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When Blood isn't always Thick

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It was the week after the wedding. Burt and Carole tied the knot with Finn and Kurt’s entire glee family there to support them. Everyone loved the wedding, and it was a spectacular night. Kurt honestly thought he was getting what he always wanted, a loving family. Boy was he wrong.

The Monday after the wedding, as Kurt came downstairs to set the table for dinner, Carole smiled at him as he took the plates out of the cabinets and set the table, four this time, instead of two. A few minutes later she spoke up. “Hey Kurt, would you mind cleaning the dishes tonight?  I just got Finn’s grade report back and he really needs to focus on his homework. I’d really appreciate it.”

Kurt wasn’t that surprised that Finn’s grades were poor. He never had his homework in any of the classes that the two had together, and whenever he did have the homework it was always wrong. Sure Carole.” He has no problem with doing the dishes after dinner. In fact it relaxes him. It gives him a chance to soak his hands in hot water, which relaxes them just enough before he goes upstairs to moisturize for the night, making them absorb the moisture better.

What he does have a problem with is when he goes upstairs later on and finds Finn sitting on his bed in front of his television playing Halo. Carole said he had to work on his homework tonight, so why was he playing any video games?

“Aren’t you supposed to be doing homework?”

Finn looks at him strangely, wondering why Kurt even cares. “It’s done.”

“And your mom is letting you play Halo?” Kurt asks, and Finn nods slowly.

“Why wouldn’t she?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  Your grade report maybe?”

“I got two A’s, three B’s and a C+.  She’s ecstatic. She said she was going to give me money to buy a new game tomorrow, actually.” It baffles Kurt, that he gets straight A’s and gets nothing, but Finn gets a C+, and gets a new video game. Something is seriously wrong with that picture.  Little did he know, this little smudge was only the beginning of the ruined portrait he once thought his family would be.

Carole and Burt were lying in bed later that night. Carole was on her side of the bed, reading her magazine, when she looks up and asks “Burt, why do you just give Kurt so much money as an allowance?”

Burt is a little preoccupied, trying to get his wife to put the magazine down and come celebrate their marriage with him, but answers her as best he can with only a small amount of blood supply to his brain.

“He’s earned it through his chores, homework and working at the shop.” He leans over and kisses her neck, trying to entice her into a more intimate scenario.

“It’s too much.  I’m going to cut it back a little, okay?” Burt gives a noncommittal grunt, and goes back to seducing his wife, who grins and gives in.

The next day, when Carole gives both boys their allowances, Kurt looks at the paltry sum she handed him and widens his eyes. “Why has my allowance been cut?”

“It’s not right to get all that much money for no reason.  You need to earn it.” Carole answers matter of factly, but Kurt is angry.

“I worked 15 hours in the shop last week.  Dad has always paid me out of pocket for working there, that’s why I get so much money as an allowance.”

“You shouldn’t get paid for working at the family business.  You should do it to help your family.” Carole admonished, and Kurt shook his head. This wasn’t fair.

“So is Finn going to have to start working there too?” He asks, and Carole glares at him.

“We’ll see.  Either way, if you want more money you’ll need to get a part time job.” Kurt shakes his head and storms off, muttering about the fact that he already has a part time job, and she just stole his money from him.

Later that day, when Kurt went to the shop for his afternoon of work, he walked up to his Dad in the office and began to tell him the situation before he left for the day.

“Dad, did you agree to cut my pay from the shop?” Burt looked at him dumbfounded, unsure of what Kurt was talking about.

“What do you mean?” He asked, while focusing on some invoices.

“Carole gave me ¼ of what I should have received as an allowance.  I worked here 15 hours last week.  I should have made over 135 dollars, but no.  She gave me 35. I depend on that money, Dad.” Burt sighed. He vaguely remembered something Carole said about cutting Kurt’s allowance, but he didn’t think she was going to take the money he earned at the shop.

“I’ll take care of it Kurt, I promise.” Burt took out a post-it note and wrote down “add Kurt to payroll” before looking up to see Kurt still standing there awkwardly. Burt raised an eyebrow.

“What is it?” Kurt took a deep breath.

