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Before Forever

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“So who’s the lucky girl?”

Sebastian turns to look at a pretty, blond girl properly invading his space. He smiles and shakes his head. “I’m sorry… What?”

She tugs suggestively on his hideous and flashy ball and chain belt that his brother made him wear for the night. Sebastian laughs and takes a sip of his drink.

“Come on tell me,” She says softly.

“Don’t waste your time, princess.” Sebastian says and tries rejoining the rest of his group. She grabs his arm and nudges him back to face her.

“Don’t be that way.” She says and pulls him down to her level and whispers against his ear seductively as she runs her hand along the front of his belt. “What does she got that I don’t?”

Sebastian smiles and pulls back just far enough to lean in like he’s going to kiss her, and then whispers an inch away from her lips. “A Penis.”

She laughs and says kinky as he tries to pull away slowly when she all of a sudden is jerked back and Sebastian is met with a crazed eyed muscle man.

“You hitting on my girl, Man?” He practically growls.

Sebastian laughs it off and steps back. “Um, no. That would be all her doing.” He says and looks at the girl who is now rubbing at her arm where she got pulled away.

“Which, I don’t really blame her for trying to get away from you after seeing how you treat her. Tell me,” He says and squares his shoulders as he faces fully towards the guy. “Does it make you feel more like a man when you push her around?”

“Shut your mouth, you fucker.” The guy says getting in his face. “Robbie, stop it! I was just kidding around.” The guy turns and screams in her face.

“Shut up you BITCH” he says and raises his hand as if he’s about to hit her. Sebastian grabs his arm and pulls him back before he can.

“What is your problem dude?” Sebastian says and jerks the guy back a little.

Before the guy can say anything else, Sebastian’s brother, Ryan, steps in between them. “Whoa Whoa, let’s back up,” He says pushing Sebastian back towards their group of friends. “Look man, we don’t want any problems. We’re just here celebrating my brothers last night as a bachelor, alright,” Ryan says holding up his hands in a mock surrender to the other guy. “How about we just call it a night?”

“You better tell your bro to watch out before it’s his last night. Period.” The guy says. He turns and stalks over to the other side of the bar. Sebastian rolls his eyes. Ryan looks from the back of the receding patron and shoots Sebastian an annoyed glare who just shrugs off the hands that are holding him back. “I’m over this. I want another drink,” He mutters and Ryan claps him on his back as they approach the bar.

“So…let’s not do that anymore,” Ryan says and signals the bartender for another round of shots.

“Hey,” Sebastian says grinning at his older brother, who apart from three years of age, lighter hair, and a bit more scruff, looks very similar to him. “You should know that it’s not that easy to turn all this sexy off.” He laughs and downs the last bit of his drink before another is placed in front of him.

Ryan laughs. “Okay, I’ll remember to tell Kurt that when he asked me why he’s marrying a blue and purple blob instead of his attractive fiancé.”

They each get a few more rounds of drinks before Sebastian gets a call from one of his clients.

“Ugh, hold on. I gotta take this. This batty old lady is freaking out because I won’t be available for two weeks after tonight. “He says and rushes out of the bar before the call goes to voice mail.

“Just hurry up man we have another stop to make!” Ryan calls out before he gets out of earshot.

He finds a quiet spot on the side of the bar in an alley and answers just in time. He’s so worried trying not to sound too drunk on the phone that he’s not paying attention enough to hear the guy from his almost bar fight earlier come up behind him.

“Don’t worry Glenda, I promise you’re in good hands with Cedric… No he won’t swindle you,” Sebastian says forcing a laugh. He really just wants to get her off the phone.

“I promise. Thank you, I’ll make sure Kurt knows. Okay, bye.” Sebastian hangs up the phone and before he can even pocket it the guy grabs his arm and turns him around forcibly and punches him in the gut.

Pain like he’s never experienced before rushes through Sebastian’s body. Something’s not right. The guy backs him up against the wall and breathes against his ear. “Congratulations on your last night… alive.” He says and pulls his hand back and Sebastian sees it -- the bloody knife that just ripped through his gut.

He looks down at his blood drenched shirt and moves his hands to cover the spot. He has to stop the bleeding. So much blood. He hears a muffled shout and the guy releases him and Sebastian starts to slide down the wall. The dark alley way is starting to get a bit dimmer. There's more yelling and then hands are on him. Shaking him and calling out his name.

He looks blearily at the face in front of him. He can’t make out the features all that well but he hopes it’s somehow the one person he’d want to spend his last breaths with.

“Kurt...” He says before his world fades to black.

_________

“Did you see his face?!” Rachel shrieks and then falls into a fit of laughter.

“No Rachel, I was too busy staring at his ass!” He says and laughs as she cackles harder against him. “Ewe!”

“IT WAS A STRIP CLUB!” he laughs. “What did you expect?”

“I didn’t expect for you to want to stay!” Kurt just shrugs and wraps his arm around her shoulders.

“I can’t believe I’m getting married tomorrow.” He says after a few minutes.

“I know. How terrifying.”

“Absolutely.”

They laugh for a few seconds and then she pokes him in the side to get his attention. “Don’t worry. You and Sebastian are perfect for each other.”

He smiles and leans in to kiss her forehead. “Never thought I’d hear you say that.”

She laughs, “Yeah, well I never thought I’d say it.”

“Alright my dear Best Woman,” he pauses to let her preen at the title then laughs a bit and continues. “What’s next on our fun night of debauchery?”

Rachel claps excitedly. “Let me just call the others to make sure everything is set up.”

Kurt looks out the window letting the buzz of the alcohol he drank at the club numb his senses.

“Hmm that’s weird.” Rachel says and he looks over and sees her frowning at her phone.

“What’s up?” Kurt asks.

She puts on a smile and shakes her head. “Nothing to worry about. You just get ready for a fun night.”

Kurt smiles and looks back out the window.

A few minutes later they pull up to a bakery that they all go to frequently.

Kurt is shocked for a second and looks at Rachel after they get out of the car. “What is this?”

“Chelsea owed me a favor… and she loves you and Bas, so they offered the space for the night.” she says with a shrug and starts to walk towards the building.

Kurt can see a few people are already inside and when they open the door he’s greeted with the familiar faces he just spent the last hour with. He laughs and accepts a glass of champagne that Sam gives him. He turns to Rachel to ask a question, but she’s off in the corner on the phone and pacing.

He joins the rest of his friends and gets to his second glass of champagne before Rachel's phone rings. She rolls her eyes and picks up. “It’s about time. I’ve called you and Jesse like thirteen times. Where are… What?” She says and the room seems to go silent all of a sudden at the tone of her voice. She looks at Kurt and there are tears forming in her eyes.

“Oh my god. Is he okay? “She whispers. Kurt can hear someone speaking frantically on the other line. Rachel puts her hand over her mouth and nods her head. She’s crying now and Kurt can feel goose bumps start to rise on his arms.

“We’ll be right there.” Rachel says and hangs up the phone. She grabs Kurt’s hand and he feels like his throat is closing up.

“What is it?” He chokes out.

“Sebastian...” She says on a sob and Kurt feels nothing.

***

Everyone is in town for the wedding anyway, so within 15 minutes of them getting to the hospital everyone is crowding the waiting room. Kurt doesn’t say anything to anyone. He doesn’t cry because this is not happening. This is a sick joke and he is just going along for the ride. He’s waiting for his soon to be mother-in-law, who hates him, he’s convinced more now than ever, to turn around and shut off the water works she is currently displaying and yell, “Surprise, bitch!” Then he’ll have just one more reason to hate her for putting him through this.

The blood on Ryan’s shirt is fake. He’s a really good actor, so the pacing around the room is just for show. Of course, it has to be.

He’s even convinced himself that they got Rachel and Burt in on the sham.

It’s not until the doctor comes out grim-faced and tells them all that they are in for a long night that it finally starts to sink in. He starts to zone out and only catches a few words like surgery, and lower intestines removal, and infection.

Everyone thinks Sebastian’s going to die. His family, Kurt’s family, and even Kurt after a while.

The infection turns out to be the biggest problem. The doctor tells a bleary eyed Kurt the next morning. He has had less than an hour of sleep, he’s a little bit hung over and he’s supposed to be getting married in 7 hours. The doctor says Sebastian has something called Peritonitis, and Kurt hasn’t even had coffee yet and he can’t do this.

He leans against the wall and takes a few steadying breaths. His whole body feels numb with the stress of it all and everything seems a bit distant. Muffled.

He hears the doctor ask him a question, or maybe that was his dad? But he just holds up a hand and says something along the lines of, “Give me a second.” He can’t be sure.

He has to be strong for Sebastian. He is Kurt Elizabeth Hummel soon to me Hummel-Smythe. He’s strong enough for anything.

“Okay.” He says after a few minutes. He pushes himself away from the wall and turns to the doctor waiting patiently. “What's next?”

They keep Sebastian in a medicated state to assist in fighting off the infection and Kurt doesn’t leave his side. Well once, when Ryan and Burt physically remove him and force him to shower and sleep for a few hours in his own bed.

Of course the one time he’s gone, is the one time Sebastian’s mother is not. She gives him shit for not being there when the doctor came by and won’t tell him what he said.

Kurt is annoyed and grouchy from his nap and has lost patience for playing nice little son-in-law about 3 days ago.

“Melinda,” he says as he fixes the bed sheets to fit more snugly around Sebastian. “Tell me what the doctor said, or stop talking to me at all.” He says as he takes a seat next to Sebastian. His regular seat closest to his bed is currently being occupied by his troll-in-law.

“You can’t speak to me like that, I’m his mother.” Melinda says in a huff.

Kurt rolls his eyes and leans forward to grab Sebastian's hand, half-hopeful that he’ll squeeze back.

“And I’m his husband.” He lets his thumb rub over the soft skin of Sebastian’s palm. He’s really tired of fighting. All he wants to do is sit here and look at Sebastian in peace and quiet.

“No, you’re not.” Melinda says and Kurt’s eyes shoot in her direction. “Not yet you aren’t,” she says and she can tell she just struck a nerve. Kurt can practically see her chest inflating with pride. “Which means, as his next of kin, we make the medical decisions for him. “

Kurt’s blood runs cold. He stands to his feet and grips the side of the bed as he leans towards Melinda.

“What. Did. The. Doctor. Tell. You.” He says through gritted teeth.

She crosses her arms and looks at him defiantly. Kurt feels like he’s one step away from setting her on fire when his dad walks in and saves the day. Burt takes one look at the situation and wraps an arm around Kurt’s shoulders and pulls him into a side hug and then out of the hospital room.

Kurt doesn’t even say anything at first, he feels himself shaking. Burt just puts a steadying hand on each of his shoulders and nudges him a little to get his attention. Burt takes an exaggerated deep breath in, and out of habit Kurt does the same thing. The two of them stand in silence for a few minutes trying to pull back from the edge of his break.

When Kurt can finally see straight he just shakes his head and tries not to cry. “She’s not worth my tears.” He mutters and then sighs.

“I know she’s difficult, son.” Kurt scoffs. “But whether you like it or not she’s family now.”

Kurt runs his hands through his hair, “Yeah, well someone should remind her of that since she seems to have no problem reminding me of the wedding that didn’t happen.” His voice breaks on the last part of the sentence and he takes another deep breath. Then he panics again.

“Oh god, I have to call the caterers and the band,” Kurt said looking at his dad frantically. “We have to—“

“You have to calm down and be here for Sebastian,” His dad wraps him into another hug and squeezes tightly. “Rachel and Jesse are taking care of everything.”

Kurt lets himself relax a little into his fathers embrace, and hey stay like that until he can go back inside the room.

Kurt doesn’t completely lose it until he hears Melinda making funeral arrangements. He’s just got done talking to the doctor about the grim chances of Sebastian slow recovery, but it was by no means acquiescence to sign a death certificate.

“What are you guys talking about?” Kurt asks shortly as he walks into the room. Melinda looks up from a pamphlet and shakes her head. “Oh Kurt, we didn’t want you to have to be around for this.”

Kurt crosses his arms and looks at them. “For what?”

Melinda starts to put away the papers and puts them in her purse. “Just preparing for…” She trails off.
There’s a beat of silence before Kurt cracks.

“I want you to leave.” Kurt says as evenly as he can manage.

“Excuse me?” Melinda says standing up from her chair.

“All you've been doing since we’ve been here is spewing out your negativity and it is suffocating me and I want you to leave,” Kurt says and he can feel tears starting to fall down his cheeks.

“How dare you talk--”

“Just … GET OUT!” He screams and puts his hands over his ears. He feels like his heart is about to beat out of his chest and he can’t breathe.

Someone is rubbing a hand on his back and he opens his eyes when his hands are pulled from his ears. He looks down at Rachel who has tears in her eyes and he lets himself be pulled into a tight hug briefly before he pulls away and walks over to Sebastian’s bed.

Kurt sits in the chair closest to Sebastian's bed and grabs his hand. He squeezes it tightly. “Baby, please.” He says and leans his head against Sebastian’s hand. He never realized how cold they had gotten. “Oh god, please.” He sobs. “Sebastian, please just wake up. Don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.”

Kurt hears the scrape of a chair against the floor and then feels Rachel rest her head against his arm. She holds him while he cries. She doesn’t tell him everything will be okay.

The next day the doctor tells them to prepare for the worst.

Leave it to Sebastian to be stubborn enough to choose this moment to prove everyone wrong. Hours after Kurt has to call his Dad and acknowledge that his fiancé could very well not wake up, Sebastian’s fever finally breaks. The road to recovery is fairly rapid after that.

It’s within hours that Sebastian wakes up and he looks around blearily at the group of doctors and nurses who have come to see the semi-medical miracle. He blinks confusedly a few times when the doctor closest to him tries to ask him a few questions. On instinct Kurt moves closer to the inner ring of people and Sebastian's eyes zero in on him, he’s trying to smile in hopes that he won’t start crying again.

“Hi,” Kurt says when he makes his way past the group of medical professionals.

“Hi…”Sebastian croaks and then stares at him. “Why do you look like shit?”

“You bastard,” Kurt laughs and leans down to kiss him. “It’s a long story.” he whispers and kisses him again. “I promise to tell you later.” He stands back up and runs a hand through Sebastian’s hair. “After we let these nice people in the white coats check you out. Okay?” He starts to move away and Sebastian grabs his wrist and he looks scared. Kurt rubs his arms soothingly “I’ll be right there in the corner. I promise.”

“I love you,” Sebastian whispers and his eyes are shining with unshed tears.

“I love you more,” Kurt says and leans down to kiss him again.

The doctor clears the crowd of people to check Sebastian over and marvels at the rapid recovery. “We’d thought we’d lost you there a day ago champ,” he says as he writes something down on his clipboard.

“Couldn’t leave this one behind, could I?” He says and looks over at Kurt who makes his way over to the bed and runs his hand through Sebastian’s hair again. He turns his head into the touch and closes his eyes. Seeing him so responsive makes Kurt choke up and he leans down to kiss his forehead to cover up the rush of emotions. Of course he’s not fooling anyone; Sebastian brings one of his hands to rest on the back of Kurt's neck.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Sebastian mumbles and Kurt smiles. He pulls back and looks at Sebastian who moves his hand to wipe a tear from Kurt’s face.

“You better not,” Kurt says and then kisses him.

Over the course of the next few hours his family comes to see him and Kurt is by his side for the most part-- except for a two hour period when his mom refuses to stop talking to him. Only when the doctors come in and says Sebastian needs rest does she leave and Kurt resumes his spot next to Sebastian. He cards his hand through Sebastian’s hair until he falls asleep.

***
Sebastian slowly, very slowly, starts to get his strength back. He seems to have lost a lot of weight in the week he’s been out, but he’s in good spirits in spite of it all. And much to Kurt’s annoyance he seems to be doing great with all of the attention he's getting from his mother.

As the doctors start to wean him off of the heavier pain killers, there’s lots of talk about physical therapy, and pain management, and diet change that has Kurt dizzy with confusion and concern.

He’s discharged about a week later with instructions to take it easy, no heavy lifting, no excessive movements, and a strict diet.

This works out well for the first week. Things are starting to look up and Kurt goes back to work. He checks in on Sebastian every hour even though Sebastian pretends to be annoyed, he always picks up on the first ring like he’s waiting for it.

A few days into Kurt’s second week back at work, Kurt finds himself swamped in meetings and doesn’t have a second of alone time. It’s hands down the most exhausting days since he’s been back to work and all he wants to do is go home and curl up on the couch with Sebastian. He stops by Natural Grocery to pick out a semi-tasty, if not altogether cardboard like, excuse for dessert that he and Sebastian have settled on liking.

His mind is still kind of at work when he gets to his apartment and has to do a double take when he sees the flashing lights of the ambulance in front of his building. His heart sinks as he runs across the street to the front of their building. He doesn’t even stop for the elevator, he just runs up to the 8th floor and feels like his world is falling apart as he sees the door of his apartment wide open.

“No.” He says and rushes towards the door.

He drops everything in his hands once he’s inside.

“Sebastian!” He calls out. “Sebastian!” He looks around frantically and pushes past a few medics and see’s one hovered over Sebastian, who is resting in the lap of his mother, checking his vitals and holding an oxygen mask to his face.

“Bas, oh my god.” He says weakly and kneels down next to him. “Sweetie, what happened?” He asks and grabs his hand. Sebastian grips his tightly and Kurt can be thankful for that if nothing else.

“He probably would be unconscious still if I hadn’t come to check on him. He could be dead!” Melinda says; her voice wobbles dramatically.

Kurt ignores her.

“Bas,” he says “Are you okay?”

Sebastian nods weakly. “I’m fine,” he says but it’s muffled because of the oxygen mask. “Got bored,” he takes a deep breath. “Tried to do a,” he takes another breath and winces a little. “Bit of rearranging.”

Kurt doesn’t think it’s the whole truth.

“You’re an--”

“Adorable,” Sebastian cuts him off and then takes another breath. “Idiot.”

Kurt is almost not mad at him.

They eventually take him to the hospital because they’re afraid he might have internal bleeding from ripping a stitch or something and Kurt has to ride in a separate car because Melinda refuses to leave Sebastian’s side.

Kurt seethes the entire way, but he can’t help but laugh when he overhears one of the medics say that his mother-in-law is an outright ray of fucking sunshine.

Sebastian is fine albeit stupid. That’s what he tells Rachel when he’s venting on the phone to her the next evening while Sebastian is resting. “His recovery time is basically backed to square one,” Kurt says and cleans around the kitchen, a nervous habit. “I just don’t know what he was thinking.” Kurt throws a dish towel in the sink and sighs. “God, Rach. When I saw those trucks in front of the building… fuck.” He can’t help the tears that fall. “Rachel I thought he was dead.”

He leans against the counter and puts his head in his hand as he listens to Rachel. “I know… I know.” He wipes his face. “I’m just so scared.”

Something in the corner of his eye catches his attention and he looks up to see light coming from the hall. “Rachel I have to go… I’ll call you back… yeah love you too.”

He puts the phone down and walks toward the light in the hallway. “Bas?” He says and then sees him leaning against the wall towards the end of the hallway. Kurt rushes over to him.

“What are you doing?”

“I just wanted you to come to bed,” Sebastian says in between deep breaths. “Then I started walking and regretted all my life choices.”

“Yeah tell me about it.” Kurt mutters as he helps him back into their bedroom. Kurt sighs heavily once he’s got Sebastian back in bed. “Just…” He pauses and points to the bed, “Stay there. I’ll be right back.”

He walks into the bathroom and closes the door a bit more forceful than normal. He lets himself lean against the door and he takes a deep, calming breath.

“What. The. Hell.” He says and bangs his head softly against the door. “You can do this, Hummel.”

As he starts his nightly skincare routine he can hear Sebastian talking presumably on the phone, but when Kurt comes out of the bathroom ten minutes later Sebastian is already asleep.

***

The next morning Sebastian sits at the kitchen table while Kurt gets ready for work. He’s peeling an orange while Kurt pours a cup of coffee. Kurt leans against the counter and watches him silently.

“I’m only going in for half a day,” He says and Sebastian nods stiffly, not looking up at him. “I just need to pick up a few files.” He says and takes a sip of his coffee.

Sebastian takes the first bite of his orange, “’Kay...”

Kurt grips his cup a little harder and exhales heavily. “Okay.” He says and puts his cup down. A bit of it sloshes out of the mug when it hits the counter. “I’ll see you in a few hours.” He says and grabs his keys and wallet.

“Do me a favor,” He says as he walks out of the kitchen. “If you get the urge to Feng Shui the apartment… Don't.” He says and walks out of the apartment.

When he gets home 4 hours later he walks into the apartment to the shrill laugh of his mother-in-law. He throws himself against the door in shock. “No!” he breathes out and slides down the door. He puts his head against his knees. “Why? Why? Why?” He says slamming his head against his leg.

“Kurt did you come in?” Melinda calls out and he stands up quickly.

“Yep! Dropped my, ummm keys.”

Kurt walks into the living room and see’s Melinda and Sebastian sitting around with a magazine. Kurt sits down on the coffee table in front of Sebastian. There’s silence for a few moments after he does and he claps his hands together.

“Soooo,” He says, looking between the two of them. “Whatcha guys doing?” He asks in a sing-song voice.

“Umm…”Sebastian says, “We’ve just been hanging out.”

“Well Bas, has been resting a lot of the day,” Kurt looks at Sebastian and winks. “But then I came over to help Bas pack.”

Kurt freezes and then slowly turns to Melinda to ask, “I’m sorry, what?”

“Kurt, me and mom just thought that maybe I should umm… maybe stay with them for while… to you know, help out with … rehab and therapy.”

Kurt looks between the two of them and then starts laughing. “This is a joke, right?”

Melinda crosses her arms and Sebastian looks down at his hands. “Are you crazy?” Kurt snaps suddenly at Sebastian. He looks over at Melinda, “He’s not going.”

“He’ll be much safer if there is someone around to take care of him,” Melinda says and reaches out to pat Sebastian’s leg.

“We can hire nurses for that,” Kurt deadpans.

“Why pay for that when you have me and his father? Honestly Kurt be sensible.”

Kurt wants to throttle her.

“Sebastian,” he says and looks at him expectantly. Sebastian gives him what is supposed to be a reassuring smile and Kurt wants to punch him too. He opens his mouth to say so when Sebastian rushes to put his hand up and stop him.

“Okay, okay, okay. I know this is a lot to take in, but Kurt I think this will be good for me.”

“You’re both insane,” Kurt says and puts his head in his hands. “I mean how do you expect this to work, Sebastian? Am I supposed to just let you go by yourself? See you only on the weekends? I mean we don’t exactly have the savings we used to, since the wedding that we didn’t have, so a flight to Ohio every weekend doesn’t seem possible.”

“Whoa, babe! No, I’m not going to Westerville. We’re going to Sag Harbor; to my grandparents’ old house.”

Kurt stares at him. “The Hamptons...you’re going to the Hamptons?” The unsaid for fucks sake is heavily implied.

“We. Both of us can go. The commute won't be too bad.”

“It’s two hours away!”

“Dammit Kurt! Westerville is like 10, so take your fucking pick!”

“Here’s a pick for you, how about you don’t go anywhere and learn to follow orders without needing a babysitter!”

They both just kind of stare at each other before Sebastian sits back in his chair and crosses his arms. “Fine, don’t come. But I’m going.”

Kurt shakes his head and stands up to leave. “Where are you going?” Sebastian asks.

“Back to work… You obviously don’t need me.”

Kurt closes the front door on Sebastian trying to call him back.

When he gets back home that night, Sebastian is waiting there with his bags still packed but Melinda is gone.

Kurt sits on the arm of the couch and sighs. “Where’s your mom?”

“She took the train back,” he says and looks up and smiles at Kurt. “Only an hour and forty minutes.”

“On Fridays,” Kurt counters.

Sebastian sighs and struggles to his feet. Kurt wants to help him up but knows Sebastian’s pride took enough of a hit this week.

Sebastian walks to stand in front of him and puts his hands on Kurt’s thighs. He takes a deep breath before he says “I shouldn’t have done what I did yesterday. I know that.” He clears his throat. “But I’m not going to lie. It scared the shit out of me being in so much pain and being alone, and being so… helpless Kurt.” He looks down and Kurt grabs one of his hands and brings it to his lips to kiss it.

