miggy: (Default)
miggy ([personal profile] miggy) wrote2011-12-29 12:25 pm

fic: "Special" (Chapter 18/?)

Title: Special
Character(s): Ensemble. Seriously. It covers pretty much everyone, plus some Marvel Universe characters.
Rating: R across everything, to be safe.
Word Count: 9200
Spoilers: Through S2
Full-Series Warnings: Violence, potential character death, and other elements common to comics
Summary: Being a part of something special makes you special. (Also, having superpowers.)
Notes: Another fairly narrow focus this time. Then, next chapter, we'll check in with almost everyone as things explode.







Rachel spun to face the door when she heard footsteps pounding toward it. Burt and Carole were there, wide-eyed. "What happened?" Carole shouted over the alarm screaming through the hallway. It was a wonder Rachel had heard their approach.

"Kurt ran away again," Rachel said. "He cut open the screen."

"That damn sword," Carole said, and pointed Burt downstairs. He hurried to turn off the alarm. "Where did he go? Do you know?"

The question was directed mostly at Finn, but he'd been too deeply shocked to read Kurt's mind. He was clearly guessing as he said, "Um, he probably went to Puck's." The words were very loud in the sudden silence when the alarm stopped.

"Puck's?" Carole repeated, surprised. "Why would he go there?"

When Finn couldn't find the right words, Rachel took over. "He remembered how he and Puck used to be romantically involved." Burt returned just in time to hear that, and he looked as shocked as Carole. "Which... S.H.I.E.L.D. would have told you two? Or at least you?" Rachel asked Burt. They had to have at least hinted at it.

"The punk with the mohawk?" Burt asked in disbelief.

Apparently not, then.

"Yeah," Finn said reluctantly, and tapped the side of his head so they'd know he was telling the truth. Burt and Carole boggled at him, then each other.

"He'll probably be fine out there," Carole said, "but we have to let Sue know."

"What if Finn hurt him?" Rachel asked before Carole left, and everyone looked to her for an explanation. "Finn used his powers to alter Kurt's mind before he ran off, and I doubt even he knows exactly what he did to him."

"Finn?" Burt asked, sounding worried and more than a bit angry.

"You think I could have hurt him?" Finn asked Rachel. "Really?"

"You attacked his brain and then he broke violently out of a secured location; for all we know, you lobotomized him!" Realizing she'd snapped those words and left Burt and Carole looking terrified, she attempted damage control. "He looked in command of himself," she said. "It... it was an illusion, but the illusion looked fine."

"God," Carole muttered. "I'll go call Sue. Burt, you handle this with the Puckermans, so they know Kurt's coming and can keep him from running off again."

Burt and Rachel got to work on that. Finn, looking frightened of messing up with someone else, stayed out of their way.

* * *


"I think I'm gonna go outside," grandly said Sarah Puckerman.

"Great," Puck said, and blew away a Nazi. His Xbox was disconnected from the network. He could only play versus the machine, and it sucked.

"I'm going to ride my bike up and down the street," she continued, putting her face right next to his ear, "and go wherever I want, and talk to whoever I want."

"Awesome," Puck said.

"And then I'm gonna call my friends on the phone, and bike to the store and get a—hey!" she protested as Puck picked her up like she weighed nothing, put her outside his door, and shut it. "Mom!" she shouted. "Noah's being mean!"

"Leave your brother alone, Sarah. Go play with your friends." The door opened again, and he looked over to see his mother standing there.

Being trapped practically had him twitching inside his skin. Lauren had come over a couple of times, but they were annoyingly supervised. You couldn't have fun when you were supervised. Mike had stopped by, saying things were tense at his place, but him leaving after a full day of movies and gaming had just reminded Puck how he couldn't fire up his account with the guys like usual. As for everyone else....

He understood that Finn and Rachel would want to see each other first, even if he'd wanted them to visit. Worse than that, though, was the feeling that he wanted Kurt to visit. There was only one explanation for wanting to see him, and Puck didn't want to spend more time considering Bowie. So he hadn't thought about Kurt. At all.

But... Kurt had probably been over at his house all week. Had Blaine been able to come over there, like Lauren had been able to visit Puck? If so, had they been so strictly supervised?

Shit. Why was he thinking about that? Why did it matter?

Puck forced himself to focus on his mother's face. "Do you have any idea how much longer this is gonna go on?"

She opened her mouth to answer, but was interrupted by the ringing phone. After excusing herself, she returned with the phone in hand and a very surprised expression. "It's Burt, Finn and Kurt's dad. It sounds like there's an emergency."

Puck leaned forward. "Is... are they okay?"

"Here," she said, extending the phone. "They think it'll be faster to just talk to you."

Startled, he took it. "Hello?"

He heard Rachel's voice, which was weird, but Puck tried not to let himself get distracted from whatever this emergency might be. "Noah, have you been at your house all day?"

"Yeah," he said. "What's going on? Why are you on the phone?"

"I said I knew the most about what was going on and they gave me the handset. Finn is completely lost and their parents didn't see what happened. Is Kurt there yet?"

Puck froze. "What?"

"Kurt broke out of the house and we're fairly sure he's on the way to see you. They're not happy about this, and it sounds like Sue is being put on his trail. I can't even imagine how much trouble he's going to be in, or maybe it'll be all Finn—"

"Rachel," Puck said until she shut up. "Why is Kurt heading here?"

After only a breath's hesitation, she said, "He remembered how the two of you used to date in New York, and then Finn put another psychic block on him. We have no idea what sort of state his mind is in, Noah. Finn could have done real damage, he's not practiced with this. Kurt could just be angry, but he could also be disoriented, he could have lost all of his memories down to who he is... we have no idea how bad this is. When he arrives, you need to keep him there. Okay?"

"We were together," Puck said blankly. His mind felt like Tetris pieces sliding into place. Finally, every weird little piece of the past month fit into one perfect story, and then that wall vanished.

They'd been together. Really, totally together. He'd spent so much time trying to figure out what was happening, and then to avoid thinking about it. After being handed the answer, all that mental energy finally had an outlet. Everything made sense. Absolutely everything.

"I'm sorry for springing this on you if you didn't remember, but—"

"No," Puck said distantly, and sat on his bed. "I remember. Okay. I'll keep him around until Sylvester or his dad gets here, whatever. Don't worry. Later." He hung up and handed the receiver back to his mom, who looked at him sympathetically.

"You sound ready to pass out. I'll keep Sarah out of your hair, don't worry."

"Mom?" Puck asked her. (He'd reconsidered using 'Mom' for a few short minutes after finding out the truth, but she still felt like it and it seemed like too much trouble to reassess what they were to each other.) "Did you know about me and him?" Wait, had that just been coming out to his mom? Or would she have gotten that from listening to him on the phone? He was dizzy. This was hard.

"No," she said, but didn't seem too broken up about it. After getting his best friend's girlfriend pregnant right upon moving there, Puck supposed a lot of other relationships would look pretty good in comparison. "This group of kids sure does look like Bravo," she said lightly, and he knew that things were really okay between them. "But I guess you are a show choir from New York."

"Yeah," Puck said uncertainly. He was fairly sure that was the end of their big talk. They didn't do emotions in the Puckerman house. "Thanks."

She ruffled his hair affectionately, kissed him on his bare scalp, and told him she'd keep an eye out for Kurt. Then she unlocked his window, just in case Kurt decided to break in like he'd broken out. "Let me know if he does come in this way," she said, and then left Puck to his memories.

There were so many, and they felt more real than the room around him.

* * *


Rachel Berry was Noah Puckerman's second girlfriend, at the ripe old age of twelve. (He was an early bloomer. She called herself precocious.)

Twenty minutes into lunch, Puck wanted to throw himself into the deep fryer. She never shut up. They'd met at temple, and people tended to bite their tongues when they were busy with all that religious stuff. Out in the wild, he felt like he needed earplugs to deal with her.

"You remind me of my best friend's brother," Rachel said, and delicately ate a single french fry off Puck's plate.

Puck, dazed, tried to catch up. He had no idea who her best friend was, and so he had no idea who that brother was. "Okay," he said, then protected the rest of his fries.

"Kurt and I go to the same vocal teacher. We've had recitals together since we were five." Rachel smiled. "He thought he could steal the lead in her custom Nativity medley away from me."

Puck eyed her. "You're Jewish."

"And he's an atheist." When Puck stared blankly back, Rachel said like it explained everything, "It was the lead." She dipped her roll into her soup, took a bite, and swallowed, but somehow it seemed like she hadn't paused at all. She was a wave of sound: relentless. "Anyway, I'm sure you met him last week at my bat mitzvah."

"I met a lot of people there," Puck said. "You practically needed to rent out Yankee Stadium."

She gestured with her half-eaten roll. "We'll all be in the same high school, and you and Finn would get along well. I should introduce you!"

"Sure, whatever," Puck said, and started thinking about boobs.

Finn Hutton turned out to be a pretty cool guy: laid-back, funny, kinda dumb. Puck had the feeling that his brother was funny, too, but it was that weird New Yorker, Fraiser-y humor that he didn't really get. He could see how the two might have looked almost identical when they were young, but by twelve years old, Finn had hit a growth spurt and never looked back.

