Title: Sparkling like a Star and Melting like a Snowflake
Word Count: 1,918
Characters/Pairing: mama!Hummel, baby!ensemble with focus on little!Rachel and little!Kurt
Spoilers: Tiny overall spoilers
Summary: From the glee fluff meme prompt based on a picture; although it basically turned into a giant ball of little!Kurt/Rachel fluff.
Disclaimer: Still owning zilch. Title comes from a quote by Francis Bacon, Snr.
Elizabeth Hummel has always enjoyed surrounding herself with little children. Both she and Burt were only children and so when Lima Elementary began advertising for a 'creative arts' teacher, she jumped at the chance. Even after she fell pregnant with and gave birth to little Kurt and stayed home until he started nursery school, there was very little that she loved more than teaching fifth-graders the recorder and kindergarteners how to finger-paint and not eat crayons for an hour and a half, two days a week.
The elementary school has two kindergarten classes; the "stars" with Miss Clark and the "moons" with Miss Miller. Kurt is placed with Miss Clark in a colourful room that is aptly decorated with stars of various colour and size. He returns from his first day in a cheerful mood, clutching tightly to Elizabeth's hand and chattering to Burt happily about his new desk, and the house corner and the little girl who sat next to him who has two dads and wants to be his best friend and can-she-come-over-for-a-play-because-I-want-to-show-her-my-room-and-she-said-she'd-bring-her-doll-house-and-can-I-please-please-please-Daddy!
Elizabeth's first experience with the 'stars' is one for the books. She has them on a Tuesday afternoon and within the first five minutes is dealing with Finn Hudson's nose-bleed because Noah Puckerman shoved a crayon up there, in the hopes that he would 'breathe multicoloured'. Twenty minutes after that she has a crying Quinn Fabray in her lap and a pouting Santana Lopez sitting in the corner because she thought it would be a good idea to paint a picture on the back of Quinn's dress. Looking up, Elizabeth couldn't be more proud of Kurt as he sits quietly with Rachel Berry, ignoring all the fuss and happily colouring what soon will become the name tags for their desks. In her head, Elizabeth silently mocks the teacher who, in the staffroom earlier that day, had quipped that she wouldn't be able to control a class that had her son in it and hopes that he soon meets Kurt and realizes his mistake.
They begin doing themed units three weeks into the term. They start with families and Elizabeth soon finds her tiny little classroom filling up with crayoned self-portraits and butchers paper covered in finger-painted families. The first day they all sit in a circle and talk and she adores how easily they all open up. She soon learns that Finn's father died when he was young and he lives with just his mom, that Noah's mom is having a baby and he really wants a little brother, that Quinn adores her older sister and wants to look 'just like Abby' when she grows up, that Tina's parents are divorced and she just got a brand new step-father and Santana has three older brothers who have all been taught by Elizabeth at one point; no-one ever forgets the Lopez children. When recess begins however, she ends up sitting on the beanbags in the corner, watching as Kurt cuddles a sobbing Rachel to his side; the little girl had began crying soon after Santana had laughed at her lack of a mother and Quinn had murmured that having two dads was 'gross'. Elizabeth's initial impression of Rachel Berry was that she was incredibly spoilt but she had grown on her and she couldn't help but think that the girl is truly a breath of fresh air and that it's good for Kurt to have such a close friend. Soon after the last tears are wiped, she sees Kurt and Rachel standing next to Finn and smiles as Finn offers his mom to Rachel in exchange for one of her dads for the day. She later informs Carole Hudson of this and squeezes the woman's shoulder as she gathers her son tightly in her arms.
Several weeks later they decide on careers as a topic and the classes join together as small groups of parents come in to speak. Santana, Mercedes and Rachel all have their fathers come in to speak about being a surgeon, dentist and paediatrician respectively and Finn's mother tells them about being a nurse at the hospital. Noah's mother is an incredibly young and tiny woman and she also comes in, hand pressed against a growing stomach and talks about working as a secretary in an office building downtown while Rachel's other father tries to explain what a lawyer is to the rowdy group of kids. Burt is one of the last parents to come in and Kurt positively glows with pride as each of his male classmates fawn over the idea of fixing cars. As soon as the last lot of parents leave, Elizabeth settles the majority of them on the floor, drawing elaborate pictures of firemen rescuing cows and policemen chasing stray dogs and decides that yes, everything did go straight over their heads, but grins nether the less at the dress-up box where Rachel, stethoscope around her neck and a microphone in her hand, carefully helps Artie, Kurt and Brittany into a set of multicoloured tutus before breaking out into a rendition of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' as they try to dance along. Later Kurt whispers to Elizabeth that he wants to grow up and be a singer with Rachel before wrapping his arms around her neck and falling asleep.
