Author's Note: I loved the acting and the honesty in the scene between Kurt, Burt and Finn in 'Theatricality', when Kurt shows Finn the tent/room he's created for them to share. Finn blows up, confronts Kurt about having a crush on him and starts (in frustration) disparaging all things 'faggy'. Burt lectures Finn about homophobia and then orders him out of the house. Glee at its dramatic best. But...but it really bothered me that afterwards Kurt didn't acknowledge his own responsibility for creating that situation. So I decided to have him do it here. Maybe he comes out here a little ahead of where he is on the show, but it's where I think he should be. Quotes in bold italics are lines of dialogue from 'Theatricality', and there are also references to the main Kurt/Burt scene in 'Laryngitis'.
My thanks to Artimis Rayne and his incredibly awesome Glee fanfic "Jack and Diane" for the idea to use the second person narrator. Let me know if you think it's effective.
Disclaimer: If I owned Glee, they'd sing more show tunes and Adam Lambert would have a recurring role as Kurt's older, wiser and even more fabulous counter-tenor cousin.
"Are you freaking insane? I can't live here, I'm a dude."
You sit there, hands very still in your lap, drawing in deep breath after deep breath. Even though Dad and Finn are gone, it's important that you DO. NOT. CRY. Because crying will turn your skin red and blotchy, which is just not a look you can rock at all. And crying is 'faggy.'
Your magnificent room that you worked so hard on, that you'd been so excited to share with Finn. The room of your romantic imagination, a theatrical room. And Finn didn't even give it a chance, just shot it down.
But you know that scene with Finn just now wasn't about whether the room is 'faggy' or fierce, although you dearly wish it were.
"You think I don't see the way you stare at me? How flirty you get?"
That's what this is about. Finn not wanting to share a room with you, any room, or get dressed in front of you, not wanting to deal with the gay stuff. When he said that, it was like a cold grape slushy in the face. No, it was like having a wardrobe consisting entirely of Lands' End and Gap. No, it was more like losing solo after solo to Ms. Anything-You-Can-Sing-I-Can-Sing-Better. Yes, just like that – knowing you could make something work if given the chance, but being rejected just because you're different.
Except... You have to be fair here. Finn is not some red-meat overdosed Neanderthal like Karofsky. He could easily have beaten you into a neat little pile of crumpled formal wear just now, but Finn would never do that. In truth, he's a pretty tolerant guy. He's a gentleman. You almost wish he were like Karofsky – then these feelings would go away.
"Why can't you just accept that I'm not like you?"
You have accepted it. That's what you said and it isn't a lie. You're not an idiot – you know Finn is straight and that gazing at him, sharing a room, even serenading him with Burt Bacharach in your beautiful counter-tenor isn't going to change that.
But here's the thing that you haven't accepted, the thing it's hard to explain – Finn being straight is kind of beside the point. You hate being the stereotypical pathetic gay guy pining after the stereotypical straight guy, who clearly wants nothing to do with him.
But still you have these feelings. They exist independent of whether Finn will ever reciprocate them. And they aren't going away, not receding in the face of painful reality. But you have no outlet for them, except to carry on this hopeless crush, which, since you're stuck with it, you've decided to consider tragically romantic, albeit in a masochistic, M. Butterfly sort of way.
Well, maybe you do wallow a bit, dwell a little too wistfully on what will never be while you're doing your evening moisturizing regime. You remember that Emily Dickinson poem from English class: "Hope is the thing with feathers." What was she smoking? Hope is the thing that mocks you while you're dangling off the cliff's edge, struggling to get a toe-hold, and then cuts the rope. Hope is the thing that lowers your defenses so the Huns can breach the walls and sack the city. Hope keeps your windows jammed open as the rain comes pouring in, ruining the 'faggy' lamp in your magnificent, theatrical room.
"You know. You know what I'm talking about, don't play dumb."
Dad said something similar after you tore into 'Rose's Turn' – don't go playing the victim. You kind of were, weren't you, playing dumb about the crush with Finn just now? Face it, you have been acting a little disingenuous, a little insecure and, well, yeah, maybe a little self-indulgent, huffing around going, "Poor gay me, Daddy wants a straight boy."
But that's not true. Dad came back for you that day in the auditorium. For you. And after you dropped the butch act and the lumberjack chic and sang out all your bitterness, he was …well, he was so understanding. Not mad, not ashamed of you at all. Told you to just be yourself and his job was to love you no matter what. You know a few other kids at McKinley, kids still in the closet, whose parents wouldn't be so understanding. Probably has a lot to do with why they're still in the closet….
