A/n: I can't believe it… two fics in two days… it's a miracle. Glee fanfiction is my new addiction. The spacing got all screwy on this one during the transfer (I wrote it on livejournal, Treenbeen24) so I wasn't able to indent paragraphs, but they are pretty distinctly separate. Read and review. This one is a mega angst fest. Enjoy!
It started fairly mild. Headaches now and then. Slight appetite loss. Nothing major that he couldn't deal with.
Then came the dizzy spells.
He was getting up from yet another unfinished dinner when his head swam dangerously, and his vision went white. He swayed, placing a hand on the table to steady himself.
"You ok, kid?" Burt asked his son as he shook his head slightly, trying to regain his equilibrium.
"Yeah... yeah, I'm fine... dizzy spell." Kurt answered, taking his dishes to the sink and rinsing them.
"Another one?" Burt joined his son at the sink as Finn voiced the question. "Dude, that's like... the third one today."
"I'm fine," was the only reply the gangly teen received.
"Maybe we should set up a doctor's appointment," Carole suggested from her seat at the table. "Just in case."
"That sounds good to me." Burt replied. "Ok, Kurt? I'll pick you up tomorrow and take you in."
"Sure." Kurt said, trying not to let the worry into his voice. He knew his father wouldn't accept any other answer. After his mother's death, he had never taken kindly to hospitals, or doctors. He tried to stay as healthy as possible to avoid just this situation.
It's probably nothing, he consoled himself as he got ready for bed that night. You just need to... drink more water, or something.
Burt, true to his word, picked Kurt up from school tomorrow and they drove down to the local clinic. Kurt fidgeted his way through the waiting room, glancing and his father pleadingly when his name was called. Burt obliged, and went back with his son.
They told the doctor Kurt's symptoms, and the doctor checked him over, Kurt sitting rigid the entire time, trying to control his irrational fear of the location and the person examining him.
"Well, you seem perfectly healthy as far as I can tell," the doctor said with a sigh once the examination was over. "Tell you what... head on down to the labs to do some blood work. If anything is wrong, they'll find it." The doctor handed over a slip of paper telling them where to go, and listing the symptoms they had listed earlier.
They finished up in the lab about forty five minutes after that, and headed home to await results.
As it turned out, Kurt had a Vitamin B3 deficiency. Nothing serious, he just needed more B3 in his system, so he was prescribed Niacin, a B3 vitamin supplement.
"Take once daily with food. Symptoms may include: headaches, dizziness, heartburn, swelling, and (rare) periods of memory loss." Kurt read the label with sarcasm lacing his voice. "So I may or may not wind up with all of the same symptoms, as well as a few others."
Carole chuckled and Finn let out a snort at that.
"Better than something worse happening, bud." Burt said. "The doc said it would only be right after you took the meds that the memory loss would happen. I'd rather have you not remember an hour a day then find out you collapsed somewhere and not know what was going to happen."
"I guess... perfect opportunity to vent to me I suppose, if I won't remember it later." He swallowed a pill with his glass of milk and they proceeded to eat dinner.
"So, Finn, what are the New Directions kids working on this week?" Burt asked, before taking a bite of his pasta.
"Top 80s hits," Finn replied around his pasta.
"Finn... chew then speak," Carole gently reprimanded.
"Sorry, mom," Finn said after he had swallowed. "Artie and I are gonna do 'Land Down Under.'"
"Does that song have real words?" Kurt scoffed, a playful smile on his face. "I can only make out 'do you speaka my language.'"
The family snickered and continued their meal much in the same fashion.
The next day, Kurt was laying on his bed reading his history book when Finn knocked. Kurt called to him to enter, and Finn came in, music in hand.
"Hey, Kurt, can you help me with this song, I can't get the words to all... fit."
"Sure, Finn. What song?" Kurt asked, sitting up and pushing his book aside.
"I told you last night, 'Land Down Under.'" Finn said, shooting Kurt a look that clearly questioned his sanity.
