Pairing/Chars: Kurt, Blaine, Sebastian, Burt (mentions of the rest of the cast)
Rating: PG-13 for mature themes- heed the warnings
Summary: Movie AU "The Final Cut".
In the movie, some people (not everyone) get memory implants in their brain at birth that records everything that person sees/hears in their life. When they die, the memory material is taken to a professional cutter who watches it all on fast forward to select a 'best of' cut to represent that person's life, as a memory for the family and to be shown at the funeral. The Cutters are forbidden to speak of the things they see (because they see *everything*). The movie has a very exciting plot which I will not use for this fic- I only 'borrow' the idea of the memory implants and the Cutters.
Warnings: (implied) character death / suicide attempt (not Finn, though Finn has already passed in this fic), homophobic remarks, domestic abuse. Not Blaine-friendly.
The Final Cut
The Life Movie hasn't even started yet, but most of the mourners are already crying anyway. Rachel is clutching Santana and sobbing hysterically, the only one to voice out loud what everyone is thinking: 'Why?' Burt sits stone-faced in the front, clutching Carole's hand. This is the second time in one year they are burying a son. It seems like an impossible burden, something that should not be allowed. The universe is askew; they are the older generation, they ought to go first. Blaine is standing by the casket. Married at 18, widowered at 19, it seems he has aged visibly.
As everyone is seated, Blaine, not Burt, takes the word. "I want to thank you all for coming," he says softly, and squares his shoulders to look straight into his audience. "What do you say when you lose a soulmate? Is there anything you can say? To lose Kurt so soon feels like a part of me has died with him. I am incomplete, forever." He smiles sadly. "I will always remember him as he was, that wonderful, wonderful lost boy at the top of the staircase, asking for my help." His smile fades. "I'm sorry I couldn't help you now, Kurt. I'm so, so sorry." He takes a moment to compose himself and then presents a shaky show-smile. "I am proud to say I am personal friends with Sebastian Smythe, the youngest and most talented Cutter EyeTech has ever employed, and he was willing to compile Kurt's Life Movie, so we may remember and celebrate those events that made Kurt so special." He nods to the back of the room, where Sebastian stands with his hands modestly clasped in front of him, a classical Warbler pose. The lights go out and Kurt's memory film starts.
The first moments are standard, included in almost every EyeTech life movie- a slightly blurry view and two adoring adults cooing down at the camera. Burt holds Carole's hand tightly as he watches a younger version of himself with his first wife, a vision of beauty and exhausted pride, stare at their newborn son. A few more glimpses of family bliss- then a ballet studio, and a group of pretty young girls all dressed in pink and frilly tutus. A girl with blonde curls turns around to face the camera.
"You can't wear a tutu," she says. "You're a boy."
"Can too," says a voice off-camera. Kurt.
"No, it's for girls," the girl says with the self-assurance that comes with four-year olds, and grabs at him. Kurt yells and pulls her hair.
"Kurt! Stop that at once!" a stern voice shrieks, and a pair of legs steps into Kurt's vision. He slowly looks up into the face of his teacher towering over him. "Don't tease the other girls. I mean, the girls. Go stand in the corner."
"Now, Kurt." The teacher turns her back and counts down, starting the ballet music again. Small feet under a fluffy pink tutu shuffle to the side of the room, where they practise second and third position in time with the music.
A few whispers go through the mourners, but they are quickly distracted by the sight of a bright hospital waiting room. "Let's go home, son," a grief-stricken Burt says, holding out his hand to Kurt.
"I wanna wait for mom," he says, and Burt visibly breaks down both on screen as off-screen at the memorial.
"Hey Hummel, you wanna know why your mom died?" a boy in the playground taunts. Kurt's vision turns away, and he is taking swift strides away from the group. "It's because she didn't want a sissy for a son!" the voice calls after him, and Kurt's vision blurs.
The background music changes into a fast-paced beat, and the following scenes are short, flashing over the screen. Boys taller than Kurt heaving him up and into a dumpster; over and over. It's not one scene on repeat- Kurt's point of view show the passing days by the colour of the sky and the clothes he is wearing. Slushies in all colours of the rainbow come flying at him, interspersed by scenes of Kurt looking into the mirror at the boys' bathroom, wiping coloured ice water from his hair and his eyes. The younger reflections show him crying, but as he ages, the sadness is replaced by boredom and annoyance. In one shot, Finn is handing him paper towels and is awkwardly patting his back.
The Hummels' livingroom.
"Dad, can I get some money for a new jacket?"
"Hey, what happened to that white jacket you begged me to get last month?" Burt asks sternly. "I never see you wearing it."
"It's- …no one wears white anymore dad, it's totally passé."
