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"I Love You" Will Still Sound the Same

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Years after McKinley was turned into an all art school with many competing glee clubs, the former New Directions still got together. Rachel Berry often planned these get-togethers. They were able to indulge themselves in the better memories of high school. Although Kurt Hummel considered his experience to be more negative than positive, he was standing in his father’s house in his childhood bedroom buttoning up his shirt getting ready to relive those four years.

Lima never really changed from year to year. Burt and Carole were happy to have the company of their favorite sons (Blaine often corrects them to “son-in-law” but it was always in vain). There weren’t many holidays celebrated in Ohio anymore, except Christmas and New Years. Some years, the Fourth of July made the list. Still, Kurt and Blaine tried to visit every other month if their schedules allowed it.

“Baby is down for the count,” Blaine announces, entering Kurt’s bedroom.

“Can you believe your parents offered to take the twins to the movies?”

“And your parents wanted to get up every hour with a newborn?”

Kurt smiles as Blaine’s hand brushes over his shoulders. McKinley’s auditorium was probably all set up for their annual New Directions reunion party. Students from all the years since Kurt’s graduation came to Rachel’s gathering each June. It was a different mix of people but everyone seemed to stick to their own age groups. At least, they did until the competition started.

Everyone wanted the bragging rights that came with first place. It didn’t matter who was in your group so long as each member was willing to pull their weight. This year Kurt convinced Blaine to limited their number to a duet.

“I can’t believe you don’t want to win this year,” Blaine says.

“We won last year, let someone else take on the challenge.” Kurt slips into his suit jacket, which he leaves unbuttoned. “I just want to sing a silly love song with my bushy hair husband.”

Kurt catches Blaine’s blush in the mirror’s reflection as Blaine straightens his bowtie.

“Let’s go!”

They bid Burt and Carole goodbyes and Kurt can’t help but give them more instructions for baby care. Blaine has to pull him to the car.

Mckinley’s front doors are wide open with balloons tied to the door handles. Once inside, Kurt spots Sam and Puck by the food. As they approach them, Blaine is drawn into their argument about Star Wars, which Kurt immediately tunes out.

“How goes the show, Hummel?” Santana asks, bumping his hip.

“Grows increasingly difficult to leave Blaine with the twins and a newborn every night and twice on the weekends.”

“Britt feels that way too about accepting dancing gigs. I told her to go on tour but she refuses because of, well, you know…” Kurt's eyes fall to Santana’s rounded belly. “Even local gigs, she won’t do.”

“It’ll be harder when the baby’s here. Trust me,” Tina chimes in. “Mike almost didn’t want to come tonight because of our little ones at home.”

“Isn’t Izzy seven now?” Santana asks.

Tina looks pointedly at her. “Yes, which is exactly my point. She’s fine with his mom.”

“Baby talk?” Blaine asks, having finished making his Star Wars opinions.

“What else?” Kurt kisses his cheek.

No more baby talk is added when Rachel comes over to the group.

“So, what is everyone singing tonight?” Rachel asks. “Or better question, who’s singing with who?”

“None of your business, Berry. I won’t let you steal my song again,” Santana says, with a quick turn back to her bride.

Brittany is sitting with Artie and Jake, Puckerman’s little brother.

“Let’s join a table,” Blaine suggests, adding a roll to his dinner plate.

The couple ends up sitting with Mike, Tina, and Mercedes. Rachel’s menu includes vegan, vegetarian, and meat options, unlike previous years when she had decided to only supply vegan snacks. After the threats of skipping the following year’s reunion, she added more variety.

“Rachel is trying to get a leg up by asking people to spill their song choices,” Blaine warns.

“Shocker,” Mike replies.

“She always does this,” Tina continues. “I’m sure whatever she decided on will be great.”

“Are we bashing Rachel ‘cause I have some thoughts,” Quinn says pulling out a chair. “We may be out of high school but she still manages to get under my skin sometimes.”

Puck takes the seat next to her and Sam chooses the one beside Mercedes. She was mostly joking, Quinn and Rachel had patched up their relationships years ago.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more time for talking as Rachel had taken to the stage to announce their first group performance of the night.

“Heard a rumor that you chose to duet with hubby here, bold choice,” Kitty says, pulling an extra chair to their table.

“We’re all about bold choices,” Blaine smiles at her.

Several group performances start out the night and one marvelous solo before Rachel is practically beaming on the stage. Kurt knows her ‘showface’ as Jesse St. James would call it means Rachel is actually friends with the next performer or performers.

“Okay!” Rachel says. “Two of my very good friends are up next, Kurt and Blaine Anderson-Hummel.”

Blaine leads Kurt up to the stage. There are already two microphones set up, Blaine walks to the one farthest from the stairs and Kurt hands the sheet music to the live band.

“I love you,” Blaine tells his husband.

“Oh honey, I love you too.” Then the music begins playing, Kurt sings the first half of the verse.

“Could you see yourself
Growing old with me,
Watchin’ my head turn to grey?”

With a smile thrown Blaine’s way, the other boy picks up the second half.

“Could you live with me
In my mistakes,
And the ones I have yet to make?”

The audience seems to like the slower song choice. It’s a simple duet and the meaning matches the pairing. During the chorus, the boys take the microphones off of the stands in order to stand toe to toe. Not facing the audience at all, Kurt and Blaine sing in sync.

“So when our eyes have seen their better days
And our hearing starts to fade
Put your arms ‘round my neck, and your heart on my chest
‘I Love You’ will still sound the same
‘I Love You’ will still sound the same”

There’s plenty of applause when the couple finishes. They join hands and take a bow before moving off the stage back to their seats.

“Not trying to win for a second year?” Santana asks.

Kurt shakes his head. “Always knew I was a winner but I’m not a needy winner.”

With an eye roll, Santana turns her attention back to the stage as Rachel announces the next group. Blaine leans over to whisper to Kurt while Rachel talks more than is necessary, “It will, you know.”

“What will?” Kurt replies, confused.

“Every time I hear it, a shiver runs down my spine and my heart pounds just like it did the first time I told you in the Lima Bean. Sometimes when you tuck the kids into bed and you kiss their foreheads and murmur ‘I love you’ my palms get sweaty and my legs tremble. I think I always knew I wanted to grow old with you. There was a time where I just didn’t want to admit to myself how in love with you I was and how it would never fade.”

“You do know, we’re already married. You got me forever,” Kurt says with a fresh blush on his cheeks. “There was also a time where you claimed to be terrible at romance but that speech was pretty damn romantic.”

“I love you.”

Blaine takes Kurt’s hand and rests their joined hands on the table.