(A/N: This is an idea that's been banging around in my head since the first episode of this season but I'm just now writing it. As of right now, I'm ignoring the episode Grilled Cheesus. They wrote Burt's coma scenes far too well and I don't even want to try to compare my writing with that so I'm pretending it didn't happen. So, assume everything that happened up until that episode is true for this fic as well. Sorry if some of the characters seem out of character. This is my first Glee fic and I'm still getting a feel for writing the characters.)
Warnings: mild cursing
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or any of the wonderful songs I've quoted in this fic.
A House is Not a Home
Chapter One- Miles
Kurt couldn't stand this anymore. He really couldn't. Finn was up and down and uncomfortable and trying not to be but, being Finn, he was terrible at hiding his own awkwardness. Finn kept readjusting himself on his bed or getting up to pace a few seconds before sitting back down again and shooting nervous glances at Kurt. Kurt was lounging on his own bed, reading his English textbook and trying to ignore him, but was finding the constant creak of bed springs and completely transparent looks Finn kept sending his way to be infinitely distracting.
Eventually, Kurt sighed. Finn tensed up. For a moment, his face plainly displayed fear but then he quickly tried to cover it up. Of course, Finn could never quite master his own facial expressions so his attempt at nonchalance resembled constipation more than anything else.
"Finn, if you are really so uncomfortable with this arrangement, you need to tell your mom. She wouldn't want you sacrificing your own happiness for hers," Kurt tried not to make eye contact with Finn while he said this. Instead, he stared intently at his book and tried not to imagine what ridiculous face Finn was making now.
"Um…what?" Finn asked in a tone that was usually reserved for whenever Mr. Shue spoke in Spanish.
Glancing up, Kurt noticed Finn's face was nothing more than bemused at this point.
"You're clearly uncomfortable. You have been since you moved back in this morning. It's alright. I understand," Kurt tried as hard as he could to keep the hurt out of his voice and he thinks he may have even succeeded. Kurt himself was apprehensive about the Hudsons moving back into the house, especially since the addition wasn't done yet so Kurt and Finn were back to sharing a room again. But he had hoped that Finn would have gotten over their fight from before.
"I-I just…" Finn lost his train of thought. Kurt wasn't sure he'd ever had it to begin with.
"I get it," Kurt said softly and this time he knew there was a tremor in his voice that even Finn detected.
Finn shifted uncomfortably and still looked confused. "Get what?"
"I get that you don't want to share a room with me and its ok," Kurt said in a rush as if saying it faster would make it hurt less. "I'll talk to my dad. You should move out again until the addition is finished so you can have your own room."
"If that's the way you feel."
Kurt was about to say No, that's clearly the way YOU feel, but then he stopped. Finn was looking strangely…rejected.
"Finn? Is…are…what's with your face?" Kurt bit his bottom lip, feeling like he'd just been rude.
"I…don't know. Is there something wrong with my face?"
Kurt started to laugh. The look on Finn's face was priceless. Finn seemed like he wasn't sure how to take it but then apparently decided Kurt was laughing with him, not at him so he cracked an uncertain smile.
"I'm sorry," Kurt finally said, calming himself down, though there was still the hint of a smile on his face. "This is stupid. I think we need to talk."
"You don't want to live with me," Finn sighed. "After what I said."
"And you don't want to live with me," Kurt gave a bitter smile. "Not after what I did."
Finn looked like he wanted to disagree but he didn't say anything.
Kurt sighed. Finn wished he would stop doing that.
"Our parents are getting married," Finn said abruptly.
"I'm well aware," Kurt said mildly.
"So…we can't keep living like this. We're going to be a…a family, soon." The fact that Finn stumbled over the word "family" did not escape Kurt's notice.
"We are so…we should both just…say how we feel. Get it out in the open now, and calmly, so we don't have any…outbursts like last time," Kurt was choosing his words carefully. It was true that he didn't want to live with Finn. He wanted to get over his stupid crush (for that's what he had firmly decided it was, and once he set his mind to something, he could be very stubborn about it) and doing that when the object of his desire was a mere few feet away for all of the night and good portions of the day was going to be nearly impossible. But Carole made his dad happy. So Kurt had to be a man and suck it up.
