Title: About trees and empty forests.
Pairing:
Dave Karofsky/Kurt Hummel.
Rating:
Nc17.
Warnings:
Strip and lap dances. Misunderstood prostitution. Bulimia. Depression.
Spoilers:
Season One and Two.
Beta:
Ella. Thanks for everything, girl! You're the best beta anyone can ask for!
Word Count:
119oo this chapter.
Genre:
Romance/Angst/Drama.
Disclaimer:
Pfht, if I owned Glee, Blaine wouldn't be on it.
Summary:
It's been five years since Kurt Hummel and Dave Karofsky left Lima, following different paths. Now their lives are far from being what they dreamed for themselves. But then one night they meet again, in an unexpected way and in an unexpected place and everything changes.
A/N:
I started plotting this fic way before the Prom episode. So in this fic, Karofsky hasn't apologized yet.
A/N: IMPORTANT NOTE! I apologize in advance. This is the last chapter my beta can beta, so please enjoy this last one! The next ones won't have a beta and will be surely filled with grammar horror so... I'm sorry for that. Enjoy!


Chapter 13

It's Tuesday morning and Kurt wakes feeling lazy and a bit disappointed when he notices Dave is long gone and he didn't have the chance to say goodbye. Kurt chuckles, annoyed, but he snuggles under the covers, loving the warmth. Every new morning he wakes up in Dave's bed, it always takes a bit longer until he decides to get up. It's just an amazing bed, and even if he doesn't get too much sleep when he stays with Dave, considering how much sex they have, Kurt always wakes up very well rested.

At ten, Kurt decides to stop lazing around and get up for once. He heads to the bathroom to brush his teeth (Dave got him his own tooth brush a couple of weeks ago), showers, and after getting dressed, he goes to the kitchen.

Kurt rolls his eyes when he finds a paper bag with two big cinnamon buns on the counter, because it seems Dave will never let him have a breakfast that doesn't include some tasty pastry to go with his coffee. Kurt doesn't get mad anymore, though; if anything, he's getting used to it. Kurt desperately needs to hold onto anything that makes him feel good, since he's still trying to get over the robbery, even if he does his best not to think about that. With Dave, Kurt can feel somewhat happy twice a week and it's a huge thing for him. Also, it had been a great idea to stop being so nosy and start being more caring towards Dave, because it's been weeks since they had any kind of argument.

Maybe he's imagining things, but he believes his new approach is helping Dave as well. Kurt hasn't found Dave sitting alone in the darkness again, and Dave seems more relaxed and open. That thought makes him smile.

Half an hour later, Kurt's watching one of the episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race that Dave TiVo'd for him and he gets why Dave likes this show so much because, really, it's very addicting. They watched three episodes last night, and Kurt got completely hooked. His coffee is long gone and so is one of the cinnamon buns; Kurt decides to save the second one for later in the day. He'll take it home, though, because if he leaves it there Dave might torture himself trying to resist the sweet treat, which would be bad; or torture himself trying to resist the temptation, then eat it, then throw it up, which would be even worse.

The ringing of his phone startles him, but he hurries to get it from his jacket before he misses the call. Kurt's surprised when he sees on the screen that Dave's the one calling.

"Hello?"

"Kurt, hi," Dave greets, sounding hurried or busy, Kurt can't really tell. "Are you still at home? Please, tell me you're home," he pleads, desperate, before Kurt can answer.

Kurt blushes. At home. It's a silent agreement that he can stay in Dave's apartment as long as he wants. God, Kurt even has a set of keys now, because last week Dave was coming home late from work and decided giving Kurt a spare set was easier than asking the manager to let him in. It's obvious that Kurt takes baths and has breakfast at Dave's. The coffee and pastries are gone when Dave comes back from work, and Dave also gets new bathing products when they run out. Secretly, Kurt sometimes keeps his MetFood uniform in his backpack and stays at Dave's until his shift starts, without even stopping by his own apartment. So yes, they both know that Kurt gets comfortable here when Dave's gone, but this is not home and Kurt's embarrassed to admit to Dave that it's almost eleven and he's still at his place.

"Erm, yes. I was just about to leave-"

"No, no, this is great, I need to ask you a big favor."

Kurt quickly forgets about his embarrassment, since apparently Dave needs his help and it's something that involves Kurt still being in his apartment.

"Yes, of course."

"Can you go to my room, and check on the desk," Dave commands. "You know, with all the papers on it?" Kurt follows his instructions.

Dave's desk is a big mess. It was the first thing Kurt noticed yesterday. Dave's house is always in order so the unruly pile of papers really stood out. Kurt knows that's because he's been working on some project for the past week and the entire weekend. It's the same reason Dave was coming home late last week.

"I'm standing at the desk right now."

"Look around. Tell me there's a little thing that looks like a flash drive somewhere," Dave almost begs and Kurt starts carefully shifting the massive piles of paper until he finds one.

"Is it blue? It has a few numbers…" Kurt asks, holding it on his hand and he instantly hears Dave sighing loudly.

"Oh, thank god!" Dave groans, relieved. "I was going insane, looking for it everywhere and I was beginning to think I'd lost it. Okay, now I need an even bigger favor."

"Sure. Anything you need."

"Can you take a cab and bring it to me? The meeting's going to start soon and I won't make it home and back in time, and the team will literally skin me alive if we don't present those reports. I swear I'll make it up for you."

"I can do that, it's not a problem. Text me the address, I'll head downstairs right now. Don't you worry," Kurt reassures him since Dave really sounds desperate.

"Okay. I'll wait outside for you. Thank you so much for this."

After hanging up, Kurt puts the little flash drive in his pocket and hurries to get his backpack, glad that he can help Dave. Last night Dave had explained to him all about these reports he's been working on and Kurt didn't understand half of what he said but he did get that this presentation today was something big.

It's not until he's on the street, stopping a taxi, that he realizes he's wearing Dave's cardigan instead of his jacket, which is still in Dave's apartment. Kurt decides to keep going, not only because he's in a hurry but also because he quickly notices that in spite of it being a chilly morning, he is for once not cold. And damn, the cardigan is oversized but it looks good on him. It's a bit disheartening that Dave's cardigan keeps him warmer than his own jacket, though.

Kurt gives the driver the address, asking him to take the quickest route. Luckily, traffic isn't too bad and Kurt's in the Financial District within fifteen minutes. As they get closer to Dave's office, he spots Dave on the street, looking edible as usual in his expensive suit, at the entrance of this incredibly tall and fancy building. Actually, most of the buildings are tall and fancy in Manhattan, but the streets are narrower in the Financial District so they look more imposing here. Kurt had forgotten about that, since he hasn't set foot in this neighborhood for years.

Dave approaches the taxi and pays the driver as Kurt gets out of the car.

"Hey," Kurt greets, and he's glad to see Dave since he missed him this morning.

"Hi, doll," Dave replies, throwing his arms around Kurt's waist, pulling him close to kiss him. "Sorry about all this. I hope I'm not making you late for work or something."

For a second, Kurt's a little thrown off by Dave's public display of affection. Kurt still remembers Dave being an acute closet case back in high school, but now he's hugging and kissing another man in the middle of the street in broad daylight, showing not even a glimpse of fear or embarrassment.

Kurt feels proud of Dave and happy all of sudden at that realization, so he smiles tenderly. "I don't have to work today, so it's fine. And I'm glad I can help. Still, should I slap you for keeping a very important report on a flash drive?"

