Characters: Kurt and Blaine, Burt, Carole, Finn
Spoilers (if any): Kurt's outfit spoilers for prom. This story completely ignores the really big prom spoiler that was leaked, so no worries there.
Warnings (if any): Violence, homophobia, angst…but all with a happy ending.
Word Count: 3771
Summary: Kurt and Blaine enjoy their prom, ignoring the rude comments and rumors. Later, they hear about the violent beating of a gay teen who attended prom with his boyfriend in a neighboring city. Kurt and Blaine begin to reevaluate their own relationship and find out how much they really mean to each other.
"I have to say, I was very impressed with everyone's formal wear tonight," Kurt said as he mounted the steps to his front porch and pulled his keys out of his bag. He could hear Blaine trailing close behind him. "The girls looked great, although Rachel's lucky that dress covered her feet because those shoes…"
He heard Blaine laugh behind him as he came to a stop outside his front door. As he fumbled with the lock, he felt his boyfriend's hand rest on his hip and his lips brush against his ear.
"Well, I'm impressed with your formal wear," Blaine whispered, leaning further over his shoulder to kiss his cheek. Kurt pressed his back against Blaine's chest, blushing slightly and enjoying his warmth on the rather chilly night. Blaine might've been a little shorter and smaller, but Kurt always felt safe and contained with him.
Kurt let out a little yelp when he felt Blaine's hand move from his hip and suddenly squeeze the back of his thigh, under his kilt.
"Blaine," Kurt sighed, but there was a touch of laughter. "Restrain yourself. Do you want that double shot espresso or would you rather fall asleep at the wheel and die?"
Blaine echoed his sigh, clearly mocking him. "Well are you going to open the door or just stand here, silly?"
Kurt stepped back and purposely crunched Blaine's toes under his heel. Not enough to hurt him, but enough to get a startled reaction. Kurt threw open the door, laughing and darting inside to the living room. Blaine followed after, grabbing his wrist and spinning him back around so Kurt came crashing into his chest. Blaine took advantage of their position and took Kurt's face in his hands, kissing him.
"I take it you two had a fun night?"
Kurt squeaked and ripped his lips away from Blaine's and pushed him away as if putting distance between the two of them could somehow erase what had happened. Kurt whirled around to find his dad sitting on the couch, and for the first time Kurt noticed the living room was dark except for the soft glow of the television screen.
Burt flipped on the table lamp and switched the television off before standing up and looking from Kurt to Blaine. His gaze eventually fell back on his son. He crossed his arms over his chest.
"You didn't give me a curfew," Kurt began defensively. "It's prom, dad! Blaine just came in to grab something to keep him awake for the drive! We weren't going to – we…"
Kurt trailed off and looked over his shoulder at Blaine. His face had gone rather pale and he was currently staring open-mouthed at Burt. He looked completely horrified, and in any other situation Kurt would've found it hilarious.
"Relax – both of you," Burt demanded, crossing the room to turn on the main light. He had his robe and slippers on, Kurt noted. Kurt's eyes found the digital clock on top of the entertainment center. It was nearly two in the morning.
"I know I didn't set a curfew," Burt continued. "I think I would remember that. I just wanted to make sure you boys got back all right and had a good time. I just didn't expect…that. But you know, whatever, it's fine. You probably didn't expect me to be here, either."
"Could you maybe warn me next time you're going to wait up so I can plan accordingly?" Kurt snapped, a little harsher than intended, as he left the living room to retrieve Blaine's double shot from the fridge.
Blaine smiled at Burt awkwardly and Burt shrugged.
"So you kids had fun?"
"We did," Blaine answered.
"No one gave you a hard time?"
Blaine's smile faltered, and it was his turn to shrug. "You know, it was expected. But nothing that ruined our night, if that's what you mean."
Kurt walked back into the living room a few seconds later, passing the little can into Blaine's hands. "Here you go. Text me when you get home, okay?"
Blaine nodded, already beginning to fish out his car keys when Burt cleared his throat.
"Blaine, take the couch if you want. It's a long drive back, and I don't want you to get in an accident. It's crazy on prom night."
Blaine smiled, but declined. "I really appreciate the offer, Mr. Hummel. But my own parents have been texting me like crazy, so I think they'd lose it if I didn't show up tonight. But thank you."
"All right. But make sure you let Kurt know when you're back so we know you're safe."
Blaine promised he would before turning to Kurt and giving him a little smile. "Um. Bye?"
Kurt shot a glare in his dad's direction. "Dad, please?"
Burt's eyebrows shot up. "Oh, sorry…" he muttered before walking toward the kitchen, taking his time.
