Kurt Hummel looked up at his father with wide blue eyes, his left hand clasped tightly in his right.
Burt Hummel glanced down from his paper and laid it down at the kitchen table. It took him all of two seconds to know that something was wrong. He set his jaw as he turned all of his attention to his tiny 10 year old son.
"What… What is this?" Kurt was trembling as he held out his left hand for his father to inspect.
Burt's breath caught in his throat.
Of course there was nothing there, at least not to Burt. His son's hand was soft, small, and perfect. But, he also knew what Kurt saw when he looked upon his hand. Burt's left hand closed and his fingers brushed over the name that was a part of the skin on his palm.
Burt's soul mate.
Kurt stood waiting with expectant eyes. Burt heaved a heavy breath and pulled his son into his lap, kissing the top of his round head.
"Kurt, it isn't about what I see. It's about what you see. So, tell me, what do you see?"
Kurt swallowed and answered with his ten-year-old simplicity, "A name."
"Do you know who's name that is?"
"No, it's a stranger's. It's nobody I've ever met."
Burt closed his eyes and hugged his son a little tighter.
"That name, Kurt, is the name that belongs to your soul mate. One day you're going to meet her, and you're going to fall in love with her. She'll also have your name in the palm of her hand. She's a part of you and you a part of her."
Kurt blinked at his father. For a long moment he didn't say anything. Burt frowned a little at this. He remembered when his mother told him what Elizabeth's name meant that he was happy. There was girl out there that he was going to marry one day and he knew her name. He remembered lying in bed that night just staring at his palm and feeling as if the world was a smaller and better place. But, Kurt, he just seemed even more confused that before. His gaze had gone back to his palm, and his mouth was twisted as if he wanted to ask a question but couldn't figure out which one he wanted to ask.
"D-does yours have Mom's name?" he asked softly
"Yes." Burt answered softly, stretching his hand and trying his best to keep the memories of his beautiful dead wife at bay.
Kurt was silent. His hand was clenched and his eyes were transfixed on it as he slowly reopened it again and frowned. He repeated this action a few more times each yielding the same result.
"Kurt… What's wrong?" Burt asked after watching his son.
"Dad…" Kurt was silent for a very long time now. He didn't move once in his father's arms. Burt had to listen very hard to hear, "What kind of a name is Blaine?"
Burt's mind went blank for a moment. Blaine? What? And, then Burt pieced it together. Why else would his son be bringing the strange name up? His heart hammered in his throat.
"Blaine is a boy's name Kurt." Burt stammered out looking down and meeting his son's wide, open eyes that were just pleading for his father to understand because he didn't.
"I thought so." Kurt said simply and softly.
Kurt burst into tears then, clutching to his father with all his small strength and Burt just wrapped his arms even tighter around his back.
"It's okay Kurt. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I promise. I love you, son. It's okay."
Kurt had Burt. That's all he would need for now.
The next few years were hard of course with Kurt finding out who he was and becoming a bright young man and Burt learning to fully accept his son and loving him even more for it.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the classmates of Kurt.
He knew what people thought. That to have the same sex's name inscribed on your hand was wrong. That for it to happen meant that you had some type of weird genetic mutation. Kurt knew that not everyone thought that, but that still didn't mean that he went around advertising his soul mate's name like some other people at his school did. Instead he mostly kept it to himself. He didn't see the need to let everyone know that he, Kurt Hummel, was meant to be with Blaine Anderson for the rest of his life.
Only his close friends knew, and that meant the entirety of the McKinley High Glee Club. The only people he had ever known in his life to truly accept him. They were like a family. Well, except for Finn, but that was only because him and Kurt actually were family.
Kurt liked that he didn't feel the compulsive need to hide Blaine from them like he did with the rest of the school.
Which is why Kurt was now in his room with his best friend giggling as they gossiped and wondered about the men that they would one day call theirs.
Mercedes Jones sat across from Kurt on his bed one night cross-legged and hugged a large pillow to her chest.
"I hope Sam has really pretty eyes." She said wistfully. "They're always the first thing I notice about a guy."
"I'm sure Sam is beyond gorgeous since you only deserve the best." Kurt smiled as he finished applying Mercedes' mud mask.
