Author's Note: Hey there! So, my sister and I have been working on the first draft of a Dalton Reform Klainefic for a while. I'm very excited (and, to be honest, quite nervous) to share my new draft. The topics involved are a little heavier than I've written before, but I sincerely hope that I can pull them together tastefully for this story. I believe that, overall, this fic really does have a beautiful arc of a plotline and some great character metamorphosis… maybe you will agree. And, of course, I hope you all like it and leave any comments in reviews!

Due to the "teen" rating, I figure I should include a warning about what controversies will show up over the course of this story. It involves the use of homophobic insults and some verbally/physically abusive relationships. I may add other warnings later, depending on what this new draft turns into as I write. If you have any questions or concerns about this, feel free to let me know.

For those of you reading my other multi-chapter fic "All of These Puzzle Pieces," just be aware that I DO plan on continuing. Updates may take longer to post, due to the fact that I'll be attempting work on this story as well (and becoming increasingly busy in real life), but I will definitely be writing ATPP all the way through to the ending.

And, lastly, the plot summary. (Again, my sister gets half-credit for the content of this story's original draft. If you want to contact her, her Tumblr URL is on my profile.) Kurt is a volunteering student tutor at Dalton Reform School for Boys. He meets Blaine, a rebellious (and admittedly attractive) student, and is immediately intrigued by his mysterious ways. But is Blaine really the badboy that he portrays himself to be? Could there be more to his past than he is willing to confess? And is it possible that Kurt could be falling for him, in spite of everything?

I'm going to stop rambling in my AN now. Honestly, I will be extremely flattered if I hear that anyone actually went to the trouble of reading this whole thing. ;) So, without further ado, here is "Under Skin So Thick."

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the show Glee.

~Chapter 1: Swimming in Deep Waters~

Dalton Reform School for Boys, a looming, brick establishment hidden along the outskirts of Westerville, Ohio, seemed to have been strategically tucked away from the majority of the public eye. And for good reason, based upon the reputation of its students. No one messed with Dalton Reform boys.

Kurt Hummel, a new and wary volunteer tutor, maneuvered his car into the school parking lot and shuddered at the sight before him. It had been a warm, summerlike day that morning when he had left the house, but now the clouds hung dark and heavy overhead. Kurt climbed out of the car and pulled his designer, gray coat tighter around his body while the wind whipped forcefully at the tails of his scarf. It seemed to be trying to tug him in the opposite direction, back to the road and- beyond that- the comforts of home, where he should have been spending his Sunday morning.

Kurt swallowed dryly, trying not to think about the fact that he was about to walk into a minefield of barely-controllable juvenile delinquents. These students, Kurt had heard, were more than likely to be rugged, unpleasant, and frightening. And he was here to tutor them?

…What in the world had he been thinking?

Yes, signing up for this had come with the promise of enough class credit to free him of that god-awful gym class at McKinley. But… this? This was ridiculous, if not life-threatening. He couldn't go into that building. No way.

Kurt sighed, an unfortunate mental image of Azimio aiming a dodgeball at his face urging him dejectedly onward. Well, this was certainly turning out to be a lose-lose situation.

Inside, Kurt found himself in the main lobby, a drab-looking center for the posting of bulletins and notices, secured to aged corkboards and crudely graffiti-covered filing cabinets. In the corner, a gray-haired secretary sat at a student desk, scribbling notes into a manila folder. The nameplate at the head of her desk read Joanne Faust. Kurt approached her tentatively. "Um, hello," he murmured, trying to keep his tone even and pleasant.

Joanne looked up, eyeing him impassively. She smacked her gum loudly. "Name?" she croaked.

"Kurt Hummel. I'm… I'm a new tutoring volunteer," he offered.

The secretary muttered incomprehensibly under her breath, flipping to another page in her folder. "Yup," she confirmed, popping a blue-green bubble, and then dragging the deflated gum back into her mouth. "You'll be working in the Resources and Assistance room, across the hall from the cafeteria. Just look for the redhead- Mary- she'll tell you what to do."

Kurt nodded gratefully. "Okay," he replied, already hurrying away from Joanne and her irritable glare. "Thank you."

