"Dear Santa," Kurt whispered in the silence of the room he sat alone in, squeezing his eyes shut as he kneeled down, his hands together on top of his bed. He saw people do that in church that one time when he went to Mommy's funeral. "Thank you for the Power Ranger dolls. But Daddy says to calls them action figures… he wasn't very happy with Aunt Mildred when she called them dolls. Can I call them dolls? Aunt Mildred says you play wedding with dolls, so doesn't that make my Power Rangers dolls?" He wondered, tilting his head as he thought about it. "Action figures sounds funny, I like dolls better." He decided.
"I know Easter's next month, and I don't mean to wake you. But it's very, very important, Santa."
Kurt brushed a lock of brown hair from his forehead where it tickled his fair skin. He squeezed his eyes tighter, not opening them even though they were starting to hurt now. In church, everybody closed their eyes. Kurt really wanted Santa Claus to hear him, so he had to make sure everything would work.
"Santa, I know Christmas already passed, but can I have one more thing? Only one thing. I won't be greedy." Kurt promised.
He glanced behind him at the pale green walls, a lamp ominously illuminating the thin crack behind him. He felt a shiver the space heater on the other side of the room couldn't prevent no matter how close Kurt inched to it. Only moments after his glare was locked on the long crack, he remembered his eyes were supposed to be closed, and he shut them back up tightly.
"It's the crack in my wall, Santa." He whimpered the fear in his voice excruciating.
"It's scary. I want it to just go away. It's giving me bad dreams. It makes funny noises, too; it talks to me all night. Daddy says he'll get some stuff soon and cover it up, but it's taking him so long. He said not to be scared of it; it's just a silly old crack. But it's not, I know. Maybe… maybe you could send someone to fix it so I don't have to wait for next Christmas? Like a fireman? Or a police-"
His shaky voice was interrupted by a loud crash outside, and a funny sound that was almost like when you spin a stick around really fast and it makes a whizzing noise, but louder. He didn't hesitate to open his eyes this time, and he ran to his window, standing on the tips of his toes to see out the high window of his basement bedroom, his fingers clasped tightly on the edge of the shelf beneath it.
Something outside, a big blue lump, had crashed into the tree outside, the one with the tree house on top, now in pieces. He didn't panic, though: he never even used that tree house his daddy made with him last year. It was cramped and every time he touched it, he got splinters, even through his Mommy's old thick, leather gloves. Even when he'd had helped his father build it (mostly by force) he'd spent most of the time playing with crayons across the yard and occasionally plotting out the 'interior design.'
But, even if Kurt didn't care the slightest bit about the loss of the tree house, the car was a little nerve-racking. Kurt saw silly people drive into telephone poles on the television all the time. Daddy called them drunk, but really, they just looked confused and happy. After Mommy disappeared, Daddy got silly a lot. He didn't drive into any telephone poles, but he swore at the racing cars on TV and let Kurt stay up really, really late and eat all the Popsicles he wanted.
The tree didn't fall, and in fact, from Kurt's perspective (unreliable, probably, being it was blocked by the sunflowers planted outside his window), the tree itself looked unharmed. Only the tree house and the flimsy branches surrounding it were damaged- almost like the thing had come out of the sky. Maybe the big blue lump was really an airplane.
Kurt dragged a chair over from his desk, putting it under the window so he could stand on it and get a better look. Kurt had completely forgotten about Santa and his new Power Rangers, his mind distracted with the curiosity of the situation.
But you know what they say- curiosity killed the cat.
Kurt felt the tiny wooden chair protest against his dainty seventy pounds, one of the legs wobble under the weight that was mostly his heavy Spiderman flannel pajamas and thick layers of Dove conditioner in his brown hair. He could see out the window much better now, but the glass was still foggy with frost and in a tiny, single inch of dusty snow over the remains of dying sunflowers that had been lying there ever since the dawn of winter months and months ago.
He pulled the window open, biting his soft lip in determination. The old window squealed with complaint, but Kurt budged it open, a draft of cold air and a handful of dirt welcoming itself inside Kurt's room. He frowned at the icy rocks that fell on his floor, but as much as he despised the contrast of dirty brown on almost-sterilized-looking bright white, there were more important matters at hand. He shoved his tiny head out the window first and shimmied out the slim window, using the shelf he'd effectively removed of Beanie Babies as support, until he was sitting on the dull, dead sunflowers, brushing dirt of his shoulders, and buttoning the top three buttons of his pajamas to help warm himself from the significantly colder temperature outside then in his room. He startled a bit when the old window slammed itself shut, making a loud band and adding to Kurt's shivers.
His eyes wandered the bright stars, seeing not a cloud in the night sky. He smiled. He liked these kinds of nights, beautiful, clear, and pleasantly brisk. Even though he had goose bumps all over his bare arms, he enjoyed the midnight breeze and the dimly lit landscape, hideously, wonderfully ominous and refreshing. But he reminded himself of the reason he wasn't under his cozy blankets, and found himself running towards the big blue box with plumes of smoke emitting from it.
