Dave really didn’t know what was happening but everything was starting to seem more and more like a dream. First them embracing after Kurt initiated it then him babbling on about how good Dave smelled apparently. He didn’t think he could be anymore embarrassed than he already was until Kurt started in on him being sweet and was pulling him forward.
He felt a wet pressure against his cheek and realize that Kurt had kissed him. Willingly. On the cheek, but still, it had been a kiss. He shuddered as Kurt’s breath blew across his skin as he spoke. He nodded jerkily and pulled back enough to look Kurt in the eye.
How much had he had to drink? Was that why this was happening or was it something more? Kurt didn’t look that drunk. He was a little sloppy, he supposed, but he still seemed pretty coherent. So it wasn’t that. But something was going on and Dave wasn’t really sure what to do other than to scuff his shoes against the concrete like a little kid and shrug while he smiled at the ground. “Yeah, I guess so. Although it seems like being sweet around school is a good way to get your ass kicked.”
Kurt smiled at him when he wasn’t looking, when he was staring at the ground and scuffing his feet. Maybe he knew somewhere that becoming so quickly endeared to Dave Karofsky was weird or inadvisable or something along those lines, but he really couldn’t help himself…not when he was being so forthcoming with this side of himself Kurt had never really known.
“Well…how about just to me, then?” he offered after a time. “No one else deserves this side of you anyway. You’re right, they would tear you up.”
He supposed, in that way, he could understand why Dave hid it from everyone. It didn’t excuse anything he had done, but…it made sense and with the understanding came a better sense of tolerance.
Or…an slightly tipsy urge to flirt, which Kurt seemed inclined to do whether it was a good idea or not. He still wasn’t entirely sure why.
“But…you’re big. I mean, no, not in an unappealing way, in a legitimate way. You’re sturdy, you’re not some wispy little thing like me. I mean to say that…you’re not exactly without your own means of defense.”
He touched Dave’s bicep and ran his hand over it.
“Hmm…I mean…certainly this could do a number on someone, don’t you think?” he asked coquettishly, looking up at him through his lashes. He moved his hand down to grace Dave’s knuckles with his fingertips. “Or this. You have very strong hands…”
Dave had to admit that Kurt had a point. It seemed like everyone had been more occupied with their drinks or each other as they’d left. He knew his buddies probably had no idea he’d even gone for a drink in the first place, the beginning of all this mess.
And as if this night couldn’t become any stranger for him, he suddenly found himself with Kurt wrapped around him, snuggling against his chest. He awkwardly brought his arms up to hug Kurt back, feeling stupid with them just hanging by his side. He snorted a laugh at Kurt’s insistence that he wasn’t chubby.
“If I were obese maybe not, but you can still wrap your arms around a chubby guy, Kurt,” he said dryly. He felt warm, though. Ridiculously warm especially compared to how cold it was out. He knew it had everything to do with Kurt but he wouldn’t let himself linger on that. This might be the only contact he ever would get from Kurt and he didn’t want to ruin it by being a hard on right now.
He pulled away a little and slipped his jacket off before pulling it around and placing it on Kurt’s shoulders. It was almost comical how baggy it was on him, but that just mean more warmth he hoped. “There. Tired of seeing you shiver like that,” he said gruffly, a touch of affection seeping through.
Kurt knew it was a risky move, and he half expected Dave to push him off…but he found himself as equally surprised at how relieved he was to have his arms hugging him back. This should be strange. One minute, yelling and hating each other, the next…embracing? Maybe it was the alcohol.
“No,” Kurt insisted, burying his face in further. “You’re wrong. Hush now.” Of course, it was supposed to be silly…but it was true. Dave was a little soft, sure, but mostly he was just broad and big, not anywhere near something that Kurt would actually call ‘fat’. It was just hard to tell under his choice of clothes, perhaps.
Dave pulled away Kurt found himself wanting to pull him back and ask him where the hell he thought he was going, but he was soon putting his letterman around his shoulders and Kurt felt his face get hot.
“Thank you,” he said softly, pulling it around himself like a blanket. “Smells like you…you smell good, you know that? I wasn’t going to tell you, obviously…but you do.”
They stood there a moment and Kurt shifted his weight, suddenly feeling kind of shy.
“I, uhm…I didn’t know you were sweet. I like it though. You should be sweet more often.”
Grabbing a little bit of the fabric of Dave’s flannel shirt and stood up on his tip toes to bestow a soft kiss on his cheek.
