Kurt Hummel had been planning weddings since he was two years old and he was very good at it, as his parents and best friends could attest. He always had the perfect idea when anyone came to him for a suggestion, and he had conjured up fantasies of his own wedding day a million times, planning it out a million different ways: what he would wear, who he would invite, how everything would look, what everyone would do and say at the reception.
Getting married had long been one of Kurt's fondest wishes.
In a way that was the problem. All it had ever been before was a vague hope of one day finding the soul mate he had longed for all his life. His original wedding fantasy had just been himself and a faceless (but still somehow handsome) stranger. Later that anonymous man had been replaced by a dumb but adorable jock, a boy who would later go on to become his step-brother instead. Then had come a 'when we grow up' type of small town daydream; marrying his high-school sweetheart. Then things had ended with Blaine and he had gone back to empty but still beautiful dreams.
Even his subconscious had realized that he had no interest in spending his life married to Jeremy, Andy or Emmitt, but a near-desperate craving to make that far away dream of perfect love come true had possessed him when he had passed the latter half of his twenties and found himself still alone. That craving had led him to Zachary and bred an endless number of fantasies with him, covering his flaws and assigning him virtues that a more rational eye would have seen that he simply did not possess. Separated by more than a year, Kurt could see now how much of that relationship had been made up inside his head.
It was a shame, but he could not entirely regret what had happened. If it had not been for what happened with Zach, he might never have gone back to Lima and found his true love in the unexpected form of an old friend.
What he had this time was the real deal. Kurt had gone into this relationship with his eyes wide open and every defense raised against the expectation of being hurt, but it had not happened. Mike had neatly knocked down every barrier, one by one, proving himself by the simple virtue of being honest and loving.
Mike Chang was everything Kurt had ever wanted, and more than he had dared to wish for. That realization was sometimes as scary as it was exhilarating. And the best part was that Mike felt the exact same way about him. He could see it sometimes, looking up from some everyday chore to find Mike staring at him as if he was a perfect daydream come to life.
Real, lasting love had finally found them both and their commitment to that love was about to be announced to the entire world via the simple words, "I do."
The trouble with having created so many ideal weddings in his imagination was that it was almost impossible to choose the right scenario now. Kurt wanted this event to be perfect, something they could both look back on fondly in years to come. Unfortunately Mike, in this respect, was not particularly helpful. Whenever Kurt asked his preference for colors or fabrics or styles of wedding attire, Mike would just smile and say, "Whatever you want. I'm not picky."
It was frustrating because Kurt wanted him to be picky about everything, to be as thrilled and invested in this ritual as he was. After all, it was one of the most important things they would ever do together.
For once in his life, Kurt could not decide what to wear or who should be invited to participate. Should he ask Finn to be his Best Man? After all, he had filled that role for his brother. Or would it be more appropriate to have a Matron of Honor, and if he did that, should it be Mercedes or maybe Rachel who was given that honor? Perhaps he could have both, but if he did that, then Mike would be obliged to invite an equal number or else the wedding party would be lopsided.
The venue, at least, had been easy to decide on. Marriage between two men had been legal in New York for just under a decade, but it was still banned in Ohio, which meant that their family and friends from Lima would be coming to them. It was a little unusual, but they had agreed that the Regal would make a fine wedding location. It had plenty of seating, it wouldn't cost them anything, it did not have the religious connotations of a church, and the theater just happened to have a large anteroom that would make a perfect reception hall. Emily had gotten herself ordained online and volunteered to perform the ceremony for them. It felt a tiny bit tacky, but once again solved the problem of Kurt being an atheist groom.
Kurt's 30th birthday was looming ever closer and he was beginning to despair of ever hitting on the right idea.
Strangely enough, it was Finn who finally solved his dilemma.
They had been on the phone for half an hour, and Kurt was venting, aware that he had a captive audience while Finn was busy feeding his baby son. Little William Bertram Hudson – Will for short – was a docile, patient baby with his father's appetite and easy-going nature, which meant that he liked to take his time over a bottle and never left one half-full.
