"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option." ― Mark Twain
It didn't take Kurt long to pull himself together because – honestly – what was the point of crying? He had wasted quite enough tears over Blaine. He may not have found the truth, but he had gotten his answers after all. Blaine no longer cared about him, and he had moved onto Sebastian and had all his Warbler friends. No matter what Wes had said, and there was something there, it didn't change things between them because Blaine did not want it to. Maybe, in a strange way and most certainly in the long run, Blaine was right.
Kurt wanted to be with someone for the longer term, who could handle long distance as well as he had, and maybe Blaine wasn't that person. Kurt had thought they were soul mates, but he had just been a teenager back then, and the only thing that the teenage population was good at as a whole was getting their heart's broken. They were also very good at making stupid mistake and falling too hard and too fast and messing it all up – look at Finn and Rachel; they'd been engaged at one point last year, and now they weren't even talking to each other.
In many ways, Kurt felt much more like an adult as he pulled away from Blaine's house. He felt jaded and older and wiser and, whilst it hadn't been the nicest way to grow up, maybe that was a good thing. He had got what he'd wanted after all; he could move on now. He wasn't stupid enough to think that he was immediately going to stop hurting because of that – the notion that Blaine didn't care for him at all still cut through him – but maybe he could get some semblance of peace.
Because his mind had nothing to think about but Blaine and that wasn't what he wanted, he turned his mind onto Thad. His heart went out to the Warbler because he'd obviously been so scared of his parents' reaction to him being gay that he would rather be dead then face it, but he was also confused as to the "then some" that Sebastian had mentioned. It had certainly highly disturbed both Blaine and Sebastian, but Kurt had no notion of what that could be.
Kurt had a similar relationship to Thad as he had to the other Warblers that were Blaine's friends that weren't Blaine himself or Wes because Wes seemed have the job of looking after all the boys but especially the Warblers and, well, he'd been completely in love with Blaine. That meant he didn't know very much about him, but he'd liked him well enough. He'd been the one that was a little tightly wound and exploded on random occasions about small things, but he'd had a good sense of humour like the others – although his blatant hero worship of Blaine had ticked Kurt off.
Still, it was horrible that he hadn't thought to call Blaine or Sebastian, or any of them, because Sebastian's reaction to the news had certainly been an eye opener about their relationship. Kurt highly doubted that there were many people that could produce such a reaction from Sebastian. He supposed that Blaine probably could given that they seemed to be dating – maybe David – but he didn't think that there would be anyone else.
He couldn't imagine what it must have been like for David, though, to be in the house – to be there – and to not have Thad come to him for help. He knew that David was straight, but he was pretty good listener, and Blaine had always told Kurt that David was renowned as the Warbler that kept other people's secrets and would be the one looking out for all of them when Wes went. He'd also found him, by the sounds of it. That made Kurt shiver. He couldn't imagine doing that; that had to be horrifying.
As he drove down back to Lima, no doubt to have to fill everybody down there in on what had happened between him and Blaine, he considered that he should – just before he left – pay Thad a visit in hospital. No matter Kurt's current feelings towards the Warblers, and his general anger at Sebastian, Thad was in a terrible place and he could obviously use support the support from every person that was available – he couldn't imagine that Sebastian was a particularly good person in this situation and Blaine seemed to be panicking a little too much.
Kurt walked into McKinley High School with no real purpose other than to see how Finn was doing after the whole fiasco of Sectionals. It didn't take long to find his step-brother as he was sitting in the courtyard with his head in his hands. Kurt dropped down in front of him, disapproving look in place, and Finn jolted.
"Oh, hey Kurt," he said, blinking surprise. "How did the talk with Blaine go?" Kurt shook his head.
"Badly, what about the glee club?" Finn let out a groan.
"We lost the choir room, and all the Seniors don't want to stick it out – I presume Blaine's going to be the same."
"I don't think that's what's on his mind right now," muttered Kurt under his breath, thinking of Sebastian and Thad.
