Disclaimer: they are not mine. Except Sam, Artie, Lauren and Mercedes' spouses and all the lovely kids. (I love writing future fics)
A/N: This was supposed to be a one shot but it turned out too long to be concidered such. I'll try not to delay the posting too much.
Part 1: Of hospitals and monosyllabic morons.
"Ladies," Blaine smiled charmingly, coming to stand in front of the nurses' office. A few months ago a smile of that caliber would have turned them all into puddles of wobbly smiles and flushed cheeks. Dr Anderson was that charming. However, the good nurses had learned that when Blaine tried to bring that much attention to his smile, it only meant one thing. He wanted something and you had better run... fast.
"What do you want?" Katie asked with an indulgent smile and a raised eyebrow. Katie Georges was Blaine's favorite nurse. She was 42, had a lovely little boy named Stuart and she had a terrific sense of humor. She also was a hard worker and she always had Blaine's back, no matter what. Katie also happened to be one of the few person who knew him very well. Which meant that she knew all of his tactics, especially that smile. The one that promised but also deceived.
"Can't a guy just drop by to say 'Hello'?" he tried with as much innocence as he could muster.
"You wouldn't," she answered with a smile. "So, I repeat, what do you want? And you better think hard before answering this time."
Blaine pouted at her no-nonsense tone of voice. "I need a favor," he confessed.
"Shocker," Lucy, one of the newest addition to the staff dead-panned. Blaine looked at her and winked for good measure. She rolled her eyes and grabbed a patient's chart before leaving.
"Out with it, Doctor," Katie all but ordered.
"I need you to come with me... somewhere next week," he said his eyes pleading.
"This gala my mother is putting together..." as soon as the words were out, he saw the kind nurse's eyes harden.
"Nu-uh! You can take your pouts and your pretty eyes away from me," she said taking a file from the rack and walking around him toward a patient. Blaine followed, not ready to give up just yet.
"Pretty please," he begged coming to stand in front of her, effectively blocking her path. Katie sighed and crossed her arms. She might have glared as well but no one could really hold that against her. She adored Blaine, she really did. He was like a charming younger brother she could talk boys with. He was a kind man with a big heart and the best doctor she knew. However, if he kept inviting her to these stuffed up event concocted by his (bitch of a) mother, she was going to go Mohamed Ali on him.
"Blaine, honey, I love you with all my heart but there is no way in hell I'm going anywhere with you ever again!"
"That's a bit harsh," he winced.
"That's sugar coated."
"C'mon, Katie. It'll be... fun," he tried, clearly desperate now. He really didn't want to go anymore than she did but he had to and going alone was out of the question.
"Fun? Like the last time you said it would be fun? Remember the "fun" we had last time?" she asked raising an eyebrow. That eyebrow was scary; it never boded well for Blaine. "I remember a lot of drinking, a taxi ride from hell that included vomit and having to tuck you into bed. Shall I carry on?" She was getting worked up now and Blaine realized he had been defeated. Katie started walking again, hoping Blaine wouldn't follow.
"It wasn't that bad," he said appearing next to her again. Katie rolled her eyes.
"It was that bad and more. Not only the event on itself was boring, people kept staring at me as if I was a charity case," she held up her hand to stop Blaine from protesting. "Don't even bother denying it," she added. She watched her friend and the hurt and desperation in his eyes made her heart ache. She truly wished she could help him but she wasn't what Blaine needed. She took his hand and squeezed it gently.
"I'm not the solution. I can't be anymore, love," she finished. Katie leaned over to peck his cheek before walking down the hallway of the pediatric ward.
Blaine stood there for a while thinking about solutions that couldn't be found before sighing and heading back to work.
"Is it going to hurt, Daddy?" Melisande Hudson-Berry asked, her warm, solemn brown eyes looking up at her father from the hospital bed.
"Of course not, Jellybean," Finn Hudson, reassured with a smile. "You're going to go to sleep and when you'll wake up, you'll be as good as new and you won't even feel a thing."
"And, you'll get to eat loads of ice cream," a voice said from the doorway. Melisande looked around with a grin lighting up her pretty face.
