Kurt stands in front of the rest of the guys from new directions, they had just shot down his ideas once more for their boys versus girls competition. Frustration fills Kurt, 'Why does Shue think I want to be with the girls. The boys never listen to what I say they just think I am one big joke.' He thinks. Then Puck is suggesting that he go check out the 'gay' school and Kurt has had enough. He storms out of the room intent on doing just that. At least then he could be useful, at least then maybe the boys would listen to what he is saying. At the last minute Kurt detours to his locker, wanting to pick up his French text before heading out for the night.
Just as he is about to shut his locker, Karofsky pushs him into the slightly open locker. Kurt's hand is trapped between the locker and the door slams shut with the weight of his body. Karofsky just turns around chuckling as Kurt sinks to the ground clutching his throbbing hand. Tear well in his eyes from the shear pain coursing from the tips of his finger and up his arm. The pain made Kurt sick to his stomach, he can't move from embarrassment, pain and the fear he may lose his lunch.
For half an hour Kurt just huddles by this locker alone in the deserted halls. When he heard footsteps approaching, he tries to make himself as small as possible hoping no one will notice him.
"Hey, lady thought you might want some ice for that hand." A deep menacing voice makes Kurt's head pop up just in time to see bright red slushee about to slap him in the face.
The cruel laughter dies away and over his pants of renewed pain and surprise he hears new footsteps approach. When the stop in front of him, he finally clears his eyes of the sticky, stinging mess, he sees Finn kneeling in front of him.
"Kurt, what happened man?" the look of confusion is etched on Finn's face that is so familiar to Kurt. Part of him wants to make a harsh, biting, sarcastic remark to make Finn feel just as awful as he feels right now, but thinks better of it.
"Karofsky pushed me into my locker, I hurt my hand. I guess he decided that wasn't bad enough and he slusheed me. Don't worry it is nothing I am not used to by now." Kurt isn't sure why he is letting Finn see this side of him. The real part of him, where the persecution for being himself really does hurt, the part he tries to hide behind his air of confidence and self assuredness.
Finn reaches a hand out and says softly, "Come on, let's get you cleaned up and look at your hand."
For a second Kurt just sits there, not sure what to think. Sure, Finn has never been quite as bad as the other guys in this school, and he has stood up for him before. But this is new, usually the girls are the only ones willing to help him clean up, they aren't afraid of being close to him, of touching him. They are the only ones who really treat him like a human being, not a walking gay germ. Finally Kurt takes Finns outstretched hand allowing the jock to help him to his feet.
Before leading Kurt away Finn asks, "Do you want to grab so more clothes? I know you always bring an extra outfit to school just in case." Kurt is a little surprised that Finn even noticed this but before a smile can even form on his lips he remembers this morning.
"This is my second outfit. Karofsky and some of his goons slusheed me before first period this morning. I should have known better than to wear all white first thing in the morning, but I was feeling pretty good this morning. I guess I learned my lesson." He tries to add a chuckle to make the look of pity leave Finn's face but it doesn't. Kurt tries to push the hurt this causes him out of his mind. He doesn't want the hate of the Neanderthals' but he doesn't want the pity of his so called friends either. He just wants to be accepted like everyone else.
"I have an extra T-shirt in my football locker, it's clean I promise. It will be a big but it will be better than the sticky one you have on." So Finn leads Kurt into the empty locker room. Finn sits on the bench as he watches Kurt wash off his face, as Kurt struggles trying to wash the corn syrup out of his hair, Finn approaches him and begins to help rinse the mess away.
Kurt looks at him, almost expecting the kindness to end, for him to dunk his head in the skin and sling insults at him, or to just walk away pretending he doesn't even exist. Instead Finn opens his mouth and asks, "Why don't you ever want to be a part of the boys' group?"
Kurt can't believe that he is even asking this question, "Because the girls actually want me to be a part of their group. They actually talk to me and don't just dismiss my suggestions without really listening to me. I am an honorary girl, because the guys, you don't accept me. I am a guy, you know, just because I like boys doesn't mean that I'm a girl. The guys, you make me uncomfortable, because I know that I make you uncomfortable. How do you think that makes me feel? Do you think that makes me want to be around you?"
Kurt can see Finn defenses to go up. "Well you did pursue me for the better part of last year."
