Hi guys! I'm breaking out of my hiatus a bit to bring you this chapter! I'll be surprised if anyone is still reading, but I hope a few of you will enjoy this ;D
Rating: T, but there is swearing.
Warnings: Just swearing, and a bit...maybe a fair bit of angst. Issues regarding coming out.
Disclaimer: If I owned Glee, this fic would be canon and therefore wouldn't exist.
Notes: I skirted over the Madonna episode, but it's sort of wound in here too :) As always, thank you so much for your support, I love you guys! Oh, and a special thanks to Spookybibi for the Terminator idea, because I honestly have no idea about action movies.
I'm half way through an argument with Rachel when you turn up. We're fighting about Jesse again, no surprises there. She's still intent on ignoring the fact that he's clearly a giant douchebag because she's head over heels for him.
'He's using you!' I yell, and she just huffs and ignores me, 'How can you not see it?! He's going to turn around and stab you in the back and then we're all screwed!'
'He transferred here for me, David! It's romantic!'
Ugh, here we go again. I'm no stranger to romance, but there's a line between romantic and downright suspicious. Who the hell moves school to get closer to a girl he's been dating a few weeks?! 'It's pathetic! No one would actually do that! Either he's a complete idiot, or he has ulterior motives!'
'Look, I don't care what- oh, hey Kurt!' Rachel's eyes dart over to where you've just approached us, keen for a distraction. She won't get away with it, I'm not that easily sidetra-
Holy shit you're in a Cheerios outfit.
'I…uh…um.' I stammer out, and a smug grin settles on your face. Rachel uses my dumbstruck state as an opportunity to slip away quietly. Well, I assume it's quietly, but she could be ranting as she goes; I wouldn't even notice.
'Like what you see?' And with that you do a little twirl that makes me nearly break through my closet door and jump on you. The uniform is unfairly tight around your ass, absolutely emphasizing how fucking grabable it is. All I want is to reach out and…no. Bad Dave.
'Uh…' I try to speak but apparently I've forgotten how. I definitely haven't blinked for too long, and to be honest, I'm surprised I haven't stopped breathing. Your arms are bare, too, showing more skin than usual and, fuck, were they always that toned? I really need to get you out of your clothes more often. Uh. That came out wrong.
'Seriously, Dave, you're going to catch flies.' Your eyebrows are raised and you look a little concerned, if not still quite smug.
I finally manage to form words, 'You're a Cheerio.'
A chuckle, 'And you're observant.' you reply, all self-satisfied, but don't think I miss that blush spreading across your cheeks.
'Wh-why are you a Cheerio?'
'Because I joined the Cheerios. Do you have a problem with that?'
'No!' I say, embarrassingly quickly, 'No problems. Absolutely no problems whatsoever.' Apart from the one in my pants, that is. 'Uh, you look…erm…'
'Words, Dave. Use them.'
'Wanky.' Santana cuts through our conversation and my mouth snaps shut. 'Careful, Davey, if you keep staring at Twinky McLady-Lips like that and people are going to talk.' I feel panic sweep through me, but you're already giving Santana your Head Bitch glare.
'Wow, projecting much?' you shoot back, and her lips tighten into a thin line. With a throwaway shrug, she keeps walking and sits down next to Brittany, looking distinctly less comfortable.
'Ignore her. I thought I should tell you that Mercedes and I signed up. We're performing this afternoon.'
'I…' I start to speak, but words seem like such a foreign concept and there are so many places I'm trying not to stare. You're starting to look really concerned now.
'Seriously, are you okay?' You ask, and you go to place a hand on my forehead but I bat it away. For a moment, you look hurt, but I mumble an apology and you give a faint smile.
'I'm fine.' I reassure you, 'Great. What exactly prompted this?' Because I can't say you've ever shown interest in cheerleading before. In fact, I've heard you bitch about the Cheerios on multiple occasions.
'Let's just say that Mercedes and I are not exactly happy with this Jesse situation.' You glance over at where Rachel has gone to sit down on her own. Jesse must still be in class. 'We decided to help Coach Sylvester out with something, and in return she made us an offer to join the Cheerios.'
'Oh, okay. I mean, are you sure you'll have time for both? Not that I'm objecting. Um. At all.' I mutter, below my breath, but you hear it nonetheless.
'I'll make it work. It's not like I have any big solos to practice for.' You say, somewhat bitterly, sending a glare at Jesse as he enters the room and sits next to Rachel. I feel for you, not that I'm exactly begging for solos. I just kind of do whatever I'm told in Glee; if Rachel wants me to sing, I sing, if not I let Finn take the reigns. But ever since Jesse's arrival, he's taken on both Finn's and my songs, so we've kind of been hung up to dry. I'm not complaining, it means I get to stay with you in the numbers, but it's still a bit of a blow to the ego.
And as far as you're concerned, it's the nail in the coffin. Mr. Schue practically ignored you before the curly haired double agent appeared, with the occasional defense that your voice wasn't traditional enough for whatever song we were doing, but now he barely even tries to apologize. And Rachel has had every solo this week, which means that Mercedes is about ready to murder her.
Mr. Schue eventually comes in and immediately quizzes you and Mercedes about your outfits. This leads to another big fight about Jesse, with Rachel yelling in his defense and Schue desperately trying to calm everyone down. By the end of practice, we haven't done a single song, but Finn's been sent to Figgins for trying to hit Jesse and Mercedes has stormed out in protest. A slightly frazzled Mr. Schue then has to explain to the rest of us how apparently we've been kicked out of the auditorium for the week, and we're going to have to find somewhere else to rehearse the big numbers.
All in a day's Glee.
~ Briiiing! ~
At lunch, I find you in the cafeteria, sitting with an almost empty tray. Either you're done or waiting for me to get lunch. I, on the other hand, have a tasty looking cheeseburger and fries, which I place down. At the other end of the table are two random students I swear I've never seen before, but you're clearly not interacting with them. They seem to be having a very animated conversation about a Chem class they're angry about.
