[A/N: The link to the song from the last chapter was one that led to an altered version of the song for the first twelve hours it was posted. This has since been corrected, so if you would like to "hear" the scene at the pace it was intended, the link is in my profile. Also, Kurt's song from chapter two is now linked in CD quality (and sounds much better). The links for songs in this chapter follow them on my profile.]

"Knock knock. Surprise?" Kurt smiled before he turned around to see the sight he'd secretly been hoping to for weeks. Blaine was peeking around the door to the offices where Kurt was seated at his desk. It was 8:30 on Wednesday night and he had been the only one there for hours – Lana, while understanding fairly quickly that if she didn't drop the designs she'd stolen he (or rather, Blaine) would cause her all kinds of legal problems, seemed to be intent on milking his last two weeks for all they were worth. Blaine had had to work late on Tuesday, but they had both gone in late the next morning to make up for it, so Kurt hadn't expected to see him. In fact, this was the first time he'd come to visit at work since before their fight. Kurt pressed pause on his ipod, which was plugged into the radio and had been playing quietly in the background.

"I wasn't expecting you."

"I know. Hence the 'surprise' element of my greeting." He grinned, stepped into the doorway, and pulled a paper bag and a wine bottle from behind his back. "Dinner?"

He gestured to a sandwich on his desk. "I do have food, but don't go, please."

He crossed the room, and stared at the sandwich incredulously. "That is not food. That is plastic-wrapped plastic substitute with a filling of plastic-y grossness." He grinned again, setting the bottle of wine down and opening the bag. "I made mushroom chicken."

"You made it?"

"Well, I ordered it. And I made you soup to go with it. That counts."

Kurt leaned his head up to reach for a kiss. "I missed your cooking and take-out ordering skills."

He obliged, leaning against the desk to capture his seated boyfriend's lips. "I missed a great number of your skills. And also the way you consume food." He winked, then nodded toward the desk as he took out the food. "How long?"

Kurt winced apologetically. "An hour? I'm sorry, I know we said that -"

Blaine handed him a fork. "It's all good. I can wait. You waited up for me last night."

"Well, you sort of made it up to me."

He smirked. "I always pay my debts. Besides, only a week and a half and you'll be free of the evil harpy. I'm ordering champagne already, and making dinner reservations... which, I should let you know right now, I am totally okay with us missing, if it's for the right reasons."

Kurt took a bite of mushroom sauce, and made a noise that Blaine could only describe as sinful.

"You cannot do that and then expect me to eat food like a normal human being," he complained, sitting on the edge of the desk, moving papers and folders into their appropriate places out of habit to make room.

Kurt blinked innocently. "I have no idea what you're talking about. Did you bring that wine for decoration, or can I have a glass?"

He rolled his eyes and opened the bottle, taking two plastic cups from the bottom drawer of the desk, where they had been stashed months ago for exactly that purpose. "And here I was trying to be subtle about plying you with alcohol." He handed the glass over and poured one for himself, holding it up to touch them together. "To..."

"To this." Kurt decided. "Just this, just us. Forever."

He smiled, and it was almost a caress. "I'll drink to that."

They did, and for the next twenty minutes they ate and talked while Kurt got some work done. Then Blaine turned on his own ipod and cued it up. "Dance with me."

Kurt looked up from the review he was writing. "What?"

His boyfriend took his pen, and pulled him up, so that he was standing in front of him as he sat on the edge of the desk. "Dance with me."

"I really should..." ..hazel eyes smoldered at him. "Okay. But if it plays something depressing then I may leave you again."

"Don't worry, I have excellent taste in music. That's how I seduced you in the first place. The power of Katy Pe-"

"Oh, we are so not having this conversation again. For the last time, that was not-"

"Kurt." He kissed him on the forehead. "Less talking, more dancing." He pressed play, and pulled his boyfriend away from the desk, wrapping his arms around him, as the opening notes to Close Your Eyes – The Dells version, obviously - filled the room. They both smiled as their bodies fit together, arms and hands finding their familiar places.

