Pairings: Karofsky/various, unrequited Karofsky/Kurt
Word Count: ~3,200 one-shot
Warnings: brief homophobic language
Spoilers: post-series future fic, spoilers up to 2.11: the Sue Sylvester Shuffle
Disclaimer: Under no circumstances am I affiliated with Glee or anyone who owns Glee. No money made, no offense or copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Everyone evolves, even Dave Karofsky. A character study.
Dave sucked his first cock freshman year of college. He found that he could divorce himself from what he was doing and enjoy just the physical sensation of it. He was good at it, and beyond that, he liked it – the thick velvet weight of it filling his mouth, the salt-clean flavor of it bursting across his tongue. He liked Patrick’s muffled, choked off grunts, the hand tightening in his hair, the crisp, low scent of lush pubes. It made him feel powerful, like a god before a helpless, awestruck disciple, and it satisfied a ravenous hunger that had been gnawing at him for too long, a hunger that had nothing to do with the throb in his dick and the swell of his balls.
Of course Patrick would reciprocate, and busting all over his face was a particular ecstasy neither could admit to enjoying. In the delirious, languid aftermath, they slumped together on Patrick’s narrow bunk, because Patrick’s roommate was kind of a momma’s boy and he went home every weekend. Patrick’s neck smelled like soap and grass and heat. Occasionally, Dave would let Patrick push up his shirt and lay a careful hand on his stomach. Stubble against stubble, they didn’t kiss.
“You going to the game tomorrow?” Patrick would ask, or something very much like it.
“Maybe,” Dave would answer. “Probably.”
Their school didn’t have football, but it was in Division II soccer, and the team wasn’t bad. There had been no sports scholarship for Dave, and he still wore his letter jacket as if in mourning. Patrick, who was a year older and lived in the room above his, had a letter jacket too, in black and green, from some bumfuck town in northwestern Ohio Dave had never heard of. In the corridors and the common rooms and the dining halls, Dave had found himself staring at the line of Patrick’s back and the breadth of Patrick’s shoulders instead of the cartoon badger mascot that snarled out at the world from the back of the jacket. Dave caught himself watching Patrick with heated intent that hollowed out his stomach and shook out his palpitating heart, but then he caught Patrick watching back. First it was handjobs in the locked bathroom, but it wasn’t enough, it was never enough. Dave admired the ordered black hair on Patrick’s forearm when he led him to his empty room for the first time and dropped to his knees. That was in February.
“I was thinking,” Patrick might say, “of getting some of the guys together for ultimate frisbee later. If you wanted to play.”
“Yeah.” Dave might clear his throat. “Yeah, that’d be good.” Patrick might hum in answer, might pull Dave’s shirt up more and prod at a nipple, suck. He might set sucking, tooth-edged kisses to the outlines of Dave’s pecs and abs, softened by dining hall food and a lack of football. He might travel down far enough to draw out Dave’s eager cock, which always lurched back to life with valiant determination at the very suggestion of Patrick’s humid breath. Dave would shut his eyes and imagine Patrick’s lips on his, two tongues in one mouth – it didn’t matter whose – when he came.
He and Patrick were careful not to stand too close when they weren’t alone.
Dave broke his first heart when he was a junior and had landed the RA job he’d been shooting for. The truth of it was that Michael annoyed him; he was a theatre kid who moved in on Dave’s hall and had a collection of scarves that reminded him too strongly of things he’d left behind. But he had a sweet mouth and a pert ass and a flat, unblemished stomach when he stretched and his shirt rode up.
“Michael, right?” he asked one night in early September while he did rounds alone for the first time. Michael’s roommate was a skinny, bug-eyed boy without social skills, and he sat with his back to the door playing the latest Call of Duty.
Michael’s expression held an open question, slim hip braced against the doorjamb, and his lips glistened. He crossed his arms in front of him and gave Dave an assessing once-over. Dave felt his cock threaten to fill even as he stood in the doorway.
“That’s me,” Michael said. “What can I do you for, Mr. RA?”
“Nothing. Nothing. Just want to make sure you’re settling in all right. And stuff. I’m, ah, in room 301. If you need anything.”
