Excuse me, I'm new here
Kurt picked up his copy of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and slipped it into his satchel. He shut his locker, before turning round and leaning back against it. He had been at McKinley High school for just over two weeks now and it had definitely been challenging for him. Despite Principal Figgins telling the students of the school to leave Kurt alone and not to harass him, this hadn’t exactly been the case. Kurt had to go about his day to day life with his peers constantly whispering about him or just staring at him wherever he was. He walked into a classroom too many times to have the whole room go completely silent, indicating that the occupants of the room had just been talking about him moments beforehand. Kurt had even had this experience when he had entered the choir room, a place that he thought he could escape all the nonsense. It was really obvious that some of the New Directions had been talking about him. There had been a couple of times where he had heard what they were talking about due to the fact they didn’t stop quick enough. Some of his fellow Glee clubbers had been discussing the difference in him and they had also been sharing ideas of what they thought had happened to him in New York. He had heard them talking about what they think happened outside the hotel they had been staying in at Nationals, what happened during the seven months and what went down during his rescue. Some of their ideas had been ludicrous and just plain unbelievable. Kurt was relieved that none of them were anywhere near the truth.
Kurt even had to deal with hearing Rachel Berry constantly arguing with Finn at both school and his home about how she had every right to know and how she deserved to know. She was always whining at her boyfriend that she absolutely had to tell her. She just wasn’t letting it go. Kurt had seen her turn on the waterworks on several occasions. Everyone knew it was just crocodile tears and Finn actually called her out on it. The only reason Rachel was harassing Finn was that she knew she wouldn’t get anywhere with Kurt. Once his walls were up, it was a serious fight to get through them. That’s why everyone had been incredibly worried about Kurt shutting himself off from everyone. Rachel had tried to talk to Kurt but her demands had gone unheard. They had got into an argument as Rachel had refused to stop pestering. Kurt had simply told the diva that it was none of her business and he didn’t want to tell her. He added that it wasn’t her right to know as the world didn’t revolve around her. Of course this had led to the girl storming out of the room but it had only added fuel to the fire. Rachel was determined to find out and she thought that she would be able to break Finn and get him to tell her. So far Finn had been strong and had refused to tell his girlfriend, telling her that it was none of her business and it had nothing to do with her. Rachel had even tried to make her that she was the victim in all of this by not knowing but Finn put his foot down and got quite angry with her. Kurt was incredibly relieved and grateful that his brother hadn’t given in to his over demanding girlfriend. The teenager knew that the whole world and his wife wanted to know what had happened to him during his disappearance but he just wanted it all to go away. It was things like this that reminded Kurt that he was the normal teenager he longed to be. No matter how hard he tried, what had happened in New York wouldn’t go away and he would always have to deal with people trying to find out his deepest darkest secret.
Kurt closed his eyes and let out a long sigh as he leaned back against his locker. He had no motivation or energy to do anything. It was one of those days where he wished that he could be curled up under his duvet, watching one of those crappy reality shows that he secretly loved. There hadn’t even been anything that had upset Kurt that particular day, he was just so very tired. He had been struggling with sleep a lot recently and no matter how hard he tried, a good night’s sleep just wasn’t happening for him. A part of Kurt didn’t mind too much about the lack of sleep as this meant that his nightmares were limited in a way. It had all started up once again after he had returned to school. Kurt didn’t know what had caused them to start again but he knew he would have to tell Doctor Morgan about them. He had refrained from telling his psychotherapist as he had thought that the nightmares would stop or at least die down once he had gotten used to be being back at school. Kurt felt that he was used to going to school and learning in the classroom but he still wasn’t used to being around so many people. He knew that, even if he get completely used to being back at McKinley, it was highly unlikely that the nightmares would just go away. He would probably be burdened with nightmares of what happened for the remainder of his days. He really hoped that Doctor Morgan would be able to help him and stop him from having the nightmares of the horrific events he went through, maybe even one day they would permanently stop.
Kurt tried to summon up the energy to push himself away from his locker and continue with his day. He knew that he only had Glee club left in the school day but to be perfectly honest, he couldn’t be bothered to deal with any of the drama that usually occurred within the walls of the choir room. Kurt hated that a lot of it was revolving around him. He just wished he had his private life back. It was highly probable that Rachel would bring up his disappearance or, at the very least, she would just cause arguments because she was insisting that she was the most talented of all of them. Kurt wished he was able to sing and show off his talent but there seemed to be a mental block. The last time he remembered singing was in the basement with his friend Hayley. He had sung a little bit of ‘Defying Gravity’ to cheer up Hayley and keep the tears at bay. Of course he had been overheard and Manson had taken pleasure in grabbing Kurt by the throat and telling him to ‘shut his fucking faggy mouth’. Kurt could still remember the bruises left by Manson’s tight grip on his neck. He hadn’t sung since.
Kurt opened his eyes and managed to push himself from his locker to find Azimio Adams and two other footballers blocking his path. The pale boy could feel his heart pounding as he tried to remain calm and act casual in front of boys who had bullied him in the past. If he wasn’t careful, he would end up having a full blown panic attack in the hallway.
Azimio just surveyed Kurt for a moment, “Hummel, I just want you to know that we’re sorry about what happened to you. We have decided to leave you alone for a while. But just so you know… sooner or later it’ll be back to how it was with us ruling the school and you Glee losers at the bottom as you should be.”
Kurt didn’t know how to react to that. Even though they were considering his state of mind, he was still being threatened by them in a way.
“Oi Azimio!” Suddenly Puck was by Kurt’s side, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Azimio put his hands up as if he was surrendering, “Whoa Puckerman, chill dude! I was just letting Hummel here know that we’re leaving him alone for the time being.”
