Rating: PG (for language)
Spoilers: 203 (Grilled Cheesus)
Characters: Kurt, Burt, and Blaine
Word Count: 3330
Summary: Kurt knew he couldn’t hide Blaine forever, but he didn’t think his dad would find out so soon.
Author's Notes: AU. Part of the Genie!Blaine 'verse, which is set in Season 2. This fic is set immediately after "The Other Hummel". First part of this ‘verse is located here. C&C welcomed.
Kurt’s heart began to beat furiously when he pulled up his driveway and saw his dad's truck there. It was just a little after four o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon and his dad was never home from work this early. His mind raced trying to recall a reason why his dad was home, but came up blank, which only perpetuated his growing panic.
In the aftermath of his father’s heart attack, Kurt wasn’t prepared to face anything even remotely off routine. His blood pressure simply couldn’t handle it. Blaine popping out of that coffee press last month didn’t really help matters either, but given that Blaine was serving as his lifeline lately, Kurt would gladly let his blood pressure spike if it meant having Blaine there to talk to everyday.
Turning off the engine to his car, Kurt grabbed his things and quickly made his way into his house.
"Dad?" he called out once he opened the front door.
"In here." He heard his dad's answering voice from further inside the house. His voice sounded normal enough and Kurt allowed his body to relax a fraction before he closed the door, shifted his bag more comfortably over his shoulder, and made his way down the hallway.
"What are you doing home so..." Kurt trailed off as he turned the last corner and saw his dad and Blaine seated on opposite couches in the family room. He stood there frozen, eyes darting from his father, who had on his patented "you have a lot of explaining to do" look to Blaine, who waved at him weakly from the two-seater couch, a guilty expression on his face.
Kurt struggled to think of what to say and simultaneously attempting to gauge how much his dad knew from his expression alone. He couldn’t get a read on his dad though and in a last ditch effort, spared a quick glance to Blaine for help. Blaine wouldn’t meet his eyes, however, his attention focused entirely on the carpeted floor.
Turning back to his father, who continued to watch him patiently, Kurt finally stammered out, "Dad, I can expl—"
"We went to a burger place!" Blaine blurted out and both Hummel men snapped their attention to him in disbelief.
"Holy crap, Kid!" Burt shouted a stunned look on his face. "You didn't even last three hours!"
"You...what?" Kurt asked weakly, still rather shell-shocked that his father and Blaine were in the same room together.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Hummel," Blaine apologized in a rush, his hands once again twisting the bottom of his sweater. If Kurt was capable of movement at the moment, he would have reached out to still his hands. As it was, the article of clothing was now two times larger than originally and essentially a lost cause.
"I thought I could keep your confidence," Blaine continued dejectedly, "but I can't lie to Mas—Kurt. I'm really, really sorry."
Burt wiped a hand across his face before looking cautiously over to his son. Kurt didn't look angry. In fact, he looked just about how he felt when he first stumbled across Blaine. "Kurt? Buddy?" he began warily, "I know it goes against the doctor's orders, but it was just one burger."
"A garden burger," Blaine added helpfully.
Burt nodded. "Yeah, a garden—wait, a what?" Burt turned a confused look to Blaine, who explained haltingly.
"A garden burger. It's made of rice and vegetables. I, um, may have switched it out..." Here he waggled his fingers and Kurt choked upon seeing the movement. "...after you picked up your order." Blaine smiled uncertainly at both Burt and Kurt and it was the former who cracked first.
Burt started to laugh and it was especially loud in the previously silent room.
"You got some nerve, Kid." Burt shook his head, still laughing.
Blaine's smile grew more confident now. "You liked it though," he pointed out. "Even though you thought it had a weird texture."
Burt chuckled one last time before facing his son again. Kurt still hadn't moved and actually appeared a shade paler. "Hey, you all right there, Kurt?"
"Honestly," Kurt stated in a daze. "I don’t know. I'm still trying to decide if my being angry with you for going to a place like that will make you forget about Blaine here. I have a feeling though that it isn't likely."
"No, Kid, it won't." Burt sighed and motioned for him to come into the room. "Come on. Let's all be in the same room for this conversation."
Kurt walked stiffly into the room and after an internal debate, sat down beside his father. He lowered his satchel carefully onto the floor before inhaling a deep breath and said, "So, I see you've met Blaine."
