Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
"So, tell me again why we're going to see the Nutcracker?" Blaine said.
Kurt bounced slightly in the front passenger seat of Blaine's red jeep. "We've gone every year since I was four," he said. "My mother started it. We went every Christmas, and when she died I thought that would be it. But my dad has always made a big deal about taking me to see it. We've never missed a year."
Blaine smiled as he drove down the interstate. "Your dad doesn't really strike me like the ballet type," he said.
"Oh, definitely not," Kurt said. "but he's always made an exception for this. I don't even know why. He just…does."
Burt cleared his throat. "I'll be back later," he said.
"All right," Carole said, leaning back against the couch to look at him. She held up her cheek for a kiss, and he obliged.
"Where're you going?" Finn asked absently, his eyes still glued to the Christmas movie playing on the television.
Burt cleared his throat. "I'm taking Kurt and Blaine to see the Nutcracker," he said.
Finn snickered. "Really? Ballet?" he said. He sobered quickly when his mother shot him a pointed look, and he meekly returned his attentions to the antics of Buddy the elf.
"I'm taking Kurt home from the theater," Burt told Carole. "We'll be home sometime around midnight."
"Be safe," Carole said.
Burt shrugged into his winter coat. "We will," he said, and he walked outside into the light snow. He was glad his wife never pressed him for details when he brought up the Christmas tradition he had with his son. Sometimes it was just too painful to remember how it all started.
"Mollie, there is no way I'm going to see this ballet thing," Burt said.
His wife poked her head out of the closet. "What are you talking about?" she said. She disappeared back into the depths to pick out the perfect dress. "We're going, and that's that."
Burt sat down on the edge of their bed. "This ballet stuff, though…it's kind of stupid, don't you think?" he said.
Mollie emerged from the closet as she tugged a simple black dress over her head. "No, it's not," she said. She twisted around, trying to reach the zipper to the low-backed party dress. "It's culture. You like culture, right?"
He beckoned her over and she swept her long thick hair to the side as he zipped the back of her dress. "I don't mind that theater stuff, and the symphony's okay, it just makes me sleepy," he shrugged. "But…why do we have to go see the ballet?"
Mollie let her hair tumble down her back and she sat down at her little white vanity. "Because Kurt really wants to see the Nutcracker," she said, drawing the brush through her hair. "And don't you dare fuss about paying for the tickets. One of the fifth graders I teach is playing a party guest, and her mother gave them to me."
"I just don't see why Kurt wants to see it so bad," Burt grumbled.
Mollie turned around, a red ribbon in her hand. "What was that?" she asked sharply.
"I just don't see why the kid wants to go see a bunch of people dance around in tights," Burt said, throwing up his hands. "It's…it's…"
"It's girly," Mollie finished, her mouth drawing down. "Burt, why is this such a problem for you?"
Burt scooted to the edge of the bed, leaning over her shoulder. "Kurt is a little boy," he said. "Shouldn't he like little boy things?"
"He does," Mollie said, drawing her hair back with the red satin ribbon. "He likes riding his bike, and helping you with cars, and he has a very impressive collection of Power Rangers."
"Yeah, and he was making the red ranger get married to the blue ranger," Burt said.
"But then the red ranger found out the blue ranger was seeing the green ranger behind his back and they broke up," Mollie said. "What does this have to do with Kurt wanting to see a ballet performance?"
"Mollie, you know as well as I do that that is not normal for a boy," Burt said in a low voice.
She spun around. "What's not normal?" she said sharply. "That he likes playing weddings and watching princess movies? That he likes to wear nice clothes and keep them clean instead of rolling in the dirt at recess? That he wants to go see the Nutcracker?"
"Mollie, doesn't it make you…y'know, worry about him?" Burt said.
Mollie stood up, knocking her chair over. "Worry about what?" she demanded. "Look, Burt, he's only four. Nobody will know for sure if Kurt's gay or not until he reaches puberty. And even then…why should we care?"
"Don't say that," Burt mumbled.
"Say what, Burt?"
"You know," he said uncomfortably. "Gay. I don't want my kid to be…you know."
"It's not up to you," she said. "It's up to Kurt. Maybe he'll just be a little on the feminine side, you know, liking clothes and pretty things. And maybe he will be gay. Is that going to bother you?"