"Huh?" said Finn, blinking at him in confusion. Kurt rolled his eyes before saying;
"When we were talking Sebastian burst in and said that Thad was in hospital…" Finn continued to stare at him. Kurt rolled his eyes again. "Apparently he told his parents he was gay, and something else but I don't know what, and then he locked himself in his room and- and tried to kill himself." Finn's eyes went very wide.
"Jesus!" he exclaimed, sitting upright and running a hand over his face. "Is he okay?" Kurt shrugged, shaking his head.
"I don't know, they didn't know, but…" he looked around. "You should have seen Sebastian's face when he found out, though, he looked terrified." Finn looked at the grey sky, pulling a despondent face.
"Guess he really turned over a new leaf then," he said, and Kurt nodded, thinking about the horrible fact that he and Blaine seemed to be dating.
"What did Blaine say?" pressed Finn, eventually. Kurt shrugged.
"I don't…I don't really know, he just… It was mainly me ranting at him. He said that he didn't deserve me, but he wouldn't tell me what was going on. He said I knew all I needed to know, and that he'd done it because he cared about me, but…" Kurt trailed off, the familiar burning of tears in his eyes over the thought that Blaine might not care about him. "Honestly, I don't think he cares about me anymore." Finn stared at him before shaking his head.
"Come on, Kurt, that can't be true." Kurt shrugged, rubbing a hand over his tired eyes.
"That's just what it looked like." He saw Finn's face sink into a frown and knew that he disagreed with him.
"But, Kurt, Blaine's always cared for you. I mean, he's, like, always had your back, right? I mean, even if – and that's got to be a huge if – he doesn't, like, love you or whatever, he'd still care about you. I mean, he was, like, your best friend too." Kurt nodded.
"I know, I know, but…" he shook his head. "Either way, I'd say it's probably time I just moved on. I mean, I've got another NYADA audition to focus on." Finn frowned at him.
"You do?" Kurt nodded.
"Yeah, I've reapplied, and hopefully I'll get in this time." Finn nodded, scratching his head.
"Yeah, me too, I'm still trying to understand how you didn't get it the first time, but…" he shrugged. "I hope I haven't ruined the Glee club…I mean, without Glee club Rachel wouldn't even be in NYADA right now." He shook his head. "Everyone should get that chance, right?" Kurt nodded and patted his arm.
"I'm sure you'll figure something out." Finn nodded.
"Yeah, when are you going back to New York?" Kurt let out a sigh.
"I think tomorrow evening…I want to, you know, see how Thad is because, we're not close friends, but… as far as I can work out, Sebastian is one of his best friends so I think he could probably use a sympathetic, understanding, ear that isn't panicking like Blaine." Finn nodded once more.
"Yeah, we should, like, give him a card or something…I don't know, just as support." Kurt raised an eyebrow, silently wondering what you write in a card for a person you don't know about that kind of thing, and then decided that it was probably better if Finn didn't write the message in the card because he wasn't exactly the best person with words.
"Yeah…" he said, looking around the empty school yard and shivering in the cold air. Glancing back at Finn, he saw that his face had become drawn into one of deep thought. Kurt supposed that he had been drawn back onto the difficult problem that was the New Directions. He was tempted to get up and simply leave Finn to his thoughts, but at the same time he had no real desire to be alone.
"What are you singing for your audition?" asked Finn, unexpectedly, and Kurt jumped slightly before shrugging.
"I'm not sure…" Finn nodded, ruffling up his brown hair with his right hand and pulling a face. Kurt had no idea what he was thinking, but he could tell that it wasn't pleasing him. Kurt knew that he ought to have come up with a definitive song choice – it was so soon – but his mind had been so full of Blaine that he'd almost forgotten to send in his application in the first place.
"Wish we could just burst into song like we used to you, you know?" said Finn, softly. "Like it didn't matter," he let out a huff of air as a sigh. Kurt tilted his head to side.
