The first Christmas after Blayne came out to Kurt things were awkward at home. She'd tried to come out to her mother, who'd simply whispered "Don't tell your father" and then refused to talk about it again. Every time Blayne tried to get her mother alone to talk about her gender, her mother found some holiday-related task for her to do. Like clean out the guest room closets or shovel the walk or pull out all the Christmas decorations from the garage and organize them. Every time she tried to help with regular house cleaning, or cooking in the kitchen her mother would reply with, “No, boys don't do that. Go bring in some wood for the fireplace,” or something similar.
So, Blayne was avoiding it all by, well, avoiding it. Every free moment she had, she would drive over to the Hudson-Hummel house. Carole always let her help in the kitchen, making cookies and pies, and other holiday-related treats. Blayne wasn't out to a lot of people yet, but she was out to Kurt, Carole and Burt, Rachel, Mike, Tina, Wes and David. She'd asked Kurt and Rachel to explain it to Finn for her, because when it came down to it, she couldn't deal with any more of his judgments. He hadn't said anything to her directly yet, but he got more awkward and quiet whenever they were in a room together. Apparently, Finn was still under the impression that Blayne had transferred to McKinley to take over New Directions. In reality, there were a lot of factors, the biggest one being that Dalton was an all-boys school, an Blayne felt very stifled there. Still, even with Finn being awkward, the Hudson-Hummel home was more warm and accepting and comfortable for Blayne than her own house.
Two days before Christmas, Blayne had just left the house quickly, leaving a note for her mother and getting in her car to go straight to Kurt's house. She was upset and uncomfortable in her own skin, and she just couldn't deal with her family right then. Two of her cousins had been talking about Dancing with the Stars and how weird Chaz Bono was, and her uncle and father had spewed out a barrage of transphobic comments that made Blayne's heart clench and her stomach churn. She hated to think that her mother was right, but hearing her father call Chaz Bono a “tranny freak,” had reinforced the idea that she couldn't tell her dad she was a girl. She couldn't. And it broke her heart.
She pulled into the driveway and practically ran up the front steps. Blayne felt the cold winter breeze cut across her cheeks as she pressed the doorbell, waiting for somebody to answer it. The tears were pooling in the corners of her eyes and she just wanted to break into sobs, but it wasn't safe yet. When she was in Kurt's room with her amazing boyfriend and the door almost closed, she would break down, but not quite yet. It was Carole, though, who came to the door.
“Blayne? I wasn't expecting you today,” Carole said. She took a look at Blayne's red face and her features softened. “What's wrong, honey?”
“Is Kurt home?”
“No dear, I'm sorry. Finn has been putting off all his Christmas shopping until the last moment, so Kurt's gone with him to the mall to help him. Why don't you come inside?”
“I, I don't want to impose,” Blayne said, her voice cracking slightly as she swallowed back some tears.
“You're never an imposition, Blayne. Come on in, I'm making cookies, and you can help.”
Blayne smiled slightly. She loved cooking. Her parents insisted it was something men just didn't do. She had tried to argue with them. She tried to point at all the male chefs on the cooking channel, but her father just told her that she was “gay enough already without adding a girly hobby.” Blayne followed Carole into the kitchen, laid her jacket on a stool, and washed her hands.
“So, how are your holidays going, Blaine?” Carole asked gently.
“They're okay,” Blayne lied.
“No, they're awful,” Blayne admitted. “There's all these family members around, and my parents don't even let me talk about being with Kurt, or admit that I like boys. I tried to tell my mom about being a girl, but she won't even listen. And my dad and uncle were saying these awful things about 'trannies' today.” It was too much, and the tears she'd been trying to hold back spilled over her cheeks. Carole set down the whisk she was holding and pulled Blayne into a tight hug.
“You know you can always be yourself here, Blayne, right?” Carole said. “We love just the way you are, and we already think of you as part of the family.”
Blayne didn't say anything. She just buried her face in Carole's shoulder and sobbed. The arms around her were warm and welcoming, and Blayne felt wanted and safe and loved for the first time all day.
“Hey, I have a surprise for you,” Carole said, “Come follow me for a second.” Carole led her into the living room, where the tree and decorations were set up, with four stockings hanging from the mantel. Carole opened up a drawer in the sideboard, and pulled out a Christmas stocking. Blayne looked at it and saw that it said Blayne across the top, with a little bit of glitter. Blayne, with a y. Her chosen female name. On a holiday stocking. The noise that came out of Blayne's throat wasn't something she could fully identify.
“For me?” Blayne asked, feeling a fresh wave of tears in her eyes.
“For you. Would you like to hang it up next to Kurt's?” Carole asked
Blayne nodded and took the stocking, hanging it up above the Hudson-Hummel's fireplace, right next to her boyfriend's stocking. Blayne hugged Carole again, and then the two women meandered back into the kitchen to finish working on cookies. They talked about a little of everything, and eventually Burt came back from his half day at the shop—they were closing early for the holidays—to find that Carole and Blayne had already started on dinner. Blayne wore a frilly pink apron over her masculine clothes, and reveled in the freedom of cooking for people, and being allowed to be herself. She knew she looked like a boy. She didn't have any girl clothes yet, and she hadn't begun to transition outwardly in any way. She couldn't wait until she was in college and an adult and she could get a gender therapist and go on hormones and make her body match her insides.
