Many thanks to my beta KlainePotter621 over on FF.N for looking over this for me, and for my irl friend Alice for reassuring me that this wasn’t too awful to post online. Much love to you both :D
Not sure when this takes place. In between season 2 and 3, perhaps? Most of my fanfictions seem to take place in some kind of void time that exists only in my head, so. Sorry?
Kurt’s acting weird. Like, really weird. Usually when he gets home from a date with Blaine, he practically dances through the doorway and seizes whoever is around so he can tell them all about how amazing his boyfriend is for approximately two hours. Finn pretends to be annoyed when he’s the unsuspecting victim, and Burt huffs whenever he hears Blaine’s name mentioned, but really they both enjoy seeing Kurt so happy and obviously in love. Carole doesn’t even bother to act like she minds, just giggles delightedly along with Kurt, and sighs when he talks about various romantic gestures Blaine has carried out to earn him status as Best Boyfriend Ever.
That’s the standard, anyway. Today, though, he’s sitting in the kitchen quietly by himself, and hadn’t even greeted Finn as he walked – walked, not skipped – in. Finn was fully prepared for Kurt to come rushing in and hurl himself onto the couch, in a way that Kurt would never normally even think of doing, and interrupt his gaming session by rambling about how Blaine had pulled his chair out or given him roses or something. Normally he’d find his mom and tell her that Kurt is moping and let her sort it out with a lady chat, but she’s out on a date with Burt, so he’s the one who has to do something.
He pauses and unpauses his game several times, debating whether he should give Kurt more time to himself or not, and gets shot about twenty times while he thinks. Finally, he bites the bullet, somewhat literally, and lets his character be killed. How should he do this? What does his mom do? She usually makes him a cup of tea. Should he do that, or is that weird? He’s so distracted that he bumps into the side of the doorframe as he lumbers into the kitchen and lets out a surprised ‘ouch’. Kurt, sitting at the counter on a stool, looks up at the noise, and frowns at him. “What are you doing?” he says harshly, swiping at his eyes.
Finn shrugs. “Being an oaf,” he says cheerily, using Kurt’s current favourite word for him, but his step-brother doesn’t look even vaguely amused like he normally would. “And seeing if you’re alright.” He stuffs his hands in his pockets and finds his missing headphones.
Kurt snorts, which is the second sign that’s something wrong. Kurt never makes such undignified noises. Not around Finn, anyway; he seems to let himself relax a bit around Blaine, especially when they have one of their ‘tickle fights’ that Finn is still entirely convinced are not tickle fights. Oh yeah, that’s why he’s here.
“How was the date?” Crap, he forgot the tea. Oh, Kurt’s already got a mug between his hands. It’s all going fine.
“The date was good,” Kurt says pointedly. He taps one finger against the side of the mug twice, then lets it drop again.
There’s an uneasy silence as Finn tries to figure out what Kurt is implying, and fails. “Um,” he says.
“Do you know where the word ‘fag’ comes from?” Kurt says suddenly, straightening up on his chair.
Finn stares at him. “Faggot,” he says uncertainly. Is this a trick question?
Kurt nods. “Gold star, Finn, well done.” He chuckles and raises a mug to his mouth, takes a sip and puts it back down none too carefully, but doesn’t even flinch at the noise he makes. Usually he would berate Finn for causing even a tiny clatter. “You know where that word comes from?” he challenges.
Finn shakes his head.
“You learned about the Salem witch trials, right?”
“Remember how they killed the witches? Well, ‘witches’,” Kurt says, raising a hand to do air quotes.
“They burned them alive,” Finn says uneasily. He’s not sure where this conversation is heading, but he doesn’t really like it so far.
Kurt nods. “They would build a pyre and then tie the victim to it,” he says. He raises his eyes to look at Finn, and they look…weird. Empty. “Then they’d light it with a bundle of sticks. That was called a faggot.”
Finn’s stomach does a weird flipping thing and then seems to disappear. His chest feels tight and heavy. “When people say…that word…they mean they want to burn you alive?” he asks, in a whisper.