Michael’s smile was slow and hot as fresh molasses, and after that, Dave’s single-occupant room always had scarves piled around it in little multi-colored mounds and drifts. Michael was a study of long, clean lines and Dave liked to trace them all with his tongue, his fingertips – but he did not like it when Michael quirked a suggestive eyebrow at him at floor meetings, sidled up to him and pinched his ass in the lounge, wandered in and out of his room at all hours without a thought as to who might be in the corridors.
“No one cares, David,” Michael argued ad nauseum. The use of his full name never failed to enrage him, and Michael would push harder and harder when he knew Dave was angry: “Get out of the stone age and into my ass.”
“God, you’re so –”
“What? Crass? You and your broskis can yak about bitches and pussy over pizza and beers all night and it’s just, what, ‘boys will be boys’? Give me a fucking break, David.” He’d lean in towards Dave’s ear and shove a thigh between both of Dave’s. He’d whisper, “Don’t tell me you’d rather be nuzzling tits when you could be sucking my cock.” Dave would harden helplessly, and he’d snarl and grab Michael, his lover, this interruption, this inconvenience, this goddamned beautiful derailment, and the argument would subside amid a rough coupling that deprived them both of functional spines.
They kissed in the dark after fights, after fucks, after long days where they actually did their homework, long hot draws of lips and tongue. They’d huddle close, and silently to himself Dave affirmed that he hated Michael and didn’t want another moment filled with his rosy cock, his firm, round ass, his wagging tongue and derisive smirk and adoring gaze. And he’d pull him close on the tiny bed and they’d go to sleep as tangled as when they’d wake up.
Dave’s friend John B. turned twenty-one just as spring break began, and he and Dave and all their friends stormed the skeeziest bar in town like a conquering horde. He tried to enjoy the overtanned, underdressed women that writhed all over him as he stood trying not be self conscious on what amounted to the bar’s dance floor – a sticky, stained surface not occupied by tables. He tried to imagine being balls deep in one of their tight wet bodies, but he was only limp, his balls shriveled up close to his body, even when a blonde with a hazy, drunken gaze whispered that she’d blow him in the bathroom if he wanted.
John B. snickered and mimed a blow job. “Do it, dude!” he slurred into Dave’s ear way too loudly. Dave winced at the rake across his ear drum, and the grin he sent John B.’s way was brittle and false on his lips.
When he got home, he was drunk and angry and hateful, and Michael was there with his eyes smoky-wide and his hair clean from a shower and falling across his forehead. He was gorgeous and Dave was a frothing mess of humiliation and shame.
“Get out,” Dave said. “You have your own fucking bed, Michael – go sleep in it.”
“But I’m all naked,” Michael said, trying for his sexiest pout.
“You’re a stupid faggot asshole, and you need to get of my room.”
Michael’s face shuttered and he pulled the covers up around his bare chest, shoulders rolling inward in a rare moment of doubt.
“One of these nights again?” he asked, his voice deliberately mild.
“Get the fuck out. I can’t do this anymore.”
“David. Dave. Listen to me.”
“No, I don’t want this. I don’t want you. Get out before I beat your ass like you deserve.”
Michael rose from the bed and turned his back to Dave as he pulled his pants on. Dave’s stomach rolled at the sight of that creamy, succulent ass, and plummeted to see it covered. When he was clothed again, Michael faced Dave from across the tiny space of his single. He was shorter by several inches, but Dave swayed with the force of his own self-loathing; he was made small in the face of Michael’s pity, while Michael was only straight-backed and steady, contained.
“I don’t even know why I put up with you, David Karofsky,” he said. “If you want to go around hating yourself for being how you are, be my guest. But I’m done occupying your closet with you.”
Dave spent the rest of the school year ignoring how Michael grew thinner and grayer and more haggard, how he hardly left his room. Dave was glad when fall came around and Michael had transferred to another dorm on the other side of campus. He kept the scarves Michael hadn’t come back for stuffed in his bottom drawer, big knots of riotous color he hid from view.
