Long note ahead:
This fic was written as a fill for this prompt on the Glee Angst Meme:
glee-angst-meme dot livejournal dot com/ ?thread=17338955& (remove spaces and change dot to . )
I'll put the prompt at the bottom so as not to spoil it, and for those who don't want to fix the broken link above (darn ffn!)
Please suspend ALL disbelief when we come to any mentions of legal stuff. I took extreme artistic license and wrote things the way they felt right, not necessarily the way it actually works. Also keep in mind that Burt is kinda out of character here. He's not BAD, he just refuses to see things Klaine's way.
A frantic pounding could be heard from the front door of Kurt and Blaine's Brooklyn apartment. Kurt had just come home from work and was in the kitchen preparing the evening meal while Blaine busied himself in the living room studying for an exam in the very last class he needed to complete his degree.
"Are you expecting anyone, Blaine?" Kurt called from the kitchen. He would have answered the door himself as he was closer, but he was hands deep in a roasting chicken that he needed to get into the oven NOW or they might as well just order takeout.
He heard a rustling from the living room as Blaine unearthed himself from the pile of notes he had scattered across the floor. The test was going to be a doozy, and Blaine had been spending every extra second of his time cramming for it.
"No, but I'll go see who it is. It's probably just Larry forgetting his keys again and needing his spare," he spoke of their neighbor, the most scatterbrained person they had ever met. Nearly every neighbor had a spare key of his; he locked himself out constantly and never remembered to return his spares, so he had lots of backups.
Blaine was just about to unlock the door when the person on the other side began abusing the poor door again. "All right, all right!" Blaine said as he clicked open the deadbolt. "What'd the door ever do to you?"
He pulled open the door to greet the person standing on the other side. "Betsy! What's wrong?" he asked the woman standing before him with concern.
Betsy was their neighbor from two floors down. They had all become fast friends almost as soon as Kurt and Blaine had moved into the building. She held in her arms a screaming six month old baby, a diaper bag, and a suitcase sat next to her feet on the floor. "Oh, thank GOD you're home," she said in relief. "I didn't know where else to go."
"What's wrong?" Blaine repeated.
"Family emergency," she said, still trying to catch her breath. "I can't take her with me – it takes too long to travel with a baby. I was hoping you could watch her. Just for a few days!" she was quick to say when she saw Blaine's forehead wrinkle in thought.
"I don't know, Betsy, I've got school and Kurt's got work and I'm not sure if our schedules will work together this week or not – "
"PLEASE, Blaine? I wouldn't have come here if I wasn't desperate."
Kurt joined Blaine and Betsy at the door. His arms immediately reached out for the fussy infant, and Betsy looked thrilled to hand her over to him.
"Awww, look at the cutey patootey baby girl! What's up, buttercup?" Kurt cooed at her, immediately breaking out into song and cuddling her. The effect was immediate; Kurt was magic with babies.
"Not that it's not nice to see you, Bets, but why are you here?"
"Betsy here just dropped by to see if we could babysit Chelsea."
"Oh that's no problem, you need two-three hours to go see a movie or something?" Kurt said, bouncing the now giggling baby in his arms.
"She's talking more like seventy-two hours, Kurt," Blaine corrected him.
Kurt stopped in his tracks. "Wow, I don't know if we're ready for twenty-four hour care of a baby at the last minute. Blaine's got finals this week that he can't miss, and I already took too much time off last month when I got sick, and this place isn't baby proofed…" he trailed off.
Betsy looked at them both pleadingly. Tears began to streak down her face."Please?" she begged.
Kurt and Blaine shared a look. With a minute nod from Kurt, Blaine acquiesced. "Okay. But three days. No more. If you need more time, you have to make other arrangements."
"Oh thank GOD. Yes, yes, three days. Got it." Betsy swung the diaper bag off her shoulder and dragged in another small rolling suitcase of supplies. "I stuffed in as many clean outfits, diapers, bottles, and formula as I could fit in both bags."
"Jeez, Betsy, it almost looks like she's moving in," Kurt joked.
A panicked look flashed across Betsy's face, but it was gone as fast as it came. "Well, you know," she said nervously. "Babies spit up and poop all over everything – she could need six outfits in a day."
"Oh jeez, I hope not," commented Blaine. "The price of a load of laundry in this building is ridiculous."
Betsy chuckled uneasily. "Well, don't worry about it. You've got enough to last you awhile." She fidgeted some and started looking anxiously at the door. "Okay, I need to get going. I've got to get to JFK and catch a flight."
Blaine looked confused. "But I thought your family lived in Brooklyn and the Br – "
"Gotta go!" She spun on her heel and rushed toward the door. "Thanks a lot guys!"
"Wait! Don't you want to – " The slamming of the door behind Betsy interrupted Kurt's protest. " – say goodbye to your daughter?" he finished weakly.
"What in the HELL was THAT?" Blaine asked.
Kurt covered the baby's ears. "Shhh, Blaine, language."
"Kurt, she's six months old, I think she can handle the H word every once in awhile."
"Well, we're essentially her parents for three days. We need to act like parents, and that means curbing the potty mouth."
"Whatever. Do you mind taking her for awhile while I finish the chapter I'm reviewing? Then maybe we can get her put to bed and discuss our schedules for the next few days when she's asleep?"
Blaine placed a kiss on the baby's forehead and another on Kurt's lips, and then he made his way back into the living room to re-bury himself in his books.
After a rousing game of peekaboo and some splash time in the bathtub, Kurt put Chelsea in her pajamas and set about getting her to sleep. However, he didn't even think about the WHERE of bedtime until he walked into the bedroom and realized… there was nowhere to put an infant.
"Shoot shoot shoot," Kurt mock-swore to himself as he paced his bedroom, looking for the perfect makeshift bed. Blaine sprawled out too much in his sleep for her to sleep between them in their bed. Dresser drawer placed on the floor? No, too shallow. Laundry basket? No, too claustrophobic. He scanned every large item in his room carefully, looking for its potential when his eyes finally landed on a large cardboard box. Kurt and Blaine had just replaced their vacuum cleaner and hadn't gotten around to tossing the box in the recycle bin quite yet.
"Hmmm, lay it on its side, tape up the other end, and cut off one of the long sides… I think that will work!" he said to himself. Sticking his head out the door, he called down the hall. "Blaine? Can you come in here please?"
Blaine joined him in their room and leaned in the doorway. "Oh wow, I thought she'd be asleep by now. What's the holdup?"
"That's just it. There's nowhere to put her. I can improvise, but I need your help. If you would either entertain her, or follow my instructions while I entertain her, it would be very much appreciated."
Blaine agreed and chose to take on the task of altering the box to fit their needs. When Blaine was finished, Kurt handed Chelsea to him and went about putting some bedding inside the box.
"There. I'm sure Martha Stewart wouldn't approve, but this should work."
"Yeah, not enough doilies," Blaine added.
The two shared a laugh, and after giving Blaine a quick peck on the cheek to thank him for his help, Kurt got Chelsea settled in her temporary bed. Chelsea wasn't quite as sure about the box as Kurt and Blaine were and she began to fuss. Loudly.
"Oh no," Kurt cried softly. "Now what? I don't have any better ideas of where to put her…"
Blaine thought for a moment, and then he did what he always did when he wasn't sure what to do. He sang.
Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Wherever you may go, no matter where you are
I never will be far away…
Chelsea's cries quieted to a whimper, and then an occasional tiny sob, and then eventually nothing at all as her breathing evened out as she fell asleep.
Kurt breathed a sigh of relief. "THAT is going to come in VERY handy when we have our own kids," he said.
Blaine smiled softly. "I'm glad you think there WILL be kids in our future."
"I think we'll cope with them very well. But only when we can put them in a crib that is NOT made from a Dirt Devil box."
Blaine chuckled. "When you think about it, Dirt Devil is actually appropriate for a baby," he said with a grin.
Blaine reached his hand out to Kurt to help him off the floor, and they carefully crept out of the room to avoid waking the little girl.
An hour after both men went to bed, Chelsea woke with a scream. Her siren-like cries caused both Blaine and Kurt to leap out of bed, momentarily confused and wondering what that noise could possibly be.
