"One-two-three..Finn, could you at least pretend to pay attention?" Kurt asked in exasperation. "Look, if my Dad can do this, so can you."
Burt called over his shoulder as he danced with himself, "Hey now, I am a darn good dancer." He came to a standstill as he lost count. "Well. Sort of." He muttered one-two-three-four to himself as he started over again, concentrating fiercely.
Finn was still hesitating, just lifting his arms to take Kurt's when he noticed the figure in the doorway.
"What?" Finn barked at Karofsky, who had a nasty looking sneer spreading across his face. "It's for our parents' wedding, ok? Geeze." Finn glared and turned back to Kurt, who was biting his lip uncomfortably and trying to pretend the jock was invisible. Burt's brow furrowed as he watched the interaction between the two boys.
"I didn't say a thing," Karofsky snorted, widening his eyes in fake innocence.. "I was just..admiring your moves. You and Hummel." He looked Kurt up and down with a look of disgust. "Not a surprise at all that you're the girl."
"Hey!" Burt interjected. "You watch your mouth!" He started forward, but Kurt snagged his arm and pointed him back towards his side of the room.
Kurt rolled his eyes as he patted Burt on the back affectionately. "Ignore him, Dad. Now, let's start again."
Finn tried to turn his attention back to Kurt, but the figure in the doorway just stood there with his tongue pushed into his cheek, smirking at the scene in front of him.
Kurt dropped Finn's arm and put his hands on his hips with an annoyed look. He abruptly turned to the big football player and said, "Would you like to dance?"
Karofsky, who had been lounging against the doorframe smirking at Finn, nearly overbalanced. "What?" he said blankly.
Kurt rolled his eyes and took a step towards the door. "I said, would you like to dance?" He crossed his arms and lifted an eyebrow, shoulders tense. "This is the Kurt Hummel School of Dance at the moment, and you are cluttering up my dance space. Either come and dance, or leave." He lifted his chin in challenge.
Burt started to open his mouth, but one look at his son's face had him biting his tongue. He knew that look. That was the I-fight-my-battles-my-way glare that had once resulted in a 4th grade Kurt getting elected Valentine Princess by his entire class through skillful use of flattery, innocent looks, and one well timed fall from the monkey bars.
Karofsky paused with his mouth open. "Um," he managed.
Kurt sighed and tossed his head in irritation before striding forward and tangling his fingers in the front of Karofsky's letterman jacket, tugging the bigger boy firmly into the middle of the room. "Don't worry, Karofsky, you get to lead," Kurt said pointedly. He held his arms up expectantly.
Karofsky glanced down at Kurt's outstretched arms and shifted uncomfortably, his eyes skittering towards the open door. "Um," he said again.
Kurt dropped his arms and looked irritated. "Trying to teach Finn to dance is like trying to teach a duck math. I need someone who can use their hips." Kurt grabbed Karofsky's right hand and placed it around himself. "You're an athlete, which means you can move. A skill that seems to have skipped Finn somehow. Now, stop being such a baby and dance with me."
Karofsky stared down in surprise at his own hand, fingers flexing on Kurt's back. He licked his bottom lip nervously, but didn't pull away as Kurt slid a hand down his left arm and firmly lifted their hands into proper form. Kurt's head was held high, eyes gazing just past Karofsky's ear as Kurt began to count softly. Karofsky followed Kurt's voice, feet surprisingly steady as he lead Kurt in a slow basic step.
Both boys seem to have forgotten they weren't the only ones in the room. Finn watched in confusion, opening his mouth to say something before Burt tapped him on the shoulder, gesturing wordlessly for Finn to go back to practicing. Burt's eyes were thoughtful as he watched his son slow dance with a boy Burt had never heard of before. There was more going on than what they were seeing, but Burt held his tongue and went back to his own careful dance steps.
"One, two, three, four," Kurt's voice gradually faded out, leaving him and Karofsky dancing in silence. Karofsky's head was bowed, eyes fastened on Kurt's adam's apple. Kurt's shoulders gradually relaxed, tension slowly draining out of his frame as they continued to move together almost peacefully. "It's ok, you know," Kurt said quietly.
Karofsky looked up into Kurt's face, but Kurt's eyes were on their joined hands. Karofsky didn't even pretend not to understand, he just shook his head. "It isn't," he almost whispered. "You wouldn't understand."
"You could try me," Kurt raised his eyes to Karofsky's as the bigger boy lead them in a slow turn. "I can be a good listener." A small smile flicked over his face. "I won't even make fun of your clothes."
Karofsky just shook his head, adjusting his right hand on Kurt's back, absently circling his fingers in something that could almost be called a caress. He didn't drop his eyes though, so Kurt tried again.
"I'm sorry, by the way," he said with a strained smile. "I handled things..badly, that day on the stairs."
"You were scared," Karofsky said quietly. "Because of me." Somehow, the distance between them had lessened as they spoke. Karofsky breathed in, and for a moment could feel Kurt's warmth.
"I was shocked, more than scared." Kurt disagreed. "And I didn't know what to do. I had good intentions." Kurt tried to smile. "I wanted to help."
Karofsky shook his head slowly. "You can't." He took a breath. "You shouldn't." Karofsky's hand slipped lower without either of them noticing. "Not after everything."
"Is that why?" Kurt asked, worrying at the shoulder of Karofsky's Letterman with his fingers. "You being..I mean, why..everything happened?" Karofsky's face was startlingly close now making everything somehow too intense. Kurt dropped his eyes to Karofsky's jaw.
Karofsky's jaw tensed, and he looked away from Kurt with a deliberately casual looking shrug. "Maybe." The answer should have come off as short, but it was too vulnerable. At some point, their feet had stopped moving. Neither boy appeared to notice, and they swayed closer, their formal dance pose forgotten into what could have been an embrace.
"I.." Karofsky started. He swallowed, and flicked his eyes up to meet Kurt's. "I.."
Finn stumbled, knocking into a stool and sending it clanging to the floor. He cursed and grabbed for it.
Karofsky and Kurt were suddenly several feet from each other. Karofsky looked confused and a little sick as he glanced at the two other men in the room. "I have to go," he blurted. "I can't. I just..I can't." Shaking his head, he headed for the door and rushed into the hallway.
Finn stumbled out a confused apology, and Burt clapped him on the shoulder and turned to look at his son.
Kurt stood in the middle of the floor, arms still raised, looking less like he had been dancing, and more like he was reaching for the boy who had gone.