A/N: Another one shot appears! Va-room! This one is a little over a year after the epilogue, set at the Hudmels house on Evan's first Fourth of July with Kurt and Blaine. It's only been about two months since his adoption went through, and he's meeting Burt and Carole for the first time. He just turned eleven at the beginning of June.
Also, here's some background on Evan's past. I posted it on tumblr a while ago, but not everyone's on there so...
"His mother is dead, and his biological father's status is unknown. He was never involved in Evan's life. When she became pregnant he left, because he'd been hanging around her for a place to live for free so he could spend his money on drugs. He had no interest in a baby.
Evan's mother had no interest in a baby, either. She only decided to keep him because she thought she could get child support from his father, and therefore wouldn't have to work. That didn't happen. She ended up living off the state and smoked a lot of pot and tobacco during her pregnancy and had Evan three months early because of it. He was very small when he was born, and had a lot of breathing problems for the first year of his life.
His mother moved onto much harder drugs after he was born. She started drinking, too, and neglected him. Evan was diagnosed with Asthma and ADHD early on. His Tourette Syndrome made its first appearance when he was around four. His tics, both verbal and physical, drove his mother up the wall in her drug addled state and when he couldn't control them, she'd smack him. He was five when he was taken from her custody because he went to school (just to get out of the house because the constant smoke made it hard for him to breathe) and his kindergarten teacher saw the hand print shaped bruise on his cheek. A few years later she died from an overdose. His TS has persisted since then, though for now it is rather mild, especially since he is in a healthier, safer environment instead of being constantly anxious and scared like he was with his mother. Typically during the puberty age range TS becomes more severe or the tics become more complex. Being scared or nervous can also make them much harder to suppress.
He has a hard time trusting women because of his mother, which is part of the reason Mrs. Terrence thought Kurt and Blaine would be such a good match."
Yup. There's some background on boyo. Enjoy and Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!
Snap, crack, pop!
Evan stared glumly out of the car window, rubbing his wrist from the tic that had just run through it. Right now he felt more nervous than he had in a long time, years really. He hadn't been so jumpy since before he'd been taken to the orphanage. Back when he'd lived with her. An angry scowl curled his lips as the pressure returned to his right hand. Seconds later he succumbed to the urge.
Snap, crack, pop!
"You doing all right back there, sweetheart?" Kurt asked, poking his head around the side of the passenger seat.
A funny, light sensation eased into Evan's chest at the term of endearment. The first time Kurt had called him that he'd snapped and closed off, but that had been six months ago. Even back then he'd liked it, but it was only now, two months after his adoption had become official, that he let it slip without a glare.
"I'm fine," he grumbled as the muscles in his hand started to draw up tight once more.
"Are you sure?" Kurt persisted, looking anxious.
No. He was about to meet the man Kurt and Blaine both called Dad, and the woman who had become a second mother to both of them when theirs had died during their youth. He was anything but sure or fine. Instead of making a snarky remark to remind his adoptive parents of that, Evan shrugged weakly and continued to watch houses flash past outside the window. Blaine had exited the highway ten minutes ago, and now they were slowly cruising through Lima. Slowly bringing Evan closer to his doom block by block at twenty-five miles per hour.
As Kurt continued to watch him Evan squirmed and the familiar itchiness crawled under his skin. He didn't even bother trying to fight down the tic like he normally did.
Snap, crack, pop!
A low whistle escaped his lips a second after he smacked them together. Blaine's eyes caught his in the rearview mirror and Evan squirmed in his seat again, tugging absentmindedly at his seatbelt. He hated feeling trapped almost as much as he hated his tics sometimes. The tightness that gripped his muscles and the pressure that grew exponentially under his skin and in his head drove him crazy when he got this nervous. It was better than the terror that had accompanied it when it had first started seven years ago, but he still felt guilty and flinched whenever he made the racket he was making right now.
"They're going to love you," Blaine assured him as he turned left down another street lined with houses.