Dave laughs a little. "Actually, it's not a flash drive, it's a security token. American Express works with bank accounts and loads of highly confidential stuff. We don't have passwords. That little thing throws a new access code to the network every two minutes, and since I didn't have it I couldn't open my freaking files. They could issue me a new one, but it's a lot of paper work and I wouldn't have it until tomorrow at the earliest, if I'm luckily, so…"

Kurt takes it out of his pocket and hands it to Dave. "Hope I made it on time."

"You just saved my life. The guys must be coming back, they went out for coffee and as soon as they get back we're… Is that my cardigan?"

Kurt blushes. "It is. I practically ran out of your apartment and I didn't realize I was still wearing it."

"I don't mind. I always say it looks better on you than on me."

Kurt feels the soft wool with the tip of his fingers. "It's a great piece of clothing; the knitting is marvelous. I can't imagine anyone looking bad in this," he says, trying for modesty, even though he knows he's rocking the cardigan.

They're interrupted by someone whistling at them; they both turn around and Kurt spots three men wearing suits, holding coffees and walking towards them. Kurt feels suddenly panicked, as though he were back in high school about to get bullied, which is kind of ridiculous since it's his former bully's arm around his waist right now. He catches Dave rolling his eyes.

"Please just ignore them," Dave mutters, not looking really upset about this.

"Well, well, what do we have in here?" One of them says when they finally approach.

"Guys, don't embarrass me, okay?" Dave tells them.

"Aren't you going to introduce us?"

The three of them are staring at Kurt with knowing smiles, and Kurt feels a little uncomfortable. He can't see malice in them, but still they're looking at him as if he were some sort of big circus attraction.

"Kurt, these are-"

"Woah, you're Kurt?" The younger of them cuts Dave off. Then he nods, like he's impressed. "Well done, man!" He nudges Dave.

Kurt can't help laughing when he sees Dave blush.

"Shut up, Paul. Kurt, this is Paul, Charlie and Doug," Dave finally introduces them to Kurt, and Kurt nods to all of them. "They're on my team."

"Good morning, gentleman," Kurt greets politely. For some reason, he has the sudden urge to be liked by Dave's co-workers.

Paul seems to be in his mid-thirties, while Doug and Charlie look like they're reaching or passing their mid-forties. Dave has mentioned before that he's the youngest one. For the second time in the last three minutes, Kurt feels suddenly proud of Dave. Now that Kurt can actually see it, Dave really does look very young among these men. Dave is only twenty-three and yet he's gotten so far, working for a huge company and in a serious position, a place that other people might have taken years to reach. Dave must be really good at what he does, even if he claims not to like it. In addition, it seems that Dave's also well-liked by his co-workers and God, who could hate Dave? Ever since they reconnected, Kurt has to say that Dave's a really wonderful guy and he's glad that other people can see it.

Kurt only wishes Dave could see that about himself.

"Guess my movie recommendations weren't so bad after all," Paul states playfully, winking at Dave; Dave rolls his eyes. "They got you a hot boyfriend, Karofsky."

"Actually, that Mark Wahlberg movie was terrible," Kurt tells him, since Dave's too busy blushing to death. "All Dave got out of that was a long discussion with me about why any producer decides it's a good idea to make a movie about robots and cowboys."

"Paul here keeps insisting it's best movie in the world," Doug chuckles. "But my wife agrees with you. She almost made me sleep on the couch for wasting three hours of her life like that."

Kurt laughs, since he has forgotten the movie was so long; actually, the entire thing was quite forgettable.

"Hey, but you can't tell me you didn't enjoy all the eye-candy that is Mark Wahlberg."

"Paul…" Dave warns.

"I was too busy counting all the plot holes," Kurt retorts. "It was so ridiculous that at some point we wondered if it was on purpose."

"The boy's got taste," Charlie muses. "Anyway, it's nice to meet you, Kurt. Dave's mentioned you, but we didn't know you were boyfriends. Well done," he says, patting Dave's shoulder. "It was kind of sad, him being the only bachelor among us."

"You should have seen Paul, all 'Hey, look! Dave's got a man!'" Doug says, mimicking Paul's apparent reaction and Kurt laughs again.

"Guys…"

"Our little Davey is growing up!"

"Guys, please," Dave begs, red as a tomato. "Just go upstairs and stop embarrassing me. The others are waiting and I'll meet you in a minute."

"Yeah, we'll leave you two love-birds," Paul winks at Dave one last time. "Nice to meet you, Kurt."

"My pleasure."

When they're alone, Dave apologizes but Kurt just laughs. "No really, I'm sorry about that."

"They're nice. I'm glad you work with such friendly and accepting people; they could hate you for being gay, and even more for actually showing it in public. But you should get going as well, I don't want to hold you up from your meeting."

Dave smiles and kisses him. "Thanks again. I'll see you tomorrow, right? I'd love to take you out for lunch though, now that you're here. Shame about this stupid meeting."

Kurt looks at Dave, completely puzzled. "Really, Dave? And we'd eat at different tables so I don't have to watch you?" he teases.

"Well, no. I'd … I'd just have a coffee and... oh, that reminds me, do you want free Starbucks?"

"I've already have breakfast and I don't want you to give me any money." Dave rolls his eyes, and Kurt sees him taking out his wallet. "Dave, I don't need money!"

"It's not money; here, take this," Dave hands him a card and Kurt looks at it suspiciously. "It's a gift card for fifty bucks. AmEx gives them out sometimes as rewards for good performance. I completely forgot about this one until they gave each guy on my team another one last week for reaching our monthly goal."

Kurt presses his lips together, debating whether to accept Dave's gift or not. It never stops being awkward having Dave shower him with treats. However, Kurt usually doesn't have to deal with taking those treats, since the delicious dinners are there when Kurt arrives at Dave's. The coffee machine was there as well, and so were all the grooming and bathing products. It's been a long while since the last time Dave actually handed him the three hundred bucks for his… well, services. Now he just leaves the money on the kitchen table. This screams charity, but at the same time, the prospect of having Starbucks without any worry about his pocket is overwhelming.

"C'mon, Kurt. I have one already, and it doesn't cost me a thing. I'm probably not even going to use this one."

With hesitant hands, Kurt takes the card. "This is… kind of a lot. Are you sure?"

"Positive. I like Starbucks just fine, but there're only so many frappuccinos I can drink."

"Well, then that being the case… Thank you," Kurt whispers, trying not to grin too widely. "Thank you so much."

People might say that Starbucks is overrated, but Kurt loves it anyway and it's been years since the last time he gave himself the luxury of spending five bucks on a coffee.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Dave kisses Kurt one last time. "Take care, okay?"

"You, too. And good luck with that meeting."

"Thanks, and thanks for this," Dave waves the security token, and after kissing Kurt one last time, he walks back into the building.

Kurt stays there, watching Dave until he disappears behind the doors; after he loses Dave from sight, Kurt turns around and starts walking away. There's a big smile on his face, and he feels inexplicably content. It was nice to meet Dave's colleagues and to see Dave at his workplace, even if Kurt can't explain why that's so gratifying.

Kurt promenades a little on the streets of Manhattan looking for a Starbucks. Even though he had breakfast already, he has to find one, being now able to actually splurged on their outrageously overpriced drinks and snacks.

Kurt grins when he spots the cafe close to his subway station and walks towards it, feeling like he owns the world.

