The first week had been awkward for all parties involved.
Duly subdued by Bobby's unsubtle warning, Sam and Dean really had no idea how to comport themselves around Kurt, who appeared happiest when he was left alone.
If there had ever been a doubt, Dean decided during that week that he really fucking hated rapists. Kurt might not have been raped physically, but his soul was an altogether different matter. The way he jumped at noises, whether big or small; the way his eyes would sometimes stare sightlessly at nothing, their bearer obviously caught in the midst of a flashback; his obsessive cleaning and showering; his need to surround himself with order - it hurt Dean to see it.
Sam was equally as affected, but tried his hardest not to show it, struggling in a bid of normalcy to appease Kurt, who knew that Bobby had told Sam and Dean.
Sam had known girls who had been raped. Everyone on a college campus knew someone who had been raped. The schools never advertised it, of course, instead proudly touting their zero percentages for sexual assaults, but those statistics only ever accounted for reported attacks. And so many went unreported.
It made Sam wonder about guys, if he had known any who had been brutalized. He'd heard things about frat houses and hazing, but most people laughed it off as crazy rumors, because no one really wanted to consider the implications if the rumors were true. He'd done some internet research about male victims of sexual assault, but the information had been spotty, no doubt because the crime was so severely underreported.
As Dean struggled to contain his anger whenever his thoughts got the best of him, Sam slipped deeper and deeper into depression, reliving Stanford, and Jess, and the fire. Dean didn't know how to help his brother with that; Jess had always been a touchy subject between them. Dean knew full well that, had Jess lived, Sam would've been married to her by now, probably with a couple of rugruts with some seriously crazy yet awesome hair.
Kurt was a constant reminder of the people they hadn't been able to save, yet he had saved so many. They had checked him out as discreetly as possible, though not much information had been gleaned. The Dayton PD and the Office of the District Attorney systems had some pretty awesome firewalls, some of which were in place solely to protect Kurt's identity. The most they had been able to unearth were crime scene reports and interrogation transcripts which had listed his presence. Nothing was known about what function he performed, but they were sure it was no coincidence that his name appeared only in files of closed cases. There were a lot of them.
The kid was good. Damn good. Definitely way too good for his age.
This only inspired more questions.
How long had he been psychic? What was it that he saw? How did he experience his dreams or visions or whatever?
Sam was relentlessly curious as to whether his powers and Kurt's shared any commonalities, so desperate was he to get a handle on what he could do; or, more specifically, why he could do it.
Had Kurt been born with his gift? Neither Sam nor Dean wanted to consider it a gift, as such, their knowledge limited only to Sam's experiences. There was, however, no denying that Kurt apparently used his powers for Good, and he appeared to have enough control over them to help others in a really major way.
Sam might have been a little jealous about that, but didn't mention it. Dean knew anyway.
Sam spent his days on the computer or going through all of Bobby's books, making notes and desperately transcribing them with his word processing software. After three days of nonstop frenzy, Kurt had had enough, left the house, and returned an hour later with a top-of-the-line scanner.
Kurt then proceeded to show Sam how to use it, told him in explicit detail that he was to return all the books to their proper places, and then went and made him lunch, because he was concerned that Sam was getting too thin.
When Dean had remarked that he could go for some lunch himself, Kurt promptly told him that he was sure Dean could live off the fat in his head for at least a month.
With every insult, Dean's infatuation with Kurt grew, much to Sam's amusement. Both of them were of the opinion that Kurt knew exactly what he was doing, and neither one were about to dissuade him.
Kurt would often sit on the front porch and watch Dean work on the Impala. Initially, Dean had believed that Kurt was more interested in watching him get sweaty and dirty in a tank top. He had decided that such instances afforded him the perfect opportunity to show off his awesome shoulders and gearhead tendencies.
Kurt had allowed it for a few days before calmly pointing out everything Dean was doing wrong. When Dean learned that Kurt was a fully-certified mechanic, he announced he had to go to the bathroom and then proceeded to masturbate furiously.
No matter how much Dean whined, Kurt wouldn't work on the car for him, but did take the time to explain exactly what Dean needed to do to get the Impala running at peak efficiency. He was also able to secure parts at cost, which had Dean literally on his knees in worship. He knocked that off when he realized that position was scaring Kurt a little.
But Kurt mostly kept to himself. When he wasn't cleaning, he was practicing extreme yoga in the barn. Sam had tried to join him a few times, since he knew the basic poses, but he hadn't been able to keep up with Kurt, nor was he as flexible. Kurt's balance and grace were beautiful for Sam to behold, but they also made him feel old. They made Dean horny.
In between housework, exercise, and worrying over Bobby's cholesterol, Kurt read, played the piano, or Skyped with his friends. He hadn't sung since that first day, which rather annoyed Sam and Dean. Bobby had taken them aside after one too many requests and quietly explained that a lot of people, particularly guys, gave Kurt a hard time about his voice and how high it was. It didn't make any sense to them. Neither one of them could carry a tune in a basket; if they had Kurt's gift, they would've lived life through song.
The only other opportunities they had to speak with Kurt were at the dinner table. For some reason, it was very important to Kurt that they all sat down together to share a meal. Neither Dean nor Sam would argue about that, given how well Kurt cooked. Dean couldn't even bring himself to complain about the healthy fare Kurt insisted on preparing, not when the boy could make food taste that good.
Kurt had yet to comment on the fact that Sam and Dean were together, though they were sure he knew. They wondered what he thought about it, if he thought about them at all in that way. They were rather depressed that he might not.
