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08 December 2011 @ 10:15 am
Of Comic Cons, Cacti, Rock Stars, & Hard Candy: A Kurtofsky Love Story 10b/?  
Title: Of Comic Cons, Cacti, Rock Stars & Hard Candy: A Kurtofsky Love Story
Author: Celesteennui
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 12914/82939 so far
Spoilers: The more episodes aired the greater the chances are that you will read something that qualifies as spoiler and that this will be considered AU.
Characters/Pairings: Main—Dave Karofsky and Kurt Hummel. Supporting—OC Kyle Queen, OC Jude Bower, Noah Puckerman, Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry, Santana Lopez and lots of other OCs because this is a FutureFic. Dave/Kurt battling it out against Dave/OC.
Summary: FutureFic. Dave Karofsky has a life that, as a teenager, he never thought was possible. He’s out and proud, has a flourishing career, an amazing circle of friends and he is neither chubby nor balding. Life is pretty perfect—right up until his boyfriend decides to break up with him. By text. On his birthday. It’s on the rebound from this debilitating blow to his pride that Dave’s path crosses with that of the last person he ever expected to see again: Kurt Hummel. Despite old wounds, though, a friendship blossoms between Dave and Kurt, one that might do more than ease Dave’s conscience over his high school screw ups—if he can let it. A How-To-Guide on getting over a bad relationship all wrapped up in humor, drama, insanity and tied with a smutty bow.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee and I make no money from this artistic venture, it is done for the pure enjoyment of writing about one of my favorite shows. Reviews are greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoy this chapter.
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Here you are! Enjoy, guys!


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There was something simultaneously breathtaking and unsettling about snow, Kurt decided, especially when it covered everything in a thick white crust. On the one hand it was beautiful, coating everything the way it did, like beaten egg whites or mallow-whip. Snow glittered when the sun hit it too, making the frosty world brilliant enough to compare with high summer. Then on the other hand once it melted together that crust was slick and dangerous and there was nothing more adept at inducing cold chills than the image of a snowy night. Particularly when there was no precipitation, just a moonless bluish-black sky stretched over an endless white tundra. The taxi ride to Dave and Kyle's house started out diamond bright (four o'clock give or take a few) but as the sun started its mournfully early descent toward the tail end of the journey the scenery dove into cold, dark and maybe even a little foreboding.

Kyle and Dave lived in West Haven, that Kurt had known, what he did not know was that they resided in the city's backwoods. Hell, he hadn't even considered that West Haven might have a backwoods, it looked too town-y to keep anything besides suburbs and shore. Apparently, it did have them, though, and that's where Dave and Kyle had chosen to live. There was one advantage to the locale, though; the house was actually quite easy to pick out since it seemed to be the only one occupying Fulton Road. Aside from a forest's worth of trees, of course.

Immediately Kurt was impressed. The house was large but not exorbitantly so, though he could see how some people might disagree when it was inhabited by just two people. Standing at two stories the outside appeared to be covered by stone and the long driveway curved from the road up to a double-door garage. Light poured from the many large windows making the house look somewhat like a beacon, the sight of it making Kurt feel suddenly much warmer and much more at ease; he liked the place at once, to put it succinctly.

Noah whistled as the taxi pulled up the neatly shoveled driveway looking past Kurt toward the house. "Damn. Maybe I should've started drawing or some shit." He grinned sideways at Kurt.

Kurt raised an eyebrow at his best friend. "Judging by your scrawl in our high school yearbooks, there aren't enough classes available that could help you, Noah."

"Ouch." It came with a chuckle, reaffirming the quip didn't really offend. "Wow, really? Is this because I drew all of those cocks around your pic freshman year? I thought we were bros, man. You gotta let that go."

"Freshman and sophomore year," Kurt reminded him with a nudge to the ribs, though there was no spite in the gesture or Kurt's smirk. "And actually, I'm pretty sure you were the one who drew the humping stick figure caricatures of Blaine and me at the back of my senior yearbook too. You remember, the ones I didn't know were there until my dad was flipping through, looking for my honors mention?"

The grin Noah wore only widened. "You can't prove shit. I think Blaine did it, personally. Wanted to brag."

"You are such a dick," Kurt said with a laugh. The cab slowed to a stop not far from a set of sturdy looking oak doors as he attempted to glare at his best friend. The venture failed, miserably too as Noah's smile coupled with the memory prodded giggling. They paid the driver, who thankfully, seemed disinterested in the conversation of his passengers (though Kurt still couldn't meet his eyes) and exited the taxi.

"Look," Noah began as they walked toward the doors, careful of gravel and icy patches. "I'm just saying he stared at that particular piece of art for a long time."

"You shoved it in his face and asked who was bottoming, Noah." Kurt adjusted the gift basket they had purchased for Kyle and Dave while tossing an eye roll to his companion. Dave had said that they didn't need to bring anything in his first text but Kurt couldn't go to a party without contributing in some way. It felt too rude. "He wasn't so much staring at your doodle as he was rendered catatonic by your audacity."

Noah snorted as he reached out to press the doorbell. He bounced a little and rubbed his hands together trying to ward off the cold. Noah had chosen yet again to dress more for style than for prudence and though they weren't walking anywhere he was certainly paying for that poor decision as they waited for someone to come to the door.

"Really? Sad. Up until now I figured it was just some memory of you bending him over a counter and making him scream that made his eyes that big."

