Title: Kindred Spirits
Written by: Katerinaki
Published: October 2, 2011
Summary: "We call them Kindred Spirits". A look into the lives of Kurt and Blaine through the eyes of their son, Emmet Anderson-Hummel.
Notes: The inspiration for this one-shot came from a song called "Kindred Spirits" sung by Emmet Cahill of Celtic Thunder. I highly recommend looking it up. Also the version of the song sung in this one-shot is performed by Simone. Again, I recommend looking it up on YouTube. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this and please leave a review and tell me how I did.
The room buzzed with conversation. There were so many people here; Emmet just couldn't believe how many. They were all here for his parents, his fathers, Kurt and Blaine. Emmet knew his fathers were important to a lot of people, but he'd never understood just how many lives they'd touched in theirs until all of them were gathered in the same reception hall, dressed in their best. They all waited patiently. It was time for Emmet to get up and do his duty as Kurt and Blaine's son. He had to give a speech about his fathers. It had been one of the hardest things he'd ever had to do. What to say about two with such strength, such pride, such love? Emmet hadn't been able to put his feelings on paper, so he was hoping that somehow, inspiration would strike. He owed it to both of them.
"Emmet, are you okay?" asked his wife, Anna. She'd been invaluable in the last few weeks to him and even now, as she sat by his side, one hand resting on his shoulder, lending him her own strength that reminded him so much of his father Kurt's. Emmet was sure it was part of what drew him to her in the first place.
Emmet nodded. "Yes."
He stood, determined now. "Can I have you attention, please?"
The room fell silent readily enough. As Emmet looked out over the crowd he spotted some of his fathers' old friends. There was Uncle Finn and Aunt Rachel at one of the front tables, smiling up at him encouragingly, surrounded by his two cousins and their children. The next table over held his surrogate "aunt", Mercedes and her own children and grandchildren. She nodded to him, silently telling him 'you can do this, you're strong'. He gave her his own nod of thanks before looking out over the crowd.
"Thank you all for coming. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see all of the people my fathers have touched through their lives. But I guess it's been a long time!"
There were a few chuckles from around the room at the little joke.
"Jeez, I can't tell you how many times I've tried to write this speech. All of you who know me know I'm terrible at public speaking. You'll have to forgive me for how unpolished this is going to be. I'm sort of making it up as I go.
"I guess the best place to start is at the beginning, though. Plenty of you here know this story; you witnessed it whereas I obviously, uh, didn't. But you've all told me this story plenty of times before…"
Kurt hurried down the stairs, caught up in the flow of Dalton students, a bit overwhelmed and clutching his bag close to him. Whatever he'd expected when he'd been "sent to spy", it hadn't been this. He didn't have a clue where he was going or even what was happening. For all he knew, Dalton students usually hurried at top speed down stairs en masse. Without really thinking, he grabbed the next boy that passed in front of him.
"Oh, excuse me. Hi, can I ask you a question? I'm new."
The other boy with dark hair, slicked back, smiled, friendly. "My name's Blaine."
"Kurt," he replied. "So what exactly is going on?"
"The Warblers," Blaine replied. "Every now and then they throw an impromptu concert in the Senior commons. Tends to shut the school down for a while."
Kurt looked surprised, "So wait, the glee club here is kind of…cool?"
"The Warblers are like rock stars," Blaine enthused. "Come on, I know a shortcut."
Blaine took Kurt's hand and pulled him down off the steps and then down a side hallway, away from the flood of students. It was all a whirlwind, but Kurt felt Blaine's hand on his, the constant as they raced through various rooms, finally making it to the Warblers concert.
"Oh, I stick out like a sore thumb," Kurt murmured, looking around at all the blue blazers and striped ties and feeling very much a flamingo in a flock of geese.
"Next time don't forget your jacket, new kid. You'll fit right in," Blaine joked. "Now if you'll excuse me…"
"I guess if there's one thing you can say about my fathers, they loved to sing. So, I guess it's appropriate that the first time they met was practically a serenade, even if it was to the 'enemy'. After that, Kurt was hooked, even if it took Blaine a while to realize what was right in front of him. But, I guess he's not the most observant person."