"You did?" Kurt asked, eyes narrowed in confusion.
"Yeah, dude... woah... is this what you were saying about your pills making you forget stuff?"
"I- I really don't remember you telling me... did... when did you tell me?" Kurt asked, growing increasingly bewildered.
"Did- what did we have for dinner? Did we have dinner?" Kurt asked, staring hard at the floor trying to remember.
"Woah... how much do you remember about yesterday, Kurt?" Finn asked, a bit worried. What if Kurt didn't remember stuff anymore?
"I remember... everything... everything except dinner. I remember sitting down, and then... nothing... no... I remember reading last night. I remember what I read, but that had to have been around... 7:30." Kurt said, glancing up at Finn.
Finn shrugged. "We ate around 6, so what, you lost... an hour? That's not so bad."
Kurt shrugged as well. "The doctor said it could happen. I guess I just need to pick a good time to take the pill then, so I don't lose the memory of something I study at night, or anything like that. It's strange though." Kurt stood up, stretching. "Well, Finn, if you ever have anything to tell me that you know would make me uncomfortable for days on end, tell me after I take the pill, so I can help you and then promptly forget."
Finn chuckled at that, and the boys trekked off to the dining room to get some snacks for their work session.
Things went on as normal after that. Kurt told his friends about the effects of the medication, and told them more or less what he had told his family in jest: if you have something weird to say, say it then. They all had a good laugh about it, and moved on, no one taking it seriously.
About two months after Kurt started taking the medication, Burt came home from the shop in a temper. Someone had called earlier in the day to say, "Your son's a fag" which was immediately followed with vague threats. That on top of little sleep and being out of coffee that morning was enough to make him disgruntled, so when he walked in to find Kurt giving himself a facial, sitting on the couch watching some fashion show on t.v., being so distinctly… gay after that phone call… something in him snapped a little bit.
He bit his tongue against the harsh words wanting to escape his lips, glancing at the clock. 5:30. Kurt would have taken his medication not fifteen minutes ago. He knew deep inside that what he was contemplating was wrong in every sense of the word. Something in him was screaming at him to walk away... but another, darker part of him was telling him, "He won't even remember. No harm done."
Kurt smiled when he saw him, before noticing the look on his face. "What's wro-"
"You wanna know what's wrong, Kurt?" Burt said quietly. Kurt's expression darkened. He wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer anymore. "What's wrong is..." Burt sighed, pulling off his hat and running a hand over his head. "Is everyday, something new comes up. And I keep thinking it will get better, but it only gets worse. And that's ok, because I love you kid, I really do-" Kurt started as he realized this was about him. "- but sometimes I really really wish you were different. I wish that I didn't get phone calls saying 'Your son is a fag'. I wish I didn't have to replace our front windows or repaint the house at least once a year. I wish I didn't get funny looks in the store, when I'm shopping. I wish people wouldn't point when you and I are doing errands and stuff. I wish that all of it would just go away..." Burt knew he should really stop. His voice was getting progressively louder and more harsh, and Kurt was staring wide eyed at him, mouth slightly open, looking hurt... and if that didn't just set him over the edge. "Don't you look at me like that. Like you want to cry. That's all you do. Cry. Cry, and hope all the bad things will stop, and then keep on being all girly and shit, hell, getting worse even. Drawing more attention to yourself, to us, by acting more and more gay and then wondering why people are all hell bent on mocking the queer!" Burt became aware that he was yelling now, Kurt shying backwards slowly, tears rolling down his face as his face crumpled. But still he couldn't stop without saying, "And more than anything, Kurt, I wish that your mother was here, because she was the one who knew how to deal with you when you got all...faggy."
He stopped abruptly, breathing harshly, before glancing at his son's face. Kurt's arms were wrapped around his stomach, his eyes wider than should be possible. His shoulders were shaking, and tears were pouring out of his eyes, but he was silent. Burt could see the kid's heart breaking... and it broke his heart.
