Title: Again
Author: Heidi
Rating: T
Pairing: canon pairings, but Blaine is not mentioned in this fic
Disclaimer: These are not my characters and I am just having a little fun with them.

Notes: Thank you to my friend Cindy for suggestions to better my fic.

Kurt wanted to chuck his phone through the window when he read the text he'd been sent. His dad and Finn and Carole had all gone out for dinner and no one had even thought to include him. It sucked. While Kurt was glad that his dad loved Carole and Finn, it hurt like hell to be left out, even if he would never admit that to anyone's face.

ZZZZ

"Dinner last night rocked." Finn was smiling so brightly. "Burt and my mom took us to this restaurant where they did the tricks with the onions and sake."

"Cool dude." Puck nodded his approval.

"How was the dinner?" Tina asked Kurt, startling him. "Sounds like Finn had a lot of fun, did you?"

"I wouldn't know." Kurt flippantly replied.

"What the hell do you mean?" Artie asked, confused. "Weren't you there too?"

"No, I was not there." Kurt coldly said and hoped they left it alone.

"Kurt was busy or something." Finn shrugged and Kurt was growing more pissed. He wasn't busy, he simply hadn't been invited and the lie hurt more than he wanted to admit.

ZZZZ

After being excluded from more dinners with his 'family', Kurt was just fed up with the lies Finn was telling when people asked him about these awesome dinners and wondered where he was pulling the lies from.

"Burt and my mom are totally cool with you guys tagging along to Columbus this weekend with us since we're taking the Navigator." Finn bounced around the room, like a puppy on speed.

"What trip do you think you're driving my car on?" Kurt asked, genuinely curious since this was the first he'd heard of this trip.

"This weekend to Columbus. Your dad is taking us to a football game and my mom is going shopping and to the spa at the hotel." Finn crowed with pride.

"Oh, really?" Kurt's face contorted. "That might be a problem since I am driving my car this weekend."

"Dude, don't be such a jerk about this. You're going shopping with Carole, so it will all be cool." Puck shrugged, not in the mood to deal with Kurt's diva bitchiness right now.

"No, I am not going shopping with Carole since I wasn't even told about this mini-vacation. And my car is staying here with me." Kurt stomped off, his rage simmering below the surface and working hard to keep it from exploding out of his body.

ZZZZ

Burt found his son scrolling through something on his computer. "Kurt, I need your keys. We're taking the Navigator this weekend."

"No." Kurt didn't even bother to look up at his dad.

"Excuse me?" Burt frowned at his son when Kurt didn't even bother to look up at him.

"I need my car this weekend since I wasn't invited. I need to be able to go places." Kurt's words were icy.

"You can just drive my truck." Burt waved vaguely with his hands in the air. "We need the Navigator because it's got the most room for all the guys that are going."

"Really?" Kurt raised an eyebrow towards his father.

"Kurt." Burt warned and Kurt tossed the keys to his dad, not in the mood for an argument over something like this.

"Have a good time." Kurt snapped.

"Thanks, son. We will." Burt answered and lumbered up the stairs, not seeing the hurt and disappointment on Kurt's face.

ZZZZ

Columbus…

Carole saw the deep crease of tension and frown appear on her husband's face as he sat down on the hotel bed.

"Burt, what's wrong?" Carole worriedly asked and her husband held up a set of keys.

"I forgot to give my truck keys to Kurt before we left." Burt sighed, feeling an oppressive weight settle on him.

Carole smiled and shook her head. "You have another set at home, right? So, it will be fine. Just call Kurt and let him know where the other keys are."

He shook his head and reached for his cell phone that was sitting on the hotel nightstand. "Carole, these are the second set. I lost the other set years ago."

"Oh, honey. I'm sure Kurt can call someone if he needs a ride. He will be fine." Carole tried to reassure her husband that his son, her step-child was resourceful enough to find ways to get what he needed. "Besides, he's going to be an adult soon enough. Consider this weekend a trial run for adulthood." Carole smiled softly at her husband. She loved that he cared so much…it was one of the things that had attracted her to Burt.

"Yeah, you're probably right and I'm worrying for nothing." Burt smiled at his wife. "You'd better get dressed or we're going to be late for our dinner reservations."

