Dave didn't expect to find anyone while walking around, but there's somebody sitting on the stairs near the gym. Before he can turn back and go somewhere else, the guy looks up. (Great, just what he needs now — Hudson.)
"Hey," he says tiredly.
Dave answers in kind and almost starts walking away, but Hudson suddenly turns into Mr Observant. "You made prom king?"
He remembers the stupid crown he still has on his head. "Yeah."
"Good for you. And Santana," says Hudson. He obviously doesn't know anything. Dave thought the news would reach the ends of the universe by now. (Then again, it's only been like fifteen minutes, so maybe not.)
He should nod and go on his way, but he hesitates. What the hell; he can't drive home anyway, thanks to the booze they drank before the prom. Puckerman scored some and Santana gave him half of her share (which was probably twice as big as others). He might as well sit with Hudson and fill him in.
He plops down on the other end of Finn's step. "Santana's not the queen. Kurt is."
Hudson looks at him for a long moment, confused. Then he twists around in the direction of the prom and starts rising from his seat. "Shit." He slumps back down. "Is he okay?"
"I guess." Dave takes off the crown; it dangles between his fingers. He rubs his face with his free hand. "Shit, I screwed up."
"Join the club," says Hudson but then frowns. "Wait, you mean you did that? What the hell, I thought you and Kurt were okay now!"
"No, not—that wasn't me, man. Just... We were supposed to dance together, yeah? And I... couldn't."
"Oh." Hudson's quiet for a minute. "Don't beat yourself up, dude. It takes a lot of guts to dance with Kurt. You'll get there."
That's pretty nice of him, even if he sounds a little condescending. Now Dave's feeling guilty for being a dick to him on top of everything. "His boyfriend didn't have a problem with that," he mutters.
Finn seems surprised. "Oh, good. I mean, he'd better man up."
The sad thing is that the midget is probably more of a man than Dave right now.
Hudson sighs. "At least Quinn and Rachel don't hate you."
Dave's pretty sure they do, actually, but it's not like that's a new thing. Apparently it's a big deal for Finn, though. He reaches over and pats him awkwardly on the shoulder. "They'll get around."
They sit in silence for a few minutes. It's not as uncomfortable as it could be. Finally Hudson says: "Eh, what the hell." He pats his chest a few times and takes out a hipflask. "Artie gave me this for safekeeping. Not sure what's inside, but..." He shrugs and takes a drink. "You want some?"
Dave takes the hipflask. It's not like he has anywhere to be until the morning. He might as well bond with Hudson over their misery and... whatever is in that flask. "Sure. Thanks."
At least there's one good thing about this fuck-up. (You should look on the bright side, right?)
Dave carefully sits down and takes a quick look around. Miraculously, nobody in the cafeteria seems to care that he's sharing a table with Kurt Hummel. Well, the sight of them together should be common enough after all this time of walking him around the school, but it still feels a little unbelievable.
Fancy doesn't say anything about his pussyfooting (another miracle), he just starts eating his salad as if it's all completely normal. Dave takes out his sandwich.
He's starting to enjoy the peace and quiet and whatever when Kurt puts down his fork and opens his mouth. "I've just realized something," he says, and damn, did he realize that there were better ways of spending lunch break than with his former bully? Because this is actually pretty nice. And his friends aren't here anyway.
"With all the drama surrounding the event, I've never congratulated you on becoming the prom king." He smiles slightly. "So, congratulations."
Dave blinks in surprise. "Uh, thanks," he says finally.
"I had to vote for Finn, because you know, he's family now." Fancy gives him a funny little smile, probably to show that he's joking. Like he'd ever pick Dave over Hudson, huh. "But I think the new Karofsky deserves that."
He feels his face growing hot and looks awkwardly to the side. "Thanks. I, uh." He clears his throat. "I voted for you."
When he gathers himself enough to turn back to Kurt, the sight is different from what he expected. Fancy's lips are pressed in a tight line and he looks all hurt and pale. And you'd think Dave would know what hurt looks like on Kurt, but he's never seen it, not really. He was always more frustrated and angry about the bullying, and later he was scared of Dave, but this is a hundred times worse. (How the hell did he manage to screw up this time?)
After a few beats he figures out the problem. "Ow, shit, not—not for that," he groans. "I mean, I voted for you for prom king."
Now he just looks confused. "You did? But... you were one of the main contenders."
Dave picks at his unfinished sandwich. "Well yeah, but you're not supposed to vote for yourself."
"I think you're the only person in this school who cares about that," says Fancy with a huff and then smiles. (It seems like the awful moment passed, phew.) "In that case, thank you for your vote. It was probably the only one I got."