There's a fifty dollar gift card in his pocket, and to Kurt it's like having a freaking Visa Gold and money enough to pay it off, so he walks into Starbucks with a silly superior air. Yet his penniless side betrays him, because even if he won't be paying for anything, he quickly starts looking at the prices, trying to pick what's cheapest. Kurt can't help it; the habit is already too deeply engrained. He wants to make this gift card last, so instead of ordering a Venti, he goes for a Tall.

When he pays for his drink, Kurt smiles smugly at the barista because he has a fifty dollar gift card, excuse you, and it almost feels like he's a VIP guest in an exclusive club. Kurt picks a small table at one corner, not wanting to be close to the window since he doesn't like the view. Now that he's poor, he feels out-of-place among wealthy people; it's not like the place is full of rich people, but it's still the Financial District and all Kurt can see are expensive suits and briefcases, not to mention shoes that could pay for more than one month of his rent. Kurt doesn't have anything against that, but he's still not comfortable.

Kurt takes a sip on his coffee and it tastes as good as he remembers; a sense of warmth creeps into his bones, from both the hot coffee and the nice familiarity that it provides. It's not as great as the Nesspresso, but it's still delicious.

"Oh, my God! Kurt?"

Kurt looks up and his blood runs cold when his eyes meet Blaine's. He stays very still for a second, holding his breath. But then he smiles, trying to be polite and hiding all the bad things he's suddenly feeling. Eight million people and one-hundred and twenty-nine Starbucks in New York City and all Kurt can think is 'Why, God? Why?'

"Blaine! Wh-what... a surprise," Kurt stutters, overwhelmed and nervous.

Blaine smiles widely, bending over and surprising Kurt with a tight hug that Kurt returns awkwardly .

"Are you busy? May I?" Blaine asks, pointing at the empty seat.

"Not at all, please sit. How've you been? It's been years since I last saw you."

He doesn't really want to catch up with Blaine, but Kurt is trying to be polite even if he just wants to run away. He's nervous, very nervous, but does his best to act the way he used to be. Blaine looks… the same as he's always looked. His hair is a bit longer, his clothing is now more casual and mature but it looks expensive, so Kurt assumes Blaine's doing well. Kurt realizes he really needs to stop thinking about how much other people's clothing costs.

"I've been great, but you, sir, you've been completely missing! You graduated from McKinley and then you just disappeared; the last thing I heard was that you came here, in spite of not getting into NYADA. So you still live in New York, I assume?"

Kurt narrows his eyes, but shows a smile. A fake one he perfected a long time ago. "I went to Parsons."

"That's so great! You're thing has always been fashion, I've bet you're doing great."

Kurt doesn't really want to talk about himself; this is worst than when he met Dave for the first time. He doesn't hold any grudge against Blaine; they were young when they dated and they spent half-a-year in Glee club together even after Blaine started openly dating Sebastian, so Kurt got over that long ago.

But back in Lima, Blaine knew Kurt in a way that Dave didn't. They shared dreams and expectations about the future; Blaine, like everyone else in the Glee club, knew what Kurt's goals were and how much talent and potential he had to achieve those goals. So for obvious reasons, the last thing Kurt wants is Blaine getting to know about his present.

If Blaine learns the truth in this coffee shop, it's going to be hundreds of times more humiliating than Dave finding him stripping on stage at The VIP.

"What about you?" Kurt asks, faking excitement. He just wants to make this conversation about Blaine; Blaine likes attention, Kurt learned that the hard way, but now he can use it to deflect attention from himself.

"I got into NYADA, with Rachel. I finished but Rachel dropped out after sophomore year."

Kurt blinks, perplexed. "I'm sorry?"

He'd been in touch with Rachel briefly when they both moved to New York after graduation, but they quickly grew apart, going to separate schools and both of them busy trying to start their respective careers.

But apparently Blaine is still in touch with Rachel, and God forbid if Rachel gets to know what's going on with his life. He can't believe that Rachel dropped out of NYADA, though.

"You know how NYADA is…"

"I don't, actually."

Blaine shrugs, looking slightly uncomfortable. "Well, it's… discouraging? Yes, Rachel is really amazing and I know I am, as well; we had this unique talent in Lima. But it's like, amazing for Lima but not so much for New York, you know? You get into NYADA and everyone is as good as or better than you and, well, it's hard to stand out. Everyone's so talented…"

"Welcome to the real world," Kurt mutters, not wanting to be bitter but Kurt knows from his own experience how dreams can fall apart in a matter of seconds.

"I guess. But she's doing great now in LA. Well, you know."

"She's in LA?" Kurt inquires, surprised and relieved. That's one less person from his past he could run into in New York.

Blaine frowns, staring at Kurt with a funny face. "She's on TV, haven't you seen her?"

Kurt's starting to feel like he lives in a box. "I don't watch TV."

"Lord, Kurt, are you for real? She's part of the cast of Standing Crowds; she has a small part but she's a regular. Second season just premiered!"

Kurt knows that show exists, some of his coworkers at The VIP watch it because the guys on the show are – according to them - ridiculously hot. Kurt believes the show is about lawyers or student lawyers, a sort of Grey's Anatomy of law, but that's about it. He's happy for Rachel, though, even if it's unexpected.

"So from Broadway star to Hollywood star."

"She sees this as a detour. It's hard to compete against everyone on Broadway, especially being new in the business. But you've seen how it's easier for people from TV or movies to get to Broadway, so when she auditioned and actually got the role, she dropped out of school. Gosh, Kurt, why aren't you on Facebook? Catching up would be much easier," Blaine laughs good humoredly, not knowing that Kurt very deliberately deleted any piece of social network that could inform about his existence in the world. "Her dream is still to be on the stage, and maybe with a little popularity…"

It makes sense to Kurt, so he nods. "What about you?"

"Well, you're looking at Spiderman's Flash Thompson," Blaine states proudly and Kurt smiles, happy for him.

He didn't know the Spiderman musical was still running, but honestly, Kurt has no idea what's on Broadway nowadays. Yet Blaine made it to Broadway and that's not a small accomplishment at all.

"Woah, that's so amazing! Congratulations!"

Blaine presses a tight smile, shrugging in faux modesty. Kurt remembers that gesture very well. "I just started last month. It's an entirely new cast, but so far it's amazing. It's a shame I don't have any solos, but being on stage, it's just... a dream come true, you know?"

Kurt no longer believes that dream come true, but still he nods, humoring Blaine. "Yeah."

"You should totally come see the show."

Kurt laughs on the inside but remains impassive on the outside. Paying for Broadway tickets - it's so out of his reach that it's ridiculously hilarious. If he had a hundred bucks to spare… first he would cry for joy, that's for sure, and honestly, he doesn't even know what he'd do if he had so much money to spare. He knows, though, that he wouldn't spend it on a musical, let alone one that got such awful reviews, no matter how much he appreciates Blaine. But Kurt can't say that so…

"That would be nice."

"No, seriously. My treat; I can get you the best seats."

"I'm sure you can, now that you rub shoulders with Broadway and Hollywood stars."

Blaine blushes, pressing his lips together. "Well, my boyfriend is kind of a Broadway producer so…"

"Kind of?"

"He's an associate producer, but he can definitely get tickets for you."

"So I take it things with Sebastian Smythe didn't prosper? Unless he's became a Broadway producer?"

Blaine chuckles uncomfortably. "I guess I never apologized for that," he mutters, looking embarrassed.