"Oh crap, the baby," Blaine mumbled, realization dawning.
"Crap is probably the operative word," Kurt said as he reached down into the box to grab the little girl. Moments later, he said, "WHOA, that smell is bigger and badder than you, sweetheart." He held Chelsea out at arms' length until he could reach the changing pad he had set out on the floor, and the he laid her out on it. A line from one of Jeff Foxworthy's routines came to mind as he undressed her to get at the diaper. Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother - you're not sure what you've got but you're pretty sure you're not going to like it.
Kurt wrinkled his nose at the aroma that wafted out from the diaper when he peeled back the tape on the sides. "Phew – who needs weapons of mass destruction when we can just drop loads of dirty diapers on our enemies? *ick* Problem solved."
Since this wasn't Kurt's first time changing a diaper, he was able to change it fairly quickly and efficiently, but the little girl still wasn't happy. Blaine, having sneaked out while Kurt was dealing with the stinky mess, was standing at his side with a warm bottle.
"I figured she might be hungry, too. Want me to feed her?"
"Oh sure, wait until I have all the dirty stuff under control and then show up, wanting the easy job," Kurt said teasingly.
Blaine laughed. "Maybe so, but look at it this way, if I take over, you can go back to sleep."
"That IS tempting."
"C'mon, hand her over. You go back to bed."
Kurt placed Chelsea in Blaine's outstretched arms, and Blaine kissed Kurt on the forehead as he crawled back under the covers. Blaine settled himself and the baby girl in the overstuffed armchair in the corner of their bedroom. Kurt crawled underneath the covers, but he couldn't help but listen to the muffled songs and sweet words coming from the chair.
Chelsea finished eating and began to doze off. Blaine set down the bottle and began to sing Someday My Prince Will Come. Blaine's voice was mesmerizing – it not only soothed Chelsea to sleep, but Kurt, too. The last thing Kurt could remember thinking before he drifted off is that it would be a crime if Blaine wasn't a daddy someday.
Chelsea had Blaine and Kurt up bright and early the next morning. Since Blaine had taken the last shift, Kurt took charge of getting her changed, fed, and dressed for the day. Kurt was just scraping the last bits of applesauce out of a bowl and spooning it into her mouth when Blaine stumbled into the kitchen, still drowsy, but freshly showered and shaved. He stopped next to Kurt on the way to the coffee pot, giving his boyfriend a kiss on the lips and blowing a raspberry on the baby's cheek, which caused her to squeal with delight.
"Morning, babe," he mumbled, grabbing a cup out of the cabinet and pouring himself some coffee.
"Good morning, yourself. I'll have breakfast ready in a few, as soon as I get this little princess cleaned up."
Blaine set the cup down on the table and reached out for the baby. "I've got her. You cook. I'm in desperate need of bacon, and none of that turkey crap, please?"
"Well, since you asked SO nicely…"
They both went about their respective tasks and soon breakfast was cooked, eaten, and cleared away.
"I suppose this is where we hash out our schedules for the next few days," Kurt began.
"Right." Blaine pulled out a piece of paper and created three columns, one for each of the three days Betsy would be gone. He jotted down his schedule for each of those three days, and then he slid the pen and paper across the table for Kurt to do the same.
"Shi… shoot," Kurt mumbled, correcting himself mid-curse. "We've got a couple of instances where we're both busy at the same time."
Blaine pulled his chair around the side of the table to where Kurt was sitting, settling the baby on his lap.
"Well, one of those times is during my final exam. That one is non-negotiable."
"Okay, that's Wednesday at 10. I could take a half day and go into work after lunch?"
Blaine nodded. "That would work. I could be out of there by noon, home by 12:15, and then you could be in the office at 1?"
"Great. Okay, now this other time. Tuesday at 3. This says you have a study group. I have a very important meeting with the head of the company at that time. If I cancel out of this one, I could hurt my chances at advancing within the company. I can't miss it."
"I could bring the study group over here," Blaine suggested.
"Your group is kind of big, is that going to work?"
"It's either they come here or I bring Chelsea to the library. I think she'll be more comfortable here."
"Okay. I'll help you clean up before then and leave you guys a few munchies to serve."
Blaine planted a big smooch on Kurt's lips. "That sounds great. Thank you, baby."
Together, they put together a schedule and Kurt wrote it out in his neat handwriting on their white board so there could be no mistakes. There were a couple of times where the "handoff" would be cutting it close, but they would be able to handle it.
They fully enjoyed having a baby around the house, but by the end of the three days, they each had to admit, it would be nice when they gave Chelsea back to Betsy – they were looking forward to being off twenty-four hour baby duty. Watching a movie rated stronger than PG or eating their food while it was still hot never sounded like the luxury that it did now.
Not to mention Chelsea's supplies were running a little low. She had had a few strong "blowouts" during the last day or two; they went through more diapers than they would've ever imagined, and a couple of outfits were beyond what Oxyclean could handle.
Rather than spend any of their own money on new clothes and diapers, Kurt and Blaine went downstairs to plead their case to the building manager in hopes she would let them into Betsy's apartment to collect more of Chelsea's things. Melissa, the building manager, listened to their story with an ever-sinking feeling in her stomach.
"Guys, I have a really bad feeling about this. I just got an envelope in the mail from Betsy with a key and a request for me to give her security deposit to you guys. No other explanation. I think we need to go check out her apartment."
Kurt and Blaine looked at each other. Blaine looked terrified, while Kurt was feeling a mixture of hurt, confusion… and anger.
"Oh Betsy, what did you do?" he whispered.
The three adults and the little girl made their way to Betsy's apartment, and Melissa inserted the key that she had been sent into the lock.
"Yep, it's her key," she confirmed. She opened the door and swung it open, and they all stood in the doorway, peering inside.
"Oh my god, she bailed," Kurt said in disbelief.
It was true. The apartment, save for a few large pieces of furniture, had been completely wiped out. The kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, Betsy's bedroom – everything was cleared of her personal effects.
The only room left that they hadn't checked was Chelsea's room. Expecting it to be empty as well, they almost didn't even bother, but Blaine insisted that maybe they could score an extra diaper or SOMETHING that might help. He swung open the door and…
The sound that came from his mouth was a mixture of a shout, a gasp, and a sob. If Kurt hadn't been holding the baby at that time, Blaine quite possibly would've dropped her, his surprise was so great.
Kurt came running when he heard Blaine's cry. "Blaine, honey, is everythi – oh my GOD!"
The room was full. Completely untouched.
"She totally meant to abandon her child," Blaine said almost emotionlessly.
"Shit," Kurt said, not even bothering to care about censoring his language in front of the child.
"Do you think we should call the police?" Melissa asked.
"NO!" Kurt and Blaine both said loudly.
Chelsea started to cry. "Oh no, baby, don't cry, please don't cry," Kurt said, trying desperately not to cry himself.
"We can't call the police," Blaine explained. "They'll just take her from us and put her in foster care."
"Doesn't she have family?"
"Betsy told us her family made it very clear that she and 'that bastard child' would never be welcome in their home again," Kurt said. "Which, come to think of it, should've been my first clue that something was fishy, because she said there was a 'family emergency.' She never would've come to their rescue."
Melissa nodded silently. Kurt felt like he needed to sit, but any shred of sitting-type furniture was gone. Kurt laid Chelsea safely in her crib and leaned against the wall, slowly sliding down it to sit on the floor.
Melissa handed Blaine the key to the apartment. "I need to get back to the office. I'm going to need to reclaim the apartment at some point, but there's about ten days until the end of the month. You can have 'til then to remove whatever of Chelsea's things you need. If you need help moving anything, let me know and I'll send Gus up here to give you guys a hand."
"Thanks Melissa," Blaine said.
"Let me know what happens, guys, and if I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to ask."
Both men merely nodded, and Melissa took her leave. Chelsea sat in her crib, cooing contently, as if she was happy to be back in familiar territory.
"Well, at least she doesn't have to sleep in a vacuum cleaner box anymore," Blaine tried to joke, but his efforts fell flat.
"How could she do this? How could she just cast aside this beautiful child and walk away?"