“I know… but Sebastian--”

Sebastian shakes his head and cuts him off.

“I know what you’re going to say. But I do need her and I need my dad… I don’t want some random nurse poking and prodding at me I just…” He takes a deep breath. “I know this is a lot to ask. Please … Please come with me.”

They look at each other for a long time before Kurt leans in and rests his head against Sebastian’s chest.

“Okay.” He says quietly.

Sebastian wraps his arms around him and says, “I love you.”

Kurt laughs and then groans tiredly. “You better”

Sebastian laughs and kisses the top of his head and pulls back. “I know.”

***
Kurt can admit that Sag Harbor is probably the best place for Sebastian. Everything about the city is just so calming especially in the offseason.

Kurt can visibly see the change being around his family is having on Sebastian. After his setback, he’d been dejected and self-conscious. Now he’s slowly starting to get to see glimpses of the old Sebastian.

He’s still weak, so rehab goes slow but Sebastian tells Kurt about the walks he and his dad take near the marina or in Mashashimuet Park. He gets a little lost in the retelling of them as Sebastian talks with such enthusiasm; smile a mile wide. He complains that they’re too short and before he can get down a depressed train of thought Kurt steps in close and kisses him softly.

“You’ll get there babe,” Kurt tells him and Sebastian just hums along.

There’s a constant struggle to get Sebastian to stick to the diet plan that his doctor set for him. He’d love to blame Melinda for this but he’s watched her cook and prepare the special meals for Sebastian.

He figures the culprit might be Eric, Sebastian's father, when he hovers around their room looking guilty at the bathroom door one day.

Kurt squints his eyes at him and nods. “He'll be fine… but I’m starting to see why Sebastian likes going on walks with you so much.”

Eric reddens, then shakes his head and turns to leave muttering something about his innocence and insistent park vendors. Kurt smiles despite it all.

Kurt will begrudgingly admit that he likes being in the Hamptons if only for the look of peace on Sebastian's face when they set out on the back porch swing at night after dinner.

“You look happy,” He says and Sebastian turns to look at him and grips Kurt tighter around the waist.

“What’s not to be happy about?” he says and then leans in to kiss Kurt. “I got all I need in the world here my arms.”

Kurt laughs a little and kisses him again. “What a cheeseball.”

“Hey, you fell for it,” Sebastian says looking back out at the view.

Kurt smiles and rests his head on Sebastian's shoulder. “Yeah, I guess I did.”

*

The commute is probably the worst thing about it all. The trains out of Sag Harbor only run at certain times, so he’s either getting to work really early or really late most days. Luckily his boss gave him new work hours, but with it came restrictions on his duties. Some of his projects get taken away from him because he won't have time to commit.

“I mean, are you kidding me?!” Kurt says to Sebastian in the Kitchen one day after he’s gotten home. He’s filling the tea kettle up with water at the sink. “God, I know Leslie thinks she’s helping me but what the hell was she thinking? I’ve been working on the Target account for 6 months! And she just gave it to Karen without even blinking twice. Fucking Karen? And I’ve been put on boutique outreach, ugh. Ugh!” He finishes and slams a tea kettle on top of the stove.

Sebastian doesn’t say anything and when Kurt looks over he’s holding his head in his hands.

Kurt walks over to him and runs a hand through his hair and smiles softly when Sebastian looks up.

“Hey. You feel okay?” He asks.

When Sebastian talks his voice is hoarse with strain. He’s clearly trying not to cry.

“I just… this is all my fault.” He says and waves his hand at Kurt.

“What,” Kurt says incredulously, “Bas no it’s not.”

“Yes it is.”

“Sebastian.”

“Kurt.” He snaps and pulls back away from Kurt's touch. “It is. If I hadn’t have been an idiot and tried to move the sofa I’d be in better shape and probably be able to go to work. Instead, I’m here in my parents’ house forcing you to commute 20 hours a week and it’s all because of me! You’re miserable because of me!”

“Sebastian--”

“All because I’m the asshole who pissed off the one guy who wouldn’t take my shit. Congratulations you’re engaged to a moron.” Sebastian says and his hands are shaking a little bit when he runs them through his hair.

He starts to stand, but Kurt puts a hand on his shoulder and pushes him back down. He sits in the chair next to his and rubs a hand down to the small of his back.

“Look at me,” He says softly and rubs slow circles in his back until Sebastian’s turns to look at him. “This is not your fault, okay. I’m just complaining because it’s Karen. We hate her remember.” He says trying to get Sebastian to laugh. “Anyone else I’d be fine with... I just had a bad day and I was venting and I’m so, so sorry I didn't mean to make you feel bad.” Kurt says and leans his head against Sebastian’s.

After a moment Kurt leans in for a quick kiss. “I’m sorry.” He says again quietly.

Sebastian is silent for a second and then stands up. “Maybe you should live at the apartment during the week.”

“What, Sebastian no, it’s fine--”

“You’ve sacrificed enough because of me. You shouldn’t be giving up everything else too,” Sebastian says and turns to leave but Kurt grabs his arm to stop him.

“Kurt, I’m tired please just let it go,” Sebastian says in a heavy exhale.

Kurt lets him go. There are a few moments of silence before he moves to stand. He turns and sees Melinda standing in the other doorway.

“Oh my god!” he says and jumps back a little bit. “Jesus Mel, you scared the crap out of me.”

“You’re being selfish you know,” she says ignoring his comment.

He’s so thrown off at seeing Melinda unexpectedly that it takes a minute for him to register what she said.

“Excuse me?”

“You think you’ve had a rough day, and you come in here and complain about your fancy job,” she says and walks over to the kettle as it starts to whistle on the stove. “Did you even ask Sebastian how his therapy went today? Huh? No, because if you did you’d know the last thing he needed was for you to unload all of your stress onto him.”

She pours the hot water on the tea bag Kurt had gotten for himself and then walks over to him and place the mug in front of him. Kurt’s not sure she’s not going to throw it in his face.

“Sebastian might pretend to look strong but he still needs comfort and support from all of us. You should be ashamed of yourself … he needs yours the most. “

Kurt doesn’t even say anything because she’s right.

Melinda spins the mug on the counter slowly and says “If you’re not going to be the man Sebastian needs you to be, you’re not going to be in his life at all. I’ll make sure of it.”

Kurt swallows hard.” Are you threatening me?” he asks.

She smiles softly. “Of course not, sweetie.” They glare at each other for a few silent minutes before Melinda says. “I’ll prepare the guest room down the hall for you tonight, hun. Bas needs some rest,” and leaves him alone with his tea.

The next morning, Sebastian wakes up when Kurt comes into their room to get ready for his morning commute.

“Where were you last night,” Sebastian asks on a yawn.

“Slept in the guest room.” He does not say it was Melinda’s idea.

“I’m sorry about yesterday,” Sebastian says after a few seconds.

Kurt sighs and puts down the two shirts he was looking at before he answers. “It’s not your fault, Bas. I was just in a bad mood and--”

“Kurt, It really wasn’t you … I was just moody and in pain and I wasn’t being a supportive partner. I know how hard you worked on that account and you’re right… Karen. Yeesh.”

Kurt laughs a little and walks over to him. He sits next to Sebastian and wraps his arms around his shoulders. He leans in to kiss him and Sebastian sighs into it. Kurt can practically feel the stress seeping out of him.

“I’m sorry I didn’t ask you about how you were doing before I went into my work rage,” He says and lifts one hand to run through Sebastian's hair. “It was very….,” deep breath Kurt… “Selfish of me. “ He says dramatically.

“Nah, I’m used to it,” Sebastian says and smirks.

“Hey!” Kurt says and hits him playfully on his arm. His smile fades a little bit and he puts a hand on Sebastian’s cheek. “You can’t keep pushing me away though when we go through things like this, okay? I’m in this for the long haul. You have to be too.”

Sebastian nods. “I know, and I am. I promise. I’m sorry.”

Kurt smiles. “I love you.”

Sebastian smiles and kisses him again. “I love you too,” he says against his lips. He pushes Kurt back on the bed and hovers over him before leaning in for another kiss. Kurt laughs a little into it.

If he’s a little late this morning no one will notice.

***

Kurt makes an effort to be more supportive and consciously less selfish around Sebastian and his mother, much to Melinda’s disappointment.

He comes home early some days to be with Sebastian during his physical therapy and he tries not to complain as much about work even though it is starting to take a toll on him.

And Melinda doesn’t miss a beat. The first chance she gets to make a comment about one of the pieces Kurt’s working on, she takes it and Kurt feels like he’s going to lose it.

“She didn’t mean it like that,” Sebastian says later that night in their room.

“Oh, of course not, Bas,” Kurt says mockingly. “I’m sorry I misunderstood her outright admission of my poorly put together samples as a negative comment. You’re right, I’m mistaken again when it comes to Saint Melinda.” Kurt says and squirts way too much of his face wash into his hand.

“She was just trying to be helpful!”

Kurt sighs. “Sebastian, please. I don’t really want to hear you defend your mother for something rude again, so let’s just drop it.” He says and starts to wash his face.

“She’s just like me, or I’m just like her … Whatever. Point is we are practically the same person.”

“Yeah, well if you remember, I didn’t care for you all that much either at first. “

“Was it my winning charm that won you over,” Sebastian says and walks into the bathroom.

“Oh yeah,” Kurt deadpans.

“Or was it my giant horse co--”

“Bas, stop talking.”

“It was!” Sebastian says excitedly and wraps his arm around Kurt's waist. “I knew it.”

Kurt can’t help but laugh even if he’s still a little pissed.

“Come on say it.”

“No,” Kurt says and reaches for a towel to wipe his face.

“Say it!” Sebastian says and grabs the towel before Kurt can and holds it out of reach. “You know it was a ... big... part of it.”

“Oh my god, fine. That and copious amounts of alcohol. Now give me the goddamn towel.” He says and Sebastian wipes Kurt’s face with it forcefully but playfully.

“I’ll take it!”

Kurt laughs and leans the back of his head against Sebastian’s chest. They stay like that for a few minutes just enjoying being in each other’s arms.

“I love you,” Kurt says.

“I love you too,” Sebastian says and kisses the side of Kurt’s neck.

“I’m sorry your mother is awful.”

“Kurt.”

“Okay fine. I’m sorry your mother can’t handle my brilliance,” He says and reaches for his moisturizer.

“I’ll take it,” Sebastian says again and pats Kurt on the side before he walks out of the bathroom.

They are silent for a little bit while Kurt finishes his moisturizing routine and then starts to get his things ready for work.

“Hey Kurt?” Sebastian calls out from the bed.

“Hmmm?” Kurt says distracted at three different belt options.

“We haven’t had sex since… the accident.”

“Okay…” Kurt says. Then he pauses and looks over at Sebastian. “Wait, what?”

“We haven’t had sex--”

“No... I heard you. What are you talking about?”

“What do you mean what am I talking about?” Sebastian asks impatiently. “Have you stuck it in me or vice versa without me knowing? Because otherwise, I’m solidly convinced what I just said made sense.” Sebastian says clearly annoyed.

“Bas… I’m not really in the mood for this right now.” Kurt sighs and looks back at his belts. “Where is this even coming from? I mean, do you want to do it now?”

Sebastian rolls his eyes and shakes his head. “No. Not really?”

“Then babe, its fine. I promise. I’m good.”

“But we haven’t done it in a long time and you just said that my …,” Sebastian makes a gesture at his lower half, “you know, was the reason...”

“Oh my god, stop,” Kurt says looking back to him. “I was just kidding.”

“But were you really?” Sebastian asks.

“Are you serious right now?” Kurt says and puts down the belts. “That was your joke!”

“I know… I just think maybe if we were a bit more physical this would all be easier for you.”

“Sebastian… Our relationship isn't just about sex. How could you even think that?” Kurt asks him a little hurt. “What do you think I’ve been doing with you for the past 2 months?”

“I just --”

“No I’m done talking about this,” Kurt cuts him off and moves back to look at his belts.

“Are you not attracted to me anymore?” Sebastian asks quietly.

“What?” Kurt asks dropping the belts to the floor.

“I mean I know I’m practically skin and bones now, but--”

“You have got to be kidding me,” Kurt says with a small laugh of hysteria. He grabs his hair and pulls. “This is not happening.”

“I mean I can do something for you,” Sebastian continues. “Like suck you off. Or som--”

“Oh I didn’t realize come was your protein for today,” Kurt snaps.

Sebastian pauses for a second and then says. “Fuck you!”

“Listen I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous,” Kurt says and reaches down to pick up the belts he dropped. “You can’t even walk up the stairs without cringing sometimes. So no, this isn’t about how you look, but I’m glad you think I’m so shallow.”

“Coming from the guy who just spent the last hour talking about himself and his work,” Sebastian says angrily.

“Oh shut up!” Kurt says and walks out of the bedroom and slams the door behind him.

That night when Kurt gets up to get a glass of water he hears the soft sounds of the piano coming from the door right of the kitchen entrance. He follows the sound out into the den and finds Sebastian playing the piano.

He hasn’t seen Sebastian play in years. Not since college probably. And he’s only played for Kurt a handful of times.

In a soft lull between arrangements Kurt knocks hesitantly on the wooden post behind him so he doesn’t startle Sebastian.

“Hey,” he says quietly.

“Hey,” Sebastian replies.

Kurt sits down next to Sebastian on the piano bench and the soft music he's playing slowly starts to transform into something familiar.

“Wise men say… Only fools rush in,” Kurt leans his head on Sebastian shoulder and hums along with him.

“Like a river flows. Something hmm the sea.” Kurt laughs and turns his head into the fabric on Sebastian’s clothes.

“Those are not the words,” Kurt whispers.

“Shut up… Some things are meant to be. So take my hand… Take my whole life too.” Sebastian smiles and turns his head to kiss Kurt on the nose before he plays the rest of the song.

Sebastian looks at him and Kurt leans in like he’s going to kiss him. Sebastian sings the last words against his lip.

 

“I can’t help. Falling. Falling in love. I keep falling in love. With. You.”

Sebastian wraps his arms around Kurt’s waist and pulls him in deeper to the kiss. Kurt sighs into it and pulls back only to lean his head on Sebastian’s chest. He lets his hands move slowly down Sebastian’s sides and rest at the small of his back.

“I can’t help it either.” he says and then looks up and smiles. “Let’s go to bed.”

Kurt starts to stand but Sebastian tightens his grip around his waist and keeps him in place.

“Uh-uh,” he says and leans in to capture Kurt’s lips again. He moves one of his hands to Kurt’s face and cups his jaw, biting down at Sebastian’s bottom lip.

“Oh god,” Kurt breathes out. Sebastian uses his other hand to steady himself as he straddles his thighs.

Sebastian hitches his hips forward and Kurt can’t stop the sudden wave of arousal. Sebastian kisses Kurt breathless and smiles at him, at his undoing.

Kurt’s heart skips a beat when Sebastian smile turns into one of his smirks and leans in to kiss him again. He damn near loses his mind when Sebastian rotates his hips on a forward thrust, Kurt moans into his mouth and wraps his arm around Sebastian’s waist, pulling him in closer.

“Ah!” Sebastian says gripping the top of the piano behind Kurt. He takes a few deep breaths and stops his movements.

Kurt notices that he’s not moving anymore and stills. “Hey…. you okay? What’s wrong?” Concern is slowly starting to register.

“Nothing, nothing.” Sebastian says hastily and surges forward to kiss him again. Kurt starts to protest but Sebastian moves one of his hands and strokes Kurt’s bulge and he moans into the kiss again.

Sebastian’s rubs him to full hardness and kisses down Kurt’s neck distractedly, he knows this is a diversion, but he can’t form the words to make Sebastian stop. He even catches the small wince when Kurt bucks up and jostles him.

“Mmmm,” Sebastian groans and tightens his grip around Kurt who groans “Oh god” at the same time.

Sebastian slides to the floor on his knees in front of Kurt and pulls down his pajama pants.

“What are you--” Kurt asks breathlessly.

Sebastian takes Kurt’s now exposed cock into his mouth.

“Oh god,” Kurt pants again, hips moving up a little. Sebastian takes a deep breath through his nose as he sinks down further. Kurt tilts his head back, letting his eyes close on a long moan, and Sebastian gets to slowly working his mouth up and down.

Kurt lets one of his hands settle on the back of Sebastian’s head and grabs a fistful of his hair as he hums around him.

“Bas, I’m about to,” He says a short time later and Sebastian hums in acknowledgement. When Kurt comes moments later he pulls off quickly, making an odd gurgling sound and spits on the floor before he starts coughing.

“Bas, shit I’m sorry,” Kurt says immediately.

Sebastian just laughs in between coughing. “No, no. It’s not you. After you said you were going to come I couldn't…. I couldn’t help but think about what you said about my diet…. and then I started laughing when you came and choked… so,” He pauses to laugh again. “I’m sorry I’m killing the mood.”

Kurt looks at him for a second and then joins in laughing.

“You are ridiculous,” he says and Sebastian walks back over and leans in for a kiss.

“Was that okay?” Sebastian asks quietly when he pulls back.

Kurt smiles and kisses him.

“Mhm. But you didn’t have to--”

“I wanted to. I love you.”

“I love you too.”
***

After that they slowly start working together and find a new balance in their life. Sebastian finally gets the hang of his new diet once Kurt agrees to do it with him. Mainly because Sebastian is really bad about recording his diet like his doctor keeps telling him. If Kurt secretly guzzles down the first large skinny latte he can find in Sag Harbor on his commute into the city, Sebastian doesn’t have to know.

Kurt starts working from Sag Harbor a few days of the week so he can be around for Sebastian’s physical therapy. Some days Kurt replaces Sebastian’s dad on walks around the pier, and Kurt makes Sebastian chase him as he jogs suggestively in front of him. On those days Sebastian’s always tired and a little sore, but Sebastian says the encouraging smile on Kurt’s face is so worth it.

Sebastian starts to put back on some of the weight he lost before and Kurt sees that he is starting to feel better about himself for it. He walks a little bit straighter, and he’s more affectionate towards Kurt. And he laughs and laughs, and teases his brother and his dad and Kurt, and it’s so wonderful Kurt feels like he’s on the constant verge of tears.

One day when Kurt is getting home Sebastian is just finishing his physical therapy. Sebastian’s face lights up when he sees Kurt, and he walks over to him as he hangs his coat up in the hallway closet.

“Hello handsome,” Kurt says and pulls at the towel draped around Sebastian’s neck.

“Hi babe,” Sebastian says and leans in to kiss him. Kurt hums a little and pats Sebastian’s chest.

“How about you hop in the shower and we go out on the town,” Kurt says and leans in again. “Oh, we can go to Espresso!” Kurt says excitedly.

Sebastian smiles and nods, “Yeah, I’d like-”

“Bas, sweetie? Go get clean! Your father wants you to help him grill tonight,” Melinda shouts from somewhere near the kitchen.

Sebastian sighs and steps back. “Actually mom, me and Kurt are going out tonight!” He calls back. Kurt smiles and moves past him to go to their room and drop his bag off when Melinda comes out into the main room.

“No, no-no. You boys can’t go out tonight. Ryan is coming over and he’s bringing that new girlfriend of his. So you go get cleaned up and then help your father.”

Kurt sighs. “It’s just … Melinda we really haven’t had...”

“No it’s okay. We can do it tomorrow night babe,” Sebastian says. He kisses the top of Kurt’s head as he walks past him into their bedroom.

Kurt purses his lips in annoyance and looks over at Melinda who just smiles and walks back into the kitchen.

Sebastian is already in the shower when Kurt walks in, so he walks into the shower and strips down silently before stepping in behind Sebastian.

When the cold air hits him, Sebastian turns around and grins when he sees Kurt. He smiles and reaches out to wrap an arm around Kurt’s waist.

Kurt smiles back and lets Sebastian pull him in close. “Mmm,” he says as he leans his head against his chest.

They stay like that for a few minutes and they let the hot water cascade over them. Sebastian runs his hands through Kurt’s hair and he looks up and smiles again, content.

“Hi,” Kurt says softly.

“Sorry we can’t go out tonight.” Kurt sighs and steps out of the embrace and in front of the spray.

“Well we could, but … its fine,” He says and reaches for a bottle of shampoo.

“Come on,” Sebastian whines, “It’ll be fun, my mom will have someone else to torture tonight. Every time Ryan brings home a new girl it’s always fun to see who will crack first. Ryan or his girlfriend.”

“Oh joy,” Kurt deadpans.

Sebastian wraps his arms around Kurt and lets one of his hands dip down and start to stroke Kurt. “Don’t be mad.” Sebastian whispers against his neck.

Kurt moans softly and turns to let Sebastian capture his lips in a kiss. “Bas,” he says and moves his hand to stop Sebastian’s movements.

Sebastian hums but resumes his movements and tries to kiss Kurt again.

“Bas,” Kurt says and pulls back and tightens his grip around Sebastian’s wrist. “Bas, stop. Wait.”
Sebastian stops and steps away.

“What’s the pro--?”

“I want to move back to the apartment,” Kurt says and turns to face him.

Sebastian laughs a little bit, then realizes that Kurt is serious and looks like he’s about to protest, but Kurt cuts in.

“Nothing’s going to change. I’ll still keep my same work schedule; I can still be there for your therapy. Nothing will change. We’ll be fine.”

Sebastian sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “Kurt --”

“Don’t you miss it, just us,” Kurt says and puts his hands at Sebastian’s waist. “Don’t you miss the city?”

“No,” Sebastian deadpans.

“Shut up, yes you do.” Kurt leans in and kisses him. “You miss your friends, and our apartment, and our bed... mmm. Our bed.” Kurt says and kisses Sebastian’s neck.

Sebastian sighs puts his hand at Kurt’s neck and pulls him back softly. “Do miss that.” He smiles softly.

“Mhm, and privacy.” Kurt says, and like on cue he can hear Melinda calling out from their bedroom. Kurt groans and pulls away to finish washing.

“Mom I’ll be out in a second--”

“I just wanted to give Kurt his phone, it keeps ringing,” Melinda says and opens the door to the bathroom. “Have you seen him?”

“What are you – Mom, get out!”

“Oh sweetie it’s nothing I haven’t seen before,” Melinda chirps on. “Oh! I meant to put a fresh bar of soap in there here let me get you one.”

Kurt gives him and alarmed looked and Sebastian sputters. “No, mom it’s fine. I have soap its fine--”

“I’ve already got it. Here.” She says and pulls back the shower curtain.

Kurt yelps and stands behind Sebastian who yells “Mom!”

“Oh, Kurt…” There’s and awkward pause. “Your phone has been ringing.”

Kurt clears his throat and waves a hand of acknowledgment from behind Sebastian.

“Mother!” Sebastian hisses and grabs the soap out of her hand, then hastily adds. “Thank you…”

After she leaves Sebastian turns back to Kurt. “Okay. Privacy.”

Soon after, when Kurt gets out of the shower he sees several missed calls from Rachel, Mercedes, Sam, and even Santana.

“Oh God,” he says and clicks through to his voicemail.

“Everything okay?” Sebastian asks as he comes out of the bathroom a few minutes later, toweling his hair dry.

Kurt deletes the last voice message and turns to look at Sebastian as he puts his phone down. “The New Direction-ers want to get together next week in Lima. Apparently some poor, unfortunate soul decided to award Will Schuester with Teacher of The Year and the old glee gang wants to go down and surprise him.”

“Hmm, maybe I should call the old Warblers and go down to the ceremony and you know… Be better,” Sebastian says with a smirk.

“Shut up,” Kurt laughs and starts to put on the rest of his clothes. “I think I might go.” He says and throws a look to Sebastian who is putting on that blue shirt that Kurt likes.

“Yeah?” Sebastian asks distractedly as he rummages through the drawers for some pants.

“Yeah,” Kurt says as he rolls up the sleeves of his shirt to mid length, “That way you can have a whole weekend to break it to your mom that we’re moving back to our apartment.” Kurt says and waits.

“I’m sure you and your New Tone Deaf-rections pals will have a blast… wait what?”

“Really? Tone deaf-rections? Not your best.”

