*peeks out from behind laptop in a shady alley*
Hi, everyone! I'm so sorry for the delay for this chapter. I've been going through academic hell at school-I pretty much have 392482304935 projects and essays to do-as required by the IB Diploma program. But, fret not, for I have started about half of Episode Six already, so expect that in two or three weeks.
This chapter was a little bitch to right, to be honest, and it didn't exactly end where I initially intended it to...
...it was initially 10k+ words, but the last bit I cut off seemed to fit well with how I wanted to start Episode Six, so...hehe.
Also, a thousand-no, an infinite number of thanks to my fantastic beta, Cori (Cori-Ackles here on FF), and my very close friend (who I have known since elementary school), who prefers to go by Unboundy (unboundpen here on FF), for helping me out with a few dialogue things in the beginning when I was stuck in a rut.
I hope you enjoy this chapter! I am still pretty overwhelmed about the response for this story; thank you all so much!
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. It is owned by RIB, FOX, and its affiliates. Also, I do not own the songs used in this story at all.
Witness Protection Problem
Episode Five: Disenchanted
Kurt quickly showered in the boys' locker room and got dressed back into his jeans and t-shirt as fast as he could. Looking over his shoulder and to his sides quickly, he let out a sigh of relief when he saw that the other boys were still walking—in pure snail-like fashion, he thought thankfully—towards the locker room through the wide expanse of the gym.
After reassuring himself that no one was around, he pulled out his small bottle of moisturizer, and squeezed out a pea-sized drop of the substance onto the palm of his hand. Right when he was about to rub it onto his cheeks, a voice rang out in the empty room:
"Kur—I mean, Elijah?"
Kurt jumped and let out a little squeak, and the little drop of precious moisturizer—Oh, goddamn it all—slipped off his hand and dropped onto the floor with a tiny squelch. Frustrated, he looked up and saw Finn standing before him, still in his P.E. uniform, his eyebrows raised.
"Dude, calm down. It's just me."
"Don't call me 'dude,'" Kurt hissed, taking a sharp intake of breath. "And obviously, I can see you in all of your giant glory, so there's obviously no need to tell me twice."
Finn snorted, opening his locker to grab his towel and clothes. The other boys in the class began to file into the locker room; their voices filling the air with raucous shouts and randomly exchanged obscenities ("No, dude, I banged Lopez last weekend", "Yeah, you should totally go for that—I hear she does this thing with her tongue.").
"You…you okay? You looked pretty freaked out on the track earlier, like you were running from the FBI or something…" Finn muttered under his breath. Kurt slammed his locker shut and picked up his backpack and duffel bag, letting out an exasperated sigh. The voices seemed to ring louder in the locker room.
("I want that one senior chick's ass." "Which one?" "The brunette, the one in Nude Erections." "Gross, Rachel Berry?")
Kurt's eyebrows knitted into a frown when he heard the witless banter being thrown about. "I thought I heard something," he said as he began to head out of the locker room.
("I would rather bang a stripper pole than go within a ten-mile radius of that shit. She's got a mouth bigger than Sam Fucking Evans." "That's a good thing, though, isn't it?" "You know what I heard? She doesn't have a gag reflex." Kurt flinched upon hearing this.)
Finn quickly pulled his pants and shirt on, and grabbed his backpack, closing his locker quickly. He caught up with Kurt, who was looking overtly distressed and exhausted as he wove through the large crowd of students exiting their classrooms upon the ringing of the bell.
"What 'something' did you hear?" Finn asked, lowering his voice. Kurt rolled his eyes and turned to face his brother.
"Listen, Michael, I don't think I can watch your audition. Big…big project for Advanced French to do tonight," Kurt said dismissively with a wave of his hand. "But…break a leg and tell me if you get in or not, okay?"
He turned on his heel, but before he took a single step forward, Finn took a hold of his shoulder and spun him around.
"Damn it, Kurt, what's wrong?" he hissed, holding him by the shoulders. Kurt wriggled out of his grasp and ran a hand through his tousled hair. He looked around and ducked through the crowd, finally reaching his locker. Finn stood next to him, eyebrows knitted into a frown.
"While…while I thought that Santana's last name being 'Lopez' was totally normal, considering the fact that manypeople have the same last name, you know, 'Woo, small world,' and that she would be totally innocuous, give or take a few snappy quips, I heard her talking in Spanish to her aunt, or something—I heard 'tía' and the name…the name 'Roddie' and she called him 'estupido'."
"Maybe she has a gassy uncle named 'Roddie' who wouldn't…listen and go to the bathroom?" Finn said offhandedly, letting out a snort. "Calm down, Kurt, it's a small world. What if 'Roddie' was a nickname for 'Riddick' or something, like the dude who played Triple-X? Vin Diesel?"
"Oh, god, that's stupid. How would you know that?" Kurt whispered, pulling books out of his locker and stuffing them into his backpack. "What if, Michael? What if? We've fallen into a trap. It's inevitable. I'm going to die before I become the CEO of Logo. Wait, you weren't supposed to hear that."
