Disclaimer: I announce that I do not own Glee and its characters. Lyrics at the start are Dream a Little Dream of Me by Mama Cass and it's a beautiful song.
AN: this is my twist on the 'soul mate' theme of stories. I haven't seen one like this before but I'm sure there's some somewhere. I hope you enjoy my interpretation.
This will be a story in two parts, possibly with a mini third chapter epilogue. The majority of the second part is written and should be up next week.
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper 'I love you'
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
It begins when the individual nears puberty, typically around the age of eleven or twelve. It starts off slowly: first, the dreams enjoyed (and the nightmares feared) at night fade until sleep is dreamless. Then out of the nothing comes a voice – just a whisper, nothing more – which provides a somehow comforting soundtrack to sleep. It soothes and calms and is unfailingly present every single time the individual sleeps.
This phenomenon in itself would be enough to attract the interest of scientists and psychologists, and if the fact that every person dreamed of a different voice made it worth investigation, the realisation that the dream-voice belonged to the individual's soul mate made it damn fascinating.
For Kurt Hummel, however, it wasn't so fascinating as it was frustrating.
This year, the start of his life as a junior at McKinley High, made five years that he'd spent with dreams filled by a soft male voice. That was roughly one thousand, eight hundred and twenty-five days he'd spent yearning to be able to put a face to the whispers that crooned soft, indecipherable songs to him when the pressure of life or bullying or even homework became too much and he cried himself to sleep.
Some days the whispering voice was all that kept him going – the proof that there was someone out there just for him. Kurt could never leave his soul mate alone in the world, not when he knew how it would affect him.
When he was younger, Kurt had asked his dad what happened to the nightly whispers if your soul mate died. Burt had explained that the voice was replaced by silence.
"But daddy my head is filled with silence sometimes. It's not so bad."
"Son, the whisper you hear isn't just a noise – it's a connection. A connection to that one person in the world meant just for you. If that whisper's not there…it's a constant reminder of loss, Kurt. The silence makes people feel alone and that's a very sad thing."
Later that year after his mom had died, Kurt had started a ritual of creeping into his dad's bedroom at night when he was asleep. For just a little while, he would sing softly to try and remind his dad that he wasn't really alone no matter what the silence said.
Then his dad had started dating Carole – the result of an accidental meeting at a parent teacher conference. Although it wasn't deemed socially acceptable to ask about another person's dream-voice, Kurt had had to ask his dad whether he heard Carole whispering to him now.
"It's not a whisper exactly," Burt had replied, smiling slightly, "but it's a hell of a lot better than silence and it's definitely her."
Since then Kurt had read up about 'secondary mates' – cases where widowers began to hear very faint murmurs indicating their connection to another person, albeit a much weaker one than that to their soul mate.
It seemed that everyone around him was connecting: his dad and Carole, Finn and Rachel, even Puck and Lauren. He was forced to sit every day in a class where, more often than not, Rachel would let slip how amazing and fulfilling it was to have finally connected to her other half. He'd lost count of the number of times he'd listened to her describe how it felt when everything clicked – a bolt of lightning, an epiphany worthy of Einstein. A moment where you just think:
Oh, there you are. I've been looking for you forever.
But Kurt hadn't truly been alone – he'd still had Mercedes, his fierce diva, and together they'd spent many a night professing that they didn't need the man of their dreams because they had other desires that were achievable without their supposed Mr Right. Then new boy Sam Evans moved to town and Kurt watched with a happiness tinged with dismay as his best friend found her soul mate.
And no matter how often he tried to make himself think he was fine, no matter how often he professed loudly in the middle of Glee club that being so wholly reliant and connected to one person was unhealthy and antisocial – Kurt always looked forward to hearing that whisper in his dreams.
He ached for that feeling of completion that came with finding your mate, yearned for it more than the Chanel sweater from the latest issue of Vogue and that was saying something. It was obvious on all his friend's faces that they were happy and late at night in his bed, staring blindly at the ceiling, he would wonder sadly why it wasn't his turn yet. Didn't he deserve it? Even Puckerman the playboy had finally connected – didn't he deserve it more than the boy who used to throw him in dumpsters because of who he was?
When will it be my turn?
Kurt sat off to one side, listening without interest as Mr Schuester finished reading out their competition for Sectionals. Some old people and a group of uptight rich boys? Please, we'll have more rhythm than both of them combined.
"Mister Schue, if I may?" was Rachel's opening statement before she quickly rose to her feet and stood in front of the group with a serious expression. "As you're all aware Sectionals is in three weeks and we are no closer to determining song selection. I'm worried that this may be a downfall compared to our competition-"
"The Grannies and the gay boys aren't competition. They're just there to fill in time before we go on and rock their world," Puck interjected with a smirk.
