River and Fox.
"It's...not bad," Dave admits, sounding it out in his head. By the looks of it, Blaine's picture had already circulated around the internet like wildfire, earning him the name of 'Fox' at lightning speed. Their comment box was jammed with catcalls and sexual favors, to which Blaine had sat down and wrote an unique reply back to every one stating that he was flattered, but would have to decline.
"You are so fucking weird," Dave says, scrolling down on his laptop as he sees all of Blaine's personalized little messages. "And stop looking so proud of yourself, dude, you're not the one that thought it up."
"Indirectly, Dave, indirectly," Blaine shoots back, flicking past the comments on his phone as well. "Hey, look, this one called you a stud muffin," he points out, tapping the reply button, "thanks, sexy, I'll try to stay hot and buttery just for you," he dictates as he types, pressing submit before Dave has a chance to swipe at the Droid. He gets up and starts walking away, to which Dave follows, his face getting redder and redder.
"Ohhhmuhhhggggguudddd," Blaine sounds out, clearly enjoying himself, "I already came with that Spank Rock remix, I'm never leaving my bunk after this."
Blaine suddenly whirls around, and Dave actually backs up, nervously glancing at Blaine's maniacal grin. He shoves his phone right into Dave's face, shaking it so the screen tilted from vertical to horizontal at an alarming rate. "Face it, Dave, this is exactly what we needed."
For all of next week, neither of them mix anything, as Blaine designs the website from scratch, crawling through web design forums and getting into heated discussions on skype over coding with tech geeks from Purdue and Michigan State. Dave was initially given the job of replying to all the comments they've been getting lately, but after Blaine noticed that Dave's just punching out one word replies, even to the spam bots, he's regulated to "sitting over there and thinking about what you've done." So he sort of lays around, pretending to get his Catcher in the Rye read, but his mind is whirling with Van She and PNAU and Digitalism and wondering if he can just throw Blaine out of his second story window and how much he's cool with doing 20 to life.
And as promised, Blaine did take down the pictures, only to put up 10 more of just himself, in various outfits and angles of his face. Dave doesn't say anything, eyes flickering up over the screen, landing on Blaine taking a nap on his couch- dammit why didn't he justgo home for these things- and quietly saves a photo or two into a folder of a folder of a zip file labeled "stuff".
Blaine's Warbler responsibilities are catching up to him, and with Regionals coming up, it means Dave's actuallly getting some time alone for once. He's over at Azimio's place, shooting baskets, something brought on by sheer boredom and nostalgia for eighth grade.
"I never see you anymore, dude."
"Yeah, sorry about that." Dave's been saying that a lot. To his parents, his sister, a bunch of his jock friends, and even his physics lab partner. He's surprised it's taken Az this long to say anything about it. He feels pretty shitty about it, but he can't even kid himself anymore, trying to tell himself that Blaine isn't worth it.
Az steals the ball from him, and attempts a throw at a half court distance that goes over the backboard, "It's like you're fucking invisible, I can't find you at school, your phone is always off, and you don't reply to anyone's texts."
Dave jogs over into the bushes to retrieve the ball, and tries for a corner shot. He misses. "I...got caught up. In stuff."
"Did you join the CIA?"
"Why would the CIA want some kid in the middle of fucking nowhere for?"
Az raises his hands, palms open. Dave chest passes to him. "Just saying, the only person more secretive about what the fuck they're up to is Kim Jong Il."
"You're seriously comparing me to a dictator."
Az just shrugs, "I just hope that with all the free time on your hands, you're creating a isolated, totalitarian country and ruling over it with everyone calling you 'Our Great Leader'."
"Thanks for that vote of confidence."
Dave doesn't really know, but he's guessing Blaine's not very subtle link to a live stream of the regionals competition probably means that he should be watching or whatnot. He does, however, out of minimal solidarity texts a quick "gl", and lets the stream play in the background.
Which makes it a little surprising when he gets a "we lost" about forty-five minutes later after booting up the stream. He quickly opens up the window to see that the stream has gone offline.
David winces, and is about to reply with a 'sorry' before he hearts the doorbell chime and gets an incoming message:
Open the door, Dave. I'm here.
David scowls, and he makes himself leaves the comfort his beanbag chair to let Blaine in. The doorbell rings a few more times as he ambles down the stairs. Dave wrenches open the door with a little bit more aggression than he intended, but it didn't seem to deter Blaine. Nothing ever did.
The boy has his arms outstretched, and a small grin on his face. "I'm inconsolable, but you can try your best."
Later, they dine on Carvel ice cream cake that Blaine had picked up from Walmart. Dave doesn't know why Blaine isn't with his bird friends drowning his misery in wine and crème brûlée like a proper rich kid, but Blaine takes a vicious bite out of the cake and Dave smothers down the urge to wipe the ice cream off Blaine's face, watching the vanilla drip down his face.
"Did you hear me today?"
"I think I missed it." Dave says honestly.
"It's ok. I wasn't that great today." He stabs another piece of cake and forklifts the whole thing into his mouth, effectively cutting off any conversation.