Close your eyes (close your eyes),

Take a deep breath (Ahhh! )

Open your heart (open your heart),

and whisper (I love you, I love you)

Tell me you love me (you love me)

You love me (you love me), you love me

You love me, you love me...

Hold me tight (hold me tight),

Don't say goodnight.

We have time (lots of time)

Everything's gonna be alright (gonna be alright)

Tell me you love me (you love me)

You love me (you love me), you love me

You love me, you love me...

"You do realize, we are acting out about twenty different clichés right now..." Kurt pointed out, as they swayed. He didn't sound especially sorry.

"I'm okay with that." Blaine pressed their cheeks together.

"Hey, Blaine," Kurt murmured in his ear. "Mmm?"

"I love you."

"Yeah, you do. Subtle hint, no?" A lingering kiss to the cheek. "Love you too."

And then they didn't need to talk. Their cheeks were pressed together, eyes closed, and they were hearing the words, hearing each other, the familiar sound of their breath mixing, the music there, but so much less important than their skin touching, arms around each other, heartbeats quickened.

Close your eyes (close your eyes),

Take a deep breath (Ahhh... )

Open your heart (open your heart), please whisper (I love you, I love you)

Tell me you love me (never let me go)

Oh, you love me (never let me go), you love me

Oh, yeah, why don't you open your eyes?

Let me in.

Close your eyes, (let's pretend)

Close your eyes, (hold me near)

Don't need lines (what I want to hear)

Why don't you love me?...

Their lips were together as the song ended, and they'd stopped swaying. The ipod clicked onto the next song on the playlist. Teenage Dream.

Kurt laughed and pulled away slightly. "You have got to be kidding me. What is this, your seduction set?"

"Oh, yeah. Works every time." Blaine seemed distracted by his current task of kissing every single inch of Kurt's skin. "Why," he smirked, gripping his boyfriend's shirt and propelling him backwards towards the desk, "do I need a playlist?"

His boyfriend rolled his eyes, but allowed himself to be walked back until he was half sitting on the edge. "You're so lucky you're easy on the eyes."

"I know, right?"

His face softened as Blaine's hand came up to his cheek.

And then Kurt could taste the red wine on both their breath, feel the edge of his desk pressing into his lower back, Blaine's hands on him, holding him close, but leaning him back so that he was at the best angle to reach as much of him as possible – Blaine enjoyed their height difference, he knew, but he also seemed to have a kind of thing for leaning Kurt backwards over things... this he had discovered fairly shortly into their relationship. But he couldn't really think about that now, because they tasted so good together, and there was a stapler pressing into his back, and he totally did not care because his boyfriend's tongue was doing marvelous things, and this was just like college, just like high school, just like this morning when they'd woken up early, and Blaine had decided to call in and take the morning off because the way Kurt was looking at him over breakfast would be detrimental to his sanity if he left before that smirk had been entirely wiped from his face.

They managed to make it to the couch, but not before nearly breaking the piano (It was in the way, okay? And those legs really should be able to hold more weight than that). Then they'd gone for coffee, because Kurt had complained that Blaine couldn't just wear him out, then expect him to create a fashion empire on an empty stomach.

Blaine bought him a cookie and a mocha. Because he was a gentleman.

The cookie was good, but Kurt decided that night, practically horizontal on the desk by this point, that this was much better.

They didn't end up leaving until 2am, and when they did, they decided they wanted to order more chinese food to pick up on the way (some of it hand ended up on the floor. They couldn't find it in their hearts to be especially sorry, considering how it had gotten there). As Kurt was packing up, Blaine was on the phone to the restaurant, placing their order. When it came time to pay, he reached for his pocket, then realized his wallet was next to Kurt on the desk.

"Hey, can you hand me my credit card?"

