Author's note: This is it. Thank you so much to everyone again. You've all been wonderful. There's reference in here about something mentioned in Cherry Blossom, but nothing big and you'll probably only notice if you're a Kurtcedes fan like myself. I've put a reading order of this verse on my profile page.
If you want to enjoy the full sub-text of Greg/Blaine in this chapter I suggest you read "Edible Flowers/Edible Gold Dust" before starting out. Although it might be smut/fluff overkill.
EPILOGUE – AUGUST 2026
"Where are you?"
"I'm at the airport. Where are you?"
"I'm at the airport too."
"Right, so we've obviously missed each other. Where are you standing?
"Underneath the big sign that says arrivals, where are you?"
"Under the same sign…wait, which airport are you at?"
"Oh for fuck's sake…Chicago. Don't tell me. You're in LA."
"Mmm… missed you," Kurt murmurs as he slides his body up Dave's.
They haven't gone more than six days without seeing each other in the last five months, and he's so hectically busy in those weeks that he doesn't really have time to miss Dave. Until he's with him again and is reminded all over again of everything he loves about him. It's easier than he ever imagined, although he knows he has Dave to thank for that. He takes everything in his stride, including his moments of complete craziness. Sometimes it feels too good to be true, and he'll pinch himself, or just stand watching Dave do something as mundane as brush his teeth and his heart feels so full he just can't comprehend how he's missed this from his life before.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing. They've had seven weeks apart all up, although two of those weeks were down to bad planning. The first had been early on, before he'd insisted on buying Dave an electronic diary and syncing it with his own. He'd ended up in Chicago while Dave had just flown to LA. He'd sworn it would never happen again, except here they are, at the end of another week apart but in each other's home cities. In any normal circumstances he'd have been in LA, except a wedding is not normal circumstances, so he'd taken actual vacation to tie all the loose ends of the wedding together.
He's glad he did. The week with Mercedes has been fantastic and he's enjoyed every moment of it, even the seemingly endless rushes for the bathroom and the fact that she's banned coffee because the smell of it makes her even more nauseous. He doesn't care, because it's twelve weeks and counting and Mercedes is glowing. She's over the initial fear and all-consuming worry that she was going to lose it, and Mike has been walking around like he's solely responsible for discovering electricity. Or something equally ground breaking. If possible they've become even sappier, but he'll forgive them anything in the lead up to their wedding.
Mercedes has been incredibly relaxed about the whole wedding and he knows it's going to be a beautiful ceremony tomorrow. Him and Dave have got their suits hanging side-by-side in the wardrobe, and he's practised the song he's going to sing so many times that even Dave has started tunelessly humming along. The rehearsal dinner is all out of the way, Dave meeting him there after coming directly from the airport.
The feeling of seeing Dave in the flesh after five days apart is something he hopes he never gets used to. The joy at seeing him again, their matching grins and not always, but almost, their matching arousal. This is why they never plan anything on their reunion nights, just time with each other, to touch and explore and reassure that they're both still here and both still fully committed. Except tonight they couldn't. Because the best-men were expected to make speeches, and toasts, not run off to the nearest available closed room and fuck like animals. Which he'd managed to hold off doing throughout dinner, the feel of Dave's thigh rubbing against his, hand squeezing his knee, soft kisses to his cheek; all accumulating and he was sure at times Dave was doing it on purpose.
Now they're alone, naked, and he straddles Dave's thighs, grinning down at him. He almost has a ritual now, a pattern for how he likes to reacquaint himself with Dave's body. Runs his hands over a rough jaw, through curly chest hair, back up and then down his arms to his hands which are settled on his hips before trailing back up and he feels the muscles in his arm twitch as he drags his fingers over the tattoo. He frowns. Dave might sometimes flex his muscles playfully, but that was almost like a pain induced twitch…
He lowers himself, turning and positioning himself so he's half lying on Dave's body, where he can still grind against Dave's thigh, can slip a hand between their bodies and stroke Dave's erection. He's getting very appreciative groans from Dave, but his attention is on the tattoo. It doesn't look good, slightly red and inflamed.
"Dave, why is your tattoo all raw? Wait…is that… new? You got a new tattoo?" He's tempted to poke it, but considering the flinch he got from just dragging his fingers across he stops himself. Dave glances at his arm and shrugs.
"It's not a tattoo, it's a scratch…"
"Looks like a pretty well defined scratch," he retorts dryly.
