Actions

Work Header

Lullabye for a Stormy Night

Chapter Text

PROLOGUE:

I Dared Not Move

[April, 2024]

‘Let me lie in the curve of your body tonight, and I will hear you tumble into sleep. I will watch you heal, I will watch you heal with me. I will sing you morning lullabies; you are beautiful, and peaceful this way.’ Morning Lullabies by Ingrid Michaelson

Kurt rubs his eyes tiredly as he wakes abruptly to the sound of his husband getting sick – again. He’s starting to get really worried about Blaine. This is the third time this week that Kurt has woken up to Blaine retching and clutching the toilet. He’s begged and pleaded for Blaine to see the doctor, but his husband is stubborn and keeps telling Kurt that it’s just a stomach bug and that he’ll be fine.

Kurt’s seen Blaine with the stomach flu before and he doesn’t think this is it. Blaine’s been tired all the time, achy, and really emotional. Kurt knows that this isn’t just some illness going around, but he doesn’t want to outright say what he thinks is going on, for fear he might be wrong and just get his hopes up.

He blinks rapidly at the faint grey light of the morning as it bleeds through the navy sheer drapes hanging over the large window in their room. He glances bleary eyed at the clock, which blinks 5:42AM. Sighing he throws the warm covers off of his body, turning the large lamp on the nightstand on, and quickly pads into the bathroom that connects to their bedroom. The sight that greets him makes him second guess his decision to go to Paris this week for work. Blaine keeps telling Kurt what a great opportunity it is for him and that he’ll be fine, but Kurt can’t stand the thought of leaving Blaine alone and sick(he reminds himself to not use the other word, tells himself Blaine hasn’t even taken a test yet) for a seven whole days.

He kneels down behind Blaine and rubs circles into his back, waiting for his body to relax. A minute passes and Blaine coughs, reaching a heavy hand up to flush, and then slumps down into Kurt, warm and sweaty. Kurt kisses the side of his head and brushes back wet curls from his husband’s forehead with a cool hand.

“Promise me if this keeps up while I’m gone, you’ll see the doctor, babe.”

Blaine groans, tries to hide his face in Kurt’s chest, but Kurt clicks his tongue and lifts Blaine’s chin with a finger.

“Promise me, Blaine.”

Blaine sighs and grumbles, “Fine, I promise, you worrywart.”

Kurt rolls his eyes, presses a kiss to Blaine’s flushed cheek, and then helps him up. He leans against the wall and waits while Blaine brushes his teeth. He smiles at his husband when he finishes and grabs his hand, tugging him back into the bedroom. Blaine shuffles behind him, wrapping his arm around Kurt’s waist and resting his head against Kurt’s back with a sleepy sigh. When they reach their large dark oak bed, Kurt gently pushes Blaine onto it and watches in amusement as the man flops down among the powder blue sheets, reaching for Kurt with a pout.

Kurt ignores him and instead tucks Blaine’s limbs in, covering his lax body with the sheets, making sure to lay the knitted blanket his grandmother made him when he was a child over him as well. Blaine smiles sleepily up at him, snuggling into the bed.

Before he climbs back into bed with Blaine, Kurt makes his way to the window and closes the thicker curtains, blocking out the light. The room is now dark save for a glow emitted from the lamp. Blaine sighs contentedly and reaches over to click the light off, turning on his side and waiting for Kurt to slide in behind him.

When he does, Blaine lazily grabs for Kurt’s hand, tugs it over his waist, and falls back to sleep with a content smile.

-

Two days later, Blaine’s world falls apart at the seams.

“We’re very sorry for your loss.” They tell him, their eyes sympathetic.

“There’s no way he could have survived the crash.” They inform him, their hands either clasped together formally or hidden beneath pockets.

Blaine has to take deep breaths, his vision starting to cloud with tears, heart pounding like a drum within his chest. His – his husband, his Kurt, is dead. He can’t even bury him because they either couldn’t find his body, or it was too ruined by the plane crash that killed him to identify.

He slumps forward and holds his head in his hands, elbows bracketed on his knees, but just as quickly as his body goes limp he bolts upright as his stomach lurches. He runs to the bathroom with a hand covering his mouth and drops to his knees as he empties the contents of his stomach. Blaine doesn’t remember how long he’s stuck in the bathroom heaving, crying, and trying to make sense of this new, devastating information.

When he returns to the living room on shaky legs, his guests have left and the room suddenly feels too cold and empty.

Blaine sits down numbly, letting the silence descend upon him for what seems like hours, until finally, he reaches for his phone with a trembling hand. Dialing Burt’s number, he brings the phone to his ear, listening and waiting for his father-in-law to answer, brushing his thumb across his wedding ring, translucent tears dropping like pearls onto the metal in stillness.

-

Cooper holds his hand at the service. There’s no body to bury, but Kurt wouldn’t have wanted that anyway. His brother speaks for him, reading words off of a wrinkled paper smudged with ink where Blaine’s salty tears invaded the swoops and swirls of his words.

When it’s all finished, Blaine feels empty, lost, and faintly nauseous – though that last one he’s been feeling for a while now.

He’s reminded suddenly of that precious morning not even a week ago; Kurt had taken such care of him, so gentle and worried, when Blaine had awoken early in the morning, his stomach rolling.

The service is a blur to Blaine, and when it finally ends in a haze Cooper tucks him into his side as they walk to the car.

“You doin’ okay, squirt? You look tired.”

Blaine sighs, looking away when they pass Burt and Carole, silently thanking Cooper for forgetting to wear his overwhelming cologne today as he breathes in against his brother’s side.

“I lost dad last year, lost K-Kurt… I -I need Kurt, Coop… I feel like I have nothing, like I am nothing, not without Kurt. I need him, and I can’t have him, so no, I am not okay.”

He’s not sure he’ll ever be okay.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER ONE:

His Quiet Corner

[April, 2024]

‘Just give us back our quiet corner. Now go back to the other side of my bed. I’ll go back to the place where you get started. And I’ll sleep, just put the pillows under my head.’ – Little Brother by Grizzly Bear

Blaine imagines how this day would have gone if things were different – right, his mind corrects, if things were right, if they were how they were supposed to be. He would drive home to their spacious New York apartment teary-eyed and smiling. When he opens the door and crosses into the living room he’d find his husband of four years waiting for him. Kurt would look up from his sketchpad and grin, setting his pencil and pad on the coffee table and opening his arms for Blaine. Blaine would laugh and perch himself on Kurt’s lap, pecking him lightly on the lips.

“So, what’s the verdict? Did they give you something for your stomach?” Kurt would ask, rubbing Blaine’s back and leaning them back against the couch cushions.

Blaine would grab Kurt’s hand and lead it towards his stomach, a salty tear trailing down his cheek and he would say, “It’s not the flu, Kurt.”

Kurt’s eyes would widen and he would gasp, laughing and smiling and peppering Blaine’s face with kisses. They would rush to the phone and call their respective family members and friends, ending the night with Kurt kissing first Blaine’s lips and then his stomach before slipping into sleep together, their legs tangled together.

Things are not like before, though. So instead Blaine sits in his car outside the hospital for an hour, crying sorrowful tears, before he can put himself together to make the drive back to Burt and Carole's house.

Then, when he's back in Kurt’s old room, he loses it again; he can't stand to see all of Kurt’s old things, can't stand to be in this house, with these people, in this town. Everything reminds him of Kurt here, and it’s too much for him to handle, not now. So Blaine impulsively throws all his things into his suitcase, writes a note and drives away.

Away from Ohio, away from New York; driving aimlessly until he runs out of gas.

Away, away, away.

-

In the small village of Hunawihr, France, Henri Fournier, an old man with skin weathered by years in the sun, ambles toward his garden. He’s going to pick his dear wife Anne some roses for their sixtieth anniversary. The flowers will also brighten up her spirit; she’s been so obsessed with that plane crash that happened not too long ago, leaving her melancholy and dispirited.

Henri grabs his shears and clips off blood red roses, letting them fall gently into the basket he carries in the crook of his elbow.

His dog, an old Great Dane named Jacques, walks toward him and sniffs at the roses. Henri pets him and then shoos him away with a wave of his hand. Jacques grunts and turns away, sniffing the air. His ears then perk up and he runs toward something with sharp eyes. Henri pays him no mind; Jacques is always finding odd objects and bringing them to him, a habit he picked up when he was just a pup.

He can hear Jacques barking and he rolls his eyes, moving toward the daisies, so that he can gather some of those for their dining table. From behind him he hears a shuffling sound, followed by a dragging one, and Henri turns in place to find Jacques tugging something long and large with his mouth towards his master.

He sets his basket down, makes his way toward Jacques and gasps when he gets a closer look; Jacques is dragging a man towards him, bloody and unconscious, with a jagged piece of metal sticking out of his leg.

“Oh mon Dieu! Anne! Anne! Venir rapidement!”

-

Blaine doesn’t regret leaving. Being surrounded by everything Kurt, from the kindness in Burt’s eyes, dimmed by grief, to the street where Kurt came to fix his car when Blaine broke down at the tender age of seventeen, to the Lima Bean, the grocery store-

He felt like he was drowning.

Blaine just needs to get away for awhile, allow himself to mourn without the stress of Burt’s crying at night and Carole’s constant look of confusion and-

He just needs this.

So Blaine drives and drives until his gas light comes on. He’s in some small town he didn’t bother to learn the name of, but the motel he rents a room at seems decent and he’s really only staying here for the night anyway.

He’ll be gone by the next afternoon, bringing himself farther away from that wild sea of grief and towards something safe, and quiet.

But for now he tosses his bags into the dimly lit room and turns off his phone – ignoring the missed calls and texts. Blaine rubs a hand over his face and sighs; he needs a shower and he needs sleep. The shower is small, but so is Blaine and soon he’s clean, drifting out of the steam filled bathroom and towel drying his wet body as he readies himself for much needed sleep. Kurt would scold him for neglecting his nightly moisturizing routine, Blaine thinks as he settles into the bed. And then Blaine would fondly roll his eyes at Kurt, pout until Kurt’s frown went away and then Kurt-

Blaine clutches the sheets in tight fists. He needs to stop thinking of the what-ifs; Kurt isn’t going to scold him or hug him, kiss or love him anymore, because Kurt is gone. Blaine needs to get used to that, needs to get used to being alone – until the baby comes, he thinks – and stop getting lost in memories.

Kurt isn’t here, he will never come back, because Kurt is dead, his body lost in a foreign land.

-

Henri and Anne visit the injured man they found unconscious at the local hospital where he’s being treated. The doctor in charge of his recovery has told them that he had no ID on him and has yet to wake up. Along with the multiple cuts, scrapes, burns, broken bones and bruises he also apparently has some minor brain damage and the metal in his leg has caused severe muscle damage.

Anne quietly sets lilies on the small table next to the man’s bedside and gently runs her fingers through his hair. Henri sits next to his wife and opens an aged and well-read poetry book to read to him, holding his wife’s hand in his as words flow from his lips. As he reads he can’t help but feel responsible for this poor soul, and he knows Anne feels the same.

Whoever this young man is, Henri knows that he and his wife will stick by his side and help him to recover no matter what.

-

Blaine wakes up feeling like he got no sleep whatsoever. He knows it’s from the pregnancy, but he still can’t help but feel odd. He’s never been one to oversleep and lately it feels like that is all that he does. He rubs a hand over his face, groaning into the late morning light. Thankfully, he hasn’t felt sick in the past few days, but he doesn’t want to try his luck, so when he drives to the small diner down the street he orders toast and foods that taste bland.

Oddly enough, when he eats the bowl of oats it tastes different, better somehow. He shrugs, adding a pinch of pepper to the bowl and stirring it with his spoon.

Blaine pulls out his phone, practically useless now that he’d disconnected it. The only use he has for it now is to take pictures. He scrolls past photos with his thumb to view the picture he took this morning. The picture isn’t as focused as he would like, considering he took it himself, but he’s satisfied with it for now. On the screen is his bare stomach, a small curve barely visible.

It is pictures like these that he’d wished his own mother had had the heart to take. Instead, the only picture he’d seen as a child of his mother, when she was pregnant with him, had been one taken at the hospital when she’d gone into labor. Her smile had been half hearted and forced and her eyes disinterested.

Blaine doesn’t want his child to feel the cold detachment he felt towards his mother, so he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure his son or daughter feels loved, starting with a picture.

One small gesture, one step forward, he thinks to himself.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER TWO:

Blunted and Exhausted

[May, 2024]

‘Nothing is pure anymore but solitude. It’s hard to make sense. Feels as if I’m sensing you through a lens. If someone else comes I’ll just sit here listening to the drums.’ – Comforting Sounds by Mew (cover by Birdy)

Blaine knows he needs to stop driving – running, he’s running, because isn’t that what he’s really doing? – through towns and leaving after a day to head for another. He can’t keep up this routine he’s been in for these past few weeks. He knows he needs to pick a town, drive there, and stay. He needs to go to doctor’s appointments, get a job and find a place to live. He’s having a baby - Kurt’s baby – and he needs to be stable and not this complete train wreck of a man that he’s been – that he is.

So Blaine finds a town one night as he sits cross-legged on a hotel bed. The town is small and inconspicuous; Absher, it is called, in Maine. It is surrounded by water and trees and looks peaceful.

It is perfect.

Blaine does his research and calls many people before he begins his drive. It will take five hours to get there and so he decides to stay longer than he usually does in one place, getting plenty of rest and eating well, trying to relax himself before he has to make the long drive.

He sets out early in the morning, spending his time in the car talking to his baby and singing quietly; his stories centered around Kurt and his songs all ones that he and Kurt thought special.

The hurt of thinking about Kurt, talking about him and sharing things about him isn’t so gripping and intense, so he calls it progress, ignoring the fact that he’s still running away from his family and friends, to settle in a place where he knows only one person, and by phone conversation at that.

