Blaine couldn't help it as he reached out to stroke his boyfriend's tousled hair. He couldn't help but smile as Kurt let out a contented sigh in his sleep at his touch.
It had been hours since Kurt's breakdown, but he had only recently settled down and fallen asleep. He had cried for so long in Burt's arms, nearing the point of hysterics. It had been completely heart-breaking to see.
Burt had rocked his son, as he held him close, hoping to calm him down and to reassure him. The father had whispered his apologies to his son, needing him to understand that he hadn't meant what he had said. Kurt hadn't responded at all, but Burt had persisted as he desperately wanted to get through to his son. He needed him to understand. Kurt took his time to calm down, occasionally still letting out the odd sniffle or hiccup. Burt rubbed at Kurt's back continuously trying to comfort his boy, encouraging him to relax and reassuring him that he was safe.
Burt had eventually asked if Kurt felt tired and the teenager had nodded in response. Burt had glanced at Blaine, who caught his look and jumped to his feet. He crouched down, held out his hand to his boyfriend and waited. Kurt slowly unravelled himself and accepted the helping hand, letting himself be pulled. He was then supported by both his boyfriend and his father. Blaine placed one hand on Kurt's back, before using his free hand to hold one of Kurt's. They carefully made their way over to the large bed, with Burt bringing up the rear.
Kurt was helped into bed and under the covers, with Blaine sliding into the bed next to him.
Once Kurt was settled and he was being spooned by Blaine, Burt moved across the room and turned the light out. He glanced back at his already sleeping son and boyfriend, before closing the door and leaving them in peace.
Blaine loved that Kurt had moved into his arms while he was asleep. It meant that their bodies moved to be close to each other's, even when they weren't conscious. Kurt had moved so that now Blaine was holding the older boy to his chest, his chin resting on top of his head. He could watch his boyfriend sleep forever. Kurt was so relaxed and peaceful, with any walls that were shielding completely down. Watching the sleeping boy made Blaine understand why Kurt had been avoiding sleep and fighting against it. Being in dreamland meant that the guard defending him was gone and any horrific nightmares could torture him. Blaine tightened his hold, wanting to do whatever he could to help Kurt and be there for him. Blaine snuggled down, causing Kurt to move with him, before he closed his eyes.
Kurt finally broke the surface of the water, gasping for air. He had done it. H was starting to free himself from the current pulling him down. Kurt tread water as he looked around, desperately wanting there to be a sign of anything that could help him. He knew that he would have to start swimming for God knows how long and he wasn't sure he had the stamina for a long swim. There wasn't any inkling of any land in sight and he would be fighting against the strong current.
Suddenly Kurt felt his body thrown from where he was, tumbling into the water. He felt completely distorted and unable to work out where he was or what had happened to him. The young boy soon realised that he had got knocked over by a powerful wave and that the current had grabbed hold of him, pulling him under again. He frantically kicked out and made all the correct motions with his arms and legs, but to no avail. He was slowly sinking and there seemed to be nothing that he could do.
Kurt was stuck in a Catch 22 situation: he could hold his breath, but it would kill him. However if he took a breath, he'd breathe in water and that would kill him.
The water was getting darker all around him the deeper he fell. Kurt could see the light diminishing above him and he knew that this was it. His young life was coming to an end. Everything had finally got to him. There was no going back and he was giving up. All the fight had been drained from him and he tried to let his body relax.
Kurt thought of Blaine, his Dad and the rest of his loved ones as he closed his eyes and let the burning sensation in his lungs and stomach overwhelm him. His body was starve of oxygen and it was making very little attempt to fight back or do anything about it.
The thought of the people he loved made Kurt wish that he could see them just one last time. It had been so long and he missed them so much. This made him to start to flail, moving his limbs as quickly as he could, needing to get up to the surface. The burning sensation was getting too much and he knew that he was very close to death. Kurt was getting desperate when suddenly he felt himself being yanked out of the water. He immediately started spluttering and retching the second he broke the surface.
"Breathe baby, breathe!" a soothing voice was saying as Kurt coughed and retched.
He felt the bin by his desk shoved into his hands, which was perfect timing as he started violently throwing up. His throat was burning as the lining of his stomach forced its way out of his mouth.
Kurt groaned as he continued to retch and vomit, attempting to focus on the hand that was rubbing soothing motions up and down his back.
"It's okay Kurt, it's all going to be okay. Get it all out and you'll feel much better. I'm here for you and I'm not going anywhere. I'll do whatever you need me to and what I can to help. You're doing really well baby," Kurt heard his boyfriend say, "It's alright, my love. I've got you."
It took its time, but the forceful expulsion of his stomach contents came to a stop. His head dropped forward in relief that the vomiting had stopped at last. He felt the bin removed from his arms and the warmth around him disappear. He connected that to Blaine emptying the bin and getting rid of any traces of his vomit.
Kurt fell back against the bed, groaning and feeling grim and sweaty. The surprise feeling of a wet, cold flannel placed on his forehead made him let out a long sigh of relief.
"Shh just rest, my love," Blaine whispered as he pressed another flannel to Kurt's neck, "I've got you."
"Blaine?" Kurt murmured, revelling in the coldness on his burning body.
"Yes sweetie, I'm here," replied Blaine, running his fingers through the damp, brown hair.
"Where are we?" Kurt whispered, his voice full of confusion.
Blaine frowned at that, "We're in your bed in your room in Lima, Ohio. I promise you that you're safe and I've got you."
Kurt nodded, before opening his eyes. He immediately locked gaze with the concerned hazel eyes that belonged to his boyfriend. He glanced around and saw that he indeed was in his bedroom.
"Do you feel like you need to be sick again?" Blaine inquired, noting that his boyfriend still looked uneasy and distressed.
Kurt shook his head, "I'm okay. I just... my dream... it felt so real..."
"Was it a flashback?" Blaine prompted, not wanting to spook the older boy.
"No," Kurt mumbled, the feeling of drowning still lingering with him, "It was a nightmare. I-I... I was... drowning and my body... it was burning and I..."