"He's not usually this overprotective," Kurt said, taking Blaine's hand in his. "I think he's just on edge because of all the drunk driving and stuff that goes along with prom."
"I think it's sweet," Blaine said. "The only reason my parents want me home is because they know I'm with you. As your prom date. And it's after midnight."
Kurt smiled sadly and walked Blaine to the door. He placed a chaste but loving kiss on his lips and they exchanged good nights and see you laters before Blaine walked out to the driveway and drove away in his Jeep.
"Blaine told me some people were giving you guys problems tonight," Burt said as he came back in the living room and took his seat on the couch. He patted the cushion next to him and Kurt sat down, sighing as he smoothed out his kilt.
He recalled some of the jocks asking isn't that skirt a little too casual for prom? Where's the princess gown, queer? and easy access, am I right, Anderson? Besides the passing of a rumor related to these slurs (I saw Hummel in the bathroom with his skirt pushed up, taking it from his new boyfriend), the harm was minimal.
In the past, Kurt would've let these comments slide after a few clever retorts. But they would've festered, regardless. He would've become upset and irritable. But with Blaine at his side, the atmosphere changed. If he wasn't kissing him for every rude comment thrown their way, he was joking about it. Kurt had nearly doubled over, laughing, when Rachel had stormed over to inform them of the rumor quickly spreading around the dance floor and Blaine had responded with Oh my God, I can't believe they saw that! and, after she left, Well, at least I'm getting some action tonight. As fictional as it may be.
"It was just the usual," Kurt shrugged. "Just people being jerks. But we ignored them and had fun, dad, honestly."
Burt gave him a little half smile, pausing before he asked the next question. "And…no one threatened you, right? Or scared you?"
Kurt's eyes widened and he shook his head quickly. "No. Not at all. Why are you acting so weird? Dad, Blaine and I are both fine."
"Well, it's just that you haven't been completely honest with me about stuff like that in the past, Kurt. Someone threatened to kill you and you just kept that to yourself. I – " Burt sighed and squeezed his eyes shut, collecting himself. "I just know it was difficult, getting you two into prom. I was just a little nervous about tonight, and what people would do when they realized you were able to get tickets."
Kurt stood up from the couch, grabbing his bag off the floor. "Well, nothing happened."
He saw something in his father's eyes, then. He looked upset. Scared. Confused. Haunted, even. Kurt immediately felt a surge of guilt. He shouldn't have been so snappy earlier. He should've been more open to the discussion his dad was trying to have with him. He sighed and perched himself on the armrest of the couch, touching his dad's shoulder.
"How many times do I have to tell you everything was great before you actually believe me?"
Burt shook his head and patted his son's knee. "It's fine. I do believe you, Kurt." He paused and angled himself so they were facing each other now. "I love you. And Blaine seems to really love you, too. Even if he hasn't said it yet. He's good for you, and you're good for him. I can tell. You two need each other, especially at this point in your lives. I don't want anyone to take that away from you."
Kurt's words were lost in his throat before he could get them out. So he just wrapped his arms around his father and squeezed.
Even though he tried to stay awake, Kurt fell asleep before Blaine's text arrived. So, when he woke up the next morning, he had two messages in his inbox.
Made it home safe! Tonight was great. Thanks so much, Kurt. I wish I could send you kisses and cuddles through texts.
The second one read:
GOOD MORNING! You can inform your father I didn't die btw.
Kurt smiled and shot out a reply before pushing his blankets back and climbing out of bed. He was looking forward to a quiet Saturday inside, so he pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a cardigan. He went through his skincare routine before putting on his glasses. His eyes were still a little sore from wearing his contacts all day and most of the night.
"Whoa. Someone's looking a little frumpy this morning," Finn teased once Kurt made his way down to the breakfast table.
"Shut up, Finn," Kurt snapped, taking his seat. Finn just grinned and shoved a forkful of pancakes in his mouth.
Carole emerged from the kitchen, bringing Kurt his own plate. Kurt eyed the pancakes suspiciously for a moment before deeming them edible and cutting them into small squares.
"Finn and I are taking a daytrip down to the Cincinnati Art Museum," Carole announced happily. Finn rolled his eyes.
"Oh?" Kurt said, raising an eyebrow at Finn. "Someone's looking a little gay this morning."
Finn laughed loudly and Kurt smiled. It was amazing how much their relationship had changed.
"It's bonding time for us, honey, or else I'd invite you," Carole said, as if she owed him an explanation. "But we're still on for that outlet mall in Columbus next weekend, right? With Blaine?"
Kurt smiled. "Yep. He's so excited. He adores you."
Carole returned the smile and walked out of the room. Finn finished his breakfast and stood to leave. "Please go with her today. Apparently there's some new exhibit with an indoor bonsai garden and I just…I can't."
