Kurt groggily opened his eyes, wincing slightly in pain as his body regained consciousness.
"Am I dead?" he wondered aloud. His head hurt. It felt like it was splitting in two.
"No, you're not dead," a familiar voice chuckled. Kurt blinked in surprise as he turned his head and found Jeff sitting beside him.
"You're still very much alive, my friend," he smiled.
"W-Where am I?" Kurt asked, wearily bringing his hand to his aching head. He gently touched the spot that hurt the most and winced.
"Careful, you've got a mighty scratch there," Jeff warned, gently easing Kurt's hand down away from his face. "It's best not to touch it. Don't want it to get infected or anything. And to answer your question, you're back at camp."
"Why?" Kurt sputtered, sitting up sharply. The action made spikes of pain shoot through his head.
"Whoa, Kurt," Jeff exclaimed with concern. "Easy there. Just lie back down now. You got a slight concussion when you fell."
"When I fell?" Kurt echoed, confused, as he laid back down.
"Kurt, don't you remember what happened?" Jeff asked cautiously. Kurt blinked, trying hard to recall his last memory.
And then it all came flooding back.
"Dad!" he cried out, sitting up again. He moved too quickly and suddenly the room was spinning around him, which combined with the already splitting ache in his head.
"Kurt, relax!" Jeff said sharply, forcing him to lie back down.
"What happened?" Kurt demanded frantically. "Where's my dad? If you hurt him-"
"We didn't touch your dad," another voice said. Kurt instantly bristled at the sound of it.
"You!" Kurt snarled, turning his attention on the man who was now standing at the entrance to the tent he was lying in. "Where is my father?!"
"Probably back in town by now," Blaine shrugged, unphased by Kurt's aggression. "Planning your funeral, I'd guess."
"My what?" Kurt gaped. "But I'm not dead!"
"No," Blaine smirked, moving further into the tent. "But he believes you are. That, my dear boy, is how we made Hummel pay. We warned him that we would kill you if he didn't follow our commands."
"But I'm not dead," Kurt pointed out warily.
"No, you're much too pretty to kill," Blaine grinned. "It would have been such a waste."
Kurt was silent for a moment before he spoke again.
"Why?" Kurt asked softly.
"Why what?" Blaine asked curiously.
"Why me?" Kurt asked, looking Blaine in the eye for the first time. Blaine was taken aback by the tears in Kurt's eyes. His heart clenched uncomfortably at the sight and he had the sudden urge to take Kurt in his arms, hold him tightly, and whisper that everything was going to be alright.
It took everything in him to resist that urge.
"I guess that you just got the short end of the stick," Blaine shrugged, suddenly moving back away towards the doors. "Jeff, tend to him. As soon as he's well enough to be moved, inform me immediately."
"Yes, Sir," Jeff nodded before Blaine swiftly left the tent, leaving Jeff alone with Kurt.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, the only sound being the few small sobs that escaped Kurt's lips.
"Kurt-" Jeff started to say after what felt like an eternity.
"Don't!" Kurt cut him off sharply. "Just, don't."
Kurt rolled over slightly, moving slowly as to not agitate his pounding head, so that his back was now facing Jeff.
Jeff sighed heavily as he stared at Kurt's back.
"I know that you don't want to hear this right now," Jeff started to say. "But I think that you'll really come to like this place. We're not the brutal, ruthless people that you think we are."
"Could have fooled me," Kurt muttered softly, making Jeff sigh again.
"Trust me, Kurt," Jeff said softly. "Give it time. It will get better."
"How?" Kurt scoffed. "My father believes that I'm dead, I'm going to be trapped here forever by perverts led by a psychotic man who's nothing but a liar and a thief, and I'm never going to see my friends or family ever again! How in the world do you ever think that it's going to get better?!"
Jeff didn't reply. He couldn't. He didn't know how to.
They were silent again for a while until Kurt spoke up again, this time in a softer voice.
"How did you do it?" he asked quietly.
"Do what?" Jeff asked, inching closer to hear him better.
"How did you make my dad believe that I was dead?" Kurt replied softly, slowly turning back over so that he was looking at Jeff again. He spoke almost hesitantly, like as if he didn't really want to know the answer.
"That stop we made?" Jeff sighed, avoiding contact with Kurt's eyes. "I lied about why we stopped. We stopped to hunt a deer. They made a pouch from its skin and filled it with its blood. Then we tied that around your neck."
Kurt winced at the memory of the soft thing being tied around his neck. At least he knew what it had been now.
"The colour matched your skin pretty good, considering how pale you are," Jeff continued. "So then all Blaine had to do was slit the pouch, making it look like it was your blood being spilt, while simultaneously squeezing a pressure point to make you faint. And thus, you died before everyone's eyes."
Jeff paused for a minute and let out a weary sigh.
"Unfortunately, you fell kind of funny and hit your head on the ground," Jeff admitted. "That's why your head hurts so much. That wasn't supposed to happen. We just didn't realize how fragile you were."
