Title: The One With Kurt's Seventeenth Birthday
Word Count: 8, 183
Characters/Pairings: established Kurt/Puck, Burt/Carol, Rachel/Finn, Glee club ensemble
Notes: Slight crossover with the Hardy Boys, but no previous knowledge of them are necessary. Just know that they are detectives. Also, scattered references to Veronica Mars.
Summary: It's Kurt's first birthday party in eight years and his dad has quite the surprise for him.
Mercedes Jones watched as her best friend bounced in his seat and couldn't remember a time in which she saw him happier. The boy was practically shaking in his seat. Which gave her cause for concern as that seat was the driver's one.
"It's been eight years since I had a birthday party, 'Cedes, eight years!"
"You'll never get another birthday if you don't pay attention to that tree!"
"What tree—Oh my God!" Mercedes whimpered as they just barely managed to avoid the fallen branch in the middle of the road. "Sorry, 'Cedes."
Mercedes rolled her eyes, "If you were really sorry, you would watch the road instead of giving me a half-assed apology."
Kurt grinned and turned his attention back to the road, "You're really not going to let it go, are you? Not even on my birthday."
"Boy, how can I let it go. Every time I get into this tank with you, we get into an accident. And your birthday isn't until tomorrow."
"Not every time."
"Really? Name one time as you slow down for this exit."
"I am slowing down!"
"You're going 50 and the sign says 35."
"The sign is just a suggestion."
"A suggestion that'll help save our lives and your ass, because I am definitely kicking it when we get to heaven."
An age old argument and it brings twin smiles to their faces as they, without looking at each other, lift up their right hands and yell, "Oh, Lordy Lordy Lordy." Which never fails to crack them (and any audience members they might have) up.
"Oh, 'Cedes, where would I be without you?"
"At the bottom of the Ohio River. Remember last Sunday?"
Kurt winced a little, his ears were still ringing. It wasn't his fault that he didn't see the guardrails. Really.
He opened his mouth to protest, but stopped as he turned on to his street and his house appeared, "What are they doing here so early? The sleepover doesn't start for another hour."
His driveway was filled with cars, but Mercedes didn't recognize any of them, "Kurt, I don't think those are the Glee kids."
"Then who—" Kurt's eyes focused on the blue Camry as he got out of his Navigator. He stopped suddenly and ran up the stairs of the porch and through the door, leaving Mercedes to carry the snacks they had just bought. She was going to kill that crazy white boy, seventeenth birthday or not.
Kurt ran inside as soon as his mind processed the information. He didn't recognize the car, but the license plate offered some clues. A New York license plate and half a dozen cars could only mean one thing.
"So, who invited the family without telling me?" At the sound of his characteristic high-pitched voice, the occupants of the kitchen turned to see him at the door.
"Happy Birthday, sweetie!"
"Happy Birthday, dude!"
"Look at him, he's all grown up. And that scarf is beautiful!"
Kurt grinned and locked eyes with his father, who he found at the center of the crowd, "Why didn't you tell me about the family reunion?"
He was attacked with an arm around the shoulder pulling him into a ridiculously defined chest and a reply, "Because that would defeat the purpose of a surprise, now wouldn't it, cuz?"
"So help you God if you give me a noogie and ruin my hair, Joe Hardy."
"When has any threat ever stopped me, baby cousin?" The blonde, taller boy smirked before rubbing his fist into Kurt's perfectly coiffed hair. Kurt yelled and tried to pry him off and this is the sight that greeted Mercedes as she walked in with a million or so grocery bags.
"Uh, what's going on here? And blondie? You'd best get your hands off my boy's hair if you don't want to get the beating of the century."
Kurt's smile nearly broke his face and the room roared in applause and laughter. While Joe was slack with shock, Kurt threw him off and quickly ran his hand through his hair to fix the regrettable damage.
"Kurt, why don't you introduce Mercedes to your family?"
Kurt walked over to his best friend, "Are you ready? Okay, over on the couch are my dad's three younger sisters, Caroline, Heidi and Tammy." The three rather stunning brunettes waved at Mercedes and she smiled back.
"On the piano bench is Uncle Luke, he's Heidi's husband." The mousey man in the sweater vest didn't really look like he was in the same league as the model-like woman, but what did Mercedes know?
"Standing next to Dad is Uncle Jerome, he's Tammy's husband." The black man was tall, built, and very handsome. Now that was a more well-suited couple, but, once again, Mercedes was not quick to judge the love-lives of others.
"At the sink, no doubt doing dishes, is my Aunt Gertrude. She's my mom's older sister." Mercedes looked at the prim woman and offered, "Nice to meet you, ma'am."
The older lady's face softened into a smile, "Such good manners. Nice to meet you, too, Mercedes." Mercedes beamed at the praise, her mom would be proud.
"And over at the kitchen table is my Uncle Fenton, my mom's older brother, and his wife, Laura." Mercedes waved at the attractive couple. The man, who was in his mid forties, had salt and pepper hair and brown eyes. The woman looked slightly younger, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and an easy smile.
"This," Kurt said, as he wrapped one arm around a ridiculously hot boy who looked to be their age, "is Laura and Fenton's oldest son, Frank."
The boy looked to Kurt, "What, no hug for your favorite cousin?" Kurt laughed and hugged the tall boy, making Mercedes grin.
"What?" The cry of outrage came from the blonde boy that Mercedes saw harassing Kurt earlier, "Favorite cousin? What am I, the next door neighbor?"
