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It Was Only A Kiss

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"Everything alright out here?" Sebastian asks, slowly approaching Kurt in the empty parking lot. He's never seen Kurt get that upset, and he's quite honestly surprised to see Blaine that handsy; for all that Blaine let him flirt, he did a pretty good job of keeping up the physical boundaries, and Sebastian had been starting to think that maybe Blaine was just a prude.

Kurt spins around at the sound of his voice and shoots Sebastian a glare. "What do you want?"

Sebastian raises his hands, raises his eyebrows. "Woah, calm down, tiger. Just making sure everything's good here. I caught the end of that fight, didn't sound great."

"Whatever, Sebastian," Kurt rolls his eyes, turns away and reaches for the car door.

"Kurt, wait," Sebastian says, stepping forward and grabbing hold of Kurt's shoulder to stop him. He could care less about Kurt Hummel, but he's never seen the kid this upset (and he's tried), and despite what everyone else may think he does, deep down, have a heart.

Kurt flinches at the touch, shrugs his shoulder out from under Sebastian's hand. "Don't touch me, you overgrown ferret."

Sebastian rolls his eyes, runs a hand through his hair. Jesus Christ, this kid is touchy. "My sincere apologies, Ice Queen, for trying to make sure you're okay."

Now it's Kurt's turn to roll his eyes, and Sebastian finally notices the tears he must be holding back. "Yeah, right. We all know this is what you wanted anyway, no need to pretend you care."

"Wow, you really are impossible, aren't you?" Sebastian says, crossing his arms, because this is ridiculous. Kurt isn't entirely wrong, Sebastian did invite them here hoping to get under Kurt's skin; it's not often he meets someone that can hold his own against him, and Kurt can certainly hold his own. It's fun. But he's pretty sure that fight wasn't about him, it was about Blaine being pushy, and that's just not cool. Sebastian is all for getting it on whenever and wherever, but he would never pressure someone who didn't want it; not that he ever has that problem, of course.

"Fuck off, Sebastian," Kurt says, shooting him an icy glare worthy of his Ice Queen title but otherwise not bothering to engage in their typical banter, before he hauls the door open and gets into the car. Sebastian takes a step back, watches as Kurt makes a point not to look at him as he pulls out of the parking space and drives away.

Sebastian just rolls his eyes again, makes his way back to the bar as he slides his cell out of his pocket to call a cab.

He doesn't know that Kurt pulls over on the side of the road half way home to cry for half an hour.

Sebastian had spotted Kurt and Blaine at their usual Lima Bean table when he walked through the door, and he makes his way over now, coffee in hand. Talking to these boys is always good for some quick fun.

"Why hello there Blaine," he says, pulling a chair up alongside the dark-haired boy and taking a seat, "I walked through the door and my eyes were just immediately drawn to this sexy man with his little fairy friend, and then I thought, 'hey, I know that guy,'" he winks at Blaine, then turns to give Kurt a smug grin, "Kurt."

"How charming," Kurt says, sarcasm dripping from the words, and Blaine's cheeks redden ever so slightly. It always is so easy to make him blush.

"We were just talking about choreography for out next competition," Blaine says, changing the subject as he always does when Sebastian flusters him, and at first it was kind of cute but it's starting to get boring.

"Oh really? After last weekend, I was under the impression that some of the people at this table aren't exactly, how can I put this delicately, skilled dancers." He shoots Kurt a pointed look, and Kurt glares back.

"Well, it's different when we have the choreography sorted out ahead of time," Blaine says, seemingly completely missing the jab at his boyfriend, and sometimes Sebastian isn't sure if Blaine really is that oblivious or if he actually just doesn't mind letting another guy insult his boyfriend right in front of him.

"I'm just going to grab another coffee," Blaine says, standing from his chair and walking behind Kurt toward the counter, "do you want anything?"

Sebastian doesn't miss Kurt's flinch as Blaine lays a hand on his shoulder with the question, but he recovers quickly. "No thanks, I still have some," Kurt says, lifting his cup and swirling the liquid inside.

Sebastian narrows his eyes at Kurt; something's not right here. "Seems like you two made up just fine," he says once Blaine is out of earshot.

Kurt shoots back his trademark icy glare. "Don't you have literally anywhere else to be, Sebastian?"

"And miss out on talking to my favourite soloist and his missus?"

"That's really creative, careful you don't hurt yourself thinking too hard," Kurt snarks back.

"I appreciate the concern, but I don't think you need to worry about anything being too hard around you, looking like that," Sebastian says, flicking his eyes up and down Kurt's body.

Kurt's cheeks flush red at that, but he doesn't react otherwise. "Trust me Waluigi, that's not an issue. Just because whatever clients you manage to find on the corner can't get it up doesn't mean we all have the same problem."

Sebastian is actually pretty impressed with that one. Usually Kurt stays away from anything overtly sexual, but he really went for it and it's kind of... well, it might have been hot, if it wasn't Kurt Hummel. "Your boyfriend certainly didn't seem to have any issues when I was dancing with him. Maybe if you weren't such a frigid bitch you would have actually gotten laid for once in your life."

There's a flash of something in Kurt's eyes – panic? shame? fear? – and Kurt sits there for a moment, speechless, lips parted slightly in shock, staring back at Sebastian. Clearly he hit a nerve. Looks like everything isn't back to sunshine and rainbows between the two of them after all. But then Blaine is back, taking his seat at the table, and Kurt's expression is masked with one of bored annoyance.

"Did I miss anything?" Blaine asks as he takes a sip of his new coffee and looks between the two of them.

"No, Sebastian here was just leaving, he has some kind of appointment to deal with the rat nest on top of his head," Kurt says, offering a tight smile and fluttering his hand in the air toward Sebastian's hair.

"It was great to see you," Sebastian says as he stands; it's always more fun when he gets Kurt on his own anyway, now that Blaine's back with a fresh coffee he won't get as many opportunities to snipe at Kurt.

"Oh, sure. See you, Sebastian," Blaine says, and Sebastian gives him a little salute as he walks away.

"Could you be a little nicer," he hears Blaine whispering behind him, "he's just trying to be friendly."

"Oh please, Captain Licentious only ever talks to us so he can hit on you and insult me."

Sebastian smirks at that. He's not so full of himself that he can't appreciate a good insult when he hears it, even when directed at himself. It's one of the reasons Kurt is so fun.

"Kurt, come on, don't be like that."

He takes a final glance over his shoulder as he walks through the door, sees Blaine moving to wrap an arm around Kurt and Kurt scoots his chair away a little, and he frowns. Watching their relationship slowly starting to fracture is much less satisfying than he thought it would be.

"Well look who it is," Sebastian smirks, standing in front of Kurt in the small waiting room. Kurt's eyes flit up from the copy of Vogue in his hands, a brief flash of surprise before recognition and then he's wordlessly looking back down at the magazine again.

"Well that's not very polite," Sebastian says, taking the seat next to Kurt and glancing at the open page. "I don't think you have the hips for that," he adds, looking at the model clad in a sparkly red dress taking up the whole page.

"Some people aren't worth the effort," Kurt retorts, eyes not leaving the magazine as he flips to the next page.

Sebastian sits back in his chair, tips his head to rest against the wall. "You really are more fun when Blaine is around," he decides. "Where is he, anyway?"

Again, Kurt doesn't respond.

"Oh, you don't know. Still fighting, I see. Still won't put out for him?"

Kurt snaps the magazine shut, turns to glare at Sebastian. "Our sex life is none of your business."

"Oh, so I'm right," he says with smirk.

"Just because some people have no problem sleeping with the first warm body they come across doesn't mean everybody else is so easy," Kurt spits, and usually his voice is so icy but there's something else in his voice, too, and holy shit they actually haven't had sex yet.

"No way," Sebastian says, barking out a laugh, "I'm right. You actually won't."

Kurt shoots him a fiery glare. "Some of us have more than a modicum of patience and actually want to wait for the right time," he says, cheeks flushed. How cute, he's embarrassed.

"You know, if it's causing you relationship issues I'd be more than happy to offer your boyfriend my services to take the pressure off you," Sebastian offers with a wide smirk.

Kurt's eyes go wide, shock and disgust and – hurt? – before he masks it again quickly, because that's something Kurt must have a lot of practice with; he knows masks well, he's not a stranger to them, either.

"I hardly think Blaine would be interested in such debauchery," Kurt says, opening the magazine again and staring at it hard, thought Sebastian can tell he's not really looking, and he isn't usually able to get under Kurt's skin like this.

"I never would have thought you such a prude, what with that stick shoved so far up your ass."

"Just because I won't let my boyfriend force me into having sex with him doesn't mean I'm a prude," Kurt shoots back, and just as soon as he says it he seems to realize what he said and his eyes go wide.

Sebastian is actually at a loss of what to say, he just stares back at Kurt. This isn't banter, this is... well, is Blaine actually trying to force Kurt to sleep with him? Because that doesn't seem Blaine's style. But he remembers that night in the parking lot at Scandals, and he remembers the times since then when he's noticed Kurt flinching at Blaine's touch, or moving himself further away, or wrapping his arms around himself protectively, and shit.

"As lovely as this has been, Sebastian, I have to go," Kurt says icily, standing, and Sebastian sees a woman – Kurt's stepmother, maybe? – give a small wave as Kurt strides past and toward her, arm linking with hers as they make their way out the door.

He sits there alone, thinking. Shit. Blaine is really... shit. Sebastian knows he can be an asshole, but he also knows that there needs to be a line drawn somewhere. And that line definitely needs to be drawn before forcing people to have sex with you. Because that's sexual assault. That's rape. And Kurt is scared. He leans forward, rests his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. Now what? It's not like he can have a friendly heart to heart with Kurt Hummel; the boy would hardly listen to him, anyway. But he needs to try, right? Sebastian is all for casual sex nowadays, has no problem going to a bar and finding a guy to hook up with on a weekend, but he remembers being younger, he remembers... well, he remembers when he wasn't ready for that. And he remembers what it feels like when someone else doesn't care. And he wouldn't wish that on anyone.

The next time Sebastian sees Kurt, he's at Dalton with Blaine. Sebastian's not really sure why they're at Dalton; they transferred to McKinley for a reason, right? But he doesn't really care about the why; he just needs a chance to get Kurt alone.

"Hey, Blaine. Kurt," he greets them as he approaches where they stand, reading a notice posted on one of the hallway doors.

The boys turn to look at him, Kurt rolling his eyes and crossing his arms across his chest as Blaine says, "Oh hey, maybe you can help, I was trying to find Ms. Bishop, I have to get her to sign a form for me. Did she switch classrooms?"

"Yeah, she did. I'll walk with you," he says, ushering for Blaine and Kurt to walk down the hall with him.

They make their way down a couple hallways, up a flight of stairs, down another hallway, and then they're standing outside a different classroom and Sebastian says, "Here it is."

"Thanks," Blaine says with a smile, then to Kurt, "I'll just be a minute," and then he's heading inside the room.

Kurt leans against the wall beside the door, head tipped back, apparently trying his best to ignore Sebastian.

"You know you can leave him."

Kurt's head snaps toward Sebastian, his expression incredulous. "Excuse me?"

"You don't have to stay with him," Sebastian says simply.

Kurt actually snorts his derision, "You know, I at least respected that you were passably creative in your attempts to steal my boyfriend, but this is sad even for you."

"If I were seriously trying to steal your boyfriend, Mickey Mouse, you'd have been broken up with a long time ago," because he can't help it. Kurt just rolls his eyes, rests his head back against the wall and stares at the ceiling.

Sebastian wets his lips; as much fun as it would be to keep this up, he needs Kurt to understand this. "Look, Kurt, I... I'm serious. If he's not... don't let him make you do anything you don't want to."

Kurt tips his head back down, stares at Sebastian, eyes filled with suspicion. "I have no idea what your angle is here, but I guarantee you it's not working."

"No angle. I just know what it's... I don't want anything to happen."

Kurt's face is a mask of suspicion, but he sees the confusion in his eyes before the understanding hits, then the brief flare of panic, and then a whole new mask of bored annoyance, again, the mask he usually wears for Sebastian, as Blaine is coming out of the classroom.

Kurt offers Blaine a tight smile, "Ready to go?"

"Yeah," Blaine says, smiling back. "It was good to see you," to Sebastian.

"See you around," Sebastian nods, and watches the pair make their way down the hall, Blaine reaching an arm to wrap around Kurt's waist and Kurt pushing it away back to Blaine's side.

Kurt and Blaine don't break up. Sebastian still sees them around the Lima Bean sometimes, still sits at their table and swaps insults with Kurt when Blaine gets up for a new coffee. Still sees the tension between the two boys. But there's only so much he can do, he and Kurt aren't friends, he can't make Kurt break up with Blaine, and of course if he tried Kurt wouldn't trust his motivations anyway. But the truth is, Sebastian doesn't even like Blaine anymore, not really. He's not sure if he ever did, if he's honest with himself. Blaine is just boring, to put it simply. Easy to get a blush out of, but he's too plain. No depth. If he really thinks about it – which he tries not to do – then he has to admit to himself that the reason he still talks to the pair isn't for Blaine, but it's for Kurt. Kurt is sharp, witty, fun and interesting, and though he'd never admit it out loud... Kurt is not half bad looking. He tells himself that he's just trying to be a good person, keep an eye on the other boy and make sure he's okay, and maybe that's partly true, maybe it has nothing to do with the interest that he's taken in Kurt... but then again, maybe that does have something to do with it.

He's at a Warbler party, and for God knows what reason all the Warblers love Blaine, which means Blaine gets invited even though he's no longer a Warbler. And because Blaine is here, Kurt is here. He's not sure if Blaine insists on taking Kurt everywhere, or if Kurt insists on not letting Blaine go anywhere near Sebastian without Kurt present if he can do anything about it, but he doesn't really care either way; Kurt's here, so the evening will be fun. Though, come to think of it, he hasn't actually seen the two boys in a while. But it's a big house – Jeff's parents are away for the week, so they have free rein – and people are all over the place, so he's not really concerned. He swirls the liquid in his cup, downs the rest of it, then makes his way back upstairs toward the kitchen.

He's walking through the hallway to the kitchen when he hears the dull thud behind the closed door. He pauses, hears a groan, smirks; someone's getting it on in there. He's about to continue down the hall when he hears another sound; a voice, a soft stop, and he freezes. He takes a step closer to the door, presses his ear against it and listens.

"Want you." Blaine's voice.

"No, Blaine, stop." Kurt's voice, strained, pleading.

"Wanna make you feel good," Blaine says, voice muffled.

"I don't want – no, Blaine." Kurt again, and Sebastian can hear the panic rising in his voice, and he's not going to stand outside this door doing nothing while this happens on the other side.

He knocks.

"Blaine, there's someone – stop it, no," Kurt says, pleading still, scared, but Blaine doesn't seem to care.

"Just ignore it, they'll go away." Blaine cuts himself off with a groan, and Kurt whimpers, but it sounds more fearful than pleasurable, and that is absolutely enough of this.

He tries the doorknob; it opens. God bless drunk people and their lack of foresight.

He steps through the doorway, locks eyes with Kurt, pinned against the wall by Blaine's body, Blaine's mouth on his throat, Blaine's hand down his pants. Kurt's eyes are wide with shock and fear and panic and wet with tears.

"Hey, Blaine, what the hell?" Sebastian asks, voice raised, striding across the room. He grabs Blaine by the shoulder, pulls him away from Kurt. "What the hell are you doing?"

Blaine takes a step backward, shrugs Sebastian's hand off his shoulder. "What are you... what the hell are you doing?" Blaine asks, bewildered.

"I'm making sure you don't rape your boyfriend," Sebastian spits back at him.

Blaine's eyes widen in shock. "You – I – what? I would never –"

"Oh stop it, Blaine. I know what I heard and I know what I saw," Sebastian cuts him off.

"This is ridiculous," Blaine splutters, "we were just –"

"Get out, Blaine."

"Like hell I'm leaving," Blaine says.

"I said get the fuck out, Blaine," Sebastian repeats more forcefully, shoving Blaine toward the door.

"You can't tell me what I can and can't do with my boyfrien–"

"I swear to god Blaine if you say one more word you will not live to regret it, get the fuck out of this room."

Blaine stares him down for a few moments, before finally he turns away. "This is ridiculous," he mutters, stalking out of the room.

Sebastian walks back across the room, pushes the door closed, and when he turns back to Kurt, the other boy is crumpled on the floor, back against the wall, knees pulled to his chest, shaking with silent sobs. What the hell has Sebastian gotten himself into?

"Hey, um, are you... okay?" Sebastian asks, standing awkwardly above Kurt. He doesn't do comforting, but he can't very well leave the boy alone here in this state, and he doesn't want to chance leaving the room to find someone else in case Blaine comes back first, and okay, maybe part of him wants to be the one to help Kurt.

Kurt doesn't respond, just stays where he is, crying into his hands.

Sebastian shuffles on his feet in front of Kurt for a moment, not sure what to do, until finally he slides down the wall and sits beside him. He stays there, silent, waits as Kurt's sobs slowly turn to sniffles and he's wiping at his eyes with his hands.

"Did he hurt you?" Sebastian asks, eyes still straight ahead, but he sees Kurt turn to look at him in his peripheral vision.

"Like you care," Kurt says with a huff, voice watery.

"I do, actually," Sebastian counters, turning to look Kurt in the eye. "I do," a little softer.

"Why are you being nice to me?" Kurt asks, pulling his eyes away from Sebastian and tipping his head back, staring up at the ceiling.

Sebastian mirrors his movements, stares at the ceiling as well. "I just know that... I didn't want anything to happen. To you."

Kurt is silent for a while, and Sebastian almost thinks he's not going to say anything else, until quietly, "Thank you."

"You really don't have to stay with him, you know. You could do a lot better," Sebastian says, tipping his head to the side to look at Kurt and smirk.

Kurt snorts indelicately. "Did you fall and smack your head?"

"Maybe," Sebastian says, looking back to the ceiling.

Apparently, Kurt did break up with Blaine after that. Sebastian found out when he'd approached a sullen-looking Blaine at the Lima Bean one afternoon, and when he'd asked where his more effeminate other half was, Blaine said they'd broken up. He'd left Blaine to sulk over his coffee after that; Blaine on a normal day is a bore, but a depressed Blaine with no Kurt around sounded like absolute torture and he has better things to do with his time.

But today it's Kurt who's sitting alone at a table in the Lima Bean, so Sebastian makes his way over and sits in the chair opposite him. Kurt looks up, meets his eye, gives him an oh, you look with an eyebrow cocked.

"Heard you broke up with your boyfriend," Sebastian says, forgoing a greeting.

"You must be thrilled," Kurt says, looking back down at his coffee and swirling the liquid in his cup.

"I've heard worse news," Sebastian muses, sipping his own coffee.

They sit in silence for a few minutes, each sipping their coffee, before Kurt looks up and speaks again. "Why are you here, Sebastian?"

Sebastian sets his cup down, meets Kurt's eyes. "You know, I'm still trying to figure that out myself." It's not entirely a lie; he is still trying to figure it out. But deep down, he's pretty sure he knows exactly why he feels so drawn to the boy sitting across the table, hands wrapped around a cup of coffee.

Kurt makes a noncommittal noise, takes another sip of his coffee as he contemplates the words. "You know, you're not so bad when you're not actively antagonistic," he muses.

"And you're not so bad when you don't have a whiny puppy dog following you around everywhere," Sebastian shoots back, and Kurt raises his eyebrows questioningly. Sebastian just shrugs. "He got boring after a while. You're much more... interesting."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "Well, I'm glad I interest you, Sebastian," Kurt says, standing with his cup. "As delightful as I find your company, I have to go now."

He sits at the table, coffee in hand, and watches as Kurt strides across the coffee shop, drops his empty cup in the trash bin, then walks through the door. He wonders what he ever saw in Blaine, how he missed Kurt, sitting right next to Blaine the whole time, right under his nose and he didn't even notice until he did and now he sees.

Sebastian had sent Kurt a friend request on Facebook, and miraculously, by the grace of a god that Sebastian doesn't believe in, Kurt had accepted it. They've been messaging back and forth for over a month now, and they've even been seeing each other at least once a week. And he feels... different. It's not like it's been with every other guy he's ever talked to. Usually he finds a hot guy, and they get talking, and it's not long before they're hooking up, and it's usually not even that good, and they aren't usually very interesting anyway, and then he's just bored and he moves on. It was like that with Blaine, in a way, except they never actually hooked up, he just got bored.

But it's not like that with Kurt. Not that he doesn't want to hook up with Kurt; he's finally admitted to himself that Kurt is hot, and he would happily sleep with the other boy, but he knows Kurt isn't ready for that, doesn't want that, and he's... surprisingly okay with it. And it's fucking weird. He could talk to Kurt all day, about nothing, and still feel like the day was well spent. He could spend a whole day with Kurt and not even touch him and it wouldn't bother him at all. And this is so unlike Sebastian that it's freaking him out a bit. He wants to have sex with Kurt, yes, but he also just wants to hold his hand, run his fingers through his hair, oh god kiss him, take him out to dinner and go home after to curl up together on the couch and watch a movie and kiss him and this has never been him, but this is what Kurt is doing to him, and he's tried to reason with himself but there's no way out of it; he caught feelings.

Sebastian, surprisingly, has never had a boyfriend. He's slept with a lot of guys, sure. He's had guys want to be his boyfriend. He's just never been interested. He likes to keep people at a distance, doesn't like letting anyone in, doesn't want anyone to really know him, but he wants Kurt to know him. They've talked a lot, some about Kurt's relationship with Blaine, and Kurt has opened up a bit about it; Blaine was getting pushy about sex. There was the sexual assaults outside Scandals and at that party – both of which Kurt is still refusing to acknowledge as sexual assault, despite Sebastian's insistence that that's exactly what they were – as well as a few other less severe and less drunk incidents that Kurt has shared some detail about. And while Kurt still won't call it what Sebastian knows it is, he at least acknowledges that it wasn't right, and Sebastian knows that this is hard to deal with, so he doesn't push for more.

He's sort of amazed at how well they get along. He'd almost expected them to be back to insulting each other with every second word after a week, but it never happened. They still snipe at each other of course, neither one able to pass up a good opportunity to roast the other, but it's much more lighthearted than it had once been, and they're usually smiling as they do it, and god that smile and god what is wrong with him gushing about another boy's smile but he seriously cannot help it because have you seen Kurt's smile?

They're sitting on the couch in Sebastian's living room, the credits to some particularly gory horror film that neither of them paid that much attention to rolling; Kurt spent the whole time hiding behind a blanket, and Sebastian spent the whole time laughing at Kurt's disgust.

"I really don't understand the appeal of movies like this," Kurt complains, "it's just gross. How can you watch this?"

Sebastian laughs. "I didn't, really. I mostly just watched your reaction."

Kurt shoots him a glare. "You really are such an ass, you know that?"

"At least I'm no pussy," Sebastian shoots back.

"You are incorrigible," Kurt grumbles, rolls his eyes, flops his head back onto the couch.

Sebastian watches Kurt, head thrown back, throat stretched out, long and pale. Watches Kurt's chest rise and fall with his breaths, his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallows. He shifts on the couch, closer to Kurt. Kurt tilts his head to the side as he feels Sebastian's weight shifting, meets Sebastian's eyes. Sebastian lifts a hand, brushes a stray hair from Kurt's face, then leaves his hand resting against Kurt's cheek. He watches Kurt's eyes, sees them flick down to his lips then back up. His own eyes flicker down to Kurt's lips as he parts them ever so slightly and wets them subconsciously. He leans forward, slowly, eyes fluttering closed, closing the distance between them. He presses his lips, ever so gently, to Kurt's. A sweet, simple, chaste kiss, and then he pulls pack, hand still resting on Kurt's cheek. He opens his eyes, stares back into Kurt's. They stay just like that for a moment, soft breaths ghosting over lips and skin, and then Kurt leans forward, presses his lips more firmly to Sebastian's, threads his fingers into Sebastian's hair and holds him there. Sebastian runs his tongue along Kurt's lower lip, and Kurt parts his lips, their tongues swirling together.

It was only a kiss, but somehow it was so much more, too.

Chapter Text

I think last night was a mistake

Kurt stares down at the phone in his hand and hits send. Then he throws it onto his bed, out of reach, and covers his face with his hands. What is he doing? He's been single for less than two months, and he's already thinking about another guy, and that guy is Sebastian Smythe. What is he doing?

Sebastian has been... surprisingly helpful, really, this past month or so they've been talking. And really, before Kurt broke up with Blaine, Sebastian was... less awful than he used to be. But Sebastian still was awful, right? And he's done a lot to make up for that, Sebastian has been a good friend to Kurt, but there's still something in the back of his mind, wondering, what's the catch? Because Sebastian has spent almost the entire time he's known Kurt trying to steal Blaine from him. And now he could have Blaine but he's just wasting his time with Kurt and Kurt just doesn't get it. And then he kissed him last night, and Kurt kissed him back, and something just felt right. And Kurt is terrified.

What would Blaine think? He keeps trying to tell himself he shouldn't care what Blaine thinks, but it's really not that easy. Blaine was his first boyfriend. His first love. And he knows he wasn't happy, it was the right decision – when he manages to be really honest with himself, he knows he was scared of what might have happened had he stayed – but he can't just stop caring about someone who meant so much to him. And that's the biggest problem, really; he does still care about Blaine. Maybe it's not the same, never will be the same, and he's never getting back together with Blaine – he can't – but he still feels for Blaine, and he can't do that to himself, can't do that to Sebastian.

The phone buzzing on his bed pulls him from his thoughts, and he stares at it with wide eyes for a few minutes before finally, slowly, he stands from the chair at his vanity and walks to his bed, takes a seat, takes a deep breath, and picks up the phone.

Calm down it's not like I'm your boyfriend now

Kurt blinks down at the text. He supposes Sebastian has a point, but it just felt like more while it was happening, and they didn't talk about it so he assumed it meant something, Sebastian knows him and knows that he thinks things like that mean something, and –

You know you can make out with a guy just for fun, right Mother Teresa? Don't be such a prude

Oh. Well then. He knows he shouldn't feel bad for not being ready for sex. He knows, logically, that there's no problem with waiting until he's ready. But fuck if it doesn't sting when someone points it out, acts like he's a child or immature or a prude or naïve because of it, and Sebastian doesn't really do it anymore so it catches him off guard and it's worse now because they're friends.

Or was this what Sebastian wanted? Maybe he'd decided Kurt was a more fun challenge than Blaine, wanted to play with his head, see how far he could get, and Kurt just let him – no. No, he knows Sebastian now, knows Sebastian wouldn't do that, they're friends. God, they're friends, it was just a dumb mistake, why does Kurt have to make such a big deal out of nothing?

He's not sure how to respond. He sits there for a while, loses track of time rereading the message, trying to decide on a reply, until finally he gives up and puts the phone down on his bedside table and flops onto the bed, burying his head in a pillow. He'll respond later.

If he doesn't want this to change anything between them, why is he upset Sebastian thinks it's nothing?

They're walking through the park, enjoying the crisp autumn air, and Kurt is just glad he managed to convince Sebastian to do something with him. He can't help but feel that Sebastian has been pushing him away since the night they kissed, and he doesn't want to lose his friend; as weird as it is to think that about Sebastian Smythe of all people, they have become friends, and it's true.

Kurt holds his coffee in both hands, letting the heat from the cup warm his fingers. "I always loved this time of year. The colours are so pretty."

"You're such a girl," Sebastian says.

Kurt turns to look at the other boy, but Sebastian is staring straight ahead, not even a smirk on his face. Kurt frowns. Of course they still banter, Kurt wouldn't have their friendship any other way, but since they've actually become friends and Kurt told him how much he hated the girly jokes, Sebastian had made a point to avoid them. It was actually kind of sweet, in a weird way.

"Enjoying nature has nothing to do with gender," he replies, taking a sip of his coffee.

Sebastian doesn't respond. They continue walking along the path, a few runners passing them at their leisurely pace. It's an uncomfortable silence, Kurt just wants Sebastian to talk, to say something, he doesn't know why this is such a big deal if Sebastian himself said it wasn't a big deal. Why won't he talk to him?

"I never did understand how anyone could enjoy running. I guess I see the appeal of getting outside, but you can just go for a walk and then not worry about getting all sweaty and ruining your joints. And you can still wear all the cute workout clothes doing yoga or something," he tries again.

Sebastian scoffs at that. "You would be the guy doing yoga, wouldn't you?"

Kurt stops then, finally, turns to look at Sebastian, because this is ridiculous. "What's your problem?"

Sebastian stops then, too, levels a condescending look at Kurt. "I don't have a problem. But you know what, I have to go now anyway. Bye, Kurt."

Then Sebastian is just walking away, back toward the parking lot, leaving Kurt standing there, cooling coffee cup in his hands and a deeper frown on his face. He needs to fix this, whatever this is, but how?

Kurt convinces Sebastian to meet him at the Lima Bean the next week after school, so now they're sitting together in another awkward silence, slowly sipping on their coffees.

"Kurt?" the familiar voice comes from behind him, and he turns in his chair to see Blaine approaching.

"Blaine," Kurt says dumbly, surprised, not really sure what else he could say. He hasn't really spoken to Blaine since their breakup. A few short words here and there at school when it couldn't be avoided, but other than that, nothing. He's made a point to keep his distance. But he's also tried hard to make sure none of the other Glee clubbers are picking sides. He knows Blaine transferred to McKinley to be with him, could have stayed at Dalton, and Kurt still cares; he doesn't want Blaine to hate coming to school every day, he still wants Blaine to have friends even if he doesn't want to be one of them. And actually, come to think of it, it's kind of weird that he hasn't run into Blaine here until now, because they used to come here all the time together, but... maybe that's why he's been avoiding it.

"You're, um...," Blaine starts, stops himself, swallows and rubs at the back of his neck awkwardly before trying again, "You look good."

Kurt's cheeks redden a little at the compliment. "Thanks."

"Can I... sit?" Blaine asks, shooting a glance at Sebastian before looking back at Kurt.

"Oh! I, um...," Kurt starts, but then trails off, turns back to look at Sebastian.

"Yeah, whatever. I was just leaving anyway," Sebastian says, standing up and leaving the still half-full mug on the table. "Frodo. Galadriel," he says, glancing unamusingly between the two boys, and then he's gone before Kurt can argue.

Blaine takes the vacant seat, pushing the mud aside, and linking his own hands together on the table in front of him, fidgeting with his thumbs. "So, how have you been?"

"Fine," Kurt says with a small nod, "you?"

"I'm good," Blaine replies. They sit in awkward silence for a moment, and got Kurt is starting to hate awkward silences, before Blaine speaks again. "Was he, uh, bothering you?"

Kurt blinks hard, looks at Blaine a bit confused before he realizes that Blaine doesn't know they're friends. Kurt's other friends know, of course, and they'd all been in shock when he'd told them, and he'd kind of just assumed that Blaine would have heard about it, but apparently he hasn't.

"Oh, no he wasn't, we um... we're friends now."

Blaine raises his eyebrows. "You're... friends."

"Yeah." Kurt nods, takes a sip of his coffee, just for an excuse to not have to say anything else.

"You're friends with Sebastian Smythe?" Blaine asks carefully.


"You hate him," Blaine reminds him.

"He's... not so bad," Kurt argues.

Blaine frowns. "So, what, you break up with me so you can get together with him?"

Kurt's eyes widen in shock. "What? No! We're not together, god Blaine, we're just friends."

"You're just friends with Sebastian Smythe," Blaine says, rolling his eyes.

"You were friends with him," Kurt points out.

"Yeah, until he brainwashed my boyfriend and stole him from me," Blaine spits back at him.

"I am not brainwashed, and he did not steal me from you," Kurt says, voice rising a bit in frustration.

"Well what other explanation do you have for all of this?" Blaine huffs. "We had everything together, Kurt, everything, and you ruined that, and I can't for the life of me figure out why."

"Maybe if you ever listened to me you would know!" Kurt is just shy of yelling, and they're definitely drawing a lot of attention from the other patrons by now but he just doesn't care. "I'm a big boy and I can make my own decision, and I wasn't happy."

"I can make you happy, Kurt, you just have to let me! I love you, I want to be with you!"

"Well maybe I don't love you anymore!" The words are out of his mouth before he can stop them, and he realizes with certainty that wasn't there before, for the first time since their break-up, that he really doesn't love Blaine anymore.

The two boys stare back at each other wordlessly, Blaine wide-eyed. And then Kurt stands, takes a final look at Blaine, and leaves the coffee shop without another word.

Sebastian is at Kurt's house. It's the first time Kurt has been able to convince him to do anything other than go for a coffee in the past month, and he had to practically beg the other boy to come over. They have the house to themselves, and they're curled up on opposite ends of the couch, watching as the credits roll at the end of Sweeney Todd.

"Do you want to watch another movie?" Kurt asks, glancing over at Sebastian.

"Whatever," Sebastian mutters, not looking back at Kurt.

Kurt frowns. He's getting sick of this. "We can do something else if you want. We don't have to watch a movie, but since you seem to have no interest in actually talking to me I thought that was the best compromise."

"I don't care, Kurt. Whatever," Sebastian shoots back at him, finally turning to meet Kurt's gaze with a look of annoyance.

"Why are you even here?"

"Because you asked me to come," Sebastian points out.

"Yeah, because I wanted to spend time with my friend, not some asshole who can barely bring himself to say five words to me!" Kurt says, exasperated.

"We're not friends, Kurt. We were never friends," Sebastian spits the words at him, like he can't get the awful taste out of his mouth, "you just needed someone to make you feel good about yourself until Blaine Anderson came crawling back to you to apologize."

Kurt's jaw drops, the anger flushed out of his body in an instant. "... What?"

"Oh come on, Tinkerbell, don't act like you're surprised I figured it out. Blaine's back, you got what you wanted, stop wasting my fucking time." Sebastian stands then, moves toward the doorway.

"Sebastian, stop," Kurt says, standing and following behind him, "that's not – I don't want to be with Blaine, Seb, come on, you're the one who made me realize I could break up with him! You can't seriously think that–"

"I'm not an idiot, Kurt," Sebastian snaps, spinning back around to face Kurt, "you had no problem ditching me for him at the Lima Bean the other day, don't even think for a second I don't know exactly how this ends."

"How what ends? Sebastian, I didn't ditch you, you left! Nobody asked you to do that! I didn't want you to do that!"

"Yeah, right." Sebastian laughs darkly, turns again, continues toward the door. "You know, Kurt, for a minute there I actually thought maybe this could work, you know? But who was I kidding. Of course you're all over Blaine the second he manages to weasel his way back into your life. I should have known. Guess I am an idiot."

"Seb, you're not – god you are infuriating – you're not an idiot, but I am not going back to Blaine. After you left I got in a fight with him! About you! And I told him I don't love him anymore, and I got up, and I left!"

Sebastian doesn't reply to that, just continues on his way, reaching the closet in the entryway and pulling out his jacket.

"I don't know what I did to you, Sebastian, but I wish you would just tell me, because you were acting like this before Blaine even showed up and we both know it. What is your problem?"

Sebastian shrugs on his jacket, still not facing Kurt. "I don't have a problem. "

"You sure? Could have fooled me."

Sebastian turns to face Kurt again as he zips his jacket. "You want to know what my problem is, Kurt? I like you. Okay? There, are you happy now? I like you. I am falling in love with you. Is that what you wanted to hear?"

Kurt is quiet for a few beats, the anger once again drained from him, as he stares back wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the other boy. "You...," he starts, but then trails off.

"See, this is why I didn't say anything. Fuck this. I'm not hanging around waiting for you and Blaine to get back together."

"What are you, Sebastian, twelve? We're not in elementary school, god, you don't just bully the kid you have a crush on, you could have talked to me!"

"Oh please, Miranda Priestly, if I were bullying you, you'd know it."

"You are unbelievable," Kurt says, crossing his arms.

"And we're done," Sebastian says simply, pulling the front door open and then slamming it in his face without another word.

Kurt pulls the door open again, steps outside to see Sebastian making his way to his car. "Sebastian, wait! Come back! We can – we can talk about this, don't just leave!"

Sebastian doesn't reply, doesn't even acknowledge that he hears Kurt, just pulls open his car door and climbs in, starting up the engine. Kurt stands outside the doorway, watches as Sebastian pulls out onto the road and drives away.

He lifts a hand to his face, covers his mouth as the tears start to fall. Shit. What has he done? If things weren't a mess before, they definitely are now.

Chapter Text

Sebastian keeps his eyes glued to the road ahead. He can't look back, doesn't want to see Kurt standing on the front step watching him leave, waiting for him to come back and talk. Because if he sees that, he actually might turn around and go back, and he just can't.

He can't do this. It's gone too far already, Sebastian doesn't do feelings, what the hell was he thinking letting it get this far?

He slams his hand into the steering wheel in frustration; the horn honks loudly, startling him, and the woman driving the oncoming car gives him a confused look as she passes. He huffs an irritated sigh and runs a hand back through his hair. This is why he doesn't do feelings.

Why was he so stupid? Of course Kurt would never like him back, of course Kurt thought the kiss was a mistake, of course Kurt doesn't want him, god, who would? He's attractive, and he knows that, and lots of people do want him, but they don't want him like that, like how he wants Kurt, like how he wants Kurt to want him. Even the ones who have tried to be his boyfriend, he knows they don't really want that, can't really want that, they don't know him, if they did they would know better. And Kurt, well, Kurt is the closest anyone has ever come to knowing him, so of course Kurt won't want him.

Kurt's not stupid. He's one of the smartest people Sebastian knows. So of course he noticed that Sebastian has been pushing him away. And Kurt isn't like Sebastian – he actually cares about people. He just wants to help, and god, what is Sebastian doing? None of this is fair to Kurt. All this is doing is hurting Kurt. Sebastian went from trying to steal Kurt's boyfriend, to just trying to get them to break up, to trying to be Kurt's friend, to kissing him – and god that kiss was everything but he can't think about that – to pushing him away again, and Kurt is too good, he doesn't deserve this, and Sebastian doesn't deserve him even if Kurt wanted him back.