Blaine sat down on the floor next to Kurt and wrapped his arm around Kurt's shoulders. Chelsea peeked through the bars of the crib and reached out her hand to Kurt and Blaine, which sent Kurt into tears and choked up Blaine.
Just then, Blaine's phone rang with an unknown number. Blaine normally let unidentified calls go to voicemail, but he had a feeling that this was one that he should probably answer.
"Hello?" he said, a bit hesitantly.
"Hello? Blaine?" said a voice. The connection was cutting in and out, making it hard for Blaine to identify the caller.
"Hello? Who is this? I can hardly hear you."
"Oh sorry, wait, let me move to somewhere quieter." Blaine heard a shuffling on the other end of the line, and then the voice, much clearer this time, spoke again.
"Yes, it's m – "
"What in the HELL have you DONE, Betsy?" he roared. Kurt jumped and shushed him, pointing at Chelsea, who was watching him with a trembling lip.
"You're scaring her!" Kurt hissed.
"Oh… so… you know?"
"Uh, yeah," Blaine said sarcastically.
"Um, how did you find out?" Betsy asked.
"We started to run out of diapers and formula, so we appealed to Melissa in the main office to let us in to your place so we could get some more. We never thought we'd find out that you just abandoned her." Blaine was starting to become furious and had a hard time not yelling at her.
"Hand the phone to me, Blaine. You calm down," Kurt ordered. Blaine obeyed and gave him the phone.
"Betsy, it's Kurt."
"Kurt, I'm so sorry – " she tried, but Kurt cut her off.
"No you're not. If you were that sorry, you would've made better arrangements for her, and you would've at least clued us into what you were up to."
"But you wouldn't have taken her for me if I had told you…"
"I… I just can't do this anymore, Kurt. I never wanted this. I got pregnant by accident, and then he dumped me when he found out, but I couldn't just KILL her, so I convinced myself I could do this, and I've tried, I've really tried, and I can't. I just can't."
Kurt sighed. "So when are you coming back? I assume you need to clean out the rest of your apartment and quit your job and all that…"
"Kurt, I'm not coming back. I quit my job by phone, I've got all my important stuff with me – "
"Everything but your daughter," Kurt mumbled, but Betsy either ignored him or didn't hear him because she kept talking.
" – and there's nothing left for me in New York."
"So what are we supposed to do, Betsy? This is not just a pet we're talking about here, this is a CHILD who is going to need constant care for eighteen YEARS. What do we do now?" Kurt said in frustration. Betsy was lucky technology hadn't been invented yet to be able to reach through a phone connection, because Kurt felt sure that if it was possible, his hands would be wrapped around her neck right now.
"I was hoping you and Blaine would keep her…" she said.
"But Betsy – "
"Please, Kurt? I don't want her to end up in the system. I love her too much for that. You and Blaine would be amazing parents, and I want her to belong to someone amazing and not a supreme fuckup like me. I'll sign anything I have to sign. My ex signed papers to give up his parental rights, and I'll sign papers to give up mine, and then you guys can adopt her!"
Kurt rubbed his face with his hand. "Well, I'm going to have to talk to Blaine about this. Give me a number or something where we can contact you and I'll get back to you."
"No. If I give you a number to call me at, you'll just come find me. I won't be at the number I'm calling from ever again. If I tell you where I am, you'll just try to give Chelsea back to me, and I can't do that. I can't be her mommy anymore." Kurt could hear her try, and fail, to hold back a sob.
Kurt sighed. "Okay, fine. Give me one minute to talk to Blaine," and he put her on hold, praying she'd still be on the other line when he clicked back over to her.
"She wants us to keep her."
"What? We can't be parents yet," Blaine said. "I thought maybe ten years from now, we'd be daddies, but not right now! I don't even have a decent paying job yet!"
"I don't know what will happen to her if we say no, though. If we hand her over to social services, we won't ever see her again. We don't know what kind of life she'll have."
Blaine sighed and fell silent. Just then, Chelsea stuck a hand holding a tiny stuffed bunny out the side of the crib toward Blaine, shaking it and babbling to him, and that was his downfall. How could he say no to that?
"Okay. I'm in. Are you in?"
"Yeah, I'm in, too. I have no idea how we're going to do this, but we'll figure something out." He looked at the baby for a moment. "I always did want to be daddies with you."
Blaine smiled lovingly at Kurt. "Me too. I just figured we'd be married first."
"Gee look at us, having a child out of wedlock. How scandalous!" Kurt joked.
Blaine's phone rang out with a tone indicating there was still a call holding on the line. "Oh crap, Betsy," Kurt said as he clicked the Talk button on the phone, thankful that Betsy was still there. He had been afraid she would hang up as soon she could.
"I have no idea how this is going to work, but we'll take her."
"Oh thank GOD, I was so worried that you wouldn't – "
"Save it, Betsy. We're doing it for Chelsea, not for you. Does your email address still work?"
"I'm going to figure out the forms you need to sign and email them to you. You can mail them back to me at the office and I will file them." Kurt paused. "But Betsy, there's one thing…"
"If we do this, if we take her, it needs to be a clean break. Once those papers are signed, you're done. She's ours, not yours, and you need to stay away. I will not have her growing up confused."
Betsy figured as much, but it didn't stop her heart from clenching just that little bit more.
"Okay," she said, resigned.
"You can still come and say goodbye to her if you want," Kurt offered.
"No, I better not. You're right. It needs to be a clean break, and we might as well start now. I… thank you, Kurt."
"Mmhmm. Check your email often, Betsy. I'll keep in touch."
Kurt hung up the phone. A small part of him felt bad for treating his friend so indifferently, but he had such a hard time understanding how someone could just dump a baby on friends and run.
Blaine glanced at Kurt, silently requesting answers.
"Well, welcome to fatherhood, Blaine," he said wryly.
Blaine exhaled heavily. "Wow. This is NOT what I expected to be doing today."
"It most definitely wasn't written on the schedule. Oh SHIT! The schedule! What time is it?"
They looked at the display on Blaine's phone. 11:30am.
Blaine jumped up from the floor. "Oh my GOD! I've missed my final! Oh no! What am I going to do? Fuck fuck fuck fuck!"
"Okay, calm down for a moment," Kurt said, standing up to take the little girl out of her crib. "Let's think. How about this? First of all, let's collect some more clothes and diapers for the little lady here." He scanned the room looking for other things they could use. "Oh, there's a playpen folded up over there in the corner. Let's grab that, too. She can sleep in that until we can raid this place for her crib and her other stuff. We'll get her ready for travel – ah, excellent, I see a stroller in the closet - and we'll all go see your professor and appeal to her to let you take the final. I'd send you by yourself, but I think this little cutey pie here might help make your case."
Kurt held Chelsea in one arm while using his other hand to gently massage one of Blaine's shoulders. "It'll be okay, sweetie. Haven't you been saying that this was your favorite prof?"
"Yeah, she's pretty awesome. Hopefully this awesomeness carries over to letting me take the final."
Kurt strapped Chelsea into the stroller he found and began filling her laundry bag with clean clothes and the rest of the diapers and wipes. There was no extra formula or baby food to be found, so Kurt put it on his mental list of things they needed to pick up. Blaine grabbed the playpen and some bedding for it, and together the new little family made their way back to Kurt and Blaine's apartment. They dropped off their finds, restocked the diaper bag, and headed off to Blaine's school. Normally they would walk since it was only about half a mile, but the longer they took to get there, the less likely Blaine's professor would still be there when they arrived, so they loaded up into a taxi for the short ride to the school.
They approached the professor's office and Blaine was more than a little relieved to see her profile in the window next to the door.
"Oh thank God," he mumbled to himself. He knocked on the door and was invited to enter.
"Why, Blaine Anderson, you ARE alive. What happened to you today?"
"Professor Donaldson, let me introduce you to Chelsea," he said as he unstrapped the baby from the stroller and took her into his arms. "The reason why I didn't make it to the final today. And also, my boyfriend Kurt Hummel."
"Nice to meet you, Professor. I've heard many good things about you from Blaine."
"Uh oh, I smell a big suckup session. I don't generally let people makeup finals, Blaine," she said, causing his heart to fall. "But I will make a rare exception if their reason is especially good."
