Author Notes: Hi! So, I've always wanted to write a merging of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials daemon concept with another fandom, ever since I read an incredible Torchwood version a couple of years ago. A couple of days ago, my friend and I were bored, and – as you do – we ended up discussing what kind of daemons the glee kids would have. And then this really wouldn't let me go until I wrote it!
So, this isn't a crossover. In fact, it's basically a twist on the season 2 episode Never Been Kisssed, but as if the glee world has daemons. I loved writing this, and I really hope you enjoy it! Some lines are taken almost word for word from the episode, and obviously I don't claim ownership!
Finally, for those reading my other glee fic: I haven't abandoned it, I just really needed some lighter writing material for a moment! There's only so my angst I can deal out to Blaine at a time!
On daemons: Daemons are an extension of the human soul; an external part of you, visible in animal form. The animal is generally seen as a reflection of a person's true self, which is why daemons don't tend to 'settle' on one form until around puberty. The daemon is always the opposite gender to their human, and can speak, but generally reserve their talking to their own human's ears. The pair is connected with an unbreakable link and understanding, and cannot be more than a few yards apart from each other without feeling a horrible pull. Daemons interact with each other much as humans do, but the greatest wrong that can be committed is for someone to touch another person's daemon.
Never Been Kissed
Kurt let his hands slip down the steering wheel of his car to rest in his lap as he stared out of the window at the imposing old building that was supposed to be a school. He sighed, "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea…"
A light weight settled on his shoulder, "We did not just drive two hours to turn straight back around."
Kurt wasn't listening, "We'll probably be noticed immediately. I look nothing like them. These clothes won't fool anyone, and what if people see you? They'll throw us out in an instant. I don't know what we were thinking. No, wait, strike that-" He turned his head slightly to look at his daemon, "I don't know what I was thinking letting you talk me into this! Since when do we actually listen to anything Puck suggests?"
Elsen rolled her eyes – a decidedly odd look on a bird – hopping and fluttering to sit on the dash of the car. "Okay, you need to calm down; you're making my feathers itch. First of all, we'll just tell them that you're new and haven't received your uniform yet. As for me, it's not like I'm some strutting peacock or ostentatious parrot. They won't blink an eye at me."
Kurt's worries were punctured briefly by his daemon's words, a familiar fire and pride snapping through him, "Stop it, Ellie! You are just as beautiful, if not more. I don't hear many parrots with such an amazing singing voice!"
It had always been a sore spot between them, ever since his daemon had settled during Middle School. They had both always known she would be a bird; even when they were tiny and she would flick between forms with a quicksilver grace, she would nearly always be avian. But when Kurt had woken up that morning, the night after he had stayed up whispering with Elsen about how pretty Kyle Richard's eyes were, he thought they had probably both been surprised. Ellie had definitely been nervous about his reaction.
It was less frequent now, when Elsen would come out with these comments; ever since they had joined glee club, in fact. But they still surfaced when they were feeling out of place, or nervous. Like today.
The delicate blackbird hopped up onto the top of the steering wheel, twitching her head slightly in apology, "Sorry. I was just trying to make a point…"
"Well you shouldn't," Kurt snapped, "Not with that, at the very least."
Elsen nodded sadly, before straightening up, running a few tawny brown flight feathers through her beak, "So, are we going to go in, or what?"
"For the last time, Twig, watch my hair!" Blaine huffed as his daemon attempted to arrange herself into a more comfortable position, avoiding the boy's bag swinging onto his shoulder as they hurried out of Chemistry.
"Well, if you didn't insist on caking your fur in that gunk every morning, we wouldn't keep having this conversation. I told you, I much preferred if when you left it loose."
"Only so you could sit in it all day. We always looked a mess! I think if I'd turned up to one more Warbler practice with my insane curly hair, Wes would have actually sat me down and sorted it himself."
"Hanna is always trying to groom my fur…" Twig conceded, referring to Wes' black cat daemon, who was just as much of a neat-freak as her human. "But what am I supposed to do when you're singing? You bounce around like a crazy person; I need to hold onto something."
Blaine rolled his eyes good-naturedly, enjoying the easy banter that always flowed between them. It hadn't always been this relaxed. Blaine could remember a time when Santwiga's glossy fur was dull, when she would huddle in his school bag all day, jammed between American History and Intermediate French, barely peeking out.
But that was before Dalton, and a time neither of them wanted to think about again.
He took the turning that would lead down the entrance hall staircase, hoping to be able to take the short cut to the senior common room and avoid the crowd. Twig looped her tufted tail around Blaine's neck fondly, her tiny fingers grasping the lapels of his blazer. She could feel the anticipation and buzz in the air as the school looked forwards to another impromptu Warbler performance.
"Excuse me!" A breathy voice caught Blaine's attention at the bottom of the stairs, and he turned to see an unfamiliar boy, a little brown blackbird daemon gliding around him in a loop before settling next to his hand on the banister. "Can I ask you a question? I'm- I'm new here."
Blaine held his hand out, "My name's Blaine."
The other boy seemed surprised for a second, but them his smile grew, and he took the offered handshake, "Kurt." There was a pause, as the Dalton student body moved past them, "Uh… So, what exactly is going on?"
