|kurtain (kurtain) wrote in mckinley_high,|
@ 2010-10-14 11:19:00
|Entry tags:||! thread, # character: emma pillsbury, # character: kurt hummel, * status: complete|
Who: Emma and Kurt
Where: Emma's Office
What: When Kurt nearly faints during woodshop due to a lack of sleep and appetite, Emma sits down with him and has a talk.
When: Wednesday, October 13, 3rd period
It happened during woodshop, quite possibly the worst class to faint in. Not that he fainted. After a brief 'this is where your projects should be at by now' lecture lasting five minutes, the class got up to continue their work. Kurt got up too quickly and his vision blacked out. He stumbled, swaying, and collapsed against one of the benches, gasping as he clutched the counter and tried to will his spinning head to stop.
“I'm fine,” Kurt had protested as the shop teacher caught his arm and all but dragged him out of class, but his staggering steps and inability to walk straight were testaments to his not-fineness. The teacher left him with the nurse, who took his temperature and blood pressure (99 degrees, not quite a fever, and really quite low blood pressure). She wanted to call his parents to send him home, but that wasn't possible. His mother was dead and his father was in a coma. Unsure of how to handle that situation, the nurse had sent him on to the guidance counselor. For some guidance.
And that was why Kurt was sitting in Miss Pillsbury's office, his head drooping, feet and legs pressed together, hands tense in his lap. “I'm fine,” he insisted again, even though he knew no one would believe him. Makeup could cover the dark circles under his eyes, but nothing would hide the haggard exhaustion that had been slowly dragging him down all week.
"You're fine?" Emma said slowly. She seemed to question each word. "Then why did you faint? I know that what is going on...with your father...must be hurting you, but you still have to take care of yourself."
“I didn't faint,” Kurt said, lifting one hand to rub at his eyes. He stopped before he touched his face, though, not wanting to disturb the concealer he was wearing, so he reached up to fix his bangs instead. “I stood up too fast. That's all.”
Emma raised an eyebrow. "Right." She nodded. "Your teacher told me that swaying and that you couldn't focus on anything. While that might not be a 'real' faint to you..Kurt, to everyone around you it is still worrisome. The best thing for you to do right now is to concentrate on maintaining your own strength." She paused. Cautious of what she was about to say. "Is there anyone that I can call to come get you?" Emma squirted some germ-x on her hands. "Who are you staying with?"
“I'm fine,” Kurt mumbled, closing his eyes again. “I... I'm staying at home. I don't need to... maybe if I just lie down for a bit. I haven't been sleeping well. That's probably why I... swayed.” Hadn't been eating well, either, but Kurt really didn't want Miss Pillsbury to hand him a pamphlet on anorexia. He wasn't anorexic. He just wasn't hungry.
Emma looked down at her desk. She didn't have a pamphlet for how to handle yourself while your father was in the hospital. She made a mental note to try and find one. "Kurt, I know this is hard. It's a lot for a teenage boy to handle, but you obviously aren't fully in school." Emma seemed to remember something. "Wait, you're staying home? Alone?" She felt her eyes widen.
“I... no!” Kurt looked up sharply, taking note of Miss Pillsbury's even bigger than usual eyes, and shook his head. Oooh. Mistake. He winced, reaching up to massage his temple. “My... my aunt Mildred. Dad's sister. Is staying with me.”
"Then let me call her, Kurt." Emma stood from her desk and moved to sit next to the chair beside Kurt. "You aren't alone in this. You have your friends. All of glee club. We'll all willing to help you."
“She can't drive,” Kurt said. “So it wouldn't do any good to call her anyway.”
“I just... really, Miss Pillsbury. I'm just tired. I'm sure if I just... managed to take a nap, I'd be fine.” Kurt shifted uncomfortably as Miss Pillsbury sat beside him, his gaze falling on her feet. Adorable Mary Janes. Blue. Very cute. Thankfully, Kurt didn't have anything in his stomach he could throw up to ruin them.
"Okay." Emma uncrossed her legs.
She decided to take a different approach. "What has the doctors said about your father? About his condition?"
Kurt shrugged one shoulder. “Until he wakes up, they won't know the extent of the damage. If he wakes up.” He bit his lip, shifting his gaze to his own shoes, his favorite black Doc Martins.
"How are you doing with his condition?" Emma grimaced. Worst question, Emma. "I'm sorry. That was a dumb question."
She couldn't help but panic. She usually took a pamphlet and let the student leave, but Kurt was a part of Glee club. He was part of her group. Her kids. "Is school going well? I know that you signed up for the ACT and SAT."
