-Mild Spoilers for 1x4.-
The Things that Fathers Do
"Daddy!" A little boy sobbed, squeezing his Raggedy Ann doll as tightly as he could. "Daddy…"
Burt opened his son's door, quickly scanning the room for any physical distress before kneeling beside his bed. "Shh, hey, hey, what's wrong, buddy?"
The boy's bright blue eyes were puffy and red, his nose and forehead pink, face half-buried in the doll. "I, I h-had another dream about Mommy."
His words hit the father like a punch. He was haggard, so tired, so lost and so weary without the woman he loved to help him through. And then there was this boy, this sweet, confused baby that just wanted his mother back.
"Shh…" Burt sat beside him, scooping him in his arms. The boy hugged his father tight, sobbing into his chest. "It's okay, it's alright, Kurt. Shh…"
"Wh-why did Mommy go, but I stayed?" He sniffed, looking up at him. Burt fought harder to keep the stagnant tears in his eyes from escaping to his cheeks. That accident… He didn't know what he would have done if he would have lost Elizabeth and Kurt all at once. It…it would have killed him.
God, those eyes of his…they were identical to hers, and they were waiting for an answer. "I," he cleared his throat. "I don't know, buddy," he said honestly. He wiped his eyes, trying to smile. "But, I know if Mommy was here she wouldn't have wanted you to get hurt."
"I asked her to go out that day," he cried. "I wanted t-to go…It's my fault, Daddy!" Burt's heart broke. He hugged his little boy tighter, holding the back of his head.
"Hey, hey, stop that. It's not your fault, Kurt. You didn't do anything wrong. It…it was an accident," he said softly. "Shh…"
"Can, can I sleep in your bed?" He whimpered, lips shaking.
"Of course you can," he said quietly. He stood, never letting him go. Kurt leaned into his chest, squeezing the doll and his father all at once.
"I love you, Daddy," he sniffled. The father kissed the top of his son's head.
"I love you too, Kurt."
"Daddy…" The boy sobbed, holding his teddy bear as tightly as he could. "Mommy!"
He waited. And waited. And waited.
No one came. He didn't even hear anything stir down the hall. He sat up, trembling, looking warily at his closet. He stood, squeezing the bear and bolting for his door, still crying. He ran down the dark hallway to his parent's room, carefully easing the door open.
"M-Mommy," he gulped. "D-Daddy?"
He heard his father groan, irritated. "What, Blaine?" He barked. The boy jumped at the harsh tone, his cheek resting against the bear, which was getting wet from his tears.
"I-I had a bad dream," he said shakily. His mother rolled over, sitting up.
"About what?" She asked. His father groaned again, rolling and slamming his head in his pillow.
"There, there was something in my closet," he said, knees shaking at the memory.
"Blaine, sweetie, there's nothing in your closet," she said simply, no compassion or care in her voice. "Go back to bed, honey."
His father growled, throwing the covers back and standing. He marched over to the boy, grabbing his arm.
"What did your mother say?" He bellowed. The child jumped, whimpering.
"Carl, don't," his mother said, frowning.
"Come here," the father snarled, stalking down the hall, still gripping his arm too tightly. He shoved him in his room and toward his bed, turning on the light.
The little boy stood at the foot of his bed, his space-ship pajamas shaking with him, caramel colored eyes swimming.
His father ripped open his closet, pointing. "Nothing in there, is there?" He snapped. The boy shook his head rapidly, curls flying. "I didn't think so." He stalked back over to him, grabbing his shirt and tossing him back on the bed. "Now go to bed!" He snarled through gritted teeth.
He snapped the light off and shut the door with a slam.
The little boy laid down, sniffling, still scared from his nightmare, his arm throbbing. He hugged his bear, pretending it was someone that cared that he was scared.
"It's okay," he made the bear say. "There's nothing there. It's okay." He sniffed, trying to keep his voice from shaking.
"Okay, Mr. Bear. Can I sleep in your bed tonight?"
"Yes you can, Blaine," he whispered. He buried his face in the bear's head, his only friend in the world.
The boy cried. He'd been waiting to tell his father for years who he really was. That he was gay. He was so scared that he would reject him, that he would be angry and hate him.
He didn't. He hugged him, said that he loved him…and asked him if he was sure.
He smiled through his tears. He wasn't perfect, but at least he still loved him. He cried harder, feeling as if some huge burden had been lifted off of him. His shoulders felt lighter.
He could hear his dad on the phone upstairs, boasting and bragging about what he'd done at the game. He smiled again, still crying.
"Yeah, thanks," he could hear him saying. "Talk to you later, bye."
"Kurt?" He said, coming down the stairs. The boy wiped his eyes quickly, but there was no point. He turned around, looking at his Dad. Burt frowned, looking at him. "What's wrong?" He shook his head, trying to smile.
"Nothing," his voice cracked.
"Kurt, come here," Burt said, his eyes pained. He hugged his son again, rocking him gently. Kurt held onto him, sobbing.
"I'm sorry," he choked.
"For what?" Burt frowned.