"The Warblers!" Blaine exclaimed with a grin, "Every now and then they throw an impromptu performance in the senior commons. Tends to shut the school down for a while."
Blaine's grin was so smug, that Twig had to add in his ear, "Less Wes and more Blaine, please. You may be gelled now, but I like my normal human, thank you."
The lithe boy in front of them frowned, "So, wait, the glee club here is kinda…cool?"
"The Warblers are like…rock stars!"
Santwiga rolled her eyes, "Oh, for goodness sake, I know he's pretty, but now you're just being an embarrassment."
Blaine ignored her, so she swung down his arm to get a closer look at the intriguing little bird, leaping onto the end knob of the banister.
"Come on, I know a short cut." Blaine reached out and took Kurt's hand, pulling him down the last few steps. Twig reached out her spindly fingers and tentatively touched the blackbird's beak. The beautiful bird chirped and took flight, filling Twig with a thrill of fun as she watched her soar into the air.
All the daemons here were so prim and proper. Daemons that sat proudly and resolutely next to their humans. Daemons who thought they were too old to play, because they were settled and boring. The only time Santwiga ever got to enjoy herself, ever got to be free and jump and run and breathe, was when Blaine performed. But here, here was a beautiful blackbird, taking wing with a spirit Twig had never seen in these halls.
She was brilliant. And all Twig wanted to do was be just like her.
When Kurt had stopped the Dalton boy on the stairs, he hadn't expected to be led down a beautiful deserted hall by the hand, as if there was nothing more normal than two boys behaving in such a way, in a school. But Blaine had an energy and a joy that was infectious, and he knew that Ellie already liked him.
His daemon glided above them now, diving every now and again to clip her wing slightly against the body of a tiny black and white flecked marmoset as she dashed between chairs and over fixtures to keep up with them.
There was something… something so new, and different. From McKinley, from Lima…
And then Blaine pulled them up at a pair of polished wooden doors that looked just as expensive as everything else in this place, and guided Kurt into a grand room filled with boys in blazers.
Kurt's stomach gave an uneasy nervous twinge, and Ellie dropped onto his shoulder so they could give each other some confidence through contact, "Oh…I stick out like a sore thumb…"
Elsen gave his ear a light peck, "Stop that."
But Blaine just smiled, reached forward to straighten the lapel of Kurt's coat as his daemon wound her way up his body to secure herself around his neck, "Well then next time don't forget your jacket, new kid!"
He gave a grin and a slight wink, and Ellie chirped cheekily in Kurt's ear, "He is way cuter than Finn…"
"Shut up!" Kurt hissed to her, blushing.
"Now, if you'll excuse me…" Blaine's grin turned slightly guilty then, and it hit Kurt:
This boy is in the Warblers!
The a cappella choir fluidly moved into position, the first notes building between them. And then Blaine began to sing, a grin on his face and a spark in his eyes, and Kurt's bewilderment quickly turned to wonderment. As the boys moved and sung in time, the entire senior commons sprang to enthusiastic life..
But the one thing that really caught Kurt's attention was Blaine's daemon. She sat resolutely on his shoulder, keeping balance with his movements, whereas all the other Warblers' daemons sat closely to the side of the performance. While it wasn't exactly against the rules, per se, for daemons to 'perform' on stage with show choirs, it was by no means the norm; the wide spectrum of species generally seen awkward for a performance setting.
In fact, until now Kurt had thought that New Directions were one of only two show choirs in the region to perform openly with their daemons. It was one of the things Kurt really loved about his glee club – they were all different, and they embraced that difference, even in their performance. The other choir was Vocal Adrenaline, except they took it to a whole other extreme.
To be in Vocal Adrenaline, you had to have a bird daemon. No exceptions. Part of their performance was nearly always dedicated to a matching aerial display above their heads with their daemons, and it never failed to wow audiences.
The singing built to a crescendo.
We'll be young forever!
Kurt couldn't help but look around at the audience. Where were the hecklers, why couldn't he hear snide comments or nasty words? The atmosphere was infectious and Kurt felt a stab of jealousy and longing. Why couldn't it be like this for him?
He turned back to Warblers in time to catch Blaine throw himself into the final chorus. His little marmoset daemon leapt deftly down from his shoulder onto an armchair, and Kurt felt his shoulder lighten slightly as Elsen fluttered down to perch on a nearby table, her curiosity about this new pair finally getting to her.
The rendition of Teenage Dream ended with cheers and shouts, Kurt clapping all the more enthusiastically; entranced. Elsen cocked her head slightly, regarding the strange little daemon in front of her, practically twitching with unexpended energy and happiness. Kurt felt his stomach give a funny little jolt when Blaine turned and caught his eye, just as Ellie took it upon herself to hop playfully onto the marmoset's tail.
That was all it took, and to both boys' amusement, their daemons started chasing each other around the room, the blackbird with the eternal airborne advantage, much to the marmoset's annoyance.
Blaine had really enjoyed performing, more so perhaps this time, thanks to a certain new audience member. He walked over to Kurt, refraining from scolding Santwiga into acting a little bit more like a Dalton daemon; she was having too much fun, just like he was. "So, what did you think?"
"You guys were amazing!" Kurt shook his head with a smile. "You perform with daemons too?"
