Author's Notes: Written for this prompt on the glee_angst_meme: "5 times a member of the Glee club came to the realisation that Kurt and Burt are a liiitle too close for comfort (implying an incestuous relationship) but did nothing and the 1 time someone realised and finally reacted (responsibly) to it.
I'd love the 5 to include Puck (ignore it!), Brittany or Finn (not get it!), maybe even Mercedes and Carole (denial, refusal to believe?). If you want to go the extra adult-neglect step, you can throw Will in? Or Emma."
Yeah, I feel terrible about writing this, because BURT HUMMEL IS AWESOME AND THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.
Papa, What Do You Hear?
1 - Finn
He doesn't think anything on purpose. He's just watching the game, and Kurt's sitting with him for... some reason. "I cannot believe they use that fabric," Kurt says, scrunching up his nose. "Seriously. These are attractive men, and they go out of their way to diminish that with abhorrent clothing."
Okay, Finn only got like, half of what Kurt just said, but he doesn't want to tell Kurt that because Kurt will think he's stupid. He gets the general gist anyway. "No offense dude, but I don't think, like, the people they're targeting are really the kind who would care that much if the dudes look hot or not."
Kurt shrugs. "True. The media is frequently quite backwards when it comes to the demographics they focus on."
Finn doesn't have a clue what 'demographics' means, so he ignores it. "Why are you watching this anyway?" he asks. "You hate baseball."
Kurt shrugs. "Gives me and dad something to talk about. We do this every once in a while; we pretend to actually be interested in each others' hobbies, and generally get all insecure about how different we are. Then it all goes back to normal, there are hugs and kisses and we love each other again."
Finn nods. "Alright," he says. "Cool. It's no fun watching a game on your own anyway. Where is your dad, anyway?"
"Garage," Kurt explains. "And you men."
"Dude, you're one too. Even if everyone is kind of douche and says you're not because of the whole, well, gay thing."
Kurt shrugs. "It's quite alright. I am well aware of my effeminacy."
Finn nods. "...You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?"
"The using words I don't understand thing," Finn pouts – and Kurt laughs at him!
"Oh you poor boy," says Kurt. "Don't worry about it."
Finn decides not to.
"Anyway, as horribly boring as they are, these masculine interests come in handy," says Kurt. Finn looks at him curiously. "More macho guys are always surprised that you know anything about 'their' sorts of interests, so if you're interested, you get a chance to talk before they put up their defenses. I mean, it never really works in the long run... but it's an opportunity to talk."
Finn frowns. He feels like he's brain isn't making a connection it should be, but he shrugs it off.
Then, the door swings open and Burt comes in. "Hey, Finn... Kurt," he's surprised to see his son there, but accepts it pretty quickly.
"Hi Dad," Kurt beams up at him. "We were watching, um..."
"Okay," says Burt, but he looks concerned. He puts a comforting hand on Kurt's shoulder. "Why? I didn't think you liked baseball."
"I don't," Kurt says, "But I'm making an effort to understand what you go on about."
Finn watches as Burt kneads slightly, and Kurt leans toward him slightly. He frowns further, though he doesn't know why. "Am I going to be running into that cheerleader again anytime soon?" Burt asks, and he's joking, but something about his voice sounds... off to Finn. Dark. Bitter.
Weird, he thinks.
Kurt rolls his eyes. "Relax, Dad," he says. "All doubts in my sexuality, or attempts to change it, are gone. I know what I want, believe me."
He smirks on that, and Finn's pretty sure if he said that his mom would beg him not to talk like that. Burt just shrugs. "Alright then," he says. "Anyway, I need your help in the garage. That's why I came in anyway."
Kurt nods and makes his way up. Finn stands too, but Burt shakes his head at him. "You don't have to, Finn. No offense or anything, you just haven't learned everything yet."
Finn nods and sits back down. Yeah, that makes sense. "Alright then," he says. "See ya."
Burt and Kurt share an awkward look before they walk off. Finn notices Kurt's hand linger over Burt's forearm for a split-second.
Weird, Finn internally repeats.
Then he shrugs it off, and goes back to watching the game.
2 – Brittany
She and Santana get invited over to the Hummel house because of a Cheerio thing. She wonders if she should tell Santana about that house – she felt thinks it might be filmed in black in white – but 'Tana just tells her to shut up when she tries, so Brittany doesn't.
When they're at the house, Mr. Hummel seems... kind of weird. No weirder than he was before, when Kurt wasn't there and Brittany was dating him, but Mr. Hummel was weird then, so it's a good point. "So, uh, you guys," he says, "Promise not to keep my boy up too late?"
