"Dave? Do you think this is a good idea?"
"Sure. It'll be fine."
Dave winced when he thought about how stupid he'd been.
"Are you sure? It looks kind of... dangerous."
Krist had been right. Of course. He was always right. But Dave had wanted to slide down the hill on a surfboard. And damn it, but if Dave Grohl wanted to slide down the hill on a surfboard, then Dave Grohl was going to surf down the hill on a surfboard. Fuck the consequences.
Dave stared at the plaster cast glumly.
If Kurt had said something, he probably wouldn't have done it. But Kurt hadn't been there. So he'd done it, almost as if to spite his blonde band mate, whose idea of a good time was a bowl of popcorn, a syringe filled with heroin and a 'H.R. Puffinstuff' marathon on T.V.
He still remembered Kurt's words from the time he'd wanted to try snowboarding. And bungee jumping. And mountain biking.
"You have to get your head out of this extreme sport shit, because if you die, then we'll need to find a new drummer."
"And we'll need a new singer if you OD on heroin!" Dave had shot back. He wasn't sure if he'd hurt Kurt's feelings, but damn it all, Kurt had hurt his. And the worst part was, Kurt had been right.
After spending four hours at a hospital, now at home, sitting and staring at the cast on his wrist, Dave realized the singer had been right.
Fuck you, Kurt.
He'd known, as soon as he came off the board, that things had turned to shit.He'd landed on his shoulder. Put his hand out to save himself. Both heard and felt the sickening crack of breaking bone. The wave of pain. The wave of nausea. Krist had leisurely trotted over, and peered down at him.
"Told you it was dangerous."
"Fuck you, man. How's my board?"
And Krist had held it up, for all the world to see. There wasn't even a fucking scratch on it.
Fuck you, board.
Dave grunted in exasperation, and flopped down onto his bed. A certain degree of unease accompanied the exasperation. When he'd gotten home from the hospital, there'd been a bunch of messages on his answering machine. The first one had been from Krist -
"Hey, just checking up on you, call me back if you can still use the phone (ha-ha)!"
- and the second -
"Me again, I just think I should add that I told Kurt you hurt yourself and went to hospital, and he chucked a mental, dude. Oh... and I may have let it slip you were riding down a hill on a surfboard when you did it... sorry..."
That one made Dave groan. Kurt was gonna kill him when he got his hands on him. But that wasn't the worst of it. Because after that, Kurt called.
"Hey, Moron. Krist told me what happened. Oh fuck, man, he said you hurt your wrist. Is it broken? It better not be broken because if it is, and we have to cancel our upcoming tour, and put the concert on hold, then... shit, David. Just call me back, okay? You fucking moron. I knew this would happen!"
Dave had the sneaking suspicion that Kurt was going to fire him. That or break his other wrist. So he hadn't called back. He'd just unplugged the phone instead to delay any more nasty messages, and proceeded to feel sorry for himself.
Fuck you, phone.
Fuck you, wrist.
And again: Fuck you, Kurt. And then came the knock at the door.
"Shit," Dave murmured, screwing up his eyes and willing them to go away, but the knocker was persistent. After a few more moments he gave up, slid off the bed, and trudged out into the living room. He unlocked the door, fully intending to order whoever was outside to get the fuck off his property, but then he opened the door, and the words died in his throat.
"So, you're home, after all." Dave glimpsed a flash of blonde hair and piercing blue eyes at about his chin-height before Kurt had bustled past him and into his house. "I thought you must still be at the hospital. I thought that was the reason you didn't call back." He took a glance at the phone, its cord trailing out on the carpet like a dead thing, and snorted. "But I guess that wasn't the reason."
"Kurt," the drummer began warily, immediately stepping between Kurt and the phone. Almost as if to conceal the evidence. "What... what are you doing here?" Kurt flipped his hair, and fixed him with a stare that was either blatantly sarcastic or gentle and sincere, Dave couldn't tell
"Checking up on you." For the second time, the small singer brushed past him, this time heading for the bathroom. "That's a nasty graze on your face," he called. "Have you cleaned it yet?" Dave flushed, touching his cheek self-consciously, then wincing.
"No," he croaked.
