Genre: romance / fluff
Summary: I started this for the Future!Kadam AU Saturday, but it never got finished. Here it is now. Four years after s4, Kurt meets Adam again.
It had been nearly four years and yet it took less than a second for Kurt to know, beyond a doubt, that it was really him. That laugh, that unruly mop of blonde hair tucked under a beanie, that accent from the land of David Beckham and good television shows : Adam Crawford. He was standing a few feet away from him in Central Park, his back turned towards Kurt. Kurt's heart leapt up into his throat. He was actually here! Though Kurt had been the one to break it off when Adam was close to graduation (and thus, close to the end of his student visum) fearing he could not deal with another long-distance relationship, those few seconds of hearing Adam's voice were enough to fill Kurt with longing. He quickly gave himself an outfit check (decent chinos, the jacket Isabelle had given him as a going away present at the end of his internship, a dark overcoat accessorised by a colourblock scarf- yes, he was presentable) and straightened his shoulders. He was about to speak up when he noticed Adam was not alone. Almost completely hidden behind his legs was a little girl with pale blond hair and huge green eyes. She was pouting at Adam.
"Come on darling, pick up your Paddington and let's go," Adam said, and Kurt felt a squeeze in his heart at the loving tone he remembered so well.
Adam crouched near the child and reached for the teddy in wellingtons. The girl frowned and snatched the toy away before he could touch it, threw it on the ground behind her and crossed her arms over her chest. "Not coming," she said resolutely.
"Paddy's not coming?" Adam asked. "Why not? Has he been a bad bear? Or has he been invited to a teddybear picknick? In that case, I want to come with. I've never been to one, you know. My own teddy got invited all the time and I was so terribly disappointed he never took me." Adam lowered his voice conspiratorially and added in a hushed whisper: "I think he was afraid I'd eat all the scones."
The girl giggled. "No, I am not coming" she clarified.
"Wow, you've been invited to a teddybear picknick?"
Adam used the momentum of the child's glee to swipe her up in his arms, toy bear and all, and bounced on the balls of his feet as he started humming the teddybear picknick song. The girl was laughing happily, her protests forgotten.
Kurt felt as if the lunch in his stomach had turned to lead. Though they were in a public park for everyone to see, he felt he was witnessing something intimate and private between Adam and his daughter. Kurt didn't need to guess if the child was his- the blonde pigtails, the bright smile; they spoke volumes of Adam's genes- but he did wonder what it meant. Was he living with a woman now, or had he come to some sort of arrangement with a surrogate mother? Was he raising the child alone or with a partner?
Kurt felt stupid. What had he expected? For Adam to sit around pining for him while he had gone on with his life, dated others, and tried to forget his first New York romance? Adam was an attractive man with an accent to die for and killer cookie recipes up his sleeve. He was polite, charming and good in bed. (Kurt could feel the heat rise in his cheeks as he thought about the latter). Of course someone was bound to snatch him up - and things were clearly serious!
Kurt had never given having a family much thought. His father had hinted at it playfully once or twice, but for Kurt that was something he might consider in the far future. Or not - most of his clothes were dry-clean only, after all. But seeing Adam and how he was with the girl made Kurt realise that if there had ever been a guy with whom he could imagine starting a family, it was Adam. Kurt sighed and turned away. He didn't want to disturb the two and hearing all the details of Adam's new relationship might break his heart even further. It was best if he just left and forgot all about -
"Kurt?" Adam's voice rang out.
Kurt froze, biting his lip. He tried to steel his heart as he turned around and faked surprise. "Adam? Wow…"
"It really is you! I knew it the moment I saw you. You look amazing!" Adam exclaimed happily, hoisting the girl up in his arms a little until she sat balanced on his hip. "How've you been?"
Adam was as enthusiastic as he had been when they first met, speaking without taking the time to breathe. It was like the last 4 years simply melted away with his smile. Kurt returned it without a second thought.
"Fine, I guess. You know, I graduated; still at Vogue but with better pay and flexible hours, which is good because it gives me time to audition with the Broadway productions, and I have enough money to make regular trips to Lima to see my dad,-"
"Ah yes, Burt, is he okay? Still…all clear?" Adam asked carefully, taking a moment to shush the girl in his arms but keeping his eyes on Kurt.
"He is. He's fine. Knock on wood, you know, but the cancer seems to be gone." Kurt smiled with the thought of it. He had seen his dad only two weeks ago and he was in good health. Now if only he'd watch his cholesterol a bit better…
"And the Broadway stuff?"
Kurt shrugged. "I'm stubborn. Nothing real just yet, lots of typecasting going on there, but I'm confident something will come up."
Adam grinned. "Of course. You were made for the stage. And with your talent, I just know you'll make it big. Are you still living in Bushwick?"
