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Title : Try The Swing
Author : Jen
Rating : NC-17 overall (language & stuff that happens in a marriage...!)
Pairing : Kurt/Blaine AU
Series : sequel to Vows
Word Count : ~11,100 (this part) / ~39,000 (overall)
Spoilers : as it's an AU, none. But there's so many spoilers for "Vows" so can I suggest that if you've not read that first that you go do so. It's fine. We'll wait. Canon-wise it's references to stuff that if you've seen the episode in question you'll know about it.
Summary : Kurt and Blaine have survived a lot. A Vegas wedding to a stranger, a cross-country journey of discovery, and coast-to-coast separation. They came through all that to a second marriage, one that has been happy and successful for two years. The next logical step is parenthood. Only kids are rarely logical.

Notes : I totally hadn't planned to write a sequel but this idea just refused to go away. So here it is. Along with my Oscar speech of notes. I'd like to thank the multitudes of you who read and commented on "Vows", I hope this lives up to your expectations. I'd like to thank my Tumblr writing cheer squad and PR team of iloveweasleys and heartwolf; my Mind Twin and pinch beta forgiveninasong for being generally awesome and coaching me through some epic writer's block; my American checkers klaineaddict and buckeyegrrl who gently pointed out a few of the finer differences in the language. Any mistakes you find are because they're shit and missed it I got stubborn or wanted it or whatever. Also more thanks to buckeyegrrl who offered to turn this into a PDF and is probably more excited about the project than I am.

I can be found procrastinating on Tumblr most days. I also blog when I'm writing stuff with snippets and sneak peaks and other random stuff.

"Life throws us curve balls and puts us in situations we don't expect. The real measure of a relationship is how you deal with those curve balls. You can stand there and do nothing or you can try the swing. You might strike out but at least you tried. You don't run, you don't hide. You stand up and you deal with it."
Blaine's speech at his parents' wedding anniversary in "Vows".


It wasn't unusual for Kurt to be home first. Sometimes, during the slower weeks at Closet, Blaine would get a text from his husband demanding that he be home at a certain time because otherwise dinner would be ruined.

Blaine loved those times.

But today? Today was different.

There had been no text and there was no warning that Kurt would be home first, but when Blaine opened the door and saw Kurt sitting at the table, his eyes coming up to meet his gaze, he knew why.

"It's here?" Blaine asked.

Kurt just nodded, his gaze dropping to the envelope that was set in front of him.


"Dunno," Kurt said. "It arrived at the office today, actually noticed it at lunchtime."

By now Blaine had dropped his messenger bag and had joined Kurt, slipping into the chair next to him.

"Wanted to wait for you."

"I wouldn't have minded if you'd opened it," Blaine said. "I'd have wanted to know."

"What if it's a no?" Kurt asked quietly.

"Why would it be? Lauren said we were ideal parent material."

"Gay parent material. People still don't like that."

"They can't reject us because we're gay."

"Oh they won't say that. It'll be something else officially but..."

"Just open the letter, Kurt," Blaine said.

Kurt reached out with a shaking hand and decisively pushed it to the side so it was in front of Blaine.

"Fine," Blaine laughed, picking it up.

"It's a no, I know it," Kurt said as he heard Blaine rip open the envelope. "It's a small envelope. They only send rejections in small envelopes."

"What? Did you think they were going to mail us a kid?" Blaine laughed as he pulled out the piece of paper and unfolded it. "Dear Mr and Mr Anderson..."

"We are sorry to inform you..." Kurt sighed.

"...that your lives will no longer be your own as your home will become the playground for some kid," Blaine joked.

Kurt nearly gave himself whiplash as he turned to look at Blaine.

"Well it doesn't actually say that, but it does say yes."

"This is a really bad time for you to be evil," Kurt said. "You teasing me on the street, you pretending you didn't want to marry me... I can deal with all that but I swear to Fate that if you are fucking with me about this..."

"I'm not that evil," Blaine smiled. "It's a yes. Yes, Kurt. We can adopt. We're going to be parents."

Kurt pushed out of his chair and into Blaine's arms, the pair of them laughing when that chair toppled over and they ended up on the floor.


They'd talked almost all night about what they needed to do in order to childproof (or maybe babyproof?) their apartment. They talked about schools and doctors and dentists and they'd need to maybe look into a different health insurance policy because there tended to be better deals out there for families, right? They'd also have to sort out schedules because now they both couldn't work late and at least Blaine would be off during school vacations so that wouldn't be too bad and what if they needed a sitter?

"I'm changing my mind," Blaine laughed softly as Kurt shifted against him. "Having kids is too much work."

Kurt was lying on his back, head resting half on Blaine's chest while he held on to the arm wrapped around him. "Be more hassle if we adopted... young."

"We are young," Blaine pointed out. "Neither one of us is thirty yet. That's next year."

"I meant the kid, idiot," Kurt laughed, gently smacking the back of Blaine's hand which was currently resting on his chest. "Everyone wants babies, right? Lauren told us that the chances of getting someone under the age of two were... So what if we went older?"

"How much older?" Blaine asked.

"Six? Seven? Maybe older? I don't know really. But those are the kids that really need a home."

"Every kid needs a home."

"You know what I mean."

"You know those kids are usually the ones with issues, right? You sure you want to... open our home up to that? What if we end up with a kid who needs more from us than we can give?"

Kurt sighed, his fingers now running up and down Blaine's arm, tickling the hairs. "I don't... I mean..."

"You've got Annie in your head, haven't you?" Blaine laughed.

"Maybe. But there are kids out there who need parents, who are just a bit too old or a bit too broken. Not unlike us."

"For the second time, we are not old."

"But we were broken. Before Vegas, after it... For a long time we were broken and now we're not..."

"Well. No more than any other couple."

"Blaine," Kurt sighed.

"I know, love. I know what you mean."

"So what do you think? About us... adopting older?"

"I think that somewhere out there is a kid who we can give a home to. Someone who we are going to love, completely, and we are going to be a family."

Kurt remained where he was, resting against his husband's body and staring up at the lights from the stained glass wall dancing on the ceiling. "I think so too," he said eventually.


He'd had one of those days when he just didn't stop. Despite it being the last week before the summer vacation he certainly wasn't in "wind down" mode so when he met Kurt at the home the first thing he did (after kissing his husband's cheek) was ask where the restroom was. Lauren had smiled, pointed down the hall, and told Blaine that they would meet him in the "play room".

"Don't go falling for the first kid you see," Blaine teased Kurt before dashing off to relieve his bladder.

Mission accomplished he walked back up the hallway until he was stopped in his tracks.

"You keep your fucking hands off me," a voice yelled from a nearby room. "I ain't going nowhere with you."

"Benjamin..." came another voice, a woman's. She was clearly unimpressed and frustrated.

"Don't call me that," Benjamin snapped.

Blaine stopped at the doorway, carefully peering through the inset window to see what was happening. He recoiled when he saw that there were three adults in the room with Benjamin, surrounding and almost cornering him.

"You're being childish, Ben," the woman said.

"I'm thirteen. In case you'd forgotten I am a child," Ben spat back.

"You know the rules..."

"Yeah, stay out if sight in case I freak out the prospects. I get it. But I 'ain't sitting in my room by myself."


"This isn't a fucking spectator sport," Ben suddenly yelled out and Blaine realised he'd been spotted.

Betraying nothing, Blaine opened the door and stepped into the room. "The lack of an entry fee gave that away," he replied. "Just wondered what the noise was."

"The fascists here are trying to hide me away. Don't want to scare people off."

"You think you're scary?" Blaine mocked. "Please, kid."

"I'm not worth adopting," Ben spat. "So they keep me away from the pretty kids and the nice moms and dads who want a perfect family. I'd just fuck all that up. I ain't worth it."

"Ben, language," the woman chided, shooting an apologetic glance at Blaine.

"She's right," Blaine said. "It's 'I'm not worth it', not 'I ain't'."

"What?" Ben said. "You the grammar police or somethin'?"

"Or something," he corrected. "And no, I just teach English. My seventh graders have a better grasp of grammar than you."

"Whoopie for them."

"No, good grades for them."

"Fuck you," Ben spat. "Get back to your perfect wife and pick yourself out a kiddie."

"Husband," Blaine corrected.


"I don't have a wife, I have a husband."

Ben gave a low whistle and opened his mouth as if to comment before closing it again.

"Problem?" Blaine asked.

"No business of mine," Ben shrugged. "Not like it makes a difference to me at any rate."

"Clearly not."


"You said it yourself," Blaine said calmly. "You're not worth it. But when you've calmed down and you've stopped behaving like a little kid we can talk properly." He found a scrap of paper and pen and scribbled his cell number on it.

"What would I want this for... Blaine?" Ben gave a snort of derision. "What kind of name is that? Lame Blaine."

"Oh, that's a good one," Blaine said, his voice monotone. "The kids at school never thought of that. But then what would I expect from someone whose basic grammar is lacking?"

"I'm not stupid!"

"Never said you were."

