Someone finally decided to go the extra mile…and tip the power balance of the three wings of the Boys Side, throwing all three wings into horror and panic, spilling over to the Girls Side, where Prima and Royal are just barely able to fathom what happened.
And Kurt Hummel is right in the middle of it all.
Warning: Gunshots, serious injury, and a lot of blood.
Kurt hugged himself a little more, feeling the bite of the night air. He glowered at the darkness of the hall and wondered if they really were alone. He felt the eyes of someone who was not the tall boy in front of him upon him, careful and silent in the gloom. But, he decided as he looked back to his high-profile companion, that if the Hanovers said they were safe, they were.
“That’s all I know,” Kurt sighed. “I have no idea why anyone would do this.”
Justin Bancroft was not easily unsettled. He was not vociferous like Charlie, nor easily-tempered like Logan. No, the Hanover boss was someone who had seen far too much to be unsettled easily. But as he considered Kurt’s narrative of that night’s run, he had to consider that his opposite in the Windsor wing was more than raving when he declared that there was something or someone out to rattle the boat.
“And you say…that it was Larson the shooter seemed to be after,” Justin murmured, a little incredulous. “Maybe you’re just seeing things out of Larson’s suggestion—he’s dramatic and I know a lot of people want to waste him.” Justin snorted.
“Then they would’ve just wasted him,” Kurt glared. “We both know Julian is one of the best assassins in this place, you’ll have to send someone just as good to off him. One shot should be all it took, but those bullets just sang over our heads. And why take the time to go after me and Reed too?”
“You in particular…” Justin looked to the windows, glowering. “You said that Larson was alone for a while in the warehouse…and that it was only when you arrived that shots started coming at you both. Then maybe you were the actual target and not Larson.” The Hanover boss looked at him again, this time with marked disapproval. “Anything else we should know about you, Hummel? What were you even doing in that warehouse?”
“My father owns it,” Kurt retorted, instantly defensive. “I was supposed to see my stepbrother Finn there. He was supposed to tell me something important, about my father.”
Justin frowned now and he uncrossed his arms . “Wait. Your brother was supposed to tell you something about Congressman Hummel? Why couldn’t he have just come here during visiting hours?”
Kurt shook his head, looking confused. “Finn said it was too important to talk about here. He wanted to tell me in the warehouse.”
“Did he tell you anything else about it?”
His pale brow furrowing, Kurt vaguely wondered why Justin was suddenly so concerned even as his mind searched back to the letter that Finn had slipped him. In his mind he still can’t believe that Finn even knew that the institute’s members had “night runs”. “All Finn just told me is…it has something to do with his campaign.”
Justin looked away, looking lost in thought and not pleased by what he was thinking. “…about his campaign…? Congressman Hummel?” He seemed to pause before saying, “Then it might have to do with what happened at—”
He never got to continue. Kurt’s whole body was rocked by a ripple of sound that tore through the night air without warning. White heat slicing past his shoulders and wet bursts of bullet meeting flesh that brought Kurt’s mouth open into a scream as he saw scarlet blooming into Justin’s chest. The third bullet slammed into the wall, embedding itself into it.
The sound that woke Kurt from horror was Justin hitting the floor on his back with a sickening thud, coughing violently, blood pouring from two shot wounds right in his chest, staining his uniform in deep scarlet. And then Kurt was screaming for help, hands pressed to Justin’s chest as he tried to stem the outpour of blood, the mess of it coating his hands.
Footsteps sounded through the hall in a desperate pace—“Justin!!”—and Spencer and Danny came skidding next to Kurt, practically throwing themselves onto the floor. Merril grabbed Kurt by the shoulders and, with more strength than he had given her credit for, tore him away from their leader. Kurt stumbled backward and watched as Spencer’s hands were where his own had previously in, every cough from the Hanover leader making a small spurt between Spencer’s fingers.
“Justin!” Spencer was shouting. “Justin, come on, keep it together, we’re getting help, come on, hang in there—” Danny gasped as Justin coughed and blood sprayed their faces. Justin was thrashing in spite of himself.
“Keep him down!!” Danny shouted as he tried to keep Justin down. “Justin, you can’t move, you’ll lose more blood that way—!”