"I know Finn, and do you know why I had such a crush on you?" Finn gives Kurt a curious look so he goes on, "It's not that you are my dream guy, you aren't really even my type. It was because you were the first guy who was even remotely nice to me. You were the first guy who either didn't throw me in the dumpster, slushee me, beat me up, or ignore me. You were my first crush and I will admit that I did not handle it in the best way. But if you would have just told me out right how uncomfortable I made you, it would have helped me. Really by the time I decorated what was supposed to be our room, I understood that I was out of line. I was really just trying to do something nice for you."
"I shouldn't have said those things in your basement." Finn whispers, handing Kurt a towel.
"No, really it's fine, I know you really didn't mean it that way, and that you were upset. And I think I needed that slap in the face to let the last of my crush die out. I think you have made up for any hurt feelings… especially today. Thanks for helping me."
Finn opens his locker bringing out a plain red T-shirt and throws it to Kurt. "Thanks for telling me all this. Do you want to go back to Puck's with me, we were going to talk more about the assignment for glee while playing some video games?"
Kurt manages something resembling a sneer and responds, "No, I think my time will be better spent doing something were my opinion actually counts for something. Thanks though." Without another word, he is out of the locker room making his way to his car to go home.
Finn sat mindlessly playing games with the rest of the guys after his fifth regeneration in Clone Wars, he through down his controller and looked at the rest of the guys around the room.
"Can I talk to you guys?" All eyes glanced at Finn for a moment so he took went on. "It's about Kurt."
"Is this your way of telling us you are in love?" Puck shot at him, even though Finn knew he was joking, it made his blood boil.
"You know, it's no wonder he never wants to work with us! All this talk in Glee club about how we are a family and we are all friends, but do we ever really do that with Kurt? We are no better than the other bullies in the school, actually we are worse, we say he is our friend but we still make fun of him and we still don't include him."
"Kurt knows I'm just messing with him." Puck says defensively.
"I don't think he does," Sam says, "You didn't see his face when you were going on about him going to that private school. I think Finn is right, we need to make this right."
"I don't think that we have to worry about the Hipsters, but this McKinley group, they did go to regionals last year." Wes says eyeing his two best friends.
"They came in last place, I don't think we have to worry much." David shoots back, not understanding why Wes is so worried.
"The point is we have no idea how good they are, last year we didn't even make it out of sectionals, but with the new divisions, and us no longer competing in sectionals or regionals again Vocal Adrenaline, I want to make sure we have the best chance we can of advancing to nationals this year." Wes continues, willing himself not to bang the gavel laying on the table infront of him. The official Warblers meeting had ended ten minutes ago. Wes wasn't even going to let Thad know what he was going to suggest yet, this was purely between Wes, David and Blaine.
"We need to spy on the competition." He said matter-of-factly.
"Really Wes, so you think that is nessasary?" Blaine scoffs.
"Yes I do and you are going to be the one to do it." He says seriously to his lead singer.
"You are the best judge of our chances, plus I think you will be able to blend in the best. David and I have never been to Public school, you have." Wes ignores the hesitance on Blaines face.
"Yes, because my public school experience was so positive." Blaine almost bites back. Wes and David only know a rough outline about what happened to Blaine at his old school, but they know enough to understand why this may be hard for him.
"No one is going to know you're gay, there is nothing to worry about. You know best how to blend in." David agrees with Wes, mainly thankful that he will not be the one to have to go.
Blaine slowly nods, regretting it as soon as he agrees.
It was two days after he agreed to spy on the McKinley Glee Club, yesterday Blaine feigned forgetfulness, buying himself another day to try and weasel out of making the 2 hour trip to Lima. Unfortunately, Wes was not going to let him get out of it. After lunch Wes cornered Blaine in one of the common rooms and marched him out to his car, telling him that if he did not come back with a detailed report he would lose all future solos to James, the one Warbler Blaine was not friends with. So Blaine made ran home and took a shower, leaving his hair loose and curly. He pulled on a pair of jeans and a red polo shirt. Once he felt he looked ready for a public school day he jumped in his car and headed to Lima with his GPS directing him. It looked like school was already out by the time he arrived, and Blaine hoped that maybe he was too late and would be able to hurry away.
After a few minutes the sound of rock music lead him to an auditorium. Quietly Blaine leaned in the open door and watched a group of girls dressed in leather singing a mashup of rock songs. Blaine was impressed at how it was a number you wouldn't expect a group of girls to do. When the number ended smattering of applause rang throughout the auditorium. It seemed a group of boys were sitting in the first two rows and in the middle of the audience at the directors table was a man and a larger woman.