All of them were on their best behavior, Kurt included, as if presenting a united front of normalcy was somehow paramount, though they couldn't explain why.
Initially, Bobby had been pleased that Dean and Sam had abided his ground rules so religiously, but the tension in the house was reaching a fevered pitch, so rife that it could be filleted. That is, when it didn't resemble some amorphous torpor which infected all of them, dragging out the days.
One night, midway through their second week together, and as Kurt began clearing the table, Bobby could no longer stand it. He felt like a guest in his own home.
"So, boys, who would like a beer?" he asked.
Sam and Dean responded affirmatively in very grateful tones.
Kurt, standing at the sink, turned and regarded his uncle with confusion. "I'm underage."
"I won't tell if you don't," Bobby replied, shrugging.
"Thank you, but no," Kurt said. "I had a bad experience with alcohol, and don't care to repeat it."
"We could teach you how to drink," Dean pressed, very curious as to how a drunk Kurt might behave.
"No, thank you," Kurt repeated. "The lure of alcohol, for me, can be dangerous." At their confused looks, he continued. "It drowns out the voices and can stop the visions." He paused. "There are times when I'd very much like to indulge, but I fear that I would not be able to pull myself back from the brink." He wiped his hands on a dishtowel. "I only know a handful of psychics, none of which are as strong as I am. Most of them are hopeless alcoholics."
Sam warily eyed the beer Bobby had placed in front of him before slowly pushing it away.
"I'm not insinuating it would affect you in the same manner, Sam," Kurt said quietly. "From what I've been able to gather, your powers are drastically different than my own. In the past two weeks, I haven't seen you drink to the point of intoxication, so if you want that beer, you should feel free to partake."
Sam hesitated, but finally dragged the bottle back towards him, though he did not drink from it. "Can you talk about it?"
Kurt blinked, then nodded. "Of course. I was wondering when you would ask me. It's no great secret, at least not among family."
"You consider us family?" asked a stunned Dean.
"I wouldn't necessarily say that," Kurt said slowly, "but I know Uncle Bobby considers you such, and he is my family." He shrugged. "Regardless, I know I can trust you about this. Ask your questions."
"How do you do it?" Sam asked. "How do you see what you see? How long have you had it?"
Kurt retrieved for himself a bottle of water from the refrigerator and sat down at the table. "I notice you didn't call it a gift." He unscrewed the cap and took a long drink. "Most people do. Most people, once they know, consider it to be exactly that, and, I suppose, in some instances it's even true." He cocked his head. "But we know better."
Kurt shrugged once more. "To answer your questions, and in no particular order, I've always been able to see...spirits, for lack of a better term. My mother could, as well, but her abilities were much more benign. In general, she communed with ghosts who had what is popularly called unfinished business, meaning they had a final message to pass on to a loved one, and my mother would facilitate that."
He swallowed and looked down at the table. "She knew that I could hear and see ghosts, that I had visions while I slept, but, for the most part, they were inconsequential. Given that I was so young at the time, the ghosts involved preferred speaking with her. Occasionally, I would come across the ghost of a child, who would whisper to me their secrets, which I would reiterate to my mother, who then took care of it."
Dean was riveted. Sam looked uneasy.
"That all changed when she died," Kurt whispered. "Hers wasn't a violent death, but I was extremely close to her." He stared at Dean. "You understand."
Dean nodded hesitantly. Bobby and Sam exchanged curious glances.
Kurt looked at a point on the wall behind Bobby, who was sitting opposite him. "Think back to when you were a child, when all you knew was your mother and your father, and all of your faith revolved them." He paused. "Now kill one of them."
Dean flinched harshly, his eyes filling with tears against his will. Sam's hands curled into fists under the table. Bobby looked sadder than perhaps should have been possible.
"As I said," Kurt continued, "her death wasn't violent, but the manner in which she died, so painfully and so drawn-out, was, and it affected me on a fundamental level. After her death, everything I saw, everything I heard, everything I dreamt, was violent."
"Jesus," Dean muttered, raking a hand through his short locks.
Kurt cleared his throat and appeared lost in how to continue. "Everywhere I go, I see them," he finally said. "I see them lost, alone, their faces twisted in agony. I hear them crying out for justice and vengeance." He shook his head slightly. "I can't ignore them. They all know me, you see, they know the medium. They search me out. My name is infamous in the ghostly realms. There is little respite."
"Is there anything that helps, buddy?" Bobby quietly asked.
Kurt nodded. "As I explained, there are those who drown themselves in liquor or lose touch with reality thanks to drugs, but those are only temporary measures. They will be able to block out the sights and sounds only while under the influence, and the danger comes when they have to consume more to extend the brief periods of silence. As they consume, so their addictions consume them."
Dean looked at Sam in concern.
"Music helps," Kurt added. "You can lose yourself for brief periods, but the lag time eventually decreases. In a very real way, you are at their mercy. You have to do what they want, or they will never leave you alone. You become that which they haunt.
"That's why I took the position with Liza, because I was able to affect real outcomes, bring justice to those who deserve it."
"Does anyone else know what you can do?" Sam whispered.
"Outside of the four of you, the only people who know are Liza Capwell, the District Attorney; Justine Westgate, my police partner; Emma Pillsbury, my school's guidance counselor; Santana Lopez, my best friend; and my father. They each help in their own essential ways."
He looked away. "I'd like to talk about something else, please."
The three chagrined men nodded.
"Any particular topic in mind?" Dean asked brightly.
Kurt frowned and considered the question. "Well, you and Sam could explain why you have yet to tell me that you two are together. Or we could discuss your rather obvious interest in me. Which would you prefer?"