Kurt's bare feet felt numb with cold under the melting snow as he ran across the front yard, and leaves and branches from last fall dug into his soft, baby-fresh skin. He wished he'd worn sneakers- slippers, socks, anything- as he winced at the little stems that felt like push-pins on his unprotected feet. With a short glimpse at his feet, he noticed their bright pink complexion and memories of frost bite whizzed around his head. More memories of stepping of bugs and having icky bug guts all over his bare skin in the summer, but frost bite, too.
He neared the large blue box, noting this thing was obviously not a car. It lacked wheels and even the shape to define it as a car. Maybe it did fall from the sky.
Wood was scattered all about the blue rectangle on its side, and the tree house above Kurt's head was barely any longer recognizable as a tree house. Kurt walked in a small circle around the thing, his hands behind his back as he inspected the mysterious box. He noticed the words "Police Box" on the top of the thing, (he was always extraordinarily skilled with reading,), lit up with a yellow light that illuminated the clouds of smoke about it. He jumped back as the thing opened, feeling like he'd done something horribly wrong to disrupt it as smoke plumed up from the now open doors on the roof of the box.
Kurt felt his heart thump in his chest like it was trying to escape as a rope flew out, latching onto a tree branch next to Kurt's on foot. Was there a monster in there? Was it trying to get him?
Daddy said the movie he'd watched about aliens last week was make-believe. But this didn't feel much like make-believe anymore.
Kurt held his breath, his eyes widening to the point they were at risk of falling out of his sockets. He stepped backwards, tripping on a piece of debris from the tree house when he saw a hand come out, clutching the side of the box. He fell on his back, arms flailing. Rocks dug into his back and he felt like crying in fear. He didn't want the thing inside that box to get him. He was only having a nightmare though, another one from that silly crack in the wall that didn't exist, right? Right?
Well, why couldn't he wake up when he frantically pinched the skin on his wrist? How come he only winced and the box didn't vanish as his eyes fluttered open and he stared at his bedroom ceiling with the glow-in-the-dark stars?
Kurt couldn't take his eyes off that hand clasping the edge of the box, and felt his unsteady breath hitch when another hand joined it, probably of the same body, and then- a face.
Kurt stated at the man in front of him, feeling like vomiting over his own pajamas. His insides knotted, but were released when the man gave an innocent smile, shouting in the silent night, "Can I have an apple?"
Kurt stared at the man blankly as he nodded to himself, his head excitedly bobbing up and down from the safety of his box, "All I can think about. Apples. I love apples."
The man looked ecstatic, his wet brown hair falling in front of his face as he looked up from the box at Kurt. "Maybe I'm having a craving! That's new… never had cravings before."
The man struggled as he picked himself up, climbing out of the box. He seemed extraordinarily excited, smiling as he stopping to sit on the narrow edge of the box, one leg still in. "Whoa! Look at that," He said, smirking as he looked down into the box, billowing clouds of smoke that must have been blocking his view of whatever was inside that little box.
"Are… you okay?" Kurt mumbled, still sitting on the ground. He wasn't quite sure what he was asking. He meant for it to be about the box crashing, bringing down his tree house with it, but a lot of it was asking about his sanity.
"Just had a fall," He explained, still giddy as he climbed out of the box, sitting on the side now with both legs out. "All the way down there, right to the library. Hell of climb back up."
"You're- you're soaking wet." Kurt observed. The man was drenched, his hair wet and his blue shirt stretched from the water it was containing.
"I was in the swimming pool." He clarified.
"You said… you said you were in the library." Kurt noted, not taking his shaky eyes of the mysterious man. He was extremely confused: how was the man at the library or the swimming pool if he was in a claustrophobia-inducing police box?
"So is the swimming pool." He explained as this was all very obvious. Kurt bit his tongue, not wanting to say anything because he knew he wouldn't get a very good answer. He was dreaming, anyway. Dreams didn't make sense.
"Are you a police man?" Kurt wondered aloud, remembering his wish to Santa.
"Why?" He asked, leaning in on Kurt, still sitting on the edge of the box. "Did you call a police man?" Kurt noticed his heavy British accent. No one he'd ever met before in Ohio had a British accent; he only knew what it sounded like from the television. Maybe this man wasn't from Ohio. Maybe he was from the North Pole… did they have British accents in the North Pole? Kurt knew they did in one movie.
"Did you come about the crack in my wall? Did Santa send you?" Kurt asked, getting a little eager. He stood up, brushing the dirt of his back, feeling much more comfortable around the man now that he knew he must be here to help him and get rid of the scary crack in his wall.
"What cra-" He started. He'd jumped off the side of the box, miserably failing as he rolled about on the ground, his head smashing into a small rock. He had worse balance then Kurt's father, and that was surely saying something. He didn't know if he wanted someone this dizzy fixing his room.
"You alright, Mister?" Kurt asked, tilting his head in concern.
"Fine," He declared, sitting back up as he waved his arm around, sounding like he was very much in pain as his breath was almost stuck inside his chest. "I'm okay, this is all perfectly nor-" He began before stopping midsentence, clutching his stomach. He coughed, and out came a golden, sparkly dust that made it look like he'd been drinking craft glitter.