'Hey, Kurt.' I sit down. Your eyes stay fixed on the table, like you're lost in thought. 'Are you alright?' I ask, and you look up, startled, before relaxing again. 'What's up?'
'It's Finn.' You whisper, and for a second my heart stops and I feel a prick of something I hate to admit might be jealousy. Then you continue, 'He came to talk to me after he got back from Figgins' office. You know I got him that job working for my dad? Well, his mom and my dad are now dating. They met when his mom was picking him up from work.' Your voice seems ever so slightly resentful, but more obvious is the anxiety in it.
'What's wrong with that? Finn doesn't bother you anymore, right?' I ask gently, and you shake your head quickly, and then look down in your lap.
'I just…it's complicated.' You mutter, glancing sideways. 'He doesn't like me, you know that. He thinks I have a crush on him.'
'Do you?' I don't mean it to come out so rude, and I have to restrain myself from clapping a hand over my mouth, but you just regard me with a strange expression for a moment, and then shake your head firmly.
'No!' You say, then, quieter, 'I mean, he's very good-looking and I suppose his stupidity is charming in its ways, and I guess I might have a crush on him if it weren't for…' You cut yourself off very suddenly with the hasty realization that we're not alone. Then you give one of your adorable nervous laughs, 'Let's just say, he's not really what I'm looking for.' You say, pointedly.
'I guess not.' I mumble, attempting a smile while I feel my stomach drop.
'Conflicting emotions' barely begins to describe it. I'm happy that you don't like Finn (because honestly, not sure if I would want to try and fight him. Puckerman might still back him up,) but at the same time, if Finn isn't your type, then why am I? I'm not 'very good looking,' and I'm pretty sure my occasional idiocy isn't so much charming as awkward and irritating.
You're looking at me oddly again, and somewhere outside of myself I hear you ask if I'm alright, but I'm just nodding dumbly and clearing my throat, changing the subject back to you.
'So, what are you going to do?' I ask, and you sigh forlornly.
'I…um, I don't suppose you could talk to him for me?' You ask quietly, 'Just…let him know that I'm cool?' You shake your head, 'not cool, uh. Just…can you just make it clear to him that I have…I'm not…I don't…' You trail off, still shaking your head. 'I have feelings for someone else.' You finally finish, eyes fixed firmly on the ground, your face heating up. The jealously very quickly ebbs away. 'Strong feelings.' You reiterate, and after a quick glance around, take my hand and squeeze it quickly before anyone else sees.
'I guess I could have a word with him.' I promise, smiling in what I hope is a reassuring way. It must help, because you look infinitely happier. 'C'mon, let's get lunch.'
'Oh, I have my lunch.' You motion down at your tray, which has a single plate on it, with one piece of celery. Oh, and a glass of water.
'Please tell me you're eating more than celery.' I say, 'Or you already ate earlier and you're not hungry.'
'If that would make you feel better, I'll tell you that.' I say nothing, and you proceed to sip your water for a few seconds before rolling your eyes at me, 'Fine, I'm on a diet.'
Diet. A diet, you?! 'Uh…why?' I ask, trying not to sound quite as confused as I feel. You just sigh and examine your nails, and if that isn't an indication of guilt, I don't know what is.
'Because, David, I've let myself go recently.' You cup your mouth and whisper, 'I've got You-know-what gut.' I'm guessing "you-know-what gut" is supposed to be relationship gut. Subtle. 'And Coach Sylvester is right, my hips are pear-shaped.'
'Whoa, whoa. Hold up there. You think you're overweight?'
'I know I am.' You insist, clearly ignoring my tone. And there's such certainty there; I know you really mean it. You really do think you're fat. I mean, I know every teenager thinks that, but you…
'You're fucking kidding me, right?'
'You don't have to mock me!' you snap, 'I'm just trying to be healthy, you know.'
'You are healthy! You basically only eat organic food, for god's sake! You're…' I drop my voice, 'You're gorgeous, Kurt. You're the hottest guy I know.' If even the two randomers on our table heard me right now, I'd be totally busted, but that's not what I'm thinking about.
Your raise an eyebrow, 'I appreciate the sentiment, Dave, but I think you're biased.' You take a bite out of the celery and wince.
'What did you have for breakfast?'
'I hardly think that's any of your busi-'
'Splenda.' You admit, guiltily, 'There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose a few pounds, David!'
'There is if you're doing it like this! It's dangerous, Kurt, and it'll do more harm than good!'
'Ugh!' You whirl around to face me, furious, 'Dave, will you please quit it? You're not my father, so don't act like him!' And with that, you do a pretty good Rachel impression, and storm out of the cafeteria.
Left alone, I slam my head down on the table in frustration. Artie and Tina, who conveniently just arrived stare at me like I've gone insane. 'Bad day?' Artie asks, nervously.
'You have no idea.' I mumble, glaring at my food. It mocks me in all its calorific glory. God, if you think you're overweight, what must you think of me? I've always been a big guy, and there's no doubt I have a couple of pounds it wouldn't hurt to shed.
No longer hungry, I get up and leave my tray on the table. Artie and Tina stare as I walk away. Mercedes is talking to Santana and Brittany near the lunch line and I wait for her to finish before I approach, noticing how she's abandoned her lunch too, even though her lunch tray was overabundant in green to start with.
'What the hell is going on?' I ask, probably a bit too harshly. 'Why is Kurt only eating celery? And what's with the salad?' I don't mean to sound like a dick, but salad isn't exactly Mercedes' usual choice of food.
'Coach Sylvester wants us to lose weight. I have to lose 10lbs by next week, and she says Kurt should lose some too.'
'Wh- what?!' My voice goes a little too high pitched, so I take a deep breath. '10lbs?! Mercedes, that's insane!'
'Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in life, Dave.'
I feel fairly strongly about this subject. I like food, and yeah, I'm a big guy. I need energy to play football, to work out and to dance around in Glee Club. 'Food isn't something you should ever sacrifice if you don't have to.'
'Well, we have to!' Mercedes counters, and I'm fairly sure she's going to start shouting at me soon.
