The sun is rising and light is flowing into the Anderson-Hummel New York home, lighting up their bedroom. No one has slept in that bedroom in four nights, not since Kurt came home from work with flowers and excitement, ready to surprise his husband of six years with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant. Of course, that dinner never happened.
It wasn’t the first time Blaine had cheated on Kurt. No, the first time happened long before they got married, back when Kurt still had the self-respect enough to stand up for himself. That was also the first time he and Blaine broke up, though that, too, wouldn’t be the last. As time went on, Kurt grew tired of the dance. Blaine cheats, Kurt cries, Blaine begs, Kurt forgives, rinse and repeat. Over, and over, and over.
Kurt remembers the last time Blaine cheated. He found out through a friend, but before he could confront Blaine about it, he had already fessed up. Blaine was great at that – coming forward before Kurt confronted him. He begged Kurt to forgive him, and he promised that this time would be the last time. Kurt forgave him. That was two years ago. Kurt hates himself for forgiving him, but he did seem so genuine – genuine enough to even convince Kurt to trust him over all the rumours. Blaine was great at that too. Making sure that all rumours of his indiscretions never came with proof. Making sure that the truth was just obscured enough to be explained away. But unfortunately for Blaine, there was no explaining away what Kurt saw when he walked into their bedroom.
It wasn’t as dramatic as Kurt had expected. There was no yelling this time. No, Kurt was far too tired to yell. Instead, he just stared at them as Blaine began begging again. He didn’t even hear what Blaine was saying. His mind was completely quiet. Kurt chuckled, and the room went dead silent. Blaine and the man sharing their bed both just stared at Kurt, confused. Kurt shook his head, defeated, and stared into Blaine’s eyes as he said two simple words.
That’s all he said before leaving their apartment to go spend the night at a hotel nearby. Throughout the whole evening, Kurt’s phone was flooded by calls and text messages from his soon-to-be ex-husband. Kurt didn’t respond to any of it until 11.32 pm. He sent a message, telling Blaine that he wanted him out of the apartment by the end of the week. He made sure to clarify that he meant completely out. When Kurt walked into that apartment he didn’t want to see a single item belonging to the man. Blaine’s response came within seconds, and it made Kurt’s blood boil.
From Blaine to Kurt: Don’t worry, we’re gonna work this out.
Now it’s Tuesday. Kurt walked into their shared home last night, calm and collected, ready to move on. A mood which quickly changed as he looked around and saw everything as he had left it, save for a note next to a brand new vase of flowers on the dining room table.
I’m so sorry, but I know we can get past this. We’re soulmates, after all.
your beloved husband
Kurt quickly ripped the note up, threw the flowers in the trash, and got to work. He spent the entire night packing up Blaine’s belongings. Their entryway was now filled with boxes, all with the word “cheater” written on them with increasing anger as the night went on.
Kurt now stands in the bedroom throwing the last of Blaine’s clothes into a box. Whilst about to close it, he sees a bowtie on the ground by his feet. He picks it up and holds it in his hands. The bowtie is red with green and white stripes on it. It’s the one Kurt had given Blaine for their first Christmas as a couple. Kurt had joined Blaine and his parents for a Christmas dinner. They were sitting in Blaine’s bedroom when they gave each other their gifts. Blaine opened the box with the bow tie and the smile already on his face grew ten times brighter. He took Kurt by the neck and kissed him before gently whispering against Kurt’s lips.
“I love you, Kurt Hummel, and I always will.”
Kurt pulled away slightly to look Blaine in the eyes, grinning. “Promise?”
Blaine kissed him again, gentler this time. “I promise.”
“Bullshit,” Kurt mumbles as he tosses the bow tie into the box and shuts it. He closes his eyes and tilts his head back. Feeling the morning sunshine on his face as a smile begins to form. It’s like a weight has been lifted off of his shoulders – a weight that he has been carrying for so long that he’s forgotten what it felt like without it. A tear flows down Kurt’s face as he finally feels free again.
After putting all the boxes away in one of their spare bedrooms, Kurt takes a shower and changes into some fresh clothes. Feeling more awake than he has in years, he decides to skip sleep and goes straight to making himself some breakfast. He looks up some divorce lawyers whilst eating his breakfast porridge. It’s not the first time he’s done this. In fact, Kurt has a whole folder on his computer where he’s collected information on how divorces work. After all, this is not the first time Kurt has considered the option. He opens his list of good law firms that offer divorce lawyers and begins to open some links to check them out further. Before he can start looking at those links, however, his eyes get stuck at a very specific firm. One which he had found after a particularly bad fight with Blaine thirteen months ago.
Kurt feels himself growing more and more intrigued, asking himself the same question he asked when he first read the name of the firm. Of course, back then the answer was no. But, Kurt has a vague memory of an Instagram post from an NYU Law graduation a few months ago which may alter that answer. Kurt checks the firm’s website. As he gets to the page on marriage law he starts to grow nervous, scared to be disappointed again. There, halfway down their list of divorce lawyers, he finds his answer and he feels his smile grow so large it begins to hurt. In pure joy, Kurt begins laughing to himself, feeling like his life is looking up. He’s found the perfect person to represent him.