Being Noah's best friend for a decade or so had prepared Kurt well for lewd comments and witty repartee but every once and awhile the other man succeeded in rendering him speechless. This was one of those times. All Kurt could do was stare at him, grope for words, and debate on whether this one was something to laugh or snark about. He didn't get a chance to decide on any of that. Not ten seconds after Noah had spoken the sound of a deadbolt being unfastened cut the air and Kyle was throwing open the doors.

With her hair in pigtails and a dishtowel in one hand, Kyle was dressed in baggy, comfortable clothes which were covered by a moderately spotty Wonder Woman apron. There was no makeup on her face (which Kurt decided was just as pretty plain) but there were a few spots of what he assumed was flour and, more importantly, surprise there.

"Hey," Kurt greeted her, waving and suddenly feeling very self-conscious. They couldn't have been too early…could they? Jude had wanted to leave around four and Kurt and Noah had followed that plan. Though he had mentioned stopping at the store along the way. He glanced around, realizing there were no other cars in the drive—unless everyone else was in the garage.

"Hi, guys…" Kyle said slowly, far too slowly, with her eyes remaining clouded as they switched rapidly between Kurt and Noah. "What's up?"

While Kurt's brain went into panicking overdrive his hands thrust the gift basket out.

"Um, for you!" he practically shoved the thing into Kyle's arms. "I know that Dave said we didn't need to bring anything and Jude said that too but it just didn't seem like good manners." Kurt could feel himself on the edge of babbling and he was smiling in a way he was pretty sure could be described as a combination of moronic and anxious. Noah had dubbed it his constipated smile.

Kyle blinked a few times as something in her eyes shifted, like she'd worked out a puzzle. That shift cleared the surprise from her face and carved a smile onto her soft mouth. Instantly Kurt's nervousness started fading.

"Jude said huh?" Kyle readjusted the basket so that she could carry it against her hip. "Well, he was right backing Dave up; you guys didn't have to bring anything, your hosts totally have shit covered." The smile on her face deepened and if there was any worry still lurking about in Kurt's stomach it was gone. "Thank you, though. Now fucking get in here, okay? I'm pretty sure your stag's already got frostbite." Wryness curved in the left side of Kyle's mouth as her dark eyes cut to Noah. "Dude, didn't you grow up in Ohio? Buy a coat."

"Ha, fucking ha," Noah drawled. He pushed past Kurt and Kyle to get inside, though. Kyle winked at Kurt ushering him on and he gladly obeyed.

The foyer was as impressive as the outside. The soft, fair hues of the walls, lights, floor, and even the wood of the double staircase (which Kurt thought was downright elegant) reminded him of honey. Interesting artwork was peppered between tasteful sconces and the air smelled like a mixture of spices, a very mild, flowery fragrance that was probably an air freshener and something quite pleasant but ultimately unnamable. Strains of a familiar song wafted from the wide archway nearest to Kurt's left along with the sound of cooking.

This was a home.

A slight pang resonated through Kurt at that thought. Memories of his father, Carol, and the tiny idiosyncrasies of the old life he'd taken so for granted flashed in his head and Kurt really had to work at pushing it all down. It wouldn't do to start acting like a baby until he'd gotten at least some wine in him first.

"Coat rack is behind you," Kyle's voice—which Kurt found very soothing for some reason—interrupted his macabre thoughts. He followed her nod to a neat stand in the corner that already carried a few coats, scarves, and mittens. His coat, scarf, and hat as well as Noah's jacket joined them in quick order.

Kyle waved to the archway on her right/Kurt's left. "C'mon."

Surprisingly, Noah didn't have any coarse retort to that (though, it was probably even more surprising he hadn't made a pass at Kyle at all yet) but Kurt chalked that up to the fact that his best friend was still recovering from the cold. Yes, that was most definitely it, if the way Noah was rubbing his arms as they trailed after Kyle was any sort of indicator. Kyle was right, the idiot really needed to hunt out his winter coat. Or, more likely, Kurt needed to hunt it up for him.

When they walked through the left arch Kurt noticed two things. The first was that the wide, lovely room with its warm color palette had to be the kitchen. A very, very nice kitchen with two island counters, an ornate stove divider wall and a lovely stone fireplace in a corner that Kurt was ninety-nine percent sure was functional. The second thing he caught onto was the song. It was clearer, coming from a stereo he could not see, what Kurt could see (and hear even better), however, was Dave. Standing at the end of the bigger island (the one with the stove) and oblivious to anything else, the bigger man was whisking something in a large bowl and singing—rather loudly—along.

"Rebel, Rebel, you've torn your dress!

Rebel, Rebel, your face is a mess!

Rebel, Rebel, how could they know?

Hot tramp, I love you so!"

He wasn't half-bad at Bowie for someone who probably only ever sang when they thought they were alone. Or just in the company of a best friend who was probably supposed to say something rather than deviously wink at the company she'd brought in with her while he continued belting out lyrics. Kurt almost felt bad. Almost. It was really hard not to be amused when Dave looked up mid "transmission and your live wire" saw them, yelped (it wasn't high pitched and feminine but fuck if it wasn't funny) and almost tossed the whisk in alarm. So, honestly, Kurt didn't even attempt to hide his laughter and neither did Noah.

"Gimme your phone," Kyle ordered her best friend, seemingly unaffected by his red face and the daggers he was glaring at her. Setting the gift basket down on the small island Kyle didn't even wait for a response; she walked right on over shoved her hand into Dave's right back pocket and pulled out his BlackBerry.

