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The Gala

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“Quickstep.”

“No.”

“Cha Cha?”

“No.”

“Rumba?”

“Hell no.”

“Kuuuuurt,” Blaine whined, looking up at him from his spot on the piano bench. He’d been providing increasingly ridiculous musical accompaniment for his dance suggestions. The last one sounded suspiciously like Let’s Get It On.

“I am not doing a rumba with you at the foundation gala, Mr. I Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself,” Kurt said, batting Blaine’s hands away from him so he could sit down. “There will be children there! Hell, Kim will be there, and she gets way too much enjoyment out of watching you be handsy.”

“Not as much as I do,” Blaine said. He leaned in for a kiss, and though Kurt rolled his eyes, he kissed back.

“You’d think after two years of marriage and five years together that you’d be slightly more appropriate in public.”

“What fun would that be?” Blaine scooted himself over right onto Kurt’s lap, his fingers never leaving the piano keys. His playing resolved into something familiar as he glanced back at Kurt. “How about a compromise?”

“You want to tango?” Blaine nodded. “To Brave?” Another nod as he kept playing and began to hum the melody.

Kurt extracted himself out from under Blaine once he’d gone through the song fully, motioning to him to keep playing. Blaine grinned, sensing victory, and sang the lyrics full out while Kurt moved to the open space opposite the piano and closed his eyes.

It could work. Kurt could see it. And the song choice couldn’t be more perfect for a night dedicated to supporting young LGBTQ artists. Damn Blaine for always having the best ideas. But even great ideas could be improved upon.

“Blaine, honey?”

“Yes, dear?” Blaine fluttered his lashes.

“Why don’t you see if Santana and Rachel will do a duet?” Kurt asked, rolling his eyes yet again when Blaine pumped one fist in the air. “And while you’re celebrating with them – because I’m sure you already conspired with Santana at the very least – I’m calling Brit and Kim. I have an idea.”

 

***

 

Six weeks later, Kurt stood backstage at the Gala, one arm across Blaine’s shoulders and the other settled around Kim’s waist. They watched as Brittany contorted herself into a series of seemingly impossible stretches, then bounced upright and jogged back over to them.

“Ready!” Brit said, reaching out to give the three of them a quick hug. “This’ll be fun.”

“So long as no one compares me to her,” Kim whispered to Kurt. “Her legs go up to my armpits, I swear.”

“You’ll be fine, shorty,” Kurt said fondly. “Plus, you look amazing.”

“Totally hot,” Blaine added from Kurt’s other side, nodding sagely. “Almost as hot as Kurt.”

“You can stop buttering me up, Blaine. I spent weeks choreographing this thing. Not like I’m going to back out now,” Kurt replied.

“I don’t think he can help it,” Kim said. “He’s on a charm high. That’s what comes from opening the show with All You Need is Love.”

“That’ll do it,” Kurt quipped, and then turned to share a secret smile with Blaine. Not even Kim knew their history with that song. Kurt knew both he and Blaine were remembering a moonlit night in Italy, a private serenade, and a proposal that had been a long time coming. “It’s a good song. Very charming.”

Kim gave him a curious look, but he was saved from her questions by the stage manager calling them to their places.

“See you out there,” Blaine said, leaning up to kiss Kurt. “Love you, sweetheart.”

“You too,” Kurt replied, then grabbed Brit’s hand and headed for the far wings.

The music began a moment later, the beat clear and true. The spotlight came up on Santana and Rachel, who walked steadily downstage as they began to sing.

Kurt took Brit into hold, counting them in as the first chorus approached. They stepped onstage and the spotlight found them, blinding them to everything but one another. Brit looked focused, but Kurt could see the grin threatening to break out across her face. He led them into a sequence of intricate footwork and turns, Brit’s skirt whipping around behind them as they moved.

Dimly, Kurt heard cheers from the crowd as they were recognized, and then more cheers as Blaine and Kim entered from the other side of the stage. The two couples circled one another – distantly at first and then more closely, until Kurt could feel the warmth of Blaine’s shoulders brushing his back. They each spun their partners out to the right and then reached to the left, taking their new partner by hand.

“Hi stranger,” Kim mouthed as they came face to face. She was breathing hard and grinning harder, obviously having a blast. As the second verse started up, they moved downstage. They dropped their hands out of hold but stayed close, mirroring one another’s steps. Finally, Kurt reached out for Kim’s hand, spinning her close and then into a deep backbend. They held there for a moment, and Kurt could see Brit flash past with Blaine. Sensibly, she was leading, since in her heels she had at least an inch or two on Blaine.

Kurt pulled Kim back up, turning them to follow the circle that Brit and Blaine had just transcribed. Their footwork was fast, building into the second chorus. Both couples turned upstage, crossing paths and then moving down the opposite sides of the stage. Kim and Brit’s skirts flared out behind them as the pairs turned in tight circles before meeting again at center stage.

Just as Kurt had planned it, he and Blaine were back to back again, but this time their partners spun out in the same direction. As Santana and Rachel sang out “why don’t you tell them the truth?”, Brit took Kim into hold and Kurt turned into his husband’s arms.

Blaine was grinning stupidly, and Kurt couldn’t help but do the same as he led them across the stage. The cheers from the audience grew louder as the two couples mirrored one another, their movements precise and exaggerated, matching the slow march of the music.

Kurt held Blaine tightly, relishing the chance to dance - really, properly dance - with him in public. It had been too long since they’d been able to do so, and they’d certainly never had the opportunity to dance together on the show. It was amazing to think about how much had changed in the years since they met. Blaine was out, to start with. And though they’d gotten married in a small, private ceremony, pictures of them as happy newlyweds had still shown up in all the celebrity magazines. They’d had their share of detractors, of course, but mostly they’d been received with happiness and love.

Blaine’s fans in particular had been amazing. They continued to support his music loyally, and when the foundation had been announced, they’d been there for every fundraiser. Big donations had come in, but it was the regular fans with their small donations that allowed them to really make a difference. Even now, Kurt knew that thousands of them were watching the Gala livestream, and the knowledge made him dance with even more energy.

As the song drew to a close, he and Blaine circled downstage toward Santana and Rachel, who reached out for them with open arms. Brit and Kim met them there, Brit cuddling close to Santana as they all joined in for the last refrains of “I just want to see you...be brave.” The audience - now on its feet - echoed it back to them before applause and cheers overwhelmed the singing.

“I love you,” Blaine said into Kurt’s ear, speaking just loudly enough to be heard over the din. His arms slid around Kurt’s waist and held on. “Thanks for doing this.”

“Thanks for doing this,” Kurt replied, gesturing to encompass the room full of supporters and their friends on stage, hugging one another and laughing. “You’ve made magic happen once again.”

“Only with you,” Blaine said. “You’re my magic.”

“Cheeseball,” Kurt said, a smile and kiss softening his accusation. “I love you too.”

They shared a longer kiss, knowing that people were watching but not caring. This was their life now - performance and creativity and the love that buoyed it all. They were making art and helping people, just like Blaine always said he wanted to.

“Break it up, boys,” Kim yelled, pulling Kurt from his contemplation and toward the group hug. “Time to share the love!”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” Kurt said, grinning at his husband. “Let’s celebrate.”

Together, they joined the fray.