Author's Note

Hello! So I have started this new fanfic, and this is probably the one I'm most excited about writing. I'm a big fan of country music, and while listening the other day I realized that there are a ton of country songs that have such great stories within the lyrics. So I built this little 'inspiration playlist', and this story is an idea or two that I got from each song combined into one fic . THIS IS NOT A SONGFIC. As far as I know, this fic will only feature one song. I just get my inspiration from many :)

You don't have to be a fan of country music to like this fic, however. The first chapter is very sad and also angsty, but the rest will be filled with fluff and friendship and romance and growth and more fluff. I hope you enjoy it! Also, if you find anything wrong/off with the medical stuff in this chapter, I apologize. I haven't had much experience regarding hospitals so I kind of go with what I've seen on tv. Reviews are appreciated, to let me know how I'm doing so far.

Thanks for checking this out! –Ashlee

"Please, hold on, Dad. It's not time yet. They'll be here any minute. Please, stay with me. Please."

Kurt was numb. He couldn't handle it anymore. He couldn't hold it together. And he definitely couldn't stay any longer.

"Kurt, honey, does this look alright?" Carole asked softly. Kurt looked over to where his step-mom was arranging a bouquet of flowers on top of a baby grand piano that sat in the corner of the Hummel-Hudson's living room.

Kurt nodded his consent, before returning to his own work of setting out a few pictures of his father around various places in the room.

The date was July the fifteenth. But Kurt wasn't really thinking of the date. It was the day that his father would be buried, and nothing else seemed to matter to Kurt besides making sure that everything was perfect. Burt deserved it.

3 Days Earlier

"Please! Tell me he's okay. Tell me he'll be alright!" Kurt practically screamed as several doctors and nurses rushed an unconscious Burt Hummel to a nearby operating bed.

"Sir, they're going to do everything they can, but you need to take a few deep breaths and please step back, so that the doctors can work on him." The nurse spoke in a calm manner, but Kurt swore he could detect a note of worry in her voice.

He decided not to argue with her, and instead backed off and watched as his pale and unmoving father disappeared down the hospital hallway. The nurse stood by Kurt's side, trying her best to be as positive and reassuring as possible. "May I ask your relation to the patient?"

Kurt, trying to swallow down a lump that had crept up in his throat, choked out an answer. "He's my dad."

The nurse, whose nametag read Amanda Connor, seeing Kurt's stricken expression, put a hand on his shoulder, and led the boy to a nearby chair. "Is there anyone else we need to call for you?"

Kurt shook his head. "I called my step-mom right after I dialed in the emergency. She'll be here with my step-brother any minute."

Nurse Amanda nodded, deciding that she didn't need to ask Kurt any more questions. The young boy was beyond distressed, so she decided that the best thing she could do was sit with him, and wait.

Not fifteen minutes later, Kurt heard a concerned voice from around the corner calling his father's name. Kurt looked up from his seat and saw Carole, followed closely by Finn.

"Kurt. Oh, sweetheart, what happened? Have they said anything?" Carole asked worriedly.

Kurt sighed. "It looked like another heart attack. That's all I know right now. And no, they—" But Kurt stopped as he spotted a doctor walking toward the family. Kurt, Carole, and Finn all looked at him eagerly, desperate for good news. But none came.

The doctor explained that Burt had gone into sudden cardiac arrest, and that there was nothing else they could have done.

Upon hearing the painful news, Carole began sobbing uncontrollably. Finn wrapped his arms around his mom, holding her tightly. Kurt stared straight ahead, expressionless.

Present Day

"My husband Burt was the kindest man I have ever known." Carole began. "He may have been gruff, cranky, and downright stubborn at times." She laughed slightly. "But he cared so much. He helped everyone, and he did it with a selfless attitude. He was a loving husband, and father." She said, glancing over at Kurt. "And Burt, I miss you. So much."

