Summary: Taken from a prompt on the Glee Angst Meme. Burt Hummel's dead, Kurt Hummel's doing his best to stay under the radar of Child Services, and the bullying is quickly bringing him to the end of his steadily shortening rope. The tiny, unused razor in the jewelry box seems to agree with that assessment. So it is really any wonder that when he catches sight of a blue police box left open just a crack that he would run inside?

Disclaimer: Nope. No, no, no.

Very Important Author's Note: So, kids, this is the last chapter of this fanfic. Thank you all so much for your reviews, favorites, alerts, all that good stuff. BUT. It's not over yet.

I am taking ONE-SHOT REQUESTS for this universe. If there's something you wanted to see but didn't? Shoot me a review about it and if it fits with my headcanon, I might give it a shot. It can be anything, a scene from the future, scene that might have happened in the past, anything.

Except for this: do not request Blaine hopping along in the TARDIS. It's not happening. Ever. So please just don't ask.

On with the show!

Chapter Nineteen: Da Capo

The beach idea goes well, at least until a craft flies overhead and starts dropping bombs that explode into blue slime. Rose ducks behind the Doctor's thrown coat just in time but Kurt ends up covered in the stuff, furious and sticky and smelling vaguely of rotting roses and no one sees him for the rest of the day because he's in the shower, trying to scrub himself back into normalcy. It sticks everywhere, to his skin and to his hair and the smell lingers even after the slime is gone.

Rose tries to show some sort of tact but the Doctor doesn't even bother, howling with laughter for a good hour and exacerbated by the fact that if he listens hard enough and the TARDIS is feeling nice, he can hear Kurt swearing furiously from the bathroom.

Kurt will never be able to enjoy roses after that (not that he was in love with them from the start, too cliché for romance and too sickly sweet for pleasure) and it will be a long time before he doesn't recoil every time a street vendor tries to sell him one.

The Doctor tries to reason with the creatures dropping bombs, disturbingly cheerful fellows with orange skin and penchant for practical jokes but it's Kurt who makes the most diplomatic progress, stepping forward and making it clear exactly how he feels about their jokes complete with hand waving, threats of bodily harm that may or may not be physically impossible for him to accomplish, and unadulterated, rose-scented-and-still-incredibly-sticky fury. In truth, it's not so much diplomacy as it is scaring the culprits out of their minds but it works better than anything the Doctor says so he lets it drop.

He knows to pick his battles and when the kid's that ticked off?

Well, better them than him. He'll watch from allllll the way over here, preferably behind some sort of impenetrable barrier.

Nice Doctor? No. Bad Doctor? Maybe. Sane Doctor? Definitely.

In the end, the pranksters are cowering and handing over a bottle of liquid that will (theoretically) get rid of the smell and Kurt nods imperiously like a benevolent king who's just been kind enough to spare them from a death sentence, never mind the fact that his apparent subjects have guns and he's a fabulous teenage human from the 21st century. The Doctor just barely manages to not dissolve into laughter as they watch them trip over themselves to leave and escape Kurt's still-angry glower but the moment they're out of earshot he's gone again, half hysterical and near tears.

It's worth promising a visit to Paris for Fashion Week for being able to keep the mental image of the kid verbally eviscerating a group of people who have at least three feet on him in height.

When Kurt finally smells like every shower gel in the bathroom and not a single hint of moldy flowers, he's infinitely more pleasant to be around even if the Doctor's nose gets the runaround because seriously, mango and white linen? Weirdest scent combination ever and not in a bad way.

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

Guess who got his phone fixed up and ready to go?

To: Kurt Hummel
Sent from: Mercedes Jones

I'm seriously considering killing you right now. Your PHONE, boy? Seriously? And how the hell is this even working?

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

No idea. Don't think too hard about it. Do I get survival points for my texting plan working through time and space?

To: Kurt Hummel
Sent from: Mercedes Jones

I guess you can stick around for now for being so considerate. :) When are you right now?

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

We're on the way to go hang out with Caesar before Cassius and Brutus off the crap out of him. Do you have any idea how hard it's going to be for me to not tell him "beware the Ides of March"? Let me tell you though, I look AMAZING in a toga.

