LEONARD KAROFSKY-HUMMEL VS THE WORLD
Leonard is a pretty smart little kid. He has always been kind of a weirdo for one of his age, but Dave really thinks this is pretty obvious since he is Kurt’s son too, after all. He is not noisy, he is not spoiled, he is not a crybaby and he never had a thing for strangeness just for the sake of it. He is not that kind of eccentric Kurt is, he is just a little… uncommon. Maybe. Which Dave thinks is a great, great thing, because being uncommon can be good and no one knows it better than him, but really, his kid scares him, sometimes. Just slightly.
“I’m not sure I understand,” Dave says, searching for his son’s eyes while the boy just stares at his milk and cereals, swinging his legs under the table. “Leo?”
“It’s just that,” he pouts, his voice a little whiny, “all my friends’ parents are married. Or, maybe they were married and then got divorced, but they were married before. What if you and daddy get divorced without being married first? Doesn’t it sound totally not cool to you too?”
“Hey, hey!” He stops him, putting down his coffee cup and bending over him to talk in a lower voice, so Kurt, still hidden in the bathroom for his Sunday morning beauty treatment, won’t have to hear them. “What does being cool have to do with being married? That was decades ago, Leo. I thought the world had moved forward, by now.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Leo gabbles, moving uncomfortably on his chair. “It’s just that it sounds pretty cool. The flowers, the dresses, the people, the music, the food…” he sighs, shrugging. “I wouldn’t mind if you and daddy got married. Then you could have rings to throw away when you divorce.”
“Leo, please!” Dave says, looking at him with his eyes wide open, “Kurt and I are not going to leave each other or you alone anytime soon. Now, tell me who told you this divorce bullshit.”
“David Karofsky!” Kurt yells, magically appearing in the kitchen with his face still covered in a disgusting green mask that is so dry already it seems it is going to fall any minute now. It looks like his very face would fall behind it, and Dave and Leonard averts their eyes simultaneously, horrified by the exact same thought. “How many times do I have to tell you, you can’t use the B-word in front of our son?”
“I wasn’t!” Dave immediately says, lifting his hands up in the air like he has to show they are clean, “I swear.”
“He was, he’s a liar.” Leonard mumbles, going back to his cereals, but only after he is sure his father noticed the angry look he gave him. Dave just doesn’t know. When did his son lose his mind?
“Dad won’t never use that word again with you, baby,” Kurt smiles, sitting at the table and starting to drink his excessively sugared coffee. “Now, what are the plans for the day?”
“Is staying home and sleep an option?” Dave asks, tentatively, biting on his lower lip. He is so tired he could sleep for days. His kids at school are such a pain. He thought McKinley’s football team was shit when he joined it? They were geniuses compared to the kids he is coaching now. They are so clumsy and whiny and confused. At the end of the week, the only thing Dave wants is to fall on his bed, bury his face in his pillow and sleep two days straight so he will be in top shape when he has to go back on Monday and start hating everything all over again.
Obviously, the fact that he wants to sleep doesn’t mean he will be able to. At all.
“Of course not,” Kurt answers, biting at the enormous cookie he is holding with both his hands. “What about the park? It’s a wonderful day for a walk. The sun is shining, the air is fresh, birds are singing in the air—”
“And you wanna go out singing too, don’t you?” Dave smiles, looking at him with tenderness and a little bit of mockery.
Kurt’s skin, under his beauty mask, gets slightly pinker, as he quickly swallows his cookie.
“Well, maybe,” he admits with a tiny laugh. “Wanna join me?”
“I’d rather listen,” Dave says, and Leonard snorts, leaving his cereals where they are and rapidly getting up.
“So, are we going out?” He asks, he is clearly not entirely happy.
Kurt frowns, just slightly worried. “Is everything okay, sweetheart?” He asks, his voice as soft and reassuring as it could, but Leonard just shrugs, leaving his question unanswered.
“Are we going out?” He asks again instead, and Kurt uncertainly nods.
Kurt listens to the sound of Leo's feet stomping on the stairs and on the carpeted corridor of the second floor. He carefully waits until he is sure the boy is safe in his room, getting ready to go out, before turning to Dave and frowning at him again. “What's wrong with him?” he asks.
Dave rolls his eyes, finishing his coffee. “I know nothing,” he says, and he doesn’t leave Kurt the time to ask something else because he gets up and runs away in their room – hopefully, not to hide himself in their closet – leaving Kurt with what is left of his breakfast and his beauty mask ready to fall down.
The weather is nice outside and, as he looks at the bright blue sky over Schoonover Park, Dave can even forget how tired he was when he woke up this morning. Kurt is walking beside him, under the trees that cast nice long shadows. Dave is holding his hand so he can keep his eyes closed while humming like the bird he is. Leo is running ahead, kicking every stone and chasing every butterfly he meets on the way. Sometimes Dave looks at him and wonders how he can have so much energy. He doesn't remember being half as lively as he is when he was a kid.
“Dad!” He calls, waving frantically. “Come over here! I want to show you something.”
Kurt smiles but does not open his eyes. Both he and Dave always know which one of his dads Leo is calling. “Your son wants you,” he says instead, releasing Dave's hand so he can go.
“He's always my son when he wants something, isn't he?”
Kurt laughs. “Pretty much, yes.”
“Dad! Come on! You're so slow!”
“Now go, your little monster is waiting,” Kurt pushes him a bit in the general direction of Leo's voice.
“Open your eyes, Fancy,” Dave calls over his shoulder. “I don't want you to fall on your face.”
Kurt glares at him. “Call me that again and you know what you won't see for a very long time.”
Dave laughs and Leo rolls his eyes at the two of them. “Is that another way to say that you will be sleeping on the couch again?” He asks, looking up at Dave.
“This is none of your business, little man,” Dave answers him, ruffling his hair. “So, what did you want me to see?”
Leo points a chubby little finger at the lake shore, where some very sharp dressed people are gathered.
“It's a wedding,” he explains, as if the very white and very puffy dress of the bride wasn't a clue.
“Yes, I see that.”
“She was on the boat over there,” Leo continues, pointing at the little white boat filled with flowers. “She came through the lake, you know? The man took her by the hand and helped her off the boat. She is very clumsy, so he had to take her in his arms, eventually. She is always laughing and seems very happy.”
Dave looks at him, curiously. “How long have you been watching them?”
“A while,” Leo shrugs and drags him closer to the scene. “Her name's Sandy. Her mom keeps calling her, that's how I know. Those are all their brothers and sisters and cousins and stuff. And there's a violin somewhere. She danced with the man.”
“She's really beautiful and you're right, she seems happy. It is a very nice wedding.” Dave doesn't exactly know what he’s looking at, but he learned long ago that whatever his six years old son feels the need to tell him, it must be listened and watched closely.
“I think they're going to have a party on the other side of the lake,” Leo explains, tilting his head a bit as if pondering the situation. “And maybe they will leave after. When it's dark, I guess.”
“I think so,” Dave doesn't know what else to say. “Come on, let's go back, now. You know your dad, he's probably wondered off, singing silly love songs. Someone could find him too cute and take him away from us.”
He starts walking but Leo doesn't follow him. He goes the other way instead and sits on a big rock near the lake. Dave stops in midstep and watches his son as he grabs a stick from the ground and starts playing with it.
“Don't you wanna come?” He asks. Leo shakes his head without looking at him.
The man sighs, knowing what comes next. He glances over to check on Kurt, who is literally swirling around the meadow while he sings some melody from The sound of music, and he is so taken with it that he hasn't even noticed the group of people watching his impromptu live performance.
Dave decides that he can spare a moment for his son without Kurt running away with the first traveling circus that offers him to sing all day, and reaches Leo who still won't look at him. He is playing with five or six giant ants that are bringing back some food they have probably just stolen from the wedding buffet. Leo is pursuing them with the stick and they are running around, trying to escape him.
The kid seems pretty sad, so Dave comes close to him and crouches beside him.
“Hey buddy, what's up?”
“I don't really wanna talk to you right now,” Leo says in a very low voice.
He is dangling his feet back and forth a little, kicking the rock with the new red shoes Kurt bought for him in New York, last week. Kurt buys him a new pair of shoes every time he gets the chance, which is a lot more than it should be legal. Leo is the only kid in the neighborhood to have a closet only for shoes. Dave has prevented Kurt to dress their son as a little miniature of himself, but there was nothing he could do against the shoes’ invasion. Kurt can hardly control himself.
“Did I do something wrong?” Dave asks, caught by surprised.
“You didn't even listen to me when we talked about marriage this morning!” Leo says, pouting.
David sighs because now he knows it is going to be hard. “Can I sit with you?” He asks, then.
“Well, yes, I suppose,” Leo nods. He keeps playing with the ants that are now aliens from another planet, coming on Earth to force people to marry.
Dave sits with his son and looks at the ants with him. “What do you know about marriage?”
“It is what two people do when they love each other and want to live their lives together!” Leo answers, his voice going all the way up as it always does when he is excited to know something and wants to say it as fast as he can.
“People can love each other and live their lives together even if they don't marry,” Dave explains. “Do you think me and your dad don't love each other? Is this that you're worried about?”
Leo makes a very sad face. “You two fight a lot.”
Dave and Kurt made a promise never to fight in front of the kid, so what Leo has seen and heard are only bland arguments about who is taking the car or who is picking Leo up from school. Sometimes they do fight badly behind closed doors, though, and now Dave fears Leo heard more than he should, jumping to the wrong conclusions. “Sometimes people fight but it doesn't mean they don't love each other. It just means they disagree on something.”
Leo shakes his head. “But this has nothing to do with marriage! Why don't you want to marry my daddy? You're going to leave him and you don't want to make him believe you'll love him forever?”
Dave's heart skips a beat. He is really sensitive about his feelings. He knows he is not very good at showing them, so he is always making sure Kurt and Leo know how much he loves them. “I will never leave you or your father. What does make you think that?”
“Why can't you just answer my questions?! “ Leo cries, his voice slightly breaking from frustration. “Why do you answer with another question? I'm not stupid, you know? And I'm not a kid anymore, I can understand things of life!”
He looks at his father with very stern eyes. Dave should feel ashamed, but Leo is so cute that the only thing he manages is not to laugh. “You sure do,” he says. Then he sighs and strokes Leo's ruffled black hair. “It's not that I don't want to marry him, we just never talked about it. Nothing would change, you know? I love him, already. And I plan to keep on loving him for the rest of my life, so a marriage is not really necessary.”
“But I know he'd be so happy!” Leo insists, looking at him. “Don't you want him to be happy?”
“Of course I do,” Dave sighs. He watches the wedding party head for the reception on the other shore of the lake. He doesn't know how Leo came up with the idea of him and Kurt getting married. “Wait,” he suddenly says, not a bell but a whole orchestra ringing in his head. “Did he tell you that he wants to get married?”
“Well... no, but you know him!” Leo glances over at Kurt, who is now chirping with the birds and dancing like a Disney princess. People are actually singing chorus parts with him, like in one of those group scenes in Broadway musicals. Strange things always happen in the background if they stop long enough for Kurt to make them happen. “He has his head always in the air. He would never tell you.”
“And don't you think maybe that's because he doesn't really care about getting married?”
Leo lifts up a very skeptical eyebrow. It looks so much like Santana's “bitch, please” stare that Dave has a hard time not laughing again. “He's been planning weddings since he was younger than me,” he says. “He's got an entire book filled with photos, notes and possible playlists. He's always sketching dresses, too!”
The kid has a point. “You're right. I just thought he wasn't interested anymore,” he explains. “We already have each other and a house. And we've got you, of course.”
Dave doesn't know why he’s talking about matters like these with a kid, but Leo seems always so mature than sometimes he just forgets he is only six years old.
“Daddy would be so happy,” Leo says again. “I know he would. And I want so much to see you two married! It'd be so cool! I could invite all my friends, so they would see!” He throws his little fist in the air and smirks.
“Would see what?” Dave asks, suddenly concerned. “Did they tell you something?”
Leo shifts awkwardly on his seat, eyes back down to the ants again. “They say it's not normal when parents aren't married. It's okay if they're not married anymore, but if they never were? It's strange.”
When he and Kurt adopted Leo, Dave knew it was going to be hard, them being gay and all. The other kids would be asking a lot of questions and making a lot of jokes on Leo, so he made sure to be ready to face every possible situation. But sometimes kids go beyond imagination and they can be so mean he actually hates them. “It's not strange,” Dave says, firmly. “People sometimes make different choices. It's that why marriage is suddenly so important to you?”
“I just want to see you married and I want to have a normal family. Is that too much to ask?” Leo jumps off the rock and opens his arms as wide as he can with a very dramatic outcome.
David feels bad because most of all, he wants his son to feel normal. He remembers how it feels when something about you is different from everyone else. You just want to fit in. “Do you really want me to marry your dad?” He asks.
“Yes!” Leo cries in frustration. “Yes, I do. I want you to propose to him. But you must do it the right way, not like you always do!”
David automatically blushes under his son slightly judgmental glare. “What are you talking about?”
“You actually never asks for things,” he says. “You just go and take what you want. That's not cool, dad.”
Dave doesn't agree at all with that. He ask for things. Most of the time, at least. “So, what do you suggest?”
Leo lights up with a smile. “You can sing!” He says immediately, as if he has been waiting only for this moment to come. “You never want to do it, and Daddy's always asking you to!”
Dave shakes his head. “No way. I can't.”
“Have you ever tried singing to someone with all your heart?” The kid asks.
“I can't sing for your father!” Dave panics instantly because he knows where this is going and he so does not want that. “He's a fu... a freaking wonderful singer.”
“I know, he's always singing,” Leo nods, looking again at Kurt who is still performing. “And I mean always. But I never heard you.”
“That's because I play football.”
“What does this have to do with singing?” Leo groans in frustration.
“Nothing, that's the point.”
Leo puts his hands on his hips, looking at him with exasperation. “Daddy said you were in the show choir with him.”
“That's not correct,” Dave says nervously. “I was in glee club only for a couple of weeks and just because the coach thought me and my teammates needed more coordination. I never sung, just did some really easy dancing. And your father wasn't even in there at the time.”
“I don't believe you,” Leo says stubbornly. “Daddy says you can sing, so you obviously can.”
Leo is in that phase when kids think whatever comes out of their mother's mouth is the truth. And since Leo doesn't have one, he settled for the closest figure, who's definitely Kurt.
David tries to get out of this the easy way. “Listen, I'd love to, but I really can't,” he says, smiling apologetically. “I'm only good at sports. Perhaps I can throw him a ball with something written on it or I can even throw him somewhere if you think that's could be of any use. But I can't sing.”
“You wouldn't throw daddy!” Leo says, outraged.
“That was just a figure of speech,” David sighs. The story of his life.
Leo doesn't waste any time looking at him with all the perplexity those words have given him. “I don't know what that is but that's not important! He wants you to sing, I know that. It doesn't have to be a concert. Just the proposal. It'd be so awesome!”
Leo is like Kurt, so stubborn that he only has things his way or not at all. And since the not-at-all part seems out of question, Dave can only surrender. “Fine. I'll sing,” he gives in.
Leo squeals happily and starts jumping around like a madman. “You're gonna get married! You're gonna get married! My dads are gonna get married.”
It feels really good to see him acting like the kid he is now and then. Dave smiles. “Now, now, calm down. Your father didn't say yes, yet.”
“Oh, he will,” Leo stops abruptly, nodding with confidence. “Don't worry about that. So, you will need some pretty flowers and an engagemement ring.”
Dave giggles. Leo always mispells words like this because he wants to speak like a grown up but he has no idea what he is saying most of the time. “I will try and find one of those engagemement ring. Leave it to me,” he says. “So flowers, ring, song, that's it?”
“No, of course not!” Leo answers, looking at him like he said the worst of atrocities. “You two must have dinner first. You can choose between cooking something for him with all your love, or take him out to some expensive and classy restaurant.”
Last week Dave set two different meals on fire, so it is kinda of a Hobson's choice. “I'll go with the fancy restaurant,” he says. “We don't want to poison dad.”
Leo shakes his head, his tight black curls swinging back and forth. “No, we don't,” he says seriously. “Then, you'll have to organize the marriage. But don't worry, I'll help you. I know everything about it. I read daddy's notes on that book of his! And I watched a lot of wedding tv.”
Dave takes a mental note to check on him when he watches tv. For some reason, what he has just said doesn't sound completely right. “You should really watch more cartoons.”
Leo shrugs. “They're boring. They’re made for little kids,” he pouts. “I'm not one anymore.”
Dave rolls his eyes. “God, you really are the miniature copy of your father.”
“Is that so?” Leo says. He acts like the information doesn't really affect him, but it does and turns his cheeks an adorable shade of pink.
“Yes, you are. A very precise copy. I don't know what to do with the two of you sometimes.”
“I just care about this wedding,” Leo adds, making circles in the sand with his right foot. “I want it to be really awesome.”
“I'm sure it will be spectacular with your precious help, little wedding planner.” Dave tickles him on his belly and Leo laughs, running away to hide behind the rock and out of his father's tickling fingers.
“Daddy's right, you know?” He says, peeking from behind his cover just to run away again when Dave moves to catch him.
Leo laughs uncontrollably with excitement like kids do when being chased playfully. “He says you look like a prince, but you're actually the trapped one, and that makes you the princess.”
“What?” Dave grabs him and tackles him easily on the ground, tickling him to death. “I'm not a princess. That's clearly your father. He's the one with all the creams and the pretty dresses.”
Leo curls up in a ball and laughs until he's out of breath. Dave lets him go, and then they both lie down, panting heavily. After a while, Leo turns on his side and looks at Kurt who finally stopped singing and is now sunbathing on the grass not too far from them.
“Daddy really looks like a prince, though, doesn't he? He's so beautiful.”
Dave turns his head and looks at Kurt with the same loving eyes as his son. “Yes, he is. The most gorgeous prince of the whole freaking kingdom.”
Leonard helps him to chose the right restaurant, obviously. That is because the last time Dave invited Kurt out for dinner it was at Breadstix, and Breadstix is not exactly the first place you have in mind when you think about what’s fancy and classy, so Leo just takes the lead and makes a list of five or six potential candidates, half of which Dave doesn’t even know.
“What about this one?” Dave asks, pointing out one of the names without even paying attention to which one he’s choosing. He has probably made the wrong decision, anyway, because Leonard immediately looks at him in horror, eyes filled with disappointment.
“That one’s the worst!” he almost screams, his little hands lost in his hair, “I only put it there to test you! You are such a mess.”
Dave can’t help it, he just has to laugh. Leo’s taking the whole matter so seriously. Just looking at him when he screams in frustration and passes the whole day drawing different kinds of decorations for both the place they’re going to get married in and the restaurant they’re going to use for the wedding reception can be so funny Dave can’t hold back laughing.
He never thought about this that way, but sharing this little secret with Leo while Kurt doesn’t even suspect what they’re doing just feels so good. Dave and Leo never had secrets of their own, secrets they could not share with Kurt, so every moment Dave passes with his son planning the wedding is so precious to him he almost doesn’t want it to ever end.
“So, where do you suggest to go?” Dave asks, smiling softly, “I trust you completely.”
Leo puffs his chest out, smiling victoriously, and an hour and a half later they’re in front of the restaurant he chose, which looks a little intimidating even from the outside.
“It seems like I’m going to have to wear a tie,” Dave sighs, and Leo looks at him with an arched eyebrow and the eyes of someone who’s already reaching the limit of their patience.
“That wasn’t even in question, dad,” he answers.
The very moment they step inside the place, a pretty blonde waitress comes near them, smiling gently. “Can I help you?” she asks, slightly tilting her head.
