A/N: Hello lovely readers!
GleekMom and I have teamed up to bring you a brand new Klaine AU fanfiction!
Kurt and Blaine's histories are similar to canon, but their escapes were different. Instead of a refuge at Dalton, they both found themselves, at different times, in a suburb of Cleveland which we've lovingly renamed Shaker Hills. Blaine left his parents to move in with his brother, Dr. Cooper Anderson shortly after the Sadie Hawkins dance. Kurt moved with Burt, Carole and Finn to take over a garage left to Burt by his deceased brother when things with Karofsky went too far. We will leave the rest of their stories to be revealed in time.
Disclaimer: We own nothing but our imaginations.
Kurt hurried down the hall and into the boy's bathroom. He knew he shouldn't have said anything. He knew that talking back to the oversized jocks would bite him in the ass. But when it came to Johnson and Miller, he couldn't help it. They got under his skin and drove him crazy to the point of snapping. It wasn't his fault that the two meatheads had the combined IQ of a peanut. What else was he supposed to do when they acted like morons in class? What else was he supposed to do when they disrespected his favorite teacher? Mrs. Sanderson was the sweetest woman he'd ever met, aside from his mother and stepmother. He couldn't just sit there and allow them to disrupt her lesson. He just couldn't.
Kurt rested his hands on the sink and took a deep breath, immediately smelling the disgusting aroma of cigarette smoke. He figured it was someone from Anderson's Crew hiding his nasty habit in one of the stalls. They were the only ones brazen enough to smoke on school property. He didn't say anything though. The last thing he needed was to get on their bad side too. The football team wanting to torture him was enough.
"You know, I'm getting real sick of you disrespecting me, Hummel," Kyle Johnson snarled as he and Lance Miller stormed into the bathroom.
"Looks like we're going to have to teach you another lesson," Lance said, cracking his knuckles.
Kurt swallowed his fear and turned to face the overbearing jocks. "The only thing the two of you could teach me is…well, there's nothing you can teach me since you've both clearly taken one too many footballs to the head."
Kyle grabbed Kurt by the collar and slammed him into the sink. "Do you think anyone gives two shits about you? Do you think anyone cares about what you think or say? They don't, so why don't you just shut the hell up!" he said as he slammed Kurt two more times. Kurt cried out in pain despite his attempt not to. He really needed to learn how to keep his mouth shut.
The bathroom door suddenly flew open and Mr. Peters, the teacher known best for his blatant homophobia, came in. "What's going on here?" he asked, though his concern for Kurt was obviously fake.
"Nothing, Mr. Peters," Lance lied smoothly as Kyle straightened Kurt's jacket. "Kurtie here was feeling a little ill and we were just making sure he was ok."
Mr. Peters eyed Kurt, the disgust evident in his eyes. "Is this true, Mr. Hummel?"
"Y-yes," Kurt lied. "I wasn't feeling well and they were helping me out. That's all."
Mr. Peters gave them a curt nod and gestured to the door. "I suggest all of you get to class."
"See you later, Kurtie," Kyle said in a sickeningly sweet voice before exiting the bathroom.
Kurt followed them out but instead of going back to class, he ran to his car. School was almost over for the day anyway. Why bother going back when Kyle and Lance would inevitably be waiting for him afterwards to beat the crap out of him? He sat in his Navigator for a little while as he fought back the tears that wanted to spill. Even in Cleveland's premiere school district, Shaker Hills High School was no better than McKinley. The curriculum was only slightly better, he still only had a few friends, and he was still bullied for being gay. The only kids not bullied for being out were in Anderson's Crew. The three that were gay, Blaine, Santana, and Brittany, were completely open about it, but they never received any crap for it. Blaine Anderson and his crew were Shaker's resident badasses and no one, not even the jocks, messed with them.
Kurt, however, with his crazy clothing choices, his high-pitched voice, and his snarky attitude, was apparently too much for the students to handle. Since the jocks wouldn't dare say anything to Anderson's Crew, they took their hatred out on Kurt instead. And since Kurt was too much of a smartass to keep his comments to himself, he became the football team's number one target.
"Just one more year," Kurt muttered to himself as he started his car. If he could get through his final year of school then he would be on his way to New York and away from the hatred in his life. The only thing that was currently keeping him afloat was his family and his dreams. The football team could torture him all they wanted. He would never let them win.