Santana smiles. "We promise," she says.
"Well, he's gay again now, so it's not like we can have sex," Brittany says. Santana sends her a warning look. "He is still gay, right?"
Mr. Hummel narrows his eyes at her. "Yes," he says, and it sounds a bit like he's trying too hard to prove that's true. Which weirds her out, because hey, it is true, right?
Santana gives a little sigh of annoyance, and Brittany realizes she's being stupid again. "Anyway," says Santana, "We'll be in the basement. Where is Kurt, anyway?"
"Bathroom. His moisturizing routine," Burt quirks a little smile, and Brittany walks off with Santana.
"I think he's mad at me," says Brittany as the go down the stairs, and Santana looks confused.
"Really? I didn't notice anything."
Brittany shrugs. "Yeah, well, he didn't say anything, but I just kinda got the feeling... he didn't want me around Kurt."
Santana blinks. "Oh," she says. "I don't know, maybe he's mad at you for encouraging his whole identity crisis thing back in like, whenever it was."
Brittany frowns. That makes sense, but it doesn't seem to fit somehow. "He's acting like Jackie," she says, "You know, that time she dumped Mike and then I slept with him? And Jacks knew she didn't really have the right to be mad, but was just sort of jealous anyway?"
Santana gapes at her. "Britt! Don't say that!"
Brittany's confused. "Wait, what? What did I do?"
"Don't you see the..." Santana trails off and sighs. "Whatever. It's not a big deal. Just don't say it in front of Kurt."
As if on cue, Kurt enters from the bathroom. "Hello my ladies!" he yells. "Time for our project to avoid being crushed by Miss Susan Sylvester. By the way, my dad said he bought a whole bunch of low-fat snacks given we're cheerleaders, so we should probably go get those at some point."
"Your dad rocks," Brittany says.
"Yeah," Santana smiles in agreement, but it looks weirdly fake.
3 – Puck
Okay, yeah, Puck was a bit weirded out when it turned out their new quarterback was batting for the other team. But he dealt; he'd dealt with Hummel for years, after all. Sam turned about to just be a really cool dude, just gay.
And speaking of Hummel.
"Dude, I promise you," says Puck. "It'll go fine. You said he said he wants to, right? Just, like, drag him off to some hotel room, and do the whole romance shit, because hey, it's Hummel – it should be pretty easy. Hey, for all the clothes and stuff, he's still a dude; that should make it easier to get laid, right?"
Sam looks at him oddly. "You know, sometimes I'm genuinely shocked by how un-PC you are."
Sam and Kurt have been dating for the last couple of months; given there are only two gay guys at McKinley High, it surprised no-one (thinking about that makes Puck feel a bit bad. Dude, what would it be like to only be able to get one person, ever, through no fault of your own?). Anyway, Sam's been eager to do the nasty for a while – Puck's just been like go for it, brother, but Sam's a nice guy and all nervous and shit.
"Anyway, his dad'd kill me," Sam says, and Puck raises an eyebrow.
"Daddy doesn't need to know, dude."
Sam glares at him. "Have you met Burt Hummel? The guy friggin' stalks us, man; he'd know."
Puck shrugs. "Oh... Okay."
Sam sighs. "He's given me the speech more than once; you know, don't you touch my kid."
"Well, the exacting wording was more like 'I don't want your hands all over him; he's mine, and I don't want you to touch him.'"
Puck blinks. "Okay, I know, context and everything, but? That sounds kind of freaky and possessive and incestuous to me."
Sam gives him an outraged look. "Dude, shut up!" he says. "That's my boyfriend you're talking about."
Puck shrugs. "Just saying." But he lets the subject drop. Like something like that would really happen, anyway.
4 – Sam
Moral of the story: never, ever listen to Noah Puckerman.
He was only half expecting it to work, but he didn't think it'd go that bad – Mr. Hummel'd show up and drag Kurt home before they even got up to the room. Sam tried calling him all weekend, but he didn't answer. He also called Puck to bitch him out about getting them into this situation, but that didn't make him feel much better.
When he sees Kurt on a Monday, he calls after him. "Hey, Kurt!"
Kurt just keeps walking, trying to run away. Sam frowns, chases after him and catches him by the shoulder. "Hey, Kurt," he says. "You weren't answering my calls."
Kurt looks embarrassed. "That's because I'm dumping you," he mumbles.