Blaine very nearly laughed out loud as he watched the other boy berate himself for his slip, "So you are from New Directions!" Kurt blushed and looked down, "And to answer your question, no we don't. Twig and I just prefer to be in physical contact when I'm singing, so the council let us when it's a casual performance." And then Blaine was blushing at his rather intimate admission.
Nevertheless, his words seemed to put Kurt slightly more at ease, "I know what you mean…" The little blackbird daemon returned to his shoulder, "I couldn't imagine singing without Ellie."
Santwiga crouched to a spring near Blaine's feet, determined to regain some eye level on this new daemon, but suddenly a gentle paw was on her tail, halting her coiled momentum. She glared up at the culprit, a haughty black cat daemon, who pretended not to notice. Above them, Wes Montgomery had his hand on Blaine's shoulder, "Why don't we all go sit down? David's gone to get us some coffee from the refectory."
Blaine didn't miss Kurt's wince, and tried to send him a reassuring look. Below, Twig swatted Hanna's paw away with her back leg and skittered up Blaine's body to huffily sit on his shoulder, running her tail through her little hands, muttering, "Killjoy. Tail stomping killjoy."
Blaine shook his head, whispering back, "She barely touched you. You're just annoyed you had to stop mooning over Kurt's daemon."
"Says the boy who just sang to a certain attractive stranger – who is almost certainly on the same team as us – about skin tight jeans?"
Blaine blushed deeply, and chose to ignore her words.
"Will you please stop shaking? You're going to shake me right off your shoulder!" Elsen whispered in Kurt's ear as they sat down at a polished table with three of the Warblers.
"We're so dead…" Kurt mumbled.
"Don't be a drama queen." Elsen refuted, but he could hear the slight tremble in her voice.
Blaine slid a latte over to Kurt, and he accepted it tentatively, "This is Wes, and David."
The Asian boy who had interrupted them earlier sat to Blaine's right, his cat daemon sat beside him on the table, her golden eyes staring unblinkingly at them, while a tall black boy sat on Blaine's left. He was by far the less threatening of the two; it's rather hard to be intimidated by a boy whose fluffy grey chinchilla daemon is too busy snoozing next to his coffee cup to pay attention.
"It's very civilised for you to invite me for coffee before you beat me up for spying…" Kurt said softly, still slightly unsettled by Wes' daemon.
"We are not going to beat you up." Wes refuted him immediately, a reassuring note in his voice making Kurt relax slightly.
"You were such a terrible spy, we thought it was sort of…endearing." David grinned.
Blaine put down his coffee, "Which made me think that spying on us wasn't really the reason you came."
Kurt froze, unsure what to say. Ellie nudged his cheek reassuringly with her beak, murmuring, "What have we got to lose? You'll regret it if you don't."
She had a point, and he hated her for it, but he needed to know. This place was just so foreign to him, and Kurt needed some sort of solid information, "Can I ask you guys a question?" They nodded expectantly, and Kurt took a deep breath, his words tumbling out in a rush, "Are you guys all gay?"
The boys all laughed, and Kurt's stomach plummeted. Now he was really going to get beaten up. But then Blaine just grinned easily, saying as if it were the most offhand comment in the world, "Uh, no. I mean, I am, but these two have girlfriends."
"I knew it!" Ellie chirped, "Third time's the charm!"
David leant forwards on the table, dislodging his daemon, who twitched awake and blinked up at Kurt, "This is not a gay school. We just have a zero tolerance harassment policy."
"Everybody gets treated the same, no matter what they are, or what their daemons might be. It's pretty simple."
Wes' words punched into Kurt, and he desperately wanted to scream how nothing can be that simple. Unconsciously, he raised a hand to his shoulder, where his skin came into reassuring contact with feathers and a tiny warm body; the one constant in his life. His throat felt tight, and Elsen pressed against him comfortingly. He couldn't meet the other boys' gazes, and desperately wished that tears were not pricking at his eyes, because he couldn't do this, not now.
Blaine's gentle voice came to the rescue, "Would you guys excuse us?"
The other two nodded, David scooping up his daemon as Wes smiled, "Take it easy Kurt."
Kurt somehow managed to take a steadying breath, tensing his jaw against what would otherwise inevitably end up being a really embarrassing breakdown. Blaine's daemon delicately made her way down his arm to sit on the table, her head tipped almost ninety degrees to the side as she watched them, "I take it you're having trouble at school?"
Kurt still refused to look at him, but then Ellie nudged his cheek, "Talk to him, Kurt. Please? For me?"
Taking a shoring breath, Kurt finally met Blaine's kind eyes. And then, his voice barely making it above a murmur, it all just spilled out, "I'm the only person out of the closet at my school. And w-w-" Don't cry, don't cry, not now, please don't cry, "We tried to stay strong about it, but there's this Neanderthal who's made it his mission to make our life a living hell… And nobody seems to notice…"
Great. Wonderful. He's just completely unloaded on this really attractive boy who he's only just met. Brilliant, Kurt. Stunning.
"I know how you feel…" Wait, what?