"No problem." He traces a stain on the tabletop with his eyes. "Besides, even if I wanted to, you know... I had to vote for Santana or she'd cut me."
He immediately wants to kick himself for the joke, but before he can backtrack, Kurt chuckles. "I know! I voted for her, in case she magically knew these things."
He goes back to his salad, still smiling a little. Dave stares at him for a long moment before he remembers his sandwich.
It tastes much better than five minutes ago. Huh.
Dave's heading to his last class of the day, alone for once, when Santana turns up and attaches herself to his arm. "Hey, darling," she says sweetly.
It's a little suspicious. Lately she hasn't been trying too hard to show off their fake relationship, even though they were spending some time together, talking and stuff. They're still officially a couple, though, as far as he knows. "Hi, Santana."
"Have you seen Ladyface today? Is he seriously wearing a skirt?"
"It's a kilt," he corrects automatically, because Kurt made sure to drill it into his head since the morning. Dave insisted on calling it a skirt, though, just to see him huff and roll his eyes.
"Hmmm. You'd think he learned a lesson about wearing kilts to school, huh?"
"Well, he can't let other people dictate his fashion choices." It's another ready-made reply, straight from Fancy's lecture about not yielding to peer pressure (he edited out the part about uncultured plebeians, though).
Santana hums a little. "I guess you can't really blame him for wanting to show off those legs."
"Uh, I guess." (It's not like Dave noticed or anything.)
She's quiet for a minute. "He may change his mind when Woods catches up to him," she says lightly.
Dave stops walking. "What? Where is he? What do you know?" (Of course, he leaves Fancy alone for one break and puff — instant trouble!)
Santana lets go of his arm and whirls around to stand in front of him. "I knew it!" she crows, poking at his chest. "You. Are in looove."
"What the fuck," he says sincerely. "Seriously, San, what's up with Woods?"
She rolls her eyes. "Relax, I was kidding. That wimp won't touch Hummel now that everyone knows he's got a keeper. And don't change the subject. Let's hear all about your feelings for the Princess."
"You're insane," he says and starts walking away. She follows.
"Don't deny it, bitch. You're like Tarzan protecting his Jane. But I've gotta say, the way you expressed your looove way before he transfered to the gay academy? That was screwed up. And that's coming from me."
He sighs and stops trying to get away from her. If he has to have this conversation, it better be over quickly.
"It wasn't like that. I wasn't in love or whatever." Santana grins like a shark and he gets his mistake, but by then it's too late to backtrack without digging a bigger hole for himself. He curses silently. "Just, he was so... I just wanted to..."
He can't really explain that, maybe because it doesn't even makes sense to him now. It just felt like the only option. He couldn't ignore Kurt and he couldn't be seen making friends with losers. Somehow that led to making his life hell. Then it got totally out of control and before he knew it, he was acting like a creep and threatening to kill him.
(Okay, Santana's right. It was screwed up.)
She nods like she actually got something from his sorry attempt to explain. "I get it now. Back then you just wanted to jump his bones, but now that you got to know him, it's true looove." She snorts. "That is gay."
Dave rolls his eyes. "Are you done laughing at me now?"
"Not even close." She pats his arm with a mock sympathetic smile. "But don't worry, boyfriend. I'll help you get your man."
This is a bad idea to end all bad ideas. He doesn't even want to imagine Santana's help. "No. Please don't. Seriously."
"Oh, it's no problem, baby." (She's having way too much fun with this.) "We need to get you laid anyway, preferably this century."
He can't even strangle her in good conscience, because under the bitchy mocking layers she actually wants the best for him. Probably. Or maybe she just wants to stir up some drama. Either way, he'll just have to roll with it. It's the only way to deal with Santana.
Maybe even something good will come out of this? (Probably not, but he can always hope.)
The call comes at just the right moment. Now Dave's got an excuse to put off cleaning his room for a few more minutes.
"Hey, man," says Hudson on the other end of the line. "I maybe have a favor to ask."
"I mean, I don't really know. But I think I should do something. You know?"
Talking to Hudson is usually confusing for the first few minutes, so Dave's not surprised. "I'm listening."
"Will you help me beat up Blaine?"
Dave's silent for a few moments. "Why?" he asks, because he is a changed man, one who doesn't answer a question like that with an enthusiastic 'Yes!'.
Finn sighs heavily. "I think he dumped Kurt," he replies in a hushed voice.
"What? Why?" Dave says again, and seriously. Why would the hobbit dump Kurt? Aren't they, like, poster boys for the rainbow gay power of love?
