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Glee Fic: A Thousand Paper Cranes

Deal With It
Title: A Thousand Paper Cranes
Author: lookninjas
Fandoms: Glee
Pairing/Character(s): Wes, Kurt, Blaine, David, Finn, Nick, Karofsky
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Word Count: 5378
Spoilers: Up through episode 2.11, "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle"

Standard-Issue Short-Form Disclaimer: I do not hold copyright to Glee, make no claims to such, and am not profiting from this. I also do not hold copyright to Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Song lyrics in the fic come from Superstar by Lupe Fiasco.

Summary: On the third Friday of every month, Wes sits in the basement of a community center in Columbus, drinks cheap coffee, folds paper cranes, and waits for the phone to ring.

Author's Notes: This takes place at the same time as Pick Up Right Where We Left and incorporates some of the same incidents, but I think it still makes sense even if you haven't read that story. That was the goal, anyway. (If you do choose to read that fic first, please check the warnings.)



Friday, 4:05 pm


Most Dalton students are more comfortable in uniform than they are out of it. Wes is no exception to this. He knows that people look at him differently when he's wearing his blazer and tie; as a matter of fact, he looks at himself differently when he's in them. He carries himself straighter, keeps his gaze steady, speaks with authority and confidence. He makes decisions and gives advice. He is a leader in that uniform.

And that's why, on the third Friday of each month, he heads back to his room immediately after classes to change out of the Dalton uniform and into his favorite jeans, his old Science Olympiad t-shirt, and a battered pink hoodie that tells the world that I Ran For The Cure!

In five and a half hours, he'll be in the basement of a community center in Columbus, drinking cheap coffee, folding paper cranes, and waiting for the phone to ring. And when it does (and it always does, eventually), the person on the other end of that line won't be looking for a leader -- they won't want to talk to a member of the Warblers' senior council, or the vice president of the Debate Society, or the chairman of the Dalton Young Democrats. They won't want his politely framed suggestions or careful advice. They just want someone who can listen to them.

Of course, Wes could probably do that with or without his uniform. Still, it feels easier without the weight of his Dalton blazer on his shoulders, the tie looped securely around his neck, the starch of his collar and cuffs. More than just easy -- it feels... it feels right, somehow.

Any other day of the month, he might question that feeling, analyze it and break it down until he could say exactly why he prefers the vulnerability of a sweatshirt and jeans to the solid suit of armor that Dalton has given him. On the third Friday of the month, though, he doesn't bother with analysis. He simply lets himself be who he is, and hopes that it will be enough.


*


Wes has never been very good at recognizing people's voices, at least not over the phone. He has a decent ear for pitch and tone and harmony, knows when the tenors need to pull back and the baritones need to give a little more and when Flint is going flat again and needs to pay more attention, thank you, but when it comes to attaching a face to those voices? He's lost.

So when Kurt asks him, "But have you ever... I mean, you've never had to talk to someone you know, right? At the crisis line?" all he can do is laugh and shrug and say that he doesn't think so, but if he did, he probably would be the last to know.

Then the doors to the senior commons swing open in the midst of Warblers rehearsal, and Wes realizes that he wasn't entirely correct.

It's not that Wes recognizes Dave Karofsky's voice, but there's still something familiar about him, about his presence. It immediately makes Wes think of the calls he gets sometimes, sitting in that community center on the third Friday of every month. The person on the other end of the line never speaks, just breathes into the phone. It's not the heavy breathing of an obscene caller, nothing that deliberate, just the quiet push and pull of inhaling, exhaling, inhaling again. Most of his fellow volunteers hang up on these silent calls within the first minute; Wes, for some reason, keeps talking, trying to coax the caller into saying something, anything at all. It's yet to yield him any results. No matter how often or how earnestly he says "There's nothing to be afraid of. I'm not here to judge you. I just want to listen. You can talk to me," the response is always the same -- stony silence, followed by the soft click of the phone hanging up, followed by a dialtone.