"Great job girls! Boys, the girls have set a high standard. Is five minutes enough for you to get ready?" The man said to the room at large. The boys in the front row yelled their agreement.
Blaine stood with his back against the one closed door waiting, hoping no one would notice him.
Kurt still couldn't believe what the boys had come up for their number. When they approached him yesterday during glee club he was prepared to be in the background of their safe number, just being a warm body and another voice. He never expected an apology from the guys and he was stunned when Noah Puckerman himself led the group hug. The fact that everyboy made an effort to touch him and assure him made him blush and a big smile to break his previously solemn face. His hand was still sore and Karofsky and pushed him into another locker between classes, making him hit it once again. All that left his mind as they began to rehearse the mash up the boys had arranged. The boys quickly change into their outfits, black jeans with black shirts and platinum jackets and ties.
"You ready?" Finn asks clapping Kurt on his shoulder.
"Yeah… and thanks Finn, I know that this was your doing." He said quietly.
"No, once you made me see what we were doing, I told the other guys. We all wanted to make it up to you." He gave Kurt his goofy smile and then walked to his side of the stage. Kurt made his way onstage, he stood in the middle with the other boys slightly behind them. The lights slowly rose as Kurt began to sing.
Blaine hears a voice rise above the auditorium and spins to glance through the door. The voice holds him in wonder and soon a face comes into view illuminated by the stage lights. Blaine's breath catches, he has never seen such a beautiful man in all his life. The boys porcelain skin contrast lovely with the dark clothes. Soon he hears the other boys join the lead, but Blaine still has eyes for only the one. He recognizes both of the songs, I Will Survive and We are Family, together the story seems a little different, that the boy will survive it all because the group is together. Part of Blaine wonders, 'Is this a gay school' but he brushes the thought off as silly and knows that sexuality doesn't control musical taste. Blaine does hope however that the boy, the lovely boy singing lead is gay. Blaine feels his heart yearn to reach out and meet this boy, hold this boy, love this boy.
The song ends with Blaine barely noticing anything in the number but the porcelain god singing lead. He didn't notice the musicality of the group, or the dance moves. Wes was not going to be pleased.
"Wonderful song choice and you guys did a great job!" The teacher called to the group.
"Don't look at me Mr. Shue," the boys says with a bit of disdain in his voice, then it changes to show a bit of amusement. "it was your straight boys who chose those song."
"Really? Well you did a great job Kurt. Just let Coach Beiste and I talk and we will let you know the winner tomorrow. Go get changed."
Blaine turns, around, sliding down the door. One word escapes his lips before he can stop himself. "Kurt" He whispers, with a lovestruck grin on his face.
"What have we got here, another fairy boy?" a harsh voice breaks through Blaine's thoughts. His head snaps up fear etched all over his face.
"What… I… don't know what you're talking about" Blaine stammers.
"I saw you making fun at lady boy in there, what are you his boyfriend?" The large boy in the letterman jacket grabs Blaine's shirt and pulls him up to eye level.
"I was just spying on the glee club, I don't know anyone in there." Blaine frantically told the boy assaulting him.
"Yeah? Well I heard you say pretty boys name, so you must have your eye on him, you must be a fag just like him, right?" The boy spat at Blaine, punctuating his statements by slamming him up against the door.
Kurt is the only one left, he's gathering his things when he hears a bang on the door of the auditorium. His attention is drawn in that direction, then he hears one haunting word, fag followed by another bang on the door. Dread fills him as he is sure one of the other Glee boys is being beaten up because they are associated with him, because they sang those songs for him. He races up the steps to the door. The sight before him is startling Karofsky has a boy pinned against the other door his face red and inches from that of the stranger. As soon as Karofsky notices him he throws the boy on the ground and turns to Kurt.
"Stay away from me Lady." He says while pushing Kurt back into the auditorium. " I don't want to catch your gay." He storms off down the hall. Kurt glances at the boy slumped on the floor he reaches a hand down helping him up. Karofsky turns around holds his hand out limp wristed, teasing "Ooohhh".
Kurt gives into his rage, not realizing he has yet to release the other boy's hand, he runs after Karofsky yelling "Hey!"
