"That was great, guys! The best go yet!" Blaine's grin was nearly too big for his face as the Warblers broke out of their formation and started to gather their school things. Thoughts of homework barely penetrated his mind as he threw his calculus and history books into his tan messenger bag and threw it over his shoulder. He was still busting with energy and confidence. Blaine spun on his heel and when his bag landed gently on his thigh, he spread his arms wide, smiling broadly at the Warblers in front of him. "We have sectionals in the bag!"
Cheers broke out through the senior commons as they slowly dispersed, destined for different places on school grounds. Jeff approached Blaine and clapped his friend on the shoulder. "You nailed that performance of California Gurls." He laughed as they started to leave the room and walk down the hallway. "Between that and Get the Party Started, we'll be sure to go to nationals this year. Good thing too, with you being a senior and all. It's your last shot."
Blaine gave a small laugh as they turned a corner and walked into the courtyard. A shiver ran up his spine as they walked into the cool fall air. "Yeah... I suppose it's a little sad. But you know me." He said putting his hands into his jacket to stay warm. "I always put my heart and soul into Katy Perry and Pink."
Jeff laughed and paused for a minute, swinging his backpack off of one shoulder so he could look through it properly. "Oh no... I left my history notebook back in my locker. You go on; I'll meet you back at the apartment." He said with a small frown. Blaine nodded as his friend turned around and walked back into the building. The apartment that his friend was talking about was the one that he and a few of the Warblers shared.
It made sense for Blaine, Jeff, Trent and Nick to room together. Especially since they all used to board at the school, but going into their senior year, housing got expensive. Getting their parents to sign a lease for them made it easy for them to eat healthier, exercise more and sing often (now their harmonies were killer).
Sure, they got some noise complaints sometimes, but who cared, really? Between the money pulled in from their parents and Trent's part-time job, they paid their rent on time and the manager liked them.
They were hardly an ordinary group of kids their age, anyway. No wild, drunken parties every weekend; just loud, beautiful music being sung every night, putting the kids in 3A asleep by bedtime.
So with a bounce in his step, Blaine started on the ten minute walk from Dalton Academy to the apartment.
Across the street, hidden deep within the shadows of a near alleyway, two eyes watched Blaine Anderson walk down the sidewalk. The figure the eyes belonged to wasn't recognizable from the alley's mouth; the whole body was cast in shadow. However, a gruff voice could be heard if one listened closely.
"I've spotted him. The blonde's not with him."
A voice that sounded as if were coming from a radio answered the statement. "How is he?"
"Nothing seems out of the ordinary... he's in school uniform, humming... he looks happy."
"He shouldn't hum. He's wasting all his talent on those blasted squirrels who run through town."
"Do you still want him?"
"Of course I want him!" There was a pause. "Plus, if anyone's better, he could be backup. I'm sure we'll find some use for him."
A stray sunbeam entered the alleyway, revealing the shadows until the person's feet, keeping them in shadow. However, the person's figure became slightly more than an outline. The person reached towards his wrist and a device sitting on it lit up, casting a green glow on the figure's face revealing a pale complexion and dark brown eyes. His hand moved from the device to his ear as he spoke once more.
On the other side of the road, Blaine turned the corner to the next street. He was heading towards the street that held most of the mom and pop stores of the city as he let his mind wander. Maybe he could pick up some cinnamon buns for the guys. It could be to celebrate the great performances, or their high chances to win at sectionals.
Suddenly, a hand appeared and plastered itself against his face, a white cloth smothering him. Another hand started dragging him back, despite Blaine's fighting hands and legs, his heels dragging in the ground trying to slow the process.
The more he fought, the deeper he breathed into the cloth covering his face. He was getting weaker; his body more tired as his capturers turned and pulled him into an alleyway. After a minute, he couldn't fight anymore and slipped into unconsciousness.
The lights rose up on the pedestal as Kurt Hummel leaned back in his chair, looking up at the model in front of him. He was sitting amongst his internship class. There were about twenty of them, sitting in the plastic chairs with clipboards staring up at the person in front of them. A man walked around their little circle of chairs, talking. It took a minute for Kurt to stop focusing on the beautiful, tight black pants on the model to listen to his boss.
"This outfit was designed by one of your classmates. Whether it is hot or not is up to you. Discuss." He waited, not saying a word. It was his design and he wasn't going to try to curve people's opinions either way by being the first one to praise it.
A girl across from Kurt stared at the model and spoke up. "The scarf accents the jacket very nicely, although the pants... there's something wrong with them but I can't put my finger on it."
"The plaid of the jacket. It's too green for the pants. They don't even go well together. Did someone put this together in their sleep?" Another man asked two chairs to Kurt's left.
Four chairs to his right, a man shrugged slightly. "I think if you just look at it for a moment... it brings out all the colours, brings everything together." He said. "Stop criticizing for a moment and look at it as a whole, not as bits and pieces." The man's name was Joey Sprankle and in that moment Kurt's appreciation for him flew skyward.
His plots to talk to the man and make him his best friend were quickly halted as his phone started to vibrate in his pocket. He wasn't exactly going to answer it, but it wouldn't hurt to see whose call he missed. When the part of the screen with the caller ID cleared his pocket, it revealed to be an unknown number. "Excuse me." Kurt said quietly before standing up and looking towards his superior.
There was no real recognizable emotion on the man's face, but Kurt knew that by leaving he'd probably pay the punishment with extra homework or random duties. He wasn't really sure he cared. So with that, he left the room, walking down the hallway and holding the phone in his hand as it continued to ring.
As soon as he entered a lobby-like area, he ran his thumb sideways, unlocking the screen. It didn't take him long to press the answer button and bringing the phone to his ear.
But before he managed to get any words out, a male voice on the other end spoke, silencing him. "Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling through an endless diamond sky."
Kurt's eyes narrowed before lowering his voice and hurrying to a semi-secluded part of the lobby. There were no people around, but it was farthest from the door and windows. "Brushing up on looking down and working on my roar?"
"As swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon-"
Now it was his turn to cut off the man on the other end. "With all the strength of a raging fire. Mysterious as the dark side of the moon!" Kurt finished excitedly. With that, as suddenly as it started, the call ended and he pulled the phone away from his ear. His hands weren't shaky, but he could already feel his palms starting to sweat as he slipped the phone in his pocket.
He almost ran his hands through his hair before realizing that it would have probably messed up his style for today. He wouldn't want to do that, now would he? Instead his hands went into the pockets of the skinny jeans he wore today as he started going back towards the room containing his peers.
As he walked, his steps got faster, his strides elongating and before long he was sprinting down the hall, bursting into the room, attracting all eyes to him.
"Mister Hummel, is there a problem?" His boss was staring at him expectantly. The model on the pedestal was no longer the one modelling his design- they had moved on.
Without much hesitation, Kurt moved over to his seat and started piling his notebooks, sketchbooks and general belongings into his messenger bag as he started to talk. "I have to go, sir. My father's in the hospital again, and I have to go see him, to make sure that he's okay. My stepmother booked me a ticket on the next flight out." He said rather quickly.
"How many flights are going from New York to Ohio at this hour?" One of the girls who criticized his work earlier said in a rather snooty voice.
Kurt shrugged. "Dunno. I'm lucky, I suppose." He said coolly before swinging his bag over his shoulder. "I'll be back in a few days. Sorry." There was nothing left to say as he rushed out of the room, making sure his bag didn't hit his side too much.
Of course the whole thing was a lie. His father was perfectly fine with Carol at his side back in Lima, probably watching the morning news, as it probably wasn't even 9am yet. The story was predetermined ages ago and he just added a few more believable details to it to accommodate to his father and Carol's wedding a few years ago.
When he was little, right after his mother died, he had gone through a phase when he wanted to prove his masculinity to his father. It went poorly, of course, but he tried very hard to make it work. He subscribed to lots of car and truck magazines, rented action movies and bought a few spy kits. Out of everything, the spy kits intrigued him the most. He did a bit of research and took an interest in espionage.
A few months later he was offered a spot in Boy Scouts, and he took it, thinking it'd help him prove himself to his father. His father took him and it looked all fine and dandy from the outside, but as soon as the parents left, the demeanour changed. The counsellors became stricter and their activities became more and more unlike normal Boy Scout activities.
Finally, towards the end of the first 4 hour meeting, they were told. They were the CIA and they had handpicked each boy for the sole purpose of training them to become agents. They each had a talent that the adults found valuable and made each of the boys unique. Of course, they could just walk out. They would get their memories wiped of the meeting, replaced with ones of a Boy Scout meeting that led them to not want to join.
But Kurt was interested. Maybe not interested, but intrigued- he couldn't walk away from this... not to mention he wanted to know the "talent" that made him an asset.
So he lied to his father, telling great stories of a Boy Scout troupe that was a figment of their imaginations. Truly ordinary, believable stories fed to them by the government operatives to tell their friends and family.
When Kurt entered high school, they declared his training complete. He was given a badge, a handbook and a set of rules he should never break. He could still remember the commanding officer, the one who followed his agent class from that first meeting to the night he crossed the stage with only uniformed officers watching.
His name had been Agent Gollin, the man who first truly made Kurt question his sexuality. As they shook hands and saluted on that stage on his final day, Kurt finally managed to ask the question that had plagued him since he was nine. "What was my talent, sir? The one to keep me in the program?"
Gollin stared at him for a few moments in silence before saying "Your drive to please and protect your loved ones." Kurt's face must have fallen to some degree because he continued soon after that. "Do not take this lightly. Few will leave this program and still have the priorities they had when they first joined. You will still die for the ones who matter, not just to the mission or to you."
Kurt wasn't sure what to make of it, but nodded nonetheless before returning to his seat. After his whole class had shaken their commander's hands, Gollin addressed them all once more. "Congratulations on making it this far. Do not mention this to anyone, not your friends at home, your family or your future spouses. We hope to never have to call you up to fight for your country, we hope there is never a need. But if there ever is, we know our soldiers are damn good ones." There was nothing but pride on the man's face as he looked over the sea of boys."Hoo-ha!"
At his final words, the entire group of boys stood at attention and called back, "Hoo-ha!"
That was his last day as a government operative. Then he had to assimilate back into normal, daily life. Ones without people prying to attack him on the street to make sure he was attentive or training sessions three times a week.
Kurt burst open the front doors of the building and walked into the bustling street of New York, quickly walking away from the building. After walking about a block or so, he approached a phone booth. People simply ignored its presence and it was no guessing game why. Nearly everyone had a cell phone nowadays and those who didn't had resources to get to a payphone that wasn't on the street.
He opened the door and slipped in. He quickly dialled "1115878" before hanging up the phone and looking as if it never happened. As he pretended to slowly look through the phone book that sat by the phone, the glass around him slowly started to darken. Those outside wouldn't notice. It was subtle enough that no one would look twice.
Once the glass was properly darkened, the phone both jerked and Kurt knew the platform he stood on was descending. While he waited, he tried to look at his reflection in the glass. Kurt adjusted a stray hair but otherwise thought he looked okay. He wore a light green sweater with a navy cardigan over it. As he looked down, his black jeans worked perfectly with the scarf he had draped around his neck. By the time he was done, the platform stopped and the door sprung open.
He turned around and walked straight out, not blinking as two men instantly flanked his side and walked with him. They were both dressed in dark navy suits with crisp white shirts underneath, an earpiece in their favoured ears. The one on Kurt's left carried a clipboard and instantly started to talk. "Welcome back, Agent Hummel. We have a rather interesting case for you today."
The voice wasn't familiar to him, so he glanced towards the man. "Why me?" He didn't understand why they were calling in, what in all honesty could be considered a sleeper spy, when even this small command post was crawling with agents.
"The Commander thought you'd be best for this particular case."