He's thankful campus is quiet when he gets back; he's able to make his way to his room without running into anyone. He's also thankful for his single room, knowing he won't have to deal with a roommate coming back. He closes the door a little too forcefully behind himself, then shrugs out of his jacket and hangs it back in his closet. He feels his phone buzz in his pocket, and pulls it out to check the message; it's from Kurt.

Can we just talk about this?

No. No, they can't just talk about this. Kurt was right, the kiss was a mistake, everything has been a mistake. He blocks Kurt's number, he can't deal with this right now, then starts rooting through his dresser in search of his running clothes. He needs to get out of here, blow off some steam, distract himself before he puts his fist through the wall. Running always helps him calm down.

It's been two weeks, and Sebastian hasn't spoken to Kurt once, but he has blocked him on Facebook in addition to blocking his number; Kurt must have realized Sebastian wasn't getting his texts, so he'd sent him a Facebook message after the first week. Part of him still feels bad; he knows it's childish, and this isn't fair to Kurt. He knows Kurt deserves more of an explanation than he gave him, deserves any explanation, but Sebastian just can't. And Kurt is probably glad he's not around anymore, anyway; wouldn't anyone be? He's sure Kurt was only reaching out from some unfounded sense of obligation; Kurt is a good person, that's the kind of thing he would do.

Too good for Sebastian.

He really needs to stop thinking about this. He needs to get over this, whatever this is, and then he can move on with his life. He needs to get back to what he does best. This isn't him.

He runs his hands over his hair, smoothing it out in the mirror a final time before he heads out for the night. To Scandals. Because that's what he was doing with his Friday nights before Kurt, and if he has any hope of getting over the other boy, he figures this is the way to do it. This is the way to forget.

He drives himself to the bar – he's not an idiot, he knows not to drink and drive, he'll come back for the car in the morning – and it's busy when he arrives. He smiles to himself; he hates getting here early, before the crowd shows up. He makes his way inside, the bouncer at the front not even bothering to ask for an ID since he's been here so many times. He heads to the bar, orders a beer, and sits back on a stool as he takes a sip; he doesn't usually need to go looking for a guy here, they tend to come to him.

It's not long before a man – and that is the proper term, the person standing before him is far past the age where he could be considered a boy – approaches Sebastian at the bar, taking a seat next to him. "Hey gorgeous," the man says, eyeing Sebastian up and down.

Sebastian returns the look, running his eyes noticeably over the man's body before he responds. "Hi." He likes to make them work for it a little.

"You all alone tonight?" the man asks, angling himself further toward Sebastian.

"I am," Sebastian says, taking a swig of his beer and then placing the empty bottle on the bar top, pushing it away.

"What's a pretty boy like you doing all alone on a Friday night?"

"Trying to find someone worth my time," Sebastian says with a smirk.

"Ah," the man says with a chuckle, "I see. That can be hard to do in this place."

"Exceptionally so," Sebastian agrees.

"Sometimes you'll get lucky and find a real gem, though," the man comments, and Sebastian feels the eyes on him, roaming over his body; it's one of the parts he likes best about this game he plays. It always makes him feel so powerful, knowing what he does to these men, knowing what he's giving to them. Because he's choosing this, he wants this, nobody can take anything from him if he gives it freely. Men like this want him, he wants them to want him, he wants to give them what they want because it makes him feel strong.

"Is that so?" he asks, playing along with the game he knows so well.

"It sure is," the man confirms, shifting closer again and placing a hand on Sebastian's thigh.

"What's your name?"

"The name's Robert," the man informs him, "but you can call me Rob. Or you can call me daddy, or whatever you want, really."

Sebastian suppresses the urge to roll his eyes. So it's one of those. "Think I'll stick with Rob."

"How about you, sweetheart? Got a name?"


He'd considered going by a different name when he started coming here, but had ultimately decided against it; there was always a chance he'd slip up, and the possibility of running into someone he knows, and then there was the time he'd brought Blaine and Kurt– he needs to stop thinking about this.

"Sebastian," the man repeats, "why don't you let me buy you a drink?" The hand moves a little further up his thigh.

"I think I've had enough for the night," Sebastian replies easily, indifferently.

"Night's only young," the man comments, giving his thigh a squeeze, "and so are you. Can't be turning in this early, are you?"

"I wasn't planning on it," Sebastian says, then gives the man a dark look, "unless you had somewhere in mind?"

The man chuckles, a little taken aback by Sebastian's forwardness no doubt, but he's no less enthusiastic. "I just might. Let's get out of here, baby."

Rob hails them a cab – again, Sebastian isn't an idiot, he wouldn't have let the man drive him even if Rob had planned on it – and it's not long before they're pulling up to a small house in a modest subdivision. Roberts keeps his hands to himself until they're through the entryway, door locked securely behind them, and then there's hands touching his arms, shoulders, chest, back, anywhere they can find as he guides Sebastian through the house toward the bedroom. As they make their way through the halls, Sebastian sees the pictures – he's not an idiot – and it's clear this man has a wife and two young children. That's fine, it's not the first time Sebastian has been in this exact situation, and he's sure it won't be the last. As far as he's concerned, he's doing nothing wrong; Robert is the one cheating on his wife with a teenage boy. If it weren't Sebastian, it would be someone else, and at least Sebastian wants to be here.

He doesn't mention the wife. He's learned it doesn't usually go over well, so he pretends he doesn't see the photos on the walls.

He's gone early the next morning, before Robert even wakes up. These types of men always regret it in the morning, want him gone, so he's found it's easier to make himself scarce before they get the chance to kick him out. Of course, it's not like he wants to be there, either. This doesn't mean anything to him, it's just a hookup. Just a way to get off and get someone else off and deal with all the stress and the shit life throws at him. He doesn't need to hang around for tea and breakfast in the morning with some man who picks his daughter up from soccer practice every Thursday evening. But he doesn't usually feel so... hollow, after. Empty. He's usually indifferent, unfazed, smug if anything. But today, rather than feeling nothing, he feels like he's nothing, like he let this man use him, and it just feels gross. Dirty. Wrong.

He drives himself to the Lima Bean. It's the closest coffee shop, and he needs some coffee. It's early, and it's been a long time since he's had a drink – he hadn't been going to Scandal's since he'd started talking to Kurt – so he's sure he'll feel better once he's gotten some caffeine into his system. He pulls up to the curb, kills the engine, and climbs out of his car.

The little bell chimes as the door swings open and he enters, making his way to the line; only one person ahead of him, good. He wants to spend as little time here as possible. It's not long before he's ordered his coffee and is standing off to the side, waiting for the barista to call his name.


It's not the barista's voice. He whips his head around to look at the source; not that he needed to see him to know who it was, because he'd know Kurt's voice anywhere. As soon as he locks eyes with Kurt he wishes he hadn't turned, wishes he'd just ignored the other boy and maybe he would have gone away, but it's too late for that now. He doesn't say anything, just stares back at Kurt.

"I tried to call and text you, but you never answered," Kurt says a little helplessly as he approaches Sebastian.

"I've been busy," Sebastian says with a shrug, trying to come off as casually as he can.

"Oh," Kurt says softly. They stand there in awkward silence for a few moments before Kurt speaks again. "Do you, um... could we sit and talk?" he asks hesitantly.

"Can't," Sebastian says, looking over his shoulder to see if his coffee is almost ready, "I'm on my way home."

"Home?" Kurt's brow furrows. "It's eight in the morning."

"Yeah, I was out all night. Went home with a guy from Scandals," Sebastian provides, because maybe if Kurt can see that Sebastian has moved on then Kurt leave him alone.

He glances back over his shoulder again, partially looking for his coffee, but mostly to avoiding looking at Kurt's reaction to that; he looks upset, more so than Sebastian had thought he would be, but then maybe that was just because he'd expected better from Sebastian.

"Seb, just... I don't understand. I thought–"

"What did you think, Kurt?" Sebastian snaps at him. "Did you think I wanted to be your boyfriend and go for walks through the park and smell the flowers and bake cookies? Because if you knew anything about me, Kurt, anything, you'd know that's not who I am."

"I do know you, Sebastian, please, can we just talk about–"

"There's nothing to talk about, Kurt," Sebastian cuts him off. "This was never going to work, I mean, you're you, I don't know what I was thinking."

"What?" Kurt's voice is quiet and hollow, kind of like how he feels, but it's too late to stop now.

"Seriously, Kurt, come on, did you really expect this to be anything? I mean, yeah, it was fun for a while, but you're boring."

"You don't mean that," Kurt argues, though Sebastian can hear his voice wavering; he continues anyway.

"You don't think so? Do you know how many guys I've been with since I finally ditched you? It's like just being in your presence kills my libido for days at a time." Kurt doesn't have to know that Sebastian has only been with one person since he walked out of his house two weeks ago.

Kurt's face hardens; it's like he can see the walls going up, and it breaks his heart a little to know that he's the one doing this to Kurt, but he knows it's for the best. "Maybe if you had any sense of self-respect you wouldn't feel the need to go out and find yourself a different suitor every night."

"Maybe if you weren't such an uptight cunt you'd let someone stick it in your ass every now and then, have a sense of adventure, live a little for fuck's sake."

"Having standards doesn't make me uptight, Sebastian, it makes me sensible and not a complete moron. You should try it sometime."

"My standards are the only reason I never fucked you."

He knows it's too far the second it's out of his mouth, and he sees Kurt set his jaw, eyes icing over as he glares back at Sebastian.

"You know, for a second there, I actually thought you might be a good person."

"Joke's on you then, I guess."

"You really are an asshole."

"Sure did take you long enough to figure that out."

"Goodbye, Sebastian," Kurt says icily, turning on his heel and walking slowly toward the exit, trying to keep himself calm but Sebastian can see the slight tremor in his shoulders.

It kills him to do this, absolutely tears him up inside, but Kurt deserves better than him, and if this is what he needs to do to make Kurt realize that, well, this is what he'll do.

Chapter Text

Kurt makes it to his car before the first tear rolls down his cheek.

He just doesn't understand. They had been becoming so close, they were friends, and now they're this. He's not sure what he did wrong, what made Sebastian turn on him like this. Ever since that damn kiss everything has been wrong; he knew it was a mistake.

Sebastian must know how he feels. It's the only explanation that Kurt can think of. Sebastian knows Kurt has feelings for him. Of course he knows. Kurt has never been subtle about his feelings. Sure Blaine was oblivious at first, but... well, that's Blaine. Sebastian must know. And it must make him uncomfortable. It's the only explanation.

He kissed Kurt because he felt like it, because that's what Sebastian does; and Kurt doesn't really think there's a problem with that, but he also can't be that person for Sebastian when he feels like this about him. Of course it meant nothing to Sebastian, but Kurt must have been weird after that, right? He must have done something to give it away, and then Sebastian knew and clearly he was uncomfortable with it, and oh god he tried for so long to stay friends with Kurt but he just couldn't, and Kurt can't really blame him, it must have been so awkward for him. Hell, Sebastian probably knew Kurt's feelings before Kurt knew his feelings; he'd come to the right conclusions about Blaine long before Kurt had, and with much less information to go by, after all. So, he'd tried to be friends, and it was too much.

I like you. I am falling in love with you. Is that what you wanted to hear?

When Sebastian had said it, Kurt thought he meant it. He really, genuinely thought the other boy meant it, but he'd been a fool to think that.

Is that what you wanted to hear?

He knew. He knew. He knew that's what Kurt wanted to hear, but it's not true, of course it's not. It's what Kurt wanted to hear and he can't say it. Does he think he's doing Kurt a favour by staying away? Does he think he's helping Kurt get over him? Or is it just too weird for Sebastian to be friends with Kurt when he knows how he feels? If the other boy would just talk to him this would be so much easier, but, well... apparently that isn't going to work.

He wipes at the stray tears on his cheeks, takes a deep breath, and starts his car. If Sebastian wants nothing to do with him, he'll just have to get over it. It wouldn't be the first time the object of his affection wants nothing to do with him, and it certainly won't be the last.

He knows he's been moping. He's been trying not to think about Sebastian, but trying not to think about something just makes you think about it more. He needs a distraction.

He walks into the choir room and sees Blaine and Sam sitting together in their usual spots, chatting happily. He's glad the others haven't turned on Blaine after the breakup. The girls are on his side, of course, but they haven't been hostile toward his ex. And the guys haven't really taken sides at all. Finn made Kurt swear that the breakup wasn't because Blaine had hurt him – and Kurt figures he didn't really lie to his step-brother when he'd promised that wasn't the reason – so the boys have no reason to hold anything against Blaine. It's high school, couples break up, you're not supposed to stay with your high school boyfriend forever. If you picked two people from this choir room at random it was almost more likely that they had dated at one point than that they hadn't. And they're all still friends.

They're all still friends.

He should at least try to be friends with Blaine, right? They were best friends before they were boyfriends, and maybe dating Blaine wasn't going to work out, but they should still be friends, right? He can at least try. And maybe that will give him something to focus one while he tries to get over Sebastian.

"Is anyone sitting here?" he asks Blaine, gesturing to the empty chair beside him.

Blaine looks up at him, clearly surprised. "Uh... no. It's all yours."

"Thanks," Kurt says, offering Blaine a small smile as he takes a seat.

They've barely spoken since that one day in the Lima Bean. Blaine has been keeping his distance, they've only spoken when required for classes or Glee club and it's always been civil. Blaine has been seemingly respecting the boundaries Kurt has set, and he's pretty sure that's a big part of the reason that he's even considering being Blaine's friend again. Blaine must be hurting, and the fact that he's been giving Kurt his space – mostly respectfully, unlike a certain other person he needs to stop thinking about – is a big plus.

Sam and Blaine have stopped talking, and the silence is awkward, Sam is just staring between Kurt and Blaine, Blaine is staring straight ahead like he's not sure if he should talk to Kurt or pretend he's not there, and Kurt could almost laugh at how awkward the whole situation is.

"How are you?" Kurt asks.

Blaine turns his head to look at Kurt, still surprised but he also seems a little relieved that now he at least knows what he should be doing.

"I'm good. Um, how are you?"

"I'm good, too," Kurt replies.

Another awkward silence. They were best friends, it shouldn't be this hard to talk to Blaine.

"I was thinking, um," Kurt starts, "maybe we could get a coffee sometime?"

"Oh," Blaine says simply.

"Just as friends, of course," Kurt adds quickly, awkwardly, cheeks flushing, because apparently he's incapable of not embarrassing himself.

"Right, yeah, of course. Just as friends," Blaine agrees, "that would be nice. I'd like that."

"Okay, good," Kurt says.

Then Mr. Shue is at the front of the choir room interrupting their conversation, and for once Kurt is grateful for the man's presence.

"I was surprised you wanted to do this."

Blaine is sitting across from him at their usual – does it still count as their usual if they haven't come here together in months? – table at the Lime Bean. Kurt had followed through on his invitation for a coffee, just as friends, so here they are.

"Me too, honestly," Kurt replies.

Blaine raises his eyebrows a bit at that. "So why did you?"

"I think I just..." he starts, but trails off. There are so many answers to that question, some of which he doesn't want to share with Blaine, some of which he doesn't even fully understand himself. He decides to go with the simplest. "We used to be best friends. And we were best friends for a reason. I guess I just thought that maybe we should try to be friends again."

Blaine smiles; apparently that was a good answer.

"I really miss you, Kurt."

Kurt's not sure how to respond to that, because he still can't figure out if he does miss Blaine or not. Sometimes he thinks he does, but other times he's so okay with Blaine not being a part of his life anymore, and it's hard to figure his feelings out.

"What have you been up to?" Changing the subject seems like a safer option.

"Oh, um, not much I guess. I've been hanging out with Sam a lot. He's been really good for... well, you know."

"Yeah," Kurt agrees with an awkward nod – is everything about this going to be awkward?

"Sorry," Blaine says, "I probably shouldn't be... bringing that up, it's... sorry."

"No, it's... it's fine. You don't need to pretend we never dated, Blaine."


They sit there – awkwardly – for another minute, each sipping on their coffee and looking anywhere but at each other, and why is this so difficult? Being with Blaine shouldn't be so hard, it's never been hard, it's only ever been easy since the day they met.

Just another thing he's broken, he supposes. But at least in this case, the other person seems to be willing to let him fix things.

"I'm sorry."

Blaine tips his head to the side a little, confused. "What? Why?"

"I've been... I'm not sorry for breaking up with you, I think... I think we needed that. Or, at least, I needed that. But I'm sorry for hurting you. And I'm sorry I haven't been... well, I guess I didn't need to push you away as much as I did."

"Kurt, hey," Blaine says, reaching his hand across the table and grabbing Kurt's, and it feels a little weird, he's not sure if Blaine did it intentionally or as a reflex, but he doesn't pull away, "it's okay. You don't need to apologize, it was... I get it. You needed some space. I understand. But, um... I am glad. That you want to be friends again." Blaine gives his hand a little squeeze – okay, so probably intentional – and shoots him a small smile.

Kurt smiles back. Blaine's hand is warm and familiar and once he's gotten past the weirdness of it all it is kind of nice, in a totally-platonic-not-at-all-romantic kind of way. Maybe they can get past the awkwardness and this will be okay after all.

Things have been getting progressively better. The awkward moments are few and far between now, and Kurt has been spending more and more time with Blaine as they've slowly gotten reacquainted with each other. They're out for a movie on this particular Friday evening. It was Blaine's idea, the theatre is playing classic musicals this week, so they're going to see Phantom of the Opera. Blaine had suggested Moulin Rouge at first, and Kurt had awkwardly – because there are still some awkward moments – talked him out of that because, well… he doesn't think they're quite there yet.

While Blaine is getting the tickets, Kurt is getting the popcorn. Somehow the concessions line is shorter than the box office line, so Kurt is standing off to the side, big bag of popcorn in hand, waiting.

He watches people walk by as he waits for Blaine; an elderly couple, parents with their two kids, a group of teens he vaguely recognizes from school but can't name. And then his eyes land on Sebastian. The other boy pauses in the middle of the lobby, scanning the crowd as he seemingly looks for someone, and then he sees Kurt, too. Their eyes lock and Kurt sees the surprised expression on Sebastian's face, fading to uncertainty. They stand there staring at each other across the room for what feels like forever but is really only a few seconds, and then Sebastian takes a step toward him, and is Sebastian actually coming over to talk to him?

"Hey, sorry that took so long! That line was crazy."

His head snaps to the side to look at the source of the sound. It's Blaine, not Sebastian, and Kurt jumps in surprise because he'd almost forgotten he was waiting for Blaine.

"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you," Blaine adds with a chuckle.

"Oh, no sorry, I was just distracted." He looks back to the spot where Sebastian had been, and the other boy is nowhere to be found. It's not like he'd actually been coming to talk to Kurt, anyway, he supposes. Sebastian has made it pretty clear he wants nothing to do with him. "Are you ready to go in?"

"Yeah," Blaine replies with a warm smile, "let's go."

He had considered trying to text Sebastian when he got home that night, but he'd decided against it; Sebastian probably still had his number blocked, anyway. But he'd been doing so good, he thought, he hadn't been thinking about the other boy that often, and it had been… manageable. But seeing Sebastian brought him all the way back to square one. He needs to do something about this, because clearly he is not handling it.

He's at the sheet music store - with Blaine, of course, because it feels like he does everything with Blaine lately - looking for songs for Glee club. They've split up to cover more ground, and he's nose deep in a stack of sheet music when a friendly, excited voice pulls him back to reality.

"Hi, I'm sorry, I just had to say that I absolutely love that scarf you're wearing," the boy, who Kurt is sure he has never seen before, says, gesturing at the purple neck scarf tied snugly around his throat.

"Oh," Kurt says, smiling, "thank you." He's not used to random compliments from strangers; usually they're giving him dirty looks, if not completely ignoring his existence.

"I never would have thought to pair it with that outfit, but it just looks divine," the boy gushes.

"Thank you! I do love an unconventional pairing, it keeps a little excitement in my life." He's smiling wider now, he can't help it, the boy's energy is infectious.

The other boy giggles – actually giggles – as he nods his head in agreement. "You're so right, most people's fashion is just so boring, I always love seeing something new."

"Who's our new friend?"

Blaine lays a hand on Kurt's shoulder as he steps up beside him and looks at the other boy.

"Oh, this is, um… sorry, I didn't catch your name, actually."

"I'm Chandler!" the boy – Chandler – says, extending his hand for Kurt to shake.

"I'm Kurt," Kurt says, shaking Chandler's hand.

"Blaine," Blaine adds when Chandler reaches to shake his hand as well.

"Are you together?" Chandler asks, tipping his head to the side a little inquisitively.

"Oh, no, not together, just… we're just friends," Kurt says quickly.

"Oh, okay," Chandler says cheerfully, "in that case, I'm not usually so bold but I just have to ask, could I get your number?"

"Oh. Um, yeah, sure." He's never just been asked for his number like that; or ever, really. But Chandler seems friendly enough, so he doesn't see the harm in it. He feels Blaine give him a look, but he ignores it. Blaine doesn't get a say in who he gives his number to.

Chandler hands him his phone, and he types in his name and number before handing it back with a tentative smile.

"Thank you so much! I will definitely be texting you," the boy says with a wide grin, and again, Kurt can't help but return it.

This will be good for him. Maybe someone new is what he needs. Even if this never becomes anything, even if they're only ever friends, this will be good for him.

Chapter Text


What had he expected? Of course Kurt would go back to Blaine. Sebastian was a fun distraction for a while, but he's no Blaine Anderson. Not that he saw the appeal of Blaine anymore, of course, now that he saw Kurt, but... well, apparently Kurt still saw the appeal, because there's no way that wasn't a movie date.

He has no right to be as angry about it as he is. He knows that. He's the one who had insisted on having nothing to do with Kurt, he doesn't get to have an opinion on what Kurt does with his life now that Sebastian isn't in it. Hell, he didn't have that right before, either, but at least then he could try to talk some sense into the other boy if he was doing something stupid like getting back together with Blaine fucking Anderson.

What does Kurt think he's doing? Kurt knows what Blaine is like, they've talked about this. Kurt broke up with Blaine for a reason, has he just... forgotten about all of that? Does he think Blaine has changed? Because Sebastian is pretty sure Blaine hasn't changed at all, if anything he's learned that he can do whatever he wants and still get Kurt back in the end, apparently. Why is Kurt being so stupid, it's like he's asking for it–

Shit. No. Kurt isn't asking for it. Sebastian is an idiot, how could he even start to think that? Of course Kurt isn't asking for it, nobody asks for that, god, Sebastian of all people should know that nobody asks for that, and now he feels like the biggest asshole for even letting the thought enter his mind.

Sebastian knows Kurt's other friends don't know what Blaine is really like behind closed doors, how Blaine treated Kurt when nobody was around to see. Kurt wouldn't – or couldn't – tell them, and Sebastian doesn't blame him, but that also means there's nobody else to try to talk Kurt out of this. Sebastian is the only one who knows. Hell, he wouldn't be surprised if everyone else wants them to get back together.

Kurt needs him.

And, really, he knows that he needs Kurt, too. He can't stop thinking about the other boy. His usual coping mechanisms have just left him feeling worse – and, of course, he knows they aren't exactly healthy coping mechanisms, anyway – so at this point, he's out of options. He needs Kurt. He knows he can't have Kurt the way he wants to have him, but maybe he can have him as a friend, and that will just have to be enough. Because staying out of Kurt's life is not working.

It's been a month since he decided he needed Kurt back in his life. A month full of trying to talk himself out of it, going back to those coping mechanisms again and again, even though he knows it's not working, just hoping that one night it might. A month full of nights showing up to Scandals and letting the older men hit on him until it just feels wrong, and then he leaves in a hurry, the man of the night left at the bar with a look of confusion – and sometimes irritation or anger, those are always the worst nights – on his face. Tonight is another one of those nights.

"Hey sexy, everything okay? You seem kind of distracted."

The man sitting at the bar with him isn't even very attractive, below Sebastian's usual standards, but he's desperate to feel something other than the fog of confusion and hurt that's been consuming him since his big fight with Kurt, and the bar is pretty empty tonight, so he figures it will be fine.

It's not fine.

He doesn't want to go home with this man, doesn't want to talk to him, doesn't want to even look at him, doesn't want to look at anybody unless that somebody is Kurt.

"Sorry, I'm not feeling well," he mumbles, and it was meant to be an excuse but as he says it he realizes it's actually kind of true. "I think I'll just head home."

"Come on baby, I'm sure it will pass. Let me buy you another drink," Stephen – that's what the man had introduced himself as earlier – insists, running his hand along the inside of Sebastian's thigh.

"No, I think I just need to go home," Sebastian insists, standing to leave, and wow he really isn't feeling good, he's dizzy, and before he realizes what's happening he's stumbling and Stephen is standing up, catching him and looping an arm around his waist to support him.

"Wow, you weren't lying, were you?" the man asks with a concerned tone. "I'll drive you home, come on," and then Stephen begins leading Sebastian out of the bar.

"I'm fine," Sebastian says, although he feels anything but; but there's no way he's getting in a car with this man.

"Don't be ridiculous, you've clearly had way too much to drink, you're in no state to get home by yourself. Don't worry about it, I'll take care of you."

By now they're outside in the parking lot, and he's confused, doesn't know what's going on, the world is spinning, but he knows that he cannot get in a car with this man.

"'m fine," he mumbles, slurring a little, and god he's only had a drink and a half, he should not be slurring his words, but he manages to pull free from the man's grasp.

He stumbles away a few feet before falling to the ground, landing hard on his ass, but at least the world feels a little more stable now that he has something more solid than his legs supporting him.

"What are you doing?" he hears Stephen grumble. "Come on, let's go."

He feels the man's hands grabbing at his arms, hauling him up off the ground, and he tries to pull away but the older man's grip on him is strong and he's having a bit of a hard time coordinating his limbs to do anything let alone fight someone off.

"Everything okay here?"

It's another male voice, deeper than Stephen's.

"Yeah, he's just had a bit too much tonight, I told him I'd drive him home."

That's not true, he barely even drank anything.

"Hey kid, everything alright?"

Sebastian looks at the new man. He's short and wide, a dark cowboy hat perched atop his head. Sebastian just shakes his head, not really sure he can make words come out.

"Alright, why don't we get you back inside," the man in the hat says, looping an arm around Sebastian to support his weight and pulling him away from Stephen, "and give someone a call to come pick you up, huh?"

Sebastian just nods.

"Really, I don't mind driving him home, it's on my way anyway," Stephen explains.

"I bet it is," the new man replies incredulously. "What's his address?"

Stephen splutters a bit, before finally muttering something about how he was just trying to help and then he must get in his car to leave because the man in the hat is guiding him back inside the bar.

"I'm Greg, " the man introduces himself once they're back inside and seated at a table, "what's your name, kid?"

"Sebastian," he replies quietly, finally finding the ability to speak.

"Alright Sebastian, you got someone I can call to come pick you up?" The man already has his phone somehow, Sebastian isn't really sure when that happened, but he can't really bring himself to care at this point.

"Kurt." He doesn't think about the answer, just knows he wants Kurt, knows he needs Kurt, and he knows that Kurt wouldn't say no to him even after everything. And maybe he doesn't deserve it, but he can't be bothered to care about that right now.

"Kurt. Alright kid, you just hang tight, and I'll give this Kurt guy a call for you, okay?"

"Yeah," Sebastian agrees as he lays his head down on the table, because he really is just exhausted, and maybe if he closes his eyes the world will stop spinning.

The first thing Sebastian realizes when he wakes up is that he has the worst headache he has ever experienced in his entire life.

The next thing he realizes is that he's not in his bed.

He squints his eyes open and looks around. He recognizes the room, knows he's been here before but can't remember where here is over the pounding in his head and the haze that hasn't quite lifted and then he sees him and–

Oh. Kurt. This is Kurt's room. He's in Kurt's room, in Kurt's bed. He'd been at Scandals, and there was that man, and then the other man who had called Kurt for him, and then... well, he doesn't remember anything after that. The rest of the night is gone. But apparently Kurt had answered that call, and Kurt had come to pick him up, because now he's laying in Kurt's bed and the boy he hasn't spoken to in months is sitting about ten feet away from him, back to him as he rubs something into his face at his vanity.

Sebastian feels his stomach heave, and he rolls to the side just in time to vomit all over the hardwood floor.

Kurt is there in an instant, stroking his hair as he heaves again, though there's not much left in his stomach after the first time so not much comes up. He spits onto the floor – his mouth tastes gross, and it's not like a bit of spit is going to make that mess any worse – then rolls onto his back again and closes his eyes.

He feels the bed shift with Kurt's weight, feels the hand still stroking his hair softly. "Hey, you're okay," Kurt's voice whispers soothingly to him, "I've got you. You're okay."

"Water," Sebastian rasps.

"Right here," Kurt says, seemingly materializing a bottle from thin air and handing it to him. "Here, sit up," Kurt coaxes, and Sebastian shifts in the bed, Kurt helping to pull him into somewhat of an upright position against the headboard.

Sebastian takes a sip of water then closes his eyes and tries to will his headache away.

It's not working.

"Advil?" Kurt asks softly, and when Sebastian squints an eye open to look, he sees Kurt holding out a couple small red pills in his hand. Sebastian pops them into his mouth and chases them with another sip of water, closing his eyes again and resting his head back against the headboard.

"You should try to get some more sleep," Kurt says, tugging gently at Sebastian until he's lying back down in the bed, then taking the water bottle from him and laying the blankets over him again.

He's not sure how much later it is when he wakes up again, but his pounding headache has eased to a dull throb, and he doesn't feel nauseous anymore, although his mouth still tastes foul. He sits up in the bed, and looks around the room; it's dark, the lights are off, and Kurt has drawn the curtains to keep the sunlight out, although he can see it peeking through around the edge so it's definitely still daytime. He looks around the room and finds a clock; just after 2. Well, there's half the day gone.

He swings his legs over the side of the bed, plants his feet on the ground. He looks down and remembers there used to be a pool of his vomit here, and Kurt must have cleaned it up, and oh god what is he going to say to Kurt? But Kurt isn't even here right now, he must be somewhere else in the house, and oh god what is he going to say to Kurt's family? Do they know that Sebastian was here last night? Because Sebastian doesn't actually remember being here last night, but he woke up here this morning so he must have been.

He runs a hand through his hair and tips his head back to stare up at the ceiling. That man... he could have woken up somewhere very different this morning if it weren't for the other man in the cowboy hat. He doesn't even remember his name, just the hat. He remembers Stephen's name, though. He remembers with an uncanny clarity the man who all but carried him out of the bar, because Sebastian wasn't even capable of taking 5 steps on his own, which now that his head is a bit clearer he realizes really doesn't make any sense at all, he'd barely had anything to drink, there was no reason for him to be that out of it, unless...


Stephen had drugged him. He must have. It's the only explanation. He'd been distracted all night at the bar, he hadn't been paying attention, the man must have slipped something into his drink and he wasn't paying attention and he nearly let that man take him home high on god knows what and there was nothing he could do about it because he let it happen to himself and, god, what was he thinking going into that bar and not paying attention, he knows what men like that are like, knows how vigilant he needs to be and he let it happen and this isn't what's supposed to happen, this is supposed to make him feel strong and powerful and in control but he wasn't in control last night, he didn't have any say last night, he couldn't do anything last night, if that man in the hat hadn't shown up when he did Sebastian could be anywhere right now and–

"Hey, hey, you're okay, it's okay, just breathe."

Kurt is sitting on the bed beside him, arms wrapped around his shoulders, and he wonders why Kurt is shaking him until he realizes it's him that's shaking.

"Come on, breathe with me, okay? In... out... in... out..."

He tries to time his breathing with Kurt's words, with Kurt's breaths, and slowly he feels himself calm down. Kurt's arms are still wrapped around him, a hand stroking gently along his arm. They sit there in silence for a while, until Sebastian's breathing has finally returned to normal, and then even longer, before Kurt finally speaks again.

"Are you... are you okay?" His tone is cautious, like he's not sure if it's a question he's allowed to ask.

"I'm fine."

"Sebastian," Kurt says, unconvinced.

"I said I'm fine," he snaps, a little more harshly than he means to.

"Okay," Kurt concedes, letting his arms fall away from Sebastian.

"I should go," he decides, standing up and starting for the door, but then he stops when he remembers his car isn't here, and he doesn't know where his phone, so he doesn't really have a way to leave. He turns back to look at Kurt. "Do you uh... do you know where my phone is?"

"It's right there," Kurt says, pointing to the bedside table next to where Sebastian had been sleeping, and of course it is. He makes his way back across the room to grab it.

"I can drive you to get your car if you want," Kurt offers carefully.

Sebastian considers the offer for a moment; if he refuses, then he'll just be sitting around Kurt's house waiting for a cab to pick him up anyway. Either option means he'll have to talk to Kurt. "Yeah, okay," he agrees.


Sebastian grabs his phone, then follows Kurt out to his car. They climb in and sit in silence as Kurt starts the car and pulls out of the driveway onto the road, and the silence hangs over them until they're about half way to Scandals and Kurt finally speaks.

"So are we going to talk about this at all?"

"Talk about what?"

"I don't know, anything? You cut me out of your life out of nowhere, for months, and then I get a call out of the blue to come pick you up from a bar in the middle of the night basically unconscious and you just expect me to... to what? Act like this is normal?"

"That would be nice actually," Sebastian mutters, keeping his eyes on the road ahead, but he sees Kurt shoot him a look in his peripheral vision. "I'm sorry."

Kurt sighs. "So after I drop you off, then what? Are you going back to not speaking to me?"

"I don't know."

Another sigh.

"Look, if you don't want me in your life, that's fine, okay? But, don't you think I at least deserve to know?"

"I don't want that," he says quietly.

"Don't want what?"

"I don't want you not in my life."

Kurt is silent for a moment before he responds. "Okay. So where does that leave us?"

"We could... try to be friends again?'

"Okay," Kurt agrees.

"Okay?" He almost can't believe it's this easy. But, then again, of course it is.


Kurt always has been so forgiving. He really is too good for Sebastian.

Chapter Text

Kurt doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know what to do. It's clear that something happened to Sebastian at Scandals that night, but he doesn't know what because Sebastian won't talk to him about it, just brushes him off and says there's nothing to talk about every time he tries to bring it up.

Kurt gets it. He knows what it's like to hold things in and keep them to yourself. He does it all the time, if anyone understands keeping things to yourself it's Kurt. It's just that… he doesn't do that with Sebastian. He tells Sebastian everything – or, at least, just about everything – and he thought that Sebastian would feel comfortable talking to him when the time came that he had something to talk about.

Apparently that's not the case.

He tries not to take it personally. He should just be glad they're finally friends again, finally speaking to each other at all. He knows Sebastian is stubborn, even when the tendency actively works against him, so the fact that Sebastian is talking to him again after all this time is sort of a miracle, he figures. It will just have to be enough, and if Sebastian really needs someone to talk to, Kurt just hopes he'll come to him.

As it is, they've been... surprisingly good. Not totally back to normal, but slowly they're starting to settle back into something that resembles the friendship they'd had before the kiss. It was only a kiss, it shouldn't have been a big deal, it shouldn't have caused this rift between them in the first place, but at least now they're slowly starting to fix things.

Kurt's phone buzzes again on the table, and he picks it up to check the message. He's making plans with Mercedes to go shopping on the weekend, so he taps out a reply and hits send before placing the phone back on the table.

"Boyfriend got a lot to say today?" Sebastian asks, and it sounds a little too hostile to be teasing.

"What? No. It's Mercedes," he answers, confused, because Sebastian knows he doesn't have a boyfriend.

"You know, you don't have to lie to me about it."


"You know I saw you and Harry Potter at the movies, Kurt, you don't have to lie to me about him."

"You... wait, wait. You think Blaine is my boyfriend?"

"Well it's not like it's outside the realm of possibilities, is it?" Sebastian asks, raising an eyebrow at him.

Kurt just stares back for a moment, shocked, because how could Sebastian actually think he'd get back together with Blaine after... well, after everything? "Sebastian, you know I'm not... I am not dating Blaine."

"Right," Sebastian rolls his eyes.

"Seriously, you think I would do that again?"

"You wouldn't?"

Kurt is starting to remember why he found the other boy so infuriating before. "No, of course not. God, Seb, you of all people should know that."

Sebastian narrows his eyes, stares at Kurt for a long minute. "So you're really not dating him?"

Kurt sighs. "No. I'm not." This is ridiculous.

"Okay," Sebastian says, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms across his chest. "Well, don't."

"I don't plan on it."


"I can't believe you thought I was." He knows it took a lot for him to finally believe Blaine, but he figured Sebastian thought better of him than to go back to him.

"Well what was I supposed to think when I saw you on a movie date?"

"It wasn't a date, it's called being friends."

"Why would you want to be friends with him, after what he did to–"

"You can stop right there. He didn't do anything, he just... I was just...," he trails off, because it still makes him uncomfortable to think about. He knows Blaine was pushy sometimes, and that upset him, and sometimes he was scared of what Blaine might do, but he'd never actually really done anything to him, right? Sebastian insisted he had but it wasn't really like that, Blaine didn't... he's not a victim here. Maybe he could have been, if he'd stayed, but he hadn't. He's not a victim.

"Okay, whatever, you know what I mean," Sebastian says, brushing it off, and Kurt is glad that at least the other boy isn't arguing with him this time, because he usually does and it just makes him feel worse.

"He's at school and in my classes and in Glee club, what am I supposed to do, Seb? And we were friends before, you know... everything. I don't see why I can't try. He's not so bad."

"Not so bad?" Sebastian asks incredulously. "Kurt, he sexually assaulted you, I think that's pretty fucking bad, don't you?"

Kurt flinches a little at the words, Sebastian's tone is so harsh, and he doesn't like to think about it like that, that's not what it was, because if that's what it was then Kurt let it happen, he's a victim, but he's not.

So much for not arguing about it this time.

