Kurt Hummel's Series Of Unfortunate Events
Summary: Mosquitoes. Leeches. Tents. Camping is the last thing Kurt Hummel wants to do in the summer but when Burt decides the Hudmels need some bonding time in the wild, he's got no choice. Thus begins a series of rather unfortunate events...Furt Barole
Disclaimer: Nope, I've got nothing to do with Glee. Except for obsessing over it, that is;)
A/N: Wow, thanks for the wonderful response, guys! I don't have the words to express how touched I am by each review and alert. Please know that your words mean a lot. Really.
Also, I apologize for being slow on the update. I do not understand how some authors write chapters so quickly…still I promise you won't have to wait this long for the next one and hopefully you'll enjoy this chapter enough to forgive me? :)
A/N2: I know that Season 3 of Glee has officially started, but remember that this fic is still suspended in time between season 2 and 3. All post-New York material hasn't happened yet.
II. The Strenuous Swim
"OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!"
Kurt's cries woke Finn. At first he thought the smaller boy was having one of his nightmares but as he cracked an eye open, he noticed his brother's sleeping bag was empty. Thoughts of chainsaw killers and murderous squirrels ran through his groggy mind as he tried to roll out of his sleeping bag. He fumbled for the zipper but couldn't find it in the dim light of the dawn. Giving up on that, he tried to get up while still in the sleeping bag but that didn't go very well and he toppled onto his stomach with a labored 'oomph!'. When he finally did free himself, he stumbled out of the tent, very nearly colliding with Burt and his mom. The elder Hummel was holding a baseball bat and the look on his face told Finn he wouldn't hesitate to use it. He was reminded why he used to be so scared of Kurt's dad.
"Where's Kurt?" Carole asked her son, concern coloring her tone.
"I dunno. Not in the tent," he replied.
"What is he doing outside at five in the morning?" Burt asked incredulously.
"Being murdered?" Finn said tentatively and both parents shot him a withering gaze.
"Try to be helpful, sweetie," Carole said giving him a pat on the shoulder and followed Burt, who had disappeared behind the tent.
"Kurt!" Finn heard Burt exclaim and rounded the tent.
"Are you ok?" the elder Hummel was saying. "What happened?"
Kurt was crouching behind the side of the tent and when he heard his father, he turned around and Finn let out what could only be identified as a shriek.
"Dude! Your face! It's yellow! Did some bug or snake bite you or something?"
Kurt's hands came up to his face and he rolled his eyes at his stepbrother, remembering the conditioning mask he'd put on. "It's a mask, Finn. It helps me keep my skin the way it is," he said steadily. "It's that or the blood of young virgins," he added wryly.
"Oh." Finn slowly nodded. "Ew," he uttered when the final part of Kurt's explanation got to him.
"Son, please tell me you didn't wake us and half of the campsite up because you were putting on a beauty mask," Burt said with a sigh, lowering the baseball bat.
"Of course not!" Kurt replied indignantly. "I couldn't sleep so I decided to start on my routine early and when I was coming back- just come and have a look," he said, motioning for the three of them to come closer.
Curious, Finn followed Burt and Carole and peeked over their heads at where Kurt was pointing.
"Aren't they the cutest things?" the countertenor asked excitedly, crouching beside three little rabbits, which were curled into furry balls in the crook of the tent back wall.
"They sure are," Carole joined her stepson, cooing over the little rodents. "I wonder where their mom is," she said with concern.
"They were like this when I found them," Kurt explained. "I was on my way back from the bathroom when I heard noises," he continued with a certain unease and Finn was sure he knew he was thinking about last night and the noises he thought he had heard. Huh. Now they had their explanation. The scary, big monsters lurking outside were not that scary. And certainly not that big.
"Poor babies," Carole crooned, crouching next to the fur balls. "They look like they're cold. Finn, sweetie," she turned to her son, "-grab a blanket. We'll tuck them in."
"And I think I saw some cardboard boxes we can put them in," Kurt offered and sped off.