“I'm fine,” Kurt answered dully, twisting one foot to tap the heels of his boots together. There's no place like home... But he didn't have ruby slippers, and wishing wouldn't make things better. “How else could I be? School is fine. Aside from... aside from this week, I've been keeping my grades up, doing my homework, being a good boy.” There was a slight bitter twist to his mouth as he spoke, wondering if Miss Pillsbury genuinely cared or was just going through the paces. “I'm planning on taking the ACT and SAT multiple times to get the best possible score. I will-” be going to college... He always finished this sort of thinking with that statement, a definitive 'I am escaping this town.' Except it wasn't so definitive anymore. Everything hinged on his father's health. If his dad died... well, if his dad died, his grandmama in New York would take him in. He'd be gone from Lima a lot sooner than he had planned, leaving all his friends behind. And if his dad recovered but with some sort of paralysis, with some need for a nurse, Kurt would be staying to take care of him. He knew enough about cars to make a living at the garage, even if that wasn't his dream. “I would like to go to college out of state,” he corrected quietly.
"Kurt, shoot for your dreams." Emma said under her breath. "If you want something...go for it. I have...faith...that your father will make a full recovery." She smiled softly at the young distressed teen. "Your grades have always been flawless, getting a high ACT/SAT score will ensure you that you can get out of Ohio. If that is what you want." Emma almost laughed. Every teen in Lima, Ohio wanted to get far away from Ohio.
“My father comes first,” Kurt said quietly. “If he needs me to stay, then I will.”
"Your father wouldn't want that, Kurt." She grimaced. "But I think you know that. He only wants you to be happy."
Kurt gave a mute shake of his head, closing his eyes again at the fresh wave of dizziness. “If he needs me, I won't go anywhere.”
Emma took a deep breath, and did something that a year ago would have never happened...Emma placed her hand on top of Kurt's gently. "You don't deserve this." She wasn't sure if Kurt would reciprocate her gesture or not.
Kurt stared at Miss Pillsbury's hand, shocked that the germaphobic guidance counselor had actually initiated contact with him. It was a tiny gesture, just a touch, and Kurt had had plenty of hugs and squeezed shoulders and hands on his arms since his father collapsed, and yet... yet...
Sucking in a breath, Kurt bit his lip sharply, his shoulders giving a shudder as he fought back a sob. A tear slid down his cheek, falling onto his Calvin Klein skinny jeans.
"Kurt." Emma felt herself tear up. "It's okay to be sad. You don't always have to be so strong. I'm..." She took a deep breath in, then released. "I'm just a guidance counselor. I don't meet with each kid everyday so often times it is hard to have a good relationship with each one." She didn't have a talking relationship with any of them actually. "But I want you to know. I'm here...anytime you need to talk. Or cry."
“I can't,” Kurt whispered, reaching up quickly to wipe at the damp trail on his face. “I can't cry. Not here. Not like this. If... if anyone finds out... K- Az- there are people here who would rip me to shreds if there's even a hint of weakness. I can't. I have to...” He couldn't even finish a sentence, his voice choked with the tears he was struggling to fight back.
"Everyone needs to cry sometimes." Emma took a deep breath in thinking about her own situation. Everyone did cry. "There comes a time in life where things are too much. I think having a father that just had a heart attack is one of those times."
“I can't!” Kurt repeated, driving his fist against his thigh. “I can't, I can't, I can't...” But he was, shoulders shaking as the sobs bubbled up unbidden.
For once in her job career, Emma placed the teen in front of her own comfort. She moved her chair closer and opened her arms to Kurt. Either he could resist or he could get the comfort that she could tell he wanted. He seemed like a little boy lost with no one to help him through to the other side. "I'm so sorry, Kurt."
Kurt stared in shock at Miss Pillsbury through his tears. Was she really offering him a hug? Miss Pillsbury!?
He couldn't do that to her. He had some sawdust on his clothes still from woodshop, and he was a wet, soppy messy from his tears. She might be offering, but he couldn't accept.
He did, however, clutch at her hand as he bowed his head, struggling to get his emotions back in check.
Emma didn't take offense to Kurt's obvious decline of her hug. Instead, she placed a shy hand on his back. This was one of those times that she wished her walls weren't glass. "It's going to be okay."
“You can't know that,” Kurt whispered. “No one can...” Already, his sobs had stopped. He reached up, wiping at his eyes and shook his head. “Until he wakes up... if he wakes up, no one can possibly tell me it's going to be okay and mean it.”