Kurt gives Blaine a sympathetic smile; the last thing he wants is Blaine thinking he holds some kind of grudge. Yes, Blaine cheating on him was a despicable thing to do, and it left Kurt with all kinds of sexual insecurities, but it seems like a lifetime ago, and anyway Francis' betrayal – sleeping around and stealing his job while he was in the hospital – put Blaine's actions in perspective.

"It's okay, Blaine. It was a long, long time ago. You don't have to worry about that."

"Yeah, we were young and stupid and well… but no, he's not Sebastian. That didn't last at all; we broke up after a couple of months."

Then Blaine starts telling him about his life and Kurt listens with his best interested face, but he grows uncomfortable very quickly. Kurt learns that Blaine just moved into his boyfriend's apartment in Manhattan, that rehearsals are annoying, that everyone in the cast knows the show itself isn't great but being on stage, even in a bad musical, can lead to new and better things. Blaine tells Kurt that he was recently in LA visiting Rachel – Kurt picks up that they're very close friends - and he met the whole cast of Standing Crowds and they went together to these incredible promotional parties.

He goes on and on about great parties and awesome people with awesome clothing, cars and friends, and Kurt feels like Blaine is talking in a complete different language. Kurt smiles and nods politely at everything Blaine says, careful to add some 'uh-huh's and 'ah's at the right moments.

There's no way Blaine is trying to make Kurt feel small on purpose, since little knows Blaine that this is the first time Kurt's set foot in Starbucks in over two years, not because he doesn't like it but because he can't pay for the coffee, or that he still carries his nebulizer in his backpack everywhere he goes since after the robbery the idea of losing his nebulizer terrifies him, or that he can't afford to replace the broken lock on his apartment door so he's still using a chain borrowed from his neighbor.

So when Blaine complains about the food that was served on his first class flight from LA to New York, Kurt has a hard time following him.

As the conversation goes on, or better to say, Blaine's monologue flows, Kurt looks down at his coffee that's almost untouched and cold and he's not feeling so great about it anymore. He doesn't own a Visa Gold after all; it was just a gift card – someone else's gift card - and he's inevitably embarrassed about the ridiculous excitement he was feeling when he walked into the cafe.

Still, things are good because at least Blaine is not asking Kurt about his life, until of course, Blaine asks.

"God, I cannot stop talking about myself! Tell me about you!" Blaine exclaims, excited. "It's been years and honestly, Rachel and I always wonder about you."

Kurt laughs nervously and tries to think quickly. He's almost sure that his father doesn't share news about him with anyone in Lima. Otherwise, Blaine – and Rachel – would know about Kurt's huge success and incredibly high style life in New York, and that a couple of years ago he'd been so sick that he almost died. Or maybe his father did tell folks in Lima, but it never reached Blaine and Rachel's ears. Or maybe they don't wonder about him at all, and Blaine is just being polite.

So Kurt is torn, not knowing what to say.

"I'm good," Kurt replies vaguely, forcing a smile.

Blaine smiles back, buying it. Kurt feels somewhat achieved, he's still a damn fine actor. "What brings you to the Financial District? You live nearby? Work?"

"Oh, no, not at all. I was just doing some errands for my...um..."

Kurt stops himself before saying whatever he was going to say. His what, exactly? Kurt doesn't even know and he's not sure if he wants to find out about what that almost Freudian slip had in store for him.

"Boyfriend?" Blaine teasingly fills in the blank.

"Yeah," Kurt lies, quickly resolving that it's easier to say 'boyfriend' than – god forbid - 'client.' or even mention Dave Karofsky altogether. Blaine would be very interested to know how he reconnected with his former bully.

"That's good. So he's the one living here?"

"Yes, he works nearby, actually; for American Express. He just forgot some stuff at home he needed for a meeting and I brought it to him."

"Aw… You're such a good boyfriend," Blaine says playfully.

"What can I say?" Kurt plays along.

It's as uncomfortable as it is easy to talk about Dave as if he were his boyfriend, but at the same time it's convenient because Kurt doesn't have to make up lies on the spot.

"And how's work? What do you do now? I bet you did great with your knowledge of fashion and a degree from Parsons."

Even if it's nice Blaine thinks that, it leaves Kurt speechless. Considering how briefly he was in that world, Kurt did go far with Parsons and fashion, but that was long ago. He's not sure how to lie to Blaine, though. His dad understands less than half the things Kurt lies about so it's quite easy to make up a lot of ridiculous stories. But Blaine seems to know what a successful lifestyle includes – hanging out with the right people and going to the right parties and knowing what looks good on your resume.

It's silly, but after hearing Blaine tell about his incredibly successful life, Kurt has the urge to say something impressive about himself. Usually, there's no one to impress, since the people Kurt rubs shoulders with are in the same situation as he - they're either poor, sort of poor, or strippers. But Blaine became a Broadway performer, in spite of the lack of solos, and Rachel is on freaking TV, so Kurt has to say something good about himself.

"I worked for Prada for a while," Kurt muses quietly.

"God, that's so awesome! Wait until Rachel hears about that, she'll be demanding discounts."

"Worked. Past tense. I'm not working in fashion right now."

Blaine frowns. "That's too bad. Why did you quit? Bad salary? I've heard in the fashion industry they kind of exploit everyone."

Kurt actually laughs because he remembers his days at Prada and you have to expect to be exploited when you're just starting to build your career.

"I just… got sick, and had to quit."

"Oh… Well, health comes first, right? Are you okay now? I did notice you look different," Blaine states, sounding concerned and Kurt can't say that didn't hurt. "I just didn't want to pry."

Kurt frowns, much taken aback. "How do I look?"

"I don't know, different. You're super skinny, and I don't think I've ever seen you in public without perfectly coiffed hair. I was actually wondering if you were down with a cold or something."

Kurt nods, pressing his lips together. Blaine's not being particularly mean, he's just simply pointing out what he sees, and for some reason, Kurt thinks about Dave. To everyone who knows sickly pauper Kurt, he looks the same as he has always looked. But Blaine and Dave know different, and are able to compare. He wonders what Dave sees when he looks at him.

"I'm getting better," Kurt replies shortly, not feeling in the mood to share much information about this.

Thankfully, Blaine gets the hint. "Okay… But it's nothing serious, right?"

Kurt shakes his head, "I'm much better now," he says firmly, trying to head off more questions.

"Your boyfriend better be taking care of you," Blaine offers bouncily, easing the seriousness that the conversation had gained.

Kurt laughs slightly, as several mental pictures of Dave pampering him come to his head and it makes him smile genuinely. Dave is really good to him; as much as Kurt hates it, it's nice to have someone taking care of you. Ever since he almost died from pneumonia, he's always been on his own, but now Dave's there, keeping him warm, well-fed and properly rested at least twice a week.

"He treats me like I'm going to break sometimes; it gets kind of annoying but… He's really incredible."

"You totally deserve that. I'm happy for you. Oh, and I love your outfit by the way; I guess you may quit working in fashion but you'll always be a fashionista."

If Kurt had a drink in his mouth, he would be spitting it out with a laugh.

"My outfit?" What outfit?

"Yeah, your clothes look great."

"Oh, this is nothing," Kurt finally says, laughing because it's really funny. He's wearing Dave's cardigan, with a pair of women jeans since they were the only ones he found at the Salvation Army that fit, and his shoes are actually Gucci but they're like three years old and look their age.

