Hey, guys! This is my first Glee fanfiction, and I'm pretty excited about it! Please, please, please give me your feedback – positive, negative, all of it! Enjoy!
This one-shot is set during next week's episode, while the New Directions are in New York for Nationals.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, of course.
I knew the voice immediately, but I couldn't place why it would be resounding through my shop in the middle of a workday. I was underneath a car that needed to be finished quickly, so I didn't budge. Whatever he had to say could be said from where I was.
"Um... it's... Blaine, sir."
"I got that much. You want to tell me what you're doing here?"
"I brought you coffee."
Coffee? My son's boyfriend just brought me coffee at four P.M. on a Thursday? The car could wait.
I slid out from underneath the car to get a good look at the boy who was visiting his boyfriend's father at work. Again. His Dalton uniform was perfectly pressed, his hair gelled, and he held a cup of coffee for me, with the word "Burt" scribbled across it. But for the first time, there was something off about Blaine. There was an overwhelming look of defeat in his eyes, and a purple bruise had formed on his jawline.
"You alright, kid?"
"I'm fine," he said as he flashed another one of his winning smiles.
I took the coffee, knowing the boy was lying right to my face.
"Thanks for this, I guess. But, uh, any other reason you're here?"
He looked stunned. He hadn't thought that part through.
"Oh, well... you know, I just figured we kind of had something in common this weekend. We, um... we both miss Kurt."
"He's just in New York, Blaine. He'll be back Monday..."
A flash of realization overtook his face.
"Yeah- yeah, of course. Wow, I'm... really sorry to have barged in on you like this... and at work. I'm always doing that to people for some reason. Sorry... sorry again, Mr. Hummel. I'll just... go."
He turned to leave, and I knew that, regardless of how much work I had to finish today, I couldn't let him go without getting to the real reason he had come in the first place.
"You gonna tell me who sucker punched you?"
He stopped in his tracks.
"Don't play dumb with me, kid. Your jaw."
He stayed confident, and I assumed he was going to bullshit me with the same fake story he'd told everyone else.
"Um... no. No, I'd rather not."
I was stunned by the answer. No? He wanted me to fish for the real answer myself instead of feeding me a fake one. I was actually sort of flattered.
"Alright... then at least stay. Tell me something else."
He looked absolutely terrified at the idea, but I couldn't let him leave without knowing whether or not he was actually okay.
I love my son, and my son loves Blaine. He matters to me.
"Yeah, you know, Kurt tells me a lot, but I don't feel like I really know you. You're at the house all the time, and you've been dating my son for over a month. Tell me something about yourself that I don't already know."
I pretended to get back to work, hopefully to make the kid more comfortable talking to me, but was completely focused on his answer.
"Um, I don't really know. I guess... I like football. Did you already know that?"
"Yeah, Finn told me you guys have been watching the games, even trying to get Kurt into them," I said with a chuckle.
Finn was easy to relate to; Kurt was damn near impossible if you didn't know how to get around the barriers he'd built for himself. And somehow this kid had figured out a way to mildly interest Kurt in football. It was almost unheard of.
He was a keeper.
"Oh, yeah, Finn's a good guy. He and Kurt get along surprisingly well, considering."
"You're right. They're good brothers."
"They've got good parents."
It was subtle, but I know I heard Blaine's voice falter ever so slightly when he said the last word. Parents.
"You wanna sit down?"
He sat on an old stool, still nursing his own coffee, finally warming up to this conversation.
I didn't want to dive right into the subject, but I was curious. Kurt had never mentioned Blaine's parents, and I was fairly certain he hadn't even met them. The only thing I knew was that Blaine's relationship with his father was strained to say the least, as he'd told me the last time we'd been here. It was a good start.
"Tell me about yours. They good parents too?"
He seemed surprised by the question, like no one had ever asked it before.
"Oh, um, well... my dad's all business, you know. He's a banker. We don't really see eye to eye on a lot of things, but he tries, I guess."
I remembered Blaine telling me his father had tried to change him. I couldn't understand it. You love your kid for your kid, no matter what.
"And your mom?"
He considered the question, and his brow furrowed in uncertainty.
"I have no idea."
I turned to look at him.
"She... left when I was three. Moved to Michigan, re-married, and she's got three new kids now."
"You keep in touch with her?"
"Nope, just a birthday and Christmas card from her every year."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"You ever try to contact her yourself?"
"I only have her address from the return labels. I've sent her letters. I don't even know how many. Hundreds, maybe thousands... but she's never responded. Maybe she never even read them."