The right side of Burt's lip twitched into a half smile. "Sure did," he said. "Heard singing coming from your room..." Both Hummel men looked over to Blaine, who ducked his head and began fiddling with his top again. "...So, I went to check it out."
"I see," Kurt said. "And did you..." he trailed off not wanting to say more without knowing if his dad saw Blaine using magic. Blaine didn't exactly make him promise not to tell anyone about him. Rather, he explained how it wasn't a good idea. How the more people knew about him being a genie, the more dangerous it could become. Kurt didn't like the idea of lying to his father especially if he was asked outright—like he was now, but he would do it if Blaine asked him to. It was the least he could do after the many nights Blaine stayed up listening to him talk about his worries over his dad’s health and the bullying at school. Fortunately, though, Blaine spoke up before Kurt had to make any kind of decision.
"He saw Kurt," Blaine told him, smiling ruefully, and Kurt expelled a relieved breath. "Okay, and did you—"
"No," Blaine cut in, knowing exactly what he was about to ask. "I...I wanted to wait and see if you wanted to let him know. You already know how I feel about telling people about myself, but after spending the afternoon with your father, I'm fine with it if you are."
Kurt nodded once. "All right." He turned to his dad who had his arms folded across his chest and was watching him expectantly. "Blaine's a genie," he stated without further preamble. "I found him in the thrift store."
Burt's eyebrows shot up and he looked over to Blaine. "A genie?" Blaine bobbed his head once in consensus and Burt gave his son a funny look. "And you wished for him to do your chores?"
Kurt pulled his head back in surprise. "No," he replied slowly, evidently confused. "I haven't made any wishes yet."
Blaine coughed once into his closed fist and inevitably caught their attentions.
"I may have done that on my own," Blaine admitted. "You seemed so stressed lately. So, I thought you might feel better if your room was clean."
"Oh," Kurt breathed out, feeling his stomach flutter. "Thank you."
Blaine smiled. "You're welcome."
Burt alternated looking at both boys as they continued to smile at each other in silence. "Are you two...?" Burt waved a hand between them both and while Blaine's brow furrowed in confusion, Kurt immediately caught on to what his dad was insinuating.
"No!" Kurt denied loudly, cheeks flaring as he glanced quickly at Blaine. "Dad, just...no."
"All right, all right," Burt said lowering his hands back atop his knees. "Just askin'. Don’t need to bite my head off."
Kurt shot a glare at his dad, who just shrugged in response and was clearly trying to bite back a laugh.
"Is there anything else you would like to know, Mr. Hummel?" Blaine interjected lightly and pulled Kurt away from glaring a hole through his father. "I'll try to answer as honestly as I'm able."
Burt braced his elbows on his knees and leant forward, very much intent on taking up Blaine’s offer. “No games?” he questioned.
Blaine smiled faintly. “I’ll do my best,” he responded truthfully.
Burt started with an easy one, testing the waters. "How many wishes does Kurt get?"
"Three, Sir," Blaine answered promptly and Burt nodded.
“And do you grant these wishes to the letter? Say you wished for something like good health. Will you end up living forever, which isn’t what you wanted?”
Burt received an odd look from Kurt for that question, but disregarded it. He wanted to make sure that this wasn’t going to backfire on Kurt—that Kurt would be safe.
Blaine on the other hand seemed to take him quite seriously as a solemn expression settled across his features. “I will grant Kurt’s wishes as he intended,” he replied, voice void of any humor. “It’s true that djinns exist who behave as you've described, but I’m not one of them.”
Burt didn't think so either, but he still needed to make sure. “That’s good to hear,” he said, the last thread of tension uncoiling from his stomach. “What happens after his wishes are granted?"
Blaine blinked. "He...gets what he wished for?" Blaine replied slowly, clearly perplexed at the question.
"To you," Burt clarified. "What happens to you? Do you disappear?"
Blaine straightened at that. "Oh, um, no. I don't disappear per se. It's really up to my master," he explained. "I can't be summoned by my old master anymore after he or she has made their wishes. Nor can I move freely from my vessel. So, unless they give me to someone else, I'm usually buried or hidden away in their home until someone else finds me."
