a story about loving your child with everything you have
Word Count: ~2,500
Author's Notes: Title comes from the song L-O-V-E, and was the idea of nowishforwings!
thank you to my beautiful beta nowishforwings, and to my darling penroseparticle
(and while we're giving praise I feel like jakia, my fandom wife, deserves to be bowed to. As always)
In retrospect, Kurt should have seen this coming. Blaine’s been the picture of sweetness and patience all year, holding Kurt and Rachel’s hands – often literally – as they waded into the terrifying waters of impending parenthood.
Blaine had pried magazines with article titles like “Top Ten Pregnancy Disasters!” from Kurt’s hands and kissed him into silence when he started babbling on about what if the baby is born without an anus Blaine?! Given Kurt manicures when he’d bitten his fingernails to the quick, and massages for when he gave himself migraines researching the best brands of organic baby food. Had cheerfully baby-proofed the house, and then baby-proofed it again after Kurt worried about whether their first baby proofing foam was protective enough.
Blaine had even loyally insisted to Rachel that if he weren’t 120% gay, and married to Kurt, he would totally still hit that. She was a vision of beauty, he’d declared passionately, glowing! Gorgeous! A goddess!
Kurt had thought he was laying it on awfully thick, but then again, with Rachel there was no such thing. She did look beautiful though, her swollen belly almost making Kurt believe in miracles. And so he’d jumped in with odes to the thick luxuriousness of her hair and her dazzling baby glow after a sharp kick to the shins under the coffee table.
Blaine had been amazing all year.
Kurt really should have seen the inevitable fall coming.
The thought flits through his head as he stares, frozen, at his husband, who’s clutching their shrieking daughter and wailing loud enough to almost drown her out.
Something inside Kurt settles down for the first time since Rachel agreed to be their surrogate and all their fluffy cloud castles slammed to earth. He absently recognizes it from when he finally got his dad home from the hospital and could take care of him with his own hands.
In briskly efficient moves he plucks Elizabeth from Blaine’s clawing embrace, pops the bottle he’d been warming in the kitchen into her mouth, and settles her into the crook of his arm. Then he kicks Blaine, hard, in the shins.
Blaine breaks off his drawn out wail long enough to gasp out a weak ow and manages to stuff his fist into his mouth to stop himself from starting again. Kurt can see Blaine’s teeth sinking into the meat of his thumb, can already see the angry red marks that’ll be there like a brand when Blaine finally lets go. He closes his eyes and resignedly doesn’t remember all the promises Blaine made about never doing that again.
When he opens them again, Blaine’s still staring at Lizzie like she was a stampeding rhino instead of a baby. Instead of their baby.
“Blaine.” His voice is as low and soothing as he can make it on three days of no sleep, but Blaine flinches like Kurt’s kicked him again anyway. “Blaine, honey, what’s wrong?” The endearment feels awkward on his tongue, but he’s pretty sure that in situations like this it’s supposed something like sweetie or baby or honey. Honey’s the least offensive of the bunch, and he hopes he won’t have to break out sweetie anytime soon. They’ve already got a baby, so calling Blaine that would just be inaccurate. Kurt tries to think of any less eye-roll inducing pet names while he waits Blaine out.
Blaine whimpers into his fist. He still doesn’t blink.
Kurt strokes Blaine’s bare ankle as lovingly as he can with his foot. How do parents do this? Do moms grow an extra arm for the first few years of parenthood or something?
Blaine mumbles something incoherent.
Blaine’s voice is a whisper, hoarse with pain, when he finally chokes out, “Oh god Kurt, I love her so much.”
Kurt nearly laughs with relief, “I do too Blaine. It’s okay. She’s beautiful and perfect and ours, of course you love her.”
“No” Blaine shakes his head furiously, then abruptly nods just as hard before Kurt can so much as raise an eyebrow, “I mean yes. She’s perfect. And beautiful. And” Blaine’s voice breaks. He blinks. He swallows hard and looks at Kurt for the first time since he came back in the room, “ours. But, I didn’t – I mean.” He looks down at where Kurt’s foot is still nuzzling his. He’s very quiet for a several minutes, just watching the way Kurt’s socked toes are rubbing little circles around his Achilles’ heel.