"Not to mention, half of the agents brought on from the Scout Program whenever we ask them to come on duty always refuse to come." The man on the right added in a mutter. Kurt raised an eyebrow as they turned a corner, now following the men from a half pace behind. "Most are your age, out of high school and either starting towards a university degree or in the workforce that is not governmental. Unfortunately, most are not willing to risk their lives, or even their time, to help their country anymore."
He watched the man on his left shoot the other man a nasty look before they stopped at the door, causing Kurt nearly to walk right past them. "You will be briefed by the Commander himself, who's heading the investigation." He said, giving his clipboard one last look-over. "My name is Kornsner, if you ever need anything." He jerked his head to the other man. "He's my partner Toth. If you ask for us, people will know who you're talking about."
The two saluted to him and Kurt mimicked the action before turning his back to the two men and entering the room.
Back in his trainee days, they never met the upper agents. They had their own miniature ranks within their group, split up into squads and whatnot, and they'd train that way. But no one outranked Gollin who, Kurt hypothesized, was not very high ranking at all. So when he saw the man behind the desk, he wasn't exactly sure what to think of him.
The man was intimidating; Kurt had to give him that. He was dressed in a very nice suit, one that he knew the presumably interns outside could never afford. He was looking down at a file, showing the top of shortly shaven head. He didn't look up as Kurt walked in and stood at attention, instead making the other man wait until he was done several pages of notes.
Finally, he looked up. "You're better than some of the other Scout Agents I've seen so far." His voice was stern, with a hint of bemusement.
"Oh?" Kurt still stood with his hands behind his back, looking at the man in front of him. He didn't dare shift his weight or show impatience. This high ranking person, Commander, apparently, just gave him a complement and he remembered his training days well- they never came frequently.
"They are so impatient to get on with their mission and are horribly disappointed when it's not something out of a James Bond movie." He sighed and motioned to the chair in front of him. "Sit down. What have you been up to?"
The man's voice had softened up slightly but Kurt wasn't fooled. Carefully he sat down, crossing his legs and pondering the man's question. "Since we got our pins? I've graduated high school in Ohio, taken up an internship at a designer a few blocks away here... nothing substantial." What did the Commander expect him to say? 'Oh I've been on a few missions over the years, prepping myself for this day. Brought down a few terrorists. You know the drill.'
The Commander nodded and carefully placed his hands on the file in front of him. "For a few weeks now, we've gotten reports of high school boys disappearing. Now it's crossed multiple state lines so we were brought in to investigate. We've found traces chloroform, bindings and other substances have been found in areas around the boys' schools." He gathered up the file in front of him and passed it to Kurt who flicked through it.
"Are there any common links other than the presumed methods of kidnapping?" He asked, looking through the pictures of the missing boys. There were about twelve of them, each photo completely unlike the last one. There was a blonde with spiked up hair, a red head who seemed to have a very close buzz cut, a curly, mousse coloured haired one.
"Nothing, really... except for one thing. They're all in show choir."
Kurt looked up and stared at the man in front of him, his jaw almost dropping to the floor. Almost. "Show choir?" He repeated.
The Commander looked up at him as if he were speaking Greek. "Yes, show choir. According to your resume, you were a performer yourself? "
It suddenly hit him why he was chosen specifically for this mission... and he wasn't sure if he was sad or not. "You're not expecting me to join a show choir, pretend I'm in high school, get kidnapped and figure everything out that way, are you?" He would do it, he supposed, since he looked young enough, but it seemed rather extensive and unnecessary.
Thankfully, the man seemed to know that as he shook his head with a chuckle. "No, we just wanted you because if this is related to show choir at all, you would be able to make the connection fairly quickly." He said with a small shrug. "And it's not like you were a bad agent when you graduated. Top half of your class, at least, if I remember correctly."
Kurt shrugged a little. "Top quarter, but who's counting?" He said with a smirk. "So. Where do I begin? Am I... shipped off to some state with a lovely view? Great weather? A place where I might get a good tan over the time I'm gone?"
He gave a right good laugh, throwing his head back and everything. It only lasted a moment before he leaned forward and smirked. "Lima, Ohio."
Now it was time for Kurt to lean back and groan. "Lima?" He exclaimed. "But sir, that's where I grew up. I spent nineteen years trying to escape that place."
The Commander shrugged slightly. "You knew signing up for this that you'd travel places. Especially ones you might not want to go to. Plus, it was the place where the first boy disappeared. Malcolm Polter, by the look of it." He said, looking at another file on his desk. After a minute, Kurt nodded even though he was a little aggravated. There was no good being passive aggressive, or otherwise, to the man.
"Fine. Do I get any gadgets? Any leads I might have to go on?" Kurt asked.
The other man gave him a small smile. "I think I like you, Hummel. So yes. Yes you do." He grinned broadly. "But I am not the person to do that. Good luck."
It was a rather short dismissal, rather impersonal but it did give him some promise to the idea he might get some help achieving the mission's goal. Kurt took the dismissal to mean that there were another set of agents, or interns, outside his door to give him the things he asked for. So he stood up and left, closing the door quietly behind him.
As he predicted, two more men waited outside for him, these two in black suits. He thought they looked rather dapper, the both of them. He walked behind the one on the left by a half step, occasionally letting his eyes drift below the waistline, smirking when the light hit it the right way.
Finally, he realized that the one who he wasn't watching was trying to speak to him. "... you'll also be granted ability to authorize wire taps and other operations previously unavailable to you." Kurt panicked a little. What was the first part of that? He was sure that there was more. It was probably a whole little speech.
"Sorry... could you say that beginning part again?" He asked, feeling a small blush come up his cheeks.
The man whose ass he was previously watching turned around and looked at him hard and stern. "We'll be giving you a communications device in case you need to get in contact with anyone here at headquarters while you're in Lima."
Kurt nodded and took a deep breath. "So how am I getting there?"
"Have you ever ridden in a private jet, Hummel?
Four and a half hours later, Kurt stepped out of a black SUV that took him from the airport to Lima. He got out and closed the door, adjusting the black tie he now wore. They made him change into the suit on the plane. He wasn't sure why, but it did give him the professional air. Not to mention that the things they geared him up with blended in easier with the suit.
Their 'communications device' ended up just being a watch with a communicator inside it, not too fancy but it fulfilled his childhood dream of what a walkie-talkie watch would be. When he got it he sort of stared at the woman who gave it to him. She shrugged and just told him to put it on and they'd go on with their device tests.
In addition, he got an ear piece for the watch (so what he was supposed to hear wasn't broadcast throughout the nearby area) and a pair of sunglasses which he slipped on now that he was out of the car.
"Really? Just sunglasses?" Kurt asked the woman who handed them to him as he turned them over in his hands.
The woman rolled her eyes and walked back to the desk where her laptop sat. "Put them on and focus on the lenses. Have you never worn DescriptGlass brand before?"
"No. We only trained with basic gear back in Scouts." He told her.
Kurt heard her sigh and saw her look down into her computer, as to look anywhere but at him. "Focus on the glasses and they'll tell you the statistics you need at any given moment. Primarily voice activated. Shows you weather, floor layouts with heat sensors for humans who might be around. You name it, it's in there."
He laughed a little, not really believing it as he slipped them on his face. He pressed them up against his nose and focused on the glasses. Nothing happened. "They're not working." He told her. "Are they broken?"
"Didn't I tell you they were voice activated? State a command. Isn't there a command line prompt in the upper left?"
So there was.
He thought for a moment. He had, what sounded, like a computer at his disposal. What could he ask for? "Show me the weather in Lima, Ohio." He said. He didn't whisper, but didn't expect the CIA to give him something that couldn't be used while he was undercover without looking or sounding like an idiot.
It took a half second, though, after he spoke that a small weather radar appeared in the upper right of the glasses. Right beside it was a 3 day forecast for the area. It seemed like it would be sunny for the next few days. "Weather is accurate within a few hours. Comes right form satellites. Every bit of information to appear on those screens are the most accurate readouts you're going to get anywhere on the planet."
"Do they work as sunglasses?"
"Just say 'clear'. It'll wipe the display but will wait for your command."
A man ran over to him and handed Kurt a duffle bag. It contained some clothes, files and a laptop to use while he was in town. He had a few hours to think and review the case file about the missing boys. If the one thing they had in common was show choir and the first disappearance was in Lima, Ohio, he knew where he was going to go first.
He eyed the little underscore in the upper left corner. How could he resist? As he started walking down the street, he dropped his voice. "Show me Sue Sylvester." There was a half second delay before Coach Sylvester's home address, gym of preference and William McKinley High School's address. A small little arrow blinked beside McKinley's address. "Clear".
Kurt checked his watch. It was nearly two. He had nearly an hour before classes would be done for the day at his alma mater and he would be able to find an opportunity to corner the Cheerio coach and try to have a civilized conversation.
Who knows? Maybe she'd like to talk to Porcelain again?
But what should he do with a full hour of time? He couldn't visit his parents as they were supposed to keep thinking that he was still in New York. The thought that he would mention why he was in Lima at this time was laughable.
He found himself walking to the neighbourhood park and sat on a swing he used to use as a boy when his father took him to the park. He started pumping his legs, getting higher and higher until he was very near horizontal. A thought occurred to him, so he took his hand off of the chain and brought his lips to his wrist. "Kurt Hummel, requesting a wiretap on all phone lines belonging to Sue Sylvester. Text logs should be e-mailed to me."
A voice in his ear told him that a set of agents were on their way, tracking the appropriate lines and installing the software. He let out a small breath he wasn't even aware he was holding. He wasn't sure why this was helpful to him. There were no leads that made him accuse Coach Sylvester except his knowledge of her Glee-hatred from what he remembered of high school show choir.
Suddenly, a thought struck him as he jumped off the swing and started walking to the one place Kurt knew this man would be.
He walked into the music store a few blocks from the park and quickly scanned the area. Sure enough, sitting in front of a piano was Jesse St. James. Kurt didn't want to talk to the man, but if show choir kids were involved, Jesse would know. He took off his sunglasses, put them in his pocket, turned on the recorder on his watch and walked up to the man playing Boston.
"That was the first tune I learned on piano." Kurt said, pulling up a spare chair and sitting on it backwards, leaning on the back and positioning his watch so it could pick up Jesse's voice.
Jesse looked up and after a second gave a smile that could cure cancer. "Kurt Hummel!" He reached forward and grabbed his hand, shaking it. "How have you been? I know heard you've moved to New York? Clearly doing well, just look at your getup."
Kurt forced a small laugh. To be perfectly honest, while the suit was nice and top brand, he wouldn't have picked it out himself. He would have chosen something with a little more flair. But what's regulation's regulation. He was in no position to argue. "Yeah, I suppose." Well, he might as well get this interview started. "Do you mind if I ask you something?"
The other man gave a shrug. "Do your worst." He said with that charming laugh of his.
"How are things around here? I haven't been in town since a few weeks after graduation. It's been a while. How's your business? You still coaching glee clubs?" Kurt asked with a small smile. There wasn't much tension between them.
It seemed as if once people left glee club and were out of Jesse's way, they could be on good terms. He tried to keep this good atmosphere around as they talked.
"I've been working a lot with Vocal Adrenalin lately, but from what I hear, New Directions is on their way to the top once more." He said with a small smile. It was smaller than his earlier smile. Was Kurt's old glee club still a sore topic?
There was only one way to know for sure. "So... New Directions still isn't favoured in the community, I take it?"
Jesse gave a small shrug, leaning back a little. "I'm looking at it more and more objectively ever since your class graduated. I guess I had a bit of a bias one way or the other." He admitted. It didn't take a genius to figure out who that bias was- Rachel Berry. "They're still so... good. Even without you guys. Dalton was going to manage it... but with the loss of that Anderson kid... I doubt they have the vocal power."
