Title: As A God
Summary: 18 years ago, Burt Hummel's girlfriend disappeared. He spent months desperately searching, but eventually he had to accept Kathy was gone. He eventually finds happiness in Carole, Finn, and even Finn's best friend. But then he gets a call. A call from NYPD, telling him a 17 year old admitted to hospital for a drug overdose and carrying a picture of Burt and Kathy. Burt's son? There's only one way to find out.
Warnings: Right, this is a long one. Violence, substance abuse, sexual violence, prostitution (including underage), swearing, 'phobic slander, angsty goodness, self harm, suicidal thoughts (possibly acts)…yeah, this will be quite dark at times, at least, the themes will be.
This is written by me (Sally), but Kyle will be joining me as co-author. Once he's home from a night out with the lads, and has sobered up. I'd like to thank Lilybean, and me and Mr. Jones for their friendship and support while I'm stuck at home on my own, with alcohol, Brothers & Sisters, and my notebook for company :)
I'm writing chapter one as you read this.
I have no idea how long this story will be. Maybe 5 chapters, maybe 50. Who knows? All I know is that any scenes written totally in italics will be flashbacks, and that I am really enjoying this tub of Ben & Jerry's ice cream right now. Reviews would make it taste even better, though. Apologies for any discrepancies, I'll fix them soon. I'm too tired to edit as well as I probably could…
-Stormy Sally xx
To you, your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your beauties, yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure it.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1.1.50-4)
It was rare that Burt and Carole Hummel found a moment to themselves, what with a teenage son ("stepson", Burt had always reminded people at first, but after a while they forgot about the first syllable) in the house. So when they did get a moment of peace in an empty house, they were sure to take advantage of the situation.
It was getting harder and harder to have an intimate night of undisturbed pleasure, especially with Noah Puckerman, a boy whose company Burt had learned to love over time, practically living with them as well, thanks to his own mother's struggles that bordered on negligence at times.
But now they had an entire night to themselves. Just Mr and Mrs Hummel. And their Queen-sized bed.
Burt's lips pressed softly against Carole's, hands tracing lightly up and down her sides over her silky red nightdress, which she'd worn especially for the occasion. Her smile glowed against his, and she sighed in contentment as she leaned back against her pillows.
The hem of her nightdress was past her thighs when the phone rang.
"Ignore it," Burt mumbled into her mouth, catching her giggle with his own commanding lips.
She groaned in dissatisfaction as she reluctantly pushed her husband away from her.
"Carole…" Burt grumbled over the hard ring of the phone.
"It might be Finn, sweetheart," Carole hushed with a guilty smile of apology. Her son would always come first, and Burt knew this. He felt the same, of course. And she'd been unhappy with Finn going to that house party in the first place, had even promised to come pick him up in the small hours of the morning if he called and asked her to. Of course she liked that Lopez girl, she liked all of her son's friends. She just didn't particularly trust the cheerleader all that much when it came to parties.
Burt rolled over to his own side of the bed, the light sweat of his anticipation cooling fast on his back against the mattress. He stared up at the speckled ceiling with unseeing eyes, waiting calmly.
Ring riii- "Hello, this is Carole Hummel."
Carole hadn't turned on the bedside lamp, and Burt smiled softly into the darkness at the sound of her name, his name…their name. "Yes, he's-" Carole stumbled over her words. "He's right here."
Burt looked over to see Carole holding the phone towards him, a frown creasing deeply between her eyebrows. He threw her a quizzical look and her lips trembled around her reply.
"It's the - it's the police."
Burt bolted upright, snatching the phone with perhaps unnecessary force.
Had something happened to the garage?
Had one of the guys got into trouble?
"This is Burt Hummel," he said gruffly, fingers rubbing his eyes back into concentration. Thoughts of sex still lingered in the back of his mind as Carole's breaths filled the silence beside him, but they were dissipating fast.
"Burt?" a light, friendly voice filled with anxiety crackled through the line. "It's Sergeant Murphy. Adam, remember?"
Burt's words caught in his throat, sounding strangled as he spoke, and he coughed as he replied.
"Umm, yeah. Adam. I mean…Sergeant, yeah. I remember. Can I help you?" He just about managed to stop himself asking What the hell do you want?
He could hear Sergeant Murphy's breaths, deep and fast.
"I know it's a closed case, but I just got a call from NYPD. It's about Kathy."
He'd known it must have been. From the moment he heard the name Murphy he knew. But for some reason, hearing it made it worse. And even stranger.
"What about her?"
"Burt, I know you're married," the man on the end of the line explained uneasily, discomfort humming in the undertone of his words. "But both her parents are dead, and you…you were the only other person she really…she's got no other family for me to call."
Burt could feel Carole's eyes on him, worried and confused. He was aware of her hand slipping into his, but he couldn't bring himself to squeeze back.
He couldn't so much as look at his wife; not while talking on the phone to the police officer who had led the search for his old girlfriend, who had been missing for eighteen years. It was too weird, even though Carole knew the entire story backwards, just as he knew all about her first husband.
"You mean they've found her?"
It seemed Carole had cottoned on, or at least guessed what they were talking about. Her fingers tightened around his and her thumb brushed her knuckles absently.
"Not exactly," Murphy said after a confusing pause, sounding awkward. "You remember the picture you gave us? The one that was also in her purse when she left?"
