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What It Takes

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Kurt thinks that he has adjusted to Dalton Academy quite admirably. 

His roommate, Russel, is surprisingly nice even in spite of the amount of time he spends wearing baseball pants every day. The classes are challenging but interesting, although the level of discipline in the classrooms is still almost unnerving. All of the teachers call him Mr. Hummel and no student ever says anything without first raising his hand and awaiting proper permission from a teacher. 

No one shoves him into lockers, of course, and people are actually polite. 

Polite teenage boys. It is all so very peculiar, but Kurt thinks he could definitely get used to it. 

Glee club is peculiar as well, in a way that is not entirely as pleasant, but he tries not to let it bother him too much. He is getting used to the rigid protocols and formality, and there is a certain fascination in becoming part of something so organized and well-oiled. They have worked his voice into the group very well, shifting around and making a space for him and he is now needed or else the whole thing will become unbalanced. Or at least, that what he tells himself. It is a nice thought. 

And he tries to keep quiet when they all dismiss Lady Gaga's talents as a singer, he really does (because how can they really justify doing Katy Perry in that case?), but it is difficult when he is already so used to defending everything he likes. He has done it for most of his life (tea parties, tiaras, kilts, Madonna, river dance, to mention just a few examples). But at their dismissive shrugs, it is like everything inside him comes to an instant boil, similar to the frustration he had felt when Mr. Schue was ignoring his wishes to let them sing Britney Spears. 

At McKinley, mouthing off had been considered at least semi-cool. 

At Dalton, it makes him feel like he is from another planet entirely. The guys glance at him, mildly disapproving, and the council seems to raise a collective eyebrow. The room falls quiet, and from the corner of his eye, Kurt sees Blaine do an honest-to-God face-palm. 

His temper subsiding at this unamused reception, Kurt clears his throat and forces himself to smile as apology, like he is saying, oh, um, just kidding, guys

“Kurt, could you please stay behind a bit after practice?” is all Wes says, however. Kurt nods, trying to keep the smile on his face despite a growing feeling of dread in his stomach. It doesn't seem to placate any of them and only serves to make his cheeks hurt. 

He does his best to keep quiet during the rest of the discussion. 


To be honest, Kurt has no idea what to expect when he remains seated as the council dismisses the rest of the Warblers. A berating speech? It would be somewhat humiliating to receive from someone who isn't even a teacher (not that he is very good at receiving critique even if it does come from a teacher) but he thinks he could probably handle it. 

His heart sinks a bit when Wes stops Blaine on his way out the door and asks him to remain as well. It is not going to be a 'Blaine, we know you like this kid but we don't feel he is quite ready to become a member of the Warbler's quite yet' speech, is it? Kurt has not said stupid things that often; at least, he hopes not. He is not Rachel. He does not constantly force his opinion upon other people. 

Feeling jittery, and too restless to sit still, Kurt stands up, but finds himself hovering awkwardly by his chair as he watches Blaine close the door behind the last Warbler. Their eyes meet. 

Blaine looks like he really does not want to be here. 

Wes clears his throat. “Kurt, do you know why we asked you to stay behind today?”

Kurt glances between their faces, then his eyes dart to Blaine's for a short moment. “Because I was disrespectful,” he replies slowly, unsure of what exactly is expected of him. 

David tilts his head. He looks more sympathetic than the other two in the council, but there is still something they are withholding, Kurt can feel it. Please just don't let them kick him out of the club.He would not be able to stand the embarrassment if the McKinley club found out. Which they eventually would, of course. 

“You're half right.” David leans forward slightly and looks directly at him. “Kurt, we've been lenient with you because you're new, and from what we've heard, you come from... unfortunate circumstances.”

Kurt wonders what exactly it is that they have heard. The whole story? Blaine wouldn't tell them any secrets, would he? 

“But?” he prompts as the room falls silent a few moments. It is like they're doing it merely to build the suspense. Judging from the mild case of butterflies in his stomach, it is working. 

Wes sighs. It is like he finds this very troublesome. “The Warblers have been granted permission to use a certain disciplinary method to ensure hard work and dedication within the club. We don't discriminate within the club, and for the sake of the rest of our members, we can't let your behavior slide where any other person would have faced punishment.”

Kurt opens his mouth, almost afraid to ask, but closes it again when all three council members stand. Wes walks over to the wall to take down a displayed piece of wood that honestly, Kurt has never even noticed before. 

Only, it's not really a piece of wood as much as, well... it is long and thin, with a somewhat curved handle and Kurt is by no means an expert, but he thinks it might be made of rattan. 


“It's an unconventional method,” Wes is saying, but Kurt cannot quite force himself to take it in because Oh my God. “But it has been used by the Warblers since the nineteenth century. It's a well-established tradition, which is why the academy still allows it.”

“You still have a choice of course,” David adds. “If you decide to leave the Warblers, we won't go through with this.”