"You said I wasn't worth it."

"I just repeated what you said. What I did say was that when you've calmed down, we'll talk. In the meantime I'll get back to my perfect husband. See you, Ben."

He turned and walked out of the room before his body betrayed just how much his heart was racing. He was aware that someone had come out with him and he looked to see the woman who'd been in a battle of wills with Ben moments ago.

"I'm sorry you had to see that Mr...?"

"Anderson," he said, offering his hand out of politeness.

"You seem to have a real way with kids but I'm not sure about giving him your number..."

"It's fine, it was my decision. And I'd really like him to call me when he's not as wound up."

"Ben's always wound up," she sighed. "But thank you."

"I'd better go check my husband's not being eaten alive," he laughed. He walked down to the room that had been set aside for this very purpose and immediately spotted Kurt in the crowd.

He was sat at a table with a young girl in an unmistakable princess outfit. Of course. He picked his way through the crowd and sat at the table with them. Kurt introduced Blaine to Amelia and they spent the rest of the hour discussing the merits of different Disney princesses.

"You're in love," Blaine said quietly as they walked out of the room.

"I know we should take our time but..."

"We tend not to."

"What is it with us?" Kurt laughed. "But yeah... It's her."

"You're sure?"

"You're not?"

"She's adorable," Blaine said, slipping an arm around Kurt's waist and pulling him in close. "She clearly likes you."

"Hey, she got to talk Disney with you," Kurt laughed, stopping at the end of the hallway and grabbing the lapels on Blaine's coat. He pulled him in close and smiled. "We met our kid today, didn't we?"

Out of the corner of his eye Blaine saw a young boy stick his head around a door frame. Ben stared at them for a moment before disappearing back out of view.

"Yeah," Blaine said quietly, "we did."


Ben called him two days later and left a message.

"If you're screening my call you can fuck right off," he snapped. "I ain't no one's puppet. But yeah, you said you want to talk. Not like I have a cell you can call me back on but you know the home. That dive where I'm forced to stay? Well if you felt like saving me from these morons..."

Ben went quiet for a second and Blaine struggled to pick out what he was saying. He was clearly talking to someone and he could pick out the odd swear word but nothing else. "Whatever," Ben said. "Look, I've got permission from my jailors to go out tonight so if you felt like buying me a burger then... whatever. Only you gotta be here by six. No reason just I ain't waiting all night for you."


Blaine texted Kurt and said he was going out for dinner with a friend. Not strictly a lie but still something that settled heavily in his stomach. He told himself that he would be honest with Kurt tonight when he went home, depending on what happened.

"You came," Ben declared when he joined Blaine in the hallway.

"I teach," Blaine replied. "You knew that. Kinda means I won't answer my phone during the day."

Ben gave a small shrug. "Teachers at my school do. Kids too."

"Sounds like a great school."

"Oh yeah, best in the district."

"You want this burger or not?"

"Why? You buyin'?"

"Dunno. Still trying to work out if you're worth the effort."

"Oh if you're just fucking with me..."

"First rule," Blaine said firmly. "Cut down on the swearing."


"The English language is an amazing thing. So many words to express yourself. Find ones that aren't swear words."

"You can't tell me what to do," Ben snapped.

"I'm buying you dinner, that earns me some rights."

"Fine. For tonight."


"Where'd you want to go?" Blaine asked.


"I was thinking somewhere local, but if you've got a passport..."

"Are you for real?" Ben asked.

"No, I'm a figment of your imagination."

"Oh f—" Ben started then fell silent.

"C'mon," Blaine said, holding open the door for him.


The diner was tacky; Kurt wouldn't be seen dead in here. But it was where Ben wanted to go and he poured over the menu trying to decide what he wanted. It struck Blaine that Ben probably never came out to places like this very often – if at all – and so this choice was clearly important.

"Milkshakes look good," Blaine said.

Ben looked up from his menu with undisguised hope.

"What's your favourite flavour?"

"Chocolate. Or vanilla. Both."

"Me too," Blaine said. "Get one of each, we can swap. That way we get a bit of both."

Ben turned his attention to the menu, letting his eyes drift over the options. Across the table Blaine watched him, studied the looks that flashed, momentarily, over Ben's face. His stomach sunk as he realised what it meant.

"Order what you want," Blaine said.

"You mean that?"

"Yeah. Whatever you want, my treat."

"In that case I want The Works with a side of onion rings."

"Curly fries?"

"Of course," Ben smirked. "And as for dessert..."

Blaine laughed softly and nodded. "One step at a time, kid."

They ordered, their waitress laughing at the sheer amount of food Ben requested, and after bringing over their drinks left with a parting comment about 'growing boys'.

"It's not like they don't feed us," Ben said, shoving his straw into the chocolate shake. "But this place is awesome."

"You've been here before?"

"All the time when I was a kid. I came here with..." Ben stirred his milkshake and refused to look up. "With my dad."

"You don't have to talk about it," Blaine said. "I mean, there's a reason you're in the home so..."

"Dad killed Mom," Ben said bluntly.

Blaine fought not to choke on his own drink in surprise. Of all the situations he'd entertained that hadn't been one of them. Amelia was in the system because her mother couldn't cope; a string of abusive relationships and a fear of her daughter being caught in the crossfire. But Ben?

"He's in jail," Ben continued, "and I've been stuck in that dump for the last six months. The home before that was eight months. I made it to a year before that one, only six weeks in the first. Destroyed my room the day Dad was sent down."

"Right," Blaine said carefully.

"I have 'anger issues'," Ben said, miming air quotes as he spoke. "But then I think you knew that."

"You getting help?"

"When I can." Ben's voice was quiet now. "I mean, it's not cheap and there's a ton of kids like me in the system. Only so much public assistance to go 'round."

"I'm sorry."

Ben glared at him. "What for? Why do people always say they're sorry, like it's their fault or something? And you don't know me, don't act like you care."

"Who says I don't?" Blaine asked.

"Yeah, like that stuff happens instantly."

"It can," Blaine said, stirring his own milkshake. "I married my husband, Kurt, the day I met him."

"You what?"

"Kurt and I met in Vegas, we got married that same day. How is that so complicated to understand?"

"That shit actually happens?"

"Language, and yes."

"Always thought it was more complicated than that. How long you two been married now?"

Blaine laughed. "Now that's the complicated part."

"Talk while you eat," Ben commanded, as plate after plate of food arrived at their table.


For the most part Ben just listened as Blaine told a PG-13 version of his relationship with Kurt. Ben seemed to enjoy making fun of them, especially the bit where Blaine flew to New York and Kurt flew to Los Angeles.

"And they're going to let you two adopt?" Ben smirked as he checked out the dessert menu. "God help Amelia."


"You two. You're Amelia's exit."


"She's gettin' out," Ben said quietly. "Because of you two she's getting out. Any time a kid gets an Exit we all hear about it."

"It ever happened to you?"

"I'm still there, what do you think?"

"Amelia's not ours yet, nothing's set in stone. I just wondered if you..."

"Once," Ben said. "My second home. There was this couple, they already had a kid, a boy my age. I think adopting was a way of them doing some good? Maybe? Maybe they couldn't be bothered with the whole diaper thing a second time.

"Anyway, things are going OK, which in my world is pretty good, and then the resident kid invites me to a baseball game with his friends who are all up in my face about where I come from and they all want my story."

"You got in a fight," Blaine said.

"You know me so well," Ben quipped. "They didn't quite want me after that. Not when their son and heir and blood was sporting a black eye and busted up lip."

"Do you want to get out?"

"Of the home? Shit, Blaine, why would I want to leave? I mean, I share a room with three other boys, one of who wets the bed if he gets scared. Dinner is like feeding time at the zoo and I can't remember the last time I got to watch what I wanted on TV. Forget latest fashion, bulk buy at Target.

"There are dozens of us and a handful of jailors, and while we're hardly Annie it's not exactly home sweet home."

"Well if you're happy," Blaine quipped.

"Why? You gonna be my Exit?"

"Not that easy..."

"Never is," Ben said. "I'll have the blueberry cheesecake with ice cream."


"No, you and your Vegas hubby are gonna have a perfect life with Amelia. Couple of New York gays and their rescue girl. Stuff of dreams."

"No, I mean Kurt doesn't know I'm here with you."

"People will talk," Ben smirked. "There's a word for guys your age hanging out with kids my age."

Blaine shot a look at their waitress who had chosen that moment to come and take their order, hoping that his expression carried the air of 'kids, what can you do?' to her.

"You told me that you weren't worth the effort," Blaine continued when their plates had been removed and his coffee brought over. "Yet here I am. Why do you think that is?"

"Because you like a challenge," Ben said, his gaze following the waitress as she served up his cheesecake and brought it over to them. "That's why you flew across the country for a guy you'd known for a week. It's why you're adopting a kid and not a baby. But I'm not a kid.

