I've Had Worse

Blaine sat down on his bed, holding an ice-pack to his knee, smiling gently as his worried boyfriend sat beside him with a first-aid kit.

"Kurt," he smiled. "I'm okay, baby."

"If that scars, you'll be sorry," he warned, gesturing to his knee. "Now just let me work." Blaine moved the ice away, the rag tinged pink. He'd fallen during the dodgeball game, that was all. No need for Kurt to fuss this much.

"This looks like it hurts," Kurt remarked, looking up at him with those big, gorgeous eyes. Blaine shrugged.

"I've had worse," Kurt continued to stare at him, and Blaine knew what was coming.

"How much worse?" He breathed.

An avalanche of sadness, pain and memories flooded him in an instant, and Kurt watched it overcome him. His eyes fell, body language uncomfortable.

Blaine swallowed. He owed Kurt this. Kurt had told him everything Karofsky had done, what abuse he'd received growing up here and even what boys like Puck and Finn had done in their youth. He poured out his soul to him one night, bawling his eyes out in his arms, saying over and over again that he was sorry and that he hoped he didn't leave him.

He never would, he wouldn't leave this boy, this boy that was looking at him, asking to help him through his pain to repay Blaine for what he'd done. He had to tell him, he didn't have a choice.

"A lot," he nodded, finally speaking. Kurt folded his lips, searching for words. Blaine smiled a little, patting the mattress so Kurt would sit beside him. The counter-tenor held his hand, a gentle smile on his lips. Blaine looked at him again, took a deep breath, and began.

I told you it was bad at y old school. After I came out at the end of eighth grade, everything changed. I lost every single friend I had. My guy friends accused me of wanting them, spread rumors that I had tried to hit on them or…or worse. They were lies but, but everyone believed them.

My father called me every slanderous and obscene name you could every call a gay person and addressed me that way for a really long time. He still does, sometimes. My mom cried every time she looked at me for about three weeks, and if I tried to speak to her she ran from me. I was alone in my own home.

The bullying started immediately. I had eggs thrown at me while I was walking down the street. A brick and a bottle or two found their way hurtling at me once or twice.

Food in the lunchroom, pencils, papers, textbooks, they threw whatever they had at me.

I was tripped and thrown in lockers. I was on-edge everywhere I went. Scared. I was always so scared… They took my books, backed me into trashcans, dumped milk cartons over my head, knocked my homework everywhere. No one helped me. Students, teachers, it didn't matter. They wouldn't help until a punch was thrown, when it was too late. The only one that would say something when they called me names was my English teacher.

The abuse was physical from the get go. They beat me up after school one day, catching me alone. I tried to stop that from happening, but when you're always alone, it's hard. Most of the time it was some bumps and bruises, no big deal.

Kurt, please don't look at me like that, baby.

They shoved me in the girls' bathroom, and the locker room to laugh at me. The girls did too. They called me fat and ugly. Stupid. Worthless, pathetic, useless. I didn't need to hear that from them. Dad said that to me enough already. I couldn't tell them what was happening, my parents. They'd tell me that I brought it on myself, that I deserved what they were doing to me because I chose to be gay. I was so alone, completely and totally alone.

Yeah, darling. I'm fine.

I had gym class that year. The coach hated me, made me run laps until I dropped for "being disrespectful" by not looking him in the eye when he spoke, or breaking the rules of the locker room because a couple of guys decided to chuck me across the room into a group of lockers. I thought I'd die more than once in there. Sometimes I hoped I actually would. I always waited for the other boys to get done showering before I did. I changed in the back, away from the others so I didn't make anyone uncomfortable, and so they wouldn't be able to torture me so much. I tried not to dress out too much, then I wouldn't have to do anything…

Once, when I was back at the lockers, just getting ready to change, they threw me in a locker. They took my towel and locked me inside. I was shorter than I am now, which isn't saying much, but…but I fit. They hid my clothes, too. No one found me until the last hour of the day. Coach sent me to the principal's office, calling me a pervert and accusing me of peeping.

No, honey, I didn't get in trouble. I got a warning.

Then I met Andrew. He was the other gay kid in the school, just transferred from Columbus. He sat next to me in Chemistry. He was so nice to me. He actually asked me to hang out a few times. I-I couldn't, Dad would freak, but at least he asked. The Sadie Hawkins dance was that November, and it took me weeks to work up the nerve to ask him.

Asking him was really the only brave thing I did that year. God, it was amazing. We danced and held hands without caring who saw us. We ignored their profanities, lost in our own world. He was so sweet to me, the first positive attention I'd had in months. I finally had mercy from all the constant torture.