Really, he has no way of knowing that the mystery caller is Dave Karofsky. The person on the other end of the line could be male or female, young or old. But there's something about those calls, the way they're always just a little too long to be a simple prank, the way the breath hitches sometimes in what might be a smothered sob (Are you crying? Is something wrong? You can tell me anything, you know. I'm here to help you.), the way the caller sighs just before hanging up. It speaks of a certain sort of desperation, the same way that Karofsky's sudden appearance at Dalton seems desperate. It is, in its own way, almost like a cry for help.

It should probably make Wes feel more sympathetic towards Karofsky.

It doesn't, though. Not in the slightest.

If anything, it makes him even angrier.

Still, he does what he needs to to keep the situation under control. He holds Blaine back when his temper gets the better of him. He (somewhat grudgingly) allows Kurt to have a private confrontation with his bully as long as the two of them stay within earshot. Once Kurt and Karofsky are in the hallway, he leaves David to stand guard, before shooing the others away in an attempt to forestall any eavesdropping. Then he leans against the wall next to Blaine -- Blaine is shaking a little, eyes closed, obviously fighting to get himself under control -- and waits.

The room is quiet. Blaine's breathing, a little unsteady, makes Wes think once more of his mystery caller.

Five minutes has never passed so slowly.


*

Friday, 5:23 p.m.


It's not until he's gotten his dinner and is heading towards their usual table in the dining hall that Wes realizes: Kurt has never seen him in street clothes. It makes him wonder what Kurt was imagining, what he might have expected.

He doubts it involved quite this much pink. The expression on Kurt's face is priceless.

Then Kurt takes a deep breath, pulls himself together, and offers Wes a bland "Oh. I didn't realize it was Casual Friday," with only a raised eyebrow to indicate his disapproval.

Blaine lets out a choked noise, somewhere between amusement and horror; David starts to snicker. Wes is the only one to laugh outright; he sets his tray down on the table, pulls at his sweatshirt with one hand, meets Kurt raised-eyebrow for raised-eyebrow, and asks "What? Not my color?"

Kurt brightens just a little bit, a cautious smile creeping onto the corners of his mouth. "I wouldn't say that," he says, diplomatic in the extreme. "It's a bold choice, that's all."

Wes shrugs and sits down, still smiling. Bold, he thinks. He doesn't hear that one a lot. "It's my night at the crisis line," he explains. "I like to be comfortable."

"Oh!" Kurt says, face falling. He stares down at his tray. "Sorry. I didn't... I didn't know."

"It's all right," Wes says, quickly, wishing he'd thought of a better way to say that. Kurt is curiously reverent when it comes to the topic of the crisis line and what Wes does there; Wes suspects that when it's time for Kurt to put in his Dalton-mandated community service hours, the crisis line is the first place Kurt will go. Ordinarily, he'd be worried by that -- he knows that many of the calls that the crisis line gets will hit home for Kurt in a way they never could for Wes himself, but he honestly thinks that Kurt can handle it. In fact, with a little time and training, he thinks Kurt could be amazing.

It's not something they're ready to talk about, though, not yet.

Wes changes the subject. "We don't usually get to have dinner with you on Fridays. Are you heading home later tonight, or are you actually sticking around for the weekend?"

"Sticking around," Kurt says, immediately. He doesn't look any happier. In fact, he looks stressed, lips thinned out, deep lines between his eyebrows. "I've... Well. I've got a lot to get done. And it's quieter here."

Wes keeps smiling at him, even though Blaine is biting his lip, and David is frowning in a worried sort of way. Nobody really knows what Kurt told his father about Karofsky's surprise visit to Dalton, or what his father did with that knowledge. Kurt went home that weekend and came back even more subdued than he had been when he left, pale and quiet and out of sorts with everyone, even Blaine; he hasn't mentioned Karofsky, McKinley, or even his own family since then. Not, of course, that Wes has asked him about it. Whatever happened, it's Kurt's story to tell, and he'll tell it in his own time. If he wants to avoid the subject for now, Wes isn't going to force him.

Still, Kurt is a friend, not an anonymous caller to the help line, and Wes feels like it wouldn't be too terrible of him to reach out in another way. "Well, if you're not too busy, you can come have breakfast with us when my shift is over," he suggests. "There's a place we go to in Columbus -- it's not great, but the coffee is decent, and they don't rush you."