Kurt picked it up and slid it open, handing him the shiny plastic. As he did, something fell out of the wallet, on to the desk. He picked it up curiously and then smiled at his boyfriend, who made eye contact and winked.

It was an old gum wrapper.

They'd sat down and actually worked out when their anniversary technically was now. Because they were dorks like that. They'd still celebrate the anniversary of their first date anyway, but they wanted to know. They weren't going to pretend that the last few weeks hadn't happened, because the outcome was too important, too powerful. They'd gained too much – or perhaps just enough.

So on the day that marked them having been together for precisely ten years, about three weeks after karaoke incident, they both took the day off – Blaine from work, Kurt from planning and plotting with Mercedes and Eva, who had taken the news of Kurt's quitting as a sign that she should quit too – and spent it together. And, okay, they spent the day cuddling on the couch, making out like teenagers, and watching Torchwood and I Love Lucy reruns (and also taking a long, leisurely shower because, as Kurt pointed out to a very distracted Blaine, one could never be too clean), and did not actually end up leaving their apartment until about 4pm, when they went for the – cliché - romantic walk in Central Park. But that was not the point. Blaine cooked, and after dinner he asked what Kurt wanted to do for the rest of the night.

Kurt studied him for a moment, then looked towards the bedroom door pointedly. Blaine laughed.

"Not that that isn't an excellent idea, and something that had definitely crossed my mind, but we should probably come up for air for a little while."

It did not look like Kurt was a huge fan of this idea. Blaine fixed him a drink without breaking eye contact, and brought it over to him on the couch. He was thinking. "Hey, babe?"

Kurt took a sip. "Mmmm?"

"Want to go to karaoke tonight?"

He nearly dropped the glass. "What?"

"I was just wondering..."

"I heard you. Are you sure? The last time wasn't so..."

"The last time sucked. Which is why we should go tonight."

"You can serenade me here..." he pointed to the piano.

"But there aren't dozens of strangers. Where's the fun in that?"

"As long as..." Blaine couldn't hear the rest of the sentence. It was mumbled.

"What did you say, love?"

Kurt looked at him nervously. "As long as you don't sing that song again, because this time I will actually cry in public, and it will be all your fault."

It was said with an edge of humor, but the sincerity behind the words, and the worry in Kurt's eyes, just about broke his heart. He took his hand immediately and scooted closer, planting a series of kisses on his forehead, his eyes, his cheeks. "Baby, you know I wouldn't. Not ever again. Fuck, I'm so sorry about that, Kurt. I was going a little crazy, and then I saw you, and -"

Kurt put a finger to his lips and Blaine fought the urge to suck on it. Because this was a serious it shouldn't matter that Kurt's fingers smelled like them, and they looked delicious.

"I know. We were crazy. It's okay."

"You don't ever have to hear it again, I promise."

"No! I mean... you should still do it sometime. It's really good. Just… not there... right now."

Blaine squeezed his hand. "Don't worry. I have a few songs in mind. Does this mean we're going?"

"Yeah," he smiled, "it does."

Blaine stood up and pulled his boyfriend towards the door, only pausing to grab their coats.

Kurt would be lying if he said he didn't get a little bit panicky at the sight of the stage. It was only the fact that Blaine was right next to him, holding his hand tightly, that stopped him from hyperventilating himself into some kind of fit. But Blaine was with him, and he snagged them a table, signing himself up to sing (Kurt hadn't decided yet) and ordering them drinks, and Amy, who was at the piano, saw the two of them, waved to Kurt, and then grinned as she saw them holding hands. Blaine checked that Kurt wanted his usual drink – which he loved, that he still didn't just assume, even though he totally knew, and they sat there for a few songs holding hands and making snarky comments about the performers.

Some guy who should never have been allowed near a guitar went onstage, and caused Kurt to order another round of drinks, and just as he started singing Amy appeared at their table.

"Hi, Kurt," she grinned and nodded to Blaine. "Kurt's boy-toy."

