Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
August 24, 2011
"Finn, focus!" Kurt snapped. "She's going to be here within hours, and we are nowhere near ready."
Finn dragged his hands through his hair. "I know, dude, I know!" he shrieked. He gestured wildly at the papers spread across the table. "There's…there's so many options! I don't know what to do!"
Kurt flopped backwards on the waiting room chair and huffed loudly. He looked paler than usual in the white hospital lights, and it was just flat out strange to see him in bright blue sweatpants and an aqua tee shirt with a cupcake on it. "You'd think we'd have this done months ago," he groaned. "Finn! Stop staring at me."
"Dude, your shirt has a cupcake on it," Finn snickered.
"It was a birthday present from Brittany," Kurt grumbled under his breath. "Besides, you don't look much better."
Finn glanced down at his worn out army tee shirt and frayed plaid pajama pants. "But it's not a cupcake," he said.
Kurt picked up an ancient copy of Newsweek magazine and thumped Finn over the head with it. "Not helping!" he said. "Come on! We have to figure this out, or our little sister will be in kindergarten before she gets a name!" He shuffled through the pages. "Okay, here's the list of cool-sounding names. Here's the list of names with cool meanings. And here's the list of baby names that are absolutely not in the running."
Finn pulled at his lips. "I can't believe you took 'Cinderella' off the list," he said.
"We're not naming our baby sister Cinderella," Kurt snorted. "Cinderella Hudson-Hummel? She'll be laughed out of McKinley, and she'll be ten before she can spell it."
"But you still have Aur…Aur…whatever on the list," Finn objected.
"Aurelia," Kurt said. "It's a gorgeous name."
"Yeah, well, I can't pronounce it," Finn said.
Kurt flipped frantically through the baby name book. "My name is clearly German…your name is clearly Irish," he said. "We should meet in the middle…but I think the middle means Portugal, and that's not going to work either." He frowned. "What's your middle name?"
"Christopher," Finn said. "What's yours?"
"Elijah," Kurt said absently. "Ugh. That doesn't give us anything to work with."
Finn kicked off his flipflops- the only shoes he could find when he was woken up at three in the morning- and stretched his long legs across the chairs. "I can't believe our parents actually decided to have a kid," he said.
"They didn't really decide, Finn, it just sort of happened," Kurt said. He pouted. "It's going to be weird, though. I mean, I'm still getting used to sharing my dad with you…you're still getting used to sharing your mom with me."
"Now we get to share our parents with a baby," Finn said. "And we get to help out."
"Midnight feedings…" Kurt said.
"Crying all the time…"
Kurt looked thoughtfully at the clock. "But maybe it won't be that bad," he said. "I'll get to dress her up, like a real little doll."
Finn smiled. "And she'll be all cute and giggly," he said.
"So…she'll kind of be a rival, but a precious one," Kurt smiled.
"Yeah," Finn said. "Like…an enemy we actually like."
Kurt sat up. "Hold on," he said. He shuffled through his stacks of papers. "Hold on, hold on, hold on!"
"What?" Finn said, swinging his legs around so his feet were on the floor. "Did you think of something."
"Finn, I have a name," Kurt said, brandishing his paper victoriously. "And it's even one on your list, so good job."
Finn perked up. "Really? Thanks," he said.
"And I have the perfect middle name," Kurt sighed.
"It better not be Faustina, because that's just weird," Finn frowned.
"No, it's not that," he said. He picked up a pen and a scrap piece of paper and scribbled out the name in big, round letters. "What…do you think…of this?"
Finn grinned. "That's awesome," he said. "Totally awesome."
The swinging doors leading to the labor and delivery ward swung open, and Burt broke through, beaming like a madman. Finn and Kurt both stood up. "Boys, she's here," he said. "Seven pounds even, and she's perfect."
"How's Mom?" Finn asked.
"She's great, just tired," Burt said.
"Can we see the baby?" Kurt asked eagerly.
Burt cupped his son's chin in his hand. "Geez, kiddo, seems like yesterday I was here for you," he said. "But yeah, come on."
They followed Burt down the hall and into Carole's hospital room. She was sitting up, flushed and sweating, but she was smiling. "Hi," she sighed.
Finn ran up to his mother and hugged her cautiously. "Hi, Mom," he said. "Are you okay?"
"Oh, I'm wonderful," she sighed. "I'm never, ever doing this again, but right now, I'm wonderful."
Kurt leaned over and kissed her on the cheek; she reached up and rubbed the back of his neck. "Did you swear at my dad like the moms in movies do?" he teased.
Burt laughed. "She was a champ," she said.
The nurse picked up the little blanketed bundle from the crib and handed it to Carole. "Boys, this is your baby sister," she said, sighing softly.
Finn and Kurt crowded around her. "She's so pretty!" Kurt exclaimed. "Ooh, look at her little hands."
"Hi, baby," Finn cooed. "It's your big brother. I mean, your biggest big brother." Kurt rolled his eyes.
Burt laughed. "I knew you guys would go nuts over her," he said proudly.
"There was no question about that," Carole said. "The only thing I'm wondering is…if she has a name yet."
"She does," Finn said.
"Finally," Kurt added.
"I picked the first name, and Kurt picked the middle," Finn explained.
Kurt took a deep breath. "Emily Carys Hudson-Hummel," he declared.
"See, Emily means rival, and Carys means loved, and so…we kinda thought it fit," Finn said.
Carole's eyes welled up. "Boys, it's so perfect," she said.
"You did good," Burt said. He gazed down at his newborn baby daughter. "Emily. That's a great name."
"Can I hold her?" Finn begged.
Carole handed the baby over cautiously. "Be careful," she warned. "Support her neck."
"And don't sneeze," Kurt added.
Finn balanced his little sister in his hands like she was a football. "Hi, baby," he said again. He stared down at her tiny face. "Uh, she's really little. Am I going to break her?"
"Let me take her," Kurt said, holding out his arms. Finn transferred her slowly, and Kurt snuggled her. "Look at the little princess," he crooned. "Ooh, look at her dark hair! And it's curling!" He looked up, scowling fiercely. "Her hair is going to be gorgeous, and I am making the rule now that it can't be cut. Ever. And she needs ribbons."
"Honey, I leave Emily's wardrobe in your capable hands," Carole said.
Finn pried the baby out of Kurt's arms. "I want to hold her too," he argued. "And if you're going to make her wear all sorts of fancy stuff, then I get to teach her to play football."
"I suppose that's fair," Kurt sighed.
The nurse cleared her throat. "Well, it's time for little Miss Emily to go to the nursery with the other babies," she said.
Finn handed her over reluctantly. "You boys go home and get some sleep," Burt said. "And don't worry about school tomorrow. You've earned a day off."
"Good," Kurt yawned.
Carole pulled both of her sons in for hugs. "Thank you for naming the baby," she said. "It's a perfect name."
"Yeah, well, she was almost named Cinderella Aurelia, so be glad we came up with it when we did," Finn said.
Kurt yawned again, and Burt pulled him to his feet. "Go on home, boys," he said.
"Bye, Dad," Kurt said, hugging him tightly.
Burt kissed the side of his head. "Bye, kiddo," he said. He let go of Kurt and hugged Finn. "I'll see you at home, all right? And make sure Kurt actually goes to sleep."
"Dad," Kurt whined.
Finn responded by grabbing Kurt around the knees and hoisting him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry. "Don't worry, I got this," he said.
"This is humiliating," Kurt said as Finn carried him out of the room and down the hall. He twisted around on Finn's shoulder and tugged his phone out of his pocket.
"What are you doing?" Finn asked.
"Texting," Kurt yawned. "Rachel and Blaine are probably freaking out at this point."
"Oh, yeah," Finn grinned. "We did kind of leave them shouty voicemails at three in the morning."
He hauled Kurt over to the car, his stepbrother texting the entire time. "Do you think people will mind a mass-text before sunrise?" Kurt inquired as Finn set him down beside his SUV.
"Who cares?" Finn shrugged. "We've got a little sister. I think it's only fair that we let everybody else know about her."
"Are you sure you can handle this?" Carole said.
Finn rolled his eyes. "Mom, you've said that like twelve times," he said. "I think we can handle our own baby sister."
"You've never been left alone with her before," Carole said, fiddling anxiously with her earrings. "Do you remember how to feed her?"
"Mom, I feed her like all the time," Finn said.
"Carole, there's really no reason to be concerned," Kurt sighed, getting up from the couch. "You and Dad have to go out tonight. It's your anniversary. I think there's a law about going out on a date on your anniversary."
"I know," Carole said. "It's just that this is the first time your dad and I have gone out on a real date since the baby was born. I just don't know if I can leave her."
"We'll take really good care of her," Finn reassured.
"And besides, Dad's doing just fine," Kurt said. "I mean, he's not flipping out about leaving Emily in our capable hands."
Of course, Burt chose just then to walk down the stairs with his three-month-old daughter in his arms. "Look who just woke up from her nap," he said.
"Oh, hi, baby," Carole cooed, instantly distracted.
Finn and Kurt looked at each other. "Intervention," they announced.
"Seriously, you guys have go," Finn said, extricating his baby sister from Burt's arms.
"You're going to have to leave now, or you're going to miss your dinner reservation," Kurt said. "You have to go now, before you linger too long and you get covered in baby spitup."
Carole sighed. "All right, all right," she said. She kissed Kurt on the cheek. "Call us if you need us."
"We'll be fine," he said.
"You have the name of the restaurant, right?" Burt said.
"We'll be fine," Finn said.
Carole bent over Emily, brushing light kisses on the sleepy baby's round cheeks. "Be good for your big brothers, lovey," she said.
"Oh, she'll be good," Burt said. "She's always good."
"Except when she spits up down Kurt's back," Finn snickered.
Kurt glowered. "Finn, if you weren't holding a baby I would punch you," he said.
"Call us if you need us," Burt said again.
Kurt propelled them out the door. "Yes, we will, we'll take good care of the precious angel, enjoy your anniversary, we'll see you in a few hours, good night," he said.
Finn tagged along, balancing Emily in the crook of his arm. "Bye," he said, waving cheerfully as the parents left reluctantly.
Kurt sighed as he slammed the front door. "I thought they'd never leave," he said.
Finn lifted Emily in the air above his head. "You're gonna be fine with your big brothers," he said. "Yes, you are!"
"Don't toss her, she'll hurl," Kurt said. He clapped his hands and then held them out. "Give her to me."
"No," Finn said, plunking down on the couch and settling Emily on his lap. "You got to play with her while I was at football practice. Now it's my turn for a little Emily time."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Fine," he said. He checked his watch. "She should probably eat. I'll get her bottle."