"Can I go first?" Finn asked in a small whisper. Kurt was a little terrified of what Finn had to say. He didn't want to cry in front of the older boy. Again.
"Sure," Kurt said breathlessly, trying desperately to brace himself for what was about to come.
Finn paused for a moment. A long moment. Kurt was almost half convinced that Finn had lost the ability to speak but then he took a deep breath, looked away from Kurt and started.
"I feel like you don't want to be around me anymore. You've missed more than half of the Friday night dinners your dad keeps planning, even though he said they were a long-standing tradition in your family. You won't talk to me in Glee and you avoid me in classes and the hallways. I know what I said was…inforgivable—"
"Unforgivable," Kurt gently corrected him out of habit.
"Right, right. Unforgivable. But…I don't know. We're going to be a fam…we're going to be living together. So…maybe you could…just accept my apology and I'll do my best to make it up to you?"
Kurt had expected to feel ashamed of himself for being the cause of Finn's awkward behavior. He had expected to have to run crying from the room after Finn admitted that he was still incredibly uncomfortable around Kurt and didn't want to share a room with him under any circumstances because he found the younger boy creepy. Instead he felt ashamed but for entirely different reasons.
"I do forgive you, Finn. Of course I forgive you," he said, though he still couldn't look his soon-to-be stepbrother in the eyes.
"Then why won't you even look at me?" Finn's voice was a little louder now, and just a touch irritated.
"Because I'm embarrassed!" Kurt shouted, finally looking Finn straight in the eyes.
"About what?" Finn asked. When Kurt said nothing, Finn continued. "Don't pull this silent treatment crap on me again. This is a talk and we both have to contribute. It's your turn now. Start talking."
Kurt had rarely seen such a determined look on Finn's face. Kurt knew he would have to come clean now. Kurt was beginning to think that Finn hanging around with Rachel so much was a very bad thing. Slowly exhaling, he pulled his knees to his chin and wrapped his arms around his legs. In this strangle little version of the fetal position, he began speaking, once again not looking at Finn.
"I…I really liked you, Finn. I still do. I think I might always have a bit of a soft spot for you. I just…I know you're straight. I knew it before, too. I guess I hoped you…could get to know me and like my personality and that might change your feelings about your painfully heterosexual leanings. I realize now it was stupid. I'm so embarrassed because I pretty much threw myself at you even though…I should have known better. I, of all people, should have understood that you can't change your sexuality even if you want to. That fight we had…it just made me realize how incredibly…inappropriately I'd been acting. I've been avoiding you because…if I were you, I wouldn't want to hang around me, either."
When Kurt finished, he was staring straight at Finn but was still wrapped in his extremely defensive posture. And the silence from Finn was back. Kurt sighed.
"Stop doing that," Finn said suddenly.
"Stop doing what?"
Finn didn't answer. Kurt was wondering if it were possible for you to disappear if you wished hard enough. Then he decided it was impossible because he was certain no one could wish harder than he was right now.
"I'm still not entirely comfortable around you," Finn finally said. And it cut through Kurt almost more than he could stand. Finn must have realized this because he looked rather guilty for a moment. "I'm just trying to be honest." Something that Rachel was always trying to get him to do. Although she kind of got mad at him a lot for expressing an opinion she didn't agree with. Whatever… "I'm just not…used to it, I guess. I don't know any other gay guys so it's…weird for me. I guess I also don't understand why you would like me. I kind of treated you like crap for most of the time we knew each other, you know, until I joined Glee. But…I do know that I like you. I mean, I like talking to you and stuff. You always helped me out when I needed it and you're a nice guy. I miss us being friends. I thought maybe…we could go back to that now that we're going to be…"
"Brothers?" Kurt offered when Finn trailed off.
Finn nodded shyly.
The room fell into silence again but it was much more comfortable this time.
"I've always wanted a big brother," Kurt said suddenly. This was a total lie. He'd never wanted a big brother. His dad was all he'd ever needed. But he supposed if he was going to have a stepmom now, he might as well have a brother, too. Takes the pressure off being an only child.
