WELL I'LL BE DAMNED.
Finally an update. I have to admit I have been feeling uninspired because the new Glee canon kind of sucks, but I carry on cos I PROMISED YOU GUYS I'D FINISH, so I'm going to, damnit, because I keep my promises. Unlike Kurt, which you can read about here. Enjoy:
"I don't think I'm ready to do this," Kurt mumbled into the receiver of his cell phone.
"You'll be fine, Babe," Blaine's voice came through to his ear, but Kurt wasn't so sure. He imagined Blaine was probably standing in one of the grand hallways of Dalton, waiting for class to start. He would be in his blazer, his hair gelled ridiculously, and his beautiful arms covered, this time because he had no choice – uniform and all.
Kurt himself was in the parking lot of McKinley, and had been for the past ten minutes. He knew Mercedes and Rachel were supposed to be waiting for him at the entrance, and he had promised Santana they'd discuss new fall fashions in first period, but he just couldn't bring himself to get out of his car. He felt as though as if he moved he would vomit, as his flip-floppy stomach had been threatening to do all morning.
It had been exactly two weeks since his visit with Dr. Craig, and so far he had been true to his word to Blaine. No blades had come into contact with his skin since that night after the restaurant. Kurt almost felt like he deserved a little plastic token. "2 WEEK SOBER," or something.
"Kurt?" Blaine asked softly when Kurt hadn't responded.
"I'm afraid." Kurt had his hand in his pants pocket, and had a single finger tip sliding gently to and fro against cool metal. He had kept his promise this long, he had… but after today? There were no guarantees.
"Why are you so afraid, Babe?"
Images of Azimio and his gang coming up to him and slamming him against lockers filled Kurt's head. Thought's of them throwing punches, and singing horrible poems about killing him made goose bumps rise out of every pore on his body. Thoughts of empty hallways and deserted locker rooms made him shiver. Fear for his safety was what tied his stomach up in knots.
"My anxiety," he lied quietly. "I'm afraid of all the people, I dunno, sparking something in me."
"If you feel like you need to… I mean, if you think you're going to do anything… bad… promise me you'll call me. No matter what time it is. I'll keep my phone on vibrate. I'll answer it even if I'm in class, just… just call me okay?" Blaine's worry made Kurt's nausea get worse with guilt.
"Go to class, Baby. Everything will be fine."
"Okay," Kurt said again, but he wasn't convinced.
"I love you."
"Love you too."
"I have to go to class."
"I'm just a phone call away. Good luck." And after a few seconds, Kurt was met with complete silence, and he knew Blaine had gone.
He forced himself to open his door. He forced himself to grab his bag and trudge his way up towards the school. Even though he was already almost late, he couldn't have made himself move any faster if he tried.
By the time he got to the entrance, Mercedes and Rachel had already gone. He went took a deep breath and went inside, not bothering to hurry to his first class. He was the last to arrive, and most of the seats had been taken. From somewhere crammed up in the middle between a couple of Cheerios and a few dorky looking guys sat Santana, who looked back at Kurt, who mouthed a, "sorry," as he took one of the remaining seats in the back.
School dragged on like this for most of the day. Even though talking to people was one of the last things he felt like doing, he always made sure to walk down the hall with one of his friends, just in case. They didn't know they were acting as body guards for Kurt, and he wasn't about to tell them. So he droned on about leggings and Glee and everything in between with all his friends from Rachel, to Tina, to even Puck, until finally, it was last thing of the day – Glee club.
Kurt was noticeably calmer in the choir room. With all of his friends, and Mr. Schuester, there to keep him safe, he was able to loosen up and just enjoy Mr. Schue talk about how this was 'the year for the big win at Nationals.' He even felt a little excited, which he had to admit – felt good.
It was towards the end of Glee club when he felt his pocket vibrate. He pulled his phone out and tried to check it discreetly, hoping Mr. Schue wouldn't notice him in the back. He didn't recognize the number, which meant he knew exactly who it was.
