This story is an attempt to write a plausible alternate Season Two immediately following 2.06, in which Dave Karofsky comes out and his whole world changes. It immediately follows Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself. If you haven't read that one, this chapter will probably not make a whole lot of sense.
"– not like you need help with that, right, son? Anyway, Phil's son can't make it to the next home game – something about touring colleges that weekend – and he wanted to know if we wanted the tickets instead. How's that sound?"
"How's what sound?" Dave asked his dad. "Sorry."
"The Buckeyes game," his dad said again. "Want to go with me?"
Dave didn't answer.
"What's going on with you?" his dad asked impatiently. "You've been out of it all evening. Something going on at school?"
"Did you and Azimio get in a fight?" his mom asked. "I'm sure it'll blow over."
"No – I mean, no, we didn't get in a fight." I don't think so, at least. He wasn't sure what to do about the fact that Azimio hadn't even looked at him since the Challenge Day assembly earlier today.
"Then what is it?" his dad pressed. "Spit it out, son. I want to know what's big enough to distract you from the possibility of attending a Buckeyes game."
"It's. Uh. There's really no good way to say this, I guess. But I think – no, I know I have to. Please don't be mad." Dave could feel his eyes stinging and shut them tightly so that tears wouldn't start leaking out. Damnit, what was with him and crying today?
His mom reached across the table to hold his hand, and he grabbed hold of it like a scared little kid. "Honey?"
"I'm gay," he blurted out.
Silence fell around the table instantly, as if his words had sucked all the oxygen out of the room. He kept his eyes shut, not wanting to see the expressions on his parents' faces. His mother tugged her hand out of his grip.
"No," she finally said weakly. "You're confused. You're not gay."
He opened his eyes to find his parents staring at him like he was a total stranger. "I'm so sorry," he said helplessly. "I'm really, really sorry."
"How could you think you were gay?" his mom asked. "You were on the hockey team. You're on the football team. You like sports. You aren't gay."
"Yes," he said softly. "I am."
His dad's stunned expression was quickly turning into a disgusted scowl.
"No," she snapped. "How would you even know? How could you even say it? Have you tried being attracted to girls?"
"I – yeah, with this one girl last year. Y'know, kissing and stuff. But it didn't. It didn't work for me." Dave clenched his fists nervously. "But guys – I like guys. The way other guys like girls."
"Who did this to you?" she asked desperately, wringing her hands.
Dave shook his head vehemently. "No one!"
She spoke over him like he hadn't said anything. "It was that boy at your school, wasn't it? That Hummel boy. What did he do to you?"
Kurt's words from three weeks ago popped into his head. "Oh, yeah, every straight guy's nightmare, that all us gays are secretly out to molest and convert you." Jesus. No wonder he'd said it so scathingly.
"Nothing!" he shouted, and she flinched. "He didn't do anything to me, Mom," he continued, more quietly. "I just – I just am, okay?"
His dad shoved himself away from the table. "No," he said furiously, looming over Dave. "It's not okay. It's wrong – it's inexcusable. It's sinful, perverted, and disgusting. I'm ashamed to look at you."
"Dad," Dave protested.
His dad's face reddened in anger, and he turned to Dave's mom. "I'm going out," he said in disgust. "And when I get back, he'd better be gone or ready to take it back."
He stormed out of the dining room. Seconds later, the front door slammed, and Dave slumped in his seat miserably.
"Will you take it back and apologize for worrying us?" his mom asked, the corners of her mouth drawn tight with anger.
"I'm sorry, Mom," he told her unhappily. "I can't."
"Very well." She stood up and began clearing the dishes as if nothing was wrong. "Then you'd better leave before your father returns."
He stood up as well, hovering awkwardly by the dining table. "I really am sorry," he said again.
"Sorry isn't good enough," she said sharply. "Now go. Get out."
He fled to his room to pack, unable to face her any longer.
Fuck courage, he thought savagely as he shoved a few changes of clothing into his gym bag. Fuck that fucking smug prep school prick and his courage. He can take that courage and shove it up his holier-than-thou prep school ass.
He stomped down the stairs and out to his truck, backpack over one shoulder and gym bag over the other. Where did they expect him to go? How could they just throw him out?