Finn hesitated before patting his brother's back. "Come on. Calm down. Maybe hearing people sing or something'll calm your nerves."
Kurt deadpanned, "Rather, it'll make me even more depressed than ever. Come on, Santana's in that club. Do you expect me to go in there and say 'Oh, hey! I pretty much put your cousins-brothers-uncles-'insert other male relative type' in jail back in New York because they're sick bastards'? No. No way. I'm just going to paint myself as a target, and then kaboom, we're all going to get shot in a firing line by her family—"
Finn's eyes widened. "Whoa, scary Kurt."
"She's probably going to check out the news later. My picture's going to be there somewhere, I know it. And my name. And she's going to stalk and talk to people from Brenton to get information, but then again, I don't exist there anymore—and neither do you, dad, or Carole—"
"I'm not Kurt!" Kurt said in a strangled voice. He took a deep breath and dug his face into his locker, people watching be damned. "Oh, Jesus. I'm already going crazy."
Finn's eyes widened. "Breathe. Come on. Breathe. You are Kurt. You're Kurt Hummel," he said, lowering his voice. "This 'Elijah' person is just a…a…"
"Yeah, whatever that is. Still breathing over there?"
"Obviously, or I'd be one of two things: blue and writhing, or dead and lying on the floor," Kurt deadpanned in return.
"Just because she may or may not be related to Rodrigo and Edward Lopez doesn't mean she's entirely evil or something," Finn quipped. "Damn, breathe. Breathe. You're usually so much calmer than this, and not this scared."
"You'd be scared, too, if your life were being threatened like this," he said. Kurt exhaled loudly, his hand lingering on his locker door.
"We're being protected 24/7. Who knows? Maybe Motto's passing off as a bangin' hot substitute teacher or something, or that new Malone guy strangled the old janitor and is passing off as him now…"
Kurt let out a little chuckle, relaxing a little.
"Okay. Fine. I'll go with you for sure. Maybe I am over thinking."
"You are. You always over think."
Finn smiled and patted his shoulder, but Kurt held up a warning finger, and he ceased immediately. Kurt closed his locker and looked at him warily.
"Thanks, Kur—Elijah. Man, I gotta stop messing up."
"Yes, you do, Michael. And, you owe me. Big time."
"I have one question, though…"
"What does 'innocuous' mean?"
Kurt face-palmed himself and responded, "'Harmless.' Ha, there's a new word for you. Use it to impress Rachel."
"That sounds like a good idea."
"Yeah, dude, challenge accepted."
"I told you to not call me 'dude'!"
In Kurt's opinion, the choir room was ridiculously small, and paled in comparison to the large, echo-y one at Brenton Academy. The choir room was quite long, and three rows of rafters were flush against a dark maroon wall. Kurt grimaced at the color scheme: It should all be white, pure, striking white. Black seats, black risers. Hmmmm…
Yet, he thought, it felt like home. A grand piano was smack-dab in the middle of the room, and a small band was setting up in a corner. Sheet music was laid out on a nearby table, and Kurt resisted the urge to walk over and look at it all—he tried to resist the urge to even touch the paper, or move from his stationary position by the choir room door.
He let Finn walk in first, and he watched as his brother said hello and fist-bumped some of the people who were there.
And in that moment, Kurt averted his attention from the apparent unattractiveness of the room to the people sitting in the chairs laid out on the rafters.
On the front row sat an Asian girl with brown, highlighted hair, and next to her was a tall and gangly Asian boy, who was busy whispering something in her ear. Boyfriend and girlfriend, Kurt surmised. Next to them was a stocky, muscular boy with a Mohawk—he looked slightly threatening as he fist-bumped Finn, but a pearly-white smile quickly dissipated his monster-like aura. Next to the Mohawk boy sat a boy in a knitted sweater vest, sitting in a wheelchair. An African-American girl sat in the back, texting on her phone and Kurt noticed her bright, neon pink jeans and zebra-striped off-shoulder shirt and winced. She looks like a Technicolor zebra. Must. Resist. The Urge. To—
"Good afternoon, my fellow Gl—AAARGH!" a loud voice exclaimed, and Kurt felt the force of a tiny body topple into him, papers scattering all over the place. He fell forward; face-first on the white tile and shot his head back up immediately, spluttering. He heard the entire Glee club break out in snickers.
He looked up as Rachel Berry sprung up, dusting herself off. "At least I didn't fall and break my ta—OH, ELIJAH! You're here to audition?" she exclaimed, holding a hand out for him. Kurt took it angrily and hoisted himself up, helping Rachel pick up the fallen sheet music.
"No, I'm not. I'm here to support my brother," he said, huffing. "Jesus Christ, Rachel, look before you enter a room, okay?"
"Everyone, if you have not met them already, meet Elijah and Michael Henderson," Rachel said in a commandeering fashion, waving her hand to the two brothers. The boy with the Mohawk let out a loud snort.
"Dude, Rachel, I met Michael in math class. But, 'sup, Elf?" he said, nodding his head towards Kurt, whose mouth dropped open.
"Noah Puckerman," Rachel said quickly, pushing Kurt deeper into the room.
