It was around half twelve in the afternoon and the Hummel men were waiting for the doctor to discharge Kurt. It had been a couple of hours since the doctor had said Kurt was ready to leave.
The doctor walked into the room, clutching some papers in his hand, and smiled at the father and son, "Here you are as promised. I hold in my hand Kurt's discharge papers."
"Thank you so much," replied Burt as he gave his son's hand a squeeze, "We're so happy he can go home for Christmas."
The doctor smiled and nodded, "That is something to be happy about. Are you looking forward to going home Kurt?"
Kurt gave a small smile, "Yes I can't wait to get out of this hospital and go home."
Burt smiled at his son, hoping this was the truth and Kurt wasn't just saying it in front of the doctor.
"I just need the two of you to sign these forms and then you are free to go," Doctor Harrison informed them, gesturing to the papers.
"That's it?" Burt questioned, wanting to be thorough, "We're free to walk out in a few minutes?"
The doctor smiled, "Once the papers have been signed I will go and process them. A nurse will return with a wheelchair and you will be able to leave. I believe the nurse said she would call you a cab so you'll have one waiting for you when you leave."
"Wow that's nice of her, eh Kurt?" Burt said, nudging his son slightly who nodded back at him.
The doctor observed the two of them for a moment before stepping forward, "Can I just ask? Kurt do you feel okay to leave hospital?"
Burt frowned at Doctor Harrison, "What do you mean? Is he not ready to leave? I thought you said he was!"
"No Mr Hummel, Kurt is ready to leave," the doctor quickly said to calm his patient's father, "I'm only asking because Kurt might not feel that he is emotionally ready to leave. He will be taking a huge step by going home. He also might not feel physically ready to leave despite what his chart says."
Both Doctor Harrison and Burt Hummel turned to look at the frail teenage boy lying in the hospital bed.
Kurt swallowed before stating, "I am ready to leave. I may be feeling nervous to go home but I know I have to do it sometime. I can't stay here forever Doctor. I do feel well enough to leave hospital."
Burt let out a sigh of relief. The fear that his son was secretly in pain and didn't feel well enough to leave had suddenly struck him hard. He thanked God that his son felt like he was well enough to leave and head home.
The doctor smiled at Kurt, "Okay then. That's good to hear. Right now down to business. Here are the discharge forms. If you'd like to sign here please?"
Burt took the papers and a pen from Doctor Harrison and quickly scanned through them. He knew it wouldn't be a scam of any kind but he just wanted to check. He could be signing away his son for all he knew. Kurt had always joked about when he had bought songs on iTunes. He had told his Dad he never read the terms and conditions but had always wondered what they said. He had apologised to his father in advance if Apple turned up one day and told them they owned his house. Burt had laughed at his son's logic and had told him that they wouldn't let Apple take the house. Everything seemed normal with the discharge papers so Burt signed his name and wrote the date next to the parent or guardian section. He crossed out the word 'guardian' and circled the word 'parent'. He passed the papers and pen to his son who just looked at them. Kurt slowly took a deep breath and picked up the pen. His right hand was bandaged up so it was difficult for him to hold the pen. He did the best he could without hurting himself and signed his name next to the patient section. Kurt winced a couple of times as he moved his hand in an unfamiliar way and aggravated the cuts or bruises he had. He glanced at his father's writing to see the date and wrote the date himself. It was five days before Christmas. Kurt wondered if the holiday cheer would make it easier to go home or whether it would plunge him into a deeper depression than the one he was already in. Kurt put the lid back on the pen and handed it back to the doctor, followed by his discharge papers. He just wanted to get out of hospital. It was a constant reminder of what had happened to him.
The doctor smiled at the father and his son, "Thank you very much gentlemen. The nurse will be in to disconnect Kurt from all his tubes and wires. You'll be given some privacy for Kurt to get changed and when you are ready, press the bell for the nurses and one of them will bring a wheelchair for young Kurt here."
Burt stood up and shook Doctor Harrison's hand, "Thank you for everything Doctor."
"You're welcome," the doctor replied before turning to Kurt, "You've been a great patient Kurt but I hope I never see you again. Now all of your details has been sent to the hospital in Lima so if you decide to have surgery on your scar, all you have to do is tell your doctor there and it'll all be sorted for you. You'll be going there for check-ups and will be looked after there. Do you have any questions?"