"Wait, what?" Oh no. "Why? Did I do something wrong? Kurt, whatever it is, I'm sorry – oh shit; Kurt, I didn't mean to get your dad mad at you, I didn't think he'd–"
"Sam, Sam, it's okay," Kurt says. "I'm not mad at you, honestly. But my dad doesn't want me to see you anymore – you're the type to push."
Sam gapes at him. "I didn't push!" he insists. "Shit. Did I? Kurt, I'm sorry, I though you wanted it – you said you wanted it, I didn't feel like I was trying to talk you into it – if I thought you weren't ready, I would never have–"
"Sam, I know!" Kurt cuts him off. "It's okay. I did want to, honestly. But my dad... he's had so much stress lately, and I couldn't make things worse. He did have a heart attack a few months ago, after all," he explains. "So I have to break up with you. I'm sorry."
Suddenly, Sam's mad. "To hell with him!" he yells. "You're seventeen, that's above the age of consent... here, anyway. The point is – we did nothing wrong, and he has no right to keep you locked away just because he's unhappy. You're growing up, he should just deal."
Kurt glares. "He has every right, Sam, he's my dad."
Sam sighs in defeat. "You're choosing him over me, aren't you?"
Kurt nods. "Always."
Then he walks off, leaving Sam alone and dejected (rejected) with his own thoughts.
Did I just get dumped for my boyfriend's Dad?
Sam shakes away that particular thought, and all implications it carries.
5 – Emma
"Kurt, hi," she says. "Take a seat."
He looks wary, but does so. "Why am I here, Ms. Pilsbury?"
She sighs. "Look, Kurt," she says patiently, "Some of your friends were worried about you. Given your recent break-up with Sam Evans and everything."
Kurt seems confused. "Really? I actually thought I was handling it quite well."
Emma shrugs slightly. "That was... actually what they were worried about. You are a seventeen year old boy who obviously had a reason to dump his first ever boyfriend; we would expect you to at least be a little sad about it. Especially because, from what your friends said, you didn't actually break up with him because you wanted to; you broke up with him because your dad told you to. Your friends thought you might just be repressing what you feel, and it might end badly," she muses this over for a seconds. "At least, I think that's what they were worried about."
Kurt nods. "Okay. I understand," he says. "It makes sense they would worry. I never expected to be see okay with my first ever break-up either."
She eyes him suspiciously. He seems genuine about being comfortable with the situation, but for christ's sakes, he's seventeen – he shouldn't be okay with a break-up! Most adults shouldn't be okay with many break-ups!
"Um. Okay," she says. "Are you sure? Because you can talk about the situation, you know; that is what I'm here for."
He raises an eyebrow. "Really, Ms. Pilsbury? You really want to hear about my romantic woes."
"If they're troubling you, absolutely. It's my job," she sighs. "Look, are you... mad, at your father? For making you split up with Sam, when you didn't want to?"
Kurt shakes his head. "No. Why would you think that?"
She gets a bit more nerve out of nowhere. "Because I honestly don't think it's appropriate for him to do that to you," she blurts out. Kurt just stares. She sighs, and tries to be reasonable about this. "Look, Kurt. I'm not saying your dad automatically has to be comfortable with the idea of you having sex – he's your dad, it would be surprising if he was okay with it. But you're seventeen, and while admittedly I don't have much experience in this field, it seems reasonable that he would have to think about this; you know, you having sex," okay, that sounds bad. She shakes her head. "I don't think you were really in the wrong to want to consummate a loving relationship you've been having for quite a while. And your dad has no right to split you two up just because he doesn't want to deal with the fact you're not his little boy anymore."
"But I am," Kurt says, like it's obvious. Emma frowns in confusion. "Look, you're making too big a deal out of this. Sam and I weren't that serious–"
"Everyone says you were ridiculously in love..."
"–and I don't need him, really." He's ignoring her. "No offense Ms. Pilsbury, but I don't think you could understand. My mother... she died when I was eight. I never really had any friend throughout my childhood; even before people understood the significance of putting the name 'gay' to it, I was still the weird, girly kid who nobody liked. My dad and I... I got used to him being the only one there for me. We were alone, and our lives grew around each other. He's always been everything for me, and I've always been perfectly fine with that," Emma bites her lip at this explanation. "I don't need Sam. I need my dad. He's always filled every role in my life, and that's not going to change. I like it that way."
Emma does her best not to blanch, as Kurt just looks ahead calmly. There are implications in that statement that go much beyond 'inappropriate', particularly regarding Sam's 'role'. "Well, um..." she suddenly finds she doesn't haven't anything else to say.
Kurt looks at her in exasperation. "So can I go now?"
She admits defeat. "Alright," she says, and he walks off.