Noah Puckerman made a face. "Puck, if you know what's best for you."
"I'm Tina Cohen-Chang," the Asian girl trilled.
"Mike Chang," the Asian boy said. "And, before you jump to conclusions, we aren't related," he said, gesturing towards Tina, who laughed.
"Mercedes Jones," the girl in the pink jeans called out, without looking up from her mobile.
"Artie Abrams, bro," the boy in the wheelchair said, waving a strange gangster-like symbol in the air with his hand.
"Elijah," Kurt said quickly. "Elijah Henderson, as Rachel so duly noted. But…I'm not here to audition, really—"
"Nonsense!" Rachel scoffed, pushing him down on a chair next to her. Kurt looked to Finn helplessly—his brother merely shrugged and gave him a wary smile.
"Really, Berry, I'm not here to—"
"Oh, god, who started World War III?" a loud, female voice drawled. Kurt went rigid as he watched Santana Lopez and Brittany Pierce (not Spears, not Britney Spears, Kurt thought to himself). Santana stood by the door; her hand was on her hip, looking at the papers that were still on the floor. She looked back at Rachel. "Was it you, hobbit? Hopping around and causing useless mayhem so you could get back Isengard as soon as possible?"
Rachel frowned and stood up, picking up the papers quickly. "Your tactless jabs do not—and will never—affect me, Santana," she said stiffly, haughtily walking back to her seat next to Kurt, who was still trying to control his breathing.
"Whatever, Yentl," Santana snorted, sitting down next to Noah Puckerman. "Oh—wait, Pavement Boy and his brother are here to audition? Holy shit."
"Nah, just me," Finn—Michael—pointed out, looking over to see if Kurt was okay. Kurt nodded quickly, cracking a small smile.
"Not really the singing type," he said, dropping his voice an octave. No one seemed to notice.
"Hm, I thought otherwise, because you were screaming 'Oh, mercy,' at the pavement during P.E., or so it seemed—sounded like sweet love music to me," Santana said with a sickening sweetness, a prim smile on her lips. Kurt gave her a seething look and folded his arms, biting back a retort.
"Come on, babe—stop messing with the new kids," a voice chastised.
A split-second after Santana's quip, a tall and muscular blonde boy (with a large mouth, Kurt thought amusedly) entered the room, and took a seat in the back next to Santana, who immediately spun in her seat, resting her legs on his lap. Hm. Dating, Kurt deduced.
"I was just welcoming the new blood, guppy lips," Santana shrugged. "When I wants to get my welcome on, I do."
And, with that, she promptly locked her lips with his. Kurt grimaced and looked away immediately.
"Sam Evans," Rachel said quietly, whispering in Kurt's ear. "Santana's boyfriend."
"I can see that," Kurt said, in equal parts annoyed and disgusted.
The club broke out into penniless banter, everyone talking about different things. Mercedes, Artie, Tina, and Mike were in deep discussion about the latest Beyonce album, Finn, Puck, and Sam started talking about sports, and Brittany and Santana were in deep conversation about something serious—Kurt could only suspect what they were talking about. Santana paused at regular intervals to kiss Sam squarely on the lips.
He sat firmly in his seat, trying not to interact with anyone.
Finn seems to be doing quite fine. Oh, god, what is Santana's problem? Eugh, gross, I just saw some tongue. Makes me want to become asexual and never date. Mercedes needs to change that entire outfit. It's flashier than a—
Rachel's loud and raucous voice broke him out of his reverie.
"So, what are you going to sing?" she asked brightly. Kurt let out a deep sigh and looked her squarely in the eyes.
"I. Am. Not. Auditioning," he said slowly and carefully, trying to level his voice. "Do. You. Understand?"
Rachel frowned. "Fine, then. What is your brother going to sing?"
"Why don't you ask him? Talk to other people?"
She shrugged. "He's busy talking to other people—and those other people are talking to him."
"I am trying to hear myself think."
"I know what's going on in your mind, Elijah," Rachel said, with a disdainful sniff.
Kurt snorted. "Yeah. Yeah, whatever."
Suddenly, a look of realization dawned upon Rachel's face—or, at least it looked like an epiphany-related expression.
"You could sway in the background," she said, her eyes widening.
Kurt's eyebrows furrowed into a frown. "Wait, what? Not comprehending here."
"You. Sway. In. Background. We need three more people to join Glee club. At this point, we're incredibly desperate—"
"You want me to mindlessly mouth silent harmonies?"
"Yes, if you can't sing, that's perfectly fine with me. You know Mike? He can't sing; he only dances. He can do simple harmonies once in a while, however, but obviously his singing skills are not as up to par as Noah's or Sam's, or my ex's."
Kurt let out a highly unattractive snort. Luckily, no one noticed. "Seriously?"
"Yes, seriously!" Rachel said, her eyes widening, her fists clenching in her lap as though dozens of ideas popped up in her head. "We need twelve members or more by sectionals, so—more would be practical, since we could break out into a four-part harmony, depending on the number of members who would grace themselves with our presence—oh, that would be fabulous—"
"—Good afternoon, guys!" Mr. Schuester's voice rang out cheerfully. Everyone stopped talking as the Spanish teacher waltzed into the room excitedly, rubbing his palms together. "Today, we've got someone here to audition for us, is that right, Rachel?"
