Dalton was great he was enjoying not having slurs yelled at him and not getting pushed into lockers but he also felt really lonely. The Warblers clearly didn’t want him; despite auditioning and getting in, and even Blaine was telling him he needed to learn to ‘fit in’ at Dalton. He felt lonely in a way he hadn't since he joined Glee. When he first started feeling that deep loneliness Kurt tried to find another club, that’s what his dad had told him to do back at McLiney, but he couldn’t find any others he was interested in. They were all sporting clubs with already established teams and they didn’t even have a cheerleading team for him to join. The one club he thought might want him since he had a national championship under his belt. He missed all of his friends from Glee and the Cheerios, seeing them on weekends just wasn’t enough.
Kurt was awkwardly sat beside Blaine at the start of his second month at Dalton he was surrounded by the Warblers; most of whom were ignoring him. He felt lonely and isolated, the kind that is so strong that it physically hurts to feel it, leaving you looking for any way out. He was barely paying attention when he heard the news about John Mclaren the school's kicker, apparently he had fallen off a table while dancing drunk and broke his leg. If he was honest when this news started going around he didn’t care at all but Blaine really did. He kept going on about how without John, Dalton was screwed for the new season and particularly screwed for their first game next Saturday. On a whim Kurt decided to go to coach Chris’s office after eating lunch, he tried to convince himself he was doing it to impress Blaine but in reality, he just wanted to fit in somewhere. He hoped this might take the pain away, he may not have enjoyed football all that much but he had enjoyed the camaraderie that came with winning.
After quickly finishing his meal, Kurt made an excuse to Blaine about having to finish his French homework and ran off to the coaches office. He nearly changed his mind pacing up and down in front of the door before he finally got up the courage to knock on the door.
“Come in” Coach Chris immediately shouted as Kurt walked through the door trying to look confident and failing miserably. “How can I help you…?” he asked floundering for Kurt's name.
“Kurt, I’m relatively new here.” He mumbled looking down at his shoes.
“Why don’t you take a seat.” the coach waited until Kurt meekly took a seat before continuing. “Well, how can I help you, Kurt?” The coach’s kindness was not what Kurt was expecting from his previous experiences with coach Tanaka.
“I heard that you needed a kicker and I played for my old school a couple times and I was just wondering if it was possible I could audition for it.” Kurt rambled stopping when the coach raised his eyebrow at the word audition.
“Were you any good?” Coach asked interested
“I never missed a kick, although the team wasn’t very good so I didn’t get too kick that often,” Kurt admitted.
“Why did you stop playing?” Coach asked thoughtfully.
“Well I was getting bullied quite badly by the rest of the team who didn’t want me there, and I didn’t particularly love the sport so I quit. It didn’t make it better though and now I’m here.” Kurt said looking down at his feet.
“Well you were right I do need a kicker and if you are interested in an audition. Come back here at 4:00 and I’ll see what you can do, does that sound good?” Coach Chris said trying to encourage this young kid, particularly if he had talent. It would be a shame that he didn’t get to use it just because he was so obviously gay.
“Thank You.” The boy said with a smile and walking out of the room.
Kurt ran down to the field as soon as the bell rang at 3:15, he really needed to get some practice in before he showed Coach Chris what he could do; not having practised in nearly a year. He was hoping that he would be able to do this without Single Ladies this time, as that really didn’t fit in with Dalton Academy’s poised attitude. He slowly tried to do it with less and less of the dance each time, still getting it through the posts every time though. When he finally looked down at his watch it was 5 past 4; Kurt was pretty excited to a show coach what he could do feeling confident in his abilities for once. Admittedly he was also incredibly nervous about being late for the meeting, Coach Sue would immediately kick girl's off the squad for showing up late and he could only hope that Coach Chris wasn’t the same. Turning around to pick up his jacket he almost had a heart attack seeing Chris standing there.
Chris had given Kurt till 4 so that Kurt could practice and he would have time to read up on the boy. Unlike many other coaches, it took more than physical ability to get on his team. Chris first asked the principal about his potential new recruit and was shocked to discover that death threats were cited among his reasons for leaving his old school. A quick ask around to the other teachers and he received positive review and anecdote after another. Oddly though it also showed that rather than coming out of his shell at Dalton’s he seemed to be going further into it; despite this, he showed amazing talent and dedication in all that he did. He was smart and Elaine the music teacher called him a musical genius who was willing to work like a dog to achieve whatever was given to him; even when it was well beyond his level. Dedication and hard work was something that he prized above all else in a player and it was something that everyone mentioned about Kurt. Overall Chris was really impressed and he was already pretty sure that he would take the boy even if he was a below average kicker but nevertheless he decided to take a look at his previous games. He was incredibly surprised by what he saw; there were multiple YouTube videos demonstrating Kurts strange warm-up routine. The comments were some of the most disgusting he had ever seen but none denied his talent.
