Kurt had opted to spend Friday at the shop working with Burt over spending any more time at McKinley. He had left the shop early to make sure he was at home on time to meet Blaine and to make dinner for everyone before his dad got home at 6:30. He had already showered and changed. He went outside and sat down in the double swing on the back deck to drink the last of the lemonade he had made the day before while he waited. He checked his phone to see the time – 4:50. Blaine should be there any time.
He closed his eyes and pushed the swing with his feet often enough to keep the swing moving back and forth slowly. He quietly sang through the song he was due to perform for Madame Tibideaux the next week. After the second time through, he stopped singing and let his mind wander to the picnic lunch with Blaine the day before.
"What was the story with this New York guy?"
"There's no story. He was nice and people liked the idea of us as a couple, but it never got serious."
Blaine had looked at him with such enthusiastic resolve.
"The last time we tried dating when I was in New York and you were here, you cheated on me, alright? That's unacceptable."
"We've been through this. I thought you were done with me. I thought it was over. I thought I was completely out of the picture in your life. Look at me in the eyes when I say this. I'm being beyond serious."
He looked at Blaine, skeptical still.
"I will never, ever, ever cheat on you again."
"I'm going to need you to sign one of those non-cheating contracts. You know, you can get one on Oprah's website."
"I will sign whatever you want. Just please say that you and I can be boyfriends again."
That's what he was waiting on. When they had talked at lunch during his break at the shop, Blaine said he would come by with a signed copy when he got out of school. He hadn't planned on kissing Blaine, but when he wrapped his arm around him and pulled him close, the kiss felt so comfortable.
Kurt ran through what they had said to each other again, but stopped when he got to the part where Blaine had said, "I thought you were done with me. I thought it was over. I thought I was completely out of the picture in your life."
Something didn't sit well. He racked his brain to recall what he had so effectively managed to push to the recesses of his mind.
"I was with someone."
The same dodgeball-to-the-chest feeling that hit him that night in the park hit him again full force.
"It didn't mean anything. It was just a hook up."
The stomach-churning nausea returned.
"I was by myself. I needed you. I needed you around and you weren't there. And I was lonely."
But that previous afternoon, Blaine had said that he thought Kurt was done with him. How could he think that he was completely out of the picture? The day Blaine came to New York in October, Kurt had just spoken on the phone at lunch. He remembered it clearly because Isabelle had heard him from the hall. She turned back at the time, so as not to eavesdrop on a personal call, but she had reminded him in her gentle motherly way that if it had been someone besides her, that he could have jeopardized his potential at getting a paid position at Vogue. He took her admonition seriously and didn't call Blaine back until after he left the building, but his call had gone straight to voicemail. He realized later that Blaine had been on an airplane with his phone off at the time. He tried a second time after he got back to the loft, but he still got Blaine's voicemail.
He was trying to convince Finn to change into something nicer than "dad" jeans and a rugby shirt around 9:30 that evening when Blaine showed up unexpectedly. He thought about it. It had been about ten hours since he had talked to him. And he had left two voicemails in that length of time.
The weight of how he put himself through the ringer trying to figure out how he hadn't been there for Blaine had nearly crushed him. Other than the obvious issue that he was in New York City and Blaine was in Lima, he had never come up with anything. They texted and talked on the phone every day. They Skyped. They even watched TV shows together while they were Skyping and talked while they watched. Kurt listened to Blaine talk about the new clubs he had joined and about his senior class presidential campaign. Maybe he had gotten a little tetchy about the bowties, but he couldn't imagine anyone at McKinley caring one way or the other. Maybe he hadn't been as supportive as he could have been, but he was human and listening to Blaine regale him with stories of succeeding where he had failed yet again was a bit much to handle sometimes.
He had done nothing to give Blaine any indication that he was "done with him" or that he was "out of the picture". Why the change of excuse? It was definitely an excuse because there was never a justifiable reason for cheating.
It all began to sound like sound bites created to sell him something. The wedding-that-wasn't popped up into his mind. He shook his head. What a mess. He recalled what Blaine said as Kurt redressed.
"Tell me now that we're not back together."