Kurt trailed off as Blaine listened to his boyfriend in horror, but he couldn't help but feel slightly happy. Kurt was talking to him. He had gone for so long without Kurt talking to him properly. He had missed it.
"God I'm so sorry honey. That sounds horrific," the former Warbler finally said in response, wanting to ask for details but not wanting to startle him.
"I-I was struggling... struggling to get to the surface when you pulled me up and out of the water. I think that's why I was sick," Kurt explained quietly.
"I'm glad that I help you then baby," Blaine said as he removed the flannels from Kurt's forehead and neck, "Um Kurt, you're soaked through. I mean... I could run you a bath. Would you like me to run you a bath? It might make you feel better and I can stay with you if that's okay with you. Obviously only if it's okay with you. I mean... err... I-I can sit with you in the bath if that's okay with you. Again obviously you don't have to have a bath if you don't want to... yeah okay I'm going to stop talking right about now."
He glanced at Kurt, who actually had a small smile on his face. Blaine always loved it when Kurt smiled. He was so beautiful and Blaine felt like his chest was going to burst from seeing that small smile.
"Um yeah. A bath would be okay and um it would be g-good... if you sat with me in the bath," Kurt stammered, a blush appearing on his cheeks.
Blaine knew that he was blushing too, "Okay that's... great. Really great. Right um... I'll start on that bath. Do you need anything while I'm gone?"
Kurt shook his head and watched as Blaine headed into the bathroom. H knew that his boyfriend would choose all the products that he usually loved to use for a relaxing bath.
He used his arm to support him as he sat up, wincing at how sweaty and soaked through he was. He spotted his phone on the bedside table, realising that Finn must have put it there while they were asleep. Kurt realised that he had no idea of the date or the time. He remembered briefly celebrating his anniversary with Blaine and giving him his gift. The teenager glanced over at his desk and noticed a wrapped gift waiting for him next to his laptop. He decided to leave it for now and open it in front of Blaine.
Kurt picked up his phone and clicked on the home button. He frowned when he caught sight of the date: Tuesday 20th March. He had no idea how that much time had passed without him even realising. He knew that he had been out of it, but how did he miss that many days? He had no idea what time Blaine had fallen asleep the day before, but it was now half five in the morning. He felt guilty for disturbing Blaine's sleep due to his nightmare.
Kurt's eyes fell on the number of notifications displayed on his phone. Finn had been spot on when he had said that every Warbler and every member of the New Directions had messaged him at least five times. Maybe he would read them eventually, but not today. He especially didn't want to deal with Rachel Berry pretending that she loved him when she made his suffering all about herself.
Blaine popped his head around the bedroom door and smiled at the sight of his boyfriend sitting up, "The bath is all ready for us. Now sweetie, I just want you to know that I remember what you said when you had your bath at my house... about being naked together for the first time. I still completely get that. We'll keep our underwear on and we can wear a T-shirt or something. I just want you to be comfortable."
Kurt shook his head, "Underwear is fine. Thank you for remembering."
"Of course baby, I'd never forget something that was important to you," replied Blaine fondly, "So do you need any help?"
Kurt didn't reply as he pushed himself off his bed, stumbling a little. Blaine was immediately there, helping his boyfriend as they move into the bathroom.
They both slowly stripped down to their underwear; the younger boy keeping an eye on the elder to see if he needed help. Blaine wasn't too happy to see how skinny Kurt looked again. The lack of food and nutrients had clearly affected his body. He wondered if Kurt would need to go back and see Doctor Tyler about his weight.
As Kurt removed his top, Blaine's eyes flew to the words carved into his skin on his forearm. A shiver crawled down Blaine's spine at the thought of that man carving words into the porcelain skin. The thought was too much. He longed to remove them or cover them up, but he knew that Kurt was being incredibly brave by taking his top off in front of him. He decided to keep his mouth shut.
Kurt could see Blaine eyeing up the words left by Manson's knife on his skin. He wanted to cover them up, to shield them from Blaine's eyes, but he was too stubborn. He didn't want his boyfriend to think he was weak and that he couldn't be topless in front of him. Kurt didn't want Blaine to realise that he was too damaged.
Blaine stepped into the bath slowly, before turning to help Kurt step into the tub. The younger boy sat down, leaned back and spread his legs, giving Kurt plenty of room to settle in the water.
Once both of the boys got used to the hot water, Blaine wrapped his arms around Kurt and pulled him back slightly, encouraging him to relax against him.
"Is this okay?" Blaine had to ask, not wanting to cross any lines.
"Hmm..." Kurt let out a soft moan as the hot water engulfed his body. He was so glad that Blaine was in the tub with him to stop him from going under.
Blaine placed a kiss to Kurt's bare shoulder, "How are you doing today honey?"
Kurt didn't respond for a long time, so Blaine waited patiently for an answer.
"I'm... I-I'm okay, I guess," Kurt finally said, "I've missed days."
Blaine let out a sigh, "I know, but that's okay. You needed time to deal with all the crap that has happened. But baby, you do know that your dad didn't mean a word of all that stuff he yelled. He was a desperate man and wanted to get through to you. He didn't want to lose you like Doctor Morgan said. None of us do."
Again there was no response. Blaine knew that Kurt was processing what he had said about his dad and his actions. It must have been a complete shock to have his father yell at him and tell him that he was dragging it out and that he needed to get over it.
Blaine wanted to talk about what Kurt had screamed in response to Burt telling him that he was overreacting. His rant kept going round and round in his head. The part about Kurt being catatonic and broken, plus the drawing that Doctor Morgan had shown them, made Blaine feel sick to their stomach. The thought of his Kurt like that... he didn't even want to think.
Blaine tightened his grip and pressed his lips to Kurt's bare shoulder. Kurt let his head fall back so it was now resting on Blaine's own shoulder.
"Your dad cares so much about you, sweetie," Blaine tried again, "I know that you know this. I'm sure that he'll want to tell you all this and explain himself."
"I know," Kurt confessed, just loud enough to be heard," I know that he doesn't mean what he said. That doesn't mean what it didn't affect me."
Blaine placed a kiss to the top of Kurt's head, happy that it was so easy to reach, "Just promise me that you'll hear the guy out."
