So this is a drabble I wrote for my friend Sharon (Staelus) and I thought I would finally post it. It's a deaf!Kurt fic! I hope you enjoy it. I might end up writing a few more drabbles in this universe.
Kurt Hummel had been deaf since he was 8 years old.
He had lost his hearing after a car accident, which had also killed his mother. For an 8 year old, waking up to a suddenly silent world had been jarring. Then there was the task his dad had to actually tell him that his mother was gone.
After a few tense days, and an even tenser funeral, Burt had hired a sign language tutor for Kurt. She was a very nice lady, a bit younger than his mom, and was nice to him. She didn't even get mad at him when Kurt grew frustrated at not being able to communicate as quickly as he had hoped.
Something Kurt had missed since going deaf was singing. He remembered singing with his mom. But after the years began to pass, Kurt couldn't even remember if he had been a good singer at all. So maybe losing that hadn't really been the end of the world.
Kurt was 17 now. He had lived more of his life without sound than with it. He went to Haverbrook School for the Deaf and was a junior. He had come out to this dad as gay a little over a year ago, and really, he didn't know why he had been so afraid to tell him in the first place.
Kurt spoke to his best friend, Andrea, swiftly as they stood in the quad of their school before the bell rang. A few other groups mingled nearby, talking quickly with their hands, but it was polite not to look into others' conversations. He told Andrea about his night with Mercedes, his friend from McKinley High.
"Isn't it weird?" Andrea asked him. "To hang out with hearing people?"
"Not really," said Kurt. "I live with my dad, Carole and Finn after all. And Mercedes learns quickly." Andrea made a face; her whole family was deaf and she didn't have much interaction with hearing people at all.
Kurt had met Mercedes and Finn last year, when their Glee club had been invited to perform for them. After a disastrous performance that the New Directions did - it involved wigs - Kurt had stood in front of his other friends and sung lead on "Imagine". Usually himself or George took lead on songs, since they were the only ones that have had hearing at all in their lives. They also felt comfortable speaking. Not all deaf people were.
Mercedes, which he learned was her name later, was the first to start singing along - he could see her lips moving in the familiar pattern of the lyrics. He smiled at her and she stood and walked next to him. He helped her with the signing.
After the song, a few of their translators mingled around the room for them, allowing them to talk to the McKinley kids. He and Mercedes had found they shared a similar love of fashion, and the translator could barely keep up relaying his words to Mercedes.
A tall, dopy looking boy had been looking at their conversation as well. His name was Finn. Kurt had to admit, at first he had a crush on Finn. He was good looking. But then a few weeks later, Kurt and his father ran into Finn and his mother in the grocery store, and their parents started to date, so he lost his appeal quickly.
After Sectionals (Kurt had been baffled at why Mercedes had refused to even look at him after they performed) he and Mercedes started to talk more. Apparently, their Glee director had taken New Directions' song list for Sectionals. Thankfully, he had been fired and a new woman was now their choir director.
Mercedes was sweet. She bought herself sign language DVDs and books so slowly their mostly written conversations dissolved into full conversations with their hands. She only made mistakes if Kurt went too fast, forgetting she wasn't really used to that yet.
"I wouldn't know what to say," said Andrea, in the present. "Don't they start talking and not include you?"
Kurt had hung out with Mercedes and a few of the other girls from her Glee club last night - Tina and Rachel. They didn't know sign like Mercedes, but had picked a few things up. Especially Rachel, since she was Finn (his now stepbrother's) girlfriend. Sometimes he would lose track of their conversations, but Mercedes usually tried to sign whatever they were saying, but again, she was slower at this.
"You know perfectly well how to read lips," said Kurt primly. "As do I. It only gets awkward when they talk to fast. Rachel does that a lot." Kurt used his name sign for Rachel - which resembled the sign for "loud" but with an "R".
The warning lights went on and off, singling the start of classes and Kurt and Andrea continued to their first class without a word.
Kurt went to the Lima Bean after school to meet with Mercedes, but was early. He usually was on days she had Glee practice and he didn't. Kurt walked up to the counter and smiled at Marie. "Usual?" she signed. (It was the only sign she really knew, and he came here enough that most all of the employees knew his order. That mean not having to write it down awkwardly). Kurt nodded as he handed Marie a five dollar bill.