It's always interesting to watch Kurt's face changing. He lifts his head a little, looking Wes in the eye, and the lines between his eyes start slowly smoothing out as he says, "I'd like that." Then his eyebrows draw together again, perplexed. "One question, though, if I may? Doesn't your shift end at, like, two in the morning?"

"Three, actually," Wes says, mildly.

Kurt stares at him. "So how do -- I mean, aren't the dorms locked down by then? How are we supposed to--"

Wes and Blaine both look at David, who shrugs. "There are ways," he drawls, settling back in his chair and folding his arms across his chest, obviously trying to look mysterious. It doesn't really work for him, but Wes has yet to convince him of this.

Kurt snorts, but he sounds amused. "So," he says, letting that one word hang in the air. Dramatic. "You're inviting me to break out of the dorms after curfew and go hang out in an all-night diner in Columbus? While wearing pink?" His face is brighter than it's been for a long time, and Wes feels something relaxing inside of him, something that he hadn't known was tense. He's always considered Kurt to be a friend, of course, but he hadn't quite realized just how much he worried about him until just now. "I'm in."


*


David and Nick fall into step with Wes as he turns back towards the main building. It's a little interesting that it's David and Nick, not David and Thad, but honestly, it's probably better this way. Thad and Kurt have never been particularly close, and Nick is Kurt's friend; he'll have his best interests at heart, which is the only thing that really matters right now.

"You know that dude wasn't lying," David says, pushing the double doors open. The hall is mostly empty; those few students still lingering in the hallway watch the returning Warblers with puzzled expressions; they know something's happened, but they don't know what. Wes wonders, absently, how Karofsky found their rehearsal in the first place; did he just get lucky? Did he follow the sound of voices singing? Or did someone, some privileged porcelain bird with no idea what Kurt was running from when he came to Dalton, actually give him directions?

Wes knows that all of the Warblers will be keeping a sharp eye out for unfamiliar students in McKinley letterman's jackets now. Still, there are only sixteen of them, and that's counting Kurt, not to mention Wes himself. Dalton is a small enough school, but still. Sixteen Warblers doesn't feel like enough, not anymore.

You might want to tell Hummel that his brother's been giving his address out. You know, just in case he gets any more visitors.

Of course, there's no real reason for Wes to be worried about a sudden influx of McKinley students coming to intimidate them. It takes a certain level of obsession for a bully to follow his target from place to place; he's relatively certain that Karofsky is the only one of Kurt's tormentors who's that unhinged. And Karofsky's claimed that he has no interest in coming back to Dalton.

Still, though.

"I know," Wes says, and keeps his head up, eyes focused forward. "I'm not convinced that Kurt's brother was handing out directions, not the way Karofsky implied he was, but he had to get the name Dalton from somewhere. It wouldn't shock me to find out that Finn Hudson was the source."

"Then I don't get it," Nick blurts out, frowning. "If he's not lying, then why would you --"

"I'm going to talk to Kurt now," Wes announces, quietly. His hand is still curled around the broken cake topper in his pocket, rescued from the parking lot for reasons that Wes can't identify, not even to himself. "I'm going to convince him to go to the Dean, which won't be easy. Then I'm going to try to talk him into calling his father, which will be much, much harder. If he thinks for a second that his brother is somehow involved in this..." Wes doesn't finish the sentence. He doesn't need to. All of the Warblers know how loyal Kurt can be.

Nick's shoulders slump and he jams his hands in his pockets. "Jesus," he mutters. "This sucks."

"No kidding." Wes takes a deep breath. "Look, I really don't think this was malicious. We saw Kurt's brother at Sectionals; he's not a bad guy, and it's obvious that he cares about Kurt. I don't think he did this on purpose. And even if he did... Once Kurt's dad gets involved, that should be enough to scare anyone off." He glances up at David, hoping to see some sort of agreement on his face.