Rachel was super, scarily intense with her first relationship, and Puck began to get nervous about whether she'd flip out when he dumped her. Kurt and Finn were pressure release valves: when all four of them hung out, she could talk about Broadway with Kurt while Puck talked sports with Finn. Even so, after a month, the annoyance of dating Rachel outweighed the fear that she'd go total stalker on him. "That's fine," Rachel said, to his bewildered surprise. "You were an excellent first boyfriend, Noah. A perfect foundation, and I've learned some things. Thank you."

"Uh, welcome," he said, and felt a little like he'd been used. But it could have been way worse.

Rachel still wanted to be friends, and she was actually a pretty cool one to have. That little distance between "dating" and "friends" made all the clingy difference in the world. Puck still wanted to see Finn, too, and their foursome stayed together even though he didn't need to use Kurt to distract his girlfriend. It was comfortable.

One day, when Rachel and Kurt were talking about the Tonys, or maybe someone named Tony, Puck leaned over and asked, "So you're gay, right?"

Kurt froze. Finn looked flatly at Puck. "Dude, you can't just ask him that." A beat, then, "Yeah, but you can't just ask."

"Finn!" Rachel said, and glared at him. She turned to Kurt and said brightly, "Don't worry, we won't tell anyone. I had a feeling when you kept asking about my dads, but unlike some people I know you're not allowed to just demand an answer." She shot Puck another dirty look. Geez, it wasn't like he had a problem with it; he'd dated a girl with two dads and he was pretty sure the two old Chinese dudes in the apartment above his were queer. He'd just wanted to be sure.

After a few seconds more, in which he seemed to convince himself that everything wouldn't suddenly fall apart, Kurt smiled nervously at them. "You won't tell, right?"

"Of course we won't," Rachel said instantly.

Puck realized they'd turned to him, and added, "Yeah, don't worry." He'd just wanted to know. What was the big deal?

Later, Finn stopped him in the hallway as they left Rachel's. "Look," he said seriously. "Kurt is really scared about our parents finding out, so you can't tell anyone. Okay? This could hurt him. Bad."

"I won't," Puck said. "Why won't anyone trust me on this?"

"You make fun of people," Finn said after a beat, like he was giving Puck the chance to answer for himself. "When someone says something wrong, you laugh at them. You can be a jerk."

"So can you," Puck said defensively. "Fine, but I don't do that about big stuff."

"Well... I just wanted to make sure you knew that this was big."

"Got it," Puck said, and he did. There was something in Finn's voice that communicated two things very sincerely: if Puck used this as a weapon against Kurt then Finn would get serious revenge, and it would hurt Kurt more than Puck had ever tried to hurt someone. Neither was appealing, and Puck kept that knowledge under lock and key.

Two years went by. Rachel was still best friends with Kurt, and Puck with Finn. The brothers were the closest, naturally, while Puck and Kurt were the most distant of their little foursome. It wasn't that Puck disliked him; Kurt was brave and stubborn, talented and abrasive, driven and emotional. All of those things could have made him annoying, but he had a big enough heart that he was a good person with some bad points, rather than the other way around. They simply found it harder to talk, and unlike any other combination of the four, usually fell into polite silence.

Finn kept growing. Fat and muscle had yet to catch up to his bones, so he looked like a stick figure next to the three of them. One day he didn't seem quite so gaunt, and then a month later he looked two years older. Puck didn't shoot up with the same ridiculous speed. Without the growing pains that had plagued Finn, he was able to work out constantly. At fourteen years old, he felt like he should be giving lessons to the men on the sidewalk about how to strut and to catch girls.

Kurt kept waiting to grow toward the sky like Finn had, but it never happened. He kept waiting for the baby fat to melt away from his cheeks, but that never happened, either. He avoided all the junk food they scarfed down and balanced his diet with protein and vitamins like some Olympic athlete, but he still stayed short, his cheeks stayed round, and his voice stayed high.

At first Puck teased him about it, but then it really seemed to bother Kurt. More than it should. He stopped.

Puck knew their parents all worked for the government, but it had never played a huge role in their friendships. At most they'd been mildly encouraged to befriend each other, as their parents liked being able to chat about their kids at the office. But all of a sudden the four of them were shipped off to a tiny government school with high-priced tutors, and their parents' jobs became a real factor in their lives. Thanks to that new top-secret assignment, it was just the four of them in a class with seven strangers. The new kids were nice, generally, but by that point every last one found it hard to believe that Finn and Kurt were twin brothers.

He and Kurt still didn't talk that easily, but they were still more familiar territory than all those strangers from other neighborhoods. They began to spend more time together than they had before, and that was when Puck noticed the shadow hiding in Kurt's eyes whenever Finn mentioned their dad.

Finn loved the guy; they went to a game almost every weekend. Kurt spent nearly as much time with his mom, and Puck figured it was what he wanted. After all, if Kurt put on a dress and a little makeup one day, he'd fool a lot of people. Seriously, it was easy to mistake him for a chick. He wasn't trying to be a dick or anything, and he knew Kurt hated when he got called a girl, but Puck just figured it was easier for him to be around women. They probably judged him less, and he made Finn look more butch with every day that passed.

After one too many sad looks, Puck started wondering if that isolation from their dad was by choice.

And after a flinch at a seemingly harmless comment from Finn about 'the guys,' Puck began to worry deep in his gut.

His own dad had left before things got too bad, thankfully, but he'd been really young. He couldn't have done anything if the man had lost his temper. Kurt was bigger than he'd been, but he still wasn't big. "Hey," Puck said as he sat next to Kurt during lunch. "Can I ask you something?"

"Besides that?" Kurt replied with a faint grin. His clothes were especially ridiculous that day; he tried to copy the expensive stuff in magazines and while he matched it well, some of it was just plain weird to begin with. As always, clothing covered almost every square inch of skin. Puck usually figured that coverage was due to Kurt being self-conscious when he compared his body to Finn's, but... but maybe not. Maybe he was hiding something else.

In retrospect, Puck realized that the louder his clothes were, the less attention anyone paid to what might be lurking behind Kurt's eyes. There was no way that wasn't on purpose. If Kurt hadn't flinched and if Puck hadn't remembered doing the same, he probably wouldn't have noticed the pain pulling his expression very slightly tight.

Puck looked at him seriously. "Okay, I'm just gonna come out with this. I won't tell anyone. And you know when I say that, I mean it." He never had told anyone that Kurt was gay, even if they assumed it as soon as they saw him. Kurt knew that, and so with a wary look, he nodded. "You don't have to tell me, but I just thought you might want to have someone to say 'yes' to, if it's true." Puck took a deep breath and checked to make sure no one was listening. "Does your dad hit you?"

Kurt made a strangled noise like he'd nearly choked on his tongue. "What? No. What the hell, Puck?"

There was no need to be that enthusiastic with his denial if he were covering for him, and it sounded like the truth. Plus, even if he were lying, it was the sort of thing that a person needed to come out with on their own time. Puck accepted it and nodded. "Okay. Is your dad mean to you?"

"What?" Kurt repeated, and was silent for a while before he said, "No."

Their eyes met. Puck had been vaguely sure that they were green, but now they looked blue. Sad. "But you had to think about it, didn't you?" Puck asked.

That time, Kurt didn't have an answer.

* * *


"Do you think he's okay?" Finn asked Rachel.

She turned when he reached for her. "I don't know." He made another move for her hand. That time, Rachel jerked away. "I don't know, Finn!"

"Why are you yelling at me?" Finn asked, hurt. "I'm worried about him. More than you are."

"Well, you're the one who did this," Rachel said, folding her arms tightly across her chest so he couldn't try again.

"But I didn't mean—"

"And right now," she continued, avoiding looking at him to lessen the ache in her heart, "I'm thinking very long and hard about whether I can stay in a relationship with you."

It took Finn a second to reply. He was very quiet when he did. "What?" When she didn't answer, he said with a tinge of desperation, "Come on, Rachel, I know you're friends with him, but I'm your boyfriend! Yeah, I made a mistake, and I'm freaking out over whether he's okay! It just happened!"

"Did it 'just happen' when you apparently assured him that he'd never dated anyone in New York? Even though you could have seen from his memories that he had?" Rachel stared at Finn as his shoulders slumped, and he shook his head. "I didn't think so."

"Can you please hug me?" Finn asked after an awkward pause, sounding very young. "I'm scared for him. What if I did zap his brain too much? What if I really—"

"No," Rachel said in disbelief. "I don't know if I'm still going to be your girlfriend, I'm furious with you, and you can't just ask me that!" He looked so lost and confused, and she saw that she needed to explain. "Not everyone can abuse their powers like you. What would Mercedes do, or Mike? Or me?" She took a deep breath. "But Tina could drive people's fear or pleasure to get what she wants. Kurt could watch someone undress, or walk off with their things. They don't, but they could. You, apparently, can make people think however you want." She hugged herself again. "And you do. It's the worst thing anyone could do. It's what S.H.I.E.L.D. did to us, but at least they had the excuse of saving our lives as they ruined them."