'And Kurt is supporting this?'
She looks marginally uncomfortable. 'We both want to stay on the Cheerios.'
So basically, you're encouraging this. Hell, this is probably your idea. Just brilliant.
'Please eat lunch, Mercedes.' I plead, but even as she nods, I know she's not going to. But there's not much I can do about that right now. I have to find you and try and sort this out.
I head to the choir room, but get stopped in the corridor. 'Karofsky. We need to talk.' A flash of blonde hair and a slightly nasal voice is all I register as I'm pulled into an abandoned classroom. I swear there are a remarkable amount of abandoned classrooms at this school.
'Quinn?' I ask, and have to blink a couple of times to make sure I'm not imagining it. 'Uh, hi.' Why is Quinn talking to me? She's barely said a word to me in the whole year, not since we had our moment about the whole baby daddy fiasco. And before that, when I was pretending to be in love with her, she hardly glanced my way. I even joined the Celibacy Club for her. As far as fake crushes go, she was pretty cruel to me.
'I need to talk to you about Mercedes.'
'What about her?' I sound guarded because, well, I am. I don't trust Quinn.
'You were talking to her about Kurt, right? About how Coach Sylvester is making them lose weight?' Her voice is level, almost too calm. It makes me even more nervous.
'You're not going to tell me to butt out, are you? Because I don't care what you think, it's not healthy and Kurt-'
'I'm not trying to get you to stop. I'm offering to help. I'll talk to Mercedes.'
For a moment, I stare at her. Quinn Fabray, the beautiful, skinny (baby-bump aside) blonde girl who used to be head-cheerleader. What kind of advice could she possibly give that would help Mercedes?
'Because you're right. It's not healthy.' She sits down. 'You know, I used to be just like them, with the shakes and the dieting…but I stopped when I realized I was pregnant. When you start eating for somebody else, so that they can grow and be healthy, your relationship to food changes. I realized that if I'm still willing to eat right to take care of this baby, why am I not willing to do it for myself?' The speech feels rehearsed.
'And the moral of the story is? Yeah, whatever, you're self-conscious too and eating's important. Still, you're Quinn Fabray, what do you care about Mercedes or Kurt?'
'I wasn't always Quinn Fabray, you know.' She says, standing up and making for the door.
For some reason I get the feeling there's a lot more to that statement than she's letting on.
~ Briiiing! ~
There is way too much going on in my life, I decide, as I head from the football field towards the locker room. I have no idea which problem is the most problematic, so I'm dealing with the easiest one first. Finn's a lot simpler than you, and I mean that in the nicest way possible; he's a lot less likely to argue with me. So first on my list is to reassure Finn that you're "cool", and then I can worry about your imminent starvation.
I approach Finn, and with a quick, 'Hey, Hudson!' he's looking my way while doing up his shoelaces (very slowly, I notice.)
'Hey.' He replies, the way a dude replies to another dude when they're having a dude…ish conversation.
Only, I know this is going to get very awkward very quickly, so I just blurt it out before he puts his guard up. 'It's about Kurt.' He freezes, and his face contorts into a weird, constipated expression. Oh, god, this is going to suck.
'He didn't say something weird about me, did he?' He asks, suspiciously. I frown; he really does think you have a crush on him. Not that I would blame you, considering that my thoughts about Finn haven't always been 100% innocent.
'Actually, no. He just wanted me to say that there was no…um, no weirdness to worry about. He's…uh, he's not interested in you, and he doesn't want it to be awkward.'
Somehow, I think it could have come out better than that, but oh well. Finn audibly sighs with relief.
'That…that's good to know. It's just weird, you know?' I feel the word weird has been way overused in this conversation, especially since it seems ever so slightly synonymous withgay. 'He's so…I just don't know if I could live with that, dude!'
'He's so what?' I echo, trying to keep expression blank.
Finn looks up at me, the confusion in his face obvious. 'What?'
'You said, "he's so" and then you stopped.' I say, my voice coming out lower than intended, 'What did you mean?'
'Come on, dude. You know what I mean.'
'You mean he's gay?' Something dark is building up in my chest and I can't help that my voice sounds pinched and my hands are clenching into fists. Finn doesn't seem to have noticed, though, and carries on in ignorance.
'Well, yeah. He's not, you know, like us.'
'Dude, are you okay?'
'I'm fine.' I mutter, defensively, and then I'm walking away as quickly as I can, and Finn's staring after me like I've lost it. And maybe that's because I did lose it a little.
Because for the first time, I've come to realize that I was wrong: I'm not one of 'us,' like Finn thinks. I'm one of 'them.' And suddenly it feels like I'm the biggest phony in the world. All this time I've been putting up a front, trying to deny who I really am. Everyone sees me as just this guy, this Karofsky kind of guy, the kind of guy who plays football and will grow up to marry some girl, get a job at a midsized insurance firm, and live in a house with white picket fences. And maybe I could have been that guy, once upon a time, but I'm not now. I'm the guy who's going to have to fight for his equality, who's might get married, but probably not in Ohio. The guy who's still in Glee club, even though I'm pretty sure Schue wouldn't bust me anymore if I decided to leave. The guy who fell for you, one Kurt Hummel.
(Plus, white picket fences are lame, everyone knows that.)
And if I'm supposed to be this guy, this new world Dave, why do I have to keep pretending to be Karofsky? Realistically, how bad could it possibly get if I were to come out, to actually be honest about who I am for once?
If I can't do that, then I guess I'm just nobody.
~ Ba-bam, baaaam-bam! ~
'Okay, fellas! Grab a gal! Or grab another fella, if that's the way the good lord made ya! 'Cause it's a couple's skate!' a southern accent pours out of the speakers, one we all recognize as April Rhodes. There's a person I would quite gladly never see again. The memory of just avoiding groping from the enthusiastic blonde woman makes me shiver.
'And he didn't even notice her new outfit, Dave! I mean, come on, how interesting can basketball be anyway?!' I focus just in time to hear you say. We're sort of in our own little corner, as much as we can be, and you've been angry about something Finn related for a little while now. I'm being a total dick, not on purpose but I'm so distracted right now.