David looks thoughtful. He sighs, running his hand over his head, an unusually nervous gesture. "I don't think Finn did this on purpose either," he admits, finally. "I just... Kurt's not at Dalton every minute of every day, and there isn't always going to be a Warbler to act as his bodyguard. If his own brother doesn't realize that he can't go dropping Kurt's whereabouts in front of that psychopath Karofsky, how is he supposed to keep him safe? He needs to start taking this seriously, Wes."

Wes comes to a stop in front of the doors of the senior commons. He rests his hands on the wood, bowing his head for just a moment. Kurt and Blaine are on the other side of that door, waiting for it to be safe again, waiting for it to be over. He wants so badly to be able to mean it when he says that everything's all right. "I know," he murmurs, quietly. He glances over at David, then back at Nick, hovering behind them. "I'll take care of it, all right? Just... please, be discreet? For now?"

After a hesitant silence, they both nod. It's not really reassuring, but it's all Wes is going to get. He straightens his shoulders, adjusts his tie, and goes in to talk to Kurt.


*


Friday, 10:53 pm


His mother sends him origami paper, but Wes never uses it. He prefers his yellow legal pads, the pages ripped out and then carefully creased and torn into nearly-perfect squares. The edges always wind up a little ragged, but he likes it better that way.

"Have you ever heard of Sadako Sasaki?" he asks, turning his half-finished crane over, making new folds, sharpening them with a careful press of his fingers. "There's this children's book: Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. A friend of my mother's gave it to me one year for Christmas. It's supposed to be a true story -- mostly true, anyway. Apparently they fudged a few things to make it more... I don't know. Poignant, or something. Give it a better moral. But Sadako was a real person. She was living in Hiroshima when they dropped the bomb; I think she was two or three? Very young, anyway."

He pauses, giving the caller a chance to speak. There's nothing, of course. Just breathing in, breathing out.

"She wound up with leukemia, from all the radiation exposure. Somehow, she got it in her head that if she folded a thousand paper cranes, she'd be granted one wish. It's traditional, apparently. Cranes are supposed to be lucky. And she wanted to live -- of course she wanted to live, she was only twelve -- so she started folding. It was the one thing she could do to cure herself. She'd use paper her friends brought her from school, wrapping paper from other patients' get-well presents, whatever she could find. According to the book, she died before she managed to fold a thousand.

"It's not true, though. I looked it up. She folded the full thousand cranes, and then kept going. And then she died anyway."

Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in again.

"I guess I can see why they changed it," Wes says. He pushes the wings down into position, and there it is, another origami crane. It's maybe a little lopsided; he's done better. But it's only his first for the night, after all. He always gets better as he goes along. "It is a children's book. I'm sure they wouldn't want to end it with Sadako reaching her goal only to realize that wishes aren't actually real. That's pretty bleak." He laughs, although he knows it isn't funny. The caller doesn't make a sound. "Still, though. I mean, she had something to do, right? She wasn't just laying there waiting to die. She had a goal; she had something that made her feel productive, something she could accomplish. How is that such a terrible thing?"

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The paper crane wobbles on the table. It's only eleven p.m., but Wes is already tired. It's going to be a long night.

"I've only got four shifts left, you know," he adds, keeping his voice quiet. His supervisor is out smoking a cigarette; the other volunteer working the late shift is busy at the other side of the room, and it's really just him, his paper cranes, and the mystery caller. Still, he knows he's not supposed to offer up this kind of personal information. If he gets caught, that's a lecture from the supervisor, possibly even retraining, and his time at the crisis line is limited. He doesn't want to waste a second of it.

"I'm graduating in June. I'll be at Harvard by late August. So, really, if you had anything you needed to say to me, now would be a good time."

The caller lets out a startled sound, something almost like a laugh. Then he says "Fuck you," and slams the phone down.

Wes has never been very good at recognizing people's voices over the phone. He has no way of knowing whether or not that was actually Dave Karofsky.

It does seem like something he'd say, though.

Wes sighs, reaches for his legal pad, and tears out a fresh sheet of paper.


*


Wes never intended to be the official Warblers' spokesperson.

Honestly, he never even wanted to be on the council. He's already vice-president of the Debate Club, Chairman of the Dalton Young Democrats. He edits the political section of the Dalton newspaper. He has plenty of solid leadership experience to dress up his college applications with. And it would have been nice, just for once, to let go of responsibility and just be part of the team. He thinks he would have enjoyed that. He really does.