Because it's sick and wrong. He squashed that thought ruthlessly. He wasn't sick, and it wasn't wrong. He just…was who he was. He looked back up the driveway at the kitchen window, hoping against hope that his mother was looking back out at him, but all he saw were the always-open curtains falling shut.
"Fuck," he whispered, dropping his head against the steering wheel briefly. Where would he go? He didn't know anyone who would take him in; Azimio's parents were just as conservative as his own, and he wasn't well liked by a whole lot of other people.
Then it hit him. He could go to Kurt's place. He hadn't been there for a few years – not since they'd nailed his lawn furniture to the roof – but he was confident he could find it again.
Dave turned his key in the ignition and sped off down the street toward what he hoped would be a kind welcome and a place to lay his head for the night.
The lights were on at the Hummel residence when Dave pulled up in front. He parked carefully behind Kurt's fancy black Navigator and took a second to calm his racing heart. He could do this. What was the worst that could happen if they didn't let him stay? So he'd spend an uncomfortable night in the back of his truck. It could be worse.
A middle aged man with a few days' growth of stubble answered the door on his fourth knock. "Can I help you?" the man asked gruffly, eyeing Dave with suspicion.
"I – are you Kurt's dad?" Dave asked. "Is he here? I need to talk to him. Can I talk to him?"
The man's suspicious look deepened. "Yeah, I'm his dad. Stay put. I'll go see if he's free."
"No need," Kurt said as he appeared over his dad's shoulder. "Karofsky? What are you doing here?"
Maybe it was the lack of suspicion in Kurt's expression, or the lack of disgust, or maybe it was just seeing Kurt that did it, but the crushing weight that had been suffocating him since dinner suddenly vanished, and he felt like he could breathe again. "They kicked me out. My parents. I told them," he said disjointedly. "They told me to take it back or leave."
"And you left," Kurt concluded, and for a moment he looked as furious as Dave's dad had looked.
The realization hit him like an actual, physical blow: He's not mad at me, he's mad for me. It was so shocking he swayed in place, stunned.
"I didn't know where else to go," Dave told them. He tried to smile, but his lips were trembling too hard to manage it. "Can I stay with you tonight?"
"Yes!" Kurt exclaimed, reaching over his dad's shoulder to clasp Dave's arm comfortingly. "Yes, of course you can stay. Right, Dad?"
"Yeah," Mr. Hummel said, looking incredibly sad all of a sudden. He stepped out of the doorway and beckoned to Dave. "Come on in, kid. What did you say your name was again?"
Dave sagged with relief. "Dave – uh, Dave Karofsky." He hitched his thumb at his truck. "I have a bag – I'll be right back –"
"Give me the keys," Mr. Hummel said gruffly. "I'll get your stuff. You go on inside with Kurt and sit down. You look like you're about to fall over."
He felt like it, too, and handed his keys over to Mr. Hummel with a sense of relief. "Thank you," he told them, overwhelmed.
Mr. Hummel just shook his head, dismissing his thanks wordlessly as he strode past Dave down the driveway to the truck.
"Come on," Kurt said, his voice oddly kind and gentle. "It's going to be okay. You're safe here."
God, Dave wanted to kiss him for being so nice, but he wasn't about to make that mistake again – oh, he wished he could, but he knew better. So instead he just followed him inside quietly, dazed and numb from the events of the past hour.
Kurt led him past the living room and down a staircase to a bedroom furnished with monochromatic, stylish-looking furniture. It looked stark, clean and modern, like something out of one of his mom's interior design magazines. It wasn't at all what Dave would have expected for Kurt Hummel, but he was coming to the conclusion that where Kurt was concerned, almost every preconceived notion he had was going to be proved wrong.
"Sit," he ordered Dave, pointing at a long, low couch.
Dave sat obediently, closing his eyes and leaning back into the soft cushions. Kurt dropped down next to him with a deep sigh.
"I thought you might think I deserved this," Dave admitted reluctantly. "I wouldn't have blamed you if you did."
"No one deserves to be treated like that," Kurt replied. "No one. Not you, not me, not anyone."
