After Dave had found himself caught in the middle of Kurt and Sam, only to be the cause of the end of both of those relationships, he found himself spending the summer of 2020 on his own, teaching classes in Berkeley. He tried to write more of his second novel, but something about his muse seemed to be dwindling that summer as he couldn’t help but wonder more and more how long it would take for him to really settle down, and for things to work out for both parties the way he saw it work out for so many of his friends. He knew it was is own fault in the end, and his being caught between the two of them that made both relationships not work out more than anything else, even if there was other factors like him not wanting kids and Kurt’s career stuff, but the feeling was unsettling. The summer dragged on, and Dave was late on getting the first draft of his book in. By the time that he was supposed to be meeting with his publisher in LA to give them a draft in September, it still wasn’t fully completed. He knew he’d face some penalty for that, or that at the very least, they wouldn’t be happy about it, so he wasn’t really looking forward to his meeting with his publisher in LA. But the morning of said meeting, which was supposed to happen in the afternoon, Dave stopped at his favorite Starbucks in the immediate area and sat down at a table with his order, thinking a quite a bit to himself. But nothing could have prepared him for Michael Allbright entering the Starbucks moments later and sitting down right across from him, looking at him clear as day after all this time.
Michael explained everything to Dave, how he’d never died and how everything had been a work in progress for so long and why Dave hadn’t found out until now. He’d spent years trying to get back to America and to cope with the trauma on his own, and expressed that reading Dave’s book had made him emotional because of it (see self para for this full explanation). He’d found Dave because of his book, and making a few calls to his family and publisher to determine his exact location and when a good time to meet Dave would be. Michael had been based out of LA for some time now, working as an actor and being cast in a couple of different smaller and more independent film projects. And it wasn’t until that moment that things finally started to click for Dave. It was almost like his life came full circle and he became overwhelmed with this strange and full kind of happiness that he’d never felt before in his life. Dave felt like he was home. And while all those years ago Dave hadn’t necessarily considered Michael a romantic interest by any means, even if they’d had a connection… having Michael back in his life just meant everything to him. It meant that everything could finally make sense again. The two stayed in contact after that, Michael living in LA for a while and Dave returning to Berkeley. At first it started out as the friendship that they’d once had all those years ago when they were just two confused kids who had enlisted to try to prove something to someone who didn’t believe in them because of their sexuality, and eventually the friendship budded into a romance for both of them. The two began dating, and Michael made the executive decision to move more permanently up to San Francisco to be closer to Dave, choosing to make trips to LA when he needed to or to stay in LA if he was working on a project. At that point he also made the executive decision to have a more distant relationship with Ben, especially after what Ben had not only done to Dave, but him as well by lying about everything. Dave published his second book later the following year, and received a large amount of success from it. The book brought his first book up in popularity as well, and Dave’s readers seemed to be expanding. Dave was invited onto a couple of talk shows to talk about his books, and because of the inspirational content and his moderate success with his books, TEDxBerkeley asked him to speak from his own experiences and as a Ph.D student at Berkeley, and he couldn’t help but accept the opportunity. Shortly after his graduation, he also went on to speak at TedxSanFrancisco. During Dave’s final year as a graduate student of UC Berkeley, he applied for a number of faculty level positions at a number of universities, only to accept his first job at Stanford. After having dated Michael for the remainder of his graduate career, he made the decision to propose to Michael right after his graduation in June 2023, to which Michael accepted.
A little after a year following Dave’s proposal, the two of them got married a few days after Dave’s birthday, on July 15th, 2024. All of Dave’s immediate and extended family attended the wedding, included Deborah and his dad and Deborah’s son, and all of the Brown’s, his mother included. Michael’s biological mom, his dad, and Ben’s mom attended the wedding. Ben and Missy did not attend. Members of the Glee club got the opportunity to meet Michael through the reception and ceremony, and some of his closer friends of the past attended his wedding. Michael and Dave shortly after their wedding and brief honeymoon settled into their own small house in Stanford, where the two of them stayed. The two had discussion about children, and while even Dave found himself considering it again, both he and Michael mutually agreed that they did not want children. And other than the occasional trip that Michael took to LA for a few years more for acting opportunities, some bigger than others, the two lived happily together in Stanford. Dave had his successes, and Michael had his. And that was the way it was, for both of them. It might have been crazy how Dave’s life had somehow turned out, but after all this time, he’d come to accept what happened to him and Michael all those years ago. Life had a mysterious way of working itself out, and now more than ever, Dave was ready to face the world head on and to seize every opportunity he could. This really was their time… and he never wanted to look back on the bad, only the good. Only the few people of the past who had managed to maintain a lasting relationship with him in his life. And really, it was through his ability to do that he realized that if Ben was ever right about something, it was that maybe, just maybe… he really could be extraordinary if he wanted to be.