Blaine Anderson waited in his sleek black BMW crossover, music playing quietly in the background. He heard a familiar tune and smiled, memories of that fateful day at Dalton when he first sang the song flooding through him. He hummed a few bars, fiddling with the dial.
"...let's run away and don't ever look back, don't ever look back..." He quietly sang, turning off the car and getting out, locking it behind him. Blaine pushed his hands in the pockets of his cardigan as he walked down the pavement toward the breezeway, waiting with the other parents his age.
"Hey, Blaine! Have a good weekend?" His friend, Jim, asked him, smiling as Blaine walked toward him. The women standing near Jim looked at Blaine with strange eyes, the way they always did. Though he never said anything, he could tell they were all wishing he were straight and would ask them out. Surprisingly, there were a lot of single mothers in Chicago.
"Afternoon, Jim. Yeah. Quiet weekend with the family. Nothing too over-the-top. We went down to Lima for a small birthday celebration for Kurt's dad, but otherwise...a quiet weekend at the Hummelson household." Both men laughed, and a few of the surrounding women giggled as well, still not understanding that the term Hummelson was just an easy version of Hummel-Anderson. For weeks, he tried to use the hyphenated name, but it was just a mouthful, so like every couple name ever, it became a combination name. When they were dating, Kurt and Blaine were called "Klaine." But ever since they got married and had kids, the nickname "Hummelson" just simplified things. He turned his attention back to the others. Blaine liked to shoot the breeze with other parents, even though sometimes it was awkward and dumb. It was one of those things that he felt most parents took for granted. For the longest time, he never thought about boyfriends, or husbands, or children...until he met Kurt, who changed everything. He chatted idly with the other adults until the bell rang overhead, and the sounds of happy cries filled the air, the doors bursting open like one of the Warbler's impromptu rehearsals. Like every day, children poured out of the opening, rushing out to meet friends and parents. Blaine patiently waited for his two to make their way out, finally spotting one. He smiled when he saw his son, who resembled him in an almost eerie way, the same way Chanel resembled Kurt: identically. Brett walked toward his father, his dark curly hair bouncing slightly with every step he took, his long eyelashes shielding his hazel eyes from the harsh autumn sun. When his eyes found Blaine's, he smiled widely, the same crooked grin he wore himself at that age. Blaine met him halfway.
"Hey, Champ. How was school today?" He asked the six year old, who grinned wider, if possible.
"I drew a picture of our family today in art. See!" Brett proudly held up a crayon drawing of the family of four. Blaine knew most parents just pretended to look, but he always truly looked at whatever his kids showed him. Sure enough, there they were. "See, Dad is a little taller than you, and he likes bow ties, so that's him there," he said, pointing to Kurt. "And there's you, with your big black hair and pink glasses." Blaine laughed when he noticed the pink scribbles that were meant to be his trademark glasses. "And there's me, with hair like you. But my hair isn't as big. And my favorite color is green, so I'm wearing green pants. And there's Chanel, with a pink dress on and long brown hair." Blaine even noticed that Brett had drawn little pink bows into his sister's hair. He smiled wide enough to match his son's.
"It's beautiful. You're such a good artist! I know exactly where this is going when we get home!" He said in a sing-song voice. Brett's face lit up.
"The fridge?" Blaine nodded, opening his mouth to speak, but was silenced by a high-pitched squeal.
"Daddy! Daddy you're here!" Chanel screamed, running as fast as her little legs could go. Blaine opened his arms to catch her, pulling her close.
"Of course I'm here. Where else would I be, Princess?" She giggled, her blue-green eyes sparkling like Kurt's did when he was happy.
"I don't know." Blaine looked at Brett, pulling him into their little circle.
"I love you two."
"Love you too, Daddy." They chimed in together. Sometimes he thought they were twins born at different times. They were always so in sync with each other. He stood up, scooping Chanel in his arms and settling her on his hip, taking hold of Brett's hand with his free one. Brett and Chanel babbled on about their days while Blaine just listened. Brett tripped twice, nearly knocking Blaine over. Luckily, no one managed to kill anyone before they all got buckled into their safety seats, Brett squirming in his.
"But Daddy," he whined. "I'm six now. I'm too big for a booster seat!" Blaine gave him a stern look.
"Brett Alexander Anderson-Hummel, I don't care how old you are, if I say you have to sit in a booster seat, you have to sit in a booster seat." Brett slumped into his seat a little, but kicked his feet.
"Champ, I know it's not fun. But you have to be safe. I don't want my little boy getting hurt, okay? Promise me you'll stay buckled in this time?" Blaine said it with such a sad voice and pouty face that Brett almost looked ashamed.
"Thank you, Champ." He kissed the top of his curly head. He double checked Chanel's harness, and she crossed her arms.
"Daddy, why don't I get kisses?"