Finn turned on the television and bounced the baby on his knee. "See that, Emmy?" he said. "That is football. Can you say football?"
She gurgled and tried to stuff her entire fist in her mouth.
"Yeah, that's close enough," Finn grinned.
He kept his big hands on the baby, even though she tried to squirm away. Sure, she was kind of a pain sometimes, when she spit up or she cried really loudly or when he was forced to change her diapers. But she really was pretty cute. And snuggly.
"Okay, I've got her bottle," Kurt said, waving it back and forth. He paused. "Are you seriously subjecting my baby sister to football? Project Runway is on."
"She can watch sports and fancy dress up stuff," Finn protested.
Kurt huffed. "Well, then, you have to feed her," he said, thrusting the bottle in Finn's face.
Finn glanced at the bottle, then slowly looked up at Kurt. "Um…you can do it," he said.
"Oh, no," Kurt said. "It's your turn."
"But I had to-"
The doorbell rang. Kurt stomped towards the front door and yanked it open. "Hi, boys!" Mercedes sang. "How's the babysitting going?"
"We've only been babysitting for like twenty minutes," Kurt said, blinking as Mercedes, Quinn, Rachel, and Brittany brushed past him. "Really? All of you?"
"Look at the pretty girl," Quinn cooed, sitting down on the couch beside Finn. "Hi, Emily. Hi, sweet girl."
Rachel edged closer, bumping Quinn with her hip. "Hi, Emily, it's your almost big sister," she said, a little too cheerfully.
"You're not married to him yet, manhands," Quinn said.
Brittany knelt in front of Finn, putting her nose perilously close to Emily. Emily babbled and tried to grab her nose. "Look, she likes me," she announced.
Mercedes snatched the bottle out of Kurt's hand. "I get to feed the baby," she said. "I called it. I totally called it!"
"But-" Finn started to protest.
Quinn picked baby Emily up; she kicked her tiny feet and yelped as she was placed on Mercedes' lap. The baby's fussing was quickly silenced when Mercedes put the tip of the bottle in her tiny mouth. "See, I know what I'm doing," she said.
"So do we!" Kurt said. "How did you even know about this?"
"Well, you texted Blaine, and Blaine texted Mercedes, and Mercedes texted me, and I was keeping an eye on Brittany, so I had to bring her along," Quinn explained.
Brittany squeezed onto the arm of the recliner, looking over Mercedes' shoulder. "It's so weird that babies are just little people," she said.
"What about you?" Finn asked, tilting his head to look up at Rachel.
"She just showed up at the same time as the rest of us," Mercedes shrugged. Emily grabbed onto the bottle and pulled it closer to her little mouth. "Oh, look at the little baby doll. Kurt, when you and Blaine have babies, I have to be their godmother. Have to. Or I'll kill you."
Kurt choked. "I think you're jumping the gun a bit, Mercedes," he said.
Brittany tilted her head. "If you and Blaine have babies, who gets pregnant?" she asked. "I think it'll be you. You're more girly than Blaine."
Quinn laughed. "Oh, that would be a sight," she said. "Kurt…pregnant."
He had turned a brilliant shade of red by this point. "We've discussed our views on children before, and it does not include me bearing them," he said.
Brittany blinked. "No one said anything about a bear."
Mercedes set the empty bottle down on the coffee table and picked up the baby. "All right, who wants to burp the little princess?" she said. She dangled Emily close to Rachel. "What about you, 'almost sister'?"
Rachel blanched and leaned away. "I'm sorry, I don't do the gross things," she said.
"I'll do it," Quinn said, putting a burp cloth over her shoulder and picking up the baby.
"Yeah, I don't see you and Finn procreating like, ever," Kurt snorted.
Rachel crossed her arms and tossed her hair over her shoulders. "When Finn and I are twenty-five and married and ready for babies, I will be a Tony-award winning actress and we can afford a nanny for the…gross things," she said.
The baby burped loudly and Quinn laughed. "There we go," she said. "All right, which brother do you want?"
"Oh, she wants me," Kurt said, reaching for his little sister. He took her eagerly and snuggled her against his chest. "I'm her favorite gay brother."
Finn sat up. "Hey, but I'm…oh, I see what you did there."
Kurt curled up on the couch with the baby in his arms. "Aren't you cute for a little barf machine?" he crooned. "Yes, you are, Emily Carys. Yes, you are."
"It's so weird, though," Mercedes said. "You guys'll be thirty-five before she graduates from high school."
Finn squinted. "Yeah, mega weird," he said. "I hadn't even thought about that."
"Well, at least we can be the cool older brothers," Kurt said. "The really old cool older brothers."
May of 2012
Carole leaned over. "Do you think he'll make it?" she whispered.
Burt bounced Emily on his knees. "I hope so," he whispered back. "Kurt'll be really upset if he doesn't come."
The valedictorian kept yammering on, something challenges and high hopes and the amazing light of the future. Burt rolled his eyes and shifted Emily on his knees. The nine-month-old yowled and tried to lean out of his lap and onto Carole's. Carole picked up her daughter, keeping her eyes on the stage. "I can't even tell which ones are them," she whispered.
"Me neither," he said. Emily spat out her pacifier and Burt caught it easily, popping it back into the baby's mouth.
The valedictorian finished to polite applause and the principal and the guidance counselor stood up to start reading off the names. "At least it'll be a while till they get to the H's," Carole sighed.
Luckily, Blaine chose that exact minute to slide into the empty seat beside Carole. "Sorry I'm late," he whispered loudly. "My plane was really behind schedule."
"I'm glad you're here," she said, kissing the college freshman on the cheek. "Kurt will be thrilled."
"Did I miss him?" Blaine asked, scanning the class of graduating seniors.
"Just hit the C's," Burt said.
Emily squirmed on Carole's lap, reaching out her small hands for Blaine's sleeves. She grabbed his upper arm and pulled herself up. "Hi, Emmy," Blaine whispered, smiling as the baby batted her chubby hands against his cheeks.
"Want to hold her?" Carole asked.
"Sure," he said, holding out his hands. Emily went to Blaine willingly, gripping the front of his shirt and giggling behind her pacifier.
"Hey, Finn's next," Burt said.
The prim little guidance counselor read off the names in a slow, measured voice. "Finn Christopher Hudson," she announced.
Finn hopped onto the stage, his red graduation robe flapping around him. He looked like an oversized bird as he took his diploma from Principal Figgins and grinned awkwardly at the photographer waiting at the end of the stage.
"Kurt Elijah Hummel," Miss Pillsbury read.
Kurt was considerably more graceful, gliding across the stage while acknowledging the audience with a beauty pageant wave. He posed for his official graduation photograph, but he looked surprisingly like his stepbrother as he skipped off the platform with his diploma in hand.
"Oh, they're so grown up," Carole sighed.
Burt put an arm around her shoulder. "Hey, seventeen more years, we'll be here again," he said.
Blaine held Emily so that she was standing up on his knees, and he made her wave towards the assembled seniors. "See your brothers?" he said. "Say 'hi, Finn! Hi, Kurt!'"
The baby stayed remarkably quiet for the rest of the graduation ceremony. Blaine kept her distracted by playing quiet little games with her, most of which involved taking her pacifier away and then making it reappear suddenly.
But finally graduation was over and the Hudson-Hummels were able to track down their boys. Finn found them first, mostly because he was tall enough to tower over the rest of the crowd. He ran through the crowd, dragging Kurt behind him. "Mom! Mom! I got out of high school!" he shrieked.
"I know, honey, I know!" Carole said, wrapping her arms around her towering son. "I'm so proud of you."
Kurt flung his arms around his father's neck. "I'm finally out of there," he sighed as Burt hugged him tightly. "Made it out alive! Thank goodness!"
"Um, Emily and I are a little put out," Blaine said, bouncing the baby on his hip. "Aren't you going to hug us too?"
"Sorry!" Kurt squealed, launching into his boyfriend's arms. Blaine kissed him, then held out Emily so Kurt could kiss her too. She laughed, spitting out her pacifier and grabbing at Kurt's cheeks.
Finn picked up Emily's pacifier and brushed it off on his graduation robe. "Eh, she'll be fine," he said at his mother's horrified look. "C'mere, Emmy! Aw, you're so cute."
Blaine slipped his arms around Kurt's waist. "It's pretty funny how she's got everyone wrapped around her little finger and she doesn't even know it," he said.
"Everybody loves her," Burt said, ruffling his little daughter's dark hair.
Puck loped through the crowd, his unzipped graduation robe hanging off his shoulders. "Hudson!" he hollered. "We did it!"
He grabbed Finn's hand and yanked him into the dudebro handshake-hug. "I bet no one expected us to graduate," Finn laughed.
Puck grabbed Emily and tossed her in the air, making her giggle. "Who's your favorite Mohawk dude, Em? Who is it? Is it me?" he teased.
"Don't drop her!" Kurt said, yanking his sister back to the safety of his arms.
Carole laughed. "Oh, she definitely has everyone wrapped around her finger," she said. "Most definitely."
Finn dropped the cardboard box in the foyer. "I think that's the last of it," he huffed.
Rachel flitted past him. "Is that mine or Kurt's?" she asked.
Kurt poked his head out of his bedroom. "Does it say 'Kurt' on it?" he asked.
Rachel checked. "I don't think so."
"Then it's yours!"
Carole circled the apartment, Emily on her hip. "You guys found a really good place," she said. "The neighborhood looks pretty safe."
"Thank Blaine," Kurt said, strolling out of his bedroom. "He was the one who saved us from living in the dorms."
"It's still kinda weird," Burt said warily. "College kids are supposed to live in dorms, not in co-ed apartments."
Finn leaned against the kitchen counter, gulping down water. "I dunno," he said. "Two gay guys and one girl, it can't be that bad."
"It could have been two gay guys, one girl, and one straight football jock," Kurt pointed out. "You could have gone to NYU with us."
Finn shrugged. "Ohio State isn't that bad," he said. "Besides, one of us needs to stay near home and keep an eye on the rest of the family."
Kurt looked at his stepmother and his one-year-old sister and his chin started to tremble. "It's not that bad, kiddo," Burt said gruffly. "You'll be able to come and visit for Thanksgiving."
That did nothing to help. Carole quickly handed Emily over to her husband and pulled Kurt into her arms. "You're going have fun in college, honey," she reassured him, rubbing his back as he buried his face in her shoulder. "You worked so hard for your scholarship, and you deserve this. And I know that November feels like a long time away right now, but you'll be home with us before you know it. Besides, you've got Rachel and Blaine with you."