"Oh." He heard Kurt opening and closing cabinets in his bathroom, grabbing bottles, discarding the ones he didn't want carelessly. "We'll, that's pretty irresponsible of you.You'll get an infection"
Big words, for a heroin addict, Dave almost said, but bit down on it just in time. The blonde turned to him and grinned a little, his eyes glinting, and he looked so sure of himself that Dave began to wonder if he'd said it out loud after all.
"I swear, I can read your mind, Dave," he said lowly, turning back to the medicine cabinet. "I know what you're thinking, and I'll tell you something. I'm not about to get an infection, cos when I use, I bleach my needles." Satisfied that he'd got what he needed, he gathered up the bottles and left the bathroom, snickering a little at the look on Dave's face. "Shut your mouth boy, unless you're making an offer," he said sweetly.
"Kurt, I, I wasn't thinking about-" Dave stammered, but Kurt didn't give him the chance to lie.
"Oh, don't be coy. You were so thinking about it. About my substance abuse. About me shooting smack into my veins, if you want to call a spade a spade. You think I'm a worthless junkie. And I guess you're right. But here's the thing, I'm a careful worthless junkie. And if you haven't noticed, I'm not the one with the broken wrist."
So there it is, Dave's stalling brain managed to squeak out. You were wondering when he was going to mention the wrist. Now he's going to fire you, but it won't be because of the broken bone, not really. It'll be because of the things you've said behind his back. About junkies and heroin and Courtney Love. Things he's obviously heard about. The broken wrist's just icing on the cake.
"Sorry," Dave muttered quietly, looking away, and Kurt grunted in an unreadable manner. Then he approached his drummer.
Here it comes. Dave steeled himself for a verbal (or physical) attack, but it never came. Instead, the little blonde just reached up and touched the graze on his cheek with his fingertips. Dave hissed. Partly with pain. But mostly with surprise.
"Sit down." And Kurt's voice was oddly soft. Oddly gentle. "And I'll clean it for you." Dave sank onto his couch, not realizing just how much his face had been throbbing until Kurt had touched it. The singer was opening one of the bottles he'd collected from the cabinet, and moistening a cotton swab with its contents. Dave noted that the stuff from the bottle was brown. He knew from personal experience that stuff from bottles which was brown usually stung like hell.
"Close your eyes." Kurt moved in close, then he was dabbing his face carefully with the swab. Cold and wet at first. Then hot, and burning.
"Sorry, sorry," Kurt murmured, and Dave was again struck by surprise. He couldn't remember a time when Kurt had acted this way. The fingers on his cheek were gentle. Considerate. Like a mother.
Or a lover.
Dave gulped, opening his eyes. Kurt was gazing intently at him, and he was so close that the drummer could actually see the individual freckles on his nose. The bands of delicate violet ringing his Arctic blue eyes. Things he hadn't noticed before. Maybe there was a softer side to Kurt, and he just hadn't noticed that, either.
Then he felt he had to look away, the intensity building to a point that was beyond him.
"Are you hurt anywhere else?"
"I said, are you hurt anywhere else?" Kurt repeated patiently, without a hint of impatience or contempt. "Other than your wrist, I mean," he added, eyes flashing, and there it was, that undercurrent of exasperation, that what the fuck were you doing surfing down a hill anyway? tone that actually made Dave feel a little better. This new, alien Kurt with his gentle eyes and fingers was, quite frankly, beginning to scare the shit out of him.
"Uh, just some scrapes on my arm. And my back, maybe. But it's okay. I, I can clean it later."
"With one arm?" Kurt looked skeptical. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you right-handed? And didn't you break your right-hand wrist in the fall? So, uh, wouldn't that mean you'd have to clean your back, your shoulder, and whatever other body parts you managed to fuck up in the accident, using only your left hand?"
Dave felt a little breathless, even though it was Kurt who had done all the talking. He was deflated. And defeated. So he gave up. "Okay," he consented quietly, not at all sure what he was agreeing to.
"Can you take off your shirt on your own, or do you need me to help you?" Dave looked down at his shirt, and there seemed to be a never-ending expanse of buttons...
"I'll help you." Kurt made up his own mind, and moved forward. Dave didn't make a sound as the singer unbuttoned his shirt, and tried not to breathe down the back of Kurt's neck. An image suddenly swam into his mind, of the only other scenario he could think of in which Kurt would be undressing him, and immediately he went hot all over.
Kurt was saying something, but for the life of him he didn't understand it.