“I’m telling my mom what?” Sebastian says ignoring Kurt’s comment.

“That we are moving back to the city, back to our apartment,” Kurt says and crosses his arms.
Sebastian looks like he wants to argue and opens his mouth a few times to say something but then just sighs and rolls his eyes.

“Fine! I’ll tell her while you’re gone,” Sebastian says and reaches to grab a pair of pants.

Kurt smiles and walks over and kisses Sebastian on the cheek. “Thank you.”

***

It’s a bit nerve wrecking being away from Sebastian for an extended period of time. The separation anxiety claws away at his sanity as he gets further and further away from Sebastian. He and Rachel are waiting for their cab to come and pick them up from the airport and he can’t seem to stop himself from looking for him over his shoulder or instinctively reaching out for his attention when he wants to show him something.

He had almost convinced himself not to come to Lima; worried that something would happen to Sebastian while he was gone. He was well on his way to a full blown freak out before Sebastian grabbed him by the waist and pulled him in close.

“It’s going to be fine. Go.” He says. “Have fun. Be merry and annoying with your weird little friends.” Kurt scowls at him and starts to pull away. Sebastian tightens his grip around Kurt's waist and leans in to kiss his temple. “I’m kidding. But you deserve this. And I know your Dad and Carole want to see you. Plus, it’s only three days”

“You can come with me,” Kurt says on a shaky exhale.

“Then who’s going to tell my mother you’re stealing me away again?”

Rachel grabs Kurt’s hand and squeezes it tightly, bringing him out of his trance. “He’s going to be fine. I promise.”

He nods and lets her be the distraction he needs.

***

“I miss you,” Kurt says quietly into the phone the morning before he is supposed to return to New York. He’s sketching in a notebook in the peaceful quietness of his parent’s kitchen.

“I miss you too. My mom has no one but me to take her frustration out on,” Sebastian’s voice rings out from the speaker phone. “I‘m starting to see what you’re always going on about.”

“Good,” Kurt says softly, a smile playing on his lips.

Kurt looks up when he hears a muffled groan and looks up to see his dad yawning in the doorway. Good Morning he mouths and gets a sleepy smile in return. Kurt motions for him to sit down and stands to fix Burt a cup of coffee.

“How did your doctor’s appointment go?” Kurt asks a little louder as he steps further away from the phone.

“It went fine. I passed with flying colors,” Sebastian says; smirk evident in his voice. Kurt rolls his eyes as he turns to sit a mug of coffee in front of his dad. “And he’s impressed with my diet plan’s results. Gonna use it on some of his other patients.” Sebastian says and Kurt smiles as he takes a sip of his coffee. “I didn’t tell him I called it the blowjob diet.”

Kurt and his Dad both choke on their coffee.

“Bas,” he rasps out, shocked.

“And then I ask him about sex because I’ve been getting horny lately,” Sebastian continues, oblivious. “I wasn’t sure if that was my bodies way of telling me that it’s good to go or if you in those green briefs just do that to me.”

In his haste to get to his phone to take it off speaker phone he knocks over his cup and has to grab a towel before the coffee spreads.

“But then he was like as long as it’s nothing to fancy, you two can resume your normal coupling. Which was weird coming out of his mouth but whatever.” Sebastian says. “When you get back, we’re going to do it on every surface of this house. Like every position imaginable. Like that one time we did in your room in Lim—“

Kurt finally has a chance to grab the phone and take it off speaker phone. He’s pretty sure his face is an awful shade of red as he cradles his phone to his chest.

“I’m going to take this ... not here,” Kurt says, voice coming out a little higher than he intended it to.

“Yeah … you do that kiddo,” Burt says amused

“Okay.” He says and practically runs out of the room.

“Kurt? Kurt… Are you there?” Sebastian's voice comes teeny out of the receiver.

“Oh my God,” Kurt groans into the phone once he’s reached a safe distance away from the kitchen.

“What's wrong?” Sebastian asks concerned.

“I had you on speaker phone my dad heard everything you said,” Kurt says sinking helplessly into the chair in the den down the hall.

There is silence on the other end of the line and then Sebastian starts laughing.

“It’s not funny!” Kurt says indignantly.

Sebastian is still laughing three minutes later when Kurt gives up trying to talk to him and hangs up.

***

Kurt barely makes it a foot into his apartment before Sebastian pins him against the wall.

“Take off your pants,” Sebastian growls before he leans in and kisses him.

“Hi,” Kurt says breathlessly when he pulls back from the kiss.

“Hi,” Sebastian says and reaches down to undo Kurt’s belt. “Take off your pants.”

“I missed you,” Kurt says and cups Sebastian’s face in his hands before he leans in and kisses him again.

“Missed you too,” Sebastian mumbles against his lips. “Pants. Take them off.”

“Was everything okay while I was gone?” Kurt asks and Sebastian gives up on working the complicated zipper on Kurt’s pants.

“I can give you the full run down of my three days without you Kurt, I will even share with you my food journal, I can even tell you about my mom’s dismay upon me telling her I was coming back to the city,” Sebastian says and then wraps his arms around Kurt’s waist. “ Or… I can remind you of the conversation I had with my doctor and the promise I made to you about every surface of this house.”

Kurt smirks and “Oh,” He says and Sebastian nods and pushes him back against the wall. “I definitely want to hear about your mother, but first let me…”

“Kurt I swear to God if you say let me take a selfie I’m going to—“

“Take off my pants!” Kurt says and laughs and reaches down to undo his zipper.

“Finally!” Sebastian says and bends down to pick Kurt up over his shoulder.

Later that night Kurt and Sebastian are sleeping in a tangle of limbs when Kurt’s phone goes off.

Sebastian groans against his neck and practically pushes him out of the bed to get him to make it stop.

“Stop it. I’m getting it.” Kurt mutters as he reaches to get the phone. He looks at the clock and notices they haven’t been sleep for more than a few hours and sighs.

“Hullo?” He says sleepily.

“AHHHHHHHHHH! KURT,” Rachel screams into the phone. “OH MY GOD KURT!”

“I’m going to kill her,” Sebastian groans again and shoves his head under his pillow.

“Rachel,” Kurt says, trying to get her attention.

“Oh my god. Oh my god, oh my god, Kurt he did it!”

“Rachel, what are you talking about?” Kurt says sleepily already sinking back into his pillow.

“He did it! He Proposed!

Kurt shoots back up, wide eyed. “What?!”

Sebastian peeks from under the pillow.

Rachel squeals into the phone.

“Rachel, that’s great!” Kurt says, genuinely excited for her.

“Ah, I’m so happy. But I have to go! I have to call my dads!”

“Rachel, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled, but why don’t you wait until the morning, hmm?” Kurt says.

There is a pause on the line before Rachel says, “You’re probably right. Yeah okay. Ah! Can you believe it?”

“Rachel who are you talking to?” Kurt hears Jesse’s muffled voice.

“Kurt! I just told him!” She says away from the phone. “Well I’m going to go back to Jesse.” She says and then in a big rush continues, “I love you. I love you. I love you, bye!”

“Love you too, and I’m happy for ... Okay she hung up on me.” Kurt says and flops back down. Kurt sighs and turns on his side to get comfortable. Sebastian is glaring daggers at him.

“What?”

“Your friend, your fault.” Sebastian says before he burrows himself back under the pillow.

Kurt sighs, “They got engaged.”

“I heard, and I knew that was happening tonight. Jesse made me and Ryan help him with it.”

“You knew and you didn’t tell me!”

“Like you could keep it a secret?”

Kurt mumbles. “I can keep a secret,” Then adds louder, “anyway, she was just excited.”

Sebastian grunts. “I heard that too.”

Kurt yawns and starts to doze off again when his phone goes off a few times in a row with text alerts.

“Kurt!” Sebastian whines.

“Rachel,” Kurt groans and grabs his phone. He doesn’t even read the messages before turning off his phone.

“It’s off.”

Sebastian just grunts again.

Rachel wakes them up the next morning with a sharp knock on their bedroom door.

“Wake up you two!” she says through the door.

“She’s in the house.” Sebastian says; voice hoarse with sleep.

“Sebastian, shut up.” Kurt says and starts to pull back the cover.

“Why does she have a key?”

“She’s always had a key… shut up.”

“Kurt.”

“I got it! Shut up,” Kurt says and then pulls the door open. “Rachel.”

“Kurt! I’m glad you’re awake I want to go for a celebratory brunch!”

“No,” Sebastian mumbles from the bed.

“Rachel, no.” Kurt says calmly and then quickly adds, “I’m not saying no I don’t want to go, but no because it’s 7am and you kind of just sprung this on us.”

“And it’s not even called brunch yet,” comes another annoyed grumble from the bed. Kurt turns back and gives Sebastian a look. “What?” Sebastian snaps. “Brunch implies the in-between of breakfast and lunch! We don’t even eat breakfast this early.”

Rachel opens her mouth in protest when Jesse comes up behind her and cuts in swiftly, “Nice bed-head Kurt.”

Kurt just glares at him.

“Right. Babe why don’t you and Kurt go and have breakfast and I stay here so Sebastian and I can go over some things.” Jesse says which is clearly code for I’m going back to sleep as soon as you leave.

“What? No! We’re all going and we’ll just have breakfast instead.” She says and gives Kurt a pointed look. “Come on Kurt this is an important day!”

Kurt sighs and nods.

“Yay!” She says and claps excitedly as Jesse smiles and walks past her and Kurt with a cup of coffee.

“I tried, brother,” He says sitting next to the lump of blankets that is Sebastian curled in on himself. Jesse pulls the cover back far enough to hand him the cup of coffee. And Sebastian mutters something that sounds like “I hate you and your hobbit” that makes Jesse laugh.

“Great!” Rachel says, unmoved, “You go shower, Jesse will handle Sebastian and I’ll go make reservations!”

Kurt sighs and turns to look at Sebastian who has finally been coaxed out of his cocoon enough to drink the coffee Jesse bought him.

“That doesn’t have cream in it, does it?” Kurt asks hurriedly.

“Of course not,” Jesse says a little annoyed. “Kurt, I got this, go,” he says and points to their bathroom. “Before my lovely bride-to-be comes back with a vengeance.”

It takes them nearly two hours to get somewhere, between the two of them getting ready and Rachel finding a restaurant that was to her liking and actually open.

Sebastian is still in a bad mood once they’ve sat down and even placed their orders. Jesse does his best to stave off the worst of his moodiness, but all and all Sebastian is a perpetual dark cloud throughout breakfast.

Rachel, willingly oblivious, powers through and talks endlessly about plans and colors and venues.

“And don’t you dare do one of those secret bachelorette parties. You know I can’t handle surprises. But I trust you to make it fabulous.” She says and then takes a long sip of her mimosa.

“Um, what?” Kurt asks, amused.

“What?” She says and then her eyes widen with comprehension. “Oh Kurt, of course you’re going to be my Man of Honor.” She says without doubt.

“Aren’t you supposed to ask, not tell, someone they are basically enslaved to you for the foreseeable future.” Sebastian grouches softly.

Rachel ignores him and Kurt glares at him for a second before Rachel launches back into planning.

When they get home, Sebastian’s bad mood lessens but doesn’t dissipate. And when Kurt asks him if he wants to talk about something he just shakes his head and continues to check his email.

Rachel and Jesse have an engagement party the next weekend and Sebastian has been getting increasingly on edge the days leading up to it.

“You don’t have to come,” Kurt says softly as he leans against the door frame of their bathroom. Sebastian sighs and gives up on the tie he was putting on.

“It’s fine.” Sebastian says tightly.

“Jesse said there shouldn’t be too many people there and we don’t have to stay long, but -”

“Kurt, I said it’s fine,” Sebastian snaps and yanks the tie from around his neck.

Kurt is silent for a few minutes before he crosses his arms, “You’ve been in a bad mood for almost two weeks now. What is it?”

Sebastian looks down at the sink and closes his eyes, “Nothing.”

“It’s not nothing, Sebastian,” Kurt says edging into the room. “Is work stressing you out, because I’m sure you can take some more leave? They-”

“It’s not work. It’s…” Sebastian starts and then takes a deep breath. He turns around to lean against the counter and Kurt moves to stand in front of him. He puts his hands on Sebastian’s waist and waits.

Sebastian takes another deep breath and shakes his head before he says softly, “It’s just… You and Rachel have been talking about wedding stuff 24/7 and seeing how happy she is... and you…” Sebastian stops and looks at him.

Kurt’s surprised to see his eyes brimming with unshed tears.

“You just look so happy and I remembered that when it was you and Rachel planning our wedding… and we didn’t-” Sebastian closes his eyes and a few tears fall slowly down his cheek. “I’m sorry,” he says softly.

Kurt steps in closer and wipes away the tears with the pad of his thumb. “It’s okay, Bas.” He takes a deep breath and then grabs Sebastian biceps and gives them a light squeeze. Sebastian just sighs and moves to turn back around. “Look at me,” Kurt says and pulls him back to face him. “We’ll get there. I promise.”

Sebastian smiles softly, but it doesn’t reach his eyes and when Kurt leans into kiss him, he pulls away after a brief touch of lips.

“We should hurry,” Sebastian says and resumes putting on his tie.

Kurt sighs and leaves to finish getting ready.

***

As long time patrons of Callbacks, it’s no surprise that Rachel and Jesse would hold their engagement party here.

The amount of people there however, is something definitely unexpected. Sebastian freezes in the doorway when he walks into the bar, scanning the room and remaining motionless.

“Sebastian why are you stopping-” Kurt says and looks over his shoulder at the crowd of people. “Damn it Rachel.” He mutters. Kurt grabs Sebastian’s hand and squeezes tightly to get his attention. “You can do this.” He says and there is a silent question hanging there and Kurt gives Sebastian the option to leave or go.

Sebastian nods and then starts to move forward in the crowd, pulling Kurt close behind him. Kurt doesn’t even get a chance to order a drink before Rachel is barreling against him and attacking him with a hug.

“Kurt! Finally,” She says squeezing him tight. “Come sing with me.”

Jesse comes over at a much slower pace and pulls Sebastian into a hug. He whispers something in his ear and Sebastian nods and then shrugs.

“Um, maybe in a bit… after a drink,” Kurt says and tries to signal the bartender.

“And Sebastian! You too?” Rachel asks and gives him a tight hug as well.

“No,” Sebastian says and then laughs sharply, “Not a chance.”

Jesse laughs and before Rachel can protest, he reaches past them and grabs the bartenders attention. He orders them all a round and hands them out to everyone.

“Alright!” Jesse says and lifts up his glass, “To Me and Rachel!” He says and Kurt rolls his eyes as Sebastian and Rachel laugh. Kurt takes a small sip and his attention stays on Sebastian who downs his in one.

“Slow down there buddy, or this one might actually get you on the stage.” Jesse says and pats Sebastian's arm, but there’s a light note of concern in his tone.

“In that case get him another!” Rachel cries out and Jesse wraps his arm around her waist. “And that’s our cue to mingle, we’ll be back.” He says and pulls Rachel away into the mass of people.

Kurt sips on his drink silently, waving every once and a while to people that he knows.

“How do they even know this many people?” Sebastian says, looking around the room and biting his nails distractedly.

“Have you met Rachel and Jesse?” Kurt says and puts a hand on the small of his back.

“Fine,” Sebastian sighs and stands a little closer to Kurt. “How do they know this many people that they like.”

“They probably don’t, but you know it’s about appearances sometimes,” Kurt says and grabs the bartenders attention for another drink.

Kurt tries to hand Sebastian a drink but he shakes his head. “It’s making me uncomfortable,” he says and reaches up the readjust his tie. Kurt just nods and sips quietly on both of the drinks as the hour passes.

Kurt is an anchor at Sebastian’s side. A hand at the small of his back serves as a constant reminder that he is right next to him and no one is going to hurt him. It’s unspoken trust and safety that Sebastian is seemingly thankful for.

As the night goes on Kurt finds that he’s pleasantly enamored by the familiar faces he starts to see on stage, and when Rachel appears at his side and practically pulls his arm out of its socket he glances back at Sebastian for the approval.

Have fun, he mouths and winks. Kurt smiles and gives Sebastian's hand a soft squeeze before he lets Rachel drag him from his side.

Kurt gets distracted by Rachel and gladly engaged in a faux debate as to what song they should sing. To his pleasant surprise they settle on Betty Who.

Kurt lets himself get swept up in the moment. He sings and shimmies to his heart’s desire, glancing every few bars over at Sebastian who gives him a tight, distant smile.

Kurt’s belting out the second verse when it happens. Sebastian closes his eyes and gives his head a small shake, as if trying to clear his head and then wipes at his brow. When he looks back up his eyes are glazed over and he turns slowly, presumably to take a seat at the bar. Mid-turn he bumps into Mike and almost falls back. Mike grabs his arm to steady him and pulls him in his direction and Sebastian breaks.

It’s the only way Kurt can think to describe it. He pushes away wildly from Mike and stumbles back clutching his stomach.

“Sebastian,” Kurt yells and drops the mic. He’s pushing his way through the crowd of people trying to get to him.

Jesse is pulling Mike away and kneeling down in front of Sebastian trying to calm him down. “I’m not going to harm you, Sebastian.”

“No, please don’t. No. No. Please.” Sebastian sobs brokenly. He’s curled in on himself with a white-knuckled grip at the front of his abdomen. “Not again, I’m sorry. Please”

“Bas!” Kurt says and kneels down front of him.

As Kurt reaches for Sebastian’s hand, Jesse yells for him not to touch him, but Kurt’s not really listening and grabs at one of the balled up fists.

“No!” Sebastian yells and swings at Kurt, hitting him in the eye. The force of it kicks him back on his butt and in the next second Jesse, Mike and some guy that looks like bar security are holding Sebastian down.

Rachel is by Kurt’s side and she pulls his face towards her to look at his eye but he pushes her away and moves back to Sebastian.

“No. Stop,” Kurt says and pushes Mike out of the way.

“Kurt, stay back,” Jesse says and he’s holding down one of Sebastian’s arms.

Sebastian is thrashing helplessly at the men holding him, begging and pleading with them to stop his imagined assault.

“Sebastian,” Kurt says and hovers right in front of his face. He puts both hands on Sebastian’s cheeks and stills Sebastian head so he’s forced to look at him. “Sebastian, look at me.”

“Please,” Sebastian sobs. His chest heaving with labored breaths.

“Sebastian, we are not going to hurt you,” Kurt says calmly. “Look at me, look at Jesse,” Kurt says and then looks at Jesse who turns his grip on Sebastian’s arm into a tight clasp of hands.

“Yeah buddy, it’s just us,” Jesse says and leans further into Sebastian’s sight. “You’re safe. You’re with me and Kurt and Rachel and all of your friends.”

Sebastian’s frantic look slowly turns into one of confusion and he locks eyes with Kurt.

“You’re safe Bas,” He says and runs a hand through Sebastian’s hair. “I’m here. You’re not in danger, I promise.”

“Kurt?” Sebastian asks and then blinks slowly a few times and starts to look around him.

There’s a tap on his shoulder and Rachel hands Kurt a glass of water. “Thank you he murmurs.”

“Babe, Jess and this man are going to let you go okay?” Kurt asks and nods. He waits for Sebastian to nod slowly.

The security guard lets him go and Jesse moves to put an arm behind him to help him sit up.

“Easy, easy,” Kurt says and leans in a bit closer as Sebastian sits up. “Take a deep breath with me Bas,” he says and waits for Sebastian to look him in the eye and then takes a deep breath in and waits for Sebastian to follow suit. They exhales slowly and Kurt gives Him a reassuring smile.

“There you go,” He says softly and leans in and give him a quick kiss. “See you’re fine.”

“Kurt,” Sebastian gasps and Kurt pulls back. “You’re face, I-”

“I’m okay,” Kurt says and shakes his head. “Here, drink this.” He says and holds the glass of water for him to sip. “Slow, slow.”

Someone, bless them, has gotten most of the attention off of them by starting a crowd sing-along of Piano Man.

Sebastian gets through half of the glass of water when Rachel comes back to their side. “There’s a cab out front,” She whispers in Kurt’s ear and he nods.

“Babe,” He says soothingly. “We’re leaving now, are you ready? Can you stand?”

Sebastian nods and Kurt hands over the glass to someone and reaches to help Sebastian up. He’s visibly wobbly on his legs when he stands and Kurt steadies him with an arm around his waist. “You’re good, I’m here.”

Sebastian puts an arm around Kurt’s shoulder and they start to make their way out of the bar. Rachel and Jesse walk them out to the cab, and when Kurt helps Sebastian in to the back seat Jesse slides in next to him.

“Um,” Kurt says confused and then looks at Rachel. She’s giving him a concerned look. He doesn’t like where this is going. “I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?” He says and then gives her a tight hug.

“I love you,” She says and squeezes him tightly. “I love you too.” He says and kisses the top of her head.

“Alright buddy,” Jesse is saying to Sebastian, sliding back out of the cab, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Rachel gets into the cab after him long enough to give Sebastian a kiss on the cheek, and Jesse squeezes Kurt's shoulder. “Call us if you need us.”

“We’ll be fine,” Kurt says with a tight forced smile. “Please, go. Go and enjoy your party.”

“We’ll be over tomorrow,” Rachel says and gives him another hug. “I’ll call first,” She adds and he can’t help but laugh softly.

He looks at both of them and sighs, “I’m so sor-”

“No, stop it,” Rachel cuts him off. “We’re not mad, and we love you guys too much for there to be anything else we’re more concerned about.”

“I don’t know babe,” Jesse says,” I’m kind of concerned about Kurt’s face. You’ve been looking a little pale lately. Oh and you should probably ice your eye.”

Kurt rolls his eyes and takes it as the light-hearted comment that it is and gets into the car.

“I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow,” He says before he closes the door. He rambles off their address and gives Jesse and Rachel one final wave as they drive away.

Kurt looks over to Sebastian who is staring out the window stoically. Kurt scoots over to sit next to him and wraps his arm around Sebastian’s waist. He leans his head on his shoulder and slips the other hand onto one of Sebastian’s curled fists. He squeezes tightly and presses a kiss against his shoulder.

“I love you.” He says softly. Sebastian doesn’t answer.

Sebastian doesn’t say anything. Even after they get back to their apartment, Sebastian methodically does his nightly routine.

Kurt lets him be, for once at a loss for words.

The next morning Sebastian is already awake and having a cup of coffee when Kurt gets into the kitchen.

“Good morning,” he says sleepily, gravitating towards the coffee automatically. “I was thinking we could go to Central park today?”

Sebastian doesn’t say anything. When Kurt turns around he’s staring down into his cup of coffee.

“Sebastian,” Kurt says and waits for him to look up. “Did you hear me?”

Sebastian just sighs and shakes his head.

“I said do you want-”

“I heard you.”

“You just said you-”

“No, I don’t want to go to Central Park. I don’t want to go on a walk. And before you say it, I don’t want to talk either.”

Kurt puts his cup down and wills himself to calm down against the sudden anger he’s feeling. “Okay.” He says slowly. “We have to talk about it eventually. If you’re not ready that’s fine but we have to talk about this.”

“I’m sorry I hit you,” Sebastian says looking away. He swallows hard. “I didn’t… I thought-”

Kurt moves to sit next to him and wraps his arms around him. “Hey,” he says and cups Sebastian’s face and makes him look at him. “I know. It’s okay.”

“No it’s not, Kurt,” Sebastian says and pulls away. “I could have really hurt you. I did hurt you!”

“Despite what Sue Sylvester would say, I’m not actually made of porcelain,” Kurt says. “I’m not that breakable and people have done much worse to me.”

Sebastian shoots him an unpleased look. “Kurt, don’t -”

“I’m just stating a fact Sebastian, listen, it happened. It’s not like you meant to hurt-”

“What if it happens again and there isn’t anyone there to pull me off?”

“You don't think I can take you?”

“Kurt this isn’t funny!”

“Does it look like I’m joking?” Kurt says and crosses his arms. “Because if you think I’m that pathetic and weak, there’s another conversation we need to have.”

“Can’t wait,” Sebastian grumbles.

“Listen Bas,” Kurt starts but Sebastian cuts him off.

