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09 February 2011 @ 12:36 am
Crumbling and Rebuilding (Glee, 1/1)  
Summary: Rachel is perceptive, and Dave has nowhere to hide. A conversation after the Superbowl episode.
Rating: T
Warnings: Takes place sometime after the Superbowl episode.
A/N: So much love for the Superbowl episode. This idea grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I wrote this before the Valentine's Day episode, but I think it still works either way.


“A moment of your time, David?”

Conversation around him cut off abruptly, and Karofsky looked up from his lunch to see Rachel Berry standing in front of him, twisting the hem of her shirt anxiously. Azimio and the other football players looked on with thinly veiled interest.

“What do you want?”

There had been a strange stalemate in the days since the conference championship game. None of the jocks had stayed in Glee after the required week, and they weren’t all suddenly friends, but no slushies had been thrown, either. A truce, of sorts.

“A moment of your time, like I said. I was hoping I could discuss a matter with you in private.”

He rolled his eyes and started to reply, a smartass remark on the tip of his tongue, but Rachel cut him off before he could say a word.

“Please.” She looked at him, wide eyes nervous but hopeful. “I’d like to think the boy I met last week hasn’t disappeared completely.”

He broke her gaze to stare at his empty tray, chastised. “Fine, whatever,” he muttered, getting up and nodding his goodbye to Azimio before returning his tray and following Rachel out of the cafeteria.

She led him to the choir room—of course—and he slumped into a chair while she stood in front of him, hands clasped like a teacher about to lecture her students.

“I can be very self-absorbed,” Rachel said, and Dave blinked, because he hadn’t had a clue what she wanted to talk about, but this definitely hadn’t even been a possibility.

“I know this is a negative personality trait, but I’ve never been able to successfully counteract it—and really, self-absorption is almost a requirement for celebrities, so it may not be completely bad. But either way, in order to balance that flaw I try to pay attention to the people around me—picking up on different moods, listening to conversations most would deem irrelevant, asking questions to gather more information. I’ve found that it’s made me very perceptive, although whether that’s entirely through my own efforts or if my natural psychic abilities helped a bit I don’t know—“

“God damn, Berry, is there a point in there somewhere?”

Rachel twisted her hands together. “Through my own observations, and listening to the boys discuss how you’ve been behaving lately during football practice and in the locker room, I’ve noticed that you get angry and upset no matter what names and taunts are thrown at you.” She took a deep breath, and looked him in the eye. “But it’s the worst when someone insinuates that you’re gay.”

He was out of his chair in an instant. “I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, and I’m not going to sit here and—“

She was in front of him before he could take a step. “I talked to Kurt, Dave,” she said, and he froze. No. Not after all he—not after—

He numbly reached for his chair, dropping heavily back into it.

“He didn’t tell me anything,” Rachel said delicately, “but his non-answer was an answer in itself.” Her gaze dropped to her hands for a moment before lifting to him again. “He makes it look so easy, doesn’t he? It’s one of the things I admire most about him. No matter what happens, what people say or do, he doesn’t let it change who he is. I adhere to the same ideal, obviously, but there are still days were I wonder if it would be easier to just…fit in.”

“To be normal,” he said without thinking, and Rachel’s face went sad and sympathetic and understanding and god, he wanted to wipe that expression off her face, because no one pitied David Karofsky. He didn’t need it.

(He didn’t deserve it.)

“Dave, everyone has their own version of normal. There’s nothing wrong with you.”

“Yes there is!” He didn’t want to be saying this to Berry, to anyone, but the floodgates had opened and he couldn’t stop. “I’m not normal, I’m a freak! I’m supposed to think about girls, not Kurt Hummel, but nothing I did made it go away, it just got worse, and then I kissed him, and I was so fucking scared that he was going to tell someone that I bullied him even more, and when he left I thought it would fix everything but nothing changed, and now Kurt hates me, the one person who might understand and he’s never going to forgive me and it’s all my fault, and I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up, I need to but I can’t, I hate myself, I—“

Rachel stepped closer and put a hand on his shoulder, drawing him forward. Dave leaned in blindly until his face was pressed into her stomach, arms around her waist in a desperate embrace, breathing ragged.

(But he wasn’t crying, he never cried, because real men didn’t cry.)

Her voice was soft when she spoke again. “I…I still don’t approve of your actions, but I do understand.” Her small hand was warm against his back, rubbing in slow circles. “And I’m not going to tell anyone. No matter what you’ve done, I would never out you before you’re ready,” she said, and relief shuddered through him.

“My dad is a lot like Kurt,” she continued, “but my daddy…he’s tall and strong and played basketball in college, and when he first told his friends he was gay they thought he was joking, because they just couldn’t imagine it. Even now, some people seem to take his sexuality as some kind of betrayal.” She swallowed. “I think you should talk to him.”

