"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." - Oscar Wilde
Allison and Ariel raced down the hallway of the trauma center after Kurt's gurney. No one was saying anything about his condition other than that he was still unconscious and unresponsive, but otherwise stable.
"I'm sorry," said the resident physician, stopping them at the door to the examination room, "but you can't come back with him. Please remain in the waiting room and someone will update you as soon as we know something."
Ariel screwed up her face and made to argue, but Allison abruptly pulled her daughter against her.
"I want to know how he's doing every hour, on the hour," she said tersely. "Is that clear?"
The resident nodded but made no promises, which Allison honestly preferred to empty ones.
As they wandered over to the nearest bank of uncomfortable chairs, Joe quickly joined them, followed by Lee and Manny.
"I can't believe this is happening," Ariel whispered, closing her eyes and resting her head on her mother's shoulders.
"Honey," Joe said softly, "I think it's a good idea if you're checked out, too."
She cringed. "I don't need it. I'm fine."
"No, you're not, sweetheart," Lee said. "You've got a mess of cuts and scrapes, as well as some contusions." He paused. "And, I'm sorry to say, there might be evidence of the attack on your body. We want to put this guy away. To do that, we need your help."
Her stubborn streak was about to rear its head and Allison wanted to nip it in the bud. "Your father and Detective Scanlon are right, honey. You need to be examined too. I know you don't want to be, I understand you've already been put through enough, but you're old enough to know why this needs to be done, right?"
Ariel glared mutinously but just as quickly the fight left her and she nodded.
"Do you want me to go with you?" Allison asked.
Ariel shook her head. "Daddy can take me," she said quietly, not wanting to hurt her mother's feelings but knowing she'd feel safer with her father.
Allison smiled kindly. "That's fine, baby." She looked up at Joe, who nodded and helped Ariel to her feet. Just as he was leading her away, Ariel turned and regarded her mother.
"Mom?" she whispered. "Did you see anything? I mean ... "
"No," Allison warbled. "I'm so sorry, Ariel. I didn't see anything."
Ariel frowned and nodded, more confused than upset. "Me neither." She blinked. "Why?"
"I don't know," Allison admitted.
Ariel sighed and allowed her father to shepherd her away.
Allison closed her eyes and dropped her head, feeling like a complete failure.
"This isn't your fault, Allison," Manny said.
"Sure," she said dully. "Right."
He sat down next to her and stared until she turned to face him. He raised a brow. "Oh, so you think otherwise? Wasn't it just last month you were sitting in my office telling me it wasn't my fault that Arianna was raped?"
She winced. "And I meant it," she said softly.
He nodded. "And so do I. Let's just be grateful that this ... had a more favorable outcome, okay?"
She closed her eyes again against the tears forming. "I'm sorry, sir."
"There's no need for you to be sorry," he insisted. "Sadly, these things happen all the time to good people. I would never underestimate what Ariel has been through, but let's just take a moment to think about the fact it could have been so much worse."
Allison drew in a shuddering breath and released it slowly. "You're right," she said, nodding. "Thank you."
He nodded. "Right now we need to determine how best to proceed."
Her eyes flew open as she gasped, covering her mouth with a hand. "Burt," she murmured through her fingers. "I need to call him."
Lee and Manny exchanged a pointed glance.
A sinking feeling made its presence known in her stomach. "What?" she asked, already resigned.
Wordlessly, Lee passed her Kurt's badge.
She looked down at it and frowned. "What is ... "
She made a strangled noise as she was assaulted by a vision. She was startled because she almost never had them. Her gift primarily manifested in dreams while she slept. She'd had waking visions, usually by touching an object, but it was extremely rare.
Her mind was flooded with images of Kurt, a statuesque woman with copper-colored curly hair, and another woman with a blond bob, sharp features, and an even sharper mouth. Fractious snippets of Kurt, younger than he was now, walking crime scenes, sitting in on interrogations, and testifying in court cases.
"Oh, god," she whispered, keeping her eyes tightly closed.
She saw Kurt waking up screaming more nights than she could count. She saw him trying to comfort his father. She saw him sketching victims and assailants and scenes. She saw him with his friends: Santana, Brittany, Tina, Artie, and Mike. She saw him with Finn, his soon-to-be stepbrother, which was news to her. She saw him with his boyfriend, Noah. She saw the images of Noah and Quinn together that Kurt had read from both of their minds. She saw Sam.