“Can I borrow $25?  I need to fill up the Navigator so I can get to school this week and with the price of gas lately…” He trailed off, and Burt smiled and nodded.

“Sure, Kurt.” Burt took his wallet out and gave Kurt two twenties.

Later that week, Carole was at the shop’s office and saw the post-it note that Burt had written a few days prior. She wasn’t happy that Burt was going behind her back.

“Burt why is Kurt on the payroll for the shop?” She asks him politely, and Burt replied offhand.

“Because he needs the money and you cut his allowance.”

“I cut his allowance for a reason, Burt.  He does not need as much money as you’ve been giving him.” She reasons, and Burt shakes his head.

“Actually, he does Carole. He needs to make payments on the Navigator; he needs to pay for his own gas and insurance.  I don’t pay that stuff for him.” Carole grunted her displeasure at her husband’s actions.

“So you went behind my back and stopped me from teaching Kurt a lesson about responsibility?” Carole asked incredulously. Burt stopped what he was doing and turned to look at his wife.

“Kurt is the most responsible kid I’ve ever met, Carole.  More responsible than Finn, by the way.” He stares at his wife, who glares back at him.

“That’s not true.”

“Kurt gets Straight A’s, keeps his room clean works at the shop when needed, goes to bed early and never stays out late.” Burt throws a towel that he had in his hand after working on a car on the floor, getting frustrated with his wife. “While Finn struggles to get his mediocre grades, stays up far too late playing video games with Puck, lives in that pig sty he calls a room and doesn’t work for the allowance you give him.  Why are you teaching my son about responsibility when you haven’t taught your own?” Burt questioned, and Carole looked at him weakly.

“I’ve tried to teach Finn, trust me.  I have, but he doesn’t take to it at all.  We need at least one responsible child around here.” She rationalized.  Burt shook his head.

“No Carole.  What we need is two.”

A few days later, Kurt started attending Dalton Academy for Boys in Westerville Ohio. Burt and Carole both offered up their honeymoon money to send him, because he as being bullied at McKinley; however that didn’t stop Carole from bullying Kurt at home. From the day that Kurt dropped out of McKinley, to the day that he started Dalton (a whole 5 days) she worked him to the bone, with the idea that since she was giving up her vacation for him, the least he could do was help her with the housework.  Well, help with, was a false term. He was doing everything. He cooked, he cleaned, and he did the laundry.  She had him go grocery shopping, while she sat around watching her soap operas all day long.  It drove Kurt bonkers, but he knew he’d be at Dalton soon, and this would stop.  She couldn’t have him doing all this as he attended a new school, right?

“I hope you enjoyed your first day of Dalton, Kurt.  How was it?” She said as he walked in the door after school that first day. She smiled and warmly welcomed him back home.

“Okay.  Blaine showed me around and introduced me to the rest of the Warblers.  But because I’m transferring in so late in the semester, I literally have hours upon hours of homework to do.  So if you’ll excuse me…” He wasn’t really comfortable around Carole. She was trying too hard to be his mother, and he didn’t want a replacement mother. Sure he thought it would be nice to have a woman in the house, but he didn’t want her to try and replace Elizabeth Hummel, the only woman Kurt has and will ever call ‘Mom.’

Later that night, after they all finish eating, Kurt stands up to start doing the dishes, like he always does, like he has no problems doing, when Carole speaks up. “Finn, why don’t you help Kurt with the dishes, he’s still got a lot of homework to do, don’t you?” This surprised Kurt immensely, but he wasn’t going to deny help when it was offered to him, even if it wasn’t voluntarily offered by Finn.

“Yea, not to mention 50 pages of reading to do for English.” Carole smiled at him, as if she were doing him a favor by making Finn help him.

“Do I have to?  The guys had all planned to play Call of Duty after dinner.” He groaned and complained.  The parents however just shook their heads.

“Clean quickly and you can still play.” Carole said.

“If you’ve finished your homework, that is.” Burt reminded him, and it showed on Finn’s face just how much homework he didn’t do all day.