"I know that," Dave said. "I do. It's just –" He broke off, horrified to find himself tearing up again. "Wh-why would they do that? I'm their s-son. I thought they loved me."
"They do," Kurt said emphatically. He slipped his hand into Dave's, and Dave gave it a grateful squeeze. "Prejudice is just ignorance. They do love you, but they need to have their eyes opened about their prejudices before things can get better." He sounded like he was quoting someone.
"'Prejudice is just ignorance,' huh? Where did you pick that up?"
"Blaine," Kurt said.
"That the prep school kid?"
"The very same."
Dave bit down on his jealousy hard. He had no grounds to be jealous. Kurt was being more than wonderful just by letting him stay the night. "Oh," he said instead.
There was a clomping sound coming down the stairs, and Dave opened his eyes to see Mr. Hummel at the base of the staircase with his gym bag and backpack in his hands. "I re-parked your car inside the garage," he told Dave, depositing the bags on the floor. He tossed the keys in a gentle arc toward the couch, and Dave caught them easily with his free hand.
"Thanks, Mr. Hummel," he said again, and again Mr. Hummel shrugged off his gratitude.
"Call me Burt," Mr. Hummel said instead. He looked at Dave sympathetically. "How are you feeling, kid?"
"Like crap," Dave said honestly, and this time it was Kurt who gave his hand a squeeze. "Angry. Sad. I don't know. Just…bad."
Burt nodded. "Given how you're feeling, I won't tell you to get your homework done – couldn't fault you for not being able to concentrate. Why don't you two watch a movie and turn in early? Kurt, I think Finn's Zombieland DVD is floating around someplace, if you'd like to watch that together."
"It's down here," Kurt said. He turned to Dave. "What do you think? Zombieland?"
"Sounds good." Sounds great. You're amazing. Thank you.
"I'll be upstairs if either of you need anything," Burt told them, turning to trudge up the stairs. "Door stays open, Kurt."
Kurt smiled. "No problem." He went to his desk to retrieve the DVD and his laptop. "We could go upstairs and watch it on the big screen, if you want to," he told Dave. "I have a feeling you'd rather stay down here, though."
"If that's okay with you," Dave said. "But yeah, you're right." He was tired and miserable, and the last thing he wanted to do was get up and move.
"It's fine, Karofsky," Kurt said, settling back down next to him. "It doesn't matter to me one way or the other."
"Dave," Dave corrected, and scooted a hair closer as the Zombieland main menu popped up.
"Please. Call me Dave."
"I think I can handle that."
The first several minutes of the movie passed in relative silence save for the sound of their laughter. "Kurt?" Dave interrupted when the movie hit a quiet spot. "Your dad…he doesn't seem to care. About you being gay, I mean."
Kurt laughed softly. "When I came out to him, he said that he'd known since I was three. He had quite a while to get used to the idea of having a gay son."
"He's really great," Dave told him seriously. "You're so lucky to have him as a parent."
"I know." Kurt turned sad eyes on Dave, and Dave shifted a tiny bit closer again. "I wish things had turned out better for you."
"Yeah," he said tiredly, "me too." He focused his weary eyes on Kurt's laptop screen again, done talking for the time being.
It wasn't long before the emotional roller coaster he'd been riding that day took its toll, and he felt himself start to slip in and out of sleep. The sudden silence roused him briefly.
"Wha?" He looked up blearily.
"It's okay," Kurt said quietly. "Lie down. I'm going to go turn the lights off."
Dave complied, stretching out sleepily on Kurt's fantastically comfortable couch, and a second later, the room was plunged into darkness. He listened to the soft rustling sounds of Kurt changing into his pajamas and climbing into his bed, and when they stopped, he spoke.
"You're really great, too."
There was a beat of silence, and then, "You're not half bad yourself."
Dave fell asleep smiling.
It's been mentioned by a reviewer that this scene - of Dave being thrown out immediately after telling his parents - doesn't seem like a believable scenario to them. I hate to be the person who yanks off the rose colored glasses, but that scene is based on something that happened to a close friend of my ex. This shit happens. It shouldn't, but it does.
Note to readers: any future stories I write will be posted to archiveofourown . org under the same username.