Disclaimer: Glee does not belong to me, and neither does The Luckiest, Defying Gravity, the Heisman Trophy, or Swing Low. Though I'll gladly accept any of them as a gift.
It's a nice day, with a slight breeze and a shining sun. It reminds him of her. The cemetery is fairly empty, Kurt the only one there besides a family at the far end and what looks like a homeless man sleeping on one of the benches near the front. Her grave is near the back, and his knees protest as he makes his way from the parking lot.
He lifts his fedora off for a moment to adjust the gray strip of bangs that has fallen across his eyes as he stands at the foot of her grave: Quinn Fabray, 1993-2071. Donny, Mike and Annabelle had come out before sunrise that morning and left a bouquet of pink flowers (Quinn's favorite) in between their parent's graves. He wonders if Beth came with them.
She'd gotten out of Lima for college, they all had. Even Puck had attended West Point, before he dropped out to join the Marines. He'd been the first to go, killed while on a routine "peace-keeping" patrol three months after his twenty-seventh birthday. His funeral brought the other eleven and Mr. Schue together for the first time since their ten year reunion almost a year before. Finn had met Puck's seventh month old son, Caleb, for the first time that day, and the two had been close ever since.
Santana had been killed when her car was hit by a drunk driver when she was thirty-four, and Brittany died a few months later of pancreatic cancer. They were buried next to each other in Cincinnati, and the time between Puck's death and theirs was the last time the Glee kids stayed out of contact for more then a few days at a time. That's what they invented the Internet for.
Nearly ten years passed before the next funeral, and this one was a strange occurrence for the remaining 9 and Mr. Schue. When Sue Sylvester died at the claimed age of 52, and an actual age that was much more impressive then that, they learned from her will that she had listed them first that sophomore year so long ago, when Jesse had shone and they had had their hearts broken, and that as much as she had loathed everything that they stood for, there was a connection between them all. They were all McKinley Titans, and they would all always be Sue's Kids (at least a little bit)
They always made sure that Sue's grave had fresh flowers, which they knew she would hate, and a tub of her favorite protein pellets, which they hoped she appreciated.
Mr. Schue died quietly in his sleep a few weeks after his 75th birthday, with a trophy case of Glee awards that almost rivaled Coach Sylvester's (almost). The nine remaining members of New Directions returned to Lima knowing that they were burying a man who'd changed more lives then they could count, even if sometimes he forgot that anyone but the Rachel of that year's club could sing at all. They held his memorial service in the overflowing McKinley gym, and the population of Lima nearly doubled that day.
Matt died eleven years later the same way he lived, quiet and unassuming and loved. His memorial service was attended by thousands of mourning football fans, and he was buried with his two Super Bowl rings and a picture of his Heisman trophy surrounded by his six kids, his eighteen grandkids, and his two new great-grandkids (you could barely see the trophy). His funeral was attended by his family and the remaining eight members of the club, all seated in the front row, remembering the quiet boy who had more fun dancing and singing then he did anything else, rather then the football star he'd become.
Artie died a year and a half later, and Tina died four days after her husband, both in the house that Artie had grown up in. It was hard, losing them both like that so quickly, but Finn and Rachel performed Ben Fold's The Luckiest at the funeral, and the pain was eased a little by the music, and the thought that in heaven, the two of them finally got to dance together properly. Their twin boys, Drake and Taylor, would go on to research spinal cord injuries, and six of their grandchildren would enter the field of medicine. Their daughter, Jennifer, had taken over the Glee Club at McKinley.
Rachel died in Australia two years later, the last stop of her third world wide, record-shattering tour. Finn promised them that she had died singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina, and they all loved that she'd left the world in the same way she'd come in. As crazy as Rachel had driven them in high school, growing up had changed her, and the original group of twelve had always been close. Kurt had been surprised when Finn asked him to sing Defying Gravity at the funeral, but he'd gladly performed the song for his old friend. They all told him it was his best performance of the song ever.
Mike died four months after Rachel, and the four remaining Glee kids had wished that they could still do the moves that the quiet boy had taught them. Though Matt was buried in Columbus, where he'd played college football, and Mike had spent most of his life in Los Angeles, running his own dance studio, Mike made sure his body was buried next to his best friend. They all hoped the two were silently having some sort of dance competition up there.
Finn died the summer his first great great grandchild was born. The funeral was crowded with his seven children (Rachel had wanted a big family), twenty plus grandkids, 40 plus great-grandchildren and Caleb Puckerman and his kids and grandkids. And of course, Mercedes and Quinn and Kurt.
Mercedes died 11 months after Finn, Kurt and Quinn by her side when she took her last breath. Kurt didn't stop crying properly until two days after the funeral. It was the third hardest funeral he'd ever been to, behind his parents, because as much as he loved Gage (enough to marry him and adopt three kids and two dogs with him), nobody could ever even threaten Mercedes's spot in his heart.
Quinn had made it just under four years after Mercedes before she died. Kurt had been by her side as she passed away too, headed for a reunion with her best friends. It had been a wonderful service, white and glowy and lovely in the way that Quinn had been as she grew up out of the cheerleader and into the mother who'd gone away to college, only to come back to Lima to start her own bookstore and marry a fellow McKinley graduate two years behind them. She had felt more at home in Lima after she left and came back.
And so Kurt stood in front of her grave, knees aching slightly and hair gray, thinking about his friends. Combined, they'd left behind almost thirty children, seventy grandkids, and hundreds in the generations after that. Their names were inscribed on almost twenty national championship trophies, whether through performing or coaching. There was an arts wing at McKinley with a classroom named after each of them (except for Matt, who the football field was named after).
Not bad for twelve semi-outcast Glee kids from small-town Lima, Ohio.
Kurt looks up into the sky and thinks about the reason he's here. It's not to cry, because crying is for those last breaths and the funeral service and cuddling your best friends' grandkids to your chest and assuring them that their grandparents are happy now and watching over them and waiting to see them again one day. Mercedes was the exception. Her place in his heart required a little crying.
He remembers the day he went to church with Quinn (he and his dad didn't go much after his mom's death except of Mother's Day, Easter and Christmas). He'd been enthralled with the choir, and as the congregation had risen to leave, they'd sung something that had stuck with Kurt ever since. And for 13 graves now, spanning a time frame of sixty-two years, he'd stood at the foot of each of their graves and sang. And so he does for Quinn, almost glad that this is the last one he'll have to do before he gets to see them for real.
"If you get to heaven before I do, comin' for to carry me home," he sang, voice still crystal clear after all these years, even if it doesn't quite carry the same volume, "Tell all my friends that I'm a comin' too, comin' for to carry me home," he lets the last note ring before he blows a kiss to Quinn and turns to walk away with a tear on his cheek.
Sometimes, it sucks being the last one left. But then again, it gives the others plenty of time to plan a reunion.
This really isn't a sad fic about their deaths I promise; it's a celebration of their lives and their friendships. The song Kurt sings at the end is my favorite Christian hymn ever, and I couldn't get this fic out of my head after I heard a brilliant, beautiful soprano version of it.