Convinced that he was going to give Kurt a chance he walked down to his office at 3:30 and saw Kurt already on the field practising. Thinking back he should have expected it with the dedication and perfectionist traits most of his teachers had mentioned. Chris watched as the boy made kick after kick but it took him awhile to work out what he was trying to change; his warm-up dance. When the boy looked down at his watch and turned around panicked.
“I’m so sorry I’m late coach I just wanted to get some practice in.” Kurt blurted out apologetically.
“When did you get down here?” Chris asked
“As soon as class finished Sir.” Kurt admitted
“Why were you changing your warm-up ritual?” Chris could guess but he wanted to know what the boys said.
“It draws a lot of unnecessary attention Sir.” Kurt stuttered
“You don’t need to call me Sir, Chris is fine I try to be informal with players; also we might have to talk about your warm up because if it makes you more accurate then do it.” Chris said smiling
“I’m on the team, you didn’t even see me do anything.” Kurt said disbelievingly
“I’ve watched you practising for the last 20 minutes and you are incredibly talented; more than that you have the right heart to be part of my team. So practice is tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 and if you come to my office at lunch we can get you a uniform.” Chris explained
“Thank-You.” Kurt squeaked jumping up and down as Chris turned around a small smile on his face. The boy would be an excellent addition to the team and hopefully, it would help him too.
Kurt had a massive smile on his face; he hadn’t felt this good since the Karofsky incident and so he the whole way home as he sung along to Monsters Ball before skipping into the house. As he opened the door he could hear talking and for a second it was enough to bring him down. If Finn had all of his football buddies around they were bound to harass him and as usual, Finn would do nothing. Luckily his fear was not realised as instead of a bunch of football playing bullies it was the New Directions. He really missed all of them and so went straight into the living room where he could hear them and was happy that they seemed to the miss him just as much
“Kurt” most of the Club shouted as he walked into the room. Brittney, Mercedes and Tina jumped out of their chairs to wrap him in one massive hug.
“I have missed you girls so much.” He said into Mercedes' shoulder.
“What about us Princess,” Puck said smirking
“I’ve missed you boys too.” Kurt said to the boys most of which has made his life hell at one point or another.
“How have you been Porcelain? How’s gay school treating you?” Santana asked
“Getting better by the day Satan.” Kurt responded with a smirk.
“Well, I say this is a sign, instead of staying and struggling to practice we should go get coffee.” Quinn said standing and giving Kurt a kiss on the cheek.
“We need to practice for sectionals, and Kurt here is the competition.” Rachel said with a scowl
“Shut it Manhands.” Santana said glaring at Rachel. “Quinns right we should head out and spend some time with our boy.” Kurt wasn’t exactly sure if Santana genuinely wanted to spend time with Kurt or if she was just expressing her hatred of Rachel but either way the rest of the group nodded along.
“Give me a minute to get changed and then let's get our caffeine on.” Kurt said happily he really had missed this.
Going out with his friends was brilliant they were gossiping about the goings on of Mckinley and there had been a lot of questions about his love life which, was sadly empty as always.
“Do you want to meet up tomorrow Kurt? Help you work on your audition for Friday.” Quinn asked kindly
“We shouldn’t help him, he’s the competition!” Rachel said making her opinion known yet again.
“Shut it Manhands.” Santana told the spoilt girl.
“It doesn’t matter anyway,” Kurt said to Rachel. “While I would have loved the help I have practice tomorrow.”
“How often do the Warblers practice?” Rachel asked intensely leaning over the table to get closer to Kurt.
“It’s not for the Warblers.” Kurt said shyly looking down
“I thought there were no other clubs, you wanted to join.” Finn said
“Yeah, you were complaining last week that there was no Cheerios at Dalton.” Quinn said
“I joined the football team.” Kurt admitted ruefully, as the rest of the group sat in silence mouths open in shock as they absorbed the information.
“Are you going to be straight again now?” Brittney asked. “Because I like my unicorn the way he is.” she said leaning into Kurt’s shoulder.
“No, I’m not being straight again Brittany.” Kurt said smiling at the innocent girl. “The team was desperate after the kicker broke his leg and so I had an audition today and got in.”
“You mean a tryout.” Puck said
“Sure, but I got the role and I have practice tomorrow.” Kurt said
“Well done Kurt, You know we’ll be at all your matches.” Quinn said
“Your own personal Cheerios.” Brittney said grinning at her dolphin.
