A/N: Thank you to Permanent Rose for helping me :)

Kurt had been violent twice in his life. He had screamed, yelled, schemed, and even treated people disrespectfully countless times. But he had only ever brought it to physical violence twice.

The first time, he had been seven years old, just starting grade one. One of the boys mentioned something about it being his mother's own fault for being dead, and before he knew it, Kurt was on top of the boy, throwing punches. Kurt didn't even know he had it in him - and neither did anyone else. Kurt had been suspended from school, and that was the last time any of the other boys had talked to him that year.

The second time had been during recess, three years later. Kurt sat in the field beside the school, picking dandelions with his friend, Alyssa, as they sat in the grass. Alyssa understood him – she lost her mother two years before. She used one of her dandelions to tie back her thin brown hair into a ponytail, as she laughed with him. Kurt stared at her for a moment, before taking his biggest dandelion and tucking it behind her ear safely. He smiled, told her she looked very pretty, and she giggled. Soon, some of the other boys – with some girls tagging along – appeared in front of them. The leader of the group pointed at Alyssa's flower behind her ear and laughed at how ugly it looked. Kurt looked at Alyssa, her blue eyes filling with tears, and dove straight into the boy's legs, knocking him over. He began punching at the boy's stomach before he could stop himself.

Not that he would have.

It had been six years since Kurt had been violent. And now, he thought miserably, as he sat quietly and alone in a corner of the backstage area of Regionals, this would bring the count to shiny number three.

From where he sat, Kurt could see Mr. Schue talking heatedly with the Vocal Adrenaline coach. He could see his victim glaring at him, while nursing a bloody nose. He could see Miss Pillsbury ushering New Directions away from both him, and the two coaches. Mercedes was trying desperately to get to him, with painful expression on her face. Puck and Finn were giving him the thumbs up, while Miss Pillsbury swatted their hands away - they shouldn't be encouraging such behaviour.

Kurt could taste the blood coming from his bottom lip; he wiped it away with the back of his hand. He was looking at the blood, drying on his hand, when a small packet appeared in front of him. Miss Pillsbury was wincing at the germs crawling on him, when he looked up to see who was giving him the anti-bacterial cloth. He took it from her, and wiped his hands thoroughly, as she took a seat next to him. He didn't make eye contact with her at first - he noticed that Mr. Shue had replaced her with the task of keeping his teammates away, probably taking them to warm up their voices again. He settled his eyes back on his hands.


He really did like Miss Pillsbury - yes she was weird, with her germaphobic tendencies, and her sense of style looked straight out of the '50s, but she meant well. Even though he had never gone to her to talk about personal issues - only the occasional class schedule or college application question - he knew she could be trusted. But he really wasn't in the mood to talk.

He remained silent, and she sighed. He felt her stand up, and she disappeared for a few minutes - he hoped she was going to leave him alone now. Unfortunately, she returned, and just as he was starting to relax too. He heard her rummaging through her purse and couldn't help but watch her as she pulled on her plastic gloves. In her hands was a compress - she was cracking it for it to become cold. She wrapped the now cold compress in a couple tissues from her purse as well, and what she did next startled Kurt.

Miss Pillsbury reached over, took his chin in her gloved hand, and turned his head completely towards her. She dabbed at his swollen lip with the compress a couple times, and then pressed it gently against his lip. Kurt stared, like a deer in the headlights as his father would say, at Miss Pillsbury, who was completely unconcerned with the gesture. Her huge brown eyes were staring at his lip, full of concern.

It hit him then, that this is probably what his mother would do in this situation. He swelled with affection for his guidance counselor, whom no one in New Directions had ever given much of a second thought to. She finally tore her eyes away from his battle wound, and gave him her weird half smile that everyone knew she saved just for her students. He gave her a small smile back.

"It's okay if you don't want to talk... but you do know that Mr. Schuester is worried about you - so am I," Miss Pillsbury shifted, and pushed his stiff hair back out of his eyes, looking closer at his left. "You're going to have quite the bruise tomorrow," she added. "You aren't the type of boy who gets into fights, Kurt." She took his hand, and replaced it with hers on the ice pack. She pulled off her gloves, and after tossing them in a near by can, she squirted her small bottle of Purell on her hands. "I would expect this kind of thing from Puck, or Finn... but not you Kurt." She looked at him and folded her hands in her lap.

Kurt's eyes guiltily averted Miss Pillsbury's. He thought his mother would most definitely be like Miss Pillsbury - not pressuring, kindly asking. He knew he probably almost got New Directions disqualified from Regionals, and yet she wasn't yelling at him.

"They insulted Mercedes," Kurt said clearly. "Because of me. I'm sick and tired of people insulting my friends because of me. They can insult me all they please; I'm used to it. But not my friends. Mercedes has done nothing wrong."

"Neither have you," Miss Pillsbury replied.

Kurt ducked his head out of her eye line. "Sometimes it feels that way," he said softly.

There was that snapping of the plastic gloves again, and Kurt suddenly felt his hands warm up. He looked down and saw her gloved hand gently resting atop of his. He followed her arm up, and stared at her through watery eyes.

"It breaks my heart when I see those football players around you," she confessed. "I always seem to just miss them harassing you... But Kurt, you are a wonderful person; don't let a few ignorant people bring down your confidence. Especially when you have the talent to back it up," she gave him a quirky smile.

Kurt couldn't help but to smile back at her. He blinked, and wiped the rolling tears away from his cheeks.

"Just between you and I," Miss Pillsbury leaned in slightly closer and dropped her voice to a whisper, "I liked your performance of Defying Gravity better." Once she saw Kurt's confused face, she added, "I heard you from the hallway while you were practicing in the choir room. Mr. Shuester told me he thought you blew the note on purpose."

Kurt shrugged, a bit embarrassed.

"You are so confident in yourself – most high school kids would kill for a confidence like that," she rubbed his hand gently with her thumb. "Don't let them take it away from you. You're going to go on and do great things."

Kurt stared at the floor in front of him for a few moments, before looking up to meet her gaze. "Thank you Miss Pillsbury." His voice was soft.

Miss Pillsbury's smile widened, and she patted his hand before releasing it and taking off her gloves. She stood, and nodded her head towards where Mr. Schuester was warming up their voices again. "Now, come on. They need you if they're going to win."

Kurt let out a soft chuckle, and stood as well. As they both made their way back to New Directions, the rest of the group began to swarm him. Mercedes was the first one to reach him, hugging him tightly when she did. Quinn kissed him on the cheek, and told him he might be better off if he just beat up Karofsky at school next week – it would probably get the message across. Finn gave Kurt a high five, which Kurt was tentative about, but returned it nonetheless.

"Man, nice punch! How's your hand?" Puck asked, when he reached him.

Kurt shrugged under all the stares of his teammates. "Um, it's throbbing a little." Once Kurt started laughing, albeit awkwardly, the rest of them started laughing as well.

As everyone laughed, Puck leaned over. "You wanna join my fight club?" he whispered.

Kurt raised his eyebrow. "No, Puck. I do not want to join your fight club."

Puck shrugged. Kurt turned to the rest of the team, and found his voice a little shaky. "Can we just forget this happened? And go back to warming up our voices?"

After a pause, they all nodded, and Mr. Schuester, who appeared from behind Kurt, patted him gently on the back.

"Alright, from the top."