Kurt furrowed his eyebrows. So another disappearance was from around here. "Do you know what's going on with that? I heard a kid name Polter was taken from around here too."
The other man shook his head. "Not a clue. I wish I knew. They're taking some really talented boys off the street and out of the choir room." He said with a sigh.
"Where was Polter from again?" Kurt asked, his mind blanking from the file he had read earlier.
"Carden. It's well out of the way from Lima."
He let out a sigh and thought about what he had just learned. Jesse thinks New Directions was unbeatable and, apparently, so do a good chunk of the districts surrounding McKinley. Something still made him uneasy. What if this wasn't something regarding show choir? "Has anyone from New Directions been abducted?" He asked.
To Kurt's relief, the other man shook his head. "Nope. Not a damn thing has happened to them." So the bitterness and rivalry still ran deep in Jesse's veins... for whatever reason.
He sensed that he should leave, though, so he stood up and sent a friendly smile towards the man in front of him. "I hope to see you around then." He stuck out a hand and watched hesitance cross Jesse's face before being a gentleman won over and he reached out to shake it.
"You too. Are you going to stay in town long?" He asked, turning back to the piano and running his fingers over the ivory keys.
Kurt shook his head, even though Jesse didn't see him. "Hopefully not. Only in for a quick visit. I needed to meet with someone."
There was an apathetic nod from the man as he spoke. "Sounds fun. Enjoy yourself."
"Thank you." He said. He turned on his heel and walked out of the music shop, checking his watch. It had been about a half hour with about fifteen minutes of walking from the park to the shop. He only had about fifteen minutes before school let out. Without much of a second thought, he started towards the high school.
He wanted nothing else but for Sue to confirm or deny the theory floating in his mind. Maybe just talking to her would do him some good. It seemed like a stupid theory, something so radical that it was just plain ridiculous. But Sue was known for the ridiculous, which he knew kept the flame of an idea smouldering.
After a little bit of walking, he got to McKinley, about a half hour after school had let out. The walk was longer than he expected, but it meant that after school activities were already in full swing. He wouldn't be able to get Sue on her own now... he could check out the choir room, right? It wouldn't hurt...
Not that he'd go barging in though. He knew outside was a courtyard and then another building was across from it. He stared out those windows all the time back when he was in school. Now he would just be getting another perspective.
Kurt walked casually into the empty courtyard. It might be a bit weird, a man in a suit staring into a window... but he was a former student. He carried his high school ID with him still- he'd just show them that. He hopped onto a planter and peered into the windows.
There was Mr. Schuester, talking to the group at large. There were about fourteen kids sitting in chairs. Rory was gone, but Tina, Artie and Brittany were all still there. Brittany looked a little dazed, a little sad maybe, but he attributed the sadness to Santana being gone... the dazed look was a constant for her.
The others he didn't recognize.
Oh well. New blood was always appreciated. Movement out of the corner of his eye made him look towards the band. They were starting to play, which meant only one thing: a song. Who was going to take the lead now that Finn and Rachel had graduated?
He knew the answer before Artie rolled out and turned to the group. The other boy's eyes flickered up to where Kurt was, so he jumped off of the planter and started to walk back to the football field. It hadn't been long, but if Sue saw him, maybe she'd end practice early.
Walking the campus in the suit felt weird. He didn't belong like this, not after spending so much of his time here fighting stereotypes and trying to convince everyone that no matter how you looked, you were beautiful.
Once he got to the football field, he looked over to where the Cheerios were practicing. He always wondered how Brittany and Santana managed to stay on both Glee club and Cheerios if they practiced at the same time. They didn't always, back when he was in school, but he supposed Sue let them off the hook more often than not.
Kurt stopped under a tree, looking past the flipping girls to the bleachers where she stood with a megaphone in her signature red tracksuit.
Her eyes flickered to his and they met for a moment, but she barely acknowledged him other than a curt nod in his direction. He sighed. No early ending practice for him. He walked over to a bench and sat down, breaking out his cell phone and pulling up a game of Snake.
There was nothing else better to do while he waited. Plus, it made him blend in easier. If only he weren't wearing the damn suit. Dapper or not, it was out of place.
Ten minutes passed... fifteen... twenty... Glee club would be getting out any minute now and if Artie had really seen him, there was a chance the other boy would try to find him. That wasn't exactly what Kurt wanted. He stood up and waited for Sue's eyes to match his again, this time giving her a significant look.
It seemed to do it. Sue blew the whistle, yelled at the Cheerios and watched them walk off.
Kurt walked across the field and approached her, his heart beating madly. He didn't realize it'd be such a confrontation. "Coach." He said, giving her a small grin. Maybe trying to win her into a good mood would help his chances.
"Lady Face... looks like you got out of your skirt." She said; her face expressionless. Well, that plan went out the window.
But that was no reason why he should get defensive. If he remembered his training on accusations, being cynical and argumentative would be the worst thing he could do. "Can we talk?"
Sue started to pack up and did not break her stride as she spoke to him. "We're talking now, aren't we? What's got your bra in a bunch?"
Kurt almost sighed audibly, but caught himself. He had forgotten about her horrible choice in words when addressing him. He had started to live in a gay-friendly place, so to speak and no one used terms or slurs like that. It brought the harsh reality of the world back to him.
"How's school going this term?" He asked casually. It was really an awkward topic to bring up and he didn't give it much thought. He couldn't flat out ask her 'So... have you been kidnapping teenage boys lately?' It probably wouldn't go over well. But he could ask something just as accusatory yet slightly more acceptable. "How's corrupting glee club going?"
She looked at him sceptically as she picked up a bag of pom-poms. Kurt briefly wondered where Becky was. For as long as he could remember, she was essentially Sue's lackey. "As good as any other year. Not like I'd tell you." She said, starting to walk towards the building. Kurt quickly started to follow in her path. "You'd probably go running off to Grease Head in there... so no."
She picked up the pace.
So did Kurt. "I'm not going to tell him. Why would I? I don't care if New Directions wins or loses anymore." He retorted. And to be perfectly honest... this year he really didn't care. Yes, he had great pride in his alma mater, but it wouldn't really affect him whether New Directions won or loss.
There was a sigh from Sue's direction before she spun around to look him dead centre in the eye. "Look, Porcelain, I'm not doing anything to your little 'glee club'." She even used her hands to mock the quotes. He wanted to punch her. "Who knows. Maybe another team will actually beat their sorry asses this year."
And with that, she turned around and marched off, leaving Kurt standing in the end zone staring at where she used to be. As soon as she was gone, he turned around and his wrist went up to his mouth. "I want a tag on Sue Sylvester- full time surveillance."
No, she didn't tell him what she was doing. But it did point him in the direction of the missing boys. Another school was involved. One that was run by Sue Sylvester and probably wasn't even a school.
In just a manner of minutes, this turned into more than a scouting mission to find out what happened to the boys. This had very suddenly become a rescue mission as well, and he only had scraps of vague information to go on. Hopefully the wiretap he had sent on her lines, plus the person he asked to tail her would lead him in some direction.
But for now, he could go and adjust to the time zones, maybe do some homework on the laptop in the duffle bag that was still hanging over his side. He slipped on his sunglasses as he left the school grounds.
It wasn't like he didn't like his school, but he didn't exactly want to return anytime soon. When agents showed up to places, they never brought good news.
In fact, they had the tendency to bring death and mourning, but he was trying to avoid that.
"Hey guys, where am I supposed to spend the night?" He asked, hoping either his glasses or the watch would pick up his voice. He supposed if nothing happened, he would be more direct, but for now he wasn't sure he cared. It was a little past four in the afternoon and he had no leads until the held their end of the bargain and got him what he asked for.
He would have loved to stay with his dad, stepmother and Finn, who was working with his dad, but they weren't supposed to know he was in town. This wasn't a social trip.
On the glasses, an address of a local hotel appeared along with directions based on where his location. "Do I have to pay?" He sighed. The text appeared before the small voice in his ear: No.
As he walked through the town, looking for areas that might be just a little too shady, just a little sketchier than he previously remembered or just didn't fit the surrounding environment. The only thing that jumped out at him were the alleyways... but they were naturally dark, so it was nothing to go on.
When he got to the hotel, he checked in and started towards the room number printed on the envelope that held the key that always reminded him of a credit card. 110.
Apparently everything was paid for, already. Those CIA guys were good. He stuck his sunglasses into his jacket pocket and started walking down the hall.
Thankfully his room was on the first floor, so he didn't have to climb any stairs or worse: wait for people for the elevator or ride with them. It was a small hotel, and he wondered if there was even an elevator, but the point still stood.
When he unlocked the door, he walked into the room, threw the duffle bag on the bed, took off his jacket and undid his tie. Reminiscing briefly of their hotel stay for Nationals of his junior year, Kurt belly-flopped onto the bed and reached over, calling room service.
He ordered a small dinner, a chicken Caesar salad wrap, and after hanging up, lay back on the surprisingly soft comforter, drifting in and out of consciousness until a loud knock at the door told him that his food was here.
With a small groan, he got up, answered the door and started to make himself busy. He set up the laptop on the desk and changed into a pair of shorts and a woman beater to sleep in. He moved around the room rather slowly. It was about five thirty, but in his mind it was six thirty and no one should be working that late.
But for every rule there was an exception. Today, that'd be him.
He took half of the wrap and started munching on it as the log files started to load up. According to what he remembered from back on the plane, he'd be able to review this data on his glasses. It wasn't that he couldn't before, but who'd choose glasses over a real computer?
The log files from Sue's phone calls came up first. He wasn't going to deny that he was surprised that she spoke on the phone, but she had a fair amount of conversations on this. Most of them were even from the area, which was why one with the area code from Kent, Ohio leapt out at him like a jack in the box.
"Why hello... What are you doing here?" He asked the line of text on the screen, setting his dinner down on the desk.
He typed a few more commands pulling up the dialog from the conversation. Kurt read eagerly and his smile slowly faded. "No... that can't be right." He muttered to himself. This had to be someone else's file. It was not something of Sue Sylvester. She wasn't this brilliant on any given day.
But after quadruple checking the sources and getting the same result, he was forced to accept that there was no glitch in the system, no misprint. The words on the screen were telling the truth. And even though there were holes, it didn't take much brainpower to put in believable filler.
Kurt's cell phone sat next to his computer and he knew the Commander's number along with the encryption code to punch in before the number. Not to mention the watch or the glasses. There were loads of ways to contact the office.
After more than a few minutes of silence, staring at the screen, he closed the lid, left the cell phone, watch and glasses on the desk and walked back to his bed. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. Nothing will happen until morning. If there was another disappearance, then that could only benefit him. But for now he could rest up and call the agency in the morning.
A pang of guilt shot through him as he crawled off of his bed and grabbed the glasses. "Call headquarters. Put me through to the Commander." He said, falling once more onto his bed. He waited until the Commander's voice answered before he spoke again. "Sir. I might have some bad news for you."
"Bad news?" The Commander's voice was stern and, if Kurt wasn't mistaken, laced with a hint of worry. "You've only been in town for a few hours."
He gave a tired grin to the ceiling where he was currently staring. "You place me in my hometown and then tell me to investigate something that was my life for three years? Of course I'm going to know where to start and what questions to ask."
Had Kurt been sitting in the office, he imagined that the man would be smirking. Or scowling. While he seemed friendly, albeit intimidating, in their initial meeting, from his training days and the small things he overheard, the Commander was supposed to be a hard ass.
But there was an audible sigh before the man spoke. "Humour me then. What did you find?"
