Story: Butterscotch and Guilt – 1/1
Rating: R – for language
Characters: Dave, Kurt, one-sided Kurtofsky
Disclaimer: I don't own these people, they own themselves and are just nice enough to let me spin them around the page now and then.
Summary: If Dave had never thought he had a chance with Kurt, if it was all just an elaborate apology, why was he so hurt and why, oh, why, did he have to make Kurt feel guilty?
A/N: Apologies if this is "off" in any way. Some might not agree with the POV. Also, apologies for making Dave sound less like Dave and more like, well, me. :( Having trouble getting his voice right and running out of time. Shelf life of story close to expiring. (It is Monday night as I type this…) Thx!
A/N: Also, this story pre-dates the leaks re: what will happen to Dave in 3.14, so it works more as a response to "Heart" than as a prelude to "On My Way."
Feedback: Yes, of course! I'm like Tinkerbell (and Rachel Berry) – I need your applause (and hopefully not your rotten tomatoes!) to live…
Butterscotch and Guilt – 1/1
"I hope you like the candies. The butterscotch ones are my favorite…"
Dave was pretty sure he couldn't be a bigger idiot.
That pitch-perfect nod to his Grandmother and her Jewish guilt act had come from out of no where.
He had not started this whole thing with the intention of making Kurt feel badly. As crazy and delusional as he'd seemed, dressed in a gorilla suit, cheesy cards and gifts in his hammy fists, he'd known he was going to be shot down, because, really, could he see Kurt forgetting their past and just jumping into his beefy arms? Could he? Especially not with the World's Most Perfect Gay Boyfriend (probably riding in his jacket pocket).
But then he'd gone and gotten some form of passing amnesia and forgotten he had no shot. He forgot what his real purpose had been…
He should have been prepared, but he wasn't.
It wasn't like he didn't remember the pull of those eyes, especially if they were looking right at your own, or how they'd make the thoughts in your head just evaporate. He should have steeled himself or looked away, maybe focused on whatever silly tie Kurt was wearing or on shredding his napkin or playing with the sugar packets or something.
But he didn't do any of that. He heard the sound of Kurt's voice and, damn did he smell good tonight, and he couldn't help himself.
He'd looked up…
Once he'd seen Kurt's face, he was lost.
He'd forgotten his whole plan, lost all sense of reality, and damn the stupid thing, Dave's heart had gotten the better of him.
Fuck, I really do love him…
And so, yeah, he'd been hurt when Kurt had, however gently, turned him down.
"And I'm with Blaine…"
At that, his brain fog cleared quickly and he suddenly realized what a colossal mistake he'd made – coming there at all, renting the ape suit, buying all those cards, driving around like an idiot searching for the last box of See's Candy in fucking Ohio – and that he had to get the hell out of here.
But before he could make his pathetic loser getaway, Grammy Lena was standing over his shoulder, feeding suggestions to his clearly receptive brain and bam!
'I hope you like the candies,' he'd said, his fucking heart grabbing onto his tear ducts with one bloody hand, squeezing his throat just ever so with the other. 'The butterscotch ones are my favorite…'
And like some sort of twisted Jewish magic, that box, the box Kurt had just been running appreciative fingers over, was transformed from a box of candy into a frigging box of guilt.
You are such a loser, "David." You know that?
Maybe he had a split personality or something.
On one level, he'd known he had absolutely no chance with Kurt, but on another more delusional level, he'd wished with all his heart that Kurt would love him back.
Sometimes he didn't know which one was in control. (He was pretty sure the ape suit was the delusional one's idea…)
He'd told himself that his goal for the week had been to make Kurt feel special and then, at the end (tonight), he would lay it all out there as an elaborate (if romantic) apology for what Dave had put him through over the past couple years. One teary-eyed confession before Prom, no matter how heartfelt, just didn't make up for all that he'd done to Kurt.
More than that, though, Dave thought Kurt needed to know.
