Summary: ‘Today, Kurt married his best friend. Again.’
‘What was I thinking? What was he thinking?’ Kurt rambled, eyes wide as he paced. ‘I’m twenty-one, Dad! Blaine’s only twenty, we’re still in college, we’re still kids. We’re not old enough to get married! Oh, my god, we’re going to get divorced. Getting married so young will put too much pressure on us and we’ll fall apart and get divorced. I’m going to be a divorcee by the time I’m twenty-five.’
Burt had been letting Kurt rant himself out, hoping that venting his fears would make Kurt see that they were unfounded, but it was becoming obvious that Kurt wasn’t going to calm down any time soon. Burt stepped in front of Kurt, distracting him from his pacing, and clasped him by the shoulders. Kurt stopped talking and looked up at him.
‘Take a deep breath,’ Burt said quietly. Kurt closed his eyes and breathed. ‘And another.’ Kurt sighed this breath out and let Burt lead him over to the bed. ‘Have a seat,’ he said, letting go of Kurt’s shoulders only when he had settled himself on the bed. Kurt stared at his hands, lying limply in his lap, as Burt pulled a chair over until he could look Kurt in the eye. ‘Now, listen to me, are you young? Yes. Are you stupid? No.’ Kurt started to speak, and Burt held up a hand. ‘I was gonna save this story for the reception, but I think you need to hear it now.’
‘I don’t suppose you remember playschool,’ Burt said. Bemused, Kurt shook his head. ‘Well, it was a long time ago and, well, you didn’t have a great time of it.’
Kurt shifted on the bed, well able to imagine why he didn’t enjoy playschool.
‘And then, one day I come home and your mom tells me you’ve got a friend over. I look out the window and you and this kid are sitting out in the back garden having a tea party, and you’re smiling so wide I can see that missing tooth you were so self-conscious about.’ Burt settled in his chair, smiling fondly at the memory. ‘The second your mom told you I was home, you’re dragging this kid in to meet me, and he shakes my hand!’ Burt chuckled. ‘I’m sitting in my living room, looking at this little kid with wild curls and big brown eyes shaking my hand and calling me Mr Hummel and telling me how awesome my son is. Damn, if he didn’t look at you like you hung the moon.’ Burt looked directly at Kurt. ‘I’ve only ever seen one person look at you like that, Kurt.’
Kurt watched him with wide eyes. ‘Blaine,’ he said quietly.
Burt nodded. ‘And you couldn’t stop talking about him. Everything was Blaine; Blaine says this, Blaine thinks that, me and Blaine are gonna go to New York one day.’ Kurt blushed and Burt smiled at him. ‘Kid was ‘round so often, we probably saw more of him that his own family.’ Burt shifted uncomfortably and cleared his throat. ‘Anyway, one day, I’m watching the game and Blaine comes into the living room and asks to speak to me. You were off somewhere, but he said he wanted to talk to me alone, so I told him to take a seat. And he perches on our couch and tells me he’d heard one of the girls at school say that her mom said you should marry your best friend, and that, when you want to ask someone to marry you, you gotta ask their dad first.’ Burt reached automatically to adjust the ball cap he wasn’t wearing, and ran a hand over his head instead. ‘So, he tells me, you’re his best friend, so he’s asking me if he can marry you.’
Kurt couldn’t help but laugh at the image. ‘What did you say?’ he asked.
‘Nothing at first,’ Burt admitted. ‘I just stared at him, just…that it was just that simple for him; you’re his best friend, so he should marry you. It gave me…hope, I guess. I said yes, though, and he just beamed at me and said thank you. You,’ Burt laughed again, ‘you looked like you were gonna burst with happiness when you came in that night. You had this little ring on your hand made out of gum wrappers and you and your mom talked all through dinner about what you and Blaine should wear for your wedding and whether you should have it in the living room or the back garden.’
Kurt leaned closer, arms wrapped around himself as he listened.
‘You got “married” on the Saturday. You insisted both of you should wear bowties because it was “fancy” and your mom should give you away because dads give girls away at weddings, so moms must give boys away.’
‘What about you?’ Kurt asked.