Kurt stepped back, no breath left in his lungs and then Blaine slammed into him, grabbing him. “Are you hurt?!” Blaine demanded as he looked Kurt over. He turned white when he saw the blood-soaked mess of Kurt’s sleeves and hands. “Kurt, talk to me, are you hurt?!”
“It’s not me—” Kurt choked, getting his breath back and he looked back to Justin. Blood was seeping from his lips now, and trickling down his cheek and onto the floor.
“Don’t move!” Spencer gasped, holding the wound closed. “Don’t move!”
Danny looked up and yelled Jeff, who was approaching rapidly with other boys who had heard the chaos. Danny spotted Stuarts and Windsors alike in the hall and cursed mentally. Within minutes, every wing would know. “Get the marshalls!” he screamed at them. “Get the marshalls and the medical staff, we need help!!”
Jeff, white in the face at the sight of their leader and his court covered in blood, turned and ran immediately to the direction medical wing, followed by two other Hanover boys. Nick bolted off immediately after, but there was no doubt that he was headed for Stuart wing to report.
Justin had stopped thrashing. Blaine kept a secure hold of Kurt, dragging him away. “Come on—come on!” he snarled.
“What about Justin?!” Kurt demanded.
“The Hanovers have him, we have to get you out of that uniform and cleaned up now!!” Blaine shot back, yanking Kurt into the direction of Windsor wing. Kurt still struggled, not prepared to leave someone that seriously injured in the hands of other inmates.
“Listen to me!” Blaine finally yelled, grabbing Kurt by the shoulders and shaking him. “You were out in that hall alone with Justin after light’s out! And he gets shot and he’s on that floor thrashing like a fish on dry land and you’ve got his blood all over you! You think a single marshall in this entire god-forsaken hellhole is going to think you didn’t shoot him once they get a look at you?!”
Kurt’s mouth opened to speak but nothing came out except a strangled sound. Blaine stared hard at him. “The Hanovers have Justin, they’re calling for help. While everyone is occupied there, we have to get you cleaned up before anyone finds you.”
And without another word, he pulled Kurt back towards Windsor wing. Kurt’s every instinct fought against leaving the shot boy in the hall, but Blaine was right. He’d seen the marshalls and with the way the most powerful boys behaved in this school, they would certainly find him in some way responsible for Justin.
“But why would they shoot him?!” Kurt managed to say as Wes and David came running, saw Kurt’s bloody form and turned white. “Why would they shoot Justin?!”
“Who the hell wouldn’t shoot Justin Bancroft if they had the chance?!” David retorted as he received the brief explanation from Blaine and was now helping pull Kurt to the showers. “Do you have any idea what that guy has done and what he’s still capable of even when shot?!”
“I heard he managed to hit five guys with perfect chest shots even when he was shot last year in the leg,” Wes muttered as he pushed the shower area doors open. He pushed Kurt into the dark room. “And then he set them on fire.”
“Justin’s got plenty of enemies just waiting for the chance,” Blaine muttered as he turned on a tap and water blasted onto Kurt. “You’re lucky you didn’t get caught in the crossfire.” Blaine nodded for Wes to keep watch at the door.
“I don’t feel lucky,” Kurt muttered as he shivered, hands shaking with shock and the cold, as he unbuttoned his uniform. He was already completely drenched and the sight of Justin’s blood pooling onto the floor, diluted, and draining away made him feel sick. “I really don’t feel lucky.”
“This is crazy, Blaine…” David shivered with apprehension. “Kurt and Justin were in a closed talk. In one of the side-halls. Only the prime Windsors and the prime Hanovers even knew that was fucking happening. How would anyone have managed to hit Justin with the measures that Hanover’s got?”
“Hell if I know,” Blaine muttered venomously back, scrubbing blood off Kurt’s arms. His hands flew to Kurt’s face, and his hands were warm against Kurt’s freezing skin. Kurt felt Blaine staring at him as his fingers brushed away the blood spatters on his face. He swallowed.
Already, the siren was sounding over the school. The alert had been called. They could hear running footsteps and the rising cacophony. David gestured for them to move faster.
“Are you okay?” Blaine whispered in a different tone, still holding Kurt’s face in his hands. His eyes gazed at him, piercing, apprehensive, and somehow strangely afraid.
Shakily, Kurt slipped his wet, blood-ribboned hands over the warm ones on his face. He nodded slightly. “I am.”