ZZZZ

Kurt was beyond pissed. His dad had taken his car to shuttle Finn and his friends to Columbus for a football game and hadn't left him a set of keys to the truck, not to mention nothing in the house to eat. This was ridiculous and he was just fed up with everything. Sometimes, he wanted to hitch a ride to New York now and leave all this Lima-ness behind him.

After scrounging up dinner, Kurt logged onto his favorite website and was happy to see that one of the people he chatted with on a regular basis was on as well. Kurt just let everything pour out from the excluded dinners to the trip he wasn't invited on where they'd taken his car and left him with no car and no food in the house. His online friend was completely supportive and Kurt thanked god that at least one person out there was there for him.

ZZZZ

Kurt heard the slamming doors as Carole, Burt, and Finn all arrived back home from their weekend trip. Burt immediately sought out his son and found him in his bedroom.

"Kurt, I am sorry about the keys." Burt apologized, but Kurt refused to look at his father because he was so hurt by the callous actions of his family.

"Whatever." Kurt muttered, not in any mood to hear his dad's apologies. "I'm sure it was just a mistake, right?"

"Of course it was, Kurt. I knew that if you needed to go somewhere, you could have called Mercedes or Tina." Burt at least felt that Kurt's friends would have been there if he needed them for anything.

"No, I couldn't have since they were out of town on college tours." Kurt replied and saw the recognition cross his dad's face that they'd left him completely on his own with no transportation.

"Kurt…" Burt really didn't know what to say.

"Don't. Where are my keys?" He held out his hand and Burt dropped them into Kurt's hand.

"Where are you going?" Burt asked when he realized Kurt was slipping into his jacket.

"Out to dinner, since there is nothing in the cabinets to eat since no one shopped before you guys left for Columbus." Kurt straightened his jacket and walked toward the door.

"Wait for us and we can go as a family." Carole suggested, overhearing that Kurt was heading out for dinner. No sense in missing a family bonding opportunity. "I know Finn wanted to try that new place, The Grille."

"No, I think I prefer to eat alone than with my family." Kurt sneered and got into his car.

"What the hell was that about?" Burt was shocked by Kurt's behavior.

"It's probably nothing, Burt. This is Kurt. He does have a tendency to be a bit overdramatic." Carole laughed.

"Yeah, you're probably right." He shrugged. His son was always a mystery and probably always would be. Burt lamented that he wasn't as close to his son as he wanted to be and it really did hurt.

ZZZZ

Burt had passed pissed about three hours ago at nine when Kurt had missed curfew. It was now midnight and he was just plain worried.

"Where the hell is he?" Burt asked Carole. He was angry.

"Honey, he's upset about something and probably lost track of time. I'm sure he will apologize when he gets home and realizes the time." Carole tried to soften the anger she was seeing and hearing from her husband.

"Why are you guys still up?" Finn asked as he wandered into the kitchen to get something to eat.

"Kurt is still not home." Burt growled. "And he and I will be having a serious conversation when he gets his butt home."

"Yeah, he is." Finn replied, grabbing chips and a soda.

"What?" Burt whipped his head around so fast at his step-son's declaration, that he almost gave himself whiplash.

"Kurt is in his room, listening to music and doing homework." Finn explained and shrugged his shoulders.

"Honey, I think you might be wrong." Carole touched his shoulder.

"Mom, Burt, Kurt's car is in the driveway and I am telling you he's home. If you don't believe me, go check on him."

Burt decided to check Kurt's room after indeed seeing that Kurt's Navigator was in the driveway. "Son."

"Dad." Kurt acknowledged sharply.

"When did you get home?" Burt was curious since no one had seen or heard Kurt come back from dinner.

"Around seven when I was done with dinner." Kurt frostily told his father.

"Why didn't you come let us know you were home?" Burt asked, hurt that his own son hadn't bothered to talk to him.

"You looked like you were busy and I have a lot of homework."

"All right." Burt was hurt that Kurt had frozen him out like this. He was worried about his son.

ZZZZ

"What did you buy in Columbus this weekend?" Mercedes asked before glee practice started.