He curled up a little by the pillow onto of the comforter that he realized was just a little bit scratchy for his taste. "It is show choir related, as we had theorized. In past years Sue Sylvester would try to sabotage McKinley's glee club. This year she claims to not be directly affecting them."
"Thing is, she's doing a roundabout way of inhibiting their performance in Sectionals." Kurt explained, suppressing a yawn. He hoped the Commander didn't hear. "She's gotten tabs on a lot of regional glee club vocal leaders, pinpointed their locations... and took them." He paused for a minute. "In a day or so letters will be sent, written by the boys themselves telling their parents of a new scholarship from a school and that they've transferred. In the mean time she's been training them all together to be the best show choir in the region to defeat New Directions."
There was silence on the other end of the line. "Let me get this straight." He said slowly. "This woman Sue Syliver-"
"Sylvester. She's kidnapping boys to defeat a high school show choir?" The Commander was yelling and if Kurt's mental image of the man matched up to his actions, he was probably standing up at his desk.
But he had nothing to say in Sue's defence, it really was as outrageous as the Commander thought it was. "Commander, Sue has been known to do rather outlandish things."
There was an audible sigh coming from the other man and Kurt sat up, playing with the socks he still had on his feet. "Alright. Hummel. Go to the facility. Get the boys back safely, is that understood?"
"Have a good night." There was a click and the device went back to just being sunglasses once more.
The next morning came too early. The light streamed through the cheap fabric that the hotel passed as window curtains and fell on his face. A soft moan escaped his lips as he pulled a pillow over his head. His agenda for today was simple: find the place where Sue was keeping the boys and get them out.
He didn't know how to do that just yet. In fact, he hadn't thought much of it. Last night he had stopped talking to the Commander and just passed out. He sat up and stared at the foot of his bed helplessly. He was too tired for this.
Kurt threw off the blanket and started to go around his room, getting dressed. His shorts kept riding up on him so he angrily pulled them down. The CIA must have gotten the wrong size or something, which was weird because they were normally spot on when an act involved being creepy.
Today he decided he wasn't going to deal with the suit and tie. He was going to look nice, but he wasn't going to flash that he was an agent to the world. He instead dressed very simply in a pair of jeans and a fleece pullover. It wasn't going to be too cold, but he didn't want to wear that damned suit.
Once he was dressed, he left the room and started off down the street, already knowing where his feet were taking him. There was one place he could go right now that could point him in the right direction towards the boys.
He was going back to school.
It didn't take him long to get back to the high school and because he woke up with the sun rather than an alarm clock, it was still early, barely any students roaming the hall. Kurt recognized no one until he reached Sue's office. He heard her yelling inside, so he quickly ducked behind a locker and held his breath.
"How dare he mess with my t-shirt cannons? We bought them with the Cheerio budget! Of course they can't use it for the hockey team!" Luckily, her footsteps of furry seem to be going off into the other direction, so Kurt risked a peek around the corner. "Hockey isn't even a real sport!"
Sue's right leg was all he saw before she completed her turn around the corner. He knew his time was limited- she'd probably yell at whoever was and then come right back to her office to do who-knows-what. Without a second thought, he jumped up and slipped into the room.
It was a bit messier as he remembered it being. Sure, he had only been a proper Cheerio for a month or so if his memory served correctly, but her office was prominent in his mind. How could it not be? She invoked fear into every McKinley student... anything of hers was bound to stick in their minds.
He took to her desk which was covered in papers and slipped on his glasses. "Pull up a map and give me my current location." He said, already carefully shifting through the papers. He was looking for a map, an address, anything that could tell him the location of the missing boys.
Finally, he found what he was looking for- a scribbled handwritten address in the corner of a paper. He focused his glasses on the corner before saying "analyze" and going back to going through the paper mess on her desk. She must be getting stressed to cause such a mess; the desk didn't scream 'power' at all.
It only took a moment later, but a small electronic beep sounded near his ear as the map in the corner of his glasses changed. The address would lead him across town and, as the glasses printed out details of the building, to what seemed to be a warehouse.
"I don't care what they are saying they're not allowed to go into my Cheerio closet!"
The voice was all too familiar to him. Sue was probably in the hall and he didn't want to be found rummaging through her stuff. Funny enough, that didn't seem like a good idea at all. Quickly, he climbed onto the desk and reached up, moving a ceiling tile off of its grooves.
Flexing his arms first, he jumped up and grabbed hold of the air shaft that was right next to the hole he made. Kurt pulled himself up and lay on the vent, knocking the tile back into place right as he heard footsteps in the room below him.
He was about to move and work his way out of the building as he heard Sue pick up her phone off of its cradle. Suddenly, he was still as a statue, straining his ears to hear the muffled conversation.
"Keep them working. You know my Cheerios... use their training schedule on those kids. We need them in tip top shape for the competition." There was a moment's silence as she listened to the person on the other end. "How am I supposed to know what song they're supposed to sing?" Her voice was rising. "Pick something off of the top 40 for all I care."
This didn't sound good. He had been a Cheerio for a while and if they weren't in the shape that Sue wanted them to be in, odds were that they'd be forced to do pretty extreme things to get there. It couldn't be healthy for the boys.
"If they won't listen to you, then make them run. Lock them in their room. Refuse to give them food. Just make them work!" There was another click and he knew that Sue hung up on the person on the other end.
Now this was verging on abuse. He didn't know how many of these boys refused to dance and sing or whatever their caretaker wanted them to do, but their punishment were severe.
He moved as quickly as he could on the air vent to get away from her office. He wanted to hear no more of her actions, her plot. He wanted to get the boys out of there and go back to New York, a city that wasn't Lima.
Using a mental map of the high school he remembered, he found his way to the men's bathroom. He moved a ceiling tile and jumped down, landing gracefully on his feet. Kurt could hear more people outside and while he could wait for the bell to ring for him to leave unnoticed, he had no patience today.
He was about to go to find a way out when he saw his reflection in a mirror. He was dusty and his hair was messed up. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small package. It was like a ketchup pack except on the front it said 'hair gel'. He walked over to the sink and got started.
Once he was done, he moved over to the window, picked the lock, pushed it open and pulled himself out. Now convinced he looked a bit better than he did earlier, he started walking off campus. He brought his wrist to his mouth and spoke into it, hoping the others would answer. "Can I have a car or something? I need to get across town."
"We have something even better," said a voice in his ear. "Look to your left."
Kurt furrowed his eyebrows. "It's just a bike rack."
"The blue one is yours. It's equipped with weapons. The handbook is being streamed to your glasses now. Read at your own leisure."
He stared at the bike for a moment- it was clearly his. It wasn't locked up and it was his favourite colour. And it was there when he walked onto campus this morning. He knew this school- no one just left an unattended bike on the rack overnight.
But if it was all they were going to give him, he wasn't going to argue. His case must be a laughing stock. How can he ask for more when no one at headquarters took him seriously?
It was going to be a long ride so he took it off of its place, threw his leg over the seat and started peddling. He thought back on what the voice in his ear said. Read the handbook at his leisure. Kurt briefly wondered what they thought he was doing during the day- sunbathing by a pool?
As he waited for a red light, he brought up the handbook and glanced at it quickly, specifically at the weapons arsenal. There were a few really awesome weapons concealed in it which made him worry about accidently setting them off. There was an automatic gun, smoke pump, LED lights to blind someone... whoever made this was surely a genius.
About thirty minutes later, with twenty of those minutes being him following a map on his glasses, he reached the address that he found on Sue's desk. He had gone at a steady pace so he wasn't too sweaty, but he was winded between the distance and the dodging crazy drivers and all. It just made him remember how he could do that in his sleep back when he was training... and that he needed to go to the gym more often. Or do more yoga and Pilates. Either one; probably the latter two.
He dropped the bike behind a bush and climbed into a tree where he took in the building he was about to break into.
It was at least three stories tall with large windows every few feet on the second and third floors. The ground floor, however, had small windows that were hard to look in, or out, from. He focused on his sunglasses and tried to bring up a map of the building.
Unfortunately, it wasn't too helpful. It had been a textile factory a while back and had been abandoned a few years ago. There were a few hallways here and there, but it seemed to be mostly open space, catwalks and a few offices. The only bit of useful information was that no one had purchased the building and that meant that Sue was using it illegally.
He mentally added trespassing to her growing list of serious crimes.
If he moved slightly, he could see some air vents which he figured he could enter the building that way. Coming into the front door wasn't exactly the smartest thing to do. In fact, he was pretty sure that was rule number one on the agent handbook he got when he first started.
But he glanced at the front door anyway, something had caught his eye. First it was a shine off of a mostly bald head, but then it was the bright colours of the outfit.
An oddly vivid lime sweater was worn over the neck over a light pink shirt with a pair of tan pants. There was only one person Kurt knew who had the guts to walk outside in a getup like that, and sure enough, Sandy Ryerson was walking up the path and disappeared into the building.
Kurt nearly fell out of the tree.
What the hell was the man, more flamboyant than Kurt ever was at his worse (okay, so they both lacked social grace to a certain extent), doing here? He didn't think the other man was here for no good reason- Sue probably recruited him to do her bidding. She liked lackeys.
He slowly climbed down the tree and skirted his way around the building until he found a gutter. Sighing slightly at his perfectly moisturized hands briefly, Kurt took hold of the drain pipe and started to climb.
It wasn't hard. He could do all sorts of weird things, especially with poles and pipes, since high school. Being an agent only meant he had to do it in a suit or with different conditions. Example: Instead of a smooth pole, he was climbing one with gagged metal and screws sticking out every few feet. Not to mention all the rust.
He was going to do some serious moisturizing later tonight, he realized as he reached passed the second row of windows. Almost there.
Kurt spared a glance below him and swallowed his gut. He wasn't exactly afraid of heights, but he didn't exactly start climbing without any support or safety harness. He was afraid of dying at only nineteen more than anything. When he grabbed hold of the roof's edge and pulled himself over, he fell on his back, let out a happy chuckle and waited a minute before getting to his feet and running over to the roof door.
Out of an inner pocket of his fleece, he pulled out a simple bobby pin. He got on his knees, stuck the pin into the slot and started working. This was no agency trick, clearly. He picked this up from Finn over the last few years when they lived together. It was impressive how much Kurt learned from the other boy.
After almost no time at all, the lock was picked and he stick it back into his pocket, this time carefully turning corners and making sure his shoes didn't make too much noise. It was dark inside, but he slipped on his sunglasses anyway.
"Give me the map with heat signatures." He whispered as he descended a flight of stairs into a hallway. He was momentarily afraid that the microphone on the glasses wouldn't pick up his request, as his whisper was barely above a loud breath.
But it did and soon enough a small neon green schematic was brought up in front of his eyes. There was no technology available to him that was accurate enough to match a heat signature to a particular person, so he was stuck with looking at red blobs. Nevertheless, the map was more than he could have asked for- a multilevel, 3D depiction of the building.
What caught his eye was a red dot approaching a group of them on the first floor. He identified that one as Sandy, although it was rather useless to label that one as it disappeared into a mess of red a few seconds later. It probably wasn't an issue. If his hunches were right, he'd always be able to tell Sandy's signature apart from the boys one way or another.
His own location was a small flashing blue dot in a corridor a few turns away from where the rest of the red ones. Kurt carefully walked down the hall, keeping a half eye on the map in front of him, along with the red dots. He was one hallway away from the first giant room when he started to hear some words.
"Okay boys!" Kurt closed his eyes, mentally sighing at the man's slightly falsetto tone. "Get in positions and we'll get started for today. You still haven't managed to get in sync the second verse's choreography in Bye Bye Bye." He raised his eye brow, listening hard. They were doing N*Sync? Well, that was different... and retro.
