Warnings: Trigger alert, mentions of self harm and allusions to suicide.

Summary: When Kurt transfer back to McKinley, it's not for the reasons many thinks. As the Warblers sing to their goodbye, Kurt thinks back at his time with them, and the friends he have made and which he will miss horribly.

Beta: Thanks to The Other for beta, and all mistakes are my own

Disclaimer: Not mine, otherwise Kurt would be doing the horizontal with... well, anyone but Blaine.

Ted

At Dalton there was a rule; every student, if physically possible, had to be a part of at least one sports team. After looking through the teams, Kurt soon decided that he was going to join fencing, and he turned out to be a natural at it. One of his closest friends on the team was Ted. He was a brunette, built much in the same way as Kurt, though not as effeminate. He was a bit of a geek, and kind of reminded Kurt of Sam, in more ways than one.

The first time he had met Ted was at the first practice he joined, where the other boy had been told to help Kurt out and figure out how much training he would need. Ted was a master with blades of any kind, and even though the foils were far from blades, he was a master with that too. He was also a very good teacher, and by the end of the class, Kurt had at least a fairly basic understanding of the sport.

One of the things Kurt had to do when he transferred - a deal he made with both the Headmaster and with his dad - was to take self defense lessons. One of the gym teachers, certified to teach self defense, was going to start teaching him twice a week. It was his first class, Wednesday after dinner, and Kurt was on his way into the showers in the changing room. The teacher had shown him a lot of basics today - because half his body was still covered in bruises and they didn't want to make it worse. Most of the class had actually been used to talk, where Kurt told them what had happened at McKinley. His teacher had been outraged, and couldn't believe anyone could get away with that at a school, but they were doing all they could about it now.

Kurt had so far been careful showering in the public showers with anyone else, as he knew he looked rather beat up right now. Besides the bruises, there were also the scars, and the fact that he hadn't been eating well the last few months, and looked rather underweight. He was alone now, and no one was using the gym this late on a Wednesday, so he didn't bother to take anything more than a towel and his products into the shower.

When he came out of the shower 20 minutes later, he was greeted with the familiar sight of Ted, pulling a sweatshirt over his head.

"Hey, Kurt, what are you doing here so late?" Ted stopped short when the shirt had cleared his eyes, seeing the wide blown eyes before his eyes zeroed in on the bruised upper body and the ribs he could count underneath. The towel covered Kurt's thighs (something Kurt would remember to be thankful for later, as it covered the scars), but Kurt's arms showed well enough just how thin he actually was.

"Oh my God, Kurt, man, what happened to you?" Ted had stepped in front of him, his hands not touching Kurt but kind of skating along just outside his body, as if trying to figure out where he could touch without hurting Kurt.

Kurt finally managed to gather his wits long enough to answer. "Oh, it's nothing."

"This is not nothing! Is this... is this from our old school?" Ted looked at him, a little unsure. "I knew you had been bullied, but this is insane, this is abuse!"

Kurt sighed as he sat down on the bench, pulling on his boxers whilst holding the towel in place. "Look, yes, it's from my old school. They're locker checks, they shove you into the lockers as hard as they can. I just tend to bruise easily, so it looks a lot worse than it is." He was looking down as he pulled on his 'relaxed-but-still-good-looking' sweatpants and put the towel in his bag.

Ted laid a warm hand on his shoulder. "Fine, maybe you are away from that now, but Kurt... you're still way too thin. Are you starving yourself?"

The warmth of the hand seeped into Kurt's skin, and before he could stop himself, tears were slowly making their way down his chin. He was pulled into a firm hug, arms heedful of the bruises, and he slowly leaned into the hug, his hands on Ted's upper back and his head on his shoulder.

A few minutes went by where Kurt was silently crying, before he pulled away from the hug and wiped away the tears. "No, I don't starve myself, but I have problems eating sometimes when I'm stressed. I don't do it on purpose, but I just lose my appetite, and forget to eat sometimes."

There wasn't really all that much Ted could say, but he became highly protective of Kurt. He would be sure to see the countertenor at least a few times each day, and always sat with him at lunch, even when that meant sitting with the other Warblers. The first time he sat down with them he got a lot of looks, but he stared them down, whilst keeping an eye on Kurt to make sure he ate enough.

As time went by, the two got to know each other better and better, and when Kurt told him he was leaving Dalton, Ted had demanded to get to meet all his friends at McKinley. When asked why, the answer was "I can't watch you every day anymore, and can't make sure you eat what you should, so I need to find someone at that school that will do it for me."

Kurt gave him a teary smile and a hug for that, and he knew he was going to see a lot of this boy, even though he had to leave. When Ted met the New Directions, to Kurt's surprise, he asked Mike if he could keep an extra eye on him. Kurt had no idea as to why, but as long as Mike agreed and Ted was happy, he didn't really care.

Mikey (and Cameron)

Kurt had been walking down the hallway when he heard someone sobbing in one of the rooms. It was one of the freshman dorms, and Kurt had only come that way because he had been doing one of the professors a favor.

He knocked the door, but when all he could hear was continued sobbing, he carefully opened it up. It was a double room, like most the other rooms at Dalton, but at the time held only one occupant - a young boy. He was sitting bunched up on one of the beds, sobbing his heart out, and hadn't seemed to notice anyone coming in.

Kurt stood where he was for a few seconds, a little unsure of how to approach the other boy. He carefully looked him over, seeing if there was any visible injury, but when he looked at the arms he noticed that the boys hands where holding a fist around something. Kurt couldn't see what it was, but he did see the pill bottle clenched in the other hand, and could correctly guess what it was.

