This is my new story! It is a lot more like Once in a Blue Moon with a bit of mystery, angst, and maybe love!
Kurt's eyes felt mutinously heavy as he accelerated down the Garden State Parkway. Mini vans full of happy families with weary parents fell behind as Kurt broke the speed limit several times over. Twelve hours after leaving Lima, he was sick and tired of being cooped up inside a car, tired of the same twenty songs on the radio, and tired of being alone with his thoughts.
Too many thoughts that would haunt him for the rest of his life – thoughts that differed from the three letters buried deep inside his suitcase, to the town he left behind, to the town he was about to enter.
So many failures, so many wrong turns, too many mistakes, and a million lost opportunities. Kurt didn't want to dwell on the past; he knew it would get him nowhere; as if that wasn't where he was headed now. Nevertheless, if someone had told him four years ago that he would be moving in with his perpetually single Aunt that he barely knew, living in a town with less regular people than Lima, Ohio, and working in a rundown dress repair shop, he probably would have slapped them.
Nonetheless, here he was. His only friend from high school, Mercedes Jones, was constantly texting him updates about college orientation at Ohio State. He had tried not to let his jealousy tinge her happy day, but he couldn't help himself. That was supposed to be him. He was supposed to be the one experiencing the happiness of college orientation – doing the stupid dances, meeting amazing people, getting drunk, and falling helplessly in love. He had shut his phone off so he wouldn't have the urge to text her back things he didn't really mean.
Kurt made a few turns, going mostly from his innate sense of direction that he had inherited from his father. Kurt smiled as he thought about Burt Hummel. Burt had been so against Kurt moving here, he wanted Kurt to wait the summer out and see if anything changed for him.
However, Kurt was afraid if he stayed the extra three months on a whim, he would never leave Lima – and that was far scarier than any of his other prospects.
Therefore, he took the best one, and perhaps the only one that would pad his resume enough to give him the courage to apply to fashion schools again next year. That option landed him in Cape May, New Jersey: year round population of 3,500. His Aunt Meg had sold the idea to him, though the thought of a summer spent at the beach, altering dresses, and living in a bed and breakfast wasn't exactly Kurt's idea of a perfect summer.
He had thought it would entail traipsing around New York City and completely remaking himself into someone he actually wanted to be.
Burt eventually warmed up to the idea when he realized that his sister was struggling with the maintenance of the various bed and breakfasts she owned on the small island, which wasn't really an island, he remembered, though they called it one.
Kurt pulled up slowly outside of the house he would call his home for at least the next few months of his life. His heart sank when he took in the exterior of the house. If he thought he was leaving Lima for the higher life, he was sadly mistaken.
The paint was peeling off the two-story house, the pink paint giving way to something that looked vaguely gray or perhaps a light blue? Surely, the sea air had stripped through the paint, but the houses around it were various shades of bright purples, blue, and yellow. The house itself looked like it could have been beautiful at some point. The Victorian architecture needed more help than the paint did, but Kurt could almost imagine what it looked like if it would be fixed up.
"Kurt!" a shrieking voice yelled before a tall women sprinted out the front door, banging it vigorously against the siding of the house; Kurt suddenly understood where the chips and cracks came from. Kurt braced himself against the car as his Aunt wrapped her arms around him. "I'm so glad you're here!" she whispered into his ear. Kurt could smell the vanilla and apple on her skin and couldn't help but feel better. "How was your trip? Don't you love it here? The sea air always gives me a new perspective on life!"
"Thank you for having me Aunt Meg," Kurt said dutifully while pulling away, "it really is sweet of you."
"Nonsense, you don't have to pretend with me. I know you'd rather be in some high rise in New York City than in a bed and breakfast on the beach," Meg grabbed two of Kurt's suitcases, "Come on in though. We have to make the best of whatever life throws us and you're probably tired from driving and I'm just about to finish dinner." She walked towards the house chattering away about neighbors, things to see, and the house itself.
Kurt grabbed a few more bags and made a mental note to bring in more before dark. "The house...has a lot of character," he commented, quickly dodging a huge hole in on the steps. The woman talked much more than Burt did, and Kurt found himself struggling to keep up with her array of topics.
"It's a dump," Meg laughed, "but I just hired the Puckerman boy and a few of his friends to fix it up. I figure with some new lattice work and a coat of paint, she should be okay." Meg looked back to Kurt, "I'll show you your room first, yeah?"