"Dude," Finn finally said, cutting Kurt off mid-gripe. "What's the big deal? Aren't you the guy who used to be all about mixing up masculine and feminine, or whatever? Remember that weird Arabian harem thing you did to your room that one time, or the time you dressed up like Two-Face for your duet assignment in glee club? That was pretty cool, though I still don't get what a Batman character had to do with jazz. And Mike was one of your dancers in that, wasn't he? You're getting married on a stage, right? He'd probably be totally cool with it if you guys did that again. Just maybe, y'know, without the crazy super-villain makeup this time."
Kurt's tumbling thoughts screeched to a halt. "Okay, first of all, that outfit was an ode to the genius of Julie Andrews, not Two-Face. Second, the room decor was Moroccan and it was supposed to suggest harmonious co-existence between us, not a harem." He huffed and heard a sigh on the other end of the phone. Taking a deep breath, Kurt softened his tone. "And thirdly . . . you really are brilliant sometimes."
He could easily picture the way his brother perked up from the happiness that suddenly filled his voice. "Does that mean you're gonna do it?"
"I think it does. Something like it, anyway. Thank you, Finn."
His grin was all but audible. "Any time, Bro." When he heard Finn add a soft, "Cool, a Batman wedding . . ." Kurt burst out laughing, his mind suddenly made up.
"Does that mean you'll be okay if I dress you up as the Joker? After all, a Best Man needs to look the part."
A momentary pause, then an excited, "Dude! Do I have the job?"
"Yes, if you want it. And I'm only kidding about the costume part, so don't worry."
"Oh," he said, sounding a bit disappointed. Then, brightly, "Actually, I don't care if you put me in another friggin' shower-curtain dress. I'm there."
Kurt laughed again. He had never forgotten that gesture. "I think we'll go a little more casual than that, but thank you for the offer. Oh, but are you going to mind being partnered up with a guy in the wedding party? Mike has already asked Matt to be his Best Man."
"Really? Rutherford? Awesome, man, I haven't seen him in years! I'm cool with it. What about Mercedes?"
"She'll stand next to you, opposite Lynne," Kurt decided, scribbling the sudden flow of ideas down on a sheet of paper. "And Mike has also asked Tina Abrams, so she can be Rachel's opposite, and we already agreed that Kathy and Christy can round out the group. They've adopted Mike as their third brother already, so he was all for it."
Sounding a little concerned, Finn said, "That sounds cool, but what about your dad? Are you sure you wouldn't you rather have him as your Best Man?"
Kurt smiled. "He's already got a job. Since there is no bride and Mike has no parents left, Dad is going to escort us both up the aisle. It was actually Carole's idea, but Dad loved it. So do Mike and I."
"That sounds awesome!" Finn crowed. Then, abruptly his tone changed. "Ew, gross! Man, I gotta go. Baby Will just did some nuclear damage to his diaper. Ugh, dude, you're killing me here!"
Knowing full well that the last comment was not directed toward him, Kurt laughed. "Good luck with that. I'll talk to you later."
The call terminated without a goodbye and Kurt laughed harder, glad that he was not in the immediate vicinity of his brother and nephew.
Once the plan had been set, Mercedes and Emily had swooped in and taken the execution of it off Kurt's hands. This was his big day, they had insisted, and they were not going to let him stress himself out too much to enjoy it. So, reluctantly, Kurt backed off and resigned himself to playing occasional overseer.
Standing in a tiny dressing room just off the theater lobby, Kurt took a few calming breaths, running his hands lightly down the fabric of his wedding outfit. It was made of fine blue silk, the loose material of his high-collared shirt and pants shifting lightly against his arms and legs to where it was gathered in tight cuffs at the wrists and ankles. The long, gold-embroidered vest he wore over it was close-fitting but comfortable; as were the soft velvet slippers he wore to complete the ensemble. Mike's outfit was exactly the same as his own, except that it had been done in red and gold.