"I got one year left before I'll be in High School and four years after that I'm out on my own and I'll be trying to convince some convenience store to employ a kid with below average GPA. I have almost no chance at going to college or at getting any kind of decent experience, I'll be the Joe Average they talk about and that's OK, it really is. I know who I am."

"And who are you?" Blaine asked. "When I was your age I was still figuring that out."

"Well I'm straight," Ben quipped, "so I guess that helped a bit. So does having your dad in jail. Focuses your mind, makes you see things the way they are. I'm nothing special, I'm not the kid that stands out in the crowd. I'm not the one people notice, Blaine."

"I noticed you," he pointed out. "You got my attention, Ben, and you still have it. Now. What are you going to do with it?"

For a moment they just looked at each other over the table, each of them trying to work out where the other was coming from. Then Ben shook his head, returned to his cheesecake, and seemingly stopped short of licking the plate clean.


"This ain't no date, you don't have to walk me to the door," Ben said as Blaine also got out of the car.

"Actually I do," Blaine replied, "I'm under strict instructions to return you in person. I think they want to make sure you didn't do anything to me."

"This is probably a good thing," Ben joked. "I mean I can cause some serious damage."


"That room I trashed? Took them a whole week to fix it. Had to get guys in to patch up the holes in the wall."


"I thought so too," Ben grinned. "So you gonna buy me a good meal again?"

"Only if we have something other than burgers."

"Nope, burgers or nothing. Me and that diner... we got history."

"Right. Yeah, fine. I'll just starve myself beforehand to make up for the intake."

"Oh god, have I landed myself one of these diet freaks?"

"No, you've landed yourself someone married to someone who's really particular about what people eat."


"His dad had a heart attack."

"OK, not a freak."

"No, Kurt isn't a freak."

"His dad OK?"



"He's got a step-mom..."

"Your parents?" Ben asked.

"Still around."

"Full set of grandparents." Ben seemed to consider this for a moment. "OK."

"OK what?"

"OK, I'll consider you."

"Consider me for what?"

"My Exit," he smiled. "But you've got a long way to go."

"Oh do I now?" Blaine laughed as he followed Ben up the stairs. "Good thing I have all summer then..."


When Blaine returned to the apartment Kurt was sitting on the couch reading. He looked up and smiled at his husband, slotting his bookmark into place.

"Hey," he said softly. "Good evening?"

Blaine's heart lurched a little when he remembered the white lie he'd told his husband. "Yeah, really good. Although I ate far too much."

"Always the way," Kurt laughed. "Want some green tea? Aid the digestion."

"You're far too good to me."

"Must be because I love you."

"I love you too." Blaine took a deep breath. "I wasn't... entirely honest with you about tonight."

Kurt stilled and Blaine could see the wheels in his brain begin to turn.

"I went for dinner with Ben," Blaine said quickly before Kurt could paint vivid pictures of infidelity in his mind. "The kid from the home."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Kurt asked, his body visibly relaxing. "You didn't need to lie to me about that."

"Because..." He took a deep breath and shoved his hands in his pockets. "Because I want us to be his Exit."

"His what?"

"His Exit. It's what they call... what the kids call adoptive parents."

Kurt stilled again and this time Blaine couldn't work out what was going on in his husband's head.

"Look, I know we're going through the process with Amelia and I haven't changed my mind on that front. It's just Ben..."

"This is the kid you told me about?" Kurt said quietly. "The one who was screaming at the world?"


"And you want to bring him into our home?"

"I want you to get to know him. OK? No promises, no requests, nothing. Just... come and meet him with me. Spend some time with him. There's more to him than his anger issues and..."

"He has anger issues?" Kurt interrupted. "Blaine! You know Amelia's background! We can't expose her to that again. We agreed that we would give her a stable, loving home..."

"I'm just asking you to come meet him with me. That's all."

"But you want to adopt him."

"I want us to adopt him. Which is only going to happen if you want it too. So come and meet him with me."

"Just a meeting," Kurt said, his eyes narrowing dangerously. "No promises."

"Thank you."

"You want that tea?"

"Please," Blaine sighed, dropping onto the couch next to him. "Fair warning. Ben adores this diner. Burgers and milkshakes."

"Not a chance," Kurt laughed. He leant over and kissed his husband's cheek before getting up to put the kettle on.


"Oh so you do answer your cell then."

"Hello to you too," Blaine said. "It's lunchtime. No kids."

"Hence my call."

"Shouldn't you be at school?"

"Day off."

"Their choice or yours?"

"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that the answer may incriminate me."

"Fair enough," Blaine laughed. "So to what do I owe this honour?"

"The jailors told me you're coming over day after tomorrow."


"You and Kurt."



"So what?"

"If you're fucking with me, Blaine..."

"If you're going to use that language then I'm hanging up," Blaine replied, taking a bite out of the apple he'd brought as part of his lunch.

"Why are you coming?"

"I thought you wanted to see me. See us. Size us up for your Exits."


"Kurt isn't making any promises," Blaine said. "He's... wary."

"Of me?"


"My anger," Ben said simply. "He doesn't fu... know me."

"Exactly. So you need to be on your best behaviour."

"I don't do tricks like some circus animal. I am who I am."

"Yeah, and what's wrong with that?"

"No one ever wants who I am."

"Who you are got my attention. So stick with that, kid."



"Thank you."

Blaine smiled. "You're welcome."


Between then and their dinner date with Ben they had another "play date" with Amelia. Things were moving along and the three of them were bonding quickly. They read books, started on her school project that she needed to do for her move up to Middle School in the fall, played games and talked about things they liked to do. Amelia loved her music and performing, quickly putting on a show for them once she realised she had an appreciative audience.

"Are you going to take me home with you?" Amelia asked bluntly as their time was drawing to a close.

"Hope so, sweetie," Kurt smiled. "That OK?"

"Yeah!" she laughed. "Two dads."

"Two dads," Kurt repeated, instinctively reaching out and brushing a lock of blonde hair behind her ear.

"You can help me with my school work," Amelia continued, this time directing her comment to Blaine. "I don't get Math sometimes. It's hard."

"I teach English," Blaine laughed, "but sure. I can help you with your homework."

"Can I have my own room?" She looked at the pair of them, her eyes wide with hope. "I have to share here and I miss my old room. It was pink and like a fairytale."

"We can paint your room pink if you want," Kurt said.

"I like purple now."

"Purple it is then," Kurt laughed.

"We were wondering," Blaine said gently, moving so he was sat on the floor by Kurt, "if you wanted to come and have a sleep over at ours? See if you like living with us?"

When they'd arrived their social worker had pulled them aside, temporarily sending their hearts racing. They'd not slowed when she'd said that if Amelia wanted she could spend the night with them for a trial run.

Now their hearts were racing again while they waited for her answer. She took her time, seemingly thinking it over. Blaine's hand found Kurt's and he gripped it tightly.

"Yeah, I'd like that," Amelia said after a while, smiling at them both. "Can we go to the museum? I was sick when the school went and they were all talking about it and I didn't get to go."

"Sure," Kurt laughed softly, "we can do that."

"Cool!" Amelia laughed and she walked over to them.

Without prompting or asking she put an arm around each of them in a hug, Kurt and Blaine returning it in seconds.


"Kurt I..."

"Me too."

"It was..."


"Oh god..."

"And she's..."

"I know..."

"We're... fuck!"

"Yeah, we are..."

"I just..."

"Shit, Kurt..."

Their conversation of half mutterings and profanities continued from the door to the bedroom, hands pushing clothes out of the way roaming over the other's body. Blaine pulled Kurt down onto the bed before flipping him over, pinning his body to the mattress.

"We're going to be a family," Kurt managed to say. "Blaine... we're going to be dads."

That thought cut through Blaine's lust and he lifted his head from Kurt's neck where his mouth had been assaulting a moment ago. Their eyes met and they just stopped, looking at each other.

"I love you," Kurt said quietly. "So much."

"I love you too," Blaine replied. "No one else I'd rather raise a family with."

"We're going to have a kid. An actual child."

"That's kind of how it works," Blaine laughed.

"No, she's ten years old. She's already her own little person. But we get to watch her grow, develop..."


"Oh hell no," Kurt laughed, lifting his head so he could kiss Blaine. "Not for the next ten years. At least."

"Just ten?" Blaine said, kissing the tip of Kurt's nose. "I was thinking fifteen. Maybe twenty."

"Yeah, but I'd like grandkids while I'm still young enough to enjoy it. Twenty seems a bit long before she starts dating."

"Oh she can get married in twenty years' time," Blaine said, trailing kisses along Kurt's jaw line now. "Then we can be granddads."

"Remind me to call Dad in the morning, let him know."

Blaine stopped what he was doing and looked down at Kurt. "Seriously? I'm trying to feel you up," he said, shifting his leg slightly so he was pressing teasingly against Kurt, "and you're talking about your dad? Way to ruin the mood."

"I could have talked about yours," Kurt pointed out. "Deconstructed how he's going to be happy about it but your granddad is probably going to lose it..."

"Mood. Ruined," Blaine sighed, rolling off Kurt and lying on the bed so he was staring at the ceiling.

