In Which New Directions is Cool and Blaine is a Nerd: AU containing Anderberry, Cheerio!Kurt, Nerd!Blaine! When Rachel finds Blaine's youtube channel and shows the Glee club. When Kurt sees how much it upset Blaine he runs after him. A friendship buds between them, but Kurt's popularity is causing the two problems…

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PART 1

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Kurt had been sitting in the choir room staring blankly at his math notes when Rachel appeared through the door. "Oh my God, you guys. You will not believe what I found."

"A coupon for a free nose job?" Santana asked, filing her nails.

"Fuck off, slut. No. It's Blaine's youtube channel."

Everyone sat up straight at that, "Pretty boy's got a youtube channel?"

Kurt sighed deeply, sometimes he wondered why he was friends with these people. Then again, was he even friends? It was more like keeping up appearances. New Directions was even cattier than the Cheerios. If you were in New Directions you wereset for all of high school. Kids lined up down the hall just to audition. But they had a strict rule of only the most talented kids getting in.

The popularity and admiration turned all of the members of the club into complete pricks.

"What a fucking loser!" Finn cackled loudly, taking Kurt from his thoughts.

"Rachel how are you two even related?"

"Don't even remind me." Rachel all but snarled as she started typing on the laptop she'd set in front of them. "Ah! Here we go!" Kurt sat forward, eager to see what the fuss was about.

Kurt didn't at all have a problem with Blaine. In fact, he liked the kid. He was only a sophomore but when he arrived last year he'd immediately fallen to the sub-basement of the social ladder. Initially people had been interested in him since he was Rachel Berry's younger brother. But soon the whole school discovered he was nothing like his sister.

He didn't want to be popular, he preferred to focus on school work (which was why he was in several of Kurt's classes despite the two year age difference). He didn't wear designer clothes or dress fashionably. He wore cardigans and sweater vests andbowties. He used to have a giant mass of curls on his head but after a bad bullying session involving lots of chewing gum he'd cut his curls and taken to gelling the remaining hair back. He wore glasses only sometimes but even without them his look just screamed nerd.

But the biggest difference between Blaine and his sister was that Blaine was a good kid. He was sweet, and kind. He happily tutored people who bullied him, just because enjoyed learning that much. He was nice to everyone who spoke to him, but only spoke when spoken to. He was shy, but sweet. He was a breath of fresh air for Kurt.

"Ok, here we go!" Rachel fell back into her boyfriend's lap as the video began to play. Kurt leaned in, trying to see over the others. The video started with the camera shaking, then settling, showing a very clear picture of Blaine. His hair was ungelled and crazy. He wore a simple polo shirt and held a black guitar in his lap. He made no introduction, he just started playing.

Look at me, I will never pass for a perfect bride.

"Oh my God, he's singing a fucking girl song!" Someone cried and the room roared in laughter. But Kurt hardly paid notice, his eyes were glued to the screen. To Blaine's adorable little smile as he sang, a smile Kurt had never seen at school. A true, genuine, adorable Blaine smile.

And his voice was beautiful.

If I was to truly be myself, I would break my family's heart.

His smile faltered a little there before disappeared completely. Kurt wondered to himself what that was about but Rachel snorted loudly at the line, mumbling something about how he already had. Kurt had never wanted to punch her more.

But then the music got louder and Kurt's attention was back on the screen. Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me? Blaine threw his head back, eyes scrunching up as he got just so lost in the music.

Kurt pressed his hand to his mouth, laughing a little as one of the strings snapped.He's really into this, Kurt thought with a smile. He watched as Blaine leaned over, staring hard at his strings while he sang, trying to figure out what to play now that one string was broken. Kurt was smiling so hard it hurt, because god damn it Blaine couldn't get anymore adorable.

"I popped a string during that." Blaine said slowly to the video camera, eyes scrunching up with a goofy smile. "That's how hard Mulan can rock!"

I was wrong, he can get more adorable.

"Oh my God, what a fucking loser!" Mercedes all but screamed and the room exploded with laughter once more. Cruel, cruel laughter.

Kurt's smile disappeared.

"Rachel, Rachel," Quinn gasped over her laughter, "You have to send this to everyone."

"Already did!" Rachel cackled.

Kurt's heart dropped, "Rachel…" He moaned disapprovingly before he could stop himself.

"What?" She snapped, eyes going dark.

"What if he didn't want that getting around?"

"Who fucking cares this is hilarious…what do you care anyway? You want his dick or something?"

"Rachel!"

"What, it's not like he wouldn't suck you dry. You're all over his diary."

Kurt's face flushed, quickly trying to talk over her comment as the room erupted in cruel laughter, cat-calls, and crude comments. "It's just he's your brother, shouldn't you care a little bit?"

"Shut up, Kurt. Stop being a bitch." Santana said, leaning towards the computer. "Oh my God, are there more videos?"

"YES!" Rachel said, her evil smile back in place, "And they're all fucking Disneysongs!"

"Oh my God, it's like Christmas came early."

"You're Jewish, Puck."

"So?"

"Guys, shut the fuck up! There's a fucking Duck Tales video!"

"Oh my God! Play it, play it!"

Kurt leaned away from his 'friends'. Yes, he honestly did want to see the videos but not for the same reasons they did. He wanted to see them because he wanted to hear Blaine sing again. His voice was beautiful, his smile adorable, his face both. He'd gotten so lost in the music in just that one song, Kurt just wanted to see him sing every song ever written just so he could see him that real again.

I wonder why he isn't in New Directions. Kurt thought. He was a shoo-in, what with both his talent and being Rachel's little brother. Oh, right, Rachel. That answered that question.

But all thought was taken from Kurt as the door flew open and in walked the subject of his thoughts.

Blaine was wearing a sweater vest today with no bowtie, he wasn't wearing his glasses either. He actually looked pretty stylish, compared to some of the things he wore – though Kurt liked his outfits, they suited Blaine's old soul.

But as Kurt looked at Blaine's eyes his heart broke.

"Rachel, did you-" He stopped talking as all laughter and chatter ceased and the only sound in the room was his own voice excitedly singing the Duck Tales theme song. His jaw dropped open a little, eyes welling up. "You did." He whispered.

"Blainey boy! We were just talking about you!" Rachel laughed, smirking at her little brother.

"Rachel, how could you-" Blaine started to say but was cut off by Finn.

"Hey pretty boy, why not grab that guitar over there and give us a show?"

"Yeah, we wanna see firsthand how hard Mulan can rock!" The room exploded in laughter once again. Blaine flinched a little, tears starting to escape his eyes. Without a word he ran from the room.

"Aw, was he crying?" Quinn asked, fanning herself as she once again tried to control her giggles.

"What a little bitch!"

"Too bad we don't have that on video. That would be youtube gold!"

They all continued to laugh and make cruel comments as they started another video, not even caring that they had just made another human being – a boy – burst into tears and run from the room.

Grabbing his satchel Kurt slung it on his uniform clad shoulder and started for the door.

"Kurt, where are you going? There's still three more videos!"

He paused at the door, turning to them with a dark look on his face. "I'm going to make sure Blaine is ok."

"What-" But he didn't stay to hear their rude comments about Blaine being a loser and what, Kurt, do you want to fuck him or something? With a slam he shut the door and made his way down the hall.

He checked all the usual areas Kurt saw Blaine, the library, under the bleachers, near his locker, in the science lab…but Blaine was nowhere to be found. With his school search coming up empty Kurt made his way to his car, flying out of the lot and towards a house he knew. He was never happier he'd suffered through all those gatherings at Rachel's house because at least now he knew how to get to Blaine.

Once he made it there in record time he knocked on the front door, waiting patiently for an answer. Mrs. Anderberry answered it, looking as neat as ever. She smiled warmly at Kurt. "Hello honey, Rachel's actually not home yet-"

"Uh – I'm actually here to see Blaine. Is he home?"

A look of surprise crossed the mother's face, "Blaine? Oh, are you one of the students he's tutoring?"

Kurt smiled awkwardly, "No," But that's not a bad idea… "I, uh, just wanted to talk to him. Hang out."

Mrs. Anderberry's surprise was evident again but it soon made way for a look of pure delight. "Oh! A friend of Blaine's!" She said excitedly, "Well, he's up in his room right now. It's right across the hall from Rachel's. But he's a little upset right now, something must have happened at school. Oh, but having a friend visit will probably cheer him up!" Kurt wondered how friendless Blaine really was if his mother was this excited about him having a friend over. His heart broke a little more at the thought.