"Welcome back 2 skool, Hummel. Hope u like our gift."
He had no idea what the meant, but his stomach plummeted all the way to his toes, as he stuffed his phone back into his pocket and tried to remember his breathing exercises, because there was no way in Hell he was going to have a panic attack surrounded by all of his friends. His hand immediately slipped into his pocket, and he clasped onto his razor as a sort of stable while he counted his breath – In, 1, 2, 3, 4. Out, 1, 2, 3, 4.
He hated how a stupid text message could do this to him. As far as he knew, they hadn't even done anything, and there was no "gift".
But even still, knowing them, they probably had.
"You okay, Kurt?" Rachel asked, and Kurt jumped, surprised. He had been out of it, trying to stay calm. He came back into focus and realized everyone was getting ready to go.
"Is Glee club over?" he asked stupidly.
"Um… yeah. You look a little pale, Kurt, you sure you're alright?"
"I'm fine. Sorry. You know, my sleep schedule's just not into the swing of school hours just yet. Just a little tired is all," he said hurriedly, putting his bag over his shoulder and standing up clumsily, taking his hand out of his pocket, even though he very much did not want to.
"Well, if you're sure," Rachel said, looking skeptical. "Here, I'll walk you to your car." Kurt couldn't object and stay inconspicuous, so he smiled the best he could and let himself be led out of the choir room and through the halls of McKinley, until they were outside in the parking lot.
Rachel spotted it first.
"Oh no!" she cried out, and raised her hand to point. Kurt followed her point directly to his car, which was covered from end to end in raw egg and broken shells.
If this was his gift, then they had done worse, he reasoned, but it was still enough to set a new set of butterflies a flutter in his gut. Rachel was appalled and excitable, jumping up and down, saying things in fast, angry tone that Kurt couldn't seem to make sense of. He caught parts, like, "tell Figgans," and "why your car?", but nothing as a whole.
"I'm sure it was just a first day back at school prank, Rachel," Kurt said much too calmly. "And my car is just the unlucky target."
"But why just yours, Kurt? This seems intentional."
"I think it's just coincidental," Kurt continued to assert. He was absent-mindedly scratching at his arm. "Just a prank."
"Kurt, don't you think we should tell Figgans?"
"I don't really want to," Kurt said, still in his much-too-calm voice. "I'll just take it home and clean it off."
"But… are you sure?" Rachel was glancing around. A few students were watching. The last thing Kurt needed was to make a scene.
"Yeah, Rachel, don't worry about it. I'll take care of it."
"Kurt… you don't even seem surprised."
"High schoolers do stupid stuff," was all he had to say in response.
Kurt went to his car and turned on his front and back windshield wipers to wipe away the egg the best he could, and then he took the ice scraper from his backseat, which had been in their since the past winter, and used to it wipe away a bit of the excess egg on the side windows. When he had scraped away enough to be able to drive without killing anyone, he waved half-heartedly to Rachel, and got in his car, and started to drive home.
He pulled up to his house and parked his car. He got out, slammed the door, and stormed up to his house. He was the first one home. Finn was at football practice, and Carole and Burt were at work. He went up to his room, shut the door, and completely lost it.
He started screaming on the top of his lungs. He threw pillows at the wall, and when that didn't satisfy him, he threw a stapler, and a textbook, and a bottle of open lotion. He grabbed loose papers off his desk and threw them all over the room. He kicked his desk, and tore his blankets and sheets and blankets off his bed.
"Why me?" he yelled to no one. "Why won't everyone just leave me alone?" He heaved several ragged breathes before collapsing on the floor.
He felt he had two options.
In his left pocket was his telephone, and in his right was his razor.
"2 WEEKS SOBER"
He could call Blaine right now. He could tell him everything. He could come clean about all the bullying that had happened to him in the summer, and why he's afraid of school. He could tell Blaine, but then he'd have to do something about it, and if he did something about it, more people would know.
And that wasn't going to happen.
He reason out option number two, and reached into his right pocket, and lifted up his shirt.