"Why can't you? The glee club might be over, yeah, but that doesn't mean we lose our right to sing." He shrugged. "The choir room was just somewhere that was safe, it didn't make the music, Finn, that was us." He leant towards Finn with a smile on his face. "That's the best thing about your voice, Finn; no matter where you are or who you're with or what you're doing, you can always use it to express how you feel. It's not something that anyone can take away from you – your voice is yours, Finn, always." Finn stared at him with wide eyes that were beginning to spark with hope, and Kurt sat back with a sigh, taking a deep breath as he opened his mouth to sing;
The broken clock is a comfort
It helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow
From stealing all my time…
He sang at Finn with the smallest of smiles on his face, leaning forward so that his forearms rested on the table, fingers interlocked, as he tried to tell Finn that this was only over if they wallowed for too long and allowed their time to slip away. Finn's mouth was open slightly in dawning comprehension of what Kurt was singing in a soft voice, gently applying balm over their wounds.
I am damaged at best
Like you've already figured out
He gave a shrug because he was damaged, he was broken, and he was sure that everyone knew that. Blaine certainly knew it, and he wouldn't take it back – for whatever reason, he thought it was better to break Kurt than stay with him.
I'm falling apart
I'm barley breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
Finn joined in with low voice quiet and hesitant, like he wasn't sure whether he was allowed to join in Kurt's song, but Kurt gave him a smile that told him to sing up and sing out, and Finn's mouth open wider in a smile that had been missing for rather a long time.
In the pain
There is healing
In your name
I find meaning…
They rose to their feet slowly, looking at each other, bonded by their heartbreak and their pain, because they'd lost things that were so precious to them, and they were looking around and trying to adjust their lives to work out how they were meant to go on without it. They were like recovering addicts – attempting to keep living in the same way without what had gotten them through each day, and only just realising that they had to take a turning and start off along a new road.
I still see your reflection
Inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose
They're still looking for life
I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain
(In the pain)…
The two of them looked around at the tentative echo and saw Marley, standing a couple of tables away with a nervous look in her eyes. Finn beckoned her over to their side with a wide grin that she reciprocated, and Kurt smiled because – see – the Glee club wasn't about trophies; it was about music.
So I'm holding on
(I'm still holding)…
Ryder, Jake, Wade and Kitty were all making their way over to them now, and Kurt was sure that Finn's grin could not get any wider because, just like Kurt had thought, their song was drawing them all back together, and, maybe, it would take a little bit more than a song to get the Seniors back, but Finn had building blocks, something to hold onto, and that's what mattered.
I'm barely holding on to you
I'm hanging on another day
Just to see what you will throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be okay
And Kurt, what did he gain from it? He looked around at the surprised faces of the New Directions that had never heard him sing, and realised that this song was showing him everything that he had without Blaine. He had his voice, he had Finn, he had the New Directions to some degree, and he had the ability to be okay. He had that possibility. It wasn't a reality yet, but it was his U-turn.
Broken lights on the freeway
Left me here alone
I may have lost my way now
I haven't forgotten… my way home
Finn looked down at him with a grin, and Kurt reached up to hug him as they sang the last three words that more than summed up everything that this song was showing them. They were lost, broken down, struggling, but they had other things to hold onto. There was more to Kurt's life than Blaine. Blaine may have been a huge part of it, but it wasn't just that – it never should be just that.
I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain
(In the pain)…
The other members of the New Directions – Artie, Tina, Brittany, Sam and Joe – who Kurt had seen appear over Finn's shoulder when he hugged him, had come over to join in, and Finn looped his arms over Sam and Tina's shoulders with a delighted smile.
I'm holding on
(I'm still holding)
I'm barely holding on to you
They came to the end of the song with smiles on their faces. The New Directions burst into applause for their two alumni, and Kurt looked back up at Finn whose face was alight with happiness at the sight of them all regrouped – well, minus Blaine – and who was thanking Kurt profusely for what he'd done. Kurt shook his head, waving it away, because he'd needed that song just as much as Finn had.
