"Oh my Godddddddddd." Carole moaned from the bathroom. She hadn't felt sick until about 10 seconds after she woke up, and there she was, puking her guts out.
"You okay, baby?" Burt stood at the door, rubbing his eyes. They had been married for almost a month now, and this is the first time he'd seen her in such a condition. "Do you want me to get you some ginger ale?"
She heard the slap slap slap of Burt's bare feet on the hardwood floor. She found the energy to stand, and suddenly, she was feeling fine again.
Burt looked up in surprise as she entered the kitchen. "Hey, how are you feeling?" He handed her a glass. "Sit down."
"I feel okay."
"Well, you need to go to the doctor."
"I'll make an appointment."
"Your mother has something to tell you, boys."
Kurt and Finn sat on the couch, looking bored. Kurt was filing his nails absentmindedly. Finn was staring at the ceiling.
Kurt sighed. "Is this going to take very long? I'm meeting Mercedes at the mall at four and I still have to pick out what I'm wearing."
"What's wrong with what you have on?" Finn inquired, a dopey expression on his face.
"Are you crazy?" Kurt huffed, "This is what I wore to school!"
"Boys!" Carole shouted to get their attention. She sat in the overstuffed armchair in front of the two teenagers. Burt sat on the arm of the chair, his arm around her.
"Mom…" Finn looked concerned. "Is everything okay? Are you okay?"
"I'm great, sweetheart." She looked back at Burt, who smiled and nodded. "I'm pregnant."
There was dead silence.
"You're joking." Kurt stated incredulously. It was hard to read the emotion on his face. His mouth was hanging open in shock, but he didn't look particularly negative or positive.
Finn started jumping up and down in excitement. "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OHHHH MYYYYYY GODDDDDD!" He hugged and kissed his mother and Burt and then grabbed Kurt up from the couch and gave him a hug and kiss too for good measure. Kurt wrestled free from Finn's grip and hugged Carole tightly.
"I can't believe it!" Finally, his face broke into a huge smile. "I'm gonna have a little sister!"
"Brother!" Finn insisted.
"It's gonna be a girl, Finn. I just have a feeling. I know these things."
"Hello? I'm a boy and you're a boy." Finn gave Kurt the once-over and added with a smile, "Okay, you're kind of a boy."
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "Your point?"
"My point is that our parents both have been wired to make boys. You dad has boy sperm and my mom has boy eggs."
"I'm going to ignore the complete stupidity of that statement and request that you never mention my dad's sperm ever again."
Burt gazed at the two boys arguing in front of him and then down at his wife, grinning.
"You know, it's not too late to decide to give this kid away."
"I'm thinking mauve. Mauve and gray."
Carole smirked at her stepson. She loved Kurt dearly, but she had to admit he was more than a little crazy. "Sweetheart, what if it's a boy?"
"Mauve and gray is a unisex palette!" He insisted, showing handfuls of swatches that all looked the same to her.
"I thought we could do green and yellow…you know, and we had talked about animals and things; wouldn't it be cute if it were a yellow nursery with green pinstripes, and then maybe some cartoon baby giraffes and baby elephants—"
"Carole, elephants are hostile creatures. Do you want to raise your baby girl in a hostile environment?"
"It might be a boy, Kurt."
"Bite your tongue, preggo—with all due respect, dear stepmother. But this baby is going to be a girl. And we're not leaving this paint store without the adequate amount of mauve and gray paint."
In the end, Carole had to call Burt, and after a stern talking to over the phone, Kurt begrudgingly picked Carole's preferred palette of sunflower and emerald—or as Carole would later tell a confused Finn, yellow and green.
"Baby…I really wanna know. Let's just call the doctor and ask!"
"We want to be surprised, Burt. We agreed on this."
"Yes, but…look, you know I will love this kid like crazy no matter what…but…"
"But you want a boy."
"SO BAD I CAN TASTE IT."
Carole smiled at her husband. She knew him so well. "You and Finn made a bet with Kurt that it would be a boy, didn't you?"
He sighed. "Am I in trouble?"
Carole smiled. "No. You know I couldn't stay mad at that adorable face." She pulled him down onto the couch with her and kissed him.
"Stop that! That's how you got into this situation, Mom!" Finn laughed as he walked through the living room.
Carole was lying on her bed, preparing to take a nap when Finn came in. "I was wondering if we could talk for a minute?"
Finn laid on the bed next to his mother and put his arms around her. "I don't know if you know what I wanna talk about…"
"Sweetie, the only time you ever get in bed next to me and let me hold you is when you're afraid we're going to lose what we have. We did this when I married Burt."
