Author's Note: This is a plot bunny that's been bouncing around in my head for about a year, and I've finally taken a moment to write it down and see what becomes of it. I'm not sure if I'll ever add to it, but I'm posting it so that I can come back to it should inspiration strike. If the story appeals to you, I'd appreciate a comment telling me, only so I know that there's an audience should I decide to pursue it. This is an extreme AU that takes place relatively early in the second season. Spoilers for Grilled Cheesus. No Blaine, because - ew - WTFNO.
Kurt's eyes shot open and blinked blearily in the darkness, trying to make sense of his surroundings and how much time had passed. There was no ambient light, however, so it was impossible for him to discern where he was. The absence of both light and sound was thoroughly discombobulating and, though he was beginning to understand what must have happened, he had no idea how to go about fixing it.
His supine condition and the pillow beneath his head suggested that he was in a bed, but it didn't feel as though it were his own, for it was far too big. The sheets felt amazing, though, almost like silk. They were cool and soft but weren't puddling about him, like he thought silk or satin might. They must have been expensive.
His sense of worry increased.
Where was he? How much time had passed?
How could this have happened again?
He had to get out of here, once he determined where here was.
He could feel the panic begin to set in, his heartbeat increasing exponentially as adrenaline coursed through his veins, the way it always did in this situation.
But what had triggered it? It had been years. It was supposed to have been over.
He needed to find his dad. His dad would make everything all right. He always had.
He scooted toward the edge of the bed, careful to make as little noise as possible. He didn't know where he was and, more importantly, who might be with him. He didn't want this to be like the last time.
He shivered, his teeth chattering, as his body gave itself over to a spastic shudder. He forced himself to remain calm. It wouldn't do him any good to start freaking out until he had learned exactly what had happened, what had triggered the episode. Not that he had ever really figured that out, or why it had started.
But it had been years.
His was tongue suddenly too large for his mouth and he felt as though he were breathing through wet cotton.
He swallowed heavily. What if the opposite was true? What if it had been more years than he realized? What was the date?
He yelped and jumped up from the bed, no longer feeling the need to be stealthy. He had to get out of there.
He bumped into the nightstand and something flashed. Frowning, he leaned over and peered at it. Some kind of electric clock, but none like he had ever seen. Curious, he reached out and poked its screen, which now displayed a small number of colorful boxes. He had no idea what it was and decided it best to leave it alone.
He looked around for some clue as to where he was, as well as something he could use to arm himself. The light from the device illuminated a small swath of the room and Kurt felt his vision begin to fade from the corners of his eyes.
Basement. He was in the basement. His basement.
Was he being punished? He hated the basement.
It was dark and creepy and smelled like a toilet.
But it didn't look like his basement. Everything was white, so very white, though the whiteness was transformed to an almost neon blue color by that weird light.
It didn't smell like his basement, either. It smelled like oranges and some spicy scent he couldn't place, but was reminiscent of something his mother had used in her cooking.
His eyes darted across the room and then widened when they noticed another bed was across from the one in which he had awoken.
There was someone in that bed. The person looked large, too, if the size of the covered shape was any indication.
He startled when the light dissipated and then vanished altogether.
Great. Now what was he supposed to do?
He stood there for a moment in silence, contemplating his next move.
Okay, well, he knew the basement. It might have looked different, but he was familiar with the layout. The stairs should be just behind him. All he had to do was get to them, preferably without waking up the hulk in the other bed.
"Kurt?" a voice sleepily mumbled.
Kurt froze and then slapped a hand over his mouth to avoid screaming.
Don't make a noise, he told himself. Don't even breathe.
"Did you have another nightmare?" the voice whispered, filled with concern.
Kurt frowned, his eyes narrowing as he slowly dropped his hand. Who the heck was talking, and how did they knew each other? Why was he in a room with another boy?
Deciding discretion was not the better part of valor, and that perhaps it was best to abandon his evacuation toward the stairs, he darted forward and reached out blindly. The doors to the laundry pantry should be just in front of him.
He wanted to weep with relief when his hand closed over a knob, though not the knob that should have been there. He opened the door, stepped into the pantry, and quietly shut it behind him, silently cursing that there was no lock.
He groped his way through the space, which was much larger than he remembered. His hands scrambled for purchase, for something he might use to defend himself, but all he found were clothes. A lot of clothes.
Who in the world needed so many clothes? Had they opened a dry cleaning business?
He tripped over a shoe and fell to the floor, the wind knocked out of him.
