So, here we are. We've come to the end. Please, read the author's note at the end of the epilogue.
I hope you like it.
I own nothing.
Six years later.
Kurt dashed through the parking lot towards his vehicle, agilely dodging puddles, wishing he had brought his umbrella. He unlocked the driver's door of his lovingly maintained Navigator with relief. He acknowledged he was being stubborn, by refusing to trade it in for a new car. Some day, he would have to give it up, but he wasn't quite ready to part with it yet, still treasuring fond memories of his Dad working on it in his garage back in Lima. The days were getting colder, Halloween décor rapidly replaced by Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ornaments. Ohio would soon be covered in a blanket of white snow and echo to the sound of Christmas caroling.
He drove carefully, humming along with the radio as he travelled through the mild rush hour traffic. His usual twenty-minute drive took a little longer at this time of day, but Kurt hadn't been able to leave early, like most days. There had been a last minute emergency, and he couldn't go until it was resolved satisfactorily. Everyone would've had a nervous breakdown, and wouldn't exactly care that it was his turn to make dinner tonight. Cooking needed to wait – fashion emergencies were much more urgent.
The driveway was still empty when he finally made it to his street. The two-story house had white walls and a shady porch across the front, with a large balcony across the back overlooking a little vegetable garden that Blaine had insisted on planting. He noted the lush green weeds overtaking everything and made a mental note to work on it during the weekend – every single thing they had planted would soon be choked out if they didn't rescue them. Blaine usually worked on the vegetable garden while Kurt tended the rose bed they had planted at the front, a gift from Grace. He had once mentioned to his mother-in-law how much his Mom had loved roses, and she had showed up the next day with a dozen beautiful rose bushes, in reds, yellows and pinks, and helped him plant them. Kurt had never guessed he would ever want to have a house with a garden, but he loved watching everything grow. He couldn't be happier.
Old darling Nayla was stretched across the foyer's wooden floor when he entered the house. She wagged her tail lazily when he came in, and Kurt leaned in to scratch behind her ears, before taking his coat off. He withdrew a portfolio from his messenger bag and left it in his studio so he could work later on some designs he needed to finish – since Grace had opened a second boutique and put him in charge, almost six years ago, he had found himself with complete freedom when it came to designing. He had taken a few classes, claiming he wasn't a professional and didn't want to make a mess or disappoint her, even though Grace insisted he had natural talent.
Blaine and he had bought this big, comfortable house before they were married only a few streets away from Blaine's parents' house. (They had only been together for six months when Blaine proposed, and Kurt had planned the wedding in only four. There was nothing either of them wanted more than becoming Mr. and Mr. Hummel-Anderson). They didn't want to stay in Columbus or Lima – there were too many painful memories haunting Kurt there. He couldn't even leave Blaine's apartment without worrying he might encounter some of his old customers. At Blaine's urging, Kurt spent months visiting a sex abuse counsellor who helped him with the guilt and anxiety from his former life, working through the trauma he had suffered. After several awkward unpleasant encounters in the grocery store, the cinema, the street and restaurants, he and Blaine had decided it was better to leave. They weren't running away – they just wanted to be free. They also wanted to be close to their family. Family mattered to them, especially to Kurt. He had spent so many years alone, that he couldn't stop cherishing every second he spent with his loving husband and his family.
Once he had left his portfolio in the office, Kurt walked towards the kitchen, rolling his sleeves up and trying to remember what they had in the fridge and the pantry. Blaine had been the last one to do the grocery shopping – something he sometimes regretted trusting him with – but Kurt was sure there was enough for a spinach and cheese quiche and a green salad.
Even though his life seemed wonderful now, Kurt never forgot. He still visited his parents' grave and missed them every day, but their death only made him ache when he was feeling particularly nostalgic lately, instead of the constant, overwhelming pain he had experienced for so many years. He still had occasional nightmares, mostly when he was too stressed about work, that were full of memories of the things he had done and the people who had used him like a toy they could play with. Those nights, Blaine would wrap his arms around him, and tell him he loved him over and over until Kurt remembered he was safe and happy now, that he had everything he had ever wanted. There were still scars marking his body here and there, like mementos. He hated them and he cursed them every time he saw them in the mirror, but Blaine always kissed them reverently.
"They are just battle scars," he would murmur against his skin. "You're just a soldier who had to fight for his own life before he could finally come home."
Kurt really loved his husband. He still wasn't sure how he had gotten so lucky.
Although his past life was still a part of his present, something he couldn't simply delete and start over, Kurt was happy. He had forgiven himself for what he had been forced to do to survive. He finally accepted that he had been lost for too long and that he had done his best, only a kid when everything turned into such a mess. He couldn't change the past, but he could make up for it by ensuring his future was as bright as possible. And Blaine was always more than happy to help brighten his days.
Blaine was such a sweet, attentive, considerate husband. They made a point of going out on dates regularly, even when they were busy. He had insisted on going to Paris for their honeymoon (Cooper had immediately bought them the plane tickets as a wedding present), and never forgot, not even when he was tired after a long day or when he was sick, to tell Kurt of how much he loved him and how beautiful he was. Kurt's eyes still filled with tears when he heard him, knowing how close they had been to losing each other, and how amazing it was that the universe had made sure they would end up together. It was the reward after all the suffering he had gone through.
He was about to put the quiche in the oven when he heard the front door and the familiar footsteps. He smiled to himself as he set the oven's timer, and then felt a pair of arms encircling his waist and lips pressing to the pulse point in his neck.
"Hey you," Blaine said smiling against his skin.
"Hey you," Kurt replied fondly, turning his head for a proper kiss. "How was your day?"
"It was great. The kids are finally coming down from their Halloween high," Blaine nuzzled against his hair. "What's for dinner?"