When he arrives at his destination, he stops somewhere to sit and eat – a warm café run by an older, smiling gentleman named Xavier with an accent to his words that Blaine can’t quite place - and to observe the town in person so that he can really appreciate the peace and quiet. At five, he leaves the small café with a wave to Xavier feeling content in his decision to stay here.

Blaine drives down the roads slowly, squinting at street names until he finds the house he’s already put a deposit on to rent. Maggie Walters, the woman who owns the house and who gave Blaine a good deal - and his new job at the town bookstore - is waiting for him. She smiles bright when he pulls into the driveway, laugh lines on her pale face, her thin shoulders wrapped up in a green shawl. Her long - almost white - blonde hair, pulled into a braid, sways like a pendulum as she makes her way to his car to greet him.

Maggie had been understanding and sympathetic when Blaine had explained to her his situation. He’d keep most of the details down to a minimum, but Maggie’s kind words had drifted down the phone and seemed to wrap him in a hug, as if she’d sensed his grief and need for a fresh start and stability.

Now, in person, she really does fold him into her arms, exclaiming, “Blaine Anderson-Hummel! It is so good to see you here! The drive wasn’t too bad, I hope?”

Blaine smiles, Maggie’s shawl soft against his cheek. “Hi, Maggie. The drive wasn’t too bad. I hope you weren’t waiting out here for me for too long…” He finishes in a concerned tone.

Maggie pulls back and pats his cheek fondly, gesturing for Blaine to follow her into the house with her as she speaks, “Oh, darling I’m fine. I live just over there – that red house, see? - across the street, so don’t you worry.”

Blaine listens and follows Maggie as she shows him around the furnished house with a gentle hand on his back. Right now, as Maggie shows him what Blaine envisions could be a nursery, he feels less like he’s fraying at the seams in this warm house with this gentle woman who treats him like he’s her own.

And when Maggie invites him over for dinner at her house, tells him her wife Greta should be home soon and has been dying to meet him, he can feel tears and holes inside him being patched and re-stitched with loving fingers.

“I’d really like that, Maggie.” He tells her, sliding his hand into hers when she offers it to him with kind eyes and a patient smile.

-

Anne pulls Henri along through the halls of the hospital; they’d gotten the call they’d been waiting for that morning: their ‘le petit prince’ as Anne has fondly been calling him, has at long last woken up.

The nurses and doctors greet them with excited smiles and they wave distractedly. When they finally reach the correct corridor they quickly make their way towards the sheet around their boy’s bed.

Henri pulls the sheet back from the corner and Anne smiles lovingly as bright, slightly dazed glasz eyes stare at them in confusion. She moves towards him and gently takes his hand, murmuring words of comfort to him.

The doctor pulls Henri aside and tells him that his patient has amnesia and that he doesn’t know who he is; he’d initially woken up speaking English, and once the doctor spoke to him in French, he’d easily switched over, but couldn’t explain how or why he knew the language.

Henri listens as the doctor tells him that the only thing the man seems to remember about his life is someone named Blaine.

-

Blaine sits stiffly in the uncomfortable waiting room chair. He’s in a bad mood this morning; he’s achy and tired and he has a headache that just won’t go away. He keeps trying to liven up his spirits by reminding himself that he gets to see his baby today and hear the heartbeat, but every time he tries to think of the positives, he keeps coming back to the fact that this whole experience would be ten times better if Kurt were here.

(He’d hold Blaine’s hand while they stare misty eyed at the small monitor. Kurt would massage his head and run him a bath, would wake up at two in the morning to run to the store so Blaine could eat peanut butter sandwich with dill pickles and hot sauce. Kurt would be wonderful and perfect, doting on Blaine and not even complaining when he has to wake up in the middle of the night.)

Blaine starts when his name is called and he hurriedly wipes his eyes, frowning at the tears he didn’t even know were there. He smiles tightly at he nurse who waits for him to follow her, shaking his head to try and dispel the thoughts that plague him, and walks into the small room, ready for his appointment.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER THREE:

In the Way You’re Walking to me from the Timbers

[August, 2024]

‘Daddy’s ghost behind you, sleeping dog beside you. You’re a poem of mystery, you’re the prayer inside me. Spoken words like moonlight, you’re the voice that I like.’ – Faded from the Winter by Iron & Wine

It has only been three months since Blaine arrived in Absher, but Blaine feels as if he’s been living here his whole life. Maggie and Greta – he’d been intimidated the first time he met Maggie’s wife at that first dinner; her dark, mysterious eyes studying him, her sharp face and bold, black, short hair so different to Maggie, but then she’d smiled, all bright and interested, and asked how far along he was - seem to have adopted him as their own. Blaine was especially happy when Greta had asked to be his primary doctor; he, delightfully, said yes.

The night they’d been introduced had paved the way for numerous other evenings together to follow and soon Blaine was eating dinner with Maggie and Greta almost every night.

Now, in his kitchen, Blaine is just finishing up on his laptop while he waits for his pie to cool down. Since moving to Absher, he’s been leaving Cooper anonymous comments on his website with attachments to pictures of his ultrasounds, trusting that Cooper will send them to Burt and Carole – and that Cooper won’t try and use his IP address to track him down (Blaine also feels a bit bad when he thinks that Cooper is probably not smart enough to realize he could probably do just that). Once he’s done, he checks his pie – homemade blueberry, with the fruits fresh from the farmer’s market, and just a dash of cinnamon – and finds that it is at a perfect temperature.

When he’s not working or being dragged along on ridiculous adventures by Maggie, he’s found that he really enjoys baking. It’s calming, for Blaine – and he likes to think that the fluttering in his stomach indicates that the baby seems to like it too - and he enjoys the delight of pulling a moist chocolate cake out of the oven, or lightly sprinkling cinnamon and chocolate flakes over a pudding.

Blaine knows he’s terrible at cooking regular meals; it isn’t just that he’s bad at it, he simply doesn’t like the activity and in his opinion it reflects upon his dishes.

But when he’s baking, he feels content, calm and worry free. There’s just something about preparing to make a pumpkin spice pudding - cutting up a fresh pumpkin in pieces and setting the chunks on a pan to bake, waiting until they soften – that lets all the stress and sorrow roll off of him in waves.

Blaine moves to the door to grab his jacket and scarf before wrapping up the pie and heading out the door. It may still be summer, but Blaine’s come to learn how cold it can be in Maine, and he just doesn’t want to risk the chance of getting sick.

He starts his walk quickly toward Greta and Maggie’s beautiful red house, one hand habitually resting comfortably on his stomach, the other holding the pie.

Blaine is full of nervous energy today; they’re having an early dinner this afternoon because Maggie has to leave to pick up her visiting niece from the airport and Blaine has an appointment with Greta. This appointment is the one they’ve all been waiting for; today is they day they find out if his baby is a boy or a girl.

He can’t wait. He really has no preference either way, but he just can’t help imagining a little boy with wavy brown hair and bright blue eyes, or a little girl with his hazel eyes and long, curly auburn hair, giggling and smiling up at him.

A husky, amused voice interrupts his musings with, “Mmm… I thought I smelled something delicious. You spoil us, Mr. Anderson-Hummel!”

Blaine looks up to find Greta leaning on the big willow tree in front of her house, her arms crossed and an eyebrow raised, with a crooked smile gracing her lips.

He laughs and quickens his steps as best he can to give her a one armed hug, laughing again as she murmurs into his ear, “You indulge my Maggie, you know that? She keeps trying to drag me into the kitchen, begging me to learn how to bake like ‘her Blaine’.”

It is moments like this that Blaine holds onto, ones that help him on days when he can’t seem to drag himself out of bed. When the pain of losing Kurt nearly chokes him and he’s left floating on a bed of tears, his child’s insistent kicking the only thing that helps calm him.

But here, with Greta’s comforting arms wrapped around him, grounding him, Blaine is reminded that it’s okay to not be okay, that for the time he needs he has this peaceful town, he has loving friends here.

He has family here.

-

Anne watches Kurt – he’d finally remembered his name just two days ago along with someone named Burt, who he says is someone very important to him, but he doesn’t know why – hobble his way into their home. He’d been able to leave the hospital today and Anne and Henri had already planned to let him into their home.

Kurt stumbles in the hallway, clumsy with his cane, but Henri is there to hold him up and Anne smiles over at her husband as Kurt stutters out, “Mer-merci, Henri”.

Anne grips Kurt’s other arm, rubs circles soothingly with her thumb, and the two of them slowly lead Kurt into the small guest bedroom where he will stay.

-

Greta uses her free hand to hold Blaine’s as she presses the cool wand against his protruding stomach. She smoothes her fingers against his soft skin, reminding him that he isn’t alone, that everything will be alright.

“Okay, little cutie, let’s look at you, hmm?” She murmurs to herself, staring intently at the screen in front of her.

Blaine closes his eyes and focuses on his breathing, on the sound of his baby’s heartbeat echoing in the in the small white room.

“Aha!” Greta smiles, her eyes twinkling as she turns the monitor a bit so that Blaine can see his child, squeezing his hand in excitement as she does so.

Blaine opens his eyes and turns his head, catching Greta’s warm smile, his eyes questioning.

In response, she circles her finger on the screen and he gasps in happiness.

“A boy,” she whispers, as if sharing a delicate secret, meant to be kept safe and hidden from the rest of the world.

Blaine gives a watery laugh, covers his mouth with his hand and lets his tears fall, letting the image of a little boy with his curls, but Kurt’s hair color, with Kurt’s eyes and Blaine’s energetic temperament fill his head.

“A boy, my little boy, our – our baby boy.”

-

Kurt wakes up trembling.

His mind is clouded, glimpses of faces and feelings drifting in and out, leaving him with a pounding pain in his head. He sits up slowly, rests his head against the cold wall behind him, and then rummages through the drawer next to him, sighing in relief as his hand closes around the small pill bottle. He shakes out two white capsules and gulps them down with a swig of water.

The pills work quickly, and soon the pain in his head is dimming. He can think now, and focus. Anne and Henri have been so concerned with how hard Kurt has been trying to regain his memories. Kurt can’t help it though; he feels like he’s missing something important, like he has to get back to something.

Everything keeps coming back to a name: Blaine. And with that name comes feelings that Kurt just can’t ignore. He knows Blaine is a person, a man that Kurt loves deeply, with all of his being. He knows Blaine has warm, hazel eyes that glitter when he says I love you and he knows Blaine likes being woken up with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, but he doesn’t know how Blaine likes his coffee. He knows Blaine’s father just recently passed and he knows Blaine has a brother, but he doesn’t know their names. Kurt knows Blaine has a long white scar on his back, but he doesn’t know how he got it.

It’s all so maddening.

Kurt feels like he knows bits and pieces of Blaine, like he has the edges and the pieces of the middle of a puzzle, but that he won’t ever figure out what the end result is.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER FOUR:

Give Me Back My Pieces

[September, 2024]

‘Open me up and you will see I’m a gallery of broken hearts. I’m beyond repair, let me be, and give me back my broken parts. I just want to know today, know today, know today…Know that maybe I will be okay.’ – Be Okay by Ingrid Michaelson

Anne and Henri have discovered that Kurt is an excellent cook. When Henri asks him if he thinks he is a chef, Kurt narrows his eyes and thinks with pursed lips, absentmindedly stirring the soup on the stove with a wooden spoon. After a moment he slowly shakes his head no and continues to make them all dinner with a thoughtful look on his face.

When they’ve all finished eating their meal, as they sit outside in the garden, Kurt tells them he thinks he makes clothes, but that he’s not too sure. Henri nods and pats Kurt’s shoulder, tells him it is okay to not know and Anne tells Kurt not to push himself too hard, that things will come back to him eventually, that he just needs to be patient.

Kurt sighs, smiles tight lipped at Henri and with an offer to make them tea he limps, aided by his newly acquired – and more stylish - cane, along back into the house.

That night, Anne and Henri are awoken by a shout from down the hall and they sleepily, but hurriedly, make their way into Kurt’s room. When they enter, Kurt is gasping on his bed, tears streaming down his face. Anne holds him as he cries and Henri rubs his back, waiting for Kurt to calm down and tell them what’s wrong.

With a whimper, Kurt says in English, “I rem-m-member, I remember e-ev-everything.”

At Henri and Anne’s confused faces, Kurt tells them in French with a watery smile, “Je m-m-me-me souviens.”

-

Greta convinces Blaine to go with her to the store and buy some baby items that aren’t generic. She tells him that now he knows he’s having a son he can buy things with personality and really get to work on the nursery. He can’t help but agree with an excited smile. So they spend the day together perusing baby aisles and going in and out of vintage stores and specialty shops, bags and boxes heavy in their arms.

Blaine ends up buying more than he anticipated, but he’s not too worried about it. He’s not having a baby shower – it wouldn’t feel right to him, without Kurt or the rest of his family or friends to enjoy it with – so it’s up to him and Maggie and Greta to fill the nursery with the perfect items. He thinks Kurt would be impressed with what he’s managed to procure so far; there are a few items that Blaine has bought that Kurt would claim are too tacky or cliché, but everything else is perfectly soft and in a soothing color scheme - things Kurt himself would pick out.

He’s still clutching the ivory baby blanket with the embroidered bird stitched on its corner when Greta leaves after helping him move all their purchases into the nursery. He’d declined her offer of tea and cake, telling her he’s had a long day and his feet and back are killing him.

He’s definitely planning on an early night, and after his nightly routine – which he took up again, and added cocoa butter to (Kurt would be proud of him) – he settles himself into his soft bed, his large glasses perched on his nose. Tonight he’s wearing one of his favorites of Kurt’s sweaters; grey with dark blue on the sleeves, stretched out around the middle from his large stomach.

His cup of steaming chamomile tea is cooling on his bedside table, the warmth from the mug catching on his hand when he reaches for the book of baby names resting beside it. Blaine flips past the purple markers – girl names that he’d gone through already – and settles on the green ones, rubbing a soothing hand over his stomach when his son gives a rather hard kick.

