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This was it, Dave decided. After much worry and deliberation, it was time to stand up and fucking do something, for a change.

As he walked Kurt silently back to his apartment, he made up his mind to bring up the subject that had been plaguing him so long. He decided he would try and remind Kurt of his past, his life. And, his death. It made no sense to do so, but he was beyond logic at this point. He was just nostalgic. For the Kurt he'd once known.

"Thanks for walking me down here." Kurt glanced up at Dave with a faint smile on his lips, and gave him that perfect look that Dave had come to love. That sweet, childish look. The one that Dave found made it impossible not to kiss him. So he did.

"C'mere, you," he breathed lightly into the blonde's ear, and pressed his lips to his cheek. "I wanna kiss you again."

"And you had to announce it?"

Dave arched an eyebrow. "I wanted to be a gentleman." Kurt laughed softly and leaned against him, a soft, solid heat against Dave's shoulder. He was so small, Dave could tuck the little blonde's head easily under his chin, with room to spare. He really was the perfect height for hugging, Dave though with amusement. Almost like they were made to fit one another, or something...

"Anyway." Kurt drew back, seemingly reluctant, and leaned against the door. His eyes rested comfortably on Dave. Like he'd known him forever, instead of only a few weeks. "Goodnight, I guess. I'll probably catch up with you in the morning." He went to go inside, and Dave almost lost his nerve then. But he needed to say what he'd been planning on saying, he wouldn't forgive himself if he messed up this chance, so he blurted out a call to Kurt before he could chicken out completely.

"Wait, Kurt. Wait. Before you go inside, there's something, well, we need to talk about."

Kurt's eyes regarded him warily. "Dave, if this is about the fucking tattoo business again, then I really don't want to-"

"It isn't, Kurt." He sighed. "Not this time."

"Oh." The wary expression disappeared in an instant, and was replaced by patience and curiosity. It still marveled Dave sometimes, how quickly the blonde could change in his emotions. "Well, if it's not about that whole issue, then, what is it about?"

"I, I um..." Now that the moment was here, Dave was at a loss for words. "The thing is, I'm not really sure how it, um..." For a second time he broke off, and ran a hand through his hair. He tried to resist the urge to panic, but it was a lost cause. "Oh, damn it all!" he suddenly exclaimed, and thoroughly startled Kurt. "This is too hard to explain. This is too hard to fucking explain!" He turned away from the blonde aggressively, cursing himself a thousand different things, coward, weak, loser. Fuck it all... he pressed his forehead up against the wall, cool plaster to flushed skin, in an attempt to calm himself. "Fuck this..."

"Dave." Kurt couldn't help but be concerned, and went to him. "Oh, hey. Come on, it's okay." His fingers drew circles on the back of Dave's neck, diffusing his anger deftly. "You can tell me anything you want to. You know that." He moved against Dave and encircled him in his arms. He pressed his cheek into the curve of his back, soothingly. Sometimes, being short had its advantages.


"It's okay." Dave's anxiety was slipping away, Kurt worked better than any drug he'd come across. He could feel lips against the back of his neck. He loved the feeling. "Tell me anything. Tell me everything."

"But, b-but." He had to concentrate to remember what he'd even been planning to say. His brain was hazy. "I, I don't even know if I should be talking to you about this. I don't think I'm allowed..."

Kurt pondered this silently for a long moment when he realized just how much it was stressing Dave out. He knew, just by Dave's face he knew, he was dealing with something very serious. It wouldn't be wise to underestimate it, now.

"I'll tell you what." Kurt's voice was gentle, and muffled slightly by the material of Dave's shirt. His back was very warm. "How about you sleep on this, okay? Think about what you want to say to me tonight, and then, if you still want to tomorrow, you can tell me then. We'll have a good, proper talk, if that's what you want. Anything you want to talk about. How about that?"

"Okay." Of course he immediately agreed, and was touched by Kurt's concern. "That's what we'll do." He smiled with relief. "Thank you so much, Kurt."