"Spinach and cheese quiche," Kurt replied distractedly. "Where are…?"
Before he could even finish his question, a thunder of footsteps echoed in the kitchen.
"Papa! Papa! Look what I did!"
"No, look what I did!"
Kurt grinned and turned in Blaine's arms so he could face the twins, who were proudly showing him their drawings. Miles' drawing consisted of stick figures and a few blobs of color, but Milo's looked more elaborate and neat. Even though they weren't biologically theirs, Kurt already knew which of their sons was going to emulate his talent at drawing.
He rescued both drawings and held them up, admiring them like treasured artwork. "They're fantastic, guys! Are these your Halloween costumes? Good job!" The twins preened at the praise. "Do you want me to put them up on the fridge or the cork board in your room?"
"The fridge!" Miles exclaimed, while Milo replied, "Our room!"
Being a dad was another dream Kurt had abandoned during the darkest years of his life. When he was younger, he had never really thought much about whether he wanted to have children one day, or not. But being married to Blaine had entirely changed his perspective. Not only would have it been a crime not to see Blaine becoming a father – he had been born for it – but he realized he craved it, too. A family of his own.
They had decided to adopt instead of using a surrogate, even though one of Blaine's cousins had offered to carry their baby. Miles and Milo had been almost three years old when they first met them, – foster children rescued from an abusive home, their father an alcoholic, and their mother a teenager with too many problems to deal with two toddlers. They had seemed like the perfect match, love at first sight. They were four and a half years old now and the light of Kurt and Blaine's lives. They couldn't imagine life without their sons anymore. They couldn't imagine themselves as being anything but what they were now: husbands and fathers.
Kurt walked to the fridge and added Miles' drawing to the other drawings and pictures they had mounted there, held by magnets. He gave Milo's to Blaine. "Why don't you help Milo put that up in their room and then wash up, Dad? I'll finish with dinner."
"Of course, sweetheart," Blaine planted a kiss on his cheek and motioned for the boys to follow him. "Come on, guys! Let's put this up and then wash our hands."
"Can't we play first with…?" Milo begged, dragging his feet. Blaine gave him a playful pat as he herded the twins out of the kitchen.
"You can play after dinner! You heard what your Papa just said!"
Kurt smiled as he heard the kids bickering all the way up the stairs, with Blaine trailing behind them. He loved his boys, all three of them. They were sunshine and ice-cream and laughter. They were everything.
Though Kurt wouldn't mind adding a little girl to the mix…
He set the table and put the salad together quickly. He was checking on the quiche when Blaine's arms found their way around him again, kissing the sensitive spot behind his ear.
"Can I help with anything or are you all set?" He asked, leaning a bit to see Kurt's face.
"Mm," Kurt hummed, enjoying his proximity as he thought. "I think we're all set. Are the kids ready…?"
"They're still washing their hands. If they aren't back in a minute, I'll go get them. We don't need another flood from a water battle like last week," Blaine chuckled against his neck. They certainly had their hands full with those two. "How was your day?"
"It was good. I finished that blue dress I was working on," Kurt commented, leaning against Blaine's chest happily. "It looked really good on the mannequin, but I can't wait to see someone wearing it…"
"I'm sure the lucky girl who gets to wear your dress will look stunning," Blaine smiled. "Do we have any plans for the weekend? The boys were talking in the car about some fair they want to go to…"
"As long as I'm not required to wear a denim onesie for this one…" Kurt muttered, rolling his eyes.
"Hey, it was one time. We didn't know what kind of fair it was! I thought it would be the fun kind, with rides and all that!" Blaine protested.
"Uhm. Well, as long as you win a teddy bear for me, you've got yourself a date," Kurt winked at him, and Blaine moved in for a kiss, despite the awkward angle.
They were a bit lost in each other, but were pulled back to reality when two pairs of little arms wrapped themselves around Kurt's leg. They looked down to see the twins smiling up at them broadly, hugging him tightly. Kurt felt his heart swelling with love and joy – so many years spent unloved and alone, and now he had three pairs of loving arms to make sure he never had to feel lonely again.
Kurt Hummel stood in the middle of his home in Westerville, Ohio, letting himself be embraced by the three people he loved most in the world and, despite everything that had happened to him, all the pain, all the disappointment, he knew it had all been worth it. As long as he had this – his family, his boys, his three loves – he would keep fighting.
This was his life, and he loved every single second of it.
Everytime I post the last chapter or the epilogue of a story, I can't believe it's over. Going on this journey with you guys has been amazing, especially with a story like this one, that was as hard to write as I know it's been to read. I hope you all enjoyed the end – I hope I gave Kurt everything he deserved.
I cannot thank you enough for your endless support. The number of reviews I got for Loving Arms is absolutely incredible. When I read your messages, I keep recognizing so many of you, who have been there for so long, since I started writing for this fandom, and I find new names and readers that I hope will come back for the future stories. But regardless of that, I'm very grateful, because you took the time to read each chapter, to leave a comment, to send me a tweet, to reblog on Tumblr. I couldn't ask for more supporting readers, really. Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.
And I couldn't ask for better betas. Both Wutif and Christine are the most helpful teachers, friends and cheerleaders and I have no idea what I would do without them. I'm very lucky, because I really found the best betas in this fandom, and the best friends in the world.
Now Loving Arms is over (no, there won't be a sequel, and you guys know why!), but there's more coming soon. My next story is called The Awakening, and I'm so damn excited about it. I hope you come back and check it out. I still don't know when it'll be up (I still have to write the two final chapters), but I'm guessing some time in July. You can follow me here, on twitter or tumblr to know when it's going to start.
See you then?
Love you all,