Kurt nods, slowly. “I doubt they know that’s what they’re saying. But yes. That’s where it comes from. That’s the implication, that gay people should be burned alive.” He smiles widely, but it doesn’t look right, like someone’s just stretched his expression out and it’s distorted the rest of his face. “Every time someone calls me a fag, they’re saying they want to set me alight. That I don’t deserve to live. That I should die horribly. Because I like boys.”
“I called you that,” Finn whispers, horrified.
Kurt looks up sharply then, face shifting back into something more recognisable. “You’ve changed,” he says firmly. “That’s not why I brought this up, Finn, trust me. I forgive you for that.” He looks fierce and destroyed at the same time. Finn’s learning that a lot of impossible things become possible when it comes to Kurt.
Finn bites his lip in thought. “So…why did you bring it up?” he asks hesitantly, unsure if he was meant to ignore that comment or act upon it. Kurt is a master of subtle social clues, and Finn…not so much. Holding a conversation with him is kind of like a game of Russian roulette sometimes. The gun is Kurt’s sharp tongue, the bullet is metaphorical evisceration.
Kurt steeples his hands and rests his chin on them, pursing his lips. He takes a while to speak. “We don’t walk too close together,” he says randomly. “Or sit too close, or hold hands, or do anything that a straight couple could do. We have to pretend to be friends when we go on dates.”
“That sucks,” Finn says, but Kurt doesn’t seem to hear him.
“We were walking back to the car, just walking, not even that close, but…some guys just…” Kurt waves a hand in the air. “A few names, nothing serious. But…they were walking down the street, not that close. And we were walking down the street, not that close. But because we love each other, because Blaine is amazing and I love him…suddenly it was alright to hurl abuse at us. But we were all just walking down the street, not that close.”
“It wasn’t,” Finn says after a pause. “To say those things. It wasn’t alright.”
Kurt gives him a watery smile, but doesn’t look convinced. Finn shuffles towards him, extending his arms so Kurt knows his intentions. Rather than protesting or moving away, his step-brother leans towards him, welcoming the hug. Finn holds his skinny frame to his chest, feeling rather than hearing his sobs, worried and wishing their parents were home. Kurt doesn’t go in for hugs; the first time Finn had tried to hug Kurt, a few days after they’d moved in together and officially became step-brothers, Kurt had reacted by slithering out of his arms and hissing like a cat, much to Burt and Carole’s amusement.
“I just…” Kurt says, muffled, but when Finn makes to pull back, he holds onto him with surprisingly strong arms and a slightly painful grip around his upper arms. “I wish we could go out on dates without having to worry that we’ll get killed. Even if we don’t hold hands, people know. Because I’m so…flaming, I guess. Ha! Flaming. Like the fire they want to put me in.”
Finn freezes. “You think that someone…?” He can’t find the words to end the sentence.
Kurt makes an odd noise that Finn can’t identify. It sounds kind of like a whimper, but more strangled, and also like Kurt is laughing. “Matthew Shepherd is just the tip of the iceberg,” he informs Finn.
Finn doesn’t get to respond, not that he’d know what to say, before there’s a hurried knocking at the door, and then another one only a few seconds after. Finn extrapolates himself from Kurt’s grip carefully, patting him on the shoulder and receiving a rare, genuine smile that makes his heart warm, and pads over to open the door.
Blaine is there, looking harried. His eyes are agitated, darting around nervously. Curls are springing out randomly from his otherwise gelled hair, like he’s tugged at it, and his bottom lip looks like it’s bleeding. “How’s Kurt?” he says immediately, and bites his lip. Yep, definitely bleeding. Blaine doesn’t seem to notice.
“Uh,” Finn replies, as a general response to Blaine’s appearance more than his words.
“I was going to go home like I said but then I kept thinking about Kurt and I couldn’t leave him when he might be upset I need to check on him Finn is he okay?” Blaine says in one breath, looking rather wild.
“He’s…okay?” Finn says uncertainly. “I think he’s crying, but he’s not like, hysterical,” he says slowly.