There were audible protests. Many of them yelling at Sandy; saying how tired they were, how horrible the song choice was and how tacky his outfit looked today. Without knowing the details about their condition, he couldn't help but agree to their last statement. While Kurt was known for being eccentric sometimes, the lime green sweater he saw the man wearing was a bit too much.
Carefully, he turned the corner and peeked into the large room. The dozen boys were all dressed in the same sort of outfit- a grey button up shirt and black pants. Thankfully whoever dressed them had at least some sort of style. Not much, but some. They matched slightly. Their hair was all messed up, though, and some of them seemed to be sporting bruises on their faces- one even had a black eye. Kurt wondered how they were going to fix that if they were really just making these boys perform for sectionals... probably just clever makeup.
"Why don't you just get people who want to work for you to sing? Clearly we don't want to." A black boy said angrily. "And everyone knows that a performer's heart has to be behind their performance or else it's complete shit." Kurt's heart swelled at the boy's words. That had to have been the most truth he heard from someone in quite some time.
Sandy smirked and walked closer to the boy, lowering his voice so Kurt had to strain his ears. "Well, you see, it doesn't always work out that way." Then he backed up and spoke louder. "The thing is... my supervisor said I could take any action to make you guys work and get better." He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small black box that Kurt couldn't make out from the distance. "Do you know what this is?"
The same boy rolled his eyes and sighed. "Something that you're going to hurt yourself with?"
The older man glared at the boy and stroked the black box. "This... is called a taser." He said, pointing it at the boy. With a small motion of his hand, two prongs shot out and latched onto the boy, who fell to the floor, losing control of his body.
Kurt watched in horror at the events unfolding. He knew why he didn't recognize the taser at first- the Scouts were trained with more sophisticated taser guns that weren't as readily available to the public as the old fashion, more dangerous ones.
Sandy dropped the taser to the ground and let the boy deal with pulling out the prongs from his body once it stopped convulsing. He then turned to the rest of the boys, who all looked horrified at the older man and were now standing relatively together.
"Are you guys going to get the choreography right this time?"
Despite the question being asked, a silence followed that was only broken by the occasional, minute noises made by the black boy getting to his feet.
"Yes, sir." The answer was scattered through the group, spoken with a bit of fear.
"Then get to it!"
With that, the boys took off in different directions. It was clear that they weren't trying to escape; they were hurrying in their directions uneasily looking over their shoulders at Sandy. Soon, risers were brought in and set up along with a boombox that was plugged into a wall.
The man watched this all with his hands behind his back as the boys positioned themselves on the risers. Once the boys were completely still (except for the boy with the still-twitching hand), he walked over to the boombox and pressed a button.
As soon as the music started, the boys began moving, singing when they had to, in a beautiful sort of way. There was one that caught his eye- one of the ones that wasn't beaten as badly. He had dark hair that looked like it was sleeked back a few days ago, but he hadn't managed to either shower or get his hands on hair gel lately. He was smiling, despite his awful working, and living, conditions, and despite a small limp, was dancing flawlessly.
Kurt's mouth went dry as he watched this one boy twirl on the spot, pointing to the imaginary audience in front of them. The only thought that passed through his mind was That's cute. The boy got a solo and his voice rang in his ears, causing his knees to shake with nervousness despite being a full story and a half above the performers. He watched in awe and envy for a while before the song ended and the heads of the boys went down, signalling the end of the routine.
He had been blown away with the boys, with that one boy that took his breath away in one twirl of his body. Sandy, on the other hand, did not seem so impressed. In fact, he seemed downright angry at the performance, and expressed this verbally as the boys started to relax. "That was horrendous! Ethan, what made you think that you could sing that tenor part? We agreed you were a baritone, so that's what you sing! Do you get that?"
A boy standing on one of the back risers nodded and hung his head, staring at his shoes.
"And you, Blaine! What have we talked about you doing your own dance moves?" Was that charming twirl something that wasn't supposed to have occurred? It would be a shame if it wasn't supposed to be there. It made Kurt's heart swoon in every enjoyable way. "Everyone to the gym; work on cardio so you can sing and dance! I don't want to see you guys struggling to catch your breath between verses this afternoon..." Sandy said, rather aggravated. The boys started to get off the risers before the man stopped them once more. "Everyone but Anderson."
The boy who had captured Kurt's attention, the one who's name was apparently Blaine Anderson, was patted on the back a few times by others as they left the room. The glasses told him the gym was somewhere directly under him, according to the heat signatures. Luckily, their voices didn't reach him, and all he could hear where the two people who demanded every ounce of attention he had.
Blaine walked up to the man who had called him out and looked up at him rather innocently. "Yes, sir?"
"You did wrong, Mister Anderson." Sandy said, beckoning him over to a room slightly out of Kurt's current view from the hallway's entrance. Blaine followed him, almost dragging his heels as Kurt moved out of the shelter of his shadowed hallway onto the catwalk that it was attached to. He quickly ducked behind a few metal barrels and watched the scene unfold. "You know the protocol."
Sandy's words seemed to wash over Blaine as his naive smile started to fade, replacing it with a look of potential terror. "But sir, I didn't mean-"
"What you did or didn't mean is irrelevant because your actions proved otherwise. Now, get down." The man's words echoed in the free space where they were previously dancing. Kurt moved slightly to get a better look. Sandy was undoing his belt and slowly taking it out of his belt loops.
He took a shaky breath- he knew what was coming and braced himself for Blaine. The crack of the leather hitting the skin echoed in his ears, long after the echo ended in the room. The echo was soon joined by a second crack. Then a third. Even though the boy was wearing clothes, the improvised whip was surprisingly effective.
Blaine cried out after the fourth hit. There was a pause and he saw Sandy turn the belt around, the belt buckle now being the part hitting the boy's flesh. Crack, scream. Crack, scream. This mantra continued for a while until the sobbing became constant.
Sandy walked out of view and came back, holding some sort of wooden thing. Something he didn't recognize but he could easily identify its purpose. Kurt lowered his head below the barrels and closed his eyes as tight as they would go, doing all he could to try to block out Blaine's screams
Kurt didn't know how long he sat there, his knees up to his chest in a mixture of horror and fear. Blaine's screams stopped ages ago, but he still couldn't move, or get the memory of the sound of his head. In the time that passed, however, the boys had done another few numbers with Sandy yelling at them when they made a mistake.
Occasionally between runs, Kurt would hear Blaine cry off by himself. It didn't sound as if the others were trying to comfort him. Almost as if this was a part of their life now, an initiation of sorts.
All he knew was that it was no longer early morning. In fact, it was probably closer to sunset, as there were shades of orange and pink streaming through the tall windows. The paralyzing sensation left him as he heard a voice "Ugh, you boys are useless! Go eat- there's food in the kitchen area for you. I'm going to get some fresh air. Just remember- if you try leave... I'll know."
Kurt finally got the sense to look at his watch and saw the time: 6:15. Dinner time, no wonder his stomach pained him slightly. Even if it wasn't the first night he'd miss a meal, it didn't make being on a mission any easier. And how long had it been since Blaine was punished?
But something worried him more than his silently growling stomach; Sandy's words. How would he be able to know if the boys were trying to escape? Approaching footsteps on the catwalk told him exactly what the man meant. They also told him that he was in trouble- the barrels he hid behind barely covered his body and there weren't any shadows to help his cause.
Without anymore hesitation, he scrambled to his feet and booked it down the hallway, sprinting up the stairs and bursting onto the roof. His hands still shaking, he locked the door behind him to try and buy him some time. He quickly looked around for a place to hide and his heart fell- all he saw were small outtake vents and the pebbles that covered the roof.
The muted metal clanging of footsteps got louder and he knew he was running out of time. Kurt looked around madly, for anything he could use to make an escape, shoving his glasses into his pocket for better visibility. Nothing was above the roof either; Sue had truly picked a perfect location. All he saw along the roof's edge was a single flimsy tree branch- there were no a cable lines or telephone poles to be found. To make things worse, there was no time left- Sandy was at the door, struggling with the lock.
With nothing behind him but a tiny iota of faith, Kurt ran and jumped off the roof.
His arms went flailing as he soared, knowing that if this didn't work, he'd be dead in 30 seconds. He felt himself starting to fall and his hand being touched by a dozen leaves. Suddenly, his palm hit something rough before starting to feel it slip away. A half second later, he gripped the branch as if his life depended on it.
Probably because it did.
He felt his weight pulling the branch down, the bark cracking. He grabbed the branch with his other hand and tried to pull himself up just as the branch's strength gave out. It snapped, swinging Kurt in an arc towards the other trees behind it.
There were two choices- let go and see if he could land without hurting himself or he could just hold on and see what would happen. But he didn't have much time to think about the decision as the door opened and Kurt bit his tongue to stop himself from screaming.
Blood flooded his mouth as he stretched out his feet and let go of the broken limb. He watched as another tree rapidly approached, flying into a wall of leaves. Kurt had only a moment to brace himself as he slammed into another, larger, branch at chest level. Any air left in his lungs left as he pulled himself onto the branch and straddled it.
Sandy appeared by the edge of the roof, looking out in Kurt's direction. He was hidden behind a few branches covered in leaves, but he still held his breath and didn't move. A few moments later, the man shook his head and turned to walk around on the roof. Kurt let out a sigh as he looked over himself, trying to see if anything was badly damaged. At first glance, there was nothing but his tongue, the one thing he didn't want to assess.
With a still-trembling hand, he brought his fingers to his mouth and touched inside, sending a pain wave through his mouth. When he pulled it out, there was a layer of blood coating two of his fingers as he swallowed the metallic-tasting body fluid. He wasn't a nurse. He barely knew first aid other than the training he got back in Scouts. But he knew that while it'd stay raw and painful for a while, it'd be okay. He just bit into it, he didn't cut through it.
He put his undershirt in his mouth and pressed down, applying pressure to his self inflicted cut and pulled out his glasses once more. Theoretically, the map with heat signature should still be on the dual screen. Shaking slightly still, he put them on and saw that now his blue dot was off the map while Sandy's form was on the roof level.
Thoughts raced though his mind, asking himself what he had to do now. The boys had to get out, there was no other option. But the variable was time, and when could he do it? The answer came to him easily, as it was really the only answer.
Darkness. He needed the cover and Sandy's presence in the morning told him that the man didn't spend the night in the warehouse. And who would, really? There didn't seem to be a respectable room in the whole place.
Now armed with a plan (weak but a plan nonetheless!), he took out his undershirt and tucked the now bloody neckline back under his fleece and started his decent down the tree. He kept under the cover of the foliage that was growing as he ran, ducking, towards his bike. He glanced at the map and saw that Sandy had gone back inside- he could prepare for the wait without too much worry that he'd be spotted.
The bike, he knew, was outfitted with a seemingly endless supply of weapons, gadgets and random items that can be easily hidden in a mountain bike. There was the manual, but he didn't have time to look for the concealed, dangerous weapons. He was looking for the tools that were just plain useful.
He first went to the bike seat and detached it from the pole before flipping it upside down. With the exception of the socket for the pole at the base of the seat, a zipper ran its length. Quickly, he unzipped it and took out its contents. It was almost a letdown- there was a notebook, a few writing utensils, real utensils, a Swiss army knife and a box cutter. But the thing that caught his eye, the real reason why he was digging through a fake bicycle seat, was a small slim rod with a single button slightly raised off the surface.
With a small smirk, he pointed it at a leaf and pressed the button. A thin, red laser beam shot out from the tip and hit the dried leaf. Seconds later it started smoking. Thirty seconds later, it caught fire. Kurt didn't expect it to be this effective, but he couldn't be more pleased as he stopped out the small flame and diffused the smoke.
He pocketed the laser pointer carefully into his pocket and repacked and reattached the bike seat, but not before dropping the Swiss army knife to the ground. After that, turned to the bike's bottom and attacked the pedals. Using the knife he unscrewed the reflectors from their frame and flipped them upside down. For each reflector was a strip of plastic with a LED one end.