"Michael Henderson, here," Rachel said happily, looking at Finn with a bright smile on her face. She looked back to Kurt, who grimaced and shrugged. "His brother, Elijah, here, has offered to sway in the background as a substitute until we find actual singers. Though—"
"—Hey!" Kurt called out, taken aback. "I did not say that."
"—I'll think about that, Rachel," Mr. Schuester said, slightly taken aback. "So, Michael, show us what you've got."
Finn stood up awkwardly and looked to Kurt, who gave him a small thumbs-up. You can do it, he mouthed. Finn cracked a smile and moved to the piano, where a middle-aged man seemed to randomly appear. He whispered the name of the song in his ear, and he nodded as Finn took his position at the middle of the choir room, rolling his shoulders and taking a deep breath.
"That's Brad. He's our piano player," Rachel pointed out. Kurt gave her a reproachful look—as if he were telling her um, I figured that out.
Finn braced himself and said, "I'm gonna sing Faithfully by Journey."
"Sounds good to me," Mr. Schuester said, clapping his hands together excitedly.
Brad the Pianist started the intro of the song, and Finn took a deep breath and began.
Highway run into the midnight sun
Wheels go 'round and 'round; you're on my mind
Restless hearts sleep alone tonight
Sending all my love along the wire
Kurt's eyes were wide as his stepbrother sang the first verse. His voice wasn't…bad, per se, it was…okay. It was pitchy, and as a person who had studied music since he was practically a fetus, Kurt believed that Finn's voice was slightly off. Bearable, but off. Maybe he hadn't listened properly whenever Finn belted out his scrub-a-dub-dub tunes in the shower. Kurt, keeping his bearing, turned his head slightly to face the rest of the club. The Chang duo watched Finn politely, probably a placating gesture.
Santana, however, was obviously surprised: her eyebrows knitted together in a frown and her arms remained tightly folded. Next to her, Puckerman and Sam Evans looked utterly taken aback, their eyes wide. Artie sat there, obviously surprised, his eyes widening, his hands folded in his lap. The blonde cheerleader, Brittany S. Pierce (not 'Spears'), closed her eyes and began bobbing her head to the beat of the piano soulfully. Mercedes merely blinked and continued to watch. Mr. Schuester's eyes widened, but nothing in his face read shock or worry like the other glee clubbers'.
Rachel, however, had the most shell-shocked look on her face; her jaw was slightly dropped, and her head was tilted sideways, her expression reminding Kurt of a lost puppy being kicked in the face. Well, Finn's stock surely plummeted in her eyes, Kurt said, letting out a sigh.
I'm forever yours, faithfully
Upon finishing the song, the glee club clapped, albeit the applause being half-hearted, and Finn stood there, wringing his wrists together, giving his peers a hopeful, yet sheepish look. Kurt let out a quiet sigh and clapped the loudest for his stepbrother.
"Um, good job, Michael," Mr. Schuester said, as the wary cacophony of applause died down. "I…um…"
"I was bad, wasn't I?" Finn said hoarsely, flushing red in the face. Kurt immediately felt sorry for him. "I understand if you guys don't want me in glee, so…yeah…"
"Oh my god, seriously, Michelangelo, you have a fetus face," Santana snorted. "I swear, when you try to reach those high notes, it looks like you're crying for mama."
Mr. Schue let out a heavy sigh. "That's enough, Santana."
"I'm just trying to keep it real here," she retorted, shrugging. Finn shot her a slight frown—Kurt could tell that he was confused. Kurt bit back an insult and proceeded to fold his arms, his eyes flicking back and forth between the other members of the glee club and Finn. Don't antagonize her.
Rachel's voice seemed to echo annoyingly across the room.
"You were quite alright…not exactly the male lead I was looking for," she said off-handedly. Kurt suddenly felt the urge to punch her in the face. "But, you do have the potential to get better, so Mr. Schue, I would like to say that having Michael in the club would be potentially beneficial, as we do need more males in the club. I, for one, would be delighted to welcome a new member."
Kurt didn't expect that, but Rachel's continued drivel seemed to mollify him just a little bit.
"He's got that rocker-kinda voice," Puck said, nodding. "I dunno, that'll probably help us if we do some Van Halen or somethin'."
"I agree," Artie replied. "We need some more dude power in here."
"Weren't we gonna do Journey stuff this year anyway?" Sam said, shrugging. "I mean, we could help him and all of that, Mr. Schue."
Kurt let out a loud sigh, leaning back in his chair. Suddenly, the eyes of the entire glee club were on him, including Finn's and Mr. Schuester's. Blinking, he sat up and cleared his throat. "Yes?" he said simply. Everyone turned back to face Mr. Schue.
"Point made, guys—and Rachel," Mr. Schue said, nodding. "Guys, let's welcome Michael Henderson to the glee club."