Finn came back with the blanket and watched his mom put the rabbits in it. They seemed scared but they were too weak or hungry to try to make a run for it. He reached a hand to stroke one. Its fur was incredibly soft and fluffy.
Then Kurt came back and together with Carole they placed the rabbits in the box he'd brought. Finn moved to stand next to Burt, who was standing off to the side.
"We should bring them to the reception," Carole said." I'm sure they'll know what to do with them or at least have the number for a wildlife centre."
"Maybe we should feed them first?" Kurt asked, peering into the box. He was so excited, his eyes shining and hair adorably unkempt, and Finn had to smile because he looked like he was ten years old.
Then Kurt raised his head. Upon meeting his dad's and Finn's quizzical gazes, he rolled his eyes.
"Can't a person show excitement here?" he said with a pout. "I never saw rabbits in the wild before."
Burt chuckled and patted his son on the shoulder. "Of course you can, son. I'm really happy for you," he said with a sigh. "But next time you scream bloody murder on a Sunday morning, there better be something for me to protect you from or kill."
"Don't people kill rabbits?" Finn asked and was met with Kurt's withering gaze. "For pies and stuff?" he added weakly.
Kurt glowered. Finn swallowed. He should really consider that thinking beforetalking thing.
"Somehow I doubt your mom or brother would let us make pies out of these," Burt whispered with a chuckle.
"You're damn right, dad!" Kurt said with indignation. Then he turned to his brother. "Is food all you can think about? A pie? These are feeling, helpless little creatures! You uncouth, cruel barbarian!"
"That was, like, an insult, right?" Finn wanted to make sure, leaning to Burt.
"I'm afraid so. But don't worry, son, I like rabbit pie, too," he said conspiratorially.
"That's it," Carole interjected seeing Kurt was about to explode. "You two really aren't helping. Go back to sleep and we'll take care of this," she ordered looking at Finn and Burt admonishingly.
The elder Hummel was about to protest but Carole rose a silencing hand.
"Burt, you're a bear in the morning as it is and I'm not starting my first day of holidays with a grumbling and underslept husband," she stated.
"I wouldn't grumble if you made rabbit pie," Burt replied, teasing sparks in his eyes.
"Kurt, sweetie, hand me that baseball bat," Carole said innocently.
"Ok, we're going," Burt said, making sure the bat was safe in his hands and out of his wife's reach.
"Wise decision, Hummel," Carole said playfully and Burt chuckled, leaning in for a kiss, which she gladly bestowed.
"Ew," came in unison from behind their backs and they giggled like teenagers.
Getting back into the tent, Finn looked at his phone and groaned. Six am. He was so going to kill Kurt. But first he needed some sleep.
He was half-way there when he heard the tent flap open and Kurt came in, a wide smile on his face.
"The rabbits are safe at the reception and a wildlife patrol should pick them up soon," he reported. "They were so cute! When we were leaving they even started to move around a bit," he continued, only then registering the hostile silence radiating from his stepbrother's sleeping bag. "Finn?" he asked tentatively. "Are you awake?"
"Yes and I'm trying to kill you with my mind right now."
"Oh. Right," Kurt mumbled. "Sorry. I guess I got a bit carried away."
"You sure did, man." Finn sighed and turned onto his other side so he could face the other teen. "Still – and I'll deny it if you ever repeat this to anyone – you're kinda adorable when you get all excited like this and stuff, and I'm glad you're warming up to the whole outdoors thing so I guess it's cool. Just don't do it again."
Kurt pouted. "I'll try to hold back my enthusiasm for furry, little woodland creatures in the future, I promise," he said wryly. "But I was brought up on Disney, you can hardly blame me."
"No but I can punch you if you don't stop talking," Finn replied burying his head under his pillow.
"We didn't come here to sleep, Finn."
"We came here to have fun. And I can't have fun if I don't sleep enough."
"Well, you have to hold off on the sleep a while longer because I have something to show you."
