Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. No profit is being produced from this page.
Warning: This story contains dark themes, depression, and self-harm. Don't read this story if those topics upset you.
Setting: Alternate universe. Burt never changed his homophobic views, thus Kurt never came to terms with his sexuality.
Summary: Rain is a symbol of renewal and purification, but Kurt doesn't think he'll ever be free of these poisonous feelings. Contemplating his depression, he reflects on how he got to this point in the first place.
This never should have happened to either of them.
The only thought that ran through Kurt's head at the moment, as his anger and frustration blended together, sadness leaked into the mixture, and despair overwhelmed everything, was utter unfairness of the situation. How unfair it was that both of them had to suffer together like this.
Of course, the option was either suffering together or suffering alone.
Hell, maybe they deserved each other.
The silence between them continued, almost as if the oppressive humidity was weighing it down, making the lack of conversation all the more obvious. A warm breeze stirred the limbs of the trees that lined the street further down the road, rustling the leaves. The sun was beginning to weaken, engulfed by clouds, and the once blue sky was quickly fading to an overcast grey. Kurt wondered in the back of his mind if the residents of Lima would soon see yet another thunderstorm overtake a previously sunny day.
Pain ebbed at the corners of his skull, either his irritation talking or the manifestation of an actual headache. Briefly, Kurt closed his eyes, in attempt to both allay his headache and presume where had he gone wrong. Boyfriend and girlfriend on a date, strolling through the town hand in hand, who had just happened to stop at the local Dairy Queen for ice cream on this humid and sticky day. What could happen?
And now, boyfriend and girlfriend sat at an outdoor table in silence, watching the cars swing past and the sundae the two were supposed to share melt as neither of them could bring themselves to take a bite of the saccharine sweet substance.
An unfathomable expression had settled upon Santana's face, and Kurt half-expected her to fold her arms over her chest in the classic defensive gesture that she used while around everyone or anyone. She didn't, and Kurt was glad that at least they were beyond the point of pretending to each other that all was right in their self-centered little worlds. It was an unspoken agreement between the two of them to never discuss their "illness" or mention the other's problem to someone else. So they both followed the act of normalcy in order to fool the people around them into believing that everything in their lives was hunky-dory.
Looking back on it, Kurt was astounded that no one else had caught on to their secret. Yes, it was all the better for them, of course, but it still astonished him. But then again, Santana excelled at pushing others away from her, masking her insecurities and fear of discovery of her numerous issues by infuriating those who questioned her till they were so angry that they no longer remembered the initial reason for the conversation. It was all according to her plan; that way, they focused on her as a target, rather than broaching the subject of concern.
Besides, with her father working at the hospital, and a high-strung stepmother as a flimsy replacement for her biological mother who had left and was now living in California, Kurt supposed that it was possible that the people in her household had just missed the warning signs, as obvious as they seemed to him.
But what about him? How many times could "I ate before I came," or "I'm trying to cut down on my sugar intake," work before a red flag went up and it occurred to someone that something was wrong? Not his friends, not his family . . . not one single person –
A knot twisted in his throat, choking him as it clogged his windpipe and left him unable to breath. Santana cast a sidelong glance at him before he was able to regain control over his lungs.
The word left a bitter taste in Kurt's mouth, and resentment churned in his stomach. If it hadn't been for his lovely family, then he probably wouldn't even be in this situation.
His father had done the best he could to raise him after his mother died. Hell, Burt had done more than Kurt would have ever asked. Not many fathers would be able to manage a balancing-act between raising their six-year-old son as single parent and supervising an auto-shop, but Burt Hummel had done his damndest and succeeded. He'd initially gotten all the traits in his son that he had hoped for: intelligent, athletic, honest, friendly, hard-working, talented . . .
Everyone Kurt knew always told him that he was bound for college, that with his GPA, athletic ability, and volunteer work that he would have no problem getting to whatever school he wanted. Already, numerous universities were sending letters and e-mails to Kurt after seeing his PSAT scores, asking him to apply to their school.
And yet it still wasn't enough for his father.
With a mordant smile, Kurt recalled the ugly argument between him and his father after he had quit football. It was the only time that Kurt could ever remember his father being so furious with him.
The game had been close. McKinley High only had an average football team, so whenever the game was tied, the atmosphere was always extremely tense. Kurt himself had received the ball from the center and had just punted the ball down to the offense when he was tackled by one of the opposite team's players, #17. It was a typical football collision: the impact brought Kurt crashing to the ground, and #17's helmet smacked against his with an audible thud.
The quarter ended then, and although Kurt pushed himself up off the ground, #17 seemed to experience trouble standing. Kurt paid little attention to him, as it was usual to sustain injuries in football, and just concentrated on hustling back to the bench, but now he wished that he hadn't dismissed the other player so readily.
A few minutes after the next quarter had begun, there was an abrupt time-out. The player whom Kurt had collided with, #17, had collapsed on the field. The game was halted and an ambulance was called when the ref and coaches were unable to revive the unconscious player.
It was later that evening that Kurt found out the player's name, after he had been pronounced dead upon arrival at Lima Hospital: Sean Fretthold, who had played defensive end for Jefferson High School.
'Massive head trauma' was the coroner's official statement, but Second Impact Syndrome was what the rumors said. Apparently, Sean had suffered a concussion earlier in the game, and then received a second concussion while tackling Kurt. The consequence of the lack of treatment, or even notice of his condition, was fatal.