"You underestimated the damage." Kurt sounded half concerned, half amused, as he peeled the shirt from the drummer's shoulders and tossed it to the floor. "Your shoulder's not bad, just kind of scraped." He circled his flustered bandmate, and sat down beside him. "But your back... it's completely fucked. I'm surprised the bastards didn't fucking fix it at the hospital." And it almost sounded as if Kurt was angry about it. "There's ground in dust and dirt all over you. How did you get dirt on your back, when your shirt wasn't even torn?"
"Uh..." He cleared his throat, which was painfully tight and felt like it was coated in heavy, sweet glue. He felt sick. "M-my shirt. It rode up, I think, when I fell."
"Oh." Dave managed to contain his jump when Kurt touched his back, but it was a close thing. His hands were cool and slender, like a nurse's. Better than the fucking tramps at the hospital, at any rate. "Could you pass me the peroxide, and some more swabs?"
"Oh... sure." Dave leaned forward, overly aware that his jeans had ridden down, and that Kurt must have a spectacular view of the crack of his ass. He grabbed the bottle quickly. "Here."
"Thanks." Kurt took the bottle, examining the expanse of dirty scratches that was Dave's back. He sighed. "I don't think this is going to work. Do you have any buckets, or something?"
Buckets?! "I don't think so." Dave tried to think, he really did, but he kept getting stuck on how Kurt's knee was brushing up against his hip. There was absolutely no logical reason for that to turn him on.
But it did, anyway.
"I've got a jug under the sink," he blurted finally, but Kurt didn't notice the embarrassment in his voice. He got up, and Dave felt Kurt's knee break contact with his skin. He was sad to feel it go.
"That'll work fine." Kurt rose, and headed to the kitchen, and for the second time Dave heard the opening and closing of cabinets, followed by the sound of running water, and he grew curious.
"What are you doing?"
"You back is filthy. I need to clean it." He called back over the noise of the water. Then the faucet was turned off, and the blonde returned, balancing a jug filled with water in one hand and a roll of paper towel in the other. Dave watched as he set his burden carefully down on the coffee table.
"I guess it's time for my sponge bath then," he muttered, making Kurt smile
"Yeah." He broke off a wad of paper towel, scrunching it up, soaking it briefly in the warm water. "Uh, you may want to lay on your stomach for this, otherwise I'll end up getting more water on the couch that on you."
"Sure." Dave complied quickly, and felt a couple of drops of water fall onto his back. He shivered.
"No. It's fine. You're fine." Dave cursed his body for betraying him, and hoped fervently that Kurt wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary. He didn't seem to, and then the paper towel was dabbing at his back gingerly.
Quietly, Kurt murmured, "I'm sorry if I hurt you."
"You're fine," Dave said again, but in truth, it did hurt. He barely felt the pain, though, what he could mainly feel was the erection growing down in his pants.
Oh great, he thought as the singer washed his back. What a great time to get a fucking boner! And I can't even excuse myself and sneak into the bathroom to jerk off, cos my wanking hand's covered in fucking plaster! He thanked God that he was at least on his stomach, so Kurt couldn't see his hard-on.
"Dave? Are you okay?"
"You're shivering." He felt hands resting on the small of his back, as if to reassure him, and he choked back a moan. "Am I hurting you?"
"Because I'm gonna put some peroxide on your back now, and that probably will hurt."
"S'okay, Kurt." Yeah, and if the pain manages to get rid of the fucking redwood between my legs, then I'll get down on my knees and kiss your Goddamn peroxide.
"Alright, then." More brown liquid on another swab. The sting filled Dave, and as Kurt wiped his grazes it was harsh and intense, yet somehow, maybe even sexy...
There's a fine line between pleasure and pain, David... The redwood stayed put.
"I almost hope it does hurt, you know?" Kurt said apologetically, and the drummer struggled to keep listening. "Then maybe you'll think twice before trying another extreme sport or a stunt or any stupid shit like that." He said it without the withering impatience of a thousand times before, but rather with a touching, genuine concern, and it was enough to almost make Dave feel guilty. "I know, I know," the blonde continued before Dave could get a word in. "I'm a hypocrite. There's no way any sane person would call my lifestyle 'safe'. I'm, like constantly drunk or stoned. Or both." He moved the swab to a different patch of Dave's skin. The pain was white and brilliant. "If you think about it, we're kind of the same in a way. We both need our fix in life. But my fix is chemical. And yours, yours is more..."