"Mollie, it's not that," Burt groaned, dragging his hand across his face. "If he grows up to be gay, then he'll be gay, but can't we…you know, encourage him towards stuff that's more manly?"
Mollie picked up a tube of lipstick, fiddled with the cap, and tossed it back down. "Is that why you won't let him take piano lessons?" she said quietly.
"I told you, hon, I'll let him take piano if he joins the peewee football league," Burt said.
"He tried it, Burt," Mollie said. "I took him to that first practice, and do you know what happened? It took me ten minutes to calm him down enough to get him out on the field, and when he finally started playing, one of the bigger kids knocked him over and he got a split lip."
Burt straightened. "You didn't tell me that one of the kids pushed him, I thought he just fell or something," he said. "Who was it?"
"Paul and Laura's little boy, Davey," Mollie said.
"I'll kill 'im," Burt said.
Mollie got up from her vanity and twined her arms around her husband's neck. "I know you love Kurt," she said. "But you have to love him the way he is. You can't force him to be what you want to be. His job is to be whoever he wants to be, and our job is to love him, no matter what."
He stroked her soft arm absently. "I just don't want to encourage this girly stuff," he said.
Mollie pulled her arms away. "Burt, what if we had had a little girl instead, hm?" she said. "What if we had a little Katey instead of a Kurt? She would ask you to take her to see the ballet, and you would do it without a second thought. You'd probably even buy her a new dress for it. And if she wanted to go to the garage and help you with the cars, or if she wanted to play soccer or baseball with the boys in the park, you would do it, and you would support her, because girls are just as good as boys and they can do whatever you want."
He turned away, fiddling with his uncomfortable tie. "Mollie, that's different," he mumbled.
"No, no it's not," Mollie said. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. "You tell Kurt that you don't want to take him to see a girly ballet, and that he can't take piano, and that you want him to stop dressing up all the time. And I know you've told him that he's too big to cry, and I'm not happy about that."
"No," she said again, shaking her finger emphatically in his face. "You tell him now that you don't accept what he likes, and in ten or fifteen years our son will be too scared to tell us he's gay because he'll think you won't accept him for who he is."
"Mollie, can't we just cross this bridge when we come to it?" Burt said.
She shook her head. "We have to talk about it now," she said firmly.
He opened his mouth to continue the argument, but the door to the master bedroom creaked open a little bit. Kurt peeked into the room. "Mommy, can I come in?" he said.
Mollie smiled as she sat down at her vanity and held out her arms. "Of course you can," she said.
Kurt ran over to her, and Burt suppressed a smile as his inquisitive little son popped onto his wife's lap and started sorting through her makeup. "Careful, kiddo," he warned. "Mom's got to put her makeup on. Don't mess it up."
"I'm not messing, Daddy, I'm organizing," he corrected as he lined up her rows of lipstick tubes.
Mollie hugged Kurt around his waist with one arm and bounced him slightly on her knees. "KK, go pick out shoes to go with my dress," she said.
Kurt slid off her knees. "Red ones, Mommy?" he said. "Can they be red ones?"
"Maybe," she called as he darted off to her closet and disappeared inside of it. Burt shook his head as he heard Kurt humming to himself. Mollie applied her makeup carefully; she was already done by the time Kurt emerged from the depths of the closet with two different pairs of shoes in his little hands- a pair of bright red patent leather flats, and a pair of black mary jane pumps with silver buckles.
"You picked very pretty shoes, Kurt," Mollie said, and Kurt's round cheeks turned pink at her praise. "Which do you like best?"
"Red ones, Mommy," he said. "It looks pretty with the ribbon."
"Then I will wear the red ones," she said.
Kurt set them down carefully. "Mommy, do I look pretty?" he asked.
Burt looked him up and down. The little boy, barely out of his toddler days, had dressed himself in gray pinstripe dress shorts, a pale blue button up shirt, and navy and gray argyle suspenders. "You look handsome, kiddo," he said. Kurt just blinked at him.
Mollie cupped Kurt's little chin in her hands. "Honey, you're very pretty," she reassured him. She kissed him lightly on the forehead. "Now go get your shoes and socks on, and comb your hair, okay?"
"Okay," he said, running back to his bedroom.
Burt shook his head. "You won't even let me tell him he's handsome?" he said, exasperated.
Mollie slipped a pair of pearl drop earrings into her ears. "No, I love it when you do that," she said. "But he asked specifically if he was pretty. And he is."
