An angsty reform!Klaine fic I started with a little bb!Klaine on the side.
Title: Can’t go back
Summary: ‘Things began to go wrong when he was eight. His meeting with a certain curly-haired little boy had taught him that, despite what his father had said, violence actually did work rather well.’ Reform!Klaine AU.
Posted here on fanfiction.net
The first time Kurt met him was when he was eight. It was a warm summer’s afternoon and the air was thick with humidity. Kurt was limping from school. It was past three, Kurt had missed his school bus. The reason for that was a group of older boys who had thought that throwing Kurt into a dumpster would be funny. He’d squirmed and yelled and tried to free himself, really he had, but the four pairs of strong arms that clung to his short little limbs had simply been too strong.
As he shuffled down the deserted suburban street Kurt sniffled miserably as the hot tears still trailed down his dirtied face. It wasn’t the sharp pain in his leg that had produced the tears though, no. The thing that hurt the most was the profound shame that settled heavily in his innocent heart. He felt ashamed of himself. He dreaded the day that his daddy found about the bullying. He resented the moisture pooling in his eyes, even at eight. He resented it because he was a Hummel and daddy always told him: “No one pushes the Hummels around.” But here Kurt was, being pushed, shoved, tripped and tossed on a daily basis. He would never be as strong and as big as his daddy.
Kurt’s small face scrunched up in a deep frown and he kicked a discarded can in his path angrily. His little bottom lip stuck out and began to wobble. It wasn’t fair, thought Kurt miserably stopping in his tracks. He walked to the end of the sidewalk and sat down heavily, wincing at the applied pressure to a string of new bruises forming all over his skinny frame. Kurt pulled up his knees to his chin and wrapped is little arms around them. Curled up against them, Kurt cried. He hated the bullies. He wanted a friend, just one friend that wouldn’t push him over and yell mean things. He wanted his daddy to pick him up and tell him it was okay. He wanted to be home, not sat, alone, in the middle of a foreign street.
More than anything Kurt just wanted his mommy back.
For what felt like an eternity to an eight year old Kurt just cried on the sidewalk. His slight shoulders shook as he sobbed into his arms, the sad, mournful sound of a little boy with a broken spirit. When his sobs began to subside into hiccups and sniffling Kurt noticed that the world had suddenly become colder. He opened his eyes and realised it was because he’d been cast in shadow. Cautiously, with stuttered breath he turned his head to see what, or who, had taken away the sun.
Kurt’s stomach dropped. Standing over him was another boy, a little taller than Kurt. Unlike Kurt’s perfectly combed hair this boy had a mane of unruly black curls that fell in messy disarray almost down to his shoulders. He was wearing a dirty red t-shirt and a battered pair of denim shorts that showed off scabbed knees. His folded arms were adorned with colourful plasters. The boy didn’t scare Kurt for the same reason as the bullies did. The bullies were big and strong, the little boy was taller but his arms were almost as skinny as Kurt’s. It was the little boy’s expression that caused the fear to ignite in Kurt’s small chest. The boy was scowling at him, large eyebrows pulled down low over hazel eyes fringed with thick eyelashes. If it wasn’t for the menacing expression Kurt might have thought he was pretty, which of course he wouldn’t have, because boys weren’t meant to find other boys pretty. That was what Davey had said before shoving him into the sandbox last week. Kurt began to tremble as he stared with wide eyes up at the scary boy. He didn’t want to be hurt again today.
The boy raised his hand and Kurt flinched away, bringing his arms over his head as he was used to doing. He waited for the blow.
The blow didn’t come. Instead a sticky hand wrapped itself around Kurt’s and he was roughly tugged up with such force that he fell right into the other little boys arms. He looked up at the boy in alarm. The little boy’s expression hadn’t changed much but Kurt thought that his eyes had changed somehow, they seemed much more sparkly, but Kurt still felt the bubble of fear in his chest. He blinked a few times, eyes felt sore and gritty from crying, before taking a step back from the dark haired boy. The boy didn’t stop him but for some reason he kept Kurt’s fingers tightly bound between his. They stood in silence for a little while as Kurt’s breathing returned to normal.
“Why are you crying?” The little boy asked in a firm voice. Kurt started in surprise.
“I-I…” began Kurt in a small voice but he couldn’t finish. He looked away and stared intently at the ground, shuffling his feet uncomfortably.