"I didn't mean to do it," Finn said. "Please." Tears choked his voice. "Look, when I thought about what I saw with Kurt and Puck, I was terrified for him. I knew that Puck is bad news, and Kurt would get hurt."

"So if Jesse shows up again," Rachel said, interrupting his heartfelt plea, "will you remove all my memories of him? You have a real problem with him, after all. Wouldn't it be so much easier if I just didn't know who he was? Easier for you?"

"God, it's not like...." His hands started shaking. She didn't know whether he was more scared for Kurt or his relationship. If he were smart, he'd be most terrified over what he was apparently capable of doing. Of course, Rachel added bitterly to herself, Finn had never been smart. Maybe he'd heard that thought; she couldn't feel badly if he had. "I would never do that to you," Finn said after a heavy breath.

"How can I believe you, if you would do this to your brother? The one family member you have left by birth in the entire world?"

Frustrated, Finn took a few seconds to answer. She could see an answer come to mind, and he seized on it instantly, without taking any time to decide whether it was the right thing to say. "He is my brother," Finn said, nodding, "and so his brain is the easiest for me to read and mess with. You know that I wouldn't do this to you, because I'm pretty sure that I can't!" He looked so hopeful at his argument that he wouldn't remove Rachel's free will because it was just too tricky for him to do.

Finn Hudson had never, ever been smart.

"I'm calling my dads," she said, gathering her things, "and I'm going home."

"Are you breaking up with me?" Finn asked desperately.

"I'm going home," Rachel repeated. "I don't know what that means just yet. I'll tell you when I do."

"Rachel!"

"Sam's right," Rachel said before she left his room. "You really need to think about what you're doing. Because right now you're directionless, and you could be incredibly dangerous if you do the wrong thing." She couldn't look at him any more. Had he lied about her own memories? She couldn't be sure. "Like this."

"Please don't go," he said just above a whisper.

"I'm going to wait in the living room for my dads to come by," Rachel said. "Stay up here, please."

The request turned out not to matter, as Burt was heading out to go look for Kurt and he gave her a ride home. They didn't say a word, since they could have done little but try to reassure the other that Kurt would be fine and Finn hadn't accidentally locked away everything that made him himself. "Thank you, Mr. Hummel," she said when she was being turned over into her dads' care. Leroy had suited up, while Hiram looked ready to watch her at home. "Please let me know when you hear something?"

"Will do," he said, and then looked at Leroy. "Which way are you headed?"

"I heard from Sue. She wants you to check the Puckerman place. She and I are doing broader patrols, since we're trained."

Burt nodded, then drove off without another word.

"Come on, sweetie," Hiram said and led Rachel inside. "You know," he finally said when he'd put a plate of warm food in front of her, "there's gossip among the circles of people who're like... this. It can be a little tricky to have a telepath close. Why, Scott Summers over on the X-Men has dealt with—"

"Not now, please," she said, and he thankfully stopped talking.

* * *


Puck kept staring at his hands. He wasn't really looking at them; his head was heavy and drooping, and they were resting on his legs. They were just there.

He remembered putting those hands on someone who had every reason to believe that nothing good could happen, and proving him wrong. He remembered being trusted, being treated like he was worth something and that he was someone to rely on, instead of someone who always fucked things up. He remembered smiles, laughter, tears. He remembered being in love, in one of the very few times in his life when he'd really opened his heart instead of just his fly.

And he remembered laughing as he picked up Kurt and threw him into the trash.

He didn't know if S.H.I.E.L.D. had specifically programmed him to behave that way, if they'd just pushed his worst tendencies to the forefront, or if they'd simply removed his memories and waited to see what happened. If it were option one, nothing was his fault. Option two, they still had to take some of the blame. Option three... he didn't know if he could forgive himself. Not after what he remembered, and after the feelings that had been stirred in his heart again. And he didn't have a clue which it might be. He could have been programmed to act out a sick and twisted play, or he could have been hurting Kurt because he thought it was genuinely fun and didn't have any real reason not to.

But no matter what the answer was, Kurt would remember all of it. He'd remember Puck as the guy who did that to him.

So, when Puck heard Burt arrive and ask if Kurt had come by, his mom said no. Puck didn't yell down to correct her. Burt didn't come up to see him, to read him the riot act about treating his son right. The door slammed, and he drove off.

It wasn't surprising that Kurt had gone to see someone else.

* * *


Lima flew past Kurt's eyes, though no one saw him. He dropped off the Winnebago's ladder when it slowed for a turn at an intersection. A pickup was waiting for its light to turn green. When it accelerated toward the next block, it had an invisible passenger in its bed. He made his way over miles like that, always conscious of traffic cameras and anything else that Sue might be able to access remotely in search of the runaway teenager. He couldn't hide from them entirely, but he tried to use the truck's walls and angles to his advantages whenever possible.

Kurt hopped into another pickup when he needed to change directions. For once, he was glad to live where he did, surrounded by farms and fields; tiny urban cars would have been very hard to hold onto. When he got within a few blocks, he just ran under the summer sun. His sword smacked his hip and stress pounded at the base of his skull.

There was no convenient lattice against the wall to scale, nor a tree branch that arced right to the window. Kurt had to climb a tree in a neighbor's yard, scoot out to where one of its branches just barely supported his weight, and then try to land on the roof without crashing through to the attic. He rolled to lessen the chance he'd be heard, then nearly flew off the edge because of it. His fingertips latched onto the rain gutter, and after a panicked second when he was worried that it would wrench loose, Kurt pulled himself back onto the roof.

Panting, he took a minute to collect himself. He looked a mess, and a cough lingered in his throat from all the summer dust on the road. A short break would give their attention a chance to wander if he had made noise, but as he took it he became aware of how hot it was on the black shingles. The Kurt Hummel who didn't have powers would have complained about all of that. After superpowers, the reveal of their histories, and the knowledge that they were marked for death, he'd reassessed his priorities.

Now that he'd stopped thinking through what was necessary to implement this 'mission,' all of the earlier pain and fear began to rush back in. He'd felt like he'd been able to choose so little in his life. He struggled against what the world did to him, but sometimes it was still futile. Sometimes people got to do what they wanted to him and everyone else looked the other way. It turned out that people even thought they were justified in altering his entire life to suit their purposes, and the worst part was that they might be right.

This wasn't right, though. There was no way this could be right. After painful rounds of pretense and abuse, Kurt had the comfort of romantic contact that was desired. Wanted. Chosen.

He never would have chosen Noah Puckerman for a single first. But he could choose what happened from that point out.

He didn't know what had happened back in New York to create those memories, thanks to Finn's block, but he knew it had to have been forced on him somehow. Maybe he'd been too lonely and tired, and had just given in? Maybe Puck had made a bet about how he could even land a guy, and everything was a lie. Maybe... the possibilities were too awful to think about.

Unable to hold back any more, Kurt hung over the edge of the roof and looked in the window. Seeing Blaine alone in his room, he knocked on the glass. Blaine looked up and frowned, so Kurt knocked again.

"Hello?" Blaine asked when he'd walked to the window, opened it, and peered toward the grass like someone must be throwing rocks. Kurt blinked at him, as he was just a few inches away, and then realized he'd never dropped his invisibility. When he popped back into sight, Blaine yelped and stumbled backward over his own feet. Kurt winced at the heavy thump, and stayed invisible when his father came in to see if everything was all right. His head started to pound from hanging upside down.

"I was looking out the window," Blaine said after a few flustered seconds. "A bird flew into it. I was just startled."

"Hrm. Is it hurt? That'd be a long fall...."

"It flew off. Everything's fine." Blaine's smile grew far too wide. "I'm going to practice songs, all right?"

Rolling his eyes tolerantly at what Kurt knew was a loud setlist for the theme park show, his father nodded and closed the door behind him when he left. Blaine counted to three, and then rushed back to the window.

"Pop the screen out," Kurt said. "My head is killing me."

Staring at him, Blaine did as requested and tucked the screen neatly between the back of a chair and the wall. "What in the world are you doing?" he asked as Kurt slid through the window and felt his blood flow back toward his feet. "You could have warned me you were going to do that. My parents are going to be furious if they know you snuck in like... Kurt?" he asked when he noticed Kurt's broken expression.

"I had to get out of there," Kurt said after a long, choked pause.

"What happened?" Blaine asked cautiously, and brushed dust off his shoulder with clear surprise that his clothing was dirty.

"I...." He couldn't find the right words. "Can you hug me?" he asked instead.

Blaine obediently pulled him tight and close. The warmth of his body mingled with the summer afternoon pouring through the open window, and it all circled around Kurt's overheated body from the trip down the roads. He wanted to pass out. "Are you okay?"

"No," Kurt said into the side of his head. "No, I'm not okay."

Hands stroked his back. "Do you want to talk about it?"

No, but he had to. He'd lied, after all, even if he hadn't meant to. He didn't want to be like Finn and lie when he knew better.