"You're so modest. But I've seen around that oversized knitwear is in this winter and that's a great cardigan."

Kurt presses his lips together. He's completely clueless about the latest trend in fashion, and this must be the first time in years that he's being fashion forward.

"Thanks."

"Blaine leans a little forward and touches the knitwear admiringly, and Kurt can't blame him since indeed it looks as beautiful as it feels. "What is it? Marc Jacobs? McQueen?"

"I… I don't know actually."

"Kurt Hummel doesn't know what designer his clothes are? Who are you and what having you done with my old friend?"

Kurt swallows hard, forcing a laugh. "It's my boyfriend's, actually, not mine."

He immediately frowns after saying that. Blaine said 'boyfriend' and Kurt played along. But to hear himself using that word, out loud, to refer to Dave makes Kurt's stomach flip.

"Oh, you're wearing his clothes! How cute is that? And of course, you'd date a fashionista as well."

Kurt laughs a little. "He doesn't care much about fashion. He barely knows who Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen are. I think he just bought it because it fit him, but it looks good on me so..."

He catches Blaine surprised, staring closely at his cardigan and then Blaine snorts. "Really? He's a big guy, huh?"

"He's not fat!" Kurt snaps before he can even register what he's saying, but seriously, Blaine's words just rubbed him the wrong way. The very wrong way. God, he never knew that he was so sensitive about Dave's weight, but of course, it's not like Kurt ever talks about it.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean that to sound offensive."

Kurt sighs. "No, it's fine, I'm the one who's sorry. It's just… he has all these stupid ideas about being fat and it drives me crazy," he explains, upset for real, suddenly remembering all the horrible things Dave does to himself because of his weight. "Not that being fat is wrong, but he's not and still thinks he is and he gets upset about it. He's just big built."

"Jock type?" Blaine inquires, nodding knowingly.

"Yes."

"Nice."

Right at that moment, Blaine's cellphone rings and it turns out to be a text from his boyfriend, saying that he's ready to go. Apparently, Blaine was just killing time at the Starbucks while his boyfriend did some errands in the neighborhood.

"I have to get going, but hey, give me your number so we can meet again! And Rachel! She'll be ecstatic when I tell her about you."

Kurt pretends not to have his phone with him, in order not to show his old and broken iPhone 5 to Blaine, who is flashing what surely must be the latest model. Against his good judgment, Kurt gives him the correct phone number and when he finishes he wonders why he even did that.

They exchange smiles, hugs and goodbyes, but then Kurt's left alone with his cold coffee and a load of things in his head that start to get to him. The more he thinks about having just met Blaine after all these years, about the conversation they just had, the more upset Kurt gets.

Finally he gets up, tossing his backpack over his shoulder. After giving his cold coffee a last look, he throws the almost full drink into the trash bin and walks out.

It's an understatement that seeing Blaine was no good for him. It was even harder than crossing paths with Dave that first time. Being honest, he hopes Blaine was just being polite by taking his number because he's pretty sure he doesn't want to meet with him again, let alone with Rachel.

At least not now. Kurt feels a little too beaten down; he's not ready for that kind of confrontation with his past. Kurt holds nothing against them, but if they spent several years being out of touch, they can easily spend another several years that way.

As Kurt walks towards the station the wind picks up and he begins to feel cold. He hugs himself, and when he reaches the corner of the street he stills; he doesn't really want to go back to his place. He switched shifts with another cashier so he's not working at MetFood or The VIP today; the encounter with Blaine was a little too disheartening and his building always depresses him. He looks at his watch and it's only ten to one. He bites his lower lip as he considers going back to Dave's apartment.

The only thing Kurt is thinking about now is Dave and not in a good way, so deep down he knows he should avoid going to his apartment. But at the same time, the weather is turning chilly and Kurt can't wander around the streets all day. He has Dave's keys, Dave's apartment is warm and cozy, and Dave won't be back until six. He can take refugee at Dave's place for just a little while and Dave doesn't have to know.

Resolved, Kurt takes the subway to Brooklyn.

The subway's not packed, thankfully, and once Kurt sits down his brain begins to assault him with all kinds of thoughts. Kurt's feeling this pressure on his chest that he can't shake off. He wants to cry, not really knowing why, so he takes deep breathes to calm down.

He's mostly uncomfortable with how easy it was to pretend Dave was his boyfriend. And it wasn't just with Blaine; Dave's co-workers also assumed they were a couple. It makes sense, after all, based on how they were acting.

Of course, neither he nor Dave corrected them because, well, what could they possibly say? Kurt wasn't going to be like, "Oh, no, I'm not his boyfriend. I'm a hooker and he's just a regular."

What's making Kurt's head hurt is that except for that one little word – boyfriend – none of it was a lie.

Dave does work at American Express, Kurt was there on an errand for Dave, Dave does take care of him, he is wearing Dave's cardigan, and Dave is a former jock with weight issues. It was just a small step from all that truth to pretending Dave was his boyfriend.

Only Dave isn't, and Kurt is realizing that at some point, without even knowing what he was doing, he not only let the lines blur but he has also embraced that ambiguity.

Before, they were strangers, really. Dave was his client, and being Dave's hooker was a safe place to Kurt. A cover; a shield that put distance between them. Even when they argued or pulled information from each other, Kurt was safe because supposedly being with Dave was almost like a business deal. It was never about the money, though, because ever since the first night, Kurt was using Dave for companionship and the comfort of being with a familiar face. It was a way to stop being alone, a way to reaffirm to himself that in spite of how ghost-like he felt in his current life, he was real and he still existed in this world.

He still takes Dave's money, so technically he's just as much a prostitute as he was at the beginning. But over the past month, ever since Dave's break down, the distance between them has been disappearing. Acting like a couple, it isn't an act, at least not on Kurt's part. The way he is with Dave, it just comes out naturally. He likes talking about world cuisine, and he's genuinely interested in Dave's work, even if Kurt doesn't understand a thing about bank accounts, investments, balance sheets, statistics and revenue reports. He doesn't force himself to cuddle with Dave, he doesn't plan every kiss and hug in advance. Until a couple of hours ago, he was sure that being caring towards Dave led to only positive things.

They've never been exposed to the outside world, though; it's always been just the two of them. Well, Dave met his neighbors the night Kurt's apartment was robbed, but no one even noticed him given the circumstances. Yet today, other people's eyes upon them made Kurt understand how deep he's into this with Dave. Whether it was Dave's colleagues or Blaine, Kurt was quite willing to go along with the 'boyfriend' label, unbothered, completely accepting that label. More than that, Kurt liked it.

Because Kurt's falling for this guy.

That realization hits and Kurt starts sinking down so far and fast he grows dizzy. He just wants to get somewhere safe.

Once Kurt enters to Dave's apartment, he hangs up his backpack that was growing heavy on his shoulder and marches towards Dave's bedroom; he takes off his shoes and Dave's cardigan and gets into bed, wrapping the covers that smell like Dave's Hugo Boss cologne around himself. This is not the best way to start letting go, but Dave's bed is one of the few places where Kurt feels completely safe and at ease. With or without Dave, but especially with.

Kurt swallows hard as he starts analyzing his growing feelings. He's attracted to Dave, very attracted. He enjoys the time they spent together, the companionship, the affection and the care, and he's always looking forward to Mondays and Wednesdays. He worries about Dave and wants Dave to get better, not only because Dave deserves it, but because Kurt's happy when Dave's happy. He's not sure when he started liking Dave, but he does; Kurt likes Dave in a completely romantic way and it makes him feel sick.