"Sucks for you," Kurt said, grinning. Finn sighed and left for his room.
Kurt was laughing quietly to himself when Burt entered the room, still in his robe with a plate of pancakes in one hand and a newspaper in the other. He scanned the front page before tossing it face down on the table and joining Kurt.
"Carole and Finn are going to the Cincinnati Art Museum," Kurt grinned. "Reminds me of when you were always taking me to those games back in middle school."
He expected his dad to laugh. He expected his dad to joke about futile those attempts had been. But he didn't expect his dad to give him a small, incredibly forced smile.
"Dad?" Kurt asked, suddenly stricken with fear. "Are you feeling okay?"
"Yeah, Kurt, I'm fine," Burt said, focusing on his pancakes. "Just tired."
"Well, you didn't have to stay up and wait for me to come home," Kurt said, smiling anyway. He reached for the paper. "Did you see any pictures from last night? I think usually the paper has a page for the local proms."
Burt lifted his chin. "Kurt, don't read the paper."
"Why?" Kurt asked, already flipping it over to the front page. He didn't recall anyone taking his picture with Blaine, but he could at least see if anyone from New Directions was featured. Maybe Mercedes or – oh.
Gay teen hospitalized after prom beating
Kurt's heart thundered in his chest as he scanned through the article, picking out the main details. A senior boy from Sidney High School had been walking out to his car after prom when he was attacked by a group of boys with baseball bats. When his boyfriend (of five years, the article claimed) came running out of the school, the attackers scattered. The boy was now in critical condition.
Kurt dropped the newspaper and stared at the picture of the two on the front page. It was a prom photo, apparently printed with the permission of their families. They looked so happy, dressed in matching tuxes with matching red rose boutonnieres…
"It's made national news," Burt said quietly, grabbing Kurt's attention. "They've been together since eighth grade. They were…are…planning on going to the same college and everything, apparently. This morning CNN said last year they weren't allowed to go to prom at all."
"Oh my God," Kurt managed, his hand flying up to cover his mouth. "Dad, did you know about this last night? Is that why you were…?"
Burt nodded. "I found out about it while you kids were at prom. It was on the evening news."
Kurt shot him a wounded look.
"Kurt, I was going to talk to you about it. I just didn't want to spoil your evening. I just wanted you to have a fun time with your boyfriend and not have to worry about…about that." He waved a hand at the newspaper.
Kurt nodded. He understood. He did. He wanted to erase the last five minutes more than anything and just enjoy a lazy Saturday in his sweatpants and glasses. But he continued to stare at the picture on the front page and just wonder what it would be like to possibly lose someone like that. Someone you had been so close to and in love with for five years. Kurt imagined they probably came out around the same time. They were there to support each other through high school and protect each other from the same bullies who did this. And now, just a few weeks left of their senior year, they were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then this happened.
Kurt tried to picture himself in their situation, but he couldn't. The things this couple had more than likely gone through together put his relationship with Blaine to shame. And Kurt knew – he was positive – that if anything happened to Blaine, he would've lost it. He would've absolutely, completely, entirely, and without a doubt lost his mind. He's known Blaine for almost seven months, and they've been dating for nearly three. It's nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to five years.
He glanced at the names in the article, committed them to memory, and couldn't imagine what Jordan was going through.
"You and Blaine just need to be careful, all right?" Burt said, bringing Kurt back to reality. "You know, they probably thought it would be okay to separate for a little bit. The news is saying Alex went to go start the car while Jordan grabbed their things from the coat room. They didn't even consider something like this could happen."
"They shouldn't have had to," Kurt said, feeling his voice break.
"But the reality is, Kurt, it's something they have to consider. Because of who they are. And it sucks, I know. You and Blaine shouldn't have to live in fear, and neither should they or anyone else. But being aware of what could happen…that's just being smart. I don't want you to have to take those precautions, but if you don't, one of you could end up hurt or worse. And I'm not trying to scare you, I just want you to know. Just keep looking out for each other. And if anything…and I mean anything…happens that scares you, you come to me. And we go to the police. All right?"
Kurt nodded and rolled up the newspaper, clutching it in his fist. He stood up from his chair and pushed it back under the table. "Dad? I'm going to go call Blaine, okay?"
Burt waved a hand, dismissing him. "Do what you have to do."
"Love you," Kurt said, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before pulling his cell phone out of his pocket and leaving to sit in the living room.
Blaine answered on the second ring.
"Kurt! Hi!" he said happily. Kurt could practically feel him smiling. It made him feel warm, secure, and a little guilty.
"Blaine. I need to see you."
There was a long silence on the other end.
"Kurt?" Blaine finally asked, his voice small. "Are you okay?"