Kurt looked up to see Blaine staring off to the side, his fingers carding unconsciously through his daemon's fur. His knee jerk reaction was to laugh derisively, because, really? This privileged private school kid knows how he feels? Just because he's gay doesn't make him a kindred spirit. Elsen seemed to agree, muttering dismissively, "Please…"
But then Blaine continued, "We got taunted at my old school and it really…" He took a steadying breath, and Kurt watched as his daemon – Twig, wasn't it? – gently curled her tail around his wrist, his fingers still buried in her fur, "pissed me off… I even complained about it to the faculty? They were sympathetic, and all, but you could just tell, nobody really cared. It was like… 'hey if you're gay, you're life's just gonna be miserable...sorry! Nothing we can do about it.'" Kurt jumped as Twig screeched, voicing a defensive wordless anger at Blaine's statement, an anger that the boy would never show himself, and curled her tail tighter around his wrist.
"Will Schuester, anyone?" Ellie muttered mutinously. Kurt hushed her.
Blaine seemed to come back to himself, noticing the look on Kurt's face, "So, we left, and came here. Simple as that…" Kurt wanted to laugh. Simple. Yeah. "So, you have two options: I mean, I'd love to tell you to just come and enrol here, but tuition at Dalton's sort of steep and I know that's not an option for everybody. Or…you can refuse to be the victim. Prejudice is just ignorance, Kurt, and you have a chance right now to teach him."
"He's clearly never met Karofsky." Elsen ruffled her feathers dubiously.
But Kurt couldn't help it. This boy just seemed so sure of himself, so confident and wise. So he had to ask, if only just to hear him speak again, "How?"
"Confront him! Call him out! We ran, Kurt… I didn't stand up. I let bullies chase us away." Twig inched her way into Blaine's lap at his quiet words, clinging onto his blazer lovingly, "And it is something I really, really regret."
There was silence, as Kurt allowed Blaine's words to sink in. And then, "Thank you. You didn't have to sit down and talk with a spy, let alone listen to me."
Blaine smiled sadly, "I wanted to. Let me give you my cell number? I don't want the next time I see you to be at Sectionals!" His smile fell away as he took Kurt's offered phone to enter his number, "Seriously, though, Kurt. You'll call me? Whenever, for whatever reason? Let me know how you're doing?"
Kurt nodded, "I will. I promise." He texted a smiley face to the new contact in his phone, and Blaine grinned as he saved Kurt's number.
"I'll walk you do the entrance. We don't have any blackbird daemons amongst the students – teachers might get suspicious!"
Kurt blushed, "Yeah, I think we were pretty lucky on our way in."
They chatted on less serious topics as Blaine showed Kurt out, and he found himself really enjoying the Warbler boy's smiling, charming nature. Just before they parted, Blaine rested a hand on Kurt's shoulder, "See you later, Kurt. Just remember – courage."
Kurt nodded, wanting to hug him but pretty sure that would be overstepping, "Thanks Blaine, really."
The other boy nodded with a half shrug and a wonky grin, before heading back inside, his daemon resuming her perch on his shoulder, long tufted tail falling down the back of his Dalton blazer. Kurt walked all the way to his car in silence, sitting down and shutting the door, before letting a long breath leave his lungs. Elsen, true to her nature, fluttered up to the dashboard, tilting her head slightly and regarding Kurt with a glinting little eye, "Somebody's got a crush!"
Kurt rolled his eyes at her gleeful manner, "I do not. I've only just met him! I'm not going to fall for the first gay guy I meet-"
"Who's really kinda hot…"
"Right, sorry. So, back to McKinley?"
Kurt sighed, feeling the dull veil of reality fall back over him, momentarily banished by their happy banter. "I suppose…"
He pulled out of Dalton's gravel car park, and Elsen poked at the radio dials with her beak, looking for something they could listen to. "You know, it's a pity you don't have a crush on him, because I actually like this one!"
Kurt's eyebrows hiked, "What? You never like the guys I like!"
"Ha!" Ellie chirped triumphantly, "You do have a crush on him!"
"I- what? That's not fair!" He huffed, "It's not like you can blame me for not saying. Every time I like a guy, you come along with ten million reasons why I shouldn't! Finn-"
"He's practically your brother, and his daemon is so daft she trips over her own ears!"
Okay, so Kurt could concede that one. Finn's daemon was a black Labrador who had yet to gain the co-ordination of adulthood, much like Finn's dancing.
"A guinea pig? We have standards. Attention span worse that Finn's! And that fur!"
"Blaine's daemon didn't exactly have neat fur either." Kurt commented with amusement at Ellie's tirade.
"Then why do you like him?"
There was a slight pause, and Kurt wondered if his daemon had decided to let him work it out for himself. But then, ever so shyly, "Because he knew that I'm a blackbird… even though I'm brown…"
And Kurt's heart just grew warmer.
Unlike earlier, Blaine let Santwiga curl her spindly little fingers into his gelled hair without complaint. He just really needed to feel his daemon right now. The meeting with the New Directions boy had shaken them both, even if they had worked incredibly hard not to let it show.
It just brought back so many memories. Memories they had both tried to leave behind when they had come to Dalton.
There was still another fifteen minutes of lunch hour left, so Blaine meandered into the north quad. It was quite empty, save for a few boys sitting on a bench. Blaine skirted around them, not feeling like company, and sat underneath one of the smaller trees. It hadn't rained in a while, so he didn't have to worry about getting his uniform damp.
