So when it got to the part where Mike and Puck had their happy ending and the A/V equipment had been packed away and their whole little glee family had gotten to celebrate; Mike and Puck eventually got to explain the process of how they got back together, which inevitably led to somebody asking why the hell Karofsky was there.
To which everyone involved had replied, "Because he's awesome" (though this was something Dave could only infer as he wasn't actually present for said explanation) and then the world had kept turning and everyone was good and happy and fine because the world's two biggest idiots had finally dug their heads out of their asses and confessed their undying love for each other. Or at least, as much as they could manage while still being the world's two biggest idiots.
It was something they reveled in, Dave was sure.
The problem then, after the happily ever after, was that now he got the looks. The, "What do they know that I don't?" looks.
Dave knew what those meant. It meant they were going to look closer, to see what defect he had that made him just a 'specialist unique shining star' like the rest of them. What was his deal that made him accepted, what was his thing that made him want in on the New Directions action, what made him stick his social neck out to hang with schlubs like them?
Obviously, it wasn't because he was a good person. Were he a good person, were he a secure person he would have said to hell with the world and worn his zombie makeup with pride. Dave would have danced in the musical without any (or minimal, lets be realistic) complaint. He wouldn't give a damn about what anyone else thought of him, he would have hung out with whoever he liked, whenever he liked, in whatever location he liked. That would be how good-person Dave Karofsky would have rolled.
But he wasn't.
He knew it, and they knew it, so there had to be something wrong. Something other than a sudden social one-eighty, an urge to hang out with good people because they were good people and not because-
Well, they knew it wasn't charity work, so it had to be something else.
Normally Dave wouldn't have given a damn, because no one listened to the glee kids. No one cared about their problems, no one paid attention to their drama. They were their own microcosm of miniscule proportions, only to be studied for entertainment purposes. If you needed a good pick-me-up just look at the glee kids and see? Wasn't your life so much more awesome? Obviously yes, look at how lucky you are. You are the luckiest son-of-gun that will ever come into existence, now stop complaining and live your dreams like the magical rainbow monkey you are.
That was...that wasn't all him. That was just stuff he'd heard, in the hallway. Bits and pieces.
Point was, even if the glee kids did pick up on something, the odds of anyone else caring about it were slim to none. It would just be a wild, overdramatic accusation. Like how Dave had threatened to kill Kurt last year and how some of them wanted to get married or whatever. Out of proportion. Nobody cared.
The only way they could screw Dave over was if they could provide undeniable evidence of whatever his unknown issue was.
But that was kind of the problem.
Because Dave just maybe, hypothetically had feelings for one Sam Evans. Which was just…unfortunate really, because it was Sam Evans and the guy wasn't…he wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, you could say. And that was the nicest way of saying it because Sam, dear God Sam was just so dumb, but somehow-
Apparently that was a thing for Dave, because he found it remarkably adorable every time Sam opened up his mouth to unload his newest most outlandish/inaccurate/confounding/just…dumb thing to have ever been said float into existence caused Dave to fight the urge to sweep him into a hug and never let his slightly-below-average brain go because it needed to be protected damn it. That childish innocence and stubbornness and the pouting, dear lord the pouting was giving him high blood pressure because teenage boys should not look like that, they shouldn't be allowed to be that cute it wasn't fair-
So Dave had this thing for Sam. And Sam, who apparently couldn't hold a grudge if there was a gun to his head, had very gleefully latched onto the idea that Dave was his new best friend. On top of Mike, because Mike went without saying. Because now when Mike was busy with the boyfriend and girlfriend situation, Sam would just call Dave up to do things. Or sometimes he just called Dave first and Dave, for the life of him, could not say no. He couldn't.
