Welcome to the longest piece of continuous writing I have ever written.
Before I begin, here's what I have to say about New York. How can something that makes that many people laugh and cry and smile and hug and kiss and jump up and down possibly be wrong?
As Donna Moss of The West Wing said (oh hush, I love this show), "In a free society, you don't need a reason to make something legal. You need a reason to make something illegal."
Also, can I just say that I never realized what Blaine was carrying on the staircase at Dalton was a pocket-watch. That made me giggle for at least a minute straight. (As have all of the Glee Live skits. If you haven't seen them yet, they're worth checking out on YouTube. I recommend Anaheim, DC, Chicago, and San Jose in particular, but they're all amusing. There are very few things funnier than Chris Colfer imitating Oprah or staring at Darren Criss and saying "What does D.C. stand for? Can you think of anything at all? Anything?")
Okay, I digress. This piece... This is a sort of collection of stories and observations about Blaine that build to a point in the end. You will find Klaine, Wevid, Mr. Anderson (the elder), bullying, Warblers, New Directions, Samcedes, scenes from Glee, original scenes, expansions of scenes from Glee, and just about anything else you can think of, because this is long. Stick with me? I think it's worth it. This will be posted in three parts, but they are all already written, so they will be up promptly.
Oh, also, I don't own Glee. Any recognizable dialogue (and the way in which it was acted) is lifted directly from scenes in Glee. Any recognizable characters (Blaine, Kurt, Mercedes, Burt, Rachel, David, Wes, etc., etc.) also belong to Glee and not to me.
Beep. Beep. Beep. What was that? That noise? He wanted it to go away so he could sleep more.
Beep. Beep. Beep. There was a warm pressure in one hand. The rest of his body felt numb.
Beep. Beep. Beep. The sound wasn't letting up. He decided he should probably figure out where he was. He tried to move his free hand experimentally, pleased when his thumb lurched a little.
Beep. Beep. Beep. He then tried the same with his other hand and was startled when he heard a short gasp next to him. He recognized the voice to which it belonged. His mother?
Beep. Beep. Beep. He managed to pry his eyes open, turning his gaze to the hand resting in his and following the arm up to his mother's face, before slowly taking in the sanitary white walls and sheets around him.
Beep. Beep. Beep. He was in a hospital. So that's what that noise was. A heart monitor. Why was he in the hospital? He shifted to sit up, but when he tried to move his left elbow, searing pain shot through his shoulder. He gave up on that idea and settled back into the sheets. "Mom?" he rasped out. His voice sounded scratchy, odd, not his own.
"Oh, Blaine, thank God," she gushed, bending to kiss the hand she was holding gently. "You gave us such a scare."
"Mom, wha-," he cleared his throat frustratedly, "—what happened?"
"You don't remember?" she whispered, her eyes frightened. "You were hurt after the…after the dance."
Blaine's eyes widened as the memories came rushing back. Heavy boots colliding with his legs, his ribs, his arms. A scrap of metal scraping across his shoulder, leaving a scalding trail of blinding pain. Joseph, crying out next to him for them to stop. Joseph. Joseph. "Joseph?" he rushed out.
"He's ok, honey," she comforted. "He was released a few hours ago. He had a broken arm, but the rest of him was in better shape than you were. But you're ok. You're gonna be ok." She seemed to be saying the last few lines more to herself than to him.
"How long have…how long have I been here?" he managed, closing his eyes for a second in an attempt to block the pain and the memories.
"Just a day, honey. It's Sunday morning. They had to give you a lot of stitches on your shoulder and they thought the pain would be better if they knocked you out for twelve hours."
Blaine reached to his side with his right hand and fingered the large cloth bandage protecting his injury.
"Where's dad?" he asked.
"Right here," his father voiced from near the door as he ended a call on his cell phone. "Cindy our lawyer said we can press charges as soon as Blaine gives his statement."
Blaine glanced between his parents. His mother glared at his father for a second for bringing it up. "Only when you're ready, Blaine," his mother comforted, smoothing his hair down gently.
Mr. Anderson seemed to take his wife's reaction under advisement. He looked down at his son kindly. "I'll tell them to come tomorrow, Blaine," he offered. "You should rest now."
Blaine didn't miss his heavy sigh. He felt lost. Was his father really still going think that this was Blaine's fault? "What's wrong, dad?" he asked.
"I wish that—I wish that we didn't have to deal with all of this," he answered.
"And you think I don't?" Blaine countered, fighting through the fogginess of the pain medication.
His father ran a hand through the dark curls Blaine had inherited. "I think you could be doing a better job."