He brought his knees up, and Santwiga gracefully clambered down to sit on them, bringing her almost eye level to Blaine, "Smile?"
"Sorry, Twig. I just…" Blaine sighed, trailing off.
"I know." And she did. Of course she did. Not only was she there with him the entire time during that dark period of their high school history, she was a part of his soul, and would always know.
"It shouldn't be like this." Blaine said softly, after a while, "Being gay. It shouldn't mean anything. We shouldn't have to fight to exist. We shouldn't have to hide- ow!"
Twig had sunk her tiny sharp incisors into Blaine's finger at his last words, "For the last time, Blaine Anderson, we are not hiding! Watching you in that school broke my heart! You didn't have a choice!"
Both of them shivered as Blaine remembered that horrible moment when he had gone from smiling after a fun night to having his breath punched out of his lungs, his entire body seized. When all he had been able to do was turn and see Gary Jenson's dog daemon, a snarling Doberman, pinning a writhing Twig to the ground, as an unbearable pressure bloomed in Blaine's chest. And then Gary himself had been on Blaine, and-
"Stop it!" Twig snapped Blaine out of his memories as she leapt down into his arms. In a comforting reflex, his hugged her to his chest. "Kurt will be fine. He's stronger than us. I could see it in his daemon."
"She was beautiful." Blaine murmured in agreement.
Santwiga nuzzled his hand with her head, her voice more confident than either of them felt. "Come on. We'll be late for class."
Kurt came to school the next day more positive than he had all week. Yes, the boys were still practically ignoring him for their assignment, but he didn't really care. He just kept thinking about Dalton, replaying the Teenage Dream performance in his head, picturing a pair of kind eyes, dark hair, and a beautiful daemon.
When it was time for the girls' performance in glee club, Kurt was rather dubious, but they were his friends, and this could still be a laugh, so with Ellie perched on his shoulder, Kurt took a seat in the middle of the boys. Puck slumped down beside him, his wolf daemon just as sullen as he was as she arranged herself on his feet. Ellie groaned and fluttered to Kurt's other shoulder, closer to Sam. He frowned at her for a second, and then realised that Mike had sat down on Puck's other side. Kurt really liked Mike, he was a great friend, but Ellie always complained that his hummingbird daemon made her dizzy. Kurt just had a feeling she resented the tiny bird's brilliant tropical colours.
He always told her how much he loved her brown feathers, just as she always told him how much she loved his high voice. They could never agree.
Finn grinned at the glee boys, his entrance slightly ruined as his daemon toppled head first into Mr Schue's Old English sheepdog, who just looked down on her long-sufferingly, using her nose to shove the Labrador in the general direction of where she should sit. Artie rolled in last, "We should do this every week. I just saw their costumes, and damn."
Artie's daemon was perhaps the most beautifully sad of the bunch, and also one of the largest. When he had been eight, he had lost the use of his legs in an accident, before his daemon had settled. When he had been thirteen, his daemon had finally chosen her form, and Kurt could remember that day vividly.
That day, when the disabled nerd had wheeled himself into homeroom, with a gorgeous proud cheetah striding by his side, both of their heads held high.
"Alright guys, let's give the girls our support!" Mr Schue grinned.
The music blasted into the choir room, shortly followed by the New Directions girls decked out in full rocker gear. Kurt had to grin, if only because Rachel's daemon could not pull this off convincingly; there's something about a puffy white cat that just does not lend itself to power rock and leather, no matter how hard you try.
That being said, the girls were awesome; Santana's black and white banded snake daemon working like an extra accessory, much like Tina's daemon, a blue and black butterfly who clung into her hair as she sang. Brittany's squirrel daemon moved so fast around and over her twisting limbs he was almost a blur.
Kurt's phone buzzed in his pocket as Quinn's jaguar daemon gave an impressive roar that punctured the drumming and sent a thrill though the performance. "What is it?" Elsen hopped down his arm, grumbling slightly as her feet got tangled slightly in the holes torn stylishly into his cardigan, "The things I do for you and your love for fashion. Honestly."
"It's from Blaine." Kurt muttered to her under the music, not wanting Mr Schue to see them.
"Courage…" Kurt could hear the smile in her voice. "Told you, I like him."
The performance pulled their attention back, because, wow, they were really going for it. Everyone burst into applause, cheers and whistles as it ended, and Ellie took wing to join Mercedes' nightingale daemon in the air to congratulate him.
Today was definitely a better day.
"Repeatedly checking the same text, over and over, even if it's just one word. Check." Elsen twittered happily into Kurt's ear as she languidly glided past; Kurt was pulling his phone out of his pocket for the umpteenth time that day as they walked out of their last lesson.
"Whatever." He grinned back good-naturedly.
A hit that Kurt didn't really feel, followed rapidly by one that he really did, as his phone was smashed out of his hands and his entire body was thrown into the lockers. Elsen was on the ground, having been completely taken out by a swipe from a goshawk's wing. Kurt was doubly dazed, fear clawing at his stomach as David Karofsky just looked at him without a word. A nearby girl just stared at him, her mouse daemon shying away into her scarf.
"Hey!" Kurt's whole body was just anger, pure anger, and he felt rather than saw Ellie pick herself off the floor and fly after him, the pull of their connection growing uncomfortably taut for a second before she caught up and it snapped back in place. Kurt burst into the locker room, "I am talking to you!"
