Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
A/N: We're back in business! Sorry for the wait! I created a schedule that will allow me to update this fic every other week in rotation with one of my other fics so you won't have to suffer another grueling ten month hiatus ever again. Any who... I hope you enjoy this chapter!
Ever the Same
It would be a normal day at William McKinley High School for Finn Hudson if it wasn't for the fact that every time he saw his almost-stepbrother, he seemed completely bummed out. It was usually after second period when he would pass Kurt in the hallway, usually walking arm-in-arm with Mercedes, talking about hairspray or who was voted out on the Bachelorette the night before. It was normal for Finn to send Kurt a wave or a head nod when he saw him, as he didn't have time to stop and chat as his History class was on the opposite side of the school; but today was different somehow.
When he saw Kurt, he was Mercedes-less and walking to his class with his arms wrapped protectively around his waist, as if he was trying to keep the rest of the world out. When Finn smiled at Kurt, Kurt would, in turn, give him the look that he often gave Rachel during Glee Club whenever she asked Mr. Schue about an idea she had for her own solo. Kurt just turned his head, pretending as if Finn wasn't somebody whom he shared a house with, ground his teeth, adjusted his shoulder bag, and continued on his way to his next period.
Finn would have to be an idiot to think that somebody other than himself was to blame for Kurt's sullen behavior. He remembered how happy Kurt was when he came home the night before from his date with Karofsky. Only, it wasn't until after Kurt stormed out of the living room, leaving the other three members of the Hudson-Hummel clan in a mess of confusion, fury, and kernals of popcorn, when Finn was able to connect his two trains of thought: One, being that Kurt and Karofsky went on a date (a date for crying out loud; as if he wasn't still trying to wrap his head around the fact that Karofsky was gay), and two, the fact that Karofsky was the reason why Kurt seemed so happy that week, considering the fact that only a few days prior he was clocked on the face and had a a bruise that no amount of makeup could cover up.
It was that night, as Finn was lying his head down on his pillow, when he realized he wanted to fix this… He needed to fix this. Maybe Kurt was right. Perhaps Karofsky really had changed his bullying ways. Finn would roll over in bed, hoping he could squash the little ball of guilt that was growing in the pit of his stomach, and bury his face in his pillow. He thought of all of the things that Kurt did for him the past year. Kurt helped him through all his girl problems during his sophomore year, even despite the moderately creepy crush he had on him. He got their parents together, even if it was in an even creepier attempt to get closer to him. But now Finn had a father figure in his life that took him to football games, and cheered him on at his own football games. Kurt was the reason that his mom was in a happy, loving relationship for the first time in years, and, as it turned out, Kurt turned out to be a pretty cool dude himself, as well as an even better brother.
Now, as he carried his lunch tray through the crowded school cafeteria, was when he realized if there was any favor that he could do for Kurt, this was it.
Finn was just about to join Kurt, Tina, Mike, and Mercedes, who were already sitting down at their usual lunch table, when he spotted him.
Dave Karofsky was sitting by himself, not too far away from their usual table.
"You plan on standing there the entire lunch period, or do you plan on sitting down? Because right now it feels like you're my mom when she's hovering behind me when I'm on the internet." Mike looked up at Finn as he reached their table. Finn stared at Dave, who was beginning to dig into his hamburger, with a frown.
"Ugh... I'll be right back," Finn said blankly. "Save my seat, though, would ya?"
"Finn…" Kurt growled in a low voice. It was apparent to him exactly whom Finn was looking at. Finn picked up his tray, which he briefly set down, and moved away from the table just as Kurt hissed, "Finn, what are you doing?"
"Just give me a second," Finn said complacently over his shoulder, just barely loud enough for Kurt to make out over the cacophony of noise that was the school cafeteria, as he navigated through the ocean of tables and chairs.