‘I was the…minister, I guess. Your mom wrote some vows for you, she was always better with words than me, about always listening to each other and helping each other and being best friends forever and the two of you repeated them in these serious voices, even though you were smiling like mad the whole time. And then you kissed, ‘cause that’s what people do when they get married. Apparently.’
‘Blaine was my first kiss?’ Kurt asked, a smile blooming on his face.
‘Far as I know,’ Burt said. ‘Your mom took a bunch of posed photos of you and then you had a tea party and watched the sun set from your tree house on your “honeymoon”. Didn’t even matter to you that it was three in the afternoon in the middle of summer; sun’s blazing down and you and Blaine are talking about how nice it is when the clouds go pink.’
Kurt hid his face in his hands in embarrassment. Burt reached out and clapped his shoulder.
‘You were always blessed with imagination, kid.’
‘What happened, though,’ Kurt asked, suddenly. ‘If all this happened, if we were so close, how did we get separated?’
Burt sighed and rubbed his head again. ‘Well, the Andersons moved away after that.’
‘How soon after that?’ Kurt asked, darkly. Burt could see in his eyes the question he himself had asked in the past.
‘Not long,’ he admitted. ‘Hey,’ he said, holding up his hands before Kurt could get started, ‘Blaine told us his dad got offered a fancy job and they had to move house to be near his work. I never saw anything to say that ain’t true.’
‘You don’t believe it, though,’ Kurt said, stubbornly.
Burt shrugged. ‘Seemed a little odd that Blaine never called you after he moved, but we didn’t know where he went, and little kids can have short memories.’
Kurt glowered, but didn’t say anything.
‘Hey,’ Burt said, catching Kurt’s elbow to get his attention, ‘think of it this way, if they did do it to keep you apart, it didn’t work, did it? You guys found each other again, and tomorrow you’re gonna get married for real and no one’ll be able to keep you apart ever again.’
Kurt ducked his head to hide his smile.
‘Alright, kid?’ Burt asked. Kurt nodded and reached out to hug him. ‘Alright,’ Burt said, patting Kurt on the back. ‘Now, let an old man get some sleep. I gotta give a big speech tomorrow, you know.’
Kurt laughed and leant back to let Burt stand up. ‘Thank you,’ he said quietly. Burt smiled and nodded.
Kurt was already reaching for his phone, when Burt returned the seat to its place. As he closed the door behind him, he heard Kurt softly say, ‘Hey, it’s me. You’ll never guess what my dad just told me.’
Carole chinked her spoon against her champagne glass just loud enough to draw everyone’s attention to the man standing up at the top table.
'I think I know everyone here,' he started, 'but in case any of you are wondering who the bald guy bogarting the mic is,' there was a ripple of laughter, 'I'm Burt Hummel. Kurt’s dad.’ He placed a hand on Kurt’s shoulder and Kurt smiled up at him. 'I'm guessing most of you have seen the photo in the foyer, by now,' Burt continued. He was referring to a large canvas print taken from a scanned photo, which had been set on an easel at the entrance to the reception room. The picture showed two little boys in white shirts and bowties, holding each other’s hands and kissing.
‘For those of you who don’t know the story, that picture was taken sixteen years ago, in my back garden, when Kurt “married” his best friend, Blaine Anderson. They don’t remember it, but I do. Man doesn’t forget the first person to kiss his son.’ There was more laughter and Kurt rolled his eyes, despite the blush appearing high on his and Blaine’s cheeks. Burt went on. ‘The ceremony today might have been more formal, and I wish Kurt’s mom could’a been here this time, too, but, in all the ways that matter, it was just the same today as all those years ago. Today, Kurt married his best friend. Again.’
Burt stepped away from his chair and reached out to Blaine, who stood up to meet him. ‘Blaine, you’re a good man and, far as I’m concerned, you’ve been my son-in-law since you were five years old. It’s good to make it official.’ Before Blaine could say anything, Burt had enveloped him in a bear hug. After a second, he released Blaine and turned back to the crowd, lifting his own champagne glass. ‘So, raise a glass to two best friends, who found each other again. To soulmates reunited.’