"Dude, if this is about another cute mouse, squirrel or a moose-"
"There's no moose in Ohio."
"Whatever," Finn grumbled, burrowing deeper in his sleeping bag.
"Finn, I mean it," Kurt pressed, waving something over the other boy's head. "Look what I found next to the rabbits."
The quarterback cracked an eye open. "So? It's a picture of you. Burt must have dropped when he was setting up the tent yesterday or something."
"Look closer," Kurt urged.
Finn shot him a reproachful look but squinted his eyes. His face fell.
He sat up and took the picture from his brother. It was faded and worn like it had been folded and unfolded many times but you could still make out the person in it pretty well. The boy was about four or five and at first glimpse he was the spitting image of Kurt. Only when you looked really close could you notice the differences – this boy's hair was curlier, eyes darker and he had a small but distinctive mole on his left cheek.
"Whoa, dude! That is not you."
"Finally! Congratulations on your observation skills, Sherlock."
"Dude, it's five in the morning," Finn complained. "Cut me some slack here."
Kurt sighed. "Fine. At first I thought it was me, too."
The taller teen frowned. "He really does look like you. I mean, before you started doing that gel wavy thing with your hair," he observed thoughtfully, once again examining the picture and not noticing Kurt's sideways glance. "Maybe you have a twin brother or something?"
"And we were dramatically separated at birth to live in two different parts of the country but we always knew there was something missing and now after seventeen years our paths cross again," Kurt said dramatically with an eye roll.
Finn blinked. "Exactly!"
The countertenor groaned. "TV's rotten your brain," he said pithily. "I don't have a twin brother."
"No, Finn," Kurt objected. "I'm an only child. My dad would never keep something like this from me. I'm as sure of this as of the fact that mauve and fuchsia will be next spring's top colors."
"So," the smaller teen cut him off decisively, "-the question remains who this boy is and how this picture got here."
Finn considered Kurt's meaningful stare. He was really sleepy but he knew his stepbrother wouldn't let this go so he decided it was best to just go with it.
"You really think there was somebody outside the tent at night? And it's their photo?"
"What other explanation is there?"
The taller boy sighed. "There's like, a zillion explanations. Maybe some camper left it. Or it got blown from a hundred miles away by the wind. Or a squirrel dropped it," he finished sarcastically.
Kurt narrowed his eyes. "You're really not as funny as you think."
"Yeah, well, I'm sleepy, Kurt," Finn replied gruffly. "Can we do this later? When I'm not feeling like a zombie?"
The countertenor pouted. "But aren't you curious?"
"Honestly? It's kinda freaky, I get it, but it's the butt crack of dawn, dude! So, no, I'm not curious!"
"But-" Kurt persisted.
"Dude, don't mistake the fact that I haven't punched you yet for interest."
"Fine," Kurt said, his lips a thin line. "Be that way."
"Boys, you alive in there?" Burt asked. "Or should we call in an outbreak of sleep fever?"
Both boys had been listlessly lounging on the campsite beach ever since breakfast, the only sound coming from the place was Finn's snoring. He knew the boys had an early wake-up and he was aware how much sleep teenage boys actually needed but was starting to get worried.
"Does feeling like a zombie count as alive?" came Finn's muffled voice.
"Is that a tricky question?" Burt replied wryly.
"It's a leave-us-alone-we're-sleeping question, dad," Kurt said with a pointed glance at his father.
Burt wasn't discouraged. "Carole and I are going for a walk and we'll stop over at the mini market," he said. "I guess it's useless asking if you wanna go?"
The boys looked at each other.
"Yes," they replied in unison.
"Isn't it cute when they agree with each other?" Carole asked teasingly, coming to stand next to Burt.
"No. It's weird," the elder Hummel replied wryly. "I feel like the balance of the universe had shifted or something."
Carole chuckled. "Maybe they have fever after all?"
"We can hear you," Kurt said not opening his eyes.
