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Disclaimer: Glee doesn't belong to me.

Chapter 3

They weren't able to keep things a secret for very long.

...Okay, so it lasted all of five hours. Carole noticed both of them were tired at breakfast. Then, Finn noticed the hickey on Kurt's neck and wasn't that awkward...

Kurt had honestly expected his dad to flip. His dad hadn't been thrilled about Blaine and despite being different than who he used to be, Noah still did have a past. So when his dad nodded once slowly and told them to be careful before going back to his meal? Kurt was confused, but grateful.

But mostly confused.

None of their friends looked the least bit surprised when Noah pulled Kurt into his lap during a get-together. Most nodded and went on with what they were doing. Though, Kurt definitely saw Tina sneaking glances whenever he and Noah would kiss.

They drew the line at Rachel's offer to teach them the wonders of anal sex.

Noah threw his notebook at her.

Then motioned for it back so he could tell her to shut up and stop taking drugs.

Kurt thought about it sometimes. Usually when he and Noah would end up curled together on the couch and Noah would fall asleep first. He'd think about the future and where this relationship might go. They'd gone on a few dates. Breadstix, the lake, a romantic and totally illegal dinner on the gym roof.

Four months in and they were happy. School had restarted. Kurt transferred back to McKinley. Tina was teaching him sign language so Noah wouldn't have to use the notebook for everything.

But they weren't perfect. There were arguments in the beginning, stupid ones about PDA. Kurt wanted to hold off on it, overly cautious because Noah had already been hurt enough because of intolerance. Noah didn't want to hide, insisted that after what he's been through, there was no way he could go back in the closet. They ended up compromising. They'd hold hands, share a quick kiss here and there, but they wouldn't make out in the halls. Kurt had the feeling that, if he could have, he would have been grumbling.

Noah's lack of speech worried him sometimes. Not the whys. He knew that. It was everything else. The questions of the important things that should be vocalized. Love. Saying your lover's name during sex. Marriage proposals. He and Noah couldn't do that. Anything that should be vocalized ended up signed or written down. And maybe they'd never reach the proposal stage, but 'will you marry me' or its reply isn't something that should be written on a piece of paper.

He didn't tell Noah that. Couldn't. Noah said he was mute, said it, knew it, but it bothered him. Kurt knew that. He knew every time that Puck was with the group and went to say something before realizing that his vocal cords weren't going to work. The disappointment that would flash across his face hurt.

He asked his dad once if that meant anything, if Puck's failed attempts meant that it was physical instead of psychological. It took his dad a minute before he could answer and tell him that the doctors said it was like when someone represses a memory. There may come a time when they want to remember, but they can't regain it in a heartbeat because that's when they want it. It comes back when it comes back.

If it comes back.

It made things more complicated. Noah's muteness was always hanging over both their heads.

When they spoke and Kurt had to wait for Noah to write a response or Noah had to wait until Kurt could sort through the sign language in his head.

When they had sex. He'd always imagined that Noah would be a loud lover with grunts and swears and dirty talk, but he wasn't. He was as silent as ever. He sighed. That was it.

It was hard.

It was the day of their six month anniversary that Kurt swore his heart stopped for a second.

Noah had taken him out to the restaurant a town over. The one where Kurt's parents had had their six month. Kurt could admit that he'd gotten choked up when Noah pulled into the parking lot.

From there, they'd gone back home to an empty house. Finn was with Rachel. Carole had convinced his dad to go away for the weekend. It was just them, lying in the bed together. Kissing. Touching. Having sex.

But it was after everything. When they were lying under the covers, naked and breathless, lazy kisses being shared. When Kurt kissed Noah's neck and Noah sighed.

They both froze.

Kurt shot up, eyes wide as they connected with Noah's. He could have sworn that he'd heard...

"Noah? Did...I thought..."

Noah nodded once.

"Try again?" he whispered in a beg.

Again. He heard it when Noah opened his mouth. Not even a whisper, but he heard it. Just barely heard his name.

His eyes burned as tears filled his vision. Noah started to shake, eyes on him as he kept trying, getting a tiny bit more clear with every attempt until he really heard it.


Kurt covered his mouth with his hand as a sob escaped him. He wanted to dive forward and kiss Noah. Celebrate this, but a part of him couldn't believe what he was hearing and was so scared that if he kissed Noah right then that it would go away and break both their hearts.

Noah kissed him when tears started falling from his own eyes. Pulled Kurt against him and kissed him like a miracle had just happened.

One had.

Kurt's heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest when they broke apart and his name slipped past Noah's lips again.

"I love you," he said, tears falling as he pressed his forehead to Noah's.

"'ove you, too."

Carole burst into tears when she, Burt, and Finn all got home and instead of getting a wave from Noah, got a whispered and hoarse hi.

Finn surged forward and hugged his best friend. Masculinity be damned. He clung to his best friend and cried.

Even his dad looked teary.

Kurt didn't question for a second if all the hours they'd spent the last night working Noah's voice was worth it.

It was.

So, so much.

The Glee Club's reactions weren't much different. The guys didn't even bother to hide the tears and smiles as the girls all fell apart.

Quinn hugged Noah for a long time. Whispered that she was sorry for everything she said. When Noah said it was okay, she broke.

Within minutes, they were a tangle of limbs on the floor in some kind of group hug that not even Noah could protest.

His voice was never quite the same after. There was a tone to it now, a little rougher than it used to be, that the doctors said was the result of the injury. It didn't stop him from talking. It changed what he sounded like.

He still sang with them, voice a little scratchier now, but Santana said it made him sound more sexy. Kurt had to remind her not to hit on his boyfriend.

"Not flirting. Just stating a fact."

It didn't stop Brittany from kissing her girlfriend just to be sure.

The Glee Club performed at graduation that year, every one of them in their caps and gowns as they swayed and sang along with "Graduation (Friends Forever)". A classic song that would never get old. It was the song that was played at the dance when they finished grammar school and it was the song they sang now, arms over shoulders and tears decorating every cheek.

They got a standing ovation. Parents, Cheerios, even the jocks. Kurt was even almost positive he saw Coach Sylvester clapping.

High school was over. He and Noah would be in New York in the fall, alongside Finn and Rachel. Childhood was over. It was time to move on.

He was confused when the applause ended and the rest of the club stepped back. Looked behind them and wondered if he'd missed some part of the choreography. Went to follow them and Rachel waved him off.

It was him and Noah standing in front of half the town.

Him and Noah up on stage when his boyfriend pulled him against his chest and kissed him like Kurt had never let him kiss him at school. There were some groans from the audience. Santana told them to shut the fuck up. Finn would tell him later that Noah flipped off the crowd.

He was still breathing heavily from the kiss when they broke apart.

Then Noah got down on one knee and Kurt was sure he was going to faint.

Any second now.

He could feel his blood pounding in his head. Heart ready to burst from his chest.

Noah's hand disappeared under his gown only to come back with a black box.

"Oh, Gaga," Kurt breathed, hand over his chest in an attempt to keep the racing organ inside.

"Kurt," Noah said, taking Kurt's other hand in his. "Will you marry me?"

In all his fears when they got together, he'd been so scared that if they reached this point, that that question would end up written in a notebook underneath 'what do you want for dinner?' But it wasn't. Noah spoke it.

He never thought that he'd end up being the one rendered mute as Noah stared up at him, a beautiful platinum band nestled in black velvet.

His vision blurred as he started to nod frantically and Noah slid the ring onto his finger. He was on his feet in a second, sweeping Kurt into another kiss that he never wanted to end. It did end eventually and he held onto Noah, face buried in his neck as he finally found his voice.


The End