The whisk was in danger of going air born again, though this time intentionally and toward Kyle's grinning face. Dave restrained himself, though, just not enough to keep himself from punching Kyle on the shoulder as she passed.

"You're an inconsiderate cunt, you know that?" Dave growled at her.

Kyle shrugged and stuck out her tongue. Her eyes twinkled as her fingers flew across the phone. "It's been said a few times, yeah." Looking up from Dave's phone the mischievous grin Kyle wore turned quizzical. "Did Jude use your phone yesterday when you two went to the store, by chance?"

"Um...I think so…" Dave clearly did not know where Kyle was going with her question. Kurt, though…Kurt was starting to catch on and his stomach was back to being a little wobbly.

Dave shrugged and gave Kyle a reproving look as he did. "He's a lot like another handsy person in my life. He just shoves his hand in my pants and takes what he wants."

Kyle made a face. "You make it sound so gross when it's put it like that. I would never grope any part of you and I know Jude hasn't played pocket pool in your pants for like nine years. Stop making things look weird in front of company." She nodded at Kurt and Noah who were now starting to feel a little bit awkward. Or at least Kurt was. Noah was smirking because he hadn't had any shame in him since kindergarten.

Though it seemed like it could go against the laws of physics the redness of Dave's face intensified and he glanced over at their guests. Kurt did his very best not to make eye contact.

"You're the one who just—"

Dave's heated retort was cut off as Kyle shoved his phone just inches from his face.

"Okay, well, the point is either you're an idiot who can't remember the day of his own party or Jude punk'd them."

"What?" both Noah and Dave exclaimed in near perfect unison. The twist in Kurt's stomach knotted itself.

Dave snatched the phone from Kyle; she didn't rebuke him for his lack of tact choosing instead to lean against the counter and look smug. At least for the moment or two she was focused on Dave as he looked through the text messages sent from his phone. When her dark blue eyes flicked over to Noah and Kurt a genuine apology played in them and along the curve of her smile.

"God dammit, Jude!" Dave growled at his screen.

"Congrats, Cutie, Princess." She nodded to them both playfully. "You're officially part of the Haven. How does your first prank feel?"

Kurt wanted to say really fucking shitty. The idea that he'd felt sorry for Jude—really felt sorry for Jude and then he'd tricked them while Kurt was in the process of pitying him? It felt like a proverbial backslap. He'd made them look like morons. Granted only for a moment or two because, well, Kurt really had to hand it to Kyle she figured things out in seconds. But still, it didn't feel like a harmless little trick to Kurt.

He kept all of that to himself, though. Jude had been a dick but it wasn't like he'd gotten them in a car wreck or sent them into a crack house (Rachel still sent Sunshine roses twice a year for that bullshit). It would be immature to throw a tantrum about this. At least where Dave could see it; Kurt was totally going to bitch Noah's ear right off when they got home.

"So there's no booze and cake tonight?" Noah answered while Kurt gnawed on his lip. "God dammit." He sighed, pulling out his phone and flipping it open. "What was the number of the cab place? Maybe we can get the car back here before he hits town."

"Put that away," Kyle said before Kurt could answer him. Looking up he found that she'd crossed her arms and wore what Kurt had already come to recognize in their short acquaintanceship as her stubborn face. "You're already here, there's no point in leaving when you'll just make the drive again tomorrow."

"Oh—um…" Kurt was slightly taken aback by the offer. Not that he didn't appreciate it because, really he did. It was just probably the last thing he would have expected.

"Ooh, do I get to bunk with you?" Noah asked Kyle, ignoring Kurt's hesitance. Apparently he—along with his patented smarm—had thawed.

Kyle rolled her eyes at him as usual. "You wish."

"We've got a guest room," Dave interjected before Noah could keep digging his grave. He smiled apologetically at them. "Just the one bed but it's a king. I don't recommend sleeping on the Murphy unless you haven't hit puberty."

"Yeah," Kyle agreed. A somewhat wistful look crossed her face as she tilted her head toward her best friend. "Simon's only got like eight more years before he's too big for it, if that."

Dave mirrored her expression and sighed. "Yeah, I know. But hey," he reached over to squeeze her shoulder, "then it'll be Livy's spot and she'll probably never outgrow it."

"True, her mom was pretty fucking tiny."

"The tiniest."

"So it's settled then." Kyle's attention rounded back on their guests almost fast enough to make Kurt's head spin. "You're staying."

"If you want to," Dave threw in politely. He smiled again and shrugged. "You won't get locked in, I promise."

Kurt felt his reticence ebb at once when Dave smiled at him. It may not have been the best grounds for a sleepover but he couldn't say he didn't want to. Kyle was fun if still intimidating and Dave was…Kurt really liked talking with Dave.

"Well, if we can borrow some pajamas, sure," he said tucking his hands into his pockets as he beamed back at Dave. "I'd love to."

Kyle frowned at Dave and swatted his arm. "They didn't know to bring jammies? That's totally on you not Jude." Her gaze flicked to Kurt and Noah as Dave bit his lip. "The point of the SAD party is sitting around eating, drinking, and moping in pajamas. That's like the origin of it." Dave flinched a little when her attention came back to him with a glare. "You're not allowed to handle invites anymore. Baking is your only party job from here on out. You forget important shit and Jude always goes right under your radar."

"You know most of the time it's not Jude that I have to make sure is behaving," Dave retorted with a pointed look and arched eyebrow.

"I resent that." Kyle put her nose in the air though her tone was playful.

"You resemble that," Dave told her just as lightheartedly. "Pride 2015, Porthos."