To: Kurt Hummel
Sent from: Mercedes Jones

You know what I said about hating you? It stands, you just made me spit out half my water in math class.

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

That is unbelievably erotic. Just like me in a toga. Hold on, let me send you a photo.

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel


To: Kurt Hummel
Sent from: Blaine Anderson

Nice toga, Kurt. Very classy.

To: Blaine Anderson
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

oh my god.

To: Mercedes Jones
Sent from: Kurt Hummel

You are dead to me, Mercedes. Dead.

To: Kurt Hummel
Sent from: Mercedes Jones

You'll thank me later.

It's not weird for the lot of them to get wrapped up in the local cultures of the places they stop by, it's really not. It might be the Doctor needling his companions into consuming a ceremonial dish made of some pea-green meat in celebration of the spring solstice or the lot of them running for their lives thanks to either chance or… well, mostly chance. Or as Kurt liked to say in between breaths, his own bad luck.

Point is, it's really, really not that weird.

So honestly, Rose isn't all that surprised that the Doctor parks the TARDIS on a planet that just happens to be smack dab in the middle of an autumn festival, with feasting and dancing and kind, welcoming people who don't really seem to care where they've come from. Not a conspiracy to be found, no mysterious murders, and to Kurt's immense relief, no floral slime being dropped from the sky. It's a relief to Rose too because as amusing as it is to watch the boy fly off the handle, she likes him much more when he's happy.

The Doctor graciously (and eagerly) accepts the village's offer to join the festivities; everyone seems to be in too good of a mood to really think about the mechanics of the three strangers landing a police box in their village. Rose doesn't complain though because someone's handing them all plates and shooing them towards the long, low-slung tables and the smells coming off of them are amazing. Not even Kurt can keep from bouncing as he loads his plate up with everything that strikes his fancy, and Rose has never eaten anything that tastes so much like chips but looks so awful.

It's like pea soup, though; just close your eyes and don't think about it too hard.

It's not long before Rose is striking up a conversation with a local woman and can't resist asking if she can touch her hair, wound like long, snaking dreadlocks but softer than satin. The Doctor's off somewhere but she can pick out Kurt in the crowd, surrounded by a throng of kids who seem fascinated with his voice and his bright clothing.

Rose turns back to her own company and the last few bits of her meal, and when she looks up again, Kurt's looking flustered and kind of embarrassed but rather pleased and that is an unbelievably odd combination for him as he's tugged by the wrist up to what appears to be a stage in a plot of open space. The area didn't look like it had been prepared at all, covered in a thick coating of autumn leaves.

A large, bulky guy stands next to him and beams out to the crowd, all of whom seem to know exactly what's going on. Kurt just shifts a little and Rose knows that it's nerves and not because of the cold, despite the brisk wind. He doesn't look upset, though, and suddenly the Doctor's at her shoulder, watching the goings on with a curious and attentive eye.

"Now that we have all sated our stomachs-"

Thank you, dear TARDIS, for your ability to translate.

"It's time for the next –and best!- part of the festival! You all know what's coming, and this year one of our visitors has agreed to take part! So get up, come over here, and give him a welcome."

Rose still doesn't know quite what's going on but there's not a chance in hell that she's going to miss it, not when everyone else is running forward like it's going out of style and the Doctor looks like he's going to start laughing.

"What's going on?" she asks and all he does is shake his head, a smile splitting his lips.

"Unless I'm quite mistaken, our dear friend has gotten himself talked into showing off his vocal prowess, judging from the instruments and stage. No idea what they expect from him, though, considering. Somehow, I don't think anything in his repertoire is the norm for a fall celebration."

There aren't any microphones but they don't need any; Kurt's voice can be heard throughout the clearing, soaring over all the other ones.

"Hi!" he calls out, just the slightest hint of embarrassed color swashed across the apples of his cheeks, "Sorry if I look a little shaky, I'm not really used to performing in front of a crowd…" He's not thinking about it but his hand absently starts tapping a beat out on his hipbone and the drums follow, their sound akin to bongos and taiko by turn. "I don't really know what you guys are used to but this is one of my favorite songs. I know I'm no Dean Martin, but I hope you like it anyway. I'm dedicating it to two of the best people I know, riiiiiight over there," He doesn't name them but he gestures with his hand and Rose finds herself the object of much observation, much to her dismay.

