Kurt checked his hair in the mirror for the fourth time. He knew it looked just like it did the last time, and the time before that, but it calmed him down a little.
"It's going to be fine kid. Just remember that if he needs space it doesn't mean he isn't going to need you eventually.
"Thanks Dad. I just hope his parents are able to be honest with him. I don't want him to get his hopes up and then get out and have things deteriorate. I'd rather they just be honest about where they are."
"So speak up and say that. They asked you to go to this meeting for a reason."
It felt strange to be signing Blaine out of the hospital for the day. His father had given written permission for Kurt to pick him up for the meeting at his mother's hospital at Blaine's request. He was happy for the alone time and even happier that the Anderson's were okay with him being a part of this monumentally important family meeting, but
filling out the paperwork saying he was the responsible party for Blaine was an odd feeling. He couldn't tell whether he was nervous or excited.
In the car Blaine held his hand but didn't say much.
"Is it strange to be out? I feel like you've been in hospitals or the house for so long."
Blaine kept his gaze out the window. "Probably would if it didn't feel more strange that I'm leaving my rehab to see my mother in her rehab with my boyfriend because my Dad was okay with him picking me up. Strange is getting to be the norm in my life."
"Do you not want me in this meeting? Kurt's knuckles were white on the wheel. He had been so happy when Mr. Anderson had asked him to attend but he'd simply assumed Blaine was on board. Now he wasn't so sure. "I
promise I'm okay with it just being your family if you want."
Blaine frowned a little and looked at him. "It IS just my family. YOU are my family."
Kurt pulled over into a shady parking lot. There were two empty cars presumably of the teens playing basketball on a far court, but no one else is around. He turned in his seat to face the other boy whose eyes were wide with nerves. "I wanted to stop for a second while we're alone and just tell you that I love you. Whatever you need today
please just be honest with me, if you want me close I can do that, if you want me to step back I can do that too. The only thing that scares me is you shutting down."
"Scares me too but I've learned that I can't make promises about my reactions. I can only be real in the moment."
"Can I be real for a minute?"
Blaine gave him a shy smile, he thought he knew what was coming, "You can."
"This is the first time we've been seriously alone in months and I really, REALLY want to kiss you right now."
Blaine grinned and leaned in to touch Kurt's soft cheek, his nose wrinkled in the cutest way when he said, "I think that can be arranged."
It was almost like the first time they kissed, both sort of tentative at first but then realizing exactly how much they lived for these moments. Not only that but how much they needed this to seal their bond to each other so they could both walk into whatever was going to happen.
Blaine licked at Kurt's lips as they separated from each other slightly, "Whatever happens we need to ask for permission to not go straight back. Even if we have to spend time with Dad, I just want to be out in the world with you for a little while after this is over."
"And if they say no I'll stay with you tonight at the hospital, even if I have to hide in the bathroom at lights out"
"You would do that?"
"I would do that." Kurt kissed Blaine again, curling his arms him so he could pull him closer and really feel the heat of him under his thick sweater. "Do you know why?"
"Because I love you."
Blaine cupped Kurt's face in his hands, "I see the light at the end of the tunnel, we're gonna be so happy soon."
"I'm pretty happy right now."
Another kiss, this one lasting a little longer than intended and ending with both boys breathless and somewhat more horizontal than they anticipated. "Nice as it is to do this without fear of Carla walking in on us we need to go. Your dad trusted me to get you there on time and in one piece, not late with messed up hair and a stiffy."
"You messed my hair up?!" Blaine was in the mirror in the blink of an eye, Kurt chuckling at how easy he was to distract.
"No my darling, you are stilled gelled perfection. Shall we go?"
They sang along with the radio and shared smiles and quick kisses at each red light. The mood in the car was considerably lighter until they pulled into the lot for Mrs. Anderson's hospital. Kurt heard Blaine take a deep breath and let it out shakily.
"As I'll ever be."
Blaine took Kurt's hand before they walked into the room where his family and their therapists had gathered. His mother was at the table, thinner than he'd ever remembered her but with better color to her face. When she held her arms out to him he went to her and held her tightly, she wept into his shoulder, telling him how much she'd
missed him, how good he looked, how proud of him she was. He back away and wiped a tear from his own eye, "I'm proud of you too Mom."
His father stood and held out his hand, when Blaine took it his father pulled him in to hug him, "For the record I'm proud of you too, Son."
Blaine blinked hard, "Thanks Dad."
Mrs. Anderson took Kurt's hand. "Thank you for looking out for him."
Kurt stammered a little, already more emotional than he'd been prepared for, "A..always."