"Adrenaline?" suggested Dave timidly. Kurt seized the word.
"Yes. And yours is adrenaline. And, unlike yours, my fix my chemical hit, has absolutely no benefits to me whatsoever. With what you do, whether it''s biking or ab-sailing or fucking tight-rope walking, you live out each day to the full. And me..." He sighed. "Most days I feel like I'm already dead. I really envy you, don't you know. And, I'm sorry for giving you such a hard time. You, you should do whatever makes you happy."
This was so shocking to the drummer, it practically knocked him off his hinges. It rattled him more than he thought anything ever would or could. It found something hidden inside him, latched on, and refused to let go.
"Thank you." It was a pretty lame thing to say, but nothing profound was coming to him, and he knew he needed to say something, anything, if only to finally bridge the gap that had existed between them ever since day one. "And I'm sorry, too. I'm sorry for being a shit and breaking my wrist and ruining the tour."
"Don't mention it." Dave felt Kurt touch his back again (caress it was a caress admit that it's what you want it to be). He shivered. "I'm also sorry about what I said, about the drugs. Behind your back. It was such a shitty thing to do. A fucking putrid thing to do."
"Whatever. I understand." It sounded as though Kurt was trying and failing to sound light-hearted. "I get it a lot, actually. More than you'd think."
"N-no. It's not... just gone and forgotten like that. It's not how things should work." He twitched a little as a fresh swab of peroxide stung him. "I don't pretend to understand it all, the drugs, but, but the fact is that, I'm scared for you." He closed his eyes wearily. "I'm afraid that one day you'll get so badly hurt and sink so far down that no one will be able to pull you out, not even yourself. I..." His tone was helpless. "I just don't want you to get lost. And, it makes me angry and scared, sometimes."
"Dave." Kurt was amazed. His hands had stilled on Kurt's back, and rested motionlessly. "Jesus, man. I didn't want that. I didn't even know you felt so... I've got no clue what to say." Dave knew it was a good time to sit up and talk to his bandmate face to face, but that seemed an almost impossible challenge, one he wasn't up to facing.
Besides, his cock was still hard in his pants.
"You know what?" Dave said eventually. "Next time I go out, you should come with me. I, we could go camping, maybe, or something." Just you and me. The unspoken words hung heavily in the air. Dave could practically taste them.
"Do you think so?"
"Yeah, I'd like your company."
Kurt snorted. "What, the company of a bitter, jaded old cynic and his collection of burnt spoons?"
Dave turned his head, and glared at him with one dark eye. "No. I don't know who you're talking about. I don't know anyone like that. I'm talking about Kurt Cobain. My friend."
"You know," said Kurt softly. "I always did like the way you said my name. Makes it sound like it actually means something." Dave was suddenly very aware of the warm hands on his back, and everything was suddenly too real, too awkward, for either man to take. "Well." Kurt cleared his throat loudly, and stood up. "That's about all I can do. I'm no doctor."
"You did good, Kurt," Dave sat up, trying to hunch over his own stomach and conceal is erection. "And thanks for coming over. I owe you one."
"Uh, no problem." Kurt's awkward feelings came to an uneasy head, and he was all of a sudden very nervous, very agitated, like he'd almost made some vital connection but somehow missed it at the last second. "Um, I'm hungry. You wanna get something to eat? C'mon, let's get something to eat."
"K-kurt, I, I don't really feel like-"
"Oh come on!" He grasped Dave by his good hand and yanked him up, and in his surprise, the drummer almost fell to the floor. Then he collided with Kurt, and clung on for dear life to prevent tripping and smacking his forehead against the coffee table.
The singer's eyes widened slightly. He could feel Dave's cock, good and hard, pressed right up against his inner thigh.
"Fuck," Dave groaned, horrified.
"Fuck," Kurt echoed in agreement, deciding it wasn't food he was after but a big, steaming bite of hot drummer. So he leaned forward. And kissed him.
"What the fuck?" But Dave wanted it, the blonde could tell, because Dave was rubbing his erection all over his thigh and groaning, alight and blazing. Kurt grinned, as Dave humped his leg and growled long and deep in his throat. He broke the kiss to pant into Dave's ear.
"The bedroom, Dave." And into the bedroom they went.