But then it came time to elect the Warblers' senior council, and of course, his was the first name called. He supposes that he could have declined the nomination, but everyone was looking at him with expectant eyes and he didn't have the heart to disappoint them. Everything after that point was just a formality. Wes took over the Warblers as soon as he nodded his head and said "I accept."

And now he's here, because someone has to be here, and it might as well be him. But he never planned on this.

(Which is not to say that he doesn't feel a small sense of satisfaction watching Finn Hudson's eyes bug out of his head when he tips the broken pieces of the wedding cake topper out onto the table and says, "I'm not hear to talk about Regionals. I'm here to talk about Dave Karofsky." Because he does. It's not an overpowering emotion; it certainly doesn't ease the sting of knowing that Kurt will still be quiet and tense tomorrow, alternating between bouts of snappishness and unnervingly meek behavior, and just when he was starting to finally get comfortable at Dalton. But he feels he should at least acknowledge this -- yes, there is some satisfaction to be found here.)

"I... um..." Finn fidgets uncomfortably, looks around like he's hoping someone will come save him. "Yeah, Kurt said something about... um... You know, that he -- that Karofsky -- showed up at Dalton, the other day, and... um..."

Wes doesn't shout -- they're in public, at a coffee shop that Blaine and Kurt frequent, and if he causes a scene, word will inevitably go back to them. Wes has worked hard to keep them from finding out about Finn's involvement in this whole debacle, and he's not about to let that work go to waste just because he can't keep his temper. He folds his hands on the table, levels Finn with a hard stare, and when he speaks, he is very, very quiet and very, very firm. "Finn," he says. "Karofsky told me that you sent him. Why would he say that?"

"I didn't! I mean, I would never --" Wes's gaze never falters, and Finn drops his eyes to the tabletop. "I was gonna go with him," Finn mumbles, shifting in his chair. "You know, so he could... apologize."

"Apologize," Wes repeats, his voice flat. It's almost funny, really. Or it would be funny, if he hadn't seen Kurt's face when Karofsky burst into the common room, the way all color and life had drained away and left him shaking. That wasn't funny at all.

"Well... I mean... Like, because he was on the glee club, and he was really good -- I mean, he didn't want to admit it, but it was obvious, and I thought -- I mean he doesn't have to be the bully forever, right? He could change. He just needed to -- I just wanted to help."

There are so many things that Wes wants to say to that. He's really not sure where to start. Finally, he settles on, "Did Karofsky say that he wanted to apologize?"

Finn is turning very red now, and it's obvious that he's embarrassed. "No, but like I said, he was in the glee club, so I thought --"

Wes leans in a little bit, not attacking, just pushing, just a little bit. "And did you ever have a reason to think that Kurt would even want an apology from him?"

"He never said... But he forgave me! And Puck! I mean, so I figured he'd --"

"But you're not Karofsky, Finn," Wes says, firmly. Part of him wishes that he could be surprised to find out that Kurt was once bullied by his stepbrother, but the truth is, he stopped being surprised by these things a long time ago. "And Kurt doesn't have to forgive anyone just because he forgave you. That's not how it works."

"I..." Finn folds his hands in his lap and stares at the table. He's like a child, really. Wes might as well be sitting across the table from one of his cousins. Except that what is acceptable behavior for a seven year-old is not appropriate at the age of seventeen, and Wes has to wonder how Finn's been allowed to get away with this for so long. "I just wanted to help."

Wes takes a breath and attempts with all of his might to look patient, to speak in a calm, level tone. It's not the easiest thing he's ever done. "I appreciate that," he says, quietly. It's a total lie, of course, but Finn doesn't know him well enough to know that, and probably isn't bright enough to figure it out anyway. "But you're not helping him if you don't actually know what he needs. You need to pay attention --"

"Pay attention to what?" Finn's voice is defiant, but his eyes are still focused on the table. It's been at least five minutes since he last managed to look Wes in the face. "Kurt never tells me anything! How am I supposed to know what he wants if he never even talks to me?"

