No Longer Just a Name

Author's Note: Hey there! So, you know my good friend AngelisIgniRelucent? We were chatting away and we were talking about the soulmate fanfictions that everyone loves, and so I got an idea. How about we both write one and publish it at the same time? She agreed. So! If you are reading this, go check out her soulmates fanfiction! It's called 'Red'. If you are here because of her re-directing you...well...good job! :P

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.

It was a slow, summer day at Hummel's Tire and Lube. Customers and cars trickled in and out in an unpredictable but steady pattern. It was also a Friday, and Burt Hummel was feeling the effects of a long week, so he let his employees do most of the work. He found himself sitting in his office with a hot cup of coffee in his hands, and thinking.

Burt stared down at his large hands clasped around the coffee mug. He could see a small portion of the blue writing on his right palm, as clear and bright as it had always been. He remembered being a young boy and tracing the name written on his hand over and over so that he felt he could write the name as if it was his own.

Many, many years older, he lifted his hand now and traced over the letters. Elizabeth Collins. The first time he had seen her, at age sixteen, he had thought to himself, 'If only she was my soulmate'. She had given him a piercing look and made a comment in her delicate French accent, and the second thought that had come into Burt's head was, 'She's so out of my league'. However, his first thought had proved to be more true than the second.

Even though they didn't seem like the perfect match, Burt and Elizabeth had a certain connection that no one could explain. Even though he was a dumb jock and she was beautiful and smart and funny...they understood each-other on a level that shook them to the core. They fell in love. To everyone who knew them, they were the uplifting example of how soulmates should be.

Burt and Elizabeth's fairy-tale romance turned into the fairy-tale life that everyone secretly dreamed about. Their love stayed resiliant through all their rough patches and it pulled through high school as strong as ever. They had a dream wedding that not even Burt's mediocre dancing skills could put a damper on.

Elizabeth was soon pregnant with their first child.

When Kurt came into their life, Burt was sure that he could never be happier. He marveled at how fortunate he was in life. However, nothing gold can stay. One unremarkable day, Elizabeth was hit by a drunk driver and killed instantly. Burt remembered that the weather had been sunny and warm...he had hated that it was sunny and warm. Elizabeth would take Kurt out to the park on sunny days. Burt felt that it should have been pouring rain with rumbling thunder; he felt that the world should have mourned her death.

Elizabeth's name never faded from his hand.

Burt had been sure that he would never be able to find that kind of love again...he only had one soulmate, after all. Then he met Carol Hudson. Carol had another man's name written on her hand, also deceased, so they both were in the same situation. They connected in a different way than soulmates do, but no less powerful and real. Lying next to Carol at night, Burt would sometimes look at the bright lettering of Elizabeth's name on his hand a feel a pang of guilt, but that never stopped him from loving Carol with all that he had to give.

For some reason, Burt thought that Elizabeth's name should have faded from his hand when she died. But, it didn't. Elizabeth didn't fade from his life, either.

Every time he looked at his son, Burt was reminded of his late wife. Kurt had her hair, her laugh, her brains, her humour. He also had his father's tendancy to be unbearably stubborn, but mostly he kept his mother's qualities at the front.

Burt set down his coffee cup and looked at the framed pictures on his desk. There was one of the original Hummel family and another beside it of the Hummel-Hudson family. Nearly all the rest of them were of only Burt and Kurt, or Kurt with his friends. In fact, the only picture that didn't have Kurt's smiling face in it was Burt and Carol's wedding picture...and that was because Kurt had been behind the camera, taking the photo.

Burt put on his cap and left the half-empty coffee mug on his desk. He made his way out of his office and into the shop. It was about 4:00pm and the sun cast a faint glow into the garage and glinted off the few cars parked in there for repair. Burt made his way over to the white mini-van he had left some time before. As he rolled under the vehicle, he allowed his mind to wander.

Since Kurt was a little boy, Burt had known that his son was different. He liked tea parties instead of football, fancy clothes instead of trading cards, baking instead of bugs. Sure, he had some action figures, but he organized their weddings, for goodness' sake. The only specific thing that Burt and Kurt found they could bond over was cars. Besides complaining a lot about it, the teenager actually enjoyed fixing up cars with his dad, and he wasn't half bad at it, either.

Even before Kurt grew into those habits, Burt knew that his son was different. He wasn't sure that he would be hosting tea parties with decorated cupcakes, but he definitely knew that Kurt was gay.

Kurt had a boy's name written on his hand.

