Title: The Greatest Discovery
Author: The Telepathic Hawk
Rating: K for this chapter.
Warnings: None unless you count AU as a warning.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee nor the lyrics from Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "The Greatest Discovery." I make no profit off of this piece of imagination.
Word Count: ~3,200
Summary: Finn Hudson was nine the year he became Finn Hummel. He was twelve the year his brother, Kurt, was born.
Author's Note: This is an AU series of oneshots along the same lines as my fic "I'll Be There." It focuses on the brotherhood and love between Finn and Kurt. There may be pairings later, but I'm not sure yet who they'll be. I haven't decided on all the songs that will be used yet, but the first one is Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "The Greatest Discovery." It's very sweet. If you've never heard it you should look it up.
Finn Hudson was nine years old when he became Finn Hummel. He wasn't sure about Burt Hummel at first. He loved his mom and all, but she didn't seem to have the best judgment when it came to the guys she decided to date. Either they only really wanted her and took off as soon as she told them about him or they only wanted her for a little while and took off when someone they decided they liked more came along. Finn didn't really see why. His mom was pretty enough, as moms went. At least she didn't seem old and worn out like Noah's mom or kind of…fake like Quinn Fabray's mom, though he would ever tell either of them that he thought that about their moms. That was just something you didn't do. Moms were sacred or something. And if he was married to Noah's dad he would probably look old too. And Quinn's mom…well she just kind of scared him, but he figured that was okay. He didn't really hang out with Quinn anyway.
But, anyway, his mom was pretty and pretty much the best mom ever, so he didn't see why guys wouldn't stay around with her. He could only figure that it was him. He knew that he wasn't the smartest kid and he kind of tripped over stuff a lot and sometimes he broke the glasses and plates that his mom told him to be careful with, but overall he didn't think he was that bad a kid to be around. At nine he was just starting to get good at sports. The rules were hard to understand sometimes, but he thought that he was getting them down pretty well. And he was getting really, really good at the drums. But, when the most of the guys his mom dated came over they didn't really want to hear anything about Finn so he didn't really mention any of those things. He just tried to stay out of their way and let his mom and whatever guy she was with have their time together. He figured maybe if he was good enough and quiet enough that someday someone would stick with his mom long enough to want to get to know him, too. But, if some guy only every really liked his mom and ignored him all the time that was okay too. As long as his mom was happy. She deserved it.
Burt Hummel was different from any other guy his mom ever brought home. He didn't talk around Finn and he didn't smile at him like adults sometimes smiled at kids. That smile where they knew they were smarter than you and they wanted you to know it too. That smile that said that they didn't really want to be wasting time talking to you, but they were going to indulge you for just a minute because they wanted to 'get in the sack' with your mom. Finn wasn't quite sure what 'get in the sack' meant, but Noah said it all the time and Noah was probably the smartest person Finn knew. He was his best friend, after all. But, Burt…Burt didn't do any of that stuff like the other guys. When he smiled at Finn he actually smiled at him. And when he asked Finn about his day he actually listened to what Finn told him and asked questions that made sense and proved that he was paying attention. After Burt and his mom had been dating a while Burt took Finn to places even when his mom didn't come. In the summer they went fishing and to baseball games. In the fall they went to the high school football games and one memorable time to a Buckeyes game that they had to get up early in the morning before the sun even got up to get to. In the winter they all went skating and bowling a lot…almost like a real family. And in the spring…In the spring Burt took Finn out to dinner and sat across the booth from him, a serious look on his face.
"I have something real important I want to talk to you about, Finn," Burt had that serious look in his eyes. He got it every time he wanted to talk to Finn like a grown up. Finn always felt proud and happy when he did that, "I'm going to give it to you straight, kiddo. I love your mom and I want to ask her to marry me."
"Okay…" There was a hope blossoming in Finn's heart that he didn't want to think about. Because it had almost gotten to this point a couple of times before, and he had always been let down.
"I don't know if your mom told you, but I was married once before. My first wife, Connie, died when she was giving birth to our little girl. I wasn't really alive, for a long time, kiddo. I wanted my wife and my little girl back. Then something like a miracle happened. Your mom brought her car into my shop. And she was so beautiful to me…I just had to ask her to dinner. And then she introduced me to you and it all came together. I don't want to just be your mom's husband, Finn. I want to be your dad, too, if you'll let me."
"I…" Finn looked down at his chili cheese fries and tried to pretend that he wasn't crying, "Okay…"
"Okay?" Burt prompted. Finn looked up and was surprised to see that Burt had tears in his eyes, too.
"Yeah," Finn smiled and was relieved when Burt did the same, "I'd like that."
"Yeah? Me, too." Burt picked up his burger and took a big bite before he looked up at Finn again and grinned with his mouth full. Finn took a big bite of his cheese fries and grinned back.
When they were in the car, sitting outside of the house before he had to go in and get into his pajamas because he had to get up for school the next day Finn turned to Burt nervously and smiled again, "Burt?"