"Yeah, sure," Evan mumbled faintly. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the two men exchange a glance as they pulled over and stopped in front of a large brick house. The house surprised Evan, but then most of the houses here in Ohio were strange looking to his eyes. They were nothing like the orphanage he'd lived in, or the rundown apartment he had tattered memories of from before that. They were vastly different from the big mansions and ocean front houses on Long Island where he lived with Kurt and Blaine, too.
"This is it," Kurt told him, unbuckling his seatbelt as Blaine turned the car off. He looked back at Evan as he squirmed more and ticked again.
Snap, crack, pop!
Another whistle, more shrill this time, followed. Evan feel a blush rising to his neck at the noise as Kurt got out of the car. God, they were going to think he was some worthless, little reject. He couldn't even stop ticking for five seconds because of how nervous he was. It wouldn't surprise him if they just left him in a room by himself like the other kids at the orphanage had because they thought he was weird.
His door was pulled open and Blaine smiled down at him. Something about the grin always made him feel a little better, like Blaine might actually love and adore him regardless of how noisy he could be.
"Come on, sport," Blaine encouraged as Kurt leaned his head down to smile at him, too. "You're gonna have a blast tonight, I promise."
Kurt nodded at his husband's words and slowly Evan unbuckled his seatbelt. He got out, trying his best to control the tic crawling under his skin. He had to control them if there was any chance Burt and Carole might like him. They were the first relatives of Kurt and Blaine's that he was meeting and he had to make a good impression. If they didn't like him, Blaine and Kurt might send him back. They might not want him anymore.
Slowly he followed the two men up the driveway towards the open garage door, focusing more on controlling the pressure in his hand and jaw than on where he was going. A split second later he slammed into something, his face sinking into soft warmth for a second before he stumbled backwards and–
A strong, huge hand caught him by the arm.
"Woah, kiddo, keep a sharper eye."
Evan jerked his head up at the deep grunt, completely losing control of his tics.
Snap, crack, pop!
No whistle followed, but then his neck jerked at an odd, but painfully familiar angle and he momentarily felt the urge to gag. It disappeared just as quickly as his esophagus moved back into place. Great, just what he needed right now. That tic to make an untimely return.
An enormous man was staring down at him, smiling kindly as he hoisted Evan upright. For a moment even his tics were forgotten as he gazed up at this man, because to him Blaine was big and strong, but this man was huge.
"Holy crap," Evan gaped.
The man laughed as Kurt darted around him and threw himself into the older man's arms.
"Dad! I've missed you!"
Evan was surprised by the high-pitched squeal, but Blaine stepped up to his side and rested a gentle hand on his shoulder. Kurt freed himself from the huge man's grasp, and pulled him over to where Evan and Blaine were standing. As soon as the man's eyes fell on him, Evan squirmed as his throat felt itchy and his hand tensed.
Snack, crack, pop, POP!
He winced slightly at his esophagus dislocated and then slid back into place. How his body had ever come up with this tic was beyond him, but it was his absolute less favorite. Especially if it went crazy and made it too hard to breathe. Then he'd spend half the day with his inhaler.
"Dad, this is Evan," Kurt introduced, stepping over to them and squeezing Evan's other shoulder. Both men nudged him forward a little, and Evan stumbled as his wrist ticked again.
He rolled his wrist once more, feeling completely stupid that this had to always happen when he didn't want it to. Why couldn't he just be normal for once in his life when he met someone important?
"Hey, kiddo," Kurt's dad said, squatting down until they were eye level. Evan stared in the man's green eyes, noting the kindness and lack of judgment. "My name's Burt. You wanna help me barbeque some burgers before the game?"
"I, uh" POP! "Ouch, um... s- sure," Evan stammered, massaging his throat. God, he hoped this one stopped soon. He'd forgotten how much it could hurt. "It's not the Yankees is it? I hate the Yankees."
Burt roared with laughter, and patted him on the shoulder. "You and me both, Evan. It's the Cleveland game."