"Yeah, Rachel'll drive you nuts and distract you," Finn added helpfully.
Rachel poked her head out of her bedroom. "What?"
Kurt straightened, rubbing his eyes. "Sorry," he mumbled. "I just…I've never been away from home before, and now…this whole New York City thing seems like a really bad plan."
"You're going to do great," Burt said. "Home will always be there when you need us."
Emily leaned out of Burt's arms. "Kurt!" she said clearly.
He blinked. "Did she…did she just say my name?" he faltered.
"She did, honey," Carole said, beaming. "Aren't you a big girl, Emily? Aren't you a big girl!"
"Kurt, Kurt, Kurt," Emily chanted, stretching her little arms towards her big brother.
He picked her up and she tugged the front of his tee shirt. "Oh my god, she said my name," he marveled.
"So we're up to 'mama,' 'dada,' 'banana,' and 'Kurt'," Finn said. He pinched Emily's cheeks. "When are we going to say 'Finn'? Huh? When are you going to say 'Finn'?"
"Oh, she just knows who her favorite brother is," Kurt said. He kissed the top of Emily's head. "Don't get too big without me, okay?"
Kurt was dozing on the couch when Finn slammed the front door of the house. "Holy crap," he mumbled, rubbing his eyes.
"Crap," Emily echoed. She sat on the floor in front of the television, coloring busily while the Little Mermaid played in the background.
Kurt stifled a yawn. "No, no, Emily, don't say crap," he said.
"Crap," Emily said happily. Her dark curly hair bounced around her round cheeks. "Crap, crap, crap."
"Carole's not going to be happy about that," Kurt mumbled. He sat up on the couch and attempted to smooth his hair. "Finn? What are you doing?"
"Nothing," Finn sulked. His work coveralls were spotted with motor oil and the sleeves were rolled all the way past his elbows; he sulked ferociously as he popped the top on a can of Pepsi.
Kurt slid off the couch and plunked down beside Emily. The toddler immediately hopped up and started climbing over his legs, brandishing a pink crayon in her hand. "Finn, you're sulking," he said. "I should know, I practically have awards for sulking. And I don't think that- yes, Emily, that's a very pretty drawing- I don't think that you should still be pining over Rachel."
"Pining?" Finn echoed.
"Just because she stayed in New York to do summer stock doesn't mean your life is over," Kurt said patiently.
"Yeah, but now I don't know what I should be doing," Finn said. "I mean, I thought I would just wait for Rachel to come back, but…but she's not back. And I don't know what to do!"
Kurt sighed and pried the crayon out of Emily's hand before she could color on the TV. "I do," he said. "Finn, go take a shower. And put on the shirt I got you for your birthday."
"Why?" Finn whined.
"Just do it," Kurt said.
Finn obeyed, taking a shower in fifteen minutes and even putting on the shirt that Kurt had picked out. He returned to the living room to find Kurt in tight jeans, a tee shirt, and a vest, sitting smugly on the couch. "Whoa," he said. "What are you doing?"
Kurt picked Emily up. She wasn't wearing her princess tee shirt and shorts anymore, but a pink gingham sundress with little white sandals and a pink bow in her dark curly hair. "We, my dear brother, are going to the park," he announced.
Finn tugged on the collar of his button up shirt. "We take Emily to the park all the time," he said. "Why do I have to get dressed up for it?"
Kurt stood up and set Emily on his hip. "Because usually we're there with our parents or significant others or most of the girls from glee," he said. "And usually you look like you just broke out of juvenile hall."
"So you're making me dress up?" Finn pestered, following him out to the car.
Kurt opened the backseat door and buckled Emily into her car seat. "We are going to pick up girls," he said dramatically.
Finn stopped dead in his tracks. "We're what?" he demanded.
"We're going to pick up girls," Kurt repeated, smiling smugly as he climbed into the driver's seat. Dazed, Finn got into the passenger seat and clicked his seatbelt as Kurt backed out of the driveway. "You can meet some other girls who are not Rachel, and you can see if you would actually prefer dating one of them or if you want to stay with your musical shrew. If you decide you want to date one of the girls you meet this afternoon, you call Rachel and tell her you want to break up. If you meet all sorts of pretty girls and decide that you'd rather be with Rachel, then you can stop sulking all summer."
"But why are we going to the park with Emily?" Finn asked.
"Crap," came the little voice in the backseat.
"Because most girls are a sucker for a cute boy holding a baby," Kurt explained. "Especially when said baby is an adorable little girl."
He parked on the side of the street. "Parp!" Emily hollered. "Parp! Parp!"
"It's 'park'," Kurt corrected, emphasizing the 'k'.
"Parp," Emily giggled as Finn got out of the car and took her out of her carseat.
Kurt picked up a large pink tote bag with Emily's initials embroidered on it and locked his car. "Come on, Finn, lighten up," he said. "This'll be fun."
Finn followed him as Kurt walked over to a shady spot and spread out the old red bedspread they used as a picnic blanket. "I'm just not sure about this," he sighed.
Kurt took Emily. "Watch and learn," he said. "Emily, want to go play?"
"Play, play, play!" she shrieked, wriggling in his arms to get the swings. "Swing, Kurt, swing."
"Okay, okay," Kurt said, putting Emily into one of the baby swings and pushing her carefully.
Finn sat down on the picnic blanket and leaned back on his hands to watch his stepbrother and his sister. She laughed while Kurt pushed her on the swings, kicking her little feet in excitement. He smiled despite himself. Emily really was adorable- especially since she was potty-trained now.
A pretty girl in workout gear took out her earphones as she walked past the swings. "Oh, she's so cute," she smiled. "Is she yours?"
"No, she's my little sister," Kurt said, flashing a smile.
"That's so sweet," the girl said. "How old is she?"
"She'll be two in August," Kurt explained.
Finn watched as Kurt and the pretty girl chatted amiably. He let her have a turn pushing Emily in the swing, and Emily kept giggling and being cute. Kurt was doing a pretty good job of sweet-talking the girl, too. Finn was impressed. If Kurt had been straight, he probably would be able to get himself a girl with just a wink and a smile.
The girl reluctantly picked up her earphones, offering Kurt a goodbye and Emily a wave before she started jogging again. Kurt took Emily out of the swing and tossed her over his shoulders as he lugged her back to the blanket.
"Did you get her number?" Finn smirked.
Kurt set Emily down on the blanket and plunked down on his stomach beside her. "If I was straight, I would have," he said, kicking his feet. "But see how easy it is?"
"Easy for you," Finn retorted. "You didn't have anything riding on it. You've got Blaine, who did not stay in New York to do somersault theater."
"Summer stock," Kurt corrected. He shook his head and pushed himself into a sitting position. "Come on, Hudson. Take the baby and see what you can do."
"Fine," Finn sighed. He held out his arms. "Emily, want to play?"
"Yes!" she chirped, running into his chest and tackling him. "Yes, play!"
"Have fun," Kurt said absently as he pulled out his cell phone.
"You're going to text Blaine, aren't you?" Finn said.
Finn rolled his eyes and headed towards the playground. "High, Finn, high," Emily ordered.
"You want to be tall like me?" he teased.
"Yes!" she cheered. He picked her up and set her on his shoulders; she shrieked in excitement and wound her little hands in his hair.
He wasn't too happy with Kurt's master plan, but he was at least happy to be somewhere besides moping at home and moping at the garage. The sunshine was nice, and it was nice to spend time with Emily. He set her down on the bottom step of the slide and spotted her while she made her slow, careful way up the ladder, one foot at a time.
"Is that your daughter?"
He jumped. "Uh…" he stammered. A pretty girl in a sundress stood on the nearby walking path, holding a little dog on a leash. "Uh…no, she's my little sister."
"She looks just like you," she smiled. "How old is she?"
Emily paused at the top of the slide. "This many," she said, holding up two chubby fingers.
"She's almost two," Finn corrected.
Emily plunked down on the top of the slide. "Finn, catch!" she chirped.
He moved to the bottom of the slide and crouched down. "Slide down, Emmy," he said.
She inched herself down and then slid all the way down, hurtling into his arms. He laughed as she thunked into his stomach. "Again, again!" she giggled.
"Her name's Emmy?" the pretty girl smiled.
"Well, it's Emily, actually," he said, following the toddler as she dragged him to the slide ladder.
"And you're Finn?" the girl guessed.
"Uh…yeah…" he said, keeping his big hand on Emily's little back as she climbed up the ladder.
The girl stepped off the walking path and walked towards the slide, her little dog jumping at her heels. "I'm Annie," she said.
"It's nice to meet you," he stammered.
Emily looked down from her perch at the top of the slide. "Puppy!" she screamed. "Puppy, puppy, puppy!"
"His name's Teddy," Annie smiled. "Do you want to meet him?"
Emily nodded and started inching down the slide again. Finn got to the bottom just in time to catch her, and she wriggled out his grasp to go play with the puppy. "Don't worry, Teddy likes kids," Annie reassured Finn as Emily giggled and chased the little puppy around the slide.
"Don't pull his tail, Emily, it'll make him grumpy," Finn warned.
Annie cleared her throat. "I know this is sort of weird…but do you want to go to a movie or something?" she asked. "I'm in town for the week visiting some relatives, and it's really boring."
He looked at her. She was pretty and all, with her blonde hair and her blue eyes and all, but…she wasn't Rachel. Whoa, this is weird, he thought. Do I really want to stay with Rachel, even though she's far away?
He blinked. Yeah, yeah, I do, he realized.
"Uh…sorry, I don't think so," he said. "Uh…not because you're not nice or pretty or whatever, but…I kind of…have a girlfriend. Even though she's in New York."
"Oh," Annie said, startled. "Oh, no, not like that. I have a boyfriend. I'm just looking for someone to see a movie with while I'm stuck here. There's nothing to do in Lima. And I figured you could bring Emily."
"Oh," Finn said stupidly. "Uh…well, okay then."
She pulled a pen and an old receipt out of her purse and scribbled down her number. "Call me if you want to," she said. "It's fine if you don't, though. I was sort of awkward, wasn't I?"
"It's okay," Finn said.
Annie tugged on the leash. "Come on, Teddy," she said. "Bye, Emily."
"Bye-bye," Emily said, waving forlornly at the puppy.
Finn scooped her up. "C'mon, little girl, let's go find Kurt," he said.
Kurt was lying on his back on the picnic blanket, one arm flung over his eyes to block out the sun and his phone up to his ear. "Blaine, you can't say that," he giggled.
Finn plunked Emily down on Kurt's stomach, making him grunt. "Hello, Blaine," he said loudly.
Emily scooted onto Kurt's chest and put her little mouth next to his ear. "Hi, Blaine!" she echoed.