"I don't know! But Kurt got back on Friday all sad, and then Rachel and Mercedes were here, and then he said they broke up. And now he's watching chick flicks on the big TV all the time."
The TV part is probably the most important for Hudson, but Dave's still hung up on the big news. "They really broke up?"
"Dude," Finn says. "Don't sound so happy about this."
He winces. "...sorry."
"Seriously, you don't want to see him now. And I'm his big brother, you know? I guess I have to take care of his ex. What d'ya think?"
"I don't know, dude. But I'm with you if you want to rough him up," he says, trying not to sound too eager.
(It's not that he wants to beat up Anderson. He just... wouldn't mind doing that for a just cause.)
"Thanks, man. I'll let you know when I find out if it's okay or whatever."
"Sure, you do that."
He calls again half an hour later. Dave managed to pick up all of his crap and haul the vacuum cleaner to his room, so he's probably due a break.
"Yo, man," Hudson says. He sounds much happier. "I'm calling off the operation."
Dave isn't disappointed. He's totally neutral about this. "Oh."
"Maybe big brothers don't have to beat up exes, after all. I talked to Kurt and he said—" He stops abruptly and Dave hears a muffled 'Give me that.'
Then there's a new voice on the line. "David?"
He shuffles closer to his bed. "Um, yeah. Hi, Kurt."
"Finn told me about his plan," he says. Dave didn't really think about Fancy's reaction to this, but now he starts to worry. Kurt sounds more amused than anything else, though. "First of all, I don't know why he gets to be the big brother— wha— it's not about who's taller, Finn. We were born on the same day!"
The brothers bicker for a few moments. Dave sits down on his bed and smiles to himself.
"Anyway," Fancy says finally, drowning out Hudson's grumbling. "My second point: don't hurt Blaine. It was an amicable break-up and we're still friends."
Dave listens carefully, trying to figure out if he's actually heartbroken and just saying that to be a good person. He hums noncommittally.
"Although I must admit the general idea doesn't sound as bad as it probably should." Now he's definitely amused. "I'm pleased that you're so quick to defend my honor."
"Sure," Dave says, picking on the hem of his shorts. "Anytime."
Kurt laughs. "Okay, I'll keep that in mind. Now, I think I'll hand the phone back to Finn, as he's the one who's paying for the call." The background 'Hey!' probably means that Hudson just realized that. "See you later, David."
There are a few cracks on the line and Finn says: "Wait a minute, dude." A door closes. "Okay! That went well."
"Yeah." (It really did. Kurt's single, but not miserable, and he said 'see you later'!)
"I wish I thought about this earlier. I just told him that we could beat Blaine up for him if he wanted, and he was all 'You'd do that for me?', and I was like 'Duh, bro, we've got your back.' Then he said it helped him realize he still wanted to be friends or something. Oh, now he went to his room! The TV is free!"
He chuckles. "Good job, dude."
"Thanks, man. You too! Gotta go now."
Dave puts his cell phone down on the bed and stands up. Then he does a happy dance and hums a song as he starts vacuuming. (It's not like there's anybody here to see him, and it's a pretty awesome day, after all.)
Dave plops down on the sofa, finishes his beer and contemplates his life. A few months earlier the glee club barely tolerated him, and now he's at a party at Berry's house. Who'd've thought that things would change so much and in this direction. He's not complaining, though.
He's forced to rethink that when he's joined by Anderson. When he tried to find out what the twerp was doing here, he just got a jumbled answer about traditions. (Maybe he should've asked someone sober and not, well, Puck.)
"Dave," says the hobbit. "Dave Dave Dave."
"That's me," he confirms, 'cause he probably couldn't pull off being anyone else. Anderson looks like he's reached the point when he might believe he's Tinkerbell, though.
"Do you knoooow," he starts and stops abruptly. He blinks a few times and tries again. "Do you know what you want, Dave?"
He wants to be far away from him, thanks. But that's probably not going to happen anytime soon. "Another beer?" he tries, because he's not nearly drunk enough to talk to Blah.
Anderson shakes his head. "No, not that. Do you knoooow," he repeats, apparently fascinated by this word, "what you want in a boyfriend?"
Okay, what is his life, really. He's seriously too sober to talk about ~boys~ with the hobbit. But Anderson's looking at him like he holds the answers to the universe, so Dave actually thinks about this.
He doesn't have to think very hard. In fact, he has to resist the urge to look around and just point with his finger. "Yeah," he says shortly.
Anderson pouts. "Well, I don't," he whines. He's silent for a few minutes and Dave's starting to think that's the end of that, but of course that'd be too nice and he can't have nice things.
"I know what I don't want, though," Blah says. "I mean, you know I love Kurt, right?"
