Title: Closed Off (1/?)
Rating: PG-13 (rating will go up, most likely)
Previous Chapter: -
Next Chapter: N/A
Chapter One: -
Chapter Word Count: 3, 900
Summary: Ever since his mother's death, Kurt Hummel hasn't been able to sleep at night and shut the rest of the world out, just trying to forget everything. Yet, when a mysterious boy with hazel eyes moves into town everything becomes harder to avoid. Klaine AU
Author's Note: I really should stop starting new stories, should I? I can't really help myself, though, since I can't find the inspiration to write for any of my other stories right now, and that fact is driving me absolutely insane. I'll try to finish this particular story, though, but we'll see what happens... I'll finish the other ones eventually. I think.
It all started when Kurt Hummel was only eight years old, a child who was supposed to be innocent to the pains of the real world, who was supposed to be constantly led away from the darkness that lingered, waiting to taint his purity when he was older. Of course, the way he remembers it when he actually lies there and attempt to remind himself how he got there, he tries to make himself believe that this all stemmed later in his life, at a more appropriate age, but he knew that it really didn't.
Kurt Elizabeth Hummel's life was turned upside down the day that his mother died in a car accident. He could remember that day almost perfectly, though he constantly tried not to for the sake of his sanity.
He could remember lying in bed late at night, staring at the ceiling and waiting for his mother to come home, because she had left shortly after dinner to go get him something for school—it always took him a few moments to remember what, exactly, she had been going to get him, but glitter would pop into his head quickly enough—or maybe just for his own personal enjoyment. Either one was entirely plausible.
It had been long after midnight, but still before four in the morning, when he heard a car pull up in front of their house, and he had jumped off of his bed quickly, running over to his window as quickly as his short legs could take him. He had scrambled up onto the windowsill and opened the curtain, hoping to see his mother walking up the front walk to the door—only to see a policeman there, instead. Kurt's young mind couldn't comprehend what, exactly, was going on, and he just walked back to his bed slowly, crawling back under the covers and continuing to stare at the ceiling sadly.
Faintly, he heard the doorbell ring, and his first impulse was to get out of bed to answer the door, but he stayed where he was as the familiar ring sounded through the house once… twice… four times. Then, and only then, he heard his father grumbling sleepily and dragging his feet past his son's room. For a few long moments, Kurt laid there in his silent room, before turning onto his side and glancing at his clock. 3:37 was the time that it showed to him, and he watched the clock, hearing voices talking downstairs.
Roughly twenty seconds after the seven became an eight, Kurt started to hear his father, the strong, proud Burt Hummel, start crying, and a shiver ran up his spine and he sat up abruptly, his ears twitching a little bit, and he listened harder, trying to figure out what was going on. His father never cried. Actually, adults weren't supposed to cry, as far as he was concerned, and he heard more muffled words, but he couldn't really make out much.
After a few minutes, Kurt heard the door closing and his father coming back up the stairs, and he fell back onto the bed, turning away from the door and closing his eyes, trying to make it seem like he had been sleeping the entire time. His father's footsteps got louder and heavier as he neared the young boy's room and Kurt reminded himself mentally to start taking deeper breaths until his father passed… but the footfalls stopped outside of his door, instead, and his door was pushed open slowly.
Burt walked towards his son's bed, and sat down on the edge of it, reaching over and running his finger's through Kurt's hair slowly… the small boy figured that the motion could be perceived as enough to wake him, so he turned over and blinked his eyes open, trying to seem tired even though he honestly didn't feel tired. He had yawned, trying to keep up the charade, and rubbed his eyes, glancing up at his father. His chest tightened when he saw tear tracks running down the man's face, shinning in the moonlight, "… Daddy?" he asked, his voice small and thick.
His father swallowed slowly, and took a deep breath, and his mouth opened and closed a few times, as if he were a fish out of water. "Kurt… son…" he whispered brokenly, and a small frown pulled at the boy's face—Kurt could remember what he thought at that moment: Mommy says that frowning his bad for you, but…—and he scooted towards his dad. "… Your mother… passed away, earlier, in a car accident… when she was on her way home."
"… What?" he asked, his voice even smaller and quieter than before, though it was definitely clearer. It took a few long moments for everything to process in his mind. For him to be able to think about the words mother and passed away in the same sentence… and slowly, but surely, tears formed in his eyes as he understood what, exactly, had happened, even though he was only eight. At that point, he crawled into his father's lap and cried—sobbed, really—clinging to his oversized shirt as they simply cried together, trying to hold on to reality while at the same time just trying to pretend that the pain wasn't real… well, at least Kurt was doing that.