"Yeah well, it was very expensive, Kurt. I'm sorry, but you're gonna have to get over yourself and wear it or get a job to pay for a new one. You can help out at the shop."
In a dimly lit shot behind the house, Kurt's hands push a torn and slushy-stained white jacket deep into the trashcan.
More McKinley High: Sue Sylvester making jokes at his expense, Mr Schuester criticising his song choices and his attitude. The Glee boys snickering. Jocks bumping into Kurt, slamming him into lockers. A haunting mirror-view of Kurt at home, looking over his naked shoulder at his reflection, pale fingers ghosting over a palette of bruises on his shoulder blades.
Several of the old and new New Directions shuffle in their seats and look at each other.
Soft piano music, and a marble staircase full of uniformed boys rushing by. An audible sigh goes through the mourners as they finally understand Sebastian's angle for the movie: Kurt's life sucked until he met Blaine. Blaine sits up a little straighter in the front row. Everyone breathes out in relief as they watch a young Blaine introduce himself and drag Kurt through the halls of Dalton to see the Warblers. A few scenes are sped up as a special effect: lots of Blaine singing and dancing, until the video slows down to slow-motion as Blaine leans in for a kiss. The video pauses there for a moment, and then speeds up again. Kurt makes sexy faces at a mirror with Blaine sitting next to him. (Some of the mourners laugh until they remember they are at a funeral.) Blaine transferring to McKinley. Blaine getting the musical lead. Blaine dancing with Sebastian.
Burt glances over at Blaine and frowns. Blaine is looking a little fidgety. The sound of his son's protests draw Burt's eyes back to the screen in time to see Blaine, glassy-eyed and bowtie undone, grab at Kurt from the back seat of Kurt's car. Carole has to hold Burt back by his arm as the video continues to show Blaine yelling at Kurt and more of that by now familiar blurred vision and tear drops falling onto the steering wheel.
The narrative continues, unrelentingly showing all the things that Kurt took in his stride the past years. Losing the class presidency. Getting yelled at by Blaine for texting another guy. Not getting into NYADA.
"I was with someone."
Burt rises from his seat, but is pulled down and shushed by Carole. Blaine is looking over his shoulder to find Sebastian, but he's no longer standing in the back of the hall. Some people are talking out loud now, and are starting to get visibly upset. As they listen to Burt's speech to Kurt about Blaine's proposal, followed by a few clips of the wedding, it's clear that this is no longer a memorial video- it's an accusation. They are drawn to the flickering screen, unable to look away. It's like watching a car head towards a cliff in first-person view.
The music ends abruptly as Blaine backhands Kurt for the first time. He looks furious and frightening, his dark eyebrows half-obscuring his eyes. The next clip shows him offering a half-hearted apology and a promise to work on himself, within the premise that Kurt tries harder at making their marriage work, too. A series of mirror-shots follows. They are eerily similar to the slushy clips, only now Kurt is wiping blood from his face, and in one shot, using tweezers to extract small bits of glass from his scalp.
Carole can no longer hold Burt down, and he strides over to Blaine, pulling him from his seat and punching him in the face. Blaine goes down, and Burt continues punching him, roaring with anger and pain. Several of the men run towards them, and struggle to keep Kurt's dad from killing Blaine while the video freezes on one last shot: the edge of a bathtub with a row of neatly arranged items. Kurt's phone. A hairbrush. His wedding ring, and a pack of razor blades.
Suddenly, the lights go on. A gasp goes through the crowd. Some scream. One or two slump in their seats. When Burt finally calms down enough to look at what's going on around him, he sees his son stand in front of the casket, supported by Sebastian. His eyes are bandaged, and Sebastian is whispering something at him. At his directions, Kurt moves his head towards his father.
"I'm sorry, dad," he says quietly. "But you wouldn't have believed me if I told you. I needed you to see. I needed you all to see."
"Kurt…" Burt lets out, his voice strangled. "Kurt, baby, what did you do to yourself?" Not a fool to modern technology, Burt knows the answer, though he is struggling to process it. This is not some kind of apparition. Kurt is alive - but he sacrificed his eyesight so that they would finally see what they had been ignoring for years.
Kurt shrugs. "It was the only way to access the chip. But it's okay. Sebastian has cut all of my memories of mom for you, dad. And Carole? I can show you my favourite things about Finn."
Carole is sobbing into her hands. Even in his desperation to be heard, Kurt never stopped thinking about his family.
"I need to rest now," Kurt announces. "Blaine? Are you there?"
"Yeah," Blaine croaks from the floor, stemming a bleeding nose. Puck, Sam and Mike are holding him down and preventing him from getting up.
"I was technically braindead for a few seconds during the operation. Till death do us part. We're over."