Of course he did. It was their last Christmas together before she ran away; a picture of a twenty year old Burt Hummel and nineteen year old Katherine Gibson, curled close and happy on a festively decorated sofa. Burt reminded the officer of this with a low growl that sounded far more impatient than he intended it to.
"Well, you said about her always being a fan of New York, if you remember. And if you recall, we sent NYPD a copy of that photo along with the facts of the case, in the off chance she turned up there. And, well."
Here Murphy stopped. He'd always been professional when it came to his job. Now he was stuttering like a schoolboy.
"Burt, can you come in to the station? This is quite-"
"God dammit, Murphy! What's going on?" Burt snapped irritably. The mattress shivered as Carole flinched, and Burt sent her an apologetic look, not letting his eyes find hers for fear of breaking down there and then.
"I few of their guys did a raid of a…right just, the basics. They've been chasing a fat-cat drug dealer for a while. He's in it all balls deep. Drugs, prostitution, organised crime. You understand. Yesterday they did a raid, and in a room they found a group of people, pretty much all overdosed on a bad batch of some form of drugs. One of the teenagers there…he had the picture in his pocket, Burt."
There was too much information to process. Burt's grip was a shaking vice around the phone, which creaked and threatened to break, just as Carole's fretting hand was on his. He felt like he knew what Murphy was trying to say, but a deeply buried survival instinct in his brain was stopping him from acknowledging the hidden truth within.
"So, you're saying…what're you saying, Sergeant?" Feeling guilty for his previous outburst, he spoke as politely as he could.
"The kid's about seventeen at a reasonable guess, Burt. And he has that photo, with Mom and Dad written on the back."
Denial held in his explosion of shock as it rippled through every muscles in Burt's body, gnawing at his intestines.
"Burt, I know-"
"Just give me a minute."
Carole's pleading eyes were filling with tears that bit and stung, and only then did Burt feel the trickling wetness over his cheeks, washing with tears.
He surprised himself with the steadiness of his question, though his voice was thick and full of insecurity.
"We don't know. We think…they reckon she's dead. I'm sorry, Burt."
Burt squeezed his eyes and lips tightly shut for a few seconds, nodding and humming his understanding. Carole's arms had snaked around his waist in a protective hold close to her bosom. He loved Carole with all his heart. And inside he'd always thought of Kathy as the late Kath Gibson. This agony surprised him. This heartbroken ache in his bones, so strong he knew he'd probably have drowned in it without Carole there, an anchor that kept him rooted to his sanity.
"What's his name?"
He didn't mean for the question to ghost his lips. But it did.
"They don't know yet. They called pretty much as soon as they found the picture. And I called you as soon as I could. He won't really have been in the hospital all that long, yet."
Burt was numb. He had no idea what exactly he was supposed to be felling other than pain. He couldn't even find confusion. Just love and hurt. And god did it hurt…
"What do I…what should I do?"
A genuine question, because he had no idea. No idea whatsoever. He wasn't even sure he could get out of the bed without instructions.
Murphy's exhalation was irritatingly loud and frustratingly long.
"Go to New York. Find the kid. And find out for sure whether or not he's yours."
Blunt and honest as ever. Burt winced.
That was it?
Just casually hop on a plane to New York City to visit a seventeen year old drug addict that may or may not be his biological son, whim he had no idea existed until a few minutes ago.
"They're expecting you within three days," Murphy apologised. "I can call and reschedule, though, if you can't make it. They'll sort out-"
"NO!" Burt accidently bellowed. He felt Carole flinch even more violently than before, and he heard Murphy jump, startled by the eager aggression in the shout. "Sorry. I mean, no. I'll go. I'm going."
"Come to the station tomorrow morning, Burt. I'll fill you in properly, then you can go. Ok?"
Burt swallowed air dryly.
"Yeah. Ok. Good."
It wasn't good at all. Not in the slightest. Nothing about the situation was good. No information. No understanding. No nothing. Just a mess.
A mess that Burt could already feel wrapping around him like throttling vines; around his lungs and his throat and his stomach.
"Until tomorrow, then," Murphy said gently.
Burt cringed with delicate disgust.
There was a brief pause of silent awkwardness as Burt held back his questions and Adam Murphy held back his patronising consolation. And then off they clicked in unison.
The phone fell a dead weight into Burt's lap, his arms going limp. He let Carole wrap herself around him, this time in pure love, not a hint of the lust that had enveloped them before that fateful ring of the phone.
She didn't ask, but he answered nonetheless.
"I have a son."
It was alien to his bitter tongue, coppery like blood.
Carole froze in her soothing, her desperation to ask more burning in white hot waves that encircled them both.
"At least, I'm pretty sure he's mine. Right timing. She must have been pregnant when she left."
He wasn't sure how his voice sounded to his wife, but in his head his words were monotonous. He was drained. He was sure he should have been shouting, screaming, something.
But he wasn't.
He was drained.
And Carole's tears were dripping a path onto Burt's face, showering him with empathetic adoration and support.
"What are we going to do?"
Burt choked on his breath, and choked on his love for his wife.
She was so strong. Burt felt a rush of affection for her, and he stroked the inside of her thigh with a mechanic's calloused finger. The intimacy was still very much there, but the passion that had burned between them before had fizzled away, leaving behind the overwhelming love that held their marriage together.
"I'm going to get him," Burt said, simply.
It was a matter of fact. Like going to work six days a week. Like Friday night family dinners. Like Saturday date nights.
"I'm going to bring him home."