Burt groaned. "Mollie, you're making this too much of a big deal," he said. "He's four."
"In ten years, he'll be fourteen," she said. "I'd rather make a big deal out of it now then wait for it to become a wreck then."
"This is ridiculous," he mumbled.
Mollie slid her narrow feet into the red shoes. "Listen, Burt," she said. "We're going to take Kurt to the ballet, and you are going to be happy, and you are going to treat him the way he wants to be treated, not the way you want to treat him."
"I always do that," he grumbled under his breath.
Mollie placed her hand on his shoulder. "And after tonight, I want you to look your son in the eyes, and decide whether it would change anything if he actually did grow up to be gay," she said. "See what that does for you."
"Mommy!" Kurt sang from down the hall. "I can't tie my tie."
Mollie straightened. "Coming, honey," she called. She picked up the rectangular bottle of Miss Dior Cherie and spritzed it on her neck and wrists, then slipped out of the room.
Burt sat on the edge of the bed and scratched the back of his neck. Just what he needed, getting his wife mad at him. Mollie had always been a very passionate, high-spirited thing, and usually he liked that about her. But sometimes she was just twenty-two and headstrong, and she drove him a little nuts.
He got up and walked down the hall to his son's room. Kurt held very still while his mother knelt down and tied his sky blue tie into a neat bow. He'd added a pair of light gray knee socks and shiny dress shoes, and even though it was kind of a fancy outfit, Burt had to admit that he still looked pretty good.
"You look nice, scooter," he said.
Kurt's eyes lit up. "Thanks, Daddy," he said. "You look nice too."
"I look silly," Burt said, almost playfully, tugging on the hem of his jacket.
Mollie straightened Kurt's tie and he ran to his father, wrapping his little arms around his legs. "Can we go now, Daddy, please?" he begged.
"Sure, scooter, just go get your coat," he said, giving him a little pat. Kurt ran down the hall to the living room.
Mollie stood up, smoothing out the full pleated skirt of her black dress. "He's very affectionate, you know," she said. "He likes to be kissed and held and cuddled."
"Moll, you know I've never been good at the kind of thing," he protested. "You're good at that."
Mollie tossed her hair over her shoulder. "He'd like it if you were good at that too," she said. She tugged on his hand. "Come on, let's go, before Kurt tries to leave without us."
He followed her down the stairs. Kurt stood in the open coat closet, jumping up and down in an effort to reach his coat. Burt leaned over him and pulled it down. "Thanks, Daddy," Kurt said, wrestling with it in an effort to slide his arms into the sleeves. Burt held it open for him.
"Put your gloves on, sweetheart," Mollie said as she slid into her red peacoat.
Kurt made a face. "Mommy, my gloves don't match my outfit," he complained.
"But it matches your coat," she pointed out serenely. "Come on, baby, gloves and scarf. If you don't put it on, you'll have to wear the hat that Great Aunt Mildred gave you."
Kurt's jaw dropped, horrified. "The one with the pompom?" he said. Without waiting for an answer, he put on his yellow and gray striped gloves and his cheerful yellow scarf.
"We ready?" Burt said, picking up the keys from the kitchen counter.
"Ready!" Kurt said as he hopped up and down in excitement. Mollie took his hand and walked him outside to the car as Burt turned off the house lights and locked the front door.
"Careful on the ice," Mollie warned, holding Kurt's hand tightly. She opened the back door of her blue sedan and lifted him into his booster seat.
"Mommy, are we going to be late?" he asked anxiously as Burt got into the driver's seat and turned the heat on.
She buckled him in. "What time does the show start?" she asked.
"Seven," he said.
"And what time does it say on the clock?"
"So we have plenty of time," Mollie smiled. She shut the door and got into the passenger seat. "All right, let's go."
"Yay!" Kurt chirped, clapping his tiny gloved hands.
Burt drove the thirty minutes to the theater three towns away. Kurt kept up a lively stream of questions for his mother, but he was distracted. He couldn't get his argument with Mollie out of his mind. In the past four years of marriage, they had only argued a few times, and this was just weird.
He knew Kurt was different. He always had been. At first he had just chalked it up to Kurt being a little shy, maybe. And maybe he just liked artsy things or something.