"You're over-reacting. And, newsflash, you don't get a say in who I'm friends with," Kurt counters, his voice rising a little.

"I'm not trying to tell you who to be friends with, just don't be friends with him."

"That's exactly what you're doing."

"I'm just worried about you, Kurt, I don't want anything to happen to you."

"Well don't. I think I can take care of myself."

"From experience, that doesn't seem to be the case."

Kurt's jaw falls open as the words hit him. It's like Sebastian just slapped him across the face, hard. He sees the flash of fear in Sebastian's eyes as he registers exactly what it is that he just said.

"Shit, Kurt, I didn't mean–"

"Just drop it," Kurt cuts him off, voice flat, setting his jaw.

"Yeah," Sebastian agrees, and Kurt watches his Adam's apple bob as he swallows. "So, uh... what does Mercedes have to say?"

"How about Tuesday?" Blaine asks, looking up at Kurt from the calendar on his phone.

"Oh, um, I can't do Tuesday."

"Hot date?" Blaine asks teasingly.

"What? No. Why does everyone think I'm going on all these dates?" Kurt asks with a frown.

"I was just kidding, sorry. What's going on Tuesday?"

"I told Sebastian we'd do something that evening."

"Oh," Blaine says simply, and his tone is off.


"Nothing, I just... I didn't think you two were friends anymore."

"We... weren't, for a bit. But we're fine now."

"Oh," Blaine repeats. "I don't know what I did to make him hate me."

"He doesn't hate you, Blaine," Kurt argues.

Blaine gives him a look. "I'm pretty sure he does."

"Well... he's not your biggest fan," Kurt concedes.

"We used to get along so well," Blaine muses, "I don't know what changed. And he used to hate you. And you hated him, too."

"Guess he finally came around to the error of his ways," Kurt jokes.

"I swear, if there was any chance of you dating him I'd think this was his plan all along, breaking us up so he could steal you."

"I'm pretty sure you're the one he was trying to steal, Blaine." Kurt is always a little uncomfortable any time Blaine hints at their past together. He's not sure why, it's not like he wants to pretend it never happened, they both clearly know it happened, but... it's just easier when it's not in his face. It's easier to separate his friend Blaine from his ex boyfriend Blaine when he's not being reminded that they're the same person.

"Yeah, well, I guess he decided I wasn't worth it."

"Blaine, hey, don't say that," Kurt says, turning to look at Blaine head on.

"Well it's true, isn't it? Not worth it to him, not worth it to you."

"Blaine, that's not– don't think like that."

"Why shouldn't I? Am I wrong?"

He hates seeing Blaine like this, sad and beating himself up, and of course neither he nor Sebastian have any interest in dating Blaine but that doesn't mean there's nobody out there for the other boy.

"Of course you're wrong," Kurt insists. "Blaine, just because we didn't work out doesn't mean nothing is ever going to work out. Come on, you know that. You'll find someone else."

"Yeah well, I don't want someone else. I want you. And it's pretty clear I'm not good enough for that."

"Blaine, I...," he trails off, not really sure what to say. He wants to reassure Blaine, but he's not sure how without telling Blaine they can get back together, and he's not doing that, but he just feels so... guilty. He hadn't realized Blaine was still having such a hard time with this. He doesn't want Blaine to be hurting, he doesn't want to be the cause of this.

"It's fine, don't worry about it. I shouldn't be putting this on you. It's not your fault."

"Blaine, I'm sorry," he says weakly.

"Really, it's fine. I'll be fine. Anyway, what about Thursday?"

"Thursday should work," Kurt agrees with a small nod.

"I think he's upset I'm spending so much time with you."

Sebastian barks out a laugh at that. "What?"

"He just gets... really weird and upset whenever I tell him I have plans with you."

The other boy laughs again. "Anderson's jealous."


"It's obvious, isn't it? He's jealous you're spending time with me instead of him. Oh, this is gold," Sebastian says with a smirk.

"He's not jealous," Kurt argues, "I think he's upset because he thinks you hate him."

"I do hate him," Sebastian responds easily.

"Oh come on, you don't hate him."

"Hmm," Sebastian hums, bringing his hand to his chin and concentrating in mock thought, "no, I'm pretty sure I do."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "Well, whatever."

"He wants you back, and he knows it won't happen as long as I'm here."

For a split second he thinks Sebastian means it like that. Like that Kurt won't get back with Blaine because he likes Sebastian, and of course he knows Sebastian knows but he's been trying not to bring it up because last time they went anywhere near those feelings things went very south very fast.

"What?" he asks, voice pitched higher than it should be.

"He knows I'd talk you out of it because he sucks," Sebastian clarifies.

"Oh, right," Kurt says, too quickly, "of course."

Chapter Text

It hurts.

Being just friends with Kurt hurts. But, so did being not friends with Kurt, that hurt more, so at least this is an improvement.

He really had thought that Kurt was back with Blaine. He figured Kurt was trying to hide it either because he was embarrassed to admit it to Sebastian or, more likely, for the sake of Sebastian's feelings. Because Kurt knows how Sebastian feels about him, because Sebastian told him. And Kurt hadn't said it back, because of course Kurt doesn't feel the same way, and that's fine, really it is, it's fine.

He's still relieved when he finds out that Kurt isn't dating Blaine.

Normally he would have no problem voicing his concerns about Blaine; he's done it before after all. But now that Kurt knows, he might have thought it was for the wrong reasons, and he doesn't think their friendship can take that. Again. Not right now, anyway. So he's stayed quiet, until he couldn't anymore because, well, there's only so much that he can manage to not say. And now he kind of wishes he had said it before, because it just feels so much better to know.

So maybe it's not the saying things that's bad for their friendship, maybe it's the how he says things that keeps hurting him – them. He's never really had somebody that he can just talk to and be honest with, and if he's truthful, he doesn't entirely know how to do that. He's never been a talker. He keeps his feelings to himself and either deals with them alone or pushes them to the back of his mind until he's – mostly – forgotten about them. And that's worked well enough for him for a long time. It's not that he thinks people shouldn't be able to talk about how they're feeling, it's that he thinks he doesn't have to; he's strong, independent, he doesn't need anyone. He can do things on his own.

But sometimes, he wants someone. And that's getting harder and harder to ignore.

Kurt sighs and slides his phone back into his pocket before he takes a seat on the swing beside Sebastian.

"Blaine?" Sebastian hazards a guess.

Kurt turns to look at him, an eyebrow raised. "You know I have other friends, right?"

"Yeah, but usually you're happier to hear from them," Sebastian points out, and it's true.

Kurt shrugs, but doesn't argue the point. "It's Chandler."

Sebastian narrows his eyes a little as he looks at Kurt, who isn't looking back, is just staring down at the ground and scuffing his feet in the gravel there. "Who's Chandler?"

"He's just this guy I met at the sheet music store a while ago."

"Oh," Sebastian says simply. That doesn't really give him any information. "So, what's wrong with him?"

Kurt glances up and chuckles lightly, but then looks back at the ground before he responds. "Nothing's wrong with him, I just don't... he asked me for my number, and I thought it might be good for me to try to date someone else and get over... well, you know. And he's nice enough, but he's just so... much."

Sebastian feels his stomach twist a little at the knowledge that Kurt must still not be over Blaine; he swears he'd never date the other boy again, which Sebastian had taken to mean that Kurt was over him, but apparently that isn't the case.

As usual, he pushes his feelings on the matter aside.

"So, what, are you dating him?" Because he needs to know.

"No," Kurt says quickly, shaking his head. "I mean, we went out together once, and it was fine, I guess, but I just... I don't know. He keeps trying to get me to go out with him again, and I don't want to but I can't figure out how to tell him that. He is a really nice guy, and I don't want to hurt him, but I don't even really want to be his friend. We just... don't mesh."

Sebastian tries to hide the smile on his face; he's glad Kurt is looking at the ground, because he does feel a little bad that he's happy about this; it's clearly a difficult situation for Kurt. But he can't help but be glad that Kurt has no interest in dating this other boy, even if it may be largely because of Blaine Anderson. Sebastian isn't sure he could handle being friends with Kurt if he had a boyfriend.

"Let me see your phone."

"What?" Kurt looks up at him in surprise.

"I said, let me see your phone."

"Okay...," Kurt says slowly, pulling it from his pocket and handing it to Sebastian.

Sebastian rolls his eyes and hands it back. "You have to unlock it first, Einstein."

Kurt takes the phone back, unlocks it, and hands it to Sebastian again. "Why? What are you doing?"

He smiles a little, knowing that Kurt trusts him enough to just hand his phone over without knowing what Sebastian is planning to do with it.

"Getting rid of him for you," Sebastian says simply as he navigates to Kurt's texts and selects Chandler's contact.

Are you sure you're not tired? Because you've been running through my mind all day.

Sebastian can't help but bark out a laugh as he reads the most recent text. No wonder Kurt wants nothing to do with this guy.

"You're what?" Kurt asks, voice pitched a little higher than usual.

"Don't worry about it, it will only take a second," Sebastian brushes him off as he begins to tap out a message.

"Seb, give me my phone back," Kurt says, swiping out to grab at the phone, but Sebastian had been anticipating this and he stands and takes a step away. Kurt stands, too, following him and reaching out to grab for the phone, but Sebastian holds it up over his head, using his thumb to finish tapping out the text as he pushes Kurt away with his other hand.

"Seb, give it back," Kurt says again, reaching up for the phone, but he's shorter than Sebastian so he can't reach, ends up just grabbing at Sebastian's arms in his failed attempts.

I don't want anything to do with you. Stop texting me.

He hits send, before lowering his arm enough that Kurt can grab the phone, and it's only then that he realizes just how close Kurt is to him, chest pressed up against his as he reaches up, face only inches away, and his breath catches just a little in his throat at the sudden realization of the closeness.

Luckily, Kurt doesn't seem to notice; or, at the very least, does a very good job ignoring it.

Kurt swipes the phone from his hand, then takes a step back and looks down at the screen, eyes going wide as he reads the message.

"Sebastian, I can't believe you sent that, what the hell?"

"You don't want to talk to him anymore. That should do it," Sebastian says with a shrug and a smirk; it's a little easier to concentrate now that Kurt isn't pressed up against him.

"Yeah but I didn't want to be an asshole to him," Kurt insists.

"I know, that's why I did it for you."

"But he'll think it's me," Kurt insists.

"So? Who cares? He won't want to date you if he thinks you're an asshole. Sounds like a good thing to me."

Kurt rolls his eyes, but there doesn't seem to be any heat behind it. "You are impossible."

"But you love me anyway."

He doesn't mean to say it. The words have passed his lips before he'd even realized they had formed in his head. But they're out there now.

Kurt laughs, looking away as he slides his phone back into his pocket, but he doesn't respond.

"Come on, it's starting to get dark. And I told my dad I'd be home for supper."

"Yeah, right. We should go," Sebastian agrees, and follows behind as Kurt leads the way back down the path toward the parking lot.

Sebastian takes his coffee cup from the barista and turns to leave the Lima Bean, but he pauses for a double-take when someone familiar catches his eyes. Or rather, upon close inspection, someones. Kurt is sitting at a table tucked away in a corner with Blaine. It's not the table they used to sit at all the time, and it's kind of out of the way, which is why Sebastian must have missed them when he'd come in, but there they are, sitting and chatting, and they don't seem to see him.

He makes his way to the table, and Blaine spots him first, a surprised expression crossing his face because the two boys haven't spoken to each other in... well, a very long time. Sebastian hears about Blaine through Kurt, and presumably Kurt talks about him to Blaine as well, but he's had no reason to talk to Blaine since he and Kurt had broken up, and he hasn't run into the two of them out together until now – or at least, hasn't run into them when he and Kurt have been on speaking terms.

"Well if it isn't Hall and Oates," he says with a smirk as he walks up from behind Kurt. Kurt turns his head in surprise, but then he smiles a little when their eyes meet.

"Oh, hey Sebastian."

"Hi Kurt," Sebastian says with a smile, then looking at Blaine and grinning smugly, "Blaine."

"Hi Sebastian," Blaine says, and his expression is difficult to read; maybe something between shock and annoyance? Not that Sebastian cares.

"I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" he asks, not really caring if he is as he drags an extra chair over and takes a seat.

"Well actually–" Blaine starts, but Kurt cuts him off.

"No, we were just having coffee. Nothing important."

"Hmm. I thought not," Sebastian says, giving Blaine another smug smile, and Blaine frowns a little at him. "So, Blaine, haven't seen you around in a while. I was starting to wonder if you even like coffee or if you just pretended to in your sad and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get in Kurt's pants."

Blaine just kind of gapes at him, apparently unsure how to respond. If he'd said something like that to Kurt, he would have gotten a some people's world doesn't revolve around trying to have sex with every new guy they meet or an oh please, not everyone is so intolerable that they need to lie about something so trivial for someone to be interested in them or even just a fuck you, but Blaine just says nothing, and he's starting to remember why he doesn't like the other boy all that much. Well, other than the obvious reasons, of course.

He looks back to Kurt, already bored with Blaine, and sees the uncomfortable expression on his face and shit, he kind of hadn't thought about how the comment might make Kurt feel – if he's honest, he doesn't usually care about how his comments make anyone feel, but he does care about Kurt.

"So, Kurt, we're still on for this weekend right?"

Kurt brightens a little at that. "Yes, of course."

"Great," Sebastian says with a smile. "I should actually get going. But it was nice seeing you," he adds, making a point to look only at Kurt as he says the last sentence.

"Yeah, you too," Kurt agrees.

"I'll see you Saturday," he says to Kurt, then winks at Blaine, whose frown deepens.

"Bye, Sebastian," Blaine says, voice not nearly as cheery as it usually is, and Sebastian smirks to himself as he walks away.

Chapter Text

"I can't believe you're friends with him," Blaine says with bewilderment as they watch Sebastian walk away from the table.

"You were friends with him," Kurt points out, a little annoyed, because every time Sebastian comes up this happens, and Kurt had managed to keep his mouth shut when Sebastian was trying to steal his boyfriend so he's not really sure why this is such a big problem for Blaine.

"That was different," Blaine argues.

"Yes, it was worse," Kurt points out, barely concealing the frustration in his voice.

"You don't get it, he's– it's just– never mind," Blaine mumbles, crossing his arms and looking to the side.

"Don't get what?"

"It doesn't matter. Never mind."

"No, tell me, Blaine, what don't I get?"

"He's the reason we're not together, Kurt! If it weren't for him we'd be back together already, we were doing so good when you stopped being friends because he wasn't whispering in your ear about how awful I apparently am, and I can't believe you're fine with just letting him be your friend after how he treated you. And now he's back, and just... can't you see that he's the reason we can't just be happy together?"

Kurt gawks at Blaine for a moment in shock, trying to digest everything that Blaine has just said because... what?

"Are you serious, Blaine? You think we're not together because of Sebastian?"

"Well it's the only reason I can think of," Blaine says simply, resolutely, meeting Kurt's eyes again.

"I can't believe this...," Kurt mutters. "You really... Okay, let me make this clear. We aren't together because I don't want to be with you, Blaine. I thought I had made that abundantly clear, but apparently not. We didn't break up because of Sebastian, we broke up because I wasn't happy. And that's not going to change if we get back together, so that is not going to happen. And it has nothing to do with Sebastian."

"Oh come on Kurt, don't be dramatic. We're so good together, how do you not see that? Sure, we were having some issues, but everyone has issues, seriously, I think this has been going on long enough. I'm not sure how long you expect me to wait for you to get over... whatever this is, but you need to get over it soon."

"Did you... is that what you thought this was? You're just waiting for me to get over it and come back to you? I... you're kidding, right?"

There's no way Blaine is being serious right now. Absolutely no way, because what he's suggesting is preposterous, and if Blaine claims to have ever known Kurt – and, really, they were together long enough that even Kurt can't deny that Blaine should know him – then he should know that when Kurt makes a decision, when Kurt knows we he wants, that his mind is made up and he will stand firm in his choice.

"Kurt," Blaine says, reaching across the table to take Kurt's hand in his, "look, I'm not sure what brought all this on, and I swear, I'm willing to work on us, whatever you want, but if you keep letting Sebastian tell you what to think then I'm not sure if we can fix this." He says it sincerely, like he genuinely believes what he's saying, like he's trying to comfort Kurt and Kurt is a small child who needs things explained to him simply, and it's infuriating.

"Fix... Blaine, there's nothing to fixWe are nothing, we're not... We are never getting back together, I'm sorry if you misunderstood that but I thought I was pretty clear from the start," he says, pulling his hand away from Blaine's on the table.

"How do you not see how perfect we are for each other, Kurt? Look, I'm not saying we didn't have issues, but we can fix them, you don't have to do this just because he convinced you that you should."

"You think he... okay, I'm done Blaine, we're done here. He didn't convince me of anything, I made that choice all on my own, and clearly if you're acting like this it was the right choice." Kurt stands, grabs his satchel and hoists it over his shoulder.

"Kurt, wait, come on," Blaine says, standing as well and reaching out to grab Kurt as he pleads with him to stay.

"Don't touch me," he snaps, before Blaine's hand can reach him, and Blaine pulls his arm back. "Goodbye, Blaine," he adds simply, coolly, and then he turns on his heel and walks away, through the crowded Lima Bean, out the door, and to his car.

How could he be so stupid? Of course Blaine didn't want to be just friends. He should have seen this coming a mile away. Because while it's true that Blaine should know Kurt, Kurt should know Blaine, too. He should have known by all the little comments he's made, all the small ways he's made Kurt feel guilty about their breakup and for hurting Blaine, but he tries to see the good in people and he'd really thought that maybe he and Blaine could be friends, but apparently not.

He's calling Sebastian before he's really thinking about calling Sebastian, and the other boy answers the call before he has time to decide what he even wants to say.

"Miss me already?" He can hear the smirk in Sebastian's voice, and he laughs a little.

"Surprisingly not," Kurt says sarcastically. "Are you busy?"

"Right now?" Sebastian asks.


"Oh, I don't know, I'm kind of in the middle of watching something," Sebastian tells him.

"You just left, Seb, what could you be watching?"

"Look ahead."

Kurt looks forward out his windshield, confused, until he spots Sebastian sitting in his own car across the parking lot and rolls his eyes.

"You're an asshole," he says fondly.

"I know," Sebastian agrees.

"I'm coming over there." He doesn't give Sebastian a chance to answer, just ends the call and climbs out of his car to make his way across the parking lot. He slides into the passenger seat beside the other boy and pulls the door closed behind him.

"So, what's going on that you just couldn't be without me for more than 10 minutes?" Sebastian asks, and now Kurt can see the smirk.

He groans. "Blaine's an asshole." This time, it's not very fond.

Sebastian chuckles. "I could have told you that... oh wait, I have told you that."

"Yeah, yeah, you were right, congratulations," Kurt grumbles.

"What's the date today? I'm going to have to write it down. The day Kurt Hummel finally admits he was wrong. And to me, of all people."

"You know what, maybe I should have just left," Kurt counters, but he makes no move to get out of the car. "Why did I think we could be friends?"

"What happened?"

"He just... apparently he thought we were going to get back together eventually? Which, I mean, why would he think that? I thought I was pretty clear."

"He's not really the best at taking no for an answer," Sebastian says pointedly, and Kurt wants to argue, but he knows Sebastian is right.

"He thinks you're the reason we're not back together yet."

Sebastian barks out a laugh at that. "What?"

"Yeah. He figures you've been whispering bad things about him in my ear–"

"I have."

"–and that if it weren't for you we would have gotten back together by now."

Sebastian laughs again. "I guess I should feel honoured he thinks I have so much power over you."

Kurt chuckles a little awkwardly at that; if only Blaine knew how Kurt really felt about Sebastian. Not that it was the reason he wasn't dating Blaine, but... it would certainly drive Blaine nuts to know how he felt.

"You know, I'm pretty impressed that you haven't," Sebastian comments, and Kurt gives him a confused look.

"Impressed I haven't what?"

"Gotten back together with him."

"What? Why would I... we talked about this, you know I never planned on getting back together with him."

"Sure, but you're not over him, either, so... I figured there was always a chance."

"I'm not... sorry, what? Since when am I not over him? I am so, so over Blaine. What ever made you think I'm not over him?" Since when have all the men in his life who he thought knew him suddenly decided to demonstrate that, apparently, they don't know him at all?

"Oh," Sebastian replies, seeming genuinely surprised, "well the other day, when we were talking about Tyler Oakley, you said you weren't over him."

Kurt feels his cheeks flush. Why would Sebastian ever think he was talking about Blaine? Sebastian knows Kurt likes him, he's never explicitly said it but he must know, right?

... Right?

"That wasn't... I wasn't talking about Blaine," he says, looking forward out the windshield and his face is on fire. "Why would you ever think I was talking about Blaine?"

"Well, you definitely weren't cheating on him, you don't have it in you, so who else would it be?"

Kurt stares at Sebastian, and Sebastian just stares right back intently.

"Who else... you're serious?"

"Kurt, there is literally nobody else I can think of that you would need to get over other than Blaine."

Sebastian doesn't know. Sebastian doesn't knowSebastian doesn't know.

So then why all the awkwardness? Why did everything change after the kiss, the icing out, everything that had gone wrong between them because of Kurt's feelings – or, rather, because of something that wasn't Kurt's feelings, apparently, because Sebastian doesn't know. Why would Sebastian have said those things to him that day he stormed out the house, unless...


Unless he meant it.

Kurt just blinks at Sebastian as the realization hits him like a freight train. He's never told Sebastian his feelings, just assumed the other boy must know because Kurt isn't exactly known for being the most subtle. But Sebastian had meant it when he said he had feelings for Kurt, and then Kurt hadn't told him he felt the same way, and god, how must Sebastian have felt after that? Of course he needed space from Kurt. He knows Sebastian pretty well now, knows that talking about his feelings isn't something that Sebastian ever really does, so for him to say that to Kurt... and then for Kurt to not say it back... of course that's how he reacted.

"So are you going to tell me, or...?" Sebastian teases, and Kurt blinks again, brought back from his thoughts by Sebastian's voice.

"You," he says simply.

"Me what?" Sebastian asks, brow furrowed slightly but still smirking.

"It's you. That I'm not over."

The smirk slowly fades from his face, replaced with confusion. "What?"

"I thought... I thought you knew, and you just didn't, but... you actually meant it, didn't you?"

Sebastian frowns, his brow furrowing. "Meant what?"

"What you said to me. When we had that fight, and we... well, you know."

He swears he sees Sebastian's cheeks flush just slightly, but it's barely there, he'd have missed it had he blinked.

"Yeah," he replies, voice a little strained, looking away from Kurt, and it breaks his heart a little.

"I thought you knew, I thought that was why you said it, because you thought I wanted to hear it, I didn't realize you... meant it."

Sebastian doesn't say anything so Kurt adds, "I, um... I don't know if you... if you would still mean it, but. I like you. I really like you, Seb, I just thought you knew, and you weren't interested, I didn't realize that you... didn't."

Sebastian turns to look at him again, a look of confusion and bewilderment and disbelief on his face. "What?"

He wants to laugh. It's not often that Sebastian is at a loss for words like this.

"I like you," Kurt repeats simply. "A lot," he adds, for good measure.

He hears the sharp intake of breath, watches Sebastian's Adam's apple bob as he swallows, but he still doesn't say anything, and oh god, what if he doesn't feel the same way anymore? What if he is over Kurt? And now Kurt has gone and made things awkward all over again.

"If you don't– you don't have to say anything, if you don't feel that way anymore it's fine, really, I just thought– god, Seb, I'm sorry, I didn't–"

"I do."

"What?" It comes out on a sharp exhale, and it's Kurt's turn to be at a loss for words now.

"I do feel the same way," Sebastian clarifies, and he looks terrified, but that's how Kurt knows that he means it.

And then Kurt is leaning over the center console, lips meeting Sebastian's.

This time he knows it's not a mistake.

Chapter Text

Sebastian reaches up and threads his fingers into Kurt's hair, and he almost expects Kurt to swat the hand away because it's Kurt's hair, but he doesn't, just deepens the kiss as he moans softly into Sebastian's mouth. He feels one of Kurt's hands come to rest on his cheek, the other reaching to grip the back of his neck, holding him firmly there as their lips move together, tongues exploring each others' mouths, and technically this isn't their first kiss but it feels like it is, because Kurt likes him back and he never thought he'd hear those words, never thought this could happen, and kissing isn't usually like this, but this is Kurt.

This is Kurt.

He doesn't want to ruin this. Maybe Kurt does like him – well, more than maybe, apparently, but he'll need some time to get used to that – but Sebastian still has no idea how to do this. He's never had a boyfriend, only ever been one for casual sex and one-night stands, and Kurt deserves better than that. He knows Kurt isn't ready for sex yet, and obviously making out in his car in the middle of the daytime in a crowded parking lot was never going to lead to sex anyway, but even without that, he wants to take things slow. This isn't something he'd ever thought he would want – both taking things slow, and a relationship – but he also never thought he'd be in this position, either.

He pulls back, breaking the kiss, and just stares at Kurt, eyes wide and sparkling, hair a little dishevelled, lips wet and just slightly red and swollen, and fuck he looks good like that.

"Maybe we shouldn't do this... right here," Sebastian says, and Kurt looks around for a moment, a blush rising in his cheeks as he realizes just where exactly here is.

"Oh, right," he agrees with a shy smile. Kurt flips down the sun visor and uses the mirror there to begin smoothing down his hair. "You need to watch the hair."

And there's the hair comment, he thinks to himself. "You didn't seem to mind a few seconds ago," Sebastian says with a smirk, and Kurt blushes again, but doesn't respond.

He's not really sure what to say. He's not sure how to do this, what this means. Are they going to be boyfriends now? Because he likes Kurt, he really likes Kurt, but he's not sure if he's ready to call someone his boyfriend. He feels a little silly for it, because he's the one who has no qualms with meeting a guy and hopping into bed with him the same night, but... maybe his motivation for taking things slow isn't entirely for Kurt's sake.

"Are you okay?" Kurt sounds concerned, and Sebastian looks over to find that he looks concerned, too.

"What? Yeah, I'm fine," he says quickly.

"Are you sure? I'm sorry if... if you didn't want that. I... it wasn't a mistake this time, though. To me. I'm glad. I meant it."

"No, it's not a mistake, of course not, I just...," Sebastian trails off, not really sure how to say what he's thinking, because he doesn't do this whole talking about his feelings thing.

"Should we... we should talk about this," Kurt decides, and as much as Sebastian hates the idea, he knows Kurt is probably right.

"Yeah," he agrees simply.

"There's nobody at my house right now," Kurt offers a little awkwardly, "we can go there. If you want."

"That... yeah. That would be good," Sebastian agrees.

"Okay," Kurt says with a small smile. "I'll, um... I'll go get in my car, and I'll meet you there?"

"Sure," Sebastian agrees.

Kurt reaches for the handle, and is about to open his door when Sebastian reaches out, lays a hand on his arm to stop him. "Wait, Kurt?"

Kurt turns back to look at him curiously. "Yeah?"

Sebastian lays a hand on Kurt's face and leans forward to give him a small kiss. "I just had to do that one more time."

The smile on Kurt's face is something Sebastian doesn't think he'll ever get tired of.

"So, I have to ask... what do you want this to be?" The two boys are sitting together on the coach, and Kurt looks at Sebastian hesitantly as he asks the question.

"I'm not sure," Sebastian admits, because honestly his thoughts are a whirlwind right now.

"Okay," Kurt says with a cautious nod, "well, how about I tell you what I want this to be... and maybe you can tell me how you feel about that?"

Thank god Kurt is handling this so well. Sebastian just nods his head in agreement.

"I really like you, Seb. A lot. And I... I am over Blaine. And I want us to be something, I don't want to just be another guy, you know?"

"No, of course not. You're not, Kurt," Sebastian reassures quickly, because Kurt is the furthest thing from just another guy. How could Kurt even think that's what he is to Sebastian?

"Okay," Kurt says, a relieved smile spreading across his face. "I know you haven't really had one before, but I... um, I would like to be your boyfriend. If you would want that." His cheeks flush again, and he spits the words out quickly like if he doesn't say them right now then he never will, and Sebastian admires the courage it must take to be this honest at the same time that he feels the uncomfortable knot in his stomach because he wants that, too, he really does, but he doesn't know if he's ready, he doesn't know how to be in a relationship, and he doesn't want to do that to Kurt.

"Seb?" Kurt asks, and the smile slowly fades from his face as Sebastian doesn't respond. "Do you not want...?"

Why can't he just talk to Kurt? Kurt can do it, why can't Sebastian? He knows the things he needs to say, he knows what he should say, but he just can't and god it's not fair, not fair to him but especially not fair to Kurt who is sitting here in front of him, laying his heart out to Sebastian, and looking more and more heartbroken with every second that passes and Sebastian remains silent.

"No, no– I mean, yeah– I mean, it's not that I don't want that," Sebastian splutters, falling over his words because he just wants to see that bright smile again but he also can't lie. Not to Kurt.

"But...?" Kurt prompts.

Sebastian sighs. Why is this so hard?

"I just... I've never had a boyfriend," he mutters.

A soft smile graces Kurt's lips, and he reaches out to lay a hand on top of Sebastian's. "That's okay. Seb, you know me... you know that doesn't matter to me."

"Well maybe it matters to me," he snaps, and he didn't meant to say it like that, but it's too late now and he watches as the corners of Kurt's mouth twitch down into a frown. "Shit, Kurt, that's not what I meant–"

"If you don't want to date me then just say so, Sebastian," Kurt says coolly.

Sebastian runs a hand through his hair and lets out a frustrated sigh. "I do, I just...," he starts, but trails off, because how can he say this?

"Look, we don't have to jump right in, if you don't want," Kurt starts, tone warming a little, and he's eying Sebastian carefully now. "If that's what you're... if you're worried about being in a relationship, I... we can take things slow. That's why we're talking about it."

Sebastian just nods and looks down at the floor.

"If you don't want to be anything official yet, we don't have to be. We can take our time."

He looks back up at Kurt, sees the tentative sincerity in his eyes and the reassuring smile, and he actually laughs, because honestly this whole situation is sort of surreal.

Kurt looks at him, confused. "What?"

"I just... never thought you would be the one telling me we can take things slow."

Kurt laughs then, too, and easier smile spreading on his lips. "Well, I never really thought any of this would happen."

"Touché," Sebastian agrees.

"So, we're not dating dating, but can I still...," Kurt starts, trailing off as Sebastian catches his eyes flickering down to his lips.

"Please do," Sebastian says, and then their lips are pressed together again, fingers tangling together and into hair, and everything just feels right.

Kurt had suggested they go to Breakstix for their first official date, but despite having done that exact thing on several occasions before, Sebastian had shot the idea down immediately. Kurt had laughed at him, but said it was fine, and asked if he had a better idea. Which he didn't. But going to dinner just seemed too... formal, to him. Too official. And the idea of a boyfriend still felt... weird. So Kurt had just rolled his eyes and waited patiently as Sebastian tried to think of something sufficiently not date-like. Which, Kurt had pointed out, kind of defeated the purpose of going on a date, and Sebastian had just told him to shut up.

Kurt had also insisted it wouldn't feel any different, it would be just like every other time they've hung out together. But Kurt was wrong, it undeniably feels very different.

"I can't believe you wanted our first date to be at an arcade," Kurt says with a chuckle as he follows Sebastian through the doors.

"I figured I'd be a little more comfortable if I could spend the afternoon kicking your ass," Sebastian explains with a shrug. He's gotten a little better at acknowledging his feelings, but usually it's in the form of a joke.

"How charming," Kurt says with a smirk. "I wouldn't count on you being the one doing the ass kicking, though."

Sebastian laughs. "You hate video games. Of course I'll kick your ass."

"If you know I don't like video games, why would you take me on a date here?" Kurt teases, pouting slightly.

"Because I knew that if you agreed to come it meant you really do like me," Sebastian teases right back.

Kurt grabs Sebastian's hand to stop him, and Sebastian turns to look at him. "I do," Kurt says with a shy smile, a slight blush rising in his cheeks.

"Obviously," Sebastian jokes, and then pulls his hand from Kurt's and keeps walking. He's never had a problem with physical contact, whether in public or in private; never had a problem with touching other guys or letting them touch him. But there's something about the hand holding and the cuddling and the tendernessand intimacy that comes with these small touches he shares with Kurt sometimes that just unnerves him. It makes him uncomfortable. And he'd thought that he'd gotten over that reaction to being touched a long time ago – he's spent a lot of time getting comfortable touching and being touched – but there's just something different about this, about how intimate it feels, and it's the most frustrating thing in the world because this is Kurt and he shouldn't be feeling that way. Not with Kurt. He can trust Kurt. He knows he can.

Kurt doesn't reach for his hand again.

"Just because I don't like them doesn't mean I'm not good at them," Kurt says as Sebastian feeds money into the machine which promptly dispenses a handful of tokens.

"Well, we'll just have to find out then, won't we?" Sebastian says with a smirk.

"I guess so," Kurt responds with a grin. "What are we playing first?"

"Air hockey?" Sebastian suggests as innocently as he can.

Kurt rolls his eyes. "That's not even a video game."

"True, but it is sports, which you also hate," Sebastian teases with a wide grin. When they're like this, it's easy to forget about the flash of disappointment he'd caught on Kurt's face when he pulled away.

"Fine, whatever. Air hockey it is," Kurt agrees.

They make their way over to the air hockey tables; there are two in the arcade, one of which is being used by a pair of younger boys, so they claim the other. Sebastian deposits the tokens, and the table comes to life, air spewing from the small holes and the red puck starts moving around of its own accord.

"I'll let you start," Sebastian offers, making his way to the opposite end of the table and gripping the striker.

"You sure about that?" Kurt asks him, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah. I figure you could use the advantage," Sebastian shoots back.

Kurt just rolls his eyes, grips his own striker and catches the puck underneath as it floats by. "Ready?"

"Born ready," Sebastian says with a smirk.

Kurt's striker connects with the puck then, sending it flying across the table toward Sebastian, and he smacks it right back toward Kurt. It bounces back and forth between the two boys several times before Kurt sends it ricocheting off the side and sliding into Sebastian's goal.

"Oh, what happened there?" Kurt asks with mock innocence and a teasing grin.

He can't deny that he's a bit impressed; not that he could ever admit that to Kurt. "Nothing. Just thought I'd give you a head start is all," he responds as he pulls the puck out and sets it back on the table.

"Right," Kurt says with raised eyebrows and an exaggerated nod, "of course. How thoughtful."

"I didn't want to show you up too badly right away. This is a date, after all."

"A date you planned specifically with the intention of kicking my ass," Kurt points out.

"Can't do it all at once," Sebastian says with a sly grin, "where's the fun in that?" Then he sends the puck flying back across the table toward Kurt.

Kurt wins air hockey; it's close, but he manages to win by one point, and Sebastian attributes it to going easy on Kurt, but really he's pretty impressed with the other boy's skill. He hadn't expected that. They play a game of skee ball, which Sebastian wins, and then Kurt wins the racing game, which is the first actual video game they've played, and he's even more surprised.

"I told you just because I don't like them doesn't mean I'm bad at them. Finn is my brother, you think I don't get stuck playing video games at least once a week?"

"Not enough to be that good," Sebastian argues, "it was just luck. Rematch."

"Fine," Kurt says, rolling his eyes fondly.

Sebastian inserts another token, and the game starts up again. He beats Kurt this time, and turns to look at him with a smug grin as he passes the finish line.

"Now who's the winner?"

"Nobody. If you haven't noticed, Seb, we're tied."

"Only because I let you win the first game of air hockey," Sebastian says with a smirk.

"You did not," Kurt argues, "I won that fair and square. It's not my fault you underestimated me."

"Whatever you say," Sebastian says as he turns to walk toward the claw machine.

"You're not insisting on breaking the tie? You know nobody can win at a claw machine, right?" Kurt asks with a laugh.

"We only have one token left," Sebastian explains, "and besides, I decided I don't want to crush your spirits too much on the first date. Have to save something for next time."

"How thoughtful," Kurt says with a roll of his eyes.

Sebastian pops the last token into the machine then grips the joystick as the claw rises up. He manoeuvres it around until it's positioned over a rubber ball.

"You know these things never work," Kurt comments as Sebastian hits the button.

"Maybe not for you," Sebastian says, turning to smirk at the other both, "but I never lose."

"You lost twice today," Kurt deadpans.

Sebastian doesn't bother to respond as he turns to look back at the machine and watches as the claw descends, missing the ball he'd aimed for entirely and gripping the foot of a stuffed animal buried among the other toys instead; that's fine, Kurt doesn't know what he was aiming for, anyway.

The claw raises, and it looks like it's going to lose grip of the foot as it pulls the toy out of the pile, but it somehow hangs on and Sebastian is glad for that until he realizes what kind of animal it is.

Kurt bursts into laughter beside him. "It's a meerkat," he giggles, actually giggles.

"Since when do they even make meerkat toys?" Sebastian asks incredulously, watching as the claw drops the toy down the chute for him to take.

"Aren't you going to take it?" Kurt asks with a wide grin.

"You can have it," he mumbles, crossing his arms. This is stupid.

"How sweet, you won me a stuffed animal on our first date," Kurt teases as he takes the stuffed animal from the machine and holds it up to Sebastian. "Who knew you were such a romantic?"

"Don't get your hopes up," Sebastian says, "it was purely by chance."

"Wait, so you're saying this isn't what you were trying to win?"

Sebastian rolls his eyes. "I'm saying I wasn't trying to be romantic."

"Right, of course," Kurt says, a smug tone to his voice, "whatever you say."

Sebastian glances at Kurt, who's grinning widely, and he can't help but smile back at the other boy. Not that he has anything to really compare it to, but he'd say this was a pretty damn good date.

Chapter Text

Kurt can't believe that this is real. He'd never thought that Sebastian would feel the same way. And sure, they're not boyfriends, not yet at least, but he's not just some other guy to Sebastian. He knows that, because he knows Sebastian. And it had surprised him that Sebastian wanted to take things slow, but that's okay with Kurt. He can wait.