"Challenge. Accepted," Kurt said, his voice low and suggestive, as he climbed on top of his husband and started his own assault.


Kurt sighed, the figures and pictures and colours were starting to blur together and he had no idea what he was looking at any more.

"We are never going to get this done," Martha sighed, pushing a coffee across the table to Kurt. "We should call it a night, come to it with fresh eyes."

"Since when have we ever quit on anything?" Kurt laughed.

"Haven't you got a family to get home to?"

"I... Wow. I have a family," Kurt said, sitting back on his chair. "I've become that guy."

"Oh tsch," Martha dismissed. "You love it and you know it."

"Yeah, I do," Kurt smiled. "It's... everything. Blaine and I were fine before, we really were. I loved it being us but with Amelia it's... More."

"Fuck, my boy's gone all domesticated. So much for our cocktails until three in the morning."

"We'll still do that," Kurt laughed. "I'm entitled to the occasional night off."

"Like now. Go home, Kurt. You have a gorgeous boy and a beautiful girl waiting for you."

"Actually I don't," he said.

"What? She not staying over tonight?"

"Nope. We had her all weekend and agreed that we needed time to process how it all went."

"You have access rights to a kid you're adopting. That's fucked up," Martha laughed. "So go home to your boy then."

"No, we need to get this finished," Kurt said, looking back down at the pages scattered across the table. "An hour or two we'll have this cracked, I know it."

"You sure Blaine won't mind?"

"He knew what he was getting into when he married me," Kurt said. "You made sure to tell him. Repeatedly. At the engagement party, the bachelor night, the wedding reception, after the honeymoon, on our anniversary..."

"OK, OK," she laughed. "If we're going to do this we need food. So you let the boy know I'm stealing you and I'll go grab the delivery menus."

"Like you don't already know what you want," Kurt laughed. "You always get the same thing."

"So I'm a creature of habit," she shrugged. "That's why you love me so much."

"Yeah I do," Kurt smiled, leaning back in his chair so she could plant her traditional kiss on his lips.

"Tell Blaine I'll make it up to him," she called out as she walked out.

"I don't think that will help!" Kurt laughed, pulling out his cell to text Blaine.

Sorry, love, got to work. This feature spread is not playing fair and we may have to reshoot. Can we reschedule dinner? Can't be helped, really sorry.

Blaine Anderson (ICE)
fuck u

Ben I assume? (Or if not then you're having a stroke, honey, call 911.) Something's come up at work and I can't get out of it. I am really sorry.

Blaine Anderson (ICE)
sure u r. U didn't even want 2 meet me in the first place

Where's Blaine?

Blaine Anderson (ICE)
taking a piss. I'll tell him u ditched us

It is not like that. I really do have to work.


Blaine Anderson (ICE)
No, but if you're going to start calling me that it had better not be after the rat.

Kurt laughed softly and hit speed dial. "Sorry, just been exchanging texts with Ben."

"So I saw. Sorry."

"I really do have to work."

"It's fine, Kurt," Blaine said but Kurt could hear the clipped tone.


"Look, I need to go. Ben's... upset."

"You mean he's angry."

"Wouldn't you be?"

"Blaine, if I could be there..."

"So you've said, Kurt. Look, I'll see you at home," Blaine said firmly and then he ended the call.

Kurt stared at his phone for a moment before pulling up the camera app and moved it so he could get the full table in view. He snapped a picture of the pages and notes scattered across the surface and thought about sending it to Blaine with the caption see? I do have to work but then realised how petty that was.

I am sorry. To both of you. I want to reschedule and I promise I won't cancel this time. Whenever it is I will make sure I'm there, no excuses. I love you. K xx

Blaine Anderson
I love you too. Text me when you're leaving the office, I'll have dinner waiting. B xx


As the summer weeks stretched out Kurt and Blaine spent more and more time with Amelia. The "sleepovers" as they were called became more frequent and longer, Burt and Carole even managed to come over to New York to meet their new granddaughter.

"It's not official yet, Dad," Kurt said as they hung back and watched Blaine and Carole pushing Amelia on the swings. "So much paperwork to get through! At best we're looking at the Fall."

"She's your daughter," Burt replied. "I see the way you look at her. I can see it on your face, both your faces. Way you feel about her? Same way I feel about you. And Finn, in case you're worried."

"I'm not," Kurt admitted, twisting the lid off his bottled water and rolling it in his fingers. "I mean, I was, for a moment or two. But she's..."

"Everything?" Burt finished when Kurt couldn't.

"They told us, about her history," he said quietly as he took a sip. "Dad had a drug problem, used to get violent. Mom took off, came to New York and tried to make it as a single parent until he caught up with her. She was scared for Amelia so she... left her."

"How much does she remember?"

"Enough. Social worker said to be aware of nightmares, and if the adoption goes through—"

"Which it will."

"—then we need to be ready for panic attacks or her being afraid we're going to leave her too."

"Brave thing her mom did if you ask me," Burt said, keeping his gaze on where his family was. "Not an easy thing to do, lettin' your kids go. But if it's what's best for 'em then you get on and you do it."

"Why do I get the feeling you're talking about me?" Kurt laughed.

"You movin' to New York might have been the best day of your life but it was the worst of mine. You're my kid and you bein' somewhere that wasn't home? Took some gettin' used to. Then there was Adam and for a while I thought that he was going to be the guy you'd...

"Anyway, here you are. Nearly thirty, married, adopting this beautiful girl and I'm still havin' a hard time lettin' you go. So what her mom did? Makes her braver than I think I would have been."

Kurt thought about it for a moment. "I really should come home more, shouldn't I?" he said, prompting a laugh from his father. "I know what you really mean when you say stuff like that!"

"Me and Carole were thinking that we could turn one of the spare rooms into a place for Amelia. When you guys come over for Thanksgiving and Christmas and summer vacations."

"You just want us to move back," Kurt joked.

"Plenty of magazines and schools in Ohio you guys could work in," Burt said innocently. "Might be worth thinking of."

Kurt laughed and shook his head. "Christmas and summer, every other Thanksgiving. That's the offer, special occasions aside."

"You look at Carole and you tell me that she's gonna be happy with seeing that girl twice a year."

"You can always come out here," Kurt replied. "Plenty of garages in New York."

"Yeah, all servicing cabs and hundreds of 'em. Not my scene. Besides, we need to be around to keep your brother in check. He does alright by himself but I've caught Carole doing more than one load of his laundry this month alone."

The conversation came to an end as Amelia skipped over to them, her hand firmly in Carole's and a smile that was not going to go away any time soon.


While Kurt saw Burt and Carole off at the airport after their short stay, Blaine offered to drop some paperwork off at the home on his way back to the apartment, expecting to be in and out within a few minutes.

Best laid plans...

"Fuck you."

Blaine sighed and turned around, already knowing that Ben was behind him. "Good afternoon to you too."

"You should have been honest with me," Ben spat, "but then I guess I shouldn't be surprised. People like you always want just girls. What? Scared of some competition?"

Blaine took a deep breath, trying to calm himself or at the very least prevent an outburst that would have no good outcome. "In here," he hissed, almost pulling Ben into a nearby room. "I assume this is about the adoption going through?"

"So you're not as dumb as you look," Ben snapped. "Every time it happens we know about it. So what was I? A trial run? Or were you just leading me on? I mean, I knew you and her... But I thought that we..."


"No, I get it. Two guys, you gotta have a girl, right? I mean, clearly the classic accessory for a couple of—"

"Shut up," Blaine cut across him. "You have got to learn to think before you speak because one day that mouth of yours is going to get you into some serious trouble."

"Oh what do you care?"

"You think I don't?" Blaine replied. "Fine. If you honestly think that I'm not in the least bit bothered about you, that I don't care one bit, then by all means walk out of here and you won't ever have to see me or hear from me again."


"Or you can shut up for one minute and listen? Who knows? You might actually like what you hear."

"What? You adopting me too?" Ben quipped.

"Why not?"


"Why not? Kurt and I always talked about adopting more than one kid. We want a proper family, not two gays guys with the traditional accessory of a little girl." When he saw Ben flinch at his choice of words he took a deep breath. "OK, cards on the table. I think you're a great kid, I really do. But you're so wound up and angry and that's not going to help matters."

"I'm not always like this though!" Ben protested. "It's just... I thought you and me were... and then I heard about the stupid princess..."

"Amelia," Blaine corrected firmly.

"...Amelia, being official and I thought..."

"Question. Why would I put so much time and effort and energy into spending time with you if I was just going to walk off with Amelia without a second glance back?" Blaine asked. "Like I said, you're a great kid. But I'll be honest with you – all Kurt is going to see is the anger."

"So he's gonna judge me?"

"You blame him?" Blaine replied. "He and I dealt with our fair share of bullies and angry people growing up. We still do from time to time. Why would we want that in our own home?"

Ben's shoulders sank as he visibly deflated.

"When you stop and you think and you're not swearing or insulting people with every second word... You are the kind of kid I would be proud to give a home to."