I've decided to come out to my dad. Baby steps, I know, but in the right direction. But I just don't know how to do it, and I'm so freaking scared that I'm almost guaranteed to mess it up.
'Dave! Are you even listening to me?' you shout, punching me lightly on the arm.
'Sorry. Distracted. What were you saying?'
'Oh, never mind.' a mutter, and I think it's because Finn is skating our way. Half the group is terrible on these things, but he's worse; he's spent more time on the floor than his feet. Brittany swirls past us, and before I know it, she has my arm and is pulling me somewhere to dance with her and Santana. This is all somehow a ploy, I'm sure of it; I fulfill my fake-heterosexual duty by skating around with them for a few minutes before Santana, with a very pointed look, lets me go.
Of course, by the time I skate back over to you, you're pissed at me, with good reason. You move away from me, fast enough to make me realize I shouldn't catch up, even though I could easily. I was on the hockey team long enough to gain some skating skills, ice or not. You roll up to Mercedes and grab her arm, engaging her immediately in conversation.
This is when I give up, rolling over to the side and sitting down in the quieter part of the roller rink. The obnoxious music is still ridiculously loud, and the lights are still bright and twinkling too much, but at least I don't have to dodge my flailing friends. I get about three minutes of peace before Finn approaches, apparently fed up with bruising his knees too.
'Hey.' he says, and I echo him. There's one of those awkward pauses where it's obvious that someone wants to say something but can't figure out how to word it.
'Please don't tell me it's about Kurt.' I murmur, and the shock on his face confirms it. 'Why does everyone think I'm the go-to guy when it comes to Kurt?'
'Uh, well you're the guy who came to me to talk about him yesterday. And you're his best friend.' Finn replies simply. And of course that's what it looks like to everyone else. Best friend. If only he knew. 'I don't want to move in with him.'
'Because he's gay?' I wonder if I sound as bitter as I feel.
'No, I…Burt's a really cool guy, you know?' I'm not sure how that's relevant, but I nod anyway. 'My mom is selling my dad's furniture.'
Okay, now I'm confused. 'She's what?'
'Because my mom wants to move in with Burt. She's selling my dad's furniture, and she won't even listen to me…it's all we have left of him, you know? And she keeps acting like…like he didn't even matter! He's my dad, and…and he's a war hero! So why does she keep acting like he's some bad memory she wants to forget?!'
I'm speechless. I've never heard Finn talk about his dad so openly, and it's kind of scary.
'He was a war hero?' I ask, and Finn nods. His eyes look red, but it's hard to tell under the lighting.
'Yeah.' Finn says softly. He's done talking now, and is just staring at the rink floor in despair. Before I can even think of something comforting to say, Mr. Schue is calling the end of practice, again having not performed a single song. All I can do is give Finn what I hope is a comforting pat on the back.
And I officially suck as a human being.
~ Ba-bam, baaaam-bam! ~
Everyone always says it's difficult coming out to your parents, but they never really get down to the details.
Of course there's the fear of rejection, but more than that, there's the unreasonable fears too, the fears that they'll hate me and throw me out of the house. I half expect my dad to grab me and throw me on a fucking pyre even though I know that whatever I do or…am, he'll love me.
The question is, will he love me enough?
'Dad, I'm gay.' I say to the mirror like they do in the rom-coms. It doesn't help.
'I'm gay.' The word feels wrong on my tongue. It feels…dirty. Not at all like when I said it to you. Then, I was proud, I felt freedom in the word but right now I've never felt so constrained.
'I'm gay.' I repeat again. It looks so easy in films, so liberating. Like they actually achieve something when they talk to themselves. I just feel ridiculous. Actually, I feel totally paranoid now, because what if my dad was standing outside my door for some reason and overheard me? Jesus, that would be bad.
Okay, I need to get this over with soon, before I back out. I'm ready. I'm ready.
My hands shake violently as I walk downstairs, somehow managing not to trip and fall along the way. My dad is sat at the table, eating dinner. I'd opted out, deciding to wait until after I told him, at least then I wouldn't throw up with nerves.
'Dad, I need to tell you something.' He looks up from his food, an eyebrow quirked curiously. 'I…um, it's something I've been meaning to tell you for a long time and…and I'm sorry it took 'till now…'
'David, is everything alright?'
I take a deep breath. And another. The words aren't coming, and I feel like I'm about to faint. I sit down at the table, take a moment to calm down and the words finally appear.
'I'm gay, dad.'
The silence is long and horrifying. And then my dad says the three most painful words I've ever heard:
'No, you're not.'
Not 'get out of here,' or 'you're a disgrace.' Just 'no, you're not.' And how the fuck am I supposed to respond to that?! Am I supposed to argue with him? Prove that I'm gay? I don't even want to know what that would involve. My head spins.
'Dad, I'm being serious.'
'You're confused.' He puts down his fork, 'You're just a kid, and you don't know what you want.'
'I know what I want! I want to be with a guy. Kurt.' I can't seem to stop now, 'Kurt Hummel, the guy I'm in Glee with? I like him, Dad. The way that…the way you think I like girls. The way most guys like girls, that's how I feel about him.' The words spill out and I know I shouldn't be doing this, shouldn't be letting everything go, but I just can't force myself to shut up. 'And you know what? He likes me too! We're together, dad! And if that doesn't make me gay, then what does?!'
'David, please calm down. This is completely normal, you're just…conflicted. You've been spending too much time with Kurt and it's confusing you.'
'Son, I know you better than anyone-'
'You don't know me at all!' I yell, standing up so quickly the chair rebounds, making a loud bang. 'You think because I like football and don't act like Kurt that I can't be gay?! You're seriously that narrow-minded!?'
My father's face is a mixture of pity and that cool calmness he puts on when he's under pressure. 'I have nothing against gays, David. I just know what they're like, and you're not–'
'I know what I am! I've finally accepted it! Why can't you?' My voice breaks as I say it. I'm a picture of wretchedness.