Dave laughs, eyes warm and his fingers are massaging his arse cheeks and he's not sure if Dave is trying to distract him from the fact he's got a new tattoo or is just really horny. Probably both.
"A scratch is a small tattoo. I got a small scratch…and some touch ups to the ink so the new bit doesn't stick out so much…"
He doesn't know how tattoos work exactly, but it sounds logical. The new bit is just as stylised and curly as the rest of it, except it isn't touching the tree at all, and he can't decide if it's meant to look like something or…
"It kind of looks like the letter k…"
"You have very sharp eyes Mr Hummel…"
"I… it is a k then? For Kurt?" He feels stupid as soon as he's voiced the question, because of course it's k for Kurt. Dave's face is full of disbelief and he buries his head in Dave's neck, licking at his collarbone, his turn now to try and distract him. He's not quite sure how to feel about Dave getting a tattoo of the letter k, it's pretty permanent, but it makes him feel better about his rather impulsive purchase earlier in the week.
"It's not going to be k for fucking Keegan is it?" Dave mutters, but he sounds suitably breathy.
"Could be k for Karofsky…or Kruze, or Kadin, or Kelly…" Kurt murmurs, moving back down Dave's body, lips grazing over a nipple, teeth nipping at his belly button, tongue sliding over the head of his cock followed by his mouth. This is a guaranteed distraction technique.
"Kurt, god… would you mind, ah, not talking about my nephews and niece… oh god… when we're in bed… it's not exactly… fuck… fuck. Just… god Kurt. Don't stop…"
He'd say something snarky about not talking with his mouth full, but doesn't want to pull away from Dave's cock, the slide of hot firm flesh between his lips and against his tongue. He abstains from jerking himself off when he's away from Dave, lets the pressure build up until they're together again. He has no idea if Dave does the same thing, but he suspects he does, at least some times, given the frenzy that sex can become between them.
Now is not one of those times, it's slower and more playful, almost teasing and he wants to slide into Dave, feel his body hot and tight around his cock, make them both fall apart and cry out. Despite the uncountable times he's topped he still feels like he needs approval, or encouragement, which is ridiculous, but he can't help it. Dave knows though, doesn't say anything, just silently passes him what he needs, presses them into his hand with a firm squeeze.
He misses Kurt when they're apart, but it makes him appreciate every moment they have together. Their routines have moulded around each other, and he's joined a football team as a casual in LA simply so he can still play and train regularly, regardless of his location. He's become to consider Carson, Brett and Cassie friends, gets teased about his wide-eyed persona when they see celebrities when out for dinner. Kurt knows all of his friends, and the fact that he gets on with them means a lot.
He feels the slick slide of a finger over his hole and mmm. Kurt's mouth is still on his cock, hot tight and wet and he loves this, loves Kurt. There's more to the little addition of his tattoo, but he can explain it later, if he even needs to. Kurt's not stupid, and he's pretty sure his mind is already assessing the possible meanings or the tiny design. He feels the steady pressure of a finger and okay, Kurt's probably got other things on his mind right now.
"God I missed you…"
"Mmm… I'm sure that's just the sex talking," Kurt replies, licking swollen lips and smiling at him with warm affection. He can feel Kurt's finger inside him, twisting away and he pushes against it, is rewarded with another finger and he lets out a low groan at the stretch.
"Yeah, god yeah… you're probably right… doesn't mean you have to stop."
"Wasn't going to…"
He's thankful as fuck that Kurt's long-limbed, can stretch him easily and kiss him thoroughly at the same time, his tongue mirroring the movement of his fingers. He reaches out for Kurt's erection, curls his fingers around it and strokes until Kurt is moving against his hand, can feel the tension in his body ratcheting up notch by notch. He in hales sharply at the combined sting of a third finger and Kurt's sharp bite at his neck and then the gentle lapping of tongue.
"Fuck Kurt… if you leave a mark that can be seen tomorrow…"
"Mmm. I've never left a mark before, why would I leave one now?"
"Because you like the idea of seeing your mark on me in all the wedding photos?"
"I've already got a mark…" Kurt says and his fingers trace feather-light over the tattoo on his left arm, and okay, the man's got a point.
"That you do…" he replies quietly.
He reaches for a condom, and then Dave's hands are there, taking it from him and opening it, sliding the thin barrier down and spreading lube, stroking him firmly until he's gasping. He lets Dave guide him, feels the resistance give way to slick tight heat and he moans Dave's name as he pushes forward. His fingers are digging into Dave's thighs, little circle of white looking like halos around each fingertip. He pulls back slowly, controlled, and Dave lets out a shuddering breath that is partly his name. He presses forward again, leaning forward with his entire body so he can kiss him, cup his cheek and look directly into his eyes.