But about a year ago, when Kurt was three, nearly four, and they had taken him shopping…and he'd picked up a pair of girls' shoes and asked for them eagerly. Well, that was sort of the point of no return for him, so to speak. Of course, when he tried to bring it up to Mollie, she had simply shrugged and said she'd guessed it a while ago.
He just didn't know what to do. He'd never met anyone who was gay, much less a family member. You just didn't meet gay people in Lima, Ohio. Now, here he was, with a four-year-old son who preferred dolls and toy kitchens over footballs and action figures. What was he supposed to do about it?
Kurt started bouncing up and down in his booster seat when they pulled up close to the theater. "We're here, we're here!" he cheered.
"I'll let you off on the curb," Burt said. "Take him inside where it's warm, I'll park." Mollie started to open the door as soon as the car stopped, but he beckoned to her and she paused. He leaned over and brushed a kiss on her lips. "Love you."
"I love you too," she said, surprised and smiling. She touched his cheek, then slid out of the car and opened the back door. "Okay, Kurt, let's go inside."
"Is it starting? Is it starting?" Kurt said as Mollie unbuckled his seatbelt.
"Not yet," she said. "We're going to get our seats while Daddy parks. Hold my hand, baby, okay? There's a lot of people around."
Burt smiled as he watched them walk up the broad steps to the theater entrance, Kurt clutching Mollie's hand as he tried to keep up. He drove around to the garage and parked, then headed back towards the auditorium with his ticket in his hand.
The noisy theater lobby was packed with families. He noticed with relief that there were plenty of other small boys around, although most of them seemed to accompanying sisters. He saw one boy in particular, a year or two older than Kurt, with dark curly hair and a bored expression on his face. He kept tugging on his red and green striped tie and seemed to be whining to his older sister, a girl of about eight in a red party dress who held his hand tightly as they followed behind their parents.
At least Kurt knew better than to whine like that, especially in public. In fact, the only times he ever heard Kurt whine was when he was sick or sleepy. He was a good kid, especially for being so little. It was surprising, really.
He headed into the theater, handing his ticket over to the usher at the door, and walked towards their designated balcony seats. Kurt sat next to his mother, his thin little legs sticking out. He held a program in his hand and he was reading the roles aloud to Mollie.
"Clara is played by Neddy Cooper," he reported.
"Yes, honey, I see," Mollie said patiently. She smoothed his flyaway hair. "Oh, look, there's Daddy."
Burt sat down in the plush seat beside Kurt. "You excited, kiddo?" he asked.
"Uh-huh," Kurt said, nodding eagerly. He sat up in his seat, pulling up his legs so he could sit on his knees. "I can't see very good, though."
"You'll be able to see just fine," Mollie reassured him.
"Will it start soon?" he asked.
"Very soon, baby, so be patient, okay?" she said.
"Okay," he said, plunking down in his seat. Kurt leaned over the armrest so that he was halfway in Burt's lap. "Daddy, it's gonna start soon."
"I know, kiddo," he said, ruffling his hair gently.
A couple with two little girls, one about four and the other about ten, sat down in front of them. "Daddy, I want the sugarplum fairy costume," the older one said loudly as she flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder. "They've got one for sale in the lobby and I want it!"
"Not now, pumpkin," the father said as he sat down. The younger girl tried to crawl onto his lap, but he set her down in her own seat. "No, no, sit still like a big girl, or we'll just take you home. Naughty kids don't get to do fun things." She pouted and plunked down in her seat, scowling.
Unconsciously Burt wrapped an arm around his little son's shoulders. He never spoke to Kurt like that, never. Kurt was a pretty well-behaved kid, for a four-year-old, and never needed to be scolded, not like how that dad was acting towards his kid.
Kurt wrapped both of his arms around one of Burt's. "Daddy, I'm really excited," he said.
"I'm glad," he said, squeezing Kurt's little knee.
Mollie smiled at her husband over their son's head. "Look, Kurt, it's going to start soon," she said. "See the lights dimming?"
Kurt let go of Burt's arm and launched over to Mollie. "Mommy, can I stop being patient?" he asked.
"Just a few more minutes," Mollie promised.
Kurt settled down between them, kicking his legs back and forth. Burt reached over and rubbed the back of his neck with his big thumb. Kurt giggled, a sweet, piping sound, and it made Burt melt a little. His kid was pretty cute. You know. For a boy.