“Okay, buddy, let’s look and see if we can find you in here, huh? How about Elijah, baby? Do you like that? That was your daddy’s middle name, did you know that? Hmm… I think, I think that should be your middle name too, how about that, baby? What do you think?”

Blaine rubs a comforting hand over his stomach as he talks, grinning when his son kicks back, though not as forcefully this time, against his hand. He continues to talk to his little boy, pondering over names well into the night - even though he’s sure he’s already found the perfect name for his son – until his voice drops to a whisper and his eyes drift closed, his glasses slipping down his nose, the book of names resting on the swell of his stomach.

-

In an airport in Ohio, a young man with a new limp to his gait, a stutter that annoys him to no end and a pink scar over his right eyebrow is welcomed into the arms of a family who thought him dead. It has taken him a while to remember them, to remember even who he is in fact, but his newly recovered memory knows that a member of his family, one of the most important, is definitely not there.

After he’s hugged them all tightly, he turns to his father, still wiping tears from his eyes and asks, “W-w-w-here’s Blaine?”

-

It’s been a long day and Blaine lays in bed frustrated. His hips and his abdomen ache and his chest feels downright uncomfortable. He’s been trying to fall asleep for what seems like hours, but to no avail. He’s at the point where he’s just tired of being pregnant and now wants this to be over with already so he can hold his son in his arms and feel normal again.

He turns onto his side with some difficulty in an attempt to get more comfortable. When he moves, however, his son seems to wake up and Blaine knows that by now there is absolutely no chance of him getting any sleep tonight.

He winces as he feels his son kick, rubbing over the spot and speaks pleadingly to his son. “Come on sweetie, daddy wants to sleep.”

His words seem to work and Blaine sighs in relief, holding onto his pillow and snuggling in. When his son starts to hiccup, however, he groans in frustration and throws off the covers, slipping his robe on and heading for the kitchen.

If he’s going to be awake, he might as well get something to eat out of it.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER FIVE:

In the Morning I’ll be With You

[October, 2024]

‘And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be fine. And I told you to be balanced, and I told you to be kind. And in the morning I’ll be with you, but it will be a different kind…Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?’ – Skinny Love by Bon Iver(cover by Lindsey Pavao)

It’s taken forever to get here, what with the insane amount of questioning of his family, and the multiple appointments with government officials. But now here he is, back at his childhood home, waiting for answers.

Kurt stares blankly at the people seated on the couch in front of him. He picks up the pictures scattered on the coffee table, all ultrasounds, and studies them while everyone waits for him to speak.

“So, let me get this s-s-straight: Blaine is p-pr-preg-preg” Kurt pauses, collects himself and takes a deep breath before continuing, “…pregnant, alone, and none of you know where he is.”

Burt closes his eyes and rubs a hand over his head and Cooper stares sorrowfully out the window. Carole keep fussing over Kurt, begging him to sit and rest, but he waves her away. Finn looks at Kurt guiltily, and Kurt wants to wipe that look off of his face, because as much as he’s angry and confused and hurt, he knows this isn’t Finn’s fault.

It’s Cooper who answers him, in a steady and sad voice, “He just – he just took off. Left a note, disconnected his phone and none of us knew where he went. I went to New York, to your guys’ apartment, but he wasn’t there and your neighbors said he hadn’t been back since he first left to come here. We’ve looked for him, Kurt, went to the police, but there wasn’t anything they could do.”

Kurt sighs, leans on his cane and runs his thumb over the latest picture; in the corner is the indicator of the gender of his baby – a boy, he’s going to have a son, and soon too.

“I need to find him. Now.”

-

Blaine slowly makes his way to the back of the bookstore, a list of books in one hand, his other rubbing circles into a rather painful spot on his lower back. He winces and stops walking, leaning against the doorframe that leads to the back of the store to catch his breath. Maggie keeps telling him to cut back on his hours at work, but he never listens.

He’s beginning to regret that now.

His day had started off horribly though, and he figures he can attribute his bad mood to the fact that it hasn’t gotten better since he woke up.

He’d barely gotten any sleep, not able to get comfortable and hit with a bad case of heartburn, and, coupled with the fact that he woke up gasping and shaking from a terrifying dream – a nightmare, where he’d been forced to walk down a deserted road, with his dad, Cooper, Burt and Carole, Greta and Maggie and Quinn and Tina, Mike and Sam following him and begging him to stop walking, to come back to them; but he couldn’t make himself stop, and instead kept walking, stumbling when pain blossomed along his back and stomach, until finally he could stop, only to find a bloodied Kurt holding a very still baby in his arms, staring at Blaine with cold, dead eyes – his mood is definitely not is the good category today.

He couldn’t keep down food after that – and oh, he had been pissed at that, thinking he’d been done with the nausea months ago - his son wouldn’t keep still, and he started having Braxton Hicks contractions leaving him tired, sore, hungry, and shaken.

Blaine pushes it through it though, happy at least that today is Friday, which means dinner with Greta and Maggie for the first time in more than a month – they’ve all been increasingly busy, with Maggie consoling her niece due to her father’s (Maggie’s estranged brother) death, Greta helping in any way she can, and Blaine finally starting the new book he’s had the inspiration for. It has also been a tough month for him too, what with the baby coming soon, and the realization that his son is going to grow up without his other father really hitting him hard.

He’s reassured Maggie and Greta that he’s okay, to give him some time, and they’ve been understanding about it. But Blaine is ready to see them again, needs to see them again, and wants to finally meet Maggie’s niece too.

Today he’s invited Maggie and Greta to have dinner at his house; he’s finally finished decorating the nursery and he can’t wait to show them. He’s been pretty tight lipped about it all and he knows they’re dying to see it.

They don’t know it yet, but he’s also going to tell them the name of his son.

But first, he has to get through today.

(And make another trip to the bathroom, because seriously it’s like his son is purposely sitting on his bladder, or something.)

-

Maggie hugs him tightly for five minutes straight when she and Greta arrive. Blaine searches for Maggie’s niece, but Greta explains her absence.

“She actually went to the next town over to visit an old friend for awhile, but you’ll meet her soon, I promise.”

Dinner goes well; Blaine thinks his pumpkin soup could use more…something, but Maggie and Greta think it’s delicious. After they empty their bowls – Blaine has thirds and Maggie has seconds so he doesn’t feel too bad about it – he serves them all a slice of butter pecan pie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a cup of hot earl grey tea each.

Maggie’s eyes go wide when he sets her plate in front of her and he shares an amused smile with Greta at her wife’s excited expression.

Once Maggie leans back in her seat and rubs her belly, finished with her dessert, he claps his hands together and gestures for them to follow him. Greta helps Maggie out of her seat with a roll of her eyes and keeps her hand clasped within her wife’s as they follow Blaine down the hall.

Blaine takes a deep breath with his hand on the door handle, looks back at the women and eases the door open.

Greta gasps behind him and Maggie lets out a soft, “Oh, Blaine” as they take in the room.

The walls are a light blue-green – almost reminiscent of Kurt’s eyes – that he paid a teenager that works at the bookstore with him to paint for him; there is a brown tree decal over the crib, with luminescent pearls acting as leaves. The crib is a deep, almost black wood, with blue and ivory bedding, laced with a subtle tree branch pattern. Over the head of the crib on one side are three weathered, but still beautiful, birdhouses. The rocking chair, a plush brown bear with a blue ribbon around its neck sitting in its seat, is set by the window, which is framed by long, ivory drapes that hang down to the floor.

On a shelf on the other side of the crib are various sized frames with pictures of Kurt and Blaine, of Burt and Carole, his late father and Cooper; Maggie and Greta, Quinn, Mercedes and Sam, Tina and Mike, Wes and Nick and Jeff, Rachel and Finn and a group picture of the New Directions.

This is all the main focus of the room, but to the left there is the changing table, the same wood as the crib and the right is where the wardrobe is, the doors left open to reveal the many clothes, blankets, with a few stuffed animals on the bottom.

Blaine sits down slowly on the rocking chair, watching as Maggie and Greta move throughout the room, touching various objects with delicate hands. When Maggie inspects the crib she smiles at Blaine, noticing the swirling script on the padding that rests against the back of the crib. She reaches for Greta’s hand and with a wave of her hand, Greta sees it too.

Theodore Elijah Anderson-Hummel is staring back at them in chestnut stitching.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER SIX:

Tongue Tied and Dizzy

[October, 2024]

‘And I don’t, I don’t know who to believe. I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see…What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?’ - Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

Blaine is just finishing typing up a chapter when his phone rings; it’s Maggie, who tells him her niece is back and asks him if he’d like to join them for lunch.

He accepts her offer and tells her he’ll be at the café in twenty minutes. Blaine makes sure to save his work and begins to get ready, the process taking him a bit longer than he’d like – he’s felt off all day, but he’s not sure why - but soon he’s in his car and on his way, singing softly along to the radio (he swears Theo is dancing along to the beat).

The café comes into view and he finds a parking spot easily; when he waddles inside he greets Xavier warmly.

“Maggie and her girl are in the back; you want your usual yes? Or my special today, hm?”

“I’ll take the special; you know I like anything you cook up in that kitchen of yours, Xav!”

Xavier chuckles loudly and nods, shooing Blaine away. Blaine passes the front counter and waves hello to some of the patrons as he passes them slowly and perks up when he sees Maggie and a blonde woman. Maggie’s face lights up when he reaches them, and she jumps up out of her seat to hug him and talk to his belly. Blaine is so focused on chiding Maggie for paying more attention to Theo than him that he misses the blonde woman stand and face him with tears in her eyes.

He hears her voice though, so recognizable to him, when she whispers, “Blaine – oh, oh my god, Blaine!”

Blaine, startled, looks up to find Quinn, staring at him with a hand over her mouth, tears streaming down her cheeks. Maggie looks bewildered, her eyes darting between the two of them as they stare.

Quinn walks toward him slowly, her hands trembling as they reach for him, her eyes flickering first toward his face, and then his stomach.

“Quinn, I – what are you doing here?”

She finally reaches him, hands hovering over his belly until he gently grabs them and settles them over where his son grows. She chokes out a laugh and gestures toward Maggie, says, “This is my Aunt Maggie, B.”

He gasps out an, “Oh”, before launching himself into her arms; she holds him tight to her, clinging to his sweater and crying into the curve of his neck.

When she lets him go, her eyes are solemn, but he can tell she is holding back a tentative smile.

“You need to sit down, B. There’s, um – there’s something I need to tell you.”

-

Tina rubs Kurt’s shoulders in the Hummel’s kitchen. Mike is pacing back and forth, on the phone, talking to anyone he can think of that has ever met Blaine. They’ve made no progress so far in finding Blaine and Tina can tell it is taking its toll on Kurt.

Mercedes is busy making them all food, but every once in awhile she glances over at Kurt, biting her lip and locking eyes with Tina.

Kurt sighs and squeezes Tina’s hand, removing his glasses and closing his laptop. Tina is just about to make them all some coffee when Cooper comes running into the room, his eyes wide and his lips formed into a smile.

Mercedes sets down the spices she’d been contemplating using and comes to stand next to Tina behind Kurt, both of them holding onto him with comforting hands.

Kurt raises his eyebrows in a silent question and Tina holds her breath as Cooper attempts to catch his breath and speak at the same time.

“Quinn – she just texted me and – she found him. Blaine – she – she found Blaine.”

-

Xavier brings Blaine a glass of water with a concerned smile. Maggie gives him a reassuring nod, but Xavier can tell that it is half hearted. Blaine takes small sips, absent mindedly rubbing his stomach, and listens as Quinn tells him about Kurt.

“…I mean we’ve all been looking for you, B, god you’ve had us all so scared. And Kurt – he – he’s been calling everyone and looking all over for you.”

Blaine sighs, hiding a pained grimace with a turned face as he speaks. “I just – I don’t get it. Why has it taken so long for Kurt-“

“He had amnesia, Blaine. When I saw him he – he told me that he remembers waking up and not knowing who he was, but that he find to find someone named Blaine. He remembered you, Blaine, he did.”

Blaine hides his face in his hands as sobs finally escape him. Maggie clicks her tongue and sits next to him, soothing hands over his back and whispering calming words into his ear.

“B… we have to go. Kurt is waiting for you, they all are. I can – I’ll drive and-”

Blaine shakes his head as he leans into Maggie, resting his head on her shoulder. He squeezes his eyes tightly as another sharp and unexpected wave of pain crashes over him, leaving him gasping. Maggie holds his hand as he waits for it to pass, letting him take a moment to breathe before asking, “Blaine…sweetie, you okay?”

He gasps out, “No, call Greta” and reaches for Quinn’s hand with scared eyes.

-

Kurt taps his foot as he listens to Quinn’s voicemail for what seems like the fiftieth time.

“Come on Quinn, you can’t just t-t-te-text someone… that you’ve f-f-found my husband and then not p-pi-pick up your goddamn - goddamn phone!”

He hangs up and redials the phone, leaning against the wall for support as he waits for it to ring. This time, however, the call is picked up.

“Kurt! You need to get on a plane to Maine, right now. I don’t care what you’re doing, book a flight and get your ass over here.”

Kurt directs Cooper to book him a flight right away and then listens to Quinn on the phone; she’s not paying attention to him and he can hear her panting as if she’s running.

“Quinn - Quinn let m-m-m-me talk to Blaine, p-please I need… I - I need to hear his voice, please.”

“Kurt, I promise you I will put him on the phone, but right now…right now is really not a good time-“

“N-not a good time? What the hell are you t-t-talking about, not a good-“

Quinn’s voice is sharp, but concerned when she tells Kurt, “I’m taking Blaine to the hospital right now, Kurt, that’s why.”

Kurt’s good leg goes out on him and he slides down the wall, his breath coming out shakily. He has to take deep, calculated breaths and focus on his words before he can speak.

“What’s – what’s wrong? Is it th-the-the baby?”