Rachel's smile and claps were the brightest and loudest in the room. Kurt let out a sigh of relief, clapping as well. Finn gave him a bright smile and Kurt returned it, giving him a thumb up.
"Oh, wait, Mr. Schuester!" Rachel exclaimed, standing up. Everyone slowly fell silent and turned to face her. "How about my proposition about Elijah noiselessly harmonizing in the background? We could use some more members for show, of course, to meet the twelve-or-more-member requirement for the National Show Choir Association."
Kurt looked incredulous and his jaw dropped, but he immediately regained his bearing and cleared his throat. Part of him wanted to do this, to get back into the fold of the arts and music in general, but the other half of him told him that he would be betraying his parents and WitSec, and even if he were harmonizing soundlessly in the background, he still would be a part of the glee club—and he was told not to do things he would normally do. He turned to Finn, who gave him a slightly concerned look…but then:
Finn nodded curtly, his eyes wide and lips pursed together. Do it, the expression read.
"Are you fine with that, Elijah?" Mr. Schuester asked; his arms were folded in concern. Kurt blinked several times and took a deep breath.
"Yeah, if you guys are up for it," he said quietly. Rachel threw her arms around Kurt who looked utterly taken aback and nearly fell over in his chair.
"Well. You'd only need to come to choreography rehearsals, and we usually have those three weeks before the competitions," Mr. Schuester said. "But, you're welcome to just hang out here all the time if you want."
That would be enough, Kurt thought. "Alright. Alright then," he said, shrugging. Deep inside, his heart was leaping and bouncing all over the place.
He would be in glee. Suddenly, he didn't care that he would be noiselessly harmonizing and dancing in the background—or 'swaying' as Rachel put it—he'd be back in his world of music.
Kurt and Finn exchanged small smiles, and then Mr. Schue said, "Okay, then, guys, let's welcome the Henderson brothers to the glee club! And sectionals are in a month and a half, and we've got to get to work on our set list, so let's go and warm up!"
Everyone hurried over to the piano, and Kurt was the last to come down the risers. Finn patted him on the back.
"You sure about this?" Kurt whispered.
"I'm not telling mom or Burt a thing," he said, grinning and ruffling Kurt's hair. Kurt shot him an angry look, which Finn countered with a snort. They convened with the other glee club members, and Brad the Pianist struck up a set of warm-ups.
Of course, Kurt merely hummed along.
Blaine walked out of Mrs. Janacek's classroom—he had just finished his after-school detention for being tardy and not turning in his pre-calculus homework (also, for talking out of turn—he had said something wildly inappropriate) earlier that day. His punishment was merely sitting down for an hour and a half, doing absolutely nothing (well, he was supposed to be making up for his missed work, but he only did half of the problems and didn't attempt to do the rest), while Mrs. Janacek proceeded to cry (she tried not to make it obvious, but it was somewhat difficult for her to hide her emotions) pathetically over a romance novel. Once his time was up, he nearly bolted out of the classroom, and into the empty hallways of post-bell McKinley High.
He walked with an easy, loping grace towards the main school entrance. Everything was going absolutely fine for him until he heard the sound of laughter from a nearby classroom.
Oh. Of course. The glee club's still fucking around, he thought, irritated. He quickened his pace, bag slumped over his shoulder, towards the main doors—he wanted to avoid Rachel Berry like the black plague, and of course, Santana, since she was in the club anyway (she'd been texting him since he kicked her out of his Volvo, wanting more 'sexy time')—and that was when he saw Elijah Henderson walk out of the choir room with his lumpy and Frankenstein-tall brother, Michelle—no, Michael, that was it—followed by Rachel Berry. Blaine ducked behind a corner and peeked his head out from behind one of the walls and furrowed his eyebrows.
"I'm so glad you two have joined the club," Blaine heard Rachel say in her loud, pretentious voice. "I'm quite pleased that you changed your mind out of all people, Elijah!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever," he heard Elijah say with a snort.
Oh, Blaine thought. Well, fuck. He pulled out his phone and waited until the rest of the glee club emptied the hallways, and dialed Quinn's number.
Her tremulous, soft—yet rough—voice drawled from the receiver. "Quinn fucking Fabray, may I help you?"
"Looks like the Hendershits joined glee club."
"Um, and why do I need to know this?"
"I don't know," Blaine whispered. "I have no fucking clue."
"Oh, Blanderson. Where are you? I've been waiting for you since school got out."
"Janacek gave me detention."
"Oh, I skipped that. I was supposed to go. Didn't know you were there, too or I would have gone. Why didn't you skip out on it?"
"She and Figgins threatened to call my dad."
"Bullshit, she didn't pull that on me. My mom wouldn't have been home, anyway," Quinn said with a snort. Blaine had to hold the phone away from his ear as she laughed. "Well, Bee, get your ass to the park. We have an important date to attend to, if you didn't remember."
"Indeed, we do," Blaine muttered. "See you in ten."
"Make it five."
"Not on weekdays," she said slyly. Blaine chuckled.
"You are truly a sly and conniving little bitch, aren't you?"
