Chapter 1: Achievement
Kurt’s head is pounding. He slowly opens his eyes and he blinks at the sudden light. He’s lying on a cold floor.
There’s someone hovering over him. This person puts their hand on Kurt’s forehead. Kurt’s vision is too hazy to make out any facial features. He blinks a couple of times in the hope of clearing his vision.
“Are you okay?” they say, sounding worried.
This person keeps touching his forehead, but they also grab his shoulder. Kurt’s vision slowly comes back and-
Wow, okay. It’s a man and this man is hot. Deep dark eyes and a mop of curls on his head. He’s really, really hot. To Kurt’s utter embarrassment, he says so out loud. He obviously can’t think rationally and he’s ready to apologize when this person laughs.
“Luckily, you think so,” the man says and he helps Kurt up. When he’s up, Kurt looks around. He has no idea where he is. He turns around and almost falls over when a sudden flood of nausea hits him.
Kurt grabs a chair to steady himself and the man also stops him from falling.
“Wow, are you alright?”
Kurt shakes his head. He feels terrible. He closes his eyes since the lightning is too harsh right now. At least the man’s hands are warm. It’s soothing.
“What happened? I came into the kitchen and found you lying on the floor,” the man sounds still worried, “Do I need to call the hospital?”
This stranger is far too kind. Kurt tries to remember what happened. Now that he lives in New York with Santana Lopez, he’s gotten more outgoing. Together with Rachel and Santana, he goes out drinking and partying. It must’ve been quite a party yesterday, since this headache is terrible and Kurt has problems remembering what has happened.
“I just need some breakfast,” Kurt says.
He still has his eyes closed, but this man helps him sit down on a soft surface. Kurt opens his eyes and yup, the lightning is terrible, but he manages to look around. This isn’t the loft. He has no idea where he is. He looks down and he realises that he’s wearing pyjama’s. These aren’t his pyjama’s.
The man has gone back to the kitchen. He’s truly making breakfast for Kurt. This stranger is incredibly nice and handsome. Sure, Kurt’s gotten more lively, but he has never woken up in a strange man’s home before, so this is quite an achievement.
Oh no, did I sleep with him? Kurt thinks in shock.
Maybe he should call his roommates.
Just then, the man comes back with a bowl and a cup of coffee. “Here, eat up. Hopefully you’ll feel better. I know these migraines are terrible.”
Migraine? No, Kurt has a hangover.
But Kurt accepts the breakfast and he keeps quiet. Maybe it’s best if this man believes he has a migraine, since waking up with a huge hangover on the kitchen floor is embarrassing. The man goes back to the kitchen to get breakfast as well.
When he comes back, the two of them eat in comfortable silence. Kurt is strangely at ease here, but he knows that he has to go back home.
“Thanks for breakfast, but I should get going,” Kurt says and he puts the bowl on the coffee table, “Where are my clothes?”
The man scrunches his face. “Get going?”
Kurt thinks it’s sweet that this man is so worried about him, so he waves his concern away. “I’m fine, thank you. My headache is disappearing, so I’ll get out of your hair.”
“Out of my- Kurt, where are you going?”
Okay, so they are supposedly on first name basis. Yet, Kurt still can’t remember who this man is and what happened last night.
“Home. I live in Bushwick with two friends of mine, so I’ll just take the train. Where are my clothes?”
The man shakes his head and laughs a little bit. “Not funny, Kurt. If you’re well enough to make jokes, then you can call Adam for administration.”
The man gets up to bring the empty breakfast bowls to the kitchen, leaving Kurt dumbfounded. Is this man keeping him here? What the hell?
“Look, uhm, I don’t know what your deal is, but you realise that you can’t keep me here, right?” Kurt says indignantly.
The man turns around, bowls still in hand, and he looks confused. “You can quit it, you know? This isn’t funny anymore. You’ve tried to get out of administration several times, but this is getting weird.”
Whatever this man is thinking, he can’t keep Kurt here. Kurt can’t remember what clothes he was wearing, but clothes be damned. He turns around, ready to just walk out in his (his?) pyjama’s.
“Where are you going?” the man calls out.
“Home!” Kurt yells back. This man might be incredibly attractive, but Kurt has no intention of being held captive.
The man runs after him and grabs him by the shoulder. “Kurt, what the hell?”
Kurt pushes him off. “What? I really gotta go. I have this huge project for my boss and Isabelle is not going to like it if I miss this deadline. Besides, my two roommates might get worried.”
There’s a small beat of silence and then the man turns around. Kurt’s about to celebrate the small victory when the man says: “That’s it, I’m calling your dad.”
Kurt turns around as well.
“You know my dad?”
“Or Rachel,” the man says, not hearing Kurt, “We did promise to take it easy and I am not going to alarm Burt for no reason. Well, except for the fact that his son is a menace.”
Kurt watches as the man takes out a phone and he starts tapping the screen. The phone is clearly an iPhone, but it seems different somehow? Longer, slimmer and thinner.
The man puts the phone on the coffee table and when Kurt sees the screen, he sees that the phone’s on speakerphone. The call menu has a different style as well.
Rachel picks up.
“Blaine, what a surprise! You never call this early.”
Rachel is on the phone? Kurt’s Rachel? And Rachel even knows this man?
“Your friend is being a pain in the ass, Rae,” Blaine mutters.
“I bet,” Rachel says and Blaine lets out a laugh before his face turns serious again.
“Why don’t you explain it yourself, Kurt?” he says and he motions for Kurt to get closer.
Even though his instinct tells Kurt to run, since this is getting crazy, his curiosity is peaked. He picks up the phone. It even feels more smooth than Kurt expected.
“Kurt, is that you?” Rachel asks.
Kurt looks up and he sees the man, Blaine, staring at him. So, Kurt starts talking. “Rachel, I am freaking out. I don’t know where I am and who this guy is. I just woke up feeling sick and now I really want to come home to you and Santana.”
But then, Rachel says: “That’s not funny, Kurt. We both know that the three of us haven’t lived together in ages.”
“I’m not trying to be funny, Rachel. In my eyes, we do live together. We don’t?”
“We all moved out when our relationships got more serious.”
Relationships? Rachel just broke up with Brody. Or maybe she’s talking about someone else.
“Is, uh, Finn there, then?” Kurt asks. His brother might talk some sense into the others. Or into him. Kurt doesn’t know anymore.
There’s another silence, but this silence doesn’t seem to end. Rachel is eerily quiet and when Kurt looks up, he sees Blaine staring at him as if he’s from another planet. There’s a hint of sadness in his eyes.
The silence keeps lingering, but then Blaine yanks the phone out of Kurt’s hands and he and Rachel start talking frantically. Blaine must’ve turned off the speakerphone, since Kurt can barely understand Rachel, but she sounds hysterical.
Kurt watches Blaine pace around the apartment and Kurt decided to take a seat. He’s probably not going home.
Chapter 2: Beer
*Jingle Bells theme* Oh Advent time, Advent time, writing all the way!
Hello guys! I am quite surprised with the response that this fic has gotten, especially since I have made clear that this is gonna be a hectic advent. (Probably no update tomorrow, so…) (I pulled the title and summary out of my ass last minute.) (That’s why they suck.)
I am also very excited to read all the Advent stories. I’m very glad that even in 2019, almost 5 years after the end of glee, people are still writing and reading Klaine fanfiction. Hooray!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hospitals are terrible, especially when people don’t communicate.
Blaine handed Kurt some clothes and he ushered him out of the door. Then, Blaine hailed a cab to the hospital with his phone. The doctors don’t seem to know what is happening.
The nurses ask him simple questions, like his name, his age and his address. They also ask him questions about the current president of the United States, Lady Gaga’s latest hits and something called a tik tok.
The questions are fairly simple, but Kurt’s answers only worry them. Although, Kurt is very worried to hear that Sue Sylvester is the current president. He does not want to know how that happened.
After a few hours, the doctor tells him what is going on. Blaine is standing in the room, watching him. He’s been silent the entire time and he doesn’t want to meet Kurt’s eyes.
“Amnesia?” Kurt asks in shock.
“Amnesia,” the doctor confirms.
“So, it isn’t 2012?” Kurt asks, but he already knows the answer. He hates to admit it, but it makes sense. Everything around him is different. It explains the flatter phones, the different fashion sense, the unfamiliar ‘hit’ songs on the taxi radio, and the fact that he no longer lives with Rachel and Santana.
Wow, he wasn’t blackout drunk from a couple of beers. He has a huge case of amnesia.
It sounds unreal, though. Amnesia sounds like something from a Hallmark Christmas movie. Kurt’s always known that amnesia was real, but amnesia wasn’t supposed to happen to people like Kurt.
“No, it isn’t 2012,” the doctor says sadly.
Kurt looks towards Blaine, who’s still looking away. “Then, what year is it?”
The doctor seems to hesitate for a second, but then she says: “2027.”
2027 doesn’t sound like a real number. Kurt’s from 2012. He’s still processing the beginning of the 2010s, and now he is nearing towards the 2030s.
Yikes, the 2030s. The 2020s already seem so far away. Kurt allegedly has lost 15 years of his life.
Oh God, Kurt is in his thirties.
The nurse hands Blaine some papers and he signs it. Despite everything, they’re letting Kurt leave. They’ve been here all day and there’s nothing they can do. Kurt wants to remind everyone that he’s an adult, so that he is fairly capable of signing the papers himself and going home on his own, but he doesn’t even know where home is.
So Kurt just sits in a plastic hospital chair and he listens to Blaine and the nurse.
“It’s best to bring him to a familiar environment,” the nurse tells Blaine.
“He thinks it’s 2012, for Christ’s sake,” Blaine mutters as he hands the papers back to the nurse, “Nothing is familiar for him. He probably never experienced the rise and fall of Vine. I’m cutting off the Wi-Fi.”
Blaine is probably right, since Kurt has no idea how plants could rise and fall. Kurt just keeps his mouth shut and he watches how Blaine and the nurse cover all the formalities. After a short moment, Blaine turns to face Kurt.
It’s the first time he’s looked at Kurt since they left the apartment. His eyes are sad, but when Kurt smiles at him, Blaine smiles back. Kurt is incredibly confused, but he happily follows Blaine home.
Blaine takes out his incredibly flat phone and he taps an app. At least Kurt knows about smartphones and apps. Social media and new technology soared in the past few years and it seems like they will keep soaring. Probably everyone has a smartphone in 2027.
A few minutes later, a taxi appears in front of the hospital and the two of them get in. Blaine gives the driver the address. They start driving, and yet another unfamiliar song starts playing.
Blaine is sitting next to Kurt, and he’s humming along. Even the taxi driver seems to bop along with the music. Kurt is just sitting there, silently, since he can’t know this song. It’s just a simple song, but Kurt is so tired of not knowing what is going on.
After a while, he looks around. New York is as lively as always. The familiar billboards advertise unfamiliar products and brands, but New York pretty much looks the same as he knows it. At least, New York still feels like home.
He looks back at Blaine, who’s still humming softly and absently.
After a while, Blaine notices Kurt’s staring and he raises an eyebrow.
“Tell me about yourself,” Kurt says.
Blaine looks a little bit startled, but then he smiles and holds out his hand. “My name is Blaine.”
“Kurt,” Kurt says and he shakes Blaine’s hand, “So, what is going on here?”
“Well, you lost your memories, but you know that by now. But uhm, yes, my name is Blaine. I like music. I am originally from Columbus, just like my dad. My mom is from the Philippines. I came to New York around ten years ago. We’re, uhm, friends.”
“Just friends?” Kurt asks incredulously. Kurt has seen the way Blaine looks at him. Kurt knows why he woke up in the same apartment as Blaine. Blaine signed his papers. Blaine apparently knows his dad and his friends.
Blaine laughs when Kurt waggles his eyebrows. “Okay, boyfriends.”
“How long?” Kurt asks.
“Eight years,” Blaine answers, “We’ve known each other for ten. We met on my first day in New York, and I pretty much fell in love with you, but you were dating someone else.”
Eight years? Wow. Kurt really has spent eight of the past fifteen years with Blaine. He’s kind of in shock, but also in awe. In his eyes, he’s never had a boyfriend before, and now the first hot guy that he sees tells him that they’ve been together for eight years.
Kurt half expects to see a ring on his finger, but it isn’t there.
“Does that bother you?” Blaine asks when Kurt remains silent.
Kurt shakes his head. It’s kind of scary, that’s true, but how can it bother Kurt? “I told you, you’re hot.”
Blaine laughs again.
Kurt slowly reaches out for Blaine’s hand, but Blaine pulls away.
“You don’t have to,” Blaine tells Kurt.
“I know,” Kurt says, “But I want to.”
Blaine looks a little bit sceptical, but Kurt means it. Blaine carefully takes Kurt’s hand and it’s as if these hands are meant to hold each other.
“Fearlessly and forever,” Blaine says silently.
Kurt doesn’t know what Blaine is referring to, but it sounds very nice. The remainder of the trip, they hold each other’s hand.
The apartment seems bigger, now that Kurt knows it belongs to him. It’s also quite big for a New York apartment. And this place has actual walls, so it is a definite upgrade from the loft that he’s currently sharing with Rachel and Santana.
The furnishing is tasteful, but there are some weird colour schemes and choices. Kurt assumes that it’s Blaine’s doing. After all, they apparently have been together for eight years.
“Is this really where we live?”
Blaine chuckles as he walks past Kurt. “Yes, love.”
Kurt freezes at the word ‘love’, but Blaine doesn’t seem to notice, so Kurt lets it slide. This guy, Blaine, loves him. It makes Kurt feel weird. Not bad weird, but not good weird either. He wasn’t lying to Blaine when he told him that Blaine’s love doesn’t bother him and that he’s willing to try, but it’s a lot to take in.
“How long have we been living here?”
“Five years,” Blaine yells from the kitchen, “We were thinking about moving next year around springtime, but we still enjoy living here.”
Blaine returns from the kitchen and he’s holding some… photos? Blaine’s holding them upside down, so Kurt can’t see it properly. He’s glad to hear that people still use photos fifteen years into the future.
“What are you doing?” Kurt asks him.
“I don’t want to overwhelm you,” Blaine says, “I hope you don’t mind that I am going to take some things down. Hopefully, you’ll regain your memories soon, so in the meanwhile, I don’t want you to feel too overwhelmed. Do you want me to stop?”
Kurt shakes his head. He understand what Blaine’s talking about. Just being in this apartment is already overwhelming. Kurt has already seen tech that he doesn’t recognise.
Blaine goes upstairs and Kurt decides to look for a mirror. Blaine can keep a lot of things hidden for him, but not Kurt’s face. Since it’s getting dark outside, Kurt tries to catch his reflection in the large windows, but the lights inside make it difficult for him.
He goes back to the hallway and as expected, one door leads to a small bathroom. Kurt turns on the lights and he properly sees himself.
Kurt should be freaked out by the laughter lines that he doesn’t recognise, or the weird parting of his hair, but he focuses on the layer of stubble. He reaches out to his face to touch it.
It looks hideous. Kurt’s always cleanly shaved and he can’t imagine that in the future, he’d change that. It feels weird.
He hears a laugh and he catches Blaine’s reflection in the mirror.
“You hate it,” Blaine says, “Glad to see that you still hate it.”
“Why?” is all Kurt can say while he’s rubbing his stubble.
“If it makes you feel any better, you look great with it.”
“Why?” Kurt says again.
“Let’s just say that it’s a job requirement.”
“I have a job?” Kurt blurts out. In the reflection, Blaine nods.
“You’re thirty-four,” Blaine deadpans, “No worries, Rachel is taking care of it, so you don’t have to worry about going to your adult job without any preparations.”
“Do you have a job?” Kurt asks him. Jobs, apartments, long lasting relationships… All these adult things shouldn’t be on Kurt’s mind, but they’re here.
“I am my own boss,” Blaine says, but he doesn’t explain more, “Do you… I mean, do you want to watch a movie?”
“Is this your pick up line, or what?”
Blaine grimaces. “Look, I don’t really know what to say to my amnestic boyfriend who doesn’t even know me. We can also delve deep into our personal lives, or we can watch some Netflix.”
“Netflix?” Kurt asks. He’s heard that name somewhere, but right now, he can’t place it.
Blaine furrows his brow. “You know Netflix, right? I think Netflix became a thing around 2011, but I’m not sure. That was ages ago.”
Not for me, Kurt wants to say, but instead he says: “It sounds familiar, but I don’t know what it is.”
He follows Blaine back to the living room. There’s a huge television and it has apps. Wow, even televisions have apps in the future. It is probably connected to the internet as well. Kurt knows that smart devices are upcoming, so it’s nice to see that some things last.
Blaine starts Netflix and Kurt suddenly realises it’s that new platform for watching television shows on demand. “Oh, this!”
“Netflix is victorious. It beat the others in the streaming war,” Blaine says. He sits down and he waits for Kurt to join him on the couch.
“Would it be ironic to watch a movie about amnesia?” Kurt asks and to his delight, Blaine barks a laugh.
“Too soon, Kurt.”
“I’m going to sleep in our office,” Blaine says. Kurt appreciates that.
Blaine gives Kurt a small tour of the remainder of the apartment, but he skips the office. Apparently, Blaine has stored all the photographs and other overwhelming things in the office, so that place is off-limits for the time being.
They end up in the bedroom. Their bedroom.
“Left side is yours, but honestly, we don’t care,” Blaine says when he opens the door.
Kurt almost laughs when he sees the bedroom. It’s so apparent that Kurt and Blaine have different styles. The living room already felt like a mix between two personalities, but the bedroom really shows the contrast.
Kurt steps inside the room and he looks around some more.
He likes it. It truly shows two people co-existing in one space. After all, Kurt apparently shares this home with this man. It’s only fair that he can also express himself. Kurt would never use such a colourful palette.
He turns around and he feels his stomach drop. His mother’s dresser is located against the wall. Relief washes over Kurt. In the midst of all this confusion and unfamiliarity, his mother’s dresser is something he knows. Seeing it makes Kurt instantly feel more at ease.
“You know where to find the bathroom and which toothbrush is yours,” Blaine says. He’s leaning against the doorframe. “Do you, uhm, like it?”
There’s a hint of hope in his voice. Blaine’s wondering if the bedroom is triggering any memories. Kurt has to disappoint him. “I do. Are those bowtie patterns yours?”
“Yes,” Blaine sounds a little bit disappointed, but Kurt pretends that he doesn’t hear it. The two of them stare at each other awkwardly, until Blaine coughs. “Well. Goodnight, Kurt.”
Blaine leaves without saying another word. Kurt waits till he’s gone before rushing towards his mother’s dresser. He knows that Blaine loves him, so he probably won’t judge him, but Kurt doesn’t like feeling vulnerable in front of others.
Kurt opens some of the drawers and he tries not to cry when the familiar scent hits him. It’s faint, but it’s still there.
“Mom,” he cries out and he starts to sob quietly. At least his mother is still with him.
Surprise, it’s a 15 year gap! Bet you did not see that coming. I actually struggled a lot with finding the right time period for this story, since a) I wanted “past” Kurt to be at least 18, b) I wanted the gap to be at least 10 years, and c) I wanted to take technological development into account.
Criterion c basically flew out of the window, since I realised it is impossible to make accurate predictions, due to the rapid changes, so is it very logical that Netflix still exists in 2027? Honestly, no. Do I care? Honestly, no.
Chapter 3: Creed
Time to talk to Burt!
Blaine has taken Kurt’s phone, but Kurt can use Blaine’s to call his dad. As expected, landlines have almost completely disappeared from the Earth. Blaine’s told Kurt that Burt and Carole moved to a smaller condo in the suburbs in 2020, so they cut off their old landline and switched completely to mobile.
Blaine has Burt Hummel listed as ‘dad 2’ in his phone. It makes Kurt heart ache, since it reminds him of the fact that he’s missing fifteen years of his life.
His dad picks up fairly quickly.
“Hey Blaine, good morning, you usually never call this early.”
His dad sounds so casual. He truly knows Blaine well. Blaine must not be an early bird, since Rachel said the same thing yesterday.
“D-dad?” Kurt asks and he hates that his voice breaks on that one damned word. He’s not going to cry. He’s definitely not going to cry in front of Blaine or his dad.
“Kurt, hey, didn’t expect to hear you,” Burt says happily, “Kid, don’t tell me your own phone needs a new battery. Kurt, I keep telling you to throw that thing away-”
Kurt looks at Blaine, who’s sitting next to him. They’d practised this beforehand. Kurt is supposed to casually mention that he has a huge memory loss. They know it’s weird to drop a bomb on Burt like that, but it’s best to just rip off the band-aid.
But now, Kurt’s mind is blanking.
“Kurt, you there?”
Blaine looks at Kurt intensely. When Kurt nods, Blaine gets up and he takes the phone from Kurt.
“Hey Burt, it is me,” Blaine says warmly.
“Blaine, is something wrong? Where is Kurt?” Burt asks. Blaine must’ve put his phone on speakerphone.
“Kurt is here, he’s fine,” Blaine says and he puts his hand on Kurt’s tight. When he realises what he’s done, he wants to move away, but Kurt stops him. Kurt wants him here. “Well, uhm, not completely fine, but not in danger.”
“Yeah, okay. Kurt has amnesia. Yesterday, I found him lying on the kitchen floor, so I took him to the hospital. He thinks he’s 18 years old and that it’s 2012. Apart from that, he is completely fine.”
