ladydreamer: Wonder Woman draws her sword from behind. (Glee Burt and Kurt)
[personal profile] ladydreamer
Title: What If There’s Tomorrow
Pair: Kurt/Blaine, Nick/Rafe, Finn/Van, Santana/grief
Word Count: 5943
Summary: Life in the new settlement is calm but anxious. The people cope in whatever ways they can, and Kurt tries to navigate his position as leader with his life and his memories of times more dangerous.
AN: It’s a sea shanty mashup! Old Blood Roses/Spanish Ladies.
Yes, we’re doing a few forward time jumps to move towards the end.



The bright peal of bird noise broke into the air. There was no silence. There never was on the sea. But after two months of the rolling sounds of sea water, Kurt no longer heard it. They listened for other sounds. Sounds of warning, of bad waters or storms threatening. The sounds of people, primarily, but no people came out this way, other than their returning boats.

My clothes are all miles away!
Go down you blood red roses, go down!

So let us be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each jovial an’ true-hearted soul!


The sudden outburst of singing woke Kurt up properly, and he rubbed his eyes, shaking his head. With a heavy sigh, he pushed himself up from the table, covered in lists and proposals and building plans, and rubbed his brow. Then, to the window.
And it’s mighty draughty around the Pacific Coast!
Go down you blood red roses, go down!

And let us be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each jovial an’ true-hearted soul!


The waters were fairly calm today, and Kurt leaned against the windowsill. His hair fell into his eyes, and he pushed it away, watching Finn lead the Nick, Andre, Forest and several other strong citizens in what appeared to be some kind of jaunty sea shanty as they repaired part one of the bridges between boats. The platform below had taken no damage during the last storm, but one of the bridges was out of commission and people had been forced to cross on the far side and walk across the decks of two other boats to get where they were going.

Actually, that their construction had held up this long was something to be proud of. Or Kurt thought so. They’d begun with a ferry and a handful of speedboats, but collected several houseboats along the way and a second ferry. When they’d gotten enough to start, they’d traveled out to sea and started building and building. Eventually, Mike and Andre had even brought back a cruise ship.

The result? The careful latticework of ropes holding their city together, bridges between houseboats and ferries, boats designated for work, designated for home, designated for community activities. Saffire, Jake, and a few other children the runners had picked up when visiting the shore ran along the bridge between the community boat and Nick and Rafe’s home. Van perched on the edge of the garden boat, one hand resting on her immense and heavy belly as she watched Finn work and play at the same time.

They’d only lost one boat so far, and they hadn’t lost any people since the trade at the Lucky Farmers’ Stronghold. When everything was stable at the city, their runners had gone inland with salted fish to trade with the Farmers and come back with nearly more fresh food than they could carry. Their allies called their city the Western Wave. And so they called themselves, because as far as they were concerned, the only name that mattered was Home.

Things were going so well that Kurt expected a monsoon.

Oh, you pinks and posies!
Go down you blood red roses, go down!

Let every man here drink up his full bumper!
Let every man (and woman!) here drink up his full bowl!
And let us be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each jovial an’ true-hearted soul!


Kurt straightened and pressed his hand against his back as he stretched. He’d not seen a walker in so long; it was nearly impossible to believe. After clearing out the boats and heading further out to see, those things just weren’t around. Sure, every once and a while, one would try to climb its way up the anchors... but they weren’t very good at it. In the case that they made it, they were in no shape to attack anything. They had no sense of smell driving them if the were underwater, for one thing. No sound to let the know where to go. They didn’t swim, or rarely did. Near as Kurt could figure, if they ended up in the ocean, they would sink, the flesh sogging off their bones as they tried to walk along the bottom, until their brains died or the bottom feeders ate them up.

And Mike said the ones on the land were slowing down. Giving in to rot, Kurt figured.

After slipping on his shoes, Kurt exited his little captain’s office and was rewarded with a salute from Andre and a grin from a few others. It was a nice day. A sunny day. The sun had made their skin glow, and no one was ashore, no one was at risk, not immediately anyway. He crossed his arms and let the salty wind blow through his sun-kissed hair.

