Reviews for Vanilla Twilight
Assasin8 chapter 1 . 4/10
GAH THE FEELS! THANKS A LOT, MY HEART HURTS :'( but it was really sweet, the way you laid out the story and kind of showed them missing Kurt's mom at different points in time. It was really moving, and I love how you went in depth with Burt's character. Great job and thanks for posting!
JaeAhlstrom chapter 1 . 6/17/2013
ok this made me cry! so sweet!
morewithtruffles chapter 1 . 10/21/2012
...and mother.

What I really loved was how Kurt presented the necklace to Blaine and let him put it on him. It was so sweet, and that entire moment was incredibly intimate. I'm happy that Burt was able to witness it. He needed to see that, I think, to know that his son would be okay, and that /he/ would be okay, and that Mollie's death wasn't the end of everything.

And finally, the fact that it takes place on the swing was perfect. That was the perfect recurring motif for this story, and it really brought everything full circle in the end. We're back to the idyllic beginnings, when everyone is happy. It's different, and Burt and Kurt have both definitely grown and matured since, but at the same time, it's all the sweeter because it's different. I love how subtly and succinctly you worked the swing into the piece, and it was the perfect stage for the events.

Beautiful piece. I loved it. Easily one of the best that you've ever written.
trufflemores chapter 1 . 10/21/2012
I absolutely love the way that you've styled this piece. In four relatively short stages, you manage to capture a lifetime's worth of love, loss, grieving, and rebuilding anew. I love the sequence of these events - how Mollie, Burt, and baby Kurt are present in the first, Burt alone in the second, Burt and Kurt together in the third, and finally the entire Hudmel clan plus one in the last - because it flows so naturally from one moment in their lives to the next. It fits with everything that we've been given canonically about Burt and Kurt - the scenes that you mentioned in your author's notes are the foremost examples, and even part of Kurt's deep attachment to Burt is a direct result of Mollie (see: "I Want to Hold Your Hand" performance). The fact that you've captured the most quintessential moments of the Hummels lives before and after Mollie in under 6,000 words is incredible. This story may have begun as a tribute to Mollie and Burt, and it may center around Burt's point of view, but Kurt is very much a factor in this and it's the story of how their broken little family was able to get up again and start anew.

For simplicity's sake, I'll walk through this chronologically. I absolutely love how you've set up the first scene. It's very idyllic, and after reading so much angst throughout some of the most beautiful stories ever written, it's a breath of fresh air. I feel, as a reader, that we look in on one of those incredibly rare moments that we're able to capture in our memory and return to time and again simply to enjoy it. This is how Burt Hummel describes it, too, for in the second sequence we learn that the first was merely a fond memory. The way that you seamlessly juxtapose memory with reality here is extraordinary. It's hard to say whether the first scene was merely a moment in the timeline that we have fortunately stumbled upon, or if it's one of those bright caverns of light left in a grieving, contemporary Burt Hummel's mind. The one thing that distinguishes it as a reality seen from the present instead of a memory viewed in hindsight is the distinction that you give each subsequent piece. They all take place at some point in the future, years after Mollie died and the Hummels are alone. As a starting point, this was beautiful, because it emphasizes how truly important Mollie was in a fundamental way to Burt's - and, subsequently, Kurt's - happiness. Many authors presented with the same prompt would have started this piece at the second stage - loss. They would have shown Burt Hummel in the midst of attempting to cope with the loss of his wife, not to the point where he's able to openly grieve (that comes later when Kurt asks him if he even misses her anymore). The fact that you include Mollie here defines this piece, and it sets it apart from a dozen other similar pieces that could have arisen.

Coming back to the first scene, I love that not only is this a story about what it means to love someone, lose that person, and love again, but it's also a story that parallels the changing seasons. Since there are no explicit references to the seasons here, we as readers are left to presume what time periods - and, at points, what ages - Burt and Kurt are in as they live their lives. The first is easily identifiable as summer or fall: it's warm. There are signs - lawn mowing, people out and about - that everything is definitely in the full swing of a season. I would peg this more as a last hurrah to autumn than a midsummer day's dream, because of the fact that, chronologically, the next season of this story is clearly winter: cold, dark, and quiet.