Kurt winced. "I'll call you later," he said. "Love you too."
Emily bounced on Kurt's stomach. "Kurt, wanna puppy," she said.
"We have enough trouble with you, we don't need a puppy too," he groaned, sitting up and settling Emily on his lap. "So, Finn, how did it go? I see you have a phone number."
Finn crumpled it up. "Yeah, but it didn't seem right," he said. "I think I'll just wait for Rachel to come home."
"I figured that's what you would pick," Kurt smiled. He stood up, Emily draped over his arms. "Come on, baby. You deserve some ice cream for being such a good little chick magnet."
"Wait," Finn stammered. "You knew I'd pick Rachel?"
"Don't forget to pick up the blanket."
November of 2013
Finn bounced Emily anxiously on his knees. The Thanksgiving Day parade blared on the television, but he couldn't focus. Burt was going to be back any minute now with Blaine, Kurt, and Rachel. Their plane from New York arrived at the airport in Cincinnati at seven-thirty, and they should be back soon.
"Finn, honey, are you sure you don't want any breakfast?" his mother called.
"Can't eat," he said shortly.
Carole walked out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a dishtowel. "I know you're worried about seeing Rachel," she said. "I'm sure you'll be able to pick up right where you left off."
"Mom, I haven't seen her since last Easter," Finn said. "I mean, we talk on the phone sometimes, but…it's going to be weird."
Emily grabbed Finn's lips. "Finn, sh!" she scolded loudly.
"Be nice to your brother," Carole said. "Come help Mommy with the turkey, okay?"
"Okay," Emily said, sliding reluctantly off Finn's lap.
Finn resumed his nervous leg jiggling. He was listening so hard for the sound of the key in the lock that he almost didn't notice it. But the front door swung open, and he leaped to his feet.
"We're back," Burt called.
Emily hurtled out of the kitchen. "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" she shrieked, running into her father's outstretched arms.
"There's my girl," he said, kissing her on the cheek. "Guess who's here?"
Kurt pushed past his dad. "Hi, baby!" he squealed. "Oh, you're so big!"
She kissed him on the cheek. "Not big, I'm little," she corrected him. "Hi, Blaine! Hi!"
"Hi, Emily," Blaine smiled, accepting her slightly sticky kiss.
"Anyone going to say hi to me?" Finn asked, attempting to smile.
Burt balanced his two-year-old daughter in his arms. "I'm sure they'll say hi when you stop looking over their heads," he said. He reached behind his son, took Rachel by the arm, and tugged her forwards.
Finn gaped at her. She was still little and adorable, dressed in her gold and white coat and that silly white beret over her dark hair. "Hi, Finn," she whispered.
He still stared. "Say hi," Emily encouraged.
"Hi, Rachel," he stammered.
Suddenly she flung her arms around his neck and burst into tears. "I missed you!" she sobbed.
Finn stared blankly over her head. "Finn, you've been waiting for this moment for months," Kurt said, rolling his eyes.
"Kiss her, you fool," Blaine grinned.
"Yeah, fool," Emily echoed.
Finn was happy to obey. Burt laughed. "All right, don't make out in front of the baby," he said.
"Not a baby, Daddy," Emily said solemnly.
"I thought you said you weren't a big girl," Kurt said.
Emily shrugged. "Mommy says I'm contrary," she said, sticking her thumb in her mouth.
Blaine laughed. Kurt rolled his eyes, grabbed Rachel around the waist, and forcibly pulled her off his stepbrother. "All right, Hudson, we're all very glad you've stopped sulking, but if you don't stop sucking Berry's face, no one will have any appetite for Thanksgiving."
April of 2014
"Dude, this is so awesome," Finn whispered.
"Sh!" Kurt hissed. He reached into the basket Finn carried, picked up a plastic egg, and tucked it in a potted plant in the hallway. "You'll wake her up."
Finn took another egg and stuck it behind the linen closet door. "She can't hear us," he said.
Kurt got the last egg and hid it. "Okay," he whispered. "Let's go wake her up."
Finn shouldered the pastel-colored basket as Kurt eased Emily's bedroom door open. The spare room used to be an office/storage room/the only place where Kurt's mother's piano fit, but the boys and Burt had teamed up to convert it into a nursery. Kurt had decided on the Wizard of Oz theme, and Finn and Burt had obediently painted and constructed according to his elaborate design.
Emily slept soundly in her little brass bed, tucked snugly under her white eyelet comforter. Kurt pushed the gauzy white canopy back and kissed her on the forehead. "Emily," he singsonged. "Wake up, Emily."
She frowned in her sleep and rolled over onto her stomach. Finn snickered. "Aw, Kurt, it's like trying to wake you up," he said.
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Wake up, Emmy," he said, a little louder.
She opened her brilliant green eyes slowly. "Whaa?" she mumbled.
"Emily, the Easter bunny came," Finn said.
She rubbed her eyes. "Bunny?" she repeated hopefully.
Kurt got up and pushed the blue and white gingham curtains back from the window. Early morning sunlight filtered through the glass panes. "The Easter bunny came while you were sleeping, baby," he said.
"He put eggs all over the house for you," Finn added.
Emily sat up, her curly brown hair in disarray. "I want 'em," she announced. She crawled over to Finn and latched her arms around his neck. "Finn, I want 'em."
He stood up and put her on the floor. "Well, take your basket and let's go find them," he said.
"You carry," she said, pulling her bedroom door open and running down the hall. "Ooh! A blue one!"
Kurt followed her closely. "Hush, baby, don't wake up Mommy and Daddy," he whispered.
Emily waved the plastic egg. "Blue one!" she whispered loudly. Finn crouched beside her and she placed the egg carefully in the basket. "Ooh! Yellow one!"
And that's why, an hour and a half later, Burt and Carole walked downstairs to find their three children in front of the television, watching Sleeping Beauty and eating jellybeans out of plastic eggs. The two twenty-year-old boys (well, Kurt would be twenty in a few days) sprawled out on the couch, and their nearly three-year-old sister curled between them with her overflowing Easter basket in her lap.
"What are you kids doing?" Burt asked.
Emily picked up a pink plastic egg and shook it. "The bunny came, Daddy," she explained.
"Yeah, Daddy, the Easter bunny came," Kurt said, absently cracking open a green egg and digging the peach jelly beans out and popping them in his mouth.
"How much sugar have your brothers given you, honey?" Carole asked, kissing the top of her daughter's head.
"Probably too much," Finn grinned.
Kurt raised his arms. "It's spring break!" he said. "We're going wild!"
One second he was fast asleep, the next he was slowly waking up under the horrible, creepy sensation that someone was watching him. He opened his eyes carefully, struggling to remember if his baseball bat was still under his bed.
A tiny figure stood beside his bed, staring at him with wide, shining eyes. Holy crap! It's one of those creepy little ghost girls! he thought. I don't know what to do!
The little girl patted her small hand on his head. "Finn," she whispered loudly.
He sat and rubbed his eyes, realizing belatedly that it wasn't a ghost, but his little sister with a blanket over his head. "Emily, what's wrong?" he mumbled, dragging his hand through his hair. "Why're you down here?"
"Bad dream," she sniffled.
"Why didn't you wake up Mommy?" he asked.
"Couldn't get the door open."
"Well, why didn't you wake up Kurt?"
"He sleeps too hard."
Finn glanced over at his stepbrother. Kurt did tend to be a pretty heavy sleeper; he was flopped face down on his bed with the covers pulled over his head so only the top of his head was visible.
Finn sighed. "C'mere," he said. He picked Emily up and pulled the blankets back so she could snuggle up against him. "What was the bad dream?"
"Crawly things," she said, burying her face in the crook of his neck.
He rubbed his big hand against her small back. "You're safe from the crawly things," he reassured her. "Go back to sleep, okay?"
He tucked his blankets around her and stroked his fingers through her soft, silky curls. "Sing something," she commanded.
"I'm not really good at lullabies," he said.
She frowned. "Kurt is," she said.
He yawned. "Fine, fine," he said. "I'll sing you a lullaby." She nestled against his broad chest. "Except…I don't know any."
She sighed. "Just sing, Finn, or the crawlies'll come back," she complained.
He twined one of her curls around his finger and started singing the first song that came to mind. It wasn't really appropriate for a little girl's lullaby, but he couldn't think of anything else. Besides, Kurt had been totally going through a death cab for cutie phase lately, and the stupid song had been stuck in his head all day yesterday.
"If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied, and illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs," he sang quietly as Emily sighed against his neck. "If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks, then I'll follow you into the dark."
December of 2014
Kurt balanced three-year-old Emily on his knees, keeping one hand on the piano keys. "Now, remember where the C is?" he asked.
Emily plunked her little finger on the key. "That one?"
"Yes, that's perfect," Kurt said. "Now…try this." He guided her little hands on the keys, plunking through the melody of "Silent Night."
"Pretty!" Emily chirped.
"Yes, baby, it's very pretty," Kurt said.
"Do you really have to give Emily a piano lesson now?" Finn complained as he wrestled with the branches of the Christmas tree. "I thought you were going to help us decorate for Christmas."
Emily frowned. "Finn, I like piano," she said.
"You're doing a very good job, Emily," Rachel said from her seat on the couch where she was untangling a huge clump of Christmas lights.
Blaine laughed. "Let me do that," he said.
Rachel glowered. "I can handle it," she retorted. "Just because I'm Jewish doesn't mean I can't fix Christmas lights." Blaine raised his hands in surrender and went back to unpacking boxes of ornaments.
Emily wriggled on Kurt's lap. "Play more," she begged.
"Okay, okay, keep up," he said. "I'm going to play a little faster, all right?"
He started playing "Jingle Bells," careful to keep Emily's little fingers on his. She laughed and sang along to the chorus while he played.
"She has a surprisingly good tone for someone so young," Rachel said. "Have you thought about serious vocal training?"
"What, I'm not a serious vocal coach?" Kurt said.
Finn picked up the gold star and stretched to put it on the top of the tree. "Emmy, do you want to take voice lessons with a grown up teacher, or do you want Kurt to keep teaching you?" he asked.
Emily wrinkled her nose. "Kurt," she said firmly.
"And you have your answer," Kurt said, smiling smugly.
March of 2015
"Daddy, I'm bored," Emily whined, flopping over Burt's arms.
"Sit like a lady, Emily, or you'll wrinkle your dress," Kurt scolded.
"Aw, let her move around," Burt said. He looked uncomfortable in his suit, and he ruffled Emily's hair as she crawled over his knees and onto Carole's lap. Kurt shook his head and adjusted the bow tied in his little sister's hair.