Suddenly Kurt’s heart jerked in his chest, and he turned toward the boat he shared with his family. A little squeal launched into the air along with Pippa, who was deftly caught again by her grinning father. Kurt hopped onto the bridge and came storming across. Blaine caught his eye as he approached, smirked, and gave her another light toss.

The girl squealed and giggled. Into the air, and then close, close to daddy’s chest. Safe and sound. Kurt stood at the edge of the bridge, hesitating. Blaine strolled over and looked up at him.

“Aye, aye, cap’n.”

“Are you gonna start singing pirate songs, too? I’m not sure I can take it.” Kurt dropped down and blinked at Blaine and their daughter. The sight before him seemed familiar somehow.

“No, you know I only sing pop princesses and Roxy Music,” Blaine teased.

He was happy. Blaine had his bad days, still. Dark days. Moments when he stood in front of his brother and looked like he might throw him overboard, if the man hadn’t proven himself useful as their diplomat/fake leader twice now. Some days he stared out the window with a haunted expression, and he still jumped at unexpected touch, as they both did.

But today he was happy. Today he held their little peanut, playing with her and just being a daddy while Kurt worked.

“Do I need to be more productive?” Blaine asked.

“No. Someone needs to raise these children we keep amassing.”

Blaine tilted his head to the side and narrowed his eyes. “You look all serious face.”

“No, I don’t. That’s just how my face looks.” Kurt crossed his arms. He looked out over the boat city. Rafe was lowering himself, very tentatively, onto the main deck below the bridges where everyone was working. Nick held his arms up and motioned him forward.

“I won’t let you fall!” Nick encouraged. Rafe made his way forward dubiously. The way the city moved under them, even if it was slight, sometimes made it difficult for Rafe to keep his balance.

To his credit, Nick did catch him. Kurt couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Nick was chattering on about one of the building projects they were planning, as Rafe listened and nodded along.

“You do,” Blaine said. He walked over to the little play area Burt had set up a few weeks ago and lowered Pippa inside. She shook her little head, curls bouncing around, and instead of falling onto her bottom, held onto the railing tightly and leaned over it. Blaine chuckled and knelt down to squeeze her hand before taking a rag doll Carol had sewn for her and dancing it in front of Pippa. Her lips formed a circle and she grabbed it, shaking it in a mimicry of Blaine’s dancing, then squeezed it to her chest.

She fell over.

“Uh oh!” Blaine said.

Her face screwed up as though she were about to start screaming... then she caught sight of one of her blocks and rolled over onto her belly so she could crawl over to get it.

Blaine’s hand touched his chest, and he smiled so, so widely.

“I think I’m catching your psychic. I dreamed this,” Kurt murmured.

“What?” Blaine was mesmerized.

Kurt sat down behind him and wrapped his arms around Blaine’s waist. “Well, not exactly this. I dreamed this place. I dreamed us, in the sun with her, watching her grow up. That was my wedding day dream. I’d hoped we could make it real.”

“I wish my crazy-random psychic dreams were like that.” Blaine touched Kurt’s hand. “All I get are bad things happening to you.”

“None have happened, though, right?”

“The first one where we got swarmed by walkers did,” Blaine grumbled. “And Pretty-Ugly guy got too close for my comfort.”

Kurt tucked his chin over Blaine’s shoulder. “We don’t have to worry about that anymore. Let’s just worry about what’s coming up. Like... teething. And my milk drying up.”

“It’s okay though.” Blaine squeezed his knee. “She doesn’t need as much now that she’s getting some other food. You’re providing for her just fine.”

“It just worries me. That’s all.”

Pippa stared at her blocks intently, then started stacking the blue ones on top of each other. An offending yellow block got tossed to the side with a squeak.

“Well, I’m sure Van could provide some extra.” Blaine bit back a laugh.

“Don’t even joke. What would you have done if I’d grown that much up top?”

Blaine turned his head. “Y’know, I think I can see them from here...”

“You’re awful. But she won’t have any to spare, with twins.”