"Kurt! Are you all right?" called a panicked voice. "Why are you hiding in the closet? Isn't that...what's the word? Moronic? Ironic? Oxymoronic!"
Kurt felt irrational pride as well as the need to roll his eyes. He also felt as though something were trying to smother him. He recognized that feeling all too well.
"Not this time," he muttered, closing his eyes and focusing with all of his attention, drawing on as many inner reserves as he could muster, which weren't much. God, he was so weak. "Get back," he hissed.
As the palms of his hands pressed into the floor, his fingers brushed against something solid and cylindrical. He seized it and recognized the object as a baseball bat. Where had it come from? He shook his head, not really caring. At least he could protect himself now.
The doors were suddenly thrown open and a light was turned on, causing Kurt to blink rapidly. He stared up at the form now towering over him and his hands tightened around the bat.
"Kurt, what's wrong?" the voice asked.
Kurt cocked his head, not yet able to make out the features of the face looking down upon him. All he knew was that he was trapped and he wanted out.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
The figure shook his head as though to clear it. "Who am I?" he repeated, sounding both amused and bewildered. "Kurt, what's going on? What's wrong with you?"
Kurt laughed in a vaguely hysterical manner. "What's wrong with me? Who are you? Why am I in the basement? Why are you here with me?"
"But...this is our bedroom," the voice said slowly, as though addressing a toddler.
That was just infuriating. He was not about to be talked down to by some mysterious, hulking shadow. This was over.
Gripping the bat as tightly as possible around the hilt, he shot the blunt end of the bat out toward the figure and landed a direct blow to the stomach. At the resultant gasp and wail, he scooted forward, drove his shoulder into the chest of the man who was now doubled over and bleating, and pushed past him, out into the basement proper, heading for the stairs.
Blood rushed in his ears and his mouth was dry and cottony. Escape. He had to get out of here. He had to find his father.
"Mom!" the other boy bellowed. "Burt! Help! Something's wrong with Kurt!"
Kurt paused only briefly at the sound of his father's name. Was his father in the house? Did his father know this other boy? Had he put them in the basement for some kind of punishment?
But why were there beds? It couldn't be his bedroom, could it? And why was he sharing it, and with whom?
He shook his head and raced up the stairs as he heard thundering footsteps from the second floor.
He exited into the hall, shutting the door behind him and locking it. At least the giant would be trapped in the basement for the time being, until Kurt could suss out the situation.
He quickly crossed the hall and opened the foyer closet, flipping on the light, heaving a sigh of relief when he spied the shotgun leaning up against the wall. He threw down the baseball bat and grabbed the gun, checking to make sure that it was loaded. Thankfully, it was.
He turned on his heel and stepped out of the closet, leading with the shotgun. He hurriedly headed to the main panel by the front door and flipped the switches, the rooms on either side now flooded with light. He startled when the boy began pounding on the basement door.
"Burt! Mom! Let me out!"
"Shut up," Kurt whispered, his eyes wide and darting around the house as though seeing it for the first time. "Shut up!"
Where had that chair come from? It was gross.
He didn't recognize that painting on the wall, or the carpet in the living room. Was this even his house?
The light above the landing turned on and two distinct sets of footsteps began lumbering down the stairs.
"Finn!" Burt bellowed. "What the hell is all this racket?"
"Dad," Kurt mumbled, sagging with relief and lowering the gun slightly.
"Finn, baby?" called a woman's voice.
Wait. Woman's voice?
Kurt shook his head and raised the gun once more.
It must have been the giant's mother, for whom he'd been calling. What was some strange woman doing in his house?
Burt and Carole all but toppled over each other as they raced around the corner, only to stop abruptly when they were met with Kurt pointing a shotgun at them.
"Kurt!" Burt howled. "What in the world are you doing with my gun?"
"Dad?" Kurt asked, his voice high, thin, and scared.
"Of course it's me!" Burt yelled, face red. "Who else were you expecting?" he demanded, looking around suspiciously for the boyfriend.
"Kurt, honey, what is going on?" asked a terrified and exasperated Carole. "Where is Finn?"
Kurt immediately swung the shotgun toward her, aiming at her chest. "Who are you?"
Carole stared and opened her mouth to answer just as Burt's eyes widened.
"No," he whispered.
"Burt?" Carole asked, now verging on full-fledged panic, because, while she couldn't explain it to anyone, least of all herself, it was apparent that Kurt didn't recognize her, had no idea as to who she was. How in the world was that possible?
