The day before Christmas, Dave sat twitching on his aunt and uncle's sofa, his hands in his lap and holding a box. He had shaved and made sure he looked presentable; he even added a touch of his aunt's make up under his eyes just to take away the impression that he hadn't been sleeping out of nervousness. His uncle had taken him shopping and had gotten him a new button-up. It was dark grey and black striped, and Dave had buttoned it all the way up except for the last button, and even had the cuffs done up. His aunt had done that when he started to roll up his sleeves; she had scolded him, actually, and Dave had to admit he didn't mind having her care so much after all, because he knew he looked good in his black slacks and shiny black shoes.
At least, three hours ago, he thought he looked good. Now, as he was waiting on their couch, he thought he looked horrendous.
"Davy, can you chill out? You're giving me the jitters," Uncle Tony said, rubbing his shoulders and shivering dramatically. For the sake of his loving family, Dave tried his best to calm down.
But it was difficult, since Kurt was coming over.
His aunt had suggested it, actually. They have three celebrations of Christmas—there's the small family-oriented affair on Christmas, the Christmas Eve party with a few guests, and the official household holiday party where they invite people from the Magic Snap factory and neighbors and the like. Last night, the holiday party had been a success. Dave had been introduced to Chuck, Tony's vice president, and had been offered a job on the floor, which he had gladly accepted. He knew a few things for certain about himself, and one of them was that he had no trouble lifting 60 pound boxes. He'd met other people there who inquired what he intended to do after he graduated. He hadn't been thinking too much about that, but was glad that the subject wasn't pushed. He told everyone he'd like to be a coach and maybe a teacher—maybe even a French teacher. This surprised people, but in a pleasant way, and the night went down without a hitch.
The Christmas Eve party was tonight, and since Dave hadn't invited Kurt to last night's affair out of fear that he'd say no, she told him he should consider doing so for this evening.
Even though it was such short notice, Kurt said that he'd like to see him, and that since he was celebrating Christmas Day with his father and Mercedes's family, he was free on Christmas Eve, and no, it wasn't any trouble, no, Dave, I want to come, I'll be there, see you then.
Though Kurt had been reassuring of the fact, Dave still worried. He looked down at the box he was holding. He had wrapped it himself and was pleased that it looked like a department store number and not like a massive ball of crinkled paper and tape like he expected it would be. He turned it over in his hands, knowing Kurt should love it but still uncertain of himself.
He was sweating and twitching again.
"Davy Jones! Control yourself, really, what are you on, man? Or, whatever you kids say…"
"Davy, it's going to be fine, he'll love it, I'm sure. Besides, you put a lot of thought into it, and that counts for something," his aunt reassured him.
"But you can't wear thoughts-that-count, that doesn't make them stylish…"
"Trust me, Davy, he'll like it."
Dave did his best to settle, and as he watched Glory and Jason run around, he started to, until he heard the doorbell and let out a little squeak that should have been super manly but sounded like a baby's hiccup. Dave was twitching yet again as he stood, adjusted his slacks, set the gift on the end table and went to answer the door.
What he saw when he opened it was Kurt in a deep red jacket with gold buttons over a dark green v-neck and dark grey pants that made Dave think of his grandfather's. He also had on the knee high black boots that Dave had seen him wear before, and though all these things together would be ridiculous on anyone else, Kurt made them work. Dave smiled broadly, all creases running from his face.
"Hey," Kurt said, dimples hemmed with pink from the cold.
"Hey, Kurt," Dave replied, but he didn't move; he was just looking at Kurt for a while.
"Davy, let him in!" came a sharp, small whisper from his aunt. Dave rattled and became alert once more as he stepped back and made a sweep with his hand, allowing Kurt passage. Kurt shook his head, a smile still on his face, as he came in and wiped his feet on the mat.
Dave did his best to appear to be a gentleman and took Kurt's coat, carefully hanging it up by the tag and not the neck, watching Kurt's face show relief, if just for a brief moment, and then hung up Kurt's bag on the next hook.
Cheryl had disappeared back into the living room somewhere, leaving Dave and Kurt to talk alone for a moment. Dave cleared his throat and rocked back on his feet.
"You look really nice, Kurt."
"You look pretty sharp yourself, David."
There was a comfortable exchange, and then Dave showed Kurt to the living room. He sat Kurt down on one side of the loveseat and then sat next to him. He saw then that Kurt had a small box in his hand. Kurt saw him looking. "It's a gift for you. Oh, and I brought cookies for the kids, they're in my bag."
"That wasn't necessary, hun! How charming are YOU!" Dave's aunt gushed.
"Aunt Cheryl!" Dave practically hissed. Uncle Tony appeared from the adjoining room and pulled his wife back in to help him set up for dinner.
Dave was blushing, but Kurt laughed. "Your aunt is a sweetheart."
Dave nodded. "She's one of the best things that ever happened to me."
Kurt beamed. "It's good to have that kind of relationship with someone. I'm glad you have her watching out for you."
They sat there looking at each other for a bit before Dave remembered his gift. "Oh!" He turned around and plucked the gift from the end table. "I got you a gift, too."
Kurt's face lit up. "You didn't have to do that," he said, bashfully, and Dave wanted to reach out and caress his cheek, but refrained.
"You didn't have to get me anything either, you know."
"Well, it's Christmas, and I thought of you. So here we are." Kurt reached out, his small box in hand, toward Dave, but Dave shook his head.