Dave uncertainly scratches the back of his own neck, almost looking away from her, while his son heavily sighs, shaking his head. “Can we talk to the owner?” He finally manages to ask.
“Yeah, sure,” the pretty girl smiles ever wider, “He’s in his office. This way, please.”
On their way to the owner's office, Leo grabs the hem of his father’s shirt and pulls it. “Let me do the talking,” he whispers, lifting himself up on his tiptoes to virtually get closer to his ears, so he doesn’t have to speak louder.
“What?” Dave asks, opening his eyes so wide his face almost hurts.
“You even had problems asking the waitress where could we find him!” Leo answers, almost jumping up and down in frustration, “You’ll ruin everything! Let me do the talking.”
Dave really wants to talk back at this, just to remind his son he’s just six and has no right to talk this way to his own father, but it’s too late, the pretty girl stops in front of a door with a big, golden name plate saying “Mr. Donovan” and there’s nothing Dave can say right now without looking like a fool in front of her.
“Here we are,” the waitress says, “Something else I can do for you?”
“We’ll be alright, thank you.” Dave answers, managing to smile a little. She nods and disappears the second after, and there’s nothing Dave can do but knock on the door and wait.
“Come in,” the soft voice of an old man speaks from the inside, and Dave opens the door to find the said old man sitting in a giant armchair behind an equally giant antique desk, smiling happily as if he was expecting them. He is so little and strange he almost seems unreal, with his big white mustaches covering his lips and those thick eyeglasses that make his eyes look like they’re twice their size. “Hello. Do I know you?”
Dave tries to speak faster than his son, but Leo doesn’t really have rivals when it comes to talking, so he doesn’t manage to be fast enough, and has to step back while his son makes a step toward the old man and then literally climbs on his desk, sitting on his heels in front of him.
“Hello, granddaddy,” he smiles, “Can I ask you a favor?”
Dave almost chokes on his own breath. “And that would be ‘do the talking’ for you?” he asks, looking at him while Leo shrugs. “Get immediately down from there!” he tries, frowning a little to look more intimidating, but his son is not scared of him even slightly, and Mr. Donovan keeps laughing like he has been doing since the very moment he first heard what Leonard had to say. So Dave's scolding is soon forgotten, and Leo can stay wherever he wants without anyone forcing him to come down.
“Sure you can, little boy,” Mr. Donovan answers, with a smile on his face so big not even the mustaches can hide it anymore, “But first, let me ask you one thing. What’s your name?”
“My name is Leonard, and I’m six years old,” Leo immediately answers, showing his age with his fingers, “My daddies are going to get married soon, so I wanted to ask you if we can use your beautiful restaurant for the singing proposal my daddy’s going to perform. My other daddy really likes fancy places like this one, so it would be perfect, you know?”
“Leo!” Dave tries to stop him, reaching for him and grabbing him by his shoulders to take him down of the desk, “You’re being rude and that’s not how you ask someone to do you a favor.”
“Oh, please, leave him be, leave him be!” the old man says, laughing again, “He’s so cute and smart. Besides, isn’t courtesy just something adults invented to make the kids feel like they’re not prepared enough to live with them?”
“I am very sorry for my son,” Dave insists, bowing a little.
“Daddy, didn’t you hear?” Leo says, elbowing him in his leg, “He said he’s alright with me!”
“Leo!” Dave insists, raising his voice, but Mr. Donovan laughs again, so happily that it really seems pointless to keep scolding the kid.
“I’d be very honored if you propose to your future husband here in my restaurant, mister…?”
“Karofsky,” Dave answers, blushing a little and staring at his feet, “My name’s David Karofsky, sir.”
“Mister Karofsky, then,” Mr. Donovan nods and smiles, standing up behind his desk and leaning over it to hold out his hand to Dave. “It’ll be a pleasure for me to host your marriage proposal. Would you be so kind to let me offer my collaboration, and would you promise me you’ll let me know whatever you might need to make that moment really magical?”
Dave blinks a couple of times, his lips partly open, barely breathing. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I… you're saying it’s alright if we do it here?” he asks, while Leo jumps up and down and screams a little, clapping his hands in joy, “It’s just— we had something a little peculiar in mind, so maybe you want to know… but I can’t really tell you right now, ‘cause we still have to talk to someone, and…”
“It’s alright, it’s alright!” Mir. Donovan smiles, waving one of his big yet thin, pale hands in the air, “Just give me a call when you know exactly what you want to do, and I’ll make sure everything’s set by the time you arrive.”
Dave nods again and shakes the old man’s hand, thanking him for his kindness and generosity, before saying goodbye and leaving the room, holding Leo’s hand just to be sure he can't run away as he seems so eager to do, excitement running through his little body, making him squeals and jumps like he’s been given the most beautiful present in the world.
“I’m confused,” Dave says in a low voice, leaving the restaurant, “We came here to ask if we could use the place, and we ended up being asked to use it as we please. I’m still not sure on how it happened.”
Unseen, Leo grins, satisfied.
It’s almost evening when they arrive at Puck’s pub. The place is quiet, at the moment, but Dave knows that, as soon as it actually opens for the crowd, it will be pretty messy around here; it often happens on Friday night, when Puck usually digs up his guitar from wherever he keeps it hidden during the rest of the week, and entertains his clients with some good old style pop music.
That’s why Dave wants to hurry up: he doesn’t want to get stuck in the crowd with Kurt waiting for Leo and him at home, not having an idea of where they are and what could they be doing, and he definitely, definitely doesn’t want to end up listening to Puck playing guitar for the rest of the night.
Still, he’s scared. He can’t find the courage to walk in and just ask Puck to play for him while he proposes to Kurt. He imagines that this sudden fear comes from the fact that asking Puck will make everything so real. Talking to Mr. Donovan was a first step, but talking with Puck? Maybe even setting a time and a day? That’s terrifying.
“Daddy!” Leo calls him, bored and tired of waiting, “I’m hungry and I have to pee! I wanna go home! Please, let’s just do this, okay?”
Dave sighs, trying to relax at least enough to just move already. “Okay, buddy,” he finally says, swallowing hard, “Let’s do this.”
The inside of the pub is practically empty, except for Puck – who’s doing his sound check on the little stage at the back of the big room – and a waiter cleaning up the bar for the evening. Dave and Leo wait for Puck to notice them, and it doesn't take him a lot of time, since he’s obviously bored to death – God only knows how long he’s been rehearsing – and is just waiting for an excuse to look up and leave his guitar on the stage to find something more interesting to do.
“Hi, Puckerman,” Dave smiles, lifting a hand and waving a little while Leo shifts uncomfortably in his place.
“Well,” Puck laughs, quickly approaching him with his arms wide open, as if he wants to hug him, even if, when he’s close enough, he just pats him on his shoulder, knowing that Dave’s never been very fond of excessive body contact. Well, with everybody but Kurt, at least. “Look who’s out of his fancy neighborhood to visit some good old friend. And how’re your wife and kid?” he asks, clearly not noticing Leo almost hidden behind Dave.
“Wife’s fine and singing somewhere in the country,” Dave answers, moving aside just enough to show Leo’s there too, “And the heir’s here,” he says, as Leo manages to wave and smile despite his upsetting condition.
“Hey, you!” Puck says, his smile growing wider as he sees the kid. He bends a little to hug him and then lift him up in his arms. “Whoa, you’re growing fast,” he comments, still holding him while Leo laughs, trying to wriggle his way out of his grip. “So, what’s the occasion?” Puck asks, turning back to Dave, “Should I offer you champagne?”
“Yes!” Leo immediately answers, lighting up in an excited smile, “Can I have some?”
“No, you can’t,” Dave glares at him, before turning back to Puck, “And no, thanks, Puck. But speaking of champagne, I’m here to ask you a favor,” he manages to say, throwing his fears aside so he can have his son out of this place and sitting on his toilet at home before Puck manages to have them both drunk. Because he knows he would find a way.
“I can’t give you money, you know,” Puck immediately says, raising both his hands and letting Leo fall on his feet on the floor with a little scream. “Don’t even ask, dude, I’d hate to say no in front of the little one here.”
“The little one you nearly killed right now?” Dave asks, while Leo starts jumping up and down on his feet because the fall made him craving for a toilet more than he was before. “Anyways, no, I don’t need money. It’s something… different.”
“As long as it’s not money,” Puck nods, “I’ll be happy to help. Have a sit,” he invites them, sitting on one of the stools in front of the bar and patting on his knees so Leo can climb on his legs and sit on his lap. “Tell me what you need.”
“Well,” Dave sighs, sitting in front of him, “Long story short: I want to… ask Kurt to marry me,” he says, blushing furiously. It’s actually the first time he has to say it out loud. It feels pretty big.
Puck opens his eyes wider, looking at him like he has never seen him before. “You want do to what?” he asks, clearly shocked.
“I want to propose to him,” Dave answers, following the wave of courage that seems to keep him strong at the moment, “We’ve been together for almost ten years, and…” he looks at Leo and then back to Puck, “He seems to care for a wedding, you know, so…”
Puck seems to need a moment to recover, before he can speak again. “Dude,” he finally says, shaking his head, “What’s with this gay marriage thing?” he asks, “It’s so 2010. And why now?”
“Because it is the right time!” Dave insists, getting more and more confident as he speaks, “We’ve got a house, we’ve got financial security, we’ve even got a kid! There’s only one thing missing.”
“Well, I’m not married, but I don’t feel like missing something,” Puck laughs, “It’s just strange,” he adds, his voice softer and his smile sweeter, “The David Karofsky I knew back in high school would have never, never had the balls to do something similar. I guess time changes people, after all.”
“Yeah, it does,” Dave nods, smiling back at him, “Even though it doesn’t seem strong enough to change you too,” he adds, while Puck laughs, shaking so much that Leo’s eyes get almost teary for the need he feels to just pee already. “So,” Dave resumes, noticing the desperate expression on his son’s face, “My problem is that I want to make a…” he blushes deeply, shifting on his seat, “a singing proposal.”
“That’s my idea,” Leo specifies, allowing himself to get distracted by the discussion enough to stop thinking about his needs.
“A singing proposal?” Puck asks, looking at him in shock again, “Are you nuts?”
“No, I’m damn serious here,” Dave immediately answers, taking his son back in his arms, where he knows he will be safe and free to twist as he likes to try and calm himself, “Listen, I can do this, I really can, but I’m gonna need help, someone who plays the guitar while I sing.”
“And you want me to play the guitar while you sing what and where?” Puck asks, still doubtful. Dave tries to answer, but Leo, clearly in desperate need of distraction, jumps up and answers in his place.
“It’s gonna be awesome, uncle Noah,” he explains, standing up on his father’s knees, “They are going to go in a fancy restaurant we already saw, where all the tables are rounded and have little candles on them. Dad will sing Marry Me by Neil Diamond, I chose it ‘cause it’s romantic and daddy likes romantic things, and he’ll be so happy he’ll cry, and they’re gonna get married afterwards.”
Puck listens carefully to the boy, nodding quietly from time to time, and when Leo stops talking he turns to face Dave once again. “And you called coming out back in high school a social suicide?” he asks, “Then, how do you call this?” he points at Leo as if the things the boy has just described had already taken place in front of him, “Social Armageddon?”
“I call it avoiding sleeping on the couch for a very, very long time,” Dave answers with a grin, and Puck instantly shivers.
“Now, that was a bad case of TMI. I so don’t wanna hear about where you sleep. So don’t want to,” he whines, shaking his head. “Anyway, the answer’s no.”
“But why?” Dave frowns, gesturing a little while his son pouts and crosses his arms on his chest, looking disapprovingly at his so-called uncle, “You should just play the guitar. I’ll do the singing.”
“Karofsky, no,” Puck repeats, still shaking his head, “Listen, You're a good friend and I love you in the most not-gay way, but you’re batshit crazy and Kurt— no, everyone in Lima is going to laugh at you forever. I’ve got a reputation!”
“Why should they laugh at me?” Dave protests, “I can sing as much as you can, and you know it. If you can sing with Kurt, than I can sing for him,” he says, standing up for himself, guided by a sudden rush of pride that Leo welcomes with a big, shiny smile and an adoring look.
Puck blinks a couple of times, sighing deeply. “This is some crazy shit you’re asking me to do,” he considers, “Popping out of nowhere playing my guitar.”
“Oh, please, you used to do it all the time!” Dave replies, rolling his eyes, “You could never walk the hallways without you or Artie or Sam popping out of nowhere singing at least once a week. People learned how to avoid you and keep walking while you performed!”
“Dude, that was in high school!” Puck insists, “I was sixteen and high most of the time! No, I don’t want to. I won’t do it.”
“What does high mean?” Leo asks, slightly tilting his head to the side.
Puck clears his throat, ruffling the kid’s hair. “I’ll tell you when you’re old enough. Now take your crazy dad and get lost.”
“Oh, come on,” Dave almost whines, “What’s your problem?”
“My problem is that it’s going to be ridiculous, and that there’s the real possibility I will be forever remembered as the dude who played guitar for the most weird proposal of all times,” Puck nods seriously.
“Why do I want to punch you in the face all of a sudden?” Dave sighs, tired of fighting.
“Maybe because you still have problems controlling your anger,” Puck immediately replies, arching an eyebrow. “Man! Why are you doing this? You’re going to cover yourself in shame!” he insists, as if he really couldn’t believe Dave would do something like that. Problem is, Dave would. Even if he had to cover himself in shame, even if he had to survive to the mocks and the laughs of every single person in Lima, he would do this. If only to see the look in Kurt’s eyes when he asks him to marry him, Dave would risk to lose everything else.
“I love Kurt,” he answers, looking straight in Puck’s eyes, “I love him and it’s not going to be ridiculous. It’s going to be awesome.”
“Oh, God,” Puck sighs, rolling his eyes and then looking at Leo, “You realize you’re sentencing your own dad to social death with this idea you came up with?” he asks, pointing at him.
“I don’t know what social death is, but my dad can’t die, so it’s ok,” Leo just replies, shrugging.
“This is so Broadway,” Puck sighs again, “I don’t even know why we’re still talking about it.”
“I’m kind of asking myself the same thing, Puckerman,” Dave groans, trying to decide if he can just shove him against the first locker he finds and fucking go home, since he honestly can’t take any more arguing.
“Don’t be angry, daddy,” Leo tries to calm him, “Uncle Noah just needs to be convinced. Uncle Noah, you know,” he explains, turning to the other man, “Broadway is exactly my plan. In fact, daddies will have dinner, then you’ll come out playing your guitar and everybody will stare and listen and smile. Maybe chanting the chorus all together, too,” he ponders, “Dad will sing and maybe dance with daddy a little bit, then he’ll go down on his knee and propose. It’s classy and it’s classic, which are two different words, daddy says.”
Puck can’t help but burst into laughing, slowly shaking his head. “When did you became the portrait of a younger and clearly crazier Kurt?” he asks, “What was I looking at when it happened? Dude,” he adds, turning to Dave, “Your son really is something.”
“He is,” Dave nods, sighing softly.
“So, uncle Noah,” Leo insists, closing his hands in two nervous little fists, “Will you do it? Daddy really, really, really, really wants dad to sing for him. And he wants to marry, too.”
“Don’t you even think to win me over only with those big blue eyes,” Puck mocks him, even if it’s clear he already decided what to do, “You’re not cute enough to convince me.”
“Oh, please!” Leo starts to jump up and down again, remembering he has to pee when it’s already too late; so his jumping up and down starts to be motivated by more than just his intense desire to have Puck playing for Dave during the proposal. “Uncle Noah, please,” he cheeps, eyes filled with tears and cheeks reddening more and more every second, “It’s so important!” Puck keeps playing cool, so Leo does the only thing he knows it always works in hard times like these, he flutters his eyelashes. “Pretty please with a cherry on top?” he asks.
Puck opens his eyes wide, chocking on his own breath. “I recognize your father’s touch!” he almost screams, turning to Dave, “You let your future husband teach that eyelashes thing to your son! Dude!”
“I didn’t let him!” Dave defends himself, “He keeps teaching him things like that during his father-son time. There’s nothing I can do. Kurt’s… Kurt.”
Puck sighs, nodding as if he perfectly knows how difficult could be to restrain Kurt from doing whatever he wants. And he actually knows it. “Luckily, it seems you’re going to marry him soon. So every other man will be safe. At least temporarily,” he ponders, nodding again. “This wedding needs to happen as soon as possible. That’s clearly my chance to save the world and the whole mankind.”
“Every other man was already safe even before,” Dave snorts, but Puck shakes his head.
“You know what they say, there’s nothing sure about the future. But you two have been together for so long,” he smiles sweetly, “So I think there’s at least one thing we can all be sure about the future.”
Dave smiles, while Leo finally understands Puck basically said yes without having to say it out loud. “You can bet,” he says, and Puck laughs a little, hearing those words.
“You know, I actually did,” he nods, and Dave arches an eyebrow, looking uncertainly at him.
“You did what?” he asks.
“Well, when you two started dating,” he remembers, while Leo suddenly forgets he still has to go to the bathroom, because he just loves to listen to the tales of his parents before they had him, “There was this thing in the football team. We never told you because we knew you’d be angry, and then you were already going through so much… Basically, Finn bet you wouldn’t last two weeks, while Sam said one month and Azimio was all ‘duuuude, it’s Dave Karofsky and Kurt Hummel we’re talking about, it’s like a fucking royal wedding, I’d be personally disappointed and offended if it lasts less than four months’,” he laughs, trying to imitate Azimio’s voice while both Dave and Leo laughs madly; he waits until they stop to talk again. “I gave you a year, and I bought two new guitars,” he nods, lifting his hands up in the air in a small gesture of triumph.
“Wow,” Dave laughs again, wiping a little tear from the corner of his eye, “I didn’t know any of that. But you bet the longest period, why?”
“You’re here, now, asking me to play for you during your singing proposal, dude,” Puck answers, still smiling, “And you ask me why I bet the longest period? I knew you were crazy enough to make it! Besides,” he adds, “You waited so long to ask him out, it would have been disappointing if it didn’t last long.”
Dave gives in to a little smile, as his eyes suddenly look so distant and shiny, his head filled with memories. “It took me, like… I don’t know, a month? Just to put together the words to tell him, and he was so pissed it took me so long.”
“Oh, God, I still remember him running around during that home economics class,” he remembers, laughing again while Leo starts jumping from one foot to another but is just too fascinated to ask for the toilet, “Singing that cheesy Emma Bunton song, what did it say? What took you so long, what took you all night, what took you forever to see I’m right? With all the other girls dancing on the desks. Creepiest moment of my life.”
“You really attended home economics classes?” Leo asks, opening his eyes so wide they seem to occupy the entirety of his face, “So how come you can not cook at all?”
“I wasn’t very good at it, ok?” Dave snorts, remembering the moment Puck just mentioned as one of the creepiest of his life too, just as much as that other moment in which he broke an egg and Brittany suddenly turned to him and screamed he was a murderer.
“And why did you sing during classes, uncle Noah?” Leo asks, turning to Puck.
“We used singing as a way to express our feelings,” Puck answers, smiling happily, “Even during classes, yes. Besides,” he adds, turning to Dave, “Creepy as it was, Kurt had all rights to sing his heart out, in that moment. I remember him constantly whining about how clueless you seemed whenever he came near you. And after how it ended with Blaine…” he stops for a moment, as if he just remembered something really important, “Speaking of which,” he says, “Are you going to invite him?”
“I…” Dave says, instantly averting his eyes, “I didn’t think about the guest list, yet. I don’t know. Maybe. Kurt will decide, I guess. I hate the guy, but Kurt… who knows. Maybe he’ll want him there.”
“It could be dangerous, don’t you think?” Puck asks, “Say he understood his mistake and wants your princess back,” he laughs.