The two boys follow the bully into the locker room, as the door swung shut he yelled back at the boy, "Hey, I was talking to you." He finally releases the Blaine's hand, who just stands there staring at the sight before him.
" Girl's locker room is next door." Karofsky says almost sounding board.
" What is your problem?" Blaine watches as Kurt stands up to the easily twice his size.
" 'Scuse me?"
"What are you so scared of?"
"Besides you sneaking a peak at my junk?" Karofsky begins to show his anger again.
Kurt does not back down, "Oh yeah, every straight guys nightmare that all us gays are secretly out to molest and convert you. Well guess what, hamhog? You're not my type."
Blaine can tell Karofsky is about to lose all self control, if he had any, "Is that right?"
"Yeah. I don't dig on chubby boys who sweat too much and are gonna be bald by the time they're 30." Blaine is mesmerized by the courage emminating from this beautiful boy. He is in awe of the strength, and terrified where this is going to end.
"Do not push me Hummel." The bully yells pulling his fist back ready to punch that beautiful face. But Kurt doesn't back down "You gonna hit me? Do it." He spits at the larger boy.
"Don't push me!" is all Karofsky can say.
"Hit me cause it's not gonna change the way I am. You can't punch the gay out of me more than I can punch the ignoramus out of you!" Kurt is inches from the other boys face, and Blaine wants to run forward and pull him out of harm's way, certain this behemoth is going to explode.
"GET OUTTA MY FACE!" Karofsky yells, clenching his fists.
"You are nothing but a little boy who can't handle how extraordinarily ordinary you are!"
Karofsky moves but instead of readying for a punch he leans forward grabbing Kurt's face. Blaine gasps mere seconds before Kurt pushes the football player away with all his might just before their lips could meet.
"What the hell?" Kurt yells, "I will not be your experiment to help you find yourself, David, not like this. I know what it is like to try and deny who you are, I can help, we can talk when you are ready. But you need to stop beating me up, calling me names just because you are scared of who you are." The anger is leaving Kurt, he feels a small amount of pity for the boy.
Karosky, merely punches a locker and rushes out of the room. As soon as he is gone, Kurt slides down the lockers behind him. He has forgotten that there is anyone else in the room. He puts his head in his hands and feels the tears spring to his eyes as the adrenaline leaves him.
Blaine watches him in awe. After a moment he finally finds his voice, "Thanks," he manages to say.
Kurt looks up in surprise. He tries to smile at the boys who is looking awkwardly around the locker room. "It's nothing I haven't dealt with before, well that last part was new, never thought…" Kurt trails off then looks back at the boy with a bit of wonder. " So what did you do to get on his bad side, I don't recognize you."
Blaine tries for a moment to think of a plausible reason for him to have been standing outside of the auditorium. "Honestly, I was watching you perform."
"Wow so now the Neanderthals have taken to beating up our audiences now too? Great!" Kurt sees Blaine shift uncomfortable. "Are you new here?"
Blaine feels a blush rise up his cheeks. "No, I go to… um… Dalton… I was sent here to spy on you… just to see what we were up against. Nothing else." Blaine stammers out. He is surprised when Kurt laughs at him.
"No worries, you didn't see anything we are going to use for competition anyways. That was just our weekly assignment, we don't even have a set list ready yet. I'm Kurt by the way, Kurt Hummel."
Blaine is surprised by this statement. " Wait you don't know what you are doing for sectionals, but they are only three weeks away." Then he remembers his manners, "Oh, Blaine Anderson."
"Well Mr. Anderson, when you have been sabotaged like we have you tend to not set anything into stone until you are about to go on stage. No instead we tend to do different themes of assignments each week. Sometimes they inspire us for what we will do in completion, but not always. But that still doesn't explain why Karofsky was going after you."
"I'm not sure, he came up to me called me fairy and fag." Blaine feels tear prickle his eyes, but he tries to hold them in. "I just felt so defenseless, I haven't had to deal with people like that for years, not since I transferred to Dalton. So thanks for helping me out when you did. It really means a lot to me."
"What is so different with Dalton?" Kurt asks wondering about this place.
"They have a no bullying policy, so it doesn't matter that I'm gay."
Kurt cuts him off, "So you are gay too?"
"Yeah, at my old school I had to deal with people yelling at me beating me up, finally it got to be too much and I… I just ran. I couldn't do it anymore…" Blaine trails off.