"I promise," was all Kurt could say.
Blaine had to say something. He couldn't hold it in any longer, "Baby, I think we need to talk about what you yelled back at your dad. We haven't been talking lately and I miss you. We've always talked and we've always connected on another level. You can tell me no and I'll shut up, but bottling everything up doesn't seem to be the best thing to do. I won't even talk, I'll just lend you an ear."
Kurt had been watching Blaine over his shoulder, "Was this your plan? Get me to relax in the bath with you so I'll share my feelings with the bubbles?"
Blaine felt relieved that Kurt seemed to be amused with him, "Damn you've foiled my plan! I would have got away with it too!"
Kurt rolled his eyes, a sight that Blaine grinned at, before sighing, "So... what do you want to know?"
That was it. Kurt was opening up to him after shutting him out for so long. So many questions ran through his mind.
Blaine took a deep breath and started with, "Okay, let's do this. Do you actually believe that you're nothing more than a common whore?"
Kurt stared at a spot on the wall, refusing to take his eyes off it, "I-I-I... yes sometimes. It has got a bit better since I've been home, but when I remember all that has happened... err in the choir room, Jacob Ben Israel asked me if I could live my life without the reminder that I had been a common whore? One..."
Blaine saw red as he remembered that question, "Please don't tell me you took notice of what that creep said?"
"One night when I couldn't sleep I decided to google the term," Kurt continued as if he hadn't been interrupted, "The definition matched who I was in New York. I was a drug taking whore, who had slept with a lot of people. I'm tarnished, I'm damaged..."
"Stop!" Blaine couldn't let Kurt say another word, "Just stop! You are not tarnished or damaged. You are my beautiful boyfriend and you have been through what most people will never go through. You were forced into an absolutely appalling situation and I can't tell you how much I admire your strength. You've been through too much in your seventeen years, but that doesn't mean you're damaged. If anything, it makes you even more of a stronger and amazing person."
Tears had filled Kurt's eyes as he listened to his boyfriend's rant. It seemed to hit him hard and he found it difficult to breathe. Blaine didn't think that he was damaged. He thought that he was beautiful and strong. God where had Blaine been all his life?
Kurt moved his hand to find one of Blaine's and gave it a squeeze. He hoped that his boyfriend understood his message and it seemed that he did as Blaine squeezed back.
"So..." Blaine eventually broke the silence, "Can I ask... this is a difficult question and you can tell me to piss off, but you came close to k-killing yourself. I-Is that true?"
Kurt's immediate nod devastated Blaine. He couldn't imagine a world without Kurt. A world where Kurt Hummel didn't exist... impossible.
"Y-you don't want to do it now... do you?"
The question had to be asked.
Kurt hesitated for a moment, before asking, "I... no. No. I couldn't do that to you or to Dad."
The feeling of something pressing down on his chest seemed to go away at hearing that. God he didn't know what he'd do if Kurt had said yes.
Blaine move his head to nuzzle his nose against the side of Kurt's face, "I couldn't cope if you... I promise that I would never do that to you. I know that it's not the same but... yeah."
"That's good," murmured Kurt, "Okay. One more question before we wash our hair and get out."
"Sounds good," Blaine agreed, before adjusting his position slightly, "Okay, another difficult question. Um Doctor Morgan showed us your drawing and you said about... that bastard saying that no one would save you, which you know that is not true! You also said something about him... breaking you... um care to elaborate?"
Kurt had gone rigid in his arms so Blaine rubbed his arms in what he hoped was soothing manner.
Kurt scrunched his eyes shut and took a deep breath, managing to find his voice, "Just let me get this out. Once I start, I won't be able to stop."
Blaine nodded, not wanting to say a word to disrupt Kurt.
Kurt tried not to let the images fill his head, "Manson backed me into a corner and praised me for making him so much money. He told me that he would up my number of clients and that I belonged to him and to do as he said."
Blaine felt bile rise up in his throat about the thought of his love belonging to that scumbag and being passed around like that.
Kurt let out a sob as he tried to control his breathing, fighting back the images of Manson in his face, "He told me that he knew I hoped I'd go home someday and how that was never going to happen. I was his moneymaking whore and that he might have a go himself. He said... I-I'll cry, scream, s-sob for my d-daddy but no one would s-save me. He'd use me until he d-deemed I-I was done. He'd traumatise and break me so I-I'd be cat-catatonic. He err told me that he'd then k-kill me. Or maybe he'd just b-bury me and I'd better hope that I-I was already d-dead. Oh God, please don't make me continue!"
Kurt immediately broke down and all Blaine could do was hold him, burying his face in the nape of his neck. He wished that they weren't in the bath so he could hold his boyfriend properly.
Blaine was so proud of Kurt for opening up to him, but Jesus, the idea of that monster threatening to bury his beautiful Kurt alive... it was too much. Blaine could barely cope with the thought of it, yet it had actually happened to the boy in his arms.
Once Kurt started to calm down, Blaine knew that actions spoke louder than words. He wanted to take care of Kurt and show him that he was loved. It might have been the simple act of washing his hair and massaging his scalp, but Kurt relaxed in his arms. Of course Kurt wanted to return the favour and Blaine let him gazing lovingly at his boyfriend as he did.
Blaine helped Kurt out of the bath, before pulling the plug out and getting out himself. He had to avert his eyes from the sight of Kurt in wet underwear as he grabbed two towels and wrapped one around Kurt, hugging him from behind.
"Let me just grab some clothes and I'll change in here, letting you have free reign of your room," Blaine said, before pressing his lips to Kurt's cheek.
Blaine wrapped the second towel around himself, before the two boys headed back into Kurt's room.
Burt had decided to check on his son, needing to talk to him and explain. He needed to know that his boy was okay. He was bewildered when he walked in to find an empty room as he knew that no one was downstairs.
The sight of his only child and his boyfriend coming out of the bathroom in nothing but towels nearly gave him another heart attack.
The horror must have appeared on his face as Blaine started spluttering, completely flustered, "Kurt was sick this morning so he had a bath. I just sat with him in the bath to support him... we're wearing underwear!"
"Anderson, calm down! You just took me by surprise. Hey, can I have a word with my boy?"