“Over my dead body,” Dave snaps, suddenly turning to him, eyes shiny with jealousy and possessiveness, “He won’t go near Kurt unless I can see where his hands are.”
“Who is this guy you’re talking about?” Leo asks, arching an eyebrow.
“The little one here doesn’t know about prince charming, Blaine Freakin’ Warbler?” he asks, pointing at Leo, “Now, that’s a shame. Should I tell him?” he teases Dave with a grin.
“Is he a real prince?” Leo immediately asks, eyes filled with curiosity and admiration, while Dave groans, bothered by the turn the discussion is taking.
“Good job, Puckerman. Now he got the wrong idea. Come on, tell him the truth.”
Puck laughs, taking Leo in his arms and letting him sit on his lap. “Well, he wasn’t exactly a prince, but he really looked like one. You know, there was a time,” he starts telling the kid with his most mysterious tone, “Before you were born, even before your daddies started to date, when Kurt dated this young boy attending an all-boys school called Dalton, and he was always wearing an elegant uniform, as princes do. And he didn’t have a surname, most of the time. As princes do, too, now that I think about it.”
“What did the uniform look like?” Leo asks, so interested in the matter he definitely forgets his need for a toilet, “And why didn’t he have a surname? Was he cool like dad?”
“No, he wasn’t,” Dave immediately answers. Leo looks at him and than back at Puck.
“Daddy didn’t love him, right?” he asks, now somehow worried, probably because he noticed the little spark of insecurity in his father’s eyes.
“Well, I wouldn’t know,” Puck answers, actually thinking about it – that bastard – “Your daddy seemed pretty interested in him, but they both were so young they kind of lost themselves on the way. Which is good, because then your daddy found himself back again with your other daddy, and everything fell in its place.”
“That’s right!” Leo nods enthusiastically, “Daddy can’t love anybody but me and dad. And maybe aunt Rachel and aunt Mercedes, if he wants, but not as much.”
Puck laughs out loud, hugging Leo, touched by his words. “I’m sure he doesn’t love anything in the world as much as he loves you two. This, you can be sure about.”
“I am,” Leo answers, nodding again, “And I love him too. He adopted me with dad, did you know that, uncle Noah?” he starts, getting all excited like every time he has the chance to tell the wonderful tale of his adoption, something he manages to find the way to do as often as he can, even when no one asks him to do it.
“I totally didn’t know that!” Puck answers, opening his eyes and pretending to be really surprised, when he obviously does know everything concerning the kid’s adoption. “Here I was, thinking they found you under a cherry tree, feed by fairies and pampered by elves.”
“No, no!” Leo starts jumping up and down again, managing to escape Puck’s arms to fall down on his feet on the floor, turning to look seriously at him, “They wanted to have a baby so much they went to the hospital searching for one, and a kind lady gave me to them. I was sooo little.”
“Now that I think about it,” Puck answers, hitting the palm of his hand with a fist, “I remember you being so little I could hold you in one hand!” he nods, showing the kid his hand well open, “See? I remember your daddies putting you here, and you slept all the time.”
Leo nods again. “Daddy always says I would sleep all night through.”
“That’s because he didn’t have to wake up to feed him,” Dave adds, with a little snort.
“Well, he’s always been cute, at least,” Puck laughs, and Dave can’t help to smile in return.
“Yes, he is,” he nods, “That’s why I’m here now, with this little monster,” he adds, leaning on Leo to hold him tight in his arms and tickles him hard.
“No, no, no!” Leo screams and laughs, his whole body shaking, “Daddy, don’t! I have to pee, I have to pee!”
Puck laughs again as Dave lets his son go. “You two are gonna be a great married couple,” he states, “I can already picture you ten years from now, with your big house and the garden, and a thousand dogs.”
“Let’s just say a couple of dogs and one more kid,” Dave corrects him, while Leo jumps up and down screaming he wants a thousand dogs and can do without a brother.
“Well,” Puck says, ignoring him even though he’s so noisy, “You’ll have your honeymoon to think about it and generate another fruit of your love. Which leads us to another TMI discussion I definitely don’t wanna have right here and now. Or never.”
Dave laughs, standing up and holding Leo’s hand since he already knows the kid's going to run to the car the minute they’re out of the pub, careless of the other cars that could cross the street in the same moment he does. “You’ll have the report when we come back, for sure,” he teases him.
Puck shivers. “Fact is, I don’t want to,” he clarifies, “Now, just let me know the details for that singing proposal of yours, when you have them. I’ll do my best to help you.”
Dave smiles again, and actually leans in for a little hug before he goes. “I’ll give you a call.”
Dave is really nervous, that kind of nervous that makes his heart race and makes him want to turn around and run as fast as he can; but Leo is there beside him and he wouldn't allow that, let alone that Dave would never leave him there all by himself, so he has to stay.
This is insane. It feels like the senior prom all over again, when he came to this very same house to pick Kurt up and Burt's face was so grim he actually managed to scare the leaving shit out of him without saying a word. Burt was standing in a corner of the family room and watched as Kurt run down the stairs – beautiful beyond words – and hugged Dave happily, not daring to kiss him in front of his father. Burt's eyes were telling Dave that if he was just fooling around with his son, he would never, ever see the light of day after he had finished with him. Dave had shivered all the way back to the car.
Now, things are different because he actually lives with Kurt already and they have a son. Him being here in front of this door waiting to ask Kurt's hand to his father it is just a mere formality to keep up the tradition. Burt is not supposed to say no, what would they do if he did? It doesn't make any sense. Still, Dave wants to ask him and do things properly and he wants Burt's approval as much as he wants Kurt's because he needs to feel that the whole Hummel family is with him in this.
“Dad, can we please at least ring the doorbell?” Leo asks, looking up at him with a sigh. “We've been here for ten minutes now. It's weird, people are staring at us.”
Dave reaches for the doorbell and finally rings. The doorbell's sound is the same as ten years ago and still makes him shiver. It's going to be a very long and very hard chat with mr. Hummel.
It's Finn who opens the door with the most annoyed face ever. “What?” He spits out before actually noticing who's standing on the doormat.
“Hi to you too, Finn,” Dave says, raising a perplexed eyebrow.
“Sorry, man. We weren't expecting you,” he explains. Then he tries and look past him and Leo to see if Kurt is with them too. “Is everything okay?”
“Yes. Yes, everything's fine.”
“Who's there, Finn?” Burt’s voice comes from inside the house.
Finn puts his head back inside. “It's Dave with Leo,” he yells to his step-father, then turns back to Dave and gives him one of his smiles. “Me and Burt are about to watch the game. Wanna join us?”
“No, thanks,” Dave declines. “I... I actually thought I'd find you here because of, you know, the football game. I need to ask you something.”
Since Dave seems pretty serious, Finn nods seriously as well and steps back. “Uh. Okay, sure. Come in.”
Dave enters hesitantly, still uncomfortable with the whole situation, while his son precedes him in the living room. “Hey! Is that my nephew?” Burt says, looking at them from the armchair.
“Yes, it's me!” Leo answers, running to hug him. “Are you my grandpa?”
Burt laughs. “You can bet I am, little champion.” He lifts Leo up so he can sit on his lap. “How you doin'? Have you thought about starting to play football as I asked you last time we saw each other?”
“Not much,” Leo answers, honestly. “I really want to be a pilot, you know. But dad is teaching me something in the backyard because it's family business, he says. I know how to tackle, now.”
Finn is gone to fetch a couple of beers, so Dave can watch Leo and his grandfather having a chat of their own. Leo is pretty good at football, but he doesn't like it. And since he doesn't seem to like much dancing and singing either, he probably won't follow neither his nor Kurt's footsteps.
“Racing is too dangerous for a kid of your age!” Burt says. “Football would be a better choice, at least until you're old enough to get a driving license.”
“I'll drive go-karts until I'm old enough to drive real cars,” Leo explains, now playing with his grandfather's baseball cap. “Dad said he is going to think about it.”
Leo turns to his father for confirmation, but Finn is back and the two of them are talking so he lets it go and goes back to his grandfather.
“So, what is it you wanted to ask me?” Finn is saying, handing Dave his bottle of beer with a slightly uncomfortable smile.
“Yes, right. I was wondering if you can keep an eye on Leo tonight. I'd like to take your brother out to dinner. It's a special date,” he explains, sipping on his beer. “I know I should have called you first, but I have a lot on my mind right now and I just forgot.”
Finn doesn't understand why Dave is so upset. It is not like he never left Leo here or at Finn's house for that matter. Sooner or later each one of the group has babysittered Leo for a couple of hours or even the night, so Dave shouldn't be so worried for his kid. “Uh, it's alright, dude. We're going to watch the game for the rest of the night anyway. Keeping an eye on Leo won't be a problem at all. Why are you acting so weird? Is there something wrong? You can tell me, y'know.”
“It's nothing, really,” Dave tries to smile but what comes out is just a grimace of pain.
“It doesn't really seem so,” Burt says, just letting Leo go after tickling him so hard he can barely breathe anymore. The kid runs away blindly until he slams against his uncle Finn's legs. “You look like you're having gas.”
Finn laughs and takes Leo in his arms, heading with him upstairs, where he apparently has a present for him. Dave feels uneasy now more than ever after the gas joke and everything.
“Come on, have a sit,” Burt invites him, going back to watch the game.
Even after almost ten years of being with this man's son, Dave is still terrified of him; maybe it is because Burt has never been exactly rude with him. He has been just the right grade of finely threatening, enough to make Dave know he was closely watching him but not to make Carole or Kurt angry for being an asshole with him. Dave sits uneasily on the armchair opposite to Burt's and tries to find a way to talk to him in between a game action and the other.
“Do you know I recently became a vegetarian?” Burt asks, conversationally.
Dave doesn't know exactly what he is supposed to answer to that and most of all why Burt is telling him now. “Really. And why is that?”
Burt doesn't look away from the TV as he speaks. His eyes follow the players on screen with great attention. “My heart's sick. Doctor says it's time I start taking it easy, 'cause I'm getting old,” he says, sipping juice from an half empty bottle. “But that's not the point. Do you know what me being vegetarian means?”
“That... you don't eat meat, sir?” Dave says, hesitantly. It feels like an episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, except that he doesn't know exactly what he's going to lose if he doesn't answer correctly.
But Burt turns to him with a little smile. “It means that I'm not going to eat you alive, Dave,” he says, leaning over the armrest and touching Dave's knee with the bottle. “So relax.”
Dave smiles nervously. “I'm trying my best, sir.”
“Well, try harder,” Burt insists, turning back to the game. “You're sitting like your spine is made of iron or something. And stop calling me sir. I don't know why you're always doing that, but it creeps me out. You're not seventeen anymore and I'm not that old.”
Dave would be really upset by this answer if he couldn't see some mischievous smile lingering on Burt's lips. “Sure, Burt,” he says. “It just feels strange to call you by your first name when I came here to ask you something so delicate.”
He's expecting some sort of reaction, but he gets none. Burt keeps watching tv and sipping juice. “What is it?” he asks. “If you need money or something for the kid, me and Carole can help you but Kurt alone earns more in a week than me in a couple of months, so don't expect much.”
Dave wonders why everyone keeps thinking they need money. They’re actually pretty well off, with Kurt's career and everything. Not billionaire, maybe, but they've got their nest egg put aside in case of emergency. Just because they didn't move immediately in a bigger house or even a bigger city when Kurt landed his first well paid role on Broadway, it doesn't mean they are in dire straits or something. Dave could even quit his job and stay home with Leo, if he wanted to. Too bad he doesn't and he still have a problem with earning less than Kurt, but it's something he's slowly getting over with.
“Don't worry, we don't need any money,” he finally says aloud, getting out of his own head to answer. “I'm here to talk to you about me and Kurt.”
This attracts Burt's attention. “What about you two?” He asks suspiciously.
Dave is so happy to have him fully listening that he doesn't even care for the dangerous tone. “We've been together almost ten years now. And they have been the most beautiful years of my life.”
Burt relaxes and smiles sweetly to that, clearly not expecting any buts. “I'm pretty sure they've been the most beautiful years of Kurt's life so far too,” he says and then sighs, almost wistfully. “I admit I had my doubts on you, Dave. I couldn't really see why Kurt would choose you, considering he's a wonderful, talented and beautiful person, worthy of the best in the entire world, but looking in his eyes is enough for me to understand. He almost never smiles as he does when he's with you. So you must be worth it.”
Dave blushes a little. He is so grateful to hear those words that his heart could easily explode. “I'm so lucky to have him. And I love him more every day,” he says “I'm doing my best to make him happy as much as he makes me.”
Burt is already nodding. “I know you are, son. Is that why you won't let me see the end of this game? To tell me things I am already aware of? Y'know, you could have called, I would have spared you the trip. As I said, I had doubts on you but that was a long time ago. Now I wouldn't trust Kurt's life with anyone but you, so you can relax.” Burt laughs but keeps watching the game, completely unaware that something momentous is about to happen.
“I had to come, sir.” Dave takes a deep breath. The moment is finally arrived and if he doesn't do it now, he will never do it. “I'm actually here to ask your permission... to propose to Kurt, tonight.”
Burt's brain shuts down. He turns to Dave and looks at him like he is not seeing him at all. Dave's heart is racing madly. He is so scared, he can't even breath. This can end two ways, and right now he is not completely sure one of them is actually good.
Finn doesn't live here anymore, obviously.
He moved out to go to college and then never came back. He has his own house now, though it is not too far from Burt and Carole's because, just like Dave, he didn't really want to leave his parents. Or Lima, for that matter. But he spends a lot of time in the old family house, because he lives alone and he gets easily bored. His old room looks exactly the same and he sleeps there too sometimes.
Leo loves it. No other room of his grandparents' house but the attic is more appealing than Finn's old room to him. He likes to explore it and quest for the many treasures it holds. Finn never throws away anything, so there's plenty of his old toys and trophies in there. There are shelves and shelves filled with action figures from movies and comics. Some of them Leo recognizes from Dave's own collection of comics, but for the most part they are unknown characters he never heard of because he is too young. There is one in particular that never fails to get his attention. It is a green, gnomish figure wearing a purple cape that covers it completely, so you can't see its face except for its round, yellow eyes. Finn told him it is a mage or something but Leo doesn't care for the story behind it, he just likes the look of the character. It is the first doll he grabs every time he enters Finn's room. He is playing with it even now, although his main thought is the present Finn was talking about.
“Why did you buy me a present?” He asks. “It's not my birthday.”
“I didn't buy it,” Finn explains, taking out a big cardbox from under his bed. “It's one of my old games. I found it a couple of days ago and I thought you would like it.”
“What game is it?”
Finn smiles. “Go on, open the box and see for yourself.”
Leo kneels before the box and carefully lies the little toy beside him while he opens it. Inside the box there is one of those old fifth or sixth generation consoles. Leo knows them from the internet but he has never actually seen a working one. On top of it, a game with the biggest case he has ever seen.
“It's a go kart simulator,” Finn explains as he sits on his old bed to watch Leo going through the box. “It's a bit old, but it's still a good game.”
Leo's eyes are sparkling. “Really? That's so cool, uncle Finn!”
He watches closely every single piece he finds in the box, turning each one of them in his little hands. The console looks nothing like the ones he has at home; it is dusty, scratched and really ugly and squared, but as much as it is old, it holds a charm of its own. It's like the old PSP his dad gave him. It has scratches all over it and it keeps getting stuck from time to time, but Leo loves it more than his brand new Nintendo Dsi-4 which he mostly needs to exchange Pokémons with his friends at school.
“Do you like it?” Finn laughs, looking at him with affection. He fell in love with Leo the moment he laid his eyes on him for the first time after Kurt and Dave brought him home. He is a very proud uncle and takes his role really seriously, which basically means he spoils Leo as much as he possibly can.
“Yes!” Leo cries, putting everything back in the box so he can drag it to the old TV in the room. “Can I try it?”
“Sure,” Finn nods. “Your dad said you're really enjoying this driving thing, recently. Is Kurt alright with it?”
“Not much, really.” Leo puts the console, the cables and the controller meticulously in front of the TV, trying to figure out what he is looking at. It has always been this way with him. He is the kind of child who always reads the instructions before playing with anything and doesn't want any help, unless he asks for it. Finn knows that, so he just watches.
“And you still want to drive? Even though you know how dangerous it could be?”
“Of course I do!” He looks at him and then back at the game. “And it's not so dangerous. Where's the motion sensor?”
Finn laughs. “There is no motion sensor, kid. This thing comes from a time of cables,” he says, pointing at the various parts as he proceeds to explain. “You connect the console to the TV and the fake steering wheel to the console. Then you just start the game and, you know, drive.”
“I got it.” Leo executes with no hesitation whatsoever. Like any kid his age, he is used to technology and has a quick grasp of it even if it is of a kind he has never seen before.
“This way, you won't have to actually drive a real go-kart,” Finn continues. But when Leo turns to look at him with a slightly troubled face, he realizes that maybe his words were too conclusive. “Obviously, I'm not saying you will never, ever drive a go-kart, but you can practice with this game first, so you can drive the real thing only when you know you're ready, and it'll be less dangerous.”
“I'm ready, uncle Finn,” Leo shrugs and moves the TV a bit to reach for the plugs on the back. “I'm not a little kid anymore and I want this more than anything else in the whole world. Except for one thing.”
“Hm? Something more important than go karts? And what would that be?” Finn asks, genuinely interested. He is more than willing to help Leo have whatever it is that can distract him from those damn mini-cars, since Kurt is driving him nuts, always complaining on how his only child will die in a go-kart accident at the tender age of six.
Leo is busy trying to figure out which cable goes where, so he doesn't bother turning around. “Dad marrying daddy.”
“Oh, yeah, that— WHAT?”
Leo is totally calm. He doesn't even look at him. “They're going to get married soon,” he explains patiently, like his uncle was a bit slow, which he is anyway.
“Kid, wait,” Finn says, standing up to get closer to him. Leo says the strangest things all the time, but this one seems pretty weird even for him. “What are you talking about? Kurt would have told me if he was getting married!”
Leo tries putting the yellow cable in the plug marked as A even if it is green, since all the other cables don't fit anyway. “That's because he doesn't know yet.”
“What the...” Finn starts saying, then he realizes. “Wait. Is your father...?”
Leo nods casually. “Yes. He's asking grandpa Daddy's hand right now.”
Finn leaves Leo in his room and run downstairs. There’s no way he’s going to miss it, and Leo will be okay on his own, anyway.
Burt has hardly spoken a word since he heard the big news, so Dave is basically reciting a monologue. And since speaking in front of people has never been his thing, he's getting more and more nervous as time goes by. “I love him, sir. A lot. And we've been together so long that it seems the perfect thing to do because it's actually the only thing missing,” he says, palm sweating, heart racing and everything. “I want to promise Kurt I'll never leave him in every way I possibly can and marrying him is pretty definitive... if a child wasn't already. I mean, I'm not saying that marriage is just a joke. Geez, I know I would mess this up.”
Burt keeps staring into nothing for the longest time after that, but then he eventually clears his throat.
“You know, when I was younger and Kurt's mom was still alive but Kurt wasn't born yet, I wanted to have a daughter so much,” he starts, finally looking at him. Dave tenses, because now that Burt is speaking who knows what he is going to answer. “I'm not saying I was disappointed when Kurt came out to be a boy, only that when I had fantasized about it, I wanted a girl. And you know why? 'Cause I kept thinking about how beautiful she would be, how sweet, how passionate, and I wanted her to find a man who could protect her and love her as she deserved, so I could give her away to the right one, and regret nothing. Then Kurt was born and, as you know, he was a boy. And times have changed. Nowadays no one asks the permission to marry someone to their father anymore, so I was just... you know, resigned I would never really had the chance to give him away.” Burt turns back to Dave and looks at him with shiny eyes. “I thought you would never ask.”