“Are they sure now?” Blaine snuggled back into Kurt’s chest.

“I think Van was sure a month ago.” Kurt kissed the back of Blaine’ neck and squeezed him tighter. “You can feel... I don’t know. I just think if I’d had twins in there, I would figure it out, especially after having had one already.”

Pippa knocked her blocks over, then got on her knees and started towards them. “Mamama...”

“She’s going to take over the world, y’know,” Kurt said. “She’s so smart.”

Blaine reached out for her and she hurried over to them with a little grunt. He separated from Kurt to lift her out and she started flapping her hands and cooing.

“Aw. She missed you.”

“Sorry, Pip. I work too much for a seventeen year old.” Kurt took her, and Blaine went into the house. Contented to have the sun on his skin and the weight of his baby against his body, Kurt just breathed the sea air in deep. Pippa squirmed, and so he picked up the yellow block she’d tossed their way and handed it to her.

She looked at it, threw it, and laughed excitedly when it bounced and squeaked again.

“So, yellow’s not your favorite color, huh?” Kurt hugged her to him. She stiffened a little, but then burrowed her face into his shoulder. He rubbed her back slowly. “I’m here. I’m always here. Don’t worry. We made this place for you.”

Blaine was grinning dopily as he returned with a plate and a little bowl.

“Ah, we’re gonna try to feed her?” Kurt was glad he’d taken a break. He had been so busy lately, getting the city off the ground, that sometimes Blaine was taking the heavy in looking after Pippa. Which Blaine didn’t mind at all, of course, and had said was only fair, after Kurt had to do most of the work in bearing and caring for her early on, but Kurt still wanted to be with her as much as he could.

So he held her close as Blaine tried to feed her some oatmeal and fruit and smooshed egg yolk, and get it somewhere into her mouth. It was pretty entertaining, actually. Blaine always was, when engulfed by full daddy-mode. He did the little airplane and sang, and wiped her little chin.

“You think she’ll want some milk?” Blaine asked as he was putting things away.

“I think she asks for it whenever she wants it. I’m a little put out, actually. I thought babies were supposed to cling to the tit as long as they could and scream like monsters when you try to give them anything else.”

Blaine grinned. “She had some this morning. And she’ll want it tonight. She’s just more interested in playing and looking at everything right now.”

Kurt looked down at Pippa, who was already wiggling to be put down. He set her in her pen and watched her return to her blocks and start smacking them together to make them squeak.

“Yeah, she likes to be close before she goes to sleep... Where did Mike find those?” Kurt asked.

Blaine shrugged as he collected the lunch plates. “I dunno, but she loves the sound.” He paused. “That’s what I like most about being out here. I think back to all those moments of having to be perfectly quiet, and it scares me, what it would have been like for her to grow up like that.”

“What if he doesn’t make it?” Kurt’s lips barely let sound past.

“It won’t be your fault,” Blaine replied, just as quietly.

Downstairs and all around them were groaning, decaying monsters, and his body shook with exhaustion and pain. Even if the contractions ripped his body apart, Kurt wouldn’t make a peep.


Kurt shuddered.

“I remember. It is peaceful out here.” Kurt rose to his feet and surveyed the boat city once again. People were moving about again, out on their regular daily business. Everyone had jobs, even the children. Much like Survivor Town, but there were risks to all this peace. “I worry that if we’re attacked, we won’t be ready.”

“We have people guarding all the time. There’s no point in worrying.” Blaine headed toward the door. “Will you be over here for a while?”

“Yeah. I’ll let Forest give a look over the supply inventories and building plans. They’re mostly complete.”

“You should delegate that.”

“I will in a few months. I think it makes people feel better, though, if they know I’m on top of everything. I’m not the expert on all of these things, but for some reason they trust me. It’s not like I’m directing a musical or anything.”

Blaine paused at the doorway. His lips were curving, with some secret amusement.

Kurt let him keep it, for now.

***


Scraps of songs echoed in Blaine’s ears. His ear rested to Kurt’s chest and felt the music of their world with his body. It wasn’t as easy to come by as it had been when he’d been growing up, and so he sang to his daughter whenever he could, trying to make sure she had music in her life.