Kurt rolled his eyes and smirked, "No, you're the jerk that insists on ruining my hair. Cretin." The older relatives snickered as Kurt inspected his nails.
"Look, I don't know what cretin means, but I can tell that it's not a nice thing." Kurt and Frank laughed at the boy's put on tone. "I'll introduce myself, thanks." He turned to Mercedes and dropped to one knee. Mercedes' eyes widened as he slapped one hand on his chest, feigning agony, "I, beautiful madam, am Joe, Frank's younger and much more attractive younger brother. I have suffered a great deal at the hands of my abusive older brother and wit of my baby cousin. Please acknowledge my suffering. It can only be alleviated with the company of a stunning young woman such as yourself." He ended his spiel with a hand on his forehead and his eyes closed.
A moment of silence passed before he got up off the floor and turned to the rest of his family, "So, what'd you think?"
The room burst into applause, with some whistling and shouts of 'Bravo' thrown in. Mercedes watched as Joe turned to his brother and his cousin, face questioning.
"What did you two think?"
Frank and Kurt exchanged a look before Frank spoke, "Little brother, that was definitely one of your best. You should definitely consider trying out for the play when school starts again." Joe, it seemed, chose to ignore the sarcasm and nodded his head in show of agreement.
"And you, baby cousin?"
"What is with this baby cousin deal? You're eight months older than I am and at least ten years behind me in maturity. Frankly, the only thing I could focus on during the speech was the fact that you know the word 'alleviate'." He finished his diatribe with a patented Kurt Hummel smirk that was quickly wiped off as Joe took two steps toward him, "Why you little—" Kurt screamed and ran, Joe at his heels.
Mercedes could not stifle her laughter at the sight of the normally put together boy weaving in and out the crowd of relatives before jumping over the kitchen counter and running behind her, "'Cedes, help!"
"Alright, alright. You, blondie, stop right there. As his cousin, you should know that he is a fierce diva with an attitude to match—" She ignored Kurt's not-so-whisper of "Look who's talking."—and one day that mouth of his will get him into trouble. For now, drop it and would one of you three please help me with these bags?"
The three boys in question jumped to her and grabbed the bags out of her hand.
"I'm so sorry, that was incredibly rude of us."
"Please forgive me for this terrible grievance, my gorgeous lady!"
Mercedes turned to the latter of the three, "You're not going to drop that, are you?"
Joe grinned, "Not a chance."
"Kurt, honey, why don't you and Mercedes sit down and tell us about what's going on in your life." Kurt grabbed Mercedes' hand and led her over to the kitchen table, where they sat next to Kurt's Uncle Fenton and Aunt Laura. His aunt Caroline leaned forward in her seat on the couch, "Your dad tells us that you've joined Glee club. That's wonderful!" Kurt and Mercedes grinned at each other before saying in unison, "Sometimes." Which prompted more laughter.
Caroline continued, "It's really wonderful, but I have one question."
"Shoot, Aunt Caroline." Kurt replied as he took a sip of the seltzer his aunt Gertrude gave him and Mercedes.
"What the hell is Glee club?" At this, Kurt snorted the sip of seltzer he just took and spat it all over the kitchen table, sending half the room into hysterics again. Mercedes watched as Kurt's face turned red from embarrassment and Joe Hardy laughing so hard, he must've busted his spleen. She laughed as Kurt tried to collect himself.
"Thanks, Aunt Caroline, my sinuses really needed a pick me up."
"Kurt…" his father began, warningly.
"Oh, hush Burt, I enjoy his wit. You know, if you could call it that."
Mercedes crowed, "Oh, snap! Someone finally called you out on it!"
"Caroline was always the family ego-check, weren't you, sis?"
Turning to look at Burt, Mercedes realized he'd never looked this relaxed and happy as he did right now. Him and his son could only be described as content.
"I really failed with you, Burt. Your ego is the size of this house."
"Are you kidding? Kurt here cuts it down to size."
"I do not!"
"What was it you said about this shirt?"
Kurt's cheeks flushed and he turned down his head to play with the can of seltzer, mumbling, "That it made you look more like a lesbian than the motorcycle boots and stone washed jeans."
Mercedes buried her face in her folded arms on the tabletop as she dissolved into hysterics. The rest of the room wasn't so kind to hold in their amusement. Fenton fell out of his chair and Burt's three sisters jumped off the couch to smother Kurt in hugs, still roaring with laughter.
The moment was interrupted as Carol Hudson walked in. Taking in the still laughing crowd, she asked, "What did I miss?"
Burt sported an amused grin as he walked over to his girlfriend and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Her arm went around his waist in a well-practiced art that told tales of contentment. He shrugged, "Just letting everyone know the abuse I suffer at the hand of my kid, that's all."
The woman nodded, understanding, "The shirt? Honey, he's kind of right."
Just as Mercedes thought she could laugh any harder, she was proven wrong.
The room (eventually) calmed down. Caroline repeated her question and Kurt started, "Glee is—Oh my God, Dad! The sleepover, they're going to be here any minute!"
Burt was confused, "So?"
"So? Dad, how could you think about a sleepover of kids when half the family's here?"
Burt shrugged again, "You were all planning on sleeping in the basement anyway. Just add Frank and Joe to that and the rest will sleep upstairs and in the living room."
"Will they fit?"
Burt grinned, "We'll find out soon enough."