"What do you think Blaine will be like?"
It wasn't that Kurt had never thought of what Blaine was like, in fact, that was typically the number on thought running through his mind, but he just didn't know where to begin.
"Handsome, of course." He began with his go-to snarkiness. But, after a moment's pause, his walls came down and he gently spoke, "He'll be proud, but not excessively. Someone… someone nice, and gentle, and kind. He'll have this sense of adventure, like he'll always be able to find fun in anything. He'll be musical, of course, and… he'll make me feel… safe."
Mercedes gazed at her best friend as he stared at the ground looking from far away in his mind, lost in his own thoughts. The bullying at school he could live with, even though the bullies didn't have a full confirmation, Kurt still knew that they suspected his sexuality.
He never denied it though when they called him the hurtful names. Let them think what they thought. Whether he was gay or not wasn't going to change the fact that people hated him for no reason other than the fact that he was different.
Mercedes reached out her hand and gently laid it on Kurt's shoulder to pull him away from his thoughts.
"It'll be okay, boo. High School doesn't last forever."
Kurt smiled and turned back to her. "No, it doesn't. I'm sure when we're both on Broadway we'll laugh at the petty people who pushed us around as we roll around in giant piles of cash."
They both burst out into giggles and not a single care was given for the rest of the night.
Kurt had Mercedes and the New Directions, and that's all he would need for now.
"Seeing as that you are the only one in this class that would be able to keep up with my academic prowess I think it would be best if we sat next to each other during this class period. That way we will be able to converse intelligently while keeping up a healthy level of academic competition."
"It's Home Ec. Not Rocket Science."
The petite brunette was quiet for a moment, and Kurt took a second to bask in this unusual event knowing how rare it was when the girl didn't speak.
"Being that as it may my offer still stands."
"Yes, Rachel you can sit next to me."
She beamed that contagious smile and Kurt felt himself smiling back as she took her place on the stool next to him.
Normally there would be three to a table in the class, but apparently there was a shortage of people that signed up and a few stools in the class remained empty.
Kurt looked around and saw that, unsurprisingly, he was the only male in the class.
He let out a heavy sigh and looked down at his cooking utensils. The heavy weight of loneliness sinking ever lower in his stomach. Normally, something as frivolous as this wouldn't affect him, but as he was coming to find out, more and more things were beginning to bug him.
Honestly they shouldn't be though. He looked over at Rachel who was humming softly to herself and doodling in her notebook, and once again Kurt felt a wave of sadness hit him.
She had found her someone, her soul's mate, in Finn, Kurt's stepbrother. Maybe it was odd that they had found each other in high school, but it was becoming less of a rare occurrence now a day. Mike and Tina had found each other, Brittany and Artie, although the way she and Santana looked at each other sometimes had him wondering. Even Mercedes had found Sam when he transferred to McKinley at the beginning of the year. Ever since then she has been more busy and unintentionally putting Kurt on the back burner. She hadn't meant to, he knew that, she was just too caught up in finally finding love.
Now, Kurt wasn't one to mess around. He knew people that still dated other people whose names weren't inscribed on their palms. But, something about that seemed off to Kurt. He knew he would never be able to date someone knowing that it was going to end sooner or later. He couldn't invest his heart and soul into that. Besides he hadn't even met another gay teenage boy in his life, so prospects were rather slim.
No, Kurt would wait for Blaine. He just really wished he would hurry his ass up and find him.
The elderly Ms. Gregory made her way into the room then snapping Kurt out of his thoughts and calling him to the processes of flambé and sauté.
It was later in the week when he first heard the news amongst the football players in Glee.
Finn and Puck were talking animatedly with excited smiles plastered across their faces. Rachel was snuggled up against Finn's side and met Kurt's confused look as he took his place next to Mercedes behind them.
"Big football news." She answered his unasked question. Kurt nodded accepting this, but Finn over heard and looked over at his girlfriend.
"What's that?" he said, a big goofy smile lighting up his face.
"I was explaining to Kurt why you're acting like a five year old that's had one too many energy drinks." Rachel explained turning her attention back to her sheet music in her lap.