"Is it alright if I give you mine first?"
Kurt nodded, setting his small box on the table on his side.
As soon as the gift left Dave's hands, he felt himself start to panic again. What if he hated it? What if he already had it? Oh my God… but Kurt was giving him a cheeky grin as he carefully undid the ribbon and peeled back the paper. Inside was a nondescript white cardboard box. Dave saw Kurt suck in his breath as he lifted up the lid.
Kurt's face immediately lit up. "This is Gucci…" he said softly, reaching in to touch the signature web of the Gucci scarf. It had five stripes of color; grey, green, red, green, grey. It was simple, but it was made from wool and silk and felt amazing when Dave had touched it.
Kurt looked like he was going to cry. Dave panicked. "What's wrong? I'm sorry if you—"
"No, no," Kurt stopped him. "It's just, I love it, but it's so expensive—"
"No, I didn't mind, I wanted to get you something you like—"
"Dave, it's marvelous, it even matches my outfit…" they'd kept interrupting each other, back and forth. "Can I try it on now?" he asked softly.
"Of course," Dave assured him. As Kurt pulled it carefully from the box, a piece of paper fell out onto the loveseat between them. Kurt looped the scarf around his neck and picked up the paper. It was a note that Dave had composed just for this occasion. It read:
I'm so lucky to know you. You're the glue that holds my world together, the encyclopedia that helps it make sense. I don't know where I'd be without you helping me through this life. I hope someday I will be able to adequately relay that to you. I'm sorry for all I've done to hurt you, and I want you to know that there's no one I'd rather spend this day with than you. You mean so much to me.
Dave was remembering how his Uncle had helped him with the wording when he felt two slender arms around his neck and a warm head on his shoulder. He put his arms around Kurt and held him, inhaling his pepperminty scent. The hug lasted too short in Dave's opinion, but it was the most comforting and loving hug he'd ever gotten from someone outside his family, and his skin felt tingly with the contact.
Kurt leaned back, his face as radiant as ever, if not more so. But there was a look in his eyes that made Dave nervous all over again. "What is it?"
"I don't feel like my gift is good enough, now," Kurt said rather sheepishly. "I have major gift-giving anxieties."
Dave smiled warmly at the smaller boy. "You didn't have to get me anything."
"I know, but Gucci…"
Dave reached over and gently squeezed Kurt's hand. Kurt nodded to himself more than anything and handed Dave the small box.
Dave carefully peeled back the paper and gasped at what he saw.
It was a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey puck, and he recognized the scrawl of an autograph.
"Is… is that a Rick Nash autograph?"
Kurt gave a quick nod and was suddenly wrapped inside the warm arms of a very happy Dave. "He's my favorite Blue Jacket, Kurt!"
"I remember you saying that once when we were "studying for French"," Kurt said once Dave released him. "One of the guys at my dad's shop knows some people."
Dave hugged Kurt again, and Kurt hugged him back, both so full of glee that neither saw Dave's aunt and uncle peaking in and then giving each other a small high five before retreating once more.
They broke apart, but were sitting by each other, and their arms were touching as they admired their gifts.
Cheryl called them in for dinner a short time later. Uncle Tony had made room for another place at the table, and Dave and Kurt laughed and joked with the whole family as they ate the ham dinner. Kurt kept giving Dave these glances through his eyelashes, which was slowly driving Dave crazy with the desire to touch him again.
The meal was delicious, and Cheryl refused the help of both Dave and Kurt in regards to the clean up. As they were leaving, they heard her drag Tony back in to help her, followed by Tony's groan.
Everyone then went to what Tony liked to call the media room, which was basically another living room, but with a sound system and a 42" no-glare high-definition television. Four of the kids laid out pillows, blankets and stuffed animals on the floor, Uncle Tony and Aunt Cheryl took the couch with Glory nodding off between them, and Dave and Kurt got the loveseat again.
They all watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas with laughter and elevated spirits. During the feature, Kurt leaned over. "You'd be the Grinch if it weren't for me," he said quietly, with a sparkle in his eye.
"So does that make you Cindy Lou Who, then?"
Kurt giggled and poked Dave in the ribs and nestled back against Dave. Dave's arm, with a mind of its own, lifted up. Kurt slid back comfortably to Dave's side, and didn't protest when Dave gently set his arm around the singer. They stayed like that for the rest of the feature.
The movie ended, and Kurt said he had to go. After giving Cheryl the tin of cookies and a hug, and then getting a hug from Uncle Tony with much surprise, Dave offered to walk Kurt out. They walked slowly down the front walk to Kurt's car.
"I had a great time," Kurt said to Dave, bumping into his side with his shoulder.
"I'm glad," Dave said, bumping him back. "I had fun."
"Me too. Thanks again for the scarf," Kurt ventured, running his fingers along the material as he said so.
"Thanks for the puck, such a cool gift."
They reached Kurt's car, and Kurt turned and smiled at Dave. He reached out and hugged Dave again. Dave, a little taller, hugged back, pulling Kurt into him. They stayed there for a long time. Dave finally let him go, however reluctantly. Kurt stepped back and turned to get into his vehicle. "Have a merry Christmas, David Karofsky."
"You too, Kurt Hummel."
As Kurt drove off, Dave waved, and once the car was around the corner, he leapt up in the air and spun around in the falling darkness.
Had there ever been a time he'd been happier?