Now that he was a grownup, Burt wasn't sure if he was a fan of this whole soulmates thing. He knew that it was meant to make a perfect world and make true love easier, or something outrageous like that, but it didn't. It made love harder and it made love hurt, because people were forever searching for the one and sometimes outright denying anything but that. True, being with Elizabeth had been one of the blessings in Burt's life, but he couldn't help but wonder if they would have found each-other anyway, without the blue writing on their palms.

Having your soulmate's name written on your hand from when you were born certainly didn't make life easier for all people. In fact, Burt though it took away some of a person's control. For kids like Kurt, there wasn't a decision to hide one's sexuality from people like your parents; they knew before the child knew it themself, and some parents didn't take the news very well. Some kids were shunned before they could speak.

Burt and Elizabeth had been sad when they saw a boy's name written on their child's hand, but not for reasons that some people would be. They were sad because of the kind of prejudace, hate and ignorance that Kurt would have to deal with when he got older. However, that was the only negative thought they ever indulged themselves in. They loved their son more than anything and would go to the ends of the Earth to make his dreams come true.

The sound of the screetching of brakes startled Burt out of his thoughts, nearly causing him to bash his head on the underside of the van. He rolled out from under it and listened. Coming from outside the shop was what sounded like a group of young men shouting and causing a ruckus.

Hastily rubbing his calloused hands off with a greasy rag, Burt made his way purposefully out of the open door of the garage. He was met with a scene that he didn't like at all. Four boys, about eighteen or nineteen years old, had another boy cornered. The boy they outnumbered looked to be about seventeen years old and was very short compared to the others. He looked furious.

However, his anger and fiery energy could do nothing against four bigger and older boys who looked to be drunk and looking for trouble. Burt watched as they spat hateful words at the smaller boy, but he couldn't stop himself from interfering when they started to beat the smaller boy. Burt saw red. He didn't know this kid, but none of this nonsense was going to happen at his shop.

"Hey!" he shouted, and watched in satisfaction as the four guys backed up hastily at his approach. "What do you think you're doing, hassling this kid? Get away from my shop, you punks!" He tried to convey 'I have a shotgun and I will use it' in his expression. It probably worked, because they backed off quickly, and ran to the safety of their red truck and then drove off.

Burt glared at the vehicle as it sped down the road, then walked over to the boy, who was lying on the ground. He crouched down slowly and reached down to place a gentle hand on the kid's shoulder. The young man, startled, lashed out at Burt instinctively, bringing an arm up to protect himself. Burt grasped his wrist before the boy could do any damage, then gasped.

In blue on the boy's right-hand palm was a writing that Burt knew nearly as well as his own. It was the writing that was on home-made birthday cards every year, the writing that wrote a few of his wedding speaches, the writing that was on the top of his lunch container with a comment about the welfare of his heart.

The boy on the ground spoke suddenly, startling Burt from his wonderment. "Yes, it's a boy's name! I get it, okay?" He seemed very angry and defensive, his hazel eyes bright with energy.

Burt studied him with newfound curiosity. He was fairly short with dark curly hair and tanned skin. He dressed a little like Kurt would, complete with a gold bow-tie and solid red short pants. He didn't seem very delicate, though. He had muscled arms, and the way he held himself in a defensive way made Burt think that he might be good in a boxing ring. Also, the blood on his face completed the impression well.

The older man shook himself out of his thoughts once more and let go of the kid's wrist, standing up and offering his large hand instead. "Come on, Blaine, let's get you cleaned up a little, alright?" he said gently.

The furious look drained out of the boy's eyes. "How do you know my name?" He asked, "I didn't tell you and I've never seen you before, so..." Seeing the honesty in Burt's eyes, he took his proffered hand and stood up, brushing off his clothing.

Burt gave him a small, understanding smile. He gestured behind him to the sign above his shop. "My name is Burt Hummel. My son's name is written on your hand."

He watched as Blaine's face turned from confusion to astonishment and the pieces came together in the boy's mind. His mouth formed a small 'o'. "Really?" he asked.

The mechanic chuckled a little, "Yes, really," he said, taking Blaine's arm gently and leading him into the shop before he could explode with questions. As he steered the slightly-dazed boy towards his office where he kept the first aid kit, Burt marveled at the direction his life had taken.

Blaine Anderson. The block letters on Kurt's right hand weren't just words anymore. They were a person. A tanned, curly-haired, fiery, 5'8'', well-dressed person. This boy was Kurt's soulmate, his other half, the person he was destined to love. The prospect that Burt had Blaine Anderson under the roof of his shop right now was a little intimidating to the father.

"Sit down," Burt said to the boy as they reached his office. Blaine sat. The mechanic grabbed the first aid kit and opened it up, taking out a cuople bandages and an ice pack. He held the ice pack out to Blaine. "Hold this to your eye," he prompted, and Blaine took it and pressed it gingerly to his right eye, which was already beginning to bruise around the area. Burt began to clean out a scrape on the boy's chin-probably from a ring or something of the sort.