It didn't take Kurt more than a few minutes to realize that he was already lost, wandering the ancient halls without even the slightest indication as to where to find the cafeteria. The corridors were dimly-lit and eerily lonely; Kurt was sure he would scream if someone tried to sneak up behind him at this point. Thankfully, though, the first two people he came across were far from stealthy- in fact, Kurt was well aware of their presence in the hall long before they had even noticed him. Talking distractedly amongst one another, the two students meandered along until Kurt was barely a yard away. One of them, a bleach-blonde, lanky boy, looked up at him with unfriendly eyes.

Trying not to look too vulnerable, Kurt offered a brief, guarded glance and moved on.

"Hey!" the blonde called. "You new?"

Kurt stopped in his tracks. Crap. "I'm in a peer-tutoring program," he answered curtly, hoping that would be enough information to send the two on their way.

The other boy, the brunette, chuckled. "Bet you've never been to a school like this before, huh?" he mused. "Get lost yet?"

Biting his lip, Kurt decided that he had best not let down his defenses in front of them. "'Course not…" he muttered, trying his best to look indifferent.

The boy rolled his eyes in response. "Right," he answered, sounding far from convinced. "Well, good luck with that." Smirking, he turned and began walking again, the blonde at his side.

Kurt, feeling both relieved and annoyed at their unwillingness to help him, let out a quiet sigh and continued to walk in the opposite direction. "Well, isn't this just awesome," he grumbled to himself, turning a corner.

He stopped in his tracks.

There was a boy across the hall from him. He was leaning back against a classroom door, looking bored and rockstar-like in a thin white t-shirt and open leather jacket, a navy-and-red striped tie hanging loosely around his neck. The fact that he was wearing the school colors in such an awkward attempt at accessorizing should have been lame, and yet… combined with the dark, tousled head of curls and fitted black jeans, the boy looked somehow… attractive. Very attractive.

Feeling suddenly small and insignificant, Kurt gazed down at the floor and walked silently forward. Normally so capable of pulling off an air of confidence whenever necessary, his nerves already felt shaken to the bone and- quite frankly- he really didn't want another confrontation. Hoping not to draw any attention to himself, Kurt hurried along, until, with a loud clanging noise, he managed to bang his lowered head against an open locker door. It slammed shut, the sound reverberating through the empty hall.

Groaning internally, Kurt winced at the echo of a coughing laugh, like someone trying not to crack up at something that was just too funny to handle. Perfect.

"There's a locker there, you know," the observer commented dryly.

Kurt still couldn't bring himself to look at the dark-haired boy. His pulse was racing enough as it was, and now his head throbbed, as well. He rubbed his scalp tenderly. "Yeah, I got that," he retorted dismissively, and continued walking. No way was he about to hang around and let this guy mess with him.

But, apparently, Rockstar Boy had a different course of action in mind. Kurt listened as he fell into step behind him, casually, as if it weren't at all out-of the-ordinary to be following a stranger down an abandoned corridor. Eventually, the two were side-by-side, and Kurt had to fight to keep his eyes downcast and submissive. The last thing he wanted to do was pick a fight with a reform school student.

"You don't go here, do you?" the boy asked finally.

At this, Kurt turned to meet his gaze. He had hazel eyes, framed by long, dark eyelashes and embedded with a million secrets. Suddenly, Kurt couldn't look away. He shook his head. "Nope. Just volunteering."

The boy's eyes narrowed slightly, skeptical. "I didn't know we were a charity," he retorted.

Hastily, Kurt shook his head, feeling his eyes widen and his face flush. "Oh, no… no," he clarified quickly, his heartbeat quickening again. "Of course not. I'm just… I just-"

Rockstar Boy smirked. "Uh-huh," he stated. "That's okay. We all know we're outcasts around here. I could tell you weren't a student just from the sight of your outfit. And your eyes."

Kurt blinked. "My eyes?" he repeated unsurely.

Keeping his gaze on the hall ahead of them, the other boy nodded. Kurt could see a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. "Yup. You look lost. And innocent. Very lost and innocent, actually."