This revelation had made the decision for him: Kurt Hummel's life was far better than Kurt Hutton's. Kurt Hummel had mocked the cocky boy humiliating him each morning, not fallen in love with him. He knew what he wanted. The sword on his hip felt like a silly toy, now. It was time to set things right in this life. "Finn lied to me when he said I hadn't dated anyone in New York," Kurt said, a little surprised that he managed to get everything out.

"Oh," Blaine said, and pulled back to take in his expression. He didn't look mad, and concern was outweighed by curiosity. "And?"

"I remembered everything," Kurt said bitterly. "For about two seconds, before he wiped my memories again."

"What?" Blaine asked, nearly choking on the word.

"All I remember is what happened, not how I felt." Kurt's shoulders sagged. "But I do remember the 'what.' Parts of it, at least."

"All right," Blaine said carefully, and led Kurt to a chair. "It's fine that you had a boyfriend in New York, Kurt. You look nervous... did you think I'd be mad about you dating someone before we ever met?" When Kurt didn't reply, he knelt in front of him. "You're upset about having your old life overwritten."

Kurt nodded.

"You're upset about Finn doing the same thing today."

Kurt nodded again.

"And you're upset that this old boyfriend...." He frowned and worked through that. "Were you still dating when you were taken here?"

"Yes," Kurt said dully.

"You were only fifteen," Blaine said, clearly trying to figure out just what Kurt had discovered and then lost. "So I can't imagine you were very...." He trailed off at the hollow look in Kurt's eyes, and swallowed. "Oh," he said at that silent confirmation that Kurt had become very physical with that boy, long ago. "I wouldn't have guessed that," he admitted, which had to be an understatement considering how awkward Kurt had been on the topic. "And... and I can see why that would upset you."

For an instant Kurt wished he had Finn's powers. Did Blaine think he was cheap? Was fifteen too young? Was he already pulling away now that he knew that Kurt had slept with someone else, and that they'd never officially broken up before the government swept in? That he'd been comfortable with that other boy like he hadn't yet with Blaine? "It was bad," he said when Blaine seemed to want more of an answer.

"The relationship was... cruel?" Blaine asked.

"I don't know for certain," Kurt was forced to admit, "but it must have been. And I just can't believe that I lost everything to someone who—"

"Kurt, Kurt, stop," Blaine said, and took his wrists in his hands. "If you don't remember more than a few pieces, how do you know it was bad? This already has to be traumatic. You don't need to make it even worse."

He'd never be able to explain everything. He just needed to say the basics and get it over with. "Because I didn't want my first time to be with Puck," Kurt said. It felt like the words vomited out.

Blaine looked at him for a long time, and stayed very still. Then he stood and moved away.

A tiny, pained noise escaped Kurt, but he didn't reach for him.

"Oh," Blaine said quietly. "I suppose that makes sense, after how you two have been acting. Right in front of me, too."

"Please," Kurt said and wiped away a tear. "I didn't know. I am horrified by this, can't you tell?"

"You haven't been acting horrified around him," Blaine said. He sounded incredibly hurt, and the attempt to guilt Kurt made things a million times worse.

"You think I'd cheat on you," Kurt said. "You actually think I'd cheat on you."

"I don't... I didn't like seeing how he acted around you. Now I know that he was trying to make up for lost time. And you were defending the actions of your boyfriend." Blaine nodded. He sounded like he was giving a school presentation: totally detached. "Everything makes much more sense now."

"Oh my god," Kurt said, his eyes rimmed with red, "he is not my boyfriend. You are."

"You never broke up with him," Blaine pointed out. "And I'm here with no superpowers, while he would fit right into your life of being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, tearing up cities and—"

"I think he broke up with me when he threw me into the trash," Kurt said. "God, Blaine! I just learned that I somehow started dating someone who's humiliated me countless times, and I didn't get to pick how.... my first...." His breath came in gulps. "And you think I'd cheat on you." He gulped again. His voice sounded funny. "Everyone just gets to shove me around." He snorted snot back up his nose. "When do I get to pick how...." He broke entirely, then, and curled up into a tight ball in the chair. He expected to weep, but only stray tears came. His emotions instead surged with huge, gasping breaths. It took him a while to recognize that Blaine's hand was on his shoulder.

"I'm sorry," Blaine quietly said when Kurt looked up at him. "You've been saying he's a good friend... I suppose that's for now, not then. I didn't realize you still had problems with how he'd acted before."

"How could I have... my first time...." Screwing his eyes shut, Kurt hugged his knees tightly to himself. He remembered Puck very well against the backdrop of their first days in Lima: that cruel sneer, that rampaging ego as he delighted in humiliating anyone who crossed his path. If he could get along with the older Puck, fine, but to have gotten close to that awful person who'd existed before New Directions? To have given him everything?

He eventually opened his eyes again, wiped away the droplets clinging to his lashes, and then the wetness at his nose. Blaine was looking at him with concern, with those warm eyes and worried brows, with the face that had only ever hurt him by accident. Kurt abruptly reared up out of the chair and flung his arms around Blaine's shoulders, kissing him deeply. "I pick you," he said, then slid one hand under the bottom of Blaine's shirt to rest possessively on his stomach. "I pick you," he said, and relaxed into him like Blaine could do anything to him and he wouldn't protest. "I—"

"Kurt," Blaine said as he gently tried to remove Kurt's hand from his skin.

"I know I haven't gone as far as you've wanted," Kurt said against the curves of his ear. If he'd given himself to Puck, then wouldn't it be better to catch up with someone he actually cared about? The sheer, utter wrongness of that knowledge overrode everything else in Kurt's mind. He was on autopilot. Maybe Finn had done that to him, too. "What do you want to do now? We can."

"Nothing," Blaine said, and tried to reach for Kurt's hands as they roamed Blaine's body.

"I promise, he doesn't mean anything to me," Kurt said. "If that's why you don't want to do anything now, then he doesn't matter. Whatever you've dreamed about, we can do it."

"Kurt!" Blaine snapped. The tone jolted Kurt enough that he finally stopped moving. "My parents are downstairs."

But if he didn't, he'd lose him. Blaine thought he was capable of cheating, after all. "But—"

"Stop," Blaine said, and caught Kurt's face in his hands. "Stop. You said you picked me. All right. I believe you."

"You do?" Kurt asked hopefully. Finn's powers seemed tempting again, even after what Finn had done. He'd give anything to know that Blaine wasn't just placating him to stop the argument.

"I don't want you to think you have to prove anything. Not like this. Not when it's about someone else." He tried to fix the mess that was Kurt's hair, and sighed. "And I want you to stop looking so heartbroken. I can't believe I'm saying this, but... well, I don't know the specifics, but I get the feeling that Finn hurt you earlier? Not about the memory block today, but at school? When you first moved here?"

Kurt nodded. "He was best friends with Puck, after all," he muttered, and let that communicate everything.

"Do you think your brother would have done that to you on his own? I'm guessing he was influenced at least a little by whatever gave you these new lives." Blaine managed a weak smile. "Selfishly, I don't want you to forgive Puck too much. But I also don't want you so heartbroken over him being, well...."

Over him being Kurt's first everything, just as Kurt had assured Blaine he wasn't. The irony was so sharp that he could stab someone right through the heart with it.

Seeing his words getting through, Blaine nodded and wiped away sticky, half-dried tear tracks. "I'm sure it was good. I'm sure you didn't regret it. You've moved on, but it wasn't because it was so awful. I don't want you thinking that your first everything was ruined forever." He waited until Kurt looked a little more settled, and then asked, "So you've calmed down?"

"I've calmed down," Kurt said. "And I know that I am choosing program applications and auditions, not S.H.I.E.L.D."

That was the look he'd expected to see when he'd thrown himself at Blaine: love and acceptance. "That is very good to hear," Blaine said, and kissed him. "I love you." If he still sounded unsettled over what Kurt had told him about Puck, at least it fell behind other emotions in importance. They could work through this.

"I love you, too," Kurt said as he heard a car pull in front of the house. Its engine died, but it wasn't until he heard a familiar voice at the front door that he swore colorfully and nearly punched the nearby chair. "I'm not here," he said, and went invisible. "Straighten your shirt."

"Blaine!" Kurt heard his father shout up the stairs. "The woman from the government is here again. She needs to talk to you."

"Um, send her up?" Blaine said uncertainly. He looked at where Kurt was standing for guidance, but Kurt didn't trust himself to try to drop his illusions just for Blaine, and so remained an empty space in the room. "Ms. Sylvester," he said politely when Sue reached his doorway. "What a surprise."

"Is it really?" Sue asked with a thin smile.

From over her shoulder, Mr. Anderson said, "You know, Blaine, Kurt has caused quite a ruckus with everything. You should talk to him about that."

Sue looked sharply at Blaine, a serpentine smile on her face, and Kurt swallowed. She knew perfectly well that they'd talked. Recently. Her searching gaze landed behind where Kurt silently stood, and he turned to look at what had caught her attention: the edge of the window screen, just barely poking out from behind the chair. "There's been a disturbance with the hostiles I mentioned to you earlier," she said. She was able to be more polite with civilians, thankfully. "I just need to record your son's room for analysis." Then she held up a video camera and looked less like a predator when she smiled again.