"He is talking," Wes snaps, and Finn's head jerks up. And Wes knows that he'll regret this later, losing his temper like this (and in public, no less), but he can't help himself. Because he remembers the way Kurt sat, stiff and contained and controlled, as Wes explained the procedures in place for getting Karofsky permanently banned from Dalton's campus, who they would need to talk to, what they would need to say (if you want to, Kurt, only if you want to). He remembers how skillfully Kurt kept all emotion from his face.

He also remembers the way Kurt looked at him when he offered to let him talk to the Dean in private, a wordless plea to just stay. The little look of gratitude Kurt got on his face when Wes and David walked him across campus the next morning. Kurt doesn't always talk, but he's more or less an open book, and if Finn hasn't figured that out yet, well.

Wes has nothing left to say.

"He is talking," he repeats, standing up and pushing his chair in. "You need to learn how to listen."

Then he turns and walks away, leaving the broken wedding cake topper on the table behind him.


*


Saturday, 5:46 a.m.


There was a time when Wes used to leave the crisis line, get into his car, and drive straight back to Westerville without so much as stopping for one last cup of coffee.

This was back when he first started, back when he didn't bother to change out of his Dalton uniform before heading off for his shift, just left the blazer and tie in his car and went to go work the phones in his starched shirt and neatly pressed trousers. He still remembers how the collar would chafe his neck, how his cuffs would never stay rolled up no matter how hard he tried, how the waistband of his trousers would dig in a little bit, just above his hips, just enough so that he couldn't concentrate. And then he'd turn around when his shift was over, head straight back to Dalton, and spend the next three or four hours lying in bed staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep.

... talked to all my teachers, and they just sit there and say "Well, high school is hard for everyone." Like, they really think everyone gets shoved around in the locker room every day, you know, everyone gets their clothes stolen, and it's not just me. I don't know, it's like...

... they just don't listen, you know? I keep telling them, over and over again, this is hard and I need help, and they just...

... just told me that she didn't even want to hear it. That she wasn't going to listen to me, that I wasn't telling her the truth, and I was, and she just wouldn't... I just wanted her to listen to me, just once, and she couldn't even do that, she just...

He wasn't very good at it then, at just listening. He forced himself to be quiet, to let them talk without him giving advice or trying to fix things, but it was always a struggle.

It still is, really. He's just found ways to make the struggle a little more bearable.

Kurt is still hovering by the table, waiting patiently for Wes to dig his keys out of his bag (he really needs to start putting them in one of the smaller pockets at the front; he's just not always that good at changing his habits). Blaine and David have long since started drifting towards the door, of course, although they haven't actually left. Wes can just hear David half-rapping, half-singing And then it hit me -- I'm standing outside of heaven waiting for God to come and get me; I'm too uncouth, unschooled to the rules and.... Someone, probably Blaine, is drumming quietly against the register stand.

"I think I feel a Warblers jam session coming on," Wes observes, his fingers finally closing around the missing keys. He holds them up triumphantly, then jams them into his pocket and reaches back into his bag to pull out one last thing. "Or a David and Blaine jam session, anyway, since they're the only ones who ever do this kind of thing."

"You have jam sessions?" Kurt asks, laughter in his voice. "I really need to start spending more weekends at Dalton."

Wes finally straightens up fully, zipping his bag closed and slinging the strap over his shoulder. "Like I said, David and Blaine have jam sessions. Usually in my room. While I'm trying to study." He sets one of his paper cranes down on the table, next to the little pile of tip money, smoothing out the wings a little bit with his thumb. "But yes, you should spend more weekends at Dalton. If you want to, of course. You're always welcome."

Kurt lets out a quiet "Hmm," which isn't really an answer. But he's smiling when Wes looks over at him, bright and relaxed and unworried, at least for the moment. It's enough.

"Come on," Wes says, and places one hand on Kurt's shoulder to steer him towards the doors; he leaves it there as they head out into the street, not for very long, but just for a bit, just to feel Kurt, solid and safe and whole, underneath his fingers. Kurt glances back at him when he pulls his hand away, smiles, but doesn't say anything.