He was about to kiss me when they came. Three of them, their dates standing off in the distance.

"Hey, fags," one said.

I told Andrew to run, I told him, but…but he stayed to help me. I made him get behind me while they came closer, trying to protect the one good thing I had.

We fought back, we tried so hard to fight back. But God, they were seniors and we were just freshman. And then…then they hit Andrew so hard they knocked him out.

I was the only target left, now. They beat me senseless, cracked a rib or two, fractured my arm. They screamed at spit on me, blackened both of my eyes. calling me those God-awful names. I begged them to stop, but that made them laugh. They didn't get to do the damage they wanted. Andrew's dad showed up.

I needed twelve stitches; four on my eye and eight on my neck where…where a guy had cut me. Please, Kurt, I know you're angry, but let me get through this. It's okay.

My mom came to the hospital to sign paperwork and take me home. My dad was on a conference call with Tokyo so he, so he stayed home. No, he didn't ask if I was okay, either. He didn't care.

When I got out of the hospital I tried to find Andrew at school. He moved back to Columbus while I was still in the hospital. He was gone.

The abuse escalated even further from there. I'd go to school fine and come home with a black eye. A trip to the bathroom could mean a bloody nose or getting my head shoved in a toilet.

I hated everything. I hated myself, I hated being gay, I hated my parents, I hated the loneliness, my parents, those people, my body, my face, my voice, everything. I didn't think I deserved to live, or to eat. I starved myself and made myself puke all the time. No, baby, I stopped. I stopped about a year ago. In my mind eating meant life and that I'd get uglier than I already was. I like who I am now, but then…when you hear something so many times you start to believe it. I thought maybe that's why I was alone. If I was better looking I'd have friends, right? It was worth a shot.

I was just a mess, Kurt. I couldn't sleep, I refused to eat and I'd never felt so alienated, so alone and afraid all the time. And no one noticed. No one cared. Not even my family.

"Why don't you try girls?" They said. "You've never kissed a boy, how the hell do you know you like them?" "There won't be any faggots in this house!" "You're a disgrace. You're lucky I'm letting your kind in this house. My son, a disgusting, worthless faggot."

I was ready to kill myself. I was so unbelievably ready to die.

And then it happened.

I waited to shower, as usual, after gym. I was minding my own business, trying to wash away some of the disgusting feeling I felt on a day-to-day basis and hurry so I wasn't late to my next class.

Six boys came up behind me. I turned, plastering myself against the wall, trying to reach my towel, trying to cover myself, but they smacked it away.

"You don't get to hide from anyone, faggot," one spat, venomous.

"Isn't this what you want, anyway?" Another chuckled. "Bunch of guys seein' you naked?"

"No," I trembled. They laughed.

"What kind of fag are you?"

"Please, I don't want any trouble." I was so scared…

Two held my arms behind my back while they started beating me. Punching my face and my stomach. I was trying to find air when a boy broke my nose I screamed, they gagged me. I didn't know what with. I still don't know.

They dragged me into the weight room where another group of people was waiting. Spectators, mostly, people there to make my humiliation that much more unbearable. They tied my wrists behind my back, throwing my arms over a bench press bar, tying a weight to the end so I wouldn't fall. I hate being short, I hate it.


They threw five pound weights at me like they were Frisbees. One cracked my collarbone. I tried to dodge them, tried to get away, tried to do something but nothing worked. I coughed, gagging and causing whatever cloth was in my mouth to fall out.

The speed ropes came next. They whipped me with them. It cut hard and deep, stinging, bleeding. Oh god, it hurt so much.

They got bored with that when I was covered in blood, shaking all over, pleading with what little air I had for mercy.

I didn't get it. I was used as a punching bag next. My face my stomach…they hit me in the groin so many times, I…I can't have kids, Kurt. I'm sorry I didn't tell you before, but, I-

Kurt kissed him very softly, tears in his eyes. "It's okay," he nodded, holding Blaine's soaked face. "It's okay, Blaine." He shut his eyes, swallowing hard, leaning into another kiss.

A broken wrist, three shattered fingers, hair-line fracture in my collarbone, two ribs broken, four cracked, the rest bruised, broken nose, bones bruised in my legs, a concussion and severe swelling in my…

That's what they left me with. I hung there, crying, puke and blood on the floor, shivering all over, covered in blood and sweat. I was dying.

My English teacher, Mr. Hardwick, knew something was wrong when I wasn't in class. He came looking for me. He called the ambulance when he found me. He got me united, wrapped me in a blanket and held me until the ambulance arrived. He rode with me to the hospital so I wouldn't be scared.