Joe's eyes shone with mischief as he spoke, "Besides, Aunt Gertrude is always saying how she'd like to rough it outside. I'll set up her tent if we don't fit!"
"Why you—" Kurt smiled as his Aunt Gertrude smacked Joe over the head with a rolled up newspaper. "Ow!"
Frank shook his head, "Serves you right, baby brother."
Kurt interrupted before the Frank/Joe argument of 2010 started (again), "Anyway, Glee is show choir. We perform musical numbers in competitions. We're actually pretty good."
Heidi laughed, "So you definitely don't take after your father. God, the way he butchers Happy Birthday."
Frank look intrigued, "So, is there dancing and costumes?"
Mercedes and Kurt snorted, "As much as we can with Finn."
"What with me?"
The room turned their attention to the newest intruder. Or rather, intruders. The Glee club was standing in Kurt's living room, presents and smiles at hand, "Happy Birthday Kurt!"
Kurt got up in excitement, "When did you guys get here?"
"Just now, Hummel. You were busy with…" Puck trailed off.
"Oh sorry! Guys, " he turned to the Glee club, "this is my family. Family, my Glee club!" He took a couple of minutes to do more detailed introductions.
Carol, after Kurt finished, spoke, "Finn here is my son, Kurt's—what is it you call each other?"
"Almost step brothers." The boys in question answered in unison.
Artie rolled forward, "Okay, we've accepted that you live together. But this whole creepy brother thing has got to stop."
"What creepy brother thing?" Kurt and Finn grinned and exchanged high fives.
Joe, who had no concept of boundaries, charged on, "Dude, one, you've got a brother now! Two, you hang out with a lot of hot girls!"
Kurt smacked himself in the face as Frank said, dryly, "My brother, ladies and gentlemen." Aunt Gertrude smacked him on the head with the newspaper again.
Burt grinned, "Fenton, you told me that Joe was smooth with the ladies."
"Evidently, I was wrong."
"Hey, hey, hey! I am smooth with the ladies, right Mercedes?" He turned to the diva who merely said, "Meh." Much to everyone's delight.
Burt raised his hands to quiet the room, "Guys, head downstairs and do…whatever it is that kids do and I'll get dinner ready."
Kurt looked disbelieving, hand on hip and head cocked, "You'll get dinner ready?"
Burt waved his phone in response, "Yeah, I can dial for pizza like a pro."
"That's more like it. Wait, where's the horde?"
Tammy smacked her forehead in shock, "Damn, I knew I forgot something!" She got up and walked to the back of the house and opened the sliding glass door, "Kids! Guess who's home!"
The sounds of kids' shrieking and excitement reached their ears, "Kurt! Kurt! Kurt!"
Suddenly, the room was invaded by what seemed like a never ending parade of children, ages nine to…was that a baby?
Kurt stood on his chair and whistled loudly, "Hold up! Show me your hands." At once, all the children waved around their mostly clean hands. "Alright, hugs!"
The Glee watched in wonder as Kurt, fashionable, somewhat snobby Kurt, was covered head to toe in six children and one toddler. He talked to each one of them, boy and girl alike, about their hair and clothes and school, obviously trained in the art of holding multiple conversations at once. One by one, they soon lost interest and ran outside yelling for Kurt to follow, "I'll come later guys!"
Kurt turned to his friends, who were shocked into silence. "What?"
Brittany giggled, "You're really good with kids, Kurt."
"How is it that you see them once a year and we babysit every month and they still like you better than us."
"Better taste?" Kurt ducked to avoid the dishtowel Joe hurled at his head.
Mercedes turned to Tammy and her husband, "Were those all yours?"
Tammy laughed, long and loud, "Oh, heavens no. Three of them are ours. Three others, including the baby, are Heidi and Luke's and one is Caroline's."
Kurt waved them toward the stairs, "I'll do better introductions later, but let's get downstairs before the room implodes."
Fourteen teenagers walked down the stairs into Kurt's bachelor pad. Thank God it was so large, Kurt thought as everyone took seats around the room. Once everyone was settled, the inquisition began.
Rachel, who had stayed miraculously silent until now, asked from her place on (gag) Finn's lap, "Where are you two from?"
Frank looked a little uneasy by all the attention, but Joe took it in stride. "We, fair lady, hail from the land of Bayport, New York."
Rachel seemed confused at his syntax while Mercedes shook her head, "Seriously, white boy, end the class act, would you?'"
Joe grinned, "You start calling me Joe and I'll stop."
"Deal." They shook on it.
"As Joe was saying, we're from Bayport. It's a little outside the city."
Rachel turned to Kurt, "Have you've ever been to the city? It's beautiful, isn't it?"
Kurt nodded, "Yeah, the city is great. When you're not in the middle of a murder investigation."
"What the hell?"
"Are you joking?"
Kurt held up his hands and, much like when his father did it, the room became silent, "Okay, let me start with the fact that Uncle Fenton, who you met upstairs, is Fenton Hardy."
While most of the room went, "Who?" Artie, Tina, and Rachel went, "Your uncle is Fenton Hardy!"
"Calm down. To answer your question, Fenton Hardy is one of the best private investigators in the country. He recently broke that big Microsoft scandal."
"Yes, well, Frank and Joe have followed in his footsteps and are pretty good teenaged detectives in their own right."
"Pretty good? Come on, cuz, give us a little more credit!'
"Shut up, Joe." Kurt and Frank sighed in unison.
"Anyway, they often get themselves in trouble and, last summer, when I went to visit, they were suppose to show me around the city. Instead, we stumble upon a body on the first day there and they decide to look into it."