Burt was shocked for a few minutes. He stared at his son in shock as Kurt closed his eyes and slowly walked to his room, closing the door with a soft click behind him. He stared at the spot his son had occupied moments before for what seemed like an eternity.
'Oh god'... he thought. 'Oh god what did I do?'
Burt glanced towards Kurt's door, closed tightly. He slowly lowered himself onto the couch with a sigh, knowing he had just done something he would regret for the rest of his life. He wallowed for a few moments in self loathing, unable to believe the horrible things he had just said to his child. Thank God Carole and Finn weren't here, Carole would have him strung up by his ears and out of the house so fast he'd get windburn. And Finn was protective as hell of Kurt, something Burt had always been thankful for, but now...
He had promised his wife on her death bed that he would love and accept Kurt, no matter what. Even then, she had known. He had promised her head never hurt their baby boy. And what had he done?
But... the medication.
Kurt wouldn't remember any of this come tomorrow. It would all be ok.
Burt grabbed a beer from the fridge, lite, Kurt's insistence, and oh god, Kurt, and sat down in front of the t.v. which was still playing Project Runway. Burt sighed, and settled in, taking comfort in knowing this would all be over tomorrow.
Carole and Finn came home from the mall, where they had been attempting to find clothes to fit Finn's frame, and asked where Kurt was. Burt told them he wasn't feeling well, keeping his eyes fixed on the t.v. Carole went to check in on him, but all she received was a muffled reply through the door of, "I'm fine." Finn wasn't too comforted by that, knowing that when Kurt said he was fine, it usually meant he was anything but, but Kurt seemed to want to be left alone, so he let him be.
The next day was Saturday. Burt woke up early, determined to make his son's favorite breakfast to make it up to him, even though he knew Kurt wouldn't remember a thing.
Carole and Finn came into the kitchen as he was dishing up, both yawning and looking tired. Kurt wandered in about fifteen minutes later, looking down, and in the same clothes he had been wearing yesterday.
"Morning," Finn said. Kurt mumbled a reply, sitting down at the far end of the table from where Burt sat. Fixing his eyes on his plate and taking a small portion of food.
"You ok, bud, you look a little down." Burt said cheerily to his son. Kurt's eyes flickered up for a moment, before he shrugged and resumed pushing his food around his plate.
"Yeah, man, you didn't come out of your room last night. Your dad told us you weren't feeling well." Kurt started at that. "How you feeling now?" Finn asked, looking Kurt over.
"Fine." Kurt said. "I'm... fine. Just had a headache."
"Oh," Carole said, putting down her fork and bustling out of the room. She came back carrying something in her hand. "These were in my purse last night, honey, I grabbed them by mistake. I meant to grab Ibuprofen." She sat down and placed the bottle in front of Kurt. "Sorry I messed up your schedule, Kurt."
Kurt glanced up at the pill bottle before reaching out slowly and grabbing it.
"That's ok, Carole," he murmured. "One night... one night won't kill me." His eyes met his father's for the briefest of moments. Burt's jaw hung open, his eyes wide with horror as realization set in. "Excuse me... I'm not feeling to well again..." Kurt stood and quickly left the room.
Carole and Finn exchanged a glance, sensing some tension in the air between father and son. They finished eating in silence. Burt simply stared at the chair Kurt had vacated. Carole got up and went to take a shower. Finn went downstairs to play x-box. And Burt put his head in his hands and let out a sob.
His son... he had said terrible, vicious, hurtful things to his son. Things he would kill others for simply thinking about his baby boy. But he had said them, screamed them at his son, thinking it didn't matter since Kurt would forget anyway.
But he was wrong. He was so wrong. It was never alright to talk to his son that way, and he knew it. He ignored his most basic instinct as a father to protect his son, and show him only love.
And Kurt would never forget it.
Neither would he.
And it broke his heart.