"Who were those idiots who hurt you, Blaine?"

The question seemed to startle the teenager out of his thoughts. "Oh, well, they're just some guys from school... They're older than me and bigger than me, and I'm gay, so they think they have the right to pick on me."

Burt clenched his jaw. Blaine looked up with hazel eyes brimming with unasked questions. "Does Kurt get bullied?" Blaine asked tentatively. Burt noticed the way he said Kurt's name-almost reverently.

The mechanic nodded his head, "Unfortunately, yes. He tries to hide it from me, but...sometimes I just want to take a flamethrower to that school."

Blaine looked incredibly sad at that news, "I'm truly sorry to hear that." Burt finished cleaning the scrape and sat back a little, out of the kid's personal space, and braced himself for the questioning. "Where does he go to school? How old is he?"

"Kurt goes to McKinley High. He's 18 this year." Blaine nodded thoughtfully, and Burt decided to give him a nugget of information. He wanted Kurt to be able to talk about himself to Blaine, but right now Blaine only knew Kurt as a name on his hand and as Burt's son. "He's going to New York Academy of Dramatic Arts after he graduates." It was a mouthful to say, but Burt couldn't help but light up with pride when he said it.

Blaine's expression was of wonderment, "Really? Wow. Um...when can I meet him? I mean-can I...could you-"

Burt cut off his nervous rambling, slightly satisfyed that he could intimidate this boy a little. "You'll see him in about..." he checked his watch, "Five minutes, actually." Kurt usually helped out at the shop before their Friday-night dinners.

"Oh, God." Blaine said, hastily putting down the icepack and straightening out his clothes, "I look like a mess...I'm going to meet my soulmate and I look like a complete mess!"

Burt chuckled, "Calm down, kid, you look fine."

With expert timing, it was that moment that Kurt chose to walk into the shop, calling out, "Dad! Where are you?" Burt and Blaine were still in the office, temporarily hidden.

"Is that him?" Blaine whispered with wide eyes.

Burt nodded, "In here, kiddo!" he called out in reply to his son, "There's someone I want you to meet."

Kurt walked through the office door in all his fashionable glory, his hair slightly dishevelled and his blue eyes blazing. He must have had a rough day. His expression smoothed into curiousity when he saw Blaine. "Who's this?" he asked.

Blaine was jolted out of his stupour that had overtaken him when Kurt had walked into the room. He moved forward a little. "I'm Blaine Anderson." he said, extending his right hand.

Now it was Kurt's turn to stare. He inspected Blaine's face before turning to his father with an astounded 'is he serious?' expression. Then, his gaze landed on Blaine's proffered hand. Written clearly on his palm in irremovable blue ink was Kurt's own name, in his own handwriting. Kurt glanced at his own right hand and the words 'Blaine Anderson' shone up at him. He finally reached over and gave Blaine a handshake. "Pleased to meet you," he said in a voice just above a whisper.

A smile lit up Blaine's face like a spotlight, "Believe me, the feeling's mutual."

The taller boy grinned back, then realized that he was still holding on to Blaine's hand, longer than a handshake usually called for. He quickly retracted it with a slight blush. Kurt glanced at the ground nervously, but Blaine couldn't seem to take his eyes off of Kurt's face.

Burt cleared his throat to remind the boys of his pressence. They looked over at him with identical looks of flustered happiness. Burt couldn't stop a small smirk from coming onto his face. "Well, I've got some cars I need to work on." he said, moving towards the door, he then said over his shoulder, "And I have a feeling that you two have a lot to talk about. So, Kurt, be home by 8:00, you hear me?"

He caught his son's enthusiastic nod in the corner of his eye before he left the room and then the sound of conversation floated behind him as he walked away. Burt thought about how his normal Friday night had taken this turn and shook his head a little. This was such a big change for Kurt and, in turn, for Burt as well. He had given this Blaine kid his blind trust tonight and he really hoped that he wouldn't regret it. He didn't like how it had felt. It was almost like he was handing over his son to a near-stranger. Burt sighed a little and rolled under to work on the van once more. He saw two pairs of polished shoes make their way out of the shop, then he heard the happy sound of his son's musical laugh.

Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing, after all.

Author's Second Note: Well, that took a long time to write. I really hope you guys like how it turned out, because I really do. It was an idea that had been eating at my brain for a long time, so I had to release it. Please leave a review! They help me improve my writing and keep me into what I'm doing! By the way, this is my 40th story! Woot! :D

Take care.
-Patricia Sage