"No problem. You're a good friend." Dave heard something in the blonde's voice that made his heart beat faster. "I'm really glad I met you." It was sappy, it was cheesy, but it hit Dave in a special place that nothing else could.

"Kurt." He took him into his arms, kissing him. "Me too, man. I'm glad too. Kurt chuckled, filling him with sweet breath, and moved softly away. Moved back towards the closed door of his apartment.

"I'll see you tomorrow," he promised, and Dave could tell it really was a promise. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight, Kurt."

"Pleasant dreams." He grinned at his own comment, and slipped into his room.

"Yeah," Dave murmured to no one as the door clicked shut. "Goodnight. Pleasant dreams. All that shit." Then he turned and walked quickly but unsteadily away. He was completely unaware of the last three words he muttered out loud to himself.

"I love you."


Kurt entered his apartment, and his eyes widened in shock.

Like a silent shadow, Jeremy was standing there, and his gaze was filled with lethal poison. Kurt took a instinctive step back, knowing he'd been caught out. He felt like a deer in the headlights. He was trapped. "J-jeremy, I..."

"You liar." His voice was harsh and ragged, almost unrecognizable.

"No, Jer, I swear I-"

"Shut the fuck up!" His voice was low but fiercely commanding, and it made Kurt take another step back. "You, you just shut the hell up, you fucking liar!"

"No, Jer, please don't. Jer!" Jeremy didn't respond with words. He growled, and began to walk slowly towards the cornered blonde. His eyes were blazing with angry fire.

"This. This ends. Now."

"Jeremy." Kurt could only look in horror as everything fell apart around him. "Please."

"Kurt!" Jeremy bellowed, and he jumped. "It's over, do you get it? You're not going to see him again, understand me, you fuck? Stop your fucking around! You're destroying us! Don't you realize what you're doing? You're destroying us both!"

And suddenly, something inside of Kurt fell away, some primitive level of control that until now he'd been able to contain, and he snapped. He just snapped. And at that moment, nothing was more important than letting Jeremy know how much he hated him. Fifteen years, you bastard, fifteen years I've let you rape me, let others rape me. "I don't care!" he screamed, and it was like a shot of freedom. Everything had crumbled, only the heart of the matter remained. It was raw and pure. "I don't care what you fucking say because it doesn't matter anymore! I don't need you, my tattoo can fade and I can disappear for all I care because it's a whole lot better than fucking being with you!"

"I refuse to let you destroy me! I'm not ready to fade away!" His roar was menacing, his eyes filled with a killing flame. Jeremy could have done anything to Kurt in that rage. But the blonde was beyond being afraid. He could only laugh. And his eyes mirrored the insanity of his one-time partner.

"It's too late, Jeremy! You'll never get me back!" He glared at the man who had too long dominated his existence. "You're right, you know, I have been seeing Dave, and he makes me sorry that I ever met you. He cares, fuck it, he actually cares about how I'm feeling, he doesn't just use me as a fucking toy-" He choked with emotion, and there were hurt tears pooling in his eyes. "I want to be with him. I'm going to go stay with him, for however much time I have left."

Jeremy's whole stance was threateningly solid, and he advanced towards the smaller man. "You fuck, I won't let you." Kurt couldn't be intimidated, not now. He stood his ground.

"You can't stop me!" He yelled hoarsely. "Don't you even think you can fucking stop me!"

To say Jeremy was shocked was an understatement. Kurt had never, never done anything this drastic, never defied him to this extent. It filled him with a murderous, boiling rage. You little shit! "Just watch me fucking stop you!" He howled, and clamped down on Kurt's shoulders. The blonde twisted violently in his arms, spitting and cursing like a wild animal.

"I hate you! I hate you! I fucking hate you and I hope you die, you fucking-"

Kurt was violently cut off by an unearthly roar, and Jeremy's fist made made vicious contact with the side of his face. He cried out in shock and fell to the ground, his cheek and the ghost of a tattoo on his wrist burning in hideous synchrony. White hot. Agony.

