Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
Cool. My dreams come with sound effects now.
But as he blasted away aliens and robots with his M-16, he realized that the screaming didn't come from his vanquished enemies, but from something in real life.
Finn struggled to wake up. The fuzzy outlines of Kurt's room came into focus; he lunged over the side of his bed and fumbled for his baseball bat. "Imma gon' kill you," he mumbled. He swung the bat wildly. "Get out!'
Slowly he realized that there was no masked intruder busting in to steal the curtains or whatever. Actually, it was Kurt making that god-awful noise.
Finn stumbled across the room to Kurt's bed. "Quit it," he said. He grabbed Kurt by the shoulder and shook him. "Cut it out, man."
Kurt bolted upright, his eyes flying open. The strangled scream caught in his throat. "I can't," he said. "I can't- Finn?"
"Yeah, Kurt, it's Finn," he said. "What's up with you? You totally woke me up, man."
Kurt dug his hands into his comforter and stared blankly at the wall. "I'm sorry," he snapped. "The next time I decide to have a nightmare, I'll inform you ahead of time."
Finn sighed and dragged his hands through his hair. "I didn't mean it like that," he said. "Geez." Kurt didn't seem to hear him. Finn scratched the back of his neck. "You had a nightmare?"
"They happen periodically," he whispered.
"What do you dream about?" Finn asked.
Kurt blinked. "I can tell you, I guess, but…" His voice trailed off. "Could you hold my hand?"
Finn pulled back. "Look, dude, I don't know-"
"It's not a gay thing, it's a…" Kurt swallowed. "Can't you just hold my hand?"
Finn rolled his eyes and gingerly took his hand. "Is it really that bad?" he asked.
"I dream about my mother."
"Really?" he said. "Your mother gives you nightmares?"
"It's not about…about her, it's about when she died," Kurt said. He took a deep breath.
"Yeah, sometimes I think about my dad and how he-"
Kurt dropped his head. "It's not the same, Finn," he said. "Your dad died somewhere far away, when you were too little to realize it. I had to watch her die."
Finn cleared his throat and sat down on the edge of the bed. "You were eight, right?" he said.
"End of third grade."
"Was it like…cancer or something?"
Kurt shook his head. "It wasn't cancer," he said. "It was a degenerative disease that basically destroyed her colon."
"That's rough," Finn said.
"She just got thinner and paler and then she just sort of faded away," Kurt said. "It took months."
"That…that sucks," Finn said lamely. "How old was she?"
"Just twenty-seven," Kurt said. "She was young when I was born."
"Yeah, no kidding," Finn said.
Kurt stared into space, his blue eyes wide and dazed. "Do you want to see her picture?" he asked in a small voice.
"Yeah, sure," Finn said.
"It's in the top drawer of my bureau."
Kurt pointed. Finn crossed over to it and rummaged through the neatly organized drawer. He pulled out a large picture frame that was turned, glass-down, in the back. "This it?" Kurt nodded. Finn switched on the bedside lamp and turned the frame over.
If he ran into her on the street, he would have known she was Kurt's mother. She was very petite, with a heart-shaped face and a pointed chin. Long dark brown hair tumbled around her shoulders, and her wide blue eyes, framed with long lashes, were exactly like her son's. She sat at a piano with her fingers barely touching the keys, but she looked over her shoulder and smiled warmly, as if she had been caught off-guard but she didn't mind.
"She's pretty," Finn commented.
"She was beautiful," Kurt said fiercely. He stared hungrily at the picture. "Dad always said he never knew why she picked him."
"How'd they meet?" Finn asked.
Kurt took the picture and balanced the frame on his knees. "It was the first day of school," he said. "My dad was a senior and she was a freshman. She ended up in his homeroom by mistake. He couldn't get his mind off of her so he followed her to her after school job."
"Where'd she work?" Finn asked.
"A little café. It closed years ago," he said. Kurt leaned back against the pillows and smiled. "Dad didn't know how to talk to her, so he would just sit there every afternoon and order pie until it was practically coming out of his ears. Finally he asked her to prom…and that was that."
Finn studied the picture. "You look a lot like her," he said. "You know…in a guy sort of way."
Kurt brushed his hair back from his forehead, some of his customary bravado returning. "I take after the Melrose side of the family," he said.
