Rachel cries when she hears the news. Burt gets all choked up and does the quiet thing that Kurt knows means that later when he’s not going to have to be the tough guy, he’ll go cry. Carole lets out a whimper and puts her hand on Burt’s shoulder. Finn just stares. But Sebastian, Sebastian gets angry.
“How long have you known?” He’s out of his seat, seething, staring at Kurt, who had actually expected this kind of response from his lover. “How long have you known that you were sick and that you might die? How long, Kurt?” He stares for a long time, blue eyes reddening, tears forming as he looks around at the guests at the table and then at Kurt, taking a long shaky breath, “Goddamn it.” He runs his hands through his hair, gripping tight for a moment before turning on his heel to walk back to the bedroom he shared.
Kurt sat back in his chair with a breath, closing his eyes for a moment, “Yeah that went about as had been expected.” He shrugged, opening his eyes to look at his family again, “I’m sorry.” He whispered. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone, or tell anyone what was going on until I was absolutely sure that I wasn’t going to be able to handle it. I didn’t want to get anyone worried or stressed.”
“Kurt.” Burt held up a hand, “It’s okay, kiddo.” He gave him a small, sober smile, “You know what you’re doing. I don’t agree with it, but you’ve always been smarter than me. I trust you to know what’s best.” He nodded.
“I’m sorry.” Sebastian said as soon as he opened the door, and Kurt knew he’d been crying. He could see the lines on his face and the redness in his eyes. Kurt nods, and walks close enough to stroke a hand through Sebastian’s hair. “I shouldn’t have yelled.” Sebastian murmured, wrapping his arms around Kurt’s hips and resting his head against the firmness of Kurt’s stomach.
“No you were right to yell.” Kurt replied, softly, “You were right to yell because I shouldn’t have kept this from you so long. Maybe them, but not you.” He strokes Sebastian’s hair. “I was hoping it was all just fake or that it would go away.” He bent to kiss the top of Sebastian’s head. “If I ask you to leave will you?”
Sebastian looks up, trying to figure out what Kurt’s asking him, his blue eyes concerned but as he stares into Kurt’s eyes he sees the truth. Kurt is terrified. He’s terrified and he wants to fight but he knows he’s going to lose. Kurt stares back at him. Kurt’s giving him a chance, a chance to run before the sickness takes the proud, beautiful man before him and leaves a broken husk in his wake. He shook his head, hands running up to pull Kurt down for a kiss. “You can ask me to leave every day for the rest of our lives and I’ll stay.”
Kurt had changed that about Sebastian. He’d taken a man who loved to run, who was the king of hit it and quit it, and turned him into a faithful man. Kurt had taken the center of gravity that Sebastian had buried within himself, and implanted it in him. He’d become the center of his world, his everything. And that was the most terrifying part of the entire situation. Kurt had become Sebastian’s everything and now he was dying. But his words were final, his decision was final. Kurt had made him stop running, had given him something, and now Sebastian was going to hold on to Kurt as tightly as he could for as long as he could.
It’s months before anything really happens. Kurt goes as long as he can, resists the doctors requests for him to do some kind of treatment. Everyone begs him to do it, everyone except Burt. It’s Burt’s quiet, “Are you sure about this?” That makes everyone stop and remember just how well acquainted Kurt and he were with this feeling, with this disease. They stop and remember that Kurt watched Elizabeth get sicker and sicker until she died and that Burt was there to hold him and be strong and they both had long ago stopped believing in happy endings.
So people stop asking Kurt to start a treatment.
Every night, as they go to bed, Kurt asks Sebastian to leave. Every night Sebastian says no.
For his twenty first birthday, Sebastian splurges and takes Kurt to Paris, takes him to the Eiffel tower and to see the museums and the art and the fashion. Kurt spends a week lost in a beautiful city with a man that he loved and he forgot to ask Sebastian to leave. The vacation was supposed to be two weeks long, but when Sebastian wakes up to Kurt throwing up, he knows that it’s time to go home.
Kurt rests tiredly against Sebastian as they walk through the airport to the cab that was waiting, and go back to the apartment. Kurt begs Sebastian to go, tears in his eyes as he stares at the man he loves. “Go while you still can.”
“Kurt I could never go.” Sebastian replied, resting against the pillows with Kurt against his chest, “You pulled me into your gravity and now I’m stuck. I’m never going to let you go and I’m never going to not want you.”
“I wish you did.” Kurt whispered, “I wish you didn’t have to go through this with me.”
“Burt went through it with Elizabeth.” Sebastian countered.
Kurt stopped, sitting up, “My parents had been married for twelve years, they had a child. You and I are just dating, back then it had barely been a year.” Kurt stared, blue eyes into blue eyes, “You should have walked away then.”
Sebastian pulled Kurt back down against him, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Sebastian didn’t realize how much Kurt wanted him to be free, until the night that he died. He’d been tired, staring up at Sebastian, “Leave?” He’d asked, a glint of rebellion in the dull remnants of his beautiful eyes. “Please?”
“I love you.” Sebastian had whispered. “And I’m not leaving.” He’d kissed the hand he’d gripped with both of his, tears bubbling in his eyes.
And then Kurt had just died.
The family is there, surrounding his bedroom. Burt’s the first one to make a noise, a loud sob that sounds like it had been waiting all of Kurt’s illness to be released. He puts a hand over his mouth and tears fall down his face as he stares at his son. Carole has been crying for a while, and takes him out of the room, whispering to him as she does.
Finn pulls Rachel into his arms and Sebastian just sits there, gripping Kurt’s limp hand and realizing what Kurt had meant. It had taken him that long, until now, to see why Kurt wanted him to walk away. Why his dying request had been for Sebastian to leave him.
Because he was going to leave either way. Sebastian’s world crashed around him and he just stared, emotionless, blank, broken. Hospice came into move Kurt and Sebastian let them, limp in his chair. He’d ignored the wishes of the dying for his own selfish reasons, because he’d wanted to try to hold on to Kurt for as long as he could.
But there was no holding on to someone who was dying. Instead of letting go, of leaving, of doing what Kurt had begged him to do, he’d held on too tightly. He’d held on with everything he had, and it still hadn’t been enough to save his everything.
And in the end, it felt a lot like he had been dying too.