Dave has listened carefully and with the last words his face slowly relaxes. “Thank God you said yes,” he breathes out, relieved. “For a moment there I thought you were going to refuse.”
Burt laughs and shakes his head. “Your face was absolutely priceless,” he says. “I wish I had a camera hidden somewhere in this room.”
Dave laughs too because he is too happy even to be ashamed of his everlasting fear of Burt. In this very moment he actually feels the urge to hug the man, but he doesn't dare because he has never done such a thing before. “Thank you,” he says instead, with all the honesty he can put in his voice. “You can be sure I will always protect him and love him. Nobody can touch Kurt without me kicking their asses.”
It's Burt the one who stands up and opens his arms, then. “Come here, son. It's pretty good to call you like that, you know.”
Finn enters the room that moment, watching the two of them with wide, bewildered eyes. “Oh my God, then it's true!”
Caught in his bear but manly hug with Burt, Dave smiles proudly and happily at him. “You can bet it is, Finn,” he says. “Like it or not, you're going to be my official brother-in-law.”
Burt is overwhelmed with happiness, so he stops talking for once and sits down, letting the other two men talk about the event.
Finn is astonished and can't even form a complete sentence. “Whoa, man. I mean, this sounds like... I mean, it's pretty big.” For him, who is not married nor even engaged, marriage looks like some sort of epic quest only the bravest can complete. He is watching Dave with brand new eyes, now.
As far as he is concerned, Dave is trying to be cool, not to give in to panic. “It can't be bigger than a twenty years mortgage and a six years old kid who gets lices three times in a row while your brother – soon to be my beautiful husband – has a big show to do and wants to sleep in the garden fearing of taking them too, isn't it?”
Finn laughs. “I think I understand. Well, not really, but yes,” he says, giving Dave his right hand. “Congratulations, dude.”
Dave shakes his hand. “Thanks, man. Now I just hope Kurt will say yes.”
“Dude,” Finn says with such intensity to be almost ridiculous. “He's been planning his wedding since he was five.”
“Yes, I know.” Everyone knows that, actually. “But with Kurt you never know. Maybe the proposal won't be right, or... or the timing, or maybe now it's already too late or something. Your brother is not easy to understand sometimes.”
“Word,” says Finn, sitting on the couch with a heavy sigh. “But when it comes to you, then it's different. You really touch him.”
“I'm not completely sure to understand what your talking about,” David says, a bit puzzled. And that is your stepfather, who happens to be also Kurt's father, right here, so watch what you say. He would like to tell Finn that too, but he doesn't and just casts a very weird look at him, hoping he will get it.
“I mean,” Finn says, realizing what he has just said, “that you're close to him. You understand him. That's what I wanted to say. You're right.”
“And you're also late, I bet,” Burt adds, since he has turned back to his usual self in the meantime.
Dave looks at his watch and frowned. “Oh God, yes. I definitely am. I've got to pick him up in 5,” he says, and then turns to Finn for the last recommendation. “Take care of Leo. I'll be back to pick him up after dinner. Let's say at ten?”
“Dude, take your time. Your kid's going to be alright,” Finn reassures him.
Burt smiles and wishes him good luck.
Dave thanks him one last time and then he is off.
The restaurant is almost full, and Dave’s sweating. As he looks at Kurt, pretending to listen to whatever he’s saying about the food and how good it looks on the menu and how beautiful the place is and how he would have never thought Dave could take him to a place like this, Dave lets his thoughts wander back to his teenage years, to a very specific day, the one in which Kurt told him he didn’t dig on chubby guys who sweats too much and are going to be bald by the time they’re 30. He’s still chubby, though he managed to keep his weight under control – also because he could be easily fired if he didn’t, not to mention lose control on the bunch of crazy hyperactive kids he coaches – and he’s just 27, so he guesses it’s a little early to talk about balding and shit, but somehow sweating so much now is making him really uncomfortable. He can’t help but to think at the moment he will hold Kurt’s hand in his own, and he prays not to have sweaty palms by then. He wouldn’t survive the shame of having sweaty palms as he proposes to his lover. That would be so lame, not to mention disgusting. What if Kurt withdraws his hand with a horrified face? Dave just couldn’t stand that. Not in the most important moment of his life.
All of this is Leonard’s fault, he knows it. He just didn’t care about having a wedding before, and he’s pretty sure Kurt would never ask if he never brought that up, but now proposing to him seems like the only thing Dave can think about anymore. Every single second of his life is beaten by that thought. Asking Kurt. There’s nothing else in the world.
He’s glad this day’s almost over, because he can’t take any more of this. He doesn’t work well in stressful situations, and this is definitely one.
“Dave?” Kurt calls for him, frowning slightly behind his glass of red wine, “Are you even listening to me?”
“Wha— sure,” Dave immediately answers, nodding quickly, “Of course I’m listening.” He knows pretty well how Kurt can be annoyed by people not giving him the exact amount of attention he thinks he deserves – which is pretty much all they can give, and sometimes that much isn’t even enough – especially when he’s in a bad mood. God, Dave so wishes Kurt’s not in a bad mood. “So…” he starts, hoping Kurt won’t notice he actually wasn’t really listening at all, “What do you wanna eat?”
“As I already said…” Kurt answers, which means he noticed. Well, at least he’s still smiling. That’s good. As long as his smile doesn’t turn in that awkward smirk that always comes right before a fight, everything’s good. “There are so many delicious things here,” Kurt comments, flipping through the menu, “It’s a very fancy restaurant, Dave. I’m really… impressed.”
“Did you think I would learn nothing, living with you for almost ten years?” Dave asks, smiling nervously and trying to keep himself from randomly fidgeting on his suddenly really uncomfortable chair. He clumsily leans on the table, holding out a hand and brushing his fingertips over Kurt’s loosely closed fist.
Kurt blushes instantly, looking back at him. “Sometimes, I can’t even believe so much time has passed,” he says softly, his smile so sweet that Dave almost burns with the need to kiss him, to taste it and tell if it really is as sweet as it looks.
“Yeah…” Dave smiles too, casually caressing Kurt’s hand, “We’ve almost been together longer than we’ve been apart,” he considers, chuckling softly, and as he lets his eyes wander over the restaurant’s big room his breath almost got caught up in his throat. Leo’s here, hiding behind a curtain near the kitchen door. His uncle Finn is with him, and he’s so big the curtain’s barely enough to cover half of him, while Leo, not really caring about hiding at all, stays beside him, watching closely over what’s happening at their table.
Finn gestures something, probably an apology. Dave can read on his mouth that he’s sorry, that it was Leo’s idea and that he wants to die. Three things he doesn’t really care about right now. Luckily, they’re behind Kurt’s back, at least.
“Dave?” Kurt frowns, and Dave’s eyes instantly switch on him, “You’re really distracted, tonight. Is everything ok?”
“Of course, honey. I’m sorry, I’m just… nevermind.” He manages to smile, squeezing Kurt’s hand one last time before retreating his own and starting to go through the menu. “What were you saying?”
“That you should stop making me blush,” Kurt answers, laughing in a low voice, “Because blush doesn’t match the color of my shirt tonight. But it sounded better the first time, I’m sorry you missed it.”
Dave laughs too, shaking his head a little. “It’s still funny, though. Don’t worry.”
“Yeah, sure,” Kurt pretends to be very offended, pouting and scoffing and crossing his arms over his chest for a moment, “Keep going on like that, ruining my lines and then pretending to be still amused by them.” He shakes his head too, his cheeks pleasantly flushed as he flips through the menu once more, trying to act casually when he speaks again. “So, what’s the occasion?” he asks, “We’ve got a big anniversary coming on, but it’s in three weeks.”
“Nothing special,” Dave lies, throwing a nervous glance at Leo, hoping he sees the scolding in his eyes and understands he really has to hide behind the curtain. He obviously doesn’t get it and stays exactly where he is, and Dave is not sure that he would hide if he understood that’s what his father’s asking him to do. Sometimes he doesn’t really know if it’s harder to be Kurt’s partner or Leo’s father. What he knows is that the combination of the two things will probably be the death of him. “I just wanted to hang out with you,” he manages to say with a smile, “It’s been pretty hard to do that recently, since we’ve got no time and, when we’re free, we’re always with Leo.” He laughs a little, shifting uncomfortably on his chair when he sees Leo move a step forward and almost clash against an innocent waiter. Finn manages to avoid the disaster grabbing his nephew from under his arms and forcing him to step back, closer to the curtain. “I… don’t think I’ve been this good with you, in the last few… months,” Dave sighs, looking back at Kurt.
Kurt smiles immediately, his eyes so full of love and joy Dave feels himself melting inside. “You’ve been busy being a good dad. I can’t be mad for that.”
“Yeah, but you deserve some attention too, once in a while,” Dave insists, “And don’t talk to me like I don’t know that another couple of weeks without a ‘you look gorgeous, tonight’ and you’d have kicked me out of bed,” he adds in a sweet laugh, gently kicking one of Kurt’s legs under the table.
Kurt laughs, kicking him back. “That’s true. It’s just that I like it so much when you say that to me,” he explains, almost purring softly at the mere thought of hearing a compliment like that addressed to himself, “You know, our little moments away from my shows and your team, back when we still had time for us… I miss that, just a bit.”
Dave’s whole body tenses for a moment, as he holds Kurt’s hand in his once again, squeezing it softly. “Well, then,” he says, “what if we could have the opportunity to take some time just for the two of us?”
Kurt blankly stares at him, blinking a couple of times and looking kind of clueless, which is actually funny, because Kurt never looks like that. He loves to keep things in control, he’s not really wild as a person – especially when they’re out of bed – and he panics when he feels something important is happening somewhere near him and he doesn’t understand what it is. This time, though, he seems more prone to breath in and out and count to ten before he panics. This gives Dave enough time to cast an uncertain glance at Finn and Leo, which are clearly rooting for him from their hidden position behind that curtain.
“It would be lovely,” Kurt admits, sighing a little, “But it’s not like it’s going to happen, isn’t it?”
“But if you could choose, I mean…” Dave clears his throat, looking and feeling kind of uncomfortable now that he feels the moment approaching, “if we could just go wherever we wanted, for, like, a week or two, where would you like to go?”
“Well, if I could choose, I would like to see Europe,” Kurt finally answers, his voice soft and distant, his eyes dreamy as he just needed to fantasize to go exactly where he wants to. “I’ve never been there, you know? London, maybe, or Paris. It would be wonderful to see Paris.”
Dave chuckles, holding Kurt’s hand more sweetly, now, squeezing it in his right hand as he brushes the soft skin on his knuckles. “I think we could go both to London and to Paris, then,” he nods, starting to find really amusing the bewildered look on Kurt’s face. “It has to be a pretty special trip, you know,” he adds with a little smile, “It’s for a special occasion.”
“What…?” Kurt asks, arching an eyebrow, “Dave, what are you talking about?”
Dave clears his throat again, hoping his voice won’t scratch when he starts singing. He actually can’t believe he’s about to sing. It’s the silliest thing ever. Suddenly, he wishes Puck had been convincing enough to stop him, back at his place. Instead he hadn’t, and now Dave’s here, leaving Kurt’s hand to stand up while Puck himself appears – apparently out of nowhere – holding his guitar in his arms like a lover, and starts playing the intro to the song. Dave prepares to sing and Kurt looks so shocked. Dave searches for his son’s eyes to remember why this whole insanity is still worth it, and Leo’s still hiding with Finn, and he’s smiling so brightly he alone is enough to lighten up the room, and Dave knows it’s worth it. It really is.
“Say that you’ll marry me, sometimes carry me, and I will be there forever more for you,” he starts singing, as Kurt’s eyes wander from Dave’s face to Puck’s, so wide and shocked he’s almost hilarious.
“Oh my God…” he whispers, covering his mouth with both his hands, “Is it…?”
Dave can’t help but smile as he holds out a hand to Kurt and gently helps him to stand up, moving away from the table and holding him close to slowly dance with him. “And if you marry me, I will give ev’ry thing, and I will do anything that you need me to…”
“It’s a proposal!” Kurt almost sobs, tears shining in his blue eyes, “A singing proposal!” He tries to hide his face against Dave’s chest when he notices everybody’s staring – mostly because they’re dancing and Puck’s jumping all around them chanting backvocals and improvising improbable dance steps – but he ends up laughing as he keeps watching him, with an adoring look in his eyes. “You’re singing to me. Oh my God.”
Dave laughs a little. Kurt is so, so beautiful and cute, in this very moment, he can’t even believe he waited so much to ask him. It’s just the most natural thing to do. He loves Kurt so much, he always will. This is just the best gift he could give to him, and so he kneels right in front of his future husband and takes his hand in his own, looking straight in his eyes as he sings the last verses of the song. “You’ll know by the love in my eyes and the beat of my heart, I’ll be there. You’ll know ‘cause you’ll never be lonely again, anytime, anywhere. This I promise if you marry me.” He stops singing, smiling brightly. Puck stops right beside him, holding his breath like everybody else in the room. “So… What do you say?”
Kurt giggles confusedly, wiping away the tears from his own eyes. He’s on cloud nine, right now, and Dave feels so proud, both because he can tell and because he’s the one who brought him there. “I say yes,” Kurt answers, his voice breaking a little, “I would say yes a hundred times.”
Dave smiles again, reaching for the little velvet box he’s been hiding in the back pocket of his jeans for the whole night. Leo chose the ring, obviously, and Dave happily let him, so it’s really easy to smile brightly now that he hears Leo squeal in joy, still hiding somewhere, so Kurt can’t see him. “May I…?” he asks, his cheeks flushed as he moves the ring closer to Kurt’s finger.
“Oh God, you’ve got a ring too!” Kurt almost screams, holding out his hand to him, maybe a little too much eagerly. So much he actually almost slaps him in the face. Dave laughs, and he’s ok even with this.
“I knew you’d be happier for this than for my performance!” he comments, pretending to be really outraged, while the truth is he’s not. He puts the ring around Kurt’s finger and then stands up, searching for his eyes and smiling again when Kurt looks at him. He’s crying. He’s the most beautiful thing Dave has ever seen in his entire life, and he's his. “Are you happy?”
Kurt looks down at his ring and stares at him for a couple of seconds, like he can’t see anything else. “It’s so beautiful, I love it.” He raises his eyes again, holding Dave close around his waist. “And you… you…” he sobs a little, unable to stop crying or just calm down, “I love you too. I love you so much,” he whispers, moving forward to close the distance separating them, kissing him slowly and deeply, wrapping his arms around his neck.
The crowd around them cheers, everybody raises their glasses as they keep kissing, and there’s a little voice in the back of Dave’s mind that speaks right to his heart. “Not bad, Dave Karofsky,” that’s what the voice says, “not too shabby”. He parts from Kurt, and catches a glimpse of his son cheering with Finn. The moment Leo notices Dave’s looking at him, he immediately stops, smiles as shiny as the sun itself and gives him a thumbs up. That’s the best reward for the night, and all in all Dave can go home satisfied.
The news of the marriage spreads fast, thanks to a dense network of gossip and to some lovely cards, designed by Leo, who has run out of crayons to draw them all under the supervising and equally fussy eye of his father Kurt.
Soon, David finds out that after the worst part has been done – actually proposing to Kurt – there is no much left for him to do, because Kurt and Leo takes over the wedding and do everything in their power to be sure that he or any other adult male of the family is as out as possible of their way.
Female specimens of the species are called to help, though. Rachel, Mercedes, Lauren and even poor, confused Brittany, all converge to the Bridal Emporium, in Wapakoneta, answering the mandatory summoning of the little man himself, who is now really busy briefing them standing on a footstool.
“Me and daddy went through the shop on line catalogue and chose ten possible outfits for him,” he says, very seriously. “Now, daddy is gonna try them all and you will tell us what you think about them.”
“Is he always so business-like?” Rachel asks, looking at him with a raised eyebrow. “Shouldn't he be out, playing with a rattle or something?”
Living in New York and being busy as she is with all the big productions she is involved in, Rachel has seen Leo only a couple of times since the day he was born and quite obviously she doesn't know him – or any child – at all. She and Leo has been staring at each other curiously for quite some time now.
“Rachel, he's six years old. He is not a baby,” Mercedes tells her, rolling her eyes, exaggeratedly.
“Well, with toy soldiers or something, then,” she insists.
“Is it something wrong, aunt Rachel?” Leo asks, speaking up and looking in her direction like a teacher who has surprised her talking with the girl next to her.
Lauren leans on Rachel's shoulder. “You better pay attention, woman,” she murmurs. “Leo doesn't forgive.”
Rachel swallows. “No, everything's fine.”
“Good,” Leo nods. “Then, please be quiet. Daddy needs complete silence.”
“That kid scares me,” Rachel says when Leo's eyes finally leave her and she feels allowed to breathe again.
“He is not a kid,” Brittany steps in with her most serious face and casual tone. “He is a baby alien. He only eats cauliflower, except that on his planet they are pink and sparkly and taste like strawberry smoothie.”
Rachel looks at her not knowing if she should feel more compassionate or resigned.
“It's true,” Brittany nods eagerly. “He told me.”
As Rachel sighs, going for compassion, Leo glares at them and doesn't stop looking until he is sure they will not talk again. Then he smiles and proceeds to introduce his father who is been waiting behind the curtains of the changing room for half an hour now and is starting to feel hot in there.
The first three suits don't encounter the favor of the audience, who finds them way too plain for Kurt. The fourth and fifth are okay for most of the girls, but just okay is not exactly what Kurt and Leo are looking for. According to Leo, Kurt should look like a prince from the fairy tales, while Kurt wants something more memorable, with some tartan insertions and maybe a sash or some beads.
“So basically, we're looking for a punk tuxedo with some feathered hat or something?” Lauren asks, not quite sure.
“It's gonna be so easy to find it, here in Ohio,” Mercedes says, ironically.
“Why aren’t you marrying in New York?” Rachel asks. “You would have the best wedding shops at your disposal, catering services, flower arrangement specialists and let alone the most gorgeous city landscape to use as a background for your wedding photos. Besides, you need something to draw the attention from Dave, you know?”
Mercedes elbows her in her ribs so hard that Rachel almost bends over with a little cry. “Don't worry sweetie,” she says to Kurt, smiling lovingly “we are gonna find something you like.”
Fortunately, Kurt knows Rachel and her complete lack of tact too well to get upset by her words. Besides, he is actually so happy about this marriage that Rachel could say whatever she wants about Dave and he would smile at her anyway. “Dave wants to marry in Lima,” he explains as he takes off the sparkling blue marine vest he is wearing and gives it to Leo who hands him another one. “Here is where we met and fell in love with each other, so it seems right to celebrate our relationship where it began.”
Rachel lets out a very silly sound. “That's so romantic, Kurt!”
“I know,” he chuckles. “You wouldn't expect that from Dave, right?”
“I didn't expect anything from him, actually,” Rachel sighs. “I thought he wasn't the right guy for you.”
Mercedes elbows her again and then nods towards Leo. The kid is listening very carefully to everything they say but as every other kid he pretends not to, so he just prepares the next outfit for his father.
“Apparently, you were wrong,” Kurt smiles, anxious to end the discussion before it gets too ugly. “So, what's next, little pumpkin?”
“This one,” the boy says, holding up a swallowtailed coat he wants Kurt to wear since the first time they saw it in the catalogue. Leo likes it because it is old fashioned and with its whiteness satisfies his need to have some kind of bride at this wedding, even if his parents are both male. Obviously the bride has to be Kurt because Leo can't image Dave to play the role, not even wearing pants.
