Summary: When Burt and Carole applied to be foster parents they knew their life was going to change, not just for them but for their 6 year old sons as well. But when they take in Blaine and Cooper Anderson, two boys taken from their abusive parents, they’re taken onto a new journey they never imagined. They knew it was going to be hard, they knew it would be rewarding…but they never thought they’d fall in love so completely and totally so quickly.
Note: I have severely simplified the Foster Care system for the sake of the story. I’ve tried to keep the complexity of it for the sake of being believable, but for the most part you’re going to have to turn on your suspension of disbelief. I’ve also fucked with time lines too, of course. It’s set in modern times despite the fact they’re about 10+ years too young. Just another thing to go along with.
When most people reach a big break financially, they use their money to go on a long vacation, do some home repairs, maybe buy a something frivolous. But Carole and Burt Hummel-Hudson were not most people. Sure, they liked going on vacations and they were happy to keep their 6 year old boys content while also being financially comfortable, but when Carole hit a big break at work and earned a big promotion, Burt and Carole didn’t get anything material. No, they did something they’d always wanted to do.
They became foster parents.
Burt had always wanted a lot of kids. He’d wanted to be a Brady Bunch kind of dad. Not with the sage advice and stupid haircut, but with the three sons and three daughters. But when Elizabeth passed so early Burt never thought he’d get that dream. But after meeting Carole and gaining a son in Finn, Burt thought maybe his dream was still obtainable. But with Carole’s inability to conceive anymore children, Burt and Carole had many discussions on what they were going to do about having more kids.
The idea to be foster parents was their first and last idea, and they knew it was what they needed to do.
It was a long process, the long courses and background checks and paper work seemed to take forever, but Burt and Carole were excited when they officially became certified foster parents. But when the day came and he’d been at the office, sitting patiently, the woman who worked there seemed to find some paper work troubling.
“Well, see…” She stared biting her lip, “We’ve found you a nice match for your home. His name is Blaine and he’s the just a bit younger than your boys at home.”
Burt’s eyes lit up, “Well that sounds great!” He paused, “But…what seems to be the problem?”
The worker paused for a moment before saying, “Well, see, we’ve been having some…issues with this boy.”
Burt stopped at that. Issues? What could that mean? Burt and Carole had known when they signed up for this that they could get some very troubled kids. He could be an arsonist, into drugs, maybe even in a gang. Do we really want to bring that into our home? They had wondered when first discussing. But they had ultimately decided that this is what they wanted to do.
Then again, this boy was only 5.
“What do you mean – issues?” Burt asked slowly.
“Well, see, he has not been in the system for long. Maybe a few months if that. He came from a very abusive home. He’s a sweet boy, quiet, but he also has an older brother. And the two have been separated every time we try to find them a home and…well, they cause problems in their new homes.”
Burt paused, brow furrowed, “If he’s a sweet and quiet boy how is he causing problems?”
She shook her head, “No, I mean, he makes the problems. He acts out, freaks out, until the family asks for him to be removed. His older brother does the same thing. They cause their removals purposely so that they can return to the system together and not be separated.”
Burt let out a drawn out ‘Oh.’ It made sense, two brothers bound together from an abusive life. Of course they wouldn’t want to be apart. Why would they want to be apart?
“Well…why don’t we take both of them?”
And that was history. More paperwork and more meetings and soon enough, Burt was arriving at the facility to pick up his foster sons. He’ll never forget the way he walked into the room and found a teenage boy standing there. He had a dark look on his face, arms crossed tightly over his chest. He gave Burt a harsh look at he entered.
“You must be Cooper.” Burt had said brightly, trying to ease the boy up. He shrank away from Burt’s hand, but Burt understood. After coming from a severely abusive home (the files made Burt sick, he could barely think about it) it only made sense he wouldn’t trust Burt.
But then, a door opened and a little boy, a tiny, tiny thing with a mess of dark curls atop his head came warily into the room. As soon as Cooper noticed the boy his look instantly softened. “Blainey,” He called, and instantly the child was at his side, hugging his leg tight. Cooper placed his hand in little Blaine’s curls, needing contact with him.
He then paused, looking from Blaine to Burt. “Which one of us are you taking?” He asked harshly, dark look back.
Burt had given him an odd look, laughing slightly. “Well, both of you.”
Burt could never have pictured a more heartbreaking moment in his life. The way Cooper’s eyes widened, the way his jaw went slack. The pure shock and unadulterated relief that seemed to wash over him as he realized no, he and his brother weren’t about to be separated.
“B—both of us? You’re taking…both of us.” He spoke slowly, as if trying very hard to process the situation before him. He looked down at his little brother and then back up at Burt. Back and forth and back and forth, unsure of if he should believe Burt or not.