Blaine perked up. "Oh yeah, it's only 12:30 and I've already had one helluva day. Our story is a doozy, if you'll allow me to tell you about it."
Professor Donaldson kicked her feet up onto her desk and leaned back in her chair. "I'm listening."
"It started three days ago when our downstairs neighbor came pounding on our door…"
Together, Blaine and Kurt told the professor of their adventures over the past few days. She nodded her head and hmm'ed at the appropriate times, and when they came to the end of their story, she didn't speak for several moments.
Just as the silence was getting awkward, she said, "You're right. That IS a doozy. I'm sorry you two have to go through all this, but with the looks of that little girl over there, the journey will be worth it."
Kurt and Blaine smiled. "Yeah, we adore her already," Blaine said.
"Well, Blaine, I'm going to go ahead and give you a chance to do take the final." Blaine immediately cheered up, looking the happiest Kurt had seen him look all day. "However, you must take it right now. Pull up a chair, I'll loan you a pencil."
Blaine looked at Kurt, clearly not expecting to have to take the exam right at that moment. "Is that okay, Kurt? I mean, I don't want to just bail on you."
Kurt gave Blaine a look like Blaine was insane. "Are you serious, Blaine? Your professor just gave you one chance only to take the final for the LAST class you need for your degree, and you're asking me if it's okay if you take it? You're nuts if you think I'm going to tell you no. The little one and I will be fine – we've got to go to the store and grab some more food for her anyway. I'll do that, and then we'll meet you at home, okay?"
"Sounds good. Thanks Kurt,"
"No problem, sweetie. Good luck!" Kurt said, dropping kiss on his forehead, and he wheeled Chelsea out the door to begin their errands.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind for Kurt, Blaine, and Chelsea. As soon as Kurt had arrived home the day of Blaine's final, he sought out the forms necessary for Betsy to relinquish her parental rights and sent them off to her. Once Blaine got there, he and Kurt sat down again to come up with a schedule for caring for Chelsea, except on a much larger scale this time around.
While Blaine no longer had any classes to work around, his work schedule got fuller. He had planned to go to full time days at the coffee shop he worked at, and his new hours were supposed to kick in right away, meaning his and Kurt's work hours clashed for the next two days. Blaine would have to talk to his boss immediately and switch his hours to nights and weekends only.
"You could just quit," Kurt commented.
Blaine took a moment to run some rough numbers through his head. "No, I don't think that would work. We'd probably be okay just by ourselves – we wouldn't have much for extras, but we'd be okay. But babies are expensive. Doctor visits and formula and milk and clothes 'cause they grow like weeds and baby gear and toys... If I quit, I think we'd have to find a cheaper apartment."
"I don't want to move. This is a great building. Safe neighborhood, the park's nearby, there's a school a block away, and we're close enough to lots of stuff without having to use the subway. I've never tried using the subway with a baby, but I can't imagine it's an easy feat. Yeah, we should probably stay here." Kurt agreed, looking back at the schedule.
As long as Blaine's boss would agree to switch his shift, they'd be okay. Blaine would care for Chelsea during the day, and Kurt would take over at night. Their hours overlapped a bit in the afternoon, but if Kurt agreed to work from home the last couple of hours of his workday, it would work. He'd just adjust Chelsea's naptime to that period of the day.
There were two roadblocks, though. "I can't switch my shifts with this little notice, Kurt."
"Can you call in?"
"No. If I call in two days in a row, Bruce will be far less likely to work with me on moving to the evening shift."
"You're right. I suppose I could call in. I've built up some time."
"Working from home wouldn't work?"
"Not really. There are just some things this week that need to be done in the office. If I call in, they'll reassign my tasks to Sarah until I come back."
Blaine looked guilty for making Kurt use up some of his vacation because of him, even though it wasn't really his fault.
"It's okay, baby. It'll work out. Parents make sacrifices all the time for their children. We're just going to have to get used to it," Kurt reassured him.
They finally got everything settled with a few phone calls – one to Blaine's boss arranging the shift switch and the other to a friend declining their party invitation – and they were able to kick back for a few moments.
Within moments of getting comfortable, a wail could be heard from their bedroom. Chelsea was officially awake and NOT happy about it.
"And so it begins," Blaine said, reluctantly getting up and heading off to see to the baby girl's needs.
It had been a very long and trying few months, but eventually schedules were settled, routines were established, the daddy-daddy-daughter relationship had been nurtured, and a little girl formerly known as Chelsea Carlson was now proudly called Chelsea Hummel-Anderson.
Their lives together started out with an insane flurry of legalities: they spoke to attorneys, they filled out paperwork (SO much paperwork), their home was inspected, their backgrounds were probed into, and they stood before judges on several different occasions, but it had all been worth it. It didn't take long before that baby was the light of their lives, and they were so happy to call her theirs.
Sure, they had had their rough times. It had started small with an argument about Blaine having to give up a party with his classmates. "I gave up a party for you just last week because you had to work, Blaine. I don't see why you have to be a bitch about giving one up for me for an important work function."
Things got worse when both Chelsea and Kurt came down with a stomach virus that kept the nasties flowing from both ends from both of them. Kurt had enough to handle just keeping himself upright in the bathroom, which left Blaine in charge of Chelsea. As soon as he'd get her changed, all hell would break loose and he'd have another cleanup on his hands. With the constant exposure, Blaine became sick as well while Kurt was still ill himself, and it was all either one of them could do to keep up with the needs of the baby.
Money was forever an issue, too. Kurt was always budget conscious, but on occasion he did indulge himself, and he usually had the very worst possible timing. It seemed like every time he made a higher than average purchase, a large expense came up, and they barely had the money to put food on the table until the next paycheck came through.
Both men would become frustrated whenever there were more "no we can'ts" than "yes we cans" and harsh words were said to each other, but Kurt's mama had had a saying: Never go to bed angry. So while they would put the baby to bed together, drowning the little girl in attention but hardly sparing a glance for the other, they would always reunite in the bedroom after she was asleep to work out their differences and apologize.
Eventually the holidays rolled around, and that posed a problem. For one thing, they always traveled together to their hometown and spent time with their respective families. For another thing, their families had absolutely no idea that there would be a third joining them for their celebrations.
It wasn't by accident that they hadn't even told their parents that they were now the proud daddies of a little girl. Blaine's parents never really approved of anything he did, and he honestly didn't think even bringing home the most beautiful little girl ever would break through their tough exteriors.
"I don't know, Blaine. She's a year old now. She's in full blown charmer mode. If anyone can bring them around, it'll be Chels."
"I'd like to see her try. I'll buy her a pony if she can manage it," Blaine said incredulously.
Kurt wasn't entirely sure why he was withholding the information from his own family, but Burt had always treated him like he was younger than he was and that he had to be sheltered from the big bad world out there. It had taken Kurt a lot of fast talking to get Burt to even approve of Kurt going to New York for school, let alone moving in with Blaine rather than living in the dorms and not moving back to Ohio over summer breaks, or ever, for that matter. He had a nagging feeling deep down inside that Burt would have words, words he didn't think he wanted to hear.
"There's a good deal online for tickets from JFK to Columbus right now," Kurt said as he scrolled through his email. "We haven't made it back to Ohio for Thanksgiving in a long time. It might be a good chance to introduce everyone to Chelsea."
"You'll have to give up your Black Friday binge shopping this year to afford it," Blaine warned.
"I'm gonna have to give it up anyway. I simply cannot afford to shop like I used to if we're going to provide for our daughter."
Blaine nodded, feeling bad for Kurt that he had to give up something he loved, but really, it had to be done.
"I'm game, if you are. She's been in our lives for months now, it's definitely about time they knew."
Kurt booked the tickets while Blaine called his parents to let them know that he and Kurt would be visiting over the long holiday weekend, conveniently leaving out the fact that they wouldn't be alone. He did, however, drop one tidbit of information on them. "We have a very important announcement to make while we are there," he said.
Kurt made a similar phone call to his own family once their plane tickets were confirmed. He mentioned their important announcement to Carole, who squealed as he said it. He knew Carole would jump to the wrong conclusion, that they were going to announce their engagement. She had been expecting it for awhile.