Quinn sighs over the line. “Kurt, I don’t know anything yet. I promise you I will call you once I know what’s going on, okay?”

“Alright, okay, just-just – will you tell him I’m on m-my way? That Coop and I-I-I are coming?”

“Of course I will. I’ve got to go; we just pulled in to the hospital. Be safe, Kurt.”

“I w-will. Tell - tell Blaine I lo-ove him.”

Kurt hangs up and closes his eyes, tries to calm his racing heart. When he opens his eyes once more, he finds Cooper standing in front of him, hair mussed, eyes wild, with two hastily packed suitcases in his hands.

Cooper sets down one bag and offers his free hand to Kurt, helping him up with a firm grip.

“Ready?” Cooper asks, an eyebrow raised.

“Ready.”

Chapter Text

CHAPTER SEVEN:

Whisper Some Silver Reply

[October, 2024]

‘Pulse is gone and racing, all fits and starts. Window by window you try and look into this brave new you that you are. And who can say what dreams are? Wake me in time to be out in the cold. And who can say what we are? This is the reason for dreaming.’ – The Guilty Ones from Spring Awakening

“Alright sweetie we’ve given you some medication to help the baby and to see if we can stop your labor. We’re going to keep checking on you every hour, but for now just try and relax, okay? Everything’s going to be just fine.”

Blaine nods shakily at Greta, his hand holding tight to Maggie’s. Greta smiles reassuringly at him and rubs his shoulder before she leaves to check on another patient.

“You doing okay, honey?” Maggie asks as she brushes back curls from his forehead.

“It’s just –it’s too early and what if – what if something goes wrong or-“

Maggie cuts him off, clicking her tongue at him. “Hey now, stop that. You and Theo are going to be just fine.”

He lets out a breath of air, nodding in her direction. They turn their heads toward the door when they hear soft knocking. Quinn stands there with a comforting smile on her face, her phone in her hand.

“Hey, B, how do you feel?”

He gives a humorless laugh, his fingers twisting into the sheets. “Honestly? I’m kind of freaking out here.”

She grins at him, walking into the room and sitting delicately next to him on the hospital bed.

“Too freaked out to talk to Kurt? His flight’s boarding soon and he wants to make sure he talks to you before he gets on the plane.”

“I – yes - yes let me talk to him, please.”

Quinn nods at him, smiles, and then places her phone in his hand. He lifts the phone up to his ear with a trembling hand.

Breathing out a quiet, hesitant, “Kurt?” he listens to the other end with baited breath and tightly shut eyes.

Blaine hears a familiar cry, followed by an even more familiar whisper of his name. “Blaine. Blaine, oh my – I love you, I love you, are you ok-k-ay? Quinn tried to, to, to tell me what was going on, but I didn’t really underst-st-stand and – god it is so good to hear your voice-“

In between sobs, Blaine manages to choke out, “Oh god, I love you too, I – I thought you were dead, they – they told me you – and I – I’ve missed you so much, Kurt.”

“I’m so sorry, baby, s-so-so sorry. I’ll never leave you ag-g-gain, I promise.”

Blaine covers his mouth as he cries, Maggie’s gentle hand on his back reminding him to take deep breaths.

“Sweetie, don’t cry, it’ll be okay. Are y-y-you in pain? Is it the baby?”

Blaine laughs through his tears, breathes in a shuddery breath and tells Kurt, “No I – I mean I’m in a little pain and I’m a bit uncomfortable, but I’m just – I’m so happy to hear your voice.”

He hears Kurt give his own watery laugh in return. “I know the feeling.”

Blaine just smiles, leans his head against Quinn’s side, listening to the sounds of Kurt breathing on other end. He’s about to speak when his abdomen tightens and he hisses in pain, a bead of sweat making its way down his forehead as he waits for it to pass.

“Blaine?”

The pain finally fades and Blaine sighs down the line. “’M okay. I just don’t think the drugs they’re giving me are going to stop Theo from coming.”

He can practically hear Kurt’s smile when he speaks. “Theo? Is that…?”

“Oh! Yeah, it’s um, it’s his name. Well, officially it’s Theodore, but I’ve kinda gotten into a habit of calling him Theo.”

“That’s – I –I –I really like it. It’s after…after your grandfather, ri-right?”

“Yeah and…well it was my dad’s name too, except everyone called him Ted. I um… I gave him your middle name – not Elizabeth, Elijah. I hope that’s okay?”

“It’s beautiful.” Kurt whispers.

“I told him all about you, you know. Sang him our favorite songs and told him about how we met and fell in love. Maybe it’s just me imagining it, but um, he seemed to move around more when I told him about his papa.”

Kurt laughs and Blaine smiles even though he can hear Kurt sniffling and blowing his nose too. “God, Blaine you-you’re making me c-c-cry again.”

“Sorry I’m just – I would go to doctor’s appointments and imagine you there or I’d feel him kick and I’d reach for your hand, but… Kurt you have no idea how happy I am right now. I just – I want to share everything with you and when the crash happened and I thought I wouldn’t be able to share this with you as well it was – god Kurt it was devastating.”

The speaker crackles as Kurt sighs deeply and Blaine shifts on the bed as he hears him speaking quietly with someone.

“My um… the flight’s boarding and I – I have to go. I wish I d-d-didn’t have to hang up, b-bu-but I’ll… I will be there soon, okay? Coop’s here too and w-w-we’re coming, alright? Don’t have that baby ‘til I get there, okay?”

Blaine laughs, looking up at Greta with a bright smile as she walks into the room. “I’ll try. I love you, Kurt. I love you so much.”

“I love you too. I l-l-love you both.”

Blaine sucks in a breath and hastily wipes away a stray tear as he tells Kurt, “Come back to me this time, Kurt.”

“I will, I will I –I promise.”

-

Kurt’s breath hitches as the plane takes off. Cooper shoots him a worried glance, but Kurt doesn’t see it; his eyes are shut tight as he tries to block out the atmosphere of the airplane. Kurt is gripping the armrest so tightly his knuckles have turned white and so Cooper gently holds his hand in his. Kurt turns his hand over and instead squeezes Cooper’s hand with a strength that Cooper wasn’t even aware the man possessed. His eyes are still shut though, he’s still pale and his breathing hasn’t gotten better, and so Cooper tries a different tactic.

“Hey, so did I ever tell you about that time I worked with Jake Gyllenhal? He even asked me for some tips and let me tell you, the guy needed them. I invited him back to my place, of course, and…”

Kurt listens to Cooper ramble on and on and in his head he imagines holding hands with Blaine, their son running clumsily in front of them on wobbly legs. He imagines taking them to see Anne and Henri, letting Theo play with Jacques while he and Anne cook them all dinner. Anne would dote on Theo with a mother’s touch and Henri would wrap him and Blaine in hugs.

Blaine would attempt to make conversation in his weak French and Kurt would laugh indulgently at him, and then Blaine would thank Anne and Henri profusely for helping Kurt and they’d end all their nights there sitting on the back porch, watching the stars. Theo would pass out early on Blaine’s chest and Kurt would cover them both with a soft fleece blanket, running a finger along his son’s chubby cheek.

Kurt lets his imagination run wild, lets his mind take him, Blaine and Theo to Ohio to see Burt and Carole, to New York where they’d look for a larger apartment, to a house filled with people for Theo’s first birthday and watching Theo with careful eyes as he plays in Central Park, to Theo older, running ahead of them and turning back to look at them with a mischievous smile.

When he opens his eyes, Cooper smiles at him and tells him that they’ve arrived.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER EIGHT:

Fluorescent Announcements

[October, 2024]

‘And she dreams through the noise, her weight against me, face pressed against the corduroy grooves… Maybe it means nothing, but I’m afraid to move… Who are you, the stranger in the shell of a lover, dark curtains drawn by the passage of time? Oh words, like rain, how sweet the sound…’ – Recessional by Vienna Teng

For a guy with a limp, Kurt manages to move pretty damn fast, Cooper thinks as he tries to keep up with the man. Kurt slows down long enough to glance up at the signs directing them towards the Labor and Delivery ward, and then he’s off again, the sound of his cane squeaking against the tiles. Cooper pulls out his phone and types out a text to Quinn as quickly as he can while still keeping track of where he’s walking. He lets her know that he and Kurt are here and asks her where to go once they reach the ward.

He’s just about to tell Kurt that they just need to wait for Quinn’s reply when he’s startled by Kurt’s voice. “Quinn! Hey, w-w-w-we’re here.”

Quinn runs towards them from the adjacent hallway and she gives them a breathless smile. She pulls them along and speaks to them in a rush of words. “Okay, so they couldn’t stop Blaine’s labor and right now everything seems to be going pretty quickly. Greta’s pretty worried about his blood pressure and his temperature though. We’re trying to keep him calm and distracted, so it’s good you’re here, because we weren’t doing a very good job.”

Kurt can’t even bring himself to laugh at that, even though he knows how hard it is to distract Blaine when he’s in pain or worried about something, because his mind just keeps going back Quinn’s mention of his blood pressure and possible fever.

He’s so close to Blaine right now, and all he keeps thinking about is losing him before he can even get him back.

-

Blaine is so caught up with the pain and the uncomfortable feeling of Greta checking to see how far dilated he is to register the new occupants of the room. He focuses on breathing deep and keeping calm, listening to Greta when she tells him, “Alright, you’re almost there. Another hour and you should be ready to push. And look, just in time!”

Blaine’s confused by her last words until he looks towards the door. There his Kurt is, so different to what he remembers, but his Kurt all the same. Kurt’s cheeks are already wet with tears as he hobbles towards Blaine. Blaine frowns at the limp, the scar over Kurt’s eyebrow, the way his face subtly twists in pain when he leans on the cane to walk. He minutely shakes his head and focuses on the fact that Kurt is here, roughened up, yes, but here, alive, and with Blaine.

Oh, god, he’s here, he’s really here, he thinks, relieved.

He doesn’t even notice Greta helping him lower his legs, or when Maggie kisses him on his forehead before she leaves with her wife. He doesn’t notice Quinn or Cooper hovering in the doorway, uncertain about what they should do.

All he sees is Kurt.

Kurt seems to collapse into the chair next to his bed, his eyes only leaving Blaine’s face once to drift towards Blaine’s rounded stomach with wondrous eyes. Blaine lifts himself up slowly, pulled in by Kurt’s presence and Kurt’s gaze.

They’re mere breaths apart when Kurt suddenly surges forward, capturing Blaine’s lips and stealing his breath. Blaine gasps into the kiss, clinging to Kurt’s arms when his husband deepens their kiss. They only separate when Blaine gasps again, this time because of pain. Kurt rests their foreheads together and lets Blaine hold his hands tightly in his grasp.

“Shh, it’s okay, j-j-just breathe thr-th-through it, okay, babe? Just breathe, Blaine.”

When it passes he slumps into Kurt’s arms, breathes out into Kurt’s chest, his voice muffled when he speaks. “I’m so glad you’re here, I –I need you, Kurt, I’m so scared-“

Kurt lifts Blaine’s chin and kisses him lightly on the corner of his mouth and then speaks so his words whisper across Blaine’s skin. “I’m here, I’m here, don’t be s-s-scared, it’ll be okay. I love you, love you so much.”

Blaine smiles through tears, peppers Kurt’s face with kisses in between hushed declarations of love he’s been longing to say in person. “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

-

Kurt tries to distract Blaine with stories of Anne and Henri, who he’s still kept in contact with. In turn, Blaine tells Kurt about Greta and Maggie. He tells Kurt about his job and the new book he’s been writing, and when Kurt asks about the nursery, he eagerly tells Kurt all about it, down to every detail. All of this is interspersed with Blaine face tightening in pain, sharp gasps and whimpers, all of which Kurt tries to soothe.

Cooper comes in briefly to pat his belly and kiss him loudly on the cheek, to whisper in his ear, “Missed you squirt, don’t scare me like that again, ‘kay?” before he turns to leave.

Blaine tells Cooper he doesn’t mind if he stays, but Cooper merely grimaces and says, “I’ve never liked when you were in pain so I’d probably start weeping and I like to save my tears for dramatic death scenes, but thanks for the offer.”

Kurt and Blaine share an amused glance and Kurt winces with Blaine when yet another contraction hits. From Blaine’s face and the tears leaking from the corners of his eyes, Kurt can guess that this one is the biggest contraction yet.

Thankfully, Greta chooses that moment to walk in, sending Blaine a sympathetic glance. Kurt shakes her hand and introduces himself while they wait for Blaine to relax.

“Thank you so much for take-taking care of him for me,” he says, “You don’t know how much that m-m-m-means to me.”

“Oh, it was nothing. Really I should be thanking you. You have quite a talented baker on your hands, did you know that?”

Blaine whimpers, his body going lax on the bed. “Fuck. That hurt.”

Greta takes a look at the sheet of paper being printed, showing the spikes of Blaine’s latest contraction. She lets out a low whistle before she speaks, her eyes still trained on the paper. “I’m not surprised, that one was a doozy. Why don’t we see if you’re ready to finally start pushing, hm?”

Kurt strokes Blaine’s hand and brushes back damp curls as Greta inspects Blaine. She grins up at them, pages a nurse and tells them, “Ready to see your son? I’m sure he’s ready to you, he’s so impatient.”

Blaine sighs shakily, glancing at Kurt for support. He smiles warmly at him, kisses him briefly and situates himself so that he’s sitting halfway behind Blaine.

Two nurses roll a cart into the room, while a team from the NICU hovers in the background, all of them giving Blaine encouraging smiles. Greta mutters words to them that neither Blaine nor Kurt understand and then she’s turning back to them, saying, “Alrighty then, sweetie, are you ready?”