Sebastian is jolted awake by the loud crash of a pot lid hitting the tiled floor. The sound is followed by a very quiet “shit” coming from the same area. After a few moments of stretching and a very loud yawn, Sebastian turns towards the kitchen to see his roommate making breakfast.
“Ah, I’m sorry.” David, Sebastian’s best friend since high school, looks back at him apologetically. Thanks to their completely incompatible schedules, this has happened way too many times within the three weeks that they’ve been sharing this one-bedroom apartment.
“It’s okay. I needed to wake up in–” Sebastian picks up his phone to check the time. “–three hours, anyways. So, it’s all good.” He yawns through the words before shooting David a genuine smile, assuring him that it is actually okay. After everything he’s done for Sebastian, the last thing he would want to do is complain.
Too tired to get up but too awake to go back to sleep, Sebastian does what any reasonable person would do. He picks his phone off the coffee table and lays back down on the couch as he begins aimlessly scrolling through every social media he has. After a few minutes of going back and forth between anger and laughter, he sees an Instagram post which comes like a punch in the gut. Feeling tears slowly begin to form in his eyes, he keeps staring at it. He doesn’t scroll. He doesn’t look away. He just keeps staring. A familiar hand comes down on his shoulder followed by the soothing voice of his always supportive best friend.
“Aw, shit. That sucks, dude.” David says gently. “And he’s not even hot or anything.”
Sebastian chuckles quietly, thankful for David’s attempt at lightening the mood. “I know, right? Not even an eight pack or anything. Pathetic.” He jokes back.
Sebastian and Tom had celebrated their two year anniversary just five weeks ago. Looking back, there were signs that things were nearing the end for Sebastian’s first and only real relationship. He’ll say that he didn’t, but if he were honest with himself Sebastian may have willfully ignored some of said signs in favour of enjoying the best thing he’d ever had for just a moment longer. Tom had told him about how he had found someone else, and Sebastian knew that they had started their relationship before his and Tom’s had come to an end. But that doesn’t make seeing them together any easier. Sebastian had sunk two years into a relationship, a relationship that meant the world to him, and within three weeks the man he loves was already with someone else. He wants to hate Tom. He really, really, does, but he can’t. Tom meant everything to him, and if being with someone else is what makes Tom happy, then, no matter how much it may kill him, Sebastian genuinely and wholeheartedly supports him.
At some point, David leaves for work and two hours pass in a blur as Sebastian keeps scrolling. Eventually, he too needs to get up and start getting ready for a new day at his dad’s law firm. After making himself his usual caviar and cucumber sandwich, taking a quicker than usual shower, and getting dressed in his usual black suit and tie ensemble, Sebastian is finally standing by the door ready to head out and help people get divorced, which really was a lot more fun around twenty-one days ago.
There’s a man at the train station wearing what looks almost identical to Tom’s favourite shirt – the one Sebastian gave him for his first birthday that they were together. It’s a loose-fitting colour-blocked t-shirt made up of three different shades of blue in horizontal stripes. Sebastian’s favourite was always the middle one. He always loved how it complemented Tom’s eyes. Feeling himself getting teary-eyed again, he quickly brushes the thought away and takes his phone out to check his emails. Usually, he has a strict no-work-before-getting-to-the-office policy but he’s too desperate for a distraction to care about rules right now. Most of the emails are irrelevant or convey information Sebastian already knows. He sees one from his boss, Johnson, titled “New Case” and immediately rolls his eyes and sighs. As if his workload isn’t already big enough. He opens the email and finds out that he has his first meeting to represent some big shot public figure later today after hours. Great, exactly what Sebastian wants right now – dealing with the press. He shoots back a quick, yet respectful, response, whilst mentally airing his frustrations.
Dear Johnson, (Listen up bitch,) I already have quite a workload. (I’m kinda going through some personal shit here.) And in the interest of providing the best service possible for our clients, (And I really don’t wanna deal with any fucking public drama right now,) I don’t think I can take on any more cases. (So, don’t do me like this, bro.) Is it possible for someone else to do it? (Please, just fucking pawn this shit off on someone else.) Sincerely, Smythe (Sincerely, Smythe)
Of course, Sebastian knows nothing will change. After all, he’s never been able to get a switch of assignments before. And, to his bosses, this request is no different. After getting off the train, getting his usual morning coffee at the cafe a block away from the office, answering Eli, the receptionists, usual questions about why he doesn’t just get it from across the street, and quickly avoiding any social interactions with Arthur, his annoyingly intrusive colleague from down the hall, Sebastian is finally in his office. He sits down and starts up his computer, taking a sip of coffee as he waits.