"The girls' locker room's next door." He was practically indifferent, his daemon fidgeting slightly from her position on top of the lockers.
Ellie screeched, too jittery to perch anywhere as Kurt stormed up to his bully, "What is your problem?"
"What are you so scared of?"
"Besides you sneaking in here to peek at my junk?" The goshawk above them gave an angry cry, and it was enough to make Ellie begrudgingly perch on Kurt's shoulder, desperate for contact, anything to give them courage.
"Oh yeah, every straight guy's nightmare! That all us gays are secretly out to molest and convert you! That we'll slice your daemons away from you and corrupt them! Well guess what, ham hock? You're not my type!"
"That right?" And Karofsky was really in their face now, and Ellie really didn't like this one bit.
But Kurt still didn't back down, "Yeah. I don't dig on chubby boys who sweat too much, are gonna be bald by the time they're thirty, and who have a daemon which is clearly compensating for something they lack!"
"Do not push me, Hummel!" He raised a fist as the goshawk daemon gave another screech, and Ellie had a horrible feeling that Kurt was just past caring.
"You gonna hit me? Do it!"
"Kurt, please don't! Please Kurt, I really don't like this!" Elsen cried in his ear.
Karofsky slammed his locker door shut, making them jump, "Don't push me!"
"Hit me, because it's not gonna change who I am. You can't punch the gay out of me any more than I can punch the ignoramus out of you!"
Both of them were terrified now, but there wasn't any going back.
"I said get out of my face!" Karofsky yelled, as his daemon bared her wingspan in threat.
Kurt raised a finger right up in front of him, his stress bleeding with the anger and desperation in his voice. "You are nothing but a scared little boy who can't handle how extraordinarily ordinary you are!"
And then it happened. Karofsky just lunged, his hands clamping down on the sides of Kurt's face a split second before his lips connected in a kiss.
Kurt just completely froze. He couldn't even move. His brain just stuttered to a halt, even as he dimly heard Ellie cry something.
Karofsky pulled back, his face nearly a mirror of Kurt's, who still found he couldn't move.
But then as Karofsky leant forward for a second go, this time his hand coming more to Kurt's shoulder, Kurt's whole body just felt-
His breathe was stolen, and his skin crawled and it was then he realised in a daze that Karofsky had accidentally caught Ellie in his grip from where she still sat on his shoulder…and wasn't letting go.
It was like something was gripping his heart, like something was slicing into him where it did not, could never belong.
Elsen cried out piteously, and it was enough to give Kurt a small burst of energy, enough to shove Karofsky away. He let go of Ellie in shock, and she immediately tumbled forwards, completely without energy, to be caught in Kurt's palm and pulled to his chest, his other hand still touching his lips from the first assault.
Karofsky seemed completely shocked by what he had just done. Neither of them moved. Neither of them spoke. Kurt just stood there, cradling Ellie for all he was worth, staring.
And then Karofsky's daemon soared down to land on his letterman jacket, and the huge boy let out a cry of frustration, hitting the lockers and running out.
Kurt still couldn't move. His breathing stuttered and he found himself slipping to the floor, his back using the lockers for support. He curled into himself, drawing Ellie as close to his body as he could, tears of complete shock running down his face.
"Ellie? Els? Please, please say your okay? God, I'm so sorry, this is all my fault, I'm so sorry." He babbled through his tears, brain still not completely able to comprehend what had just happened, his insides twisting in disgust, a horrible dirty feeling clinging to his body.
The tiny little brown bird in his hand puffed herself as she buried into his t-shirt, his warm shaking fingers curled around her fragile body, "I'm okay, Kurt, I'm okay. We're okay. It'll be okay." Her voice was shaky, her words repetitive.
And they just sat there, for a long time, unable to do anything but reassure one another that they were still there, that they were never letting go again.
Blaine was at Warbler practice when his phone rang. Seeing it was Kurt, he excused himself, much to the annoyance of Wes – the Warbler didn't show it, but his daemon definitely did. Blaine didn't have the heart to chide Twig for sticking her tongue out at the superior cat; he was laughing too hard.
Still grinning, he ducked into a quiet alcove, his daemon up on his shoulder as usual so she could listen too, and answered the call, "Hello?"
"Blaine?" Something was wrong, he knew that immediately. There was something broken in Kurt's voice; something shaky and weak that hadn't been there before.
"Kurt? Kurt, what's wrong? What's happened?"
"Karofsky…" Kurt's voice caught, and Blaine could only assume this was the name of the Neanderthal Kurt had told him about.
Twig fidgeted nervously, "You don't think something's happened, do you? Blaine, we have to do something! Say something!"
"Kurt, where are you? Are you safe?"
"Y-yeah. I'm in my car, in McKinley's parking lot."
Blaine let out a breath, "Okay, good. And you're okay? You're not hurt?"
"What the hell's that supposed to mean?" Santwiga cried in Blaine's ear, making him wince. He hushed her, trying to keep his calm, trying to figure out what to say.
"Kurt? I'm here, okay? Just take all the time you need."
There was a wrenching sob down the phone, and Blaine felt his stomach twist. Why had he been so stupid? Why had he thought he could give advice? Oh god, what had happened over at that school?
