Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
Blaine came out of the shower to find Burt sitting on the couch, arms folded across his chest, staring grimly at the far wall. "Where's Kurt?" he asked, ruffling his damp curls a little.
"Out there," Burt said, nodding towards the fire escape. "He's been out there for half an hour."
Blaine paused. "But it's freezing out there," he said, perplexed.
Blaine looked towards the fire escape. He could see Kurt huddled there, knees pulled up to his chest. "Should…should you try to talk to him?" he ventured.
Burt smiled bitterly. "That's the last thing he needs right now, I think," he said. He glanced back. "Why don't you see if you can get him to talk?"
Blaine's heart skipped a beat. "I don't know…that might not be…he probably doesn't…" he stammered, but the corners of Burt's lips quirked up, and, taking a deep breath to steel himself, he grabbed a blanket and walked towards the fire escape.
Kurt didn't look up as Blaine sank down to sit on the windowsill just above him, the rickety metal rattling under his weight. "Hi," he said.
Blaine smoothed the blanket anxiously. "Are you cold?" he asked.
Kurt raised and lowered one shoulder, biting his lower lip thoughtfully. Blaine shook out the blanket and draped it over both of them. He didn't want to sit too close, just in case, but Kurt's skin was patched in blue and white and his teeth were chattering. A little body warmth might help.
"So," Blaine began.
"So," Kurt echoed.
Blaine closed his mouth and stared out, trying to see what Kurt was seeing. Thick snow, white in spots and slushy gray in others. A half-full dumpster. A row of bright pink fliers advertising for some band at some bar. The faint glow of Christmas lights from other apartment windows.
Somehow he doubted that Kurt was looking at the same things.
"Has it been a pretty good Christmas?" he asked, and immediately regretted it.
Kurt's lips twisted into the same bitter smile his father had. "It's not the worst," he said softly. "I guess."
Blaine leaned his elbows on his knees. "Are you…are you still okay that I came?" he asked.
"Yes," Kurt said, soft but sure. "Yes, I am."
They fell into silence again.
Blaine longed to do something, to clasp his hand or rub his back or kiss his cheek, but he couldn't do that, not anymore. He'd lost that privilege. Now he could only offer comfort in words, and God only knew how bad he was at that.
"I'm so glad you got into NYADA," he said. "I know…how much you wanted it. And you worked so hard. You deserve it."
Kurt just shrugged again, sinking down further till his chin rested on his folded arms.
Blaine gazed up at the night sky, stars lost in wispy gray clouds, and exhaled slowly, his breath white in the dark air.
"Your dad told me, on the flight,…all these stories, about Christmas when you were little," he said. "All of them. The year you asked for a dollhouse…the year they took you to see Santa and you cried…the year that you snuck out of bed to see what you got and they couldn't find you, and they found you asleep under the tree."
"Did he tell you about the first Christmas after my mother died?" Kurt asked dully.
Blaine's heart skipped a beat. "Other than the story about the tree…no," he said.
"I came downstairs on Christmas morning, and there were all these presents," he said. "It looked like hundreds of them- to me, at least. And at first I was kind of excited, because…well, when you're eight and it looks like someone moved Toys 'R' Us into your living room…you can't help but be excited."
He paused, shifting a little under the blanket, and Blaine waited.
"I kept opening presents, and then…the farther I got…I realized that the handwriting on the tags was different," he said. "My mom…before she died, she…she bought me Christmas presents. She knew she was going to die before Christmas, so she bought me all my presents in February, and wrapped them, and had my dad hide them in the attic so that…"
He broke off, burying his face in his hands. Blaine stared blankly at the brick wall across from them, his mouth dry.
And then Kurt sank beside him, resting his cheek on Blaine's knees and curling up in a tight ball. "I can't lose my dad too," he whispered.
He could feel Kurt shaking, not just from the cold. And he couldn't think of anything to say. Or even to sing.