Others in their boat city sang, too. A bit of old music here, a sea shanty there, and then of course, Nick sometimes sang random songs about what he was doing, or rifts that he’d memorized to help him keep things sorted in his head.

And of course, Kurt’s heart. Singing deep baritone inside him. The wind of his breath. The soft noises of Pippa in her crib. Blaine was awake tonight because he’d been getting lost in violent memories. A glimpse of the men dragging up the scraggly leftovers of a walker that afternoon had brought things back. It had been dead, but the memories seemed like they would never die.

So he held onto Kurt, and to Pippa. It was like Nick did, with his silly songs. When he’d first been rehabilitating, he would get confused, so he held himself still and began reciting what he knew to be true, beginning with his name, and who he knew, and what had happened, and his love with Rafe. He’d turned it into a song, and Blaine figured he was the same.

Darkness started to descend around him, and he felt all the anger, and panic, and confusion. So Blaine started at the beginning.

I am Blaine Anderson Hummel. I am Kurt’s husband, and Pippa’s father. I love them, and I protect them. Our world is dead, but we made a new one. My brother is Cooper. My sister is Tianna, and my brother-in-law Finn, who is with Van, who is having twins in four months.

And on and on.

He should make up a song the way Nick did. Maybe it would help calm him more.

“Hello, world, I hear you’re gone,” Blaine sang softly to himself. “I sing to you, Blaine Anderson.”

Kurt sighed in his sleep, and Blaine moved his hand over Kurt’s side.

“As I lie here with my forever love,” Blaine continued, “and listen to the sea winds above. For as long as we may breathe, we are one, and moving both together, may our faces greet the sun. Our daughter-love for always grows strong and sweet and brave, and little girl, we will always both quell and cheat the grave.”

Kurt shifted and pressed his lips to Blaine’s hair. “Did you say something?”

“I’m coming up with a ballad. A ballad of the Hummel-Anderson clan.” Blaine lifted his eyes to see what Kurt was thinking, but his weary eyes had closed again, and he merely rolled over and cuddled close to Blaine.

So Blaine sang softly to himself, putting lyric to where they’d been, and who they were.

***


Nick sat cross-legged on the stoop leading down to the promenade. They’d done good work rebuilding the bridge. It was likely what their city was best at. Taking scraps of what was and putting it to good use. In his head there was a tenuous connection to Kurt and scraps fabric and making it work, but he couldn’t pull it together at the moment, nor did it matter.

The waves moved around them, although they didn’t rock the boat city much. The city was large enough, had enough anchors down, that they had a somewhat reliable surface to walk on. It really only caused problems for Rafe, and Van when she’d still been getting sick.

Nick closed his eyes. He could hear the ocean, and the birds (who always seemed to be nearby-- clearly the plague that had destroyed most of mankind didn’t bother them, much), and Saffire teasing Jake a few boats away, and Kurt sounding too serious for his age in the other direction where he was meeting with Forest, and Burt, and Carol and some of the other adults. Meanwhile, there were feminine whispers down in a hard to see corner of the promenade. Tianna and Santana. And Santana sounded sad-angry instead of just angry, but they were just talking about everyday stuff, so he didn’t understand.

He scrunched up his brow and touched the side of his head. He would never rightly be able to believe that Tianna had almost killed him. He’d heard the story, of course. Many times, like most stories in their group. Everyone told him and told him, some more patient than others. But Rafe? The bite leached out of his voice when Nick asked to be told. He’d only gotten snappish with Nick once. Or once that Nick could remember. Like he was so grateful to have Nick still around that he couldn’t be angry that Nick was having a fuzzy-headed moment.

It wasn’t fair. And it couldn’t last. Could it?

He tilted his head to the side, then pushed himself to his feet. He could hear Van singing. He jogged along the bridge that led to the community boat to see her there tending the garden they’d set up on the deck (where had they gotten the plants again?), then stood on the edge for a moment listening. At first the song didn’t seem to have a melody, but Nick worked out after a moment that she was just making it up as she went along, or trying to find the melody.

