A/N: Oh sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln, I FINALLY finished this chapter. It took an awful long time for some reason. Point is, it's done, here it is, and I'll hopefully be updating the other stories soon. Yep. Tell your friends.
Blair was up to her elbows in English homework on a Tuesday afternoon. She had just gotten over a particularly heinous cold, and was catching up on the reading she had missed while sleeping it off in a Nyquil haze. Her blazer was crumbled up over the back of the desk chair in her dorm room. The Lord of the Rings soundtrack was blaring on her laptop speakers so loudly that she didn't hear her phone buzzing next to her. During the silence in between songs, she finally heard the familiar fuzzy version of "Teenage Dream" beating against the desk. Lighting up on the screen was Kate's face, laughing at something she doubted either one of them could remember.
"What's up, buttercup?" Blair smiled, picking up the phone. "And make it snappy, I've got to get my Gatsby on."
Kate was screaming on the other line. Well, not screaming, more like squealing at a high frequency that betrayed her typically deep voice. Blair couldn't see it, but Kate was jumping up and down, the pom-poms on her winter hat flopping everywhere. The soles of her stilettos clicked on the bathroom floor where she was sneaking a call to her new best friend. Blair heard only the words, "Mom," "wedding," and "locker" out of the rush of sounds that Kate made.
"I'm sorry, what was that?" Blair asked, turning her music down. "Is everything okay?"
"Everything is awesome!" Kate squealed, trying to catch her breath. "Mom and Fiona's dad just showed up at school. They came dragged me over to her locker, and told us that they're getting married! Isn't it just perfect?" Kate was jumping again, unable to contain her excitement. "Oh, the Glee club is doing the music for the reception and I'm the maid of honor and I get to pick out a gorgeous dress! I'm thinking green or maybe blue to match my eyes and-"
Blair cut her off with a laugh. "Calm down, sweetie. We'll go dress shopping this weekend. I've been dying to check out the new Nordstrom at the Westerville Mall." She wrapped a curl around her index finger and watched it unfurl. Kate was still squealing on the other line about something or another, and it was adorable, albeit a little bit annoying. But, Blair just had to smile at her friend's excitement. It was the first true happiness she had heard in the girl's voice for months, and Blair knew that she would let Kate rave and rant for as long as possible to keep the joy going. The bell at McKinley rang, and Kate muttered that she had to leave for class before hanging up abruptly. Blair shook her head and laugh, diving back into her homework.
No sooner had Kate left the bathroom when a strong, callused hand reached out and pushed her against the nearest locker. Her arm was aching, the tender beginnings of a bruise starting almost immediately. Kate looked over her shoulder and saw Karfosky's muscular back walking away. Her hands were laced behind the small of her back, thumbs drawing circles in the air. Kate sighed, but decided not to follow Karfosky, instead heading to the choir room. Her friends were already there, lounging in the plastic blue chairs that lined the risers. She huffed as she sat down backwards in one of the chairs, her legs straddling its back.
"I can't deal with this anymore." She muttered to no one.
Michael slid over to the seat in front of her, and put his hand on hers. "What's wrong, kiddo? You were so thrilled about the wedding this morning." Of course, Michael had been the first to know about the Hummel/Husdon's upcoming nuptials, and was already planning to be Kate's date to the reception. "Did Karfosky do something? Because I can-"
Kate shook her head. "I don't expect you to. I just wish that someone who wasn't me would step in."
Michael shrugged his broad shoulders. "Why don't you talk to Coach Sylvester? He always liked you, and he's the acting principal still."
"I did." Kate said, deflating. "He said that there's nothing he can do without proof. And, unfortunately, it's all hearsay at this point."
"That's crap." Michael leaned his head onto Kate's hands.
"Yep." Kate agreed, trying to free her fingers from his heavy head.
After Glee practice that day, Michael called the other boys into the locker room. "Kate's in trouble." He sighed, running his fingers through his hair. "Karofsky hasn't held back at all. It's time we step in."
"Wouldn't it be best to just let them take care if it themselves?" Quincy asked, examining a speck of dirt under his fingernails. He was a tall, thin boy with cropped blond hair. His green eyes were always looking around the room, trying to decipher everyone's intentions. "Not really our problem."
"That's a terrible attitude." Ryan exclaimed. He all but jumped up onto a bench in the locker room. Crossing his arms, he decided instead to walk directly up to Quincy. "We're a team, Q. Remember how much we did for you last year? How helpful Kate was? The least you could do was tell Fiona to tell Karofsky to back off."
"Hold on." Tim raised a hand to halt the speech that was about to come out of Ryan's mouth. "Are you seriously suggesting that we put our girlfriends up to fixing this? What happened to your sense of chivalry?"
"Chivalry's dead, bro." Michael mumbled, rubbing his temples. "It's a terrible idea, Ryan, but you have a point. We can't exactly go in and announce that Karofsky should leave Kate alone. It would be too aggressive."