"I'm not that innocent!" Kurt protested, feeling lame and rather naïve in having to point this out. He frowned. "But… I am lost," he admitted hopelessly.

With another smirk, Rockstar Boy shrugged. "Right," he answered simply, confirming Kurt's belief that he was truly not going to be of any help. "Well, I'll see you around, I guess." Turning swiftly, the boy disappeared through a door labeled restrooms.

Kurt sighed, halting his footsteps. He was getting annoyed… annoyed with the fact that he had to do this, annoyed with this boy who wasn't making it any easier for him. "You know, the polite thing to do would be to help me!" he called out on a whim.

The door cracked open, allowing for the boy's head to peek through. "You really expect us to be polite around here, Pretty Boy?" he asked, giving him a bemused look up and down. Kurt rolled his eyes, trying not to get overwhelmed by the fact that he wasn't exactly used to being checked out by good-looking guys. Or any guys, really. "You look like you need someone to corrupt you a little bit."

Kurt's mouth hardened, his eyes narrowing and eyebrows quirking into his signature irritated look. "Please," he stated dryly. "Just tell me where to find the cafeteria."

The other boy tilted his head, surveying Kurt thoughtfully. "It'll cost you," he replied finally.

Rolling his eyes, Kurt pulled his wallet from the pocket of his skinny jeans. Whatever; he could give up a little spare cash if it would save him from being tormented.

Rockstar Boy let out an amused laugh. "Not quite what I had in mind…" he said, smiling. "Then again, I won't get anything else from you, will I?"

Kurt frowned. What else could this guy want aside from money? There was no chance that Kurt was giving up a McQueen scarf to some jerk of a reform school kid. But, then, this boy didn't look particularly interested in designer labels. "What did you have in mind?"

The boy leaned a little farther out the door, his voice dropping to a raspy whisper and his lips tugging back in a tiny smirk. "Ever kiss a boy before?"

Instantly, Kurt sucked in a sharp breath. He took a step away, his back brushing against the lockers that lined the hallway. "Wh-what?" he stuttered. Rockstar Boy must have known the truth somehow. Was the prejudice that Kurt went through every day at school really that visible in his eyes? All of McKinley knew he was gay. About three quarters of that population had bullied him because of it. Surely this boy was no different. He had to be testing Kurt, planning how best to call him out for being different.

The boy rolled his eyes and stepped fully into the hall, letting the bathroom door fall shut behind him. "Ah," he mused. "That answers a few questions. Come on; I'll take you over there."

Kurt blushed, his hands clutching tightly at the strap of his messenger bag full of tutoring supplies. "Great," he replied breathlessly. He was getting exasperated already, and he had barely been here for half an hour.

Rockstar Boy smiled a little and started to make his way down the hall, Kurt following warily. "So, you got a name, Pretty Boy?" he asked, sounding curious.

Kurt nodded sourly. "Yup."

"Ouch," remarked the other boy, raising his thick eyebrows at Kurt in surprise. "Attitude much? I'm Blaine, by the way. Nice to meet you."

Smirking clandestinely at his own little victory, Kurt turned his gaze to Blaine. "Kurt," he replied softly.

"Hm. Cute." Blaine smiled wryly, gesturing at the set of large double-doors in front of them. "Here's the caf, Kurt," he said.

Kurt nodded. "Thank you, Blaine," he answered, because it seemed that they were mimicking politeness now. He watched as Blaine turned, walking back down the hall in the direction they had come.

"You know you still owe me, though, right?" he added, winking at Kurt over his shoulder.

In response, Kurt rolled his eyes. "Sure," he replied facetiously. He really didn't know what to think of this boy. Clearly, Blaine had the potential to be a complete jerk, and enough mystery about him to be the exact opposite. Plus, he had the appearance of a misplaced fashion model… smoldering hot, and yet stuck in a place where no one would care what he looked like. It was all very strange. And then, there was the most important question of all:

What sort of wrong had Blaine done to end up here?

Author's Note: Sooo, what does everyone think? Reviews would be very much loved! :) Also, I'll probably update ATPP next, for those of you who are waiting for the next chapter.