Just a short drabble of what happened after Dave ran out on the "Dancing Queen" dance.
I can't. I can't. I can't. I can't.
The mantra repeats itself in his head, over and over again, like a steady drum beat, or the pounding of his feet against the cold tile in the empty McKinley hallways.
Dave could still hear the sultry tones of Santana and that Mercedes chick from the auditorium. The upbeat rhythm that had started to play as Dave actually considered dancing with Kurt Hummel for the Prom King and Queen traditional dance.
For just a moment, Dave thought about taking one of Kurt's hands in his and putting another on his waist. Then he would have danced with Kurt be damned what the rest of this stupid school though. After the song had ended, Dave would have leaned over and kissed Kurt - not for real, because even Dave knew that the short preppy guy was his boyfriend now - but on the cheek. Dave wouldn't have said anything specific, but it would be like basically coming out. The message would be there, loud and clear.
Then Dave had blinked and looked at the crowd around them for just a moment. There were faces of distain and hate - one of the star, "straight" football players being forced to dance with the gay kid; the queer. It was a travesty. And if Dave would have gone through with it…that target that was on Kurt's back would be on his, too.
Dave panicked and looked back on Kurt's very pale face.
Then Dave found himself pushing by the judging faces - that would have judged him in a moment had he took Kurt's hand - and out the doors, leaving the happy music behind him.
Dave's feet carried him, without him really knowing where they were taking him. Before he knew it, Dave found himself in the boy's locker room. Only a few of the bright overhead lights were on, making the room look darker than usual. Dave walked over to the bench right in front of his locker and sat down, finding that his legs wouldn't stop shaking.
The stupid metal scepter fell to the ground with a dull clang. Dave reached up and tugged off the matching crown, looking down at his in both of his hands. It glowed in even the low lightening. Dave closed his eyes. Ever since Santana had started this charade, Dave convinced himself that maybe winning Prom King would make him feel something. Like it would make everything better, somehow.
Dave dropped the crown without another thought and looked up at his locker. He was taken back to that day when he…kissed Kurt, right here. The day that everything he had been dreading finally came to be. He had been outted, to at least one person.
That had been horrible. Dave honestly couldn't imagine being outted in front of all those people back in the gym.
Kurt may be right. Dave was a little miserable, but he figured it would be tenfold if everyone knew. The target would be a shared burden for both him and Kurt. It might make Kurt feel better, but it sure as hell wouldn't make him feel any better.
It was only a few moments before Dave couldn't stand it in this room any more. He leaned over and picked up the crown and scepter without real though and wondered back to the gym. The music still played and it sounded like the song that had began when Dave had left was just ending.
Dave opened the door he had stormed out of shortly before and peered in.
Everyone was dancing. Everyone. There were balloons and laughing and dancing and no one looked mad or upset. Dave spotted the other crown almost immediately.
Kurt was actually laughing, reaching up to keep his crown from falling off. That guy that sang earlier, and confronted him twice before - Blane? - was smiling and spinning him around. They were…dancing.
Dave could dimly remember hearing a voice ring out in the quiet gym as he left - "Excuse me - can I have this dance?" Dave remembered.
So two guys had danced together at tonight's prom.
Part of him hated that Blane kid. He wished he was brave enough to do what he did. He also wished, somewhere, that he had what Blane had.
The other half…was just sorta relieved.
Two guys had danced together and nothing bad had happened. In fact, everyone in the room looked happy. Sure, there were a few people frowning at the edge of the dance floor and at tables, but mostly….it was ok.
Dave didn't pretend that the student body of McKinley was suddenly pro-gay. That wouldn't happen. Ever.
But he could dream for now.
Dave left the room again and walked to his car slowly. When he climbed inside he texted Santana and told her that she needed to find another ride home - he knew her phone was somewhere hidden in her chest. Then he started the car and drove home. He ignored his dad when he came inside, with a muttered, "Tell you tomorrow," and went up stairs.
Dave collapsed in bed, but found he couldn't shut off his brain. For the rest of the night, until almost 1 am, he lay there and imagined scenarios where he came out. In some, he was hated and shunned from school (they seemed like the most logical to him) and in others…it was ok. His parents didn't care and his friend accepted him. Kurt actually smiled at him. Dave had a boyfriend, some faceless guy who Dave had never met - and probably would never meet in Lima.
He imagined he had danced with Kurt Hummel at Prom.
Yeah, he could dream.