Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.

"I'm very disappointed in you, David."

He slunk further in the passenger seat of his father's car, bracing his feet against the door. When he was a kid, all his dad had to do was to say "I'm disappointed," and it was enough to convince him to never do whatever it was again.

Now he was seventeen, and while it did nothing to motivate him, it still hurt.

His father kept his eyes on the road, his hands at ten-and-two on the steering wheel, calm and grave as usual. "You aren't the kind of boy that would get expelled," he said. "You've been a good student, you're on the football team and the hockey team, you've got a girlfriend."

He resisted the urge to wince. Yes, he had a girlfriend. And there was a reason why she went to a different school, two counties over, and they only saw each other three times a month, maybe, if he was lucky.

She was convenient.

"I think there's a lot of things you're not telling me, David," his father continued quietly. "Clearly, there was enough against you for the principal to expel you so quickly."

"She's not even a real principal," he mumbled under his breath.

"That may be," Paul said. "But she was given the authority to expel, and she expelled you." He took a deep breath, his hands tightening on the steering wheel. "We'll talk about this when your mother gets home."

He sat in silence as they drove into their neighborhood, and he stayed silent until his father had pulled the car into the garage. Still silent, he picked up his backpack and trudged up the stairs to his bedroom, shutting the door securely behind him.

He dumped his backpack, bulging with the books and binders and folders he didn't need anymore, onto his bedroom floor and collapsed onto his bed without bothering to kick his shoes off.

He really, really wanted to blame Hummel for this.

But for some reason, he couldn't.

He couldn't erase the mental of image of Hummel sitting across from him in the office, in that stupid sweater with that stupid airplane pin thing, looking and sounding completely calm.

It wasn't fair. How could Hummel stay so freaking calm?

It was probably because his dad was there. That had to be it. His dad was a freaking maniac. It was weird, though. He never imagined Hummel's dad to be so…so normal. He was like any other blue-collar, middle-class, Ohio guy. How'd he manage to get such a freaking fairy for a son?

He loved his kid, though. It kind of hurt to see how much Hummel's dad loved him. Especially since he had to know his kid was gay. His kid was gay to the millionth degree, and he still loved him enough to take off after a jock who was picking on him, try to forcibly beat him down, and then pulled all the necessary, complicated strings for that stupid meeting in the principal's office.

It wasn't fair. How could Hummel's dad still love him even though he was gayer than a unicorn sliding down a rainbow?

He tried to picture the same situation but backwards- that he was the gay kid getting bullied. Would his dad come in to defend him, to demand that his child's tormentor be removed from school? He couldn't picture it.

He rubbed his eyes. At least his secret was still safe. His parents didn't know. Yet.

As far as he could see, he had three options.

He could sit his parents down and tell them himself.

He could keep his secret for the rest of his life, and just marry some girl and father some kids and play it straight until he died.

Or he could wait until Hummel couldn't take it anymore, and blurted it out.

But Hummel was tough, tougher than he had figured. He said he hadn't told anyone, and he believed him. Mostly. But he had to have told that private school kid, the dark haired guy who had confronted him on the courtyard stairwell.

Idly he wondered if that was Kurt's type- lean, wiry, dark haired and dark eyed.

Maybe that guy would tell. He seemed pretty protective of Hummel, like his dad was. Maybe he would get concerned for Hummel's safety and tell someone about the…the incident in the locker room.

But who would he tell? He didn't know anyone at McKinley.

But there was still Finn Hudson. He'd heard the rumors in the McKinley gossip mill, about how Hudson's mom was marrying Hummel's dad. They were going to be brothers, and Hudson was bound to figure something out if he was living in the same house as Hummel. It would probably take a while, but still.

Anyone could tell that something was bothering Hummel. Hell, he could tell that he was torturing Kurt. The kid was always pale, always. He jumped at loud noises and ducked his head when he walked down the halls and he kept doing that thing where he pressed his lips together to keep them from shaking. And he was thinner, a lot thinner.

Sometimes he hated himself for doing that to him. But every time he saw him in the hallway his vision flashed red and his mind kept screaming he knows! He knows! and the next thing he realized he had grabbed Hummel by his thin shoulders and rammed him into the lockers.

He had to scare Hummel to keep him silent. Or, at least, he did. Now he didn't have to worry about it.

His chest felt curiously light. He didn't have to worry about it anymore. Even if his secret slipped out, he'd be long gone. He would be at a different school, where he could start over. A school that didn't have Hummel in it. And maybe, without Hummel, he could stop all this…this gay crap.

He was thirteen when he first started to realize it, the summer before eighth grade. It was a fourth of July party that his parents had thrown, and he was sitting in his old treehouse with the pretty neighbor girl who lived next door. She had leaned over and kissed him, her glossy lips smooth and slick on his, and surprised, he had kissed her back.

And he didn't feel anything.

She had blushed and sighed and giggled, coming back to his lips again and again, and he had submitted to it dully. For the rest of the summer she called herself his girlfriend, and he hadn't stopped her.