“I can’t. Can we just…”

“Can we just what? Pretend it never happened? Not talk about it? Act like you aren’t experiencing some kind of PTSD?” Kurt asks. “No. We can’t.”

Kurt stands and grabs his mug of coffee. “I’ll be in my office if you need me,” He says and leaves Sebastian in the kitchen.

Rachel and Jesse call a few hours later to tell them that they are on the way and bringing take out.

Of course they let themselves in. “Kurt… Bas?” he hears Rachel call out.

Kurt smiles softly and comes out of the office. “Hey.” He says softly.

“God, your eye looks terrible,” Rachel says and reaches to touch it.

“Good to see you too. Ouch,” He says batting her hand away.

Jesse laughs and walks past them to the bedroom. “Bas come on we got those egg rolls you like.”

Kurt starts to help Rachel get all of the food out. “And then Brody showed up which wasn’t really a surprise but was still annoying.”

“Did Jesse challenge him to a parking lot duel,” Kurt jokes.

“Shut up,” Rachel laughs as Jesse comes back into the room. “Hey where’s Bas?” He asks Kurt.

“Should be around, he didn’t tell me he was leaving,” Kurt says as he turns to get a set of plates out of the cabinet.

“Hey, where are you?” Jesses asks and Kurt turns to see him on the phone. Jesse’s features fall into a confused frown and he looks at Kurt before he turns and walks out of the kitchen. “Hey. Hey, calm down. Let’s talk…” And then he’s out of earshot.

“Something happen this morning?” Rachel asks.

Kurt doesn’t say anything he just watches Jesse talk.

When he comes back he sighs and pockets his phone and looks at Kurt. “He’s at Ryan’s. I’m going to go over there and-” He trails off and looks helplessly at Rachel.

“Sure babe, of course,” Rachel says and puts a few boxes of food in one of the take out bags. “Here take this.”

When Jesse leaves Rachel looks at Kurt and says “You didn’t know he was leaving.”

“No but I’m not surprise,” Kurt says and runs his hands through his hair. He’s tired all of a sudden. “It’s becoming a pattern of his. Walking away,” he says, throat tight.

“Kurt,” Rachel starts.

“I can’t keep doing this.” Kurt says and sits down at one of the bar stools. “I can’t be the only one who’s fighting for us to work.” He puts his head in his hands and tries to steady his breathing.

Rachel just sits beside him with her head on his shoulder, and waits.

Jesse calls Rachel later that night and she steps outside to answer the call. When she comes back she has a forced cheeriness that puts Kurt on edge.

“What do you say to an old fashion slumber party?” She says and snuggles up to him on the couch. “Oooh, I can even call Mercedes to see if she’s available.”

Kurt doesn’t say anything he just disentangles himself from her grip and goes to his room. He sits on his bed and stares down at his hand, at his ring.

Rachel leans in the doorframe and watches him.

He twists his ring on his finger and lets the numbness spread throughout his body and mind, until it doesn’t hurt, until he can’t feel. He slides his ring off and sits it on the bedside table.

“Kurt,” Rachel gasps out, softly. Distantly.

Rachel takes Kurt back to her apartment and holds him as the sobs wreck his body, as he processes what he’s just done.

Chapter Text

Jesse, Ryan and Sebastian sit in sporadic silence at the kitchen table in Ryan’s apartment. They’ve made a serious dent into a once full bottle of Johnny Walker, but Ryan is still trying to convince Sebastian he’s made a mistake.

Sebastian spins the glass of dark brown liquid on the table and watches it slosh around. He can’t really remember how many glasses of the scotch he’s had, but he knows he consumed most of it. Vaguely, he can hear Jesse’s phone go off. He shakes his head trying to clear out whatever is causing the muffled sound.

“Rachel, calm down,” Sebastian hears Jesse say. He looks over at him and frowns. “Wait, he did what?”

Jesse rubs a hand over his face and then gives Sebastian a hard look.

“Okay, okay… I’ll call you back.” He says and then hangs up. He stands from his seat and walks over to Sebastian and spins him around in his chair. He gives him a hard shake.

“Listen to me.” Jesse says forcefully. “You’re going to lose Kurt if you don’t get your shit together. Do you get that?”

Sebastian just stares at him.

“Sebastian!” Jesse says, squeezing where he has his hands on Sebastian’s shoulders. “Kurt is leaving. And unless you want him to stay gone, you need to come with me right now.”

“Maybe it’s for the best.” Sebastian says and shrugs.

“Bas you don’t mean that,” Ryan says softly

“I do.” Sebastian says and tries to reach for his glass.

“You’re a fucking idiot.” Jesse says and knocks the glass out of his hand.

“Jesse!” Ryan shouts and pulls him from in front of Sebastian. Ryan kneels down in front of him and puts a comforting hand on his knee. “Bas, I know this is hard—“

“Do you?!” Sebastian asks incredulously. “Do you know what it’s like to get stabbed in the gut and almost die? Do you know what it’s like to be so close, on the very cusp of happiness just to have it all come crashing down around you?”

“Bas,” Ryan starts.

“Do you know what it’s like to put the only person you’ve ever truly loved through hell without being able to do anything about it?” Sebastian continues. “Do you know what it’s like to be completely helpless and need assistance 24/7 and feeling so useless?”

There’s nothing but Sebastian’s harsh breathing to fill the silence that follows.

“No?” Sebastian asks. “That’s what I fucking thought.”

“You’re a mess.” Jesse says, disgusted.

“Fuck you, Jesse.” Sebastian spits out.

“No. Fuck you, Sebastian.” Jesse says and grabs his jacket off the back of his chair. “I’m the first person to back you in any kind of situation and God knows I love getting under Kurt’s skin, but he loves you, and he’s busted his ass these past months making you happy and you’re throwing that all away because you’re fucking sad? Yeah, so fuck you. Grow a pair.”

“Get out.” Sebastian says.

“Fine. I’ll tell you’re ex fiancé you said ‘Hi’,” Jesse says and walks out of the kitchen.

The door slams a few seconds later, leaving Ryan and Sebastian to sit in quiet for a while.

“He’s right you know.” Ryan says after a long time.

Sebastian scoffs and reaches for Jesse’s glass of alcohol.

“You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t go after him.” Ryan says.

“It’s already too late.” Sebastian replies.

 

*

 

Sebastian and Ryan go to his apartment the next morning. Sebastian opens the door tentatively and calls out for Kurt. No response.

He sighs and goes to sit on the couch. He’s got the same numb feeling he’s had all week, and if he’s honest, longer than that.

“Why don’t you take a shower?” Ryan says and pats his shoulder.

“Yeah,” Sebastian says dully.

“I’ll get some coffee brewed, okay?”

“Sure,” Sebastian says with a shrug before he get’s up and walks into their bedroom. He turns on the light and is about to go into the bathroom when he catches sight of something shiny on the nightstand. He walks a few feet towards it and stops when he sees a ring.

Kurt’s ring.

Stiff legs carry him the remaining few steps. He kneels down in front of it with a hard thud.

“Bas?” Ryan calls out from the other room.

Sebastian doesn’t respond. He just picks up the ring and looks at it.

“Bas, what’s wrong?” Ryan asks from the doorway. Sebastian can hear him walk further into the room, and he hears the sharp intake of breath. “Shit.”

“He took it off,” Sebastian says.

“Bas...”

Sebastian stands abruptly and walks past Ryan and into the bathroom. “I’m going to shower.”

Sebastian closes himself off in the bathroom and thinks back to the night of Jesse and Rachel’s engagement party.

He lets himself get lost in remembering the warm touch of Kurt’s hand cupping his face; the gentle kiss of his lips on his shoulder, on his cheek, on the corner of his mouth.

“Fuck,” He says taking a deep breath.

When he’s out of the shower, Sebastian starts to pack a bag. He’s not really sure of his plan but the only thing he can think to do is give Kurt the space he wants.

“What the fuck is this?” Ryan says coming back into the room. Sebastian just shakes his head.

“Maybe I should go to a hotel, or back home, maybe see a shrink,” Sebastian says, more to himself than anyone else. “I just want him to be safe.”

“Bas,” Ryan says, “I love you more than I can say, so I mean this in the best way possible. You’re the dumbest fucking person in the world if you don’t go after him. “

Sebastian looks up and glares at him. “He doesn’t want to see me”

“You’re crazy if you believe that. That man loves you, don’t be an idiot.”

“What am I supposed to do Ryan! He left! He took off his ring! I fucked it up. I fuc-- shit I fucked up.” He says and grabs his head; all the pain he’s been trying to hold off comes crashing down around him. He aches all over and he doesn’t register he’s fallen to the ground until Ryan his there with him, arms wrapped tightly around his waist.

“It’s okay, we’ll fix it.” Ryan says softly. “You’ll stay with me, and we’ll fix this.”

 

*

 

Ryan comes to visit Sebastian the next day at work with some take out. He halts in the middle of the doorway when he walks in.

“Bas, no,” Ryan says, sounding wounded. “Is that Taylor Swift?”

Sebastian sighs, “It’s a playlist.”

“Of what? Teenage Heartbreak?” He says and looks over at Sebastian’s computer. “There are ten Taylor Swift songs on here.”

“What do you want, Ryan?” Sebastian snaps.

“I can’t want to see my little bro?” Ryan asks.

“I saw you 3 hours ago and I’ll see you in a few more. So no.” Sebastian says turning back to his computer to change the song.

“Fine. I want you to eat and I want you to tell me how you’re going to get Kurt back,” Ryan says sitting at the chair in front of Sebastian’s desk.

Sebastian doesn’t say anything.

“Bas—“

“I’m not ready Ryan. Okay?” Sebastian asks and adds. “Fuck. Why can’t you get that?”

“Then let me help you!” Ryan says and puts a container of food in front of him. “He loves you. We just need a bit of brainstorming.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Like I’ve never been in love bef—“

“Have you?” Sebastian asks, “I mean really? How long has it been since you’ve been with someone for longer than six months, Ry?”

“You should fucking talk, your dating history isn’t exactly pristine. It’s a mystery you managed to go this long without fucking it –“

“Thank you for that.” Sebastian deadpans.

“Sebastian I didn’t mean that.”

“Please just leave me alone.”

Ryan sighs and opens his container of food. Sebastian glares at him from across his desk and Ryan’s stares back until he gives in and opens his own container.

They eat for about half an hour before one of Sebastian’s co-workers come in and reminds him of the meeting.

“It’s okay, go… I’ll be here when you’re done,” Ryan’s says and waves him off.

“Don’t you have a job to go back to,” Sebastian grouches as he stands from his desk.

Ryan just laughs and continues to eat.

 

*

 

“You want me to do what?” Sebastian says 15 minutes later in the boardroom down the hall.

“Think about it. You’re like a gold mine. People will be running to invest with the lucky bastard who cheated death,” says Richard, or Robert…. Gary?

“So you’re using me,” Sebastian says.

“No Sebastian. We’re celebrating you! Looks like your bonus is coming early this year,” Another one of his co-workers says, a fat balding man who Sebastian vaguely remembers as Cedric.

“And you were talking about being promoted before in your five year focus plan. Consider this just accelerating things,” Maybe Gary says again.

His boss Kyle clears his throat and leans forward on the table. His dark eyes are intense as they stare at Sebastian.

“Look Smythe, we know what this looks like, but we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe in your skills. You’re one of the best employees here.” He says and gestures around the room vaguely. “Now you can do your job with a bit of a spin on it.”

“Great right?” Cedric says. That fucking guy.

“Right.” Sebastian says slowly and then looks at his boss. “A spin…yeah… excuse me gentlemen; I have a … um call that I just remembered I have to make. “

“Sebastian it can wait,” his boss says.

“It really can’t.” Sebastian says hurriedly and stands up from the table. “Excuse me.”

When he gets back into the office Ryan is taking a selfie at his desk.

Sebastian pauses for a brief second and then shakes his head. “I don’t even want to know. I need you to help me pack up my things?”

“Why? “ Ryan asks, confused.

“Because I’m quitting,” Sebastian says reaching for his shoulder bag to start stuffing things in.

Ryan looks at him for a few seconds in silence and then nods. “Alright then,” He says and starts to help him.

Sebastian takes a second to admire his brother. The quiet acceptance, solidarity through it all, is one of the many reasons why he loves his brother. They stick together through and through.

They stuff as much as they can into their bags and then Sebastian sighs and admits defeat.

“I need something bigger,” Sebastian says giving up on shoving another picture frame into his bag.

“Didn’t realize you were such a size queen,” Ryan quips. Sebastian glares at him. “Oh come on! You left yourself open for that one!”

Sebastian rolls his eyes and walks towards the door. He pokes his head out of his office and calls over to the receptionist down the hall.

“Allison, psst. Allison,” He calls as quietly as he can.

A harassed looking blonde woman pokes her head around the corner and gives him a very Kurt-like glare that always used to make him smile. Now it just puts him on edge. “Could you find me a cardboard box please?”

“Where pray tell,” Allison, perpetually annoyed, says with a flick of hair over her shoulder, “do you expect me to find a cardboard box?

“Figure. It. Out,” Sebastian says through gritted teeth.

Allison’s eyes flash dangerously with suspicion; they argue often but Sebastian’s usually much warmer and teasing on his end.

Ryan steps around him and cuts in smoothly.

“Ally cat,” She sends him something akin to a death glare and Sebastian is reminded of his office Christmas Party two years ago when Ryan came as his plus one in place of a flu-ridden Kurt.

“Allison,” He amends. “Could you possibly call down to the mail room and see if they have a few spare boxes. It’s an urgent matter I assure you,” He says laying on the charm thick.

Allison looks like she’s about to tell them both to fuck off when she looks back at Sebastian, and he’s sure he’s radiating off some sort of distressing vibes because she frowns and disappears behind the wall and a second later walks back into view with 2 medium sized boxes.

“You’re in luck,” She grumbles as she approaches.

“You’re a saint,” Ryan says and she shoves the boxes into him. He coughs in obvious pain. “Always a pleasure.” He says and then walks back behind the door.

Allison gives Sebastian a very clear ‘I’m blaming this on you’ stare and he smiles a little sadly. “I am going to miss you.” He says softly.

She stares at him for a second and then before he can stop her she pushes the door open to see Ryan stuffing things into the boxes.

Sebastian hears her soft intake of breath and Ryan pauses and looks up from his task.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m leaving,” He says and then when she turns and looks at him sharply he adds. “I’m quitting.”

She doesn’t ask why. She just nods and walks past him closing the door behind her.

Sebastian and Ryan get back to putting everything into the two boxes as quickly as they can , but they freeze a few minutes later when there is a brisk knock on the door.

They both look at each other in shock when someone calls out Sebastian’s name.

“Fuck! Help me hide the boxes.”

“Sebastian they’re going to know anyway--“

“Shut up and hide the box Ryan.”

“Mr. Klein, Mr. Smythe had an urgent emergency to take care of,” They hear Allison say. When she speaks again she’s right out side the door. “I can take a message for you. “

“I just need to leave these papers for him,” says Klein and the doorknob twists and opens but then slams shut again.

“Have you made copies of those yet?” Allison asks. “You know Mr. Smythe can be quite forgetful sometimes, I wouldn’t want him to lose your only copy. “

Sebastian scowls at the door because, fuck her, he’s not forgetful.

But thankfully Klein takes the bait and gives over the papers apparently. “I’ll bring over the originals in a few minutes,” Allison says politely.

Ryan and Sebastian stay frozen for a few more minutes before they continue to pack up Sebastian’s things.

When Sebastian starts to pick up the things on his desk he reaches for a picture frame but Ryan grabs it before he can.

“I’ve got a bit more space in my box for it,” he mumbles not meeting Sebastian’s eye.

Sebastian knows what that frame holds. It’s a picture of he and Kurt in Paris. A fucking selfie in front of the Eifel Tower.

“You better be glad I love you,” Sebastian mumbles and extends his hand and waits for the camera to focus on the two of them.

Kurt is looking at him in awe and Sebastian looks at him annoyed that he’s prolonging this embarrassment. “Will you look at the camera already?”

“You love me?” Kurt asks and there’s a soft smile playing on his lips.

“Fuck,” is Sebastian’s eloquent response.

Kurt laughs and leans his head against Sebastian for a second before looking up at him. His eyes shine brightly with a light sheen of tears. “I love you too.”

Sebastian smiles and lets a chill of delight run through him. The click of the cell phone takes him out of his reverie and he looks at the phone.

The photo is the pair of them looking at each other smiling like idiots. Idiots in love.

Sebastian nods and makes and executive decision to just swipe the rest of his stuff in one pile and into the box.

“Okay done,” Sebastian says looking around the office. “I’ll have to come back for the bigger stuff but I think that’s it for now.”

“Just in time too,” Allison says from the door. “The coast is clear for now if you want to make a break for it.

Sebastian nods. And picks up his heavy shoulder bag and then the overflowing box. “Right then.” He says and looks down at Allison. “Thanks for the boxes and the diversion.” He says with a smirk.

“Whatever,” she says and pushes back a strand of hair behind her ear. “Just get out of here before I have to take part in anymore of this.”

“You’ll miss me,” he says as he walks towards the open door.

“Sure sure,” she says and walks behind him back to her desk.

As they wait for the elevator, Sebastian bites his lip nervously, hoping no one will unexpectedly come out of their offices and catch him in the act.

Just as the elevator door dings open a cleared throat catches Sebastian’s attention. He turns and looks at Allison, “Take care of yourself Mr. Smythe.”

Sebastian smirks and nods. “ I knew you cared Ally-cat.”

The withering glare she sends his way makes him laugh way too loud for the small elevator.

They drop off the stuff at Ryan’s apartment and Sebastian is ready to collapse on the couch when Ryan pulls him back towards the front door.

“Let’s go get lunch,” Ryan says.

“We just ate.”

“Fine,” Ryan says and pushes Sebastian out of the door. “Coffee then.”

Sebastian sighs and leans against the wall of the hallway as Ryan locks the door. “He won’t want to see me Ryan.”

“He loves you Sebastian,” Ryan says turning towards him. “Come on let’s go.”

Sebastian doesn’t move, and Ryan is a few doors down before he notices. He turns around and waits.

“I’ve got nothing but time, Bas,” Ryan says cheerfully. Sebastian scowls.

It takes them two hours to get to Rachel and Jesse’s apartment and Sebastian is still convinced this is a terrible idea.

“He’s going to kick me out,” Sebastian groans.

“It’s going to be fine, calm down,” Ryan says and knocks on the door.

“How do you even know if they are here, They all have jobs you kn—“

Jesse opens the door and looks at Sebastian for a few seconds before he sighs, “About time.”

Sebastian rolls his eyes and walks past him into the living room. He can only see Rachel sitting on the couch, and he frowns.

Jesse clears his throat ,and Rachel looks over her shoulder. Her sad smile turns into a frown at the sight of Sebastian and she leans down briefly. When she pulls back, Kurt’s head pops into view from his place in her lap. He sits up and looks over at Sebastian.

Sebastian’s heart clenches at the weary look on Kurt’s face. His eyes look puffy, and are red rimmed.

Kurt stands up and walks over to him and he can see a tear running down his cheek.

“I’m just so fucking tired of hurting you,” Sebastian blurts out before he can stop himself.

Kurt doesn’t say anything. He crosses his arms and waits.

“I’m so sorry,” He sighs and pulls Kurt’s ring out of his pocket. “I thought getting stabbed would be the most painful thing I would ever have to experience in my life,” Sebastian says looking down at the gold band in his fingers. “But I’ve never been in as much pain as I was when I found this.”

He turns the ring over in his finger and then slides it onto his pinky. “But you deserve to be happy.”

There’s a collective “What?!” from Jesse, Ryan and Rachel. And Sebastian watches Kurt’s face close off and his shoulder stiffen as he says, very quietly. “You should leave.”

“I love you,” Sebastian says and he leans in and kisses Kurt’s cheek before he turns and walks out.

Sebastian lets his legs carry him away mindlessly. He doesn’t even recognize where he’s gone until he standing in front of his apartment building.

He startles when he walks a little closer and see’s his brother sitting on the stoop in front of the building.

“What? How did you even get here before me?” Sebastian asks. “How did you even know I was coming here?”

Ryan’s ever-present smile comforts him a little. “Well one, you are achingly predictable sometimes. I figured you’d auto pilot your way here and so I took a cab to meet you.”

Sebastian rolls his eyes and walks past him and punches in the code to open the gate.

The elevator doors have barely closed before Ryan speaks up again. “So I’m not going to lie, that wasn’t exactly how I expected our visit to go.”

Sebastian rolls his eyes and sighs loudly. “Are you done yet?”

“Sure, sure.” Ryan says and adds, “I just want to know your game plan,” before he lapses back into silence.

This time they make it to their floor before Ryan says anything. “I think you’re making a mistake. Listen. Listen!” He says quickly when Sebastian turns to say something to him.

“You’ve got to fight for this,” Ryan says and comes to stand in front of Sebastian, blocking his way further down the hallway. “One of you has to give up a little pride in order to make this work and you know Kurt is not going to. So what are you going to do? Because I love you. I love you so much but you are so fucking insane if you let this man go. I’m so serious Seb.”

Sebastian startles a little at the tone of Ryan’s voice. Earnest and a little rough, choked, like he’s fighting a lot of different emotions.

He doesn’t say anything else, and Sebastian just looks at him. He tries to wrangle in his fraying nerves. He gulps and attempts to clear the lump in his throat several times before he croaks out. “If you want to be useful, get me some boxes from the shipping store down the street.”

He steps around his brother but doesn’t miss the way his face falls before he replies with a soft, “Sure, sure Sebby.”

It takes he and Ryan nearly four hours to pack up his essentials. Ryan calls a friend of his who has a car and within half an hour they’ve got all of his stuff loaded into the back of the car.

When the trunk slams Sebastian looks at it for a few long seconds then back up at his … Kurt’s apartment building.

“What’s next Sebby,” Ryan says hovering around the driver side door.

“I thought I was achingly predictable,” Sebastian replies.

“Yeah, I know how your brain works when you’re in a bad mood,” Ryan says as if it was obvious. “This… this is … I don’t know what this is, but today you’ve quit your job, told your fiancé that you didn’t want to be with him, and moved out of your apartment. So no, Sebby. I’m not quite sure what you’re going to do next. Join a monastery, probably.”

“That doesn’t sound all that bad actually,” Sebastian says and then laughs softly at the look on Ryan’s face. “I’m kidding. Christ calm down. I’m going to Sag.”

“You’re going to the Hamptons?”

“Why does everyone always sound so surprised when I say that. Yes, I’m going to Sag Harbor. You said so your self I’ve been through a lot in one day and… I just need to be somewhere I feel normal.”

“Normal?” Ryan asks. “How is any of this normal? Sebby, a year ago you would have given up anything to be with Kurt. You weren’t—“

“I wasn’t a lot of things Ryan!” Sebastian snaps. “I wasn’t disabled. I wasn’t hating my job, I wasn’t hating my life. I wasn’t afraid of going into a bar; I wasn’t winded after walking up a fucking flight of stairs. I wasn’t a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. I wasn’t … I wasn’t hurting him.”

Sebastian closes his eyes and runs his hand over his face. He speaks without looking back to Ryan. “On top of everything else that’s happened in the last few months. The non-wedding, the stabbing, “ He takes a deep breath. “my job. All of that I can take, but I can’t keep hurting him.”

“Sebby, this isn’t forever.” Ryan says and walks to stand in front of him. “You and Kurt can and will fix this. You can’t give up because it’s hard.”

Sebastian smiles bitterly, “You sound like Kurt.”

“Well there’s another point in his favor,” Ryan says. “You’re better than this. You’re stronger than this.”

Sebastian looks at him and Ryan gives him a reassuring smile. The one he always gives him when he’s trying to comfort him. And for the first time, it does nothing.

“I’m not,” he says quietly. He grabs the keys from Ryan and walks around to the driver side. “Are you coming or should I drop the car back to your apartment tomorrow morning?”

He see’s Ryan shake his had softly before he takes a huge breath. “Yeah, of course I am.”

Most of the two hour drive is spent in silence, only broken by Ryan’s attempts at lighthearted small talk. He talks about his latest girlfriend, his crazy landlord, his co-worker who just came out at work. And Sebastian responds when necessary. Short and to the point.

