A/N: Like I said, this is nowhere near as good as the epilogue. But you have been warned. I don't know when I'll have the next chapter up, seeing as it isn't written yet. Thank you for your reviews! :)
Welcome back to Wonderland - Part I
Julian learned a great deal of things after spending nineteen days in a coma.
The first thing he learned is that his parents were actually happy to see him back among the living. Not just happy, but gloriously happy, so happy they even embraced. Each other. Him, too, of course, but that was a given. He had always known they love him, but it took his mother's unkempt appearance and the tears in his father's eyes to remind him of that with an astounding clarity. Even more so because they never even mentioned his career.
Someone else told him about his career. His agent gave him a call, assuring him that the matter had been dealt with discretion. Word had gotten out that Dalton Academy and its students had suffered a crazy student's attack, but mercifully no one had informed the reporters that it had been Julian Larson's personal psycho-stalker who burned down a school building and caused the death of a beloved teacher and several severe injuries on several students. The fans had been told he was fine, had been fine all along, had never been involved in this to begin with. Julian had, however, lost the opportunity to star in the new movie he had been offered before the fiasco due to the beginning of the filming.
He learned about Mr Harvey's death, probably the hardest news to stomach. He hadn't known the teacher that well, because he hadn't been a part of the Warblers, but that hardly dimmed the blow that someone had died because of his attending the school. Never mind the fact that although the students involved had made it out relatively unharmed, he had put them all in mortal danger.
He had to leave this place. Even if Dalton wasn't in the middle of being shut down (something else he had learned) – much to everyone's loud protests and his silent ones – he wouldn't be able to stay in a place that had seen so much misery because of him.
Then, he learned that he successfully managed to save Adam's life and the irony of almost finished the job he had started by jumping out a three-storey window. He was awaiting a trial now that couldn't end all that well for him, but it didn't change the fact that Julian couldn't believe the creep responsible for all this had made it when a good man had died.
Then he learned about the boy who never left his side throughout the nineteen days when he was gone and everything else faded into the background.
According to his parents, no one had been able to stop Logan from basically living in his hospital room, not speaking to anyone until he knew his friend was save. Julian managed to charm the nurse into telling him tales differing between praise for the blonde's unwavering loyalty and nightmarish descriptions of the usual Logan fits.
"What a lovely, troubled boy", one told him, "I've never seen such dedication."
And all he could think was: He's probably plotting my death now that I didn't actually die.
The reunion with Derek was more emotional than he would have expected – a lot of awkward silences in the beginning and a harder pat on the shoulder than the stab wound and his cracked ribs should have to take, but mercifully no tears – until the idiot finally started grinning and making jokes. But when the subject came to Logan, the elation at seeing his friend alive and kicking fled as quick as it had arrived.
"Lo's really done it this time. You and I both know how bad he gets, but that was something else entirely. I've never seen him so far gone. It was actually scary, how much control he had about all that rage boiling in him. And there was a lot of rage. Though I honestly have to say it was more horrifying to see him holding it back than when he actually let it out."
"That bad, huh?"
Derek shrugged, looking worried.
"He acts as though everything's okay now that you're you again. Just plain Logan with his usual temper, trying to keep them from shutting down the school. But something in him must have snapped during all of this. He won't talk to me about it."
He couldn't help the scoff. He wanted to hold it back, but ultimately, why should he?
"Sure seems like something snapped when he didn't even use the opportunity to hit on Kurt while he's in a vulnerable state."
He could tell something about what he'd said had made Derek angry even before his friend drew his head back and exclaimed:
"Shut up, man! Stop acting like you don't know Logan cares about you. You knew that before this whole mess - even if you wanted more attention than you got - and you should certainly know now."
And then the words spilled out, words he wasn't even sure he wanted his friend of three years to hear.
"He made me tell him."
He almost wished Derek wouldn't get it. But he did, of course.
"He held a knife to my throat and made me tell him."
There would be a scar, right there where the blade had cut him. The nurses had meant well when they had guaranteed him his fangirls would swoon over it – as well as falling in love with all his other brand new sexy scars – but he knew he would never be able to look in the mirror again without reliving the worst moment of his life.
The Stuart boy on the chair next to his bed was almost as pale as the sheet.
And really, what else was there to say?
It took him two more weeks until he could permanently leave the hospital. Three more until his intense physical therapy had paid off enough for him to walk again without limping and rotating his shoulder completely almost without pain. His wounds were healing up into healthy, neat plastic surgery scars – except for the one on his neck, which was too dangerous to make pretty due to its location without immediate need for life-saving stitching – and the bruises had disappeared.
He was staying with his mother at a discreet five-star hotel, well-protected from the media. He had surprised everyone and almost given his agent a heart attack when he had held a surprise press conference in which he had shown himself to the public as broken and shaky as he was back then and told the journalists in short, clear sentences what had happened at Dalton (leaving out any details, of course).
He apologized to his fan base in advance about the fact that even though he knew they meant well and that he was grateful they existed and that a serious stalker case like this one was the rare exception to the rule, he would be more careful around them in the future for the sake of his personal comfort.
Lastly, Julian announced he would take a one-year break from filming of any kind, even counting the new season of 'Something Damaged', to which he would gladly return the following year.
The reporters were not allowed to ask any questions and that was that. It was, of course, quite the story and there was a lot more speculation going on about what exactly had happened than he would like. At least his fans proved to be as understanding and supportive as he had expected of them.
He had managed to retreat without the paparazzi finding out where he was staying – and that was fine with him. He had been serious about the break. After all these years of running back and forth between emotional drama at Dalton and working on acting projects 24/7, not to mention the trauma of his last weeks at school he needed a moment. It wasn't him, this quiet person who enjoyed resting, it wasn't him at all and he had no doubts he would miss his busy schedule within weeks and go straight back to his workaholic tendencies as soon as the 'Year of Not Doing Anything' he had prescribed to himself was over. But for now, it was surprisingly nice.
Spending time with his mother was great, too, even though she – always working on several projects at the same time – naturally wasn't at the hotel all that often. It gave them both the opportunity to get to know each other better than regular check-ins and short visits made possible.
His friends came to visit – well, some of the Stuarts anyways. Other than that, he received some surprise guests in Kurt and Blaine, who were annoyingly nice to him – that is, he would have been annoyed by it before he put their lives in danger – and the Tweedles, who almost got him kicked out of the hotel after only forty-five minutes of stopping by, but moved him to tears by assuring him no one at Dalton blamed him, that he was missed and that he would be welcomed back anytime – the very fear that had kept him from going back there even once. He definitely wasn't a Gryffindor, but the shame of running had even outweighed the fear of blame. That it was the big rival Windsor who made that gesture was a big deal.
Other than that (and a lot more regularly than the others), there was only Derek, with whom he had never been closer. His friend had told him all about the students' fight to keep their school open, which had now resulted in the complete renovation of the school, as well as serious safety upgrades. This would be done in two months, if everything went according to plan – and you could be almost certain all the private funding ensured that. Julian was glad they had managed to save their beloved school, if not for his sake, then definitely for theirs. He still wasn't sure whether to go back there or not, but he planned on going to the 'Welcome-Back-To-Wonderland' ceremony (and party) when the school was rebuilt.
He was apprehensive about seeing them all again, seeing Dalton again. Mostly he was nervous about Logan.
Logan, who had never even so much as texted him after watching him wake up from a coma. Logan, who knew he had spent the last three years pining for him and was bound to feel he had been betraying their friendship by lying to him.
He would have to face someone he had never met before: a Logan who knew he loved him.
Julian feared the two months would be up sooner than he wanted them to be.
To be continued...