(I suppose now would be a good time to move on and discuss the second sequence, wouldn't it? Before I do so, I would like to mention that I adored everything about the first sequence, from your descriptions of Mollie and Burt - and finally someone that can identify what soda tastes like, 'sticky-sweet' is perfect - to the scene surrounding them. I love how Burt is able to sit back and relax after a hard and fruitful day of work. He can admire what he has without fear, although a note of foreshadowing slips in here when Burt wonders about how he could possibly be so lucky to have everything that he's ever wanted. Apparently it's not meant to be, because in the relatively near future he will lose one of his most prized possessions in life - his wife and first love, the mother of his first and only child - and have to cope with the results afterward. Nevertheless, it was sweet to read about him in this happier time, with Mollie playing around with baby Kurt and admiring the swing - which I will go into more detail later on.)

The second sequence captures Burt in a very dark place. He's not suicidal or, to our knowledge, even contemplating suicide, but he's certainly not coping well without his wife around. The loss is still incredibly, painfully new for him and his young son. They haven't even had a week to cushion them from the fact that the wife and mother of the household is gone and won't be returning. In some ways, this is a stage when it still almost seems possible for Mollie to return, for her to re-enter the scene and apologize for her absence but ultimately be present for the rest of their lives. Burt certainly seems to think so, venturing out into the night and almost seeking her out as he visits the swing that he so lovingly built for her. It's a unique, eerie stage of grieving, knowing that the loved one cannot return and still desperately hoping that, by refusing to move on from that awful moment and acknowledge that life is still continuing (Burt not sleeping, for instance), somehow she can come back.

It's heartbreaking. It shows Burt at his loneliest, without a single person that he can turn to and confide in. His son is too young to put that burden on - he has to be the strong, single parent in Kurt's presence as much as he has to pretend to be in possession of his full faculties at the garage. He can't let anyone know that he's falling apart without Mollie to support him, that he's on the verge of a far more devastating heart attack than the one that strikes him later on. That one put him in a coma, but this one could have shut Burt Hummel down completely and left him incapable of taking care of his son or moving on. He would have been a husk of the man that once loved Mollie and Kurt, and that would have crippled Kurt in return. This is a volatile stage, therefore, because Burt is hovering between the two states: succumbing to his grief, and accepting that it exists and somehow finding a way to actually move on. It's not that he's accepting that he'll forget Mollie or how much she meant to him, but it's accepting that she's gone and he'll have to continue living and raising Kurt without her.

He has to make that decision, but it's an awful responsibility to be forced on anyone. Losing a loved one is hard, and you've captured that so very well here.

Thus, I think the second sequence is definitively winter-like, even though I know that, logistically, Mollie died in April. It has a cold, quiet feel to it that seems to isolate Burt from the rest of the world as he reminisces and tries to decide what he needs to do next. What he needs to do is grieve, but instead he chooses to bottle it up and let it pass aside, willing himself to continue.

Which leads to the third sequence.

Kurt confronts Burt about his own apparent indifference to Mollie's death. It's not out of spite or resentment for Burt, but rather it's because Kurt needs to know that he's not alone. He needs to know that there's someone else that is experiencing the same heartbreak that he is and struggling so much to cope with it. He needs to know that his father hasn't completely forgotten what he can't forget, which is the loss of his mother. He needs to know that Burt is still there, still fundamentally /there/ and not simply going about his duties mechanically, and Burt provides him with all the answers that he needs to know. They're able to grieve and comfort each other for the first time, it seems, since Mollie's death, in their own, quiet way. There aren't tears, but there's still a definite sense of mourning. And yet, in the end, it's not a sense of sadness that the reader walks away from this sequence with: it's tentative hope for the future.

That's why, regardless of its true timeline, this third piece strikes me as spring-like. Spring is a time of hope, where winter is still very much present at times and other times summer breaks through. Here, Burt and Kurt have a moment of relief, a period of time where they can be honest with each other and actively grieve over Mollie's death. They need this moment to continue, and the way that you've incorporated it into this piece is beautiful.

