Title: Courage on your Sleeve
Word count: 1,768
Summary: It's Senior Prom and someone is missing and it just kind of hurts Kurt's heart.
Warnings/Spoilers: FLANGST (AmieLeighLuna's word for fluff+angst)
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Glee, FOX, Ryan Murphy or anything else related to the Glee universe.
Keeping busy all day had only been so good. He had risen early as usual, gone through his moisturising routine, showered and washed his hair, laid out his suit, baked cookies, cleaned the house, ordered his father to the shop (then wished he'd gone with him), watched an hour of TV, given up, gone to his room to read, given up on that too, and now he was just pacing. Pacing pacing pacing. And bored. Terribly bored. But unable to stop his mind from just going and going and going. So he was bored but unable to concentrate long enough on anything to actually cure the boredom. It was unbelievably irritating.
He ended up slumping on his bed, fiddling with his hands and trying not to bounce too much. He didn't know what to dooooooooooooo. He was glancing around his room, desperate for anything to keep his mind occupied because it was far too early, even for him, to start getting ready, and his eyes fell on a particular photo and his breath caught in his throat.
He moved to it, picked it up, sat on the edge of his bed with it cradled in his hands. He wasn't even aware he was crying until a tear splashed onto the glass of the photo and he hastily scrubbed it off with his sleeve.
"Oh Mom," he whispered, his fingers trailing over her blond hair. "I wish you were here. I miss you so much…"
The pain in his chest builds and aches and he lays back on the bed, holding her photo stretched above him.
"I wish you could have met Blaine, and I wish you could see how happy he makes me. I wish you were here and could see how much your little boy has grown up…"
And then the sobs take over and he curls up around his pillow, the frame digging in painfully to his stomach but he doesn't care because he just needs to pretend for a moment that his mother is here because he misses her so damn much.
He sits up quickly, wipes his eyes hastily, pastes on a fake smile.
"Yeah, like I'm going to believe that,' Burt scoffs, stepping into the room and sitting on his bed. "What's wrong, buddy?"
He holds out the photo wordlessly and his Dad's face falls a fraction.
"Oh buddy," he says. "I know. I miss her too. Every day, I miss her."
"It's just so hard," Kurt whimpers, fresh tears starting to slide over his cheeks. "It's my senior prom and I want her here to take photos and roll the lint off my jacket that I missed and embarrass me in front of Blaine and she's not here."
Burt wraps an arm across his son's shoulders and Kurt breathes in the smell of his father and the cloying petrol-grease smell he gets after working at the shop. "Can you give me a moment? I have something you should see," he says suddenly, and Kurt shrugs and nods, wiping his eyes again. He was going to have to do something about the swelling because he didn't want anyone to notice how puffy his eyes were. And by anyone, he meant Blaine.
His father returns and holds out a cream envelope.
"What's this?" Kurt says, confused.
"It's…" Burt takes off his cap and rubs his scalp. "We knew your mother wasn't going to survive the cancer, but no one could have expected that it wouldn't be the cancer to kill her. She wrote this a few weeks before she died. Maybe she knew somehow. I don't know. But when she gave it to me, she said I had to hide it away and give it to you at your senior prom if you were, well," he looks uncomfortably at his son, "horribly upset and missing her."
Kurt turns the envelope over in his hands, his heart hammering in his chest. He holds it to his nose and inhales and it's so her. It's the scent of her dresser and perfume and he can't believe that even after ten years, the paper has preserved it so well.
"I'll uh," Burt does his inching-away-before-this-gets-awkward thing. "Leave you to it, buddy."
Kurt's not sure if he nods because he's already sliding the delicate paper from the envelope and oh, he recognises that paper. His mother had bought it one time with tears in her eyes and he'd asked her why she was so sad, and she had given him a teary smile and kissed his forehead and said that one day, maybe he'd understand.
'My darling Kurt,
The doctors say I don't have long, but then they've been saying that for years now. Maybe this letter won't be needed but I just feel that…that somehow it will be. For an eight-year-old boy, you are so strong and brave, so beautiful and intelligent. You're thoughtful, insightful, comforting and I could never have dreamed that I could have a child as, yes it's a cliché but you're going to have to deal with it, perfect and wonderful as you.