The lights went down and the orchestra began tuning, and Kurt grabbed at Mollie's hand. "Mommy, it's starting," he whispered loudly.
"I know, I know," she whispered back, squeezing his little fingers. "Sit still, baby."
Kurt sat down obediently for the overture, and then the curtains parted and the dancers came out.
Burt leaned back in his seat, twiddling his thumbs. This ballet stuff didn't make much sense to him. All these girls skipping around in fluffy dresses, and a couple of boys in tights…it was just weird. And then that old dude came in with that nutcracker doll and gave it to that one girl…and then somehow the doll turned into a dude with a funny mask, and then…there were a bunch of rat mouse things.
Yeah. Ballet made no sense.
But Kurt seemed to like it. He scooted to the very edge of his seat, peeking over the edge at the stage. His eyes, so much like his mother's, had gone immense with excitement. Sometimes the dance-fight thing between the guy in the mask and the rat thing got too intense and he would gasp quietly, his lips parting and his long eyelashes fluttering as he blinked.
Mollie kept her hand on Kurt, patting his little back in rhythm with the music. Whenever she heard him gasp she would squeeze him gently, as if she was trying to reassure him that it was okay, and that the stuff onstage was just pretend. Burt smiled to himself. She really was an awfully good mother.
He endured the first half of the show with minimal bored leg-jiggling, but at least his four-year-old seemed to be enjoying himself. Kurt flopped back in his seat as the house lights came up for intermission. "Are you having fun, sweetheart?" Mollie asked. She brushed his hair away from his forehead.
"It's really fun," Kurt said. He clambered onto his knees and leaned over the armrest. "Mommy, is the bad mouse king coming back? I don't like him very much."
"I don't either," Mollie said. She stood up, smoothing out her skirt, and held out her hand. "Come on, baby. Bathroom break." Kurt scooted off his seat and took his mother's hand. "We'll be back, Burt."
"Sure, sure," Burt said, stretching his legs. "I'll be here."
Mollie walked out of the theater, Kurt skipping at her heels. Burt watched them go and sighed reluctantly. He had to face it. His kid, his little boy, was totally in love with this girly ballet stuff.
If he had had a little girl, it would probably be different. She'd be little and dainty, with her mother's pretty eyes and long soft hair. Maybe with a bow in it or something. He would take her to dance classes on Saturday mornings and videotape all of her recitals and laugh when she spread her Barbie dolls all over the living room floor.
And eventually she'd grow up into a pretty girl just like her mother, and he'd fend off the neighbor boys with a shotgun and a scowl until she managed to find a nice man. He could walk her down the aisle and hand her off and sit in the front row of the church sniffling while he watched his little girl get married.
Kurt didn't like sports. He didn't like getting dirty. He didn't run around shrieking and throwing action figures around in play battle. Not like a normal kid.
Kurt liked peace and quiet. He liked helping his mother cook and playing dress up and singing while he drummed his small fingertips on tabletops, pretending he was playing the piano. He liked getting picked up and hugged and kissed, and he cried easily.
Burt leaned back in his seat and rubbed his forehead. His wife was right. This wasn't a matter of him trying to change Kurt, or encouraging him to do the things that he thought a little boy should do. Kurt was just…Kurt. His little boy.
Sure, maybe his son would never score a winning touchdown or watch marathons of Monster Garage with him. Maybe Kurt would always prefer listening to musicals with his mother than Bruce Springsteen with his father. And maybe he would never have the chance to tear up in the front row while his son married a sweet, pretty girl, or hold his grandchild in his arms.
But maybe it would all work out.
Kurt ran down the row towards him. "Daddy, they've got shoes!" he said.
"What kind of shoes?" Burt asked.
Mollie followed close behind Kurt and sat down in her seat, tucking her hair behind her ears. "They have pointe slippers signed by the ballerinas for sale in the lobby," she said.
"The shoes the dancers wear to balance on their toes," Mollie explained.
"I want 'em," Kurt said.
Mollie smoothed his hair. "I don't know, KK, maybe Santa will bring you some," she said. The house lights dimmed and she patted the seat beside her. "Sit down, honey, it's going to start soon."
Burt cleared his throat. "Want to sit on my lap, buddy?" he offered.
Kurt brightened. "Yeah!" he said, climbing eagerly onto his father's knees. Burt picked him up and got him settled as the curtains parted.
