Title: proud to say you're mine
Inspiration: Oh, Kale just grabbed on and wouldn't let go. XD
Disclaimer: I don't own anything you recognize. ^^
Notes: This is a companion piece to Like Father, Like Son. This is becoming a 'verse for me. :]
Kurt hurries through the doors of Princeton High School, not exactly sure what to expect. When the principal had contacted and told him that he needed to pick Kale up, his immediate question was why. Kale was not a problem student in the least. He charmed his teachers easily and only ever got in trouble for minor things: talking too much in class, the occasional tardy… Perhaps he had climbed to the roof of the building once or twice, just to see if he could. Only that last infraction has required the principal's involvement and even than the older man had more or less laughed it off with a sort of understanding nature. But Dr. Wilson sounded far more serious than the "Well, Mr. Hummel-Anderson, from what I can gather the entire boys' soccer team went up there…" call. Upon Kurt's question, the principal revealed that Kale had gotten into a fight with another student. And not a shouting-shoving deal but a full on punching and grappling and rolling on the floor sort of altercation.
And that… That is just not his Kale. He's angry, of course, because he and Blaine did that proper bit of parenting; told their son that violence was not the way. Underneath the anger and everything though, there's concern. Kurt's worried because that proper bit of parenting sunk in. Kale wasn't one to fight or shove or even really get into any confrontations. So what got his son get into this mess?
After a brief conversation with the secretary, Kurt is permitted to the principal's office. The first thing he sees is Kale: slumped into one of the chairs opposite Dr. Wilson's desk, his face schooled into a brood, with eyebrows low and mouth scowling, his hair even more tousled than usual. But Kurt doesn't really register anything beyond the split lower lip, the bruise along the left side of his jaw, the abrasion resting on his right cheekbone.
"Kale!" Kurt exclaims, panic shooting through his system. "Jesus, what happened?" He moves to his son, tipping his face toward him for a better look. Kale jerks away from his hand though, wincing at the move. He mutters something moodily that seems to be an assurance that he's fine.
"Mr. Hummel-Anderson," the principal interrupts, face grave. "I'm sorry to have to call you from work."
Kurt shakes his head in response and is only just able to turn his eyes from his son to the administrator. "What happened?"
Dr. Wilson purses his lips and offers a shrug. He knows the Hummel-Andersons well enough. Princeton High was small for a public school and Kale has been on the varsity soccer team since freshman year while Kurt and Blaine do as much as they can for volunteering for the school. "I can't be sure, entirely," he answers, pausing to glance at Kale briefly. "It seems your son got into an argument with another student in the hall during passing time. According to other students and a teacher who was nearby, Kale threw the first punch and things escalated until security was able to separate them."
Kurt shakes his head in disbelief, rubbing fingers over his temple. "Jesus, Kale," he breathes out. He turns to look at the teen then but Kale won't meet his eyes, just stares at his own feet. "What started all this, bud?"
Kale just gives a scoff and tosses his head to the side, not giving any answer. Kurt feels frustration bubble within him but he knows that it's only in response to the fear and the worry. He turns his attention to the principal, relaying the question to him, but the older man can only frown.
"All Kale told the security officers was that the other boy made some insulting remarks toward him. None of the other students heard what was said, though. Or, at least, none are willing to come clean."
Kurt rolls his eyes softly, nodding his understanding. Yeah, that sounds like typical high school kids to him… And he's sure that before the period is over there will be seven different version of what happened floating through the halls. Sighing, he presses his lips together and asks, "All right well… What will the punishment be?"
Dr. Wilson frowns as he answers. "I do hate to do this. Kale is a good student and has never given us much trouble before. Unfortunately there are no exceptions to this rule: any physical confrontation on school grounds results in two days' suspension."
Kale reacts immediately, surging forward in his seat. "What? That's bullshit, Dr. Dub!"
"Kale!" Kurt admonishes, brow knitting together as he watches his son. The tension remains in his shoulders a moment before he gives up the fight, slinking back low in the chair, muttering, "Well, it is."
"I am sorry, Kale," Dr. Wilson replies. To Kurt, "The other student involved is receiving the same punishment of course.
"Of course," Kurt repeats on the end of a sigh, still watching Kale. The boy looks even further upset now, spots of red blooming over his pale cheeks and his arms crossed tightly over his chest. Kurt notices what he hadn't before: bloody knuckles. Taking in a slightly shaky inhale, he looks back to the principal. "Can I take him home now?"
