A/N: God damn these plot bunnies to death! There I was, typing away at the newest chapter to my other, ongoing Glee project Kurt's Gamble when my life went to crap and suddenly a more depressing muse decided to step forth. Thus, this story idea was born and refuses to go away until I contribute at least a prologue. To all my readers on Kurt's Gamble, please rest assured that I haven't abandoned that story; I just need my life to stop beating me down a little before the next update will appear.
Universe: Glee, obviously
Rating: T for brief language, small violence, other teenage type things
Pairings: Kurt/Sam, Finn/Rachel (mainly)
Word Count: For this installment, 2,500
Summary: As New Directions prepares a production of The Phantom of the Opera, new transfer student Sam comes to the school. Kurt's world is turned upside down in more ways than one as the gleeks quickly head towards a point of no return.
Warnings: While this story revolves around a production of Phantom, there will be other music featured and it is its own story; in other words, if you're expecting the plot of Phantom set in the Glee universe, you're going to be disappointed.
Disclaimer: Does anyone even read these anymore? Glee is owned by Fox and Ryan Murphy (no money made by me, yadda yadda), while everything related to the musical The Phantom of the Opera mainly copyrights to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Timeline/Spoiler Warnings: This story is set in the nebulous time betwixt season one and two. Therefore, expect to be spoiled through all of season one; also, this was begun/written before the premiere of season two, so Sam pretty much remains an OC for my own purposes (I've given him my own background/story to fit this fic, FYI).
Brief Note: As I've said, this is not "Phantom" set in "Glee"; however, since the production/music of "Phantom" has such an obvious impact on the story, each chapter will be titled after one of the songs, as there are roughly 22 songs that should be about the length of this story you should be expecting.
13 Years Ago
The very first time that the two boys meet is at Burt Hummel's mechanic shop, back in the early days when Burt hadn't beaten out most of the competition in Lima and was still struggling to pay off his business loan. In between installing new tires on old Mr. Redding's truck and running a general checkup on some broke kid's beat to hell Buick, Melanie Hummel and their three year old son Kurt danced into the shop, carrying what looked like lunch. Burt's usually stoic face broke into a wide grin at the sight.
There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't thank God and all his lucky stars that Melanie Williamson had fallen for a guy like him. Tall and willowy and graceful, Melanie was a beautiful woman who still walked like the ballet dancer she'd been in high school. There wasn't a more welcome sight than her smile when she sang out his name. Burt's life felt brighter whenever she was in the room. Kurt looked just like her, with his long dark hair and pale skin and wide, trusting green eyes. Kurt danced like his mother as well. There were days when Burt just wasn't sure what to make of his son, but that didn't stop him from loving him fiercely.
As the three of them were tucking into sandwiches and apple slices and grapes, Kurt had grabbed his dad's elbow and pointed toward the street, where what looked like a classic, sleek yellow Corvette was angling towards his parking lot. It was without a doubt the most expensive car that Burt had ever seen in this part of town, and certainly the most expensive car to ever grace his parking lot. Melanie excitedly wished him luck as he wrapped up what was left of his lunch and washed his hands before going to greet the potential customers, praying that they weren't just asking for directions.
A family of three stepped out of the car as he approached, and Burt drew up shot somewhat self-consciously. The three absolutely reeked of money from their clothes to their attitudes; though the way the young boy carelessly holding his mother's hand was fiddling with his clothes ruined the image somewhat. Still, there was some kind of arrogance in the man's eyes as he surveyed Burt's humble three-car workspace that had Burt bristling. He fought down the urge to defend himself; he couldn't afford to offend his customers and his mamma had taught him long ago that there were certain situations where you just had to swallow your pride.
"Hey there – welcome to Hummel's," he said in a friendly manner. "Is there something that I can help you with?"
"I rather hope so," the man said after a moment, startling Burt with the sharpness of his British accent. Foreigners didn't usually frequent this place. "I'm not used to driving American vehicles and my car has been making some rather alarming noises on the back roads of this town, particularly when I make any turns – Sam, get back here immediately!" he snapped as the young blond boy made a bid for freedom. Sighing and mulishly crossing his arms over his chest, the young boy glared at his father.
