Burt, KurtWord Count:
After letting Kurt down once before, he swears to never do it again. Kurt can be whomever he wants to be, have whatever he wants to have. But he realizes he can't give his son the one thing he wants the most.
When Kurt had asked for a Princess Aurora tiara, Burt barely hesitated to pull out the plastic. As long as his son was happy, he was satisfied. (But of course he made the condition that he could only wear the crown at home. There was a temper tantrum, but he eventually calmed down after a few Oreos and a glass of milk)
But when all Kurt wanted for his birthday was a sensible pair of heels, Burt had to draw the line. Although parental instinct told him to accept his child no matter what, he couldn't deny his strong longing for a son to take to monster-truck rallies. He was hesitant to face what was inevitably to come.
So finally, when Kurt finished opening the last of his gifts, and there wasn't a heel in sight, Kurt began to cry unconsolably. Elizabeth made Burt sleep on the couch. He snuck in later that night, but he snuck right back out. Kurt was enveloped in his mother's arms, tear tracks still clearly visible. As if he didn't feel guilty enough.
So that night, tucked semi-comfortably under the couch throw rug, Burt made a vow to support Kurt as whomever he wanted to be; whomever that happened to be.
Who Kurt wanted to be soon became clear. As he learned to walk and talk, Burt learned to sip tea with pinkies up and properly dress Barbies. Monster-truck rallies? Probably not likely to happen.
"Daddy," moaned Kurt petulantly. "I'm hungry."
"We're going to a new place tonight," Burt said to his son in the back seat. Kurt raised an elegantly-trimmed eyebrow. Jesus, the kid was eight, why would he need
to trim his eyebrows?
"They better have vegetarian options," his son mumbled, crossing his arms.
Burt pulled up in front of Johnny Rockets and turned off the engine in silence.
"A hamburger restaurant?" Kurt asked incredulously, straightening his paisley scarf nervously.
"Told you it was different," Burt said gruffly. 'Maybe it'll make things between us different too
," he felt like adding, but hastily he stifled the notion.
Quickly, Kurt's mouth tightened into a line. He nodded briefly, walking ahead of his father into the burger joint. Burt followed a pace behind him. Kurt kept standing in front of one of the waitresses.
"No, Kurt, we seat ourselves," Burt gently corrected. "Wanna sit at the bar?" Kurt glanced at the bar, with its high leather chairs, and back to his father. He nodded.
Kurt delicately raised himself into the chair, holding his hand staunchly in his lap as if avoiding contact with germs. Burt bit his lip hesitantly, wondering if this was such a good idea after all.
Kurt took the menu in front of him daintily and began to scan it thoroughly with his light blue-green eyes, the precise color of Burt's.
"Hi, I'm Will," said the waiter chirpily. Burt looked up and blanched, raising his eyebrows.
"Ain't you that teacher at the high school?" he asked hesitantly. Will scrunched up his nose, nodding tightly.
"Things are kind of tough when there's no pay during the summer," he muttered, but shook it off, his Jerry curls tight and swaying around his head. They were embarrassingly perky, but he had a smile that had Kurt sighing happily. "Do you guys need something to drink?"
"What's a Shirley Temple?" asked Kurt quickly.
"Cherry flavored drink, pretty fruity, nice pink color," Will replied.
Kurt looked brighter than he had the whole time he had been in the restaurant. "Perfect," he said in his borderline soprano voice.
Burt sighed surreptitiously, trying to ignore the irony of what he had just seen. "Coke with a vanilla shot," he said quickly. They better have that old-fashioned stuff... the whole reason he was doing this was because this is what he and his dad used to do on summer weekends when the garage wasn't too busy.
"Coming right up," the waiter said brightly, ruffling Kurt's perfectly coiffed hair before leaving.
Kurt's eyes widened, his mouth falling open a bit. With shaking fingers, he rose a hand to his hair. Deftly, with his index finger and thumb, he placed his bangs back in place. Burt grinned in spite of himself, covering his face with his flannel sleeve.
Things were silent between them for a moment.
"Mom's not alright, is she?" Kurt questioned bluntly, his voice tiny and subdued.
Tears stung at Burt's eyes, but he swallowed them quickly. Not here. He needed to be strong for his son.
"No, Kurt, she's not."
Kurt tilted his button nose into the air. Burt knew this was a sign that his son was also holding back tears. A Hummel thing.
Burt placed an arm around Kurt, careful not to displace the mini-shoulder pads of his blazer.
"But that doesn't mean she won't get better. All we can do is... keep loving her, and hope the doctors do the best they can."
Kurt looked up at his father and let a single, innocent tear fall. Burt smiled softly and gently rid his son's porcelain cheek of the imperfection.
"But I want her to be alright. I don't want to just hope," Kurt said quietly.
That was the ultimate guilt card. Whatever Kurt wanted, he got. Whomever he wanted to be, he could be. But he couldn't give his son that only thing he truly
"Kurt, son, sometimes... there come times in your life where things don't really go the way you want them to," began Burt unsurely. "And... it's looking like now's gonna be one of those times."
Kurt pulled his shoulders back bravely, but his eyes gazed downwards.
"How long does she have?"
His voice was now unwavering, and Burt wondered blindly where Kurt's unnatural spurts of maturity came from.
And then he realized: they came from Elizabeth.
"Dad," he muttered. "I just ironed this shirt."
Burt smiled and pulled back to straighten out Kurt's outfit. "Let come what may. We'll get through things together, alright?"
He smiled, and Kurt shakily returned it. Burt flagged down Will the Waiter.
Will jogged over to them, hands at his sides in an "I-Don't-Know" expression.
"We're out of vanilla shots..."
"No, that's fine, we're not eating here anyway," Burt said shortly. Will nodded, bewildered, and rushed over to another diner. Burt turned to his son.
"Do you wanna get some Greek food?"
The way Kurt lit up made him feel a little better. He could give Kurt this much.