It took about five minutes of just listening to Kurt cry and of Blaine getting more and more worried until Kurt calmed down enough to speak. Ever so quietly, so that Blaine had to almost strain to hear, "I confronted him…"
Blaine's stomach could not tie itself in any more knots that it already was. "And?" He really didn't want to ask.
"He kissed me…"
"Oh, god, Kurt…" Twig chittered in anger, and Blaine really hadn't expected that to be Kurt's answer. Of all the things, of all the horrible twisted things…
"He touched us." The words were spat out in half a sob, yet still laced with so much venomous disgust.
"He touched…" Blaine's brain took a second to process, to desperately hope he had misheard. But Kurt hadn't said me, he had said us. But he couldn't have, you didn't just-
"No!" Santwiga's horror was enough to dispel Blaine's desperate desire to doubt what he had heard, and he subconsciously reached up to hold onto her fur.
Because you do not touch another person's daemon. It was the worst taboo there was in the world. Daemons can touch daemons, people can touch people, that's fine, that's normal.
You don't just reach out and forcibly take hold of another person's soul.
"Are you okay?" Blaine asked urgently, berating his choice of words, because of course Kurt wasn't okay! "You got away, I mean? You got Ellie away from him? You're safe?"
"I don't think he m-meant to…" Kurt whispered. "But he didn't let go of her… I had to pull him off…"
"It could have been a freaking accidental graze for all I care! He had no right to touch her!" Twig raged from Blaine's shoulder. Blaine tended to agree, but didn't think voicing as such would help much right now.
"I d-don't think we can go back in there… How can we? How can I bring Ellie anywhere near him? But I can't tell my dad. I can't do that to him! What do I do? I mean, I know I'll have to face him, but I don't think I can…" Kurt's voice sparked desperately down the line, and Blaine's heart wrenched.
So he looked at Twig, he looked right into his daemon's eyes, and she gave the slightest of nods, because she knew what he was thinking, and she knew they had to do this. For Kurt. For the mess they had made. "I'll come to McKinley tomorrow. I'll come with you to face him. I'll help you show that he can't just do things like this… Maybe, maybe you're right-" Blaine felt nearly sick to say it, "Maybe he's just confused. We could try? Either way, it'll show him that you're not alone to be pushed around."
"Would you?" Kurt's voice was so small, so quiet.
"Every time." It was a strange answer, but it just slipped from Blaine's lips without thought.
"Thank you, Blaine. I'm so glad I spied on you…"
Blaine grimaced, because in his heart, he knew that if Kurt hadn't spied and sat down with him, then he probably wouldn't have ended up in this mess. "I'll meet you at McKinley gates tomorrow?"
"What about your classes?"
"It's fine." He was a perfect student, Dalton could cope with one day's misdemeanour.
"Quarter past twelve?" Kurt suggested tentatively, clearly unable to believe someone he had only met the other day was willing to do something like this for him.
"I'll be there."
There was silence on the line as clearly neither boy wanted to hang up. Until finally Kurt murmured, "I should go, or Dad'll get home before me and wonder where I am…"
"Okay, but if you need to call me again any time before tomorrow, you call me. I don't care what time it is, I'll pick up."
"Thanks, Blaine. For everything. See you tomorrow." He hung up.
Blaine just stared at his disconnected phone for a second, before pocketing it and reaching up to pull a willing Twig into his arms, hugging her to his body. He felt sick. His advice, his words, had made this happen. Blaine buried his face in his daemon's fur, and she clung to him soothingly, "We'll fix this, Blaine. We will, I promise."
Kurt had sat through a pointless Will Schuester lecture at the beginning of lunch, his foot jiggling. Ellie nestled low in his cupped hands where they rested in his lap, which earned him a few questioning glances from Mercedes and Bennet, the nightingale sitting in his usual place on her shoulder. But the truth was, ever since it had happened, Kurt need to be in as close contact with Ellie as possible.
Anything to wash away that horrible feeling.
Mr Schue finally dismissed them with a 'disappointed face', and Kurt had to agree with Rachel; he felt horrible for Coach Beiste, he really did, but today he could have done without the extra drama.
He met Blaine in the parking lot, and the other boy clasped a hand on Kurt's shoulder, "How are you doing?"
Santwiga leapt down onto the cracked concrete, and for the first time since it happened, Elsen left the safety of Kurt to gently hop down to meet the other little daemon. Unlike their human counterparts, who were still knotted up in those awkward social questions whether it was acceptable to hug after only knowing each other for a few days, Twig gently scooped the tiny blackbird into her arms, stroking her feathers and nuzzling her head. Ellie simply let her, and the comforting warmth of the gesture wrapped around both boys, washing away some of the hurt.
They stood next to Blaine's car for a moment, and Kurt shrugged, "We're better, I think… Thank you, really. You shouldn't have had to drive all this way…"
"I wanted to." Blaine smiled gently, and Santwiga let go of Elsen to climb back up his body, leaving Kurt's daemon to flitter up and settle back into his coat pocket for safety. "Shall we?"
Kurt took a breath, his hand dipping into his pocket to rest next to Ellie. They could do this.