"Thank you, Mrs. Anderberry."

"Oh, I just made some fresh cookies too. You boys can have some if you'd like!"

Kurt smiled again, "Thank you," He repeated as he made his way to the stairs.

He had so many bad memories in this house. Getting drunk, waking up hung over - that was only once, but it wasn't fun. He thought of awkwardly joining the stupid parties and get-togethers Rachel always had. It was all so so fake, and Kurt hated it. But being here now, with Mrs. Anderberry offering him cookies while he went to simply hang out with Blaine…it was so different. So much homier. So much better.

Kurt made his way upstairs, going for Rachel's room as he remembered. Then he turned and made his way to the closed door. Hanging on the door was a wood-carved sign that read 'Blaine's Room!' in the Harry Potter font. The exclamation point was even a lightning bolt. Kurt wondered how he'd never noticed that.

You never spent too much time up here, and even when you did your mind was on trying not to kill yourself, Kurt reminded himself sarcastically.

With a shaking fist Kurt knocked lightly on the door. "Mom," Blaine moaned on the other side, "I said I wasn't hungry. Please just leave me alone."

Kurt hesitated only for a second before he opened the door, "Well, good thing you're not hungry because I don't have any food."

Blaine had been lying face down on his bed but at Kurt's voice he shot up, staring at the Cheerio with wide eyes. He looked disheveled. Eyes bloodshot and face tearstained. His hair had started to come un-gelled and his curls were breaking free. His shirt was untucked, his sweater vest discarded.

He looked so little, so young.

"K-Kurt!" Blaine gasped, looking around frantically as if trying to figure out what to do. Blaine's room was mostly neat, a few things on the floor. His desk looked a little messy but it not too bad. His computer sat on top of the desk, a camera lying next to it. Next to his bed sat the guitar from the video, all strings intact. There were posters on the wall for all kinds of things, ranging from decades-old jazz bands to a poster of a dragon.

"Hey, Blaine." Kurt said with a smile, "May I come in?"

Blaine nodded stupidly, "Uh – uh, yeah. Yeah sure. Sorry it's messy, I-I didn't-"

"Blaine calm down." Kurt smiled, trying to disarm the boy. "It's fine. I like it. Very you."

Blaine blushed hard, quickly scrubbing at his face to hide the remnants of his tears. He sat up and straightened his shit, inviting Kurt to the made bed with a wave of his hand. "So – uh – what – uh – what do you need? Rachel's not home yet."

"I'm not here for Rachel. Lord knows I need to avoid her for a while or else I might break her nose." Kurt said as he sat on the edge of the bed. Blaine's forehead crinkled in confusion, "What she did today…really not cool."

A pained look crossed Blaine's face as he was reminded of his sister's actions. "Oh. Yeah. That." He looked away from Kurt, "I should have never put those online. I should have known she'd find them."

Kurt shrugged, "I liked it."

Blaine froze, turning to Kurt with wide eyes. "What?"

"I only got to see Reflection, but I really liked it. You have a lovely voice." Blaine blushed hard, at a loss for words. "Not to mention how totally into it you were. It was refreshing to see someone truly enjoying music for what it is and not just using it to climb the social ladder."

Blaine smiled shyly, looking everywhere but Kurt. "I don't know…I just really like singing…"

"I wish you'd join New Directions, lord knows with you there there'd at least be one person who's not totally insufferable." Blaine laughed, his face cherry red by now. "And again, the video was great. Who cares if everyone sees them? Now everyone can just know how awesome you are."

Blaine giggled, fucking giggled, and pressed a hand to his eyes. "Why are you being so nice to me?" He removed his hand and looked to Kurt. "I mean, you were never mean but just…they're your friends."

"They're my clique." Kurt corrected with a sigh and a roll of his eyes, "Lord knows I don't think I could describe any of them as friend."

"Then why do you hang out with them?" The younger boy seemed genuinely curious.

Kurt shrugged, glancing up at the ceiling, "I don't know, really. Because it's all I've known all throughout high school. Because of appearances – I'm not really sure. I just do. One of the wonders of life, I guess."

Blaine just nodded, looking down at his hands. "You know I could…be your friend…I mean, if you wanted." He rushed through his words, stumbling over them awkwardly.

Kurt gave him a warm smile, "You know what, I think I'd like that." He held out his hand, "Nice to meet you, new best friend."

Blaine laughed, shaking Kurt's hand and saluting with the other. "Same to you, new best friend." The two chuckled, "I don't think that's how other people make friends."

"Well other people clearly aren't as cool as you and I, Blaine." Blaine smiled at Kurt, the same smile from the video. Kurt suddenly felt infinitely better, "Your mom said she made cookies, do you want to go get some?" Blaine's smile widened as he nodded, getting off the bed. "Oh, and Blaine. If anyone gives you any shit about the videos come to me. This stupid popularity does have its perks."

Blaine smiled, looking to the floor again, "Thank you Kurt…not just for that…but all of this." Blaine gestured to the room at large.

"I didn't build your house, Blaine." Kurt joked.

"Oh you know what I mean." Blaine said, letting out another slightly-awkward laugh.

"I do. And you're welcome. Now c'mon, I want cookies."

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PART 2

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"I'm home!" Kurt called as he stomped through the front door. "Dad? Carole?" He made his way to the living room and dropped his satchel on the couch.

"In here, hun!" Carole's voice carried from the kitchen. Kurt made his way over, running a hand through his normally immaculate hair.

"Hey guys," He greeted, pecking both of them on the cheek before grabbing a diet coke from the fridge.

"Hey you, where were you? Doesn't Glee normally get out at 5?"

Kurt glanced to the clock, noting it was already 8:30, "Oh geez, sorry. I completely lost track of time."

"It's fine sugar." Carole smiled,

"We ordered Falafel." Burt added.

"Oh, nice."

"It was delicious."

"You're cute, dad."

"Where'd you go?" Burt asked in reply, hiding a smirk. He took Kurt's can of pop and took a swig.

"I was actually at the Anderberry's."

"Oh, hanging out with Rachel?"

"No, her brother Blaine actually."

"Rachel has a brother?" Carole asked, taking the pop from Burt and taking a drink herself before handing it back to Kurt.

"Yeah, a sophomore. He's a sweet kid. I never spoke to him too much before."

"So why were you hanging out?"

"Oh, well, uh…something happened at school." Kurt answered his father. He took a long drink, trying to decide what he wanted to say. "Rachel found some videos he posted on the internet. Just videos of him singing – they were cute – but Rachel sent them to everyone and I guess the whole school was making fun of him.

Carole shook her head, "That Rachel is a horrid girl."

Burt snorted, "That's your son's girlfriend, Carole."

"Ugh, don't remind me."

Kurt smirked before returning to his story, "So Blaine came in to the choir room where she was showing all of us and they all started making fun of him and he ran out crying so I…went to their house. To see if he was ok. And he was – we hung out for a while, actually. It was really fun." Kurt smiled to himself. He hadn't felt this good after hanging out with someone in a long time. At school everything and everyone was so superficial. Everything was for an underlying cause, people were never just friends to be friends.

But Blaine was different. He listened intently when Kurt spoke, as if hanging on his every word, and then gave thoughtful responses. Not just 'cool' or 'yeah.' And not only that but Blaine was really smart. His vocabulary was crazy, he was like a walking thesaurus. And he was funny. Hilarious, even. He just had an unexpected sarcastic edge to him when Kurt got him on the right topic.

"Well I'm glad you made a new friend that isn't a little bastard." Burt said with a bright, albeit partially sarcastic, smile. Kurt rolled his eyes but didn't disagree with his father. Burt had never been too fond of the company Kurt kept, and he made it known.

"I can't believe Rachel would do such a thing. I mean, that's her brother."

Kurt shrugged, "That's Rachel for you…and not to mention it wasn't just her. I mean she's the one who spread it around but all the Glee kids were being assholes."

"Yeah, you said he ran out crying?" Kurt nodded, "Poor baby. I'm glad you went after him, Kurt. You're so sweet. Why can't Finn act more like you?" Burt snorted outright while Kurt covered his mouth, hiding his laugh. "I'm serious! I mean, Finn used to be a good boy. And now he's such a little…"

"Bastard?"

"Yes. Thank you, Burt. Bastard. I mean, he totally let all the popularity get to him…and that Rachel girl doesn't help."