Burt had to smile at how panicked Blaine got. He knew that nothing 'Brokeback Mountain' had gone down.
Blaine nodded and grabbed a T-shirt and some joggers from one of his designated drawers, before heading into the bathroom to change.
"Do you want to get changed first too?" Burt asked his son.
Kurt nodded, "Yes please. I'm a little cold."
Burt smiled in response, before stepping outside the room to wait.
It wasn't long before Blaine stepped out as well, "I'll give you two some space and go downstairs."
Burt clapped the young boy on the shoulder as he passed, glad for his presence in his son's life. He went back into the room to see his son also dressed in a T-shirt and loose joggers.
He sat down next to his son and tentatively put his arm around him, "I'm so sorry kiddo. I'm really sorry."
"I know," Kurt finally looked up at his dad, "Blaine said that you didn't mean it."
"Of course I didn't mean it!" The father exclaimed, desperate for his son to understand, "You had shut us all off and I didn't want to lose you. I can't ever lose you! You have to know that I don't believe a word of what I said to you. I hate what I did, but God am I happy to hear your voice!"
Kurt rested his head on his dad's shoulder, "It's okay Dad. I can't lose you either."
Burt kissed the top of his son's head, "Glad to hear it. Look buddy, we need to talk about what you said to me... it didn't sound okay bud."
"Dad..." Kurt couldn't go through this again. It was too much, "I just had this conversation with Blaine in the bath. I can't go through with it again today. That doesn't mean that I won't ever talk about it. Just not today."
Burt didn't like hearing that, but he wasn't going to push his son. Kurt was talking again. He was talking!
Burt kissed the top of the boy's head again, "Of course son, there's no rush to talk. Right, I'm going to attempt to make some egg frittatas that you taught me to make. I'll holler when they're ready."
Kurt smiled in response at the thought of his dad cooking him breakfast. He watched as his dad left the room, knowing full well that he was going to talk to Blaine. He'd give them some time as it wasn't an easy going conversation.
"Your dad has been telling me that you're opening up more. That's really good to hear Kurt."
Kurt watched as his therapist made a few notes in her notebook. He was sitting on his bed, propped up by pillows and his legs covered by a blanket. Doctor Morgan was sitting on his desk chair that had been placed next to his bed. Even though she didn't normally do house calls and had only seen him a couple of days ago, the therapist had made another exception when it came to Kurt Hummel as she thought that it was best that he continued to rest at home.
Doctor Morgan put down her pen and smiled at Kurt, "Do you find it easier to open up to your dad and Blaine now, or is there still hesitation?"
Kurt picked at a thread on the blanket, "There's still some hesitation, but it's getting easier. I don't want to lose either of them and I know they don't want to lose me. I mean um sometimes I have moments where I zone out and Blaine has said that it's hard to get through to me."
"No one wants to lose you, Kurt," Doctor Morgan confirmed, "Of course you're going to have moments where you're deep in thought. I know that your family and Blaine do understand that and they're just happy to know that they can get through to you."
Kurt's eyes refused to leave that thread alone, "I missed days. I can't account for that time. When I look back, it's all just a blur. I um… How can that much time have passed without me realising it?"
The doctor waited until she had finished writing her notes, "Kurt, you have to understand that you needed that time to process everything that was happening. Your mind shut off from the world around you because it was trying to protect you. I've had patients who have shut themselves off for a lot longer in a way to protect themselves. It's possible that you might have been trapped in your mind for a lot longer if your dad didn't try and break through."
That made sense, Kurt supposed as the thread finally came free. He hoped that he wouldn't become trapped in his mind again as he couldn't bear to deal with the constant flashbacks again. The idea of losing so much time again filled him with dread and he hoped that his mind was done protecting him in that manner.
"Now, I want to know how you are doing," Doctor Morgan smiled gently, "Have you been outside the house? I know that you had to stay inside for a while due to the press, but I hope that you have been getting fresh air."
Kurt nodded in response, "I've been out in the garden for a little bit as Carole was insistent that I get some sun on my skin. Blaine and I went for a short walk around for the block as I felt that I needed to get out. It didn't last very long as the fatigue hit me.
Doctor Morgan made a note of that, "That's really good to hear, Kurt! The fatigue is expected due to your lack of sleep recently and your lack of appetite. I am pleased to hear that you're getting out of the house and getting some fresh air. Have you seen anyone else while you've been out or have you spoken to any of your friends?"
"No," Kurt whispered, "I can't… I don't know what to say."
"That's completely understandable," Doctor Morgan tried to sound reassuring, "I've been told that all your friends have been leaving messages and asking your family about you. That shows you that they care and love you. It won't be easy, but you'll find the words to say. You can ignore this bit of advice, but please remember that friends are there for you in situations that are good and bad. If someone always makes everything about themselves and doesn't truly care when you have your own problems, you could argue that they are not a good friend."
Kurt knew exactly who his psychotherapist was referring to. He had overheard Finn and Blaine talking about Rachel, who was still claiming that she loved Kurt so much and that everything she was doing and saying for his benefit. The teenager knew that that wasn't the case.
"Have you had any thoughts about school and where you might go?" The doctor asked, watching Kurt for a reaction.
Kurt was puzzled by her question, "Where I might go? I thought that in time I would return to McKinley? I left the school once before and went to Dalton, but McKinley is my home. The New Directions are part of my family as well."
Doctor Morgan made a note of that, "I only asked as your dad wasn't sure if you wanted to return. No one would blame you if you didn't."
Kurt drew his knees up to his chest and rubbed his chin on them, "I'm not leaving McKinley. I know I need to go back eventually. I can't avoid it forever."
"The school completely understand your situation, Kurt," the doctor explained, "There's no rush. If you feel ready to go back, you go back. If you don't, you don't. It's that simple."
"So it's down to me? I can decide?" The seventeen year old wanted confirmation, "I want to go back soon. I can't continue to hide away like this. I have to face up to what happened."
Alice Morgan couldn't help but smile at the brave boy sitting on the bed in front of her, "That's a good attitude, but just remember not to push yourself before you're ready. I once had to stay at home for four weeks after an operation and by the end of it, I was practically bouncing off the walls with desperation to get out. Just make it's what your mind and body is ready for, not just because you're developing cabin fever."