Puck looked furious at that, “No! Hummel is completely off limits! All of you are to leave him alone. If you so much as give him a dodgy look, you’ll have me and several others to answer to. Got it?”
The three footballers nodded in response and quickly walked away, glaring at Puck as they did.
“Thank you Noah,” Kurt said quietly, feeling drained from that small encounter.
Puck grinned at him, “I’ve got your back Kurt. You’re my boy. I won’t let them touch you. Now come on dude, we had better get to Glee practice.”
The two friends smiled at one another before they began the familiar journey to the choir room. Kurt was extremely grateful that he had friends like Noah Puckerman; friends who would defend him. He really needed them. They made their way into the choir room and Kurt briefly wondered if he would get away with just sitting at the back, listening to the music on his iPhone and just relaxing. That was before he spotted the Dalton Academy Warblers standing in the room..
“What are you guys doing here?” Kurt exclaimed, shocked at the sight of the dapper boys in blazers.
Blaine grinned at the look on his boyfriend’s face, “Well today would have been the day the Warblers were scheduled to come to McKinley and have a joint session with the New Directions to remember you and pray to whatever is out there that you would come back to us. We had a discussion at this morning’s practice and we all thought that it was a brilliant idea for us to come to your practice as we had previously planned in order for us to celebrate you being back with us. One last glee practice all together before we could our separate ways to get into gear for Regionals. Wes phoned Mr Schue and he agreed so now we’re here. I hope that’s okay with you.”
Kurt couldn’t hold himself back anymore so he flung himself at his boyfriend. Laughter filled the room as everyone watched Blaine stumble as he caught Kurt in his arms, looking startled, but hold him close. Kurt eventually pulled away from Blaine and he proceeded to hug his friends in the Warblers. He wasn’t sure how to act when he reached Sebastian Smythe but he ended up being extremely surprised when the Warbler smiled at him and held out his hand. Kurt hesitantly took it and shook hands with the boy he hadn’t gotten on very well with. He was glad that they were able to be civil with one another as Kurt didn’t want to stop hanging out with the Warblers. Kurt hugged all of the Warblers before standing with his boyfriend. The couple smiled lovingly at one another as they reached down and entwined their hands.
Puck turned to his teacher, “Mr Schue, I thought you should know that a few of the jocks were bothering Kurt just before Glee club. It was Azimio Adams, Chris Strando and Bobby Surette. Principal Figgins said that no one was to harass Kurt so, even though I don’t like to snitch and prefer to be badass, I knew I had to tell you. Kurt’s my boy!”
Mr Schue nodded solemnly after hearing that, “Thank you Puck. I will inform Principal Figgins and Coach Sylvester immediately after today’s practice.”
The teacher gave Kurt a gentle smile and the latter returned it, happy to know that the faculty at the school were looking out for him.
“What happened?” Blaine asked immediately, sounding extremely concerned, “Are you okay?”
Kurt could feel everyone’s eyes on him. He hated that feeling.
“It wasn’t a big deal,” Kurt explained, wishing that everyone would stop looking at him, “Azimio was just telling me that they’d lay off me for a while.”
Kurt could see the angry looks on his friends’ faces so he quickly decided to change the subject and move this practice along.
“So how do these joint New Directions and Warblers practices usually work?” Kurt asked loudly, turning to his fellow Glee clubbers.
Kurt saw Blaine give him an exasperated look, but he chose to ignore it. The thing with the footballers would be dealt with so, in Kurt’s opinion, there was no point continuing to discuss it.
Rachel stepped forward, “It was used as a chance for anyone to sing about how they felt. It ranged from solos to duets to group numbers. We mainly sang songs that you had previously performed and we also sang some of your favourite songs. We did talk as well, mainly wondering if you were okay and if you were safe. We’d share our fears about you with the group. Some of us did wonder what had happened to you. We all thought that we would find out what had happened to you when you returned to us, but that’s obviously not the case!”
“Rachel!” Quinn and Finn both cried out at the same time, angry at the brunette’s behaviour.
Rachel simply ignored them, “I’m sorry but why can’t you tell us? What are you hiding? I need to know!”
Blaine stepped forward, almost pulling Kurt behind him as if he was protecting his boyfriend from the demanding diva, “Okay Rachel, I suggest that you simply stop talking. It’s none of your business and it’s up to Kurt whether or not he wants to tell you.”
Rachel narrowed her eyes at the couple, before letting out a gasp with realisation, “You… you know what happened! You know, don’t you Blaine Warbler? Kurt told you! That is so unfair!”
“Oh can it Dwarf!” Santana yelled, standing up and stepping towards Rachel, “You don’t have to be told anything! Kurt can tell whoever he wants and he chose to tell his boyfriend as they love one another. You’re just being a selfish bitch who just wants something new to gossip about. I suggest that you shut up about all of this before I go all Lima Heights on yo ass!”
There was a long silent moment, before Jeff leaned in towards Kurt and whispered loudly, “Those two arguing was basically the main events of all of these joint practices,” causing Santana to glare at him.
Mr Schue clapped his hands to gain everyone’s attention, “Enough! Okay everyone, I don’t want to hear any more of this. Please respect Kurt’s privacy. Rachel, you do not have the right to know. Kurt is your friend and one of us. You should respect that. Right, now onto the singing! Kurt, I was thinking that maybe you could start us off?”
Kurt froze at the request, feeling physically nauseous. He couldn’t sing. He just couldn’t.
“Umm… I’m okay. Thank you though Mr Schue. I’m just not feeling up to it. I think I’m just going to sit down and watch everyone else sing,” Kurt stated as he let go of Blaine’s hand and started moving towards the rows of chairs.