"No, she does not…" Kurt sighed, grabbing a bag of pretzels off the counter and popping one in his mouth.

"I mean, Kurt was in the same situation and he's still a great kid. It's not fair." Carole jokingly pouted, leaning into Burt.

"Just better genes, I guess." Burt shrugged, causing Carole to lean away from him and smack him in the chest. "Oh you know I'm kidding."

"Oh I know you are." She grinned, leaning up for a kiss.

Kurt didn't make a comment, he loved seeing his father happy and that was exactly what Carole made him. With all the break ups and make ups at school it was refreshing to see a stable couple for once.

Kurt was taken from his thoughts, and Burt and Carole from their kiss, when the front door slammed open. "Kurt?" A loud, almost angry, Finn called.

"Kitchen." Kurt called back, glancing to Burt and Carole who were both staring at him with raised eyebrows.

"Kurt, what the hell man?" Finn cried once he appeared in the doorway.

"I think that's our cue to leave." Carole said quietly, though Burt didn't seem to want to budge. She managed to get him to the doorway but both parents remained there, watching the fight.

"What the hell what, Finn?" Kurt asked tiredly, really not in the mood for Finn. He'd be so at ease and then here comes step brother Finn to ruin it.

"You bailed on us to go hang out with pretty boy?"

"He has a name, Finn. It's Blaine. And yes, I did."

"What the hell, man?" Finn repeated, as if that question summed up all his rage.

"Really not seeing the problem here, Finn." Kurt sighed, leaning hard into the counter.

"You left us, in glee club, to go dick around with that fagwad?"

"WOAH!" Burt barked from the door, Carole tugging on his arm.

But Kurt spoke over his father, he loved the man but he didn't need him fighting his battles. Certainly not with Finn. "What did you just say?" Kurt asked, pushing off the counter and narrowing his eyes.

"You heard me." Finn snarled.

"Did you just use the word 'fag' or am I hearing things?"

Finn rolled his eyes, "Oh don't be a drama queen-"

"Drama queen? Finn. Are you really that stupid? Do you know how insulting anddisgusting that word is? And to hear my own step brother call me that-"

"Woah!" Finn cut him off, "I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about Blanderfairy."

"He has a fucking name!" Kurt exploded, pushing off the counter. "And it doesn't matter who you're talking about! Me! Blaine! Whatever! You use that word you're insulting every gay person out there! You can't just throw that word around for fucking fun!"

"Oh please Kurt, don't be stupid." Finn rolled his eyes, "You know you're fine. Everyone's cool with you. Hell, the football team would line up to suck your dick if you let them-"

"Finn!" Kurt screeched.

"It's true, Kurt! You're Kurt Hummel, one of the stars of ND for the past 4 years, you can do whatever the fuck you want and everyone will love you. Fag face on the other hand-"

"That's it!" Kurt snarled, chucking the closest item he could find – which happened to be his half full can of coke – without thinking. The can slammed Finn right in the face, spilling all over him and cracking his nose.

"FUCK - WHAT THE FUCK!" Finn screamed, falling back into the table as the can fell to the floor and spilled everywhere. Carole let out a yell of surprise and Burt jumped as it happened, a look of shock on both their faces.

"If you ever use that word in front of me again I won't be aiming for your face, do you hear me?" Kurt snarled, pointing an accusing finger at Finn.

"Dude! You hit me in the fucking face!" Finn cried, clutching his nose.

"Huh, you're not as stupid as you look." Kurt snarked, stomping out the door as Burt and Carole parted for him. "Oh, and one more thing," Kurt turned around to face his bruised step-brother, "Blaine is an amazing person and if you give him any trouble I'll recruit the football team to kick your ass."

"They're my friends!" Finn snarled.

"Not if I let them suck my dick." Kurt snarled sarcastically, turning and stomping up the stairs. Calling over his shoulder he added, "Or if I show them that video I took of you at Rachel's last party of all the wonderful things you said about them!" Kurt didn't need to be in the kitchen to see the look of worry pass across Finn's face. The last party Rachel had he'd gotten smashed, as usual, and said some rather homophobic and rude things about his teammates. Kurt was smart enough to get it on tape.

With a slam of his door Kurt was finally alone in his bedroom. With an angry grunt he kicked his dresser. "Stupid fucking Finn." He swore to himself, angrily ripping off his cheerio uniform and chuck it across the room instead of neatly hanging it up like he usually did, his anger getting worse. "Stupid fucking everything!" He kicked his dresser again before rather violently pulling on his pajamas. "I hate everything! I hate everyone!" He angrily fell onto his bed, the adrenalin and rage from the fight making way for a tiny bit of guilt for clocking Finn in the face with a can of coke. "Not my best moment." He whispered into the mattress. But then Finn's words replayed in his head: fag. Rage filled him once more and he fisted his sheets, clutching them tight and trying hard to keep his anger in check.

A buzzing sound brought Kurt from his angry thoughts, and he glanced to the foot of his bed where his cheerios pants had landed. Stretching his arm out, he tugged the pants over and pulled the phone from his pocket. Tapping the screen a text from Blaine appeared.

Hey Kurt, did you get home safe?

Suddenly, with those few words on his screen, a smile filtered across Kurt's face. All the rage and resentment for his life and the company he kept melted away as he thought of Blaine's goofy smile and awkward laughter.

Kurt quickly replied, I got home fine, thanks for asking!

His phone buzzed back pretty quickly, Ok good! See you tomorrow, Kurt! :)

Kurt's smile widened as suddenly so many emotions filled him. So many thankful feelings for the tiny beacon of light that was Blaine Anderberry in his dark world of social stupidity.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Blaine." He whispered out loud as he hugged the phone to his chest, "Thank God…"

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Same to you, bud!

Blaine stared at the message with such a large smile on his face his cheeks hurt. The only person who ever texted him with his mother, maybe his aunt, and Rachel on the rare occasion she was feeling civil. He never before had been texted by a friend. Maybe because he'd never had a friend, but that was beside the point.

"What are you so smiley for, bitch?" Rachel asked, suddenly appearing at the living room door, clearly displeased with Blaine's happy mood.

Blaine gave his sister a dirty look, "None of your business."

"What is your boyfriend texting you?" She snarled, as if it were an insult.

Oh, if only… "No. My friend Kurt, actually." He wasn't sure why he said it though. The cold look on Rachel's face as her head snapped up immediately told him it was a mistake.

"Kurt's not your friend." She snapped.

"How would you know?"

"Because he's not stupid enough to hang out with a little bitch like you." She snarled, pushing hard off the doorframe she'd been leaning against.

"Is that why he was over here with me after school?" Blaine bit back, holding his phone tight for strength.

Rachel's eyes narrowed, "He what?"

A smirk found its way onto Blaine's face because he finally had his sister. He clutched his phone tighter, like it was a source of energy powered by Kurt's friendship. "Yeah, he came over after the stunt you pulled – which by the way I'm over – and we hung out for three hours." Blaine wasn't entirely over her stunt, but taking that win from her made him feel even better.

"I can't believe he actually-" She cut herself off, clicking her tongue and shaking her head in disbelief as she fell back into the doorframe. "Listen here, fuckhole." She finally said, pointing a finger at Blaine as she collected her thoughts, "Kurt is my friend. He's part of New Directions – and what are you? Some fruity little sophomore? You'renobody. Nobody likes you."

"Kurt seems to like me." Blaine said, though his voice was a little weaker now. No matter what he told himself about how shallow and insecure she was, his sister's words always stung. He glanced down at his phone, at Kurt's text, wishing it would send him strength once again.

"You know who else seemed to like you? Dad."

Blaine's head snapped up at that. "Don't." He whispered.

A smirk found its way back to Rachel's face as she gained the upper hand. "People are really good at pretending. Remember all those times dad told you he loved you?"

"Rachel, shut up."

"He was pretty good at faking it, wasn't he? He seemed so believable."

"SHUT UP!" Blaine screamed, standing.

Rachel let out a little condescending laugh, hands on her hips. "People are good at faking things, Blaine. You of all people should know that. Kurt doesn't like you, nobodydoes. If anything Kurt probably just feels bad for you. I mean, who wouldn't? You'repathetic." Blaine glanced down at himself, tears welling up in his eyes. "I'm just trying to look out for you little brother. So here's my advice: stay the fuck away from my friends. Got it?" Blaine didn't look up, didn't give an answer – but Rachel didn't wait for one. The only sound now was her shoes clicking away on the hard wood floor until the only sound was the shutting of her bedroom door upstairs.