Kurt continued to button his shirt. "It was fun, but…"
"I'm not going to let you minimize this, Kurt. It's no accident that we were together on Christmas and again on Valentine's Day. And we're going to be together for many, many more no matter how much that you pretend that this doesn't mean anything."
He had forgotten about that. It had just been a month. It seemed like longer, but those words took on a different meaning thinking about it as he sat there.
He had stayed through the weekend and casually brought up Burt's trip to New York and how much he had enjoyed going to see the Rockettes. He slipped in asking about what had made him choose that particular show and what had prompted him to visit New York.
"Oh, Blaine helped me with that. He looked through what shows there were and recommended it. He said the two of you had talked about going skating at Christmas, but then when he said you couldn't come home due to needing to work, he suggested how much fun it would be to surprise you and take you to a Christmas show like I did when you were growing up. He talked about how you told him how much that meant to you. So, I decided that we'd bring Christmas to you. I booked a ticket using my frequent flyer miles. He paid for his own on a different airline with a better price that arrived a couple of hours after mine. He ordered the tickets for the show. And we headed off for the Big Apple a week later. I was really glad that he had suggested it."
His mind flashed back to the hotel again. "It was no accident we were together."
Another question popped into his mind as he replayed the hotel scene in his mind. Why did Blaine have condoms and single-use lube packets in his wallet?
"Oh," Kurt said out loud. It definitely wasn't an accident. Blaine had come prepared. And unless he was counting on one of the guests being gay, he had come prepared for Kurt to be the one using them.
His revelation brought him back to the present. He checked his phone again for the time. 5:20. Where was Blaine? He called him, but he got Blaine's voicemail. He left a message.
He leaned back and his mind replayed what he has said about his relationship with Adam. "It never got serious." Only because Kurt wasn't letting it.
"Thanks for giving me shelter from the storm. I was a little sad that we weren't snowed in longer."
"I always get a little sad when the sun comes out and the snow starts to melt and all the snowmen look like they have scoliosis."
Adam smiled and chuckled.
"But it was nice to hang out and watch a few movies."
"Well, a movie."
"Look, about that. I'm going to ask you something and I want you to be honest. You and Blaine did used to sing that duet together, didn't you?"
"Yeah." Kurt paused briefly. "But it feels like a lifetime ago. Maybe that's what's hard about it."
"You still love him, don't you?"
Kurt had been tongue-tied and hadn't responded. He knew he couldn't lie to Adam, but the truth had been too hard to admit out loud.
"Was I your rebound?"
"No… No." He wasn't using Adam. He really enjoyed Adam's company. He just didn't know how to let go of Blaine.
"'Cause I can't compete with a fantasy, Kurt."
"I desperately want to be over him. Really, I do," Kurt said sincerely.
Adam stepped forward. "Good. Then, let's go to the movies right now."
Kurt looked surprised.
"Oh, I'm serious. We are going to go and find the sappiest love story that we can, and then that will be our movie." He reached out and took Kurt's hand.
Kurt had looked down as Adam touched his hand. His eyes met Adam's again and he looked both surprised and happy.
"Alright. Let me grab my coat and my bag."
Adam followed him to the side of the room and waited for him to put his jazz shoes in his bag and put his boots back on. Once he had his coat on, he reached for the bag and put it on over his head cross-body, so that he had both hands free. Adam reached for his hand again once he had his coat fastened. They slipped their gloves on before they walked out of the building. Adam retook Kurt's hand and led him down to the bus stop where they waited for a few minutes, standing with their shoulders touching, holding hands.
When they got off the bus, they walked the few blocks to the theatre. When they got close enough to the ticket window, they looked down the list.
"Have you seen Letters to Juliet? Adam asked.
"I actually haven't. The girls got together to watch it one night when I was at boarding at Dalton, so I missed it. I never rented it and watched it on my own."
Adam stepped forward. "Two for Letters to Juliet, please." He slipped a $10 bill through the pass-through below the window and took the two tickets.
They thoroughly enjoyed the movie. They went to dinner afterwards. Adam was more than clear on the fact that he was interested in an exclusive relationship with Kurt.
That had been two and a half weeks ago.
The best Kurt could offer was something beyond platonic, but not much. They had moved from "sort of dating" to officially casually dating. Adam was willing to give Kurt time. That's where things were when he left New York the previous week to visit Lima.