Sebastian’s office, just like the whole company, has a very academic feel to it, resembling an old library. Despite being situated inside a very cold and modern looking building, Sebastian’s father had always wanted his office to feel warm and inviting. It’s the exact same decorating style that had filled their home as Sebastian was growing up. The civil law floor has a big area in the middle of it where the assistants and lower level lawyers have their cubicles. They aren’t normal cubicles. Being relatively big and made up of three detailed brown half walls, each with a stained glass trim around the top. Every cubicle has the desk in the middle facing the non-existent fourth wall, with one or two chairs facing the desk for clients to sit at. Based on rank, Sebastian really should be in a cubicle right now, but being the son of the boss comes with certain advantages, and Sebastian never has been one for turning down nepotism. The fourteen larger offices, each identical, surround the cubicle area on three sides, creating a U shape. Each one has two glass walls, one made of windows along the exterior wall and one that divides the office from the cubicles. The lower sections of the interior glass walls have sheers that allow for some privacy while still letting the natural light to pass through and brighten up the cubicle area in the center of the room. The two non-glass walls in each office are both lined with traditional brown bookshelves, which are filled with case files, law books, and personal trinkets.
Sebastian looks around the office for a moment, taking it all in, and feels a smile begin to form. As much as he hates the long hours and the annoying cases, he’s never felt more at home than here. The computer finishes loading and the screen lights up. The first thing Sebastian does is check his emails again, reading each one more closely this time. After a few minutes of reading and responding, he notices that he’s gotten a response from Johnson. He opens it and immediately leans his head back and sighs in defeat.
That won’t be possible as the client requested you specifically. I will have one of your other cases reassigned as soon as possible.
Fuck. Without further complaint, Sebastian responds understandingly and gets to work. His frustration and annoyance quickly disappear, however, as he reads the client information on the meeting booking. After doing everything to make sure his eyes are not deceiving him, from checking to make sure it’s not just someone else with the same name to refreshing the page believing it might change the information on the screen, it finally sinks in who his new client is. It’s the world-famous actor, the magnificent designer, and the man whose boyfriend Sebastian once spent an entire semester trying to fuck. Kurt Hummel.
The rest of Sebastian’s workday goes by as usual. Most of it is spent doing paperwork and planning for a big court case he has tomorrow, which he is kind of excited for considering it’s his first time taking a case to court in quite some time. Outside of that, he does have a couple of client meetings. One which is out-of-office with the client's soon-to-be ex-husband and his representative. The meeting goes according to plan and the four of them are able to reach an agreement. Sebastian thanks his lucky stars that the ex had a change of heart that allowed him to close this case and clear up his schedule to deal with Kurt. The other client meeting is to confirm an agreement which Sebastian had reached with the representative of the ex alone. That meeting does not go as well, and, unfortunately, means that Sebastian will have to keep working into the second month of what he, when he accepted it, thought would be a simple case of a man wanting to keep the car that he had bought with his own money.
The office slowly clears out as people go home. Several of Sebastian’s coworkers stop to remark how weird it is to see him at work after them. At first, he respectfully laughs at each joke, but as more time passes, it begins to grow repetitive and his respectful laughter turns to a very forced smile. Whilst hard at work playing a time-waster mobile game, he hears a knock on the glass wall. Believing it to be yet another coworker telling him the same joke, he ignores it and pretends like he didn’t hear it.
“Wow, real professional. Do you always ignore your clients?”
Sebastian is shocked by the sudden voice and looks up to see Kurt standing in the door frame. He quickly turns his expression from shock to his normal smirk and gestures for Kurt to come in. “No, just you.” He jokes, phrasing it as if he thinks it’s a compliment.
Kurt closes the door behind him and scoffs.
“Please, sit down.” Sebastian gestures towards one of the two armchairs in front of his desk as he gets up and walks over to the wall and pulls a curtain over the window. “Most people have gone home, but, just in case, I figure you may want some privacy,” Sebastian responds to Kurt's questioning gaze. He and Kurt both sit down at the same time.
Kurt crosses his legs and clasps his hands in his lap. “Let’s cut to the chase.”
Sebastian is both taken aback and impressed by the abrasiveness and raises a supportive eyebrow. Pulling his chair forward and resting his arms on the desk, he leans in and confidently smiles at Kurt. “Of course.”
“Having you as my lawyer would be incredibly funny, considering our history.”
“Naturally,” Sebastian responds like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
“But this is serious, and I need a really good lawyer if I want to get what I want, scratch that, what I deserve from this divorce.” Kurt looks at Sebastian inquisitively. “So, are you up for the task?”
Sebastian, getting more impressed by the second, assures Kurt, “I’m very good at my job, Kurt. Just tell me exactly what you want from this divorce, and I will get it for you.”
“Everything,” Kurt answers immediately with a dead-serious expression on his face.
“Define everything. Are we talking property, bank accounts, some small obnoxious dogs?”
“I want the penthouse in Manhattan. I want the beach house in L.A. I want the stuffy, oversized monstrosity his parents left him in Ohio. I want the apartments he’s been doing his whoring in. I want the cars, the clothes, the furniture, anything that isn’t bolted down, and I want the things that are as well. I want every penny he has. And I want his professional reputation ruined.” Kurt stares at Sebastian who is now looking like an excited puppy witnessing the most impressive sight he’s ever seen. He cocks his head to the side and shrugs as he asks “Do you think you can manage that, Smythe? Or should I be talking to someone else?”
Sebastian calms his excitement and readjusts himself before confidently responding. “I think I can manage that.”