“Is someone being mean to you?” Asked the little boy and Kurt glanced up in shock. “I could beat them up for you.” The boy offered casually, face completely serious. Kurt’s eyebrows knitted together.
“My daddy says that I shouldn’t fight.” Kurt said with a little more resolution than before. The boy tilted his head to one side.
“He does?” He asked. Kurt nodded shyly, returning his gaze to his ruined shoes. There had been milk in the dumpster and Kurt had stepped in it. He remembered the feeling of the sour liquid seeping in through his brand new red sneakers and felt himself wanting to cry again. He bit his lip to stop the sound from escaping.
“Hey!” The boy yelled suddenly. Kurt stiffened and his eyes widened again as he looked up nervously. Had he made the boy angry? Yes, Kurt confirmed with that one look. The boy looked really angry.
“Look at me!” The boy commanded. With no other choice Kurt met the boy’s fiery hazel eyes.
“You shouldn’t let people make you cry!” The boy released Kurt’s hand and placed both hands on either side of Kurt’s face, wiping away his tears with grubby thumbs. Kurt bit his lip and tried to force the moisture back.
“Some guys picked on me once,” the boy said in a slightly more conversational tone. Kurt couldn’t imagine the boy being pushed around by anyone.
“Really?” Asked Kurt softly. “What did you do?” For the first time since he’d met the little boy his lips quirked up a little, but only for a second.
“I taught them a lesson.” He answered in a tone far too dark for a child his age. Kurt couldn’t help but shiver slightly as a warm breeze blew past them. The little boy was brushing Kurt’s shoulder’s free of some of the grime he’d missed earlier.
“My name is Blaine.” The boy said offering his sticky hand to shake. Kurt was surprised at such a polite gesture but gingerly took his hand nonetheless.
“Kurt.” He answered quietly shaking Blaine’s hand.
“Won’t your mommy and daddy be wondering where you are?” Asked Blaine seriously. Kurt’s stomach began to knot in anxiety. He’d completely forgotten about his daddy, he was late from school and hadn’t told him where he was! His daddy was going to be angry at him. Kurt’s heartbeat began to speed up.
His distress must have been visible because for an instant Blaine’s face softened.
“Hey, it’s okay!” Reassured Blaine rubbing Kurt’s arms comfortingly.
“But I don’t even know how far away I am! My dad’s going to be so-o-o-” Kurt’s voice cracked and tears welled up in his eyes again. “-so angry with me.”
“Where do you live?” Blaine asked calmly. Kurt swallowed thickly and told him the address that his dad had made him memorise when he was six. Blaine nodded and looked relieved.
“That’s not far,” he reached out his hand and wiggled his stubby, little fingers. “I’ll take you there.”
Kurt felt his face flush with warmth and didn’t hesitate to take the little boy’s hand again. Although Blaine was clearly his age Kurt couldn’t help but feel a surge of contentment well up through his body when his fingertips weaved their way through Blaine’s. It felt safe, like home. He smiled up at Blaine and the tears stopped. Maybe this was what it felt like to have a friend.
“Thank you.” Blaine didn’t smile back but his cheeks looked flushed as he nodded curtly.
Kurt had expected Blaine to release his hand once they began walking down the street but he didn’t and Kurt, for some reason he couldn’t understand, was glad and held on a little tighter. Blaine looked down at their intertwined fingers but didn’t comment or react.
“Won’t your parents be worried about where you are?” Asked Kurt after three blocks of walking in silence. Blaine laughed but the sound wasn’t like Kurt’s laughter. It didn’t sound like a very happy sound at all.
“They won’t care,” said Blaine. Kurt frowned a little in confusion but didn’t ask what he meant.
“So what did those kids do to you?” Blaine asked eventually. Kurt sighed a little and squirmed uncomfortably.
“They…” Kurt flushed in embarrassment.
“It’s okay,” Blaine said with a squeeze of his hand. “I won’t laugh at you. I promise.” Kurt believed him.
“They threw me in the dumpster.” Kurt said glumly. Blaine stopped in his tracks. Kurt looked up at him, wondering what the problem was, only to see that Blaine’s little face was twisted in what looked like rage.
“What?” Kurt asked panicking a little. “What’s wrong?”