There were more chuckles, this time from the old "Warblers" section, where Blaine's old Dalton friends sat. Wes and David exchanged a knowing grin, both remembering watching the back and forth between Kurt and Blaine. Kurt had been head-over-heels and Blaine had been clueless, as usual. At the time it had been amusing and a bit frustrating. Looking back it was endearing.
"They dated through high school and college, two of the 'lucky ones'. When it finally came to move to New York and fulfill their dreams, well, they soon found out just how broke they were…"
"What about this one?" Blaine asked, pointing to a posting on Craig's List for an apartment. They'd been scouring the web for some place they could rent together in New York. It was harder than it sounded. Their first couple years had been fine in the dormitories, but Kurt and Blaine's dream involved being together, getting an apartment, maybe in the Village, pursuing their dreams.
Kurt looked at the posting, eyes meticulously scanning everything that had been put up. "Mark it down. We'll check it out."
Kurt slashed out the fifth listing as he marched down the street, frustrated. He'd had a day of open houses at various apartments but they still didn't have a place they would be living next year. Every place was either a complete dive or well beyond their modest means. Kurt's dad had offered to help them pay some of their rent, but Kurt had so far refused. He didn't want to take money from his father and stepmother, no matter how much it would help.
Kurt tromped into the familiar café where Blaine worked, sitting down in his usual spot in the corner near the counter, going through his listings again. Maybe if they didn't eat out at all…
"Grande, non-fat Mocha." Kurt looked up as Blaine set the coffee in front of his boyfriend and took the seat across from Kurt. Kurt looked him up and down; he always looked adorable at work, dressed in his coffee shop apron, and Kurt loved the way he smelled when he was done, like coffee beans and pastries.
"Hello, don't you have work?"
"Jen's giving me a five-minute break."
"Ah yes, the manager who just can't seem to understand 'I'm gay'."
"You're amused by it, don't pretend to be jealous."
Kurt shrugged, sipping at the coffee, glad for the warmth. In early spring, New York was still freezing.
"So I take it the apartment hunt hasn't been going well?"
"How can you tell?"
"Just my intuition about you. I've been your boyfriend for just over three years now, I think I know you."
"Fair enough. And no, it's not going well."
"Is there anything I can do? What's the problem?"
Kurt sighed, shaking his head. "We just can't really afford any of them. At least, not somewhere that doesn't have blood stains on the floor and cracked windows."
"Well, what if I picked up a few more hours? I'm sure Jen would oblige—"
But Kurt was already shaking his head. "Between both our schedules and work I hardly see you already. And you still need to pass your courses."
Blaine looked thoughtful, "I might have a solution. Meet me at my dorm tonight around 7."
That night Kurt arrived at the familiar dormitory on NYU's campus. He'd been there plenty of times before and was even fairly decent friends with Blaine's roommate, Charlie. When Charlie had first figured out that Blaine was gay he'd been awkward around the two, typically leaving whenever Kurt came over until Blaine finally sat him down and talked to him about it. After that they'd been fine and had even joined Charlie and his own girlfriend on a few outings.
Charlie was the one who answered the door. "Hey, Kurt. Come on in, Blaine will be back in a few minutes."
"Okay…" Kurt stepped in and pulled his coat off, hanging it over the post of Blaine's bed where Blaine's jacket usually hung, but was currently gone. He took a seat on his boyfriend's neatly made bed, a habit left over from Dalton, settling in for the wait.
"I heard you've been having trouble finding an apartment for next year," Charlie commented.
"Yes. Everything's just really expensive."
Charlie laughed. "Welcome to New York City."