It’s about 4 weeks later and both Finn and Kurt were on winter vacation. Kurt only got off two days ago, but he could already sense that Carole was going to go back to her old habits and make him start doing more chores again. He had no problem doing chores, he just hated that he was the only one who ever did them. Finn never did anything. He never even clears his plate from the table after dinner. If Kurt knew that this is what was going to happen when he introduced his father to Carole, he would have stopped himself, because he never would have willingly put himself through so much unfair treatment.

“Kurt, can you come here for a minute?” Burt shouts up the stairs to Kurt, who was in his room, reading a book his English teacher assigned for winter reading.

“Sure Dad, what’s up?” Kurt asks as he comes bounding down the stairs.

“Dalton sent home your first grade report, today.” Kurt gulped, unsure of precisely what it was going to say. He knows he struggled a little bit when he first started getting settled, but he felt that he was doing better.

“How’d I do?”

“Straight A’s. Congratulations Kurt.” Burt told him, with a giant smile on his face a mile wide.

“Seriously?” Kurt asked, unable to believe what his father had just told him.

“Well done.  We’re so proud of you.” Carole said, and she got up to hug Kurt who was still too shocked to register it.

“Thanks Carole.” He said as he heard the tail end of her compliment.

“Does this mean I can expect you back at the shop now that you know what you can and can’t handle?” Kurt weighs his options, and nods his head.

“Sure Dad, but only on weekends, okay?  I still need to study and stuff during the week.”  Burt seemed to be happy with that, and let his son go when Carole spoke up.

“Kurt are you doing anything right now?” There’s a pause when Kurt looks at her curiously. “I mean, were you doing anything before we called you down here?” Kurt shrugged.

“Just reading for English.  Nothing that I can’t put off until tomorrow.  Why?” He asked, and inwardly sighed as he knew what was coming. He wished that he could lie to her and tell her that he was doing something important, but the one rule in his and his father’s house had always been to tell the truth, no lying. That rule stayed when Carole and Finn moved in, and Kurt refused to bend it.

“Do you think you could run to the grocery store for me?  I’d go but you know what happens when I go, I end up buying more groceries than we actually need.” Kurt forces a smile; at least it would get him out of the house.

“Sure Carole.  No problem.”

There’s something about being called into the guidance counselor’s office that has Kurt on edge. He cannot help but be nervous when he was called out of his third period Physics class to be told the guidance counselor, Mrs. Johnson, wished to see and speak to him. Everyone knew that things like this only happened when something was wrong, but for the life of him, Kurt couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  Not school wise anyway.  Sure his grades had started to slip a little bit, but that was only because he couldn’t study nearly as much as he used to before Winter break. When his family cared for him as a son, instead of a maid and a butler.

“Thanks for coming in, Kurt.” She said, as he walked into the office behind her.  Kurt sat down in the chair she motioned at and placed his bag on the floor. He looked at her inquiringly.

“I’m a little confused as to why I’m here…” He said honestly, and she smiled.

“It has come to my attention that your grades have been slipping, Kurt.  Is everything okay?” Kurt gulped. Everything was not okay. He never had time to do his homework, or study nearly as much as he wished he could. Not with the amount of stuff Carole is always asking him to do. But he can’t tell his guidance counselor that, she wouldn’t understand just how bad things have gotten, would she?

“Yea, I just… haven’t been able to study as much as I used to.” He lies, and it appears that she can see right through it, though she says nothing to the contrary.

“How come?” Kurt shrugged.

“I’ve just been doing a lot of stuff lately.” This wasn’t a lie.  He had been doing a lot of stuff lately, just not a lot of stuff he wanted to do.  It was a lot of stuff that Carole wanted him to do, and he hated doing it, though he never complained about it.

“Maybe you should cut down on some of that stuff.” Kurt snorted at that.

“Oh that I could.” He muttered, but Mrs. Johnson caught it.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s nothing.”

“Anything that causes your grades to drop isn’t nothing Kurt.  What’s going on?” Kurt sighed, he really didn’t want to include Mrs. Johnson in his family troubles, but what was he to do? She wanted to know, and she wasn’t likely to let him leave until he did.