"I'm so sorry, Princess. Here. A big kiss for you," he said, dramatically kissing her cheek before closing the door.
The ride home was relatively calm and quiet, but as soon as Blaine opened the door, they let loose. Screaming ensued, and the two children ran up and down the hallway.
"Be careful! Brett, you know you're clumsy! Watch out for the-" but he was interrupted by a crash. Blaine listened for cries, but none came, and Chanel hadn't sprinted in yet, crying, so he knew he was safe. Blaine set out through the house, looking for Kurt.
"Baby, we're home!" He cried, entering the kitchen where Kurt was sitting at the breakfast nook, reading the script for his latest production. He looked up and smiled.
"I know. I could tell. They're not exactly subtle, are they?" Blaine laughed, leaning down and kissing Kurt gently. As he pulled away, he pushed a stray strand of his husband's hair back into place. Their moment was ruined by Brett bounding into the room, unfolding his picture.
"Dad! Look! Look at the picture I drew today!" And he started to point out all the things he pointed out to Blaine. Kurt gasped happily and smiled at Brett.
"I think this should go on the fridge!" He said, and Brett jumped once.
"That's what Daddy said!"
"Here," Kurt began, grabbing a magnet and picking Brett up and settling him on his hip. "Why don't you help me out?" They both stuck it on the refrigerator, among the finger paintings, the macaroni picture frame, and assorted pictures of the kids and a few random shots of Blaine and Kurt together. Blaine looked at one in particular, his favorite, of when they were still at McKinley, on Blaine's first day. Their first day of senior year...
"Oops. Sorry Daddy," Brett apologized as he ran into Blaine's leg. Unfortunately, he inherited Blaine's lack of coordination that he himself had as a child.
"It's all right, Champ. Just watch out, okay?" He nodded, and Blaine turned to Kurt.
"How was your day?" Kurt asked, taking Blaine's hand in his. He never got over the feeling of the soft hand in his, even though they had been married for six years and together for five years before that. It was one of the small things that most people took for granted, but since that day at Dalton when Blaine walked in on Kurt decorating Pavarotti's little casket and told him that he was crazy about him...the day he finally kissed him for the first time...Blaine took Kurt's hand and never let go, afraid that he would allow him to almost slip away again.
"It was fine. Nothing too crazy. Had a meeting with Leo at eleven to talk about the redecoration of the restaurant, and that was interesting," he said as they walked toward their living room and taking a seat on the love seat.
"He didn't throw pasta at the designer this time?"
"No, not this time." They laughed, but Blaine fell silent.
"Nothing, you just...you look really beautiful today. More so than usual. It's the sweater, maybe...or because you've been reading for a while, and when you read, your cheeks turn red and you become breathless, like you can't get enough of whatever you're reading." Kurt blushed a little more. "And that right there...you're so beautiful, Kurt." He smiled, leaning in to kiss him. As always, Blaine sighed at the contact, his chest still tightening pleasantly when he felt Kurt's full pink lips against his.
"I love you so much," Blaine mumbled against the kiss. Kurt pulled away, using his free hand to run his hand across Blaine's stubble-covered jawline.
"I love you too." Blaine opened his mouth to speak, but the sound of small footsteps running toward them stopped him, and he raised his eyebrows as he looked over the back of the love seat. Chanel ran up to them, jumping in Blaine's lap, and the romantic moment was ruined.
"Daddy! Look, look, look! Look at what Dad taught me this morning before school!" Kurt stood to leave, running his hand through Blaine's curls as he did so, calling for Brett.
"Let me see what Dad showed you, Princess." As she settled herself into his lap, he looked at his beautiful daughter, wanting to just pick her up and kiss her and hide her from the world. Of course he loved Brett, there was no doubt about it. He was the coach of his soccer team and the pair of them saw baseball games all the time, and he spoiled his son to no end. But Blaine had a soft spot for Chanel, one he couldn't explain. All his life, Blaine wanted a daughter when he finally had children, even before he realized he was gay. He was hesitant at first, because Chanel was obviously Kurt's daughter biologically and not his, but that's probably what made him love her more. So he watched Chanel look at him with impatient eyes.
"Daddy, are you even watching?" She was definitely Kurt's daughter. She had the same attitude, even at three.
"Of course, darling. Of course. Show me."
"Okay, so do your hands like this," she began, connecting her pointer fingers to her thumbs and twisted them. Blaine messed up on purpose, to make her feel like she was smarter than him.
"No, Daddy. Like this," Chanel said, taking his much larger hand in hers, and he did as she told him. "Kay, so then you do this," and she unhooked her hands. She then wiggled her fingers and flung her hands outward. She waved her hands in the gap between them, then playing with her fingers again. He knew the steps exactly, because he had shown Brett how to do this four years ago. But he still played along like he had never seen the Itsy Bitsy Spider before.