Kurt nodded and followed the woman up a set of narrow, steep steps. He made sure he was quiet, he wasn't sure if there were guests or if the place was empty.
He sort of hoped it was.
"I thought I was living in some separate building with other kids," Kurt asked eventually, "not that I mind!" In fact, he preferred not having to make friends with anyone. He was here to pad his resume – that was it.
Meg threw the bags she was carrying into a room with a loud thud. "Well I did have a place for you in one of the houses I rent out for the kids that just come here for the summer but a kid came and practically begged me for the room. He seemed like he really needed it and I'm a bleeding heart so you ended up here. Trust me, this is nicer for you anyway. Closer to Emma's shop, the beach, and the promenade, plus I tend to think I smell better than those boys anyway."
Kurt nodded, "Well thank you, I know this takes away from some of your customers. I would be willing to pay rent off my salary if you want..."
"No," she interrupted, "I know what it's like to just have to get away. I did the same thing the summer after I graduated. I left Ohio thinking I would be back come September. I've only gone back three times since then – when your father got married, when you were born, and when your mom died. Ohio is like a black pit that sucks you in and tries to keep you there. It is my honor to give you a place to go."
Kurt laughed because he had described Ohio like that a million times in his life. He loved his Aunt; she understood exactly where he was coming from. He used to Skype her almost nightly just to talk about the issues he had in school. His father and Mercedes sympathized, but they didn't really understand what he was actually going through. Meg did. It was different talking to her face to face though, and he felt shy. He rarely conversed with people at home and to do it now with someone so talkative brought him far from his comfort zone.
"So this is your room," she said as if it was not obvious. "It's called the "Captain's Room" in the manual but in reality it is the least crappy of the rooms we have here." She stomped her foot down on a loose floorboard, "You can see why I barely have any customers."
Kurt looked around and could not help but feel a little disheartened at the state of the room. The sickly green wallpaper clashed with the Christmas green rug. The bed looked comfortable enough, but the headboard that took up half of the wall seemed immense and excessive. Nevertheless, it had a chair, a vanity, and a wardrobe. It was all Kurt would really need. In addition, there was a huge balcony that led to a walkway that overlooked the ocean.
Meg saw Kurt looking at the structure and explained, "It's a widow's walk. According to legend, it was put on houses so that the wives of captains and other mariners could watch for the ships to come in."
"So why "widow's" walk then?" Kurt asked as he stared at the structure; he made a mental note to do some research on nautical terminology.
Meg looked sad for a moment, "Because more often than not, especially here, the ships never returned home. The women were usually widowed. One day I'll take you down to the shipwreck that's still visible in the water."
Kurt shivered and looked out at the short beach and the waves. He couldn't help but think how many lives the water had taken. It was early in the season, so there were only a few people – mostly older women in huge bonnets and striped swimming suits. Kurt had never been to the beach before and it didn't look like somewhere he wanted to visit. The sand sparkled with what he assumed was glass of some sort and the ocean looked rough. A bored lifeguard sat on a high chair every football field or so, but Kurt doubted they would do anything.
He quickly closed the door and curtains to unpack his things.
Meg hovered awkwardly, "Do you need anything? Like I said, dinner is cooking now. You have your own bathroom and linens. Your Dad said you'd probably bring everything on your own but we do have a 5&10 about a ten minute walk away…."
Kurt realized then that he needed to call his father. "I'm fine, Meg, really. Just tired. I need to call my Dad and then I'll be down for dinner, okay?"
She looked as if she wanted to say something else, but nodded and left, closing the door behind her.
Kurt jumped onto the bed and found it to be fairly comfortable. He assumed Meg had given him a better mattress. He quickly pulled out his phone and called Burt.
"Hey Kurt! Are you in New Jersey safe and sound? Ready to come home yet?" his father's voice was perky but even over the phone; Kurt could tell he was worried.
He curled into himself, leaning against the massive headboard and feeling even smaller, "Hey Dad. Yeah, I got here okay. I hit some traffic in the middle of Pennsylvania but it wasn't too bad."
"Is your room alright? I told Meg you were fussy."
Kurt groaned, "Dad, I'm not fussy! She's actually having me live with her because some kid took the room I was supposed to have." Great, his Aunt was going to hate him too.
