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Broken Pieces

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Three weeks after Blaine’s funeral in New York, Finn and Puck’s lives have gotten back to normal in Milwaukee. Of course there’s still a lot of residual sadness over Kurt losing his husband so young, somebody they’ve also known for so many years, but Finn hadn’t really spent any significant amount of time with Blaine or Kurt over the past decade, so Blaine’s death doesn’t hit Finn hard as it could have. Finn wouldn’t necessarily mind going out the same way Blaine did, even—though he’d definitely like to put it off as long as possible—because all things considered, it was a pretty heroic death. Succumbing to smoke inhalation while rescuing another member of his cast from a theatre fire? Definitely makes a death heroic.

Not that what Finn and Puck do every day doesn’t have meaning. Puck’s been at the credit union for almost seven years, working as a loan officer, and Finn just finished his tenth year at Milwaukee High School of the Performing Arts the week after they got back from the funeral. They have a little blue house in Kilbourn Town, which they’ve been in for just over two years now, with just enough of a backyard that they keep talking about maybe getting a dog. Puck was even able to buy an updated bike the previous summer. It’s not rescuing semi-conscious sopranos from an electrical fire, but they both get to come home at the end of the day, so life is good. Finn couldn’t ask for more.

Finn phone rings fairly late at night for a Tuesday, and when he see it’s Carole calling, his brow furrows with worry. “Hey, Mom,” he says, when he answers.

“Finn, how are you,” Carole says, sounding tired and like she’s not all that interested in the answer.

“We’re doing fine. How are you?”

“I’m—We’re worried,” Carole says with a long sigh. “About Kurt.”

“Yeah, I know this has all been really rough on him,” Finn says. “He agree to go back to Lima for a while this summer?”

“Not exactly.”

“What’s his plan? I know he said he’d be okay, but I know it’s got to be rough,” Finn says.

“Burt called earlier, and it was at least the third time that Kurt’s been so drunk that we weren’t sure what he was doing,” Carole says. “At least, we hope it’s only alcohol.”

“That doesn’t sound like Kurt,” Finn says. “Is Burt sure? Maybe Kurt was taking a nap or something.”

“He admitted to having ‘a couple’ of drinks,” Carole says.

Finn sighs. “Is Burt going to fly out there?”

“That’s part of why I called. He’s thinking about it, but—do you think that’s what Kurt needs? He doesn’t want to make things worse, if it’s not.”

“I don’t know, Mom. I’m not any better at this than you are.”

“It’s just that he’d only be there for a few days or a week at most, and then he’d be gone again,” Carole says, clearly fretting.

Finn walks into the kitchen, where Puck is washing dishes, and puts the phone on speaker, setting down on the counter. “I’m in here with Puck now, Mom,” he says. “It sounds like there’s something you wanted to ask us?” Puck looks up, raising an eyebrow.

“It’s—I mean, the two of you would be so much more able to relate to Kurt,” Carole says.

Finn sighs softly, looking at Puck. “You want us to fly out to New York to stay with Kurt.”

“Well, yes.”

“Something new?” Puck asks quietly, glancing between Finn and the phone. Finn nods.

“For how long, do you think?” Finn asks.

“Surely three or four weeks would be enough for Kurt to get stable,” Carole says, her voice falsely bright.

“Weeks?” Puck says with a wince.

“That’s a lot of time for Puck to take off work,” Finn says. “Maybe I could go out for a week or so?”

“I don’t really like the idea of you going out alone for two weeks,” Puck says softly, turning away from the phone as he speaks.

“Mom? Me and Puck need to talk about this,” Finn says.

“Oh. Of course,” Carole says. “I can text you, or vice versa. Or I can call tomorrow.”

“We’ll talk it over tonight, and I’ll give you a call tomorrow, okay?”

“Okay. Good night,” Carole says.

“Night, Mom,” Finn says, ending the call and looking up at Puck. “So, that happened.”

“What’s the new thing that happened? Things, I guess,” Puck says.

Finn shakes his head. “She says Burt’s called a couple of times, and Kurt’s sounded really drunk.”

“I can’t blame him.”

“No, me neither, but I also understand why Mom and Burt are worried.”

“And now they want us to spend the summer in New York basically babysitting?” Puck asks.

“I guess,” Finn sighs. “I mean, he’s my brother, and if they’re worried about him…”

“Yeah, I know, and I can’t imagine,” Puck says. “But it’s a lot to ask.”

“I know. And like I said, I’d go without you if you can’t take the time,” Finn says.

Puck frowns. “If it’s bad enough she’d ask both of us, you going alone isn’t going to help, is what I figure, and then you’re gone for a couple of weeks, we’re both unhappy, and it’s still not really doing Kurt any good,” Puck says. “Plus I’m selfish.”

“I don’t really like the idea of losing my summer with you,” Finn admits. “Do you think you’ll be able to take the time without problems?”

“I have vacation time accumulated, and I generally don’t take it, so if I explain it’s a family matter, yeah, I should be able to get away,” Puck says, rubbing his forehead.

“This wasn’t how I wanted to spend your vacation time,” Finn says. He puts his arms around Puck and pulls him in close.

“Yeah, me either,” Puck says, turning his head and resting his cheek on Finn’s shoulder, his breath warm on Finn’s neck. “I guess we could do some sightseeing while we’re there.”

“We could see some shows, too,” Finn says. “Remember how you said you wish we had time to see that one with the, you know. The hats.”

“I’ll make sure and get the tickets, since most people won’t know which one you mean,” Puck says with a soft snort. “Is Kurt going to be pissed when we show up, do you think?”

Finn shrugs. “I don’t know. Maybe he’ll be relieved we’re there.”

“Yeah. I hope so. I’ll definitely have to go in all day tomorrow, and probably at least part of the day the rest of the week.”

“We’ll figure it out,” Finn says, kissing the top of Puck’s head. “Maybe just being out there a few days will be enough.”