Spoilers: AU. Only certain pairings still exist.
Summary: Young and fresh college graduate Kurt Hummel decides to head out onto the open waters of the world for a culture experience that he'll never forget.
Kurt Hummel shuts his eyes and breathes in the ocean air that whistles past him along the deck of his boat. He can feel the sun shining brightly down on his face, the slight breeze tousling his hair, the cushion of his flip-flops forming perfectly around the bottom of his feet. It was the day . . . the perfect day. He breathes it all in . . . the freedom, the adventure. It was just something that you could feel . . . the air bringing in the new scents . . . the water carrying around old and long-forgotten stories . . . the bright sun showing off a new day . . . a new tale . . .
He gives his escape one last breath before opening his eyes. He smiles as he looks around his boat. The small two-Decker boat was designed and paid for by one Kurt Hummel, selling all of his clothes and using up all saved up money. The boat was a simple 32-foot vessel. A 2002 Nordic Tug. He's proud, actually. He was going off on his own, ignoring the complaints of others.
Kurt walks slowly across the top deck and stops at the latter leading down a few feet to the main floor of his boat. He looks over at the docks and sees his family coming forward. Kurt drifts his eyes to his father.
Burt Hummel was a successful member of the Ohio senate as well as the proud owner of a chain of Hummel Tires and Lube that spread to over 2,000 stores across America. Despite health complications over the past few years, Burt had managed to stay a calm and loving father to Kurt. Kurt can't help but get a bit teary-eyed as he thinks back to how supportive and caring his father had been over the past few years.
His eyes slid to his fathers' wife, Carole. Back in high school, Kurt had drug his father to his audition for the local glee club. Ms. Hudson, as she was known back then, was there to watch her own son audition. They started talking and were married in less than eight months later. That's how Kurt got a half-brother.
Finn Hudson, the tall and lanky goofball of their high school, but that was years ago. Now Finn was engaged to his beautiful girlfriend of three years, having met in college. Even though he wasn't that smart, he was smart enough to fall in love with the idea of helping kids be more than the stereotype. By coming to agreements with several local schools, Finn now goes in with several other students to help children reach talents that they normally wouldn't reach due to the lack of funds that the school has.
Kurt smiles at his family as he steps over the edge of his boat, loving the way the boat shifts along the water, not tethered down, and onto the dock. While his mom and dad had been happy that he was doing what he wanted, they just expected more from him after he graduated college: Broadway or something in the music industry. Finn was the only one genuinely happy that he was going. Even though he's never said anything, he is still homophobic. Yep, that's right, Kurt Hummel is gay. It's not something he has really announced, but people have mainly assumed. And every single guy that Kurt had gotten close to in high school or college, Finn would end up throwing a tantrum until Burt and Carole were on his side. Burt said that Finn was just worried about his little brother, and he believed it for a bit, but seven years later and Finn was still the same. So yes, Kurt was positive his brother was a big homophobe.
Kurt stops in front of his family. The early morning sunrise making everyone appear tired, and if possible, even more solemn about Kurt's departure.
"Are you sure about this Kurt?" Burt asks again, for which Kurt hopes it the last out of the thousand times of that morning alone.
"I'm sure dad." Kurt nods and gives his dad his best smile. "And before you know it, I'll be back and returning to New York with a bit of life and traveling under my belt."
Burt reluctantly nods and lets out a sigh of defeat, knowing better than to argue with his son at this point. Kurt had been planning this since his winter vacation of his senior year at college. It took him a month to get all of his information together on where to get a boat for cheap, where to learn to drive the boat, and where he could get all supplies that he'd need. And as of one week ago, he had completed his one-month long training on how to drive, operate, fix, and completely take care of a ship in the same way a ten-man crew would, at least the basics of many of those things.
Kurt gives his dad another smile when the man seems to grow more tense and hesitant about Kurt's new adventure "It'll be fine dad." Kurt chuckles softly. "I'll be back in two weeks, three tops." He adds on with a sigh. "And you know I'll be stopping at plenty of places so I won't be out at sea all of the time."
"I know Kurt, but . . . it's just that you're growing up so fast and-"
"I know dad." Kurt laughs.
"And there is so much in life that I'd rather you experience first." Burt continues. "You may change your mind out there, with all of that time to think. What about your dreams of Broadway, or finally getting your first boyfriend there?"
"I'll still have them dad." Kurt says softly. "If anything, this trip will teach me even more so of how to be patient about things and to think things through. It's going to be one of the best experiences of my life."
Burt sighs and seems to accept this. Kurt glances the Carole. The woman that's been a mother to him for a good chunk of his life now, much longer than his real mother, but slightly shorter than his time alone with his single father. He gives her a small smile, which she returns kindly. Kurt barely registers the smile before she's pulling him into a hug. Kurt smiles into those familiar motherly arms, in fact, the only womanly arms that he ever feels.