The next day he didn't go to school, and instead slept in his bed, the exhaustion finally washing over him around five in the morning, when his father laid his back down and kissed his forehead. He could hear the truck starting up and he faintly knew that Burt was going to the hospital.
The next night, he didn't sleep again. The denial set in and he laid there, waiting for his mother to come home even though he knew somewhere in his mind that she wasn't coming back no matter how long he stayed up, waiting for her. He didn't sleep for two weeks straight, not even after they buried his mother's casket, and after a while he actually started trying to sleep, but his small body had become accustomed to not falling asleep until close to five, and he couldn't until then.
Every night, he laid in bed quietly as his father slept a few rooms over, and every night he fell asleep around five, only to be woken up at seven because he had to go to school. Soon enough, he no longer even felt tired from the two hours of sleep that he got, and his body got used to it. Of course, his father never figured it out, since he was a deep sleeper, sleeping even when Kurt crept down the stairs, trying to avoid making any noise even though he still did, to make himself a small snack.
Years passed and through the transition from elementary school to middle school, from being a child to being a teenager, from middle school to high school, Kurt's sleeping patterns didn't change, despite the fact that he came more aware that the amount of sleep he was getting was extremely unhealthy for him. Really, though, he didn't actually care, because he could still function and go to school and get good grades.
Most of the time, when he got home from school as he grew, he took a nap on his bed to regain energy even though something in his mind told him that he really should just push through everything and do his homework so he could actually start sleeping like a normal person, but that never happened. By eighth grade he had fallen into a pattern: go to school, come home, fall asleep, get up, make dinner, eat dinner with his father, watch TV and/or read a magazine, do homework, and stay up all night. It was like someone else was controlling all of his movements and actions.
Yet, Kurt really couldn't bring himself to care.
By the time he was a teenager, he had even started sneaking out of the house after his father had fallen asleep, only sometimes, just to be able to have something to do other than lie around his room checking over his homework again and again and designing idly even though he had basically no inspiration. Sometimes he'd just wander around silently and other times he would go to the park and swing a little bit, getting lost in the back and forth motion until he became acutely aware that he was getting tired.
Nothing ever changed, and he was okay with that.
Halfway through his junior year, though, everything did start to change. It was almost unnoticeable at first, but there was a definite shift in his life.
A new family had moved into town, and everyone was talking about them, chattering and gossiping—almost everyone in Lima were rather big gossips, and news traveled fast. The fact that a new family was moving in was pretty significant, since Lima was that kind of town where families had lived there for generations and getting new people was rather weird. At the same time, only a year before, another new family had moved in: the Evans. Sam Evans was kind of one of Kurt's friends, though they weren't exactly close—actually, Sam was closer friends to Kurt's stepbrother, Finn Hudson, but that was an entirely different story all together. The fact that another family was moving in so soon was a slight shock to everyone.
After a few days of everyone talking about the new family moving in, Kurt seemed outwardly unaffected by the news, even though all of his friends were talking about it almost endlessly. Really, he was mainly bored by all of it, because he just didn't care. It was just another family, to him, and it wasn't like they would change anything about his life. Sure he was a little curious, but everyone was. It wasn't like he was about to start gossiping about them like a lot of other people.
Yes, Kurt was, admittedly, just as much as a gossip as everyone else in his small town was, but it was getting a little bit annoying, the amount of people still talking about the same thing. It was like nothing else at least slightly interesting was happening.
Well, then again, it was Lima.
It was a week after the news had spread when Kurt had woken up after his standard two hours of sleep after he had sat in the park, even though it was January and absolutely freezing outside, and slid out of bed as he normally did, shivering at the cold that touched his pale skin almost immediately, even though he was wearing long sleeved pajamas. It probably had something to do that they were also silk, but whatever.
He went through his normal morning routine that consisted of taking a shower and getting dressed (that day, he chose to wear a pair of skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, and his tight white jacket that people sometimes teasingly told him looked like a bondage jacket paired with his favorite black boots) and doing his hair as carefully as possible. Kurt had walked down the stairs quietly after stepping into his stepbrother's room to wake him up, due to the minor fact that Finn had an awful habit of sleeping in far too much, to find his stepmother Carole standing at the stove in her work clothes.
