Warning: Bullying is mentioned in this chapter. Also Dave has a section in this chapter.
Dawn had been hoping that her suspicions about the dumpster was wrong, but as she approached she saw several hockey players circling…Dawn’s eyes narrowed, that was Kurt Hummel. Her eyes widened as she realized he wasn’t even fighting them, just giving them this defiant look as he removed his jacket and set it on his bag. This was routine, expected, she realized.
“Oh fuck no!”
Dawn turned to take in the scowl on Noah Puckerman’s face.
“I thought you said you told them to leave him alone?” Artie questioned, before a slightly panicked look took over his face, “I’m going to be locked in a porta-potty by the end of the day, aren’t I?”
“I’m going to knock some heads in,” Noah growled, before he gave Artie a confused look, “Why are you talking to me?”
Artie rolled his eyes before he gave Noah an annoyed look and reminded, “We’re not just in glee together, but football teammates now.”
“Oh, yeah,” Noah acknowledged.
Dawn raised her eyebrows and both boys finally noticed her and tried to put on innocent faces, though she could see the concern on both their faces as they looked around her. Dawn spun on her heel and paused as she noticed the English teacher, Mr. Tate walk by the entire group and pause to actually greet them before he moved on. Dawn scowled. How had a teacher just walked away from this?
“Oh hell no!” a voice growled. Dawn turned in time to see Lauren Zizes dump her school books and bag and start heading for the dumpster.
Dawn realized she needed to intervene quickly. She moved towards the dumpster as she called out with force, “Mr. Hummel!”
The hockey player, Daniel Sarving, who’d had just started to grab Kurt under the armpits paused and looked at her with wide eyes. She approached at a rapid pace, face cold, trying not to breathe a sigh of relief when she passed a paused Lauren. She ignored the hockey players, kept her eyes on Kurt, because if she didn’t she’d chew them all out, which would only escalate the situation if the looks on Noah’s and Lauren’s faces had been any indication.
Kurt gave her a curious look.
Dawn raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms as she lied, “I believe we agreed to meet in my classroom five minutes ago.”
Kurt frowned, glanced at the hockey players and then thankfully caught on, “I got caught up.”
“See that it doesn’t happen again,” Dawn pretended to scold, “Especially not when you’ve volunteered to work on an important project.”
The hockey players were exchanging glances, but clearly not willing to threaten a teacher. Kurt gathered his things and followed Dawn away. She waited until they were in her office before she looked at Kurt.
He glanced at her, face giving away nothing.
“That happen often?” she asked.
Dawn frowned. She couldn’t help him if he wasn’t willing to talk to her.
“You what?” Kurt cut her off, “You’re new.”
“And I’m trying to understand what I just saw.”
She became even more worried when Kurt frowned at her, “How did you even notice? No one ever notices.”
Dawn raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms, waiting.
Kurt continued to consider her and she watched as he closed himself off. She realized she wasn’t going to get answers, not until he learned to trust her.
“You’re new,” he told her with a small stressed smile, “You’ll…”
“While Brit and I were patrolling last night we think we saw the…Hi Kurt,” Molly stuttered to a stop halfway into the room.
Kurt raised his eyebrows, looked between the two of them and crossed his arms.
“Hi,” Molly squeaked.
“Hi,” Kurt answered, looked between the two of them again, then rolled his eyes, “I’ll be going now.”
Dawn wanted to try and get answers from him, but she couldn’t send Molly away. They both remained silent as Kurt gave them both a considering look before he closed the door behind him.
Dawn raised an eyebrow at Molly, “Secret identity fail?”
Molly shrugged sheepishly.
“The other slayer?”
“Brit and I think we saw her on patrol taking out some vamps, but when we went to help she ran away.”
“Did you get a good look at her?” Dawn asked.
Molly shook her head, “All we could really tell was that she’s tall and actually rather graceful.”
Blaine leaned against his locker as he gathered his books for his first class. He frowned at the book in his hands and glanced at the mirror he had in his locker. He was still there, staring back at himself with a worried expression. So why hadn’t his mother seen him this morning?
She’d looked right through him. Everyone looked right through him. It was almost as though he didn’t exist or was invisible.
Blaine closed his eyes tightly. Maybe it was better this way? If no one noticed him then he wouldn’t get picked on. He wanted this. He…hadn’t counted on how lonely it felt to never be noticed. He was alone. His world felt muted, dull and sad in a way it’d never felt before.
Startled Blaine turned and opened his eyes. He frowned at the boy standing near him, smiling, “Hi, Mike.”
Mike’s smile widened. Why was Mike even talking to him? The silence between them stretched. Blaine wet his lips. Had he actually forgotten how to talk to people? He used to be able to charm people.
“Was there something you needed?” he asked.
“For ‘Hero’ you’re going to be dancing with Santana and Puck. We were already planning on working out their part during our free period today so if you’re not busy…” Mike trailed off and gave him a questioning look.
“You guys are free third period too?” Blaine clarified, as he tried to think if he had any homework he needed to get done. No, he’d done it all the night before.
