Summary: Kurt has a nice talk with Karofsky. Kurtofsky friendship! Spoilers for 'Never Been Kissed.'
The halls were empty. They should be, it was long after three o'clock. And yet, here Kurt stood, staring mindlessly into his locker. He wasn't even sure what he was doing. His backpack was packed, Glee had ended a little while ago, all his friends had left. But here he was, just standing, alone…
And then he heard it.
A loud pounding sound – like someone pounding on a locker. Kurt shut his own locker, slowly making his way towards the sound. He tip-toed down the hall, the sound getting louder and louder until he found himself standing in front of the boy's locker room. He found his shaking hand lift up and push weakly against the swinging door.
What are you doing? His mind screamed, there's clearly a psychotic jock on a rampage in there! Why aren't you running? But still, he let himself push the door open.
What he saw stopped his heart cold.
There stood Dave Karofsky, his jersey askew, his hair sticking in all directions. His face was covered in sweat – or, no, were those tears? And even worse, his knuckles were covered in blood, the lockers before him dented and bent.
"Oh my God." Kurt breathed out.
It was barely audible, and yet it made Karofsky flinch like someone had taken a bat to his head. "Kurt!" He cried, jumping back, "What the fuck you are you doing here?"
Kurt stood frozen for a moment, just taking in this picture, before quietly saying, "You called me Kurt."
"What?" Karofsky demanded, "N-no I didn't."
"Yes, you just called me Kurt."
"No I didn't!" The teen yelled, taking a threatening step forward.
"Dave, calm down!" Kurt yelled, only realizing after the fact that he'd used the jock's first name.
Karofsky noticed too. "Y—you called me Dave."
"That's your name, isn't it?" Kurt asked haughtily, unable to stop the knee-jerk response.
Dave's eyes darkened. "Fuck you, Hummel."
This time Kurt bit back the snarky reply of 'I clearly already know you want to.' Instead, he took a step forward, a somber look on his face. "Dave."
"Don't." Karofsky snarled. "Don't fucking call me that."
"What am I supposed to call you then?"
The jock threw his arms in the air, clearly lost – in more ways than one. He looked a lot like he did right after Kurt pushed him away. Right after their kiss. "I don't know!" He screamed, "Why not, 'Neanderthal' or 'ignoramus' or whatever you normally call me! Call me what you used to call me before we kissed!" He screamed the words at the top of his lungs, his whole body shaking. And as soon as he registered what he'd said he immediately froze, eyes wide, horror evident.
That was clearly the first time he'd admitted to what he'd done out loud.
"What did I just say?" Karofsky cried, though this time there was less malice, and more desperation. That look in his eye wasn't rage, it was frustration, panic.
Kurt sighed heavily, cautiously taking another step forward. "Karofsky." He amended, "I know…I know you wish it never happened. I know you want to forget and you want for everything to go back to normal. But you know…you know it can't, don't you?"
"Why not?" He took two long strides and got right in Kurt's face, "Why not, huh? Are you gonna go tell the whole school that I kissed a f—a fa-" Karofsky's eyes widened slightly as he realized he was now unable to say the word he previously could throw around so easily.
Kurt took a step back, eyes sympathetic and ever-so-slightly disapproving. "Last time our faces were that close it didn't end well." He joked, trying to lighten the mood. But it clearly was the wrong thing to say as Karofsky's eyes widened and he all but threw himself backwards. His calves hit the benches and he crashed back into the lockers, crashing to the floor.
Kurt jumped forward, hand outstretched, "Holy shit, Dave, are you ok-?"
"Get away from me!" He cried, slapping Kurt's hands away. He shrank into himself, tears now flowing down his face. "Just stay the hell away from me." He begged in the form of a sob. He let himself fall onto his side and curled his hands into fists, but for once didn't punch anything with them. His body shook with sobs.
Kurt's eyes widened, his mind unable to compute this image in front of him. Dave Karofsky always looked like a giant ape, like an angry wrestler, like a bully. A bully Kurt and grown to know and even fear a bit. But now this…this was not the Dave Karofsky Kurt knew. This sobbing mess wasn't the bully who used to push him into lockers and slam him into walls and throw him into dumpsters. No this…this was just a scared little boy. A scared little boy who didn't know what to do.
And as the image sunk in, Kurt found all the hate, all the resentment, all the horrible, cruel memories. He felt it all melting away. He felt himself actually feeling bad for Karofsky. He forced his limps to respond again and cautiously walked forward. He sank down onto one of the benches that the jock had just tripped over, sitting in front of the sobbing jock.
"Karofsky…Dave. It isn't that bad."
"Yes it is." Karofsky whispered into his hands as he wiped off his face. He was trying to force himself to calm down, but his breath kept hitching like a child who had been crying too hard.
"Look, I'm not going to tell anyone, ok? I…I wouldn't do that to you. To anyone. You may have ruined my first kiss, but I won't ruin your life." Like you've tried to ruin mine.
The bully sat up, leaning hard against the beaten lockers, finally looking Kurt in the eye. "You…you're not going to tell?"
Kurt shrugged, "Why would I?"