The Apples were an amazing group of people and they were the ones that loved the idea of them as a couple. Santana seemed to be hell-bent on making Adam as uncomfortable as possible at the loft in her unique passive-aggressive way. Rachel was polite at the loft and ignored Adam at school, which Kurt had expected and was just relieved that she wasn't being antagonistic publicly.
"I desperately want to be over him." He heard his own words repeat in his mind over and over again. He took a deep breath and finished off his lemonade. He got up and took the glass back inside.
He was surprised to see Finn in the kitchen.
"Hey, dude! I didn't know you were home. It's weird that you don't have it anymore. I'm still used to seeing the Nav in the driveway when you're home."
Kurt noticed the clock on the stove – 5:45. "Well, it's weird to be home and drive at all, especially that little compact car Dad's let me drive this week. You want to help me get dinner started? I'll give you the easy jobs and you can tell your mom you did half of it."
"Sure," he chuckled. "She'll know I didn't, but I'll help you, just tell me what to do."
Kurt set him to stand at the stove and stir the sauce he was making to keep it from sticking. He started sautéing chicken he had boiled earlier. He chopped vegetables as well. "I have a weird question for you. You helped with the wedding planning. Did you create the set list for the reception?"
"Oh, um. No, Blaine volunteered to do that. He said he had plenty of time and knew whose voices would sound good together from the New Directions and the new New Directions members. Why?"
"I was just curious."
"We were both stupid, you know. I know you slept with him. Rachel gave me some bullshit about open modern relationships and how she was single even though Brody was living with the two of you."
"Well, if were discussing stupid choices, you need to kick Puck out of your dorm before someone reports you and you get expelled. I overheard him talking. I don't know where your real roommate is, but you better find him and apologize. Getting expelled will most likely prevent you from being able to attend other universities."
"It's crazy there."
"It's not a good place for you, Finn. I know I sound like a scold, but we've just finally gotten to where we're good – you and me. We can talk and be like normal brothers. If you keep up the partying… I just want you to be safe and getting wasted and doing indoor slip-n-slides is not safe. And I don't just mean your health, which I also care about. I'm talking about your future. Yeah, I get that it's fun, but seriously how much water damage do you think that caused? I'm pretty sure it's enough for the school to sue you for damages. It was in your dorm hallway and you did nothing to stop it. Do you think that any of the people that were there that don't live there will step up and say they were part of it? Not a chance."
"Fine, fine. Calm down. You're going to chop your finger off. I get it. Puck and I are being screw-ups. It's just so much fun."
"I get that. I really do. But it won't be fun at all when our parents find out. Do you really think 'US Congressman Burt Hummel's Stepson Expelled from College' will be the headline Dad will want to see?"
"Oh, God. I hadn't thought about that."
"Well, think about it and stop doing things that could make Dad lose elections. He's trying to make a difference for a lot of people."
"I get it. I get it. I'll stop. I promise."
"I'm flying out tomorrow afternoon. By the time I land, I expect to see photos of your dorm room. Clean and organized, and Puck's stuff not there. No alcohol in your room at all. I looked it up. It's a dry campus, which means no alcohol period. And on top of that, you're 19."
Kurt heard the front door shut.
Carole called out. "What are the two of you two arguing about?"
Kurt answered. "We're not arguing. We're making dinner together. We were just discussing the differences between living on campus and off. It got a bit heated because I think off-campus is more conducive to studying, but I admit that the distance from campus is a big downside."
She looked at him and then at Finn. "Well, both have benefits. Finn's trying out living on campus for this trimester, but he's going to live here at home for the summer session since the dorms aren't open. He can see which way is more conducive to his learning. How can I help?" She washed her hands, dried them, and put her apron on.
By the time the food was ready, Burt was back from the shop. They all sat down together to eat.
Kurt asked, "Where's Sam?"
Carole answered, "He texted me after school and said that he wouldn't be home for dinner. Something about the New Directions staying late and working on a big piece?"
Finn said, "That doesn't make any sense. Next week's Spring Break. Plus, Regionals was last weekend."
"All I know is what he said." She shrugged her shoulders.