"Hey, that asshole deserved it. No one throws anything at my bear but me, dammit."

Dave chuckled. "And he thanks you for defending him, really." Pure adoration shaped Dave's smile and lit his eyes as he dropped a fond kiss to Kyle's forehead. It was probably one of the most endearing things Kurt had ever seen. "Sometimes, though, you're a crazy bitch."

"Cunt," Kyle corrected, quite proudly too. "Bitches don't swing a bat like I do."

"Yeah, I'll give you that," Dave agreed.

Kyle grinned and turned back to Noah and Kurt yet again. "Okay, let's get you guys something to drink. It'll be about an hour and a half before dinner's done. I hope you like Thai food."

"I love Thai food," Kurt told her.

Noah shrugged. "I'll shove anything in my face. Especially if it's made by a lovely hostess." He winked at Kyle.

While his best friend gave Noah a withering stare Dave looked up from the bowl he was once again whisking. "Dude, she's making pork with spicy peanut sauce; aren't you Jewish?"

"Please," Kurt said, "he broke Kosher as soon as he left home and he was no Temple boy before that."

Noah made a face. "You sound like my mother."

Kurt shrugged. "Yeah, well, your mother's right. Is there anything you need help with?" It was an open question to both Kyle and Dave.

"Not a chance," Dave told him. "Sit. We've got this." He gestured with his whisk at the stools placed neatly about the smaller island counter.

"You know my dad almost always starts the Sabbath with a ham sandwich," Kyle said as she crossed over to a standing wine cellar tucked to the rightmost (Kurt's right, it was probably Kyle's left) corner of the kitchen. She giggled as she opened the doors. "Once he took one right into Temple with him. Rabbi was so bowled over he never even said anything about it. What kind of wine do you guys prefer?" She glanced over her shoulder. "We've got a pretty decent collection. Or we've got beer if you prefer. Craft brews, only. I don't allow rat piss like Budweiser or Heineken in the house."

"Wine is good for me," Kurt said as he settled in on the closest stool, fighting down the urge to ask if he could help again. He suspected that Kyle (and Dave, though he'd also probably never say it) would find that incredibly annoying. "Any kind, really. Beer…Beer isn't my thing."

"You're Jewish?" was Noah's response to her query. Kurt wanted to slap his best friend in the back of the head. Not for the question but because of the way his eyes lit up when Kyle mentioned her father. If Kyle was Jewish on top of being pretty, curvy, and sarcastic Noah would start pursuing her in earnest. And that would be messy, Kurt just knew.

"No, I'm a Cashew," Kyle told him. "My father is Jewish, though he's far from orthodox, and my mother is Catholic; same goes for her. Ergo their spawn are Cashews." Plucking a bottle from the cellar she closed it up after grabbing a corkscrew from a little drawer inside. Making her way over to the counter she paused to pluck glasses from a nifty (at least Kurt thought it was nifty) overhead rack between it and the cellar. "I've never gone to temple, or to mass, and I never intend to. Religion is boring."

Uncorking the wine deftly Kyle poured two glasses and set them down in front of Kurt and Noah. "Davey, do you want a glass?"

"What kind did you open?" her best friend inquired without looking up from his bowl.

"The Tapeña Rosé."

"The obnoxiously pink one?"

"Yep."

"Fuck yeah."

Fuck yeah was a pretty adequate description of the taste that splashed across Kurt's tongue when he took his first sip. The wine was fruity without being sweet and very dry. He was no connoisseur of the stuff but Kurt could judge what he liked well enough and he doubtlessly liked this. Studying Noah out of the corner of his eye Kurt assumed by his best friend's raised eyebrows that he would probably concur with him.

Two more glasses of wine were poured and Dave accepted his with another peck to Kyle's temple. "You're awesome. Have I told you that lately? 'Cause you totally are, Porthos."

"It could stand to be mentioned more often," she said with the smuggest twist of her mouth. "Twice, three times a day, maybe."

"And so modest," Dave drawled. "Why if I were straight we'd be married."

"I doubt that," she snorted. "You know me too well. Though, if it were the fifties and you weren't straight I could see a delightful lavender arrangement." Kyle's face was downright solemn which Kurt found made their dialogue all the more hilarious.

"I'd be an ad executive banging your flighty male hairdresser."

"And I'd be a alcoholic housewife banging anyone who'd look at me twice."

"We'd share custody of the pool boy and the gardener, of course."

"Of course."

"You two have watched way too many Mad Men reruns," Kurt giggled.

"Hey, you can never have too much Don Draper in your life," Dave said.

"I always favored Joan," Kyle said. "Though, admittedly, that may be the Firefly fan-girl in me just fondly recalling Yo-Saff-Bridge."

"Okay, lost me on the second half of that," Kurt said.

Kyle clucked her tongue while Dave shook his head. "Sad, so sad.

"It was a sci-fi/western," Noah piped in earning surprised looks from all three of his companions. He shrugged, attempting to look nonchalant but failing miserably for his smirk. "Yo-Saff-Bridge was a kung-fu-geisha-space-hooker/con-artist. And fuckin' hot. Seriously."

"Well, color me impressed, there's a little bit of geek in the rock star," Kyle chuckled.

Noah beamed at her and opened his mouth to retort but Kurt clapped a hand over it. His best friend glared and he returned the look coolly. "Don't you dare make that joke," Kurt warned him. "A) it's too easy and I'll be severely disappointed in you. B) I just want five minutes without innuendo, please."