Hesitantly he reached out, his fingers trembling, and rested his hand lightly against Kurt's hair. Kurt didn't say anything, his face still covered. Gently Blaine smoothed his hand over his cold hair, snowflakes clinging to his fingers for a split second before melting.
They sat there for a while in the cold, shivering together under the shared blanket, without saying a word. Blaine stroked Kurt's silky hair, working up his courage until he could rub his fingers soothingly into his scalp, the way he used to, and even brushed his thumb against the soft skin at the nape of his neck.
"Can we go inside?" Kurt finally asked, his voice raspy. "I'm cold. And my legs are asleep."
"Sure," Blaine said. Kurt started to stand up, pushing himself up on Blaine's knees, and his legs wobbled. Blaine caught him gently around his waist, tugging the blanket tighter around them both, and helped back inside.
Burt was waiting for him on the couch, his expression unreadable, and Kurt pulled away from Blaine to walk to his father unsteadily. Blaine turned to close the window, taking his time, and when he turned around Kurt was sitting on the couch beside his father, his face dangerously white, and Burt had his arm tight around him.
"Blaine, could you get him some tea or something?" Burt asked.
Blaine nodded silently and crossed over to the tiny kitchen corner, trying to tune out the soft murmur of conversation between father and son. He focused on the simple act of making tea- heat water, tea in cup, pour water, let steep. It smelled good, sweet and sharp, and he cradled the sky blue mug in his hand as he carried it over.
"Careful, it's hot," he murmured, and Kurt nodded.
"They're probably showing some kind of Christmas movie on TV," Burt said. "Blaine, you want to find something?"
He nodded and reached for the remote, flipping around before he found the remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The volume was a little too high and he turned it down hastily, then sat down in the armchair, away from the couch, his hands folded on his knees.
They watched the movie in silence, not even glancing away at each other during the too-bright commercials, and it wasn't until the credits began to roll that Blaine dared to look over at Kurt.
He was fast asleep, half on his father's lap, with his head resting on Burt's shoulder. Color had returned to his cheeks, leaving them rosy, but his lips were cracked. The empty cup was discarded on the floor.
Burt didn't notice Blaine at first. His cheek rested against the top of Kurt's head, and he was holding Kurt's hand, rubbing his thumb over his slim fingers. He glanced over after a moment when he felt Blaine's gaze.
"He's warmed up, I think," Burt said.
"Good," Blaine offered.
Burt looked down at his sleeping son. "I wish to God I didn't have to tell him about this," he said. "Every time something good happens to him…"
His voice trailed off. Blaine clasped his hands tighter on his knees.
"When Mollie…his mother…after she passed away, all I could think about was that Kurt was all I had left in this damn world," he said. "If it hadn't been for him…who knows what I would have done. I loved Mollie. Loved her with all my heart. And when she died…it felt like someone ripped out my heart and held in front of me, but I couldn't die too."
Blaine bit his lip.
"Kurt was what got me through it," Burt said. "Not at first. At first…all I could think about was how much I missed Mollie. How I couldn't live without her. And then Kurt got sick, really sick. Appendicitis. And it shook me up. I realized that I couldn't lose him. Not my little boy too. He's that last piece of Mollie that I've got left. He looks like her, he acts like her…sometimes when he sings, he reminds me of her too. He's all I've got."
Kurt shifted a little his sleep and Burt looked down at him, studying his face for signs of distress. "It never dawned on me…till my heart attack…that I was all that Kurt had," he said softly. "God, if I had…if I had given in. Given up. Like all those times I thought about it…I don't think Kurt would've made it. And just because he's eighteen now…that's not going to change."
He ran his hand against the contour of Kurt's cheek, tracing his jawline, as if he wasn't looking at a teenager at the cusp of adulthood, but his little boy, small and angelic and still relying on him to take care of him.
"If something should happen…if things don't go as good as the doctors think they will…" Burt's voice trailed off. Blaine bit his lip harder till he tasted blood, sharp and metallic
"Kiddo, I wasn't completely honest when I brought you here," he said. "It's if…if something should happen…I need to know that you'll take care of Kurt."