Not when it meant that going over to her house meant he could hang out with her older brother, a fifteen-year-old soccer player.

At first he thought it was sort of normal, that every kid his age felt that way. But he got back to school in the fall, and he got back to playing football, and his teammates decided to play a rousing game of smear-the-queer, chasing the skinny kicker all over the field until he gave up and they roughed him up, just enough for him to remember it but not enough to get into trouble.

He went home and asked his mother what a queer was, and she responded tersely by saying "it's a boy that likes other boys, and it's dirty, so stop thinking about those things, David, now tell me how football practice went today."

So that was it, then. He couldn't be gay.

He spent the next couple of years carefully honing his image, saying the right things and doing the right things. He even went through a couple of girlfriends, dating them long enough for people to remember and rounding just enough bases for them to whisper to their friends about it.

And then Hummel showed up.

He knew him, of course. Or at least knew of him. Lima was a small town; there were only so many schools. Hummel was just this shrimpy little kid, with big blue-green eyes and a penchant for blushing when he was shy or embarrassed, which, as it turned out, was pretty often. Plus he was kind of smart, and he did those artsy kinds of things, like singing and music and art and junk, so in other words he was perfect bait.

For a long time, throughout middle school and freshman year, he did his best to ignore Hummel. And for a while, it worked. Hummel was just another dork that he tossed in a dumpster or splashed with a slushie.

And then Hummel had to join the football team, and that ruined everything.

He had carefully trained himself not to notice when his teammates changed. And usually it didn't faze him. After all, he'd known most of them since they were in peewee league, so it wasn't a problem.

But Hummel joined the team, and the first time he turned around and caught sight of him changing he nearly pissed himself. Hummel was nothing like his teammates. He was small and slender and pale, and his hips were impossibly narrow in his spandex football pants. Hudson called something to him and Hummel straightened, tossing his tousled brown hair off his forehead, and smiled, a dimple popping in his cheek. A freaking dimple.

He had had to book it out of the locker room before anyone else noticed that he was getting a little too…excited.

After that, it was pure torture. Suddenly it seemed like everywhere he turned, Hummel was there, little and babyfaced and as innocent as the day was long. It was getting ridiculous.

He made it through sophomore year without flipping out, or anyone suspecting, and then he had the three glorious months of summer to clean his mind out. He found himself a new girlfriend, a sweet little thing with big blue eyes. She had never dated anyone before, and she adored him. It was nice, even if she wasn't what he wanted. He was slowly beginning to realize that he wanted…was Kurt Hummel.

He couldn't take it. He needed to work the gay out of his system, force himself to realize that he was straight, he liked girls, he was normal, and he didn't need a guy to make him happy.

So he slept with his girlfriend.

Sometimes he felt bad about her virginity, especially when he thought about how much she trusted him, and how she had whispered her I love yous in his ear, he couldn't answer her. They had had sex a couple times since then, usually in the back of his car or in his bedroom when his parents were gone, but it didn't…it didn't mean anything.

And then he got back to school, and there was Hummel.

He'd gone through some kind of growth spurt. He was taller than he had been the year before, and his shoulders were just slightly broader, and his face wasn't quite as babyish. But he was still…a lot more attractive than he should have been.

And then that damn glee club had to go and perform a damn Britney Spears song, and he had to sit there and watch Hummel wriggle his hips with that come-hither look in his eyes, and the only way he could cover was by pretending that the blonde cheerleader that hung around Santana was turning him on.

After that, he had no choice. He had to come after Hummel more often. It was an awful catch-22. Shoving Hummel into lockers and throwing him onto the ground meant that he was forcibly pushing his awful lust away…and it meant he could touch him at the same time.

He had never meant for it to go that far. Never. There had been some dreams he had, daydreams and normal dreams and…dream that he didn't want to think about, but oh, they were hot.

But Hummel had followed him into the locker room, his voice raised, his cheeks flushing angrily, his eyes turning dark green and sparking. He was angry, and it was amazing.

Then he just had to go and make him angry. It was bad enough that Hummel was starting to hit too close to home, digging at him in all those secret parts of his mind that he didn't want to think about it. It was worse when he made it personal.

"I don't hit on chubby boys who sweat too much and are gonna be bald by the time they're thirty."

That hurt. It hurt more than he cared to admit. Hummel didn't like him. Hummel wasn't attracted to him like he was attracted to him.

And Hummel was angry, and he was gorgeous, and…and…

He reached out and grabbed Kurt's curving his big hands against his soft cheeks and his slender neck, and yanked him close as he pressed his lips against Kurt's.

Kurt's lips were soft and smooth and warm, and he tasted mostly like peppermint gum. He opened his mouth, deepening the kiss against Kurt's lips. The smaller boy's arms were caught between their chests, his fists limp, and his warm skin smelled like soap.

He pulled back from Kurt, his heart beating fast. I kissed him, he thought wildly. My first kiss with a guy, and it was amazing.

Without thinking he leaned in for another kiss, and he was shocked when suddenly Kurt planted his hands against his shoulders and shoved him away. He blinked and stared at him.