"Why?" Ben's voice was quiet and innocent. He genuinely wanted to know.

"Because you have every right to be angry. Because life has dealt you a really shit hand—"

"Language," Ben quipped.

"—and you are fighting back. You are not letting it beat you and... I admire that about you. I wish I'd been you when I was younger. I didn't fight, I ran. I ran from every problem, every fight I should have fought, every hard conversation. My own grandfather refused to come to my wedding because he doesn't approve and I should have talked to him about it when I was a teenager. Now it's too late and my whole family has to deal with his bigotry. I didn't start fighting until I met Kurt. He was the first thing I really fought for, really tried..."

"Is this before or after the divorce?" Ben smiled.

Blaine laughed softly. "My point is... I get you. I can't imagine what your life has been like but I get you. I get the anger and I know what it's like. It's fight or flight and you come out fighting every time. I just need you to not fight me, OK? Yes, we're adopting Amelia. Yes, I still want to spend time with you. And, if you'll have us, maybe one day..."

"Well, I figured you'd be a decent dad," Ben said thoughtfully. "But dunno about Kurt. Never even met the guy."

"You will," Blaine said, reaching out instinctively. "But word of advice. If your opening phrase to him is 'fuck you' or any alternatives? It might not go so well."

"This is going to be like some screwed up Princess Diaries make over, isn't it?" Ben sighed. "I need to be presentable for the Great Kurt."

Blaine could help but laugh. "You've seen the Princess Diaries?"

Ben glared at him. "You seen how many girls are here? And most of them are just like Amelia. All think they're princesses, all waiting to be rescued. Depressingly most of them do."

"Hey," Blaine said, hooking a finger under Ben's chin. "Happens for us guys too, y'know?"

"Hope so."

"Kurt will like you," Blaine continued, "you just need to show him a reason why he should."

"Prove myself worthy?" he snapped.


"I get it, I get it," Ben sighed. "My rep isn't great at the moment. Need to make amends, be a good boy. Go to school, do my homework, eat my greens. Lay off the swearing."

"I promise you I'm not done here," Blaine said. "I'd still like to see you, spend time with you. Somewhere other than that diner..." he started but when Ben shot him a look he smiled, "but whatever. I can help with your homework and hopefully feed you something other than burgers. And as for that mouth of yours..."

"Tape?" Ben suggested with a grin.

"Let's call that option B," Blaine laughed.

"I'm sorry. About before. And what I said."

"Good. Don't let it happen again." He felt his pocket vibrate and pulled out his cell, smiling when he saw Kurt's ID on the screen. "Hey," he answered. "Yeah, just at the home now... OK, be home in a bit... Love you too."

"Oh god," Ben sighed when Blaine answered the call. "You two are one of those gross lovey-dovey couples aren't you? I'm tellin' you now – I ain't putting up with no PDA in my kitchen right? Not over breakfast."

"How about dinner?"

Ben pretended to think about this for a minute. "After we've eaten. Don't want you makin' me lose my appetite."

"Only if you wash up."


"That's the deal. Limited PDA, you wash up after dinner. You need to give us something here."

"Fine," Ben sighed with a grin. "You drive a hard bargain."

"Oh this is nothing," Blaine laughed. "Wait until we start talking curfews and dating rules."


As soon as Blaine had discovered that Ben had never been to a ball game he'd bought them tickets, ushering the excited kid to their seats with oversized drinks in one hand and hot dogs in the other.

"Better than a burger, right?" Blaine asked as they settled.

"'s OK," Ben mumbled around a mouthful. "I guess."

Blaine laughed and took a sip from his cup before setting it down.

"How's the princess settling in?"

"She and Kurt are painting her room today."

"And you didn't want to hold their brushes?"

"I had plans," Blaine smiled. He kept his gaze on the field but from the corner of his eye he saw Ben look over to him with a grin. "Plus Kurt's the designer in the family. I'm..."

"The social worker?"

At that Blaine did look over at Ben. "What?"

"Kurt fixes the princess' room, you fix me."

"I'm not here to fix you," Blaine said.

"You act like you care about me even though I give you nothing but crap. You're still bothering... and I don't get it. Social workers do that. Mine, I'm just another kid on a list she gets but she acts like I'm her son. Or nephew. Or a cousin she has to deal with, some shit like that.

"But you... I don't get why you come back."

Blaine gave a small shrug. "It's easy to love someone who doesn't love you back. You just get on with it. It gets hard when someone loves you back because you have to work for it. You feel you have to make yourself worthy of it. The thing is, you don't. You just get to be you and people love you for that regardless."

"Who turned you into a fucking Hallmark card?" Ben snorted into his drink.

"You just need to be you and the rest of us just need to get on with caring about you. And you don't need to do anything other than be yourself."

"Is that what it was for you guys?"

"Yeah, after a bit. We spent a week thinking we needed to be someone else for the other to want us."

"You make it sound easy."

"It was fucking hard!" Blaine laughed, ignoring the look of 'hypocrite' that passed over Ben's face. He was an adult, he was allowed a bit of hypocricy from time to time. "Those first few weeks were a nightmare. We went from nothing to living together and being engaged and it was not easy. We fought and nearly left each other several times but we stayed and worked it out because we knew it was what we wanted, what we needed.

"Above everything else I knew I wanted to be with him, to make a life with him, spend forever with him. So when it got hard and we'd been yelling at each other for hours because Kurt spent a few thousand on a jacket when we were saving for a wedding or because I would let the phone ring constantly instead of just talking to my grandfather... We found a middle ground. Something we were both happy with." Blaine quirked the corner of his mouth up. "So what do you want and what ground are you prepared to give?"

"I... dunno," Ben said.

"That's fine. We got time to work it out. And the best things need work."

"I know one thing."

"What's that?"

"I trust you," Ben said.

The crowd burst into cheers over... something, but Blaine barely noticed.


The adoption had been finalised mid-September so they begged off their traditional return to Ohio for Thanksgiving in favour of their first family gathering. Burt and Carole accepted this only on condition that they came for Christmas and New Year.

Kurt was able to do a lot of his work from home so they fell into a routine that Blaine would take Amelia the long trek to her school before going to work himself, and Kurt would collect her at the end of the school day. They'd already looked into moving her a little closer but decided they could see out the school year at least; there was enough disruption in her coming to live with them without taking her away from a school she'd only just settled into and friends that she'd only just made.

Settling into family life seemed to come easier to Amelia than it did to her new parents. She accepted the house rules (clean up after yourself, manners at all times, ask before taking or doing something) and worked with them to come up with a routine which was posted on the refrigerator door, detailing what chores she had around the apartment (clearing plates from the table each night except for Fridays when she would help to cook; keeping her room clean and tidy; putting her laundry in the basket each night).

That first night they had tucked her into bed, read her a story and even sung to her. Exhausted she was asleep before they could finish but they stayed with her for almost half an hour, just watching with a sense of fear and pride and love which was growing by the minute.

By the end of the first week they were a little less nervous but getting the hang of it. They adjusted their routine to suit Amelia, got used to planning who would be home and when and made sure that their cells were charged, on and within reach in case of emergencies. It took two weeks before they both had things they couldn't get out of and then Aunt Rachel came to the rescue. Amelia was enchanted by a real life Broadway star and soon Rachel was on approved lists with the school and doctors as someone else who could take some responsibility for her if neither parent could be found.

Which then led to another discussion, one a little more sobering.

When they'd gotten married they'd made wills which left everything to their surviving spouse. Now there was a child to consider and while it was easy enough to amend to leave money in trust for her the discussion about who would be her guardian should she lose them both was one that ran for almost a month.

Rachel would be the obvious choice; resident New Yorker, able to support a child. But her schedule was hardly child-friendly and it would have been too big a change for her.

Mercedes was next on the list but when they broached the subject as a possibility she politely declined. While she loved Amelia and was happy for them, she didn't see herself the mothering type and wouldn't want to risk it.

In the end they asked Finn. He was floored to be even considered and flew out to New York the next day to meet his niece. When he asked his brothers (because if he didn't put the "step-" in for Kurt he wasn't putting the "in-law" in for Blaine) why they chose him they just reminded him that he'd spent the entire afternoon catering to her every whim and request and clearly had a gift for making her happy. So while it would require a move back to Ohio it was the best option.

(Plus it meant that both sets of grandparents would be within easy reach for further backup. Just in case Finn tried to teach her how to dance or something.)

Bit by bit they made the changes to their lives to work around their daughter. By far and away the best bit was when they went to the City Hall, adoption papers in hand, to officially change her name to Amelia Anderson. They'd talked about it on her second night, said that she could keep her name of Johnson if she wanted, but she liked the idea of them being a family. Then she'd pressed her lips together, looked from one to the other, and declared that Blaine looked more like a dad and Kurt a papa so that were the titles sorted out.

Sometimes, Kurt said to himself, it was as if they'd ended up with a sixteen-year old in a ten-year old's body.