Kurt needed to know why Dave had done the things he'd done.
Kurt thought any number of unflattering things about Dave; that he was a sweaty, brainless, asshole, that he was a struggling closeted gay, that he was "in pain."
Worst of all, Kurt thought that Dave had hated him; that he'd done it all because Kurt was something Dave wasn't – gay and proud – and he'd hated him for it.
Did he really think that was why Dave had shoved him into lockers and called him names and thrown perfectly good soft drinks at him?
Did he honestly think that was why Dave had kissed him like he was a drowning man and Kurt was air?
That Dave simply hated himself and Kurt was a convenient target? That Dave lacked the advanced communication skills to come right out and say he was gay and this was the only method his caveman brain could devise?
Kurt did think that. Dave had no doubt now.
'You just think that you love me, you don't really love me…'
Somewhere swimming in the mud his brain was made of, Dave had realized that Kurt had no idea how Dave really felt.
Dave had never hated him.
It was, in fact, quite the opposite.
And Kurt needed to know that…
Forty five minutes after the debacle, Dave was sitting in his driveway cursing himself. (To be accurate, he'd actually begun cursing himself long before he'd hit the driveway; he had, in fact, been cursing himself since the moment he'd run from Breadstix dragging that ape suit after him.)
Thank goodness his parents were visiting his aunt and uncle this week or he would have had to explain why he'd been sitting alone in his truck fogging up the windows and swearing for the last thirty minutes…
And though it was totally unlike him, he hadn't even started to obsess about what that whole run-in with Nick the Asshole could mean. Nothing good, he was sure. He'd think about it later, when he was through beating himself up. (And didn't that have an ominous ring to it?)
So, one of the things that Kurt didn't know about Dave was that Dave had been watching him since junior high.
Kurt didn't know that those tight pink jeans he used to wear had been how Dave had come to realize that he was gay. Because as ridiculous as they'd looked and as much as he and the other boys had picked on him every single time he'd worn them, Dave could not stop thinking about them. About the way they hugged Kurt's slim hips or the way they smoothed over his rear. Or the way just thinking about them – and then, just thinking about the color of them – could suddenly make Dave's jeans tight, and how freaked he'd been when he'd realized that was why. He'd spent hours that night flipping through one of his mom's fashion mags, trying to get off to the slinky women in their barely-there clothes, and it wasn't until his fingers and his dick were raw from trying that he'd finally, finally come, and then only because he'd found an ad that also featured a half-dressed man on a motorcycle… He'd spent the rest of the night puking Rice-a-Roni and brisket into his trash can and punching bruises into his right thigh…
So Kurt didn't know that he was the reason, the start of Dave's "gay," or that the reason Dave had appeared to hate him so much was that he'd thought that if he could end his fascination with Kurt he might end, well, his fascination with Kurt.
Of course, it hadn't worked. In part because Kurt was everywhere – in the hallways of Edgemont Junior High and later, in McKinley's – and Dave just couldn't get away from him, but also because he realized, after the fact, naturally, that all the time he was investing in purging himself of his gay fascination was really only serving to further it. He wasn't spending less time thinking about Kurt Hummel and his tight little ass – no, he was spending more time thinking about him and it…and certain other parts of him…
It wasn't until he'd gotten a little older, McKinley years, not Edgemont, that Dave had let himself do more than just growl when he saw Kurt in the halls and the classrooms. It might not have looked like it, but he'd finally started to hear what the kid was saying and see how he was living his life, and well, Dave was fascinated then in a whole new way.
He wanted to hate the kid, he really did, and outwardly, it certainly looked like that was what he was feeling, but inwardly, Dave was gone. He couldn't process it normally, he couldn't respond to it appropriately, but he felt it all the same.
As twisted as it might be, Dave was in love with Kurt Hummel, he just didn't realize that was what he was feeling. And if he didn't, then Kurt certainly didn't.