“Meet us in the auditorium,” Mike smiled, before he patted Blaine on the shoulder and invited, “And our table could always use one more at lunch.”
Blaine watched him go unsure if he should feel hope or dread. He’d been noticed. He’d been seen. Why did that feel like such a miracle?
Kurt left Dawn’s office with the distinct feeling that he’d missed something. He decided he was going to have to confront Molly about it later as he forced himself to square his shoulders and walk down the hall. The hockey players had been interrupted, they’d be looking for retribution. He was going to get slushied before the end of the day, he knew this. He ran a quick inventory of where he’d stashed extra clothes aside from the ones he always kept in his locker. He almost paused as he realized Thomas Grave was leaning near his locker. As retaliations went, he wasn’t a person Kurt expected to see, but maybe switching from soccer to football changed a jock.
“Ev,” Kurt greeted, as he opened his locker. He glanced over and frowned, “Why does everyone call you Ev?”
“Cause I look like Everett Thomas?”
Kurt gave him a sideways glance and a raised eyebrow to indicate he didn’t know who Everett Thomas was.
“He’s a comic book character and it’s better than them all calling me Synch.”
“So Ev or Thomas?” Kurt questioned.
“Ev’s fine,” he shrugged.
Kurt was tempted to point out that Eve was traditionally a girl’s name, but if Ev was fine with it than he wasn’t going to call him on it. Instead Kurt nodded and asked, “And why are you hovering over my locker?”
“I need some help.”
“You’re taking Spanish,” Kurt pointed out, “I only tutor French.”
“I need football help,” Ev clarified.
Kurt paused in the middle of switching out his books. Ev was the new kicker.
“Finn taught me,” Kurt said, before he pointed out, “And since he’s back on the team now…”
“Finn might have told you what to do, but you actually figured out what works,” Ev countered.
“What works for me,” Kurt told him, “might not work for you.”
“Please?” Ev asked, “We both have third free and Coach lets us use the field. We could try and if it works it works and if it doesn’t hey I still suck.”
“If you suck then why are you the kicker?”
Ev shrugged, “Cause I’m the only one that actually made it between the goal posts. I blame soccer, but the harder I practice the worse I’m doing.”
“So why football instead of soccer this year?” Kurt asked.
“My dad likes it better.”
“If you love soccer…” Kurt started.
“Figured that out after I got kicker,” Ev admitted, “Please Kurt. I’m part of the team whether I love soccer more or not and you could help me be a better teammate.”
Kurt gave the inside of his locker one more look before he said, “If you’re all waiting out there with slushies…”
Ev looked confused for a moment before he frowned, “Hey, I’ve never been mean to you.”
“Sarving got interrupted,” Kurt pointed out as he shut his locker, “So I need to be a little paranoid.”
“I don’t know if I’ll catch all of them, but I’ll try and keep the hockey team off your back.”
Kurt nodded, “See you third period then.”
“I’ll get you practice gear,” Ev smiled.
Dave Karofsky stared down at the doodle he’d drawn on his paper. He glanced up at the board, saw they were still on question three and looked back down at the moon he’d absently drawn on his paper. He glanced at the third question on his paper then back up at the board before he started drawing clouds to obscure the moon. He paused in drawing the second cloud. He regarded the picture again, intent on scribbling it out when he heard Mr. Shue begin to explain question four. He hadn’t understood question four. He paused mid-scribble hoping not to call attention to himself, hoping Mr. Shue wouldn’t call on him to answer the question. Having to admit to the class he hadn’t understood would be humiliating.
“Blaine Anderson,” Mr. Shue decided.
Dave let out a yelp and fell out of his chair, hitting the floor hard, as a young man with dark hair was suddenly sitting next to him. He stared, startled as the rest of the class began to laugh. Mr. Shue turned from where he was writing the question on the board, “Problem Mr. Karofsky?”
Dave shook his head, still startled. He knew he should be upset at the laughter, but he was more struck at the slightly panicked look on Blaine’s face. He was more struck by the fact that the scent in the room hadn’t changed. Blaine has been there the whole time, he realized as he pushed himself up and back into his seat.
“No,” he answered simply.
Mr. Shue frowned and walked towards them. Dave winced. How was he supposed to explain that he hadn’t seen Blaine, that until he’d been called on Blaine had been invisible?
“There was a bee,” Blaine said, voice barely audible.
Mr. Shue paused, looking Dave over again, “Are you okay?”
“It’s gone now,” Dave replied, taking up the lie, grateful for once that everyone knew he was allergic. He guessed having them think he’d stumbled out of his chair instead of needing his epi-pen was a better alternative than having to try and explain being startled by Blaine’s appearance. How had Blaine done that? Dave waited till Mr. Shue had finished writing the question, till Blaine was at the board. to scribble out the doodle he’d been working on. He glanced over and took in the Blaine’s book spread out on his desk, the bag leaning against his chair. Dave glanced back up at Blaine and for the first time in a long time felt himself relax. He already knew, thanks to Kurt, that he wasn’t the only gay kid at McKinley, but now looking at Blaine he wondered if was no longer alone in being a freak either.