Disclaimer: Not owned by me
Warnings: Bullying references, sexual harassment references
Pairings: Slight Klaine
In response to a kink meme prompt that asked for Kurt to have to elaborate on the bullying at McKinley. Shocked!Warblers requested
Kurt understood why the Warblers had a heightened interest in McKinley. He too had been wowed by the New Directions performance, and the use of dance and dynamism was very different from Dalton academy's agenda. Kurt was growing less bitter about it as time went on. Granted, he expected he would always miss the depths of emotions that went into his old Glee club's songs. He certainly missed the people. But he was attempting to stop neglecting the bad memories of the school as well. As of then, the slightly muted tones of Dalton still trumped Karofsky's increasingly heady stare.
So he did understand why the Warblers were interested, and he was happy to talk about things like dances and song choice. He never said anything that could possibly hurt New Directions in any way; they were still his Glee club, even when they weren't, but sharing the information made him feel less homesick. However, Kurt didn't understand where the fascination in all things McKinley had come from.
"People just want to get to know where you're from," Blaine had told him. Kurt loved how he sat with his shoulders straight, as though he were smoothing the movements of the world. Blaine's smile was genuine, and Kurt felt a fluttering rush inside his chest even though he also suspected Blaine was full of crap.
"Bullshit," Kurt said easily, although his smile belied his words. "They just want to see the cheerleaders in their overwhelmingly short skirts."
That had been a particularly mortifying experience. Eliot had somehow stumbled upon some videos of the Cheerios on youtube getting their dance on (he was never going to forgive Santana for that one) and had brought it to Glee one day so they could "study the enemy" which was completely unsubtle code for "watch girls flipping around." Given Kurt's luck, he was in no way surprised when he was featured in several of the videos which led to great merriment in the halls of the warblers. And if Kurt got another request for one of the girls' numbers, he was going to scream.
"That too," Blaine agreed reluctantly. "But they also watched some dismal football games." Thankfully not the few Kurt had been in. "No offense," Blaine added belatedly. "Your step-brother's the quarterback, right?"
That was something (else) Kurt liked about Blaine, he always said step-brother. As nice as it was turning out to be having Finn as a brother-figure, they were not related and Kurt appreciated the distinction.
Kurt just shook his head and mumbled, "I still think it's bizarre," but left it at that.
He was in no way surprised when the laptop came out after a successful Glee rehearsal, successful meaning that Kurt swayed in the background for a while, and Jacob Ben Israel's blog popped up. Kurt immediately got out his nail file and began smoothing the edges of his nails. Some were looking less than perfect, and he had no need to relive Jacob Ben Israel.
"Kurt," Wes called from across the room. "Don't you want to look with us?"
Kurt rolled his eyes, not looking up from his careful grooming. "I got enough of Jacob at school, why would I ever want to see him again?"
"Suit yourself," Wes shrugged.
Most of his videos were very tame, at least for Kurt. There was quite a bit on Quinn during the months of her pregnancy that made him wince on her behalf. Jacob had a brief foray into attempting to interpret the inner thoughts and workings of a one coach Sylvester Kurt hadn't heard before that was mildly amusing, but his coverage of Rachel was wholly disturbing and Kurt vowed to mention it to Finn at the earliest opportunity. Nothing would mend their ridiculous drama better than awakening Finn's protective instincts.
Kurt inwardly cringed when they got to the video about Glee's big "gay" summer. It was admittedly funny hearing Jacob talk to Mr. Shuester about the need the stop rapping, Kurt would neither confirm nor deny starting that forum, but the idea of the Warblers seeing him get slushied in the face was vaguely embarrassing. However, he resigned himself to it, and did not even look up when the sound of a slushy hitting his face came out from the computer.
The Warblers, who up until that point had been laughing slightly at the blog and cheering at Kurt's earlier appearances, fell completely silent. Kurt continued filing, assuming that they were going to just continue to another video, but looked up after there was still no sound. "What?"
"Kurt," Blaine said carefully. "What was that?"
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Just one of the Neanderthals delivering the daily slushy facial. One of the reasons it is obvious that they will one day be working for me."
David's voice was as careful as Blaine's. "What's a slushy facial?"
Kurt had never really considered other people in other schools not even knowing what they were. "What the name implies," he said blandly. "Slushies go for 99 cents each at McKinley. It's a common pastime to nail the Glee club with them. At one point it got so bad that we all had to go around in raincoats," he laughed. His chuckles tapered off when he noticed Blaine's carefully controlled expression. "It was no big deal. We all had changes of clothes on us at all times."
Wes gently clicked on another video, Kurt actually paying attention to this one as the Warblers had behaved so strangely about the other. Jacob looked at the camera and began speaking in a reedy whisper. "Behind me are the jocks," the camera jostled over towards the dumpster all of the jocks were congregated around, "standing at their favorite spot." He rushed over to them and shoved a microphone in Puck's face. Kurt groaned slightly and rolled his eyes yet again. He was going to hurt his eyes at the rate he was going; Jacob induced muscle strain. Blaine shuffled closer to him, peering at Kurt with worry.
"Finn, how has it been dating Quinn Fabrey?" Jacob asked, shoving the microphone in Finn's face.
Finn gave a dopey smile. "It's been amazing. Quinn is like, super pretty." Kurt remembered a time when that smile had sent flutters racing towards his heart, now he just felt fondness.
Puck rolled his eyes. "Dude, we don't talk to losers."
Jacob persisted. "Finn, is Quinn's celibacy hard enough on you that you have to look towards outside sources of pleasure?" Finn's looked quickly at Puck, and stayed silent, his furrowed brow betraying that he was perturbed by the question.