“Kurt you have to sing” Nick said with a whine, “I’ve missed your singing voice!”
Kurt smiled at Nick as he stopped and turned to face him, “That’s very sweet of you to say but I’d rather listen to all of your lovely voices.”
“Come on Kurt!” Mercedes was pleading with him now, “You can sing an old number if it helps you? There were so many great ones! What about ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’? That one was amazing and you got a standing ovation! Or what about ‘Defying Gravity’? You can sing the high F this time and I know you love the song.”
Time seemed to stop as Mercedes suggested that one particular song. Kurt could feel himself slipping, despite his desperate attempts to hold himself together. It was too late. Reality was leaving him and his mind was trapping him, no way out.
“And you won’t bring me down!” Kurt sang quietly, feeling slightly happy when he saw a small smile appear on Hayley’s face.
“Who the fuck is singing?” came a voice out of nowhere; one that made Kurt’s skin crawl.
Before Kurt could move or even do anything, a hand was around his neck and he was lifted up quickly. He saw Hayley being grabbed out of the corner of his eye and longed to help her. He longed to scream out when she disappeared from his vision, but he knew it was no good for either of them.
Thomas Manson was holding Kurt in the air, making sure that he remained at eye level so there was nowhere else for Kurt to look. The young boy could feel Manson’s hand crushing his windpipe and he desperately struggled to pull it off, but to no avail. His legs were flailing out beneath him as he struggled to get free and he was finding it extremely difficult to breathe.
“You sound like a fucking girl when you sing, you faggy whore!” Manson yelled at Kurt, spit flying out of his mouth and hitting Kurt’s face, “Maybe I need to show what you what I think of your singing and your squeaky voice.”
Kurt was terrified. He didn’t know what Manson was going to do to him. He had seen some of the others being beaten within an inch of their lives and he knew that was where Manson was probably going with this.
Thomas Manson’s eyes suddenly glinted, “I wonder if I could make more if I exploit this? I wonder how much more I could make if I told potential customers about your voice. Some would probably get a kick out of you singing while they pinned you down and fucked you. I bet you’d pay a lot more for the angelic choirboy!”
Kurt was horrified and scared beyond belief, his vision getting blurrier. Manson’s grip was getting tighter and tighter on his neck, his lungs were begging for air.
“Then again…” Manson pondered for a moment, “It might confuse them if they’re a fucking a boy who sings like a whiny bitch of a girl. Anyway, now Kurt you little slut… my good little slut, I suggest you shut your mouth and keep quiet. If I hear you singing down here anymore, I won’t be afraid to get my gun and blow your fucking brains out. Is that understood?”
Manson didn’t wait for an answer before he threw Kurt across the room. The second he hit the floor, Kurt was scrambling away, coughing and trying to suck in as much air as possible. He could feel a few pairs on eyes on him but he tried to ignore them. He briefly met James’ gaze but quickly looked away, feeling ashamed that they had all seen that. Kurt reached his mattress and immediately curled up into the fetal position, wishing he had the ability to cry. He felt the mattress dip slightly and suddenly he was in Hayley’s arms. She had been held back by Lee Briggs while Manson strangled the closest friend she had.
“I’m so sorry sweetie,” Hayley was whispering over and over again, “I’m so sorry he did that to you.”
Kurt leaned into Hayley’s touch, “It’s okay. It’s okay.”
Of course it wasn’t okay. Kurt didn’t know if it ever would be.
“Kurt? Kurt baby, can you hear me? Kurt?”
Kurt pulled himself out of the horrific memory to find himself sitting on a chair surrounded by both of the Glee clubs. They were all staring at him with concerned expressions. A few of them looked like they were able to cry. Kurt realised he had unconsciously been massaging his neck as he had remembered the pain he had been put through. He pulled his hand away quickly and took a deep breath, reminding himself that he was safe and that Thomas Manson was rotting in jail.
“What happened?” Kurt asked his friends.
Finn was the one who answered him, “It was all a bit weird. You just suddenly stopped and your knees buckled. Blaine caught you in time and led you to an empty chair. You were conscious but you weren’t really with it. Your eyes were all glazed over and you weren’t responding to any of us. You suddenly grabbed your neck and held onto it, even though Blaine tried to gently remove your hand. Now you’re back with us. That’s about it really.”
As Kurt listened to his brother, he realised he had been crying. He quickly wiped his face with his sleeve before focusing his attention back on Finn. Kurt assured everyone that he was absolutely fine and that he had just simply had a bit of a dizzy spell. He didn’t think anyone actually believed him but they all pretended to go along with it.
Kurt moved to the back row with Blaine and they sat together as they watched the musical performances. Quinn, Santana and Brittany were performing a version of ‘Toxic’ as they knew Kurt loved Britney Spears and had been the one campaigning for the Glee club to perform her songs. Kurt loved sitting in the choir room with Blaine by his side. It made him wish that his boyfriend went to McKinley instead of Dalton, but he knew that would never happen.
Blaine nudged Kurt gently and leaned in to talk to him, “What was this flashback about?”
It sometimes scared Kurt slightly that Blaine knew him so well.
Kurt leaned in as well so he could talk without anyone else hearing, “It was a memory of when Manson strangled me because he heard me singing. Mercedes talking about… the ‘Wicked’ song triggered it because that was the song I had been singing. Manson made some… not very nice comments about my voice and he suggested some ways to get more money by exploiting me and my voice with potential customers.”
Blaine looked like he was going to be sick at any moment, “Oh my God Kurt! I can’t believe that happened to you! Oh my God!”
Kurt just shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “What can you do?” before focusing his attention back on the girls performing.
