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stab the bird—could you catch her last refrain?

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Kurt vanishes between lunch and math.  He ate with Aretha, and Wheels was in that class, but it’s not until glee practice after school that anyone really starts to worry, because that’s when he doesn’t answer his phone.  Finn calls Hobbit, but he hasn’t heard from Kurt, either.

 

Karofsky is still the weight room, so Puck drags Evans and Finn to confront him.

 

Karofsky’s confusion seems genuine, but Puck’s finally off probation, so he breaks Karofsky’s face, anyway.  He only feels slightly better and Kurt’s still gone.

 

That night, Finn lets everyone know Kurt doesn’t make it home.  At one in the morning, Mr. Hummel goes to the police.

 

0o0

 

Weeks pass with no progress.  Kurt’s just gone and no one can figure where or why.  No hints of foul play leave the cops sure he ran away.  Anybody who’s ever met him, though, knows Kurt wouldn’t have left his frou-frou clothes behind, much less his dad.

 

His SUV is found three towns over, his wallet and phone and dried blood inside it.  He’s been gone for almost two months.  The police don’t think he ran away anymore.

 

0o0

 

School ends and there’s still no explanation for Kurt walking himself out the door and driving away and disappearing.  Most everyone has given up.  The hobbit doesn’t call for updates anymore.  Aretha talks in past tense.

 

Puck convinced Wheels to hack into the cops for him, and Wheels didn’t even complain about living up to stereotypes.  So now Puck has copies of almost everything the cops know, which is jack-shit about anything.  No leads, no theories, no suspects, nofuckingthing.  A single detective has the case, and no headway has been made since they found his ride.

 

Puck refuses to believe this is how Kurt’s story ends.  He was supposed to make it out of Lima.  To become famous, to have the whole world clamoring for his attention.  Him and Rachel, they were going places.  But Rachel barely sings anymore.  Hardly any of them do.  Not since Nationals, when Kurt’s absence was so fucking painfully obvious, and it broke all their hearts.  At least when he was at Dalton, they all knew where he was, and he answered the phone, and sent back sappy texts because he was so in love and safe.  He was safe at Dalton.  They wouldn’t have let him vanish from Dalton.

 

Fuck.

 

0o0

 

Senior year starts.  Puck breaks the slushy machine.  Nobody bothers to fix it.  Most of the bullies graduated, and Karofsky hasn’t done anything since Kurt came back from Dalton.

 

The Glee Club is still together, but they only meet to talk about Kurt.

 

It’s been seven months.  Even Puck and Finn talk in past tense now.

 

0o0

 

When they have the assembly in his honor, Rachel sings “If I Die Young,” her first attempt since Nationals.  She cries the whole time.  She’s never sounded better.

 

0o0

 

They graduate and all stay in Ohio for college, or whatever.  All their plans seem to have dried up.  Kurt’s been gone for almost as long as most of them actually knew him.

 

Finn says that Mr. Hummel watches home videos every night. Finn invites them over.  Even Santana goes.

 

A weekly thing becomes monthly, and slowly everyone moves on.

 

Kurt is gone, and he’s forever seventeen, the kid who sang like an angel and had a bitchy comment for every situation, who held his head high and refused to be beaten.

 

Puck misses him, so fucking much.