Sebastian is worth waiting for.

"I can't believe you would do this to Blaine," Rachel says, a note of disgust in her voice, as Kurt finishes telling the girls about his first date with Sebastian.

"What does Blaine have to do with any of this?" Kurt asks, crossing his arms.

"Nothing, don't listen to her," Mercedes reassures him. "So, is he your boyfriend now?"

The three girls look at him – Mercedes and Tina hopefully, Rachel skeptically.

"Um... not quite."

Tina frowns at him. "What do you mean not quite? Either he is or he isn't."

"He's not. Well, not yet, anyway."

"Well why the hell not?" Mercedes huffs.

"He said he didn't feel ready for that yet."

"Kurt," Rachel says, giving him a knowing look, though he's not quite sure what exactly she thinks she knows.

"What, Rachel?" he snaps, because he's starting to get tired of her attitude toward his relationship – or whatever it is – with Sebastian.

"Are you sure that he's not just maybe... well, you know."

"No, Rachel, I don't know," he says, narrowing his eyes at her, but he's pretty sure he knows exactly what she's trying to say.

"He doesn't exactly have the best reputation, Kurt," she says by way of explanation.

"And what's that supposed to mean?" He knows exactly what it means.

"I just think you should be careful. Make sure you know what his intentions really are."

"I don't think I have to worry about his intentions, Rachel," Kurt says, articulating the words slowly.

"Well... she might kind of have a point," Mercedes says guiltily, and Kurt snaps his head to the side to look at her.

"Excuse me?"

"We just don't want you to get hurt," Tina tries to explain.

"I'm not going to get hurt," Kurt snaps. It comes out a little more harshly than he'd planned, but do they really think he can't take care of himself?

"You don't know that," Rachel points out.

"I'm a big boy, Rachel, I think I can take care of myself."

"We know, Kurt, we're just trying to look out for you," Mercedes reasons.

"Well stop. I'm fine, I don't need you looking out for me."

"I just don't see what you see in him. Blaine was so nice and Sebastian is just so...," she trails off.

"So what, Rachel?" He narrows his eyes at her again, daring her to say what he knows she's thinking.

"Well, you know," she shrugs awkwardly, looking away from him.

"If you're not going to support me, that's fine, but don't talk about him like that," Kurt huffs.

"I just don't get it," Rachel says, a little helplessly, "you and Blaine were so good together, I don't know why you'd do this."

"What?" His voice is low and icy.

"I don't know what's going on between you two, Kurt, but it's very clear he's trying to make it up to you, and I think you're being unreasonable."

Kurt just stares at her for a moment, disbelieving, before he finally gathers his thoughts enough to speak. "Rachel. I want to make this crystal clear. I broke up with Blaine for a reason. We are not getting back together. I don't care what he does to make it up to me, it's not happening. Ever. This has nothing to do with Blaine."

"I just think that maybe you should consider it, Kurt, he really is–"

"Okay no, I'm done. This conversation is over," Kurt cuts her off, standing up from his spot on the bed next to Mercedes.

"Kurt, come on," Tina tries to reason.

"Do you agree with her?" he asks pointedly.

"Well, sort of, but–"

"Then I'm leaving."

"Kurt, we're not trying to attack you, we just want to make sure you're not making a mistake," Mercedes chimes in.

He doesn't respond. Clearly there's no talking to them. He just grabs his coat and bag and leaves, makes his way out Rachel's bedroom, out of the house, into his car, because he doesn't have to sit there and listen to that.

He knows Sebastian. He knows what this is, and it's not... well, it's not whatever they seem to think it is. Sebastian wouldn't do that to him.


They're in Sebastian's house, curled up on the bed sharing a blanket as a movie with a name he doesn't even remember plays on the TV in front of them. He feels warm and safe and right, here next to Sebastian, like all the stars in the universe have aligned just to give him this moment.

But then he's thinking about what the girls said.

He doesn't really think Sebastian would use him like that. He's pretty sure the other boy feels something for him. They're friends, he knows Sebastian, knows he has a hard time dealing with his feelings sometimes, and he wants to be patient and give him the space to go at his own pace. And that's fine. Really, if Sebastian just needs time, Kurt is okay with that.

But what if that isn't what this is?

What if the girls were right? Not completely, of course, Sebastian wouldn't treat him like one of his past hookups, they're friends, it's different. It has to be. But just because it's different doesn't mean it's the same for both of them. Maybe Sebastian will never want to be his boyfriend. Would Kurt be okay with that? The answer is undeniably no. And he'd never really thought that was the case, but the more he thinks about it, and he remembers the way Sebastian won't hold his hand, will barely touch him unless it's to kiss him, and it makes him wonder... Does Sebastian even want him like that? Or does he only want him like that? Because Kurt isn't ready for that yet, and if anyone knows that it's Sebastian, but then... what is this?

No, there's no way. He must be going crazy, what's gotten into him? If Sebastian just wanted to sleep with him then they wouldn't be doing this. But the thought is nagging at him now and he knows that it will just linger and fester if he doesn't get it out in the open, so he figures this is what he needs to do.

"Why won't you hold my hand?" he asks simply. It's not accusing, just an innocent question.

Sebastian huffs out an awkward laugh. "What?"

"You never hold my hand. If I try to hold your hand, you always pull away," Kurt elaborates, shifting a bit to lock eyes with Sebastian.

"What, are you afraid you'll lose me?" Sebastian asks with another awkward laugh, and Kurt can tell he's uncomfortable.

"No," he says patiently, carefully, "it's fine if you don't want to, it's just... is there a reason?"

"I don't see why it matters," Sebastian says, deflecting again.

"It doesn't really, I just... never mind." He supposes it's not that important. He doesn't want to make Sebastian uncomfortable.

"Okay," Sebastian agrees, and Kurt can see his shoulders relax just the slightest in relief. He's not sure why it's so hard for Sebastian to talk about these things, and he wishes he understood, but for now he'll just have to accept it. The other boy will come around eventually, right?

"You know what I do want to do?" Sebastian asks, and when Kurt looks back at him Sebastian is smirking.

"What might that be?"

Sebastian doesn't answer, just leans forward and presses his lips to Kurt's.

It's fine. Everything is fine. He just needs to give Sebastian some time. And, he has to admit, he does enjoy this part.

"You're kidding me, right? This is a joke?"

Kurt turns as he pulls a book from his locker to see Blaine standing there, hands on his hips, apparently waiting for an answer.

"Blaine, I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Sebastian?" Blaine prompts, raising his eyebrows.

"What about him?" Kurt asks, turning away as he slides a book into his bag and closes his locker.

"He's your boyfriend now?" He says it like it's an accusation, and if Kurt wasn't already put off by Blaine's tone, he certainly is now.

"No, Blaine, he's not my boyfriend. Not that it's any of your business," he snaps as he begins to walk down the hall, but Blaine just follows him.

"So Rachel's lying then?" he asks. "You didn't go on a date with him last weekend?"

Rachel. Of course. "Again, not that it's any of your business, Blaine, but she's not lying. We did go on a date on the weekend. As a matter of fact, we've gone out on several dates." It isn't any of Blaine's business, but witnessing his reaction to the news is kind of fun in a weirdly satisfying way, so he doesn't mind sharing a couple extra details.

"But he's not your boyfriend?" Blaine clarifies.

"Blaine," Kurt sighs, stopping and turning to look at his ex, "it's really none of your business."

"So what, you're just fucking around with him?"

"I am not fucking around with him."

"You know that's all he wants you for, right?" Blaine asks.

"You don't know him," Kurt argues, trying to mask the pang of fear that flares up again at Blaine's words, because that's exactly what he's scared of.

"I know him well enough," Blaine scoffs.

"Why do you even care?"

"I'm just trying to look out for you, Kurt. Apparently someone has to."

"Oh my god, why is everyone doing this? I can take care of myself, Blaine."

"Clearly you can't if you think he's a suitable guy to be going on dates with." He emphasizes dates like it's a dirty word.

"You're unbelievable," Kurt says, crossing his arms and shaking his head in disbelief. "You really think you can just walk up to me in the middle of the hallway and try to tell me what I can and can't do?"

Blaine rolls his eyes, and that's infuriating. "I'm not telling you what to do, Kurt, I'm trying to make sure you don't make the huge mistake it sounds like you're about to."

Kurt narrows his eyes at Blaine for a few moments, debating his next words, but then the bell signaling the beginning of the next class is ringing. "Goodbye, Blaine. I'm going to class," he says simply, turning from the other boy and walking quickly down the hallway, away from Blaine.

Chapter Text

"Sebastian Emmett Smythe, you will attend the party this weekend. I don't care what plans you have, what could possibly be more important than your family?"

"Oh I don't know, mom, maybe I just have friends?" Sebastian says into the phone, rolling his eyes.

"Well dear I'm sure they won't mind you cancelling for your grandfather's birthday," his mother says, "it only happens once a year."

"I'm not cancelling on him," Sebastian says firmly.

"Oh, him. Is this a boyfriend?" she asks, and he can hear the teasing smile in her voice.

"No, it's not a boyfriend," he says quickly.

"Why don't you bring him with you?" she asks, like there was ever a chance of him doing that.

"No. Absolutely not." There's no way he's bringing Kurt to this party. It would just be too weird. And besides, on top of everything else, they're not actually a couple, so... no. Absolutely not.

"Well then I don't know what to tell you. Either you bring him with you, or you cancel your plans with him, because you're coming home this weekend and you will be at your grandfather's party."

"Nobody will notice if I'm not there, mom," he argues, though he knows it's a losing battle.

"I'll notice," she says sternly, "and I'm sure your grandfather will notice if you don't attend his birthday."

"I doubt it," Sebastian grumbles.

"Sebastian," his mother scolds, but she doesn't argue his point. "Your father and I will be there to pick you up after school on Friday. Let me know before then if we can expect your friend."

"I'm not bringing him, mom."

"Fine dear, but you know we would love to meet him. Your first boyfriend," she coos.

"He's not my boyfriend. And even if he was, you wouldn't be meeting him at grandad's birthday party anyway."

"If you say so, honey. I have to go now, but I'll see you Friday, okay?"

"Yeah, whatever," he sighs.

"Be ready."

"I will be!"

"I love you, Sebby," she says sweetly.

"I told you not to call me that," he says, scrunching his face up at the nickname.

"And I told you I'll never stop calling you that," she replies, and he can hear the smile in her voice.

"Fine," he sighs in defeat, "I love you too."

"See you Friday."

"What time are you coming over on Saturday?"

"About that, Kurt, um... I have to cancel this weekend," Sebastian says into the phone.

"Oh," Kurt replies, and Sebastian can hear the disappointment that he tries to mask in his voice, but he doesn't ask why.

Sebastian figures he should explain anyway. "It's my grandfather's birthday, and my parents have decided my attendance is imperative."

"Ah but of course," Kurt teases, "someone needs to be there to make sure it's really a party."

Sebastian laughs lightly at the comment. "I'm not sure even I could liven up one of those family parties."

"I'm sure it's not so bad," Kurt reasons.

"You've never been to one," Sebastian counters.

"I've been to family parties," Kurt argues, and Sebastian smiles because he can practically hear Kurt rolling his eyes.

"Not with my family."

"And whose fault is that?" Kurt challenges, and Sebastian can hear the smirk in his voice.

The comment catches him off guard; he knows Kurt is teasing, but he also knows that Kurt would come if he asked, and he's not quite sure how to feel about that. He recovers quickly though, and hopes Kurt doesn't notice. "Trust me, you wouldn't want to go."

"I don't know, it might be fun," Kurt muses, "we could make fun of all your old relatives together."

"Well, maybe someday," Sebastian concedes, before he even really realizes what he's saying.

"That would be nice," Kurt says, a little quietly, a little tentatively, like he's not sure if it's okay to say it.

"We'll see," Sebastian says, trying to brush it off, and he regrets saying that already but it's sort of too late to take it back now.

"Right. We'll see," Kurt agrees, and Sebastian can't see him but he can tell that the other boy isn't smiling anymore, which just makes him feel even worse.

"Look, I have to go, but I'll text you later, okay?"

"Yeah, okay," Kurt says.

"Bye, Kurt."


Sebastian takes a champagne flute from the tray offered to him. His parents don't typically let him drink – they don't know about his many nights at Scandals, of course, one of the perks of boarding at Dalton rather than living at home – but they allow it on special occasions like this. He's glad, because he'll need all the alcohol he can drink if he wants to get through this evening. He leans back against the wall and takes a sip of his champagne as he surveys the room. Great aunts and uncles, distant cousins, family friends fill the large room, clustered together in small groups as they chat amongst themselves. He doesn't particularly want to talk to any of them, but he figures he should, or else he knows he'll hear about it from his mother. But at least he isn't here; not yet, anyway. He downs the rest of the champagne – nobody is paying close enough attention to him to notice his lapse in etiquette – and ditches the glass, picking up another on his way to the couch where his cousins Erin and Samantha are sitting together.

"Sebby, hi!" Erin exclaims happily, standing to hug him in greeting.

"Hi Erin," he says, hugging her back reluctantly; she always has been very touchy-feely, and he's learned by now that fighting it only encourages her.

"Hey Seb," Samantha says with a slight smile, and thankfully she stays firmly planted on the couch.

"Sam," he greets her with a nod as he takes a seat in the chair beside them.

"So Sebastian, any cute boys in your life lately that I should know about?" Erin asks, wiggling her eyebrows at him.

"None that I can think of," he replies.

"No cute boys, or no cute boys she should know about?" Sam asks, cocking an eyebrow.

"Definitely the latter," Sebastian says with a smirk, and Sam snorts.

"So there are cute boys?" Erin asks with excitement, leaning forward and resting her elbows on her knees. "Come on, Seb, I'm old, I need some gossip."

"I don't think so," he says, taking another sip of his champagne.

"You're no fun," she pouts.

"I'm all kinds of fun if you ask the right people."

Sam barks out a laugh at that, and Erin rolls her eyes.

"Well, I told mom I'd help her organize the gifts, so I'm going to go do that. You two kids have fun," Erin says as she stands and smoothes out her dress, then heads off toward the doorway.

Sebastian relaxes back into the chair. He's the youngest of his cousins, but after him, it's Sam, and luckily she's always been pretty chill. She was the first person to guess he was gay several years ago, even before his parents, though of course he'd denied it at the time.

"Balcony?" she asks, gesturing toward the back of the house.

He smiles at her and nods, then stands and follows behind her as she leads the way through the house toward the sliding glass doors at the back. They step into the chilly night air and Sebastian slides the door closed behind them. They walk out to the edge, Sam leaning against the railing of the balcony and holding a joint out to him, raising her eyebrows in a wordless question.

"Thanks," he says, taking it from her, and then she's lighting one of her own before offering the flame of her lighter to him.

He doesn't make a habit of smoking weed; it's not something he ever goes out of his way to do. But he's not opposed to it when it's offered, and Sam is the biggest stoner he knows so he'd expected this when she suggested going outside, and he'll take whatever he can get to help him get through this party. He inhales deeply, then breathes out a big puff of smoke as he looks out over the empty yard.

"Thank god you're here," she says, shooting him a sideways glance and a smirk, "these are always so boring."

"I tried to get out of it, but no such luck."

"You'd leave your dear cousin all alone to deal with all these old people?" Sam asks with mock hurt.

"In a heartbeat," he says with a grin.

They stand there silently for a while as they smoke, content only with each others' company, until Sam speaks again.

"You see Ezra yet?" she asks, a little awkwardly.

Sebastian stiffens ever so slightly at the mention of the man's name. "No, not yet."

"I'm sure he'll be here," she says dryly.

"I'm sure he will be."

Ezra is his uncle by marriage; married to his mother's sister Marilyn. He'd never really figured out why they were married, despite having spent so much of his childhood at their house; or, more accurately, Ezra's house, because Marilyn was nearly never home, she couldn't seem to stand her husband. So that meant he'd spent a lot of time with his uncle Ezra.

He hates Ezra.

Sam spent a lot of time at the house as a child, too, and she seems to have a similar hatred for their uncle. They've never talked about it, but... Sebastian is pretty sure he knows why. Pretty sure they hate him for the same reason.

Sam snuffs out her blunt on the edge of the railing and tucks it back into her bag. "I'm going to head in. You coming?"

"I think I'll stay out for a few more minutes," he replies, "I'll see you inside."

She gives him a small salute, and he smirks as he salutes back, then he's left standing on the balcony alone. He extinguishes his own blunt and leans forward on the railing, inhaling the crisp winter air. It's quiet and peaceful, and he thinks about what it might be like to bring Kurt to meet his family. Even when he'd come out, he'd never really expected to ever want that. Not that his parents were unsupportive; his whole family, really, was surprisingly good about it, and his parents especially were very supportive and assured him they still loved him and nothing would change that. He just never really thought he would feel this kind of connection with someone. He'd always felt so... alone, drawn into himself, he didn't think he could feel like this, but it's not something he can really deny at this point. The more time he spends with Kurt the more he likes the other boy. It's kind of unfair to Kurt, he realizes, what he's doing. There's no real reason they shouldn't be boyfriends, other than Sebastian being... being what? What is he being? He's hesitant but he doesn't even have a reason, really, if he's honest with himself. He's scared, but isn't everybody the first time they find something like this with someone? Kurt is ready, Kurt has been ready for a while, he's just waiting for Sebastian. And maybe Sebastian is ready, too. He'll talk to Kurt about it. He's not sure how – he really isn't very good at talking about his feelings, even when they're good feelings – but he'll have to figure out how to bring it up, what to say. He smiles to himself, imagining Kurt's reaction when he tells the other boy he wants to be his boyfriend, the smile – that beautiful smile – that will grace Kurt's face, the smile that only he can put there.

Yeah. He wants this.

He pushes off the railing and as he turns to head inside, the door slides open and a man steps out onto the balcony.

"Hey Sebby, what are you doing out here all alone?" the man asks, sliding the door closed behind him as he steps closer.

Sebastian tenses, takes a step back until he's pressed against the railing again. "I was just about to head inside."

"Haven't seen you in a while," Ezra says, walking to stand beside Sebastian and placing a hand on the railing. "Feels like you're never coming to our get-togethers anymore."

"I've been busy," he says tersely.

"Right, right, that fancy private school you're at now. Dawson, was it?"


"Yes, that's it. Dalton. How's that going?" Ezra moves his hand from the railing and rests it on Sebastian's shoulder, giving it a squeeze. "I'm sure you're doing just great, smart kid like you."

Sebastian shrugs his shoulder out from under his uncle's hand, takes a step away. "I'm not a kid anymore."

"No, I suppose you're not," Ezra says with a smile. "They grow up so fast," he muses, "it's too bad, really. And you were such a cute kid, too."

"Yeah," he agrees, more so to make the man stop talking than out of actual assent, as he begins to make his way back toward the door.

"Not going to stay out and chat with your uncle Ezra for a few minutes?" the man asks as Sebastian walks away. "We used to have so much fun together, Sebby."

Sebastian doesn't respond, just pulls the door open and walks through, pulling it shut again harder than absolutely necessary. He has no interest whatsoever in spending any more time than necessary with Ezra.

Chapter Text

"You can't just let him keep stringing you along like this, Kurt." Mercedes pops a few pieces of popcorn into her mouth and chews before she continues. "I know you really like him, and I'm not saying he's a bad guy, but you deserve someone who isn't afraid to show the world that they want you. You're worth that."

"I just don't want to pressure him into anything," Kurt says with a sigh.

He knows that, in a way, she's right. He does deserve somebody that's proud to be with him. Is that what the problem is? Is Sebastian embarrassed of him? Ashamed? It hadn't really crossed his mind before, but now that he thinks about it, it kind of makes sense. Sebastian has no problem doing things with him, but he doesn't want to be his boyfriend, doesn't want to hold his hand or cuddle or do anything beyond what friends would do unless it's sexual. And of course Kurt likes the sexual stuff – he's a teenage boy, of course he does – but he wants more than that. And maybe it's not that Sebastian isn't ready for all of those things, maybe he just doesn't want them with Kurt. Does he just not want to hurt Kurt's feelings?

"I'm not saying to pressure him into anything," she says, "just tell him that you're not going to wait around forever for him to make up his mind."

"That's pressuring him," Kurt argues.

"No, it's not. It's still his decision either way. But he needs to decide if he wants you or not. It's not fair to you."

"I guess so," he agrees reluctantly, picking at a loose thread on the blanket draped across them.

"Kurt," she drawls warningly, giving him a look, seemingly unconvinced.

"No, I know, you're right," he agrees. "I'll talk to him."

"Good. And you know I've got you if you need me. I'm always here for you babe," she says with a warm smile.

"I know. Thanks," he says, smiling back.

Sebastian has Kurt pressed into the bed, straddling him, mouth hot and wet against his neck. Kurt gasps as Sebastian nips at that spot right there, feeling himself hardening in his pants.

It feels so good. He could let himself get lost in the feeling of Sebastian's hands and mouth on him – and, often, he does. They haven't gone very far together, they've kept it strictly to making out – haven't even taken each other's shirts off – but it feels so good and so right and it almost makes Kurt forget that they aren't actually, technically, together.


"Seb, stop," Kurt gasps, pushing gently on Sebastian's shoulder.

Sebastian lifts his head and gazes down at Kurt, eyes dark with lust and lips swollen from kissing and fuck he looks good. "Need to cool down?" the other boy asks with a devilish smirk.

"No, I just," Kurt starts, shifting underneath Sebastian so he can sit up, and Sebastian rolls off to let him, "we need to talk."

The smirk fades slightly from Sebastian's face. "Talk about what?" he asks cautiously.


Sebastian stares at him for a moment, and Kurt can practically see him thinking about how to respond to that, and then his shoulders sag. "You're right."

Well, that's not the reaction he was expecting.

"I am?"

"Yeah," Sebastian agrees.

"Okay." He hadn't expected it to be this easy, Sebastian doesn't talk about things, he'd expected some resistance to the idea of having a conversation about this but Sebastian is just agreeing and... somehow, that's worse. Because if Sebastian agrees they need to talk about it, then there must be something really wrong, right?

"So... why do you think we need to talk?" Kurt asks carefully.

Sebastian is looking down at the comforter on the bed, away from Kurt, as he speaks. "I know this isn't fair to you."

Kurt swallows, takes in a steadying breath before he speaks. "You're right. It's not."

Sebastian looks up at him in surprise. "What?"

"You're right," Kurt repeats, "it's not fair to me."

"I'm sorry," Sebastian says, maintaining eye contact.

"So, do you..." Kurt starts, but trails off. It's a hard question to ask. He doesn't want to know the answer, but he needs to know. So, he tries again. "Do you just not want me?"

Sebastian's eyebrows shoot up at that. "What?"

"If you don't, it's fine, I don't want to force you into anything, but... I need to know."

"You really think I don't... Kurt. I feel like I've made it abundantly clear that I want you."

"That's not what I mean. I mean," he takes in another breath, "romantically."

There's silence for another few moments as they stare at each other, and then Kurt speaks again. "Because if you don't, then... then I can't keep doing this, Seb. I can't. I need more than this."


"Okay what?" he asks hesitantly, because this is it, no matter what Sebastian says, there's no coming back from it now.

"I know I haven't been fair to you. I know you want more than... well, than whatever it is we've been doing. And... I do, too."

He'd been preparing himself for the worst. Been prepared for Sebastian to tell him that he didn't want him that way, wanted to end things, he didn't expect... this.


"I, uh... I'm still... I don't know if I'll be any good at this, Kurt. But I want to try. For you. With you."

"If you're not ready... Sebastian, we don't have to– I don't want to do anything if you're not comfortable, I just–"

"No, it's okay, I want to. You deserve that, and I... want to."

"Are you sure?" Kurt asks, praying that the answer is yes because at this point he doesn't think he can handle it if Sebastian changes his mind.

"Yeah," Sebastian says, nodding his head.

"Okay," Kurt says, and he couldn't have stopped the smile that spreads across his face even if he'd wanted to, because Sebastian does want him, wants all of him, want him in all the ways that Kurt wants him back.

"Okay," Sebastian agrees, and he's smiling right back at Kurt.

"So, just to be clear, you mean..." Kurt starts to ask, because he needs to know that they're on the same page here.

"I would like you to be my boyfriend, Kurt," Sebastian says, a little awkwardly, but he's smiling.

"I would like that too," Kurt says, still beaming, and then he leans forward to kiss Sebastian again.

Kurt settles into his seat beside Sebastian at the movie theatre, then turns to look at his boyfriend – his boyfriend – and smiles. "It's our first official date."

Sebastian rolls his eyes. "We've been on lots of dates."

"But they weren't official dates."

"I'm pretty sure they were," Sebastian argues, "we called them dates."

"But we weren't official, so they weren't official."

"I'm pretty sure that's not how it works, Kurt," Sebastian says, reaching into the bag of popcorn and popping a couple pieces into his mouth before offering the bag to Kurt.

"I'm pretty sure that's exactly how it works. We're officially dating now, so this is officially our first date," Kurt replies with a smirk, taking a few pieces of popcorn for himself.

"You're officially the weirdest person I know," Sebastian says, rolling his eyes fondly.

"You're officially the least fun person I know," Kurt counters.

"Oh I'll show you fun," his boyfriend – boyfriend! – says with a smirk, and then Sebastian's hand is on his thigh, fingers pressing into his inseam, and he leans over to whisper seductively into Kurt's ear, "just wait until we go back to my place."

Kurt shivers, feels his dick twitch in his pants with arousal, and swats Sebastian's hand away.

"You're an asshole."

"Does that turn you on?"

"Sebastian," Kurt scolds, because while it kind of does, this is definitely not the time for it.

"That's okay," Sebastian says with a knowing smirk, "I think I've got my answer anyway." His eyes flicker down to the bulge in Kurt's pants, and Kurt blushes furiously.

"You are obscene," Kurt says, keeping his voice low and shifting a little in his chair.

"You're surprised?" Sebastian asks, raising his eyebrows.

Kurt rolls his eyes. "No, I suppose I'm not. Hand me some more popcorn."

Sebastian offers the bag to Kurt, who pops a couple more pieces into his mouth as the lights dim.

The movie starts to play, and the two boys shift a little, getting settled and comfortable. Sebastian rests his arm on the armrest between them, and Kurt stares at his hand there for a moment before deciding that Sebastian is his boyfriend, he can hold his hand if he wants. So he does; Kurt rests his arm beside Sebastian's and slots their fingers together. He feels Sebastian's arm stiffen – so slightly that if he hadn't been expecting it he might not have noticed – but he doesn't pull away. He turns to Kurt, and though it's dark Kurt can see a small smile on his face illuminated by the screen before he turns to look back ahead.

It's... awkward. Kurt doesn't really have another way to describe it. Sebastian doesn't pull his hand away, but he also doesn't... well, he doesn't really participate in holding Kurt's hand. And until now Kurt hadn't really thought there was a way to participate in hand holding, but there definitely is, and Sebastian is definitely not doing it. He doesn't stroke his thumb along Kurt's hand, or squeeze back when Kurt squeezes his hand, or even move his hand or arm for the entire movie, just lets Kurt's hand rest in his, awkward and stiff and it's weird.

When the movie ends, Sebastian does pull his hand away, and as they walk out of the theatre and back to Kurt's car together, Kurt doesn't bother trying to grab Sebastian's hand again.

Chapter Text

"Hey, Sebastian."

That voice is familiar, but it definitely doesn't belong here. Sebastian looks up from the homework he's doing on the table in the middle of the common room and frowns.

"Lost, Clark Gable?"

"Not at all," Blaine says, pulling out a chair and sitting at the table with him.

"Go ahead, why don't you have a seat," Sebastian says, rolling his eyes. "How can I help you?"

"I'm actually here to talk to you," Blaine says, ignoring his comment.

Sebastian laughs. "You're here to talk to me?"

"Yeah," Blaine confirms.

"Why?" Sebastian asks incredulously, because what possible reason could Blaine Anderson have for wanting to talk to him? He'd thought he made it pretty clear he wants nothing to do with the other boy.

"I heard you're dating Kurt."

Oh. Well, of course that's what this is about. He smirks. "Jealous, Anderson?"

Blaine scoffs, but the flush in his cheeks betrays him. "Of you? I don't think so."

"Please, you've been jealous since you met me."

"You're not good enough for him," Blaine says flatly, and okay, it looks like ignoring Sebastian is the theme of this– well, this whatever-it-is.

Sebastian laughs. "And you think you're any better?" he asks, raising his eyebrows.

"As a matter of fact, I do."

"Well, in case you hadn't noticed, Kurt doesn't seem to agree with you there," he replies, winking at Blaine.

"I don't know what you said to him, but you know he's going to come around eventually, right?"

"What are you trying to do here, Blaine?"

"Kurt is too good for you, and soon enough he's going to realize it, and when he leaves you because you cheat on him because you can't keep your dick in your pants and wait for him, I'll be there to pick up the pieces."

Sebastian narrows his eyes at Blaine. "Like hell I'm cheating on him. Jesus, Blaine, you can like sex and still exhibit some self control, you know that? Oh wait, no, you don't," he says, giving him a meaningful look.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Blaine asks.

"I think you know exactly what it means."

"Between the two of us, Sebastian, I'm pretty sure you're the one going out every weekend and finding a new guy to go home with."

"And I'm pretty sure you're the one who tried to rape your ex boyfriend."

"Excuse me?" Blaine splutters in shock.

"You heard me. You think I don't know what you're like? Because I do. I know exactly what you're like, and I know what would have happened if Kurt didn't leave you when he did."

Blaine laughs coldly. "That is the most preposterous thing I've ever heard. I love Kurt, I would never do anything to hurt him, what the hell is your problem?"

"You're my problem," Sebastian says, a bit louder than absolutely necessary. "You think Kurt's too good for me? Well, maybe he is, but I'm damn sure he's miles out of your league. And if you think there's even a chance that I will let you anywhere near him again, you are sorely mistaken. Because so help me god, Blaine, if you so much as look at him the wrong way, I guarantee you will be very, very sorry."

"Are you threatening me?" Blaine asks, narrowing his eyes at Sebastian.

"I'm sorry, was I not clear? Back the fuck off, Anderson." Sebastian slams his book shut and picks it up, grabs his bag in his other hand and stands. "I think we're done here."

He walks away then, doesn't turn back to look at Blaine, just makes his way back to his room seething because how dare he have the nerve to come all the way to Dalton for... for what?

He knows Kurt won't go back to Blaine. Even if they broke up, Kurt still wouldn't do that, he knows that. But Blaine was right about something; Kurt is too good for him. He's known that all along, and he's tried not to let it get to him, but he can't deny that it's true. And Kurt seems to be okay with that, and Sebastian is so glad that he is, but… Kurt has been okay with things that he shouldn't have been okay with before. Is Sebastian just another one? Because Kurt deserves the world. He is, without exaggeration, the kindest, most compassionate, overall best person that Sebastian has ever met. And Sebastian is just… well, he's just Sebastian. He's objectively not a good person. He's an asshole, and he's not really sure why Kurt even wants him. He's been so caught up in the excitement of being wanted that he'd never really stopped to consider why Kurt might want him. Does he think this is what he deserves? Because Kurt deserves so much more than this, so much more than him.

He knows he hasn't been a good boyfriend so far. He'd thought that once they made it official, it would be easier. The hand holding and the cuddling and all the affectionate touches, he knows Kurt wants them. And he tries, really he does, but every time Kurt holds his hand or tries to cuddle with him or does anything intimate he's just brought back to all those times when he was younger, his uncle Ezra holding his hand and guiding him into that bedroom, laying with him on that bed and "cuddling" him and touching him, and he's fucked and been fucked by enough men now that he can do it without those memories coming back to him but it's those small, intimate touches that bring everything right back to the surface, and he hates himself for not being able to give his boyfriend what he deserves just because he can't deal with his own past.

It's not fair to Kurt. He's a hell of a lot better for him than Blaine Anderson, but he still isn't anywhere near good enough.

They're at Kurt's, sitting on the couch together, sharing a blanket as they watch a movie. Kurt's thigh is pressed against his, and his arm is extended over the back of the sofa behind Kurt's head. Kurt shifts slightly, moving so that he's tucked against Sebastian's side under his arm, and Sebastian tries to relax into the casual touch, because this is his boyfriend.

He thinks he must have succeeded – or at least, enough that Kurt hasn't noticed – until Kurt sits up, leans ahead to grab the remote and pauses the movie, then looks at Sebastian.

"Are you sure this is what you want?"

"Am I sure what is what I want?"

"This. Me," Kurt says simply, steadily holding Sebastian's gaze.

Sebastian gapes at him for a moment before he's able to form a coherent sentence to answer the question. "Am I... yes, of course this is what I want. Kurt, why would... of course I want you."

"Then why won't you touch me?"

He can hear the wobble in Kurt's voice when he asks the question. And he knows what Kurt is asking; of course he knows. But there's no way he can answer that question.

"I touch you all the time," he says instead.

"You know what I mean," Kurt argues, and apparently he isn't getting out of things that easily. "If it was just in public, I'd understand. I mean, we live in Ohio, for god's sake, it's not exactly the most gay friendly place. But it's even," he pauses for a moment to inhale, and shudders a little with the breath, and Sebastian's heart breaks because this is his fault, "it's even when we're alone. You can't even... Is it me?"

Kurt's voice breaks on the last word, and all Sebastian wants to do is tell him everything; tell Kurt that he's broken and unlovable and incapable of giving Kurt the love that he deserves, and Kurt should just leave him now because there's no fixing him, this is just him, will always be him, and why did he ever even think there was a chance he could get past any of this? He'd end things himself if he wasn't so goddamn selfish – just another of his many flaws.

"Kurt...," he starts, but trails off, because he's not really sure what he can say to make this right.

"Just... if you don't want this, Seb, just tell me, please, because I can't... I can't keep doing this."

"No, it's not... that's not it."

"Then what is it?" Kurt practically pleads.

"It's just... it's nothing."

"It's not nothing, Sebastian," Kurt counters.

"It's nothing, okay?" It comes out more harshly than he means it to.

"Seb, if we're going to do this you need to talk to me."

"Well then maybe we shouldn't do this," he snaps, and the words are out of his mouth before he even has the time to process what he's saying.

"What?" Kurt's face falls as he stares back at Sebastian, colour drained from his face and heat drained from his voice.

"Maybe we shouldn't do this," he repeats, a little more sure of himself this time, because it's not that he doesn't want to do this, it's that Kurt deserves better than him, and he's not sure if he can keep trying to do this if all he ever does is make Kurt look like that. And maybe he can do at least one thing right by Kurt.

"You're... are you breaking up with me?"

"I can't keep doing this to you, Kurt."

Kurt gives him a confused look. "Keep doing... you're not doing anything to me, Seb, just talk to me."

"There's nothing to say."

"There's nothing to... God, Sebastian, there's obviously something to say, I'm not an idiot. Oh my god. Look, if you don't want to talk about it, that's fine, but you need to tell me that. Don't just break up with me because you aren't ready to talk about something, what the hell? That's not what boyfriends do."

"Well if you hadn't noticed, Kurt, I'm a pretty shitty boyfriend."

Kurt sighs, touches his fingers to his temple, and when he speaks again his voice is softer. "You're not a shitty boyfriend."

"Sure seems like it from where I'm standing."

"You can't break up with me because you think you're a bad boyfriend. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself and I want to be with you. Do you want to be with me or not?" Kurt challenges, and there's a fierceness to his tone now.

"Of course I do, I just don't want to hurt you!" He's raising his voice now, and he knows he shouldn't, but this is important. He needs Kurt to understand.

"Then don't!"

"I can't help it!"

"Yes you can! Why do you think you're going to hurt me?"

"Because I already am!"

That makes Kurt pause, and he sucks in a breath as he looks at Sebastian, and Sebastian feels like he can't breathe because this is already so hard, so why does Kurt have to go and make it harder? Why can't he just accept that Sebastian is no good for him?

"All I do is hurt you. Before I knew you, I took every chance I could get to insult you. We became friends and I was an asshole then, too. Then you forgive me, and you tell me how you feel, and I hurt you more. And now you're my boyfriend and I can't even hold your hand because when I do all I can think about is..." he trails off when he realizes what he's saying, sees the look of concern flash in Kurt's eyes, and he starts again. "I hurt people, Kurt. It's what I do. That's who I am, and you deserve better than that." He stands up then, because he can't be here, can't be in this room with Kurt right now.

"All you can think about is what?" Kurt asks worriedly, and of course that's the part that Kurt grabs hold of.

He ignores the question.

"I can't do this," he says as he makes his way to the door, grabbing his coat and pulling it on, Kurt following behind him.

"Sebastian, wait, can we just talk about this?"

"There's nothing to talk about," Sebastian says, as calmly as he can manage, and then he's walking out Kurt Hummel's door, getting into his car, and driving away.

And he hates how familiar this feels.

Chapter Text

Something is wrong.

Something is very, very wrong with his boyfriend.

And he does mean boyfriend, because Sebastian did not just break up with him.

This is very clearly a cry for help, and he is not letting Sebastian walk away from him again. He's already done it once, and he's learned from that mistake.

Kurt grabs his own coat and tugs it on, fastening the belt around his waist, laces up his boots, then grabs his keys as he heads out the door. He gets in his car and starts down the road and prays that Sebastian is going back to Dalton.

Luckily, he does go back to Dalton; when Kurt pulls into the parking lot, he sees Sebastian's car in its usual spot. He breathes a sigh of relief as he pulls in beside it and kills the engine.

Sebastian may not want to talk, and he doesn't have to talk. It hadn't occurred to Kurt the reason Sebastian wouldn't hold his hand or cuddle with him or do any of the other intimate things he wanted to do was something that didn't involve Kurt, but... apparently there is a reason, and it doesn't involve Kurt, and that's... worse. Worse because he doesn't know what it is, but Sebastian said just enough that he can start to imagine what is could be. Because he knows Sebastian, and his boyfriend was always so furious about what had happened between him and Blaine, and Kurt had always thought it was because Sebastian has a strong moral compass – and that's true, he does – but now everything just makes so much more sense.