Blaine started. Burt met his gaze calmly.
"Even if you're not together," he said. "You know Kurt better than anyone. And even though he might not act like, he trusts you. He trusts you just as much as he trusts me. And I need to know that if…that if something goes wrong and I don't make it…"
Kurt shifted again, a small sound escaping his lips, and Burt hugged him tightly, kissing his bright hair and shushing him in a soft murmur. "Blaine, I need to know that my kid's going to be okay," he said, not looking up from his child's face.
"He will be," Blaine said, not even stopping to think about it. "I'll make sure…"
"He'll always have Carole and Finn," Burt said. "They love him, and I know he loves them too, but it'll be too easy for him to shut them out. Don't let him shut down. Don't let him give up on things."
"I won't," Blaine promised.
Burt gazed down at Kurt, brushing a lock of hair off his forehead. "I'd better get him to bed," he said. He smiled. "He used to fall asleep in the living room when he was a baby. One minute sitting there and playing, the next all conked out with his toys still in his hands. Mollie would put him to bed. And when he older, he'd fall asleep at the kitchen table while he was doing his homework. And then it'd be my turn to put him to bed." He smoothed Kurt's hair again. "Guess I'd better take my chances while I still can."
He stood up carefully, cradling Kurt in his arms, and carried him to his curtained-off bed in the corner. Blaine sat there for a moment, his head reeling and his heart aching, before reaching out woodenly to set up the couch as his bed for the night.
He heard Kurt mumble something sleepily and caught part of Burt's hushed reply- "sh, little boy, go back to sleep. You're okay. Everything's fine."
Blaine closed his eyes briefly, taking a deep breath to steady himself, and draped a quilt over his makeshift bed.
Burt walked out from behind the partition, his hands in his pockets. "G'night, Blaine," he said. He paused, then pulled him into a quick hug. "You're a good kid."
"Thanks," he mumbled into his shoulder. "And…I love Kurt. I always have, and I still do, and…I'll do everything I can for him. Anything."
Burt pulled back and squeezed his shoulder. "I know," he said, and disappeared into Rachel's side of the room to sleep in his borrowed bed.
Blaine set up his pillows, plumping them gently, and eased himself down, trying to keep the springs from squeaking.
He sat up.
He slid off the couch and padded over to Kurt's bed, drawing the curtain back. "Were you calling me?" he whispered.
Kurt was lying on his back, his sheets and blankets clutched to his chest. "I'm cold," he murmured, and Blaine couldn't tell if he was awake or just talking in his sleep again. "I'm so cold."
"Do you want another blanket?" he asked, and Kurt shook his head unsteadily.
"I'm cold," he repeated. "And…I don't want to be alone right now."
He scooted over, looking up at Blaine with those huge luminous eyes, and he sat down beside him. "Do you want me to stay with you?" he asked, barely breathing.
Kurt nodded, and Blaine laid down beside him, already falling simply and easily into long-remembered patterns. He could feel Kurt shivering a little beside him and drew him a little closer, rubbing his ankle lightly against his, and Kurt settled back against the pillow, his eyes already sliding shut.
Blaine watched him for a long time, the moonlight casting pale shadows across his face, until he was sure that Kurt was sound asleep, and then closed his eyes, his final thoughts a prayer for him, for quiet sleep without nightmares, and a future full of hope.
I don't know about you, but I was expecting last night's episode to be jolly and such, and instead...FEELS. TOO MANY OF THEM.
OH GOD WHY DOES BURT HAVE CANCER?!
Uggggh. This is why Kurt and Blaine are going to get married young. They're going to get married at 21 so that Burt can be there for the wedding, and so he can die knowing that his baby is going to be okay.
Which in turn inspired this oneshot.
Also, the stories about Kurt's mom and Christmas and UGH MORE FEELS.
QUICK, SOMEONE GO TO MY ASKBOX AND PROMPT THINGS BASED ON IT BECAUSE UGGGGGGGH.