"Well, I'm concerned that our lack of preparation may damage our chances of winning. So I propose we do some research on our competition to see what we're up against," she concluded with a wide smile, proceeding to preen under the praise from Mr Schue and Finn, the former of whom complimented her and put it to the whole group as the bell rang to go on the internet and find out as much about their competition as they could.
Kurt rolled his eyes as he swung his bag over his shoulder – he was pretty sure that Mr Schuester's idea of research wouldn't quite match up to Rachel's.
He was proved right only moments later when the short brunette came up to him as he was getting books from his locker. "I want you to spy on the Warblers." Kurt turned to her with an arched brow and she immediately became flustered. "You know it would be good for the group, Kurt, and-"
"So why don't you do it? I'm surprise you'd trust any of us with a mission of such importance."
"Well, you're the only guy in New Directions who hasn't connected yet so I thought…" the slam of Kurt shutting his locker cut her off as he began to walk away.
"Kurt wait!" Rachel caught up to him quickly. Well she's nothing if not determined and severely lacking in the fashion department, he thought with a sigh as she half-ran to keep up with him. "Please, we need to know about their style, their song choices, choreography, anything – it'll help us beat them and then we're one step closer to Nationals!" Seeing that this line of thought was getting her nowhere, she tried another: "Besides, isn't your dream-voice a boy? Well Dalton's an all-boys school so maybe-"
Kurt came to a sudden stop and cut her off with an icy glare. "Maybe what, Rachel? Maybe my soul mate not only lives in Ohio but goes to a school only hours away? Maybe he's in the Warblers? You know what I'll bet he is – he probably sings lead. And I'll go there to spy and hear him singing and I'll finally connect. Is that what you were going to say?" When the girl merely gaped at him with glassy eyes, he turned on his heel and stormed off. "Grow up Rachel, life isn't a fairytale."
Or at least mine isn't.
That night Kurt tried his best to sleep, desperate to hear the soothing tone that never failed to calm him and make him feel safe. But after half an hour when the deep breaths he'd been taking began to make him feel dizzy, he rolled onto his back with a huff and frowned at the ceiling thinking once again just how unfair this whole dream-voice, soul mate business was.
I could be happy if I didn't have to hear his stupid perfect voice every night of my life.
The bitterness didn't last long as Kurt quickly fell into his most common pastime: compiling a mental checklist aptly named "Kurt Hummel's Soul Mate Is."
So far, he'd covered:
Obsessed with music and musicals
Kurt sighed softly and smiled just at the thought. Even though he only knew one definite thing about his soul mate (Male) he liked to think he could pick out certain qualities from the murmurs he'd cherished for years. Like that he was almost one hundred percent sure that the boy, whoever he was, was a singer.
From conversations overheard in the choir room, Kurt had come to realise that the other members of New Directions mostly heard murmured conversation in their dreams whereas for him, a night that was absent of a soft, vaguely familiar melody was unusual. He did hear conversation sometimes, and even once or twice he woke with the sound of rich laughter fresh in his mind, filling him with warmth and putting a smile on his face.
And this was why he just couldn't let go of Rachel's stupidly optimistic words from earlier.
Because what if.
He sighed again, eyes fluttering closed as he frowned a little. Westerville, home to Dalton Academy and the Warblers, was just under two hours away, so if his soul mate was miraculously a student there then surely they would have connected already. Maybe have seen each other at the mall just out of town or in a restaurant or somewhere, anywhere, but they hadn't.
Kurt wasn't going to get his hopes dashed just because Rachel Berry couldn't control her flair for the dramatic.
But still…a nagging little voice in his mind was reminding him that just because he hadn't connected with his mate didn't mean they hadn't seen each other, or even been in the same room. After all in order for mates to connect, each one had to not only hear the voice of their mate but also share eye contact. It was an incredibly miniscule detail, unimportant almost, except that it was ridiculous how few people looked Kurt in the eye that weren't his friends. The jocks didn't lower themselves to acknowledge him beyond locker slams and slushie facials and the general public was so closed off in their own little world of problems that they barely acknowledged anyone, let alone a seventeen year old boy wearing skin tight jeans with Doc Martens and a top hat.
Incredulous looks were abundant, yes, but they never included eye contact.
And this was why Kurt had the little voice in his head: what if his soul mate did go to Dalton and they'd just never been in close enough contact to connect? What if the answer to basically everything he'd wished for was only a couple of hours away? Would he really be willing to let the chance to meet his soul mate slip away because he was too busy ignoring Rachel? Was he willing to get his hopes up in the (highly likely) chance that they'd just get torn down?