David and Blaine trail along behind them, still singing. Kurt is humming along under his breath. The three of them sound good together; Wes is half tempted to join in. For right now, though, it's enough to listen.

Comments

( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
ckofshadows
Feb. 28th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Wow. This is not at all what I expected, but I LOVED it.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
crazedwolf
Feb. 28th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
Words cannot express how fantastic you are. I read the story that came before this and this one just now and these were just so amazing. I love the way you write Wes; love love love. The emotion that always goes into your stories never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for sharing this with us!
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading and commenting! I'm really glad you liked it.
wiltedviolets
Feb. 28th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
I really, really love this. Wes is only of my favorite Warblers, and you've got his voice down perfectly. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes was one of my favorite books in elementary school, and I love the way you've incorporated it here. Everything about this resonates beautifully here.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Wes is one of my favorites too (obviously). I'm glad this worked for you.
(Deleted comment)
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
No one who dances like Wes dances can be a mindless robot. Thank you!
beta_goddess
Feb. 28th, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
What a remarkable story. Beautifully done!
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Thanks!
falselytrue
Feb. 28th, 2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is really great.

Wes is one of my favorite fandom characters, just because he's been interpreted so many ways, some completely anti-canon, others co-canon, others completely canon.

I really like your interpretation because he's fandom and canon all mixed together and he's believable in either direction.

Wes just seemed...right, somehow, and I think this is the version of Wes I like the best. The calm Daltonite who cuts loose sometimes, but not too loose even though he knows he could. Serious, but whimsical--working on the crisis hotline while folding paper cranes seemed absolutely perfect.

And the paper cranes were a nice bit too. I fold cranes in my free time, and I'm coming up on 7,000, so it was really cool to see paper cranes worked into the story.

I really like the fic, and...I dunno, it's not the kind I usually like.

Brilliant work.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
corday33
Feb. 28th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
Oh God, this was fantastic. Wes is by far my favourite Warbler (not counting Kurt) and is actually my second favourite character, even if he is a tiny character in canon. Your writing of Wes completely fits my head canon of Wes. I'm glad how you didn't go the obvious way for his character being an individuality hating Dalton bot. Loved it.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! I think Wes might be my favorite Warbler too. And I'm glad that someone else shares my Wes head-canon.
amazonziti
Feb. 28th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was terrific. I loved Wes -- his steadiness and how much responsibility he takes on and how he is still JUST A KID but a really competent one. And I loved his affection for Kurt and his lack of patience with Finn (because YES) and I want this Wes on the shooooooow.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
Wes seems like a thirty-year old in a teenager's body -- I think it's because Telly somehow manages to play him with... I don't know, gravitas or something.

Glee needs more Wes. I love him so much.
midasu
Mar. 1st, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
Which is not to say that he doesn't feel a small sense of satisfaction watching Finn Hudson's eyes bug out of his head

Me too, Wes. Me too. This is amazing.
lookninjas
Mar. 2nd, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
Oh, Finn. I kind of sort of almost a little bit get where he was coming from with that, but... no. Just no.

Glad you liked it!
midasu
Mar. 2nd, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
I love Finn so much. But sometimes all I can think is 'what is wrong with you'. Poor dear, not everything can be solved through song.

I like what you did when Finn says that Kurt forgave him. It's a bit redeeming, because obviously Finn is thankful to be forgiven for what he did to Kurt and he thinks that it can be that way again. That they can all be buddies or something.
lookninjas
Mar. 6th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
I had a comment on another story (yes, I've written three stories about Finn and Karofsky's thirty-second conversation at the end of Sue Sylvester Shuffle -- I have a lot of feelings about this) suggesting that Finn kind of sees himself in Karofsky; he assumes that the two situations are equivalent, and hey, he learned to get along with Kurt through Glee club, so why can't Karofsky? Because he doesn't get that, for all that what he did was pretty terrible, what Karofsky is doing is so much worse.
lookninjas
Mar. 6th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
FFF-- posted before I was done.