"Exactly why we are in cahoots. Now shut up, Anderson, and get your ass over to the park. Wes and David are nearly here."
Blaine's expression turned dark. He walked down the hallway and out of the main school building—the glee kids were long gone already. "Tell them to wait up. I'm almost to my car."
"You know they're not gonna wait up, Bee," Quinn said seriously. "You can't fucking expect them to stay behind and wait there. They've only got three hours before Dalton realizes they're missing."
"Okay, I'm hanging up now," Blaine grumbled. "Bye."
Kurt and Finn walked towards the parking lot with Rachel, who was blabbing on and on about the most random and self-centered things in the world. Kurt had discovered that Rachel was an incredibly talented singer and performer—he figured that out when Mr. Schuester had them review a number they had started last week—in which she had been given the lead. Upon complimenting her, she shot off into a self-impassioned diatribe
"You see, my Two Gay Dads—they spoiled me in the arts," she gushed as they walked towards her car (Kurt was a little taken aback by her pronunciation of the words "Two Gay Dads"—she made the phrase sound like a pronoun). She had offered to drive them home—to Finn's pleasure and Kurt's chagrin—after every glee club practice starting with their first. "I'm a star, and I clearly need to shine, so it is inevitable, with the fantastic combination of my ingénue and my talent, that I am most certainly going to get into my dream school."
"And that is?" Kurt drawled.
"The New York Academy of Dramatic Arts," she said proudly, fishing around in her bag. She pulled out a pristine, white folder, flashing it in Kurt's face. Kurt resisted the urge to laugh, but that sudden burst of happiness was ultimately dampened when he realized that he was already a student—if she got in with them—oh god, no—she would figure out everything. Well, let her figure it out, he thought to himself. We might get out of this hellhole right after graduation…
Rachel handed him her folder, and Kurt took it reluctantly, reading through it. Her resume was pretty impressive—she was right, she had taken many music, dance, and theater workshops throughout her seventeen years of existence. "Pretty cool," Kurt said casually, handing it back. "Um, Rachel, where's your car at?"
The shorter girl's eyes widened. "Oh! I nearly forgot, it's right down there," she exclaimed, pointing down the parking lot at a silver Chevrolet.
"Is that…" Finn said, mouth agape.
"A Chevy? Yes, indeed. It was given to me by my dads when I turned sixteen," she said proudly. Kurt proceeded to tune her out as she continued to blab on about her talent, life, whatever. He looked around the parking lot and saw Blaine Anderson walking towards a black Volvo…which was parked right next to Rachel's. It was then he also realized that they were already near Rachel's car. His face flushed red. Straight. Straight. He's straight, stop it, he's straight—
Rachel pulled out her keys and pressed a button—the car unlocked immediately. She was about to step in and unlock the other doors for Finn and Kurt when—
"Well, well, well, looks like the Hendersons have joined glee club," Blaine quipped, arms folded as he unlocked his car.
"What's it to you, Anderson?" Finn snapped. Kurt shot Finn a warning glance.
"Yes, we have," Kurt said evenly, keeping his composure. "I don't see you doing anything relatively productive."
"Santana Lopez," Blaine said, shrugging. "She's very productive." Rachel's mouth dropped.
"That's a terrible thing to say!" she squeaked. "She's dating Sam Evans!"
"…And screwing half the guys in the school," Blaine said with a snort. "Well, fuck you three. I must go and do other productive things," he added, winking at Rachel, opening the driver's door forcefully. Rachel flushed red and frowned deeply at him.
"You're all talk, Anderson, but you don't really seem to walk the walk," Kurt said loudly. Blaine paused, his hand on his car door.
"Oh, really, Henderson?" he laughed mirthlessly, crossing over to their side so that he was standing directly in front of Kurt. Kurt's breath hitched and his voice seem to catch in his throat—no, no, no, oh shit—but he managed to look Blaine in the eye.
"Hey, back off—!" Finn began, but Kurt held up a hand to halt him.
"Yes, really, Anderson," Kurt said scathingly.
"You don't even know half a thing about me, Elijah Henderson, so you better watch your mouth or I will—"
"—Will what? Throw a punch or two?" Kurt laughed mirthlessly. "Go ahead. Do it. I've tried to be nice to you for about half a week already, but you obviously have abandoned your student helper job. I'm going to abandon the nice act, too, because you're being such a jackass."
Something in Blaine's eyes seemed to change almost instantaneously.
"You know what? Just…fuck you, Henderson," Blaine growled, turning on his heel and opening his car door forcefully. Finn and Rachel grabbed Kurt's arms as he leaned forward and shouted:
"Fuck you, too, Anderson! Better not miss your appointment at Alcoholic's Anonymous! Don't want you aimlessly stumbling around like an idiot—oh wait, you do a pretty good job of doing that yourself!"
Blaine shot him a dirty look (which was barely discernable through the tinted windows of the Volvo), revved his engine, and drove off.
Kurt huffed loudly and Finn and Rachel let go of him.
"I fucking hate him," Kurt spat, opening Rachel's car door. Finn sat shotgun, and Kurt sat alone in the back, arms folded as Rachel started the engine and drove onto the main road.