He enters a sugar coma in an hour, and Dave doesn't even have the heart to tell him to go home, covering him up in a Red Wings blanket, shutting off the lights, and heads downstairs to watch Deadliest Catch.
When he wakes, at five am, he's got a crick in his neck, a line of drool running across his cheek, and his blanket on top of him.
He thinks he sees Blaine, arms crossed, hovering by the edge of the sofa, but doesn't question it, drifting back to sleep.
"Oh please oh please oh please..."
"Get off, Blaine!" Dave barks, trying to untangle Blaine's arms from around his neck. Blaine is hanging on his back like a koala bear, his legs scrabbling to find a foothold around Dave's waist.
"Please, for the love of god, just say yes," Blaine chirps, "we've finally got a chance to host an event, and you're giving that all up?"
"It's all the way in Pittsburgh. That's about 4 hours."
"It can be 3 if you speed...a lot."
Dave just stares at Blaine. Did he not notice the stack of books Dave fished out from the back of his locker for finals cramming? "Look, I've got to get at least an 80 in Physics or else-"
"Daaaave, it's just a few hours, it'll be like a mini road tr-"
David slams the table, silencing Blaine as he stands up, pointing a finger into the boy's face.
"No one's stopping you from going alright? And not everyone is so naturally smart and shit and have daddies that rake in seven figure salaries just from breathing." Dave could've bitten his tongue in half at the face Blaine is making, and lets his shoulders sag slightly and takes away the finger. But Dave continues looming over him, feeling too bitter for too long and not willing to back down.
Blaine's lips presses into a thin line, and he turns back to snap his laptop shut, shoving everything quickly into the overnight bag he brought along.
"Sorry for wasting your time," he snipes before striding out of Dave's bedroom and letting himself out, making sure to slam the door extra hard. Dave bristles, but forces himself to sit down, trying to understand the relationship between the spring constant and amplitude.
And in the end, Dave fires off a cautionary "Hey." two hours later, but never gets a reply back.
It wasn't until a week after their fight that Dave started getting an onslaught of texts from Blaine, interspersed about two minutes apart.
FREE BAR! EVERYTHING! What do you think I should get? I'm going to try their martinis.
This is really good, Dave, you're really missing out.
Daaaaaave oh my godddddd what is this this is soooooooooooooo goooooood.
Oh, no wonder, they added like 10 pounds of sugar in it, oh well.
They just called me up! Wish me luck!
Dave, they *LOVED* your set, you should've heard the crowd, they went nuts! Everyone was so disappointed that you didn't come. I am too! Geez, Dave!
You really should've come, there's a lot of guys asking about you. They're really nice too!
Nevermind, they weren't so nice.
Oh god, why are they playing Ke$ha what have I ever done to them. More chocoalt grasshoppers now.
You should've come.
You SHOULD have come why didn't you come did you really think I'm embarrassing I don't know WHAT your problem is karofsky.
I wish yo uwere here.
I mis you.
A super super lot.
Coukd you xome get me?
Dave growled, before shutting off his phone and throwing it clear across the room, where it laid in a pile of unwashed clothes.
In the end, Dave calls up a friend who goes to Carnegie Mellon, some Brazilian-Pakistani rapper that he met over youtube a year ago, and the guy agreed to let Blaine crash at his place for the night to sober up. Dave restlessly thumbs over the messages he recieved from Blaine the whole night, almost wishing that the boy was still texting- at least it would verify that he wasn't dead or bleeding out on the streets of Pittsburgh. His phone vibrated and he taps the receive call button, "He's ok?"
"Fine. Just went to sleep," Kamran hums, "everything's fine."
"Sorry about this," Dave grumbles, feeling utterly embarrassed- he's pretty sure Blaine did something terrible or life-endangering, but Kam is so unnaturally chill about everything that Dave is pretty sure that if it had been anyone else, he'd be bitched out to hell and back about how insufferable Blaine is.
"Nah, it's no big deal." A pause. "He did start yelling a bit when I told him that you weren't coming to pick him up, then sang, then cried himself to sleep. It was kind of cute. Except for the part where the upstairs neighbor called to complain."
"Oh god." Dave scrubbed his hand over his face, rubbing at his temples for a good measure, "Look, I'm so, so, sorr-"
"Don't be," Kamran cuts in, and Dave can hear the smile over the phone, "It's good that you're looking out for him."
"I shouldn't have to," Dave interjects, knowing full well how callous he sounds. Whatever.
"Alright, alright. You coming over at 10 tomorrow?"
Dave sighs. "Sure, I'll be there."
Dave actually gets there by nine instead, after racing down the highway, squinting at the rising sun all the while. He contemplates just waiting at least until nine thirty before bothering the rapper, but his phone trills with Lupe Fiasco, and he picks up to Kamran amusedly telling him that he can see his car from the window and inviting him inside.
"Is he awake yet?"
"No," Kamran admits.
"Er- you want Ihop?"
"Be down in a sec."