Emma sighs, buries her head in her hands, before reaching over for a pamphlet that reads Daddy's Girl: How Close is Too Close?
Don't be ridiculous, she tells herself. You're reading too much into this. Kurt didn't mean anything by all that. Come on, Emma – you're a teacher; it's your duty to be calm and responsible about these things.
6 – Will
Will isn't stupid, as much as you would think so from the fact his wife faked a pregnancy for months and only sheer good luck had him find out. But that's irrelevant. He has more than picked up on the situation with Sam and Kurt being uncomfortable – and more uncomfortable than it should be, like any other teenage break-up. This has happened before – Finn and Quinn, Finn and Rachel, Tina and Artie, Tina and Mike once she went back to Artie – but it's never felt so wrong before.
Will's not going to lie to himself; the reason it feels so wrong is because it happened for the wrong reasons. Kurt didn't dump Sam because he didn't want to see him anymore; everyone's said that, and Kurt's admitted it. Kurt dumped him because his dad told him do, and since when do teenagers do anything their parents tell them to anyway?
Making it worse is the reactions after the fact. Sam is being normal – he's upset and uncomfortable, like you would expect. But Kurt isn't. Kurt seems completely calm and accepting of the whole situation, like nothing's even wrong. It's really unsettling.
Okay, honestly, Will would be lying if he said the details he keeps hearing don't make him squirm – about Burt tracking them to that hotel room; how Brittany said Burt didn't seem to like her either, despite everyone else finding him awesome (although she said with the idea of sex, Burt just said she'd have to buy a security alarm or something – Will didn't question it; everyone has enough problems with Britthink as is); everything Emma told him about her conversation with Kurt – how Kurt didn't mind ditching Sam on Daddy's orders because his father was all he'd ever need.
No-one else seems to be asking questions, either because they don't want to or they just haven't thought of it. Will might be sick for even thinking of this, but he can't help it. Sure, given one of his Glee club members is only there because of Will spying on his showering, then framing him for drug possession and blackmailing him, Will probably didn't write the book on appropriate behavior either. Still, when Burt Hummel shows up to their performance night shooting death glares at Sam, Will feels someone needs to say something. And, annoyingly, it's going to be him.
"Mr. Hummel," he comes up to the man after the performance. "Could I have a few words with you in my office, please? You don't have to; you're not a student, but..."
Burt shares a look with Kurt. "It's alright," he says. "Go wait in the car, I'll be right back," he squeezes Kurt's shoulder, and Will wonders if he's lingering creepily like that in reality, or it's just Will's perceptual set (hey, there's the psychology he took in high school).
Kurt leaves, and Burt follows Will into the office.
"So, what's this about?" asks Burt, taking a seat. Will sighs and realizes he has no idea how to approach this subject; how does he say anything without just making Burt punch him in the face and storm out.
"Look," he says. "I'm worried about Kurt. And Sam. And the entire situation, really."
Burt folds him arms over his chest defensively, and Will swallows hard. "What do you mean?"
"Look, we all know what happened – Sam and Kurt were going to have sex, you found out and stopped them, and ordered Kurt not to date him anymore," Will says, and Burt narrows his eyes.
"You got a problem with that?"
"I don't think it's my place to judge others' parental aptitude," although I do, and you are smothering and terrifying. "But I see the effects this has on my kids, and I panic. Sam's in pain – everyone with an eye can see he's in pain; he lost his boyfriend and everyone, including Kurt, is struggling to see what he did wrong," Will says. "It's Kurt's attitude that scares me though. He's outright said he didn't want to break up with Sam, and you'd expect him to react to that badly – instead, he's just... empty. Like it doesn't even matter."
Burt shrugs. "They're kids. They don't take their relationships too seriously."
Will raises an eyebrow. "You don't teach high school, do you?"
Burt blinks. Will sighs, standing out of his chair and pacing around the room.
"Look," he says, "I'm worried about the situation. I don't think Kurt just following you without question is healthy," his voice falters slightly as he approaches what's actually bothering him, but he forces himself to stay resolute. "Come on, he's a teenager. Since when do teenagers do anything their parents ask? Did you, when you were his age? I'm not sure it's a good thing he chose you over Sam."
"I'll mind what my kid does myself, thanks," says Burt. "Me and Kurt trust each other. And I'd rather you mind your own business."
Will sighs. "Look, I'm glad you two are... close," liar. "But I can't help but feel that, if he's not willing to fight for his behavior at the age of seventeen – when everyone's defying their parents – it might be sort of... unhealthy."