"Your name's Sam, huh?" Burt asked companionably, getting down to Sam's level. The boy shrugged, eying Burt questioningly. For a moment he reminded him so much of Kurt that Burt had to check himself from ruffling the tyke's hair. "You like big cars, Sam?"
"Yeah," Sam said after a moment, his arms starting to uncross. The boy's mother was hiding amusement behind one of her hands as her husband tapped his foot impatiently.
"Well, if you go on inside Mrs. Hummel will break out all the cars we have, and some juice boxes," Burt said temptingly, and Sam smiled brightly as he peeled off toward the dark, air-conditioned interior of the shop.
"Thanks for that," the woman said, smiling much more warmly at him. She sounded like an American that'd spent enough time in Britain to get an accent. "He's not used to so much time cooped up in a car; he's used to being able to run about and get into trouble whenever he likes."
"It's alright; I've got a son his age," Burt said easily, straightening. "You could go into the air conditioning and wait – I'm sure my wife has some magazines or books you could look through while your boy plays, ma'am," he offered, and she nodded another grateful smile and headed toward the garage. Burt noted how the woman walked with the same grace as Melanie before he turned back to the man. "Now, could you try and describe this sound that your engine is making, Mr.…."
"Evans," the man said, his arrogant tone not toned down in the slightest. "Jack Evans. And it's something of a cross between a rattling and a hissing."
"Well, it sounds like it's probably just a loose nut and bolt, maybe could do with a quick lube job as well," Burt said easily. "I'm sure that beauty just isn't used to the rough roads around here."
"She isn't the only one," Evans muttered irritably. But he still offered Burt the keys and let him pull the car into the free space in his garage. When Burt got out, Melanie and Mrs. Evans were deep in conversation as Sam crashed toy cars around with glee while Kurt watched curiously. As Burt watched, Sam glanced up quickly then back down again. After he did it a few more times, Burt realized that Sam was eying Kurt curiously, and then making his car explosions even more impressive – showing off. Huh.
When he headed toward the group, Melanie broke off what she was saying to smile at him excitedly. "Oh, Burt, do you know who this is?" she asked, gesturing toward Mrs. Evans, who smiled in something like embarrassment. "This is Margaret Evans!"
"Oh, that singer I bought you all those CD's of on Christmas?" Burt asked, nonplussed as to what all the fuss was about.
"Exactly – the best soprano in England!" Melanie exclaimed.
"Oh, you're far too kind – and it's Mag, really, Melanie," Margaret Evans said easily. "I retired and returned to the states for a reason, after all." They both shared a chuckle. "Your wife was telling me all about how you crashed her major dance recital with something as mundane as a marriage proposal – I found it incredibly romantic." Melanie turned her blinding smile on Burt and managed to make him feel about ten feet tall and able to move mountains.
"Aw, ma'am," he said, shuffling his feet. He glanced away and saw Sam poking and prodding at Kurt, who was examining Sam just as curiously. Burt knew that Kurt didn't play with other children too much, but it was somewhat strange how Kurt and Sam were both looking at the other like they had never seen anything quite like each other before.
"Yes, well," Mr. Evans interrupted. "How long do you think this will take?"
"Oh, not even an hour, sir – I just need to tighten a few things down and oil a few things up. My wife has all the paperwork for you; I'll just get started to you can get out of here faster."
"Thank you so much for your kindness, Mr. Hummel," Mag declared happily. "It's been so long since I've been in the states that I'm afraid it's rather like coming to a new country for the first time all over again." Jack Evans shot his wife an indulgent smile as he began to sign forms for his car, and it was that crack in his upper-crust armor that left Burt feeling much better about servicing the man's car.
"Don't think a thing about it," Burt said firmly, and headed off to get his job done.
By about the half of the hour, he was just about done and listening to Sam and Kurt chase each other wildly around the shop, playing some sort of game that Burt couldn't figure out for the life of him. Melanie had, of course, charmed the Evans thoroughly as she conversed with them and served them cold water for the hot day outside. Feeling satisfied with a job well-done and good word of mouth from important clients getting out, Burt headed toward the group to tell them that the job was over.