And to Kurt and Blaine’s utter shock, Burt starts to laugh.
It’s a long, barking laugh. Burt sounds hysterical and both Kurt and Blaine kind of look at each other in shock. They had not seen this kind of reaction coming. Does Burt think they’re messing with him?
After a while, Burt calms down, but he’s still wheezing a little bit when he says: “Oh, God, sorry. Kurt, son, remember when you were a kid? You and your mom watched this shitty romcom about amnesia.”
Kurt shakes his head. “No?”
“Ah, well, you were very young, but I will never remember the moment you turned towards your mother and said: ‘mama, if I ever lose my memories, please make sure that I still wear nice clothes’. Like, you were such a tiny kid and all you cared about was fashionable clothes.”
Blaine snorts at that as well. “Yes, that sounds like Kurt.”
Kurt truly cannot remember this, but he finds himself grin as well.
“Sorry, oh wow, this is not funny, but I just- you were such a peculiar and cute child, Kurt,” Burt says, still laughing a little bit, “I remember you turned back to the screen and your mother and I shared an amused look. God, we love you.”
Kurt finally chuckles as well. This entire situation is absurd, but of course, his dad finds a way to lighten the mood. Maybe this will go smoother than expected.
Burt coughs. “Okay, amnesia.”
Kurt and Blaine take turns explaining what has happened. Kurt tells his father how he woke up on the floor and how Blaine found him. Blaine recalls the entire time at the hospital. Throughout the story, Burt asks small questions.
“So, no one really know what is going on?” Burt asks when Kurt and Blaine are finished.
“Unfortunately,” Kurt grumbles.
“All we can do is wait,” Blaine answers.
“Oh,” Burt sounds a bit disappointed, “Can I talk to Blaine? Privately?”
Kurt looks at Blaine in surprise, but then he nods and he watches Blaine leave the room with the phone. Kurt’s left in the living room. He is a bit lost for words. His dad has things he doesn’t want Kurt to know, but he’s fine with telling Blaine? Kurt doesn’t even know this guy.
Then again, his dad probably does.
It’s weird. It’s another reminded that Kurt is missing fifteen years of his life. He probably should know Blaine’s family, although they agreed to keep it secret for now. Besides, hopefully, Kurt will regain his memories soon. Kurt just really wanted to tell his dad.
After a few while, Kurt decides to do the one thing he’s not supposed to do. He’s going to find Blaine. He blames the mix of curiosity and boredom for that.
Kurt’s not surprised to hear Blaine’s voice coming from the office. Despite his judgement, Kurt leans closer.
“Christ, Burt, I don’t know!” he hears Blaine. He sounds very fed up. “There isn’t really a standard protocol for this. I can’t just tell Mimi to order a guide called ‘How to Deal With Your Partner Losing 15 Years of Their Life’. It’s amnesia, Burt. I always thought it was some sort of fictional creed, made up for movies and tv shows.”
A moment of silence. Kurt assumes that his dad is speaking. Blaine’s probably turned off speakerphone.
“I just have no idea how to deal with this,” Blaine says. The annoyance is gone, but now he just sounds defeated. “I don’t want Kurt to be overwhelmed, and this news is a lot. I was kind of planning on waiting for Kurt to regain his memories?”
Another moment of silence. Kurt really wishes he could hear his dad. He has no idea what they’re talking about, but it sounds serious.
“Do we really want to do this if it’s avoidable? Don’t we want Kurt to feel happy and careless for now?”
Silence. Then a very long sigh from Blaine.
“I know that we promised each other to not keep secrets!” Blaine says loudly, “But how can we keep that promise if Kurt doesn’t even fucking remember making it?”
More silence, except for some footsteps. Blaine is pacing around the room.
“The most harrowing new fact should be Sue Sylvester’s second term of presidency, Burt, not this!”
“No, I get that. Of course. I just… this is going to be very ugly. I’ll go see him.”
Kurt quickly leans away. He can hear Blaine walking, so he just yells: “Blaine? Are you in here?”
There’s no chance that Kurt can go back to the living room in time. Best to let Blaine believe that Kurt just got there. He’s just in time, since the door to the office opens and Blaine’s smiling at him.
“You got bored?” Blaine asks. All traces of annoyance and sadness are gone.
“How did you know?” Kurt says teasingly.
Blaine raises one eyebrow and Kurt’s smile disappears for a second. Of course, Blaine would know. They’ve been dating for eight years. Blaine probably knows all of Kurt, whereas Kurt barely knows Blaine.
“Oh. Yes, of course.”
“Let’s go to the living room. Your dad, Carole and I have to tell you something and you might have to sit down for this.”
After greeting Carole, who’s also on the other side of the line, Blaine puts the phone on speakerphone and he puts it down on the table. He takes a deep breath.
“Is there something wrong?” Kurt asks. He really, really has a bad feeling about this. Blaine sounded incredibly sad and stressed earlier, and now he’s looking at Kurt with such pity.
There’s a small moment of silence and it looks like Blaine’s trying to find the words. Burt beats him to it, though.
“Kurt, son, we have something to tell you. The three of us debated on whether or not we should tell you, or wait for your memories to come back, but since we might not know how long that will take, we’ve decided that we want you to hear this from us.”
Okay, now Kurt’s really getting worried. What is so important and devastating that they have to do all of this? It’s as if someone died.
Blaine moves closer and he puts his hands on Kurt’s. He waits for Kurt to push him away, but Kurt hasn’t so far, so why start now?
“What is it?” Kurt asks. He really does not like this.
“Kurt, honey,” Carole sounds so, so exhausted, “It is about Finn.”
Chapter 4: Date
Double update! Yup, I am just writing small snippets and later put them together and I actually managed to write enough for chapter 4 and 5.
In this chapter, we delve into the grief of losing Finn and how it feels for Kurt, especially since everyone around him has moved on. I admit that I am not quite satisfied with it, especially with the abrupt change in the ending, but I wanted to keep most of the grief in this chapter.
Let’s do this.
Kurt wakes up feeling numb.
He turns to his left side. Blaine is lying next to him, his hand close to Kurt’s hip. Kurt didn’t expect to share a bed with Blaine this early in the relationship, but yesterday was filled with a lot of tears, so he wanted Blaine close. Kurt must’ve fallen asleep while crying. After all, he was exhausted.
Kurt doesn’t really know what to feel.
Finn has been dead for fourteen years, but to Kurt, this is all new. How do you process the death of your nineteen year old brother?
Oh God, Kurt is in his thirties, but Finn never lived to see his twenties.
A new fresh wave of tears hits him. His brother is dead. Gone. Buried six feet under the ground. Finn died on the 13th of July, 2013. Kurt will forever hate that date.
Kurt lies in bed, crying. Blaine is fast asleep and Kurt prefers that. He doesn’t want Blaine to see him cry right now. He turns his head away, just to be sure. His mother’s dresser is standing against the wall.
He resists the urge to get out and cry against it. That would definitely wake Blaine up, so instead he just stares at it. Kurt just hopes that his mom is looking after Finn.
After an hour or so, Kurt decides to get up. No use lying around here. He needs time and space to clear his head, but honestly, how do you process this?
Kurt puts on some clothes, finds a piece of paper to write a note, finds some cash, and he slips out of the door. He hasn’t been outside since he got back from the hospital, but now he’s desperate for fresh air.
He walks around New York City aimlessly. The city that never sleeps doesn’t care that Kurt just lost his brother.
Or, well, he lost his brother fourteen years ago, but to Kurt, it just happened. Finn just died.
Kurt breathes in the filthy New York air. He hasn’t been outside the house since he got back from the hospital. He wanted to see New York, since the city seemed familiar to him. Familiar billboards advertise unfamiliar products and brands, but that’s it.
But walking around makes Kurt realise that there are more changes. Shops have closed down. Blocks have disappeared and other buildings are brand new. There are a lot of wires above his head, and Kurt has no idea what they’re for.
Luckily, some things are the same, although a bit altered. Many familiar brands have changed their logo’s, but they’re still recognisable.
He needs coffee, and he’s pleasantly surprised to see that Starbucks still exists, albeit with a new logo. He desperately needs coffee. It’s not enough to process that his brother died, but it’s something.
Inside, there are still plenty of barista’s, so manual jobs haven’t been taken over by robots, but there’s no proper checkout or cash register. Instead, there are pillars with huge screens that display ORDER HERE.
Kurt touches one of the screens. Of course, it’s touch screen. The menu appears with photos of the products and Kurt understands that he has to tap the items. Kurt orders a simple black coffee, but when he wants to pay, he doesn’t see place to pay with card or a slot for dollar bills. Instead, a small part of the pillar lights up, and the screen reads: HOLD SPRINGO WALLET HERE and OTHER PAYMENT OPTION.
Kurt clicks OTHER PAYMENT OPTION, but he soon finds out that the names are as unfamiliar.
“Apple pay? Apple has a currency?” Kurt sighs as he scrolls through the options.
After a while, he completely gives up. He doesn’t know how to cancel his order, but he doesn’t care anymore. The person behind him in line can fix that for him.
Fucking hell, I can’t even order a coffee
Nothing makes any fucking sense. He’s in his thirties and the world has completely changed. His brother is dead, his boyfriend is unknown to him, and he can’t even order a coffee. The latter is relatively unimportant, but on top of all the other crap, Kurt feels like that’s the last straw.
Kurt feels himself tear up again. He can’t remember the last time he felt this devastated. He feels so incredibly lost. He walks towards Central Park to just, well, sit down and cry.
He sits down on one of the benches and he puts his head in his hands. Who can he talk to? His dad, Carole and Rachel have all moved on. Sure, they still miss Finn, but to them, Finn’s death is an old wound. It might never heal, but it’s there and they’re used to it.
But Kurt didn’t have time to soften the blow. Or he did, but those fourteen years are gone. There is no standard procedure for people who experience this kind of grief.
Kurt gasps out in shock. He didn’t expect anyone to see him. He quickly dries his tears and when he looks up, two teenagers are looking at him. They look concerned.
Of course, Kurt doesn’t recognise them, but why would he know two teenagers? Kurt might never know, so, he tries to keep his voice stable. Maybe he’s supposed to know them.
The two teenagers exchange some worried looks. One then says: “Look, usually we wouldn’t, like, talk to famous people-”
“-but, like, are you okay? You seem kinda… I mean, no offense, you’re Kurt Hummel, but, like, we know that you have personal things going on, cause that’s what the press release said and-”
“What my friend is trying to say,” the other person cuts in, “Are you okay? You don’t look well.”
Kurt’s mind is spinning. Famous? Press release?
“No, but thank you for asking,” Kurt says calmly, “I think I am going home.”
“Oh, of course.”
Kurt says a quick farewell and he tries to make his way back home as fast as possible.
What just happened?
Unfortunately, he’s been wandering aimlessly for too long, so it takes a long time for him to find home.
When Kurt reaches the apartment building, he rings the bell, since he’s forgotten to take his keys.
“Kurt?” Blaine’s voice sounds tired.
“It’s me. Let me in,” Kurt says and the door buzzes. He wants to go home. Sure, home is unfamiliar, but so is New York.
Kurt goes up the elevator and Blaine’s already standing in the doorframe of the front door. “You had me worried,” Blaine says when he sees Kurt, “You’ve gone rogue.”
“Yeah, well, my brother is dead,” Kurt snaps.
Blaine’s eyes widen. “No, no, I mean, uhm, ‘gone rogue’ means something else, like, it means that, I mean- Gah.”
Blaine stumbles over his words for a few more seconds, before he completely gives up and goes inside. Kurt watches him go and he counts to ten. It’s understandable that Kurt is mad, but it’s not okay to let it all out on Blaine.
Kurt goes inside and Blaine is holding something. Kurt’s breath hitches when he sees that it’s the invitation to Finn’s funeral.
“I put this in the office,” Blaine says sadly, “Normally, it’s on your mother’s dresser. Do you, uhm, want to put it back there?”
Kurt takes the small card and shakes his head. “No. The dresser is the only thing that I recognise. I want to keep it that way.”
Instead, Kurt puts it on the windowsill. The small photo of Finn makes him almost tear up again.
He turns back to Blaine and asks: “What does going rogue mean then?”
Blaine looks a bit taken aback. “We don’t have to talk about it. You can- I mean, you are obviously grieving.”
“Distract me with your futuristic knowledge.”
“Well, it’s not exactly futuristic-“
“Yeah, sorry. Uhm, ‘going rogue’ means that you’re going outside without identifying tech on you,” Blaine explains and he holds up his bare wrist, “I am not wearing any, since we’re inside, but usually people wear a Springo or something similar here. Or a phone. Your phone is enough, but people like to use their Springo’s as well. Oh, wait, you don’t know what a Springo is.”
Kurt shakes his head. He’s starting to regret asking Blaine, but he lets it slide.
“Springo has many features. Do you know PayPal? Springo Wallet is the continuation of PayPal. No one uses cards or cash anymore, only at smaller shops that still can’t afford a El-Pay point. That stands for electronic payment. You just press your Springo or something similar against it and you’ve paid. Things like a Springo or an Apple watch or a phone have location services. There are wires around all of New York now. Those are probably new to you as well, but they constantly detect location. Location services have gone from wireless to wires, can you imagine it?”
“People are constantly tracked? And people are okay with that?” Kurt asks indignantly.
“Well, there was obviously a lot of resistance when it got introduced in 2021. That’s why there are wires now. Before the wires, location could be tracked everywhere, but now, that’s gone. Only wires can pick up the signals. That was the agreement: location tracking would become more mandatory on phones and other devices under the condition that it’s limited. No one can track us in our apartment, since we don’t have wires in our house. That, and you can ‘go rogue’. The location service is mandatory on your devices, but you don’t need to carry those. Without tech on you, you’re untraceable.”
“Why hasn’t everyone gone rogue, then?”
Blaine shakes his head. “This is just… how it is. I know it might sound weird and scary, but we both remember the time where our parents wouldn’t let us use the internet. Our parents remember the time where our grandparents wouldn’t let them use TV. It’s not perfect and there are known privacy affairs, but the last big one was in 2025. Your Springo has become your ID and your wallet and bus card, subway ticket and basically everything. It’s more convenient to have one Springo and one phone with you instead of an entire wallet filled with cards and cash.”
“Okay, yeah,” Kurt says shortly. He really, really regrets asking, but what can he do? He’s fifteen years into the future. Until his memories come back, he has to get used to it.
Blaine notices the change of mood. Of course, he notices. Blaine probably knows Kurt better than he knows himself. Blaine’s about to reach out, but Kurt turns around. Talking about current affairs make him feel miserable, but talking about Finn also makes him miserable. He can’t seem to win. Besides, Blaine’s never met Finn.
Kurt wants his mom. His mom has also never met Finn, but at least she won’t remind him of the fifteen years he’s lost. Kurt sniffs and leaves the room.
Blaine knows him well enough, so he doesn’t follow him to their bedroom. Kurt sits down in front of his mother’s dresser. He doesn’t cry, since he feels like he’s run out of tears, but sitting here just feels enough.
Kurt finds a small layer of dust, so he wipes it clean with his sleeve. Swipe left. Swipe right. Swipe left. He doesn’t understand why, but the small task makes him feel accomplished and despite everything, a small smile appears on his face.
Chapter 5: Emergency
Everywhere: Klaine Advent Drabble Challenge
Me: *sees word count*
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’s been a week.
A week since Kurt woke up fifteen years in the future and he’s back at the hospital. Apparently, Blaine and the doctor had made this decision a week ago: if, after 7 days, the memories have not come back, then there might be something wrong.
When Kurt asks the doctor why he wasn’t made aware of this, she sighs sadly.
“We did not want to burden you,” she says and Blaine hums in agreement, “Losing fifteen years of memories isn’t easy to process. There were no signs of immediate danger and your medical history has nothing alarming, so it wasn’t an acute emergency and we decided to let time do its thing.”
“I’m sorry,” Blaine says and he sounds genuinely upset, “I didn’t want to keep this a secret from you, but I just- I tried to do what’s best for you.”
Kurt understands. Ever since Kurt woke up on the kitchen floor, Blaine’s been nothing but kind and accommodating. Besides, Kurt would’ve done the same. Blaine said so himself: there are no helpful guides for this situation they’re in. Blaine’s just trying his best.
So Kurt takes Blaine’s hand and he gives it a reassuring squeeze.
Then he turns back to the doctor and says: “So, what now?”
The doctor looks apologetic. “You must forgive me for the semi-unprofessionalism. These things are relatively unknown to us as well. The best we can think of is an MRI to check your brain for possible damage. We have no reason to believe that you have a case of brain damage, but as I mentioned, we’re also reaching into the dark. Yet, neuroscience has advanced a lot in the past fifteen years, so we just want to be sure.”
Kurt squeezes Blaine’s hand again, but this time because he’s nervous. Blaine gives him a small encouraging squeeze in return.
“We won’t do anything without your consent,” the doctor reassures him.
But does Kurt really have a choice? He wants to know what is going on.
Blaine tells him that he’s going out.
“I have to do some work related things, but I’ve asked some people to come over,” Blaine says, “Rachel and Jesse are coming over.”
Kurt just sighed in response. Blaine didn’t notice.
To be honest, Kurt’s kind of tired from being cut off from the rest of the world. He’s been inside for most of the past week and Kurt still has no TV or Wi-Fi, so he doesn’t have the same access to the world as Blaine.
(“How can you be online the entire time?”
“I have unlimited data, Kurt.”
“Oh, so the whole 3G really takes off.”
Kurt hears the front door open and Rachel’s shrill voice fills the room. Kurt tunes out and he just waits for Blaine to leave. He understands that Blaine is worried and confused, but it’s been a little over a week, and Kurt feels like Blaine’s been treating him as a kid. He’s nineteen. He can look after himself.
Actually, you’re thirty-four, he thinks to himself and he sighs again.
The front door closes and Rachel and Jesse step into the living room. The three of them stare at each other for a long time.
Rachel and Jesse look older. Fifteen years older, to be more precise. Jesse’s hair is a lot shorter and he has shaved sides. He even seems taller, but that sounds idiotic. Kurt gives Jesse a quick do-over. He probably cares more about Jesse now, but to Kurt, he’s still that annoying guy from Vocal Adrenaline. Kurt hasn’t seen him since Nationals, where the New Directions beat Vocal Adrenaline. They didn’t stand a chance, even with the amazing Unique Adams on lead.
He pays more attention to Rachel. Apparently, Kurt’s make-over still holds up, since she’s not decked out in reindeer sweaters. Then again, the clothes that she’s wearing seem kind of odd to Kurt, but fashion has changed a lot in fifteen years. She also has cut her hair short to a stylish bob. Rachel wears a lot of make-up, but Kurt can still see new laughter lines and there’s a poorly hidden scar near her mouth.
Jesse breaks the semi-awkward silence with a cough. To Kurt’s utter surprise and amusement, Jesse holds out his hand. “Kurt, hey, nice to see meet again. I hope you remember me. It’s Jesse St. James.”
Still somewhat amused, Kurt shakes his hand. “Kurt Hummel, but you know that. And yes, I do remember you. We recently kicked your ass at Nationals.”
Jesse’s smile falters for a moment. It’s as if he’s now realising that Kurt truly misses fifteen years of memories. To Jesse, Nationals is long ago. To Kurt, it’s recent.
So Jesse nods awkwardly and says: “That is true.”
“Don’t mind him, Kurt, he’s still hurt by that,” Rachel rolls her eyes dramatically. Rachel doesn’t seem to care about the formalities. Instead, she falls down on the couch and starts talking to him about a rude woman on the subway and how Rachel reacted.
Rachel treats him as a friend, not as the amnesia patient. Knowing Rachel, she might not do it to make Kurt feel better, but because she just wants to talk about herself, but it makes Kurt feel happy. Kurt talks back and he occasionally sighs and rolls his eyes at Rachel’s actions and it feels so familiar. Even fifteen years later, Rachel is still Rachel.
Jesse joins in and the three of them just… talk. They talk easily. Jesse starts talking about how he tried to make dinner and how he ruined it and Rachel laughs loudly, and Kurt feels great.
Even when Rachel brings up the amnesia, Kurt’s already at ease.
“How did you guys meet each other again?”
Rachel takes Jesse’s hand and Jesse smiles at her.
“Broadway,” Rachel answers.
“Broadway?” Kurt exclaims, “You’re on Broadway?”
“Yes, we got cast as the two leads in an upcoming Broadway show, but I, uhm, turned it down.”
Kurt looks at Rachel in shock. Rachel Berry turning down a Broadway show? Maybe Rachel isn’t Rachel after all, but then again, a lot has probably changed in the past fifteen years.
“Look, a lot happened, but I finished my degree at NYADA and by that time, Jesse started directing instead of acting,” Rachel says proudly.
Jesse makes a small bow and Rachel laughs before leaning in to kiss him.
“I auditioned for a show that he co-directed, got the role, and we reconnected.”
Jesse kisses their joint hands and Kurt feels a pang of sadness. To him, Finn has just died, but it’s clear that Rachel has moved on. Kurt quickly pushes the sadness aside, though. It’s clear that she is very happy and that is what Finn would’ve wanted.
“Ah, yes, being famous is amazing,” Jesse says mockingly.
“Sure, because I only married you for the fame!”
At the word ‘famous’, something in the back of Kurt’s mind resurfaces. The day after Kurt found out about Finn’s death, two strangers called him famous. Back then, Kurt was too whacked with grief to care about anything else than Finn’s death, but now he’s curious.