"Really?" Finn said excitedly.
"Haha, yeah," Kurt laughed. "I guess I'm glad it'll be you. It could be someone way worse."
"Yeah," Finn smiled. "Hey! Now we can practice Glee assignments together!"
"And I can teach you how to drive!"
"…Kurt, I know how to drive."
"Yeah, don't try and pull that one on me. I've been in the car with you. I don't even know how you're still alive."
Soon they were laughing and talking. Even Finn could tell the laughter was rather forced and the talking died down at awkward places. They were still a little skittish of each other and they were both keeping a good deal of space between them, but Finn couldn't help but feel like their first sincere heart to heart had let their relationship go miles in a very short amount of time.
Soon, Kurt pulled his ipod out and decided that they needed a little music to fill the uncomfortable gaps in conversation. He hoped they would get better at this whole 'hanging out' thing, but for now, he decided some nice background music would work wonders. He paused for a minute, wondering what type of music to put on, before deciding he'd just put it on shuffle and let fate decide.
When Kurt heard the familiar strains of I Believe In a Thing Called Love, he frowned and wondered if he should skip the song. A love song seemed totally inappropriate to play right now, but Finn shouted when Kurt made a move to change the song.
"Don't you dare! These are my jams!" Finn said, instantly starting to play air guitar.
"These are your jams?" Kurt said incredulously. Had Finn really just said that?
"Oh yeah, I love The Darkness!" Finn continued to rock out on imaginary instruments.
"I believe in a thing called love!
Just listen to the rhythm of my heart!
There's a chance we could make it now.
We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down!
I believe in a thing called love!
Finn sounded absolutely ridiculous singing in that falsetto. He missed half the notes but continued pretending he was Justin Hawkins anyway. He was dancing around, too. Jumping on and off the bed and switching from playing air guitar to playing air drums and then back again whenever it suited him.
Kurt was on the floor, laughing. He knew Finn was a bad dancer and not a strong singer when it came to falsetto, but this was too much. What really made the whole performance, though, was the look on his face. It said, quite clearly, "Look at what a badass I am!" Kurt could barely breathe.
"Touching you, touching me!
Touching you, god you're touching me!
"I can't…I can't breathe," gasped Kurt. "I…th-think…I might be dying….please, for the love of g-god..stop."
Finn took no notice of him and continued his impromptu performance. He finished the song with a few (completely off-beat) head bangs and a nicely placed rock 'n roll scream. Kurt was still unable to support his own weight from laughing.
The next day…
Finn looked over to see Sam Evans standing next to him, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other. Finn thought how he had that exact same nervous habit and hoped to god he didn't look that stupid when he did it.
"Yeah, Sam?" Finn asked. They were on…better terms. Since Finn was back on the football team, they had bonded a little but Finn was still a little sore on the fact that Sam chose his popularity over the Glee Club.
"Um, I was wondering if…maybe it wasn't too late to still tryout for Glee Club?"
Huh, no kidding, thought Finn.
"I'll have to ask Mr. Shue but I'm sure he'll be fine with it. Its not too late in the year, yet, and we really need new members," Finn explained.
"Oh, cool," Sam smiled.
"What changed your mind about Glee?" Finn asked. If Finn was honest with himself he was secretly hoping that his own popularity had increased because of his triumphant return to the football team and now it was cool to be in Glee.
"Well…my sister's really interested in it," Sam admitted. "I told her all about you guys and Billionaire and she though it was awesome but she's too scared to try out on her own so she made me promise I would."
"Oh, that's cool," Finn said and he tried to hide his disappointment. He wondered if it was because of thoughts like his previous one about his own popularity that were the reason everyone always called him a dreamer. "Anyway, we've actually got practice this afternoon if you want to stop in. I'll talk to Mr. Shue before then so he'll be ready for you."
"Thanks, Finn, I owe you one, man," Sam smiled and walked away.
"No problem," Finn smiled back.
"Who was that?" Kurt was beside him now.
"That was Sam Evans," Finn said.
"Oh so that's Sam," Kurt smiled. "I was beginning to think he was a figment of your addled imagination."