Burt bounced him slightly on his knees. Kurt sat quietly on his lap as the show started up again. Admittedly, Burt didn't pay much attention to the ballet. He hadn't held Kurt on his lap in a long time, and it was kind of nice to feel that close to his child. And he hadn't realized how big Kurt was getting. It just seemed like yesterday that he and Mollie were bringing their newborn baby home from the hospital.
Burt pulled his son a little closer. Kurt sat quietly, but his big blue eyes were fixed on the dancers flitting around the stage, obviously fascinated.
They were halfway through the second act when Burt got an idea. Normally he wasn't the sort to jump into anything, but he felt like this might be as good a time as any to be impulsive.
He picked Kurt up and handed him to Mollie who took him automatically, frowning in surprise. "Be right back," he whispered. She nodded as Kurt nestled against her shoulder.
Burt slid his hands in his pockets as he walked back towards the lobby. It was quiet out there, just a few ushers and a mom walking a fussy baby up and down. The souvenir stand took up the south end of the lobby, advertising tee shirts, glossy programs, and Christmas ornaments. He waited briefly in the line before he reached the usher in charge. "Uh, yeah, hi," he said. "You got any of those, uh, toe shoe things?"
"The ones signed by the dancers?" the perky young usher said. She reached under the table and pulled out a pair of pink satin pointe slippers. "We have one pair left. They're signed by the girl who dances the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy."
"Sure," he said uneasily, as the words meant nothing to him. "Yeah, I'll take 'em."
He handed over the cash and the girl slipped the shoes into a bag. "Is this for your daughter?" she asked.
"No, my son," he said. "Thanks."
He didn't miss the flash of confusion in her eyes as he walked away with the shoes in hand. Better prepare myself for that happening a lot, he thought.
Burt walked back into the theater. Kurt was still sitting on Mollie's lap, but he was clearly getting sleepy. The little boy leaned back against her, his eyes half closed. Burt grinned; he could tell Kurt was getting tired by the sight of his little fingers in his mouth. Other kids sucked their thumbs, but not Kurt. Kurt, always the nonconformist, always sucked on the middle and ring fingers of his left hand when he was trying to fall asleep.
Mollie leaned over as he sat down. "Where were you?" she whispered.
"Just had to walk around a bit," Burt whispered back, stowing the bag under his seat. "Kurt getting tired?"
Mollie nodded as she hugged Kurt. She had one arm around his tiny waist, and her other hand was stroking his hair away from his forehead. Burt reached over and squeezed her knee; she put her hand over his and squeezed gently.
The show ended with a triumphant final dance, a very long curtain call, and way too much noisy applause. Kurt slid off Mollie's lap for the final standing ovation; he pulled his fingers out of his mouth and clapped like the grown ups.
Mollie picked up Kurt's coat as the house lights came back up. "Did you like that, honey?" she asked.
He nodded as he wrestled with the sleeves of his coat. "Can I watch it again?" he asked.
"No, sweet boy," she smiled, buttoning his coat up to his little chin. "It's time to go home. It's past your bedtime."
Burt cleared his throat. "Hey, kiddo," he said gently. Kurt turned towards him, and Burt sat back down and beckoned. "I got you something. An early Christmas present."
"What is it, Daddy?" Kurt asked as he sidled closer.
Burt pulled the bag out from under his chair. "Open it," he said.
Mollie stood behind Kurt with her hands on his shoulders as he tugged the bag open and pulled out the pink satin ballet slippers. "Oh, Daddy!" he exclaimed. "Daddy, Daddy, they're pretty!"
"Burt, you didn't," Mollie breathed.
"They were the last ones they had," Burt said. "Did I get the right ones, buddy?"
Kurt's eyes had gone big and round. His little hands were barely big enough to hold onto the pointe slippers. "I love them, Daddy," he said solemnly.
"Good," Burt said. He ruffled Kurt's hair and laughed when the four-year-old frowned. "Now, you ready to go home and go to bed?"
"Uh-huh," Kurt nodded. "I'm sleepy."
Burt pried the shoes from Kurt's hands and put them back in the bag. "Then put your gloves on and let's go," he said.
Kurt held up his arms to his mother and opened and closed his little hands. "Mommy, can you carry me, please?" he begged.
