A/N: Hi! So, this story is basically a collection of (mostly chronological) Klaine drabbles, each inspired by a different Taylor Swift lyric. I realize that I am probably the millionth person to try my hand at telling Kurt and Blaine's story, but I was listening to Taylor the other day and realized that pretty much every other line made me think think of them, so I decided to indulge myself and give it a shot. This first chapter is pretty heavy, but I thought it was the best way to set up their relationship and explain the kind of connection they have. But after this there will be lots of fluff and Klainebows (with a bit of angst as well), I swear! So I hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think.

"Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess" – Love Story

He hadn't even seen it coming. He was too busy screaming, too high on the feeling of finally fighting back. The rage had been festering inside of him for months, and now the words were spewing from his mouth like venom. He heard the threats, saw the fist shaking threateningly in his face, but he couldn't stop himself.

He should have seen it coming. He was too busy enjoying himself, too high on the thought that maybe this wasn't going to be as bad as he thought, maybe people would just leave him alone. The dance had gone so much better than he had expected. He should have known that they were only saving it for this.

There were hands on his face before he knew what was happening. Rough, foreign hands that scraped against the skin of his cheeks, and he was being dragged forward against his will. There was sloppy-joe breath on his face and in his nostrils and he wanted to pull away but he wasn't strong enough. His stomach twisted when he realized what was about to happen.

He knew what was going to happen before he felt the hands close around his arms. He'd heard the heavy footsteps, recognized the low voices even though he couldn't see them in the dark. There was hot, spiked-punch breath on his cheek, and the word "faggot" hissed through the blackness, burrowing in his ear. His stomach clenched when he realized there was nothing he could do to stop this from happening.

Lips were pressed against his, unwelcome and unrelenting. A tongue tried to pry his mouth open, but he kept it shut, clinging to this single shred of control. The hands were clutching his face so tightly that he was sure his jaw would be bruised. He was vaguely aware that this was supposed to be a kiss, but it didn't feel like that at all. It felt like an assault.

Fists were falling everywhere, vicious and unrelenting. They were shouting insults and slurs at him, trying to provoke a response, but he kept his mouth shut tight – he wouldn't give them that satisfaction. A balled up hand connected with his jaw, and he knew that the bruises would be there for weeks, a reminder of this night every time he looked in the mirror. He assumed that this would be referred to as an assault, but it didn't feel like that. It felt like ignorance and intolerance and cold, cruel hatred.

When the hands finally released him, he was too shocked to know how to react. His own hands came to his rescue without him even directing them too, pressing against Karofsky's chest to deflect the second advance before rising to hover protectively over his mouth. He stumbled back against the lockers as Karofsky fled the scene. The cool metal was oddly reassuring against his back, something solid in a world that had just turned upside down. He was breathing heavily, and he wondered whether he was going to vomit.

When the hands finally released him, he was too dizzy to even think about fighting back. His own hands, rather than throwing punches of his own, curled protectively over his injured stomach. He collapsed on to the sidewalk as his attackers fled the scene, secure in the anonymity provided by the darkness. The pavement felt strangely reassuring against his back, something solid in a world that was spinning. His breath came in short gasps, and he rolled on to his side and vomited.

He felt violated. He felt dirty and disgusting and tainted, like he shouldn't be allowed to kiss other people now that his lips had touched Karofsky's. Would all of his kisses be taken without his consent? Was that what he had to expect out of life? To be used as an object by men too afraid to acknowledge the truth about themselves? He wondered how long it would take for that kind of life to destroy him.

He felt humiliated. He felt weak and pathetic and useless, like he shouldn't be allowed to look other people in the eye now that he had proven completely incapable of defending himself. Would he always be the helpless victim? Was that what he had to look forward to? A lifetime of harassment and violence and being punished for something that had never been his choice in the first place? He wondered how long he would last in a life like that.

He needed to talk to someone who understood. Someone who knew about the shame and the fear, the aching loneliness and that terrifying feeling of being utterly helpless. Someone who could reassure him that yes, it can get better. It will get better. Being gay doesn't have to mean being unhappy. He hadn't known such a person last week, but now the name sprang to his mind like a light going on in the dark. He needed Blaine.

He wished that he could talk to someone who understood. Someone who knew what it was like to feel this alone, who had also been paralyzed by that horrible, nagging thought, the one that only managed to wiggle its way into his brain during times as dark as these – what if it never gets better? What if being gay simply means being unhappy? He didn't know such a person yet, and he wouldn't for another two years. But the idea that he might find someone like that someday sparked a faint glimmer of hope in the darkness. He didn't know it yet, of course, but he needed Kurt.

A/N: Just to clarify, this is bouncing back and forth between Kurt getting kissed by Karofsky and Blaine getting beaten up at the Sadie Hawkins dance. I realize his friend got beaten up too, but I really wanted to focus on Blaine's experience, because I feel like it establishes a foundation for his relationship with Kurt before they've even met. Or at least, that's what I was trying to convey in this story.

Thanks for reading, and please stay tuned, because there's LOTS more to come!