Burt didn't respond, pushing her behind him and covering her with his own body, which made Kurt frown. He held up his hands in surrender. "Kurt, son, put down the gun."
Kurt shook his head. "I don't think so. Something's wrong. I woke up and was in the basement. Why was I there? Did you put me there? Was I bad?"
"It's your bedroom," said a confused Carole.
"It is not!" Kurt roared, furious some strange woman had interrupted him, had gotten in the way between him and his father.
"Carole, please," Burt begged. "You don't understand what's happening."
"Obviously!" she screeched. "My stepson is pointing a gun at me!"
"W-What?" Kurt gasped. "Stepson?" He turned wide, betrayed eyes toward his father.
"Kurt," Burt said evenly, "did it happen again?"
Kurt blinked and at last nodded. Was this really his father? He looked older, heavier, and not at all well.
"What happened?" Carole barked.
"Not now, Carole!" Burt hissed.
Her face flooded with color, but she fell silent.
"Is it true?" Kurt quietly asked his father.
"Is what true, son?" Burt stalled, desperately trying to think of a way out of this. Because if what was happened was what he feared, there were a lot of explanations he was unprepared to offer, though Kurt would demand and settle for nothing less than full disclosure.
Kurt soured, wise to his father's game. "Is she your wife?"
"What!" Carole yelped. "Of course I am! You were at the wedding!"
Kurt shook his head. "No, I wasn't."
"Oh, god," Burt whispered, falling to his knees as the truth of the situation washed over him.
Carole immediately bent over and pulled him to his feet once more. "Honey, please! What's going on? This can't be good for your heart."
"What's wrong with his heart?" Kurt asked, voice tremulous, terrified for an altogether different reason.
Carole's head turned toward him, her eyes stormy and furious. "You know very well..."
"He doesn't," Burt murmured. "Oh, baby, I'm so sorry. How did I not notice?"
Tears began falling from Kurt's eyes. That was a question to which he also wanted an answer. "Get in the kitchen."
Burt nodded and began dragging Carole with him.
"Burt!" she protested.
"Carole, please. I need you to listen me and do what I say. Just go with what he wants. I promise I'll explain, but he's in a dangerous place right now, and he really has no idea what's going on or who you are."
Carole stared at him for a long moment and realized he was telling her nothing but the truth, which only served to increase her terror. "Finn."
Burt swallowed and nodded, turning to look at his son once more. "Buddy, you didn't hurt Finn, did you?"
Kurt's brow furrowed. "Who's Finn?"
"Carole's son," Burt said. "He shares the basement with you."
"Oh, the giant." Kurt shook his head. "I didn't hurt him."
"Yes, you did!" Finn bellowed, pounding on the door. "Let me out!"
Burt cocked his head. "Can we let him out, baby?"
Kurt bit his lip. "He won't hurt me, will he?"
"Of course not, Kurt," Carole said softly. She had no idea what was going on, but she wanted Kurt to remain as calm as possible.
"I would never hurt Kurt!" an outraged Finn howled. "He's my little brother!"
"Brother?" Kurt helplessly repeated. He shook his head in bewilderment. "Okay," he said to Carole, "you can let him out, but you all need to go into the kitchen." He looked at his father. "The phone's still there, right?"
Burt nodded, inordinately sad that his son even had to ask that question. Fucking Christ.
Kurt nodded in kind. "I have to make a call."
"I don't understand," Finn whined, huddled in his chair, shoulders slumped and watching Kurt from the corner of his eye. "He's acting like he doesn't even know who I am."
Burt rubbed a hand over his face. "Because he doesn't, Finn. Or, at least, he doesn't know why you're here."
Finn choked back a sob. How could Kurt not know him? They were brothers! All his life, Finn had wanted a brother, and now he had one. He had the best brother ever! Why didn't Kurt remember that?
"How is that possible?" Carole asked, shaking her head, her outrage overcome by maternal concern. "Burt, what is going on?"
"I'm not sure," he said honestly, prevaricating until he knew enough about what Kurt was experiencing. "Hopefully, we're about to find out."
"Who's he calling?" Finn asked softly.
Finn pulled a face. "Why would he be calling her? They don't like each other. They don't even know each other!"
Burt shook his head. "You don't know how wrong you are."
Santana groaned and flopped over onto her back. Who the fuck was calling at this time of night?
Her hand reached for her phone on the bedside table and she grabbed her cell.
"Who the fuck is this?" she barked into the receiver, only to frown when the sound of ringing continued unabated.