'Because it's not…' he trails off, takes a breath, 'You are not a homosexual, David!'
I stare at him, and I can see it. I can see the disbelief right there in his eyes. It's not even homophobia, it's just ignorance. And for me, that's almost as bad. I mean, of course it's great that he's not throwing me out of the house at the idea of it but not to believe me at all? It's like a slap in the face.
I need to get out of here.
'David!' my dad calls after me as I sprint to my room, slamming the door after me.
Confused, he said. He thinks I'm confused, like I've been tainted by you. I'm not going to deny that I considered that option at least a few times in the past, but that was before I kissed you, before I knew what it was like to be so free, before I finally came to terms with who I am. But I know what happened between those two states, and I am not sticking around for my dad to figure it out. I…I just can't.
I'm still shaking. I grab my phone out of my pocket and nearly call two other people by accident before I click your name.
'Hello?' You chirp, and even the sound of your voice makes my eyes well up.
'Kurt…can I…I just…' I try to speak, but my throat has gone all blocked and all I can think about it how much I want to hold you right now. God, I need to hold you.
'Dave, are you okay? You sound funny.'
The words don't come easy, but I force them out, 'I just came out to my dad.'
There's silence for a moment. I wonder what you're thinking – probably something along the lines of "why didn't he discuss this with me?" Fuck, why didn't I discuss this with you? I should have spoken to you, should have planned this, and now it's all going wrong. I just want to curl up and cry, but I can't. I have to try and be strong, have to…can't show how utterly pathetic I really am.
'Oh, god. What happened?! Did he…did it go badly?' You sound panicked now, and even after everything I'm still kind of flattered at how much you care.
'He didn't believe me.' I let out a choked laugh, bitter and pained. 'He actually didn't believe me.'
'I'm on my way over.'
'No, it's…' a deep breath again, 'can I come to yours?' I don't want to be a burden, especially with how shit I've been this week, but I don't know who else to ask. I mean, of course you're the first choice but what if you don't want me-
'Of course!' Your answer comes swiftly and without an ounce of hesitation. 'I'll go tell dad you're staying. Do you want me to pick you up?'
'No, I'll…I can drive.' My voice breaks at the end, and I wipe away a few tears. 'I just need to pack some stuff.'
'Okay.' There's a moment of silence, and I swear you take a breath to say something, but stop. A few seconds later, you just say, 'See you in a bit.'
I murmur a goodbye and hang up, throwing my phone onto my bed before sitting down myself. Surprisingly, my dad hasn't been trying to come in, or even talk to me through the door. Maybe he thinks I need to be left alone for a while to rediscover my heterosexuality. Ok, that just sounds wrong.
I grab an overnight bag, one of my old sports ones. My nice one is at school, so this is going to have to do. I barely even look at the clothes I throw in, and I know you'll mock me for that later, but right now it's not a priority. Then, I grab my school bag, shove the essentials in and I'm headed for the door.
'David?' My dad runs up behind me, calling my name. He looks…well, he looks pretty much how I'd expect a guy whose son just came out to him would look, especially if he didn't believe it.
I put on my calmest voice, trying to make it appear like I'm not about to break down crying again. I push past him harder than I should, making for the exit. 'Dad, I'm going to Kurt's. Don't worry.'
'You most certainly are not!' he barks, 'We're going to sit down and we're going to talk about this, and we'll get it all straightened out.'
Boy, was that a poor choice of words, I think as I slam the door behind me.
You come to the door within milliseconds of me ringing the bell, like you were waiting right beside it for me.
'Hey.' I say in a small voice. You stare at me for a moment before dragging me inside and pulling me into a rib-cracking hug. When you're done cutting off my air supply, you place a small kiss on my lips and smile with wet eyes.
'You're so brave.' you say, and it's obvious you've been crying almost as much as I have.
'Don't really feel it right now. I just ran away.'
'You came out, David, do you have any idea how huge a step that is?'
'But he didn't even believe me!' I snivel, and you mop at me with a tissue as we walk into the living room. 'How am I supposed to go back there when he doesn't even listen to me?'
'Well, you don't have to, not just yet. We're going to figure this out, okay?' Your voice is so soothing, all calm and caring. I'm waved towards the sofa, where I collapse.
'Mmn.' I agree, and I let you curl up beside me. Even the feeling of your body touching mine is comforting, like a hot drink on an icy day. I let you touch my shoulders tentatively, before one hand comes up to stroke my cheek. It's so intimate, so consoling, it feels like coming home after a long holiday. We stay like this for a few minutes, before it occurs to me that we're in the open living room. 'So where's your dad? It's kind of quiet around here.'
'Oh, he's out with Carole and Finn. I was supposed to go, but…'
'Wait,' I sit up, 'you're missing dinner?'
'It's fine, I ate already. Do you want something?' I ignore the niggling feeling in my stomach at that, but nod. Lecturing at you about food probably isn't the best idea right now.
'I kind of skipped dinner. Felt sick earlier. Not that I feel much better now, but I can make myself a sandwich or something if you don't mind?' I'm such a bad house guest, I know.
'I'll help you.' You spring up and grab me by the hand even though we've only been sitting for a few minutes. In the kitchen, you get busy making me food, not letting me near anything. While I enjoy my chicken sandwich, you eat a slice of chicken, as if hoping it will appease me.
About ten minutes later, the door clicks and I hear voices.
'They're back!' You head towards the door, and then look back at me. 'What should I tell my dad?' It's your way of asking if I'm prepared to let him know. And…I guess I am. At least then someone other than Rachel and my dad will know about our relationship. Even if Burt is absolutely terrifying and I think he might murder me if I ever hurt you.
'The truth. Just…not Finn, okay? I'm not ready for that yet.' I say, just before Finn enters the room.
'Dave! Hey!' he gives that lopsided grin of his and goes to do a manly hand grab pat thing that I comply with, all the while trying desperately to formulate my excuse. 'What are you doing here?'