Kurt shook his head, "Thank you Doctor Harrison."
The doctor smiled at Kurt, "You're welcome Kurt. Well I'll leave you two alone and a nurse will be along in a moment. Goodbye Mr Hummel. Goodbye Kurt. Take care."
Doctor Harrison left the room, taking the discharge papers with him. Kurt laid back in his bed and closed his eyes. Soon he would be out of there.
Burt Hummel stretched before looking down at his son lying peacefully, "Kurt? I'm just going into the bathroom to get changed. I won't be too long okay kiddo?"
Burt saw his son give a nod, his eyes still closed, so quickly looked through his bag and pulled out some new clothes as well as his wash bag. He needed to freshen up. Burt was looking forward to getting out of that hospital. He had hated hospital since he had lost his wife. He hated the long waits and the memory of his wife dying in a hospital bed. He had been terrified he would have the same memory of Kurt dying but thankfully Kurt was slowly getting better and was able to leave the hospital.
Burt headed towards the bathroom and locked the door after himself. He quickly had a wash in the sink and got changed into some fresh clothes. He applied his deodorant and glanced in the mirror at his stubble. That would have to wait until he was home. He hadn't really had the opportunity to shave so he couldn't be blamed. Burt picked up his dirty clothes, unlocked the door and went back into his son's hospital room. As he was walking back into the room, Teresa the nurse was walking in.
"Hello you two," the nurse said happily, "I believe it's time for you to go home Kurt."
Kurt couldn't help but smiled at the nurse's happiness, "That's right. I've just got to be free from these machines."
The nurse chuckled at the boy's words, "That's why I'm here. Just give me a moment."
Kurt laid still as Teresa unhooked him from all the wires and tubes attached to his body. He had worked out what they had all been for. He just stared at the ceiling, waiting for it to be over.
Eventually the nurse was finished, "All done Kurt. Just give me a buzz when you need me and I'll bring the wheelchair round."
Burt walked forward as his son slowly pulled the covers of him and swung his legs to the side.
"Do you need the toilet son?" Burt asked, not knowing how to start.
Kurt nodded, "Can you help me?"
Burt quickly went to his son's side and helped him to his feet. Burt allowed his son to lean on him and use him as support as they slowly walked towards the bathroom. Occasionally Kurt had to pause as he was in pain or he would want to slow down. Burt helped Kurt over to the toilet before stepping outside the door to allow his son some privacy while he used the toilet. Kurt felt strong enough to stand over the toilet as he rid his body of urine. When he was finished, he slowly made his way over to the sink and washed his hands while being careful of his bandaged hands, ignoring his own reflection in the mirror.
"Dad I'm done," Kurt called, his voice not sounding very loud.
Burt opened the door and smiled at his son, "Do you want some help washing in here?"
"How did you wash?" Kurt asked, wanting to leave the hospital as soon as possible.
"I had a quick wash in the sink," his father replied, "I'll have a shower tonight at home."
Kurt nodded, "I'll just do that Dad. The sooner I'm ready the sooner we can leave."
Burt smiled gently at his son, "You're right Kurt. Right do you need help?"
The young Hummel shook his head, "I'll just need my toiletries."
Burt quickly went and retrieved his son's wash bag from his bag, before placing it on the sink next to his son, "I'll just be out here if you need me. I'll have a look what I've got for you to wear."
Kurt nodded before taking a deep breath and looking at his reflection. He had already seen it earlier that morning but it was still a shock every time he looked at himself. He heard his Dad leave the room and shut the door. Kurt slowly pulled the hospital gown off and used the flannel he had to wash his body. He moved the cloth slowly as he didn't want to cause further aggravation or pain. After he was done, Kurt picked up another cloth and turned on the hot water tap. He let the water hit the cloth before he brought it up to his face. He slowly and carefully washed his face, wincing a couple of times. He hated how sharp his cheekbones felt but there was nothing he could do at the present moment. Kurt rinsed out the cloth before putting back in his wash bag. He smiled slightly at the sight of one of his hairsprays that he had constantly used before he had been taken. Kurt used the hairbrush to sort out his hair. He hadn't brushed his hair in about seven months. He used a tiny amount of hairspray to give his hair some sort of style but left it like that. He would have plenty of time to sort out his hair. Kurt put all his belongings back into his bag and looked at himself in the mirror. He sighed at his reflection, hating how skinny and frail he looked; like he could be snapped in two so easily. He hated how much his ribs were sticking out. He hated the bruises and cuts on his body. He hated the scars on his arms that would always remind him of Thomas Manson. Kurt took a deep breath before putting his hospital gown back on. He grabbed his bag and slowly walked out of the bathroom, leaning on the wall occasionally. When he left the bathroom, his Dad jumped to his feet and helped Kurt back towards the bed. Kurt sat on the edge of the bed and glanced up at his father.