When he had asked, Mike had explained that red was traditionally the bride's color, but since this ceremony had no bride either of them could wear it, and he preferred the way the royal-blue fabric made Kurt's eyes stand out. He had gotten a little choked up when Kurt explained that he wanted to honor Mike's Chinese heritage in deference to the parents who could not be here today.
For the same reason, Kurt was also wearing his late mother's engagement ring on a hidden chain around his neck. He had wanted his mother symbolically close to his heart on this important day.
Since it was Kurt's birthday today, Mike had awakened him with breakfast in bed – he had given up his studio apartment the day the six-month lease expired and moved in with his fiancée so there was no point in not seeing each other before the wedding – and a long, relaxing, full-body massage. Though sorely tempted, they had managed to hold off on having sex afterward. They had not done so all week, deciding to take a break that would be rewarded with a real 'wedding night' later.
A soft knock sounded at the door and Kurt jumped, snatching up his bouquet of mixed red and yellow roses and tulips from a side table. His partner would be carrying one as well. Opening the door he stared, wide-eyed and nervous, into the smiling eyes of his father. Burt was wearing a traditional black tux and as Kurt gave him a quick hug and accepted his offered left arm, a happy little part of him could not help imagining how picturesque the two brightly dressed grooms would look against the dark fabric of their escort's suit.
They crossed to a second dressing room and Mike emerged, his eyes bright and eager. They widened in appreciation as he took in the sight of Kurt in his wedding costume for the first time. He smiled and accepted his soon to be father-in-law's other arm.
Taking up their position at the back of the theater, the three men smiled at each other and began their procession inside, past the smiling faces of friends and family.
Mike had asked to choose the song they would walk up the aisle to, but had refused to tell Kurt what it was. Kurt's smile widened into a grin when he realized that it was, "You Were Meant For Me" from their mutual favorite movie, "Singing in the Rain". It was a soft, instrumental version but as their eyes met, a thrill of pure happiness surged through Kurt. Those words had never been truer.
A set of steps had been placed at the base of the stage and both young men hugged Burt again as he handed them up, allowing them to ascend the steps and take their places. It felt a little funny, but at the same time entirely appropriate to be getting married on a stage.
Kurt's sisters and girlfriends, each dressed in a silvery-white silk gown, smiled and reached out to gently touch his arm in good luck as he moved past them. Finn, dressed like Burt in a traditional black tux, as was Matt Rutherford, just grinned and gave his brother a little shoulder bump as he stepped up to face Emily and took Mike's free hand in his.
Emily smiled lovingly at them both and began, her voice ringing clearly through the half-full theater. She spoke of loss, love and her hopes for their joyful future together, but Kurt was only half-hearing the words. His attention was wholly focused on the man opposite him, staring into his eyes with equal parts loving intensity and joyful disbelief. This was really happening. In just a few minutes they would no longer be just Mike and Kurt, individuals, but also Mr. and Mr. Chang-Hummel, a legally bonded unit.
Neither groom had wanted to give up his family name, so they had agreed to blend them and alphabetically had seemed the easiest way to go. Kurt Chang-Hummel, he could not help but smile just thinking of it.
Finally, the rhythm of Emily's voice stopped and Kurt managed to shakily deliver his wedding vow. "Mike, I think I may have literally waited all my life for this moment. When I was a little boy, my mother used to read me fairy tales and I asked her once if a prince would ever come for a boy like me. She told me that anything was possible, and that my prince was out there, just waiting for me to find him." He smiled. "She was right. Just when I had all but given up on ever finding real love, there you were. You're everything I've ever wanted, and I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to share my life with you. I promise that I will always be true to you, I will never take you for granted, and I will show you how much I love you each and every day that we're lucky enough to have together."
Mike gulped, blinking and dashing quickly at his nose. "Kurt, without ever knowing it, you taught me how to face my fears and be true to myself. You showed me what real love is, and that it's something worth waiting and working and fighting for. A part of me has loved you since we were both just sixteen and I thank God, Fate or whatever power in the universe saw fit to bring us back together again. I love you more than anything in my life, and I will love and cherish you faithfully until the day I die."
