Kurt looked at his brother (step brother? sort of brother? thank-god-he-never-wanted-to-date-me-or-this-would-be-really-awkward brother?). Finn was currently trying to lick a glob of pizza sauce off elbow.
"What?" Finn asked.
"You." Kurt swiped a napkin around the outside of his glass, dampening it with condensation, and cleaned off Finn's arm. He twisted the limb slightly, ignoring the yelp of shock, and checked his sleeve for more splotches of sauce. Fortunately, (though he did have some emergency stain treater in the car) Finn had managed to keep his clothes out of his dinner. "All clean." he proclaimed.
"Thanks, Mom." Finn teased, sticking out his tongue, and Kurt grinned, mimicking the expression.
Another normal night out for the Hummel/Hudson clan. Sometimes Kurt managed to wrangle them into a museum, or an art show, and "the boys" had been surprisingly willing to go once they learned they wouldn't have to dress up too much, and Finn realized that a lot of art had naked women. Other times they would catch a movie or go skating (Rinky Dinks was doing surprisingly well under new management, though Kurt missed April Rhodes unique style).
Most of the time they ended up bowling, which was fine with Kurt. He was pretty good, and Carole was better. His dad- well his dad tried, but Finn was good enough to make "Boys vs. 'Girls' " interesting. "Hummels vs. Hudsons" was just embarrassing. "Juniors vs. Seniors" was always fun. No matter which team won, they had a good time.
Finn and Kurt would eventually get bored with the game and go back to the half finished dinner, picking the toppings off the leftover pizza, while their parents (god help them) flirted shamelessly.
They would talk about school or glee while they ate. Finn would listen to Kurt talk about the upcoming clothing sales and his strategy of attack, and Kurt would try to follow along when Finn started in about the new level of World of Warfare, and how he was totally kicking Mike's ass at it.
It was, Kurt decided with a grin and another sip of diet soda, quite nice really.
Even Karofksy and Azimio, three lanes down, didn't bother him. He had just ignored them, and nearly wet himself laughing when they had tried to cause trouble. Finn had suggested, not so politely, that they stop glaring at his baby brother, and go enjoy their date night somewhere else. Then Finn pointed out Kurt's dad, and the fact that Burt could and would kick their asses, easily, The two bullies sulked off muttering, speeding up as Burt and Carole joined their sons.
All in all, it was a fun Family Night.
Finn was the first to notice something was wrong. He had grabbed the keys from Kurt and raced to the front door. (Winner chose the game, and Kurt would make him play that stupid wii fitness one.) Being taller, and stronger, helped, and he managed to fend off Kurt long enough the unlock the door, though by the time he wrestled the key out of the lock, the smaller teen had tackled him, wrapping his arms around his shoulders, feet dangling off the ground.
The back door was smashed, the glass from the sliding door shattered and ground into the carpet. The living room though was spotless. Finn's bedroom door was open, 'FAG' scrawled in red paint across the wood. Looking past the door he saw two shadows in the back yard, jumping over the fence.
Finn felt Kurt freeze, then drop, wriggling past him. Burt yelled at him to come back, but Kurt ignored him, making a dash for Finn's room. (He had thought, for just a second, that Kurt was going after the shadows). Slowly Finn followed him, trailed by Burt and Carole.
Finn's room was destroyed. Not that there had been much to destroy. He had assured Burt that he just wanted a small room, since he spent most of his time in the rec room downstairs.
The desk was broken into pieces, the mattress ripped, the beanbag chair that he had brought with him, just to spite Kurt, had literally been turned inside out, little foam balls spilled around the room. And everywhere, in bright red paint, were hateful words. Another 'Fag'. 'Fudge Packer'. 'Cock Sucker'. Someone had tried to spell something, getting as far as 'Sodim-' (it looked like the 'i' had tried to become a 'u' at some point) before giving up and turning it into a badly drawn dick.
Finn's eyes stung. He wanted to cry.