By fifth period, Blaine had had enough. Mr. Peters was trying to tell him his essay on the Civil War was narrow-minded even though Blaine knew it was perfect, his lab experiment in chemistry blew up through absolutely no fault of his own, and his gym teacher sitting him out for spiking the ball too hard at Landers was bullshit.
He needed a cigarette.
The damn doors were locked thanks to recent increases in security, which meant that instead of reveling in the peace and quiet under the bleachers in between classes, he needed to sneak away to the cesspool that was the high school boys' room just to take a smoke. He wrinkled his nose as he entered the, thank god, empty restroom and quickly pulled out his lighter and a cigarette, catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror before hiding away in the handicap stall. With his hair slicked with gel, black leather coat, and a butt hanging out of his mouth, he was the spitting image of the 1950's. He pulled out his phone, locked the stall door, and rested his back against the wall. Closing his eyes as he took a long drag, he let it fill his lungs for a minute before blowing it out with a slow sigh. Blaine finally began to relax.
His peace was rudely interrupted when the door opened and the scent of vanilla wafted into the room where it didn't belong. He couldn't help but peek through the crack in the door to see if one of the girls had decided to invade enemy lines, but instead he saw that dweeb Kurt Hummel, his perfectly coiffed hair and alabaster skin reflected in the mirror. The kid rested his hands on the sink, closed his eyes and took a deep breath before the Neanderthals Blaine liked to call Jackass and Moron, known to everyone else as Johnson and Miller, barreled in behind Kurt and immediately assaulted him.
Blaine was certain that the football stars had no idea there was anyone else in the bathroom, though he knew that Hummel would have keen enough senses to realize they weren't alone. The nerd turned courageously to face them, something Blaine would never in his life forget, and then he heard one, two, three hard shoves into the hard porcelain of the sinks. Kurt's breath left him and he cried out in pain when Mr. Peters flung open the bathroom door.
Blaine quickly turned from the scene and tossed his cigarette into the toilet, flinging his arms around wildly to try and dissipate the smoke, though he knew it was a lost cause. He could only hope the teacher would be too distracted to notice him. He heard cover-ups and excuses from the jocks and Kurt and then shuffling out the door of the bathroom. Silence once again filled the bathroom. Blaine flushed and unlocked the door, assuming he was alone, only to come face to face with Mr. Peters.
"Principal's office. Now," was the only thing the teacher said. Blaine rolled his eyes and marched out the door. This was the third time in two weeks and he'd been promised suspension if he was found breaking the rules again. That meant a call to Cooper, which meant he was in big trouble.
"Get in the damn car, Blaine," Cooper snapped, as they reached the school parking lot. Blaine pulled up the collar of his leather jacket insolently but grabbed the handle of the passenger side door and climbed inside the black BMW. He settled into the leather seat and pulled the seatbelt across his lap. Cooper turned the key in the ignition and opened the sunroof. "You smell like an ashtray," he complained.
"Well yes, that usually happens when one gets forced into smoking in a tiny bathroom stall instead of outside in the fresh air," Blaine responded cheekily, staring out the window.
"Don't get smart with me Squirt," Cooper fumed. "First of all, you shouldn't be smoking at all and second, you're lucky your principal called when he did. An hour later and I'd have been in the middle of surgery. As it is, you've delayed it by an hour, and I'm sure 'my brother got caught smoking in the boys' room' is going to offer absolutely no comfort to my patient or his family."
"You didn't have to come get me Coop, I could have walked home," Blaine answered, annoyance in his voice covering the shred of guilt he felt. "Just drop me off and you can get back."
"Not a chance," Cooper told him. "Now you're coming to the hospital with me. If I drop you home you'll be out with Puck and Santana before I even pull out of the gate and let me tell you something little brother, those days are done. I've had enough of your crap. It's one thing when you're getting detentions half the week for mouthing off to teachers or getting involved in fights you have no place in-"
"I don't fight unless I have to," Blaine interrupted but Cooper didn't stop to listen.
"But when I have to come to the school because the Principal is so fed up with you he kicks you out for five days, then things have got to change," he finished firmly.