"Morning," he greeted her, walking over to the refrigerator and pulling the door open after grabbing a glass from the table.
Carole turned to him and absolutely beamed her standard, motherly hello smile, "Good morning, Kurt," she said cheerfully, turning back to the pan and mixing the scrambled eggs that were almost done cooking. "Did you sleep well last night?"
Kurt kind of found it humorous that she always asked him that when he came down stairs and got his usual glass of milk. He always had half the mind to say that he actually hadn't slept well the night before—not out of spite, of course not, he loved Carole because she was so, so sweet to him and everything, but because he did trust her. However, the simple lie of, "Yes, I did," slipped out of his lips far too easily for him to say much else.
The kind woman laughed softly and nodded, continuing to talk about something (Kurt was honestly only half listening, but still realized that she was talking about work) as she poured the pan of eggs out onto a plate that already had two pieces of toast on it, and Kurt reached for it easily, thanking her with a quick peck on the cheek as she continued to talk, only pausing to smile softly at Kurt once again.
He ate his breakfast with ease, and was halfway through when Finn came thundering down the stairs and ducked into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes sleepily and yawning unnecessarily loudly, causing Kurt to yawn a little bit. He grumbled a good morning, and Kurt returned it absentmindedly, continuing to eat his breakfast as the taller teenager hugged his mother and accepted his plate of food. Carole kissed the tops of both of their heads, bidding them a goodbye before grabbing her purse and leaving for work, letting her sons finish eating, reminding them both to have a good day.
So, Finn and Kurt ate in a mostly comfortable silence as they always did, since they really didn't have much to talk about seeing as they had practically nothing in common (Finn was a jock while Kurt… well, Kurt liked fashion and such things), before Kurt finished his plate and rinsed it carefully. He leaned down to set it in the dishwasher, hearing Finn stand up as well, since the guy seriously ate two times faster than Kurt did, doing similar movements that Kurt himself did, though he was a bit slower since he was still basically half asleep. They were off to school in no time after pulling on their thick winter coats, talking idly about basically nothing as Kurt drove them down the road and to their high school.
They bid each other good bye when Kurt parked in his usual parking spot, Finn going off to the other jocks of McKinley High School while Kurt joined his two best friends, Mercedes and Rachel, by Rachel's car and they walked slowly into school together. Kurt was mostly silent, listening to the two girls talk and inputting his personal thoughts every so often.
A while ago, the girls had asked why he was always so tired by the end of the school day, and Kurt had simply answered them "I didn't sleep well last night" and put more of an effort to seem energetic until he was in his car away from their curious stares. Finn was never curious enough to ask, and Kurt was glad for that. His father never figured it out, and neither did his stepmother. They never really knew much about Kurt, actually, apart from the most basic things that everyone knew about him.
Ever since that fateful night, Kurt hadn't let anyone in. Such a thing could be perceived as even more unhealthy than his extreme lack of sleep, but he always told himself that no one would understand, not even his father. Even Kurt himself hadn't understood his innermost thoughts and feelings because he stayed away from them, not wanting to know, even though that wouldn't make sense to any normal person. It made sense in his mind, though, to just let his mask of sarcasm and wit hide everything else from absolutely everyone, including himself.
"So, I hear we're getting a new student today," Rachel said excitedly, her brown eyes lighting up, apparently deciding to change the subject from dresses for the winter formal coming up to the sole thing practically everyone was talking about. Kurt had to force himself not to roll his eyes in exasperation, since both of his friends would have seen him clearly from his usual walking position between the two of them.
"Oh, girl, I know!" Mercedes said in return, nodding, "There hasn't been nearly enough information to figure out much, though. Apparently the family is keeping practically everything about themselves under wraps until their kid gets introduced formally in school. Even their new neighbors don't know much apart from the fact that there is only one kid around our age."
Rachel sighed, flipping her long brown hair briefly, "I know. I mean, when Sam's family moved here, we knew so much more about them before Sam was even introduced in school. I understand that the Evans moved here near the end of summer to we were all bound to know quite a bit about them but it's not like it's much to ask to at least know the new family's last name. Well, then again, we could always deduce from the fact that they moved into the biggest house in Lima that they're rather wealthy, but still."