Because Sam knew his deepest-darkest secret and honest to God did not care. If it was possible to care less, if there could be negative caring, Sam Evans would have achieved it. Because for him hey, there was a missing piece, and without that missing piece Karofsky was just mean and bitter and a bully but then with that piece in place Sam got it (which was stupid because he was stupid and still had issues with tying his shoes for Christ's sake). He understood the why and didn't hold it against Dave, which just added to the ever-growing mystery of why the glee kids weren't more bitter and angrier than they should be, how they could still be so nice and accepting when the world had dished them out nothing but crap for no real obvious reason other than someone had to get the short end of the stick and they had been outvoted.
So Sam knew and Sam didn't care, and Sam knew and Sam didn't treat Dave any differently than he treated Mike or Finn or any of those other glee dorks. It was just - poof - Dave was one of them now, and if Dave was one of them then it was obviously okay to invite him over for video games or movie marathons or jogging or to test out his impressions or dance moves or whatever with him, because Dave had been okayed. Just like that.
It was honestly that simple.
It was that simplicity and that stupidity and Dave’s own dopiness and it didn't hurt that Sam was easy on the eyes and had a big heart and- well, Dave had spent way too much time thinking about it, but when it was all said and done and he had nothing to show for it but a stunning migraine and some unintelligible doodles that had been scribbled over and subsequently burned, Dave figured, to save himself the headache, that considering all the things that had happened it was reasonable for him to feel this way.
Give him a few days; give him a couple of weeks or maybe a month and the magic would go away. The honeymoon phase of their friendship would come to an end and he would just be regular ole' Sam Evans again. Stupid and a minor nuisance but a good and reliable friend, emphasis on the friend part, who Dave could spend time with until the year ended and he graduated and got on with his life with a football scholarship and new opportunities waiting ahead, finding a place where same sex relationships were a standard and hunker down there without fear of getting the shit kicked out of him.
The way he saw it, this was a pretty solid plan.
But then Sam had to ahead and be stupid Sam Evans, and Dave figured out he was utterly, utterly screwed.
This was not a phase. This was not a mild infatuation. This was not his brain's need to keep itself occupied by focusing on the every move of a single person.
This was him, David Karofsky, having feelings for Sam freakin’ Evans.
And this was Sam Evans being his usual air-headed self, and being impressively unaware of this fact.
Not that other people weren't.
Which was kind've the problem.
Santana figured it out first, though in Dave's defense, Santana had been on the up-and-up way before Dave had been comfortable with admitting any sort of attraction to the same sex out loud. It had been one careless glance towards Sam's posterior that had gotten him called out in the first place and that was before, you know, the feelings, so it wasn't like Dave ever had much of a shot for hiding it from someone who knew what to look for.
Though it was a relief that she turned out to be a real bro about it.
"He know about your rainbow flag?" were the first words out of her mouth, and no (okay yes, undeniably yes), Dave hadn't known she was behind him and let out a surprised gasp as he was waiting, very nonchalantly, for Sam to finish…whatever it was he finished on Tuesday s before they went to the library to study (because Dave wouldn't let Sam fail his classes, he needed to keep his eligibility if he wanted to compete in that glee club thing).
To her credit, Santana's raised eyebrow was only slightly mocking when Dave turned to face her, hands clutching his backpack tightly to avoid grasping at his chest where his heart beat like, a thousand miles a minute.
Jesus, she didn't need to sneak up on him. Or talk about that. Like, ever.
"Will you chill out?" Santana said, eyes rolling in a perfectly practiced motion before zeroing in on him again, serious. "The only people who know are the ones you've told and/or the one's who managed to fight through their own fog of self importance to notice you ogling sugar lip's ass. And considering how terrible most of their observational skills are that seems to be limited towards just myself and probably Kurt. And see, Kurt's going to do the nice thing and give you space and distance so you can sort things out for yourself and blah-blah-blah, let's get to the point." She shoved a finger at his chest, perfectly manicured nail tapping against his sternum. "Does. He. Know?"
Dave gave a jerked nod in reply, because talking right now, especially about that, he wasn’t so good at it and Santana kind've scared him, just a little, because she really hadn't been lying about the knives she had hidden in her hair, he had seen her take them out to cut apple slices for Brittney.
