I'm not a frequent updater, as you can probably notice. The story isn't abandoned - in fact, it's entirely planned - but when I write it out depends on the time I have and the inspiration the strikes me. So for those of you that hang in there and stick with it, I think the world of you.
Disclaimer: No, I don't own Glee, or anything else copyright protected that might be mentioned.
Saturday afternoon found Kurt lying moodily on his bed, dwelling on the events of the previous day. His iPod had been playing the Wicked soundtrack but the playlist had ended hours ago. His cell phone was tightly grasped in his hand, the volume at the maximum. Even though it had been less than a day, the fact that Finn hadn't called was worrying him to no end. His mind was so caught up in the mess he had started that he didn't notice when his father knocked on the door, and without waiting for acknowledgment, opened it and came in.
"Hey Kurt, you got a sec.?" He asked, eyeing his son quizzically.
"Sorry dad, I'm listening to music. It's a Glee assignment." Kurt responded vaguely, his gaze unwavering from the spot on the wall it had fixated upon. Shaking his head, Burt sat down on the edge of Kurt's bed.
"Nice try. It was so loud it was drowning out the sports network earlier, I think I'd notice if it was still going." Kurt winced when he realized his speakers were silent.
"Okay, Dad. What's going on?" He said tentatively.
"That's what I was going to ask you. I'd like to know what's bugging my son so much that I haven't seen hide nor hair of his gelled head since yesterday after school. What's the matter?"
Smiling, Kurt met his father's searching gaze. "I've just been caught up in the Mamma Mia soundtrack lately. And I'm a little tired. I suspect I'm catching something…" After a moment of silence, and the dubious disbelief on Burt's face, Kurt added a weak, dramatic cough for good measure. Burt sighed.
"Alright Kurt, here's the deal. I know I said before I didn't want to have the guy talk with you." He took a deep breath, and Kurt watched him carefully, his eyes widening. "But I guess I'm ready for it, if that's what's going on. So let's hear it."
Sitting up slowly, Kurt sized up his dad. When he'd first told him about his sexuality, the contentment at his acceptance had been legendary. Nevertheless, the idea of discussing the situation at hand with his All-American He-Man father was more than a little ludicrous.
"Who is it?" Burt prompted, and it was Kurt's turn to inhale deeply in preparation.
"Finn Hudson." He said softly, bracing himself.
"Hudson…that rings a bell."
"The quarterback, dad. He's also in Glee club." Still studying his father's expression intently, Kurt saw recognition dawn, closely followed by discomfort. Clearly, putting a face to the object of his son's fantasies was an awkward process.
"Yeah…I know the guy. The tall one." Burt nodded his own confirmation, and then added abruptly, "He's dating the blonde chick."
"Yes. Well…I don't know about that, anymore." Waiting silently for his son to continue, Burt Hummel didn't miss the creasing of his forehead and the slightly tremble of his jaw. "I had a hand in the recent dissolution of their relationship…but Quinn was the one at fault. She was being less than honest, and I…well, I just made Finn aware of the possibility." He met his father's eyes briefly, and then became suddenly very interested in the corner of the duvet on his bed. He was determined not to cry; he knew how much man-to-man emotion freaked his dad out, but he was fighting a losing battle. "I guess it wasn't the best thing to do."
"So, by recent, I guess that's what went down yesterday."
"Well Kurt, I don't have a lot of respect for people who try to be manipulative. You know that." Kurt bowed his head, but not before a visible tear rolled down his cheek. Grimacing, Burt cleared his throat and pressed on. "So, if she was doing that guy wrong then he's lucky to have someone who cares about him as much as you do, to set him straight. Or uh, not so straight, however it turns out."
Kurt laughed, albeit shakily. "I don't think that's in the picture, Dad." He sniffed rather un-daintily when he felt his dad rest a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you. For hearing me out."
"Yeah, well…I may not be the greatest at this kind of thing. But you're still my son, even if I have to put up with America's Next Top Model every Wednesday."
Blinking furiously, Kurt leaned forward to throw his arms around his dad with as much strength as he could muster. Awkwardly, Burt patted him on the back. Hugs were something he needed to work on…just like boy talk with Kurt, even if the process was much less painful as he'd initially suspected it would be. After a minute Kurt drew back.
"I got some stuff to get done in the garage. But I want you to let me know if you need anything, okay?"
Smiling softly, Kurt nodded. "Thanks again, Dad."
"Yeah, yeah." Burt grinned briefly, and meandered over to the doorway. A thick, unshakeable protectiveness lodged itself in the back of his throat as he looked back at his son, sitting on the bed, his expression quickly reverting to melancholy.
"Play your music as loud as you want, Kurt." He said gruffly, before shutting the door behind him.