"Aw, shit," she mumbled, tossing her cell to the side and hauling her ass out of bed. She crossed the room to her dresser, on top of which sat her old princess phone. Why the hell she hadn't had the number disconnected long ago was a mystery to her.
It wasn't like she ever used it, not for years. Still, it was useful if her battery died or the power went out. Besides, she was still kind of proud and smug that she'd been the first amongst her friends not only to have a phone in her room, but her own private number.
It had all been so very Babysitters Club at the time.
She couldn't even remember the last time someone had called her on that number, though. Most of her friends didn't even have it, so the hell could it have been? Probably a solicitation or a wrong number. Ooh! Or maybe an obscene caller!
Time for some fun.
"Hello," she purred, cradling the headset between her ear and shoulder.
Her eyes widened as her mouth went slack.
Kurt was flooded with relief at the sound of his best friend's voice. Finally he'd get some straight answers. Santana didn't know how to give anything else.
"K-Kurt?" she asked hesitantly.
"Of course it's me!" he said, frowning. He looked warily at the people seated at the table. "Tana, it happened again," he hissed, his worry and fear reasserting themselves.
Santana closed her eyes to stop the tears that had gathered as soon as she had hear his voice, heard him speaking that old nickname. Oh, god, no. Not again. He shouldn't have to go through this again. What the hell had happened?
"Where are you?" she asked.
"In my kitchen," he said. "Tana, I don't know what's going on. I woke up in the basement." He then began babbling at a frankly astonishing speed. "Why was I there? There was some boy in the room with me. His name is Finn, he's twelve feet tall, and he's supposedly my stepbrother! What the hell?"
He blinked and looked over at the boy in question. "Wait. Are you Finn Hudson?"
Finn nodded uncertainly.
Kurt's eyes widened. "Tana!" he hissed into the phone. "Why is Finn Hudson in my house?
"Kurt, you need to calm down," she said quietly.
"Calm down!" he shrieked. "There are strange people in my home, Tana, and, apparently, I'm supposed to know them. The woman, Finn's mother, I guess, says she's my stepmother! I think I'd remember if I had one of those!"
Santana heard rustling and some metallic click.
"Stay where you are!" Kurt barked, though not at her.
"Kurt, what are you doing?" she asked.
"Pointing a gun at them!"
"What!" she screamed.
"I don't know who they are!" he insisted. "Is this even my father? He looks old and...and sick! Why are they here? What do they want?"
"Oh, god, Kurt," she moaned, her tears now slipping down her face.
"Tana," Kurt said quietly, blinking rapidly and keeping the gun aimed at his alleged family. "What's the date?"
Carole's eyes widened.
Kurt shook his head at Santana's answer. "It can't be December. I can't have lost that much time. Besides, it's not nearly long enough to explain a stepmother, a stepbrother, and me living in the basement."
He glanced at his father, who was now openly weeping, and all of the blood drained from Kurt's face, his lips turning pasty. "Tana," he whispered, his voice catching. "What year is it?"
Santana bit her lip, shaking her head in denial. It was the innocence of his tone, of the question itself, which had so undone her.
This was going to kill him, but he had to know. She couldn't lie to him. She never could, and knew he depended on her for that.
So she told him.
The shotgun clattered to the floor as a pallid and waxy Kurt collapsed against the wall and slowly slid down it, shaking his head.
"That can't be right," he mumbled. "It just can't be."
He couldn't focus on Santana's babbling and let the phone slip from his hand.
Carole was now staring at her practically catatonic stepson as Finn sobbed and had to be restrained from going to Kurt and hugging him to within an inch of his life.
Burt got on his knees and crawled over to his son, ignoring the twinge in his chest. He settled himself in front of his boy and took Kurt's face in his hands, knowing for certain that it was indeed Kurt staring back at him.
When had this happened? Better yet, why had it happened? Kurt was supposed to be integrated. This wasn't supposed to have happened ever again.
Jesus Christ, how the fuck hadn't he noticed? For that, he would never be able to forgive himself.
"Kurt, baby," he whispered, "how old are you?" He winced at the terrified eyes now looking back into his own.
"Fourteen," Kurt murmured, as though in daze. "Daddy, I'm fourteen." He grasped blindly at Burt's pajamas, grasping and releasing the material over and over again, trying and failing to grab on to something solid. "I'm fourteen, Daddy!" he insisted, choking on his tears. "How did I lose three years?"
Santana's mechanized wail filled the entire room.
"We're going to fix this, baby," Burt vowed. "I promise you that."