“Rachel, am I famous?”
“Definitely, Kurt,” Rachel says happily, “Blaine wanted to tell you, but he told me that it’s fine if I were the one to break the news. After all, he didn’t trust me to keep my mouth shut.”
Jesse laughs at that. “Yup, he’s right.”
“Kurt, where to start? You’ve done so much.”
“Obie award?” Jesse starts, “His own online accessory line called Hummel Brag?”
“Your Broadway debut was in 2021 after an extensive Off-Broadway career,” Rachel takes out her huge phone to show Kurt pictures of him on stage. He doesn’t recognise the show, but seeing him on stage makes his heart swell with pride. The photos are also of amazing quality. Can phones do that?
“I did that?” Kurt takes Rachel’s phone in awe.
Jesse gets up and he leaves the room. He later returns holding a small statue. Kurt recognises it immediately. “Blaine gave me permission to get this out of the office. Yes, I know your office. It might be weird for you, but we’re friends.”
But Kurt isn’t focused on Jesse. Oh no, he’s focused on the Tony awards in Jesse’s hands.
“No!” Kurt yells out in shock.
Rachel’s trying hard to supress her laughter, but she’s failing miserably. Jesse also can’t help but smile widely when he sees the awe on Kurt’s face.
“The Tony Award for Actor in a Leading Role 2024 goes to Kurt Hummel,” he mimics whoever the host was.
Rachel claps and whistles when Kurt takes the statue. Jesse also cheers and hoots. It’s not the lavish ceremony he always imagined, but to him, it feels like the perfect way to win his first Tony.
“We made it?” Kurt is still a bit in shock and awe. He turns the statue around and he takes it all in. A part of him is bitter that he can’t remember it, but with Rachel and Jesse’s happy cheering, it all feels alright. Maybe the bitterness will come back later, but for now, Kurt is proud of himself.
“We all did,” Rachel affirms.
“Maybe now it’s a good time to mention that you’re dating a two-times Grammy nominated musician,” Jesse says casually and Kurt almost drops his Tony in response.
“Jesse, you can’t just casually mention that!” Rachel exclaims, as if she’s reading Kurt’s mind, but Jesse winks at Kurt.
It’s weird. Up until an hour ago, Kurt didn’t even like the guy, but now Jesse’s acting around him with such familiarity and Kurt doesn’t mind at all.
“Blaine is… what?”
“Blaine Anderson is one of the hottest upcoming artists of the late 20s,” Rachel explains enthusiastically, “He self-released his first album in 2025 and it- well, it was phenomenal. His first Grammy nomination happened the same year. It’s almost unheard of. He didn’t win, but he only released his second album earlier this year and got nominated again.”
“Just like you got your second Tony nomination this year!” Jesse adds.
“Not now, Jesse, one thing at the time,” Rachel scoffs.
The two of them bicker for a bit, but it’s more as a joke. Kurt waves to get their attention.
“Wait, I’m on Broadway now?” Kurt asks frantically. If he’s on Broadway, then why the hell is he sitting at home every day?
“Yes. Why the hell would you have a stubble anyway? Your character doesn’t shave as much, but do not worry, Kurt, it is all taken care of,” Rachel puts a reassuring hand on Kurt’s shoulder.
Jesse nods in agreement. “After all, it is my show. But even then, people understand that this is an exceptional case.”
“To the public, you’re out due to unexpected personal reasons, which I guess is correct,” Rachel tells Kurt, “All is well, Kurt. We’re in New York, we’re living our dreams. Trust us.”
Kurt relaxes a little bit. He trusts Rachel and he even trusts Jesse. It’s just a lot to take in. He’s made it to Broadway and so did Rachel.
“What happened to the others? Mercedes, Artie, Tina and the others?”
Rachel smiles widely. She takes her phone again and she shows him a picture of the New Directions. On front, Artie and Mike are holding a banner that says: NEW DIRECTIONS REUNION OF 2020.
As expected, everyone looks older. Puck even has hair. There are also some lesser known faces, which confuses Kurt. He knows that there are new members, but Kurt doesn’t really know them.
“We still see each other regularly. This photo is quite old,” Rachel sounds nostalgic. Then she starts to list everyone’s successes. Artie is a film director, Tina stars in his movies, Mercedes is a Grammy-winning musician, Quinn has an amazing teaching job at Yale, Brittany and Santana have dance and acting careers, Puck’s joined the army after Finn’s death, Mike is a choreographer, Sam is a past model and now teaches… the list goes on.
“Wow,” is all that Kurt can say. He takes the phone from Rachel and he zooms in on everyone’s happy faces. They did it. They all truly did it.
If only Kurt could remember it.
They remainder of the afternoon is filled with talking about the others. To Kurt’s utter surprise, Rachel tells him that Kitty Wilde lives in New York with her boyfriend, and that Kurt and Kitty are close friends.
“Wait, that Quinn wannabe?”
Rachel nods and Jesse tries not to laugh at the ‘Quinn wannabe’.
“We know that from your perspective, you’ve barely seen each other and the impression that she’s given you is not the best. That’s why we decided to not take Kitty and Roderick with us for now. Let it sink in and if you wanna know, you can call her.”
Kurt makes a face. “I can’t call her. I don’t have a phone. Blaine deemed me unfit.”
“Well, honestly, I can see why. Your Firmspring has been blowing up,” Jesse says and when he sees the puzzled look on Kurt’s face, he adds: “That’s social media. Firmspring is a social media platform that mostly hosts videos.”
“Ouch Kurt, the loss of YouTube is still fresh,” Rachel jokes, although Kurt obviously misses the punchline. Is YouTube gone?
Jesse rubs his temples in frustration. “Gosh, lemme think. What were big social media platforms in 2012? Is SnapChat a thing already?”
Kurt shakes his head. Maybe it is, but Kurt hasn’t heard of it.
Jesse groans and Rachel rolls her eyes. “Do not mind him. Thinking hurts his brain, since he’s not used to using it.”
Kurt and Rachel laugh while Jesse mutters something in protest.
“Let’s just say that many social media platforms from the 2010s have disappeared, but features have re-emerged in Firmspring. It has aspects of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and SnapChat and Instagram. After all, the platforms started copying each other’s features anyway, so Firmspring demolished them all by being the most ambitious. Why have multiple social media accounts when you can have one Firmspring?”
The ever growing monopolies kind of worries Kurt, with Springo taking over a lot and apparently, social media is also merged into one platform, but that’s just 2012 speaking.
“Wait. Firmspring sounds a lot like a Springo?”
“Springo Co. owns Firmspring, Kurt.”
“Is there seriously only one social media platform? To me, it feels like social media are just getting started and now they’re all gone? I still have to get used to the many platforms being there.”
“Oh, no, no, Kurt! Facebook and Instagram still exist, but people don’t use it as much, since people have Firmspring. And Tumblr and TikTok are still a thing. They already existed in the 2010s, right?” Rachel asks Jesse, who nods, but looks unsure.
“I think TikTok was late 2010s, though. Or was it early 2020s? Ugh, at one point, there was too much.”
“Google services like YouTube are just gone. Google got wrapped up in 2025, only recently. Uhm, Springo Co. has acquired Twitter and Blytz and immersed it in Firmspring. There are loads of smaller platforms and also local platforms. As Broadway starts, we’re big on Sha-Bash, which is New York based.”
Rachel and Jesse list of more social media platforms, but apart from Pinterest, Kurt doesn’t recognise them. Kurt doesn’t even recognise some discontinued platforms like Caddrop, Pring and Blytz. Kurt is really happy that Rachel and Jesse are telling him so much, since Blaine’s been awfully shy about talking about the past fifteen years, but it’s a lot to take in.
After a while, Blaine returns home and Rachel and Jesse bid their farewells. At least Blaine is there. Kurt can’t fully describe it, but even though Kurt barely knows him, Blaine’s presence makes him feel at ease.
Blaine is fine.
Up next: Blaine is not fine.
Chapter 6: Fist
After rewatching the brilliant 45 minute long masterpiece called Basically, I’m Gay (© Daniel Howell, 2019), I realised that Firmspring sounds a lot like the old social media platform Formspring. This was unintentional.
I didn’t put much thought into creating the platforms mentioned in the fifth chapter - two of them were named after snacks I ate while writing so - since I decided to not care that much about the technology. Just to clarify: Firmspring is not Formspring. In this world, Spring Co. started in 2016 and Firmspring was created in 2020 or something to compete with LinkedIn, so it orignally was created for promoting firms.
With that in mind, let’s see how Blaine’s been doing for the past week.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Blaine is not fine.
He is far from fine. He has problems holding his phone because his hands are shaking so much. He balls his free hand into a fist, just to make it stop shaking that much. He’s pacing around the hospital hallway, waiting for Wes to pick up the fucking phone.
The nurses told him that Kurt has a huge case of amnesia. They’re still asking Kurt questions, but one nurse slipped out of the room to let Blaine know that it does not look good. Soon, Blaine will go into that room as well and he will look at the face of his boyfriend who will not remember him.
How will Blaine be able to look at Kurt whilst knowing that?
The call goes to voicemail again, so Blaine angrily yells: “Mimi, call Wes Montgomery again!”
Some people shoot angry looks, but his AI happily obliges. His AI doesn’t have feelings and for once, Blaine sympathises with his good old Mimi.
Finally, Wes picks up.
Usually, Blaine would scoff at his friend using that old nickname from high school, but right now he’s too stressed to do it. Instead he blurts out: “Cancel tomorrow’s work appointment. It’s an emergency.”
The tone of Blaine’s voice must’ve made it clear. Blaine doesn’t often cancel appointments, but when he does, Wes tries to find a way to make him show up anyway. Now, Wes immediately says: “I’m texting Sebastian already. Wanna tell me what is going on?”
What is going on? Blaine barely even fucking understands it as well. He’s just so fed up. So angry at the world. Why the hell did this have to happen to him?
Blaine stops pacing, since his breathing is speeding up. This is just so ridiculous. Wes will never fucking believe it.
“In. Out,” Wes starts, “In. Out. One, two, three. Whatever it is, you’re stressing, dude.”
With the help of Wes, Blaine starts to calm down a bit. Then again, how calm can you be when you find out that the love of your life doesn’t know you?
“Are you home? Do I need to come over? Where is Kurt?”
In. Out. One, two, three.
“We’re at the hospital. Kurt’s- well, fuck, Wes, you’re never gonna fucking believe it!” Blaine says hysterically, as if he’s on the brink of a meltdown. Well, he probably is.
“Blaine, you’re getting agitated. Calm down for a bit and then tell me why you’re in the hospital.”
Damn, Wes always knows what to say. He should’ve become a therapist, not an entertainment lawyer.
“Basically, Kurt’s lost his memories. I found him lying on the kitchen ground and when he didn’t recognise me, I got worried. Wes, Kurt… I knew something was wrong the moment it became clear that he doesn’t know his brother is dead.”
“Ouch.” Ouch is an understatement, but Blaine knows that Wes understands how serious it is. Wes lost his sister when he was young.
“They – fuck, sorry – they haven’t told me how much he’s lost, but if he doesn’t remember his brother dying it’s not gonna be good. He’s- he doesn’t…” Blaine trails off. He knows what is means, but saying it out loud would make it more real.
Wes is smart enough to fill in the blanks: Kurt doesn’t remember Blaine. Kurt and Blaine met four years after Finn’s death.
“It’s okay, Blaine, just… just talk to me. What is it?”
Blaine is angry. That’s it. He is just fucking fed up with the absurdity of this situation, but he shouldn’t speak. He’s not the one who lost at least fourteen years of memories. Kurt’s the one with a possible fucking brain injury. The nurses have reassured Blaine that there seems nothing wrong, but Blaine has to stop himself from snapping at them.
If there’s nothing wrong, then why the hell did his memories disappear?
But he doesn’t tell Wes all of that. Instead he just mutters: “Life sucks.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Wes sounds solemn.
“What the fuck will Kurt think if he could see me now?” Blaine laughs bitterly. He’s on the brink of an epic meltdown in the middle of this hallway.
“He loves you,” Wes says and Blaine snorts.
“Does he? He apparently doesn’t even know me!”
“Then let him know you.”
The words hit hard. Wes is right, of course, but Blaine’s changed a lot in the past few years and it was not always pretty.
“I-I’m not sure if I want that, Wes.”
The two of them stay on the line for a while. They don’t talk much, since there’s not much to say, but it’s nice to know that Wes is there. Normally, Blaine shares his thoughts and burdens with Kurt, but Kurt probably doesn’t know him.
Kurt definitely doesn’t know him.
After a while, the doctor comes up to talk to him about a possible MRI if the memories do not resurface after one week, and then he follows her into the room. Time to face the music.
To Blaine’s utter surprise, life goes on. He wakes up, he has breakfast with Kurt, he works on some music or keeps Kurt company, he eats, he goes to sleep with Kurt next to him.
It’s all so normal.
Except it isn’t. Blaine tries to be strong for Kurt, since he’s the one who has to navigate through this unfamiliar world, but when Kurt’s not looking, Blaine just wants to cry. And oh, he does. He cries in the shower. He cries when he slips back to the office. He cries because he’s sad that he has to watch the love of his life go through this, but mostly, he’s so angry.
It’s just a difficult week. The littlest things hit the most. It breaks Blaine’s heart to see how Kurt’s faces falls when he catches his reflection in a mirror or window. It’s terrible to watch Kurt cook, since he’s even forgotten the smallest, insignificant things, like where to find the salt. It’s tedious, knowing that Kurt often retreats to the bedroom to cry at his mother’s dresser. The list goes on. So Blaine cries a lot, but only when Kurt doesn’t see it.
But then he dries his tears. He turns off his phone to avoid the annoying comments on Firmspring, asking what is going on, and he goes back to Kurt with a smile on his face.
After a week, Blaine feels ready to combust. Kurt’s memories have not come back, and Blaine just needs to get out.
So he calls Rachel and Jesse to keep Kurt company. They’re not the only glee kids living in the city, but Kurt’s told him a lot of stories about how he used to dislike Kitty and Kurt probably doesn’t even know Roderick.
It’s weird to think that Kurt doesn’t remember two of his closest friends. Blaine only met Kurt after the whole dramatic feud between Kurt and Kitty had settled down, so Blaine can’t imagine them being hateful towards each other. Jesse is already a stretch.
Blaine takes a cab to Sebastian and Adam’s apartment. People have started to recognise him, now that his music career is taking off, so taking a train is a bit off-limits. He gives his driver an enormous tip and he lets himself in. After all, the doorman recognises him.
As expected, Wes, Mae, Sebastian and Adam are waiting for him.
“You look like shit, Blaine,” Sebastian says when he opens the door.
“Feel like shit,” Blaine says and he walks past Sebastian. Adam and Mae greet him as well. Wes just has a pitiful look on his face, but Blaine takes it. Wes is the only one who knows what is going on. He hasn’t even told his girlfriend.
“Wes told us that Kurt’s a bit ill,” Adam says and Blaine wants to laugh at the ‘bit’ part. He’s not a bit ill. He’s a lot-
Well, is he ill? Kurt is fine, minus the huge memory loss. They’ve got an MRI scheduled, so all they can do is wait for now.
“We’re surprised that you decided to have a small meeting. The upcoming album can always wait and besides, Wes made it clear that the situation at home is dire enough,” Mae says and the others nod.
“You’re here, though. Does this mean that Kurt’s getting better?” Sebastian asks.
Blaine shakes his head. There’s absolutely no improvement and Blaine had to get out. He’s not here to work, but to vent. The others just don’t know it yet.
“If I may ask, what is going on with Kurt?” Adam sounds a bit worried.
Blaine takes a deep sigh and he nods. “Yes, I wanted to tell you. I want you guys to know what is happening, not as colleagues, but as close friends.” So Blaine tells him everything, from the moment he found Kurt lying on the kitchen floor, to the news that Finn has died, to scheduling an MRI, to now. He tells his friends every excoriating detail and he doesn’t hide the bitterness and sheer anger that’s he’s hidden in front of Kurt and nurses and doctors.
Because, really, Blaine is so angry at the universe. Kurt and Blaine were doing so great. They are at amazing points in their career. Past troubles of miscommunication have been fought. They’re working towards the future.
After Blaine’s heated monologue, it is silent. Adam, Sebastian and Mae all absorb the words. Wes just looks sad.
“He doesn’t know any of us?” Mae sounds sincerely sad.
“He doesn’t even know me, Mae,” Blaine says and the anger in his body seems to leave. Instead, sadness washes over him. Kurt doesn’t know anyone here. He doesn’t know that Adam is his first boyfriend. He doesn’t remember Wes and the time he ran into a pretty woman in the park called Mae. He can’t recall Blaine’s pure and utter shock at seeing Sebastian again after everything that went down in Dalton. And the follow up: the news that Sebastian is dating Kurt’s ex Adam.
Work brought them all together, but friendship came out it. Yes, even Blaine and Sebastian managed to become friends. Kurt doesn’t even know the work – Rachel is probably filling him in – so he will definitely not know the friendship.
Sebastian gets up, probably to break out the alcohol. Blaine doesn’t drink, but he’s tempted to accept a cup of strong vodka, just to make him forget for a second. Adam goes after his boyfriend, probably to talk some sense into him.
Mae is on the verge of tears. Kurt and Mae are very close. Kurt was the person who told Wes to finally take the big step and ask Mae out and when Wes and Mae started dating, Kurt became great friends. Wes rubs comforting circles on her back.
Adam and Sebastian come back from the kitchen, empty-handed. “No liquor, but I am definitely in the need for coffee,” Sebastian says and Blaine wholeheartedly agrees.
“How are you holding up, mate?” Adam asks Blaine.
“I’m terrified, Adam,” Blaine admits.
“How this is going to change Kurt. Change us. What if he-” Blaine’s breath hitches.
“What if he what, Blaine?” Wes motions for Blaine to go on.
“What if he doesn’t love me anymore.”
Mae rolls her eyes and Adam and Sebastian also exchange some amused looks. Wes shakes his head while smiling.
“It is not funny!” Blaine says angrily.
Wes shrugs half-heartedly. “No, it isn’t, but do you really think he’s going to stop loving you out of nowhere?”
“Things can change,” Blaine argues.
“But they won’t,” Wes says back, sounding a bit more strained.
“How do you know that?”
“I just do.”
“Because he will love you, Blaine.”
“Give me one reason why he would love me?”
“Damnit Blaine, because he’s done it before!” Wes yells out. His patience is gone.
That shuts Blaine up. He looks around him and all his friends are looking at him with such pity. The more amused looks are gone and Blaine can’t stand it, but of course, Wes makes a valid point. He always does.
Wes continues to say: “He’s done it before and he will do it again. He already loved you the first time around, despite your flaws. Why the hell would it be different this time?”
Blaine knows why he’s afraid. He just doesn’t want to say it out loud, but then Mae scoots closer and wraps her hands around him and Sebastian and Adam hurry closer too. These friends have seen many ups and downs in Blaine’s life.
He should tell them.
“It’s just that… what if the memories don’t come back? He has a new chance at life and at finding someone else.” There, Blaine’s said it. There’s no going back. He can feel the tears forming in his eyes.
Wes doesn’t scoff or scold him. Instead, he joins the cuddle pile.
“Blaine Devon Anderson, in your past eight years with Kurt you’ve had a lot of doubts and fears but never once did you doubt Kurt’s love for you. Yes, you’ve felt inadequate and sometimes even unlovable, but in the end you always knew that Kurt loved you anyway. Don’t start now.”
Sebastian nods. “Yeah and also, what is in the past is in the past. Are you afraid of Kurt not loving you for who you are now, or are you afraid that your past will scare him off?”
“Both,” Blaine admits. The tears are now rolling down his cheek. Blaine’s cried a lot in the past week, but he was always hidden. Now he’s crying, but his friends are there.
“Kurt loves you, mate, I know so. He left me for you,” Adam jokes and he clutches his heart in fake-shock. The others laugh, despite the sad atmosphere. This has been an inside joke for years. Everyone knows that Adam is over Kurt.
“Also, what if Kurt changes? So what” Mae ponders, “He might be a different person, but so are you, Blaine. Sebastian’s right. What’s past is in the past. Let Kurt fall in love with the current you. I mean, from everyone in this room, I’ve known you the shortest. I honest to God don’t want to know high school Blaine, or Blaine from ten years ago. I’m fine knowing you now.”
Blaine stares at her. Mae is such a wonderful person, who’s always there to see things positively. What would Blaine do without her?
“I love you, Mae,” he tells her.
“I love you too, Blaine,” Mae says back, and she wipes away his tears.
“Hey, now wait a minute!” Wes yells out and everyone dissolves into laughter again.
“Sorry babe, I love you as well, but my best friend Blaine comes first,” Mae says and she sticks out her tongue.
“Blaine is my best friend!” Wes says back and he pretends to faint.
The others all start to argue as well (“Blaine loves me more!” “Excuse me, Blaine and I go way back!” “Yes, but you were a fucking prick, Sebastian.” “Ouch!” “He’s right, though.”) and Adam goes out to get some coffee and cronuts from the coffee shop around the corner.
They talk some more about Kurt, but they also talk about their work for Blaine’s new gigs. It’s nice. Blaine loves his friends and by the end of the afternoon, he says his goodbyes and he goes back to Kurt. Of course, he plasters a smile on his face.