"We told you to go back to Bayport!"
"Oh, and let you have all the fun? Not likely, Frank Hardy."
"Either way, don't complain about trouble when it's your middle name, too."
Kurt smirked, "Wouldn't dream of it, Frank. That doesn't mean you can dress me like a girl whenever you need to, though."
Puck sat forward, "Alright, that story needs to be told. Pronto."
Joe scowled, "That case called for some…unauthorized entry."
"Okay, trespassing. The guards were in need of distractions and well, one thing led to another and suddenly, Kurt and I were in skirts and heels."
The basement shook with laughter at the thought of Joe and Kurt in drag. "Pictures," Mercedes choked out, "We need pictures!"
Frank whipped out his phone, "I've got them." Quickly, eleven members of the club surrounded him and the phone was passed around. Joe and Kurt made rather believable women.
Santana snickered, "And I thought this party was going to be a bust."
Mike looked excited, "So, did you catch the bad guy?"
Kurt smiled, "Literally. Joe caught him in a fishing net as he was trying to get away."
Joe brushed off his shoulders, "What can I say? I'm a stud."
At this, Quinn jumped out of her seat, "Oh my God, I knew you reminded me of someone. He's Puck!"
The glee club chattered excitedly at the newest revelation as Joe and Puck checked each other out. The general consensus was that the two boys did have a lot in common.
"Whatever, Hummel, you know I'm the studliest guy you know, teen detective or not."
Frank tilted his head slightly, "Why do you call Kurt 'Hummel'?"
Matt snorted, "It's a step up from homo."
And suddenly there was a whirl of action that caused more then one girl to scream and ended with Joe and Frank scrambling to turn Puck's face into hamburger.
Kurt yelled for Finn, "Stop them! Matt, Mike hold them back! Puck! Everyone stop!"
The last command was screamed at such a high pitch, it had everyone covering their ears in pain.
A moment of silence passed before Burt's voice traveled down the stairs, "Kurt? Is everything alright down there?" His voice was tense, on edge.
Kurt surveyed the room, with Puck being held back by Finn and Matt, Mike, and Mercedes holing back a red faced Frank and Joe, "Everything's fine, Dad. No worries." He said in as calm a voice as he could. It seemed to pass because Burt merely replied with, "Okay. Pizza will be here in an hour."
Kurt turned back to the room and commanded, "Everyone, sit down, now!"
They did as they were told, with some hesitation on the part of Frank and Joe.
"Alright, Frank, Joe, I need to tell you guys something. Just hold on a sec." Kurt paced the room and Finn took in a heavy breath as he realized what was about to happen.
"I haven't told any of the family yet, but my dad knows and I'll have to tell everyone eventually." He sighed and wrung his hands. Now the rest of the club understood what was happening and sat anxiously. Mercedes made a move to get up and hug Kurt before Artie's hand stilled her. He shook his head slightly and Mercedes sat back down.
Joe, having eyes only for his cousin, got up and put his hands on Kurt's shoulders prompting the shorter boy to look up at him, "Kurt, dude, what's going on? It's us! Your favorite cousins! What could you possibly need to say that we wouldn't like?"
The silence was deafening. No one knew where to look. Frank and Joe made no movement.
After a beat, Joe said, "And?"
Kurt slapped his arm, "What do you mean 'and'?"
Frank got up to stand next to his cousin and brother, "We mean we don't care Kurt. If you were expecting anything like disgust or contempt, you're stupid."
Kurt laughed shakily, still in shock, "I'm not stupid. You're stupid."
"No, you are."
"No, you are."
Mercedes yelled, "Alright, stop! You're both stupid! But, I have to say, you boys are alright."
The rest of the club cheered in agreement. Joe waved them down, "One sec. Kurt, we didn't attack that punk because we thought he was lying. We attacked him because he's a homophobic dick." With that he stalked over to a now standing Puck, who had his fists clenched in anticipation.
Any fight, however, was halted by the hysterical laughter that came from the club and Kurt. Joe and Frank shared a confused look.
Kurt wiped tears of laughter out of his eyes, "Guys, look. Every high school has an obligatory psychotic jackass and Puck here is ours—" "Hey!" "—but he's also my boyfriend."
Joe's jaw dropped in shock, "You're gay?"
Puck smirked, "Bi, thanks for asking."
"Noah., stop being difficult. Joe, you might want to suspend any preconceived notions of anything around this bunch. They'll surprise you. Frank, breathe."
Frank was, in fact, not breathing, "Uncle Burt is letting you go out with him?"
Finn jumped up, "That's what I said!"
"Shut up Finn!" Kurt and Puck glared at the tall boy, who shrunk back into his seat.
"Frank, I can take care of myself and I love Noah and he loves me. End of story,"
Frank sighed, "If you say so."
"I say so. Now, who wants to play Rock Band?"
An hour later, Burt broke up the game with an announcement of food. Soon, the back porch was filled with various members of the Hummel/Hardy/Hudson clan and the entirety of the McKinley High Glee club all eating pizza. They sat there contently as the family continued their questioning of Kurt, with the reasoning that he was the birthday boy.
"Other than Glee, what do you do in school, Kurt?" asked his Aunt Laura.
"Well, not as much as Joe and Frank, but who can compete with the Boy Wonders?"
Frank and Joe tossed their empty cups at him and he squealed about his clothing. Mercedes snorted, "Don't believe him. The only one that does more in school than Kurt is Rachel. And that's because the girl's crazy."