They talked about Carole's job as a nurse-by-phone that she had started at the beginning of the year and how she glad she was to be able to do it from DC just as easily as in Lima. Burt talked about legislation that was in the works. Kurt and Finn talked about their classes. When they finished eating, they packed up the leftovers. They played a few board games after everything had been cleaned up.
"I'm gonna miss you, Dude. Even your lectures," Finn teased, as he pulled Kurt into a hug before he left to go back to his dorm.
"Me too. I'm serious about what I said."
"I know. I know, Dude. I'll do it." He let go of Kurt and hugged Carole before he left.
After Finn left, Kurt made a pan of brownies and retrieved the ice cream he had gotten earlier that week from the deep freeze and put it in the upstairs refrigerator for when Unique and Mercedes arrived for dessert and a late movie at 10:00. Both he and Mercedes wanted to spend as much time with their families as they could, but they both knew their parents would go to bed early and they could sneak in a movie, and they could nap on their flights out the next day to make up for staying up late.
He put the brownies in the oven and called Blaine again on the way up to shower. He left a third voicemail. He put sweats on after he showered, grabbed one of his textbooks, and made it downstairs before the timer went off. He put the brownies on the stovetop to cool. He sat in the living room and studied until he heard a quiet knock on the front door.
He opened the door and was engulfed in a hug followed by a second hug. They went to the kitchen quietly. Kurt put a brownie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans on top in each bowl. They took their desserts downstairs and put in Dreamgirls, which they all knew from beginning to end, but it allowed them to watch and talk without missing anything.
When the movie ended, Unique had an unreadable expression on her face.
"What's going on?" Kurt asked.
"I'm trying to figure out where my loyalties lie. No matter my choice, I'm going to upset someone."
"Ooh, that's tough," Mercedes said. "Is this about what I think it's about?"
"Yes, but there's more to it than you know. I overheard something."
"Well, I was going to tell him anyway, so you can blame me if you want, and you can include the extra details at my expense. I don't live here anymore, so I'm not going to be put between a rock and a hard place at school for saying something."
"What are you two talking about?" Kurt asked.
Unique took a deep breath. "Blaine is going to propose to you tomorrow at Dalton. Your dad is going to drive you there before taking you to the airport."
Mercedes agreed with Unique. "It's true, Boo."
Kurt let her get away with the old nickname. "Propose to me? He hasn't even been answering my calls. He was supposed to come over after school today."
Unique sighed. "I know why that is. He hauled us across Ohio and back. We went to to talk Vocal Adrenaline, the Haverbrook choir, and the Warblers involved in person this afternoon. I literally just got back in town and we left school at 1:00, skipping our last two classes. Mr. Schue went with us, so I hope we don't get in trouble."
"You drove to Akron and Westerville?" He paused to try to remember where Haverbrook was. "Isn't Haverbrook in Dayton?"
She nodded. "It was nuts. Anyway, he's planned a big proposal for you. Sam and Tina went to the mall earlier this week with him and he bought a ring. She told me about it while we were driving around. She said there was this nice older lesbian lady who sold him the ring who was really excited for him."
Kurt realized that one of the older ladies they had gone out to dessert with Tuesday evening was the one who sold him the ring. He closed his eyes and willed himself to relax. He took a few deep breaths. "I just agreed to potentially give him a second chance yesterday."
"Yeah, I know," Unique said. "The extra info I overheard was him calling Rachel and Santana. They're flying in late tonight so they can be here tomorrow."
"This is insane."
"I know, Boo," Mercedes agreed. "I didn't know the whole thing about it being a big production. He just asked me to be at Dalton tomorrow morning. He set it up so that we'll be done in time for the two of us to catch our flights out. Dalton's not that far from the Columbus airport."
"So that's why Sam didn't make it home for dinner."
"He was with us," Unique said. "Look, all I know is that we have to be there an hour before you're going to show up to learn whatever it is that we're going to do. I know it involves you coming down the rotunda stairs and rose petals. Oh, and we all have to wear red. That's all I know."
"Well, I appreciate the two of you telling me. We better cut this short if I'm going to be awakened earlier than I had planned to get up." He stood up and stacked their bowls and spoons together to take them upstairs.