Kurt and Doctor Morgan continued to discuss what he thought his return to school would be like and how he felt about facing his friends. One of the issues that Kurt was struggling with was that he still felt alone. Yes he could talk to Blaine and his dad and he was trying to open up more, but no one really got it. People will nod and agree, saying that they couldn't imagine what he had been through or that they understood when they actually didn't. He brought up the friends he had made in hell and he wondered how they were getting on in their lives outside of what they had been through. He wondered if they felt all alone too.
An idea popped into Doctor Morgan's head, but she knew that it was best to discuss with her patient's father first just in case he wasn't happy or had any questions. There was no point getting Kurt's hopes up as she did not want to disappoint this boy. He had already been through way too much for his age.
Doctor Morgan quickly jotted her ideas down in her pad and decided to investigate once she had been cleared by Burt Hummel and was back at the office, "Okay Kurt, this will mean talking to your dad about McKinley High and explaining how you feel. Remember what I said about opening up and sharing what you think. We all just want what's best for you."
Kurt nodded his head, knowing that his father wouldn't discuss school with him if he was still shutting others out. He wasn't stupid enough to think he'd be back to school in the next couple of days. There would probably be agreements made and Kurt knew that he would most likely have to put weight on. It was weird, even to him, that he wanted to go back to McKinley. It was just that Kurt knew that the longer that he stayed home, the more it got dragged out. Once he was back in school and had actually talked to his friends, then maybe… just maybe things would start looking up for him.
Burt Hummel hadn't been particularly happy when Doctor Morgan had informed him that Kurt was thinking about school. In an ideal world, his son would be home schooled or at least go to Dalton. He had already known that Kurt would want to go back to McKinley. That's just who his son was. He didn't shy away from anything, no matter how hard it was. He had, however, thought that Doctor Morgan's ideas were good and he had approved.
Burt had discussed school with Kurt and he had also spoken to McKinley High School, deciding what would be the best option for his son. It had been decided that Kurt would come back into school on Monday, giving him a few more days and the weekend to rest and take care of his mental health. Burt had also been insistent about Kurt's appetite, saying that he understood that Kurt couldn't eat but that he wasn't happy to send his son to school when he could faint the second that he walked through the school doors. Blaine had been concerned about Kurt returning to school, but he explained that he needed normalcy. Blaine had been adamant that he would be at Kurt's side no matter what.
Finally the day arrived for Kurt to return to school and he felt sick to his stomach the whole way during the car journey in his dad's truck. What was he thinking returning to that school? The second he set foot on the grounds, he would most likely be thrown into a dumpster. Everyone would be staring at him and tormenting him, laughing about what happened to him or saying that he deserved everything because he was gay. He didn't know if he could go through that.
Blaine seemed to know exactly what he was thinking, "Hey you. I'm not going to let anything happen to you and no one is going to upset you."
Burt glanced at the couple in the rear view mirror of the vehicle, "You don't have to do this, buddy. I can turn this car around right now. No one's forcing you to do this and we will all understand if it's too soon. We can try again another day, kiddo."
"No," Kurt took a deep breath, "I can do this. I want to do this."
Blaine took Kurt's hand in his and moved as close as the seatbelt would let him. His boyfriend was just so brave. He didn't know if he would be as brave as Kurt Hummel if he had been in his situation.
Burt pulled into McKinley High School's car park and parked in a space near the entrance to the school. School had already started so there was no one in the car park. They had decided to go into school after lunch to help Kurt with his return to school, rather than have everyone staring at him as he tries to walk into the building.
Once the handbrake was on and the engine was off, Burt turned around in his seat to address the teenagers, "Right, the plan is to go in and see Principal Figgins and Miss Pillsbury. I'm coming in with you for that and once we've okayed everything, you'll be heading onto whatever lesson you have or Glee club. Last chance kid. Are you sure about this?"
Kurt gripped Blaine's hand tighter as he nodded. Burt let out a sigh, but unclipped his seatbelt to get out of his truck. Both of the boys followed suit, but Kurt stopped dead when he got out of the truck. He couldn't move. What was he about to walk into?
Blaine knew that there was no point asking Kurt if he wanted to go home as he knew what the answer would be. He knew that his boyfriend just needed support and to know that they were there for him. He wrapped his arm around Kurt's waist and kissed his cheek, giving Kurt's tiny waist a little squeeze. Kurt took a deep breath, before he started to move towards the school, leaning into Blaine as they walked.
Burt held the door open for them, letting the boys walk through first. The hallway was empty, apart from a few students loitering around. A few of them looked up at the sound of the door opening and there were a few stares. Blaine found himself glaring at them, waiting for the moment that he would need to defend his boyfriend. Kurt found himself bracing for the torment too, knowing that at any moment someone would make a snarky comment.
One of the cheerleaders in the hall hesitantly made her way over to them, "Hey Kurt. I hope you're doing okay. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for what you went through and I think you're really brave. My friends and I all think so. Well anyway, I'll let you get on. I'll see you around."
Kurt was taken back by this. He hadn't thought that maybe his peers would be sympathetic towards him. He had automatically assumed that all McKinley High students would be waiting to ridicule him and tell him that he deserved it.
The cheerleader tentatively smiled, before heading back down the hall. The two Hummels and one Anderson continued down the hall when they saw Azimio Adams coming down the hall with a fellow football player, Chris Strando.
Kurt felt like a deer in the headlights. There was nowhere to hide and it was obvious that the jocks had seen him. He remembered what Azimio had said to him about how sooner or later everything would go back to the way it was, meaning that he would once again be bullied. Maybe the bully was coming to remind him of that, despite Burt Hummel being in his presence. Kurt could feel his heart pounding in his chest, but he knew that he had to act calm and collected.
"Hey Hummel," Azimio said cautiously, "It's good to see you."
Both Blaine and Kurt gaped at the jock, not quiet believing what he had said.
Burt caught the look on his son's face and knew that this was not a friend, "Do you need something kid?"