Emily had to clear her throat before she could continue her part. Signaling Finn and Matt to hand over the two gold rings Mike had given to Kurt on their engagement day, she waited until the two grooms had each slipped one over his partner's left ring finger, then said, "With these vows and before this company, by the power vested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you both, husbands."
Tears sparkling on their lashes, Kurt and Mike smiled and leaned in close, their lips meeting in a long, sweet kiss that had the entire crowd bursting into applause. When they finally broke apart, both of them laughed in delight, then turned and hugged their assorted groomsmen and women.
More hugs and kisses were rained upon them from every direction as they descended the steps and made their way back up the aisle. As the crowd began to file out of the auditorium area toward the reception room, Kurt and Mike waded through them to reach his parents, wanting a private moment with them. When they got there, Kurt was shocked to see that his father was weeping.
Instantly concerned, he laid a hand on his arm and said softly, "Dad? Is everything okay?"
"Okay?" Burt choked, trying to laugh and cry at the same time. He shook his head, brushing a trembling hand over Kurt's hair and then pulling him into a close embrace. "It's a hell of a lot better than just okay. What I just saw . . . Kurt, that was everything your mom and I ever wanted for you. For you to find real love and for the people around you to figure out that there's nothing wrong with that kind of love in time for you to have a day like this one. I just wish she could have been here to see it. And your folks, too," he added, releasing Kurt and smiling at Mike.
Mike's answering smile held a hint of sadness. "Me, too, sir."
"What have I told you about that? Call me Burt, or . . . no, forget that. I just gained another son, so feel free to call me Dad! Y'know, unless that'd be weird for you or disrespectful to Jim's memory," he added quickly.
Mike grinned. "No, I'd like that. My own dad was Papa, so it won't even feel strange. It might be more of an adjustment to call Carole, Mom, but I'll do my best."
Carole laughed. "I'm fine with either one, honey. After all, Kurt has been my son for almost thirteen years now and he still goes back and forth."
Embracing her tightly, Kurt chuckled. "I'm sorry about that, but you are my mom in all the ways that matter. I hope you know that."
"Of course I do," she said softly, kissing his cheek. "And I'm so grateful that I could be here to see you two get married. I wish you as much joy in your life together as your father and I have had."
Knowing how powerful a benediction that was, Kurt hugged her again and whispered, "Thanks, Mom."
"You guys better quit hugging everybody and get into the party before everyone thinks you snuck off without saying goodbye," Finn advised, joining the group and flinging his long arms around the shoulders of the two grooms with a beaming grin.
Taking his advice to heart, the newly united family went to enjoy the reception.
Hours later, following more singing, dancing, toasting and combined wishes for a happy marriage and happy birthday than he could even remember, Kurt was flying high. He had been reintroduced to Mike's best friend, Matt, a couple of days earlier and it amused him to find that the other man was as nice as he remembered, but just as disinclined to open his mouth. Outside of his Best Man toast, he had hardly said a word all night, just smiling and listening to everyone else chatter around him. He spoke occasionally to Mike, but the two of them had been friends for so long that they hardly even needed words to communicate.
Near the end of the evening, just before Kurt and Mike were set to leave for the beginning of their first night as a married couple, they found themselves being tugged into the dressing-room where Kurt had gotten ready for the wedding, by Rachel Berry.
"I'm sorry to pull you away from the party," she said, shifting a bit nervously, "but I wanted to offer you my gift before you left, and I have to do it in private."
She whipped an envelope out of her clutch and handed it to Kurt. He took it, nodding absently at the explanation. Rachel was a bona fide Tony winner now for her role in "The Trophy Wife", just as he had been sure she would be, and she tended to attract attention wherever she went. She was probably worried that someone would break in on the moment if she did this in front of witnesses.
"I hope you didn't buy us a vacation or something, because you know that we're already set to begin our honeymoon in Europe. We're leaving tomorrow morning and spending the next two weeks in . . . what on Earth?"