Blaine just stood there, fists shaking, eyes welled up. "She's wrong." He whispered to himself, "She's wrong, she's wrong, she's wrong-"

His mantra was cut off as the phone he was clutching tightly let out its text tone. Glancing down at his fist he released his phone, hit the unlock button, and read the words across the screen.

Text from Kurt.

With shaking fingers he opened the text, Oh, I forgot to ask. Do you normally bring a lunch? If so why don't we eat outside tomorrow? It's supposed to be really nice out.

Blaine stared at the text for a long moment, slack jawed. Then suddenly a smile played across his lips, the tears that had been locked in his eyes slipping out. He involuntarily let out a little laugh, glancing up to the door Rachel had disappeared from.

"She's wrong." He whispered confidently, hugging the phone to his chest, "She's wrong."

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PART 3

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Everyone was avoiding Kurt like the plague.

It had started in the morning, when Rachel, followed by the other girls of Glee, surrounded Kurt at his locker.

"Please tell me you're planning a prank or something." Rachel growled, slamming Kurt's locker shut (and almost catching his hand, he might add).

"I'm sorry?" He asked, reopening his locker and trying to seem nonchalant. Truth was Kurt had been waiting for this since he arrived at school. He knew the glee kids were going to be giving him shit for his exit the previous day. A couple of them had texted him after he left, asking him where he'd actually gone – apparently 'I'm going to find Blaine' had come across as a joke to them. There was all the whole matter of throwing a cap of pop at Finn…but they apparently didn't know about that yet. And he wasn't about to share it.

"Blaine. He told me that you two hung out yesterday."

"We can only assume you're doing it to get juicy gossip." Mercedes said, eyebrows raised expectantly.

"At least, that better be the reason." Rachel cut in, eyes narrowed as she looked Kurt up and down.

Kurt sighed, placing the last book he needed in his satchel before closing his locker lightly. "Have you guys ever thought of talking to someone without an ulterior motive?" He asked, readjusting his bag on his shoulder.

"You can't seriously want to be his friend, Kurt." Rachel snarled, losing her cool.

"You were never that interested in the company I kept before. What's with the sudden interest?"

"Because we were the company you kept before, Kurt! Us! New directions! And not to mention this is my brother we're talking about, ok? If you so much as just chat with that little loser it's going to rip to shreds any bit of popularity you built up over the years!"

"Oh my God, Rachel. I don't care."

"But Kurt-!"

"Back off. Ok?" With a swift turn on his heels, Kurt called over his shoulder, "See you in Glee, girls!" And disappeared down the hall.

That had been early this morning. Since then word seemed to spread of Kurt's new friendship and the rift it was causing in New Directions. People seemed unsure if they should be dropping Kurt and label him a loser or if they should accept Blaine into the cool clique.

It was a very difficult decision for the kids of McKinley.

There was also the fact that the rumor that Kurt had beat up Finn started circulating around second period when Finn finally showed up at school. That wasn't helping either with the whole 'everyone avoid Kurt' unspoken rule.

But Kurt didn't really mind being left alone. The kids of McKinley were annoying little brats anyway. Some distance was doing his sanity good.

He shook his head, resolving not to think of the stupidity of others and rather focus on his current period: lunch. A smile came across his face at that. He and Blaine were going to meet out in the court yard and share lunch together at a spot not far from the steps where everyone always sat. With a Tupperware container filled with Greek salad in hand Kurt quickly made his way outside. After some searching his eyes fell on Blaine. He was sitting alone at a lunch table under a tree, reading a text book that lay open in front of him. Beside the text book sat an unopened brown paper bag.

"Hey Blaine!" Kurt greeted brightly, falling into the set across from Blaine.

The sophomore looked up, a smile immediately filling his face. "Hey, Kurt!" He greeted, but Kurt's smile disappeared as he noted a bruise forming under Blaine left eye.

"Woah, Blaine, what happened?" Kurt leaned over the table and reached out, but Blaine flinched away, looking embarrassed.

"It's not a big deal…"

"Yes it is, someone hit you!"

"No, no…well, sort of. I mean, this morning they threw me in the dumpster and I clocked my face on the side of it as they threw me in. But since then everyone's actually totally left me alone which is weird because I completely expected a lot of crap today after youtube-gate."

Kurt leaned back, not even smiling at Blaine's joke. "Does it hurt?"

"No. Seriously, Kurt, it's fine. And like I said, everyone's been leaving me alone so today's actually been a really good day!" Blaine smiled his big goofy grin but Kurt's stomach lurched. He couldn't help but cringe that a day where Blaine was tossed in a dumpster and got a black eye from could be labeled as a 'really good day,' but Kurt let it go.

"If you say so." He said, shaking his head and leaning back.

Blaine nodded eagerly, "I do." Kurt nodded himself and opened his lunch. Munching on his salad he watched as Blaine pulled out a peanut butter sandwich and began to eat happily. "So, how was your day?"

"Stupid as always." Kurt said with a roll of his eyes and Blaine laughed. Kurt couldn't help but marvel at how at ease the two of them had become with each other in just one day. It was like they were always meant to be friends.

"Why was it stupid?"

"Because everyone here is stupid…and your sister is mad at me. Not that I really give a shit at this point."

Blaine stopped chewing at that, an almost pained look crossing his face. "You…you're not losing all your friends because of me, are you?"

"Blaine, I already told you they're hardly my friends."

"Yeah, but they're the people you've hung out with for the last 4 years. You've formed bonds with them. And with the school, your popularity. I'm messing everything up for you." Blaine's hands fell to the table, his demeanor completely deflating.

"Blaine stop it." Kurt ordered, stabbing his fork into his salad and locking eyes with the other boy. "Listen to me, ok? I told you yesterday I don't care about my popularity. I care about singing, so I joined glee. The popularity just came with it." Kurt reached across the picnic table and place his hand over Blaine's "I enjoy being around you. I enjoy talking to you. And if McKinley High has a problem with it that's just too damn bad. Ok?"

Blaine looked down at their hands, a soft smile playing across his lips. Nodding, he said nothing more and the two went back to their lunches. After a long pause Blaine finally spoke again, "So I heard people murmuring about you putting Finn in a coma. What's that about?"

Kurt rolled his eyes, "Oh, we got in a fight last night and he used the word 'fag' so I threw a can of coke at him." He said casually, taking another bite of his salad.

Blaine chocked on his sandwich, coughing roughly. "Wait, what?"

Kurt glanced up, shrugging again, "It wasn't a big deal…"

"You threw a can of coke at your step brother!" Kurt could see Blaine's conflicting emotions, his face was an open book. He could see Blaine was worried it was about him, but also like he wanted to laugh. Finn had been one of Blaine's biggest tormentors what with being the leader of the football team and New Directions (and constantly being at the Anderberry hour because of Rachel). Kurt couldn't help but feel Blaine had a right to laugh at Finn, even if Kurt hitting him was kind of jerky.

Kurt cleared his throat, opting to keep their moods light. "Ya' know…it happens." The two boys looked at each other for a long moment before bursting into laughter.

Blaine gasped, trying to catch his breath, "I wish I could have been there to see it – does that make me a bad person?"

"You're asking the guy who actually threw the can, Blaine."

"Right." The two laughed again, before going back to their lunches and eating in a comfortable silence. "You know, this is the best lunch I've had in a while." Blaine said after a long moment.

"Why, you using magic bread or something?" Kurt asked, though he knew what Blaine was talking about.

Blaine glanced up at Kurt and held his gaze for a moment, smiling softly he answered, "Or something."

00

PART 4

00

Kurt took a deep breath, his hand resting on the knob of the door to the choir room.You have to go in, he told himself. You can't skip Glee. Just go in.

With a deep sigh he turned the handle and walked through the door, trying his best to look nonchalant. Most of the club was already there, sitting and chatting. When Kurt entered he gained a glare from Rachel, who was currently sitting on Finn's lap and babying him for his bruised face. As the others noticed him slowly they all began to stare. Excluding Rachel the looks didn't really hold much malice, mostly just confusion. As if Kurt had turned into a different person completely and they didn't know what to do.

Smoothing down his cheerios uniform he took a seat, waiting for the war to begin.

"Oh are you still in ND, Kurt?" Rachel asked in a derisive manner, "I was under the impression you'd quit."

"And what gave you that impression, Rachel?" Kurt asked, his tone one of sarcastic civility. "When I said 'see you in Glee' before? I can understand how that would confuse you."