Kurt glances at Blaine desperately, but the other boy looks like he has been sucking on a lemon and it is the least flattering look Kurt has seen on him so far, a fact which is pretty off-putting in itself. He will not meet Kurt's eyes, however, which is even worse. Why is Blaine even here at all? 

He pushes the thought away. In the end it is really is not a choice. Even if it is not the same as back at McKinley, he still needs glee club. “I'll do it,” he says. “Accept the punishment, I mean.” 

Kurt cannot believe this is actually happening to him. 

He thinks he has read about people getting caned, mostly in books from, and set in, the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but he had probably read it with a slight morbid fascination and a 'Good Lord', how uncivilized people were back then'. He can't remember any specific descriptions, though, or even titles. Tom Sawyer maybe? Or something by Charles Dickens? 

Either way, this is completely bizarre. 

But really. How bad can it be? 

He swallows and offers a hesitant smile towards the council, unsure of what else to do. They seem amused by this, and Kurt just wants to die. 

“If that is the case, we would like you to turn around and face the desk by the window.”

Kurt turns around and, mercifully away from the others in the room, his eyes meeting with Blaine's uncomfortable gaze for one last split second before the boy averts his eyes. Kurt's stomach sinks; he raises his head and stares straight ahead. 

The desk is big and placed in front of two huge windows. Their club room is on the fourth floor; he can see a few groups of students in the yard, heading to whatever class or activity they have next. 

”Lower your pants and underpants,” Wes' voice calls, like it is a formality. 

It probably is. 

Kurt feels his face burn as he unbuttons his gray uniform pants, hooks his thumbs in the waistband and pulls them down under his buttocks. He does the same with his boxer shorts, quickly before he loses his nerve. 

Like this, with his shirt untucked and hanging almost down to his thighs, he is actually not very exposed. 

Which, of course, is too good to be true. Wes' next order is for him to push his pants down to the floor, pull his shirt up and bend over the desk. 

All of a sudden he is very exposed. Kurt wonders how much of his body is blushing; he knows for sure that at least his neck and ears are blood red. His entire body definitely feels very warm. He stares ahead at the overcast sky outside the windows, just wishing for everything to be over. 

He hears someone walk towards him--he almost looks back to try and catch a glimpse of who it is--and then, a sharp swishing sound serves as his only warning. 

The pain exploding in his buttocks startles a cry from him. He shoves his knuckles into his mouth. Ithurts

Kurt cannot remember ever having read about the pain of a caning. In the few books he could remember they had taken on a much more humorous style: mischievous boys getting what was coming to them. Possibly describing the unfairness or humiliation of the act. Kurt had not even considered the pain--

--and he doesn't really have time to consider it because the cane strikes his buttocks again and it hurts worse because he is already sore from that first strike--

--and then, another strike, not giving him time to collect his thoughts because there is that searing, stinging pain that just keeps coming.

Every three seconds or so there is a new explosion of pain somewhere between his lower back and his thighs; it rattles his brain and the only thing he can do is stand there and take it, his eyes squeezed shut and his teeth biting down on his knuckles in an attempt to choke his cries. 

Kurt has never really been one to put it all out there. 

Okay, scratch that. Maybe he has occasionally enjoyed the theatrical approach to things, but... the thing is, that is about expressing what he wants to express, which is usually more about what he fancies than what he feels.

However, right now, wailing his lungs out feels like the only rational thing to do. Or it would feel, if he was actually given the chance to think about it. In reality it takes him several seconds until he realizes that the high-pitched voice yelling incoherent protests is his own. 

Kurt doesn't know for how long it goes on—he is not exactly able to keep up with anything--but eventually, mercifully, he stops hearing the swishing of the cane. It confuses him momentarily, the lack of new explosions. 

His buttocks are on fire and he is a blubbering mess bent over a polished ebony table-top. 

He finds himself wondering how in the world he ever ended up here. 

"Stand and pull your pants up," someone, Wes again, says from behind him. 

Kurt exhales carefully, taking a few seconds to wipe at his face with a slightly trembling hand before he obeys, pushing himself off the desktop. He is unbalanced and he leans down stiffly to grab his pants and underwear, trying not to wince at the fresh bouts of pain the movements bring to his backside. He doesn't particularly want to pull his pants over his buttocks now; he wants to carefully run his fingers over the sore skin to try and assess the damage, but Wes' authoritative voice doesn't really give him any choice. 

Kurt does not even get the tingling sensation in his gut at first. 

His ass hurts so much, but the steady pain gives him more of an opportunity to notice than the sharp bursts from a few moments ago had. 

It is when he is carefully pulling his underpants up over his hips that he notices that he is actually half-hard. 

It brings the color back to his cheeks. Thankfully, the front of his still untucked shirt hangs low enough to cover any evidence. 

It must have been the friction against the desk, he rationalizes as he slowly turns around, hoping that no-one is going to make him tuck his shirt in right this instant. Give him a minute. Just one minute. 