They followed him upstairs. He stopped to put the dishes in the dishwasher quickly, and then escorted them out to their cars. He hugged them both before they got in and drove off.
He went back inside, locked up, and went up to his room. He pulled the covers back and lay down. Bits and pieces of scenes floated around in his mind. Sleep was elusive, but eventually exhaustion won out.
The next morning, Burt knocked on his door quietly before opening it, obviously expecting Kurt to be asleep, but he was sitting at his vanity rubbing some moisturizer in.
"Hey, Bud. You're up early."
"Where did the suit hanging on the back of my door come from? It was in here last night when I came up to go to bed."
"Sam brought it in when he came back last night. He said he put it in your room before he went to bed. He told me to point it out to you before he left a few minutes ago. There are shoes and socks over by your chair by the window.
Kurt got up to look. "Dad, the socks are red. The shirt is deep magenta. Who picked this out?"
"I'm just going to ask you to wear it. Red, magenta, or whatever."
"Fine." Kurt rolled his eyes. He looked at the suit again and checked the pockets, exterior and interior. "There's no tie."
"Again. No clue. Sam just said for me to tell you to wear what he put in your room."
"Come down and eat now, so you can get dressed and we can go."
An hour later, Kurt hugged Carole goodbye and carried his stuff out to Burt's SUV. He waved as they drove off.
Burt said, "I know you were up late and got up early. Why don't you recline the seat a bit and close your eyes and rest for a while?"
"Sure, Dad." He grabbed the neck pillow out of his carry-on in the backseat, adjusted the seat so that he was comfortable, and closed his eyes. When he opened them again not quite an hour and a half later, he stretched a bit and put the pillow back in his carry-on and sat back up.
"Look, I know we usually take the highway to the airport, but somebody told me about this shortcut through the back roads."
Kurt looked over at him. "Dad, you can stop it. I know you're driving me to my surprise proposal."
"I should have known you knew. You're the kid who planned his own surprise party for his 10th birthday."
"That Justin Timberlake piñata was a perfect likeness."
Burt shrugged. "Well, I wouldn't know." He looked over towards Kurt. "You okay?" He looked back at the road. "You look like I'm driving you to your execution."
Kurt paused. "I can't tell. I mean I really love Blaine, and he makes me feel so connected and safe and loved. And I don't know if I'm ever going to find someone else who's going to make me feel like that. But we're both so young."
Burt told Kurt about how he and Kurt's mom met. They pulled up to the side of Dalton and they both got out.
"Do you wish you had waited?"
"Not one second more. I wish I'd met her ten years earlier. I didn't know then I was only going to get only so much time with her, you know – that she was going to leave us so soon." He went on a bit. "We only get a few days when you come down to it, Kurt You know that better than anyone." He mentioned Blaine taking to him about it, but wouldn't tell Kurt what he had told Blaine. He encouraged Kurt to go on inside. "I mean, all you gotta do is say 'yes', 'no', or 'maybe'."
"Is there another option?"
Kurt turned to walk inside. His own words bounced around in his head. "Safe." "Loved." "Connected." He considered other words that he hadn't chosen like respected, attractive, appreciated. He knew he still loved Blaine. He wondered if he could ever stop loving Blaine. But he knew that the only reason he didn't feel those three things he had listed with Adam is because he was keeping him at arm's distance still.
Blaine came out of the building. They stood face to face. Kurt followed him inside and heard the lyrics he knew, but he started to think about them for the first time as he hugged Santana, Mercedes, and Rachel while the Warblers sang backup for Blaine. He followed Blaine into the hall and the New Directions were there along the right. He hugged several of them as the Warblers reassembled in a line to the left.
Everyone continued to sing as Rachel took over and led him through the dancing. This was definitely a spectacle. A show. To prove his love for Kurt. To show the world that he was proud enough to ask Kurt to marry him publicly.
Kurt moved into the next room, which was filled with Vocal Adrenaline singing and dancing along as if they were performing for a competition, with lifts and spins. He followed Rachel through the room to the top of the stairs in the rotunda. Santana and Mercedes followed along behind them. As he went down the stairs rose petals began falling from above. The Haverbrook students lined the stairs signing.
