Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me. Neither does "Born This Way," it belongs to Lady Gaga.
Mollie Hummel hummed under her breath as she fiddled with the bottles of nail polish on her vanity, but she frowned as she glanced down at her fingernails. She had painted them last night, a pretty shell pink color, but already they were chipped and streaked with remnants of watercolor paint from teaching elementary art classes all day. "I dread the day we start the clay unit," she said aloud.
It really was too bad. She spent all summer painting her nails different colors- buttercup yellow, seafoam green, faint lavender- only to have her handiwork go to waste as soon as the school year started again.
Kurt would be disappointed. He had watched her avidly last night while she painted her nails, fascinated by the deep rosy pink color, and begged her to do his. She had laughed and obliged, painting his tiny fingernails in detailed brushstrokes, while Burt just shook his head and ruffled Kurt's hair.
Mollie tilted her head to the side, listening carefully. She had expected Kurt to come home from his first day of the first grade excited and bubbly, but he had trudged into her classroom during dismissal with his head hanging down, and didn't answer any of her questions. That wasn't like Kurt. She had hoped that maybe he was just tired from being back in a classroom, but she was beginning to think that wasn't the problem.
She slipped down out of the room and walked down the hall to Kurt's bedroom. It was strangely quiet, but she could hear the soft squeak-squeak of a magic marker. She tapped his door open and peeked inside.
Her six-year-old son sat on the floor with a black marker in his hand, sniffling back tears as he scribbled furiously over his fingernails. "Kurt?" she said softly. "What's wrong, honey?"
Startled, Kurt jumped and dropped the uncapped marker, making a small black dot on the cream-colored carpet. "I just...I had a really bad day, Mommy," he confessed, his chin wobbling.
Mollie sat down beside him on the floor and he immediately crawled into her lap, tucking up his knees and burying his face in the crook of her neck. "Tell me what happened, KK," she said, stroking his slender back.
Kurt twined his fingers in her long soft hair; the black ink smeared over his fingernails looked strange and out of place on his small hands. "They made fun of me," he said, his shoulders hitching with pent-up sobs. "They said my voice was funny, and…and that my clothes were stupid…and…and that…that only girls painted their nails, and that if I was a girl, then I was a really ugly girl, and I-"
Mollie pulled him into her arms, cradling him against her shoulder as he burst into tears. Kurt bawled into her shoulder, gripping the fabric of her dress tightly, and she smoothed his hair. "You did have a bad day," she said softly. She kissed him on the ear. "It's all right, baby. It's okay to cry about it."
Kurt cried hard, his little body shaking. Mollie rocked him gently as she huddled over him on the floor of his bedroom. She knew Kurt was different from other kids his age, she knew he was probably going to have a rough time, but she had still hoped that her sweet, sunny little boy would be able to win people over. Apparently that was not that case.
The full-blown sobs slowly died down to soft shaky sniffles. Mollie kissed Kurt's warm forehead. "A little better now?" she asked. Kurt nodded against her neck.
She shifted Kurt so that he was facing her. His brilliant eyes were red-rimmed and his fair cheeks were blotchy. Mollie picked up one of his hands. "Did you color your nails black because you didn't want the bigger kids to make fun of you?" she asked. Kurt nodded. "But you didn't do it because you wanted to. You don't like the black, you like the pink."
Kurt nodded, tears beginning to well up again, and she kissed him quickly on the cheek. "It's all right, KK," she soothed. "I can fix it. That's what mommies are for."
She scooted him off her lap and stood up, holding out her hand. Kurt linked his little fingers through hers. "What are you going to do, Mommy?" he asked as she walked with him down the hall.
"Something special," Mollie said. She picked him up and set him on the counter of her vanity, then sat down at the little chair. Kurt watched with interest, still sniffling a little, as she dug around the top drawer and pulled out a bottle of lavender liquid and several cotton balls. "Now, tell me about the good things that happened today. What happened after Daddy and I walked you to your classroom this morning?"
"Well, I had to put my backpack away, and I didn't know where, but I have a cubby and it has my name on it, 'cept it was spelled wrong, it says 'Curt' with a 'c', but I can read, and I knew it wasn't my name, so Miss Avery's gonna fix it," Kurt said. Mollie poured a little bit of nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and dabbed it on Kurt's little fingernails. "Ooh, Mommy, it's cold!" He wrinkled his pert nose. "And it smells funny."
"Don't worry about it, just keep telling me about your day," she said.
Kurt wriggled on his perch and went back to his story. Mollie worked slowly and patiently over her son's small hands, cleaning away the layers of black marker ink and stained pink nail polish, balancing his little palms over hers.
"…and then Miss Avery made everybody else go outside for dismissal, 'cept me, and I got to go down to your classroom," he said. He heaved a heavy sigh. "Mommy, it was a long day."
"I know, sweet boy," she smiled. She tossed the last cotton ball in the trash can. "Now, look at your hands."
Kurt raised his hands and beamed. "Mommy, they're all clean again," he said. "No black. It was icky."
"Yes, it was," she agreed. She slid her tray of nail polishes towards him. "Now. Pick a color."
Kurt's mouth dropped open. "But…but Mommy…the bigger kids…" he started to protest.
"I know," Mollie said serenely. "Pick any color you like."
Kurt bit his knuckle in concentration as he studied the rows of colored little bottles; Mollie smiled and brushed his hair back from his forehead. "That one," he said finally, pulling out a little vial of iridescent blue-green.
"That is a perfect choice," she said. "It matches your eyes perfectly."
"Really?" Kurt said. He leaned towards the mirror, bumping his forehead against the clean cool surface, pulling at his cheeks, still softly freckled from a summer of playing outside. "Mommy, are my eyes pretty? Because that color is pretty."