After a while Ryan sighs loudly and stares out of the window for the last 40 minutes of the drive.

“We should grab some food,” Ryan says after they’ve loaded everything out of the car. Sebastian is rummaging through one of the boxes to pull out his toiletry bag and shakes his head.

“Nah you go ahead. I’m not hungry.”

“Ah nonsense, I’ll get us some of those sandwiches from Espresso that you like so much—“

“I said I’m not hungry,” Sebastian says, voice rising a little. “How many more ways do you need to hear it!”

Ryan doesn’t say anything, and when Sebastian looks up he opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something then closes it. He nods sharply and then clears his throat.

“Okay. Whatever you say Sebastian.”

Sebastian stands up quickly and stares at his brother, his brother who only calls him by his full name when he’s mad at him. Really mad.

“Ry—“

“I’m going to go an see what we’ve got in here to eat.” Ryan says and turns away towards the kitchen.

Forty minutes later Sebastian has showered, changed into something comfortable, and is considering a late-night run when Ryan comes back out with a tuna sandwich.

“That took you forty minutes to make,” Sebastian says. Ryan mumbles something and then shakes his head. Sebastian shrugs it off and looks in the box closest to him for his running shoes.

He’s just put them on when Ryan speaks up.

“How can you not be bothered by this?”

Sebastian pauses in tying his shoe. “Excuse me?”

“How can you be so nonchalant about all of this? I wasn’t even with Kurt and I feel like I’m on the verge of breakdown every five minutes by sheer proxy. I mean come on Sebastian.”

“You don’t get it, Ryan,” Sebastian says trying not to let being full-named get to him so badly. “You couldn’t”

“Well get this, I’d kill for a love like you and Kurt!” Ryan shouts. “Sebastian, the way you two look at each other. The way you look when he walks into a room, the way you became a different person, a better person, after you and him started dating. If I had that I wouldn’t lose that. I wouldn’t give that up without a fight. I’d go out kicking and screaming all the way to the very end.”

“And that’s why you don’t get it,” Sebastian says trying to stave off some of his anger by speaking slowly. “You don’t know what it’s like to love someone so much, so completely and unconditionally.”

“I know what—“

“I’m not talking about the next girl of your dreams that you decide it’s time to play the whole meet the family deal. Not a game of ‘Who Lasts Longer’ with mom. I’m talking about real and true love,” Sebastian says. “You don’t know the first thing about it. If you did you’d know how much it hurts, how much its kills me to see him hurting because of me. And you’d get that what I’m doing is best… He deserves to be happy, and if I can give that to him by—“

“When did you become such a coward Sebby?” Ryan asks. Sebastian flinches. “The little brother I know and love wouldn’t stand there and spew nonsense ‘if you love it set it free’ bullshit, he’d—“

“He died!” Sebastian shouts. “He died in a bar fight 4 months ago.”

“Don’t talk like that,” Ryan says and steps closer to him. “That’s not—“

“Sorry for your loss,” Sebastian says coolly and reaches back down to tie his shoe. “I’m going for a run.”

“Sure sure,” Ryan says looking down at his sandwich. “I won’t be here when you get back.”

Sebastian stand and stares at him, Ryan stares back. Sebastian nods and turns for the door. “Thanks for your help, drive back safe.”

Sebastian hears Ryan say right before he closes the front door, “Yeah, okay Sebastian,”

 

*

 

Sebastian runs. He runs until he feels like he’s going to pass out. He runs until he wants to throw up. He runs until his mind is filled with the focus of his breathing and the images of Sag Harbor blurring by as he runs by. He doesn’t keep track of how far he’s run or where he goes. He runs until he can’t run anymore, until he reaches the end of the docks and stops so suddenly he almost pitches himself forward.

“Fuuuuu,” He says flailing backwards. He looses his balance and falls on his ass with a groan. The soreness and heavy weight of the run and the day’s events hitting him all at once.

He hurts everywhere; his head, his bones, his heart. He doesn’t want to move, he doesn’t want to think.

He eventually finds the strength to sit up. He rests his weight on his elbows and takes deep calming breaths until his breathing steadies out.

He looks at the string of other docks in the distance, some lit more than others with fairy lights strung down their paths. It’s beautiful, and it reminds him so achingly of those late nights out on the porch with Kurt. He’s suddenly breathless again and fighting back tears.

He reaches down into his pocket and pulls out his phone. 1AM. He won’t be asleep. He presses and holds the ‘1’ key and watches it switch to the outgoing call screen.

Kurt answers after the first ring, but doesn’t say anything.

Sebastian smiles a little sadly.

“Hi,” He says and his voice sounds weird, to breathy. He takes a deep breath and clears his throat. “I’m sorry.”

Sebastian can hear Kurt breathing on the other end, but apart from that, the line remains silent.

“I’m sitting out on one of the docks in Sag and the lights are… I’m just thinking about our nights on the back swing and…fuck. Kurt, I miss you so much,” He chokes out. The tears he’s been threatening to release finally spill over and he brings one of his hands to his face to wipe at his eyes.

“I know I’m an idiot and I’m a coward and a bastard and every other close enough synonym to fool you can think of, but I promise you, I’m going to fix it, to …to fix it, me, for you.”

“I don’t want you to change because of me Bas,” Kurt says quietly.

“Babe, “ Sebastian says watery smile firm in place. “You’re the only thing worth changing for… worth being.”

There’s silence on the other end of the line again. The minutes tick by and for the first time all day Sebastian is calm. Just hearing Kurt breathing, a little unsteadily, on the other end of the line puts him at ease.

“You want me to wait for you? You expect me to wait for something that might never happen,” Kurt says finally.

Sebastian closes his eyes for a brief moment, trying to gather the courage to say what he needs to say next.

“No,” He says finally, “I want you to be happy. If you find that that’s with someone else… Then I’ll…”

Neither of them says anything for a long moment before Kurt speaks again.

“I love you.”

It sounds like goodbye.

“Kurt wait—“

The familiar beep announcing the end of a call chimes in his ear and he closes his eyes as his grip on the phone tightens.

He lies back down on the pier and looks up at the night sky.

“Fuck,” He says in to the darkness. “Fuck.”

He barely registers the walk back home that roughly takes him an hour to make after he takes shortcuts through a few backyards.

When he gets back, Ryan and the car are gone. He steps into the house and lets the silence wash over him.

For the second time of the day he lets the events of the day consume him, and on numb legs he walks into his room and collapses onto the bed.

The exhaustion takes over.

 

*

 

Sebastian has two blissful days of brooding solitude before it’s all thrown to shit.

He’s jogging back up the drive way when he sees the shiny, black BMW sitting in the spot that was empty just two hours ago.

He stops and stares at it before he breathes out. “Shit.” He takes his time walking up the rest of the way and takes a breath to collect himself before he shoulders the door open. His nose is immediately assaulted with garlic and tomato smells that has his mouth watering.

He swallows and pushes past the sudden sense of gratitude, he knows what’s coming and he’s not ready.

Here goes nothing.

He walks into the kitchen and takes a deep breath.

“Hi Mom.” He says and plasters on a smile as she turns around.

“Oh Bas!” She says and walks over to him and pulls him into a hug. “I was wondering where you’d gone off to.”

She hugs him tight and Sebastian can’t even bring himself to complain about his sweatiness. It feels so good.

“Mom,” He says and hugs her just as tight. His throat tightens with a wave of emotion and he turns to give her a kiss on the side of her head. When he pulls back enough to look down at her, he looks around at the pots on the stove and food on the counters. “What’s all this?”

“Well, I heard you were here so I figured I’d come and make you your favorite meal to cheer you up.”

Sebastian makes a silent vow to kill his brother.

“Ah, right,” He says and looks down at his sneakers. “Well um… let me go and shower and I’ll give you a hand.”

“That would be fantastic!” She says smiling at him. She looks at him in that probing way that mothers do and tilts her head. She reaches and cups his cheek with her hand and her smile turns sad. “My sweet boy.” She says softly.

And just like that the tidal wave of emotion comes crashing back and Sebastian blinks back the tears battling to spill.

He pulls back and clears his throat. “I’ll be back in a few.” He says and turns to walk out of the room.

In the solitude of his bathroom he braces himself for the onslaught of Kurt comments that he knows his mom is going to throw at him.

But they never come.

Sebastian spends the whole time he’s helping with dinner with a defense in Kurt’s name on the tip of his tongue.

Melinda just chats idly about her bridge club, and his fathers new golf partners, and the lady down the street with the yappy dog that reminds her of her sisters laugh.

He grips the stem of his wine glass for the majority of the dinner in anticipation of some sort of Kurt inspired tirade. But that too, never happens.

Melinda must notice his stress and reaches out to wrap her hand around his tightened grip on his wine glass.

She loosens his grip and takes the glass out of his hand and sits it down on the table. She grabs his hand again and squeezes it.

“Sebastian,” she says softly. “You’re going to be fine. I promise. Your doctor gave me a great list of therapist to consult with.”

Sebastian looks at her for a few second before nodding. “Okay,” he says softly and looks down at her hand in his. “Thanks Mom.”

She smiles and squeezes his hand one more time.

“Mama’s always here for you sweetie,” she says and then after a beat launches into a story about her garden back in Westerville.

In the following week Sebastian contacts the list of doctors his mom gave him to see if anyone has an opening. He finally finds one that can meet him with in the next few days and books the appointment.

His mom offers to go with him, and then when he declines his dad and brother call and offer to come with him too.

“Tell Mom I’m going to be fine,” Sebastian says to Ryan as he’s waiting in the waiting room of his therapist’s office. “And by the way thanks for telling Mom I was here, you asshole.”

Ryan laughs, “Wasn’t me little bro. Why, she driving you crazy?” He asks.

“Actually no, she’s been … great. It’s been really good to have her here,” Sebastian pauses. “And what do you mean it wasn’t you? No one else—“

“Sebastian Smythe?” A red haired woman, with an expectant smile, who doesn't seem to be much older than him, calls his name..

“I gotta go, Ry,” he says and hangs up with a promise to call after the session.

“Hi,” he says as he approaches the woman. He extends his hand to shake hers and she smiles warmly at him. She looks so nice, and that sets him on edge a little bit. Every cliché movie scenario about therapists start to play in his head at once and he misses what she says and stare dumbly at her for 5 seconds before he laughs a little awkwardly assuming she told a joke based on her smile.

She looks at him curiously and then expectantly.

“Oh um, what?” Sebastian says and scratches the back of his head.

She smiles again and grabs his hand again. “It’s okay to be nervous, I just asked if you wanted a glass of water before we went in.”

“Oh… oh no,” He says and then clears his throat, suddenly dry. “Or yes. Sure. Okay.”

She smiles and points to the open door on the right.

“Why don’t you go on in and I’ll bring us some beverages,” she says and waves him on.

He nods after a few awkward seconds and then walks down the small hallway and into the open door on the right.

Inside the room Sebastian takes the time to look around the spacious office. It all seems fairly generic, there’s the obligatory hanging of her doctorate degree, and there are two big comfortable looking chairs sitting in front of a big mahogany desk. There’s more seating behind him, another big comfy chair next to a long couch. A chase really, but he knows what it’s meant for and he is not, NOT, laying on that couch to discuss anything, especially his feelings.

Sebastian is eyeing the sofa-chase distrustfully when a throat clears behind him. He startles a little bit and he sees the woman from before giving him a knowing smile and holding out a glass of water.

“Oh. Uh thanks,” Sebastian says as he accepts the glass.

She smiles politely and then gestures to the room at large. “Have a seat Sebastian.”

He looks from her to the two seating options and feels the too familiar prickle of anxiety start to make it’s way through his mind.

He could sit in the chairs in front of her desk, but he’d feel like he was in a meeting or something and knows he wouldn’t be as forthcoming as he probably should be. Maybe he doesn’t want to talk so if he feels like this is some kind of formality he can get through it. Just spout off details and stuff. No feelings. But that seems to be the point of therapy and he doesn’t really feel like wasting his time here. And after all, this is so he can fix himself and get back to Kurt. But lying down on that sofa is out of the fucking question.

The doctor clears her throat and Sebastian snaps his attention to her. He’s not sure how long he’s been standing there debating seating options but she’s got that amused look on her face again and Sebastian sighs and looks around the room once more before moving to sit on the window seat in front of a large set of French windows.

“Oh great choice!” She exclaims and follows behind him. She sits her glass of water down and reaches past him to unlatch the lock on the window and presses them open. “It’s a beautiful day.”

She walks back to her desk and grabs a notebook before coming back and sitting with her legs hanging out of the window. She leans forward and takes a deep breath of the warm air. Sebastian looks past her and can’t help but appreciate the view. There’s an impressive water garden immediately outside of the window filled with blooming hibiscus flowers and an array of lilies.

“So Sebastian,” she says, “Why are you here?”

Sebastian looks from the view to her and than back around to his hands. “Um, I’m not sure how you want me to answer that? Don’t you have a file on me or something,” Sebastian says a little annoyed.

“Sure, sure. I have some notes from your previous doctor, I know all about the stabbing,” Sebastian flinches at the casual mention of the most traumatic event of his life, thank you very much. “But you weren’t ordered to come here by a judge or something so tell me, why? Why now? Your accident was…,” she looks down at her fingers and touches the pinky, ring, middle, pointer and then pink again to her thumb and then looks back at him. “ Almost five months ago. Why now? What changed?”

“I don’t know,” Sebastian shrugs.

“Ah, I don’t believe that,” she says and Sebastian looks behind at her in disbelief.

“Look Dr.,” Sebastian blanks. He sighs heavily and scans the room for any kind of clue to this woman’s name.

“Call me Lisa,” She says and Sebastian glares. Without even looking at her he knows that stupid smirk is back.

“No, Dr.… Michaels,” Sebastian finishes with the slightest hint of pride in finally locating a desk plate.

“Lisa,” Dr. Michaels corrects and this time Sebastian glares directly at her.

“Dr. Michaels,” Sebastian says through gritted teeth. Although the fact that they are having this interaction is making him second-guess her ability to help him with anything.

She smiles again and writes something down in her notebook. Sebastian tries to look over her shoulder to read it but she stops and closes it before he can even focus in on the writing.

“Was it an intervention?” She asks suddenly. Enthusiasm in her voice. Sebastian looks at her like she’s sprouted a second head. “What? I like a good intervention story, okay?”

“I don’t think you’re suppose to say that to me.” He looks back out to the view. “Aren’t therapists supposed to be more subtle than this or something? At least more professional.”

“You don’t think I’m being professional?”

“No.”

“Mhm, and how does that make you feel?”

“Are you serious right now?”

She laughs. “Sebastian, listen if I thought you’d wanted a traditional therapy session I’d give you one. But you don’t.”

Sebastian scoffs. “Yeah and what makes you an expert on me?”

“On you?” She makes a face, “No, I’m not. But. I have been doing this for awhile Sebastian,” she says and smiles. “I know thing or two about figuring people out quickly. But by all means, surprise me.”

Sebastian doesn’t say anything.

“How are you sleeping?”

Sebastian shrugs. “I sleep fine.” It’s not a lie; he sleeps mostly through the night.

“Mhm, no nightmares?” Dr. Michaels asks.

“A few, nothing too worrying.” Sebastian answers and looks around the office again. He scratches behind his ear and then behind his knee.

“Hmm,” she says and Sebastian can hear her pen scratching against her notebook. “And what was the last song you listened to on your music player?”

Sebastian stares at her. She rolls her eyes.

“Fine, what was the last song you listened to on the iPod?”

Sebastian laughs and shakes his head. “I don’t even remem..” He starts and then his face heats when it hits him. “Umm, I don’t know.”

“Was it One Direction?” She asks conspiratorially.

“Half a Heart is a good song okay!” Sebastian exclaims.

“Hey. Hey, this is a no judgment zone.” She says and smiles. “My ringtone was Lovebug for a good year. “

“I’m so ashamed I know what you’re talking about.” Sebastian groans into his hand.

She laughs and pats his shoulder once. “We all have our guilty pleasures Sebastian, New Generation Boy Bands is hardly the worst we could do.”

Sebastian laughs and shakes his head. “I guess so. Kurt always gave me crap for playing them… So I guess it was a bit of me sticking it to him.”

“Kurt is your brother?”

“My fian-,” Sebastian stops suddenly. He clears his throat. “No, not my brother. He was my fiancé.” He finishes softly.

“So Half a Heart sounds appropriately depressing,” she says and nudges Sebastian’s arm.

“Oh piss off.” Sebastian laughs.

“Well then you’d be paying to sit and look out at my garden for an hour… which I never thought about charging for but I think I’m having a light bulb moment.” She says and writes something down in her notebook.

“Do I get any kind of royalties for assisting you with this light bulb moment?”

“Sure,” She says finishing her sentence with a flourish, “Next session is half off.”

“Gee thanks,” Sebastian grumbles and then looks back at the garden. He sighs and twists his body to face the view and swings his legs over the window seal like Dr. Michaels.

“Nice of you to join me,” She says and when he looks at her she smiling out at the view. Not a smirk in sight. He looks back to the various flowers.

“I hit Kurt,” He says and takes a deep breath. “I was at a bar and someone knocked into me and I just had some kind of relapse. I thought I was getting stabbed again. God.” He says and runs his hands through his hair.

“The pain was so intense and it felt so real… I just knew.” He says and shrugs. “Anyway, Kurt tried to like pull me out of it and I lashed out and punched him in the face. It wasn’t bad... but it could have been. “

“You were worried that you’d continue to hurt him?”

Sebastian nods.

“Did Kurt ask you to come here?”

“No. I told him I couldn’t talk about it and then walked out.”

“Why did you walk?”

“It’s what I do apparently,” Sebastian says. “It’s why Kurt left me. Said he couldn’t be the only one fighting for us.”

“How long have you been separated?” Lisa asks.

“About a week and half I guess.”

“And how are you sleeping?”

“Fine. I am.” He says and then shakes his head. “It’s just that when I wake up I expect to see him holding up a pair of ties for me to pick from.”

Sebastian smiles at the memory.

“Any nightmares?”

“I keep dreaming that none of this happened. I fall asleep and Kurt’s there and when I wake up he’s not. So yeah, it’s a bit of a nightmare.”

“What’s the last song you listened too?” She asks and when Sebastian looks over at her she looks smug.

“I honestly don’t remember, something on my running mix. Probably. I wasn’t lying about that.” Sebastian laughs.

“So why are you here Sebastian?”

“I don’t know that either.” Sebastian says and bites one of his nails. “I just… I’m not … I don’t let a lot people in. I’ve always been like that but… I can’t keep running from this. I finally see that.”

“Well we’ll pick up on this next week.”

Sebastian startles. “What?” He looks at the clock.

“You pause a lot between questions, and your which-seat-should-I-take crisis lasted for quite a long time. “

“Did you just Rebecca Black me?”

“It is Friday…”

“I’m out,” Sebastian says and pulls his feet in to turn around. He walks towards the door and hovers around the doorway. “I’ll see you next week Lisa.”

She smiles and nods. “See you then. Mr. Smythe.”

“Mr. Smythe?”

“See! Not very pleasant is it?” She laughs.

“Who gave you a doctorate?” Sebastian says as he walks out of the room. He’s annoyed, but he hasn’t felt so light in weeks.

The crazy bat might be on to something.

 

*

 

That night Sebastian struggles with the indecision on whether he should call Kurt or not. He picks up his phone several times before he pockets it and goes for a run instead.

He runs until he’s exhausted and then he falls into his bed without a spare thought to it.

His mom calls him the next morning. He’s not even awake yet so the shrill ringing of the incoming call jolts him into a sitting position. He reaches for the phone in a grumpy haze and accepts the call without even looking.

“What?” He grouches in to the phone.

“Is that anyway to speak to your mother?” Sebastian hears her say. He groans and then flops back down on his pillows.

“Mom its not even 8 yet,” he complains into his pillow.

“Well you didn’t call me back yesterday, Seb. I just wanted to ask about your therapy session. How did it go? How was your therapist? Was she nice? Did you cry? Oh Sweetheart, are you okay? I can come down there if you need me to.”

“Jesus Mom, calm down” Sebastian says rubbing his eyes. “I did not have some kind of breakdown. I’m fine. And Lisa is nice, younger than I expected. She’s funny too. I think she’s a good fit for me.”

“Oh so you like her,” Melinda practically coos into the phone. Sebastian pulls the phone back and stares down at it like it’s done something to offend him. He starts to hear the soft mumbles of his mom still speaking, and when he puts his phone back to his ear he hears her say something about inviting her for dinner.

“Mom,” he says trying to get her to stop.

“Oh I bet she’s lovely.”

“Mom.”

“Do you know if she’s a vegetarian? You know Ryan dated that vegan girl not to long ago and it was hell to cook for.”

“Mother!”

“Hmm?”

“I’m not inviting Dr. Michaels to dinner with our family?”

“Well, why not honey?”

“Why would I?” Sebastian asks.

“Sebastian,” Melinda says with a laugh. “ I think I know you well enough to know when you like someone. “

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Sebastian groans.

“Besides. You deserve someone so smart and well established.”

Annoyed at his mother, Sebastian’s voice goes hard. “Mom, listen I’m not going to even ask what you are trying to imply by that last statement, but let’s get one thing clear. Still gay. Not changing. Ever. Okay?”

“Oh Seb—“

“I have to go mom. I’ll talk to you later,” Sebastian says and hangs up the phone. “What the fuck even?” he says into the silence of the room.

He pulls up a text message box and writes out.

My mom just tried to pimp me out to my therapist. My FEMALE therapist...

He types in Kurt in the ‘send to’ field and hovers over the send key for a solid minute before he deletes it and throws his phone on the nightstand.

He tells Lisa about this at his next session.

He’s sitting at the windows seat again, this time with his back to the closed window. The gray skies make the dim lighting of the lamps shine too bright in the room. Sebastian keeps eyeing the lamp closest to him with distaste.

“And how did that make you feel?” Lisa asks.

Sebastian gives her an are-you-serious look before turning to stare out of the window.

“Thought I’d give it a shot,” She muses before coming to join him in the window seat. “Are you upset that your mom tried to hook you up with a woman? Or because you’ve only been apart from Kurt for going on 3 weeks now?”

Sebastian sighs and turns to fully towards the window now and watches the rain. He doesn’t really feel like talking about it. He says as much after a curt, “The first.”

Lisa nods and writes something down in her notebook. They sit in tense silence for a while before Lisa speaks again.

“Why did you delete the text to Kurt?”

Sebastian sighs and shrugs his shoulders.

Beside him he can feel Lisa shift in the seat to face more window.

“My husband works as a physical therapist, and one time my Mother and law managed to refer half of the Gotham City Cheerleaders to his practice in hopes that he’d fine someone better. Clearly she underestimated my moves.”

Sebastian laughs at that and looks at her. “Your moves?”

“Oh yeah,” She nods emphatically. “They are on par with Bey herself. I mean she’s like 80% more rhythmically inclined but the general foundation is still there.”

“Right,” Sebastian says and smiles back towards the window.

“There’s also the fact that Aaron is completely oblivious to the art of flirting. We’ve known each other since undergrad and it took a lot of time, and ultimately flashing my boobs, for him to realize I was trying to jump him.”

Sebastian laughs.

“Hey! Their nice boobs,” Lisa says with a laugh.

“I’ll take your word for it,” Sebastian says and then adds. “Is your advice? That I should go and flash Kurt?”

“Only if it’s in front of your mother. For the sake of proof or it didn’t happen.”

“Naturally,” Sebastian says.

They sit in content silence for several minutes before Sebastian breaks it.

“I’m afraid to talk to him,” He says softly. “I don’t want to put myself out there and be shot down.”

He bites at his thumbnail for a few seconds before he shakes his head.

“That’s not true. I don’t want to see how badly I hurt him,” he says and stares down at his destroyed nail. “I don’t want to see how much I fucked this up.”

“Have you talked to Kurt about the stabbing?” Lisa asks.

Sebastian shakes his head.

“Why not?”

“Because why would I?” Sebastian asks, annoyed. “He was there, he watched me almost die, he watched me become a shadow of a person I used to be, he watched … Why should either of us have to relive any of that?”