This seemed to startle the Adams boy, "Nah man, I just wanted to say to Hummel here that it's messed up what happened to him and there ain't no one who deserves that."
Strando was nodding too, "Yeah dude, when I heard I was like whoa! That must have totally sucked! So dude, we're all really sorry that it happened to you. Hope you're alright."
"Yeah Hummel, hope you're okay."
Azimio Adams and Chris Strando gave Kurt an awkward looking smile, before leaving the three of them in their wake.
"Doesn't mean they're not Neanderthals," Kurt muttered under his breath, causing both his father and Blaine to snort at the unexpected comment.
They continued making their way towards Principal Figgins' office and they were immediately ushered in by his secretary. Once inside, they found Principal Figgins, Miss Pillsbury, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester waiting for them inside.
"Kurt!" Will was immediately next to the teenage boy, pulling him in for a gentle hug, "It's really good to see you. How are you holding up?"
"I'm okay," was all Kurt offered after he had pulled away from the hug.
Sue came and stood in front of Kurt, who simply looked back at her, "Oh Sweet Porcelain. What you've been through is just horrific! It's clear that being one of my National winning cheerios gave you the strength and mojo to survive whatever life throws at you. It's good to see you."
Similar to when Kurt had returned to McKinley, Sue had engulfed Kurt in her arms, hugging him in a similar style to her nemesis, one William Schuester.
Principal Figgins shook hands with Burt, while Miss Pillsbury just smiled at the three newcomers. After hearing what had happened to the sweet boy that she cared for, Emma had felt sick to her stomach ever since. No one deserved for something like this to happen to them.
Once everyone was seated, Principal Figgins started the meeting, "Let me just say how marvellous it is to see you, Kurt. We've all been concerned for your welfare and it's a relief to see you back here at McKinley. Now, there's nothing to worry about in regards to your schoolwork. You are not behind in your work at all due to you repeating your junior year. If you need any more time off for any reason, that's perfectly fine too. I want to assure both you and your father that the zero tolerance policy is still enforced. I've spoken to the pupils of McKinley and I know that Coach Sue has as well. We want you to feel safe here."
Kurt was taken aback by his Principal's words. The man in front of him normally didn't seem to be too bothered about what happened with his students, but maybe Kurt's disappearance had caused the man to rethink his priorities as a principal of a high school.
Sue Sylvester confirmed what her boss was saying, "Everyone should feel safe at school and of course, we want you to. I know that you have been let down in the past by members of staff and the school board, but I am not going to let that happen again."
"I promise you that you will be looked after and we'll make sure that you feel at ease," Mr Schue added, his eyes still fixed on Kurt. Now he knew that had happened to his pupil, he swore that he would never let Kurt down again like that, "Obviously if there is anyone who tries to be rude to you, hopefully yourself, Blaine or one of your friends will inform us immediately. The teachers here know that consequences for any nonsense are severe and all students that attend here have been informed. We're going to do everything we can."
"Well this all sounds promising," Burt exclaimed, relief filling him at the thought of how seriously the faculty were taking this issue, "We've actually had two students that might have been mean in the past come up and tell Kurt that it was good to see him back. That's a start."
Principal Figgins smiled upon hearing that, "Yay! That's excellent to hear. Now um onto a more difficult subject… we think that it'll be a good idea if Kurt meets with Miss Pillsbury on a regular basis and we can help to set up with a therapist outside of school."
Burt held up his hand to stop the older man, "Kurt already has a therapist. He's been seeing her since before he returned here. She's brilliant at her job and she has really been helping him. When the news came out… my son seemed to switch off. Doctor Morgan was definitely one of the reasons that we managed to bring him back and help him continue to heal. Maybe Kurt can meet with Miss Pillsbury and if he feels that it doesn't help, then he can just continue with Doctor Morgan. Err no offence Miss Pillsbury."
"There's none taken, Burt," Emma replied, happy to hear that Kurt already had a therapist. She didn't know if she could handle this all by herself, "I'm happy to go with that plan and Kurt can decide if he wants regular appointments. But just so you know Kurt, my door is always open to you."
"That goes for me as well, Porcelain and I'm sure that Buttchin over here would agree. I mean he might just try and rap at you, which is not pleasing at all and causes cats all over the country to start howling, but we're here for you. We'll do our best to help you in whatever way we can," Coach Sylvester explained, the affection she had for the boy she nickname 'Porcelain' evident in her tone.
"Thank you. Thank you all of you," Kurt whispered, unable to look at any of them directly.
Will exchange a look with Burt and Blaine, before clapping his hands together, "I had better head to the choir room. I don't want to find Rachel has taken over in the two minutes I've missed. I'll see you guys in there after this."
Burt waited for Will to leave, before continuing, "My main concern about all this is any questions directed at Kurt by friends, classmates and even teachers. I know that people were horrified when they found out and I just don't want my boy to be asked about specific details. He's had a hard enough time as it is."
"That's what my assembly to the school was about," Coach Sue chimed in, "I explained that to them that under no circumstances were they allowed to upset Porcelain or his loved ones by asking questions about what happened. I made it clear that Frankenteen and young Burt Reynolds here shouldn't be bothered either. Upon learning what happened… Kurt, I have to say that I am so proud of you. I mean, you're one of the kids here that I can just about tolerate, but I am so happy that we have you back and we can help you recover from this ordeal."
Kurt had always known that Sue Sylvester had liked him, but her voices really hit him hard, "Thank you Coach. I know that you've got my back."
"Is there anything else that Kurt wants to add, or shall we just let him head to Glee club with Mr Anderson here and I'll continue talking to you Mr Hummel?" Principal Figgins asked, glancing between the father and son.
Kurt shook his head so the adults hesitantly gave him the okay for him and Blaine to head to the choir room. Burt gave both boys a head and promised them that he'd be back later to pick them up and that if they needed anything to call him straight away, watching his son like a hawk for any sign of discomfort. It was sad to see how well Kurt's mask worked sometimes. Burt just hoped that his only child wouldn't push himself too hard.