And finally, we come upon my favorite scene of this entire piece: the fourth and final sequence. I adore how domestic it is. Burt is finally present for a genuinely happy scene again, as he was in the first sequence, and that warms my heart. This story comes full circle, which is incredibly rare to find in the fandom within the span of a one-shot. (If it were my decision, this one-shot would have several hundred reviews, but alas, I am only a single person in the end.) Burt is happy again, and while he's not the same - which I genuinely love; you acknowledge that Burt and Kurt are never really the same again after Mollie's death - he's certainly happy again. Which is what matters. He won't ever stop grieving for Mollie, really, and there will always be that particular absence in his life, but at the same time, he can move on and live his life instead of deteriorating completely.

I love how Finn is a hoot on the diving board. Such an apropos little moment.

I also loved how Carole was the one to bring the entire party together. It shows that, while she hasn't taken the place of Mollie in Burt's heart, she's filled a practical role that was missing in their lives: that of a wife an
me again chapter 1 . 10/6/2012
DON'T CRY. DON'T CRY. I. WILL. NOT. CRY.
AllPurpleInk chapter 1 . 9/27/2012
OKAY SAD.
And now I'm really curious about the other gifts...

Anyway, this is really well-written. I especially loved the descriptions of Mollie at the beginning... it's heartbreaking to read that such a beautiful, loving wife and mother could die so young. :'(

Excellent work!
Luna Rumbleroar the Warbler chapter 1 . 9/26/2012
Ah adorableness.

It's funny cause a few weeks ago on Tumblr someone posted something about Vanilla Twilight and Klaine I think and then I realize I ha it on iTunes and not my iPod so then I put it on my iPod. And so I could listen to it an read :)
blazersandbowties chapter 1 . 9/23/2012
That's it. I'm dead.
Sinkwriter chapter 1 . 9/23/2012
Sad and bittersweet, but really lovely.

I liked the opening scene where Burt has just put up the swing, and the happy memories that come from their moment as family together for the first time on that swing.

And then you break my heart with the scene that follows, after Burt has lost Molly, and again when Kurt as young teenager wants to know if Burt misses his wife, because he 'doesn't act like it.' OW.

And then there's sorrow in Burt missing Mollie at the end, but it's surrounded by all the warmth of family and friends and the party and graduation and the love that comes from the locket gift.

What's really nice about this piece is that the swing is this quiet but important thing throughout. It's the place where Burt held his newborn son, it's the place Burt returned to when his heart was breaking with mourning for his wife, and it's the place where love returns anew, as Burt watches Kurt and Blaine together on the swing. It's melancholy and romantic and sweet and beautiful.

And there's such love throughout this piece, as tangible as the swing: love for a spouse, love for a son, love for a new family and life, love between boyfriends... it's a sad story but at the same time I can't think of it as something terribly sad because there's love at the heart of every bit of this story and that's what comes through most of all.

Thanks for writing.
GryffindorCriss chapter 1 . 9/23/2012
Just make me cry...it's fine...

NO IT'S NOT! JUST RIP OUT MY HEART WHY DON'T YOU?!

Seriously, though.. :') You are a FANTASTIC writer, like, you never fail to make me cry!
Doodlin-Dalton chapter 1 . 9/23/2012
Your writing never fails to leave me speechless and my heart is fluttering and FEELINGS I love your take on Burt and Mollie so much.
WhatKatyDidNext chapter 1 . 9/22/2012
That was really beautiful.

I get that sense from Burt as well. In Sexy when Blaine said that Kurt was the 'most moral, compassionate person' that he's ever met, and Burt said he gets that from his mother, I felt that. In just one line, you can see how high Burt's opinion of his late wife is and how much he loved and still loves her. (And how much he wishes she was there to talk to their son about love and sex, because now he has some private school kid sticking his nose in and telling him that maybe he's not doing an awesome job with every single aspect of parenting.)

Now I have to track down this song!
Wolf Princess girl chapter 1 . 9/22/2012
DAMN IT IM CRYING THAT WAS HORRIBLE AND AHHHH PAINFUL FEELS I DON'T LIKE IT!
I lie, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND WONDERFUL AND MADE ME FEEL ALL THE THINGS AND SO MANY TEARS!
Kurt and Burt feels I can't WHY
yes, thus was wonderfully writen and I love it despite the pain :')
snowangellms chapter 1 . 9/22/2012
Really great job on this one! I love Burt and Mollie!
Guest chapter 1 . 9/22/2012
Waahh this breaks my heart. it's perfect.
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