Dave doesn't know what to say to that, so he just nods obediently.
"But he's... fluffy! Like a baby penguin, or... or a lemur! Lemurs are cute, right?" Thankfully he doesn't wait for an answer this time, just sighs heavily. "I always wanted a lemur. But they're not sexy. And I want sexy, too, you knoooow?"
Okay, Dave's officially lost in the conversation. He frowns. "Wait. What's not sexy?"
The twerp looks exasperated, as if it's Dave's fault that he can't make any sense of his ramblings. "Baby lemurs. And Kurt."
He's been trying to earn some points by being nice to Anderson, but enough's enough. "What's wrong with you?" he snorts.
The hobbit blinks. "Excuse me?"
And apparently Dave's drunk enough that his brain-to-mouth filter's not working properly. "Kurt's totally sexy. Are you even gay?"
Anderson opens and closes his mouth a few times. "I'll have you know that I'm very gay!"
He flails for a few moments and shouts: "Raaaachel!"
There's a mighty crash from somewhere on their left and Berry joins them, falling halfway across Blah's lap. "Yes?" She smiles so widely it's disturbing.
"I'm gay, right?" Anderson asks.
"Of course," she replies and pats him on his head. "Wanna kiss?"
Blah beams at her. "Sure!" But then he remembers himself and frowns. "No! Because I'm gay." He shoots a look at Dave, very pleased with himself.
Berry pouts a little, but doesn't seem very upset. "Aww. Maybe you should kiss a boy, then."
They both turn to look at Dave. (Uh-oh.) Anderson starts leaning in and Dave's torn between running away and mashing a hand into his face, which leaves him just sitting there and watching in horror. Thankfully he's saved at the last moment.
"Not this again," says a new voice, and they all turn to look at Kurt, who's standing behind the sofa.
He's got his hands on his hips and looks unimpressed. Also, sometime since the start of the party he lost, well, most of his clothes. He had a vest and a bowtie and probably a million other layers, but now he's wearing only a white shirt with a few buttons open. Dave can see his collarbones. It's suddenly very hot in the room.
Blah smiles at Fancy as if he wasn't just caught trying to kiss innocent people. "Kurt! I'm gay!" he announces.
Kurt blinks. "Is this a revelation? Because I thought we've established that before we started dating."
"Yes, yes! But Dave doesn't believe me!" The hobbit pouts. "Tell him."
Fancy looks at him for a long while and his face clearly says that he's wondering what has become of his life. (They have so much in common. They're, like, meant to be.)
"Blaine's gay," he finally says, rolling his eyes. "But when he's drunk, he loves everyone," he adds in a stage whisper and winks at Dave. (Shit, he's seriously not drunk enough for this, or maybe too drunk after all.)
Anderson beams. He's probably thinking about penguins and not trying to unbutton Kurt's shirt with the power of his mind (Dave knew he was weird from the first moment, but nobody listens to him). "That's quite right!"
Berry nods happily and tugs on him arm. "Let's siiiing!" she whines.
They somehow manage to get up and reach the stage without crashing into anything or anyone. Dave loses all interest in them when Kurt moves around the sofa and plops down on the space they left.
"I won't apologize for him, because I refuse to feel responsible. But I hope he wasn't too insufferable."
Dave shrugs. "It's cool. You got here just in time, though."
Kurt groans and lets his head fall back. His neck— it's just, there. "Gaga, he's so ridiculous like this. I can't believe he tried to kiss you." He immediately looks panicked. "Not that kissing you would be ridiculous!"
Two beers earlier Dave would just keep quiet and freak out inside his head, but now he tries for a suggestive smirk and says: "Yeah?" (Okay, so he's not very smooth. Sue him.)
Kurt blushes (Dave's definitely not drunk enough for this). "I mean, kissing people at a party, when you're drunk, it's just... not done."
Dave looks around them and thinks yeah right, but he's smart enough not to say that. He tries the pouting thing; it seemed to work for the hobbit. "I'm not that drunk."
"Yes, you are," Fancy shakes his head, but he's smiling, so it's going pretty well. Dave tries to look at once sober and like a puppy. Like a sober puppy. Kurt likes puppies, right? ...enough to kiss them?
He probably messes up, 'cause Kurt just laughs. Dave sighs. (Oh well, it was worth a try.)
At this point he apparently passes out and starts dreaming, because what happens next is this:
Fancy stops laughing, smiles softly and says: "Oh, alright." Then he leans close to Dave and kisses him on the cheek.