"I'm going to kill him," she mutters, "He's dead. So dead."

"Now, now. Don't kill him quite yet," the Doctor leans down and whispers in her ear, "At least wait until you hear what he's picked. If it's a joke, then you're free to kill him as you will."

"When marimba rhythms start to play," Kurt sings, voice strong and powerful and smooth as glass, "Dance with me, make me sway," The drums follow his beat and unconsciously his body begins to swing from side to side with the music, "Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore, hold me close, sway me more," The leaves crunch under his feet and the rest of the locals are following him too, dancing and grooving despite the fact that this is probably the least ceremonial song they've ever heard and Rose can't help but think that it looks like so much fun.

"Hey," she proposes, sidling closer to the Doctor, "You ever heard the phrase "when in Rome"?"

"Rose Tyler, I practically invented that phrase."

"Then you should know exactly what it means."

"But we're not in Rome."

"This look like a face that cares? Be a man and come dance with me," Rose doesn't really know what's gotten into her but she reaches out and grabs the Doctor's hand and tugs him forward. He protests, loudly and embarrassingly but she knows that if he really didn't want to, he was more than capable of breaking away. He complains and fidgets and looks uncomfortable but they both look up and Kurt's watching them, eyes bright and excited and god, he belongs on that stage.

"Like a flower bending in the breeze, bend with me, sway with ease," It really doesn't seem to matter that mambo's clearly a new thing for the locals because they've all gotten into it, "When we dance you have a way with me, stay with me, sway with me," The fact that he hasn't practiced or prepared doesn't seem to stop him all that much, and Kurt's pulling from old Cheerios routines and Glee performances up there on that stage, bouncing around and spinning and generally looking like he's having the time of his life. Rose hears a sigh and the Doctor shifts to take her hand properly.

"When in Rome…" he mutters and Rose giggles because he's got his concentrating face on like he's trying desperately to remember something. "What? This is a fine sight, Rose Tyler, laughing at your dance partner." With his free hand, he waggles a finger at her.

"Oh, nothing," she replies, letting him migrate the both of them into an open space, "Just wondering whether you actually know how to dance this time around."

He huffs and glares at her, placing her free hand on his shoulder with more force than absolutely necessary.

"I am a perfectly capable dancer in this form—I think," he amends with a wry little smile, "Does it matter that much?"

"Nope," Rose answers and squeezes her hand in his, the area between the small of her back and her hip warm where his right hand sits almost shyly, "Not a single, little bit."

"Other dancers may be on the floor, dear, but my eyes will see only you. Only you have that magic technique, when we sway I go weak. I can hear the sound of violins long before it begins, make me thrill as only you know how, sway me smooth, sway me now…"

No, he's not perfect. But it's not like she's all that much of an expert and who really cares in the end? How often does something like this come around? She gets her dance and Kurt gets his stage and she doesn't really know what the Doctor gets but he looks happy anyway.

Rose doesn't know how long Kurt sings and she doesn't know how long she and the Doctor dance but by the time they stop, all the lights in the sky are out but the stars and Kurt's voice is beginning to fade and her feet feel like they're going to revolt and fall off any second now. They all collapse rather than walk into the TARDIS and Kurt threatens to just lay down on the floor and sleep there and be the biggest pain in the morning because you know what? He doesn't even care anymore. Take that.

The threat would be just a little more intimidating if he actually had some voice to work with instead of the whistley rasp he's got going on right now.

Talk about a hell of a party.

"I'm not kidding."

"That is a lie and you know it," the Doctor shoots back at him, grinning shamelessly mostly in response to Kurt looking like he wants to strangle him, "You have to get to your bathroom and do your face thing and if you try to make it back from your room to here, I think you'll die on the way."

Kurt just glares at him. There is a threshold of sleep deprivation where everything in the world is funny. She and Kurt have gone so far past that threshold that they've come full circle and now everything in the world is annoying. The Doctor's excessive cheeriness and the fact that he's kind of hopping around like he's had the best sleep of his life is not helping matters.

"Will not," Kurt mutters resentfully, looking so much younger than his nineteen years as he rubs his eyes.