"I just…I just don't want things to change between us, mom."
"Dad? Could we talk for a minute?"
"Sure, kid. What's on your mind?"
"I was thinking about how the baby is going to affect us."
"Well, it's gonna cost a lot of money, but it's also going to be a lot of fun, and you're gonna have a little brother—"
"Sister. And that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about how it's going to affect us, as in you and me. Our relationship."
Burt put his drill down. "Kurt, c'mere." He wrapped his huge arms around his son. Kurt breathed in deeply and sighed.
"I don't want anything to get in the way of you and me."
"Kurt…I know a lot is gonna change, but I want you to remember something…"
"Finn…we've been through a lot together, especially lately, but when it comes to this baby…"
"I can't promise I'll love you the best, but I'll always love you the longest."
"I hate painting…I hate painting…I hate painting."
"Come on, buddy. Complaining isn't going to help."
Carole and Kurt were spending the day at the spa. Kurt insisted he and Carole get a "Girls' Day" since Carole was more than halfway through her pregnancy and she might not have a whole lot of "girly time" for a while after the baby was born. That left Burt and Finn painting the nursery a cheerful yellow, and then going back to paint in the green stripes.
"Burt, I gotta tell you, you better do this right."
Burt put a yardstick to the wall to make sure the stripe was straight. "I'm doing it right! I'm using a yardstick and a level!" He grunted frustratedly, his face contorted into an expression Finn recognized as the very same one that decorated Kurt's face when Finn talked about football.
"No, I mean…" Finn continued to casually paint a long line of green on the wall. "…look, I grew up without a father. And you've been a really great friend to me. If I were younger, you would have been the exact thing I needed. Now this kid, my little brother or sister, is going to need a dad—the perfect dad. I know that you're a great dad to Kurt. I need you to promise me you are going to be just as great to this new kid."
Burt's eyes softened. "Finn…I promise I will do give the new baby my 100% as a father."
"That's what I thought, sir…that's what I thought." Finn smiled.
Kurt and Carole came home to find Burt and Finn laying on the carpet in the nursery, both asleep.
"I like the name Greyson for a boy."
"Greyson? What is a Greyson?"
Carole rolled her eyes. "Fine, what do YOU want to name the baby?"
"I want a manly name…like…Henry."
"Henry? That's your idea of a manly name?"
"Yeah, like John Henry."
"And what if it's a girl?"
"Then Kurt gets all of my money."
Carole sighed. "We will never agree on a name."
"Hey dad?" Kurt stuck his head in briefly. "Me and Finn are going shopping for baby clothes. You need socks while we're at the mall?"
Burt looked at Carole. "You thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?"
"Hey, Kurt…" Carole replied, grinning, "We have an assignment for you and Finn."
"So, how do you want to do this?" Kurt asked, sitting cross-legged on his bed with Finn.
"Well, I could name it, since it's gonna be a boy, and then you could come up with a girl name so that you don't feel left out."
"It's going to be a girl, first of all. Second of all, I think we should both pick a name for each gender, so that no matter which one it is, we'll both have named the baby."
"Sounds fair…" Finn nodded, tossing popcorn into his mouth.
"I'll do first names, you do middle names."
The boys sat in their room for hours, making lists of names they liked. They talked, laughed, and bonded for the first time in months. Finally, around 3 am, after goofing off all night, they combined what they had come up with.
"You have got to be kidding me, Finn!"
"What's wrong with the middle names I picked? They're super cool!"
"Mist and Corvid."
"Yeah, Mist for a boy because…like, you know how when you ride that water ride at Disneyworld, and if you sit in the back or the middle you get totally soaked, but if you sit in the front, you get this cool mist across your face that feels so good, especially if it's hot…"
"Right…" Kurt rolled his eyes. "and Corvid?"
"Puck was telling me about these kinds of birds called Corvids that are really smart but a little creepy…I don't know, he made them sound really cool. And girls are smart and creepy."
"Finn, come on! Go pick new names."
"I can pick the names I want! We agreed!"
Kurt grunted unhappily. He knew Finn was right. He felt sorry for his future sibling already.
"What about your names?"
"Shane and Ava."
"Shane Mist Hummel or Ava Corvid Hummel. Those are great names!"
Kurt sighed. "You are ridiculous." He laid back on his bed, Finn sitting at his feet.
"I think you're really cool."
Kurt sat up again. "Excuse me?"
