For the first 30 years of my life, I, Burt Hummel, have managed to avoid awkward situations like the plague. When my son turned four, things started to take a turn for the awkward. But I still managed to stave off the majority of awkward situations that came my way. I made sure Kurt rode his bike in the driveway that wrapped around the house, so the pink streamers weren't seen out on the street. The outdoor tea parties were held in the backyard. It's not that I wasn't proud of my son. I was, and still am. The one thing I couldn't stand was Kurt getting picked on. So instead of saying "No tea parties", I simply made sure they were held in private. Therefore, no need to deal with the ignorant neighbors.
Avoiding unwanted problems became more difficult when Kurt reached high school. I almost had a heart attack when Kurt walked out on the football field and began dancing to some song about jewelry by that Bouncy person.
Most of the awkward moments in my life have happened since my son finally told me he was gay. What started as one or two moments a year has turned into several a week. Sure it was awkward seeing a note on my son's bedroom door saying he was with a girl. He's always with girls, they have sleepovers all the time and Kurt always seems to squeal the loudest. So I was pretty shocked to walk in on Kurt sucking face with that blonde cheerleader that always calls me "Mr. Dolphin's Dad" (I still don't know what that one means). Although, what was more shocking than that was walking in on my son sucking face with a boy. Not just any boy, but THAT BOY, the one from the bed... The gay boy who slept in my son's bed. Yes, that one. Little did I know at the time, but Blaine Anderson would become a permanent fixture in our house.
The really awkward situations didn't start until after the wedding, when Kurt transferred to Dalton. I should have known then. The kid constantly talked about his new school, but only ever mentioned one kid by name. Blaine. Eventually, Blaine started visiting the house to hang out with Kurt. He got along with Finn, and he and Kurt were never touching or kissing, so I figured Kurt was still too innocent to be WITH another boy. They were just friends. I had to keep telling myself that.
Then one day he stopped by my shop. And he had the nerve to tell me my son needed the talk. Boy, that kid must have balls of steel to walk into my business and tell me that. But he had a point. Kurt really did have an aversion to talking about sex. He even stuck his fingers in his ears and sang. So really, that counted as three awkward situations. One being the conversation with Blaine, two the trip to the clinic to pick up pamphlets on gay sex (even if I have another heart attack, I could never again walk in there without turning a violent shade of red), and three the conversation with Kurt. In retrospect, I guess leaving a box of condoms on Kurt's dresser was sort of giving him the go ahead. Probably should have thought that one through a little more.
Before I knew it, Carol and I were driving to the glee club competition between my two sons. When I saw Kurt's face when he and Blaine were singing, I knew then. But Carol saw how tightly I was griping the arm rest and tried to calm me down long enough to let them tell me. Sure enough, right after the competition, Kurt came up to us, congratulated Finn on his well earned win, and then turned to me. At this point I noticed Blaine was stand right next to him. How'd I miss that? And they were holding hands. Kurt finally came out and said it. He and Blaine were "together". I guess that means dating, because up until now, they were together all the time anyway. I gave Blaine a look that said we'll talk later, and he had the grace to pale a little and look truly frightened. Good, I still had it. Carol asked Blaine where his parents were, because she would love to meet them. He said something about a business meeting, avoiding any details.
My chance at intimidating Blaine didn't come for a few more days. I got home from the shop and found the boys baking cookies in the kitchen. I waited until the trays were in the oven to ask to speak to Blaine for a minute. I didn't feel bad about leaving Kurt with the clean up, the kid loved cleaning. He probably wouldn't have let Blaine help anyway, accusing him of doing something wrong, much like he did to me when I loaded the dishwasher. So I pulled Blaine into the TV room and motioned for him to sit on the couch, while I sat in my usual chair. Then I gave him the old glare. I just sat and stared without saying a word. The kid tried sitting there, smiling politely, but after a few minutes he was clearly freaked out. He turned a few shades paler and started sweating a little. He went to loosen his tie, used to a Dalton uniform, but was surprised to realize he was wearing a t-shirt. After a few more minutes of awkward silence, he finally started to talk.
"Mr. Hummel, was there something you wanted to talk to me about? I should really go help Kurt clean up."
"Oh, I'm sure you'd love to help Kurt." I snapped at him. "I haven't forgotten about our little chat the other day in my shop".
At that he gulped, much like you would expect a cartoon character to do. After a few more minutes I decided to cut the kid a break, since he really did look like he was going to pass out.