What happened to him?

Now isn't the time to dwell on that. Sebastian will tell him when he's ready, if he's ever ready, and if he doesn't want Kurt to know, then Kurt doesn't need to know. He's not going to push him on this. He just needs Sebastian to know that he's here, and he's not going anywhere.

He knocks on Sebastian's door.

"Go away," his boyfriend's irritated voice says from the other side.

"It's me," Kurt replies, voice soft but loud enough for Sebastian to hear.

There's a few moments of silence before Sebastian's voice comes through the door again, softer this time, "I said go away."

"I'm not going anywhere," Kurt says.

Sebastian doesn't reply, and there are several minutes of silence before Kurt speaks again.

"If you're not going to let me in, I'll just wait out here."

A few more minutes pass before he hears shuffling on the other side of the door, and then the lock clicks open. He pushes the door open to see Sebastian walking toward his bed and sitting down.

"Why are you here?" Sebastian asks, not meeting his eyes.

Kurt pushes the door closed gently as he walks through, makes his way to the bed to sit next to Sebastian. "My boyfriend needs me."

Sebastian looks up at him then, and Kurt offers him a tentative smile. He wants to reach out and take Sebastian's hands in his, because he knows that's what he would want, but he also knows that's not what Sebastian would want, so... he doesn't. Just sits there on the bed and clasps his hands together in his lap.

"Look, we don't have to talk about... whatever it is, if you don't want to. I'm sorry if I pushed you. I didn't know."

Sebastian looks away again, and shit maybe that was too far, but he's not raising his voice or snapping at him so he thinks maybe it's okay. His voice is quiet when he says, "It's not your fault."

"I don't want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. I was just... worried it was me."

"Kurt, I'm sorry, I–"

"No, stop," Kurt cuts him off, "I know it's not. I know. I care about you, Seb, and if there's things you don't want to do, we won't do them."

"It's not that I don't want to, I just...," he trails off.

"We can work toward it, then. We'll take our time. Whatever you need. That's what boyfriends are for."

Sebastian meets his eye again, smirks ever so slightly. "You're really stubborn, you know that?"

Kurt laughs, relieved. "Look who's talking," he says with a grin.

"I'm the expert, so you know that if I'm saying it, then it must be true."

"You certainly are," Kurt agrees, leaning forward to press his lips to Sebastian's.

"My aunt is having a Christmas party this weekend," Kurt says carefully, though he tries to keep his voice light and casual. He's not really sure how Sebastian will react when he asks.

"Family parties are the worst," is the response he gets, and Kurt laughs a little.

"They're kind of boring, but I wouldn't say they're the worst."

"You must not know my family," Sebastian says with a smirk.

And at that, Kurt realizes, he doesn't know Sebastian's family. He barely knows anything about them, Sebastian never actually talks about them. "No, I don't."

Sebastian looks at him a little guiltily, but it fades as his boyfriend speaks again. "Lucky you," he says, then looks back down at the notebook open on the table in front of him.

"I think it would be nice to meet them, actually," Kurt argues, though not unkindly. "You never talk about them."

"There's not much to talk about," Sebastian says with a shrug.

"There must be something."

"Why do you care so much?" He doesn't ask it unkindly, but Kurt still bristles at the words.

"Family is important to me, and they're your family; I'd like to know about them."

Sebastian sighs at that. "Well, my parents have a New Year's party every year that they force me to make an appearance at. You can come to that if you want I guess."

Kurt frowns. "Do you not want me to?"

"I don't want to," Sebastian replies with a chuckle. "My mom would be thrilled if I brought you."

"Are you sure?"

Sebastian seems to stop and think about it for a moment before he nods and says, "Yeah, I'm sure."

"Then I graciously accept your invitation," Kurt says with a smile, as formally as he can manage, and Sebastian rolls his eyes at him.

They're silent for a while, each going back to the homework they've been working on, before Kurt speaks again. "I want you to come to my aunt's Christmas party with me."

"What?" Sebastian asks, his pencil stopping on the page mid-word.

"I'd like everyone to meet you," Kurt says with an awkward shrug, "I think it would be... nice."

"Why would you want them to meet me?"

It's Kurt's turn to roll his eyes. "Because you're my boyfriend, dumbass."

"They'll probably hate me," Sebastian says, not looking at Kurt as he goes back to writing in his notebook.

"They will not hate you. I'm sure they'll love you."

His boyfriend still doesn't look up.

"You don't have to if you really don't want to, but... I'd really like it if you did."

Sebastian stops again, pauses before laying his pencil down and then looking back up at Kurt, meeting his gaze with a careful, considering expression, before finally, "Okay."

"Yeah?" Kurt asks hopefully.

"Yeah," Sebastian agrees.

"Thanks," Kurt says, a smile breaking out across his face. "I promise they'll love you."

"Don't make promises you can't keep," Sebastian warns, but his tone is teasing.

"I would never. I take my promises very seriously," Kurt reassures him.

"Maybe I'll try to prove you wrong. I'm very good at making people hate me if I want them to, you know."

"You couldn't make them hate you if you tried," Kurt scoffs.

"I made you hate me," Sebastian points out with a smirk.

"Yeah, and look where that got you," Kurt shoots back, and Sebastian grins at him.

"Right, now I have two stupid holiday parties to go to."

"Oh no, the horror of it all," Kurt mocks.

"You won't be laughing when we're at my house and my entire family won't leave you alone."

"Are you kidding? That's going to be the best part. I can't wait to hear all the stories about you as a kid."

Sebastian shoots him a glare. "I can un-invite you, you know," he warns.

Kurt smirks back at him. "But you won't."

Chapter Text

"Is this really necessary?" Sebastian asks as they pull into Kurt's driveway and Kurt kills the engine.

"Seb, I'm trying to help you out here. You don't think it will be easier if you've at least already met them before you have to meet even more people?"

"I could just not go, and then I wouldn't have to meet anyone," Sebastian shoots back, looking hopefully at Kurt.

"Sebastian," Kurt says shortly, turning to look at him, "you're coming. I already told them you're coming. You can't not go now."

"I could," he muses.

Kurt's face softens a little as he studies Sebastian. "Do you really not want to go that bad?"

"It's fine," Sebastian says, then turns to push his car door open, but Kurt grabs his wrist and stops him.

"Seriously, Seb, if you really don't want to do it, you don't have to."

Sebastian looks back at Kurt, sees the careful sincerity in his eyes. "No, it's fine," he says, offering a tentative smile of his own. "It's important to you, so... I want to. It's fine."

"You're sure?" Kurt asks.

Sebastian smiles a little more fully now. "I'm sure," he responds. "Now let's go inside. Maybe your father will kill me so I don't have to follow through," he adds with a grim smirk, and Kurt just rolls his eyes as they both climb out of the car.

Sebastian trails behind as Kurt leads them up the driveway and toward the front door. He can't deny that he's nervous to meet Kurt's dad and step-mother – he's met Finn already, of course, and Finn isn't home this afternoon anyway – and the fact that he's nervous in and of itself is unsettling. He's not the kind of person who cares what other people think about him, but... he wants Kurt's family to like him. And while Kurt has had nothing but great things to say about his father, Sebastian knows the man can be a bit intimidating.

"I still can't believe you've managed to go this long without meeting them," Kurt says to him as he pulls his keys from his pocket to unlock the front door.

It was intentional, Sebastian thinks to himself, but he doesn't say it aloud. He knows this is important to Kurt, and really, it can't be that bad, right? He knows Kurt and his father are close, so he really shouldn't be as worried as he is. Still, he can't help the anxiety that he's feeling about meeting his boyfriend's father.

Kurt pushes the door open and walks through, and Sebastian follows him as they toe off their boots and venture further into the house toward the kitchen.

"Hey Carole," Kurt says with a smile as they enter the room to find Kurt's step-mother leaning down to peek into the oven.

"Oh, hi honey," she says, standing up and turning to look at the boys, and then her eyes settle on Sebastian and she smiles. "This must be Sebastian."

"Hello, Mrs. Hummel-Hudson," Sebastian says quickly, offering a tight smile. He's nervous to meet Carole, too, but he's glad that she's alone in the kitchen and not here with Burt. One at a time is easier.

"Oh sweetie, please just call me Carole. It's nice to meet you," she says warmly.

"It's nice to meet you as well."

"Burt's just in the living room there, you should go say hi. I'll bring in some cookies when they're done, it should only be a few more minutes."

"Sure, thanks Carole," Kurt says, then takes a step toward the living room and looks back to make sure Sebastian is following.

On second thought, maybe it would have been better is Burt had been in the kitchen, too. But this has to happen at some point, so he might as well get it over with now.

Sebastian follows Kurt into the living room where Burt is sitting in an arm chair.

"Hey dad," Kurt says, and Burt turns at the sound of his voice to look at his son, "this is Sebastian. Sebastian, this is my dad."

"Hey, kiddo," Burt says, a little gruff but friendly enough as he gives Sebastian an appraising once-over. "Good to finally meet you."

"It's good to meet you, too, sir," Sebastian says as Kurt leads him to the couch and they take a seat; looks like this won't be the quick hello followed by an escape to Kurt's bedroom that Sebastian was hoping for.

"Sir," Burt says with a chuckle, "you can just call me Burt, kid." Then, with a glance to Kurt, "He's so polite. You know how to pick 'em, don't you?"

Sebastian shoots Kurt a look because he can tell that he's talking about Blaine, too, but Kurt just smiles back at his dad.

"So Sebastian," Burt says, looking back at him, "what are your intentions with my son?"

Sebastian stares back wide-eyed. "I, um, I don't...," he splutters, not quite sure how to answer the question, not really expecting it to be asked so outright, but then Burt laughs.

"Don't worry, I'm just messing around with you," Burt says, a wide smile breaking out across his face, the corners of his eyes crinkling up, and it might be a comforting expression if Sebastian wasn't trying to calm the spike of anxiety he's feeling.

"Dad, leave him alone," Kurt scolds, shooting his father a glare.

"Sorry, I couldn't resist," Burt says with another chuckle. "You seem like a good kid, Sebastian. You make Kurt happy, and that's all I want."

"Dad," Kurt scolds again, but this time he's blushing.

Burt just shrugs his shoulders and looks at Kurt like he doesn't see the problem, but then he shoots Sebastian a conspiratorial wink.

"Anyone want some cookies?" Carole asks, walking into the room and sliding a plate of still-warm chocolate chip cookies onto the coffee table in front of the boys.

"Don't mind if I do," Burt says with a warm smile for his wife, then reaches forward and grabs two from the plate.

"Just two," Kurt says to his father, eying the cookies in his hands.

"Yeah, yeah, just two, I got it," Burt says dismissively before taking a bite from one of them.

Kurt just rolls his eyes and reaches forward to grab a cookie of his own. "These look delicious, Carole."

"Oh, thank you," she beams back at him.

"You want one, Seb?" Kurt asks, looking at his boyfriend.

"Uh, yeah, sure," Sebastian says, and then Kurt picks another cookie from the plate and hands it to him. He takes a small bite, then chews and swallows before he says, "The cookies are very good, ma'am, thank you."

"Honey I told you, just Carole is fine," she says sweetly as she takes a seat in the chair across from them.

"Thank you, Carole," he repeats, smiling back at her, a little more genuine then the other smiles he's offered so far this afternoon.

Of all the things Sebastian has done with Kurt since their relationship began, this is definitely the weirdest.

Not that it's actually weird. Objectively, going to a family holiday party with your boyfriend is about as normal as it gets. But he's used to avoiding family gatherings like the plague, so his boyfriend actually wanting to be here, and more than that, wanting Sebastian to come with him, is still an incredibly foreign concept.

"This is my boyfriend, Sebastian," Kurt says to his aunt as they stand in the front room of the house and peel off their winter clothes, "Seb, this is my aunt Macy."

"It's so nice to meet you, Sebastian, we've heard so much about you," Macy says, giving him a bright smile.

"It's nice to meet you as well," Sebastian replies, smiling back at her. "Thank you so much for allowing me to come this evening. You have a lovely home." He may hate family gatherings, but he comes from money, and his parents made sure that he knows his manners.

"Oh, I like this one," Macy says to Kurt, elbowing him gently in the side, and Sebastian can't help the genuine smile that spreads across his face at Kurt's warm grin.

"Ah look at them, so young and in love. To be teenagers again," a man says wistfully as he approaches from behind Macy, wrapping an arm around her waist.

"Hi Uncle Tom," Kurt says, stepping forward to hug the man, and then when he pulls away, "Seb, this is my uncle Tom. And this is my boyfriend Sebastian."

"Nice to meet you, kid," the man says, extending a hand out toward Sebastian. He grips the offered hand and shakes firmly, offering a cordial smile before he drops his hand back to his side.

"Well, let's not just stand here, come on in, make yourselves comfortable," Macy says, ushering them inside.

Kurt reaches out to take Sebastian's hand – he doesn't actually take it, just offers his own, because one thing they've decided is that Kurt shouldn't just grab Sebastian's hand with no warning – and Sebastian takes it, letting Kurt lead him further into the house.

It's warm and cozy, family photos and Christmas decorations all about, and it really feels like a home. They make their way into the living room, and Kurt leads him over to a small couch where they settle beside each other. He looks around the room, somehow simultaneously too-full of people and just full enough, and it's an interesting contrast to his own family parties. It's not that he doesn't like his family; he certainly doesn't dislike them, and many of them are actually quite pleasant. His own parents, despite the wealth they both grew up in, have managed to stay grounded for the most part, and while he's had a lot of opportunities he may not have otherwise had they always tried to be sure he felt like they were a real family. But that didn't take away from the extravagance that came with wealth and the Smythe name, and he's used to fancy dinner parties in lavish homes, not... well, this.

He catches Kurt eyeing him carefully, and he smiles reassuringly at his boyfriend to let him know that he's doing okay, because as much as Kurt wanted him to come here, he also knows that Kurt doesn't want him to be uncomfortable; and he's not, not really. He's not comfortable, either, in this house surrounded by a family that isn't his, with his boyfriend – something he's still really just trying to get used to – who actually wants to be here. He's not quite sure what's expected of him, how he should behave at a party like this.

"So, Sebastian," Tom says, standing before the couch they've settled on after following them into the room, "what did this one have to do to convince you to get together with him?"

Sebastian isn't quite sure how he should answer; if he was in his own family's company, he'd have a snarky retort at the tip of his tongue in no time, but he doesn't quite know if that's appropriate here, and he really doesn't want to make a bad impression. He shoots a nervous glance at Kurt, who's rolling his eyes at his uncle.

"I'll have you know I'm quite the catch, and he's lucky to have me," Kurt shoots back, turning to look at Sebastian and give him a reassuring smile.

Tom chuckles. "I hope you don't let him push you around, kid," Tom says to Sebastian with a grin.

"No sir, I certainly don't."

"Good. And none of that 'sir' stuff, seems so formal. Just call me Tom." Then, to Kurt, "I like him. You picked a good one."

"We all know who the lucky one here really is," Sebastian says with a smirk,

Tom barks out a laugh. "I really like him," he decides. "Now, I've gotta go help Macy with something in the kitchen, but you make yourself at home, got it?"

"I will, thank you," Sebastian says, offering the man a tentative smile before he turns and makes his way back toward the kitchen, leaving the two boys alone on the couch.

"Told you they'd like you," Kurt says with a smirk.

"Of course they do. What's not to like?" Sebastian says back with a grin.

"So Rachel decided to throw a Christmas party this year," Kurt says as he cracks an egg on the side of the bowl and drops its contents inside.

"Rachel doesn't seem like much of a party girl," Sebastian says with a smirk, and Kurt laughs.

"You'd be surprised, actually."

"Oh really?" Sebastian asks, cocking an eyebrow.

"The first party she threw was when her dads were away. She decided she wanted to be fun and go a little wild, I guess."

"I'd pay to see that," Sebastian replies with a laugh.

"Yeah, well, I wouldn't," Kurt says. "She spent most of the night hanging off of Blaine. They were practically sucking each others' faces off," he adds, scrunching his face at the memory.

"Wait, she what? She spent the night making out with your boyfriend?" Sebastian asks, incredulous, because he's never really liked Rachel but he also didn't think she'd do that to the person she supposedly considers to be her best friend.

"Well, not quite, he wasn't... we weren't dating yet. I hadn't even transferred to Dalton. But I liked him."

"What a bitch."

"She's not a bitch," Kurt argues, "she's just... Rachel."

"She's a bitch," Sebastian says again.

"Anyway," Kurt says, brushing him off, and he picks up a wooden spoon from the counter as he begins mixing the contents of the bowl, "then she decided it would be a good idea to ask him on a date."

Sebastian barks out a laugh, and a huge grin spreads across his face, because that is hilarious. "What did she say when he turned her down?"

"He didn't, actually," Kurt says.

"Isn't he gay?" Sebastian asks, confused.

Kurt looks a little guilty when he replies. "He is. But he... wasn't as sure at the time. I felt really bad, actually, I said some things to him that I shouldn't have."

"He agreed to go on a date with Rachel Berry, I'm sure whatever you said couldn't have been worse than that." He genuinely cannot imagine what could possibly convince anyone that a date with Rachel Berry would be a good idea; although, he supposes, if there's anyone he knows that would be a good match for Rachel Berry, it would probably have to be Blaine Anderson, even with the obvious issue his sexuality poses.

"No, it was bad," Kurt argues as he scrapes the spoon against the side of the bowl before resting it back on the counter and grabbing a cookie sheet. "I said some things about bisexuality that were just... wrong. And I should have never said them. I was just upset, but that's not really an excuse."

"Well, we've all said things we don't mean, haven't we," Sebastian says, giving Kurt a pointed look, because if anyone knows about saying things they don't mean, it's Sebastian.

Kurt gives him a small smile. "I guess so."

"So how much of a disaster was this date?" This is definitely a story he needs to hear.

"Apparently it wasn't," Kurt muses. "But then Rachel kissed him in the middle of the Lima Bean to try to prove to me that he wasn't gay, and, well... he's gay, so. That's where that ended."

"Her face must have been priceless."

"Actually she was thrilled," Kurt says as he rolls his eyes. "Apparently it's great life experience for song writing or something."

"Why does that not surprise me?"

"Maybe because you've met Rachel?" Kurt asks with a smirk as he spoons the cookie dough onto the pan.

"That must be it," Sebastian agrees.

Chapter Text

Kurt rings the doorbell, then takes a step backward to stand next to Sebastian as they wait for Rachel to let them in. She'd decided to throw a party since her dads are away again, and then Mercedes and Tina had insisted he bring Sebastian since they haven't actually seen the other boy since he and Kurt had become officially. Sebastian had agreed easily, and was almost too excited when he'd asked if Blaine would be there and Kurt said yes. He'd tried to make his boyfriend promise to be on his best behaviour, but Sebastian had only said that he'd try his best, which was... not very reassuring.

Rachel pulls the door open now, a wide smile spreading across her face when she sees him.

"Kurt!" she squeals, motioning the boys inside and pulling Kurt into a hug.

He hugs her back, then makes his way further into the house to unlace his boots and hang up his jacket.

"Hi Sebastian," she says a little awkwardly.

"Rachel," Sebastian says with a nod and a hint of a smirk.

Rachel still hasn't quite gotten over her desire for Kurt and Blaine to get back together. She's mostly stopped being pushy about it now that Kurt is with Sebastian, but Kurt knows she's still thinking it, and she isn't a huge fan of Sebastian.

And Sebastian knows it.

"Everyone is downstairs," Rachel says cheerily, looking back at Kurt now as he takes Sebastian's coat and hangs it up. "We were just doing some karaoke. I think Blaine was looking for a partner," she hints with a meaningful look, in the least subtle way imaginable.

"I'm sure he is," Sebastian says, and Kurt can hear the smirk in his voice.

"Come on," Kurt says, rolling his eyes and gesturing down the hallway, "let's go downstairs."

They make their way to the basement, Rachel following behind them, and true to her word, Brittany and Santana are on the stage performing a very lively rendition of Nelly Furtado's Maneater.

"Hey, Kurt," Mercedes says with a smile as she sees him stepping into the room, and she walks over to give him a hug. When she releases him, she gives Sebastian a hug as well, and Kurt smiles a little at the slightly awkward, slightly helpless look on his boyfriend's face.

"You better be treating my man right," she says with a grin, nudging Sebastian with her elbow.

"He is, don't worry," Kurt says, rolling his eyes fondly. "Did we miss anything?"

"Just Rachel doing a song from Funny Girl," Mercedes says. "I'm next though, so you're just in time for that."

"Glad I didn't miss it," he replies with a smile as Brittany and Santana finish their number.

"And that's my cue," she says brightly, planting a kiss on his cheek before making her way to the stage.

The party continues on, and Kurt manages to avoid Blaine for the most part; the other boy approaches him once while Sebastian is gone to get a drink, which is fine until Sebastian comes back and makes things really awkward. But, other than that, the party is good, and now they all find themselves sitting in a circle on the floor for a game of truth or dare that Rachel had suggested and Santana had insisted was the only good idea Rachel has ever had.

"Truth or dare?" Mercedes asks Tina.

"Truth," Tina decides.

"When did you first realize you loved Mike?"

Santana snorts. "That's the lamest truth I've ever heard."

"Shut up, Santana," Mercedes says, frowning at her, and then looks back to Tina. "Go ahead."

"We were just at my house one day," Tina starts with a small smile on her face, "we had been together for a few months by then, and we were just hanging out. We had music playing, and a good song came on and he grabbed my arm and pulled me up and started dancing. Just twirling me around and stuff," she reaches out and grabs Mike's hand, looks at him and grins widely, "and it was such a sweet moment. And it just hit me that I loved him."

"Gross," Santana says, and Kurt laughs under his breath as Mercedes rolls her eyes and pointedly ignores the other girl.

"That's really sweet," Mercedes says. "Your turn."

Tina looks around the room, and her eyes settle on Rachel. "Truth or dare?"

"Dare," Rachel says with a determined look.

"Oh, okay," Tina says, then she pauses to think for a moment. "I dare you to... kiss Quinn," she decides.

"You think I won't kiss her because she's a girl?" Rachel asks. "I have gay dads and a gay best friend, I'm not homophobic," she says, slurring her words a little, then turns to Quinn. "Pucker up," she says dramatically, then takes Quinn's face in her hands and plants a solid kiss on her lips.

The girl's lips move together, and everyone watches as Rachel's hand slides into Quinn's hair and Quinn's hand comes up to rest on Rachel's neck. When Rachel finally pulls away, after what seems like a solid minute but is probably much shorter, Santana lets out a wolf whistle. "Get it, Berry!"

"And that's how a kiss is done!" Rachel announces as she plops back down in her spot. "Blaine," she says, pointing at the boy.

"Dare I guess," Blaine says with a shrug.

"I dare you to kiss Kurt," Rachel says with a smirk.

"Um, I..." Blaine trails off, looks at Kurt awkwardly.

Kurt stares back, not sure what to say, because why would Rachel do that, except he knows exactly why Rachel would do that, and he looks at her and she's just grinning.

"Well what are you waiting for? Go ahead and kiss my boyfriend," Sebastian says, but Kurt can hear the challenge in his voice.

Kurt's head snaps to the side. "What?"

Sebastian shrugs, trying to act indifferent but Kurt can see the uneasiness in his eyes. "It's just truth or dare."

"I'm not– no," Kurt decides, "no, I'm not doing this. Pick something else."

"Kurt," Rachel whines, sticking out her lower lip and giving him her best puppy dog eyes.

"No, Rachel. Pick a different dare."

"Fine," she pouts, crossing her arms and looking up at the ceiling while she thinks for a moment. "Okay, I know, I want you to prank call Mr. Schue," she says with a giggle.

"Oh, um, sure," Blaine agrees, and Kurt can see the disappointment in Blaine's eyes but he really can't bring himself to care because all he's feeling is relieved.

Blaine pulls out his cell phone then, and Rachel is listing off the digits of their teacher's phone number because apparently she has it memorized, and then the circle falls into silence as they all listen to the ringing and wait for Mr. Schuester to answer the phone.

A voice cuts in, and there are a couple excited gasps before they realize it's an answering machine cutting in, after which there are a couple disappointed groans.

Blaine hangs up the phone. "I tried," he says with a shrug, "sorry."

"You tried," Rachel agrees solemnly. "I guess it's your turn to ask now."

"Santana," he decides, "truth or dare?"

"Dare," Santana shoots back immediately, a smirk on her face.

"I dare you to give Brittany a lap dance," Blaine decides.

Santana smiles widely. "I thought these were supposed to be challenging," she says, then grabs Brittany's hand. "Come on, babe."

She leads Brittany over to a chair and sits her down, then starts dancing to the music playing quietly through the room. It lasts for the rest of the song, and by the end Santana is straddling Brittany in the chair. As the song ends, she stands again, gives a small bow, and the two girls take their seats in the circle.

"Alright Smythe, truth or dare?" Santana asks, levelling Sebastian with a smirk.

"Dare," Sebastian says, smirking back at the girl.

She grins at him. "I was hoping you'd say that. I dare you to give Lady Hummel here a hickey. A very visible hickey."

Sebastian just smirks. "That won't be a problem at all," he says before turning to Kurt.

And then Sebastian's mouth is on his neck and a breathy moan escapes his lips before he can stop it. Sebastian licks at the thin skin over his pulse, nibbling lightly and sucking and Kurt is trying so hard not to make a sound but it's hard. He's squirming beneath his boyfriend's mouth, and he brings a hand up to hold the back of Sebastian's head to keep him there. He feels his boyfriend's smile as he sucks hard, and Kurt bites his lip to hold back the moan. Eventually, after what feels like simultaneously forever and not nearly long enough, Sebastian pulls away, leaving Kurt squirming and half-hard in his pants.

Santana whistles lowly. "Not bad," she says appreciatively.

Sebastian smiles cockily at her, then looks directly at Blaine.

"Truth or dare?"

"Hey, he just went, you need to ask someone else," Finn pipes up.

"No, no this is good. I want to see this," Santana argues, shushing the other boy. "Go ahead," she prompts with a devilish grin.

"Um... Truth," Blaine says carefully.

"You're no fun," Sebastian complains, rolling his eyes. "But fine. Tell me, Blaine, what do you hate more? Knowing you're not good enough for either me or Kurt, or knowing I'll be the one to get in his pants and you never will?"

Kurt's face flushes bright red. "Seb," he scolds, but his boyfriend doesn't look at him, he's just staring at Blaine with a dark look in his eyes, and Blaine looks a little lost, caught off-guard by the question.

"Blaine, you don't have to answer that," Kurt says quickly.

"No, he does," Sebastian argues, eyes not leaving Blaine's face as he smirks. "I want to know what he hates most about me stealing his boyfriend."

"Sebastian, don't be–" Kurt starts again, but Santana cuts him off.

"Shut up, Hummel, this is a good one. If he doesn't answer it now, I'll just ask it later."

Kurt glares at Santana, but he doesn't say anything else; he knows it's a losing battle now.

"So Anderson, which is it?"

"I, um..." Blaine starts, then trails off, and Kurt doesn't think he can look at him.

"Oh come on, that's not fair," Rachel cuts in, and Blaine looks relieved, "we need torespect people'sboundaries, Blaine is clearly uncomfortable with this question."

"Well Blaine doesn't seem to have a problem ignoring Kurt's boundaries so I'm not too concerned about respecting his," Sebastian sneers.

Kurt feels like his heart stops at the words, because how could Sebastian go there. In front of all these people? In front of his friends? They don't know, he hasn't told them any of this, he doesn't want them to know, and now Sebastian said that and of course they don't know everything just from those words but they know something and will they look at him differently now?

Mercedes frowns and looks between Blaine and Kurt. "What do you mean by that?"

It's too much, he can't deal with this right now, it's like he can't breathe, it's too much. He gets up, strides quickly out of the room, ignoring the murmuring behind him that he can't be bothered to try to make out. He breaks into a jog after he's left the room, and he's running by the time he reaches the front door, stepping outside into the cold air onto Rachel's front porch because he can't breathe but maybe if he can get some fresh air he can.

He leans on the railing, closes his eyes as he tries to take in deep breaths to calm himself. Several minutes pass, and he feels like he can almost breathe again, and then he hears the door open and shut.

"Kurt?" It's Sebastian's voice.

Kurt whirls around to see his boyfriend standing there, hand still on the doorknob and a concerned look on his face.

"You had no right."

"Kurt, what are you talking about? It's truth or dare, the questions are supposed to be hard."

"You had no right," Kurt repeats, his tone pitched slightly higher than usual, "to tell them that."

A flash of realization crosses Sebastian's face, like he hadn't even known what he'd done until this moment, and that almost makes it worse because how could he not know?

Sebastian of all people should know.

"Kurt, I didn't mean to... I didn't tell them anything. That won't mean anything to anyone."

"Of course it will," Kurt says, practically spits the words at him, "there's only one way to interpret that, Sebastian, what else could it mean?" He's almost yelling, and he doesn't usually get angry like this, but Sebastian just doesn't get it.

"Well so what if they know?" Sebastian asks, raising his own voice now. "Maybe they should know. He's an asshole, Kurt, they should know what he's like! Everyone wants you to get back together with Blaine because they think he's so perfect, he doesn't deserve to have everyone think that! They should know who he is!"

"It should be my choice!" Kurt is actually screaming now, voice ringing high and loud in the quiet night air. "You don't get to make that decision for me! If I wanted anyone to know I would tell them and I don't want them to know!"

"You're letting him get away with his shit and you shouldn't be, Kurt!"

"Who are you to tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing, Seb?" Kurt asks, voice low and dark. "Why do you care about this so much? This isn't about you, none of this is about you, would you just stop trying to make me feel how you think I should feel and accept how I feel? Why is that so hard? I don't know if you're just trying to get me to make the decisions you wish you made or what, but I'm not you and I can make my own decisions."

He knows as he's saying it that it's too far. And he doesn't even know how much truth is in the words, because Sebastian hasn't actually told him that anything happened, but he has a feeling, and judging by the expression that crosses Sebastian's face he's right. But even then, he just can't bring himself to care. "Just because you can't tell people about whatever it is that happened to you, that doesn't mean you can make me do it. You don't get to make that decision."

The two boys look at each other, eyes icy and cold, caught in a tense staring match until, finally, Sebastian breaks eye contact. He turns, takes the steps two at a time as he descends from the porch and then he starts walking down the road.

"Sebastian!" he calls out after his boyfriend. "Where are you going? You can't just leave!"

"Watch me!" Sebastian calls back, not even bothering to turn and look.

"It's the middle of the night!"

Sebastian doesn't respond, just continues on his way down the road.

Chapter Text

He's walked about fifteen minutes in the cold winter air before he realizes that he has no idea where he is or where he's going. He contemplates turning around, going back the way he came and back into the house with Kurt, but he just can't face the other boy right now.

Not after this.

He knows he went too far. Knows he said things he shouldn't have said, knows Kurt is right when he said that Sebastian had no right to say what he's said. And he hadn't meant to, it had just sort of slipped out, the alcohol in his system and the heat of the moment creating just a perfect storm, and he knows Kurt is right. Of course they won't know everything, but they'll know enough. Enough to know something happened. Enough to ask questions, if they're bold enough, and while Sebastian doesn't know Kurt's friends all that well he does know most of them have no problem sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. He knows that he himself would have no problem, either, if it were anybody else.

Which is why he has no right to be mad at Kurt right now. Because Kurt was right about that, too. He's right about everything. This isn't about Kurt, not really. Of course Sebastian hates Blaine for how he's treated Kurt, and of course Sebastian hates that Kurt has been through what's been done to him, but really... this isn't about Kurt. This is about Sebastian. Because Sebastian hasn't told anyone, Sebastian hasn't told a single soul. He's kept it all locked away, so long now that it's like he doesn't know how to do anything other than keep it locked away, pushed far below the surface where it can't hurt him. But that doesn't really work, does it? It still hurts him. It still hurts him, it's a part of him now in so many ways he's lost count, so much of who he is is because of what was done to him, because nobody was there when he needed them. And he'll be damned if he lets anyone else be changed the same way he was.

But Kurt is right. Sebastian doesn't get to make those decisions for Kurt, it's not his place. It's no wonder Kurt got so mad, because every time this comes up Sebastian tries to tell him what to think, doesn't he? And he's never had anyone to talk to, so he doesn't know what that's like, but he can imagine, and what he imagines is that it's awful, and that's what he's been doing to his boyfriend. He can't bring himself to talk about what he's dealt with to anyone, not even Kurt, and he can't imagine how he'd feel if he tried and Kurt did... well, did what Sebastian has done every single time.

So, suffice it to say, Sebastian feels like shit. And there's no way he can go back to that house.

He pulls out his phone and scrolls through his contacts. He's not sure who he should call; anyone he's at all close to would understandably have questions if he called them to pick him up on the side of the road in the middle of Lima, and he's not in a place to deal with questions right now. He could just call a cab, but he still needs to go somewhere, can't go to his room at Dalton because it's closed for the holidays, can't just show up at home because he'd be met with the same questions, and besides, home is a long way from here.

What he needs is another drink.

He calls a cab. It's so easy to fall back into old habits when things get hard.

By the time the taxi drops him off at Scandals, he's thinking less about how upset Kurt is at him, and more about how many drinks it will take to push back his own memories trying to make their way to the surface. He's glad for the familiar building; he feels an odd sense of comfort almost enveloping him even as he steps through the door.

It's just as dingy as ever; it never really changes. He makes his way to the bar and orders himself a rum and coke, since beer doesn't seem quite strong enough tonight. The bartender gives him a smile and a "Haven't seen you 'round lately," and Sebastian just shrugs and hands over some cash. He's not in the mood to talk.

He's nearly finished his drink before someone approaches him.

"Hey baby, haven't seen you around lately. If I didn't know any better I'd have started thinking you were getting out of the scene."

He looks up to see a man standing and leaning against the bar beside him; Malcolm, he's pretty sure. They've hooked up a few times, and if he's honest, Malcolm is one of the best he's had. Not that that means he's interested in the other man tonight.

"I'm not interested, Mal," Sebastian sighs, looking away and taking another drink from his glass.

Malcolm smirks down at him. "Bullshit," he says, reaching a hand out to Sebastian's chin and turning his face up to look at him again.

Sebastian swats the hand away and shoots the man a glare. "Fuck off."

"Woah, someone's in a bad mood," Malcolm says, holding his hands up in surrender.

"I'm not in the mood."

Malcolm actually laughs beside him. "Since when are you not in the mood?"

"Since now," Sebastian snaps, "go away."

"Oh come on, don't be like that," Malcolm says, taking a seat on the stool beside Sebastian now, clearly choosing to ignore his request. "Let me cheer you up," he leers, moving a hand to Sebastian's thigh.

"Mal, I said I'm not interested."

"Give me a chance," the man says, leaning in close to Sebastian's ear, "I bet I can change your mind."

Sebastian grabs Malcolm's wrist and pulls the hand off his thigh, shoving it away.

"Go. Away."

Malcolm sits there for a moment, and Sebastian can feel the eyes on him, studying him, until another laugh bubbles out of the other man. "Holy shit. You have settled down, haven't you?"

He hadn't been planning to say it; it's not that he's ashamed of having a boyfriend, or even ashamed of Kurt specifically, he just knows the guys around here don't really care if you're single or not. If anything, it makes them try harder, because you're more of a challenge if you're already taken.

Maybe he should have taken that into account.

"Yeah, actually, I have a boyfriend now, so if you'd kindly fuck off and leave me to my rum and coke, I'd appreciate it, thanks," he snaps.

A grin spreads across Malcolm's face at that. "A boyfriend. Really, Sebastian? I never pegged you as the type. Is he meeting you here then?"

It's Sebastian's turn to laugh, though it comes out humourless. "As if I'd take a guy here."

Malcolm laughs again. "Very true," he agrees, and then he's asking the bartender for a couple more drinks and sliding one across to Sebastian. "If you're here alone even with a boyfriend back home, you probably need this," the man says with a wicked grin.

Sebastian doesn't see the harm in accepting the drink. Just one more mistake to add to the long list of other mistakes he's made this night.

"So what brings you out here all alone?" Malcolm asks, taking a sip of his own drink. "Trouble in paradise?"

"Something like that," Sebastian mumbles. He'd much rather Malcolm leave him alone, but at least he's not being actively hit on by the other man now. Small victories.

"Can't imagine what kind of guy would be stupid enough to get you pissed off enough to walk out on him," Malcolm remarks, then takes a sip of his drink.

"I'm the one who pissed him off, actually," Sebastian says with a sigh, and takes what is definitively more than a sip of his own drink.

"That so?" the man asks, raising an eyebrow at him. "And you decided the best way to un-piss him off was to come out here on your own?"

Sebastian glares at Malcolm. "I'm just giving him some space. He wasn't exactly in a talking mood. Not that it's any of your business."

"Oh come on, lighten up," he says, nudging Sebastian in the side with an elbow. "If you're just letting the guy cool down you might as well enjoy yourself while you're at it," Malcolm adds with a sly smile.

"I'm not here to have fun, Mal."

"Then why are you here?"

The question stops Sebastian in his tracks, because he doesn't actually have a good answer. He came here on instinct, hadn't given it any real thought, just did it because this is where he comes when he feels like he's losing control. But he can't be that guy any more. Because that guy comes here to drink and fuck away his problems, and he might not have cared when it was just himself he was hurting, but he can't hurt Kurt; or, at least, he can't hurt Kurt more than he already has. And if he stays here, if he runs from his problems – from Kurt – that's exactly what's going to happen.

"Hey, where are you going?" Malcolm asks as Sebastian pushes his still half-full glass away and stands up from the bar.

Sebastian doesn't bother responding to the other man, just brushes past and makes his way toward the exit.