“Because that’s part of the process of getting through it, Sebastian. Talking about that night and the events after will help with all of it… The anxiety, the depression, and the confidence. Have you talked about it with any one?”

“My brother,” Sebastian mutters. “Kind of… I sort of yelled at him about it. So you know… That counts.”

“Totes,” Lisa says and when Sebastian looks at her, she’s got that smug look on her face.

“You’re really annoying sometimes”.

“You’re my favorite too,” she says and starts to stand from her spot in the window seat. “Listen, I want you to bring your brother with you next time.”

“Why?”

She reaches on her desk and hands him a notebook, “Write down his contact information.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t believe you’ll tell him,” she says leaning against the wall next to him. Sebastian writes down a fake number and hands her back the notebook.

“Great!” she exclaims and walks back to her desk with the notebook. She sits behind her desk and leans back. They sit in silence for a few more minutes before she asks him, “Why did you leave your job?”

Sebastian scoffs. “Because they were using my near death experience to get more money from investors. I was basically going to be a show dog.”

“Do you miss it? Work?” She asks.

Sebastian shakes his head. “Not as much as I thought I would. The little time I was back felt… wrong.”

“How so?”

“I felt like I was waiting for something to happen… All the time.” Sebastian says, looking back out of the window. “Like I was waiting to care again. For it to all click back into place.”

“Mhm,” Lisa says. Sebastian hears her click off the lights and suddenly the room is filled with the gray light from the rainy sky. He immediately feels at ease.

Lisa comes back to sit with him at the window seat and sighs. “So what do you want to do now? Now that finance is no longer an interest.”

Sebastian shrugs. “No clue.”

“Spend some time thinking about that this week… Create a list of all of the things you could see yourself doing,” she says and stands up again. “Things that make you happy. Things you’re good at. Even a few things you would like to be better at. “

Sebastian nods.

“Good,” she says and picks up a mug from her desk. “I think this weather calls for some hot cocoa. What do you say?”

Sebastian frowns and looks at the clock. “Uhh sure? But, we’re almost out of time though … Or you could leave in the middle of my sentence.” He says as she walks out of the room. “Seriously, who gave her a license.”

She pokes her head through the door a little time later and gets his attention to follow her. He stands and walks out of the office and follows her outside.

She sits down on the steps outside and sits down a mug, presumably for him, in the spot next to her. He sits down on the step next to her and looks out at the rain.

It’s a steady downpour. Nothing to bad but, enough to need an umbrella that he doesn’t have. The walk home will be fun.

They sit in silence for what feels like a long time. Sebastian picks up his mug of hot cocoa and takes a long pull from it. It’s not the best, but it’s warm and tasty. He feels a smile tugging on his lips without his permission.

“How have things been with your mother since you’ve come back to Sag Harbor?” Lisa asks eventually.

“Surprisingly, good,” Sebastian says, looking down into his mug. “Well minus the whole trying to set me up with you. She’s been really supportive.”

“So, you’ve talked with her about Kurt?” Lisa asks.

Sebastian shakes his head. “No, and she’s been expertly avoiding bringing him up. I think we both have.”

Lisa hums and then takes a sip of her hot cocoa.

“What?” Sebastian asks, cautiously. “Why are you humming?”

“What’s wrong with humming?”

“I don’t trust humming?”

“Then we definitely have bigger issues to talk about. Tell me Sebastian, when did this humming aversion start?” She asks, faux serious expression firm in place.

“Definitely from my show choir days,” he deadpans.

“Of course,” Lisa smiles. “I was just humming because I was thinking. It’s a habit of mine. “

Sebastian nods and looks back out into the rain.

“She doesn’t like Kurt, that’s why I haven’t brought him up,” he offers up after a while. “I don’t want to talk about him because I’m afraid she’ll say something rude or offensive and I’ll snap or something.”

“What about your father?”

“A man of few words,” Sebastian smiles.

“So you haven’t talked to him either?”

Sebastian shakes his head.

“That’s your homework for this week. Talk to them about Kurt. See what happens. “

“I thought my homework was to find a new hobby?”

“No, your homework was to make a list,” she says and reaches out for the mug he’s holding. “I’m sure you can manage both.”

He hands her his mug and stands when she does.

“You better get going before the rain comes back,” She says nodding towards the parking lot.

Sebastian looks down at his watch and gapes for a second. “We went almost an hour past my time. Don’t you have other appointments.”

She shrugs, “Cancelled. And don’t worry, the extra time is on me.”

Sebastian nods and walks down the rest of the staircase. “I’ll see you next week.”

“See you then.”

 

*

 

The next visit to Dr. Michaels comes sooner than he expects, and he finds himself hastily writing down things he’s good at in the waiting room 5 minutes before he’s suppose to go in.

When Lisa comes out to get him he shoves paper in his jacket pocket and hurries to follow to the back office.

“Where is Ryan?” She asks and Sebastian freezes. He did not forget about that, but he also did not tell him, as she predicted.

“Oh he’s busy.”

“I see,” she says and writes something down in her notebook. “Oh by the way, me and Aaron tried out that Chinese restaurant you suggested... It was wonderful.”

“What restaurant?” He asks, confused.

“The number you gave me last week. It was for this wonderful Chinese restaurant in the city. Me and Aaron made a day date of it, so thank you.”

“Uh,” Sebastian says eloquently.

Lisa smiles and passes him a notebook and pen. “Let’s try this again.”

Sebastian sighs and writes down a number.

“Thank you,” She says and then takes their seat in the usual place by the window. “So which one of your family members did you decide to talk about Kurt with?”

 

*

 

Ryan and Jesse come down to see him the next day, and they have a full ice chest of beer and more steak than the three of them could eat in a week let alone a day. It’s a nice sunny day and they spend the first few hours grilling and talking aimlessly about nonsense. Some new shows coming to Broadway, the playoffs, Ryan’s date with twins.

Its fun and mindless and just what Sebastian needed. Before long he finds himself wanting to talk about his feelings and he has a sneaking suspicion that this is Lisa’s fault, but he goes with it anyway.

They’re playing a terrible game of beer pong, because Ryan had insisted, and Sebastian feels warm and sated after a few beers and a portion of steak that was way too big, when Sebastian asks.

“How’s Kurt?”

Jesse hits Ryan in the head with the ping-pong ball.

“Dude,” Ryan exclaims.

“Shut up, that didn’t hurt,” Jesse says before turning to look at Sebastian. He doesn’t say anything for a few seconds then he sighs. “I’m not sure how you want me to answer that?”

Sebastian frowns. “Truthfully would be nice.”

“Well, he seems miserable,” Jesse says and shrugs. “But he doesn’t talk to me much and Rachel spends most of her time with him at your apartment. The few times I’ve asked her, she’s just said he’s doing fine, but … every time I see him he looks… I don’t know. Not fine.”

“Right,” Sebastian says and takes another swig of beer. He can instantly feel a twinge in his too full belly. “Of course.”

“What did you expect to happen Sebastian?” Jesse asks. “Would it make you feel better if I said he was great. That he was out there hooking up with guys.”

“No,” Sebastian grumbles.

“Exactly,” Jesse says and picks up the cup that Ryan just scored. “He, like all of us, is just trying to figure out how to deal without you.”

Sebastian doesn’t say anything. Ryan wins.

 

*

Sebastian starts to develop a schedule. Fridays are done with Lisa. Everyday he comes in and she tells him how lovely the restaurant he’d given her the number to is.

Saturdays Jesse and Ryan and some times their dad comes down for a bit of bro time. Sometimes they all go for a run through the town, or they watch a game, or just go out to eat and talk. Sebastian always ends up talking about something. Every time.

It’s his dad that he ends up talking about Kurt with.

He tells him everything, about why he left, and how scared he is that he made a mistake and how he misses Kurt like crazy. He tells him about how he’s afraid to talk to Melinda about him.

“Your mother has good intentions, but terrible execution,” He says and smiles softly. “She loves you boys more than life itself. Remember that.”

Sebastian laughs. “Could you be more vague?”

“Oh absolutely,” His dad smiles. “I’ve seen they way you and Kurt are around each other. You have no reason to be fearful.”

Sebastian smiles and nods. “Thanks Dad.”

“Of course, Son.”

 

*

 

Eventually Sebastian gives Lisa Ryan’s actual number, he tries to convince himself that it’s because he’s run out of restaurants to send her to. When she looks down at the number she smiles and nods.

“What?” Sebastian asks suspiciously.

“Oh nothing.” She says and then launches into a story about the waiter at the Ethiopian restaurant she went to at his suggestion.

The next time he comes in it’s for a special session on a Tuesday, and when he walks into the office Jesse and Ryan are already in there, sitting in his window seat. Yes, his window seat.

“What is this?”

“This is your friend Jesse St. James and your brother Ryan Anthony Smythe,” Lisa says, smug.

“Oh I do like her,” Jesse says nudging Ryan in the side.

“See I told you.”

“Wait,” Sebastian says. “How do you know what Dr. Michaels is like.”

Ryan looks at Lisa and mouths. “Dr. Michaels? Before they share a smug smile.” They fucking share it.

“What the hell!”

“Please Sebastian,” Lisa says and pulls her two desk chairs in front of the window. “I do know how to use the Internet and I’m not sure how many Smythe’s there are in Westerville, but not many… so we’ve talked a few times. Anyway, have a seat.”

Sebastian scowls as she takes her seat in one of the chairs in front of Jesse and Ryan. They all look at him expectantly and he can see that this is some kind of test. To measure his growth or something… right.

Sebastian takes a deep breath, puffs out his chest, tilts his head a little higher and walks to sit in the chair in front of Ryan.

He shoots Lisa a ‘so there’ look and she returns with a smug smile that makes him roll his eyes.

“So, that was fun,” Jesse says and smirks at him.

“Oh shut up.”

Most of the session plays out in similar fashion. Their hour is almost up and the main focus of it has been to try and get Sebastian to step out of his comfort zone and venture back out to New York nightlife.

“We are not.” Sebastian says, arms crossed, and glaring daggers at Ryan and Jesse.

“Sebastian grow a pair. You’re ready,” Jesse says.

“I think what Jesse is trying to say is that now is the optimal time to try this exercise that can be very stressful, but we all have faith in you that you can do it.”

“Actually I was going to say it’s a freaking Tuesday night how bad could it possibly be,” Jesse adds.

“Remind me why we’re friends again,” Sebastian says with a glare still firmly in place.

“I can think of a few reasons,” Lisa mumbles.

“Both assholes?” Ryan asks.

“Anyway!” Jesses says over Ryan and Lisa’s shared laughter. “Bas, we’ve got you covered. If you can’t trust us who can you?”

 

*

 

“Remind me to never trust you again,” Sebastian grumbles into his drink of club soda.

Jesse laughs and claps a hand to his back and gestures out to the crowd. “I thought you’d feel comfortable around your people.”

“Oh fuck you,” Sebastian says but he can’t help but smile.

“There he is,” says and unfamiliar, husky voice. When Sebastian turns he sees several drag queens standing in front of him.

“Are they talking about the bar, please be talking about the bar.” Sebastian says into his glass.

“Nope,” Jesse says wearing a shit-eating grin.

“We’ve been looking for just the right man to shower with love,” Says one of the drag queens dressed in an American flag printed leotard.

Ryan laughs delightedly “Like golden showers?”

“Dude,” Sebastian says and groans into his hand.

“Ohhh I like him.” Says another queen and points at Ryan.

Ryan preens and nudges Sebastian who scoffs and rolls his eyes. “Oh congratulations.”

“No girls, I think Sir Grumps-A-Lot is in need of our service more tonight,” Says the drag queen that originally spoke. “What do you say stud, you gonna let Cookie and the girls take care of you.”

“Yes, yes he is,” Jesse says and grabs Sebastian’s glass and pushes him forward.

Sebastian hates them. He keeps telling himself as he’s dragged into the center of the room and sat in a chair. He tells himself as the too familiar beat of Kinky Boots’ Land of Lola starts to play. He hates it all.

Somewhere during the middle of it all he starts to laugh. One of the drag queens does a comical dance kick over his head and then shimmies into his personal space, and the whole thing is so absurd he starts to crack up. After that they force him to stand up and do the rest of the dance with them and he steps and shimmies a step late for everything but it’s probably the most fun he’s had in months.

At the end of the song they all lean in and take turns kissing him on the cheeks and when he gets back to the bar Ryan his holding up his camera.

“Say cheese,” he shouts, and before Sebastian can do anything the flash goes off and temporarily blinds him. “Priceless.”

“I’d say.”

Sebastian spins around and tries to blink away the dots the flash created. But he doesn’t need to see to know that voice.

“Kurt?”

“Hi,” Kurt says and walks closer to them. “You’ve got a little something here,” he says and points to a spot near his mouth. Sebastian wipes at it and a smear of red comes back on his thumb. He looks back to Kurt who’s smiling , and pointing to another spot on his face. “And here. Oh and here and really in the general area.” He says pointing at his whole face.

Sebastian laughs and then shrugs, “ Ah, well. What can you do?”

They look at each other for a second before Kurt takes a deep breath and says. “You look really good. Really healthy… and tan. Bastard.”

Sebastian laughs softly and shakes his head. He looks at Kurt again and his mouth goes dry. He aches to reach out and touch him, he’s hit with the feeling and urge to hold him so suddenly he doesn’t say anything in response.

“Well I just wanted to come and say hi,” Kurt says and he’s smiling but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes anymore.

Kurt leans and waves to Ryan and Jesse behind him and then starts to back away.

“You look beautiful!” Sebastian shouts. Like really shouts. He didn’t mean to say it so loud but Kurt was walking away and he panicked.

Kurt startles and a few people around them turn their head to stare at him.

“Umm,” Kurt says and holds back a smile. “Thanks?”

“Smooth,” Jesse coughs behind him and Ryan laughs loudly. He’s going to kill one of them tonight.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Sebastian asks stepping closer to Kurt.

Kurt bites his lip and looks over his shoulder. “I really should get back, I just wanted to come and say hi.”

“Oh,” Sebastian says and looks over to the general area that Kurt looked . He sees a guy looking there way, eyeing Sebastian suspiciously. “Did you come with someone?”

“Yeah,” Kurt says and sighs and he must see the hurt that Sebastian is trying his best to hide because he quickly adds. “Oh no no. Not like that. I’m here with some friends from work. Birthday party. “

“Oh,” Sebastian says, his face heating with embarrassment.

“Yeah,” Kurt says and looks back over his shoulder one more time. “I think we’re heading out though so..” He turns to look back at Sebastian and smiles again.

“It was really good seeing you,” Kurt says he reaches out and squeezes Sebastian’s wrist and then turns to walk away again.

“Have lunch with me!” Sebastian shouts again.

“What is his deal?” he hears someone say, but he can’t care less because Kurt is smiling. He's looking directly at Sebastian and smiling, and Sebastian feels like the club around them is starting to fade away.

“Okay,” Kurt says with a nod. “I’ll text you.”

Sebastian smiles and nods. He watches Kurt walk back over to his friends and catches him glance back over as they start to leave towards the exit. Kurt sends him another small wave and Sebastian’s grin threatens to split his face.

“You know, with all that lipstick on your face, you kind of look like the joker right now,” Ryan intones somewhere to his left.

“I can see that,” Jesse says.

“I don’t even care,” Sebastian says and just smiles on.

 

*

 

“Sebastian, it’s only been three days.”

“I know how long it’s been, Lisa,” Sebastian snaps.

“Okay then,” Lisa says calmly. “Why don’t you text him then. A simple ‘Hey Kurt, just checking in to see when you’d want to do lunch’.”

“I can’t do that,” Sebastian says as he continues to pace around her office.

“Why not?”

“Because!” He says and stops to look at her at the window seat across the room. “He said ‘I’ll text you’ so I can’t text him first or I’ll look desperate.”

Sebastian flops down on the sofa-chase. A second later he’s scrambling off of it and looking at his back as if expecting to see half his clothing singed off.

“You doing alright there?” Lisa asks. The smirk is back.

“Shut up,” Sebastian mutters and goes to sit in the window with her. He sighs as he swings his feet to hang out over the seal. He breathes in the scent of the flowers below him and lets the familiarity calm his nerves.

“I’m very proud of you for making this step,” she says and nudges his shoulder. “Making this step with Kurt is a big deal. You have every right to be nervous. But you have to trust that it will work.”

“And if it doesn’t?” Sebastian asks, looking to her.

“I’m not going anywhere.” She says and smiles warmly at him.

He nods and looks back to the water garden.

 

*

 

“You’re thinking too hard about this.” Ryan remarks from the corner of the kitchen, banned from the center island by Jesse after almost spilling coffee over his sheet music.

“Oh, do remind me of when you became a music composer, hmm?” Jesse says glaring over his shoulder. “Yeah exactly. Talk to me after you’ve seen a musical let alone written one.”

“I’ve seen musicals,” Ryan mutters moodily.

“What was that Ry,” Sebastian says, smirk in tow.

“I said you two are ruining bro day. Jesse and his stupid spreadsheets—“

“Sheet music,” Jesse says rolling his eyes.

“—and you with your phone glued to your hand,” Ryan says and then frowns. “Bro Day is sacred.”

“Did we settle on calling it Bro Day?” Sebastian asks.

“Yeah, I’m not fond of that,” Jesse says making a change to his music.

“Whatever,” Ryan says and walks out of the kitchen. A few seconds later they can hear the radio turn on and Dance Yourself Clean filters into the room. “I’m gonna have Bro time by myself.”

“Good for you buddy,” Jesse calls out.

“Yeah, you gotta take care of little Ryan from time to time too,” Sebastian adds.

“Shut up!” Ryan yells and turns the music up louder.

Sebastian and Jesse laugh.

“Your best friend,” Sebastian says.

“Your brother,” Jesse says and leans back from the counter to stretch.

“Point. How’s that coming?” Sebastian says and points down to the music.

“Pretty much done,” Jesse says and sits down his pencil. “I really only had to make the corrections from when they had the initial auditions. Which whatever, I don’t know how you change perfection.”

Sebastian laughs and shakes his head. “Oh right.”

Jesse laughs and then inclines his head towards the phone in Sebastian’s hand.

“How’s that going?” He asks.

“Still nothing,” Sebastian says and then pockets his phone.

Jesse clears his throat and stacks his sheets in one pile. “Hey listen,” he starts and then bites his lip. “And don’t feel pressured to say yes, but I was hoping you’d be one of my groomsmen. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. And if you say yes, you don’t have to do the bachelor party stuff if you aren’t comfortable.”

Sebastian smiles and nods. “I’d be honored,” He says.

“Oh thank god, “ Jesse says on a laugh, “You’re one of my few friends who looks good in a tux.”

“Translation: You’re one of my only friends Sebastian,” Sebastian says and laughs.

“Oh shut up!” Jesse says and then looks over his shoulder. “Now come on let’s go and save my best man from his bro party of one.”

“Whoa, he’s your best man?”

“Yes. Have you seen him in a tux?” Jesse asks and then smiles.

Sebastian laughs and starts to follow as his phone chimes in his pocket. He pulls it out and sees a new Text Message alert.

Hey! Sorry I haven’t had a chance to text you. Work has been hell this week. Fucking Karen… anyway. Are you free tomorrow? I could kill for a turkey focaccia from Espresso.

Sebastian smiles and does not jump up and down. He doesn’t.

Sure that sounds great. I can meet you at the train station at 1:15?

He debates briefly on holding off sending the text to avoid looking pathetic, but he looses that battle a few seconds later.

As he’s walking to sit with Jesse and Ryan his phone chimes again.

It’s a date!

“Sebastian what’s on your face?” Ryan asks, and when Sebastian looks he see the concerned look on his brothers face.

“What?” Sebastian says touching his face.

“Yeah what is … Is that … No?” Jesse says and looks at Ryan in disbelief. “Is that a smile?”

“I think it is? “ Ryan says and then grabs his phone. “Quick call Dr. Michaels. He’s having a psychotic break!”

Sebastian pulls a pillow off the couch and throws it at his head.

He doesn’t stop smiling. He’s got a date.

 

*

 

Sebastian is there waiting for Kurt when he steps off the train. He’s dressed in a pale blue button down, and white pants, and a dotted blue necktie.

Sebastian waves to get his attention and can hardly contain his smile.

“Hi,” Kurt says a little breathlessly after he makes his way over to him.

“Hi,” Sebastian says and then looks down. “Are those Sperry’s Kurt?

Kurt laughs. “Hey! When in the Hamptons, do as the rich people do.” He says and nudges Sebastian’s arm. “Come on I’m starving.”

“Right this way then,” Sebastian says and turns to lead the way out of the station.

For the first few minutes they walk in silence. Kurt seems to be absorbed in the beauty that is Sag Harbor in the summer.

Sebastian smiles and takes a deep breath. He looks around at all the shops that he runs by frequently. A few of the people acknowledge him has he walks by and he waves back. After it happens a few times Kurt nudges his shoulder again.

“Since when did you become Mr. Sag Harbor?” Kurt asks, gesturing toward the pair of people who just walked past them with a wave. Sebastian laughs and shrugs.

“Look Mommy, it’s the Flash!” Says a little kid waving ecstatically as he and Kurt walk by.

Sebastian holds up a hand for the kid to high five, “Hey there buddy,” He says and then ruffles his hair.

When he looks back at Kurt he’s holding back a laugh. “Oh shut up!” He’s says and shakes his head. “No use crushing his dreams now. Beside none of them know me by name. I’m just that crazy guy who runs everywhere.”

“Ah, well that explains it,” Kurt says and snorts out the laugh he’s been holding in. Kurt goes back to looking around and the silence that fills between them is comfortable.

As they approach Espresso, Sebastian frowns when he doesn’t see the tables set outside. “Hmm that’s odd.” He mutters.

“What?” Kurt asks turning back to him.

Sebastian points towards the building and jogs a little to close the distance, then he stops abruptly. “Shit.”

“What is it?” Kurt says still walking at a slower pace behind him. “I am not running in these pants, Sebastian. What’s going on… oh.”

“What the hell!” Sebastian exclaims. “I swear this was open like a month ago!”

“Its okay, we can go somewhere else,” Kurt says and glances around.

“I run by here almost every day, how did I miss this?” Sebastian says, still staring at the vacant windows and closed door.

“Bas,” Kurt says softly and touches his arm. Sebastian turns to look at him and he adds, “It’s okay.”

Sebastian shakes his head. “We never got to go.”

“We’ve been here before,” Kurt says and shrugs.

“It’s not the same.”

“Well hey, there’s a farmers market down the street. We can make our own sandwiches!” Kurt says and tugs on Sebastian’s arm to move him towards it.

“Have you secretly been Italian this whole time?” Sebastian asks.

“No, but I not-so-secretly know how to use the Internet to look up recipes,” Kurt replies.

Sebastian rolls his eyes but follows a long. He lets Kurt call out all they things they’ll need for the food and then a couple of other things.

At one point Kurt snatches some Kale that he tries to buy out of his hands, and without even looking up from his phone says. “Uh uh, spinach.”

Sebastian just rolls his eyes and picks up the spinach and it isn’t until they’re checking out that he realizes how normal this feels.

He lets himself get caught up in the moment, and when he has the urge to reach out and take Kurt’s hand, he does.

 

*

 

“It’s not going to be the same without actual focaccia bread,” Sebastian complains from his spot on the kitchen counter.

“Which isn’t all that healthy for you, by the way,” Kurt says pointing the knife he’d been using to slice tomatoes with. “And what are you doing up there? Don’t you have cheese to grate?”

Sebastian smirks and hops down from the counter. He walks behind Kurt and leans over to get the cheese grater, purposely reaching over Kurt to be able to leans against him. He whispers in his ear as he grabs the grater and says, “Yes sir.” and nudges the side of his head with his nose.

Sebastian doesn’t think he imagines the pink in Kurt’s ears as he walks away.

Once they are done cooking, Sebastian pulls an old card table out onto the patio and sets a tablecloth over it. He brings out a bottle of wine as Kurt brings out the plates.

“What’s this?” Kurt asks looking at the table set up.

Sebastian hesitates.

“Is it too much?” He asks.