"Oh man that stinks. Hopefully you can still get to know them, right?"
Kurt shrugged before realizing his father couldn't see him. "It doesn't really matter to me. I'm used to doing it alone."
"You shouldn't be," his father sounded sad. "At least try to get to know some of the people there? Maybe they will be a little more friendly than the kids here."
Kurt assumed rabid dogs were friendlier than the people he grew up with; he had several circular shaped scars from locks on lockers and doorknobs to prove just how nice people from Lima were. "I will try Dad," he hated lying but he didn't want his father to worry.
"Look, if it's too much you can come back here. You aren't going to change the minds of those idiots in college admissions offices by moving to a different city," Burt reasoned.
However, Kurt had heard the argument too many times, "I know that, Dad. But I need to do something. Here I can at least get experience so I can try again next year."
"Alright. But if you want to come home you just let me know. You don't even have to let me know, just come home. And I'm serious about trying to make some friends."
Kurt slammed his head back against the headboard, "I know Dad," he said through gritted teeth. "Meg's calling me for dinner, I have to go. I love you."
"Love you too, Kurt."
He had lied to his father again but didn't feel too badly about it. What Kurt hated the most was the pity in the voices of everyone around him. No, he had not gotten into any of the colleges he'd applied to; no, he didn't have any friends in high school; no, he didn't go to his prom; no, he wasn't going to attend his graduation in a week; no, he'd never had a boyfriend or even someone who was sort of like a boyfriend; and no, he didn't have a definite future plan.
But he was working on it, and for that reason alone he decided that he didn't need anyone's pity.
Did he want friends? Yes, but he didn't feel like he should have to go out of his way to get them. Everyone else seemed to stumble into friendships, why couldn't he?
Deciding to unpack his things later, Kurt walked down the narrow stairs and walked cautiously down the hallway. He had no idea where the kitchen even was in the house. It might have been run down, but it was huge. He eventually found it and was surprised to see that it was in good shape.
Seeing him look over the room, Meg laughed, "I started renovating the downstairs. Like I said, the Puckerman boy is going to help with everything else. I'm hoping to have this done by the end of the summer. The rest of my houses are selling out. This one, not so much."
He nodded and sat on a stool by the higher table.
"I hope you don't mind, I made some salmon and rice. Your Dad said you were pretty healthy, so I wasn't sure if that meant only bean sprouts and water or…"
Kurt forced a small laugh, "This is perfect. You didn't have to go out of your way."
Meg sat next to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, "You really had a tough time, didn't you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Kurt, I didn't go out of my way to make you dinner. I wanted to do it, okay?" she picked at her food slightly. "You can talk to me, you know. Just because we don't have a computer screen between us, I'm still the same person."
Kurt sighed and pushed his rice around his plate. He knew he could talk to her, but she didn't really know. She didn't know the way it was. She didn't know that people were constantly telling him that one day people were going to accept him and that one day he'd be better than everyone who pushed him down. He believed it because he had seen the videos and heard the words. But that didn't change the fact that the past four years of his life had been complete and utter hell. He only had one anchor in the storm, and now she was out living her life. He was one slur or shove from completely losing it.
He pushed some more food into his mouth and instantly felt the churning of his body rejecting it. He wanted to tell his Aunt. He wanted her to know what he'd put up with for the past four years, the last two especially, but it was something she truly would not understand. He wanted someone, anyone, his age that he could talk to – someone who would understand.
But he didn't even know another person who was curious, let alone out of the closet and truly proud to be who they were.
Meg stood and grabbed his plate, "I can tell you aren't going to eat anything else. Why don't you go to sleep? We can chat tomorrow. You start in the afternoon, so take a late morning, okay? The boys are coming to start painting but I'm sure they will joke around for half of the day so they won't wake you up."
Kurt nodded, "Thank you. Goodnight."
He turned and looked at her and for the first time realized how much she was like his father. Sure, she was younger than he was by many years (an "uh-oh" baby as his father had always joked), but she had the same caring eyes and easygoing demeanor. "If you need anything please let me know."
Kurt nodded and went back through the house, not questioning himself. The house already felt like a sort of safe haven for him. He was intrigued about it, even though he also hated living somewhere that seemed so dated.
Kurt quickly showered and changed before crawling into bed. He had no one to text until he fell asleep, so he simply pulled up a book on his phone to distract him and read until his eyes were too heavy and he fell into a restful sleep.