Finn sat further down in the row, flanked by Rachel's two dads. "I'm so glad you folks could come," Hiram said. "It's so exciting. Our little girl in her first Broadway show."
"Off-Broadway," Kurt corrected. Blaine thumped him lightly on the shoulder. "What?"
"It's our pleasure," Carole smiled. "Sorry Emily's being so wild."
"Oh, she's not bothering anyone," Leroy said. "Not a little cutie like her."
"Yay, I'm cute," Emily said, sticking her thumb in her mouth.
"Cute and spoiled," Blaine grinned as he pinched her cheek.
Finn jiggled his leg, still clutching his bouquet of roses in his hand. "Is the intermission going to be over soon?" he asked. "Because I don't think I can take anymore of this."
Carole leaned over and patted his arm. "Why are you so nervous?" she asked. "Rachel's the one onstage."
"I know, I'm just…nervous for her," Finn gulped. "This is serious."
Hiram squeezed his shoulder. "Rachel's been preparing for this since the moment she was born," he said. "She'll be fine."
"And she's lucky to have a supportive boyfriend like you," Leroy added.
"Ooh, the lights are going down," Kurt said.
"Hold me," Emily ordered, leaning out of her mother's arms towards her brother.
"You've got to be quiet," Kurt ordered as he plunked her onto his lap. "Rachel's going to sing, okay?"
It turned out that he had nothing to worry about. The second act of the show was long and Rachel's part was minimal, but by the time the show was over, Emily had been handed over to Blaine, and she was fast asleep in his arms, her thumb tucked in her mouth and her head on his shoulder.
October of 2015
"This is going to be the best Halloween ever," Kurt beamed, preening over his costume.
"This is going to be the worst Halloween ever," Finn grumbled.
"Worse than the Halloween where I made you wear a dress?" Kurt teased.
"Uh…I'll have to think about that," Finn said.
Kurt adjusted his red-and-gold striped tie. "Emily's been begging us to take her trick-or-treating every year, and this is the first time that the NYU fall break has allowed us to actually be home for Halloween," he said. "And besides, she picked the costumes."
"Yeah, but…why do I have to be Dumbledore?" Finn complained. "This beard itches really bad."
"You're too tall to be Harry or Ron," Kurt said. "We told you you could Dumbledore or Hagrid, and you chose Dumbledore."
"Yeah, that's only because Hagrid's beard is even bigger," Finn complained, sticking his hand under his fake silver beard.
"Well, I wanted to be Harry, because I know look good with glasses," Kurt said. "But Blaine already has dark hair, and mine is reddish if you squint and look sideways, so I had to be Ron. So neither of us got what we wanted."
"It's not the same," Finn sighed.
Rachel swept down the stairs in her elaborate dark green robes. Her dark hair had been tied up in a bun and streaked with gray. "Who wants to see Hermione?" she said.
"That's me!" Emily chirped. She held on tightly to Rachel's hand and bounced up and down. She wore a tiny copy of the Hogwarts robes, and Rachel had teased her brown hair all around her shoulders.
"You are so cute!" Finn exclaimed.
"Dumbledore!" Emily shrieked, running and latching her arms around his legs.
Kurt pouted. "What about me?" he said. "I made all of these costumes by myself."
"I like them, Ron," Emily said, stretching out her arms to be picked up.
Kurt relented. "You are precious," he said, kissing her on the cheek.
Burt poked his head into the living room. "Blaine's here," he said. He looked Finn up and down. "Wow. You look ridiculous."
"Gee, thanks," Finn said, rolling his eyes.
"Better head on out," Burt said. "It's five o'clock, have her back no later than seven. And Carole's going to want to take pictures of all you when she gets home from work."
"We got it," Kurt said. "Do you have your candy bag, Emily?"
"Yup!" she said, waving her orange plastic pumpkin bucket.
"Then let's go!" Kurt said, marching towards the front door.
Finn offered his arm to Rachel. "Shall we, Professor MacGonagall?" he sighed.
Rachel tucked her arm through his. "We shall, Albus Dumbledore," she said cheerfully.
Blaine was waiting for them on the front porch, decked out in Hogwarts robes, a lightning bolt scar drawn carefully on his forehead, and a pair of black plastic glasses balanced precariously on the bridge of his nose.
"We look awesome," Blaine said, a little too excited for a twenty-two-year-old pre-law student.
"Blaine, Blaine, I'm Hermione," Emily explained.
"I can tell," Blaine said. He knelt down beside her. "Let's show Finn and Rachel what I taught you, okay?"
"No, not that," Kurt groaned.
"Say it just like I taught you," Blaine said.
Emily cleared her throat. "I'm going to go back to bed, before we get killed. Or worse, expelled," she quoted.
Blaine poked Kurt, who rolled his eyes. "She needs to get her priorities straight," he said in a very bad British accent.
Rachel laughed. "You should do that at every house we go to, instead of saying 'trick or treat'," she said.
Blaine brightened. "Rachel, you're brilliant," he said.
"He's still talking with a British accent," Finn said. "Do we all have to talk in British accents?"
"We are not doing that," Kurt sulked.
"Yes, we are," Emily said, grabbing Blaine's hand with her left and Kurt's with her right. "And I get to be Hermione."
"Yes, you're still Hermione," Finn laughed.
Burt lifted his four-year-old daughter out of the passenger seat of the pickup truck. "You ready, kiddo?" he asked.
"I'm ready, Daddy," she said cheerfully. She was dressed in coveralls that matched her dad's, with her name embroidered on the patch, but her mother had tied her hair back in a ponytail with a pink ribbon, and she wore a pair of sparkly pink sneakers that Kurt had given her for Christmas.
Burt unlocked the side door of the garage and held it open for Emily. She hopped inside as he turned on the lights. "You know, your big brother Kurt was your age when he got to help me in the garage," he said.
Emily screwed up her face. "Kurt was little?" she said.
Burt laughed. "You've seen the pictures," he said. "Kurt was very little."
Emily set her lunchbox carefully on her father's desk. "Mommy says I'll always be little," she sighed.
"Yeah, well, your mom and I aren't very tall," Burt grinned.
"I wanna be tall," she objected. "Like Finn. I wanna be tall like Finn."
He picked her up. "Hate to break it to you, kiddo, but you're probably not going to be tall like Finn," he said.
She frowned. "Can I be taller than Kurt?" she asked.
"You might be taller than Kurt," Burt grinned. He carried her over to a car waiting to be worked on. "Okay, Em. What kind of car is this?"
"Sedan!" she said.
"That's right," Burt said, setting her down on the floor. "Now, Emily, I want you to pop the hood for me, okay? Get in the driver's seat and pop the hood."
Emily climbed into the driver's seat. Burt grinned; he could barely see the top of her ponytailed head over the steering wheel. "I can't find it, Daddy," she called.
"You can do it," he said patiently, smiling to himself at the memory of his own son, seventeen years earlier, when little Kurt was the one clambering over the driver's seat, whining because he didn't know what to do.
"Oh, wait," Emily said. The hood on the navy blue sedan popped up.
"Good girl!" Burt praised, setting up the brace. "That was perfect."
Emily slid out of the driver's seat. "Am I a good mechanic, Daddy?" she asked.
"A real good mechanic," Burt said, picking her up so she could see into the exposed engine. "Now, here's what you do when you want to check the oil…"
May of 2016
Carole beamed. It had been such a long time since the house had been filled with her sons' friends, and it was nice to have them all back. Although it was still strange to think of them as college graduates in their twenties, instead of hyperactive teenagers.
"Hi, Mrs. Hud…mel," Brittany said. She frowned. "I still don't know what to call you."
"You can call me Carole," she reassured her.
"Oh," Brittany said. "Okay. It's a nice party."
"The boys wanted to have a joint graduation party here at home," Carole said. She smiled fondly at her two sons, who were currently having a showdown on Dance Dance Revolution in the middle of the living room. Finn had graduated from Ohio State, and Kurt had graduated from NYU with plans to return for an internship at a design company, but sometimes they were still the same teenage boys she remembered.
"Carole, are you okay?" Brittany asked. "You just zoned out a little."
"Sorry," Carole sighed. "Just remembering."
Emily hurtled down the stairs and leaped onto the couch, landing squarely on Puck's lap. "Oh, it's Hurricane Em!" Puck shouted, grabbing her and tossing her in the air. "Help! She's got me!"
Emily laughed as her brother's best friend tossed her over his shoulder and held her upside down. "Put me down, Noah! Put me down!" she giggled.
"Puckerman, what are you doing to that little angel?" Mercedes said.
Puck turned around. "Nothing," he said. "There ain't a little angel here, just a little hurricane," he said.
Quinn shook her head and took Emily off his shoulder. "He's just picking on you," she said.
"I know," Emily said, nonplussed. She shimmied out of Quinn's grasp. "Everybody does. It's 'cause everybody loves me."
Puck tossed Emily over his shoulder again. "What're you talking about, squirt?" he said. "I don't love you."
"Yes, you do," she said, thumping her fists against the small of his back. "Mommy says I've got everybody wrapped around my little finger."
Puck whirled around to Carole. "Really?" he said. "You had to tell her that?"
Carole shrugged. "Well, it's true," she said.
Puck sighed. "Yeah, but you didn't have to tell her that."
September of 2016
"I don't wanna," Emily whined.
Kurt sat down on the bench outside the dressing room, one leg crossed over the other. "I don't understand how you're my sister," he sighed. "I have a degree in fashion design, I work in fashion, I know exactly what you would look good in, and yet you hate shopping."
"Honey, just come out of the dressing room so we can see how you look," Carole said.
"I don't wanna."
"Emily Carys, if you don't come out, I will crawl under that locked door and get you myself," Kurt threatened.
The door unlocked with a sharp snick and banged open. Emily stomped out of the dressing room in an aqua dress with a print sash, brown leggings, and no shoes. "No," she said firmly.
"If you were smiling, it would be perfect," Kurt teased.
The aqua color set off Emily's bright green eyes, and her long brown hair hung halfway down her back. She was small for her five years, and despite her frequent announcements that she wanted to be taller than her brothers, she probably wouldn't be. "It's not perfect," she said.
"Why not, sweetheart?" Carole asked. "Do you not like the color?"
Emily screwed up her little face. "I'm not pretty," she said. "I wanna be pretty."
Kurt uncrossed his legs. "What do you mean?" he asked. "Of course you're pretty." She shook her head. "I'm not pretty," she said.
Kurt took her by the hand and walked her over to the mirror. "Baby, why don't you think you're pretty?" he asked.