“What? No,” Kurt says and sits the plates down. He turns to look back at Sebastian and smiles. “It’s wonderful.”

Sebastian lets out a breath and smiles shakily. Kurt comes over and grabs his hand, giving it a firm squeeze before pulling him towards the table.

As they sit, Sebastian starts to get a little anxious. So far they’ve been able to get by with talking about mindless stuff in the midst of buying groceries and then cooking. Now he doesn’t know what they’ll talk about. He’s not sure if he’s ready for the conversation they need to have.

“Oh my God, so good!” Kurt says after he’s taken his first bite. Sebastian smiles and takes a bite of his own and then smiles an nods.

“Oh yeah,” he says and takes another bite. “Either we’re really good at that whole cooking thing or I’m seriously starving.”

“Considering you just said that whole cooking thing, I’m going to go with the second.” Kurt says and takes a sip of his wine.

“That’s fair,” Sebastian says and laughs softly.

There’s a small lull in their conversation as they continue to eat their food. Soon Sebastian can’t take the silence.

“So... What happened at work?” Sebastian decides to start with.

Kurt rolls his eyes and shakes his head as he breaks off a piece of his sandwich. “Same old, same old. Karen is trying to ruin my career. So basically I’ve had to start doing overtime just to counter all the bullcrap she’s been throwing my way.”

“What an asshat,” Sebastian says and Kurt laughs.

“I know right?” He says and then shakes his head. “But what about you?” He asks and takes a bite of his sandwich.

“Oh,” Sebastian says and clears his throat. “I thought you knew I quit—“

“Oh yeah I knew that!” Kurt interjects, “I meant more of a why?”

Sebastian tells him the story of his coworkers wanting to use him as a ploy to get more money out of investors and his and Ryan’s escape with the help of Allison.

“I always liked her,” Kurt says on a laugh.

“I knew it,” Sebastian says. “Did you email her about my diet? Because I swear she’d give me the most judgmental looks anytime I had something remotely unhealthy.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kurt says and takes another sip of his wine.

“Sure,” Sebastian says and takes another bite of his sandwich.

“So what have you been doing out here?” Kurt asks. When Sebastian looks up he’s not looking at him. He’s running his finger along the rim of his wine glass and biting his lip.

“Running mostly,” He says and then laughs. “And I know that it sounds weird but… umm.”

“What?” Kurt says, smiling softly.

“I kind of want to run in the New York marathon this year,” Sebastian says and shrugs.

“Bas,” Kurt says and smiles at him. “I think that’s awesome!”

“Yeah?” Sebastian asks.

“Yeah,” Kurt says and laughs softly. “A good old screw you to people who said you couldn’t recover in a years time.”

Sebastian smiles, “Exactly. Well anyway, I’ve been doing that, and seeing Dr. Michaels.”

“Oh how do you like her?” Kurt asks.

“Don’t tell me she got to you too,” Sebastian groans.

“Umm no?” Kurt laughs. “I don’t know what happened but she was one of the doctors I called to compile that list for your mom.”

Sebastian’s hand pauses has it reaches for his wine glass.

“She was my favorite, very personable. I felt like a good fit for you,” Kurt continues.

“You gave my mom that list,” Sebastian says, finally gripping around the wine glass.

“Oh… Um, yeah,” Kurt says voice suddenly soft. “Don’t get upset. I’ve been compiling the list for a while. I just thought to look for some here and got lucky. I wasn’t trying to-”

“I’m not upset… At you,” Sebastian says and then takes a sip of the wine. “Figures,” He mutters. “Anyway. Yeah she’s great. Totally crazy, so yeah, very fitting for me.”

Kurt smiles and nods, “That’s great, Bas. So you’re doing good?”

“Yeah,” Sebastian says and looks down at his plate. “I’m doing alright. “

After they finish eating they put away the card table and clean up the small mess they made in the kitchen earlier.

“And here’s another one,” Kurt says as he swipes to the left in the gallery on his phone. He’s showing Sebastian some of his latest sketches while they sit out on the back porch.

“These are really good,” Sebastian says reaching over to swipe to the next one.

Kurt shrugs and picks up his wine glass. “Not like I have time to do anything with them,” he says. “Between work and Rachel’s wedding, I barely had time to come and see you.”

“I’m glad you did.” He says softly.

“Me too,” Kurt says and raises his glass. Sebastian follows suit and clinks his against Kurt’s.

They sit in silence for a while as they watch the day turn into evening, and as the night sky fades to twilight Sebastian finds himself speaking.

“I thought I was going to die,” he says softly. He can feel Kurt shift against him. “The night it happened… The night I got stabbed.”

Sebastian takes deep breath and then another, until the feeling returns to his hands that he notices are shaking. Kurt reaches and grabs his wine glass and then put his hand in Sebastian’s and squeezes it tightly.

Sebastian looks at him and Kurt nods.

“I was so scared,” Sebastian whispers. “The last thing I thought before I passed out was that I wished you were there. I wanted to tell you one last time how much I loved you.”

Sebastian takes a second the compose himself. He takes another deep breath and looks out at the night sky.

“I think the worst thing is that this all happened because I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.” He says and shakes his head. “I hate myself sometimes because of it.”

Kurt leans his head against Sebastian and sighs. “You couldn’t have known that guy was a psycho.”

“Yeah… We can never know,” Sebastian says and leans his head to rest on top of Kurt’s. “That’s what’s so terrifying. Back in the city sometimes I’d get so overwhelmed by the anxiety of it all I’d call in for work.” He admits.

“I’d get dressed and wait until you left to call my boss and say I was having the shits or something,” Sebastian says and laughs, Kurt snorts next to him and wipes at his eye.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Kurt says and loops his arm through Sebastian’s. “We could have seen someone sooner to help with-”

Sebastian shakes his head, “No that would have meant admitting I needed help. I thought that meant I was weak, and I couldn’t… So, I kept it all in until it got too much for me to handle,” He says and turns to look at him. “Until I blew up and destroyed everything too close to me.”

“You didn’t destroy me,” Kurt says and leans in a little closer.

“I meant us, “ Sebastian says softly.

Kurt smiles. “You didn’t destroy that either…” He says and brings one of his hands to cup Sebastian’s cheek. “We just need a bit of fixing.”

Sebastian closes the distance and kisses him. A soft touch of lips, and then he leans his head against Kurt’s. He laughs a little and pulls back to look at Kurt. “Was that okay?” And he hates that he has to ask, but he can practically feel this thing that they have here teetering on the edge.

“So okay,” Kurt says and leans in to kiss him again and wraps his arms around his neck. Sebastian wraps his arms around Kurt’s waist to pull him in closer.

Kurt runs a hand through Sebastian’s hair as he pulls back and Sebastian leans in to chase his lips. Kurt laughs and Sebastian smiles back, dazed.

“Your hair is so much longer now.” Kurt says and runs a hand through it again. Sebastian nods and leans in to kiss him again. Kurt pulls back and scratches along Sebastian’s jaw. “And the five o’clock shadow… “

“Oh my god,” Sebastian says and leans in to kiss him again. Kurt moves both of his hands to Sebastian’s hair and pulls sharply. Sebastian groans into the kiss before pulling back. “Please stay.” He says a little winded.

Kurt smiles and leans in to his kiss him again, softly, before whispering, “No place I’d rather be.”

Sebastian smiles, and he feels like his cheeks might crack open from the force of it. He kisses Kurt again and then pulls back and leans forward and picks him up over his shoulder.

Kurt yelps and then laughs, hitting Sebastian’s back. “Bas, put me down!”

Sebastian laughs and just runs a little faster, “Hold on tight sweet heart!”

Sebastian practically knocks down the door of his bedroom trying to get it open. He drops Kurt on the bed and then leans over him.

Kurt laughs and kicks his leg out, but Sebastian catches it and pulls him in close.

“That was fast,” Kurt says as Sebastian leans down to kiss along his jaw.

“Mmm,” Sebastian says and smiles, “Well I had to live up to my nickname”

Kurt laughs and leans his head back, exposing his neck, to give Sebastian better access of the pale skin.

“Well I hope it only applies to your running,” Kurt says and then laughs.

Sebastian just pulls back and smiles down at him. “I guess we’ll see about that.” He says and leans down to kiss Kurt again.

Kurt hums into the kiss and moves his hands back up to scratch at Sebastian’s jaw line again. Sebastian pulls back and bites playfully at Kurt’s fingers. “So you’re a fan of the beard huh?”

“Beard? Kurt says and smirks, “No. I don’t want you to go full cave man on me, but… Missing a few days doesn’t hurt,” He says and then pulls Sebastian back down to kiss him.

Sebastian laughs a little against Kurt’s lips and pulls back and starts to unbutton Kurt’s shirt. “This okay?”

Kurt sighs and sits up. He pulls Sebastian in close and cups his cheeks with both hands.

“Listen to me,” Kurt says and runs one hand through Sebastian’s hair. “I know this is scary, because it feels like we haven’t been us for a very long time. But don’t forget, you know me better than anybody else on this planet. Trust that you know that. I want this just as much as you do. Stop doubting yourself. Okay?”

Sebastian nods. He leans in and kisses him and then pulls back to take a deep breath. “Yeah.”

Kurt grabs his shoulders and uses them as leverage to pull himself up then promptly throws Sebastian down on the bed in his place.

Kurt laughs and starts to unbutton the rest of his shirt and pulls it off as he smiles down at Sebastian. Sebastian moves his hands to rest on Kurt’s waist as he straddles him.

“God,” Sebastian breathes out, reverent. “You’re gorgeous.”

Kurt’s flush spreads across his chest and Sebastian sits up to lean his head against him to feel the warmth. He can hear Kurt’s heart beating wildly, and hears it skip a beat when he nips at one of Kurt’s nipples.

“Sebastian,” Kurt moans softly and pulls his head back so he can lean down and kiss him.

Kurt reaches for the bottom of Sebastian’s shirt and lifts it. He pulls back enough to pull it over his head and moves back in for another kiss.

He lets his hands travel slowly down Sebastian’s neck and along his shoulders. Sebastian can feel the goosebumbs rising against his skin as Kurt’s hands travel lower down his chest and he shivers when one brushes against his scar.

Kurt pulls back and looks down at his hand hovering over the scar. He touches it softly again.

“Does it ever hurt?” He asks quietly.

“Sometimes,” Sebastian says. “But I think most of the time it’s my mind projecting a phantom pain or something…. That or gas.”

Kurt laughs and leans his head against Sebastian’s, who is shaking with laugher under him. “Can’t rule out gas.”

Sebastian leans up and kisses him again as he pulls him against him and then leans back on the bed. “Get your pants off,” he mumbles against Kurt’s lips.

“So bossy,” Kurt says and leans back to start unbuttoning his pants.

“You should talk,” Sebastian says and starts to pull off his own jeans.

Once they’re down to their boxer briefs Kurt pushes Sebastian back down on the bed and kisses him again. Sebastian groans when Kurt pulls back and tries to pull him back up, but Kurt bats his hands away an starts to kiss at his neck and then down his chest.

Kurt sucks at one of Sebastian’s nipples, and he can feel him smirk against him as he moans at the contact.

“You asshole,” Sebastian laughs out, as Kurt travels further down.

“Mhm,” Kurt says and licks a circle around his belly button. “That’s probably why you like me so much.”

“I don’t like you,” Sebastian says quietly. The silent I love you lies heavy in the air.

Kurt looks up at him and smiles. He leans down and kiss Sebastian’s scar once, and then again before he whispers against his skin. “I don’t like you either.”

Kurt moves down further and slowly pulls at the hem of his briefs. He looks up at Sebastian as he pulls them down lower and lower, exposing him to the sudden chill of the room.

Sebastian lifts his leg to help pull them off. Kurt laughs and throws them over his shoulder.

“Thanks,” Kurt says then runs his hands along Sebastian’s thighs and up to his waist. He leans forward and kisses his hipbone as he wraps his hand around Sebastian’s cock and strokes. Kurt takes him into his mouth and sucks at the head.

Sebastian moans and goes to run his hair through Kurt’s hair before Kurt bats him away.

Sebastian laughs.

“How is that fair?” Sebastian says and folds his hands behind his head. “You can touch mine, but I can’t touch yours?”

Kurt pulls off of him and looks up again. “Do you really want me to stop touching yours right now?” He asks and tightens his grip around Sebastian.

Sebastian moans and throws his head back into the pillows, “ Ohmygoddontyoudare.”

“That’s what I thought,” Kurt smirks. He leans back in and takes Sebastian back into his mouth. Kurt settles in to sucking Sebastian’s cock, humming contentedly as he bobs up and down.

Sebastian’s toes curl at the sensation and his hands twitch with the need to reach out and touch Kurt.

He unfolds them from behind his head and moves them to rest at the back of Kurt’s neck, creating an awkward position for his back, but he doesn’t care as the move makes his cock slide more fully into the wet slick of Kurt’s mouth.

“Oh shit,” He says as he starts to thrust up into the heat. “Kurt.”

Kurt just moans around him and grinds down into the mattress.

“That’s so fucking hot,” Sebastian groans. He can feel the familiar heat start to spread throughout him and he moves his hands to push at Kurt’s shoulders.

“What’s wrong?” Kurt asks, concern clear on his face as he pulls off.

“Nothing,” Sebastian breathes out. “But I know were joking about me ‘coming in a flash’ earlier but I just might if you keep doing that.”

Kurt laughs and starts to crawl back toward Sebastian and straddles him again. “Well we can’t have that.” He says and leans forward to kiss him.

Sebastian moans and deepens the kiss, licking into Kurt’s mouth when he gasps.

Kurt grinds down against Sebastian, the fabric of his briefs rubbing against his aching erection threatens to send him over the edge.

He pulls at Kurt’s briefs and starts to pull them down, never breaking away from Kurt’s mouth.

Once Sebastian’s pulled them off, he wraps his hand around Kurt’s cock and gives him a few quick strokes.

Kurt pulls away to pant against his lips, their eyes meet for a second and Kurt’s eyes are dark, pupils blown, and intense.

“You’re beautiful,” Sebastian whispers. “You’re so beautiful.”

Kurt smiles and kisses him again, briefly, before he reaches over to the bedside table drawer for a bottle a lube.

He pops the cap drizzles a generous amount onto his cock still enveloped by Sebastian. Sebastian smirks and starts to stroke him a little harder, coating the slick all over. Kurt groans and bucks his hips into Sebastian before he can stop himself.

“Bas,” Kurt breathes out and moves to replace Sebastian’s hand with his own around himself, and then extends to wrap around Sebastian’s cock as well.

“Fuck,” Sebastian groans and starts to thrust into Kurt’s hand.

“Now you’re getting the picture,” Kurt says and uses his other hand to pour more lube onto Sebastian’s fingers.

Kurt leans and kisses Sebastian as he guides his slick fingers behind him near his hole.

“Yes,” Kurt whispers against Sebastian’s lip and Sebastian’s nods and rubs a lubed finger around the puckered rim.

Kurt moans softly as Sebastian slides one digit into him, and his moan turns into a drawn out whine as he continues in past the knuckle.

Sebastian takes his time with stretching Kurt. He relishes in every moan, every gasp. He gets bolder with every shiver he induces, and finds himself craving the sound of his name rolling off of Kurt’s tongue.

Sebastian can feel Kurt vibrating with want as he slides his fingers out of him and moves his hands to rest on Kurt’s waist.

Kurt rises up a little bit and reaches behind him to grab Sebastian’s cock. Sebastian closes his eyes as Kurt sinks down onto him.

“Kurt,” he groans out as the tight heat closes around him. His deep breathing quickly turns into shallow pants, and the heat in the room is stifling all of a sudden.

A cool hand on his cheek brings him out of his daze and he lets himself be drawn in by the eyes of the beautiful man above him.

Kurt leans and rests his head against Sebastian’s and breaths out. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Sebastian repeats and Kurt leans back and lets his hand settle on top of Sebastian’s chest before he slowly rises up until he’s almost completely off of Sebastian then slides back onto him.

Sebastian lets out a choked off moan as Kurt does this a few more times, slowly driving him insane.

“Kurt please,” Sebastian says, voice edging on desperate.

Kurt rolls his hips forward on a downward thrust pushing himself deeper onto Sebastian’s cock, causing them both to groan out. He repeats the movement and picks up speed until he’s bouncing on top of Sebastian and scratching down his chest trying to find anything to hold on to.

Sebastian throws his head back letting the pleasure take over. He grips at Kurt’s hips and starts to meet his thrust with his own until all that can be heard in the otherwise silence room is their skin slapping against each other and a jumbled stream of Kurt say yesyesyesbasshityes and Sebastian’s mixture of grunts and moans.

“Babe. Kurt,” Sebastian says urgently. Feeling he's about to tumble over the edge. “I’m about to come,” He says and tries to urge Kurt off of him.

Kurt just doubles his efforts, slamming down onto Sebastian mercilessly.

Sebastian grips Kurt hips hard enough to bruise as he comes on a shout. Kurt slows, but doesn’t stop and just lazily rides Sebastian, milking his orgasm until he’s sensitive.

“Fuck,” Sebastian says on a breathless laugh. He leans up on his elbows and pulls Kurt down to kiss him.

Kurt lifts himself off of Sebastian and then pulls away all together.

“Where are you going?” Sebastian asks as Kurt get’s down from the bed. Kurt just smirks over his shoulder and disappears into the bathroom.

Sebastian is about to call out for him when he hears the shower start to run. Sebastian almost falls as he gets tangled in the blanket on the bed trying to get out of it.

In the shower, Sebastian crowds Kurt against the wall under the spray and brings him off with a few forceful strokes to his cock and two fingers curved expertly in his ass.

Kurt shudders against him as he comes and then leans his head back to let Sebastian kiss him.

They’re back in bed in nothing but their briefs when Kurt breaks the content silence that has settled over them.

“Thank you,” he says softly, tracing a pattern into the arm Sebastian has draped over him. Sebastian leans in and kisses his neck.

“I should be thanking you,” He says. “What could I have possibly done?”

“You finally let me in,” Kurt says and stops his tracing. He clutches his hand around Sebastian’s wrist and squeezes. “That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”

Sebastian pulls Kurt in closer against his chest and hooks his chin over his shoulder.

“Sorry it took me so long,” Sebastian says and then kisses Kurt’s cheek. Kurt laughs lightly and then turns around to face Sebastian. He snakes his arm around Sebastian’s waist and kisses him softly.

“It’s okay,” Kurt says and smiles against his lips. “You’ve always been a bit slow on the uptake. “

“Oh shut up,” Sebastian says on a laugh.

He hasn’t been this happy in months.

Sebastian wakes up earlier than he’s been lately, and he figures why when he sees Kurt hunched over at the edge of the bed sliding on his shoes.

“Hey,” Sebastian says, voice croaky from sleep.

Kurt looks over his shoulder and smiles.

“Hey,” Kurt says and stands. He walks over and sits next to Sebastian before leaning down to kiss him. “Good Morning,” Kurt says and pulls back smiling.

“Yes it is,” Sebastian says and then looks at the clock and groans. “But why so early?”

“If I catch the first train out, I should be able to get to the apartment and change and make it to work on time,” Kurt says thoughtfully.

Sebastian panics a little bit and he grabs Kurt’s wrist. “Stay.”

“Bas,” Kurt says softly, placing a hand on top of the one gripping his wrist. “I can’t miss work. I promise I’ll come back.”

“Tonight?” Sebastian asks.

“Tonight. Okay?”

“Okay.”

Kurt smiles and leans in to kiss him again and runs a hand through his sleep-mussed hair. He takes a deep breath before he stands and extends his hand.

“Wait for the cab with me?” Kurt asks.

Sebastian nods and takes Kurt’s hand to be pulled out of bed. He picks up his shirt and pulls it on before he reclaims Kurt’s hand and walks with him out of the house and to the driveway.

Kurt wraps his arms around Sebastian’s waist and leans his head against Sebastian’s shoulder. Sebastian smiles and puts his arms around Kurt’s shoulders and squeezes him tightly. He can feel Kurt shake in laughter under him and he kisses the top of his head.

They only get to stay like that for another five minutes before a yellow cab pulls at the edge of the drive and idles.

“I’ll see you later,” Kurt says and kisses him again. Kurt tries to pull away after a few seconds but Sebastian tightens his grip around his shoulder and deepens the kiss. He kisses him until the cab driver honks to break them up.

Kurt laughs softly and gives him one more soft peck before turning to leave.

Sebastian watches it drive out of sight.

He falls back asleep with a smile on his face.

When he wakes, he smells coffee. He jolts upright and scrambles out of the bed and barrels himself towards the kitchen.

“Kurt?” he asks excitedly when he steps inside and then his face falls. “Oh..”

“Well it’s good to see you too, Son,” Melinda pouts and crosses her arms.

Sebastian sighs and crosses the room to hug his mother. “Hi Mom,” he says and squeezes her tightly. “I’m always glad to see you.”

“That’s better.” She says and pats his back. “Now why on earth did you think I was Kurt? You aren’t talking to him again are you?”

Sebastian frowns. “Why do you say that like it’s a bad thing?”

“Oh honey, don’t get defensive,” Melinda says and turns to pour coffee into a mug. “I’m just concerned that him being around will make you regress with your therapy.”

“Kurt wouldn’t make that happen, Mom,” Sebastian sighs. “If anything, I’ve felt better than I’ve felt in months because he’s back.”

“He’s back?” Melinda asks. “Sebastian what did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything,” Sebastian says, frown intensifying. “He came over for lunch yesterday and spent the night. What is the big deal?”

“The big deal is that you think he’s good for you but he’s not!” Melinda snaps and turns back towards him. Sebastian flinches at the coolness in her tone. “And he’s going to ruin all of the progress you’ve made when he undoubtedly leaves you again.”

Sebastian doesn’t say anything for a long time. He just stares at his mother.

“I am going for a run,” he says finally and turns to walk out of the kitchen.

He goes to put on some shorts and his running shoes and is out the door before Melinda can stop him.

The run calms him down. The burn in his lungs and the familiar aches of his joints, distract him from he anger he feels building. Every time he starts to think about the look in his Mom’s eyes and the tone of her voice he runs faster and pushes himself further to help to stop feeling so… betrayed?

He finds himself out on one of the docks just like on that first night here. And he starts to think. Think about how hard this must have been on everyone, not just him and not just Kurt.

He thinks about the tight hugs his dad always gives him when he’s saying goodbye now, and the frequency in which his brother calls and visits him. He lets himself think about what it must have felt like for his mom to almost lose her youngest son.

He sighs and starts to make his way back to the house at a much slower pace.

When he gets back to the house he finds his mom sitting on the back porch. He sits down next to her and breathes out in a heavy sigh.

“Did you have a nice run?” She asks.

“I did,” Sebastian starts. “I’m sorry I walked out. I’m trying to work on that little problem of mine.”

Sebastian runs a hand through his sweat slick hair and smiles softly remembering Kurt’s hand smoothing it in place before he walked to the taxi that morning.

Sebastian clears his throat. “I never asked you about what it was like for you and Dad when I was hurt.” He says. “I only focused on me and Kurt. And that couldn’t have been easy for you.”

Sebastian looks over at her and she’s looking out at the back yard, away from him. He reaches over and grabs her hand and she squeezes it tightly.

“It’s never easy to see your baby hurt.” She says softly, almost a whisper. “It’s a mothers instinct to protect her child at all cost, from anything and anyone.”

“Mom,” Sebastian says and shakes her hand to get her attention. “Kurt is not someone you need to protect me from. He never has been.”

Melinda smiles sadly at him.

“Oh sweetie,” She says with a put on sigh. “One day you’ll have a child of your own and understand the things a parent does for their own.”

She stands and pats him on the cheek. “One day you’ll know what it takes to keep the ones you love safe,” She says and then walks back into the house.

Sebastian bites his lip and watches her walk back inside. Something about the tone of her voice seemed off.

He stands to go inside and shower before lunch, when he walks into the kitchen he sees his phone sitting out on the counter.

He picks it up to text Kurt about his mom being here, but when he unlocks the screen he already has a message from Kurt.

Just…Never talk to me again.

