A/N: This is definitely AU as of The First Time. I appreciate all the reviews, favorites and alerts! Please keep them coming!
Also, I'm posting a one-shot, "And You Want to Travel Blind," which explains some of the events in this chapter in more detail, and is from Kurt's point of view.
Dave leaned against the railing by the baggage claim. His mom had been thrilled to get the call asking her to come pick him up from the airport in Dayton; so excited that she didn't ask why he was coming home so unexpectedly. Hopefully she'd sent his dad to come pick him up, so he could avoid the conversation about quitting Kurt's shoot altogether. Sure enough, twenty minutes later, Paul Karofsky pulled up to the curb, clapped Dave briefly on the back, and loaded Dave's backpack and camera equipment into the car.
The silence of the hour-long ride back to Lima was broken around Piqua, when his dad turned to Dave and said, "Your mother's going to want to know why you're coming in on a flight from Buenos Aires, and you know she won't be satisfied until she knows every last detail." Dave shrugged, and his father continued. "Now, I took the car in to get the oil changed this morning, and I mentioned to Burt Hummel that you were coming back from Argentina today. You know what he told me?" Dave shrugged again, and waited for Paul to continue. "He told me that Kurt was in Argentina as well, shooting his new spring collection- that he was working with anewphotographer that he was really excited about. Any ideas about who that might be? And enough with the shrugging."
Dave sighed. His dad was right; Mom had a way of dragging information out of you without you even realizing what you were giving away. He'd last 5 minutes in that house before his mom knew that he'd slept with Kurt, they'd had an argument, and Dave had stormed off in the middle of the shoot. He shot off a quick text to Azimio, praying that he was off work and willing to throw Dave a lifeline. His phone buzzed, and Dave let out the breath he'd been holding. Z was already at the diner after his shift, providing Dave the perfect opportunity to slip away before his mom could start in on her questions.
"Dad, I'm not ready to talk about it. Z's at the diner; can you just drop me there and I'll tell Mom everything when Z brings me home?" His dad didn't look happy, but when they got to Lima, he went straight into town rather than turning onto the road that led to their neighborhood. When they pulled into the parking lot of the diner, Dave's dad turned to him.
"David, I'm going to let this slide because clearly something happened between you and Kurt in Argentina. Talk to Azimio, try to figure things out, and then get yourself home. Your mother's been on the edge of her seat since you called." Dave nodded and slid out of the car to walk into the diner.
As he approached the booth, Z stood to hug him. No matter how many times Dave saw him in uniform, he still found it hard to believe that Z had decided to become a cop. It turned out that forcing him into the Bully Whips had had a pretty positive effect.
Dave had barely taken a sip of his coffee when Azimio whacked him upside the head. "You had a week and a half to get your man. A week and a half! And you're back here after 3 days. What the hell, man?" Azimio's eyes were practically glowing, and Dave was starting to think that he'd have been better off going home to tell his mom every last detail of his time in Argentina. Z had turned out to be surprisingly vehement about helping him get together with Kurt. Dave supposed it was because he felt badly about how they'd treated Kurt in high school, and he wanted Kurt to see that Dave was a nice guy.
David sat back to listen to another one of Z's "You've just got to put yourself out there, get in touch with him, and show him what a great guy you are," speeches. He knew Azimio would lose steam after about 5 minutes, so all he had to do was wait.
About a minute in, he noticed a familiar face grinning from the booth behind Z. Strando heaved himself to his feet and sauntered over to their booth, grinning all the while. "So I couldn't help but overhear that you were spending some time with Hummel this week, Karofsky. I wonder how much he liked being around you, considering what you did to him after we graduated."
"What the hell are you talking about, dude? I didn't do anything to Kurt after we graduated. We completely lost touch after the last day of school. I haven't talked to him until this week."
Strando smiled and leaned over the table. "Let me fill you in, then. After your faggy display at Brittany's party, me and some of the guys decided to have some fun with you. That one night that you logged in to Facebook at my house? You left it so that it signed you in automatically, so we sent some messages to Hummel, told him that you had a big thing for him, he said he was in love with you, 'you' asked him on a date to Breadstixx, and then you stood him up to go on a date with some other dude. Of course, being the nice guys that we are, we couldn't just let him sit there at the restaurant, so we stopped by to let him know that you were out on a date." By the end of the story, Strando was practically glowing at his own cleverness, and Dave felt as though he was going to be sick.