The words he knew, or he thought he knew. He’d heard this somewhere before, about the vaccines and madness and hiding in the air vents of the refugee center. When she shifted verses, it was clear she was singing about Finn, and these verses seemed a little more stable.

“It’s about you,” Nick blurted as the song began to describe their exodus from the refugee housing.

Van turned and gave him a bright smile. “Hey. How are you feeling?”

Nick ruffled the hair on the side of his head, then dropped onto the deck of the boat and came to her side to help her. “Okay. I was just listening. Sorry.”

“No apology needed. It’s not a secret. I’m just trying to work it out. It’s not as easy to remember as I thought it would be.”

Nick picked up a trowel to hand to her so she didn’t have to get up and get it. “Yeah, tell me about it.”

Van chuckled. “I heard Kurt and Blaine singing harmonies about their adventures the other day. I thought our kids would like to have songs about our family, too, so I’m working on one for Finn and me, but we don’t start in the same place.”

“Yeah.” Nick nodded. “If I were a kid now, I’d want to hear how it all happened.”

“Maybe you should work on one with Rafe,” she suggested, patting the dirt around a green bit of fluff sprouting out of the plot of soil, which was probably food of some kind underneath.

(How she’d gotten stuck with gardening duty today, Nick didn’t know. Maybe she’d offered. But she shouldn’t. She was so tiny and round, or round in the one place. Everything had to be hard like this. It was funny because when they were still on the road, everyone had been joking that Finn made giant babies, but apparently he just made a lot of them.)

Nick caught the expectant look on her face and realized he’d gotten distracted by his thoughts again. What had they been talking about? Her children? Beets? Songs. Making memory songs.

“Rafe has some of the craziest stories you ever heard about surviving,” Nick managed.

“I’d love to hear them, if he’s ready,” she said gently.

“I dunno. Maybe we can work on that. I’d like to be able to help him with something.”

“I think you help him more than you know.” Van hung tended the ground another minute, then set the tools back in a box and closed it. “You help him without realizing it. In my mind, that’s the reason you call someone your life partner these days. The one to whom your heart has connected. The one without whom you wouldn’t be able to go on.”

Nick’s lips quirked up on one side. “That’s like crazy poetic.”

“Oh.” Van scoffed. “Don’t listen to me. I’m hormonal.”

“You really think he needs me that much?”

“I think you’ve stopped noticing all the times you help him when he stumbles. I’m not being poetic there; I’m being literal. It’s second nature, the two of you leaning on each other.” She shrugged. “It’s hard to be period. I’m glad around here it’s okay to grow around the people you care about, and lean on them as much as they lean on you. I guess that makes us vulnerable in some ways, but we’re doing better than most have.”

“No joke.” Nick looked up at the sky and saw the bright clear blue. Brighter than he’d seen living in Ohio, though Westerville wasn’t exactly out in the country. The clouds in fluffy white and gray drifted by, utterly unconcerned with them and their problems, and their worries about all these silly human things.

“Nick?” Van was standing by him now, touching his shoulder. How had she gotten up by herself? “It’s going to rain. We should get inside.”

Nick didn’t really want to ask how long he’d been staring at the sky. “I think Rafe’s in our boat.”

“We can go see Rafe.” Van waited for him to rise, then let him follow by her side.

As she climbed onto the bridge, Nick took her hand to steady her, and noticed for the first time how instinctively his hands moved forward in support.

***


“Drink up! Drink up! Yo-ho!”

Santana could hear the singing from her cabin where she was fixing a few braids that were trying to unravel. She was pretty sure that people were just making up the freaking pirate songs now.

A light rap on the doorframe caught her attention, and her hand was on the hilt of her sword before the person moved a hair’s breadth.

Tianna raised her hands over her head. “Just checking to see if you wanted to come over to the community boat.”

“Who needs to go over? I can hear them screeching like cats from in here.”

“Okay. We could stay here.” The small woman settled on a chair near the door.