"Nothing." Kurt answered, not in the mood. He'd already been tossed in the dumpster twice and had water thrown at him more times than he could count, all because the slushie machine was broken. Somehow, someone had managed to break the dispersing nozzles…all of them at the same time.

Tina whipped her head around in shock and surprise. "Are you seriously telling us you went to Columbus and bought nothing?"

"I am telling you exactly that since I wasn't invited on the weekend getaway." Kurt hated looking weak in front of his friends, but they kept pushing and pushing him and he'd finally had enough.

Quinn looked faintly sick. "Seriously, Kurt? Everyone including your dad and Carole went to Columbus without you?"

"That is correct, Quinn, and if you'd all listen to me, I'd like to drop this and focus on our glee assignment."

ZZZZ

Burt watched his son cooking dinner for the family. Kurt hadn't said but five words to anyone since he and Finn had come home from glee practice earlier.

"Kurt?" Burt decided it was time to have a good talk with his son about everything.

"Yes?" Kurt didn't even turn around to speak to his father.

"Can we talk?" Burt shoved down his hurt that his own son didn't want to look at him.

"We can talk at dinner, dad. I'm almost done." Kurt gave a final stir to the rice before pouring it into the serving dish and setting it down on the table.

ZZZZ

Dinner was a stilted affair with Kurt pushing the food around on his plate and Finn dominating the conversation when 'it' happened.

"What kind of birthday party do you want, Kurt?" Carole happily asked.

Kurt looked up and blinked in surprise that someone had deigned to speak to him at the dinner table about something about him. It was certainly a shock to the system. "Excuse me?"

"I know your birthday is next Friday and I wanted to know what kind of birthday you wanted to have." Carole was surprised that Kurt was so shocked that she'd asked when it hit her that he probably hadn't celebrated his birthday with a lot of people or any friends over the last several years. "Just some friends over or a big blowout party with everyone you know like Finn usually likes?"

"Nothing, actually." Kurt said, shocking the hell out of Carole and Finn. He kept his eyes focused on pushing his dinner around on his plate.

"You don't want to do anything for your birthday?" Carole carefully asked, knowing it was a slippery slope she was treading.

"Dude, we have to do something." Finn hastened to add to the conversation. A birthday party was all about having fun with your friends and very little parent supervision.

"I already have plans for the entire weekend." Kurt answered sharply, hoping they'd get the hint and leave him the hell alone about his birthday.

"What kind of plans?" Burt was curious since Kurt hadn't mentioned anything to him about having weekend plans and they usually talked about these things.

"Plans to go see Wicked in Columbus and treat myself to a nice dinner and a massage." Kurt's expression was guarded.

"Oh, that sounds so fun, Kurt." Carole's head was just buzzing with excitement at the idea. "We'll all have a good time in Columbus again."

"You weren't invited." Kurt pinched his eyebrows as he looked at his step-mother. "These are my birthday plans and I intend to spend them alone."

"You can't be alone on your birthday. It just isn't right." Finn jumped in to the conversation without thinking.

"And it was okay for me to be alone the weekend you all went to Columbus, right?" Kurt was really treading on thin ice at that moment. He didn't want to explode, but everyone around the table was making it impossible not to. "It's my birthday and that's how I intend to spend it. Alone, just like every other birthday, so please don't try to help or plan something or butt into my plans."

Kurt bolted from the table to his room and made sure to slam and lock his door to keep everyone out.

"Well, that was just unbelievingly rude of Kurt." Carole was hurt by Kurt's choices and the words that had been directed at her.

"Carole, Kurt likes to spend his birthday alone and I don't think we should intrude." Burt carefully said, hiding his own hurt at Kurt's words, but his son was old enough to choose how he wanted to spend his birthday.

ZZZZ

"Birthday plans?" Mercedes asked with a bright smile as she talked to her best friend.

"I am going to Columbus to see a performance of Wicked, have a nice dinner, and a massage at a fabulous spa." Kurt smiled, thinking about his plans.

"Who's going with you?" Brittany asked. "You can't be alone on your birthday. It will make you sad and you can't be sad on your birthday."

"I'm going by myself. I think I'd have more fun by myself than with anyone else." Kurt said, making sure not to hurt Brittany's feelings or he'd have Santana to deal with.