Kurt walked over to the counter and waited, texting Andrea absently. After a moment, Kurt felt the hairs on his neck stand up. Usually Kurt had a good sense for when someone was standing near him, or trying to get his attention. He looked up and almost started - a good looking boy with slicked hair and hazel eyes was standing in front of me, a slightly confused look on his face.
The boy wore a uniform, like Kurt, only his was navy and red, while Kurt's was maroon with some white and gold. (Kurt couldn't even express how much he disliked having to wear a uniform).
"Hello," the boy said. Kurt noticed that he had very nice lips, as he looked down to understand what he was saying. "I tried to get your attention, but I guess you were distracted." He smiled and held out his hand. "My name is -" The boy looked like he was saying "plain" but with a "B" motion instead of "p". Kurt raced through the names that had that - Blaine? Kurt thought of Pretty in Pink.
Kurt reached for his hand and shook. "Kurt," he said. If Blaine noticed his slightly clipped tone, which came from being unable to hear the sounds you were making, he didn't say anything.
"Hi, Kurt," he said with a broad smile. "I'm sorry if I seem too forward but…would you like to sit with me?" Blaine's hazel eyes sparkled and Kurt found his face growing hot.
Because he lived in Ohio, Kurt didn't get hit on. He had never been on a date or been kissed at all. Being gay here was just…not easy, to say the least. It was even worse being deaf and gay. Really, the odds of finding a boy that was gay and could deal with his deafness was slim to none.
So at this offer by a very cute boy, Kurt found himself staring blankly at Blaine. He was saved when Steph behind the counter slid his grande low fat mocha toward him, leaning over to poke him so he saw. He blinked and absently signed "thank you". She also handed Blaine his coffee.
Kurt wondered what to say - and how would he say it? He didn't have a pad of paper handy at all.
Kurt was once again saved when Mercedes appeared beside him. "Kurt!" she said and signed. "Sorry I'm late…" Her eyes wandered over to Blaine, who was watching with a slightly shocked expression. "Oh hi," she said, unconsciously making sure Kurt could see her lips. "And you are?"
"Blaine," he said, slightly flustered. Blaine looked over at Kurt. "I'm sorry - I didn't realize. Uh, can you understand me or -"
"My boy is deaf, not dumb," said Mercedes, signing as well as saying it to Blaine (in what Kurt could only assume was a sharp tone, judging by her facial expressions).
"I read lips," said Kurt, looking at Blaine. Mercedes relayed this information to Blaine.
"Oh, that's good," said Blaine, still looking at Kurt with wide eyes. Kurt wanted to die - of course he would met a gay boy, only to be turned down for being deaf. "And I was just asking Kurt to sit with me," he said to Mercedes. "If you'd still want that…unless you'd rather sit with your friend?"
Kurt blinked at Blaine - did he read that right? Did Blaine still want to talk to him? Kurt signed to Mercedes, asking if he had really seen what he had seen?
Mercedes rolled her eyes and nodded. "Yes, boy, he still wants you. Who wouldn't - you're hot." She said this only with her hands, leaving Blaine to watch their silent conversation in wonder.
"It's weird to be talked about right in front of you," he commented lightly.
Kurt laughed - he had never really been self conscious about his voice. He knew it didn't sound "normal" according to others, but what did he care? He couldn't hear the difference. "I'd like that. If you don't mind Mercedes acting as translator," he said, signing and speaking at the same time. "Sometimes lip reading isn't reliable."
That day, the three teens sat in the back of the coffee shop and swapped stories. Blaine told Kurt and Mercedes that he went to Dalton (which happened to be New Directions' competition for Sectionals) and that he was, in fact, gay. "In case you were wondering," Blaine said with a grin.
Mercedes and Kurt told Blaine how they had met through Glee, and that they both went to separate schools. Blaine mentioned that he had only transferred to Dalton last year, during the second semester. "Bullying," he said lightly. "I suppose that it's not a problem at your school."
"No," Kurt said, frowning. "Most all of us have been teased for being deaf. We try not to do it to one of our own for any other reason."
"That's nice. Dalton has a zero tolerance harassment policy. That's why I transferred there," said Blaine.
"Sounds perfect," Mercedes had commented, going back and forth between just speaking and signing. "Our glee club gets bullied for just being in Glee."
When they all stood an our later, Kurt suddenly wished they didn't have to. Blaine was nice and funny and didn't care that he was gay or deaf, mostly because he was one of those things.