Kurt puts on the white suit and turns around in front of the mirror. From the couch where all his future bridesmaids are sitting comes a chorus of “aaw” and “wow” that makes Leo really proud.
“This is the best so far,” Mercedes smiles, pulling Leo on her lap. He settles against her body very naturally and nods a couple of times.
“I chose it,” He says.
“I suggest a touch of color in the front pocket,” Rachel says. “What about a blue foulard?”
“My cousin Layton had an onion in his front pocket, ” Brittany says casually. “To keep away the vampires.”
Leo frowns. “That's garlic, aunt Brit.”
“Garlic is for normal vampires,” she explains. “Onions are for wedding vampires. They come to steal the cake and make everybody sad.”
“Those would be great and funny stories,” says Mercedes, shaking her head. “If only you didn't believe them.”
Brittany doesn't understand why everybody is rolling their eyes, but she doesn't have the time to ask because her always ephemeral attention is caught by something only she sees and that she stands up to chase around the room for.
“So, what about your something borrowed?” Lauren asks as she helps Kurt straighten the coat on his back.
“Finn gave me his lucky tie. It was his father's, he wore it at his own wedding,” Kurt smiles to her through the reflection.
“Will you wear something of your mother as something old?” Mercedes asks.
Kurt nods. “I have one of her rings,” he says. “Dad gave it to me when she died because it was my favorite piece of her jewelry. It's gonna be my wedding ring.”
He smiles. His mother's memory never ceased to be painful, but it has always been a good and warming one as well. Kurt likes to imagine her next to himself now, looking at him fondly like he remembers her doing. She would sit on the porch as he was playing with his toy china set, pretending to have tea with His Majesty the Queen of England, and she would smile and weave at him. She had the most beautiful smile in the world.
“So, speaking of something old,” Rachel steps in and, by her tone, everybody knows she is doomed to say something extremely uncomfortable. “Did you invite Blaine?”
Silence falls on the room and Rachel gets elbowed in her ribs once again. Kurt clears his throat and he seems rather to be waiting for someone to change the subject than willing to answer the question.
“Wait,” Brittany stops doing whatever she's doing with her arms up in the air under the chandelier. “Can you use people for that? Isn't he too young to be something old?”
Leo suddenly remembers. “Blaine?” He says to his father. “Is he the guy without a surname? The one you were in love with when you were little?”
Kurt's eyes widen. “How do you know that?”
“Uncle Noah told me,” Leo explains. “He said that Blaine always wore a uniform and that he is a prince.”
“Don't worry, Kurt,” Lauren assures him. “I'm beating Puckerman senseless, tonight.”
“Well, he is charming,” Rachel states. “He could easily be a prince.”
“He is not a prince,” Kurt says, kneeling in front of his son. “He is an actor, like aunt Rachel and me. He was my boyfriend when we were in high school, long before you were born. Now, he is just a friend. A very good friend of mine.”
“And is he coming to the wedding?” Leo asks him.
“I don't know, baby,” Kurt kisses him on his forehead. “I sent him his card, we'll have to wait and see if he wants to come.”
Dad has been whining for the last hour and a half and Leonard can’t honestly take anymore of this shit. He knows he’s not supposed to use the S-word, and he’s sure that Kurt would go crazy if he even suspected he knows what does it mean (even though Leo can’t help but wonder what does his father think six years old kids are nowadays, whenever he thinks about all the words Kurt strongly believes Leo doesn’t understand, while he obviously does), but seriously, Dad’s out of his mind. Besides no one can hear him if he uses the word only in his thoughts. So he’s totally free and entitled to think his dad just lost his mind and that he can’t take anymore of his crazy shit, because it’s too much.
“Dad!” he almost screams, turning to him and punching him on his side just to make him stop babbling senselessly, “Would you please cut it out and give me a rest?!”
“I’m just saying!” Dave insists, flailing his arms everywhere, so wildly a couple of people waiting in front of the arrival gate actually turn and stare at him, trying to get if everything’s right or if he’s having a heart attack or something similar. Sometimes Leo feels ashamed to be seen with his parents. They’re so childish. “Your father could at least ask if I needed some help today! Offer to do something!”
“Dad, you know he would if he had time!” Leo whines, hiding behind Dave’s legs because people keep staring at him like he’s the reason why his father’s screaming so much, “He had to find the right dress for his bridesmaids. You know it’s not simple!”
“First of all, he’s not a bride, he doesn’t need bridesmaids,” Dave snorts, crossing his arms over his chest, which is actually good, because now, at least, he’s not flailing anymore, and Leo can stop hiding, “And then what, just because he’s got to go through countless shops ‘cause he’s demanding like a five years old spoiled girl, then I get to do everything else? Pick up Santana, choose the wedding cake, fetch my wedding ring, check on the place for the wedding reception and then drive Santana to fetch her dress for the ceremony?!”
“Dad, stop being so loud, please!” Leo whines again, covering his face with both his little hands, “You would have been the one picking up auntie Tana and driving her to fetch her dress anyway!”
“But I would have gladly spared myself the travel to the bakery and the wedding reception place!” Dave whines back, not even thinking about lowering his voice.
And then it happens. Then auntie Tana happens.
“I see you’re still the usual lame-ass, whining, unnerving, childish and insufferably annoying waste of space you’ve always been, Karofsky,” she says, appearing in front of the arrival gate wearing the shortest black leather mini-skirt ever seen on the face of earth, heels so high she looks taller than Dave and a white tight shirt that pushes up her boobs like she’s offering them to the world to adore them. Her eyes are cold as stone and her lips tightly closed, like carved on her face, but then they melt in a little smile and her gaze becomes warmer too, and everything in the world seems more beautiful and both Leo and Dave are looking at her like she’s a miracle, an angel just landed on Earth to bring the sacred word of God. “You haven’t changed at all, you asshole.”
It appears God’s sacred word is a little bit crude, today. He must be pissed off or something.
“Tana!” Dave smiles, his whole face lightening up. He practically throws himself at her, hugging her tightly while she does the same; she’s so smaller than him she completely disappears in his hug, and Leo can’t see her anymore. Which is disappointing, because auntie Tana is a pleasure to look at. Leo doesn’t really get why – but then he’s just six, he kind of knows he’s not supposed to know why, yet – but she is.
Auntie Tana lives in New York, just like aunt Rachel, but unlike aunt Rachel – who’s always walking blindfolded on the verge of a nervous and emotional breakdown – she lets only the cool things from New York affect her personality. She’s all kind of awesome, auntie Tana, always cool and stylish, and Leo loves how she talks, especially when she talks to him, because she doesn’t treat him like the idiotic kid everybody else thinks he is. She treats him like a young man, and that’s just freaking awesome.
However, since she lives so far away, it’s not unusual to see her just every once in a while, only on special occasions, also because she doesn’t like Lima very much. Leo agrees with her on that – among many other things he agrees with her on – because Lima’s just depressing. There’s nothing in here, that’s why he wants to be a pilot when he grows up, so he can travel the world on his shiny red car and see everything that’s worth seeing. And that’s why he wanted to be an astronaut before wanting to be a pilot, because who else sees more than what an astronaut sees? An astronaut gets to see the whole world from the space! That would be awesome. Just thinking about it makes Leo want to be an astronaut again, though now he’s totally over it and totally into driving and cars. He wanted to be something else, before wanting to be an astronaut, by the way; he doesn’t remember anymore because he was very, very little back then, but he’s sure it was something that would lead him to see a lot of different places too, like an airplane pilot, or a magician – because magicians travel the world with their shows, obviously – or maybe join the circus. Or something like that. Something that can take him away from Lima, because he doesn’t like it here. Auntie Tana’s right, she always is, Lima’s just plain boring.
That’s not important right now, though, that’s just him spacing out and drowning in his own thoughts as he often does. Actually, so often people thinks he’s dumb. Because there are times he just sits there staring at the void in his head and he thinks and thinks and thinks and…
“So,” auntie Tana says, breaking the flow of his thoughts, “Why do you let this lousy imitation of a father pester you like this?” she asks, bending over Leo and wrapping her arms around him, lifting him up in a sweet and warm hug. Leo chuckles, leaning against her and enjoying her delicious smell and the soft sensation of her skin under his hands. “You’re, like, twice a smart-ass than he is, concentrated in less than half the space. You should already be going around accomplishing your important mission.”
“Which would be?” Dave inquires, raising an eyebrow at her while he retrieves her enormous luggage and leads them both to the car.
Auntie Tana smirks and Leo blushes. She’s so beautiful, she’s unbelievable. When he grows up, he wants a girl just like her. Better, he’s going to marry her precisely, because there’s no one like auntie Tana in the whole world and he loves her so much. “Conquering and then destroying the world, obviously,” she answers, and Leo laughs, amused.
“It’s on my to-do list!” he nods, and his father rolls his eyes.
“Don’t give him any weird suggestion, he might just as well take you seriously.”
Auntie Tana chuckles – Leo feels her soft laughter vibrate under his fingertips, and he chuckles too – sitting in the car and letting Leo free to climb on the backseat, placing himself right between herself and his father, like he’s supposed to guide them or something, and he therefore needs to see the streets clearly.
“So, where are we going?” she asks, “I wanna go shopping.”
“I’m afraid that’ll have to wait,” Dave snorts. “We have to do a couple of things and see a couple of places before.”
“You’re always the same,” Santana pouts, crossing her arms over her chest and looking out the window as Dave starts the engine and begins driving down the street, leaving the airport, “You would take any chance to avoid taking me shopping!”
“Believe me, Lopez, I would trade our plans for the afternoon with shopping with you anytime,” Dave sighs, shaking his head, “But you see the little soldier sitting…” he looks at his son in the rearview mirror, “I said sitting,” he repeats, and Leo lets out an irritated snorting sound, sitting properly on the backseat. “What was I saying? Oh, yeah, the little soldier. He’s here to watch our every move. We can’t deviate from the original plan, or we will be forced to face the sentence of death.”
Santana looks at him, raising an eyebrow. “You’re such a drama queen,” she says. “So, Leo, where are we going?” she asks again, turning to the kid and smiling at him.
He instantly smiles back. “First, we have to go and fetch dad’s wedding ring,” he explains, “Daddy was smart enough to have his already, but dad wasn’t, so he had to buy it, and today it should be ready, so we have to go and pick it up. If you ask me, it was stupid of him not to have a ring already. Daddy’s always smarter.”
Santana nods in agreement. “I know, your father here is just dumb. It’s an old story.”
“Could you both please give me a rest?” Dave whines, keeping his eyes locked on the street both because he doesn’t want to take the wrong way, and because he doesn’t want to give Leo and Santana too much attention, since he doesn’t think they deserve it.
“Then,” Leo proceeds, ignoring him, “we have to go pick the cake.” He smiles fondly just thinking about it, “Daddy said I could choose it, because he wants me to like it.”
“So we’re going to have a damn chocolate car-shaped cake, at our wedding,” Dave sighs. His son glares at him, pouting.
“Dad, you’re just so dumb,” he protests, “I’m not stupid, I know that the wedding cake must be pure white. We’re going to have it chocolate flavored, sure, but covered in cream!” he decides with a bright smile. “What do you think, auntie Tana?”
“I think you’re a little genius, really,” she answers, giggling. “Besides, I love me some chocolate to bite at, in every way this sentence could possibly be interpreted, so bring it on.”
“If you could just keep your innuendos far from my firstborn underage ears, Tana, that’d be very kind of you,” Dave snorts. He ends up being ignored as usual.
“After that,” Leo continues, “We’re going to check on the place daddy and I chose for the wedding reception. It’s awesome, it’s in the country. There are hills and a lake and horses running around. They keep them in their stables and then let them run around free on the horizon during the photocall. It’s great.”
“Oh, my God,” Santana laughs, shaking her head and looking at Dave as she points at Leo, “Is he real? Is he a clone or something?”
“Just… don’t let me even start on this,” Dave sighs, and Leo looks at both of them, puzzled.
“Did I say something wrong?” he asks.
Santana turns to him, smiling sweetly. “Not at all, buddy. Anyway, when are we going to buy some candies for auntie Tana?”
“I have candies,” Leo answers, “Here, in my pocket.” He nods and starts scrambling in his jeans’ pockets, while Santana gracefully laughs her ass off.
“I didn’t mean real candies, Leo,” she explains, “I meant a dress for me.”
“Oh!” Leo nods, not at all bothered by having said and done something really stupid, “Right after we check on that place. We can go shopping and you can buy a wonderful silk red dress and be beautiful while being dad’s best man.”
Santana laughs again, the thought of a silk red dress awakening a lot of memories in her mind. She looks at Dave, and he looks back at her, smirking lightly. She does the same. “A red dress, huh?” she ponders, “We’ll see about that.”
“That’s not exactly what I had in mind,” Dave says, and he really hopes Santana doesn’t ignore him this time because he’s had enough of this behavior. She and Leo kept ignoring him the whole afternoon, and it was kind of unnerving. They chose the cake, they told the decorator how to arrange the room for the reception, they even had some – definitely unwanted – remarks on his wedding ring, and had to surrender and take it as it was only because there was not enough time to order a new one who they would have liked better.
This time, though, Santana can’t just keep going her own way ignoring him, and not only because even Leo (who would usually be more than happy to kiss the ground beneath her feet) seems confused now, but mainly because it’s Dave’s wedding they’re talking about, and he won’t allow his best man, which happens to be his ex-fake girlfriend too, to wear a suit more manly than the one he himself is going to wear.
“Oh, shut up, Karofsky, it’s awesome,” Santana answers, smiling so brightly her face practically shines. “And it looks so damn sexy on me.”
“It’s a man suit!” Dave insists, flailing his arms and stopping only when he sees his own reflection on the mirror Santana’s using to look at herself, and find himself so stupid he barely can stand himself. “You want a suit? Fine by me! We’ll find a woman’s suit!”
“But I want this one,” Santana replies, tying the bow tie around her white shirt’s collar. “It’s amazing. You can fix it for my body, can you?” she asks to the young, timid tailor who’s throwing frightened glances at her and Dave alternatively.
“I… I guess,” the guy answers, torturing the tape he’s holding in his hands.
“Great,” Santana smiles, “Then go on, take my measurements,” she commands, holding out her arms and standing in front of the mirror, offering herself to the man. He nods and starts working, and as he moves around her like a busy bee she looks at Dave in the mirror. “What’s your problem, now?”
“If you don’t get in on your own…” he snorts, sitting on the stuffed bench where Leo has been sitting in silence for the last half hour, since Santana picked her outfit. “Tell her something!” Dave says to his son, and the kid turns to him, his eyes so big Dave can see his reflection inside them.
“She’s wearing a man suit,” he says.
“Yeah, I can see that already,” Dave scoffs, crossing his arms over his chest and turning back to Santana. “You see? You traumatized him. Look at his face! He’s shocked.”
“He’s yours and Kurt’s son, I don’t see why crossdressing should shock him,” Santana peacefully answers.
“Why? Because we don’t crossdress! That’s why!” Dave says, eyes wide open, quite shocked himself.
“Oh, come on,” Santana laughs, “Kurt used to wear skirts all the time in high school.”
“Ok, first, he didn’t wear skirts all the time,” Dave considers, using his fingers to count his points on the matter, “Secondly, he still wears them, but they’re skirts for men. Can you see the subtle yet essential difference? That’s why I said you can wear a suit, if you want, but let’s be sure it’s made for a woman!”
“Oh, cut it out, Karofsky!” Santana finally stops him, turning around so suddenly and violently she makes the poor tailor trip and fall on the ground. “I’m sorry, man,” she apologizes with a little smile, and then jumps off the footstool she was standing on to help the man take her measurements. In a couple of steps, she’s only inches away from Dave, and she looks at him, clearly bothered by his nonsense talking. She looks at him like that just for a couple of seconds, though, because she kneels besides him right after that, looking at Leo. “Hey, buddy,” she smiles, “What about this suit?”
“It’s a little confusing,” Leo answers, biting at his lower lip.
“I get it. But, you know, not every confused thing is bad on principle. Some things just need to be like that, because they can’t be explained any other way,” she nods. “Me, for example,” she adds, smirking. “I really like this suit. Is it confusing? Yes. Will people look at me like I’m some kind of alien from outer space? Probably, yeah. But the real point is, do I look good in it?” she smiles again, “You tell me.”
Leo actually takes his time, before answering. And that’s bad, because it means he’s actually considering the facts as he sees them. And Dave knows what Leo sees, because he’s seeing it himself.
“You look good in everything, auntie Tana,” he finally answers, blushing a little as he smiles confidently, or better, pretending to feel really confident as he compliments her.
Santana laughs, standing up, perfectly satisfied. “Then it’s decided,” she says, turning to Dave. “You have something else to complain about, Karofsky?” she asks him.
Dave just scoffs and laughs, shaking his head. “I missed you, Lopez,” he says, instead of answering.
Santana winks at him, climbing back on the footstool and letting the tailor go back to his job. “Man, please, just stop being in love with me, it’s been ages already, and you’re getting married.” Her smiles turns sweeter, and Dave can see it in the mirror’s reflection. “I can’t believe it. I’m so proud of you.”
Dave smiles back at her, stepping forward and entwining his fingers with hers. “That’s the whole point of the matter, in the end,” he says, “I mean, being proud.”
“You sure have come a long way,” she says, turning to him, still smiling. “And you’re happy, now.”
He chuckles softly, pressing his lips against her in a sweet, chaste kiss. Leo looks at them and smiles, because what he’s seeing is just cute. And he’s just happy. His fathers are going to marry. Auntie Tana and every single person he and his fathers love will be there. It will be the most beautiful wedding ever seen, and he feels proud about it. And dad’s right, that’s the whole point of the matter, in the end. Being proud.
This, and – as he demands in a whimsical whine jumping off the bench – getting to kiss auntie Tana on her lips too.
All things being ordered to various shop owners or taken care of by Kurt himself or his mobilized soon-to-be husband, the only thing left are the wedding rehearsals, which mainly consist into reenacting every single part of the ceremony as many times as possible because, as Kurt has said too many times not to be hated by all his guests, practice makes perfect.
After a tiring three hours session of walking down the aisle, pretended wedding vows to each other and an insane amount of singing, Dave asked for mercy and Kurt granted him and all their pissed guests a five minutes rest which they all accepted cursing and throwing at him very bad words to say to a groom.
He himself, though, won't rest, because he can't waste time sitting when all the decorations are yet to be done. Actually, in the past week the interior decorator hired for the job has been seeing to Kurt's every need decoration-wise, but Kurt was so annoyed with him eventually that he smiled kindly, paid him as agreed and then changed everything he had done to the last leaf in the center-piece on the reception's tables.
Now, he's rearranging flowers for the fifth time today because apparently the way they look good one moment is never appropriate the moment after, and as he moves rose petals and brings vases around the room, he sings.
“Hey little sister, what have you done? Hey little sister who's the only one,” he chirps, swinging from one vase of petunias to the other, completely unaware of the eyes spying upon him from behind the curtains.
When his secret admirer comes out from behind his hidden place to sing with him, Kurt doesn't really need to turn around to know who that is.
“Hey little sister, who's your superman? Hey little sister, who's the one you want?” Blaine sings, his voice stunning as it has always been. “Hey little sister, shot gun!”
He dances as he comes forward, shining like a new dime in his perfect black Italian suit that fits him perfectly.
Kurt turns around and smiles, so used to play along that he doesn't stop singing. “It's a nice day to start again. It's a nice day for a white wedding. It's a nice day to start again.”
He keeps moving vases between the tables, dancing around Blaine and still never touching him or tripping over him because he still remembers very well how Blaine moves and how to dance with him.
They are so good at this, they look like a living musical; the only thing missing here is the music springing out of nowhere and a line of backup dancers dressed up as waiters and waitresses doing their routine in the background.