“They threw you in the dumpster?” Blaine demanded angrily. Kurt gulped and nodded. Blaine huffed.
“If I’d been there I would have kicked their butts.”Grumbled the boy. Kurt stared at him in shock.
“Why?” Kurt asked in confusion.
“Because they threw you in the dumpster,” said Blaine giving him an odd look. “Of course I would.”
Kurt still didn’t understand but didn’t press the subject for fear of this little boy’s anger being directed towards him.
“How old are you?” asked Kurt instead.
“So you’re in the same grade as me!” Kurt exclaimed, beaming up at Blaine. Blaine blinked at him but eventually his frowning lips twitched up into a smile.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“But you don’t go to McKinley Elementary, do you?” Kurt asked with a frown.
“No.” Blaine said with a shake of his head, his curls whipped around his face and Kurt smiled. They walked hand in hand past the rows of neat suburban houses. Some children played out in their front yards, making the most of the midday sun. Kurt’s heart hurt a little when he saw all the mommies playing with their kids.
“Do you have a mommy?” Kurt asked Blaine in a little voice.
“Yeah, but she’s probably not as nice as yours.” Blaine said tilting his head to the side so that he could look at Kurt properly. Kurt didn’t say anything.
“But she’s probably alive…” mumbled Kurt. Blaine’s frown deepened and he moved closer to Kurt so that their arms brushed as they walked.
Eventually the boys turned a corner and suddenly Kurt was met with a familiar street, his street. The weight inside his chest began to lift.
“I know where we are! I know where we are!” Kurt sang happily. Blaine’s face stayed the same and Kurt wondered why he was so sad. Because when people didn’t smile it meant they were sad right?
“Can you see your house yet?” Blaine asked, when Kurt nodded his head enthusiastically Blaine bowed his head and released Kurt’s hand. Kurt looked down at his empty hand and then back at Blaine. All of a sudden Kurt felt the urge to cry.
“Hey, don’t cry again!” Blaine warned without any real threat in his voice. “I’ve got to go home sometime!” Kurt pouted, his little lip sticking out.
“Can’t you stay and play for a little while?” Kurt asked desperately, but Blaine was already shaking his head.
“I’m sorry.” Kurt nodded in glum understanding and began to walk away. He’d only gotten a few steps when an outstretched leg appeared in his path. Kurt didn’t see it quickly enough and he went tumbling down to the ground, his bare knees scraped the gravelly sidewalk and his palms were cut against the rough ground. For a second Kurt lay on the ground in shock but by the time the pain in his hands and knees was beginning to register he could feel the sobs building in his chest. Distantly he heard the nasty laughter of one of the neighbourhood bullies, Tomas.
Kurt was too distraught by the wounds to notice when the laughter turned into yells of pain. When he’d finally composed himself he turned to a scene he did not expect and gasped in horror.
Blaine was sitting on Tomas’ large chest, one of his hands fisted in the larger boy’s shirt and the other was curled into a fist as he punched Tomas’ large nose and beady eyes over and over again. Kurt had never liked violence and he really, really didn’t like Blaine being violent.
Kurt acted on instinct. He lunged from where he was beginning to sit up on the pavement and reached out to wrap his arms around Blaine’s skinny waist.
“Blaine! Blaine, come on you’re going to get in trouble!” Kurt yelled desperately. At first Blaine ignored him, Tomas was groaning and yelping beneath Blaine and for a second Kurt wondered how someone as little as Blaine was able to overpower someone as big as Tomas. Kurt tightened his hold on Blaine’s stomach. Blaine paused, the blows to Tomas’ face slowed down until eventually they stopped altogether. Blaine’s face scared Kurt. He didn’t look happy at all, he looked like there was something missing from his eyes. It made Kurt sad.
Blaine released his hold on the bully and Tomas’ head fell heavily to the ground. He was snivelling pathetically and before Blaine could even get up he was snaking from beneath him and running to the house in tears, clutching his bloody nose. A door slammed and Kurt and Blaine were once again left alone on the sidewalk, the only sound was Blaine’s heavy breathing as it returned to normal. He closed his eyes and breathed through his nose. Kurt merely sat in silence and waited.
