Sorry for the short chapter for Ch 1. But I felt it stopped at just the right point. Same as this one. I let it ramble to a logical conclusion.

I have to admit that I am finding it difficult to write parts of this. I am a single mom and I raised my kids to be accepting of all. My daughter was bullied in middle school, and basically spent a year alone and lonely until she met her best friend the next year. Both kids have friends who are gay and transgendered. That isn't who they are. That is just something above ordinary about them. :)

My house was always the go to house for the kids. They knew they could talk to me about anything, and it would either be kept confidential or together we would talk to parents. I watch Glee and am so amazed at the talents of the actors portraying the characters, and the skill of the directors to get every nuance out of a scene so you feel what they are going through.

But bullying is wrong. Teaching bullying and non-acceptance or even just tolerance is wrong. We all need to be spreading acceptance, letting people who love one another get on with their lives, and focus our attentions on things that truly matter: Abuse, teens and young adults disappearing into the sex trade, drugs available like candy and the kids are so desperate to stop the pain in their lives that they are willing to try anything. Speak up whenever you can rather than remaining silent. Support in silence and just provide a listening ear to someone hurting, but speak out when you hear Ignorance and Bigotry speaking - its just fear.

Sorry for the rant. Triggered me a bit writing this.

I own nothing but the story idea, the characters are from Ryan Murphy, Glee and the folks at Fox who saw something that could be amazing and took a chance.

Kurt came awake slowly, trying to capture the last stray thought from a dream. But it was gone. The feeling of safety and love still resonated through his entire body. 'It must have been good. I sure wish I could remember it. I'll have to try to hold on to the feeling today when Karofsky pulls his usual crap.'

His alarm chose that moment to go off, so he turned it off and got up to shower and dress.

His dad walked in when he had just sat down to breakfast, and he quietly wished him a "Good morning kiddo."

"Morning dad. You were out late. Did you sleep well?" Kurt knew that if something really traumatizing had happened, his dad would have looked like he was dragged behind the tow truck himself. Since he looked fairly well rested, it was probably something simple.

"Well. I got pretty mucky last night. A car slid into a ditch and the water went over my boots when I went to lock on." A chagrined look crossed his face as he looked down at the frying pan for his eggs. "Dang, I don't think I actually put them on to soak last night. The mud has probably set now." He sighed. "Sorry Kurt."

"That's ok dad, I'll just go put them on to soak. I wasn't thinking or I would have checked when I got upstairs." He went over and rinsed his breakfast dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. "No worries, I'll see what I can do. You probably left the boots there too, right?"

"Sorry buddy, it was really late by the time I got in, I just wanted to go to sleep…. No dreams though." He paused for a second. "You must have been dreaming though. You were actually talking in your sleep when I went past. But you were sound asleep. When I looked, you had a pretty happy smile on your face." He sent an enquiring look toward his son. He was surprised to see a blush creep up Kurt's face. But he didn't comment, deciding to save him any further embarrassment.

"Oh, really? Hm. I don't really remember anything." Kurt couldn't believe he was blushing. And he didn't even really know why. I mean, it must have been a good dream because he woke up feeling so good, and happy. But surely it wasn't anything worth blushing over.

Kurt smiled at his dad, then went to deal with the laundry. Surveying the laundry room in dismay, looking at the muddy boot prints and foot prints, he just sighed. 'Wow, dad must have been really tired and stressed. He usually cleans up or takes things off before he comes in.' Since the floor needed cleaning, he pulled the clothes out of the sink, deciding to deal with the boots first so his dad could take them to work with him. Quickly rinsing them and giving them a fast scrub, they were finished and ready to go. He tucked them into a bag for his dad. He emptied the pockets as he filled the sink, added washing soda and detergent and popped the clothes in to soak. He looked at the clothes in the sink… 'Oh well, at least I have an excuse to do laundry again today if I get slushied again.' Mopping the floor quickly but thoroughly, he tossed the mop head in to soak too.

Kurt walked back in to give his dad a hug and then grab his things for school. "Bye dad, have a great day! I love you." He turned away quickly so his dad wouldn't see that his messenger bag was stuffed full. Kurt wanted to have extra clothes handy. It had felt terrible having to come home in the slushied clothing. He had to clean the Navigator as well as the clothes, and his bathroom, and the drips off the floor.