"Hey, man," Finn said casually. Dave looked up, obviously surprised by the fact that someone would want to talk to him since practically becoming the school pariah. His face stayed an emotionless mask as he picked up his napkin and wiped off the mixture of ketchup and mustard that dribbled onto the palm of his hand, and nodded his head at Finn in greeting.
"'Sup, Hudson?" Finn couldn't tell if Dave was thankful for the company, or dubious of Finn's presence altogether.
"Can I?" Finn motioned his tray of food towards the chair next to Dave, asking whether he could sit down.
"Be my guest," Dave said gruffly as he popped a fry into his mouth. Finn set his tray down in the table and sat down next to him.
"So, um..." Finn started, rubbing his hands together. Dave interrupted before he could continue.
"If you're here to play your protective, big brother card in regards to what my intentions are with Kurt, you're wasting your time." Dave explained with a roll of his eyes as he picked up his hamburger again. Finn, intrigued, forgot all about why he wanted to talk to Dave in the first place and prompted Dave to continue.
"What do you mean? If this is about me knowing that you're gay-"
"Dude," Dave narrowed his eyes dangerously at Finn. "Would you keep it down? Christ."
"Sorry. It's not like anybody can hear us in here, anyway," Finn countered defensively before he continued.
"I'm just saying, it's not like I'm going to tell anyone. I mean, sure you were a jerk who messed with the Glee Club and made everyone's lives miserable, but it's not like I'm exactly innocent."
"Then what are you doing here if you're not trying to interrogate me or else rub the fact that I'm a complete hypocrite in my face."
"I wanted to apologize..." When Dave gave him a disbelieving frown, he continued, "For ratting you out to Kurt's dad on the fact that you used to pick on Kurt. It's not like I did it on purpose. Kurt mentioned he went out with a Dave. You're the only Dave I could think of so I kind of... Freaked out I guess. I mean, not that there is anything wrong with that; you guys going out or hanging out or..." Finn shook his head, realizing he was losing track of his point. "It just came as a shock, especially considering how happy he looked before I screwed everything up, which I am sorry about, by the w-"
"What?" Dave's head snapped in Finn's direction. Finn took this opportunity to load his mouth with a palm full of french fries upon realizing that they were getting cold. "What did you say?"
"Wha'?" Finn asked, causing a piece of potato to fly out of his mouth. "'Ow I said I waz sowwy?"
"Gross, dude," Dave cringed as Finn attempted to talk with his mouth full. He waved his hand. "No, before that."
Finn swallowed his mouthful before replying, "What? About how Kurt seemed happy?"
Dave blinked. "You serious?"
Finn nodded as he struggled to open his juice box.
"Yeah, I mean... On a scale of Kurt-not-being-able-to-find-his-sewing-kit and Kurt-beating-out-Rachel-for-a-solo, I'd say he was at about a... Oh, I dunno? All-Day-Sound-of-Music-Marathon?"
"Okay, so what does that translate to on a scale of one to ten?" Dave asked, trying and failing to not get his hopes up.
"'Bout an eleven?"
Dave huffed out a relieved laugh as he hid his head in his hands in disbelief. Finn couldn't help smiling wryly to himself. It was obvious he had been wrong about Dave. The guy seemed to care about Kurt as well as his happiness. Dave's happiness, however, didn't seem to last long, as his grin quickly transformed into a frown, and he pushed his tray with his half eaten food away.
"What's up?" Finn asked, genuinely concerned. Dave shook his head darkly.
"It means a lot that you would want to help me and all, especially after everything I've done, but there really isn't any sense in trying to change Mr. Hummel's mind."
"What? Why?" Finn asked incredulously, thinking that he and Dave had made some progress in the five minutes they sat with each other.
"Kurt, he's..." Dave sighed heavily. "I may have said some things."
"Like... Alluding to the fact that he wouldn't be worth coming out of he closet for..." he mumbled the last few words guiltily under his breath.
"What the hell, Karofsky?" Finn practically shouted as he threw his hamburger down on the Styrofoam plate.