It will be fine.
And that is Blaine! Due to my poor planning, this story is mostly going to be Kurt’s POV, but we will check in with this poor guy every now and then. After all, he’s going through this as well.
Swipe left. Swipe right. And left again.
His mother’s dresser is cleaned up and it’s time for Kurt to get out of bed. Blaine’s still asleep, but Kurt can already start on breakfast. Before he leaves the bedroom, he looks back to see Blaine turning around in his sleep. They’ve been sleeping in the same bed for a while now and Kurt’s surprised by how comfortable it is to have Blaine lying next to him. After all, Blaine is kind of a stranger.
Well, not really, but Kurt just can’t remember him.
Kurt sighs and he moves to the kitchen. Kurt woke up feeling cheery and he decided to do something for Blaine. Over the past week and a half, Blaine’s been nothing but kind and patient with Kurt and Kurt wants to make something nice for him. Besides, Blaine is his boyfriend. It’s still new and they don’t really talk about where there relationship stands, but it feels proper to make a special breakfast.
Kurt has no idea what Blaine likes for breakfast, but Blaine’s given Kurt his phone back, since Blaine also started to realise that it was getting crazy to keep the outside world away, so Kurt uses it to look up recipes.
Kurt doesn’t have his Springo yet, because Blaine wants to explain that first.
His phone is slimmer and larger and Kurt can unlock his phone with his thumbprint or with facial recognition. It kind of freaks him out, since it comes straight from a sci-fi horror, but he’s also amazed by it. Blaine’s put the Wi-Fi back on, but he did delete social media from Kurt’s phone, like Firmspring and Sha-Bash. He’s also disabled messaging apps. Kurt doesn’t know much about his online presence, but he’s grateful nonetheless. He knows he can re-install them, but he won’t. Honestly, Kurt doesn’t mind, especially now that he knows that he’s quite famous. According to Blaine, Kurt’s social media has been blowing up with questions from Broadway fans.
Google is no longer a thing in 2027, but there’s a brand new, highly-advanced online search machine that happily supplies Kurt with lots of recipes for breakfast. He soon finds a recipe for scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta cheese. Of course, Springo Co. owns the search machine that Kurt’s used. Kurt has the slight feeling that Springo Co. has replaced Google and therefore contributed to its demise.
Kurt still needs to familiarise himself with the content of each cupboard, so it takes him a while to get everything ready. He wants this to be perfect. Not only is this to thank Blaine, but Kurt also wants to talk to him. Again, Kurt has no idea where they stand. They like each other’s company and they share the bed, but Blaine’s been a bit distant.
Even now, Kurt feels like Blaine’s a stranger to him. He only knows his last name and that he’s a musician. Kurt can’t really explain it, but he likes being around Blaine. His presence feels comforting in some way. Maybe it’s a residue of Kurt’s lost memories, but who knows. This does mean that he’d like to know him better.
Kurt sings underneath his breath while he’s cooking. “Holding to the ground/As the ground keeps shifting/Trying to keep sane/As the rules keep changing.” He’s had this song stuck in his head for a while. It’s from an old musical from the 90s called Falsettos, although Kurt found out that it had been revived in 2016.
“Keeping up my head/As my heart falls out of sight/Everything will be all right/Everything will be all right,” Kurt continues to sing quietly. Luckily, the plot of the show does not apply to Kurt’s life, but these lyrics seem appropriate with the current situation.
Kurt’s in the midst of making scrambled eggs when Blaine comes in. He’s very sleepy and he has a huge bed head. Kurt thinks it’s adorable, although he won’t tell Blaine. Or maybe he will. Again, where do they stand? Kurt understands Blaine’s desire to give Kurt space, but it’s almost been two weeks and Kurt truly doesn’t know him.
“Morning, love,” Blaine says lazily.
The ‘love’ stings, but Kurt lets it slide. Blaine’s obviously half-awake.
“Good morning. I looked up some breakfast ideas on my phone.”
Blaine yawns and says: “Ah, did Lizzie recommend them?”
Kurt raises an eyebrow. Maybe Blaine’s too sleep deprived to remember the memory loss. “I don’t know any Lizzie, sorry.”
Blaine has a funny look on his face. “She’s on the kitchen counter, Kurt.”
Kurt looks around in confusion. Has he been missing a roaming cat for two weeks? That is very unlikely. Blaine laughs when he sees Kurt looking around.
“Hey Lizzie?” he yells out and to Kurt yelps in shock when his phone lights up.
“Good morning, Blaine,” an automated female voice says. It’s coming from Kurt’s phone.
“What time is it?” Blaine asks and he yawns again. He’s really sleepy.
“It is 9am on August 14th 2027,” the phone replies in monotone.
“Thanks Lizzie. All is well,” Blaine says and the light of the phone’s screen dims.
Kurt is looking at his large, flat phone in shock. “What the hell is that?”
“That’s your AI, Kurt. Haven’t you met her yet? You named her after your mother.”
Blaine doesn’t see the shocked and disturbed look on Kurt’s face as he moves past him to make coffee. The thought of coffee seems to wake him up.
“Her? It’s a phone, Blaine.”
Blaine looks over his shoulder to face Kurt and he rolls his eyes. “Alright. It. People just tend to refer to their AI’s with pronouns like her, him or them, based on the AI’s voice setting. Female voices have always been the most used, so people often give their AI’s female names to match Siri or Alexa. You surely must’ve heard of Apple’s Siri, right? I don’t remember exactly when Alexa became big, but if I remember, Siri was already released in 2012. I think she was the first mainstream virtual assistant.”
Kurt does know Siri. It was all in the news a while ago. Apple had released this voice recognition software for the iPhones. At least, that is all that Kurt knows.
But Blaine is lost in thought. “Oh man, remember Google Assistant? So glad we never got one for our home now that Google is dead.”
“Blaine, what – or who – is Lizzie? Is she the virtual assistant of Samsung? Are these virtual assistants everywhere now?” Kurt turns down the electric cooking plate and he goes to find some plates. By now, he’s mostly familiar with the kitchen.
Blaine takes a big gulp from his coffee and he blinks a couple of time. After two weeks, Kurt now knows that Blaine’s waking up.
“No, love, Bixby is the virtual assistant of Samsung, but we don’t use that. We use our own personal AI’s,” Blaine hands Kurt another cup of coffee and together, they move to the dining area of their apartment.
“Why, what is wrong with Bibyx? Byby? Bixby?”
This isn’t the kind of conversation that Kurt had anticipated, but now he’s intrigued. So much has changed in fifteen years and all these technological changes sound kind of disturbing.
“It makes us feel more comfortable to have our own personal AI’s. AI’s like Cortana, Siri or Alexa are all owned by big companies, namely Windows, Apple and Amazon and they’re everywhere. Okay, Cortana has been discontinued on iOS and Android, but she’s still prevalent. There have been privacy issues in the past, so a market for personal AI’s was upcoming a couple of years ago. Companies that create personal AI’s have to sign a contract, stating that the moment the sale is finalised, they no longer own any part of the AI. They can still be approached for technological support, but Lizzie is 100% yours and you own all the data that she collects. We decided to invest in our AI’s when we finally were able to afford it.”
“You have one as well?”
Blaine nods and then marvels about the eggs. Kurt’s happy that he likes it.
“Then what is yours called?”
“I’ve always wanted to have a dog and from a very young age, I wanted to call her Mimi. Well, I don’t have a dog, I have a phone. She’s also connected to my Springo.”
Kurt looks at Blaine’s bare wrist. He barely wears his Springo watch, but Blaine’s explained to him that Springo’s are more useful outside the apartment. The two of them haven’t really left the apartment that often and during the rare moments, Kurt’s mostly gone rogue. He knows that his thirty-four years old self is probably comfortable with this current state of the world, but eighteen years old Kurt isn’t. It’s all too new and futuristic.
Blaine has a knowing look on his face. “It’s a lot to take in, huh?”
Kurt nods slowly. “I wanted to talk to you about something else, but it feels kind of weird after this information dump.”
Blaine takes a sip of his coffee. “It’s fine. You can talk to me if something’s troubling you.”
“Are we dating?” Kurt blurts out and Blaine almost chokes in his coffee.
After a small coughing fit, all Blaine can say is: “Uhm.”
“Like, don’t get me wrong or anything, because you have been nothing but kind, but I don’t even know you and I have no idea what our current relationship status is and I kind of want some clarity.”
Blaine’s silent for a while and Kurt starts to worry that he’s scared Blaine off. He’s about to apologise when Blaine starts talking.
“I’m so so-”
“Do you want to be?” Blaine asks.
“Do I want to be what?”
“Dating,” Blaine clarifies and he looks nervous.
“Yes!” Kurt answers instinctively and Blaine looks up in shock. Kurt can feel himself turn red. Oh God, this is the first guy Kurt’s ever really liked and now he’s looking like an idiot.
But then the shock on Blaine’s face turns into hope.
“You do?” he asks hopefully.
“I do, truly, but-” Blaine’s face falls immediately, “-I don’t know you. Don’t get me wrong. You’re hot and I like being with you and I have no problems holding your hand or sleeping next to you, but I don’t know you. You don’t talk about yourself at all. In the past days, I’ve only heard you talk about me and when you do talk about yourself, it’s in a relation to us. I know things about us. I know that we love living in New York. I know that we both enjoy musicals. I even know that we dislike heavy metal. Where’s the me, myself and I? I like you, and I’d like to date you, but first, I’d like to know you.”
Blaine looks conflicted. “Then, why are you sure that you want to be with me?”
Kurt wishes he could explain it as well. He knows that he feels completely at ease around Blaine. He knows that he wants to follow wherever Blaine goes. He knows that Blaine loves him and that Kurt can trust him.
There’s an instinctive pull towards Blaine. Maybe it really is a strange version of déjà vu, as if his consciousness remembers loving him, but that his mind and body haven’t caught up yet. Maybe Blaine is just that amazing.
Kurt has no idea. All he knows is that being with Blaine makes sense and right now, most things don’t make sense.
“I just do,” Kurt replies.
Blaine nods and he looks down. Kurt wishes he knew what Blaine was thinking. Blaine can so easily understand him, and Kurt assumes that thirty-four years old Kurt fully understands Blaine, but he’s not there yet. Blaine being so distant is not helping.
“Why don’t I know you? Like, right now, tell me something about yourself.”
Blaine looks like a deer caught in headlines.
“I, uhm, I…” he trails off, so Kurt decides to help him out.
“Do you have siblings?” Kurt asks. They have to start somewhere, so let’s start somewhere easy.
Unfortunately, Blaine has an uneasy look on his face. “Yes, one brother. He’s older.”
“And do you like him?”
“Well, uhm, yeah. We’re- we talk every now and then and in the spring-” Blaine immediately cuts himself off and he doesn’t talk about anything else.
“We’ll come back to him later,” Kurt says quickly. The awkwardness is almost palpable. “How are your parents?”
“Okay?” Kurt raises an eyebrow. Asking Blaine questions is like pulling out teeth.
“Uhm, my mom is currently in the Philippines. I told you that she’s born there. Dad is in Ohio. It’s- yeah. That’s it.”
“Ohio? Oh yeah, you’re from Columbus!”
Okay, apparently his family is a sore subject, so Kurt asks: “What is your favourite musical?”
Blaine’s face changes from a conflicted expression into an unreadable expression, but he answers: “Hadestown.”
Blaine doesn’t elaborate much more and Kurt throws his hands in the air. He’s giving up. If every conversation is going to be this excoriating, then maybe Kurt shouldn’t bother at all.
Kurt gets up to bring the empty plates back to the kitchen and Blaine starts to protest, but Kurt doesn’t listen.
Kurt ignores Blaine for now. He cleans his mother’s dresser again and when he’s in the bathroom, he feels the strange urge to tap his nose three times, so he does. Blaine is holed up in the office and Kurt can hear music coming from the office, but doesn’t care to join him. Besides, Blaine doesn’t want him there.
Instead, he experiments with his AI Lizzie and he watches some more movies on Netflix. After all, he has a lot of movies to catch up on.
Later that evening, Kurt’s still on the couch and he’s watching this weird romantic comedy when he hears the door opening. Kurt pointedly looks away, but Blaine sits next to him.
The two of them watch the movie, although Kurt’s mind is on Blaine. He sneaks some glances and he sees how Blaine’s staring at the screen. Well, Kurt isn’t going to make the first move.
Blaine opens his mouth to say something. What he says is very unexpected.
“In my sophomore year, I serenaded a random guy who worked at the GAP and I got him fired.”
Kurt can’t help it. He wants to be mad at Blaine, but he snorts.
Kurt sneaks another glance and Blaine is still staring at the screen, but the corner of his lips are curled up.
“I am afraid of vampires, since my brother dressed up as Dracula when we were little,” he then says and Kurt snorts again.
Kurt tries not to laugh out loud, but the image of a small Blaine, hiding from his brother behind someone’s legs, is hilarious.
“My alma matter is Dalton Academy. A private boarding school known for prestigious education and weed.”
“I stabbed myself in the eye with mascara.”
“The first song I’ve ever written is about a tuna salad sandwich. I was six.”
“I got kicked out of my high school’s soccer team for singing at inappropriate times.”
“I used to wear a lot of hairgel, but I toned it down after I accidentally put cement in my hair. Don’t ask how I did that.”
“There are a lot of videos of me dancing on furniture. There are also a lot of videos of me falling of furniture.”
“I have approximately 69 bowties. Yes, that number is on purpose.”
“I almost broke my ankle while trying on my friend’s heels.”
Blaine keeps telling Kurt random, funny facts about himself and after a lot of them, Kurt can’t supress his laughter any longer. He hasn’t laughed this loudly in a days. His ribcage hurts as he wheezes and Blaine also burst out laughing.
When they calm down, they look at each other, and another fit of giggles and hoots bursts out.
After a while, the laughter dies down. By now, Blaine’s leaning against Kurt. The stupid movie is still playing in the background, but no one pays attention.
“Thank you for telling me all of that,” Kurt says earnestly. It’s not the deep personal information that he’d hoped for, but it’s something and it is so Blaine.
“I’m sorry for this morning,” Blaine says softly, “I just- I don’t really like myself, so I don’t want to talk about myself.”
Kurt leans away and Blaine sits up. “You don’t like yourself?”
Blaine looks sad. “I’m- well, I’m starting to like myself now, but there’s a lot of shit that went down and I don’t want to scare you off.”
“I’ve been dating you for eight years, Blaine,” Kurt says pointedly, “I can hardly imagine future me being with someone I dislike. If I can like you the first time around, I can definitely do it a second time. You just said so yourself: you like yourself a lot better now. I told you, I want to be with you, but please let me know you.”
“Well, there’s also this time where I almost choked on liquorice during one of our first dates,” Blaine says casually and Kurt laughs again. This guy is ridiculous.
Blaine cups Kurt’s chin and he waits for Kurt to push him away, but Kurt doesn’t. “I love you, Kurt. You don’t have to say it back. If you want to be with me, despite everything, then let’s do it. I can’t promise that I will open up immediately, but I love you so much and for you, I’d do everything.”
“Can I kiss you?”
Blaine nods eagerly.
This isn’t Kurt’s first kiss. That was taken from him in his junior year in high school, and Blaine probably knows that story, but nevertheless, to Kurt, this is the first one that counts.
Blaine leans in to kiss him and it’s the best first true kiss ever.
I constantly had those lines from Holding to the Ground stuck in my head, so with this prompt, I was very happy to be able to put it into the fic. Speaking of songs, the tuna salad song is a definite tribute to the Symphony verse.
Chapter 8: Hiccup
I’m back for now! There’s a small time jump, but it’s time for Kurt to meet some (old?) friends.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
One morning, a month after the incident, Blaine drops a huge bomb on him.
“We’re getting married.”
Kurt almost drops his spoon in his breakfast bowl.
“We are?” he asks, trying to sound calm.
“We are,” Blaine confirms, “We’re getting married next spring. We have the venue booked. Our playlist is almost finished. We tasted the cake. We picked our song for the first dance. I am pretty sure Cooper is working on his best man speech, even though he’s not my best man… But yeah, we’re getting married.”
Kurt sets his spoon down and he just stares at Blaine. He doesn’t know what to say, or what to think. To Kurt, they’ve only been officially dating for two weeks and now Blaine tells him that they’re getting married soon.
And don’t get him wrong. Dating Blaine has been absolutely wonderful and Kurt has ever hoped for. After being in Ohio for so long, it’s nice to have a boyfriend who he can kiss and hold hands with and talk to. He loves waking up next to Blaine, knowing that he gets to spend the rest of the day with him.
Blaine’s also there for the sad parts. Blaine’s there to hold him when he cries at his mother’s dresser. Blaine doesn’t make fun of Kurt not knowing how to use his Springo. Blaine holds his hand when the results of the MRI can’t explain the memory loss.
It’s too fast. This is way too fast.
“Why are you telling me this?” Kurt blurts out. He no longer tries to sound calm.
“Because I think it might be time for us to face the music,” Blaine says sadly, “I’d marry you, still, but I can imagine that you might not want to marry someone you’ve just met. It’s been a month, Kurt, and I know we might have more time to get your memories back, but I do think you should know that we are getting married soon. If your memories don’t come back before that, I can understand if you want to break off the engagement. After all, losing your memories is not just some small hiccup or a pebble on the road. It’s huge.”
“I like you,” Kurt says immediately. It’s true. He really, really likes Blaine. But Blaine’s right. For Kurt, this is too soon.
Blaine smiles sadly. “I like you too, Kurt.”
Kurt knows what’s left unsaid. Blaine loves Kurt, but he doesn’t want to constantly say it, since he doesn’t want Kurt to feel uncomfortable. Kurt respects that, although the whole marriage bomb puts him in a very uncomfortable position now.
Kurt remains speechless, so Blaine says: “Look, we don’t have to make a decision right now. You just deserve to know what is going on in your life.”
The day after, Kurt gets an unexpected phone call. The screen lights up and Kurt can clearly read the name ‘Kitty’. Now, Kurt knows that he and Kitty are friends. It is just weird to think about it. The last time he saw Kitty, he was working at the Lima Bean and she was treating him horribly.
According to Rachel, the New Directions alumni have been updated a while ago. Kurt isn’t exactly ready to talk to them. Sometimes, talking to Rachel feels terrible. Rachel is clearly still Rachel, but then she mentions a memory that Kurt can’t remember, or she acts just a little bit too kind and Kurt gets thrown off all over again.
His friends text him every now and then, which is good enough. According to Blaine, everyone uses texting nowadays. Calling is only for serious topics, which is another reason why Kurt’s anxious to see that Kitty is calling him.
Maybe he should pick up. He barely knows Kitty, apart from the fact that she is (was?) a pain in the ass.
“Hello?” Kurt says nervously.
“Oh, hey! I didn’t expect you to pick up,” Kitty says lightly. She sounds friendly. It feels wrong.
Kurt shakes his head. It’s been fifteen years. Of course, Kitty has changed. She’s probably not the annoying Quinn wannabe anymore.
“Hi Kitty,” Kurt says shortly. He doesn’t really know what else to say.
“So, uhm, heard that you got yourself a brain injury,” Kitty says. Kurt scoffs at her tone of voice.
“My MRI results were clear: I do not have a brain injury.”
“Oh, yeah. That’s cool.”
This is awkward. It is even more awkward than that one time where Kurt taught Finn how to wash his balls. Thinking about Finn makes Kurt’s heart ache.
“Uhm, okay, hi,” Kitty sighs. It gives Kurt pleasure that it is just as awkward for her. Then he shakes his head again. Kurt logically knows that he’s being unfair towards her, since Kitty is clearly not the person she used to be, but it’s weird for Kurt to think that he and Kitty Wilde are friends.
“I just, uhm, I want to say that I am sorry,” Kitty says and Kurt’s taken aback. He did not expect an apology, especially not from Kitty Wilde. “I know that this is weird, so I am aware that you think of me as a crazy bitch and I was a crazy bitch. So, I just want to clear the air: I am sorry for the way I’ve treated you back in high school.”
Kurt doesn’t know what to say, so he doesn’t say anything.
“I gotta say that it’s weird for me to say this to you, since we’ve had this conversation ages ago, but I guess this is even weirder for you.”
“You don’t say,” Kurt grumbles.
“I just hope that I can proof to you that we can be great friends. I’ve done it before, so I can definitely do it again.”
“How exactly did we become friends?” Kurt bites out. He immediately covers his mouth with his spare hand. That was unnecessarily rude, he knows it, but it just happened. He’s about to apologise when Kitty answers.
“Oh, well, that is a long story. You honestly wouldn’t believe it.”
She’s right. Kurt already has problems believing it and she hasn’t even started yet.
“After high school, I took a gap year with the full intention to go to college after that gap year. Well, I didn’t end up at college, but I somehow ended up in New York. I moved to New York in 2015 and I needed a place to crash. You and Rachel were still living in that dead end loft of yours, so you took me in. After all, Santana had already left by that moment.”
“Rachel and I took you in?” Kurt asks incredulously.
“I know it might sound shocking to you, but by that time, our hostility level had already been lowered. I can’t say that you liked me, because you definitely didn’t, but you tolerated me and the feeling was mutual. In fact, you kicked me out after just half a year! That was the best choice ever. We clearly were terrible roommates, but we slowly became friends.”
It is still hard to believe it and Kitty’s talking vaguely, but she’s calling him. She must care for him.