Kurt doesn't know what to do. He likes what he has with Dave, only it's not real because money is involved. Kurt's not sure what Dave needs or expects from a guy, what kind of men Dave likes; Kurt is not sure if Dave can even handle being in a real relationship. Surely that's why he's with a prostitute in the first place, because prostitutes aren't supposed to question anything, like the fact that Dave never gets fully naked when they have sex, or that they have to eat with their backs to each other. A boyfriend would at least demand more explanations and Dave wouldn't feel comfortable giving them.

They can't be any more than what they are now, Kurt convinces himself.

It's impossible. Kurt can't really say to Dave, "This is good, want to do it for free?"

Ever since his life went to hell, the only way Kurt found to function is just to accept his circumstances and move forward. His debts, his health, his jobs, how utterly trapped he is - if Kurt stopped to think about all the things he doesn't have and compares that to all the things he might have had and expected to have, he wouldn't be able to get out of bed. So Kurt doesn't think about any of that; he just works hard, trying to avoid getting sick and making as much money as he can as quickly as he can. Logically, sooner or later his debt will be canceled and then he'll be free to be himself again.

But who is that, exactly? Before he got sick, he was fabulous, talented and full of ambition. He was the way Blaine obviously still is, and Rachel, too, apparently. But now, what does Kurt even have to offer in a relationship - with Dave or with anyone for the matter? He's a poor, asthmatic stripper and grocery cashier. He has nothing, not even a goddamn lock on his apartment door, not even a safe place to keep his nebulizer. Kurt would love to have what he has with Dave without the money involved. But all he could give is sex and companionship, and Dave can buy that from any random prostitute for the price of three hundred dollars a night or way less money than that.

He lets out a sob but forces himself not to cry. He cannot break down; he cannot crack. If Kurt pays attention to his growing feelings for Dave, eventually he'll fall hard; and deep down, Kurt knows that instead of falling in love, it will be like falling to the ground and getting crushed. Because if Kurt has learned anything from life, it's that good things don't happen to him. So these feelings for Dave - as with everything in Kurt's life - he needs to ignore them and endure them. He's strong, he has survived many worse things so he can deal with this.

Or maybe, he can't.

There's no turning back, though. They are doing well, really well, and he wouldn't want to go back to the way they were - distant, angry and utterly miserable - even if they could. And Dave has done nothing wrong but be too freaking nice and pampering, so Kurt can't just give him the cold shoulder out of nowhere.

But he realizes from all that happened today that he has to get some emotional distance. He should act the same as he acts with customers at The VIP – focus on the money and don't think about what he does, or what Dave does to him, or how he feels about any of it. At the end of the day, Dave is nothing but a client and this is nothing but a job. Kurt doesn't love him. Yet. But he could easily grow to love Dave, so the best Kurt can do is just ignore all that, so it can't touch him and he can keep on doing his job.

Kurt takes another deep breath, trying to relax. What started as a great day turned into hell. He really wishes he hadn't run into Blaine; that was like a fist of reality against his face. Trying to distract himself with something, Kurt turns the TV on; he still has a couple of hours before he has to leave so Dave doesn't realize he came back. Kurt gets hooked on a cooking show and exhales, exhausted. It has been a horrible day indeed and for Christ' sake, it's only 2 PM.


After a very long day at the office, Dave finally returns to his apartment. He's beyond tired but they aced that presentation and since there had been so much stress at the office because of it, he's glad they're done.

The best part of the day for sure had been seeing Kurt at work. He can't really explain why it felt so nice to see him there, but his co-workers really liked him. In fact, they spent the entire day teasing Dave mercilessly; as time goes by, Dave is getting more comfortable with his co-workers but he's finding that he's everyone's son or little brother at the office, and that's kind of a pain in the ass. Sometimes it really makes him feel silly how they treat him as 'junior.'

At least they don't do that when it comes to actual work. Yet, for them having met Kurt, his supposed boyfriend… Dave felt the same way as when his father and his uncle congratulated him because he shaved for the first time: awkward.

It made Dave laugh, though, and that's good enough.

He takes off his jacket and loosens his tie as he closes the door behind him. He takes a deep breath because even if he's quite pleased about the earlier presentation, he's feeling a very big craving for chicken wings and he's been trying to suppress it the entire way home. Dave's about to give up, and he's almost reaching for his phone to order delivery when he notices light coming from his bedroom. Dave frowns; maybe Kurt left the TV on this morning?

He leaves his bag on the couch and heads towards his bedroom, untucking his shirt along the way, but then stops dead in his tracks when the light from the TV illuminates Kurt's sleeping figure. Dave instantly smiles.

Trying not to make much noise, Dave sits at the edge of the bed and watches Kurt sleep for a few seconds. Immediately, he wonders why Kurt's even there. Not that he minds, since getting back from work and finding Kurt at home is actually a very pleasant surprise. But they're not supposed to see each other again until tomorrow night, so Dave worries that there must be something wrong.

Dave carefully shakes the sleeping young man, who just stirs quietly.

"Kurt?"

Dave smiles again, watching Kurt stretching lazily, and then he finally opens his eyes. Kurt blinks once, twice, frowning at Dave, obviously confused, until he suddenly sits up in bed.

"Dave?! Oh, god, Dave, you're home! I'm so sorry!" Kurt jumps out of bed, not even realizing that Dave tries to catch him, and starts looking for his shoes. "What time is it? Jesus, it must be super late! I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to be here, I just overslept and I didn't even mean to fall asleep on the first place-"

"Kurt…"

"I swear, it'll never happen again. I'm going to go, so-"

"Kurt," Dave cuts him off, almost pleading, holding Kurt by his arm and making him still.

Kurt stares at him while holding one shoe in his hand, biting his lower lip like he's a kid who's been caught doing something wrong.

"I'm sorry," Kurt whispers, visibly embarrassed and looking away. "I'd better go."

"No, don't go," Dave replies quietly, because Kurt is right there so why is he even going to leave?

"What?"

"Stay. You don't have to work tonight, right?" Kurt shakes his head no. "Then stay. C'mon, you're already here."

"I shouldn't be here, David. I totally crossed the line this time and…"

"Oh, c'mon it's not such a big deal!"

The last thing Dave wants is for Kurt to feel wretched about something that actually makes Dave happy. Seriously, this seems to bother Kurt a huge lot. He 'crossed the line'? Dave doesn't even know what the hell that means. Dave wants Kurt to be comfortable at his place when Dave's not around, and even if he knows how hard it is for Kurt to accept what he considers 'charity', this is hardly something so bad that Kurt should be looking like a kicked puppy. Because of that, Dave suspects Kurt is upset about something else.

"It is, Dave! God, I stayed here for the entire day while you were away! I totally and unscrupulously abused your trust!"

"Oh, for fuck's sake, Kurt! Do you even listen to yourself?! I don't mind, okay? If it bothers you so much that I found you here, well, too bad for you, but know that I don't mind at all. In fact, after this freaking long day at work-"

"See? You had a long day and instead of getting back home and relaxing, you have an intruder at your place, taking advantage of your generosity."

Dave wants to laugh because, for some reason, he misses arguing with Kurt.

"I think you're being overly dramatic."

Kurt glares at him. "And I think you're just being unnecessary kind, as usual," he speaks icily, but Dave just glares back, only to annoy him.