Dave’s own heart was broken for the first time during his post-graduate physical therapy degree. His first year, the school’s baseball team employed him and he lived frugally on his stipend, satisfied that the debt he was accruing wouldn’t crush him as thoroughly as some of his peers. A third-year named Aaron was part of the team’s PT crew, and he had a loud, echoing laugh and whiskey-light eyes in a sculpted face. Dave had been satisfying himself with furtive visits to questionable bars and an increasingly impressive collection of pornography he hid in folders upon folders upon folders on his hard drive, but seeing Aaron four times a week had lit a terrible fire in his veins. His dick was spongy and raw from the abuse he’d put it through since the beginning of the semester, but still it twitched in his pants when Aaron called him over to help stretch out Hannity.
“You all right, Karofsky?” Aaron asked as he leaned into Hannity’s hamstring. Dave trained his gaze on a discoloration in the far wall while he held Hannity’s shoulders down. “Bit distracted?”
“I’m fine,” Dave said. “Need a coffee.”
“Take you for one after practice?”
Dave’s eyes snapped to Aaron’s in a panic, but Aaron wasn’t jeering and Hannity didn’t seem to notice anything beyond the burn of his overextended muscles.
“Coffee, Karofsky. You and me and a shot of caffeine after practice.”
Dave could only stare. His eyes felt like great grapes in his head, peeled and drying. His stomach gave thrilled shudders even as his lungs bore new weight. Aaron finally frowned and swallowed, and he dropped his eyes to watch as Hannity grimaced beneath him.
“Sorry,” he said.
“No!” Dave caught himself. “I mean. No. It’s fine. Yeah. I could use the pick-me-up.”
Coffee turned into dinner and a series of dinners turned into body mapping body in a tumult of skin on skin, mouth on mouth, cock on cock. Evenings bled into nights bled into mornings where they woke up and made breakfast and squabbled about laundry and kissed each other goodbye and rubbed each other’s strained muscles and integrated their belongings and laughed and bickered and held hands long after the semen cooled and the condoms lay inert, tied off in the trash.
At work, no one seemed to care, and suddenly Dave was out and lightning hadn’t struck him and his breath felt cool in his chest. Even his parents hugged him when he visited and told them through a clogged throat, “I’m gay.” It was the first time he’d said it out loud, said it like it meant something other than an insult and a failing. They hugged him and they were proud. His father shook Aaron’s hand and something sharp and painful in Dave’s gut dissolved forever.
The state of Ohio finally got its act together and legalized gay marriage in Dave’s third year. Dave contemplated a pair of matching titanium bands that he’d have to mortgage his nuts for, but the thought of them gleaming on his finger and Aaron’s, unending and indestructible, filled him with a fierce longing. He’d never thought to have this when he first felt his blood stir for a masculine silhouette back in high school. It seemed like someone else’s life, someone so profoundly unhappy that he couldn’t conceive of acceptance. He sent up a little thought of peace for that long-ago boy in the locker room, the angry young man who punched metal and ground bone because he couldn’t bear to look at himself in the mirror. Dave signed a payment agreement and bought two rings to secure his future.
When Aaron’s face tightened and he shook his head, Dave thought he might throw up. The rings tumbled to the carpet. Aaron cupped his face, a torturous proximity, but Dave wrenched himself away.
“Look at me,” Aaron said. “Dave, please look at me. I’m so sorry.”
“Why?” Dave directed the question at the floor.
“I just don’t think it’s a good idea. For us.”
“Don’t feed me bullshit, Aaron. I deserve that much. I deserve that much, goddamnit.”
“We’ve been together a long time.”
“That’s what people do when they get in relationships, Aaron.”
“I know. I know, and we had a good run, didn’t we? Dave?”
“I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry, you don’t even know.”
“I’ll go. Okay? You can have the apartment.”
“I don’t care.”
“Don’t be like that. This… this doesn’t have to be bad. We can—”
“The fuck it doesn’t!” A dam of fury burst over him like it hadn’t in years. He pushed Aaron’s shoulders, but Aaron was a solid, stolid figure, unmoving. He kept pushing anyway, and Aaron kept letting him. “Leave if you’re gonna leave! Goddamnit!”
For a long time in the deepening night following Aaron’s departure, Dave sat on the bed with the rings in his hand. They were heavy, and they clanked when they touched each other in the warm stillness of his palm.
