First, I just want you to know that this epilogue is predominantly three things: cheesy, ambiguous, and short. I apologize in advance! :)
Three months ago, I hadn't written a single word of this story. I loved a television show, and I had an idea, and I wrote a one-shot because I couldn't get to sleep without putting it into words. I didn't think much of it, and honestly, I have no idea how all of you have put up with all of these crazy scenarios that have been running through my head. I have no idea how you're even still reading this right now. But you are, because you've been there for me in a way that I could never trust any of my "real life" friends or family to be there for me. You've risen me up when I've been feeling down, and you have inflated my ego to astronomical proportions. I have been so touched by every single one of you, and I just want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart and in the absolute sincerest way possible for making this one of the most memorable, incredible, spectacular, and genuinely amazing summers of my life. You are all such beautiful people, and I have loved getting to know you and hearing your stories and your thoughts through this crazy story that it took me months to even buck up the courage to write. You guys have proven to me that if there's something you love to do, do it. I can't keep living my life afraid of what other people are going to think or afraid that I won't succeed, because when you really give it your all and let yourself be vulnerable to criticism and reality, you always win. Every time, you've won, because you've taken that leap of faith, and you've put yourself out there. You guys have given me the confidence in creative writing that I never in a million years thought I'd have. You've let me share this adventure with you, and you've gone on a journey with me and these characters that all of us love so much, and you've helped me give them a life form in my own head that I never thought I'd be able to write down and share with you.
I'm in love with you guys. And even though this is the end of this story, I will never forget how awesome all of you are and what you gave me this summer. You're the best fanfiction readers anyone could ever ask for, and I am so honored to have had all of you in my life for the last three months!
If you ever need anything, feel free to send me a PM here or on Tumblr at 1nceinyourlife. I'm going to miss all of you so much!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
For the very last time... enjoy!
I was there at the end of that summer, when they all went off to New York.
I was there to move them into their dorm rooms... and to help Finn bandage up his forehead when he fell off his lofted bed within the first twenty minutes of being in the room.
I was there for their first college musical.
I was there when Kurt and Blaine rescued a cat, only to discover that Kurt is incredibly allergic to them.
I was there when they graduated from NYU.
I was there when Blaine called me, telling me he'd finally picked the perfect ring.
I was there when Kurt called me, sobbing into the phone to tell me that Blaine had finally proposed.
And I was there when Finn called me, telling me that Kurt and Blaine had called him and asked him to be their joint best man.
I was there for the ceremony, squeezing Carole's hand and letting tears flood my eyes as I watched Blaine officially become a Hummel man.
I was there to watch those two incredible, amazing boys fall in love with each other a little bit more every single day.
And I was there to hold you in my arms, the very first day you were born.
And I've been here to watch them love you and take care of you.
And just from the last few days, I've gotta say that they're doing a pretty great job, you know.
Burt turned around in the rocking chair to find his son standing in the doorway, hands on his hips.
"Are you still telling this story?"
"I most certainly am. I think she likes it."
He walked into the room and peeked into the crib at his sleeping daughter.
"She's six months old, you know. What have you been telling her?"
Burt sighed and cracked his knuckles.
"Oh, a little bit of this. A little bit of that."
He turned back to his dad.
"Let me guess... senior year?"
Burt shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
"It's the best story to tell!"
He laughed and leaned against the crib, keeping his voice at a whisper.
"Please tell me you left out the Robin mask story."
Burt shook his head.
"Nope, we definitely covered that one."
"And Alan the sand crab too?"
"Oh, yeah. He was in there. As well as the fairy tale story."
His jaw dropped.
"Wait... how did you know about that?"
Burt tried to catch himself, remembering that that was a moment he was never supposed to hear.
Burt left the question completely open ended, and there was nothing for him to do but wonder in confusion.
"Never... what, exactly?"
"I could have sworn that kid would have told you guys about all of the eavesdropping at some point. Who knew he could actually keep a secret?"
His jaw dropped.
"You used to spy on us?"
"Well, of course I did! How else was I supposed to know what you two talked about?"
He laughed and shook his head.
"Honestly, Dad, that is unbelievable, and she is going to be scarred for life by those stories!"
Burt leaned back in his chair and folded his hands in his laps.
"You think so?"
"I was there for those too, you know."
Burt just laughed.
"Well, I'm sure that's a whole other story entirely."
Burt stood up, and the two men left Caroline to sleep without any further interruption.
"Thank you for being here these last few days, Dad. I've... I've really needed you."
He sighed and rubbed his temple.
"Between a sick husband and a fussy baby... well, taking care of both of them has just been a little bit over my head."
Burt clapped him on the back.
"You know I'm always happy to. Is he feeling any better?"
He shook his head.
"Not at all. He was coughing until three, and she was up at five. You know, they say you don't get any sleep once you have kids, but I never thought it'd be quite like this!"
They stopped at the front door, and Burt rested a hand on his shoulder.
"You'll get there. He always was needy when he got sick, wasn't he?"
"Still is. But would we really have it any other way?"
Burt laughed, and they hugged.
"Um, could I maybe ask if you could come over again tomorrow? I'm not expecting tonight to be too much better, and with all of this-"
Burt's face lit up, knowing that he'd never turn down an invitation like that.
"Whenever you want me to be here, I will."
"Then I'll see you tomorrow afternoon."
He laughed and opened the door.
Burt got one last look at his son that night, one last look at the uncharacteristically disheveled hair and the tired eyes that were still so full of love, one last look at the boy who he'd watched turn into a man.
A man with a family, and a husband, and all of the happiness in the world.
With everything he ever wanted.
P.S. Have courage, and never forget that you matter.
Thank you for everything.