I'm sure that by now, you have accepted yourself for who are. I remember the look on your father's face when you asked for sensible heels in your size (because he had no idea you spent the day clomping around the halls in my heels that were far too large for your small feet) and when he sighed and said, "Well Liz, guess we'd better try and find some," I knew that we could handle anything together as parents.
Of course, I never expected that your father would end up taking care of you on his own but I also know that if he accepted your request for shoes that honestly hurt my ankles and arches, then he would have accepted you when you were old enough to tell him.
I wonder what the world is like now, if they accept you better. Or if there is still bullying. It hurts my heart to think that others can't accept you just because you're a little different. And really, we're all different. You love who you love and I don't understand why there are struggles for that.
But Kurt, as you get ready for your senior prom tonight, I want you to hold your head high. I want you to be that courageous and brave little boy who refused to cry when his knees bled after he fell off the swingset. I want you to be that courageous and brave little boy who shoved back in pre-school when another boy said that 'boys don't wear pink' (of course, it was difficult explaining to a four-year-old that boys could wear pink and it was perfectly reasonable but you shouldn't fight with others over that; you always were rather headstrong). I can't tell if you'll have a date or not, but I hope you do. I hope he holds your hand and dances with you and kisses you in front of everyone and whispers in your ear that you're his and I want you to reply that he's yours, because I know that if you have a boy Kurt, you won't have chosen him lightly. You'll have battled with your heart and your head and wondered if you were making the right decision for so long but that you managed to connect with another boy, that he loves you back, I am perhaps naively certain that the two of you can survive anything and will be high school sweethearts that last.
And no matter what, I love you, Kurt Elizabeth Hummel. I will always love you.
Have an amazing time, my darling baby boy, and remember always: Courage.
His mother's perfect penmanship had smeared a little with his tears. He'd forgotten her frequent talk about courage. And his lips tugged a little as he thought of how much Blaine had instilled that back into him last year when he had felt like he was drowning.
He breathed in deeply, holding the paper to his nose again and it was like he could feel her touch on his shoulder, her kiss to his hair, and he was soothed.
Carefully, he replaced the letter in the envelope and tucked it behind the framed photograph of his mother on his desk. He even smiled at her smile and held his head high as he started to get ready for senior prom.
"Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurt, aren't you ready yet?" Blaine was whining against his door and Kurt seriously considered opening the door just to smack his boyfriend on the head.
"Almost," he replied, rolling the lint brush over him and checking his reflection. Again.
"Kurt, you've been in their hours, and I already love you and think you're perfect."
"Blaine, you don't know how many hours it takes to get to perfect," he sniffs, applying a bit more spray to his hair.
"Oh for heaven's sake, I've seen you in the morning after sharing a bed. You're perfect even then," Blaine snorts and Kurt's face flushes.
"Not so loud. What if my Dad hears?"
"We've never done anything," Blaine reminds him. "Just shared a bed after a late night. He knows that too."
"Of course. You sleep too heavily to wake up to his frequent peek-ins to make sure at least one of us is asleep."
Kurt's eyes widen and he throws the door open. "He does?"
"No, but at least you opened the door," Blaine grins, kissing his boyfriend and then stepping away to look him over. "Are you trying to kill me?"
Kurt does a little twirl shyly. "No. I kind of need you in my life."
"Well, if you're not going to kill me, you're going to turn everyone else male at McKinley gay for you," Blaine says, pulling Kurt close and sliding his hands over Kurt's ass which look just so good in those pants.
Kurt shivers and untangles himself quickly. "No, you are not going to mess up my perfection."
Blaine snorts. "Sorry baby."
Kurt gathers up his things: wallet, keys, phone, camera. Nods to Blaine that he's ready. Blaine kisses him gently again and slides their hands together.
"You ready for this?"
Kurt's eyes flicker to the photo of his mother and he sees the cream envelope. He smiles. "I have courage on my sleeve. I can do anything."
A/N: First off, one-shot only. Before people start demanding extra chapters, I'm going to throw that out there RIGHT NOW! =P
Second, it's funny what occurs to you when you're showering...
Third, kind of based a little on my own experiences I suppose. I haven't spoken with my mother in six years or something absurd, and so she missed my Year 10/11/12 formals (equivalent to sophomore/junior/senior proms) and it kills. So. Yeah. Yay. DONE.