“I’m being over burdened with chores at home and I don’t have enough time to bathe and take care of basic bodily functions most days, let alone homework.” Kurt confessed, knowing that he wanted to get this conversation out of the way, because it was going to happen whether he liked it or not.

“Why are you doing so many chores?” She looked down, presumably at Kurt’s Dalton File, which held all of his McKinley records, his transfer application and any other tidbit of information deemed necessary to keep on file. “I see in your file that you have a stepbrother, why doesn’t he help out with them?”

Kurt couldn’t help but snort at the assumption that Finn should help with chores. “Because my step-mother seems to think I’m Cinderella.  I wake up every morning at 5am so I can shower, get dressed, eat and leave for school by 6:15.  I get home by 4:30 when there’s no Warbler’s practice, 5:45 when there is.  I get on average 4 hours of homework per night but when I get home she expects me to clean all the dishes, do the laundry, dust, vacuum, and clean all the bathrooms and anything else that needs done on a weekly basis when Finn does nothing but play video games, watch TV and bounce between one girlfriend to the next. He does nothing around the house, neither does she and it drives me insane.  My father and I are the only ones that work at all. They’re sponging off my Dad, and I can’t stand to see them do it.”

“What does your father say about all this?” A bark of laughter escaped Kurt’s lips.

“He can’t say no to her.” He grinds his teeth for a moment before continuing. “He went so long without having a woman in his life that he’s, pardon the language, pussywhipped.” If she was offended by the statement, she didn’t let it show, and continued as if she hadn’t learned that part of her student’s father’s personal life.

“Have you tried telling her that you need a break?” She asked, as if it was so easy to do when Carole wanted nothing to do but keep Kurt busy cleaning.

“She thinks that because I ended last semester with Straight A’s that I can handle everything else she throws at me.  I can’t win with her. Nothing I do seems to make her proud.  If I clean all the dishes after dinner, she tells me that they’re soap spots.  If I vacuum the rug, she tells me that I missed a spot.  If I do the laundry, she tells me that her whites aren’t white enough. There is literally nothing I can do to make her take it easier on me.”

She looked pensive for a moment, pondering what to do. She never usually got involved with her students’ home lives but in this case she feels that she must. Kurt’s home life, while not abusive, was definitely not healthy. “Tell you what, I’m going to call them in for a parent-teacher conference and we’ll see if we can get this straightened out.  Your education is more important than clean drapes.” She says, and Kurt leans back in his chair and sighs. This can’t end well.

After Kurt left Mrs. Johnson’s office a little while later, Blaine caught up to him in the hall. Kurt loved having Blaine as a friend, because Blaine was always so friendly and caring. He never once made Kurt feel like he was a burden, the way Carole made him feel, and he was always there to lend an ear to Kurt when he needed to rant and rave about his parents’ unfair treatment of him and Finn.

“Hey, what’s going on, why were you called to the guidance counselor?” He asked, as they fell into unison, walking to their next class on the other side of the building. Kurt sighed.

“Because my stepmother is Lady Tremaine.” Blaine bit back a laugh.

“She can’t be that bad.” Blaine countered, trying to lighten the mood. But in reality, he knew what was going on at Kurt’s house, and he didn’t like it one bit.  It concerned him greatly and wished he could do something about it.

“You have no idea.”

Three days later, Carole and Burt were sitting in the same office Kurt was just a few days prior.  Neither of them really knows why they were called in, except that issues revolving around Kurt needed to be discussed. Once Mrs. Johnson sat back down in her chair after greeting them, she got down to business.

“Mr. and Mrs. Hummel, thank you for meeting with me today.  I’d like to talk to you about your son.’

“I was surprised to find out we need to meet.” Burt said honestly, he hadn’t known that something was wrong with Kurt until today and he still didn’t know what.

“What did Kurt do wrong?” Carole asked bitterly.

Mrs. Johnson looked at the formidable woman across from her intensely, before responding. “Why do you assume he’s done something wrong?”

“You called us in for a parent-teacher conference.  What other reason could there be except he is in trouble?” She shook her head at the assumption.

“Surprisingly, Mrs. Hummel, he isn’t in trouble.  But I did talk to him the other day and a few things he said alarmed me.” Burt perked up at this, and Carole scoffed.