And then she saw him at another crime scene, but this was different, felt different. It was colder, the colors more muted. She saw Kurt lingering behind a bedroom door, hesitantly touching the wall behind it, ignoring the protests of the redhead - Justine - and then she saw him stare at the bed at the center of the room.
Suddenly, and without warning, she was forcibly thrown from the vision and had no idea why.
"What the hell was that?" she demanded of no one.
"What did you see?" Lee asked carefully, making a shushing motion with his hand toward Devalos, who glowered.
"He's like me," Allison whispered. "Like the girls." She shook her head. "Damn it! Why is this our family?" She shook her head angrily as she stood and began to pace, wondering why she hadn't known this, why she hadn't seen it, why so much was kept from her despite her being oh-so-very gifted?
How had this happened? Where had he gotten it? Had he inherited it like she had? Had Suzanne had the dreams as well? How long had he been dealing with this? Did Burt know? Had he been able to help? Did any of his friends know? Did Kurt have any other support?
She felt responsible, which she knew was irrational. She and Kurt were something like fourth cousins, so she knew he hadn't inherited it from her, especially as she was only a few years older than Suzanne. If Suzanne had had the dreams, had she suffered with them as Allison herself did?
She shook her head in disbelief. Kurt had been doing this for at least two years, before he knew that she held a similar position in the office of her local district attorney. Fate? Something else? Something more? Was it really just coincidence? At least he hadn't drowned himself in alcohol as she had when she was his age. Well, as far as she knew.
"What do we do now?" she asked in defeat.
Lee cleared his throat. "I reached out to Kurt's partner, Justine Westgate, and Manny spoke with their boss, D.A. Capwell. They're going to inform Kurt's father."
Allison breathed a sigh of relief and felt guilty for it. She really hadn't wanted to be the one to call Burt and attempt to explain what had happened.
"Good luck to them," she whispered.
Joe Frost was on front desk duty because an injured wrist kept him from working on the cars. He resented being the secretary but imagined the other guys, including Burt, felt much the same when it was their turn in the rotation. His injury was keeping him from performing efficiently, as the damaged wrist was above his dominant hand, which he used for everything from writing to answering the phone. Already a poor typist, his cast just held him back even further.
He really wished Kurt was here, though he knew the kid was in school. Like all the guys, he loved Kurt. They all knew Kurt was gay and couldn't have cared less. Perhaps they might have if they hadn't been there to watch him grow up, and that was a thought that shamed all of them. Who cared if Kurt liked boys, anyway? He was an awesome kid.
What wasn't awesome was the way a furious Burt had stormed into the shop that morning, slamming the lobby door so hard the bell was yanked off its hinge. When he explained that Kurt had dumped Puckerman, but more importantly why, he suddenly had to defuse the impromptu lynch mob which had all but wanted to hunt the punk down and string him up from a lamp post. No one hurt Kurt like that and got away with it!
They had all been surprised, though they didn't know why, when Kurt began dating Puckerman. They knew the little asshole had given Kurt a lot of shit over the years, even turning up at the shop a few times to taunt him. That had been put to an end real fast when Mark Taylor, another mechanic, had chased after the little bastard with a tire iron.
Still, for whatever fucked-up reason, Kurt had forgiven Puckerman and went out with him. They all pretty much knew it would end badly. Oh, they could tell the punk had genuine feelings for their boy, but he was still a dickhead and always would be. And wasn't it ironic that prissy intellectual Kurt had chosen as his first boyfriend a meathead like his dad and the other mechanics? If girls married their fathers, maybe gay boys did too?
Sam Evans was a much better option. He had turned up after the beginning of the school year, new to Lima and Kurt's real first friend who was also a guy. Sam was a good kid. He was nice, polite, smart, had a strong work ethic and good sense of humor, but more importantly, he had treated Kurt like he deserved. Kurt had taught Sam cars and the kid had proved to have some real talent, so much so that Burt had discussed with the others about hiring Sam to help out in the shop on the days Kurt couldn't be there.
That was gone now. No one had really been surprised that Puckerman had cheated on Kurt, but to have cheated on him not only with one of Kurt's girls but with Sam ... well, that had not gone down well.
Joe looked up, startled, when two gorgeous woman stalked inside like they owned the place and glared at him as though he were the interloper.