Carole finished, choked up, and then Kurt could feel several pairs of eyes on him. "Would you like to say anything, Kurt?" He heard someone ask him, though he wasn't sure who it was. Kurt shook his head, much to the surprise of several attendees, including Finn.

"Alright then. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and memories of Burt Hummel. But now, it is the time to say your final goodbye."

Kurt heard a few whispered 'goodbyes' throughout the small crowd as they began lowering his father's body into the ground.

"Goodbye". Kurt whispered, loud enough for only himself to hear.

Two hours later, Kurt had enough of the condolences, the tears, and the endless stories involving his deceased father. Kurt wanted to leave.

He excused himself from Carole's side, kissing her on the cheek quickly before making his way to his bedroom, closing the door behind him. He hurriedly grabbed the backpack that he had packed the night before from where it was stuffed under his bed. Kurt looked around his room one last time.

He scowled when he spotted his rejection letter from NYADA lying open on his desk. It had come in the mail two weeks earlier, and Kurt had been devastated. He didn't know what he was supposed to do, because he hadn't applied to any other schools. Kurt had been so confident in his audition; he didn't feel the need to.

Burt had tried to convince his son that he was just too good for the school, but Kurt's hopes and motivation was still dashed. A few days later, Burt had suggested that Kurt stay in Lima for one more year, to help him out in the garage. Burt had told him that he could earn some extra money for New York, and take the year to apply to several different colleges. Kurt had accepted the offer, thinking that one was bound to accept him.

But now, everything had changed. Burt was gone, along with Kurt's dreams.

Kurt opened up his bedroom window, preparing to climb out. He hadn't, however, heard his door open behind him. "Kurt?"

Kurt whipped around to find Finn standing in his doorway, looking confused, and possibly slightly hurt.

"Finn, I—"

"Are you leaving?"

Kurt hesitated. He hadn't expected this. He wasn't sure he could deal with another goodbye. "I can't stay anymore, Finn. I can't. Please understand. It hurts too much." Kurt tried to reason with his step-brother, but without much luck.

"Well, I don't understand. I know you're upset and angry, Kurt. But you don't have to abandon your family."

"My family is dead, Finn!" Kurt yelled, but not loud enough for the guests to hear.

Finn started to look offended, but turned sympathetic as he realized just how much Kurt had lost within a small amount of time. "Are you sure? Where will you go?" The tall boy asked.

Kurt sighed. "I'm not sure, honestly. I'll figure something out."

"When will you come back?"

Kurt looked up, meeting the sad eyes of his step-brother. "I don't know. I just—can't stay anymore."

Finn nodded. "My mom is gonna be scared shitless, you know. Once she realized you're gone."

Kurt flinched, feeling guilty for what he was about to put Carole through. "I'll call you both when I find a place to stay. Or when I know where I'm going. Just to let you know I'm safe. Will you cover for me until then?"

"What the hell am I supposed to say?"

Kurt shrugged, returning his gaze to the floor. "That I stayed with Rachel for a while, or something. I don't know."

Finn sighed. "I'll try dude. But, be careful, Kurt. I may not understand why you're doing this, and I may think it's the most dumbass thing you've ever done, but…" Finn looked at his fragile looking step-brother sadly. "…I hope you find whatever it is that you can't get here."

Kurt nodded. "Thanks."

Finn moved across the room and hugged Kurt, the older boy reciprocating the hug for a few short moments.

"Goodbye, Finn."

With that final farewell, Kurt climbed out his window, swung his backpack back over his shoulder, and started walking.

Kurt had never hitchhiked before in his life, but he quickly found out that it was a quick and easy way to get around, albeit a dangerous one. Kurt was grateful for his keen sense of people judging.

Kurt had decided on a whim that he would head to Florida, because it was Burt's favorite vacation spot. Some of Kurt's favorite family memories involved their trips to the beaches of Florida.