It didn’t matter how many times he’d heard this already; Kurt still couldn't help but cringe upon hearing Blaine say he was buried for years on end so matter-of-factly. It didn't look like his dad was handling it well either.
"Buried?" Burt echoed in disbelief and shock. "That...that's a bit extreme, Kid."
Blaine offered him a reassuring smile. "It doesn't happen quite that often—especially in this century. Besides, I can still meet up with my friends when we have our quarterly meetings, and I can access any media I would like to pass the time."
"Friends?" Burt latched onto the word and Blaine nodded.
"People like you?"
"Yes," Blaine confirmed, but contributed no more, and Burt took the hint.
"Well, I suppose that's something at least," Burt grumbled mostly to himself. He cleared his throat and said, "All right we need to set up some ground rules."
Kurt shot him a questioning look. "Rules?"
Burt eyed his son. "Did you think I'd forget so easily that you've been hiding a boy in your room for—when did you find Blaine?"
Kurt dropped his eyes to his lap and muttered, "A month ago."
"Right. A month. I'm not comfortable with Blaine hanging out in your room late into the night; it's not appropriate—even if he's staying in his lamp," Burt rushed to finish when Kurt looked ready to argue. He turned to Blaine who was sitting tensely and seemingly bracing himself for some kind of attack.
"So, I would appreciate it if you stayed in the guest room during the night until Kurt makes his wishes," Burt said. “Feel free to make use of the bed.”
Blaine visibly relaxed at the request. "I have no problem with staying in your guest room, Mr. Hummel, but it's not necessary for me to use the bed."
“You're stuck in that lamp enough as it is, don't you think?” Burt reasoned. “You can do with sleeping in a real bed for once.”
"It's actually quite comfortable in my lamp," Blaine defended albeit meekly and not bothering to correct the older man in his assumption of his vessel. The less people knew about that, the better. "I recently acquired a Tempur-Pedic mattress, and it's like sleeping on a cloud."
Burt shot him a doubtful look.
"It really is okay, Mr. Hummel," Blaine insisted. "I can assure you I'm quite fine in my coffee press—"
"Your what now?"
"Er...my lamp." Blaine stammered out. "I'm quite fine in my lamp."
Burt eyed him for a few seconds. "Okay,” he finally relented. “I can’t force you to agree, but I’m going to have to insist that when Kurt and I aren't here, you can roam about the house wherever you like and can help yourself to whatever you see in the fridge."
"Oh, that won't be necessary," Blaine objected, eyes wide. "I can conjure up food if I would like to eat."
"And I expect to see you at Friday night dinners," Burt continued as if Blaine hadn't spoken. "I don't know if Kurt told you, but we eat at least one meal together every week. It's something Ann started and it's important to this family, and I'd appreciate it if you honored this tradition at the very least."
Blaine sat there stunned and slightly slack-jawed. "I...I wouldn't want to intrude, Sir." Blaine stuttered out, clearly flustered at the very idea of imposing on his Master's time with his father.
Burt waved his hand as if the motion alone would brush away Blaine's concerns. "You ain't intruding, Kid," he assured him.
Blaine feebly shook his head. "But Mrs. Hudson and Finn sometimes come over to have dinner with you on Fridays," he pointed out. "I'm not comfortable with too many people meeting me and questioning who I am," he confessed. "It will complicate matters with you and Master."
It took a few seconds for Burt to process Blaine calling Kurt master, but after that he could understand Blaine's point. "Okay. When Carole and Finn are over, you can be excused," Burt allowed, "but only then. So, do we have a deal?"
Burt held out his hand and Blaine stared at it for quite some time.
“Why are you doing this?” Blaine finally asked needing to know. “I’m not anyone, and once Master makes his wishes, you won’t see me again. Well, unless he passes me on to you,” he amended. “But even then it will still end the same.”
“I may not know much about this hocus pocus mumbo jumbo, Blaine, but you’re still somebody,” Burt said sternly and intent on making him understand. “I don’t know how your previous...” Burt grimaced momentarily, not liking to use the word ‘master’ as it left a bad taste in his mouth, but pushed it down to finish his point. “...masters treated you, but you’re still a person—and a teenager besides—and you’ll be treated as one for as long as you’re here.”