"I hope it's not permanent," Burt continued playfully. "What would breakfasts be without wars about the supremacy of orange juice over coke?"
"And Batman over My Fair Lady?"
"Still can hear you," Kurt opened his eyes this time and glowered at their parents. "And it's not funny, you know. These are fundamental values."
"Of course, son," the elder Hummel said trying to keep a straight face.
"I'm happy you two are enjoying yourselves," the countertenor said sourly. "-at the cost of your exhausted teenage sons."
"Hey, you brought this on yourselves," Burt retorted.
"And it's all true," Carole piped up, hooking her arm through her husband's and earning herself a glare from her stepson. She chuckled. "Come on, Burt, let's let them sleep it off or they'll both be bears the whole day."
"I'm afraid it's too late for Kurt."
She swatted Burt over the shoulder and turned to the boys. "We're going. Do you want anything?"
"And throw in a mega pack of Doritos!" Finn piped up.
"Peace and Doritos it is," Carole agreed and dragged Burt away, the sound of her laughter trailing behind the couple.
It wasn't fifteen minutes after they had left that Kurt let out a rather unmanly shriek he would later deny as a spray of sand hit him. He shot up to a sitting position and glowered at Finn, who was smirking at him with satisfaction.
"Are you suicidal, Finn?" he asked sweetly.
"No. I'm bored," the taller boy replied evenly.
Kurt narrowed his eyes at him, brushing the sand away. "And you thought throwing sand at me would change that how?"
Finn shrugged. "It got you to talk to me."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "You know what else it will get me? To seriously maim you."
"I didn't hit your face or hair!"
"If you had, you'd be dead," the smaller boy retorted, laying back down on his deck chair. "And weren't you supposed to be asleep?" came a scathing question after a while.
"Nah, that was only pretend so I wouldn't have to go."
"How devious of you," Kurt disparaged.
"I learn from the best," Finn retorted.
"Touché, Finn," the smaller boy said. "Now that we've had our daily dose of bickering, will you leave me alone and let me sleep?"
"You're no fun, dude!" Finn objected. "I thought-"
"Finn, bad things happen when you think," Kurt interjected. He perched his shades on the top of his nose and gave him a look. "Don't."
Finn was tempted to stick his tongue out at him but suddenly he got a better idea. He waited until the other boy settled back down and seemed to be dozing off again and then he lunged himself at him, making them both tumble to the sand.
He knew it was a bad idea even before he heard the high-pitched gasp.
"What do you think you're doing, you overgrown Labrador of a dimwit!" Kurt growled, pushing Finn off of him. "I've got sand all over! And you hit me in the face!"
"I'm sorry!" the taller boy protested, getting up. He was trying hard not to laugh because sand had stuck to that sun screen stuff Kurt had put on his skin and he now looked like a sand figure.
"You need any help?" he offered watching the other teen's futile attempts at brushing the sand away.
"If by help you mean a professional assassin and a shiatsu massage, then yes," the countertenor growled.
Finn frowned. "You don't have to swear at me," he objected.
"Oh, I haven't even started."
"Dude, it's just sand!
"Do you know what this will do to my skin?"
"Your skin's the nicest I've ever seen on anyone, girls included, man," Finn said. Kurt stopped his ministrations and spared him a quizzical glance. "Uh, not that I notice," he stammered. "I mean…you'll be fine."
The countertenor let out an exasperated growl, took his towel and stomped off to the showers, throwing him a murderous glare. When he came back, he was sand-free and carrying an air mattress under his arm.
"Dude, what are you planning to do?"
"To take over the world, as soon as possible," Kurt quipped. "But until then, I'm taking this mattress and going as far away from you as possible."
Finn blinked, watching him come closer to the water. "You're gonna actually get into the water?"
Kurt turned around with a gasp. "Do you think I'm crazy? I'm going to lie on the mattress."
"On the water."
"Yes. It's the farthest away from you."
"You could go to the tent."