"Who are you?" Kurt whispered, stepping back. Why was this man so hurt? Why was he coughing glitter and why did he seem so okay with it? Kurt's eyes darted back to the house, wondering if he should run back in and lock the door.
The man's hands sparkled a bit, almost lighting up. He looked up at Kurt from where he kneeled on the ground, looking a bit fascinated. "I don't know yet. I'm still cooking."
Kurt's eyes narrowed as he looked hard at the man, like if he tried hard enough, he could see right through him and know all about him. "Does it scare you?" The man asked.
"No…" Kurt mumbled, lying as he stared at the man, his glittery breath slowly diminishing into the air. "It just looks a little… weird."
"Oh, no, no, no," He said, smiling, "The crack in your wall, does it scare you?"
"Uh," Kurt said, looking at his shoes, nodding, "Yes."
Kurt was prepared to continue, but the man jumped up, looking elated while Kurt backed up, "Well then! No time to lose, I'm The Doctor. Do everything I tell you, don't ask any stupid questions, and don't wander off." He instructed, looking as giddy as can be as he shot directions gently at the innocent, small boy in the Spiderman pajamas, a good two feet smaller than him. Kurt nodded, swallowing, feeling a bit intimidated by the smiling man. He walked away from Kurt, looking rather confident as he ran himself right into the tree head-on, falling onto his back.
"Mister!" Kurt shouted, his feet staying put so he was still a good few feet away from the man now lying at the ground, blinking confusedly at the stars. "You alright?"
"Early days." He explained, "Steering is a bit off."
"Oh." Kurt mumbled as though he completely understood which was far from the case.
"Okay," The man said, jumping back up like he hadn't learned his lesson the first time he'd gotten up to fast. He clapped his hands together, grinning, "Shall we see this crack?"
Kurt nodded, bobbing a head a bit too fast to be healthy. He squeezed his hands into nervous fists by his sides, leading the man into the house. Kurt looked behind him a few times, watching the man behind him who seemed to be smiling, following obediently, not seeming to terrify at following the little boy even after the strict directions he'd tossed at Kurt. The man didn't fall again, but Kurt, after looking behind him so much, stumbled over a tree root at fell, catching himself with his palms.
Kurt winced, and the man was quick to stand behind him, pulling him up by armpits from behind. Kurt spun around, looking at the man with the same wide green eyes as before. "Are we okay? That was a bit of a fall." He said.
Kurt held out his palms in front of the man, and they spoke better then Kurt could. The man examined Kurt's hands, flipping each one over a few times. Kurt seemed rather distressed with the tiny cuts on his hands, dirty and tinged brown. The night was well illuminated by the moon and the stars, so Kurt's cuts were easier to see then not, but the man seemed to see deeper into Kurt's hand, like they were more than just tiny, pale baby hands with a pathetic scratch.
The man ran a finger over Kurt's palm, and Kurt pulled his hands back. He was particularly confused, the reality of the situation catching up with him. He didn't even know this strange man who seemed so fascinated with Kurt's delicate hands he'd drowned in vanilla-scented lotion. Of course, he was here to fix the crack in his wall, so Kurt should just let him do his job, really.
Kurt ran to the door once the man had released his hands Kurt had willingly given him himself. Kurt had no one to blame but himself if this man was scaring him; he was the one who told Santa to send someone.
Kurt scurried around the door, pulling the key out from where his Daddy left it under the mat. The man followed, not racing to catch up with Kurt after he ran away. Kurt grumbled, jamming the key into the lock until it opened.
The door flew open, slamming into a wall and shaking a glass vase against the wall. Kurt winced at the noise, and looked back behind him for the man.
When he turned around, the man was only two inches in front of Kurt's face, smiling. Kurt jumped back, his breath lost, while the man smiled, "What about that apple?"
Kurt obeyed, walking into the huge kitchen in his house the front door let in. "If you're a doctor," Kurt whispered hesitantly as he grabbed an apple out of the fruit bowl on the high counter he had to use his tippy-toes to get, "Why did your box say police?"
The man considered this, taking the apple out of Kurt's hands as he turned around. He took a large bite, chewed for only a second, and spat on the white mush all over the shiny tile floor. Kurt gasped at the man's horrific manners he'd been taught to stray away from since he could crawl and had gladly accepted.
Kurt watched the tiny puddle of white apple mush on the floor like it might get up and walk away. "That's disgusting. What is that?"
Kurt looked up at the man. "An apple?" He said like he was answering a trick question.
"Apples are rubbish. I hate apples." He complained, handing the bitten apple to Kurt, who still had dirty hands as he was yet to run under a faucet.
"But you said you loved them." Kurt argued, putting a defensive hand on his hip.
"No, no, no. I like yoghurt. Yoghurt's my favorite, give me yoghurt." He said.
"Okay…" Kurt agreed, a bit confused again, but a tad more frustrated with his manners and his demands. He scurried to the fridge, finding one foot impossibly hard not to tangle with the other and fall flat on his face.