“Does that provide some incentive?” he asked in a soft whisper, his breath against Dave’s skin.
Dave laughed bitterly at Kurt’s stunned reaction. “Yeah, secretly send you flowers so that you could think prep school in there sent them? No thanks.” He realized that by saying that he was revealing a lot more about how much thought he’d given the whole matter than he intended but the cat was pretty much out of the bag and down the street by now.
He laughed again, harsher this time as Kurt tried to take back what he’d said before. “It doesn’t matter. I know I’m a fat ass and I know I sweat a lot. I’m also extraordinarily ordinary. You didn’t say anything that wasn’t true and you sure as hell don’t owe me any apologies or anything. I just…look, I gave you your apology so can you go back inside now? You look like you’re about to freeze to death plus I’m sure all your friends are probably wondering where you are.”
Kurt knew Dave had to be right in some respect. Maybe he should go back inside…maybe that was for the best. But for some reason he could not immediately fathom, he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to leave Dave out here by himself…and the confession he had just been given was still rattling him. He didn’t know what to make of it…and probably whatever he did decide upon was not going to be the best decision, considering his slight intoxication…but he remained, nonetheless.
“My friends are completely wasted. I doubt they care very much where I am.” He said, before checking behind him to make sure the blinds and curtains in the house were closed.
In an experimental, perhaps delirious move that even he did not completely understand and was entirely instinctive, Kurt walked straight up to Dave, so close that their torsos were touching, and wrapped his arms around his midsection, underneath his letterman, and laid his head against his chest. The warm reprieve against the cold was unbelievable.
“Not chubby,” he said again, almost in a murmur against his pectoral. “How else would I be able to get my arms around you?”
Dave gritted his teeth and could feel his fingernails digging into the skin of his palms. He could feel the urge to shout at Kurt boiling up inside of him, rising harsher than bile up his throat.
“Since I realized that kiss meant something to me, okay?!” he bellowed. “Since I started working out more, staying way late after school to work out because you think I’m chubby. Since I can’t go one fucking day without wondering where you are and what you’re doing. Since I can’t fucking look at that guy you brought with you and not feel sick to my fucking stomach not because he’s gay and your gay but because I see the way you look at him.”
Now that he started it was impossible to stop. His only prayer, uttered in the back of his mind, was that Kurt would be too drunk to remember this the next day.
“And alright, fine! I’m fucking sorry, okay? I’m really sorry for what I did to you and I hate myself for it every goddamn day. If I could take it back, I fucking would because I never wanted it to be like this and I never meant to hurt you which sounds fucking stupid when I say it out loud but it’s the truth and I’m just…I’m really fucking sorry,” he said, his voice cracking as a sob erupted from him. He ducked his head and tried to discretely wipe his eyes on the sleeve of his jacket. “Happy?” he muttered in a tone he hoped would sound more angry than pathetic.
Kurt supposed this might be as close as he would ever come to feeling as if 50 tons had just hit him hard in the chest (he hoped). He honestly didn’t know what to expect from Karofsky…a muffled, half-assed attempt at an apology, maybe, something along those lines, but…nothing even close to what actually happened.
In some part of his mind, he had long ago acknowledged the possibility that Karofsky was attracted to him. Sure, why not. He knew he was cute, anyway. He was more concerned with what was so wrong with his personality to make guys like Blaine (maybe not so much like him anymore) not want to notice him.
But as he stood there and heard Karofsky-…David, confessing everything he had wanted Blaine or Sam or Finn to have said to him, he realized that maybe it wasn’t his personality that was the problem, but his taste in boys…
But no, wait…! Was he actually considering even for a microsecond that…? No, Dave hurt him. Dave was a jerk. Was.
Because…the boy that had pushed him around and chased him out of his school was not present right now, not in the person who was crying and apologizing and confessing the fact that…that he had feelings for him. Not just any feelings, but the kind that dictated pretty much everything he did with his life. It was more than a little overwhelming to think he could derive that kind of a response from someone.
And it would be a lie to say that he wasn’t feeling something akin to his heart melting as he heard that choked out sob.
“Then…then…” Oh, intelligent… “Why didn’t you just…secretly send me flowers or something? That might have made a better impression!”
He knew it was a stupid, insensitive thing to say, but despite what he felt inwardly, he was too overcome to be able to express it all.