But there were nights, like this Saturday one, when the three of them were curled up on the couch with an oversized bowl of popcorn (no salt or butter – responsible parenting 101) resting beside them, when life was pretty awesome. Amelia had fallen asleep long before the wicked step-mother had been banished and the prince and princess lived happily ever after, but her dad and papa stayed where they were until the end credits rolled, their sleeping daughter wrapped up in the blanket between them, their hands clasped over the back of the couch.


Of course there was an awkward side to it. The first time Amelia burst into their room because she'd had a bad dream came, of course, at the worst possible moment. They'd had to ask Amelia to go back to her room and they'd be through in a minute in order to give them time to cool off, clean up, and get dressed.

After that their sex life became a lot less leisurely and a fair bit less frequent. But, on the whole, they considered it a fair trade off.


Kurt paused for a moment at the classroom door, adjusting the camera bag. He'd claimed this gig for "sentimental reasons" and so every year Closet ran a feature on one Middle School's pre-Christmas fashion parade.

Most people at school and at the magazine saw it as another excuse for Kurt and Blaine to spend some time together.

They saw it as an anniversary of sorts, of a defining moment for them. They saw it as theirs.

Kurt grabbed the handle, swung the door open and had his traditional greeting of "someone call for a reporter?" on his lips when it stilled.

"You gonna stand there or you gonna help?" Ben asked.

"What is he doing here?" Kurt asked as he kissed Blaine's cheek in greeting.



"I asked him to come help. You know how busy this is, how popular it's become."

Kurt hummed in agreement; the last two years the project had extended and now proud parents came in to applaud their child's efforts. Soon after half the school was shutting down to support the event but a few things remained the same.

Blaine's classroom was turned into a mock catwalk and Kurt came along with his camera, notepad and a prize of a week's work experience.

"Why him?" Kurt asked.

"Because you promised me you'd meet him, you promised me you'd try," Blaine whispered softly by Kurt's ear under guise of pressing a kiss there. "So play nice."

"Always," Kurt muttered under his breath, looking at Ben with slightly veiled suspicion.


"So where's... Amelia?" Ben asked, hesitating slightly on the name as he reminded himself to be nice.

"In school," Kurt replied. "Why aren't you?"

"Blaine got me out," Ben replied with a smile. "Wanted me here. Wanted us to spend time together to get to know each other."

"He means well."

"He's stubborn."

"That's one way of describing it," Kurt laughed. "When he gets an idea in his head it's hard to get it out."

"What about you? You the same?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It's just... Blaine said you..."

Kurt threw a glance over his shoulder to where Blaine was still working on the music playlist, headphones in. "Cards on the table?"

"Always," Ben said.

"No, I don't think it's a good idea. You and us I mean."

"My anger?"

"Among other things. If things don't go your way then..."

"I lose it?" Ben finished. "What? And when you don't get what you want you just get on with your life? Or was it someone else who dropped everything to fly across the country for a guy he'd known a week? You want something, you go get it. Same as me. Only difference between us is that the only hardship in your life came from being gay."

"It wasn't exactly a picnic," Kurt said.

"I'd have given everything for that life," Ben said. "Because if you think you had it bad then feel free to take mine. Take my father who would shout and scream at the top of his voice when he didn't get what he wanted; dinner on the table, football on the TV. And when that didn't work he resorted to his fists.

"He never actually hit me, Mom made sure of that. She took it all, for me, and it killed her. Do you know how long it took me to get my head around the fact that it wasn't my fault that she died? That I wasn't actually responsible? Every now and then the thought comes into my head that if I care about someone they're going to get hurt and so the best thing to do is to just not care.

"Mom did what she did because she loved me. So here's the double-edged sword; you care about me and you'll get hurt. Because everyone tells me I'm just like Dad. So one day I'm going to be that guy who yells and screams and swears to get what he wants and when I don't I'll use my fists.

"I'm not worth it, and that's exactly what I told Blaine when I first met him. And the second time. And the third and for a long time. And you know what he told me? I'm not him. I don't have to be him if I don't want to and you know what? I don't. I don't want to be angry and lashing out but for the last thirteen years it's all I've known and I can't change overnight.

"But him?" Ben said, gesturing over to Blaine. "He makes me want to. And I kinda like who I am when I'm with him. So, cards on the table? Here's the deal. I will try and I will work on this but I'm far from fucking perfect. If that's the kid you're after go home to your princess."

Kurt stood in silence for a moment, letting the information sink in before he said, "My turn. You've had it rough, fine, I get it. And no kid should have to go through what you did. Do I feel for you? Of course I do. Do I wish I could do something? Of course, who wouldn't? But here's my situation. My husband was gay bashed because people lashed out in anger. Our daughter has a not-too-nice history of her own and I have to put them first. Which means I cannot have a loose cannon in our home. I can't bring someone who could, at any point, lose it and start screaming or using his fists because things aren't going his way. No matter how much I might want to.

"Does it mean I don't care? Of course not. But I have to put my family first, Ben. I need to make sure they are safe and protected and if there is any doubt in my mind about who you might take out your bad day on? I can't risk it."

"I would never..." Ben started but trailed off when he realised he couldn't make that promise. Not yet.

"You're all Blaine talks about sometimes," Kurt said quietly. "He cares about you, I know he does and believe me I can see why. But I can also see him loving you and not being able to be who you want him to be."

"Because of Amelia?"

"Because of Amelia," Kurt repeated. "And it's not your fault, it's not anyone's, it's just... how things need to be."

"But if I got better? If I kept working on my temper and I tried...?"

"I don't know," Kurt admitted. "I'm sorry."

"You guys OK?" Blaine called out across the room.

"We're fine, love," Kurt called back. He turned and walked over, asking if he'd finally got the music sorted, unconsciously draping a hand over Blaine's shoulders as he looked at the playlist.

On the other side of the room Ben dug his fingernails into his palms as his body refused to give into the tears. Tears are a weakness, his father used to say. You are not a man if you cry and you are certainly no son of mine. Ben hadn't cried in front of anyone since that day and even though he wanted to, he wanted to prove his dad right and show that he wasn't his father's son, he still couldn't cry.


They were perfectly civil towards each other for the rest of the afternoon but they were also grateful that they had jobs to do, jobs which kept them busy and made keeping to themselves a little easier. Blaine didn't seem to notice as he organised children and showed parents to their places, set up the sound system for the kid in charge of the music and checked his note cards obsessively.

All too soon though every distraction was gone and it was just the three of them left in the classroom after the end of the school day. Ben had hoped that Kurt would leave to collect Amelia but apparently "Aunt Rachel" was doing that (Kurt's sister or Blaine's? he wondered briefly before deciding that he didn't really care) and so here they were. Stuck together.



Kurt sighed quietly, glancing up and down the now-empty hallway. He'd been waiting for this, knowing that at some point Blaine was going to broach the subject of Ben and family and he'd been trying to work out what his response was going to be.

"He was great today, big help," Blaine said. "And you saw him with the kids, he's great..."

Kurt knew Blaine was right. Ben had gotten involved, he'd been amazing with the kids (especially that girl who'd tripped up and run off stage in floods of tears). But their earlier conversation hadn't left his mind all afternoon.

"Blaine," Kurt said softly, getting his husband's attention. "I know that Ben has some really good qualities and it's clear he looks up to you, but..." He forced himself not to stall at the hurt look on Blaine's face. "We can't. You know his background and you know Amelia's..."

"He's not like that," Blaine protested. "He's a good kid."

"I don't doubt it but we don't know if he can... He's got issues and we don't know if they're going to come up again. I can't risk it, Blaine. We can't. Not with Amelia, not with... I know you mean well and I know today was about you trying to... But deep down, you knew this."

"I just wanted you to give him a chance," Blaine said quietly.

"I did," Kurt whispered, putting his hands on Blaine's shoulders before rubbing his hands up and down his upper arms. "I can see why you've been giving him so much time. And if things were different... But we have to think about Amelia and honestly, would you be happy to leave them alone together?"

Blaine inhaled deeply before leaning forward and resting his forehead on Kurt's. "I can't give up on him."

"No one has said that you have to, love," Kurt said, "but I don't think we can give him what..."

They were stopped by the sound of a crash from the classroom. Blaine pushed open the door to find Ben panting hard from exhaustion in the middle of the room, two tables upended on the floor.

"I want to go back," Ben snapped when he saw them, his eyes blazing.

"I think that would be a good idea," Kurt replied coolly.

Blaine said nothing out loud, but when Ben met his gaze his disappointment and hurt was loud and clear.

"Good luck with the princess," Ben sulked as he picked up his coat and bag. "Sure the three of you will have the perfect life that you want. Shame the rest of us have to live in the real world."

Part 2


( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 5th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I am SO HAPPY everyone gets to read this now!