"Where's Blaine?" asked Sam, looking around the courtyard for the dark haired boy. Kurt took a deep breath as frowns fell onto the others' faces in annoyance that he hadn't re-joined them.
"He's visiting someone in hospital," said Kurt, carefully choosing his words so that there would be no panic or mistake that Blaine was in hospital. Confused frowns appeared on most people's faces.
"Is it one of the Warblers?" asked Artie, looking around to double check that they weren't missing anybody else. Kurt nodded.
"Yeah, Thad…he, um, tried to kill himself." There was a shocked pause around the group as eyes went wide with horror.
"Oh my god!" exclaimed Tina. "Is he going to be alright?" Kurt shrugged, shaking his head.
"They didn't know, I think it was bad though…" he trailed off whilst all of them looked distinctly rattled by the news. Kurt couldn't blame them because just yesterday the Warblers had been one scarily in-sync group of boys that were leaping, dancing and singing all over the stage to take first place. Now, one of them was in hospital after an attempted suicide, it was probably a huge shock for their brains to swing from hating them to being concerned.
"That's terrible," said Artie, face pulled into a serious frown. "Do you know why?" Kurt let out a long sigh, glad that none of them were asking how he knew this.
"He came out to his parents, I think, and then he ran off, locked himself in his room, and…" Kurt trailed off, shrugging, but noticed that everyone else still looked confused – except for Wade. He sighed. "He was scared of what his parents might say; too scared to face them and hear what they might think…"
There was a moment of sad, shocked, silence in which, Kurt was sure, the ones that were here last year remembered Karofsky. He could see that they were wondering whether that was better or worse, and trying to guess what that fear must feel like. It was something that Kurt could barely grasp at – to be that scared – so he could not imagine that they could begin to comprehend it. There were some shaken heads and deeper frowns as they all failed to feel that fear.
"That's just…" murmured Marley, looking incredibly sad. "That's just awful." Kurt nodded because that didn't quite sum up the things that life could inflict upon them for being openly gay.
"Should we sing to him?" asked Jake, like he wasn't a hundred per cent sure that was what the Glee club did, but felt like offering it anyway. Kurt paused for thought and then shrugged because he had no idea how Thad would react to that.
"I have no idea," he said simply. "I would imagine that he might want to just be with his friends and people who understand at a time like this. I'm going to see him tomorrow, though, and I can…I can certainly tell him that you're all here for him – even though he has never met any of you." Finn gave him a smile and a nod.
"That sounds like a good idea," Kurt gave the assembled group a smile, glad that he'd been able to do something to help the New Directions whilst also pondering his song choice for NYADA – would it be better to sing something like that that he felt deeply or do a show piece? He contrasted Rachel's solo at Nationals with his own performance of Not the Boy Next Door in his mind and could only draw the conclusion maybe Carmen preferred ballads to show tunes, which didn't really make sense, and Kurt was not singing a love song after everything because it would sound awful.
"I think I better head off," he said, giving them all a smile. "I hope you find somewhere to rehearse." The New Directions that didn't know him simply smiled and nodded, and, after he'd hugged Tina, Artie, Brittany, Sam and Finn, again, he walked of McKinley with his head held high.
"Finn said that the New Directions were practising late," said Carole, sitting down at the table and shooting both Kurt and Burt a smile. Kurt smiled broadly at that, glad that they'd found somewhere to practise, and happily dug into his meal.
"So, Kurt, how did it go?" and Kurt rolled his eyes because, of course, his dad was not going to beat around the bush with this.
"Terribly," he said without looking up from his plate. "I'm pretty sure that he's going out with Sebastian, and he doesn't care about me, and his friend tried to commit suicide – that sums everything up," he said, inserting his fork into his mouth and catching two sets of faces set into frowns.
"He doesn't care about you?" repeated Burt in a questioning voice whilst Carole's eyes had gone wide.