Blaine fought to sound strong, though he felt anything but. "Of what?"
"You know what, Blaine." He looked frustrated. "Blending in. You aggravated them."
"You think I brought this on myself?" Blaine's voice was as loud as he could muster. "You think they had a right to do this to me?"
"No, of course not. I just think—"
"Roger!" his mother halted their argument. "Not now." Blaine looked at her expectantly, hope lighting his eyes. She didn't continue.
Blaine's eyes widened. "You're not disagreeing with him. Why aren't you disagreeing with him?" His eyes began to fill with tears. "Why aren't you defending me?" She turned to him with shock on her face, apparently unable to say anything.
"Just...just go away," he choked out, determinedly looking anywhere but at their faces. "Let me be."
"Cindy," his father called, "let's go."
"Go, mom. I want to sleep. Leave me alone," Blaine encouraged.
"I'll be there in a minute," she told his father, her eyes not leaving Blaine's. "Blaine," she whispered.
He looked away, blinking to clear the tears from his eyes, determined not to answer. She hesitated for a moment, then slipped her hand out of Blaine's and silently walked away.
Blaine exhaled slowly as he slipped out of his shoes and hung his jacket in the front closet. He glanced at the clock; it was already six. His mother had been late to get him today, but the doctor had said he wasn't allowed to walk even the half mile to his house yet. As Blaine would expect at this time of night, his father was already in the living room when he reached it, a newspaper folded between his fingers.
"Hello, Blaine," his father said, looking up. "Where's your mother?" he asked.
"She said to tell you that she had an errand to run and that she'd be back in an hour or so."
"How's the shoulder?"
"A little better," Blaine lied, wincing as he remembered the rush of dizzying pain from accidentally lifting one of his heavier textbooks with the wrong arm during history class.
Blaine was silent. His father scrutinized him from his dark leather chair across the room, letting his newspaper fall into his lap. "Again?" he guessed, sounding almost weary.
Blaine bit his lip.
"I love you, Blaine, I just…I don't understand why you have to make things so difficult. For you. For me. For your mother."
"Dad, I didn't choose this. And it's not wrong. You make it sound like I'm doing something illegal. You want to know what happened today? A kid I don't even know came up to me and said he was sorry I was back already. And then he tossed a note on top of my books that said 'Go to Hell where you belong'."
His father sighed heavily. "I'm not having this argument again."
"Dad, these people put me in the hospital a few weeks ago," Blaine argued earnestly. "They're the ones who are wrong."
"Blaine, I agree that what they did was wrong. You know that." His father cleared his throat. "But I think you also know there was a real reason it happened."
Blaine's heart sank at the familiar accusation. "And you think that reason is…me?" Blaine managed to whisper. His heart sank even further.
"Blaine," his father muttered quickly, conscious that he had perhaps gone a bit too far.
Blaine shook his head and hurried from the room before his father could see him cry.
The next day, when Blaine told his English teacher, Mrs. Lindsay, a shortened version of the story about the note and his father, he was honestly only looking for a little genuine sympathy. Instead, he received advice that would change his life forever.
"I talked to an old colleague of mine, Blaine," she began when he was done. "We used to teach together in Columbus. I didn't tell him your name or anything, but I explained your situation. Now, I understand if you don't feel like you can bring this to your parents, but it might be a good solution to suggest to them. There's a school in Westerville, about two hours from here, called Dalton Academy. Have you heard of it?"
Blaine shook his head no.
"They're a well-regarded all boys private school with a no-tolerance bullying policy that's strictly enforced. Because they're private, they can expel students for not following their policy." She glanced at Blaine to see if he understood where she was going.
"You would be perfectly up to their academic standards, and Blaine, you would be safe. You'd get away from all this." She gestured to the school around them. "You could board there, if you wanted, until you get your driver's license, so your parents don't have to take you." And to get away from that toxic father of yours, she added mentally. She handed Blaine a sheet of paper. "That's the phone number and email for the headmaster and for my friend. Think about, Blaine. Please."
Blaine stared at the sheet, a possible way out when a few moments ago he had seen none, and his mind began to reel. On his way to the door, he was already figuring out what he would say to his parents.
"Blaine," Mrs. Lindsay called from her desk as he was walking away, still staring at the paper. "Tell me if anything else happens, okay? Promise me." Blaine nodded blindly. "You're the bravest student I've ever had," she said. His hand hesitated on the doorknob. "Hold on to that."
That night at dinner ("Because dinner is where we discuss things as a family, Blaine, you know that, and your father needs to be there too"), they had almost finished their meals before Blaine worked up the courage to suggest it.