"I…I'm sorry I'm not the son you wanted," he choked. "Besides Joan Rivers no one wants a gay son."
"Stop it," Burt said firmly. "There's nothing wrong with you, Kurt." He held his shoulders, looking at him steadily. "I'm proud to have you as my son. I wouldn't want you any other way. Now, this is gonna take some getting used to for me, but…but I love you no matter what. That's what I'm supposed to do."
Kurt hugged him again, sobbing hard, so incredibly relieved. "Thank you, Dad, thank you so much."
"I…I…" He stared at his hands.
Say it, just say it. Just tell them.
"What, Blaine, we don't have all day," his father snapped.
He swallowed hard, terrified.
He looked at his parents, waiting. His mother's hand was clapped over her mouth, eyes disbelieving. He couldn't read his father's face. His hands were shaking and sweaty, heart thundering.
Then everything exploded.
His father was screaming at him, cursing him, hating him. His mother was crying, wailing about what she did wrong.
"NOT IN MY HOUSE, YOU'RE NOT!" The father yelled, fisting his shirt. "THERE WON'T BE ANY FAGGOTS IN MY HOUSE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?"
"D-Dad, it's not my fault!" He squeaked.
That comment got him slapped. The God he loved very much was thrown in his face, those awful, hateful words striking him harder than his father's fists, which met his chest multiple times and once to his jaw.
It ended with him against the wall, his father grabbing his mother's wrist and the car keys, storming out.
He slid down to the floor, bringing his knees to his chest, sobbing into them. As if the torture at school wasn't enough, now he had to get it at home.
All he could see when he closed his eyes was his father's face, screaming at him.
"So I take it you and your dad don't get along so well," Burt remarked.
Blaine almost flinched. He shut his eyes very briefly, wondering how he should approach this.
"No," he said softly. "No, we don't get along at all."
"Can I ask why?"
Blaine glanced at him, squeezing his hands together. "My father isn't, um, he isn't too keen on the idea of me being gay."
Burt frowned but said nothing, so Blaine kept talking.
"He's tried to 'deal' with me, as he puts it for Mother's sake, but…He, uh," he shook his head, trying to laugh at the situation. "He practically hates me. Or at least, he acts like he does."
Burt nodded thoughtfully. "He's never said he's proud of you, or…?"
Blaine laughed ruefully. "Absolutely not. The last 'compliment' I received from my father was 'Hey, you don't look like a total fag today.'"
Kurt was hovering in the doorway of the kitchen, watching. He winced at Blaine's words; he had no idea his father was so…so awful. He looked so sad, so devastated, and so resigned to the fact that his father did not love him. It was heartbreaking.
"Watch your mouth," Burt said quietly, almost gently. Blaine nodded.
Kurt saw his nose turn pink, watched his lips purse and his shoulders tense; Blaine was trying not to cry.
"I'm so glad that Kurt has you," he said softly. "I don't want to think about what he'd be like if he had a father like mine. He wouldn't be so, so sweet and so loving. He wouldn't be Kurt," he laughed a little. "Maybe I wouldn't be this way either."
"What way?" Burt goaded. Blaine sniffed, looking up at him.
Kurt shut his eyes, tears in them.
"Just once," Blaine whispered harshly. "Once, I wish my dad would tell me I did a good job, or show up at one of our events or…or care." The wounded boy jumped when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked at Burt, the tears practically overflowing from his large eyes.
"I'd be proud to call you my son, Blaine."
The boy wasn't expecting that. He was stunned into silence. He wasn't expecting he hug he got a moment later, either. In that moment he was eight years old again, scared of what might be lurking in his closet, and someone was finally holding him.
He kept his tears in his chest, all but one that escaped from his eye and tapped onto the flannel of the older man's shirt. He clapped him on the back, smiling at him pleasantly, assuredly, and going into the living room.
Kurt came out of his hiding place, watching Blaine steady himself on the island, sobbing quietly. He rushed to him, pulling him into his arms, cradling him against his chest.
"Why didn't you tell me?" He whispered. Blaine shrugged.
"I didn't think you'd want to know," he breathed. "And I, I don't know, I thought you wouldn't want…" Kurt hugged him tighter, feeling Blaine's hands clutching his back. He smoothed his hair, running his fingers through the soft curls.
"Shh…hush, hush, it's alright." Blaine broke down, sobbing hard into his boyfriend's chest. Kurt stroked his cheeks and kissed his forehead, whispering that it was alright and everything would be okay into his ear in his soft, beautiful voice.
Even if he didn't have a father that loved him, he had Kurt.
"I love you," Kurt said, pecking his lips, smiling a little.
"I love you too," Blaine gulped, squeezing him tighter. He could feel Kurt's soft skin against his neck, his arms wrapped around him, holding him together.
"Kurt?" He whispered.
"Can, can I stay here tonight?"
Kurt looked up at the doorway, right at his father, who nodded before going back to the living room, a fresh beer in his hand.
The porcelain boy smiled. "Of course you can." He held him, nuzzling his face against Blaine's cheek, letting him squeeze him as tightly as he needed.
He's so much better than that bear, he thought. And he even hugs back.