@contradictivs : send 🤗 to hug kurt - alternately, ryder hugging kurt as he’s bleeding out on the bus | this also features @violatile bc liv is canon thanks
nick may have given the responsibility to kurt, but he’d allow someone else to take the reigns if it meant saving ryder. he’d yelled to liv to get ready to drive, and had given her one instruction with an eerie seriousness: if kurt got hit - even once, even slightly - they had to just get the kids on the bus and drive. they don’t wait for him, they don’t try to save him. especially seeing that tommy was the man behind the axe - no one could take tommy on a good day, let alone now. he’d rushed out as soon as he’d managed to push past the few that tried to keep him on the bus, a glance exchanged with the new driver that only solidified the instructions he’d given. either he was coming back with ryder or he wasn’t coming back at all.
the kids ryder had been trying to save are pushed back towards the bus, kurt yelling something incoherent that was telling them to just go. the kids do as theyre told and everyone watches with baited breath as kurt somehow manages to get ryder up and towards the bus, tommy momentarily distracted by a stray shadysider kid that was doing his best to get to the bus. kurt shoves ryder at the bus, maybe a little too hard, before giving a nod to liv. now or nothing, he’s either getting back with that kid or not at all. seems kurt is a little too quick to be self sacrificial. he’s quick to swoop in, grabs the axe from behind as tommy gets ready to swing it. he yells at the kid to get on the bus and only just becomes aware of what he’s getting into. tommy’s much, much bigger than he is — this may not be a fight he gets out of. a scared and desperate move leads to kicking tommy in the balls, hoping it’d be enough of a distraction to get him back safely. he sprints towards the bus, makes sure the kid gets on first. as soon as his feet are planted on the floor the bus is driving, axe hitting the door as kurt pushes it closed, just barely avoiding hitting anyone.
he’s quick to find ryder, quick to get to his side and try his best to stop the bleeding. but the wound in his side is huge, blood is everywhere, and despite his desperate attempts at heroism he knows, just by looking, that ryder won’t make it to town. he tears ryder’s shirt off, can’t even use his own thanks to the state of undress he’s been stuck in since he found joan. material is messily pushed against bleeding wound, though it’s obvious that it’s in vain, shirt quick to get soaked through. this is bad, this is very bad. “just hold on.” quiet words are a desperate plea, arms wrapping around ryder, hands doing their best to put pressure on his side as if it was doing anything. there’s so much blood, he’s so damn afraid, but the bus is full of kids that are looking to him for direction and he can’t let himself fall apart. he can hear the kids asking questions, everyone asking where their friends are, where their favourite counselor is. he has no idea what to say, no idea how to answer. he doesn’t want to be too harsh, but this isn’t a situation he can sugarcoat.
“listen!” the entire bus goes silent, the boy forgetting just how much they all look to him. look to both of them, but ryder’s half dead on a blood covered seat at the front of the bus and hardly in a position to give instructions. all eyes on him, no plan, no idea what to do next. “if they’re not on the bus— you probably aren’t gonna see them again.” chaos erupts, he hears tommy’s name thrown around, hears the fear and panic. he’s so not cut out for this. “shut up! everyone shut up!” they listen, children in need of guidance. but they don’t see it, don’t realise that kurt is also just a child, kurt also has no idea what to do. “if you’re hurt—” eyes glance around, find the very few counselors that sit on the bus. “—if you’re hurt, put your hand up. a counselor will come and help. liv’s gonna take us to the hospital.” gaze moves to meet with hers in the rear view mirror, the fear on their faces mirroring each other. neither prepared for this.
he considers that enough leadership for now, all his attention turned back to ryder. he doesn’t look like he’s doing so well, but kurt’s doing his best to keep him alive. “still with me buddy?” voice is much quieter, softer, and every reaction he gets is treated as a miracle. he hates this, hates knowing that there’s no good ending here. “faster, liv!” it’s already a mess trying to stay in the seats without seatbelts, the leather below them slick with blood. but he keeps hold of ryder, holds him close, quietly begs for him to stay awake. there’s so much unsaid between the pair, and kurt doesn’t even want to think about what he’d say to liam if they got into town and ryder didn’t make it. “you gotta stay with me, man. come on.” tears have started to fall, reality setting in, fear making its home in his chest. “just stay with me buddy, we’re not far.” oh, but they’ve still got plenty of journey to go. the road ahead seeming to stretch on forever. “we’re gonna get you out of this.”