"You whore!" Jeremy spat. "You fucking whore. Do you honestly think I'd ever let you leave me?"

"Fuck you," he growled, and was rewarded with a swift kick to the ribs. Something inside creaked ominously, and he moaned at the sickening jolt. Oh God, did he break me? He writhed away from Jeremy's foot, cursing him, and gasped for breath. "M-miserable fuck!" Jeremy's face remained impassive as he kicked him again.

"Kurt. Be reasonable." And his voice was dripping with falsely sweet honey. He was patronizing, as if Kurt was the one who was out of line, and as if he was the one just trying to be reasonable, and hadn't abused Kurt into his current state, writhing and gasping for air on the floor. "You know you can't leave me, Kurt. You know it's impossible."

"I... I'll k-kill you!"

Jeremy laughed delightfully. "Oh Kurt. You're so melodramatic!" He smiled suddenly, and his eyes twinkled with either good cheer or insanity. Or both. "Do you truly think that leaving me, and running to your precious Dave, will make everything all better?" He laughed again, cruelly. "You're a fool, Kurt! Don't you realize? Don't you see? You leave me, and you fade away. And then what do you think will happen to your precious Dave?"

"Shut up!" Kurt moaned, but his nerve had broken. He flinched when Jeremy towered over him. His bravery, his blind rage and hatred, were nowhere to be found.

"Do you honestly think Dave will be able to find another friend after you, Kurt? Because he won't. After you fade, you'll leave him heartbroken."

"Shut up!"

"And then Iris will come. And he'll fade, too."

"No!" Kurt groaned with combined physical and mental pain, trying to reject the idea, put the notion far, far out of his head.

"You'll kill him."

"Fuck you!" But then two, lonely tears rolled down Kurt's pallid cheeks, and Jeremy knew then that he had won.

"Don't deny it, Kurt, you know I'm right. Get any closer to him, and it will destroy him. If you were any kind of decent you'd leave him now, and spare him the agony,"

"What do you know about decency?" Kurt spat fiercely, managing to sit up, but he was defeated. "You, you filth!"

Jeremy merely laughed again. "You're pathetic, you really are." He mocked the struggling man. "You're pitiful. I can't understand what in the Afterlife Dave sees in you. You're good for a fuck, I guess. But that's about it." Kurt glared up at him helplessly, holding his aching sides, as Jeremy, still laughing, stepped over him and strode out of the apartment.

He groaned, and sank bonelessly down against the unforgiving floor, fresh tears running down his face.


"I've decided to tell him."

"You're crazy."

Dave turned, his face alight with purpose and excitement. His eyes were bright and his cheeks were flushed. He was pacing the room energetically.

He looked younger than he had in years.

"Don't even try to stop me, Siri, because I've made up my mind, and it's too late to change it, now."I can

"I'm going to try and stop you, Dave."

Dave's eyebrows went so high they almost disappeared beneath his mop of tangled hair. "You're, you're not?"

Why David, you sound surprised. "No. I can see there's no point in me trying to change your mind. I've learned from past experiences that a man in love can be as stubborn as a mule when he wants to be." Dave's brows went up impossibly higher, so much so that Siri feared they would never be seen again.

"But how, how did you know?"

Siri could only laugh. She felt his delight, and it was contagious. "Dave, it's so obvious! It's written all over you, dear heart." Dave might have protested to being called 'dear heart' by a teenage brunette, but he was too giddy and light-headed to do much of anything, save giggle. "I think I can even smell it on you! I need to thank you, Dave. It's been awhile since there's been any true love in this place, let alone love as pure and unequivocal as your love for Kurt. It's like... a shot of light in a dark place." Her laugh turned to a sigh part way through. "This is what it was supposed to be like, when every soul found a friend. It was supposed to be true love, whether it be fraternal, marital, anything. It didn't matter. The love. That's what was to be important."