Burt gestured to some clothes on the chair, "You have a choice. You can either wear McKinley or Dalton sweatpants with a white T-shirt."
"I'll wear the Dalton ones," Kurt said, blushing slightly.
Burt guessed that they were Blaine's or at least used to be but didn't say anything. He passed his son a pair of boxers and turned his head away as Kurt put them on. Burt soon passed Kurt the sweatpants and helped him put them on as his hands were hurting. Burt helped to ease the hospital gown over his son's head and helped him put the T-shirt on, avoiding his hair. Burt had smiled at the sight of Kurt's hair as it reminded him of how his son took pride in how he styled his hair. He hoped that this meant the old Kurt was starting to appear. He basically put the socks on Kurt's feet before putting a pair of comfortable shoes on and tying the laces up. He helped Kurt to his feet and took a step back to look at his son. His mouth nearly dropped open but he caught himself just in time. The T-shirt looked enormous on Kurt and it looked like he was wearing his father's clothing. Even though Kurt was taller than Blaine, the sweatpants looked too big and kept falling down slightly as Kurt was too skinny for them. Burt just wanted to hold his son in his arms and cry for him.
Burt had to focus on something else, "I'll call for Nurse Teresa to come back as we're ready."
Burt pressed the call button before making sure the two men had everything from the hospital room. Kurt had sat back down on the edge of the bed and was just staring at his hands. Burt closed the zip on his bag and just looked at his poor son.
"Oh Kurt," Burt couldn't take it anymore. He pulled Kurt up gently and hugged his son as tight as possible without hurting him.
Kurt hugged his father back, relishing in the warmth. He had missed his father so much during the last seven months. This was their first proper hug since they had been reunited. Kurt had always been lying down before. The father and son clung to one another trying to keep their emotions in check.
"Oh how sweet!" A voice said which caused them to break apart slightly, "I have the wheelchair for Kurt here."
Burt leaned down and kissed his son's forehead, "I love you Kurt."
"I love you too Dad," Kurt replied, his voice cracking.
The nurse smiled at the scene and watched as the Hummels separated and Kurt was helped into his wheelchair. Burt picked up his bag and gestured to Teresa to go first. The nurse started wheeling Kurt out of the room and down the corridor, with his father walking behind them.
A thought suddenly occurred to Kurt, "Nurse Teresa, is Hayley Morris' body here?"
Burt and the nurse exchanged a panicked look and the nurse quickly asked, "Why do you ask Kurt?"
"I just wanted to know if I could say a final goodbye to Hayley before we go," Kurt replied, his voice sounding small.
"Okay… I'll have to go and talk to the doctors first. I'll wheel you to the waiting room and you can wait there while I ask for you," the nurse replied, knowing that was all she could say.
Kurt nodded and allowed himself to be wheeled to the waiting room. He wanted to say a final goodbye to his best friend before he left New York. She had saved his life. He was alive because of her.
Nurse Teresa parked him in the waiting room, "I'll be right back Kurt."
She quickly hurried out of the room and Burt took a seat on a comfy chair next to the wheelchair. He didn't understand why his son wanted to see Hayley's body. He had watched her die.
"Kurt?" Burt had to ask, "Why do you want to see her body?"
Kurt didn't look at his father, "She kept me sane during my time in hell. It was as if she was my guardian angel, always looking out for me. She died to save my life and I will always remember that. I'm alive because of her, Dad. I want to say a final goodbye before I leave New York. That's the least I could do."
Burt reached out and held his son's hand, "I understand son. If the doctors say you can't see her, we'll find another way for you to say goodbye."