Also, I think again that Finn is assuming that because he wanted to be forgiven (because Finn really doesn't want to hurt people), Karofsky must feel the same way. And right now, I don't see that in Karofsky's character. At all.
reremouse
Mar. 4th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
This is a side of Wes I've never seen before, sense of humor, sense of purpose, the way he cares about people and expresses it. Congratulations on giving me a favorite Wes! The quiet and conviction of his narrative voice suited everything in this story. Very nicely done!
lookninjas
Mar. 6th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
david_of_oz
Mar. 6th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC)
Wonderful. Your control of tone is exceptional. The choice of episodic, fractured narrative works perfectly to draw the reader in and maintain interest, and heighten the drama. All round good work. Interested to see where you go next.
lookninjas
Mar. 6th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
Wow, what an amazing comment to get. Thank you so much!
inannah
Mar. 11th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
How did I miss this fic?
It's just absolutely fantastic, amazing, wonderful, etc.

I love your characterization of Wes, he had so much HEART. I loved that. And he called Finn out on his irresponsible behaviour - thank you! When I saw that scene, I was like "and now Karofsky knows were Kurt is. Great job, Finn, you naive moron."
lookninjas
Mar. 11th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
I have written three fics about that one scene, because it bothers me that much.

I love Wes. I don't want him to gooooooo.
bluerosefairy
Mar. 12th, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Just read this and "Pick Up Right Where We Left" and Jesus, this is amazing. You've given us such note-perfect looks at Karofsky and Wes. I absolutely buy your Karofsky here - it's not love, it's obsession, it's looking for someone to take charge, and Kurt's the only one who ever said "stop". And Wes - god, I wish we had this Wes in canon, because the characterization is perfect, and Telly would knock it out of the park. I absolutely believe Wes volunteers at the crisis hotline, and I believe he's capable of being friends with Kurt.
lookninjas
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! Honestly, I'd settle for ANY Wes in canon, really. I already miss him.
dreamerofmonday
Mar. 12th, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
I absolutely love Wes' voice in this. You capture him so well, it's even cannon compliant.
lookninjas
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Thank you!
liadan14
Mar. 13th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
I adore this. Every bit of this. Not even just all the fantastic character stuff - love your Wes, btw - but the crisis line stuff. I work at one myself, and you captured it perfectly. Like, completely perfectly.
lookninjas
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad I got the crisis line stuff right; I did research, but research isn't always enough, so I'm glad I was able to make that part come together for you.
heliotropelied
Mar. 20th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
_________________

You have no idea how much I love this. I have an unhealthy love for the Warblers and this fic is everything I needed. I love Wes' voice in this and how he comes across as not only the canon Warbler Wes but also Wes the teeange boy. I love love love when the Warblers get all protective of each other like they're all a part of a brotherhood or something.

Just asgh;adlfgkla. Sorry. I am really happy after reading this :D
lookninjas
Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:24 am (UTC)
Thank you!
eaconwell
Apr. 4th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
you just gave me so much love for Wes :)
lookninjas
Apr. 9th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Always happy to share the Wes love. He's so awesome.
keenoled
Apr. 23rd, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
Weees! I adore Wes, and now I adore him even more. I'm gonna try and convince my brain this actually happened in the show, because it's too awesome not to. :)))))
lookninjas
Apr. 24th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
It's in the deleted scenes. So is the moment where Wes sings his big solo. That's in the deleted scenes too.
keenoled
Apr. 25th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
Whew, thank cheesus for that. :D
yune0202
Oct. 15th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
You don't mind me, just standing here, giving you a standing ovation for about an hour, do you? ...I'm in AWE!
LilyAzalea
Feb. 20th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
Wes is one fierce, amazing, compassionate BAMF. That's all I have to say--loved this fic!!
bramble_r
Mar. 19th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Okay. Late to this party, yet no less impressed. I love the incorporation of the different characters in here, I love that Karofsky makes the calls in order to listen himself, I love Wes and his point of view makes this story just beautiful.
Thanks for the great read!
terriblespy
Feb. 22nd, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Took me long enough to read this
Found this through Google again but yes, you did write it. Amazingly written with just the right delft handling of the Karovsky bullying storyline and Kurt finding shelter at Dalton. None of your other fics seem to have this AU or am I missing something?
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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