"I know. I'm a fucking idiot okay?" Dave motioned for Finn to calm down. "I didn't even say it it like that, but that's how he took it. He was upset about you spilling the beans, and I was freaking out over the idea of you knowing... About me. Of course he's fucking worth it, look at him." Dave turned his head, where he could see Kurt sitting thirty feet or so behind Finn.
"He's perfect. Not just physically, because that's fucking obvious..." Dave trailed off when he saw the look on Finn's face, clearly not wanting to hear all the reasons why Dave found his brother attractive. "But it just scares the crap out of me... How much I like him. A part of me would risk anything just to prove that to him. But at the same time, I'm so fucking scared about what people might say, or think."
Dave swallowed thickly as he turned back around in his, slumping back into the hard plastic.
"And then there's the fact that he has all of the power." He let out a heavy sigh. "I know how disillusioned I am to think he would even want to be with me. Hell, it just shows how freaking amazing he is for giving someone like me a chance, but... I don't know what I would do if I couldn't talk to him or see him everyday, y'know? Which sounds completely stupid, because we hardly know each other, but... I want to. I know I'm not that person who I tried so hard to pretend to be the last two years. I mean... Maybe that explains why I acted the way I did - because I was just so fucking scared of what it was I was feeling and for keeping it all bottled up."
"Dude..." Finn said in a soft voice. The corner of his mouth turned upwards in an encouraging smile. "It's pretty obvious how he wants to give you, and whatever this thing he has with you, a chance." Finn nudged him in the arm with his elbow. "You should have seen him last night when Burt told him he couldn't see you anymore. He was devastated. That doesn't sound to me like someone who was forced to spend time with someone he hates." He shrugged. "Just talk to him and let him know how you're feeling."
Dave seemed to think over Finn's advice before he began to nod his head slowly in agreement.
"Yeah. Yeah, I mean... I already told him I wanted to talk to him later. Mostly to apologize properly about being such a dick."
"Well, why don't you do it now? He's just sitting over there." Finn propositioned.
"No," Dave said quickly, "And before for you say anything, it's not because of all of the people. I know he doesn't want to see me right now and I don't want to ruin his lunch period. It's okay. I'll just talk to him later."
Finn nodded his head. "If that's what you want, um... Well, I was going to go back over there, even though it looks like Kurt is getting ready for his chance to throttle me." He spared a glance at the table where Kurt was sitting, eyes darting suspiciously back and forth between the two of them, with the others. "But I feel bad about leaving you by yourself."
Dave quickly waved him off. "Nah, it's cool. The bell is going to be ringing in just a few minutes. I'm going to grab some books out of my locker before the mad rush to class," he said, tossing his napkin down upon the tray.
"Alright. Well, I guess I'll see you later," Finn said none too awkwardly as he stood up, taking his tray. Just as he was about to move back to the other table, he paused and turned back to Dave.
"You know something, Karofsky? I know how you say you're worried about what people might think if they found out you, but... I dunno. Maybe when you do come out," he mouthed the words rather than say them out loud, "You'll see that a lot of people might surprise you. I mean... You pretended to be one of those assholes who hates anything remotely gay and you turned out all right." Dave scoffed as Finn punched his shoulder. "I was pretty awful to Kurt, and now he's the closest thing I have to a brother. And in case you were wondering, Kurt's dad? Well... I guess some parent's have to learn some lessons from their kids."
Dave studied Finn pensively. "You know, you can't just get all sappy on me like that, Hudson." Dave stood up, dumping his tray in the garbage closet to them. "Someone might think you're gay." Finn's gaped, his look of shock quickly subsiding into amusement as he shook his head, rolling his eyes as Dave walked away, heading towards the exit.
As soon as he made his way back to his usual seat, Finn was forced to face the rapid fire questions from the other Glee Club Members in regards to why he was talking to Dave Karofsky. Kurt, however, took no part in the interrogation, much to Finn's surprise, but it didn't take long to see why. Kurt's attention was focused on Dave as he slipped out of the school cafeteria.