"Good idea, make up sex is always the best sex!" the man calls out to his back with a chuckle, but Sebastian barely registers the words as he pushes through the door and approaches one of the taxis parked outside. He climbs in the back and gives the driver Rachel's address, and hopes Kurt is still there when he gets back.

"What do you want?" Rachel asks, standing in the doorway with her arms crossed, blocking Sebastian's path.

"I just want to talk to him, Rachel. Let me in."

"I think you've said quite enough," she says, narrowing her eyes at him.

"Rachel, I'm his boyfriend, you can't not let me talk to him."

"Watch me," she says, not moving from her place in the doorway.

Sebastian sighs and runs a hand through his hair. "Just let me in so I can talk to him."

"Not a chance," she says. "Goodbye, Sebastian." She moves from the doorway to close the door then, but Sebastian steps forward to block it with his foot.

"Rachel, please let me talk to him," Sebastian asks again. He doesn't understand why Kurt is friends with this girl, he can barely stand her, but right now she's the person standing between him and his boyfriend so he has no choice but to play nice.

"Sebastian Smythe you had better get off my property right now or I am going to call the police and have you escorted away," she snaps, and if she wasn't so infuriating he might actually be impressed with her nerve.

"Rachel, it's fine. Let him in."

It's Kurt's voice, coming from the other side of the door Rachel is still trying to close on Sebastian's foot.

"Kurt, you don't have to talk to him. He's an idiot and he was just leaving," she says, emphasizing the last word with another shove against the door, squashing his foot slightly and he exhales sharply at the pain.

"I want to talk to him," Kurt says.

There's a moment of silence before Rachel speaks again.

"Are you sure? Because I am not afraid to call the police on him if that's what it takes to make him leave."

"I'm sure, Rachel," Kurt says, and Sebastian can hear the sigh that he must be holding in.

Another moment of silence, before she says, "Fine," and lets the door swing open again. "But no funny business. I have bear spray, and I will use it," she warns with a finger pointed toward Sebastian. "I'll just be downstairs," she says to Kurt quietly as she passes him.

"Thanks, Rach," Kurt murmurs, letting her kiss him on the cheek before she disappears down the hallway toward the basement stairs.

And then, finally, he looks over to meet Sebastian's eyes.

Sebastian can tell he's been crying, Kurt's eyes are still red and his cheeks are still flushed, and he feels a pang of guilt because this is his fault, he caused this.

"Kurt, I'm sorry," he says, because he's never really had to do this before, isn't exactly sure what he needs to say, but he knows he needs to say that, at least.

Kurt stands there and stares back at him, wraps his arms around himself. "I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have... I shouldn't have said some of the things I said."

"You weren't wrong, though," Sebastian says quietly, breaking eye contact and looking down at the ground.

"I still shouldn't have–" Kurt starts, but Sebastian cuts him off.

"No, wait, let me... Let me talk. Okay?"

Kurt nods.

"I've been... I know I've pushed you, and I shouldn't have. And I can't... I'm not... I don't think I can... talk about, um...," he tries, not quite sure how he can say this without saying too much, because he really isn't ready to talk about this yet, not even to Kurt. "You were right. It's not about me, it's about you," he says, starting over. "And I had no right to say that in front of everyone. And I had no right to try to tell you how you should feel about... everything. That's... that's up to you. So, I'm sorry."

He keeps his eyes on the floor as he speaks, because he's sure that if he looks up at Kurt he'll lose his nerve. He doesn't do this, doesn't talk about feelings, doesn't apologize because he doesn't care if he hurts people, but... he cares if he hurts Kurt. Kurt, who has given him so much that he could use to hurt, but trusted him not to. And then he went and hurt him anyway. So, Kurt deserves an apology, deserves more than an apology, really, but this is the best Sebastian can do now.

Kurt isn't saying anything, and he doesn't know why Kurt isn't saying anything, and it's starting to make him nervous, so, finally, he looks up again. Kurt is just looking at him, lips pursed in consideration, and that doesn't do much to help Sebastian's nerves. But then, finally, Kurt speaks.

"When you left earlier, I was sure you weren't coming back," Kurt starts, and there's something in his voice that Sebastian can't quite place. "I didn't know where you were going, and I didn't really expect to ever find out. I figured you'd disappear for... well, I don't know how long, actually, but a while. Like that fight we had before we were together." Kurt pulls his arms tighter around himself. "I wasn't sure if you would ever come back," he admits quietly.

It hits him then, like a ton of bricks, that Kurt thought Sebastian would leave. Just like that. And of course he thought that, Sebastian can't really blame him, because Sebastian has left, just like he did tonight. He's left and he hasn't come back. And he knows he doesn't handle his emotions as well as he could, knows he could hurt Kurt, but he hadn't realized how much he already has hurt the other boy; because right now, Kurt should be pissed at him for what he said, but what Kurt is really upset about is that Sebastian left.

"Kurt...," he starts, but trails off, because what can he say to that?

"You can't do that again," Kurt continues. "I can't... I can't deal with that. Not knowing if you're coming back."

"I wouldn't leave you," Sebastian says weakly.

"You've done it before," Kurt points out, firmly but not unkindly, like it's just a fact of life, and it hurts. Because it's true.

"I wouldn't do it again."

"Rachel thought I should break up with you," Kurt says. "Well, assuming we were still together when you decided to speak to me again." The words sting, but he can't blame Kurt for them.

He hates to ask, it hurts to ask, but he has to. "Are you?"

"Am I what?" Kurt asks, confused.

"Are you breaking up with me?"

"What? No!" Kurt says, giving him a look like he's crazy, and the certainty with which Kurt says it eases the uncomfortable feeling in his chest just a little. "Of course not. Rachel isn't exactly known for giving the best relationship advice."

"You don't say," Sebastian quips, earning a small smile from Kurt.

"She said I'm too forgiving, too, though," he continues seriously, "and I think she might have been right about that one, kind of."

"She is," Sebastian agrees quickly, and he can't believe he's so fast to agree with Rachel Berry of all people, but one thing that he's known about Kurt since before they were even friends is that Kurt is far too forgiving.

Kurt gives him a wry smile. "I think people deserve second chances. And sometimes third or fourth chances. But," he clarifies, "a second chance isn't any good if you don't know there was anything wrong in the first place. And I think that's the part I'm bad at... saying when something is wrong."

"So... what are you saying?" Sebastian asks carefully, because he's not quite sure he's following this train of thought.

"I'm saying," Kurt says, a hint of a smile tugging at his lips, "that this is your second chance."

"Just my second?" Sebastian hedges, fighting back his own smile.

Kurt does smile then, small but genuine. "Don't push your luck. Rachel wasn't kidding about the bear spray."

Sebastian actually laughs at that. There's still a tension in the air between them, but he can feel it easing now. "Why doesn't that surprise me?"

"Maybe because you've met her?" Kurt says with a teasing grin.

"Right, I think that must be it," Sebastian agrees. "So... now what?"

Kurt sighs. "I still want to talk about this," he says, "but it's late, and I'm tired, and honestly I don't think I have the energy for it right now. So I think maybe... we should just go home. And we can talk in the morning."

"Okay," Sebastian agrees. He's pretty sure he can handle that.

"I'll go let Rachel know we're leaving."

"You sure she'll let you leave with me?" Sebastian teases.

Kurt smirks at him before turning and heading down the hallway toward the stairs. "We'll find out soon enough, won't we?"

Chapter Text

"We need to talk," Kurt says as he pours a cup of coffee for Sebastian and pushes it across the kitchen island to him.

"I was hoping you might have forgotten about that," Sebastian says with a teasing smile, though it doesn't quite meet his eyes.

"Wishful thinking," Kurt quips, pouring his own coffee before settling on the stool across from his boyfriend.

"I'm sorry," Sebastian says simply, and Kurt can tell that he means it. But sorry won't always be enough.

"I know," Kurt replies, wrapping his hands around the warm mug in front of him, "but you can't just keep... doing that. Running away."

"I know."

Kurt sighs. "Do you?"

Sebastian doesn't answer, just looks down at his own mug, and Kurt sort of feels like he's scolding a child.

"Seb, it's not... I don't expect you to be perfect. But I just... you need to talk to me. Or at least try."

"I'm sorry," Sebastian repeats, still not meeting Kurt's eyes.

"This isn't a conversation."

"What?" That gets Sebastian's attention, and he finally looks back up at Kurt.

"This, what's happening now. This isn't us talking about it, this is me talking and you sitting there waiting for me to finish."

Sebastian just stares at him, and Kurt takes a deep breath, tries to calm the annoyance he feels bubbling up to the surface, because he knows this is hard for Sebastian, but he also knows that this isn't working and that if it's going to work Sebastian needs to try.

"I care about you, Seb. I care about you so much. And I wish that that was enough to fix every problem we'll ever have, but it's not, and... if you can't talk to me, I don't know where that leaves us. You don't have to tell me everything, but you can't sit there and pretend that nothing's wrong and this will pass if you just ignore it long enough. I'm not an imbecile, Seb, and... and I'm also not going to just stick around and let you treat me like that just because I care about you." He rushes through the last words, scared he'll lose the nerve to say them, because he knows Sebastian is scared he's not enough for Kurt; but he also knows that he deserves better than this. Sebastian is the one who made him realize that, after all. "So, Sebastian, what's going on here?"

He watches Sebastian's face carefully, can't really interpret the emotions playing across his features as he looks back and considers Kurt's words. And then he takes in a small breath, looks down at the table, and starts talking.

"You're right. As usual. It's not that I don't want to talk to you, Kurt, I just... can't. I can't talk to anyone," he says quietly into his mug.

"You can always talk to me," Kurt says gently, hoping that now he has Sebastian talking, maybe his boyfriend will keep going.

"No, I know that, I know I can, I just... can't. I've never had anyone to talk to. I... I don't know how."

"Would it help if I went first?"


"If I... talked. First. Would that help?"

"I... I don't know." Sebastian admits, looking back at Kurt now.

Kurt decides to try it anyway. He looks down at the table as he begins to speak, because while he's definitely the better communicator in their relationship, it's not always easy for him, either, and there are some things that are just too hard to say when you're looking into someone else's eyes.

"I know that things could have been... a lot worse. With Blaine. But I do know, too, that some of the things that did happen while we were together were... not good. And I don't like thinking about that. I don't want people to know that. And, when high school is over and I go off to New York, I'll probably never talk to him again. But for now, he's everywhere, and it's just... I don't think I could get through the rest of high school if everyone knew. Everyone loves Blaine, and if I said something... well, who do you think they're going to believe?"

It's hard for him to admit. It's something he really, really tries not to think about, but if he's expecting Sebastian to talk to him, then he knows he'd be a hypocrite if he couldn't talk about this with. "Because I can guarantee you, it's not going to be me."

"Of course they'd believe you," Sebastian argues, and Kurt can hear the undertones of surprise through the measured softness of his voice. "Kurt, they were your friends first. If you told them what he was like, they'd believe you."

Kurt scoffs, looks up at Sebastian. "You think that means anything? Mercedes would believe me, maybe. Finn, too, because he's my brother so he has to. But the others? It doesn't matter that they knew me first. They know Blaine now, and he's Blaine, and I'm... well, I'm just Kurt."

"Kurt," Sebastian says softly, that way people say your name when they don't know what else to say.

"It's fine, I've... I've accepted it, and I just try not to think about it, but... I have. Thought about it. And there's reasons I don't want them to know. So I would appreciate it if you would stop acting like I don't know what I'm doing."

"Yeah, okay. That's... I'm sorry."

"It's fine," Kurt says. "Now you know."

They sit there in silence for a few moments, watching each other, before Kurt speaks again.

"Your turn," Kurt says, gesturing at the other boy across the kitchen island.

"My turn?" Sebastian asks.

"To talk."

"Oh. Right," he says, like he'd been hoping Kurt would forget. And he doesn't talk, just looks down at the countertop and wraps his hands a little more tightly around his mug.

Kurt sighs. "I'm not asking you to tell me everything, Seb," he says softly, "but you have to give me something here."

Sebastian is staring hard at the mug in his hands, but he does start talking, voice barely above a whisper. "When I was, um... younger. There was... uh, some stuff happened. I guess. To me."

He pauses, and Kurt doesn't speak, doesn't reach out for his boyfriend, just waits patiently for Sebastian to continue.

Sebastian draws in a steadying breath, then continues, voice still quiet but stronger now than the whisper that it was. "I've never told anyone about it. Ever. I thought I could just... ignore it."

He wants to ask Sebastian what happened, because some stuff is so infuriatingly vague, but he knows he has no right to ask, knows that when Sebastian wants to tell him – if Sebastian wants to tell him – that he will, knows that he probably doesn't really want to know, anyway.

"I guess I thought that if... if you told people, then maybe it wouldn't be as bad for you."

Kurt is pretty sure he feels his own heart breaking at the words, because for all the conversations they've had about Blaine, all the times Kurt has thought Sebastian was being so pushy about it because of his own history, he'd never really stopped to think about what that must have been like for Sebastian. He'd only been frustrated that his boyfriend was so insistent that he tell, he'd never stopped to think... why? But it makes sense now, makes sense why Sebastian felt so strongly about this, because he knows what it's like to not tell.

"Sebastian," he says softly, and now it's his turn to trail off wordlessly, not knowing what else to say.

"I know it's different, and I'm not... I don't think I can... talk about it. But, um, that... that's why."

Sebastian is still staring down at his hands, fingers tense around his mug.

"I'm sorry," Kurt says, "that that happened to you."

"Yeah, well," Sebastian says, and shrugs by way of explanation.

They sit there together for some time in silence, sipping their coffees as the tension in the air slowly dissipates.

"I am sorry."

Kurt is surprised that Sebastian is the one to break the silence. When he looks up, he sees his boyfriend looking at him cautiously, almost scared, and he feels his heart break just a little bit more for the boy sitting across from him right now, for the things he's gone through and had to deal with on his own, for all the walls he's had to put up to keep other people out so he'd feel safe.

And then his heart swells, just a little, with the knowledge that, slowly, Sebastian is starting to trust him with his heart.

"I know," Kurt replies, offering a small smile. "It's okay. And thank you."

"For what?"

"For telling me."

The house – if he can even call this merely a house – is by far the most lavish single-family residence Kurt has ever been in. He's been in awe since they pulled into the driveway, and the sense of overwhelm has only grown as they make their way into the mansion – because, really, that's what this is – and he continues to take in the extravagance.

"Had you told me we were walking into this you would have made the process of choosing an outfit a lot easier," Kurt whispers urgently into Sebastian's ear as his boyfriend leads him further inside.

"I told you, Kurt, it doesn't matter what you're wearing," Sebastian says, rolling his eyes.

"Of course it matters, Sebastian," Kurt scolds. "Luckily I was able to get some information out of you, otherwise you would have let me show up to this woefully underdressed."

"Kurt, have you ever been underdressed in your entire life?"

"No, because I always know what I'm walking into," Kurt counters with a meaningful glare.

"Well, either way, I think you look great," Sebastian says with a grin. "And I wouldn't mind seeing you underdressed, either," he adds with a wink.

Kurt rolls his eyes, but he can't help the smile that tugs at the corner of his mouth. His boyfriend is infuriating at times, but it's hard to stay annoyed when he goes and says things like that.

"Oh, this must be Kurt!" a woman says – practically squeals – and then Kurt is being pulled into a hug by who he assumes must be Sebastian's mother. "It's so nice to meet you!"

He hugs the woman back, then finally gets a good look at her as she releases him and pulls away, and she's beaming back at him. "It's great to meet you as well, Mrs. Smythe," he says, offering a smile of his own.

"Oh Sebby, he's so sweet," she coos, and Kurt looks over to see his boyfriend scrunching his face up adorably at the nickname. He'll have to remember that one. "Oh and Kurt, this is my husband, Sebastian's father."

"Pleasure to meet you, Kurt," the man says with a smile, offering his hand to Kurt, and Kurt shakes it.

"You as well, Mr. Smythe."

"A good handshake," Sebastian's father says approvingly, "I like him."

"Yeah, he's alright. I guess I'll keep him," Sebastian says with a shrug and a smirk, and his mother shoots him a glare, but there's no heat behind it.

"You be nice to your guest, Sebastian."

"Oh relax, mom, he'd be worried if I didn't say something."

"He's right, I would," Kurt agrees honestly.

His dad shakes his head, and his mom laughs. "We can dress you up but we can't take you anywhere, can we?" his mother says fondly, placing a hand on Sebastian's arm. "You boys have a nice evening, will you? And Kurt, honey, try not to let everyone scare you away. They're all just so excited to meet you! Sebastian has never brought a boy home before. You must be special," she says with a wink, and Kurt feels his cheeks warm because while he knows that Sebastian has never done anything like this, it's really just hitting him in this moment that Sebastian has never done anything like this.

Sebastian's parents smile at the pair again, then turn and make their way through a large doorway toward where Kurt can hear a mix of voices talking and laughing.

"Shall we?" Sebastian asks, gesturing to the doorway his parents just disappeared through.

"Let's," Kurt agrees with a smile, and then he follows behind as Sebastian leads him into the next room.

He's not sure if this room is any more grand than the other parts of the house he's seen so far, but it certainly seems that way, filled with people the way it is, guests milling about and catering staff making their rounds with trays of champagne flutes and hors d'oeurves. He'd been expecting an extravagant party – especially since they pulled up to the house and he really started to understand what he was getting into – but it still surprises him how... well, extravagant the scene before him is.

"Earth to Kurt," Sebastian says, and Kurt shakes his head quickly and turns to look at his boyfriend, who's smirking at him fondly.

"Sorry, I was just...," he says, trailing off.

"All good?" Sebastian asks.

"Yeah, yeah I'm good," Kurt says with a nod. "It's just... a lot. It's beautiful."

Sebastian shrugs. "I guess so."

"You guess so? Seb, you grew up here and you... you know what? Never mind," his says with an eye roll. "So, who am I meeting first?"

"How about no one? It's not too late to sneak away upstairs, I can show you my bedroom," Sebastian says with a smirk.

Kurt scowls and gives him a playful smack on the arm. "We are not doing that."

"Wow Seb, you never really struck me as the kind of guy who would put up with this kind of thing," a voice says, and Kurt's head snaps around to see the young woman standing before them and watching with her arms crossed.

"Oh no, I don't– it's not what–" Kurt starts, stammering, but then she speaks again and saves him from embarrassing himself any further.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he deserved it," she says, then looks at Sebastian and adds, "right, Seb?"

"Maybe I like it," Sebastian shoots back with a smirk, and Kurt feels his cheeks flush – clearly he's not the only one here capable of embarrassing him.

The young woman just laughs, though. "You're such an ass, Seb. Give him a break," she says, then directs her eyes back to Kurt and extends her hand out toward him. "I'm Sam, Seb's cousin."

"Kurt," he replies, taking her hand and giving it a quick shake before she pulls it back.

"I'd say I've heard a lot about you, but that would be a lie. Sebastian has told us literally nothing, I was convinced you weren't even real until I saw you walk through that door," she says, nodding to the entryway they'd just passed through a few moments before.

"How charming," Kurt says, shooting his boyfriend an exasperated look, but Sebastian just shrugs back at him.

After that, someone else spots them, and they try to work their way further into the room but there's a pretty steady stream of family and family friends stopping them to chat, coo over Kurt, and comment on how impressed they are that Sebastian is finally bringing someone to meet the family. It's a little overwhelming, but it also feels so nice. It reminds him of his own family, actually; if you were to forget about all the elegance that comes with the setting, the atmosphere really isn't all that different from that of his own family get-togethers.

Of course, forgetting the elegance of the setting is not something Kurt will be doing anytime soon.

"Dear, I love your suit! So dashing. Our little Sebby really landed himself a looker," the woman, who Sebastian had introduced as his aunt Marilyn, says sweetly.

"Thank you so much, ma'am," Kurt says happily, and he's pretty sure the new heat he feels rising in his cheeks is undetectable past the constant blush he's felt since they entered this room.

"And who do we have here?" a man asks, approaching the group and wrapping an arm around Marilyn's waist, pulling her closer to him; he figures this must be her husband.

"Sebastian's brought his boyfriend," Marilyn says, turning to look at the man and giving him a smile, and Kurt has only just met her but something still seems a little off about it, like it's not quite as sincere as the other smiles being exchanged here this evening.

"Oh how nice," the man says, seemingly unfazed by the woman's tight smile, so Kurt figures he must be reading into it too much. "I'm Ezra, Sebby's favourite uncle," the man says with a smile and a wink at Sebastian, extending his free hand to Kurt to shake.

Kurt turns to look at Sebastian, expecting him to say something in response to the comment, but instead he's just frowning at the man.

Kurt reaches out and shakes the offered hand. "I'm Kurt, it's nice to meet you."

"The pleasure is all mine, Kurt."

"I think I saw Eleanor over there, I'm going to go catch up," Marilyn says, extracting herself from her husband's arm. "You boys have a lovely evening, and it was nice to meet you, Kurt," she says with a quick smile and then she's heading off to the other side of the room before anyone has time to say another word.

"You're looking very nice this evening, gentlemen," Ezra continues after his wife has walked away, looking after her and then turning back to Kurt and Sebastian. "Is that a Saint Laurent?"

Kurt's smile widens, because while he's been complimented several times this evening on his fashion choices, this is the first time somebody has picked up on the designer.

"It is," he says happily, standing just a little straighter as Sebastian's uncle admires the suit.

"Excellent taste," the man says with a smile, "surprised you're willing to be seen out in public with this one," he adds with a laugh and a gesture toward Sebastian.

Kurt laughs politely, because this is a comment he's gotten quite a few times this evening – and, to be fair, a comment Sebastian received his fair share of from Kurt's own family, so he's really in no position to say anything about it.

"He cleans up pretty well when he tries," Kurt says, turning to give Sebastian a fond smile, and he's expecting the usual eye roll but his frown has turned into a glare now, eyes narrow and cold, and now he's just... confused.

"Yes, I suppose he does," Ezra says, seemingly unfazed by Sebastian's strange reaction, and that just makes the situation more uncomfortable.

Is he just getting sick of being around his family? Does he need a break? Kurt knows that Sebastian doesn't like his family parties, so is that what this is? And with Kurt here he can't blend in to the background, they've been talking to people nonstop since they walked through the door.

"Hey, Seb, would you mind going to get me a drink?" He doesn't really want anything to drink, but he figures it's as good an excuse as any for Sebastian to make an exit and get a little break from all the people. It's the least he can do, since he's the reason Sebastian has to talk to them all.

He turns to look at his boyfriend, plans to give him a meaningful look to be sure Sebastian understands what he's trying to do, but Sebastian still has his eyes fixed on his uncle when he says a simple, "No."

"I–," Kurt starts, then pauses, not quite sure what to make of this reaction. "What?"

Sebastian doesn't answer, just keeps his gaze on Ezra. Kurt looks back and forth between then, and Sebastian's uncle just shrugs his shoulders.

"Sorry, um, could you excuse us?" he asks, giving Ezra a confused and apologetic look.

"Of course. I'm sure we'll be bumping into each other later. It was good to meet you, Kurt." He smiles warmly, places a hand on Kurt's shoulder, gives it a light squeeze before turning and walking away.

He turns back to Sebastian then, who is still glaring at his uncle, and he's about had it with this. "Come on," he says, tugging at Sebastian's arm and pulling him away toward the door.

Sebastian comes reluctantly, following him out of the room and into the empty hallway where Kurt stops and turns to face his boyfriend.

"Okay, what's going on?"

"Nothing's going on," Sebastian says, crossing his arms in front of his chest.

Kurt gives him an incredulous look. "I know you don't like your family, Seb, but do you think you could try to at least be civil around them for one night?"

"That was civil," Sebastian counters.

Kurt rolls his eyes. "I gave you an out, why didn't you just say you'd go get me a drink? You could have, I don't know, gone and hid in your room for half an hour or something, whatever."

"I wasn't leaving you alone with him."

"Why not? I think I can handle myself around your family, Sebastian."

"I didn't say you couldn't."

Kurt presses his fingers to his temple, because this is ridiculous. They're just going in circles. "You just did."

"I said I wasn't leaving you alone with him," Sebastian clarifies, though it doesn't actually clarify anything as far as Kurt is concerned.


There's a flash of something in Sebastian's eyes, just a moment before it's gone. "Never mind, it's nothing. Let's just go back in."

Sebastian moves to take a step back toward the doorway, but Kurt stops him. "It's not nothing," he argues, "what is it?"

"Kurt, I said it's nothing," Sebastian insists, but that something is back in his eyes now, a mix of desperate pleading and fear and... fuck.

He thinks he knows why.

"We don't have to go back in," Kurt offers, more gently now. "Why don't you give me a house tour or something? We can get away from everyone for a bit."

He does want a tour – the whole house is beautiful, who wouldn't? – but the request is just an excuse for what he's really offering.

And Sebastian takes it.

"Yeah, okay," his boyfriend agrees, and Kurt doesn't miss the relief in his eyes, across his face, in the tension leaving his shoulders as he relaxes into the idea of not having to go back into that room, but also at not having to talk.

Chapter Text

He feels weird about it. He's not sure that it's necessarily a bad feeling, it's just... weird. Because nobody has ever known. He's sure Sam has her suspicions, just as he has his own about her, but they've never actually talked about it.

But now Kurt knows.

Not everything. Of course not everything, because as much as he's learning to trust Kurt, as much as he's trying to open up to him, he's not ready for that conversation, but... Kurt knows there's something there. And after the party, he's pretty sure Kurt knows more than he's letting on.

They haven't talked about it. And it's for Sebastian's benefit, he's sure. He knows Kurt knows he doesn't want to talk, and he's thankful Kurt hasn't pushed him for anything more, but just knowing that someone else knows is a feeling that he needs to get used to. It's like this unspoken thing hanging in the air between them, heavy and awkward and he can't help but wonder what's going through Kurt's mind. Does he think less of Sebastian? Think he should have told someone, or that it shouldn't be a big deal after all these years, or that he shouldn't have let it happen in the first place? Because these are all things Sebastian has thought privately to himself, and he hates himself enough for that, but if Kurt thought any of those things, well... he's not sure how he would handle that.


Kurt's voice pulls him out of his thoughts and back into the present, where he's currently sitting in the passenger seat of Kurt's car. A car that's no longer moving, but is parked in the grocery store parking lot.

"Sorry, what?" he asks, shaking his head a little in an effort to clear his mind.

"Are you coming in, or would you rather sit here alone in the car and freeze?" Kurt asks with a hint of a smirk.

Sebastian smiles back. "As fun as that sounds, I guess I'll go in with you. Someone needs to protect you from the crazy holiday shoppers."

Kurt scoffs a little, but a full smile spreads across his face now. "Please, as if I'm the one who needs protecting in there. You'll probably slow me down."

"Well if you'd rather I can stay out here and freeze," Sebastian offers. "A me-shaped ice sculpture would be a great decoration for a New Year's Eve party."

"We're wasting time, come on," Kurt says as he rolls his eyes, apparently deciding that he's had enough of their back-and-forth as he opens his door and steps out into the cold winter air.

Sebastian steps outside as well, pulling his coat a little tighter around himself in an effort to keep warm as they make their way toward the entrance side by side. They walk through the doors, greeted by a blast of warm air pumping from the overhead vents, and he relaxes instantly, loosening the scarf wrapped tightly around his neck.

"So what do we need?" Sebastian asks, and rather than answering Kurt reaches into a pocket and pulls out a piece of folded paper, unfolding it to reveal a long list of items.

"Everything on this list," he says, handing it to Sebastian as he reaches for a cart.

"Shit, Kurt, why do you need so much stuff? Can't you just get, like, some chips and a fruit tray or something?"

Kurt shoots him a glare. "No, I can't just get chips and a fruit tray or something. You of all people shouldn't be surprised, you know I've seen what your parties are like, right?"

It's the first time it's come up since that night, and it's not even about him, but the spoken reminder that Kurt was there, Kurt was there, is enough to put him back on edge.

"Seb?" Kurt says, voice a little softer, glare replaced with a soft frown.

"That was a family party," he says, trying to shake it off because this is stupid, he can't get all worked up just because Kurt mentioned the party. Nothing even happened at the party. "You haven't seen one of my parties."

Kurt studies him for a moment, like he's trying to decide if he should push further or not. He must decide not to, because a moment later he responds, "Well, from the sounds of it, I don't want to see one of your parties," and then he's pushing the cart further into the store as Sebastian follows behind.

It's strangely fun and oddly domestic, grocery shopping with Kurt. They strike up an efficient system, Sebastian reading out the items on the list one by one as they make their way through the store and fill the cart. He realizes part way through that Kurt has already ordered the list according to where the items will be found, so as not to double back through aisles they've already walked down, and of course he did, Sebastian shouldn't have expected anything less. He also realizes Kurt was probably not kidding in the car, Sebastian likely is slowing him down, their efficient system not quite as efficient as he would like to think, but his boyfriend doesn't seem to mind as they chat happily while making their way down crowded aisles, weaving around small clusters of customers who all seem to have decided a busy grocery store is the ideal place to catch up with one another. By the time they've crossed all the items off Kurt's list and made their way to the checkouts, all the lines are quite long, and they're in for a bit of a wait. One of the times it comes in handy to have a shopping partner, he supposed.

Kurt leads them toward one of the lines, and they take their place at the end, settling in for a bit of a wait.

"I still can't believe you need this much stuff," Sebastian says again, looking at the cart full of food.

"The key to any successful party is good food," Kurt informs him. "It doesn't matter how great everything else is, if the food isn't good, that's all people will remember."

"I think that's a bit of an exaggeration," Sebastian argues, and Kurt quirks an eyebrow at him.

"Have you ever been to an event with bad catering?"

Sebastian thinks for a moment before responding. "One of my cousins got married a few years ago, and the ceremony and reception were beautiful, but the meal tasted like one of those frozen microwave dinners. And not even a good one, it was like one of those off-brand ones that doesn't even have a taste. It was awful, it's the only thing anyone ever...," he trails off, realizing what he's saying as he watches the smirk spread across Kurt's face. "Oh, shut up."

"I didn't say anything," Kurt says smugly, grinning widely now as Sebastian pouts back at him.

"You're thinking it."

"I am," Kurt agrees, not even trying to deny it, and of course why would he?

Sebastian can't help the laugh that bubbles out of him, and then Kurt laughs, too. "Fine, you're right. The food is important."

"Could you say that again?" Kurt hedges.

"That the food is important?" Sebastian asks.

"No, the first part," Kurt says with a sly grin.

"Shut up," Sebastian says with another laugh, smacking him lightly in the arm.

"You really had to invite him?" Sebastian asks, propped up against the headboard of Kurt's bed as his boyfriend sits at his vanity and finishes styling his hair.

"Yes, Seb, I couldn't not invite him," Kurt responds, and Sebastian can hear the tinge of annoyance in his voice, so he stops himself from pressing further. They've talked about this, and even if he may have his own thoughts on the matter, he needs to let Kurt handle things the way he wants to handle things.

"Okay," he says simply, then shuts up before he can say something he'll regret.

Kurt pauses, turns to give Sebastian a curious look for a moment before turning back to his mirror.

"I think I'm done," Kurt says, running his fingers along the hair swopping upward at his forehead a final time before he stands.

"I think you were done about twenty minutes ago," Sebastian says, pushing himself up off the headboard and swinging his feet down onto the floor.

Kurt shoots him an incredulous look, then walks over and takes a seat next to him on the bed. "Perfection takes time," he says, hint of a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth, and god that mouth.

"Mhmm," Sebastian hums, and then he's threading his fingers into the back of Kurt's hair – all the hair product be damned – and pulling him forward into a kiss.

Kurt sighs into it, relaxes against Sebastian's lips, one hand finding its way to Sebastian's neck and the other resting on his bicep. Sebastian snakes his other arm around Kurt's waist, twisting a little and pulling Kurt's body closer as they kiss slowly, lazily, exploring the taste and feel of each other with lips and teeth and tongues. He's not sure how long they're there, perched on the side of Kurt's bed twined together like this, but suddenly a gruff cough is interrupting them, and they're pulling apart quickly, blushing just a bit in embarrassment as they look toward the open doorway where Burt is standing.

"You, uh, gonna come greet your guests, Kurt?" Burt asks, raising his eyebrows at his son.

"Oh, um yes, sorry, I– we'll be right down," Kurt says, cheeks adorably crimson.

"Alright, good," Burt replies, gives Sebastian a small nod, then disappears from the doorway.

"If you messed up my hair," Kurt mutters, standing and making his way back toward his vanity.

"Your hair is fine, don't worry," Sebastian says with a roll of his eyes, though truth be told he can't help but find it a bit endearing.

Kurt leans down to look at himself in the mirror, smoothing his hands over his carefully styled hair, then straightening up a moment later when he's apparently decided it's sufficiently un-mussed.

"Come on," he says, offering a hand to Sebastian, "let's go see who's here."

Sebastian takes hold of the offered hand, and Kurt gives his hand a small squeeze before they make their way downstairs together.

He's loath to admit it, but Kurt is right; the food does make the party. His boyfriend put a lot of effort into the appetizers for the night, and it's clearly paid off, the kitchen and living room filled with friends talking and eating.

Well, mostly friends.

He's made a point to avoid Blaine the whole night; not that it's been hard, he's pretty certain Blaine has been keeping his distance from Sebastian, too. It's not so much that Sebastian would mind talking to the other boy – he has a lot of things he wouldn't mind saying to Blaine Anderson. But, he knows Kurt doesn't want that, and sometimes when you're in a relationship you need to put your partner's wants and needs above your own; something Sebastian is trying to work on, something he wants to work on. For Kurt.

"How are you doing?" Kurt asks, sliding up next to Sebastian and leaning against the wall beside him.

"Good," Sebastian says, turning to look at Kurt with a smile. "Are you having fun?"

"I am," Kurt nods, then tips his head to the side questioningly. "Can you come with me for a minute?"

"Yeah, sure. You need help with something?" Sebastian asks, pushing off the wall and following Kurt as he leads them back through the house.

They head up the stairs, down the hall to Kurt's room; Kurt pushes the door open, takes a step inside and looks back at Sebastian expectantly. Sebastian follows him in, leaving the door slightly ajar behind him; a rule of Burt's, unfortunately.

"Is something wrong?" he asks, a little worried now, running through the night's events so far and trying to figure out why Kurt might want to talk to him privately.

"No, no everything's fine," Kurt says, smiling a little shyly, and the corners of Sebastian's mouth turn down in a small frown because now he's even more confused.

"Oh. So... what is it?"

Kurt blushes a little, but he holds Sebastian's gaze. "It's almost midnight," he starts, "and I guess I kind of wanted you all to myself for that."

"Oh," Sebastian says simply.

He's done his fair share of kissing boys on New Years' Eves past, but they've always been sloppy and drunk and usually with the intention of leading to much more, so it wasn't something that had really been on his radar, not really. But now his boyfriend is standing before him, blushing a beautiful shade of pink as he looks at him hopefully, eyes sparkling.

"That sounds good," Sebastian adds, reaching out and grabbing hold of Kurt's hips, pulling him gently closer until their bodies are flush.

Kurt wraps his arms loosely around Sebastian's neck and smiles up at him. "Yeah?"

"Yeah," Sebastian confirms.

They hear muffled voices from downstairs then, counting down from ten toward the new year, and Sebastian smirks down at his boyfriend. "Your friends are loud."

Kurt lets out a small huff of laughter. "They are, aren't they?"

"Five, four, three, two, one," Kurt whispers along with the voices downstairs, and after the last word Sebastian tips his head down, closing the distance between Kurt's lips and his own with a gentle kiss.

Kurt pushes up into it, and Sebastian feels his body shift as he stands up on his toes. He grips Kurt's hips tighter, holding him close as he feels Kurt's fingers threading into the hair on the back of his head to hold him there in the kiss.

They stay like that for a few moments, until finally Kurt pulls back. "We should probably go back down there," he says, cheeks flushed red.

"I'm sure they wouldn't miss us if we stayed up here a little longer," Sebastian counters with a smirk, then leans back down to kiss his boyfriend again.

Chapter Text

"I can't believe your dad was fine with this," Sebastian says, leaning back against the counter as he watches Kurt chopping an onion.

"He trusts me," Kurt says, not pausing to look over as he responds, eyes still fixed on the knife as it slices through the onion's layers. It's not a lie; his dad does trust him. Maybe not enough to permit him to have his boyfriend spend the night in the house with nobody else home, but... he does trust him.

And he should trust him. Maybe most boys his age would be taking full advantage of this situation, but Kurt doesn't even want that. Or rather... it's not that he doesn't want it, because he very much does, it's more that he's not ready for it. Not yet, anyway. He's getting close, he thinks. He feels comfortable and safe around his boyfriend, and he's sure Sebastian must be getting anxious for more. He's not an idiot, and he knows Sebastian wants to do things differently with him, but there's no way the other boy isn't ready. There's no way his boyfriend doesn't want more, right? And he'd be lying if he didn't admit that he is a bit nervous about this evening, a bit scared of what Sebastian might expect from him, all alone in this house tonight, all alone in his bed.


Kurt stops chopping, snaps his head to look at Sebastian whose eyes are narrowed at him. "What?"

"You didn't tell him, did you?" Sebastian asks, hint of a smirk tugging at the corner of his mouth.

"I-" Kurt starts, flustered as he searches for a way out of this, but he knows he's already taken too long when Sebastian's smile spreads a little wider. "No, I didn't," he admits with a sigh.

Sebastian is full-on grinning now. "Look at that, my boyfriend is a real bad boy," he says with a wink, and Kurt feels the flush break out on his face, because he is so very much not a bad boy.

"Don't worry," Sebastian says, pushing off the counter to approach Kurt, grabbing him by the hips and pulling him closer, "I think it's hot."

Sebastian brings his lips down to Kurt's then, kisses him slow and tender, and then Kurt isn't thinking about what tonight could mean for them, not thinking about the things his boyfriend may or may not be expecting from him, just loses himself in the feeling of Sebastian's lips on his.