He was too far away from his desk drawer, so he let the blood dribble down his torso, reveling in how the pain was more intense after not having done it in a while. He closed his eyes and let them roll back into his head as he found his center. As he found his meaning.
He was just about to go clean up, when his bedroom door swung open, and he heard, "Dude, what the Hell happened to your car?" Followed by total silence.
Kurt's eyes snapped open and he found himself face to face with his stepbrother, who was looking at him like he had just seen Death himself, he face was so white.
"Um… dude… what are you doing?"
"Nothing," Kurt said quickly, tugging his shirt down, and regretting it instantly as the fabric rubbed against fresh wounds. He wore a thin shirt that day, too. It only took a second for tiny spots to bleed through, and he knew Finn could see them.
"Kurt…" he said it hesitantly. "Were you like… were you cutting yourself?"
"You can't tell Dad," was all Kurt said. "You can't."
"Shouldn't he know about…?" Finn trailed off. He seemed at a total loss. Neither boy had moved from their spot in the room. Finn's seemingly calm confusion made Kurt less terrified. Maybe he could talk his way out of this.
"No," he said quickly. "No. Definitely not. You know how weak my Dad's heart is, right?"
"This would be terrible for him to know. I've got it under control, Finn. It's just a coping method. There's nothing that wrong with it."
"Kurt…" Finn looked really uncomfortable. "You're hurting yourself. That's bad."
"Not if it's under control," Kurt tried to assure his stepbrother. "And I've got mine under control."
"Why the heck would you do that to yourself?" He gestured awkwardly to the blood seeping through Kurt's shirt.
"… Anxiety," Kurt said, saying his old excuse.
"And what the Hell is up with your car? Burt's going to flip shit if he sees that."
"And Rachel said you were really weird at school today, and after she mentioned it, you know, you've been kind of weird for a while."
"Finn, it's really not a big deal."
"I'm supposed to be your brother, man. I'm supposed to look out for you, so if something's going on that's making you… do whatever, you should tell me."
"Finn, I told you, I'm just anxious."
But then Finn said the one thing that Kurt needed to hear.
"If you tell me the truth, I promise I won't tell Burt."
There was a quiet tension between them while Kurt thought about the offer. If Finn was willing to listen – really listen – without any threats… maybe it could give him some real help.
"You have to swear, Finn, I mean, like on your life."
"Okay," Finn said, nodding. "Okay." He sat down so he was at the same level as Kurt. "What's going on, man?"
Kurt looked at his hands. "… I've been getting bullied," he started, and the rest just poured out.
By the end of his story, he was shaking, and he was fighting back tears. He scratched at his arms again, while Finn regarded him. Suddenly Kurt was afraid that Finn was going to break his promise. That he was going to tell on him to Burt, and all of this was going to just go to shit. But Finn just shook his head, and said,
"We'll deal with Azimio, Kurt, I promise." He said it with an intensity Kurt had rarely heard his step brother use. "But right now, if we want to hide this from Burt, we need to clean your car…" Finn glanced around Kurt's torn apart room. "And maybe your bedroom. I'll help you, okay? We'll get this sorted out. I'm going to get you through this, okay? That's what brothers are for. We'll handle this."
Finn stood and then offered a hand to Kurt, who took it and let himself be lifted to his feet. About ten or fifteen pounds seemed to be lifted off his shoulders, and he let himself breathe normally again.
"You might want to go clean up that," Finn suggested, pointing to Kurt's stomach. "Are you… do you do that a lot?"
"I try not to," Kurt said.
"You really shouldn't do it."
"You should let me worry about that."
Finn looked about ready to argue, but he thought better of it. Instead, he shrugged, gave Kurt a pat on the shoulder, and said, "Do what you need to do, and meet me outside. I'll go start cleaning off your car."
And though he would never call him it, and even though Finn meant well, that was when Kurt found his enabler. He tucked his phone down a little further in his pocket, and went to the bathroom to clean himself up.