"I love you…"
Dave's face breaks into the same wide grin, the one that always has him smiling back automatically.
"I love you too…"
He kisses him, slowly, languidly, hips thrusting shallowly. One of Dave's hands curled in his hair, the other squeezing an arse cheek possessively, a leg wrapped around him as well. He's never felt so good to be alive. He drags himself back upright, peppering kisses over every inch of Dave's body that he can reach with his mouth, runs his hands down his chest and strokes his cock. He pulls back and thrusts in deeper, repeating the movement, using the full range available without pulling out completely.
He lets himself speed up slightly. Dave's hand is working his cock, pumping furiously, his mumblings now incoherent and mixed with his own. Body taut with pressure. He's gorgeous. His. He moves faster, pace increasing as he watches and feels Dave's body tighten, tighten, tighten and then he's coming, hand still moving as he comes and Kurt doesn't stop, keeps thrusting as he watches Dave's body shudder. Dave's eyes flicker open to meet his and that's all he needs. He's coming, eyes not leaving Dave's, his body shaking from the release of tension, everything inside him collapsing in on itself before flying apart.
He catches himself as he falls forward, hand going to Dave's chest to prop himself up. He leans down to kiss him again, ignoring the cooling come on Dave's stomach and chest, continues to thrust very gently while he kisses him, groans at the sensitivity as he withdraws and revels in the vibration of a moan in Dave's chest. He ties off the condom and places it off to the side, letting himself fall to Dave's side, arm and leg falling over him, head rested on his shoulder.
They're quiet, he's unable to form words but he knows they don't need them right now. He kisses Dave's shoulder, feels an arm wrap around him and he smiles.
Kurt's jittery the next morning but he simply puts it down to pre-wedding nerves. Although he's not sure if best-men are meant to be nervous. They have about twenty minutes before they need to leave, him to go to Mike's, Kurt to Mercedes'. They have Santana and Kate as well, the bridesmaids, although when he'd called them that last night Santana had dug the heel of her shoe into his foot all the while smiling pleasantly. He's polished their shoes, watched Kurt pack what he calls his wedding day survival kit and is watching a random game of basketball on TV when Kurt flops down beside him on the sofa.
"I need to tell you something…"
"I… did something very impulsive on Monday. I mean… I saw it a couple of months ago and noticed it again last time I was here and then on Monday I just… bought it."
"Bought it? What?"
"Uh. A house."
"A house? What… why? What for? Wait. Here? In Chicago?"
"Of course here in Chicago! I can't keep using Mercedes' place with the baby on the way and Mike moving in and with his shift work and everything. But it's just around the corner from her place, the next block, and I figure I can set it up as a more permanent office space and –"
"Kurt! You don't need to convince me… and I doubt it's as impulsive as you seem to think it is. You probably weighed up inner-city office space and buying a house… yeah, you did. I can tell by the look on your face. How about we leave now and you can show me round?"
"Uh, I don't have keys yet…"
"Well then, how about we go drive by and you can tell me your plans. You do have plans right? Decorating and stuff?"
"Of course! I thought I could set up the upstairs bedrooms as guest rooms, so if we have friends or family come to stay they can stay there, and not with us… for Mercedes and Mike's families as well, so they don't have visitors underfoot when the baby arrives…"
Dave grins as he listens to Kurt talk, picking up the garment bags and herding him out the door. The way Kurt is talking and planning is years and years into the future and he doesn't feel so impulsive about his own little tattoo now.
"Sparkling grape juice for you madam," Kurt says, pouring her a glass and she's grinning widely. She looks stunning and he knew she would, wouldn't have it any other way. He leaves her with Mike and does a quick circle of the room. The ceremony had gone flawlessly, with Blaine and him singing while they had signed all the paperwork. Now there's just the reception to get through, if he doesn't kill Greg and Blaine first. They've been good mostly, but he can tell from where he's standing that they're arguing again. He walks closer and hears Blaine complaining, voice low.
"Seriously, did you have to send them to me at work?"
"You're still going on about that? It was three days ago…"
"My work Greg…"
"I have one of the photos you took hanging up in my studio…"
"Yep. Thought that would shut you up."