But then the moment is over, and Kurt pulls away, cheeks still warm as he grins and swats at Sebastian, because it's just like his boyfriend to get sidetracked like this when there are things to be done. "If you don't let me finish this then we won't be eating till midnight. Behave or leave," he scolds teasingly, because as nice as kissing Sebastian is, he would like to eat tonight.

Sebastian huffs a sigh, rolls his eyes. "Fine," he agrees, planting another quick kiss on Kurt's lips before letting him go and settling back against the counter. "But it better be worth it."

"My cooking is always worth it," Kurt says with a haughty smirk.

It's the epitome of a romantic date night, complete with mood lighting and candles and music, dinner that looks and tastes absolutely delicious if he does say so himself, and it's everything he could have hoped for tonight.

"You're staring," Kurt says as he places his fork down on the now-empty plate in front of him.

"Sorry. Can't help it," his boyfriend says with a smirk as he pops the last bite of dessert into his mouth, and Kurt tries to fight the flush he feels in his cheeks, because he really should be used to Sebastian's comments by now. "This was delicious, Kurt. Thank you," Sebastian continues, and he can tell he means it.

"Thank you," Kurt replies, a little more in his element now. "My dad's a lousy cook, and after my mom died, well... he tried," he adds with an amused grimace. "I've had a lot of practice."

"Well, it paid off," Sebastian says.

Kurt can see in his eyes that Sebastian isn't quite sure what to say. He's used to it, everyone's mild discomfort any time the topic of his mother comes up. He still misses her, of course he does, he'll never not miss her, but it's not as sharp a hurt as it used to be. Sometimes it's nice to talk about her, just to acknowledge that she existed, that she hasn't been forgotten.

But, he supposes, maybe now isn't the time.

"I guess it did," he agrees finally. "I was thinking we could put a movie on?" he asks, a little hesitant, a little nervous now, because he was nervous before but now it's really starting to sink in that he has a boy here. In his house. All alone, all night. And he's not really sure how to handle that, exactly, because he's not ready for that, hasn't even hinted at it, but does Sebastian know that? Does Sebastian consider this a hint? They're home alone, they'll be sleeping in the same bed, Sebastian will be expecting something from him, won't he? Does Sebastian expect him to be ready for that by now? Because he should be, by now, right?

"A movie sounds great," Sebastian offers with a warm smile.

"Great," Kurt says, smiling a little easier now that they have a plan for at least the next couple hours. "I'll just clear these dishes and then we can head into the living room."

The boys busy themselves with bringing the dishes to the sink, not bothering to wash them because, really, that can wait, and then they make their way to the living room. Kurt pops a DVD in and they settle into the couch, thighs pressed together under the blanket they're sharing, and Sebastian rests his arm across the top of the couch, invites Kurt to curl into him because he's trying and god Kurt loves him for it, but... if Sebastian is trying, if Sebastian is putting this effort in to do the things that Kurt wants... is he expecting something in return? He gives Sebastian a small, nervous smile before leaning into his side, settling in with his head on the other boy's chest and a hand on his thigh as the movie starts to play.

He tries to calm himself, let himself just be in Sebastian's arms, because this is so good, this is progress and he should be happy in this moment, should enjoy it for what it is and leave it at that, but he just can't.

Because this is great now, but...


He may be inexperienced, but he likes to think he's not naïve. His boyfriend is staying the night, his father isn't home, they have the house to themselves– of course Sebastian is expecting this to lead somewhere. Anyone would be, right?

Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe he shouldn't have invited Sebastian tonight. He'd wanted to spend a romantic evening together, an evening without interruptions where they could just be them and be together, but now all he can think about is the expectations and how he's just not ready and how is he supposed to say that to his boyfriend? His boyfriend who has nothing but understanding and patient and–


Sebastian's voice is soft and cautious, and the sound pulls him from his thoughts.

"Yeah?" he asks, tipping his head up to meet Sebastian's eyes.

"Everything okay?"

Kurt hesitates a moment before he responds, "Yeah, everything's fine," in a voice he hopes is calm, and then looks back toward the television.

Everything is not fine, but Sebastian doesn't need to know that.

A moment passes, Kurt trying too hard to stare at the television despite the gaze he can feel on him, until Sebastian speaks again.

"Kurt," he says, firm but gentle, shifting slightly on the couch to sit more upright.

Kurt shifts, too, leans away from Sebastian and sits up straight, looks at him in what he hopes is casual enough of an expression to get his boyfriend to just drop it.

"What?" Kurt asks, fidgeting a little nervously with the edge of the blanket over his lap. He can't help it.

"What's wrong?" Sebastian asks, more plainly this time.

"Nothing's wrong," Kurt insists.

"Bullshit," Sebastian says, for the second time tonight. Kurt really did think he was a better liar than this.

"Excuse me?"

"What happened to talking?" Sebastian asks pointedly.

Kurt feels his face flush, glances away nervously. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Kurt, seriously," Sebastian tries again, "what is it? Did I do something?"

"What? No," Kurt denies quickly, because that's not it at all. Sebastian's hasn't done a thing. "No, of course not."

"Then what's wrong?"

He sits there for a long minute, soaking in the silence between them, debating with himself whether he should say something or not, but... Sebastian's right. If this is going to work between them, they need to talk to each other... and he can't expect his boyfriend to talk to him if he's not willing to do the same.

"It's stupid," he says softly.

"Try me," Sebastian challenges with a soft smile.

Kurt looks at him uncertainly for a moment before averting his eyes again. "I don't know if I'm ready to... do things."

He can hear the frown in Sebastian's voice when he replies, "You're going to have to elaborate on that just a bit."

"You know," Kurt continues, still fidgeting, "those things. Together. Tonight."

He knows his face is flushed red now, and he just stares down at his hands, not able to look up at the other boy.

"Okay," Sebastian says slowly, and he almost sounds confused. "That's fine. We don't have to do anything you're not ready for."

Kurt looks back up, locks his eyes onto Sebastian's, surprised at how simple that seemed. "Really?"

"Really, I– Kurt, you know I don't want to do anything you're not ready for. I'm not... where is this coming from?"

Kurt looks back down again. "I just thought... with supper, and my dad's not here, we're alone, and... I thought maybe you would want to... I don't want you to be disappointed."

Sebastian's frown deepens. "I'm not– Kurt, of course I'm not disappointed, I didn't– why would I be disappointed? I know I have a... well, a past, but you know that's not... there's no pressure. Seriously, I swear."

"No, no that's not it," Kurt argues, eyes flickering up to Sebastian's in alarm, because that is not what he was trying to say at all. "It's just that, before, when we– when Blaine and I, um, did this...," he trails off, because he's not even sure what he's trying to say, he just needs Sebastian to know that it's not him.

That was apparently the wrong thing to say, too, because he sees the flare of anger crossing Sebastian's face at the mention of Blaine, and god why is he such an idiot tonight?

"No, he didn't– nothing ever happened, he didn't make me do anything, it's not like that, it's fine, it's just–"

"No, Kurt, it's not fine," Sebastian cuts him off heatedly, and Kurt's mouth snaps shut as he stares back at Sebastian, wide-eyed. "Sorry, I mean, it's... sorry. You... I'm sorry that he... was like that."

Kurt watches Sebastian carefully, sees him set his jaw to stop himself from saying all of the things he surely wants to say, and they really have come pretty far, haven't they? As much of a mess as he feels at the moment, if this were a couple months ago Sebastian would probably be storming out of the house already, and he can't help but appreciate the progress they've made together.

"I'm not... I don't expect anything from you, okay? I promise," Sebastian finishes, voice a little softer now.

Kurt gives him a tight smile and a small nod, then a quiet, "Okay."

"Seriously, Kurt. Even if there were things you never wanted to do, that would be okay," he adds, sincerely, like he really needs Kurt to understand this.

Kurt scoffs a little, rolls his eyes, because he has a hard time believing that; not because it's Sebastian, but just... nobody could mean that, right? "Yeah, right."

"Yeah, right," Sebastian insists. "I'm not kidding. I never want to pressure you into anything. Okay?"

Kurt studies him for a moment, really looks at him, before smiling more softly, a little more genuinely, because... maybe he really does mean it.

"Okay. Thank you."

"Don't mention it," Sebastian says, corner of his mouth tugging up in a grin. "Now, should we rewind this a bit? I have no idea what just happened."

Kurt laughs a little, agrees, then leans forward to grab the remote from the coffee table and rewind several minutes. When he settles back in to Sebastian's side, he's feeling much more relaxed, and oddly at peace with them. Because they're talking, and he's doing this, they're doing this, they'll be okay. They can do this.

"Seb?" Kurt asks, several minutes of silence later, voice quiet, wrapped in the blanket with Sebastian's arm against his side.


"I love you," he says, quiet but sure.

He hears the slight intake of breath at his words, but Sebastian doesn't respond.

They're in Kurt's bed, lying side by side under the blankets in the dark, an awkward air hovering over them since Kurt's admission earlier and Sebastian's notable silence.

It shouldn't be so awkward. He told Sebastian he loves him because he does, it's true and he wants his boyfriend to know it, but... Sebastian doesn't have to love him back. Not yet, anyway. Someday, and hopefully soon, but this whole relationship thing is still new to Sebastian, and Kurt hadn't meant to pressure him, and oh god is he pressuring him?

Maybe he shouldn't have said anything. Should have waiting for Sebastian to say it first, or just not said it at all. It had just felt right in the moment, they were communicating and he meant it so why not say it he'd thought, but clearly he hadn't thought because now everything feels wrong because Sebastian hadn't said it back and he's not sure what to do with that.

But, he hadn't run away, either.

He'd just sat there, silent and unmoving at the movie played on, almost as though Kurt hadn't even spoken, except he had, and they both know it, both know what he said because if they didn't then it wouldn't be so damn awkward and he's never wished he could take back his words as much as he does now, which is ridiculous because he shouldn't regret telling his boyfriend that he loves him.


Sebastian's voice is soft and delicate in the quiet darkness of the room.

"Yeah?" Kurt asks.

"Um," he stammers a little, and Kurt shifts onto his side to look at him, equally worried that he'll bring up Kurt's earlier admission and that he won't bring it up.

"I love you, too," he says, finally, a gentle flush colouring his cheeks, barely visible in the soft light of the streetlights streaming in through the window.

"Oh," Kurt breathes, heart skipping a beat, because that was certainly not what he expected, but even if he had been expecting it he couldn't have prepared himself for the feeling that hits him with Sebastian's words.

Kurt's can't help the smile that spreads across his face, and he leans over to plant a short, sweet kiss on Sebastian's lips.

"I love you," he murmurs into the darkness as he pulls back, smile widening as he continues to watch Sebastian, and his boyfriend smiles back.

On second thought, maybe he doesn't regret it.

Chapter Text

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Kurt asks softly, swinging their hands between them, and when Sebastian glances over his boyfriend is looking up at the sky.

He looks up, tries to find what Kurt is looking at, but there's nothing there. "What is?"

"The stars," Kurt says simply.

"Oh," Sebastian says, keeping his eyes cast upward for a brief moment before looking back over at Kurt. "Yeah, I guess."

Kurt pulls his eyes back down, focuses on Sebastian. "You don't think?"

He just shrugs. It's not that he thinks they aren't pretty, but it's... just the sky. The same old sky that's there every other night.

"Come here," Kurt says, tugging at Sebastian's hand and pulling him off the path and into the grass. Sebastian follows, and Kurt leads them past a couple trees to an open patch of grass, where he moves to sit.

"What are you doing?" Sebastian asks, a little confused but still humouring his boyfriend as he joins him on the ground.

"We're going to stargaze," Kurt says simply, and then he's laying on his back and staring up at the sky again, blue eyes sparkling in the soft moonlight.

"Okay," Sebastian says slowly, sighing a little as he lays down next to Kurt and looks up at the sky as well, though he's not quite sure what he should be looking at.

"See there?" Kurt asks, lifting a hand to point toward the sky. "Those four stars that make a box, and then those three make a curved line out from the corner?"

It takes him a minute, but finally he sees what Kurt is talking about. "Yeah," he says with a nod, though Kurt isn't looking his way, eyes still fixed on the stars.

"That's the big dipper," Kurt explains. "It's part of Ursa Major. And then if you look up from there, you can find Ursa Minor, the little dipper. See?"

"Yeah," he says after a moment. "It looks like that smaller one is being emptied into the bigger one."

"It does," Kurt says, pulling his eyes away briefly to smile at Sebastian, then looking back up. "At the end of Ursa Minor's tail, that's Polaris. The North Star."

"How do you know all of this?" Sebastian asks, turning to look at his boyfriend.

Kurt is quiet for a moment, but then he speaks, eyes still trained on the sky above. "I used to do this with my mom," he says quietly, "before she died. When I couldn't sleep, if the sky was clear, we'd sit outside wrapped in a blanket and just look at the sky, and she'd tell me all about the constellations. I mostly didn't pay attention," he admits with a light chuckle, "and I think she knew that. But it was nice to just hear her voice." He pauses, then after a beat, "I miss her voice."

"I'm sorry," Sebastian says, because he's never sure what else he can say when Kurt starts talking about his mother like this.

"It's okay," Kurt says, a little sadly, but Sebastian can see a hint of a smile on his boyfriend's face, so he figures he means it.

"After she died," he continues, "I used to sneak outside and look at the stars when I couldn't sleep. I always thought my dad didn't notice me doing it, but I'd fall asleep outside and wake up in my bed in the morning, so he must have. He never said anything, though. I think he knew why I was doing it."

"Because it reminded you of your mom?"

Kurt is silent, silent for so long that he thinks maybe he won't respond, until he does.

"Because it was the same," he says quietly, so quietly Sebastian could have missed it if it weren't for the silence of the night around them. "The same stars were always there when I looked at the sky. It didn't matter how much was changing. Didn't matter when we moved to a new house because dad couldn't afford the old one anymore, the sky never changed."

"She sounds like she was really great."

"She was," Kurt agrees quietly.

Several minutes of silence pass before Kurt breaks it again. "Sometimes I wonder if my dad and I would be so close if she was still here."

"I'm sure you would be," Sebastian says, turning to look at his boyfriend, and propping himself up on an elbow.

Kurt glances over and gives him a sad smile. "I don't think so," he says, before looking back up to the sky. "If my mom was alive, I know I would have gone to her first with anything. I only talked to my dad because I didn't have anyone else, and I just... I had to tell someone, you know?"

Sebastian is quiet then, Kurt's words settling over them. He wonders if Kurt would have told, if what had happened to him had happened to Kurt. He wonders if he'd have told his dad, or if that's the type of thing he'd only be able to bring himself to tell his mother. If he'd have been able to tell anyone. Sebastian thinks Kurt would have, if it had happened to him. Kurt is strong, one of the strongest people Sebastian has ever known.

Not like Sebastian. Sebastian who has always been close to his parents but still didn't, couldn't. And for what? It couldn't have been worse if he'd told, could it? It's too late now, won't make a difference now, because it's years in the past and he's older now and it's in the past, except... maybe it would.

Maybe it would make a difference. To tell someone.

He's been so scared, absolutely terrified of Kurt knowing anything about this part of him. But Kurt knows, has known for a while, knows probably more than he lets on and... it's okay. More than okay, really, it's been... freeing, almost, knowing that he doesn't have to pretend, knowing that Kurt knows and understands and supports him, and maybe telling someone can't change the past but it can change his present, can't it? Can change his future? Maybe if he isn't carrying this alone, everywhere he goes, buried as deep as he can get it but always threatening to come to the surface... maybe it would be easier.



He glances back to the side, sees Kurt still staring up to the sky, profile illuminated by the soft moonlight.

There's something different about nigh time. Laying here in the grass with his boyfriend, bathed in the cool glow of the moon, the world around them silent, ethereal. And...

Maybe it would be easier.

He takes a deep breath, then opens his mouth to speak, forces the words out before he can change his mind. "I was eight," he says quietly. He stares upward, can't bring himself to look at Kurt as he says this. "The first time, um... my dad was working a lot. And my mom was going to stay with one of her college friends in Paris. She was having some king of surgery or something, and needed somebody to stay with her for a few weeks. She could have just paid someone, I mean she had the money for it, but mom thought it would be a good excuse to spend time with her because they hadn't seen each other in years, so she insisted on going."

He knows he's rambling at this point, knows none of this matters at all, knows he's just putting off saying the things he really wants – not wants, not really, but needs – to say. But Kurt hasn't interrupted, just lies there silently beside him, listening and waiting.

He takes another deep breath, tries to calm himself before he continues on. "Anyway, um. So Marilyn offered to have me stay with her, since dad was so busy. And I actually remember looking forward to it," he says with a small, humourless laugh.

"Mom dropped me off on her way to the airport, and at first it was fine. But then a couple days in, Marilyn was always busy, she always had places to go so it was... it was just me and... him."

He pauses to breath, blinks back the tears he can feel threatening to fall, and he doesn't cry, not about this, not about anything, he doesn't understand. He feels Kurt's hand reach out, rest gently against his arm. It's just a small gesture, just Kurt telling him he's here and he's listening but he's never had that before, never had someone he could talk to and they would listen, and it's enough to trigger the tears. He feels them well up in his eyes, spill over and roll down the side of his face and into the grass. He lifts his hand, wipes at his cheeks with the back of it and sniffles a little before he continues.

"One night she wasn't home, I don't remember why, but he told me I could stay up late if I wanted. And I just remember being really excited, because I wasn't usually allowed. He put on some movie and made popcorn and got himself a beer, and I remember he asked me if I wanted one. I told him I wasn't allowed, and... and he said that it could be our secret. He told me I was growing up and he wouldn't tell anyone if I didn't. And I just thought it was so cool that he was letting me have a beer, I was proud that he was treating me like an adult, I guess, so I told him I wouldn't tell. I mean, what kid would turn that down, right?" he asks with another low chuckle.

"I drank it really fast because it was the first time I ever had anything to drink, so I didn't know, and I remember just feeling kind of tired and dizzy. And he... he told me that maybe it was bed time after all, he thought I could handle staying up late and having a beer with him but I couldn't, and he just sounded so disappointed. He, um... he took my hand and led me to the spare room I was staying in. And I just remember telling him that I could do it, and then he... I remember he looked at me, and he said that it was okay and he was going to help me. I didn't know what he meant, and he just asked me if I could keep another secret. So I said yes because I didn't want him to be disappointed, um, and then... and then he... he put his hands, um... on me. And I asked him to stop but he just told me that I needed to be a grown up, and if I couldn't be good then he'd have to tell my parents. He said he was helping me, and if I was good then he wouldn't tell anybody, and I just–"

He cuts himself off with a choked sob. He's not even sure when he started really crying beyond the few tears that escaped earlier, but he is, cheeks wet with tears and sobs racking his body.

Kurt is tugging at him then, sitting and pulling Sebastian into his arms and Sebastian goes willingly, wrapping his arms around Kurt and gripping him tightly, fingers digging into the fabric of the back of his coat. Kurt's arms wrap around him, too, holding firmly, a hand rubbing soothingly along his spine.

"You're okay," Kurt murmurs softly into his ear, "I've got you. You're okay. I'm here."

"I'm sorry," Sebastian chokes out. He doesn't know why he's such a mess, this happened years ago, why is he crying about it now?

"Hey, no," Kurt says, giving him a gentle squeeze. "You have nothing to apologize for. You haven't done anything wrong."

He wants to argue, but he doesn't, scared his voice will betray him. Instead he lets Kurt hold him, lets himself calm down in his boyfriend's arms, tries to ignore the thoughts in the back of his head telling him he's weak and he should be able to deal with this on his own, should have dealt with this so long ago now. Tries to ignore the thought that maybe now that Kurt knows he'll think he's weak, that he won't want him anymore.

"You know you didn't do anything wrong, right?" Kurt asks softly, once Sebastian's sobs have quieted to a sniffle.

He's silent for a moment before he responds, barely more than a whisper, "Then why did it keep happening?"

"Sebastian," Kurt breathes, arms squeezing tightly around him. "You were a kid. It's not your fault."

"But if I had just been able to say no, or told somebody, or–"

"No," Kurt says, firm but not unkind, "don't do that. You were a kid. He was an adult who was supposed to be taking care of you and he didn't. You can't blame yourself for that."

There are a few minutes of silence, Sebastian unable to respond because he does blame himself. There were so many times he could have said something but didn't, so many opportunities to do something and he didn'tof course it's his fault.

"Seb?" Kurt asks.


"It's not your fault."

Again, he doesn't respond.

"Tell me it's not your fault," Kurt says

"What?" Sebastian asks, surprised.

"Tell me it's not your fault," Kurt repeats.

"Kurt, I..." Sebastian starts, but trails off.

"I want you to say it. You don't have to believe it right now if you can't," Kurt explains, hand resuming its soothing slide along his spine, "but I want you to say it. And maybe someday you will."

"That's stupid," Sebastian argues.

"I don't care," Kurt says. "Just say it. For me? "

Sebastian just sighs.

"Please?" Kurt asks softly.

"Fine," Sebastian agrees reluctantly. "It... It's not my fault."

"Thank you," Kurt says, pressing a gentle kiss to Sebastian's still-wet cheek. "I love you."

For the second time that night, he breaks, a sob clawing its way up his throat and choking him. Kurt holds him tight against his chest, murmuring into his ear and kissing his hair as he cries, and he still blames himself, but Kurt doesn't.

And for now, maybe that can be enough.

Chapter Text

Five months and sixteen days. That's how long they've been together, officially. And things have been good, so good, so much better than they had ever seemed like they could be in the beginning. They've come so far, both of them, individually and together. So far in talking and communicating and just being together, sometimes it still doesn't feel quite real to Kurt. Sometimes it feels like he's waiting for something to go wrong, like this can't be real, like they can't be as good as they are.

Of course they're not perfect; nobody is. They still bicker, still have moments when Sebastian stiffens under his touch or when Kurt feels the panic start to build up inside him when things get too much too fast, but... that's okay. They don't have to be perfect. They're learning to work through those things, and every time they do they get better, learn more, grow closer. It's messy and imperfect but it's theirs and Kurt can't help but fall just a little more in love with his boyfriend every time he looks into those mischievous emerald eyes.

Sebastian pulls the car into the Hummel-Hudson's driveway, headlights illuminating the asphalt, Kurt's car, and... the distinct lack of any other vehicles.

Kurt frowns. "They should be home by now," he says, reaching a hand into his pocket and digging out his phone. He unlocks it, and the screen lights up with a missed text from his father.

"They're staying in Columbus for the night," he says. His dad and Carole had gone to an event in the city; being an elected official apparently came with lots of fancy events around the state. They had planned on driving home afterward, but apparently it had run later than planned, so they're spending the night in a hotel.

"That would explain it," Sebastian hums.

"Did you want to come in?" Kurt asks.

Sebastian looks over at him, smiles. "Sure."

The boys climb out of the car, make their way into the house then up to Kurt's room where he hangs his coat in the closet.

"What do you want to do?" Kurt asks.

"You," Sebastian shoots back with a smirk.

Kurt snorts a laugh. "How romantic," he says with a grin, brushing him off.

"You know me," Sebastian grins back, "hopeless romantic."

"You've got the hopeless part right at least," Kurt counters.

"Hey," Sebastian pouts, "I'm not hopeless." He takes a few steps toward Kurt, grabs his waist and pulls him close, looking down into his eyes.

Kurt gazes back up, gives him a warm smile. "No, you're not," he agrees.

Sebastian leans down then, kisses him softly. It's sweet and gentle and familiar and safe, Sebastian's lips on his, Sebastian's hand reaching to cup his jaw as the kiss deepens. He slides his own hand up and threads his fingers through his boyfriend's hair, holding him there, here, against him.

He's been thinking about it a lot, lately. Them. Being together, in that way. He thinks he's ready for more. Maybe not everything, but... more, at least. He's still nervous, still a little unsure, but it's not the type of uncertainty he used to feel any time he thought about sex with another boy; instead, it's the uncertainty that comes with new experiences and growth, and where it used to make his stomach churn to think about it he now feels a small thrill at the thought.

He pulls back from the kiss, looks up into familiar green eyes. They've talked about it a bit, usually on the days Kurt feels guilty, like he should be ready when he's not, like he owes Sebastian more than he can give. And they've done things together, progressed from heated kisses and light petting to grinding against each other until they come in their pants, and they haven't both been naked together yet but a week and a half ago he opened Sebastian's pants and reached his hand in, explored his boyfriend with his hands and his mouth and stroked Sebastian until his hips stuttered and he'd come with a high gasp over Kurt's hand. Sebastian had offered to return the favour, but Kurt has blushed and declined, self-conscious and not sure he was ready to be touched like that – touching his boyfriend was one thing, but there's something different, fundamentally so much more intimate and vulnerable, and he wasn't sure he was ready at the time, the offer sprung on him unexpectedly and no time to prepare.

But... he's been thinking. Thinking about that offer, thinking about what he wants and what he could have and how safe Sebastian makes him feel, and he thinks that maybe he's ready, maybe he can let himself be that vulnerable, with Sebastian. Maybe he wants to be.

"Did you mean it?" Kurt asks softly.

Sebastian gives him a confused look. "Mean what?"

"That you wanted to do me," Kurt replies, and he regrets it the second it's out of his mouth, because that is what Sebastian had said but, really, he could have found a much better way to phrase it.

Sebastian gives a little bewildered laugh. "Kurt, I think you know I mean it. Have you seen yourself?" his boyfriend asks, eyes flickering down to roam across what he can see of Kurt's body, pressed close together like they are.

Kurt rolls his eyes. He really should have expected that answer. "You're an idiot," he says fondly, then pulls further away from Sebastian, goes to sit on the bed and looks back at his boyfriend expectantly. Sebastian follows, sits on the bed beside him, watches him with curious eyes.

"I... I might be ready," Kurt says, voice a little shaky with nerves.

Sebastian studies him for a moment, lips pursed, before he speaks. "You might be ready?" he asks slowly.

"I am," Kurt amends. "I'm ready. Not for– not for everything, but I want you to... um. I want to let you return the favor." He gives a small, awkward smile as he feels his cheeks warm.

He'd expected a laugh, maybe, but instead Sebastian frowns. "Kurt," he says carefully, "you know you don't have to do anything you don't want to, right? If I pressured you, I'm sorry, it was just a joke, I–"

"No," Kurt corrects quickly, "no, you aren't pressuring me. I've been thinking about it, and... I want to."

The frown falls away from his face, but Sebastian's expression is still serious. "You're sure? Because Kurt, I swear, if you're not ready it's okay, I don't want you to do this just because you think–"

"I'm sure," Kurt says, cutting him off again. "I'm sure," a little more softly.

Sebastian takes in a deep breath, exhales slowly. "Okay."

"Okay," Kurt agrees, voice pitched a little higher than usual.

Sebastian reaches a hand up, cups Kurt's jaw again that way he does, pulls Kurt into another gentle kiss, and this time it feels like a promise.

Sebastian pushes him backward onto the bed, and Kurt goes willingly, lets Sebastian climb on top of him and press him into the mattress, a low whimper escaping him as his boyfriend settles on top, rolls his hips just a little.

He slides a hand up the back of Sebastian's shirt, fingers tracing along his spine as their tongues explore each other, teeth nipping at lips, soft sighs and moans muffled between their lips. Sebastian breaks the kiss first, plants a soft kiss on Kurt's cheek before kissing down his jaw, to his neck, to that spot just above his collarbone that makes Kurt squirm beneath him, whimpering, nails digging into Sebastian's back instinctively. Sebastian mouths at the skin there, licking and sucking and drawing a cacophony of moans and gasps as he grinds his hips down into Kurt's.

Kurt tugs up at the hem of Sebastian's shirt, and Sebastian pulls away just long enough to pull it up and over his head, tossing it to the side on the floor somewhere before he's reattaching his lips to Kurt's throat, nimble fingers working at the buttons of Kurt's own shirt.

"You need to wear clothes with less buttons," Sebastian mumbles into his neck.

Kurt feels a laugh bubble out of him, though it comes out funny as Sebastian nips at the skin just behind his ear. "Consider yourself lucky I don't dabble in corsetry anymore," he counters, breathless.

"Maybe I should just invest in a good pair of scissors," Sebastian muses.

"You will do no such thing," Kurt says, scandalized, giving Sebastian's shoulder a light smack.

Sebastian looks up at him with a smirk. "We'll see," he replies, and Kurt opens his mouth to argue but no words come out, just a groan as Sebastian pops another button open and leans down to draw a nipple into his mouth. He feels Sebastian's smirk against his chest, knows the self-satisfied look that must be on his boyfriend's face, but he can't be bothered to care at the moment.

He feels the hand sliding down his side to rest at his hip, fingers dipping teasingly below the waist of his pants. Sebastian pulls his mouth from Kurt's chest, and they lock eyes for a moment before Sebastian dips down again to plant a kiss on his lips. It's different, not the heated kiss he was expecting, but gentle, soft but firm, and... comforting. Reassuring. Like Sebastian is trying to tell him with this kiss that he's here, he's going to take care of him, he loves him, and Kurt feels suddenly overwhelmed with it, what he's going to let Sebastian do, what they are about to do together. He feels the hand at his hip trace along the waist of his pants to the front, sliding down to cup him through his jeans and drawing a moan from him that Sebastian swallows into their kiss. The hand moves to work at his belt, pulling it open before he's at the button and zipper of his pants, and it's too much, too much all at once.

"S-stop," he stutters, pulling back from the kiss enough to get the word out.

Sebastian's freezes instantly, then pulls his hand away, pulls back and looks down at Kurt, eyes wide and full of concern and he looks almost afraid, though Kurt can tell he's trying to hide it.

"Kurt, shit, I'm sorry, I didn't mean–"

"No, it's okay," Kurt interrupts him, "it's not... it was just, a lot. I just need a minute."

"We can stop," Sebastian offers quickly. "Seriously, Kurt, we don't have to do this, if you're not–"

"No, I am," Kurt insists. "I want to. It's just... a lot. Just give me a minute."

"Okay," Sebastian agrees, hesitant, and he climbs off Kurt and settles back on his heels beside him, studying his boyfriend carefully.

Kurt shifts on the bed, sits up against the headboard, tries to catch his breath, steady himself, gather his thoughts. He is ready, he knows he is. But that doesn't make it any less new, any less intimidating, any less of a decision that there's no coming back from. It's like he's giving something to Sebastian, something he can never take back, and he feels silly for making it such a big deal because he knows it's not, but he can't help it. It feels big, to him.

"Kurt, talk to me," Sebastian says softly, moving to sit beside Kurt against the headboard, grabbing one of his hands and giving it a light squeeze, and Kurt looks over at his boyfriend, cheeks flushed pink and wide, kind eyes, and they really have come so far, haven't they?

Kurt takes a deep, steadying breath. "I'm okay," he says, tries to sound certain.

Sebastian looks at him skeptically. "Are you sure?"

"Yes," Kurt says, a little more certain. "I'm sure."

Sebastian's gaze is still wary. "I don't want to do anything you're not ready for. I'm serious, Kurt," he says carefully.

"I know," Kurt says with a nod. "I want this. I'm ready. I just... it's a lot," he says, voice wavering slightly.

"What's a lot?" Sebastian asks softly, stroking a thumb over the back of Kurt's hand.

"It's just... I've never done this. Gone this far. And I don't... it just feels like a bit step, that's all. It's stupid, I know that, I don't know why I'm making this a big deal, I just–"

"Hey," Sebastian interrupts, firm but not unkind. "It's not stupid. Your feelings aren't stupid." He blushes a little deeper, than says, "I'm nervous, too, you know."

Kurt lets out a small, disbelieving laugh. "Yeah, right."

"I'm serious," he says, still blushing. "I've done this before, but not... it's never really meant anything, you know?"

Kurt looks back at Sebastian, studies him for a long moment, sparkling green eyes and rosy cheeks and nervous smile and, god, Sebastian is nervous. He knows Sebastian wanted to take things slow, didn't want to rush into things with Kurt in the beginning, but he'd never really thought Sebastian would be nervous, and it's... comforting, actually, knowing that he's not the only one. It takes some of the pressure off.

"Okay," he says, voice still a little shaky still, but he's sure. He knows he's sure, knows this is what he wants, now, with Sebastian.

"Okay?" Sebastian asks hesitantly.

"Kiss me," Kurt says, more a demand than a request, but Sebastian doesn't seem to take issue with that, leaning over to press their lips together again.

He loses himself in it, their kiss, Sebastian's scent, the feel of lips and teeth and tongues and the heat of Sebastian's mouth, lets himself feel overwhelmed with it, surrounded and safe and consumed with a want, a need to be closer to him, to touch and be touched and to taste and to feel. He feels Sebastian's hands on him again, tracing along the bare skin just above his hips. Gentle, hesitant, like a question. He brings his own hand to Sebastian's, guides him to the front of his pants in answer, lets out a soft, shuddering moan as Sebastian cups him, squeezes gently, emboldened by Kurt's initiative.

Sebastian pulls back slightly, breaks the kiss and rests his forehead against Kurt's, both boys breathing heavily. "You're sure?" he asks, voice low and desperate.

"I'm sure," Kurt breathes back.

Sebastian leans down, kisses at Kurt's jaw as he works at Kurt's pants with his hands, popping open the button and pulling the zipper down. Kurt gasps as his boyfriend sucks at the spot on his neck that never fails to make him squirm, and they're doing this, they're really doing this.

This is happening.

Sebastian huffs out a laugh, and Kurt freezes.

"What?" he asks, voice high and defensive despite his best efforts.

"Nothing, Kurt, it's just... I could use a little help here," Sebastian responds, and amused expression on his face as he tugs gently at the waist of Kurt's pants and watches as they don't move an inch.

"Oh, right," Kurt says, feels his face heat with embarrassment, hopes it isn't noticeable through the flush of arousal already colouring his cheeks. He shifts on the bed, lifts himself so he can slide his pants down past his hips, peeling them off his legs and tossing them to the floor.

It's awkward. When he'd imagined his first time doing this, it was never awkward. It was always easy and smooth and romantic and the most natural thing in the world, not the awkward fumbling that this is turning into. It still feels natural, though. Better than he'd imagined, weirdly, because while it may not be the picture-perfect image he'd had in his head, this is real. This is them. And nothing could be better than that.

He squirms a little under Sebastian's gaze, his boyfriend just starting at him, mouth open slightly, eyes raking across his body, and it's intimidating to be stared at this openly. He's never been this naked with someone before; realistically it's not much different from wearing his swim shorts to the pool in the summer, and yet it couldn't be more different.

Finally, finally, Sebastian moves, brings his lips to Kurt's, kisses him deep and slow, sensual, languid as he moves a hand to the front of Kurt's boxers – the thin fabric all that remains between them – and runs his fingers gently over him, drawing a shudder from Kurt at the teasing sensation.

"Mmm, someone's happy to see me," Sebastian murmurs against his lips, and Kurt huffs out a laugh.

"Shut up," he counters, voice breathless and really not the most convincing at the moment.

"You don't mean that," Sebastian says with a smirk, planting a quick kiss on Kurt's lips before kissing down to his neck.

"No, I d-don't," Kurt stutters, trying to hold his composure as Sebastian slides a hand beneath the waistband of his boxers.

"No you don't," Sebastian agrees, smiling against Kurt's neck as he strokes him with his hand.

There's not actually much talking after that, just the breathless moans and stuttered gasps that Sebastian draws from him with his hands, and then his mouth, heat pooling in his stomach as he builds to his release and Sebastian pulls back as Kurt spills onto his stomach, his boyfriend's name on his lips.

He gives himself a minute, lets himself come down from it, waits until he's not dizzy from it and he can focus on Sebastian, the other boy watching him carefully. He offers a smile, huffs a small, awkward laugh, and Sebastian smiles back, looks almost relieved, like he hadn't been expecting Kurt to be happy about this; not that Kurt can conceive of being anything other than entirely relaxed and content at the moment.

"You okay?" Sebastian asks, still a little careful.

Kurt can't help but laugh again. "What do you think?"

Sebastian raises an eyebrow, gives Kurt an amused look, but he can tell his boyfriend is still a little anxious. "Humour me."

"I'm great, Seb. More than great. That was... thank you."

It's Sebastian's turn to laugh now, tension seemingly eased. "You're thanking me for giving you a blowjob?" he asks incredulously.

"Well, I could not thank you," Kurt counters.

"I can think of a better option," Sebastian hints, and it reminds Kurt that he does actually have a favour to repay now.

"Oh," he says, blushing a little, because in all the excitement he had almost forgotten.

"My dick's not gonna suck itself," Sebastian says matter-of-factly, and Kurt smacks him on the arm.

"You are such a boy," he scolds.

"A boy who just had your dick in his mouth," Sebastian counters with a knowing grin.

"Oh my god," Kurt groans.

"I've heard that phrase before," Sebastian muses, "but I think it was a little louder last time."

"You sound like someone who doesn't want to get off today," Kurt shoots back.

"Oh come on," Sebastian whines, "you're not gonna be that guy who gets his rocks off then leaves me high and dry, are you?"

Kurt watches Sebastian carefully for a moment, looks him up and down before, finally, "No, I suppose not. But," he clarifies, "only because I like you so much."

"Of course," Sebastian agrees knowingly.

"Lord knows why," Kurt adds quietly.

"Hey, I heard tha–," Sebastian starts, but cuts himself off with a gasp as Kurt palms him through his pants.

"You were saying?" Kurt asks with a smirk.

"Nothing," Sebastian replies quickly.

"That's what I thought," Kurt smiles.

Chapter Text


Kurt looks up from where he lays on his stomach, sprawled across his bed, nose buried in a magazine. "Yeah?"

He swallows, feels the panic start to well inside him, his stomach churning uneasily and, actually, this would be a mistake, there's no sense in asking because Kurt will just laugh and tell him it's a mistake, tell him there's no point, there's nothing to actually be done and Sebastian doesn't even know that he wants anything done, anyway, so what's the point?

"Never mind," he says quickly, looking back down at his laptop and pretending to focus on whatever is on his screen.