Finn rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "I know it's been kinda rough getting used to living in the same room, and we didn't have a lot of time to settle in before mom got pregnant, and now we will have another person in the house to get used to…but I wanted you to know, I've had a lot of fun being your brother. And I think it's cool how you've been helping make my mom feel good about herself with the spa stuff. And I'm really glad we're going to be able to be brothers to this new kid together. Can you imagine how much fun we're going to have? You know, taking him to baseball games…"
"…teaching her how to dress like a real woman should…"
"…giving him dating advice…"
"…grilling every boy who comes to this house to take her out…"
"Oh, if it's a girl, she's not dating until she's 30."
The two boys laughed uproariously before their eyes met for a moment. Finn grabbed Kurt's hand. "I guess I just wanted to thank you for being a really great brother. I know this kid will always be looking good and feeling good with you around."
Kurt's eyes shone with tears. "And I know that the new baby will always be taken care of and have someone to make them smile with you around."
They gave each other a brief hug before Kurt wiped his eyes and laughed. "Stop being so gay, Hudson. Let's go upstairs. Remember the Titans is on."
"Oh!" Finn put a hand to his chest. "A man after my own heart!" he laughed.
Burt and Carole lay on their bed. It was nearly midnight now, and they were rarely up this late, but sometimes, they just sat up and talked and laughed, and this was one of those nights.
"Do you think I'm too old to be a dad?"
"Honey…" Carole pressed a kiss against her husband's bald head. "…you're 37, not 80."
"Well, yeah, but I mean—"
"Look at me." She turned (albeit a bit uncomfortably) to face Burt and held his face in her hands. "You are a great father. Kurt worships the ground you walk on, and Finn just adores you. You will be exactly the same with this little one."
She took his hand and put it on her stomach. Burt smiled and kissed her large belly.
"Hey kid…I guess, Ava or Shane…I'm your daddy. And me and your mommy love you so much already. And you have two big brothers, Finn and Kurt. And we're all ready for you to come out and say hi."
"Hold on, baby, I'm on a roll here." He patted her stomach tenderly. "We painted your room and we've bought you all these cool toys and clothes, and we're so ready to see you and hold you and meet you. So, any time now would be great. The doctor told us you would be here any day now, and we're hoping it's sooner and not later. We're all really excited."
"Honey, hold on! I—"
"BURT. MY WATER BROKE!"
Burt's jaw dropped and looked down at the wet comforter on their bed. "Wow. Kid follows directions."
He ran downstairs to wake Finn and Kurt, who jumped up immediately and threw clothes on, and they all loaded into the car, headed for the hospital.
"Ugh. So, how much do I owe you?" Finn asked, irritated.
"You owe me 50 and dad owes me 50." Kurt smiled.
Ava Corvid Hummel was born at 3 in the morning on Finn's birthday.
Ava's First Birthday
Two very different cakes sat on the dining room table. One was chocolate with blue icing, eighteen candles adorning the top. The other was shaped like a fairy princess, pink icing covering every inch, with a lone candle in the middle. Kurt was chasing a dripping wet and naked baby through the house with a towel.
"Come back here, monkey!" She was quick on her feet for just being one year old. "I'm going to put clothes on you and you're going to like it, damn it!"
"Kurt, what did I tell you about cursing at Ava?" Carole chastised.
"Sorry!" he called over his shoulder as he ran toward the nursery.
Finally, twenty minutes later, Kurt emerged holding hands with the little girl and rolling his eyes. She wore a ruffled pink dress with a baseball cap. "She refused to take it off."
"You can thank me for that. Ava-bug liked the baseball game I took her to, didn't she?" Finn grinned at his little sister. She giggled and twirled.
Burt plucked Ava up from the floor and kissed her. "I can't believe my baby is a year old already!"
He handed her to Finn, who placed her in his lap. She was wiggling frantically, trying to reach the blue cake, her blonde curls bouncing uncontrollably in the struggle.
Carole sat at the end of the table with her camera. "Smile birthday boy and birthday girl!"
Kurt began to light the candles on Finn's cake and grinned at his siblings. They had the exact same goofy smile as Carole snapped pictures. Looking into her eyes was like looking into his own, though. She turned to Kurt and reached her chubby arms out to him.
"Alright, monkey." Kurt sighed, handing the matches to his dad to finish. He hoisted the squirming girl onto his hip and stood next to Finn's chair. Carole snapped another picture.
Finally, they sang Happy Birthday and blew out the candles. A year had passed since their lives had been rocked by Little Miss Ava Hummel, and as Burt and Carole found their three kids passed out on the living room floor after a marathon of movies, they kissed each other and were certain they would never want it any other way.