As he was driving to school, he realized that the calm, relaxed feeling was still with him. He actually felt like he might be able to get through his day. He was humming softly, his ipod still tucked in his bag not plugged in and playing as usual.

Stopping quickly at his locker, he shoved the bag of clothes inside, stuffed his Math and English books into his bag, slammed the locker door and turned to go to class. He caught sight of a field of red and white moving toward him, so he quickly turned and walked away. He could see Miss Pilsbury just ahead of him, so he half ran to catch up to her, correctly realizing that the jock bullies wouldn't pull anything if they could be seen. As he and Miss Pilsbury turned the corner toward his math class, he heard the unmistakable sound of ice slush sliding on plastic and squealing gasp immediately after.

Miss Pilsbury turned around to see what happened, and saw Mercedes Jones still standing in shock in the hallway as orange slushie dripped off her into a messy puddle on the floor. Emma could see people either snickering, pointing and jeering, or ashamedly hiding that they were peeking at Mercedes. She could see relief on some faces, and knew that people were glad they hadn't caught the bullies' attention today But no one stopped to help the poor girl just standing there. A group of 4 or 5 jocks were just scrambling around the far corner, pushing and shoving each other and laughing hard. Emma didn't bother calling out to them, she knew they would just ignore her anyway. She was just too quiet.

She walked over to Mercedes. "Mercedes, it's Miss Pilsbury." She had seen that Mercedes had her eyes closed to prevent any of the coloured liquid from getting in her eyes. Luckily, she had obviously managed to get her eyes closed in time, so she wouldn't have to look like she had been crying as well. "I'm going to help you get cleaned up. Come on." She took Mercedes' elbow and led her into the girls' bathroom just down the hall.

"Miss Pilsbury. The Glee Club is getting really tired of being the recipients of slushie facials every day." Mercedes sighed. "I only wear black now so that the stains don't show so badly…" she took the paper towels as she felt them touch her hand.

Emma just let her talk.

"I don't know how many outfits I have lost now. I pretty much stopped wearing anything pretty." She finally cleared enough that she could see. Looking directly at Miss Pilsbury, Mercedes continued. "Rachel Barry, Kurt Hummel and I get it the worst. The Cheerios seem to be mostly immune, and the jocks in Glee don't get it often. But we just seem to be fair game." Mercedes bent down and began pouring the water Miss Pilsbury had been temperature adjusting for her over her hair and face. She could feel water in handfuls pouring over the messy parts of her hair, and while she appreciated the help, it really wasn't helping that much. She splashed her face, rubbed a bit of soap all over, and then just rinsed it off. Kurt was probably going to scold her for not having proper cleanser or moisturizer, but she forgot it this morning. Mercedes took the handful of paper towel Miss Pilsbury was holding out for her.

As she blotted the water away, feeling for any sticky spots she might have missed, she looked directly at Miss Pilsbury. "Why are they allowed to do it. Why do the teachers not stop it? High School is supposed to be fun. It's supposed to be about finding your way and becoming an adult, deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life."

She glared, realized Miss Pilsbury was just looking sad and empathetic, and also was just letting her vent everything out. She realized she was shouting at the wrong person, and stopped, shoulders drooping a bit. "Sorry. We are just so tired of it all."

Suddenly the door opened, and they turned to see a dripping Tina Cohen-Chang being escorted in by Finn Hudson. "Umm… I'll just leave her to you. Sorry, gotta get to class. Plus, I'm not allowed in the girls' john, uh, bathroom." He gently pushed Tina towards the other 2. "Sorry Tina, and sorry I wasn't in time - I thought it was just the footballers, but the Hockey dudes decided they needed to tag someone too. And I just wasn't fast enough." He left them to cleaning up, after shrugging his shoulders and looking a 'sorry' at Mercedes, but not saying anything. After all, it hadn't been that long ago that Finn was part of the slushie crowd of tormentors, howling with laughter to see them with the coloured ice pouring over them.

"Come on Tina, let's get you started. It's Miss Pilsbury and Mercedes here. I was too late to stop Mercedes from getting hit this morning…"

The door opened again, and this time it was Rachel. Wearing purple Slushie. She had it on the side of her head and all over her front. "Oh, hi. Looks like we're all in for it today. Thank goodness the bell just went. At least everyone else gets a chance to miss out on the fun for now." She went over to the sink and Mercedes started helping Rachel get cleaned up, as Miss Pilsbury helped Tina.