"Come on, let's get out of here, this place smells." Kurt smiles and reaches his hand up. Once Blaine pulls him to stand, Kurt leads them back into the deserted hallway. A moment later Finn turns around the corner.
"Kurt, there you are! What happened? You never showed up in the dressing room. At first we thought you might have gone with the girls, but they hadn't seen you either…"
Kurt looks up at his friend. "It seems Karofsky was trying to beat up a spy for us… but it's okay, I took care of it." He gives Blaine a radiant smile that melts his heart.
"Spy?" Finn asks then looks over at Blaine.
"Yeah, sorry, Blaine Anderson, I'm from Dalton Academy. You all were really good." He tries to use his charm hoping not to be beaten up by another football player today.
Finn still seems to be trying to work through it all when Kurt speaks again. "It should be fine Finn, there is no way Shue will let us do either of those numbers for sectionals anyway. I was just going to go get changed. I thought David was beating up one of you guys and I ran out still in costume. I should be fine. I don't think he will mess with me any more today."
Finn is doubtful, "Just remember last time you thought that, he slusheed you before you even left your locker."
"I know, but I think he's gone. Plus, I still need to interrogate our spy here." Kurt added with a chuckle.
Finn decides to walk with Kurt to the dressing room, assuring him that everyone was still there. As soon as they enter the auditorium Rachel shrieks, "SPY!"
Blaine can't help but smirk at the condescending look he gives the small brunette as he says, "How astute of you Rachel. Too bad you couldn't have caught him before he watched both of our songs and was nearly beaten up by our Neanderthal welcoming committee."
Rachel looks affronted as she turns to Kurt. "And you just decided to welcome him along into our inner sanctum?"
"Rachel, I came in here to get my clothes so I can change. Then I am going to deal with the situation." Kurt says with as much disdain as he can muster. Blaine begins to worry and plot his escape from the lion's den as it were.
"And how exactly are you going to deal with it?" She demands.
Kurt allows his voice to soften and he walks closer to Rachel, and says with a low voice. "Karofsky had him pinned against the door when I found him. I just want to make sure he is okay. You have never had to deal with anything like that. I have to help Rachel, please understand. I am just going to talk with him and then send him on his way."
Rachel whispers so that only Kurt can hear, "You don't like him do you?"
"I just met him Rachel, don't worry, I know were my loyalties lie, I won't do anything to jeopardize our chances for going to New York. I just need to make sure he is okay. I know how it feels to be terrorized because of who you are."
Rachel nods but insists on staying in the auditorium while Kurt goes and changes. Blaine feels uneasy as Rachel glares down at him. He tries to speak but everytime he does she raises a finger and points at him.
Soon Blaine and Kurt are sitting at a table in the local coffee shop. After a moment or two of silence, Blaine says, "I really am sorry for spying, my friends made me do it." Another silence. "You really were amazing. I can see why you get the solos."
Kurt laughter is a tinkling sound that makes Blaine's heart flutter. "I don't get the solos. I only got it as an apology from the rest of the guys. They are my friends, I know this, but they were just as bad at ignoring me and teasing me as anyone else. And while I know that they don't mean to hurt me… I think they finally realized how they made me feel." Silence reigned again for a moment. "Are you okay? You seemed a little shaken up before." Kurt asked.
"Yeah, just it's been a while. But really it was nothing more than I ever dealt with before. And he didn't try and kiss me so…"
"That was new. Never thought he was a closet case."
"I'm just glad you stopped him."
Kurt smiled softly, "Yeah, thanks for that, I heard you and realized what was about to happen. If you wouldn't have been there who knows what might have happened. I couldn't let him take that from me."
Blaine scrunched his eyebrows together in confusion, "Take what?"
"My first real kiss, well the first that would count anyway," Kurt responds quietly.
"You've never been kissed?" Blaine asked.
"We live in Ohio, I am the only out kid I know, so no." Kurt says a mixture of sadness and annoyance in his voice.
"You know me." Blaine says with a smile.
"Now, I do… but I don't make it a habit to kiss the competition." He looks pointedly at Blaine.
"So you wouldn't give me your number if I asked?" Blaine said coyly.
"Not yet, Mr. Anderson. I am afraid that would be a conflict of interest. I need to go help my dad at the shop, so I will leave you now, I am already going to be late. See you at sectionals." And with that Kurt stood up and walked out of the shop. Leaving Blaine sitting there staring at the spot the boy of his dreams, his hero, had just vacated.