"What are you gonna do Coop, take me over your knee?" Blaine asked mockingly.
"Don't tempt me Squirt," Cooper retorted. He took a deep breath and tempered himself as he pulled off the highway and onto the city streets near the hospital. "But you are grounded indefinitely. I won't have you hanging around with your crew and wreaking havoc. In fact, you need to find something else to do entirely."
"What the hell does that mean?" Blaine asked suspiciously. They pulled into the Cleveland Clinic parking lot and Cooper pulled into his reserved spot. He shifted into park and turned to Blaine.
"It means you need to get a job. Fill your day with something respectable. Learn some responsibility. Stop being a menace to society and start contributing a little bit," Cooper answered.
"You sound like Dad," Blaine grumbled angrily as he took off his seat belt.
"Well, you live with me for a reason," Cooper said. "We all thought I could teach you things better than Mom and Dad could because I respect you and who you are. But you need to respect yourself too, and you won't do that if all you ever do is screw around."
"Well if I am such a screw up, maybe I should just go back to living with them!" Blaine snapped fleeing out of the car.
Cooper sighed and quickly exited the car. "Blaine, that's not what I meant," he called apologetically as his brother stormed away. He chased him through the hospital campus, grabbing his arm. Blaine turned with a glare, but there were unshed tears in his eyes. Cooper took him in his arms, holding him close. "You are not a screw up, Blaine. You are one of the most amazing people in the entire world. I just wish you knew that."
Blaine didn't want to hear it though. Of course his brother thought that. He knew Cooper loved him. He'd taken him away from a crappy situation with his parents and brought him to Cleveland where he'd been given everything he could ever possibly want. Blaine hated himself for giving him such a hard time after everything Cooper had done for him. But there was something inside him, something he didn't understand, that refused to give up the hard shell he'd work so hard to build. There was something that told him that he wasn't amazing, and no one else would ever truly love him. After all, his own parents hadn't, so why should anyone else?
"Go save some lives, Coop," Blaine whispered, pushing his brother away affectionately. At least one Anderson could make a difference in the world. "I'm going to go for a walk."
"Don't get lost, okay?" Cooper said worried. "And don't you dare call your friends either. Make sure you're back here by 6."
"Yeah, whatever," Blaine called behind him as he waved dismissively and headed out into the city.
Cooper shook his head and turned to go back to work. It had been easier when Blaine was younger. Now he wondered if he was in way over his head.
"Hey, kiddo," Burt called out from underneath the hood of the car he was working on.
"Hey, Dad," Kurt replied as he set his things down in his dad's office. He grabbed his overalls, put them on over his clothes, and walked over to his dad. "What do you need today?"
"The Mustang needs an oil change," Burt said. Kurt nodded and headed towards the car, only to stop when Burt grabbed his arm. "Is everything ok?"
"Yeah," Kurt answered, though he wouldn't look at his dad.
Burt stood up straighter and took a good look at his son, sensing that something was wrong. "Are you sure? You seem a little down."
That's one way to put it, Kurt thought to himself. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just didn't get the grade I wanted on an assignment but it's ok."
"What did you get, a B?" Burt teased.
"Yeah and I deserved an A," Kurt argued.
"Son, B's are good to ya know. You don't have to get an A on everything," Burt tried to reason.
Kurt sighed and rolled his eyes. "If I want to get into Parsons, I need my senior year to be perfect, Dad."
"If you're meant to get into Parsons then you will. Don't overwork yourself, kiddo. It's your senior year. You should be enjoying yourself, not stressing out over every tiny grade," Burt replied. "And besides, you will get into Parsons because you're a Hummel and Hummel men are known to exceed all expectations."
"Yes, Dad. I know," Kurt sighed. "Can I go change this oil now?"
"Yes, go," Burt waved him off.
Kurt hurried over to the car, glad that his father believed his lie about his grade. He hated lying to his dad, but he couldn't tell him how he was being bullied at school. He couldn't tell him how his son was used as a daily punching bag. He wouldn't tell him. After everything that happened with Dave before they moved, he was sure his father's health wouldn't be able to handle anymore. He would deal with the bullying as it came. He didn't need his dad to have another heart attack because he was too physically weak to defend himself. He was a Hummel after all. He could take care of himself.