“Anyway, I…I don’t think you’re chubby, that was more something I said in the heat of the moment to get back at you. I don’t even think you sweat too much…Finn sweats more than you, I’m sure of it…”
Dave huffed and looked out across the driveway onto the street as he dug his hands further into his pockets, his shoulders hunching up as he looked intently at the street and away from a shivering Kurt. There was part of him that wanted to push the boy again. To knock him on his ass and run away but another part of him just wanted to hand over his jacket.
He didn’t know if he believed Kurt or not. He would have probably wished himself dead if he’d been in Kurt’s shoes but then again he wasn’t Kurt. He decided not to say anything about it and hopefully just keep avoiding Kurt’s gaze until he got bored and walked away but instead he was demanding the apology Dave had mentioned earlier.
His eyes snapped to Kurt’s, his mouth dropping open slightly. “You’re serious? You want me to apologize now? Right now?” he asked incredulously. “It won’t mean jack shit if you have to make me, you know. Besides, I doubt it will do any good. You’ll still hate me no matter what and I can’t undo what I did so what’s the point?”
Kurt stared at him a moment, baffled beyond belief. What was wrong with him? Did he not know a hint when he heard one?
“What’s the point?” he repeated, gripping his arms tighter. “What’s the point?!? The point, Karofsky, of an apology is showing some freaking remorse! Up until now, I thought you had none. The point is that I’m asking you to do it. We’re both standing here, there’s no one to judge you…if there’s ever been a more opportune time for you to say something, I certainly haven’t seen it. Of course it’ll mean something, you already alleged you had been trying, so…for fuck’s sake, just do it!”
His teeth were nearly chattering now, but he wasn’t going to give up the effort just on account of the cold. What was he really striving for, anyway? An apology? Satisfaction? He no longer knew…and it seemed intimidating to try and guess.
“What does it matter if I hate you or not?” he asked after a time, the question sort of just tumbling out of his mouth. “Since when did my opinion of you become a concern?”
Dave balled his hands into fists and jammed them in his jacket pockets. He took the stairs two at a time and was almost halfway up them when he hear Kurt screeching after him, wailing in a slightly slurred and high-pitched voice that he wasn’t done with Dave yet.
Dave shook his head and kept moving, out into the living room and then quickly outside where hopefully if he was going to be followed and screamed at no one would hear. He stopped halfway down the driveway and turned around, glaring hard at Kurt.
“What, Hummel? What? You wanna tell me off some more? Tell me I’m a miserable piece of shit? Tell me I shouldn’t be allowed to breathe the same air as you? Or that I should probably just off myself and do the whole world a favor? Or are you gonna tell me all about how fucking terrible I made things for you? Because I’ve got news for you, princess, I’m aware, okay? I get it. I know all of that and I know it pretty fucking well by this point so if you have something new to add I’d love to hear it.”
Kurt wanted badly to continue to yell, to inform Dave that he didn’t have the first clue about how he made him feel, about the shit he put him through and how could it be that bad for him, he was still at the same school…but Kurt knew he’d said something about offing himself and…even in his drunken state, he was well aware that crossed a line.
“Wait, now I-…I never said anything about…about killing yourself, Karofsky,” Kurt corrected, still flustered, still frustrated, but beginning to lessen (much to his chagrin) thanks to the blistering cold and the topic at hand. “Don’t go putting words in my mouth, especially not those…but yes, you made my life a fucking mess and I’m…I’m angry! I’m unspeakably angry and indignant and I could just-“
He grasped his arms around himself against the cold and gripped his biceps tightly.
“I could just hit you or something, but…but I know that’s not any better…”
He stood here a moment, just grinding his teeth and not being able to do a damn thing.
“Well…fuck it all, I’m standing right here. If you’ve been so eager to apologize, then do it.”
Dave kept rolling his eyes and shaking his head as he tried to keep drinking his drink. Kurt was being hysterical right now and for once Dave was happy everyone was too buzzed and fucked up to be paying them any attention because this was turning into quite the scene, noticed only by Puck who could only seem to pay half as much attention as Brittany took off another layer of clothing.
“Fine, he’s not your boyfriend, big fucking deal,” Dave retorted. That didn’t mean Kurt didn’t want him to be, but he kept that to himself. Dave had seen the way Kurt had looked at the boy. He knew that feeling of longing and wanting to be noticed a little too well.