This was more than just about Kurt knowing that Dave had loved him all this time, though.
No, what Kurt really needed to know was something that might look the same on the surface, but was really quite different.
Kurt needed to know that Dave hadn't hated him.
Dave had done enough reading – damn, he was clearly on his way to becoming a statistic himself, if Nick the Asshole had anything to say about it – to know that how gay kids are treated affects how they feel about themselves and could even impact the kinds of relationships they have in the future.
He knew that Kurt was strong and proud and unstoppable and Dave wasn't conceited enough to think that Hamhock Dave Karofsky had scarred Kurt so deeply he'd never recover, but everyone has moments of doubt and Dave didn't want to contribute to that, didn't want whatever scars Dave might have caused to effect, say, the type of man Kurt felt himself worthy of in the future. (For instance, someone so starved for attention he often forgot his boyfriend needed attention, too, as opposed to someone who, say, went out of his way for a whole week to make him feel special…)
And certainly not, lest we be melodramatic here, that he thought Kurt would have killed himself because Dave the Loser Karofsky had supposedly hated him.
Dave just didn't want the idea that Dave had hated him to factor into how Kurt thought of himself. Ever. (Rather like how "fat, sweaty, balding by his thirties" would be identifiers that Dave would deservedly carry with him into adulthood…)
And so he'd come up with this whole hair-brained (hair-brained! ha!) scheme as a way to deliver the mother of all apologies to Kurt – and then to make sure he understood that Dave had not hated him. He wasn't expecting anything from Kurt in return, he just wanted Kurt to know that he had changed Dave in an essential and fundamental way.
He'd turned Dave into a human being.
Dave would have stumbled on, angry at the world and himself forever, had Kurt not been Kurt, not been brave, not been heartbreakingly beautiful, not given as much shit to Dave in return as Dave had given to him.
Fuck, did he love him.
And…and he'd just handled that whole thing really, really badly.
All because he'd forgotten himself and looked up at Kurt's face…
After that, the disasters just piled onto each other.
First off, he forgot to mention that this week had been about an apology as much as anything else. How did he do that? Oh, yeah – he looked at Kurt's face…
He'd remembered to tell Kurt that he loved him (well, it was written on the box of candy, so naturally he hadn't had those eyes to distract while he was writing), but everything he'd done after that had made it seem less like a 'you changed my life and I love you for it' kind of confession and more like a 'I love you and want to be with you' kind of confession which, if we're being honest here, was what he was really feeling.
Then he'd tempted the fates and made a complete ass out of himself by reaching across the table and taking Kurt's hand and Kurt, god bless him, had even let Dave hold it for a few beats before pulling away, though the delay could have been out of shock or, more likely, out of pity.
And of course, he'd forgotten the most important confession of them all, though he did make a start of it. Somehow, though, Dave doubted that 'I hated myself' quite translated to the 'I hated myself, Kurt, but never you' he'd intended.
And when Kurt had assured Dave that he couldn't be in love with him and then let him down more gently than Dave would have thought possible, Dave had bolted, but not before topping the night off with the crown jewel of Jewish guilt…
'I hope you like the candies. The butterscotch ones are my favorite…'
If he hadn't been so embarrassed by his own conceit and by his own misguided attempts to set things right, and by the heaping helping of guilt he'd just foisted on Kurt, he might have stuck around for a little longer and tried to explain himself a better, but that was when that smarmy asshole, Nick, had popped up from out of nowhere, and Dave, figuring his life was pretty much over anyway, he'd just run for the door.
What a loser I am…
He was about to amp up the defroster until he decided he liked to way the fogged up windows isolated him from the all-too-real reality of his driveway, lined as it was with his mother's huge flower boxes and the basketball hoop he and his brother Michael used to use.
This was a conversation that could benefit from a little less reality…
I really fucked this up. What do I say to him?
Hand shaking a little, he fished his phone out of his pocket.
Finger twitching over the keypad for a moment, he screwed up his courage and typed out a quick, but bland greeting.