Apr. 6th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Let's hope they like! <3
Apr. 5th, 2012 05:49 pm (UTC)
wow, this is SO good, and very different from everything else i've read so far, in terms of kurt and blaine becoming parents. i was wary of ben at first, but this has the potential to be an incredible story.

very much looking forward to the next chapter!!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Trying to write an adoption fic that doesn't turn into a trope one was not easy, and part of that (I hope) has been avoided because of the kids. Their histories and backstories and personalities are going to be a pretty big part of this story - Ben#'s especially!

Thank you for reading and commenting. ♥
Apr. 5th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
you just tore my heart out of my chest! its aching....this is why your called the goddess of angst!

I just want to hug Ben.... so so so so well written!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
I am indeed - and don't you forget it!
Apr. 5th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
Interesting, and very thoughtful :) Can't wait to see where this goes!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I hope you like where it goes! ♥
Apr. 5th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
New Hairdo + New Story --> I love you!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Wait... *my* new hairdo? Are you a Tumblr stalker?!
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
I rarely comment on fic but this one... I'm already attached (And I didn't read The Vow but I get what's going on) I think Kurt is being an asshole, because he shouldn't say stuff like that directly to the poor kid, but I do understand where he's coming from with the worry. I'm going to adopt some day and I'm not sure I could bring a kid like that into my home, but also how he acts with Blaine, you know there's hope the kid just needs love.

As you see your story has filled me with feelings. I can't wait for the rest, now now!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Not wanting to pimp my own work but you should totally go and read Vows. Not only will some of the finer points in this fic make sense (including one scene which you won't fully get unless you've read it!) but it's pretty good.

As for Kurt... he's being honest and Ben asked him to put his cards on the table. He's open about his reservations, he's not trying to pretend that they're not serious concerns. How many times has Ben had someone be THAT honest with him?

(That honesty is important later on. Trust me.)

Ben needs a lot of things - love is one tiny part of it. He's getting support from Blaine, but is it blind support? When Kurt had to cancel for work Blaine was short with his husband over it. Who's coming first for Blaine? His husband and the daughter they are adopting? Or a boy with clear issues who may not fit into their family, no matter how badly he wants it? ;-)

Thank you for reading and commenting. ♥
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
I am soooooooooo fucking happy your are writing this sequel. Vows was such a wonderful fic and this is just as amazing. Can't wait for more.
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you - and I hope the sequel lives up to standard!
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
My heart is absolutely breaking for Ben! If Kurt doesn't come around, I think I'll cry, OMG.

Such a good start, I can't wait for more!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Ah, but Kurt's reservations are just that - reservations. And for legitimate reasons and concerns. Who knows where to from here?

(Well, I know. As do my three betas. But you get my point...!)
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Oh god, this is brilliant. Ben :(

I'm already attached to him. My heart hurts.

Edited at 2012-04-05 07:29 pm (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Blaine's already attached - and that might actually be a problem. Ben's got a lot of issues and has a lot of ground to cover.

Patience. ;-)
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited that you decided to write a sequel and for your non-schmoopie take on adoption. Can't wait to read more.
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I hadn't planned on the sequel but the idea stuck and wouldn't go away. And Ben was a huge part of that idea; a kid who needs them but it'snot as easy as that. Setting them up with Amelia first makes it all the more difficult and gives one hell of a journey to take them on.

Hopefully I'll keep the element of realism (even when I do push it a little for the sake of the story but hey; dramatic licence right?!).
Apr. 5th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Feels and feels and feels - oh my!

It's always good to have more Jen!fic, and I've already been completely pulled in. Both Ben and Amelia are entrancing characters; I would have said enchanting too, but I think that one would only apply to Amelia. Not that I'd say that was a bad reflection on Ben at all.

You have both Kurt and Blaine written so perfectly. I've probably mentioned how happy it makes me before that you have designer/writer!Kurt and teacher!Blaine because it's exactly my headcanon too, and it works so well in the context of this story, especially Blaine and his calm, reasoned manner.

"Kurt fixes the princess' room, you fix me."
I think that was probably my favourite line. It just highlighted the differences between Kurt and Blaine so perfectly, as well as Ben's attitude. (Not to mention it also gave my inner Latin geek kickyfeet because of the poem I was revising earlier have a very similar line in it!) But in just that one line, you pick out their traits perfectly. And I can't help thinking that Blaine's always been the one to be fixing people, even when he has all those old unhealed scars from his own past. And then I want to hug things. Like you.
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
The comment about Blaine needing to fix people came about purely by accident and I'm beyond happy someone got it. A lot of early canon!Blaine was about helping Kurt through his issues and then in PQ they drop a bombshell into Blaine's past which gives him a whole heap of his own which, to our knowledge, haven't been dealt with because he ran.

Now he's not. But there are times when you SHOULD walk away...
Apr. 5th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
I got teary eyed at the end. :(

I wish Kurt would give Ben more of a chance. That's all he wants. I understand Kurt's concerns, but I don't think Ben would ever hurt Amelia.


I am so looking forward to more!
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the question of whether Ben would hurt Amelia. He has a proven history of violence, of unmanaged anger problems and temper tantrums (evidenced by his reaction when Kurt cancelled dinner).

Their daughter came from an abusive home. One tantrum from Ben could send her back into nightmares and panic attacks. Would you risk that with your child, even if there was a large part of you sure it wouldn't be a problem? If there was that chance, that one in whatever chance that your daughter will get (emotionally) hurt with damage that will take years to fix?

But hey. We're only just getting started...!
Apr. 5th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that you decided to continue this verse. My heart breaks for Ben. Hopefully things will improve in the next chapter.
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It totally wasn't planned, I was happy to leave Vows where it was but then this idea turned up and Ben was just there and he was real and he was full of issues and anger and drama...

I can't promise anything in terms of things getting better. Or staying better if they do... ;-)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Deep down Kurt probably does too but he's got to think about Amelia. She comes from a violent home and so he's not going to risk exposing her to any more violence. Ben is a risk and until he can be sure that Amelia is 100% safe? Of course he's not going to be open to the idea of him being a part of their family, no matter how much he might want it.

But there's still plenty to come. ;-)
Apr. 5th, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
This update completely caught me off guard. The noise I made when I saw this on k-b... If people actually thought I was sane before, then not anymore they don't.
Anyway, I absolutely love this already. I'm so glad that everything worked out between Kurt and Blaine and that now they're at the point of expanding their family etc. Reading about them in a estabilished relationship has always been my crack. Also, the idea of adopting someone who's older - it is such an amazing thing to do and takes so much courage and to read about this in Klaine universe, just wow. I love it. Amelie seems like such a darling, but Ben has already won my heart. Can't wait for the next installment! Thank you so much you wonderful human being, for you are giving us this! ♥
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Heh. I've been not-so-quiet about it on Tumblr so anyone following me there knew it was coming. But I'm glad I gave you a good surprise!

Thank you for so many positive comments about the fic and the kids and the characters. I'm glad it's working because I have Vows to live up to and I can't ruin that...
Apr. 5th, 2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
Amazing start - heartbreaking really. I don't know whether it's intentional but I feel far more invested in Ben than Amelia. It's almost as if she's this cookie cutter, perfect child that Blaine and Kurt believe is perfect for them, without actually being that (just my opinion - she just doesn't feel like a real kid). I'm just really scared that Ben could be a deal breaker for Kurt and Blaine. Kurt seemed to have set his mind against him from the start (and I re-read the bit where Kurt was supposed to meet Ben - 3 times he was given an out and told to go home, and he chose to work instead - not fucking cool, Kurt) - and he should also NEVER have said the things he said to Ben. Jesus, Kurt, the kid's 13! Have a little heart. Blaine's obstinateness and starting to have this separate time with Ben that Kurt's not a part of (and also Ben intruding on Kurt and Blaine's 'special' day) just feels dangerous to me. Can't wait for an update.

Edited at 2012-04-05 10:12 pm (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's intentional. Amelia's not quite perfect but the focus is mainly on Ben for the moment. Her background of domestic violence gives Kurt cause to be concerned about bringing Ben into their home - and rightfully so. Add in the fact that we have spent more time with Ben than Amelia it's natural that you're more attached to her.

Don't worry - she gets a few moments of her own later on!

Kurt's choice... He did have an out but his work is important to him. It's what puts food on the table, provides for his family. Dinner with Ben can be rescheduled. I won't deny that there was a big part of him that was happy for the out but it wasn't as if he cancelled for no good reason.

As for what he said to Ben - I'm defending him here! Ben outright asked for Kurt's opinion, all Kurt was was honest. And how often do you think Ben has had someone be that honest with him about something this serious? Kurt knows that Ben is getting his hopes up about being adopted by them and if Kurt wasn't honest about the fact it wasn't going to happen (now) then isn't that even more cruel? To lead him on like that?

It also means that Ben knows exactly where he stands with Kurt, what the issue is and why it's a deal breaker. It's not something minor or petty, it's real. A daughter with potential PTSD when it comes to violence? Of course he won't risk putting anyone in his home who could set her off. Does it mean he doesn't care? I'd argue the opposite. Kurt cares a hell of a lot about Amelia and he cares about Ben finding the right home and the right parents. Which, right now, he knows isn't them.