"Dad, I—I have something I want to talk to you about." Mr. Anderson's head snapped towards Blaine.
Blaine worked on keeping his expression resolute. "Mrs. Lindsay, she used to work with this guy named Mr. Peterson who now teaches at a place called Dalton."
His father was surprisingly silent, apparently giving him time to get out whatever it was that had obviously been on his mind all night.
"This school, it has a zero-tolerance harassment policy. She thinks I could get in. They take transfers in special circumstances, and she would organize it so they take my transcript, and it's academically better than school here anyway. I could help with the tuition, if you want. Just…let me try this. I think it might be a great solution. For all of us." That was officially the entirety of the list of reasons Blaine had come up with throughout the day.
He honestly wasn't sure what he was expecting. Shock, for sure. But what else? Annoyance? Anger? Frustration?
He was shocked himself when his father took the news silently but calmly.
"You really think this will help, Blaine?" his mother asked, one hand on his arm.
He considered her carefully, then answered truthfully. "I do."
She looked at his father, who nodded.
"Let's try it."
The uniforms at Dalton were something of a relief for Blaine. When he entered the hallways for the first time and saw the blue and red jackets and gray slacks, he sighed internally. This, he could do. He could fit in. He could wear a uniform and smile disarmingly and slick back his unruly hair. He could act like one of them. Compared to being mocked and shoved and beaten, fitting in was easy.
In fact, Blaine made fitting in his new challenge. He dared himself to be too unnoticeable, to blend in to the walls so well that the student body had nothing to call him out on, nothing to say about him except, "Blaine Anderson, yeah, the transfer kid."
He would be so dapper, so charming, so perfect that they would leave him alone. They would have to. He kept his expectations extraordinarily low for the school and expected everything out of himself. It would be their job to provide an education; it would be his job to keep himself removed and silent, to make it not matter. After all, his scars, both emotional and physical, were fresh. As he stared at those scars, fingered the red line across his shoulder, he would ask himself, Does a single school with a real no tolerance bullying policy exist? And as he traced the angry, hurt words he had imprinted into his journal, he would answer: Not one.
At Dalton, he believed the outward bullying would disappear. He thought that the bullying would be present, but less overt, that they would call him names behind his back and give him silent stares in the hallways and "trip" him on the way to class.
This experience would be emotionally the same as his old school, he was sure. At his old school, only a couple of his friends had stuck around once he came out. Here, he wasn't trying for new friends at all.
He was walking to the cafeteria, glancing around nervously, trying to seem confident and in control, when he met them. Blend in he was telling himself. Be unremarkable, be unnoticeable, be average.
Two boys appeared from behind and sandwiched him in between them. The one on his right bumped his shoulder. He tensed immediately, sure that they were about to hurt him, that his cover was already blown. Curse my inability to blend in for even one tiny day! He thought. And curse how much shorter I am than them. They'll beat me up for sure.
The boy on the left smiled congenially at him. "I'm David," he said. He indicated the companion who had nudged Blaine a few seconds earlier. "That's Wes."
Wes offered a hand. Blaine shook it warily.
"You sing," Wes commented.
Blaine's heart was racing."Hmm?"
"We heard you," David explained, and Blaine got the sense that he walked around explaining Wes frequently, "you were singing to yourself while everyone else was working on their group project in French class."
Blaine paled. Why couldn't I just be quiet? he asked himself, Just for one day? He braced himself for the shove. When it didn't come, he dared a glance at their faces.
"You're good," Wes commented.
"What?" Blaine half whispered, shocked.
"Like, really good," Wes amended.
"Which is why we came to talk to you, actually," David told him, a slight grin on his face. "We want you to try out for our glee club. The Warblers."
"You want me to …" Blaine trailed off, perplexed, unused to friendly behavior from practically anyone. He watched Wes and David exchange a look.
"Sit with us at lunch," Wes offered.
David glanced at Wes and continued, "We sit with all the Warblers guys, so you can meet them, and all."
Blaine considered for a second before he remembered the first day that fall when Ben, his best friend since fourth grade, turned from the customary seat Blaine had saved him and walked away without a word. It was better not to get too close. "N-No. Th-Thanks, guys. But I'm fine by myself."
Wes looked confused. "Suit yourself," he conceded with a shrug.
Blaine hurried past them to the lunchroom. He selected and paid for a surprisingly edible-looking sandwich being offered that day, then consumed barely a few bites while sitting in an obscure corner of the lunchroom, blissfully unnoticed.