"That's so cool, Princess!"
"There's a song too!"
"Teach me the song!"
"Kay. So, here. Ready?"
"The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again." Blaine shook his head.
"You did it too fast. You're too good. Can you show me again? I'll sing it with you." She nodded, giggling.
"The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout," they sang slowly. "Down came the rain and washed the spider out. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again." Blaine grinned.
"I did it!"
"Yay, Daddy!" Chanel clapped, and Blaine grabbed her, hugging her tightly.
"You're such a good teacher, Chanel!"
"Thank you, Daddy."
"You are welcome, Princess." She kissed him on the forehead, and he kissed her right back, a big sloppy kiss. She wiped it away with the back of her hand, giggling. He pretended to be offended.
"You don't want your Daddy to kiss you?"
"That was a gross kiss, Daddy."
"I'm sorry. Can I try again?" She nodded, and Blaine gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
"That's better, Daddy."
"Come on, Princess, let's go see what Dad and Brett are doing."
"Mkay," she said, playing with the necklace he was wearing, the one he always wore. "Daddy?"
"Why do I have two daddies? A lot of kids at school have a mommy and a daddy." Blaine sighed. They figured this day would come soon, but he and Kurt had not talked about it a lot. Brett was easy. He just asked and let it go, accepting it. But Chanel was far too inquisitive for a simple, "because I love him" answer.
"Chanel, you have two daddies because we love each other. When I first met Dad, we were young, and a lot of people didn't want us to be together."
"Because you're two boys?"
"Yes. Because we're two boys. And for a long time, we couldn't get married. But I love your dad a lot. I mean, a lot a lot. So we waited and got married when other people would allow us to, and then we had Brett. And then we had you." She nodded, but Blaine could see the cogs turning in her head.
"How did you and Dad meet?"
"We were in high school, and Dad didn't go to my school. He went somewhere else. And one day, he came to spy on my school, and that's when I met him. He was trying to act like he went to my school, but I knew he wasn't. And I sang to him that day for the very first time."
"Really? So you both sang back then too?"
"Yep. And we sang a lot after that."
"Cool!" She fell silent for a few brief moments as he walked upstairs to find Kurt and Brett. "You love him a lot, don't you, Daddy?"
"I love Dad very much."
"I can tell."
"How's that, Princess?"
"The way you look at him. And you smile a lot. I've seen some daddies who don't ever smile. It's so sad."
"That is sad, honey." They found them in Brett's room, talking and drawing. He set Chanel down.
"Whatcha doin?" Chanel asked. She was always so full of questions.
"Drawing. You wanna draw with me? I have a pink crayon. I know it's your favorite color," Brett offered. He was a really good big brother to her, Blaine thought as he sat down on the floor with Kurt, one of his knees popping loudly. One of his hands found Kurt's again, and he smiled, thinking there was no place he would rather be than here on the floor, drawing with his husband and children.
The rest of the night was relatively quiet compared to usual, but of course, bedtime was a completely different story. Of course, that was when the children decided to be incredibly hyper, and neither Kurt nor Blaine could keep up with them. Chanel ran in and out of her room in nothing but her underwear. Brett jumped on his bed despite Kurt's warnings of spanking him if he didn't stop. Finally, as he sat on his own bed with his chin in his hands, Blaine noticed a thin book on his bookshelf that hadn't been opened for years. He grinned, grabbing it and standing in the hall.
"Who wants to hear a story?" Both kids stopped where they were, causing Kurt to nearly topple over his son.
"I do! I do! I do!"
"Okay, but you guys have to get into your pajamas and brush your teeth before I read to you!" They both ran to their rooms, throwing on whatever they could find that their fathers would deem appropriate as pajamas. Kurt walked toward Blaine, his eyes on the book.
"What- oh. I forgot about that completely. Do you think they'll be fans like we were?" Blaine snorted, shaking his head.
"Please. They're our children. I'm pretty sure the love is genetic." Kurt shrugged in approval. At that moment, both children came bounding into their room.
"Did you two brush your teeth?" They nodded, but neither were convinced. "Fine. Come on. You two get to listen in here tonight." Kurt helped them onto the bed, him sitting in the middle with his back against the wall, a child on either side of him. Blaine sat at the foot of the bed, his calloused fingers flipping though the pages until he found the desired story.
"What story are we reading, Daddy?" Kurt asked.
"It's called 'The Tale of the Three Brothers.' It's my favorite bedtime story. You guys ready?" They nodded and Blaine caught Kurt's eye before turning his attention back to the book, stopping momentarily, his heart stopping pleasantly. "'There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight-'"
"Midnight, honey." Blaine glared at him. "What? It's spookier if you say midnight."
"'...A lonely, winding road at midnight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure.'" He looked back up at them, and Chanel was already beginning to drift off, her little eyelids drooping slightly over her large blue-green eyes. Brett, however, was wide awake, hanging onto every word.