"Don't mess with Blaine Anderson, Elijah," Rachel said seriously as she turned a corner. "He's nothing but trouble, and I suggest…"
"Don't have to tell me twice," Kurt muttered. "You know what? I tried to be nice. I really did."
Rachel peered at him from her rearview mirror. "I've tried that so many times. He seems impossible to get through. The only person he hangs out with is Quinn Fabray."
"The girl with the pink hair?"
"Yes," Rachel muttered. "She got pregnant with Noah Puckerman's child during sophomore year, and after she had her daughter, things went downhill from there. She gave up her baby, Beth, for adoption, and I don't think she could cope with it all and came back to school junior year with pink hair, what Santana would call a 'tramp stamp,' a trio of girls like her tailing her, and Blaine Anderson as her best friend. She used to be the head cheerleader."
Finn's eyes were wide. "Holy. Shit."
"Yes, 'holy shit,' indeed." Rachel fiddled with her radio as she kept her eyes on the road. "Do you mind if I play some Barbra?"
"—Streisand?" Kurt blurted, without thinking. He and Finn visibly froze in their seats.
There was an awkward bout of silence that soon followed Kurt's comment.
"Yes," Rachel said as she pressed 'play'—her eyes lit up. Streisand's recording of Not While I'm Around from "Sweeney Todd"began playing in the car. "How astute of you, Elijah."
"I used to hear our mom talk about her all the time," Kurt lied flawlessly. In his head, he sang along to the words: nothing's gonna harm you…not while I'm around…nothing's gonna harm you, no, sir, not while I'm around—
"Your mother must have excellent music taste," Rachel gushed. "I'd love to talk to her about Barbra one time to see if she has all of the songs and movies, or if she's seen the shows she was in—"
"—Oh, she, um, she's pretty busy most days, so she doesn't listen to Barbra as much anymore—I mean," Finn began.
"—What Michael is trying to say is that she pretty much only knows about Yentl and all of that. She's a big fan of, um, Britney Spears stuff at the moment. You know, generic pop shit," Kurt said, attempting to sound casual.
Rachel nodded appreciatively, keeping her eyes on the road. "I see! Oh, where do I turn?" she asked.
"Jackson Street," Finn supplied, pointing eastward. "The cul de sac."
"Oh, that's a lovely place to live," she said. "I assume your family lives in the nice colonial down there?"
Kurt's eyes widened incredulously. "Yeah. Why?"
"It's been for sale for months, but no one could seem to afford it," Rachel said with a shrug as she pulled into the cul de sac.
"Okay," Finn said, bobbing his head.
Rachel finally parked in front of the 'Henderson' household, and Finn and Kurt said goodbye quickly—well, Kurt much quicker than Finn, and she drove away, shouting an overly cheery "See you tomorrow!"
The two boys breathed a sigh of relief as they walked up the path to the patio, where Carole was standing, waiting for them.
Kurt whispered, "Not a word."
"Yeah, not a word," Finn replied, and they both shared yet another fist bump.
Blaine slammed his car door shut in a huff as soon as he parked by Crestwood Park, which was on the outskirts of Lima. He squinted his eyes, searching for the familiar tuft of short, pink hair, and finally found it by a cluster of birch trees. He looked around suspiciously, and then quickened his pace. Quinn stood underneath one of the oldest trees (he knew this because he frequented the park as a child), taking a long drag of her cigarette, the puffs of smoke reminiscent of the grey and white tie-dye patterns of her long, billowy skirt.
"Bee," she breathed, nearly jumping. "Finally you dragged your ass here. Took you long enough."
"Where are they?" Blaine asked, looking around. Quinn furrowed her eyebrows and folded her arms over her dark t-shirt.
"They'll be here in five minutes. Seriously, Bee, what took you so long? You could have gotten here ten minutes earlier."
"Ran into Berry and the Hendersons."
"That sounds like a shit band," Quinn said with a snort. "Did Berry try to convert you to Gleekianity again?"
"Nope," Blaine muttered, pulling out his own cigarette and lighter. "That Elijah kid. The one with the fucking high-pitched voice—he's a fucking douche—"
"Half the people in school think he's gay," Quinn said quietly, interrupting him. She gave Blaine a pointed look and he immediately furrowed his eyebrows and looked away as he began smoking. "What do you think?"
"I'm not going to say anything at all," Blaine snapped. "Don't you fucking dare bring that up again, Quinn Fabray."
"That wasn't my intention," Quinn retorted. "I was just asking what you thought, you dipshit."
"Well, I don't think he is," was all Blaine said in reply.
Quinn dropped her cigarette to the ground and stepped on it with her dark ballet flats. "You're deflecting again."
"What the fuck do you mean, 'deflecting'?"
"Nothing. I'm just gonna shut up now because you're being such a dickhead," she said with a wry smile. "There they are," she added, pointing to two figures rushing towards them from the distance. Blaine couldn't help but smile grimly at his two closest friends from the Dalton Reform School for Boys, Wes Kim and David Thompson, hurried closer to them in casual attire—their normal ripped jeans and dark graphic tees.