He's always been lonesome in school. Even after high school and he moved to a bigger city, a big college, he still had very few friends. He kept himself occupied with his studies. Thanks to being alone, he had managed to become the valedictorian of his graduating class of both high school and college. And he had managed a few friends, but they had been nothing more than close acquaintances. People he had paired up with for projects, or had a study group with. Heck, he hasn't even had his first kiss yet and here he is, almost 21. Thanks to doubling up on classes since he had nothing important to do, besides a few assembly performances for his high school in glee club, to take up his spare time, he had managed to graduate high school, and college, each a year early. He was quite proud of that fact, especially since Finn still had one year left, only needing a three-year degree for his major of choice, not that Kurt really paid attention.
Carole runs her hand up and down Kurt's back one last time before pulling away, a few tears being held back in her eyes. Kurt's very aware of how much both of his parents had been crying once he told them his decision. Burt's main fear was that Kurt wouldn't be able to handle a ship solo. He was more than willing to hand out a couple thousand so Kurt could hire a crew, but Kurt wanted his first venture to be on his own. Oh he planned to go out more than once, several years if his schedule would allow it.
And Carole's fear was a more rational one, since Kurt had took his dad on a test drive to prove that he could operate everything that a boat would need. Carole's fear was that Kurt would end up getting lost at sea or even crashing and drowning. Both were more logical since he was heading out in late spring/early summer and just happened to choose a spot off the coast of the United States that was known for its unpredictable weather. Kurt had assured her that if he ran into any heavy weather, he would bunk up inside until he was able to call for help. She had even given Kurt a very long and detailed list of all the people that he should call for almost any situation. The one thing that he hadn't told her was that being in the middle of the ocean, his ships equipment wouldn't be strong enough to make contact with land, again depending on how far he was out. But he planned to go far. He just wanted to continue his voyage for as long as possible, but since his dad had made him promise to a time limit, he'd dock wherever he ended up, travel back to his family, pay to have his boat brought up as well, and then go on to New York and try and find a job that he could get with his multiple degrees.
Kurt looks to Finn next, knowing that he'd hug his dad last, his only flesh and blood left on this earth. Finn being Finn, the big lug had to be drug out this early morning to say goodbye to his step-brother. Sure he'd have to miss an early morning lunch date with his fiancé, but it's better to have a legit excuse to not show up, than be late with no excuse. Kurt raises an eyebrow and Finn finally sticks a hand out.
"Finnegan." Kurt smirks as the tall boys' mother reprimands him for being rude. "He's your brother. Now give him a hug. You won't be seeing him for a while."
"But mom." Finn groans, the same way he always does when he has to do anything involving Kurt. See, Kurt was right. Finn's a complete homophobe. "I don't want to-"
"Hug him." Kurt chuckles when his step-mother turns on her glare, a glare that he had managed to avoid the entire time he had known her by being as nice as possible.
Finn groans before reluctantly unfolding his arms from his body and holding them out awkwardly. Kurt sighs internally before stepping forward; reluctantly holding his arms out in the same awkward position is the tall buffoon in front of him. Kurt's eyes dash down as he sees Carole's hand lash out to give Finn a gentle, yet firm and commanding, push on the back. Kurt can feel Finn's reluctant and tense arms wrap around his body. He smiles when he realizes that Finn's big arm blocks out his view of the parents. He smirks as he wraps his arms and then tightens them around the taller boy. He can feel the boy tense in his arms and it only makes him feel better.
"Feel so good." He lets out in a soft breathy tone just for Finn, messing with him.
It works when Finn quickly jumps back. "Dude." He practically screeches his voice louder than normal as it echoes across the early calm waves. "What are you-" He looks down at Kurt's crotch and sees nothing that would indicate that Kurt had gotten hard from their little encounter.
He looks up to see Kurt smirking. He would say something, but they both know that Carole would get onto Finn, and as of recent, it seems that she's been noticing more and more homophobic remarks. Kurt's secretly hoping that he'll come back and Finn will be kicked out on the streets for being an insufferable homophobic dunce. He's been getting closer over the past few months at creeping Finn out just so both of his parents will finally understand what his step-brother truly is. He's sure that the boy will slip up one day and show his true colors. Maybe then, that too-good-of-a-fiancé will finally leave Finn.