"His friend tried to commit suicide?" Kurt nodded, looking at her in favour of his dad because he did not want that conversation.
"Yes, Thad, he's a Warbler. Apparently, he came out and told his parent some things, and then locked himself in his room because he was too scared to face them, and when David had broken down the door…" he trailed off, feeling himself shudder in horror at that and, also, starting to feel a little bit sick at the thought of bursting through the door to find one of his friends almost dead. He shivered. "Sebastian and Blaine went to the hospital to see him. I was thinking of dropping by tomorrow before I head back to New York just to see how he is."
There was an intense silence at the table. Burt looked at his plate with an angry frown, like it was personally responsible for all the woes that society inflicted upon those that were different, whilst Carole sniffed and shook her head, clearly unable to comprehend the idea that a child would be too scared to face their own parents. Kurt bit his own lip and was forcibly reminded of just how lucky that he was to be sitting there with a dad and step-mum, who were both accepting and loving and whole-heartedly supported everything that he did.
"What did you say about Blaine not caring about you?" demanded Burt, after the silence that they'd been using to absorb the news of the attempted suicide had gotten too long. Kurt rolled his eyes.
"Apparently, he's doing this because I don't deserve him, he's doing it because he cares, but he well knows that I do not need him to look after me, and he knows very well that I do not appreciate that so it's a lie. I don't know why he's lying, he won't tell me what he's hiding, but that doesn't matter. I got what I wanted."
"You did?" said Burt in obvious confusion. "How the hell did you get what you wanted? He's with someone else." Kurt closed his eyes and let out a long sigh because his dad was making him feel quite angry for no real reason other than he would not stop pursuing this.
"I can move on," he said, curtly. "I can put this all behind me now and get on with my life. I need to send in my NYADA application tape, and I haven't even chosen my song because I've been so focused on Blaine. I need to get my priorities straight; Blaine isn't my priority if he doesn't care about me." Burt still looked disbelieving, and Carole wore a very intense frown.
"I don't buy that," said Burt, brusquely. "That kid's cared about you from day one. Hell, you trusted him from the start."
"Because I was an idiot!" exclaimed Kurt, throwing his hands in the air because couldn't he see that that it had all just been an infatuation with a good looking singer who had a gaze and voice that could make anybody with any sense melt? "Why do you even care so much, dad?" he said, rounding on him. "Why aren't you angry that he broke my heart?" Burt sighed, staring Kurt down passively.
"I am, Kurt, I'm furious, but I know you better than that. You weren't stupid; you two were in love, everyone could see that. You didn't let Sebastian take him away from you the first time round, what's different now?" Kurt closed his eyes, clenching his teeth and forcing all his anger down inside him. Carole watched the exchange with cautious eyes, not interfering but ready to spring into action if needed.
"Because he doesn't want me, dad! I shouldn't have to wait around anymore! I don't have to sit and wait for him to work out what he wants! I shouldn't have to be the one that always gets their heart broken! I'm done, dad! He's broken my heart before; when he couldn't see it, when he crushed on Jeremiah, when he made out with Rachel, when he flirted with Sebastian, when he got angry over Chandler! I'm done, dad, I'm done! I'm done taking the hits! Maybe I thought we were forever and in love, but forever doesn't exist, dad! You of all people should know that! Look at you and Carole; you should both be married to other people if forever existed! Blaine isn't everything!"
With a final exasperated noise, Kurt pushed himself out of his chair and stormed up the stairs to his room, flopping down on his bed. He could feel anger and hurt washing through him. He let out an angry scream because just when he thought he'd gotten a lid on over it all his dad had caused it to come bursting back out.
He was done with Lima, though. He was never coming back here because in Lima he would always be a Loser. Not in New York, though. In New York he worked for Vogue.com. In New York no one batted an eyelid about him being gay, and there were no weird looks at his flamboyant outfits. He didn't belong here. He was never coming back. He was so done with this.