He stares at the floor for a few seconds, the room completely quiet, until he gives in and forces himself to lift his gaze. He can see Blaine in the corner of his eye, but stoically refuses to look. Instead he sniffles, which is not the most impressive thing in the world, but it is better than snot running from his nose and at least he keeps his head high despite all. 

Wes looks...well... Kurt cannot quite place it because the expression is not as disinterested as usual, but it is not a big change either. Maybe it’s just that he is out of breath from swinging that cane.

“This is a warning,” Wes says, holding out the cane. “The Warblers have a long tradition of discipline and diligence and we expect these ideals to be kept.”

He talks a bit more about traditions and values and the part of Kurt's brain that cannot not be obnoxious (no matter how much pain and humiliation he has been through) wryly remarks that it sounds exactly like any speech from any book of a particular genre. 

Another part of Kurt wonders what exactly Wes is meant to be doing with the cane. 

The reply comes after a few moments of silence as Wes finally finishes his speech. 

Blaine, for the first time since this whole mess began, clears his throat. “He wants you to take it. It's... tradition.” His voice sounds thinner than usual. 

When Kurt turns to look at him, confused, he reluctantly continues. “You're to carry it to your dorm room and keep it on display there for five days. As a reminder. The warden will be informed to look for it during room inspection.”

Oh God. 

He takes a few steps forward and accepts the cane. 

It is lighter than he would have thought, and feels more flexible. He hesitates for a moment until Wes waves a hand impatiently. “Dismissed”. 

Kurt feels numb as he walks carefully towards the door, wondering what exactly people are going to think when he walks down the hallway like this, limping and clutching the obvious reason for it in his hand. It is part of the punishment, he understands. Caning and public humiliation. 

Blaine falls into step with him, silently following him out of the room. 

When they reach the stairs, Kurt feels his cheeks burn once again. He is holding onto the cane and his walk is slow and deliberate. The students they meet offer him sympathetic smiles or no attention at all, and that is better than he would have thought. Right now he is fine with being ignored. 

Blaine, to his credit, follows him through the halls and all the way to his dorm room, not saying anything until they are standing outside the door, which turns out to be locked, and it forces Kurt to fumble in his pockets for the key. 

“You okay?” Blaine asks quietly. 

Kurt stares at him. “What do you think?”

“You're mad at me.”

He opens his mouth to protest, then closes it again. The thing is, he actually is mad at Blaine, although he does not quite know why. 

“You could have warned me,” he mutters finally, unable to properly meet Blaine's eyes. 

“I'm sorry.” There is a pause. “If it makes you feel any better, it happened to me too, last year.”

It's difficult to imagine. No, make that impossible. “Not really,” Kurt says, then he hesitates as he thinks about it. “Or... well. Okay. Maybe a bit.”

Blaine looks startled at that, then grins a little, bashfully. “I might have been a bit too cocky back in my youthful days.” 

“Days of yore,” Kurt adds automatically, because Blaine very obviously left that opportunity for him to take. 

The grin fades. “I'm sorry this happened, Kurt. Maybe I should have warned you. The Warblers are very traditional. Rigid even. But we're a good team. I know you'll learn to like it.”

Kurt is not so sure, but he nods nonetheless. Finally he puts the key in the lock and opens the door. “I think I want to be alone for a bit.” 

He accepts Blaine's hand patting his shoulder before the other boy turns to walk away. 

Kurt closes the door behind him with a sigh. At least his roommate is out. Small blessings. He will still have to explain their new addition to the decor when Russel returns. For the time being he lets the cane rest against the wall, unsure of where else to put it. 

The next few minutes he spends carefully inspecting the red welts covering his buttocks all the way down his thighs. It is going to take days for them to heal. 

Still, as he lets his fingers ghost over his sore skin he feels that tingle in his gut starting again. It had stopped during the walk over to his room. 

He hesitates, glancing at the alarm clock by his bed. It is only four-thirty; his roommate is probably at baseball practice for at least half-an-hour more. 

Kurt pushes his pants down further, freeing his half-erect dick and taking it in his fist. 

Sitting down is not an option, neither is lying on his back. Standing up feels weird, so eventually he finds himself squatting, then kneeling on the floor by his bed as he takes his dick in his hand and begins to stroke himself to a full erection. 

He closes his eyes, caught between the pleasant feeling of his arousal and a sense of mortification that washes over him, threatening to overwhelm him and making his face burn once again. He doesn't even know what does it. His ass is throbbing and burning, but as his arousal grows even that sensation is somehow enticing. His mind keeps flashing back to being bent over that desk, hips bucking into the edge of the table helplessly with every new hit because there was simply nothing else for him to do...

The intensity of his orgasm surprises him and he barely manages to catch the mess onto the prepared paper towels. 

He cleans himself up carefully when he is done, then hesitates for a moment. There is a lot of homework to be done, but he doubts he will be able to work up the energy now. 

Instead he crawls onto his bed and lies on his stomach.

Eventually, he falls asleep.