Kurt brought his watch to each LED and coded them into it. Instant smoke screens that he could detonate from a distance. Sure, he would lose that weapon from the bike itself, but as he put the small strips into his pocket, he figured he'd get more use of them on land while he was stationary anyway.
A few minutes later, the various pockets on his person were full of useful items as the sun finally started to kiss the landscape. He brought up the map on his glasses once more and saw the swaying red blobs. So they were still practicing... his thoughts wandered to Blaine, and he wondered how the boy was holding up.
The map minimized itself to a corner as he pressed his watch and waited for the operator to speak into his ear.
"Hello." When preparing to ask for rather large favours, it paid to be polite. "I'm going to need a helicopter or a car that could take the passengers to a helicopter or airplane in about... an hour to an hour."
There was silence on the other line and he didn't exactly blame her. Bikes were one thing... special gadgets, fine. A helicopter? Or a car? Those were big things a reserve agent would ask for. "Why do you need one?"
He tried to think of how to phrase this without letting too much sarcasm slip through, he didn't want to explain; he just wanted his requests met. Was that too much to ask for? Apparently so. "I have about a dozen boys I need to get out of the state in a matter of hours and I can't get them all out on a mountain bike. Unless you want the mission to be a failure, I suggest I get some better transportation relatively fast."
The words were out of his lips before he could stop himself, and the thick silence on the other end told him that the woman probably wasn't taking too kindly to it. For three minutes she made him wait anxiously, anticipating denial and already starting to think of how to get a dozen boys out of the state on a mountain bike.
Finally, "We are sending you directions to a nearby field. It will be undetectable by electronic equipment, other than your own, in 45 minutes. A helicopter will be waiting for you and the boys."
Relief flooded through him as he nodded, even though he knew she couldn't see. Another map appeared on his glasses, looking more like a maze than a map, but it was pretty straightforward. The path to the field seemed easy to get to, which he supposed was a good thing. "Make sure there's a medic on board, if you can. Some of the boys look like they've been malnourished and injured."
"I'll see what we can do."
Kurt glanced at his watch. Seven o'clock on the dot. The sun was all but gone at this point, but he needed to see when Sandy was leaving so he can choose when to strike. With a deep breath, he turned around and started climbing the tree behind him. When he got to a decent sized branch at a respectable height, he sat with his back against the trunk and turned towards the warehouse.
"Can you do night vision?" He asked the glasses. They did, and soon everything was a shade of black or green. Still persistent in the corner was the map of the building with the heat signatures. He would need it later, so why bother closing it now? As the sun finally slipped under the horizon, Kurt readjusted himself against the tree, trying to make himself comfortable, and waited.
It took hours for Sandy to leave, causing Kurt to occasionally nod off, only to jerk himself awake a few minutes later and check the map. Every time there were thirteen red blobs, letting him know he could relax just a little more. But as the hours slipped by, he couldn't help but wonder if the man didn't actually sleep in the warehouse. The other night could have easily been a fluke.
He glanced down at his watch- 12:05 AM. He sighed and was about to awaken his sleeping buttocks by climbing down the tree and going back to the hotel when he heard a rather door slam shut. Now wide awake, he looked towards the parking lot to see the outline of Sandy Ryerson walking out of the parking lot.
Kurt shimmed his way down the tree for two main reasons: 1) It was a quick and easy way to get down the trunk that wasn't jumping and 2) He had to get his ass awake before he started running. And running was what he did- sprinting through the underbrush, trying to catch up and follow Sandy at a distance. They were walking quietly for about a half hour when the small road that led to the warehouse met the main road. There, Sandy climbed into his beat up car that was parked on the curb and drove away.
Maybe four seconds later, Kurt had turned around and was running along the edge of the road, racing back to the warehouse. If Sue said they were going to start working as hard as the Cheerios did, then the boys would be up at five doing who knew what.
But a lot could be done in five hours.
As he came to a stop in front of the door, he glanced over at the bush he knew hid the bike and debated going back and getting more tools. Except he couldn't think of anything else he'd need... and plus, it was right outside the warehouse. Just a few dozen steps away from the door; it'd be okay.
So with most of his predetermined plan used up, he tried to open the door. There was only a handle, no lock, but it wouldn't budge, no matter how hard he pulled. He looked up at his glasses and saw that the boys were all together in what he assumed was their room, far from the door.
They weren't coming to help him? Fine.
Approaching the door, he ran his hands along the edges, feeling if it was super closed or just regular closed. It made a big difference, after all. He couldn't tell for sure, but he hoped that the top of the door was sealed the same as the rest of the edges, as he couldn't reach it.
Damn his height.
He gave an aggravated sigh as he started fishing in his pocket, looking for something particular. Finally he came across it, pulling it out victoriously and holding it up as if it were a torch instead of just a laser.
Then he started working, tracing the edge of the door that connected to the wall, using the heat of the beam to melt through hinges. Next, he went to the handle, cutting through the lock in between the two doors. Once he was done, he pocketed the device and pushed on the door, hoping it'd open for him and he could get on with this whole mission.
When it failed to do so, he backed up about ten feet from the door, staring down at the green-shaded thing in front of him. He took off the sunglasses and putted them in his left breast pocket, there was no need for them at the moment- once inside he could turn on lights.
But he had to get inside first, which was proving a little problematic at the moment... even if he was going to change it. A little nervous, he bounced on his heels slightly before running full speed at the door and making a hard connection with his right shoulder.
The door flew off of its perch (previously attached to what, Kurt will never know) and preceded him into the warehouse, landing with a rather loud thud. As he stepped over the rather large metal thing, he rubbed his shoulder, massaging the muscle hoping that the throbbing pain would go away sooner rather than later. It wasn't like he was out of shape, but throwing yourself at something, apparently solid steel, was going to hurt, no matter what you were made of.
His eyes went from the door to the warehouse. It was dark, but not dark enough that he couldn't see. "Sorry about the door... I'll fix that on my way out, I promise." He called out to the boys.
No reply rang out, no chuckle of laughter at his attempt at humour. Kurt furrowed his eyebrows, walking deeper into the warehouse. It wasn't that much bigger from this perspective, but he still had to reorient himself.
The sound of feet shuffling pointed him towards a corner and he followed the moon light streaming in from the doorway until it faded away into darkness. Not that it affected his vision that much. "Look, I'm not here to hurt you."
"You say that now." A voice, different than any boy he had heard earlier today, echoed throughout the large room. Kurt finally reached the small office where the voice came from and looked inside. About half a dozen of the boys were sleeping, despite the loud clatter the door made. He was almost impressed. "He said it as first, too." The boy who spoke was standing, leaning against the wall. His dark skin made him hard to see in the dim light, but his eyes stared at him threateningly. The boys that were awake sat in their sleeping bags or against walls; all their eyes on him, making Kurt a little uncomfortable.
But the way that the boy growled the word 'he' told him that the subject of the matter was Sandy Ryerson. "I'm not dressed horribly, does that count for anything?" Kurt asked with a small smile.
The boy's face remained stone still and Kurt's heart was starting to beat just a little faster. How was he supposed to get them out when they didn't trust him?
"What's your name?"
The boy thought it over, apparently still unsure of whether or not he should talk to him. "Zach. Zach Lehr."
Okay. Zach. That was a step in the right direction. "How's Blaine?" This time, instead of his voice being very relaxed, trying to get to the point of the matter and trying to get the boy to listen to him, his voice was soft, concerning.
A wave of shock came over Zach's face that he could easily see, even in the dim lighting. "How do you-"
"Never mind that. I'll explain later." After a moment or two silence, Zach moved aside to show him the sleeping bags scattered around on the floor. Kurt's eyes scanned the ones containing bodies and saw one who was curled into a ball, only the top of his head visible.
Slowly, he moved through the scattered black sleeping bags to get to the one where Blaine lay. His eyes were closed, but his breathing told Kurt that he wasn't sleeping. He glanced momentarily up at Zach and unzipped the sleeping bag before carefully rolling Blaine onto his back.
He was dressed in shorts and a white t-shirt, which he assumed was the designated sleep gear, even if Zach and some of the others were still in their button downs and slacks. A groan escaped Blaine's lips as he cracked open his eyelids to look at Kurt who smiled gently. "Shh... It'll be okay. I'm here to get you guys out."
As soon as the words left his lips, whispers spread like wildfire throughout the boys who were awake. "Sandy comes back around 4, normally, to wake us up." A boy spoke, causing Kurt to look up and stare at him before his eyes flickered back to his watch. It was 12:41. Messing with the door must have taken more time than he thought.
He looked back to Zach who was apparently serving as impromptu leader. "I need you to wake the others up, get them dressed. I know you don't want to ruin the shirt and pants, but it's easier to run in than shorts and a t-shirt. Shoes and socks as well." Zach nodded and the boys quickly moved along the sleeping bags, waking people up. Kurt looked down at Blaine's brilliantly bright hazel eyes and spoke quietly. "I need you to wake up. If you want, you don't have to get dressed, but I need you moving."
Another pain filled moan came from the boy as he started to move. "I'll help." A boy said, rushing to Blaine's side.
Kurt nodded and stood up, moving over to Zach and grabbing his arm to make the boy face him. "Are there any security cameras, any trip sensors? Something? Anything? It's much too quiet here." It probably should have been his first thought, but Blaine's 'punishment' had been on his mind the whole night.
Zach nodded, his voice lowered. "There's cameras in the main room, this room and the kitchen. All monitored from the office." So they had done their own bit of scouting. That was rather impressive. But he didn't believe that they were only monitored in the office- Sue was smarter than that. Not much, but a little.
With this new information in his mind, he looked up in the most likely places for any sort of camera- corners. The ceiling was rather high, on its own and the feat of getting to the camera seemed almost impossible. Sure, he could just shoot the laser up there and destroy it, but that's a rather crude way of doing things.
He sighed. If the transmission was being sent outside the main office that Zach mentioned, there was no way to cut it off now. He had been around for too long. "I guess that means we have to work fast then." He said, smirking at Zach.
Having a new time restraint combined with the pressure of being on video made his adrenalin pump through his body at breakneck speed. In a few minutes, the boys were all dressed (with Blaine in his sleepwear) and Kurt started to lead them out of the warehouse.
The group was halfway to the wooded area when Kurt's ears picked up a faint sound. It clicked in his mind instantly, chills running down his spine.
A car engine.
They were too far from the main road for it to just be a passerby. This car was coming to the warehouse. "Move!" He shouted, the others breaking into a run. Blaine was hobbling, using Zach as a crutch and moving at a horribly slow pace. Kurt stuck his hands into his pocket, pulled out his sunglasses and brought up the map to the field with the helicopter. Taking Blaine's weight, he shoved the glasses onto Zach's face. "Follow the map, get the boys there. Get on the helicopter. Tell them that Agent Hummel sent you and you should take off if I'm not there in five minutes."
Blaine looked from Zach to Kurt a few times before he managed to speak. "I can get there. Don't worry."
Kurt looked at the boy and rolled his eyes with a small smile on his face. "Not like this, you can't. You're sticking with me." He turned his attention back to Zach as they finally reached the bushes. Now the headlights shined dimly on the warehouse doors.
As they ducked down and Kurt shooed Zach away, Kurt and Blaine sat quietly as they watched Sue, in all her 1am glory, walk out of her car and into the warehouse. He turned towards Blaine. "What's wrong with your leg?"
The boy looked down in the darkness and then into Kurt's face. "Something's wrong with my ankle. I can't put a lot of pressure on it."