She sniffled, her little round cheeks starting to flush pink. "Pretty girls have blonde hair," she said. "And blue eyes. And they're taller'n me."
Kurt knelt beside her. "Emily, you are very pretty," he said seriously. "Everybody thinks so. And do you know what I think?"
Emily shook her head, tears beginning to trickle down her cheeks. "If you didn't look like you, you wouldn't look like you were my little sister," he said.
She rubbed her eyes. "What?" she said.
Kurt put his arm around her waist. "You have the same nose as me and Daddy," he said. "You have Mommy's pretty green eyes, and you have brown hair just like Finn's." He smiled. "And you blush just like me."
She smiled a little, turning towards him and burying her face in his shoulder. "So you really think I'm pretty?" she sniffled.
"Gorgeous," Kurt said, kissing the top of her head. "Now, do you like the dress?"
"Well, all right then."
January of 2017
"I just don't understand why the Disney princesses always have such big eyes," Burt said.
"Not all of them do," Carole said as she took Emily by the hand and they walked up to the front door. "You just haven't seen enough princess movies."
"Oh, I think I've seen plenty," Burt said. "Kurt used to watch 'em all the time when he was little. And that little fish chick? Eyes are way too big."
"Her name is Ariel, Daddy," Emily corrected.
Burt unlocked the front door and ushered her inside. "I stand corrected," he said. "Now take off your shoes and coat and put 'em in the closet, okay?"
"Mmkay," Emily said, skipping into the living room. "Hi, Kurt." She paused. "Kurt? Why are you crying?"
Carole draped her coat over the back of the couch and sat down beside her stepson. He hunched over his knees, his head in his hands. His phone was left discarded on the coffee table. "Honey, what's wrong?" she asked. "Are you sick?"
Kurt sat up slowly, rubbing the sides of his nose. His blue-green eyes were red-rimmed and glassy. "Blaine called me," he whispered.
"About what?" Burt asked.
Emily slipped through his arms and snuggled against his chest. She could feel his body shaking. "Blaine wants to go on a break," he said. "Because…because he said law school's been really rough, and doesn't want to worry about a relationship right now."
"So he broke up with you?" Burt demanded.
"I don't know," Kurt said, his voice tightening. "We're…we're broken up, or on a break or…I don't, I don't know."
Carole hugged him tightly and kissed his temple. "I'm so sorry, honey," she murmured.
Kurt stood up, absently patting Emily on the head. "I…I think I want to be alone right now," he said.
"Kurt," Emily protested, trying to follow him, but he closed the door to the basement before she could catch up.
"Baby, Kurt needs to have a little quiet time," Carole said. She kissed Emily on the top of the head. "Put your coat away and I'll make some hot chocolate. We can talk about the movie, okay?"
Burt stormed off towards the master bedroom and Carole disappeared into the kitchen. Emily sighed heavily, alone in the living room, and she spotted Kurt's discarded cellphone. She grabbed it, stuck it in her coat pocket, and ran up to her bedroom.
As soon as she was inside she slammed the front door, ripped off her coat and shoes, and hopped onto her bed, the cellphone clutched in her little hand. She had used Kurt's iPhone plenty of times before- usually to play Peggle- but she knew how to make a phone call. And besides, he was on speed dial.
She hit two, then talk. He didn't pick up, so she hung up and tried again. He finally answered on her fourth attempt. "Kurt, I think we need a little space," Blaine said, sounding tired and gentle.
"This isn't Kurt," she announced.
"Emily? Is that you?"
"Yes, it's Emily, and I'm mad at you, Blaine," she declared.
Blaine sighed heavily into the receiver. "Emily, give Kurt his phone back," he said.
"Can't. He's crying."
Blaine paused. "He's crying?" he said, his voice faltering slightly.
"Yes," she said emphatically. "You are mean and you made him cry."
"Emily, this is a grown-up problem," Blaine explained gently. "I'm very busy with school so I can be a lawyer, and I don't think I can be a very good boyfriend to Kurt right now. I told him we should take a break."
"You can't take a break," Emily retorted. "Sometimes Mommy makes me mad when she takes my stuff when I've been bad, but I can't take a break from Mommy."
"That's because she's family, honey," Blaine said. "And you love your mom."
"Well, don't you love Kurt?"
He fell silent.
"I thought you loved Kurt," Emily challenged.
"I do," Blaine said quietly. "I love him very much."
"Then you can't take a break," Emily said. "And you can't make him cry."
Blaine laughed softly. "I guess not," he said.
Emily slid off her bed. "I think you should say sorry," she said.
"You're probably right," he said. "I didn't want to make him cry."
Emily crept down the basement stairs. She could see her big brother curled up in his bed, the blankets pulled up to his shoulders. "Hold on," she whispered into the phone. She climbed onto the bed, scooted towards Kurt, and leaned over him to press a kiss on his hot, damp cheek. "Hi, Kurt."
"Not now, Emily," he whispered.
She petted his hair. "Do you want your phone back?" she asked. "I think you want your phone back."
She set it down in front of him and he sat up. "Emily, who did you call?" he asked.
"Em, am I on speakerphone?" Blaine asked.
Kurt rubbed his eyes. "Blaine?"
"Hi, babe. I think…we might need to talk this over a little more."
Emily hopped off Kurt's bed and slipped upstairs. "There you are, honey," Carole said. "I have hot chocolate for you."
"Thank you, Mommy," she said politely as she closed the door to the basement.
March of 2017
She took off down the field, her tiny cleats kicking up clods of damp spring dirt. "Come on!" she hollered. "I want it! I want it! I want it!"
The black and white ball finally flew in her direction and she kicked it as hard as she could. It soared through the air, over the heads of her teammates, and flew into the goal.
She tilted her head. "Was that good?" she said, but her question was drowned out by her teammates and her soccer coach roaring in excitement.
She started jumping up and down, her long ponytail bouncing. "We won! We won!" she screamed. She ran off the field and into the bleachers, where her family was waiting. "Daddy! Daddy, did you see?"
Burt opened his arms and caught her. "I saw, honey!" he said. He kissed her soundly on the cheek. "You were so good!"
Carole picked up a hoodie and handed it to her daughter. "Put this on before you freeze, baby," she said. Emily pulled it on over her bright yellow jersey with the big number five on the back.
"You are such a good kicker," Finn exclaimed. "She kicks like Kurt. Doesn't she kick like Kurt?"
Emily wrinkled her nose. "Kurt knows how to kick?" she asked.
Burt laughed. "I wish we had that on tape," he said. "Yeah, Emmy, Kurt is a really good kicker."
Emily brightened. "That's where I get it from!" she chirped.
Finn looked hurt. "And from me," he said. "I played football and basketball in high school. And football in college. Remember?"
"Yeah, but I knew about that," Emily said. "I didn't know about Kurt."
"He played one game," Finn remembered fondly, pulling Emily onto his lap. "But he won the game for us. Only game we won that year."
"We should make him play soccer with us when he comes home to visit," Emily declared. "Us against him and Blaine."
"But he'll lose," Finn objected.
"Uh-huh," Emily grinned.
September of 2017
"Daddy, I don't want to go," Emily announced.
"Come on, baby, you were so excited about it this morning," Burt said. He parked in front of Roosevelt Elementary and turned to face his six-year-old daughter. "You liked kindergarten. Don't you think you'll like the first grade?"
"No," she declared. She crossed her arms over her stomach, wrinkling the plaid dress that Kurt had bought for her in New York and sent to her for the express purpose of wearing on her first day of school. "No, I don't want to go to the first grade."
Burt sighed. "What if I walk you in?" he asked. "Will you feel better if I walk you into your classroom?"
She brightened. "Yes," she said, hopping out of the passenger seat and grabbing the backpack that Finn had helped her pick out.
Burt locked the truck and held out his hand. Emily slipped her little hand into his and clung to his big fingers as he walked her up the sidewalk and into the school.
"Both of your brothers went here, you know," Burt said. "And Rachel too."
"Were they friends when they were little?" Emily asked.
"Not really," Burt said. "See, that was before Kurt's mom went to heaven."
"Because Kurt's mommy had to go to heaven when he was little," Emily remembered. "And Finn's daddy went to heaven when he was a baby."
"That's right," Burt said, squeezing Emily's hand.
She fell into a thoughtful silence. "Daddy?" she ventured.
"Are you going to go to heaven soon?" Emily asked. "Or Mommy?"
Burt paused. "Honey, Kurt's mommy went to heaven because she was very, very sick," he said. "And Finn's daddy was a brave soldier and the bad people he was fighting killed him. Mommy and I are just fine, okay? You don't have to worry about us." He glanced down at his concerned daughter. "And Kurt and Finn are fine too."
"Okay," Emily said, still a little wary.
Burt kissed the top of her head as they stopped outside her classroom. "Have a good first day at school, kiddo," he said. "Mom and I will take you out for ice cream after dinner tonight, okay?"
"Can I get sprinkles?" she asked.
"Sure," he grinned.
"Okay, Daddy," she said, letting go of his hand. "Bye!"
"Bye, Emily," he said quietly. It didn't seem fair that his little girl was growing up so quickly.
May of 2018
"You think he's ever going to do it?" Carole asked, sipping her lemonade.
Kurt laughed and leaned back so his head was resting on Blaine's knees. "He's had that ring bouncing around in his pocket for six months," he said. "He already got permission from both of her dads. He's just too chicken to do it."
"Aw, he'll get around to it eventually," Burt shrugged. He leaned back in his lawn chair. "Emily, kiddo, the fence is there to keep you in, not for climbing."
Blaine stroked Kurt's hair away from his forehead. "I guess he's just waiting for the right time," he said thoughtfully.
Emily jumped off the fence and ran through the grass towards her family on the patio. "Where are your shoes, baby?" Carole asked.
Emily shrugged. "I dunno," she said.
"Go inside and get your flipflops," Burt said. Emily rolled her eyes and ran inside. She started to jump up the stairs to her bedroom two at a time, but she paused when she heard voices.
"I keep trying to find the right time to ask you this," Finn was saying. "I mean…that fancy restaurant…the party at New Year's…Valentine's Day…"
"What are you going to ask me?" Rachel said in that over-the-top, "I'm-really-just-acting" voice.
Emily hid behind the couch, peeking over the edge. Finn and Rachel sat close together on the loveseat, holding hands, but Finn slipped off the couch and bent down on one knee. "Will you…uh…um…do you want to get married, Rachel?" he asked.
Rachel burst into a half-laugh, half tears. "Yes!" she said. "Finn, yes, definitely."
Finn fumbled in the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a ring box. "Here," he said, holding it out in shaking hands. "It's not really all that fancy, but I could afford it, and I thought you'd like it."