"Yes, of course. You'll just need to sign him out at the front desk."
Kurt is just about to thank the other man when Kale interrupts, straightening up in his seat. "Can I at least see if Michelle is all right?"
"I was told Miss McCarty only had a minor sprain in her wrist and that the nurse is tending to her."
Kurt's brow deepens as he glances between Dr. Wilson and his son. "Michelle was involved?"
Kale chews on the inside of his cheek a moment before answering. "Not really. Guy shoved me after I punched him and I knocked her over. She fell into the lockers and hurt her wrist."
Kurt sighs and shakes his head. This just got more and more complicated. "All right," he murmurs, rubbing at his forehead. "All right, Kale, c'mon. You can call Michelle later on tonight."
Kale looks like he's going to fight that a moment but gives in eventually. Rising, he hefts his bag over his shoulder and walks out without another word, leaving Kurt and Dr. Wilson standing there. The principal offers Kurt a sympathetic look and his hand. Kurt takes it, saying, "I'm sorry about this, Dr. Wilson. I… I'll talk to him. And I'm sure this won't happen again."
"I don't expect it to. I was shocked when I found Kale waiting to be called into my office for fighting. I just hope everything is all right. And please, let me know if there's anything I can do to help."
Kurt nods his thanks before taking leave. Kale is leaning against the wall just outside the room, waiting for him. Kurt drops a hand to his son's shoulder and leads him to the parking lot. The car ride home is silent. Kale just stares out the passenger side window while Kurt aborts several ways to start this conversation. Eventually he decides to just leave it until they get home; give Kale some time to settle his thoughts and everything. Kale, however, has other plans. The minute they step inside, the teen heads for his room.
"Whoa there, bud," Kurt calls out, catching up. "Where do you think you're going?"
Kale stops but doesn't turn, just bounces on the balls of his feet. (Kurt remembers vaguely that it's something he's done since he was little kid.) His hand tightens over the strap of his book-bag as he speaks. "Dad… Just… I know, okay? Can we just… We will talk. I know we have to, just… Can we do it later? Please?" There's a desperate strain to Kale's voice that makes Kurt ache a little.
Kurt considers that a moment before letting his shoulders drop. "All right," he agrees. "All right. We'll wait till your Pops comes home, yes?"
Kale nods and takes a step for his room. He stops at the last minute though, turning on his heel and walking deliberately to his father. He gathers Kurt up in a hug, pressing his face to his dad's chest. "Thank you, Dad. I'm sorry about this," he says softly.
Kurt lets out a long sigh and puts a hand to his son's curls. "S'all right, Kale. We'll figure it out when Pops gets here." He takes Kale by the shoulders then, holding him out a little and assessing his face. "Are you okay? Need anything for any of…that?" He winces a little as he takes a good look at the damage done to his son's face.
Kale just shakes his head though, waving it off. "Nah, I'm all right." He shifts a moment before looking up at Kurt through his lashes. "D'you think Pops'll be mad?"
Kurt sighs before shaking his head. "No. I think he'll just be like me: worried. Curious. Maybe a little angry."
Kale chews on his cheek at that but nods. "All right," is all he says, softly, before turning back for his room.
"I love you!" Kurt calls to him suddenly.
"I love you back," comes Kale's reply and Kurt can hear the half-smile on his lips.
Once he hears the music go on in Kale's room (Journey of all things. That's his Uncle Finn's influence…), Kurt calls Blaine and explains what has happened. Blaine speaks in quick, panicked questions and changes his mind five different times about coming home early. Kurt eventually gets him to calm down and promise that he'll come home at the usual time before spending until that "usual time" mostly worrying and being curious. At some point, the music clicks off in Kale's room and he can hear the soft buzz of a conversation; Kale calling Michelle no doubt.
Kurt's relieved when Blaine comes through the door if for no other reason than that he can't stop going through all the possible scenarios. By now he's fairly convinced that the fight must have had something to do with Michelle; he's just not sure what. Either way, he and Blaine share a brief kiss, Blaine squeezes his hand gently, and then they move to Kale's room together. Blaine raps on the door. "Open up, bud. Time to talk."