“What if I’m a bad dad?”
The words are so soft they tremble in the air. For a second, Kurt can pretend he didn’t hear them, can down look at the tiny spark of life in his arms and avoid staring at the words etched across his husband’s face.
But he can hear the naked anguish in Blaine’s silence, can taste it in the little choked off sobs that Blaine doesn’t quite manage to swallow down, so that’s not even a little bit of an option. He wants to laugh again, but not from relief this time. He can feel it bubbling up in his belly like curdled milk. He swallows it down with only a little difficulty, because loving Blaine isn’t always easy but it has never, ever, been anything but so, so worth it.
He wishes he could rub his eyes though, that he could have had this conversation after a good night’s sleep. Or at least a few dozen cups of espresso. He settles for one long, slow blink; pretends that he’s a magician, and fit a whole night into that one flutter of his eyelids.
“Blaine.” Kurt nudges Blaine’s foot until he looks up, “You are the most loving, giving person I know. This baby, our baby is so lucky to have you as a daddy.” He smiles self-consciously, because he’s not sure what Blaine wants to hear and what he needs to hear, “I think the biggest thing you’ll have to worry about is about not spoiling her rotten. Don’t think I haven’t noticed the stuffed panda Blaine. Just because it’s behind the laundry hamper doesn’t make it invisible. That thing’s bigger than me!” Kurt can see the corners of Blaine’s mouth turn up a little, and plunges ahead blindly, “Your cousins come to you to get their scraped knees kissed instead of their moms. I’m pretty sure you star in more crayon pictures than Superman or Cinderella. You’re like… the Pied Piper of kids. And puppies too, come to think of it. I think they can sense a kindred spirit in you.”
This time Blaine really does smile. It’s small, but it’s there. Kurt nearly sags with relief, but he’s not just holding himself up. He’s got a life cradled in his hands. He can’t afford to drop now. He’s needed. The thought is like a spike of expresso, a dirty kiss, a great callback, a standing ovation.
He stands a little taller instead.
“You’re going to be an amazing dad Blaine. I mean hey,” He smiles, relaxes. That’s his mistake. “We managed to raise Rachel into a real live human being with a smidgen of fashion sense. Babies will be easy after that.”
Blaine’s smile disappears again. He rubs his hands together, falling far too easily back into a rut that he clawed himself out of years ago, inch by painful inch. Kurt wearily wonders how raw they’ll be tomorrow. It’s been years since he’s had to keep antiseptic hand cream on hand for this. He doesn’t think he has room for both the cream and baby wipes in his pockets.
“But. What if I hurt her?” Blaine’s fingernails leave angry red trails across his hands, already self-flagellating for all his future crimes. “What if she feels unloved? Or like she has to be a certain way?” Blaine stares at Elizabeth with an aching look, his fingers carving dents into his palm while his eyes drink in her tiny form like a starving man, “I couldn’t get her to stop crying Kurt. What if I can never make her happy? What if she hates –“
“Blaine.” Kurt says firmly, “She is four days old. The only thing that can make her stop crying is her bottle, which I was warming up.” His voice softens slightly, “And Blaine. You are not your father.” Blaine flinches. They should have had this conversation months ago. They really need to schedule their breakdowns better. Kurt should make a chart. It’ll be color-coded depending on whether their breakdown is related to Parents, Work, Elizabeth or Other. The three primary colors, and then a neutral. Maybe Dior gray.
“You’ll be there at every concert or play or meet or whatever, probably pointing and cheering louder than anyone else and embarrassing her horribly.” Kurt can’t help smiling, remembering hearing a roar of THAT’S MY SON! from all the way across the field. “I know you’ll spend hours planning healthy dinners, and teach her how to make your famous No-Bake Chocolate Cookies before she can even say the word cookie. You’ll make her chicken soup from scratch and pander to her every whim when she’s sick.” Blaine’s eyes widen at the idea of Elizabeth sick. Kurt hurries to his next point.
“You’ve already got frames for her first finger painting. And the wall space above the sofa set aside for it.”
Blaine glanced guiltily at the empty spot on the wall. He’d taken down the blown-up photo of them kissing at their wedding to free it up. Kurt had complained, but the yawning space between pictures sends an expectant tingle down his spine every time he sees it.