The dormitory door opened and Blaine entered, flushed from the cold but smiling excitedly. "Hey!" he greeted Charlie and then spotted Kurt. "Sorry I'm late." He unraveled his scarf and tossed it and his jacket on the end of the bed before leaning in to give Kurt a brief, chaste kiss. That was one of Charlie and Blaine's rules, that the room stays PG-13.
"Where were you?" Kurt asked, curious.
"Solving all of our problems," he replied. "When you came in today you reminded me of one of my customers, Jake Wells, who is a graduating senior. I went to talk to him and he has agreed to pass the rent for his apartment on to us. It's a great place, just a few blocks from campus and Jake's uncle owns it and is going to rent it to us really cheap. Well within our budget."
"You mean—wait, have you been there?"
"I was just there now. Furniture won't be included, but it's nice. It has a bedroom and a living room/kitchen and a bathroom and it's in good shape."
Blaine paused, waiting for Kurt to say something, but Kurt just stared at him. "Kurt?"
His boyfriend threw his arms around Blaine's shoulders and planted a deep kiss on his lips.
"Whoa! PG-13, PG-13!" Charlie protested when the kiss went a little too far.
Blaine broke away with a laugh. "Does that mean we'll take it?"
"Well I'll have to check it out myself, but I think we should be alright. Have I told you that you are the most amazing boyfriend any guy could have?"
"I could always hear it again."
"You are. Thank you, Blaine, I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Well it was sort of self-serving of me. I mean, I couldn't have you pulling your perfect hair out. Then how would I do this?" He ran his fingers through Kurt's meticulously styled hair, much to the other boy's annoyance.
"Are you ready?" Blaine asked, releasing Kurt's hand to unlock the door to their new apartment. Well, "new" pertaining to them.
"Absolutely," Kurt replied, hitching the box he was carrying up higher on his hip. Blaine turned the key, unlocking the door and pushed it inward. The apartment beyond was completely empty, sunlight shining across the slightly creaky wooden floor through the window overlooking the street below. It didn't look like much. It was small and would be cramped, but the smile couldn't be wiped from Kurt's face. It was their apartment, his and Blaine's.
Blaine stepped inside, taking Kurt's hand and looking around, a smile on his face. "Welcome home, Kurt."
"It was difficult, but they made it work, through college and beyond graduation. Kurt landed a role in an off-Broadway show and Blaine had gigs around the city, in restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. They were still broke, but they had each other. They were about as close as close could be.
"They got married on October 8th, and my dad Blaine always said it was one of the best days of his life, second only to the day Kurt actually said 'yes'. It wasn't until a few years later that I came into the picture…"
Kurt looked up from the script he'd been memorizing as a glass of wine came into his view. His handsome husband smiled down at him with the same smile that had made Kurt's heart flutter when they'd first met. It still did as Kurt reached up and took the offered glass. Blaine sat down on the couch next to him, pulling Kurt's stretched out legs into his lap.
"What's this for?" Kurt asked, holding up his glass.
Blaine shook his head. "No reason. I can't share a bottle of wine with my husband?"
"Of course you can. I just know how much of a drinker you are."
Blaine sighed, chuckling. "Alright, you caught me. Can we talk about something?"
Kurt searched Blaine's expression and then set the script aside before shifting in closer to his husband, snuggling into Blaine's shoulder. Blaine draped one arm over Kurt's, hugging him closer. "What's on your mind?"
Blaine nodded. "I know we've talked about this before, and we agreed that it wasn't the right time, but I wanted to ask your opinion again. What do you think about kids?"
Kurt stiffened and then pulled away, meeting Blaine's hazel eyes. They were uncertain and pleading, but serious; Blaine genuinely wanted to have this conversation again. It was one they'd had before they'd gotten married, and both had agreed that they were just too young for children at the time and both had their own dreams they wanted to fulfill before they started a family. But that was six years ago and their circumstances had been different. They were just getting started on their own, working two jobs apiece and trying to make ends meet. Blaine had been working nights as a bartender in between gigs and daytime at the coffee shop. Kurt had been trying to make it onto Broadway and at the same time, work as a retail salesman. They hadn't had the time to raise a child and they hadn't had the means to support a family.