"All right," said Mr. Anderson, with one pointed look for his son. Kurt felt that sinking sensation again; even if Blaine still wanted him, he'd just taken about a hundred steps back with his parents.

Sue began to raise the camera and Kurt gave up. He didn't trust himself to get safely out the window, and he certainly didn't think he could outrun her in her car if he did make it to the ground somehow. He tiptoed across the carpet and whispered right into her ear, "Don't say anything to his dad, I'll be in your front seat."

Sue glanced at where he was standing, but didn't nod. She made a show of recording Blaine's room and then said, "Done. Thank you for your cooperation. I'll be in touch again if needed. I hope it won't be." She set off walking down the hall without any further farewell to the family, and Kurt hurried after her.

He didn't drop his invisibility until he was in the front seat, strapped in and glowering at the windshield. "Guess you found me."

"That was spectacularly stupid," she said as the car set into motion. "I know most teen hormones rage like Niagara, but I figured you'd be safe for not getting tempted toward your boyfriend's bed. They put eunuchs in charge of harems for a reason, you know." When he glared at her, she raised her eyebrows in surprise. "Someone's in a mood if I can't even make a single castration joke. Well, get out your tantrum now, Porcelain. I'm about to make your life a living hell for violating orders."

"I don't have to follow your orders," Kurt snapped. "I know you're working to keep us safe, but I'm not in S.H.I.E.L.D. and I'm never going to be."

"Really," she said after a moment of hesitation.

"Really. That's a life for someone who'd be happy that they used to be with Puck, and that's not me," Kurt said thinly. "I'm Kurt Hummel, not Kurt Hutton, and Kurt Hummel already knew what his life was going to be."

"I should get additional combat pay for dealing with teen melodrama," Sue muttered. "Yes, you used to be together with Puckerman. Deal with it. Quinn woke up here in Lima and was dating Paul Bunyan. Things change." He kept glaring at her and she glared right back. "Look, I have files explaining why they changed everything that they did, but I haven't even opened them. I don't question orders, I just fulfill my assignment. And right now, my assignment is to get you back into your house and leave you so traumatized that you'll call Boo Radley a social butterfly."

"Fine."

"I got soft after a year of this," Sue said as they pulled to a stop at an intersection. "I'd been ordered to break up the club so you all would stop interacting as a group, but then the other judges started insulting you at Regionals. I figured that if you'd already been spending time together, it'd just be maintaining a status quo that worked. I felt sorry for you, I stuck up for the club. Even voted you kids as first place. When you still lost, I mentioned something to Figgins. I can terrify the man. He let your club stay alive."

Kurt looked at her sidelong. He still felt like he should be glaring.

"The end result of that move," Sue said as they accelerated down the road, "was getting my ass handed to me the next time I submitted a report. I was told to never get distracted from my goal of breaking up that club and keeping you kids apart. So that's what I did: followed orders. Because I knew they had the big picture in mind, and I'd been distracted by something that didn't matter."

"Well," Kurt said, "I've learned the same thing. Your offer doesn't matter. I already had a big picture in mind, and I'm not going to be distracted from it. Where are we going?" he asked as they turned the wrong way.

"We're going to Castle Point," Sue said, naming a subdivision that had been started and then abandoned when the real estate market collapsed. It was full of empty lots and half-finished houses that had lost the loans backing them.

"You can't torture me into agreeing with you," Kurt said. He was starting to get rather nervous, as he'd realized that Sue Sylvester was deliberately taking him somewhere isolated after he'd just angered her and thrown her trust and gifts back in her face.

"That's not the problem," Sue said, and glanced at the rearview mirror. "We're being followed and I need to take care of this away from civilians."

"What?" Kurt asked, turning around. He didn't see anything until he leaned over to peer into the mirror. A yelp escaped him. A shifting mass of shadows was flying after the car, and it was completely invisible when he turned back around for a second look. What was that thing?

"They stick to the ground, usually," Sue said as they turned past a graffiti-covered concrete sign for Castle Point. "They must be worried they'll lose us, so they're putting the energy into flying. They'll be easy marks when we face them."

"What are they?" Kurt asked, then realized what she'd said. "Wait, we?" he asked, going very pale.

"You've got one of your swords, at least. You basically know how to use it. I just need you to cover me in case something slips past my bullets."

"But—"

"Those swords are special issue to top agents, they can cut through nearly anything. Just don't pull your strikes and you'll be fine," Sue said, and then turned down a road with an empty cul-de-sac at the end.

Kurt's pulse started to pound. He desperately wanted to be playing Trivial Pursuit again: bored out of his mind, never faced with the question of the spotlight versus S.H.I.E.L.D., not knowing that Blaine hadn't been his first boyfriend, and without unknown shadow creatures coming for his head on a dead-end street. "But—"

"Unbuckle your seatbelt and hold on, you'll throw the door open as soon as we've come to a stop. Back me up. They'll become visible when they move into this dimension enough to attack us."

This was real, Kurt thought vacantly as he unbuckled. He was on autopilot again. He needed to fight to stay alive, and even if he'd had one of his worst days ever, he wanted to reach a better future. So he needed to fight. Sue screeched around the cul-de-sac and came to a stop facing the way they'd came, and Kurt shoved open his door and leapt out, sword in hand.

Sue raised her gun. When the first shadow leapt at them out of a bright afternoon sky, she put a bullet through its forehead. She took out one more and then the cartridge fell noisily to the ground. "Huge caliber," she explained as she shoved another one in. "They don't hold much."

That was enough time for a third to get through, and Kurt shrieked as he saw shifting, ethereal claws lunge at him. It was the Dementors and Ringwraiths and every movie monster rolled into one, except it was there. Focused on nothing more than keeping it from getting to him, he spun with sword raised. His arms arced down in a flash of silvery light. The metal resisted, just for a second, and then slid through flesh and bone. Inertia carried the attacker forward through the air, and the dead body smacked heavily and wetly into Kurt. It bled darkness all over his chest as he picked himself up off the rough asphalt.

Two more shots from Sue took out two more of them, then she squinted distrustfully at the sky. "I counted five in my scanner," she said with a nod toward her rearview mirror, "but they were clumped. I could have missed one."

Kurt didn't reply. It was all he could do to stare at the monster's corpse bleeding all over his chest without screaming or passing out.

She shoved in a fresh cartridge and glared at Kurt when he still didn't say anything. "Do you normally let unknown hostiles from another dimension bleed potential biohazards everywhere, or did the memory of Puckerman sticking it to you give you a deathwish?"

That was it. Kurt flung it away, ripped off his shirt and the one under it when he saw it was also stained, and used the clump of fabric to wipe his unbroken skin. "What the hell just happened?" he demanded, only then realizing he'd stalked up to Sue and was threatening her with his sword. He debated lowering it, but instead threw his ruined clothes to the ground and used that additional hand to steady his weapon. "Tell me!" He was about to snap. He had a sword. And it had been a bad day.

"Can't you tell?" Sue asked, holstering her gun. She looked entirely unintimidated by the sword near her throat. "They found you."

[identity profile] ice-whisper.livejournal.com 2011-12-29 08:20 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been lurking, but I'm coming out to freaking beg you to reunite Puckurt. It's killing me! I could slap Finn for fucking with Kurt's head like that. My babies need to get back together!!

Image (http://tinypic.com?ref=2d743m)
Image (http://tinypic.com?ref=hti3o1)

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:11 am (UTC)(link)
Heeee, thanks for commenting. I am enjoying the back-and-forth with the dynamics between everyone, I must say. ;)

[identity profile] cuwikhons.livejournal.com 2011-12-29 08:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh shit, Finn really did fuck this one up. But you know, I kind of wonder if its not for the better, at least for the moment. If Finn hadn't blocked that memory off, Kurt would have to deal with the knowledge that once upon a time, Puck really loved him and they were happy together. And then SHIELD ripped them up and made Puck (and his own brother) hurt him. It might be easier right now for Kurt to think "I was a dumb kid who dated a jackass."

Puck's memories of them dating was interesting. Totally called that at least one of Finn and Kurt's parents was Not Good People. Interesting that Puck picked up on it, though certainly not surprised that Finn didn't. Kind of surprised Rachel didn't but it looks like Rachel was in her more abrasive form at that point, when she was at her least attentive to others. I really, really like the way Puck felt after he remembered though, specifically the understanding that while SHIELD might have had something to do with the way Puck acted, there was the very real possibility that Puck had made the decision to hurt Kurt all on his own.

Blaine handled that whole thing... about as well as I'd expect a mildly freaked out teenager to handle it. Not well, but he at least acknowledged that he's got a bit of a bias when it comes to how he wants Kurt to feel about Puck and he was aware enough to step outside of it to comfort his boyfriend.