Kurt stared up at him, deathly pale except for the flush of red high on his cheekbones. His eyes had gone glassy, like he was going to cry, and he held his shaking hand against his swollen, rosy lips.

With a sinking heart he realized that Kurt wasn't happy. Kurt was devastated. Kurt wasn't going to fall in love with him, he was going to hate him even more. So he had slammed his fists against the lockers and stormed away, leaving Hummel alone to cry or whatever.

It had been a month since then, and he kept swinging back and forth between two main thoughts- one, that he couldn't let Hummel talk about this. No way. He would rather die than let Hummel tell people.

And two…he couldn't stop thinking about kissing Kurt again.

It was insane. It haunted him, the memory of Kurt's soft lips against his. He wished fervently that he could try it again, maybe pull him into his arms and try it slower this time. He wondered what it would like to hold him.

And maybe this time Kurt would like him. Maybe Kurt would kiss him back, and run his fingers through his short hair, and maybe he'd even moan a little when he touched him.

His entire train of thought was derailed by his bedroom door slamming open. "Did you really get expelled?" his little brother demanded.

He sat up, chucking his pillow across the room. "Get out of my room, Jonathan," he snarled.

Jonathan ducked. "Dad told Mom, and she's pissed," the eleven-year-old informed him. "They want you to go downstairs and talk about it. Whadja do?"

Dave got up and shoved his brother out of his way. "Nothing," he said roughly. "Go to your room, brat."

He stomped down the stairs, dreading what he was going to have to deal with it. His father sat at the kitchen table, the contents of his briefcase spread out in front of him, and he was typing on his laptop. Paul glanced up. "We'd like to talk this over, son," he said.

Dave glanced helplessly at his mother. Laura Karofsky was slamming doors while she put groceries away; his thirteen-year-old sister Sophia looked at him and shrugged while she handed the groceries over. "Your father told me what happened," his mother said. "I'm sorry I wasn't there, but you know things are." She slammed the refrigerator shut. "Go to your room, Sophia, we want to talk to your brother."

Dave leaned against the kitchen counter. "What are we going to talk about?" he asked dully.

"David, this is ridiculous," his mother said. "They had no right to expel you. No one had any proof that you've done anything wrong, just this one kid's word."

"Laura, I spoke to Kurt Hummel and his father," Paul said. "I don't think he was lying. He seemed like a very intelligent, well-spoken boy." He glanced towards his son, and Dave looked away. "I think it's our David that needs to come clean with us."

Laura rounded on him. "Well, David?" she said. "What's been going on?"

He shifted his weight awkwardly. "I pick on him sometimes," he said. "You know…bump him into lockers and stuff. Everyone on the football team does it."

"This boy said you threatened to kill him if he told anyone about how you were picking on him," Paul interrupted. "I see several problems with that, David. First of all, how badly were you teasing him that he was too scared to tell people about, and second of all, why on earth would you threaten to kill him?"

"I didn't," he lied. "I never said anything about killing him. He just…he's just the gay kid and everybody picks on him."

Laura sighed. "I heard there was a homosexual boy at your school," she said. "And that's the boy who accused you?"

"Yeah," Dave said, his heart thumping in his ribcage.

"See, Paul, this Kurt boy, his opinion is obviously colored by his sexuality," she said, turning to her husband. "He's probably just sensitive, and he took a little playful teasing too hard."

"I don't think this was playful teasing," Paul said sharply. "You've seen as well as I have that David's been different since school got back. And this past month, David, it's like you've been a stranger to us."

Laura shook her head. "His brother went through the same thing when he was David's age," she argued. "And Seth turned out just fine. He was just in a fight with his girlfriend. Is that what it is, David? A fight with your girlfriend?"

"Yeah," he lied. "Yeah, we've just been fighting lately."

His father gave him a sharp, piercing look, but his mother just shook her head. "I'm going to appeal the school board," she announced. "We'll get this overturned, and you'll be back at McKinley in time to play in the game against Scott High."

His father didn't look convinced, but he slunk away before they could start arguing over it. Maybe he could go back to McKinley. Maybe it would all work out.

But he was going to have to look at Kurt Hummel, and after this, he didn't know how he was going to face him.

Author's Note:

Blaurghity blaurghity blaurgh. I'm not happy with how this turned out, but eh, what can you do?

This started out as something with, you know, a plot, and then it turned into a stream of consciousness sort of thing. Which is interesting. It was so weird trying to get into Karofsky's head. So weird.

I love that they introduced Dave's father as a well-dressed, well-spoken, upper-middle-class sort of gentleman. And that he actually listened to what Kurt and Burt had to say, and took it seriously. And that's why I think Paul Karofsky didn't appeal the school board, and that his wife did. I'm seriously looking forward to what the last half of season 2 has in store...personally, I have a suspicion that there is going to be a MEGA SHITSTORM (sorry for swearing), Finn will rise to the big-brother occasion, and somehow Kurt will return to McKinley.

But that's just me.

Anyways...new episode tonight! Woohoo! I'm all set to write more!