"You don't sound okay…"
"Can we please talk about this in person?" Kurt begged. When he heard Blaine's breath catch in his throat, he backpedaled. "Babe, it's got nothing to do with us. We're fine. I promise, okay? I just really, really need to see you."
There was another pause. Shorter this time.
"Of course," Blaine said softly. "Is the Lima Bean all right?"
"Yeah," Kurt answered, releasing a sigh of relief. "See you there."
Kurt was in such a hurry to get to the café he didn't bother to change. He practically ran through the doors, a tornado of knitted Ugg boots, coral-colored sweatpants, and Dolce and Gabbana eyeglasses. He immediately found Blaine sitting at their usual table, taking advantage of the weekend by letting his hair go curly. He had two coffees with him. One was set in front of Kurt's chair.
"Kurt!" he called, raising his eyebrows as he stood up. The last time he saw Kurt like this, they were curled up in his bed munching on popcorn and watching movies. Kurt wouldn't dare leave the house like this. His bangs were floppy, a button on his boots was loose…
Kurt threw himself onto Blaine, wrapping his arms around him and pressing their cheeks together. Blaine's hands rubbed up and down his back, all the while whispering reassurances in his ear.
"Let's sit down, okay?" Blaine said, pulling back and holding Kurt out by his shoulders. Kurt nodded, pulling away and taking his seat. Before Blaine could ask what was wrong, Kurt pulled the newspaper out of his bag and set it down in front of his boyfriend.
Blaine's eyes immediately fell on the appropriate article. Kurt watched him read.
"…Oh my God," Blaine whispered when he finished, looking up to stare at Kurt. "Is that why your dad…?"
"Yeah," Kurt answered. "He found out about it last night but didn't want to freak us out."
Blaine stayed quiet for a few minutes before reaching out to Kurt. Kurt clasped his fingers and they sat there, holding hands on the tabletop.
"We should make them a card," Blaine said suddenly, his thumb dragging over Kurt's knuckles. "We don't have to go visit or anything. That would be way too intrusive. But we could send the card to the hospital."
"Blaine, that's great and all, but you're missing the point. That could've been us."
Kurt gave his boyfriend a moment to digest this information before squeezing his hand tightly.
"Kurt, I would never let anything like that happen to you."
"Jordan probably thought the same thing," Kurt pointed out gently. "I thought it, too, when I read it. I thought about how there's no way something like that would happen to us. But that's so naive. It happened just forty minutes away, Blaine."
Blaine took a long sip from his medium drip before setting it back down and staring at their linked hands. He was mulling something over in his head, thinking about what was said and what he was going to say. Kurt could tell. He could read Blaine so well.
"I'm always going to look out for you, Kurt," he said. "And I know you're always going to do the same for me. And it's not because we're gay, or because people hate us for who we are. It's because we're together, and that's just what people do when they're…in love."
Kurt felt his face flush. "You're in love with me?"
"Of course I am," Blaine said, his lips twitching up in a smile. "I always have been, in some way or another."
"I love you, too," Kurt said quietly, leaning over the table to give him a quick kiss. Blaine's hand cupped his cheek and anchored him there for a moment longer.
"I know that things are harder for us because of who we are," Blaine said after a moment. "Things like this happen and…you're right…there's not much you can do to stop them. There's no way of predicting what's going to happen in the future, so all we can do is just stay together and promise we'll take care of each other. No matter what happens."
Kurt stared at Blaine across the table and they silently agreed that, yes, this was it. And it was worth fighting for. Together.
"We can go back to my house and make those cards," Kurt offered. Blaine nodded, gathered his things, and wrapped an arm around Kurt's waist as they walked out.
No one in the Lima Bean took notice. They were regulars by now. They weren't the gay boys or the gay couple. They were just two people in love. No labels – nothing. It took awhile to get to that point. About seven months of weekly coffee dates, actually.
The Lima Bean wasn't the real world. But it gave them hope.
They spread out Kurt's craft boxes on the living room floor and turned on the news, watching close for any updates on Alex. It wasn't until two weeks later, after the cards had been mailed out, that Alex reached a stable condition and was expected to survive. Jordan spoke with reporters soon after, thanking everyone for their support.
"So many people across the country probably sent them letters and donations and stuff," Blaine realized one weekend when they were sprawled out together on Kurt's bed and watching CNN's coverage. "It kind of makes what we sent feel really, really insignificant."
Kurt propped his chin up on Blaine's chest and arched an eyebrow. "The good kind of insignificant, though."
Blaine nodded, brushing Kurt's hair back gently with the hand that wasn't busy kneading the small of his back. Kurt closed his eyes and smiled.
"The best kind of insignificant."