She opened up the tiny black velvet box, revealing a white gold ring with one large diamond flanked by two small diamonds. "It's beautiful," she sighed, tugging it out of the box and sliding it onto her finger.
Emily snuck out of the living room and ran back outside to the patio. "He did it!" she shrieked.
"Emmy, honey, you forgot your flipflops," Burt said.
"No, no, Finn did it!" she said, jumping up and down.
Kurt sat up. "No way," he said.
"He did, he did! In the living room, just now!" Emily said.
"Did she say yes?" Carole said.
"Uh-huh, and she put the ring on!" Emily said.
"Well…I guess everybody knows," Finn said, walking up behind her. He held Rachel's hand tightly. "We're getting married, you guys."
Carole stood up and hugged first her son, then his new fiancee. "I'm so happy, you two," she said. "Rachel, he's had that ring since December."
"I thought so," the petite brunette said, staring adoringly up at Finn.
"You're officially going to be family," Kurt said, getting up and going over to kiss her on the cheek. "So now we can annoy each other even more, I guess."
He was smiling, and Rachel laughed. "That sounds wonderful," she said. She held out her arms to Emily. "And now you're going to be my little sister!"
"Except you can't take me shopping," Emily said. "Kurt will be mad if someone else takes me shopping."
July of 2018
She had never thought anything was wrong. Somehow she had made it to almost seven years old before anyone told her that it was unusual. And it all started with that bigger kid at the pool pushing her out of the way of the ladder.
"Hey!" she protested.
"Hey, what?" the bigger kid said.
"I was there first," she argued.
He smirked. "You're the queer's sister," he said.
She wrinkled her nose. "What's a queer?" she asked.
The bigger kid elbowed his friend. "She don't even know what a queer is," he said.
"What're you talking about?" she demanded.
He shoved her. "Your brother's a queer!" he shouted.
She rubbed her eyes. "I don't know what you're talking about," she said. "Stop calling my brother names!"
"Her brother likes bo-oys, her brother likes bo-oys," the kid's friend started taunting.
"Stop it!" she screamed, lunging at him. He pushed her, and she hit the water hard.
But before she had time to panic, a big strong arm wrapped around her and lugged her to the surface. The lifeguard hoisted her onto the side of the pool. "You okay?" he asked, checking her for injuries and signs of breathing. She nodded, choking and crying.
The lifeguard stood up and loomed over the boys. "You kids are out of here," he snarled. "Rest of the day, rest of the week…rest of the summer. I don't ever want to see you brats back here. Understand?"
She hunched on the hot concrete, dripping wet and still coughing up chlorinated water. The lifeguard sat down beside her. "Emily, are you all right?" Puck asked. He rubbed his thumb against her forehead. "What happened? Why'd they do that?"
She wrapped her arms around his neck. "They said my brother was queer," she sniffle. "I didn't know which brother, 'cept they started saying that he likes boys, so I guess it was Kurt." She rubbed her eyes. "Why were they making fun of him?"
Puck sat down cross-legged. "Kid, people are stupid," he said bluntly. "See, a lot of people made fun of Kurt when he was in high school. He was the only guy who liked guys, so we thought he was weird."
She frowned. "Did you make fun of him?" she asked.
Puck rubbed his Mohawk. "Yeah, and I shouldn't have," he admitted. "A lot of people were mean to him, just because he was different."
"Because he likes boys?" Emily said. "But…but why is it bad that he loves Blaine? Blaine loves him a whole lot."
Puck sighed. "You know what?" he said. "When you say it like that, it makes no sense." He stood up and held out his hand. "Let's find that big dumb brother of yours. He still playing Frisbee with Rachel?"
She smiled a little at that. "Trying to play Frisbee," she said. "Rachel isn't good at catching."
"Yeah, she's never been good at that," he grinned. "C'mon, princess."
He walked her away from the pool and towards the green field where Finn was gently tossing the Frisbee towards Rachel. She dived to catch and missed it completely. "No, no, Rach, eye on the disc," Finn was saying. "Eye on the disc."
Rachel stood up, the Frisbee in hand, and frowned. "Puck, what are you doing here?" he asked.
"Somebody got chucked in the pool," Puck said.
"Aw, Em," Finn said. "Y'okay?"
She nodded, wrapping her arms around her big brother's waist. "Some bigger kids said bad stuff about Kurt," she said. "They said he was queer."
Rachel dropped the Frisbee. "Emily, darling, don't listen to them," she said firmly.
"Yeah, they don't know what they're talking about," Finn said. "There's nothing wrong with him at all."
"Yeah, that's what I said," Puck said. He tugged on one of Emily's long braids. "Stop falling in pools, okay?"
"Okay," she smiled. She grabbed his hand and pulled him down to her level, then kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks, Noah."
November of 2018
The end-of-school bell had barely finished ringing when Blaine walked into her classroom. "I'm here for Emily Hudson-Hummel," he told the teacher.
She leaped up from her desk. "Hi!" she called, running towards him. "What are you doing here?"
"Hi, Emmy," he said, hugging her tightly. "I called your mom and she said I could take you home today. Get your coat and your backpack, okay?"
She ran to obey. "Is this one of your brothers?" her teacher asked.
She shouldered her backpack. "No, he's my brother's boyfriend," she said cheerfully, hopping back over to Blaine and leaving the classroom before she saw the shocked look on her teacher's face.
Blaine held her hand as they walked out of the school and over to his car. "How was school today?" he asked.
Emily clambered into the front seat. "It was okay," she said. "We're learning about the Pilgrims, 'cause it's almost Thanksgiving, but it's boring."
Blaine laughed. "I guess so," he said.
She chattered about school until she realized that they were pulling into the parking lot of a frozen yogurt place, and not her driveway. "Why are we here?" she squealed.
"For frozen yogurt," he said, grinning. "Come on, Em."
They went inside and he helped her fill a cup with strawberry, French vanilla, and ginger lemonade frozen yogurt, then topped it with fruit, whipped cream, and sprinkles. He sat down next to her with his own cup of dark chocolate and dulce de leche yogurt sprinkled with chocolate chips and handed her a spoon. "Is it good?" he asked.
She nodded vigorously. "I like this place," she said.
"Well, I'm glad," Blaine said, smiling. He cleared his throat. "You know, Kurt and I have been dating for eight years now."
"That's a long time," Emily said, licking her spoon. "You should marry him."
Blaine choked. "Would you like it if we got married?" he asked.
"Uh-huh," she said.
Blaine's dark eyes seemed very soft. "Why?" he asked gently.
"Because you love him, and he loves you," she said. "And you make him really happy."
Blaine reached over and put his hand on top of hers. "Emily, honey, I want to ask Kurt to marry me," he said. "Do I have your permission?"
She frowned. "Yes, but only if Mommy and Daddy say yes too," she said.
Blaine laughed. "They already said yes," he said. "But I wanted to ask you too, since you're his little sister."
She inched forward in her seat. "Didja get him a ring?" she asked. "Didja?"
He pulled a little box out of his coat pocket and showed her the white gold half-eternity band. "I picked this one because it looks just like his mama's wedding ring," he explained. "Do you think he'll like it."
"It's very pretty," she said. "And very shiny. I think he'll like it." She took another bite of her frozen yogurt. "When're you gonna ask him?"
"Tonight, actually," he said.
Emily sat up straighter, her eyes wide. "Let's go home now, so you can ask him and not chicken out four times like Finn," she said.
Blaine laughed. "Then come on," he said.
She barraged him with questions as he drove back to the house, and she ran inside as soon as Blaine parked in the driveway. "Mom! Mommy!" she hollered.
Carole walked out of the kitchen, drying her hands on a dish towel. "Did Blaine ask you?" she asked, beaming.
"Uh-huh, and I told him yes," she said.
"Good," Carole said. "Now, be quiet and don't give it away. Kurt's downstairs getting ready." She reached over and hugged Blaine. "Good luck, honey. Don't be nervous."
"I'll try," he grinned.
Kurt walked up the basement stairs, dressed in a nice suit. "Blaine," he said, surprised. "You're really early."
Blaine kissed him lightly. "I couldn't wait," he said. "Do you want to head out now?"
"Sure," Kurt said, blinking. "Hi, Emily. Good day at school?"
"Really good," she said, grinning as she hid behind her mother. Blaine tucked his arm around Kurt's waist and walked him towards the front door, then turned around and winked.
May of 2019
"No, no, no!" Rachel wailed. "That's not right!"
She plunked down in the middle of the bride's room floor, her wedding gown poofing around her. "Rachel, take a chill pill," Quinn said, exasperated.
"I can't," Rachel sobbed.
"You're going to mess up your makeup," Mercedes warned.
"I don't care," Rachel said resolutely.
Tina looked askance at her fellow bridesmaids, all of them decked in strapless, floor-length pink satin dresses. "Ooh, this is bad," she said. "Should we get her dads?"
"Or Finn's mom?" Mercedes suggested.
The bride's room door swung open and Emily walked in. "I can't walk in this dress," she said. Her pink satin flower girl dress stuck out stiffly, buoyed by layers and layers of white crinoline. Her long hair had been curled into silky ringlets and topped with an elaborate crown of ribbons and silk roses. She paused. "What's wrong with Rachel?"
"Who knows?" Quinn sighed. "You want to talk to her, sweetheart?"
Emily stomped over to the whimpering bride. "Rachel, don't you want to marry my brother?" she asked.
Rachel sat up and dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief. "Of course I do," she said. "I love Finn."
"Then get up," Emily said, tugging on her arm. "You're getting married in ten minutes, so get up, okay?"
Rachel screwed up her face. "But my flowers-"
"No one will notice that your flowers aren't the same shade of pink as our dresses," Quinn said.
"Yeah, no one will pay attention at all," Tina reassured her.
"Everyone just looks at the bride, not what she's holding," Mercedes said. "So get up off the floor and marry that dumb quarterback."
Rachel laughed despite herself and stood up, smoothing the full skirt of her white satin ball gown. "Is my veil on straight?" she asked meekly.
"It's perfect," Tina said. "Now let's go before you miss your wedding, okay?"
The ceremony was perfect, even though Emily got a little bored standing beside the grown-ups for the whole thing. At least she had a good look at her two brothers. Finn beamed all the way through the ceremony, bouncing on the balls of his feet and nearly dropping Rachel's ring out of excitement. As his best man, Kurt stood behind him, and he cried silently all the way through the thing, still smiling.
The reception seemed to last forever. And at first it was fun, with all the cake and music and dancing, but Emily was only seven, and she got tired. After a while she got too sleepy to keep going, and she curled up in the gazebo where the ceremony took place, falling asleep to the sounds of the orchestra.