In return, Mercedes shrugged a little bit, turning her head away for a moment. Kurt could tell that she was rolling her eyes because Rachel said so much in basically one breath, but he didn't mention anything about it. "Well, at least we'll know more about him by the end of today. Anyways, this is my hall, later guys," Mercedes said, waving, giving Kurt a quick, platonic kiss on the cheek, and walking down the hall that they were passing.
Rachel looked towards Kurt, her eyes bright and a grin on her face after bidding the other girl goodbye. She was looking at him expectantly, as if she were absolutely positive that he would have some input as to what the new family was like, and at that point Kurt really did roll his eyes.
He loved Rachel, he really did, but honestly. "You know I cannot care less about the new family. There wasn't this much excitement about the Evans when they moved here, and it's not like the new family is really that great, Rachel, it's not like they're famous. Unless they have a son who is extremely attractive, I'll continue not to care until it actually becomes directly important to my family or myself. Just calm down and this is your hall, I'll see you later darling." Kurt stated it all as calmly as possible, though he had basically told Rachel the same thing several different times (minus the goodbye), and he leaned over, pecking her on the cheek before continuing on his way down the hall, ignoring her quiet whining about his behavior as she turned down her hall.
Kurt turned into the hallway that his own locker was in soon after that, and spun the combination quickly, opening said locker and pulling his bag over his head to start organizing himself for the day. He took a quick glance at the clock when he was done and reached for his things for first period even though he had about ten or so minutes before he had to actually be in his classroom. It wasn't like there was anything for him to do besides stand there, anyways, since all of his friends had lockers rather far away from him. Plus, standing around idly would probably result in some annoying jock that wasn't as nice as Finn, Sam, Puck, or Mike passing by and bothering him by either taunting him, pushing him, or throwing something at him.
He still had a good four or so minutes to spare by the time he found himself getting ready for pre-calculus (Kurt always cursed the fact that he was stuck with the mundane class first thing in the morning) as other people filed in, talking to each other and laughing loudly. He tried to block out the intrusive noise and instead opted to check back over his homework, due to the fact that he sat alone at his table and he didn't share this class with any of his friends, regrettably. As always, he was eager for this class to end so he could get to English with Mercedes, because that class was clearly always more enjoyable.
The bell rung for class to start, and Kurt closed his notebook and straightened up in his chair, waiting for the teacher to start class. Mrs. Reynolds stood up as she normally did and smiled warmly at the class, saying good morning as everyone chimed it in return, as they normally did.
The door opened again after good mornings were said, and practically everyone looked around wildly, trying to figure out who was missing and who was there. Despite the kind smile and warm eyes, Mrs. Reynolds did not take well to students being late for her class, and whoever was late was going to get serious punishment.
Actually, most of the time, when a student was late for her class, they just opted not to show up, not wanting to face the wrath of the woman.
The door swung open, and everyone stared at the stranger that was standing there, wearing a loose pair of jeans that weren't too loose, but weren't too tight, a black and white stripped shirt and a red cardigan with a messenger bag hanging on one shoulder and a rather perfect smile on his face paired with somehow pretty brown (from where Kurt was sitting) eyes and curly black hair. Murmurs started floating through the class in no time, and Mrs. Reynolds' smile widened a little bit as she walked over to the teenager and ushered him inside of the classroom quickly.
Kurt couldn't stop staring at the teenager, even with people talking in low voices all around him, and suddenly he was once against interested in the new family. Maybe it was a little shallow—or a lot shallow—but damn, he didn't actually suspect the kid to be a guy and look like that…
But, as he continued staring, there was just something about him. It was something miniscule, something that you could only see if you were really staring at him like Kurt was. There was something in his smile and his eyes, that Kurt could see weren't just brown, but he couldn't figure too much out since he was still too far away, that seemed almost… distant, and sad. Like he was consciously trying to hide something, but wasn't exactly doing a perfectly thorough job at it. Maybe it was just the minor sleep deprivation, but it looked like something was there.
In first period pre-calculus a new student was introduced to the entire class. A new student who had stood at the front of the room, smiling politely at the sea of curious faces, his hair gelled at a side part that complimented his strong jaw while at the same time making him look practically like a 20s movie star, not looking nervous in the least. He actually appeared comfortable and natural, apart from the slight sadness that Kurt was sure that was in his expression, even if only slightly, as if he belonged there for some insane reason.
He introduced himself as Blaine Anderson.
Kurt committed the name to memory.