He directs Dave to the closest International House of Pancakes, and they walk in to a smattering of families occupying the plastic seats for Sunday brunch. Dave insists on paying for everything, and in the end, Kam relents, if only to somewhat ease Dave's conscious. Though he's starting to enjoy himself in Kam's company as they talked shop over waffles, hash browns and scrambled eggs, that feeling of guilt still lingered at the pit of his stomach.
"I really have to hand it to you, Karofsky," Kamran goes on after taking a deep swig of his coffee, "your latest stuff is absolutely sick."
"Thanks," David says, feeling a little awkward. It's one thing to read comments, another to actually hear it out loud. "You're really doing well yourself."
"Excuse me, which one of us broke 500k subs on youtube?"
David shrugs, "That's all Bl- Fox. Fox, I mean." Dave's mind flickers over all of the dancing "music videos" Blaine's put up, shoddily edited, but still breaking at least ten thousand views per video and tries not to scowl too obviously.
Kamran grins, tracing a finger around the rim of his off-white ceramic coffee cup. "Please, don't even bother. The guy that's on my sofa right now is a singing drunk, but he's still pitch perfect." He leans forward, pulling out his iphone. "If you want, I'll send over the vid. You'll get at least 3 million views, easy."
Dave sits back, pushing himself away from the table and holding his hands up in surrender, "Not you too..."
Kamran shakes his head, "hey, if I was collaborating with a dude that good looking, I'd exploit the hell out of it myself." Noticing Dave's grimace, he leans a bit forward. "Something wrong?"
"Dunno," Dave admits, toying around with a couple of sugar packets, flicking them around, "I just... don't get him sometimes. He makes all these unreasonable requests then acts like it's the end of the world when you don't follow along. And he thinks he's so- so brilliant, and fine, sometimes he's got a good idea, but it's just so- fucking stupid. He thinks he knows better than anyone else, then won't owe up that he fucked up, you know?" Dave flings the sugar packets across the table, clenching his fists, "Like I could fucking let it go if he could just do the same. And for all his madcap, adventuring romps? It's easy enough to say no, but then he just pulls out his fucking guilt card, and I don't know whether to actually give a shit or fucking punch him in the face!" He ends by slamming the table, shocking the dining area into silence.
Dave looks to the side, as the anger floods out of his body. He slightly hunches his shoulders, knowing that his face is burning. "Didn't mean to say all that."
Kam shakes his head, before tapping the table slightly, "He seems like a lot to handle, but I think he's a good thing for you, forcing out that talent. You always seem kind of reserved, back then." Kam smiles, "now you have that 'I'll fucking do whatever I fucking want,' vibe, working with him."
"I don't know if that's the product of me not even caring anymore or what, knowing that I'm just making background music while he wiggles his ass in front of a webcam."
"Karofsky, as much as it's good to say all this out loud, in the end, he's the one who needs to know. You need to tell him this."
"Yeah," Dave mutters noncommittally, downing the last of his coffee, and raising a hand to signal a waitress.
When they get back to Kamran's place, Blaine's already up, still cocooned in the puffy sleeping bag that Kamran managed to stuff him into last night and staring blankly at the TV that's not even turned on.
"Hey, you ok?" Kam asks, dropping his keys onto the hook by the door.
Blaine turns his head, and his eyes widen slightly at Dave strolling in. "Yeah. Thanks for taking me in."
Kam waves it off, heading towards the kitchen. "Need anything? Water? Coffee?"
"Water's fine." Blaine replies, still staring at Dave who's hovering around the doorway, not making eye contact.
Kam looks between the two, mouth twitched into a frown, but doesn't say anything about the silent exchange. "Dave got you pancakes from Ihop," he tries instead, and Dave's marches forward a little mechanically, thrusting the box in front of Blaine.
The smaller boy blinks, before pulling his arms out of the sleeping bag and taking the package with a mere nod, opening it and nibbling on the strawberry sitting on top.
"Ready to go home?"
They said their goodbyes to Kam and first pulled up to a gas station before setting off, both quiet, neither one really knowing what to say.
In the end, Dave breaks first, "You ok?"
"Yeah." Blaine risks a glance. "I thought you were mad at me, David." Blaine says after they passed the state border.
"Was." Dave admits. "Don't worry about it."
"I thought you were going to leave me there."
David snorts, a spike of anger rushing through his system, and he clenches the wheel a little. "Did you think I'm that petty?"
"No," Blaine amends, "I would've too. Not come to find me, I mean. I kind of deserved it."
"Whatever," David grunts, and they fall into a moody silence again. Blaine is resting his head on the window, an unfinished pancake still in the styrofoam container on his lap, and Dave plucks it out and shoves it into his mouth, dusting off the powdered sugar around his mouth and fingertips.
"Thanks, though. For all..." Blaine waves a hand around, before flopping back down to the arm rest, "this."
"Don't mention it."
Huge thanks to Bea who managed through some miraculous feat to wade through snippets and insecurities and managed to find potential and steer this fic the right way. Thanks darl.