"I also go by Blaine," he laughed, switching the hand he was holding Kurt's with briefly, so he could offer one to Amy, who shook it.

"Very nice to meet you. Amy. I'm glad everything worked out."

"So are we," Blaine smiled. "Join us for a drink? We just ordered, and this guy doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon, unfortunately." He gestured to the stage with his and Kurt's linked hands, as Kurt looked at him adoringly. Amy thought she might actually die from the cuteness. She pulled a small box out of her pocket.

" 'Fraid I'm on the clock, but thanks. I've been hoping you'd stop by... I just wanted to tell you, Kurt, that my mom liked your idea, and she started selling her stuff online. She asked me to give you these, for encouraging her. I hope one of your friends likes them."

"Oh, you don't have to -"

"Yes, I do." She handed him the box and a business card. "And if you want any more custom made, there's her card... my number is on the back, too. Really, thanks. I'd better go, but I'll see you onstage. Have fun!" She practically skipped back up to the piano, and Kurt turned to Blaine.

"Can we keep her?"

"I'll think about it." He gestured to the box. "What's that?"

Kurt opened it and smiled. "Mercedes' birthday present."

Blaine looked over his shoulder. "They're nice." He took a sip of his drink and mused quietly "... I wonder if she does rings..."

Kurt opened his mouth, but no sound came out. What did that mean?

Then the stupid announcer called Blaine's name.

(Because he was stupid, and had the worst timing of any human being ever. In case you didn't get that.)

Blaine kissed Kurt on the cheek. "My moment to show off for you. Be right back."

"You don't need to show off for me," Kurt scoffed. His boyfriend just winked and walked up to the stage. When he got there he whispered something in Amy's ear, and she vacated the piano with a smile in Kurt's direction.

Kurt, for his part, was trying very hard to remember that this was not like the last time he was here, that this was their anniversary, and he was here with Blaine. Who was going to sing for him. And was sitting down at the piano and grinning into the microphone, which he'd set down on top, like he'd won the lottery.

God, that smile was still ridiculously, heartbeat-stealingly sexy, even after ten years.

"Hi, guys. I'm Blaine, and it's my boyfriend and my ten year anniversary today -"

There was some applause, and a few wolf whistles, one from Amy. Blaine acknowledged all of this with an even wider smile. "Thanks, guys. Anyway, ten years is a really long time, and I want to sing this song, well, because it's... it's right. It's - and because..." he shrugged sheepishly and looked directly into deep blue eyes, "well, I just... I love you, Kurt."

He turned his attention to the keys and began to play, and the entire audience was looking between Kurt and Blaine, most with indulgent smiles on their faces (and a few not. But those weren't bothering him just then). Because that was what Blaine did to an audience. That was why he was such an amazing performer, and lawyer, and could pull out the puppy dog eyes on Kurt in a heartbeat. He radiated sincerity. He was just sweet... and gorgeous.

And he was all Kurt's. And Kurt was all his.

Kurt liked that idea a lot.

And Blaine opened his mouth to sing, his fingers lighting on the keys like they were simply an extension of his hands, as always, and Kurt still loved the idea, but he found it kind of hard to concentrate, on account of the fact that he had recognized the introduction, and his boyfriend was evidently planning to freaking serenade him with For The First Time. His voice was soft, and as beautiful as ever, and Kurt sort of resigned himself to coherent thought being a thing of the past.

Also, he was probably going to cry.

"She's all laid up in bed with a broken heart,

While I'm drinking Jack all alone in my local bar.

And we don't know how – how we got into this mad situation,

Only doing things out of frustration.

Trying to make it work but, man, these times are hard."

His fingers were quick, and soft, and Kurt could feel them in his, on his cheek, his arm, and as he watched he was listening to the lyrics, reflecting on what they would have meant two months ago, as just words, and how much they meant now, as truth.

"She needs me now but I can't seem to find the time.