Having resigned himself to a Finn-free day, by four o' clock Kurt had his worn DVD of Cabaret playing top force, fully taking advantage of Burt's temporary blessing of loud show tunes. Watching a young Liza Minnelli belt out Maybe This Time, he was all the more thankful that Rachel hadn't followed through with the musical. While her voice was as powerful and undeniable as her obnoxious personality, it just couldn't stand up to the task of doing this piece right. Kurt was so caught up in the song that the almost missed his phone's familiar jangling version of Madonna's 'Vogue'. Almost.
Pausing Cabaret mid-song, he raced across the room to answer the call. A quick check to the caller ID told him it was Finn, and a swift and increasingly familiar swimming sensation filled his stomach.
"Finn. Hi." He said, slightly out of breath. There was a long pause on the other end.
"Oh, hey Kurt." He said, quite loudly. "What's new?"
"Nothing groundbreaking…at least, not today." Kurt added. The past week had been anything but ordinary, and waiting for Finn to respond made him nervous.
"Finn, are you okay?" He asked softly.
"I'm, uh, feeling a bit better." Finn laughed loosely. "D'you think you'd want to come over? Like anytime, or now, or you know."
"I don't think I do know." Kurt said, nonplussed. "But yes. I can do that. Now's….a good time, then?"
"Now's perfect." Finn said softly, and when no more was said, Kurt hung up the phone and raced upstairs.
Grabbing his keys, he practically flew into the garage to find his dad.
"I'm going out for awhile, dad. I'll be back later." He called, and made to turn around and head to his car.
"Whoa, whoa, now hang on just a second. Where are you dashing off to all of a sudden? I thought you were upset." Burt said suspiciously, taking a mental note of his son's flushed cheeks and eyes still overly bright from crying.
"I was. But it's Finn. I told him he could call me, if he needs me." Stumbling over the last part, Kurt looked at his dad pleadingly.
"And he called."
"Alright then," Burt sighed. He didn't know whether to be happy, apprehensive, or just plain miserable. His son was finally experiencing the drama of high school romance, which was, regardless of one's preferred gender, a series of disasters that skipped the waiting and simply happened. But there was also the thrill of the chase, the firm belief that this person was the only one you could care about. Puppy love, Burt thought of it as. And whether he thought he was in love or not, Kurt had eyes like a baby Cockapoo.
"Well," He continued after his moment of musing, striding over to Kurt with his eyebrow arched. "Go play." Messing up his disgruntled son's hair, he walked into the house.
Kurt rang the doorbell twice before finally there was the sound of someone lumbering down the stairs. When it opened, and Finn stood before him with a goofy grin settled on his face, the first thing Kurt was hit with was the obviously overbearing presence of alcohol.
"You've been drinking." He said, stepping around Finn and into the house, neatly tucking his shoes to the side.
"Yeah…" Finn mumbled contemplatively, gesturing for Kurt to follow him back up the stairs and into his room. A mess of beer cans was scattered about on the carpet, lying on top of the clothes that were also strewn about the space.
"I guess I could understand that, given the circumstances…" He watched as Finn opened another beer and took a heavy swig. "Is no one else here?" Kurt asked hesitantly.
"Nah, my mom's working. She takes late shifts on Saturdays." Finn tossed back the answer easily, but it wasn't what Kurt was looking for.
Finn didn't answer for a long moment. He swished the liquid in the can around before taking another sip. For someone who hadn't known what a cliché was, he was knocking the typical "drowning one's sorrows" out of the park.
"She's not here anymore." Kurt didn't push the question, but after another minute Finn went on anyway. "I helped her pack her stuff this morning."
The look on his face was unmistakeable; Finn was a haunted man. The brief contentment he'd had with Quinn – the calm before the storm – was now proving to be the cloud hanging over his head, pressing his shoulders into a hunch and adding a hollow note of desperation to his voice. Kurt knew the look well, imagined it was similar to the one he had been wearing himself while these events were transpiring, and it killed him to see that entwined so intricately with Finn's features.
"I couldn't even ask her where she was staying. I just watched her drive away. I just couldn't handle it, if it were…"
"If it were Puck." Kurt said. He was done with riddles. He didn't want any enigmatic statements lingering in this conversation.
Finn shook his head cynically. "I just can't wrap my head around it." His fist tightened, crushing the empty can he held in it. "I gave her so much money for a child I knew I wouldn't be raising, because it was our child. It was my damn responsibility. And I find out that she'd just been taking it from me the whole time when I shouldn't have had anything to do with it." He turned his gaze to Kurt, his voice steadily escalating in volume.