"You're funny." She snarled.

"I think so."

The other members of the club looked back and forth between the two like they were at a tennis match – Rachel to Kurt to Rachel to Kurt…watching their eyes go back and forth was dizzying.

"I just thought what with your new boy toy you'd be too preoccupied for us simple Glee folk."

"My new boy toy came in the mail?"

"Don't play cute Kurt."

"I can't help that I'm cute, Rachel…and I'm not the one who's playing." The two held each other's hard gaze for a long moment, waiting for the other to speak.

Rachel broke first, "Stay away from my brother, Kurt." She suddenly ordered.

"Looks who's suddenly playing the protective older sister card." Kurt said sarcastically.

"I'm not being protective of my asshole brother – hell I'm not even being protective ofyou anymore." She snarled.

"Because you ever did that."

Rachel jumped off Finn's lap and walked slowly towards Kurt. "I'm being protective of this club. Ok? New Directions. By buddying up with my brother you're risking everything we've worked for here."

"Am I? Because as far as I knew Blaine wasn't selling our secrets to the competition – and competition is what we've worked for. In case you've forgotten that."

"That's bullshit and you know it!" Rachel barked, looming over Kurt. "You know what this club is to this school. We're…we're like the gods of the social ladder. And you know who's not even within 100 miles of that social ladder? Your new fuck buddy."

"Woah. Stop right there." Kurt ordered, standing and using his height to his advantage. "I've had enough of this bullshit.

"First of all Blaine isn't my 'fuck buddy' ok? He's my friend. I know that's a foreign concept to you but if you look it up in the dictionary you'll understand." He glanced to the rest of the group with a haughty look, "Second of all, I don't give a shit what this club does for your popularity. I joined this club because I love singing. I love show choir. This is my passion , this is what I want to do. New Directions is highly respected and by getting into it I've secured myself some great résumé material. But." He held up his finger, silencing Rachel as she opened her mouth to interrupt, "This club will not dictate who I can and cannot be friends with. And you will most certainlynot dictate it either. So either back off or fuck off do you understand?" Kurt snarled, now looming over her menacingly. Rachel started at him for a long moment, her fists shaking and eyes hard. She was clearly trying to calculate her response.

But before she could say anything the door opened and their instructor Mr. Shue entered. Rachel glanced at him and then back at Kurt, "This isn't over." She snarled.

"Yes. It is."

With an angry, dramatic spin of her heels Rachel went back to her seat. With her arms crossed Finn put him arm around her, trying to disarm her from her full-on angry pout mode.

With a smirk Kurt leaned back in his seat and focused on Mr. Shue.

00

"Mom, I'm home!" Blaine called as he arrived home after one of his tutoring sessions with some of the football players. He dropped his backpack by the living room door and kicked off his shoes.

"I'm in the kitchen, honey!" Blaine happily made his way towards his mom's voice, all but skipping. Once in the kitchen he let out a bright 'hi mom!' and hopped onto the stool by the counter. "Someone's happy." His mom said, a bright smile on her face to match his despite not having looked up at him yet. Blaine just shrugged and watched as she cut up the potatoes carefully.

"How was your day?" He asked, actually kicking his feet as he sat there.

"Oh it was fine, people at work are assholes as usual. But what about you? Clearly it was a good day."

Blaine grinned at his mom, "Oh it was great, actually!"

"I'm glad!" She said brightly. Blaine knew his mom had been worried about him since he'd come out. He'd never been a social butterfly but after coming out he became the target of practically every bully. Then Rachel got popular and stopped being nice to him and his only friend became his mother. Seeing him this happy was clearly a happy thing for her. At that she finished cutting and glanced up at her son. "Your eye!" She cried. Blaine paused, actually having forgotten all about the shiner he'd gotten that morning.

"Oh, right. I-"

"Oh baby, what happened?" Despite coming home with some kind of injury every day his mother still always reacted like it was the first time, like she wasn't expecting it. She stepped over to him and cupped his cheek, turning his head to look at the bruise better.

"Oh some jerks tossed me in the dumpster this morning and I hit my head going in – but it doesn't hurt. Really!"

His mother let go of his face but stared at him for a long moment. "I thought you said today was a great day." She almost whispered.

Blaine nodded vigorously, "It was! After the dumpster dive literally everyone left me alone!" He said brightly, "I mean, people like parted in the hall to avoid me. It was great. No one bothered me. And the guys I tutor? They actually just listened to me, they didn't say anything jerky."

His mother tilted her head to the side, "Wait, what? Why was everyone avoiding you?"

"I don't know. Maybe because I'm friends with Kurt now." He knew that was the reason, he was sure of it.

Upon mentioning Kurt his mother's look brightened. "Oh, how is he? Did you two hang out today?"

"We did! We ate lunch together!" His mother's smile was immediately back. She'd known Blaine spent lunch alone under the bleachers most every day. She knew most everything about Blaine's friendless existence. With no one to talk to Blaine latched onto his mother. He was closer to her than he was with anyone else, Rachel constantly called him a mama's boy. But he couldn't help it – his mom was his best friend. He told her everything…though the whole 'eating alone at lunch' thing had come out on accident. He didn't mean to worry her.

"Oh I'm so glad!" She said excitedly, taking Blaine from his thoughts.

"Yeah, we ate out in the courtyard too. It was so beautiful out."

"I'm so glad." His mother repeated earnestly, a teary smile on her face. She quickly turned back to the food so Blaine wouldn't see, but he already had. Hopping off the stool he walked to his mom, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her on the cheek.

"I love you, mommy." He said.

"I love you too, baby doll." She turned and kissed him on the nose before he pulled back. "Dinner will be ready as soon as-" his mother started to say but was cut off by the front door slamming. "And there's your sister."

Rachel appeared in the doorway, looking displeased as always. Without saying a word she stomped to the fridge and pulled out a diet Pepsi. Cracking it open she took a long, un-lady-like chug and glanced at her mom and brother. "What?" She asked as she noticed their staring.

"How was school?" Their mother asked, going back to making dinner. Blaine stepped around the counter, not saying a word.

"Oh just great. Want to know why? Because I've been dealing with bullshit all day and then when I get to my one sage haven in Glee I get fucking humiliated." She snarled, glaring at Blaine.

"Watch your language. And why was everything so bad?" Their mother asked, eyes on the stew she was preparing.

"Why?" Rachel asked sarcastically, "Well it's all fucking thanks to fucking Blaine!" Rachel snarled, waving her arms dramatically.

"Rachel." Their mother said sternly, stopping what she was doing to reprimand her daughter, but Rachel spoke first.

"Seriously, Blaine. Couldn't you have just fucking stayed invisible, you're fucking up my whole life."

"Rachel, stop it right now or-"

"I didn't even do anything, Rachel." Blaine shot back, speaking at the same time as his mother. "It was your stunt of spreading those videos of me that got Kurt to talk to me! If our friendship is anyone 'fault' it's yours!"

"Well, if you weren't so fucking pathetic Kurt wouldn't have felt fucking obligated to take pity on you!"

"It's not pity! It's friendship! You should try it sometime!"

"Blaine, Rachel, stop it!" Their mother ordered, but Rachel wasn't done.

"Blaine you're so naive! I already told you! Kurt doesn't like you! He feels guilty that a hopeless bitch like you is walking around! I mean, if you just disappeared he'd forget all about you! You're nothing special to him!"

"Rachel!" Their mother cried again, trying and failing to silence her daughter.

"That's not true." Blaine whispered. Kurt's friendship meant something. It had to.

"Yes it is! Why don't you just do us all a favor and kill yourself!"

"RACHEL SHIRLI ANDERBERRY!" Their mother's booming voice all but shook the room, silencing Rachel. Blaine stared at his sister, slack jawed. "To your room now! And you can forget about having any friends over for the next two weeks!"

"But-!"

"And you won't be going to Glee for the next two weeks, either!" Rachel's eyes widened in horror.

"You can't do that!"

"I can and I will. I'm going to call Mr. Shue right now and tell him you're not allowed to go to Glee! You will go to school and come home and that's it - do you understand me?"

"Mom that's bullshit! This is just because Blaine's your favorite!"

"To your room now!"

"Mom!"

"Do you want me to make it three weeks?" Rachel stood there for a long moment, eyes wide and fists shaking.