He was distracted by Finn and Rachel whispering to one another, looking like they were having an intense and serious discussion. Kurt thought he heard his name mentioned several times.
He eventually heard the girl say, “You know what Finn? After seeing Kurt like that… I don’t think I actually want to know what happened to him! Before I was really curious but now I’m just scared. I’m scared of what could have happened to him. He’s changed so drastically and he’s a shell of his former self. I don’t think I could cope if I knew the truth. My own suggestions will have to do. I don’t want to know the truth.”
To which Finn simply replied, “Trust me Rach… you really don’t want to know!”
Kurt suddenly felt awful. It was his fault that Finn knew what had happened to him. He hadn’t thought twice before he burdened his stepbrother with the facts of what went down in New York City. Finn hadn’t signed up for any of this when he welcomed Kurt and Burt into his family. He didn’t expect to have a dysfunctional stepbrother. Kurt was burdening his family and his boyfriend by expecting them to keep his secret and go through the world knowing the truth about his seven month absence.
“How long has it been since you last sung?” Blaine whispered, interrupting his boyfriend’s inner turmoil, “The flashback was the last time, wasn’t it? Please don’t say that you had to sing while you were…”
Kurt slowly exhaled, refusing to let the memory overpower him once again, “I haven’t sung since that moment. I was too scared to. Manson abandoned that particular idea and I wouldn’t have sung anyway. I would not allow something I loved to be so tainted by that! I do long to sing but this horrible feeling overwhelms me when I try. My throat seems to close up at the thought of singing. I’m hoping that one day I will actually be able to sing again, but I doubt it’ll be in the near future.”
Blaine took Kurt’s hand in his and smiled sadly at him, tears glistening in his eyes, “I know you’ll sing again. The world has to hear Kurt Hummel’s amazing voice again. I’ll do everything I can to help you sing again, my love.”
Kurt grimaced back at Blaine, tightening his grip on his boyfriend’s hand and blinking back his own tears.
More songs were sung but Kurt and Blaine remained at the back of the room, wrapped up in one another’s arms as they listened to their friends sing. Kurt really struggled to hold back the tears when Rachel started to sing ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’. He started thinking about his auditions for the Warblers and how it felt like a distant memory, almost as if it belonged to someone else. Kurt remembered discussing audition songs with Rachel and that she talked about imagining her own funeral. The first time Kurt had thought about dying in that horrible basement, he had thought about how his loved ones would react to the news that he wouldn’t be coming home and that he had been killed: most likely by a bullet to the head. He had briefly thought about what his funeral would be too. The thoughts had only been fleeting as it had all been too painful to think about. The thought of his loved ones hurting or in pain broke Kurt’s heart.
Mr Schue moved to the front of the room after Rachel had finished her solo, “That was amazing Rachel. All of you were amazing. I’m so happy that we got to have a joint practice again. It really helped you guys to establish a bond and build up friendships. Good luck to the Warblers for Regionals and I hope everyone stays in touch. Right… everyone is dismissed. I hope you all have a good evening and New Directions, I’ll see you tomorrow. Puck, I’m going to speak to Principal Figgins and Coach Sylvester now about what you told me. Bye everyone.”
Mr Schue left the room and headed in the direction of the Principal’s office. Slowly the Warblers and the New Directions left the choir room and made their way out of the school. Kurt was riding with Blaine as Blaine was coming to his house for the evening, before returning to Dalton. He was walking hand in hand with his boyfriend when he spotted Santana just about to approach her car. Kurt remembered that he had been meaning to ask her something.
“Excuse me for a moment,” Kurt told Blaine before retracting his hand and heading towards Santana, calling out her name. He didn’t say anything to Blaine as he knew his boyfriend would want to know why he needed to talk to Santana and if everything was okay.
The Cheerio waited until Kurt was in front of her before speaking, “What’s up Porcelain? I wanted to get home so I could catch up on my ‘Desperate Housewives’.”
Kurt paused for a moment, “Don’t take this the wrong way. It’s just… you’ve been so nice to me recently, more than you’ve ever been. You tell me you love me, you check I’m okay and you ask me if I need anything. Sure everyone’s being nice to me but you’re going that extra mile. Why is that? What’s going on?”
Santana was avoiding making eye contact with Kurt, instead pretending to look around the car park and inspect her fingernails. Kurt just stood his ground and waited, knowing that the girl would eventually answer his question.
Four minutes went by and Santana finally cracked, “Fine Hummel! I’ll tell you! Yes I am being nice and looking out for you more. It’s just… I’ve always seen us as a pair of friends who just get one another. I can tell how you’re feeling just by looking at your facial expression or even simply just looking at your eyes. I’ve seen the sadness behind them, the anger, the happiness and the love you have for the Hobbit standing over there staring intently at us. It’s just… ever since you returned after being gone for ages, it’s like there’s an emptiness in your eyes. It’s like there’s nothing there anymore and it’s scaring the complete crap out of me. Your eyes look lifeless. I don’t know what happened to you but I do know that I want you to be safe so I’m looking out for you. You’re my friend Lady Hummel and I want you to be okay.”
Santana gave the stunned Kurt Hummel a sad smile before getting into her car. Kurt just stared after her, knowing that what she said was the truth and that he did feel an emptiness inside of him, something that he had been desperately trying to hide.