"Mercedes, I am sitting right here."
"And your point?"
"I suppose it is more favorable to hear criticisms from friends face to face than from adversaries behind your back."
"I love your crazy ass Berry."
Kurt laughed as the surprised, but pleased look crossed her face. She then went on to munch on her completely vegan slice of pizza.
Mercedes, from her place beside Kurt, elbowed him, "Watch those elbows, diva. Alright, what do I do?"
"You're on honor roll, with me and Rachel." Quinn offered.
"You do cheerleading with me and Santana!"
Burt bragged, "They won Nationals." Kurt beamed at the praise his aunts and uncles showered him with. Joe inhaled a slice of pizza with his snickering.
"What? If you're going to make fun of me for being a cheerleader, let it be known that I've probably seen more naked girls than you, Joe Hardy!"
Fenton snorted, whilst his sister gasped, "Kurt Andrew Hummel!"
"Sorry Aunt Gertrude."
Joe swallowed his pizza before saying, "One, how dare you accuse me of being anything but chaste with lovely young ladies such as the ones present—"
"Oh, stop it Joseph Hardy!" Aunt Gertrude was having none of it.
He was going to try, however, "I'm serious! How dare you impugn my honor?"
Puck snorted, "Impugn. I'm going to have to try that one someday."
Finn and Kurt rolled their eyes, "As if you have any honor left to impugn."
"They're doing it again!" Artie was flipping out, prompting another high five between Kurt and Finn.
Aunt Gertrude remarked off-handedly, "Really, Joseph, it was the bra I found in your room that impugned your honor."
Catcalls and whistles from all sides welcomed the evidence and sent Joe blushing, "It wasn't like that, I swear!"
"Dude, I don't know you and even I call your BS."
"Watch it, Puckerman."
"Joseph, we do not threaten anyone!" Joe rolled his eyes at his mother's statement, which earned him a smack on the head from Burt.
"Hey, it was me or your Aunt Gertrude. And with all the beatings she's given you in the last three hours, one would think that she didn't love you."
"So this was out of love?"
"Anyway," Kurt continued, "Why were you laughing at my cheerleading?"
"Oh, because Frank's girlfriend, Callie, is on our squad and complained how this one team beat them because their lead singer went on with a fourteen minute Celine Dion number. In French."
The glee club exploded in cheers, "That's my boy!"
"Wait, that was you?"
Kurt smiled, "Yeah, you won't believe how much lung capacity it takes to keep up with Celine. Or Whitney."
"Kurt is correct, of course. It takes a remarkable range and stamina. Both of which he has."
"Aw, thanks Rachel."
"I do as well."
"Of course you do."
Tammy whistled to gain their attention, "We keep hearing about this amazing Glee club, but I don't know if I believe you."
The adults catcalled, "Challenge!"
Kurt and Rachel exchanged determined looks, "Shall we?"
"Of course. Glee club, assemble! Inside to plan!"
Puck, Finn, and Mike grabbed one more slice before following the rest of the club.
Once inside, Rachel turned to the her fellow Glee members and uttered four words that sent them into a frenzy, "What shall we do?"
All gasped, some joking and some genuine. "What? What did I say?"
"The great Rachel Berry asks us lowly performers for our input?" Finn teased as he came up behind her to wrap his arms around her waist.
She tilted her head back to look at him, "Finn, you are exaggerating. I'm not that bad. Besides, as a good captain, I need to poll my subjects in order to lead more effectively." Brittany giggled at the idea of 'polling' anyone and Tina, Mercedes and Quinn shared small smiles.
Kurt snapped his fingers, "Rachel is right—" More gasps and a "The apocalypse is coming!" from Artie, "—let's get thinking. We need to wow my family."
"Because it's an older crowd, we should probably do something less contemporary than GaGa."
"Good call, Matt! How about our U2 number?" Quinn suggested.
"It doesn't showcase enough of the club and Rachel gets pitchy during it."
"I do not!" Finn tightened his grasp on Rachel to prevent her from forcibly arguing with Kurt.
"What about Ice, Ice Baby?" Mike asked, jokingly, only to be met with groans and boos.
"Somebody to Love. With Kurt taking half of Rachel's solos, to show off more of the club." Puck glared, "What? I have good ideas sometimes."
"Noah, you're a genius!"
Artie joked, "Does it scare you when your boyfriend and ex-girlfriend say the same thing at the same time?"
"Hell no, threesome!"
He received twin slaps, topped off with a glare from Finn.
The club shuffled outside after Artie downloaded the back track onto Kurt's iPod. After grabbing speakers, the club was ready. They stood in formation in Kurt's backyard, backs toward the porch, where all the adults and children sat. The light was fading to dusk, casting a golden glow on the twelve teens.
Kurt grinned as Finn turned and delivered the opening lines of the song. Mr. Schue once described how he felt during his last Glee performance in high school; how he knew halfway through the first song that they were going to win. Kurt felt it, right then, that this was going to be their best number ever. And with that thought, he whirled around to sing the first of Rachel's solos.
They were amazing. Kurt actually saw tears run down his aunts' faces as Mercedes belted out her heart wrenching solo. It ended with Kurt and Rachel harmonizing so beautifully, they could have been a prince and princess couple in a Disney movie. At the close of the number, Kurt's family was on their feet, clapping and shouting so loudly the neighbors probably filed complaints.
"That's my boy!"
