The first time Mercedes calls him in tears he can't do anything, despite the urge to fly to her side. She's fallen and broken her left leg and wants someone to commiserate with. He's stuck in LA doing his internship, money almost non-existent, and he aches with the distance between him and his best friend. He's young, and he fumes at the unfairness of being so far away from her when she' pitifully tells him she misses him.
He can't do anything, but he knows who can. He rings Rachel and tells her what has happened. She promises to buy Mercedes a piece of her favourite chocolate cake and take it by her apartment. He rings Blaine next, and gives him a list of DVDs to take around, and asks him to tidy up her place and do any cleaning if it's needed. Then he rings Carol and asks, hesitantly, if she would mind organising sending some flowers to Mercedes and paying, because, while he's not broke, he only has just enough money to cover rent, utilities and food if he's careful.
Mercedes rings him the next day in much better spirits and, laughingly, tells him that Blaine and her stayed up watching a Big Bang Theory marathon. Kurt can't stop the spike of jealousy that he's been so easily replaced, but his heart unclenches when Mercedes says 'Blaine's great you know, but he's not you.' He reassures her that he'll be back in a few months, and they reminisce about their favourite TV programmes.
A week later a care package arrives for Kurt, filled with some of his favourite treats, but also some necessities like toothpaste and his favourite shampoo which he stopped buying three years ago due to the expense and his stubborn persistence that he could manage within the budget of his college fund and his part-time job. He knows the return address says Carol, but the framed photo of Mercedes and Kurt at Senior Prom is all Mercedes.
The second time she calls in tears her voice is quiet and petrified. Her tiny hole-in-the-wall apartment she shares with someone Kurt has never bothered remembering the name of has been broken into. It's nine at night and Kurt is furious that she's even walking around this late at night, let alone doing it alone. He grabs Evan (his current boyfriend) and John (his current room mate) and demands they come with him to Mercedes' apartment. They know better than to disagree, and have the advantage that they dwarf Kurt in both height and stature. As they walk towards Mercedes' apartment Kurt feels like he has two bodyguards.
He rings the police and then helps Mercedes determine what, if anything, has been stolen. Her laptop, music player and camera are all gone. As is all her jewellery, fortunately none of which is anything but costume. Kurt refuses to let her stay there, and even though they know they can't live together (they lasted three weeks after moving in together against the advice of friends and family), says she's moving in with them temporarily. John and Evan don't say anything and set up the sofa bed in the lounge. Evan doesn't live there anyway, despite the amount of time he spends there.
Mercedes lets the three boys pamper her for all of a day before setting her shoulders back and determinedly saying that no coward asshole son-of-a-bitch is going to scare her away from her own home. She enrols in a self-defence class which she forces Kurt to attend as well.
When Kurt's phone rings at 6am he knows something is wrong. He sees Mercedes smiling face flash at him as his phone vibrates and pings and his stomach is clenching already, sick with worry. She is not in tears this time, but her voice is dead. Devoid of all emotion. It's her mother. Suddenly. No warning. Overnight. Kurt doesn't even have to think about it. He's on a plane back to Lima without even a courtesy call to his boss. (He remembers to ring her at the airport.) He hires a car and drives to Mercedes' family home. Mr Jones is sitting in the corner in shock, there have been police officers and an ambulance. Due to the nature of the death the coroner is going to have to do an autopsy. Kurt rings his Dad, not knowing what needs to be done exactly, except to be there for Mercedes.
His Dad is amazing. He organises the funeral home. Speaks to the pastor from the Jones' family church, quietly takes Mr Jones aside and offers his own condolences. Burt organises flowers and directs the food into containers which he stacks away in the freezer. Kurt sits with Mercedes as she swings between sobbing uncontrollably and being weirdly calm and upbeat and wanting to talk about Finn's new girlfriend, now that he and Rachel are finally finally over.
She asks Kurt if she'll ever stop missing her mom, and he hugs her tight and says no, that feeling never really goes away, but it does lessen. He tries to point out that she didn't suffer. That her mom didn't take years to die and Mercedes didn't have to watch her wither away. Or even worse, her mom didn't take her own life and leave Mercedes to deal with that bunch of emotional shit to sort through. He's not sure how helpful he's being, but Mercedes hugs him at odd little random moments, so Kurt figures what he's doing and saying can't be all bad.