Sean's sudden death was a potent dose of reality to Kurt's self-interested world, and was enough to convince him that he wanted nothing more to do with football. What had once been such a thrill now seemed empty and cold, and it was only two days after Sean died that Kurt let Coach Tanaka know that he wouldn't be returning to the football field again during his stint at William McKinley High School.
Burt, though, had seen things differently. In his opinion, Kurt never should have quit the team. He appeared to lose some of his respect for Kurt, after the incident, so father and son gradually drifted apart.
His father's disinterest in his life after he had left the team hurt more than Kurt wanted to admit, it agonized him that his father allowed something as trivial as the football team come between them. What was worse was that Kurt still wanted to impress his father, and more than anything, didn't want to disappoint him any more than he had already. Which was why when Mr. Schuester caught Kurt fighting some of the football players who thought he was wimp for leaving the team, he accepted the invitation to join the Glee Club rather than be reported to Figgins and subsequently suspended.
Glee Club wasn't actually that bad. Kurt was surprised to find that he liked and was liked by everyone there, with the exception of Rachel at a few choice moments. That was where he had gotten to know Santana, discovered how similar they actually were.
But then Burt had begun dating Carol, the mother of Finn, another football player, who happened to be in the Glee Club. And it was obvious from the way Burt and Carol interacted that this wasn't just a casual relationship; they cared for each a great deal. What was even more obvious was how readily Burt and Finn bonded. Burt was delighted at the prospect of having a football player as a stepson, since his biological child was no longer on the team, and Finn was excited to have a father-figure, as his own father had died before he was born.
As much as it stung to see Burt and Finn watching football on TV or enthusiastically discussing McKinley's basketball team, Kurt always did his best to be polite to Carol and her son. Even though he knew that he came across as somewhat aloof, he could've cared less; their opinions didn't make a difference to him, especially because drama constantly seemed to follow Finn wherever he went. Kurt had no true reason to care about what someone who was always the latest subject of gossip thought of him.
And yet he felt so jealous. Finn had merely strolled into their lives, pushed Kurt out of the way, and taken his place as Burt's son. Kurt had been replaced, pure and simple. And worse, Finn didn't even seem to realize what he had done.
Sometime while all of this was taking place, Kurt that he was . . . different. He wasn't normal. He was . . . warped in some sort of way.
But he knew from when the possibility first occurred to him that he could never let anyone else know. He wouldn't disappoint Burt again; he'd ensure that his father would never recognize the abnormality in his son.
The notion that he was a deviant deeply disgusted him, but not nearly as much as he knew it would disgust his father. Although Burt talked about, Kurt saw the disgust on his face when the political issue of marriage for those people was discussed on the news, and the way Burt scoffed at celebrities who engaged in such lifestyles. In fact, his refusal to even vocally acknowledge those people spoke volumes more than if he had vociferously declared his loathing for them.
A rhythmic clicking interrupted his hostile thoughts, and Kurt refocused to see Santana drumming her immaculately manicured nails on the glass tabletop. Her attention wasn't directed at anything particular as she gazed out into the street, shaking her head slightly and a grimace twisting her lips, lost, Kurt presumed, in her own thoughts, just like him.
The sundae before them had melted into sickly sweet soupy mixture of ice cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles in the large, colorful cardboard bowl.
He didn't want to be like this. He didn't want these . . . problems. He hated this situation, despised himself so much he could barely shove any food down his throat. What he was nauseated Kurt to the point that he no longer wanted to eat.
Maybe that was it.
Deadpan, Kurt contemplated the theory developing itself in his mind. Perhaps his self-hatred was so great that he subconsciously wanted to starve his body of nutrients in order the escape this damned existence. Yes, maybe he just had a death wish.
No. Conscious or subconscious, suicide wasn't even an option. He would not be a failure; he would not disappoint his father and himself. He would show everyone that he wasn't worthless, even if he didn't play football any longer.
But if they were going to work themselves up over such an insignificant and petty issue such as his departure of the team, why the hell should he bother to worry about their opinion of him at all? It wasn't even as if they cared about his reasons for leaving the team, just that he had.
No. He had to do what was expected of him, whatever would please his father, no matter he ludicrous he thought it was. And while he was at it, he would manage to start eating regularly, too.
A low clap of thunder rumbled across the landscape, interrupting Kurt in the process of his resolves, and dark clouds began sweeping in at a rapid pace.
"We should go," Santana said, rising as she picked up her sunglasses and tossed her sleek dark hair over a bronze shoulder.
"Yeah," Kurt agreed, standing also. "We can get something to eat later."
Santana cast him an oblique look, telling him what they both already knew: it wasn't going to happen.
Boyfriend and girlfriend moved forward together, firm in their resolve, both prepared to break out in sunny smiles provided they met anyone they knew also trying to escape the harsh weather.
Thunder rolled once again, but it didn't start raining. Kurt was grateful; he didn't want to be caught in a downpour. Rain was a symbol of purification, of renewal, and Kurt didn't require cleansing. He was fine. He didn't need to change.
If he just kept up the facade, everything would be fine.
Hell, maybe if he repeated the lie long enough, he would begin to believe it.
So, thoughts? Confusion? Concrit? Let me know.