"'And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travelers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic, and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him.
"'So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother.'" Blaine noticed that Chanel was fast asleep. Whenever he read to her, she was always out within the first few moments. He sometimes liked to think that his voice had magic powers against her. Brett wasn't as alert as he had been, but he was still nowhere close to Chanel. Kurt ran his hand over his head soothingly, hoping to make him sleepy.
"'Then the second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead.
"'And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And Death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.
"'Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way, and they did so, talking with the wonder of the adventure they had had, and admiring Death's gifts.'" Brett began sagging against Kurt, his eyelids sliding down over his brown eyes a little more.
"'In due course the brothers separated, each for his own destination.
"'The first brother traveled on for a week or more, and reaching a distant village, sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel. Naturally, with the Elder Wand as his weapon, he could not fail to win the duel that followed. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible.
"'That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed. The thief took the wand and, for good measure, slit the oldest brother's throat.
"'And so Death took the first brother for his own.
"'Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him.
"'Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as to truly join her.
"'And so Death took the second brother for his own.'" Brett's eyes were closed, but Blaine continued reading, just in case.
"'But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.' The end." Blaine finished quietly, closing the book. Both he and Kurt were afraid to move so they wouldn't disturb the children.
"I love that story," Kurt whispered.
"Me too. I had forgotten how dark it was though. Do you think they minded?" Kurt laughed softly.
"Chanel was out after the first five lines, and Brett seemed to enjoy it." Blaine nodded, moving from his place at the foot of the bed to pick Brett up and carry him to his room. As he was tucking him in, he stirred a little, opening his hazel eyes once, then closing them again sleepily.
"Night, Brett. I love you," he said, kissing his son's dark curls. As he walked away, he heard Brett mumble back an "I love you," hardly coherent enough, but Blaine smiled as he heard it. He turned the light off and quietly walked toward his bedroom, lying on the bed face down. Blaine heard Kurt reenter, but didn't get up. He felt him lay down on the bed next to him, and Blaine turned his head to face his husband, seeing his eyebrows raised.
"Tired already? It's only seven-thirty."
"I know," he mumbled back. "But they wear me out. You'd think after six years I'd be used to it by now..."
"Maybe if you didn't let them climb all over you like a jungle gym..."
"Hey, now. They love it. I love it. My parents were never...like us. They didn't spend a lot of time with me as a child. I was raised by a nanny. I want our kids to have the relationship with us that I didn't have. You're lucky. You had Burt growing up. I know it was really hard, not having your mom, but still...I want to be like your dad was." Kurt stroked Blaine's hair, his hand running down his cheek. Blaine turned his face to kiss Kurt's knuckles, rolling around onto his back.
"I know. Trust me, I know." Both of them fell silent, off in their own little worlds. Blaine thought absentmindedly about the possibility of opening a second restaurant on the other side of town. He'd talk to Leo about it the next day. He looked back at Kurt, who was taking his shoes off. "Your birthday's next week." Blaine sat up.
"Unless you decided to change it from September 28th, then yes." Blaine narrowed his eyes at him.
"Wow. I'll be thirty. That's...wow."
"I know. You're so old-" but before he could say anything else, Blaine had grabbed a pillow and hit him with it. "Hey!"
"I am not old. You turn thirty in May. So don't even try to call me old. Besides...you like that I'm older than you." One of Kurt's eyebrows was raised.
"Oh really? And when did I ever tell you that?"
"Prom, our senior year. We were about to make love for the first time and you were nervous, and for some reason, I wasn't, even though I had no clue what I was doing. I told you that you had nothing to worry about, that I'll always love you, no matter what, and that I will always think you're beautiful. And you told me that you're glad I'm older, because I had a calming effect on you, and I always appeared that I knew what I was doing, even if I didn't." Kurt now had both eyebrows raised.
"Wow. What an impeccable memory. I'm impressed Blaine Anderson."
"Yeah, well...I try." He hit Kurt with the pillow again, but Kurt grabbed one and it turned into a full-fledged pillow fight. It didn't last long, however, because Kurt didn't want the pillows to explode and get goose feathers everywhere. Chests heaving from laughing, both of them fell back onto the bed.
"Hm?" He turned to face Kurt again.
"You're adorable." Blaine smiled.
"You're perfect." He leaned in and kissed Kurt gently, his heart still beating fast from the pillow fight. Kurt sighed loudly against Blaine's lips, making Blaine reach a hand between them and cup Kurt's face, holding him there. He often wondered why he did that. He knew Kurt wasn't going anywhere. Kurt bit his lower lip, his tongue grazing Blaine's. They parted, both staring into the other's eyes.
"I love you, Blaine." He smiled, hand resting on Kurt's hip.
"I love you too, Kurt. I always will."