Kurt shook his head, his face a mask of misery. "Three years," he repeated, voice filled with shock. "I don't...how...why? It's supposed to be August! I just started at McKinley."
Finn's face was fixed in horror. What the hell was happening to his brother?
Santana was now screaming in Spanish, demanding someone attend to her.
Burt sighed and picked up the phone, advising the girl to go back to sleep and that he'd call her tomorrow.
"You're out of your fucking mind if you think I'm going back to sleep, Uncle Burt!" she raged. "I'm on my way over there, right the fuck now!"
Kurt nodded frantically. "Let her come," he begged. "Please let her come."
He didn't mention that he needed her because she was the only one he trusted at the moment. He certainly couldn't trust himself. He didn't trust Finn Hudson or his mother. And he couldn't trust his father, not if his father hadn't been able to tell that an alter had been living his son's life for the past three years.
Burt nodded tiredly, but before he could accede to Santana's demands, the line had already gone dead.
Seven minutes later, Santana barreled through the front door, causing Finn to scream.
"How did you get in?" he demanded.
She smirked and held up something shiny in her hand. "I've got a key, dumbass."
Finn frowned at her, myriad questions burgeoning on his lips but, before he could ask them, another woman appeared.
"Dr. Lyddie!" Kurt screamed, running toward her in a blind panic.
"Who?" a subdued Carole asked Burt.
"Santana's mother," he replied, "and Kurt's psychiatrist."
She nodded dumbly.
"It's okay, Kurt," Lydia said soothingly, dropping her medical bag and wrapping her arms around him. "We're going to figure all of this out, all right?"
"'kay," he mumbled. He released her, turned and pulled at Santana, drawing her flush against him, before quickly pulling away and staring down at her chest. "Where did those come from?"
She blushed. "We'll talk about that later," she said awkwardly.
He frowned, not about to be dissuaded, and poked at one with a finger. "They're fake!"
She rolled her eyes. "Thank you, Captain Obvious."
"Why the heck do you have fake boobs?" he demanded. "You don't need them!"
"That's what I tried to tell her," Lydia said, sighing.
"What is going on?" Finn yelled.
Kurt cowered and leaned against Santana, who shot Finn such a vicious glare, he wilted and seemed to fold in on himself. Great, now he felt like shit for scaring his brother.
Lydia cleared her throat. "Santana, take Kurt into the living room and make him lie down. I'll be there in a few moments. I need to talk to his parents."
"She's not my mother!" an outraged Kurt howled, pointing at Carole, whose tears began anew.
"Come on, Kurt," Santana said softly. "Let's go lie down."
"You'll stay with me?" he whispered, searching her eyes with his own.
"Always," she promised, guilt swimming throughout her body. "I'm never leaving you again."
"Kurt suffers from a condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID," Lydia explained for Carole and Finn's benefit after gulping down a large slug of the coffee Burt had hastily provided. She hesitated, knowing the next part would either be met with incredulity or outright disbelief. "It was previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder."
Carole's eyes widened and her mouth fell open before she turned to look at Burt, whose head was resting in his hands. Surely this woman wasn't serious! Kurt couldn't...but it explained so much of what had happened tonight. Still, could such a thing even be possible outside of soap operas?
Finn immediately began denying the woman's words, utterly believing and loudly insisting that Kurt did not have that, that the whole thing was crazy, and that they should take Kurt to the hospital, because he had obviously hit his head and was suffering from milk of magnesium.
Carole winced. "I think you mean amnesia, honey, and that's not what's going on here."
"Well, something is," Finn bit back. "Who is that in there?" he asked, pointing toward the living room. "That's not Kurt," he said, shaking his head.
"That's where you're wrong, Finn," Burt whispered. "That's Kurt, all right. The boy who's been here the last three years, though, I don't know who the hell that was."
Lydia blinked. "It wasn't Dylan?"
Burt shook his head slowly. "I don't think so. I know Dylan, and whoever that was, it wasn't him."
"Who's Dylan?" Carole asked.
"Kurt's alter," Burt said dully. "His alternate personality," he clarified for Finn, who, regardless, was still confused.
"We always suspected there were probably more," Lydia said softly.
"He was supposed to be integrated," he hissed through clenched teeth. "Dylan was supposed to be a part of him by now, nothing more than a memory and some added personality traits."
"Obviously it didn't work," she said stiffly. "There were no guarantees that it would, Burt, and you knew that going in."
He sighed. "Here we go."