“I can’t wait.” Kurt said with a smile. He had gotten close to a lot of the Cheerios when he had been on the team and to Quinn when making her maternity wear when she had been staying at Mercedes he was glad the relationship seemed to be staying for the long haul.
When he got home he started cooking dinner he had wasted a lot of time and so had to settle for simple. He had to admit that having family dinners was great Carol had started to enforce that while Fridays were special they should eat together as often as possible. Kurt finished serving and sat into his seat he noticed Finn jumping up in his seat.
“Kurt had a try out for the football team today.” Finn practically shouted the biggest smile on his face. Kurt quickly turned to look at his father who looked shocked.
“How did it go?” Carol asked kindly, not remembering his last time he was on the football team.
“Well, I got the role.” Kurt said
“Position” Finn corrected
“Either way my first practice is tomorrow.” Kurt finished
“Why are you doing it?” Burt said
“They needed a kicker, and you always said that I should join more teams.”
“You are not doing this to pretend to be something or someone you're not.” Burt asked looking closely at his son.
“No, I’m still being me, the coach seems really good about it as well. I want to do this for me nobody else.” Kurt answered glad that his father wasn’t just being excited about him being on the football team but his well being.
“Well, then we will be at every game then. I’m proud of you.” Burt wasn’t all that good at the emotional stuff but Kurt wouldn’t have it any other way after moments like this.
After leaving the Lima bean Quinn, Santana and Brittany started making a plan they took Cheerio’s seriously and they weren’t going to be any less serious about cheering for Kurt. The first part of the plan had been simple they got in contact with the rest of the Cheerios. All of who were of course completely on board with the plan of cheering for Kurt, he had an impact on people that few others could. It would be simple to extend Cheer practices so that they could create routines for Kurt of course including some single ladies goodness. Transport and uniforms were more complicated and there was only one person who could help, Coach Sue Sylvester. Quinn was captain and so the rest of the team had, of course, nominated her to talk to Coach. She tried to push it off to someone else Santana had gleefully pointed out it was her fault as if she hadn’t said anything about the boob job then it wouldn’t be her job. So at lunch, she walked head held high to Coach Sylvester office, while she knew that Sue loved Kurt or Porcelain as she called him she didn't know what she would be willing to do for him. Quinn wasn’t sure what the limit for what she would do for Kurt was but she knew that dealing with Sue was definitely inside of it.
“Sit down Q, Now what has torn you away from swaying in the background?”
“Ahh, What has my sweet Porcelain been up to?”
“He has joined the Football team at Dalton and the Cheerio’s would like to be there for him.”
“If my Cheerio’s are representing Porcelain then they will do it properly. We need new routines, new uniforms maybe some more confetti cannons we are going to represent him in style.” Sue said inspired
“And transport to every game, we also may need to destroy the Crawford Country Day cheerleaders.” Quinn added
“You remind me of a young me sometimes Q.”
Chris loved his job and he loved doing it at Dalton, there were schools that cared about their football teams more and even some that put more money towards it but Dalton had an attitude that differed to any other school that he had taught at. His team was a cohesive unit that cared about each other and the others at the school, his boys weren’t bullies they were good boys and being part of a team helped them. With his newest recruit Kurt he was hoping that they could help him get his confidence back, and show that he could be accepted for who he was. He had gotten Kurt to come and get his uniform before practice so that he would feel apart of the team immediately at his first practice. Contrary to his plan the boy appeared so nervous when he picked it up and he could tell that the boy didn’t think he would ever fit in so he called in his back up plan. Michael Mandle was his quarterback and team captain he was a good boy and he took care of his team.
“Hey Chris,” Michael said giving the coach a high-five before sitting down with a plop and asking “what’s up?”
“We’ve got a new kicker.” Chris said with a smile
“That’s great, who is it?” Michael had been worried about what they would do without John.
“Kurt Hummel, he’s new to the school, and I was wondering if you could keep an eye out for him. Help him settle into the team.” When Chris had given Michael the captaincy he had told him that looking out for the team was part of the job but this was the first time he actually asked for it.
“Sure thing, Is he the new Warbler with the high standing brown hair?” Jonathan asked
“Yes, he is.” Chris answered surprised that he knew him.
“I’ll make sure I say hi to him before practice.” Michael said heading out with a wave hoping he could catch him in the 30 minutes they had left before class. He ran into the Lunchroom and he wasn’t in there, the library wasn’t there he couldn’t find anywhere until he thought about something his brother Thad had said. Kurt was the most dedicated Warbler and was amazingly talented but wasn’t fitting in. Before he had moved to Dalton he had been in that position and had always taken to the football field to feel better, maybe this kid was the same. Jonathan hadn’t been in the music room many times but he knew where it was nonetheless and he knew he was right as he came closer and heard singing. He recognised the song as Defying Gravity his little brother played it all the time but he had never heard anyone sing it like this.