The kids rushed to the club, jumping excitedly and laughing. Kurt's youngest female cousin, Bonnie, ran up to Rachel and told her that she was "just like Ariel", which, coming from the biggest Little Mermaid enthusiast ever was quite the compliment.
Kurt held his breath as Frank and Joe made their way over to him and Mercedes. Their opinion shouldn't matter, but they are two of the best friends he's ever had and it really, really does.
Joe's face was solemn as he approached them. Suddenly, he dropped to one knee in front of Mercedes and grabbed her left hand with his, yelling, "Marry me?"
Everyone laughed, but he shushed them, "No, seriously, marry me. You're beautiful and have the voice of the most soulful angel. Jesus, marry me, Mercedes."
Kurt shook his head, "He's not going to let go of your hand until you answer him, so reject him now and get it over with.
Joe jumped up, "She said maybe! Hear that, Ma, she said maybe! I'm the luckiest guy in the world!"
Puck snorted, "What a ham."
"Maybe?" Kurt was in disbelief, "Seriously, 'Cedes, you like that clown?"
"Boy, he's nice, he likes my voice, and his arms are fine!"
"That's my cousin you're talking about!"
"At least that means that you won't steal this one away from me."
"For the last time, I didn't steal Noah from you!"
"I know, I know. I was just kidding. Heads up."
Kurt turned to see his paternal aunts coming toward him. Tammy spoke first, "Kurt, honey, that was spectacular."
Heidi nodded, "Fabulous, breath-taking!"
"Next time you have a concert or something, let us know. We'll definitely be there!" Kurt could tell Caroline was not kidding and assured her that he would save them tickets.
Burt came up behind him, "That was some serious singing, kid."
"What do you want to do now? I know the kids are being put to bed."
"You think they'd like a bedtime story?"
"With you reading? They'll listen to the freaking dictionary."
An hour and three stories later, everyone under the age of 16 was fast asleep and the party was really starting.
Kurt grabbed the snacks he'd purchased that afternoon and headed downstairs, where he found the club and Frank and Joe sitting in a large circle on the floor of his room. Artie was out of his chair and leaning against the bed, holding hands with Tina. Quinn and Mercedes painted each others toe nails as Mike watched, transfixed by the careful movements. Frank and Joe were making an effort to get to know Puck and the three were chatting up football plays.
"So, with thirty seconds left in the game, Hudson calls Ring On It."
"What the hell is Ring On It?"
Kurt threw a bag of chips at Joe, "My game winning play, of course."
Frank laughed, "Since when do you like football enough to come up with plays?"
"Since I joined the team and won the game."
Frank and Joe's eyes widened and they looked to each other before staring at Kurt again. Kurt smirked, "Didn't Dad tell you? You're looking at the Titans' star kicker."
"No way," they breathed as one.
Puck made room for Kurt on the floor next to him, "Star kicker? Doesn't count if you quit the team before the season ended."
"Semantics. I did win you guys the only game in five years."
"And here I thought Finn's throw and my catch had something to do with it."
Kurt smirked. "Semantics," he said against Puck's lips as he leaned in for a light peck.
Puck, who hadn't kissed Kurt in a whole eighteen hours, of course deepened the kiss by sticking his tongue halfway down Kurt's throat and shoving his hands under his shirt to his chest. Kurt moaned in his mouth, returning the kiss by tilting his head and running his hands through Puck's regrown Mohawk.
Kurt's head fogs up every time they kiss, but the sounds of retching reach his ears and he removed his face from the vacuum that was Puck's mouth to scowl, "God help the person who threw up on my new rug."
He laughed, though, as he realized that the sounds were just Joe clowning around, again, "Oh, please. I learned how to kiss from you, Joe."
The mostly active basement came to a stand still as everyone turned to the cousins. Kurt and Joe flushed deeply under the shocked gaze of the room. Frank and Puck in particular.
Kurt stammered, "That came out wrong. Really, really, really wrong."
Joe glared at him, face red, "Really, really, really wrong."
Kurt rushed to explain, "During the case, Joe and I had to stake out a place and we got to talking and he talked me through the process. That's all." He paused, "Although, I distinctly remember you using female pronouns and me being grossed out by it."
Joe shrugged, "What do you want from me? I speak from experience."
Frank rolled his eyes, "Lots and lots of experience."
Joe smirked, "I'm a stud."
"Okay, stop it!" Kurt looked pained, "You're acting too much like Noah and then I'll start picturing things while we're doing things and—"
Finn yelled, "Alright! Who wants to play a game?"
"How about we play 'Let's get to know Kurt by talking to his cousins'?" Mercedes smiled at her best friend's face.
"No!" yelled Kurt, over everyone's resounding 'Yes!'. Well, all but Brittany, who'd said, "I've never heard of that game before."
Quinn piped up, "Come on, Kurt! Seventeen birthday is the perfect time for some reflection."
"Personal reflection is enough, thanks very much."
Puck pulled his boyfriend into his lap, kissed him lightly on the lips and said, "Too bad, Beyonce. What'd you got for us?"
Frank took a sip from his can of Coke, "What do you want to know?"
Rachel leaned forward eagerly, "What is he like with you?"
Kurt squaking was muffled by Puck's hand, and Joe looked confused, "What do you mean? What's he like with you?"
Kurt bit Puck's hand and got free, "Hey! I'm not that bad!"