He turned around. Carole had her hand over her mouth, and Kurt had pulled her into a tight hug, rubbing her arm comfortingly. Burt was on the phone, with what sounded like the cops, while he searched the rest of the house. Finn listened as he stomped down stairs into the basement. He held his breath, trying to picture Burt walking across the rec room, and to Kurt's bedroom.
There was a slam, and a string of obscenities that Finn could never imagine coming from Burt. Kurt's eyes widened, all color draining from his face.
"We need to go see." Kurt said quietly, shoulders quivering.
"Oh Honey." Carole tried to guide him to the couch, but Kurt shook her off and started towards the stairs. He stopped and looked up at Finn. "I - I don't think I can- by myself-I"
Kurt looked scared. Finn reached out, grabbing his hand. "I'll go with you." He offered, and Kurt smiled, squeezing the offered hand lightly and heading down to his room.
The basement had been remodeled when Burt added on Finn's room, creating a rec room of sorts, and a separate bedroom for Kurt. The rec room, like the rest of the house was mostly spotless. The DVD and CD tower had been kicked over, cases scattered across the floor. But that was the only damage.
Kurt's room though. Finn wasn't even sure he could take it all in.
His mattress had been slashed too, duvet and pillows ripped open, his clothes were spilling out of the walk in closet, the TV cracked, everything covered in red paint. Crude drawings, and more of those words. 'FAGGOTT' took up most of one wall.
Kurt's vanity was torn to pieces. His mother's vanity. All the tubs of cream, and gel and Finn wasn't even sure what had been smashed, smeared over the walls and into the carpet. The vanity was a pile of wood and broken glass.
The smaller teen had been strangely calm, especially considering his...mental thing, but it was the site of the his dad, sitting on the bed and looking so lost that broke him.
Finn let go of Kurt's hand, watching as Kurt sat down by his dad, curling up around him and burrowing into his arms. Finn sank to the floor, still in shock, and leaned in as his mother knelt down, pulling him into a hug.
The only thing keeping Burt from screaming, from going on a rampage, and possibly going to jail for manslaughter was his son, pressed tightly against his side, so close he was nearly in his dad's lap.
Kurt was shaking, shoulders jerking. But he was laughing. The almost hysterical sound was jarring in the shocked silence.
"Kurt?" He asked gently, loosening his hold so Kurt could pull back. The boy just shook his head, staying curled up against Burt's side.
"Th-they spelled it wrong. Too many 'T's. There's only one 'T' in Fag-" Kurt flinched. "F-faggot." The laughter turned into gasping sobs, and Kurt buried his face against his dad's shoulder.
Burt could only rock his son, murmuring a litany of "shh" and "hush" and "it's okay."
It wasn't okay. It was so far from okay. Someone had come into their house, their home. Had destroyed his sons' rooms. Spewed their hate. Hurt Finn. Destroyed Kurt's safe haven.
When Kurt was 8, after his mother died and he started having panic attacks, Burt had taken him to his room, showed him the new lock (easily picked with a safety pin, but Kurt didn't need to know that) and told him that if he ever needed to get away, or hide, he could go to his room. It was safe there, and nothing could ever happen. Over the years it had become a security blanket of sorts. Kurt would disappear into his room sometimes and lock the door after a bad day. Even now, nearly 10 years later, only a select few were allowed in to his sanctuary. Burt, and Mercedes. Carole and Finn just recently. Puck, Kurt's (god forbid) boyfriend, who actually seemed to be really great with his son, even is he was a sketchy looking punk.
The rest of his friends had never even seen his room, though they understood why. There was a running joke about Kurt living under the stairs like Harry Potter.
And now some asshole had destroyed it. The police would be tromping through the room, taking pictures. Invading their home. It wasn't the same of course, they were the good guys, but he wasn't sure Kurt could handle more people right now.
Burt sighed, and hugged Kurt closer. "Carole, could you wait for the cops? I'm going to try to get him to our room. That okay with you kiddo? You can hide out in there until they're gone.
Kurt had stopped crying, struggling to breathe steadily, like his therapist had taught him. He shook his head, wriggling out of Burt's grasp.
