Warning: Possible triggers for survivors of abuse.

"Fine, just go! Run back to your perfect boyfriend! Don't know why you ever bothered with me anyway!" Dave's voice almost cracked around the words, and he wasn't sure if it was more to do with anger or the almost suffocating sense of hurt. Surely, though…surely it was the first. He should have been accustomed to the second by now, unmoved by it, even. He had watched Kurt Hummel run away from him so many times…

"Maybe I will!" Kurt shouted back, throwing things into a suitcase and hurling his words with equal violence over his shoulder at Dave's chest. "I don't know why you'd care, at least then you won't have to put up with all my God. Damn. Girly. Drama," he forced out through his teeth, punctuating each word with a renewed attempt to get his overstuffed suitcase to zip closed.

"If you're gonna leave, stop talking about it and do it, Your Highness!" Dave flung back, voice dripping with bitter mocking. It was the last straw. Kurt let out an inarticulate scream of rage and threw the suitcase aside, its contents scattering across the floor. He spun and rushed at Dave, fisting his shirt and shoving him backwards before grabbing him again and screaming right in his face.

"I hate you, you know that? I hate you, I hate you, I h-mmph!"

Dave was kissing him, hot, hard and messy, his large hands grasping Kurt's shoulders so tightly it hurt. Kurt fought him for all of two seconds before he was wrapping his arms around Dave's broad shoulders and digging his fingernails into his back, pressing into him instead of pulling away, muffled shout turned into a sob that was equal parts want and agony.

When Dave released his lips, Kurt collapsed into his arms, clinging to those shoulders for dear life and pressing his face into Dave's chest, breathing in the scent of him and nearly gagging on panic at the thought of never smelling it again, never feeling this—this torturous, hideous, gorgeously painful tug of war they always seemed to be doing with each other's hearts—again.

"Dave," he managed to choke out. "I swear to God, you can't ever leave me, Dave.Please."

"Fuck, Fancy," Dave murmured into his hair. "I keep wondering when you're finally gonna get tired of my shit and leave me." At that, Kurt dissolved into body-wracking sobs and sagged into Dave's arms even more, clinging that little bit tighter to his shoulders, as if afraid Dave would creep away if he let him go. Dave leaned down, slipping a hand behind Kurt's legs and lifting him easily into his arms, bridal-style. Kurt didn't even squeal in surprise at suddenly being hoisted into the air; he merely whimpered and held on, refusing to let go even after Dave had laid him gently down on their mussed-up bed. Faced with the impossible task of prying Kurt's vice grip loose, Dave opted to simply stretch himself out over the smaller man, supporting his weight on his hands and knees and looking down at the top of Kurt's head with concern as he cried into Dave's shirt.

Finally, Kurt lifted his face to look into Dave's hazel eyes. His own were puffy and red, bloodshot and still shining with tears. They were still the most beautiful color of indescribable blue-green-grey Dave had ever seen, and the sight of so much pain in them cut him to the core.

"Kurt…I'm so fucking sorry—" he started, but Kurt was already shaking his head, silencing him with a quick press of lips to lips before pulling Dave down and pressing their foreheads together, locking their eyes, so close that they were both practically cross-eyed.

"I don't even want an apology," Kurt said. He sounded exhausted, resigned. "I'm sorry too, but it won't do any good. We'll just fight about the same thing tomorrow. Or something new."

"Or something new," Dave acknowledged with a half-sad chuckle. Kurt smiled up at him, then leaned in to whisper in his ear.

"Make love to me, David."

And so Dave did, slow and tender, almost worshipful, the way he always was with Kurt: like it was the last time he would ever be allowed to touch him. He took nothing for granted, left no inch of Kurt's skin un-kissed, no sensitive spot untouched. When they came, they came together, and then collapsed on their backs, side-by-side with their fingertips barely linked, physically and emotionally exhausted beyond comprehension.

Just before he fell asleep, Dave turned over and pulled Kurt into his arms, tangling their legs together and burying his face in the curve of Kurt's neck, breathing him in and thanking whoever might be listening for another day with the beautiful man he loved.

Just before he fell asleep, Kurt turned his head to press a kiss to Dave's temple and whispered, "I didn't mean it. I could never hate you," against his skin.

It had been like this since almost day one: Dave would say something thoughtless and offhanded that Kurt would take seriously and it would all get blown out of proportion before either could attempt to explain, until they were yelling at one another across their little bedroom. Kurt would throw things and Dave would bring up Blaine. Kurt would threaten to leave and Dave would tell him to go. Yet all the while neither of them knew what he would do without the other, how he would even begin to go on breathing if the other ever took him up on those threats. So they would fall into one another, wrap themselves up in things other than words, things that even they couldn't misinterpret. They would make love until they collapsed.

Then they were always so careful with one another, so gentle, for days or weeks afterward…until one of them said the wrong thing again, and then they were back to the sickening feeling of tearing each other apart while trying hold themselves together. Their troubles were deep things, not easily remedied, born of a difficult history and an almost crippling love for one another that was nevertheless coupled with constant uncertainty. On some days it felt an awful lot like hate.

Five years later, ten, twenty…when anyone asks Kurt about his relationship with Dave, he will slip into a nearly unconscious smile and tell them, without hesitation, that he is happy. When Dave looks back over those years, he won't remember the gut-wrenching fear that Kurt will finally wake up and leave him; he'll remember the way Kurt looks in the morning when he's making breakfast, the way he rolls his eyes at Dave's insistence on wearing denim and flannel no matter the season, and the way he kisses him and says "I love you" just before they fall asleep together every night. More than anything, he'll remember the way it feels to hold Kurt in his arms, and know that they belong to one another. In those quiet minutes, he never has to wonder.

Not every love story is perfect, no, but not every love story involves a twisting, painful road that eventually leads to happily ever after, either. Sometimes, the road itself is straight and short, and it's the happily ever after that gets twisted, and causes us pain. Sometimes we bring that pain on ourselves, either with our insistence on loving all the wrong people, or our inability to just let go of things that don't matter to us, in the end, nearly as much as the people we love. Yet even knowing that, would any of us really choose to look true, full-hearted, undeniable love in the face…and turn away to save ourselves some pain?

Author's Note: Somehow, it makes perfect sense that I would attempt to write 800 words on SOPA and PIPA for my journalism class, and instead I would get a 1200-word Kurtofsky plotbunny that ended up nearly making me late for work. And it's not even a happy plotbunny! It's a sad, messed-up little plotbunny in which Kurt and Dave make each other happy but they also occasionally make each other miserable, because while they do sincerely love each other they are also very different and get on each other's last nerve more often than not. Believe me, it happens more than you think.