"Oh, good," Evan replied as Burt steered him through the garage, up a few steps and into the house. "They're playing Chicago today, aren't they?"
Burt nodded, and Evan felt momentarily relieved that he'd gotten that right. Personally he was a Mets fan since he was a New Yorker. His m– she had been a Yankees fan so he'd hated them immediately when he'd become more involved in baseball through the orphanage. The Mets stadium was closer to Kurt and Blaine's house anyway, so it was automatically better in his opinion.
Blaine and Kurt followed them through the little laundry room that led into the kitchen. Evan's nostrils were immediately filled with a delicious smell, though he couldn't place what it was. A mid-aged woman, who he assumed was Carole, was shuffling around and there was food everywhere. It was another great thing about Kurt and Blaine, and their family apparently. There was always lots of food for him to eat. The orphanage had always had a set portion he was allowed to consume, and no matter how much he argued he never got more, no matter how hungry he was.
"Look who finally showed up," Burt called across the island counter. Carole whipped around fast, and a bright smile spread across her face as she bustled over with a delighted cry.
"Oh, boys! It's so great to see you!"
Evan shuffled off to the side as Carole, Kurt, and Blaine exchanged hugs. Of the two people he was meeting today, he'd been told much more about Carole, particularly all she'd done for Blaine. He knew it was to ease him into her presence more because of everything that had happened with her, but it still made his skin crawl with fear and nerves. It would pass once he got to know her, but women typically unnerved him because they reminded him of her.
Snap, crack, pop, POP!
He winced loudly, and the little reunion was broken up by the noises he'd made. Burt's hand dropped onto his shoulder, and Evan glanced up nervously. Burt probably thought he was a freak.
"Carole, this is Evan," Burt told her, much to Evan's surprise. Neither of them had commented on his tics yet, they didn't seem to care at all. The same way Blaine and Kurt hadn't when he'd started ticking like crazy at dinner the first night they'd met.
Carole turned to him, still smiling brightly, and Evan's stomach squirmed. She seemed nice enough, but that didn't mean anything. After all, he had been her flesh and blood and that had never stopped her from being horrible. But Blaine and Kurt trusted this woman. That had to count for something.
She kneeled down in front of him the same way Burt had. "My name's Carole," she greeted. "It's so great to finally meet you. I've heard so much about you."
"Blaine thinks you're amazing," he blurted. Pop! "If he wasn't married to Kurt I think he'd marry you."
Everyone laughed at his outburst and Blaine even looked slightly embarrassed. Carole continued to smile at him. "I don't really think I'm Blaine's type."
"No, you're too short for Frodo," Evan agreed. Snap, crack!
"Come on, kiddo," Burt said, grabbing a plate piled high with burger patties and hot dogs that needed to be cooked. Nervously Evan trailed after him towards the back door. "Either of you gonna join us?" Burt asked Blaine and Kurt.
"I'm going to stay and help with the pies," Kurt answered, moving over to assist Carole with the mess on the counter.
Blaine shrugged and headed out onto the deck with them. Time seemed to fly by while they were grilling. Burt let him light the grill and with some assistant he even got a chance to flip the burgers over at one point. He was surprised by how easily he relaxed in their presence, and he knew part of that had to do with Blaine being there with him.
They returned to the house to find the last pie just being pulled from the oven. Burt immediately filled his plate and headed over to the family room television. With some encouragement Evan piled food onto his plate and headed over to, nervously sitting between Burt and Blaine. It wasn't until hours later, when the game was almost over, that he realized he'd stopped ticking a long time ago. Not since they'd returned to the house with the platter of barbeque.
Burt switched the television off and nudged him with his elbow. "You ready to see some fireworks?"
Evan nodded, trying to hide a huge yawn as everyone moved back onto the deck in the backyard. He thought it was an odd place to go to see fireworks, but he didn't question it. The sun had completely set now, and a few minutes later he heard the telltale boom of fireworks in the distance. The others made noises of delight, but Evan groaned. The display was off to the far left, behind another row of houses and he was too short to see since he barely came up to Blaine's shoulders.