Burt grits his teeth, and Will's starting to feel a bit scared. "Look. I don't know what your problem is," he says, "but you have no right to just walk in here telling me how to treat my son, and what's a 'healthy' level of obedience and attachment. Why should this even matter to you, huh?"
"Technically you walked in here," yes, Will's stalling, and he knows it. "And you're right. This is none of my business. But I'm interfering because I disagree with you," it's still not a hundred percent true, but he'll get there. Somehow. "I don't think you should judge the fact Kurt and Sam wanted to have sex so harshly – they're teenagers, for christ's sake. And I don't think it's a reason to drive them apart."
"If Kurt didn't wanna dump Sam, he would have told me to just go fuck myself," Burt says, clenching his fists threateningly. "And are you saying it's okay for my son, a high schooler, to just go screw any boy who takes his fancy, on a whim?"
Will rolls his eyes. "No. I think Kurt's too responsible for that," he says. "But Sam wasn't anyone. They didn't do it on a whim; Kurt loved him, we all saw that. Is it really such a problem for you?"
Burt shakes his head. "Hell no, you are not telling me this. I don't care what your hippie liberal shit tells you, I am not letting my boy–"
"'Your boy'?" Will blurts out before he can stop himself. "Okay, mind telling me exactly why you were so scared of Kurt winding up in that hotel room and just fucking his boyfriend like many teenagers, without you."
Burt leaps up, furious. "What the fuck did you just imply, Schuester?"
Will holds his ground. "You're not stupid, you know," to hell with it, let it go; you brought him here to let him hear this anyway. "See, shockingly enough, I've actually been paying attention. I know how Brittany thinks you don't like her, and Sam knows you don't like him – the two people who could ever steal him from you. Britt compared the way you treated her to the way an old jealous ex of Mike's did after she slept with him. I've heard Sam phrase what happened like he got dumped for you; he's told me your little speeches about what would happen if he ever touched Kurt, because Kurt was 'your boy' – hey, like you just said. Oh, and Emma told me she talked to Kurt, because I'm not the only one worried about his lack of reaction to the whole Sam situation – and she said what he told her; how he feels he doesn't need anyone other than you, 'cause you fill every role in his life. Including Sam's apparently."
Burt just stares at this barrage of evidence, and the situation is so bizarre and horrific that Will has to laugh. "Everyone's been desperately trying not to put the pieces together; desperate to scrape these thoughts out of their head and dismiss them as sick paranoia – I want to do that. But I can't. I've noticed and I can't get this out of my head. I'm his teacher, and it's my job to protect him – and I'm sorry, but there's no way in hell it's right when his father's striving to do the same work as his boyfriend–"
He's cut off by Burt punching him in the face. Actually, he was expecting the man to do that sooner. "You sick son of a bitch," Burt spits at him. "I don't know what your fantasy is about our family, but you can keep it the fuck away from me. Kurt's made it pretty clear to me you've never been a father; you don't know a fucking thing."
Despite the context of all this, Will flinches at that. "Okay, one – keep my personal life out of this, and two – if you're using that sort of cheap shot, you're not winning the argument."
Burt punches him again.
"You are so self-righteous!" he yells. "I can so see you projecting your fucked up brain at whoever, and I guess that means me." Wait, what? "Yeah, do you think I didn't see where your eyes were? I think my girlfriend's kid is in a bit more trouble than me."
"Finn? Are you serious?" Will asks. "Okay, now you're just making stuff up."
"Maybe," says Burt. "Maybe my brain's telling me it to see what it's like, pointing that kind of insult at someone."
"I have never been..." it's hard to say inappropriate when he thinks off the whole shower-and-blackmail thing from before. Unwillingly, his voice trails off, and Burt smirks at him.
"Huh. Look at that," and Will knows he's lost. "You're wrong, Schuester, and if you were anywhere near right? You could never prove it. No-one'll believe you, you sick fuck."
Will sighs in defeat. "I know," he concedes. "Yes, I believe you and Kurt have an inappropriate relationship. No, I don't think there's anything physical going on. I don't even really think either of you are aware this is abnormal. And no, I don't have anything to prove," he stares at the ceiling. "I thought if I confronted you, and was the first person to be fucking honest and not just stay in denial forever, it'd help. It didn't, and I really feel it's not going to," he groans and grips his forehead, still refusing to look at Burt again. "Could you just go? This was stupid."
Burt nods. "Alright," he says. "After all, I have my son waiting in the car for me. And I need to take him home. And take care of him."
He storms out, and Will bites his lip, badly repressing the very strong urge to cry. He can't win this. He's not even sure he can lose.