"Anderson," Wes said curtly, nodding. Blaine cocked his head at the ratty-looking file Wes was holding in his hands. "I've got the documents you need. You better use it to the best of your ability, or I am going to literally catapult shit from my dorm room and kill you if you screw this up and we get caught."
"Nice to see you too, Wesley," Blaine said, laughing unashamedly. "You too, Thompson."
"It took me a shorter time to pick the lock and master code of the main gate, but I got us the hell out of there and we only have three more hours until the gates close," David said seriously. "God, you're milking your freedom, aren't you Anderson?"
Blaine took the file from Wes's hands and opened it: the perfectly made fake IDs and documents for him and Quinn were all set and ready—looking positively immaculate and legitimate. "Freedom's good, but still fucking shit," he said, whistling at Wes's handiwork. "You did good, Kim."
"I'm a fucking pro," Wes said, sniffing indifferently. "Took me a while to get all of the damn stock paper and shit I needed to make these. You owe me. Big time. I had to hide all of the things I needed in different rooms. You know how much of a pain in the ass that was? Jeff was pretty much all over Nick every single time I needed to get the card printer from his room."
"I will shower you with gifts upon your release from the Academy," Blaine said seriously. "We're going to Columbus the night you guys get out. Booze. Coke. You name it."
"I'll make sure to bring the Skanks, too. The Mack's been missing you, Wes," Quinn said, winking. Wes gave her a smirk.
"We get out after Christmas, probably before you guys ditch this shithole for NYC," David said. "But if we get caught right now, we aren't getting out at all, so we gotta go."
"Thanks, guys," Blaine said, nodding curtly. "And seriously? Nick and Jeff? Knew it."
"You're one to talk," Quinn laughed, pushing him playfully. "Always fucking your cheerleader ho in your fancy-shmancy car from daddy…"
"Fuck you, Quinn," Blaine grumbled.
"Hey, I told you: not on weekends."
"A cheerleader, huh, Blaine?" David said, winking. Blaine gave a meager smile and waved them off.
"Get the fuck out of here, you bastards," Blaine said loudly, attempting to silence them. The small group burst out into a cacophony of laughter. The three of them fist bumped and then Wes and David went back on their way to Westerville, a car waiting for them. Probably Thad Harwood's car—the guy got out of Dalton two weeks ago.
Blaine watched as the car drove off, leaving him and Quinn to look at the folder in their hands.
"We've got the fucking tickets, we have the IDs and all the paperwork set," she breathed, holding the fake driver's license in her hand. Blaine gave her a smirk.
"Can't wait to ditch this shithole and get to New York."
The two friends set the file down between them and sat down under the tree, leaning against its trunk.
"You didn't fucking tell them, huh?" Quinn said in slight disgust. "That you've—"
"—I am, okay? So shut the fuck up."
"Hey, I'm not the one secretly going to bars on the weekends," Quinn said quietly, "and fucking every guy I can get my hand on."
"I told you, I'm—I'm not like that anymore. I don't do that shit. That isn't me," Blaine hissed, keeping his eyes trained on the grass, picking at it in irritation. "Fucking hell, Quinn, why are you bringing this up again?"
"Because you're acting so weird!" Quinn said stubbornly. "You have been since that Henderson kid came and earlier you were all fucking flustered after lunch."
"Was not fucking flustered."
The two sat there in silence for a few minutes.
"Blaine," Quinn said, in a more serious tone, "you know…"
"Don't, Quinn. Don't you dare say anything; I'm not that person anymore."
"Trying to repress that shit is what's been screwing you over for the past two fucking years!" Quinn hissed.
"Shut up!" Blaine snapped. Quinn stared at him pointedly, looking him up and down. "I'm not repressing anything, this is who the fuck I am!"
"We're not going to talk about this anymore."
"No, we're not," Quinn said quietly. "So, tell me what happened in the parking lot earlier."
"Elijah Henderson's a dick, Rachel Berry's annoying, and Michelle—I mean, Michael, whatever the fuck he's called, he's just…there."
"Looks like a lamp post."
Blaine chuckled, holding his still-lit cigarette between his fingers. "Quinn," he began.
"I'm so fucking confused," Blaine whispered. "I don't know why, but I am."
"Life screws us all over, all the time. We all just have to buck up and deal with it," Quinn said with a shrug. Her tone softened. "If you really think this is who you are, then that's who the fuck you are. Quite frankly, I don't care…you're still Blaine to me."
The ghost of a smile played on Blaine's lips.
Heh. Heh. Heh. Quaine and Furt bro-ness.
The plot thickens. There will be a small time skip next chapter, and the promised, dreaded AP Lit project.
Quick PSA: I get a little bored while writing about the theory of knowledge and about the Berlin Wall, so drop me some drabble prompts in my Tumblr inbox! My tumblr name is crissettos. I won't be posting fangirly things there myself until school ends, so I left my queue on, and I'll go by once a week to check if there are any prompts and any of that good stuff.
ANYWAY, hope you enjoyed this chapter!