A/N: So this is finally the last hoorah! This story has seriously been one extremely interesting, profound, draining, and lovely experience. I truly hope it was a good read, and despite some upset, left you feeling more of the sweet than the bitter. This was really my first true, head first dive into posting some work except for an anime story I'd written a long while back. And though my inexperience regarding posting warnings (again, my bad, I thought I was being thoughtful for not being "spoilery"... that sort of back fired though, lol) deterred a few folks from finishing not to mention, Duh, Duh, Duh... PUCK DYING! I'm so happy and grateful for those who didn't give up on our other boy, a one Kurt Hummel, who really needed us more. I think I'd like to keep writing and posting and I'd be honored for any who think they'd like to read any future fics I decide to post. I'm open for story suggestions. And as always, just for old times sake, please review, comment, whatever floats your boat... besides heckling and complaining of course, lol. I can dig a truly thoughtful critique (which some folks gracefully delivered and I thank you), I can't dig ranting complaints with no helpful purpose. I'm here, like a lot of us, to become a better writer and I'm still learning so keep that in mind... Just sayin'... Special thanks to all of you guys (you know who you are) for supporting my work and ultimately me. It means a whole lot. Till next we meet...
Epilogue: Part 2 (The Final Chapter)
When they go for coffee the next day, DJ picking Kurt up from his hotel that he had booked to avoid driving the lengthy distance home on little sleep, Kurt is accosted by a weird sense of Deja vu.
He thought he knew what DJ may have been talking about. Kurt can't put it into words, but it was like they were meant to connect with each other by some other force. Like there was some invisible tether that had been weaving an intricate pathway for them to saunter across until they were standing just a hair's breath away. It was crazy, he knew.
But the best kind of love, at least in his experience, had been the craziest kind. The kind that seemed impossible, that made no logical sense, that felt uncontrolled and uncertain. The kind of love that was perfectly imperfect.
That was what he'd known with Noah. He thinks that he's finally ready to know that feeling - or as close as he can come - to that feeling again, with this unfamiliar, yet strangely very familiar figure.
So in the realest sense of having no sense at all, a cup of coffee had led to an exchange of contact information, which led to nearly daily phone calls, and sporadic e-mails gushing about everything and nothing all at the same time...
Which led to weekend visits at least once a month (each man taking turns to commute when they could find time to get away from work; DJ was an interning law student after all, while Kurt was often overwhelmed with his business affairs)...
Which led to making love in the parking lot of a theatre on one of their impromptu visits, to skyping every night with a promise of soft caresses and on some nights after a glass of wine or two, desired confessions of hard, unrelenting, and blissful fucking on their next meeting, which more often then not came true...
Which led to them giving honest, sloppy, hopeful declarations about their feelings, and aspirations...
Which led to the words 'I love you' being uttered, un-provoked or prompted, just a natural exclamation so easy that it felt like taking in air...
Which eventually culminated into DJ moving to Ohio after a year of their cat and mouse madness.
Six years later, they take a journey to the place that it had essentially all started. The place that the tether was originally born from.
"How much more Daddy?"
Kurt smiles down at the curly haired boy, his hazel eyes bright, the blonde curls falling into his face. Kurt absolutely loved how they bounced up and down with each bobbled step. The child's light skin, a beautiful reddish-gold tint that clearly modeled his bi-racial ethnicity, was currently flushed with the haze of heat surrounding them as they marched forward.
"Not much further baby," he announces as he holds firmly to the little hand.
"That's what you said five minutes ago."
"Quit complaining squirt. Or else I might not do this-" And DJ scoops up the young boy who squeals in delight as he's placed on his Papa's shoulders for what the his son deems a long overdue piggy-back ride.
"And by the way, that hair needs to get cut."
"Papa, I don't wanna -"
"I love his hair the way it is. It's adorable."
DJ grins and reaches up to roughly tossle the blonde mop of curls, causing more giggles to erupt.
"Yeah but it's gettin' shaggy babe."
Kurt sighs. He really loved his son's curly mane. "I suppose he could get a trim-"
"A trim. Or maybe - fine - a cut. But only if he wants it."
"Fair enough. Harper. What d'ya think?"
The five year old shakes his head. "Uh, uh."
"For an ice cream," DJ tries.
The blonde head couldn't have nodded faster. Kurt is nervous he may have gotten whip lash from the speed of his movements.
"Totally diabolical, sneaky, and depraved. Just what I would've done," Kurt mock pouts, then happily accepts the chaste kiss from his husband.
Finally, after more then half an hour of searching, Kurt stops suddenly.
"It's here. Right here," he calls out. He reaches down and runs his hand over the name, his heart racing.
Noah Anthony Puckerman
The grass was a bit overgrown and the stone had become a bit weathered over the years, but there it was.