"Oh yeah!" Finn turned to his stepbrother and smiled even possibly more. "We're getting a new transfer student! He plays football and apparently is one of the top kickers in the state! We're gonna dominate this season!" He quickly turned to Puck who high-fived him with a look of determination plastered over his face.
Kurt rolled his eyes and smiled while rolling his eyes. Mr. Schuster walked in then and proceeded to talk about this week's assignment. Disco.
Kurt did his best to not bash his head against his textbooks as the group quickly protested. Brittany looked as if she might start crying.
This was going to be a long week Kurt thought. Little did he know exactly how true statement would be.
He didn't see him until the middle of the week when he was standing at his locker to retrieve his French notebook. One minute he's glancing at the picture of him and Mercedes taken last summer, the next he's up close and personal with that photograph and the left side of his face throbs with pain from being pushed so hard.
"Morning Homo!" Azimio calls out at him and high fives another guy in a red letterman's jacket. Kurt glances at them for a moment and notices the unfamiliar face. He has curly dark hair and eyebrows and wide smile as he laughs at something Azimio said. He's short, but stocky, and has really good skin for a football player.
Kurt bends down to pick up his dropped notebook and when he looks back up he meets the new football player's gaze for a brief moment before the stranger turns his attention away and doesn't look back again.
"Hmm… that must be that new football player Finn was talking about.' Thinks Kurt and makes a mental note to stay as far away as possible from that new face.
Unfortunately Kurt can't stay away for too long because five minutes after Madame Rochelle calls roll the new football player struts casually into the room. He walks up to the teacher and briefly explains that he was late because Azimio was showing him around school. Kurt rolls his eyes at the cockiness in his voice and focuses on last class's vocabulary.
He barely registers what Madame is saying until, "…student from Westerville, Blaine Anderson."
Kurt hears a rushing sound around him and thinks that might be the world as it falls out from under him. He knows what he looks like. His eyes are as wide as dinner plates, his mouth pressed in a thin, thin line, and his skin has gone twice as pale as it normally is. His heart is lodged somewhere in his throat and his pencil has fallen from his slack hand.
He registers Mercedes' hand death gripping his leg then and the sharp pain anchors him back to reality. He looks over at her disbelieving gaze that's shifting between him and Blaine.
He slowly shakes his head to her as if to say 'Please don't say anything.'
Because this is not the Blaine Anderson Kurt had been dreaming of since his youth, this Blaine Anderson laughs as the person who is his soul mate gets slammed into lockers and walks away.
Kurt thinks he might vomit. He thought life was unfair, but never this cruel.
Glee that day was mass chaos.
Finn comes striding in the room at a fast pace with Rachel right behind him. Kurt's already seated with Brittany nuzzled into his side comfortingly, Artie seated in front of him with Mike, Tina, Sam, and Mercedes standing looking confused.
"Kurt… I…" Rachel doesn't know what to say for once in her life. She looks up to Finn hopeless. The whole Glee club knew, of course, exactly what Blaine Anderson was to Kurt Hummel. They had asked whose name it was on his hand when he came out to them.
"I'm sorry, man. I didn't know." Finn murmurs. Kurt meets his gaze and just sighs.
"I know Finn. But really, how were we supposed to know that Blaine Anderson would be a closeted, football playing jerk?"
They didn't know what had happened this morning, but did they really? 9 times out of 10 the football player's were homophobic Glee hating bullies that made Kurt's life miserable. One pitying look from Finn and he already knew that Blaine had been told to stay as far away from the 'Homo' as possible so as not to 'catch the gay.'
"Do you want me to say anything to him?" Finn asked sincerely just trying to help his brother out.
"No. Thank you. But, no. It's not my job to out him, and I would appreciate none of you telling him who I am. The longer we avoid that the better."
"But, dude! C'mon! Maybe he needs to know who you are it might chang-"
"Finn!" Kurt yelled. His patience used up for the day. It was getting hard to not let it show just how much this situation truly affected him. "No. Just, please, do as I say?"
Finn nodded along with Rachel. They sat down next to Kurt and all talking basically ceased from there.
