Title:What Might Have Been (11/11) (Sequel to Can't Fight This Feeling)
Pairing: Puck/Kurt, light Blaine/Karofsky
Rating: Overall NC-17 (this chapter PG-13)
Spoilers: Seasons one and two.
Word Count: 1,871
Disclaimer: Not mine. The characters of Glee belong to Ryan Murphy and Fox Television.
Summary: Six years after graduating high school and leaving Lima for college in New York, Kurt finds himself returning home to escape the lime light of his career and publicized fight with his rock star fiancé and is reunited with Puck.
A/N: This story was originally written as an RPG, which explains any shifty POV's. This chapter is not beta read. Feedback is appreciated!
Artie's Karaoke Bar was located in the small downtown area of Lima, Ohio. Because it was the only bar in the area that didn't play country music, it was a popular hot spot from the very beginning. It was Artie's pride and joy. It gave the local kids of Lima a safe place to hang out and encouraged them to express themselves through music. It was also the perfect place for this year's Glee reunion.
Kurt wasn't really sure how Rachel managed to talk him into coming, but he had to admit that by his third drink, he was having fun catching up with everyone's lives since high school. Mercedes was finishing up her residency at Lima County Hospital. She would be a doctor soon, following in her parents footsteps. Artie had gone away to school, earned a degree in engineering to make his parents happy, but came back home and surprised everyone by opening up the bar. Santana, now an exotic dancer, hadn't gone very far at all. She was currently sitting in Finn's lap as he talked to Artie about sports. Tina and Mike had gotten married right out of high school and were still very happy together with their two young kids. Mike worked in real estate and Tina opened a boutique that had surprisingly done very well.
The only members missing were Brittany and Quinn. Quinn had disappeared right after high school, not even coming back when Puck took custody of Beth. And the last time Kurt heard from Brittany, she was dancing in LA and having a blast.
Kurt had been nervous at first, but all of his old friends had carefully avoided asking him about his life in New York and his recent trauma, which he was very thankful for. He had forgotten what it was like to be surrounded by good friends. He realized then that it hadn't just been Puck that he missed on those cold, lonely New York days and nights.
Dave Karofsky looked himself over in the mirror suspiciously one last time. He couldn't believe his boyfriend was making him do this. It wasn't him at all. It was times like these that Dave really questioned his attraction to Blaine. After all, they had absolutely nothing in common. However, he remembered how Blaine had gone with him to see a football game earlier that week and he supposed it was only fair. He was sure that even though Blaine pretended to be amused, he had been just as reluctant.
"I hope you don't expect me to be doing any Karaoke," he muttered as he turned around, "Because that's so not my style." Blaine had insisted on going out together tonight, saying that it would be therapeutic for both of them. It had been interesting dating a therapist. It had certainly helped Dave in a lot of ways. He wouldn't be here, after all, if it hadn't.
"You don't have to. This is just for fun. You need to relax," Blaine assured him gently, rubbing his back. "Come on let's head out."
At this point, Kurt was sprawled out on Puck's lap, whispering drunkenly in his ear. Puck, equally drunk, couldn't keep his hands from wandering. "I want you to give me a blow job in the men's room," Kurt teased his fiancé.
It was one of the few instances in the history of time that Puck and Kurt were both heavily intoxicated at the same time. It meant that neither of them cared who saw them making out on top of each other, obviously whispering obscenities into each other's ears. To Puck, it was nice to see Kurt let go and have fun. "What if I want to fuck you against the wall?" he teased right back.
Kurt groaned and kissed Puck deeply before he pulled away. "I really do have to pee first. Wait here," he grinned drunkenly, wobbling to his feet and giving his lover one last seductive glance. "I'll be right back."
Puck slapped Kurt on the ass in a primal display of ownership and a few turned around to laugh when Kurt yelped. But instead of getting angry at him like he usually would, Kurt just giggled and wobbled away to the bathroom.
A few minutes later, he was washing his hands when the bathroom door opened. He looked up into the mirror in front of him to see what he knew had to be a result of his own drunken, medicated imagination. He chuckled to himself and continued rinsing his hands. "No more vodka for me," he said as he grabbed some paper towels and ignored the apparition of his high school tormenter behind him.
Dave Karofsky found it harder to pass Kurt Hummel staring back at him through the men's bathroom mirror as a drunken hallucination. He hadn't been drinking much so far that night. After realizing, to his horror, that they had come to Artie's on the night of a McKinley Nerd Reunion, he had been afraid to let his guard down. And now, he realized, it had been for a good reason.
At first, he could only stare. "Kurt?" he asked as though he didn't believe it.