Dave nodded against her abdomen. He was sure he looked like an idiot, clinging to a girl half his size, wrinkling her shirt beyond repair, but he couldn’t bring himself to move. Rachel smelled like flowers and reminded him of when he was younger and all problems could be solved by his mom’s hugs and soft touch. He didn’t want to let go of that yet.

Footsteps sounded in the hallway, getting closer and closer until the door opened, the conversation that was suddenly audible screeching to a halt as the scene inside the choir room came into view.

“The hell is he doing here again? Rachel, are you okay? We can get—“

“I’m fine, Mercedes, Tina. There’s no need to find one of the boys or Mr. Schuester. It’s okay.”

She ran a comforting hand through his hair.

“It’s going to be okay.”

Irene Shafer: Karofsky - Waitibshafer on February 9th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Because I don't have a CRYING icon!!!
This was so...[bwahahaha...]...god, whenever anyone is nice to Dave, I burst into tears...

This was just so lovely - short and sweet. And you addressed some of the things we'd be wondering about - in the days after the championship game.

Great job - the emotion is just right and I love that it's Rachel that goes to him. She's been one of the loudest against him, but you can see where she'd be perceptive enough to put two and two together - she'd know the things to look for. And her family situation gives her a very sensitive perspective on this.


I won't beg for more, because I understand what it's like to conceive of something as a simple, self-contained piece, but if you decided to, it'd be lovely.

countrygirl_914 on February 9th, 2011 06:29 am (UTC)
Re: Because I don't have a CRYING icon!!!
Aw, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D
demented_mei: by yume_icons gir lovedemented_mei on February 9th, 2011 06:47 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for writing this. I have such a hard time just hating Karofsky. No matter how many horrible things he's done, he's still just very confused and scared of who he is.

Beautifully done.
countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! After Never Been Kissed I loved Karofsky's character, because there was so much depth and possibility there. I hope they keep going with it.
(Deleted comment)
countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed. ♥
t.: Kurt Hummel // Gleekarlamartinova on February 9th, 2011 08:34 am (UTC)
I loved this :) I still expecting something like this on the show, Dave really should talk to someone, and Rachel would be absolutely perfect, or Kurt.
countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad you liked it enough to comment. :D
wine_carnation: Ed sacrificewine_carnation on February 9th, 2011 10:32 am (UTC)
Oh... you just made me cry.

This needs to happen on the show. Like, NOW. You've got Rachel down pat. She's the one character I can't write to save my life (well, there's also Sue, since I don't know enough about American culture/society/history to warp the facts like she does, but other insults are easy enough with her) and you wrote her extremely well.

I wanna go inside your story and join Rachel and start a group hug for Dave <3
countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you like my characterization! It always makes me happy when I've done that well. And I may be American, but I don't know if I could ever attempt to write Sue--that's just so beyond my abilities.

I wish I could give Dave so many hugs. <333
veritas: 01 Brains?veritas_st on February 9th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Oh Karofsky...scared little boy.

this was wonderful, and I was just hoping someone would notice what was gonig on with Karofsky. And I lvoe that you made it Rachel.


countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC)

Karofsky is so scared, and it hurts my heart. I can only hope they give him a happy ending.
Clementine: diannax_clemonlemon on February 9th, 2011 10:38 am (UTC)
This fic...is just plain love.

countrygirl_914 on February 12th, 2011 11:59 pm (UTC)
Yay! <333
(Anonymous) on February 9th, 2011 10:59 am (UTC)
Oh! I'm glad you'd let Anonymous comments, it sucks not beinf able to review xD

Anyway, it was about time for some Rachel+Karofsky! And you wrote it amazingly! I mean she has 2 gay dads, even if she's a woman she probably knows about gay as much as Kurt and could help Karofsky without being a temptation to him :]

I's perfect! I just wish you make sequels, pls? :x
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
No problem! I try to let everyone review.

Thanks for the compliment! No sequel is planned, but you never know.
merlenhivermerlenhiver on February 9th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Gosh, I love this so much. Even if I still think Finn is the one who's going to find out about Dave, Rachel makes so much sense too. And that scene was lovely, especially the phrases in brackets, perfect Dave POV. I love that you mentioned the truce between Glee and the football players.
I'm squeeing so much at all those post-Superbowl ficlets coming out, and the gleeks being so supportive in all of them! They showed us a really great path to Dave's redemption on the show. I'm loving the episode more for it every day.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words! Yeah, I think it would make sense for Rachel or Finn to figure it out--or even Azimio, since they're best friends, but I don't know how he'd react.