Kurt didn't pay attention as Mr. Schuster tried and failed as pointing out the finer qualities of KC and the Sunshine Band.
That night Kurt silently cried, because the boy that was supposed to love him for the rest of his life hated him and didn't even know him.
It was two weeks before Blaine found out exactly who Kurt was.
Kurt was lucky because in the one class he had with Blaine Madame Rochelle only called their first names. Finn and the rest of the Glee Clubbers had kept up their promise and the football players stuck to derogatory name calling when directing him.
But, every once in a while, someone slips up.
Finn looked up to see his stepbrother waving at him from the sidelines of the football field. They had a five minute break to rehydrate and, or throw up before running more suicides.
"Make it quick, Hudson!" Coach Bieste shouts, acknowledging Kurt waiting patiently for a chance to speak to his brother.
Finn nods and sprints over to Kurt while the rest of the boys on the field shout after him.
"Enjoy your lady chat!" Azimio yells punching Blaine in the shoulder who grins at him.
Kurt rolls his eyes as Finn reaches him, but he can't stop the sick feeling of loneliness that he gets whenever he looks towards Blaine. He doesn't want to be near him, but at the same time Kurt can't help feeling a pull towards the curly haired kicker.
God, life fucking sucks.
"What's up?" Finn asks. He looks mildly concerned and his eyes scan Kurt quickly for bruises or scars. Luckily Finn can't see through to Kurt's back which is a mountain range of black, purple, and green bruises alike.
"Carol called. She and Dad are going out on a date. So, do you want to order pizza for dinner or…"
"Can we get Taco Bell?"
"Fine then. Pizza will be fine, but I want extra pepperoni!" Finn grumbles.
"Okay." Kurt sighs with a half exasperated smile.
"Awesome! Thanks dude!" and with that Finn runs back to the team, and Kurt turns to head toward the parking lot while dialing the pizzeria.
Bieste has the rest of the team already lined up for some drills and Finn rushes to take his place. He crouches down and hears Karofsky shout, "Hey Hudson, when you and lady over there get married are you taking his name or keeping yours?"
There's laughter amongst the guys and Finn has to grit his teeth to keep from pummeling him into the ground.
"You better watch yourself jackass!" Finn shouts.
"I think Finn Hudson-Hummel has a rather nice ring to it!" Trevor Jackson shouts.
"That's it!" Finn breaks formation and tackles the other boy to the ground and a full on row breaks out between the Glee guys and the football guys. Finn has Karofsky's helmet off and his smacking his face into the dirt, Azimio and Mike Chang are trying to get the other in a headlock, and Sam and Trevor have each other's jerseys.
It's complete madness and everyone has some one else to try and hit, but off to the side stands a completely dumbstruck jock.
'Hummel… what? Jackson said Finn's brother's name was Hummel.' Blaine Anderson thinks to himself staring off where he saw the sharp dressed male leave, "But… he's in my French class… his name… it's Kurt. Kurt… Hummel…'
Blaine's heart has made its way to his ears and he glances down at his hand in shocking awe. He feels sick, he feels disbelief, he feels… stupid. He simply let Kurt's first name fall on deaf ears thinking that there had to be more than one Kurt in the world, after all Kurt was a common name, right?
'No, you dumbass! How many Kurt's have you met?' He's staring at his hand where Kurt Hummel is written in loopy, slanted print.
Blaine Anderson feels the world fall out from underneath him and the realization of the whole situation hits him.
'Kurt knows me. He knows who I am… I was introduced in his class… he didn't say anything… nothing… I-… I laughed at him. But… what…'
He's confused, but mostly he's scared. Scared that his secret of being gay will get out, scared that if it does he'll be harassed off of the football team, scared that he'll never gain the chance to get an athletic scholarship, but he's mainly scared of the fact that he may have ruined the one chance he had at winning his soul mate's heart.
Blaine Anderson is scared that he lost Kurt Hummel without even knowing him.
So, what do people usually do when they're scared?
Blaine runs away from the football field and the squabble that Coach Bieste is now breaking up as she screams at the top of her lungs. He runs from Finn, Azimio, Karofsky, but he's mostly running away from Kurt.
Because, for right now, all that Blaine needs is to get away.