When morning came, Kurt was only slightly confused about where he was. It took him a few seconds, but the slight sense of happiness that followed made him feel alive.
One thought prevailed above all others: he was out of Lima.
Sure, it was not where he had planned to be, but it was somewhere other than the place that had held him prisoner for too long. Kurt decided that from that moment on, he would make a proactive change in his life.
Maybe the fact that he had been so sad for so long was not due to others, but due to the fact that he was looking at the world incorrectly.
He turned his music on quietly, dancing along as the sounds of Wicked filled the room. He opened his curtains and the door to the widow's walk and felt the warm sunlight hit his skin. Contrary to popular belief, he did not sleep in silk pajamas of matching tops and bottoms. Instead, he wore only a pair of work out flannel pants. He knew his chest was practically glowing in the sunlight, but he was naturally pale.
For a few seconds, his own insecurities didn't bother him. He was going to make a name for himself. No longer would he be the shy, gay kid that was a punching bag and nothing else. Instead, he would be Kurt Hummel – the boy with everything to live for and nothing to hold him back.
If only he knew how to be that.
"Someone looks like he's having a good afternoon!" a low voice said.
Kurt jumped and covered his bare chest with his pillow, "Who's there?" he peered toward the door of his bathroom, terrified of who would jump out. Had they followed him here?
"Behind you," the voice was warmer now, with a slight laugh.
Kurt turned and kept the pillow in front of him. He nearly dropped it when he saw a boy standing, barely clothed, in front of the door. "Who are you?"
The boy wore only cut off jeans and a pair of sneakers. He had curly black hair that blew slightly in the breeze off of the ocean. Kurt tried to focus only on his face but could not help but look slightly lower. The boy had the most beautiful set of abs Kurt had ever seen in person, even if they were the only abs he had seen in person. There was a smudge of pink paint over his shoulder and Kurt then saw the roller in his hand.
He was one of the people doing construction on the house.
"H-how did you get up there?" Kurt moved closer as he tried to grab a shirt without dropping the pillow. He tried not to imagine this beautiful boy walking through his room while he was sleeping.
What if he had been drooling?
What if he had been talking in his sleep?
Kurt shook his head to clear it of those thoughts. He was not allowed to think like that about boy that was actually in front of him. Besides, he looked no different from the boys who made his life hell. He probably would refuse to come to work on the house tomorrow simply because Kurt lived there.
The boy shuffled to the side to reveal a ladder, "Don't worry, I didn't peek in on you, sleeping beauty."
Kurt had his shirt and was shuffling backwards toward his bathroom, "If you'll just excuse me for one minute…just one minute!" He ran into the room and closed the door quickly, trying to catch his breath. There was a gorgeous man standing not even ten feet away and he was shirtless and dancing when he saw them.
Suddenly Kurt felt like a bigger nerd than ever.
He tried to calm down his blush and opened the door. "I'm sorry," he said quietly before coughing to clear his throat, "I'm sorry about that."
The boy was painting now, right outside of his door, "It's fine. Now I'm underdressed though," he motioned to himself, "I hope you don't mind."
Kurt moved closer to the boy now, wanting to see all of him. It was probably a bad idea he realized as he truly got to look at him. His skin was tan, but Kurt could already see the beginning stages of sunburn on his shoulders and nose. His eyes were a beautiful mixture of hazel and green that Kurt couldn't name but he wanted to stare mindlessly into. "I'm Kurt," he eventually said as an excuse for his staring.
"Blaine," the boy reached out his hand and gripped Kurt's tightly. For that, Kurt was grateful. Too many people weakly shook his hand because they thought he couldn't handle it or they just refused to shake his hand at all.
Kurt realized that his staring was probably getting awkward for the boy so he took a step back, "Well, it's nice to meet you. I um, I'm going to go get some breakfast now."
"Have a good day," the boy, Blaine, said with a genuine smile.
"You too," Kurt squeaked before running out of the room and down the stairs. Normally he would not leave his room without getting dressed but he could not fathom getting dressed with the gorgeous boy mere feet from him.
Kurt ran the entire way to the kitchen where he saw Meg leaning against the table with a coffee in her hand, "In a hurry? Don't be. Emma called and said she has to run to New York to pick up some dresses. You're free for the rest of the day."