Kurt reached over and turned his alarm clock off, before letting himself slowly wake up. He had probably gotten about three and a half hours sleep at the very most. He was starting to really miss having a good night’s sleep. He could see how much darker the bags under his eyes were slowly becoming. Due to this, Kurt was starting to look not that much different from when he had returned from New York, excluding the slight weight gain and the absence of some cuts and bruises. This was due to lack of sleep as sleeping was a time for the body to heal and he was hardly getting any. He had made an appointment with Doctor Alice Morgan as he knew he had to accept some form of help. Despite his initial thought process of finding a way to stop his nightmares or actually get some sleep himself, Kurt had to give up and admit that finding a solution was out of his hands. It had been over two weeks since Santana had commented on how lifeless and empty his eyes looked and the fact that someone could see through him haunted Kurt. This meant that some of the others might be able to see how much he was suffering and struggling. All of his friends had already made the assumptions that something bad had happened to him but Kurt knew it would actually kill him if any of the New Directions or the Warblers discovered the truth. He was fully aware of the fact that his friends would always look at him in a different light or would always treat him differently, even more than they had been. Kurt couldn’t blame him as he wouldn’t know how to act if the roles were reversed. He had to stop thinking about his friends finding out as it made him want to hide in his bedroom and refuse to ever come out again. Kurt just wanted to live his life and try not to think about what had happened to him. He wished that he could ignore him but that was impossible due to the fact he had to sit down and talk about everything with his psychotherapist, dragging up memories that would always haunt him.
Kurt got out of his bed and quickly made it, before heading to the bathroom for his morning shower and to get ready for his day. He debated for a few minutes over whether he should put some music on while he washed. Eventually he decided not to as he didn’t want to stir up any emotions that he wasn’t prepared to deal with. The teenager just wanted to get through the school day before seeing his psychotherapist in the afternoon. Kurt hated the sing that he couldn’t sing. It had been a passion of his for so long but now, thanks to one certain individual, he couldn’t physically do it. One of his favourite songs of all time from one of his favourite musicals was now tainted and it even triggered horrific flashbacks. It would be a very long time if Kurt even tried to attempt to sing that song.
Kurt finished washing and returned to his bedroom, trying to think of an outfit he could wear for school. The old Kurt would have had an outfit planned for every day a week or so in advance, but now he didn’t have the energy to do that. It was almost as if he didn’t care. Kurt opened his wardrobe and just pulled out a pair of skinny jeans and a striped jumper from Zara. It was a simple outfit with none of the usual Kurt Hummel flare. It was an outfit that anybody could have pulled off, it was that simple. Kurt quickly pulled that outfit on and moved on to style his hair into his usual coif. He looked in the mirror and deemed his look acceptable, before grabbing a jacket and his satchel. He headed downstairs to find his Dad and Finn sitting at the table, the latter looking half asleep.
“Morning Kiddo,” Burt said cheerfully to his son as he looked him over, “How are you today?”
Burt watched as Kurt just shrugged his shoulders. He could see how tired his son looked and sometimes he could hear the screams and cries at night. Burt would always rush into his son’s room and try to soothe him but to no avail. He was glad that Kurt was going to see his psychotherapist as hopefully his boy would finally get a good night’s sleep and be free from his nightmares. He was the least his son deserved.
Kurt grabbed a piece of toast from the table and he managed to eat just over half of it. He still didn’t have much of an appetite after all this time. It seemed that being starved for seven months had had a long lasting effect on his stomach. His parents, Blaine and Doctor Tyler were trying to convince him to eat more and they were suggesting ways that could help to improve his appetite. Kurt was no longer classed as being underweight but he still needed to gain more weight to ensure that he had a healthy body. Doctor Tyler was a little stumped as to why Kurt wasn’t gaining much weight. Kurt himself was relieved that he wasn’t seen as underweight anymore as this meant everyone laid off him a little bit.
Kurt stood up from the table and he tidied up after himself, putting leftovers in the bin and the plate in the dishwasher. He put his jacket on and grabbed his bag, making sure he had everything.
Kurt leaned in to kiss his father’s cheek, “Bye Dad, have a good day. I love you.”
Burt’s heart ached at the fact that Kurt told him that he loved him every time he left the house, even if he was just popping out for five minutes. It was if Kurt wanted to make sure that they were his last words to his father just in case.
“You too son,” Burt replied, “I’ll see you tonight. I love you too kiddo… so very much.”
The father and the son smiled at one another, before the latter managed to get his stepbrother up and out of the house. They got into Finn’s car and they started the drive to school. The taller boy immediately switched the radio on and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey came on.
“Dude!” Finn yelled, honking the horn in his excitement, “This is the New Directions’ anthem! We have to sing along!”
Kurt watched as his stepbrother sang his heart out, getting really overexcited as he drove. He knew that Finn probably hadn’t even thought about what he had just suggested to his stepbrother. He longed to join in and sing as the song did mean a lot to him. It always made him smile when he thought of the original members of the New Directions singing in the auditorium, doing their little routines and all dressed in red. Kurt took a deep breath and he decided that he was going to try. He loved to sing and he wanted to sing. There was no reason not to try to sing now.
Kurt opened his mouth and tried to join in singing the song with Finn. The noise that came out of his mouth sounded like he was being strangled. He was gasping for air and he could feel his throat closing up. He tried to remain calm, otherwise he would have started hyperventilating.
“Kurt bro, are you okay?” Finn was glancing at his brother with a look of concern each time.
It took a few moments before the countertenor could gasp out an answer, “I’m fine. I was right… no singing for me!”
“I’m sorry to hear that Kurt,” Finn said, giving him a sad smile, “I’m sure you’ll be singing in no time!”
Kurt chose not to answer his stepbrother as he didn’t want to give Finn or even himself any hope of that happening. What had happened in New York had affected him in every way possible and it seemed that there was no way to come back from it.