She studied him, eyes narrowed before shrugging and rolling her weight back on her heels. "Figured as much. That whole Mike/Puck intervention group seemed a little too chummy not to."
But just to clarify, even if she already knew (because she knew things okay? It was weird but it was what she did) Dave spoke. "But he doesn't know about the-"
"Ass ogling?" she supplied and he choked, checking over his shoulder for Sam and immediately flooding with relief when he saw the lack of blond in the distance.
Santana gave a sigh that could be described as impatient and rolled her eyes again, stepping forward into Dave's personal bubble to stare him down, despite actually being shorter than him. "Alright, so here's what's going to happen David the reformed. I'm going to go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt here. You see guy, you want guy, and we're all going to assume that you want the guy to be happy so you're not going to do anything that might have some kind of negative backlash with him, right?" She stepped closer, cocking her head to the side with a smile that promised retribution if needed, threats lurking behind her eyes. "Right. Your…pursuing is not going to hurt one hair on his emotionally inexperienced head. You will be a proper gentleman. You will take care that both his and your reputation stay intact, what little of those there is, and yes, yours comes second, let's just be clear on that."
"What are you-?" Dave began to ask because his face was heating up, eye twitching, though part of him was comforted in the fact that someone was standing up for Sam, and the young Latina cut him off.
"What I'm saying," she declared, emphasizing the word with a deceivingly jaunty tilt of her head. "Is that Sam Evans is like a baby bird. A particularly stupid, incompetent baby bird, but a tiny chickadee nonetheless. You will exercise the most delicate of care when handling him. You will be nice, you will not force, you will not intimidate and you will not trick my boy Sam into doing anything he feels just the slightest bit uncomfortable with, or I will rain down the kinds of hell that you would never wish upon your worst enemy, the kinds of hell that make you make the fire-burning, gut-starving, flesh-peeling kind of hells seem like an oasis of happiness and sunshine in comparison." Dave gulped and she glared up at him, drawing out the pause for dramatic effect. "What I'm saying is that you have my full permission to chase after my Sammy-boy, but if you hurt him-"
"Rain down hells. Yes, I got it." The words rushed out of Dave's mouth, he really did not want to hear the details again and Santana took a step back, pleased smile plastered on her face.
"Good, I'm glad we have an understanding," she said, and then her tone changed from pleasant-threatening to pleasant-snarky. "So if you ever need a wingman, I've got your back D."
And with that declaration she gave his shoulder a few comforting pats and sashayed off; just as Sam made his way around the corner, trying to shove books haphazardly into his backpack and walk at the same time, doing neither one all too successfully.
"Here," Dave sighed, almost surprised at how quickly he shook off the tension from Santana's speech to taking care of Sam, relaxing and becoming semi-leader again. "You know if you just focused on one thing at a time-"
"Yeah," Sam replied, running a hand through his hair bashfully, easy smile on his face. "But I didn't want to keep you waiting so-"
"Yeah, yeah." Dave answered, keeping his eyes focused on Sam's backpack because that shouldn't mean as much to him as it did. "Well, let's get going."
"Aye, aye Captain!" Sam cheered, clapping a hand against Dave's arm as he re-shouldered his backpack, mouth immediately going a mile a minute as they made their way towards the library.
Yeah, Dave was screwed.
But hell, at least he was happy.
Santana didn't tell the other gleeks about her warning, but her ultimatum had somehow become common knowledge to them anyway. And by this, Dave meant it had become common knowledge to the New Directions kids that mattered, like Mike and Tina and the intervention company, Finn excluded. Zizes, oddly enough, had already come by and thrown her support behind him (should Dave be weirded out that all of his wingmen were like, the scariest chicks he knew? That said something about him as a person, he just wasn't sure what), offering her services for whenever necessary. Quinn had deigned him with an approving nod, not bothering to do anything else (not that he would have needed it, but-).
Of course, this also meant that the more…enthusiastic members of that group were trying to do a little "helping" of their own.