Which is why it hurt all the more as Kurt hissed at him about probably wanting to get him in a closet and have his way with him. He could hear the cup crinkling beneath his fist as he squeezed it even tighter, the blood rushing to his ears. “You know what?” he said in a dangerously low tone. “Fuck you, Hummel. I don’t need this shit. You wanna be pissed at me? Fucking fine if it makes you feel any better. You know…fuck, I was trying to figure out a way to tell you how sorry I am since this shit happened but every time I think I can you’re up in my face again or dragging along your little boy toy over there to pick a fight with me, so fuck.you.” With that he slammed his cup down on the counter, the backsplash hitting his hand but he didn’t care. He stormed away from the counter and headed for the nearest exit, blowing past his oblivious teammates and supposed friends who were chanting something that sounded a lot of like chug at one another.
Kurt was more than a little taken back at what Karofsky said. First, it was all of the usual defensive bullshit…but then there was something about an apology? Really? From the boy who had claimed in the principal’s office that Kurt was making everything up? Who seemed completely unable to own any responsibility for this at all?
So maybe Karofsky hadn’t apologized yet or made an effort to…but the fact that he would even acknowledge one was warranted was…unexpected, to say the least. Kurt didn’t quite know what to make of it and at first he was glued to where he was.
But then…he was walking away? Yes, he was, just fucking walking away, as if he would actually get away with it! Maybe it was the second shot he had just taken that was making him this crazy, but he followed him. Damn straight, he followed him. They were far from through with this, dammit!
“Oh no,” Kurt said, following Dave up the stairs from the basement to the living room which was just as much of a mess, if not more so. He was striding rather quickly towards the front door. “You’re not just going to walk away from me, Karofsky. Not after everything. You don’t have the goddamn right! I wasn’t anywhere near being through with you!”
Kurt continued to go on, even as they were standing out in the freezing cold February Ohio air. He probably looked like a crazy person…and maybe he was, since he wasn’t even sure what he wanted to say or do to Dave…just that he needed to yell. He needed Dave to not have the satisfaction of just…walking away from him…or something.
Dave did a double take as he saw Kurt stomping his way. From the furious look in his eyes and the sureness of his gait Dave was positive he was about to be bitch slapped. He couldn’t move. Paralyzed where he sat with Brittany grinding away on the counter top behind him he sat, his eyes shut tight as Kurt approached, his body anticipating the blow any second now but it never came.
Instead he heard Kurt’s bossy voice demand a drink before he was staring down Dave and spewing sass at him. Dave’s mouth opened, a dumbfounded look clouding his face. He shook his head a little and looked around but no one was paying them attention. He took a sip of his drink, his hand shaking slightly before he leaned in closer, “I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, Hummel. I didn’t think you’d be at this shitfest, especially not with a boyfriend in tow,” he said, nodding to Blaine who now appeared to be standing on the couch while he belted a Kelly Clarkson song into a hairbrush Dave hoped to god belonged to Rachel and not the boy in question.
“I’m not trying to like…make your life even worse right now, okay? I got dragged here and if I’d known you were gonna be here, sitting over in the corner all night and sulking I would have passed,” he said coldly. Who the fuck was he? Who the fuck was Kurt? Yeah, he’d made his life hell but Dave suspected his running off to another school didn’t have as much to do with him as it did the supposedly attractive young man now wiping his eyes over how hard it is to be a miss independent. And seriously, the bitchy attitude like Kurt owned the whole fucking town or world for that matter was pissing him off. He could go wherever the fuck he wanted, it wasn’t any of Kurt’s business, he thought darkly, knowing he was being unfair even in his mind but the disgust in Kurt’s gaze right now hurt him a little more than what it should.
“Oh, right!” Kurt snapped back to the first quip, accepting whatever disgusting mix of alcohol Puck had stirred together. “Because, naturally, when two gay guys hang out, they must also be sleeping together on the sly. Of course. That’s how it works. David Karofsky, ladies and gentlemen, the expert on gay culture.”
He was certain he was going to get a shushing, but he ignored whatever Karofsky said in response to down the shot glass…sure enough, it was pretty gross…but it gave him the encouragement he needed.
“Well, newsflash, He’s not my boyfriend. Two gays can be friends and not be dating. Imagine that, if you will! Noah, another one of these disgusting things, I’m not through with this jerk.”
He turned back to Dave…stumbling just a little as he did so. Maybe that shot was a bit stronger than he had counted on…unabashed, he continued, and now that his judgment was a bit poorer, the classiness of his insults was lessening considerably.
