Characters: Santana, Blaine, Karofsky
Disclaimer: If I owned Glee... let's just say a few things would be different.
Spoilers: Through 3x14
Summary: David Karofsky receives two unexpected visitors.
Author's Note: I don't even know where this came from. Thanks pinkfairy727 for giving this a beta for me :)
Santana hesitates in the hospital corridor, a few steps away from the door. She’s not sure what she’s expecting here. She’s not even entirely sure what she’s doing here at all.
Yes, they’d had that whole faux beard dating thing last year, had run for prom royalty together, but when that had all fallen apart… they haven’t even spoken since last summer.
Yet somehow, when she’d heard that visitation was being opened up to non-family, her feet had brought her right to the hospital, and she’d found herself filling out a form and being handed a visitor sticker.
She hadn’t really stopped to plan out what to say, or to think about what she might be faced with behind that door.
But Santana Lopez is no quitter. Setting her shoulders, she pushes forward and opens the door.
Of all the possibilities that rushed through her brain in the last few seconds, she definitely hadn’t been expecting to find him sitting up in bed with a soft, contented smile on his face as he writes intently in a notepad.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” she announces, shrugging a little as she nudges the door closed behind her. “But here I am.”
Dave looks up at her, visibly startled, as she drops into the chair tucked near the foot of the bed. “Um, hi.”
There’s an awkward pause as they just look at each other, Karofsky evidently just as unsure about where this is going as she is.
“Asking ‘how are you?’ seems so ridiculous,” she finally blurts out several long seconds later.
To her surprise, Dave actually chuckles. “I guess it does,” he admits, “but I’m actually doing pretty okay.”
Despite the fact that he’s barely hours out of being on 72-hour suicide watch, Santana finds that she actually believes him. Right at this moment, he almost seems happy.
He waves the notebook. “Kurt got me writing a sort of bucket list. Only he said I should probably just call it a wish list, since a bucket list seems a bit morbid, considering.” He shrugs a shoulder. “Whatever it’s called, it’s helping.”
Santana blinks, so many parts of that sentence are completely unexpected. “Wait, Hummel’s been here?” She knows that the two of them had left things on a remarkably civil note at the end of last year, and Kurt had quite clearly been one of the only other people who knew about Karofsky’s sexuality back then, but she wouldn’t have expected him to visit, not after everything.
But then again, she hadn’t expected herself to visit, and Kurt is a whole lot nicer than she is.
“Yeah, you just missed him, actually,” Dave says. “He didn’t stay long, I think he was still feeling kinda guilty even though he really shouldn’t. But he helped.”
There’s clearly a whole lot of story that Santana is missing, because whatever reasons she can come up with for Kurt visiting, guilt doesn’t come into any of them. “Guilty?”
Dave’s face falls, just a little. “He seems to think he’s at fault for turning me down on Valentine’s, and ignoring my calls.”
Wait what? Santana sits back in her chair, reeling at the implications of Karofsky’s words and slotting a few pieces into place about events in that week leading up to Valentine’s day. Dave seems oblivious to her astonishment, carrying on with his explanation.
“When the truth is he’s done way more than anyone could expect of him. He’s being going through this crap for years, I put him through this and worse, and he still turned up here today promising to help, wanting to be my friend.”
Santana can’t help but relate, unwillingly. She knows that she spent a lot of months giving Kurt a hard time – not on the same scale, perhaps, as some of the other stuff he’s been through, but she can’t have made it easier. And yet, when she found herself on the brink of being outed to the entire congressional district, Kurt was right there insistent on helping.
She’d never admit it, but just knowing that he wanted to help – him and that boyfriend of his – had helped. No matter what had ended up happening that week, she’d always had the support of the glee club. Her abuelita rejecting her had hurt, still hurt, but having her parents and all those guys on her side had dulled it.
Without them, who knew?
“He’s… pretty determined, Kurt,” she acknowledges grudgingly. “The world should probably watch out for him, one day. He could destroy us all if he really set his mind to it.”
“He’ll make it out of here,” Dave nods. “And he… he reminded me today that I can too. I mean, I’m gonna have to change schools again ‘cause there’s no way I can face going back there again, but I just need to get to graduation then I can get out of here, find somewhere that will accept me for who I am.”
“You could come back to McKinley,” she says, before she’s even had a chance to think it through. “I’m not saying it’s exactly a hotbed of acceptance and understanding, like that’s going to happen, but… maybe closing in on reluctant tolerance. Even Kurt and Blaine risk holding hands there sometimes, these days.” She looks away, focusing on the wall, a bland white that isn’t looking back at her with hopeful eyes. “And we’d have your back, you know? Me, and Kurt… probably Blaine too; kid’s so well meaning it actually hurts.”
