I could stay awake, just to hear you breathing

Watch you smile while you are sleeping

While you're far away and dreaming

I could spend forever, in this sweet surrender

I could stay lost in this moment forever.

The Aerosmith ballad, which had started out low and dreamy, steadily increased in volume and was now blaring in Dave Karofsky's ear.

A bleary hazel eye peered out from under the pillow, Damn. It was 6:30 am.

Time to get up for school.

Time to spend another day pretending, laughing at jokes that weren't funny, winking at giggling girls he didn't care about, sitting through classes he wasn't engaged in. Telling fag jokes with his teammates, maybe slushing the Glee losers.

He hated all of it. Every day was painfully the same and Dave felt suffocated most of the time, like the walls were closing in around him. Even football and hockey held no appeal for him anymore.

There was only one time during the day he was anything close to happy. Well..not happy exactly, but close to feeling something.

That time was now, right after he woke up. In the fifteen minutes between his alarm going off and his hitting the shower.

These fifteen minutes were; Dave acknowledged in some hidden part of his soul, the only thing keeping him sane.

Dave had his own room in the big suburban Lima house his parents had bought 5 years ago. He had a big bed, a flat screen, his own lap top, a bathroom, and a lock to keep his siblings out.

For the first time in 5 years, he was using that lock.

He hadn't bothered with the lock before because he knew that his dad didn't care if he watched porn, or snuck a drink up to his room. His dad had joked with him about it, slapping him on the back, saying "like father, like son" and "that's my boy". His mother had shaken her head in that way that moms do, when they pretend to be mad. Then she had shrugged and sighed, a smile lurking on her lips, "boys will be boys, I guess". Not that they hadn't lectured him on being responsible and everything. They were good parents, they loved him. They just didn't know him.

Dave was the oldest and his mom told him everyday how proud of him she was. He was pretty sure she wouldn't be proud if she knew about this daily ritual.

His dad wouldn't slap him on the back or high five him if he knew what he had been doing every morning since 'it' happened.

"It" being THE KISS.

Dave had kissed 7 different girls since that horrible, wonderful, terrifying day in the locker room with Kurt. 3 cheerios, 2 girls at the club his cousin had snuck him into, his sister's 18 year old math tutor, and his mom's coworker, who had gotten a little too drunk at his parents last house party and planted a big wet one on him, laughingly telling his mom "your baby is all grown up".

He's barely controlled his gag reflect on that last one. To be honest, he'd barely controlled his gag reflex on all of them.

Because they weren't the lips he wanted to be kissing.

7 girls later, and when he closed his eyes, he could still taste Kurt's peppermint lip balm on his mouth. Feel the pressure of his lips, as he had, for the briefest flash of a second, kissed Dave back. And even though Kurt had rejected him, and left McKinley, and even though so much had passed between them in the interm, Dave couldn't let go of that kiss.

It was all he knew of heaven.

Which brought his mind back around to his secret morning habit.

Inhaling deeply, and with a furtive look around, Dave reached into his nightstand, grabbing his journal. Which he never wrote in. Not one single word.

His journal was one of his most treasured possessions. Not because of what it said, but because of what it hid. Exactly in the middle of its crisp pages was his picture of Kurt Hummel.

Dave hadn't taken a picture of him or anything. He might be ga..Umm…different, but he wasn't some kind of pervert stalker or anything.

He'd actually stolen it off some dumb Glee Club bulletin board.

Later he'd heard some of the Glee kids angrily discussing who had 'vandalized' their bulletin board. (He'd had to mess up some of the other pictures, so it wouldn't be noticed that Kurt's was the only one gone) He had run his fingers over the neatly folded picture in his pocket, and smiled.

Dave stared down at the picture now.

Kurt's beaming smile looked back at him. A smile; Dave painfully acknowledged, that he had never once directed at the jock in real life.

The picture showed the smaller boy in his typical style of dress. Dave had come to think of it as half male model, half grandma.

He was wearing black leggings, a hip length pale lavender sweater, shiny black boots, and a scarf. His bright blue eyes twinkled with some hidden merriment, his cheeks were flushed with their usual rosy glow, his styled hair was neatly in place, and he looked happy and at peace.

David had never seen anything more beautiful.

So this morning, like the last countless mornings before it, Dave gave in to feelings he couldn't, or at least, wouldn't, let himself think about or understand.

Grabbing his iPod from the alarm clock dock, he snapped on the headphones, and returned to his bed. Climbing under the disheveled covers he pulled his pillow towards himself and wrapped his brawny arms around it. It smelled like peppermint. Another theft on his part. His sister never had found out who'd stolen her peppermint body spray. Dave smiled grimly. He doubted he was high on the list of suspects. Sighing quietly and pulling his body as close to the fetal position as his oversized limbs would allow, he switched the Aerosmith song back to the beginning, hugged the pillow to his body, lay the picture on the pillow next to his head, and..In the softest of whispers, he sang.

Only in his heart did he acknowledge to whom he was singing.

His beloved.

And though it shamed him to the soles of his feet, and he would deny it to his last breath, he began to cry. His voice breaking on the line of "I'd still miss you, babe", his hand stroked the picture and clenched it tight to his heart, as he gave in to mixed feelings of pain, despair, and longing.