'He and his dad had an argument.' You come to the rescue, barging past Finn and raising your eyebrows at me. I try to back you up, but still can't think of anything to say. I'm really, really bad at lying.
'Dude! That sucks, what about?'
There's an awkward silence as I try to make words happen, until you keep talking for me, 'His dad doesn't want him to be in Glee anymore. Right, Dave?'
I make myself nod, and you shrug before pulling your dad aside to another room. I try to speak again, 'Yeah.' I finally choke out, 'He, uh, thinks I should stick to football.'
'That's rough.' Finn says, and thank god it's at this point that Carole comes into the kitchen. We chat about breadstix for a few minutes, and then after the usual farewells, the two Hudsons head home. Burt says goodbye to them at the door and then comes back over to us.
'So, Kurt told me what happened.' I start to explain how I'll leave if it's an inconvenience, but he cuts me off. 'You're welcome to stay as long as you need, kid. But I do have some questions.'
'Uhh, sure. Thanks.'
There's a stern look passed over both of us. 'You two. Are you together?'
'Dad!' The mortification in your voice is evident. Then again, it's not like it's been a long time since you and your dad even discussed the fact that you're gay. Honestly, I'm impressed either of you are keeping such a level head.
'I…um.' I squeak, then glance at you, and you sigh dramatically before nodding. 'Yes, sir.'
'Okay. And this thing, is it serious, or are you just…experimenting?'
I cut in as quickly as I can, my voice still a little too high from panic, 'It's serious, sir. I…um, I care about Kurt a lot.' Heat rises to my cheeks, and I must be turning bright red. Brilliant. I catch you looking over at me, and you're blushing too. Your dad, however, still looks calm.
'Good. Does anyone know?'
'Not yet.' You answer this one for me. 'Dave's still in the closet at school.'
And then, of course, there's that little stretch of awkward silence where I'm probably suppose to interject that I intend to come out really soon. I don't say anything, mostly because I don't know how to put it that I want to let people know, but…I just can't.
'Right, then.' Burt finally fills the gap, 'I'll set the camper bed up in Kurt's room, but I don't want any funny business, okay? Not without my express written permission.'
'Oh my god, dad, we wouldn't – you are so embarrassing.' And with that, you take my hand and drag me into your room. I let myself be pulled along, still a bit in shock. As soon as the door closes, you say, 'Sorry about him.'
'No, it's fine. Your dad is awesome.' I reply, while you throw yourself onto your bed. I follow, slightly tentative. I'm very aware that we're on a bed.
'I know.' A smile passes over your lips. I say nothing, and you eventually sit up, as if to check I haven't left. I glance at you, and I must look as nervous as I feel, because you laugh. 'C'mere.' And then, before I can think, you pull me into a kiss.
I wonder if your kisses will ever not make me feel like I'm on a rollercoaster. Minus the whole nausea thing, of course. My stomach dips and flutters with nerves and the feeling of your lips against mine, so warm and soft and ever so slightly more curious than usual has me almost melting against you. You're definitely being more assertive than normal, if your wondering hands are anything to go by. Don't think I haven't noticed the casual slip of your fingers below my shirt, playing against my hips. I let myself get lost in the feelings, my own hands wandering to pull you closer, my fingers digging into your shoulders and keeping us together as I feel the slick drag of your tongue against my lips.
God, I could do this forever. If you were the only thing I could ever taste and feel and smell again, I think I'd be eternally happy. I don't think I even feel better than when we're together like this, despite all the bullshit in our lives, no matter what's happening. If I can feel the firmness of your chest pressing against mine, if I can hear your harsh breathing through your nose, your fingers carefully, subtly enjoying the slathers of skin you can reach and oh, god, the noises you make when we really get into this, the little gasps and moans, how can I be anything but happy?
Ah, maybe a little too happy.
'Kurt.' I murmur, pulling back. You put a finger to my lips, hushing me, and then you're moving to my neck, and I can feel your teeth brushing against the skin there and shit fuck damnit.
'Kurt!' My voice makes you jump, and just like that, the spell is broken. You jerk back, your face suddenly darkening to an alarming shade of scarlet. Our legs are tangled together and your hair is sticking up in odd angles from where I was playing with it.
'Oh my god.' You whisper, as if you hadn't even realized what we were doing. Your fingers now play with the bottom of your shirt, pulling it down slightly, and I don't have to look to guess what you're trying to cover. I can't say I'm any better off myself, and I don't really know what to do in this situation. It's pretty obvious that neither of us are ready to go any further. Well, I'm certainly not. As for you, I don't really know. Even though there are moments where you seem so sexy, I haven't got a clue what you actually think about sex. Do you even think about it? You're a teenage guy like me, after all, and it's not like I don't have…urges.
'Sorry.' You murmur, and the look of guilt you're wearing makes me feel horrible. 'I just wanted to know…' Your eyes dip and I shuffle towards you, very tentatively cupping your chin.
You're about to answer when a knock on the door makes us both leap apart. Fucking typical. You stand, frantically glancing around as if the room is going to give you a solution for your disheveled appearance, before you finally just flatten your hair and invite your dad in. I sit cross-legged on the bed, desperately wishing I had control over my own body.
I'm not sure if it's not obvious what we were doing or if Burt just doesn't want to have to talk about it, but he doesn't mention it while we set up the camper bed. Luckily, just the presence of your father seems to be enough to scare away any excitement I might have had. We all make small talk and totally ignore the giant elephant in the room as I try to be helpful. You make some excuse about your nails and then run off to the bathroom, which leaves me alone with your dad. Thanks.
'Look, kid.' Here it comes. 'I'm not exactly thrilled about you two, you know. Kurt seems too young to be in a relationship, and if I'm completely honest, I don't like the idea of him dating.'
I can't help but panic. Is Burt going to kick me out? I know he seemed fine with this earlier, but that's when you were here, and he wasn't going to say something horrible to me in front of his son.
'Do you want me to leave?' I say, my voice small. The look on his face is answer enough.
