After putting his truck in park after pulling in to the empty parking spot, Dave turned the windshield wipers off and killed the engine. It was nice to be able to drive again - even if the last time he was behind the wheel was only two months ago. It took him some convincing, but Dave was thankful that his dad believed him when he said that he didn't have any plans on doing anything stupid. He just needed to get out.
More than two months had passed since the day he tried to take his own life. That meant sixty-plus days of weekly counseling sessions; sixty-plus days since the last day he went to school; sixty-plus days since he was given a second chance at life.
Although, when it came to second chances and reevaluating one's life, Dave always imagined that would entail taking the appropriate steps in order to move forward, but Dave felt that he was only moving backward.
But maybe that was okay.
His father withdrew him from school for the remainder of the year, but he could hardly complain. Thurston was the last place he wanted to be right now. It did mean that he would have to repeat his senior year of high school, though. But what was that one year in comparison to the rest of his life had his dad not been able to resuscitate him?
Despite all of these things, for the first time in a really long time, his head was clear. He knew exactly what he wanted. All of his life, the fear of judgment and his longing for acceptance had kept him from obtaining his goals and from being the person that he knew he was capable of being. He might be moving backwards, but that didn't mean he wasn't looking towards the horizon.
As Dave got out of the car, he pulled the hood of his midnight-blue sweatshirt over his head so that his hair wouldn't become a damp mess, but still relished the feel of the cool sprinkles of rain on his face. In the two months he had been stuck at home, the farthest he had gone outside was around the block in the mornings to get some fresh air. It felt amazing when he got out of his truck - looking down just in time to avoid stepping into a small puddle - outside of the practically empty movie theater that early Thursday afternoon. For the first time in months, Dave could feel his heartbeat quicken and the corner of his mouth turn up in a genuine, but still minuscule, smile as he noticed the figure about fifty feet away wearing the knee length sweater and white Doc Martens.
Kurt stared up at the electronic billboard, which displayed the names of the movies as well as their corresponding show times. He wasn't sure why he decided to skip school that day. It wasn't as though there were any good movies out or any movies that he really wanted to see, for that matter. He just knew that he didn't want to go to school that day. Never in his life had he done this – lie to his dad about not feeling well so he wouldn't have to go to school - but never in his life did he feel so much like complete and utter crap. After Blaine's accusations of cheating as well as putting their relationship problems on display and in the form of a song from the day before, it was only natural for Kurt to call a quits to their relationship. Thinking back to the talk he and his father had the year before, Kurt knew better to stay in a relationship like that. A relationship where he didn't matter; where his feelings and opinions were cast aside as easily as a rejected Warbler set list. Blaine was the last person he wanted to see. He needed to get away, and watching a terrible movie in an empty movie theater seemed like the perfect way to provide himself with a little bit of an escape.
Just as Kurt was about to resort to an "eenie-meenie-miney-moe" method of determining what movie he was going to see, a voice popped up beside him and he felt a nudge on his arm. Wondering who could have recognized him at the movies at half-past-ten on a weekday, Kurt turned his head in confusion.
"David?" It took a second to recognize the large teen beside him. For so long, Kurt had associated Dave Karofsky with the tan and red colors of the McKinley letterman jackets, and the last time Kurt saw him, it was in Lima Memorial Hospital where Dave donned a pale blue hospital gown, and red eyes and tearstained cheeks was something shared by both of them. The stormy grey sky that morning seemed to contradict the mood in the most marvelous of ways, as the hint of mirth in Dave's eyes and shy smirk that played around his lips did not go unnoticed by Kurt, and all the reasons why he had decided to skip school in the first place vanished from his mind; much like his closed umbrella, which slipped from his fingers as he turned and threw his arms over Dave's broad shoulders.
Dave froze as he felt the all encompassing warmth that was completely and utterly Kurt surround him. A hug was the last thing he expected from Kurt Hummel when he snuck up beside him. Despite the status of "friends" that they both seemed to decide upon when Kurt left the hospital that day, it was hard to wrap his mind around the fact that Kurt's first instinct upon seeing him was to wrap his arms around him.
He wasn't sure how long Kurt hugged him before he finally let his arms curl around Kurt's back and up his shoulder blades, but he was sure of the ragged breath in his ear as well as the scent of minty toothpaste and the earthen smell of rain that seemed to linger upon Kurt's clothes.
Finally, and what seemed like a lifetime (although he could have asked for a lifetime more) Dave felt Kurt pull away from him, only to feel the weight one of his hands remain upon his shoulder as he checked him over. And it was funny, because in all honesty he was fine. In fact, he felt like he was over the moon. Kurt was the one who had the tear clinging to his eyelash, threatening to spill over. If anything, Dave should be giving him the once over.
