these broken wings

chapter 1;

"This is the last of it," Finn said over his shoulder with a small grunt, two carefully packed boxes in his arms as he made his way up the stairs. Kurt gave a small nod, looking after his step-brother with tired, vacant eyes.

"You're sure about this, kid?" Burt asked, placing a gentle hand on his son's shoulder, and Kurt nodded again.

"Positive," he said, his voice sounding raspy.

"It's good to have you home of course," Burt sighed. "I just don't want you to feel like this is your only choice. The houses are springing up just north of here, we could find a place for you and Aiden—"

"No," Kurt quickly cut across. "I just... I need to be home, dad. Here, with you. I don't think I know of anybody who understands what I'm going through better than you."

Burt nodded once, taking his son in his arms for a brief moment, and Kurt closed his eyes tightly, feeling safe and, for the first time in quite a while, content.

The stairs creaked slightly and the father and son pulled away from each other. Kurt turned to see his step-mother descending the stairs, a sad smile on her lips.

"He's fast asleep in our room," she told the two men.

"It was a long drive," Kurt sighed. "I'm not surprised he's exhausted."

"And what about you, sweetheart?" Carole asked, cupping his face in her hand. "It looks like you haven't really slept in days. Why don't you lay down?"

Kurt shook his head. "I can't," he said, his voice suddenly a little tight. "I haven't been able to since—not since Alex—"

Carole merely nodded, and Kurt took a deep breath. "How about I make you a cup of coffee, then?" she offered kindly, and Kurt gave her a small smile.

"That would be lovely," he told her, and she nodded, moving into the kitchen where he heard her bustling around to make the pitcher of coffee.

"You've got to get some sleep, son," his father said worriedly.

"I know," Kurt said. "But it isn't from lack of trying. Trust me, I can hardly bring myself to move from my bed in the morning. If it weren't for Aiden, I'm not sure that I would." He sat down in one of the armchairs, hiding his face in his hands for a moment before looking back up at his father. "How did you get through it when mom died?"

Burt sighed heavily as he took a seat across from his son. "You've already pinpointed the reason, Kurt," he told him solemnly. "If it weren't for you, I don't know that I would have. But once you got a kid, it's just... everything's different." They were quiet for a few moments before Burt reached out a little awkwardly, taking his son's hand in his. "This is something I always hoped you'd never have to go through."

"It's something that I never even thought possible," Kurt breathed out, closing his eyes tightly as though it might all go back to normal if he just wished hard enough.

Carole placed the mug of coffee on the end table. "Here you are, sweetheart," she told him gently, and he gave her a faint smile, mouthing 'thank you'. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

He shook his head. "Thank you, though," he told her. "I've just got to push through."

The first few weeks passed in a blur of sleepless nights. Nights where he did manage to sleep for more than a couple hours involved horrendous nightmares. Either way, each morning Kurt found himself, each morning, making coffee for his family members, drinking his own helping black in increasing amounts as the days went on.

Though he never addressed the fact out loud, he quickly became aware that Carole and Burt did their best to make sure that one of them was at home with Kurt each day, or else they sent Finn to stay around the house during the day and watch over his step-brother. And though he never said anything about it, he was very thankful. He had Aiden, but the idea of being left alone otherwise very nearly terrified him.

When Aiden woke up in the morning, it served as a major relief to Kurt. Once his son would walk down the stairs, clutching onto the railing, clad in his super hero pajamas, suddenly Kurt wasn't forced to sit in the kitchen, holding onto his coffee for dear life. He hated being left alone to his thoughts.

He hated remembering.

He heard the click of the lock and the front door opening, and he instantly knew that neither Carole nor Burt could get off work, so they had sent Finn over. Kurt took a deep breath, taking a long drink of his coffee as Finn entered the kitchen.

"Hey dude," he said, shrugging off his jacket.

"Hey," Kurt said quietly as Finn took a seat across from him at the kitchen table.

"I heard from Mercedes," Finn said. "She really wants to see you."

Kurt simply nodded.

"I can tell her you're not up to it if you want," he offered awkwardly.

"That would be good," Kurt sighed, staring down at his coffee, swirling it around his cup.

"Tina and Mike have been asking about you as well," Finn said. "And of course Rachel still wants you to call, whenever you're ready. But she doesn't want to push."

Kurt nodded again.

Finn leaned across the table. "You can't lock yourself up here forever, bro."

Kurt narrowed his eyes. "I'm mourning."

"But you don't talk to anyone," Finn pressed on. "You don't even talk to me or mom or Burt. We're just worried about you."

"I talk to my dad," Kurt snapped. "And the reason I don't talk about it to anyone else is because there is no one who can possibly understand what I have to go through."

"Kurt, I know you're hurting," Finn said. "We just want you to let us help you."

"Well, until Brittany finishes her time machine and someone takes it to go back and change the past for me, then nobody can help me," Kurt replied, pushing himself up from the table and and placing his empty mug in the sink. He moved to leave, to check on Aiden, when Finn's voice stopped him.

"Blaine called."

Kurt's shoulders stiffened, turning to Finn.

"He really wants to see you," he said softly.

Kurt clenched his jaw. "That's brilliant, Finn," he responded vehemently. "I'm a damn widower at the age of twenty-nine and you want me to see my ex-boyfriend. Alex was killed just a month ago, and you—"

"That's not what I mean, Kurt, and you know it," Finn told him. "Blaine was one of your best friends for a long time, dating or not. He still cares about you, and you need to talk to someone outside of this house." There was a pause and Finn reached into his pocket, pressing a small piece of paper into Kurt's hands. "He gave me his number and address. He doesn't want to push you either, but... I think you might need this, Kurt."

Kurt stared down at the scrap of paper in his shaking hands. A phone number and address were scrawled out in Finn's familiar chicken-scratch writing.

"At least consider it?" Finn asked, suddenly reminding Kurt of the boy's presence.

He hesitated, then swallowed hard. "Fine," he responded, nodding. "I'll consider it."