"How soon before I can call you Dad?"
Burt took a moment to clear his throat before he looked at Finn with tears in his eyes, "How about you wait until I can ask your mom to marry me first?"
"So…you can come in and ask her now and I can call you Dad tomorrow?"
"You really want to call me Dad that much, buddy?"
Finn looked down because his face was burning and nodded, "I've never had a dad."
"Okay…" Burt reached over and opened the glove compartment. Finn's eyes followed the little black box he pulled out and he couldn't help his excitement as he ran up the stairs and tore into the house. His mom was in her cleaning sweats, but she still had her make-up on from work and Finn thought she looked beautiful. He ran straight into her arms, making her drop the dusting rag, and giggled as he jumped up and down.
"Woah, baby," Carole wrapped her arms around Finn and set her cheek to his hair, "Good dinner?"
"The best!" Finn pulled away slightly so that he could look up into his mom's tired, and happy (She always seemed so happy to see him.) eyes, "Burt wants to marry us, Mom! And he said that as soon as he asks you I can call him Dad! Can we move in together soon and be a real family? Please, Mom, please? Please say yes!"
"Burt…" Carole had straightened and was holding a hand to her mouth. Finn turned to see Burt in the open doorway fiddling with the little black box in his hands.
"Guess the cat's out of the bag, Care. So…uh…what do you say? You want to marry me? Want to be a family with me?"
Finn grinned up at his mom when she choked back a little cry. She'd told him a long time ago that not all tears were sad. And she was smiling. She was nodding her head and crying and smiling all at the same time. Burt laughed as he crossed the room and Finn didn't even cover his eyes when they kissed. He just grinned so hard he thought his cheeks would fall off when Burt put the ring on his mom's finger and then pulled her into another kiss. He felt like his heart would bust right out of his chest when she and Burt pulled him into the embrace and both of them kissed the top of his head.
His mom and dad married three months later at the city hall. It was only the three of them and the judge and lawyer his parents had hired to oversee his official adoption by Burt Hummel in the room. His mom wasn't in white like the pictures from her first wedding. She was in a pretty sky blue dress. She tried on about a million when they went to the mall but decided on the one that he liked the best. He thought it made her seem younger, and happier. She straightened her curly hair and put on her make-up carefully that morning while Finn watched. When they bought the dress she bought him a suit and he thought it made him look grown-up. It wasn't until they got to the city hall that he realized it matched Burt's. Then he couldn't stop smiling. The ceremony was short and by the end of everything he and his mom were both officially Hummels. They finished the day by moving all of their few belongings into their new house with Burt. Finn was getting the whole basement to himself.
For two years everything was pretty much perfect. His mom and his dad fought sometimes, but they made up. They always told him never to go to bed angry. They went to Disney World for Finn's tenth birthday and his dad was there for every baseball game and every football practice. His mom was happier than he had ever seen her in his life. He only told Noah once because he called him a wimp when he did, but one of the best things he had ever seen was the night he woke up for a glass of water and he found his parents slow dancing in the kitchen. Both of their eyes were closed and they were smiling, just happy to be together. When his dad opened his eyes and saw Finn he didn't stop dancing with his mom. Instead he just invited Finn in and the three of them swayed back and forth for a few minutes before his mom got his water and Finn went back to bed without a word. It was times like that that Finn knew they were a real, true family.
He only questioned it once. Not that they were a family. He never questioned that. He questioned his place in the family when, a few months after his eleventh birthday his parents told him that he was going to get the best present for his twelfth birthday. He was going to have a little brother or a little sister. He smiled and said everything they wanted to hear. How great it was. How he couldn't wait. But, inside he was terrified. He knew that his mom and dad loved him. But, they would probably love this new baby more. At least, his dad might. Finn was not his real son. The baby would be his in every way. He wouldn't really blame Burt if he wanted the new baby more than he loved Finn. But, it made him cry when he was alone in his bed that he had to force himself to stop thinking of Burt as Dad. When the new baby got there he probably wouldn't want Finn to call him Dad anymore anyway.
He spent months in a state of mild terror and depression before his dad noticed what was going on. He didn't even know that his dad had noticed anything at all until the not particularly special Wednesday when his dad woke him up before the sun came up. Finn was so sleepy he didn't even protest when his dad helped him get dressed. He fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up again until they stopped. A half hour later they were in a boat with fishing lines in the water and McDonald's breakfast sandwiches in their hands.
"Won't I get in trouble for missing school?" Finn asked, though he thought fishing with his dad was much better than sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher drone on and on about things he didn't actually care about.
"Naw, kiddo," His dad reached over and tousled his hair, "I told your mom we were going fishing. She'll call it in. Figured we needed some time alone. You've been acting a little down for a while, Finn. Your mom and I are worried about you. Is there something you want to talk about? Something you want to tell me, kiddo? You know you can talk to me about anything, right?"
