Only two days had gone by since receiving their final grades and Kurt and Dave were already standing in the bustling airport. Kurt was quite pleased to learn that he finished the semester off with three ‘A’s and two ‘B’s. One A more than last semester. It didn’t come as a surprise when Dave received straight A’s his third semester in a row. If anyone were to ask Kurt during his junior year of high school whether David Karofsky would be on the Dean’s list at New York University, Kurt would have laughed in their face. Had someone told that same Kurt that, in less than four years, David Karofsky would not only be his roommate but his best friend as well… Needless to say, Kurt probably wouldn’t be associating with such a person in the first place.
“Hey…” Kurt’s thoughts were interrupted by an inquisitive voice in front of him. Kurt weaved in and out of a few people, gripping his carry-on shoulder bag at the strap so it wouldn’t hit him or anyone else passing him as he caught up to the man.
“I don’t see what you’re so worried about,” Kurt said with a huff as he walked side by side with Dave, who was dragging Kurt’s rolling suitcase behind him. “You’re not the one with the flight to catch.”
Kurt slipped his arm into the crook of Dave’s elbow so his shorter strides wouldn’t cause him to fall behind with Dave’s much longer ones.
“Your dad doesn’t like me as it is… The least I can do is promise to get his son to the airport on time,” Dave explained. Kurt gave Dave a simpering smile as he clutched at his arm, looking up at him teasingly.
“You know that’s not true,” Kurt said coyly as Dave rolled his eyes, obviously not believing Kurt’s testament. Dave last saw Kurt’s family during Christmas break before the second semester of their sophomore year when he went home to visit his dad.
Burt Hummel was aware of the blooming friendship his son was developing with his ex-bully after Dave’s attempted suicide. Although Burt couldn’t say he would do the same had he been in Kurt’s position—despite the discovery Dave’s true sexuality—he could understand where his son was coming from when he said he wanted to help Dave through his difficult time. Kurt had both the stubbornness and kindness as his mother.
“Okay…” Kurt drawled, conceding as he looked at the floor scuffed from people’s dress shoes and luggage wheels. “Maybe it’s going to take him more than five months to get used to the idea of us living together, but he can’t deny the amount of money we already saved splitting rent between the two of us instead of having to pay an arm and a leg for each of our dorm rooms. Also, I think he likes the idea of you possibly getting him tickets to a Cincinnati Tigers game once you become a famous sports agent.”
“You mean… The Bengal’s, right?” Dave asked, raising an arched eyebrow. He looked down at Kurt with a confused, if not mildly amused, expression. He seemed to be using all of his strength to hold back the laugh threatening to spill from his lips. Death would be a better option than poking fun at one Kurt Hummel. In all likelihood, telling Kurt he was wrong would more than likely result in the former.
It was Kurt’s turn to roll his eyes.
“David, I’m talking about football, not female rock bands of the 80’s.”
When Kurt looked away, he missed the fond expression Dave gave him before he huffed out a laugh and shook his head as they came upon the luggage check-in point.
A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips as he replied, conceding defeat, “Whatever you say, Kurt.”
“That will be twenty-five dollars, Mr. Hummel.”
Up at the baggage check-in, Kurt began to rifle through his bag for his wallet in order to pay for his luggage. There was no need to pack heavy as he still kept many of his belongings in Ohio, despite the fact that he would never, legitimately, live anywhere other than New York ever again. So he was glad he wouldn’t have to pay more for any unnecessary luggage. He couldn’t, however, say that the circumstances would be the same when he came back.
“Let me just…” Kurt continued the search for his wallet as the blonde woman behind the counter waited patiently. By the time Kurt felt the square object at the bottom of his bag, Dave already pulled his own out of the back pocket of his jeans.
“Here, I got it,” Dave said as he flipped the leather flap open and pulled out two rumpled bills. He handed them over before Kurt was able to protest. The woman accepted them without any hesitation.
“David, what are you doing?” Kurt questioned him.
“It’s fine,” Dave shrugged as the woman busied herself with attaching the labels to Kurt’s suitcase.