"Yeah, yeah, it's just me and Santana now, Rachel's off on tour most of the time, but hey, at least Santana has started paying rent…" Kurt trailed off and forgot what he was saying. Adam was still smiling at him, nodding interestedly and appearing to soak up every word, and Kurt was struck again with how much he had missed this- being asked how he was doing by someone who was genuinely interested in the reply instead of waiting for their turn to speak. As much as it pained him, he had no choice but to return the favour now, and let Adam tell him about his family.
"So, how about you? I thought you would be in England by now…" He forced a smile. Just how long had Adam been here in New York without him knowing? If his departure was really the reason they broke up back then, could it have worked between them after all? Could the girl have been theirs?
Adam shrugged shyly. "I was going to go after NYADA, but I couldn't do it. I had my bags packed and my flat rented out and then-" He looked around the park and the buildings framing it and sighed. "I guess I realised I just really love… New York, you know?"
"Yeah, I know." Kurt felt another pang of regret as he thought about their unabashed tracks to all the tourist spots, both strangers in the big city; the hilarious photos, the hotdogs and the laughter. (Rachel and Santana always refused to come, feeling the need to blend in with the New Yorkers by pretending not to care about the sights). The picture of their first New Year's Eve was still framed, even though it sat in the back of his cupboard now. He looked back into Adam's eyes and wondered if it was his imagination or if he saw an echo of his sadness there.
"So, I found a job here," Adam continued, breaking the silence between them. "It's not much, but it keeps me occupied." He smiled again. "I teach drama at one of the local highschools. It's all extra-curricular so everyone who shows up really wants to be there. It's great fun!"
"Really?" Kurt exclaimed, finding it easier to smile naturally now. This was so like him, he could just imagine Adam teaching an after-school club to keep kids off the streets- it was very Dangerous Minds. "That's amazing," he said, and meant it. "So that's after school hours…and in the mornings you're a part-time dad?" Kurt nodded at the toddler, who had fallen asleep.
Adam cocked his head and gave Kurt a curious look. "A part-time…?" he started, and then the penny dropped. "No, no, this is Clementine, my niece. My sister's staying over for a few days. She wanted a morning to herself to go souvenir-shopping so I offered to take Clem to the park," he explained quickly. "You thought-…?" He blushed a little and straightened his beanie.
Kurt was suddenly very interested in his own shoes. He shrugged, feeling both relieved and embarrassed. "She does look like you," he mumbled.
"Does she? My mum will be pleased," Adam said, "she's always saying Clem looks like her dad and that if she hadn't seen Samantha give birth with her own eyes she would have sworn there's nothing of Crawford in her." He gave Kurt a conspiratorial look. "Needless to say my mum isn't too fond of the guy. You know, with him being an American and all that."
"Oh, she doesn't like Americans?" Kurt asked to keep the conversation going while his head was still trying to keep up. Adam did not have a daughter after all!
"Just the usual prejudices," Adam said. "Of course it doesn't help that her favourite -and only- son moved here." He rolled his eyes a little before looking back at Kurt. "She did always like you, though," he added, his nonchalant tone contradicting the spark in his eyes.
Kurt wasn't sure was to say. Before he could think of anything, Adam continued. "You know, Kurt, I do have a confession to make. No other kids either, don't worry-" he joked, "But um. The reason I didn't go to the UK was that I always kind of kept hoping that you'd change your mind about us. And I wanted to be here when you did." The look he gave Kurt was completely open. He wasn't waiting for his words to have some kind of effect, wasn't expecting anything from Kurt but his attention. "I know it sounds a little pathetic, but I just thought, maybe, if I stuck around…" He hesitated.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Kurt asked quietly. "I thought you had gone."
Adam shrugged. "I didn't want to push you. I know what you went through with Blaine and I just figured…you had your reasons for breaking up with me. But-" He fished a battered-looking phone from his pocket with one hand, "I did keep my number."
Kurt winced. Never in those four years had he even tried to contact Adam by phone- he had just assumed that with him in England, the number would be dead. "I'm sorry. I didn't know." He wasn't sure if he would have called if he did. Maybe until now, until seeing him with someone else's kid, Kurt never realised he still missed him.
Adam shook his head. "It's fine, Kurt. Really." He paused and seemed to study Kurt for a moment, as if trying to make up his mind. "You know, my drama class is putting on a little show this weekend, we're doing James and the Giant Peach. Maybe, if you want- I mean, you don't have to, obviously, but if you feel like coming…that would be lovely. You could, um- bring your boyfriend if you like." Adam looked hesitantly hopeful.
"I can't," Kurt blurted out, and saw Adam's face shift smoothly to a mask of resignation. "I mean, I can't bring my boyfriend. I'm single." He looked at Adam and Clementine and suddenly felt meeting them here today had been a sign. "I'd love to come."
Adam beamed a smile at him. "You won't regret it. My kids are amazing. And we have this whole paper-maché peach set up on stage and everything." As he continued telling Kurt about the play and his students, enthusiasm shining from every detail, Kurt just watched him and knew. It might have taken him four years of independence and the scare of having lost his chance to see it, but this was the man he wanted to raise a family with.