Kurt and Blaine had actually discussed their engagement, or lack thereof, before they petitioned to adopt Chelsea. It hadn't really mattered to the judge overseeing their case that they weren't married, and they didn't feel the need to rush. Not to mention the cost of a wedding. It would devastate their families, Burt especially, if they got married at the courthouse alone, so they would need some time to save up for a proper wedding.
They were both sure that no one would EVER guess their actual news…
After struggling through the airport with two suitcases, a stroller, and a car seat, not to mention the baby herself, the family of three was finally settled in their rental car and making their way toward their respective families. Since Westerville was so close to the airport, they figured they would stop in to see Blaine's family for the day first, and then continue on to Lima in the morning.
It took just twenty minutes to arrive at the Andersons' home, and that was all it took for Blaine to become extremely nervous.
"Maybe we shouldn't do this now," Blaine said.
"Come on, Blaine. We're already here. We're going to have to tell them eventually. It's not like I knocked you up or anything," Kurt tried joking, but Blaine just stared at him.
"No, but the result is the same, and I think that's what they're going to take issue with."
"Well, let's do this, then," Kurt said, leaning into the back seat to rebundle the little girl before bringing her out into the chilly air. "Do you have her diaper bag?"
Blaine held it briefly in the air in response and led Kurt and Chelsea to their front door. He knocked on the door, and shortly after, his mother threw open the door.
"Blainey," she said softly and with a smile, throwing her arms around him. "Hello, Kurt."
"Hello Mrs. Anderson, you're looking lovely as ever."
It was only just then that she noticed the child in Kurt's arms. "And… who's this?" she asked cautiously.
"Can we come inside, Mom? I'd like to get her out of the cold, and then we can tell you all about her."
Mrs. Anderson stood back silently and allowed the three to file inside.
"Your father is in the living room, we'll go and join him as soon as you've taken off your things."
Mr. Anderson was an imposing man; his presence could be felt even outside the room he was in. Before Blaine could even enter the living room, his past feelings of feeling completely inadequate for his father came rushing back to him.
"Hello, Sir," Blaine said.
"Blaine, Kurt," he responded, not taking his eyes off the game on the screen.
"We'd like to introduce you to someone."
Mr. Anderson finally looked up at Blaine and Kurt, and upon seeing the third party with them, he picked up the remote and turned off the TV.
"Mom, Dad, this is Chelsea."
Mrs. Anderson reached for the child, and Kurt gladly gave Chelsea to her.
"She's adorable. Whose is she?"
"She's ours, Mom. She's Kurt's and my daughter."
"Which one of you got drunk and got a girl pregnant?" Blaine's father said rudely.
Kurt and Blaine were both taken aback. "Neither one of us. We adopted her."
It was Blaine's mother's turn to be surprised. "I – I just thought maybe you were babysitting for the weekend or something. What on earth made you decide you needed to settle down with a baby at your age?"
"I have to admit, Mrs. Anderson, it wasn't planned, but sometimes the best things in life aren't planned."
Mr. Anderson scoffed, but didn't say anything.
"Chelsea was the daughter of a friend of ours. An unplanned pregnancy. She tried, but she couldn't handle raising her, so she asked us to adopt her."
"Ooohhhh, so she IS a bastard child. Just not YOUR bastard child."
"She is NOT a bastard!" Blaine yelled. Kurt took the little girl back from Blaine's mother, holding her extra tight and shuffling her out of the room. "And she IS ours! And we love her! And we're doing JUST FINE!"
"Sure, so far, but what's gonna happen to her when you're all done playing daddy? You gonna burden someone else with her? Are you going to toss her in the system so she can leech on my tax dollars?"
By then, even Blaine's mother was stunned at Mr. Anderson's attitude. Blaine couldn't stop himself from getting in his father's face. "I – I… I can't with you anymore. They are my FAMILY. Kurt and I stood before judges and signed paper after paper to promise to feed and clothe and love and protect this little girl until she was grown up enough to do it on her own. I didn't expect you to be jumping up and down in excitement, but I didn't expect to have to protect her from YOU. Kurt, let's – Kurt?"
Blaine was so incensed that he didn't even notice Kurt and Chelsea leave the room. He was glad they did, though. He stormed out of the living room, looking for the two of them, not finding them 'til he reached the front door. Kurt was standing there holding her, both of them bundled up and ready to leave.
"I figured we weren't staying," Kurt said. "Lord knows I don't want to."
"Good, let's get out of here."
Blaine had just finished zipping his coat and was about to open the door when Blaine's mother came into the room. "Blaine, please," she pleaded.
"No, Mom," he said. "You weren't horrible like Father, but you sure didn't seem like you support us and our choices. You just stood there and let us take his abuse. Until you can believe in us, I think it's better if we just leave." He opened the door and shuffled Kurt and Chelsea out in front of him. As they were loading into their rental car, they could see Blaine's mother watching them through the window.
"Well, now what?" Kurt asked.
"Guess I don't need to worry about where to put a pony," Blaine said bitterly. He rubbed his eyes and sighed heavily. "Let's just start driving. We can find a hotel or something, but we need to leave now."
"We could go to Lima now?" Kurt offered.
"No, let's just get a room somewhere. We've had a long day. All I want is to snuggle with my daughter, and then snuggle with the amazing man who continually puts up with my family's bullshit and somehow doesn't run away from me screaming."
"It'll take a lot more than that for you to get rid of me, sweetheart."
Since Columbus wasn't too far and offered many choices of hotels, they backtracked and settled on a hotel near the airport that could provide them with a crib for Chelsea. Once they got her settled, they crawled into bed, exhausted. They curled up into each other's arms, hoping to put this horrendously long day behind them, and praying the next day would be better.
Rested, washed, and feeling a bit more optimistic about the day ahead, the three headed off to Lima to visit Kurt's family. Kurt wasn't one to appeal to a higher power, but he did say a silent word to whoever was listening that his family would be more open minded than the Andersons were.
The two hour drive went entirely too fast, and soon they were pulling into the driveway behind what Kurt assumed to be Finn's new truck. Kurt squeezed Blaine's hand, which he had been holding nearly the entire drive to Lima, and gave him a reassuring smile before he got out of the car to get their bags.
Blaine took charge of Chelsea this time leaving Kurt in charge of softening the blow with his parents and brother. Kurt went up to the front steps and rang the doorbell. Thunderous footsteps could be heard from the other side of the door just before the door was wrenched open.
"Hey, Kurt! Man, it's GREAT to see you!" Finn nearly swept Kurt off his feet in a big brotherly bear hug.
Kurt chuckled. "It's nice to see you too, Finn."
"Hey, where's Blaine?"
"He's just grabbing a few things from the car."
"Finn, is that Kurt? Is he here?" a woman's voice called excitedly from deep inside the house. Carole came rushing out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a dish towel as she came to greet her stepson.
"Kurt!" she squealed, wrapping him into a big hug. She pulled back and held him at arms' length. "Let me look at you! You look so good! Too skinny, though, have you been eating enough?"
"I'll have you know that I am the perfect weight for my height and frame, Carole. You're just used to seeing the boy who had a little ways left to go before he perfectly evened out."
Carole developed a knowing smile and grabbed Kurt's hand. "Now, let me see – no ring? Did you propose to him? Where's Blaine? I wanna see!" she babbled in confusion.
Blaine walked up behind the group, and Kurt opened the door for him.
"Hey dude, there you are – whoa, that's a baby! What are you doing with a baby, man?" Finn asked.
Kurt could see Carole surreptitiously looking at Blaine's finger and frowning slightly when she didn't see what she wanted to see. "Kurt? Who is this little angel?"
Well, already this was going slightly better than last night, Kurt thought.
"This is Chelsea. She is what our important announcement was all about. Is Dad around? I'd like to fill everyone in all at once."
"Of course, sweetheart, he knew you boys were coming today so he made arrangements with the guys at the garage. I'll go get him."
While they were waiting for Carole to bring back Burt, Finn, Kurt, Blaine, and Chelsea settled themselves into the living room, and Finn turned on the TV.
"Finn, this talk we're just about to have with our folks is really important. I'd really appreciate it if you didn't get engrossed in a game right now," Kurt said.