"Well…you're the only one who ever talks about him and he never showed up for the tryout," Kurt shrugged. "I started to doubt his existence."
"He's the quarterback on the football team. Other people know who he is," Finn insisted.
"I thought you were the quarterback," Kurt said idly, slowly loosing interest in the conversation and starting to study his nails.
"I was, then I was kicked off the team."
"But you're back on the team now."
"As the second string quarterback."
"Yeah. I don't think Coach Beiste really trusts me anymore. But its ok, I'll get it back."
"Whatever you say."
"Damn straight. Oh! I almost forgot. I've got good news," Finn smiled almost devilishly.
"What?" Kurt asked.
"I've got new recruits for New Directions!"
"Really? Who?" Kurt asked excitedly.
"Sam and his sister!"
"Oh," Kurt's face fell.
"Oh? That's it?"
"Well…are you positive he's actually going to show this time?"
"OK, maybe less sure than I would have been if he hadn't shown up the first time…"
"Rachel's coming over here."
"Dude, be nicer to her. She is my girlfriend. I'd really appreciate it if you two got along."
"Don't call me 'dude.' And I'll try to be nicer to her. But I'm not making any promises."
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," Finn recited what Kurt was sure was something Carole had told a young Finn (and probably a young Puck) about a million times.
"Hi, Finn! Hi, Kurt!" Rachel said brightly as she strode over.
Kurt's face at the moment Rachel appeared was excruciating to look at. He had taken in Rachel's entire appearance and had needed to bite forcefully down on his own tongue so as not to say anything about the god-awful, lime green and orange atrocity of an outfit she was wearing. And the puppy sweater. Dear god, the puppy sweater…All the while thinking these thoughts and trying to keep a handle on his own very independent mouth, Kurt tried to force himself to smile in her direction. It looked very painful.
"Are…you alright, Kurt?" Rachel asked.
Kurt simply nodded and waved a hand in farewell to both of them before escaping off to his next class.
"That was kind of weird…is he mad at me or something?" Rachel asked.
"No," Finn was having a hard time trying not to laugh as he remembered the look on Kurt's face. "Why would you ask?"
"He didn't even insult my shoes today," she sighed.
"Are you actually upset that you didn't get insulted?"
"Well," she said, straightening her self up. "You know what they say. Any press is good press. Though I wonder what's up with him," she continued thoughtfully. "I hope he's not upset about me getting the Rent solo."
"He doesn't insult you so you think he's mad at you?"
"Well, yeah. He's Kurt. Insulting my clothing is how he says hello," she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Finn wondered absentmindedly if he was the only sane person left in Ohio.
"I can't believe he'd be so bitter about one solo, though," Rachel continued. "The song wasn't even right for him!"
"This isn't about the solo," Finn said, interrupting her. Usually, he just let her rant and kept his thoughts to himself, but he decided to set the record straight on this one. "I asked him to be nicer to you."
"And he actually agreed to this?" Rachel was aghast.
"Well…with our parents getting married and everything, we're trying a lot harder to get along now. And if he's going to get along with me, he has to get along with you, too."
"You actually told him that?" she asked, a little surprised.
"Of course. You know you're my girl."
Rachel beamed up at him and they walked off to their next class hand in hand.
Later that day…
Here it was. The moment of truth. Any minute now, Sam would walk through that door and audition for Glee Club. Finn was willing it to be so.
"I think your pal's flaked out again," Puck said, glaring in Finn's direction.
"He'll be here! I know it," Finn said in his faithful Finn way.
The rest of the club gave him some incredulous looks and shook their heads. Except for Brittany, who was wondering what corn flakes had to do with Glee Club.
"Well…maybe we'll just start practicing until he gets here…" Mr. Shue started to suggest, but there was no need because there was a sudden knock at the choir room door.
A blond head poked in hesitantly.
"Sam?" guessed Mr. Shue.
"Yeah," Sam nodded. He walked into the room, accompanied by a slightly frumpy looking girl who seemed to have a nervous habit of trying to hide her chin in the gigantic sweater she was wearing. "And this is my sister, Christine."