With an angry squeak she stomped from the room, shouldering Blaine hard and whispering in his ear as she passed, "This is all your fault, you stupid faggot." He flinched, but didn't move. He stood there, rooted in his spot, until he heard the sound of his sister's bedroom door slamming.

Blaine stood there for a long moment, tears in his eyes. "Blaine? Are you ok?" his mother asked, placing a hand on his shoulder.

Numbly he nodded, "I'm going to go to my room." He said, "I'm not really hungry."

"Sweetie maybe we should-"

"Night mom." He whispered, turning and quietly hurrying to his room. Once there he shut the door and fell onto his bed. Even with the door closed he could hear Rachel's music blasting across the hall. With a quiet sob Blaine pulled the pillow over his head.

If you just disappeared he'd forget all about you.

That wasn't true. It couldn't be true. Kurt meant something to him…that meant he had to mean something to Kurt, right?

Blaine lay there for lord knew how long contemplating his sister's words. Peeking his head out from under the pillow he slipped his phone from his pocket with a shaking hand.

What if I just disappeared?

He stared at the text for a long moment, finger hovering over the send button. "You can't send that to Kurt." He whispered to himself, "He'll think you're crazy." He quickly deleted the text and tossed his phone to the end of the bed. "Rachel's right. He probably wouldn't care if you disappeared anyway…" He stared up at the ceiling, "Would anyone care?" Even as the question left his lips only one thought came to mind:

Dad wouldn't.

A quiet sob escaped his lips and he flipped over. He pulled the blankets from the end of the bed up over his head.

Rachel wouldn't.

Everyone at school wouldn't

Why should Kurt?

Blaine squeezed his eyes closed, trying to ignore his thoughts. Mom would care. Mom would care. Mom would care. He kept repeating that to himself, trying to give himself some semblance of hope.

Before he realized it he had cried himself to sleep.

00

PART 5

00

McKinley High was on edge.

Kids were whispering rather than talking openly. They didn't know what to do or say. They didn't know how to act or who to talk to. And it was all for one reason.

Rachel Anderberry was in a rage.

She wasn't making her fake chatter with her fellow ND members. She wasn't being cutesy with her boyfriend or sashaying around the halls in her normal, dominating manor. She was stomping around, snarling at anyone who came within five feet of her, and slamming locker doors any time she saw an open one, just because.

She was a force to be reckoned with.

When word got out why she was so enraged it was like a shifting tide. Why would Rachel Anderberry be banned from Glee club? She was the star of ND. Forbidding her from singing with ND was like banning Freddie Mercury from singing at a Queen concert.

But that wasn't when the change of winds came. It was when everyone discovered why Rachel was banned. No one was sure how it was spread, maybe Rachel spread it or a member of ND did, but soon everyone found out Rachel was banned because of her brother. No one cared that it was because she'd said unforgivable things to him or that she was – not for the first time – the one in the wrong.

It was like everyone had realized it was ok to hate Blaine again.

And they were relieved.

When Kurt found out about it he knew he had to find the sophomore. He didn't know what was said but he knew if Mrs. Anderberry had banned Rachel from Glee for two weeks whatever the girl said to her brother must have been awful.

Kurt set out on a search similar to the one he'd conducted the day he and Blaine because friends. Best friends. But he couldn't locate the boy. He even went to the office to charm out of the secretary if Blaine was absent but when he got there he didn't need to. Before the secretary even turned his way he saw Blaine's name scrawled into the 'Tardy Binder' where kids signed in if they arrived to school late. He noted Blaine had signed in at 11:20, the clock read 11:30.

He wasn't sure why he did it, but he ran. Bolted out of the office and down the corridor, twisting and turning down the emptying halls as students filtered into their classes. The bell rang just as Kurt turned down the hall where Blaine's locker was.

The sight that greeted him was not a pleasant one.

Blaine was surrounded by four hockey players, all at least twice his size, most bigger than that. He had his back pressed up against the lockers as hard as he could, trying to get as far away from the jocks as possible. They were all sneering, the biggest snarling something Kurt couldn't hear but it was undoubtedly cruel.

But that wasn't even the worst part.

It was Blaine. His lip was split, but that wasn't the worst part. He had dark bags under his eyes, accentuating the fading bruise under his eye. His hair was disheveled, clearly not gelled this morning. He was wearing his large glasses and they were askew. He was wearing a button up shirt under a sweater-vest, but the shirt was untucked and the vest was rumpled.

He looked horrible.

Not at all like the happy teen from yesterday claiming 'today was a great day!'

As Kurt ran closer he could hear Blaine brokenly whisper "Please…just leave me alone."

"You want us to leave you alone, faggot?" The tall one, Rick, snarled.

"Hey!" Kurt found himself barking, silencing all four jocks and causing Blaine's head to snap to the side so fast it cracked. "What the fuck are you doing?" Kurt snarled.

All the jocks looked startled, like they hadn't expected anyone to stop them. Or maybe they hadn't expected Kurt to stop them. Did they really think Kurt would turn his back on Blaine just because everyone else had – and for Rachel? Especially after all the rumors going around about Kurt and Rachel's 'epic war' that was going on?

"I asked a question." Kurt snarled, pushed through two of the jocks to step in front of Blaine, neither stopped him.

"What's it to you?" One of them replied, snarky, as he regained himself.

"What's it to me?" Kurt snarled, "You're attacking my friend, you're seriously asking me that? And I better be hearing things because I could have sworn one of you called him something deplorable." Kurt glanced at Rick, eyes hard and narrowed.

"What if I did?" Rick bit, raising an eyebrow.

Kurt slowly took a step forward, "So you admit it?"Kurt whispered, voice deadly.

"Kurt, it's ok." Blaine whispered behind him, looking nervous.

"No, Blaine, it's not!" Kurt cried, glancing over his shoulder at the teen. "You're a human being, no one gets to fucking talk to you like that." He spun back around to Rick, "If you ever lay a hand on him or give him any trouble I will make you regret it, you understand me?" His voice was scarily quiet as he leaned in close to the jock. With one final twitch of his eyebrows he spun back around to face Blaine.

"Oh yeah, what are you gonna do about it?" Rick asked, keeping up his show of manliness, but the way he glanced to his friends gave him away. The situation had gone back to a confusing level for them, were they to turn their backs on Kurt or not?

Kurt glanced over his shoulder, "You wanna try me?" Rick paused, saying nothing, before giving a jerky nod to his friends as they all retreated.

Once they were out of sight Kurt turned back to Blaine as the smaller teen let out a breath he'd been holding. "You didn't have to do that." He said quietly.

Kurt raised an eyebrow, "Of course I did. You're my friend, what am I gonna do? Let them beat you up?" He paused then, stepping forward. He raised his hand to Blaine's chin as blood dripped off it from his lip. Kurt's fingers extended but didn't quiet touch. "C'mon, let's clean you up." He said, dropping his hand.

Leading him into the bathroom, Kurt instructed Blaine to lean against the sink as he wet a few paper towels. He began to wipe away the blood, cleaning the other boy's lip. Blaine wouldn't meet Kurt's eyes. After Blaine's face was clean of blood Kurt threw out the bloody towels and pulled a cold-ish water bottle from his bag. Grabbing another paper towel, he wrapped it around the bottle and held it out to Blaine.

"Here, hold this to your lip. The cold will help." Blaine took it without a word, eyes now raised from the floor to watch the senior. Kurt began to dig around in his bag again until he pulled out a tiny tub of Vaseline.

"Here we go." He grinned, glancing up to Blaine and catching his eye, "This'll help. You lips will feel so much better with some of this." He opened the tub and caught some on his finger, he glanced up to Blaine whose eyes had widened and breath had quickened a little. Kurt immediately realized how inappropriate it would be for him to put Vaseline on Blaine's lips.

Quickly covering up his embarrassing lapse of judgment he smeared the bit on his finger onto his own lips. He held out the open tub to Blaine. The younger teen lowered the bottle from his lip and caught some of the Vaseline on his finger, an odd look on his face now.

He turned to the mirror and smeared it on his lips, rubbing the split a little. "You're right, it does feel much better." He said quietly, his voice still defeated.

Kurt paused, heart clenching. "Blaine, what's wrong?"

The teen in question looked up to Kurt, giving a forced smile, "Besides what just happened?"

Kurt shook his head, "Something's off…and, well, I heard Rachel said something to you last night, that your mom banned her from Glee for it."

An unreadable look passed across Blaine's face as he glanced away, "Oh, that. Yeah, well, should be expected from Rachel." He mumbled.