"Can you at least drop that shoe?"

"I can't go back home barefoot."

"You don't have to go home. As I was saying before you interrupted me with your Shakespeare-meets-soap opera drama," Kurt glares at him, "I was going to say that after a long day at work, it's nice not to come back to an empty house. I'm glad you're here, so can you please stay?"

Kurt clenches his jaw. "I was here last night, and I'm supposed to be here tomorrow. I don't know how much money you make, but nine hundred a week for my company seems like a freaking waste of money, so let go of me and I'll see you tomorrow."

Dave didn't realize that he's still holding Kurt, so he releases him. Yet, Kurt's words upset Dave a lot; Kurt's worth all the money in the world and at the same time, Kurt shouldn't be with someone for money. But right now Kurt's here and Dave really doesn't want to watch him go.

Dave decides to compromise. "Stay tonight and we'll skip tomorrow."

Kurt stares at him for long seconds; staying or not seems to be a big debate in Kurt's head, and it only raises Dave's suspicions. He's now sure that something happened with Kurt, because he wasn't like this when they met this morning. Kurt was content, or at least he seemed to be. Dave doesn't know how late Kurt usually stays at his apartment after Dave goes to work, but now that he thinks back he remembers Kurt acted all guilty about still being there this morning, too. And the way he's so upset now, it's obvious that something made Kurt come back to his apartment, and that something is probably behind why staying seems to weigh on Kurt's mind.

"Okay, I'll stay," Kurt says quietly, dropping his shoe on the floor.

Dave nods, swallowing hard. He doesn't want to look worried, but Kurt is upset and by deciding to stay, Dave gets that Kurt also needs comfort and – uncharacteristically for Kurt - he's actually accepting it; seeking it. Maybe not Dave's comfort, but at least the protection that Dave's apartment provides. Or maybe Dave is reading too much into the situation, but he can't help it.

He quickly tries to organize what's next. Act normal, that's a must; Dave knows he shouldn't press Kurt's buttons when he's upset for real. Order food, watch a movie, drink coffee and have sex; it's as easy as that, a routine they've been building for weeks. Kurt being there on a different day, it doesn't make any difference.

"We should order-"

Kurt is suddenly kissing him hard and hungrily. It catches Dave off guard and he frowns to himself, but he kisses back anyway, even if he does not have a good feeling about this. Kurt's arms are around Dave's neck, practically clinging to him and Dave holds him tight in an attempt to contain him somehow. Kurt's hands quickly find the buttons of Dave's shirt and in a matter of seconds, Dave's shirt and pants are on the floor, along with half of Kurt's clothes. They don't stop kissing, not even for a second.

Dave's hot; of course he's always hot and horny whenever Kurt wants him. Even if they've been having sex for months, there are still moments when Dave goes all Oh, my God. I'm having sex with Kurt Hummel, the realization hitting him like that very first time together, skeptical at his own luck, and he goes with it because he cannot miss the incredible chance he's been blessed with – as if the money involved didn't have anything to do with that chance.

Kurt pushes him back on the bed, quickly crawling on top of him, and continues to devour his mouth. Dave moans loudly, and he gets even louder when Kurt presses their groins together. They're both equally hard; Kurt always manages to get him incredibly aroused in a matter of seconds. He's nervous, though, and he shouldn't be because this is sex and sex is their number one activity. Sex is what they do the most when they're together. But there's something in Kurt's attitude that Dave can't pinpoint.

It's not the first time that Kurt has jumped him. Yet, when Kurt jumps him so straightforwardly, it's usually because Kurt's mad at him, or because he wants to prove a point – like 'you pay me to fuck me.' Right now, it's neither of those options and Dave doesn't know how to interpret Kurt's actions. So Dave lets his lust drive him, because deep down he's slightly freaking out.

"Dave," Kurt moans between kisses, tugging Dave's underwear.

They untangle from each other just enough to finish getting naked - almost naked in Dave's case since he won't take off his tee under any circumstance - and they're back in each other's arms, their lips and tongues colliding once again, as if they're unable to stay apart. Even if Dave wanted to break away at least to breathe, he has the feeling Kurt wouldn't let him.

"C'mon, Dave. I need you," Kurt breathes out almost painfully, and a shiver runs down Dave's spine.

Need. Kurt is needy.

Sometimes Dave wishes he was able to drop all this shit, and go to clubs and have regular uncomplicated casual sex with strangers. The last couple of weeks with Kurt have been quite easy, but there's nothing easy about Kurt; there's nothing easy about them together.

Kurt is practically invading him. Dave can feel Kurt all over and around himself, as if Kurt had grown three new pairs of hands, touching him everywhere at once. It's not bad, but it's overwhelming, because while he's had all kinds of sex - angry sex, rough sex, lazy sex, cathartic sex - Dave's never been needed.

Kurt somehow needs him; it's the first time that it's explicit not only by Kurt's words but by his actions and attitude, and Dave knows that there's more going on than Kurt just trying to get off. Kurt needs him to temporary fix something. It's as gratifying as it is scary; as much as Dave wants Kurt to want him for real, it's a bittersweet moment.

Dave rolls over, pinning Kurt down against the mattress, and in spite of their forceful and desperate actions, Kurt lets out a relieved sigh that melts Dave's brain. Whatever it is that's upsetting Kurt, Dave has to make it better even if it's only for half an hour.

Dave provides, of course. He starts kissing and biting Kurt's jaw, and Kurt writhes beneath him, quickly facing away to expose his neck. Dave loves that sight; Kurt's craning his long and elegant neck, arching his back at the same time, and it makes it look even longer and Dave can't do anything but sink down and suck bruises in the tender skin that Kurt's showing off.

"God, yes," Kurt moans contently as he fists Dave's hair.

Kurt's moving his hips upwards, frantically pressing his hard cock against Dave so Dave wastes no time grabbing the lube and condom.

Everything is fast, but unrushed. It takes Dave just a couple of minutes to have three fingers working on Kurt's entrance, but they're both tense, impatiently waiting for what's soon to come. Kurt grunts as Dave's fingers work deep inside him, and Dave can see the tension in Kurt's hands, how they clench as they fist the sheets. For some reason, Dave's nervous as if he doesn't know what to expect even though they've had sex uncountable times.

Kurt's needs come first, though, and once Dave is sure Kurt's prepped enough, without hesitation he pulls Kurt's legs apart and in one quick motion shoves his cock inside Kurt. Dave's keeps his eyes right on Kurt's face; he needs to read this carefully, and the fact that Kurt arches his back and his mouth hands half open in a small grin, it startles Dave. It startles him that once again, Kurt looks freaking relieved and Dave doesn't know how to embrace the fact that he's needed so obviously much, so he focuses on the sex, solely and plainly.

"Fuck, David," Kurt cries out as Dave starts thrusting firmly and deeply.

Kurt squirms, digging his nails in Dave's back, scratching him all the way up to his neck and then he pulls Dave's face down for a forceful kiss. It quickly turns into something else though; the rush and the hunger slowly fades, and Dave finds himself pressing his tongue against Kurt's leisurely. Kurt's not scratching him anymore, but caressing him and then Kurt sighs contently inside Dave's mouth and Dave feels… he doesn't know what he feels. It's good, though; for some reason Dave feels like smiling, and he's still thrusting inside Kurt, but now unhurried, trying to savor every second of this moment.

