Author's Note: This story is based on a prompt by fabgabulous7.
Prompt outline: Ten years after high school, Kurt has become a really bitter and cruel fashion designer, who makes everyone he works with miserable. He's so terrible that no one from Glee Club will talk to him anymore. Meanwhile, Dave has gotten himself together and is out and happy. He gets the chance to work with Kurt and is excited until he sees how awful Kurt is to everyone. Kurt is furious when he sees Dave, because of how things ended between them in high school. He tries to make Dave's life hell, but because of his bullying, he sees right through Kurt and tries to help him move past it.
Full prompt here (remove spaces): http : / / karofsky - hummel . livejournal . com / 33631 . html?thread=8381279#t8381279
'It's going to be amazing to see Kurt,' Dave thought, humming to himself as he packed the equipment he'd need on the trip into his camera bags. He'd tried checking up on Kurt for the past few years, but whenever he ran into one of Kurt's friends in Lima, they skirted the subject of how Kurt was doing. It made sense, Dave mused. After the way he'd treated Kurt during most of high school, it was no surprise that Kurt's friends didn't really want to talk about him to Dave. Thankfully, Dave was finally getting the opportunity to show Kurt how much he'd changed since their senior year.
As he placed the last lens into the bag, his assistant, James, walked into the room. "What are you smiling so much about?" Dave shrugged and tried to wipe the smile from his face, but didn't totally succeed. "Come on, man, you know you can't hide anything from me, so you may as well come out with it."
It wasn't like he'd be able to hide how he felt when he saw Kurt again, so he might as well tell James. Grabbing the computer he'd need to edit the photos, he spoke. "So you remember that kid I told you about from high school?"
James chuckled. "Yeah, the one who you couldn't seduce by shoving him into lockers? What about him?"
"He's the designer whose collection I'm shooting. Man, I haven't seen him in years, and maybe now that I've finally gotten my act together..."
"Wait, the guy you've been pining over for 10 years is Kurt Hummel? The chief designer for YSL? That Kurt Hummel?" James had a dubious look of his face, as though he'd just heard something that worried him.
"Yeah, why? What do you know about him?"
"Dave, dude, I know you're kind of new to fashion photography, but he has a reputation for, um, kind of being a...bitch."
Dave snorted. "Yeah, he always was a bit of a diva. I remember this one time, he got all up on me, started shaking his finger in my face. I doubt he's gotten much calmer since then." James looked uncertain, but just sighed and told Dave they'd better get everything to the car if they wanted to make their flight. Dave took one last glance around the studio to make sure he'd packed everything. Man, catching up with Kurt was going to be an adventure. Dave just hoped Kurt would be able to get past high school and give him a chance.
Three airports later, Dave found himself in Ushuaia, Argentina. From the city, they'd be heading out into the Tierra del Fuego National Park and the Southern Fuegian Railway, where Kurt had decided he wanted to shoot his newest collection. Dave had been a little surprised when Kurt's assistant had mentioned the park. Dave had shot there when he'd been predominantly a wildlife photographer, and he couldn't imagine someone like Kurt willingly going out into such a harsh area, especially not if he was dragging his new summer collection. Trust Kurt to want to shoot a summer collection in one of the coldest places he could find.
Their taxi pulled up in front of Los Cauquenes Resort, the hotel where they'd all be staying. Checking in, they were told that their bags would be put in their rooms, and that Mr. Hummel had been waiting for them since 11:15. Dave glanced at his watch. It was 11:32. James gave him a helpless shrug.
When they got to Kurt's room, they heard a thump, followed by a shriek. James shrugged again, and Dave was beginning to wonder if something was wrong with him. Dave knocked once before the door was jerked open and a well-dressed but frazzled-looking young woman stood before them. "Oh good, you must be the photographer!" She grabbed Dave by the elbow and yanked him into the room, leaving James to follow, apprehension clouding his face.
