He looked in the mirror, trying desperately not to hate what he saw. His hair was short. Really short. But he had done a decent job cutting it. He looked his outfit up and down again. Jeans, extremely plain blue jeans and a blue t-shirt. He sighed as he twirled his finger in the hem of the shirt again, worrying his lower lip between his teeth. His door creaked slightly, announcing Finn's arrival.
"Dude, are you ready yet, mom says we're gonna be—um.. wow. You look—uh… jeans." Finn said, clearly puzzled by his stepbrother's change of attire.
"Eloquent as always, Finn," Kurt said quietly, gathering up his school books and putting them into an old backpack from middle school. His shoulder bag wasn't going to cut it anymore.
"Um—are you sure you're ok, dude?" There was something off about Kurt's voice, different somehow.
"Don't call me 'dude', Hudson," Kurt snapped back weakly, making his way past Finn and downstairs. He came to an abrupt halt halfway down.
Burt was sitting on the couch, clearly waiting for Kurt. Kurt felt his palms begin to sweat. He felt a stinging pressure behind his eyes, which he knew always preceded tears. He forced them back, swallowed hard, and kept walking, hitching his backpack up higher onto his shoulder. "Come on, Finn." Burt stood, eyes wide as he took in his son's appearance.
"Kurt—Jesus, kid—what'd you do to your hair?" Burt took a step toward him. Kurt stepped back, pulling a beanie on over his head.
"It was time for a change," he said quickly. "Come on, Finn." Before Burt could say anything else, Kurt was out the door.
The drive to school was silent. Kurt had agreed to let Finn drive, and sat kind of hunched in on himself in the passenger's seat, lost in thought. Finn didn't interrupt him, feeling pretty confused himself.
School passed by uneventfully until the passing period before lunch. Kurt stopped by his locker when he felt someone yank his beanie off his head.
"Look at this!" someone yelled, extremely close to his ear. "The fairy is trying to fit in with the rest of the guys. Get sick of looking like a chick?" Kurt's ears burned.
"Give it back," he said quietly, holding out his hand.
"Oh, he's even talking more like a dude? What happened, fairy? Someone knock some sense into you, finally?" said the guy who had stolen his beanie, who Kurt now recognized as a member of the football team. Not one of his usual tormentors, but apparently this was too good of an opportunity to miss. Everyone had seen his beanie, and he had gotten more than one odd look for his choice of clothes. Wouldn't it figure that just as everyone got used to his look, he had to go and change it again? He had also been pitching his voice slightly differently, beginning his transition from his usual countertenor into something… well less girlish.
"Please," Kurt said, again, not changing his tone. "Give it back."
"Sure thing," said the jock, but as Kurt reached his hand out for the hat, the jock moved quickly and plopped it back on his head, yanking it down over his eyes and shoving him hard into the row of lockers behind him. Kurt slid to the floor, thrown off balance, even as he heard a familiar voice call out:
"Szalinski, what the hell?" and the thud of someone else hitting the lockers. Pulling the beanie up out of his eyes, he saw Puck holding the guy by his shirt collar.
"Hey, Puckerman, chill out," the jock, apparently named Szalinski said.
"I thought we made it very clear to you assholes that Hummel is off limits!" Puck snarled. It was then that Kurt realized Mike, Sam, and Artie were behind him, all looking furious. Sam came over and helped Kurt up. Kurt murmured his thanks and picked up his backpack, re-shouldering it.
"Puck, I'm fine. Let him be." He said. "It's not worth it." Puck glowered, but let the guy go with a final shove.
"You ok, Hummel?" Puck asked, genuine concern showing ever so slightly from behind his anger.
"I'm fine," Kurt said. "Thanks." He tried to walk away, but Artie caught his wrist.
"Not just this, Kurt. Are you really ok? You're acting weird."
"I'm fine," Kurt said again. "I'll see you in glee." With that he walked away, leaving the three boys standing in the hallway.
"What the hell was that about?" Sam asked. The other two boys shrugged, just as confused as the blonde.
Kurt walked into the lunch room and immediately sought out Blaine. He knew he shouldn't, but he just wasn't ready to give him up yet. He found him sitting with Rachel, Mercedes, and Finn, and sat down next to him.
"Hey, babe," Blaine said.
"Hey," Kurt replied, leaning into the one armed embrace Blaine offered him. Blaine looked at him questioningly.
"You ok? You're voice sounds… off. And you are dressed differently than usual." Kurt blushed slightly.
"Slight cold," he said. "I'm fine." Rachel let out a little squeak, scooting farther away from Kurt.
"Stay back!" she said. "I cant' afford to get sick right now. I have a new solo planned for glee that requires a high G, and I can't, can't, can't get sick." Kurt rolled his eyes.
"Hey, Kurt," Mercedes said, "can I borrow your notebook? I need the notes from English on Friday."
"Sure," he said, reaching into his bag for the notebook, when he froze. His letter… he had forgotten to rip out the page and hide is somewhere in his room. If Mercedes opened it and saw the letter… "Oops," he said, thinking up a lie. "I forgot it in my locker. I'll email them to you tonight."
"Ok," she said, and went back to chatting with Blaine. As they all slipped back into their conversations, Kurt smiled slightly to himself. This could work. It would be weird for a while, for everyone, not just for him, but this could work. The voice he could gradually change, the clothes, well… apparently the clothes just made him look more like a guy, which was what he was going for anyway.
Finn was the only one who noticed Kurt's smile grow as he sat there, hugging his backpack like a lifeline.
A/n: Sorry! I know it took forever and it's short! I got distracted and unmotivated. I've been looking for a new job and kind of working on my other main story, but this story IS NOT DEAD. I swear, I will try to write more often! Sorry! Ah! Anyway, leave me some love.