Blaine sings the refrain with Kurt, following his moves and dancing around the flowers, stopping only at the end of the song playing simultaneously and only in both their heads. Then, he laughs.
“Well, it's good to see you haven't change,” he says, his smile always so sweet.
“It's good to see you didn't change either,” Kurt smiles back as he decides to leave those plants where they are, for now. He's got another twenty-four hours to change his mind several times. “When did you arrive?”
Blaine comes a little closer. “A couple hours ago. I wasn't really sure if you wanted to see me, so I took my time to make myself presentable.” He looks at him from head to toes. “You already are, I see.”
Kurt would like to say to Blaine to stop being so cute; instead he blushes as he was still sixteen. “Thank you,” he says. “You look good too. You're pretty elegant even when you're not wearing your old uniform. And by the way, I wouldn't have called you if I had not wanted to see you.”
Blaine keeps smiling and tilts his head to the side, just slightly, nodding toward the path between the trees they can see just outside the building. “Do you want to take a walk with me?” He asks. “I've seen a wonderful lake, coming over. You chose a lovely place for the wedding.”
Kurt gives one last look around, wondering if the flower decoration are really fine. “Yes, I'd love to.” He cleans his hands with an elegant pochette he chose to match his tie today and takes his bag. “I've always dreamed to marry by the lake,” he explains as he and Blaine goes out in the park where the reception will be given. “It's kinda magical. Like, any moment you expect to see fairies and pixies come out of water and trees when the sun goes down.” He giggles. “Pretty stupid, isn't it?”
Blaine looks at him like he is the most wonderful thing in the world, which is why Kurt was so crazy for him when they were in high school. Since everybody were either just friends with him or looked at him like a freak, it felt good when he was with Blaine, who always treated him like the porcelain he took one of his nicknames from.
“No, I don't think so. You seem really... happy,” Blaine says, leading him to the lake. “Do you think we could hold hands? If you've always dreamed of getting married by the lake, my dream has always been to walk hand in hand by the lake with a beautiful man, and now that I have the chance I'd like to take it.”
Kurt looks awkwardly at Blaine's outstretched hand, even though he's eager to accept it. “I don't know, Blaine. This could be misunderstood.”
Suddenly, they're both gentlemen from the past, speaking in old-fashioned manner and asking for each other hands to hold. It has always been this way with Blaine, who seems to come from another time and brings it with him wherever he goes.
“I would never force you to do something inappropriate,” he says, smiling. “But no one's around.”
Kurt hesitates for a moment but then holds his hand.
They walk hand in hand for a while, looking at the light of the setting sun shining on the lake's surface. The evening is quiet, there are not many people around. The chilling air doesn't invite people to stay longer after the sun goes down. Kurt likes this moment of the day, when everything is plunged into orange and pink.
“So, David Karofsky, huh?”
Kurt smiles fondly, hearing the name. “He is very special.”
“I would have never thought.” Blaine squeezes his hand a little. “But then, you're obviously happy. You look radiant, like a brand new person, from... well, from when I was still around.”
Kurt swallows, slightly. He never really wanted to talk about his relationship with Blaine in high school and the way it ended. He has always been one of those people who actually ignores the pink elephant if it makes them really, really sad and confused. “I was not happy with you, at the very end,” he admits, probably for the first time in years. Not that Blaine didn't know that, but still Kurt had never clearly said it. “And I felt bad because I wasn't. With David things are easy, they've always been. Everything has always happened so naturally with him.”
Blaine nods. “I know you weren't happy. We both weren't.” He sighs and looks at him. “You know, I loved you until the very last moment. Or at least I thought so. I really couldn't understand how could we be unhappy if we loved each other, since I was sure we did. But then, maybe love isn't enough, sometimes.”
Kurt walks looking at the ground. He's unconsciously following the stone path that leads to the lake, stepping only on stones, not touching the grass as he used to do when he was a little kid and he would never step on the lines between tiles. “Maybe it's only because sometimes it's not the same kind of love,” he says. “Love comes in different degrees.”
Blaine naturally helps him step from stone to stone, gently holding his hand. “You think you loved me less than you love Karofsky now?” He asks, his voice firm as he smiles.
“I... no... I don't know, Blaine,” he says, confused. “Things now are completely different, and what I felt back then, it's not what I feel now. Maybe it really was love for the old me, I was different too.”
The sun has set behind the horizon, leaving them in a greyish, dusty light. The outlines of things are fading into darkness, and everything around them seems unreal, almost fairy-like.
They stop on the lake shore, water almost lapping at their feet. Nearby there is the same boat Leo has seen bringing the bride to his groom the day he asked one of his father to marry the other one. It lies on its side, as if sleeping now that the night comes.
Kurt looks at the last of the light disappearing behind the lake and Blaine looks at him. He can't help but gently brush his cheek with two fingers. “I think I understand what you're talking about. It's the same for me. It just felt so right, back then, but if I try to imagine that kind of love happening to me right now, I know it wouldn't feel right enough.”
“Yes, exactly. And then... I can't really see myself without Dave anymore,” he says, leaning on his hand, almost naturally. Those are probably some pretty mixed signals which he's not really aware of sending, at least not until Blaine comes closer and bends on him to kiss him slightly on his forehead.
“I'm glad to hear that. Now I know I can give you away without regrets.”
Kurt blushes furiously. “Blaine?”
“I'm not doing anything wrong,” Blaine says, still caressing his cheek. “Just, it feels like we left something incomplete. You know, when we broke up, we didn't really... we just turned our back and left. No goodbyes, like we weren't worthy of a good end. I think we were wrong. We deserve our goodbye, as dramatic and romantic as it could be. So, can I...” He comes even closer. “Can I kiss the bride?”
Kurt slightly panics because his first mental answer was 'yes!' and then he thought of Dave and everything else, so he just shut his mouth. It shouldn't feel like Blaine is right, but it does.
Besides, Kurt has been missing an end to their story for all these years, and this could be it.
“Only to close what we were together. For good,” he clarifies, just to be sure they are on the exact same page, here. “So we can really move on.”
Blaine smiles and nods as he gently brushes his lips against Kurt's. He barely touches them with his tongue, asking for permission, which Kurt gives him, opening his mouth enough to let him in.
Blaine kisses him more deeply and a little hungrier than before, holding him tight to his body for a couple of minutes before slowly backing off.
Kurt stands there, flushing and a bit breathless with emotion, just like he would at sixteen after every kiss Blaine has ever gave to him, that's why Blaine finds him so damn cute even now. He smiles at him and presses his nose against Kurt's. “Now, that was a proper ending.”
Maybe Kurt is trembling a little as he looks at him. For a moment it feels like it's ten years ago and everything that happened has yet to come. It's a strong, warming feeling, one that makes time look gentle and fair and something to cherish while it usually isn't. Kurt smiles fondly; he doesn't want their story back, he just likes the way it came back to life so easily for them, the tenderness they both can look at it now, free as they are of all their anger and regrets. “Yes, it's an ending.”
“Now, don't look so scared,” Blaine laughs a little, feeling him trembling. “Or your fiancée will think I hurt you or something.”
Kurt would like to tell him he's not scared at all but a sudden noise stops him before he can say anything. He turns around to find Leo coming out of the bushes, with his eyes wide open and filled with tears.
“Leo... Oh my God,” Kurt brings his hand to this lips, wondering if his son has been there all the time, but obviously he was if his horrified expression is any proof. “Honey, listen to me.”
He moves towards him, trying to explain, but the kid shakes his head and bursts into tears. “I hate you!” he screams, and then he goes back inside the bushes, getting lost in the woods.
Blaine is confused. He keeps looking from Kurt to the now still bush and back. “Who is this?” he asks. Then, he realizes. Kurt obviously talked to him about Leonard, but he had never seen him before. “Is he your...?” he tries, but Kurt ignores him completely, leaving him to figure everything out by himself.
He kneels on the ground and tries to go after his son, but the bush is obviously too thick for him to pass through. “Leo! Oh God. Please, come back here. Come back, sweetheart. Everything's fine.”
Leo hides behind a bush, crying. He waits for his father to spring up to his feet again ad walk in a completely wrong direction before running to the deep of the woods as fast as he can.
Everything has happened so fast that, for the first time in ages, Blaine actually doesn't know what to do. Moreover, after hearing about the boy just vaguely, getting to meet him like this just adds weirdness to weirdness. “Kurt! Wait, you— I'm so sorry,” he blurts out.
Kurt doesn't seem to care about him or what he is saying. He keeps looking around frantically. “Where did he go? Leo!” When he finally turns to Blaine is only to say, “He saw us. He must be so upset!”
Blaine has always been good at handling situations. So, despite his general awkwardness, he takes everything in his hands and grabs Kurt by the shoulder, forcing him to look in his eyes.
“Listen, you have to stay calm. He can't be too far, but we need to go back and tell the others he ran away, because he could have gone in any direction. We need to be a lot to search for him, do you understand?”
Kurt nods, but he's not all there. His mind is racing fast, coming up with all the most dreadful scenarios for the end of his son's desperate run. “It's all my fault,” he mutters.
Blaine hugs him tight. “No, hey. It's not your fault,” he tries to soothe him. “He is upset only because he doesn't know. We will explain everything to him. He'll understand, you'll see.”
“He's only six, Blaine.” Kurt sobs a little. “The only thing he'll understand is that I was cheating on his father.”
Blaine knows exactly how their kiss must have looked like to the eyes of a six years old. Kids Leo's age tends to be pretty definitive in their judgment. He remembers very well how it had felt to be discovered naked by a little kid in the bed of his father, without having any good explanation for that. But he doesn't see any use in telling this story to Kurt right now. “You weren't cheating,” he says instead. “We'll explain and everything's going to be alright, I promise. But you have to stay here with me and keep your feet on the ground, alright? I can't solve this alone, you have to stay calm.”
Kurt nods again and tries to breathe. “Okay. You go and bring the others, tell them he's gone and we need their help to find him. I'm calling Dave.”
“Alright. Just— maybe it's better if we don't mention this kiss thing, at least until your kid is back, safe and sound.”
Kurt nods because he doesn't really want to tell about this kiss to anyone, let alone Dave.
As Blaine runs back to the place where the others are, he turns around and dials Dave's number, biting nervously at his nails and looking around as he hopes to see Leo coming out from the bushes somewhere nearby.
Dave’s phone rings twice before he picks up. Whatever they're doing down there, Kurt can hear it in the background. Puck and Santana are singing some very foul song and Dave is still laughing and speaking to them when he answers the phone. “Hey Fancy,” he says, still laughing happily. “If you called to tell me you're leaving me at the altar, I have to tell you you're early. The wedding's in two days and you should wait for that moment to run away. In the meantime, you're late for the rehearsal, so...”
If Kurt weren't so worried, he would think Dave is a little bit drunk too – they're probably rehearsing the toast too, apparently – but he has no time to deal with it, especially since he feels too guilty to blame Dave for a drink too many. “Dave, something happened. Leo ran away and I don't know where he went,” he says, his voice breaking.
Dave instantly sobers up and stops chuckling. “What? Kurt, what are you talking about? Is something wrong?”
“He ran away,” Kurt repeats, because he doesn't want to have to be more specific. He keeps speaking as he walks, looking around the park. “I'm searching for him but I can't find him anywhere. He was upset, Dave. I'm afraid he's gone somewhere dangerous. He doesn't really know what he's doing right now.”
Dave is already worried out of his mind like every time something happens or is supposed to happen to his only son, but he pretends to be calm because he can tell Kurt is already upset enough for the two of them.
“Okay, Kurt, just… where are you?”
“By the lake. I was rearranging flowers for the reception. Blaine's here too,” he says, nodding to every single word as if he needs a great deal of concentration to answer. He's hardly breathing properly, panic taking over. “He's getting the others to look for Leo.”
Dave tenses slightly at Blaine's name. “...alright. Just stay there. I'm coming. Don't move. I'll see you there and we'll search for Leo together, alright baby?”
“If something happens to him...” Kurt can't finish the sentence because he starts crying. “It's my fault, David. I'm the worst father ever.”
Dave starts heading to the lake while he's still on the phone. “Now, that's talking nonsense,” he says in a soothing tone. He's so used to take care of Kurt's fits, whatever the cause, that words come to him automatically in the right order and tone. Sometimes it doesn't even matter what he says, Kurt just needs to hear him speaking softly, like a child would do. “You know Leo loves you. You're a good father and whatever happened I'm sure we can make everything right again. Don't worry.”
“Just hurry. He can be anywhere,” Kurt says again.
Dave can already see the lake and the little white reception house they rented for the party. “Don't worry, we'll find him. He'll be alright. I'm almost there.”
He doesn’t even know how he should be supposed to call this kid, that’s all Blaine can think about as he searches through the bushes, his eyes wide open, ready to catch even the smallest glimpse of something moving behind the leaves and the branches covered in thorns.
“Leonard?” he calls, tentatively, “Leonard, where are you? If you’re hiding in here, please, come out. It’s dirty and dangerous!”
Leo really is there after all. He tries to stay still as much as he can, though he’s got mud in his shoes, making his trousers dirty and wet, and every single thorn is hurting him all over his face and arms and neck. He curls himself in a ball and looks at Blaine, hoping he doesn’t find him, but that would obviously be too much to ask to his luck, and so, after a couple of seconds of more thorough research, Blaine finally parts two branches and finds him. “Oh! Here you are,” he says, trying a little smile, “Would you come out of that bush? It’s getting all your clothes dirty and torn. Your father’s going to be upset about it.”
“Why are you here?!” Leonard finally spits out, looking right in Blaine’s eyes. He’s so angry he just wants to curl in a ball and cry. Somewhere inside him, he knows he’s too small to contain such anger. His body can’t take it. He just wants to let it out, but he doesn’t want to cry in front of this man, he doesn’t want to make him think he’s just a crybaby.
“It’s just a casualty,” Blaine speaks softly, his reassuring smile never leaves his lips. “Everybody’s been searching for you, I was just lucky enough to find you before the others. Come on, come here.”
“No!” Leo answers, backing off even more, not caring about all the thorns pushing against the light fabric of his shirt, hurting his back, “No, I don’t want to. I hate you!”
“But you don’t even know me,” Blaine argues, chuckling slightly. The sound of his voice alone makes Leo even more angry! Why is this man here? Why can’t he just disappear? He doesn’t want to see him ever again, let alone have him so close to himself, as he is now.
“I know you well enough, thanks,” he almost growls, “And stop smiling! You’re creepy, and ugly.”
“Whoa, whoa,” Blaine is laughing now, holding his hands out, “You sure don’t mince words, do you? Alright, what if I just sit here beside the bush, and you stay there where you are now? So that we can talk a little.”
“I have nothing to say to you,” Leo answers, shrugging and looking away, “You ruined my family.”
“Now, now,” Blaine says, sitting on the ground with his legs crossed, “Aren’t you overreacting? Just a bit?” Leo doesn’t answer; Blaine waits for a couple of minutes for him to just say something, but that doesn’t happen, and in the end he just has to surrender and sigh deeply, shaking his head. “Alright, if you don’t want to talk to me, maybe I can talk to you, I guess. You know, your father was a very, very important part of my life for almost two wonderful years. That’s why I’m here now, to begin with.” Leo turns his head and stares at him with so much hate in his eyes he could easily kill him, if a look was enough for that. Blaine tries to ignore the glare, and keeps talking. “Unfortunately, we didn’t break up well. We just kind of… stopped talking to each other, you know what I mean? We were so afraid to do or say things that could make everything even worse than it already was, that we kind of just… stopped. And when you stop talking honestly and openly with the person you love, then you’re doomed to grow apart from him. That’s why talking is important. Not only between lovers, but between everybody else, too,” he nods, throwing a meaningful glance towards the kid.
“I… I don’t care about you,” Leo says, looking down to the tip of his new shoes, now ruined and all covered in mud and dirt. Daddy’s going to be so mad about it, he thinks for a moment, but then he remembers he doesn’t even care about daddy anymore. He cheated on dad, he ruined everything with this man, and he will never forgive him for that. “I don’t care about you at all!” he repeats, now looking back ad Blaine with the same angry eyes, “You and daddy did a very bad thing! And I hate you, I hate you both!” he screams, holding his legs to his chest and cuddling himself a little, since no one seems around to do it in his place.
“Look…” Blaine tries, sighing deeply, “Your dad and I probably didn’t act very mature, before. We probably shouldn’t have kissed. But the fact is, we needed to. Which does not mean I’m going to take him away from you or your father. He’s yours, but there was a time in which he was mine, and that time had to come to an end, someway. Kissing was the way we chose to reach that end, do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
“You shouldn’t have touched him!” Leo insists, “You’re right, he’s not yours, so you shouldn’t have! Uncle Noah said you’re a prince, but you don’t look like one to me. Princes never steal princesses from their true love!” he pauses for a moment, looking at his shoes again. He loved those shoes. And now they’re ruined, like everything else. And it’s all Blaine’s fault. “Daddy always used to say this, before you came back. Princes are good, they protect true love, they don’t ruin it.”
Blaine can’t help but letting out a little sad smile. “You’re right, kid,” he says, “I’m not a prince. I’m just a guy who’s been very happy with your father, when he was young. Your daddy is the right prince for your dad, and I’m not going to steal Kurt from you in any way. I just came to say how happy I was, and to say goodbye. That was just a goodbye.”
“That was a kiss,” Leo says angrily, “Kisses are important, you don’t give a kiss away!”
“And you’re right again,” Blaine nods, moving closer to him, “In fact, that was not given away, I can assure you. But, you know, not every kisses have the same meaning. Some kisses mean ‘I love you’, some others could mean ‘you’re my beloved baby and I’m glad to have you’, and then there are kisses that mean other things, like ‘I’m sorry’, or ‘hello”. Your father’s and mine meant goodbye. It was just… really, just a way to close that part of our life for good.”
“I don’t believe you,” Leo says, looking away again, “Yours was not a goodbye kiss. I know goodbye kisses. Daddy gives them to dad when he goes to work every morning. That one was a… a wet kiss,” he explains, blushing a little, “And you were holding his hand by the lake.”
“Now, now, what do you even know about wet kisses?” Blaine laughs faintly, a little embarrassed by the whole situation, “Listen, I know it seemed kind of passionate and a little bit too much romantic, maybe, but I swear it had nothing to do with being in love with each other. I am sure Kurt only loves your dad and you. I am just an old friend.”
“For your information,” Leo starts, looking half outraged and half still angry, “I know a lot about wet kisses! I’m six! And my daddies always kiss that way when they forget I’m in the room with them. And then daddy always blushes a little. Old friends don’t kiss like that. You… I don’t like you. I don’t want you here, so just go away!”
Blaine sighs heavily, running a hand through his hair. He keeps them longer than he used to, it’s easier to have them that way, so he can keep them or cut them, depending on what producers ask him to do for every show he has a role in. He likes his hair long, he likes to keep them free as he's been doing in the last few years, but sometimes they’re just a burden. Like now, for example, when the weather is hot and the air is sticky and he’s feeling clumsy and stupid because he can’t even talk properly to a child to make him understand he didn’t want to ruin his life. “I guess you’ll never forgive me, will you?” he asks, throwing a sad glance towards Leonard, “I’m very sad about it. I always hoped I’d be friend with Kurt’s babies. Maybe like one of those uncles you don’t see often but cover you in gifts when they come to pay a visit.”
“You’re not my uncle, and you never will,” Leo says bitterly, curling himself up in a ball again. “Go away, I can’t stand you anymore.”
