Puck blurts it out in the most random of random moments.
It's two days after graduation and they're lounging on the bed in Kurt's room, watching Alice in Wonderland, of all things, eating popcorn and holding hands. It's nothing special, but it feels like one of the best moments of Puck's life anyway.
The summer had barely begun and the mornings are still chilly enough to make them hide under the covers. They're almost naked, except for their underwear, their thighs are touching, knees bumping, and Kurt, still tired from the long nights of studying, leans his head on Puck's shoulder from time to time. They didn't even get up since they'd woken up - the popcorn is left over from the movie marathon the previous night and it's cold and kind of disgusting; but their hands keep bumping into each other in the bowl and they keep eating it anyway.
On TV, Alice is standing on a balcony, looking at the dark sky, and reminds Puck of his and Kurt's first date – an awkward dinner of burgers and fries eaten in the back of Puck's beat up pickup truck. It was weird, full of heavy silences, but still the best date of Puck's life – in the end, they just watched the stars for what felt like hours and slowly started talking about whatever was on their mind. When he drove Kurt home and said goodbye to him on the front porch, Kurt's eyes were blue like the sky and Puck got a kiss on the cheek.
It had burned for another two weeks; untill he got one on his lips and his fate was sealed.
The Mad Hatter starts talking, snapping Puck out of his haze. He shifts his focus to the TV, burying his nose in Kurt's hair. It smells like cherries and coconuts and the thing that's so deliciously Kurt.
Kurt laughs – the cute little giggle he almost never shows.
And that's when it happens.
The morning sun is drifting in through the window, making Kurt's hair shine, and Puck just thinks he wants to be his forever.
So, he says it.
He feels Kurt stop chewing and swallow heavily. Then his boyfriend's confused blue orbs turn towards him and Puck suddendly wants to smack himself.
He doesn't, though; he takes a breath and clenches his right fist.
"I said, marry me."
Kurt blinks once. Then twice. Puck can almost see the wheels rolling in his head.
"Come on, Kurt. You heard me."
Kurt frowns slightly, a gentle crease crossing his forehead, making him look even more adorable in Puck's eyes.
"I did, but…what brought this on, Noah? I mean, you're not the marrying type. You said so yourself."
Well, shit. Had he really said that?
"I…" Puck averts his gaze, "I love you, Kurt. A lot. I just…think about it? Please?"
"Noah," Kurt says, gently. "You don't have to propose if you just feel obliged to. I don't need marriage as a proof that somebody loves me, and you would have to go through my dad, too. We can…we can get married after college, or after we move to New York, it doesn't have to be now just because we can," he smiles, "but I love you, too."
The birds chirp outside the window and Kurt is sweet and beautiful just like he always is, but Puck is suddendly angry; he sees red and has to take a few long, calming breaths before he speaks.
"I don't feel obliged. I didn't know what I was gonna say untill I said it, Kurt! If you don't want to marry me, just say it, don't hide behind sweet talk. I'll—I'll understand." Something tells him he won't understand at all, but he's going to cross that bridge when he comes to it.
Kurt is looking at him. Nothing else – just looking, blinking like a blue-eyed owl, the movie playing on the TV screen long forgotten. The blanket pools around his waist when he sits more upright, revealing his smooth, white chest. The sunlight makes him look almost ethereal, glowing, and his hair shines even more under the new angle. There's no other word to describe him than beautiful and it hits Puck again, like a piano falling from the fifth floor. He loves Kurt; he's fucking lucky to have him and he wants to marry him, buy him a ring, organize a wedding, pay a ridiculous amount of money for a tropical honeymoon and make love to him on the beach; he wants Kurt to be his and wants to belong to him.
The only thing he has to do is convince Kurt (and his father) that he means it and has obviously turned into a romantic sap overnight.
Not hard to do at all.
Kurt finally blinks for the last time and opens his mouth. Puck is so concentrated on the smooth flow of tender, pink skin of his lips he has to pinch himself to snap out of it.
He raises his head – blue orbs are staring right back at him, big and shining brighter than before.
"You really mean it?"
Puck is sure Kurt can hear his heart pouding in his chest.
And there's something in Kurt's eyes; Puck can see it shift and it makes his stomach quiver.
"I'll…think about it, Noah. I will, I promise. Okay?"
That's Kurt's way of saying yes; he's almost sure.
Puck knows he probably shouldn't be so happy, but he doesn't care.
It's many, many hours later that day in the same bed. Puck is laying under the covers, barely breathing in anticipation, staring out of the window at the sky. The night is clear, stars blinking down at him, and he feels the platinum band burn in his palm, even through the tiny box.
They only thing that's missing is Kurt; Puck can hear him in the bathroom, picking up skin care product bottles and setting them back down, turning the water on and off. He's been inside already when Puck came to the Hudmel's house after a day spent with his mother in Dayton chasing after the perfect engagement ring.