"Miss Pilsbury, why can't something be done to stop them?"

"Well, unfortunately, the school district doesn't see slushies as a form of weapon. So they don't consider it a form of assault." Tina was busy scrubbing her face, so Emma grabbed paper towels for her to dry herself, passing a handful to Mercedes for Rachel.

"And they are good. They post lookouts and seem to be able to time it just right. So then it just becomes your word against theirs… and they seem to always do it in groups so they can alibi themselves and say they were somewhere else. And then it becomes your word against theirs." She realized she was babbling nervously, took a breath and continued calmly, "So Principle Figgins is not willing to do anything. Mr. Shuester and I have tried talking to him. But he just won't budge."

The girls all ducked into the stalls with wet and dry towels to change clothes and clean up. The all carried spares these days.

Miss Pillsbury continued talking while the girls were changing. "I am going to report this morning's incident. But don't expect anything to happen. Sorry girls." she paused for a second. "At least you are all getting into good hygiene routines from all the extra cleaning you have to do." Silence descended on the bathroom. Oops. "Sorry girls. That was not meant as a slight. It is just really important to start a good skin care and hygiene regimen early." Um. "I am going to go talk to Principle Figgins now. I am in my office if you want to talk more. " She spun to leave the bathroom. As she was getting ready to leave, holding paper towel in her hand to open the door, she called, "I hope your day gets better girls." And left.

A few seconds went by.

Someone snorted quietly and suddenly peals of laughter ran out from the 3 stalls.

"Oh god, I don't know what's worse, that or Kurt going on about the importance of moisturizing. And I know he's going to because I forgot mine today." Mercedes chuckled as she left the stall and went to rinse out her clothes and put them in a bag to take home.

"Oh, you can borrow mine. I have been getting slushied every day this week so I just left it in my bag," Tina said to her as she left to deal with her clothes.

Rachel came out wearing her gym shirt. She looked down at her white t-shirt. "Oh, this is going to look great if they decide that they need a canvas to fill. They'll probably grab multiple colours and try to imitate Van Gogh or someone." She looked up to meet the eyes of the other girls in the mirror. They all started laughing again, glad to have someone to share the moment and the torment.

"Ok, lets get to class."

They left to get on with their day.

Kurt had been having trouble concentrating on math, wondering if he should have just stayed to take his medicine, and who got it. He managed to finally convince himself that it was going to be ok, that Miss Pilsbury would have helped whoever it was, and there was nothing he could have done anyway, as he wasn't allowed in the girls' bathroom.

So he just focused on getting through math class, getting as much of the homework done in class as he could.

The rest of the day was more of the same, trying to avoid the jocks, turning and going the other way, even if it meant going way out of his way to get to class. So far it seemed to be working. The others had paired up, but he wasn't able to find anyone. Artie was not a good choice because being with him usually meant extra shushies for the other person. Some of them decided that it wasn't nice to pick on the kid in the wheelchair. So they doubled it up for the others to make up for it.

So, much as he liked Artie, he just couldn't face it. He was feeling too good, and he really wanted to see how long he could hold on to the feeling.

The Journey song "Don't Stop Believing" popped into his head as he thought the words.

Don't stop believin',

Hold on to the feelin'



Don't stop believin'

Hold on

And then the previous stanza popped into his head

Working hard to get my fill,

Everybody wants a thrill

Payin' anything to roll the dice,

Just one more time

Some will win, some will lose,

Some were born to sing the blues

Oh, the movie never ends

It goes on and on and on and on

Don't stop believin'

Hold on to that feelin

… strange, especially after dad asking him about dreaming and him not being able to remember anything about his dreams, just the residual feelings.

The bell rang, and as Kurt began to close his books, he realized he'd doodled a pair of eyes on his notebook while he'd been thinking about the song. They were amazing. Thick eyelashes, really deep, not to close set, not too far apart, and thick eyebrows above them. Very penetrating. And as he stood up to close his books, he realized that they looked as if they were following him. He hurriedly closed his books and shoved them into his bag, rushing to get to the next class as quickly as possible.

English was just a few doors down, so nothing usually happened, but he was thinking about the eyes, and Karofsky appeared out of nowhere and shoved him into the locker. But Kurt was close enough to the lockers that it hadn't really done anything, except bruise him more.