Blaine sighs again, crawling closer to him, almost entering the bushes as well, though he’s too big to fit properly in there like Leo does. He looks at the boy and he is so small and cute, he can’t help but feeling really bad for what he did. He knows there was nothing really wrong in kissing Kurt the way he did, especially because it meant something important that had to be clarified once and for all, and he knows that Leo himself would probably understand it better if he was just a little older, but he is not, and Blaine did something that he can’t accept now. And that’s just sad, because if there’s something Blaine didn’t want was to be hated by Kurt’s only son. “Look,” he says in a low, reassuring voice, “I understand you hate me and you think I did something bad. That’s alright, you have your reasons, but everybody’s really worried for you, because they don’t know where you are and they still don’t know I already found you. We should go back to them.”
“I won’t go anywhere with you!” Leo protests, looking even shocked by the mere thought.
“Well, you could just go ahead, then,” Blaine ponders, shrugging a little, “I’ll wait until you’re far enough, and then I’ll follow you. You won’t even see me, I’ll be like the invisible man, just following you to make sure you’re alright.”
“I don’t need you to watch over me, I now how to come back. I can take care of myself,” Leo answers, looking at him, suspiciously.
“Well, alright, but I have to come back too,” Blaine says, blinking a couple of time. The kid’s a tough nut. “Mmh, how can we solve this problem?” he thinks about it for a couple of minutes, and then just smiles. “Here, I have an idea. You’ll go ahead, I’ll wait a couple of minutes and then I’ll come too, but I swear I won’t check up on you. I’ll just be casually walking the same way you do.”
Leonard doesn’t really seem impressed with his idea, and he takes a lot of time to think about it, considering all the pros and the cons and ultimately deciding he’s starting to freeze, he’s wet to the bone because of the rapidly approaching evening dampness in the air and he just wants to go home, even if that means seeing daddy again, which is something he would rather not do at the moment. “Fine,” he says, crawling out of the bushes, “But if you try and get close, I’ll start screaming.”
Blaine raises both his hands. “I promise I’ll keep my distance.”
Leo looks at him for another couple of seconds, to be sure he’s not going to do something silly like waiting for him to turn his back to grab him and put him in a bag or something, and only once he’s satisfied and he believes he’s been staring long enough, he turns his back at Blaine and starts walking back to the place where rehearsals took place hours ago.
Keeping his promise, Blaine waits to see him disappear behind a little hill covered in green grass, and then starts walking behind him, retrieving his phone from his back pocket to call Kurt.
Kurt interrupts the call and lets out a relieved sigh, closing his eyes and passing his open hand over his tired eyelids. “It was Blaine, he told me Leo’s coming from that way,” he says to Dave with a little smile, pointing at the little path that can be seen through the hills surrounding the place.
“Yeah, there he is,” Dave nods, spotting Leonard approaching slowly. The kid moves like he’s unwilling to come back, which is definitely weird, and Dave finds himself running towards him without even realizing he’s doing it. “Hey, buddy!” he says, finally reaching the boy and kneeling in front of him, opening his arms to offer a hug. “Where were you?”
“Leo!” Kurt calls him, coming closer too, “Thank God you’re ok.”
Leonard ignores Kurt completely, though, and turns his head the other way, throwing himself between Dave’s arms, hugging him and clinging desperately to his shoulders. Worried beyond limits, Dave holds him tight. He has never seen his son like that, not even when he was very little and he first moved out of their room to his own, and he used to have awful nightmares that reduced him a messy, crying and whimpering bag of bones with curly hair. Back then, he used to wake up way before Kurt did, and he used to sneak into Leo’s room to hug him and stay with him on his bed until he fell asleep again. Now there’s no bed to lay on, and there’s no reason Dave sees for which his beloved son should cry like that, so he feels kind of helpless, and keeps holding him close to his own chest, trying to reassure him. “Buddy, what happened?” he asks in a low, soft voice, “You’re shaking.”
Leo sobs hard, hiding his face against Dave’s shirt. “I’m sorry, dad,” he cries, hiccupping after every word, “Really, I am,” he says, and all Kurt can do is look at him feeling his heart hurting like it got trapped in a clutch.
“Hey, there’s nothing to be sorry about, buddy,” Dave says, smiling a little and patting his son’s shoulder, trying to calm him, “Just… just tell me what happened.”
Kurt closes his eyes briefly, taking a deep breath before trying to get closer to the kid. “Honey, I know you are upset and you think… stuff, but…”
“I don’t wanna talk with you! You’re bad, just like him!” Leo screams, hiding more in his father’s arms, almost disappearing in the hug. Kurt instantly steps back. He has never been so hurt in his entire life.
“Hey, now, calm down,” Dave says, standing up and holding his son between his arms, lifting him up too and helping him to rest against his shoulder, “Baby, why don’t you just tell daddies what happened? We can help you, whatever it is. Did someone hurt you?” Leo shakes his head, eyes filled with sadness. “Then what?” Dave insists, brushing the boy’s hair with his hand, “Just tell me, it’s okay.”
“No, it’s not okay!” Leo looks away, as tears starts to fall down his flushed cheeks again, “Everything’s ruined, and it’s my fault, because I wanted the wedding so much and now I will have a family no more!”
Dave opens his eyes wide. “Leo, come on,” he says, pulling the kid away from his chest just enough to look in his eyes, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about and you’re acting like your father does when he needs to let me know he’s sad but he doesn’t want to tell me why.”
Leo manages to look at his father for only a second, just because being compared to Kurt now bothers him way more than he can take. Then, he lowers his eyes and slowly starts to talk. “They kissed,” he says in a very low voice.
“Leo…” Kurt breaths out, holding out a hand towards him, as if to try and prevent him from talking.
“What?” Dave asks, raising an eyebrow, “Who kissed?”
“Daddy and that man!” Leo answers, still looking down, “They kissed,” he repeats, and Dave opens his eyes wider, looking puzzled as if he couldn’t even get what his son is talking about.
“Leo, please,” Kurt tries again, moving a step towards them, “It’s not like—”
“I saw you!” Leo screams, holding on to his father, and that’s when Dave finally understands, because he sees Blaine approaching from the same path Leo came back from minutes earlier, and it’s like seeing it happening in front of his own eyes, though he didn’t see it, and he’s actually glad he didn’t. Kurt and Blaine kissed. And when Blaine arrives and he can’t even look at him in his eyes, he gets all the evidence he needs, but he still turns to Kurt, looking lost and helpless.
“…is it true?” he asks, murmuring breathlessly.
“Dave, it’s… it’s not what you think it is,” Kurt tries to explain, but he struggles to find words convincing enough to help Dave and Leo understand what is so clear to himself and Blaine.
“What… what are you talking about?” Dave asks, clinging to Leo, “Did you kiss him or not?”
“Hey, Dave, I know you probably won’t hear a word from me, but it really is not what you think it is, and I can explain, if you just let me,” Blaine tries, moving a step forward, but the way Dave instantly glares at him stops him in midstep.
“You’re damn right I don’t wanna hear a single word from you, Anderson,” he snaps, turning back to Kurt, “You’re the one who owes me an explanation, Kurt.”
“Please,” Kurt bites at his own lower lip, trying not to cry, “Please, can we not talk about this here?”
Dave frowns, but then the light weight of Leo’s body between his arms reminds him their son’s here, and he definitely doesn’t want him to witness this conversation, especially since he seems to feel guilty about this whole situation. “Yeah, sure,” he says, clearing his throat and then turning back to Leo, forcing a little smile. “Hey, buddy, don’t worry about it, everything’s fine, I promise,” he lies, “Daddy will explain everything to me.”
Leo doesn’t believe a single word and finds irritating that his dad’s trying to reassure him about that saying such silly things. His dad doesn’t understand, none of them do, and that Blaine can’t either. He’s too exhausted to keep crying, though, so he just leans against his father’s shoulder and closes his eyes, sobbing lightly, letting his father try and comfort him with some cuddles. “Just don’t worry, buddy,” David says, “It’s alright. Why don’t you take a nap? You must be tired. I’ll carry you, don’t worry.”
Leo just shrugs, keeping his eyes closed as he feels his body getting heavier and heavier, sleep already making his breath slower and calmer.
Dave looks at Kurt, expecting something from him, but he doesn’t even know what, and after a couple of seconds of silence Kurt sighs, looking down first. “We should probably go home,” he suggests, on the verge of tears.
Dave averts his eyes too. “Yeah,” he answers, “Just… tell the others. I’m gonna wait for you in the car.”
Kurt nods and then heads back to where the others gathered moments before, and Dave ignores whatever Blaine is doing when he moves a step towards him to try again and explain everything. He just turns his back to the man and walks to the car, holding Leo close to himself.
“Dad?” the kid calls out seconds later, his little hands closing in fists around the fabric of his shirt, “Dad, will you bring me to bed? I don’t want him doing it.”
Dave sighs, kissing his son on his forehead. He would like to tell Leo that, whatever Kurt did, he’s still his father, and he shouldn’t be so angry at him, but he doesn’t because he’s not sure on how Leo would react to something similar, being as upset as he is. It still hurts, tough, that after all the first thing he thinks about is trying to defend Kurt no matter what. “Don’t worry about that, buddy,” he answers anyway, “I’ll take care of you.”
Leo leans on him again, quietly, and Dave walks faster to reach the car and gently lay him down on the backseat, covering him with his own jacket, so he doesn’t feel cold as he sleeps. Then, he climbs on his seat and rests his forehead against the steering wheel, breathing slowly in and out to keep himself calm as he waits for Kurt to come back, which he does less than five minutes later.
“I told the others to go home,” he says in a low voice, sitting beside Dave, “We can do the rehearsal again tomorrow,” he adds, looking at him tentatively.
Dave tenses a bit, because his first answer would be something he would regret saying, like for example that he’s not even sure rehearsals will be needed, if there won’t be a wedding to rehearse for, but he manages to keep his mouth shut long enough to think about it and realize that saying something similar wouldn’t be of any good for either of them. “…yeah. Okay. Thank you.”
They don’t say a word for the entire drive home. Kurt looks at Dave, every now and then, but mainly, he just looks back at Leo, reaching out with his arm to caress his head while he’s asleep. The first words Dave says come when he stops the car in front of their house, half an hour later, and he slips out of it trying to be as less noisy as he can. “Open the door,” he says to Kurt, “I’ll take Leo.”
Kurt nods sadly, understanding that Dave won’t let him handle their child at all, at least not for tonight. He opens the door and keeps it like that while Dave carries Leo inside the house, heading straight to the kid’s room to take him to bed, without even looking at Kurt, who closes the door and follows him right after.
Dave takes off Leo’s shoes and puts him in the bed, covering him with a blanket and brushing away his hair from his forehead, sighing a little, before he leaves the room. From the doorstep, Kurt keeps staring at him, hoping he’ll at least say something, but he doesn’t, so he keeps following him even when he comes out of the kid’s room and heads downstairs, ignoring him completely. “Dave…?” he calls him, having to clear his throat because that’s the first thing he says in what seems like ages, and it comes out really rough.
“Yeah?” Dave answers. He tries to stay calm, but actually he can’t stop moving all around the sitting room, moving things and then replacing them just to give himself something to do.
“Can we talk?” Kurt asks, looking down at his feet, and when he says that, Dave instantly snaps at him.
“No, we— I don’t really wanna talk right now,” he says, turning to him and staring for a couple of seconds, before he just slips past him to reach the built-in-wardrobe in the corridor.
“Would you let me explain, at least?” Kurt insists, following him around, “I don’t want us to go to bed like this.”
“We’re not going to go to bed like this,” he answers, opening the wardrobe and fetching a pillow and a blanket, before heading back to the sitting room.
“What… what are you doing?” Kurt asks in an uncertain breath.
“I’m sleeping on the couch, tonight,” Dave answers, arranging it to be as much comfortable as it can be.
Kurt swallows hard, fists closing suddenly around the fabric of his trouser, just to hold onto something. “Dave, please, don’t.”
“No, Kurt, you don’t,” Dave snaps, looking back at him with anger burning in his eyes, “You… I don’t even know. What the hell were you thinking about?!”
“It’s not what you think, Leo doesn’t know what he saw,” Kurt tries to explain, but Dave snorts and looks away, shaking his head.
“Okay, listen, I really don’t wanna talk about this right now,” he says, trying to sound calmer than he is, “Just… leave me alone.”
“Please,” Kurt tries again, “come to bed. What… what if Leo finds you here, tomorrow morning?”
“Oh, yeah, I’m sure this is gonna traumatize him a lot after he saw you fucking kissing another man,” he answers in a low growl that makes Kurt lower his eyes and steps back.
“Please, don’t do that,” he says, speaking softly, “You don’t even know what happened yet. Just… just don’t do that.”
“Fucking no, Kurt, I said it before, I’ll say it again, you don’t do that!” he almost screams, “Don’t just step back like— like I’m the one who hurt you! You know after all we’ve been through since the beginning I’d kill myself before having to hurt you again! Fuck… just go away, I can’t stand you anymore,” he sighs, sitting on the couch with his head between his hands.
Kurt holds his breath as he speaks, his eyes still locked with the floor, his fists closed so tightly he’s almost hurting himself. He hesitates, but when he understands Dave’s not going to let him in until he’s calmed down, he just nods. “Goodnight,” he says, trying to keep his voice steady, though it’s hard, since he’s crying.
Dave doesn’t even answer.
It's early morning and the house is quiet and still dark, except for the dim light of dawn coming through the sitting room's window. Dave sits on the couch with his arms crossed to his chest and he stares at the wall in front of him. There is a painting on it that he and Kurt have bought a couple of months ago when Kurt was redecorating the room for the third time this year. It's one of those contemporary drawings with lines and dots of which Dave understands nothing about but Kurt said it was perfect for the new urban flavor he wanted to give to their sitting room, so they took it.
For Dave, this is just a sitting room and it has been so after every redecoration, but Kurt is so happy every time he can change something about it, that Dave doesn't mind to let him do whatever he wants. Now he's wondering if Kurt has been feeling the need to change their relationship too, yesterday. If him kissing Blaine could be the first sign that he's bored with what they have.
It's been a very long and rough day and he doesn't really know what to do about the way it ended. The feeling of betrayal is too strong to let it go, but he loves Kurt too much to follow his instincts when he thinks about what he has done. So when he notices him standing in the doorway, he can't help the sting of pain he feels in his heart but he can't help to talk to him either.
“Are you already up?” He asks.
Kurt stands there in his pajama and bare feet, not daring to enter the room. “I... I've never really fallen asleep, actually.”
“I guess that makes two of us,” Dave sighs. Then he looks up at him. “Come here.”
Kurt comes closer and sits on the couch, curling himself into a ball. Seeing him so vulnerable and sad makes Dave want to kiss him and hug him and tell him everything is gonna be okay already, because that is how much he loves Kurt, but he knows he can't do any of those things because what happened is really serious and it endangers what they are.
Somebody has to start this conversation and make things clear, but it won't be Kurt, that much Dave knows, because Kurt doesn't talk unless he's forced to. Even when he is damn wrong.
“Come on, Kurt. What the hell happened?”
Kurt tries to speak three times before he actually manages to. His voice is hoarse and low, as if he had been crying for hours. “Blaine came to me and we talked. We had... things to say to each other.”
Dave snorts almost immediately. “So that's what you two were doing when our son saw you kissing? That was 'saying something'?”
Kurt looks down. “No. That was...” he moistens his lips. “That kiss means nothing, Dave. It was just a way to close things up once and for all.”
Dave has wanted to face this situation with all the calm he could gather, for the sake of their kid if not of the two of them, but Kurt not apologizing right away and saying those words to booth, makes him instantly angry. “Well, kissing someone doesn't sound to me like a way to close things up. Open them again, perhaps, but closing them? Not at all.”
Kurt sighs because he is aware that this is going to be the hardest part for Dave to understand. Or for anybody, for that matter. He and Blaine have always had their own way to deal with things. “We did close things, Dave,” he says. “That was the way it should have ended between us. We broke up so angrily. We just wanted to fix things up.”
Dave can't really believe what Kurt is saying. At this point, Dave is not even interested in how it happened, he just wants some apologies from Kurt, because he behaved badly and, of all things, he should be apologizing. “You don't fucking fix things up kissing your ex boyfriend two days before your fucking wedding!” He screams. The more Kurt talks, the more it seems like Blaine will always be that one unforgettable love Dave will never be enough to match up.
“I wasn't kissing him,” Kurt says, instead. “It was just one kiss and it means nothing of what you think it does.”
Dave looks at him angrily. “That right? And what am I thinking?”
“That I still love him, but I don't.”
“But that's how it is!” Dave jumps up and starts walking around the couch because he is too nervous to stand still. “You'll love him forever, ‘cause it's your first love we're talking about. He's the one who broke your heart first and how is that forgettable? Man, I hate you. I hate that you're so dramatic that you would still love him even if he broke your heart again!”
Kurt is a little taken aback by his hate statement. “Are you listening to me? I said I don't love him, Dave. I'd never have kissed him today if I did.”
“So why did you kiss him?” Dave asks. “So our son could watch you and be heartbroken? I don't think you even realize how Leo's feeling!”
Kurt is feeling frustrated. He knows very well that everything he says will never be enough for Dave, because the only thing he gets and understands is that he kissed Blaine, whatever the reason. He closes his eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. “Because...” he starts and then sighs again. “Because something was weird in the way we broke up and it was that kiss missing. We just wanted to make things right with the past. That kiss is nothing more than a way to have a good memory of our relationship instead of that horrible one we had. I'm sorry Leo saw it. I didn't mean it for him to see.”
“Yeah, sure,” Dave snorts. “But he did anyway, and now he's going to regret the fact that this whole wedding thing was his idea, forever! So good job, Kurt, you now have a good memory for yourself, and an horrible one for your son!”
Kurt looks down, feeling guilty for his kid. “I didn't want any of this to happen. I'm sorry it went the wrong way.”
Dave shakes his head, arms crossed. “Well, sorry might be not enough, this time.
Kurt looks up immediately, pure panic in his eyes. “What?” He asks, searching for him around the dark room. “What do you mean?”
Dave has spoken out of jealousy and irritation and it takes him a couple of seconds to realize what he has just said. “I don't know. I feel very bitter and angry, right now,” he says, looking away.
Kurt sighs. “Dave... I didn't want to hurt anyone. Blaine means nothing to me anymore,” he insists. “I love you. I thought you would know that by now.”
“And I did!” He says, raising his voice but not too much. Over the past six years he has learned the very precious art of screaming without making noise, so not to wake up his son. After the first two months of sleepless nights, both of them has had to wise up if they wanted to survive. “But then you just had to kiss him! Fuck!” He starts walking around the couch again, just to move away from him. “It's like being in high school all over again. It sucks so much.”
Kurt is shaking his head way before Dave has even finished. Blaine has been an issue with him for so long now. Dave has never gone past Kurt and Blaine's relationship in high school and Kurt has never known how to assure him it's been over for over ten years. Kissing Blaine has obviously not helped his cause.
“It's not! I mean...” he says as he stands up and goes after him. “We are together, me and you, in a way me and Blaine never were.”
“Sure, because you two didn't have the time and chance!” Dave protests. “That kiss— you may think it's just a goodbye, but to me it says welcome back. And I just... I just hate the thought.”
Dave stops and looks down, closing his fists, his hands shaking a little. He is just giving up, again.
There were times, when they were in high school, when he would get so mad seeing Blaine and Kurt together that he needed to destroy things. He would go to the gym, then, and hit the punching ball so hard that coach Beiste would come to him and ask what was wrong. It was she who suggested Dave's father to send him to speak with a rage management therapist. That was the worse time of his life; he would go to therapy for every single problem he had. He felt so bad, back then. Then, Blaine and Kurt broke up and he and Kurt got together, and everything fell into place for him.
