AN- Kurt and Blaine need to adopt Rory. Or at least become best friends with him. He just needs a better role model than Finn.
So here's the thing about Rory: he doesn't like America.
It's not a country pride thing (though he'll gladly defend Ireland to the death). It's more the unwelcoming thing. No one likes him in America. The hockey team shoves him into lockers, the students don't seem to realize he exists and the only friend he managed to make, he was chased away from by fear.
All-in-all this whole foreign exchange program thing? Not his best idea.
But glee club was nice.
Seriously- joining New Directions has been the best decision Rory ever made. Finn has been nothing but helpful and the girls are all really nice (though they're not Brittany…). And the guys have been pretty welcoming.
Especially Kurt and Blaine.
Rory is nervous.
Seriously. The stage. The audience. Yes, there is no audience now but there will be in a few days and there's no way Rory is ready for a solo.
"I can't do this."
"Yes you can!" Blaine encourages, sidling up next to him. "You have an amazing voice and it deserves to be heard by everyone."
Rory flushes proudly. "Thank you, Blaine. But…you deserve this solo more."
Blaine merely shrugs. "I didn't come here for the solos, Rory. This is all you. Just take a deep breath. Maybe picture everyone in their underwear when the time comes?"
The taller boy is startled into a laugh. "That might make me even more nervous."
"Oh, I don't know," Blaine says with a grin. "Imaging Brittany in her underwear?""
Rory once more, his skin taking on the brightest shade of red imaginable. "Uh…"
"I'll stop teasing," the shorter boy says. Then he grabs Rory by the shoulders and steers him to center stage.
"Just take a deep breath. Close your eyes," Rory does so, "Now…picture your family. And sing."
And Rory does. He sees his dad as clearly as the day he left for America, smiling proudly. His mother, sobbing into her hand, clutching his youngest sister to her as if she was going to leave too. His younger brothers, laughing wildly and chasing each other around their parents, finally stopping to wave goodbye.
The song that comes is an old lullaby his mother sang to him when he was a kid. It's slow but not sad and though he can't tell, he's smiling as he sings it. As the last note floats around the auditorium, it's interrupted by rapid clapping.
"That was fantastic!" Blaine tells him. "I told you that you could do this!"
Rory laughs. "Thank you, Blaine. Really."
Blaine claps him on the back. "Sure thing."
Rory might hate dodge ball as much as America.
It hurts and it's not fun and he has no idea why his fellow glee clubbers got into it.
Maybe because they weren't bombarded with balls at the end.
His body hurts, for sure where the dodge balls pelted him but his nose hasn't stopped bleeding since he walked into the locker room and he's kind of freaking out because he doesn't like blood in the slightest and-
"Easy tiger," Kurt soothes sitting on the bench next to him. He curls an arm around Rory's back and gently pushes him forward. "Just lean a little bit, there you go."
He dabs at Rory's nose with the tissue as the blood flows, doing exactly what Google had directed him to.
"Now, I need you to pinch your nose, okay? And don't forget to breathe through your mouth."
Rory does so, taking deep breaths as Kurt rubs his back soothingly. After about five minutes, Kurt moves Rory's hand away. He smiles.
"Good, the bleeding stopped. You'll be fine. Just no more dodge ball for you. Ever."
Rory lets out a small chuckle. "Thank you, Kurt. For…for stopping them too."
Kurt's face hardens. "They were going way too far. No one should be treated like that."
"Still. Thank you."
Kurt moves on the bench, calling back a warning for Rory not to move and he's back in seconds with a damp washcloth. Gently, very gently, he cleans away the blood on Rory's face.
"There," he says, wiping the last bit away, "As charming as ever."
Rory grins and glances down. "Thanks."
"Now hurry up and get dressed," Kurt tells him. "Blaine and I have decided to take you out for ice cream."
That certainly cheers Rory up.
Rory stares dreamily across the hall.
Brittany is at her locker, smiling at whatever Santana is saying and he sighs a little because he misses her. And her offer to let him into her "pot of gold"
"You could go talk to her," Blaine suggest, suddenly sinking into the seat next to him.
Rory jumps. "Who?"
"Brittany. You know, the girl you've been staring at for like twenty minutes."
"I have not."
Blaine just stares; Rory sighs.