But that was six years ago. Their financial situation was more stable now. Blaine was right, it was time to have this talk again.
"What are your thoughts?" Kurt asked, and Blaine looked extraordinarily relieved.
"I was thinking of an adoption," he replied. "There are so many kids out there who were orphaned or abandoned. I like the idea of being able to give even one of them the home they deserve. What about you?"
Kurt thought for a moment and nodded. "I think I'd like that idea too."
"Kurt and Blaine adopted me when I was three, and the general consensus is that I was a menace. I wouldn't know, though, I don't remember those times. My earliest memories are of little things, but they stay with me even today."
"Daddy, can we make a dinosaur one?" Emmet asked, waving the plastic cookie cutter in the air.
"But we're making Christmas cookies, Emmet," Kurt replied as he pressed out a Christmas tree shape.
Emmet frowned, wrinkling his flour-covered nose. "But I wanted to make Daddy Blaine a dinosaur one, like in the movie!"
Kurt rolled his eyes but laughed. Blaine had shown Emmet the Disney Dinosaur movie the week before and since then the five year-old had been obsessed with dinosaurs of every shape and size. His favorite was Aladar, though. "Okay, you can make Daddy Blaine one dinosaur cookie. Pick which one you want."
Emmet frowned into the tin of cookie cutters before coming up with a brachiosaurus cookie cutter. "This one! It's like Baylene! Look it's got a really long neck!"
"Yes it does. Do you want to press it into the dough?"
"Uh huh!" Kurt guided Emmet's hand to the free area of dough just below the Christmas tree he'd just made and then helped him press the shape into the dough.
"Look, there it is!" Emmet exclaimed.
"Good job!" Kurt congratulated, giving Emmet a quick hug and planting a kiss on his soft, brown hair. "Let's do some more."
They pressed out cookies until all the dough was used up and then decorated them with sprinkles and colored sugar before Kurt put them in the oven.
"When is Daddy Blaine getting home?" Emmet asked as he anxiously watched his brachiosaurus cook in the oven.
"In a little while. Don't worry; I'm sure they will be done before he gets home."
"I want to give him Baylene right when he gets home."
"Well I'll have to get through the door first."
Emmet whipped around and his expression lit up instantaneously. "Daddy!" He sprinted across the kitchen, cookies forgotten and Blaine was able to set his bag down just in time to catch his son as he collided.
"Oof! Emmet! I take it you're happy to see me?"
"Daddy, me and Daddy Kurt made Christmas cookies! Some of them are going to be for Santa, but I made one just for you! Come on, look!" He towed his father across the room and Blaine shrugged at Kurt, laughing as he mouthed a brief "hello". Emmet pulled him down so that Blaine was eye-level with the oven window like Emmet.
"Look, right there, that's the one that I made for you. It's like Baylene, from the dinosaur movie!"
"Oh yeah, it is," Blaine agreed, pulling Emmet onto his free knee as he crouched down at the oven window. "Do you remember what kind of dinosaur Baylene was?"
Emmet knit his eyebrows together, thinking hard and Kurt almost laughed at how much he looked like Blaine in that moment. "A br-ack-e-i-oh-soar-us," Emmet answered.
"That's right, a brachiosaurus." Blaine patted Emmet on the shoulder and planted a short kiss on the top of his head before standing up with a groan.
"I thought you were going to be in the studio all day?" Kurt asked.
Blaine shrugged. "We finished up early. It's Christmas Eve, I wanted to be here." He stepped forward and kissed Kurt once on the forehead, the nose, and finally the mouth. "Did I tell you that I love you today?"
"Hm, well then I love you."
"I love you too."
"Ewww!" Emmet exclaimed. Kurt and Blaine just laughed at their son's comical expression.