Yeah, maybe Finn and Dad have a point about taking the 'offended Kurt' routine too far lately. So there's another thing Finn and Dad can bond over – complaining about you.
"You live a few years, you start seeing the hate in people's hearts. Even the best people."
You really, really didn't expect this whole jealousy/envy vibe when you introduced Dad to Finn's mom (okay, when you threw Dad at Finn's mom) to get closer to him. It makes no sense – how this stupid crush on Finn can coexist with resenting him because of Dad. With feeling thrown in the dumpster of life every time you see Finn and Dad shouting at the TV during some sports game, slapping each other on the knee and agreeing that was the best/worst/craziest call/play/decision they'd ever seen.
Dad always, always invites you to join them when he sees you lingering in the doorway. He does it to be kind, of course. He knows you have no interest in sports. But the invitation is there, and Finn is there. And if you have these stupid feelings about him, you should want to go in, should jump at the chance to sit next to him on the couch and have an excuse to touch him, even if it's only a playful guys-bonding-over-football-type punch in the arm.
But you don't want to. You can't stomach pretending you're okay with that easy rapport between them. Which sprang up instantly, effortlessly, the very first minute they started talking to each other at that restaurant, the one you never want to go back to again in your life.
But now Dad's in love. And Carole, she's positively adorable in love.
"I love your mom, and maybe this is gonna cost me her, but my family comes first."
She's great, Carole – funny and kind, and totally open to helpful fashion tips. Mom would have liked Carole. You remember Mom, mostly. You think of her nearly every day, in fact, and miss her terribly, even on the days when you don't think about her. Although she died 8 years ago, she's always there. Every time you wear a scarf or do that thing with your hair (she always did that thing with her hair, too, brushing it off her forehead). Or cry. Mom's always there, loving you and Dad. And you know that Carole is just sharing space with Mom, not trying to move her out. So as far as you are concerned, the whole step-mother arrangement will work out just fine.
But... but Dad just threw Finn out of the house. And it was your fault. Dad wouldn't have had to stand up for you so drastically if you hadn't pushed Finn to his limit. And now Dad might lose Carole, Carole who makes him so happy. If she goes, who knows if he'll ever find another woman worthy of sharing this house with Mom.
And if it makes Dad happy to have a boy around that he can talk sports with, well… well…he should have that. He deserves it. It fills a gap in him, a fatherhood gap. It's nobody's fault, but you can see how being father to Finn is just more what Dad always expected fatherhood to be.
"He is my son."
But you'll never forget how he just chose you over Finn. And he will always put his gay son – no, forget the 'gay' part. He will always put his son first. That's his job, he said so after you sang your heart raw on 'Rose's Turn.' So just get past the insecurity already. Maybe stop focusing on your own drama and try to be a little more understanding of others, a little more generous. See things though other people's eyes.
"The place looks great."
No it doesn't. Well, it doesn't. The room of your fantastical imagination looks…ridiculous. A basement Bedouin boudoir! Of course Finn hates it. And not because the privacy partition is 'faggy' (although maybe the blend of masculine and feminine in this room isn't as perfect as you originally thought). Be honest, what is there here for Finn to like? The whole room reflects your creative muse. There's no element of Finn's personality in it at all, no nod to his terminally pedestrian taste. No room for his football jersey, no place for his Def Leppard poster or whatever it is Mr. Straight Man kept in his old room.
Oh! He kept that urn with his father's ashes in his old room, didn't he? Took it up there when Carole sold their furniture and started moving stuff into your house.
You should feel sorry for Finn. You were 8, so you have memories of Mom's touch and her voice and her laughter, the way she always smelled of sandalwood. But Finn was just a baby, and has only these two sad things – a faded photo and those creepy ashes – to remember his dad by.
So maybe that's the answer. Focus on the brother thing, bond over loss – nothing's less romantic than dead parents. You could do worse than Finn for a brother. A lot worse! Maybe if you take that approach, hope will grow some feathers after all, and the unwanted feelings will fly away. Well, it's worth a try, because pouting and resenting and playing the victim sure aren't getting you or anyone else in this house what they want.
One thing you know – Finn's a lucky guy, because Dad will be an awesome step-father. He already is. All you have to do now is patch up this rift between them, the one you caused. Shouldn't be too hard. They've got that natural rapport you were just complaining about, and Dad was only upset on your behalf anyway. Once he knows you're okay, he'll forgive Finn. Dad's a pretty tolerant guy, too.
And when you redecorate the room, you'll make sure to find a special place for that photo and the urn. On Finn's side of the privacy partition, of course.