"Don't start that with me," she snapped, eyes flashing in warning. "You were the one who insisted he be integrated. I told you he wasn't ready, that he was too young, that if there was one alter, there were bound to be more beneath the surface. It's not surprising that they would emerge during adolescence." She paused. "Burt, I'm sorry to have to ask this..."
"Go ahead," he said, waving his arms. "You think I'm not asking myself the same thing?"
"How in the name of god did you not know for three years?"
Burt sighed and sadly shook his head. "I don't know," he said thickly. "I guess I didn't want to? I thought it was over."
"I'm afraid I don't really understand this," Carole carefully interjected. "What exactly is happening to Kurt?"
Lydia gathered a breath and slowly released it. "DID is an exceedingly rare condition. In fact, its very existence is heatedly debated in the psychiatric community. Very few clinicians want to acknowledge the possibility." She sighed. "Unfortunately, I have no choice. I know Kurt. I also know Dylan, and I know he's real."
"You're saying that Kurt's, like, a split personality," Finn asked, frowning. "Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?"
Lydia winced. "That's not really an apt comparison, Finn, but, essentially, yes. Kurt has at least one other personality. His name is Dylan and he is...very different from Kurt."
"Different how?" Finn asked, eyes narrowed.
"Dylan is basically the Kurt version of Puck," a tired Santana said, lingering in the doorway.
"How is he, honey?" Burt asked.
She shrugged. "Asleep."
"That's good, right?" Carole asked.
Santana shrugged again. "That depends on who wakes up."
Burt bit his lip and stared down at the floor.
"Puck?" asked an almost hysterical Finn.
"Dylan is the aggressive, pleasure-seeking part of Kurt," Lydia said. "He's assertive, foul-mouthed, combative, rebellious, and hypersexual."
Finn stared at the woman and then promptly burst out laughing. "No way," he said, chuckling. "That's not Kurt."
"That's the point, Hudson," Santana snapped. "Dylan is not Kurt. They live in the same body, but they're nothing alike. Dylan is reckless and dangerous. He doesn't care about anyone but himself. He certainly doesn't give a shit about Kurt, or that Kurt is the one who has to face the consequences for the actions of his stupid alter."
"You're sure it wasn't Dylan this time?" Lydia asked Burt, needing the clarification.
"It wasn't," Santana interrupted. "I know Dylan. I know his games and tricks. I know when he's pretending to be Kurt. Whoever's been out for the past three years isn't Dylan."
"Then who is it?" Burt asked, his voice haunted.
Santana arched a brow. "I'll go you one better. How many more are there?"
"Oh, Jesus," he groaned.
"But what caused it?" asked a distraught Carole. "Surely there must have been a reason for the split."
Santana, Lydia, and Burt exchanged a look.
"What is it?" Finn demanded. "What do you know that we don't?"
"That could fill entire libraries," Santana quipped, before falling silent at her mother's glare.
Lydia then looked at Burt, who nodded wearily. She turned toward Carole. "As I said, DID is a contested diagnosis with no clear treatment modality, though integration of the personalities is the ultimate goal. Integration is the process of merging all of the personalities into one functional being."
"Usually, integration is attempted via extensive therapy, hypnosis, and medication, all of which was used with Kurt." She averted his eyes. "We believed we had been successful. Obviously, we were wrong."
"You didn't answer the question," Finn noted. "Why did he split in the first place?"
Lydia sighed, wringing her hands. "There is no one etiology which explains the initial split, only theories."
"So what's your theory?" asked a stern Carole.
"I don't need to hear this," Santana announced. "I'm going back to sit with him."
"Thank you, sweetheart," Burt said.
"Whatever." She stomped out of the room.
Lydia sent a worried look after her daughter. Eventually, she turned back to Finn and Carole. "This will not be easy to hear."
"It can't be any worse than what I'm imagining," Carole said. "Whether he remembers it or not, whether he agrees with it or not, Kurt is my son. I want to know what's caused this and how we go about fixing it for him."
She glared at Burt, who withered, furious that she hadn't been told about Kurt's condition prior to their marriage. She wouldn't have left Burt, of course, or Kurt for that matter, but she would've liked the opportunity to prepare herself for this, or at least understand what Kurt had been through.
Lydia licked her lips. "Initially, I believed that Dylan emerged as a response to Suzanne's death," she said, referring to Kurt's mother. "They were extremely close, verging on codependent, and as Kurt spent months watching her slowly die, he walked around as if in a fog. He'd even gone mute for several months, refusing or unable to speak. That's when I first began treating him, for what I thought was grief counseling; but, after Suzanne died, it was as though Kurt became another person entirely." She paused. "In fact, he did."