"Music was always a big part of our house. Both my fathers loved to sing, but Blaine was always the one to sing me a lullaby at night when I was too rowdy to go to bed. He'd take me to my room and tuck me into bed…"
Blaine crawled up onto the small bed and leaned back against the headboard next to Emmet, one arm around the boy's shoulders, running fingers through his hair. "So what do you want to hear tonight?" he asked.
"The one about the star," Emmet replied, already looking sleepy just from the gentle, soothing motion of Blaine's fingers through his hair.
"'The one about the star'. Let me see if I can remember that.
"The second star to the right,Shines in the night for you.To tell you that the dreams you plan,Really can come true.The second star to the right,Shines with a light that's rare.And if it's Never Land you need,It's light will lead you there.Twinkle, twinkle little star,So I'll know where you are.Gleaming in the skies above,Lead me to the one who loves me.And when you bring him my way,Each time we say 'Goodnight'.We'll thank the little star that shines,The second from the right."
Before Blaine even finished the song, Emmet was asleep, his breathing soft into Blaine's chest. He extricated himself from his son expertly and then tucked the boy into his blankets. Emmet shifted a little, but otherwise remained asleep. Blaine just stood there for a moment, just watching. He looked so peaceful. Blaine always though Emmet looked just like Kurt when he slept, even though he wasn't biologically related to either of them.
"'The Second Star to the Right', hm?" Kurt murmured from the doorway, where he'd been watching the whole scene with a gentle smile on his face.
"Modified," Blaine admitted.
Kurt chuckled lightly. "You're such a Disney fanatic, and you're turning him into one too. Next thing we'll know, he'll want to go to Disney World."
"What kid doesn't?" Blaine chuckled.
"Mm," was Kurt's reply as he sauntered forward. Blaine wrapped his husband in his arms and they both just stood there, watching their handsome little boy.
"I guess this is a time that makes all the other stuff worth it," Blaine whispered into Kurt's ear.
"I think so," Kurt agreed.
"Come on, before we wake him."
Kurt gave a little snort. "That boy would sleep through a bomb going off. He's just like his father that way."
"Surely you mean you and not me," Blaine retorted.
"You know exactly who I mean , Blaine Warbler."
Blaine groaned softly. "Not that again!" But he still kissed his husband and followed him out of his son's room, closing the door until there was only a crack of light in the room. "Sleep well, son."
"But the biggest thing I could say about my fathers, is that they taught me how to be proud of who I was. The first text message Blaine ever send Kurt had one word in it. 'Courage'. It became sort of a family core. Courage and confidence in yourself. I remember in high school, when I was being picked on because I had two fathers. It wasn't until I started going to public school did I understand that not everybody had two dads. After I found out, I began to feel sorry for them, because I had two fathers, and they only had one, or perhaps didn't have one at all. In high school, though, was when the bullying started."
"Where ya goin', fag?" growled one of the rather large football boys as they shoved Emmet up against the chain link fence around the school's basketball courts. Emmet was able to cushion the guitar his Dad Blaine had given him as a birthday present three years ago from the majority of the impact. He'd just been using the empty basketball court as his own place to play during his free period.
"I'm just going to class, no need to start anything," Emmet replied simply.
"Oh yeah? Well maybe we want to start something. Maybe we don't like fags."
"Well that's your decision to make, but I'm not gay, so if you'll excuse me—"
The football player shoved Emmet again, backing him into the fence. "Your dads are fags, and that makes you a fag too."
"Please stop saying that. It's rude."
"Fag? Fag, fag, fag, fag, fag. What are you going to do about it?"
Emmet sat in the nurses' office, an ice pack on his lip where the football jerk had split it. Although, Emmet had thrown the first punch, and managed to give the jock a nice bruise on his cheek, it had really only taken one, crushing blow to send Emmet to the ground. The football players had kicked him and taunted him, calling him "fairy" and "girly boy". After a while when Emmet didn't respond they got bored and left , though not before picking up his guitar and chucking it across the basketball court.
"I've called your father, Emmet," the school nurse told him. "He should be here in a little while."
"Which one?" Emmet asked.