“Like what?” Burt asked, concerned for his son.

“He said that he doesn’t have time to study and do homework because he has too many chores at home.”  Carole rolled her eyes.

“I don’t see how that is any of your business.”

“When Kurt’s grades begin to drop, it becomes my business.” Mrs. Johnson says adamantly. She cares about every one of her students, even those she only really got to know a few days ago.

“He doesn’t have that much to do.” Carole defended. Mrs. Johnson knew that she was going to have a hard time with Kurt’s stepmother, and she knew that she’d have to tread carefully if she was going to be effective at all.

“I’m not saying he does, and I’m not saying he doesn’t.  But with Dalton comes certain standards and one of those standards is that students’ schoolwork be exemplary.  For someone who spent so many years in public school, it can be a daunting task.  Kurt was doing spectacularly last semester.  Now he’s not. There must be something that has changed between then and now, to cause this.” Carole scowls. “I feel that maybe there is something you can do at home, to make things easier on him? Maybe cut back on his chores, or help him monetarily so he doesn’t have to work at his part-time job so much?

“We’ll try.  Finn can do more chores at home.” Burt said, wanting to help his son in any way he can.

“Like hell he will.  My son won’t be doing extra chores because your son can’t handle the pressure.” Carole said resentfully

It was Burt’s turn to scoff. “Finn doesn’t do any chores.  No matter how many times I tell you that he should.”

“We’ll talk about this later.” She replied, not wanting to air any more of their dirty laundry in front of this stranger.

Later that day, Kurt is pulling into the driveway, wondering precisely how the parent-guidance counselor conference went between his parents and Mrs. Johnson when he noticed that Finn’s car wasn’t in the driveway. Neither was his Dad’s. This meant that Carole was home. She was the only one home.  This was not a good thing, not a good thing at all.

He didn’t want to enter the house without someone else there, but what was he going to do? Go to the shop and hide, because he was scared of his step-mother? Run to Mercedes’ or Rachel’s house and tell them? Neither of them would believe him, because they’ve both met Carole and think she’s absolutely brilliant. He sighed, and put his Navigator in park, before walking up the steps. The moment he entered the house, he was bombarded by the woman he was so hoping was preoccupied.

“How DARE you tell someone about what goes on in our own home?  Who do you think you are?  Whining to your teacher that you have too many chores?  Everyone has chores, you’re not special.” She shouted at him, before he got both feet inside the entryway of their house. This angered him. Carole was always passive aggressive in her dislike for Kurt before, but this time, she was actively telling him how horrible he’s being, when in fact he’s done nothing of the sort.

“Finn doesn’t. In fact, Finn does nothing.  Why is that?” He asked, cocking his head to the side and giving her his best bitch face.

“Don’t bring Finn into this.  This is about you and your holier than thou attitude, thinking you should be able to get away with not pulling your own weight in this house.” Kurt’s eyes widened, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  He pulled his weight more than anyone in the house, except his father. Considering Carole and Finn never did anything.

“My attitude?” He yells.  “You mean the one who where I work my ass off without complaint until I got to a point that my teachers and guidance counselor have to step in?” He drops his bag on the ground and walks over towards her, towering over her.  “Or are we talking about the fact that I go to school all day and come home to have to do 4 hours of cleaning every night while you sit at home, or go to the mall all day and burn all of Dad’s hard earned money while doing absolutely nothing to earn any yourself?” He shouted.

“What I do is none of your business, young man.  And you will show me some respect.” She replies haughtily, and Kurt laughs.

“Like hell I will.  You have to give respect to get it.  I gave it to you for months and I never got any in return.  Then you accost me before I even get in the front door?” He shakes his head, so over all the drama that she causes in his life.  “So I’m done.  Have fun living in a dirty house, because I won’t be cleaning it anymore.

“Don’t you walk away from me, young man.”

“Or what?” He turns around and faces her. “You’ll do what, if I do? Tell me to scrub the floors with my toothbrush? Tell me to comb through the carpets with fine tooth comb, while you sit on your fat ass and do absolutely nothing of value?” That’s when it hits him.  Well more to the point, that’s when her hand hits him, right across the face.