Blaine looks even more frazzled. “Can I come in?”
“Oh, yeah, of course. Kurt’s in the kitchen.” Finn steps back to let him in, and closes and locks the door while Blaine rushes through. He debates following him, but he hears Kurt very clearly break into a fresh bout of sobs, and goes back to play his game for a bit. He can’t focus though, and keeps dying, so he eventually turns it off and stares at the blank screen. Then he pulls out his phone and googles matthew shepherd, and clicks on the Wikipedia article that appears at the top of the results. He reads through the page, feeling sicker and sicker by the time he gets to the bottom, and he’s relieved when he hears two sets of footsteps coming into the living room. He shoves his phone back into his pocket.
“Hey, Finn,” Blaine says as politely as ever. He flops down onto the end of the couch. Kurt sits a little more elegantly and immediately shifts back to lean against Blaine, hands easily finding each other’s. “Thanks for giving us some space.”
Finn shrugs. He plays with the controller that he left in his lap, just for something to do with his hands. “It’s cool. Are you two, like, okay now?”
Kurt laughs softly. “We’ll be okay once we get out of this cow town,” he mutters.
Blaine smiles, kisses his temple (to which Kurt melts a little), and says, “We’re fine, Finn. Just a little shaken up. We’re very careful not to be too affectionate on dates, so this doesn’t happen often.”
There’s something wrong with the statement. It takes Finn a moment to figure out what. “A date is like, the time to be affectionate, though,” he points out. Then he realises, “But you can’t be, because you might get beat up.”
Kurt doesn’t react, but Blaine nods. “It’s just how it is,” he says, and even Finn can tell that his cheerfulness is forced.
“It shouldn’t be,” Finn mutters, mostly to himself, frowning. He glances at the clock. Burt and his mom won’t be back for another couple of hours, probably. “I’m going to play basketball out in the garden,” he decides. “Season starts soon and I’m really out of practice. So…the house will be empty for like…two hours, I guess.”
Blaine looks amused. Kurt rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling. “Thanks for that subtle hint, Finn,” he says, in what Finn thinks is a sarcastic tone of voice.
Finn doesn’t really care, it’s a compliment. “No problem, dudes,” he grins, and heads out towards the garden, Kurt’s call of “Stop calling me dude!” following him out.
He plays basketball for a good hour, until he’s both satisfied with his progress, and bored with the game. He doesn’t want to go back inside, though, because he promised Kurt and Blaine he’d give them some privacy, and they could be having sex right now. Either that, or talking about their emotions together. It’s alarming, either way, so he stays outside. He sits down on the lawn, rolling the basketball between his hands. Eventually he remembers that he put his phone in his pocket and pulls it out, planning to waste some time messing around on his apps.
But when he opens it, he sees that he left it on the page about Matthew Shepherd, and immediately his good mood slides downhill as he imagines Kurt, or Blaine, ending up like that. Then, a genius idea strikes him.
He presses the home page and opens his contacts instead. He almost skips right down to ‘P’, but sees Artie’s name right at the top and he pauses. Artie’s probably a better choice than Puck; Puck’s ride only has four seats, and Artie can’t get in there even without everyone else, but Artie has this cool custom van that’s all hand controlled. It can fit everyone in there, easy. He dials the number. Also, Artie won’t get him distracted by talking about cougars or boobs.
“’Sup dude?” Artie greets, sounding confused. Finn never calls anyone apart from his mom, he just texts them whenever he needs to talk. The only reason he doesn’t text his mom is because she can’t figure out how to text back, and ends up ringing him anyway,
“Hey dude. Are you free? I was hoping you could get all the guys and drive them over here.”
“Uh, yeah, sure. Why though?”
“I need your guys’ help with something.” He lowers his voice, just in case he can somehow be overheard. “It’s to do with Kurt. And Blaine.”