With one final sigh, Kurt curled up on his side as he felt sleep tugging at his mind. He wasn't kidding himself – he'd made his decision as soon as Rachel had voiced her planned method of research.
He just needed to sort out what he was going to wear.
The next day Kurt waved goodbye to his dad as he always did, but then instead of heading for McKinley he started the two hour drive to Westerville.
Dalton Academy was breath-taking: majestic red brick buildings surrounded by perfectly kept emerald lawns smattered with trees. The sight caused Kurt to drive wide-eyed into its parking lot and taking a moment when he'd stepped out to just gape. The Academy had such an air of history, possessing a well-worn grandeur that could only be gained over a significant period of time. Kurt was pretty sure he was in love.
The interior was no less impressive – winding staircases linked corridors peppered with various chairs and benches. The heavy doors were a polished dark wood, the lighting fixtures on the right side of extravagant and the artwork on the walls tasteful yet varied. He'd never been somewhere that felt so…cultured before. Not to mention the décor was fantastic, the leather and dark wood filling the building with a warmth that could easily be missing from the large rooms. He spent some time wandering around with curiosity before really starting his spying, hoping to come across a music room of some sort. So far he'd only come across several classrooms and a few very well stocked labs.
While searching, Kurt formed two scenarios in his head: in the first, he stumbled into the middle of a Warblers practice session and got to watch them without being seen; in the second he spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly until someone caught him and threw him out.
That was just best and worst case, of course, but he didn't see the point in thinking of every possibility when he had a boy band to find.
He strode down yet another hallway filled with a few groups of boys in uniform, trying to seem confident even though he had absolutely no idea where he was when a tall brunette skidded into view at the end of the corridor, hands cupped around his mouth. "Attention fellow Daltonians: Warblers performance in the senior commons in five minutes! Get your asses down there!"
Immediately every single person in the corridor hurried towards the boy who'd made the announcement in excitement, jostling past Kurt who followed after them with a small smirk. This was even better than the best case scenario – he'd be hidden in a crowd and could slip away at the end and the Warblers would be none the wiser! It was as-
He instinctively paused to see who'd called but frowned in confusion almost immediately. No one here knew him, so what-
The frown slipped from his features and his eyes widened as shock and realisation flooded through him.
It was his dream-voice, his soul mate's voice. It had taken him a moment to realise because he'd never known it was possible to hear it when you were awake.
He'd also never heard it say his name before.
A desperate, aching need instantly filled him and he looked around wildly. Even though the corridor was deserted he knew, just knew that his mate was near. He could feel their connection humming and crackling under his skin, propelling him forward until he was running down the corridors, twisting through them with no thought until finally – finally…
I'mma get your heart racing in my skin tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight
Kurt skidded to a stop, breathing heavily and staring at a partially open set of doors at the end of the corridor he was in. The humming under his skin was almost tangible now, flooding through his mind and showing him the way.
There, it was saying. There.
His soul mate was in that room.
And he was singing. Kurt's heart skipped a beat.
Let you put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight
Beyond the doors was a large crowd of the uniformed boys, but although he was looking Kurt wasn't really seeing anything, still struggling with the knowledge that his soul mate was right there.
Sounds of laughter and light conversation had taken over from the singing but he was frozen, chest still heaving with unsteady breaths suddenly completely unable to take those last few steps towards everything he'd been dreaming of. He was so unfocused that he didn't see a large group of boys heading towards him until one of them, on noticing Kurt's shell-shocked expression, said something to the boys before leaving them to stand in front of Kurt, concern crossing his features: "Are you alright?"
Kurt looked up at the tall Asian boy standing in front of him and blinked stupidly. He'd forgotten he was standing in the middle of a busy corridor in a school. He opened his mouth to answer but suddenly one of the others he'd been walking with laughed loudly and Kurt froze all over again.
He could feel their connection as if they were strung together, could feel it pulling at him and his entire being was screaming at him to turn around and set eyes on the boy, to have the lightning strike of realisation and permanently entwine them together.
And suddenly he was scared.
Terrified. Terrified out of his mind.
He had to get out.
"I-I-I'm f-fine," Kurt didn't know why he bothered replying before turning and basically tripping past the people around him as he half-ran down the corridor.
He didn't notice that the laughing boy had frozen, the colour draining from his face when Kurt spoke. Didn't hear footsteps some distance behind as he was followed, didn't think, didn't stop moving until he was in his car driving away from the school, away from that unknown boy.
Away from his soul mate.
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