“Apologize, right now.”

“No.” He said, before turning around and going up to his room. He locked his door, and collapsed onto his bed. He refused to cry, he refused to let her hear him sob into his pillow.  He refused to let her win. But the self-control that required was getting harder and harder every time he needed it.

Later that night, Kurt was sitting on his computer, writing up an essay for his English class, when Kurt enters his room, unasked. He plops down on Kurt’s perfectly made bed annoying Kurt to no end.

“What is your problem, dude?” He asked, and Kurt looks up and takes a deep breath to prevent him from saying something he shouldn’t.

“None of your business, Finn.” He says, before returning to his paper.

“You’re being a whiny bitch, you know that?” Finn says, and Kurt has to work hard to keep control of his actions, because if he hadn’t Finn would have a bruise forming where his eye is in a few minutes.

“I’m being treated like a slave in my own home, and because I think that’s unfair I’m a whiny bitch?” Kurt asks incredulously.  Finn nods.

“Well, yeah.  Our parents treat us the same, dude.” He says, and Kurt goes slack jawed, unable to understand how Finn could think that.

“The fact that you think that is true hurts more than the actual unfair treatment.” Kurt says, before pointing to the door. “Please leave.”

“No.” Finn says, staying right where he is. “Not until you tell me why you’re being such a brat.”

“Finn, what do you do around here?   Like for the house?  What do you that contributes to the family’s well being, instead of just for your own amusement?” Kurt finds it sad that Finn has to actually think about this for a minute before answering.

“I do the dishes.” Kurt shakes his head.

“You do the dishes when Carole or Burt asks you to help me with them. I do them every night, not you.  Next?” Finn has to think even harder.


“You can’t think of a single thing, can you?” Kurt asks, and Finn looks towards the door, as if he wants to bolt. “I clean the dishes every night, I vacuum the carpets in every room at least 3 times a week, I scrub the floors of all the bathrooms, and the kitchen twice a week, I dust all the knick knacks, curtains and drapes every week, and that is just the tip of the list of what I do around here.”

“But you do all that stuff on your own dude.  No one is making you do it.” Finn points out, and Kurt shakes his head.

“Your mom is making me do it, Finn. I don’t want to do any of it, with the possible exception of cleaning dishes after dinner, because I actually enjoy that on occasion. But everything else? I am forced to do because your mother doesn’t want to make you do a single god damned thing. You don’t see that as a problem, and my father isn’t home enough to realize it. If being upset that I’m being unfairly causes me to act like a whiny bitch, then sure.  I’m a whiny bitch. But I’m also a whiny bitch who has to finish writing this paper that is due tomorrow, so can you please just leave me alone so I can get to work?” Kurt asks, trying his damned to keep his tone and volume under control.  It was hard because Finn’s actions were making him want to punch a wall, but he knows that if he did he’d have to clean it up himself.

One day after Kurt and Carole had their screaming match in the entryway of their house, Kurt decided enough was enough.  There was no way he was going to continue abiding by their rules, if they weren’t even going to respect him enough to treat him fairly. So after a night out with Blaine, where they both went to a movie that let out far later than Kurt’s curfew, Burt was pissed. Especially because he didn’t know about Kurt’s new found belief regarding family rules and curfews.

“Kurt, where have you been?” Burt bellowed, as Kurt entered through the front door.

“Out.” He replied, not even looking at his father.

“Out where?” Burt asked, but Kurt shrugged.

“Just out.  You don’t need to know where I was.  I’m perfectly safe now, aren’t I?” Kurt countered, and Burt grinded his teeth.

“Your curfew was an hour ago.” Kurt rolled his eyes.

“I don’t recognize your arbitrary period of time in which I must return home anymore.  If this family is going to treat me as an unappreciated servant rather than a son, I’m not going to obey the rules you have for your son.” Kurt said, before walking up to his room, leaving his father in the entryway.  Burt wasn’t happy about this new side of his son, and followed him upstairs.

“Of course you’re my son, Kurt.  Where is all this coming from?” He asked, and Kurt chuckled.