After an excruciating twenty seconds of silence, a response popped up on the screen.
*David! I didn't have your #. Are you all right? That jerk left after you did. Did he follow you home?*
Dave shivered, creeped out at the thought that Nick might be out there somewhere and Dave couldn't see him because his windows were too fogged up, but then he laughed it off, knowing the asshole was at least smart enough not to jump him in his own driveway…
*Nah. Haven't seen him. I'm fine.*
*Are you? Are you sure?*
*Yeah, I'm good. Or well, not good, but, you know…*
*Oh… I'm sorry, David. I really am. It really was sweet of you, everything.*
*I know. I'm a prince.*
*Stop it. You are. I'm just sorry I can't… I'm just sorry, that's all.*
*Stop apologizing. You did nothing wrong, OK?*
*I know that, but you went to a lot of trouble this week.*
*It was no trouble. I wanted to do it. It was fun for me, too.*
*I know, but…*
*Stop it, Kurt. I mean it. You don't owe me anything.*
*How about 'thank you'? 'Thank you for such a special week'?*
*[bowing] You're welcome. It was my pleasure.*
*I still feel badly, David. About, you know…*
*Don't, Kurt. Srsly, stop. I know what I said back there but…*
*I think I just got caught up in all the decorations. It was like Cupid threw up.*
*Really? I thought it was all very romantic.*
Of course, Kurt had liked it. To be honest, Dave had, too…
*It was, it's just that wasn't what this whole week was supposed to be about.*
There was a brief pause and Dave didn't know if it was because Kurt was thinking or typing a huge message. Finally, his response popped up and Dave had his answer.
*You mean you lied? About, you know, how you feel about me?*
Dave could practically hear the hurt in Kurt's tone and perverse as it seemed, it made his heart sing. Just a little.
*No, no! Not about that. I, um, I *do* feel that way, but that wasn't why I was there.*
*OK, now I'm really confused.*
*It wasn't the *only* reason I was there.*
A pause that was practically a sigh, then a response.
*Still confused, Dave.*
Dave chewed his lip, trying to decide how to explain it. He didn't want to risk putting any more guilt on Kurt, but there really was no other way to say this…
*Think about it, Kurt. Do you really think I thought I had any chance with you? When you have the Hobbit?*
*He's not a Hobbit.*
*But he IS short.*
*So what if I like men who are shorter than I am?*
Dave sighed, imagined Kurt's face all red and angry lines pinched between his brows.
*Fine. So if you knew I was going to turn you down, why did you confess? Why did you do any of it?*
*I owe you a lot, Kurt and I don't mean just because you've helped me be more comfortable in my own skin.*
*But not so comfortable that you could do it without the gorilla suit.*
*Think about it, Kurt. If I had wanted this to be all about me, I wouldn't have even worn the suit.*
*I wanted you to feel special this week.*
A longer pause.
*I have a lot to make up for, Kurt. I did some really horrible things to you, things you were kind enough to list for me tonight.*
*I shouldn't have done that, not when we were trying to put that behind us.*
*No, it's OK. That's my point. Too many things. That whiny apology outside your French classroom last year just couldn't make up for it all.*
Dave could practically hear Kurt thinking through the silence.
*Are you saying the cards and the gifts, the gorilla suit, the confession, were all part of some elaborate apology?*
*Yes. Not the confession, though.*
*That was for you, because of the Cupid puke?*
*No, that was for *you*, too, just not as a part of the apology. That one is more complicated.*
How to explain it? How far should he go back?
*OK, I know I made it sound like I just realized I felt this way about you, after we talked at Scandals, but that's not true.*
*How long have you, um, felt this way about me.*
Dave bit his lip. This could backfire if Kurt got angry enough to turn off his phone before Dave was finished.