She wasn't sure how she could help him. "You're right. No one truly knows, but what I do know is that you have a support system right here at school. They are very worried about you. I know that it is hard to focus on the good things in life right now, but if you do they will help you." Emma smiled encouragingly. "Because there is life after this experience. After this moment, life will be completely different. Life is brilliant like that. It never stays the same, and we need to learn to live through our experiences. Accept the ramifications and keep going. It's hard and it will take time, but while you are still struggling you have friends that will always support you. In everything you do."
“I'd rather have a father.” Kurt's voice was flat and emotionless, and he leaned forward to snag a tissue out of the box on Miss Pillsbury's desk to dab at his face. “I'd give up all my friends to keep him.”
"And that's okay." Emma smiled. "You'll always be closer to your father, but unfortunately, life doesn't let you choose." Emma nodded. "I think you just really need someone to help you let this emotion out. It's causing you to faint...which is probably brought on from lack of sleep and bad eating habits. I'm not blaming you, Kurt, because believe me. I know. It's easy to forget lunch and dinner when your worried over something..." She failed to tell Kurt that hers was not over the germs that could be covering her entire house. "...and it's often really hard to go to sleep. Talking to someone will help that."
“I haven't been forgetting to eat,” Kurt said quietly. “I just haven't had any appetite. And I can't sleep, much as I try...” He twisted the damp tissue between his fingers, swallowing around the thick lump that seemed to have made a permanent home in his throat.
"Kurt, it's the same concept." She smiled sadly. "You need to keep yourself well. The last thing you want is for your father to wake up and for you to be sick from dehydration, right?"
Kurt ducked his head and closed his eyes, saying nothing.
Emma nodded. She had her answer. "Kurt, I want you to know that my door is always open for you. Whenever you need someone to talk to...I'm here."
“Thank you, Miss Pillsbury,” Kurt murmured, more out of politeness than out of any true desire to come in and talk. He was managing just fine on his own, really.
But while he was being polite... “I'm... um... I'm really sorry I threw up on your shoes last year...”
"Oh...those old things?" Emma smiled. "Don't worry about it, Kurt." She almost cringed. Her favorite pair of J.Crew Mary Janes. She needed new ones.
“They were adorable,” Kurt said, lifting his head to look distraughtly at Miss Pillsbury. “J.Crew, were they?”
"They were!" She grinned. "I have a slight obsession with clothing from there."
“I have a slight obsession with clothing,” Kurt replied, looking down and smoothing his fingers over his jeans. “I could... um... buy you a replacement pair?”
"Oh, goodness no." Emma waved her hand.
“No, really, I can,” Kurt said, reaching out and stopping himself before he touched the counselor, gripping the arm of her chair instead. “I've been feeling horribly guilty about that every time I've seen you for the past year, and it's not like I can't afford a new pair. I could even... well... it would be weird to take you out shopping for them, I suppose. Since you're a teacher. Sort of...”
"We..." Emma glanced down. If she went shopping with a student it would be highly inappropriate, but if it helped him relax... "You don't have to buy my a new pair. I forgive you. Really."
“If you're really sure...” Kurt said slowly, looking down at their feet again, wondering what size shoe she wore. He had seen enough of Miss Pillsbury's outfits to have a decent idea of her preferred style, and if he could just determine her shoe size, perhaps he could go ahead and buy her a pair anyway. She was allowed to accept gifts from students, right? Rachel gave Mr. Schu that tie last year, so...
"I'm sure." Emma smiled. It could be fun shopping with Kurt. He definitely had a fabulous style. Will took Finn out to eat...
“Well... if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me,” Kurt said, offering Miss Pillsbury a tight smile, drawing his hand back to his own lap.
"I do." Emma laughed nervously. "Should I write you an excuse for your next class?"
Kurt nodded. “I have... English next period. But... could I just lie down in the nurse's office instead? And see how I'm feeling after lunch?”
"Of course." Emma leaned over her desk and grabbed a piece of paper. She quickly wrote down a note for the nurse. "Give this to the nurse."
“Thank you,” Kurt said, dabbing at his eyes one more time before he rose to his feet. “I suppose we're done here, then?”
"Yes. Thank you for coming by, Kurt." Emma smiled gently.
Kurt offered Miss Pillsbury a twitch of a smile before he squared his shoulders and took a deep breath, gathering his composure back around him like a suit of armor. He left her office with his head held high, unwilling to show the weaknesses that had brought him there in the first place.