She risks looking back at Dave, who looks torn. “Maybe,” he mumbles. “I’ll take all the friends I can get, right now, but a lot of stuff went down at that school; I don’t know if I can really get past it all.”
He probably has a point. “Just remember that it’s an option,” she says quietly.
There’s another long moment of silence.
“So,” she asks eventually, more to break the silence than anything else, “what’s on that list, then?”
He probably shouldn’t even be here. None of their interactions have ever ended well. And yet…
This is something he can actually do something about; he can’t not be here.
Blaine takes his phone out of his pocket and flips to the notes one more time, triple checking that he’s definitely got the right address. It buzzes in his hand just as he’s about to lock the screen and put it away.
From: Kurt <3
I can feel you hesitating from here. It will be fine. I love you. K xx
He smiles reflexively, feeling Kurt’s confidence in him seep into his bones even from across town. Pressing the doorbell, he rocks on his toes just a little as he waits for the answer.
It’s nearly a minute later that it finally opens, revealing a heavyset man with just a hint of a beard and a suspicious look on his face. Blaine can only assume that this is Karofsky’s dad. “Yes?” He shifts, physically barring the door.
Blaine can’t really blame him for the wariness – in his place, he probably wouldn’t be all that keen to see an unknown teenage boy at his door either. It’s almost comforting to see – no matter what else he might feel about his son right now, the man is clearly protective, and that’s more than just a start.
“Hi, Mr Karofsky.” Dropping his shoulders, he folds all of his nerves underneath the veneer of pleasant composure that a year and a half at Dalton had done its best to instil in him. “My name is Blaine Anderson. I’m… ah… Kurt Hummel’s boyfriend. Dave-told-Kurt-it-would-be-okay-if-I-vis
He can’t help but rush it out, a little, not when he’s utterly clueless about what sort of reaction he’s going to get.
From the little Kurt has been able to tell him about this man, he doesn’t think he’ll have a problem with another gay teenage boy showing up to be supportive, but until he actually says something, Blaine can’t really be sure. There’s a difference between condemning your son for bullying a gay kid and accepting him when he turns out to be one too.
“I’ll let him know you’re here,” Mr Karofsky says blandly, making a vague beckoning gesture as he steps back out of the doorway. He disappears down the hallway, leaving Blaine to close the door behind himself and wait awkwardly in the entryway.
He looks around, but there’s nothing to really tell him much about the family from the walls. It’s all tastefully decorated, a few abstract prints lining the hall, a dresser stacked with papers a few feet away.
It feels like forever later, but is probably actually barely thirty seconds, when Mr Karofsky reappears from a doorway and starts walking back towards him. “You can just go on in,” he says, jerking a thumb over his shoulder.
He turns into a dooway; on the way past Blaine glances in to see what looks like the main family room. Other doors down the hall are all closed until he gets to the single open one near the end.
Despite the fact that Mr Karofsky has just announced his presence, he raps lightly on the doorframe anyway.
The only sound in the room when he crosses the threshold is from the TV. From the sounds of it it’s tuned to ESPN, or maybe it’s a recording of a game. There are definitely commentators.
If anything, it’s even more awkward than he was expecting.
“Hi.” Karofsky is sitting against his headboard, legs crossed, looking remarkably small for such a big guy.
“So… ah… is there a game on?” Blaine waves towards the TV. He knows there isn’t a football game on, the season is well over, but he doesn’t pay particularly close attention to any of the other myriad sporting championships that take place through the year.
Karofsky frowns at the television, as if he’d forgotten it was even on. “No. I… think they’re talking about the English soccer league, actually. I haven’t really been paying attention.”
Blaine nods, hovering just inside the doorway, unsure if he should just march in and sit somewhere or if he should wait for an invitation or if Karofsky would really rather he just left.
“You can come in properly, you know,” Karofsky says after a few seconds, meeting Blaine’s gaze for just a moment. “I promise I won’t try to shove you.”
An unexpected chuckle breaks free from Blaine’s throat as he takes a few steps forward and perches tentatively on the edge of the desk chair. “I think technically last time I shoved you first,” he admits.
“I provoked you,” Karofsky insists, and Blaine can’t argue with that. “I have a lot of excuses for my behaviour back then, but none of them make any of it okay.”