He just shook it off and continued on to class, looking down and missing the smirk Karofsky threw back at him over his shoulder. And completely missing the way the smirk faded when Kurt didn't react.

Kurt reached his English class and disappeared inside.

Lunch time, Kurt sat with the rest of the Glee kids. At least he didn't have to sit alone anymore. And none of them cared that he was the only out gay kid in the school. They just bickered over songs, sectionals, and solos. He snickered softly to himself as he looked fondly at his friends. Yes, Rachel and Mercedes were going at it today, but smiling, and Tina was adding to it. As he looked closer at them, he noticed that all of them had tight looking skin, or at least, something was different.

"Did you all forget to moisturize this morning? You know how important it is!" he began, only to stop when he saw them meet each other's eyes, then burst out laughing.

"Sorry Kurt, we aren't laughing at you!" Mercedes was quick to jump in when she saw the hurt look crossing his face.

"We just decided to add another couple of levels to our routine this morning when they got all 3 of us with slushies. Mine was orange, so was Tina's but poor Rachel they got with grape. She still smells of it." Rachel grabbed the hair over her ear and pulled it around to smell it.

"Ooh yuck, you're right Tina. I thought I got it all out."

Kurt sighed. "No, the only way that happens is when you shampoo it out. It must be the combination of high fructose corn syrup, food dyes and the ice to lock it into the cells of your hair. The hot water and shampoo releases it." He looked up at them all, smiling sadly

"Yes, you would know, wouldn't you, boo?" Mercedes reached over and gave him a hug. He returned it, whispering, "I'm sorry I ran off, I just couldn't take it this morning. I woke up feeling really good and wanted to keep it going as long as I could. I didn't see you or I would have walked with you."

She whispered back, "No, that's ok. You deserve a break, and a little happiness. I saw they got you after school yesterday." She continued in a louder voice. "Miss Pilsbury helped me, then Finn came in with Tina and Rachel showed up just after that. Miss Pilsbury was going to report it to Figgins," she laughed sadly, "like that's gonna help." She met everyone's eyes, "But at least she's trying."

Kurt nodded in agreement. "Yes, and if we can't prove who did it, they don't care about the bruises and the ruined clothes." He got to his feet, appetite gone. "I'm gonna go get homework done in the library. Karofsky isn't allowed in. See you later. Are we still on for Friday 'Cedes?"

"Sleepover central! Can't wait." She grinned at him.

"Me neither. Bye everyone," he waved as he quickly moved off, sliding between folks and constantly scanning as he hurried to the library. He didn't see the worried eyes of his friends follow him until he was out of sight. Kurt knew he could wait until the warning bell rang, then head to class. That would minimize the chances of someone finding him. It didn't matter if he was late. He'd even take detention if it meant no slushies, swirlies, locker shoves, being locked in a porta-john, or tossed in a dumpster. Or any combination of the above.

He reached the library, missing the fact that Karofsky had been moving silently down the hall behind him. But Karofsky knew not to go into the library. So he figured he'd just have to wait until later to get the little faggot. Served him right for flaunting himself, staring at all the guys, trying to make them all gay like him. Flaming homo.

He turned and stalked off down the hall looking for Azimio.

"I haven't been able to get Hummel all day," he said as he downed the last of his cherry slushie.

"What is your beef with the little queer anyway?" Azimio looked at him curiously. "It's like every day this week you've been going out of your way to find him and get 'im?" He raised an eyebrow at Karofsky.

Karofsky just smirked as he tossed his cup into the trash. "He just deserves it. Looking at all of us in the locker room, checking out all our junk. Probably trying to figure out who he'd like. It just makes me sick. He's so proud of the fact that he's gay. That he likes dudes instead of chicks." He sneered. "That's just so wrong. Gross, just gross." He shuddered. The bell rang just then signaling time for football class. "Come on, let's go. Can't be late or Beiste will kill us." The jogged off to the locker room.

"Hey Karofsky, why don't we just toss him in the dumpster instead. It still messes up his prissy clothes. He won't want to prance around in front of people reeking of garbage." Azimio saw Karofsky smile evily and high fived him. Hudson walked up to them aggressively.

"Who are you throwin in the trash?"

"None of your business or we might just make it you!" Karofsky said to him, getting up into Finn's face. "Shove off."