I can only hope that the glee club will be supportive of Dave if/when he comes out on the show.
Briar Kin: [fandom] gleek outbriarkin on February 9th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Oh.... David. That's just what I want to do--hug him.

Great job, loved this.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Me too.

annas_cornerannas_corner on February 9th, 2011 06:20 pm (UTC)
This is what I want to see in the show! This was really good.

Rachel is probably the one, besides Kurt, that can truly understand what David is going through. I really do think it's time that Glee introduces Rachel's dads in the show.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Glee should totally introduce Rachel's dads. So many possibilities.
corblycorbly on February 9th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
omg so much love for this. <3
I want Rachel/Dave friendship so badly (also think it'd be awesome if he used her as a beard while she used him to make Finn jealous, lol), so this fic made me explode into rainbows.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Exploding into rainbows sounds dangerous--be careful! ;-P

Thanks! <333
Debora Jade McGonagalltherealmarajade on February 9th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
THIS. THIS, I LOVE THIS. I want something like this to happen on the show so bad...but I think it's more likely to be Finn to figure out Dave...yes, as stupid as he can be sometimes, he is perceptive. :) I do love Rachel, though, and I loved your fic!
Thank you for writing this!
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:04 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwwww. <333

Thank you for commenting!
Annie: Dave Karofskyjustams on February 9th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
This is perfect. I have for some time wanted Rachel to figure it out, and this just shows exactly why and how. Apart from Kurt and Blaine, she is the character who can come closest to understanding and could help him, but without the baggage he has with Kurt and without the jealousy issues he'd have with Blaine.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:05 am (UTC)
This is very true. We'll just have to see how the show does it.

I'm glad you enjoyed this!
ktfranceebeektfranceebee on February 9th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh! It was perfect. Your Rachel was perfect, and your Dave was perfect. Oh joy! I just love fics where Dave gets support from one of the female characters! <3
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Awwww, thank you! :D
jaymcbjaymcb on February 10th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
In all this gay bullying story for Rachel to not to have mentioned her dads still astounds me. Nice story...
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:32 am (UTC)
Yeah, Rachel's dads really need to be brought up more.
Luna Roseeowyn_rain on February 10th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh please please PLEASE let this happen, or something very close to it on the show!

I think if there was anyone who could comfort and understand Dave, it would be Rachel. =D
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
If only! *crosses fingers*

I'm glad you liked it!
Shinakashinaka on February 10th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)

countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)

Lullaby in my hand: cupofhearttodaythesamesky on February 10th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
Oh, this was so well-done. Rachel's voice is spot-on and I wish so badly that someone were around who could tell him this.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
Thanks! It always makes me happy when people think I captured the characters' voices right. :D
(no subject) - todaythesamesky on February 13th, 2011 12:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on February 10th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
THIS!!! this!!!!!!! THISTHISTHISTHIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm just telling myself that you're secretly Ryan Murphy and this is going to be canon.
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: THIS!!! this!!!!!!! THISTHISTHISTHIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hahaha, if only. Thanks!
kidenagain on February 10th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, goodness. Crying here. This was so lovely... just everything. Well done!
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Awwww, thank you! I'm glad you liked it so much. :D
moriah17moriah17 on February 12th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Love the idea of Rachel reaching out to Dave. Well done :)
countrygirl_914 on February 13th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Carly: Maxcarolina_hope on March 7th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
wow. really just wow.

and she would be able to understand. and as self-centered as she is she doesnt really hold grudges. she is third on the list of people I think could help him if he ever gave him the chance (the first being Finn an second being Shannon) and you captured that so beautifuly
countrygirl_914 on March 7th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
Awwww, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed. <3
diane_mckaydiane_mckay on April 5th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I love this story. Because sometimes Rachel is incredibly perceptive and that remark about homophobia she made seems to really affect Dave and yeah, I could totally see this happening.

I was wondering if you would be willing to let me podfic this story? I've done a couple other Glee podfics before as well, if you wanted to check them out at my journal.

countrygirl_914 on April 5th, 2011 11:54 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much! I really feel that, besides Kurt, Rachel is one of the people who could understand/help Dave most.

Oh, wow! No one's asked to podfic any of my stories before. So cool. Sure, go ahead! I can't wait to hear the finished product.
(no subject) - diane_mckay on April 7th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - countrygirl_914 on May 8th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
cantarinacantarina1 on April 7th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
I love it when the show affords Rachel this level of thoughtfulness and I love it just as much in fic, especially when she's captured so well. I can't condone his actions either, but I can sympathise with the crappy situation too. You've packed so so much into just a few words - it's so lovely!
countrygirl_914 on May 8th, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D