“I think this is every man's dream,” Burt smiled at the two in the kitchen, “To have a pair of pretty ladies making his dinner.”
Blayne started blushing when Burt said that. She was sure that Burt was just humoring her, but still, it felt good to hear. She talked to Kurt's parents about a little bit of everything, until Kurt and Finn came home from their Christmas shopping.
“So Blayne,” Burt asked as Kurt and Finn walked in with their purchase. “Are you going to be with us tomorrow?”
“I don't think so,” Blayne admitted sadly. “I have family stuff all day, then midnight Mass, and then Christmas day is all family stuff too.”
“I guess that means we should do your gifts tonight,” Burt said, smiling at Blayne.
“Wait, what?” Blayne asked.
“The presents we got you,” Carole said, “We want you to open them tonight, after dinner.”
“Silly girl,” Kurt said, snaking an arm around Blayne's waist and kissing her cheek. “We all got you presents for Christmas. Even Finn.”
Finn did that thing where he shifted awkwardly, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and stared down at the floor. “Kurt helped me pick it out,” he said.
“Why don't you boys go put your packages away,” Carole said. “Blayne, did you want to go up and help Kurt? I've got dinner under control now.”
“Okay,” Blayne said, detaching herself from her boyfriend and helping him carry his packages upstairs. She followed Kurt up to his room, and hoped that Burt and Carole wouldn't say anything about them closing the door for a little bit.
“What's up?” Kurt asked. “I wasn't expecting to find you in my kitchen when I got home.”
“My family,” Blayne started. And everything spilled out. She told Kurt everything that had happened since they had skyped the night before. She told Kurt about the stocking Carole had given her, and how it was so overwhelming to be herself here, but such a relief at the same time. She watched Kurt's fists clench up when she repeated the words, “tranny freak” and saw his face soften when she talked about how awesome Carole had been. She relaxed into Kurt's touch as Kurt threw his arms around her tightly and just held her for a while. Kurt gently ran his fingers through her curls, which she had left ungelled, as Blayne took in the scent of him. Finally they broke their hug, and Blayne looked at Kurt.
“Does Finn still have a problem with me?” Blayne asked.
“He's figuring it out,” Kurt promised her. “He still sees you in his head as a perfect rich kid without any real problems in your life, who's been stealing away his brother and his girlfriend and all his friends. I've tried to explain you as you truly are to him, but he's not quite there yet.”
“Your dad called me a pretty lady today. It was weird,” Blayne said.
“Well, you are a pretty lady,” Kurt smiled at her.
“Are you sure it doesn't freak you out? I mean, you're gay.”
“I've told you Blayne, I love you. Maybe I'm 'homoflexible,' maybe you're my one exception. But I love you, not in spite of you being a woman, but because of it. You're a woman, honey, and I love you. We both know that gender and sexuality are fluid. I love you.”
He pressed a kiss to the corners of her eyes, which closed reflexively. God, she had really won the lottery with Kurt. He was so amazing.
“Let's go down for dinner before Dad realizes we shut the door,” Kurt said, pulling her to her feet.
Dinner was delicious. It was just meatloaf and mashed potatoes and mixed veggies, since Carole was saving the big turkey dinner for Christmas day, but it was still good. Afterward they decorated the cookies they'd made earlier and ate several each.
“Into the living room,” Carole announced. “We're doing Blayne's presents tonight. Finn and Kurt can each open one if they want, but otherwise we're waiting until Christmas morning.”
“I have presents for you all in the trunk of my car,” Blayne said, running out to get them and bring them inside. She put them under the family tree, which was already full of gifts, including a huge wrapped box a foot off to the side, because it didn't fit under the tree. She hadn't gotten them anything fancy, really. She got Finn a video game she knew the Warblers were currently addicted to, and an iTunes gift card. She'd gotten Burt an IOU for tickets to the Buckeyes when football season was around again, and for Carole she'd found a warm pair of fleece-lined leather gloves for the winter. She had a few gifts for Kurt that she'd slipped under the tree, but only handed him one, which held her favorite cologne on him.
After they opened the gifts she'd handed them, Finn handed her a small wrapped package. Blayne could tell that he'd had the person at the gift-wrapping counter wrap it, because she didn't think Finn would have done it so perfectly. She pulled the paper off carefully and opened the small box. Inside was a set of hair clips with little flowers on them. They were beautiful. And when Blayne felt bold enough, she couldn't wait to push her curls out of her eyes with them. It was impulsive, but she hugged Finn. It wasn't the 'quick hug with a clap on the back' that she used to give when she was trying so hard to be a boy, but a tight hug. Finn stood there stiffly, not really reacting, but after a moment he moved a hand to pat her back awkwardly.