Dave could have sworn he saw Kurt and Mike scrutinizing what had to be very elaborate plans splayed across the choir room floor, but whenever Dave had dared to get near and check them out Mike had fumbled to hide them while Kurt just plastered on a totally-innocent look that nobody was buying.
When Dave went to Puck and Blaine for the details (because somebody had to know) Blaine had simply shrugged, lips sealed from…whatever they were planning, and Tina had dragged Puck away before he could spill the beans because honestly, Puck didn't care. Or he sympathized with Dave. Or he was upset his new boy-toy was busy playing mastermind with Kurt. Either way Tina was guarding him like an overprotective jaguar, throwing around some serious looks of disapproval and remand whenever Dave drew near. He was…honestly surprised by the amount of expression such a tiny person could exude.
So he laid off Puck. And Tina. And avoided Kurt and Mike like the plague and accepted Blaine's supportive arm pats when no one was looking (which, he got it, that was something he was going to have to work on if he wanted anywhere near Sam) and Santana and Lauren's fist bumps and Brittany's stickers. No, he didn't know what they were for, but they were scratch-and-sniff and Sam liked them so Dave figured her contribution was probably the best out of everyone's.
The biggest problem Dave was having with the whole Sam-situation was trying to figure out if the guy would even be willing to go on a date with him. Dave feared if he just went out and asked Sam he would get shot down so fast that even that Israel kid would feel good about himself; so obviously the direct approach was out the window. Sam was easy going but he wasn't that easy going. He was a member of the God Squad for Christ's sake, the blond was dumb but surely some of those rules had been engrained in his head.
Which left Dave with the more difficult approach, aka, stealth wooing.
He figured if he spent enough time with Sam he could ever-so-slowly start flirting, beginning in very tiny, almost undetectable increments before gradually raising the bar, engaging Sam in full-on flirting before the blond even realized it.
Were it anyone else Dave would have deemed his plan entirely too stupid to put into consideration and given up on the idea then and there.
But it was Sam. And Sam took a hint as well as he picked up on social cues. As in, he didn't. So Dave was pretty sure he could get some mutual affection going down before Sam even realized it and then, as he would have ninja'd his was into Sam's graces, there wouldn't be any conceivable reason for Sam not to date Dave.
It was brilliant.
…okay, it was stupid, but it was all Dave had to work with so he would just have to manage.
The first step was to spend more time with Sam, without broadcasting it towards the rest of the school. This was mostly to avoid calling undue attention to Sam as opposed to Dave worrying about his reputation. With a combined status of football player/ junior prom king he could pretty much hang out with whoever he wanted and not be questioned for it. People would probably think he was pitying the blond or something, if anything. But that didn't mean they wouldn't notice, and if they noticed they might go after Sam and Dave didn't want that, there were already too many looks as it was. Azimio was buying Dave’s Good Samaritan spiel with tutoring Sam, but even he was starting to ask questions.
And besides that, with all the time they spent together already it was difficult trying to think of something new to help with the whole bonding process.
Dave made it a point not to go to Kurt and Mike on this one, he was a big boy, he would figure it out. Or, to be more precise, Sam would figure it out. In that he read one too many comic books and decided their "crime fighting abilities" should totally be applied to an old-fashioned detective agency. Solving crimes both in and out of the school, whoever asked, they would aid.
And that was how Dave knew this Sam-thing was definitely permanent. Because he couldn't shoot the blond down. He wanted to do it. He wanted to make an old-fashioned detective agency thing happen.
So Dave had about…what, two days to throw together a fake case while Sam distracted himself with making them fake detective badges and inventing cool back stories because if Sam didn't get a case Dave had a feeling he would go out and find one. Which was how Dave became the mastermind behind a live-reenactment of Clue, recruiting Kurt and Mike (begrudgingly) to stage "evidence" and coming up with a mystery that would adequately soothe Sam's need for adventure.
Dave wasn't surprised when it grew. He wasn't surprised that it got out of hand, or that there was a dance number, or that his "mum's the word" rule had been completely disregarded.
He was surprised that it worked.
So there was something.