"Can I help you?" he asked warily.
"We're here for Hummel," the redhead barked, waving a badge. "Where is he?"
Joe's eyes widened in alarm.
Justine sighed, knowing she had to calm down. Capwell had already threatened to fire her six times on the ride over for being crazy. "He's not in any trouble. It regards his son."
Joe's hands clenched into fists as he hurriedly exited from behind the counter and stood before them. "Is Kurt okay?" he asked anxiously. If that Puckerman shit had done anything ...
The blond in the blindingly white suit raised a perfectly manicured brow in a manner that reminded him of Kurt. When she spoke, the comparisons only deepened. "Please ask Mr. Hummel to join us or direct us as to his location," she said with brisk efficiency.
Joe narrowed his eyes and contemplated their request. Finally, and somewhat begrudgingly, he reached over and picked the phone, calling Burt in the back office and advising him of his guests.
Burt came out shortly, wiping dirty hands on a handkerchief that had seen better days. His eyes widened when he caught sight of his visitors. He nodded. "Justine. D.A. Capwell."
Joe had little difficulty determining the blond was the D.A. What the hell was the D.A. doing here? Was Kurt injured? Surreptitiously, he waved at the window the separated the lobby from the bays, indicating the other guys to come closer.
Liza pursed her lips. "I've told you to call me Liza, Burt, so start doing it."
Burt raised a brow. She was even ornerier than usual.
"Burt," Justine hesitantly began, "is there somewhere we can talk?"
Burt narrowed his eyes. "What the hell is this about? Is Kurt okay?"
Justine involuntarily averted his eyes and he drew in a sharp breath.
"What's wrong with the kid?" Mark demanded, barreling into the lobby. Soon, the other guys were asking variations of the same question.
"Justine," Burt whispered, causing silence to reign, his employees giving him their deference. "What's wrong?"
She blew out a breath. "Have you talked to Kurt since last night?"
Burt slowly shook his head. "He was gone when I woke up this morning. I know he was supposed to meet Santana. They wanted to talk about ... you know."
Justine frowned. "No, I don't know," she barked. "Talk about what?"
At once, the other guys began shouting over each other about why Noah Puckerman was a complete asshole. Liza quickly got the picture and scowled thunderously as Justine's hand hovered over her gun.
"No," she spat, "I didn't know about that."
"Why are you here, Justine?" asked as exasperated Burt. "Kurt's in school. If this is about ... that thing ... you and he were at yesterday, can't you wait until classes let out?"
The other guys frowned in confusion, wondering what their boss was talking about.
"Burt," she said softly, "Kurt's in the hospital."
The explosion was immediate as the guys all but trampled each other to race to the front and demand further information. A shaky Burt disappeared and returned a moment later with his keys in one hand and his phone in the other.
"All I'm getting is his voicemail."
He wasn't going to believe her words until he had proof.
She stared at him.
His shoulders slumped. "What hospital?" he whispered.
Justine and Liza exchanged a glance.
"He isn't in Lima, Burt," Justine said slowly. "He's not even in the state." She cleared her throat and straightened her shoulders at his look of confusion. "This morning, Kurt interrupted a sexual assault ... in Phoenix."
"Allison," he breathed, eyes wide. "His cousin," he clarified to the others.
"Her daughter Ariel," Liza corrected.
Burt was horrified. "She's barely sixteen!" he roared. "What kind of sick fuck would ... " He closed his eyes. "Is she okay?"
"She is," Justine confirmed, "thanks to Kurt. He got to her in time and fought off the attacker but ... it was very close, Burt."
"Is he okay?" Burt asked again, anguish heavy on his face.
"He's in serious but stable condition," Liza said. "He has head trauma but we've yet to be informed of the severity. We were given a courtesy call by the Maricopa County District Attorney, Manuel Devalos. He's going to update us as soon as we have more information."
"We've already booked you a flight out of Dayton International," Justine added. "I'll follow you home so you can pack a bag and then I'll escort you to the airport."
"Thank you," Burt babbled. "Thank you. Thank you."
"What the hell is Kurty doing in Phoenix?" asked a perplexed Joe.
"He just happened to fly to Arizona the night before his cousin is attacked?" a suspicious Mark asked.
Burt shot a quick glance at Justine, who merely raised an eyebrow.