"Hey..." The young boy looked up at the sound of Kurt's voice, with terrified eyes.

"W-who... W-what?" He was still crying, but the sobbing seemed to have calmed down. Kurt walked towards the bed, slowly, trying to not scare the other boy.

"Hi, I'm Kurt. What's your name?"

The boy sniffed a little, before answering. "Mikey."

By now Kurt was standing by the bed, right in front of the younger boy.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Kurt tried to be calm and careful, but he was terrified that Mikey would just throw the pills back.

The boy shook his head, clutching both the pills and the container harder.

"Okay, but I would really like to get to know you, so why don't I tell you a little about myself, and then you can tell me a little about you. Okay?" Mikey slowly nodded his head. "Is it okay if I sit on the bed?"

Mikey scootched back a little, clearing room for Kurt, and he sat down, cross legged, face to face with the younger boy. He was still holding onto the pills and container, though not as hard, and his body had relaxed a little bit.

"Well, as I said, I'm Kurt, and I'm from Lima. I am a junior, and I started here a couple of months ago, after a bad bullying thing at my old school, McKinley. I love to sing, and to perform, and I dream about one day becoming a star on Broadway." Kurt was smiling, hoping to relax the other boy with his small talk.

"I also love clothes, and if I can't be on Broadway, I want to be a designer. The uniforms here kind of suck, but I've gotten used to them by now." That coaxed a little smile out of Mikey, so Kurt continued.

"I have a great dad, and now I have a stepmother and stepbrother as well, which is good, especially for my dad, so he won't be alone so much. My stepbrother is really tall and really clumsy, and somewhat brain dead sometimes, but he has a heart of gold. I miss them a lot, but I go home once a month, and I'm happy here so it's worth it."

Suddenly Mikey interrupted him. "Would you go back if you could?" His voice was hesitant and soft.

"No. I miss my family and my old friends, but this school has given me too much to give up. Not only the great classes and teachers, and the fact that Dalton looks much better at my resume than McKinley does, but also all the people here. I have loads of friends I don't want to leave, and here I can be myself without fear."

There was silence for a few seconds, and Kurt was about to draw a new breath and start talking again when Mikey said something, almost in a whisper.

"I wish I could do that."

"Do what?"

Mikey looked up at Kurt from his lap, looking down again before he started talking. "Be myself without fear."

Kurt looked at him in sympathy. "Why can't you, though?"

Another sniff, and then "Because of my family." He started to cry again, once the words where out, and was soon sobbing in earnest. Kurt moved closer to him and lay an arm around his shoulder, and seconds later pills and container were dropped, and Kurt had a crying freshman in his lap. The countertenor circled the smaller boy into a hug, letting him cry and snot over his Dalton blazer and stroked his hair, trying to calm the boy down.

After ten minutes, Mikey had finally calmed down enough to start talking into Kurt's shoulder. "My family, they are all into music. My dad owns a record company and my mom sings opera and my brother is in the Warblers and plays like seven instruments. I grew up in the same classes of course, but I don't enjoy it at all, I can't sing particularly well and I don't really want to. I like to make things with my hands, woodworks and clay and such. I also like to build things, and I dream of one day building my own house. My family all wanted me to audition for the Warblers, but I didn't want to, so I pretended that I had a cold that day. Cameron, my brother, keeps saying that he can get me an audition with the Warblers anytime, and I keep putting it off, because I don't want to. Then my dad called and yelled at me for not showing up to piano lessons the last few times, and I just don't know what to do anymore. I have tried to tell my parents, but I chicken out every time, and I don't want to disappoint them, but I just can't be like they are."

Kurt held the other boy in a close hug as he started answering. "First off all, just because you are a family doesn't mean you have to do the same things. My dad and I, we are almost night and day. He can't sing a note and wouldn't know a McQueen from a Walmart scarf. He loves football, but I'm not sure I even understand the rules. Second, being able to build something with your hands is a great gift, and not something that everyone can do. Don't be ashamed of that. Third, I know Cameron, I'm in the Warblers, and I think he would want you to talk to him, and tell him what's going on with his little brother. Same for your parents, if you don't want to tell them face to face, write a letter or an email and send them. You are great just the way you are, and to misquote my dad 'a parents' job is to love their children.' They love you, but maybe they just don't know you."

Kurt straightened up a bit. "Now, listen up, this is what we are going to do. My dad owns a tire shop, and I love to play around with car engines. We are going to take a look at my car after school one day this week, and see if you like to learn about and build engines as well. If not, then we will find something else and do it together."

He helped Mikey clean himself up and pick up all the small pills and flush them. Kurt stayed in the room the rest of the evening, leaving when there was five minutes left until curfew with a new contact on his phone and a new friend.

K*D*K*D*K*D*K*D

A few days later, Kurt was walking into the Warblers common room ten minutes before rehearsal when he was assaulted by a hug. A rather wet hug, actually. Cameron was crying and hugging him, and mumbling thanks that Kurt barely understood, but he wrapped his arms around the other boy. When they talked a little later, it turned out that Mikey had told Cameron everything, even about the pills, and that they had gone home together and told their parents. As far as Cameron and his parents were concerned, Kurt had saved Mikey's life, and they wanted him over for dinner to thank him properly. Kurt had been overwhelmed, but accepted gracefully, and by the time he left the house he was considered a fifth member of their family.

Kurt would miss seeing Mikey and Cameron at school, but he had a standing dinner invitation to the house, and knew he would see them there whenever he could.