"No." he said, looking around. looking at the broken vanity. He scrubbed at his face with his sleeve. "I - I want to talk them. Just let me-" He waved a hand towards the bathroom, thankfully untouched. "I look horrible." He choked out a laugh. "Can we talk in the kitchen?"
Burt was amazed, once again, by his son. Burt was so shaken, and he knew Carole and Finn were too, yet Kurt, who had suffered the most, who had a panic attack last week because he forgot to close his bedroom door before his friends came over, was standing there, joking about his splotchy face, and...if he knew his son...planning seating arrangements (Kurt would be in the chair against the wall. Like a gunslinger, he always chose a seat where no one could sneak up on him, where he could look out over the entire room.)
It was obvious that Kurt was hanging by a thread, but he was being so calm. He was, Burt thought fondly, his mother's son.
"You want me to call Puck?" Finn asked, pulling himself to his feet and taking Kurt's hand again.
"God no." Kurt said, quickly. "He'll freak out, then I'll freak out, then he'll end up setting something on fire and I'll have to dip into my allowance to bail him out of jail. I can't deal with that right now."
Carole laughed, gathering Kurt into a quick hug before pulling back to straighten his hair, then ushered him into the bathroom with a gentle push.
"Let's just worry about getting you presentable, Sweetie. We'll let Burt deal with him later...and hide the matches."
Burt shook his head, looking at his family. His fiance. His sons.
He ignored the destruction, the hate sprayed in red, the people who tried to destroy their house. All of that could be fixed, survived.
His family was what really mattered, and they were so damn strong. Things would be okay, not quickly, not easily, but in the end: things would be okay.
And when they found out who did this, and put the little fuckers in jail, he was booking a table at Lima's fanciest restaurant to celebrate. Let Kurt dress up, and finally get some use out of those etiquette lessons he wanted in third grade. It probably meant shopping for a new outfit, but Burt didn't really care. And etiquette be damned, but Burt would make sure Finn knew he could wear his rattiest jeans, if that's what he wanted.
They were a good family, and they worked.
They were stronger than a can full of spray paint.
Carole was, she thought absently as she sat at the kitchen table, swirling the dregs of her coffee, exhausted.
It had been 10 hours since they came home to find their house broken into, vandalized, destroyed.
That was 9:00.
By 11:00 the police had come and gone, taking statements, and advising them to take pictures, but not to disturb the "crime scene", until the vandals had been caught.
Kurt had held out just long enough to answer their questions, and provide a, surprisingly short, list of possible suspects. (Apparently, between Cheerleading and Football, many of Kurt's enemies had changed their minds, or were scared of Sue Sylvester. That woman was certifiable.)
Kurt had then excused himself to the bathroom, and locked himself in there while the police took statements from everyone else. The cops were concerned at the boy's disappearance, but Burt assured them it was normal.
Carole meanwhile listened, horrified, as Finn recounted the threats and bullying both her sons had been subjected to. She had known Kurt had been dealing with that sort of thing for years, and it broke her heart every time he came home looking hurt or upset.
But she had no idea what Finn had been putting up with. How could kids be so cruel?
Finn had confessed to his own bullying in the past. Slushies in the face, standing by while his friends threw people into dumpsters. Pee Balloons. Which, honestly, who thought to pee into a balloon? He had been grounded for a month when she found out about that one.
But to break into someone's house? To destroy their things and write those...words. Death threats even, technically. ("DIE HOMO" had been sprayed on the back of Kurt's door.) That was...beyond psychotic.
Soon after the police left, Burt had made a few calls and by 12:00, the two boys, Karofksy and Azimio, had been caught, literally, red handed. And their parents had dragged them down to the police station, after Burt had agreed that he wouldn't add death threats to the list of charges he was planning to press, if they turned themselves in. (Burt had managed not to scream during the phone calls, barely, but a quiet, calm Burt was twice as scary when he used *that* tone of voice.) Carole suspected that the bullies were happier to be surrounded by police, where they were protected from Burt in full "papa bear" mode.
By 12:30 they had started to clean and Finn gave up trying to get Kurt out of the bathroom, texting Puck for reinforcement.