Several more weeks pass and so do several topics. They do a topic on hospitals midway through December because Noah's mom had just given birth to his little sister Sarah and Rachel had just returned from one with a broken wrist after falling from the swing-set; although Kurt is adamant that Quinn pushed her off. It still makes Elizabeth smile to see Kurt very carefully helping Rachel to colour in, swiftly avoiding the bright pink cast that encases her arm. This didn't stop him scrawling his name and a giant lopsided star on it though. Within two days of returning to school with the cast, Rachel's arm is covered in wobbly handwriting and while she looks happy about it, Elizabeth can't help but notice the miserable way she curls in her father's lap during lunch when he comes to give her the pain medication. By the time the Christmas concert rolls around and despite the fact Rachel, Jacob Ben-Israel and Noah (who explained this quite loudly) are Jewish, Rachel is one of the first ones to volunteer to sing, dragging Kurt behind her and clutching her cast to her chest. And even though the concert was meant to showcase the singing of all the kindergarteners, Elizabeth decides that Rachel looks like she needed cheering up lately and allows her to have a song for herself; provided that Kurt sings as well, Mike, Brittany and several of the others dance and instruments are handed out to the rest of the students. The afternoon before the concert sees Elizabeth perched next to the piano as little Tina Cohen-Chang slowly taps out a rhythm and Quinn and Santana practise their triangles nearby. The night however goes a little different; Tina bursts into tears ten minutes before the performance, refusing to go on stage and Finn and Noah, now the best of friends, have thrown their tambourines out the window, before smacking a nearby Artie in the face with a microphone stand (accidently, they swear!). Rachel and Kurt, however, take the stage by storm, tiny voices singing loud and clear while their classmates sing off-key in the background and hands gripping one another tightly.
Months pass and all Elizabeth can see are the way her kindergarteners are changing. Finn and Noah refuse to part from one another; which only causes mischief, Tina is beginning to creep out of her shell, Brittany has stopped eating the paste in the corner of the room, Mike and Artie have stopped treating everything as a competition and Santana and Quinn have finally stopped picking on one another and have taken to loud giggles in the classroom instead. Kurt and Rachel, she doesn't think have ever been closer. Valentine's Day has Kurt presenting Rachel with a giant, homemade heart-shaped card and a sloppy kiss on the cheek, his own a bright red while Rachel hands forth a plate of homemade cookies, shaped like stars and smothered in pink icing. Mother's Day is spent curled on the bean-bags as Rachel recovers from Quinn and Santana's teasing about her lack of a mother once more, while Kurt and Finn squeeze in on either side and Noah stands nearby, still recovering from his own father's most recent abandonment (it isn't until the end of second grade that Mr. Puckerman leaves and doesn't come back). And Kurt's sixth birthday is spent in the Hummel's backyard, a jumping castle and tea-set in place while he drags a party-dress clad Rachel around by the hand, amongst their boisterous classmates, refusing to let her go for a minute. As she watches her only child and son pour Rachel a cup of 'tea' using the white and pink floral tea-set he had happily been presented with by the Berry's at the beginning of the party, Elizabeth knows that he is in for a long life of prejudices but as she sees a glowing smile spread across his face and Rachel pressing a kiss to his cheek, her tiny body pressed against Kurt's in a hug, she can only hope he will always have the support of friends as sweet as Rachel.
The last, lingering days of kindergarten are spent cleaning up the classrooms for the new years, collecting up squished pieces of artwork and loudly expressing panic of being separated in the coming year (this is primarily Kurt and Rachel, and surprisingly enough, a tearful Finn and Noah). In an attempt to restore any type of order, Elizabeth sits them all down at their newly cleaned desks and distributes a single worksheet to them all. Coloured pencils are then handed out and they all stare at the large printed star that fills the page. She gently explains that she wants each of them to fill it in as best as they can before they leave. When the final bell goes, Elizabeth watches as each of this year's "stars" hand her their sheets back before bolting out the classroom door. She watches as Rachel is embraced by both her smiling fathers; Noah yanks Finn towards their mothers and baby Sarah; Santana, Brittany and Quinn link arms and skip to the edge of the sandpit and Kurt sticks his tiny hand into Burt's much bigger one. Looking down, she flicks quickly through all the answers in front of her. The majority of them have answered the question; "I am a star because..." quite simply with; "My mommy says so." "I'm special." "I can dance real good." and a large "I don't get it." from Finn. But once she makes it to the papers that clearly belong to Kurt and Rachel, Elizabeth begins to laugh. Kurt's loopy handwriting clearly says, "I am a star because...I'm worth it" a loud shoutout to his most recent obsession with hair commercials and the paper with Rachel Barbra Berry blurrilyprinted across the top with a lopsided hand-drawn star next to it, states; "I am a star because...I just am." A tribute to what Elizabeth knows is Rachel's outspoken and impossibly blunt personality. She continues to chuckle to herself as she closes the classroom door and walks towards Burt and Kurt, and can't help but think; there is no way she will ever have a class like this one ever again.
A/N: I really do not know what this turned into. It started out as something completely different; something surrounding the picture and then it went boom! instant Kurtchel!fluff with the original image prompt squished at the end. I also wanted them to be in first grade and so a little more developed but I'm pretty sure Kurt's mom died when he was six and so that idea wasn't really going to work...but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. :]