Blaine is so not ready, but he nods anyway, and then Greta is telling him to push. Kurt holds his hand and thinks, well, here we go.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER NINE:

One Who is Kind

[October, 2024]

‘If the tiger shall protect her young, then tell me how did you slip by. All my instincts have failed me for once --I must have somehow slept the whole night.’ – Elephants by Rachael Yamagata

Kurt winces at the sound of Blaine’s pain-filled screams. He hates hearing Blaine’s voice resonating so achingly throughout the small room, but he knows that it is all going to be worth it once they have their son in their arms. Kurt quickly wipes sweat off of his husband’s forehead with a cloth once he stops pushing, whispering encouraging words into his ear.

Instead of yelling at Kurt to shut up, which Kurt had greatly feared from seeing it so much in movies, Blaine seems to absorb his words, gearing himself up to push at Greta’s command.

“Okay, push for ten, Blaine.”

Blaine grits his teeth and uses the bars on the sides of the bed for leverage as he pushes, grunting in frustration when Greta reminds him not to hold his breath.

“Come on sweetie you’re doing s-s-so well,” Kurt says, rubbing Blaine’s back where it tenses.

“I can’t – I can’t keep doing this, I’m so tired.” Blaine whispers, his voice laden with exhaustion.

“Yes you can, baby, come on I’m r-r-ri-right here, okay? Just push sweetie, you can do it, I-I-I know you can.”

Blaine breathes in and out with Kurt, bearing down, and only just manages to hold back a whimper when Greta quickly tells him to stop.

“What, why, Greta what’s-“

“Everything’s going to be fine, Blaine, but I need you to focus on keeping still and not pushing for me okay? The cord is wrapped around his neck, but we’re working on it. When I tell you to, I need you to give one last big push; can you do that for me?”

Blaine is quiet, his face drawn and pale when he answers. “Yes, okay, just-“

“Blaine, push, now!”

Kurt supports Blaine’s weight as his body tenses, and the room is quiet save for Greta’s encouraging voice and the machines next to the bed. Kurt falters when Blaine suddenly falls back onto him and Greta and her nurses work quickly, shouting things to each other. Greta and a blonde nurse move to the back of the room while a darker haired nurse starts to work on Blaine.

He is sluggish in Kurt’s arms, his eyes drooping and his arms going limp. “W-w-what’s going on, why isn’t he cry-crying?” Kurt asks franticly, his heart pounding at the silence of the room, where his son’s cries should be.

Blaine’s head lolls against Kurt’s chest, his mouth moving lazily when he speaks. “Kurt… where’s Theo? Go see him, tell me what he looks like.”

Kurt obliges, gently lowering Blaine to the bed and walking towards Greta, but it’s too quiet in the room and Kurt doesn’t know what to say, he doesn’t know what’s happening and why everything seems to go so wrong and-

Suddenly, a quiet wail fills the room.

He breathes out a sigh of relief, a smile making its way onto his face at the sounds of his son’s voice, quiet and struggling, but present.

He hears Blaine’s tired laugh and turns his head to see him struggling to keep his eyes open, a lazy smile on his face.

When he finally reaches Greta, he leans over her shoulder, trying to get a peek at his son.

And, oh, Theo is so small, but to Kurt he’s the most perfect thing he’s ever seen in his life.

His skin is a pale olive color, hair soft chestnut with just a little hint of curl to it. Theo’s mouth opens and shuts, little mewls escaping him. His eyes blink slowly open and Kurt has to remind himself to breathe when he stares into his son’s eyes. They’re a beautiful bright blue, framed by thick, dark lashes.

“Hi, Theo, hey baby, look at you… god, you’re so gorg-g-g-geous, just like y-y-y-your daddy, aren’t you?”

Kurt chuckles at Theo’s disgruntled face, wiping half heartedly at his eyes with his sleeve, catching the moisture of his tears on expensive material that Kurt could honestly care less about right now.

While he coos at Theo, one of the nurses leans in and prods at Theo with a thermometer, sighing at the results.

“I really hate to take him away, but he’s getting a little cold, and we really do need to get him down to the NICU.”

Kurt watches the nurse put Theo in an incubator and then holds his breath as he sees him get rolled away. A concerned shout of Greta’s name from the other nurse makes Kurt jump in place. He quickly turns his head to find Greta whispering to the nurse and studying the monitors around Blaine. He can hear words like blood pressure and fever and Kurt’s heart seems to stop.

He tries to keep out of the way, but makes sure to grab a hold of Blaine’s hand, squeezing gently. He breathes a sigh of relief when Blaine simply links their hands together and squeezes back in response.

-

Blaine is sleeping soundly when Greta comes into their room. Kurt looks up and stops running his fingers through Blaine’s hair to wave at her, smiling at her kind face. Blaine still has a higher than normal temperature that Greta is rather worried about, but thankfully his blood pressure seems to be back to normal, much to Kurt’s immense relief.

“How’s Theo?” Kurt asks in a hushed voice, not wanting to disturb Blaine’s slumber.

Greta pulls forward a chair and lowers herself down into it, resting her hands on the clipboard sitting in her lap.

“He’s doing well. His lungs are strong and after we got him warmed up he seemed to do fine. However - and I don’t mean to worry you, Kurt, so just keep an open mind, alright? Now, Theo didn’t do too well on the hearing test we administer to all the newborns. Most preemies don’t do well on the Apgar tests, so I expected something like this. A lot of full term babies don’t do well on the hearing test, so don’t get too worried right now, but what this means is that he’s going to get a second hearing test, and if he fails that one too then he will be referred to an audiologist. If the audiologist doesn’t think his results are good, he’ll refer you to a specialist and there will be more tests from there. Do you have any questions for me based on what I just told you?”

Kurt sighs, runs a hand over his hair, trying to digest this new information with a calm and collected head.

“What, um… what happens if he doesn’t – doesn’t…”

Greta catches on to what Kurt is trying to say, taking in Kurt’s frustration with his words in stride. “He’ll get a team of specialists who will help you through everything and will determine what kind of hearing loss he has. I don’t want you to worry though, Kurt, alright? If Theo has some form of hearing loss – and that’s a big if right now, okay? It isn’t definite right now – there are people who will help him and you and Blaine through it. The audiologist can explain things in better detail if you meet with him and I can give you a list of questions you can ask, how does that sound?”

Kurt nods, his hands making fists in the bed sheets. He flinches when Greta covers his hands with hers, but he relaxes when she looks into his eyes.

“No matter what, Theo will be just fine; he has two wonderful parents and from what I’ve heard, a very large and loving family. Everything will be okay, Kurt.”

He lets out a shaky breath, giving Greta a small smile. She nods at him, satisfied that he’s somewhat calmer, and then moves to stand. After she’s done checking on Blaine, she rests a hand on Kurt’s shoulder and asks him kindly, “Would you like to go see Theo? Visiting hours are almost over, so you won’t have much time, but-“

“Yes, I – I w-w-would love that.”

Greta smiles and helps him up, passing him his cane and leading the way out of the room and towards the NICU where his son is waiting for him.

---

Chapter Text

CHAPTER TEN:

I May Never Find a Cure

[October 2024]

‘Oh my heart I want you to be strong, I need you to be all I believe in…I may stumble as I lose my way. I may never find the words to tell you, oh believe me.’ – All I Believe In by The Magic Numbers

Kurt could just stare at Theo all day if given the chance. He sighs happily, watching the rise and fall his son’s small chest. When he’d first entered the NICU with Greta, he’d been nervous and scared. The babies had all looked so tiny, too tiny, covered in oxygen masks and wires, encased in little see through boxes.

But then Greta had taken his hand and led him to the section where Theo was, proclaiming that for such a quiet baby, he sure was a lively one.

His breathing had come a bit easier at that, his heart starting to beat a normal pace.

Theo turns his head a bit and Kurt smiles when he sees his son’s alert eyes staring back at him. He’s already taken at least fifty pictures of his little boy, but he figures another one wouldn’t hurt.

Just as his thumb is about to press on the screen to capture a picture, Theo’s mouth tilts upwards into a brief little smile. Kurt doesn’t waste any time and hurries to snap a photo, and sure enough, a second later Theo is back to staring, minus a grin.

The nurse who’d checked Kurt in when he arrived comes over and tells him that visiting hours are over, so Kurt touches his lips with his fingers and presses a kiss to the plastic covering Theo’s body.

“Bye, sweetie. l-l-l-love you, and daddy does too. Sweet dr-dr-dreams, Theo.”

Theo merely waves his fist, his lips forming into a big yawn. Kurt giggles at his son’s drowsy face and waves his fingers goodbye, following the nurse out of the unit.

“He’s just darling,” the nurse, Monica, tells him with a smile, “all of us here are just so smitten with him.”

Kurt laughs quietly, feeling lighter than he has in months. “Yeah,” he says, an amused grin gracing his features, “I th-think he gets that f-f-f-from his dad.”

-

Blaine is awake when Kurt reenters their room after getting some food and coffee from the cafeteria. Greta had found him there and informed Kurt that Theo had his second hearing test, and failed it. Kurt had sighed at that, thanked Greta for letting him know and left the cafeteria, set in the knowledge that no matter what, Theo would be okay, because he has Kurt and Blaine and Burt, Carole, and Cooper and about a dozen other aunts and uncles on his side.

Kurt closes the door quietly behind him and smiles at Blaine, his steps somehow feeling lighter when Blaine gives him a lopsided smile in return.

“Hey.”

“Hi.” Blaine’s voice sounds slurred and rough when he speaks and Kurt wants to tell him to close his eyes and go back to sleep, but the way his husband’s eyes are sparkling, searching, makes Kurt refrain.

“I just got b-b-back from seeing Theo.” Kurt says, smiling brighter as he sits down next to Blaine, his hand automatically reaching for Blaine’s.

He hears a sharp intake of breath and looks up to see Blaine’s lower lip trembling. Kurt immediately goes to reassure Blaine, a hand cupping his cheek and words whispered delicately.

“He’s perfect, Blaine. Just per-per-perfect. Greta’s referred him to an a-ah-ah-d… audi…ologist, because he didn’t do too well on his second hearing test, but – but that’s okay. He’s strong, babe and he’s so beaut-t-t-tiful.”

Blaine’s smile is wobbly, his tears staining the pillow beneath his head. Kurt gently wipes away the salty trails lingering on Blaine’s cheeks, leaning forward to lightly press his lips against Blaine’s. Before Blaine can lean into the kiss, Kurt is breaking away from him and reaching into his pocket, an excited grin reaching all the way to his eyes.

“I have pictures of him.”

“Yeah?”

Kurt nods and quickly unlocks his phone, scrolling until he reaches the first picture so that Blaine can look at all the pictures of Theo with just a swipe of his finger.

When his husband glances at the first picture, he gasps, his eyes starting to water yet again. “Oh, Kurt he’s so perfect.”

“He is, he really is, Blaine.”

The next few minutes are spent in silence, save for Blaine’s gasps and exclamations of how perfect Theo is. Kurt watches his husband fondly, thinking back to when he was so lost and couldn’t connect the pieces of his memory together.

After Blaine has finished scrolling through all of the pictures, he makes his way back to the beginning to start again and then glances at Kurt, scooting forward on the bed and patting the space behind him. Kurt laughs and gets up to circle around the bed, leaning his cane against the wall and climbing in carefully next to Blaine. He closes his eyes against the back of Blaine’s neck, his lips leaving a lingering kiss there, and slowly succumbs to sleep, the warmth of Blaine’s body – save for his feet, which are always perpetually cold - lulling him into slumber.

-

Their morning is filled with warm congratulations from Cooper, Quinn and Maggie. Blaine is antsy the whole time though, wanting to visit Theo. He has to wait for the approval from Greta unfortunately and she’s busy delivering a baby, so he has to wait. The visit is nice, he has to admit; Cooper and Quinn both present he and Kurt with a gift for Theo and Maggie brings with her the diaper bag, carrier and blanket that Blaine had packed and ready from his place. She also brings with her a small paper bag that she hands to Blaine slyly.

“It’s from Xav.” She tells him, winking.

When he opens the bag, his mouth starts to water and sneaks a peek at Kurt to make sure he won’t get scolded. Kurt’s too busy inspecting the – completely adorable, in Blaine’s opinion – white beanie with bunny ears that Cooper bought Theo to notice Blaine eating a deliciously greasy double-decker burger.

Throughout his whole pregnancy he made sure to eat healthy foods, and only slipped up a grand total of three times to satisfy his cravings, so he figures he deserves this juicy, perfectly cooked burger of perfection.

Kurt does notice Blaine eating a greasy burger, but he doesn’t say anything. Partly because his husband deserves the world and more for bringing their child into their lives, but also because he’s enjoying the rather indecent moans Blaine doesn’t seem to be aware he making.

Quinn giggles, shooting Blaine an understanding smile before she speaks. “Don’t worry, B. After I had Beth, I got Mercedes to run to the closest Taco Bell so I could have three burritos. I think the nurses passing my room thought I was trying to make another baby with all the sounds I was making.”

Blaine laughs her way and resumes eating, his bites smaller this time around.

“Dad and Carole are going to be here tom-m-morrow, by the way,” Kurt informs Blaine.

Blaine finishes his last bite before he answers, his hands busy wiping away sauce with a napkin.

“Good, it’ll be nice to see them. They can stay at my place while they’re here. Greta wants me to stay here for a few more days so they can just sleep in my room and then when I’m released well… we’ll have to figure something out.”

Kurt agrees, shows Blaine the text that Carole sent him, complete with too many exclamation points and not enough correct grammar, and they are sharing amused smiles when Greta comes in to the room smiling brightly at them.

She greets her wife with a kiss to the forehead and checks Blaine over, the whole room collectively sighing in relief when she announces that he’s able to go visit Theo.

Kurt and Cooper help Blaine into a wheelchair, much to his chagrin, and then Greta is pushing him down the hallways, Kurt hobbling along next to him, a serene smile on his face.

When they reach the NICU, Kurt leads the way to their son, waving at Monica as they pass her. Blaine is uncertain as they move throughout the unit, images of Theo hooked up to wires clouding his head. But when Kurt stops at an incubator, all of Blaine’s thoughts cease to exist.