She roused slightly when she felt someone pick her up, cradling her in big strong arms and cuddling her against a broad shoulder. "Why'd you fall asleep, Emily?" Finn smiled.
"Tired," she yawned, rubbing her cheek against the lapel of his tuxedo jacket and breathing in the scent of the pink rose on his boutonniere.
Finn brushed his lips against the top of her head. "You taste like hairspray," he smiled.
"Finn, I'm sleepy," she sighed. "Take me home."
"I can't, little girl, I have to go on my honeymoon," he said. "You were a really good flower girl, by the way."
"Thanks," she sighed.
Finn carried her around the outskirts of the dance floor and brought her over to his brother, who was sitting at his table, his cheek resting heavily on his hand. "Kurt, somebody's sleepy," he said.
"Oh, honey," Kurt said, sitting up. Finn handed her over and she cuddled in Kurt's lap.
"Take good care of her, okay?" Finn said.
"I'll do my best," Kurt said. She snuggled in Kurt's lap, her head against his chest, and she didn't even notice when he hugged her a little too tightly.
August 24, 2019
Emily bounced in her seat as her mother cut into her birthday cake. "I want the frosting flower! I want the frosting flower!" she said.
"Man, I wanted that," Blaine said. "Well, I want the part that says '8,' then."
Kurt raised a hand. "I want the part that says 'day'!" he said.
Burt shook his head. "I swear, you kids still act like grade schoolers sometimes," he said.
"I act mature," Rachel offered, still gesturing broadly with her left hand to show off her shiny new wedding band.
"Ooh, I want her name!" Finn said, holding out his plate.
Carole shook her head. "You'll all get what you want," she said. "Rachel, do you want anything in particular?"
Rachel turned slightly green. "Um…I don't think I want any cake," she said.
Kurt snorted as he dug into his slice of strawberry cake. "There's only two reasons you'd turn down cake, Rachel Hudson," he said. "Either you're up for a part, or you've got wicked bad morning sickness."
Rachel and Finn looked at each other and grinned.
Blaine dropped his fork. "Really?" he said.
"Hey, Emily, how would you like to have a niece or a nephew for a birthday present?" Finn said, a little too loudly in his excitement.
"You're kidding me!" Burt said.
"Honey, you're pregnant?" Carole said. She ran over and first kissed Rachel on the cheek, then hugged Finn tightly. "Seriously, a grandbaby?"
"I was just kidding," Kurt said blankly.
"When?" Emily demanded.
"I'm due in February," Rachel said, beaming brightly. "I did always say that when I was twenty-five I would be ready for marriage and babies."
"And, uh, we got a honeymoon baby," Finn grinned.
Blaine reached over and covered Emily's ears. "Little ones are listening, Finn," he said.
"I really was just kidding," Kurt sputtered. "Really…just kidding." He paused. "Rachel Barbra Berry Hudson, are you going to be pregnant for my wedding? I'm going to have to let out your dress by like a mile. Thanks for that."
December of 2019
Emily peeked into the little side room. "Kurt, can I come in?" she asked.
He stood in front of the mirror, nervously adjusting his tie. "Sure, baby," he said.
She crept closer and compared their reflections in the mirror. "I like my dress," she offered. "You did a good job."
"Thanks," he said, trying to smile.
It really was pretty. Kurt had designed a soft white dress for her, with a wide navy sash and narrow lace on the hem, and she wore a double-strand of pearls in her hair. She put her hand on his belt and tugged lightly. "Are you sad?" she asked.
"I don't know," he sighed. He smoothed her hair absently. "I just wish…that my mother was still here so she could be with me."
Emily wrapped his arms around his waist. "I'm here," she said. "And my mommy loves you, even though she's not really your mom."
He smiled, but his eyes had that watery, glassy look that always made her stomach hurt. "I know," he said.
Burt knocked on the door and peeked in. "You ready, scooter?" he asked.
He rubbed his eyes. "I think so," he said.
Burt put his hands on Kurt's shoulders. "What's wrong?" he asked. "Are you not ready for this? Because if you're not ready, we can call it off."
"No, no, it's not that," Kurt said hurriedly.
Emily tugged on Burt's arm. "He's sad because he misses his mom," she explained.
Burt grabbed his son and hugged him fiercely. "I know," he said. "I know, kiddo." Kurt dropped his head on his father's shoulder; Burt rubbed the back of his neck. "You found a real good man, and your mom would be so proud of you."
Emily tiptoed out of the room. She hated to see people cry, especially when those people were her dad and her brother. She closed the door carefully and backed into Finn
"Is Kurt ready?" he asked. "I wanted to ask him a question about my best man speech."
"Kurt's crying with Daddy," she said quietly. "They miss Kurt's mommy."
"Oh," Finn said. He picked her up, careful not to wrinkle her dress, and kissed her cheek. "Let's go find Blaine and let him know that they need a little time, okay?"
Blaine got that same sad look in his eyes when they told him what was going on, and the three of them ended up sitting together in Blaine's room- Finn next to Blaine with his arm over his shoulders, and Emily cuddled between their laps. But finally Burt came in and told them Kurt was ready.
Rachel's wedding had been big and traditional and very pink, but Kurt and Blaine's wedding was the exact opposite. They had it in a big historical mansion in New York City, and everybody from Lima who loved them was there- Kurt's friends from New Directions and Blaine's friends from the Warblers, Mr. Schuester and Miss Pillsbury, Kurt's family and Blaine's family. It was a very small, very unusual sort of thing, but in a way, it was perfect.
Emily stayed awake the whole time for that wedding, dancing with Finn and Kurt and her new brother Blaine, and sitting out a few songs with Rachel, who was too pregnant to dance (and had had to get an entirely new dress for the wedding because Kurt couldn't let the seams out anymore). In fact, she stayed awake and laughing until everyone else had left, and she and her parents took a taxi back to their hotel in Times Square, and then she ended falling asleep in the car and had to be carried inside by her father.
February of 2020
"You excited?" Burt asked.
Emily nodded, curled up in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. "Will the baby be here soon?" she asked.
"Who knows?" Burt said. He flipped through an old magazine. "Some babies take a long time, and some don't. Your mom said that Finn was a fast baby, but I remember when I was here for Kurt to be born. It took him forever, but his mom always said it was because he wanted to be fashionably late."
He looked over at his eight-year-old daughter and frowned. "What's wrong, kiddo?" he asked. "Are you feeling all right?"
Emily leaned over the armrest. "It's silly," she said.
Burt set down the magazine. "I won't think it's silly," he promised. "Tell me what's wrong."
She plucked at the cuffs of her cardigan. "I don't think Kurt and Finn love me as much any more," she confessed.
True to his word, Burt didn't laugh. "Why do you think that?" he asked gently.
She shrugged, trying to act casual so she wouldn't cry. "Kurt's all married and stuff and he doesn't come home to visit anymore," she said unhappily. "And Finn's getting a new baby. I don't think they love me like they used to. They've got other stuff to love."
Burt smoothed her unruly hair. "We've told you about the day you were born, right?" he said. "How Mom woke up in the middle of the night, and the boys had to come with us, and they hadn't picked your name out."
She nodded. She'd heard the story several times; someone usually reminded her of it on her birthday.
"They sat right here, in this waiting room, the whole time," Burt continued. "They tried to pick out the best name they could find, and they picked it just in time. And I brought them in, and they both just fell in love with you, right away."
She smiled despite herself. "Really?" she said.
"Really," Burt said, hugging her to his side. "You weren't even an hour old, and they were already fighting over who got to hold you and who your favorite brother was."
Emily smiled. "They really love me?" she said.
"They really do," Burt reassured her.
Kurt and Blaine chose just that moment to bust into the waiting room. "We haven't missed it, have we?" Kurt panted.
"Not yet," Hiram Berry said. "You got here just in time."
Kurt plunked into the seat beside Emily. "I forgot how nerve-wracking babies are," he sighed. "Ugh. Ridiculous. I am scared out of my mind."
"No, you're not," Blaine said peacefully, sitting down beside him and kissing him on the cheek. "You're fine. Calm down."
Emily leaned over and hugged Kurt. "What's that for?" he asked, surprised.
"I love you," she said.
He smiled. "I love you too, Emmy."
Finn broke into the waiting room from the labor and delivery ward, his arms held above his head in victory. "We did it!" he cheered. "It's a boy! Christopher Liam Hudson, nine pounds, one ounce, twenty-one inches long."
He reached down and swooped Emily up in the air. "You're an aunt, Emily!" he said. "An eight-year-old aunt."
"I'm very excited," she informed him with a grin. "I'm still your favorite sister, though, right?"
"Always," Finn said. "Wanna come see the baby? He's all red and squally, but he's still kind of cute."
"Ooh, I want to see him," Kurt said.
Emily held onto Finn's shoulder with one hand, then reached for Kurt's with the other. Her brothers might be all grown up, with families of their own, and she might still be just a little girl not even out of the second grade, but it was nice to know that they were still a family.
I now present to you exhibit A in the case for "why I need to get out of the house more often and find a better job, because seriously, this is ridiculous."
I am SO FLIPPING EXCITED over Burt and Carole getting married on the show, and Finn and Kurt becoming brothers. And I think it would be mega-cute if they ended up with a new baby brother or sister. Personally, I think a sister would be cuter, so I wrote this.
Finn and Kurt's system for picking out baby names is similar to what my husband and I are doing for our hypothetical babies. Anything is better than what my parents did. My sister got her middle name from a phone book, and I was named at the last minute after a character on the 1980s television show Airwolf. What's worse is that if I had been a boy, I was going to be named after Harrison Ford. Because my mother is a fangirl. Awkward.
(It's also the same reason that my husband has put Kurt on the list of verboten baby names. He says it would just be creepy at this point. And I kind of have to agree, actually.)
There is a reference to Hyperbole and a Half! Greatest blog ever. Shoot.
I have so much fun writing Klaine. So. Much. Fun. Finchel is a hecka ton harder...
This story continues my running gag that Kurt is a secret death cab for cutie fanboy. It's like my signature now.
Also, I have jumped on the "ha, ha, let's make Harry Potter references because of Darren Criss." But I swear, the next person who makes a red vines joke will get strangled with the aforementioned candy. Everybody gets one free Harry Potter reference...after that...no.
How cute is it that Puck adores Emily? It's probably because she makes him think of Beth.
Anyways, it's fragging late, and I'm tired. I hope you liked this! Please, for the love of all that is holy, leave a review. This fandom is kind of bad with the leavings of reviews. I personally am going to try better to review what I read...