"That sucks, Kurt." Santana said as she smiled at him for being nice to Brittany. "But I hope you have fun in the city and have a happy birthday."

"Thanks Santana." Kurt was honestly touched by her words. Few people had wished him a happy birthday other than Mr. Schue, Mercedes, Tina, Artie, Mike, and his dad that morning.

Finn and the guys came into to the room and he made a beeline for Kurt.

"My mom is kinda pissed at you, dude." Finn complained.

Kurt looked haughtily up at his step-brother and calmly asked. "Why?"

"Because you told her we weren't welcome in Columbus with you for your birthday." Finn's eyes were filled with anger.

"You aren't welcome to spend my birthday with me, Finn. I want to be alone to celebrate." Kurt refused to let people see how much he was hurting and Finn was no different. School wasn't the place for this discussion.

"You really hurt her feelings and I don't like that, Kurt. She's trying her hardest to be nice to you and you don't care." Finn tried to look menacingly at his step-brother.

Kurt saw the anger firing in Finn's eyes, but he was beyond the point of caring. "She's not my mother, Finn. She's your mother and forgive me if I don't want her butting into my day. It's my birthday, Finn, no one else's."

"You're just being a pissy jerk about this whole thing." Finn snapped and stormed off to sit on the other side of the room.

Mercedes looked at Kurt. "What the hell is his problem?"

"Don't worry about it, Mercedes. Let's just work on our song assignment." Kurt brushed off his best friend because he didn't want Mercedes and Finn fighting about something so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. He'd deal with this alone, just like he dealt with everything else.

ZZZZ

Burt watched his son put on his coat and check his bag once more. "Kurt, you don't have to go to Columbus to celebrate your birthday. We can do something around here. Anything that you want."

"I made plans and bought my ticket months ago for this play and if it happens to fall on my birthday, it does." Kurt didn't know why they wouldn't just drop this.

"Carole is…"

"Carole is not my mother and I don't care if she got her feelings hurt. This is my birthday and if I chose to spend it alone, I will. No one else seems to understand that you have no problem excluding me from activities, but when I do it to you, it's another story. So how does it feel? Think about that this weekend." Kurt stormed out of the house, making sure to slam the door extra hard and got in his car and left.

"Well, that went well." Burt said to the air and went back into the house, hoping his son enjoyed his birthday.

ZZZZ

Monday…

"How was seeing Wicked?" Rachel asked when Kurt walked into the room. She'd been so jealous of him when he'd sent her a picture on his phone of the theater and signage for the play.

"It was fabulous as ever." Kurt smiled brightly. He loved the play and seeing it was amazing.

"Glad you had such a great time, Kurt." Finn sneered. Kurt chose to ignore his step-brother's attitude problem.

Mercedes had finally had enough of Finn. "Just what the hell is your problem, Finn? Kurt can spend his birthday how he wants to. You certainly didn't think about Kurt when you make plans and leave him out."

"We didn't leave him out of anything." Finn blustered.

"The Columbus trip ring a bell, white boy?" Mercedes asked, waiting for Finn to make the connection in his little brain.

"There just wasn't any room in the car." Finn continued to dig the hole deeper and deeper.

Kurt really wished the floor would open up and swallow him. He hated feeling like this; lost and lonely. As much as his friends were defending him; they would never understand how it felt to be ignored and abandoned.

Mercedes just stared at Finn in shock at his response. "It's his car, Finn. Why don't you try inviting him and letting him turn it down if he's not interested, instead of making decisions for him?"

"Ouch." Quinn quietly added, shocked that her ex-boyfriend was so dense sometimes.

Puck and Mike were quiet as they thought about their trip and how much fun they'd had while Kurt had been left alone at home. They really were jerky friends and they had to do something to make this up to Kurt, somehow.

"Wow, we really suck." Finn felt so damn guilty because Mercedes was right. "Kurt…"

"Just don't, Finn." Kurt looked at his step-brother. "I just don't want to talk to you right now."

Finn refused to let Kurt shut him out now. "There's got to be something we can do to make it up to you. I will do anything."

"You shouldn't have to do something to make up for it when you shouldn't have done it in the first place, but I just don't care anymore, Finn." Kurt honestly spoke to everyone in the room. "I just want to be left alone by all of you."