So Kurt sets his pride aside and he shocks her by asking: “Would you like to meet up? Grab some coffee and catch up?”
There small stunned silence gets broken by Kitty.
“I-I’d love to,” she sounds choked up.
“Alright. That might be nice.”
“Yeah. Do you also want to meet my boyfriend Roderick, or is that too much to handle?”
“Do I like Roderick?”
“Does Roderick like me?”
“Well, to this day, you’re his favourite teacher, so-”
“I’m his favourite what?”
Meeting Kitty (again) is only the beginning. A few days after the phone call, Blaine invites some of their friends over for dinner. They’re all unfamiliar to Kurt.
Before they arrive, Blaine gives a small rundown.
“Wes is my best friend since high school. Mae is his girlfriend of four years. Sebastian and I also go way back, and not in a good way, but we’ve talked it out. He’s been dating Adam for five years or so. Adam is coincidentally your ex-boyfriend.”
Kurt gapes at Blaine. He’s known that Blaine’s not technically his first boyfriend, but he didn’t expect his ex to still be in their lives.
“How did we end up being friends with my ex-boyfriend and his new boyfriend?”
“It’s a weird story and I am pretty sure that they’ll tell you later today. After all, Adam can’t shut up about it.”
Kurt is stunned into silence, but he still helps Blaine with setting the table. The two of them have cooked pasta pesto and the others are bringing food as well. It’s going to be a fun potluck filled with people that Kurt does not remember.
Well, the coffee date with Kitty ended up being nice. Her boyfriend did not join them, since Kurt’s not ready for that, but it was okay. Weird, but okay.
Kurt has no reason to dislike these people, and even if he did, he doesn’t remember it.
The doorbell rings and Blaine goes to greet them. Kurt waits in the kitchen and he has his back turned towards the door. He takes a deep breath and counts to ten. He can do it. These people are completely unfamiliar to him, so it’s different from the New Directions or his family.
Kurt takes another deep breath and he turns around. There’s a tall, brown-haired man who a weird smirk on his face. It makes Kurt think of a meerkat. He holds a bowl with food. Another man’s arm is hooked into his. He’s shorter than meerkat-face and he has blond, slightly curly hair. He looks older than everyone else in the room.
One of these guys is Kurt’s ex.
Behind them, an Asian guy with glasses is hugging Blaine tightly. A woman is watching them with an amused look on her face. She is also holding food. Her long, brown hair has been tied into a neat bun and Kurt loves her outfit. 2027 fashion is not necessarily Kurt’s taste, but she makes it look good.
“Kurt, nice to meet you again,” meerkat-face says kindly, “I’m Sebastian and this is Adam.”
“I’m capable of introducing myself, Seb,” Adam says playfully and oh, he’s British. Kurt also realises that the older guy is his ex.
“I’m Mae, where can I put this?” the woman, Mae, says and she holds up the food.
“Uh, kitchen?” Kurt answers and Mae nods. She moves past him. She clearly knows her way around the apartment.
“Oh, Kurt, you’re not going to be ready for this,” the other man, probably Wes, skips the introduction, “Mae has made chebu jën. You’ve probably forgotten the taste, so get ready to be amazed!”
Mae returns from the kitchen. “Don’t listen to him. He’s overexaggerating. It is my mother’s recipe and I cannot do her justice.”
“Mae’s mother is originally from Senegal, so Mae grew up with Senegalese cuisine,” Blaine says when he sees the confused look on Kurt’s face. Kurt instinctively moves closer to Blaine to hold him. He needs it. “Trust me, it’s good. You love it. It is definitely better than the food from her father’s side.”
“Hang on, I can appreciate some Dutch hutspot with hachée,” Adam says indignantly.
“Yes, but you’re from England,” Sebastian says playfully, “You’re known for your poor taste.”
“Be nice! I only allow kindness under my roof,” Blaine sing-songs.
“Of course,” Wes punches him in the shoulder.
Sebastian also puts the bowl with food (salad, apparently) in the kitchen and Adam reveals a bottle of wine from under his coat. Blaine frees himself from Kurt’s grip and takes everyone’s coats and Mae effortlessly starts roaming around the apartment to dim the lights for atmosphere and to put on music.
Now, Kurt’s gotten used to his apartment, but these people walk around so carelessly, they definitely beat him. They probably feel more at home here than him. They are also very comfortable around each other.
“Ugh, Mimi has a terrible taste in music,” Mae says as she scrolls through the collection of digitally-owned music on Blaine’s phone. Yup, she’s definitely comfortable with Blaine, since Blaine only allows a select group of people access to his phone. Not even Rachel can access it.
“Mimi doesn’t have a consciousness. You think Blaine has a terrible taste,” Kurt says. He’s also still not used to the AI’s everywhere.
“Well, that is true.”
Mae turns back to the music and Kurt’s phone buzzes in his pocket. Time to tap his nose three times. He’s been doing it for a while now, and it makes Kurt feel good. It’s a bit reassuring. Mae sees him tapping, but she doesn’t seem to care that much.
Blaine comes back from storing the coats and Kurt immediately moves towards him to take Blaine’s hand.
Blaine squeezes it.
“You’re going to be fine. They love you.”
No memories. No pretences. No expectations.
He can do this.
Up next: Kurt gets to know two of his guests a little bit better.
Chapter 9: Interrupt
Oh, yeah, there’s a balcony.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kurt’s sitting outside on their small balcony. Inside, his guests are all having fun, but he excused himself. So far, the evening has been great. Kurt wishes that he could say that there’s an instant connection, or that he remembers some things, but neither are true. Nevertheless, he’s enjoying himself and he likes his guests.
It’s just a bit too much, so he needed some fresh air. He’s nursing a glass of red wine and he is enjoying the terribly polluted New York air.
The door slides open and to Kurt’s surprise, Mae is looking at him. He’d expected Blaine, not Mae.
“Am I interrupting something?” she asks.
“No, come join me and listen to the sound of cars.”
Mae chuckles and she raises her own glass. The balcony isn’t very big, but it’s big enough for two small chairs. Mae sits down on the other one. “How are you? It got kind of loud inside. I don’t think we’ve spoken.”
“Ever,” Kurt adds.
Mae nods solemnly. “That is true for you.”
“I’m fine,” Kurt says honestly. He is fine, truly. He’s enjoying himself and his guests are very nice. It just feels a bit too formal. He’s sitting on his balcony, which is part of a fancy New York apartment, drinking red wine and mingling with others.
“You’re fine,” Mae nods, “But?”
“This is a bit grown-up for me. Dinner parties with potlucks and fancy bottles of expensive wine. The last time I hung out with a group of friends, we all got hammered after a night of clubbing.”
“Sounds like Santana,” Mae says.
“You know her?” Kurt asks, surprised. He knows that Brittany and Santana have left New York a few years ago.
“Not really, but I’ve seen her a couple of times at parties. She’s fun. So, you feel like you’re missing out on your stereotypical college experience by having dinners with friends?”
When she puts it like that, it sounds like of stupid. Most people regret the crazy shit that they did during college. Kurt’s just never experienced it.
“You must’ve heard of the idea that people have to grow up fast? After my mom died, my dad tried his best, but I did feel like I had to grow up faster. My dad still gave me enough room to be a teen, but it was different. I thought that back then that I had to grow up fast, but no, I went to sleep as an nineteen year old, and bam, I wake up and I am thirty-four.”
“No one is stopping you from going out and getting hammered, although I truly do not recommend that, especially since Blaine doesn’t drink. And you’re still fun! Adulthood doesn’t mean that you can’t get crazy and have fun. I know you’re nineteen, so your thirties sound like a weird, boring, adult period, but it doesn’t have to be. It isn’t. We have loads of fun, some even ‘less formal’ than this.”
Kurt doesn’t say anything. Instead he sips his fancy wine and he watches the lights of New York City.
“I know that you’ve lost your racy young adult period of your life,” Maye says and Kurt snorts at the ‘racy’ part, “But you’re never too old to have fun. Honestly, I am having more fun now than when I was a college kid.”
“It’s just going so fast out of nowhere. I don’t know how to deal with it,” Kurt says and he clutches his glass of wine to prevent himself from trembling, “I am apparently getting married in a few months.”
“Blaine wouldn’t force you,” Mae points out.
“Of course, you know about the wedding.”
“I am your bridesmaid,” Mae tells him, “So yes, I do know. We love - or we used to love - talking about weddings, since you’re definitely planning mine.”
Kurt tries to find a ring on Mae’s left hand, but there’s nothing there.
“You’re getting married?” Kurt asks and Mae puts a finger on her lips.
“I’m going to propose to Wes soon. Maybe around Christmas, I don’t know yet. You’re the only person I’ve told and you were supposed to go ring shopping with me last week.”
“That is amazing!” Kurt exclaims. Mae pretends to bow. “Why me, though? I know we’re friends, but why me instead of Blaine?”
Mae looks over her shoulder. Inside, Wes is talking animatedly to the others and Mae has a fond look on her face. “It was December, 2023. I was walking around Central Park with some friends when suddenly some guy bumped into me and we both fell on the ground. This guy was Wes. You and Blaine were watching from the side and according to Blaine, you both saw us fall in love. Apparently, you were the one who told Wes to get over himself and ask me out. I’m certain that we would’ve dated without your help, but you definitely pushed us towards each other.”
“That sounds nice,” Kurt says and he wishes he could remember it. He takes Mae’s hand and Mae looks up in surprise. “If you’d let me, we can still go ring shopping together.”
“I don’t want to overwhelm you! You just found out that you’re engaged, so I don’t want to push my own soon-to-be-engagement in your face.”
“You’re too late, Mae. I am already far too overwhelmed, but I think we can be friends again.” Kurt means it. Kurt can’t remember Mae, or Sebastian, or even Adam. There are no past pretences here. There’s no bad blood. And again, if there is, then Kurt doesn’t remember it.
It doesn’t make it okay. Kurt still longs for his memories, but he can do this. They can do it.
“Okay. Yes, yes! Let’s do it!”
Adam is next.
Kurt and Mae had gone back inside and the evening had continued. Eventually, they all ended up in their living room and Sebastian jokingly demands desert.
“You can have a peanut butter cookie from the Pret across the street,” Adam says.
“I’ll take it, babe!” Sebastian kisses Adam’s shoulder.
“A chocolate chip for me!” Mae chimes in and Blaine seems to agree with her.
Everyone turns to Kurt for his order. “Uh, I am unfamiliar with the menu?”
“You can come with,” Adam says casually – too casually, “They have a huge vegan cookie assortment. It started two years ago, or so, and it just kept growing.”
“There’s even a broccoli flavoured one. It is as gross as it sounds,” Blaine says.
“Rude, broccoli is OP!” Wes yells out and Mae scrunches up her face.
“Who says OP in 2027? Wes, dear, grow up!”
The couple is bickering playfully, but Adam is staring at Kurt. He has a welcoming look on his face.
It’s not even supposed to feel this awkward. Adam is clearly totally in love with Sebastian and Kurt can’t even remember dating him, so Kurt pushes his uneasy feeling aside and he nods.
The others are still bickering about cooking flavours (Sebastian and Blaine have joined in) when Kurt and Adam leave. The shop Pret A Manger is literally across the road. Kurt’s seen it several times, but the brand is unfamiliar to him, so he never bothered.
“It’s originally from the UK. I think the first store opened in Chelsea around a decade ago, but then it bought Subway and now it’s everywhere,” Adam explains when Kurt asks about it.
“So, you feel quite at home.”
“You know, with it being from the UK.”
Adam looks startled for a second, but then he barks out a laugh. Kurt smiles as well. Maybe this isn’t going to be that bad.
“Oh, wow! You made that joke on our second date. It wasn’t funny then and it still isn’t funny now.”
Kurt’s smile falters. Never mind.
Adam senses the change of atmosphere. “Blaine- He did tell you that we used to date, right?” he asks, alarmed.
“No, no, he did! I just never expected- how did we- did we have a mild break-up, or why are we able to be so okay with each other?”
“We did not have a mild break-up. In fact, you shattered my heart in thousand pieces-” Kurt gulps “-but we’re fine and we’re friends. Same way your incestuous glee club members can still be friends with their exes.
Adam holds the door open and Kurt feels a bit awkward. Kurt shattered Adam’s heart into thousand pieces?
“We were serious?”
“Dead serious,” Adam says and Kurt follows him to one of those digital order screens.
“Then, isn’t this weird for you?” Kurt gestures between the two of them.
Adam taps the screen and sighs. “Kurt, I’m over it. It’s been eight years and I am deeply, madly in love with Sebastian. Sure, it was weird in the beginning when my boyfriend introduced me to your boyfriend, but we’re fine. When you broke up, you told me that we ‘were probably better of as friend’, and you were right. Is this weird for you? I mean, I wasn’t really expecting it to be weird for you, since you don’t remember us being together. Is it weird?”
Adam holds his Apple watch against the El-Pay payment spot and the two of them join in line.
“Kind of, but not because I remember us, but because I never expected to be so friendly towards an ex. Then again, in my eyes, I’ve never had a boyfriend before Blaine, so I wouldn’t know.”
“That’s fair. But hey, if Blaine and Sebastian can be friends, so can we!”
Their cookies are ready and they are ready to make the short trip back home. Kurt decides that he wants to know more, so he asks Adam if they can make an extra round around the block.
“It is easier to meet you and Sebastian and Mae and Wes. Like you said, I don’t know you. It’s easier in some ways to meet you guys then to meet my friends from high school again. Not knowing our histories does make me feel a little bit uneasy.”
“Do you want me to fill in the blanks?” Adam asks.
Kurt doesn’t really have to think about it. He wants to know more, so he nods.
“We met at NYADA. You asked me out.”
Kurt’s eyes widen. Kurt asked him out?
“We dated briefly, but it didn’t really work out. Fast forward two years, to 2015, and we just happened to walk into each other in the Village and we reconnected. You had just broken up with this other guy and I was pathetically single as well, so we started dating again. We were in love, truly. I think many expected us to get married and have babies.”
Kurt does not want to think of marriage at all.
“We’d even moved in together. You desperately wanted to leave that terrible loft, Kitty was already gone, and Rachel had moved in with Jesse.”
“Holy shit, we lived together?” Kurt asks in shock.
“Kurt, do you really think you lived in that place for years? You had no walls. Kitty and Rachel certainly did not appreciate it.”
Kurt nods awkwardly. He knows what Adam is implying and he doesn’t know how to feel about it. So, he puts the topic back on track.
“Wow, we truly were serious. What changed?”
“Blaine arrived in the city.”
He should’ve seen that coming.
“I watched the man who I loved fall in love with someone else. It still managed to last for two more years, but when you broke up with me to be with Blaine, we both knew it was a long time coming.”
“Did I cheat on you?” Kurt interrupts.
“Oh no!” Adam reassures quickly, “The reason you broke up with me was because you did not want to cheat. You’ve always been so awfully noble, Kurt Hummel. You wanted to do it the right way. I mean, it was a genuinely messy and terrible break-up, despite it being predictable. Stuff was thrown, words were said, there was a lot of crying and you left the apartment without taking your stuff. Kitty came to pick it up later.”
“Why was it so predictable, yet so messy?”
Adam shrugs half-heartedly. “I did not want to let go. My mind knew that you were in love with Blaine, but my heart did not accept. Again, words were said. Words that I later regretted, but they were said and I think it’s best if I don’t repeat them. So we screamed, we cried, we fought and you left. I thought I’d never see you again and after a while, I accepted it. I was in love with you and to the core, love means that you want the other to be happy.”
Kurt studies Adam’s face for a sign of heartbreak or agony, but it isn’t there. Adam has a more melancholic look on his face, but he doesn’t seem bitter.
“So you moved on,” Kurt states. It’s not a question, it’s a matter of fact.
Adam nods. “I did. I fell out of love with you, went back to school, and fell in love with this pathetic asshole in my class.”
“You went back to NYADA?”
Adam has a weird look on his face, as if Kurt’s asking something ridiculous. “Not everyone can be on Broadway by their thirties, Kurt. I reschooled and I decided to study business and administration. That’s how we met again. Sebastian majored in communications and PR and he and Blaine had talked it out, so when Blaine’s music career was taking off, he enlisted Sebastian. Sebastian dragged me along. You should’ve seen the look on Blaine’s face when Sebastian introduced me as ‘my boyfriend, Adam, who’s the best administrator ever and he also has a great ass’.”
Kurt barks out a laugh. He only just met Sebastian, but that does sound like him.
“It must’ve been really awkward.”
“Oh, definitely! We started a-” Adam coughs “-professional relation, but we all became friends. When it became clear that the two of us were better of with Blaine and Sebastian, it all went well. Our friendship between the four of us is based on mutual trust and that’s really helped.”
“Hm” is all that Kurt can say.
He likes Adam, but probably as a friend only. The two of them make their way back to Kurt and Blaine’s apartment and Adam’s talking about their break-up has become an inside joke in the group and Kurt feels content.
It’s the same feeling that he got with Mae. He’d like to remember this weird story on his own, but for now, he’s fine with the idea being friends.
They arrive back home and Sebastian hurls himself across the room to get his cookie. Everyone laughs and Kurt sits down next to Blaine and he cuddles closer. Mae and Wes share their cookies and Adam is joking with Sebastian.
The connection isn’t there yet, but Kurt is sure it’ll be there.
Sebastian and Wes will have some bonding time with Kurt as well, but that’s another time.
Chapter 10: Joy
Whoo, here it is, another Blaine POV!
Also, I noticed a small error. The glee canon, except for Klaine-related stories, is intact in this story, so Kurt should’ve met Adam already before he lost his memories. I did not pick a specific episode to start my story, but in the first chapter, Kurt mentions that Rachel just broke up with Brody (4x17). By that time, he’s already dating Adam in season 4 (4x11).
Ah well. For the sake of storytelling, I moved Kurt and Adam’s relationship till after season 4 episode 17. I blame my lack of interest in season 4 for this mistake.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Blaine never thought he’d be in this position, but here he is. He’s happily dating his boyfriend (fiancé?), but his boyfriend just happens to have forgotten everything.
Blaine wakes up, he kisses his boyfriend, he writes some songs, he hangs out with friends, and he goes to sleep. It’s still all so normal, but Blaine feels like he’s faking it all.
He really likes being with Kurt. He’s always liked being with Kurt, and the amnesia doesn’t change it, but it still feels like Blaine’s put up some façade. It’s been a month and Blaine is still waiting for the moment the memories come back. Until then, Blaine feels like he is playing some kind of act.
There are certain moments that make Blaine think oh, there he is, but then Kurt says something that is slightly odd, or Kurt acts in a way that is slightly different, and a new wave of disappointment hits Blaine.
Blaine doesn’t know this Kurt. This Kurt is more shallow and more sheltered and slightly judgemental. Blaine has heard of this Kurt several times, but mostly as a faint memory. Everyone’s changed since they left high school, but this Kurt is still at the very beginning. Blaine truly does not want to think of ‘his’ Kurt and ‘this’ Kurt as two different people, but sometimes his mind wonders.
Sometimes, dating Kurt can also be a bit suffocating. Kurt’s very hands-on and affectionate. He’s not settled into the relationship like. Kurt is still in the honeymoon stage of an early relationship.
Now, Blaine doesn’t complain. After all, he’s always been the more affectionate one in the relationship, but dating Kurt has been so comfortable for years. It just took some time for Blaine to re-re-adjust.
Despite that, it’s gotten better. Blaine no longer cries in the shower, only in the office, and it is nice to be able to flirt and kiss and hold Kurt again. Blaine still doesn’t really want to open up. The last big bomb was the wedding news, and Blaine figured that was enough for a while.
Besides, he’s still terrified. Kurt’s slowly easing back into this life. He regularly talks to Kitty, and apparently he and Mae must’ve hit it off at dinner, since Kurt and Mae went shopping.
(“It’s a surprise,” Kurt had said, as if the smitten look on Mae’s face hadn’t already revealed the secret. Blaine had to stop himself from telling her that Wes has bought his ring weeks ago.)
Blaine knows that under all that bravado, Kurt’s still incredibly scared, and the last he needs is Blaine freaking out as well.
“How is my third favourite son? I see you’re up early for once.”
Blaine rolls his eyes, which makes Burt laugh. There’s no shame in sleeping in when possible, and since Blaine’s his own boss, it is possible quite often. His free time makes it possible for Blaine and Burt to video call.
Before the amnesia kicked in, Kurt would join them if possible, but lately Kurt hasn’t been feeling up to it. It is one of the many small changes that Blaine has to get used to.
“I got up early, because Kurt accidentally asked Lizzie to turn the music on. He didn’t realise Lizzie is also connected to the speakers in the living room.”
“Has he already figured out how to control the TV with Lizzie?” Burt laughs and Blaine shakes his head.
“Kurt is still figuring out how to use our TV with the normal remote. He discovers new features every day, but then again, smart TVs weren’t really a thing in 2012.”
“Oh man, it is surreal that I can teach Kurt how his AI is connected to his TV,” Burt says, “Remember when he taught me that? It took me ages to understand.”
“How the turns have tabled,” Blaine sighs sadly. Burt must’ve picked it up, since he drops his cheery smile and he frowns instead.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
There’s a lot to talk about. Luckily, Blaine is surrounded by people who are very willing to listen to him, including Burt, but Blaine does not have the time to dump all of his thoughts on Burt. After all, they’d promised to take it easy. Burt had some heart problems a year ago, and stress can trigger further problems.