Kurt and Blaine slowly made their way to the choir room, keen to take their time. The older boy wasn't particularly looking forward to seeing his friends for the first time since he had found out. He knew that they had messaged him, but it wasn't the same. It was good to know that he had friend who cared about him, but it was still hard to accept the truth was out.
Blaine stopped them just outside the door, "Are you sure about this?"
Kurt took a deep, shuddery breath, "Let's get this over with."
This caused Blaine to frown, but that didn't stop them entering the room. Mr Schue had clearly spoken to the show choir group before their arrival to inform them that Kurt was back. It was obvious that the teacher had told them not to overwhelm him or rush at him. Every member looked eager to scoop Kurt up and never let him go. Finn was grinning at the sight of his little brother back in the choir room where he belonged.
Kurt knew that he had to be the one to break the ice, "Hi everyone."
That was all it took. Screw Mr Schue's advice seemed to be the main objective as Kurt and Blaine suddenly found themselves caught in a stampede of singers, wanting to welcome back the countertenor that they had missed so much.
Brittany, in a similar style to their first reunion, threw her arms around Kurt, "Oh Kurty! Oh my unicorn! I'm so sorry! I just want you to know that I love you!"
She kissed Kurt on the cheek before she stepped back, allowing Santana to take her place.
"I knew something horrific was up!" It sounded as if Santana was trying not whimper and maintain her hard-faced image, "I knew it! Shit Porcelain, I'm so sorry. I really don't have any words. But like Britt said, I love you as well. Obviously you can't tell anyone that. It would ruin my image."
Kurt had to smile at that as his friends continued to tell him how sorry they were, if he needed anything and they loved him. He seemed to absentmindedly avoid Rachel as he wasn't particularly ready to deal with her. For all he knew, she had already spoken to the press about his return and what had happened to him.
The older boy turned to look at his boyfriend, trying to indicate that he needed his friends to back off a little and allow him to have a breather. Luckily Blaine could read his love so well that he immediately stated that Kurt needed some air, making everyone move backwards a few steps.
Mr Schue clapped his arms and the New Directions all sat down on the floor in a circle. Noting the look Kurt was giving, the teacher explained, "We decided that we'd have a quiet session today. Just sit down together and talk. The chairs make it a bit too official, so we're all just sitting on the floor together. Are you two okay to join us?"
Kurt knew what would happen. He would be asked every question under the sun, but he knew that he had to do this. Both his friends and he wouldn't be able to move past this until they had cleared the air. It would be uncomfortable, uneasy and extremely difficult, but it had to be done.
He could see that Blaine was about to reject out of the corner of his eye, but Kurt cut him off, "That's fine, Mr Schue. We'll join the circle."
He gave Blaine's hand a squeeze, hoping to indicate that he could do this. Of course he needed Blaine by his side, but he could still do this. He needed to do this.
The couple sat down in the space next to Mr Schue that had been left for them. It seemed that maybe the teacher thought that he could do damage control if anything got out of hand. Blaine guessed that now Mr Schue had found out what had happened to Kurt when the teenager had been snatched while in his care, he was even more determined to help keep Kurt safe and make sure that he was okay.
"Okay guys, I need to insist that you all be extremely respectful with your questions and your comments. I know that you are all curious and want to know more information, but that will not happen at the expense of Kurt feeling comfortable. Is that understood?" Mr Schue declared, making eye contact with everyone in the room to stress his point.
All the New Directions murmured their agreement, nervous about what was to happen.
Mr Schue clapped his hands together, "Right. I think we're all aware of how tense we are, so I'll take the lead. Kurt, I need you to know that we were all utterly horrified to hear about what happened to you. I think that everyone is still processing it and I bet you are too. How are you doing?"
Kurt stared down at his hand entwined with Blaine's, "I'm… I-I-I'm okay. I mean, I think I am. I-I'm as good as I can be, I think."
Kurt took comfort in Blaine's hand giving his a squeeze, although he refused to lift his head.
"Kurt, no one expects you to be okay. I mean the fact that you're here with us right now shows how strong you are," Santana started to say, her eyes fixed on her friend, "You need to take your healing process one step at a time."
Santana raised her eyebrows and glared back at her fellow Glee clubbers staring at her, "What!? Kurt's my friend and I want to help him. He knows that I'm here for him."
"We're all here for you, Kurt," Quinn added in, her eyes full of sympathy for the former cheerleader, "We may be a tad dysfunctional, but we're family and we all love and support each other."
"Of course white boy," Mercedes chimed in, "You're my boo. We all love you so much and we want to do what we can to help you. Well… most of us anyway."
"I gather from that comment you're making a dig at me," scoffed Rachel, glancing at Finn who seeming to be ignoring, "I was thinking about Kurt and…"
"If I hear you say some crap about love again, I will cut you!" Santana practically growled at the short Jewish girl.
"Rachel, you know that I love you and that I can't wait for the day that you're my wife, but you've been incredibly selfish during all of this," Finn suddenly blurted out, "You hounded my little brother to tell you what had happened to him, argued with him, stressed him out and tried to kick out of our Glee club, claiming you were thinking about him. It disappoints me that you didn't think about him and only thought about your needs."
There was silence after Finn's little speech, with members of the club unsure what to say or how to follow that. Rachel was gaping at her fiancé, unable to believe that he had just said that to her in front of the group. She made to move, as if she was thinking about storming out, but she seemed to realise that wouldn't help her case.
"Okay I have to ask," Puck jumped in, "How many people did you have sex with?"
There were several shocked cries of, "Puck!"
Kurt wanted the ground to swallow him whole at that very moment. It was bad enough that his family and his friends now knew that he was no longer a virgin, but they also knew that he had been passed around by numerous people and used for their pleasure.
"Ignore him, Kurt!" If looks could kill, Puck would no longer exist due to Blaine's terrifying glare.
"Do I have to repeat myself about ensuring that Kurt feels comfortable?" Mr Schue demanded, glaring at the mohawked boy himself.
Again all of the New Directions murmured in response, implying that they did not to be reminded.
"Kurt, is there anything that you would like to say?" the teacher asked, almost needing some help with where to take this discussion.
The only response was a short shake of the head.
"What about singing a song?" Tina suddenly said, causing Kurt to actually lift his head.
