misqueue: Blaine takes Kurt's hand and a shortcut in "Never Been Kissed" (glee - blaine & kurt dalton hallway NBK)
misqueue ([personal profile] misqueue) wrote2013-09-14 11:00 am

[Ficlet] Haven (1/1)

Haven

Kurt/Blaine | T | Science-Fantasy | S2 AU, viral vampirism, disability, bullying, hate crime, happy ending | for likeasouffle's AU prompt: Kurt/Blaine, AU where some people are vampires | There aren't many boys like Kurt in rural Ohio. | ~1,000 words




The virus killed Kurt's mother, spared his father, and left Kurt among the few it changed.

Symptoms were extreme photosensitivity, an inability to digest "normal" food, and when left untreated, it caused severe anemia (but not death). With proper treatment, one could, with time, gain increased physical and sensory capability, delayed aging (some even claimed immortality was possible), and rapid healing. Unfortunately, proper treatment was the consumption of human blood or—for those who could afford a decent standard of health care—a weekly IV drip of donated blood.

Unsurprisingly, they called it Vampire Syndrome. Kurt hated it. He missed red velvet cupcakes and blackberry pie and chocolate chips cookies fresh from the oven. He missed sunshine and birdsong and outdoor tea parties in the flower garden with his mother. He missed his mother more than anything. Also, he wasn't a monster.

The public schools made accommodations; they had to under the law. But in rural Ohio, there just weren't that many other kids like Kurt, and so the accommodations met only the most minimum standards. By high school, he was the only one in his class with VS. Spending schooldays with overworked, underinspired teachers and isolated from most of his peers was a special hell.

And then there was the bullying, because in nearly every way Kurt could be different, he was. There was name calling of course. But the worst of it was the day some of the jocks ganged up on him, dragged him outside, and chained him to one of the supports under the bleachers after school. Mid-afternoon, it was in the shade, but as the day grew long, he'd take the full force of the late summer sun.

Mercedes Jones found him after marching band practice, half-conscious, dehydrated, and delirious with pain. She called an ambulance. He was so hungry, he nearly bit the EMT. His skin was so badly blistered his father didn't recognize him in the ER.

.

He stayed in hospital for a week. Even with the rapid healing, his body had been terribly stressed by the sun exposure. The pint of blood hanging on the IV nearby was blood his father had donated that morning. Now, beside his bed, his father sat, worried.

"So there's this boarding school in Westerville," his Dad was saying. "They have a night school, just for kids like you. You'd be in classes with other boys. You'd be safe, Kurt."

Kurt had heard of the school: Dalton Academy. He'd looked into it on his own once. The tuition was steep. "Dad," Kurt croaked through a dry throat; his vision was bleary and tinged red. "We can't afford—"

"Yes, we can," his Dad said, and squeezed his hand. "You let me worry about the bills, okay?"

Kurt grimaced. "I'd miss you."

"I'd see you every weekend," his Dad said. "Plus, they have a glee club you could join. A capella. I hear they're pretty good."

That earned a smile. "Really?"

"Really. You just concentrate on feeling better, and I'll get you enrolled. Okay?"

"Okay," Kurt said. There was no other answer to give.

.

They drove out to Westerville on a Monday night to meet with the headmaster. Kurt spent an hour at his vanity dabbing concealer over the lingering scars on his face, blending it all with powder, adding just a little rouge to his cheeks so he didn't look quite so lifeless. The scars would be gone soon enough, but he didn't want anyone's pity.

The headmaster was a dour, pale man with a face that looked like it had been carved from a square wooden post. He had a quality of simultaneous age and agelessness that those who'd been living with VS for a long time acquired. While his father and the headmaster talked about the demanding standards of Dalton, the classes that would best suit Kurt, the extra-curriculars, and the dormitories; Kurt was attentive and asked questions. He began to realize just how much education and life he'd been lacking. A thrill of possibility expanded in his chest as he imagined it. What he could do here. Who he could become.

.

His father excused himself and Kurt to the hall. "What do you think? You want to do this?"

"Yes," Kurt said, nodding vigorously and rising up on his toes with excitement. "Oh, please, Dad. It sounds amazing here."

"Okay, why don't you go look around while I do the paperwork? I'll send you a text when we're ready to go, okay?"

.

Kurt wandered the silent halls alone. Classes were in session. He took in the wood paneling and murals, the crystal chandeliers and shiny brass, the polished stone floors and wrought iron railings, it was all so grand. And he could be alive here. He could thrive.

Paused near the top of a spiral of white marble steps that swept down beneath a glass and iron dome, Kurt stood. He gazed up at the complex symmetry of the dome, above which tumbled the moonlit clouds. That was when the bell rang. A flood of students surged around him, descending the staircase in a jumble of enthusiastic voices and the slap-clap of leather-soled shoes. No one gave him a second glance, and there were so many.

He let the crowd sweep him down as he realized it may be time to return to the headmaster's office. But he wasn't entirely sure of the way back. A dark haired boy with a serious face caught his peripheral attention. "Excuse me," Kurt said to the boy's back when he brushed past Kurt's shoulder.

The boy turned at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at Kurt. His red-tinged eyes widened and a wide smile bloomed upon his lips.

No one had ever looked at Kurt that way. It was as if the boy recognized Kurt, as if Kurt were a long lost loved one and this was their happy reunion. Except that was impossible. And Kurt, his heart shuddered a moment and then strengthened its beat. "I'm new here," he said breathlessly, and though he realized he was staring, dazed and aflutter, he couldn't stop himself. "I've got myself lost."

"I'm Blaine," the boy said and extended his hand. He was lovely.

Kurt reached out and took it. "Kurt," he replied. "I'm trying to find my way back to the headmaster's office."

"I know a shortcut," Blaine said. He pulled Kurt by the hand down the last few stairs, and, hand-in-hand, they jogged down an empty corridor. Blaine held Kurt's hand tightly, and Kurt knew, somehow, that he'd never let go.

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