“Hi.” He said entering the room and he regretted it pretty quick as the boy jumped and backed himself into the corner. “I’m Jonathan, I’m the team captain just thought I’d say Hi before practice.” he continued trying to calm Kurt down, it worked he moved off the wall and placed his hand out to shake.
“Hello then.” Kurt had no idea how to handle the situation, people didn't do this with him.
“That was really good, your an amazing singer.” Jonathan complimented
“Thanks, it’s my favourite song.” Kurt said bashfully
“Well, you do it justice.” Jonathan wasn’t sure how he was going to do this but he needed to get closer to Kurt bring him out of his shell. It was what his first captain had done for him, everyone deserved to have that and even if you wanted to be selfish it was good for the team. However, while he was thinking about how to help him the school bell rang and so he had to leave it simple. “Well I’ll see you at practice we tend to meet in the changing rooms early catch up. Hope I see you there.” walking out with a nod and leaving Kurt standing there.
It was only Wednesday but it felt a world away from when he came into school on Monday. The practice had gone brilliantly and the team were all really nice and seemed to actually want to know him. Michael had even asked to meet up at Lunch to go through some of the plays, he was sure that it was just for the good of the team but it felt good all the same. He and Blaine were catching up before school in the choir room, it had started by Blaine being nice trying to help Kurt settle in but had continued on. If he was honest before practice yesterday these meetups were what was keeping him going. Blaine was trying to give him advice on how to get a Warblers solo Kurt could not get over how different it was from Mckinley. The main point of discussion was to not choose a show tune as most of the council viewed them as Showy and Divaish. Upbeat and Top 40 was something he could do GaGa was obviously Kurt’s first choice but Blaine told him to be cautious about it as she was obviously out there.
“So do you want to practice some at lunch?” Blaine asked as they packed up their stuff to head out.
“I can’t, I told Jonathan I would go over plays with him over lunch.” Kurt was still bashful about being on the football team.
“And why would he want to talk to you about plays?” Blaine asked one eyebrow raised and a small smile on his face.
“I may have joined the football team.” Kurt said slyly.
“That’s amazing Kurt! I didn’t think you liked football.”
“Well you don’t know everything about me, although you are right that I don’t like watching football, I’ve got a hell of a good high kick though and I don’t mind showing it
off.” Kurt smirked.
“Well then I can’t wait to watch, we still on for tomorrow morning, we can practice whatever song you’ve chosen.” Blaine grinned.
“Of course, any chance I could text you with my opinions?” Kurt asked.
“Duh, I’m always here to talk about song choice.” Blaine said with a huge smile and a comforting hug before leaving to go to their separate classes.
Weeks later Kurt was sitting in the changing rooms; which were much nicer than the ones at Mckinley, listening to the stands filling up above him, feeling more nervous than he had ever been. Jonathan came over swinging an arm around Kurt’s shoulders a massive smile on his face
“You alright Kurt?” He asked.
“Just a little nervous.” Kurt admitted as Jonathan pulled him to his feet and starting the walk to the side of the field.
“Well, you’ve got nothing to worry about, you’re an amazing kicker.” James Heseltine one of the offensive linemen said with a grin wrapping an arm around the smaller boys shoulders. “You’re going to go out there, shake some booty and Kick the ball perfectly as you always do.” He finished with a pat on the back as they made their way out of the tunnel and onto the sidelines to warm up.
“We all believe in you Kurt, it’s only you that doesn’t,” Michael said.
“Yeah, and remember what Coach said 'if you get nervous just start singing single ladies'.” Richard Chilton-Hunt a Defensive tackle said.
“Well if you need someone to sing Single Ladies I know some girls that can help.” Quinn said appearing out of nowhere with a smirk as the Cheerios fanned out behind her. Kurt’s jaw dropped as did many of the guys on the football team; admittedly for different reasons.
“What are you doing here?” Kurt’s asked as he wrapped his arms around Brittney who had run out to greet him.
“We’re here to cheer for you Porcelain.” Santana said raising her eyebrows
“We love you, Kurt, there is no way we wouldn’t be here” Jennifer said
“Yeah you are ours and we are rather possessive.” Brittney added
“There is no way we are going to let anyone else cheer for you.” Miranda Finished
“You guys are amazing!” Kurt said awed at these girls many of which ran up to him and wrapped him in one massive group hug.