Nice explanation for Sue's up and down opinions of the Glee Club and her brief save at Regionals. I love Kurt and Sue's dynamic in the show and in all of your stories, with Kurt being possibly the only person in the world who won't let himself be intimidated by her (though smart enough to still be a bit afraid of her) and Sue actually being demonstrably fond of him, yet still not being particularly nice. It's interesting to see that dynamic played it out in a situation like this where Kurt's under so much stress that he just can't even be assed to treat Sue with the respect he normally would. He's probably the only person who could get away with it.

Also? Fucking called it. Burt didn't know shit about Puck except that he was a parent's worst nightmare!

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:23 am (UTC)(link)
It might be easier right now for Kurt to think "I was a dumb kid who dated a jackass."

It definitely does help him work through everything in stages, even if he's left with a seriously warped view of everything right now. (Finn isn't exactly helping by saying that Puck ruins things, etc.)

I really, really like the way Puck felt after he remembered though, specifically the understanding that while SHIELD might have had something to do with the way Puck acted, there was the very real possibility that Puck had made the decision to hurt Kurt all on his own.

Yeah, and I definitely wanted to avoid the idea that even if SHIELD had controlled Puck into every single thing he did, that Kurt would or should be magically okay with it. Those were some pretty visceral memories to have to deal with, and unless you're going to magically erase them, they're still hanging out over every interaction even if you see them in a different context. (Finn, don't get any ideas, you've done enough.) And working through them enough to be friends is one thing, but now he has to see them in the timeline of the different past, and it is just a BIG MESS.

Blaine handled that whole thing... about as well as I'd expect a mildly freaked out teenager to handle it. Not well, but he at least acknowledged that he's got a bit of a bias when it comes to how he wants Kurt to feel about Puck and he was aware enough to step outside of it to comfort his boyfriend.

Poor Blaine in this story, for real. His new boyfriend avoids him, he thinks he's cheating on him with Puck, Kurt turns out to be superpowered, nearly gets killed that night while Blaine listens and barely seems to care, the government comes and talks to Blaine's family about the event, he finds out Kurt has a totally different identity, Kurt can't even talk to Blaine for a week after that, and then he breaks in to tell him that he did actually used to date the guy who Blaine thought was flirting with Kurt right in front of him.

I think he's doing an admirable job of not just snapping, hee. Good thing this is during the summer and he doesn't have to deal with homework on top of everything.

(Granted, all of that is preferable to finding out that your real parents were slaughtered and all of your life is a lie and that aliens or whatever are trying to kill you, but still. Stress.)

He's probably the only person who could get away with it.

She probably would have only brought Quinn (and maybe Santana) out of the car at ALL to help; I doubt she'd trust anyone else for backup. And I think her temper would have sparked a good deal earlier with Quinn than it did (well, didn't) with Kurt.

Thanks for reading. :)

[identity profile] boysinperil.livejournal.com 2011-12-29 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
*exhale

Okay, that wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. Finn needs to accept that "I didn't mean to" only works as an excuse once; after that you need to put some work into changing the problem.

Puck just breaks my heart.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:27 am (UTC)(link)
Lol, I love how without the context of our discussions you're like, "WELP, I GUESS THE CHAPTER DIDN'T SUCK."

Finn needs to accept that "I didn't mean to" only works as an excuse once; after that you need to put some work into changing the problem.

Finn definitely needs to step up. He's been on cruise control for almost the entire story, with the exception of his save via telekinesis, and yet thinks he deserves the co-captaincy, etc. Which, heh, might be a realistic canon portrayal, but I want a more satisfying arc. ;)

Randomly, this was my favorite line of the entire chapter:

"Sure, whatever," Puck said, and started thinking about boobs.

[identity profile] panbutnotpeter.livejournal.com 2011-12-29 10:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. Okay, not as traumatic as I feared it might be, but STILL. That hurt.

Kuuurrrrt. Oh man, his horror and his pain and his shock. It was all even more intense than it was at the end of the last chapter, and it made me ache for him in the worst way. And because of Finn’s block he doesn’t really remember things accurately, and he's so in denial about the true nature of what he remembered that he doesn't grasp that choosing Blaine right now is an uninformed decision, and oh my god the way he offered his body to Blaine under completely unromantic circumstances just so he could feel like he has control over his life and his choices OH FUCK MY HEART. That was hard to read. But I admired the way Blaine handled it with care and support -- once he got past his selfish hurt-driven impulse to guilt Kurt about Puck and the way they had been so friendly together in front of him. Which was an understandable reaction, but definitely didn’t help.

AND FINN. UGGGHHH. He didn’t consciously attack Kurt’s mind, but he still doesn’t truly recognize WHY IT WAS WRONG beyond the fact that he really could’ve damaged Kurt. He didn’t seem to fully understand Rachel’s moral objections or the reasons she felt like she couldn’t be around him. I feel bad for Finn, but I’m so deeply disappointed in him, and I JUST WANT SHAKE HIM TO SCREAM PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND AND THEN PROMISE EVERYONE YOU WILL DO YOUR BEST TO RESPECT THEIR FREE WILL AARRRGGGHHH.

And Puck. Shit. I was prepared for Kurt to tear me apart in this chapter, but I wasn’t prepared to have all of these Puck feelings, and it knocked me on my ass. His memories of the group in New York, and the way he just sat there afterward, feeling horribly guilty and wanting to see Kurt but understanding why Kurt wouldn’t come to him -- it reminded me a lot of his thought process in the prologue, when he wanted to be comforting Kurt, and was hurt/jealous when Kurt gravitated towards Finn for comfort instead, but he understood why Kurt needed to do that. And the way he had been someone trusted and important with Kurt, and oh THE STIRRING IN HIS HEART AAAAHHHHHHH IT HURTS OMG IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL BUT IT HURTS fghjkygvbjksdf.

Shit.

Alright, now that I’ve gotten out all of my emotions, I need a moment to be totally shallow because KURT BEING A NINJA HOPPING FROM VEHICLE TO VEHICLE AND THEN AT THE END OMG THE MENTAL IMAGE OF HIM SHIRTLESS AND FURIOUS AND POINTING A SWORD AT SUE’S THROAT OHHH MYYYYY GODDDDD THAT IS SO FUCKING HOT AND BADASS AND I CAN’T HANDLE IT OMG I WISH I COULD SEE IT.

It's interesting that Sue has unopened files with a full explanation of what they changed and why. I'm dying to know what's in those.

And – and – AND THE CREEPY SHADOW MONSTERS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION (OR WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY ARE) HAVE FOUND THEM AND EVERYTHING’S GONNA GET SO CRAZY AND FIRST BLOOD IS COMING AND I’M SHAKING.

IS IT NEXT THURSDAY YET fdghjytgvbhjksfghjrf

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:33 am (UTC)(link)
There's really nothing like having to be reminded that parents are right below your feet to finally stop an attempted first time, is there? ROMANTIC. Yeah, Kurt is pretty MESSED UP at this stage, and the incomplete information isn't helping with his decisions. (While also helping cut down on the number of ~emotions he has to deal with on top of everything else, so, mixed bag.)

OMG imagine if Sue had walked in with her camera and they were going for it.

L O L

Sorry, that's not actually funny, it would be horrifying for them. ... ... ... :x

Telepathy is suuuuuuch a minefield to deal with, and Finn—unless he puts some serious thought into matters—is so unprepared for dealing with the repercussions of the powers he has at his control.

I can't wait to pull out more New York memories for everyone and see how you react, hee. <3

It's interesting that Sue has unopened files with a full explanation of what they changed and why. I'm dying to know what's in those.

THAT WAS A CONVENIENT PLOT LINE, WASN'T IT?

WASN'T

IT

[identity profile] panbutnotpeter.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 10:52 am (UTC)(link)
(While also helping cut down on the number of ~emotions he has to deal with on top of everything else, so, mixed bag.)
Very true. Poor Santana had to deal with everything all at once. I hope that -- in the long run -- Kurt will somehow benefit from the experience of having part of it walled-off temporarily.

OMG imagine if Sue had walked in with her camera and they were going for it.
HAHAHAHAHA OMG THAT IS TERRIBLE AND I AM CACKLING CRUELLY.

Too bad ~serious thought~ isn't Finn's forte. Most of the crew found it SO FUNNY that FINN of all people would be bestowed brain powers (and, shit, I thought it was hilarious, too) but none of them will be laughing when they realize that OH GOD THAT MEANS THAT FINN HAS BRAIN POWERS AND THEY SORT OF HAVE TO TRUST FINN WITH THEIR BRAINS AS WELL OH SHIT. XD

I can't wait to pull out more New York memories for everyone and see how you react, hee. <3
I'm thinking there will be lots of crying and exhilarated hand flapping. <3

THAT WAS A CONVENIENT PLOT LINE, WASN'T IT?
ghjkytfvbghjukasdfghjksfjhj
WASN'T
tgfvghyjugvbnhjmkask
IT
fghjklasjnfg

KURT KNOWS ABOUT THE FILES NOW AND HE IS SUPER STEALTHY OMG HE SHOULD STEAL THEM IF SHE DOESN'T OFFER THEM TO HIM. IF ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO KNOW WHAT'S IN THOSE, I HOPE IT HAPPENS, BECAUSE I THIRST FOR THAT KNOWLEDGE, MIGGY. THIRST FOR IT.