"I should probably tell you about my crossbow I use for hunting. Just... Think about that in case you ever hurt my son. And no funny business in my house. I don't know what your parents' rules are, but when Kurt's involved, no funny business there either. I have good aim and can easily castrate you if I need to. It would only take one arrow."
Blaine's hands moved subconsciously to cover his lap, but still looked me straight in the eye. Finally he said "I would never do anything to hurt your son. I know it took me a while, and I honestly didn't realize my feelings when I came to talk to you. I was just concerned about my best friend. But now that I realize how amazing Kurt is, I can't believe I didn't see it before. I haven't said this to him yet, because I want to take things slowly, but I love him. I don't plan on leaving anytime soon."
By the end of his little speech I could tell he meant everything he said. I still didn't want him alone with my son with the bedroom door closed though.
"I believe you, but there are still some ground rules, those don't change just because you love my son. We are equal opportunity in the house, so Kurt has the same rules as Finn, only whenever it applies to a girl, it'll be a guy. No being alone in the house. If you two are in a bedroom, the door stays open. All clothing stays on at all times, no sleepovers in the same bed or room. I know I can't control what goes on outside of my house, but if you are having Kurt over your house, your parents should be home. If he is staying over, I expect a call from your parents saying they are home and know he is staying over. I think that's about it..." I began to trail off when Blaine cut in.
"You don't have to worry about that Mr. Hummel; I don't plan on having Kurt spend the night at my house. My dad isn't exactly accepting of my... sexuality, so it really wouldn't go well having my boyfriend sleep over. I had a sleepover once for the warblers, and my dad made me sleep in my room on the second floor and had all my friends sleep in the basement because sleeping in a room with that many boys would only make me more gay." When he finished, he was clearly a little agitated, but I could tell it wasn't directed towards me, but his own father.
"So, that's what that whole rebuilding a car thing was all about too. You weren't kidding."
"No, sir." He replied, with a look that said he wished the situation were different.
"Does he give you a hard time about it, your father?" I asked, truly curious how a father could love his son any less just because he was gay.
Blaine took a minute to reply. He looked like he wanted to tell me something, but all of a sudden he plastered on that dapper look and replied "Not really. He just ignores me most of the time."
I could tell he was hiding something, but knew he wasn't going to say anything right now. Damn, I was already starting to feel for the kid. He's supposed to be the enemy, stealing my son's innocence. I just threatened to castrate him with a crossbow (that I don't actually have- Kurt hasn't let me go hunting since he saw Bambi and cried for a week straight), and all of a sudden, I can't help but realize he's just a 16 year old kid, just like Kurt. Only unlike Kurt, he doesn't seem to the have the support of a loving family. I decided to just say what I needed to say and then go back to hating him.
"If you ever don't feel safe or are hurt, you are always welcome here, day or night, just call me and I'll come pick you up."
"Oh no, Mr. Hummel, my dad doesn't hit me." Blaine was quick to reply, but he wasn't as sure of what he was saying as he was when he was talking about Kurt.
I decided to drop it and just let the kid get back to baking cookies, or whatever it is gay boys do when hanging out instead of video games or playing basketball (the old stand-bys for Finn and Puck).
At that point Kurt walked in from the kitchen, clearly having heard at least part of the conversation to have known he could come in.
"Umm, Dad, can Blaine and I go up and watch a movie in my room?" Kurt knew how to push my buttons. As he asked, he put a plate of cookies down in the table in front of me. Since my heart attack, I haven't been allowed more than one cookie at a time. Yet here was a plate with half a dozen cookies just for me. He must really want to be alone with this boy. I sat for a moment pretending to consider it. Finally I responded.
"Alright, but the door stays open. No funny business."
Kurt grabbed Blaine's hand and ran up the stairs shouting back a "Thanks Dad" as an after thought.
I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, since Blaine came around, I've gotten to watch more sports, since Kurt had someone to watch his musicals with. After about an hour and a half, I figured I would check on them. I brought up some sodas, so I would have a cover other than just checking on them. I figured if the door was open, they couldn't be doing anything anyway, right?
Well, I was wrong. I knew they were dating and that they were both teenage boys, but I was still surprised to walk into my sons room to find him straddling a boy while apparently trying to suck off his face. I didn't know what to do. At least with that bimbo cheerleader it wasn't anything I hadn't seen before. And then I saw Kurt's hands. One was holding Blaine's hands in place above his head, and the other was reaching under Blaine's shirt, resting on his abs. This was not the innocent little Kurt I was used to. I decided I couldn't just stand there all day, and I certainly didn't want to see this go any further. I cleared my throat very loudly while knocking a few times on the door frame. They jumped apart like they were burned. Blaine was already close to the edge of the bed and fell right off onto the floor. I think he may have hit his head on the night stand, but maybe it would knock some sense into him. Kurt's face turned a deep red and he started to stutter about not knowing I was there. I knew to stop Kurt before he started babbling.