Again, Blaine can’t deny the truth in the statement; the haunted, broken expression on Kurt’s face that first day at Dalton is burned indelibly in his memory.
“I’ve apologised to Kurt,” Karofsky, David, continues. “But I don’t think I ever apologised to you. So for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
While he hadn’t come here seeking contrition, Blaine has to admit to himself that it feels good to hear.
“It’s…” He pauses. “Well, no, I’m not going to say ‘it’s okay’, because you said it yourself, it can’t be. But it’s in the past. None of us can do anything to change it, we can only go on from here.”
If Kurt can put his complicated history with Karofsky behind him, Blaine certainly can.
“I should probably apologise to you for Valentine’s day, too,” David says ruefully.
Blaine frowns. While he knows the general story of what happened and didn’t happen between Kurt and David the week of Valentine’s, he’s not entirely sure why it apparently warrants an apology. Nothing actually happened, after all.
“Even though he said no, putting any sort of moves on someone else’s boyfriend is total dick behaviour. And I’m trying not to be that guy anymore.”
He has a point, even if it isn’t one that Blaine’s really thought about before. (It explains so much about why Kurt already hated Sebastian even before the whole slushy incident, despite Blaine’s reassurances that he has nothing to worry about, that Kurt is the only one for him. He’s been such an idiot.) “I can’t entirely blame you for liking Kurt,” he says anyway. “Rather fond of him myself.”
“I don’t think I actually do, though,” Dave says almost over the top of him. “Not like that, I mean. I thought I did, but I’ve… well, I’ve had a lot of time to think the last few days.”
Blaine rolls the desk chair closer to the bed, settling into it more comfortably and nodding encouragingly at David.
David looks back. “I think it’s just… I’ve seen how he looks at you. It’s like you’re just the best thing ever. I wanted – want – that for myself. And then he was nice to me despite everything and somehow I convinced myself that I wanted it specifically from him. When really I just want someone.”
Blaine knows exactly which look he’s talking about; it makes him feel like the best thing ever whenever Kurt gives him it, like there’s nothing he can’t do as long as Kurt loves him. Everyone should have someone to look at them like that. “You’ll find him,” he says intently. “I can’t promise you where or when, but he’s out there. You just have to hang in there until he shows up.”
And have the courage to recognise him when he does, he adds to himself. Even after nearly a year together he sometimes kicks himself for the months he spent too scared to realise his feelings for what they were.
“I know.” David looks at his hands in his lap. “To be honest I probably couldn’t handle it if he did show up, like, tomorrow. I’m barely coping with just being out.” He gestures vaguely around the room. “Obviously.”
It hits Blaine suddenly that this is where it happened. It’s a sick feeling in his stomach and he wonders how David can stand looking at it all so soon. He swallows hard and pushes the thoughts resolutely to the back of his mind; if he’s managing so far, Blaine isn’t going to bring anything up that might change that.
“It gets easier,” he promises. “I can’t honestly tell you for sure that it will ever be easy because I’ve only been out for two and a half years and there are days when I still find it hard, there are days when I just want to scream at all the people who hate me just for being who I am, but it does get better. And I can only believe that it’s going to just keep getting better.”
He’s looking forward to a day when he can wake up – beside Kurt, of course – and realise that it is, finally, easy. That he doesn’t need to worry anymore and can just go on with the business of being happy.
“I hope so,” David says tentatively.
“It will,” Blaine says again. “And until it does, just remember you’re not alone. You’ve got me, and Kurt. And your dad seemed pretty supportive when he let me in.”
“He’s trying,” David nods. “I think he was pretty shocked when I told him, right after everything started at school, but he at least is making an effort. I’ve barely even spoken to my mom since I got home from the hospital, and she only speaks to me to tell me how I need to be cured.”
He sounds angry, and Blaine can’t blame him. As much as he’s sure that his dad tried every not-so-subtle activity he could think of to make him straight, at least he’d never actually said it in so many words.
‘Just grow up and be a man already,’ doesn’t have quite the same scary going-to-lock-you-away-in-a-conversion-c
“It’s good that you have your dad,” he says. “And give your mom some time, she might come around.” He smiles to himself as a memory strikes. “My dad actually referred to Kurt as my boyfriend last week, and until that point I’d have sworn he’d go to his grave insisting we were just ‘friends’. I’m pretty sure he’s still not happy about it, but he’s coming around, slowly. Things are getting better.”
He’s glad to hear the renewed tone of hope in David’s voice. “Yeah.”
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