He hears Kurt shifting on the bed, the pages of the magazine falling shut. "Seb, what is it?"

"Nothing," he says, still not looking up, hoping that maybe if he seems enthralled enough with whatever he's supposedly reading his boyfriend will drop it.

"Seb, come on. What's going on?"

Sebastian finally looks up again, sees Kurt sitting cross-legged on the bed, magazine discarded, looking intently at Sebastian.

"Seriously, Kurt, it's nothing. Just forget it," he tries again, looking back down at his screen.

After a few beats, Kurt finally agrees with a soft, "Okay," and Sebastian hears him pick up his magazine again.

They sit there in silence for a while longer, Sebastian listening to the occasional flip of a page as he tries and fails to focus on the article he'd been reading. He just can't stop thinking. And he feels stupid for it, so stupid, because why does it even matter? If he told his parents about what happened it would just upset them. He's not even sure if there's anything that could be done at this point, and even if there was, he's not sure he wants anything done, so why does he want to tell them so badly? It's stupid, he feels stupid, but since he told Kurt he can't stop thinking about it and it's killing him.

But Kurt... Kurt wouldn't think it's stupid. That's just him, him thinking of the worst-case scenario, that's not what Kurt would say and he knows it. He feels bad for having even thought it, really, because when has Kurt ever laughed at him about this? Kurt has been nothing but considerate and compassionate and even if he doesn't think Sebastian should tell his parents then he still wouldn't make him feel like shit about it.

"Do you think I should tell my parents?" he blurts out, before he can talk himself out of it again.

He hears the pages of the magazine rustle, but he doesn't look up to meet Kurt's gaze.

"Tell them what?" Kurt asks.

"About... um. You know."

He hears the magazine flop down onto the bed. "Seb, I don't know what you're talking about."

"About what happened when I was a kid," he says quietly.

"Oh," Kurt breathes, but doesn't say anything else.

"Never mind, it's stupid," he says, still not looking up. "I'm being stupid, just forget it."

"Hey, no, you're not being stupid," Kurt reassures quickly. "I just... you surprised me, that's all."

Sebastian's eyes flick up to look at Kurt – he can't help it – and he sees his boyfriend staring back at him, head tipped slightly to the side. He looks back at the screen, doesn't want to hold Kurt's gaze.

"I think... if you want to, yeah. It's your call."

"I just– I can't stop thinking about it."

"Alright. If you think it would help, then you should tell them."

"You don't think it's stupid?" Sebastian asks, and he feels even more relieved than he'd expected.

"Seb, no, of course I don't," Kurt reassures, voice soft and warm and so sure. "Why would I think it's stupid?"

"It's just... what's the point? It's not like anybody can do anything now."

Kurt purses his lips before he speaks. "I'm not sure," he says, "but we could look into it. I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is, but if that's something you want to do, we can figure it out."

"And what if I don't?" he asks quietly, before he can lose his nerve.

Kurt's face softens. "Then you don't have to," he says simply. "Nobody would judge you for that."

"Then what's the point?" he asks, frustrated, voice louder than he intended. "Why does it matter if I don't want to do anything? It's stupid!"

"Hey, stop that," Kurt says, voice soothing, "it's not stupid. If this is something you need to do, then it's something you need to do."

Sebastian just groans, runs a hand through his hair and stares up at the ceiling, because why is this so hard?

"Look, you don't have to do it if you don't want to," Kurt starts again. "But if you think it would help, I think you should do it. Even if all that comes from it is that they know. Sometimes even that means a lot, you know?"

Sebastian looks back over at Kurt, sees his lips quirked into a small smile, and he huffs a laugh somewhere between frustration with himself and thankfulness for Kurt's patience. "Yeah, I know," he agrees.

They've talked about it a few times since then, and... he wants this. He wants to tell them. He wasn't sure if he could, wasn't sure how to say it because how do you say that?

Kurt had agreed to be there with him; he figures the moral support will help him not chicken out. He's not sure how his mom will react when he tells her – another thing he decided, to tell his mom alone, let her tell his dad.

"So, Sebby, what's going on?" his mother asks as she sits down in their living room.

Sebastian takes a seat on the couch across from her chair, and Kurt sits by his side, not quite touching him but close enough that Sebastian knows he's there and, god, how did he get so lucky to have Kurt for a boyfriend?

"There, um, there's something I need to tell you, mom," he says, trying to steady his voice but not quite succeeding.

"Seb," she says, frowning, "is everything okay? You're worrying me. What is it?"

"It's, um... I don't know how to...," he starts, trails off, because as many times as he's tried to think this through in his head, he still isn't sure how he's supposed to say this.

"I'm sure whatever it is can't be that bad, Seb," his mom says, voice soft. "It's not like you went and got some girl pregnant," she adds, smiling a little, clearly trying to ease his obvious discomfort.

"No, of course not," he says, returning a tight smile, "it's nothing like that. It's... something happened."

"What happened? Are you okay? Did someone do something to you? When did it–" his mother starts, speaking quickly, but he cuts her off.

"No mom, it's not– I'm fine. I mean, I'm...," he trails off, looks to Kurt who gives him a reassuring nod, and then he presses on. "It's not... recent," he finally decides on.

His mother frowns again in confusion. "I'm confused, honey. What are you talking about?"

"When I was I kid," he says quietly, staring down at his hands in his lap, "I um... I was...," he trails off, again, looking for the right words.

"Oh, honey," his mother says, sympathetic, "when you were a kid? I'm sure whatever it was can't be that bad. That was so long ago, you don't really think I'll be upset about something you did as a kid, do you?"

"No, I didn't– it's not like that. I didn't do anything, it wasn't– that's not–" he cuts himself off with a groan. "Fuck."

"Language, Sebastian," she scolds, though there's no heat behind it.

"Sorry," he sighs.

"It's okay," Kurt says soothingly, "take your time."

"Yeah," Sebastian sighs, runs a hand through his hair trying to calm himself. "Yeah, okay."

"Whatever it is, sweetheart, it's okay. You can tell me," his mother reassures.

"No it's not," he mumbles quietly to himself, though apparently not quietly enough.

"What?" she asks.

"It's not okay," he says, a little louder, because... it's not. He's okay – relatively speaking, of course – but what happened... what happened is not okay.

"Honey, please, just tell me what's wrong."

"It's... Ezra," he manages, and the name feels wrong passing his lips.

His mother frowns again. "Ezra?"

"He, um... he touched... me..." he says, more whispers, voice strained as he tries to force the words from his mouth.

"He..." his mother starts, trails off in thought, like she's trying to process what he might mean.

"And I didn't say anything because I... I was scared, and he said it was our secret, and I just– I needed to tell you," he says, voice breaking as he feels the tears welling in his eyes. "Mom, I'm so sorry."

"No. Oh, honey, no, don't be sorry," his mother reassures quickly, moving to the couch and wrapping him in her arms.

He stiffens instantly at her touch, feels trapped, he doesn't want to be touched he needs space it's too much.

"Stop," he breathes, barely able to get the word out, but he feels her loosen her hold on him at the word and he finds the breath to continue, "let go, I just– I need space–"

Her arms fall away from him, but she stays seated beside him, watching him with wide, worried eyes.

"Sebastian," she says, his name sounds broken from her lips, "I'm so sorry. I didn't– we didn't know. I am so, so sorry, honey, I..." she trails off again, voice watery as tears streak down her cheeks, and this is not what he wanted.

"It's not your fault," he says quietly.

"It's not yours, either," she says, brushing a stray piece of hair from his face and resting her hand on his cheek. "You know that, right?"

He nods his head, but can't bring himself to look back at her as he does; can't bring himself to say, I know.

"Do you want to go to the police?" she asks cautiously. "We can go down to the station and file a report, and–"

"No," Sebastian interrupts quickly. "No, I don't want– it's probably too late for that, and I don't... I just don't want to be around him anymore."

"Okay," his mother says, nodding, looking a bit unsure, a little lost. "Okay, that's fine. And of course you don't have to see him anymore. I'm so sorry, I wish you had told me sooner, honey, if I'd known then you never would have–"

"Stop, please, can you just stop it," he cuts her off, "stop apologizing, this isn't about you, just stop."

She blinks, looks at him with wide eyes. "Of course it's not, I just wish I knew so I could have done something, if you had told me then–"

"I can't do this," he mutters to himself, then a little louder, "I can't do this."

It's too much. Her reaction is better than he'd expected, if he's being honest with himself, but it's still just too much; too much about what she wishes he'd done, too much about how if he'd only done things differently, if he'd only been stronger or braver or more then this wouldn't have happened, too much of this being his fault and he just can't.

"Sebastian, where are you going?" she asks worriedly as he stands and walks quickly across the room.

"I just– I need some space," he grits out, hopes it's enough to get her to leave him alone because he doesn't want to say something he'll regret but he's not sure he can stop himself if she pushes any further.

He hears her start to speak, but then Kurt speaks, cutting her off gently. He doesn't stick around to hear what he says, just needs to get away, makes his way to his room and slams the door behind him, paces the floor anxiously and tries to not feel like this is all his fault, tries not to feel like this was all a mistake, like he could have just kept his mouth shut and forgot about it, why can't he just forget about it?

Eventually, there's a soft knock on his door, followed by Kurt's equally soft, "Seb?"

"What?" he snaps, harsher than he intends.

He's still pacing, but he hears the door push open and Kurt pads into the room, pulling it closed again behind him. "Are you okay?"

"I just– this was so stupid. Why did I tell her? I should have just kept my mouth shut, this is stupid."

"It's not stupid. She's just upset, Seb, you know she didn't mean anything by it."

"But she's right," he says, exasperated, pacing faster. "If I had just told them back then, it wouldn't be a problem now, it's like there's not even a point anymore, why did I think I needed to do this? It's so fucking stupid I should have just kept my mouth shut, I made it this far it's not like it matters."

"Of course it matters. This isn't your fault, nobody thinks this is your fault."

"She does," he spits out.

"No, she doesn't. I talked to her, Seb, she feels like it's her fault."

"What? Why?" he asks, bewildered.

"She thinks she should have noticed," he explains, taking a seat on Sebastian's bed and watching him closely. "Trust me, if she's blaming anyone, it's herself, not you. I promise."

Sebastian eyes Kurt warily, not quite sure he believes him, but god, he wants to believe him.

"But she said it herself," he says quietly. "If I had said something sooner, then–"

"It still would have happened," Kurt cuts him off softly. "Not all of it, but... you couldn't have known. You were a kid, Seb, this isn't your fault."

"So there's nothing I can do, then? Ever? Things will just happen and I don't get a say in it? What's the fucking point? I'm not some pathetic victim, Kurt." His voice is angrier than he'd meant it to be, angrier than he'd expected but he's just all of a sudden angry. "Everyone keeps telling me it's not my fault, how am I supposed to accept that? If I was older, would it be my fault then?"

"No, of course not!"

"So then I'm just helpless?" he asks plainly.

"No, of course you're not –"

"So then which is it?" he snaps. "Either nothing is ever my fault and I'm helpless because anybody can just do whatever they want, or it is my fault and I'm just too fucking scared to do anything about it. Either way it's pathetic. I'm pathetic."

"You're not pathetic," Kurt says, "you are one of the strongest people I know. And this is not your fault but that doesn't mean you're helpless, Seb, it's just... you can't blame yourself for this."

"I'm just so sick of feeling this way," he says, frustrated, looking desperately at Kurt. "I want it to stop," he adds, voice breaking.

"I know," Kurt nods, "I know. I'm sorry. But... I think this is a start, right?"

"It doesn't feel like it," Sebastian mumbles, moving to take a seat on the bed beside Kurt.

"Well, they always say it has to get worse before it gets better, right?" Kurt asks, a rueful smile on his face.

Sebastian rolls his eyes. "Whatever," he mutters.

"I love you," Kurt says softly, and Sebastian turns to look at him, Kurt looking back, watching him with kind eyes. "And I'm so proud of you."

"I love you, too," Sebastian says, leaning in and giving Kurt a soft kiss. "Thank you."

Chapter Text

"This time next month we'll be in New York," Sebastian says, grabbing a piece of bread from the plate in the center and taking a bite.

"I know, I can't believe it," Kurt says. "I can't believe high school is over."

"Well, believe it," Sebastian says with a smile, still chewing on his bread. "Good riddance."

"Yeah," Kurt agrees, and he tries to sound convincing though he's not sure how successful he manages to be.

It's not that he isn't glad high school is over, glad that there are some people he will never have to see again if he doesn't want to; because he is genuinely glad. And he's excited to go to New York, too. This is his dream. But... there's still something hard about leaving all of this behind. As hard as high school was, as awful as some of the people here have been to him... some of them have helped him. Some of them are his friends, his family. He gained a brother, Finn, who means the world to him, and will be staying in Ohio. His best friend, Mercedes, will be moving to LA; who knows when he'll get to see her next. And his dad, oh, god, his dad will be here in Lima, and he won't be alone because he has Carole and Finn now, but for so long it was just them and he's not sure how to deal with not being here with his father – and, perhaps more importantly, not having his father there with him.

And this is where he met Sebastian, too. Met him, hated him, slowly started to hate him just a little bit less. Realized that, maybe, he wasn't as bad of a guy as he made himself out to be. Maybe hate was too strong of a word.

This is where he fell in love with Sebastian.

And they'll still be the same Kurt and Sebastian in New York as they are here, but there's something that feels unshakably different about Kurt-and-Sebastian in New York compared to Kurt-and-Sebastian in Lima, and... he's scared.

"Hey," Sebastian says, pulling him from his thoughts. "We're not going that far. It's just a plane ride away."

"Yeah, I know," Kurt nods. "It's just... I'll miss it. Is that weird?"

"No," Sebastian says, shaking his head. "It's not weird at all. I'll miss it, too. But New York is going to be great. If we want to go out to eat we can go somewhere other than Breadsticks, for starters. And we'll have our own apartment, with all the alone time we want," he adds with a wink.

"You're right, it's going to be great," he says, trying to focus on all of the amazing things about being in New York City.

But now there's a new thought on his mind; he'd been so caught up thinking about what he would be missing here, he hadn't really stopped to think about what he would have there, and... an apartment. With Sebastian. He'll be sharing an apartment with Sebastian. And they'll have all of the alone time they want. Which... is great. In theory. He should be thrilled about this, but... all he can think about is... what alone time means. What's expected of alone time. And he knows Sebastian well enough to know that Sebastian doesn't expect that of him, but... shouldn't he? If they're making this move to New York City, this fresh new start, isn't it a bit childish to be so uptight about sex, still?

He's moving to New York to live with his boyfriend. His boyfriend who he loves, trusts, who he knows would never hurt him. And he's an adult now, right? He's certainly not a kid anymore. What kind of person goes off to collegestill a virgin? He's done stuff, sure, but not that, and he has a boyfriend – has had two boyfriends – so he really doesn't have an excuse other than he hasn't been ready, and maybe that's not a very good excuse anymore.

It's different, this time; usually when his mind wanders down this road, it's because he worries what Sebastian thinks and wants, but that's not what this is. This is about him. And... is that how he knows he's ready? He'd been expecting it to just feel right, eventually, but maybe that will never happen. Maybe he just needs to get it over with.

"Kurt? You good?" Sebastian asks, waving a hand in front of his face and pulling him from his thoughts.

"What? Yes, sorry, I was just... sorry. What?" he stammers.

"I was just saying how good the pasta is," Sebastian says, eyeing him warily.

"Oh, yeah. It is," Kurt agrees, taking another bite from his plate.

"You sure everything's okay?"

"Yeah, yeah it's fine. I just... we should... we should do it before we go, right?" he asks, twirling a piece of spaghetti on his fork.

"Do what?" Sebastian asks.

"Like... sex," he says, lowering his voice and blushing a little. They're off in a corner booth, and there's nobody really around them, but they are still in public.

Sebastian just watches him for a moment, eyes narrowed slightly, thinking. "I don't think there's any should about that, Kurt," he says finally.

"We're going to be living together in New York, Sebastian," Kurt offers by way of explanation.

"Do you want to?"

"I don't want to go to college to live with my boyfriend as a virgin," he hisses.

"That's not what I asked," Sebastian shoots back.

"It's the same thing, isn't it?"

"No, it's not," Sebastian says. "You know I'm not expecting anything from you, right? Because I will tell you a million more times if I have to, but it's fine, Kurt, seriously it's –"

"No, that's not it," Kurt cuts him off, shaking his head. "It's not about that. I just... I feel so stupid. What are people going to think if we're living together and still haven't... you know?"

"Who cares? It's none of their business," Sebastian says with a shrug.

"No, I know, but they'd have a point. I'm not a kid anymore, it shouldn't be this big of a deal, we should just get it over with, right?"

"Wow, you make sleeping together sound so appealing," Sebastian deadpans.

"Shit, I didn't mean–" Kurt starts, but Sebastian stops him with a laugh.

"I'm kidding, Kurt. I know what you meant. Look, you're... kind of right. It's not the big deal everybody makes it out to be, but... it's not not a big deal. If you're not ready before college it's fine. Who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks?"

"I guess. It just feels... I don't know. Like I should be ready," Kurt says, still twirling the same piece of spaghetti.

"What about Mercedes?" Sebastian asks abruptly.

"What?" Kurt asks, bewildered, caught off-guard by the question.

"Mercedes. She hasn't had sex, right? Should we go find her some guy to fuck before she goes off to California?"

"What? No, of course not! Don't be ridiculous," he says immediately, horrified, because what the fuck?

"You don't think she should have a good dick once or twice before she goes off to college?" Sebastian presses.

"No! Jesus, Sebastian, of course I don't think that."

"So you don't think less of her because she hasn't had sex," he continues.

"Of course I don't," Kurt says, a bit annoyed, because that's not the point.

"Okay, great, we're on the same page. So why does it matter if you do?"

"It's – that's different."

"How, Kurt? Tell me how it's different."

"She's my best friend. Of course I don't think less of her for that."

"So you think everyone in LA will, then?"

"What? No, I didn't say that."

"So they won't?"

"No, they won't."

"Then why would New York think less of you?"

"I– I don't know, I just... never mind," he mutters, finally taking the pasta he'd been twirling on his fork into his mouth.

"Kurt, look," Sebastian says, putting his utensils down and leaning back in his seat, eyes fixed on Kurt. "Most people aren't going to give a shit. Some people might, sure, but honestly if someone is going to think less of you for something like that, then they aren't worth your time. And all that aside, it's none of their business, anyway. So fuck 'em. Or, y'know, don't," he finishes with a small smirk.

Kurt sighs, looks back at his boyfriend as he processes the words. "I guess you're right," he says, though not entirely convinced.

"I know I am," Sebastian asserts, corner of his mouth tugging up into a bigger smirk.

"Shut up," Kurt says with a laugh, "you don't have to be so smug about it."

"But how else would I make you laugh?" Sebastian asks, face breaking out into a grin now.

"You're an idiot," Kurt says fondly, rolling his eyes.

"Your idiot," Sebastian says happily. "And I'm serious, Kurt. If you're not ready, you're not ready. And that's fine. It's not like we won't be able to find any other ways to defile our New York City apartment," he adds with a wink.

"Oh my god, shut up," Kurt scolds, laughing, blushing.

"Tell me I'm wrong," Sebastian counters, grinning widely.

"Eat your food," Kurt says, rolling his eyes again.

"You really don't have to do this, you know that right?" Sebastian's voice asks through the phone.

"I know, I just... feel bad."

"You feel bad? Kurt, if anyone should feel bad it's him."

"No, I know, I just... I didn't know how to say no. It will be fine. It's just coffee."

"Are you sure?" Sebastian asks, voice a little softer now.

"Yes, I'm sure," Kurt reassures him.

"Well, if you need an emergency escape route, just say the word."

Kurt rolls his eyes. "I'm not going to need an escape route, Seb, it's just a coffee. I'll be fine."

"I know, I know. But still. Just in case," Sebastian responds.

"Okay he's here," Kurt says quickly as he watches Blaine walk through the door, "I have to go."

"Good luck," Sebastian tells him.

"Thanks," he says, then hangs up the phone.

Blaine spots him then, gives a small smile and a wave before he walks up to the counter to order his coffee.

When Blaine had asked him to grab a coffee, he had wanted to say no. He really, really had. He wants to move away to New York and never have to see Blaine Anderson again. But, at the same time... it's Blaine. And as much as he's over Blaine, as much as he knows Blaine isn't good for him... he's still Blaine. Still his first boyfriend, still the boy who was his best friend and, at times, who felt like his only friend. The boy who was there for him when he really needed someone, who helped him feel like he was worth something. And that relationship came with a lot of baggage in the end – baggage that he's still trying to work himself through – but it still meant something. It still meant a lot. And there were still good things, still parts of Blaine and their old relationship that he misses.

It's hard to turn your back on something so significant. It's hard to turn your back on something when it's such a big part of you.

It's hard to turn your back on someone who once meant so much... who still, somehow, means so much.

So, he'd said yes. It's not that he intends to be best friends again. It's not even that he intends to ever see Blaine again after this. But... he's going to New York. If all goes as planned, he won't ever see Blaine again, and... that's hard. It shouldn't be, he thinks, but it is nonetheless. And maybe if he sees him this one more time, it will make it easier. Give him a bit of closure. He can have this one last time, and then walk out of the Lima Bean knowing that it's the last.

"Sorry, you weren't waiting long, were you?" Blaine asks, taking the seat across from Kurt and pulling him from his thoughts.

Kurt blinks once, twice, shakes his head a little. "No, no not long."

"Good," Blaine says, a warm smile spreading across his soft features.

Blaine always did have a beautiful smile.

"So, how are you?" Blaine prompts, taking a sip of coffee and looking at Kurt expectantly.

"Um, I'm good," Kurt says, stammering a little, awkward in a way things never used to be with Blaine. "I've been helping my dad out at the garage, trying to figure out what to take to New York."

"New York," Blaine says, almost a little wistful. "Do you have a place yet?"

"Yeah," Kurt nods, smiles a little as he remembers looking at photos of apartments with Sebastian, trying to choose one they both liked. "Seb and I picked out a place together."

Blaine hums his acknowledgement. "That's good."

They sit there in silence for a while, hands wrapped around their respective coffee cups.

"What about you?" Kurt asks, when the silence stretches just this side of too long.

"Good, I'm good," Blaine says quickly, nodding. "Just trying to enjoy the summer." He takes a sip of coffee, then adds, "Dad wants me to transfer back to Dalton for my senior year."

Kurt can't help but ask, "Are you?" It's not a surprise; Blaine's dad hadn't wanted him to transfer to McKinley in the first place.

"No," Blaine shakes his head. "I thought about it, but... McKinley is where my friends are. Sam, Tina... I don't want to start all over back at Dalton."

"Right," Kurt agrees, though he wants to point out that he wouldn't be starting over, he still has friends at Dalton, but... he's not sure how much that's true, and how much that's just Kurt hating the idea of his friends being Blaine's friends, too. Or, maybe it's not his friends are Blaine's friends, but... Blaine's friends are his. Which is even worse.

"This isn't how it was supposed to go, you know," Blaine murmurs.

"What wasn't?" Kurt asks, confused.

"This," Blaine says, gesturing between them. "You moving to New York with Sebastian Smythe, me just... here."

He chooses to ignore the way Blaine says his boyfriend's name for the moment; for the sake of not starting an argument, at least. "You were always going to be here. It's not like you were going to skip a grade at McKinley, Blaine."

"No, I know that," Blaine says. "But it's just... I was going to come visit you in New York. And you were going to show me around the city, all the cool new places you find."

"Yeah, well... things change," Kurt says with an awkward shrug. He's not really sure what else he can say.

"Yeah," Blaine says solemnly, nods. Then, "I could still come visit, you know."

"Blaine," Kurt starts, "we're not getting back –"

"No, I know," Blaine assures him quickly, "we're not getting back together, I know. I just... I miss you, Kurt. We used to be best friends."

"Yeah, we did," Kurt says, and he can't help the tinge of venom in his voice.

"I miss that," Blaine says, reaching across the table and taking Kurt's hand, either oblivious to or ignoring Kurt's tone, he's not sure.

Kurt stiffens, but doesn't pull away, just kind of freezes under Blaine's unexpected touch.

"Look, I know this is... a mess. And I'm sorry. But I'm sick of not having my best friend. I'm ready for this to be over. I know we're not getting back together, but... don't you think this has gone on long enough?"

"Don't I think what has gone on long enough?" Kurt asks carefully, slowly, finally pulling his hand away from Blaine, who pulls his arm back across the table.

"This whole hating me thing," Blaine says, a sad, tired smile on his face. "Don't you think you've punished me enough?"

"This was never about punishing–"

"Whatever it was about, it doesn't matter," Blaine says, brushing it off. "I just want to put it behind us so I can have my friend back."

Kurt purses his lips, stares back at Blaine, silent, genuinely speechless; he has no idea what to say to any of this, because... no. No, they can't just put this behind them. And that's not for lack of wanting, lord knows Kurt would love nothing more than to put this all behind him and have Blaine as his best friend again, but... things are different now. This Blaine can never be his Blaine again, not his boyfriend and not his best friend.

"Let me visit you in New York," Blaine says, oblivious to the thoughts swirling around in Kurt's head.

Kurt takes a slow, even breath. "We'll see," he says. He has no intention of it happening, but it's easier if he doesn't have to have that conversation with Blaine right now.

"Okay," Blaine says, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "I'll take that."

"Shit, I have to go," Blaine says, taking a quick glance at his watch. "This was nice," he says, looking back at Kurt. "We should do this again sometime. Before you go."

"Yeah," Kurt nods, offers a thin smile, has no intention of meeting up with Blaine again.

"Great, okay," Blaine says, downing the rest of his coffee and standing. "Bye, Kurt," he adds with a small wave, then turns and heads off toward the door.

Kurt watches him leave, watches as he steps through the door, the small bell ringing as he pushes it open, then holds the door open and smiles for a woman who enters and thanks him, before he disappears out of sight.

And, if he has it his way, that will be the last time he'll ever have to see Blaine again.

Chapter Text

"Hi, Seb," his mom says, pushing the door open wide enough to step into his room.

He finishes folding the shirt in his hands and drops it down into the box. "Hi, mom," he says as he grabs for another shirt from his closet.

"How's the packing going?" she asks, making her way further into the room and taking a seat on the edge of his bed.

"Getting there," he says, folding the new shirt he'd just grabbed before dropping it on top of the growing pile in the box beside him.

"Can you take a break for a second?" she asks, watching him.

He grabs another shirt. "I'm kind of on a roll, I'd rather just keep going," he replies.

"Just for a minute," she says, "I want to talk to you."

He drops yet another shirt into the box, but doesn't grab another; instead, he walks to the bed, takes a seat beside her, looks at her expectantly.

"I just wanted to make sure... you're okay, right?" she asks cautiously.

He gives her a funny look. "Yeah, I'm fine. What do you mean?"

"I mean with... everything that happened. With Ezra," she says.

It's been a couple weeks since he told her. They haven't really talked about it since then; he knows she told his dad, knows they talked to some family, knows they're having nothing to do with the man ever again, but... they haven't talked. Not there's really anything to talk about. He doesn't have anything to say. He wanted his parents to know, wanted to not have to see Ezra at every family event for the rest of his life, but... they don't need to know the details. Not for now, anyway. Maybe someday he'll feel like he needs to tell them more, but for now just having them know is enough, is a weight lifted off his shoulders that he never thought he'd be relieved of.

His mother, however, seems to think they need to talk. She brings it up every so often, like this, like she hopes he's suddenly going to decide to bear his soul to her, doesn't seem to understand that that's not what he needs right now. And he knows she's only doing what she thinks is best, but it's hard, having him brought up like this. He has to fight his own thoughts enough, he doesn't need his mother bringing it up all the time, now, too.

"Yeah, it's fine," he says, a little awkwardly, looking away. "Nobody's talking to him anymore, I never have to see him again, it's fine."

"I know," his mother says slowly, nodding. "But you know it's okay if you're not okay, right?"

"I'm fine," he snaps, a little more forcefully than he'd intended, but he can't help himself. Since he told her she's treated him like he's so fragile, like she expects him to break, like he hasn't been holding himself together and trying to be "okay" for the past decade. Like she hasn't spent all those years not realizing anything was wrong.

"Okay," she says. "Okay, that's good. I just wanted you to know that it's okay if you're not. Or if you're okay now but you aren't later. You can always come talk to me and your dad, okay, honey? If there's anything you need. We just want to help you."

"Well, I'm fine," he says, a little softer than before.

It's not her fault. She's trying. She's doing her best, and it's not perfect, but she's trying. And he does recognize how lucky he is for that.

She's quiet for a moment, before finally she takes a breath and says, "Okay. Well, I guess I'll let you get back to packing, then." She stands from the bed. "I love you, Sebby. Don't forget it," she adds with a soft smile before making her way back to the door.

"Mom?" he calls out, just as her hand reaches the handle.

"Yes?" she asks, turning back to look at him questioningly.

"Thanks," he says, giving her a soft smile. As much as he wishes she would leave it alone, it is... kind of nice, in a way. Knowing that she cares. Knowing that she just wants him to be okay and, more importantly, knowing that she thinks it's okay if he's not. Knowing that she doesn't have expectations of him, just wants him to be him, wants him to feel the way he feels, even if that's not good. Even if that's not okay.

"Of course," she says. "Now you better get back to it; those boxes aren't going to pack themselves," she teases, then steps past the threshold and pulls the door closed behind her.

"You ready?" Burt asks, killing the engine and turning to look at Kurt.

"Yeah," Kurt says, trying to sound a little stronger than he's feeling, offering his dad a smile. He's been trying not to think about the fact that this is it. Soon he'll be on a plane, on his way to New York. And it's exciting but it's also hard, because there are so many great things to come but there are also great things that he'll be leaving behind. Like his dad.

"Alright, let's get you inside then. Don't want to miss your flight," Burt says, and then he's climbing out of the car, walking back to the trunk to haul out Kurt's luggage.

"Think you could have packed a little lighter?" Burt huffs as he pulls the first suitcase from the car.

"Dad, you shouldn't be lifting that!" Kurt scolds, rushing to help Burt with the heavy bag.

"I'm fine, bud," Burt grumbles. "That's one thing I'm not going to miss, is you fussin' over me all the time," he teases.

"Just because I won't be here doesn't mean you don't have to be careful," Kurt says with a roll of his eyes. "And Carole told me she'd keep an eye on you, anyway."

He knows he's been a little... much, these past few weeks. But he can't help it. He's moving into this new and exciting part of his life but he also doesn't know what to expect, can't help but feel a little lost in it all. And maybe, lately, this has been less about his father's health and more about feeling like he can control something, but now isn't the time to be thinking about that.

"Yeah, well Carole will at least let me have a burger every now and then."

"Well she shouldn't," Kurt shoots back, and that at least is definitely about his health.

"I've gotta be able to live my life, kid," Burt says as he reaches for the second suitcase.

"Dad, I've got it," Kurt says, reaching in ahead of Burt to grab the next bag, and together they lift it out and set it on the ground. "You can live your life without takeout every day."

"It's once a week at most, Kurt," Burt grumbles.

"Only because I'm around to stop you."

Burt claps a hand down on Kurt's shoulder. "What're you gonna do in New York with all that time you'll be saving not nagging me all the time?" he asks with a laugh.

Kurt rolls his eyes as he grabs the handle of the heavier suitcase and begins rolling it forward, hoping his dad doesn't realize quite how accurate his words may be. "You know I can still call you, right?"

"Yeah, but it's a lot easier to avoid a phone call," Burt chuckles.

"Dad!" Kurt scolds, indignant.

"I'm joking, kid," Burt says with a hearty laugh, bringing a hand to ruffle Kurt's hair.

"Dad!" Kurt yelps, though he can't help but smile just a little.

"Oh calm down, you're just getting on a plane. You'll probably still be the fanciest lookin' person there," Burt brushes him off, smiling fondly.

"Think of all the time I'll save not having to fix my hair after you mess it up," Kurt grumbles under his breath.

"I heard that, you know," Burt says, amused.

"Good, you were supposed to," Kurt replies, giving his dad a look.

They make their way to the airport entrance in comfortable silence, through the doors and to the luggage check-in to wait in line.

"New York," Burt says. "You're really going to New York."

Kurt looks at him, sees the emotion he's clearly trying to hold back. He gets it; he is his father's son, after all, despite all the differences. They're more alike than most people think.

"I won't be that far away, dad. And it's not like I won't be back. Thanksgiving, Christmas. Summer." He says it as much for himself as for his father.

"You think you're coming back here for the summer?" Burt asks, cocking an eyebrow. "When you could spend the summer in New York?"

"Well, I don't know. Maybe," Kurt says, though he knows his dad is right. Holidays, sure, but... he'd always wanted to get out of Lima. He really couldn't see himself coming back here for a whole summer when he'll have a boyfriend and an apartment and a life in New York City. Because, as nervous as he may be, as much as he's going to miss his family... he knows this is for the best. He knows he'll be happy there, once he's settled in, once he has the city figured out.

"I'm happy for you, Kurt. I'm proud of you. I'm just gonna miss ya is all," Burt says, a sad smile on his face.

"I'll miss you, too," Kurt says.

"Maybe I'll just have to come visit you," Burt muses. "Go to a Giants' home game or something."

"You're bringing Finn, I hope?" Kurt asks, raising his eyebrows.

"You're tellin' me if I came all the way to New York, you wouldn't go to a football game with me?" Burt teases.

"Only if you let me give you a tour of the museum at FIT," Kurt shoots back with a smirk.

"I have no idea what that is."

"You'd hate it," Kurt assures him.

"Well, I'd still go," Burt decides.

"I'll hold you to that," Kurt assures him.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Burt says with a fond smile, clapping a hand down on Kurt's shoulder again.

It's not much longer before they're at the front of the line, checking in Kurt's luggage, and then making their way through the airport toward security to find Sebastian and his parents. They find them easily, off to the side of the security entrance.

Sebastian has his back turned, facing his parents, and his mother spots them first, giving a small wave. Kurt waves back, and Sebastian turns then, a soft smile spreading across his face as his eyes land on Kurt. Kurt grins back at him, a little giddy, the excitement of moving to New York with his boyfriend finally starting to set in, his doubts soothed now by the sight of his boyfriend.

"Hey," Sebastian says, wrapping Kurt in a hug as he steps up to the group.

"Hey," Kurt murmurs back, giving him a tight squeeze before releasing him and pulling away.

"Look at you both," Sebastian's mom says fondly, eyes watery; it's clear she's been crying. It's an emotional day for everyone, it seems. "All grown up."

"Mom," Sebastian groans.

Well, for everyone except his boyfriend, at least.

"Oh, hush," she scolds him, "I'm allowed to be emotional today, my baby is moving away."

Sebastian rolls his eyes, but doesn't say anything else. Kurt just smiles; he's always liked Sebastian's family.

"All the way to New York," Sebastian's father chimes in.

"Yes, dad, all the way to New York," Sebastian confirms, as though he's heard it a million times already; and, he probably has.

"You two take good care of each other, okay?" his mother asks, looking between Kurt and Sebastian now.

"We will," Kurt says, at the same time Sebastian groans another, "Mom."

"We should probably go," Kurt says, a little hesitantly, making note of the time.

"Good idea, buddy," Burt agrees, "don't want to miss your flight."

Sebastian's parents wrap him up in a hug, leaving Kurt and his father to their own private moment.

"Come here, kid," Burt says, pulling Kurt into a hug of his own.

Kurt wraps his arms around his father, squeezing tight. It will be a few months before he'll have the chance to do this again, he realizes.

"You be safe up there," Burt says into Kurt's ear, voice gruff.

"We will be, dad," Kurt says, voice a little strained with emotion as he tries to keep a level head, pulls back reluctantly from the hug.

"I mean it, Kurt. It's a big city. Don't go doin' anything stupid, okay?" Burt says, keeping a hand on Kurt's arm.

"Yeah, dad. I won't," Kurt says with a nod, blinks back the tears threatening to fall. "You don't have to worry."

"Yeah, well, I will anyway," Burt says, laughs a little sadly, and Kurt lets out a watery laugh of his own.

"Okay," he says, gives up on fighting the tears, and pulls his dad back into another hug. "I love you, dad."

"I love you too, Kurt," Burt says, voice rough with emotion.

They pull away again, and Sebastian is watching them now, having said his own goodbyes, waiting patiently.

"You ready?" Sebastian asks, taking in Kurt's somewhat frazzled appearance but not commenting.

"Yeah," Kurt says, takes a steadying breath and nods. "Yeah, I'm ready."

Sebastian extends a hand to Kurt in offering, gives him a small smile. Kurt smiles back, takes his boyfriend's hand and gives it a soft squeeze. "Let's go."

"Okay, then," Sebastian agrees.

"Text us when you land," Sebastian's mother says as they start to walk away.

"We will," Kurt answers for them.

They make their way to the security entrance together, hand in hand. Kurt turns back, sees his dad and Sebastian's parents watching them go, gives a small wave. Watches until they turn a corner and their families disappear behind a wall.

They stand in the security line, put their carry-ons on the conveyor belt and drop their phones and belts and shoes into the bins to run through the scanners. Collect their things on the other side, belts and shoes back on, phones back in pockets.

Kurt is just standing from tying his shoes as Sebastian walks over to meet him again.

"Ready?" Kurt asks, pulling his bag onto his shoulder.

"Yeah, just one more thing," Sebastian says.

"What? I have everything," Kurt says, turning to look at the empty bin he'd just pulled his belongings from, then turning back to look at Sebastian.

Sebastian's hand traces along Kurt's cheek, and he leans in to place a soft, sweet kiss to Kurt's lips before pulling back. "There. Now we're ready."

Kurt's cheeks redden just a little at the sweet gesture, even as he rolls his eyes. "Come on, let's go find our gate," he says, offering his hand to Sebastian.

"Okay," Sebastian agrees, taking Kurt's hand as they make their way toward their gate.

Toward New York.

Toward a new start to the rest of their lives.