“Oh sure you wouldn’t have come,” he said snidely. “One more chance to push me around, one more excuse to get close to me.” He leaned in and said in a sharp whisper, “Maybe if you were lucky enough someone would start a game of spin the bottle and you’d get the opportunity to have me in the closet.”
He regretted it almost as soon as he had said it. That was out of line, even towards Karofsky…maybe especially so.
Dave gripped his red plastic cup tight as he stood with his fellow football players. Currently they were discussing the metaphysics of the best way to get a girl to show you her breasts, a topic which Dave could not care less about if he tried. He swirled the contents of his cup and took another sip, finishing it off. With a murmured explanation of needing to get some more he pulled away from the group and headed over to the bar area where it seemed Puckerman had taken charge or mixing and handing out drinks. Dave called for another rum and Coke as he looked around the room. He quickly pulled his eyes away and stared straight ahead again as he spotted Kurt.
Kurt. Why was he here? This so wasn’t his type of scene. Not to mention he’d also brought the halfwit cockatoo or whatever the fuck he was called along. Said cockatoo who was dancing in the corner with a lamp while mouthing the words to some shitty pop song. Dave scowled and shook his head irritatedly as he took his drink from Puck and turned back to the fiasco.
Az had talked him into going. Said Rachel Berry of all people was hosting a free for all booze party and since Jay Westen had been grounded the night before after his mom discovered his porn stash they didn’t really have any better party options. Dave had begrudgingly agreed to go, telling himself it was better than spending another night trying to run from his thoughts. Now that he was here, though, he really wished he’d just stayed in, tormenting thoughts or not.
Kurt sat, stewing in his thoughts for a moment as he examined whether or not he actually wanted to go over and confront him. It wouldn’t be classy, not by any means…but what about any of this was? No one was taking score, certainly…and Karofsky looked anything but resilient tonight.
He more or less made up his mind when the rest of the gorillas shuffled off to see Brittany drunkenly strip. What a surprise, Karofsky seemed to be hanging back, at least for the time being. Where did he get off, anyway, thinking he could just make Kurt hide away in the shadows from him? Fuck him.
Kurt got up from where he had been sitting on the piano bench and came over to where Puck seemed to be playing bartender.
“I’m almost tempted to order a cosmo, but I doubt you know what that means,” he said to Puck, knowing Karofsky, sitting right there, would hear it. “So just whatever you can muddle together. Make sure it’s strong.”
He then turned to Karofsky.
“Strong, because I’m going to need the strength to ream you out. Who do you think you are, honestly?” Kurt said, facing him fully and making sure to close the distance so there was no mistaking his lack of intimidation. “You think you can just run kids out of school when they make you uncomfortable? My life is at McKinley. My friends, everything…but no, I have to be constantly worried about you turning a corner and coming out of god-knows-where and acting like a complete ass. Where do you get off?”
Kurt wasn’t sure why he ever thought, in a million years, that this would be a good decision. What about a party at Rachel’s house where there would be underage drinking sounded promising? He wasn’t sure…maybe the part about it being a good opportunity to hang out with Blaine, to let him see more of his friends, to move him closer towards maybe possibly being in the boyfriend ballpark…
Well, that was some shit thinking because as of now, Kurt sat sober in the middle of what was nothing less than a complete hot mess. Somehow, the rest of the school had gotten word of this little soiree and what had started as some idiotic Glee get-together became a complete, noisy, crowded wrecking of the Berry household. Rachel didn’t seem to care, drunk and loopy as she was.
Finn, on the other hand, was the only other sober person in sight and he was flipping shit, yelling at people to get out, trying to clean stuff up and…well, being a decent person, Kurt supposed, but he couldn’t have much of an appreciation for it right now. He would have left, had he not been the only transportation for Blaine…who as of now, was dancing stupidly around and acting…not at all like the genteel young man from Dalton.
Kurt wrinkled his nose. Maybe he was just getting too desperate these days…and desperation was certainly dangerous.
He considered, briefly, throwing caution to the wind and just having a drink as well, but…the alcohol was so very close to the group of bulky letterman jackets also known as the football team. They were laughing idiotically and making quips about people there and all the usual nonsense…except for Karofsky who just looked uncomfortable.
Kurt kept hoping if he blended in enough with the shadows he wouldn’t be seen. Everything else was bad enough, but now he had his tormentor sitting just a few feet from him. He wasn’t scared, just irritated and tempted to go over and give him a piece of his mind.