They arrived at McKinley and it didn’t take long for Finn to park the car. Neither of them spoke as they made their way across the car park and into the school building. Kurt thought that he saw Azimio glare at him but he chose to ignore it not wanting to waste any of his energy on such juvenile things. He said goodbye to his stepbrother when he reached his own locker and focused his attention on it. He saw Finn give him a sympathetic look out of the corner of his eye before he clapped him on the shoulder. The taller boy then hurried off to find his girlfriend and there was no doubt that they’d be making out in the middle of the hallway somewhere, blocking everyone’s path. It seemed to be something that they did most days. Kurt pulled some of his books out of his locker and glanced at his reflection in the mirror he had installed in there since his very first day of high school. His eyes moved to the main picture of Blaine hanging up in his locker. He smiled at the picture of his boyfriend looking cute and dapper in his Dalton uniform. Having that picture with the word ‘courage’ underneath really helped the pale boy to get the day. It was as if his boyfriend was there for him if he needed some encouragement during his day, despite being at a school a couple of hours away. Kurt ensured that his books were completely secure in his bag, before shutting his locker.
Suddenly there was a tap on his shoulder, “Excuse me, um hi... can I ask you a question? I’m new here.”
Kurt froze at those words, instantly recognising them as his very first words to Blaine Anderson when he went to spy on the Warblers at Dalton Academy many moonlights ago. He slowly turned around to see the one and only Blaine Devon Anderson standing there with a huge grin on his face. Blaine was not in his Warbler uniform but was wearing a black polo shirts and red Capri pants. Kurt’s mouth was open in shock, unable to work out what on earth was going on that morning.
“Blaine? What… I… what are you doing here?” Kurt asked, sounding utterly confused.
Blaine just simply smiled at him, “Well it’s like I told you, I’m new here. I was going to ask you if you would maybe agree to be my guide and welcome me to the school.”
“You moved schools? You now go to McKinley? You left Dalton?” Kurt was completely bewildered, not quite able to wrap his head around what was happening.
Blaine reached out and took his boyfriend’s hands in his, “Kurt honey… I transferred to McKinley High School. We go to the same school again.”
“But why?” Kurt whispered, feeling slightly lightheaded at the revelation.
Blaine frowned at that, feeling concerned for his boyfriend’s welfare, “Kurt are you okay?”
The boy in question nodded before replying, “Yeah I’m okay. Blaine, I am really happy that you’re here but you didn’t do this for me, did you? As sweet and romantic as that may be, what if it causes you to resent me and that may lead to a bitter and nasty break up!”
“Kurt honey, this is not ‘The Bachelor’” Blaine answered, smiling as he listened to the love of his life ramble on, “I came here for me. I came here because I cannot stand to be apart from the person that I love. Those seven months without you showed me what my life was without you and it was unbearable. It made me want to see you every single day of our forever. As much as I loved going to school at Dalton, I love you more. You’re my whole world and the person I see as my future. I want to be here with you.”
“Well Blaine Anderson you definitely are good at romance, no matter what you say!” Kurt laughed, happy tears glistening in his eyes, “I love you so much. Are you sure about this however? You are giving up a lot to do this. You were the soloist of the Warblers and Dalton is an amazing school.”
Blaine smiled, hoping that Kurt would understand where he was coming from, “Absolutely. I am one hundred per cent sure about this. I don’t see it as giving up anything at all. I see it as starting a new chapter of my life here at McKinley, with the love of my life by my side.”
Kurt grinned at Blaine before launching himself into his boyfriend’s arms, unable to hold himself back any longer. The former Warbler just laughed as he caught Kurt in his arms and lifted him off his feet, resulting in some giggling from the countertenor. Blaine slowly put Kurt down but he kept his arms wrapped around him.
“I take it that you’re happy I’m here?” He asked, pulling Kurt slightly closer to him.
Kurt leaned in and rubbed his nose against Blaine’s, giving him an Eskimo kiss, “More than you’ll ever know.”
They smiled at one another, feeling so happy and full of love, before their moment was rudely interrupted, “Oh look boys, there’s another fairy at the school!”
Kurt and Blaine pulled apart to find Rick ‘The Stick’ Nelson and a few other members of the hockey team standing there, almost surrounding them. Blaine instantly took a defensive stance, ready to protect his boyfriend from any harm.
“Rick, leave Hummel and the newbie here alone,” one of the hockey players said, sounding nervous, “Teachers are looking out for him now and Beiste would probably kill us or drop us from…”
Rick interrupted his teammate, “It’ll be fine. I don’t care that the fairy here was missing. We do have to put Hummel back in his place and show him who the top dogs are! I wouldn’t mind putting the other fairy in his place too!”
“Richard Nelson!” Kurt had never been so relieved to hear Mr Schue’s voice before, even though he sounded absolutely furious, “Get to Principal Figgin’s office now!”
Kurt watched as Rick ‘The Stick’ dejectedly headed towards the Principal’s office, obviously feeling sorry for himself at the fact he had been caught. Mr Schue glared at the rest of the hockey team, who quickly retreated in fear of getting into trouble themselves.
Mr Schue’s expression softened and he turned to check on the two boys, “Kurt, Blaine, are you two okay?”
Blaine waited for Kurt to reply to the teacher. He was fine, maybe a little pissed off, but there had been no harm done. He doubted that Rick would have done anything as it didn’t seem like he had the support of his teammates. Blaine just wanted to know that his boyfriend was doing okay. He knew that the countertenor had been struggling lately and he didn’t want him to be pushed over the edge.
Kurt eventually nodded, “Yeah we’re okay. Thank you for that Mr Schue.”
“You don’t have to thank me Kurt. That’s what I’m here for,” Mr Schue said gently, giving Kurt a smile, before adding, “Oh Blaine… welcome to McKinley. I’m really looking forward to your audition for the New Directions later on. I’m certain that it’ll be fantastic.”