"Well, this is great, guys!" Mr. Shue clapped his hands together excitedly. "I'm Mr. Shuester. I'm the faculty advisor and I must say, it is a pleasure to have you both here!"
Both of the Evans beamed at him.
"So, which one of you would like to audition first?"
"Actually," Sam said, glancing back at his sister. "Do you mind if we sing together? That's kind of how we practiced this song."
"Even better!" exclaimed Mr. Shue, grinning. "Harmonies are very important for a strong Glee Club.
Sam smiled in a very charming way and Christine gave a very shy smile.
"Can I borrow a guitar?" Sam asked.
"Of course! What are you going to be singing for us?"
"I'm Gonna Be by the Proclaimers," Christine had answered quietly while Sam went to fetch the guitar.
"Really?" Finn let out an excited squeak. Kurt would have laughed but he had just barely contained a squeal of his own. That didn't stop everyone else from laughing at Finn, though.
"Haha, yeah, you want to join us?" Sam asked Finn.
"Hell yes!" Finn ran like an overexcited puppy to the drum set.
Sam started strumming and Finn started drumming and soon they were off.
"When I wake up, well I know I'm gonna be,
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next you.
When I go out, yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you.
If I get drunk, well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you.
And if I haver up, Yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you!"
Sam and Christine switched off vocals and sang together in a confusing pattern that none of the rest of the Glee Club could follow but that just made it all the more entertaining. It was clear just from watching them sing this song that they were close. They seemed to anticipate each other's actions and worked great as a duet. Neither of them were that strong as singers on their own (that hadn't found a new Sunshine, that's for sure) but when they sang together they made both their voices stronger.
"But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door!
da da da (da da da)
da da da (da da da)
Da Da Da Dun Diddle Un Diddle Un Diddle Uh Da!"
The rest of the Glee Club was clearly enjoying the song. Finn noticed that Kurt, in particular, seemed to love the whole performance. Which gave Finn quite an idea.
When the Evans and Finn wrapped up the song, all the gleeks and their teacher clapped hard.
"Welcome to Glee Club!" Mr. Shue shouted. Sam and Christine beamed at him and he motioned for them to take their seats.
"Mr. Shuester?" Rachel interrupted Shue before he'd even had the chance to suggest moving on.
"Yes, Rachel?" Kurt marveled at the fact that Mr. Shue had been able to contain the world weary tone that usual accompanied those words.
"I would just like to welcome our newest glee clubbers in my own special way!" She announced proudly.
"Alright, Rachel, take the floor."
"Thank you. Now, that wonderful little song reminds me of a Vanessa Carlton number with a similar theme."
Mercedes thought she knew where this was going.
"Oh hell no," she interrupted.
"Mercedes, please," pleaded Mr. Shue.
"What? She always gets to sing! What if we all want to welcome our new members?"
Finn was pretty sure from the look on Shue's face that he was desperately hoping a diva fight wasn't about to occur and scare off the new members.
"You know what, Rachel?" Finn said. "Why don't you just start singing and the rest of us will all join in when we know the words! That way, it'll be from all of us."
Kurt wondered vaguely when Finn got so good a diffusing tension. Maybe all that time with Rachel had taught him something, after all. That girl was always five minutes away from a major diva-explosion and Finn had actually gotten good at diffusing the bomb before in went off.
"Well, alright," Rachel agreed and Mercedes at least looked a little more content. Mr. Shue looked relieved.
Brad began the opening bars on the piano and then Rachel started to sing.
"Making my way downtown
And I'm home bound.
Staring blankly ahead
Just making my way
Making my way
Through the crowd.
And I need you.
And I miss you.
And now I wonder..."
The rest of the club joined in for the chorus. Mr. Shue beamed at how they managed to harmonize so well even though they'd never practiced this song before.
"If I could fall
Into the sky,
Do you think time
Would pass me by?
'Cause you know I'd walk
A thousand miles
If I could
Just see you
Sam and Christine looked a little uncomfortable at being sung to (Finn remembers the feeling, it IS uncomfortable because you're never quite sure how to respond and you're very well aware of the fact that other people are staring at you being sung to even though you're not doing anything) but they seemed to appreciate the sentiment.