"But now you don't think it was because of his mom?" Finn asked.
Lydia sighed and closed her eyes. "In the preponderance of DID cases, whether real or imagined, the first dissociation is always due to some external, life-changing event. Most often, the mind is fragmented into pieces because of psychological trauma caused by horrific child abuse."
She opened her eyes and stared past Carole at the wall behind her. "Typically, severe sexual abuse."
Carole's eyes widened in horror and a shaky hand covered her gaping mouth. "No! Oh, god, no!" She turned, pained, to face her husband. "Burt..."
"Wait," Finn said slowly, his voice shaky. "Are you saying," he swallowed heavily, "are you saying that someone...touched Kurt?" He was trembling with rage and had to fight himself not to go into the living room and protect Kurt from the entire world. And if someone had done...that...to Kurt, it was Finn's job as Kurt's brother to kill that person, and he would. No one was allowed to hurt his little brother.
"We don't know," Burt rasped, tears once again coursing down his face. "We just don't know, and neither does Kurt. If it happened, we can't conceive of when it did. Kurt's never been out of my sight long enough for it to happen. He was never on vacation without me, he was never in Scouts or any kind of sports program. He was never in anything that separated him from me for more than a few hours. So unless something happened at school, which doesn't really make sense..." he trailed off, shaking his head.
"This thing is...insidious. Kurt knows about Dylan, but he doesn't know Dylan. He can't control Dylan, or when Dylan comes out or retreats. Dylan can talk to Kurt, but Kurt can't talk to him and, once Kurt is back out, he doesn't remember anything Dylan has said to him. The only thing Kurt knows is when he wakes up and has lost time. He doesn't remember where he's been or what Dylan's done while in control of the body."
Carole shook her head in disbelief. Her poor baby!
"Kurt is the core identity," Lydia said, "known as the waking self. He's the person from whom Dylan and this other personality have sprung, but he doesn't know why they exist. Strictly speaking, alters are born in order to protect the waking self from the very knowledge that caused them to split in the first place. This knowledge has been deemed by the host personality as too dangerous for them to know, so they hide it from themselves, creating other people to deal with the pain."
"But Dylan doesn't protect Kurt," Burt seethed, fists clenching. "The little fucker goes out of his way to make Kurt as miserable as possible."
"Why?" asked a worried Finn. It didn't make sense. Why would Kurt create someone to hurt him?
"Because Dylan wants to be out all the time," Lydia said. "He doesn't think Kurt is strong enough, or worthy enough, to be the main personality. As far as he's concerned, Kurt is the alter, an interloper who should be suppressed as often, and for as long, as possible."
"What has he done to Kurt?" Finn asked fearfully. What was he supposed about this? If this Dylan thing lived inside Kurt, it's not like he could kick Dylan's ass, because then he'd be kicking Kurt's ass, which he would never do.
Burt shook his head. "I don't want to talk about that."
Carole meant to interject, but Lydia held up a hand.
"I agree with Burt," she said. "Even Kurt is not aware of all of the things Dylan has done, and that's for his own sanity. He simply could not deal with Dylan's actions, and we've found that, the harder Kurt fights him, the stronger Dylan becomes. Dylan is like a vampire, feeding off Kurt's energy."
"But you said it wasn't Dylan this time," Finn charged. "So who was it, and why was he made or whatever?"
"We don't have those answers, Finn," Lydia said patiently. "Obviously something happened to Kurt when he started McKinley which he simply couldn't handle, so either a new personality was born to deal with the trauma, or one that had previously existed, unknown to us, took control and locked Kurt away."
Finn nodded slowly. "So something must have also happened to make him go away and for Kurt to come back, right?"
She nodded. "That's a logical supposition."
Finn felt vaguely guilty that he was proud of himself for being able to follow along, even if the whole thing didn't make one lick of sense. "But where does Santana fit into this?"
Burt rubbed his tired eyes. "I keep forgetting that you weren't in elementary or middle school with Kurt, kiddo. Santana was Kurt's best friend from kindergarten until about eighth grade."
Finn's eyes bugged.
Burt nodded. "She was really the first person to realize that Kurt became someone else when he was upset or hurt. It wasn't long after Suzanne had died, and, well," he said gruffly, "I wasn't paying him the attention he needed or deserved, lost in my own problems. He was never out of my sight, but he was out of mind for a while."