Kurt blinked and stared at the other man in confusion. Apparitions didn't talk, after all. Not even his. "Ummm, yeah?" he asked, hoping this guy was just a look-a-like.
Dave was still dumbstruck. God, what could he say? He couldn't very well ask if he remembered him. He didn't want him to, after all. But of course he remembered how he had made his life a living hell and taken advantage of him. He also couldn't compliment on the fact that he looked so good, so many years later. It would sound wrong, coming from him.
In all honesty, he knew that there was nothing for him to say, even if he did spend most of his adult life thinking of the right way to react in this exact moment.
"Uh, I guess I'm just... surprised to see you here. I'm surprised to see everyone here," he said awkwardly.
It took Kurt a minute for him to realize it was not some figment from his mind. "Oh god, you're really him. I thought I was imagining it," he gasped, backing up against the sink and clutching its cold tile. He was a grown up now, he had to remind himself. He could handle this. This was his chance. He might not have another ever again. "What did I ever do to you to deserve the things you did to me?" he finally asked the question that had plagued him for years.
Karofsky was overwhelmed by that, but he didn't turn and run away like he wanted to. "Nothing, you didn't do nothing, I was just a fuck up," he tried to tell him, "I'm... I'm so sorry."
Kurt just shook his head at the apology. "I think I must have the word 'victim' tattooed on my forehead or something," he spoke mostly to himself then. "You could have chosen anyone in that entire school. I'm sure there were closet cases like you that you could have singled out."
"It was you, I liked you," Dave admitted, but his voice was small and broken. He knew how he must sound. "I don't deserve to have your acceptance. I know that. But I just want you to know how sorry I really am that I took things too far. I was scared and alone and I wanted you so bad, and I couldn't admit it to myself..."
Kurt looked away. He was taken aback by the raw sincerity in the apology. He knew how hard high school had been as a gay kid, even with a wonderfully supportive family and boyfriend. "I… I understand and I accept your apology," he said after a while. They weren't teenagers anymore. They were both grown men.
Then, Kurt stuck out his hand for Dave to shake.
Dave didn't bother to try to hide his surprise. "What? No, you can't. I don't want that," he shook his head.
"You don't want me to accept your apology?" Kurt asked, taking his shaky hand back. "Well, too bad Karofsky, because my therapist assures me that forgiving you is the way to heal and I'm tired of being so fucking broken."
Dave, again, didn't know what to say to that. "Thank you," he said softly, and shakily extended his own hand to Kurt. His smile then was awkward and forced, but attempted to be genuine.
Kurt took a deep breath and reached to clasp his hand before giving it a quick shake and letting go. "You're welcome," he said, "And I hope your courtship skills have much improved."
Karofsky seemed to relax a little after that. "Uh, they have. I kinda have a boyfriend now. I guess. I like him a lot," he admitted with a shrug, although there was no way he was going to let Kurt know exactly who that boyfriend was. "I'm glad that I didn't ruin anything between you and Puckerman," he added, "I guess part of me was just jealous that he had the balls to be brave and I didn't."
"I'm glad you have someone," was all Kurt said to that.
"Yeah, me too," Karofsky decided, but there was still more to say. "You've done really well for yourself. You're super famous."
"Thanks. I should get back to the others," Kurt finally said, because the last thing he needed was for Puck to come looking for him and find him in the bathroom with Karofsky. "If you're ever in New York, you should come see me on stage."
"Sure," Karofsky smiled, and watched Kurt leave.
Puck was on his way to the bathroom, wondering what was taking Kurt so long. "There you are. For a minute there, I thought you were taking care of business without me." He grabbed him and pulled him close.
Kurt smirked at his lover, feeling suddenly like a heavy weight had just been lifted off of him. "Come dance with me," he suggested just as Little's Texas' song, "What Might Have Been" started to play.
Puck found his lighthearted mood contagious as he followed after him, his hand in his. Kurt pulled him onto the dance floor just as the second chorus of the song picked up.
So try not to think about
What might have been
'Cause that was then
And we have taken different roads
We can't go back again
There's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been
This song had always reminded him of Puck. While living the high life in New York, it only took hearing this song on the radio for him to be depressed for a week. But now, he had another chance and he wasn't going to screw it up.
That same old look in your eyes
It's a beautiful night
I'm so tempted to stay
But too much time has gone by
We should just say goodbye
And turn and walk away
Puck held Kurt tighter. "This song's corny as hell," he snickered while Finn bellowed the words through the microphone. "But I like dancing with you."
THE END.(for now…)
The third and final story in the series, called "If I Had You" will be here soon! Find out what happens when Kurt moves back to New York, focuses on his acting career, and starts a long distance relationship with his fiancé Puck.