[identity profile] sparklegemstone.livejournal.com 2011-12-29 11:52 pm (UTC)(link)
I think my reaction to this chapter can be summed up as follows:

He knew what he wanted. The sword on his hip felt like a silly toy, now. It was time to set things right in this life.
YES!!! *flailing and dancing* Good decision, Kurt, yay. WAIT. OH ****. This means Blaine has to die now, doesn't it????

Loved the chapter. Loved how you kept us in suspense by keeping us away from Kurt's point of view for a while. I was hoping very strongly at the end of the last chapter that he was going to go see Blaine, not Puck, and then I continued to get my hopes up while reading this, then decided not to get my hopes up too high and thought it could possibly be Mercedes, but I was on the edge of my seat as Kurt hung from someone's rain gutter, and I was so happy that it was indeed Blaine's. The line about Puck not bothering to correct his mother confused me, though, because the potential for him to correct her made it sound like Kurt had stopped by.

I laughed at how Kurt startled Blaine by dropping his invisibility while still hanging upside down outside his window, and I was secretly hoping for a Spiderman moment. Ah, well.

That was definitely a hard moment for the boys. *hugs them* It really pained me to see Kurt clambering to be intimate with Blaine for all the wrong reasons. But if he didn't, he'd lose him. Oh my god, my heart. And as much as I secretly approve of Kurt's affirmations in his conversation with Blaine, it makes me very uneasy that he is making all these decisions and building things up in his head without knowing the full story of what he and Puck were. I feel like there is still stuff that hasn't hit the fan yet.

Just don't pull your strikes and you'll be fine," Sue said. Oh my god, you can't just tell an eighteen year-old kid whose been in one serious combat situation that he needs to buckle down and start killing people. Granted, they had no choice, and they aren't exactly people, but still. Poor Kurt. Holy crap.

P.S. I loved the brief time of Puck and Rachel dating. You painted that so well, and how the four's friendship grew out of that.

P.P.S. I'm really curious to learn more about what Puck's douchiness level was like in New York before the memory wipe and how his personality compared then to what we know now of Puck. The hints you've dropped (Finn telling Puck how he can hurt people sometimes) are intriguing. I have no idea why I can suddenly edit my comments but I'm using it to the fullest. :-D
Edited 2011-12-30 00:15 (UTC)

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:45 am (UTC)(link)
I laughed at how Kurt startled Blaine by dropping his invisibility while still hanging upside down outside his window, and I was secretly hoping for a Spiderman moment. Ah, well.

Ewww, but he was all dusty and sweaty! (And by the end of the chapter, bloody. It was not a good day for Kurt Hummel's skin care routine.)

I will admit that was a moment that made me giggle as I wrote it. (Others: the pillow goldfish and talking Lord Tubbington, the "ew ew ew ew ew" from the brothers reveal, and Tina making RAWR claws at the cardboard cutout.)

I'm really curious to learn more about what Puck's douchiness level was like in New York before the memory wipe and how his personality compared then to what we know now of Puck.

There will be more of the group back then. :D

Oh god SO MUCH SCHOOL STUFF BEFORE THAT THOUGH UGH BUSY. But thank you for reading. :)

[identity profile] zining-ntc.livejournal.com 2011-12-30 12:43 am (UTC)(link)
You've left the previous cliffhanger vague enough that I was kinda expecting the somewhat less expected-- which is, Kurt heading out to meet someone other than Puck. But damn, that doesn't mean I wasn't desperately hoping to see some Puck-Kurt confrontation in this chapter. I could understand why the delay is necessary though. Puck needed to come to grips with his old memories first, and also his guilt over tormenting Kurt during their days at McKinley.

Wow. I wasn't expecting the degree of damage that Finn had done to Kurt. The mental block he had placed on Kurt had poisoned whatever remaining memories left to the extent that Kurt was actually convinced that his old relationship with Puck must have been an ugly, or even abusive, one. If Finn thought the fall out with Rachel over this incident was bad... wait till Puck confronts him.

And Blaine, go ahead and kick the guy while he's down, why don't you? Because that level of raw and painful honesty can't go unpunished. Tsk. However, I think Blaine redeemed himself by being the level-headed one to point out the flaws in Kurt's assumptions, and also to put the stops on Kurt's misguided attempt to prove his commitment to their relationship by rushing into a physical one.

The dynamic between Kurt and Sue is pure delight to watch. So is the image of Kurt being a badass ninja and chopping up evil aliens/demons/whatever those shadowy things were. I'll try to hold onto that cool image without thinking about how terrified he was, and how often he came close to screaming or passing out at various points of his encounter with the creatures. He's a baby superhero after all, so his reactions were understandable.

All hell breaks loose in the next chapter? Wonderful. Can't wait.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:49 am (UTC)(link)
The mental block he had placed on Kurt had poisoned whatever remaining memories left to the extent that Kurt was actually convinced that his old relationship with Puck must have been an ugly, or even abusive, one.

It definitely doesn't look good, does it? Kurt knows Puck started off awful in Lima, he apparently dated him earlier than that, and Finn thought he shouldn't see what they were like. That evidence is not promising.

Yeah, I didn't want to have Blaine be the perfect understanding boyfriend there from minute one, because 1) he's gone through a lot, too, even if not to the extent of the Awesomes and 2) when he previously shared his suspicions about Puck he got laughed at right to his face, and then he finds out that Kurt and Puck were in fact hot and heavy. Kick to the gut, right here. But he stepped up. :)

Mike floating off into space, Santana burning off her costume, Kurt shrieking as he makes his first kill: truly, they are heroes of legend. ;)

Thanks for reading!

[identity profile] kirai-slasher.livejournal.com 2011-12-30 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
I love this chapter...and I have to shamelessly beg for Puckurt. PLEASE GIVE MY OTP A CHANCE.

This chapter was amazing, and Puck's though process hurt, and FINN I WILL HURT YOU. Rachel was /so good she kind of redeemed herself for me/ and Kurt...I promise, your relationship was not what you now think it was. At least, according to the Prologue.

>.> I hate Blaine as a character in general so I'm going to not say anything about him in case that biases my views.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 08:51 am (UTC)(link)
Ha, everyone's ship has been in place for a looooooong time, across all the characters. :) But either way, there will definitely be more to come about what they were like in New York.

Thanks for reading!

[identity profile] frumiousme.livejournal.com 2011-12-30 10:51 am (UTC)(link)
ok, i don't like blaine in this fic because i feel like he's selfishly holding kurt back from his potential. at least sam and lauren are supportive of their friends and significant others. i kinda think he's...jealous? i know he's said it's because he's scared of losing kurt, which is fair enough, but he's not really considering the bigger picture (imagine if kurt decided to be in the army, or whatever. support him or leave him, but don't guilt him into not doing what he believes is right). i do feel sorry for him finding out that puck was kurt's first boyfriend, but i feel more sorry for puck and kurt. puck that he has these emotions and memories overlaid with himself being cruel to kurt, and kurt because he loved puck and had that ripped away from him first by shield then by finn along with the chance to really figure out what that all means *now*.

or, well...imho. i love the way you make me think, miggy :)

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:00 am (UTC)(link)
Well, from the authorial perspective he's a voice of reason; Kurt did start off talking about how he doesn't want to stab people in the throat and die before he even turned twenty, before he got a little enraptured by the memory of saving those women. It can be a violent life full of risks, collateral damage, and early deaths, and that should be addressed instead of just handwaved like Sam is doing with wanting to be a superpower with no real skills.

...While, simultaneously, if Kurt does go that way, Blaine should support him. :) He's just on the realism/cynicism side of things while people like Sam are waaaaaaay over on the idealism side. Obviously, some perspective is going to have to give a little before things are done. OR PEOPLE WILL JUST DIE.

(Which is not to say that people can't find that behavior totally annoying. Just explaining why Blaine is acting that way within a story perspective, and heck, Finn has story perspective reasons for why he's acting the way he's acting and everyone is shaking their fists at him. ;) )

I'm definitely going to have fun with Puck in the chapters to come. :)

Thanks for reading!

[identity profile] frumiousme.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:11 am (UTC)(link)
thanks for the great reply - i love when i can get a bit more author's insight into a story :)

[identity profile] sparkysparky.livejournal.com 2011-12-30 04:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I have so many feelings!!!!!!!! First off, EXCELLENT cliff hanger, following a FANTASTIC action sequence with Kurt and Sue. I just want them to go off and kill things together, lol.

Next, I am CONFLICTED over Puckurt and Klaine. I was prepared to be satisfied with Klaine, but now that Kurt seems to have chosen Blaine, I really want Puckurt. IT IS A CONUNDRUM.

Also, Puck's scenes broke my heart. Also, I have a feeling that Kurt and Finn's bio-dad wasn't the greatest guy around...and it makes me so grateful that Kurt ended up with Burt. :)

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:02 am (UTC)(link)
I just want them to go off and kill things together, lol.

