Story: Reinvention (What It Means)

Author: ibshafer

Rating: PG

Characters: …I don't wanna say, don't wanna give it away. Let's just say it's semi-Kurtofsky and features the entire student body of McKinley…and leave it at that…

Disclaimer: I don't own these people, they own themselves and are just nice enough to let me spin them around the page now and then.

Summary: He's baaack…

Spoilers: Big time! Spoilers for all of season 2 and the recent Ausiello spoilers, though really it's all conjecture, so not likely to happen.

A/N: This story follows after my recent fic "What It Means," but reveals nothing from that story and can be read on its own. It also stands alone from the spoilers so if you are keeping yourself spoiler-free, this story should be of no danger to you.

Reinvention (What It Means)


By the time they recognized the sound for what it was, the rumble, low and insistent, had been in the background for some time, filtering itself into the mix of conversation, laughter, and idling bus engines. When it grew steadily louder, young brains supplied helpful labels – truck, old car, lawn mower – and by the time the source was close enough to see, all had arrived at the same conclusion.


Bikes weren't unheard of in the parking lots of McKinley High, but the bike and rider most were aware of had had an unfortunate run in with local law enforcement last week and both were currently under lock and key; the rider in juvie, the bike, in impound.

So all eyes were on the entrance when the rumbling drone broke and turned onto school grounds. By the time it had passed the parking lot and ridden up onto the sidewalk, narrowly missing a trio of mullets, some lettermen jackets, and gaggle of smirking Cheerios, there wasn't a person at McKinley, inside or out, that wasn't watching.

Other than a few birds and a dog unhappy about the motorcycle – and, of course, the motorcycle itself – McKinley's tiny world had fallen silent.

It was the noise of the bike that had grabbed and held their attentions, but when it revved once then grumbled into silence, they suddenly became aware of its rider.

To say he seemed out of place in front of a small high school in Lima, Ohio would have been an understatement. His black leather jacket, tight faded jeans, and flame-adorned helmet pegged him as a drifter – or the male lead in every good girl's secret fantasy – but certainly not as a high school student.

Instead of getting off the bike, as anyone who had reached their destination would, the rider just sat there, straddling the polished chrome chassis of his machine as though enjoying the attention he was getting. Slowly removing his black riding gloves, one finger at a time, he clearly he knew eyes were on him.

They didn't know quite what to make of him – was he a student? was he a teacher? was he a gang member? – but none could deny the aura that surrounded him. Tight denim molded to his thighs and cinched around the tops of his black motorcycle boots. His worn leather jacket only seemed to accentuate the broadness of his shoulders, the way the zipper barely managed to contain the breadth of his chest spoke of more than just size; it screamed of the hard body beneath it.

Most hadn't realized how quiet they'd gotten until a booted foot kicked out the bike stand with a solid, metal thunk. A few gasped in surprise, which was nothing compared to their shock when the mysterious figure unsnapped his helmet and pulled it off with a flourish, revealing not the face of a grizzled drifter, but that of someone well-known to them all.

Instead of the familiar full cheeks and flushed, angry scowl, though, the face was now sculpted and tanned and somehow worlds beyond them – as though matured.


Letting out a collective held breath, the crowd began to murmur, confused and stunned at this revelation.

Missing for months now, since before the end of the previous school year, in fact, even his closest friend didn't know where he was or what had happened to him.

All they knew was that he'd disappeared after the prom…

Before, he'd been popular with most, and feared by everyone else, but his dramatic arrival, missing only a smoke machine and moody blues guitar riff, had pushed them all beyond idle curiosity to idol worship.

Absence, they say, makes the heart rethink its opinions.

As he stepped off the bike, the crowd began to move in, calling his name, calling out questions. An imposing black boy in a lettermen jacket was at his side instantly, but was met with only the hint of a smile and a single head shake. A white boy with a frizzy 'fro and a small video camera, jumped into his path and was batted away like a fly. Questions and greetings from the others followed after him as made his way, unwavering, to the school's entrance.

At the foot of the steps up leading to it, a well-dressed boy and his boyfriend stood, mouths agape; one clearly angered, the other flushing heatedly and trying to hide it.

As he passed them, the boy tried to speak to him, calling his name, reaching for his arm, at the last second pulling back, and for a moment, he appeared to get the same response as everyone else…

But then, booted heels scraping the cement, the rider spun back to face him, murmured a single word – "Fancy" – caught a pointed chin between thumb and forefinger, and kissed him.

Once again, the crowd drew breath in unison. One of the trio of mullets laughed, the black boy swore thickly, but the rest seemed too shocked to respond.

The kiss was brief, thorough, and surprisingly gentle, and as he slowly pulled away, he locked eyes with the boy, nodding once. The boy responded with a half-smile and a nod of his own.

He turned back to the stairs then again, turned back, this time to the crowd of stunned onlookers.

When he had left them all, he'd been an angry, confused boy and now returned he was a confident, matured, gay man. If this reinvented version of himself was something they did not like, he cared not at all.

As if to reinforce this thought, he scanned the crowd, familiar grimace now in place.

"Any questions," he growled, challenging them to respond, eyes blazing.

Whether they were too stunned to speak or they simply understood he wasn't interested in what they thought, they had once again fallen silent, even the mullets; no one dared challenge him.

Turning one last time on his heel, he took the steps two at a time, disappearing into the school.

It was a full minute before anyone felt comfortable enough to speak and even then, their tones were hushed though it was clear they were all talking about the same thing.

The topic would dominate the day and, indeed, the next couple weeks, even after he'd rejoined them in class.

And thus marked Dave Karofsky's return to McKinley High.