Kurt finally looked at his father and smiled slightly, his eyes full of tears, "Thank you."
Burt squeezed his son's hand and the two of them sat in silence, waiting for the verdict.
Eventually Teresa came back followed by Officer Adams, "Kurt you are allowed in for two minutes. Normally this would not be allowed but in your circumstances the doctors and the police are willing to make an exception."
Burt stood up and picked up his bag as Teresa began to push Kurt out of the waiting room. Burt followed behind her along with Officer Adams. They made their way in silence along a few corridors and up a few floors in the elevator. Eventually they reached a door and Nurse Teresa typed in a code to get through. Teresa stopped Kurt outside of a door. Burt could see into the room as there was a large window. He guessed that bodies from murder inquiries were brought here and anyone who went into the room could be watched.
"Kurt we're here. Do you want to be wheeled in? And are you sure about this?" The nurse asked sympathetically, obviously worried about her soon-to-be former patient.
Kurt nodded, "I am sure. And yes please but could you leave me alone afterwards?"
"Of course," Teresa replied, "We'll all be watching out here if you need us."
The nurse opened the door into the room, once again typing in a code, and slowly wheeled Kurt in the room. She wheeled him close enough to the bed before retreating. Kurt took a deep breath and pulled himself out of the chair. He slowly walked up to the head of the bed and allowed himself to take in the view of Hayley Morris' dead body. He reached out and placed his hand over hers. He nearly withdrew his hand due to how cold she was but he managed to keep it there. He didn't have much time.
"Hey Hayley," Kurt said, not knowing how to start, "I can't believe you're not with me anymore. I always hoped that when the day came for us to be saved from that awful place… we'd always have each other. You were my angel in that hell. You always looked after me. You were my best friend Hayley and I loved you. You held me during the first nights I was there. I was terrified and didn't know what was happening. You let me cry on you and listened to what I had to say. You didn't care when I told you I was gay. You told me that it didn't matter who I loved as I was your best friend. You let me in and opened up to me. I will always cherish that. I don't know if I would survived if it hadn't been for you Hays. You kept me sane when my life was falling apart. You were the rock in my life and I will never forget that. I will never forget you. You were like a sister to me and you will always be an important part of my life. As much as I want to forget what happened to me, I could never forget you. I will never forget you. I love you so much Hayley. I can't believe what you did for me. You took your life to save me. You told me I deserved to go home as I had a family waiting for me. I can't believe how selfless you were. You gave your life for mine. I will always be in debt to you. I just wish you hadn't died as I would have you by my side after all of this… my sister. As you know… I don't believe in God but I know that if a heaven exists you are there right now. I know you are reunited with your family and so happy. If you see my Mum… she'll look after you. Please tell her I love her and I miss her. I miss you too. I hope you're happy Hayley. You truly deserve it."
Suddenly the door opened, "Kurt sweetie time's up."
Kurt sniffed and wiped away some of tears he didn't even notice falling, "Okay."
He turned to Hayley's body and leaned down and kissed her forehead, "Goodbye you sweet, sweet angel. I love you and will never forget you."
He moved away from Hayley's body and slumped back into his wheelchair. Teresa gave his shoulder a slight squeeze before wheeling him out of the room.
Burt Hummel had seen some heart breaking things but he didn't know if they were anymore heart breaking than watching his son say goodbye to his friend who had given her life for him. Kurt had wanted to say goodbye to his friend and Burt knew it was something Kurt had to do. When Kurt made his way next to his friend Hayley's body, Burt looked at the dead girl lying on the table. She looked so small in death. She also looked so peaceful; as if she was simply asleep. She looked around Kurt's age and had beautiful long red hair. Burt could see all the bruises and cuts over her body as well. He knew that it could have been Kurt lying dead on this bed. This girl had given her life for Kurt as she wanted Kurt to go home to his family. Burt owed this girl everything he had. He would never forget Hayley Morris.
Burt watched as Kurt kissed the girl on her forehead before getting back into his wheelchair. Teresa wheeled Kurt out of the room and shut the door behind them. He saw Kurt take one last look at Hayley through the window before he was wheeled away. Officer Adams nodded at them and headed in a different direction as he was no longer needed. No one said anything as they headed towards the main reception. Burt kept looking at his son to see how he was doing but Kurt just looking straight away, void of all emotion. Teresa wheeled Kurt right out of the hospital towards a cab waiting there.