"Need a boost, kiddo?" Burt asked. Despite Kurt's protests about his father's back and heart, and Evan's alarmed look, Burt scooped him up easily into a piggyback position. "Hold on tight."
Snap, crack, pop!
Evan flung his arms around Burt's neck tightly, but another firework shot into the sky and he momentarily forgot how scare he'd been to be hoisted up by this man he'd only met a few hours ago. It almost felt nice in some ways. His arms on Burt's shoulders, and his chin resting on Burt's baseball cap as the firework display continued to boom and flash across the night sky.
After another twenty minutes of explosions the fireworks stopped and Burt let him slide down his back. This time Evan couldn't stop the huge yawn crawling up his throat.
"Looks like it's bedtime," Kurt told him, draping an arm over his shoulders and steering him back into the house. Burt and Blaine went out to the car to grab their luggage as Kurt led him upstairs to a large bedroom. When he pushed the door open Evan was surprised to find himself in what looked to be a teenage boy's bedroom.
"This used to be Blaine's room," Kurt informed him as Evan moved over to the desk and looked at the corkboard covered in comic strips, sheet music, and pictures of a younger Blaine, with a few piercings in his ears, arm in arm with Kurt. There was another photo that looked like it was from prom of the two of them.
"God, you two have been together forever."
Kurt nodded faintly as Blaine came through with their bags. Burt shuffled in behind him with Kurt's huge designer suitcase.
"I don't know why you need all of these clothes," Burt said hoarsely, letting the suitcase drop onto the floor. As it smacked down a loud thump echoed around the room. "It's not like we're doing anything exciting while you're here. No fancy fashion shows or anything."
"It never hurts to be prepared, Dad," Kurt said briskly.
Blaine tossed Evan his own bag and set his considerably smaller suitcase down next to Kurt's. He looked around the room slowly. "I can't believe you still haven't remodeled this."
Burt shrugged. "Finn and Kurt's rooms are still the same, too. It's nice having some reminders of you guys around."
"Let's get you ready for bed, Evan," Kurt decided after a moment of staring at his suitcase. "This can wait until later."
"Damn right it can," Blaine quipped. "It'll take you all week to unpack it."
"Oh, shut up," Kurt snapped.
Burt showed him where the bathroom was, and Evan changed and brushed his teeth quickly. When he stepped back into Blaine's old room Burt was gone and Blaine and Kurt were in their own pajamas. A small cot had been set up against the far wall.
"We thought you'd be more comfortable with us in the same room," Blaine said uncertainly.
Evan gave a jerky nod as his hand started to itch once more. After hours without any tics he'd hoped it had been done for the night, but as usual once he realized it had been gone for a while they came back with a vengeance.
Snap, crack, pop!
With a frustrated sigh Even dropped down onto the cot and slid under the blankets.
"Hey, today was a good day," Blaine assured him as him and Kurt dropped down onto the side of the cot and tucked him in. "Personally I had my money on you exploding from an on slaughter of tics when you first saw Burt."
Evan glared at him half-heartedly as Kurt smack his husband on the shoulder. "Stop it," Kurt scolded. He turned to Evan. "You did great, sweetheart," Kurt told him soothingly. "Did- did you like Burt and Carole?"
"Burt seems pretty cool," Evan said evasively. Both of them had seemed nice enough, but he was still leery of Carole. He'd been able to tell she'd kept some distance so he wasn't too nervous, and while it had helped he'd almost wished she hadn't. If she was waiting for him to approach her this might take forever.
"Just give her a chance, sport," Blaine insisted. "I did and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It led me to where we are now, after all."
Evan nodded silently as Kurt pecked him on the cheek and Blaine leaned in and did the same. "Sweet dreams, kiddo. We'll be downstairs for a little while if you need us."