Kurt looked out over the crowd as everyone reassembled at the bottom of the stairs. He saw Blaine looking up at him expectantly. He remembered waiting expectantly for hours the day before, only to have him not call or text.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love, love.
Love is all you need.
Love is all you need.
He loves you. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
Love is all you need.
He loves you. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.
Love is all you need.
The music finished. Everyone clapped and cheered. Blaine stepped up a few steps to be closer to Kurt. He began to speak.
Kurt did his best to focus.
"…Our hands were meant to hold each other fearlessly and forever."
Blaine's speech was getting to him already. He reminded himself. I'm 19. I was opposed to Finn and Rachel getting engaged in high school, so was my dad.
"… to find each other and fall in love all over again, over and over again for all eternity."
"I was with someone. I needed you and you weren't there."
"And I feel so luck to find you so soon in this life time."
"I thought you were done with me."
"All I want to do, all I've ever wanted to do was spend my life loving you."
A memory from another room in Dalton two years back flashed into his mind. Just when he had given up, Blaine had suddenly told him. "I've been looking for you forever." It hadn't made sense at the time since Blaine had turned him down just a month prior, but maybe it did. Blaine needed Kurt. Blaine needed Kurt to support him and to love him.
But Kurt had learned to live without Blaine. He still loved him, but he had survived. Cheating wasn't a mistake. It was a choice. His mind flashed back to what he had said in the hallway after Grease. "Relationships are built on trust. And I don't trust you." Had that changed? Did he trust Blaine now? The answer was a resounding 'no'.
He couldn't let this go on." He refocused on what Blaine was saying.
Blaine reached back and got a ring box from Sam. "So, Kurt Hummel…"
Kurt stopped him. "Blaine, please wait."
Blaine's eyes flashed with anger, then confusion, like he had been interrupted during a performance, like someone else was stealing the limelight.
Kurt looked around again. Where were Carole and Finn? Where were Blaine's parents and Cooper? He managed to get Rachel and Santana to fly in. Why not Cooper?
"Why didn't you come by yesterday with what you said you'd bring?"
"Please, just answer me."
"I was busy planning this for you."
"A marriage is a set of vows two people make to each other. Vows are verbal promises. You broke your first one to me already. I said I'd consider us getting back together if you brought over what you were supposed to yesterday." Kurt was trying keep his voice low and his words vague enough to not humiliate Blaine, but so he knew exactly what Kurt was referring to.
"I was busy."
"Not busy enough to forget to send this outfit with Sam. You could have sent the other thing with Sam too."
Blaine's voice became desperate."Kurt, I told you I would never cheat on you again."
The room felt like the air had been sucked out of it.
"I can't marry you, Blaine. And the offer to consider getting back together is off too. I can't always be there for you, Blaine. We might end up in working in the cast of touring Broadway productions. We might end up having to take roles in different cities in order to get work early in our careers. I can't wonder if every time we're apart for more than two weeks you'll feel like you're completely out of my life and I'm done with you."
"Kurt, we're soulmates," Blaine insisted. "We're meant to be together."
"I've given you my answer."
"You said you'd never say goodbye to me."
"On the way here, I told my dad that you make me feel loved, and safe, and connected. But that's not really true anymore. That's how you used to make me feel. You do make me feel loved, but I don't feel safe and our connection always feels threatened by how perfectly I can live up to your expectations. Your love is conditional. You don't respect me or appreciate me. And I don't know if I can ever trust you again. The song lyrics convey a nice sentiment, but we really do need more than love. A relationship is built on trust and respect, as well as love. I wish you the best." He stepped to the side and made his way down the stairs and out the building without interacting with anyone else.
Blaine tried to follow him, but Burt blocked his way. "You cheated on Kurt two weeks after he went to New York?"
"It was a mistake. I've told him that I'm sorry at least a hundred times."
"I'm sure you have, but Kurt's trust is like that fancy Tiffany glass he likes so much. It's rare and worth a small fortune. And if you break it, you can't just fix it easily. Using a public proposal to try to fix what you did is like using super glue on one of those vases. It might look okay, but it will never hold water without leaking. Just leave him alone from now on. I gotta go take Kurt to the airport."