Mr. Anderson shook Kurt's hand in a warm way and motioned for the two boys to sit across from himself and his wife.
Dr. Nassam cleared her throat. She was the family therapist that would be running the session, but Blaine's therapist and Mrs. Anderson's therapist were also in the room. At first everyone was tentative, not a single eggshell would be crushed underfoot. Then they asked Blaine what was on his mind.
"I'm really happy that we're all doing this. I'm glad everyone is stepping up and trying but I'm also afraid that when we all go home we're going to go right back to where we were. Dad I know you're saying all the right things but I'm sorry, I don't know if I trust it. What if we're all at home again and Mom says something you don't like,
or I do something that embarrasses you? I'm not going to be perfect, neither is Mom. I want to be able to be honest with you both but I don't want to ever have you say things to me that you've said in the past."
His father nodded, he heard him. He didn't jump to say that he wouldn't yell again, that he wouldn't be embarrassed by Blaine, or his Mother. Kurt knew this was a good sign. There was no bravado of knowing he could do the right thing, or even trying to pretend he could for the sake of the doctors in the room. "Son I'm probably the one in the room who needs the most counseling and I've started seeing someone on my own in addition to the sessions
with your Mom. I can't guarantee I won't let you down any more than you can guarantee you'll be the perfect teenager. I can promise you this, I will never knowingly hurt you again. Or your Mother. I promise I'll work on myself, that I'll continue counseling and that we can go to a mediator any time you start to feel like I'm being unfair."
"Blaine you can't blame your Dad for all of this. He and I have talked about so many things and I've let you think of him as a monster for too long. I have culpability here too. I checked out when I thought he wasn't doing right by me instead of confronting him and supporting you."
"You were sick Mom. " Blaine had gotten used to blaming the disease, it was easier to think of his mother as a walking manifestation of a disease than as someone who had chosen to fail him.
"Yes, I was sick. I didn't start that way. I chose to hide from the truth instead of facing it. I don't want that to be the example I set for you."
"And I let her because it was easier for me. I hated myself for not being there for you and I blamed myself for you being gay because I thought, I still think it's my fault, you're trying to find someone to give you what I didn't."
"Blaine, would you like to answer to that? Do you think being gay is a way of substituting for your father's love?"
"I don't…" he looked at Kurt helplessly. "I don't know. I mean, I'd like to say no, because I never made a choice to be gay, I just liked who I liked, the same way you like say spicy things or chocolate over vanilla. I never sat down and thought, I will find a man who will love me because my Dad doesn't. Could it have shaped me growing up? Yeah.
Do I think it did? I don't know. Kurt is my rock, but I'm his too, I think. I don't feel like one of us is a parent to the other, I think we're partners. When one of us falls down the other picks him up."
At this Kurt patted his thigh and Blaine smiled at him before continuing. " But Dad I have to tell you, the way that you say you blame yourself, that it's your 'fault', it still sounds like you think there's something wrong with me, with us." Here he took Kurt's hand, "I know we're young, but we've been together awhile now and I think my
relationship with Kurt is the healthiest in this room."
"Oh Blaine, honey, Dad doesn't mean it that way, he's just trying.."
"Ginny? I appreciate your trying to soothe the situation but you have to let Blaine say what he feels and trust his father to answer for himself."
"I don't think there is anything wrong with you, and you may be right, your relationship with Kurt does appear to be very healthy, if a little close for your age. I can't say though that I'm all the way there with the gay thing. I love you. I'm proud of you. I appreciate that you feel the way you do but I just can't stop thinking that at some point you're going to outgrow this and still get married and have children and have a normal life."
Blaine crossed his arms and arched his brow. "Normal."
His father grew frustrated. "You know what I mean, have a family."
"Look around you Dad. Gay people get married now. They have families. We're the same. We want the same things. I'm in high school, yes, of course I want to be with Kurt forever but even if that doesn't happen I'm not going to suddenly decide I like women. I tried that, it didn't work."
"You tried that?" Mrs. Anderson leaned forward. "When was this?"
"I've dated girls Mom. I don't tell you guys anything because you don't listen anyway."
"Blaine there's no need to be accusatory, they didn't listen then, but they're listening now. Stay in the present."
"Fine. I dated a girl. I tried it. I considered it. It wasn't for me. I liked her, still do, hope she'll be my sister-in-law some day because she's engaged now to Kurt's brother, but for as long as I can remember my attraction has been to men."
"Maybe she was just the wrong girl." Blaine's dad mumbled.