“We have to move,” David grabbed Kurt’s still bloody clothes. “We’re going to have to burn or bury this.”
Wes took it from him as Blaine finished, pulling Kurt from the showers and pushing a towel at him. “I vote burn it. The marshalls might set out dogs or something and they’ll find it.”
“Yeah, okay, but how right now?” David demanded.
“We’ll let the Twins worry about that one, they can get rid of it for us,” Blaine answered. He pulled the towel around Kurt as Wes looked back outside to see if the coast was clear. The hall was empty, but it wouldn’t be that way for long.
“Come on,” Wes hissed and they ran swiftly and silently out of the showers. David ran with them, and separated from them to find Kurt another uniform as quickly as possible. Blaine kept Kurt at close proximity, and from the way he looked at the windows, the dark corners, up and down the hall in places where anyone can hide, Kurt wondered if Blaine was thinking the same thing he was:
That it was Justin who was collateral damage. And that Kurt himself was still the real target.
Director Sylvester was going to be involved whether anyone liked it or not, and the boys’ side knew it. With about a dozen or so other inmates following the marshalls, everyone would know in the boys’ side that Justin Bancroft was not only shot, but he was actually dying. So much blood was lost, left behind in the dark red puddle where Justin had fallen. And now he was being rushed to the medical ward. Danny had seen marshalls completely surrounding Justin that he almost disappeared if not for the bloody hand hanging from the edge of the gurney.
And then he saw Director Sylvester watching them proceed. She looked cold, and angry. And then real hell will happen.
There would be a massive inquisition throughout the Institute. There would be tests for gunshot residue and everyone seen as a suspect would be interrogated. There would be inspections. There would be panic amidst all the wings as they had to prepare to cover up all their tracks and in-house criminal activity. When something of this level happens, when the son of a British politician (no matter how corrupted the said boy may be) gets taken down, there will be hell to pay.
The investigation would ruin any and all chances for the Hanovers to administer their own brand of justice against whoever did this. It would taint everyone’s testimonies, opinions, and it would stop people from finding the proof they needed.
Already, Charlie had been informed of what happened, and his fury was unspeakable. He had demanded that every Windsor be shaken down for answers. To shoot Justin in cold blood and under stealth was open invitation to a civil war within the halls. No Windsor was safe from Charlie’s wrath. Whatever happened out there, he had made no command of it, he’d not tolerate it within his own members. He wanted the shooter found. And facing their fury.
Stuart wing was where some suspicion lay. While Charlie was on fairly civil terms with his Hanover counterpart, there was no love lost between the merciless Stuart wing leader and the Hanover king. They were all thinking it, it wasn’t unusual: Logan could’ve had someone intervene in the closed-meeting between Kurt and Justin.
The Stuarts on the other hand didn’t believe it was Logan on the sheer fact that so much was Logan’s hatred for the other bosses that should Logan decide to kill Justin, he would have done so himself and made no secret of it. It would not be the first time that Logan had taken down a wing boss for the sake of power.
If Justin were to die tonight, Danny would ascend to his rank and he was not ready, even with Spencer and Merril to support him. And worse, this made the fledgling acting King to be the next target of full-on assassination. Without a leader, Hanover wing would be torn apart, and ripe for the picking between Windsor and Stuart for territory, members, resources, and whatever else. There was too much at stake.
And so this was why Spencer did not want to leave Danny that instant. Danny had told him that he would take care of Justin, replacing Spencer’s hands on the wound on Justin’s chest, and told the older boy to find a way into the girls’ side and to tell them of what happened. Hanover would need allies, and most of all, there was no telling that the one who shot Justin wasn’t a woman. The wing leaders of Prima and Royal had to be told of what happened, so that they could conduct their own investigations before the marshalls came to ruin everything and all chances of finding evidence.
This was how Spencer found himself walking away from the scene as well before the Marshalls arrived. As Kurt was being pulled away and washed down by the Windsors, Spencer, still covered in his friend’s blood and dripping, went through the adjoining bridge, broke in, slipped through a window, and found himself standing in the girls’ side.
He walked down the hall, shaken and mind racing. He had to find the wing leaders. He stood at the crossroads. Left was Prima wing. Right was Royal. He decided to take his chance and look to Royal first, where his sister commanded her armies.