He opened the fridge, peering in until he found a snack serving of vanilla yoghurt, grabbing it out of the back of the fridge with determination. He glanced back at the man, whose eyes where surveying the kitchen, rocking back and forth on his heels impatiently.
Kurt handed the man the yoghurt, and he grabbed the thing, ripping the top off and drinking the yoghurt like it was juice. Kurt looked a bit repulsed by the lack of silverware in this process, which he would have been happy to give him if he'd given him another second.
Kurt didn't even have a chance to consider him satisfied before he spat the yogurt across the kitchen. Kurt cringed at the mess, but the man seemed rather oblivious to it.
"I hate yogurt, it's just stuff, with bits in it." He complained, yoghurt dripping down his chin. He wiped it away with his sleeve, and Kurt had never seen anyone with such intimidatingly terrible manners after possibly his father.
"You said it was your favorite." Kurt protested, his eyes darting between the mess and the man, wondering which one he should attend to first. This man was being rather rude, and had too many conflicting decisions to be kept up with.
"New mouth. New rules." He explained. "It's like eating after cleaning your teeth, everything taste wron-" He cut himself off, shouting as his body went into a spasm. Kurt stepped back, his back colliding with a chair at the table. His eyebrows melded together in concern. He wasn't quite as afraid, anymore. This man just seemed a bit grumpy and a little confused and maybe just more different then Kurt, somehow. He said he had a new mouth. Kurt couldn't grow a new mouth, but this man could. But shaking like you were a cartoon character that gets electrocuted was a bit odd, a little scary. But bearable. Because Daddy told him being different was important. And even Kurt was different than the other boys at school, who liked Spiderman pajamas and didn't have to be forced into them by their father.
The man stopped after a moment, grabbing his forehead and waddling around, trying to find balance. "What's the matter? What's- what's wrong with you?" Kurt mumbled. Maybe he was sick. But he was a doctor, why couldn't he just fix himself?
The man looked at Kurt with narrowed eyes, speaking to fast for it to come off as intimidating, "Wrong with me? It's not my fault, why can't you get me any decent food? Your American, fry something."
Kurt raised a questioning eyebrow, wandering off to the stove. He sucked in a breath, trying to forget he was never allowed to use the stove, and turned the burner on. He wasn't quite sure how to use it, so he just spun the dial so the electric burners looked bright red and hot.
He went in the fridge, and the first cookable thing that caught his eye was his father's never-ending stash of bacon behind the orange juice. Kurt grabbed a pack, ripping the plastic open and throwing a few on the pan left on the burner from last night's dinner. He pushed them around with a fork like he saw Daddy do on Saturday mornings for Kurt.
The man snagged a dish towel of the counter next to Kurt, causing him to spin around at the sudden movement. The man smiled, and Kurt dismissed it, looking back to his bacon. He ruffled his hair with the dish towel to dry it, looking rather excited.
"Bacon," He exclaimed, pulling out a seat on the table and plopping in it. Kurt left the bacon cooking while he got the man a fancy plate and silverware. He'd played kitchen before with Daddy, so he knew how to serve him. He set down the plate in front of the man, and Kurt smiled for the first time tonight, standing straight and tall while he announced like the waiters in a real restaurant, "Your order will be right up."
Kurt wished he had an apron to put around his Spiderman pajamas so it would look even more real. Kurt was absolutely elated: he barely ever got to play kitchen with Daddy anymore, and when he did, Daddy would never let him use the real stove, only the plastic, fake one in the basement and Daddy would have to pretend to eat the plastic ice cream, making unrealistic 'nom, nom, nom' noises.
Kurt picked up each piece of bacon into his hand with a huge oven mitt over it, and dumped it on the man's fancy blue plate.
He ate, smiling for a moment as he chewed, and Kurt giggled a bit, like he'd finally done it, like he'd made the best food in the whole world, so he had to love it.
That only lasted a moment before he opened his mouth, gagging at the chewed up bacon inside his mouth. Kurt's smile fell, but he knew that it was bound to happen deep down. He spat it onto the plate, looking at Kurt from where he had sat himself on the opposite side of the table, "Bacon. That's bacon. Are you trying to poison me?"
Kurt looked at him, just as questioning him in a similar way this man did to him. He'd asked for it. Gosh.
Kurt tried again, grabbing a can of beans out of the cupboard. He dumped them into the pan, stirring them around. The man leaned on the counter next to him, holding his chin up with a hand. "Ahh, you see? Beans." He said like they were only the best thing in the world.
Once again, the process was repeated, Kurt taking the pan and dumping the soupy substance onto the plate, where it almost overflowed. Kurt didn't dare smile yet.
He got up from his seat after only seconds, ran to the sink, leaned over and spat the mouthful of beans into the clean sink. Kurt looked revolted, and the man looked up from the sink, muttering in Kurt's direction, "Beans are evil. Bad, bad beans."
Kurt took a simpler approach, grabbing a piece of bread and a container of butter, sitting down the opposite side of the man at the table, smearing butter all over the bread.
"Bread and butter. Now you're talking." He said, nodding.
Kurt slid the plate across the table, biting his fragile lip, waiting for the man's judgment he was coming to expect.