“Thank you Mr Schue,” Blaine replied, smiling at the teacher, “I won’t let you down.”
The former Warbler waited until their teacher had left before checking to see if his boyfriend was really okay, “Baby talk to me. Are you really okay?”
Kurt nodded in response, “I’m really okay. I just wish that hadn’t of happened to you.”
“Kurt sweetheart it’s fine,” Blaine reassured him, “I’m just so glad he didn’t hurt you and we both know that Figgins will deal with him, if not Coach Sylvester. Right… moving on to better things, I believe you promised to give me a tour. We have a little while until Glee and I’d love to spend some time alone with my beautiful boyfriend.”
Kurt couldn’t help but smile at that, “Well I think I did promise. Come on then Blaine Warbler… oh I can’t call you that anymore. Come on Blaine New Directions… nope that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Come on then simply Blaine.”
Blaine laughed at that as Kur took of his one hands in his and started pulling him along the school corridor.
“Kurt Hummel?” Natalie, the blonde receptionist, called out in the waiting room, “If you’d like to head through this door, Doctor Morgan will be waiting for you.”
Kurt stood up from his seat and headed towards the door he had been directed to, giving Natalie a smile as he passed. She was always nice to him when he came for his appointments so he thought that he should return the favour. Natalie instantly beamed back at him, looking too happy for someone who worked in a therapist’s office. Kurt took a deep breath, something he did every time he was there, opened the door and stepped inside. Doctor Alice Morgan was sitting in her usual armchair and she was waiting for him with a smile on her face. Kurt gave her a small smile in return before glancing around the room, mentally debating on where he should sit down. After a few moments of deciding, Kurt selected the chaise and he made his way over to it before lying down.
“Ahh now this is new,” Alice Morgan remarked softly as she watched her patient, “You usually stick to the armchair. This does show progress due to the fact you’re more willing to express how you are feeling, but nonetheless it shows me that things have been troubling. Patients who choose the chaise normally want to lie down and have a rest. I’m guessing you’re tired Kurt? How well have you been sleeping?”
Kurt was speechless for a few moments. It was also as if his psychotherapist could read his mind and work out what he wanted to talk about. He had always thought it was a load of crap that sitting somewhere in a room reflects on how you’re feeling. Now he wasn’t so sure. He watched as the doctor picked up a pen off the side table nearest to her and opened her file all about her.
“I’m hardly sleeping,” Kurt began, watching as the doctor began to make some notes, “I feel like I never sleep anymore and I hate it. I’m always so tired and I have these hideous bags under my eyes, but I really struggle to sleep.”
“Now I can see why you chose to lie down on the chaise today,” Doctor Morgan joked, pulling a soft chuckle out of her patient.
The doctor grew serious once again, “Can you tell me what happens when you do manage to get some sleep? Are you restless or is your body able to relax and let you get some rest?”
Kurt paused for a moment, trying not to think about all the nightmares that he’d woken up screaming or crying from. He would try to avoid going into depth about any of them as much as possible.
“Any little bit of sleep I get is disrupted by me having a nightmare,” Kurt explained, his voice sounding small, “It’s every single time. I wake up by either screaming or crying hysterically. The nightmares are terrorising me to the point that I’m avoiding trying to get some sleep. I just hate all of this. I’m so tired!”
There was silence for a couple of minutes as Doctor Morgan made some notes about what Kurt was telling her about his sleeping condition.
Eventually the doctor asked the question that Kurt had been dreading, “Would you like to talk about the nightmares? You don’t have to but it may help you if you open up about them and talk.”
Kurt closed his eyes as he struggled not to think about his nightmares, “They’re… they’re just memories of what happened to me in New York. That’s all they are.”
“Anything more than a memory?” Doctor Morgan pondered, curious as to what Kurt would say.
The boy in question squeezed his eyes shut tighter, “It’s like I’m back there and this time there’s no way out. There’s nobody coming to save me and I’m trapped there forever. Sometimes when I wake up screaming, I forget where I am and I start to think that I’m in that basement and I’m living my nightmare. I hate that I’m not past this! It’s been months!”
“Are there any specific memories that seem to be recurring in your nightmares? Is it one particular day that is showing up in your nightmares?” The doctor asked, her tone soft.
Kurt made no effort to open his eyes again, “Just… all of them. No specific memories, just all of it. I’m reminded of everything that happened.”
Alice opened her mouth to ask another question but she thought against it. She had sussed out Kurt Hummel enough to know when he would and wouldn’t open up about an issue that was troubling him. This was a clear case of Kurt being vague and not opening up about his nightmares. He had briefly mentioned his nightmares before but not to this extent. Doctor Morgan knew she could try to quiz Kurt more but she knew it wouldn’t do either of them any good if she tried to push her patient to talk. Instead the doctor focused on making notes to add to the boy’s file and deciding the best route to go down when it came to help Kurt sleep and stop his nightmares, allowing him to finally get some shut eye.
Alice stood up and walked over to her medicine cabinet. She peered into it before her eyes fell upon the bottle she was looking for. She pulled out a small bottle of pills before returning to her seat.
“Okay Kurt, I want you to listen to me,” the tone of her voice made Kurt open his eyes at once, “I have some medicine here that I want you to try. It’s a drug that has demonstrated to be effective for people suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder nightmares and sleep disruption. You are to take a nightly dose of the drug ‘prazosin’ for eight weeks. I want you to try this and see if the pills help you sleep better and if they stop your nightmares. We’ll see how well you respond to them and what our plan is in eight weeks’ time.”