I've got a new job now on the unemployment line.

And we don't know how – how we got into this mess

Is it god's test?

Someone help us cause we're doing our best.

Trying to make it work but, man, these times are hard."

Blaine looked directly at his boyfriend to sing the chorus for him, just him, and it was one of the most intimate moments of Kurt's life.

"But we're gonna start by drinking old cheap bottles of wine

Sit talking, up all night,

Saying things we haven't for a while, a while, yeah...

We're smiling but we're close to tears...

Even after all these years,

We just now got the feeling that we're meeting

For the first time."

Kurt smiled, and Blaine winked, turning back to the keys.

Amy appeared with two glasses of champagne, handing one to Kurt and putting the other on the table next to him. "Blaine asked me if I'd grab those for you," she explained, nodding towards the stage, where Blaine was playing the intricate piano arrangement like it was scales, singing the backing vocals in a gorgeous falsetto. "He is so good. Who is this arrangement by?"

"You didn't have to, but thanks," he smiled, glancing at his absorbed boyfriend. "And I don't know. It's probably The Script's, but he usually improvises around them."

Her jaw dropped slightly. "He's improvising?"

Kurt shrugged. "Probably."

"Does he teach?"

"Not that I'm aware of," Kurt replied. "Why?"

"Because I would give my right arm to be able to do that. Well, maybe not my arm, that would be problematic in the long term. A kidney?"

"I don't know about that, but I'll ask." He shrugged, then grinned at her. "And possibly sexually blackmail and bribe, if necessary."

"Awesome!" She grinned, then stepped away. "I'll leave you to your song."

"You don't have to -"

"See you later!" She floated off, and Kurt turned his attention back to his boyfriend, who was singing to him again.

"She's in line at the dole with her head held high.

While I just lost my job but didn't lose my pride,

But we both know how, how we're gonna make it work when it hurts.

When you pick yourself up you get kicked in the dirt.

Trying to make it work but, man, these times are hard...

But we're gonna start by drinking old, cheap bottles of wine

Sit talking, up all night,

Doing things we haven't for a while, a while, yeah.

We're smiling but we're close to tears

Even after all these years

We just now got the feeling that we're meeting

For the first time."

He was looking out to the audience again, repeating the chorus to Kurt as a reminder of the last month, of the last ten years, and what they'd have for the next ten. Kurt could taste it.

"Drinking old cheap bottles of wine

Sit talking, up all night.

Saying things we haven't for a while, a while yeah

We're smiling but we're close to tears

Even after all these years

We just now got the feeling that we're meeting

For the first time

For the first time

Yeah, for the first time

Oh, for the first time."

It was amazing that they were still coming up with new firsts. Amazing, and wonderful, and totally them, and oh god Kurt was going to cry in public, and then he was going to have to kill Blaine, and that would be another first. And now their eyes were locked again and Kurt was melting into a puddle of fluffy goo on the floor. Blaine's voice could just do that. Maybe he'd sold his soul at some point?

"Oh these times are hard.

Yeah they're making us crazy,

Don't give up on me baby."

Never, he thought.

"Oh these times are hard.

Yeah they're making us crazy,

Don't give up on me baby.

Oh these times are hard

Yeah they're making us crazy,

Don't give up on me baby ...

He brought his hands from the keys for the final time, seeming surprised to notice that everyone else was still there. He stood, waved his hand in acknowledgement, and left the stage, returning to Kurt and picking up the glass Amy had left for him. Kurt just blinked.

"So," he said, sitting, "did you like it?"

Kurt blinked some more. Blaine looked a little worried.

"Are you okay here? I knew it. I thought it was good for us, but -"

The rest of the sentence was muffled, on account of the fact that Kurt, still holding his own glass, had essentially affixed himself to his lips. When they pulled apart, after a short moment, Blaine smiled.

"I guess you did like it. Or, if you hated it, I should annoy you this much more often."