The man took a single bite of the innocent bread, and Kurt could barely even find the time to get out of the chair before the man had ran back to the door and flung the bread across the yard, shouting, "And stay out!"
Kurt frowned as the man came stomping back inside. He paced back and forth across the room, looking rather anxious for the circumstances. Kurt opened the fridge obediently.
"I've got carrots." Kurt offered, looking around the fridge.
"Carrots?" He shouted, stopping his pacing for a quick second. "Are you insane?"
Kurt looked back to the fridge, sighing, "Celery and peanut butter..?", before the man shouted, "No! Wait, I know what I need. I need…" The man pushed Kurt out of the way and started rummaging trough Kurt's freezer. There was no way this man was going to take his Popsicles, if that was his idea.
"I need… fish fingers and… custard." He said, holding the two things he'd grabbed out for Kurt to see. He closed the doors enthusiastically, dropping the two things on the counter.
"They're call fish sticks." Kurt corrected. "Fish sticks, not fingers. Fish don't have fingers."
The man looked at Kurt questioningly. "And who said fish don't have fingers?"
Kurt didn't object, watching the man grab a bowl out of the cupboard himself and dumping the entire bottle of custard into a big clear bowl, putting the entire box of fish sticks into the microwave, and paying no real attention to what he was doing, pushed four minutes like that sounded like a good time. Kurt watched silently as the man did so, and helped carry the big bowl of custard to the table while the man pulled the box of fish sticks out; cringing at the burning paper box that presumably burnt his fingers.
Kurt looked back at the freezer, an idea still stuck in his head, and while the man sat down at the table, Kurt pulled a grape Popsicle of the freezer and happily stuck it in his mouth.
They both sat favorably at opposite ends of the table, Kurt not even bothering to show his disgust towards the hideous snack he was watching this insane man consume. It was only when he picked up the bowl of custard and began to drink from it did Kurt raise an eyebrow. He put it down a moment afterwords, the glass bowl hitting the table with a 'thunk,' wiping away a yellow mustache with the back of his hand.
"Funny." Kurt said. He wasn't quite sure why. The entire situation was just as so, might as well throw the word out there, too.
"Why? Funny. Funny's good." He said like he was having an argument with himself. He trailed off, though, in a quick moment. "What's your name?"
"Delilah Bell." Kurt announced proudly, even though his father told him not to make things up.
"That's a brilliant name." He said, "Delilah Bell," He sounded it out, stretching the word, "Sounds like a name from a fairy tale."
Kurt smiled. When he told his daddy that was his name, he had frowned and scolded him. He'd said that Delilah was a girls' name. He'd gotten almost angry with Kurt. But Kurt didn't want to be Kurt Hummel. Kurt Hummel was a dry, bland name, and it made him think of dead grass and his father's garage. Kurt didn't want to be dead grass and Daddy's garage. Sure, his Daddy was his was a lot like that, he always smelt like his cars and after Mommy died, he certainly resembled dead grass at times. But Kurt loved his Daddy, regardless, and wouldn't want Daddy any other way. But Kurt couldn't be like that. When people heard about Kurt Hummel, he wanted people to think of fairy tales and stage lights, and Kurt Hummel wasn't a fairy-tales-and-stage-lights kind of name. Delilah Bell was, and it would always be his preferred name. Maybe someday he could change his name, but Daddy might get mad.
"Are we in America, Delilah?" He asked, waving around a fish stick melting thick yellow custard.
"Yes." Kurt answered with a bit of an of-course tone to his voice. "Lima, Ohio, America. But I'm not going to be here long. Someday I'm going to be in New York. That's where Broadway is, did you know that?"
"So, what about your mum and dad, then? Are they upstairs?" He asked, eyeballing the ceiling. "I thought we would have woken them by now."
"I don't have a 'mum.'" Kurt whispered sorrowfully at the table, trying to mimicking the man's accent. "Just a daddy."
"I don't even have a dad." The man said, and he didn't look too disappointed about that.
"Wow…" Kurt whispered. No dad, no mom. At all. That would be terrible.
There was a moment of silence, or at least no talking. The room was filled with the echoes of the man's loud chomps on the fish stick. "So your dad, where's he?"
"He's asleep. He takes Nyquil to get rid of his headaches and usually doesn't get up till noon. He's a very deep sleeper, 'specially when he has Nyquil in him." Kurt mumbled, shoving the Popsicle in his cheeks.
"So you just wander about all night?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'm not scared," Kurt protested, crossing his arms over his chest defensively as though the man was implying he was so. But after a moment he resumed sucking on the Popsicle and went back to being a baby again.
"Of course you're not! You're not scared of anything! Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of the box, and man eats fish custard." He said, gesturing at Kurt with his flimsy fish stick, biting off the end as he spoke with his mouth full, "And look at you. Just sitting there. Do you know what I think?"
"What?" Kurt asked, taking the Popsicle out of his mouth.
"Must be a hell of a scary crack in your wall."
Kurt pulled him down the stairs, his tiny hand wrapped firmly around his wrist. "It's down here. This is my room."
The man nodded. "Beautiful room, it is."