Kurt's heart broke at the other's teens tone. Without thinking he reached out and took Blaine's hand in his. "Blaine, she's wrong." He said earnestly.

Blaine glanced up at Kurt, his eyes going glassy. "You don't even know what she said." He whispered.

"I don't have to know what she said to know she's wrong. You're an amazing person, Blaine. Don't forget that." They held eye contact for a moment, and Kurt was sure Blaine was going to cry as a look of pure shock crossed his features.

Blaine blinked quickly, turning back to the mirror to smear the Vaseline more despite the fact he'd gotten it all. "You know a lot about how to treat a split lip." He said, quickly, and not so subtly, changing the subject.

Kurt leaned back, letting go of the other teen's hand. "Well, I've had quite a few in my lifetime."

"Black Friday sales get vicious?" Blaine joked lamely, glancing to Kurt.

The senior laughed, leaning against one of the sinks. "Well that, and all the bullying I dealt with."

Blaine paused, dropping his hand from his lips. "Bullying?"

Kurt glanced back up, meeting Blaine's eyes. "I wasn't always popular." He shrugged, "I was the baby-faced gay kid before McKinley. People weren't even remotely fond of me. S'why I welcomed my popularity with open arms at first, I think. Meant no more dumpster tosses and pee balloons. But…but when I see them doing it to you…" Kurt's voice trailed off, he shook his head. Glancing back to Blaine he noticed the other boy looking away from Kurt, tears freeing themselves from his eyes.

"Blaine, are you crying?" Kurt whispered, stepping forward and placing his hand on the sophomore's shoulder.

"I just…why can't people just accept it?" He said, voice wet. "I mean, we're…we're people too. I'm not – I'm a person. I shouldn't-they shouldn't—" A sob ripped through his throat, "Why can't I mean something to somebody? Why can't I just be normaleven if I am gay?" He sobbed again, burying his face in his hands, "Why can't someone care if I disappear?"

There was a pause, Blaine's shoulders shaking from the crying. Kurt' gently placed his hands over Blaine's wrists, slowly pulling Blaine's hands away from his face. Catching the younger boy's eye Kurt held his gaze. "I would care if you disappeared, Blaine. You're my best friend."

Blaine hiccupped, breath hitching, "You've only known me for a few days." He whispered, so completely broken.

"Doesn't mean you can't mean something to me." Kurt said, voice steady even as tears entered his eyes.

Blaine's breath hitched again, eyes searching Kurt's. "Do you promise Kurt? Promise you'll miss me if I disappear?"

"Only if you promise not to disappear." He whispered, pulling Blaine into a tight hug and pressing his cheek to Blaine's curls.

"I promise." Blaine sobbed, clutching Kurt.

The two stood like that for a long time, neither knew how long. It wasn't until the bell rang that they pulled back. "You missed class," Blaine whispered, running his fist under his nose. Kurt pulled two paper towels from the rack, handing one to Blaine.

"I don't care. French is a breeze anyway." He said, dabbing his eyes as Blaine blew his nose. Once cleaned up Kurt linked arms with Blaine. "C'mon, let's go eat lunch outside." Blaine nodded, a soft smile, a real smile, gracing his lips.

The two made their way outside, arm in arm, on the way to their lunch spot. As they passed the steps everyone sat at Kurt glanced down, seeing his glee friends sitting together on one of the steps.

None of them noticed Kurt or Blaine…except Rachel. As they walked past the area Kurt and her met eyes. She watched the pair of them, her eyes narrowed. But soon her look morphed into an unreadable one. Kurt wasn't sure what it was, and no one else seemed to notice, but it was distinct, smug even. Why would she look that way seeing Kurt and her brother arm in arm? She wasn't happy for them obviously. That couldn't be it.

Rachel was going to retaliate, he just knew it. No way was she going to take being banned from Glee and Kurt befriending Blaine sitting down. No, she was planning something. Kurt just knew it. He just wished he knew what.

Kurt glanced away from Rachel to Blaine. Blaine who stilled looked terrible, though improved from before. He looked so young, so innocent. Who would want to hurt him?His own sister apparently, Kurt thought bitterly

Kurt bit his lip. No, he wasn't going to let that happen. He resolved to keep an eye on Blaine. He wasn't going to let anything more happen to Blaine. Not if he could help it.

00

PART 6

00

It had been a week since the episode in the bathroom and Kurt and Blaine had gotten even closer. They hung out every day after school, they sang together and did homework together. They read magazines and discussed plans after high school.

They were friends. Best friends.

It was refreshing for Blaine.

Unfortunately things at school had gotten no better. Sure people weren't knocking Blaine into lockers out of fear of Kurt but they were still shooting him glares, whispering cruel words. But Blaine let it roll off him, because he had his best friend Kurt and that would get him through anything.

At least he thought so until he got to school that day.

It was one of the last days of Rachel's grounding and he knew she was still angry. She'd snarl mean comments to him when she knew their mom couldn't hear. She'd knock him into the walls when they passed each other in the morning. She'd shut the bathroom door on his hand. Knock his tooth brush into the garbage.

You know, childish stuff.

But when Blaine arrived at school he carried himself the way he always did – head down, eyes focused on the floor. He would have never glanced up had he not been able to feel the eyes of literally everyone on him. He glanced around, wanting to ask what was so hilarious, why he was such a spectacle, but then something on the wall caught his eye.

The walls were covered in what looked like photocopies of something. Upon closer inspection he noticed it was someone's notebook. Someone with familiar handwriting –

Oh God, it was his hand writing.

Ripping the sheet from the wall he read over it quickly, his stomach dropping. Oh my God, no, she wouldn't, she wouldn't.

"Hey, Blainers." Came a teasing voice in his ear. Blaine slowly turned to his sister, a look of horror on his face, the photocopy shaking in his hands.

"Rachel, you-"

"Oh, what's that you got there?" She smirked, "Looks like someone's taken up writing, huh?"

Blaine literally had no words. He wanted to cry, scream, throw up, anything. But he couldn't. He'd forgotten how to breathe. "Rachel." He gasped out.

"Still think your best buddy's gonna love you now, freak?"

That was all Blaine needed. He bolted. Broke into a run and blasted out the front door. He could hear cruel laughter behind him. Their laughs and words echoed in his head.Freak. Faggot. A sob ripped from his chest as he mindlessly ran. He just needed to get away from that place. He couldn't be there, he couldn't. Not when he was so sure of one thing.

Rachel's right. Kurt's going to hate me now.

00

Kurt arrived at school later than usual. He blamed his father for fighting him on what he could eat for breakfast, but that was a different story. With a sigh and a quick step Kurt made his way toward his locker, noticing that people were staring. He cast an odd glance to his classmates, noting they all were holding something.

Maybe the newspaper posted something stupid about me again, Kurt thought with a roll of his eyes. He'd become skilled and not caring about what others said of him. He stopped caring about that a long time ago, he knew how much it could hurt him.

It wasn't until he got to his locker that he realized what everyone was holding. Taped to the door was a sheet of paper, a photo copy. Clearly someone had taken a photocopy of a notebook, messy, curvy hand writing filled the page. Carefully pulling it off of his locker, Kurt began to read.

He said hi to me today. He was over to see Rachel but still. He said hi to me. I just walked in the door, went up stairs and there he was. Just. "Hi, Blaine!" No warning. Just perfect him standing there in my hallway.

And he smiled. Oh my God, that smile. Does he even realize how gorgeous he is? I swear he can't be human. He's an angel. He has to be an angel.

I wonder what it would be like if we ran away together? We could move to New York City, leave this town behind. Legally get married, get a dog, adopt some kids. He'd be a famous singer and fashion designer and Greek God and I could be a stay at home dad. I'd happily be his housewife…it'd be perfect. It'd be a fantasy come to life.

But that's all it is, isn't it? A fantasy.

Get it together, Blaine. Kurt doesn't even know your name. No way could he ever love you.

Kurt froze, heart stopping in his chest. "Oh my-" He voice died off, horror evident across his features as it dawned on him. "This is from Blaine's diary." Suddenly the staring, the laughing, it made sense. "Rachel." He growled, bolting off to the choir room, knowing she would be there even if she wasn't supposed to be.

As he ran he saw other photocopies taped to the walls. He ripped them down as he saw them. Glancing over them as he did.

I wonder what would happen if I just ran away?

Would anyone notice if I died?

If it weren't for mom I would be long gone. I can't do that to her.