'No!' he says, almost sternly. 'When I said you're welcome to stay here as long as you like, I meant it. And if you like, I'd be quite happy to have a word with your old man.' I must look surprised, because he gives a soft laugh. 'Kid, I love my son. And you and I both know that Kurt was always going to be bringing home a guy some day, not a girl. But…and I'm going to sound old fashioned here, but I don't think it ever crossed your dad's mind.'
I think about it for a moment. Of course, by my dad's shock and denial, it's clear that he was never expecting me to be gay. Hell, I didn't expect me to be gay. I thought that I was going to start liking girls eventually, but it just never happened. 'Yeah, you're probably right.'
'The thing is, it doesn't matter if he's thought about it before or not. Because he's going to have to accept it. And our door is always open to you until he does.'
I can't help it, my eyes are welling up. God, I'm pathetic. I dab at my face, 'Thanks, Mr. Hummel. You're awesome.'
'Well, I don't know about that.' A brief smile, and he pats me on the back. 'But you seem like a good kid, and I trust my son's taste.' At that exact moment, said son comes down the stairs, looking nervous. Your dad looks your way, and then back at me and as he gets up to walk away, he adds, 'Don't hurt him.'
You roll your eyes at that, but offer a warm smile when you sit down next to me. 'What did he say?'
'He was pretty much just being awesome.' I reply, and that makes you grin, 'He said my dad's probably just really surprised. And that I can stay here until he figures his shit out.'
'I'm glad. I'd much rather have you as a roommate than Finn. Maybe this will put the whole thing on hold.' I raise my eyebrows at that, 'Oh come on, Finn doesn't want to move in with me. And as much as I appreciate his abs-'
'They are good abs.'
'-why would I want them when I have full access to my gorgeous boyfriend?'
I snort at the word gorgeous, but before I can argue, you silence me with a kiss. A kiss which stays chaste this time, and also unbearably cute. 'Come on,' you say, grabbing your laptop, 'you pick a movie and I'll totally pretend to enjoy it.'
We watch Terminator, and you say it's cheesy and terrible, but don't think I miss the squeak you make when Kyle says "I came back through time for you, Sarah."
And even though I'm the one who suggests we watch Terminator 2 right afterwards, I'm fairly certain it's somehow your idea. You act flippant when you agree, but your eager little hand waves betray you.
When we're finally done with the movie, I get up and move to the camper bed, trying to ignore how your hand sort of slides down my arm as I stand. Your raised eyebrow questions my decision, but we both know sleeping in the same bed is a recipe for disaster.
I've almost forgotten about everything with my dad, until I come down from cleaning my teeth and it strikes me properly that I'm not going home tonight. I stop on the bottom step and sort of freeze, the whole situation suddenly hitting me.
No, you're not. My dad's words echo in my ears as if he's standing right in front of me. I feel sick again, like I've just been tackled hard in the stomach.
'Dave?' I hear you say, but I can barely register it. It's like every possible crappy scenario for the future is occurring to me all at once. The idea that I might never be able to be myself in front of my family makes me want to cry. I see fake girlfriends and fake smiles and a whole world of ugly white picket fences, the world that isn't mine. The world that's now so foreign to me.
Your hand slips into mine, and I'm back in the room.
'Dave, it's going to be okay.' You hands slide over my cheeks, wiping away tears I didn't even know were falling. 'We're going to get through this.'
'Yeah.' I choke out, letting you mop at me with a tissue. 'I know.'
I fall asleep with my iPod on, as if it'll drown out my father's words.
Something happens the next day that I completely miss. Maybe I'm too wound up in my own problems, or maybe it was all too behind the scenes for me to see, but I'm fairly sure Quinn had a hand in all of it.
The morning starts off with us arguing over breakfast. I promise myself I'd leave the whole thing alone for a little while – you are, after all, letting me stay with you. But then your dad makes an offhand comment about you skipping meals and I just have to say something. You reward me by snapping that it's none of my business and driving to school without me. I get a lift with Finn, who was actually supposed to be picking us both up. He's been giving me odd looks all morning, like he's figured something out. I ignore it, hoping he'll forget about it.
You don't talk to me all day, which isn't saying that much because we only see each other briefly in the hall between class, and you seem to skip lunch entirely. I eat quickly and spend the rest of the break looking for you, but fail. It's only at the end of the break when I remember that the Cheerios have a performance this afternoon. I'm debating skipping it and just waiting for you afterwards when I see Quinn approaching.
'Did you speak to Mercedes?' I ask. She's headed towards the gymnasium with the rest of the school. There's a rumor going around that Coach Sylvester is planning on fumigating the rest of the school to punish anyone who doesn't turn up.
'Go to the pep rally and see for yourself.' She replies, smiling mysteriously. It's a bit creepy, but I follow her anyway. We make small talk on the way, avoiding any serious topics like her relationship with…whoever the crap she's dating right now, or the whole baby thing. Mostly we talk about how much harder Spanish seems this year and our plans for Glee. After what seems like hours of awkwardness, we sit down at the pep rally, on the floor near the front. The place is packed; apparently Coach Sylvester's rumor worked.
The gym falls silent as we wait for the performance to begin. The Cheerios are all set up but there's no sign of Mercedes. There's an awkward silence before the squeaking of trainers is followed by her standing in front of the group.
'Hey guys, I'm Mercedes Jones.'
This doesn't feel planned. The Cheerios behind her are twitchy, whispering between themselves. I see you glance over your shoulder at Mercedes nervously.
'So most of you know, Cheerios is about perfection and winning. Looking hot and being popular. Well, I think it should be about something different.'
Definitely not planned. Coach Sylvester would have never suggested anything like this. What the hell is Mercedes doing?
'How many of you at this school feel fat?' There's a long pause, and a hand or two rises around me. Quinn, surprisingly bold, holds her hand up high, like she's proud. Filled with a sudden rush of assurance, I raise mine too.
'How many of you feel like maybe you're not worth very much, or you're ugly, like your have too many pimples and not enough friends?' Pretty much everyone has their hands up now. Even Jesse, who I thought was the most secure guy ever. 'Well, I've felt all those things about myself. Hell, I've felt most of those things about myself today. And that just 'aint right. So we've got something to say about it, and if you like what we have to say, come down and sing it with us.'