"Breathe, Blaine, just breathe. We can do this." Twig murmured comfort in his ear as she wound her tail around his neck, "It's a different school. Different kids. And we're different. We're at Dalton now. Just breathe."
"Excuse me!" Blaine's voice rang steady and clear in the open stairwell, and there was no going back now. Although, Blaine really wished they had met with them going down the stairs and this guy going up, because he was huge. And that hawk on his shoulder really wasn't helping matters; its amber eyes staring down at them.
"Hey ladyboys." Twig bristled; this was the boy who had taken such a bright spirit, and made her feathers dull. "This your boyfriend Kurt?"
"Kurt and I would like to talk to you about something."
"I gotta go to class." Karofsky said dismissively, pushing between the pair of them harshly, dislodging Santwiga with the force of the shove. She ended up at Blaine's feet, tail raised and teeth bared.
"Kurt told me what you did." Blaine's voice was deceptively calm, and Twig definitely liked it now they were higher up.
"Oh yeah?" He was deceptively casual, but the raised feathers on the goshawk's head were a giveaway, "What's that?"
Kurt finally found his voice, one hand still in his coat pocket, "You kissed me. And then you touched my daemon, whether you meant to or not."
Karofsky tried to brush it off, but it was clear to them that he hadn't thought Kurt would have the guts to say it out loud, in public of all places, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"It…seems like you might be a little confused… And that's totally normal." Blaine might have been calm and willing to give the benefit of the doubt along with Kurt, but Twig was practically vibrating with anger, her eyes trained on the hawk. Karofsky started to back away, but Blaine kept talking, kept following, "This is a very hard thing to come to terms with, and you should just know that you're not alone."
Twig didn't have enough time to react as the hawk daemon left the boy's shoulder and swooped down on her, just as Blaine barely saw the huge muscle-bound boy before he slammed into him, pinning him against the fence. Pain coursed through him, and he struggled against the trapped feeling, his breath lost as talons dug into his daemon's back while fists pushed on his chest, "Do. Not. Mess. With. Me!" Blaine held his hands up, but did not look away, even when the hawk gave another screech and pressed down more on his daemon.
And then Kurt was shoving Karofsky away, just as Elsen flew out of his pocket and dived at the hawk with an angry cry, "You have to stop this!"
Both daemon and boy seemed a mixture of shock, confusion and regret, as they stared down Kurt and Blaine standing side by side, their own daemons together at their feet. And then the moment broke, and the boy practically fled.
Blaine's shoulders slumped, and he bent to scoop up Santwiga, the incident a little bit too much of a repeat of last time for him to be entirely comfortable. Twig just curled into him, muttering, "Well, he's not coming out anytime soon…" Blaine let out a breathy laugh. At least she was still joking with him.
He looked to Kurt, who had sat heavily down on the concrete steps, Elsen back sitting in his cupped hands. Blaine sat down next to him, bumping shoulders, "Hey… It's over now."
Kurt just kept looking at his daemon, who chirped up at him reassuringly. Quietly, without looking up, he muttered bitterly, "You know, up until yesterday, I had never been kissed." He twisted a horrible smile onto his face that lacked all humour, "Or, at least, when it counted."
Blaine bit his lip, and Santwiga made a chattering noise, nudge his hand with her nose to prompt him to say something. "Come on. I'll buy you lunch."
Because that was what they really needed right now. To get away from this concrete prison, to remove all letterman jackets from sight, and just ignore the horrible world for a moment.
A few days later, Ellie sat inside his locker, watching as he delicately created a collage of the word Courage from old magazine cuttings, below a picture that Kurt had wheedled out of a very reluctant Blaine; he suspected he had Santwiga to thank for the picture finally being relinquished. Of course, he had been forced to give up his own yearbook photo in return, but he always looked fabulous, so it wasn't as much of an issue for him.
"Very stalkerish. I like it." Elsen commented from her perch, a lot of her previous spark returned. "Although I have to say, I didn't realise marmoset fur could defy gravity to such an extent. We are going to have to deal with this issue at some point. Or worse! What if the boy can't dress outside his uniform?"
Kurt rolled his eyes fondly, "Haha. You're hilarious."
They looked up at the picture, for a moment believing that it would be okay, that they could do this.
A slam into the lockers, Kurt's back crushing in pain, and he slid to the floor, "Kurt!" Ellie cried, immediately hopping down to sit on his knee.
"Don't lie to me!" Ellie flicked about frantically, trying to settle, but unable to.
"Fine. I will be okay." Kurt snapped.
It wasn't a lie; at least, he didn't think so. He could still close his eyes and think of polished hallways, teenage dreams and a blend of black fur and blacker hair.
They would be okay. Eventually. He had to believe that.
Author Notes: So, I loved writing this, and if it does end up being a oneshot, then it'll be the longest one I've ever written. To be honest, I am happy to leave it here, but at the same time, I do have some more ideas of how to continue through season two, and I really have fallen in love with Kurt and Blaine's daemons, so I'm not saying that this is most definitely the end.
If anyone is interested, the accompanying picture to wiki's article on marmosets is pretty much how I imagine Twig. Ellie is brown because she's a female blackbird, but whenever people think of the species, they always tend to think of the male version, and I loved what this could mean for Kurt and his daemon!
I really would love to know what you thought, and thanks for reading!