Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Glee or Dollhouse. Neither is my toy box and I'm merely playing.
A/N: For the angst_bingo hiatus challenge. Postage stamp using prompts: Long distance relationship (That Burt, Kurt and Harding are relatives that see little of each other), Dub-Con (Kurt gets tricked into agreeing to become a doll), Self-harm (Harding's habit of drowning himself in more and more food in which the results of this are seen in "Epitaph 2", and Restraints (Kurt gets tied down at one point). AU since timelines don't line up.
Harding closed the file and regarded Jessica Thompson with a closed face. She was his best recruiter, the dolls she brought in quickly became extremely popular. Still he felt compelled to point out the obvious, "He's a bit young."
"And yet not the youngest we've recruited," she countered.
He sat back in his chair, enjoying for a moment how her chair was placed below him. He smirked as he told her, "I'm curious to know how he came to your attention. I'd hate to think your poaching my family."
"I wasn't aware you were anything but distant relations, he's not even blood."
"Kurt is my brother's wife's nephew," Harding acknowledged, "His aunt and him don't get along. She has reservations about him. Still I occasionally see him."
Jessica remained silent for a moment, digesting that he might feel protective of her potential doll. Finally she told him, "He came to our attention because of the national cheerleading win. He was essential to their routine."
"And then the football…"
Jessica smiled, "He did win them their only game."
"And yet he didn't continue with either of those extracurriculars," Harding pointed out.
"They still show a unique skill set."
"Which we'd erase. Why not wait until he's eighteen?"
"A unique opportunity has presented itself," Jessica revealed, "His father is in the hospital, in a coma and we could offer him assistance with medical. Perhaps we could even make up a procedure that he'd believe would help his father. In exchange he'd agree to help us with research for five years and of course we'd wait until he'd graduated from high school."
"Careful of your tone, even I wouldn't believe you," Harding scolded, "But it would be easy to weave in the need for him to be tested to see if we could use him. Send someone, convince him, standard five year contract. Then send him to Halverson. Once he's a doll destroy the evidence and create a legal paper trail for him. Then send him to LA. DeWitt is always worried about her moral dilemmas it'd be interesting to sneak one in under her nose. I believe they need to replace their Mike. Don't look so shocked, your file was through, I didn't need much convincing."
As Jessica thanked him Harding signed off on her request confident that in a few days the signature would be destroyed and they'd have a new popular doll earning them money. He tried not to think about having to deal with Burt at any family get-togethers. Maybe he'd stop attending family functions. Hungry, Harding decided, he could do with some chocolate. He may have had an hour long lunch forty-five minutes ago, but deciding to wipe out the life of an almost nephew required drowning oneself with desert.
This was for his dad, Kurt tried to tell himself. He was helping his dad. He'd get his dad back. He tried not to be shudder as Bennett ordered him around. She had said he could call her by her first name, but that was the only nice thing she'd done. He wasn't sure why she lacked in social skills or why she seemed so cold, but it caused him to introvert and keep his mouth shut.
As they strapped him down to a table Kurt wondered if he should've asked more questions. All he'd really heard was help with the medical bills and a new way to help his father. He hadn't cared that they'd asked for five years of his life. He now wondered exactly what it was he'd gotten into. What would his father say?
They'd talk about this when his dad woke up, they'd figure this out.
"This is going to hurt isn't it?" he managed to ask.
Kurt stared up at Bennett and suddenly realized he wasn't really human to her, not if her satisfied smile was anything to go by, "Yes, it will."
As pain ran through him Kurt realized he'd been lied to. He'd let them do this to him, but he hadn't know what he'd agreed to and now…he…he wasn't sure he'd ever see his father again.
Burt woke up to Carole holding his hand and Finn sleeping in a nearby chair. He assumed his son had left the room briefly or maybe they'd sent him home for some rest. Disoriented Burt smiled at Carole, at least he realized right away he was in a hospital, even if he wasn't sure how he'd gotten there.
Then he saw the devastation on Carole's face. He knew when he looked in Carole's eyes. The sudden parade of doctors and nurses meant nothing. Even the questions by the police about where Kurt might have gone were answered evenly because he'd gone numb when he realized Kurt was missing.
Carole stayed by his side. Finn was shaken. Burt tried to be brave, tried to find any explanation to where his son might have gone. He even called every relative he could think of, even distant ones like Matthew Harding, to see if Kurt had contacted them, but there was nothing.
It was like his son had simply disappeared and there was nothing he could do about it.