Quinn quickly reassured him, "Kurt, we don't mean you're some sort of Ice Queen, that's Santana—" "Damn straight." "—but you're understandably…careful around us in school. Rachel just wanted to know what you're like in a more comfortable environment."
Frank nodded at Quinn before replying, "He's sarcastic and dry, alright. But he's also kind of insane."
Matt laughed, "No way."
"Oh, way. He'll come up with the craziest things to do."
Joe grinned, "This one time, when we were seven, he decided he wanted to explore the haunted house down the block from us. At night. Without adults. By sneaking out the window."
Cheers erupted and Kurt flushed, "Way to go Kurt!"
Puck spoke into his ear, "Daredevil, much?"
Kurt whispered right back, "You have no idea."
Frank spoke thoughtfully, "If I recall correctly, we were all grounded for the rest of the summer."
"Not for long, remember big brother? We drove Mom and Aunt Gertrude insane indoors until they told us to leave the house."
Kurt smiled, "Yeah, that punishment lasted all of three days."
Finn asked, "So, you guys hung out a lot."
The three nodded, "Yeah, they lived in New York and I was here, but the family got together five or six times a year and we got along really well."
Puck had a question, "Do you know why Hummel here is terrified of roaches?"
Tina clapped, "Good question!"
Kurt shuddered a little in the circle of Puck's arms, while Frank glared at a very guilty looking Joe.
"Yeah, I might have had something to do with it."
Frank's glare deepened, "A little more than something, right Joe?"
Kurt shook his head, "Forget it Joe."
"No, it's my fault. We were six and playing tricks on each other. I took a roach I found and put it in our old microwave."
"Which turned out to be radioactive."
"Which turned out to be radioactive. I nuked the roach for thirty seconds and then told Kurt to get the popcorn for our movie."
Most of the club shuddered and Mercedes whimpered. Kurt's eyes were screwed shut as he shakily said, "I opened the door and the roach was huge. It came out at me before I screamed and shut the door."
Rachel screamed a little and Finn looked nauseous. Puck tightened his grip on Kurt.
Frank sighed, "He needed to be sedated. And that's how the phobia began."
"I'm really, really sorry Kurt."
Kurt grinned weakly, "Joe, we were six and stupid. Forget about it."
Frank was curious. "Why'd you ask, Puck?"
Puck shrugged, "I was just wondering."
Kurt raised an eyebrow at him, "Not the whole story. We got together because of a roach."
Joe snickered, "No way."
Kurt nodded, "Really. We were all in the old costume shop at school, looking through old Glee things to see if anything was salvageable. Finn opened a box and some roaches crawled out—" he paused for a full-body shudder, "—Most of the girls screamed, but I completely blacked-out."
Puck took over, "He jumped on the nearest person, which was lucky ol' me—" Kurt slapped him. Grinning, he continued, "—and latched on. He kept whimpering and shit and wouldn't open his eyes or respond to anything."
Finn snorted, "Oh, please, Puck you loved it. You were mooning over him forever."
"I'm a badass, I don't moon over anyone."
Mercedes interjected, "Oh shut up. You couldn't keep your eyes off his ass."
Frank and Joe yelled, "Woah, woah, woah, too much info!"
"Anyway," Puck glared, "I sat him down and half an hour later, he was fine."
Kurt smiled, "I was mortified. I used the boy that used to toss me into dumpsters as a security blanket."
Another poor choice of words, as the room found itself in much the same position as before, with Frank and Joe reaching for Puck's neck.
"Stop it! I told you, he's the school's obligatory psychotic jackass! It was hair pulling, that's all. The only people he puts into dumpsters now are those who make fun of me!"
Joe stared ruefully at his cousin's boyfriend, "The more I find out about you, the more I don't like."
"At least he doesn't have a lifelong phobia of dumpsters," Puck retorted. Joe started, but was restrained by Mercedes' hand on his.
Kurt tossed a pillow at him, "Don't be a jackass, Joe. Noah was very sweet about the roach thing and took me out for a milkshake. And then he kissed me."
"Awwwwwwww," went most of the girls while the boys, and Santana, pretended to retch.
The rest of the night was spent getting to know one another and it took until three in the morning for everyone to fall asleep.
The next morning, Kurt woke and untangled himself from the circle of Puck's arms. Looking around through sleep-filled eyes, he saw he was the only one awake. After taking a quick, quiet shower, he tiptoed around the still-sleeping group of teenagers and made his way upstairs.
Walking into the kitchen, he saw the entirely of his adult family around the kitchen table.
"Happy Birthday, Kurt!" they yelled at the sight of him and proceeded to smother him in hugs and kisses.
"No one else is awake?" Fenton asked, placing a plate of Aunt Gertrude's famous blueberry pancakes in front of the birthday boy.
"No, we were up pretty late last night and it's only—" he looked at kitchen clock and gasped, "—eight-thirty? What am I doing up?"
Burt laughed, "Probably smelled the pancakes and ran up here."
Kurt took a bite and moaned in appreciation, "Thanks, Aunt Gertrude!"
She smiled and kissed him on the cheek, "You're very welcome."
The adults chattered quietly about this and that and as he finished his breakfast, Kurt realized it was the perfect time to talk.
He cleared his throat, "Hey, guys, I have something to tell you." At once, his aunts and uncles turned to him, "I-uh, well, I—"
He paused to catch his breath, which had become very shallow. His dad and Carol walked over to his chair and each placed a hand on his shoulders. His dad motioned for him to go on.
Not looking anyone in the eye, he breathed out, "I'm gay."