"You're no fun," Noah said once Kurt removed his hand.

"So, while Baker Bear is busy with baking—" Kyle began.

Dave gave about the blandest "woof" Kurt had ever heard as he sat his wine down and went over to one of their cupboards.

"Let's go on a tour," she finished. "I haven't shown the house off since right after we moved in."

"Whatever happens don't let her take you to the attic," Dave warned as he downed the rest of his wine. "She has towers of shoeboxes up there. Towers. If you don't know exactly how to navigate that shit you'll be buried under never-worn, pointy heels."

Kyle wrinkled her nose up at her best friend and pulled the Tapeña out of his reach when he tried to top off his glass. "Bottle's going with us; you don't need to imbibe while at the stove."

"You are such a baby," Dave told her returning the scowl.

"You're the one who never stops whining about my shoes." Kyle tossed back her hair and motioned to Kurt (and Noah, she was mostly looking at Kurt, though) with the hand holding the bottle. Giggling Kurt hoped off the stool, careful of his drink and hooked his arm through Kyle's. When Noah attempted to do the same she thrust the wine into his hands. Kurt really tried not to be a good friend and not laugh at that but it was so hard when Noah almost dropped both the bottle and his glass. He ignored Noah's glare and hid his mouth by pretending to sip. "Come on, before he lays in on the rest of my clothes."

"Not enough hours in the day, Porthos," Dave called after them.

"So, are there really that many shoe boxes in your attic?" Kurt asked as they moved across the hall into one very long, large room brightly colored in greens and purple.

Kyle's mouth twisted like she was trying to play innocent but that caved to laughter quickly enough. "Ugh…maybe half of it? Don't judge me."

"Never," Kurt assured her. "Though, honestly now I do kind of want to see if they're arranged in towers. Playing hide and seek in a shoe maze has to be the most fun thing ever."

"What about building a shoebox fort?" There was a downright childish gleam to Kyle's eyes which Kurt was pretty sure he shared after she spoke.

"Yes!"

Sadly, they did not make a shoe fort. They didn't even go up to the attic; it seemed like a very bad idea to climb the ladder up into it while they were drinking and Kurt was almost positive that he wouldn't be able to anyway. The tour of the house, though, went on as planned.

The guest room, or as Kyle jokingly referred to it the playpen, was humongous as was the bathroom attached to it. When Noah commented on that—commented being whistling loudly and swearing—Kyle explained it had been the master bedroom for the previous owner, an elderly friend named Bridgette Norman. That's how they'd acquired the house; Bridgette had left it to them when she passed on about three years beforehand. Now it was reserved for the occasional drunk (or duped) friend but mostly for Dave and Kyle's nephews. The color scheme of light woods and pastels fit for kids, Kurt thought, and even more so the whimsical artwork Kyle had chosen to decorate with.

At the end of the foyer, just beyond the staircase were two other rooms; the laundry room and a half-bath. On the door of the laundry room there was a painted sign with a list of ten rules inscribed on it. "Dave can't enter, period" was listed as rule two and repeated at five and nine. Kurt didn't say anything about it; he figured it would be much more fun just to tease Dave later.

The upstairs proved to be the most interesting part of the tour for Kurt and not because he appreciated the tasteful décor of Kyle's bedroom or of Dave's. Those were both very nice (he was kind of jealous of Kyle's canopy bed truth be told) but what really caught Kurt's fancy was the hallway separating the two bedrooms. Or more specifically its decoration.

The sconces and the buttery color matched the foyer below but where the foyer held paintings the upstairs hall held photographs. It was practically a giant album and Kurt was certain that was Kyle's aim.

The years that Dave had shared with his two best friends were chronicled upon the walls. Kyle's boyish haircut, Dave's baby fat, and Jude's emo glasses were emphasized in their freshman photo. Some later Halloween or perhaps a costume party (Kurt was judging by Kyle's considerably longer hair) the three posed in orange jumpsuits that with the nametags Simon (Dave), Kelly (Kyle) and Nathan (Jude). In another they proudly showed off "FCKH8" shirts at what might have been a parade. Their wrists were pink, raw, and glistening with antibiotic cream in one picture, as they all held them out to show the fresh ink of their musketeer nicknames right above the pulse point.

Beyond the many, many photographs of the not-so-holy trinity there were numerous other shots of people, places and things Kurt supposed were important in Dave (and Kyle's) life. A strawberry blonde along with a darker woman who had the dewiest eyes ever and five other men made multiple appearances. An elderly woman with sparkling eyes beamed from her place between an equally happy looking Kyle and Dave; Kurt assumed that she was their Bridgette even before Kyle told him. There was a striking black and white portrait of a newborn carefully held in the arms of a man who couldn't have been Dave or Jude that Kurt really liked. The one that Kurt decided he liked best, though, was rather ordinary at first glance. At least as ordinary as a picture bursting with twelve smiling people could be.

Dave didn't look remotely out of place mixed in with Kyle's family and not just because their varied gene pool had produced few like features amongst the Queen siblings. If Kurt hadn't met Paul Karofsky, had he never known Dave before seeing that picture he would have assumed that the other man was Kyle's brother. He belonged with them—to them, really.

Part of Kurt, a very small part, was jealous of Dave for all the love that he saw in that family portrait but it was small. Enough that he could forget it and just be happy that Dave had been lucky enough to find people who loved and supported him like Paul and Michelle Karofsky should have. He missed the family he'd once had, that tight knit and too short-lived cluster of himself, his father, Carole and Finn. Kurt would always miss that. But he didn't miss them so much that he was blind to the unit that had taken up that empty space in his heart as best it could. The years he had with Noah, Jules, Finn, Padma, Santana, and even Rachel and Quinn from their faraway posts in Manhattan were just as untradeable.