“I know that I set the two of you up, but I didn’t think when I did, that Carole would turn into the evil Stepmother of legend after you two got married.” Kurt said, taking his shirt off as he got ready for bed.

“That’s harsh; don’t talk about her that way.” Burt demanded, and Kurt shook his head in defiance.

“When she talks to me whatever way she wants, I will talk about her whatever way I want.” Kurt counters, and Burt huffs.

“I don’t like this attitude, Kurt.  You used to be such a good kid.” It was true, Kurt used to be so nice and polite to everyone around him. It was only recently that Burt saw a change in Kurt’s behavior. He had no idea why, but he didn’t like it one bit.

“And I still could be good, if I y’know didn’t have a stepmother who likes to use me as her personal servant and if I had a father with a backbone to stand up to her.” Kurt told him, flopping down onto his bed, as if he wasn’t currently having an argument about his father.

“Kurt…” Burt said in a warning tone. Kurt sneered.

“I’m almost 18 Dad.  What happens in a year and a half when I graduate and go to New York?  Who is going to do all the housework then?  Carole won’t.  Finn won’t.  Both of them are the laziest people I’ve ever met.” Burt finally had it, he was tired of his son’s disrespect of everyone in his family, and he had to step up and lay down the law.

“You’re grounded.  Until you can learn to speak with some respect to your stepmother, stepbrother and me.”

“Whatever.” Kurt said, unphased by the grounding. Why would he?  He doesn’t obey the family’s rules anymore, why would grounding hold him back?

The next day, Kurt and Blaine meet up at lunch. They’re talking with some of their friends, when Kurt turns to Blaine and asks “Hey do you think I could crash at your house tonight?” Blaine looks at him curiously.

“I guess so my parents shouldn’t have a problem with it.” Kurt looks relieved.


“Why aren’t you going home?” Wes asks, overhearing their conversation.

“I was grounded and I can’t stand it there at the moment.” Kurt replies. All the Warblers knew the basics of how much Kurt despised his family currently, but they didn’t know quite as much as Blaine did.

“That’s sucks…but if you’re grounded…how can you stay at my house?” Blaine asks.

“I honestly don’t give a damn about my grounding. Let my dad get pissed, I don’t care anymore.” Kurt says, and Blaine nods.

“This still about your stepmother?” Kurt nods his head, a look of disgust gracing his face.

“Yea, she’s getting worse and now my Dad is siding with her. I never thought things would get so bad.”

“Don’t worry.  You know you’re always welcome at my house.” Blaine says, and Kurt welcomes that knowledge more than Blaine, Wes or any of the other Warblers could possibly imagine.

That night, Julia and Martin Anderson were ecstatic to have Kurt stay over.  They loved him, as much as they loved Blaine. They considered him a second son, and hated hearing about his troubles at home.

“So Kurt, Blaine says you’re having family trouble?” Kurt nodded.

“My stepfamily is the stepfamily from Hell and my father is slowly being sucked in.” They all chuckled at the analogy, even though it was far from sarcastic.

“How so?” Martin asked, and Kurt placed his fork on his plate, to describe his family’s current dynamic.

“My stepbrother is a moron who thinks sitting on his butt playing Call of Duty with his friends while I do all the housework is fair.” Both Julia and Martin looked at him skeptically when he said this. “No really, I pointed it out to him one day and he was like ‘That’s completely fair, Dude.’ “He said in his best Finn voice. Blaine chuckled at the spot on impression.  “My stepmother doesn’t want her or her precious son lifting a finger so she has me do it all and my Dad is too astounded by the idea of having sex on a regular basis to stand up to her.” Julia and Martin’s face clearly expressed what they refused to say aloud.

“That’s horrible.” Blaine’s mother said, and Kurt nodded his agreement.

“When they first got married, the first thing she did was cut my allowance.  Giving me ¼ of what I was supposed to get.  The fact that my dad used to pay me out of pocket for all the work that I did in the shop, never clued in to her. So it was like I was getting less than minimum wage until my Dad stepped in.  Unfortunately, that was also the last time he really stepped in. It makes me sick.” Kurt said, picking his fork back up and taking a bite of the delicious meal that Julia had prepared, with Kurt’s help that evening.