Kurt just raised his glass, and Blaine brought his to meet it immediately. "Us. Ten years, three cities, too much hair gel, and not one regret."

Blaine tried to stop himself from smirking. "Well, I kind of have one..."

Kurt gave him a look.

"...it took me way too long to tell you I loved you. I was scared." He paused a Kurt's smile, then thought. "And, now that you mention it, the tequila at Wes' graduation party. Also a mistake."

"You were really funny, though."

"I wouldn't remember, except it's all on youtube for everyone to re-watch at their convenience."

"Weren't we doing something before you decided to ruin the moment?"

"Oh, yeah." Neither of them had moved their glasses, and they weren't paying attention to whoever was onstage. Blaine leaned in further. "To those ten, and the next ten, and the ten after that, and every ten you'll give me."

Kurt clinked the glasses together, and went to take a sip. Blaine intertwined their arms and took a sip from his own glass.

"You are a walking, talking made-for-TV movie."

"You love me." A kiss to the cheek.

"Little bit, yeah... and Blaine?"


"They're yours. You can have all of them."

"...I'll hold you to that."

"Hey, Kurt?"


"Have you seen my blue NYU t-shirt anywhere?"

Kurt's eyes widened as he looked up from his laptop, and he flushed. "It's... I think it's at Mercedes' apartment."

Blaine raised an eyebrow from the door to their bedroom. "Since when has Mercedes taken to stealing my clothes?"

"She hasn't, to my knowledge. I... I must have left it there accidentally. When I was staying there."

Blaine's entire face softened and he joined Kurt on the couch. "You stole my shirt when you left?"

"No! Well... sort of. When she... when 'Cedes got me my clothes she accidentally picked it up -"

"Accidentally my ass. None of our friends do anything accidentally."

Kurt got quiet. "It smelled like you, so I... I kept it. I know I'm pathetic..."

He had closed his eyes in embarrassment, but opened them when he felt his boyfriend take his hand and press a lingering kiss to his knuckles. "That is such a relief"

"It's totally pathetic. Why would that be a relief?"

"Because I had almost all of your clothes here, so every time I went to go change I would have a total Brokeback moment."

Kurt couldn't help but laugh at the look on his face. "You wished you could quit me?"

Blaine smirked and leaned forward to kiss him on the nose. "Wasn't gonna happen."

Kurt didn't respond, because he was busy for a few minutes. Then: "Go run."

In an act of extreme maturity, his boyfriend stuck his tongue out at him. "Bossy..."

"If you don't go running, you don't come back from running, and then you don't have to take a shower..."

He stood up immediately. "I'll be back in half an hour." He appraised Kurt, who was lounging again, and reconsidered. "Possibly ten minutes."

He typed away. "Less talking means more running means more showering..."

"Try not to steal my clothes while I'm gone. I'll be back, I swear."

"Would you like to take a token of mine with you on your journey? A handkerchief, perhaps? I could spray it with my cologne."

"That would be nice."

"Go away, Blaine."




"Mmm...not done. More."

"You'll never be done."


"I'm going now."

"You do that."



"Love you."

"That's good... Hey, Blaine..."


"Love you too."

He grinned. "I know."

And they did.

~ Fin ~

[A/N to close: Thus ends Silence, Schemes, and Potentially Shattered Dreams. Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive response - this is a story that sort of captured me, and I'm so glad to know that some of you felt even a little of that. I hope each of you found something. I have to thank Kat (psychopiratess), my beta, again, for her support and encouragement, and for initiating the spark that led to the inclusion of Maroon 5, and one of my favorite songs.

(Edit: Thank you to the anon sent me a link to Butch Walker's "Here Comes The..." (feat. Pink), saying it reminded you of the early tone of this story. It is linked in my profile, because it is perfect. I wish I'd had that while I was writing!)

I actually have more written in this 'verse, and, as tradition dictates, the next story may be wildly different in tone from this...

Thank you all so much.]