"I beg to differ."

"I beg for you to be quiet and leave me to my exhaustion, maybe find yourself a short pier on the way."

"I beg for you to—"

Rose interrupts.

"I beg for the both of you to shut up," she growls out between gritted teeth. No, she's not tired and on the knife's edge of cranky from partying for over eighteen hours because the locals seem to have gotten attached to them somewhere along the way. Whyever would you think that? Don't be ridiculous. "I'm going to bed where normal people belong. You two can stay out here and behave like babies; nineteen or nine hundred, you're acting like you're about five."

When Kurt's gotten enough sleep and can process information properly, he'll note that Rose is improving her irritated, flouncing storm-out. Not quite to the level of Miss Berry, but impressive nonetheless considering that she doesn't get much practice. At that moment, though, he's tired and his head aches and his throat aches and his feet ache, and all he can do is exchange a surprised and altogether bemused look with the Doctor as the door slams.

"Think she's tired?" he asks and the Doctor snorts, reaching out a hand to clap him on the shoulder.

"To bed with you too, lad. I believe that you're beginning to sway on your feet and unless you're hearing a song that I'm not, that would be an indication that you're about ten seconds away from dropping where you stand. So off with you."

It's clear that Kurt's still rather irrationally grouchy but he obeys anyway, heading for the door and grumbling all the while. The Doctor shakes his head.

"Do make sure you actually get to bed in one piece, the TARDIS hates it when people pass out in her hallways—okay, now that was just unnecessary!" he protests when Kurt flips him a rude hand gesture and continues on his way.

Kurt's known for a very long time that he's been around the bend for longer than he's ever going to admit seriously and while not under the influence of alcohol. Really. He has.

Most of the time, he can ignore it.

Schmooze with the natives, sample the local cuisine, and con the Doctor into the shopping district. Occasionally, they end up in the red light district instead by accident and back away very quickly indeed but usually not quickly enough to avoid catching the attention of the hookers. That's pretty awkward but easy enough to get over.

What's not all that easy to get over is how easily he slips into running-for-our-lives mode from chill-out-and-be-merry mode. He should start timing that transition, it's that good. That's not the worst part, though. The worst part, by far, is that the running is actually kind of fun. It's not fun in that there's the risk of imminent death, but those are the times that he's most aware of what he's doing, where and when he is, and just how amazing the whole thing is.

He mentions it once and no one acts like he's crazy. Rose closes her eyes and nods a little as if she knows exactly what he's talking about and the Doctor shrugs at him because really, what does he expect? It takes a certain kind of person to take on the TARDIS and Kurt's known that all along even though he's never really thought too hard about what it means.

Kurt Hummel's never been lucky and he feels like a lot of his life has been a series of Christmas gifts that he never wanted.

He didn't ask to be gay, didn't ask to spend his entire adolescence looking short and pretty and kind of like an eleven year old girl. He didn't ask to be a target for almost all of his peers, didn't ask for his mother to succumb to the disease that took her from him and his father. He didn't ask for resilience, for his bad temper, for his persnickety attitude about his clothes. He didn't ask for society's intolerances.

He didn't ask for the fight with his father, or Burt's heart attack, or his death and the subsequent depression and temptations of suicide that followed it.

He didn't ask for the loneliness and the feelings of drowning and being forced into a situation he was far too young to be able to safely handle.

He didn't ask for the Doctor and his time machine and encouragement or Rose and her persistence, her good nature, her friendship. He didn't ask for the Doctor to care for him or for the chance to become someone better, braver, brighter. He didn't ask for the opportunity to be able to return that caring.

He didn't ask for goodbyes or returns or days of partying, for long distance text messages and photos and words of love. He didn't ask for Blaine or for the boy to be someone that he could forge what would most likely be a permanent bond with.

He didn't ask for grief, for love, for laughter, for tears and screams and blood and beauty because he didn't have to. They were his to keep come hell, high water, and a Time Lord who didn't know how to fold his own socks.

Kurt Hummel's never been lucky, but he's never needed to be.

AN2: Thank you so much for sticking with me all this time! Please leave your comments in a review or any ideas for one-shot requests! All of them will be posted as separate stories to this account, so please check back one in a while.