“He shouldn’t have tripped you up.” Was all Blaine said. Kurt nodded and this time it was him who reached his hand out to the curly-haired boy. Like Kurt, Blaine accepted the hand without hesitation but pulled back when Kurt gasped a little. He’d forgotten that he’d hurt his hands.
“I think I need a bandaid…” Kurt said lamely. Blaine’s lips quirked up.
“I think you’re going to need more than one.” They both got up and began walking in the direction of Kurt’s house, Blaine trailing behind. Kurt stopped before his front gate. Suddenly Kurt was afraid to let Blaine leave. Was Blaine his friend? He acted nice. That’s what friends did, right?
Kurt had never had a friend before.
“Will you come and see me? We could play in my sandbox.” Kurt said brightly. For the first time since they met that day Blaine’s face lit up into a smile. A real smile, Kurt knew it was because it made his eyes scrunch up. Kurt’s face flushed red, because he’d right. Blaine really was pretty when he wasn’t frowning. Kurt suddenly couldn’t look his new friend in the eye. He was surprised when a pair of strong little arms wrapped themselves around his narrow shoulders and squeezed tightly, almost as tight as when his daddy hugged him. Kurt was even more surprised when Blaine planted a wet, sticky kiss to his cheek before pulling away, looking pleased.
Kurt’s little hand shot up to the spot on his cheek Kurt had kissed. He looked at Blaine with the kind of innocent, unabashed awe that’s only ever seen in young children. Blaine shuffled his feet looking almost bashful.
“Remember,” said Blaine raising his wide eyes from his sneakers. “Don’t let people like that bully get you down, promise?” Kurt sniffed loudly and nodded, he bit his bottom lip.
“Thank you Blaine.” Blaine smiled again, his real smile, before pecking Kurt on the other cheek and rushing away down the street. He paused before Tomas’ house and picked up a rock. He threw it viciously at the brand new, red bike that Tomas had gotten on his birthday. Kurt gasped and Blaine turned to wave at him before disappearing around the street corner. As he did he heard a door open and turned to see his dad emerge from their house.
“Kurt! Where the hell have you been kid? I’ve been worried sick!” Kurt ran up to his dad as quickly as his little legs would take him and allowed his dad to scoop him up. He wrapped his arms around his dad’s broad neck and told him everything.
It was the last time Kurt saw the violent little boy with the unruly hair and pretty face. He forgot the boy’s face and his name but Kurt would always remember the little boy that beat his bully to a pulp and gave him the strength he’d needed.
Blaine stared up at the familiar chain-link fence with mixed emotions. The barbed wire lining the top gleamed menacingly in the cool autumn sun. It had been five months since he’d left. Five months since he’d had no choice but to change. Circumstances had forced Blaine to take responsibility and show the world he could be a functioning member of society.
Functioning member of society, Blaine thought sourly. What a fucking joke.
Blaine kicked his way through the red and yellow leaves that blanketed the gravel path. He paused before the gate and looked up at the large, bleak building looming before him. With a sigh he walked back through the familiar gates.
To the left of the gate a rusting sign quivered in a sudden breeze.
It read “DALTON ACADEMY” in bold, red lettering. The bottom half of the sign was obscured by the untrimmed branches of a bramble bush but when Blaine was halfway up the path another strong, bitter wind cut through the air and the foliage shifted enough to make the rest of the sign visible.
DALTON ACADEMY -
Reform school for boys.
Blaine paused again, this time in front of the door to the school reception. He gritted his teeth as a wave of disdain came crashing through his entire body. He wished he could be anywhere, anywhere but here.
You’re not doing this for yourself. He reminded himself bitterly and without giving himself an excuse to turn around and leave he reached out to open the heavy glass door and escape the harsh chill.
Kurt had been a quiet child. He had been polite, optimistic, always smiling. Kurt had also been a strong-willed child with stronger morals.
Things began to go wrong when he was eight. His meeting with a certain curly-haired little boy had taught him that, despite what his father had said, violence actually did work rather well. The change was gradual at first, it had to be really as Kurt was a rather small, delicate little boy.
At first, when he shoved the bullies back they simply shoved him back down, harder than before. This continued for a while, Kurt’s scabbed knees became thicker as it healed, his bloody hands stronger. Burt was at a loss. He loved Kurt, more than anything, he wanted Kurt to be safe.