"Uncle Kurt!" she exclaimed jumping from the bed and running towards her uncle. Kurt Hummel caught her in his arms and hugged her tight. Finn watched from the bedside with a grin similar to his daughter's.
"How are you, angel?" Kurt asked.
"I'm OK," the six year-old answered seriously with a vigorous nod of her head. Kurt often marveled how this little level-headed and stoic girl could be Finn and Rachel's kid. "Mama is a bit worried, though."
"Don't worry about Mama, she'll be fine," Kurt said with a smile and kissed her cheek sweetly. "You have got to stop growing up so fast, kiddo," he mock complained, putting her down with a huff. He turned to her father, "I suppose, I can only blame you for her growing pace," he smirked and Finn glared. Kurt brought Melody back to the bed and the two brothers exchanged hugs.
"Where's Rachel?" Surprisingly the question came from Finn who knew for a fact that every moment Rachel wasn't with her family, she was spending working with Kurt.
"Downstairs, finishing one last phone call."
"You guys work too hard. Sometimes I wonder who's really married to whom," Finn smirked at Kurt's outraged expression.
"Bite your tongue!" A pair of voices chorused. Melody, Finn and Kurt turned to see Rachel Berry coming into the room. Finn laughed at the shocked expression on the two other adults' faces.
"See? Married couple!" he said coming over to smooch his wife.
"We are officially spending too much time together," Rachel said to Kurt before turning to her daughter and hugging her. "Hello, sweetheart," she smiled.
"I'm gonna grab a coffee. Do you guys want anything?" Kurt asked, heading for the door.
"The usual," Rachel said.
"I'll come with you and you can tell me what the "usual" is," Finn said as he joined him at the door He grinned broadly at Kurt who only shook his head resignedly. They made their way to the vending machines, catching up on the event of the week.
Kurt and Finn's relationship had grown in strength with every passing years. Even when Kurt moved to New York for college and Finn stayed in Ohio, the two brothers "from another mother" made everything they could to be more than just two people who had parents married to each other. Their respective careers took them all over the country but Furt's bond became unbreakable as they shared every insignificant details about each other's lives. Not to mention that if it weren't for Kurt, Rachel wouldn't have come back in Finn's life. For that only, he would always love his diva of a brother.
"So did you find your Brittany?" Finn asked with a smile. He sipped at his coffee marveling at the wonder that were Rachel and Kurt. A year ago, after they had both led successful careers in Broadway and on the small screen, they decided to put together a musical. It was about a bunch of misunderstood teenagers in a small town high school who had joined a glee club. Obviously, they had to dug deep for that one. A fantastic idea on paper, of course. However, they had not thought about the atrocious nightmare that would be the casting process.
Kurt rolled his eyes at his brother's taunting. "Why did we even bother?" he asked with a frustrated sigh.
"Because our glee club would have been a lot more boring without dear Brittany," Finn answered and Kurt was chagrined to realize that he was right. Nonetheless, he was in a too much of bad mood (after spending the day looking at blond bimbos all day, butchering up his words) to let him know. Instead, he snorted.
"Pluh-ease! Brittany or not, there was enough drama going on to make a TV show. We could have used a bit of boring."
Finn laughed. "True. Still, you need a Brittany. Her character is fun and loveable and those dance moves... Dude! Plus, she'd never forgive you if you cut her out."
He was right again so Kurt just sighed... again.
"I guess it's the problem when you base your work on real people. Either they get pissed at you or you can't find someone as fabulous as they are to play them," he said before sipping his coffee and wincing at the horrible taste. Finn chuckled at his acerbic tone. "Don't you dare laugh at me Finn Hudson! Trying to cast someone to play your wife was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. And I worked as a waiter in the Village!" Finn only laughed harder.
"Oh please! Rachel cries every time she remembers the 'Kurt/Carl debacle' as she calls it," Finn said giving him a look. Strangely, Kurt was reminded of Burt. His father looked at him the same way when Kurt was using hyperbole every two sentences. Carl was the name of the character based on himself. It took four months to find a decent actor to interpret him. "It's amazing you two not only wrote a whole musical together, chose to direct it but also manage to not kill each other," Finn said his eyes dancing.