Once the tour was done Kyle sent Kurt and Noah back to the kitchen while she grabbed pajamas for them. They obeyed, though, it took a forceful tug on Noah's wrist to get him moving; he was staring through Kyle's open doorway like it was an unlocked bank vault. Kyle didn't take very long; Kurt doubted that they'd been chatting with Dave in the kitchen five minutes before she popped back in and said her selections were laid out on the guest bed.

There was a impish quality to Kyle's voice when she informed them but Kurt decided to ignore it. He was caught up listening to the story of how Dave met Bridgette anyway.

Dinner was amazing to put it mildly. Aside from the Thai peanut-pork stew—which may have been one of the best things that Kurt had ever put in his mouth (innuendo jokes were made by both Kyle and Noah when he made the mistake of saying that aloud)—there was spinach salad, and freshly baked pretzel rolls. The rolls were Dave's handiwork and they were absolutely perfect. The outside crackled, the insides were soft and warm, and Kurt couldn't picture anything better to sop up Kyle's stew with. For dessert Kyle made espresso and Dave brought out something called a clafouti, which he explained was a type of custard cake. Kurt was impressed both by the taste of the dish and by the fact that Dave had apparently come to know more about French cuisine than he ever had.

Noah and Kurt were banished to the rec room once the meal was finished. Banished was perhaps a little strong, they both protested enough to be polite but found their way to a couch quickly enough. Kurt was nearly full enough for slight drowsiness to set in and by the way Noah slumped in his seat he assumed his best friend was in a similar situation. He perked up enough, though, when Kyle came in, turned on the TV and game console and tossed him one of the controllers.

"How do you feel about Portal Co-op?" she asked plopping down to his right.

"Joy, mostly," Noah replied with a slow grin. "Excitement. A little bit of wariness because it's you asking."

"All of those are good reactions," she said. "I call Atlas."

"Shouldn't the guest get first pick?"

"I don't think so, no."

"You're not hot when you're rude."

"And you aren't cute when you nag like my nana."

"So you do think I'm attractive!" Noah all but exclaimed. "I knew it."

Kurt had a feeling that Kyle's rolling eyes were going to be a permanent thing around Noah. Just like the exasperated sigh that followed when they flicked to him. "How do you live in a rolling box with him most of the year?" she asked.

Kurt shrugged. "I don't have tits. That probably helps with him being more bearable."

"Aw, is my bestie feeling neglected?" Noah teased. He scooted closer to Kurt on the sofa until Kurt was leaning sideways into its arm. Rubbing his head against Kurt's shoulder Noah smiled glibly at him, showing all of his teeth. "I'm sorry, Kurt, tonight I'll snuggle you right through the mattress."

One of Kyle's eyebrows went up in a way that was very reminiscent of Dave. "You know, to people who don't know you? That shit sounds a little bit rapey."

"How dare you!" Noah feigned shock very well; it really would have impressed Kurt had he not been more focused on what a relief it was to get the sofa arm out of his ribs. "I would never snuggle-rape my best friend! Ever! If anyone's going to molest someone in their sleep it'd be him."

Flushing, Kurt contemplated smacking Noah in the back of the head but he decided to go a more grown-up (and probably torturous) route. He flipped open his messenger bag and pulled out a worn gray case, dangling it in front of Noah with a smirk. The grin his best friend wore disappeared in an instant.

"Dude, why?" Noah moaned. "Why you gotta do this to me?"

"I'm only looking out for your health, Noah." There was no possible way that his tone could have been more saccharine. Unless he magically turned into Santana, of course. "I don't ever want you to be out of commission. Who would play rhythm for Jules then?"

"Okay…what's going on?" Kyle asked.

"Noah's supposed to wear glasses when he's watching TV—which includes playing videogames." He cut Noah's attempt at loop-holing down before his mouth could open more than a millimeter. "He has an astigmatism in one eye."

"Slight!" It was like Kurt had just accused him of robbing a bank in front of a cop. "A slight astigmatism in my left eye. Not even the dominant one."

"I don't think eyes can be dominant," Kyle said. "But whatever, just put 'em on. If your one bad eye slows me down I'm gonna make you sleep in the garage."

Noah grumbled but yanked the case out of Kurt's hand anyway. Kurt didn't have much feeling either way when it came to eyewear, but he could understand why Noah didn't care for his glasses. The things were thick and a little bit clunky, really nothing Noah wanted to have associated with his style. But frames had been cheap and honestly it was really hard to find a pair of glasses that said guitarist let alone any that screamed bad boy. Still, Noah hated them, obvious by the pout as he adjusted them to settle comfortably on the bridge of his nose.

Kyle, in what Kurt supposed was a rare gesture for her, saw Noah's discomfort, and decided not to tease him. Even more shocking she was actually kind of nice.

"Those aren't that bad," she said reaching up to tap a temple. "I'd even call them cute."

"Wha—really?" Noah's jaw dropped almost as much as Kurt's.

"Sure," Kyle said. The right corner of her mouth twisted up and Kurt found himself downright relieved with the words that followed. "Put them on someone who isn't you and they'd be fucking adorable."

Her snark seemed to set better with Noah than her compliment and Kurt could see him relax with the jab. He stuck his tongue out at her and then turned to the screen which had come alive with Aperture Science logos and little robots. "Whatever, Baby, you already let it slip that you want my body."