"You alright there, Fancy?" He asked nonchalantly, and slowly, as to not startle Kurt, he brought a knuckle up to Kurt's cheek and wiped away at the wet droplet that finally managed to escape from its perch, rolling down his cheek. Kurt seemed unaffected by Dave's tender action, more in the sense that it could have been something that Dave did every day. Dave just wiped the back of his hand on the side of his jeans as Kurt sniffed and blotted his eye with the fabric of his sweater that covered his wrist.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that question?" Kurt asked with a hint of guilt in his voice as he bent down and picked up his forgotten umbrella.
When Kurt went back to his full height, it was to find Dave looking at him carefully. Dave pulled his hood off of his head as he had since joined Kurt under the awning of the building, Kurt waited for a response as Dave ran his fingers through his hair.
"Only as long as you omit the Fancy." Here was Dave, joking as if Kurt didn't do anything wrong when Kurt wasn't sure if he could think of another time when he hated himself as much as he did now.
"I can't believe you're even talking to me right now." Kurt rasped, disbelieving. Dave frowned.
"What do you mean?"
"I should have call—"
"What?" Kurt shook his head like there was rainwater in his ears. Why was Dave smiling? He promised Dave he would call him to check in on him, and two months flew by and he did nothing to make an effort in contacting him.
"Kurt, look at me," Dave took a step back from Kurt and held his arms out to his sides. Kurt furrowed his eyebrows. What was he supposed to be looking at exactly? "I'm still here, aren't I? If I needed to talk to you, I would have called—"
"We know how that turned out from the last time."
"But I'm fine." When Dave finished, his eyes were warm and he gave a small smile in case his speech wasn't enough to convince Kurt otherwise. "I'm not perfect, but then again..." He shrugged a shoulder. "Who is?"
And then with a tilt of his head, Dave asked, "What about you? Aren't you supposed to be in school?"
"It's a long story," Kurt said, looking up at the board again. "And I doubt you want to hear me talk about my petty little problems, as consequential as I make them out to be."
"That's not true." He paused, frowning in contemplation. When Dave spoke up again, he suddenly looked very shy. "What um… What movie were you planning on seeing?"
Kurt sighed, "I'm really not sure. Either I read terrible reviews on half of these or I've already seen them." He grimaced. "What were you going to see?"
"I was thinking about seeing The Woman in Black. It probably won't be playing here in another week or so. I've wanted to see it on the big screen but haven't exactly had the opportunity."
"Isn't that movie… Supposed to be really scary?"
"Well, I'd hope so. Otherwise the title would defeat its purpose." Dave chuckled. "Probably more on the suspense side rather than the gore side, though."
Kurt scrunched his face up in contemplation. "Well, I wouldn't be a very good friend if I made you go see that alone, would I?"
Dave stood in a daze, watching as Kurt reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet as he walked up to the ticket window. Shaking his head, Dave followed Kurt up to the glass.
"Kurt, you really don't…"
"One adult for The Woman in Black at 10:55, please." He told the lady behind the counter confidently. He turned around to look at Dave, feigning innocence. "What? It's a period piece. Think of all the waistcoats."
Dave sighed as Kurt took his ticket and moved aside so Dave could pay for his.
Kurt thanked Dave as he held the glass door open for him.
"So, horror movies, huh?" Kurt asked nonchalantly as he stepped into the lobby area, his umbrella dangling from his arm by its strap.
Kurt seemed to be making an added effort at getting to know him. He wondered if Kurt still held on to any of the guilt that he confessed to having that day in the hospital. But at the same time, Kurt himself referred to him as his friend. Perhaps Kurt was genuinely curious about his interests.
"Sure, if the movie is well done. Can't complain much about DanRad, though. Dude's pretty hot." Kurt froze and turned to look at Dave, raising a bemused eyebrow. Before Kurt could say anything, Dave spoke up again.
"Were you going to get anything to eat?"
"Mmm…" Kurt hummed contemplatively, looking at the concession stand. "I'm probably just going to get a diet Pepsi."
Kurt and Dave walked shoulder to shoulder as they made their way to the glass counter filled with all sorts of treats. The popcorn maker in the back was perking to life and little clouds of white began to spill from the metallic container suspended in the air. It smelled amazing, but Dave didn't think he could stomach something so buttery and salty so early in the day. When the cashier asked them what they would be having, Dave was the first to pull out his wallet.
"I'll have a large root beer and he'll be having a large diet pepsi." Dave took out a ten dollar bill.
"Dave, what are you doing?"
"I somehow convinced you into seeing a movie you might potentially hate." He handed the cashier the bill and took the drinks, handing the Pepsi to Kurt. "At least let me pay for your drink."
Dave took his change and his drink, and Kurt looked up at Dave, taking a sip through the straw as they walked to the auditorium marked with the large number 3.
"You really didn't have to do that."