"It's a daily struggle," Kurt tried to contain his smile, to no avail.
And then Daniel pushed me and I fell on the wet sand but I don't care Mama because I was right and he was wrong," Blaine heard the little girl as he entered the room. Her mother had her back turned to him, she chuckled at her daughter's tipped up chin.
"Of course you were, angel," she said tenderly, running her fingers through the little girl's chocolate locks. They kept talking softly and Blaine would have made his presence known, except he had recognized the woman's voice.
Rachel Berry's voice.
He almost smiled. He wanted to, his lips even twitched. He had always liked Rachel. She was a complicated woman but she had a heart of gold. She also loved Kurt dearly and for that only she would always have a special place in Blaine's heart.
That being said, the shock of seeing her again after all this time wasn't something he was prepared for. Oh sure, he had seen her on stage. He had been to every new show she appeared in (he even sent her flowers for ever premiere) and he watched Audrey's secret life religiously. It hurt, the memories and the hope, they hurt so very much but he still watched. However, he was pretty sure that pain was nothing compared to the one he was about to experience.
You can run, you can hide, you can start over and pretend but the past had a way of coming back to haunt you.
He'd been watching the little girl while he was... Let's just say having a mental meltdown. She as absolutely gorgeous. Big brown eyes that held too much intelligence, dark shiny hair and cute little dimples when she smiled. She looked a lot like Rachel but there was something quirky and shy about that smile. It reminded him of Finn. Finn always smiled like that; with his heart.
He didn't know how long he stayed like that, staring at his new patient and wondering if he had enough of a lifetime to get over heartache. It didn't look like fifteen years were enough. You could still miss someone as much as when they left. The thought of them still made your heart skip a beat. The memory of them could still make you ache.
It was mini Rachel who shook him from his dark thoughts and surprisingly he was happy about that. He had been about to run and give the file to another doctor. Someone who didn't know that Rachel Berry, the Broadway phenomenon and TV star had been the only girl he had ever kissed. He wasn't a quitter, though so he was grateful to the little girl when she spoke to him.
"Hello, Doctor," she said turning big coffee eyes towards him. Rachel who had started to get up, turned around and froze mid-action. The last time he had seen her so surprised was when she saw Sue dressed as David Bowie.
Blaine smiled a bit at the expression on her face. "Hi."
"The one and only," he said with an apologetic shrug. Even to his own ears that sounded lame.
"What are you doing here?" she asked taking in his scrubs and the stethoscope around his neck. He saw comprehension settle in her eyes and he simply nodded. The awkward moment was broken by a small voice.
"He's my doctor, Mama," the 'duh!' was implied of course. Blaine smiled genuinely at the little angel. Rachel tore her eyes away from his person to smile at her daughter.
"Yes, he is, baby girl. Dr. Anderson is a friend of mine," she said taking her daughter's left hand.
"Cool! I'm Melisande Hudson-Berry," she introduced herself holding her right hand out to Blaine. He grinned warmly, there really was something special about her. He took her minuscule hand in his and shook it with all the seriousness he could muster.
"Nice to meet you, Melisande Hudson-Berry. I'm Dr. Blaine Anderson."
"You have caramel eyes," she replied. "I like it."
He laughed, he couldn't help it."Thank you." I looked over at Rachel. She was smiling distractedly, her eyes not leaving his face. God, this was going to be torture. "I have to talk to your mother for a moment. Do you mind if we step outside for a bit?"
"I don't mind," she shrugged before grabbing the remote control and switching on the TV. Rachel leaned down to kiss her daughter's hair.
"You be good. We'll be right outside if you need anything. We'll even leave the door open"
"You worry too much, Mama. Uncle Kurt says it's not good for your skin," Melisande replied without looking away from the TV. Of course she couldn't have realized the effect the K bomb would have on her doctor. Blaine's step faltered as he headed for the door but he managed to reach it without any more misstep. If Rachel noticed anything, she was kind enough not say anything. They finally reached the hallway and faced each other. It was a weird moment. He couldn't speak for Rachel but for him it was simply bizarre to be standing here, with her. The knowledge that uncle Kurt would probably appear sometime in the near future was something Blaine was desperately trying to not think about.