He stopped, frowning a little in confusion when he pulled out a certificate, an information form and a medical pamphlet. Mike looked equally puzzled until he opened the little brochure, "The Newman Fertility Clinic?" he read, raising his eyes to give Rachel a strange look. "Are . . . are you trying to give us money for an in-vitro procedure?"
She nodded eagerly. "I know it's a little unorthodox, but I also know how badly Kurt wants children, and from what I've heard you say a few time, I think you want one just as badly, and I really don't want to be a full-time mother, but I was thinking that I'd make a really great aunt and so if you guys are willing, I'd really like to do this for you and become your surrogate. Because my dads did it and they never regretted it and neither did I, even though Shelby was kind of a wash as a mom, but part of that might have been because she wasn't allowed to be a part of my life until it was too late, and if you guys feel that way about me, then I guess I can live with it but I still want to be able to say that I've had a baby before I was thirty and this could be my last chance. Only, of course this isn't really about me, it's about you, and it's your wedding day and Kurt's birthday and I really, really want to give this to you as my gift, so what do you think?"
Kurt and Mike were both completely stunned by Rachel's volcanic eruption of words. She had been talking so fast that the words practically spilled over one another, ending with a hopeful, big-eyed gaze, her hands clasped against her chest like a little girl.
Blinking rapidly as he shook his head to clear it, Kurt said, "Did you . . . just offer to be the surrogate mother to our child?"
"That's right!" she said, beaming at them both. "I know it's an expensive procedure and can take several tries before one gets a fertile embryo, but I've done all the research and had all my testing done and I'm an entirely viable candidate as a potential mother. I've arranged to pay for three artificial insemination trials upfront."
"Rachel," Mike said, lifting his right hand in a helpless gesture. "That's . . . that's an amazing offer, but . . ."
Kurt's mouth worked a few times with no words coming out. Then he said, "Are you sure you want to do this? You're on top of your career right now. Broadway . . ."
"Will still be there a year from now, and I'll still be Tony Award winner, Rachel Berry. My fans and critics will still be there," she said, smiling lovingly at them both as she captured the hands they had instinctively joined when she made her offer. "I've achieved my dream. Now I want to help you achieve yours. We can set up the first appointment any time you like. Please let me do this for you, Kurt."
She knew what she was doing in appealing to him. Kurt knew it, could see that Mike had already accepted her sincerity and wanted to accept the offer, but was willing to defer to his new husband in this. "It might take a long time," he said, looking straight into Mike's eyes. "It might not succeed at all."
"It won't if we never try," he replied quietly.
"Little baby Changs?" Kurt asked, a smile breaking free as he recalled Finn's words of more than a year ago.
He grinned. "Little baby Chang-Hummels," he corrected. "A baby of our very own, with your big, beautiful blue eyes, or my awesome dance skills. Your amazing singing voice, or my smile that my mom always used to claim would let me get away with anything."
"Add in Rachel's enormous talent and even bigger heart, and we can't possibly go wrong," Kurt finished, looking his friend in the eye and nodding his agreement. "If you're really sure . . ."
She squealed and threw an arm around his neck, capturing Mike with the other and drawing them both in close. "Of course I am!"
Fighting back tears, Kurt whispered, "Then thank you, Rachel. Thank you so much."
"Thank you for letting me do this for you. I love you both so much," she replied. "Happy wedding day!"
They had gone to the clinic and begun the process one month later, going through a battery of testing and making the easy decision to mix the sperm and let fate decide which of them was to be the biological father. When the first implantation attempt failed, they were forced to wait three months before trying again.
After another unsuccessful round, the two would-be fathers began to fear for their chances. What if it didn't work, ever? What if Rachel became weary of being a human guinea pig and changed her mind? What if they just weren't meant to be dads?
Another round of testing was done, another few more months went by, and the hopeful trio tried again. The third time, as it turned out, really was the charm. A few weeks into the New Year, Rachel was given the good news that not one, but two healthy embryos had successfully been implanted.
Kurt and Mike were having twins.