He sighed. "Santana and Kurt had always been very close, so she knew almost immediately that something was wrong, but she couldn't figure out what it was exactly, not until she overheard Dylan talking to Kurt, pushing Kurt down and refusing to allow him out."
"What did he do to her?" Carole breathed.
"They were over at her house when it happened," Burt whispered. "Dylan pushed Santana down a flight of stairs. He then locked the basement door and left, leaving her unconscious and bleeding for several hours, until Lydia came home and found her."
"Holy shit," Finn blurted, shaking his head. "There's no way Kurt would ever do something like that!"
Burt winced. "Kiddo, you need to realize that you didn't meet Kurt until tonight. I don't know the name of the guy who's been living here, but it wasn't Kurt."
Finn shook his head more frantically, refusing to believe that. He knew his brother. Kurt just had some kind of sickness. They would get him help and everything would be okay.
"But you're also right," Burt said. "Kurt would never do something like that, least of all to Santana, and she knew that, too. She told Lydia about Dylan, and then we all began to watch him carefully, trying to figure out what was going on. When he was finally diagnosed, Santana was the only one who really dealt with it. She was able to separate Kurt and Dylan into two distinct people from the outset, and treat them as such, something I couldn't do."
"What do you mean?" Carole asked.
"Even after I became aware of Dylan's existence, I still saw him as an extension of Kurt," Burt explained, regret plain on his face. "I considered him my son, just another part of him." He shook his head. "Santana never made that mistake. Children are good judges of character, and Santana had Dylan pegged from the get-go."
"You make him sound like he's evil or something," Finn said.
"Dylan is a sociopath," Lydia said flatly. "He doesn't care for anyone but himself. He has no interests, other than his own pleasure. He hates Kurt. He hates Kurt's friends and family, because he hates that they love Kurt. That doesn't mean Dylan wants their love for himself, only that he feels Kurt isn't deserving of love from anyone. It's not a competition. As far as he's concerned, Burt is not his father, nor is Suzanne his mother. In fact, Dylan argues that he has no parents."
"But this other, er, personality is nothing like that," Carole said.
Burt nodded. "I agree. I don't know who he is, but he's very close to Kurt's own character."
"What we don't know is how much of that is contrivance," Lydia said. "Once we knew that Dylan existed, it was obvious when he took control, and he's not a good actor. The differences between he and Kurt are blatant. This other alter is either another version of Kurt, or is playing a part to detract attention from himself."
Burt snorted. "I don't know which idea terrifies me more."
Santana sat at the end of the couch, Kurt's head nestled in her lap as she carded her fingers through his hair.
"I know you're in there, Dylan, and I know you can hear me," she hissed. "So listen up, you little shit: if you're back, you're going to be dealing with me, and rest assured that I'm not the girl you pushed down those stairs." She raised a brow. "You think you're hot shit, all attitude and badassery?" She snorted and shook her head. "Bitch, please. You have no idea what I'll do to you if you hurt Kurt again."
She frowned and stared down at Kurt's face. "As for the other one, I don't know who you are, but if you've been around this long, then you're the one who took Kurt away from me, and I promise that you'll pay for that."
She leaned over and kissed Kurt's forehead. "Hang on, baby. I'm here now, and anything that tries to get to you is going to have to go through me first."
Dylan rattled the knob of the door to the room in which the other had locked him away.
So close now. After three years, he was so close to getting out.
He heard Santana's last words echo throughout the space, and he threw his head back and cackled.
"That's exactly what I'm counting on, you stupid bitch."
So, to make it clear, Kurt has at least two other personalities. The first is Dylan, who's a real piece of work. The second is yet unknown and unnamed, but he's been in control of the body for the past three years, roughly since Kurt started McKinley.
What made him appear? What made him leave? Are there other personalities? Well, if I continue the story, you'll find out! I do have ideas about where I want this to go.
This is a Second Season AU, and the premise is based on a random thought I had: what if the Kurt we've known through canon is, in fact, not Kurt at all? Who is the real Kurt, and what is he like? Who is the personality who's been masquerading as Kurt while at McKinley? Would the real Kurt have the same friends and the same interests? Once again, and because I'm me, canon is going right out the window.
That unnamed personality does have a boyfriend, as yet unidentified. Shockingly, it's not Sam. Not that I don't continue to stan my Hevans, only that I want to try my hand at something else.
If I do continue this, it will be somewhat dark and dealing with unpleasant things, given what caused Kurt's condition in the first place.
There will absolutely be no Blaine, so don't even ask. Seriously, DO NOT ASK.