"Why don't you guys just grow up!" Finn yelled at them, but just then Coach Beist walked in and broke it up to get started. "This isn't finished Karofsky,"Finn told him quietly as they headed onto the field.

But Karofsky let a few through to Finn and smiled smuggly at him when he was thoroughly sacked. He and Azimio high fived and swatted each other on the ass as they left the field. Poor Finn was taken aside for a talk by Coach Beiste. So he was running late and didn't get a chance to find out more about the poor kid they were tossing in the dumpster. Hopefully not one of his friends.

Kurt left school alone and hurried to his vehicle, keys in hand ready to go.

But he hadn't managed to get very far when someone lunged at him from the bushes, throwing something smelly over his head, and he was suddenly tackled to the ground.

"Figures, the footballers just had practice and obviously didn't have enough," he muttered to himself.

"You say something in there Princess?" Karofsky. Kurt froze.

And was suddenly flying through the air with multiple pairs of hands holding him roughly, immobilizing him so he couldn't even struggle. He'd have hand prints all over him from their grip. One of them even had their hands all over his ass. Gross.

Suddenly Kurt head the clang of the dumpster lid being tossed. He tried to struggle, but - no use. He was flying through the air to land on the trash bags, most of them breaking open when his body explosively forced the air out. But hands were pulling and tugging him, rolling him around in the crap, shoving him down deeper inside - while holding his hands so he couldn't fight. And all of this was done without any words being spoken so the only one he could identify was Karofsky - who he couldn't really identify because of whatever they had over his head.

The lid clanged down, hurting his ears, and then something else dropped on the lid. "Oh No - NO - NO - Let me out! This is just too disgusting - it's going to ruin my Marc Anthony…."

Hands started pounding on the metal of the bin, then he could hear sticks and rocks banging on it.

Kurt started to cry softly. "Why am I going through this. Why does it matter that I like guys? I don't like any of them. The thought of even trying to date on of those Neanderthals just makes me want to heave!"

Kurt curled up into a little ball, thinking, "Please, just make it stop. I don't care. Just make it stop. I can't do this anymore. I can't take this." He sobbed brokenly for a few minutes. "I was so happy this morning. So peaceful. If this is what peace brings, then maybe I don't want it. Why is this happening! What did I ever do to deserve this?! Really, just because I like boys. And I don't like girls." He was actually thankful for whatever they had put over his head. It blocked most of the smell out but still let him breathe.

He knew that there was no point in trying to leave, he'd just have to wait until he heard the janitor come to empty the last of the trash. This was such a common occurrence that he knew every way to get out of it.

Or maybe someone would just happen to walk this way. And if he could get their attention, maybe they'd let the little gay kid out of the dump.

Kurt just lay there, feeling stuff soaking into his clothes, knowing they were just going into the trash when he got home. He had started keeping towels in the laundry room so he didn't have to walk naked through the house to take a shower. He chuckled a bit at the memory of his father coming home early and walking in on Kurt wandering through the house naked except for his ipod. So he hadn't even heard his father. They agreed that it was best to use robes or towels from now on to save each other any embarrassment.

As he lay there, finally calming down as the pounding stopped, he heard Karofsky telling him to "Enjoy your new castle Princess, you're going to be spending a lot of time in it." He just lay there breathing shallowly through his mouth and tried his best to recapture the feelings from this morning.

'I sure wish I could remember what I was dreaming about. I mean, really, I even blushed when dad asked me about dreams, so it must have been good.'

He lay there quietly, listening intently for the sounds of anyone walking. He reached a foot out experimentally, trying to feel for the side of the bin. Maybe if he kicked in a beat, someone would hear him and come help. After all, people in the school knew that this was happening. And some even tried to help. Not the teachers or the administration. No, that wasn't fair. Mr. Shue tried to help him every time he had found Kurt lately.

"OK, what am I really doing here. So I am out and proud of it. What does that mean? Where is it going to take me?" He thought quietly for a minute.

"I know that I am not the only one in the school who is gay. I just happen to be the only one with the courage to be open about it. I couldn't let the girls try to date me. That just isn't something I can do. I can't hurt them that way.

I let people know that it's ok to be different.

I also show people that no matter what they do to me, it isn't going to change who I am, or even change the fact that I'm gay and different.