I WOULD READ THAT COMIC BOOK.

It might only last four issues before Kurt says "FUCK. THIS." and storms off.

BUT I WOULD READ THOSE FOUR ISSUES.

Next, I am CONFLICTED over Puckurt and Klaine. I was prepared to be satisfied with Klaine, but now that Kurt seems to have chosen Blaine, I really want Puckurt. IT IS A CONUNDRUM.

Ha! I love this reaction. :)

it makes me so grateful that Kurt ended up with Burt. :)

For even more reasons than you've seen so far, so very, very yes to this. :) Thanks for reading!

[identity profile] astra-aurora.livejournal.com 2011-12-31 07:12 am (UTC)(link)
OMG this was the perfect thing to come back to after a five-day holiday with no Internet. It's brilliant. Thank you so much.

PUCK. That poor bastard, I want to hug him so much. And Finn, that idiot... I can't blame Rachel for what she did. And Kurt! He needs a hug too! They all need hugs! *hugs them all*

Also, when you say things will explode next chapter, do you mean literally? 'Cause I know I'd love some good explosions. *Mythbusters fan*

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:04 am (UTC)(link)
a five-day holiday with no Internet

I made a horrified little noise at this.

I really am putting people through the wringer. :) Even the people who've gotten off relatively easy so far are going to be whalloped with at least something in the chapters to come, although I obviously have my favorites to torture.

Also, when you say things will explode next chapter, do you mean literally? 'Cause I know I'd love some good explosions. *Mythbusters fan*

There will be progressively more physical damage as the story goes on, and I can think of some rillyrilly big booms to come.

Thanks!

[identity profile] astra-aurora.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 10:22 am (UTC)(link)
Explosions? Really big explosions? *squeals hysterically* I freaking love you!

Oh, and if you thought a five-day holiday with no Internet was bad, I've got a week-long holiday with no Internet next week. :) It'll be awesome. :p

[identity profile] cccarioca.livejournal.com 2011-12-31 05:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Way to go, Finn. You took a situation that was already pretty awful and somehow made it worse. This misguided heavy-handed arrogance has Season 3 Finn's stench all over it. Good for Rachel that her moral compass isn't completely on the fritz and she tried to explain how badly he'd fucked up (even though he didn't seem to get it).

Between Puck's pathos and heartbreak and Blaine acting too small to fit in Kurt's life, you're kind of making a Puckurt fan out of me. So of course I expect Puck to heroically throw his life away to save Kurt's, because you like hurting us. I still hope that against all odds, Puck and Kurt will both live and make it work.

I'm also rooting for Kurt to join SHIELD and become the next generation's Black Widow. (Ooooooh, and maybe join the Young Avengers as a reserve member?)

Will we see more Awesome superhero profiles on your tumblr? (I'm dying to see Kurt's and Sue's)

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:10 am (UTC)(link)
Finn really has just been there for much of this story, hasn't he? He has a good moment with the car in Columbus, and then a bad moment with the memory block, little else... and yet he's the co-captain. Time for him to step up, now that he's screwed up and Sam point that out. :)

Between Puck's pathos and heartbreak and Blaine acting too small to fit in Kurt's life, you're kind of making a Puckurt fan out of me. So of course I expect Puck to heroically throw his life away to save Kurt's, because you like hurting us. I still hope that against all odds, Puck and Kurt will both live and make it work.

Ha! Blaine is the REALIST in this story. (Which, admittedly, is a difficult role to be in when you are in the same story as a girl who turned a pillow into a goldfish.) Still, it was just a month ago that Kurt was convinced that heroics would get him killed young... Blaine might have the right idea in the end, despite being an occasional bucket of cold water.

At the same time, there's some appeal to the larger than life ~tragic love story full of comic book-only behaviors. :) So I'm glad to see people having opinions both ways on this, because it's been fun setting that up!

Will we see more Awesome superhero profiles on your tumblr? (I'm dying to see Kurt's and Sue's)

I will eventually, but I've been told by some people that they don't read WIPs because they want instant gratification, and I can't put photosets behind cuts. Sue's mere existence on a dossier is spoilery, as would be the "real name" and "alias" listing for Kurt and Finn. So they will probably wait until it's been completed. (I realized that I missed Santana, though, and can post her.)

Thanks for reading! :)

[identity profile] inyron.livejournal.com 2012-01-01 02:45 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, Finn. :( If you decided to write a sequel, I could see him becoming the Big Bad.

I suspected/hoped that Kurt wouldn't be heading to Puck's; I'm pleased to be right, not because he chose Blaine, but because Puck had a beautifully written flasback/scene, and Kurt not showing up was the cheery on the angst pie. And speaking of the flashback scene, I really hope we're going to get more about Kurt's bio dad, that was interesting.

And speaking of Kurt going to visit Blaine... Oh, Kuuurt. :( Finn really messed him up.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:12 am (UTC)(link)
Picturing Kurt trying to throw himself at Blaine just KILLS me. Finn did mess him up something fierce, there.

There will be more about the NYC families. :) For a lot of the kids, although not everyone will get in depth. I have to prune or I'll never finish; some things need to be restricted to side stories if I ever want to wrap this up!

Thanks for reading. :)

[identity profile] geoffrey-f.livejournal.com 2012-01-02 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
Perversely, I kind of feel sorry for Finn. It's not his fault that he apparently has no understanding of the violation he committed. (And he really, really doesn't, does he?) Having said that, wow, that was some violation. Poor Kurt. It made complete sense that he went to Blaine, who reacted moderately well, although I wanted to slap him for being jealous of Puck at this juncture. But I guess that's how these things work.

Sue being Kurt's mentor always works, and I loved the explanation of her changing attitudes towards ND. Maybe I should watch the show and imagine it's taking place in this verse, now? Everything might make a lot more sense. Anyway, you manage to write Sue to be constantly hilarious, but completely serious as well. Which is not easy, I'm sure.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:16 am (UTC)(link)
Finn did screw up massively here, and is going to have problems dealing with it until a moment in, uh... well, sometime in the next few chapters, I'm not sure exactly where it'll be most natural for it to fall. But yeah, he definitely tripped up and isn't exactly redeeming himself just yet.

Thanks for the Sue comments. :) I love writing her. I've pictured some specific scenes as taking place in this universe, and I've amused myself way too much over them. Heh.

Thanks for reading!

[identity profile] norickayer.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 12:39 am (UTC)(link)
I just found this fic via the recommendations at kurt-blaine.livejournal.com, and I read the whole thing over the past three days.
Holy shit, it's amazing. The characterizations are fantastic, none of the main cast feel flat or perfect, which is an issue in fanfiction. I love Rachel's reactions to everything- this (superhero-verse)is the perfect situation for her ambitions to bite her in the butt.
I appreciate the narrowing of focus on Kurt-centered storylines, if only because he's my favorite character.

I appreciate that Kurt didn't go see Puck, but I really wasn't expecting him to. When Kurt's overwhelmed, he runs away: we saw it in canon at the prom, and we saw it in this fic when he found out about his parents. Kurt is never running towards the source of the problem; he wants reassurance, whether its from his mother's grave or from his boyfriend.

Ok, I have to admit I'm rooting for Klaine (also I appreciate Blaine's little outburst in this chapter; probably in-character considering 3rd season). That doesn't matter, though, because I'm sure that no matter what turns Kurt's love life takes, this story will continue to be fantastic. Ultimately, the more important question in Kurt's life isn't Blaine versus Puck, it's "Will he continue to fight crime, and in what capacity?"
I'm heavily influenced by the super-hero genre in that I really want Kurt to save lives and help people. However, continuing "the Awesomes" looks like an objectively bad decision. Kurt is really, really good at being a ninja. Who says he can't be an agent like Misters Berry? Lower risk, and Kurt has no concern for fame like Rachel does.

[identity profile] miggy.livejournal.com 2012-01-03 09:24 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much! :)

none of the main cast feel flat or perfect, which is an issue in fanfiction

This is FANTASTIC to hear, thank you. I didn't want to arbitrarily lift anyone up or push them down to suit the plot; if they had a reaction that people find frustrating, I wanted to make it justified. Kurt started off obnoxious and whiny because he was soooo not into what was going on, Finn is making decisions for other people and hurting them, Blaine gets snappy when he gets frayed and has issues surrounding physical violence, Quinn can be cold and selfish, Artie is inappropriate and sometimes lacks self-confidence, Santana is... Santana, etc. I figure their good moments look better when they're compared against the worse ones. :)

I appreciate that Kurt didn't go see Puck, but I really wasn't expecting him to. When Kurt's overwhelmed, he runs away: we saw it in canon at the prom, and we saw it in this fic when he found out about his parents. Kurt is never running towards the source of the problem; he wants reassurance, whether its from his mother's grave or from his boyfriend.

I love this analysis. <3

Ultimately, the more important question in Kurt's life isn't Blaine versus Puck, it's "Will he continue to fight crime, and in what capacity?"

And this one. <3 <3

Thanks so much for reading, and for commenting! :) I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.