"Alistair! Stop. This is where we get into trouble. Please just accept what our son is saying to you."
"I thought we were ALL allowed to say how we felt here, not just you and Blaine, all of us." He shot back.
Dr. Nassam stepped in. "Alistair is correct. This is the time for him to express his hopes and fears for his family. Keeping these thoughts to himself will only foster misunderstanding. "Alistair while it is true that some people find themselves attracted to another sex later in life most people know their primary attraction as children and will remain with that for a lifetime. I understand that this is not the vision you had for him, but can you love, accept and support Blaine no matter who he loves?"
"I already do. I'm just saying…I don't know what I'm saying. I guess I'm just asking that you not rule out finding a woman, being a father."
"I'm not ruling out anything. I'm in love, I'm happy and we've actually discussed being parents in the distant future. If a time comes that Kurt and I aren't together, something I don't see happening, but I understand it's possible, if that happens I would be open to my life, would I actively seek a relationship with a woman? No, but to be honest I don't think I'd pursue a relationship with a man either. I'd just wait to meet someone that I felt strongly about, whoever that turns out to be."
"You've discussed being parents?" Ginny tried to keep her voice neutral but you could tell it was a strain.
Kurt finally spoke. "We have. It's obviously not anything we're looking for any time soon but we both like the idea."
"Neither of you has been around children much have you?"
The boys looked at each other. They didn't really want to talk about Carla, it would be so hard to explain and would take the whole conversation off track. Fortunately Blaine's therapist stepped in. "Both boys have actually been quite helpful with some of my younger patients at the rehab. When the time comes I think they both have an excellent aptitude to for taking care of children. In fact I wanted to discuss with you the possibility of Blaine coming back to help with some of my younger groups after he leaves the facility. I think it would be a great way for him to remain centered but also would be good for the kids to have someone closer to their own age to relate to. Kurt you are always welcome as well. The kids adore you."
"Speaking of that, and thank you, I would love to come and help out, do you have any idea when Blaine might be ready to be released?" Kurt felt Blaine squeeze his hand as he asked. He knew it was the question his boyfriend most wanted an answer to and was least likely to ask.
"That was part of the reason for this meeting." Mr. Anderson answered. "Blaine the doctors feel that you are ready to come home. The issue would be whether you would feel okay about coming home before your mother is there."
"I'm just not ready yet, Son."
"No, Mom, I don't want you to rush just for me. Do this right. As long as you need. Dad, yes, I'd like to come home. In fact I think it might be good for us to have some time to figure out our relationship just the two of us."
"If that's the case you can be released as early as Friday."
Kurt and Blaine shared a grin. This was better news than they had expected.
"We also need to discuss where you'll be attending school. I've asked Dalton to hold a place for you but I've also registered you at McKinley. The choice will be yours." His father looked proud of himself.
Kurt held up his hands, "Honey you do whatever makes you feel safe. If you don't think now is the right time for a change I'm okay with that."
"I want to go to McKinley. I want to be with Kurt."
The rest of the meeting went by in a blur, Kurt and Blaine both with their minds stuck on the fact that Blaine would be free in a matter of days and they would be in school together, spending all of their time together again. It seemed like heaven.
When the session was breaking up Blaine went to his father. "I'd like permission to go back to the rehab by 8. Kurt and I would like to go to dinner."
"You'll be out by this weekend Blaine, perhaps it's best if you head straight back for now."
"Dad, when I get out, will I have the freedom to see Kurt?"
"As much as is reasonable."
"And we can work out how much reasonable is with a mediator?"
"I'd like to have the discussion just between us for now, see if we can work out something acceptable on our own. Give me a chance, Blaine. If you feel I'm unreasonable then yes, we can get a mediator."
"Okay, but is giving Kurt and I time today up for negotiation? I'd really like the opportunity to talk to him about what will happen when I get out, about going to his school and mostly I'd like to test drive feeling normal."
"Dr. Nassam?" Mr. Anderson called her over to them and explained the situation. His only concern was the hospital having things planned for him for the early evening that he would miss. The doctor called and found that Blaine was free to make whatever plans he wanted for the rest of the day.
"Alright then. You boys have a good time and be safe." He pulled out his wallet to give Blaine some money but Kurt stopped him.
"Why don't you join us sir?"
"Thank you Kurt, but I think my son would rather I didn't."
"Actually Dad I'd like that. It's early now, maybe Kurt and I could go see a few friends, give them the good news then meet you for dinner before I have to go back."
Alistair Anderson smiled the most genuine smile Kurt had ever seen from him. "I would like that very much boys, thank you."