“Oh,” he breathes, so quiet and amazed.

It’s hard for Blaine to come to terms with the fact that he carried this little tiny human for months, hard for him to truly comprehend that he helped this perfect little boy come into existence.

Greta speaks in a whisper, smiling through her words. “Would you like to hold him, sweetie? Maybe try and feed him?”

Blaine doesn’t trust his voice to speak, so he simply nods quickly, exchanging an excited glance with his husband. Greta then sets about getting Theo out of the incubator and into Blaine’s arms, adjusting his hospital gown so that Theo can try to latch on.

Blaine thought that Theo was perfect just staring at him through plastic, but now as Theo’s little hand rests against his chest as he eats, his eyes closed peacefully, Blaine knows that this, this is perfection. He feels so close to his son right now, keeping him warm through the heat of his own body, giving him the love and nutrition that he needs.

Kurt leans down and kisses Blaine on the cheek, hugging him from behind. Neither of them says a word for the rest of their visit, simply basking in the precious moment for as long as they can.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER ELEVEN:

Happiness is not a Burden

[November, 2024]

‘High above the stars are dancing to a song one bird is singing. And it’s you, my everblue.’ – Everblue by Mandy Moore

The next few days pass by in a blur. Burt and Carole arrive in a flurry of loving hugs and many questions about their new grandson. The audiologist meets with Kurt and Blaine to check Theo and ultimately recommends them to a specialist. They hold tight to each others hands when they receive this information, resolve to remain strong and hopeful for their son.

Blaine and Theo are thankfully released from their stay at the hospital after five days.

Kurt drives them home, carries Theo inside and watches with a close eye as Cooper helps Blaine into the small house and onto the sofa.

It is the first time that Kurt steps foot into Blaine’s little home, and he’s thoroughly impressed with how Blaine has really made it his own.

And he smiles brightly when he sees the nursery, running his fingers over the clothes hanging up in the wardrobe. Kurt slowly makes his way around the whole room and Burt watches from the doorway as Kurt picks up a teddy bear, absentmindedly running his thumb over the soft fur. A moment passes and then Burt knocks lightly against the wood of the doorframe so as not to startle his son.

Kurt turns in place and gives his father a small smile, setting the bear back down on the rocking chair. His father returns his smile, walking in and looking over the room.

“Blaine did real good job in here.”

Kurt hums in agreement, his eyes still wandering over furniture and decorations.

“You guys talk about what you’re gonna do now?”

His son glances back at him in confusion, his hand subtly tightening around the handle of his cane.

“Are you staying here or coming back to New York, I mean. This place is real nice, but it ain’t home. Its somewhere Blaine escaped to, and I guess I’m just wondering what you’re gonna do now. Don’t get me wrong, kid, I don’t think you two should be movin’ anywhere with a newborn in tow, but I really think it’s something you should talk about with him.”

Kurt has yet to speak, doesn’t plan to, and just nods his head at his father, absorbing his words. Truthfully, it isn’t something he’s really thought about. He’s been so wrapped up in Blaine and Theo that he hasn’t really moved on to thinking about other things. His father has a point though. They have a life in New York, family and friends there, a home, jobs they can go back to.

He doesn’t want to bring the subject up with Blaine right now though; they have too much on their minds right now with Theo and their impending appointment with the otolaryngologist for more extensive tests.

He does resolve to talk to Blaine about it though, after they find out exactly what’s going on with their son.

-

Blaine has a hard time even thinking about sleeping in a different room than Theo, so Kurt has Cooper set up the cradle next to their bed. After Cooper makes sure the cradle is close enough to their bed so that Blaine can easily see Theo, per Blaine’s request, he makes his rounds of goodbyes, kissing both Blaine and Theo on their foreheads and ruffling Kurt’s hair. Maggie and Greta had graciously offered for Cooper to stay with them and Burt and Carole are set up in the living room on the fold out bed.

His husband is turned on his side, facing Theo, when Kurt climbs in with him, ready for bed.

“You okay?”

Blaine sighs, leans his head back to kiss Kurt, tangles their feet together. “Yeah, I’m just – I don’t know, worried I guess. What if he fails tomorrows test too? What then?”

“Then we s-s-s-send him to anoth-th-ther specialist. We take it one day at, at, at a time. ‘Kay?”

He nods, linking their hands together and snuggling into Kurt’s body, their hands resting over Blaine’s heart. Kurt leans over Blaine quickly to check on Theo before he relaxes into the bed.

“Love you.”

“I love you too.”

-

Theo only wakes up twice during that first night and both Kurt and Blaine get up to attend him, falling easily back into sleep once Theo does. They then wake up at six in the morning, a little tired, but ready to start the day. Kurt wants to get Theo into a routine early on and as the days pass their son seems to fall easily into it. They make another appointment with a hearing specialist after Theo fails yet another test, confirming the high probability that their son does indeed have a form of hearing loss.

Kurt’s noticed how hard Blaine seems to be taking the news. He’s constantly catching Blaine holding Theo close to his chest with tears in his eyes, whispering quiet apologies to his son.

Blaine blames himself for Theo’s hearing problems, and it kills Kurt to know that.

Theo is officially three and a half weeks old when they wake up on a Tuesday morning. They have an appointment with Theo’s audiologist at noon for yet another check up and hearing test, but before they leave Kurt wants a moment alone with Blaine.

Kurt gets ready for the day first, knows that once Blaine’s done feeding Theo he’ll take over so that Blaine can go through his morning routine.

He’s setting down a cup of coffee for his father at the dining table when Blaine’s voice, muffled from inside their room, calls out, “Kurt?”

Kurt smiles at his father and walks into their room, carefully taking Theo from Blaine’s arms. Blaine thanks him with a kiss to his cheek, swooping down to brush a kiss to Theo’s forehead as well, and then gets up and grabs his things for his shower. Theo grabs a hold of Kurt’s finger as he walks them out to the living room.

Carole immediately swoops in once she spots Theo, making grabby hands for her grandson. Kurt indulges her with a smile, leaving Theo with her so he can pick out an outfit for his son to wear for the day.

When he returns to the living room he can hear the shower running and the sound of Blaine’s singing through the walls, a somewhat melancholy tune, and Kurt frowns briefly. When he cranes his head towards the kitchen he smiles though. Despite apparently not being able to fully hear their voices, Theo seems to radiate laughter and intrigue at his family when they speak to him.

Kurt leans against the counter and watches as his father and step-mother entertain his son. Carole is blowing raspberries into Theo’s neck and Burt is making ridiculous faces at Theo, laughing loudly at Theo’s perplexed face.

Carole sees him standing there and gently eases Theo into the crook of Kurt’s angled elbow. He smiles gratefully at her and makes his way towards the nursery, holding Theo close to him with one arm, not wanting to change Theo in the colder areas of the house. He’d been worried when he first started carrying Theo around the house, nervous that he couldn’t hold Theo using both hands, due to the fact that he had to use his cane to get around. But Blaine quickly reassured him that he’d be fine with Theo, and now Kurt is confident in his actions, knows that he can safely carry Theo and walk at the same time.

Kurt keeps up a constant stream of chatter as he dresses Theo into a stripped onesie, a soft blue cardigan and grey pants. He gently lifts a foot and covers it with a soft sock, moving on the other foot, and then sliding the loafer-like slippers on over his son’s sock-clad feet. He grabs a beanie – the owl one this time, and seriously how many animal themed hats does his son really require? – and a thick wool jacket and makes his way back out of the room, Theo cooing and pawing at his chest all the way.

Kurt can’t hear the shower anymore and he quietly asks his father if he can hold Theo while he talks to Blaine. He doesn’t really need to ask though, because Burt’s arms automatically reach for his grandson.

Kurt pads back to their room, closing the door with a soft click.

Blaine has just emerged from the bathroom, a soft looking navy robe hanging off of his shoulders. He startles when he notices Kurt leaning against the door, subtly trying to tug the robe tighter to his body.

Kurt narrows his eyes at this, surprised at the action. They haven’t had much time to really see or pay attention to each others bodies lately. One of them is always attending Theo when the other is changing or showering, but Kurt hasn’t really put much thought into it until now.

“Someth-th-thing wrong?”

Blaine blushes, averts his gaze and picks at a loose thread. “No, no, just – you know my um, my stomach it – I mean the last time you saw me I had abs and…” Blaine trails off, shrugging sheepishly, still not meeting Kurt’s eyes.

Kurt chuckles at his husband, of course he does, he can’t help it, but he does have the decency to stop when Blaine glares at him.

“Honey, I kn-n-n-now you don’t look the same. Neither do, do, do I. But you… you are s-s-s-still beautiful, Blaine, okay?”

Blaine sighs, loosens his grip on his robe and relaxes, rolling his eyes at himself and nods at Kurt, a small grin on his lips.

Kurt crosses the room and kisses Blaine softly, his hands coming up to gently cradle Blaine’s cheeks. Blaine sighs happily when they part, his eyes glistening with adoration at he stares up at Kurt.

“Now, I n-n-n-need you to, to, to get dressed and then we… we need to talk.”

Blaine frowns but complies, and only manages to blush once when he removes his robe to start dressing. Kurt smiles when he notices Blaine tugging one of his old sweaters over his head.

Once Blaine is dressed and sitting down on their bed, slowly towel drying his hair, Kurt starts to talk.

“I need you to know th-th-that Theo’s hearing problems, whatever they m-m-m-may be… it isn’t y-y-y-your fault, Blaine.”

Next to him, Blaine tenses and breathes in a sharp breath. He goes to open his mouth, to argue, but Kurt cuts him off before he gets the chance.

“No, listen to m-m-me Blaine. You did everything right, okay? W-w-w-we don’t know what’s causing his hearing to, to, to go bad. But n-n-neither of us is at fault and you… you need to st-st-stop blaming yourself.”

“But – but I could have-“

Kurt cups Blaine’s cheek in his hand and gently turns his face, sighing when he spots the tears in Blaine’s eyes.

“No,” he says softly, “Blaine – Blaine you did everything right. You w-w-were perfect.”

Blaine crumbles, but Kurt is there to catch him, holding him in his arms and rocking them slowly. Blaine clings to him almost painfully, hiding his face in Kurt’s chest, his tears seemingly never ending.

Eventually Blaine’s tears stop and his breathing comes easier, his grip relaxing, much to Kurt’s relief.

“Better?”

Blaine nods, lifting his head from Kurt’s chest and wiping under his eyes with his sleeve.

“Yeah, just – I guess, um, it’s all just kind of overwhelming, you know? I mean I took off after I found out about Theo and I just…” He stops, sighing and leaning back against Kurt.

Kurt rubs his shoulders, kisses his temple and waits for Blaine to continue.

“I just kept driving, Kurt. I couldn’t stop and then I finally realized that I couldn’t keep going from motel to motel. So I drove here and stayed. But I can’t help wondering if – if maybe I had stayed with your parents, you know maybe I would have had less stress or something and then-“

“Blaine.” Kurt sighs, grabs Blaine’s arms and turns him so they’re face to face. “Sweetie, you know it, it, it doesn’t work like that. And you told me h-h-h-how you felt when you were staying in Ohio, at l-l-least when you came here you got the chance to breathe and, and, and collect yourself. I’m not saying it w-w-was the wisest choice, but at the time I-I-I-I think it was what you really n-n-needed.”

They sit in silence for a while, Blaine absorbing Kurt’s words and Kurt trying to understand Blaine’s guilt. Finally, Kurt continues. “And Blaine… sweetie you need to s-s-s-stop acting like Theo’s hearing is, is, is, is the end of the world. He’s going to be j-ju-ust fine. He is comp-p-pletely healthy and normal. If he is d-d-deaf then Theo is already g-g-going to head into the world with people judging him because of that, he d-d-doesn’t need us treating him as if, if, if he’s anything but normal.”

Kurt can feel Blaine nod rapidly against his chest, can hear him speak rapidly. “Of course, of course. I never – I didn’t mean to – Kurt he’s perfect, I know that, I do-“

“I know, I know, Blaine, its okay.”

Blaine sighs, raises his head to press a kiss to Kurt’s neck before he sits back, running a hand through his hair.

“While we’re discussing important things, I um, I wanted you to know that I called Brit.”

Kurt raises an eyebrow in silent questioning.

“I asked her to look into a new place for us. She was so fantastic getting us our apartment and you know I love it, but… it’s not exactly right for us anymore, so-“

“Blaine, what are y-y-y-you saying?”

Blaine takes in a large breath and shrugs his shoulders sheepishly. “I’m saying I want to go home, Kurt. Me, you, Theo… we belong in New York.”

-

On Thanksgiving, Maggie and Greta, accompanied by a babbling Cooper, make their way to the house across the street. When they enter, Cooper detaches himself from their arms and makes a beeline for the kitchen. The house is filled with delicious scents and loud laughter.

Maggie smiles at her wife while she carries a bowl of mashed potatoes into the kitchen, Greta following, a green bean casserole in her hands.

The kitchen is a crowded flurry of activity. Kurt waves at them distractedly as he checks on the turkey, Carole smiling widely at them, bent over what looks like yams, while Cooper putters about, stealing samples.

The two women set down their dishes and excuse themselves, heading into the living room to join Burt and Theo.

Cooper looks around the kitchen curiously, frowning when he doesn’t spot his brother or Quinn.

“Where’s Queen Bee?”

Kurt frowns. “Who?”

Cooper huffs, rolling his eyes. “Quinn and Blaine.”

Dryly, Kurt replies, “Right. As if, if, if, I was s-s-supposed to know that. They’re in the dining r-r-r-room.”

Winking a goodbye at Kurt, Cooper turns and saunters into the dining room, hoping he can snag a sample of dessert. When he walks in, he has to stifle a laugh.

Quinn is busy laying down a pie crust, her tongue sticking out in what Cooper thinks is adorable concentration, and Blaine is slumped over a bowl of what looks like filling, fast asleep.