"It's fine." Dave shrugged like it was nothing. Hell, he probably would have paid for his ticket as well, but he didn't think any good would have come from that. That was his boyfriend's job, and… Well… Last Dave checked Kurt already had one. Dave screwed up enough things in his short life, and he wasn't about to add Kurt's relationship with his boyfriend to that long list.
As they walked into the vast room and turned the corner they could see just how empty it was aside from two elderly ladies sitting in the front.
"Wow, how are we ever going to find a seat," Dave drawled as he rolled his eyes. He gave Kurt a sly grin and Kurt laughed, lightly slapping Dave's arm with the back of his hand.
"Come on," Kurt said, and he pulled Dave by his wrist up the steps until they were at the middlemost aisle. Kurt walked down the row of seats until he was directly in the middle of the room.
"Perfect," Kurt said as Dave plopped down next to him and they set their drinks in the cup holders.
"Jeez, I hope those two don't have a heart attack halfway through the movie." He mumbled into Kurt's ear as he nodded towards the silver-haired women a few rows in front of them. Kurt only snorted and gave him an admonishing look.
"So," he started. Dave couldn't remember a time he and Kurt were so close to each other. Even in the hospital, they were a good distance apart, and now they sat next to each other with their knees almost touching. "Are you going to tell me what's—
"Shh!" Kurt shooed him with a smile and a wave of his hand. "It's starting." It was strange to Dave how when they were outside, Kurt said he didn't want to bother Dave with his problems. Now, as Kurt sat back in his chair, crossing his leg over his over so the tip of his shoe accidently brushed his calf, it didn't seem like he had a care in the world.
Kurt didn't tell Dave. He would have plenty of time to tell Dave about how his first real relationship with another person had already crumbled to the ground, but right now wasn't the time nor the place. He didn't want to be reminded of how quickly his friends had turned on him, and how he would still have to face them all, Blaine included, on the following day.
Kurt was able to contain his surprise, however, at the idea of Dave being concerned about him. It wasn't exactly that long ago when Dave said he was fairly certain that he loved him. Kurt was so quick to dismiss that fact. Maybe that was the difference between Dave and Blaine. It was easy for Kurt to believe that the love that Dave felt for him was only respect and admiration. It was obvious, though, that Blaine didn't respect him. If he did then they would probably still be together. Blaine would respect Kurt enough to give him a chance to explain that, yeah, maybe he did like the way that Chandler guy made him feel about himself, but only because Blaine was too busy soaking up the spotlight at Glee Club competitions and practices that Kurt was beginning to feel neglected and taken for granted. And as far as the admiration went, Blaine may have considered Kurt the "coolest guy" he knew, but exactly how swoon-worthy a sentiment was that?
Kurt wanted someone whose eyes caught fire whenever they looked at him, someone who not only wanted to see him succeed, but knew that he could. At the same time, he wanted someone who, as much as they felt the desire to rip his clothes off (like Blaine apparently had, but who had the time and patience for that when there was a thing called masturbation), would want to relish in the time it took to expose him from all of his layers, both physical and emotional, like a carefully wrapped package; so intent on not destroying the beautiful outer wrapping, but still worth the wait for the contents inside.
Kurt knew that there would come a day when he found this person, and that man, too, would be worth the wait.
The movie was scary, to say the least; at least by Kurt's standards. He couldn't say he particularly enjoyed the random things, including the Woman in Black herself, that would pop out at him. The eery music and minimal dialogue only added to the suspense. They probably weren't thirty minutes into the movie when he found himself clinging to Dave's arm and pressing his forehead against Dave shoulder whenever he anticipated a scary part.
"You alright?" Kurt heard Dave ask in a snicker as the old-fashioned toys on the screen began to dance and make noise on their own, frightening, accord. Kurt merely nodded his head into the soft, warm fabric of Dave's sweater. "Betty White and Bea Arthur already skipped out on us." Kurt turned his head and saw that the two older woman had already had enough and left, leaving the theater all to themselves. "We can leave if you want." Kurt turned his head to look up at Dave, who was looking down at him with mild concern, mingling with a touch of amusement. And that's when Kurt felt something within him shift.
Quite suddenly, as Dave looked at Kurt the same way as when he was sitting opposite him in that booth at Breadstix, he thought of the short conversation that they had.
'There you were… So proud.' That sparkle, like a flame, that danced in his warm, hazel eyes. 'For the first time in my life I'm trying to be honest about what I feel.' The barely-there feel of the tips of Dave's fingers grazing the back of his hand. He recalled when he told Blaine, 'The touch of the finger tips is as sexy as it gets.' 'You've helped me so much, Kurt, you don't even know...' Dave... He tried so hard to make Kurt see... Sacrificed so much.
'But I'm with Blaine.'