“It was only twenty-five dollars, I could have paid for my own luggage,” he explained, slightly affronted.
“Exactly. It was only twenty-five dollars, so no big deal.” The woman handed Dave Kurt’s receipt, as Kurt was currently facing Dave with his arms crossed. Dave smiled at the woman and thanked her before walking away. Kurt followed behind him once more.
“If this has to do with me quitting my job at Zen Palate—“
“Kurt,” Dave stopped his walking and faced Kurt, taking both of Kurt’s upper arms in his hands. He smiled which only made Kurt feel more uneasy.
“You would have been crazy not to quit your job. You boss was a dick for not giving you vacation time after working there for so long. And you need to go see your family. You haven’t visited them since Thanksgiving.”
“But what about—“ Dave hushed Kurt with a shake of his head, already knowing what he was going to say.
“Don’t worry about rent. It’s not due for another month anyway, alright? You can look for a new one when you get back. Just go relax, have fun. You work harder than anyone I know, between classes, homework, work, rehearsals, and performances.” He rattled off. “You’re going to burn yourself out before you even start your junior year.” Kurt visibly relaxed as he took a breath. He was thankful for having such an understanding friend. As they started to walk again, Kurt slipped his arm around Dave’s waist.
“I still wish you could come back home with me,” Kurt said with a pout. “The plane ride is going to be boring without anyone to annoy with my extensive musical knowledge.”
“I’m sure you can find someone other than me to put to sleep by comparing the career of Liza Minnelli against Barbra Streisand.” Dave playfully wrapped an arm around Kurt’s shoulders despite already coming upon his gate.
“Shut up,” Kurt said as he swatted his arm. Dave laughed despite Kurt already sobering up as they separated.
“I’m going to miss you.” Kurt pressed his lips together resolutely as he looked away from Dave’s awfully cheerful face.
“Hey, it’s only for two weeks,” Dave reminded him in what Kurt supposed was a consoling voice. “I’m sure you’ll be glad to have some time away from me and my annoying habits… Never taking my shoes off when I first come into the apartment. Always forgetting to put the twisty tie on the loaf of bread.” He smirked, but the expression never quite reached his eyes. They stayed despondent and pleading as he kept them trained on Kurt.
Kurt couldn’t remember the last time they spent so much time apart. There wasn’t a time, he realized, that measured up to this since starting college. His only reaction towards this realization was to wrap his arms around Dave’s middle. He hid his face in his shoulder until he felt a pair of strong arms circle around him.
“And I better not come home to find our place looking like a frat party blew through there,” Kurt mumbled into the fabric of Dave’s shirt more than ten seconds into their embrace. “I know how you college boys are.”
“Nah… It’s the sorority parties you should worry about. You know how I am with the ladies,” Dave said dryly. Kurt withdrew himself from Dave’s arms, his eyes looking redder than they were just a moment ago, but he smiled at Dave’s untimely humor all the same.
“I’ll call you as soon as I land,” Kurt assured him with a squeeze of his hand.
“You’d better.” Dave inclined his head. He tucked the receipt from the luggage check-in into the pocket of Kurt’s bag. “Now go on before you miss your flight.” He directed his head in the direction of the terminal.
“’Kay,” Kurt sighed morosely, slipping his hand out of Dave’s in order to adjust his shoulder bag.
As Kurt turned around to walk to the gate, he didn’t take more than two steps before Dave added, “Tell everyone I said hi.”
“I will,” Kurt called out to him over his shoulder.
Dave watched Kurt as he made his way towards the gate with his head down as he rummaged for his plane ticket. He watched him as he handed the TSA agent his ticket and stepped through the metal detector. Even as Kurt became just a small blip in the seemingly endless airport terminal, Dave didn’t leave. Instead, he made his way to a chair pressed against the high glass windows looking out at the jumbo jets and commercial airplanes on the tarmac as he sat down sideways on the chair.
“Just two weeks,” Dave recited quietly as he leaned his head against the warm surface of the window. He stayed in that spot for another half-hour until he saw the one o’clock plane to Columbus take off into the clear blue sky.