But basically, all I can do in the end is just be me. Totally awesome. Fashion fabulous. Friend. I try to live life like I hope my mom would have wanted. I know life is too short, that we have to do everything we can to stay true to ourselves and not let life break us down." His foot was now kicking rhythmically against the side of the bin, tapping to "Don't Stop Believin" but he wasoblivious, lost in his thoughts.

Suddenly, he heard someone muttering outside and then heard the welcome sound of whatever had been blocking the lid being moved. Kurt started to sit up, but felt himself sinking into the muck so he just stayed put, hoping that whoever was out there wouldn't mind offering him a hand out.

As he heard the lid being flung back, he yelled, "Oh, Thank You!" to whoever was out there.

"Kurt?! Dang. I wish I'd known they were going for you. I would have warned you to hide out for a bit." Kurt heard the welcome voice of Finn Hudson. He held a hand out toward his voice.

"Do you mind pulling me? I can brace my feet on the box, but when I tried to move, I just sank in. So I waited."

"Sure man. Hang on." He felt Finn grab his right hand with his right hand, the left wrapping around Kurt's wrist and grabbing on tight… more bruises. Suddenly, Kurt was flying up toward what he knew to be the side of the bin. Finn had let go of his hand when he had heaved Kurt up, and all of a sudden Kurt was caught by Finn's hands on either side of his chest and lifted effortlessly out of the bin.

"WHOA, when did you get so strong!"

"Sorry, I guess I was just so pissed at this happening… You ok?" Suddenly whatever had been around his head was gone, tossed into the trash before he could get a look at it.

He looked over at Finn. And smiled. Finn looked so adorable standing there looking sheepishly at him. "Thanks Finn. I'd hug you, but then we'd both be covered and we'd both be out of an outfit…" he looked over at Finn's t-shirt and jeans…"Hm, well, one of us would be out of an outfit, the other would just have rags for cleaning." He smiled at Finn to show he was joking, and Finn laughed and clapped him lightly on the shoulder, not noticing that Kurt flinched

"Come on, lets get you inside and maybe cleaned up - do you have any clothes?"

Kurt sighed, and spoke as they headed for the locker room showers. "Yes, they have shushied me multiple times a day this week so I started bringing 2 or 3 sets a day." He looked down at himself sadly, "well, I think I might start dressing down a little bit, maybe that's what just sets them off. They can't stand fashionable guys."

"No Kurt. I like you. Just as you are. I mean, no matter what, you just keep going." Finn put a hand up to the back of his neck and rubbed nervously and looked at him uncertainly as he continued. "I am really sorry I ever slushied you Kurt. I hope you know that." He looked at his feet as they walked. "I think I just wanted to see if I could rile you up. You always stayed so calm, nothing flustered you. You just did your thing, wore what you wanted, talked to all the girls," he paused for a sec, almost tripping, "Huh. I guess I never thought of that. You always had all the girls hanging around you." He chuckled nervously. "Hm. Maybe I was subconsciously punishing you for that." He took a deep breath. "Well, no matter what, I hope you know that I consider you to be a friend now… especially since our parents are dating." By this point they had reached the locker rooms, thankfully finding the outside door still unlocked. They heard Beiste humming something country western in her office, but snuck over to the showers. Finn sat down with his back to Kurt and continued.

"I know things got a bit weird between you and me, and I'm sorry I ever used those words. Burt set me straight. So I am going to look out for you."

Kurt was showering, hoping that it would get most of the stuff off, knowing he'd just be having another one at home to make sure everything was removed. He shuddered at the thought of what he might have on him, glad he hadn't looked inside the bin.

"Finn, I don't think there's anything you can do. They are intent on destroying the Glee club, and I guess I am just too different. I don't care. They can't change who I am. I fully accept myself. My dad helps me with that. My mom helped me with that. Even your mom helps. So all I can do is just be me. I am not going to change myself. I am done hiding. But I am still going to avoid them if I can. I will try to tone it down just a bit at school, saving my extraordinary outfits for after school and weekends. But that's all I am going to do. I have to be who I am. But I can't wait to get out of this crappy town. I am going to miss my dad. But… and my friends of course. But I am not going to miss these narrow minded, crass pieces of work who between them couldn't come up with an original thought if it walked up and bit them on the ass." He started laughing when he heard Finn laugh.