Teresa helped Kurt out of the wheelchair, "Take care Kurt. I hope that you'll continue on this road of recovery."
"Thank you for everything Nurse Teresa," Kurt said quietly, sounding extremely tired.
The nurse smiled at him and said her goodbyes before wheeling the chair back into the hospital. Burt helped his son into the back of the cab.
"Where to mate?" the taxi driver asked as soon as they were seated.
"New York LaGuardia Airport please," Burt replied.
The driver started the engine and put the cab into drive before pulling away from the hospital. Burt wrapped his arm around his son and held him to him. Kurt rested his head against his father's chest and closed his eyes, losing himself in his father's embrace. Burt hoped that when they got to the airport there would be an available flight straight away as he didn't think it would be good for Kurt to be around so many people for a long time. He would try to get Kurt a window seat on the flight so he would only be seated next to his Dad. Burt hoped that Kurt would just sleep for most of the journey.
Burt glanced down at his son, "Are you okay kiddo?"
Kurt nodded, his eyes still closed, "Yeah. I'm glad I got to say goodbye to Hayley no matter how hard it was. I paid my respects."
Burt kissed the top of Kurt's head, "I know it was something you felt you needed to and I'm glad you got to say goodbye. I know it was hard but I'm so proud of you."
Kurt moved slightly closer to his Dad, "Thank you Dad. Thank you for everything."
Burt felt like his throat was closing up. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, not wanting to break down in the taxi. He had such an amazing son who he was so proud of. He had dealt with so much crap but had come through it all.
"You don't ever have to thank me son," Burt said holding his son close, still not able to fully believe that he was bringing his son home.
The rest of the journey was in silence, except for the taxi driver playing Christmas music. Burt had hoped that Kurt would sing along at all but Kurt had kept his mouth shut. He knew that it would be a long time before he heard Kurt sing.
Kurt opened his eyes and glanced out of the window. He should probably be looking at the sights of New York but he didn't care. Being excited to go to New York with the New Directions had been long ago. The place he had always dreamt about was tainted with what had happened to him. His eyes met with the taxi driver's in the rear view mirror. Suddenly it was déjà vu. Kurt had experienced this already. He recognised those eyes and the eyes seemed to recognise him. Kurt couldn't believe it. It was the taxi driver who had called the police.
"It's you," Kurt whispered, catching the attention of his father as well.
"Kurt Hummel," Jim Edwards said with a smile on his face, "Well it is good to see you're okay and safe."
Burt frowned at the taxi driver, "I'm sorry but who are you?"
"Dad this is the taxi driver who phoned the police," Kurt informed his Dad, just staring at the man driving the car. This man had helped to save him from that hell.
Jim smiled at Burt, "I'm guessing you're Kurt's father. My name is Jim Edwards and yeah… I phoned the police. I thought I recognised your son and I knew something wasn't right with how that man was acting so I phoned the police."
Burt just stared for a few minutes before he could finally speak, his voice breaking, "I can never thank you enough for what you did. You helped bring my son home to me."
Jim Edwards just smiled at the pair of them in his mirror, "I just did what anyone else would do."
Burt shook his head, "Not everyone would do that. I didn't know if I would ever see my son again but thanks to you, he's here now with me. Thank you Jim… thank you so much!"
Not long after the cab pulled up in front of the airport, "That'll be twenty eight dollars, eighteen cents please."
Burt untangled himself from his son and handed over fifty dollars, "Thank you very much. I can't thank you enough. Merry Christmas. Take care Jim."
The taxi driver smiled at the pair of them, "Thank you Sir. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Kurt you take care now."
Kurt smiled at Jim, unable to speak. He would forever be grateful to Jim Edwards the taxi driver who had given them a lift instead of their usual taxi driver who was too scared to phone the police.
Burt got out of the taxi and shut the door. He went round to Jim's side and shook his hand after Jim wound the window down. He hurried round to the other side and opened the door for Kurt. He helped Kurt out of the taxi before readjusting his bag. Burt took Kurt's hand in his and together they slowly made their way into the airport. It broke Burt's heart to see how terrified Kurt looked. He clung to his father as if he would disappear if he loosened his grip for a second.