"Yes, sweetheart," she said. She picked him up and settled him on her hip. Kurt locked his arms around her neck.
"We're not parked all the far away," Burt said. He put his arm around his wife's shoulders and walked her out of the theater. It was even colder out than it had been when they arrived, and he turned the key into the ignition as soon as they reached the car.
"Mommy, I'm cold," Kurt whimpered.
"I know, I know," Mollie soothed as she buckled him into his booster seat. She leaned into the backseat of the car and kissed him on the forehead. "You'll be warm soon."
Kurt struggled to sit up. "Shoes?" he said. "Can I hold my shoes?"
"Sure," Burt said, handing them over. Kurt tugged at the bag until he pulled them out, then hugged them to his little chest. "We ready to go?"
"Mm-hm," Mollie yawned as she buckled herself into the front passenger seat. "Mm, I'm so tired."
"We'll be home soon," Burt reassured her. He fiddled with the radio dials as he drove out of the parking garage, trying to find a station playing Christmas music, but by the time he found one both his wife and his son were fast asleep. He smiled to himself.
It was past eleven by the time Burt pulled into their dark driveway and parked. He leaned over and kissed Mollie lightly on the cheek. "We're home, hon," he whispered.
She roused slightly. "What?" she murmured.
He brushed a soft loose curl away from her face. "We're home," he said. "Go on inside. I'll get Kurt."
She sat up slowly. "Are you sure?" she murmured. "I can put him to bed."
"No, no, I got it," Burt said. "Go on. I'll get you when he's ready for his goodnight kiss."
Mollie smiled, still slightly sleepy, and headed towards the house while Burt opened the backseat door. Kurt slept soundly in his booster seat, his head tipping towards his chest while he hugged the ballet shoes tightly. Burt fumbled with the buckle and tucked his hands under Kurt's arms, lifting him up. His little son whimpered at the movement and the sudden exposure to the cold air; Burt held him securely and carried him into the house.
"It's okay, kiddo," he said in Kurt's ear. "It's okay. Daddy's got you."
Mollie had turned the lights and the heat on already, and Burt only paused to lock the front door securely before carrying Kurt upstairs to his little bedroom. He could hear Mollie humming to herself down the hall.
Burt flipped on the lightswitch and set Kurt down on his bed. Mollie peeked her head in the room; she had already changed into a lavender nightgown and a pretty robe. "Is he still sleeping?" she whispered.
Kurt made a face and started to cry sleepily at the lights and the voices. "Not anymore," Burt said ruefully.
Mollie floated past him and sat down quickly on the edge of Kurt's bed. "Oh, baby, it's all right," she said, stroking his forehead and kissing him on the cheek. "It's all right. Sh, don't cry." She pried the ballet slippers out of his arms and put them on his nightstand.
"Mine," Kurt whimpered. "Mine, Mommy, mine."
"They're next to your lamp, sweetheart," she said. "Burt, can you hand me his pajamas? They're in his dresser."
"Sure," he said. He rummaged around in the top drawer before he found a matched pair and handed them over to his wife.
Mollie slipped Kurt's gloves and scarf off and set them aside. "He likes his present," she said softly.
Burt stood at the foot of Kurt's twin bed as Mollie unbuttoned Kurt's coat. "I hoped he would," he said. "Maybe it'll make up for the football I bought him for his last birthday."
Mollie unlaced Kurt's shoes and handed them to Burt. He put them in the closet as she untied his bow tie. "You'll have to buy him, I don't know, a pony or something to make up for that disappointment," she said. "You knew he wanted that doll."
"Yeah, well…I guess I should've listened to him," Burt admitted.
Mollie glanced at him over her shoulder, her lips turning up into a soft smile. "Well," she said as she unclipped Kurt's suspenders. "I never thought you would ever confess to that."
Burt slid his hands in his pockets. "I thought a lot about what you said to me," he said quietly.
Mollie unbuttoned Kurt's shirt. "And?" she said.
"And…as much as I hate to say it…you're right," Burt said. He smiled down at his drowsy little boy. "It doesn't matter…what he likes. Or who he loves. He's…he's our baby. He's my kid. I can't just turn my back on him, or try to make him what I want him to be."
Mollie unfastened Kurt's shorts and tugged them off. "I'm glad, Burt," she said softly. She pulled his pajama pants on; he was too sleepy to offer any resistance. "I'm really, really glad."