And Finn hoped Kurt would, too.
The next Glee practice…
Mr. Shuester barely managed to suppress a sigh. He wondered if he should just stop planning out practices at all. These days it seemed like it never took long before he was being interrupted. Sometimes he cursed himself for encouraging the kids to express themselves so much. Maybe Coach Beiste was right. Maybe stuff like this should count as insubordination…
"Yes, Finn?" Mr. Shue finally replied.
"I've got something I've been working on and I'd really like to share it with everyone."
"Yeah…" Mr. Shue shook his head. "Go ahead, then."
Finn glanced around at everyone's curious faces. He was kind of glad that Sam and Christine had some sort of family thing and couldn't make today's practice. He had a feeling this might be a little embarrassing and he didn't want the new kids to think too weirdly of him just yet.
"Well, as you guys probably know, my mom will be marrying Kurt's dad in a couple of months," Finn began, situating himself in the center of the room. Kurt visibly stiffened. He didn't like where this was going. "Now, Kurt and I haven't always gotten along. But we've sort of become friends since our parents started dating and I'm kind of psyched about having a brother."
Some of the girls in the room let out an audible "awww."
Kurt was really flattered. But he was also hoping a hole in the ground would swallow him up before Finn started singing to him.
"Anyway, Kurt," Finn continued. "I know you're obsessed with that show with that mother and daughter who talk really fast. I can't understand most of what they're saying half the time, but I like the song at the beginning so I thought I'd sing it for you."
Kurt's cheeks were so red he thought they might actually be on fire. He couldn't believe what Finn was about to start singing. Finn smiled at the room and handed the sheet music to Brad. Brad started playing and Finn started to sing.
"Loving you the way I do
I only wanna be with you
And I would go to the ends of the earth.
Oh, darling, to me that's what you're worth."
Finn reached to Kurt to pull him to the front of the room for the chorus. Kurt was vehemently shaking his head 'no' but Finn pulled him up anyway. After forcing Kurt to join him at the front of the room, Finn proceeded to poke Kurt until he started to sing with him.
"Where you lead, I will follow
Anywhere that you tell me to
If you need, you need me to be with you
I will follow where you lead."
All the girls started clapping and singing along. All of the boys (including Kurt but excluding Finn) looked more than a little uncomfortable. Puck glanced at Mike and Artie and raised an eyebrow as if to suggest. "what the hell is happening right now?"
"Yeah…Tina used to make me watch that show," said Artie quietly while the girls got up to make Finn and Kurt dance with them while still singing the song. "It's a girl thing."
"Finn's just trying to show Kurt he's OK with them being related," Mike put in a defense for Finn. Artie glared at him but said nothing. Artie wasn't one to hold grudges against people…but he also didn't think kindly of girlfriend stealers, either.
"I'm sympathetic to the dude," Puck said, nodding his head towards Finn. "But even for Finn, this is pretty gay."
"I'm gonna follow where you lead!
(I'm gonna follow where you lead.)
I'm gonna follow where you lead!
(I'm gonna follow where you lead.)"
Mercedes let out one her classic wailing runs on the last line and the song ended amidst applause and laughter from all the girls.
Kurt was still bright red, but he was laughing now as well. He glanced at his stepbrother to be and figured he had to get used to this. This was just how Finn showed his affection. In incredibly embarrassing, awkward and uncomfortable ways. Yes, this was just like Finn. And Kurt supposed that it was an older brother's job to embarrass his little brother. Kurt just couldn't wait for the opportunity to pay him back for this totally mortifying yet somehow very touching stunt.
(A/N: Yes, it ends happy, but don't worry there is plenty more drama to come. I had to fix everything before I can break it all again, you know? I'm like Count Rugen from The Princess Bride. I like to make my victims whole before I break them. Mwahahahahaa. I know it was a little heavy on the Finn and Kurt bonding but don't worry. There will be Sam and Kurt scenes very soon.)
Songs (in order of appearance):
I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness
500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be) by The Proclaimers
A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton
Where You Lead by Carol King