Rachel's right. I should just kill myself.

I almost took the pills last night. It would have been so easy.

How nice would it be to just not wake up in the morning?

Kurt shook his head violently, trying to shake the words from his thoughts. Blaine – Blaine thought all of these things and Kurt didn't even…well, Kurt knew a little, based on the conversation they had in the bathroom. But…he had no idea it ran this deep, and for this long. Some of the dates scribbled on these pages were from months ago, last year, the year before.

"Rachel!" He barked, slamming the choir room door open. Everyone in the room jumped, necks snapping up from the photocopies in their hands. Panic crossed their features as they looked back and forth between Kurt and Rachel. "You stupid littlebitch!"

It was no secret that Kurt and Rachel were the unspoken leaders of ND. It was no secret they were at the very top of the food chain at McKinley. What was in question was who was actually number 1 – Kurt or Rachel? It was a constant struggle. No one knew who to side with when they fought.

And this was going to be a big fight.

"Problem, Kurt?" Rachel asked smugly.

"Yes. A huge fucking one and her name is Rachel Anderberry."

"Ouch."

Kurt stomped into the room, grabbing photocopies as he passed people. No one protested. When he made it to Rachel he grabbed her sheet with more force than necessary. "No, listen here you obnoxious, self-centered little piece of shit." Kurt snarled, going nose-to-nose with her. "I know it's hard for you to think of anyone but yourself but did you ever realize – did you even read what you taped around the school?"

Rachel shrugged, rolling her eyes. "You mean his pathetic little confession of his crush on you?" She snorted, as if the thought of someone crushing on Kurt was ridiculous.

"No you stupid—no. Did you read any of them? Do you realize how serious some of the things he wrote in here were?"

"Oh please. He's just looking for attention."

"He wrote them in his diary you stupid brat!" Kurt screeched, "You're the one who posted them around the school!"

"Well he should have found a better hiding spot then." She shrugged. "And besides who cares, he already ran home anyway from what I hear."

"You – you really think – you act like you're blameless! Rachel!" He waved the papers in her face, "He shows serious-he-and you — and you tell him to kill himself?"

"Oh like he'd be missed-" Rachel didn't even get to finish her sentence as Kurt slapped her across the face with a resounding crack. Everyone stood frozen for a moment. "Did you just-"

"Rachel Anderberry." Kurt whispered, voice shaking, "You listen to me. You may be popular now. You may be all that here in high school. But you are a horrible person. You will never be loved. You know why? Because you're incapable of loving anyone besides yourself. And when you're on your death bed, all alone, you'll have no one to blame but yourself." Rachel stared at him for a long moment, jaw dropped and eyes wide. "And your brother? He'll have a loving husband and children and grandchildren because he is an amazing person who loves so honestly and sincerely. He deserves love. And you deserve nothing. Remember that." He turned and started for the door, "You better hope nothing's happened to him, Rachel. Because you'll be the one paying for it."

And with that he swept out the door to find his friend.

00

Kurt made it to the Anderberry house in record time. He was pretty sure he'd broken a few traffic laws but thankfully all the cops seemed to be elsewhere.

Parking crookedly across the driveway, Kurt ran up the front steps of the house. Using the key under the mat he threw open the front door. "Blaine?" He screamed, leaving the door open and running through the house. "BLAINE?" He stomped up the stairs, throwing open each door as he passed.

Blaine was nowhere.

"BLAINE?" He screamed again.

Kurt was terrified, he had no idea what he was going to find. Blaine dead, wrists slit open? Empty pill bottle in hand? Maybe hanging from the doorframe? He just wanted to find Blaine and never let him out of his sight again. Kurt knew what it was like to feel alone and helpless, and to read what Blaine had written…Kurt just wanted to find Blaine.

But as he started back on the stairs he all but screamed in surprise.

There Blaine stood in the open front doorway. His clothes were rumpled and messy. He was sweaty, his hair had come undone, his face was tear stained. But despite his heartbreaking demeanor his face held one of complete confusion as he stared at Kurt.

"Oh my God, Blaine!" Kurt all but sobbed, running forward and collecting the sophomore in his arms. Blaine didn't return the gesture, he just continued to look utterly bewildered. But Kurt didn't care. He'd been so sure he was going to find Blaine dead. But Blaine was alive and well and Kurt had actually made it home before him. It was overwhelmingly relieving. "Oh my God, Blaine."

"Kurt?"

"You're ok." He said, letting out a semi-hysterical laugh, "Oh God, I thought-" He suddenly felt so ridiculous. Blaine had no idea why Kurt was pretty much sobbing into him. He didn't know Kurt had just thought Blaine was dead on the floor of his room when he hadn't even been home yet. He probably thought Kurt was just crazy. "Sorry." Kurt said, quickly pulling back.

"Kurt." Blaine said again, the bewildered look still on his face.

"That's me." Kurt said, letting out another single, crazed laugh.

"You—why are you here?"

Kurt ran his fist under his nose, taking a deep breath. "I saw what Rachel posted around school and she said you'd run home and I - I was worried about you and I just –" Kurt took another deep breath, "Sorry. I just, I assumed the worst – and – God, you must think I'm crazy." Kurt said, rubbing the back of his neck self consciously as Blaine still had yet to wipe that shocked look off his face.

Then he finally spoke, "You – you came – even after reading the copies?"

It was Kurt's turn to look confused. "What? Of course! If my diary was posted around school I'd hope someone would be worried about me. Especially-" Especially with some of the things you said.

"You thought I was going to kill myself?" Blaine asked, Kurt hung his head in shame.

"I know, I shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. I just – I was worried –"

"I don't know what I was running home to do." Blaine whispered, "But the fact that you're here – this changes everything."

Kurt's brow furrowed as he stared at his friend, "What – why?"

"I thought…I thought after reading…that you'd hate me."

"For the way you felt?" Kurt found it hard to get the word suicide to form on his tongue.

"The way I felt about you." Blaine whispered, and Kurt froze. Blaine thought he was going to hate him for having a crush on him? Oh Blaine, oh sweet, innocent Blaine.

"Jesus, Blaine." Kurt whispered, tears in his eyes. "Here I am worrying about finding you dead and you're worried I'll be weirded out by a crush?" He all but sobbed.

"I'm sorry." Blaine whispered, looking down.

"God, Blaine, don't apologize." Kurt actually did sob that time.

And suddenly his lips were pressed against Blaine's, Blaine's cheeks in his hands. How had that happened? When had he seized Blaine's face and smashed their lips together? Quickly he pulled back, breathless.

Blaine was looking at him with wide, shocked eyes. Kurt was pretty sure his face looked similar. "Oh my – I'm sorry –" But Kurt didn't get to finish as Blaine threw himself forward and rejoined their lips. The kiss deepened, got more intense, and after a moment they pulled apart only because they needed to breathe.

"Blaine." Kurt gasped.

"Kurt," Blaine sobbed, pulling him into a tight hug. "Kurt."

Kurt held the younger boy tight against him. He wasn't really sure what had just happened, or what was going through Blaine's mind, or what was going through his own really, but he knew it was important. Blaine's school life had basically just been ruined by his sister, Kurt had been convinced he was going to find his best friend dead, and yet they were standing here holding each other after making out.

Kurt had no idea what to say, so he said the first thing that came to mind. "You're sweaty."

"I ran home." Blaine whispered into his shoulder.

"Oh, Blaine."

The sophomore pulled back and looked up at Kurt, "What does this mean, Kurt?"

"What?"

"This. You – me – making out…and crying?" Kurt let out a bark of a laugh and Blaine smiled at that.

"I don't know. I just know I really needed it."

"Me too."

"I need to be as close as possible to you right now."

"Me too. To you." They stood silently for a long moment, saying nothing, not knowing what to say. "Can we save the important discussions for later?" Blaine finally whispered, "I just want to cuddle and eat ice cream right now." He paused, tensing against Kurt, "Did I say that out loud?"

"Yes." Kurt said, smiling softly, "But I'm glad you did because I feel the same way." Blaine relaxed at that. "Come on. Let's go get on that."

They pulled back, starting for the kitchen slowly. "Kurt?" Blaine asked quietly.

"Yeah, Blaine?"

"Thank you. For caring if I disappear."

"I promised I would…and you promised you wouldn't." Kurt reached over and took Blaine's hand, "And you didn't. So we both kept out promise." Blaine smiled softly at Kurt, eyes welling up some more. "Now come on. Ice cream."