“Yes,” Burt smiled warmly, “Both of you. Now I have your bags, why don’t you boys follow me and we can head home.”
Little Blaine, still attached to Cooper’s leg, peeked his face out from his brother’s thigh for the first time since he attached himself to him. “We’re going together, Coopy?” He whispered, his voice so quiet Burt barely heard him.
“I—yeah, Blainey, we’re going together.” Cooper almost had a laughing tone to his voice, as if he almost didn’t believe this was happening. He reached down and picked Blaine up. For a five year old, the boy was very small. Too small for his age. Burt wasn’t sure if he was just a late bloomer or if it was because of his…upbringing.
Burt forced a smile, trying not to feel heartbroken by the boys before him. You can make this ok, He told himself in his head, You can make them ok. He knew it was a bold goal, but at this point he didn’t care. He wanted nothing more than to make these brothers smile.
“I’m sorry we weren’t able to meet first, but there simply wasn’t enough time.” He stepped closer to them, his step faltering slightly when Cooper shrank back a little, his hold subtly tightening on the boy in his arms. “Uh—I—my name is Burt Hummel. You can – you can call me whatever you want really…just not something disrespectful.” Cooper nodded seriously, as if taking serious instruction. Burt wasn’t sure why his stomach twisted at that. “I wanted my wife and sons to be here for this, but they had choir practice, so it’s sadly just me.”
“You have sons?” Cooper asked cautiously, as if unsure if he was allowed to speak. But at the question Burt’s eyes lit up, excited for some real conversation.
“Yeah!” He said brightly, “I have two sons, Kurt and Finn. They’re actually about your age, Blaine.” Burt said, meeting Blaine’s eyes. Immediately, the little boy hid his face into his brother’s shoulder. Burt stood back, not deterred. He knew what these boys had been through. The files were still giving him nightmares. But at the rejection, Cooper seemed to worry a little.
“He—uh, he’s shy.” Cooper said quickly, as if asking for forgiveness.
Burt smiled warmly at the 16 year old and shook his head. “Oh, it’s alright! If anything, having a shy boy in the home will be a nice change. Kurt is quite the chatterbox. His step brother Finn is even worse.” Burt laughed, unable not to at the thought of his sons. At the mention of other boys, Blaine peeked a glance at Burt, picking his head up slightly. “Well, c’mon boys. We can head home now.”
Cooper diligently followed, his hold tight on his little brother as he followed his new foster father. After talking to a few more people, the three were out at Burt’s SUV.
“Uh…” Cooper seemed to pause for a second, unsure if he should say what was on his mind.
“What is it, son?” Burt asked, turning around.
Cooper seemed to pause, falter even, at Burt’s use of the word ‘son’, but he powered on anyway. “Blaine’s—he’s a little small. Do you um, have a car seat? Or a booster seat?”
Burt smiled bright, “Yup, they warned me about that. Kurt just outgrew his seat, he was very happy to be rid of it but lucky for us Carole and I held onto it! I’ve got it in the backseat.” Cooper nodded, head back down and eyes on the ground as Burt opened the back seat door. Burt took a step back and watched the way Cooper stepped in and diligently but gently buckled his brother in. Blaine’s eyes stayed locked on Cooper the whole time, watching his face as he placed him in the seat and buckled him in. Once he was situated, Cooper leaned out, glancing to Burt.
Burt quickly said, “Uh, hey, if you want to sit in the back with him go right ahead! I won’t be lonely up in front.” He laughed awkwardly, and Cooper gave a short nod, climbing into the backseat beside his brother. Burt shut the door, but as he did so he didn’t miss the way the five year old reached down and took his brother’s hand.
Burt turned away from the car for a moment, making sure the boy’s wouldn’t see him as he tried to collect himself. Fuck, Burt, this is what you signed up for. You knew their story. You saw the files. The last thing they need is you being a blubbering idiot.
After a few deep breaths, Burt got in the driver’s seat and started the car. “Is there any radio station you boys prefer?” When met with silence, Burt glanced into the rear-view mirror to see Cooper and Blaine looking at each other, seemingly trying to decide what to say. “What, you don’t like the radio?”
“We, um, haven’t listened to too much radio.” Cooper said slowly. Immediately Burt wanted to smack himself. These boys were abused and neglected; of course they didn’t have time to find their favorite radio station when simply trying to survive.
“Oh, well, uh, is there any kind of music you really like?” When neither of them spoke again, Burt added, “C’mon, you boys have to like something.” He smiled disarmingly at them.