Doctor Morgan handed the bottle of pills over to Kurt, before sitting back in her armchair and making a note of the fact she had prescribed her patient to try ‘prazosin’ to help him sleep.
The psychotherapist sat up in her chair and watched her patient for a few moments, before asking, “Is there anything you really want to talk to me about? Any particular topics? Maybe we can talk about how school is going and how the Glee club is going?”
Kurt’s heart sank at the thought of talking about his failed attempt at singing a Journey classic. He couldn’t avoid the subject, no matter how hard he tried. He would have to tell Doctor Morgan about his flashback, which would lead to singing. Even if he didn’t bring it up, the doctor most likely would since she had asked about Glee club.
Kurt took a deep breath, “School is okay. Blaine now goes to McKinley as of today so I’m happy about that. Despite the Principal telling everyone not to harass me, every now and then some Neanderthal decides to give it a go. Teachers are watching out for me, especially my Glee club teacher Mr Schue. I think he’s trying to make it up to me but there’s no need. Some of my friends have really tried to find out what happened and one in particular seemed to think she had a right to know, especially after discovering that Blaine knew. I can’t bear the thought of my friends knowing.”
“Let’s start with Blaine moving to McKinley,” Doctor Morgan suggested, giving Kurt some time to calm down and simply breathe, “I’m glad to hear you’re happy about it. Why did he transfer?”
“I was worried at first he did it for me as that could lead to resentment,” Kurt saw his psychotherapist nod in agreement with him, “He said that he did it for him as he couldn’t stand to be apart from the person that he loved. It was all very sweet.”
“That does sound sweet. I’m really glad that you have a boyfriend like Blaine to support you. It’s having support like him that really helps people to heal,” Alice Morgan explained as she glanced down at his notes, “It says here that he… well he used to go to Dalton Academy and that he was in the Warblers. Is that correct?”
Kurt nodded in reply, “Yes that’s correct. We met when I went to spy for my Glee club. I was a Warbler myself for several months and I did love it there, but the New Directions are my home. While I was missing, both groups would meet up and sing songs that remembered them of me. Just after our last session, the Warblers surprised me by turning up to do one more session.”
“And how did that go?” The doctor asked as she examined her patient, watching him talk.
“It seemed to go okay. Both groups got on well and there was singing,” was all Kurt said.
Doctor Morgan gave Kurt a look, indicating that she knew he wasn’t telling her something, “Kurt I am here to help you but I can’t do that if you won’t let me. What happened?”
Kurt let out a sigh, sounding defeated, “It was nice until my friend Rachel started bringing up how she wanted to know what had happened to me and how she had the right. There was a bit of an argument, which got worse when she realised Blaine knew my story. After that, my friends were requesting that I sing and I kept declining. My friend Mercedes suggested that I sing ‘Defy’… a song from ‘Wicked’ and it led to having a flashback after me being strangled when I was caught singing. That day also ended with my friend Santana telling me that my eyes looked lifeless.”
Doctor Morgan made sure to write all of this down so she could refer to it at any later date, “Kurt, when horrible things happen to you, there are always people who can’t leave it alone and have to know. It’s sad that these people are your friends. If this continues, you need to speak to an adult or tell them yourself about how their behaviour makes you feel. That is a form of harassment and no one has the right to your story expect for you. We need to talk about the singing. You’ve mentioned before about your inability to sing and the reasons behind it. Have you tried singing recently?”
“I tried singing today actually,” Kurt admitted sadly, “The song didn’t come out but this sound like I was being strangled and my throat closed up. It was as if I was back at the moment when Manson was strangling me. That was what the flashback focused on. I used to love singing but now I can’t do it. I don’t think I’ll ever sing again.”
Alice Morgan put her file and pen down on the table next to her and leaned forward as she addressed her patient, “You will sing again. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow or even a month from now but you will sing again. I know it’s hard to believe that after the day you’ve had but I promise you that you will. Kurt, I’m still worried about you. Your reluctance to share sometimes does more harm than good. I will never push you to talk about something but talking helps to solve things. You mentioned your nightmares briefly last time but it’s taken you a while to accept help. Keeping things to yourself and trying to deal with everything alone just stresses you out more and causes more hurt. By opening up and dealing with your issues, it helps you gain the confidence to move on. Kurt, I know I can help you but you have to trust me and let me in. I don’t want those guys who hurt you to win. By that I don’t mean avoiding jail, I mean getting the control back over your life and doing what you want. It won’t be easy but I believe you can get there. That is what I want you to think about. You can lie on the chaise and close your eyes as you reflect, but I want you to think about everything I’ve said. You are strong enough Kurt, you just have to believe it.”
Kurt laid his head back and closed his eyes as he allowed his mind to process what his psychotherapist had just told him. He knew she was right and that he did need to open up more. She had been trying to tell him since day one but now seemed the time to be blunt with him. He desperately wanted to open up more but it was difficult, even for him, to push down his walls and let people in. He refused to let Manson and his cronies win but it was just so hard to see past this dark cloud that had taken over his life. Maybe if that was all he had to deal with, then maybe he would be able to come to terms with him and take control of his life. Kurt really hoped that his life was as normal as possible from then onwards, otherwise he didn’t think he’d survive it.
A/N: Hey everyone, hope you’re all okay and that you enjoyed the chapter! Sorry it’s been a while! I hope you all had a great summer but now it’s time for work, school and university :(
I recently went to New York City for the first time! It was an early 21st birthday celebration and I loved every minute of it. I got to see Wicked and the Jersey Boys on Broadway! Amazing! I also managed to get a selfie with the Statue of Liberty which I am very proud of. I loved it there and I want to go back!!!
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