They break apart, and Dave finds Kurt staring at him intensely; Kurt makes no sound except for the little gasps he lets out with every thrust. There's no expression on his face, he's not smiling or frowning or scowling or smirking. He doesn't look pleased or happy or sad or troubled; yet Kurt's eyes are intense, and Kurt's staring at him, and Dave grows uncomfortable, not knowing what's behind the way Kurt's gaze is boring holes in his brain. So he picks up his pace, shoving his cock into Kurt harder and faster, dragging Kurt out of that trance. Everything goes back to normal; he's moaning, Kurt's moaning and it's rough and perfectly safe.

It doesn't stay that way, though, because a few minutes later, while Dave's sitting back on his heels, Kurt's legs resting on his shoulders, and pounding hard inside Kurt's ass, Kurt tries to pull him forward. Dave leans over, assuming Kurt wants him closer but Kurt holds Dave's hand as soon as it's within reach, and gives Dave a look.

Dave swallows hard.

"Please?" Kurt asks, his voice small, making Dave feel torn between unease and excitement.

They haven't done this since the night they talked about it. Dave believed he had managed to talk Kurt out of this kink by explaining that for Dave it's something more than just a playful thing to do to spice up sex. It's something strong and Dave knows that he doesn't want to create anything strong with Kurt, because it will be strongly one sided and Dave's usually on the losing side.

But he can't say no to Kurt, and Kurt's clear preference only makes it easier to ignore his own good judgment. Almost as though he were powerless over his own actions, Dave puts his hand on Kurt's perfect neck and Kurt exhales shakily, like he's relieved that Dave's agreeing to do this, and what the fuck does that even mean?

It doesn't matter now, though; Dave slows down the pace of his thrusts so he can focus on this moment. He squeezes his fingers around Kurt's throat, listening to the beautiful little gasp that Kurt lets out when he's out of breath. It's almost hypnotic. Dave pushes his cock deeper and harder, but not faster, keeping the pace slow just to savour the way Kurt jumps in pleasure and lets out a breathless gasp with each thrust. Dave finally lets his fingers loose; Kurt breathes in quickly but frowns in displeasure, so Dave tightens his grip around Kurt's throat, making him smile contently.

For someone who'd never been exposed to choking before, it seems that Kurt gets it pretty well and wants to set the pace, which is somewhat scary. Even though his face is quickly turning red, Kurt looks relaxed, and while they've done this more than a couple of times, Dave has never seen Kurt the way he's seeing him now: like being choked brings him peace instead of dangerous pleasure. This is not about spicing it up, Dave quickly realizes, because under his grip Kurt is hot, but he's also calm. Somehow Kurt was knocked off balance today, and now he's letting Dave put him back together; he's trusting Dave with this, offering the control… his control.

Dave loosens his grip once again, just long enough for Kurt to take a deep breath, and then Dave is choking him again before he can even complain. Kurt lets out a strangled moan, writhing in ecstasy, and the sight is starting to mess with Dave's head. It's exhilarating watching Kurt giving himself up to this, to him. They're not in love, the bond between them is not the one Dave wishes to have with someone he'd share this with, but fuck, this is Kurt. How can Dave walk away from this deal?

Dave speeds up, not knowing how much longer he can last since this is the freaking hottest thing he has ever done with Kurt. At some point, Kurt grunts violently and his head falls back and his mouth hangs open in breathless pants and Dave knows he hit the prostate, so he fucks Kurt harder at the same angle, hitting that spot over and over. Kurt tenses more and more, his face is furiously and beautifully red; Dave fists Kurt's cock and it takes just two strokes to make him come.

"Dave," Kurt cries out, low and breathless, and then he convulses, the orgasm taking him hard. Kurt's muscles clench around Dave's cock, pushing Dave to the very edge but he stays focused on his lover.

Dave lets Kurt go. "Deep breaths," he commands, and Kurt nods slowly. "Just a bit more, okay?"

Close to orgasm himself, Dave thrusts inside Kurt hard and desperately; Kurt holds him tight, whimpering, since Dave is not giving him a second to rest and it's hard to catch his breath with Dave fucking him so violently. Luckily for Kurt, Dave comes right after and Kurt breathes out, relieved, as Dave's body shakes after a blinding orgasm.

"Hey, it's okay," Kurt tells him quietly.

"Ugh," Dave groans, blinking since he can only see white. He pants, his muscles grow weak and he collapses on the mattress next to Kurt.

The sound of their breathing fills the silence and in spite of being exhausted, Dave pays close attention to Kurt's breathing and nods, reassured as he notes that Kurt's breathing is normal; Dave didn't hurt him, even that was by far the longest time he has ever choked Kurt.

He disposes of the condom in the floor – gross, he'll clean up in a minute - but after a couple of minutes, Kurt is the one who rolls off the bed, just to pick up some clothes to wipe the come off his belly, and then lies back in bed.

"You need a shower, or at least to change that tee," Kurt muses. "I could really use a shower too."

Dave turns on his side to face Kurt and smiles at him. Kurt never looks as stunning as he does after sex; the relaxed eyes, the messy hair, the soft smile…

Kurt snuggles up to Dave and Dave just holds him close. He's content and Kurt seems content as well; it doesn't mean that Kurt isn't still upset, and as the post-orgasm daze starts wearing off, Dave begins to think about that.

"What happened?" Dave blurts out.

"What do you mean?"

"You're upset."

He cannot resist even though he's pushing his luck; Dave needs to know or the wondering won't leave him alone. Kurt is staring at him, not particularly mad. He looks more like Dave question's caught him off guard; like he was expecting Dave not to notice.

"Nothing."

"C'mon, Kurt. I don't want to make you mad, but I'm worried."

Kurt bites his lower lip, resting his head on Dave's shoulder. "You should not worry about me, David."

Dave just shrugs. "Please, tell me. You were fine this morning."

Kurt lets out a long sigh. "I went to Starbucks, after I said goodbye to you…"

Dave opens his eyes wide, since he didn't expect that Kurt was going to tell him so easily. But he listens. After Kurt doesn't say anything more for a while, Dave asks softly, "And...?"

"I ran into Blaine." Kurt's sounds genuinely upset now. "You know, my first boyfriend?"

For some reason he can't explain, Dave feels his stomach drop. Kurt looks up at him, and at the lack of response, Kurt adds, "You met him once, remember? At McKinley?"

He nods because of course he remembers Kurt's handsome, slender boyfriend. Dave remembers how upset he was about that guy, stealing Kurt away from him even though Kurt had never been his.

"Did something bad happen?" he asks after Kurt falls silent again.

"We talked a bit. He wants us to meet again," Kurt says and shrugs. "I just, I'm sorry. I don't really want to talk about it. But it's nothing bad, I promise. Don't worry about me, alright?"

Kurt even kisses his cheek in tender affection and Dave smiles at him weakly. He won't push it; Kurt already told him and Dave is quite grateful for that. "Want to order some food while I take a shower? Anything you want."

Kurt smiles widely now. Dave's heart clenches. "Italian," he says, excited, like he has a sudden craving. Dave could just eat him up; Kurt chose the food instead of throwing out his usual 'you pick, you're the one paying, I'm just the whore' line.

Dave kisses him soundly, and gets up from bed. "Italian it is, then."

It is in the shower that Dave starts freaking out. Blaine. For the first time, Dave wishes Kurt would go away so he could drown himself in another binge. He can't explain why, but Dave feels threatened all of a sudden and something tells him that this feeling won't fade anytime soon.