That was when the siren erupted from the boys’ building. Spencer looked up, heart in his throat. Time was running out. The girls’ marshalls were going to emerge any minute now. Hopefully they would head to the other building first.
Doors began opening.
Oh god, they’ve found him. The marshalls got him. All right. All right, stay calm. They’ll take him to the ward. If they can’t help him enough there, he’ll be sent to the hospital, a proper one. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I can’t believe they shot him—we were so close and they shot him…
This woke him from his thoughts. He saw Elizabeth and Nadia staring up at him, wild with terror. “Spencer, what’s wrong with you?!” Elizabeth gasped as she held his arm with two fingers, trying to not touch the mess of blood all over him.
“Sydney…” he managed to choke out. “Get Sydney. Get Hope. I need them here. Now.”
Elizabeth bolted off to Prima. Spencer stood swaying, watching as Nadia headed down the hall to Sydney’s room and started pounding on the door. “Sydney! Ma’am, I’m sorry to interrupt your meeting, but your brother—he’s here, he’s covered in blood—!”
The door flew open. Katherine was barely able to step out and out of the way before Sydney stormed past her, her hair flying. Alexandra peeked out of the same door right after, aghast, as Alison kept her close.
Sydney took one look at her brother and faltered in her step once before running to him. Her face was completely white and she reached him just as girls began crowding, and from behind him, Spencer heard the approach of the Primas. Hope was leading Casey and Sara as she strode towards the tall boy who looked completely out of place in their building. She took one look at his bloodied state and stifled a scream.
His sister wasted no time with questions—her face was white and her mouth set as she tried to keep him still. Her hands stained red with the blood on him as she grabbed and tugged at him, trying to find the wound where all this blood was coming from—
“It’s not me…” Spencer managed to say, and Sydney looked up at him. He tried to get his thoughts in order. “It’s…It’s Justin’s. It’s his blood, it was everywhere.”
Sydney jerked her hands back from him as though scalded. She stared at him with wide eyes, color further draining from her face. She looked at all the blood in her hands and so much more on her brother and he hands shook. “This is…?”
“He was in a closed-meeting but someone shot him. Twice in the chest—there was so much blood—” Spencer caught his breath and tried to steady himself. “He got shot, he was on the ground and—”
“Is he dead?!” Hope demanded, horrified. “Oh my god, they shut Justin—is he dead?!”
“Shut up and let him talk, Clayton!” Sydney snapped back.
“No!” Spencer shook his head. “He wasn’t—he wasn’t at least when I left him. The marshalls came, they must’ve taken him to the ward—that’s the siren going right now, they’ll be here any minute. Look.” He grabbed both girls’ arms. Normally, neither girl would’ve allowed to be handled in such a way by any male within the premises, but in this case, they stared.
“Look,” Spencer swallowed. “The head screws like Murdoch and Sylvester will slam down on us in the biggest witch hunt in this fucking institution. And we’ll never know the truth, they’ll trample everything down while the rest of us rush to burn and hide everything. It’ll be ruined. I need you both to shake down Prima and Royal for anything you know about who could’ve done this and why before all the evidence gets ripped up by us or taken by the Admin. Because I swear, whoever was the little fucker who did this isn’t going to live to see the day after we find him. You know what this’ll mean for our side, and for Hanover wing. With Justin like this.”
Sydney’s expression was dark and she yanked her arm back from her brother. She nodded and looked around her girls. “We’ll find out.”
Hope pulled her arm back and nodded with gravity. “I understand. And Daniel?”
“Danny will have to be a man and take the helm. He’s prime target now. He doesn’t know everything he has to do yet. We’re on rocky ground. Danny better hope to god that Justin survives…and that he’ll live long enough to see him do so.”
“Wait,” Sydney said, looking at him. “Who was Justin in closed meeting with?”
Spencer hesitated for a moment. This was why he wasn’t the next leader, he was indecisive and he never knew what was the right thing to do. He had to be told. And he didn’t like having to choose between keeping secrecy or finding out who shot his leader.
“Spencer!” Sara punched his arm angrily. “Who was he with?!”
Spencer looked around at the girls, and he took his breath. To hell with it. Maybe them knowing will help. “Kurt Hummel. Congressman Hummel’s son.”