"Dude, relax. There're some awesome cartoons on at this time of day. I just thought it'd help keep the little munchkin occupied."
"I appreciate the sentiment, Finn, but you DO know that nothing on Cartoon Network is appropriate for a one year old, right?"
"I'm not that stupid, you know." Finn flipped through the channels and found what he was looking for. "Ta da!" he said, waving around the remote with a flourish.
"Spongebob? Really? Are you serious?"
"Spongebob is awesome, Kurt. You just haven't given him a chance."
"Actually, I HAVE given him a chance, and the one time I did, I got stuck on an episode where he licked and slurped at his lips for about ten minutes. It was thoroughly obnoxious." Kurt grabbed the remote and scrolled through the OnDemand menu, choosing an entirely more suitable episode of Blue's Clues. "My child will NOT be watching Spongebob any time soon."
"Wait, YOUR child? Kurt, wha – "
"Hey buddy! It's about time you came to visit your dear old dad!" Kurt hopped up from the couch and threw himself into his dad's arms. "You too, Blaine. Come here," and Blaine joined in on the hug as well.
"Carole says you have something to tell everyone?"
Blaine had returned to the couch and sat down, but Kurt remained standing. "Everyone, I'd like to introduce you to Chelsea. Chelsea Hummel-Anderson."
"Hummel-Anderson?" Burt exclaimed. "What the HELL?"
"Dad, calm down, she doesn't like it when people raise their voices."
"Dude, she's yours?" Finn asked incredulously. "Who knocked up who?"
"FINN!" Carole scolded her son.
"Nobody knocked anybody up, Finn. In case you've forgotten, I am gay-diddy-gay-gay-gay. And Blaine isn't any lower on the Kinsey scale than I am."
"The what scale?"
"Never mind. Let's just say, Blaine's still just as gay as I am."
"I think we need to focus on the hows and whys right now, now that we know she's neither of yours."
"She is too!" Kurt was quick to correct him.
"I meant not biologically. Or… wait. Did either of you two… you know… contribute to her creation in any way?"
Kurt huffed. "No. She doesn't share either of our genes, but that doesn't mean she's any less ours!"
Kurt scooted closer to Blaine, curling into the side that wasn't holding the little girl. This wasn't going well at all.
"Well? Spill," Kurt's father demanded.
Kurt and Blaine began the story of how Chelsea became theirs. They had to give Kurt's family some credit; unlike Blaine's, at least the Hummel-Hudsons had listened to every word they said. However, the reactions, while expressed much more calmly, weren't much better than Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's.
"Dude! How do you party? Being saddled with a kid has GOT to be the ultimate cockblock!"
"A) we don't party anymore, and b) we're in a committed relationship. Cockblocking at parties is kind of far down on our list of concerns at the moment."
"I don't know how you stand it. I'd be seriously bummed if I had to give up partying before I'm, like, thirty or something," Finn said, shaking his head.
"And that's why you can't keep a girlfriend, Finn," Kurt said meanly.
Carole gave Kurt a stern "mom look" and shook her head slightly. "Sorry," he mumbled.
"How in the world are you able to afford to care for this child?"
"We're doing okay, Burt," Blaine jumped in. "Kurt and I are both working full time opposite shifts, and we've never really been that big of spenders."
Finn had a hard time stifling his laughter. "Are you serious, dude? Kurt spends more on a pair of underwear than I do on my whole wardrobe."
"I've gotten better about it, Finn, which you would know if you ever visited. Blaine has room in our closet, and there is even a little space to spare."
"So you're telling me you never see each other anymore?" Burt asked. "So what happens when you start resenting her for keeping you two apart?"
"For one thing, we see each other for an hour before bed every single night. For another, what makes you think not seeing each other will keep each other apart? Need I remind you of my first year in New York away from Blaine?"
"And you two were both wrecks the whole year. I don't know how either of you two made it through school."
"But we DID. And we both managed with honors, thank you very much. Seriously, Dad, what's the deal? I honestly don't understand why you guys don't think we can handle raising a child. What happened to us being your smart boys? Or the strongest people you know?"
Burt sighed. "I don't mean to be negative."
"Yeah you do," Kurt muttered.
"I just don't want to see her life uprooted yet again if this whole parenting thing is just a phase. You don't have to save everyone, Kurt. I know you like to try, but it would've been okay to put her in the system. She was six months old. She would've found a family just about right away. She still would…" he trailed off.
Kurt had had more than enough. "Don't you think we've agonized over this whole decision? Don't you think we've picked apart every detail multiple times? Don't you think we've wondered if she wouldn't be better off with someone else? But you know what? We're doing just fine. What about families that have lost both parents and the barely older siblings take in the younger ones? Or teen parents who've accidentally gotten pregnant much younger than us? Those types of families have managed, I don't know why you think we can't do it. We are smart, and we're resourceful, and we're amazing parents. Did you know that she just started calling me Dada? Did you know that almost cry every time she does because she makes me so incredibly happy? It would just about kill all three of us to give her up now, and there are no plans to, and there is no reason to. Why can't you just be supportive?" He sat in silence after his rant, almost panting.
Burt said quietly. "I'm sorry. I just don't want your lives to be any less perfect than you've planned. You're 21 and 22. I can't shake the feeling that you've made a big mistake, taking in this child you're not even related to when you haven't even begun to live your lives."
"The only mistake made here is me thinking that you guys, of all people, would be happy for us. My bad."
Kurt got up from the sofa without another word, and Blaine followed him with Chelsea. They headed for the door with Carole practically nipping at their heels.
"Please boys, don't go."
"We can't stay here, Carole."
She nodded resignedly. "Can I at least hold her before you go?"
Kurt wanted to hang onto any shred of anyone possibly approving of their daughter, but he just couldn't. "I'm sorry, but everyone's so sure we're going to give her up. I wouldn't want you to get attached or anything," he said much more harshly than he had intended, and unfortunately, it hit his mark directly. Carole's face fell, and her lower lip began to quiver.
Kurt snatched the little girl from Blaine's arms and buckled her into her car seat as quickly as he could. He flung himself in the passenger seat and said to Blaine, "Please, just drive."
As soon as Kurt's former home was out of view, he broke. The tears flowed freely, and he was trying to cry as quietly as possible so he wouldn't scare Chelsea, but he couldn't hold back the occasional sob. Blaine drove a few more blocks and pulled over so he could comfort Kurt.
"Oh god, that was so much worse than telling your parents," he cried. "With them, we knew that they probably wouldn't care, but I actually had hope for my family! I had visions of Dad and Carole being excited for us and for themselves and doing grandparenty things with her and being so in love with her that they almost wouldn't give her back to us at the end of the day and of Finn being the favorite uncle and sugaring her up and tossing her up in the air so much she almost barfs but NO, they can't get past our age which isn't really even that young, at least not so young that we can't handle it and WHY don't they have faith in us, Blaine, why?"
"I don't know, baby, I don't know," Blaine said softly, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend. "I never thought I'd enter parenthood this soon, and it's been a challenge, but I don't regret it. There's no way we're ever giving up our little girl. And I can't tell you how happy I am that you're my partner in all this. There is no one in the world I'd rather be a daddy with than you." Blaine reached over and grabbed a tissue from the box on the passenger seat floor and proceeded to wipe the tear tracks from Kurt's face. "We're doing a good thing, Kurt. We're giving a beautiful little girl two parents who love her to death and would do anything for her, and I know we'll find ways to make her childhood amazing. And screw our families. If they can't respect our decisions, then they don't deserve to know her. We'll just lay low for awhile, and anyone interested in making amends can come crawling to us. We're not in the wrong, Kurt."
Kurt nodded into the crook of Blaine's neck. They reluctantly pulled apart, and Kurt took a glance into the back seat. Chelsea had fallen asleep while Kurt and Blaine talked, and Kurt was relieved that there was one less thing to worry about for a few moments. For now, they had bigger fish to fry.
"So, that was the second offer of lodging we're now screwed out of – what do we do now?"
"I don't know," Blaine said. "I don't think we can afford to stay in hotels until the date of our return tickets. I wonder how much it would cost to rearrange our flight plans?"
"Thankfully I didn't cut corners and choose the non-refundable tickets. Let me call the airline and see what I can do."
