Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with these characters. Neither is my toy box and I'm merely playing.
A/N: Written for the Angst Bingo prompt: unable to move and is a sibling fic for Kurt and Finn. The song Finn sings is Kenney Chesney's Who You'd Be Today and I got the flower meanings from an online source.
The word had just tumbled out of Kurt's mouth naturally. Worst yet he hadn't even thought about it. Now it hangs there between them this near-coherent thing. The word is rare, cherished, only said to a few pictures and a grave.
Kurt's breathe rushes in, roaring in his ears. He's frozen, still. He knows that he's still breathing, he can hear every breath, but it doesn't feel us through he's getting any air in his lungs. Kurt wants that word, wants that relationship with her and yet one simple word feels like a betrayal.
He's not ready to let go, even though it's been years, even though some part of him thinks he should be ready by now.
Instead he's unable to move.
The glass he'd been holding slips from his fingers, shatters around his feet and it's still not enough to break the shock of that word. He can still taste the sweetness of it leaving his lips and the bitter aftertaste as the reality of it set in.
Carole watches him; face furrowed in concern as she guides him away from the glass and sends him upstairs. He tries to convince her he should help clean, but she insists.
He doesn't remember the stairs, just the safety of his bed and the covers drawn over his head. Kurt wants to cry, feels on the verge of tears even as he tells himself over and over he's being ridiculous. He's not sure how long he's laid there, that moment playing over and over in his head, trying to convince himself not to cry, when the covers are pulled away and he finds himself staring at Finn.
"Mom sent me up," Finn explains awkwardly.
Mom. One word, so simple and it leaves him aching.
"I'm fine," he lies.
He expects his words to send Finn gratefully fleeing the room. He's not sure what to make of the bed dipping as Finn settles next to him. He frowns, waits, but Finn says nothing, doesn't even call him on his obvious lie. Kurt glares and pulls the covers back over his head. He closes his eyes and tries to ignore the weight of Finn sitting next to him.
"Okay, when we talk is up to you," Finn tells him, "but can I get an idea how long this is going to be? I might need to get a snack."
Kurt pushes down his covers, "You're not getting crumbs on my bed!"
"You're so annoying," Kurt hisses in frustration.
"I know," Finn tells him cheerfully, "but I have it on good authority brothers are suppose to annoy one another."
Kurt bites his lips to keep the glare on his face, Finn is looking at him so hopefully it hurts. Kurt closes his eyes and starts to pull the covers back over his head. Finn grabs his hand, stops him. Kurt's eyes fly open.
"I know it's kinda easier for me. I didn't know my dad. All I really have are pictures and the things my mom told me. I don't have memories, but…"
"I know," Kurt cuts off, "but I want it and I don't."
How can he possibly explain how guilty he feels?
They both still and a silence stretches between them. Finn finally breaks it as he tosses off his shoes and joins Kurt under the covers, cuddling in close. Kurt closes his eyes again, it just feels so good to be help, comforted and not judged.
It's so nice he's not sure he can trust it, "I don't think brothers cuddle."
Finn laughs, "Aren't we cool enough to make our own rules?"
Kurt fights the smile that works its way slowly onto his face, "Aren't you afraid one of your friends might come barging through the door and question…"
Finn pulls him in tighter and Kurt cuts off with a sigh. Finn rests his chin on Kurt's shoulder before he points out, "You let Puck cuddle you at the party last week."
"I was terrified for my life."
"No you weren't."
"Well have you seen the way he looks at you when he wants a cuddle?" Kurt challenges.
"He gives you that puppy dog look and you feel like an ass if you say no," Finn supplies.
"Feel any better?"
Kurt shook his head, "I'm trying."
"I know. Introduce me to her?" Finn prods.
Kurt presses his lips together, not sure how to go about introducing Finn to the mother he lost. How does he sum up her life? What does he say about her? How does he find the truths about who she was when all his memories have the rose-tint of childhood to them.
"We can go buy some flowers and visit," Finn suggests.
"That's an exceptionally good idea," Kurt praises as he feels himself relax for the first time since he slipped and called Carole mom instead of Carole. The feeling continues as he and Finn leave and head to the flower store. As he stands in front of the flowers, trying to decide he starts to talk, what he remembers comes out slowly as Finn asks questions. This slows the deciding process. Kurt almost takes several yellow tulips because they were his mother's favorite.
"They mean hopelessly in love," he tells Finn, "I looked it up. I kind of like to think that's how she felt about my dad."
"Maybe you should get something for you this time," Finn pushes.
Their talk continues, memories the Kurt can't always touch are relayed before Kurt selects the peonies for healing.
Her grave is the same as it always is. Her name and the inscription: Beloved wife and mother. Kurt sighs as he sits down and arranges the flowers around her grave. He says his hello while he's doing this and introduces Finn. When Kurt's words slow from a flood to a trickle and then still, Finn wraps an arm around him and sings. Kurt closes his eyes, leans in and let this gift from Finn wash over him.
It ain't fair: you died too young,
Like the story that had just begun,
But death tore the pages all away.
God knows how I miss you,
All the hell that I've been through,
Just knowin' no-one could take your place.
An' sometimes I wonder,
Who you'd be today?
"Thank you," Kurt manages to choke out when Finn finishes, "W-who…"
"You sang me a country song?
Finn shrugs and propped his chin on Kurt's shoulder, "It's a good song."
Kurt closes his eyes again, takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, "Let's go home. I need to apologize to our mom."
"I think she understands."
"Yeah," Kurt agrees, "She's amazing like that, but it's something I need to do."