"I mean it. They just fear something different. It's not like homosexuality and even transgendered and cross-dressing hasn't been around for thousands of years. It exists in nature across all species. It existed in Egypt, in Rome, in all the major civilizations, and especially during the Renaissance. They tried to stop it during the witch burning times." He looked over his shoulder at his almost maybe brother. "You remember you used the term 'faggoty'. And you remember how upset my dad was?"

Finn looked around at him, laughter gone. He could see that Kurt was struggling with what he was going to say. "Yes. He chewed me a new one and kicked me out."

"Well, during the times when they burned witches, do you know what they did if they thought the fire wasn't hot enough?" Tears were forming in his eyes at the thought he was speaking.

Finn shook his head, not looking away from Kurt's eyes.

"They used to throw homosexuals on the fire. They called pieces of wood in England, still do in fact, "faggots of wood" and so homosexuals became known as "Faggots". Throw another "faggot" on the fire to make it burn hot enough to kill the witch. Let her feel what hell is gonna be like." He stopped, swallowing at the image.

"I'm glad they don't burn witches, and I'm glad that isn't common knowledge any more. I looked it up when I was little and people were calling me that in middle school." He wiped a tear away, then just turned his face into the water. He was done. He nodded to Finn, and was surprised to see a tear in Finn's eye as he turned away. Finn grabbed Kurt's mucky clothes and dumped them in the trash, tying the bag shut so no one would know. Hopefully the janitor wasn't finished in here, otherwise it might be smellier than usual in here… then again, it would serve them right. He smiled maliciously at the thought.

Kurt dried and dressed quickly, just wanting to get away and go home. He wanted to just go down to his room, shower again and then put on a musical to get his mind off the day. He didn't want his dad to know what happened. "Don't tell my dad or your mom what happened." He grabbed his stuff, walking toward the door, thankful that in all the struggles he hadn't dropped his car keys and the bullies hadn't realized they were in his hand. He would have been dumpster diving trying to find his keys just to get home.

Finn looked uncertainly at Kurt. "You sure? This was pretty serious. Your dad would be mad."

"Exactly. I don't want to worry him. He doesn't know everything that goes on here."

Finn realized Kurt was talking about the bruises that Finn had seen all over his back and arms, and especially the hand prints showing up from today. Finn was going to have a chat with Puckerman to see if they could do a little bit to help Kurt out. It wasn't fair.

"Ok dude. But if it keeps happening, I am telling." He glared at Kurt. (But he didn't realize that he wouldn't be able to do much to help, and in fact knew nothing of what Kurt was really going through)

They had reached the parking lot, their two cars being the only ones left in the lot. Kurt held his hand out to Finn, but Finn grabbed him and pulled him in for a fast hug. "Stay loose man. See ya tomorrow in Glee." He waved, got in his car and drove off.

Kurt watched him go sadly. He was glad that his crush on a guy that was nice to him hadn't amounted to anything. At least they could hopefully be friends. He got in his Navigator and drove home. When he got there, he threw his dad's clothes in the wash, started a casserole for dinner and went to shower again.

He sat down to get his homework finished, completing everything while dinner cooked. He ate a solitary meal, hoping his dad would come home, and at the same time, hoping he wouldn't. His dad would be able to tell that it had been a bad day. But thankfully Burt didn't come home until later, and all he did was yell down the stairs that he was home, and "I love you, thanks for dinner Buddy!" "I love you back," Kurt yelled up, but stayed watching "Singing in the Rain," snuggling into the pillows on his couch, wrapped up in his favorite blanket. Glad to be alone.

When the movie finished, Kurt changed for bed and went to sleep really early for him. But he was exhausted. He fell asleep almost immediately.

But he didn't realize that he had started crying in his sleep. The things Karofsky said as he was walking away ran through his head on endless repeat. "Enjoy your new castle Princess, you're going to be spending a lot of time in it." 'No. NO. I just can't do it. Why? What did I ever do to them? Why do they insist on tormenting me. And the others, but just me. I get it worse that everyone. Just for being me. I can't take it anymore. The only thing keeping me here is my dad. And the thought of getting out of this one thought town.' Kurt sank deeper into sleep, and then drifted into REM and dreaming.

"I will be with you always. No matter where you are, I'll find you. No matter what we have to go through. I will love you forever. You complete me. You make me better. You make us better. Our love is for always. And Eternity," a dreamy voice resonated through Kurt's mind. He tried to identify the voice, but it wasn't one he recognized.

"I will find you. Stay strong. Stay true."


"It was promised."