“On it,” Artie says immediately, and hangs up with a, “Be there soon.” It’s kind of weird, Finn thinks to himself. Despite how they’ve all been kind of homophobic to Kurt in the past (maybe really homophobic), they’re really protective towards Kurt now. Maybe because of how they were in the past. Finn lies back on the lawn and tosses the basketball up and down aimlessly, thinking harder than he likes to. They’ve been making up for it ever since they got their heads out of their asses and realised how shitty life was for Kurt. And then Blaine appeared, and they all felt exactly the same towards him, too, even before the two of them started dating. Probably at first because he’s kind of small and looks like he needs protecting. Now it’s because he plays video games and talks football with them, and because Kurt’s obviously totally in love with him. Kurt’s great, but Finn just doesn’t know that much about colour schemes or velvet.
“Yo, Hudson!” Puck yells, startling him out of his reverie. He fumbles with the catch and the ball smacks him squarely on the nose. He groans and hauls himself to his feet, ignoring the uproarious laughter from the others, like this is the most hilarious thing they’ve ever seen in their life.
Kurt would probably make a snarky comment about how it probably is, considering how boring their lives are. Then Blaine would hide a smile and put a hand over Kurt’s, and shake his head at him fondly while Kurt just smirked because he knew he had Blaine wrapped around his little finger.
“Yeah, yeah, very funny,” Finn grumbles, throwing the ball at Sam, who catches it easily and starts spinning it on one finger. “Anyway, I need your help.”
The atmosphere shifts immediately. “Artie said it’s about Kurt?” Puck asks, cracking his knuckles even though he doesn’t know what the issue is yet.
“And Blaine?” Mike adds, side-eyeing Puck’s threatening display with vague bemusement.
Finn nods. “Yeah. We need to form a squad. Like, a security one. Or they’re gonna get killed.”
Sam drops the basketball. “Wait, what?”
“Killed?” Puck repeats.
Artie throws up his hands. “Hold up, what?”
“Start at the beginning,” Mike says, ever the voice of reason. Finn shows him a grateful look and lopes back to the lawn, indicating to the others to follow him. They sprawl on the grass, Sam spinning the basketball on his finger again.
“Okay, so—” Finn begins.
Puck cuts him off. “Dude, why are we in the garden? Why can’t we go inside? There’s food inside.”
“Kurt and Blaine are inside.” Everyone looks blank. “Like, alone inside.”
There’s a small chorus of ‘ooooh’s, and Finn continues. “So, Kurt came back from his date today, and he was really upset, right, because some guys saw him and Blaine out and called them fags, or something, I think, and they said they were lucky not to get killed, which is why they don’t kiss or even hold hands, and usually they don’t even walk close, and they didn’t today, but somebody found out because Kurt says he’s flaming like the fires that they use faggots to light.”
There’s a vague air of confusion, but Mike again comes to the rescue and explains, “Kurt and Blaine are worried that they can’t be affectionate in public without being attacked, and Kurt is worried that they’ll be attacked anyway because he’s kind of obvious. Also, a faggot is a bunch of sticks that they used to use to light fires to burn people.”
Finn looks at him in awe. “You’re so clever,” he says honestly. Mike looks happily confused.
“Does Kurt like dogs?” Puck says, seemingly out of the blue.
“We could get him an Alsatian. Nobody would mess with him then.”
“…No.” Before Puck can protest his brilliant idea, Finn continues, “Nobody’s home enough for us to have a dog. Or to walk it. Also, I think Kurt would explode if dog hairs got on his clothes.”
“And you can’t take them into restaurants or cinemas,” Artie points out. “Otherwise, good idea.”
“Fair,” Puck accepts, and if the way he leans back onto the grass and pillows his head on his hands, also gives up.
“We could find some self-defence lessons and sign them up for them,” Sam suggests.
Finn’s face lights up, then falls as he realises why it wouldn’t be worth it. “Kurt already knows self-defence,” he remembers. “Burt made him take some classes last year. And Blaine boxes. So it wouldn’t make any difference.”
“Can’t really defend yourself against a gang four times your size,” Mike points out. “Or if someone has a knife. Or a gun.”