“I’m not actually a tee—”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re older than you look,” Burt cut him off with a wry smile, but was still doubtful to believe him. He didn’t know how old Blaine actually was, but no matter the number years under his belt, Blaine still, for the most part, acted and behaved like a teenager, if the time he spent with him today was any indication. Still, he didn't know if this was because all genies behaved this way, or if this was just how Blaine acted, or whatever else. Nonetheless, it didn’t change how he felt about this situation. “I don’t see it that way though,” he laid out. “So, I’m sorry to say, but as long as you’re under my roof, you’re going to be treated like any other one of Kurt’s friends.”
Blaine didn’t know how to respond to that. This was entirely unprecedented. He never had a Master or his Master's family behave like this before—as if he was just any other ordinary boy. He didn't know what to do.
"My dad is pretty stubborn, Blaine." Blaine snapped his head up at the sound of Kurt's voice. Kurt, who, until this moment, had kept quiet during this entire exchange. His Master smiled at him reassuringly. "It's best if you just agree with him on this one."
Blaine bit his lip uncertainly as he continued to mull it over. There weren't any rules about this. So, at the very least, he wouldn't cause Wes to develop an ulcer (if that was even possible) if he agreed.
He had to admit that the gesture was...nice and left him with a feeling he couldn't quite name. It was almost like eating a warm bowl of soup after coming in from a cold storm. It was a very long time since Blaine felt that way. Not since the last time he was with his family, quietly celebrating his sixteenth birthday at the estate. Not since everything changed.
He wanted to feel that way again—wanted that so much, but genies weren't allowed to want. Genies were only there to serve. Centuries of being told so made it very difficult to act otherwise.
A soft hand covered his before gently tugging his fingers away from where they were grasping his sweater. Blaine's eyes trailed up the length of the arm to see Kurt kneeling on the floor beside his feet. "Blaine," Kurt said voice soft and kind. "Just say yes."
In light of Kurt's smile and his father's sincere offer, Blaine nodded jerkily before tentatively reaching out and firmly shaking Burt's hand. "It's a deal, Sir," he said, voice mostly steady. "Thank you so much for your hospitality. I...I will try my best to abide by all your rules."
"Great! Glad that's settled." Burt grinned and clapped him once on the back. "You're grounded for a week." This he directed to his son, who immediately balked.
"Don't give me that look, Kid. You've been lying to me for over a month. You and I are going to have a serious talk about this later, but for now, no going out if it's not to school, no TV, and no video chatting on your computer."
"I can make it two weeks, Kurt."
Kurt pressed his lips tightly together before muttering a fine.
Overwhelmed with guilt, Blaine spoke up to plead Kurt's case. "Mr. Hummel, I asked Kurt not to tell you about me. So, it's actually my fault—not Kurt's—that he lied. I should be the one who's punished."
Burt rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably. "Uh, I don't feel right grounding you, Kid, and Kurt made his choice so it is what it is."
Blaine frowned before his face lit up. "Then I'll be grounded too! Since I can't go outside, I'll just clean the house, but without magic. You mentioned your attic needing some work."
"Blaine you don't have to do that—especially since you haven't actually seen our attic," Kurt said, trying to talk him out of it.
Blaine ignored him. "Is that fair, Sir?"
Burt shrugged. "I have a feeling you're not going to listen to me anyway. So, knock yourself out, Kid."
Blaine beamed and Kurt dropped his forehead into his hand in exasperation. "You're unbelievable, do you know that?"
Blaine just continued to smile.
Burt laughed, clapping Blaine once more on the shoulder. "Welcome to the family, Kid."
Blaine felt his stomach flip flop, but in a good way. He glanced uncertainly over to Kurt who had his right cheek resting against the palm of his hand. Kurt mouthed a "you are ridiculous" in his direction that made Blaine smile slow and bright.
It didn’t falter even as his canaries suddenly began to sing a rousing rendition of Walking on Sunshine to the bemusement of everyone in the room.
“Does this happen a lot?” Burt asked, eyes trailing after the yellow birds flying around the room.
"More often than you'd think," Kurt replied dryly.
Burt shook his head in disbelief. "You found an interesting one," he told Kurt as Blaine rose from his seat and began praising the birds for staying on key and in rhythm.
Kurt let out a small huff of laughter, watching Blaine with fond exasperation. "Yeah. I think so too."