(Short) Prologue:

"Some people are just mean. There's no deep seeded family secret. No heart of gold under a ruff, misunderstood exterior. They're mean because they can be. Thomas is one of those people –"

"But-," Rachel interrupted.

"No, Rachel. I'm serious. Leave this alone. Let the school handle it."

Chapter 1

Rachel Berry was not a quiet person, nor was she known for her ability to remain stationary. However, when she walked up to her locker early Monday morning only to find that it had been defaced, she found herself speechless and incapable of taking her eyes off of the disgusting symbol. As more and more students began to trickle into the halls of McKinley, Rachel shook herself out of her stupor and darted to the janitor's closet.

Over at the student parking lot, Kurt Hummel quickly exited his stepbrother's car, eager to showoff his new Prada polo. It was a knockoff, but Kurt was confident that there were no fashion connoisseurs in Lima, Ohio savvy enough to out his black "Praba" with red stitching. In all honesty, Kurt sometimes doubted that anyone in Lima even knew what Prada was period. The soprano entered the high school without fear of his new top being ruined by a slushy attack; ever since David Karofsky and Santana Lopez established Bully Whips he felt untouchable. It also didn't hurt that he was now related to the school quarterback and that his number one tormentor had transformed into his number one protector.

Seeing as it was still early, Kurt knew the only person who could appreciate his outfit at his hour would be his best friend Rachel Berry, despite the fact that she was fashionably challenged herself. When Kurt turned the corner he saw his fellow diva furiously scrubbing the door of her locker. The other students near by all seemed to be wrapped up in the their own conversations, filling each other in on weekend activities. Curious as to why Rachel had suddenly decided to emulate Ms. Pillsbury, he hastened his steps.

"Rachel, Figgins is cheap, but there are actual janitors on the payroll," Kurt joked as he approached her. Rachel, for her part, didn't even realize someone had approached her, let alone spoken to her; all she could focus on was getting the mark off of her locker. When Kurt saw that his friend was actually upset, he glanced at what she was so rigorously trying to wipe away. There, although slightly faded thanks to ten minutes worth of continuous scrubbing, was a large black tilted swastika. Kurt didn't know what to say. He placed his arm on Rachel's shoulder, stilling her actions. Realizing her friend was by her side, Rachel looked up at Kurt and he could see her eyes glistening with unshed tears.

"It actually means 'good luck'." When in doubt Rachel resorted to rambling.

"It's a pretty ancient symbol. If you go to India the temples - it doesn't matter if they're Hindu, Jain, or Buddhist - they practically all have them. Actually, Native Americans also-"

"Are you ok," Kurt interrupted her. She just shook her head side to side and that's all the prompting Kurt needed to wrap his arms around her. As her frienemy-turned-best-friend hugged her tightly, Rachel let the tears falls.

"Hey what happened?" Finn asked when he saw his stepbrother hugging his ex-girlfriend as her shoulders shook. Reluctantly, Rachel let go of Kurt and wiped her tears away with the back of her hand. Finn appeared to be visibly bothered that something had brought Rachel to tears. Even though he was now back together with Quinn, Finn, after dealing with his issues over having another girlfriend cheat on him (with the same guy), had formed and maintained a strictly platonic (Rachel's word not his) friendship with his former flame.

"It's nothing, Finn," Rachel said, "just the actions of an obviously ignorant, troubled, and restless juvenile." However, Finn looked unconvinced, probably because Rachel's sniffles seemed determined to undermine her efforts of reassuring the tall teenager that everything was all right. Looking at Kurt for answers, the smaller gleek simply gestured to the locker with his head.

"The Hitler symbol!" Finn exclaimed – how was William McKinley High School an "A" school? Rachel blushed as the other students around turned to look at the three friends and the faded swastika. The atmosphere suddenly had a weird twinge to it. While the status quo had all but numbed the student body to bullying, seeing the school's biggest loser's locker spray-painted with an image that had come to represent one of the most hateful and murderous regimes in history seemed to unnerve many of the usually jaded teens.