Kurt shook his head up and down fiercely. "I know. I picked the color myself."
They stood in the room, the open door to the stairs behind them. The walls were tall, pastel green that had been his favorite color two months ago when his father painted it. The bright white rug was spotless, all except for a bit of dirt across the room where Kurt's window was at. The room deeply contrasted between paper dress-up dolls, coloring books, thick fairy tales and action figures, plastic dinosaurs, and Batman sheets on his bed. Kurt was sort of elated he'd been around this man for so long, even showed him his room, and he hadn't snickered and called him a girl. All the boys at school did that, and once even his father's friend, who wasn't his father's friend much longer after that happened. But Kurt new even his dad thought Kurt was girly sometimes, that was why he gave him Spiderman pajamas and Batman sheets and play dinosaurs he didn't want. Kurt didn't understand why boys have to be boyish and girls have to be girlish- why can't everyone just be? Why do they have to be told what they are, why can't they just be what they are? But this strange man, he walked into Kurt's room and didn't call him girly, didn't call his boyish, just let him be Kurt- or better yet, Delilah Bell.
"This is it," Kurt announced, running to the wall and patting the space above a light blue dresser covered in various crayons and below a long crack in the wall. Kurt backed away; holding his hands behind his back and watching the man do his job.
He stroked the crack with a finger, "We got some cowboys in here."
Kurt gave him a funny look, tilting his head in curious confusion before the man turned to him. "Not actual cowboys. Though, that can happen."
"I used to hate apples." Kurt started; pulling a plump red apple from behind his back, figuring now would be the best time, if ever. "But my mommy put faces on them, and I like 'em a lot more now."
He walked forward, placing the apple in the man's hand, admiring his own work. While the man was still distracted with his fish 'fingers' and custard, Kurt had taken a plastic butter knife and cut out a delicate face on the last apple in the fridge. Of course, it was a bit too juicy to make a perfect art project, but aside from being terribly sticky, it had two beautiful big eyes and long mouth. Kurt beamed as the man tossed it in the air before shoving it into his big pocket and saying, "Sounds good, your mum. I'll keep it for later."
In all honesty, Kurt was a bit disappointed by his reaction. Maybe he just really didn't like apples. Or maybe he didn't like Kurt's face.
The man turned back to the crack, dismissing Kurt, who only stood back and let the man do his job once again. "This wall is solid and the crack doesn't go all the way through it." The man observed. "So here's the thing- where's the draft coming from?"
Kurt stood still, deciding it was no time for him to interfere. He watched the man wave a little metal stick over the crack, lighting up blue at the end. Kurt couldn't help but wonder if it was a magic wand. If this man could sparkle and had a flying blue box, why couldn't he have a magic wand?
He read the wand, and whatever he was reading, Kurt could quite see. A tiny screen, maybe? "Blimey, you know what that crack is?"
"What?" Kurt asked. He felt like reminding the man his name was Delilah now, not Blimey. What kind of name was that?
"It's a crack," The man said, all too dramatically to be taken seriously. Of course it was a crack!
Kurt looked back at this crazy crack, watching the man rush towards it and run his hand along it. It was almost glowing red-orange, like always. That crimson color scared Kurt, it wasn't meant for this room. No foreign, scary color like that belonged anywhere near Kurt's life.
"But I tell you something funny. If you knock this wall down, the crack will stay put because the crack isn't in the wall," He explained, stroking the crack with his pointer finger again, like he couldn't keep himself away.
"Where is it then?" Kurt muttered.
"Everywhere and everything. It's in the skin of the world, two parts of space and time that should never of touched, pressed together, right here, in the wall of your bedroom." He explained like this was some great phenomenon. It wasn't like Kurt found this normal, though. He was a bit shaken. It all sounded unreal. Sure, the most fantastical thing Kurt had ever witnessed was a typical show of Barney on Wednesday afternoon with a lime Popsicle, but the annoying little voice in the back of his head was telling him this was a crazy man in front of him, that what he was describing was impossible, and maybe that this crack was only normal and he was overreacting.
"Sometimes- can you hear-?" He started, pressing his ear to the crack.
"A voice? Yes." Kurt finished. He hated remembering it: sitting upright in his bed in the dark, trying to make out what the mysterious voice was saying while Batman stared at him through his sheets.
The man pressed the side of his face harder, struggling to make out the voice just like Kurt had at first. He gave up, though, and grabbed a glass cup off Kurt's nightstand, dumping the water out shamelessly on the floor.
He put the glass to the crack, putting his ear to that. "Prisoner Zero-" He began.
"-has escaped. Prisoner Zero had escaped. That's what I heard. What does it mean?" Kurt asked, rubbing his sweaty palms on his fleece pants, trying to hide his fear.
"It means, that on the other side of this wall, there's a prisoner. And they've lost a prisoner. And you know what that means?" He said.
"What?" Kurt asked, breathless despite not moving an inch.
"You need a better wall." He stated obviously. Kurt jumped out of the way as the man picked up the pastel blue dresser and moved it aside, crayons rolling off the top and onto the floor.
