Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, obviously.
Note: Just had the urge to write some Rory angst. And why not? This might end up Kurt/Rory. Or it might not. I'll decide once I get to that point.
Rory Flanagan roamed the halls of William McKinley High School with a blank expression on his face. A jock knocked his books to the ground, and he wordlessly picked them up, never once letting his emotions show. A dull ache resounded in the pit of his stomach, and he ignored it as he rounded the corner, only to have his books be knocked out of his hands again as he walked into another one of McKinley's numerous jocks. He scooped them up, biting the inside of his cheek to keep himself from showing anything resembling fear or anger or sadness on his face. The third time his books were sent flying to the floor, he left them there and kept walking. Eventually, someone would pick them up and return them to him. "Wait, Rory!" A light voice called after him. He didn't turn back. "Hey," a breathy voice said as they came up on his right. "Here," his books were handed back to him. "I know what that's like; they always used to do that to me."
"Thanks," Rory mumbled.
"Are you okay?" The blue-eyed boy asked.
"Fine," Rory said a little too sharply.
"Don't let those stupid jocks get to you. You're much better than them."
"Just leave me alone, Kurt," Rory quickly walked ahead of the boy. "Why can't they all just leave me alone?" He muttered to himself as he stomped off to his next class. The emptiness, the void that filled him completely…No one knew his secret. And how could they? They hardly knew him, anyway. And it wasn't like it was something he screamed out to the world about. No, this was something Rory liked to keep hidden, something that was much bigger than he was.
Something that just might kill him, if he let it.
He kind of wanted to die, he did. He thought that coming to America would get him away from all the jocks and bullies and horrible people back home. But it didn't; he was just as harassed here, if not more. He'd heard stories about what had happened to Kurt for being openly gay, and he did not want to deal with that.
Okay, so Rory had more than one secret. One of them could kill him if he let it go far enough. And the other…well, the other was what caused him to do this to himself in the first place. If it weren't for the first secret, the second one wouldn't even exist. He sighed and attempted to pay attention in his science class, but his mind was bouncing elsewhere. He kept thinking of a certain someone, someone whom he was harboring secret feelings for, but was positive that he couldn't tell this person the truth about how he felt, for intense fear of cold rejection. He instead resorted to doodling in his notebook.
What was wrong with him? "Ladies," Kurt said quietly at a girls-and-Kurt Glee club meeting. "I fear that something is wrong with our fellow foreign Glee clubber."
"What do you mean?" Rachel asked.
"Yeah, the leprechaun seems fine," Santana filed her nails casually.
"No, he's not," Kurt stood up. "I was walking behind him in the hall today—we had class in the same area—and jocks knocked his books down three times. The first two times he just picked them up. But the third time, he just left them there and walked away! I picked them up for him and gave them back, and his face…it was expressionless. Like, no emotion whatsoever. His voice was cold, too. He asked me to leave him alone."
"That doesn't necessarily mean anything," Rachel said. "Maybe he had a bad day."
"Haven't you noticed how thin he is?" Kurt lowered his voice.
"No," Tina furrowed her brow.
"Well, he's really thin," Kurt told them. "I mean, I'm naturally small, but he…okay, so you know how we had that dodgeball thing?" The girls nodded. "I could see a few of his ribs…a few more than I should've seen, anyway. And he doesn't eat at lunch."
"Lunch isn't a really big thing in Europe," Santana said. "When I went to Portugal, they didn't have lunch. They have a big breakfast, a snack around three, and then a big dinner around eight or nine at night. So it's no big deal, really. I mean, I never eat lunch when it's cheerleading season."
"He picks at his dinner," Brittany spoke up. "But I don't think he eats breakfast."
"Oh no," Kurt's face paled.
"If you're thinking what I'm thinking, Kurt," Quinn stood up, "then he's in serious trouble."Don't want to lock me up inside. Don't want them to find the key. "Well, what do we do?" Mercedes asked concernedly. "Do we confront him about this?"
"People don't usually respond well to interventions, especially when they have an eating disorder," Kurt glared pointedly at Mercedes, recalling her own brief bout of anorexia nervosa. She blushed embarrassedly. "We just have to keep an eye on him. If it goes too far…" he broke off.
"It's interesting," Quinn said. "You see it so often in girls, but not in boys. In fact, there are so few documented cases of anorexia or bulimia in boys that it's hard to even come up with an accurate percentage of how often it happens. I wonder why he's doing this to himself."
"Well, why did the four of you," Kurt looked at the current cheerleaders and former cheerleader, "do it to yourselves?"
"Miss Sylvester told me I had to lose ten pounds in a week. It was the only thing I could think of," Mercedes shrugged.
"Britt and I do it to keep our weight down," Santana explained. "But we've been getting better and choosing healthier food options and going to the gym together."
"I thought I was fat," Quinn admitted. "And I was Head Cheerleader. I had to keep my weight down somehow. If I stopped eating, I wouldn't get fatter."
"Poor Rory," Sugar said quietly.
"Kurt, you have to find out what's wrong with him," Rachel said quickly. "We can't lose that magical voice. We need it for Nationals." Kurt shot her his signature ice bitch glare. "And of course I care about him," she added. "He's a wonderful person."
"I'll talk to him," Kurt said. "I'll text him tonight or something, try and figure out what made him decide to stop eating. He's slowly killing himself, and I won't allow it." He dismissed the meeting and began to pack up his things when Rory wandered into the choir room. "Hello," Kurt said politely, carefully eyeing Rory from head-to-toe, groaning internally when he noticed how baggy Rory's clothes were and how dark the circles under his eyes appeared. "How are you?"