He snaps a picture quickly and then calls Kurt into the room.

Kurt arrives with annoyance already set on his features, but when he spots Blaine his annoyance is gone instantly.

“Oh, the poor b-b-baby. He’s been so tired, but he want-t-t-ted to help and-“

Cooper waves a hand and gently lifts Blaine’s head off the bowl.

“Aw, don’t worry about it. He used to do this all the time. Before Ma took off, she and Blaine would spend hours in the kitchen, baking cakes, pies, cookies. Oh, the good old days…” Cooper seems to get lost in his story, and Kurt almost laughs when the man seems to start to drool.

He clears his throat, sharing a look with Quinn – who starts to remove the spoon from Blaine’s hand – and Cooper shakes himself, his dreamy look dimming.

“Right, sorry. Anyway, Blaine would always be on mixing duty ‘cause he was so small and Ma didn’t want him near the stove. For some reason he’d get so tired about halfway through and he’d just be snoring away over custard or frosting. I’d take him up to bed and not five minutes later he’d be back in the kitchen, wondering why he was in was in his bed and asking if he wasn’t allowed to bake with Ma anymore. It was adorable.”

Kurt smiles, shaking his head as Cooper reaches under Blaine’s knees to lift him up. He’s heard plenty of stories from Blaine about his mother, how sweet and loving she was, but this story is a new one.

He follows Cooper as he takes Blaine into their room, watching fondly as Cooper tucks Blaine in and presses a kiss to his brother’s forehead.

“Let him sleep, ‘kay? I’ll help Q with the pies.”

Kurt nods, squeezing Cooper’s arm gratefully as he passes and then closes the door, happy to let Blaine sleep.

He’ll wake him when dinner is ready.

-

When five o’clock rolls around, Blaine stumbles into the dining room with Theo in his arms – Kurt had laid him down with Blaine just two hours ago – and asks about the pies. Kurt and Cooper share a smile and just shake their heads.

Kurt pushes Blaine gently into a chair and brings Theo’s swing over, but Blaine shakes his head at it and instead holds Theo with one arm as they eat.

The table is filled with many different dishes, the people sitting around it trading tales of past Thanksgivings, laughter and smiles.

Kurt looks next to him as Blaine bounces Theo, smiling down at him with love in his eyes before he resumes his conversation with Cooper.

He squeezes Blaine’s hand and closes his eyes, Theo’s quiet mewl filling his ears as he thinks, I’m so thankful to have this.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER TWELVE:

Planting Lilacs and Buttercups

[December, 2024]

‘I got a man to stick it out and make a home from a rented house. And we’ll collect the moments one by one. I guess that’s how the future’s done.’ – Mushaboom by Feist

Kurt leans against the doorway of their new, New York bedroom, watching his husband hold their child.

Blaine is lying in bed, leaning up against the headboard with the blankets covering his legs. He has Theo propped up on his raised knees, the light from the lamp casting a warm glow over the two of them. Blaine smiles at Theo, his son’s tiny hands holding onto his thumbs, as he yawns. Kurt hides a smile behind his hand as he sees his husband lift Theo up and press a kiss to his forehead, murmuring quietly, “I love you, little one.”

He decides to finally make his presence known and pushes off the doorway, the sound of his cane against the floor making Blaine glance over to him with a tired smile.

“Hey. I was just about to go put him to bed.”

Kurt laughs as Theo lets out another big yawn. “It’s a g-g-good thing, too, he l-l-looks exhausted.”

“Yeah, well, he had a big day today. All his aunts and uncles coming to visit for his daddy’s birthday. It was fun, though. Crowded, but fun.”

“Well if, if, if, we didn’t have all these b-b-boxes lying around it w-w-wouldn’t be so, so bad.”

Blaine shakes his head in agreement and kisses Theo one last time as Kurt holds out his hands for him to take Theo. He sits up and puts his son in Kurt’s arms, smiling up at Kurt when he slumps back down into the mattress.

Kurt makes his way out of their bedroom, Theo slowly succumbing to sleep in his father’s arms as he walks, maneuvering around the boxes littering around their new home with practiced ease.

Their room and Theo’s nursery are the only two rooms that have been fully unpacked and Kurt would be more annoyed at this, but he and Blaine have been so tired and so unmotivated with the task of unpacking the rest of the boxes that he can’t really bring himself to care.

When he tucks Theo in, his son gives a sigh and his lips quirk into a small little smile. Kurt brushes his thumb over soft brown hair and leans down to give Theo a kiss before he leaves.

-

Blaine laughs as Kurt mutters about in the living room about his missing scarf. They’re leaving to pick up Finn from the airport in a half an hour and Kurt is still only half dressed.

Theo wriggles about in his arms as he carries him into the nursery, Kurt’s voice fading away with each step he takes.

He goes about getting an outfit for Theo, tossing aside anything that won’t keep his son warm. After he’s picked out some clothes, he gently lays Theo down on the changing table and coos at him while he sets about changing his diaper and then putting him in his new clothes.

Blaine tells Theo all about his uncle Finn and how excited he is to meet his nephew, how Finn is on leave from the Air Force and his first stop is here, just so he can see Theo in person. He occasionally slips in a sign with his words, but only when Theo is looking straight at him.

Ever since they got the diagnoses that Theo has sensorineural hearing loss in both of his ears, they’ve been pouring over articles and forums, trying to get as much information as possible. Kurt’s read that most parents start to teach sign language to their children at six months, but Blaine figures that it can’t hurt to slip in a few simple ones when his son is paying attention this early.

Once Theo is dressed, a thick wool cardigan and a blue beanie to complete his look, Blaine gathers their things and puts Theo in his carrier, tucking him in with soft blankets. He puts his own coat and hat on and then makes his way into his and Kurt’s bedroom, snatching the crème scarf from the dresser.

When he returns to the living room, Kurt is complaining to their son, thankfully dressed – sans scarf - and ready to go. Blaine clears his throat and Kurt practically beams when he sees his precious scarf in Blaine’s hands. While Kurt is busying himself in front of a mirror, Blaine shares an exasperated sigh and an eye roll with his son, smiling innocently at Kurt when he turns and declares himself ready to leave.

-

Finn can’t seem to make himself hand Theo over. The man has turned into mush since setting his eyes upon his nephew. After he’d distractedly given Blaine and Kurt hugs, he’d immediately started unbuckling Theo from his carrier, holding him gently in his arms.

They only just managed to get Finn to put Theo back in his carrier when they got outside the airport.

Now they’re sitting inside a restaurant, watching Finn amusedly as he keeps a one-sided conversation up with their son, their waitress waiting patiently for Finn to give her his order.

Kurt rolls his eyes at his step-brother and turns to the girl with an apologetic smile. “J-j-just get him the, the, the, biggest burger you h-h-have.”

She nods, grinning back at him and casting one more glance towards Theo, her expression melting, a twinkle in her eye as she leaves.

“Guys, I can’t believe how cute he is.” Finn says, his eyes never leaving Theo’s face.

Blaine laughs and leans over to let Theo grab his finger, pressing a kiss to his son’s hand as Kurt speaks.

“Of course he’s cute, he’s our s-s-s-son.”

Finn rolls his eyes. He finally looks up when he seems to remember something, his eyes lighting up with excitement. Blaine takes advantage of Finn’s distraction and swoops in, removing his son from Finn’s arms. Finn throws him a brief look of annoyance, but Blaine merely shrugs.

“I totally forgot to tell you! I’ve been learning sign language. It’s so hard, but really cool. One of my buddies has a sister who’s deaf and he’s been helping me learn. I almost have the alphabet down!”

Blaine looks up, pleasantly shocked and Kurt looks about ready to burst into tears.

“Finn, that’s – you have no idea how much that means to us, really, Finn.” Blaine says thickly, his own eyes starting to fill with tears as well.

Kurt nods, struck silent. Blaine glances over at him and reaches out his hand for Kurt to hold. Finn shrugs, suddenly shy and resumes his conversation with Theo.

-

Thankfully, by the time Christmas rolls around, their new apartment looks furnished and there are no boxes in sight. They have a small tree set up the corner of their living room, presents scattered about underneath it.

Finn is busy telling Theo all about Santa Claus, ignoring how Theo’s eyes keep drooping. Carole and Kurt are busy in the kitchen, wrapping up leftovers. Burt is grumbling over his new camera, taking pictures and grinning when they come up clear as opposed to his usual blurry pictures while Cooper keeps wrestling Blaine for the phone as he tries to keep up a conversation with Maggie.

Ten minutes later, Kurt comes back into the living room to find his brother and his son fast asleep on the couch. He laughs behind his hand and shares a look with his father, grinning when he sees Burt show him a picture he took of the two.

Blaine finally gives up on his phone call and lets Cooper take his phone, walking towards his husband and father-in-law to see what they’re smiling at. When Kurt feels his husband’s presence behind him, he looks over his shoulder and gestures towards the couch. Blaine giggles quietly, resting his chin on Kurt’s shoulder.

“You wanna put him to bed, or should I?” Blaine asks.

Kurt smiles at him. “You go ahead. I-I-I-I’m gonna give Anne and Henri a, a, a, call.”

“’Kay.” Blaine kisses his cheek and moves around them, gently lifting Theo out of Finn’s arms. Finn gives a big sigh, but otherwise doesn’t make any move to wake up. He waits patiently while Kurt, Cooper, Burt and Carole all give Theo kisses and whispered words of love before he leaves the room.

After he’s put Theo down and given him his own kiss and an, “I love you, Theo. Sweet dreams, baby”, he goes back into the living room and snuggles with Kurt on the couch, listening to him speak fondly in flawless French.

Cooper eventually ends his conversation with Maggie and plops down next to Blaine, pulling his feet into his lap and grabbing the remote. Carole returns to the living room with cups of hot cocoa for them all and everyone watches in amusement as Finn wakes up and blearily grabs for his cup.

Blaine falls asleep with a warm belly to the combined sounds of Kurt’s voice speaking softly, Cooper laughing and the opening to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

-

Blaine carefully balances the bags filled with groceries as he tries to get his keys out of his satchel. When he finally unlocks the door, he lets out a quiet sound of victory and toes the door open and closed, wincing when he hears his son’s cries. Blaine quickly deposits the grocery bags on the kitchen counter and makes his way towards the living room, sighing when he sees Kurt’s worried face as he tries to calm Theo down.

It’s New Years Eve and they have plans tonight. Nothing big or outrageous, in fact they’re still staying home, but Quinn, Cooper, Mike and Mercedes are all coming over to have a nice night in.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like that’s where their night is headed.

ldquo;He still cranky?” Blaine asks as he walks towards them, holding his hands out.

Kurt nods, his worried eyes meeting Blaine’s, and Blaine sighs as Kurt hands Theo over.

“Let’s see if this works…”

Blaine holds Theo closer to him and lays Theo’s hand over his throat, still rocking him gently. He’s only really done this a couple of times, when Theo was extra cranky and tired and Blaine didn’t know what to do and the first thing that had popped into his head had been to sing. He’d laid Theo down on his chest and held him close, singing a soft little song. It’d taken a bit, but Theo had calmed down.

Kurt watches with a furrowed brow as Blaine starts to sing, “I am thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images…”

Theo is still crying, but Blaine keeps on, smiling at Kurt when he steps forward and starts to rub Theo’s back. “…I hope this song will guide you home…”

Their son’s cries starts to fade and Kurt tentatively joins in with Blaine as he starts to sing, “They will see us waving from such great heights…”

By the time they reach the last chorus, Theo’s eyes are drooping and he sniffles one last time before the song ends.

Blaine keeps humming and Kurt just stares at him in wonder. “How d-d-d-did you…?”

He shrugs, looking up at Kurt from beneath his thick lashes. “When he first started crying and didn’t know what to do my first instinct was to sing. I mean, he seemed to always like it when I sang to him while I was pregnant, so figured, why not?”

Kurt laughs and shakes his head, wrapping his arms around Blaine’s waist. He leans in and kisses him softly, pulling back and leaning their foreheads together, breathing in together.

“You’re amazing,” he whispers, his lips quirking up in a small smile.

Blaine smiles back, rubs his nose against Kurt’s and says, “So are you, Kurt.”

-

The two of them creep away from the festivities and quietly make their way into the nursery. They can hear the television and their friends counting down.

Blaine turns on the small nightlight and then he helps Kurt lower himself onto the floor. After he closes the door, he joins Kurt on the floor, leaning against their son’s crib. Kurt smiles at him in the dim light and Blaine rests his head on Kurt’s shoulder, tangling their fingers together.

When they hear their friends cheering, they both lock eyes and lean in close, their mouths fitting together. Blaine pulls back smiling and stands slowly, helping Kurt up. They then both lean over the crib and kiss Theo on the forehead and whisper, “Happy New Year, Theo.”

Kurt leans into Blaine and they stand over their son, content, arms wrapped around each other.

Chapter Text

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:

We are Reaching New Heights

August, 2025]

‘The calm of turbulent seas, fallen to sleep. And when troubles arise, we hold on tight. How can a body contain something so great? My shell may suddenly burst out will come birds.’ – New Heights by A Fine Frenzy

Kurt watches, amused, as Blaine constantly fidgets in the car. He alternates between checking his hair in the mirror and tugging Theo’s shirt back down when their son plays with it. Finally, Kurt takes his hands and holds them still, quirking an eyebrow at his husband. Blaine sighs at Kurt and then makes a face at Theo when he tugs on Blaine’s sleeve.

“W-w-what’s up?”

Blaine shrugs and rolls his eyes at himself. “I don’t know. I guess I’m just nervous. I mean, these are the people who you lived with for months when you were hurt and - and what if they laugh at my French, Kurt?”

Kurt laughs, rubs Blaine’s hands soothingly. “You’ll be f-f-f-fine. Stop worrying. They can’t, can’t, can’t wait to meet you.”