They turned the light off and left, shutting the door. Evan sunk down into his pillow, pulling the soft blanket up to his chin and rolling towards the wall. Part of him felt guilty about how little he'd interacted with Carole, but Blaine and Kurt didn't seem mad about it. They'd just encouraged him to get to know her, and maybe they were right. The same way he'd slowly gotten to know Mrs. Terrence at the orphanage. She'd been nice enough, even though he'd only briefly interacted with her. For the most part he'd talked to Mark, one of the people who had run the place.
Determined to try again tomorrow, maybe find some common ground with her, Evan shut his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
What felt like only minutes later Evan woke up to find sunlight pouring through the window by his feet. He shifted under his blanket and glanced over at the bed to find Blaine and Kurt curled up together, on their sides facing him. A small smile tugged at his lips. His adoptive parents were kind of adorable sometimes.
Evan slid out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. He doubted anyone was awake at this hour, but he really had to pee so hopefully he wouldn't run into anyone. After relieving himself and washing his hands he paused in the hallway outside the door to Blaine's old room. If he went back in there he'd be bored and would have to be really quiet until they woke up. But if he went downstairs he could watch television and eat some leftover pie.
He crept down the stairs, along the hall, and into the kitchen. There were a lot of birds chirping loudly outside, but otherwise the place was silent. Evan shuffled over to the fridge, tugged the door, and made to grab the chocolate pie–
"You'll spoil your breakfast if you eat that now," a high voice said behind him.
Evan spun around so fast he smacked into the refrigerator door.
Snap, crack, pop, tweeeet!
The shrill whistle echoed around the little kitchen as Evan spotted Carole, peering around the plushy arm of the arm chair at him. She stood up and Evan felt a jolt of fear. He'd been caught, she was going to yell at him, or smack him or take away his inhaler until he stopped ticking just like she used to–
"What would you like for breakfast, sweetheart?"
"I– um– didn't – "Evan stammered hopelessly. Why was she asking him that? Another jolt of fear twisted in his belly.
"Hey, it's all right," Carole said hurriedly as she came over and dropped down in front of him. "Shh, just relax, okay?"
He gasped painfully as he esophagus ticked once more, his hand plunging into his pocket and pulling his inhaler out. POP!
"That's definitely one of the worse tics, isn't it?" she soothed, gently rubbing circles into his back and brushing his curls off his forehead as he pressed the inhaler to his lips. "It'll pass, just relax, sweetheart."
As her fingers worked into his back and then gently massaged the back of his neck he started to relax, the medication soothing his esophagus and lungs. She wasn't hurting him – she wasn't going to hurt him. This was Kurt and Blaine's Carole. The incredibly kind woman that had helped a young Blaine when he'd been lost in the hospital, that had given Blaine a chance to leave his terrible life of solitude behind and loved him no matter what. Carole wouldn't hurt him.
The tic episode passed and he found himself in Carole's warm embrace, not entirely sure how or when she'd pulled him into her arms. But it felt nice, safe even. Like when Blaine and Kurt nestled him between them after a particularly bad nightmare.
"Better?" she asked, pulling back and running her hands through his tangled curls again.
Eyes watery and throat scratchy, Evan only nodded.
"Are you still up for breakfast? We can wait if your throat hurts too much– "
His stomach rumbled loudly in answer. Embarrassed he tugged away and folded his arms over his chest.
"What should we make?" Carole asked him. "It's your choice."
"M- m- my choice? Why?"
Carole continued to smile at him. "It's what we used to do, back when all the boys were still in high school," Carole explained as she ushered him over to one of the barstools. "Each morning someone else picked what we had for breakfast. It's been a while since we've done it, but I think it's only fair you go first. Everyone else has had more than enough turns."
Evan stared up at her, sure his eyes were deceiving him. There was no way this woman was real. Not after the one he'd spent the first five years of his life with. But he decided to go for the offer anyway.