It's Dave's turn to just sit and blink. Kurt backs up a bit, but stays leaning on the hand he placed between them on the sofa. His eyes are big and mostly blue but with a little green and Dave must have turned into a girl because he's thinking about the color of his eyes when his lips are so close holy shit.
Before his brain starts working again, the moment passes, Kurt blurts something about finding Finn and bolts from his seat. Dave's left staring stupidly after him until something crashes into him from the side.
"Wooo kisses!" Berry cheers and hugs his arm. (Oh good, she's back.)
Anderson's not far behind. "Where where where?" he demands, crawling on top of them.
The pair is probably a minute away from making out a few inches from his face, but Dave doesn't care. In fact, he doesn't care so much that he pats Berry on her head. Let them kiss and be merry, or whatever.
Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts, not even Blah's elbow below his ribs. (Also, the puppy thing totally works. Who'd've thought?)
"Okay!" Kurt claps his hands. "I want to hear all about your outfit ideas. Let's start with this lovely lady!"
Dave chews his sandwich quietly and pretends to listen to Tina's tale of her dream dress. He got used to tuning out the girl talk. Nobody actually expects him to say anything about fashion and shit, at least not since he said that lilac and plum looked the same to him. (Turns out that being gay doesn't magically make a guy see all the colors of the rainbow.)
Fancy listens to each story and offers his advice. He managed to get all the girls from glee in one place for lunch, which couldn't have been easy. The guys escaped when they saw the assembly, but Dave's still trying to score all the possible boyfriend points. And he doesn't really mind the company, as long as he's not forced to comment on different shades of purple.
There's a quiet moment as Rachel takes out a notepad and starts drawing her vision, which apparently transcends words. Kurt fills the silence with his own plans. "I'm thinking about wearing something more traditional this time. You know, classic elegance, but with a modern twist."
"So you're going?" asks Tina.
"Stag?" Lauren clucks in disapproval.
He glances at Dave, but turns back to the girls after a second.
"Of course I'm going! Who else would help you with wardrobe emergencies? And it's not like I'll be alone. First I'm going to steal you ladies for a dance — Brittany, I'm totally looking at you." Britt holds her hand out for a high five. "And when your dates chase me away, I'll sway in the general vicinity of this one here." He smiles at Dave, but is quickly distracted when Berry shoves the notepad in his face.
It's probably a sign that Dave's been accepted into their group when the girls don't glare at him outright. They just shoot him curious and expectant glances. He ignores them and looks at Kurt.
They didn't really talk about prom (or rather, Kurt said something about it a few times, but Dave never took up the subject) and apparently Fancy assumed they're not going as a couple. It's not a bad idea, really. Even though by now Dave's out to pretty much everyone and their mother, and it's not like they're trying to pretend there's nothing between them, they're not exactly walking around the school holding hands and trading smooches between classes. Going to prom together would be a pretty big thing.
He watches as Kurt purses his lips and traces a few lines on Rachel's sketch. Dave sometimes thinks their thing's too good to be true, but mostly he thinks it's too good to fuck up. He swallows his food and says: "No, you won't."
Kurt blinks at him. "Excuse me?"
Seven pairs of eyes turn to him and Dave wishes he prepared for this. Or at least thought about it for more than five seconds before blurting out the first thing on his mind.
"You won't go alone. If you don't want to. I mean, if you want to, you could... uh..."
"David," Kurt cuts in before he can make a bigger mess of this. "Are you trying to ask me to senior prom?"
"...yes." Thankfully it doesn't come out sounding like a question. Dave thinks he hears one of the girls whisper 'Finally!'.
"You should sing about it," says Brittany before anyone else has time to react. "That's how you ask someone to prom. I would know."
Everyone stares at her for a few moments. Dave rubs his neck and wonders if he managed to screw this up and what the hell he's supposed to sing. Finally Kurt chuckles.
"No, you... you don't have to sing about it, David. Weirdly enough, this is kind of perfect." He puts down the pencil. "That's a 'yes', by the way."
Dave feels a smile tug at his lips. "Yeah?"
"Good." He clears his throat. "I kind of owe you a dance, so..."
Kurt beams at him. He reaches out, but stops his hand midway. Dave thinks about the unspoken rule: no PDA at school. Then he thinks what the hell.
He puts a hand on Fancy's neck and draws him into a kiss. Kurt breathes in sharply and fists a hand in Dave's shirt to tug him closer.
They break apart after a long moment. Kurt bites his lip. "Now it's perfect," he declares.
Dave grins and leans in again to press his lips to his boyfriend's. The girls aww and Santana wolf-whistles, but Dave ignores them all. And if anyone in the cafeteria is offended, they can kiss his gay ass.
At the moment life is pretty much like Kurt said — perfect.