Kurt was standing by the SUV wearing a white undershirt, the turquoise slacks, and unlaced brown boots. As Burt got closer, Kurt pulled a hoodie on over the t-shirt and hopped into the front seat holding something in his hands.
When Burt climbed in, Kurt said, "Pull around to the front entrance on the other side of the school to the far end of the visitor's lot, under the trees. I'm going to switch to these jeans really quickly. You can step outside the SUV and keep anyone away while I do it."
Burt nodded and did as Kurt asked. He turned around when he heard Kurt open the back door. He walked around the side and saw Kurt putting the pants, the shirt, and the jacket back on the wood suit hanger and then into the garment bag it had been in.
"Can you open the back so I can hang it over the seat?"
Kurt grabbed the shoes too. "I'm sure he's not going to want to take these back, but I don't want them and I don't want to be accused of stealing them or not returning them or whatever. Just have Sam take them back to him."
"I can do that."
They both got back in and Burt headed for the airport.
"You need to get some help, Kurt. Find a counselor or a therapist or whatever. I'll pay for it if your school doesn't have one and whoever you like won't take your insurance."
Kurt nodded. "Alright."
"I'm proud of you. And I'm sorry, so sorry. I should have realized when Carole didn't say anything that something was going on. I thought she and Finn were going to ride over with some of the kids to save gas since I was going to take you on to the airport afterwards. When you stopped him, I looked around. That's when it dawned on me that that they weren't there. I don't know where my mind was. She would have left when Sam did if she was gonna ride over here with some of the kids."
"Blaine's parents and brother weren't there either. That's one of the things that caught my attention when I was standing there. He didn't invite anyone who might have objected."
"I should have asked you what was going on. I listened to him and just assumed he was telling me the truth."
Kurt shrugged. "I'm honestly used to it by now. He's manipulated me, you, Sam, Tina, and pretty much everyone who I ever considered myself to be on friendly terms with, but that's in the past. I'm going back to New York and I'm going to rebuild my life. I'm going to need a loan, though. I need to move out of the loft. I know where I can go for a few days until I find a place, but I'm going to need to make some quick changes. Coming here cost me a week's pay and the cost of the plane ticket. I've done my best not to ask you for anything, but I can't go back and live with Rachel and Santana. They both knew, Dad. And they supported this."
"I can do that. And not a loan. Carole's had some words with me about what a hard nose I've been about you making your own way while she paid for Finn's college expenses."
Kurt didn't comment on their disagreement. "I may not end up going back to NYADA in the fall. We'll see. But I'm not leaving New York. It's a metropolis. Surely he and I can co-exist in a place so large."
"Do you have any friends in New York?"
"I have potential friends – people I'd like to be friends with. It's just that Rachel doesn't like any of them. And since Santana moved in, the atmosphere in the loft is pretty volatile at times. It's not really a place I feel like I can invite people over to."
"I see." Burt turned into the passenger drop-off area.
"I'm sure that you don't."
"What do you mean?" He pulled over and parked.
"One time when Rachel and I weren't home during the day, Santana went through everything in the apartment. Everything. She nosed through every drawer, every box, every everything."
"You're right. I don't get it, but I'll transfer money into your account Monday morning as soon as the bank opens. Just let me know tomorrow how much you think you're going to need. You don't need to live with that type of nonsense."
"I'm going to find a place in Midtown, near the theatre district. I don't care if it costs $400 more a month than I'm paying now. I spend more than 40 hours a month commuting. I'd rather just work those hours." He got out and opened the back door to grab his suitcase and his carry on.
Burt rolled the passenger side window down.
Kurt closed the back and stepped up to the window. "I'm so relieved that the cancer's gone."
"Yeah, me too, Bud. Me too. Look, I want you to find a decent place. You start searching while you're waiting for your flight to board. Send me the best three or four after you land. I want to know what you options are."
"I'll do that. I need to get inside. I love you, Dad."
"I love you too, Bud. Let me know you get home safe."
Kurt nodded. He walked towards the entrance. He looked back and waved before we went inside. As he stepped through the automatic double doors, the whoosh of air blew in his face, like the winds of change, which caused him to pause for a second. He stepped forward into his future, this time leaving the past behind him for good.