"So we tell our girlfriends to corner Karofsky after soccer practice and tell her to back up?" Sanchez half-asked. "Sounds weird, but I guess I can-"
Quincy silenced him with a glare. "Who in the hell are YOU dating now?"
"I'm dating Nancy." Sanchez shrugged.
"You're getting naked with Nancy." Quincy rolled his eyes.
"Irrelevant." Michael waved the impending argument away. "I'm not dating any of the soccer players either, but I'm close with all the girls. I'll spread the news to them."
They were all about to leave when Quincy noticed Brian's hand shyly raised. "What is it, B?" He asked.
"If getting naked with someone means that they're dating, are Sanchez and I dating?" He asked, confused.
"Don't worry about it." Sanchez snapped.
Sure enough, the next day, the girls cornered Karofsky in the locker room after soccer practice while she was changing back into her normal clothes. Michelle was the first to speak up, tucking her jet-black hair behind her ears.
"What you're doing to Kate isn't cool." She plainly stated, looking Karofsky dead in the eyes.
"And what is that, exactly?" Karfosky scoffed, pulling her shirt over her head.
"Pushing her into lockers, calling her names, the usual." Samantha added, pulling her blonde hair into a ponytail. "It's not okay and we're not going to stand for it."
"Make me." Karofsky growled. "You Glee girls think you're so tough just because you can sing and dance? Please. You wouldn't last a second in a real fight." And as soon as the words left her mouth, she was flat on the floor, and Samantha was cupping her right knuckles with her left hand.
"You're so pathetic." Samantha spat at the brunette on the ground. "Take me. Take on someone your own size, if you have the guts to do it." In a flash, Karofsky was off the ground and on top of Samantha, pulling at her hair with one hand and laying punch after punch with the other. The two cried out strings of obscenities, drawing the attention of the other girls in the room. Before long, Michelle and Nancy were doing their best to pull Samantha off Karofsky while the other soccer players joined in with extra punches and kicks to the blond. A loud whistle made them all stop and look at its source. Coach Bieste was glaring at the cluster of girls before him, half of them with bloodied noses.
"Coach Sylvester's office. Now." He shouted.
Kate was understandably nervous to be called into Coach Sylvester's office yet again. The last time she had been called into the principal's office, she had been told that her mother was in a coma. It wasn't exactly a performance she wanted to repeat. She saw the other Glee girls in the office already, and wasn't completely sure what to expect. But, sitting down and seeing their faces, she knew that something had finally cracked. Samantha's nose was broken and bloody, and her eyes bloodshot. Michelle's knuckles were raw, and there was a gash up her calf. Even Ariana, wheelchair-bound, still looked as though she had obtained a few cuts and scrapes in whatever had happened.
"What's going on?" Kate asked, not sure she wanted to know the answer.
"Your friends have something to tell you." Coach Sylvester said, indicating the group of wounded soccer players.
"We tried to talk to Karofsky for you." Samantha began. "Things got out of control. We're really sorry."
"You guys know you can't fight my battles, right?" Kate asked, knowing that the question would barely make a difference. "I'm my own person, I'll deal with it."
"But you're not dealing with it, Kate." Michelle added. "We've all seen how sullen you've been. We just wanted to help out, I guess."
Coach Sylvester sighed audibly. "Kate, I've agreed to let your friends get off with two days of in-school suspension provided that they apologize to both you and Dana. Is that acceptable?"
Kate nodded silently. "Is that all?" She finally added after a long pause.
"Just so long as you promise to come to me, and only me, if anything else should come up. Do you understand?" Kate nodded and made her way out into the hallway, ready to call Blair for some kind of moral support. Before she could, though, two muscular arms had pinned her against the wall.
"What the Hell was that?" Karofsky growled. "Sending your little musical theater friends after me?"
"I had nothing to do with that." Kate whined. "Please let me go."
"If you tell them about us like you told your stupid little girlfriend, you're dead." Karfosky replied. And, as quickly as she had appeared, she was gone. Tears were falling out of Kate's eyes, and she could barely keep herself composed as she ran into the bathroom for what felt like the thousandth time this week. She pulled up Blair's number and dialed.
"Are you sure about this?" Blair asked over a cup of coffee that afternoon. "This is a huge deal. You can't just decide at the flip of a switch."
"I'm completely sure." Kate replied. "I'm transferring to Dalton. I don't care what I have to do to get there, I'll find a way to pay for it."
Blair traced the rim of the cardboard cup with her bitten fingernail. She let the silence float over the two of them for a moment before finally acquiescing with a sigh. "Fine. I'll be glad to have you there with me. And I'll put in a good word with the Warblers for you."
Kate squealed and almost knocked the table in between them over while closing in for a hug. She stopped suddenly when she realized that the people around the two friends had started to stare. Taking her seat again, she whispered a quick "sorry," and re-folded the pleats in her skirt. Blair just smiled at the blond nymph before her, torn between laughter and tears.