"I'm so sorry," Kurt cries, flushing with embarrassment when for the umpteenth time, he loses his grip on his chopsticks and a piece of carrot drops back into his bowl. "I suck at this."
Mike just laughs. "Don't apologize," he says. "You are doing fine. Do you want me to ask for a fork?"
"No!" Kurt says hastily before Mike can flag down the waiter. "No, don't. They are already staring at me, anyway. I don't want to make it worse."
Mike laughs again, this happy, bright sound that Kurt didn't know he missed until he ran into Mike at a bar in the Village in March. "They are staring because I used to work here when I first got to New York, and because they can't believe that I actually got someone to go out with me. They kept telling me to bring a date, and I never did."
"Why not?" Kurt dares to ask, worried that it's too much. He doesn't know Mike that well, after all. But Mike just shrugs.
"Guess I was waiting for the right one."
"Kurt's heart suddenly beats a lot faster, and he's still struggling to come up with an appropriate response when an elderly Chinese man saves him by approaching their table, smiling widely.
"Is everything alright with your food?" he asks.
"Yes, thank you, it's delicious," Kurt nods. "Easily the best Chinese food I've ever had."
The man chuckles. "You are too kind," he says, and then, to Mike: "Is this the young man you kept telling us about?"
Kurt raises his brows in surprise and watches Mike blush deeply. "Yes, yye. That's Kurt."
The man pats Mikes shoulder. "Well, I can see how he would be worth waiting for all these years." He winks at Kurt. "It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope to see you again very soon."
He leaves, and Mike doesn't look at Kurt when he says: "That's Mr. Li. He owns the restaurant." He sounds distant, and just a little bit scared.
Kurt stares at him in disbelief. "He said years. He said you have been waiting for years. For me? What - I mean -"
Mike swallows. "Well, I didn't plan for you to find out like this, but yes. It's true. I mean, I always liked you, but I think the moment I fell for you was when you sang A house is not a home."
Kurt presses a hand against his mouth. "That was in sophomore year. That was six years ago."
Mike just nods, staring down at his food, and Kurt can't stand to see him like this. Mike is supposed to be cheerful, and brave, not afraid of what Kurt of all people will think of him.
He reaches out tentatively, putting his hand over Mike's where it rests on the table in a tightly clenched fist. "Why did you never say anything?" he asks.
Mike shrugs, and still doesn't look at him, but his fingers uncurl under Kurt's touch. "I was shy?" he says. "And not out? And you were clearly in love with Finn, and then there was Sam, and then you went to New York, and Mercedes kept telling me how successful you were and how popular ... I just thought I'd never stand a chance."
Kurt is surprised to realize that there are actually tears welling up in his eyes, and he blinks furiously to force them back. "Well," he says, and his voice sounds shaky and choked. "Then it's a good thing that we met again, right?"
Mike slowly raises his head, and his eyes are clear when he looks at Kurt. They are holding hands now, on top of the table, next to the kung-pao, for everyone to see.
"Yes," he says, "really good."