"Alright, fine I have. But if I go over there, Santana will kill me. She's already threatened me once," he sighs, "And there goes any chance of me ever losing my virginity."
Blaine's eyebrows rise. "Er…what?"
"Brittany was going to be my first."
"It was that serious?"
"She was offering," Rory explains like it's the most sensible thing in the world. "I just don't want to be a fifteen year old virgin anymore."
"Rory," And suddenly Kurt is in the seat next to him. "Have you ever had the birds and the bees speech?"
"Then you need to hear the 'You Matter' speech," and Kurt smiles fondly.
"Rory," Blaine begins and the attention is shifted, "Sex is an amazing thing. But it shouldn't be used all willy-nilly-"
"-it should be considered fully before it happens. Shut up," that part is directed at Kurt, who merely grins back, "Sex is something that should be used to connect to another person, Rory. Not the first person you're attracted to."
"You matter, Rory," Kurt says quietly. "Your first time should matter. It should be with someone you love and trust very, very much."
"Mine was," Blaine says. "And I'm very glad I waited."
"Me too," Kurt whispers.
By now, they're no longer looking at Rory and more at each other. Rory clears his throat and both boys seem to realize exactly where they are.
"Do you see now, Rory? Do you see how important it is?"
Rory nods. "Thank you,guys."
Rory hates Christmas.
Okay, he totally used to love it but now he just hates it.
Because he's in America not Ireland where his family is and he just misses them a lot. A lot a lot. Like heartbreakingly a lot.
He sings his heart out (Blue Christmas) to the glee club and then sits quietly to himself. He doesn't notice when everyone leaves but he does notice when Kurt leans down in front of him.
"Hey. We have a surprise for you."
Rory blinks and looks up. Blaine is grinning broadly next to his laptop. "What surprise?"
"Think if it as an early Christmas present," Kurt steers Rory over to the laptop and nods at Blaine. Who clicks the mouse and suddenly, there's Rory's family smiling brightly at him.
"The magic of Skype," Kurt says. "We saw how much you missed your family so…"
"Merry Christmas," Blaine finishes.
Rory can't help it; he hugs them both hard, a stream of thank-you's churning from his mouth. He collapse onto the chair in front of the laptop and just basks in his family.
"I think we did a nice thing," Blaine comments quietly.
Kurt smiles. "Me too."
By now, Rory has come to think of Kurt and Blaine as his friends.
He spends a lot of time with them- jamming in the choir room, getting coffee at the Lima Beam and even spending time with Kurt's awesome dad.
He's grown attached to them; like two older brothers that he loves more than anything.
So when they're walking down the hallway, laughing about some story Kurt is telling, and Rory hears one of the jocks utter that word, he can't help it.
He gets angry.
He forgets that he's small and easily destroyable. He forgets that the hockey team has gone up against him multiple times and he's always failed. And he forgets that Strando terrifies him.
Because Kurt and Blaine have been nothing but warm and welcoming and kind and they don't deserve that kind of language.
"Hey!" Rory shouts at Strando's retreating back. "Come back and apologize."
Strando raises his eyebrow and turns around. "Or what?"
"Or I'll make you."
"Rory," Kurt hisses, grabbing his arm. "It's not worth it. He's not worth it."
"He's just jealous!" Rory shouts. "Because you guys are so confident in who you are and he's nothing but a scared little boy who doesn't!"
Strando just laughs. "You are something else, Lucky Charms. Tell you what, I'm in a good mood so why don't you ske-dattle."
Blaine and Kurt don't need to be told twice. They manage to drag Rory all the way back to the choir room where he calms down within seconds.
"I'm sorry guys. I just…I don't like that word. Especially not directed at you two. You're so nice, a lot nicer than they are. Than anyone is."
Blaine smiles. "Thank you, Rory. The truth is, we're kind of used to it."
"But you shouldn't be!" Rory insists.
It's Kurt's turn to smile. "It doesn't bother us as much when we see how much it bothers you."
Rory grins. "I know of the perfect way we can get back at him! Let's tie all the hockey skates together in such a complicated knot they'll never get it out!"
"Rory, that's so devious of you."
"Well, I am a Leprechaun. Let's go!"
Blaine laughs out right and follows Rory right out the door, beckoning to Kurt. Who rolls his eyes but follows happily.
He could get used to this.