"Your eyes are beautiful," she told him. She took one of his hands and stroked a thin layer of polish over his thumbnail.
Kurt turned back around and watched her in rapt silence as she covered his nails in the brilliant blue-green. "Mommy?" he ventured quietly.
"Yes, darling," she said.
"What if they make fun of me tomorrow?"
Mollie bowed her head over his small hand, fragile and soft in hers. "Then you will tell them that there is nothing, nothing at all, that's wrong with you," she said. "You will tell them that you're perfect. And if they ask you who told you that, you'll tell them that your mama did." She covered his thumbnail lightly in the iridescent blue. "You were just born this way."
Kurt smiled at her, a bright sunshiny smile that made the ache in her heart lessen just a little. He's going to be okay, she told herself. He's a little fighter.
She painted his fingernails lightly, adding a second coat of color and a shiny topcoat. "There," she said at last. "Take a look at that."
He held out his hands and wiggled his fingers in the afternoon sunlight streaming through the window. "It's perfect," he said, beaming. "Mommy, it's so pretty."
"Just like you," she said, tickling his sides lightly.
He giggled. "Mommy, I want to make you prettier too," he said. He picked up a bottle of violet-red nail polish. "Can I paint your fingers? Please? Can I?"
"No, I can't wear nail polish and teach art classes," she said ruefully, looking at the lurid green and yellow streaks on her shell-pink polish. Kurt looked crestfallen. "But maybe we can play with some of my makeup, hm?"
Kurt brightened. "Yes!" he said, immediately reaching for her compact of eyeshadows. "This one, Mommy, please, wear this one!"
Mollie laughed and obediently brushed on a layer of sparkly champagne-colored shadow, the sort of shade she saved for special events. Kurt leaned in close to watch her in the mirror, his round cheek nearly pressed against hers. She picked up her mascara and twirled it expertly on her long lashes, making him gasp.
"Do you want to try?" she asked, holding up the wand. Kurt nodded eagerly and scooted closer. Mollie dipped it again and tilted his chin. "Look up to heaven," she told him. Kurt obeyed, and she moved the brush lightly over his lashes.
He blinked furiously, his long sooty-black eyelashes brushing against his cheeks. "It tickles!" he said.
She laughed. "Look how long your lashes are," she said. "All the girls will be so jealous of you."
Kurt sat up proudly and preened at his reflection in the mirror. "I am awfully pretty," he informed Mollie.
"And so humble," she said. She squeezed his knees. "Are we done with our makeovers?"
"No, no, not yet!" he said. He rummaged through her collection of lipsticks, popping off the tops of the tubes and tossing them aside until he came across a shade of brilliant scarlet. "Mommy. You have to wear this one."
"I have to?" she teased. "All right, all right, put it on me."
Kurt leaned close, frowning in concentration and poking his little tongue out of the corner of his mouth as he carefully applied the lipstick to his mother's lips. She held still for the painstakingly slow process. "There," he said.
Mollie grinned at her reflection in the mirror. The shade of red made her look a bit like an overpriced hooker (it had not been one of her better color selections) but at least it was fun to dress up. "Good job," she praised.
"Now me, Mommy, now me," Kurt begged.
She took his pointed little chin in her hand and set the lipstick against his bottom lip as he opened his mouth. Carefully she slicked the vivid red over his pale pink lips, half-smiling to herself. "Now rub your lips together," she told him.
He did and opened his mouth with a smack, then laughed at his reflection. "Mommy, I look like you!" he said.
Mollie smiled at their reflections. Under the makeup, they really did look alike- the same soft hair, the same vivid eyes edged in thick dark lashes, the same fair skin. "And you are beautiful," she told him. She cupped his chin and kissed his soft babyish lips, smearing their lipstick. "Now, I think that little boys that finished their very first day of first grade deserve a treat, and I happen to know that there is some Neapolitan ice cream in the freezer. Do you know of any little first grade boys who would like some?"
"Me!" Kurt said, flinging his arms around her neck. "Me! Please, Mommy!"
She laughed and set him on the floor. "Let's go get some ice cream, then," she said, squeezing his small hand, the late afternoon light glinting on his blue-green nail polish.
And Mollie knew that Burt would shake his head and laugh at the sight of his small son in all of his makeup'd glory when he got home. She knew that a pep talk and some mother-son time wouldn't fix anything permanently. She knew that he would still come home on certain afternoons with his head hung low and his mouth tugged into a brokenhearted frown.
She just didn't know that she wouldn't always be there to make it better.
But she also didn't know that ten years later her sweet boy would strut down a stage, sixteen and slender and still just as beautiful, singing with pride for her, for himself, for everything.
My mama told me when I was young
We are all born superstars
She rolled my hair and put my lipstick on
In the glass of her boudoir
"There's nothing wrong with loving who you are,"
She said, "'cause he made you perfect, babe.
So hold your head up, boy, and you'll go far.
Listen to me when I say."
I'm beautiful in my own way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way.
I've had this idea mulling around in my head for a while, ever since I heard that Glee was covering BTW and read the lyrics. I was going to wait until later (it's sort of far down on my "to be written" queue) but then the new promo came out and I just had to write it.
All I know is that I sincerely hope that Kurt gets to sing the first verse. It was written for him. If Rachel gets it, Imma gonna cutta bitch.
And also, I don't know if you know how amazingly fun it is to write Mollie and baby!Kurt, but it is seriously amazingly fun. Baby Kurt is the cutest, cuddliest, sweetest baby ever invented. EVER.
Except for baby!Blaine, who is sort of chubby and painfully shy and hides behind the grown ups and has a gap-toothed smile and is getting his very own oneshot soon.
I really do need to write baby!Kurt and baby!Blaine together. I just don't know what they would be doing...