Kurt was glad to hear that because as much as he wanted to get his life here started, the morning was already enough movement and action for him. Besides, he had slept in to nearly 1 and that would make him late already.
"There was a painter outside on my widow's walk," Kurt said, trying to catch his breath, "it scared me."
Meg put her cup down, "It must be that new boy. I told Puck to stay away from there while you were sleeping."
"No!" Kurt held his hands up, "he didn't wake me up, but when I woke up he was there." He was babbling, so he snapped his mouth shut and grabbed a mug for coffee.
She looked at him for a few seconds, "Was it the tan, good looking one? Curly hair?"
"Yes," Kurt said softly.
"Hmmm," she shook her head and started gathering glasses, "What do you say you go take them some lemonade? It's their lunch time soon and I believe Miss Quinn has joined them as well."
"But…I'm not dressed," Kurt motioned to his pajamas.
"Well go get dressed and then report back!" His Aunt shooed him away with a smile on her face.
Kurt returned nearly a half hour later in a pair of tight white jeans and a green plaid shirt that was rolled to his elbows.
Meg surveyed his outfit, "It's a little warm for that, don't you think?"
Kurt shrugged, "I don't like shorts." He did not tell her it was because he had numerous scars from being cut by pieces of glass and metal from being thrown in dumpster.
"Okay," she handed him the heavy tray, "here is the lemonade. Make sure the boys who are working drink it before the boys who just came to shoot the shit with Puckerman."
Kurt nodded before walking out to the garden where he saw everyone gathering with lunchboxes. Apparently, they brought their own food but Meg supplied them with drinks.
Kurt looked at the group of men – 4 of them – and immediately wanted to run. They all had huge muscles and Kurt immediately felt like he was back in high school.
"I-I uhm, I brought you lemonade," he stammered quietly and placed the tray on the table.
"You Meg's nephew?" a boy with a Mohawk asked.
Kurt felt himself shrink under the boy's glare. He looked like he could cause quite a few bruises on Kurt's body. "Y-yes."
The boy wiped his hand on a cloth and stuck it out, "Noah Puckerman, but everyone calls me Puck."
Kurt shook his hand tightly, "I'm Kurt."
"Good to meet you Kurt," Puck motioned to the boys, "that one with the lips is Sam, this here is Mike, and Curly Sue here is Blaine –he's the one who took your spot in our house, you can commence beating his ass anytime you want."
Kurt was stunned that all of the boys smiled and waved to him.
"Hiya Kurt, nice to see you dressed this time," Blaine winked and continued nibbling on a corner of a sandwich.
Puck made a face at Blaine but said nothing.
Kurt bit back a whimper – they were making fun of him.
"Don't worry, they're just playing," a soft voice said. A blonde girl in a red polka dot sundress smiled at him, "I'm Quinn, I take care of these oafs."
Kurt smiled at her but did not quite believe what she said. In his experience, teenage girls had the ability to overlook men being mean by thinking it was just how they were supposed to act. Still, Quinn seemed nice and caring; perhaps she could be a friend to him while he was in Cape May.
"It's nice to meet you all," Kurt said, "Can I get you anything else?" he watched as Quinn went over and sat next to Blaine on the stone bench. He hated the way she leaned into him.
"Actually, do you have any sunscreen?" Quinn asked hopefully, "Blainers here is getting a little sunburn."
"My name is not Blainers," he said lightly.
"Would you prefer Sugar Pops? Baby Bugga Boo? Cutie Patootie? Dream boat?" She laughed and shook her head, "Fine, Blaine is getting a little red do you have any sunscreen?"
Kurt bit his lip to stop himself from screaming. Of course, the one person he thought he might form a friendship with would be dating the most dangerously attractive man Kurt had ever seen, not to mention the only "real" person that had ever given Kurt butterflies. Kurt remembered his comment from a few minutes before and resolved not to like someone who made fun of him the second time they talked. "I'm not sure, I'll go check." Kurt turned on his heel and walked quickly back to the house, not even bothering to get the tray.
"Do they need anything?" Meg asked while sorting through some papers, a pencil tucked into her ponytail.
Kurt was already half way up the steps, "Yeah, can you take them some sunscreen? Blainers needs some." With that, he slammed his door and locked it using the skeleton key he had found. He shut the door and window to the widow's walk and sat down on the bed with his sketchpad.
He didn't come out until the next morning.
Let me know what you think!