Kurt turns his eyes away from Finn's dark eyes and meets the concerned eyes of his parents. He ignores Carole's questioning face and moves to stand in front of his father. The mans old eyes gaze into his sons, trying to convey his pride for the boy, his concern and even some regrets in life that he had no hadn't been able to make Kurt happier. Kurt's eyes are only showing the reassurance and love that he cares. He knows his dad did the best he could in life, but it was his choice to stand to the side, alone in the world, friendless and going at life solo. It was his choice, even if his dad didn't want it to be so.
Understanding is suddenly exchanged between their eyes before both men have their arms open and around each other. Kurt hugs tight onto his dad. He knows that this isn't a real goodbye, but he'll be gone on his venture for an extended amount of time, alone, and completely separated from the world. Kurt smiles into his dads neck, knowing that he's finally his own person, making his own choices, not having to take anyone else into consideration. So he decides to bask in the warmness that only a parent could provide, a father. The warmness that lets him know that he will always have a home to return to, a family, a place to be himself. But he was never himself around anyone. No one's ever seen that. Small fractions, so small that the surface wasn't even scratched, only breathed upon. He himself has never fully seen himself, not knowing his true strengths since he never pushed himself in more than academics, or his any of his true desires in life . . . except one. This one, to journey away and to test himself, to see how far he can be pushed by nature.
Kurt lets out a shaky breath before pulling away from his dad, feeling his dads reluctant arms drop from his body. Kurt gives his dad one last pat on the shoulder before pulling away completely. He gives his dad a small smile before stepping away so he can view his entire, small family. Two loving sets of eyes stare him down, along with one set of uncaring, and almost hating eyes. Probably beyond hating if Kurt knew anything.
"Well . . ." He purses his lips and gulps. "I . . . my goal to leave is in five-" Kurt looks down at his watch to make sure before looking back up. "I . . . I'm going to just go-just go ahead and go." He bites his lip, knowing that he sounds sad to leave, but he's just trying to find a nice way to tell them to screw off and let him leave without being rude. He lets out another shaky breath as he steps back again. "So . . . bye." He knows his words are coming out awkward, but he just wants to leave already.
Burt chuckles and nods at his son, a strange sad smile settling upon the old and experienced face. Kurt lets his hands drop to his sides, trying to discretely wipe the sweat off onto his black Cherokee cargo shorts. He smiles when he sees none of the sets of eyes glance to his hands, even though he's sure Carole could see in her general view because she gives him a small smile. Kurt purses his lips into an awkward smile before turning around to look at his boat.
He's not nervous; he's really not, just . . . impatient, or even restless, in a way. He really can't wait for this to start. And start it shall. His awkward smile slowly becomes confident and wide as he steps up to the edge of his vessel. He runs his soft and now sweat-free hands along the edge of his precious purchase, costing far beyond a pretty penny, but it doesn't matter to him. He can practically hear and feel the ship purring under his fingertips before he brings them up to grab a hold of the metal ladder. He uses his rather impressive muscles, even if it doesn't look like he has much, and pulls himself up and over with one arm, his feet landing with a thud on the other side. The smile seems to grow on his face as he makes his way over cockpit, taking a step down and under the roof of the ship, a little platform that he can stand upon if he wants to. Heck, he can do anything he wants to on this ship; he paid for it in full.
He busies himself with flipping the right levers, pushing the right buttons, just smiling as he remembers all of this training. As of now, it's all instinct, basic memory to his fingers, his general motor skills. He had made sure that he would know everything, never throwing himself so much into anything as much as he did when he was learning everything about boats. He wanted to be a master at it, a major accomplishment for him.
The vessel hums to life, a slight vibration echoing through the body. He runs his fingers lightly across the plastic covered wheel, closing his eyes as he feels the vibrations pad lightly against his fingers, creating that light tingling that course through his body.
He pulls down the lever that allows his boat to take off. He quickly feels the wind hit his face the jolt of energy forcing his body back and adrenaline to pump into his veins. He smiles as he looks back, seeing his family waiting on the docks, only two hands waving back and forth just for him. He releases one hand to wave back for . . . two . . . one . . . alright his hands back on the wheel and he's looking forward, his eyes slightly closed, the breeze against his face.
He takes a breath, feeling the sea air fill his nostrils. He holds that breathe until he opens his eyes, seeing the wide sea and literally facing the world. He smiles wide, ready to go to any place he can find . . . uncharted islands, Atlantis, or even the next port to dock. He's just finally happy, for the first time, he's truly happy, and these wide waters will give him a chance to finally get to know himself . . . to follow his heart.
So, welcome to my first AU. A complete new universe. Lots of things will be different, so don't expect characters to be the same. But I'm hoping that you give me and this story a chance. But I have this story mapped out and mostly written, but I will be posting weekly so it's nice and spread out.
Also, this is a new multi-chapter story that I've decided to release on my anniversary date. I'm hoping to update this story at least once a week.