Kurt turned his nose up. "It's poorly ventilated and has your stuff in it. I'm not spending there a minute more than I absolutely have to."
"No, I just want some peace, which seems impossible with you near."
And with that he put the mattress on the water and agilely hopped onto it, without dipping as much as a toe in the water. Finn watched in awe as he slowly drifted a couple of yards away.
Then he shrugged and lay back down.
Seeing Finn give up, Kurt nodded from his vantage point with satisfaction.
He had fallen asleep. He closed his eyes for just one minute and now that he opened them the sun was lower in the sky and the shore was far more away than it had been. Kurt cursed under his breath and considered his options.
He looked around but there was no one near. His parents weren't back yet for sure or they would have noticed his absence and Finn was probably still deep asleep on the beach. It was safe to say that his options were very limited.
With a resigned sigh, he dipped a foot into the water but took it out with a yelp as something brushed against it. No way was he going in. Swallowing, he carefully put his hands into the water and started paddling but that didn't get him far and he almost fell over a couple of times.
If he didn't want to stay the night stranded on the mattress in the middle of the lake, it was time to put his singer's lungs to use.
Finn was dreaming. The sound of waves gently meeting the shore and the wind rustling in the trees had lulled him to sleep faster than you could say 'playoffs'. It was a peaceful, dreamless sleep until a jarring sound broke into it, slowly bringing the teen back to consciousness.
He looked around groggily and considered closing his eyes again but the noise wouldn't let him. After a moment he realized someone was calling his name.
"What the-" he muttered, scrambling to a sitting position.
He would recognize that voice anywhere. Was Kurt hiding somewhere? Or was he- he gasped as his eyes landed on the lake. He got up and stood ankle-deep in the water to see better. Sure enough, there was a small figure helplessly floating on a pink mattress in the middle of the lake. Could that be-
Finn dove into the water.
It was farther than it looked. If he weren't already wet, he was sure there would be sweat dripping off him, and a stitch was sunk deep into his side. He clenched his teeth and swam on.
When he finally got to Kurt, he grabbed at the mattress frenetically and almost toppled it, eliciting a surprised yelp from Kurt.
"Dude," he uttered breathlessly. "Are you ok?"
"I…I'm fine," Kurt uttered.
"Oh, so in that case I can swim back?" Finn teased.
"No!" The smaller boy shot him a sideways glance. "Could you...tow me back?"
"Dude, why didn't you just swim back yourself?"
"I...can't," Kurt admitted uneasily.
The quarterback looked at him incredulously. "Dude, I get it that you care for your skin and stuff but seriously, this is just lake water, it won't-"
"I can't swim, Finn!" the smaller boy interjected shrilly.
Finn blinked. "Dude, why didn't you say something?" he asked, all the possibilities of what could have happened flashing before his eyes and taking his breath away for a moment. "I'd've never let you out on that mattress alone!"
"I'm not a baby, Finn," Kurt snapped but there was a flash of affection in his eyes that didn't escape the other teen.
"Well, you're my baby brother."
Kurt frowned. "I'm older than you, Finnegan."
"I'm taller than you."
"You're taller than the Christmas tree," Kurt quipped. "That is no valid argument."
Finn arched an eyebrow. "How about this?" He tugged at the mattress so that the countertenor swayed dangerously and had to cling to it desperately.
"That is not funny, Hudson," Kurt hissed.
"Actually, it is." The taller teen chuckled. "Relax, Kurt. I'd never let anything happen to you."
Kurt crossed his arms over his chest. "Oh, and that's supposed to reassure me how?"
"That's one of those rhythmical questions, right?"
"Rhetorical questions, Finn," the countertenor corrected automatically. "And no, it's not."
Kurt sighed. "Seriously, Finn, do you really want to do this here and now?"
"Oh. Right. The middle of the lake." Finn grinned. "Hold tight, ok?"
"I already am. Have been for the last hour."
Finn let out a harsh laugh, keeping his head up so as not get water into his mouth as he started swimming back to the shore. That was Kurt, keeping his sarcasm and wits about him even in the most dire circumstances.
