Maddie held up a finger, shushing Luke mid-ramble. “Madeline Coleman speaking.”
Luke shook his head. Maddie, his high school prom date, was so grown up now. It wasn’t just the business suit, he mused, or even the ‘Madeline.’ It was the way she carried herself, with authority, intelligence and kindness all mingled together, sparkling in every move she made. He was so proud of her. And then his thoughts veered off to another person he was proud of, another person he was madly in love with – his first love, Noah.
“Okay,” Maddie dropped her cell back on the table and took Luke’s hand in hers. “Here’s my advice, not that you asked for it. But Luke, if you want Noah back, if you want what you two have back, don’t just talk about it. Do something.” She reached in her purse and plucked out a flyer. “Here. Remember when Cindy Lauper came to town? This just might work. Don’t give me that look. You haven’t heard them yet. Check them out on YouTube.” She kissed his cheek quickly, with clear affection. “I’ve gotta go chase down my lead, but I’ll talk to you later. Think about it, okay? Love you.”
Luke leaned back and took another look at the flyer. Several well-dressed boys in uniforms smiled up at him. “Dalton Academy Warblers” they advertised.
Blaine snuck quietly into the McKinley auditorium. Rachel and Kurt were rehearsing a duet. She had her eyes closed and her hands out holding onto some invisible strand of emotion so strong she looked like she was about to cry. Or maybe she was. With Rachel, one never knows. And then there was Kurt, walking towards her from stage left with a hand outstretched, then fisted. Blaine felt the push and pull of their voices, the beautiful harmonies like a tug of war and then a seesaw, each engaging the other.
He took a seat and soaked it in. When the song ended, Rachel and Kurt posed like the stars they were and Blaine shot out of his seat, applauding. “Bravo! Brava!” That brought on surprised grins and curtsies before Kurt flew down the aisle to him.
“Hi!” Kurt said into Blaine’s neck as he squeezed his boyfriend hello. “What are you doing here?”
“To see you,” Blaine squeezed him back. “And I have a proposition for you.”
Kurt’s eyes lit up. “Do tell.”
All day long, Noah felt like he was being watched. It was just paranoia on his part, he told himself. His father, the Colonel Mayer, was still locked up in prison. He can’t touch him anymore. Can't touch Luke. Noah just needed to relax and sleep more, that was all.
And maybe a little more caffeine wouldn’t hurt. He stepped into the Starbucks two blocks from his apartment as was his routine and nodded at Cali Jeff (not to be confused with Oakdale Jeff of Java). “Hey Jeff. The usual please.”
Jeff rang him up, chatty as always. “Have a seat, man. We’ll bring it out to you.” That should have been his first clue. But Noah was too tired to notice this change in routine.
“Thanks.” He sank into one of the window seats, folding his arms on the tall table as he looked out.
The first aaaah of the harmony when it came sounded like the radio. Noah smiled to himself but otherwise stayed as he was, staring out the window. Then he saw red piping and blue blazers in the reflection drawing nearer and nearer. “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.” Noah turned around, startled now as the well-coifed lead seemed to be singing directly to him.
A taller brunet with skin like porcelain cut out from the pack and whispered to him. “Oh no, that’s my boyfriend. Yours sent us.” Before Noah could react enough to say he didn’t have one, Luke walked out from the sea of uniforms, Noah’s coffee order in hand and a tentative smile on his face.
Noah’s heart hammered with no finesse against his chest. It'd been so long since their last goodbye. Luke looked older, in a good sort of way, in a very sexy sort of way actually. His hair was blond again and his black t-shirt highlighted his arms and shoulders in all the right ways.
“Thanks.” Noah accepted the coffee with a slow hand, lingering in the touch. He was doing that swallowing thing again, he knew. He couldn’t help it. This was Luke. His Luke. Luke was here in L.A. Finally. He couldn't look away from those wordy hazel eyes any more than he could all those years ago when they first met.
Luke sat, curled his fingers around Noah’s, caressing, and it felt more intimate than it ought to have.
“I…love…you.” The song wasn’t exactly subtle. “I…love…you.”
Noah wasn’t sure which one of them moved first, but all of the sudden Luke was there, kissing him back. A moan tugged between their lips as he cupped Luke’s face. When they separated, blushing and laughing from embarrassment, from joy, there came a soft peppering of ‘aww’ from the performers and other patrons.
“Hi,” Noah said belatedly.
“Hello Noah.” Luke grinned with relief, his whole face lighting up. “So, this wasn't too corny?”
“Oh, of course it was.” Noah grinned back. “But you’re here. That’s all that matters.”
“That was nice.” Kurt leaned against Blaine on the private jet, the first private jet he'd ever boarded, courtesy of Luke’s grandmother. “Rachel could probably write a whole musical from that reunion.”
Blaine laughed, his chest vibrating against Kurt’s ear. He dropped a kiss against Kurt's temple. “Thank you for coming. I know you’re officially McKinley’s now but I would have really missed you this weekend.”
“Mmm. You mean Saturday.”
“‘Weekend’ implies an overnight stay,” Kurt looked up, an eyebrow arched, two blooms of blush
spreading over his cheeks.
Blaine smiled, fond and goners written all over his face. “I love you,” he said quietly, almost solemnly, like he was pledging something. He stroked a hand gentle through Kurt’s hair. “I wanted to wait and maybe sing it to you. But I- I love you.” He looked down at Kurt’s rapidly blinking eyes and plowed on. “When we were leaving earlier, I overheard Luke and Noah talking. Luke was saying sorry for never showing Noah how much he meant to him. And Noah insisted that he did and anyway words were important too. He said, ‘I’m sorry it took me so long to say them.’ And that’s when it hit me. I thought – I don’t want to wait, Kurt. I want to tell you the truth. Now. I love you.”
Kurt sat up, even more flushed now. “Wow. Three times,” he said, squeezing his hands together. When Blaine looked at him with a little wrinkle of confusion between his eyebrows, Kurt explained. “You just said it three times. I’m behind now, show-off.”
“You-you don’t have to say it back.”
“Blaine? Blaine,” Kurt kissed him quiet. “I love you too.”
A delighted whoop went up from the seats to their right. Wes winked and gave them two thumbs up, nodding as he did so.
but not as much as noah <3 me
Maddie laughed at the succession of texts from Luke. She just knew it.
Idly, she wondered if the Warblers were free next weekend. Someone else in Oakdale was bound to need their help…