"I'd like to be alone now, Kurt," Rory sat down at the piano, plaintively ignoring the older boy as he ran some scales on the keys. "Please."
"I…I didn't know you could play," Kurt casually leaned against the black piano.
"My mum taught me ages ago," Rory avoided eye contact. "It's one of the few things I'm halfway decent at."
"Don't say that, Rory," Kurt smiled softly. "You're a great singer."
"I'm okay, I guess," Rory stared at the black and white keys. "Please leave."
I know what I'm doing, back off, leave me alone to die slowly.
"If that's what you want…" Kurt slowly backed away. He lingered for a moment, waiting to see if Rory would say anything, but he didn't, so he exited the room. He hung around the door, listening to Rory play a melancholy song on the piano. He'd hoped that Rory would open up to him, but saw that he was getting nowhere fast. He went over his options: he could refer Rory to a counselor, but he had no solid evidence to go by. He could tell Mr. Schuester, but he felt as if he'd be betraying Rory's trust somehow. He knew he couldn't just sit back and let things run their course; soon, it might be too late. Rory had fainted twice in Glee club in the last month alone, and complained of headaches every so often. Kurt couldn't stand watching a wonderful boy like Rory, who had so much talent and promise, essentially kill himself in one of the slowest and most deliberate ways a person possibly could.
Anything is better than to be alone. Anything at if it meant hurting yourself.
Rory sat around doing his homework in his room at Brittany's house. He played with his pen cap, aimlessly doodling in the margins of his notebook. He'd long since learned to ignore the dull ache that was constantly in his stomach. Sometimes, it wasn't even there at all. There was a sharp knock on his door. "Come in," he said listlessly.
"Hi," Kurt slipped into the room. Panic flashed in Rory's blue-green eyes for a fleeting moment, so fast that Kurt barely caught it. "Um, you dropped your clover charm earlier today. I was going to give it back to you, but…" he trailed off. "So, here you go," he stepped forward and dropped the four-leaf clover on Rory's nightstand.
"Take a seat," Rory gestured towards the bed. Kurt hesitantly sat on the edge of it. "So, Kurt Hummel. McKinley High's resident gay boy."
Kurt flinched. "Yes, I am."
"What a small world," Rory muttered.
"What was that?"
"Nothing," Rory began doodling again. "I can't imagine what it's like to be gay."
"I think you can," Kurt murmured.
"What?" That same look of panic danced in Rory's eyes again.
"Is that why you've stopped eating?" Kurt moved a little closer to the Irish boy. "Don't try to deny it, Rory. I can tell that you're battling anorexia nervosa. I've seen it before, with a lot of the cheerleaders at our school. You're losing weight at a ridiculously fast pace, you're moody and aggressive all the time, you always want to be left alone, you never eat lunch, Brittany says you hardly eat here, either…" Kurt closed his eyes. "Being gay is hard. Believe me, I know. But it's just not worth killing yourself over. Not in this way. Do you really want to die of a heart attack at fifteen?"
Rory shrugged. "You can't control my life, Kurt. Only I can."
"God, Rory, can't you see that someone fucking cares about you?" Kurt snapped.
"Get out," Rory narrowed his eyes. "Out!"
"No," Kurt said firmly. "I want to help you. I'm not going to sit around and watch you slowly kill yourself!" He broke down in tears. "I've already watched two of my friends try to kill themselves because they're gay and they didn't think they could handle it." He took a shuddering breath. "I don't want to see someone actually succeed." He reached for Rory's hand. "Please, seek help. You're a beautiful young man, Rory."I can't hold on to me anymore."Did you…just…call me…beautiful?" Rory stared into Kurt's eyes, pleading for him to tell him that it was true, that those words that he'd been longing to hear for so long had just fallen from his lips.
"Yes," Kurt began to cry in earnest. "You are. And…and if you can't see that, then you need to get a better mirror and see the true beauty you possess inside and out."
"I…I've been waiting to hear those words for so long," Rory murmured. "I just never thought I'd actually hear them."
"Please get help," Kurt said again. "Please. I can help you. I can be your mentor. I can introduce you to other gays in Ohio. I can help you find friends who understand just what you're going through and more. I can even love you, if you let me."
"Love?" Rory squeaked.
"If you let me," Kurt repeated. "Yes, I can. And I will."
Rory pressed his lips against Kurt's a little more forcefully than he wanted to; Kurt made a sound of surprise in his throat, but guided Rory gently through the kiss. "I'm gay," Rory said breathlessly as he pulled away. "And I…I never told anyone until now…that was the first time I admitted it aloud. I hated myself for it. It was…it felt so wrong, and no one, no one back home is openly gay. I stopped eating because I was so depressed, and it felt good. Eating was the one thing I had total control over. Before I knew it, it was way out of control, and I liked it. I liked it a lot. And now, I'm not so sure I can stop."
"You can," Kurt cupped his face tenderly. "I can help with that, too. I can go to counseling with you, if you want, or refer you to someone I talked to after my mother passed away when I was little." Rory sniffled and nodded. "Okay? Rory, we're going to get through this, together. I'll be with you every step of the way. What do you say?"
"I say yes," Rory said. "I say, I think I might be falling in love with you, Kurt."
"And I say, I think I'm feeling the same way about you, Rory."
I'm finally going to let it all go…