He smiles at the sight. Kurt had petitioned for them, in spite of his powerful grief, to forgo adding the 'Jr.' to Noah's head stone. Power of attorney had of course been with the state social worker who represented the court. One meeting with her had been enough to convince her of the complete travesty to Noah's memory adding those two letters would've been.
Noah had always hated it... Hated what having that name meant. He was happy knowing that Noah, at least in his death, had finally got to be his own man. Not a shadow of his absent Father.
"Honey, can I - May I have a moment?"
DJ nods his head in understanding, his eyes burning with concern.
"Take as much time as you need love."
"Papa where are we goin?"
"Just givin' Daddy a little space. Let's go over here for a minute baby boy."
Kurt exhales as the two men in his life wander a few yards away with the pretense of playing 'eye spy.'
He looks over the stone, so many emotions swirling within him it was hard to differentiate, hard to make sense of them all... Maybe he should have brought flowers after all - but then he's reminded of who's grave site he's actually at; Noah would've probably gagged at the thought of something like a bouquet of flowers... 'Faggy' he would've called them.
God... He was never good at this. Even with DJ being a part of his life, he hasn't fully become receptive to the idea of organized religion... the notion of talking to God. But yet here he is... staring down at the grave stone of his first love, his once everything, wanting nothing more then to talk to him. The tears build in his eyes as he starts, his voice shaky.
"I - I don't really know how to do this. You would know that though. Wouldn't you Noah?" Kurt chuckles, kneeling in front of the stone as his eyes drift over the name.
"I um - I did it. I went to school. You know - like we'd talked about. I got a degree in fashion and design... Typical fairy shit, I know. But you always did know I could do it, right? You said that."
He huffs, his throat battling to swallow down a sob. "I own a store actually. Well, two now. W-we've expanded quite a bit. We've even gotten into jewelry."
Kurt laughs softly to himself, thinking of what Noah would've said to that bit of news. Probably some smart ass remark about having Kurt make him a dog tag with the word 'Kurt's Bitch' engraved in it. He still had his bracelet, though now a days, he kept it safe in a box with all of his old letters, and other trinkets from his past. He pauses, pulls the locket from underneath his shirt, and opens the doors.
He smiles at the very familiar picture of himself and Noah: beaming, loving, and just happy with each other. His blue eyes then wander to the other side of the locket's interior, another small photo taking up the other side of the once empty door.
"His name is Harper. Harper Noah Phillips. We adopted him from birth not long after DJ passed the bar exam and came to live with me in Ohio."
The tears fall silently. Kurt sniffles but does nothing to halt the tracks sliding over his flushed cheeks. "He's my world, Noah. And he's so bright. He's only five and he's already reading. And he's kind... so kind hearted. And DJ's so great with him. He's such an amazing Father Noah. He's everything that we never had."
Kurt falters, the words catching as the tears momentarily blind him.
"I - I miss you. I still miss you... so much," He whispers. "Sometimes, I still dream of your face and for a moment I forget that I'm not a teenager, waiting to hear your laugh or have you throw me over your shoulder like a Neanderthal," he breaks as a fit of anxious laughter erupts from him, then turns into a half choked sob.
"I just - I just wanted - you to know t-that, I finally filled the void... that hole that Steven had dug so deep, and the darkness that losing you created... I filled it up with them. And I'm so happy. I'm happy Noah. I just - oh God you know I use this word loosely - I pray that you know that, and are proud of me... That you know, h-how much you meant to me... How much I can't thank you enough... T-thank you - so much, Noah - for giving me life."
Kurt feels a strong hand cover his shoulder and he places his own over it without looking back, a smile breaking through his tears.
"Daddy, who're you talkin' to?"
Kurt spares his son a tearful glance and then returns to looking over the weathered stone bearing Puck's name before responding.
"Just - Someone who was really special to Daddy."
"Oh... why're you crying? Did the special person make you sad?"
"No sweetie. The special person gave Daddy so much happy feelings, that they came out in tears."
"Oh. Well I don't like when you're sad. Happy tears are good?"
"Yes sweetheart. They're very good."
Harper tucked his little hand inside Kurt's and clutched, the other winding it's way into DJ's grip.
"What was their name?"
"His name was Noah."
"Like my name in the middle?"
Kurt nods with a subtle grin, "that's who you got your middle name from."
"What was Noah like?"
Kurt feels DJ's eyes on him, knows that he's thinking the same thing: of their very first encounter, the very same question leaving DJ's lips on the day of Jerry's funeral.
"He was strong, and brave, and protected the people he loved. Just like you do. You're all of the best parts of him."