Burt looked down at his son. "It's not going to be easy, Mollie," he said.
"I know," she said. She brushed her fingers through Kurt's soft hair. "But we love him, and that's what matters." She unfolded his little pajama shirt. "Baby, can you sit up for me?"
She put her hand on his back and helped him up into a sitting position. He slumped forward, yawning with his mouth wide open, as Mollie pulled his shirt over his head and guided his arms through the sleeves. "There, sweetheart," she crooned. "Are you ready to go to bed?"
"Sleepy, Mommy," he whimpered.
"I know, I know," she said. "Say goodnight to Daddy, okay?"
Kurt held his hands out to Burt and he gathered his son into his arms. He ran his big fingers through his four-year-old's hair. "Goodnight, kiddo," he said, his voice suddenly going raspy. He kissed Kurt's soft round cheek. "I love you."
Kurt leaned towards him and pressed his lips to his father's cheek. "Night, Daddy," he yawned.
Burt laid him down carefully while Mollie pulled the blankets back. Kurt curled up as soon as his head hit the pillow. Mollie picked up Kurt's blue blanket and nestled it in the crook of his right arm. He promptly stuck the fingers of his left hand into his mouth and snuggled into his bed. Mollie tucked him in securely.
"Sweet dreams, KK," she said. She smiled and trailed one finger along the round curve of his cheek. "Dream about sugarplum fairies."
"But not the bad mouse guy," Kurt mumbled.
"No, baby, not the bad mouse guy," Mollie said. She smoothed the covers and kissed the tip of his pert nose. "Now go to sleep."
He obediently closed his eyes. Burt reached around Mollie and switched off the bedside lamp. Mollie headed towards the master bedroom, but Burt lingered just a little longer. He gazed at his tiny son for a few minutes longer, then turned on the nightlight and closed the door.
Burt checked his watch and surveyed the lobby. It wasn't like Kurt to be late, but maybe it was just bad traffic or something. He had his hand on his phone and was mentally debating over whether or not he should call when he head someone saying his name.
He looked up to see his son crossing the lobby towards him, his smile bright and wide. "Hi, Dad!" Kurt said cheerfully, throwing his arms around his neck.
"Hey, kiddo," Burt said. "You ready? I've got the tickets."
Kurt clapped. "I'm always ready," he said. "Balcony seats, right?"
"Of course," Burt grinned, placing them in Kurt's hands. "Where's Blaine?"
Kurt glanced over his shoulder. "He was parking the car, but he should be here soon," he said. "Oh! See?"
Blaine walked through the double doors and glanced around for a moment before spotting them. "There you are," he said.
"Hey, Blaine," Burt said, extending his hand. "Good to see you."
Blaine shook his hand. "Good to see you too, sir," he said politely.
"I told you, Blaine, there's no reason to call me 'sir'," Burt said, clapping him on the shoulder. "You're practically family by now." He was rewarded by both boys smiling broadly at him.
"We'd better hurry," Kurt said, grabbing ahold of Blaine's arm. "We don't want to miss the overture."
"Of course not," Blaine smiled. He leaned over and kissed Kurt softly on the cheek. "Let's go before you explode in excitement."
"I am not going to explode," Kurt pouted as Blaine grinned and pinched him lightly.
Burt trailed behind his son and his boyfriend, smiling to himself. Mollie would be proud, he thought. Of both of us.
I don't even know how I got the idea for this. I was just like "grrrr...'Someday You Will Be Loved' is frustrating me terribly and 'Knife Going In' is such an angst fest...grr mutter grr mutter whiiiine, can't I write something fluffy and adorable with a cute baby!Kurt?"
And then I realized...oh, yeah, I could.
So please enjoy the gratuitous amounts of darling baby Kurt. My ovaries are aching now.
I really have fun writing Mollie. I know she's technically an OC, but still. It's fun writing such a highstrung but sweet character. And it's definitely fun writing about someone who can light a fire under Burt's butt. I also try my best to blend in some of Kurt's personality traits in her. I hope I'm successful...
Also, did anyone else notice the brief cameos by baby!Blaine and baby!Quinn. Because they were so totally there.
Oh mah gah. I need to write something about baby!Blaine and baby!Kurt meeting in preschool or something. Wouldn't that be just ridiculous levels of precious? There would be a collective ovary explosion after that.