Soft Targets

"But me and Burt always watch Family Guy. Always."

Carole frowned, and looked up from her dog-eared copy of Lonesome Dove. Her son was pacing around in mindless circles as he fiercely clenched and unclenched his hands.

"Yes, but we always watch all new Desperate Housewives on a Sunday evening. Don't we, Carole?"

Kurt's eyes were open, brighter than the pile of spare change she'd found behind the back of the couch earlier, and…

No. Carole stared into the soapy foam crowning her tankard of beer. Silence had been gloriously, gloriously golden for most of her Sunday, and she wasn't going to rise to the bait, even if Kurt's beautiful, plaintive expression caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end. She couldn't help but laugh as Kurt snorted, his hand tilted on his hip and nose pointed in the air like a dog sniffing out a particularly bad odor.

"Mom?" Finn said, giving his best, biggest puppy-dog eyes. Carole often forgot how quickly her boys could play that game.

"Finn, honey," she said, meeting his eyes. "Kurt doesn't have a TV in his room. Why don't you and Burt watch it upstairs?"

"You always take his side! Always! Why can't he watch it in my room?"

Kurt snorted again. "Because, Finn, we are not going to watch it surrounded by a litter of Target cast-offs and soiled tissues."

Finn stamped his foot, and Carole twitched, hoping there weren't any fragile objects in the vicinity, because she knew her son's ways all too well.

"This is my sofa, Kurt. Why should I have to go upstairs?"

"Your sofa?" Kurt shook his head. "Hardly. Might I remind you that I chose the fabric from the fabric catalog?"

"And I convinced Mom to get the reclining seat, which by the way, I have seen you and Blaine on. Don't think I haven't."

Carole looked at Kurt, noticing the soft blush coloring his cheeks, and slapped her hand against her forehead. Now was not the time, but she'd have to approach Kurt about that later. God help Kurt if Burt caught him and his boyfriend doing… things. "Boys. It's the family's couch."

"That's not fair, Mom. And who carried it through to the den, huh?"

"You carried my bed upstairs, too. What, are you going to stake a claim on that?"

"Maybe I should. And while we're at it, you… you got the bigger room, too! Even though, you're like, two feet smaller than me."

"Yes, Finn. I'm the parental favorite, and," Kurt glanced at his hands, mentally filing his nails. "I simply cannot imagine why that might be. It wasn't as though the room decision was decided in a completely civilized manner by tossing a coin, and I can't help it if you have the mental age of a six year-old and giggled over 'heads' and 'tails' for ten minutes afterwards and made puns even Howard Stern would be ashamed of."

"Oh, that's it. You're in for it. I'm going to, like, play my drums extra loud when you're studying." Finn clucked his teeth together and folded his arms across his chest. "Yeah," he said, with a nod. "That is exactly what I'll do."

"Quaking in my boots, Finn. Besides, my avian-toned coloratura cancels out your energizer bunny-like thumping. Speaking of which, were those a pair of Rachel's …"

"What? The satin panties I found on the landing? Oh. Nice try, Kurt, but we totally know they're Blaine's."

Carole flinched as a large crunch reverberated through the air.

"Ow! What the hell, man! That was my good dancing foot."

"You have a good dancing foot? In comparison to what, someone with rigor mortis or leprosy?"

"Shut up. My right foot's my kickin' foot. It's totally stronger."

"Our survey says no, Finn. Now your right hand…"

"What? What does my right hand have to do with my, my dance moves? And my dance moves are totally getting better this year. Mr. Schue even says so," he replied. Carole couldn't help but smile proudly as he puffed out his chest.

"No. They aren't. Go kick a chair or something, Mr. Crankyboots. With any luck you'll fracture a toe."

"But wouldn't that make me, like, unable to compete in Regionals?"

"By Jove, I think he's got it!"

"It? What? What have I got, Kurt? Kurt? Why are you laughing at me? Did Puck stick a post-it note on my back again?"

As Burt walked into the room, Carole gave him her best 'back away now if you value your life' look, but she realized he wasn't paying any attention and merely sat down next to her with a groan.

"Boys," he said, calmly. "Aren't your Mom and I supposed to be the ones acting like an old married couple?"

And Carole? Well. She felt a little guilty, because she was fully aware that what she was about to say would top trump any insults her boys could throw at each other.

"Oh, honey," she said, and glanced across to Burt, before she punctuated her words with a saucy wink. "We might be old, but we are newlyweds, remember?"

Burt laughed brightly as Carole watched her boys: Kurt squealed and resembled a bizarre mixture of a helicopter and a siren, and Finn suddenly muttered he had important math homework to do that just couldn't wait, not even for the madcap joy of a Seth MacFarlane animation.

As the boys filtered out of the room, Carole took a much-needed gulp of her beer and smiled, raising her hand towards her husband's for a high five.

"Hard to forget they're eighteen now, huh?" She said, letting her breath ghost across Burt's neck. "Wouldn't change 'em for the world, though."

She put her book on the floor and leaned up to press a soft kiss against the crown of Burt's head, smooth and comforting against her lips. A golden Sunday evening with the man she loved beckoned, and besides, she knew her boys would be muttering their apologies over glasses of warm milk within the hour.

"Yeah", Burt replied, as he reached for her hand and laced their fingers together. "Wouldn't change a damn thing."


A/N: when life gives you writer's block? Write Hudmel family fluff. I hope you enjoyed.