"Yeah! I've missed your singing, boo," Mercedes added, her face lighting up at the thought of her friend singing again, "You can share your feelings by song."
"The New Directions way yo!" Artie cheered, wanting his friend to feel happier.
"Kurt, would you like to sing? Sometimes it's easier to share feelings by singing. This is a safe place for anyone who wants to sing and share their emotions. So it's up to you?" Mr Schue gently asked, not wanting the young boy to feel as if he was being forced.
Finn and Blaine shared a panicked look, knowing how Kurt felt how singing and why he felt that. It was moments like that that made both boys want to hunt down Manson themselves and do whatever damage they could.
"Um… okay," Kurt suddenly stated, actually making eye contact with the teacher, "I might sound a bit rusty."
"You'll sound amazing as always, dolphin," Brittany declared, smiling, as a majority of the others nodded.
"Are you sure about this, sweetheart?" Blaine whispered, to which Kurt only nodded.
All of the New Directions jumped up and made their way to the chairs in the choir room, with Mr Schue, Finn and Blaine sitting in the front row.
Kurt took his time deciding what to sing. He had a catalogue of songs running through his mind. The Beatles? No. Gaga? No. Broadway? Possibly. He wanted a song that showed how he was feeling. He wanted a song that showed how he was struggling and how desperately he wished things were different.
Suddenly a song came to mind. It had been on shuffle on Blaine's iPod when the two of them had been lying in bed listening to music. The lyrics had really struck a chord with him and he had then downloaded it onto his own iPod, listening to the song repeatedly.
He walked over to the band and informed them of his song choice. They gave him a nod and a sympathetic smile.
Kurt walked to the middle of the choir room, stood in front of the microphone that had been placed there for him and addressed the glee club, "Blaine introduced me to this song. Err I haven't sung for a while so I apologise if this doesn't sound great."
Kurt repressed a song as he saw Blaine roll his eyes at his comments, knowing that his boyfriend would love the song no matter how awful he sounded. He continued to watch as Blaine's face fell slightly as he recognised the song, knowing that it had represented how Kurt truly felt.
Kurt let out a small cough, hoping that he didn't sound too rusty, as he brought his hands up to the microphone, "Life's too short to even care at all, oh. I'm losing my mind, losing my mind, losing control…"
Kurt's eyes darted around the room, taking in all his friends watching him sadly, "These fishes in the sea they're staring at me oh oh oh oh oh oh. A wet world aches for a beat of a drum oh…"
The countertenor gripped the microphone even tighter, closing his eyes, "If I could find a way to see this straight, I'd run away to some fortune that I-I should have by now. I'm waiting for this cough syrup to come down… come down."
Kurt kept his eyes closed as he moved to the music, letting the beat take over. He was pleased that he didn't sound too bad and it actually felt liberating to sing again, "Life's too short to eve care at all, oh. I'm coming up now, coming up now out of the blue oh…"
The young boy opened his eyes as he grabbed at his chest, "These zombies in the park, they're looking for my heart oh oh oh oh."
He threw his hands up, as if he was grabbing or reaching for something above him, "A dark world aches for a splash of the sun oh oh."
"If I could find a way to see this straight, I'd run away," Kurt moved his hands back to the microphone," To some fortune that I-I should have found by now."
Kurt threw his arms outwards, opening up his body, "And so I run now to the things they said could restore me, restore life the way it should be…"
The young boy slowly dropped his arms and lowered his voice, "I'm waiting for this cough syrup to come down."
"Life's too short to even care at all, oh. I'm losing my mind, losing my mind, losing control…"
Kurt again closed his eyes as the music took over, letting his body moving to the beat. It almost felt as if he was throwing his body around, the despair overtaking his control as well. His actions were indicating that maybe he was losing his mind, losing control.
"If I could find a way to see this straight, I'd run away to some fortune that I-I should have found by now," Kurt sang quietly, opening his eyes and looking at his audience.
Once more, Kurt threw his arms out wide, his voice growing in volume, "And so I run now to the things they said could restore life the way it should be… I'm waiting for this cough syrup to come down."
For the final part, Kurt gripped the microphone, his volume lowering until it completely faded, "One more spoon of cough syrup now whoa… one more spoon of cough syrup now whoa…"
As soon as the music stopped, Kurt moved away from the microphone and walked straight of the choir room, needing some time to himself. Despite the fact that he didn't sound his best, he had sung a whole song and he had also opened up to his friends, Finn and Blaine, letting them know that he didn't feel in control and that he felt like he was losing his mind. He needed help. He wanted help. He wanted change.
A/N: Hi my amazing readers! I am deeply sorry for how long it's been and I am determined to not let it happen again. This chapter should have been out months ago, but annoyingly life got in the way and it's taken me just under 3 months to complete the last 1500 or so words. I can guarantee that this fic will never be abandoned and I will finish it. It just might take longer than I planned. Thank you for sticking by and reading this story. I can't thank you enough. It means so much to me! I hope you're all doing well and that you enjoyed the chapter!
Life for me is interesting! I am 23 years old now and I have been teaching for 2 years. As much as I like some parts of it, I feel like I have no life and I am always working or sleeping. No fun for a girl in her early twenties. I'm actively looking for something that spikes my interest! So the future for me is uncertain at the moment!
I mentioned before that I was doing Trek America and that was absolutely amazing. I travelled from New York to LA, travelling about 5000 miles, exploring states like Tennessee, Texas and I got to go to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Las Vegas! I had such an amazing time and I'm already looking at where I am going this year!
As I love travel, I have also started (trying to start) a travel blog. It's called heartfullofwanderlust and then there's a dot com. For some reason, I can't put the website together. But definitely check it out!
Thank you to everyone for reviewing, alerting this story and adding it to your favourites. It means so much to me and I love hearing what you think or any suggestions you have. You guys are amazing and your reviews always make my day!
Please do review as I love hearing people's opinions about this story and knowing what they think. I do love hearing suggestions for the story too! If I get suggestions, I do my very best to include them in my story! I promise I will always reply if you review, so fire away if you have questions or comments!
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Thank you everyone! Much love!
Love Laura xxx