“Thanks, Mike.” Finn demotes Mike from voice of reason to voice of sadness. “I thought maybe we could put those GPS trackers in their necks and then make sure they stay where they’re meant to be. So we’d know if somebody kidnaps them.” Nobody looks as thrilled as he’d expected with that idea.
“Or we could not stalk them,” Artie says slowly, looking worried. “But…to a lesser extent…” He trails off, looking thoughtful. “We could always follow them on their dates to make sure they’re not getting hassled,” he suggests hesitantly, probably thinking everyone will be unenthusiastic.
Instead, they all perk up. “Dude, that’s a great idea!” Finn enthuses. Puck punches the ground in agreement, for some reason known only to himself. Mike nods, looking thoughtful, and Sam grins, then asks, “How often do they go on dates?”
“Um…” Finn screws up his face as he thinks. “Well, they hang out, like, three times a week, I think. But that’s usually at home, or at Blaine’s. They go out out every other weekend.”
“That’s doable,” Mike says quietly. “We could figure out which ones of us are free on which weekends, and Finn can find out when and where their dates are.”
Finn looks up in alarm. “Woah, I think you’re forgetting how secretive Kurt is,” he points out, because quite often they have no idea Kurt is going out until the hour before he’s leaving, when he arrives downstairs to ask Carole if she thinks his outfit is adequate, before scurrying back upstairs to do his hair.
“Chicks put dates in their phone calendars. Kurt probably does too,” Puck interrupts, sounding bored. Finn feels a strange urge to smack him on the back of the head for comparing Kurt to a girl. Which means those gay rights documentaries he’s been watching are rubbing off, at least. He has to concede the point, though. Kurt puts everything in his phone calendar.
“I’ll do that,” he agrees. “And then what? We just, like, follow him?”
Puck shrugs. “Yeah. We all got cars. We can double up.”
“Follow at a distance,” Artie adds. “Like, park across the road from a restaurant, only jump in if something happens. Not like, properly spying on them. Just…keeping them safe.”
“Will it work?” Sam asks doubtfully. “I mean…it’s kind of creepy.”
“If we have to be creepy to stop them from being killed, that’s what it takes,” Finn says determinedly.
“Yeah!” Mike yells unexpectedly, and puts his fist out. “To being creeps!”
“To being creeps!” they all echo, and try to pound each other’s fists. It ends up slightly painful as their knuckles bounce off each other, but nobody complains in case it affects their macho status. Another thing that Kurt would pick fun at.
“I really don’t want to know,” Burt says suddenly, appearing behind them and looking perturbed. “Do you boys want brownies? We just got back and Kurt’s made a couple of batches.”
“Brownies!” Puck whoops, and grabs Artie’s chair to wheel him across to the house at top speed. Artie readjusts his glasses and looks only mildly shocked by what’s happening.
There’s a flaw in their plan already, in step one. In a panic, Finn runs to the bathroom with both his and Kurt’s phone, and locks the door.
Artie set up a group chat last night with the five of them in it, named ‘Klaine Protection Squad’. Finn doesn’t know what Klaine means, exactly, but he trusts the others to know what they’re doing. He sends them a message now.
Finn: dudes kurt has a passcode on his phone idk what it is help
He only has to wait a few seconds for the responses. Puck’s comes first and is, predictably, unhelpful.
Artie: ah crap we’ll have to guess it
Sam: there’s like so many numbers that it could be tho
Mike comes to the rescue.
Mike: finn u know his dads bday rite? that might b it
Finn tries Burt’s birthday. The phone vibrates angrily and tells him he has two attempts remaining.
Finn: not that shit what else
Mike: his own bday?
Sam: nah nobody uses there own bday
Puck: i do
Mike: very helpful guys
Artie: what about blaines bday
thats a mushy thing that kurt would do probably
Perfect. Then –
Finn: whats blaines birthday
Puck: omg hes ur brothers boyfriend
Mike: tenuous connection
Finn: also stepbrother
Mike: even more tenuous
Sam: idk what that word means mike
Artie: im on facebook im sure blaine has his bday on here
Finn: dude ur so clever
Artie: not rlly I just scrolled thru his profile
Finn stares at Kurt’s phone for a few seconds, willing this to work, and hesitantly taps in 1023. He waits for the buzz and flashing message.