"The only way to close it is to open it all the way. The forces will revert, and it will snap itself shut, or…" He said, stretching out the last word so it deserved a dramatic dot-dot-dot afterwords. Kurt could even see those dramatic and suspenseful dots looming invisibly in the air. He put down the dresser with a bit of a thud, crayons that hadn't already fallen jumping off.
" Or what?" Kurt insisted, growing annoyed with this man's suspense, even though the worry he was feeling was overthrowing annoyance like it nothing.
"You know when grown-ups tell you everything is going to be fine and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?" He asked, looking at Kurt almost regretfully.
"Yes." Kurt whispered, like it was a forbidden topic to stray. Plus he was growing a bit to weary to make his voice very big.
"Everything is going to be fine."
The man stretched out a hand, and Kurt took it. He pointed his wand at the crack, the buzzing filling the silence in the room. Kurt stood behind him, allowing the man to separate Kurt and the crack he didn't want to be around him.
Kurt peered from behind the man's legs innocently, instantly regretting what he was seeing. He staggered back, not letting go of the man's hand as the wall opened up like a mouth, lighting up all too bright before it welcomed the ominous darkness behind it.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped." The darkness announced, the monotone voice as familiar as ever, only more amplified.
The man walked forward, and Kurt stayed put, hesitantly allowing his hand to slip away from the man's, bringing his own to his face to hide himself from the thing in a hideous and pitiful attempt.
"Prisoner Zero has escaped." It echoed itself.
"Hello? Hello…" The man asked emptiness.
They both jumped back a bit, Kurt more than him, when the giant blue eye filled the void of darkness, not connected to anything, just there. Kurt sat down on the floor before his small legs could give way. His eyes went wide, and he couldn't rip them away as he stared.
"What- what's that?" Kurt mumbled, wishing to the moon and back that he could feel the warming comfort of that man's hand again.
His question was left unanswered. But it only loomed in the room for a moment before the crack snapped shut, a light flying across the room like a bullet as it did so. They floating eye looked around frantically before the wall and the crack resumed to its normal self.
"There! See, I told you it'd close. Good as new." He said, gesturing to now-closed wall as he sat on Kurt's bed.
"What's that thing? Was that… was that Prisoner Zero?" Kurt asked, picking himself up from the floor he sat on slowly, his eyelids not able not relax as they continued to stay far too wide open.
"No. I think that was Prisoner Zero's guard. Whatever it was, it sent me a message. Physic paper." He said, waving a little pad in the air. Kurt didn't say anything about how he didn't know what 'physic' meant. "It takes a lovely little message," He explained, his eyes narrowing as he read it. "'Prisoner Zero has escaped.' But why tell us? Unless…" He trailed off, thinking, standing up from the bed.
"Unless what?" Kurt insisted, tired of this man's suspense games or inability to finish a sentence.
"Unless Prisoner Zero escaped through here. But he couldn't have, we'd know…" He decided. He thought for only a second before he darted off, running out the door and into hallway by the staircase. Kurt followed after him.
"It's difficult. Blimey, nothing works yet, but there's something I'm missing." He complained. "In the corner of my eye…" He whispered, turning his head around dramatically slow.
He stared behind him at the wall like something was wrong, only lasting a moment before something started booming, making noise like a gong.
"No, no, no!" He yelled, running down the hall and up the stairs, Kurt following close behind, confused.
He dashed out the door like it was a great race, and Kurt was feeling his breath fall short as he ran, almost tripping over his bare feet as he ran.
"I've got to get back in there!" He shouted as he ran through the front yard, hopping over tree-house debris. "The engines are phasing!"
The man knelt down, frantically picking up his rope. "It's just a box!" Kurt shouted. "How can a box have engines?"
"It's not a box," He explained. "It's a time machine."
"What?" Kurt asked. "A time machine? Those aren't real! Those are only in story books!" He protested.
"Won't be real for much longer if we can't get it stabilized." He responded. "Five minute hop into the future should do it." He contemplated, tossing the rope into box.
Kurt looked at the box, the box that had fallen out of the sky and had a swimming pool and a library. He smiled hopefully. "Can... can I come?"
"Not yet, five minutes. Give me five minutes, I'll be right back." He shouted, sitting on the side of the box, getting ready to jump. Kurt couldn't let him go, he couldn't.
"People always say that." He stated, and it was true. His mom had said that. Then she never came back.
He looked back to Kurt, hopping off the side of the box, walking to Kurt and bending to his level. "Am I people?" He asked. "Do I even look like people?"
Kurt looked at him, and he felt tears prick his eyes. This man couldn't leave him, but he looked like one to trust. He looked like he'd been through more than just magic adventures, like he was one to trust and he knew what it was like to be betrayed. He looked sincere, and Kurt accepted that. But his mom had looked sincere enough when she'd said that to Kurt…
"Trust me." He said, putting a hand on Kurt's shoulder and squeezing it. "I'm the Doctor."
Kurt felt a smile escape his tight lips. The man saw this, let go, and went back to his box. He sat on the side, and before he jumped, he smirked at Kurt and said, "Five minutes."