"C- chocolate chip waffles and strawberries?" he offered nervously, but she only nodded and smiled brighter.
"Sounds great. Do you want to help, Evan?"
"I – s- sure."
He stayed seated in the barstool as she pulled out everything they needed and set it on the island in front of him. Evan hopped off the stood as she opened the carton of eggs and held one out to him. They worked quietly for several minutes, measuring out and pouring all of the ingredients into the big green bowl.
"So are you getting excited to start your new school in the fall?" Carole asked as she started to stir everything together, handing Evan a large measuring cup full of chocolate chips. "Pour some in."
He dumped a third of them in before Carol asked him to stop, watching her stir them into the batter. "I guess," Evan shrugged. He hadn't thought much about it yet. He'd be starting middle school this year, and on top of that he was in a completely different area of New York. There was nobody he knew at his new school. He wasn't sure if that would work in his favor or not yet.
"Middle school's a big adjustment," Carole continued. "My son, Finn, had a hard time with it. But you'll meet lots of new kids, and you'll have school sports you can join. Kurt said you really like baseball."
"Baseball's awesome," Evan said excitedly. "It's like... the best sport ever."
Carole laughed at his enthusiasm and warned him, "Don't let Burt or Blaine hear you say that. They're big football guys."
"Pfft," Evan said. "Baseball beats football any day."
"Oh really?" said a deep, amused voice behind them. They both turned around and found Burt watching them. "Baseball, huh? You sound like Finn's little boy. Everything's soccer this or soccer that."
"Soccer's pretty cool," Evan said cheekily. "It's the original form of football, too."
"Oh, is that so?" Burt questioned, stopping next to him. There was a mischievous gleam in the man's eyes that reminded him of Kurt right before he was used as a little model for some new fashion design. "Well, we'll see about that!"
A high-pitched squeal poured out of Evan's mouth as Burt hoisted him up, tossing him over his shoulder and started to tickle him. He could heard Carole's laughter following them as Burt carried him upstairs.
"No– haha– stop," Evan choked out between peals of laughter. "Oh my – hahaha!"
They burst into Blaine's old bedroom and Burt unceremoniously dump him on top of Kurt and Blaine who both started.
"Up an' at'em, boys!" Burt roared as Evan tried to catch his breath. Blaine and Kurt sat up slowly, still half asleep.
"Dad?" Blaine mumbled, pausing to yawn. "What's go- go" He stopped as other big yawn made an escape.
"Breakfast in ten," Burt informed them brightly. He nodded at Evan. "Your boy's pick today."
With a final nod Burt left. Grinning despite how out of breath he was, Evan climbed over the tangled mass of bedding and settled down on top of his dads. His dads. The thought struck him a moment later, because that's what these two were to him now. They were friends and dads to him, as scary as it was to finally allow himself to think it. And Carole and Burt would be his grandparents someday when he was ready for that step.
"Are you sure we can't stay longer?" Evan asked as the two men snuggled back down and cuddled him between their bodies.
"Dad's a lunatic," Kurt grumbled, stroking his fingers through Evan's curls. "If we stay too long you or Blaine will catch his insanity."
"That doesn't sound so bad," Blaine acknowledged, leaning forward to kiss Kurt on the lips. "Burt's pretty cool."
"They're both pretty cool," Evan corrected and he could immediately tell he'd surprised them. "Me and Carol made chocolate chip waffles."
"Waffles?" Blaine said eagerly. "Why are we lying here when there's waffles downstairs. Bye, Kurt!"
Before Evan could protest he was hoisted into the air again and Blaine took off down the hall to the stairs. He caught a glimpse of Kurt, still looking sleepy as he stumbled out of the bedroom's doorway before they went thumping down the stairs.
They really liked him, didn't they? Kurt and Blaine – his dads – weren't going to dump him if he didn't get along with their family. And if visiting Burt and Carole meant he got a free ride up and down the stairs every morning then maybe this family thing wasn't such a bad idea after all.