The next evening, when he pulled out To Kill a Mockingbird to read for American Lit class, he found a sticky note pasted inside the front cover. We didn't mean to scare you away yesterday by being too imposing or anything. Wes just gets overexcited sometimes. We think you're really talented and really want you to be in our group. Lunch tomorrow? I promise, I'll keep Wes's enthusiasm to a minimum. ~David.
The next day, when Blaine had finished loading his tray, he glanced around the room. David caught his eye, smiled, and subtly (or at least, Blaine supposed David thought it was subtle) nudged an empty chair next to him. Wes noticed their interaction and waved.
Blaine sighed shakily and set off towards the Warblers table.
When they had finally convinced him to audition later that week, he wasn't quite sure what to expect. At the end of his song (top 40, of course, because that was and always would be his thing), he was faced with stunned silence. He glanced around nervously, his features set with confidence he did not feel, until David's face broke into a grin. Blaine slowly allowed his to match as he lowered his stiffened shoulders. He was in.
"Out, Wes," David declared.
"But David," Wes argued, "how could I possibly find lyrics to express my ideas about our set list for the performance at Newbrook Nursing Home next week? They would have to have the song titles in them."
"That may be true," Thad contributed, "but nevertheless, you're out."
Wes scowled. "Blaine wins," he conceded with a sigh.
Blaine grinned happily. "Why couldn't you stay calm for once, instead of flying off the handle?" he sang.
Wes glared. "How could you possibly be so good at this game? This is the first time you've played it."
"You talk too much, Wesley," David informed him. "If you talked less, maybe you'd have more luck finding song lyrics to express what you want to say."
"Yeah, be nice to the new kid, Wes," Flint argued, selecting a fry from Wes's plate and popping it into his mouth. "He's got mad skills."
"Also, more Broadway songs in his pocket than Wes has listened to in his entire life," Nick added.
"I've seen Wicked!," Wes protested. "And that one with all the people dressed as animals."
"The Lion King?" Jeff supplied, raising his eyebrows at Wes over his glass in slight disappointment.
Blaine stifled a laugh. He liked these people. He really did. They were funny, and sarcastic, and just…great.
Wes turned to look at Blaine, who shrank back a little, though not noticeably to the others, still unused to the attention. "This isn't over, my friend. Rematch tomorrow. Same time, same place."
Blaine was frozen. Friend. Wes shot a sidelong glance at his plate. "Flint, stop stealing my food."
The Warblers were at lunch a few weeks later when the question Blaine had been secretly dreading since the first day he sat with them came up. "Why, in the middle of February of your freshman year, did you transfer schools?"
Blaine's heart plummeted. He finally had people to talk to, and though he knew that he couldn't really think of them as friends until they knew, he had been hoping to wait just a little longer before he alienated himself from this school, too.
He sighed heavily. Well, no going back now.
"I was…bullied, severely, at my old school. Right before a school dance, one of them put me in the hospital." He shrugged off the Dalton jacket, his cloak of security, and yanked back the collar of his shirt, showing them the angry red scar that ran across his collarbone and left shoulder.
Several of them breathed in sharply when they saw it.
"Why?" Wes began.
Blaine looked at him, hoping in equal parts that Wes would and would not ask what he knew was coming.
"Why did they do it?"
"Because I'm…" He glanced cautiously at these people, the closest thing he'd had to friends in what felt like forever, and just for a second, considered lying.
No, he couldn't. Courage, Blaine. Remember? You have to have courage. That thing the boys who beat you accused you of lacking.
"I'm gay." he finished. He was looking at his lap as he said it but his voice was strong, clear. Courageous.
He chanced a look up. To his surprise, nothing had changed. He told himself they must have all been too shocked, but then a few hands slipped carefully around his back, and he realized that Wes and David were giving him a friendly sort of half hug.
"That's horrible," one of them said.
"How dare they?" another Warbler asked incredulously.
A single tear began to trace a path down Blaine's cheek. He brushed it away restlessly and laughed with relief.
"We got your back, now," Thad promised solemnly.
"So you…you…don't mind?" Blaine needed to be absolutely sure.
Wes looked at him with a mixture of disbelief and reassurance. "We don't care one tiny, little bit."
The rest of the group nodded in agreement. Blaine felt free, weightless. His heart was soaring. He looked up at the people gathered around him and smiled enough that it reached his eyes for the first time in months. He had friends. And they knew. And they didn't care.
That concludes part one. Part two (which includes Klaine, I promise, and is already completely written) will be up soon.
Thanks for reading. Leave a review with your thoughts?