“Makes me appreciate you guys more and more…” Blaine commented, making the other occupants of the table smile.

“And don’t you forget it.” Martin pointed out, smirking as he did so.

“I just can’t wait until I can leave that stupid house and never return.”  He lamented, staring into his mashed potatoes. Julia and Martin looked at each other from across the table. They both hated that their son’s best friend was so downtrodden. He was one of the most polite, well-spoken, and well-mannered boys they’d ever met; and that is saying something because they had at least met every one of Blaine’s friends from Dalton.

“Kurt, you’re welcome here whenever you’d like.” Martin tells him, Julia nodding along.

“Thank you, Mr. Anderson.” Kurt says, forcing a smile at the two of them.

“Please, call me Martin.”

Later on when Kurt finally checks his phone to see how many times his father called to find out where he was (10, to be exact) he decided to call his father, and let him know precisely why he didn’t come home that night.  Burt wasn’t happy. Julia and Martin were in their living room, when they heard Kurt on the phone, and it broke their heart when he got off the phone.

“Dad, I don’t care that I’m grounded.  I told you if you, Carole and Finn won’t treat me as family, then I’m not going to obey family rules.  I’m at a friend’s house and that’s all you need to know.” There was a pause, probably Burt asking where he was, or who he was with.  “No, I will not tell you which friend.” Another pause. “Because that would defeat the purpose of not coming back to your house tonight.” They hated that Kurt no longer refers to his house as home. Every person, no matter what age should have a home. “It hasn’t been my home in months.”

After he hangs up the phone, Julia calls him into the living room, so she and Martin can talk with him. After taking a deep breath and trying to relax after arguing with his father, he entered the Anderson’s living room.

“What’s going on?”

“We just wanted to reiterate that if you ever need a place to stay, you can stay here.” Julia told him, and Kurt grimaced.

“You heard that, did you?” He asked, and they both nodded.

“If it gets too hard for you at home… you’re always welcome here.” Martin says, and Kurt looks at him doubtfully.

“Are you suggesting what I think you are?”

“We are, Kurt.” Martin says, before Julia expands.

“If you want to, we’d be happy if you moved in here.” They said, and Kurt was gob smacked. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“Seriously? I’d love to!”  He paused, and then continued “But I can’t put you out like that…”

“Don’t think about that, Kurt.  We care about you and we don’t want you to suffer anymore than you already have.” Martin says, and Kurt can feel the tears welling up in his eyes. Not because of their generosity, not because of his family’s unfair treatment. But because for the first time in months, someone actually genuinely cares about his wellbeing, and he hasn’t had that in a long time.

Every day for the next two weeks, Kurt would slowly move some of his things out of his house. A suitcase full of clothes here, a box full of shoes, there. His room was always tidy, and no one ever went into it, so neither Burt, nor Carole nor did Finn ever notice that something was happening. Then the morning that all of Kurt’s things had finally been moved into Blaine’s home, was coincidentally the morning of Kurt’s birthday. He got up earlier than usual that morning, because he wanted to get the last vestiges of his life into the Navigator. His laptop.  His printer. His iPhone, and his last suitcase of clothes, containing his Dalton uniforms, and a few odd pieces of clothing he left here in case he were to go somewhere outside the house that he needed to dress for.

But that was it. There was nothing left in his room. Nothing but the bed and dressers. He felt bad about leaving the boudoir that had his mother’s scent engrained in it, but he couldn’t take it with him as it was in his father’s bedroom, and it would be too heavy to move on his own. So instead he took one last look at his very bare room, and closed the door lightly.

He walked downstairs and too an envelope out of his pocket and placed it on the dining room table. With a final look at the kitchen that he’d grown up in, he took the key to the house off of his key ring, and placed it next to the envelope and quietly left the house.

He didn’t know how his father reacted when he read the letter, nor did he want to know how Carole would react. He knows that in about two hours when they all got up, he’d get an angry call from his dad on his cell phone. But by then, he’d be eating breakfast at Blaine’s house with Blaine, Martin and Julia, the three people in his life that he knows care about him, and would never abuse his generosity.