"I'm so happy that we've landed in such a good spot as Lima," Mag declared as Mr. Evans rang up the bill on his card. "Only in town a day and we've already found a marvelous mechanic and a new friend." She and Melanie exchanged brilliant smiles, and Burt chuckled at the marvel that was his wife. "We must meet up for tea this week, Melanie, while I'm acquainting myself with the town. Sam, dear, where are you?"
As she and Melanie swapped phone numbers and discussed timing, Sam appeared from around a corner, grinning like a dervish and hanging onto Kurt fiercely. Kurt was staring at Sam in a sort of awe. "Sam, my love, it's time to go."
"Come on," Sam told Kurt firmly, and began to lead him toward the car. The adults watched, confused, until Mag smiled gently and said, "Sam, it's time to leave your new friend alone – we must go home."
"I know," Sam said, and continued to drag Kurt with him.
"Sam, Kurt has to stay here," Mag explained.
"No," Sam said flatly, and promptly pulled the smaller boy toward him. Burt and Melanie watched in utter bemusement as Sam clutched Kurt like a favorite stuffed animal.
"Sam, leave Kurt alone," Mr. Evans said sternly.
"No!" Sam repeated, his eyes snapping together and darkening stormily. "Mine!" Burt stared, nonplussed. "Mine, mine, mine!" Sam declared again, clutching Kurt ferociously. Kurt seemed to be holding Sam just as tightly.
In the end, it took the combined efforts of both sets of parents to pry the two apart, and when they were finally separated Sam kicked up a storming tantrum as he howled that Kurt was his and that his parents were meanie-heads for taking Kurt away. Kurt, for his part, looked utterly despondent and waved a sad farewell to his new friend before turning tragic eyes on his parents, threatening an impending tantrum.
Sometimes, Burt really didn't know what to think about his son.
It wasn't until much later, after Mag and Melanie had become amazingly close friends and the two boys began to practically live together in Kurt's huge basement bedroom that Burt thought he might understand a little, though Melanie and Mag both seemed far more graceful than he was about the whole thing. It was nearing Christmastime, and tea time between the two women had just ended as Burt came in from the shop when the three of them headed down the stairs to start the difficult process of calling an end to Kurt and Sam's time together. The two boys' young voices drifted up toward them, and Burt stopped before the boys saw them, for reasons he could never fully identify.
"Kurt, d'you know what mistletoe is for?" Sam asked. The three peered around curiously to see the two boys staring at each other in a seriousness that was just so utterly unusual in boys their age.
"Sure," Kurt said.
"Look," Sam said, glancing down shyly, and he took a sprig of mistletoe from the Hummel's mantelpiece out of his pocket. It was crushed from where his small hands had stolen it and stuffed it into his pocket. Kurt's breath seemed to catch, when Sam leaned forward and placed a shy kiss on Kurt's cheek.
"I think you're the best pressie ever," Kurt declared, and Sam blushed.
"I think that I'm going to marry you," Sam stated boldly.
"I don't think that two boys can get married," Kurt said worriedly.
"We'll do it anyway," Sam shrugged confidently, and then he kissed Kurt's other cheek like a solemn promise, and the three adults softly treaded back upstairs.
A/N: So, what did you guys think? Love it, hate it? I live for reviews, so tell me what you think! (And, BTW, there's a huge bonus case of pure awesome to anyone who can tell me which character from which musical inspired Sam's mother – I feel confident I left enough clues for you to guess!)
And, I'd really like to take this brief amount of time where I might/might not have your attention to say the following: If you haven't yet tried Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, titled Love Never Dies, you are seriously missing out. I'm begging you to ignore the negative press surrounding it. Yes, it does not live up to the original "Phantom"; but, honestly, who was expecting it to? I'm telling you, it's an amazing musical, and if you don't approach it with the expectation that it will match/exceed "Phantom", you'll walk out with a fantastic experience. Sierra Boggess is mindblowing as an elder Christine, and Ramin Karimloo (aside from being sexy) is a phenomenal Phantom.
So, shameless plugging aside, I'll see you next time!