Blaine smiles over at Kurt and nods, squeezing his hands one more time before reclaiming them, his gaze drifting towards Theo. Theo grabs Blaine’s finger and tugs before moving his hands towards his mouth.

Kurt smiles at the motion, recognizing that Theo is trying to tell them he’s hungry. Blaine repeats the motion at Theo while asking, “You hungry Theo?”

Theo smiles and drops his hands, moving one to rub a circle on his chest clumsily and Blaine almost bursts out a victorious cry. They’ve been so impressed with Theo’s abilities so far, but that pesky little ‘please’ has evaded them thus far. Theo’s even managed to vocally say ‘Da’ – and it was only one time, but Blaine and Kurt can’t help but boast - but he has stubbornly refused a please.

Blaine composes himself and reaches into a backpack at his feet, pulling out a fresh banana they’d purchased at a market just a half an hour ago. Kurt smiles over them, sighing happily at the sight of Blaine feeding Theo little bites of the banana, Theo eating messily. Kurt directs their driver to take a left in French and then wipes Theo’s mouth, sharing a smile with Blaine.

Bright green rolling hills pass them by until finally they can see stone buildings begin to form. Blaine sees Kurt grin excitedly, his upturned mouth reflected in the car window. Kurt rattles off an address and the driver smiles and says something in response. Blaine catches snippets of what he says, something about how Anne and Henri always visit him and his family for Christmas, how they’re the nicest couple he’s known.

The car rumbles down a dirt road and small brick house comes into view, flowers and various vegetable and fruit plants surrounding it. A large, old grey dog comes trotting out of the thick mangle of trees behind the house and Kurt sighs out a delighted, “Jacques!”

Kurt pays their driver well and ambles out of the car, thanking their driver when he takes out their luggage from the back. Blaine busies himself with Theo, putting a beanie over his head and zipping up his jacket. The air outside is crisp and refreshing and Blaine balances Theo on his hip while he reaches for his bag and slings it over his shoulder. Kurt smiles and laughs when Theo spots Jacques, his bright blue eyes widening in curiosity.

They both look towards the front door when it opens and Blaine watches contently as Kurt’s eyes brighten and his lips form into a large smile.

“Anne! Henri!”

Kurt walks as quickly as he can towards the elderly couple, enveloping them in tight hugs once he reaches them.

Blaine slowly walks forward, smiling down at Theo when his son lays his head on his shoulder, Theo’s soft curls tickling his neck.

Kurt turns toward them and becks Blaine forward, a bright smile on his face. He introduces Blaine to Anne and Henri, and when he does the both of them hug him, surprising Blaine. Anne coos at Theo and gives Kurt a questioning look, to which he smiles and nods.

She squeezes his hand and tickles Theo, grinning at his giggles.

Henri ushers them inside, waving back at the cab driver before he closes the front door. As soon as they’re inside, Blaine can understand why Kurt feels like this is one of his second homes. The house is warm and cozy and he too feels immediately at home here, watching Kurt talk animatedly with Henri while Anne goes to fetch drinks and snacks.

Jacques comes trotting into the living room then and Blaine shares a look of amusement with Anne as Theo begins to squirm in his arms, his eyes wide, a grin on his lips.

Blaine sets Theo down on the floor and discreetly nudges Kurt with a hand on his thigh and the room collectively watches as Theo clumsily and slowly crawls toward the large dog. Jacques regards Theo with a lazy expression, lying down carefully – almost as if he doesn’t want to spook Theo.

Kurt’s hand covers his and Blaine bites his lip to contain his smile as Theo plops down in front of Jacques, the dog sighing heavily as Theo raises a chubby hand and tentatively touches Jacques’ neck.

Theo rubs the fur there slowly and then he smiles widely, looking at his fathers with excited eyes.

Henri laughs and claps Kurt on his back lightly, while Anne’s eyes glitter and she smiles so brightly that Blaine is sure the room lightens just a tad.

He brings Kurt’s hand up to his lips and presses a kiss there, goes back to watching his son with love in his heart.

-

[October 27th, 2025]

Blaine brushes past Kurt, his hand lingering on Kurt’s waist as he gathers a plate of finger sandwiches from the kitchen counter. Kurt’s tongue is poking out in concentration as he decorates the cake that Blaine had baked that morning.

Before he leaves the kitchen he gives Kurt a kiss on the cheek, smiling when Kurt grins and squeezes his hand.

He sets the plate on the long table set up on one wall of their dining room, waving at Maggie and Greta from across the room.

He looks around the room for Theo then, grinning when he sees Quinn engaging Theo with a toy duck that Theo’s been stuck on ever since Quinn gave it to him that morning.

All of their guests look happy, even the adults entertained even though it’s only Theo’s first birthday. Blaine watches with fond eyes as Sam and Mercedes’ daughter Charity sits close next to Quinn, glancing at Theo with curious, hesitant eyes. She’s only a year older than Theo, and Blaine resolves to plan more play dates between the two.

He feels Kurt wrap an arm around his waist and he tilts his head back, smiling up at his husband.

Kurt presses a kiss behind his ear, then leans back, opens his mouth and says with a smile, “Okay, e-e-e-everyone, who’s ready f-f-f-for cake?”

-

After the party, when Theo is tucked away under his blankets, thoroughly tuckered out from the day’s festivities, Kurt and Blaine tuck themselves into their own bed.

But their eyes do not close, and instead they lie in the darkness, their eyes lingering over each other, hands wandering until their clothes are shed and the room is filled with gasps and whimpers.

Blaine’s eyes grow misty when he traces over the long, jagged scar over Kurt’s thigh, and Kurt has to kiss him softly, squeeze his hand and remind him that’s he still here.

And it’s been a long road, they both know this, but as they come together in the quiet night they know that it is worth it. All the longing and pain, the scars and tears, they would go through it all if they knew they would be together at the end; Kurt, Blaine, and Theo, scattered alone in the beginning and brought together again like a spool of yarn, wrapped up in a tight knit ball, ready for any obstacle thrown their way.

Chapter Text

EPILOGUE:

Lullabye for a Stormy Night

'For you know, once even I was a little child, and I was afraid, but a gentle someone always came to dry all my tears, trade sweet sleep for fears and to give a kiss goodnight.’ – Lullabye for a Stormy Night by Vienna Teng

[September, 2027]

Kurt and Blaine walk leisurely down the pathway of the park, keeping a close eye on Theo as he skips in front of them. Their little boy jumps up and down, spins around and grins at them and they laugh. Theo runs back towards them at full speed, giggling when Kurt lifts him high into the air. They press kisses to his full cheeks, smiling when he reciprocates with a loud ‘smack’.

Theo jumps out of Kurt’s arms, distracted when he spots a woman walking her dog. Blaine steps forward, ready to pull Theo back, but the woman gives him a kind smile and tells her little corgi to sit so that Theo can gently pet the dog.

Once the woman and her dog move on, Theo gives his parents questioning, big eyes and they shake their heads at him, exasperated, tell him, maybe.

-

Blaine crawls into bed late one night, smiling at Kurt as he takes his glasses off. Kurt gives him a quick kiss, pulls him close and sighs.

“Theo asleep?”

Blaine nods, bites his lip and nervously crawls into Kurt’s lap, his arms winding around his husband’s neck.

Kurt hums, settling his hands on Blaine’s back, playing with the hem of Blaine’s shirt.

“Penny f-f-f-for your th-thoughts?”

Blaine’s eyes grow dark and he leans forward, skimming his nose along Kurt’s neck and sucking a wet kiss behind Kurt’s ear. Kurt gasps quietly, his hands tightening their hold on Blaine.

“Mmm. How do you feel about trying for another baby?”

Kurt bites his lip, pulls Blaine back from his neck and grins before he crashes their lips together.

[June, 2029]

Blaine watches with tired eyes as Theo peers down at his little sister – their perfect little Rose Elizabeth – curiously. Kurt sits with, holding their son up and waiting for Theo to make a move.

When they first explained to Theo that he was going to be a big brother, he’d been so excited. He’d told them that he no longer wanted a puppy, since having a little baby to take care of was ten times better.

Theo reaches out a tentative hand and watches in fascination as Rose takes hold of his thumb. He grins at his dads and slowly leans forward, brushing a light kiss to Rose’s forehead.

[March, 2032]

Molly is a surprise.

Kurt comes home one day to a quiet house, which is odd in itself. Usually Blaine and the kids are in the midst of some game or craft, music coming out from the speakers mixing with laughter.

He frowns, makes his way to the living room and glances around in confusion. It doesn’t even look like anyone is here, and he’s sure that Blaine didn’t mention anything about taking the kids out somewhere, so he’s baffled as to why the house looks so empty.

Kurt drops his bags off on the kitchen counter and makes his way down the hall until he gets to Theo’s door.

He eases the door open and sighs in relief when he spots Theo on his bed, sketching. Theo looks up and smiles at him, stands up and hugs Kurt.

Kurt doesn’t even have to ask why Theo’s in his room, because his son immediately signs, Dad’s not feeling good, so I told Rose we have to let him sleep. She’s taking a nap right now.

Kurt sighs and furrows his brow, concerned, but he thanks Theo and gives him a kiss to his forehead before he leaves.

When he enters his and Blaine’s room, he quickly makes his way over to Blaine. His husband is curled in a ball on their bed, shaking with quiet sobs.

“Blaine? W-w-w-what’s wrong?”

Blaine gives a shuddering sigh, turns around to cling to Kurt.

“Baby y-y-you’re scaring m-m-me.”

He hears Blaine take in a deep breath and then he’s looking into Blaine’s red rimmed eyes, scared at how fearful Blaine looks.

“I’m pregnant.”

Kurt sucks in a sharp breath, tugs Blaine closer and wipes his eyes.

“I-I-I don’t – why are you s-s-so upset? Isn’t this a good th-th-thing?”

“Kurt I’m 37; way past the age for safe carrier pregnancies. What if – what if we lose the baby? I couldn’t handle that, Kurt.”

Kurt sigh shakily, gathers Blaine into his arms and hides his face in the curve of Blaine’s neck. He doesn’t know what to say, doesn’t even know if he could words out even if he did know how to comfort Blaine. The thought of losing a child terrifies him, so he can only imagine how Blaine is feeling.

Blaine clings to him tightly, his hands shaking, letting out a sob when Kurt tentatively rests a hand on his still small stomach.

He doesn’t know what to do, but he does know that he loves this baby as much as his other children, and he doesn’t know what he’ll do if he loses her – it, if he loses it, he corrects himself.

Blaine closes his eyes, his eyelashes clumping together from wet tears that don’t cease, and listens to the sounds of his home; Theo’s foot tapping on the leg of his desk, Rose singing loudly along with her television, Kurt’s calming breath synching with his.

[June, 2038]

Steady, focused hands paint across a blank canvas; broad swipes of color overlap and overlap until the canvas is no longer blank, but a mirage of color and imagery. He dips his paintbrush into vivid blue, cocking his head and contemplating, and then promptly sets his paintbrush back down with a grin.

Underneath his feet he can feel little pitter patter vibrations and he knows instantly who is running through the house.

Molly, oh, little Miss Molly, he thinks with an amused smile.

Theo turns towards the door just as the youngest of his two sisters runs into the room, her long, wavy auburn hair wild, and only half dressed.

She runs into his arms, her face lit up with mischief and he twirls her around in circles, reveling in the sight of her laughter.

Their father comes running into the room then, smirking at Molly and sharing an exasperated smile with Theo.

“You’re going to give your Papa worry lines do you know that little girl?”

Molly giggles, tucking her head on her brother’s shoulders and shrugging.

Blaine shakes his head, walking further into the room and signing to Theo, She didn’t interrupt you did she?

Theo shakes his head, No, I was almost done anyway. Is Papa almost ready to go?

Blaine rolls his eyes and gives his son a look, smiling when Theo laughs. They both know that despite Kurt wanting to leave at a certain time, and harassing everyone else to get ready, he’s always the last to be done.

Blaine takes a squirming Molly from Theo, giving his son a one armed hug before he turns to look at Theo’s painting.

Theo had taken quickly to his art classes once he started school, and when they realized that Theo’s talent went far beyond the norm, they signed him up for extra classes, buying him paints and charcoals and sketchpads at their son’s insistence.

Blaine wraps his arm back around his son, pulling him close as he stares at Theo’s painting. He feels breathless at the image, embarrassed at the sudden tears in his eyes.

Theo has painted a wonderful, abstract image of he and Kurt, walking side by side in the corner, three children following them.

It’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen.

I love it Theo, he tells his son, kissing him on the side of his head and laughing at Theo’s blush.

Theo shrugs off the praise, his cheeks still red, and they both turn when Kurt and Rose come into the room.

Kurt spots them gathered around the painting and looks for himself, sighing at the image and signing his own praise to Theo.

Rose hands Blaine a pile a clothes – Molly’s, she explains with an exasperated eye roll – and Blaine takes them gratefully, sitting down on the small loveseat and beckoning Molly forward. The little girl goes with a pout, and Blaine quickly dresses her, ignoring her whines.

Kurt helps Theo put his supplies away, and then asks Rose is she has all her stuff packed and ready to go. Thankfully, Blaine notes, she doesn’t point out that she’s been ready since the day before.

And then they all gather their things, the children piling into the car – Theo making sure Molly is buckled up in her car seat and Rose handing Molly her plush ballerina before she even begins to whine – while Kurt and Blaine pack their things into the trunk.

And then they’re off, Blaine driving while Kurt calls his father to let him know that they are on their way. They’ll be spending a three day weekend with Burt and Carole, celebrating Burt’s 59th birthday.

The sun in bright outside, the skies clear and Kurt smiles, reaches for Blaine’s and glances at his children. Theo’s doodling away on his tablet, Rose is enthralled by her latest novel, and Molly is fast asleep. He and Blaine share a look of understanding, and Kurt kisses his husband’s hand, smiling at the happy little sigh that Blaine gives.