What's happening now feels like everything is breaking into thousand little pieces again.
Kurt tries and touches his arm. “The fact that I wanted to fix things up with Blaine doesn't mean I want him back in my life too,” he says in a sweet, low voice. “In fact, I didn't want any open issues with him.”
Dave looks up at him and raises a hand to his lips, touching them lightly. “I can't even stand the mental image of you two kissing. It brings everything up again, all the pain and the hate I felt when you two were together and I wouldn't even come close to you because I just couldn't, while he could.”
“That's in the past, babe,” Kurt says, his lips moving against Dave's fingers. “Now only you can be close and he can't. Never forget, it's you I chose.”
Dave is really trying to forget, but it's hard. It has always been. He comes a little closer, fingers sliding down Kurt's cheeks, as if tracing his features to snatch him out of the darkness still surrounding them despite the coming dawn. “He wasn't around anymore when you chose me,” he says, after a while. “I'll never know if you would have still chosen me if he stayed long enough.”
“You'll have to trust me on this one,” Kurt says, closing his eyes under Dave's caress. “I didn't settle for the second best.”
Just looking at Kurt with his eyes closed makes Dave's heart throb. “You are so beautiful,” he murmurs. He just can't believe Kurt is here with him and not with Blaine, in some fancy attic in New York where Dave knows Kurt wanted to be when he was sixteen.
Kurt gives him a little smile. “Am I?” He asks, looking at him.
Dave thinks he is just so adorable and can't help but looking at him with pure adoration in his eyes. “Yes, you are. So unbelievably beautiful.”
“And you are a very good liar.”
Dave chuckles. “Oh please, shut your mouth, will you?” He says as he drags him closer and hugs him. “He's not dancing with you after the wedding. He's not.”
“We'll make sure of that. You'll be the only one dancing with me, if you want.”
Dave shakes his head and hums softly. “No, you can dance with your father and with your brother and with whoever you want, but you're not dancing with him. Last time I saw you two dancing... well, that sucked a lot. I'm not gonna watch it happen again.”
“I won't dance with him if this upsets you. I'll tell him I can't.”
Dave is astonished. “Did he dare asking you if he could?” He says, really upset. “I can't believe he would come here in my city, in my house, and would ask my future husband to fucking dance with him!”
Kurt can't deny he loves when Dave shows such possessiveness. “Now, come here,” he pulls him closer. “He didn't want to challenge you, honey. It's just what he does. He sings and dances.”
“And he can, as long as he's doing it wherever he lives now, far, far away from here.” He holds Kurt tight, gently stroking his back. “God, how much I missed you tonight.”
Kurt puts his arms around Dave's neck and lets him gently rocks both of them back and forth. ”I missed you too. I thought to join you on the couch tonight but you were so angry, I was scared you would send me away.”
“I would have not,” Dave sighs, brushing his neck with the tip of his nose. He is painfully aware he could never send Kurt away, even if he is rightfully mad at him. He loves him too much to risk losing him for any reason. “But maybe I would have been kind of uncontrollable.”
Kurt tries to look at him but he obviously can't because Dave is kissing his neck and he seems to have no intention to stop. “What do you mean?”
“I was angry and fucking jealous and I just kept thinking about what I would do to you if I had you in my hands,” he explains, speaking in a low voice, on his skin.
Kurt shivers and smiles, rubbing his face against his soon-to-be husband's broad chest. “That's just freaking hot, Mr. Karofsky.”
Dave's voice is low and warm. “Is that so?” He asks, as he kisses Kurt's neck, gently. “And you don't even know what I would have done.”
Kurt is enjoying this so much, especially now that things are falling back into place and he’s realizing he really was just one step away from losing everything. “Why don't you tell me?”
Dave bites at his neck and then looks at him. “I would have held you down on the couch and kissed you so hard you could not breathe.”
“God, I love the way you say 'held down'.” Kurt breaths in hard. “I'd have been frightened, though. You can be so rude sometimes.”
“That's because I know you like it when I grab you and do whatever I want with your body.” Dave grabs his ass and squeezes it. He can feel the curves of Kurt's body as if he was naked, thanks to Kurt's pajama, which is one of those silk, elegant outfits so thin you can almost see it through. Not manly, but so damn sexy on someone as slim as Kurt.
“Dave!” He screams, pretending to be outraged. “That's totally not true.”
“You know it is,” he kisses him forcefully. “You always let me do whatever I want, if I'm hard enough on you.”
He comes even closer so Kurt can feel what he means exactly. Kurt is okay with this attitude now, because he knows very well Dave is just joking to spice things up. He has stopped to be afraid of him the moment he said he was sorry. “Maybe, if you're really – and I mean really – good, I'll let you play as you want,” he moans in his mouth.
“You'll let me, Fancy?” He lifts him up effortlessly and brings him to the couch, grinning. “You think I'd ask for permission? Spread your legs for me.”
Kurt shivers in that good and very pleasant way that makes his toe curls. “What if I don't?”
“Then I'll have to force you.” Dave bends over him and puts a hand between his knees.
Kurt looks straight in his eyes as he puts his arms on the couch's back, daring him to proceed with his threat.
Dave groans at the mere sight of him acting like that. He loves when Kurt manages to get rid of all his inhibitions and let himself go completely. “You're not going to collaborate, aren't you? Fucking tease,” he hisses between his teeth, as he unbuttons Kurt's shirt and caresses his chest.
“You will need to work hard if you want to get what you want,” Kurt says, arching a bit at the touch of his fingers. “And what is it that you want, Dave?”
Dave lets the shirt slide down his arms but, instead of taking it off, he uses it to tie Kurt's wrists together as he looks at him with a dirty smile on his lips. “You know what I want from you, Fancy.”
Kurt moans a little as he pretends to be astonished, but he doesn't stop him. “Oh, that's so bad. Karofsky, where did you learn these things? You were a family man just a couple of hours ago.”
Dave smiles wider as he lets the bottom of Kurt's pajama fall down his legs. “I still am, but now I want to drive you crazy ‘til you beg for more.”
He caresses the inside of his thigh with one hand, while stroking his lips with the thumb of the other one.
Kurt shivers, looking at this hand with interested eyes. He moves a bit too, because he can never lay completely still when Dave's hands are down there.
Dave grins, satisfied with his reaction. “You should look at yourself right now, you're so needy. Look at how you move...” he licks his lips and moves his hand closer to his groin, “Do you want it, babe?”
Kurt tries to kiss him, at least. He can't stand to be touched like that and not be able to move his hands to touch him back. “Try harder,” he brags then, struggling a lot not to beg. “You're not even close.”
Dave doesn't give up to his requests. It is so much funnier when Kurt is so helpless and desperate. Most of all if he is clearly lying and his whole body gives it away. “Oh, you know I'm more than close, Fancy,” he smirks. “I can see it in your eyes. You'd scream if I just touched you. Want me to try? Want me to touch you and make you scream?
He comes closer and rubs himself against Kurt, who keeps pulling at his makeshift ropes, desperately wanting to kiss him. “Oh God,” he exhales, arching against him to get some relief.
“There you are, I love you so much when you do this.” Dave drags him closer and kisses him hard while finally stroking him between his legs with his hand. “D'you like it, babe?”
Kurt gives him a long, moaning, wet kiss. “Yes, keep doin' it.”
“I wouldn't stop if the house should fall on us.” Dave kisses him back and quickly gets rid of his own trousers, caressing him faster. “Do you want me, Fancy?”
Kurt doesn't even let him finish the sentence, drowning the scream he would like to let out in another hungry and passionate kiss. “Yes! I want you as hard as you can get.”
“Fuck.” Dave tries to hold himself back and licks his neck, still stroking him. “And where do you want me, baby? Tell me.”
Kurt bends his head back on the couch, gasping for air. “In me. I want you in me,” he exhales, as he tugs at the shirt around his wrists. “Dave, let me go.”
Dave unties his wrists immediately, bound to Kurt's request and to his own need to have Kurt's hands on himself. “Here I come baby, you ready?” He breaths heavily while slowly entering him, holding Kurt's hips firmly.
Kurt grabs his shoulders and buries his face in Dave's neck. “Yes, I'm ready. I'm... don't... just stop fucking around. I want to feel you, now!”
Dave almost laughs, half breathlessly, because Kurt is always cuddly and cute and then, suddenly, he becomes so damn impatient when he can't really take it anymore. God, how much he loves to see him like this for him. “Okay baby,” he pushes himself hard inside of him and starts moving. “Do you feel me now? Because I feel you, babe and you're so fucking tight.”
“Yes,” Kurt moans slightly, whispering in his ear. “C'mon big boy, weren't you going to make me scream?”
Dave pushes harder inside him and strokes him faster, kissing him deeper than before. “Scream for me, baby, let me hear you.”
Kurt actually screams this time, forgetting that there is a kid in the other room. Luckily, rage and a very bad day have made Leo a heavy sleeper, today. Kurt searches for Dave's lips again and kisses them hungrily, almost growling.
“Fuck, yes.” Dave pushes inside him so hard he buries himself inside his body for his entire length. He can't talk properly anymore and he keeps breathing hard on Kurt's mouth, kissing it and sucking on his lower lip. “Oh God, Kurt, fuck.”
“Dave, keep it like this. You're there.” Kurt arches his back to push himself better against him.
He moves faster and thrusts deeper, holding Kurt's hips as still as possible so he can better angle himself with each thrust and hit his special spot every time. “Are you close, baby? I wanna feel you come. Would you come for me?” He speaks nonsense as he strokes him, waiting for him to give in to pleasure as he seems so close to do.
Kurt nods because he can't talk anymore. Those magic words always work with him and they don't fail this time either. He comes hard, moaning, covering his eyes with his right arm.
“Fuck— let me see your face, babe,” Dave murmurs as he moves Kurt's arm away and leans on him to kiss him gently, coming hard inside him. “Let me see how beautiful you are.”
They take their time to catch their breath, pleasantly drained and tired. Kurt looks at him through heavy eyes and smiles lovingly, seeing how overwhelmed Dave is.
Dave breathes heavily, resting his forehead against Kurt's with his eyes closed as he brushes the tip of his nose with his own, cuddling him. “God, that was amazing.”
Kurt smiles, still so caught up in it that he doesn't even bother to blush. “Yes, I'd dare say it was one of the best we had so far,” he says, kissing him lazily. “I like you when you're all jealous and possessive.”
“Do you?” Dave says, laughing on his lips as he kisses him back. “Then how come I always end up sleeping on the couch when we fight because of my jealousy?”
Kurt laughs, looking at him with so much love in his eyes. “Because,” he says, caressing his face with just a light touch of his fingertips, “you don't usually touch me like that when we fight. You need to be away from me for a while just to be back like this.”
Dave opens his mouth, pretending to be outraged. “So you send me away on purpose?”
Kurt shrugs. “Maybe just a little bit.”
“Oh, you little...” Dave chuckles, shaking his head. “But I'm going to come back to our bed tonight, my back is killing me. I'm too old for this shit,” he says, kissing him lightly on his lips and starting to tidy up Kurt's pajama. “You're a mess. God, how come you're still so cute?”
Kurt lets Dave dress him as if he was a doll. “It's because I'm fabulous. I'm never really a mess, even after hot wild sex on the couch with my sexy soon-to-be husband who actually made me unable to walk,” he explains as he moves his legs and groans in pain.
“Do you know what having a sexy soon-to-be-husband who makes you unable to walk means?” Dave asks as he lifts him up and holds him in his arms. “It means you don't have to walk.”
Then, Kurt tells Dave he loves him right away in a very dramatic, oh-so-theatrical way, and they both laugh as Dave carries him to their room, where they will pretend to have slept all night when their son will come checking on them once he finally wakes up.
When he fell asleep in his father’s arms, two days ago, Leonard would have never thought that everything, somehow, would just fall into place, in the end. He was sure the wedding was over and, for what he knew, his parents’ relationship was about to go the same way, and he was ready to blame himself forever for that if it happened, but when he woke up he didn’t find his dad on the couch, where he was sure he would find him – since he always sleeps there when he and daddy have a fight –, so he checked the bedroom and he stood on the doorstep for two minutes straight before figuring out what happened. It was clear his dads had made peace during the night, because they were sleeping together, tied in a sweet hug.
Now that the wedding’s over, Leonard stays on the edge of the huge white painted wood dance floor he and daddy decided to have for the party after the wedding reception, and he can’t help but smile just like he did when he found them. Everything seems so right he clearly feels like he couldn’t be more happy than he is now, like his body couldn’t hold more happiness than what he’s feeling right now.
The wedding has been awesome. There were white flowers everywhere and everybody was looking happy. Dad and daddy kept smiling the whole time, and daddy managed to keep smiling even when he started to cry, after dad’s wedding vows, which were the sweetest ever, since Leo helped him sort them out. Auntie Tana was gorgeous, even in her manly outfit, and her speech during the reception was really funny. Leo listened to it very closely, happy to hear the story of his parents’ love from a point of view he had never considered before, and thinking with some pride that now he has the right to talk about this story too, since he’s helping making it. Not only being the main reason why they decided to get married in the end, but with everything else. With every step he takes, he’s making history. He’s making his parents’ life worth living just as much as they’re doing with him. That’s being a family, and Leo probably didn’t need a ceremony to know, but in the end maybe he did. He didn’t need the vows themselves, but what made them possible, all the troubles he went through, all he had to accomplish to have his parents smiling at each other and swearing they’ll be together forever no matter what comes their way, this he needed, and he firmly believes his parents needed it too. So he can’t help smiling smugly, now, because he knows he was right, right from the start, and now he can afford feeling so self-satisfied, like all this happened only thanks to him, though he knows it’s not exactly true.
“Would you allow me this dance?” Blaine asks, jumping into his view literally from out of nowhere. Leo makes a face, stepping back. He has been good ignoring him up to now, but he just had to come and ruin everything.
“No way,” he answers, looking away, “And why do you have to talk like this?”
“Like you came out of some fairy tale book or something,” Leo snorts.
Blaine laughs a little, kneeling in front of him and sitting on his heels. “Does the way I speak seem strange to you?”
“Definitely,” Leonard nods, “You’re cheesy. Like some fairy tale princes, the lame ones.”
“This is true,” Blaine chuckles again, “Maybe I am a prince, after all, then.” Leo looks at him, and Blaine’s smiling gently as he stays like that in front of him, his elbows resting on his knees, the elegant suit he wears making an interesting contrast with his wild curly black hair which he left untied, free to brush against his neck.
“Of the lame kind,” Leo insists, crossing his arms on his chest.
“Of course,” Blaine chuckles, “But, just follow me: if your parents just married each others, that means they’re no more prince and princess, or princes, or whatever, they just became king and queen, or kings, am I right?”
Leo looks at him confusedly, tilting his head. “I suppose,” he concedes, shrugging.
“Well, then, if they’re kings, that makes you a prince,” Blaine continues, nodding at himself in agreement.
Leo arches an eyebrow. “What’s your point, mister Anderson?” he asks, and he feels pretty amused when he sees Blaine actually shivering after his words.
“Don’t call me mister,” he says, “Just… please.”
“Okay,” Leo nods, “Anderson.”
Blaine lets out a little laugh, shaking his head. Leo finds himself hypnotized by the way his hair move, but he manages to look away in time for Blaine not to catch him staring. “You really are a smart ass, aren’t you?” the man asks, and Leo sighs.
“You still didn’t tell me what’s your point,” he repeats.
“My point is,” Blaine smiles, “That if you’re a prince and I’m a prince too, lame as I am then I must be a prince visiting your reign from another land. Therefore, since your parents are busy dancing with each others, and since apparently I couldn’t dance with Kurt even if he was alone, or at least that’s what I was told, then you should be the one dancing with me, since we’re both princes and I’m a special guest.”
Leo opens his eyes wide, taken aback from the way he’s putting it. “Do you really think any of this made sense?” he asks, and Blaine laughs again. Leo’s coming to hate the sound of this laugh, it makes him uncomfortable and hot on his cheeks.
“I thought it was a fascinating way to put it in,” he answers, “Besides, I really want to dance with you.”
“Don’t you have women or men your age to ask to?” Leo snorts, annoyed.
Blaine shrugs. “I prefer little kids.”
“You know, this could be reported as harassment,” Leo answers, smiling wickedly. Blaine opens his eyes wide, looking extremely amused, and Leo hates him: why does he seem so totally unable to take him seriously? He’s being so very really serious, now, and all this man can do is making fun of him.
“You shouldn’t even know that word,” he says in a light chuckle. Leo snorts again.
“Whatever,” he concedes, “I’m still not gonna dance with you.”
“Not even if I ask really nicely?” Blaine tries.
“I don’t think you would even know where to start to be nice!” Leo answers, “But even if you could, I don’t dance,” he says blushing and looking away.
“Oh, come on,” Blaine insists, rolling his eyes, “It’s a party, you should dance.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to!” Leo yells at him, stomping his feet on the ground, “I mean, I don’t want to ‘cause I still hate you, since you’re mean and horrible, but even if I wanted, I can’t!” he spits out, “I can’t dance.”
“Oh my God,” Blaine chuckles again, standing straight on his feet again, and smoothes the wrinkles on his trousers, “Well, then I definitely have to teach you. It’s terribly inappropriate for a young prince of your birth to be unable to dance. I can’t let this happen. Come on,” he smiles again, “You can put your feet on mine. I promise it will be fun.”
Leo shakes his head, letting out an annoyed, frustrated moan. “You’re not going to leave me alone if I don’t dance with you, are you?” he asks. Blaine just laughs and doesn’t say anything, since the answer is obvious enough. “Okay then,” Leo sighs, holding out both his hands to him, “But when I get bored, I go away, and you don’t get to force me to stay.”
“Got it,” Blaine nods, helping him to climb on his feet and then moving around the dance floor, one goofy step after another. “See?” he asks, comically but gracefully turning around and bringing Leo with himself, “This is fun.”
“This is stupid…” Leo corrects him, looking everywhere around, “And everybody’s staring!”
“I suppose it’s because we’re dancing really good,” Blaine says, but he’s laughing so hard it’s obvious he’s not meaning a single word he’s saying.
“Did you do that just to make me look ridiculous?” Leo asks, and his cheeks are flushed, and he feels angry. He looks up at Blaine and he’s smiling so calmly and peacefully he can’t help but feeling a little stupid because he seems to be getting upset over nothing.
“No,” Blaine answers, speaking in a low, soft voice, “I just wanted to make things right with you. You know, apologize for what you saw. My behavior was unacceptable, and I hope you can find in your heart the will to forgive me.”
Leonard feels himself blushing again. He would like to loosen the knot of his tie, but Blaine’s holding both his hands and he fears he would fall down his feet if he left them, so he doesn’t. “Why do you want me to forgive you?” he asks, anyway, “It’s not like I’m gonna see you much from now on, you don’t even live here!”
Blaine smiles again, shrugging lightly. “Yes, maybe,” he nods, “But I like you.”
Leo’s cheeks turn so red he feels breathless and unbelievably hot for a moment, and it’s already too much. He jumps off Blaine’s feet willingly, shaking his head, trying to make the blush disappear. “Well, I don’t!” he says, pouting lightly. He still feels too hot to bear it, and he wants to run away, but at the same time he doesn’t, so in the end he stands still.
Blaine smiles, a hand on his hip, arching an eyebrow. “You already got bored?” he asks.
Leo sticks out his tongue at him. “I just wanted to ruin your shoes, anyway,” he tells him, and only then he feels free to run away, right in his fathers’ arms. They just stopped dancing, but he asks them to dance once more, this time with him. They accept, and when Leo starts dancing with them, holding both his parents’ hands in his, he doesn’t realize it, but he’s already using the steps Blaine taught him.