I spent eight months recovering, four in the hospital, three in physical therapy and one at home. It was awful.

My father, he, he actually implied that I brought it on myself, I deserved it. I deservedit? Of course I did. I wanted to be tied up naked in front of strangers and beaten until I was choking on my own blood, that's what happened. I asked for that. I wanted to be kicked and punched sterile. I wanted nerve damage and arthritis in my hands that makes me clap like an idiot and hold hands weird. I wanted to drink my food for six weeks. I wanted to be left all alone for weeks on end without seeing my parents. No, they didn't come to see me unless it was convenient. I almost fucking died and they…Gohod.

They couldn't prove who did it. There aren't any cameras in the locker room of the weight room and it was my word against theirs.

I found Dalton in a paper at the hospital. It sounded too good to be true, like paradise. The article talked about their anti-bullying policy and I…I had to go. Safety, that's what this place meant. No more name-calling or pain, or beatings or fear. I would be safe. I might even make a friend. I begged my parents to let me transfer, and they agreed to shut me up.

I started there a few months before I met you.

So there you go. That's why I left my old school. Now you know why I'm such a freak. Not that spectacular I guess.

Blaine was so close to crying his eyes out it was frightening. His lips trembled with his hands, eyes swimming with tears, his composure faltering.

"Blaine," Kurt whispered, reaching out to touch his face.

He shattered. He fell against his porcelain angel, sobbing so hard. Kurt held him, kissing his cheeks and his forehead, trying to soothe some of his pain.

"It's okay, it's okay, baby. I've got you. I'm here. You're not alone now. I'm here," he said, kissing him, holding his cheeks. "I'm here, baby."

"Kurt," he choked, agonized. "I prayed for you everyday. I prayed for someone that loved me for me and who I could love back. I prayed for someone beautiful and wonderful and I got so much more than that. And I'm just-"

"Perfect," Kurt breathed. "You're perfect Blaine."

Kurt held him, crying silently, just trying to be there for him. The image of Blaine, his sweet, genuine, kind, loving Blaine being tortured that way, small, fragile, helpless and broken prevalent in his mind. He could see the hope and care in his eyes when the prospects of being with Andrew arose, and they took that from him too. God, they'd hurt him so much.

Images flashed through his mind, haunting him. Blaine, lying in a hospital bed that made him appear to be so tiny, hooked to a dozen monitors, bruised, stitched and crying the no one to comfort him. That would stay with him for the rest of his life. He knew that.

Blaine just wanted to be held, and he was thankful Kurt understood that. "Shh…" Kurt's sweet voice and gently hands held him so close, so soft, kissing him with tender lips that spilled love into his heart.

"I love you," he blurted. My everything, my savior, my life, my Kurt.

"I love you too," Kurt whispered. He smoothed his hands through his hair and over his neck, rocking him slowly.

"I-I'm sorry," he breathed. The countertenor frowned. "I'm sorry I'm not brave like you. I'm sorry that I couldn't… that I couldn't –"

"Stop that," he scolded, voice gentle. "Don't you do that to yourself. You're brave, and you're so strong. Look what you did for me at Prom. Cowards don't ask their boyfriends to dance in a room full of people after they've been through what you have."

"I had to," he said, looking at him, eyes so innocent. "I couldn't leave you up there like that. What kind of person would I be if I did that to you?" Kurt shut his eyes, trying swallow the lump in his throat, kissing him deeply.

"That was the bravest thing I've ever seen anyone do, okay?" He smiled. He held him, stroking his arms and his bac. Blaine buried his face in his chest, squeezing him tight, letting his tears seep into his shirt.

"Come here, baby," Kurt guided him back up to the pillow lying down with him.

"I'm so sorry about all this," he whispered. Kurt kissed him softly.

"It's okay," he assured. "I love you."

He held him close, kissing him so softly.

"I wish I could be more for you," he whimpered.

"Blaine, honey, how can you be more for me when you're already everything?" He whispered, shaking his head and kissing him again. Blaine choked a sob.

"Why are you so good to me?" He gulped.

"Because you deserve it," Kurt said truthfully. "It's okay."

It was okay, Kurt made it okay, he always made everything okay. He didn't judge him, call him a coward or hate him like nearly everyone else around him did.

Kurt hummed softly, rubbing his forehead, pressed occasional kisses to his temples. Blaine let himself succumb to his warmth and soothing voice, knowing Kurt was lulling him to sleep on purpose. He closed his eyes, smiling softly.

Thank you, he thought. Thank you for answering my prayers. You didn't have to send me an angel, but thank you. Thank you so much for giving me Kurt Hummel.