A piano tune starts, and I don't recognize the song at first. But then Mercedes starts singing. It's that I Am Beautiful song, whatever it's called. And it's amazing. Mercedes' voice blasts through the gym, so powerful and strong in so many more ways than the ones we can hear.
'I am beautiful, no matter what they say, yes words can't bring me down.'
The rest of the Cheerios join in, a chorus of empowerment, but your back is still turned. I keep my eyes on you, the only one still facing the back of the gym, until I suddenly find myself being dragged to my feet by Quinn. We walk over to Mercedes, and even though I don't really know the words to the verses, I know the chorus. I squeeze Mercedes' shoulder as I pass her, smiling warmly. I know my eyes are watery and I'm on the brink of tears, but she smiles back, so happy, and I know she means every word she's singing.
I reach you just as the second chorus starts. Your shoulders are shaking violently, and it takes me a second to realize you're crying. No wonder you haven't joined in. I wish more than anything that I could comfort you properly right now, but I know that there are a thousand eyes on us right now. The Cheerios provide enough of a shield that I feel safe to wipe away some of your tears and take your hand, squeezing tightly. Getting far too brazen, I join in with the second chorus, 'You are beautiful, in every single way, yes words can't bring you down.' You smile through your tears, and then I'm not even sure if you're crying or laughing.
This would be the perfect time to kiss you. Instead, I can't even hug you for fear of the people around us seeing. And then you're gone from me, going to speak to Mercedes as she ends the song. 'Thank you,' I hear you saying, 'I was wrong.'
You and Mercedes hug, and I'm mobbed by elated Cheerios. Even Santana is smiling and laughing. The crowd is all standing, and those who aren't in the stands surround us, cheering. The school stands united, every single shape and size student joined in celebrating our collective beauty.
I gotta say, it's kind of wonderful.
~ Briiiing! ~
The choir room is deserted. Glee club is cancelled for today, so everyone went home early, but we both lagged behind. 'That was some performance.' I say, smiling gently. You're sat at the piano, absently playing a chord.
'Yeah, it was.'
'And quite a message, too.' My voice is a little teasing. You budge over and I sit down, placing my fingers on the piano as if I know what I'm doing.
'Mmn.' You agree, and your reach over and put your hands on mine, guiding them to the right notes. You press down, and the piano plays that Defying Gravity chord you love so much.
'Does this mean you're going to have more than celery for dinner?' I ask, a little tentative. For a moment, I'm worried this will start another argument, but you answer me with a gorgeous smile.
'I was thinking you could take me to Breadstix and buy me something horribly unhealthy.' you say, grinning.
'Happy to oblige.' I say, and with a moment's hesitation, I lean in to kiss you. You happily receive me, wrapping your arms around my shoulders. We stay there, kissing gently for a little while before I notice something and pull back. 'Did you have one of those Sylvester shake things?'
'Yeah.' I pull a face, 'You taste like sand.'
'Oh, don't remind me. I think it had ipecac in it, I thought I was going to hurl.'
'Ew.' I reply, but I place another quick peck on your lips anyway. Then, I draw back a little and regard you seriously, 'Look, I'm sorry for being such a jerk this week. I've been kind of a terrible boyfriend.'
You seem surprised that I'm apologizing. I'm not sure why, because I've pretty much been horrible to you in the wake of my own problems. 'That's okay. You were a little preoccupied. And I'm sorry I've been…ah. Drinking sand.'
'Totally forgiven. You are…' I nearly say something, but stop myself, 'ah, this is going to sound so corny now.'
That makes you pull away from me, the corners of your eyes wrinkling with your smile. I know you know what I was going to say, 'Oh, come on! You can't leave me hanging like that!'
Oh, you definitely know. And the more I stall, the worse it will sound, 'No, no! It's so cheesy, you'll hate me.'
You actually poke me on the forehead for that, but you're still smiling madly, 'I love cheesy, you idiot! Say it.'
I take a deep breath. Prepare myself for the humiliation. Come on, Dave, suck it up. 'You are beautiful…' When you start laughing, I can't hold it in, I burst into laughter too, and I have to take a few gasping breaths before I can finish, 'no matter what they say.'
You really much love cheesy, because the kiss you give me is of epic proportions. When we break apart again, I see your eyes are full of tears. 'You're not just saying that?'
'Fuck, no. And I'll be happy to remind you every day if that's what it takes.'
'You can start by paying for dinner.'
It's far too obvious that something's wrong when we get back to the house and you find the note from your dad. You've been smiling madly all evening, but I see your face drop reading it. You don't look at me, though, crumpling it and throwing it into the bin.
I try to stay casual, even though it's obvious you're upset. 'What's up? Where's your dad?'
'Oh. Out. He's at Finn's house. W-watching a game.' You try and brush me off, walking to your room and dropping your bag to the floor before sitting on the edge of your bed.
'Are you okay?' I ask, softly, sitting down on the bed next to you. Immediately, you lean against my shoulder, taking one of my hands in yours.
'Dave…will you tell me about football?' You murmur, rubbing your thumb against mine. I can feel you breathing harder than usual, like you're trying to hold back tears.
'Uh, sure? What do you want to know?'
'I don't know…who the best teams are, who wins everything, stuff like that.'
I smile gently, 'Not really how it works. Why are you interested all of a sudden, anyway?'
'No reason. I was just wondering.'
'It's nothing, Dave. Just forget I asked.' A single tear drips down your face, and I wipe it away with my thumb.
'You don't have to tell me. Just…I'm here, okay?' I say, and you nod, more tears wetting your cheeks. A moment later, you hold out your arms, and I pull you into a tight embrace, hugging you tight as you bury your face in my chest.
A murmured thank you, a kiss on the cheek, and there we lie, bodies curled together until you eventually fall asleep in my arms.
Call me corny, but I've never felt more at home.
~ Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo... ~