"Can I have your number?" Blaine asked Kurt nervously. Kurt could see Mercedes grin from where she was standing behind Blaine.
She quickly signed to him, without speaking, "Do it, or I'll never speak to you again!"
"Sure," said Kurt. He recited his number to Blaine, who had taken out his phone. A moment later, his phone vibrated in his pocket.
"Now you have my number," said Blaine. "I hope I can talk to you soon."
"Same here," said Kurt. Blaine grinned and said goodbye to him and Mercedes, leaving to walk to the parking lot.
"He is so cute," gushed Mercedes after he had left.
"He is," said Kurt, in a daze. The day had certainly taken a dramatic change.
Kurt found himself talking to Blaine over text more than he had talked to most anyone before over the next few weeks. They found they had a lot in common and Kurt just felt like he was able to tell Blaine everything. He actually understood what it was like to be gay in such a small conservative town.
They weren't able to actually meet face to face, though. Blaine was growing busy with the Warblers, since Sectionals was approaching, and Kurt had to practice for his own Sectionals.
Three weeks later, Kurt went to support Mercedes and Finn (and ok, Blaine, too) at their Sectionals. Kurt and Haverbrook hadn't won their own Sectionals, but then, they never really did. They were a deaf choir, after all, but it didn't make what they did any less fun because they didn't win.
Kurt disliked the looks he got when he attended singing competitions, because he would be talking with his dad in rapid sign language. The looks that said: What are you doing here? You can't even hear what they're singing?
Kurt didn't want those looks get to him, but they did, sometimes.
After the competition was over - the Warblers were very in sync, while New Directions were aiming for a more unique, spectacular dance routine to go with their singing - and both groups were named winners, Kurt went backstage to find Mercedes (and Blaine).
He found Mercedes first and told her that she had done amazingly, and that he was proud of her.
"Thanks, baby," she signed, before bringing him into a hug.
Kurt was talking to her with excitement, Finn drifting over with Rachel and joining into the conversation. Finn was a bit slow on learning to sign, while his mother, Carole, had picked up very quickly. A tap on his shoulder made him stop mid sentence, his hands hanging in the air.
He turned and smiled when it was Blaine standing there. "Blaine!" said Kurt. Kurt could see a few of the other Warblers looking on with interest.
Blaine grinned and then - he brought his hands up slowly. "Hi Kurt," he signed, though he spelled out Kurt's name. Kurt blinked. "I hope I'm not bad at this," Blaine continued to sign as he spoke. His form was slow and messy, but it was sign language and was understood easily enough.
Kurt could feel his throat close up with emotion. This boy, who he had met once, had been learning his language for the last month?
"Was it bad?" asked Blaine, since Kurt hadn't answered yet.
Kurt shook his head quickly. "No, it's great," Kurt signed, though he didn't speak. Instead he watched as Blaine watched his hands intently, understanding crossing his eyes. "But my name sign is -" Kurt made the motion, a "K" on his cheeks, similar to the sign for "rose". (His first teacher had made it up, because of his rosy cheeks). "That way you don't have to spell it out."
"You have beautiful hands, Kurt," Blaine signed, staying silent vocally and using the name sign.. Kurt blushed. "What is my name sign?" Blaine asked, both with his hands and voice.
Kurt paused for a moment. "Anything you want," he signed in return.
Blaine thought for a moment, then brought both of his hands up, his left palm facing up. His right hand made a "B" and waved over the his left, almost like the sign for "sing". "Is that good?" he said.
"I think it's fitting, Blaine," said Kurt, incorporating the new sign for his name. "I wish I could hear you sing," he signed, almost absently.
"You're not missing much," said Blaine, trying to sign as well, but coming up short. Kurt signed him the sentence he had spoken. He had done the same with Mercedes and the others when they were learning.
"I doubt that," said Kurt, with a grin.
"I have a question for you," said Blaine. "I've been practicing this one a lot."
"Go on," said Kurt, still amazed that he had been practicing this at all.
Blaine grinned and brought his hands up again. "Kurt," he said, with his name sign. "Would you go out with me this Friday?"
Kurt blinked, making sure he had understood. "Like, a date?" he asked.
"Yes," Blaine signed simply.
"I'd love that," said Kurt shyly. The smile that Blaine offered him could light up a room and made Kurt's own knees weak.