"My Mom could have used that money to pay for shit around the house. To pay for anything! It's not like we're really well off." He snorted, reaching into the twelve pack for another, swaying slightly forward as he did so.
"Are you sure you want anything more to drink?" Kurt said sceptically. While Finn's communicative skills weren't suffering yet, he was quite certain they would be the next to go. Finn ignored the question, popping the top anyway and closing his eyes.
"I don't even know where to start about Puck. I mean first…it makes me so damn angry…" His shoulders tensed, nearly trembling, and his face hardened into a livid mask, with the quick addition of a twisted smile. "But I don't know Kurt, I mean once I think about it a little more…what a joke. Quinn slept with him but even so, she still didn't want him to be the dad. She wouldn't trust him with that responsibility, and I don't think anyone would." He scoffed, hanging his head.
"But here I am, talking shit about the guy who was my best friend." He lapsed into silence again, and the shadow of a delicate pain could be seen in the crease of his eyebrow, the set of his chin. "I mean…I lost her." His voice was barely above a whisper, and overwhelmingly thick. "And I've lost my best friend, too."
Until now, Kurt had assumed the best thing for Finn would be to listen without interrupting, to let him vent all the feelings he had to deal with. But catching a glimpse of tears gathering in his eyes, he decided it was time to step in.
"Finn, listen." Kurt said firmly, wrapping his arm tightly around Finn's shaking shoulders. His mind was blank past stemming Finn's rant of mourning. So, he said the first thing that came to his mind.
"I'll be your best friend."
Finn's response was immediate, as he sagged onto Kurt's chest, catching the smaller boy's breath in his throat.
"God, Kurt…" He mumbled into the thin material of Kurt's shirt. "I really need you to be, I think."
Touched, Kurt raised his hand to comb his fingers carefully through Finn's short hair. What was meant as a solitary soothing gesture was prolonged, as Kurt traced light circles over the jock's hairline. The unlucky circumstances ceased to matter; he was there to be supporting of Finn, but he couldn't ignore the fact that he was still completely enamoured with him. His breath hitched again when he felt Finn's lips moving against his collarbone, and his fingers shook. It took him a moment to realize Finn had been speaking, and that he had completely missed what had been voiced.
"I'm sorry, w-what was that?" He said, his voice hushed and breathy. Finn lifted his head from Kurt's chest, not questioning it when Kurt let his hand remain at the base of his neck.
"This morning…Quinn kissed me, right before she left." A strange look on his face was surfacing, his gaze locked with Kurt's, unwavering. "She kissed me, and I know that she loves me, I could tell, but I just can't." Kurt, still flustered, was stuck on the simple things.
"She kissed you?" He murmured.
"Yeah." Finn stopped, the look on his face intensifying. "Yeah…" he repeated. "Like this."
Before Kurt knew what to do, Finn had surged forward, pressing their lips together. It was clumsy, but it was Finn, and Finn was kissing him…just when Kurt started to close his eyes and respond, the other boy pulled away. Kurt kept his eyes cast down, not daring to expect anything, but tendrils of fool's hope snaking their way around his heart anyway. So it was a complete surprise to him when all of a sudden, Finn's mouth was again on his.
It was an urgent and hungry sort of kiss, Kurt could taste beer in Finn's mouth and thought that Finn must have been much more drunk than he had judged, but then Finn rested his hand on Kurt's cheek and angled his mouth just perfectly, and Kurt stopped thinking anything.
And Finn's other hand was sliding down Kurt's side, resting on the side of his hip, curling unsubtly around his butt, and then Kurt's arms flew around Finn's neck as he lost his balance, completely overcome with sensations he had never had before. Ages later, long moments of pushing and pulling, false breaths stolen from the corners of their mouths, Finn pulled back. A look of bemusement now relaxing his face, he fell back on his bed where they had been sitting. Kurt stared down at him, nonplussed. Within minutes, Finn's eyes had closed and he was starting to snore. Reaching up to brush his lips with his fingertips, Kurt tried to take hold of what had just happened. He didn't know what had brought on the sudden change in mood, and frankly thought he would be biased in anything he tried to read into.
A moment of panic burning his stomach, he dashed downstairs to the kitchen. He took a deep breath, but all he could sense was the dizzying presence of Finn throughout the house. Throughout him. Filling a glass of water, he carefully returned to Finn's bedroom. He placed it on the bedside table, and stared at the sleeping boy in front of him.
If it were a movie, I would say something, he thought. Some parting remark that he may or may not hear, a little something to remember when he woke up, hung over as hell. But a stillness had stolen over Kurt, numbing his wit and natural flair for dramatic exits. So he carefully leaned down, dropped a gentle kiss on Finn's forehead, and walked down the stairs to collect his shoes.