For the next eight months, the expectant fathers alternated their successful working lives with locating, buying, decorating and finally moving into a bigger home, an actual house that was a farther commute from their jobs but a better and far roomier place to raise children.
It had come as somewhat alarming news at first when the doctor had informed them that they had engaged in 'hetero paternal super fecundation', especially since Kurt was not accustomed to being accused of hetero-anything, but then he had explained that what he meant was that all the genetic markers of the boy-and-girl twins in Rachel's womb suggested that each of the fathers had managed to fertilize a separate egg. By some strange and awesome miracle, they truly were having children together.
Naturally, everyone was overjoyed for them both. The public reaction – it had not remained a secret for long that Broadway star Rachel Berry was serving as a surrogate mother for two gay friends – was also surprisingly positive. Rachel had done her best to keep their names out of the press, but curiosity was high.
Another unexpected side-effect of this entire process was that Em and Rachel had abruptly decided that they did not hate each other any longer. As biological mother and soon to be honorary aunt, they had at last found something in common. Even Emily could admit that Rachel was doing a damned nice and selfless thing, something she herself would never have even thought about offering, and her animosity had faded almost entirely.
Mercedes, another honorary auntie, was busy with her own pregnancy. She and David had announced the approach of their first child just a month after Rachel announced hers. Kurt and Mike were thrilled to be able to share the parenting experience with one of their closest friends.
When the big day finally arrived, Hiram, Leroy, Burt, Carole, the twins, Finn, Julie, Lynne and George were all in attendance. The younger children were being looked after by the Abrams back in Lima, but nobody had wanted to miss this moment.
Mike and Kurt were both with Rachel in the delivery room when their son and daughter were born. After the babies were cleaned up and held in their mother's arms for a few minutes, Rachel had smiled tiredly and kissed them each before saying, "Go on and meet your daddies."
Her gaze was a bit wistful as she watched the nurses take the tiny babies away, but her joy overrode it as she watched the wonder and disbelief and thrilled tears on the faces of her two friends as they held their children for the very first time.
Kurt had been handed the little girl, a gorgeous tiny creature with Mike's straight black hair and almond-shaped eyes. She was the loveliest thing he had ever seen, even now as she concentrated on wailing at the top of her lungs, making him laugh. "She's got her mother's singing voice, I think!"
"So does he," Mike said delightedly as the wee boy in his arms, a delicate creature with light skin, a pale fuzz of brown hair and the longest eyelashes he had ever see on a baby, joined his sister's lusty chorus. "Or maybe I should blame you for this. You've got some impressive lungs yourself, my love."
Sniffling back his tears, Kurt looked over at the exhausted, smiling woman in the bed. "I still don't know how to thank you for this Rachel."
"Just say you'll always let me be a part of their lives," she replied softly. "Not all the time. You're their parents, not me, but I fully intend to be that awesome auntie with the great presents who spoils them rotten on every holiday."
"Absolutely," he laughed, resettling the baby in his arms with the instinctive, loving experience of a big brother and a natural-born dad as she began to settle into sleep. "I promise."
He edged closer to Mike and surveyed their other child, looking down on his son and daughter with love and pride filling every cell in his body. For the first time, he understood the fierce protective instinct that had always characterized his own father where he was concerned.
Not having an arm free, he rested his head on his husband's strong shoulder. Life had never seemed more perfect. "I love you, Mike."
"I love you, too," he said sincerely, turning his face to kiss Kurt's forehead, then bending to do the same for each of his babies. "All of you."
At that moment, Kurt knew. There would be trials, stresses, worries and tears in the years to come, but every one of them would be worth it for the happiness he now felt, and the joy and laughter that would be theirs together.
In a little while, they would introduce little Melody Rachel and Flynn Matthew to a throng of adoring grandparents, aunts and uncles, but this moment was just for them alone.
Another page had turned and a new chapter of their lives was just beginning.
Kurt had never felt so content.
And that's it! At long last we have finally reached the end of this saga. Thank you so much for following along. Hope this ending wasn't too sappy for you, but I really wanted to give Kurt a happy ending after putting him through such a miserable beginning.