It wasn’t hard to see how she’d slipped through people’s notice, before joining their group. Tianna was a woman who could pass for a child, and perhaps did need similar ethical guidance on occasion, but when they were still, Santana could see past that. She saw a powerful (and dangerously brilliant) woman. She saw a strength that she didn’t really believe that her brothers had. Cooper was useful, in his way, but was still marked by his mistakes. (Santana would never see him otherwise; the man had brought Brittany’s murderers on them.) Blaine had won his strength out in the killing fields with Kurt, protecting his family. But it hadn’t been there before. She had talked with him about that, sometimes, because as combative as she had been as a cheerleader, she sort of felt the same. This soft, vulnerable creature turned berzerker.

But weren’t they all scarred.

“Who’s this ‘we’ you’re talking about?” Santana breezed.

“You. And me,” Tianna said bluntly.

“I’m not interested in that right now,” Santana snapped back.

“Fair enough. I just thought maybe you’d like to compose an I Am for Britt. Since she won’t be able to do her own. Some of the others told me that she liked writing songs.”

Santana turned, momentarily undone. Brittany had written the silliest, most amazing songs. Who had told Tianna that? Who would have?

Probably Kurt. He and Britt had a connection. Maybe they didn’t always understand each other, but it was there.

Why no Britney, Brittany?

Don’t be mean. He’s my special unicorn.

The bouncing cheerleader is right; this needs more glitter.


“What’s an I Am?” Santana asked.

“It started with how Nick is dealing with his head trauma--” Tianna paused to take a cringing breath. “--and our first couple picked it up. It’s a song starting from what you know is true, about yourself and how you survived, and moving forward to what you hope.”

Tension filled Santana’s jaw, and tears pricked her eyes.

To sing Brittany’s hopes.

God, it would be a song the little Pipper-doodle knew when she grew up. It would be a memory of Brittany long after her funeral was forgotten. And Santana knew that other people were starting to forget her. First the ones who didn’t really know her would forget, and then her friends, even those who tried. There was just too much pulling their focus to keep her alive in memory.

Santana sat on the bed and patted the spot beside her. “We can write. If you can hear yourself think over these idiots.”

Tianna’s lips curved. “I grew up with two quarreling diva-boys and screaming parents. I know how to block out nonsense.”

***


Socials weren’t Kurt’s favorite activity for the community, but he acknowledged their importance. They were a time for the majority of them gather and keep their bonds close. They were a time for mourning their lost members and celebrating still being alive.

Kurt leaned against the wall of the cruise boat, arms crossed, as he watched his people.

Granted, Kurt thought his anxiety probably had something to do with that stray (Arizona, Tianna had said they called him) entering their homes and trying to rape him and then Santana when it turned out he was a HE and Blaine had a gun. Kurt found his normal empathies unable to extend to the dead man, since the crazy asshole had gone to another house to try the same thing, with the same result, save for Brittany pulling the trigger.

Or maybe it had to do with what had come after his wedding.

Santana got up onto the stage first as people were still filtering into the boat. This space had been a ballroom for performers on the cruise boat they’d liberated from walkers. Now it was their place for community gatherings. Kurt wished he could focus on Santana’s song. His body was on alert, and these songs... Well, they were good for stimulating memory.

He shouldn’t have invested so much in finding someone alive in the forests near Columbus. Kurt shouldn’t have put his hope on anything. How could he? How could he hope now?

Now all he could do was mourn.

“There is no future. There is no pa-a-ast. I live this moment as my last,” he sang, letting his voice float out of him. Blaine stood by him, tension in every muscle of his body. They so were exposed here. “There’s only us. There’s only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other hope, no other way. No day but today...”

There was no hope. He was out of hope. But he just couldn’t lay down and die now. It just wasn’t an option for him, even as more and more kept being stripped away from them.


“Cheer up, kid,” Burt said from behind him.

Kurt jumped and looked at his father with wide, accusing eyes.

“Sorry.” He didn’t sound at all sorry.

“Ya’d think a man with heart problems would avoid sneaking up on people.”

Burt chuckled and leaned against the wall with him. “Ya’d think around a group like this, anyone’d avoid sneaking up on people.”