Ben was invited by Blaine to be there in an act of subterfuge to get the two of them together. Done with the best of intentions.
Apr. 5th, 2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
Wow. This is an amazing start. I can’t wait for the rest.

I’m so torn. On one hand, god, I feel for Ben, I really do. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have gone through what he has and you want to see things get better for him. But on the other hand, he’s so unpredictable and violent and angry. I get where Blaine is coming from, but man, it takes so much more than love and the desire to help in situations like this and I think Blaine knows it too, especially since he couldn’t agree that he would trust Ben around Amelia.

I dunno. I feel like I’d err on the side of caution with Kurt. Blaine can still be a part of Ben's life regardless of whether or not they adopt him. Man, there’s just no easy answer or quick fix here. Can’t wait to see where you go with it.
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you and I hope the rest lives up to expectation!

And thank you for not being anti-Kurt! He's trying to do right by everyone; a husband who's blinkered, a daughter from a violent background, and a kid who needs their love and support and structure but right now Kurt can't put Ben and Amelia in a room together and be 100% confident he won't trigger something in her. Until that changes nothing can.

But people can change. Right?
Apr. 5th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
Wow, wow! This is so excellent! I really loved Vows, and I'm just adoring this and cannot wait for more!
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you - and I hope this lives up to the standard! ♥♥
Apr. 5th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
asdfghjkl you're writing a sequel to Vows!! I love you. I love this story. I LOVE EVERYTHING. This is wonderful.

Edited at 2012-04-05 11:10 pm (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and I hope to be worthy of that love. ♥
Apr. 5th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Probably is just me, but Kurt isn't a good husband, at all, and he's not even the right guy for the father's role. It seems that he had choosen Amelia, 'cause she fits him better, like a pair of shoes. But it can be the POV, maybe you choose to tell the story from Blaine's to put the reader closer to Ben's situation. I don't understand why Kurt has to be so selfish, he doesn't care for Blaine (he didn't find time to visit Ben, for Blaine's love), and he speaks in the worst way possible to a very problematic boy.
The story is beautifully written, and I even cry a little, but I am a little scared of what will happen now. Kurt's behaviour is shitty. And I'm afraid something bad could happen.
I loved this chapter, and I'll surely love the entire story, once finished. But now I'm pretty angry with Kurt, and it's the first time: usually I put myself in his feet, 'cause in the couple he's my favourite one. This time, I put myself in Blaine's feet, and it's the first time. It'll be interesting seeing what will happen next.
(I hope that this comment is not criptic, I'm not native english speaking).
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
(I've addressed this in another comment, have C&P'd the relevant bits here.)

The focus is mainly on Ben for the moment and Blaine's POV is deliberate so we get to know Ben and see the potential. Something Kurt hasn't seen. Dramatic irony at its finest.

Amelia's background of domestic violence gives Kurt cause to be concerned about bringing Ben into their home - and rightfully so.

Kurt choosing work... He did have an out but his work is important to him. It's what puts food on the table, provides for his family. Dinner with Ben can be rescheduled. I won't deny that there was a big part of him that was happy for the out but it wasn't as if he cancelled for no good reason.

As for what he said to Ben - I'm defending him here! Ben outright asked for Kurt's opinion, all Kurt was was honest. And how often do you think Ben has had someone be that honest with him about something this serious? Kurt knows that Ben is getting his hopes up about being adopted by them and if Kurt wasn't honest about the fact it wasn't going to happen (now) then isn't that even more cruel? To lead him on like that?

It also means that Ben knows exactly where he stands with Kurt, what the issue is and why it's a deal breaker. It's not something minor or petty, it's real. A daughter with potential PTSD when it comes to violence? Of course he won't risk putting anyone in his home who could set her off. Does it mean he doesn't care? I'd argue the opposite. Kurt cares a hell of a lot about Amelia and he cares about Ben finding the right home and the right parents. Which, right now, he knows isn't them.

I know he's coming across as distant and seemingly uncaring - and that's not the Kurt we know. So there has to be some other reason for what's going on, doesn't there? ;-)
(no subject) - lallina88 - Apr. 6th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - imaginentertain - Apr. 6th, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 5th, 2012 11:47 pm (UTC)
I loved this as soon as I saw that it existed, if for no other reason than that it gave me the perfect excuse (not that I really needed it...) to go back and reread Vows, one of my favorite stories ever!

However, my admiration only grew when I began to read the story itself. I love that you have them going through with the adoption of Amelia, and Blaine still unable to let go of his connection to Ben. And Kurt and Ben's first meeting is outstandingly written! Their attitudes and despiration (on both sides) comes through wonderfully in their dialogue. Can't wait to read more!
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
I hope that this lives up to expectations and the standard set by Vows!

I'm also glad that you like the Ben / Kurt interaction and that you're not gunning for Kurt's blood like a lot of other people seem to be. Amelia is Kurt's focus at the moment and he needs to make sure that the home he is providing for his new daughter is safe and secure - right now that means that he can't bring Ben into that same home, no matter how much Blaine might want them to.
(no subject) - manatree - Apr. 7th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 6th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)

So glad to see a sequel! And I love a well-written adoption/daddies fic. So in love with Ben & Amelia already. *sigh*

Excited to see where it goes! <3
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ♥♥
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
Ben had made so much headway and built up hope with Blaine's help. I was really taken aback that Kurt would respond in that manner to a kid without consulting with Blaine. Even if that was their ultimate decision, it should have been left to Blaine to tell Ben considering the rapport/affection they had built up. The fact that Kurt never even made an attempt to connect with Ben until Blaine forced the situation says a lot about Kurt's position (bias?). Kurt totally invalidated Blaine, his emotional investment in Ben, his hope to add him to his family by his disregard even though some of the points Kurt raised did have merit. This is a worthy sequel to 'Vows' and am looking forward to the next part.
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
I'm in "defend Kurt" mode tonight...!

Ben outright asked Kurt for his thoughts and opinions and Kurt was honest about it. He didn't go behind Blaine's back to do so and Ben overheard the conversation between them in the hallway. He's also got some very valid concerns - with Amelia they need to make sure that they aren't bringing in someone who could be violent into their home. While Ben is still a potential risk towards her, until they can be 100% confident of them being in a room together and her being safe? Of course they can't do this, no matter how much Blaine might want to.

No, Kurt doesn't have the same emotional connection with Ben and that means he can see the situation a little more clearly perhaps? Blaine's caught up in the idea of being Ben's Exit, his saviour, of being the one to help with the anger issues. Kurt's a step back and being logical about it - yeah, we could. But not with Amelia.

Anyway, I'm invested and I know not only why Kurt is acting the way he is but how it works out. But hopefully it will continue to be a worthy sequel?
Apr. 6th, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
First, I would like to say I'm really happy and excited to read a sequel to one of the best Klaine stories I've had the good fortune to have read. I actually re-read Vows before going into this.

Second, I already know this is going to be another heart-wrenching journey of self-discovery, growth, and hope for all Blaine and Kurt, and also their child(ren?). The decision to adopt Amelia alone has Kurt and Blaine adjusting and developing as parental figures already. While I would like to just see them adopt Ben because I see what Blaine sees in Ben and really I admire Blaine for his commitment and how he feels so much for Ben, I think that Kurt has shown heart-breaking maturity in his decision not to immediately jump into it. I felt only genuine compassion and regret from him, that even if he wanted to, his family will always be a priority. I admire this because I know that when, I really hope it's when, Ben becomes a part of their family, Kurt will show him the same amount of unwavering love and fierce protectiveness. I'm not sure if this will cause a rift between Kurt and Blaine, but even if it did, I just know that your Kurt and Blaine will always find a way to choose each other. So looking forward to the rest of this. :D
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
I may actually love you a little for your comments about Kurt's perspective in this! He has very valid concerns about bringing Ben into their home and until they're addressed he can't support Blaine in what he's doing (in terms of adoption, the friendship and support is a different matter). He's open and honest about his reservations - even to Ben - so they all know where they stand.

There's a lot of issues going on here with all four of our principal characters, and still a way to go.
Apr. 6th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
okay, so I loved Ben from the moment blaine heard him. I mean the moment. I kind of don't like kurt's stand here, but I like the way it gives the story a twist. I'll be looking for more. <3
Apr. 6th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Kurt's thinking about his daughter - Amelia has come from an abusive home and he won't risk bringing anyone into their home who might start yelling or getting angry or - even worse - start getting violent. So even though we know that Ben has his good and redeeming points, Kurt doesn't. All he sees is an angry kid and all he hears about are Ben's anger issues.

So he's naturally wary and he's honest - when Ben asks he is honest about what he thinks, what he feels and the situation. He seems harsh but he does have his family's best interests at heart.

There's more to it than that, and it will come out. But that's where he's coming from at least!

Thank you for reading and commenting. ♥
(no subject) - vanessawolfie - Apr. 6th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - imaginentertain - Apr. 6th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vanessawolfie - Apr. 6th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
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