Actually, he's also glad for a moment of silence - his mother had been exstatic, immediately launching into an hour-long lecture on prefect weddings and being a proper gentleman, and Puck appreciates it, he really does, and is happy that his mother accepts him the way he is; but enough is enough.
He can't deny she had helped a lot, though.
He shoots a cursory glance towards the bathroom door, and, seeing it still shut, slowly pulls his right hand out from under the blanket.
The small, black velvet box stares at him and Puck somehow still can't comprehend how did he get here, when 24 hours earlier he didn't even dream of marrying Kurt. Or, well… maybe he did. Secretly. Deep down. Somewhere.
The ring cost a lot of money and is accordingly beautiful, and Puck is almost absolutely sure Kurt's gonna love it.
It doesn't have a huge, shiny shone – Kurt's not a girl – but it's platinum, with complicated, yet inconspicuous swirls and etched lines running all the way around it. There's a tiny, almost invisible diamond set into one of the loops; it twinkles when it catches the starlight. Puck knew it'd be perfect the moment he set eyes on it – there is something that reminds him of Kurt in the gentle pattern. It's sharp, but still beautiful, and Puck is hypnotized by it when he turns the ring in his fingers.
He brushes the inside of the band with his thumb and almost blushes when he feels the solid material dip into the shapes of letters. For some reason, he hopes Kurt won't notice untill later.
It's nothing special – Puck's keeping that for the actual wedding rings - just a simple I love you made out in thin, elegant letters. Clear and to the point, no sappy professions; though, Puck thinks, it proably doesn't get more sappy than what he's doing right now.
He finally hears the door creak behind his back and quickly snaps the box shut. He turns – Kurt is standing on the threshold, smile slowly spreading on his face as he registers his boyfriend in the bed. The light is flowing into the bedroom from behind his back and he shuts it off, climbing under the covers. He giggles and feels Puck nuzzle his neck.
"So, how's your mom?" he asks, planting a chaste kiss on Noah's lips. He feels them curl into a smile before he pulls away.
"Fine, as always. Sends her best regards. Sarah, too."
"Did you enjoy the day?" Kurt breathes out. He snuggles into the welcoming warmth of his blanket, then into Puck's arms, and sighs happily.
A deep rumble of laughter reverberates through his head, firmly settled on the older boy's chest.
"You have no idea."
"What'd you do? Cart racing?"
"We went shopping."
Kurt raises his eyebrows, sitting up after he realizes his boyfriend is serious.
"Seriously? Are you sure you're alright? You don't usually go shopping unless someone drags you by a leash or bribes you with candy…"
Puck looks at him, seemingly offended, before bursting into laughter. He figures this is the best moment – he definitely doesn't want to wait untill morning, and he doesn't even think he can.
"I'm sure. Actually…" that's when he pulls his right hand out, right into a stream of moonlight coming in through the window, and flicks the box open.
Kurt is gaping like a fish, opening and closing his mouth without making a single sound. His eyes dart from Puck's face to the ring and back. Puck can't help but feel proud of himself – he made Kurt Hummel speechless.
He takes a breath, willing himself to remember what he wanted to say. Not like he rehearsed it, or anything.
"I meant what I said in the morning, Kurt. I really fucking love you,"—Kurt laughs silently—"and there's no one I'd rather share my miserable old days with. I'm damn lucky to have you, I don't plan on leaving you, ever, and I…you're it for me, y'know? If it doesn't work out with you I'm going to be alone for forever, and I don't want that, so…," he breathes in, nostrils flaring and eyelids fluttering, "I'm asking you again. Kurt Hummel, will you marry me?"
The platinum gleam of the ring is reflected in the pools of Kurt's eyes when he finally looks up. Despite being almost sure before, Puck suddendly feels like an insecure little boy.
Their hearts are beating, the clock on the nightstand ticking, and there are a few seconds of silence and staring into each other's eyes.
Then Kurt opens his mouth.
The next thing Puck knows, he's laying on his back and his mouth is being thoroughly ravished by a sweet tongue. The rush of blood in his ears he didn't even realize dissapears, and he can hear Kurt laughing.
"Yes, I will. Of course I will, you idiot!"
And just like that, Puck feels free like a feather in the wind. He returns the kisses eagerly, mouthing his way along Kurt's jawline and neck, and then takes his left hand.
It's warm and soft, just like any other time; everything is alright.
The ring looks absolutely stunning and fits perfectly, just as Puck knew it would. It's a beautiful piece of jewellery and seeing it on Kurt's finger fills him with an odd feeling of joy, warming him deep in his stomach.
"Not concerned about the lack of romance?" he asks then, when they're just laying next to each other and smiling like loons.
Kurt raises an eyebrow and pulls at the ring - just enough to reveal the inscription. He smiles and twines his finger with Puck's.
"Are you kidding? Noah, that was the single most romantic think anyone could've ever done for me," he says and caresses his boyfriend's – no, fiancé's – arm. "And… I love you, too," he adds in a whisper, kissing Puck goodnight.
Everything feels surprisingly right in that moment.