Kurt was standing in front of the picture window, staring out at the mountains. The woman, who still had Dave's elbow grasped firmly in her handed, approached him, cringing slightly. "Mr. Hummel? The photographer is here." Kurt turned around, and Dave started to chuckle, because the look of haughty disdain was exactly how he'd remembered it. He was so caught up in the memory of a high school Kurt that he was barely able to duck, and the sunglasses Kurt had hurled at him only missed him by about half an inch. Unfortunately, James hadn't seen the throw, and they hit him square in the middle of the forehead. He let out a squeak, but otherwise gave no reaction. Whenever they had some time, Dave would have to find out what was going on with him.
"Maggie, what is David Karofsky doing here?" Kurt growled, and Dave didn't think he'd ever heard Kurt's voice go so low. "I had hoped to go my whole life without ever having him in my bedroom and now, because of you, that's not possible."
"Mr. Hummel, remember? Mr. Karofsky is the photographer we hired to shoot the summer collection. We talked about it for weeks; the whole design team agreed that he was the best choice to photograph the collection down here." Maggie looked so frightened that Dave was impressed she was still able to speak. She seemed ready to run for the door, and Dave noticed that she had positioned herself with a chair between her and Kurt.
"If there was so much talking going on, why didn't anyone bother to ask me?" Kurt roared, and Maggie took a discreet step back and lifted her chin slightly.
"We did ask you. We had a three hour meeting where we studied the work of a variety of photographers, and Mr. Karofsky's work was the one you picked. I even mentioned that he was from your hometown, and you said to hire him."
"You really expect me to listen to everything you say? You can't even bring me the correct coffee order in the morning, and you expect that I'll think it's important when you talk to me? Well, you'd better listen now, because you are going to get on the phone and you are going to find a photographer who will be here in the morning to photograph this collection, and if you don't want to find your own way back from South America, he'll be better than David Karofsky!" With that, Kurt sank into the chair that Maggie had used as a shield and crossed his arms over his chest.
Since the sunglasses attack, Dave noticed that James had situated himself with his back to the door and his had on the doorknob. As Maggie ran toward the door, presumably to find a phone, James held it open and then dashed out after the assistant.
Dave approached the chair that Kurt was now pouting in and stuck out his hand. Kurt snarled. "Do you really think I'm going to shake your hand? God knows where it's been. It's probably been all over your trophy wife, and I don't want lady parts germs all over me."
"Good god, Hummel, lady parts germs? I'm gay, dude. I've been out since the summer after high school." Kurt sat up even straighter and his face twisted as though he'd sucked on a lemon. "Look, Kurt, you hired me to shoot this collection, and I am damn good at what I do. There's absolutely no need to hire another photographer when I can do this job better than any of them. Besides, you can't fire me, not unless you want me to sue you for breach of contract." Dave wasn't totally sure if it would be breach of contract, but he didn't think Kurt would know, either, so it was worth a shot.
Kurt looked concerned for a moment, so Dave decided to keep pressing his advantage. "Come on Hummel, we're only supposed to be down here for a week and a half, and we're just working, it's not like we'd be hanging out. I'm sure it won't kill you to work with me."
Kurt pursed his lips and then let out a sigh. "Fine. I'm going to take a nap so I can get past the stress of seeing you. Then you are going to meet me at Reinamora at 4:00 for tea so that I can consider continuing to use you as the photographer for the collection. If you are even a minute late, I will cancel your contract and use whatever photographer Megan finds instead."
Dave blinked. "Who's Megan?"
"Megan's my assistant, remember? The one who had the audacity to hire you and condemn me to the living hell of working with David Karofsky."
"I'm pretty sure you called her Maggie earlier. Do you not even know your own assistant's name? Anyway, why is working with me going to be a living hell? We were cool at the end of high school. I know we haven't seen each other in a long time, but we ended school on good terms."
At "good terms," Kurt's eyes blazed and he flung the door to the hall open. "Get out, Karofsky, and you better be there at 4:00."