*It's complicated. Promise you'll hear me out, Kurt?*
*You're making me nervous, but OK.*
*OK. …um, I've had a crush on you since Edgemont.*
*Junior high! You liked me in junior high? You liked me, but you bullied me anyway?*
*It's fucked up. *I'm* fucked up. I couldn't handle it, Kurt. I'm sorry!*
*This is how you treat someone you LIKE?*
*You promised you'd listen, Kurt.*
There was a pause, no doubt as Kurt tried to calm himself.
*Fine. Go on then.*
Dave took a deep breath.
*I told you that because I wanted you to realize something very important. Even with everything I did to you…*
Dave could picture Kurt with folded arms, staring him down imperiously.
*And what was that?*
*I NEVER hated you, Kurt. I know it seemed like I did and it might be impossible to tell the difference, but that's why I'm telling you now.*
*You pushed me into lockers because you loved me. What are you, Karofsky? A caveman?*
'Karofsky,' not 'Dave.'
Not a good sign.
He considered switching to "Hummel" but decided it would be counterproductive. He needed all the help he could get as it was…
*No, Kurt, I pushed you into lockers because I hated MYSELF.*
*Great. Thanks for clearing up the confusion. What's the difference?*
*On the surface, I guess nothing, but behind it…*
How to describe it?
*This is going to sound arrogant and if you want to think so, I can't stop you, but…I was afraid that thinking someone, ME, had hated you all those years would affect you, you know, deeper.*
*Do you honestly believe you've scarred me emotionally, Karofsky?*
*Can you honestly tell me I haven't?*
*Yes.* Came the quick answer. Too quick.
He decided to try a different tack.
*OK, maybe you're not, but can you be sure, on some level, that you aren't, I don't know say, willing to accept less than what you want in a relationship because…*
*...because you think you don't deserve better?*
*No! That's not true at all!*
*Isn't it? Do I have to remind you that the highlight of your week was the gifts and cards you got from some guy in an ape suit?*
*I thought they were from Blaine!*
*But they weren't, were they? What did your super romantic perfect boyfriend get you for Valentine's Day, Kurt?*
*I'll have you know he made a CD of himself singing love songs just for me.*
*That wasn't for you, Kurt. That was for him.*
*Of course, it wasn't.*
*He made a CD of himself singing so you can adore and be impressed by him. He made a gift for you that was all about him.*
*Tell me, did he come to he party tonight and did he sing?*
*Yes, he did! We sang together. We were fabulous, too!*
*I know him – I bet he's the song-dedication type, isn't he?*
The briefest pause.
*Yes. He loves to make people feel special.*
*Like you? Did he dedicate this song to you?*
*He dedicated it to everyone – for Valentine's Day.*
*After finding out he *hadn't* been sending you stuff all week weren't you just the tiniest bit hurt that he didn't at least dedicate it to you?*
*OK, fine! I was hurt.*
*Did you tell him that?*
*No, of course not. That would have been petty.*
*I don't think it's petty. I think you just accepted it because he's your boyfriend and you feel lucky to have him.*
*And what's wrong with that?*
*YOU should be his first thought, Kurt. It should be all about YOU, not his ego.*
*You have no idea what you're talking about.*
*Did you get Blaine something?*
*Of course, I did!*
*What did you give him?*
*I sent him flowers at home, stargazer lilies – his favorite, then a pretty card I made from a photo of the two of us...*
*I also bought US a pair of diamond stud earrings so we could get our ears pierced together.*
For a moment, Dave didn't know what to say to that, as though the earrings – and the piercings – were the gay equivalent of a pre-engagement ring; he was taken aback by how committed Kurt was to Blaine.
And what a fool Dave had been…
*Did he like them?*
*They're beautiful. Why wouldn't he like them?*
*Did you make plans to get your ears pierced right away.*
There was no response to that.
*He said he has to talk to his parents first. He doesn't think they'll go for it. They're very strict.*
Dave wanted to jump all over that, but he decided to just let it speak for itself.
Dave laughed aloud.