“Truth.” Kurt grimaced and looked up at the stage. Van and Finn were singing now. Looking dopily in love and happy. That was good. Good for everyone to see families succeeding, growing, being happy. But how had he missed them getting up there?

“What’s wrong? You’ve got a puss on.”

“I don’t have a ‘puss’ on.”

Burt bumped his shoulder.

“I’m just thinking about these songs, and what they mean for us.” Kurt shifted his weight, but didn’t relax his posture. “And... It just reminds me of when Blaine and I had finally gotten to Columbus. There were so many detours. Walkers everywhere. Stupid homophobic rednecks. Blaine had been injured and... and I had just found out that I was pregnant, and was staunchly in denial because we got there and you... weren’t there.

Burt raised a brow and moved closer.

“The city was destroyed, and the people who had escaped were all walkers, and I was... And then Blaine wanted to kill himself, and I just...” Kurt swallowed. Tears should be near, but he just couldn’t even summon that. The memory was that overwhelming. He felt the weight of his father’s arm around him.

“Wish I had been there for you boys. There’s nothing I regret more.”

“You would’ve been dead,” Kurt reasoned. “No one survived there. The only choice was to keep going. I don’t blame you for leaving me.”

“I never said you did! But I’ll mope about it if I wanna. All of you do.”

Kurt frowned at his father, then smiled slightly at the joke. Of course, they all did. Of course, his father had his grief as well. They all missed Carole. Finn and Burt more than anyone, but Kurt missed her, too. He wished he’d had the chance to spend more time with his stepmother.

“Sorry.”

“What for?”

“I dunno,” Kurt murmured.

“I think it would help if you didn’t look so serious. You look like... Somethin’s wrong. Is there?” Burt waited a minute, then smirked and lowered his voice. “You pregnant?”

“No!” Kurt glared at him, then laughed. “Dad, I would tell you if there were something wrong. I would.”

He pushed air into his mouth, letting his lips bow outward, then exhaled. People had eased up on the I Ams and were just having a good time, at the moment.

“We’re not really just a settlement of survivors anymore. You know that, right?” Kurt said.

“Yeah? You think so?”

“We’re more than a random group of people. We’re more than a community. We’re a culture out here.” His lips spread slightly as he shook his head and said what he’d been thinking, as strange as it bizarre to him. “If people found our bodies a hundred years from now, they would study us for our customs and the literature we produced.”

“That’s a little grim,” Burt said. “Or optimistic. A hundred years? Not too shabby.”

Kurt didn’t look at him. He just worked to keep the furrow out of his brow.

“Right now, for me, personally? Sometimes I think that the scariest thing in this world, and that’s saying a lot, is having hope right there. And just... taking that leap. Letting yourself hope that everything won’t be destroyed in a second when something or someone intrudes into this home we’ve worked so hard to create.”

Burt watched him for a moment longer, and then Kurt found himself swept up in a forceful hug. He fought it for a moment, looking over his shoulder, and then wondered why he would ever resist affection from his father. If his dad thought that he needed a hug, he probably did. Everyone had been telling him what a sourpuss he looked like.

He closed his eyes and hugged Burt back with all his strength.

Behind him, Kurt heard a few ‘aw’s. These people, his friends and family and survivors, they cared about him. Not just as their leader, either.

There was a lot of weight on Kurt’s shoulders, but nothing bad happened that night. And he might have to get used to the idea that nothing catastrophic might occur for some time.

When Burt released him, watching him with concern, Santana came up behind him, grabbed his hand, and made him dance with her. Blaine let out a whoop and danced Pippa in his arms. People clapped around them, and they followed suit as Santana began singing ABBA.

Kurt let himself laugh, and dance.

Date: 2013-03-04 06:34 am (UTC)
lastscorpion: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lastscorpion
Wonderful! It's kind of like a happy ending. I especially loved Burt hugging Kurt at the end, and Things were going so well that Kurt expected a monsoon. Awesome story! I'm really enjoying reading it!
,

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Jenny Wrayne

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