Instead of sharing all the burdens, Blaine can only think of one, so he blurts out: “Should I have kept the wedding a secret?”
“Of course not, Blaine.”
“We don’t really talk about it,” Blaine admits, “He doesn’t want to think about it and I don’t want to push him.” There are more things they aren’t talking about, but their upcoming wedding is a big one. Blaine had expected an off-standish reaction, but now that it’s happening, he doesn’t know what to do.
It’s best to keep the other big secrets for now. Blaine isn’t going to tell him about Quinn and Rachel’s offer anytime soon.
“I have the feeling you guys don’t really talk about anything,” Burt says. There’s no judgement. Burt is just stating the obvious. “Blaine, how are you feeling?”
“Terrible, still. Angry most of the time. Sad when I can’t help it.”
“Maybe you should tell Kurt that,” Burt advises, but Blaine can already feel himself shaking his head. Kurt is slowly getting to know Blaine a little bit more. So far, he knows Blaine as the more confident and supporting one. Blaine does not want to change that.
Burt sees Blaine shaking his head, but he keeps his comments to himself. Instead, he starts talking about Thanksgiving plans and Blaine just plays along. That’s what they’ve all been doing for over a month now: playing a part.
“Bye, third favourite son, I have to go,” Burt says after a while.
“Bye favourite dad,” Blaine says back automatically. Burt’s face falls for a small second, and Blaine knows that Burt dislikes the strained relationship between Blaine and his dad, but then they say their goodbyes and they end the call.
Kitty and Roderick are coming over for dinner. Kurt and Kitty have been hanging out for a while, and sometimes Rachel, Jesse and Blaine join them, but Kurt hasn’t really met Roderick yet. When Blaine had suggested a small dinner party with just the four of them, Kurt had grumbled something, but then he agreed.
Kitty and Roderick come over and they’re wearing matching bowling shirts. Kurt’s horrified when he sees it, but it fills Kitty’s face with joy.
“Good to see that your fashion changes haven’t changed, dear,” she says cheerfully.
“Well, yours certainly have,” Kurt says, appalled.
“It’s a joke, Kurt. Roderick used to wear loads of bowling shirts in high school, so sometimes we just wear them for fun. Speaking of Roderick…”
Roderick has grown a lot over the past decade. Blaine only met him ten years ago, but according to everyone else, Roderick was not always this confident, open and charming. Well, he puts his confidence, openness and charming nature to good use, since he manages to make Kurt smile immediately.
That, and Kurt doesn’t know him. For Kurt, this is their very first meeting. Kurt’s told Blaine that it was easier to meet Wes, Mae, Adam and Sebastian for that same reason. Still, Roderick’s kindness certainly helps and when he starts to sing along with one of the songs on Mimi’s playlist, Kurt is very impressed.
The evening goes well. Kitty and Roderick fill Kurt in on his internship at McKinley High as a glee club co-director. Blaine loves listening to the story, especially since Roderick sometimes slips up and still calls Kurt ‘Mr. Hummel’.
There’s a relaxed atmosphere, but Blaine still doesn’t fully feel at ease. He watches Kurt’s face for a trace of recognition, but there’s nothing. Blaine downs his drink when Roderick starts another story that should be a clear memory for Kurt, but it’s not.
“I’m going to get a refill,” Blaine holds up his glass and without waiting for anyone’s approval, he gets up to go to the kitchen. He chops some lime and he fills his glass with more tap water. At moments like this, he wonders if alcohol would soften the blow, but then he remembers that it doesn’t. That’s why he quit.
He doesn’t go back to the dining area. He empties his glass in one go.
“Damn, chug that lime water down, Anderson.”
Kitty smirks and Blaine flips her off.
“You need something?”
Kitty shrugs. “Kurt and Roderick are… well, they’re not catching up. They’re meeting. I’m really happy to see that Kurt and Roderick still hit it off, but it made me feel like a third wheel, so I decided to annoy you instead.”
“You are very good at being annoying.”
Now Kitty flips him off.
“Besides, you were rather quiet at dinner.”
Blaine looks away to refill his glass. He knows what Kitty is referring to, so he cuts straight to the point by saying: “It is happening to him, not to me.” He does not feel the need to talk about why he’s feeling down, since Kitty clearly understands what is going on.
Kitty scoffs loudly.
“That is where you’re wrong. It is happening to you. You’ve been left with this situation as well. Hell, it is happening to all of us and sure, our suffering is secondary to Kurt’s, but it’s still there.”
Blaine looks up from his glass to see that Kitty looks so incredibly angry, but not at Blaine. Blaine realises that Kitty is just as angry at the universe as Blaine is.
“Everything fucking sucks,” Blaine groans out.
Kitty barks out a laugh. “No shit, Anderson. Do you know how much it hurts to see the looks that Kurt shoots me? I don’t think he’s noticed, but sometimes, his face reflexively scrunches up when he sees me. Just the look of confusion and slight disgust, as if he can’t imagine that the two of us ever became friends. It doesn’t make any sense to him. I haven’t seen that look ever since I moved to New York. That’s why it’s so awkward for me to watch Kurt and Roderick immediately connect. Roderick makes sense to him, but I don’t.”
Blaine didn’t know that that was happening. Sure, Kurt’s a bit more closed off with Kitty than before the memory loss, but he didn’t know that Kurt doesn’t like her.
“I’m trying to prove that we’re actual friends. I’ve done so before, and I will do so again, but it does hurt to see how he just doesn’t believe it,” Kitty spits out, but then the angry frown drops and she just looks sad.
“I’m sorry to hear that, Kitty.”
“I’d almost say that you’re lucky that he doesn’t know you at all, but we both know that’s not the case,” Kitty sighs sadly, “Your situation is shitty for different reasons. I don’t know how you’re holding up. I would’ve broken down by now.”
“Trust me, Kitty, I have,” Blaine says pointedly, “But I have to be strong for Kurt. That is the thing that keeps me going. I have to be strong.”
He’s not convincing Kitty, but honestly, Blaine has problems convincing himself sometimes.
“I have to be strong,” he says again for extra emphasis.
Kitty looks at him with pity.
“No Blaine, you don’t have to be.”
Things can only go well for a certain amount of time before it all breaks apart.
It happens on a regular morning. Kurt is getting ready in the bathroom, since he is meeting Rachel for lunch. Blaine’s sitting in bed while scrolling through his Firmspring in the need for inspiration. He will have a small meeting with his team about the new album later in the day. Since he releases independently, he doesn’t have to worry too much about losing time,
Kurt is finished and he walks into the bedroom. Blaine looks up from his phone and- well, he almost drops it. Kurt looks as gorgeous as ever, but his hair is different.
Not bad different, but old different.
Kurt’s been parting his hair in a certain way for at least seven years, but now he’s styled it like he used to do it back when Kurt and Blaine first met.
It looks amazing, truly, but it still makes the air go thin.
“Your hair,” is all Blaine manages to say.
“Oh, you like it?” Kurt asks and he does a dramatic hair flip. There must be a lot of hairspray in his hair, since it stays perfectly intact like it used to do.
Blaine hates it.
“Why?” he asks.
Kurt looks a bit surprised by the reaction, but then he laughs as if Blaine’s made some corny joke. “Because I like it this way, dummy.”
“No you don’t,” Blaine blurts out before he can stop himself.
“It is my hair, Blaine,” Kurt rolls his eyes dramatically, “I think I know what I like, or are you saying that it isn’t my own hair.”
“It’s your hair,” Blaine agrees, but it’s not right. It doesn’t feel right. “But you don’t like it like that.”
Kurt has a bored look on his face, as if he’s tired of joking around. Blaine is not joking, though. “I think I can decide that for myself.”
“You haven’t liked that in years,” Blaine tells Kurt and oh god, Blaine knows it is just a way of styling your hair, but he needs Kurt to agree with him. He slowly gets out of bed just to stop Kurt from going out, looking like that.
Kurt’s starting to look younger. The other day, he even shaved. It’s growing back, since Kurt needs the stubble for Broadway, but it gave Blaine the same whiplash.
“Why do I even like my current hairstyle?” Kurt says incredulously, “It’s floppy and I think I parted it in a very weird way.”
“You got tired of the over-usage of hairspray, same with me and hairgel,” Blaine clarifies. He’s about to reach out to ruffle Kurt’s hair, just to make it go back to how it should be, but he stops himself when he sees the murderous look on Kurt’s face. At least he’s still very protective of his hair.
“Did I?” Kurt scoffs and he crosses his arms, “Because I don’t remember thinking that. I like my hair this way. Blaine, you’re thinking of me as two different people.”
“I am not!” Blaine protests and he feels that his breathing is starting to become heavy. He’s trying very hard to not freak out, but watching Kurt doesn’t help. Kurt looks angry, as if he can’t believe that Blaine’s saying all of this.
“Oh really. If I am the same person, then I know what I like to do with my hair, even now,” Kurt says sharply. Blaine closes his eyes and he shakes his head. He knows he’s maybe being a bit unfair, but this doesn’t feel right.
This is not right.
“Y-You don’t know,” Blaine mutters.
“Am I the same person, or not Blaine?”
Blaine shakes his head again, but then he nods quickly, but then he finds himself shaking his head again. This feels so, so wrong and Kurt doesn’t even know why. He wants to tell Kurt that he looks fine, that everything is alright, but instead he feels himself losing it.
“Blaine, come on, answer me. You’ve been nothing but kind and accommodating to me over the past few weeks. I don’t understand why you’re suddenly making a big deal of it. It is just hair.”
Blaine opens his eyes and Kurt looks so angry at him, as if he can’t fully fathom why Blaine is acting this way. Blaine backs away till he hits the bedframe. And Blaine knows that’s not fully his fault. After all, Blaine’s been the one to keep it together just for the sake of Kurt.
But at one point, there must be a breaking point.
Blaine bursts out in tears and his legs go weak. He falls to the floor, but he manages to catch a glimpse of the shock on Kurt’s face. He buries his head in his hands, so that he doesn’t have to see Kurt, and he cries. He’s been crying a lot lately, but he hasn’t cried this much in ages.
“Oh shit,” he hears Kurt mutter.
Blaine still doesn’t want to see Kurt, since he can’t stand the look on his face, knowing that Blaine put it there, but Kurt wraps his arms around Blaine. Sobs wrack his body, but Kurt’s holding him tightly and he’s spewing reassuring nonsense.
It’s making things worse, to be honest.
Blaine would rather cry in the comfort of his own- well, home doesn’t really fit here, but he’d rather go to the office and hide away for now. He cries even harder, and his breathing gets even worse, but every time he tries to calm himself, it gets somehow worse. Oh God, Kurt’s gonna think he’s weak and he’s going to hate him and he’s going to leave him after all, especially since the memories will not come back and-
But then, Kurt puts his hands on Blaine’s shoulders and he steadies him against the bed. “Okay, Blaine, breathe with me, okay? Can you do that for me? In. Out. One, two, three.”
Blaine tries to follow his lead, but he fails.
“It’s okay. Let’s try it again. In. Out. One, two, three. You have nothing to be ashamed of.”
It takes a couple of tries, and the embarrassment does not die away immediately, but after a solid ten minutes, Blaine let’s out a long breath. He dares to open his eyes and Kurt’s looking at him with a worried look on his face. The sight of the worry on his face almost makes Blaine spiral all over again, but Kurt immediately says: “It’s all alright. I am here, you doofus.”
Kurt moves his hands from Blaine’s shoulders to Blaine’s face.
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence, Blaine Anderson,” Kurt says sternly. Then, the look on his face softens and he says: “I’ll wear my hair differently, if that makes you feel better.”
Blaine wants to agree, but he shakes his head. This is not only about that stupid hairstyle. This is much more.
“I-I have, uhm, I have not been dealing very well with the whole memory loss thing,” Blaine admits quietly and he laughs in a self-deprecating way. Kurt does not laugh.
“No shit, Blaine,” he says instead. Kurt takes one of Blaine’s hands and he puts it over Blaine’s heart. “You can’t bottle it all up in here. Why didn’t you tell me you were not doing fine?”
“I didn’t want to w-worry you,” Blaine says and his breath still hitches, but it’s more controlled now.
“Oh God, Blaine. You’re in this situation as well and, fuck, I’m sorry I didn’t notice that you were… I’m sorry,” Kurt says and he leans down to kiss Blaine’s forehead, “I didn’t notice. I’m sorry.”
“To be fair, I didn’t let you in and you don’t remember me, so you couldn’t have known that I am a mess. I, uhm, told you that I am not…”
“You’re not what?”
“I’m not that great,” Blaine says half-heartedly, “I don’t like- I mean, I have to be strong and I… I have to be strong. I’m sorry I’m not strong when I have to be.”
No, Blaine, you don’t have to be. Kitty’s words echo through his head.
Kurt sits next to Blaine against the bed. He looks tired. “How about we stop apologising to each other. We’re both stuck in this situation against our wishes. Instead, we should just be upfront about these things.”
“Easier said than done,” Blaine blurts out. And in that moment, Blaine almost wants to laugh when he realises what he’s done. He’s been so focused on how Kurt’s gone back to his younger self – literally – that he’s ignored the fact that he’s doing the same thing.
Blaine’s always wanted to put Kurt’s needs in front of his own. It took him a long while to realise how unhealthy that can be and yet, here he is again. Just like Kurt, he’s fallen back into old habits.
“What are you thinking about?” Kurt asks.
Blaine looks at Kurt. He’s still embarrassed and he still wants to retreat back to the office, but Kurt’s right. This isn’t helping anyone. He’s tired and he does not want to explain all of his thoughts to Kurt right now, so for now, he answers: “About how stupid we are.”
Soon, when he’s less tired, he will tell Kurt the full story, truly, but now Kurt snorts in disbelief and that is enough.
Kurt cancels his lunch with Rachel and Blaine cancels his meeting with his team. Instead, the two of them snuggle on the couch while watching Netflix.
There’s something on Blaine’s mind, though. He nudges against Kurt.
“Hey Kurt, I didn’t know you had any experience with panic attacks.”
Kurt blinks a couple of times in confusion. “I… haven’t.”
“Then how did you know what to do?” Blaine asks.
“I don’t know,” Kurt admits, and he sounds very confused. Blaine smiles sadly.
“Because I taught you that.”
It feels like it’s the final straw. Kurt slowly starts to remember small things without him noticing. He will mention something that he can’t remember learning or knowing. He uses Blaine’s middle name, he mentions their favourite coffee shop, he asks how Blaine’s mother is doing in Cebu. Truly, most of the time Kurt doesn’t even notice that he’s done something extraordinary until Blaine tells him. Every time Kurt admits that he doesn’t exactly know what he’s saying, a new wave of disappointment hits Blaine, but there’s also some lingering hope.
It isn’t a big climatic cinematic moment where all the memories flood back in an instant, and Kurt jumps into Blaine’s arms with joy.
But it’s something.
The reason this chapter became longer than 3K+ is because I added the Kitty/Roderick part last minute. I had written the conversation between Kitty and Blaine a long time ago with the intention of adding it to a later episode.
… But then I saw Noah Guthrie in concert on the 19th and it completely reawakened my love for Roderick Meeks so I decided to shoehorn him into the story way earlier than planned.
Chapter 11: Kinship
Merry Christmas Eve!
Prepare for a word vomit, because I just want to thank the people behind this year’s advent for organising it. I am so happy that even now, 4 years after glee ended, we still have the community of Klaine fic writers and readers. I also want to thank the people behind the Glee Potluck Big Bang and their Drabble December. I personally didn’t incorporate their prompts into their story, but we cannot overlook the GPBB while talking about fanfiction.
The Klaine Advent has officially come to an end, but not for me. Today, I present you with a double update, so it’s quite funny that I’m exactly halfway on the 24th. I hope you enjoy these two chapters. There’s a time jump of a few weeks and Kurt’s back in Lima to see his dad.
One last note: please take the neuroscientific stuff with a grain of salt. I Googled amnesia and I even read some articles of scientific journals, but science is useless if you don’t understand it. I’ve added the references in the end notes in case you do understand neuroscientific talk and you’re interested.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kurt and his dad have never truly lost touch. Even now, Kurt speaks to his dad weekly. They mostly text, since that’s the main form of communication these days, but they also call.
Kurt just hasn’t seen his father yet.
He’s refused his father’s requests for video calling. He doesn’t want Blaine to put the photos of his family members back up. He’s been completely ignoring it.
Kurt still finds it difficult to see his own reflection in the mirror, so he certainly isn’t ready to see his dad’s. He’s not ready to see how blatantly his dad has aged. Same goes for Carole, who is probably sprouting grey hair by now.
Blaine keeps encouraging Kurt to see them and Kurt keeps finding excuses, until he doesn’t. His dad wants him home for Thanksgiving. Just him. Blaine agrees that it’s a good idea that he stays behind in the city.
The day before his flight, Kurt’s shaking in front of his mother’s dresser and Blaine’s holding him. Kurt knows that he can’t escape the fact that he’s lost his memories. Even with some small thing resurfacing, it’s still not enough. He hasn’t been able to escape it for weeks, but it was nice to pretend that his dad was still his dad.
He flies home with Sebastian and Adam, who are visiting Sebastian’s family for Thanksgiving, but they part at the airport. Kurt has to go back to Lima. To him, he hasn’t been back to Lima since he moved to New York. He stayed at home during Thanksgiving and his dad came to visit him in New York for Christmas where he dropped the prostate cancer bomb.
In the midst of all the crazy, Kurt had completely forgotten about it, and no one brought it up again, since it’s in the past for everyone else. That has been happening a lot, but Kurt just has to adjust to taking some things for granted. Kurt can’t believe that his dad’s cancer became an insignificant thought.
Well, he supposes he’s grateful that he can’t remember all the stress. When Kurt had asked his dad about it over the phone, Burt had laughed (“Oh yeah, that happened.”) so it’s clear that he’s completely recovered.
So Kurt’s back in Lima. Technically, the last time he was home was fifteen years ago. Lima isn’t ugly. It will never match New York or any big city, but it’s definitely gotten better and more modern.
Of course, there are tracking wires everywhere. Kurt isn’t going rogue for once, because he has his phone with him, and it makes him anxious. It’s easy to tell someone to ‘just go rogue’, but the truth is that 2027’s society has completely embraced the new tech, so without the tech, Kurt’s limited. He needs his phone to find the condo in the suburbs and his Springo for public transport and payment.
Kurt doesn’t like to admit it, but Lima is still home. Right now, he just doesn’t know where to find it. His dad had offered to pick him up, but Kurt declined. He’d like to postpone their inevitable meeting.
Since he can’t ask his bus driver to go the long way round, Kurt has to face his father earlier than anticipated. He arrives at the small condo in the suburbs and he has the sad realisation that the home in Lima is long gone.
Maybe Kurt’s wrong. Maybe Lima isn’t home anymore. The moment Kurt moved into the loft, he knew it was going to happen one day, but he expected different circumstances.
He rings the bell and his dad immediately opens the door, as if he’s been waiting at the door.
His dad is older, as expected. There are no grey hairs, since he’s bald, but the number of wrinkles has increased and to Kurt’s sadness, there’s a cane in his father’s hand.
That cane falls to the ground when Burt hugs Kurt tightly. The hugs still feel the same and for a second, Kurt forgets the sadness and he leans into his father’s embrace.
“Welcome home, kiddo,” his dad sounds happy.
I’m not home, Kurt thinks, so he just nods and he follows his dad inside. The condo is well decorated and it’s definitely Carole’s doing, since his dad is unable to do this on his own.
Kurt stops in the doorframe of the living room. The dark teal shades on the wall is something he would choose and he knows that he’s picked it, probably with the help of Carole. These small things have been happening a lot lately, and it really messes with Kurt’s head.
“Kurt, darling!” he hears and he sees Carole walking towards him with open arms. Seeing Carole is like a punch to the gut. Her dark brown hair has gone grey and she’s wearing glasses and some sort of cast around her wrist. She’s not limping like his dad. On the contrary, she moves quickly and she pulls Kurt into a hug before he has time to say anything.
“Hello Carole, you look great,” he says, but Carole just laughs.
“You always say that, Kurt, I just got old,” she jokes, but then she realises what she must’ve said and her face falls, “I mean- I did get old and I, uh, well…”
Kurt shrugs. He already feels out of place in this unfamiliar condo. The last thing he needs is an awkward atmosphere, so he says: “Still, you look great. I just look young.”
He does a dramatic hair flip to show off his styled quiff. He’s also shaved again. Broadway will have to wait.
“Oh Kurt, I am so glad you’re here,” Carole says, sounding more relaxed, “Finally someone who appreciates Thanksgiving cuisine as much as I do.”
“What’s wrong with getting some microwaved turkey?” his dad asks and both Kurt and Carole start protesting at the audacity of that comment. Maybe it will all be okay.
The next morning, his dad is already having breakfast by the time Kurt comes down. He’s slept in the guestroom, since this condo does not have his own room. He wonders what happened to all his stuff.
Kurt hasn’t slept very well. Everything is too unfamiliar and he couldn’t wipe his mother’s dresser, since that’s still in New York. At least he can still tap his nose, but it’s not enough. Right now, he is in the desperate need for coffee.
“Morning, kid,” his dad grumbles.
“You’re up early.”
“Not everyone is like your fiancé. Some people are morning people.”
Kurt snorts. Blaine is indeed a pain in the ass in the morning, especially before he’s had his first coffee.