*I didn't say anything.*
*Yeah, well, you think real loud.*
*You sure those aren't *your* thoughts you're hearing?*
*Fine. I'm hurt. But this doesn't mean he doesn't love me, Karofsky.*
*And I'm not trying to say that he doesn't.*
Dave managed to restrain himself from adding "in his own way."
*What ARE you trying to say?*
*Just that you're maybe more accommodating than you should be.*
*What's wrong with that? And why are you trying to make me so unhappy? I thought you supposedly loved me?*
Guilt stung in Dave's chest.
*I didn't mean to do that. I'm sorry, Kurt. I know you love Blaine.*
The last bit had been so hard to type out, especially with his heart squeezing itself in the middle of his chest. It was also hard to type when you had something in your eyes…
*I just think that maybe if I hadn't treated you like shit for so long you wouldn't be so accepting of someone who doesn't treat you like shit, but who also doesn't treat you like you deserve.*
*I suppose that's not an entirely unkind thing to say. It's not the case here, but it's not unkind. David.*
David. Like a statement. Like a sign. Like was a-
*OK. Point made.*
Dave let out a relieved sigh.
*Thank you. Look, I know we sort of veered off course here, but I did really want you to know how sorry I was for everything I've done to you. You didn't deserve any of it.*
A pause, no doubt as Kurt switched gears and typed.
*I know that, David. And I accepted your apology last year – that was enough for me.*
*Yeah, but it wasn't enough for me. I just…*
Why was this harder to say than anything else he'd said so far? And he didn't even have Kurt's eyes to distract him this time.
*You just what, David?*
*I just don't think you realize what you mean to me, Kurt.*
Shit. Why was he crying? Grateful to be sitting alone in his driveway, he made a blind grab on the seat for something to wipe his face off with, disgusted when it turned out to be the gorilla suit.
*I know. And I'm so honored that you feel that way about me, David. I truly am.*
Tossing the hairy thing into the backseat and finding a crumpled MickeyD's napkin to use, he turned back to the keypad.
*It's not just that, Kurt. You *changed* me. If it weren't for you, I'd still be stumbling through the halls of McKinley like the Incredible Hulk.*
*I'll admit there was a Hulk-like quality to your stumbling…*
Dave paused before answering to let out a quick, relieved half-laugh.
*If it weren't for you, I'd still be that person.*
*Is this a bad time to remind you about the gorilla suit?*
*You're a barrel of laughs, you know that?*
*Did you say "barrel"?*
*Haha. Cut it out. I'm serious, though. If you hadn't been so strong, if you hadn't been *you*, I would never have seen that it was ok to be… to be gay.*
*Because I was clearly living such a great gay life?*
*No, because you weren't but you still thought it was worth fighting for. Worth fighting me. Nothing stops you, Kurt. You are the strongest, best person I have ever met.*
*Wow. I don't know what to say to that. I feel like I just won a Tony and I didn't even know I was nominated.*
*You don't have to say anything. I just wanted you to know that. I wanted you to know that none of that happened because of you. It was all about me. I was screwed up and scared.*
*I know that, David. Please stop beating yourself up.*
*You've been way nicer to me than I deserve, Kurt and I'm so grateful for that.*
*Well, we have to stick together, don't we?*
*You mean, us gays.*
*;) I won't ding you on the grammar b/c I'm so proud of you for using the word gay in a sentence about yourself.*
*I did, didn't I?*
Dave could imagine Kurt smiling right now, maybe gazing at Dave with amusement.
*Why is it we can talk like this, but not when we're face-to-face?*
Dave froze for a moment. Was he really going to say this?
Hell, what difference did it make now?
*You just answered your own question, Kurt.*
*Your face. Because when I look at your face, I can't think straight… And stop laughing at the pun. I know you are.*
*I am not. I'm not, but… Wow.*
*Wow? Wow, that I have so little control over my higher brain function?*
*No, stupid. Wow that when you look at my face you loose the ability to think, 'wow.'*
He didn't know what to make of that, but his heart – it had ideas…
There was no response for a while, so long that Dave started to worry that he'd said too much and Kurt was too weirded out. That he'd scared him away.