A beat passed. And then another. And then his Uncle Jerome goes, "And?"
Kurt lost it, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'AND'? NOT ONE PERSON HAS BEEN SURPRISED."
Tammy started and the rest followed. She laughed until tears ran down her cheeks an gasped for breath. Kurt watched as his family fell to pieces in hysterics. Suddenly, Frank, Joe, Puck, Finn and Rachel burst through the kitchen door, each with a 'weapon' in hand. Joe screamed, "What's going on?"
Everyone laughed even harder at the sight of Rachel, Finn, and Frank wielding Kurt's hair irons and Puck and Joe each with hair brushes. Laughs bubbled up in Kurt's chest before they overtook him. He laid his head on the table and giggled.
Frank laid down his iron, "Okay, why was Kurt yelling?"
Kurt stopped laughing long enough to choke out, "I came out."
Joe tossed his brush on the counter, "Is that all? Oh, pancakes!"
"Seriously, though, what's the point of coming out? All the books said to take your time and be sensitive and cautious about it. My dad? Knew since I was three. The glee club? Didn't bat a collective eyelash. My family? 'And?'. What's the point?"
Puck shrugged, "The books probably were talking about people that were less flamboyant than Liberace."
Kurt glared, "And that jerk is my boyfriend."
Fenton choked on his coffee, "Seriously?"
"Oh, now you're surprised?"
Tammy, Heidi, and Caroline looked up Puck from head to toe. Tammy offered, "Nice job, Kurtie. He's a hot one."
Frank and Joe, again, "Woah, woah, woah!"
"No one asked the peanut gallery!"
Aunt Gertrude came up behind Puck and Kurt held his breath. She tapped him on the shoulder and Puck blanched when he saw who it was, "Yes, ma'am?"
"Don't ma'am me. You might look like a delinquent—" Burt, Kurt, and Puck winced in unison, "—but my Kurt is a smart one." Kurt started to relax. "He is a good judge of character. You must be alright. But—" she wagged her finger in Puck's face, "—If you hurt him, I will find you. And you'll regret it."
She gave him a stern glance before handing him a plate of pancakes, "Now eat up, today is going to be a big day."
Puck took the offered plate carefully and just as carefully replied, "Yes, ma'am. Thank you, ma'am." He sent Kurt a wide-eyed look that the smaller boy returned. Burt whispered, "I got the same speech from her after I started dating your mother. He's good."
Kurt's smiled blinded the room. Rachel remarked, "Didn't Mercedes throw a rock through your windshield? That's dramatic!"
Kurt shook his head, ignoring all requests to share the full story.
The day was full of fun and adventure. Kurt, his friends, and his young cousins spent most of the morning playing with water guns in the backyard. The afternoon was for barbequing and, at some point, involved an "Engine-Off" between Kurt and Joe, the latter who declared that he was a better mechanic than the former. Of course, this prompted a challenge. It was Burt who came up with the idea to mess up two engines the same way and have the boys diagnose the problem. Kurt figured out the missing spark plug first and was declared champion. Now, as the sunlight faded into the night, the birthday boy sat at the head of the table, opening his presents. The best part of the sitting however, was the sight of Kurt in a tiara that stated "Birthday Girl Boy" provided, of course, by his boyfriend.
He was halfway through his presents when he came across the one from said boyfriend, "To Hummel," he read out loud, "Noah!"
Puck shrugged while Finn laughed next to him, "That way I didn't have to sign my name."
Caroline raised her cup of coffee to him, "I'm really starting to like you." Joe rolled his eyes.
Kurt shook the neatly wrapped small box and held it up to his ears. Then he looked earnestly at Puck and exclaimed in a faux-excited tone, "Is it a pony?"
His friends snickered.. "Shut up and open it, Lady Fabulous."
"Alright, alright." Kurt tore at the packaging and held up the white box, "It's a box! Look Dad, I got a box!"
Puck shoved past Finn and came to Kurt's side, ripping the box out of his hands, "Of all the days to grow a sense of stupid humor." He opened the box and thrust its contents at Kurt.
Looking into the palm of his boyfriend's broad palm, Kurt saw a gold pin in the shape of a lion. He picked it up and raised his eyes to meet his boyfriend's solemn ones.
The room went quiet as Puck explained, "This is my granddad's frat pin. He was on the Ohio State football team and in those days, the guy used to give his girl their pin to ask them to go steady or whatever. So he gave this to my grandma. I know its not my pin and you're not a girl or whatever, but—"
He was cut off as Kurt launched himself at him, arms wrapping around his neck and lips pressing his in a desperate kiss. Puck grabbed his waist and pulled him forward so that they were plastered along one another.
They only let up when Kurt was forcibly removed by his father. It was then they realized the applause and cheers coming from everyone else in the room. Kurt looked around and saw even his proper Aunt Gertrude nodding happily.
Finn whistled loudly as Puck put the pin on Kurt's lapel and Kurt started laughing as Artie, Mike, and Matt sang, "Hey-a Noah! Are ya stupid? What'd you go get pinned for?"
"What, now you remember Bye, Bye, Birdie?"
Rachel squealed, "I love that musical!"
Burt grinned, "I know that musical!"
Amid the craziness that came with a confession like that, Kurt made his way over to Frank and Joe, "So, does he get your approval?"
They looked at each other and turned back to him. Joe said, "In the words of Mercedes Jones, 'Meh'." But their smiles said it all.
It was a great birthday.