Series Title: 37 By 37
Title: Just The Ticket
Author: Restive Nature
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Buffy. They belong to Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I also do not own the rights to Glee. It belongs to it's creators and Fox. No infringement is intended and this fiction is for private enjoyment only.
Type: Humor (mild)
Summary: A new broom sweeping in might be just the ticket that William McKinley High needs.
Spoilers/ Time line: Post season 3 for BtVS. For Glee, Season 2, episode 6 “Never Been Kissed”.
Feedback: Always welcome!
Distribution: Ask first please.
A/N: I didn't want to mess around with time lines too much, since Glee takes place long after the Hellmouth in Sunnydale is destroyed. So I went with this idea instead. It seems to me that it might be the first in a series of ficlets. I guess I'll see how it's received.
Just The Ticket
A Glee/BtVS crossover
Kurt Hummel, openly gay student, member of Glee club and every day victim of bullying and abuse, stared at himself in the mirror of the boy's bathroom. It was not a place that he felt comfortable, but with the strict standard, make that double standard's, regarding a man's self perception of sexuality, he was not permitted to go where he felt comfortable. To go where he felt welcome.
The day had started off as usual and was just getting more craptastic by the minute. Complaining didn't seem to do any good. He and many others had complained long and loud to anyone that they thought would listen. All it got them was a hand on the shoulder and a sympathetic look that lasted as long as it took for the other person to mouth platitudes and pluckiness about hanging in there. And how it would get better one day.
Kurt needed it to get better now.
He wiped another tear that hovered on his smoothly rounded cheekbone and cleared his throat. He already knew that he was alone in the rest room. He wouldn't have stayed if he wasn't.
“I wish that we could have someone in this school's administration that would actually do something about the bullying,” he sighed aloud, voicing his desire, because maybe if he said it often enough, it would come true. “Someone that wouldn't back down from pressure from the teachers, or what other people thought of them. Someone who knows what it was like to have to live this kind of life. I wish...”
Kurt stared at himself for another moment longer. And then scoffed. Wishing in the mirror wasn't going to accomplish anything. Just as being himself and believing that better things to come would really happen in Lima, Ohio weren't going to accomplish anything. Putting one foot in front of the other and trying to survive. That was all he could do. Until something better came along.
Picking up his fashionable shoulder bag from the ledge that ran along the wall, because everyone knew better than to put anything other than your feet on the boy's bathroom floor, Kurt gave himself one last appraising gaze in the mirror and then turned away to head out for the first class of his day and another example of a long list of insults and injuries.
And while he left behind an empty room, his words had not fallen on deaf ears.
Several days later...
"And furthermore, Mr. Karofsky," the substitute principal sneered as he not quite towered over the no longer mocking Dave Karofsky, "if I hear so much as a whimper, moan, groan or hairy eyeball out of Mr. Hummel, I will not hesitate to suspend you! Do I make myself clear?"
"Uh, I don't think that you can hear a hairy eyeball," Kurt Hummel, openly gay student of William McKinley High School and one of the easiest marks of prey for bullies, spoke through his shock to offer. He had had no clue when he had been called out of his last class as to why he was being brought to the principals office. When he had seen Karofsky seated in one of the chair's before the man's desk, he wondered if perhaps the jock had admitted to assaulting Kurt in the boy's locker room when he had tried to stand up for himself.
"Can it, Hummel," the substitute principal snarled without sparing him a glance. "Well Karofsky?"
"Look Principal…" Dave's eyes flickered to the brass name plate that the man was sitting in front of, as he leaned against the front of the desk. "…Snyder?" he took a guess, being able see some of the letters. When the man didn't deny it, he went on. "I don't know what you saw, or think you saw-!"
"You, this morning, with a slushy, in your hand," the man almost crooned. "it doesn't take a genius to figure it out, alongside the appalling mass of evidence I have compiled on you perpetrators, to know that you intended the slushy missile for Mr. Hummel here, who I am quite sure has been bullied by you before. Not that I've seen it yet with my own eyes," he smirked, crossing his arms over his chest. "Just going with the statistics here, you understand."
"I tripped!" Dave protested, his gaze going from an attempt at innocent before the faculty member and a stink eye for Kurt, as if the young, effeminate male had been the one to go running to the principal with his sob story. He couldn't have been more wrong.
"I don't want to hear it Karofsky!" the man snapped. "If perhaps, you were on a football team that was heading somewhere instead of down the toilet, I might be persuaded to let things slide. But the hallmark of strict discipline in these hallways has been woefully lacking. Now, I may have been despised, hated, and on the short list of gruesome death threats at the last school I presided over, but we had much greater concerns than a little hallway bullying. You don't have those same excuses here and I have been sent by the higher powers to put these things to right. And I'm starting with you. You should always remember David,” Interim Principal Snyder leaned over Karofsky, more menacing than even that tyrant Coach Sylvester could ever hope to be, “you want to keep a secret? Don't post your plans on Facebook. You're hoisted on your own petard, as the saying goes. Now, get out of my office!"