*It's been a while since someone made me feel that special, David. I'm at a loss.*
*What does that mean?*
*It means… It means that you're pretty special yourself.*
*You're just saying that to be nice.*
*C'mon. You know me better than that, David. I'm may use a lot of words, but I don't mince them.*
*I don't say things I don't mean.*
He blinked, feeling a little lightheaded.
*So, um, are we OK? I mean, are YOU OK now? Did you get to say everything you wanted to?*
*Yeah, I think so.*
Feeling freer than he ever had, he just had to say it again.
*I know you think I don't, Kurt, but I really do.*
There was a pause, as though Kurt knew what he meant, but was waiting for him to say it anyway; needed him to say it anyway.
*You really do what, Dave?*
*I really do love you, Kurt. No matter what happens, I always will.*
Time to hang up, Dave. End this conversation now before you mess it up. Again.
*You don't need to apologize for thinking nice things about me, OK? That will never be a bad thing.*
He felt his face grow warm again.
*I just wish…*
What was Kurt thinking? Dave knew what he was thinking and he knew he had to be wrong because, you know, he was always wrong…
*David, don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes… sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't transferred to Dalton.*
Wow. Did he really just say that?
*You mean, if you hadn't met Blaine?*
*No, I met him before I transferred. I just meant, that if I'd stayed and…and stood up to you and maybe tried to help you…*
He was not hearing this. And because he wasn't hearing this, he had to disagree.
*No, you did the right thing, Kurt. I made it impossible for you to stay at McKinley. And you weren't responsible for helping me. I wasn't your problem – I was my own.*
*I know. I guess I just… Sometimes I wonder, that's all.*
Dave's heart was hammering away in his chest making it really hard for him to type, but somehow, he managed to pull off some semblance of cool. Fancy that?
*Doesn't matter now, though. You did go and everything's cool now. We're cool, right?*
*I'd say that's what we were, yes.*
It was time to, as they say, 'get while the getting was…'
*So, then, um, I guess I'll just say good night, then, Kurt.*
*Oh. Oh, yeah. Good night. David?*
*Thank you for a really special week. I loved everything.*
*You're very welcome. I was happy to do it for you.*
*And David - you were right.*
*I was? What about?*
*The butterscotch was amazing. I usually don't eat them because, you know, I'm all about the caramels and the creams, but yeah, they were incredible. I'm addicted now.*
*Oops. Didn't mean to start a life-long problem for you.*
*I know. I hope I can manage it. I might need help sometime. Would you be my butterscotch sponsor?*
Now his head was really swimming. Was he really asking if they could continue to talk like this?
*Yeah, I think I can do that. I might have to be tough on you, though.*
*It's OK. I can take it.*
Dave was smiling so hard he thought his face might crack.
*So, I'll text you on Sunday night.*
*Yeah, I'm thinking I might be having a problem on Sunday night.*
*Yeah. A butterscotch problem.*
*…um, sure, OK.*
*Yeah, Sunday. And, you know, if you have a moment of weakness before then, feel free.*
*Thanks. I will.*
*Good night, Kurt.*
*Good night, Dave.*
Smiling, Dave stared a moment longer at the screen, then slipped the phone into his jacket pocket.
The windows were even more heavily fogged now than they had been before. If his mom and dad were to have come home now, they'd have wondered what he'd been doing in the car – and with whom.
Dave felt his face grown warm.
Not gonna happen, Dave. Just because he was nice to you and wants to talk to you again and…
…and had been wondering what would have happened if he'd stayed at McKinley last year.
And stood up to Dave.
And tried to help him.
Dave rubbed at the warm ache in the center of his chest for a moment.
As if he already didn't love him enough…