“He truly is a night owl,” Kurt says and his dad nods knowingly. It is a surreal conversation for Kurt. Of course he knows that his dad knows Blaine and judging by the way he talks about Blaine, he likes him. Blaine also seems to adore Burt.
So logically, this conversation isn’t very weird at all, but to Kurt, Blaine is his first boyfriend.
Oh wow, his dad probably knows his boyfriend - fiancé, Kurt reminds himself - better than Kurt does.
“You really like Blaine, don’t you?” Kurt says while he makes a pot of coffee.
“What is not to like, Kurt? He’s nice, he’s kind, he loves you and cares for you. He’s a great man,” his dad answers easily.
“Of course,” Kurt also grabs some yogurt and he joins his dad at the breakfast table. His dad unlocks a tablet to read the news, since paper newspapers are a thing ‘from the past’, but every now and then, he looks over to Kurt.
Kurt sighs. “It’s okay dad, you can ask.”
“Just wondering how the amnesia is going, kid. Yesterday was very nice, but we both know that it was all a bit too polite.”
His dad is right, of course. They had a really nice evening, but the conversations were very shallow and there were some awkward moments where Kurt, Burt and Carole realised that they do not all have the same knowledge. Apparently, Kurt’s aunt Mildred has died in 2017, so when Kurt asked about her, it fell silent.
“What can I say, dad? The memories are still gone.”
“Really? There’s absolutely nothing?”
Kurt takes a sip of his coffee, so that he can avoid talking about it. His dad doesn’t know about the recent developments and Kurt wants to tell him, but he also doesn’t want his dad to have false hope. Kurt knows that he subconsciously has started remembering some things. He would say something or do something, and then Blaine’s entire face would light up.
And then Kurt would become confused, and Blaine would realise that Kurt cannot remember remembering it, and his face falls.
Yet, he wants to tell his dad.
“Dad, promise me not to think too much of this, okay?”
“I don’t want you to think that everything will be fine and that my memories are back.”
“Kurt, what are you talking about?”
“But sometimes, I do remember something.”
And as expected, his dad gets a hopeful look on his face. Kurt hates it.
“I’m not exactly remembering things. Things just feel familiar to me and I can’t remember why. I don’t remember doing it, but I just remember or know that I’ve done it. Does that make sense?”
“Is it like a déjà vu?” his dad asks. He still looks hopeful, but not as much anymore now that he knows it’s not as simple as it sounds. Kurt knew it was coming, but it still makes him feel uneasy.
This is why he hasn’t told anyone else, like Kitty or Rachel or Mae. He can’t bear seeing the disappointment on Blaine’s face and he also won’t be able to bear the disappointment on his dad’s face, but Blaine and his dad are inarguably the most important people in his life. Is it weird to say that he feels a very strong kinship? Probably, but that is how Kurt feels.
Even though he’s only known Blaine for three months.
“I don’t know. Kind of? I don’t have flashbacks or concrete memories or anything, dad. I truly have never been here before,” Kurt makes some hand motions, so that his dad knows that he’s referring to the condo, “But it’s more like I just know. Did I pick the teal shade for the walls, dad?”
His dad nods solemnly.
“That’s what I mean, dad. I can’t remember doing it, but I know that I’ve picked it with Carole. That’s all it is. I just know. I don’t know, dad, but that’s how I can describe it best. I’m sorry I can’t say more.”
His dad looks away and he balls his fist. He doesn’t immediately tell Kurt to not apologise, that he can’t help it, and that there’s nothing wrong. Instead, he breathes in and out. And again.
Kurt reaches out to touch is dad’s hand.
“It’s fine,” his dad eventually says, “It’s- It’s something.”
“That’s what Blaine said.”
His dad does another breathing exercise. Kurt obviously can’t remember everything, since his memories haven’t fully come back, so he doesn’t know why his dad knows all these techniques. Did Kurt teach him? Did Blaine?
Kurt gives his dad time to fully process it.
“Please don’t tell Carole yet. I don’t want her-”
“-to feel disappointed?” his dad finishes.
“Alright. I won’t tell her,” his dad promises, “But what does this mean?”
“We don’t know,” Kurt says and once again, the disappointment on his dad’s face is evident, “We’ve started talking with the hospital again. They referred us to some neuroscientists who specialise in different kinds of amnesia, since this is too difficult for the doctors at the hospital.”
“Why is this too difficult? Shouldn’t there be high-brow neuroscientists at the hospital?”
Kurt wishes he could understand as well. All he knows is that his amnesia is not ‘normal’ amnesia. He has no history of brain damage, he has no drug history, there’s no psychic traumatic past, there is no illness… Kurt is in absolute perfect health. Everything is great, except for the memory loss.
“There is this thing called retrograde amnesia, which basically means that I’ve lost my memories up until a certain point,” Kurt tries to explain, but it’s going to be difficult, since he barely understands it himself, “There have been neuroscientific studies about retrograde amnesia without direct brain damage, and neuroscience has come a long way, but many are still grasping in the dark. There’s also dissociative amnesia or something. They call it autobiographical, since I cannot remember my own life. I mean, I think that is what autobiographical amnesia means.”
“What can you do about it?”
“Occupational or cognitive theory have been discussed, but since we can’t really find the core of the problem, we can’t really treat it. Besides, reminder treatment doesn’t seem to work at all. Most people recover from retrograde amnesia through spontaneous recovery. We just have to wait. It sucks.”
“So you being here… it isn’t going to trigger any memories?”
Kurt nods, but then he turns to look at the teal shade wall. His dad follows his look.
“But you remember the teal shade wall,” his dad sounds confused.
“Like I told you, I don’t exactly remember things. I just know things. I know that Blaine’s favourite sauce for a barbecue is garlic, but we haven’t actually grilled anything since we can’t fit a grill on our balcony. I don’t remember him liking it, but I know it. And it messes with my head, dad, it really freaks me out.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Kurt.”
“Sometimes, I don’t even realise that I know something that I can’t remember,” Kurt says and he thinks back to the few times he figured it out by reading Blaine’s face, “I don’t know what’s real or not. When I saw the teal shade, I knew I picked it, but I couldn’t know for sure till I asked you a few minutes ago.”
“And the neuroscientists don’t understand it either?”
Kurt laughs bitterly. “As far as I know, I am completely defying all the laws of neurology. I am creating a new research branch.”
The two of them eat their breakfast in silence, although Kurt doesn’t really feel hungry anymore. A few minutes later, Carole comes downstairs and the conversations turn shallow again.
Kurt really, really likes seeing them again, but he can’t wait to go back to New York.
Since academia has ruined me, I present you the scientific references in proper APA style.
Amnesia (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved on December 23rd 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesia
Jenkins, K. G., Kapur, N., & Kopelman, M. D. (2009). Retrograde amnesia and malingering. Current opinion in neurology, 22(6), 601-605. doi:10.1097/WCO.0b013e32833299bb
Retrograde amnesia (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved on December 23rd 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retrograde_amnesia
Squire, L. R., Clark, R. E., & Knowlton, B. J. (2001). Retrograde amnesia. Hippocampus, 11(1), 50-55. doi:10.1002/1098-1063(2001)11:1<50::AID-HIPO1019>3.0.CO;2-G
Staniloiu, A., Markowitsch, H. J., & Kordon, A. (2018). Psychological causes of autobiographical amnesia: a study of 28 cases. Neuropsychologia, 110, 134-147. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.10.017
“How is Lima?”
Kurt rolls his eyes dramatically and Blaine laughs. Since 2027 phone camera’s are incredibly advanced, Blaine can easily see the annoyance on Kurt’s face during their video call.
“Glad to see that you still dislike it.”
“Oh my sweet, no memory loss can make me love Lima, Ohio,” Kurt says jokingly, but then he sees Blaine’s face.
He’s done it again.
Blaine quickly recovers from his shock and he puts a smile on his face. “I can imagine. I always say that Columbus is a dump, but Lima is definitely a dump.”
Blaine’s giving Kurt a way out, and it’s very tempting to continue as if nothing has happened, but after his talk with his dad this morning, he wants to talk about it. Kurt just wonders if Blaine wants to talk about it.
After Blaine’s meltdown, Kurt knows that Blaine often automatically puts his own needs aside for Kurt.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Blaine looks away and Kurt can hear his breathing speeding up. Kurt waits and listens, but Blaine manages to calm down on his own. It’s a big step already. Blaine still tries to push it away, but he’s now considering to talk.
“You called me ‘my sweet’,” Blaine says.
“Did I?” Kurt can’t even remember it. If he did, then he didn’t think of it. Again.
“You know how I used to call you ‘love’?” Blaine asks and Kurt nods. Blaine did do that, but he stopped doing it because it overwhelmed Kurt to hear that simple confession of love every damn time. “Well, your sappy pet name for me is ‘my sweet’, or ‘sweetness’.”
“That is indeed sappy,” Kurt says, but he can’t help but grin. He quite likes that Kurt and Blaine are that sappy couple who call each other cutesy names.
Blaine’s face softens when he sees Kurt’s grin. “Yes, it is and we love it. I didn’t think I’d hear it again any time soon.”
“Well, now that I know, I can call you that again.”
“I’d like that,” Blaine says and to Kurt’s amusement, Blaine blushes.
“Good,” Kurt says and with that, he decides it’s time to end this conversation topic. There’s much more to say, but right now, he just wants to video call with his boyfriend (fiancé?) in peace. “Oh God, Blaine, my dad told me that Breadstix has expanded!”
On his last day in Lima, Kurt decides to go out. Thanksgiving break has been great and it’s filled with amazing food, but the shallowness does not completely go away.
So on his last day, Kurt excuses himself and his dad and Carole give him space.
He walks around to clear his head. He’s lost in his thoughts and he doesn’t pay attention to where he’s going. He can’t stop thinking about the past few days. Truly, it was lovely to see his dad and Carole, but he so desperately wants to go back to New York.
He wants to go back to Blaine.
Besides, he’ll see his dad and Carole soon enough. They’re planning on celebrating Christmas in New York. Lima is just too unfamiliar right now. He’s slowly gotten used to the futuristic New York, but that took weeks and he’s still not entirely comfortable, but with Lima, he is back at the start.
At one point, Kurt decides to go back, but when he looks around, he realises he’s terribly lost. Since he wanted to go rogue, he can’t look up his way back home. Besides, he won’t be able to pay for a bus ticket if necessary, since his Springo is also at the condo.
He tries to trace his route, but he keeps getting more lost.
Oh fuck this.
Kurt walks around aimlessly, hoping to find some point of recognition, but there’s nothing. At moments like this, he wishes he could trigger his small memories to come up, but he can’t.
He ends up at a small park in a suburb. He can’t remember if this is his dad and Carole’s suburb or not. Kurt sits down on a park bench and he tries to think.
Focus, Kurt, you can do this.
Kurt doesn’t really register the voice, so he almost falls of the bench at the idea of anyone recognising him in a suburb in Lima.
Sebastian looks quite happy to see him. “What are you doing here?”
“What are you doing here?” Kurt says back. Shouldn’t Sebastian be in Westerville with his family and Adam?
“My aunt lives on this block and I was confused to see you here, so I decided to check on you.”
“Have you always been this kind?”
Sebastian laughs. “No.”
“That’s fair. To answer your question: I decided to go for a walk and got lost on the way home and before you tell me to look up the route, I am going rogue. I maybe shouldn’t have done that.”
“I can look it up for you and walk you home.”
Kurt looks up in shock. “You’d do that for me?”
“Well, my aunt doesn’t have a printer anymore, since paper has become kind of outdated, so I can’t print directions for you. Also, I fucking hate my uncle. People are still racist in the fine age of 2027. Adam is currently giving him a lecture on racial equality, so we’ll have time. Do you know the address?”
Sebastian takes his phone out of his pocket and he opens a navigation app.
“Oh my God. Fuck this, I’m texting Blaine for the address.”
“This is my first time in this certain area.”
“No shit,” Sebastian says and his phone pings. Blaine must’ve replied. “Your man is too damn good for this world. Let’s go.”
Kurt gladly follows Sebastian, since he is so incredibly lost.
“How is Blaine, by the way?”
“Good. Why’d you ask?”
Sebastian looks sad. “I know he’s had a meltdown a while ago. He hasn’t told me, but Wes has, and I can’t help but worry.”
“Why wouldn’t he tell you those things? Aren’t you great friends?”
“We weren’t always.”
Kurt has gotten the hint. The others talk about it in passing several times. Blaine has told him and he went to high school with Sebastian and that it was not nice.
“Knowing Blaine, he’s probably hating himself for something and he feels like he should hide his true thoughts and feelings to accommodate others. He doesn’t care that it’s destroying him.”
“That’s… eerily accurate,” Kurt says uncomfortably, “How would you know?”
“I may or may not have contributed to that mindset,” Sebastian says and he looks deeply ashamed, “To the left here.”
They turn the corner and Kurt asks: “What happened between you two?”
Sebastian doesn’t answer for a while. The two of them walk back to the condo and Kurt gives Sebastian space to find the words.
“I just want you to know that I am a different person, okay?” he eventually says, “What I did was gross and I can blame bad parenting for it, but that doesn’t make it okay in any way.”
“Okay,” Kurt says. He only knows Sebastian in 2027, so it might be fine. He can’t imagine Sebastian as anyone else.
“Blaine and I went to high school together. Blaine was in love with me.”
Kurt stops in his tracks. “He- what?”
“And I liked him back, but I was not in love with him.”
“Wait, wait, wait. I dated Adam and I am dating Blaine. You’re dating Adam and you were into Blaine. Blaine is dating me and he was in love with you. What are we?”
“You’ve always compared the four of us to your incestuous glee club. Adam has probably told you that our friendship is based on mutual trust and respect. All the past feelings are long gone, Kurt, but that is not the point. The point is that Blaine was heads over heels in love with me and I liked that. I liked the attention and the worship, but it wasn’t enough. Blaine wasn’t enough.”
Kurt can’t imagine Blaine not being enough to anyone. Blaine is kind, compassionate, passionate and very lovely. Kurt’s only been dating him for a while, but he’s incredibly happy.
“I liked Blaine, but I only liked the idea of him. My ideal version of Blaine.”
“Did you try to change him?”
“I didn’t try,” Sebastian sounds remorseful, “I made it happen.”
“Didn’t Blaine protest?”
“What do you think?”
Kurt thinks back on Blaine pushing his own feelings aside for the sake of Kurt’s happiness, and his stomach falls. “Sebastian, what the fuck.”
“The real Blaine is incredibly kind and amazing, but I didn’t want that. That’s not what love was to me. Again, there are no excuses, so I’m not gonna cry about my rough childhood, but when I grew up, that’s what I watched my father do to my mother and I guess… I just accepted that as the truth.”
For the first time in a very long time, Kurt feels disgusted. He instinctively steps away from Sebastian.
“Did you make Blaine hate who he really is?” Kurt asks sternly.
“He claims that it’s not true, but I disagree. I don’t know the full story from his side, Kurt. We broke up after graduation and I left for a prestigious university in France. I thought Blaine was holding me back, but in reality, I was holding him back,” Sebastian says bitterly. At least, Sebastian sounds as disgusted as Kurt.
“You definitely were.”
“While in France, my mother filed for divorce. That’s when things started falling into place for me. I cut off all contact with my father and he stopped paying my tuition, so I dropped out of university. Ah, daddy issues. At least Blaine and I still have that in common. I lived in France, travelled a lot, and I met loads of people. Nice people. I moved to New York to study PR and communications and met Adam. I was so afraid I’d mess up again, but oh God, Adam is not shitting around.
Six years ago, I ran into Wes. Wes was not happy to see me, let me tell you that. To be quite honest, I don’t think Wes likes me to this day. He just tolerates me. He told me Blaine has moved to the city and I asked to see him to apologise. To my utter shock, Blaine accepted the apology. Not only that, but he’s given me a second chance.”
“He really is too good for this world,” Kurt says knowingly.
“He keeps telling me that it’s not my fault, but come on, Kurt, that is fucking bullshit.”
“I admit that I started helping Blaine out due to my own guilt, but we became friends. I actually got to know Blaine and I didn’t try to change him. I wouldn’t want to. We gotta cross the road here.”
They stop at the pedestrian traffic light. Kurt is pretty sure he never had to cross a busy road on his way to the park, but Sebastian must’ve found a faster route. Or his phone must’ve recommended a faster route.
“Even though my own guilt isn’t my main motive anymore, I will do everything for Blaine just to make up for a bit of it. I don’t think I can ever fix what I’ve done, no matter how many times Blaine tries to tell me otherwise. He opened up his heart to me, and I destroyed him. No wonder he has trust and self-esteem issues.”
The light turns green and they cross the road. Then they go around another corner and Kurt slowly starts to recognise this area as his dad’s suburb.
Kurt stops Sebastian from walking for a moment and he puts his hand on Sebastian’s shoulder.
“I hope you can understand that this has changed my views on you,” Kurt tells Sebastian, “Blaine might be too kind for this world, but I am not. I believe you are a better person, but this is a lot to take in and I’m angry at you for it.”
Sebastian nods. “I understand. I would be quite surprised if things would’ve stayed the same between us.”
“Glad to hear we’re on the same page.”
The two of them continue their walk and after a while, Kurt finally sees his dad and Carole’s condo. He thanks Sebastian for walking him ‘home’.
“You’re welcome,” Sebastian does a mock salute, “It was nice, you know? You not knowing about our crap past, but you deserve to know at least something. I hope you realise it’s not your fault that Blaine has problems opening up or trusting you. It’s mine.”
“Even though he disagrees?”
“Even though he disagrees. Happy belated Thanksgiving, Kurt.”
The next day, Blaine’s waiting for Kurt at the airport. It’s almost like a romantic movie scene. Kurt runs towards Blaine, dropping his suitcase with a loud thud on the floor, and he jumps in Blaine’s arms.
“Woah, hi, hello!” Blaine says as he tries to steady himself.
“I’ve missed you,” Kurt leans in to kiss Blaine, “I don’t think we spend that much time apart, do we?”
Blaine laughs. “Yeah, this was torture. But you’re home now.”
Yes, Kurt thinks to himself, Yes, he is.
Ooooh, livin' on a prayer!
Chapter 13: Maximum
And that is it for 2019. Right now, as I’m writing, it’s less than an hour before the clock hits midnight. I wish you all a very happy 2020.
Kurt and Blaine are out on a small stroll through Bryant Park. Blaine decides to get some hot cacao from a vending stand, so Kurt gives him a small kiss before sitting down on a park bench near the fountain.
“Kurt, is that you?” he hears.
A man is looking at him. He has dark hair, some piercings, and he has a short beard. He has a very excited look on his face, and Kurt’s almost worried that he’s a fan. Every so often, Kurt and Blaine get recognised, which is very weird since Kurt doesn’t even remember becoming famous.
But then the man says: “Oh man, I haven’t heard from you in ages! Then again, can’t fully put the blame on you. I like your hair! It’s old school, dude.”
He sits next to Kurt and unless this is a very obsessed fan, this man is far too calm and casual. Most of the time, fans ask how he’s doing (“Still ill, unfortunately.”) and then they ask for a selfie.
“How are you?” Kurt asks. If they are supposed to know each other, then it’s best to act that way. Does this man know about the memory loss?
“Oh, life is crazy. Touring is so fulfilling, but it is also so tiring. Blaine can probably vouch for that,” the man answers. Okay, so he knows Blaine as well. “But it is great to see fans all around the country. Like, we know we’re just a small group – we’re nothing compared to you and your soon-to-be-husband – but it is so great.”
Okay, this man definitely knows Kurt and Blaine well, since he knows about the wedding.
“But hey, Dani told you that you’ve gotten sick, that’s why you’re on a leave?” the man sounds a bit worried, “If the amazing Kurt Hummel is on a leave from Broadway, you know something’s up. I read the statement on your Firmspring. Unexpected problems in your personal life, or something? That sounds rough, sorry to hear that.”
Every so often, Kurt wishes he could remember something. He doesn’t have a say in what he can remember and what he has forgotten, but he often just wants some control. This is one of those moments. Kurt studies the man. He looks very open and kind. From what he’s said, he obviously knows Kurt and Blaine well enough to be invited to their wedding, but not well enough to know about the memory loss. He’s probably a musician, since he’s touring and he’s comparing it to Blaine’s touring.
“I’m sorry, but I-”
Both Kurt and the man (Elliott?) turns to see Blaine standing there. He’s holding two Styrofoam cups of hot cacao.
“Blaine, man, how’ve you been?”
“Been better,” Blaine admits easily, “I thought you’d still be on the road by now. Didn’t you and Dani plan on a small vacation at the end of the tour? After all, you two and the band One Three Hillhave a busy schedule.” Kurt and Blaine’s eyes meet and judging by the look in Blaine’s eyes, Blaine knows that Kurt can’t remember him, and that this man doesn’t know about the memory loss.
Kurt nods shortly and he lets Blaine fully take over the conversation. Sometimes, Kurt chimes in with generic responses like “That sounds great!” or “Glad to hear it” or “Wow, that is awkward”, while Blaine does most of the substantial talking. Kurt notices that Blaine puts a lot of emphasis on random facts, so that Kurt can follow along without Elliott noticing that there’s something off.
“Oh yeah, remember Marry The Night, Kurt?” Elliott asks.