The first person to offer Kurt a ride was a woman in her mid-50s, who told Kurt that he looked far too miserable to be dangerous. She even insisted on buying Kurt a bowl of soup from a small diner they passed on the road. She told him all kinds of stories about her daughter and grandchildren, whom she was on her way to Indiana to visit.

The second person Kurt came across was a gruff old man who barely said a word. If Kurt was being honest, he much preferred him to the previous chatty woman. The man happened to be going on a road trip himself, and drove Kurt through Kentucky and into Tennessee, where he dropped Kurt off at a rest stop without a word.

Kurt stayed at the rest stop for about an hour. He walked around aimlessly, stretching his legs and eating a quick meal. He had been gone for almost a full day, and was desperate for a little sleep.

Kurt walked a few miles until he came across a cheap looking motel, deciding that it would have to do for the night. Kurt was so exhausted that he didn't even have time to be disgusted at the state of the room he was given. He fell onto the bed and immediately fell asleep.

The next day, Kurt was back on the road. This time, it was with a man in his mid-30s, who was heading to Georgia. The man was talkative, though Kurt thought that he asked far too many personal questions.

It had just begun getting dark out when they crossed the state line into Georgia. About half an hour later, the man in the driver's seat unexpectedly turned off the radio that had been playing, and started slowing down the car. Surprised, Kurt turned in his seat.

"You're dropping me off here? In the middle of the woods and in the dark?" Kurt asked, suspiciously.

The man smiled slowly, moving his hand over to the lock button and locking the car doors before turning to Kurt. "Not exactly, beautiful. But since it is dark and in the middle of nowhere, why don't you come over here and show me what you can do to put a little excitement in our trip." He leered suggestively.

Kurt, disgusted at the man, shook his head. "No, thank you. I'd like to get out now." Kurt tried opening the car door, only to find it locked. He tried desperately to force the door open, but to no avail.

The man only laughed. "That's not going to happen, sweetheart. Come here." The man grabbed Kurt's hair roughly and started moving his face towards Kurt's. Kurt struggled underneath the horrible man's grasp, fighting him as he got closer and closer.

Kurt panicked, fighting even though there was nothing he could do, when he heard a loud CRASH coming from the driver's side. The man gripping Kurt had let go, and was getting out of the car, cursing at something or someone outside the car. Kurt, still recovering from the shock of what had just happened, could barely make out a figure outside, moving around to his side of the car, and opening his door.

"Get out, hurry!" The stranger yelled. Kurt obeyed, getting out of the car as fast as he could.

Kurt watched as his cruel driver got back into his car and sped off, leaving Kurt alone with his newfound ally.

"How did you get him to leave like that?"

The stranger, whom Kurt was just beginning to make out in the dark, replied. "I grabbed his license number before I smashed his window. I threatened to call the police on him if he didn't drive off and never come back. I still might call them, actually." The man replied, thoughtfully.

Kurt could now see the man's face, and was taken aback by how handsome he was. He had dark, unruly hair and bold hazel eyes. Kurt also didn't fail to notice the strong muscles that the man had.

"Well, I suppose I owe you a thank you. For saving me."

The man laughed. "No problem. You got lucky. My house is about half a mile into these woods right here. I was just on my way back from town when I saw you. Thank goodness I did."

Kurt smiled. "Yeah."

"Do you…want to join me for a meal? I know it's late, and you probably have to get going, but you must be hungry. Or maybe you want a nap, or something. Like I said, my house isn't too far."

Kurt was reluctant to accept the stranger's offer, especially after what had just happened. But something in this man's eyes told Kurt that he was being sincerely generous, and just wanted to help. So Kurt agreed.

The two piled into the curly haired man's pickup truck, and started driving on a dirt trail into the woods. The sat in silence for a minute, until the man looked over at Kurt and held out a hand.

"My name is Blaine, by the way."

Kurt smiled. "Kurt. And thanks, again."

Blaine smiled broadly. "My pleasure."