Sebastian freezes and tries to wrap his brain around why Kurt would send him that text. He scrolls up the last message sent from him and it only says that he was waiting at the station.

“What the hell,” he says as he tries to rack his brain for anything he could have done. He presses the dial button before he can talk himself out of it.

Kurt answers on the first ring.

“What do you want?” He snaps.

“Kurt,” Sebastian chokes out, shocked. “Where is this coming from?”

“What do you mean where is this coming from, you’re the one who texted me!” Kurt practically shrieks into the phone.

“Babe,” Sebastian says slowly. “I haven’t text you since yesterday. Besides after you left I went back to sleep and then for a run when I woke up.”

“Then how do you explain the text I got from you two hours ago telling me last night was a mistake,” Kurt says and Sebastian can tell he’s crying on the end. “And that you couldn’t trust me not to leave you, which I have to say is real rich coming from you Sebastian.”

“First of all, ouch,” Sebastian snaps.

“Goodbye Sebastian,” Kurt cuts in.

“Wait, wait, wait!” Sebastian shouts. “Listen to me, please? I didn’t send you any texts and I just checked and I don’t have any text to or from you since yesterday!”

“Right,” Kurt scoffs. “And someone just magically hacked into your phone and sent these?”

“I don’t know!” Sebastian says. “ but the only person here is my Mom and—“

She wouldn’t.

Sebastian looks up and finds her standing in the doorway, arms crossed, frown set, and it’s the most upset he’s ever seen her.

“What did you do Mom?” He asks.

“One day you’ll understand-”

Sebastian laughs. “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Sebastian drops his phone back on the counter and puts his head in his hands. The conversation on the porch starts to make more sense.

“This whole time,” He says. “This whole time Kurt’s been right! You’ve done nothing but tried to sabotage our relationship!”

“You deserve to be with someone who-”

“You don’t get to decide that!” Sebastian yells. “You don’t get to decide who I love. And you can try and feed me that bullshit about a mother’s love again but I’m done listening. “

“Sebastian,” Melinda starts.

“No,” Sebastian says and picks up his phone again. “We’re done. I’m done letting you be a wedge between Kurt and I.”

“He’s just going to hurt you again—“

“Yeah maybe,” Sebastian says. “But I’d take that risk everyday to be with him again. To be able to hold him and tell him how much I love him and how he’s the only person I’ve ever been in love with. He’s the only person who drives me crazy in the best way possible. He’s the only person who’s ever been worth fighting for. And I will fight harder than ever now to keep him. Even if that means fighting you.”

Melinda is shaking her head and opens her mouth to say something.

“I don’t care what you have to say anymore, Mother.” Sebastian says and walks out.

Sebastian packs a bag of clothes and leaves.

He fidgets the entire train ride to the city. His phone buzzes at a near constant rate. When he finally looks at his phone he has several missed calls from his mom, dad, and brother, and even a few from Jesse.

None from Kurt who he’d tried to call back once he boarded the train.

Now he’s sitting in a cab heading to Kurt’s office stuck in traffic “Come on, come on, come on,” he says craning his neck to see what’s the hold up.

“How far are we?” Sebastian asks.

“20… 30 blocks maybe?” The cab driver grunts out.

“Here,” Sebastian says and throws a few bills at him and gets out of the car.

He throws his bag over his shoulder and runs.

He makes it to Kurt’s building in less than 10 minutes. The adrenaline coursing through him doesn’t let him wait for the elevator. He runs up the 9 floors of stairs to get to Kurt’s floor and then flings himself through the doors.

“Kurt!” He yells out, shattering the quiet of the offices around him.

“Sebastian? What are you doing—“

“God Karen, not now,” Sebastian says and walks past her further into the office. “Kurt!”

“Sebastian,” Kurt says and Sebastian whips around to see him holding a stack of fabric.

“Oh thank god,” Sebastian says and drops his bag to the floor. He’s winded all at once. “Give me a second.”

He hunches over and puts his hands on his knees and takes a deep breath.

“Is he okay?” Sebastian hears someone asks, Karen probably.

“He’s fine,” Kurt says and then he stoops down in front of Sebastian and asks in a lower tone. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Sebastian says and nods. “I ran like a mile and a half here from my cab and then up the stairs which are… a total bitch.”

Kurt laughs and rubs a hand soothingly at his back. “Can someone get a glass of water?”

“Kurt listen,” Sebastian says and starts to stand up straight. “I didn’t send you any of those texts. My M—“

“I know, I heard.” Kurt says and smiles softly. “I heard the whole thing.”

“You …how?” Sebastian asks.

“You didn’t hang up the phone.”

Sebastian laughs and then takes a deep breath. “So we’re okay?”

“We’re okay.”

Sebastian smiles and then takes the fabric stack out of Kurt’s hand.

“Here,” he says and throws them to Karen.

He doesn’t even listen to her indignant yell; he’s too busy picking Kurt up into a crushing hug.

“Bas!” Kurt yells out with a laugh. “You are getting sweat on my shirt!”

Sebastian puts him down and leans in to kiss him. He can feel Kurt smile against his lips and he pulls back to enjoy it.

“I have a question that I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time,” Sebastian says and reaches down to grab Kurt’s hands in his. “Kurt Elizabeth Hummel. Would you make me the happiest wacko on the planet and go to therapy with me?”

Kurt laughs and leans his head against Sebastian’s chest, shaking with it. When he pulls back his eyes are brimmed with unshed tears.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Kurt says and leans in to kiss him again.

“Can someone take these samples,” Karen snaps after a few moments.

“You are such a goddamn buzz kill,” Kurt says and snatches them away from her and then looks back to Sebastian. “See?!”

“She really is the worst,” Sebastian says, grinning stupidly.

Chapter Text

The first time Kurt knew when Sebastian was going to propose to him. He had long since figured out how to tell when Sebastian was keeping things from him. It was only a matter of figuring out what.

His first plan of attack was to come out and ask.

“Why are you so twitchy?” Kurt asked as Sebastian walks into their bedroom one after noon. Sebastian had been about to put away some dry cleaning and looked at him, startled for a second, before he shook his head and frowned.

“I’m not twitchy. Why are you so paranoid?”

“Why are you getting defensive?”

“Jesus, Kurt I’m not. Drop it, Okay?” Sebastian said… defensively. He stepped into the closet and hung up the clothes a little too aggressively. Kurt narrowed his eyes but collected his features by the time Sebastian had stepped back out.

Kurt just smirked and nodded before he walked over to Sebastian and kissed him lightly on the lips.

“Okay,” he said softly with a small shrug of his shoulders before he walked out of the room.

Kurt heard him mutter a soft “Fuck” before he was out of earshot.

Kurt asked Sebastian twice more, why he was acting so strangely, all to the same out come as the first.

Sebastian generally didn’t last this long. It had been a couple of weeks since Kurt had noticed something was off. Normally Sebastian would break after the second time Kurt asked, or he would slip up and Kurt would figure it out, but this time was different. Sebastian was being careful not to leave any traces of whatever he was doing and Kurt was starting to panic.

Kurt trusted Sebastian to no end, but the last time he was this secretive, Melinda had come to visit them for a week while Sebastian’s father Eric was on a business trip.

It was time for reinforcements.

He picked up his phone and dialed the only person he could trust to help with this.

“What do you know?” Kurt said in lieu of hello.

Rachel huffed softly on the line and ignored him in favor launching into a story about her new understudy.

“Wait, your new understudy? What happened to Marley?” Kurt asked without a second thought to why he had originally called.

It wasn’t until an hour after he had hung up that he’d realized what she had done. Whatever Sebastian was hiding, it was big enough for Rachel not to want to spoil it.

“Maybe he’s planning a surprise vacation for the two of you,” Jason, one of Kurt’s co-workers had said while they were huddled around the conference table waiting for their meeting to start.

“Oh, God I hope not,” Kurt said, getting annoyed at the very thought of it. “He has terrible taste in vacation spots. Last year he tried to take me to Yemen. Which unless 15 Yemen Road actually exists, no thanks.”

“Oh god, you don’t think he’s sick do you?” Karen asked suddenly. Effectively dousing the room into silence.

“No,” Kurt said quietly. “He wouldn’t do that.”

“Oh,” Karen said then shrugged and added matter-of-factly. “Then he’s probably going to propose to you.”

Kurt froze for a second and then shook his head. “No it’s not that either,” he said, because goddamn it he hates it when Karen’s right.

Karen was right.

He knew it the minute she said it, but he didn’t want her to be the one to point it out to him. So he let himself think over all the interactions he’d had with Sebastian over the past few weeks. All the hints that didn’t make sense to him slowly started to fall into place.

The way Sebastian had started to pay more attention to Kurt’s hands, laying more than one gentle kiss to his knuckles at any given moment.

The fact that he and Rachel were actually speaking to one another without Kurt needing to be in the same room. They had lunch together for goodness sake, and Kurt hadn’t thought anything of it besides finally.

Kurt was still reviewing the moments in his head when Sebastian got home from work.

 

*

 

“Hello, earth to Kurt, Sebastian said and waved a hand in front of Kurt’s glazed over eyes.

Kurt jumped and then put a hand over his chest, his heart beating a bit faster. Sebastian gave him a concerned smile. “You alright?”

Kurt let out a shaky breath before he nodded and laughed softly. He reached out for Sebastian, resting a hand on his cheek softly. Sebastian leaned into the touch until their foreheads were touching.

“Kurt,” He said again with more concern creeping into his voice.

“I’m fine, I was just thinking,” he said and kissed Sebastian softly.

Sebastian hummed against Kurt’s lips and pulled back with a smile. “Well that explains it. The hair dye chemicals have finally gotten to the cells then?”

Kurt rolled his eyes and tried to push Sebastian away, but Sebastian wrapped his hand around Kurt’s wrist and pulled him up off the couch.

“Dinner?” he asked as he pulled Kurt against him in a loose embrace.

“Sure, where too?” Kurt said, rubbing circles against the fabric at the small of Sebastian’s back.

“How about that sushi place on 43rd?” Sebastian asked.

Kurt’s stomach did an odd little flip, “That’s a nice place,” Kurt said and tightened his grip at Sebastian’s back.

“Yeah, I guess,” Sebastian said and started to pull away. “And I was hoping you said yes so I already made reservations. We need to be there in an hour.”

Kurt gave himself exactly 20 seconds to freak out, because this was happening and it was happening tonight.

It did not happen that night.

Kurt had spent the entire time waiting for Sebastian to ask him. Sure that this was it. Every time Sebastian said his name, Kurt clung to his every word like it was a life raft being tossed to him in the open sea.

When they’d gotten home, Sebastian had gone to put on the kettle for tea, and Kurt went to change into something comfortable.

When Kurt wonders into the kitchen, Sebastian smiles at him and sits down a cup of tea in front of him before he leans in and kisses the side of Kurt’s head softly.

It felt like a promise.

“What was that for?” Kurt asked.

Sebastian just smiled again and takes a sip of his tea.

Kurt was on high alert for the supposed proposal. Any time Sebastian did anything resembling a romantic gesture Kurt practically melted with anticipation.

One time, Sebastian had walked up behind Kurt while he was chopping tomatoes for dinner, and he wrapped his hand around Kurt’s wrist and squeezed.

“Is it weird that your aggressive chopping turns me on?”

Kurt had laughed and leaned back into Sebastian’s touch, then immediately pulled away and turned to look at him suspiciously. He hoped his looked conveyed ‘I swear to god Sebastian if you propose to me while I’m prepping a salad and in sweats I will cut you. I will.’ Probably.

The day Sebastian told Kurt that he wanted to go for a walk in the park, Kurt immediately knew what was happening. Kurt smiled and leaned in and kissed a stunned Sebastian.

“What was that for?” Sebastian asked. Kurt just shrugged and went to change into something comfortable yet proposal worthy.

Midway through the walk is when it happened. They’d been people watching and Kurt had been keeping up the commentary for the both of them.

Sebastian puts a hand on Kurt’s wrist to stop him from walking and he tugs softly to get him to turn.

“Hey,” he’d said softly and Kurt hearts started to pound in his ears.

“Hi,” Kurt responded just as softly, because was it. He could feel it.

Sebastian’s smile was blinding as he puts two steady hands at Kurt’s waist and pulled him in. Their lips brushed softly and then Sebastian leaned back far enough to nudge his nose against Kurt’s.

He took a deep breath and stepped back then reached for Kurt’s hands.

“Kurt,” he started and then cleared his throat. “Kurt. You are the most important person in the world to me. Although I am content to believe that I was amazing before, I know without a doubt that you made me a better person.”

Kurt couldn’t help but laugh. He leaned his head against Sebastian’s chest and they shook together before Sebastian pushed him back softly. His hands slide up Kurt’s back and continued up to cup at Kurt’s cheek.

“I love you,” He said and Kurt could hear his voice break off with emotion.

“I love you too,” Kurt said, barely over a whisper.

Sebastian nodded his head and took a deep breath. Kurt grabbed his hands again and gave it a tight squeeze, a silent encouragement.

“I can’t imagine my life without you. I mean my closet would be three times smaller but—“

“Sebastian,” Kurt said and gave his hand a harder squeeze.

“Okay, okay,” Sebastian said and smirked. He leaned in and gave Kurt a quick kiss before he pulled back.

“Kurt, you are the single most important thing in my life. I love that you’re the one I fall asleep with and the one I wake up next to. You are my everything. So please…”

Sebastian took a step back and reached in his pocket. He pulled out a small box and gave Kurt the most brilliant smile. Kurt’s heart felt like it was trying to escape out of his chest and he felt a sudden rush of emotion as he watched Sebastian knelt down to the ground and presented the box to him.

“Kurt Elizabeth Hummel,” Sebastian said with tears brimmed in his eyes. “Please make me the luckiest asshole on the planet.” Kurt let out a snort unwillingly. “Please dress me up in front of all of our closest friends and family and the few dickheads I’m obligated to invite, like Ryan.”

“Hey!” Kurt heard from somewhere behind him.

“Please drive me crazy for the foreseeable future with talks of centerpieces, pocket squares, and the perfect honeymoon destination. Please make me whole and be my husband. Please will you marry me?”

Kurt felt the tears rolling down his face and he nodded his head vigorously.

Sebastian’s face lit up with a smile, “That’s a yes?”

“Yes of course!” Kurt said excitedly.

Sebastian pulled the ring out of the box and slid it on to Kurt’s finger. He stood and wrapped his arms around Kurt’s waist and picked him up off of the ground before giving him a tight hug. When he set him down to the ground, their lips have barely touched when a set of smaller arms wrapped around his middle and started to squeeze him tightly.

“Ahhhhh!” Rachel screamed excitedly. “Aren’t you glad I didn’t tell you!”

Sebastian froze mid hug with Jesse and looked over at Kurt. “What you knew?”

“No!” Rachel shouted. “I wouldn’t tell him when he asked.”

“Kurt?” Sebastian said and narrowed his eyes at him.

“No, of course I didn’t” Kurt said innocently and pulled away from Rachel to wrap his arms around Sebastian’s neck. “I had no clue at all.”

Sebastian sighed with a roll of his eyes. “Yeah, right.”

Kurt laughed and pressed a quick kiss to Sebastian’s cheek. “Okay fine, but I loved it no less. “

“Excuse me,” Rachel said loudly. “Can we all just appreciate that I was not the one to tell him!”

“No,” Kurt, Sebastian and Jesse said at the same time before they all fell into a fit of laughter.

The first time they got engaged, Kurt guessed the when and where. This time around Sebastian wouldn’t see it coming.

 

 +++

 

By mile six, Sebastian starts to see people lag in the race. The runners who had sprinted off at the sound of the gun were now starting to lose momentum.

Slow and steady, he repeats to himself.

It became a mantra of sorts in his last few months of training, going for long periods and working on keeping up his stamina.

Kurt had joked that after this, marathon sex would be a breeze for Sebastian.

Sebastian lets himself smile at the memory and at the possibility.

Anytime he starts to get tired and wants to stop and take a break, he lets himself think about all the people who were waiting for him at the finish line.

Rachel, who no doubt will be clinging to Jesse’s side complaining about how cold it is, scarf wrapped tightly around her throat, will be explaining to anyone who will listen about how important it is to keep her throat warm.

Jesse will be nodding along through all of Rachel’s endless stories and antidotes, while actually checking his email or revising his latest musical book.

Ryan has probably made friends with at least half a dozen people around them, and will now be attempting to introduce them to everyone else.

His dad will be quiet and polite and ask what it is that they do, whom they are here for, while their mom silently criticizes the way they speak.

Kurt will be rolling his eyes at Rachel, andshaking his head at Jesse’s ability to keep up with Rachel. He’ll be polite and kind, but will side-eye Ryan with each attempt to add to his circles on Google+. He’ll be ever charmed by his dad’s ability to be liked by everyone, and be annoyed that he still hasn’t figured out what made him choose Melinda.

Sebastian smirks at the thought of Kurt and Melinda on opposite sides of their group waiting for him. Although the three of them are attending regular sessions with Lisa, and he has long since come to terms with the terror his mother is, some things don’t change.

By mile ten he’s starting to tell himself that it ‘s okay he only had 16 miles to go, which immediately make him want to puke, so he instead tells himself that the first ten were a breeze and he could breeze through the next 10 easily.

At 15 miles he’s ready to kill someone, most likely himself.

When he is down to his last 5 miles he knows he’s made a big, huge, terrible, mistake.

“You can do it, man.” A pale, dark haired woman says as she passes by him, “It’s all mental.”

“You’re mental!” He croaks out.

He’s just about to start walking when he see’s a sign that catches his eye.

He can see it has his name on it in big bold letters, but he can’t make out the rest just yet.

He makes his legs carry him further, just close enough to read it, and then he can walk.

SEBASTIAN. WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS HOW PROUD I AM OF YOU. But I will try…

Sebastian stares dumbly at it, and without even knowing he starts to slow down. The sign quickly changes as it’s turned around.

KEEP RUNNING DUMBASS!

Sebastian lets his eyes trail down to see Allison holding the sign with a knowing grin on her face.

Sebastian lets out a short laugh before he waves, she points toward the direction of the finish line instead.

With a sudden burst of energy, Sebastian tries to steady out his breathing while he runs.

The minutes tick by like hours, but he keeps scanning the crowd for more signs of recognition in the sea of ‘You Can Do It’ and ‘Push Through It’ signs until he finally sees one similar to the last one.

… I love that this past year has made you, and us, stronger in more ways than I could have imagined.

Sebastian smiles and then seconds later the sign flips.

I love that you trusts in us enough to realize that Baby, we’re it.

Sebastian shakes his head softly as he laughs and when he lets his eyes travel down he sees Lisa holding up a sign with one hand and giving him a thumbs up with the other.

Sebastian moves closer to the side where all of the spectators have started to gather and he lets his eyes continue to scan the crowd.

As he gets closer to the finish line he starts to see more and more poster boards in the neat and elegant script pop up.

I am so proud that you have made it this far. I knew you could do it.

The back of that sign reads:

I’m proud of you too Kiddo.

Sebastian lets his eyes travel down to see Burt holding the sign and smiling widely at him.

Carole’s next to him reads.

You once said that I inspired you to be a better person. But you are the…

Sebastian has to wait for that one to be turned around and almost stops running trying to do so.

True Hero. <3

He smiles and shakes his head. He feels a familiar sting in his eyes but he can’t tell if he’s crying or if it’s still sweat.

He wipes at his face anyway and looks up just in time to see a string of new posters popping up. The finish line is right in his sight.

So, Sebastian Dylan Smythe

The next sign is lower to the ground and is being waved around frantically. He looks down to see Rachel smiling brightly at him and attempting to hold the sign higher.

Please make me the happiest man on earth.

And in a row of his closest friends and family the signs read out:

WILL YOU THANKS OBAMA ME ?

Sebastian is torn between laughing hysterically and falling over, and both of them threaten to win as he points to the THANKS OBAMA sign.

He can see his Mom hit Ryan over the head and then watches him look up at his sign. He flips it around, and now the signs read.

WILL YOU MARRY ME?

Sebastian’s smiling so hard he’s afraid his face might freeze that way. He’s nodding his head frantically and looking around for the only person he wants to see right now.

He’s just about to pass the finish line when he sees him.

Standing there, in his no doubt designer dark denim jeans, a black pea coat and a bright red scarf, is Kurt.

He’s holding a small box out in front of him, and when he sees Sebastian coming, he flips the top open.

As Sebastian passes the finish line he can hear people cheering and clapping, but he doesn’t care about any of that as he makes his way to Kurt.

He starts to slow down his running, and all the aches and pains he’s been ignoring for at least the last ten miles start to make their way towards the forefront of his mind.

The smile on Kurt’s face falls a little bit and he starts to walk towards him. He has his arms around Sebastian’s waist before he can even register that Kurt has moved an inch.

“Bas,” Kurt says, concern coloring his voice.

“Yes!” Sebastian says, ignoring whatever Kurt is about to say. He leans into kiss him, which is more of just smashing his lips against Kurt’s with no real effort. He’s too tired for effort. He pulls back and wraps his arms around Kurt’s shoulders and sighs out. “Yes.”

Kurt tightens his arms around him, and they stand like that until Sebastian starts to shake slightly.

Kurt pulls back and looks over his shoulder at the medic tent. “We should get you over there.”

“Wait, wait,” Sebastian says and then looks down at the box. Kurt smiles and pulls out the ring and slides it onto Sebastian’s finger.

Sebastian smiles down at it and then leans in to kiss Kurt again.

Seconds later, there are people surrounding them and pulling them into hugs or slapping them on their backs.

His body is starting to scream bloody murder and he looks to Kurt a little desperately. His mother continues to squeeze him for dear life, repeating over and over how happy she is for him. It’s times like this when he doesn’t know if he actually likes Dr. Michaels who is watching the scene unfold in quiet amusement.

Kurt pries Melinda off gently, as gently as Kurt can be towards his mother, and tells them to meet back at the apartment. Then they turn and walk over to one of the medic booths.

When Sebastian sits down onto one of the chairs, he lets out a loud groan and leans his head against Kurt. Kurt leans in to give him a soft peck on his head and rubs a soothing hand along Sebastian’s back.

“I’m so proud of you,” He whispers softly. Sebastian hums his acknowledgment but is saved from having to actually say words by a Race Volunteer coming over to greet them. Kurt talks to her as he sits there numbly and let the medics poke and prod him and give him instructions and tips on post marathon training.

That night, after they’ve sent their various friends and family members home or off to hotels, Sebastian sits in a very hot bath, soaking his tired body. Kurt sits on the floor next to the tub, their hands linked together under the water, and they talk about the day.

“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hurt someone who was trying to be encouraging so bad in my life Kurt,” Sebastian says and laughs softly. “I wanted to throw my water bottle at her.”

“Thank goodness you didn’t,” Kurt says and smiles. “You getting eliminated from the race early would have definitely spoiled the proposal.”

Sebastian grins and lifts his hand out of the water to look at the ring again.

“Have I told you that I love you yet,” Sebastian says and reaches down and slowly pulls Kurt’s hand to his lips to kiss it.

“Only a few dozen times today, but I could do with a few more.”

Sebastian huffs out a laugh and squeezes Kurt’s hand.

“I love you so much.”

Kurt just smiles and looks down at their hands.

“I don’t know if I want to plan a big wedding like last time,” Kurt says softly.

Sebastian looks up from their clasped hands and frowns. “No?”

Kurt smiles softly and shakes his head.

“But you’ve always wanted a big, romantic wedding.”

Kurt shrugs his shoulders and leans down and kisses Sebastian’s hand. “There’s more to it than having that perfect day. I think I always looked at it as the perfect wedding would be the start to a perfect marriage."

“Are you saying our wedding won’t be perfect?”

“Oh no, it will be fantastic,” Kurt says and they both share a laugh. “But I’m more excited about what happens after.”

“Marathon sex?”

Kurt groans and leans his head against the side of the tub, shaking with laughter.

“Because I’m good at marathons apparently,” Sebastian continues.

“Oh the best,” Kurt says and then smiles softly. “We’ve got this whole before forever deal down to a science. I think we’re ready for the next step.”

“I think you’re right,” Sebastian says and leans forward to kiss Kurt softly. “I can’t wait for the ever after.”