By 12:40 Puck had swept into the house, jimmied the bathroom door open, and then promptly slammed it in Finn's face.
By 1:00 Mercedes was at their doorstep, followed rapidly by the rest of the glee club, arriving singly or in pairs, arms filled with sleeping bags, pillows, air mattresses, and in Rachel's case a folder of research on how best to remove graffiti, and a list of all the gay friendly lawyers in the state of Ohio. Even Artie had convinced his father to drive him over.
Those kids were amazing, and Carole thanked God that Finn had joined the Glee Club.
Mike and Matt, the two other football players had set to work on Finn, poking and prodding and teasing her son out of his funk.
Artie offered to hide bodies.
The girls cooed and petted Kurt when he reappeared, tucked tightly against Puck's side, and soon they had divided into teams.
She and Burt, Finn, Puck and Mercedes helped Kurt in his room, while Artie and Tina reorganized the DVDs an CDs in the rec room (Kurt had kept casting glances at it, and from the constant arguments Finn and Kurt had over it, having the collection alphabetized was a matter of life and death for the teen.)
Matt had come down to ask where some supplies were and gotten distracted by the broken vanity now sitting in a pile in the corner of the rec room. He pieced it back together like a puzzle, muttering about clamps and wood glue, while everyone else tackled Finn's room and the living room.
Mercedes kept Kurt occupied with cleaning his closet. Thankfully only a few of the clothes had been ruined by paint, and Kurt was quickly absorbed in putting his wardrobe back in order.
The group really was amazing.
By 5:00 the house was in as good of a condition as it could be and Finn finally broke down, pulling Carole into Kurt's room when they were alone, crying into her lap. She rubbed his back, telling him it was okay, hoping she was right. She let him talk, listening as he confessed. Eggings, slurs, wishing Kurt would just be normal so the bullies would leave him alone. He had cried, and she rocked him until he pulled away again, scrubbing at his eyes and asking if they could fix the pizza that was in the freezer.
Three pizzas, a box of popcorn, a package of cookies and 1 hour later, the living room was littered with sleeping teenagers. They were draped over the sofa, tucked up in chairs, stretched out on the floor.
Somehow Kurt had ended up in the master bathroom again, with Puck, and according to Burt they were curled up in the tub. Of course, she had to go check for herself.
Puck had just shrugged, trying not to look embarrassed, and Kurt was curled up between his legs, head pillowed against his chest, fast asleep. At least they looked comfortable. She took the duvet off of her and Burt's bed, tucking it around them before sneaking back out, locking the door securely behind her.
Burt and Carole found themselves at the kitchen table, keeping watch over the quiet household. Burt eventually nodded off, still upright in his seat, and Carole was left with her thoughts.
It had been such a long night. So much hate. But also so much love. She remembered the bowling, and Kurt's improvised victory dance. The four of them, laughing over bowling ally pizza. There were 10 children sprawled around her house, who had come over in the dead of the night to help their friends.
There were still mattresses to buy, furniture to replace, but that didn't matter so much. The bullies had been caught already, and they would be punished.
Kurt would be okay. That boy amazed her. He had survived so much, and she was so proud to call him her son.
And Finn. Who was learning that it was okay to ask for help, or give himself permission to show that he was upset. He had embraced his role of "big brother" and tonight Carole could really see the wonderful man he was becoming.
Burt stirred beside her and Carole pulled herself out of the chair with a sigh, heading towards the coffee pot again. Burt was simply amazing, and in such a short time, she couldn't imagine how life had ever been without him
Without all of them. Her family.
Carole wondered, as she poured two cups of coffee, if those bullies knew how much stronger they had made the family, closer than before they weathered this storm.
She would make sure they knew exactly the good they had done last night. It would be, a tiny, petty, part of her thought, a very good revenge.
But first, she just wanted to think about coffee, and how she was going to make breakfast for 12 teenagers, 4 at least who seemed to have hollow legs. Hopefully they hadn't found the waffles in the freezer.
Did iHop deliver?