Emmet groaned. Of the two of his dads, Kurt was the more high-strung. Emmet cringed at the thought of having to explain that he'd gotten into a fight with some jocks, but he'd been the one to throw the first punch. It had just pissed him off, though, those ignorant baboons calling him and his fathers homophobic slurs. Emmet knew that he had a temper, and usually he was able to rein it in like his Dad Blaine. But not this time.
It wasn't just Kurt who came, but Blaine as well.
"Both of you are here?" Emmet groaned.
Kurt immediately moved to his son, examining the swollen lip. "What happened?"
"I got into a fight," Emmet muttered.
"About what?" Kurt asked.
"These assholes were calling me a 'fag'. And you guys too."
"Language," Blaine scolded, but he exchanged a glance with Kurt. Emmet had long ago realized that his fathers could basically communicate telepathically. They only needed a quick glance before they both knew what the other was going to do. It was almost impossible to get them on two separate pages, and Emmet had tried on numerous occasions in order to get things he wanted. It had never worked.
"Emmet, I know what those bullies did was wrong," Blaine said. "But what you did was wrong too. You put yourself on their level by fighting. Prejudice is just ignorance, Emmet."
"I couldn't just stand there and let them call you 'fags'."
"Who cares what they say?" Blaine replied. "Do you think your Dad Kurt or I care about what a bunch of high school Neanderthals call us?" He shot a quick wink at Kurt.
"I still can't just stand by and let them do whatever they want," Emmet insisted. "I'll just get beat up, like today."
"What do we always tell you, Emmet?" Kurt asked.
"Courage," Emmet replied without hesitation.
"Courage and confidence in yourself. I realize it's difficult, but I'm going to tell you something your father told me once." He sat down on the stool across from Emmet, meeting eye-to-eye, blue-grey to warm brown. "You can refuse to be the victim, Emmet. Your father is right. Prejudice is just ignorance. Both of us have dealt with prejudice before and we both refused to be the victims. You can choose to either continue to let whatever the other boys say make you angry and get you into fights, or you can chose to show yourself as the better man, confident in himself. If they see that their words have no effect on you, then they won't both you. If you refuse to be the victim, they can't touch you."
Emmet sighed, nodding, but Blaine, ever perceptive of his son, noticed all wasn't quite right. "What's up? Emmet, what's wrong?"
"You know how I'm not gay like you and dad, how I'm straight?"
"Yes, and that's perfectly fine."
"Yeah, but the other kids don't really understand that. They all think I'm gay too"
"And it affects you."
"I know it shouldn't, like you said, but it does. None of the girls will even look my direction because they all think I play for the other team."
To Emmet's surprise, Blaine laughed and Kurt joined in with a softer chuckle.
"You don't have to worry about that just yet, son," Blaine told him, clapping him on the shoulder. "Don't worry, when the time comes, the girls will be falling all over each other to get to you."
"Of course they were right. When the time came, I met this beautiful woman right here." Emmet reached down and took his wife's hand, briefly giving it a soft squeeze.
"My dads made me into the man I am today and through the years they were my role models. From them I learned how to be a man, how to be confident in myself, and most of all, I learned to love unconditionally and unwaveringly. There wasn't a day in my childhood when I didn't know my fathers loved each other. And even now, 50 years later, there still isn't."
Emmet turned down the table to where both his fathers sat, smiling, holding one another's hand and looking every bit the loving couple that they looked 50 years before. They were older and their love had changed, but never dimmed.
"Happy 50th Anniversary, dads," Emmet called. "To Kurt and Blaine, kindred spirits for eternity!"
"To Kurt and Blaine!" echoed the crowd, toasting their good friends before applauding the valiant effort on Emmet's part. Emmet sat down, grinning as Blaine clapped him on the shoulder.
"Good speech for making it up as you go, son," he commented.
Kurt nodded. "Except next time, maybe try not to make it sound like we died or something."
Blaine laughed. "You can't get rid of us that easily!"