I seriously just wrote this in ten minutes, but…I wanted to do something in honor of the day. Goodbye, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell! Nobody’s going to miss your sorry ass!
“—so when she said she was going, I thought she was being oh my God.”
Kurt blinks and leans out to look over at Blaine around his open locker door. “Being oh my God?” he repeats, bemused.
Blaine isn’t looking back at him, he’s staring down the hallway.
Kurt is used to random insanity in the halls of McKinley, but maybe Blaine still gets taken aback by things. Still, there’s sincere shock in Blaine’s eyes so Kurt twists and follows his gaze back.
“Oh my God.” His mouth drops open. Luckily everyone else in the entire school seems to be having the same reaction, so he doesn’t feel too ridiculous.
It’s Dave. Sullen, quiet, reformed bully and closet-case Dave Karofsky. He’s marching down the hall with a gleam in his eyes, his chin in the air…
And wearing a brightly-colored yellow t-shirt under a checked flannel shirt with some lettering that is more than clear even at a distance:
Azimio is nowhere in sight, nor any of the other football apes he usually tromps around with. He’s on his own, cutting through the gaping mass of people with his chest puffed out and his shoulders back.
There are some titters from a couple of quicker-recoverers, and the hiss of whispers is thick enough to sound like Parseltongue. Jacob Ben Israel is flailing a bit down the hall behind him, waving his microphone and trying desperately to cut through the frozen mass of student bodies to catch up to him.
Kurt shuts his locker slowly, not taking his eyes off Dave as he approaches.
Dave grins when he sees Kurt (and grins a little less sincerely back at Blaine, too) and he swings over towards them. “Hey, guys.”
Kurt’s eyebrows fly up. “Hi?”
Blaine clears his throat and moves up beside Kurt. “Good morning, David.”
“What’s going on? You guys look…” Dave grins and waves a hand. “Heh, just playing. You like it?” He puffs out his chest again, displaying his shirt with a grin. “Bought it a while ago in Cincinnati. And yeah, queer as I am I don’t know shit about style, but even I know yellow’s not my fucking color. Try to look past that.”
“Already there,” Kurt answers. “Already way past the color, Dave.”
He’s grinning, practically beaming. It’s the happiest Kurt has ever seen Dave Karofsky look, ever. And it’s completely incongruous.
So Kurt clears his throat, wanting to feel…proud? Or happy? But a little too stuck in ‘confused’ to manage it.
“If you don’t mind me asking…” he says slowly.
Dave digs into his pocket without missing a beat. He pulls something out and stretches it across to Kurt.
Kurt takes it, unfolding the shiny dark colors of some kind of pamphlet.
“My grandfather was one, and his dad,” Dave says. “My uncles are career. My dad always talks about how this was what he was meant for, but he had some health shit going on when he was younger, never did join up.”
Kurt finds himself staring at Dave more than the pamphlet, but when Dave pauses he looks back down.
The Few, the Proud.
Kurt looks back at Dave.
Dave grins, but it’s tight at the edges. Sincere, at least it looks like it, but strained. “I’ve never had any other plan, Kurt. This is my life after this school. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do.” He glances back at the gaping crowds, at Ben Israel creeping in closer from behind.
He dismisses them, turning back to Blaine and Kurt. “Every time you asked me…” He looks at Kurt, meets his eyes, and there’s a gleam in his gaze that’s hard to look away from. “I told you I can’t. I can’t come out. And yeah, a lot of it is because I’m a chicken shit bastard, but…” He nods at the pamphlet. “A lot of it is this. I literally could not come out. I couldn’t be out and still be a Marine.”
“Until today.” Blaine takes the pamphlet from Kurt’s frozen hand and stretches it back out to Dave. He’s grinning right back at Dave. A huge, sincere grin that the usually poised Blaine usually only gives in private.
Dave meets Blaine’s eyes as he takes the pamphlet back. He nods. “Until today. And I got up with my dad this morning, and he was watching the news and this thing about the repeal was on, and…they were doing this story on a guy, a Major, fucking All-American fifty year old career Corp, and he never told anybody he was gay, because being a Marine was his life, and the interview this morning…he was telling the whole world for the first time, and he just…”
Dave shrugs, tucking the Marine Corp pamphlet back in his jeans. “Everywhere in the fucking country people are gonna do what he did today. Military, hard core people. Men and women. None of them have to hide anymore, and I know some of them still will, but…” He grins. “Fuck it. I told my dad this morning, right then and there. And I’m gonna tell everybody else in the world, because I can.”
Kurt unfreezes from his startled pose against his locker. He swallows and edges in, searching Dave’s expression. It’s not so easy as he’s making it out to be. Coming out is hard. “Is your dad okay?”
“He’s a little freaked out. He’s cool with gay guys, just…I guess it’s easy until it’s your own back yard, right? But it helped, I think, that he’s watching this butch fucking soldier on TV the same time I’m telling him. Drove home that I’m still the same big stupid jock dickhead.”
“You’re not…” Kurt shakes his head, trailing off. “Wow, Dave. I just…”
“Yeah.” He sucks in a breath and holds it. “Whatever. I gotta get to class. See you guys around, right?”
Kurt nods, smiling despite his surprise. “I’m proud of you. Just so you know.”
“You know…” Dave grins easily. “I kinda am too. I was always planning to serve after high school, but…it’s weird, but today’s the first day I actually feel like it’s gonna happen. Or maybe just the first day I’m really fucking proud to say it.”
He glances down the hallway, at the whispering and giggling kids behind him and the crowd he still needs to plow his way through. He draws in a breath but his chin is still raised, his shoulders are still back. And he does look proud, for probably the first time ever that Kurt has seen.
Dave glances back at Kurt. “I’ll call ya when the slushies start flying. You wanted this so bad you can damn well help me clean up.”
But he doesn’t sound worried.
He tosses off a casual salute at Kurt, grinning, and claps Blaine on the arm a little too hard as he moves around them, heading down the hall and stopping more traffic as he goes.
Kurt beams at his back as he watches him go. It’s going to be an even more interesting year than he imagined.