When Kurt was nine Burt enrolled him in kickboxing classes. No one, least of all Kurt’s tormentors could have predicted how easily the seemingly weak bodied little boy would have taken to the skill.
When Kurt was ten his bullies realised that speed often beat strength. Kurt, although he lacked the thick-boned body that one may associate with a fighter, was fast. Kurt learned to fight off his bullies with his quick-mind and what physical strength he possessed.
For two years the bullies gave Kurt a wide berth. If anyone ever did say anything Kurt went crazy and kicks, punches, pulled hair and bites would no doubt ensue. Kurt got into trouble a lot at school, Burt would scold him and yell but the only result was Kurt becoming more and more introverted. He gained the respect of his bullies but the other children kept away from him. The other boys found new people to push and shove. Kurt didn’t say anything, he watched and laughed like the rest of the children because at least they weren’t picking on him.
The only problem was that Kurt was lonely. Even as he laughed naughtily with the group of boys and threw things at girls to get their attention, he knew. He felt an itch, an itch that grew stronger with every passing day. Kurt wanted to wear nice clothes, he didn’t want to play soccer and get dirty. He wanted to read the pretty, glossy magazines that the other girls had started to read. It hurt his heart a little when Davey took Lily’s copy of seventeen and ripped it in two. It hurt his heart even more when Lily glared at him like she’d glared at the rest of the boys but by then it was too late. Kurt had forgotten how to say ‘I’m sorry.’ Kurt had gained the ability to fight but along the way he had lost a little of himself. That year Burt found a stack of magazines under his son’s bed. He’d chuckled to himself, expecting to see a secret stash of playboys. Burt hadn’t expected to find a neat stack of Vogue’s, perfectly ordered by issue. It had surprised him but somehow at the same time he wasn’t surprised at all. He returned the magazines to their hiding place and didn’t confront Kurt.
When Kurt turned thirteen a realisation that had been growing inside of him became clear. The other boys became bashful and red-faced around girls. Sometimes they’d talk about girls and they’d ask Kurt which girl he’d like to do certain things with.
Kurt couldn’t answer because Kurt didn’t like any of the girls. Kurt didn’t like girls. The locker rooms became hell for him and he did all that he could to hide his terrible, shameful secret. Kurt became miserable.
When Kurt entered high school the boys around him began to change. They shot up, towering over the other girls and consequently, over Kurt too. Their chests and shoulders became broader and their voices deepened. None of these things happened to Kurt. His friends turned on him and suddenly Kurt was eight years old again, fighting to keep afloat. Once again, Kurt’s palms were scraped, his shoulders bruised by the lockers. Worst of all was that the one thing that could have protected Kurt’s mind, the one thing, was something out Kurt’s reach. Kurt had lost himself. Kurt didn’t know how to change. He envied the beautiful men and women in the issues of Vogue that he still bought religiously and still hid under his bed but that had become a far away dream.
When Kurt was fifteen he joined Glee club. Kurt had some of the happiest memories of his life in Glee. For the first time Kurt made friends, tentatively he began to embrace the ghost of the person he could have been, the person he should have been. The bullying continued but now Kurt had a buffer, a reason to continue. Kurt began dressing differently, instead of admiring the vibrant colours and sharp cuts in magazines Kurt sought them out for himself. A month after he joined Glee club he came out to his friend Mercedes. She accepted him the way he was. Kurt escaped the taunting and the hatred through his voice, his clothes, he stopped resenting who he was inside. Breathing and living became easier, lighter almost. Kurt hadn’t forgotten how to fight but with the New Directions and his father by his side he lost the urge.
Kurt thought that it all must be too good to be true. The sad thing was that it turned out he was right. The strain suffered by his father in recent years took its toll. The fighting, the calls from school, the suspension… It must have had a greater affect on his father than Kurt realised. Burt Hummel suffered a heart attack and Kurt’s life was turned upside down. The glee members tried to help but there was nothing they could do. Kurt became a shell as his father battled away in hospital.
One night, as Kurt was making his way home from the hospital one of his very first tormentors, Tomas, crossed his path.
“Watch where you’re going you filthy faggot!”
The shell shattered.
Tomas suffered a broken nose, cuts and bruises and four broken ribs.
Burt pulled through.
A few weeks after his sixteenth birthday Kurt was sent to Dalton Academy, he would be forced to remain there for six months.