"Yeah, I know," Finn looked down at the fishing pole in his hands and tried to swallow around the lump in his throat.
"It's about the baby, isn't it, kiddo?" Burt asked gently.
"No!" Finn's head snapped up so fast he hurt his neck. Shame burned in his face at seeing the understanding in his father's eyes and he looked back down at the pole as fast as he'd looked up. He was miserable when the shameful word escaped his lips without his consent, "Yes."
"Aw, Finn," Burt pulled him close to his side and kept his arms around Finn's shoulders even while Finn tensed up, "Buddy, I'm sorry I didn't see it before. I know it's got to be hard for you, buddy. But…Finn, you have to know…having this baby doesn't mean that anything is going to change between you and me or you and your mom. You're our son, our firstborn, and we will always love you."
"But, I'm not your son!" Finn choked on his sob, "I'm some other man's kid! When the baby is born you're going to realize that you'll always love him more!"
"Jesus, kid," Finn looked up to see his dad rubbing his face, distress written all over it, "There's no handbooks on how to deal with something like this, Finn. All I can say is that you are my son. In every single way that matters. Maybe I wasn't there when you were born and maybe I didn't see your steps or hear your first words, but you are mine. That first day your mom introduced you to me…God, Finn. You were nine years old and your mom told you not to get dirty, but you and Noah were having so much fun playing outside. And you came running up to me, the biggest grin and dirt all over your face, not shy at all. In that moment, Finn, right then, the first time I ever met you I became a dad. I love you, kiddo. Having this baby doesn't mean that I'm going to love you any less. It doesn't matter that I made this baby with your mom. It…"
Finn knew that his dad wasn't really one for words so the long speech had them both kind of shocked. He relaxed into his dad's arm. Somehow knowing they were both uncomfortable made it easier to bear his nerves. It seemed to make his dad more comfortable, too.
"You're my son, Finn. And the new baby is going to be my son, too. I'll always love you both. Love you both the same. So much sometimes that I don't think my heart can take it."
"Dad!" Finn couldn't even find it in himself to be embarrassed as he threw his arms around Burt's waist and buried his face in his chest. But, his dad only held him close and rocked a little. For about thirty seconds. Then they both realized that they were men and pulled apart with nervous laughter and smiles.
"I'm, uh, gonna need your help a lot with the new baby, Finn." Burt cleared his throat and looked back out at the water.
"You are?" Finn looked back down at his fishing pole.
"Yep. Being his big brother…that's probably just about the most important job in the world, Finn. My big brother taught me everything. How to throw a ball, how to catch one. How to talk to girls. He's going to need you more than anyone in the world."
Finn swallowed hard. Now that he knew his dad was always going to be his dad, it was kind of scary to think of someone else looking up to him for anything, "What if I'm not good enough?" He asked quietly. He looked up at his dad from the corner of his eye as he was handed a cold can of coke.
"Finn, when your brother is born, you've got one job. Well, one job, two parts."
"What's that?" Finn asked.
"You just have to love him. Love him and protect him and you'll always be good enough. I promise you that. Got it?"
"Got it." Finn grinned and popped open his can of soda.
"And you might have one more job before he comes," Burt looked down on him, "Your mom and I can't decide on a name for him. Think you can help us out?"
"Yeah," Finn took a deep pull of his coke, "I can do that."
Six weeks later Kurt McKenzie Hummel came into the world, squalling as if it had personally offended him. ("Kurt because it sounds like Burt and Carole put together and McKenzie because Dad told me it was his first wife's middle name. I figure, I have my dad's first name for my middle name and McKenzie can work for a boy, too. Is it okay?" His parents had both cried a little ant told him it was perfect.) Little Kurt Hummel did not stop crying until the moment he was set in his big brother's arms. Their parents looked on, amazed, as their twelve year-old, who hadn't even been sure he wanted a little brother until about a month before his birth, held his infant brother close and rocked him gently, whispering to him the entire time. Kurt, for his part, just looked up at his big brother as he spoke for a moment before promptly closing his eyes and falling asleep.
"It's okay if you want to sleep, Kurt," Finn whispered, rocking him still, "You were just born. That's hard work. I'm Finn. I'm your big brother and I only have one job. Two parts. So…I'm going to love you and protect you for the rest of your life. We have the best mom and dad in the world and I'm going to be the best brother. But, you don't have to worry about that. You're already the best brother. And you always will be."
He kissed Kurt's small forehead and grinned up at his parents, only to see them smiling at him and crying again.
"Don't worry," He whispered to the sleeping baby, "They'll probably do that a lot."
Finn thought he had probably never heard anything better than when his parents both began to laugh.
In those silent happy seconds
That surround the sound of this event
A parent's smile is made in moments
They have made for you a friend
And all you ever learned from them
Until you grew much older
Did not compare with when they said
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother
This is your brand new brother