Kurt pulled his phone out of the console to try to make alternate arrangements when his ringtone rang out loudly.
"Shit!" he said under his breath, hoping to silence it before it woke the sleeping child in the backseat.
He immediately tapped the talk button, and, without looking at the display, said a tentative Hello? into the receiver, praying it wasn't someone from his family.
"Kurt Elizabeth Hummel! How dare you come to Lima without checking in with me?"
Kurt breathed a sigh of relief. It was Mercedes.
"Hi 'Cedes. How did you know I was here?"
"You must not have been on Facebook the last couple of days. Your brother's been blabbing it all over. He seemed pretty excited to have you home."
Kurt's heart sank even farther than he thought possible. He didn't realize Finn was so looking forward to him being home. He felt so bad.
"Are you listening to me, White boy?"
"I'm sorry, Mercedes. What did you say?"
"I said, I just checked Facebook and now Finn's status message said, I'm sorry, Kurt, and nothing more. What's that all about?"
Though he wasn't sure he couldn't take more wank about what was supposed to have been happy news, he took a chance on his once best friend and told her the one sentence version.
"Blaine and I adopted a child and neither of our families thought it was that great of an idea."
There was total silence on the other end of the line for a full thirty seconds. Until a huge burst of laughter came through the phone, so loud that Kurt jumped and pulled it away from his ears.
"Ooooohhhhh Kurtsie, you always did have a good sense of humor. Now really, what is it? Did Finn use you as a basketball again?"
Kurt sighed. Mercedes didn't get it either. "Yeah, funny joke, Mercedes," he said sarcastically. "I am just so FUCKING funny." Kurt was thankful the baby was still sleeping. He didn't feel like censoring himself the past couple of days, and had she been awake, there'd probably be a lot of things he'd have to teach her not to say.
"Wait, what? You're not telling me you're serious, are you?"
"What's the point? You don't understand. Nobody does. Blaine and I left his parents house in a rage last night and my folks' house in tears today, what's a little more rejection?"
"Wait, how? Why?"
"My neighbor's baby needed a home. We gave her one. We're officially parents."
"What happened to Kurt 'I don't have a paternal bone in my body' Hummel? Mr. 'I don't know if I ever want to have kids'?"
"Things change, 'Cedes. People change, circumstances change."
"I never thought you would. You seemed pretty adamant."
"And I never thought you'd throw things I said five or six years ago in my face when I'm clearly feeling rather fragile. But people do change. Here I thought you might be someone who'd be happy for me, but I see you're just like the rest. Goodbye, Mercedes." Kurt hung up without waiting for her to say another word, and silently, he Googled the number for the airline, wanting nothing more than to get the hell out of Ohio. He looked over at Blaine, noting that Blaine looked like he felt: exhausted and crestfallen.
After a ten minute cell phone conversation, Kurt had changed their tickets to a flight leaving five hours from then. He placed his hand over Blaine's on Blaine's knee and said, "Let's go home, Blaine."
Wordlessly, Blaine nodded, turned on the car, and headed for the airport.
"Mrs. Foster stopped me in the hall today. She wanted to set up a playdate for Chelsea and Layla tomorrow. Does two o'clock work for you?" Kurt asked Blaine at dinner.
They made it a point to bring up important matters of the day every evening after they had finished eating but before the dishes were cleared away, just so they could be certain they remained on the same page. Blaine never used to be able to eat dinner with his boyfriend… fiancé, now, thanks to an amazing evening Kurt had planned, getting a baby-sitter and everything… but Blaine had switched jobs recently. He was always around for dinner now, but he wasn't always able to go to bed with Kurt each night. Kurt didn't mind, though – he was always there in the morning, and morning was just as good a time as ever for certain activities.
"Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem. I'll give her a buzz after we're done with the dishes."
"If you can hint to her about getting my blue casserole dish back while you're over there, I'd appreciate it."
"Got it. So… are you nervous about tomorrow?"
Kurt was up for a HUGE promotion at his job, and he would be attending a meeting the next morning to find out if he got it or not.
"Yes, ugh, god. Look at me!" He held out his hand, his entire arm visibly trembling.
"Okay, yeah, guess I'm doing the dishes myself tonight. You're going to cut off a finger or five with those nerves."
Blaine got up from the table and went to stand behind Kurt's chair. He leaned over and wrapped his arms around Kurt's shoulder and gave him a kiss on the side of his neck.
"You are far and away the most qualified for this position, Kurt. You're going to get the job. I'm certain of it!"
"Well, that makes one of us."
Chelsea began bouncing in her high chair. "Daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy daddy wuv you daddy!" she called from her seat at the table.
Blaine giggled. "Two of us!"
The next morning came, and true to Blaine's prediction, there was no competition for the promotion; Kurt got it, without question. When he got home, Blaine met him at the door and immediately began dragging him towards their bedroom.
"Mmmm, is this your way of celebrating? Me likey," Kurt purred.
"Well, I had something else in mind, but this was all I could come up with on short notice." He captured Kurt's lips with his own and places his hands firmly on Kurt's ass, pulling him close.
Kurt scanned the room with his eyes while Blaine was kissing him. Blaine caught the movement and broke away long enough to say, "Relax, it's her naptime." He began sucking at the spot behind Kurt's ear that always drove him nuts.
"Ungh, god bless naptime."
The following day, Blaine had a proper, and more family friendly, celebration planned. The trio traveled to Central Park with their picnic supplies and spread out a huge celebratory meal on a red and white checkered blanket underneath their favorite tree.
After all three had been served, Kurt leaned back against the tree to enjoy his meal. Blaine and Chelsea were a few feet away; Blaine was trying to get Chelsea to eat a buttered roll, but she was far more interested in tearing it apart and throwing the pieces at him. A huge squeal erupted from the little girl when she managed to throw a piece hard enough to stick on Blaine's cheek. He laughed evilly and went after her with tickle monster hands. She shrieked loudly, but she loved every minute of it.
Kurt had no regrets about becoming her daddy. He was so very happy, and eventually his friends and family began warming up to the idea. He had received an email from Finn almost immediately after they arrived back in New York after that horrible attempt at a trip home.
Dear Bro –
I'm really sorry about the way I acted. It's not that I don't support you. I guess I just didn't understand. You've always been the opposite of me, you being ready to have a kid when I'm not shouldn't have surprised me. I don't think it's a bad thing - I actually think it's kind of cool.
I hope I'm forgiven because I really want to be cool Uncle Finn and do all those things with my niece that make you guys freak out. Give me a call – I want to meet her for real.
Love you guys,
Mercedes came waving the white flag not too much later. She felt horrible that she didn't realize how awful her friend was feeling and that she made it worse. She was still having a little trouble reconciling Kurt with his new dad role, but she was looking forward to making time in her schedule to actually see him and Blaine in action and spoil the little girl rotten.
That, however, left Burt. Kurt hadn't heard from him in ages. They actually hadn't heard from the Andersons yet, either, but neither Kurt nor Blaine expected to. But Burt…
What Kurt didn't know was that Burt was kicking himself daily for chasing his son and his family away. He had actually been excited for grandchildren for years; now he actually HAD one, and he totally screwed up his relationship with Kurt so he wasn't able to see her. He wanted desperately to mend fences with Kurt, but he just didn't know how…
Carole felt Burt's pain daily. He was slowly becoming just a shell of the man that she married, and she couldn't live with that anymore. Someone had to do SOMETHING, and with both Hummel men being as hardheaded as they were, she knew it would all come down to her.
Burt sat at the dinner table, picking at his meal. Even when he was complaining about how healthy and how flavorless his meal was, he still managed to eat it. But that night, he was mostly just moving it around on his plate.
"ENOUGH," Carole said.
"Enough of what?" Burt asked.
"Enough of you. Of this crap. You're going to fix your relationship with Kurt. You can't live like this anymore."
"But I just don't know what to do."
"I do." Carole set a computer print on the table next to him.
"Burt Hummel, Columbus to JFK… today?"
"Yes. You're getting your stubborn butt on a plane, and you are going to apologize to your son and his boyfriend, and you are going to meet your granddaughter, and you are going to fix things so Kurt will bring them both here. I've been suffering without them too, you know."