"I love him," murmured Dave dreamily, his eyes dancing. "I love him so much, I just want to look after him and do everything for him, and be with him forever." She was so delighted by this that she actually clapped her slim hands together.

"Yes, that's perfect!" she exclaimed. "That's just how it was always supposed to be."

"I'm going to tell him. Everything, about who he was, about who we were. And I'm going to tell him how much I love him. And then everything is going to be okay. Somehow, I know it will be."

"Do you want to know something?" Siri asked, suddenly solemn, "Even when you first found Kurt here, and I gave you all those warnings, a part of me was saying that I shouldn't. That it was right what you were doing, and I was wrong. I didn't listen then. But I'm listening, now." She smiled, and her smile was radiant and beautiful. "Prove me wrong, Dave," she said, softly. "Prove me wrong."


"Kurt!" Dave ran towards the blonde as soon as he saw him. "Kurt? There's something I wanna..." He trailed off, frowning, when he saw the expression on the other's face. His skin was pallid and sick, and his eyes were swollen and red from crying. His long hair was obscuring most of his face. "Kurt? Are you okay, man?"

"Yes, Dave." His voice was flat. "But there's something we urgently need to talk about."

Dave's eyes brightened. "That's right, there is! "Oh, Kurt, there's something I really want to tell you."

"Wait." Kurt sounded very tired. "There's... there's something I need to say to you first."

"Okay. Sure." Dave was eager but he held his tongue, trusting and radiant. The blonde felt a strong sense of self-loathing for what he was about to do to the trusting, eager man.

"Dave..." He hesitated. "Listen. I don't think..." But then he scratched at the side of his head absently, and a lock of his hair fell away from his face. Dave's jaw dropped.

"Kurt... What happened to your face?" Kurt cringed and self consciously touched the huge, ugly bruise overshadowing his face.

"Nothing. I had an accident."

"God, are you alright?" He went to encircle Kurt in his arms, but the second his hands came into contact with his tendered ribs, Kurt flinched, bit back his moan of pain, and moved Dave's hands away quickly.

"Don't touch me," Kurt hissed, and Dave dropped his hands back down to his sides, dismayed,

"Kurt." His voice was hurt. "What's the matter? Tell me?"

"I..." he began, but had to break off and look away, to steel his resolve. He stepped back from his lover. "I can't do this anymore."


"I can't have fuck around with you anymore. In fact." Again, the blonde hardened himself, forcing his chin to lift, forcing his eyes to be calm and steady as they met Dave's. "I actually think it would be for the best, in light of recent events, if we choose now not to see one another anymore. I don't think we should."

Dave reeled back, shocked. Of all the things he could have said... "What are you talking about? Is, is this just a sick joke, or something, because it really... it really isn't funny."

Kurt's throat tightened at this, but he had to go on, had to go on. "Listen, I know it hasn't quite been a month yet, but I'm sure you've gotten your money's worth, seeing that you've fucked me so much, particularly this week." He died a little inside as Dave's eyes began to understand. It wasn't just fucking he said so and you agreed how could you do this to him you bastard? "So, if we could just go our separate ways now, then I could go back to forgetting this whole thing ever happened."

"But." Dave sounded wounded and lost, and it took a lot of self control for Kurt to stop himself bursting into tears. "Kurt, h-hey, I don't get what's going on. What the fuck are you talking about, man? What's going on?"

"I'm sorry, but I just think it would be safer to call it quits now, so I can get back to my Jeremy and you can find yourself a friend. If you've still got a problem, maybe you can take it up with the Gaming Officials, or something. Who knows? Maybe you could even get some of your money back."

"I don't want money." Dave's eyes began to gleam as they filled with tears. "Kurt, please, tell me you're kidding around."

Yes I'm kidding around let's elope together and hush now don't cry Dave my Dave I didn't mean it I swear I lied, I fucking lied.

