He cries. And cries, and cries, and cries. And then cries some more.
He is two days old.

Newborn babies are sorta ugly.
Except Kurt. Kurt is soft, and his skin is a bit splotchy but so... so beautiful.
He's got big eyes, watery and clear, and he's read on his Elizabeth's books that he can't see much (if at all) right now, but he can't help but think that the kid can see right into his soul, read him like a magazine.
And Kurt's hands. They take his breath away. Those crinkled and tiny fingers wrap around just one of his big and rough ones, and just like that he can feel his stomach droping to his knees.

The second he holds his son on his arms, he knows he's never loved anything in his enire life the way he loves this pink, small, soft person.

Burt (Burt Hummel who's used to being one of those big, tough guys) spends hours tracing his baby boy's fingers with reverence, and kissing his feet, and running his nose up and down the soft flesh on the baby's tummy; he spends entire days pressing his ear to the baby's back, feeling him breathe.

(Kurt can't remember.)

:::...:::

Puck is a good guy.
He is just kind of an asshole, too.
And, also, he's Quinn's baby daddy.

Kurt wishes that made him want the boy any less.

:::...:::

He's tired, and cranky, and he ends up spilling his guts to his best friend.

(Mercedes is empathic and sympathetic about the entire inappropriately crushing on Noah Puckerman ordeal. She is there for him, and doesn't try to give him any kind of unwanted advice. She just feeds him Ben&Jerry's, and holds him for long periods of time, running her warm soothing hands over all his sensitive spots with practiced ease.

No one else notices, and for a week or two, it feels like it is –once again- them against the world, hand in hand and arm in arm and blending translucent white with luscious brown.)

:::...:::

And it would all be fine and dandy, if it wasn't for the fact that Puck's being so damn nice to Kurt. So... Sodecent. So great, and so different from the Noah Puckerman that used to throw him into dumpsters, and place his big calloused hands on Kurt's shoulders to push him (over the edge) against lockers, and walls, and doors.

It would all be freaking okay, if it wasn't for Quinn looking like the sky's brightest star, all beauty and motherhood, and the earth's miracles coming out of her pores. All flawless impending doom.

It would all be amazing, if only he could stop hating Quinn for being pregnant, and pretty, and perfect, and Puck's. And stop loving Puck, despite being Quinn's.

(He doesn't ever notice Quinn's lingering eyes on his back, her hands splayed on her stomach, rubbing quiet cricles as she hums to her bump and looks at him in a way that talks about knowledge and wisdom; a way that screams i know this perfect little secret, and i'm holding on to it; i'm cherishing it and keeping it with me, between my lips, and just under my tongue.)

;:::...:::

He introduces Carole Hudson to his father, under the delusion that that will get him more time with Finn, and thus, he'll finally start feeling all the proper things he should feel when he looks at the taller teen. All those things he wants, and can't get.

Burt and Carole look at each other, and Kurt feels his stomach churning a bit painfully; he knows they are right for each other, when they shake hands and they both look like they've been struck by something wide and unexpected.

:::...:::

There's fighting, and there's screaming, and there's Finn being an homophobe towards him; and then, there's his father yelling at Finn, and telling him in no uncertain terms that he's no longer welcome in the Hummel household.

Kurt's plan? Doesn't really work.

(Finn tries to redeem himself by means of wearing a red shower curtain and telling Karofsky and Azimio to lay off of him.

It is a sweet gesture, and Kurt can almost forgive him. But when Finn reaches out towards him, he finds himself backing away. He simply doesn't want to have those hands on him.

Not yet. And perhaps not ever.

Needless to say, Kurt gives up on the Finn thing.)

:::...:::

Regionals come, and even though they know their chances of actually winning are close to none, they put on their best performance so far. They are fire, and they burn everyone to the core with their intensity. They're amazing.

Three minutes after performing, Quinn's water breaks.

Beth is the single most perfect human being Kurt's ever seen.
Everyone knows, when they watch Shelby Corcoran hug a shaking Quinn, that Beth won't be theirs.
It hurts.

:::...:::

The school year is ending, and Kurt hopes that with it, everything else will just go away, too.

And, yes, by 'else' he means his convoluted, screwed up feelings.

However, nothing in his life ever goes out as it is intended to, and when he's walking towards his Navigator on the last day before summer break, he notices that Puck's sitting on the hood of his ride, looking like someone out of a fashion magazine's ad, carefree and gorgeous. And staring right at him, with an indistinguishable look on his eyes, intense and final.

Puck looks like someone who's made up their mind, someone who knows clearly and without the shadow of a doubt what they want.

And Kurt suddenly stands still, hands on the strap of his bag. Because it can't be.

Puck (Noah) smirks at him, and when he gets tired of waiting for Kurt, he just raises up from the hood and starts walking towards Kurt, hands tucked inside his (faded and fairly disgusting) jeans' pockets.

When the broader teen reaches him, his smirk softens at the edges, and he takes one of his big dark hands out of his pocket to place it on top of Kurt's right one.

"'Sup, Hummel?" He mumbles, and then "Give me a ride?"

And then he's lacing their fingers and pulling.

:::...:::

Some people still treat him like he's sick, like he's something polluted, something that should be broken down, and thown out. Some people still refuse to touch him, afraid of catching the gay.

But it doesn't really matter anymore. Because there's other people, people who care, who reach out for him.

(Noah touches Kurt like he is made out of gold, like he's this wonderful thing he can't ever get enough from; kisses him deep and slow and dirty, and bites and licks every nook and cranny of his body.)

:::...:::