Finn places the gun to his temple.
"Stop hogging the popcorn!" Kurt whines, reaching out to grab the bowl from Finn's hand.
Finn laughs, and pulls it out of his stepbrother's grasp. "No way. Don't need you getting fat. Blaine wouldn't appreciate it."
Kurt punches his arm, then dives for the bowl. Finn tries to jump out of the way, but they end up tangled together on the floor, covered in bits of popcorn.
It takes ten minutes for Kurt to stop laughing. Finn's face hurts from smiling, but it's the ache in his chest that really throws him off.
The first time Finn takes a pair of scissors to his wrists, he's fourteen and Puck has just told him that girls don't like fatties.
It shouldn't make him feel like this – all bloated and smothered and trapped in his own skin – but it does. So he tries to cut himself out of his own skin, lets his essence seep through the cracks in his jail cell, until he deflates like a popped balloon.
He tells his mom he lost a battle with a porcupine.
She tells him she wasn't born yesterday.
"And once I'm famous, we'll hire a nanny to pamper our two-point-five children and-"
Finn cocks his head in surprise. "I thought I would raise the kids." If Rachel was going to be the money-maker in the relationship – which he was totally cool with 'cause, like, feminism and stuff – then wouldn't he be the one in charge of their offspring?
Rachel lets out a sweet little laugh and pats him on the hand. "Oh, Finn."
Kurt finds the note.
Finn's floating. It's dark, but he can see a light in the distance. As it grows closer, he can see the scars illuminated on his arms, the marks of every little thing he hates about himself.
As the light grows brighter and brighter, Finn feels sicker and sicker. He just wants to be in the dark again; he just wants to sleep.
He covers his eyes and sings to himself, and hopes that the light will leave him alone in this wonderfully black place.
"Who's that quote by?"
Kurt has spent the last week filling out a notebook with inspirational quotes he comes across. He calls it his "Good Book," and blathers on about how it'll cheer him up when he's so far from home in the Fall. That reminder sets Finn's skin on fire, ties a plastic bag around his lungs.
"Robert Frost." Finn blinks. "He's a poet."
Kurt raises an eyebrow at his stepbrother. "Are you okay, Finn?"
Kurt looks skeptical. "Do you want some warm milk?"
Yes. A thousand times yes.
"Okay." But Kurt gives him that look. "Okay."
People think Finn isn't allowed to use scissors and knives unsupervised because he's stupid.
Finn doesn't bother to correct them.
Kurt runs up the stairs, unaware that he's knocked over Carole's favorite vase.
"Will you still talk to me? After you go to New York, that is."
Kurt looks up from his notebook, nearly screwing up the quote he's been copying. "What?"
Finn sits down on his stepbrother's bed, chewing uncertainly on his bottom lip. "Will we still talk? I like having you as a friend, a-as a brother."
"Are you serious?" Kurt snorts. "Finn Hudson, you will be hard-pressed to get rid of me. I'll be calling you at least three times a week, and Sunday is Family Skype Date Night."
Finn smiles, slightly. "You say that now…"
Kurt rolls his eyes. "Your lack of confidence in my ability to keep a promise is not encouraging."
Finn doesn't really understand half of what Kurt's just said, but for some reason it makes him laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh.
Kurt goes quiet, his face torn between a smile and a worried grimace.
When Finn wakes up, he realizes almost instantly that he's in the hospital. Then he remembers the gun and the notes and Kurt's screams and almost everything makes sense.
"I'm so sorry!" He looks over to where Kurt is standing. "I only meant to knock the gun from your hands. I didn't mean to give you a fucking head injury!"
Finn feels confused, but for once he chalks it up to the situation, not his own incompetence. "What?"
Kurt suddenly frowns, still lost in his own thoughts. "Wait, why am I apologizing. Don't scare me like that, Finn!" There are tears in his eyes, and Finn realizes that he can feel a cold, wet spot on his hospital gown, right over his heart. Visions of Kurt sobbing against his unconscious chest flash through his mind, and guilt fills his belly, heavy and thick.
Kurt swoops down and kisses his forehead. His voice is shaky when he speaks again, "Don't ever make me tackle you to the ground again."
When Finn comes back home, he's fussed over and lectured and never given a moment to himself. And as soon as he find a window of opportunity to be alone with his thoughts, Kurt comes bustling into the room.
Without much ceremony, Kurt shoves a book into Finn's hands. "I figure you'll need this more than I will. Now, bring your laptop and follow me. I found a great list of schools in New York for you to apply to, with football and music programs."
Finn looks down to see that the book is Kurt's "Good Book." He looks up, surprised. "Thanks. But why are we looking at colleges in New York?"
Kurt sighs, looking almost offended. "Because you'll want to be near me, obviously."
The book lands to the floor with a thud as Finn tackles Kurt to the bed in a giant hug.
Sometimes, when Finn is asleep, Kurt will sneak a look at the "Good Book." Not because he needs the encouragement or inspiration, but because he still remembers what page he was writing the day he knew something was bothering Finn.
It's a sad thought, that it's that page that gives him hope, but it does and Finn doesn't have to know.
In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life:
It goes on.