“Frankly, I already know who’s going to be her favorite, if only because you have every Disney song memorized and will definitely be a soft touch where toys are concerned.” Kurt shushes him gently when Blaine starts to protest that of course Kurt will be her favorite, Kurt is amazing and – “You’ll braid her hair every morning. And then I’ll have to rebraid it properly while you’re tying her teensy tiny shoe laces because my child will never even know of the existence of velcro.
“You’ll sing Christmas carols from the second we finish our turkey sandwiches and dress up as Santa long after she figures out it’s you. Knowing you, you’ll probably also dress up as the Holiday Armadillo to teach her about Hanukkah so she doesn’t lose her Jewish roots.
“You’ll make silly voices for bedtime and probably be as excited, if not more, to find out every adventure of Peter Rabbit.
“You’ll use her as an excuse to go see all the kid’s movies that I know you love, even when she’s technically too old for them, and insist on smuggling your own healthy air-popped popcorn in.
“You’ll probably embarrass her terribly in public with your adoration when she’s a teenager, but she’ll secretly be measuring every boyfriend up to how you treat me, and her. And then one day you’ll make everyone cry at her wedding with your speech.”
Blaine’s eyes are wet, and Kurt can feel tears burning trails down his own face. He can see it all so clearly, reflecting back at him in the mirror of Blaine’s eyes.
He coughs, his heart stuck firmly in his throat. Elizabeth stirs, but after one heart-stopping second, settles back down into his arms. Both Kurt and Blaine watch the tiny rise and fall of her chest reverently.
“Kurt…” Blaine reaches out to him. The gold on his finger catches the light and nearly blinds Kurt. He blinks back tears and shakes his head. Instead, he carefully arranges Elizabeth in Blaine’s arms. Kurt slides the bottle out of her mouth, slack in sleep.
“If you’re really so worried about her not knowing how much you love her, why not start telling her now?” Kurt whispers, pressing the tips of his fingers to Blaine’s scruffy cheek for a moment before moving away. He knows this won’t solve all their problems, or even most of them, but he’s finally learning to stop aching for the future and tripping over the roses at his feet. Life is what happens when you’re waiting for it to begin and all that. He thinks that he never really understood that saying until he was in a hospital room staring at the tiny pinkish bundle that was his heart outside his body.
Blaine sits down gingerly on the sofa. Kurt sinks to the floor, pillowing his head on Blaine’s knees. He almost misses the way Blaine’s fingers used to tangle in his hair a lifetime ago, literally, but somehow, seeing them curl around Elizabeth instead is so much better.
“I love you.” Blaine’s voice is so soft that he can almost feel it brushing against his skin. The words make his heart skip a beat, all the more so for the fact that they’re not aimed at him but at the tiny life in between them. “I will always love you. No matter what. Loving Kurt changed my life, but loving you – loving you changed my world. I didn’t even know it was possible to love someone this much. I didn’t know it was possible to hold you in my arms and look down at you for the first time and just know, know, that I would step in front of a bus for you. Gladly.”
Kurt closes his eyes. He remembers the way he’d felt as he held Elizabeth for the first time. He’d started crying as soon as Rachel had taken her back. It was so much.
“I love you even when you wake up every half hour, and I’ll love you when you give us both lice and colds and every other bug under the sun. I’ll love you when you break something that I love because you weren’t paying attention to where you were going. I’ll love you when we get into our first fight, and I’ll love you even if you say you hate me. I’ll love you when you’re cruel and when you’re so kind it takes my breath away. I’ll love you if you’re strong or if you’re weak. I’ll love you if you’re a cat and I’ll love you if you’re not. I’ll love you no matter what you like and who you love, although if you’re a Republican we’ll have to promise to just never discuss politics. I’ll still love you though.”
Kurt smiles into the fabric beneath his head. From anyone else it would be a quip. From Blaine, it’s just the truth. He breathes in the smell of baby powder and Blaine, and tries to keep his heart from bursting.
“I’ll love you when you’re baby and I’ll love you when you’re an old woman because even when you have kids, and even grandkids, you’ll always be my baby. Always. I love you.
I love you.
I love you.”
Kurt falls asleep in the warmth of Blaine’s love.
- Current Mood: tired