"Body's not bad, Princess," Kyle returned smoothly. "It's the personality attached that bogs you down."

"Okay, I'm going back to the kitchen," Kurt announced as he pushed himself off of the couch. Kyle and Noah's witty repartee was entertaining—for the first two minutes but then it quickly nosedived into grating. He wasn't sure if it was a form of loathing or much more complex, caustic, pseudo-flirtation, but Kurt would rather stab himself in the thigh than listen in when he didn't have to. He paused by the TV and turned to point and glare at them both. "No bets. None. Do not do anything remotely like that. I'm serious."

"Yes, mother," Noah drawled.

Kyle didn't even look up from the screen. "Sorry, Cutie, I make no promises."

Since it was her home and Kurt doubted that he held any sort of sway in the end, he accepted that response to be the best he could hope for. He reasoned that Dave had probably warned her off of any particularly devious shenanigans anyway. Either way Kurt was heading for the kitchen, Dave, and (somewhat) sanity before the louder, more obnoxious innuendo-laden curses started to flow.

Across the foyer in the kitchen the radio had been turned back on though Dave wasn't serenading himself when Kurt walked in this time. He was humming and lightly bobbing his head to the beat while he diced strawberries. Kurt waited to alert Dave of his presence until there was a pause in the chopping; judging by that day's luck if he startled Dave the other man might lose a finger.

"What're you making?" It wasn't just a polite chitchat question. Dave had never mentioned that he liked to cook and, for whatever reason, Kurt found it fascinating. He found a lot about Dave fascinating, though.

Dave smiled as he looked up from the cutting board. "Hey. I'm making brownies. Balsamic vinegar strawberry fudge brownies to be exact."

"Ooh fancy." Kurt crossed his arms against the counter opposite of Dave and rested his weight on them. "Can I help?"

"Nah, I'm good," Dave told him. He pushed the strawberries he'd cut into a saucepan with the flat of his knife. "Really. Go relax, have fun."

"Okay, let me rephrase that; please let me help." Kurt flashed Dave a half-smile when the other man raised an eyebrow. Gesturing over his shoulder toward the rec room, Kurt made a face. "They're gaming. Please don't send me back in there. I refuse to be responsible for my actions if I have to listen to their shit-talk for more than five minutes."

Dave laughed shaking his head. "Fine, fine, I concede to your point. It's kinda messy work though." He eyed Kurt's silky gray vest and pristine button-down none too subtly. For extra emphasis Dave then pulled at his batter-spotted apron and the smudged, rolled up sleeves of his Henley.

Kurt nibbled on his lower lip. "Um…would you mind if I turned the pajama shirt Kyle got out into a work shirt? And would Kyle mind if I used her apron?"

"No on both," Dave said. "At least I don't think she'd mind about the apron. And if she does, fuck it, pour some more wine down her throat and she'll be all forgiveness soon enough."

"Right," Kurt laughed. He pushed himself away from the counter and turned toward the archway. "I'll be right back then."

"Take your time," Dave called after him.

Two sets of pajamas were lying neatly folded on the bench at the foot of the guest bed when Kurt switched the light on. Both had a post-it note tamped on them, his name and Noah's written in Kyle's graceful hand. Kurt's pick was on the side closest to the door. Folding his vest and shirt Kurt set them on the pine wood dresser to his right before pulling on Dave's shirt.

It was far too big for Kurt, practically swimming on him and he doubted that the thing clung to Dave. His friend was tall, broad shouldered and solid but he was hardly made for a shirt that large. The bottom hung just below Kurt's thighs, the neck was wide enough to show his clavicle, and his arms looked like toothpicks sticking out of the short sleeves that went past his elbows. There was some sort of faded, scratchy design on the front that Kurt didn't bother studying, showing the garment had a little bit of age to it, as did the grayed off-white color of it. In short, it was not a pretty piece of fabric and yet Kurt found himself plotting to "accidently" take it home.

The shirt, for all its aesthetic compromises was comfortable. The fabric was soft, from both the cottony fabric that it was made of and the wear of time on it. What Kurt liked best about it was the smell, though. Clean, crisp and sweet, Kurt didn't know what kind of detergent and softener that Kyle used but it was wonderful.

He was weighing the possibilities of stuffing the shirt into his messenger bag when he remembered that Dave was still in the kitchen expecting his help (even if he didn't need it). Kurt shook his head and put silly thoughts of shirt "borrowing" away. At least for the time being.

"Okay," he said walking back into the kitchen where Dave was still working on some strawberries, "let's get to work. Where's the apron?"

"Um…it's over—" Whatever directions Dave was going to give trailed off into nothingness as he looked up at Kurt. His eyes widened, his face started to turn pink and for a second Kurt had absolutely no idea what was going on.

And then Dave started laughing. Hard. He dropped his knife and put a hand to his mouth trying to stifle himself but that didn't work very well. Hiccups of Dave's amusement still leaked out between his fingers.

Kurt was far less amused, though he tried to be nice about it.

"Yes, yes, I get it," he sighed. Involuntarily his arms crossed his chest, hugging, as if to protect himself from something. "I look like a kid playing dress-up their dad's clothes. Not all of us are built like mountains, Dave."

"No, no, that's—that's not it!" Dave protested in between giggles. Kurt was fairly certain there was moisture gathering at the corners of his friend's eyes. "You—the shirt! Look at your shirt!"