“Look, Blayne, I haven't been the best friend to you,” Finn said quietly, “But Kurt loves you, so you must be pretty special. I'll try to be less of a dick, okay?”
“Okay,” Blayne said quietly. “Thank you. These are lovely.”
“Our turn next,” Carole said, handing a slender box to Blayne. “It's from me and Burt.”
Blayne tore off the paper and found a velvet jewelry box. She opened it and nestled in the box was a delicate necklace that say Blayne in simple gold cursive letters. Her real name. The tears threatened to spring up in her eyes again, but she blinked them back, and gave both Burt and Carole a hug.
“The biggest present is from me,” Kurt said, pulling Blayne over to the huge box she'd noticed next to the tree. “Everyone helped, but I've been working on it for a while.”
Blayne looked at the box, and it was huge. Rather than being wrapped shut it had a lid that was wrapped separately so she could just lift it off, but she picked the card off the top.
For the bravest girl I know, a few things to help her shine. Love, Kurt
Blayne lifted off the lid, and the top layer of tissue paper, and saw...clothes. On the top was a long, lavender cardigan, cut in a feminine style and different than any sweater she'd owned before. She started lifting things out and it was all clothing.
“It's a little bit of everything,” Kurt said. “Sweaters, a couple of dresses, some nice slacks, skirts and tops, and some underthings. At the bottom of the box is accessories and three pairs of shoes.”
“What, how? This must have been so expensive!” Blayne said, shocked. It was practically an entire wardrobe!
“Dad and Carole helped some. Some are things I bought on a couple of websites, some are things I found in thrift shops and hand-altered to fit you,” Kurt looked his girlfriend straight in the eyes. “I want you to feel as beautiful as I see you.”
Blayne couldn't hold it back anymore. The tears started to pour out. Kurt pulled her into his arms again, and let her cry. Carole came over after a few minutes and hugged her from the other side.
“Blayne, we've been talking about it, and if you don't think it's a good idea to keep these things at home, you can keep them in the guest room,” Carole told Blayne.
“In fact,” Burt said, coming over, “I want to make it abundantly clear to you, Blayne, that if your dad ever does or says anything to make you feel unsafe, you always have a home here. You are part of this family now.”
Blayne could barely contain herself. It was too much. It was all too much. She was overwhelmed. She disentangled herself from Kurt and Carole and ran for the bathroom, to shut herself behind a door for a minute and compose herself. She felt all her emotions overflowing inside her. Burt and Carole were amazing. That they did so much for her, they wanted her to feel safe and loved in their home was mindblowing for Blayne. But at the same time, she wanted her own family to be the same way. She wanted her parents to acknowledge their daughter. She wanted to have sisterly bonding time with Sandy while she was home from college. She wanted her brother and sister-in-law to tell her what a great aunt she was, not uncle. She wanted her family to look at her and see the girl she knew she was. And she didn't believe it would ever happen.
Taking a deep breath, Blayne splashed some water on her face, dried her eyes and calmed herself down. She glanced at her face in the mirror and scowled slightly at her five o'clock shadow. She was looking forward to when she was a legal adult with a job and some money saved up. Laser hair removal was definitely something in her future plans. She took one more deep breath and walked back out into the living room. Finn and her giant box of clothes were nowhere to be seen. Carole had disappeared back into the kitchen and Burt had settled into his easy chair, turning on the television.
“Finn carried your stuff up to the guest room,” Kurt said. “I thought you might want to spread it all out on the bed and see what everything was, before you go home.”
“That sounds wonderful,” Blayne said, slipping her hand into Kurt's and smiling as he squeezed it gently. Kurt led her up to the bedroom, where her box was sitting at the foot of the bed.
Kurt sat in a chair and watched as Blayne pulled each clothing item out, handling it and holding it up to the light. Kurt explained to her each piece that he had altered and how he had done it. Near the bottom of the box were several sexy pieces of underwear, and Blayne furrowed her brow slightly as she looked at them. They were very feminine, but they were cut for a man.
“I thought, for now, you might want things that fit comfortably but still looked pretty,” Kurt said. “So I checked out a couple of sites that sell clothing specifically for trans* women. The bras have a little bit of padding in them already. Not a ton, but enough to look natural, I think.”
“Are you sure you didn't buy these just so you could get me into lingerie?” Blayne joked.
“Oh, that was definitely part of it,” Kurt teased back. “I meant what I said before, Blayne. I think you're gorgeous. I just want you to think you're gorgeous too.”
“Kurt, I can't tell you how much this all means to me,” Blayne said.
“Did you want to try some of them on?” Kurt asked.
“Not—not yet. When I come back after Christmas,” Blayne said.
“That sounds reasonable,” Kurt said, walking over and pulling her into another hug. “I'll expect a fashion show, of course.”
“Of course,” Blayne said, leaning her head forward to catch his mouth in kiss. He'd given her so many beautiful things. But most of all, he'd given her him, and Blayne couldn't think of a better present.