"Where did you learn to swim so well?" the smaller boy asked when they were reaching the shore.
"I used to spend, like, whole summers at the public swimming pool."
"Oh, and you went there for the fresh air and the exercise, didn't you?" Kurt asked wryly, quirking an eyebrow. He didn't have to see Finn's face to know it was beetroot red right now.
"I didn't...I mean, I-," he sputtered, then let out a resigned sigh. "Fine. Me and Puck went there girl-watching. Swimming was just an excuse."
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "You learned to swim so you could watch girls in bikinis."
"What's wrong with that?"
Finn could hear Kurt let out an amused scoff. "Such a boy."
"Say what you want but it worked."
"Oh, I have no doubts."
"Just...don't tell my mom, ok?" Finn pleaded. "She was really proud of me that I didn't waste away my summers like the other kids but did sports and stuff."
"Finn, she's your mom," Kurt said knowingly. "Believe me, she knows."
"Dude, why didn't I leave out on the lake again?" the quarterback replied wryly, starting to feel the bottom under his feet.
"Ok, I won't tell her a thing," Kurt sighed. "And I'm sorry for bitching and leaving you alone earlier."
"Well, to be honest-" Finn admitted, getting to stand on his legs. The water was waist-deep now and they only had a couple of feet more to the shore. "-I didn't make it easier for you."
"Well, it would be appreciated if you stopped with the Finn Hudson Tackle Attacks."
Finn chuckled. "Done. If you prefer drowning yourself than that then I guess it really isn't fun for you, huh?"
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Your skills of deduction are as poignant as ever, I see."
"You know I got like, half of what you've said?"
"I think you've gotten enough," Kurt replied.
"Ok. No more tackling," the taller boy promised just before the mattress scraped the bottom. "The ride's over." He reached out a hand and helped his brother onto the shore.
Kurt took it and smiled at him. "Thank you, Finn."
"It's cool, man." The quarterback grinned. "It felt like I was on Baywatch or something."
Kurt's eyebrows arched. "You watch Baywatch?"
"Dude, hot chicks," the taller boy replied as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. It kinda was, Kurt admitted to himself wryly.
He chuckled and planted a kiss on his cheek. "For all it's worth, you'd give David Hasselhoff a run for his money."
When the parents returned half an hour later, they found both boys playing a civilized game of Scrabble.
"I told you. Fever," Carole muttered to Burt as they stood and watched them.
"Well, I think I'm just gonna take it and not complain," Burt said.
"Finn, there is no such word as 'shenaniganize!" came Kurt's scandalized cry in that moment.
"Of course there is! You just won't admit it cuz I'd beat you!"
"You couldn't beat me if I was blindfolded and drunk!"
"Aaand it's back to normal," Carole quipped.
"Thank God cause I was starting to get worried," Burt said wryly. Then he looked at his wife, playful sparks in his eyes. "I think we've got no choice but to join in. How's your spelling?"
Burt chuckled. "Oh yeah? We'll see about that," he replied playfully, making his way to Kurt and Finn. "Make some space, boys. We've got to show Carole who's the man."
Carole rolled her eyes and both boys chuckled. Clash of the Titans was nothing compared to this.
It wasn't until much later that Kurt stepped into his and Finn's tent to grab a sweater that the happy smile disappeared from his face. Finn's side of the tent of course looked like a tornado had gone over it but his own side he'd left immaculate. Now it was turned upside down and looked just like his brother's. If Finn had been going through his things…but Finn had been with him practically the whole time. Besides, he would never do that. He knew the consequences.
Then a Very Bad Feeling stole over him and he swallowed. Carefully, he reached under his pillow, where he had left the picture of the boy he'd found earlier.
It was gone.
So, that's it for today, and sorry for the cliffie! I hope you liked it, leave a review if you did! They make me write better and are just plain fun to read:))
Coming next: "Breakneck Biking".