Dave kissed his first guy when he was seventeen and self-destructing under the impossible weight of realization. Less a kiss than an assault, but he always gave it, and Kurt Hummel, a sad, bitter thought when he met someone new, someone he thought could be permanent. He could go months, years, between the remembrance of Kurt’s lips crushed to bruising under his own, the mottled blush on porcelain skin, the look of devastation and betrayal that tore at his heart. He wondered, occasionally, what Kurt was up to these days. Maybe all his dreams had come true, Dave would think with an indelicate grunt to himself.
When Dave met Garrett in the clinic following a rotator cuff tear from a friendly game of touch football, he was just another patient and Dave didn’t think of Kurt.
“I mean – touch, really?” Garrett said with a laugh when he described the blow that sent him down. “If there aren’t females on the team, no guy’s gonna actually play touch, right? Why pretend?”
Dave snorted and said, “Seriously. Could you lie on your left side, please?”
He was Garrett’s physical therapist for over a year. When he looked at the tall, reedy body and its planes of smooth, dark skin, it was with the dispassionate gaze of a healer who saw beautiful bodies in a state of disrepair all day every day. But Garrett was a hopeless flirt and tenacious as a hound with a scent to follow, and from Dave he eventually teased out tales of high school football glory and long-ago bar-hopping mishaps. Garrett told him about growing up with four sisters and his job at a graphic design firm. They were friends.
On the day of his final appointment, Garrett gave his shoulder an experimental prod and grinned down at Dave, all shining ivory teeth.
“Look at that,” he said, “good as new. You know what this means, right?”
“It means—” Garrett stepped into Dave’s personal space, and he loomed over Dave in an unprofessional intimacy. “—that you’re not my doctor anymore. And I owe you dinner.”
“Don’t say no, Dr. Dave. We’ve had fun, right? When I wasn’t swearing at you for tormenting me?”
“It’s just… it’s not smart. You’re my patient.”
Garrett touched his wrist, a feathered fingertip more warmth than weight. His eyes were a lighted amber, green and gold and brown and hopeful and amused.
“C’mon, Dr. Dave. You don’t smile enough. What have we got to lose?”
Nothing, as it turned out. Their temperaments were suited; if Dave was prone to bouts of moodiness and reticence, Garrett drew him out with jokes and a natural exuberance, and if Garrett let that exuberance reach a pitch that bordered on manic, Dave laid a warm hand on the back of his neck and brought him back to the earthly plane. Dave’s stocky, solid body fit against the slender whipcord of Garrett’s, together in completion, day by day and night by night. Dave wondered fleetingly if Kurt Hummel had someone whose touch released his doubts and worries, someone whose smile gave him happiness. Dave wondered, and hoped.
They got married on a sunny afternoon in October three years after Garrett’s rotator cuff was given a clean bill of health. After the tuxes were returned unharmed and the honeymoon was over, Garrett pulled Dave to the couch by his wrists and settled into his side, all elbows and knees. Dave didn’t mind.
“So,” Garrett said. “Any regrets?”
“About you? Hmm, only that thing you do when you eat yogurt and granola.”
“Hey. It’s not like you wash your bowls out every single time, buddy.”
Dave laughed and kissed him, a warm soft slickness of tongue against tongue. When they parted, Garrett asked the same question again. “Seriously,” he said.
Dave frowned. “Do you have any?” he asked.
Garrett let out a sigh and sat back against the couch. He held one of Dave’s hands in both of his, fingers clasped. He stroked the fine hairs on Dave’s forearm.
“Ah, you know,” Garrett said with a tremulous caricature of his usual smile. “I tried, with women, for so long. I hurt a lot of people, especially myself. I wish I’d had the courage to face it before I did things I can’t take back.”
Dave’s eyebrows rose.
“I didn’t know.”
“That I wasn’t out and proud my entire life? Yeah. Well. It took me a long damn time to grow the hell up and stop torturing myself.”
Dave pulled Garrett’s hand up to his lips, kissed each long, knobbly finger.
“Me too,” he said.
Between their hands, they imagined that they could feel each other’s pulses, and their two hearts matched one another, kept time.
“There was a boy,” Dave began then, in the still moments. Garrett met his eyes and squeezed his hand. “His name was Kurt.”
Go to diane_mckay's journal entry to download the podfic she made of Evolution. It's lovely!