Kurt watches as Greg walks away and instead of glaring after him Blaine looks a little gobsmacked. It's better than outright hostility so he'll take it, although he knows they've been meeting up regularly to have dinner together in London, so he figures they must get on at least some of the time.
"It's nice to see you two kind be civil to each other," Kurt states and Blaine jumps, turning to him with wide shocked eyes.
"What? Did you hear that?"
"I… yes? I can't say I understood any of it, but… are you okay? You look a little sick."
"Um. I'm fine. Good. Great. Peachy even. Uh. I'm going to go get…a drink."
He takes off after Greg and Kurt just shakes his head in bemusement. He feels Dave's arms wrap around him, chin resting on his shoulder.
"You did good…"
"Of course I did. I had no other option." His eyes flick to Mercedes and Mike who are talking to a table full of their grandparents. "They look really happy don't they…"
"Yep. Sickening. Too bad it's their wedding day, we could really pelt them with bread rolls, there're heaps left over…"
Kurt laughs gently, enjoying the warmth of Dave laughing with him. The cake has been cut, dessert served, and the only formal item left for the evening is the first dance, which is scheduled in fifteen minutes. He glances around for Greg, wanting to grab him and make sure he's in place to get the photos except he can't see him. He was just there.
"Did you see where Greg went? The first dance is in fifteen minutes…"
"I think he went through that door…"
Kurt sees the side door Dave is indicating and heads for it, it leads to a short corridor with a few doors, no sign of Greg. He turns to go back into the main hall but Dave has reached for the nearest door, pulling it open and looking inside before shutting it again quickly but quietly, mouth open and closing.
"Greg and Blaine…in there…" Dave says, voice quiet, hand gesturing at the closed door. He's pretty sure if they didn't notice Dave opening a door they aren't going to notice voices.
"What are they doing in there?"
"Apparently licking cake from each other's bodies…"
"Yeah. Really. I think they've gotten over their differences…"
"Is it bad that I kind of want to take a peek?"
"Oh god Kurt… come on… let's see how long it takes for them to tell us…"
"Spoilsport," he replies, but he's laughing, tugging Dave back into the main hall.
He's been planning this for a couple of months, going with Mike to the dance lessons when he can without arousing too much suspicion. He knows Kurt is expecting to dance with Santana as part of the bridal party, with him dancing with Kate, however he has other ideas. Ones that Mike and Mercedes are fully supportive of. He sees Greg with his camera and he doesn't look any different from half an hour ago. He spies Kurt and heads toward him, needs to get his attention from the fussing he's doing over the lighting and music for the first dance, as if it hasn't been organised for months. The starting strains of the song start and the MC announces the first dance. He can see the moment Kurt starts frantically looking for Santana, knowing he's meant to be joining in with the dancing in about two minutes.
"I believe I owe you a dance…"
"A dance. You want to lead, or should I?"
"I…you learnt how to dance both?"
"Yeah, figured I owed it to you…"
Kurt's shaking his head, small smile playing on his lips and he cups his face and kisses him.
"You can lead…"
The smile on Kurt's face is pure joy as he leads him to the dance floor where Mike is leading Mercedes around in a traditional waltz. Santana is waiting at another corner with Kate, Adrian and Paula at another. He manages to catch the right cue and lead in at the same time as the other two couples, filling the dance floor to give more people the confidence to come up and dance. Mercedes has gone to have a dance with her father and Mike has gathered up his mom. It feels wonderful, so many positive emotions from everyone, he could stay like this forever.
Half an hour later he's had enough, Kurt hasn't let him sit down, or even leave the dance floor for a drink, although Santana had been kind enough to bring them over glasses of water when he'd begged with his eyes. They've slowed to a gentle sway, the number of people now on the dance floor making it impractical for anything more elaborate. They've got their arms around each other's waists, Kurt's head resting on his shoulder, lips occasionally pursing to give him tiny butterfly kisses that tickle his neck. He likes it, but his feet are killing him, if only he could take his shoes off.
"It kind of looks like a butterfly…"
"Hmm? What does?"
"Your new tattoo. Or scratch."
His heart skips, he knew Kurt would get it, though he had kind of expected another extensive study of his arm. He should have known better that Kurt wouldn't need it.
"Mmm… I wanted something that symbolised new beginnings, and I figured a blossoming flower was pushing it a bit too much…"
"It also looks like something else…"
"Two hearts touching. Interlocked." Kurt's voice is quiet, hesitant, and he squeezes Kurt, glad he's already in his arms.