"I want to see both you boys in the kitchen in five minutes." I practically ordered as I spun around and stomped down the stairs. Over the sound of the blood pounding in my ears I heard Kurt snap at Blaine "He won't shoot your penis off. He doesn't even own a crossbow."
Well, there goes that bargaining chip. I continued stomping into the kitchen where I found Finn and Carol.
"Finn, can you please go in the other room and play video games for a little while?"
Finn gladly stood up while saying "You don't have to ask me twice. I'll be happy to play video games all night." Then, as I heard him start up the stairs, and two others start down the stairs, I heard Finn once again "Boy, you must have really pissed your dad off. I've never seen him that shade of purple before." After that comment, the foot steps stop coming down the stairs, and I could hear some hushed whispers, only making out the word crossbow. At that Carol smacked me in the back of the head. When I gave her a quizzical look, she replies by saying I shouldn't threaten polite young boys with weapons I don't actually have.
As the two boys walked into kitchen and sat down, the first thing I noticed was how close they were sitting. After a few seconds of glaring, Blaine slid his chair a few inches away from Kurt.
"Alright," I began "I believe I just finished saying no funny business. And I walk upstairs to a barely open door to find a lot of funny business going on."
"Dad, we were just kissing."
Kurt immediately began speaking while Blaine just stared at the table top while rubbing the back of his head. "I don't see what's wrong with that. Finn does that all the time in his room with Rachel. And Quinn. And Santana!"
All of a sudden Blaine stood up and said excuse me as he ran out of the room, a little wobbly. After a couple minutes of Kurt's ranting, Carol walked out of the room to check on Blaine. Kurt continued on about equal rights and how Finn is apparently a man whore.
All of a sudden Carol walked briskly into the room and I could tell she was in nurse mode.
"Burt, grab your keys, we're going to the hospital."
"Wait, what's going on?"
Her reply was surprisingly calm. "Blaine is going to need stitches on the back of his head. And based on his inability to stand up off the bathroom after profusely vomiting, I'm pretty sure he has a concussion."
Kurt let out a sound similar to that of a mouse, and ran to find Blaine.
"I swear I didn't hit him!"
"I know you didn't Burt. But apparently you scared him to the point of falling off a bed, hitting the night stand on the way down."
Damn. I should have asked if he was ok after that happened. Things like that always come back to bite me in the ass. I thought it would knock sense into him. Instead it gave him a concussion.
So we all piled into the car, Kurt sitting in the back with Blaine's head resting in his lap. Carol kept turning around from the passenger seat to ask Blaine questions and make sure he stayed awake. He kept responding by saying he was okay, and didn't need to bother us with having to take him to the hospital. But Carol's been a nurse long enough to know when it's hospital worthy, so I trusted her instinct over that of a 16 year old who was terrified of me.
When we pulled into the ER parking lot, Carol ran in ahead to give them the whole story. Kurt was helping Blaine walk in, but Blaine was getting more and more wobbly, so finally I walked over and picked him up to carry him in. His only response was to say "This is really embarrassing. I can walk. Also, please don't cut off my penis."
I guess at least part of my talk stuck with him. We entered the emergency room, luckily it was empty, and I was able to put Blaine down on a wheelchair. I never noticed how much smaller he is than Kurt or Finn. Carol wheeled him into the back, leaving Kurt and I in the waiting room. "I guess we should call his parents. Do you have his house number in your phone?"
Kurt looked a little hesitant, but finally responded.
"I don't have the house number. We can get it from Blaine when he gets out."
I thought it was strange that Kurt wouldn't have Blaine's home number, but I guess with all the technology these days, what with texting and email, they probably didn't call anyway. Finally Blaine and Carol came out, with strict instructions that Blaine be kept under careful watch for 24 hours.
"OK Blaine, we're going to take you home now, that way Carol can talk to you parents and explain everything medical better than anyone else could." At this point, Blaine looked like he was going to be sick again. "They're out of town. My dad had a business meeting in New York all week."