"Besides that if this were switched you know I would?" He actually seemed ashamed to admit that, despite how obviously true it was. He looked down, "You told your friend." He said quietly.
"Blaine? Only because I thought he could help…he helped me."
Karofsky blinked, "How?"
"Pep talks, telling me I don't have to be the victim…sending me encouraging texts." He smiled a little at the thought.
There was a long, kind of awkward pause. Then finally Karofsky spoke again, "I was your first kiss?"
"Well…besides Brittany. But I don't really count that one."
To Kurt's shock, Karofsky actually let out a single laugh. "Yea. I don't think anyone really counts her."
There was another long pause before Karofsky spoke again, "Did I really ruin it?" That time the question was quiet, meek.
"Well, Dave, you haven't exactly been my best friend or biggest crush."
"And I'm not your type."
Kurt bit his lip, feeling kind of bad about the comment. "Honestly? Not really."
"You like Blaine."
Kurt smiled a little, "Yea. I do."
Karofsky stared at Kurt for a long moment before looking down at his lap, where his hands sat shaking. "You don't know how lucky you are, Kurt." He whispered, voice quivering.
Kurt's eyes widened. "What?"
"You can be who you are. You're you, with no apologies. And yea, we give you shit, but…you can still be you….I wish I were you." Kurt almost missed that last sentence.
"I—" Kurt was speechless. He had never thought anyone would refer to him as lucky. Nor had he ever thought anyone would envy his life, would want his live.
And he sure as shit never thought it would be Dave Karofsky.
Karofsky smirked, "Kurt Hummel's speechless. Seems I'm the only one who can do that." He dragged his knees up to his chest and ran his hands over his face.
"I…I just…I just never thought anyone would be jealous of me. Especially…" Especially you. "Especially in this town."
Karofsky shrugged, "I just…ever since I started here…I mean. It was in the fucking shower that I realized it. How fucking gay is that?"
Kurt snorted, "Is that a trick question?"
Karofsky glared at Kurt, before his look softened. "I just…I can't be gay, Kurt. I can't." Both decided not to comment on how he'd used Kurt's first name again. "That's…that's what makes this so bad."
"Sure you can, because clearly you are."
"Don't give me that shit, Hummel. I mean it. If…if word got out…"
"You'd be the school's newest punching bag."
"Not even just that." Karofsky said quietly, letting his head fall against the lockers. He stared up at the ceiling, trying to fight off the tears.
Kurt bit his lip, "Your parents?"
"My dad." He nodded, "He…well, let's just put it this way: who do you think taught me the word 'fag'?" Kurt winced, knowing that fear all too well.
"Maybe it won't be so bad. I mean, I was scared of telling my dad and he-"
"My father is nothing like your dad, Kurt." Karofsky cut him off, a little harshly. "I've met your dad. He fixed my car up. He's a good man. My father? He's…he's hit me for lesser things." He shook his head, "Being gay? It's about the biggest offence I could ever do. If he found out I've even dreamt about guys, let alone kissing one? He'd…he'd kill me." There was no uncertainty, no joking tone. He was serious.
He was dead serious.
"Oh my God. I—" Kurt had no idea what to say. He could never imagine truly fearing for his life, and certainly not at the hands of his dad.
"Yea. S'why I'm kinda fucking screwed."
Kurt scrubbed his hands against his knees, "Well, I promise I won't tell. You don't have to worry about this getting out."
"What about your friend?"
"He won't tell. He wouldn't do that." Karofsky bit his lip, clearly not reassured. "I promise you, Dave. This isn't going to get out."
Karofsky actually did look relieved then. "Thank you." He whispered.
"And…ya' know…if you ever need to talk to anyone…you can call me, or text me. I know what it's like to feel alone and…and lost."
The jock looked shocked, truly stunned by the smaller boy's words. "You…you would do that for me? After…after everything?"
Kurt shrugged, "I can't help but help someone who looks as pathetic as you." The teen smiled slightly, and to his own relief, Karofsky actually gave a weak smile back. The bigger teen forced himself up, wincing as he did so as his bloody knuckles cracked. "You should probably clean those up."
Karofsky wordlessly nodded, walking towards the sinks. He scrubbed at them, his back to Kurt. The out teen stood for a moment, unsure of what to say. "You know…Dave. I know…I know you can't suddenly be my friend. I know you need to 'keep up appearances' or whatever. I get that. But do you think you could ease up a bit? Ya' know, keep the violence in check?"
Karofsky stopped scrubbing at his knuckles, he leaned hard into the sink before slowly turning around. "Yea…yea, I can do that." Kurt nodded and started towards the door. "Kurt?" The teen turned back, "Thank you…for everything."
Kurt smiled, "No problem, Neanderthal."
At his words, a smile filled the closeted jock's face, a smile that lit up the dingy locker room and warmed Kurt's heart. And even though he knew that to everyone else nothing had changed, really everything had changed…and that was enough for Kurt.
With a smile of his own he walked from the locker room, feeling much better than when he had walked in.
So, that's my story! I hope you liked it :)
Thanks for reading!