Thanks," he mumbled, joining the song again.
Arriving at the butterfly garden, the group grabbed their sack lunches and ran excitedly into the building to escape the frigid, early-spring air. Each child got a bright yellow sticker to place on their backs, that said 'Lima Elementary Field Trip.' Kurt eyed the sticker skeptically.
"Want me to help you?" Blaine offered, holding his hand out.
"It's going to clash with my shirt," the other boy pondered. "Not to mention what it will do to the fabric..."
"That's why you're not supposed to wear silk when you go on a field trip," Blaine said, turning Kurt around to stick the yellow rectangle onto his back.
"How'd you know it was silk?" Kurt asked, surprised.
"My mom makes clothes. She yelled at me once for getting a sucker stuck to a silk dress," Blaine explained.
"Alright, kids! Come over here and make a circle!" Ms. Janet called, and the boys hurried over. "We're going to divide you into groups, and each group goes with a grown up. Each group has to answer ten questions by lunchtime. Okay?"
Kurt and Blaine ended up in a group with Wes and David, and Santana and Brittany.
"Cool! We're in the same group, Blaine!" Wes shouted, holding his hand up for a high-five that Blaine returned.
"Alright guys," David's mom—their chaperone—said to them. "Let's move out!"
The next few hours consisted of 'what do you see?'s and 'is that a butterfly or a moth?'s. It was all smiles and giggles for a long time. Kurt was surprised again when Blaine picked Kurt up so that he could reach the water in the waterfall.
He was in the middle of admiring a big, blue butterfly—a Common Morpho, the book said—when he ran into Dave again. Well, more like Dave ran into him. Kurt was pushed over into the garden, landing face-first in the dirt, and scraping up his ankles on the brick that outlined the garden.
"Hey!" he heard Blaine's voice call. Kurt pulled himself up and turned to see the smaller boy yelling at Dave. "Say you're sorry!"
"No!" Dave laughed, and continued walking away with his friend.
Blaine looked down at Kurt, who was sitting on the pathway now, and sat down next to him. "Hey, are you okay?" Kurt nodded stiffly as he tried to fight back tears. He didn't want to cry in front of his new friend. "You're bleeding!"
The shorter boy lifted up the leg of Kurt's pants to reveal a big red scrape, trickling with blood.
"Mrs. Johnson!' Blaine called to their chaperone, who was looking at a group of butterflies not too far from them. She turned around.
"What is i—Oh my goodness!" David's mother rushed over to them, kneeling down to look at Kurt's ankle. "What happened?"
"Dave pushed him down! I saw him do it!" Blaine told her. A tear slipped down from Kurt's eye while Mrs. Johnson fiddled with Neo-To-Go and band-aids.
"I'll talk to Ms. Janet at lunchtime, okay?" she said, smoothing the last bandage into place. Kurt nodded and wiped his eyes, and she reached back into her bag again. "Here," she handed him a grape lollipop. "This will make you feel better." Kurt reached out and took the sucker.
"Thank you, Mrs. Johnson," he said with a sniffle.
"You're very welcome. And here's one for you, Blaine, you've been a very good buddy to Kurt today." She handed Blaine a cherry one.
"Thank you!" Blaine said. Mrs. Johnson stood up.
"Okay, you two, it's only twenty minutes until lunch and we've still got three questions to answer!"
While David's mom moved away to hunt down the others, Blaine looked over to Kurt again.
"Are you sure you're okay?" he asked, pulling the wrapper off of his lollipop. Kurt nodded and wiped his eyes again.
"I'm okay," Kurt said, then sighed and looked down at his clothes. "But my shirt is ruined."
Right then, the Common Morpho that Kurt had taken a liking to earlier flew right up to his face, and landed on his nose. Kurt froze and crossed his eyes in attempt to look at the butterfly.
"Whoa," Blaine said, awestruck. "Don't move."
"No way!" the boys heard David call. "Look! A butterfly landed on Kurt!"
"Let me see!"
'Maybe,' Kurt thought. 'Today isn't so bad.'
Before lunch, Blaine went into the bathroom with Kurt to help him get the dirt off his face. When Kurt's face was all clean again, they were headed out to the courtyard for a picnic. They sat with their group at a table, pulling sandwiches and juice boxes out of brown paper bags. Kurt was having a wonderful time. Despite the mishap with Dave earlier, everything was going wonderfully, even if Mercedes wasn't there. Plus, David and Wes were really funny. They took Davids animal crackers and made them eat each other, complete with sound-effects and breaking off pieces of them.
Kurt had just reached into his bag of Newman O's (because Oreos aren't organic) when things took another spill. Suddenly, the bag was snatched from the table, and the cookies were disappearing into Dave's mouth.
"Those are Kurt's cookies!" Brittany yelled to Dave, who's face was covered in black crumbs. "That wasn't nice!"
"Ms. Janet! Ms. Janet!" Santana ran over to their teacher.
"What's going on?" Ms. Janet allowed Santana to tug her over to the group's table by her sleeve. Dave tried to hide the cookie bag behind his back.
"Dave stole Kurt's cookies and ate them all!" Wes told the teacher, pointing a finger at the accused.
"Is that true, Kurt?"
Kurt looked at his feet and nodded.
"Dave?" The bully swallowed loudly before answering.
"I didn't mean to!"
"Why don't you come with me, Dave?" Ms. Janet ushered the boy over to the grown-ups table.
Kurt sat in silence for a few minutes while the other kids returned to their games after a few remarks on how mean Dave was. Kurt was feeling shy again. Why did Dave always pick on him? Kurt had never even said a word to the boy.
"Do you want one of my pop tarts?" Blaine asked quietly, offering him a pastry. Kurt smiled at him.
"Thanks," he said, happiness filling him once more.
When Kurt's dad picked him up that day, he was still waving to Blaine through the window as they pulled away from the school.
"How was the field trip, Kiddo?" Burt Hummel asked his son as he leaned back to sit in his booster seat properly.
"It was awesome, Daddy," Kurt said excitedly. "I made a new friend today!"
The small boy proceeded to tell his father all about Blaine, Wes and David and their animal crackers, and the butterfly that landed on his nose. Burt couldn't help but smile at his animated tone, which was usually saved for watching the Disney Princess movies. He also couldn't help but notice all of the dirt on his son's usually pristine clothes.
"Oh, I-I just tripped and fell," Kurt said when he'd brought it up.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, Dad. I'm fine."
Criticism = Love
Love, Live, Sing