“We love you Kurt, never forget that.” Quinn said smiling at the boy that was completely engulfed by her cheerios.
“I love you too.” Kurt said before hearing Michael coughed slightly. “Oh um these are the Mckinley Cheerleaders,” He said gesturing to the girls “and these guys are obviously on the football team here at Dalton.” Lucy immediately went in leaning in close to Mike who started sweating having very limited contact with women having always been at all boys school. As Kurt turned to look at Quinn he noticed that the Uniform they were wearing was different, instead of the White Paneling on the sides and top it was Black and instead of the WMHS in the centre of the chest there was one massive red D like the one on the pocket of his blazer.
“What are you wearing?” Kurt said with shocked.
“Coach Sylvester got us new uniforms to represent you.” Quinn said with a sly smile. Kurt was warmed that even his old coach was supporting him.
“We only cheer in accurate uniforms Kurt you should know that.” Rebecca said leaning onto the boys shoulder.
“Which brings us to a point, we are going to need at least 2 weeks notice if we need to change teams you have no idea how hard it is to get customised uniforms on short notice.” Quinn said and Brittney nodded her head very seriously.
“You guys are amazing.” Kurt said leaning on the girls head before he heard Coaches whistle and with a quick kiss on the forehead and “bye Babes,” he ran off along with the other boys to warm up.
Coach Chris had been watching Kurt's interactions careful and was sad to blow the whistle but they really did need to warm up. It was good to watch what Kurt was like with his friends and he wondered why the boy seemed so shocked that they had shown up when they seemed to think that it was obvious that they would be. Either way, it was good for the future of the team that the young man inspired such love and support from those that he worked with if he had his way Kurt would have a long future with this team and he could even see a potential for him to be captain next year.
The on-field warm-up was just winding down and Kurt and the boys were walking to the sidelines to get ready for the game to start when the drama started. The Crawford County Day Cheerleading Team, typically cheered for Dalton Academy and while Kurt had never met any of them he had heard a lot of the girls viewed the Dalton Boys as a status symbol in the same way that Quinn had viewed Finn. As they walked onto the field to cheer on the team they did not look happy to see a group of girls already there. Luckily none of the boys on the team were dating Crawford girls so Kurt wasn’t too worried about the bloodbath that was clearly about to happen because the Cheerio’s could be brutal.
“Who are you? And What are you doing here?” The Crawford head Cheerleader said with an attempt at attitude. Quinn looked down her nose at the girl who said this with an eyebrow raised.
“Cheerleading” She said staring her down.
“We Cheer for Dalton!” The girl almost shouted to Quinn.
“Well we are here now. Our boy is on the team and I'm not about to let talentless wannabe's Cheer for him.”
“Talentless!” She growled
“Yes Bitch, Talentless” Santana chimed in.
“What makes you think that you are better us.” Another girl standing to the left as she did a sort of body roll that was probably an attempt to look sexy.
“7 back to back National titles, meanwhile you didn’t even get past sectionals last year,” Quinn said with a smirk.
“Wait your that slut who got pregnant aren’t you.” The Head cheerleader chimed with an 'I’ve got you' smirk.
“Yes, I was pregnant when we versed you at sectionals last year and despite being 3 months pregnant I still beat you.” Quinn said in that condescending way that only she could.
“Now you little skanks should scram before I go all Lima Heights on your ass.” Santana said lunging forward as she did so. The Crawford girls jumped back in response and in the sudden quiet they could all hear the crying on the sidelines. Turning to look, Coach Sue, appeared to be working her magic on the Crawford coach who had burst into tears before running to her girls and ushering them away; whether that was to the stands or the bus Kurt didn’t know.
As Kurt went to take his first kick of the match (a field goal) Kurt felt amazing, running on the Cheerios had started singing Single Ladies and he noticed the New directions in the stand joining in. With the confidence of his team and his old Mckinley friends behind him, Kurt did a small side shuffle wiggled his hips and kicked the ball. As it went through the post with ease the crowd jumped to life cheering in Kurt's mind this was the perfect standing ovation as his personal cheerleaders did some amazing tricks. He looked up at the crowd as he ran back and saw the warblers cheering giving him the support he had searched for since he arrived at Dalton. His team clapped him on the back as he looked to the stands and saw something he appreciated more than anything else; his Dad. He was in the front row leading over the stands looking at Kurt with the pride that he had always wanted but unlike last time he did this, there was none of the embarrassment at the very queer method he had used. This was all that the Kurt had ever wanted, he felt accepted; by his friends, his school and most importantly his father. Kurt had never felt better.