Carol quickly noticed his discomfort in having to ask a favor, and jumped ahead. "Then you'll stay with us tonight. You can't stay alone. At 16, you shouldn't be alone all week anyway, but especially not with a concussion." Blaine once again looked uncomfortable at the comment about being alone so long, but appeared to brush it off. "I hate to impose, but I understand why the doctor said I can't be alone. Thank you so much for your hospitality."
Even after getting seven stitches and having a concussion, the kid is still polite.
We got back to the house and Kurt pulled Blaine into the living room to watch a movie. The next time I walked in they were sitting like they were in the car on the way to the hospital. Blaine had his head resting on Kurt's lap, and Kurt was running his fingers through Blaine's hair. Although how he got around all that gel, I'll never know.
Later that evening, we sat down to dinner and Finn walked in. Apparently no one mentioned going to the hospital, but Finn didn't notice anyway, because as he walked to his seat he poked Blaine in the back of the head where the gauze covering his stitches was. "Wow, what happened to you? Burt must have walked in on some crazy shit to hit you hard enough to need a band aid." Everyone just looked at Finn with their mouths open for a minute. Then, before he knew it, Finn was being smacked by Carol on one side, and Kurt on the other.
"Ow! What is wrong with everyone?"
Sometimes Finn is a little too clueless.
Later on that night, it was my shift to wake up Blaine every few hours and make sure he wasn't dead. I don't really mind, it kind of is my fault he cracked his head open on that nightstand.
I walked into the living room to find Kurt asleep on the couch. There was someone on the couch, but there was no way that was Blaine. I'd never seen so much hair on one person. "What the hell happened to you?"
Blaine looked confused for a minute before slowly replying, as if he was speaking to a 2 year old, or someone who didn't speak English.
"I hit my head and have a concussion."
At that I chuckled a bit. "I meant the hair"
"Oh! Carol helped me wash the blood out of it since I couldn't get the stitches wet. I know it's kind of out of control. That's why I use so much gel. I would have just left it, but Carol said she couldn't get through the gel to change the gauze." He nervously ran his fingers through his excessively curly hair.
"Just try to get some rest; I'll wake you up in a little while."
I made the executive decision that we could all watch some football. It seemed only fair since both boys were almost asleep. A few minutes into the game I heard a small voice comment.
"They haven't been good since their quarterback graduated. Ohio State needs a whole new lineup before they could win a championship again."
I slowly turned my head to see Blaine watching the game.
"Wait, you like football? I thought you guys like musicals?"
I guess I should have thought that one through a little more.
"Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can't like football."
That floored me. "Oh, uh, sorry... I just figured that with all the musicals you and Kurt are always watching, you probably wouldn't be into... Well..."
"Macho stuff? My dad has had season tickets to the Buckeyes since before I was born. It was the one thing we always did together." After a few minutes of awkward silence, he continued. "He hasn't taken me to a game since I told him I was gay. He still keeps calling it 'my little problem' or a phase."
That was when I really looked at him. He was just a scared little boy looking for reassurance that he wasn't some kind of freak of nature.
"Maybe we could go to a game sometime. God knows Kurt wouldn't go with me and Finn's always busy this time of year with football camp."
"I'd love to go! I can't imagine Kurt sitting through a football game." Blaine seemed genuinely excited about going to a game with me, which is weird after I recently threatened to castrate him. I chuckled at his last comment.
"Kurt had trouble sitting through the game when he was on the team, I don't think he could handle just watching."
Blaine sat there looking at me with his mouth hanging open.
"Wait a minute... Kurt was on the football team? My Kurt. The boy who cries through Disney movies and won't go out of the house without looking impeccable. He played football?"
"Yeah, that was before he came out though. I think he just joined to make me think he was tough. But you know what; the kid was a good kicker. Must have been all that ballet, but he was the only one in the school who could kick a field goal. He quit after winning a couple games. Once he told me he was gay and realized I was ok with it, he knew he didn't have to pretend anymore. A few weeks later he joined cheerleading with Mercedes."
Blaine seemed surprised. After a minute he started talking again.
"I played soccer to impress my dad. It didn't work though. When I told him I was gay, he didn't take it nearly as well as you. He hit me a couple of times and told me to get out of his house. I didn't know where to go, so I sat on the front steps for an hour or so, then my mom told me to come inside and go to my room. My dad hasn't really spoken directly to me since, but he does make rude comments when I'm in the room."
"Blaine, I thought you said your dad doesn't hit you. Does he?"
He immediately took on that deer in the headlights look and quickly mumbled something that sounded like "just that once".
After that we went back to watching the game in silence.