The door opens and Kale is standing there, looking a little apprehensive. Blaine makes a pained noise at the sight of his face. "Yikes, Kale."
Kale swallows a chuckle and shrugs. "Yeah, well… You should see the other guy," he jokes half-heartedly. Blaine smirks a little and ruffles his son's hair a little before slipping into the room, Kurt following. They sit on the bed and Kale moves to sit between them without hesitation.
"It's what he said," Kale begins before either of them can prompt him. "The other guy, I mean. Brian Fellows. He's a senior and I guess he's got a thing for Michelle or something and he's always sort of had it out for me because he didn't make varsity until last year and I've been playing since freshman year… Something stupid like that. Anyway, I was just at my locker, joking around with Michelle and then he comes up and he's like… It's like he's saying stuff like it's a joke, but we could all tell he meant it underneath?" Kale looks from Kurt to Blaine, unsure of his explanation.
"What do you mean?" Kurt prompts, still sort of seething that kids could hate each other over something as stupid as a spot on the varsity team. He thought high school would have changed since he graduated but apparently not.
"Just like… 'Oh, Michelle, what're you doing with Kale? You know I could show you a better time.' Stupid stuff like that. And I don't really care 'cause, like, whatever, right? So I'm just laughing with him, like I'm in on the joke but Michy got pissed and told him to just fuck off. And then…" Kale swallows then, looking fixedly on the ground. "And then he said he was surprised that we had kept up the act for so long. He said it was obvious that I wasn't into girls since I had two…" He stops all together then, making a little choking noise and shaking his head. He looks at both of his fathers in turn then, face broken. "I can't even say that word, you know. It literally makes me sick to my stomach…"
Blaine looks over Kale's ducked head to meet eyes with Kurt. Judging by their expressions, this was not what either of them was expecting. Putting a sturdy hand to Kale's shoulder, Blaine says, "Hey, bud... It's all right—"
Kale looked up fiercely at that. "No! It's not all right, Pops! It's like—Fuck, I don't care what he was saying about me; everyone knows he's a tool and that I love Michy and she knows that and that's all that matters but he's not allowed to talk about you! Not like that. I couldn't let him just call you guys… Call you that, like he knows you or something, or like he has any right to…" Kale shook his head violently, a hand shoving through his curls. "And then he said it again and I don't even remember punching him, really. I just remember thinking that no one was allowed to talk about you like that, Papa." He turns from Blaine to Kurt then and Kurt can see there are angry tears in his eyes, "That no one pushes the Hummels around, Daddy."
Kurt nods and pulls his son to him. He's seventeen, but Kale hugs onto him tight, tucking his face into his father's neck. Blaine slides closer and puts a hand to the middle of Kale's back, takes the hand that Kale blindly reaches out. The family sits like that, all connected together. Kale shudders, but doesn't cry, between Kurt and Blaine while they take turns pushing at his curls and rubbing his back and murmuring "It's okay"s, "you're fine"s to him. Blaine can remember doing this so many nights, a decade ago, when a tiny Kale would appear in a shaft of light from the hall, hesitating in the threshold but needing his Daddy and his Papa to chase away bad dreams.
Kale gives a hiccup and Kurt flinches from the sound because Kale hiccups when he's trying not to cry. "Kale," he says on an exhale, "I'm sorry for this…"
Kale shoves Kurt away then and shakes his head furiously. "No! No, you're not— Fuck. I mean, don't apologize for this. I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry because…" He takes in a breath and glances between Kurt and Blaine, almost smiling. "Because you guys are the best dads— the best parents I could ask for. I don't care who or what you're attracted to… As long as you love me and you love each other." He finished with a little nod, eyes on the floor and a light blush on his cheeks. "And no one ever gets to make fun of you for it."
Both Kurt and Blaine were quiet for a moment, eyes on each other. Then Blaine ducks in, kisses his son's cheek like he knows he hates. And as Kale is scrubbing over-dramatically at his cheek and groaning "Awww, Papa…" Kurt ruffles his hair harshly so that the curls are completely out of sorts. "You guys!" Kale whines. Kurt laughs, clear and free and Blaine smirks a little before joining. "I take it back!" Kale protests, trying to fix all his wayward curls. "I take it all back! I hate you! You're the worst parents ever!" But he's laughing as he says it and when he falls back on his bed, his bruised and cut face is smiling wide.
AN: Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know, please. ^^