“Well, um, Blaine really likes pop music.” Cooper supplied meekly, as if worried he’d crossed some line.
“Sounds great!” Burt said brightly, trying to make the two as at ease as possible. Burt didn’t have to search too far to find a pop station, “You know my boy Kurt loves pop music too. He’s only a little older than you Blaine, a couple months. You two will probably get along really well.”
“You hear that, Blainey?” Burt heard Cooper say quietly to the boy, “The boys are your age. I bet they’re real nice too. You’re going to have a lot of fun with them.” Blaine seemed semi-hesitant about the thought, but seemed to take his brother’s word for gospel and nodded in agreement.
Burt played the pop station, and every now and then glanced in the rear-view mirror. He didn’t miss the way little Blaine’s head bopped along with the music every now and then. And anytime Burt accidentally made eye-contact with Cooper he was sure to smile bright, but the boy still immediately looked away every time.
As they neared the house, Burt glanced to the boys again. “Here we are, boys!” He said brightly, “It’s not much, but it’s home.”
Neither boy in the back said anything, they merely looked up to the house in slight awe. Without any prompting, Cooper got out of the car and extracted his brother as well. The second his little feet touched the group, Blaine’s hand shot up and took Cooper’s. Burt tried not to think too hard about it, about the constant need to be touching and what it could mean. Instead, he ushered the boys up the front steps.
“It looks like Carole and the boy’s aren’t home yet but that’s ok! We can get the two of you settled in before dinner.” Burt gathered Blaine and Cooper’s meager two duffle bags, waving Cooper off when he tried to help.
Now Carole and Burt had been a little rushed in their attempts to get the room ready for the boys. They’d been ready for one child for a while now, their guest bedroom turned into a child’s room long ago when they first started the foster parent process. But when they knew who they were getting they tried to make the room as personalized as possible.
Burt had carved a ‘B’ and a ‘C’ from wood and painted them white, mounting them on the light blue wall of the room on either side of the window. The walls were decorated with simple trim of a sea scene. The bedspread was a pale green print and all the dressers and tables were a muted white. Kurt had helped Carole in decorating, adding little decorative items here and there. They’d also tried to clothes shop. They didn’t get too much, very basic things based off the sizes they’d been told. They did of course plan to go shopping later on with the boys, but for now they did need basics in case they didn’t have much with them. And as Burt carried their light bags up the stairs, he was thankful Carole had thought to do that.
Burt had even put a computer in the room for Cooper (with child locks already in place) and one or two computer games. He also added a toy chest. Both Finn and Kurt had offered to give some of their toys to Blaine, something Burt had been very proud of. Though Burt and Carole had only accepted one toy from each boy, they’d also purchased a few new toys for him.
It had all been a little rushed, all accomplished in a little over two days, but Burt was proud of the final product. And he really hoped the boys would like it too.
But as Burt entered the room, placing their bags on the chest at the foot of the bed, he turned to see both boys had stopped dead in the doorway. “Uh, I—I know it’s a little meager. We didn’t have a lot of time to get everything you’d need, but we can always go to the store together.”
“No, sir, this is—this is wonderful.” Cooper said quietly, eyes still roaming the room.
“We actually have a pull-out bed that’s pretty comfortable until we can get you two beds-”
“No, sir, one bed is just fine.” Cooper said quickly, “We can share.”
Burt raised an eyebrow in surprise. Glancing to the queen sized bed, he asked, “Are you sure? It’s absolutely no trouble.” Cooper quickly shook his head, not saying another word. Burt smiled, “Well we can always get you one if you change your mind.” He carefully walked around them and into the hall, “I’m going to go call Carole and find out what’s going on. Feel free to make yourselves at home! You’re welcome anywhere in the house. This is your home now, so make it feel that way!” He joked, but still neither boy looked at him. “I’ll give you boys some time to settle in.”
The two brothers just continued to look around the room in slight awe as Burt excused himself. “Coopy?” Burt heard Blaine whisper, voice still barely audible to the father. “Is…is this all for us?”
Burt paused in the hall, listening silently to the boys as they spoke. “Yeah, Blainey. I think…I think this is all for us.”
“Even the toys?”
“Even the toys, buddy.”
“I think I really like it here.”
Burt quickly made the rest of the way down the hall, unable to listen to the boys anymore. God it wasn’t even two hours in and Burt was already melting for them. Biting back the tears that wanted to break free, Burt powered on. He made his way downstairs with his cell phone in hand as he called his wife, mind set in stone as he decided he was going to prepare these boys the best banquet dinner they could ever dream of.
It was going to be the perfect beginning to their perfect new lives. Burt would make sure of it.