"So... This is-" he'd been trying to lighten up the mood with a silly, probably inane joke, but he was interrupted by Rachel's arms which were wrapping around him.
"Hi," she whispered softly and he relaxed. He embraced her tightly and smiled a bit.
"Hi, Rachel. Long time, huh?"
"Too long," she concurred before letting go. "It's good to see you."
He nodded. It was good to see her too, despite... Everything. She looked him up and down and her warm brown eyes lit up mischievously. She brushed invisible dust from his scrubs. "Doctor Anderson," she said wiggling her eyebrows. "I dig it."
Blaine blushed. He knew she was teasing but he had never really been comfortable receiving compliments. "Stop it," he mumbled and she laughed. He turned to peek into the room. Melisande was engrossed in whatever cartoon she was watching.
"She is gorgeous," he said smiling easily. Rachel beamed at him.
"Where's Finn?" Her smile suddenly faded and she averted her eyes. She suddenly looked a bit sad and he thought he might have said the wrong thing. Had something happened to Finn? To their marriage?
"He's getting some coffee," she said still not looking at him. He frowned. Why would that make her look like someone ran over her puppy. "He's with Kurt," she finally said looking at him and he froze at the expression in her eyes. It wasn't sad, it was apologetic.
"Oh," it was funny how some news could turn the most eloquent of men into monosyllabic morons.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. There was nothing to be sorry about, of course and yet there was. He wanted to say something but his fingers were shaking and he thought the level of oxygen might have dropped because he couldn't breathe anymore. This was ridiculous. It's been fifteen years. Fifteen years. This didn't have to be a big deal. It was bound to be awkward, of course but it wasn't as if he and Kurt left in bad terms. They had been gentlemen about it, mature and understanding. It was also the hardest thing Blaine had to go through but there was no reason for that information to slip through. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, he tried to smile but it must have looked more like a grimace because Rachel's eyes filled with compassion. And, somehow, that hurt more than he could have imagined. He had never really left like he'd been dumped until he saw Rachel look at him with compassion.
"Artie called this morning," Finn said as they made their way down another hallway. "He says they'll be there Friday evening."
"Good. Santana and Britt are flying over tomorrow with the kids. Mercedes, Rick, Lauren and Eric are taking the same flight on Saturday morning," Kurt said with a smile. All their friends were flying over for Will's birthday on Sunday. Will was Finn and Rachel's second child. He was only four but had the energy of ten Rachel Berrys.
"Zoe is making the cake," Finn said and Kurt nearly moaned aloud at the thought. Zoe, Sam's wife was a chef pâtisser here in a New York and she was so talented, Kurt almost believed in heaven every time he tasted one of her carrot cakes.
"What about Puck and Quinn?"
"They're baby-sitting Will as we speak. Tina and Mike are planning a dinner on Saturday. How we're going to find a baby-sitter for seventeen kids in four days is beyond me," Finn sighed. They turned around a corner and saw Rachel talking to a doctor in the hallway outside Melisande's room.
"Are you kidding? Mike's toy room will be baby-sitter enough," Kurt said distractedly. Rachel looked worried. Finn followed his eyes and frowned. Kurt kept looking at the pair; something was amiss but that wasn't the only reason he kept staring. The doctor, although still turned toward Rachel, looked familiar. At least, his back and his posture, and those hair did. He only knew one person who had hair that dark. The curls were a bit more chaotic, though. Kurt had not realized he had stopped breathing until he felt Finn's hand on his shoulder. He couldn't be certain and yet he was. He let the coffee cup slip from his fingers and the splash of horrid coffee on the floor made Rachel and the doctor -Kurt couldn't bring himself to even think his name- turned around.
"Oh," he breathed as he locked gaze with his only regret in life.
Yes it was amazing how some situation could turn the most eloquent of men into monosyllabic morons.
A/N: questions, thoughts? Bring it :)