Jacob turned to Puck when he didn't answer. "Puck is it true that the only reason you are sleeping with cougars is to distract yourself from your passionate love of Finn?" Puck's eyes narrowed and Finn, standing at his side, began to splutter in horror.
"In the dumpster, dork." Puck said. He and the others hoisted Jacob into the dumpster and then the cameraperson as well. The video went dark.
The Warblers cringed at the display. Wes went as far as to mutter, "What the hell?" Blaine had shifted even closer to Kurt, mouth open slightly in what appeared to be horror. Kurt took a moment to appreciate the warmth of his arm as it pressed against his own. The shocked Glee club members' eyes were growing increasingly narrowed.
Kurt was surprised for a different reason. "You'd think with all the times he was tossed in there he would tighten up his technique," he snorted. "Honestly Jacob, belly flop?"
"What is that supposed to mean?" Blaine's voice sounded like a rubber band that had been stretched too far. The rest of the Warblers jerked around to look at Kurt, and he was slightly reminded of the awkward reception of his joke about Pavarotti.
"It doesn't hurt that badly if you land the right way. If Jacob had twisted a little bit as they let go he wouldn't have face planted like it looks like he did."
"And you know that because…?" James said hesitantly, eyes comically wide.
"It was a daily occurrence for me for years. I maintain it was jealousy," Kurt tossed his head. "In any case, it more or less stopped when Puck joined Glee club. He was the ringleader of that form of harassment."
Eliot's fingers tapped a nervous pattern on his knee. "What other types of harassment were there?" His eyes darted around the room. "There were more right? You said 'that form,' which means there were others." Blaine's hand whitened on the arm of the couch.
Kurt paused in his filing to think, tapping the file against his palm. What constituted harassment and what was just dumb jocks being dumb jocks? He shrugged slightly, and decided to just mention everything, because to be honest he couldn't be bothered to make the distinction.
"Well, the slushies and dumpster dives, obviously. There was that time when they nailed all the lawn furniture to my roof. I was able to convince my dad that it was just a random prank, so that one wasn't so bad." He resumed filing his nails, oblivious to the darkening expressions on the faces of the Warblers. "The pee balloons absolutely ruined my new Marc Jacobs shirt; that was particularly frustrating. There was the name calling, but I certainly gave as good as I got, with a far more extensive vocabulary than just the continual use of the word 'fag' or 'lady.'
Oh, right, I also got checked into lockers quite a bit. One time, when we were doing Lady Gaga, my shoes got completely ruined! Usually I didn't get bruised on the face though, so really it was only demoralizing after a while. The worst though were the phone calls to my house."
David mouthed "the worst" at Wes in disbelief as Kurt continued. Blaine had gone completely rigid and his lips were thin.
"The phone calls, that's why you transferred here?" James asked with hesitation.
Kurt blinked and looked up briefly. "What? Of course not. Me being here is not going to stop them. It actually makes it worse since now I can't try to beat everyone to the phone. No, the worst was Karofsky. Let's just say closeted guys can be even more dangerous that belligerently straight ones. He would look at me sometimes," a shudder passed through him, shattering his previously nonchalant tone. "After he kissed me, all of his bullying became so much worse. I was constantly waiting for him to live up to his threat and kill me."
Kurt finally looked at the other faces of the Warblers and noticed how stiff they had all gone. "Kill you?" Blaine breathed. "You didn't mention that."
"There was no need; I came here about a week or two after that." Kurt laughed slightly. "It worked out for the best I guess, even if it did end in me running away."
"Kurt," Blaine said slowly. The other Warblers looked away, sensing their lead singer was about to say something a little more personal. "The bullying I underwent was never as bad as what you got used to. If I had known…" he trailed off. "I never would have advised you to do something that might have, and did, put you in danger."
"It would have happened anyway, eventually." Kurt firmly believed this. Blaine telling him to have courage hadn't caused him to make any decisions he wouldn't have made on his own, it just gave him hope that there was someone out there who understood. "I can't tell you how grateful I am for the support you gave me. But really," he laughed, "it was hardly as if I was being severely beaten. That was just the way it was."
The Warblers sat still, their shoulders hunched forward stubbornly. They had all known that Kurt had transferred there under extenuating circumstances, but they hadn't known the extent of the reasoning behind it. "You know it will never be like that here, right?" Blaine asked.
Kurt smiled. "Of course. Now, are you all done creeping on McKinley?"
The other boys forced laughter and closed the laptop. They filed out of the room, most unable to resist laying a comforting hand on Kurt's shoulder, although to be honest he didn't really need the comfort. He shook his head good naturedly, then also stood up to leave, looking over his shoulder at Blaine. "You coming?"
"How long are you going to wait for the other shoe to drop?" Blaine asked him, using his serious voice.
"You are so matter-of-fact about the horrible things that happened to you, I have to wonder if you expect them to happen here eventually. As though they are just the way of life."
It would have been so easy to brush Blaine off with a cavalier response, or even something comforting. Something like 'I trust that Dalton will protect me from all that.' But he didn't want to lie to Blaine, for all that he could have. Kurt understood that it was human nature to attack something that wasn't understood, so it was only natural that there was a chance some of the others at Dalton would find something they didn't like about Kurt. It could be him wanting to stand out. Or maybe just if Pavarotti died (not that Kurt had done anything that would kill the bird as far as he knew. He hadn't even fed it glitter, despite the aesthetic effect it would have.) He could have told Blaine all of that, but it would have been cruel.
"Come and help me feed Pavarotti, Blaine." He smiled gently, holding out his hand. Blaine had protected him, and now it was his turn.