With one last fulminating, murderous glance at Kurt, Dave Karofsky pushed up from his chair and stormed from the room. Kurt was unsure as to what came next, since usually with Principal Figgins, the one not in trouble received a wave of the hand to leave. Snyder, who had moved away from his name plate so that Kurt could see that Karofsky had been correct, fiddled with the strap of his messenger bag. "Principal Snyder, I…" he began, strangely at a loss for words. Ever since he had started at McKinley high, he had been subject to bullying. And so far, though the faculty had noticed things were off sometimes, none had ever stepped up like this.
It had been what he had wanted. And now, handed this... gift, he wasn't sure what to make of it.
"I mean it Hummel," Snyder spoke, his voice hard, his gaze on some papers now in his hands. "Zero tolerance for bullying. I've done my part, instigating this policy. But now you need to do your part. Educate yourself how to avoid it, do not instigate anything and if something does happen, tell me immediately. Whether anyone else sees it or not. I may have to suspend you in school if there's not proof one way or another, but what would you prefer?” He glanced up then and Kurt saw something, recognition of something deeper in the man than his cold demeanor suggested. "Would you rather a spotless record, or your life to continue beyond high school?"
"I… I don't…" Kurt stammered, on the verge of standing. The principal seemed to take a moment's pity on him And smiled in a sort of creepy way.
"Kurt, I grew up in Alaska," he told the young man. "I was not gay, I was not popular. I was mediocre. Imperfect home life, imperfect social life. And we didn't have slushies, we had slush balls. Every single day in my face until I finally graduated. How many times I wanted to kill someone or end it myself, I could not honestly tell you. Let's just say that after my last tenure as principal I've… seen the light. Don't let yourself be a victim and you never will be. Now, leave, I have a long afternoon's work ahead of me." He made a shooing motion and Kurt nodded before standing, donning his messenger bag and pulling open the clear glass door that separated the principals office from the reception room by his secretary's desk. As the door swung slowly shut behind him, he heard Principal Snyder on his intercom system to remind his secretary to contact Karofsky's father about getting his son into some therapy or anger management classes.
Kurt knew precisely why Dave Karofsky picked on him, bullied and hated on him. But he would never tell a soul. At least now, they might, just might see a change in this school. His steps were lighter, but he still had to goggle a little as Sue Sylvester stormed past him. But then stopped and spun to a half way stance to look back at him. "What's he like, Porcelain?" she demanded in that weary, dry, mocking tone she had, using the demeaning nickname she had stuck him with in her own fit of raging insincerity and vanity for her own superiority.
"Well," Kurt blinked several times as he considered the question. It must have been her first time meeting the new substitute principal and did anyone know why Figgins had decided to take this unexpected hiatus? Because the timing was very strange, to say the least. "He's… a mangy little troll like man with absolutely no fashion sense, no humor and the lowest tolerance for.. well, pretty much everything. Just my impression though." With a happy little jump to his step, he continued on his way as he heard Coach Sylvester muttering under her breath.
The phrase "breaking his hold" and "never met the likes of Sue Sylvester!" floated back to his ears, but Kurt had the strangest feeling that perhaps it was Sylvester that would be meeting her match this day.
He felt absolutely on top of the world as he made his way to the Glee Club room, his sanctuary at school and home away from home most days. He was surprised to see that he was the first student there, given that Snyder had called him in even before the last bell for the day had rung. Mr. Shuester was there, their director and mentor for the New Directions! Glee club at McKinley.
"Kurt, you're here!" Mr. Shue, as he was commonly and affectionately known around school and town, perked up.
"Hey Mr. Shue," Kurt greeted as he shed his bag and loosened the scarf from around his neck slightly. He was warm enough already and his vocal cords would be as well, once he'd had a moment to run through a few melodies. "What's going on?"
"You tell me," Mr. Shue demanded, his forehead creasing and his chin dimples deepening in his consternation. "I showed up and there was no one here. Where is everyone?"
"Well, I was asked down to Interim Principal Snyder's office," Kurt explained. "I can't say for anyone else."
"Is everything okay, Kurt?" Will Shuester moved forward to lay a hand gently on Kurt's shoulder. As usual, Mr. Shue's concern was a little too late, though sincere as usual. Kurt shrugged the hand off. He certainly admitted Will Shuester's pluck, good looks, dancing ability and passable voice, but this time… well this time he was glad that a new broom had come sweeping in.
"It is now Mr. Shue," he assured his teacher. "Principal Snyder has just decided to make a few changes that I for one, while abhorring his style in implementing them, must applaud his courageous effort in bringing this school out of the dark ages."
"What does that mean?" Mr. Shue's forehead crinkles deepened even as the static from the intercom system geared up. Instead of answering, Kurt turned his attention to the square box, located over the door to the room.
"William Shuester, please report to the Principal's office," the nasally voice of the school's main secretary rang out. "Will Shuester to the Principal's office."
"Mr. Shue," Kurt grinned, "I think you're about to find out. Good luck!" Kurt added with pep. Mr. Shue shook his head with a sigh and left the room. Kurt turned to the piano and started rifling through the music that the teacher had stacked there. Something lighthearted and hopeful, Kurt decided as he scanned the titles. That would be just the ticket today!