"Your shirt," Kurt retorted, maybe a little bit of an edge in his voice. He wasn't as proud as he once was but getting laughed at still wasn't something Kurt could take easily. "If there's something wrong with it it's not my—"

Reading upside down wasn't something that Kurt would call a strength of his, exactly. He didn't do it instinctively but when he had to, when his attention was piqued, it was as easy as reading normally. As Kurt ducked his chin down he noted that the rough design on Dave's pajama shirt was a cartoonish picture of a cabins, trees, and cars. Above that was an advertisement-like proclamation that read "Dick's Halfway Inn" in bold with the subtitles "Pull in for a stiff one!" and "cheap & clean" scattered below.

The fact that Kurt remained on his feet during the next five seconds, as all the blood in his body rushed to his face, he was sure was nothing short of a miracle. He looked over at Dave, who was still grinning but no longer cackling uncontrollably, helplessly dumbfounded for several moments. Suddenly Kyle's too-sweet tone earlier made so much sense.

"Does—does Kyle secretly hate me?" was the only thing that Kurt could think to ask once he had the ability to speak again. "And, more importantly, why?"

"Kurt, no." Dave shook his head, sobering a little (but not enough to stop smiling) as he walked over to him. A big, warm hand settled on Kurt's shoulder with a comforting pat. "Dude, she doesn't hate you. Actually, her doing this is proof that she likes you. For real; if she's tormenting you then you're her friend. It's just how she operates." His smile softened to something that was actually quite soothing. "Those pajamas are mine you know. She gave them to me for my birthday four years ago. I opened them in front of everyone we knew including our family." Hazel eyes traveled upward as Dave sighed. "Aiden and Mitchell had just learned to read too. There's nothing okay about a five-year-old stumbling over the word 'dick' and demanding to know why all the grownups look like they're choking."

Kurt blinked; knowing Kyle even as relatively little as he did that made sense. A lot of sense, actually. Though it did bring up a new question.

"Jesus Christ, what does she do to people she actually doesn't like?"

Dave chuckled and steered Kurt back toward the counter where the brownie ingredients were waiting, grabbing Kyle's apron from a hook by the dining room as they passed. He gestured to some measuring cups and handed the apron over to Kurt. "Get me three tablespoons of that balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, and a teaspoon of tapioca flour. While you do that I will regale you with the tale of how Rod wound up in Guatemala with no passport."




Author’s Note Part Deux: So, I hope you enjoyed this. I just want to take a minute to apologize to you guys for taking so long with this. School kicked my ass and I’ve recently been in an accident (I’m fine, car’s gone but I’m fine) so I’ve had good reasons to stray from Comic Cons’ update schedule. I’m working on Chapter 11 even now (first paragraph WOO!) and I hope to have it done soon. Keyword hope.

If I don’t update by the holidays I hope you all are safe and happy for their duration!

Here is your Chapter 10 Pinterest board and I’ve updated the Comic Cons OCs page to include Jules and Padma info.

And pictures (with a little explanation).

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This is Kyle’s brother Jimmy holding his newborn daughter, Livy. The picture was taken by Kyle when Livy was about two days old.

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Dave, Bridgette, and Kyle. Bridgette was a little bit of a mom to both Dave and Kyle, mostly Dave. Or at least a foul mouthed, chain-smoking aunt with a wicked sense of humor.

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The Queen family. In the top row from left to right there’s Rod (Roderick Terrance Queen—December 9th, 1990 [yes, THE Rod who wound up passportless in Guatemala]), Ernie (Ernesto Jacob Queen—June 2nd, 1988), Herbert Abraham Queen, Ophélie Vivienne Queen (née O’Malley), Eddie (Edwin Jonah Queen—June 2nd, 1988), and Geoff (Geoffrey Raoul Queen—April 23nd, 1992). In the second row from left to right there’s Lip (Felipe Anders Queen—March 14th, 1997), Jimmy (James Nicéphore Queen—August 8th, 1995), Kyle, Dave (yes, he’s counted as a Queen by Kyle’s family and you’ll get more on that later kids), Lix (Félix Arnaud Queen—March 14th, 1997), and Pat (Patrick Michael Queen—September 7th, 2000). The picture was taken at a surprise party for Dave and Kyle when they were 25.

Thanks so much for your support guys!
XOXOXO—Les


Previous Chapters


Chapter One: Release The Kraken
Chapter Two: Green Eyed Monsters
Chapter Three: Words To Live By
Chapter Four: Left Field Doesn’t Do It Justice
Chapter Five: All The Words Left Unsaid
Chapter Six: A Clean Slate Part A|Part B
Chapter Seven: As Said Best By Emerson
Chapter Eight: Every Time We Meet
Chapter Nine: Allusion vs. Illusion
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celesteennuicelesteennui on December 9th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Re: WOW!
Firstly, I LOVE word vomit reviews, they are always fun to read and this was no exception. I ADORE you, sugar.

I AM a Kubrick fan, I'm not die-hard but "2001" is one of my favorite movies ever.

"However, your greatest achievement is with Kurt and Dave's interactions: they are actually believable! You dealt with the issues at hand with the seriousness they deserve, but made it clear that it was High School and forgiven! There are a lot of things with Glee and its fanfic that people just have to accept (like single women baby shopping at their local hospital or Sue being allowed within 50 feet of anything), but this fic brings a realism without being depressing. BRAVO!"--OMG I fucking love you. SO much.

Thank you for your word vomit, honey, it has made me grin like an idiot.