Kurt merely shrugged. "Don't know what to tell you, I'm afraid." He turned to go, but Dave wasn't about to let him get away.

"Wait, Kurt!" He grasped at his arm desperately, and Kurt could feel the tremble in his fingers. "I don't understand. Did something happen?" His eyes widened suddenly. "Your face. Did Jeremy do this? Is that what this is about?"

"Dave!" The blonde feigned exasperation and did it well, Dave actually drew back. He was swiftly breaking, inside. "It's simple, really. I'm leaving you now. I'm going to spend the rest of eternity with the man I-" He forced the last word out. "L-love." I suggest you find someone with which you can do the same."

"K-kurt," whispered Dave, eyes large and wounded. He looked like a dog that had been mistreated by it's master. No anger or hate, only sadness in that gaze. Kurt was ashamed of himself. "But what about... everything? You, you fucking spent time with me, and I know that was real, I know it was!" He seized Kurt's arm again. "Kurt, tell the truth. Is Jeremy making you do this?" Kurt snarled, and wrenched himself violently from Dave's grip. It was that snarl that finally convinced Dave, and broke his heart.

"Don't you dare touch me, you're not fucking allowed to anymore! You think you know me?" he spat, and Dave cringed. "You don't know the first fucking thing about me! You paid for me! It's what I do." His voice dropped, and his eyes were venomous. "That's what I do for my Jeremy, because I l-love him. So I would never care about anyone else, least of all you." He sneered. "I am a good actor, no?"

"No." A tear slid down Dave's cheek, and then another, and it hurt so bad that Kurt wanted to kill himself all over again. "No, Kurt..."

"It's over now, Dave. It's time we waled away from all this, and call it even. For your sake, I hope you had fun." With that, he turned his back on the stupefied man, and began to walk away.

"Kurt!" Dave moaned after him, but it was a defeated moan. Kurt didn't even look around, if anything he only walked faster.

But there were tears pooling in his eyes.


In her accumulating frustration, Siri lost all patience, and started banging frantically on Dave's front door. "Dave!" she cried out. "Dave, please, let me in!"

"Fuck off!" Dave groaned, piled up on his bed, head bowed against a flood of tears, the line of his shoulders broken. "Get the fuck away from me!"


"How could you not see this, huh? I thought you were supposed to see into the fucking future, or some shit! Why didn't you see this? Why didn't you tell me what would happen?!"

"I know what I felt, okay? Something's wrong, there must be something he isn't telling you-"

"Shut up!" Dave hollered, screwing his eyes shut against the shitty new world he'd woken up in. "Shut the fuck up and go away. I don't want to hear your voice, I don't want to see you or have anything to fucking do with you again! You, you made me think I had chance, that, t-that he might just love me, well, why the fuck would he, huh? He never did before. I annoyed him, I bored him and there was nothing I could do to help him. He was fucking dying, and I couldn't fucking help him!" He sobbed bitterly, as he relived things he'd been suppressing for years. "I let him into my heart, Siri! I cared about him so much and he died, he shot himself in the fucking head and he gave up on all of us, and it tore me apart! It fucking tore me apart!"

I won't leave you, Dave. I won't ever leave you. He flinched at the memory, and cried out. "So now, fifteen years later, dead, he's done it all over again! And I can't fucking take it anymore!"

"Dave." Siri leaned against the door, lost for words. "Oh, Dave."

"Go away Siri. Leave me alone."

"Please Dave, let me help you. I can find out, I can-"

"Go away, Siri."


"Go away!" He screamed with enough passion to make his throat go hoarse, and Siri jumped. Dave's sorrow and anger was hurting her heart.

"Dave," she murmured to herself, a small tear of her own welling up and slipping down her pale, smooth cheek. "Oh God, I'm so, so sorry."

She turned her back on the sobbing coming from Dave's room, turned away with a cloudy but deep resolve in her eyes. I won't let this go. I promise you, Dave. I'm going to get to the bottom of this. I promise.

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