The church is full to the brim with mourners, there are even people standing, wanting to show their respects. Mercedes has dressed in bright red, wanting to show that her mother's attitude to death was the same as it was in life. They are here to celebrate her life. Mercedes tries to get up and talk, but breaks down crying before she's even started, so Kurt takes over her reading about how grief is one of the most selfish of emotions, because all you're grieving for is the fact that that this person is no longer part of your life. You can no longer share things with them. That is what she is grieving. Kurt is crying by the time he finishes.
She's furious when she calls. Kurt has never heard her so angry, even when she smashed the windows of his first car to pieces. He's having a hard time differentiating the actual words from the curses, but he hears the name Graeme often enough to deduce that it's the boyfriend. Kurt listens, waits for the ranting to slow. When it does, she's still talking, but in more lucid sentences, enough for Kurt to piece together what has happened.
He's not just a lying cheating bastard. It appears he's been living a double life. He's married with kids and is an accountant, not the up-and-coming foot-loose-and-fancy-free architect he'd been when he'd started pursuing Mercedes. She is spitting mad, but Kurt can also tell she's angry at herself for being fooled. Kurt had never liked Graeme, and had told her so, but now wisely keeps his mouth shut.
Mercedes tells him how she found out, how it's Graeme's mistress that has called her and told her. Told her to search for Graeme Hill at Tetra Accountants, which is where Mercedes had found his picture, and under the company mission statement lauding family values, a picture of Graeme with a woman and two kids, with the caption 'Graeme Hill and his family at the company 4th July picnic'.
He can't afford the time to fly to her, so he does the next best thing and buys her a ticket to come and visit him. They get rip-roaring drunk and curse men in general. The next day, both hung-over, Kurt takes her onto the set and introduces her to everyone, including the sound technician Alex who Kurt has been dating now for a few months. He takes her out for dinner, cooks her breakfast and books her into his usual spa place for a full-out body pamper session. He has the means to spoil her, so he does.
It's a fluke that Kurt is visiting, and when she complains of stomach cramps and asks him, eyes wide, to drive her to the hospital Kurt does so immediately without stopping to ask why. She didn't even know she was pregnant. She's not sure how to cope with loosing a child whose father she currently despises. Loosing a child she hadn't even known existed until it was already gone. Mercedes hadn't even realised until then that she actually wanted children, so feels a bit bewildered by the rush of emotions. She feels like something has been stolen from her.
Kurt doesn't know what to say. He's not sure how she should feel either, but he holds her, and his quiet words 'every life is precious and every life deserves to be grieved for when it is gone' opens a floodgate of emotion in both of them. He doesn't mention that it probably happened for a reason. He can't imagine how that would be any consolation at all. And it doesn't make it any fairer.
When she says that she's sick of this city and needs a new place Kurt helps her look for jobs elsewhere. He reads through countless cover letters and prepares her over the phone for numerous interviews. It only takes six weeks and he's back and helping her move to Chicago. She says it's a new start for her, leaving everything bad behind her and taking only her good memories with her. Kurt hugs her and whispers 'You never appreciate the rainbow if you don't have to endure the rain' and she tightly hugs him back.
Mercedes is sitting in the darkened theatre, and she can feel Mike's eyes on her. They'd met weeks (maybe months?) ago at church, and he's been asking her out to coffee every Sunday. He's persistent, she'll give him that. They're attending a fundraiser for their church, and Mercedes ignores the others as they file out, the credits rolling up on the screen. She's waiting for the one name she wants to see, which had been a major selling point in attending the movie in the first place, fundraiser not withstanding.
She's seen Mike move to stand behind her to the left. Her eyes flick to him briefly and he opens his mouth to talk and she raises a hand to stop him. His mouth closes. When Kurt's name flicks up on the screen she can't stop the huge grin that takes over her face. She's still smiling when she turns to Mike, ready, yet again, to turn him down. He's smiling back at her, his grin equally wide, and Mercedes feels a bit embarrassed at being caught smiling at movies credits. 'Friend of yours?' Mike asks, and Mercedes nods, still smiling. 'Coffee?' Mike asks, still smiling as well, and Mercedes wavers. He has a nice smile. She takes a deep breath and nods.