He watched the big blue box fade in and out into thin air, making a loud noise before it finally diminished. He ran to the door that was wide open, speeding to get his things. After this, the Doctor would come back, he'd take Kurt into his box and they'd fly away or whatever that box did. He'd hold Kurt's hand, he'd show him amazing things, and he wouldn't give him Batman sheets he didn't want or action figures when he wanted dolls. This man didn't even care about what he liked or what he did. He'd call him Delilah and then they'd go to a long, long time ago in the time machine when there where princesses and queens and kings, and then Kurt would be a prince or a king, and he'd wear big fancy clothes and everyone would love him, and they'd throw him balls and parties and put on big plays for him, and sometimes he'd even get to be the star of the play, and everyone would admire his singing voice and love his acting, and not give him a tiny role in the school play just because he wanted the girl part. In fact, they'd let him play the girl parts and they'd love it even more then when he did the boy parts. Everyone would want to be like the fancy and beautiful prince, Delilah Bell, and he'd live every fairy tale, except he'd be the prince instead of the princess. He didn't mind if he still had to have a Prince Charming instead of a princess. Princess Charming didn't even sound right. And nobody would think anything of a prince and a prince, they'd love it just as much as a princess and a prince.
Kurt smiled. He loved this idea. He tossed his clothes into his school backpack, taking out the stray papers and books he wouldn't need in fairy tale land. Kurt Hummel might have to go to school, but Delilah Bell wouldn't have to.
He hummed to himself, those happy songs he heard on the radio. He shoved his vests, his jeans, his favorite bowtie, a bottle of spray conditioner, and an old raggedy teddy bear into the bag. He stripped of his pajamas, shoving those inside the bag and put on more fancy clothes: a button up gray shirt, a dark green tie of his father's, and black dress pants. He combed through his hair, but rushed. He seemed somewhat appropriate looking for a prince. He ran downstairs, his bag slung over one shoulder, and ran up the stairs, back out the door, and sat on a log, patiently waiting with his back straight.
For ten minutes, he sat like that. He forced a smile on his faced to wipe away the worry, reminding himself he was just running a tad late. He crossed his legs, leaned against a tree and sighed, squeezing his backpack to his chest.
An hour later, when the sun started peeking through the trees, the first worried tear fell down Kurt's cheek. He brushed it away with the back of his hand, but others followed. He put his backpack on the ground, patted it down and leaned on it, telling himself that the Doctor would wake him up when he got here.
Kurt would have fallen asleep immediately; he hadn't gotten a bit of sleep all night. But the sky roared in protest, a loud clap of thunder echoing in the early morning. He sniffled back hysterics when water droplets began to fall.
It wasn't long, only twenty minutes, before he was fast asleep, even in the rain. He was tired, and he wasn't quite ready to deal with his father's personality or another school day, only where the boys would step on his heels in line and snicker, where they'd call him a girl and no one would stick up for him, even though the teacher said that was what you were supposed to do when you saw someone get bullied.
He didn't dream of fairy tales when he fell asleep, only the realistic nightmares of another day of living life with bigger boys pushing him around.
"Kurt? Kurt, why are you out here in the rain? What happened to the tree house?" A voice hissed, and Kurt's eyes fluttered open only to see his father's face in front of him, his typical baseball cap and early-age wrinkles included.
"Is he here?" Kurt wondered aloud, sitting straight up, faster than he should of, being still half asleep and he got a little dizzy.
"Is who here? Kurt, are you alright? Let's go inside," Daddy said, putting his hand on Kurt's back and pushing him into the house. Kurt's eyes strayed the area, and he noticed everything was wet, and then that the water was coming from the sky, and then that his father had an umbrella over him and that's why he couldn't feel it, and then that he was soaking wet in only thin dress clothes.
Kurt didn't respond to his father's question. Not only was he preoccupied with thoughts of the night before, but it wasn't really his father's business.
"Kurt, its noon, why didn't you catch the bus?" He pestered, pulling Kurt into the house.
"I sat on the log outside for a moment," Kurt lied in monotone, abnormally good at lying for a six year old. "And fell asleep. Sorry."
"Kurt, you scared me!" Burt complained, bringing Kurt into the kitchen.
"Sorry." Kurt repeated, looking at his hands while his father sat him down at the table. His breath caught when he saw the empty bowl of custard in front of him.
"And what is all this mess?" He shouted, grabbing something out of the cupboard while he threw his arms around. Kurt merely glimpsed at the many half empty bowls on the counter, the mess of spat-out yoghurt and apple on the floor. "Were you up all night, doing this? And Kurt, you left the burner on! Not only could you of set the house on fire, but my gas bill is going to go through the roof!"
"Sorry." Kurt said, again. He didn't know if he meant it or not, he didn't regret doing any of this, but he didn't want to see his father upset, either.
"Just, please, don't do it again, Kurt." His father pleaded, lifting up Kurt's head up in his hand, holding a spoonful of purple medicine in the other hand.
"I won't." Kurt whispered, putting his mouth obediently over the spoon, feeling the ugly black licorice taste on his tongue. And it was a promise.
Because whoever the Doctor was, he must have just been all a dream.