He sighed and motioned for the boy to stay quiet as he snuck back and got his bike, keeping his head low. He swung his legs over the crossbar, scooted towards the handles and looked towards the other boy. "Come on, you're sitting."
It took him a little longer than Kurt would have liked, but Blaine managed to get on the seat and sit down. He liked to pedal standing up anyway, so it wasn't much different than normally riding a bike, except he was also trying to get himself to move close to 275 pounds instead of closer to 140.
The momentum was building up as he heard shouts coming from inside the warehouse. One rang true in his ears: "Porcelain!" His heart pounded as he finally got the tires moving at a decent speed. They raced through the forest as he followed the mental image of the map he had to quickly memorize.
When the field appeared into view, a black spot was fading in the distance. "We didn't make it." Blaine's breathless and pained voice.
He heard twigs snapping behind him and left no time to talk as he started across the field. It took longer because of the grass, but soon he was on the other side of the field on the ground speeding through the forest. "It's okay. We'll get out of here." He breathed, taking a turn and coming out onto a road.
"Do you know where we are?" He asked Blaine, slightly disoriented.
"No, I... I don't." The boy's voice trailed off and he felt a shift in the weight behind him. Quickly, he grabbed Blaine's hand with one of his and draped it over his shoulder, quickly repeating the action with the second hand. Blaine's body resting on his own now, passed out on his back.
It was awkward, with him shifting his weight from the pedalling and making sure his passenger wasn't thrown off. But after a while of mindless biking, they came to the hotel where he was staying. He didn't want to leave the bike, or Blaine, outside so he carefully snaked out his way under the boy, and wheeled in the bike, Blaine's weight on his shoulder.
No walk had been more uncomfortable, he thought, as he dragged the bike and boy inside the lobby. He got to room 110 (he had never been more grateful for a ground-level room) with a few weird looks. But as soon as they entered his room, Kurt laid Blaine carefully on the bed and let the bike fall at the foot of it.
He moved to the window and looked outside- it seemed to be clear. He put his lips near his watch. "I need a conformation on my parents and step brother. I was unable to disable the warehouse security and Sue knows it was me. They'll be her next target. Make sure they're okay?"
A tiny voice in his ear responded promptly. "Yes, sir."
He looked over at Blaine worriedly as the boy pulled himself up to the top of the bed and moaned in pain. In the light of the hotel, the bruising and cuts were obvious. "Where's the helicopter?"
"En route to Washington DC." Said the voice.
Kurt bit his lip. "I'm going to need a lift there, with room for one very injured passenger. In addition, Sue Sylvester should be arrested immediately, along with Sandy Ryerson. Others might be involved, but I never saw them."
He could almost imagine the receptionist on the other end nod. "Your car will be waiting outside your hotel at 7:00am. An agent will get you from your room."
A breath of relief flowed out of him as he was told that there was a way out. He closed the blinds and walked towards the door. "I'll be back in a minute, Blaine." He said. There was no answer so he assumed the other boy was passed out. Honestly, it would only take a minute or two to get to the front desk.
He locked the door behind him and walked the thirty seconds to the desk. A queue had formed; only about two people though, so he got in line and waited almost patiently. Kurt's eyes were focused on the hallway leading to his room- if anyone who didn't look quite right went down the hall, he'd be out of the line faster than a person can blink.
But no one did. And when he go to the desk, he smiled at the receptionist. "Can I have a first aid kid, please?"
The girl, probably close to his age, had a smile that melted into a frown. "Is everything alright, sir? Do we need to call an ambulance?"
"No, no," he chuckled, "Just a first aid kit please." Her eyes told him that she wasn't going to give it over, and this was no time for her to play games with him. He dug into his pocket and pulled out his badge, confirming his Agent status. He showed it to her. "Your fist aid kit please." He said, staring the girl down.
Slowly it was handed over, letting Kurt to put his ID away and thank the girl. It would probably be written up somewhere that he showed her his badge, not that he liked to use it, but it had to be done sometimes. And if ensuring the health of a peer for six hours was too much to ask for, he didn't want to live on this earth anymore.
When he got to the end of the hall, he keyed his door open to find Blaine sleeping just as he was ten minutes ago. He walked over to the bed and nudged the other boy onto his back as Kurt's eyes scanned Blaine's body. He had various cuts on his arms and legs, a nasty bruise forming on his right temple, a gash under his left eyebrow and, as Kurt removed his shoes and socks, his ankle was swollen twice its normal size.
Kurt sighed slightly. "Oh Blaine, what am I going to do with you?"
The other boy must have woken up while he was taking off his socks because a rather groggy voice responded. "I told you I could have gotten there."
A gentle smile was sent in Blaine's direction as Kurt started to attend the wounds. They weren't too bad, but they were definitely testing his gag reflex. "It's better that we didn't test fate with you. It's not like you're in your peak physical condition. Don't mind it too much... our ride will be here in a few hours."
The other boy hissed in pain as Kurt applied the disinfectant. He didn't dare ask what gave him such nasty wounds, as he saw the beginning of the beating and heard its entirety. Plus, it seemed rather a private thing. "There's been worse." He said through grit teeth.
Kurt looked at Blaine expectedly. "To the other boys?" Sandy didn't seem like he could evoke this much harm onto a person. Maybe with Sue's influence, her threats, but on his own... well he seemed like an adorably flamboyant kitten.
Then again... every kitten has claws.
"No, to me." He said, relaxing a bit as Kurt moved the cotton ball of antiseptic away from a cut on his arm. "My father wasn't exactly a kind man. When I told him I was gay... well let's say he didn't exactly like it."
His eyes widened slightly at the news. He cared a little about Blaine's father abusing him, but he was more tuned into the face the boy came out to him. "I'm sorry." He said quietly. "I was bullied a lot in high school for it. But everyone at home was fairly supportive." Kurt attempted. There wasn't much to say that could make it alright.
Blaine sighed a little and managed a small shrug as Kurt wrapped his ankle in an ACE bandage. All of his first aid would not be permanent, but it would last the night and that's what mattered. He pulled out a painkiller and held it out to the boy. "Take this. It'll make some of the pain go away."
The pill disappeared into Blaine's hand as he watched the boy nod. He didn't break eye contact until he saw him swallow the medicine, even opening his mouth wide to show Kurt he had taken it. As he put the kit away, Blaine spoke again. "It's okay. One more year and I can get out of here. I don't know where I'm going to go, but anything to get away from my family."
Kurt put the box on the desk, locked the main door and walked back to the duffle. There he pulled out a t-shirt and shorts to sleep in. As he started to lift his shirt over his head, he saw Blaine looking at him. He smiled at his new friend. "Eyes on the ceiling. We've only just met."
Blaine laughed, but his eyes went to the ceiling nonetheless. "Yeah, well, it's not like you're trying to hide. Plus, you're layering. I saw the undershirt." While Kurt's back was towards the bed, he could hear the smirk on the boy's face.
When he was finished, he walked over to the bed. "Scoot over. We don't have two beds and I want to sleep too." Finally, Blaine let out a small chuckle which told me they'd be alright. Just to have the beaten boy in good spirits was important. After Blaine inched over, Kurt crawled in bed next to him, leaving a fair bit of room between the two of them. "You know, Lima's not an awful place. And you're going through typical high school stuff. It sucks. But it gets better."
Blaine tried to roll onto his side to face Kurt, but a pain stopped him, so Kurt turned to face the boy. "Everyone says that." He said, staring at Kurt out of the corner of his eye. "But it's just hard to imagine, you know?"
"More than most." He said with a small smirk, putting his arm under his head and getting comfortable. He saw Blaine suppress a yawn. "But it does get better. You have to believe me. You just need people around who support you."
There was a mumble out of his lips that sounded sort of like 'The mates at school are alright', but it was clear that pain and drugs were getting to him.
Kurt reached over and stoked the boy's hair. He needed to give Blaine some more hair gel- it was in desperate need of a makeover. Granted, his whole body needed to be redone, but he figured the hair was something important to him. "It'll be okay. I'm here for you."
"Do you promise?" Blaine's voice became strong for a moment, his head fully turning towards Kurt. He nodded as the boy's fatigue finally won the battle, his eyes closing.
He moved a little closer to Blaine and held him in his arms, which he seemed to like, as his own exhaustion threatened to overcome him. "Always."
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The next morning passed in a weird sort of blur. Around 9 am, a loud knocking woke Kurt up whose consequential movements woke up Blaine. When he opened the door a man in a black suit and tie stood at attention, looking rather displeased at Kurt's attire.
"You look like you just got out of bed." The man said, raising an eyebrow.
"You look like you never go to bed." He said in return, a glare forming on his face. "Let me get our things. I shouldn't take too long."
The man didn't question Kurt again, although he broke his stone-cold demeanour to give him and Blaine weird looks.
But he was nice enough to take the two of them, letting Kurt assist Blaine, out to the front of the hotel where a car waited, windows tinted and engine running. It probably wasn't the man's kindness as it was an agenda that needed to be followed. Either way, they piled into the back and sped off to the airport, where Kurt was dropped off only two days ago.
While they flew to Washington, they made Kurt change back into a suit, to match the other agents on the plane. He procrastinated as much as he could; waiting until they were nearly ready to descend. But eventually a man came up to him and handed the suit, a stern look on his face.
"Being part of the agency... it seriously inhibits your sense of style." He muttered after changing, stepping out of the bathroom stall and straightening his tie.
Blaine sat in one of the first-class chairs that the jet was equipped with, looking a little better than yesterday. He would be admitted to the hospital wing once they got to DC, yes, but for how he was sitting and talking happily. When Kurt came out, he was even smiling. "I think you look quite dapper in a suit. I like dapper. Not only does it fit you, but it's a fun word."
Kurt laughed and spun around, as if to show off the black and white attire. "I'm sure you'd look quite dapper too, if I got to see you in anything but your pyjamas." He smirked, sitting across from Blaine.
The other boy shrugged. "It's not my fault that you didn't bother to get me dressed properly." He said, a smirk playing his bubblegum-pink lips.
"Well, let me try harder next time I find you in bed in your pyjamas."
"Is that a promise?" Kurt felt his cheeks flood with blood as he looked at the laptop at his side which decided to go off, for which he was thankful.
When he opened the notebook, an itinerary appeared in his inbox, telling him he was supposed to meet with the Commander for a debriefing and then a plane back to New York. His heart fell a little, resulting in a small frown. After so much time away from Lima, it was worse to be in town for two days, unable to see anyone, and then told to leave than to not even come into town at all.
"Everything okay?" Blaine's voice made him look up and focus back on the other boy.
Kurt forced a smile. "Of course. Just looking up on Sue and Sandy's arrest." He lied. In fact, he didn't know if either of them were arrested- he figured the Commander would tell him when they met.
The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, as Blaine decided to take another nap and Kurt was pressed to take care of some paperwork. Unfortunately, he made very little progress, as he kept being distracted by the bandaged, sleeping boy across from him.
When the plane landed Blaine was taken, rather groggily, to the medical ward on site as Kurt was escorted to the Commander's office. When he entered, the man was already behind his desk, looking over some papers that were clearly belonging to his case.
"You did a good job, Hummel." He said, looking up at the younger man. "You may sit."
Kurt nodded and sat down in the chair across from the man's desk, wondering what there could be to discuss. He decided to start it off, whether it was the direction the Commander was intending on taking or not. "Have Sue Sylvester and Sandy Ryerson been apprehended yet?"
The Commander put down his files and looked at the boy. "Mr. Ryerson was arrested a few hours ago, shortly after you requisitioned it."
He didn't really care much about Sandy- it was the mastermind behind it all that he wanted to know the status of. "What about Sue, sir?" He asked again pressingly. Maybe being formal and polite would tell him that Kurt was being serious- that this answer mattered.
