Author's Note: Thanks for clicking! I worked very hard on this story, so if the premise interests you at all, please hang in there for a few chapters. It starts off a little slowly. I have the whole thing mostly written out already, so I'll be updating frequently. There's no smut to be found here, but if you like that sort of thing I invite you to check out my other stories. :)
Lawns covered in grass.
Yay, a hill!
Hill's over, more grass.
A dingy, ranch-style house with an attached garage and an older-model car out front.
Yet more grass.
Kurt stared blankly out the window, his forehead resting on the glass. He adjusted his earbuds and sighed. He'd been on the bus for two hours already, and they still had far to go. He was frustrated with the dull, uninteresting landscape. Damnit, Ohio, why can't you give me something interesting to look at? Anything at all...It really wasn't all that different from home...
Kurt shuddered, pressing his fingers against his eyes as he scolded himself. Lima wasn't home anymore. Not that his aunt's house in Lancaster looked any different, either. It wouldn't matter if he went back to Lima or moved to Finland. Home wasn't really home without his father there.
The ache in his chest was still so fresh, so raw. It had only been six weeks since he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Lancaster. Only six weeks and six days since his world was turned upside down. Only six weeks and four days since anything and everything ceased to matter anymore. For now, coping meant pushing his pain down deeper and deeper until he achieved numbness. But when he got to that state it was hard to feel anything at all. No other emotion could compare to his sense of loss. He couldn't even bring himself to feel real anger towards his aunt and uncle for putting him on this bus.
They were acting out of love, or so they thought. Love and fear, discomfort and concern. They weren't trying to punish him, and they certainly weren't trying to make the worst time in his life even more excruciating. They did seem to think there was something terribly wrong with him, though. Like there could be anything else wrong with him that even compared to having his heart torn in half. His pulse quickened just slightly as his buried anger pushed to the forefront. He took a deep breath and tamped it back down. Never mind that, Kurt, he thought to himself. Being angry wasn't going to make the week go by any faster.
Being angry also couldn't bring his father back. Anger couldn't stop on heart disease that quietly built up over the course of years to strike randomly and suddenly. Burt had been felled in an instant, leaving his son completely and utterly alone in the summer before his Junior year of high school.
Kurt rubbed his eyes harder, grinding the tears away and sniffling. It was still hard to think about his father, but it also helped to give him the strength he knew he would need. Burt would have wanted him to respect his aunt, Burt's sister, and he truly was grateful they were taking him in. He was determined to honor his father's memory. Even if it was very, very difficult lately.
Kurt had already been in a position to bite holes in his tongue many times during the conversations that went on in his aunt's home, and when they dragged him to church every Sunday.
His aunt missed Burt too. She kept clinging to Kurt and crying, telling him that his father would be waiting for him in heaven. That Burt was finally happy, with Elizabeth again, and that one day they would be together as a family again. The way she went on and on about it kind of made it sound like she was looking forward to death herself, that heaven was infinitely superior to this life so why not hurry up and get there?
Kurt cried with her when she said these things, never telling her how much it hurt to hear them, when he was certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of what she said would come to pass. She probably thought it was comforting and that he was crying tears of relief. She kept telling him that the camp would help him, that it would reinforce his faith. He wasn't about to upset her by explaining how wrong she was about his "faith".
He expected to have to bottle up a lot of rational thought in the week to come. But that wasn't the worst part. Nobody had outright said it, but he had a sneaking suspicion that his aunt and uncle had more of an agenda in sending him to the camp than just reinforcing (or enforcing) faith. He knew they disapproved of his wardrobe, the way he walked, talked, and fixed his hair. He remembered his aunt elbowing him in the ribs during a recent church service where the pastor had been going on and on about Christian marriage and the proper role of men and women in the household. There had been other little comments and hints, even though Kurt had made a point of... well, not going back in the closet, exactly, but not doing anything that they would perceive as being "in their face." He just didn't want to rock the boat.
He had heard about Christian "ex-gay therapy" for teenagers, and the whole idea made him sick. If his suspicions proved correct, he would have to do a lot of hiding and a lot more holding back from speaking his mind this week. Kurt had always known that he was different, and people had been making those kinds of assumptions about him for as long as he could remember. He usually didn't mind standing out from the crowd, at least when it didn't result in slushies and being slammed into lockers. On the other hand, he was going to attract a lot of attention at this camp. Maybe even physical violence.
Kurt shook his head. Speculating about the worst wasn't going to help things at all. He leaned against the glass and stared out of the window once more, hoping to find something to distract him. Something, anything. He turned the volume up on his ipod, the jarring beat breaking him out of his depressing reverie. Not that he wanted the time to pass more quickly, exactly. The bus sped down the highway, its eventual destination looming in Kurt's mind like an execution.
Stop being over-dramatic, he chastised himself, rolling his eyes. Dreading his destination wasn't going to help anything. He decided to return to numbness. He just had to endure it, both the bus ride and the coming week.
Nothing could change who he was. Camp Reflection was no match for Kurt Hummel.
Sorry, guys. I love Burt too much to write him as a bigot, so he had to die. Next chapter comes up tomorrow!