Harper bows his blonde head. At first, Kurt figures he may be in deep thought at the sight of the gesture, but then Harper pulls up a lone dandelion and places it on the foot of Noah's grave.
"Noah deserves a pretty flower since he was so good. Right?"
Kurt opens his mouth to speak, but instead gasps, the tears overwhelming him.
"Right son," DJ concedes, gently patting his son's head, then returns to squeezing Kurt's shoulder tightly. Even now, DJ still has that same grace about him, the same trait of absolute consideration, and trustworthiness... It's in moments like these that his Uncle Jerry seems to shine through his every pore.
"Can I say 'Hi'?"
Kurt nods, his lip smarting where his teeth were gnawing into it.
"Hi Noah. My name is Harper. It's nice to meet you."
DJ's arm is now over Kurt's shoulder, pulling him closer as they observe their son with sad, yet slightly awed expressions.
"Will he hear me?" Harper asks innocently. DJ's grip tightens around Kurt. He looks over at his husband catching blue eyes in a questioning gaze. Kurt knows that DJ's waiting for him to answer; giving Kurt the chance to set the expectation since Kurt was the one notably lacking in terms of faith.
"You know, I think he will. I think if you really mean it, he'll hear every word."
DJ grins broadly, obviously proud of his husband's willingness to impart this source of comfort for their son despite his own disbelief. He places a kiss to Kurt's temple and Kurt snuggles into his side.
"Good. Cause I wanted to tell him about the new toy I got, oh and how I'm gonna be in first grade soon."
"I think he'll like to know that."
And Harper chatters away about the everyday mundane happenings of his life that for whatever inexplicable reason, don't seem so trivial at the moment, as he excitedly divulges his thoughts to a gray hued stone without a care.
"And Daddy says he used to have Power Rangers too. And they got married like him and Papa did."
"Hey Harper. I saw a good bunch of dandelion flowers over there. Why don't you go pick some more for Noah, yeah?"
"Okay Papa," and the five year old scurries off to begin collecting the tiny buds, pulling carefully as to avoid ripping them away from their stems.
Kurt eyes DJ with curiousity, unsure of the intention behind the recent directive given to their son. DJ clears his throat, placing his hand on top of the head stone.
"I um - Hey, Noah. I guess maybe I should say Puck. I know you don't know me well, or at all really so the first name might be off limits to me. But I just wanted to introduce myself. I'm Dartagnon. DJ to most though. I just wanted to say - well, I'm completely in love with this man, and I know that I can never replace you or be what you were to him, but I hope you can give me your blessing to at least... To try be everything that I can be for him. Cause I promise I'll never give up on him, and I'll always be there to protect him, take care of him, and give him all of me everyday."
Kurt is rendered speechless. Damn... The tears just won't fucking stop.
DJ steps back, kisses the top of Kurt's head and continues toward their son, stooping down to help pull up what Harper deems the best picks of the bunch of dandelions scattered by the roots of a nearby tree.
Kurt moves forward, his decision having been made for quite some time, but easily solidified by the actions of his family. He unclasps the necklace, looks it over one last time, and places a gentle kiss over the cool metal.
"I wanted to give this to you."
He then lays it atop the head stone.
"I think maybe it's your turn to keep it now."
Kurt exhales, then smiles to himself, reaching up to wipe away the fresh tear stains that glisten in the sun's rays. And as he looks over to see his son and his husband now engrossed in a game of tag, he recalls something that he hadn't thought of for years without pain shooting through him... but this time, it's different, the memory of a certain mohawked boy plucking at a guitar and singing sweetly materializing in his mind's eye; giving him a deep sense of peace...
Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
As you lie in fields of gold...
"Till next we meet Puckerman," he whispers, a sly grin splitting across his face. He sighs heavily and places his hands in his back pockets, his blue eyes still carefully trained on that name.
"You ready babe?"
Kurt looks up, and positively beams at his husband. "Yes. I am."
"Wait!" Harper cries out, then rushes forward to arrange the carefully picked dandelions in front of the grave. "I hope we can still talk sometimes Mr. Noah. Goodbye."
DJ reaches out and drapes his arm over Kurt's shoulders, Harper running to get in front of his Fathers as together, the trio disappears over the hill.
The breeze is steady, slowly increasing its speed and density with the passing minutes. The white-gold locket falls from its position and lands on the ground, clicking completely open.
The overgrown snags of crab grass was obscuring one window, blocking the contents, but the other photo was in full view.
A family portrait: A blue eyed man with carefully coifed brown hair kneeling next to a caramel colored man with closely cropped waves, and a bright smile. Both pairs of eyes fixated on the little figure laid out in front of them... his blonde tendrils so full and golden, his hazel eyes so full of pride and love as he stared out toward the world, it was impossibly difficult to miss.