"Sue Sylvester..." The Commander started with his voice a low growl. "We sent out agents, SWAT teams, detectives, everything in our power."
He let out a breath and stared at Kurt. "But she's gone. No trace has been found- no digital record, no family to contact... we're currently questioning Mr. Ryerson but he seems to be more of a pawn than anything else. He has no information that we didn't know."
Kurt stared at the older man, whose name he still didn't know, with a shocked expression on his face. How could they lose Sue? He glared at the Commander, as if daring him to tell him more bad news.
The Commander seemed to notice his discontent and clearly was trying to cover up this rather large blunder. "We have everything on her covered. We'll catch her." It didn't matter, the glare on Kurt's face stayed, held firm and true. "The boys have all been admitted to the medical ward and have been examined and sent back home. They, of course, will never speak of this and neither will you."
He nodded. That was a fair enough request. Not to mention that discussion about missions, whether they be your own or someone else's was usually enough to get you removed from service and your badges taken away.
"They did request to speak to you, but as you weren't on premises before they left, I'm afraid we can't honour their request." He said, straightening the batch of papers in front of him. "As for you-"
Kurt cut him off. "Wait. Why can't I just call them? Or visit them or something?" There were also possibilities like e-mailing or snail mail. Hell, if they wanted to talk to him, he'd learn how to communicate through smoke rings if need be.
"There's a new policy since you were a Scout. We can't let you talk to those involved in the mission after the fact. It's a security risk, you understand." The Commander said, not really giving him an opportunity to not understand.
Well that wasn't fair at all- if neither party agreed to speak of the mission, then why shouldn't he be able to talk to them? And what about Blaine? He was still on the grounds- would he be able to see him before Kurt had to leave?
But the Commander was speaking again and he only caught half of it. "... and your plane is due to leave in a half hour."
"Can I visit the hospital first? I just want to see if Blaine is okay." Kurt asked, not even bothering what the Commander said initially. It was probably just formalities. 'Thank you for servicing your nation in a time of great need' and all that good stuff he hated listening to.
The Commander raised an eyebrow at his request and looked at his papers. Kurt knew the answer wasn't written on there- he was thinking for himself. "I'm sorry, Hummel, but that's with the policy. I'm sure Mr. Anderson is okay. His initial evaluation showed that there were no life threatening injuries."
A mental instability wouldn't show up on your stupid scan, he thought as he nodded to the Commander to please him. "Can I go back to Lima for a few days? School thinks I'm away for a few more days yet and I haven't seen my dad in a while. I just want two or three days." He asked. Would it be too much trouble to redirect the flight from New York to Ohio? Probably not for these people.
Kurt stared at the older man for a minute before he caved. "Sure. You don't get to keep the bike or anything. Once you're there, you're on your own. We'll book you a commercial flight back to New York for..." The Commander was consulting a calendar. "Sunday. That's two days in Lima plus whatever you have when you land this evening."
He gave the man a smile and nodded. It would be great, being able to spend some time in Lima. Not only that but it was the weekend and he didn't need to make up an excuse as to why he was there during the weekday. "Thank you, sir." He said, standing up and saluting the man.
"You never answered my question though." Kurt looked up at the Commander. Question? Crap. That must have been when he was spacing out angrily over the fact he couldn't contact the boys. "Do you want to work with us? Full time." Kurt's salute dropped to his side as his mouth followed, nearly going to the floor. Full time agent? "You impressed us out there. You got the job done quickly and efficiently. Not many agents, Scout or otherwise, can execute a rescue mission that cleanly after as many years without training as you've had."
It was a hard decision. It probably meant leaving New York. It definitely meant leaving the fashion institute and always wearing one of these horrendous suits. But it did present him the opportunity to travel, which he always wanted to do.
After a few minutes of consideration, he nodded. "Sure. I'd be honoured."
The Commander smiled. "You'll stay under my authority and get a case by case basis. But we'll keep you on more local stuff until you get adjusted to the lifestyle. You can stay in New York, and your school will be notified of your involvement so their teachers can work with us. If you want to get a degree there, we'll work on getting you one while you work for us. Whether you tell your family and friends is your decision, just remember the security protocols."
What he was offering was more than he could have imagined from someone seemingly so cold-hearted. Kurt even managed a smile. "Thank you, sir."
"We'll e-mail you after your vacation about training and details like that." The Commander said. He looked back at the file. "You're due at your plane, though, so I must bid you farewell for now, Agent Hummel." He offered Kurt his hand which the boy took and shook before turning to leave. "Wait. Since you're going to pass the administration desk on your way to the hangar, drop off your file." He said, handing over a manila folder.
Kurt took it and tucked it under his arm. "Thank you again, sir." He saluted and left the room. Some first official act as an active spy, he thought bitterly as he navigated through a mess of cubicles, drop off a file to reception.
He turned a corner and felt his whole body hit something solid, sending him to the ground, dropping the file and hitting his head on the floor. He groaned and rubbed the back of his head which hurt but he knew wouldn't result in an injury. Kurt looked up at the thing he ran into. "I'm so sorry!" The man, dressed in army camouflage, scrambled to his feet, his combat boots leaving marks all over the floor. "Look- I'll make it up to you. I'm running late though. I'm Sergeant McLaggen, for next time."
And with that, the man was gone, leaving Kurt to get to his feet and collect the papers on the floor which had impressively managed to fall in at least a three foot radius. As he brought the papers together, hoping to hell they didn't need to be in any particular order, he came across the photos of the boys- the ones he first saw two days ago.
Blaine looked so much more put together in his school picture, his hair slicked back and wearing a blazer that, he had to admit, the boy looked rather good in .It would be the last he would see of Blaine Anderson, he realized, slowly putting his headshot on the top of the piles of paper. The realization saddened him more than he actually expected it to.
Right before he closed the file, Kurt's eyes travelled down the blazer and below the picture. There was basic information about the boy: hair colour, eye colour, height, and then the funny thing- his address.
His eyes shot up to those around him. How many people were watching him read this file, kneeling on the floor? None at all, was the answer he got, scrambling to his feet with the file in his hand. He walked over to the nearest cubical and poked his head in.
No one was there, so he slipped in and grabbed a piece of paper from the printer on the desk after placing the file down. Taking a pen out of a coffee cup that doubled as a miscellaneous-things holder, he scribbled Blaine's address down in small writing. He carefully folded the paper and placed it neatly into his inside breast pocket.
After that, he erased his tracks, picking up the folder and putting the pen back into the coffee cup that proudly told him that the owner was a number one dad. He dropped off the file at the administration desk and apologized if it was out of order, explaining that he dropped it by accident.
"Oh, that's no problem, hon." An older woman smiled at him, taking the folder and looking through it. "As long as the mission's completed and a success, right?" Once she reached a certain page that looked more like a cover letter, a small sigh of relief escaped her. Looking up, she gave him a grin he knew to associate with dishonesty. But he nodded anyway as the woman took a rubber stamp to the manila folder's front. Red letters showed him the case's status: Solved.
Kurt nodded, even if he disagreed with the status' ruling. "Of course. Have a good day." He said, not sure when he'd see her again, if ever, and continuing his walk to the hangar. How can they say that the case is solved if Sue was still out there? Maybe there was another file on her... completely dedicated to her and her crimes.
He could only hope.
It took him a little longer than expected to get to the airplane that would take him back to Lima. Probably because no one could give him adequate directions to get to the damned hanger. When he took a seat in one of the chairs, no one spoke to him. The whole flight, he sat in silence.
He only communicated through written words, through e-mails to professors and commanders that he had to get back to. After a while, when he was sure no one was going to bother him, he took out the slip of paper out of his pocket and quickly entered the address into Google and reviewed the map that came up as a result.
Kurt wasn't as familiar with the area as he could be, as it was a bit farther than the area in which he grew up, but it wasn't like it was a different city. It was just a different suburb.
A flight attendant stopped at his seat and offered him water and the obligatory pack of peanuts. Even though she probably wasn't an agent, he shut the computer and took her offer with an excessive amount of enthusiasm. He didn't open up the laptop for the remainder of his journey.
In fact, he tried to ignore Blaine Anderson, for the two days he was in Lima. The boy had done some investigation himself, as he kept e-mailing Kurt on his personal e-mail asking how he was. It was all very innocent things, to the average person looking through the heap of e-mails, but Kurt knew better.
Blaine was looking for someone he could relate to- someone he could talk to and not be judged for the words that came out of his mouth. It sucked to have to censor what you say... sometimes it takes so much effort, very little of your true self remains in your words. Kurt knew from experience.
As Sunday approached, the e-mails slowed in frequency. They were shorter, only telling Kurt about how his roommates had made him some brownies upon his arrival on Saturday morning and that he was going back to school on Monday and that he really rather just lay in bed.
Kurt sighed whenever he got one of Blaine's e-mails for the sole reason that so badly wanted to reply, to make a coffee date. But he didn't really want to test the Commander's power of sleuthing. Sure, there were more important things than making sure that a new agent, who had been through Scouts no less, adhered to security protocol, but he didn't trust them to have their priorities right. Despite working for the government, he tended to disagree with the order of things, sometimes.
He was still upset that if he ever found someone he wanted to tie the knot with, he couldn't.
Sunday afternoon, just a few hours before he was due to board the plane to New York, he left his house and started walking. Both Burt and Finn were at work at the garage and Carol had gotten over the fact he was back in town, so he was given more freedom. There was no car for him to use and his bike had two flat tires, but walking was just fine.
He didn't know where he was walking, so he just let his legs take him from block to block. Occasionally, he'd meet someone he knew from high school and he'd talk to them for a while, but he would soon lose interest, his thoughts stealing him from whoever he had met. Kurt would be the one to bid a friendly goodbye, always unable to continue feigning interest.
But there was a point where he stopped meeting people. No familiar faces greeted him as he walked down the street or turned the corner. It was a welcomed change. Not because he didn't want to talk to someone, but he just wanted to be alone.
That was why he left the house, after all- to escape Carol's seemingly omnipresence. After a while, he forced his mind out of its disoriented state and compelled it to look at his surroundings. Marnat Road?
In all of his years around Lima, he didn't remember seeing that name before. He turned around on the spot, taking in more than just a street sign this time. No, he definitely wasn't in Lima anymore.
But the more he thought, the more he did remember the street name. It was just in a passing, but he had seen it. It was on a map that he viewed over 30,000 feet in the air.
Without a second thought, he knew where he was going, his mind struggling to remember the map he saw days ago and the tiny label that marked point 'A'.
He got lost a few times, and he stopped a more than his fair share of people on the street, asking where Dalton Academy was, to get his bearings; but soon enough he found it. It was an apartment complex, at least a dozen stories tall. He stood an opposite sidewall and scanned the windows with his eyes.
The address in the file didn't mention an apartment number- merely the building's address. So he stood there, his hands in his jacket, watching the building's windows. No one questioned his presence, or his motives. Hell, no one really seemed to acknowledge his existence.
About twenty minutes later, right when he was about to move to the other side of the building, a dark haired boy crossed the window and looked out. The two boys made eye contact and Kurt smiled.
Oh wow. My first Klaine went by so fast. I have a slight plot of a sequel smoldering in the back of my mind that involves more fluff and action and will probably make more sense, in the universe of it all (I understand Sue in this fic was a bit of a stretch, but I had a different plot when I first thought it up and it was too late to change it haha). But here's the thing. I'm a busy person and while I like writing, I rather write for people who want to read it. So please, leave a comment, review, inbox me, whatever.
I want to know: Would you be interested in a sequel? Anything you'd like to see (my plotbunny still has room to grow, and who knows, people might have good ideas)? It will most definitely involve agent!Kurt and maybe agent!Blaine. That's all I'll give you for now.
Thanks so much for reading!