A/N: This is super-extra-duper AU; complete with evil stepmother (that's right, going all Cinderella up on this bitch) and dead Burt (sad face. Sorry, guys). I might not update often (being a college student is tough) but I'll aim for once a week at least. But that's being optimistic.

Rated T for mentions of abuse and salty language. No, there will be no smut; I don't do that.

Chapter 1

*March 12, 2012, 10:24pm:_uglyduckling_ is now available*

willinginfamy: You okay? I haven't seen you on in a while.

_uglyduckling_: Yeah, I'm okay.

willinginfamy: I know it may be easier to lie over the internet, but I can still tell you're lying.

_uglyduckling_: I'm fine.

willinginfamy: You liar; what happened?

Kurt's fingers hovered over the keys. His mysterious best friend had once again called him out and was waiting for his answer. He didn't usually lie to him, but something made him hesitate this time. He decided on the partial truth.

_uglyduckling_: They're not letting me graduate this year.

willinginfamy: …You're joking.

_uglyduckling_: I've missed too many days. I have to do my senior year over again.

willinginfamy: Bullshit. Your grades are perfect.

_uglyduckling_: That doesn't matter. School policy.

willinginfamy: So, basically, what you're saying is you're stuck in Wherever-You-Are, Ohio for another year…

willinginfamy: You're 18, you should move out.

_uglyduckling_: With what money? I'm scoffing at you, rich boy. You might be able to buy your own place, but some of us live a little less luxuriously.

willinginfamy: I told you, I can talk to my dad. If you sue you could be rich.

_uglyduckling_: I seriously doubt I could afford to hire your father.

_uglyduckling_: And don't say he'll do it for free or anything. I don't need charity.

willinginfamy: You're too proud, Duckling. You need help. Let me help you, please.

"Kurt!" Veronica's screech echoed down the stairs. He winced.

_uglyduckling_: I have to go.

_uglyduckling_: You already are helping me.

*10:37pm _uglyduckling_ is unavailable*

Sebastian sighed. It didn't feel like he was helping at all. He had to find his duckling. He had to do something.

"Hummel. Get lost in the clothing store again? I'll help you; the boys section is labeled 'boys'." Kurt looked up in irritation. Could he never get a few minutes peace at the Lima Bean?

"Congratulations, Smythe, you finally learned to spell," he paused, "and read." Sebastian Smythe smirked. As usual, Kurt thought.

"Apparently you haven't. I keep thinking you're a girl from behind," he returned.

"That'll keep you from being attracted to me, Heaven forbid," Kurt gasped. He sipped his coffee dismissively.

"Oh, no need to worry about that, I assure you," Sebastian said. Kurt nodded shortly.

"Good," he snapped.

"So, where's Mr. Too-Good-For-You Anderson?" Sebastian asked, clearly not done talking. Kurt sighed in exasperation.

"Not here."

"Obviously. Thank you, Kurt," he said sarcastically.

"You're welcome; I thought you'd need the help," Kurt replied airily. Sebastian snorted. "Now, if you'll excuse me," he said, getting up. Sebastian still stood in front of him. He raised an eyebrow. "Move, Smythe."

"Manners, manners," Sebastian tutted. He stepped aside. Kurt rolled his eyes and brushed past, leaving Sebastian smirking behind him.

Sebastian descended into the chair Kurt had just vacated. It was still warm.

He hadn't failed to notice the limp in his step as he'd left. His stare-worthy ass made it hard not to notice his walk. Something was off about him, too. His usual snark wasn't there. His retorts were right on key, but it was more as though he was going through the motions. Something tickled the back of his mind, but he didn't quite make the connection before a leggy red-head entered his view. Now those were legs he could see opening for him…

*March 14, 2012, 9:47am willinginfamy is now available*

_uglyduckling_: Don't you have class?

willinginfamy: I ought to ask you the same thing.

_uglyduckling_: Study hall. What's your excuse?

willinginfamy: It's just French class.

_uglyduckling_: Shouldn't you be paying attention?

willinginfamy: I already speak French.

_uglyduckling_: Really?

willinginfamy: Sure do. I lived in France for a while.

_uglyduckling_: That's cool.

willinginfamy: Yeah. I miss France a lot. But nice subject changer. You still haven't told me why you disappeared for so long.

_uglyduckling_: Haven't I? That's interesting.

willinginfamy: Come on, Duckling. You can tell me.

_uglyduckling_: It's nothing, really.

willinginfamy: We haven't spoken since Christmas break, Ducky. That's two months.

_uglyduckling_: That is a while.

willinginfamy: Yeah, it is, so what's up?

Kurt rubbed his hand against the bruise hiding beneath his scarf. It was getting a little warm for scarves. He shuddered slightly just thinking about what had happened in those months. He looked up as Rachel flounced over. He tucked his phone into his pocket.

"You okay, Kurt?" she asked. He nodded and smiled.

"Did you choose your song for Glee club this week?" he asked, turning the conversation to Rachel's favorite topic: herself.

"Yep. I'm going to do…" Kurt stopped listening as his phone vibrated again.

willinginfamy: Duckling, you there?

_uglyduckling_: Yeah, I had to do actual work.

willinginfamy: I'm shocked! Work, in study hall! Blasphemy!

_uglyduckling_: Lol. That's what I thought.

"Kurt, Kurt. Are you listening?" Rachel demanded. He looked up from his phone.

"Yeah, sorry, keep going," he said, folding his hands and looking up at her.

"Who are you always texting anyway?" She smiled, looking too innocent. "A new suitor?"

"No," Kurt scoffed. He didn't even know Infamy's name.

"I'm so sure," she smirked. "Hand it over."

"No," he said shortly.

"Fine, but stop chatting to him while we're having a conversation, please."

"Sorry, Rach."

_uglyduckling_: Sorry, I have to go.

willinginfamy: Fine. We'll talk later?

_uglyduckling_: Of course.

willinginfamy: Goodbye, Duckling.

_uglyduckling_: Bye, Infamy.

*10:02am _uglyduckling_ is unavailable.*