Eventually they made their way to the main desk. Burt glanced at the clock on the wall to see it was almost half past two. He hoped there was a flight they could get on straight away as Kurt looked like he was going to pass out if he had to be around so many people much longer.
The woman behind the desk smiled at them, although she looked concerned when her eyes landed on Kurt, "Good afternoon. American Airlines here. How may I be of service?"
"Hi when is the next flight to Port Columbus International Airport please?" Burt asked, pleading slightly. He hoped the woman's concern for Kurt would help them get on a flight.
The woman checked her computer for a few moments, "There is one in twenty five minutes actually. You'd have to head straight to the gate however. I see you only have a carry-on bag so that saves some time. Two people flying?"
Burt nodded quickly and the woman continued to look on her computer. Kurt could see the woman giving him looks over the top of the computer.
"Names?" the woman asked as she continued to type.
"Burt Hummel and Kurt Hummel," the elder replied, hoping she wouldn't recognise their names.
The woman stopped for a moment and stared at the two of them, "Kurt Hummel? Kurt Hummel as in the boy that's been missing! Oh my God you've been found!"
Kurt moved closer to his Dad and clutched at his arm tightly, wishing the woman wasn't staring at me as if he was an animal in a zoo.
Burt saw his son's terrified look and stepped in front of him, "Look I just want to get my son home okay. Please can you just book us onto that flight to Ohio and we can head home?"
The woman looked from Burt to Kurt for a few moments before nodding, "I apologise. I'm thrilled to see Kurt's been found. I've been following the story since it happened. I have my own son and I wouldn't have known what to do if it happened to him."
Burt nodded, "It's okay but please can you book us on that flight?"
"Of course Mr Hummel," the woman replied as she typed in their names into the computer.
Burt pulled his credit card out of his wallet and handed it over to the woman. Burt knew it would be expensive as it was a last minute flight but he didn't care. His son was coming home. After a couple of minutes the tickets were booked and Burt and Kurt were free to head towards the gate.
"It's gate number eight. I would hurry to get there. I could get you a wheelchair for your son?" the woman asked, looking at Kurt sympathetically.
Burt shook his head, "We'll be fine thank you."
He took the tickets and boarding pass off the woman and thanked her. He took Kurt's hand once again and started to follow the signs to gate number eight.
After a short walk, Kurt yanked on his father's arm, "Dad it hurts to walk."
"How about I carry you?" Burt offered, knowing they didn't have that long.
Kurt didn't look happy about it but knew they had to get to the gate before it closed and they missed their flight. Burt gave Kurt the boarding passes to hold and hitched up the bag on his shoulder before slowly picking up his son and holding him to him. Kurt wrapped his arms around his father's neck as his Dad held him bridal style. Burt was instantly reminded of a time when Kurt was his sweet little boy who loved his Daddy picking him up. Burt moved swiftly throughout the airport, taking care not to hurt his son. Eventually they reached the gate and Burt put Kurt down.
"You okay buddy?" Burt asked and his son nodded in reply.
They had their boarding passes checked as they made their way through the gate. Once again Kurt was given a few weird looks. Burt hoped that none of the fellow passengers thought that he had done that to his son. He could never hurt his son. Burt just wanted to get his son home: back to where he belonged.
Kurt had never been happier to be in Ohio. He had always wanted to leave the state but after being locked in a filthy basement for seven months, it had really changed his perspective of the place he called home. Of course he was terrified to be there and didn't know what the future held for him, but he was in a familiar place with people there to support him. He was terrified of what people would say when they found out what happened to him. Kurt knew he had to stop his walls coming up and shutting people out. He had never been good with accepting help but he hoped this occasion would be different.
Kurt held his father's hand as he was slowly led out of Port Columbus International Airport. They had saved some time as they didn't have a bag to collect from baggage reclaim. He had received some looks as they made their way out of the airport. He had been confused by the attention he was getting and had been surprised when the woman at the LaGuardia Airport had known his name.