“I wish I were there,” Blaine immediately cuts in, “Kurt’s told me a lot about your initial audition for the band that later would become One Three Hill. I’ve heard it is great!”
Even if Elliott thinks it’s weird that Blaine is stating obvious facts, he doesn’t let it show.
“Marry The Night was indeed great,” Kurt lies easily. Is it a lie? Kurt just can’t remember it being the truth.
“The fans love to hear me cover it,” Elliott sounds proud, “Remember when Gaga herself retweeted me? Oh, Twitter, rest in peace. We’re still working on a new band name, so maybe we should name ourselves after Twitter as an homage.”
“Since you guys are no longer One Three Hill, now that Kurt’s left the band,” Blaine clarifies.
“Exactly! One Two Hill sounds dodgy, in my eyes.”
“Well, so does a band named after Twitter,” Kurt points out. He shoots a thankful look towards Blaine when Elliott isn’t looking.
“It’s a work in progress, Kurt,” Elliott says and he reaches for his phone, “Ah crap, gotta head home. Luke’s making an early dinner and I lost track of the time.”
“Go home to your husband,” Blaine says so that Kurt can follow along. Okay, so Elliott is married.
“It was nice to catch up, guys. I know communication has been kind of awry lately, with me and Dani being on the road, and Kurt apparently getting sick, but if we have time, we could hang out and grab some coffee.”
“Definitely,” Kurt says and he means it. He really likes Elliott. Blaine hums in agreement.
The moment Elliott is out of sight, Kurt turns to Blaine. “Okay, what the hell was that?”
“Uh, that was us catching up with a friend?” Blaine sounds a bit confused.
“If he’s a friend, why doesn’t he know about the memory loss? Apparently, he’s invited to our wedding, Blaine. We only invited friends to our wedding.”
Blaine looks stricken. “Look, I have completely forgotten to tell him, or Dani, or Luke, or Macy, or Joey, or Ross, or Monica, or Phoebe or- Oh god, I’ve also forgotten Isabelle. Should I have told Isabelle?”
“What?” Kurt exclaims loudly, which causes some people to look at them, “Did you just list the characters from Friends?”
“We just happen to know people who share their names with the characters of Friends,” Blaine says, and he also looks around, “You definitely know the Rachel.”
When Kurt sees that one person is filming them, he turns away. Blaine notices as well. Ah, that is the downside of fame and advancements in technology. People can see, hear, film, and track you everywhere outside the comfort of your own home. Even when you go rogue, like Kurt, others can capture you on photo of video and post it on Firmspring.
Luckily, even the most advanced phone camera’s cannot pick up sound from such a distance, so Blaine waves at the fan and then whispers to Kurt. “Let’s go home.”
On their way home, Blaine starts to talk, but he keeps his face cheery, just in case someone films them. Kurt and Blaine do not want to end up in the celebrity gossip tags of Firmspring or Sha-Bash. Kurt still hasn’t looked on his social media, but sometimes he hears Blaine sigh sadly while he’s scrolling through his timelines.
“Kurt, you know a lot of people,” Blaine says, “I just- Do you really think that we managed to personally let them all know what happened? You have work friends, college friends, people you bonded with on the train and became friends with… I didn’t mean to forget, but when you woke up without fifteen years of memories, my first thoughts weren’t ‘Oh boy, I have to remember to tell all those people!’. When I saw you talking to Elliott, I almost dropped the hot cacao when I realised that I had completely forgotten him.”
“From what I’ve gotten, Elliott and I are great friends who go way back to our college times,” Kurt points out.
Blaine nods. “But he’s also been out of the city for months and we haven’t heard from him, so he slipped under my radar. Does that bother you?”
Kurt takes Blaine’s hand to show that he’s not mad. “I understand. If it weren’t for Rachel or Kitty, I don’t think my glee club would’ve even known. It just makes me feel uneasy, knowing that there are people like Elliott, who I’m supposed to know, but I don’t.”
“Back there, you were so helpful, though. You helped me so much by leading the conversation and by filling in the blanks for me,” Kurt tells Blaine, and to his relief, tensions leaves Blaine’s body. By now, Kurt has learned that Blaine needs reassurance, instead of distance, so Kurt tries to be more open and less judgemental as well. “Thank you, truly. But you’re not always going to be there, so I guess I’ll have to figure out what to do if I meet someone when I’m on my own.”
“If only there was a way to tell all the people you care about at the same time,” Blaine grumbles.
Kurt looks up to look at the wires stretched all throughout the city. He can think of a way to do that, but Blaine is not going to like it.
“I don’t like this.”
“Well, I’m not looking for your approval.”
“I know, but are you sure about this? Not just people who know you personally will know. Everyone will know. Everyone, Kurt. Not just our friends who share the same names as the ones from Friends.”
“Blaine, I know that I’m from a time where social media are only at a starting point when it comes to how far it reaches people, but I know that this means everyone with an internet connection. I’m doing it. I contacted Rachel and Jesse to avoid risky PR stuff. I wrote this. I can do this.”
“Alright. But let me read it one last time.”
DECEMBER 10 2027, 5:36PM
kehummel posted a text post
Hello everyone, it is me, Kurt Hummel.
Apparently, that is how I start all my text posts on Firmspring and it sounds ridiculous. It sounds a bit self-centred, don’t you think?
I am writing this post as an update. As many may know, I have gotten sick and that has prevented me from being on Broadway. Unfortunately, this isn’t an announcement of my returns. It’s an explanation. We kept the details of my illness vague, since we all expected it end soon, but after five months, we have to face the music: I might not get better anytime soon.
Long story short: I have an extreme case of memory loss. I don’t remember being on Broadway. I don’t remember meeting my fiancé (guys, I am engaged!?). I have lost fifteen years of my life.
Yes, that is a lot to take in. That’s also why I’ve gone radio silence. I am from the time of Twitter and YouTube. Vine isn’t even a thing yet. So, Firmspring is one big pile of confusing mess for me. It’s weird to think that I have such a big internet presence at all. These whole e-celeb things have just started going big.
Oh, Blaine just reminded me that e-celebrities are called influencers. When did that happen?
I can assume that you have a lot of questions, but I don’t have a lot of answers. I am barely grasping it myself, but I have reached the maximum amount of patience. I cannot wait any longer. This amnesia thing is obviously putting my life on hold, but the longer I wait, the longer everything is stuck in time.
There isn’t much to say. I can’t tell you what the future holds for me. I’ve debated whether or not I should post this, but after talking to people (including Blaine, Rachel and Jesse), I’ve decided to post about it so that I can explain my absence.
Since I don’t know what is going on in my life, I’m don’t think I’m coming back to the social media world anytime soon. I know that I’ve gotten quite an online following, but I don’t even know how to use most of the features on my phone, so I’m letting Blaine do the cross-posting to Sha-Bash.
Really, I don’t have anything else to say. Thank you for your patience and support. I cannot believe that I have fans. I even have a Tony Award! Blaine has shown me the video of my win and I looked fabulous.
That’s all for now.
Chapter 14: Nest
Hello and happy belated new year. Can you believe we’ve entered the 2020s? One more year till location tracking becomes mandatory on all devices!
Well, hi there. It’s nice to see you. Welcome back for another chapter of Mysotis sylvatica, my 2019 advent story. I think updates will be more hectic than the updates on my 2018 advent story All the pretty things that we could be (yes, shameless plug!), since I am about to move countries for my study. Ah, I finished that one in 2019, so I don’t care. I’m just happily writing.
That being said, enjoy the awkward Hummel-Hudson Christmas.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Kurt should be happy.
His dad and Carole are in New York for Christmas. Kurt and Blaine arranged a car to pick them up, since they avoid going outdoors. Ever since Kurt posted his extended statement, the press has been everywhere. Luckily, thanks to privacy laws instated in 2023, the press is gone for Christmas. Still, Burt and Carole arrived by a car.
Kurt’s happy to see them. He hugged his dad tightly and he kissed Carole on the cheek. They did the generic greetings and even though Kurt expected it, he was sad to realise that the shallowness from Thanksgiving break has not completely disappeared yet.
Blaine put away their stuff, so that they can take it with them to the hotel, and he them poured some coffee. It’s all going so well and Kurt should be happy.
He should be happy to see that his dad and Carole are so comfortable in the apartment. He should be happy that his dad clearly loves Blaine. He should be happy that Blaine fits in like a piece of a puzzle.
He should be happy.
Growing up, he never truly imagined this scenario: him, living in New York with a man, and his family being completely comfortable with it. Sure, after his coming out in his sophomore year, the scenario became more plausible, since his dad has been nothing but supporting, but it’s still a dream.
Or it was a dream.
Kurt still isn’t sure what tenses to use. You’d think he’d be more understanding of his situation after almost half a year, but no.
The conversations remain a bit shallow, but the familiarity between Blaine and his family makes it seem less forced. They still avoid the more serious and difficult topics, but Blaine talks freely with Burt and Carole pitches in every now and then. It makes it easier for Kurt as well, but it is clear that the others have reached a certain moment in their relationship that Kurt isn’t even close to.
It’s strange to be jealous of this, but then again, everything is strange to Kurt.
When they’re exchanging gifts, Kurt almost breaks down. They’re all drinking expensive champagne (alcohol-free for Blaine) near the Christmas tree and his dad hands Blaine a parcel.
Blaine unwraps it. It’s a box and when Blaine opens the lid, he looks like he’s ready to burst. He shuts the box and he basically throws his arms around Kurt’s dad.
“Thank you! You’re the best dad ever!” he yells and Kurt goes stiff.
No one notices. His dad is returning the tight embrace and Carole looks incredibly satisfied.
“You like it?”
“I love it! I thought that they were sold out everywhere,” Blaine opens the box again and Kurt moves closer to get a better look. He frowns when he sees a bowtie.
“Don’t you have 69 of those?” Kurt asks.
Blaine laughs and he immediately takes it out of the box to put it on. “Well, 70 and counting, love. This is a special edition.”
“It was quite difficult to find one without Kurt’s assistance,” his dad says jokingly, but to Kurt it feels like another stab to his heart. Is he supposed to know that Blaine wants this specific bowtie? He can’t even understand what’s so special about it. Surely, he appreciates the aesthetic, since Kurt can always appreciate good fashion, but he has no idea how to react.
“Oh, I can imagine. Carole?” Blaine hands the bowtie to Carole. Carole helps Blaine with tying his bowtie and Blaine lets her. It’s a familiar move. It must be. Carole pats Blaine on his cheek when she’s done.
Kurt feels incredibly out of place. He’s watching his family, but they’ve all carried on without him. Blaine fits in perfectly and it is very, very clear that his dad and Carole have accepted him as part of the family. It’s all Kurt ever wanted.
Blaine even calls Kurt’s dad ‘the best dad ever’. Blaine is completely at home here.
Kurt feels like he’s the one who should be in Blaine’s position. He should be the one to make inside jokes with his dad. He should be the one to talk about latest trends with Carole. He should call his dad ‘the best dad ever’.
Goddamnit, he should be happy.
Instead, he sips his overly expensive drink and he watches how Blaine gives Carole a gift. Of course it’s all familiar to them. Of fucking course.
After his dad and Carole have gone to the hotel, Blaine asks him if it’s okay if Blaine goes to the office. Kurt wholeheartedly agrees, since he’s also in the mood for some alone time.
He goes to the bedroom to clean his mother’s dresser. Swipe left. Swipe right. Swipe left. While he’s at it, he also taps his nose three times and you know, he also has the time to rearrange his wardrobe to have it colour-coordinated. It’s a very colourful wardrobe, since Blaine’s clothes are in it as well.
He cleans his mother’s dresser one more time, just to feel good, before he turns to the wardrobe. Rearranging clothes feels like a nice distraction from the fact that he feels like a stranger amongst his own family.
He’s been doing a lot of rearranging lately. It’s just nice to feel in control of something, although Blaine was very confused to see that the kitchen counters’ content had been rearranged. Kurt likes it.
While colour-coordinating, he sometimes looks over at his mother’s dresser.
Would she have loved Blaine as much as his father?
“I think you would’ve adored him, mom,” Kurt says, and then he adds, “Dad certainly does.”
His shoulders slump and he almost drops Blaine’s lobster cardigan. Yes, he has a cardigan with lobsters on it.
“I am just so tired of feeling out of the loop, mom. It is clear that Blaine’s part of the family, and I am glad, but I’ve missed all the steps in-between. I’ve missed the awkward first meeting and my dad probably threatening Blaine with his non-existent shotgun. I’ve missed Carole gushing over Blaine’s politeness. I’ve missed the moment my dad and Blaine started calling each other ‘dad and ‘son’. I’ve missed the moment I told them about our apparent engagement. I’ve missed it all and I hate it.”
That’s also a recent thing. Kurt thought he was finally making peace with not knowing things, but ever since he posted the statement on Firmspring, he can’t help but wonder how he must’ve felt during the highlight of his career. It started with his career, but now the uneasy feeling is reaching other aspects of his life.
Watching this gift exchange truly felt like someone drop kicked him into the ground.
“At least I can still talk about these things with you, mom. I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but with you, I can sort of pretend that everything’s new and exciting when it comes to Blaine. I can introduce you. He knows that I talk to ‘you’. I truly don’t know what you’d think of him. Unfortunately, I will never know the answer.”
But then Kurt sighs sadly.
“Who am I kidding? This is my life now and unless there’s a neuroscientific breakthrough, it will remain this way. The wardrobe is finished.”
He closes the wardrobe door and he decides to go to the bathroom to brush his teeth. They have to get up early, since his dad and Carole are coming over for breakfast. When he opens the bedroom door, the sight of Blaine surprises him.
Blaine looks like a deer caught in headlights. Kurt understands why.
“How much did you hear?”
Blaine doesn’t reply. Instead he leans closer, and Kurt’s almost certain that Blaine’s going to kiss him, but then he wraps his arms around Kurt. Kurt immediately sags in Blaine’s arms. Damn, he needed a hug.
“I’m sorry you have to go through all of this alone, love,” Blaine says softly, “What can I do to make this better for you?”
“Nothing,” Kurt tells him, “I can’t ask you to not be comfortable around my dad and Carole. That’s not fair.”
“I’d do it for you.”
Of course, he would. That’s what Blaine does.
“You can’t. I’d feel shit for a different reason. I don’t want to ruin Christmas.”
“They would understand as well,” Blaine points out. It’s true, since everyone’s been incredibly helpful and accommodating.
“No, just please act like nothing is wrong,” Kurt says, knowing it is impossible, but hey, it’s nice to pretend, “Right now I want to go to sleep. Despite everything, I am very excited for breakfast. We’ll talk about this later.”
Blaine hugs Kurt for a little bit longer, but then they go to the bathroom to get ready. They need some time, since their skincare regimes are quite long, but when they’re finally lying in bed, it’s worth it.
“Why do they have to stay in a hotel? Isn’t the office also a guest room?”
“The office is filled with a lot of stuff, Kurt,” Blaine reminds him, “Besides, we don’t want them to hear us having sex and they don’t want to hear us having sex, so it’s better for everyone if they just go.”
Kurt can feel himself turn red, so it is a good thing that the lights are out. At the fine age of nineteen, Kurt’s over his whole innocent penguin stage, but it is still weird to hear Blaine talk about their sex lives so casually.
Blaine must’ve noticed the awkward silence, since he quickly wishes Kurt a goodnight and he turns away.
The day after, Kurt and Blaine don’t mention their small conversation about sex. Everything is fine. Burt and Carole come over around 9am to have breakfast at their apartment, and it’s a nice morning.
Sure, it still stings to see how everyone else is so comfortable with each other, but now that he’s shared his feelings with his mom and Blaine, it’s sort of easier to let go of it. It is still there in the back of his mind, but he focuses on trying to have fun. His dad is in New York for Christmas!
Around 1pm, they leave the apartment and they head towards Broadway. They’re going to see a show. Apparently, it’s tradition for his and Carole to see a show in New York. They come to New York as often as possible, since even today, they have a huge case of empty nest syndrome.
Going outside attracts lots of attention. Going outside to freaking Broadway certainly attracts lots of attention. People are filming Kurt from all angles. He can hear people whisper as they walk by. Some even stop Kurt to ask him some questions.
Even when you go rogue, like Kurt, privacy isn’t given. The tracking wires might not pick up his exact location, but everyone with an internet connection and a Firmspring account knows where to find him. Lovely.
Blaine handles the invasive fans with such grace, which makes Kurt’s annoyance barely noticeable. While Blaine talks to fans, Kurt looks around. He has set foot on the actual Broadway (as in the street), despite the amnesia, but he has never really paid attention to the many billboards and marquees.
He’s not surprised to see that the Phantom of the Opera is still running, so he can’t say that it’s a relief to see something he recognises. There are some revivals that Kurt recognises, but as expected, many titles are new. Who calls a musical Mr. Millenium and the Wonder Emporium? Why is there such a big line around Hamilton? Did Breaking Bad truly get a musical adaption? Kurt doesn’t even want to know what Mr. Barley and the Incurable Itch is about.
Jazz Hands the Musical does sound amusing, though.
Blaine thanks the fan and the four of them continue their walk. They pass Kurt’s theatre. His name is no longer on the marquee, now that his understudy has taken over full-time, and it makes Kurt a bit jealous. Then again, he doesn’t even remember the show or his role, so it feels foolish to be jealous over it.
They walk past the theatre and Kurt doesn’t look back. Instead he shifts his focus back to the many colourful marquees.
“Hey, isn’t that your favourite show?” Kurt points towards a marquee for Hadestown.
“It is,” Blaine says quickly, “But let’s keep moving. We have to be in time for the matinee performance of The Gondola.”
Kurt’s dad and Blaine lead the way, since they picked out the show together.
Kurt and Carole are behind.
“How is everything, Kurt?” Carole says, “We haven’t really talked yet.”
“I’m just pulling through,” Kurt answers and they both know it’s the truth. As promised, Kurt and his dad haven’t told Carole about the recent developments. Sometimes, Kurt regrets it, but then he sees this poorly hidden hopeful look on Carole’s face and he knows he’s done the right thing.
She’s already lost so much. Hope is the one thing she can hold on to.
“Do we need to send you more photos?” Carole suggests.
“I don’t think there’s much you can do, Carole, but thank you for offering.”
Carole huffs. “I don’t want you to feel alone, Kurt.”
“I’m not,” Kurt says, and he starts to smile, “I have friends here, Carole. I see Roderick and Mae the most. I regularly talk to Rachel and Kitty. I even talk to Jesse on a regular basis. I’ve recently had some drinks with Wes, Sebastian and Adam.”
He looks at Blaine and his dad. They’re in a heated discussion about the show’s set design.
“And I have Blaine. He’s… he’s, uhm, great.”
“We love him,” Carole says.
“I’ve noticed,” Kurt says, sounding a bit bitter. Carole looks up in surprise, but she doesn’t argue with him.
“Is it weird for you that we love Blaine?” she asks. There’s no judgement. She sounds sincerely curious. The thought probably hadn’t even occurred to her. No one feels as left out as Kurt, so Kurt doesn’t blame them for not noticing.
“It is,” Kurt admits. He’s not in the mood to relive all those emotions again, but there’s no reason for him to lie.
“How can we make it better for you?” Carole asks and Kurt feels like the luckiest man alive. His family is just so incredibly supportive of everything. Blaine asked the exact same thing.
Therefore, Kurt gives her the same answer.
“I understand, Kurt. I hadn’t even thought of it. I’ve completely accepted Blaine as part of the family, since he’s kind and lovely and he desperately needs a family.”
Blaine still doesn’t talk about his own family that much, but by now, Kurt knows that it’s not good. He barely talks to his father and his mother isn’t ‘just in the Philippines’, she’s unexpectedly moved there. She did call them to ask how they’re doing, since she read Kurt’s Firmspring statement. Blaine’s only somewhat close to his ecstatic brother Cooper, but that’s recent.
“That’s another reason why I don’t want you guys to change the way you act around each other,” Kurt says, “It’s not natural.”
“I am just sad that you feel this way. We love Blaine, just like you do.”
The words almost make Kurt stop dead in his tracks. He doesn’t love Blaine?
Well, it makes sense. The relationship is no longer brand new, since they’ve been dating for a while, but does Kurt love Blaine? He certainly likes Blaine, but he hasn’t really put much thought into it. He’s been too preoccupied with the whole amnesia thing.
Kurt’s dad and Blaine erupt into laughter, which make Kurt and Carole look at them.
“What is it, boys?” Carole asks and she has an amused look on her face.
“Nothing big, mom,” Blaine says nonchalantly. Mom. Not even Kurt calls Carole ‘mom’.
“We’re here!” Kurt’s dad says and it’s true. They’re stood underneath the marquee of The Gondola. Of course, people are taking photos of Kurt and Blaine.
Blaine takes Kurt’s hand and he tries to shelter him from the many phones. He’s thoughtful like that.
Kurt’s not entirely sure if he loves Blaine. He truly hasn’t had the moment to stop and examine his feelings about Blaine. He just accepted it for what it is.
Whatever it is, it is good. He can totally imagine himself falling in love with Blaine. After all, what is not to love?
Shout out to Kayla for coming up with “Mr. Millenium and the Wonder Emporium” and “Jazz Hands the Musical”. Shout out to Margot for gifting me with the atrocious title “Mr. Barley and the Incurable Itch”, I love it.
“The Gondola” is my own creation. I have absolutely no idea what it is about. All I know is that I named it after the Jogan Gondola.