And my heart shattered. I knew what it was like for a kid to grow up without a mom. I knew what it was like for my son to think about his mom every single day of his life, wondering how things might have been different if he could hug her when he woke up every morning, tell her about his day, and hear all about hers. I couldn't imagine what it was like for Blaine to think about her every day, knowing that she was alive and well but just didn't care enough about her son to respond to one letter.
What kind of mother abandons her kid?
My hand shook around the wrench I was holding, and he noticed.
"I honestly don't think about it as much as I used to. Once she stopped signing the cards, I knew it was time to abandon the idea that she might actually come back one day."
I had to form my words very carefully. Perfectly.
"She's missing out, you know. You're a great kid. You've been great to Kurt. I've never seen him as happy as he is with you."
"Thank you, Mr. Hummel."
"Burt, right. Thank you, Burt."
But I wasn't done.
"And you and your old man don't get along too great?"
He hesitated, and the defeat returned to his eyes.
"It could be worse."
And with that, all of the pieces fell together. The coffee, the hesitation, the bruise, the defeat... the need to talk to a father he could trust.
I turned to look him square in the eyes. I needed him to know how invested I was, and I needed to see his reaction.
"He do that to your face?"
Terror swept his features for less than a second, and my suspicion was immediately confirmed.
"What are you talking about?"
"He hits you, doesn't he? Your own..."
I exhaled deeply, trying to keep my cool.
"Goddammit, I can't believe Kurt didn't tell me about this."
He looked at me like he'd just shattered a vase and was about to blame the cat.
"Mr. Hummel, my father doesn't hit me. It was an... it was just an accident, honestly."
I was livid. This kid had been betrayed by the only person left in his life who was supposed to love him unconditionally. It was too much.
"What, he just got mad this one time? You screwed up, right? He told you that you had it coming? For what? For being gay?"
"Mr. Hummel -"
"How many times, Blaine? How often does this happen?"
"It's... it's not what you think."
Tears were slowly welling up in his eyes.
"Then what is it?"
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have come here."
"Don't move, young man."
He was paralyzed. He was the perfect son on paper. Smart, obedient, polite, charming. There was just one problem. He didn't fit that overwhelming expectation his father had for him. Perfection included bringing home a nice girl who would give him grandchildren and carry on his name. Blaine couldn't give him that.
"How many times, Blaine?"
"I... I don't know. I just..."
He took a deep breath, trying as hard as he could himself from completely losing it in the middle of my shop.
"Let it out, kid."
"I didn't come here to... to cry to you. I just wanted some kind of... I don't know, something like Kurt talks about when he talks about you. I wanted to know what he meant for myself. How understanding and open you guys are."
He took another deep breath.
"I told him about Kurt. He didn't know, and I told him, and he just... well, it wasn't a good time to tell him. I shouldn't have said anything. I knew I shouldn't have said anything. I was so stupid. I just blurted it out, and the next thing I knew, he was... raging. Absolutely raging."
He choked on the words and winced at the memories.
"Blaine, take a breath. You don't have to say anymore."
He bowed his head and pinched the bridge of his nose, slowly shaking his head back and forth. He collapsed back onto the stool.
I couldn't understand his complexities, and I had no idea how much of this Kurt knew. As soon as Kurt got home, I'd sit him down, and we'd have a long talk. I knew it'd take hours with Kurt's avoidance issues and protectiveness over Blaine, but it wasn't optional.
"God, I just feel stupid about this whole thing. I- I really appreciate you listening to me, Mr. Hummel."
"I told you. Burt."
"You have no reason to feel stupid, Blaine."
"You love my son, right?"
It was a question that didn't even need to be asked.
"If your father can't accept that, then he's a... he's a neanderthal, as Kurt would say."
For one second, I swore I saw a smile tickle his lips.
"I don't think he'd appreciate that very much."
He wiped his eyes.
"Well, he won't have to, because you're not going back there."
"You're staying at my house until I have a word with him and take you to a doctor."
"That's... that's really not necessary, seriously."
"It's more than necessary. Do you actually think I'd let you go back to that?"
"I- I don't... no one's ever-"
"There's no argument, Blaine. The shop can do without me for a few hours. Come on, I'll drive."
"Mr. Hum- Burt, I... I promise I won't let you down. I won't let Kurt down."
"You could never let me down, son."
The word reverberated in Blaine's chest as he let out a sigh. A weight was suddenly lifted from his shoulders and thrown onto mine.
But I didn't mind. And I know I never will.
Thanks for reading!