"I'm not weak," Kurt retorted sharply.
"I never said weak," Jeff objected. "I said fragile. Those are two very different things."
"Whatever," Kurt huffed, falling into silence again.
"Jeff?" he said quietly after a minute.
"Yeah, Kurt?" Jeff replied.
"What are you going to do with me?" Kurt asked hesitantly. "Now that everyone thinks I'm dead, no one will be looking for me, trying to make an exchange to get me back. So what use do you have for keeping me?"
"We're not going to kill you, Kurt," Jeff replied instantly, knowing where Kurt's thoughts were going. "And honestly? I don't really know. Blaine's the Boss. He'll be the one to decide."
Kurt involuntarily shivered at the thought of that beautiful monster having control over his fate.
Wait, beautiful? Where did that come from?
"If you want my guess though?" Jeff continued on. "I'd say that you'd probably become a part of the camp life here."
"Wait, so you're saying that I'd become one of you?" Kurt said in alarm.
"I guess so," Jeff chuckled lightly. "Welcome to the Warblers, Kurt."
Blaine was a mess. How could a pair of tear-filled eyes make him this weak at the knees? How could those beautiful, glistening orbs make his insides melt like that? How could that beautiful man make him feel like-
Stop it! Blaine scolded himself sharply. You can't think about him like that! He's your prisoner! Not to mention he hates your guts!
"Umm, Blaine?" Nick's voice broke him from his internal scolding.
"What?" Blaine demanded more sharply than he intended as he turned to face his friend.
"The boys are wondering what the plan is," Nick said. "About the Hummel boy, I mean. What are we going to do with him?"
"We're not going to kill him, for one," Blaine replied. "And no, he is not a play thing. Make sure that Bas gets that through his head."
"Then what are we doing with him?" Nick asked.
"I don't know," Blaine sighed, running his fingers back through his curly, unruly hair. "I just couldn't let him slip through my fingers."
"Sounds to me like Jeff was right," Nick chuckled. "Someone's got a little crush on the captive."
"No, I don't!" Blaine objected quickly.
"Tell me, Blaine," Nick smirked. "Do you get butterflies in your stomach when you look at him? Does your heart skip a beat? Do your legs feel like jelly?"
Yes. Yes. And yes, Blaine grumbled to himself.
"I'll take it by that look that you answered yes to all of those," Nick laughed. "So I think I've got my answer right there."
He paused for a moment and placed a comforting hand on Blaine's shoulder.
"It's okay to fall in love again, Blaine," Nick said softly. "Even if it's with a prisoner. You've been so lonely since Jason-"
"Please," Blaine croaked softly, his throat tightening. "Please don't."
"Blaine, I know it's hard, but you need to move on," Nick sighed. "It's been two years! What happened wasn't your fault. You need to accept that and allow yourself to move on and love again."
"I don't know if I can," Blaine whispered.
"I know you can," Nick smiled. "Let yourself fall for the Hummel kid. It sounds like he's going to be around for a while." Nick gave him a playful wink and a solid pat on the back before turning away.
"I'm going with the next group to hunt," he said. "Do you want to come with? It'll get your mind off of things."
"Thanks, but no thanks," Blaine shrugged. "I don't know if I can look at a deer's blood the same way now." The slight smirk on his lips didn't escape Nick's eyes.
"That was a smart idea," Nick grinned. "Using the deer's blood like that. Hummel was none the wiser."
"That was the point," Blaine replied. "If Hummel believes that his son is dead, then he won't come looking for him."
"I guess that brings me back to my first question again," Nick said. "What are we going to do with him?"
"Well, I guess if he's here to stay, then we're going to have to get him used to living in the wild," Blaine grinned. "We'll start him with a few basic chores and then work his way up from there. We'll have to station someone with him to make sure that he doesn't try to run, but maybe there'll come a point when he won't want to run anymore."
"Someone's a dreamer," Nick chuckled.
"You never know," Blaine shrugged. "Maybe he'll find a reason to want to stay. I mean, this place isn't that hard to fall in love with."
Blaine smiled as he looked out at the camp in front of him. This place was home.
"The place or the people?" Nick chuckled. "Or maybe just one person in particular..."
"You can shut it now," Blaine chuckled, lightly shoving his friend.
"And Nick is right again!" Nick grinned triumphantly.
"Don't you have a hunt that you're supposed to go to?" Blaine said.
"Oh! Right!" Nick exclaimed, quickly turning and dashing off. "See you later, Blaine!"
Blaine smiled as he watched his friend run off before turning and retiring to his tent. He could use a little nap...
A few feet away, a pair of eyes had watched their interaction with intrigue.
"So Blaine likes the Hummel boy, huh?" Sebastian growled to himself. "Why is it that Blaine can have whatever he wants, but I'm forbidden from the few things I want?"
Sebastian pouted as he watched the two men depart from each other.
"Someday," Sebastian vowed. "Someday, I will get whatever I want. Someday, I will rule this camp. And then Hummel is all mine."