"What was her name?" Finn asked.
Kurt faltered. "Mollie," he said. "Well, Iris Margaret, but she always said that was an old lady's name. She always went by Mollie."
"Cute," Finn commented.
Kurt stared at the photograph of his mother. He seemed to grow farther and farther away with every second. "I didn't know she was dying at first," he said in a small voice.
"Why didn't…how did you figure it out?" Finn asked. "If you don't mind me asking."
"I was only eight. All I knew was that she was tired a lot," he shrugged. "It was late and we were watching a movie. I was almost asleep when I realized she was shaking. I thought she was cold, so I put a blanket over her, and put my head on her shoulder."
Unconsciously Finn placed his hand over Kurt's. "She started throwing up blood," he whispered. "It was everywhere. All over me. And she was crying. I never saw her cry before." Kurt clutched Finn's hand. "I've always been the crybaby. Not her. And I…I just held her hand and screamed. My dad came running in…and that's when I stop remembering things." He shrugged, trying to act nonchalant. "I know they got an ambulance and my dad went with her, but I was too young to go. And Dad was so distracted that he…well, he sort of forgot I was there."
"What did you do?" Finn asked.
"I just sat there in the living room with blood on my clothes," Kurt said. "I didn't know what else to do."
"And, uh…that's what you have nightmares about?" Finn asked.
"Usually, yes," Kurt said.
Finn shifted uncomfortably. "Was that…did she die that night?" he asked.
"She lasted a few more months," Kurt said. "It was a long, drawn-out kind of ordeal." He flipped the picture over, as if he couldn't bear to look at it anymore.
"What happened?" Finn asked.
Kurt glanced at him out of the corner of his eyes. "Are you asking because you want to know, or because you enjoy seeing me suffer?" he asked sharply.
Finn squeezed his hand without thinking. "I wanna know," he said. "This seems like something you've gone for a long time without talking about, so…so yeah. Tell me."
Kurt leaned back and stared at the ceiling. "She was sent home from the hospital," he said. "She was supposed to recover enough of her strength so they could do surgery. I thought she was going to get better."
He took a long, deep, shuddering breath. "Dad was away doing something for work, so it was just the two of us. She tucked me into bed, and she laid down beside me. We just stayed there, talking." He gripped Finn's hand until his knuckles turned white. "Dad came home as the sun was rising. I was asleep…and my mother was dead."
Finn struggled to find some sort of response. "That's awful, dude," he said.
"I suppose you could say that," Kurt said.
"Do you miss her?" Finn asked.
"Of course I do," Kurt snapped. "Why would you even ask that?"
"You act like you cant stand to look at her picture," Finn said. "And you never talk about her either."
Kurt pulled his hand away and flipped the picture over, almost savagely. "I don't like thinking about her," he said. "It just…hurts too much." He stared at the photograph, as if he could bring it to life just by sheer willpower. "She was young and beautiful and perfect and…she loved me."
"C'mon, man, your dad loves you," Finn protested.
"I know," Kurt said. "But he doesn't understand me. Not like my mother did." He hugged the photograph to his chest and rested his chin on the top of the frame. "Life would be a lot easier if she was still here."
Finn punched him lightly on the shoulder. "You've still got all of us," he offered. "I mean, all you have to do is that thing where your cheeks get all red and your eyes get all watery and you've got all the girls on you trying to mother you to death."
Kurt flushed. "Their attempts at maternal affection are appreciated, but I'd rather have my own mother back," he said. "Now, if you don't mind, I think I'm going to try to sleep."
"Yeah, sure," Finn said. He stood up. "Want me to put the picture back?"
Kurt glanced down at the photograph. "Not at the moment," he said. "As long as you don't think it's morbid."
Finn half-smiled. "I don't think so," he said.
Kurt set the picture up on his bedside table. He looked at it thoughtfully, then kissed his fingertip and touched it lightly to the glass. Finn smiled to himself as he switched off the light.
WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN.
Seriously, folks, I don't know what is up. All I know is I want to adopt Kurt. That is all.
But yeah. Since I'm apparently on a Glee high, what else should I write about? Because at the moment, all I've got going on is KURT ANGST TO THE EXTREEEME.
So plot bunny suggestions are appreciated