They headed towards the car park and Burt tried to remember where he had parked the car. He had been in such a rush to get to New York, he hadn't paid attention to much. Eventually Burt recognised whereabouts he had left the car and they headed in that direction. Once they reached the car, Burt unlocked it and helped his son into the car. He threw the bag in the back and hopped into the driver's seat. Burt started the car and drove out of the parking space, knowing the next time he stopped the car they would be home.
They had only been driving for a few minutes when Kurt spoke, "Dad… I've been wondering… how did that woman recognise my name? People have been looking at me and… well Jim Edwards said he recognised me when I got in the taxi. How is that possible?"
Burt just looked at his son before focusing on the road, "Kurt your story was in the news. Your name and your picture was all over the news when you went missing. The police were searching for you kiddo. It attracted a lot of attention. When a child goes missing and they aren't found straight away, people always wonder what happened to them. For example, I heard of a story where a British girl called Madeline McCann went missing several years ago and is still missing. People want to know what's happening. The woman at the airport said she followed your story and many other people would have done the same. That taxi driver Jim Edwards heard on the radio about you moments before you were in his taxi. I will forever be grateful to that man. I can't believe it now. I know also when I was running for Congressman and that was being reported, your name was always mentioned. It also could be because you have bruises on your face that people are looking son."
Burt threw a smile at his son and Kurt smile weakly back.
"I was all over the news?" Kurt asked, sounding surprised.
Burt just raised his eyebrows, "Kurt you are my son and you were grabbed off the streets of New York. Of course I was going to spread the word and hope that it would help to you being found. It actually did help. I wasn't just going to sit by and just wait to see if I saw you again. I had to take action. I had to do everything possible for you to come home. There will probably be an update about you being found but there won't be much detail about what happened to you as you are a minor. People will just know you're back with your old Dad."
"I love you Dad," Kurt whispered, tears leaking out of his eyes.
Burt gave his son's knee a gentle squeeze, "I love you too son."
"Dad…" Kurt began, not knowing to say, "I just… I want you to know that I promise I'll try to let people in. I know you keep saying that I'll have a lot of people to love and support me but it's not in my nature to accept help… you know that. I promise I'll try. I know I need it, it's just whether I'll accept it and not shut people out."
"That's all I can ask," Burt replied, knowing how difficult it would be for his son, "We'll all be here for you every step of the way."
"I know you will be. I just don't know what to expect when I get home Dad. I know we've already had this discussion in hospital but everything's changed. I'm scared," Kurt said quietly, looking out of the window at the Ohio scenery.
Burt tried to gather his thoughts, "I know kiddo. It's not going to be easy, I won't lie to you. I know you're strong enough to deal with that and as I said, you'll have plenty of support."
Kurt nodded once but didn't look at his father. Burt was worried that the closer they got to Lima, the more Kurt was withdrawing into himself. Truth be told Burt didn't know what was going to happen. He was scared himself of what the future held for his son. He knew one of the hardest challenges lay in front of them but he knew that he would be by Kurt's side no matter what, even if Kurt pushed him and everyone else away.
After a two hour drive Burt pulled into their street. Kurt had fallen asleep briefly but was now awake looking out of the window. He saw tears in Kurt's eyes as they turned into the street. He was finally home. Burt pulled onto the driveway and cut out the engine. He quickly got out and grabbed the bag. He hurried to Kurt's side and helped his son out of the car, before locking the vehicle. Kurt leaned on his father for support as they made their way to the front door. Before Burt could put his key in the front door, the door swung open and there stood Carole and Finn, with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.
A/N: Oh my God guys! I went to see Daniel Radcliffe in the West End play 'The Cripple of An Inishmaan' and he was amazing. He had to do an Irish accent. Afterwards I had tickets to this Times Q&A thing. I was the second person to ask Daniel a question! I asked him if he planned to do more musicals and plays or just focus on films. He gave a really long answer (and said "On Potter" a lot) and looked at me for the majority of the time when answering the question. He made eye contact and was smiling. I can't believe it still! Sorry just had to fangirl!
In the previous chapter, Carole mentioned she read about a labyrinth of suffering and how we seek to get out of it. The book I was talking about was 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green. I recently read it on holiday and absolutely loved it. I meant to mention it but it just slipped my mind. Thank you to amrawo for reminding me :)
I actually got a bit emotional when writing this chapter at times. Poor poor Kurt :(
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