Kurt let a shuddering breath ghost past his lips. Kurt knew of how he felt about Dave; how he felt about Blaine. Kurt would have to be delusional to think that his first relationship and not to mention a high school relationship with someone could last forever. Especially when Kurt knew that in just a few months he would have been leaving Blaine behind as he went off to college. But even at that time, had the circumstances been different, had he not been with Blaine, he would have given Dave that chance. He would have given anyone who would go through so much trouble to deliver so many lovely messages and gifts for Valentine's Day a chance, not to disregard the feelings that Dave had for him, but… This was different. This was Dave, and he tried so hard to make Kurt understand how much he respected, admired, and loved him. Could any loving relationship ship really survive without the first two?
"Kurt?" Kurt blinked as he stared back at Dave, unaware of the macabre spirits of the Woman in Black and the mud covered Nathaniel character on the screen. Kurt looked down to find his hand tucked into the crook of Dave's elbow and not knowing how it got there. "I asked if you wanted to leave."
Kurt stared at Dave in awe before shaking his head slowly. "No," Kurt said softly, as he disentangled himself from Dave. There was something that he wanted to do, though. "But, um… I'll be right back, okay." As he got up, he let his fingertips brush against Dave's knee as he made his way down the aisle and down steps, leaving Dave in confusion.
Dave wasn't sure what had happened, but he knew it was a terrible idea to have dragged Kurt along to see this movie. Everytime something jumped out at the two of them, he would flinch and burrow himself into Dave's side.
And then there was the fact that Kurt just left. Dave assumed that he went to the restroom, but it didn't help that Kurt was looking at him through the semi-darkness like he had grown an extra head. The thoughts that he could have done something wrong were negated by the fact that he could still feel the tingling from Kurt's hand - still warm from where it was previously tucked into his arm - which had touched his leg.
It wasn't long before Kurt came back, his figure illuminated ethereally by the light of the large screen, and he had something in his hand too.
Dave watched as Kurt made his way back to his seat, his head down almost as if he was embarrassed, and he handed Dave the crinkly package that was in his hand. Dave smoothed down the plastic material so he could read what it said on the packaging.
"Butterscotch," Kurt said simply as he took the package from him and tore it open. "They're certainly not See's but… They're your favorite, right?"
Dave swallowed thickly as Kurt plucked out one of the singularly wrapped disks out of the bag an handed the rest to Dave. Dave watched Kurt's hands work deftly at unwrapping the treat from its little hideaway. After Kurt popped the shiny, golden sweet into his mouth, he smiled before sinking back in his chair.
"Yeah," Dave swallowed thickly looking down at the bag in his hand as he felt Kurt's slip back into the home it made at the crook in his elbow. And that's when he realized what he said to Kurt at Breadstix on Valentine's Day was true. He did love Kurt, and it wasn't just his speeding heart that made him realize it, but the mere fact that how could he not? And more than ever, Dave hoped that Kurt loved him too, even if it was 'just as friends.'
When Kurt and Dave parted ways after the movie, the rain had stopped and the clouds parted, causing the light from the sun to reflect off the wet, black tar of the parking lot, making it look like molten glass.
Kurt told Dave he could have the leftover butterscotch candies, and as they said their goodbyes, Kurt was, once again, the one to initiate the hug. He told Dave that if Carole wasn't going to be getting off from her shift, than he would have wanted to still hang out with him. Dave's eyebrows rose slightly in surprise and it hurt Kurt to think that Dave didn't expect Kurt to want to spend any more time with him than what was necessary.
When Kurt got home, the house was just as empty as he left it, and he went upstairs to his bedroom where he plopped on his bed. If he was supposed to be pretending that he was sick, than he might as well make it look like he was.
Casually lifting a foot into the air from where he was lying on his back on his bed, he untied the laces to his shoes. After untying the first shoe, he kicked it off, and that is when he felt his phone buzzing in his pocket. Kurt pulled out his phone and looked at the screen.
Blaine was all it said.
Kurt sighed as he tossed the device down on the bed. The buzzing didn't stop until he removed his second boot, and as he sat up to put them in his closet, he saw that he received a text.
Where are you?
Kurt huffed. He knew Blaine had a free fifth period, and was probably wondering where he was. Kurt, not being able to comprehend the audacity Blaine had by pretending he was concerned about his whereabouts, deleted the text right away. Kurt looked up from his phone and his eyes landed on the little stuffed monkey sitting on his lowermost shelf on his wall.
Rolling the phone over a couple times in his hand, he finally tore his eyes away from the gift that he, at one time, believed to be from Blaine, and he smiled as he sent Dave a text, not caring if it was less than twenty minutes ago that he watched him drive away from the theater.
'Do you have any plans for this weekend?' was all he asked. While he could think of a million and one things he wanted to say to Dave, 'I think I love you too', Kurt decided, would be best communicated in person.