It doesn’t happen. The screen clears away the numbers and shows Kurt’s wallpaper – a picture of himself and Blaine, taken by Mercedes last summer at an impromptu BBQ party. They’re sitting on the ground together, leaning into each other as they smile. Their eyes are hidden by sunglasses but Finn remembers the moment, remembers how relaxed and happy they were. He smiles at the photo, and then opens the messages app to let the guys know he’s in.
He’s momentarily confused and alarmed when he sees that the group chat has vanished, and instead there are load of threads with Mercedes and Rachel and Blaine and Burt, but then he realises that he opened the app on Kurt’s phone and not his own.
Finn: im in
find out when his dates are
Finn: oh yeah
He locates the calendar app finally – it’s in a folder with a bunch of other stuff – and takes screenshots of all of the scheduled dates for the next six weeks, and all of the times that Kurt has simply entered an event as ‘Blaine’. Then he sends them all to himself, waiting for his own phone to chime in confirmation, then deletes all of the messages off Kurt’s phone, and goes to his photos and deletes them there too. He should totally be a spy.
Finn: okay got them ill send them in a second got to put the phone back
As fate would have it, Finn literally walks into Kurt as he exits the bathroom. “Oh, hey, little dude,” he greets, trying to be nonchalant.
Kurt narrows his eyes at him. For a second, Finn thinks he’s been busted. Then: “For the last time, Finn, I am not little just because you are freakishly tall. Anyway, have you seen my phone?”
Finn shakes his head and smiles in what he hopes is a natural way. From Kurt’s concerned face, it’s not. “Nope. I was just going to play some Halo with Puck, but I can help you find it if you want.”
Kurt looks alarmed. “No, no, that’s really not necessary,” he says hastily, maybe remembering the last time he asked Finn for assistance in tracking down his lost iPod, and Finn had literally turned the living room upside down.
“Cool.” Finn shrugs. “Maybe you left it in the kitchen again?”
Kurt frowns. “I can’t remember taking it in there today,” he muses. “But I suppose I might have done.” He walks past Finn and hurries down the stairs with no further conversation.
When he’s reached the bottom of the stairs, and can clearly be heard wandering into the kitchen, Finn darts into Kurt’s room and puts his phone on his desk, then pulls some papers over to mostly cover it. As quietly as he can manage, he slips into his own room, and flops onto the bed to send the screenshots to the group chat.
Finn: the next date isnt until like next wknd
Artie: that gives us plenty of time to prepare
Mike: how are we going to spy on them if theyre going to see a movie
Puck: were not spying were being good friends
Mike: whatever helps u sleep at nite
Sam: we could sit in the lobby while theyre in there
we could hide behind one of those cardboard cutouts
Mike: my life is ridiculous
lets do it
Finn hears Kurt walk back into his room briskly, and then his surprised exclamation when he sees his phone. A few seconds later, he hears the faint murmur of conversation, and guesses that he’s talking to Blaine again, maybe talking about their upcoming date. Maybe worrying about bumping into the wrong people again. Finn frowns at the thought, and decides that those two are never going to be harassed again if he can help it.
Kurt and Blaine have no idea how amazing this squad is going to be.
You can find me on tumblr here!
I finished all my work at college and I don’t know if/when I’ll be getting prep work from university so my days thus far have been spent sleeping/writing/eating/rewatching Merlin/taking pictures of my pets as they do absolutely nothing out of the ordinary and then sending them to my friends and insisting they tell me how cute they are
Also, most of my writing so far has been entirely Glee/Klaine based. We’ll see if that continues (spoiler: it probably will)
Yes, I have just started an entirely new fic despite having about fifty unfinished ones that I vowed to get done soon. I may additionally have started yet another fic that has the first chapter half-written. And do I have another chapter of this ready to go? Do I fuck