Burt looked at Carole apologetically. "I'm sorry, honey. I didn't realize…"
"Don't apologize to me. Go. Apologize to them. I packed you a bag earlier today. If we get in the car now, you'll have just enough time to make your flight."
Burt got into New York late and decided not to contact his son until morning. When he woke up at his hotel the next morning, he connected his laptop, a remnant of his short time in office, to the internet. He wasn't quite sure why he still had a Twitter account – he had gotten one at Kurt's insistence during his campaign to communicate with his future constituents in more real time than email – but that morning, he was glad he hadn't cancelled it.
KHummel – enjoying a beautiful morning in Central Park under our fave tree at Umpire Rock. Celebration picnic w/Chelsea and GelledWarbler!
Burt hailed a cab outside his hotel and asked the cabbie to bring him to Umpire Rock. The cabbie looked at him funny; Burt guessed not many people used that name.
"Um, big rock in Central Park?"
"Ah yes, big rock. I take you to big rock in Central Park."
He sat back and held on, and the cab driver wove him in and out of traffic, barely managing not to scrape countless vehicles and narrowly avoiding several crashes. Burt decided then and there he could never live in New York – his heart just couldn't handle it.
The cabbie dropped him off at the southwest corner of the biggest park he had ever seen in the city. Sure, he had been places like Yellowstone, but none of that was enclosed within an urban area. It was a sight to see, that was for sure. He entered the park, and he immediately saw what must've been the "rock" in question. A dozen or so people were crawling over it – from a distance it looked pretty easy to climb, but he saw people teetering and catching themselves from falling. Hopefully they keep my granddaughter off this thing for a long while, he thought to himself.
After a few more moments of people watching, he got down to business. He wanted to catch them while they were still stationary and enjoying their picnic – it would be much easier to find them if they were not on the move.
He dodged several bikers and joggers and crossed several old bridges with beautiful scrollwork that he hoped he'd get to check out a little more closely before he had to go home. Hopefully he wouldn't have to do it alone.
Burt scanned the park, looking for trees that were big enough to picnic comfortably underneath. He walked toward a clump of trees, and slowly a group of three people came into view. The sizes and shapes of the three people seemed about right, so he headed closer.
His breath hitched when he saw them. Blaine was in the grass on his back holding a small dark-haired toddler at arms' length above him. He was laughing heartily, and the little girl, Chelsea, he remembered, was shrieking happily.
Sitting a few feet away from him was Kurt, with eyes only for Blaine and his daughter. The entire city of New York could parade past him naked and he wouldn't notice, though Burt noted that with what he had already seen of New York so far, that might not actually be all that uncommon of a sight.
It was the most beautiful thing Burt had ever seen.
All three of them were facing away from Burt, so he was able to approach them without them noticing him.
"Fatherhood looks amazing on you, Kurt," he said.
Kurt jumped a foot off the ground. "Dad!" he said, thoroughly surprised. "What are you doing here?"
"Doing something I should have manned up and done a long time ago. I'm gonna talk to Blaine in a second, but can I take a walk with you or something?"
"Hey sweetie, I'm gonna take Chels over to the playground, did you wanna – Burt! What are you doing here?"
"Blaine, honey, can we meet you at the playground in a little bit? We'll explain then."
"Ooookay… c'mon baby girl, give Daddy K hugs and kisses. We'll see him in a few minutes."
"Mwah, have fun sweetheart! Love you!" Kurt said, but Chelsea was already off and running, Blaine trotting closely behind her.
Burt and Kurt walked leisurely along the path, not speaking. In Kurt's peripheral vision, he could see his father open and close his mouth several times without saying anything. Just as he was about to put Burt out of his misery, he spoke.
"I knew before I got here how wrong I was, but seeing you here, seeing you with your family…. I'm an absolute idiot, Kurt." They approached a bench, and Burt pulled Kurt down to sit on it. "Kurt, I am so sorry. I can't even begin to tell you. I must've been out of my ever loving mind to treat you boys the way I did."
"Dad, I – "
"Kurt, please?" Kurt fell silent.
"Honestly, I don't really even have any explanation for what I said. I wanted you to live the life you wanted. I wanted you to have everything and want for nothing. I didn't want you to struggle with money. I wanted and didn't want so many things for you that I thought of that beautiful little girl as nothing but an obstacle to your hopes and dreams."
"I have to admit, though you calling Chelsea, in short, a burden, made me angry, it was the fact that you didn't believe in me that hurt the most. Since when have you ever known me to not move mountains to make things work? I've been that way my whole life, and this time around, I'm paired up with someone with a similar drive. I was trying to tell you 'yes we can', and you were coming right back at me with 'no you can't' without even giving me a chance to prove it to you. Seeing my father lose faith in me right before my eyes? Devastating."
"Kurt, I'm here now, thanks in part to a wonderful woman who finally gave me a kick in the ass hard enough to get through my hard head, to do everything I can to get back into your life. I miss you. I miss Blaine. And I want to get to know my granddaughter."
Kurt shifted his hand, and a beam of sunlight caught the diamond in the ring on his finger, causing it to sparkle. "And I see there's a wedding that I want to be invited to, as well," Burt commented.
"And I want you to be there. I miss you so much. But I miss the dad I thought would be happy for us when we tried to tell you our news. Not the one who was rude and entirely misguided. I love you, Dad, but my loyalty lies with my own little family here, as it should be. I will not have harsh words hurting them. You of all people should know not to get on my bad side."
Burt chuckled. "Don't I know it! It started when you were six and I called your ascot a scarf, and it only got worse from there."
Giggling, Kurt pitched his voice even higher than it was. "It's an ASCOT, Dad. An ASCOT!"
They let their laughing die down, and after sitting quietly for a moment, Kurt said softly, "Would you like to go meet her?"
Burt's face lit up like a child at a toy store. "Can we?"
"Yeah, let's go."
They walked to the playground, chatting easily about things that had gone on in their lives since that awful Thanksgiving weekend. As soon as they reached the edge of the playground, a small brunette tornado came hurtling herself at Kurt.
"Daddy!" Chelsea squealed.
"Hi Princess! Are you having fun with Daddy B?"
"Swides, Daddy! Wheeee!"
"Well, I'll let you get back to playing in a minute, but first, I want you to meet someone. This is Grandpa Burt. He's Daddy K's daddy. Can you say hi?"
"Hi Gampa! Swings, Gampa?"
Kurt laughed. "You are now officially 'in' with her. Better go take advantage of it!"
The tiny girl grabbed her grandfather's hand and led him to the toddler swings.
"Not too high!" Kurt called.
"Relax, kid! This ain't my first rodeo!" he hollered back.
Blaine walked up to Kurt and wrapped his arms around him. "Good talk?"
"Yeah, it really was. He apologized, I accepted. I mean, he's my dad, he's Burt Hummel. How could I not? Oh, and he wants to talk to you, too, later."
Blaine nodded. "I'm glad, Kurt. We need him. Maybe not for money or food or anything, but we need him in our lives. You're just not yourself without your dad."
"I know." The found an unoccupied bench on the side of the playground and sat with Kurt's head on Blaine's shoulder and their arms around each other. "Now, finally, I'm starting to feel like everything's going to be okay after all."
Blaine looked at the playground to see an energetic little girl having the time of her life with her delighted grandfather.
"I think you're right."
Kurt and Blaine are happy in New York and fresh out of college (or on their last year) they get the opportunity to adopt and/or foster a baby. They eagerly agree and take the baby in. They have steady jobs and enough money to make it.
No one is supportive. Their friends and family think they're crazy. They think there's no way the two of them are financially secure enough to keep up with a baby. And, they're young and in love in a big new city. Everyone thinks they'll resent the baby when they realize they can't go out to party and things like that. It would be great if someone right off the bat thinks they're doing a horrible thing because obviously they're going to send the baby back and how dare they toy with a child's life that way.
Only none of that happens. Blaine and Kurt love the baby and take wonderful care of him or her. It gets a little tight sometimes and they get frustrated but they love him/her. Slowly they stop talking to their unsupportive friends and maybe a year later or so they run into them and everyone sees Klaine with a happy and healthy kid. A happy, well adjusted family.