Kurt's father was awake, waiting up for Kurt when he pulled his Navigator into the driveway. Kurt didn't have a chance to sit and mull over the events of the evening alone in the quiet of his car before he had to face his father, and he needed just that. He needed a few minutes to figure out how to keep the world from slipping away underneath his feet before he had to put on a brave face for his dad.

His dad rushed out onto the porch to meet him the second he pulled into the driveway. Kurt took a deep breath and sighed, trying to look confident and impassive…and not at all like he had been crying for the last hour. He took a little extra time locking up his vehicle, grabbing a hold of those precious seconds he would need to steady himself, and then he headed for the house.

Kurt struggled with looking into his father's worried eyes. He felt that with one look his father would somehow know everything – about the bar, about Blaine's attempt to force himself on him…about Sebastian. Kurt held his breath, waiting for the inquiry to start, but there was none. His father took one look at his son and didn't ask him a single question. He pulled Kurt into a bear hug and embraced him, waiting for whatever his son needed to tell him, but Kurt didn't know how.

Burt held his son, and Kurt let himself be held. After a few tense minutes of silence, father and son made an unspoken decision not to discuss it - whatever it was - for tonight.

Burt led Kurt into the house with a hand on his shoulder.

"Why don't you head up to bed, kiddo," his dad suggested, squeezing his shoulder gently. "We can talk about this all in the morning."

A stay of execution.

Kurt would definitely take it.

"Thanks, dad," Kurt said with a grateful nod and headed up the stairs to his room, craving the comfort that the trappings of his pre-Dalton life would offer him. He wanted to forget about it all for a while, and his bedroom – his sanctuary – seemed like the best place to do that.

Kurt thought that falling asleep in his own bed would be as easy as getting into his pajamas, climbing under the covers, and turning out the lights, but it didn't quite work out that way. He lay awake in the darkness with his phone by his pillow, waiting for any word that Sebastian and Blaine hadn't killed each other in that parking lot or ended up in jail. He needed to know that they were okay.

Especially Sebastian.

Kurt had reached the end of his rope with Blaine. Perhaps he had reached it a long time ago but he didn't know how to deal with it so he hid behind second chance after second chance – so many more second chances than Blaine actually deserved.

And apparently Blaine felt that he deserved a few more.

The texts started at 2 a.m., and every single one of them was from Blaine.

2:00 A.M.

To: Kurt

From: Blaine

Where are you? Are you okay? Please call me when you get this. I need to know you're okay.

2:06 A.M.

To: Kurt

From: Blaine

I don't understand what's going on. What did I do wrong? Please, call me back. We can work this out. I promise.

2:15 A.M.

To: Kurt

From: Blaine

Can you please let me know you aren't dead on the side of the road? Can you text me and let me know that so I can go to sleep?

Nice, Blaine, Kurt thought. So that you can go to sleep, because heavens knows that you being able to sleep is all that matters.

A couple of minutes after Blaine's last text, Kurt heard the house phone ring. Kurt grabbed his comforter tight and yanked it up over his head. He hadn't told his dad that he didn't want to talk to Blaine or see him, so of course his dad would tell Blaine that Kurt was home and attempt to wake him.

Kurt's dad liked Blaine, and that made Kurt feel even worse about this whole fiasco.

Kurt held his breath and squeezed his eyes shut tight when he heard his dad walk up the stairs to his room.

The knock on the door nearly stopped Kurt's heart.

"Kurt?" Burt called through the door. Kurt didn't answer. A pang of guilt hit his heart hard like a mallet hitting a gong, but Kurt couldn't let his dad know he was awake.

He couldn't talk to Blaine.

Kurt heard the door creak open a crack.

"Kurt?" his father called again into the dark room. "Kurt? It's Blaine on the phone. He wants to talk to you."

Kurt continued to feign sleep while his father watched. To Kurt, pretending to be asleep felt as bad as lying to his father's face. Kurt wasn't completely convinced that he fooled his dad, but a moment later he heard his father speak into the phone.

"I'm sorry, Blaine, but he's already asleep…no, I don't think stopping by in the morning would be the best idea. He's pretty shaken up…no, he didn't tell me what happened. Would you like to?...Yes, I'll give Kurt the message that you called. Good-bye, Blaine."

Kurt heard his dad hang up the phone and Kurt gave himself permission to breathe.

Kurt heard his phone buzz again. His first instinct was to shut the damned thing off and stick it in a drawer for the remainder of the night, but he had a strange feeling (or maybe it was a hope) that this time it wasn't Blaine texting.

Kurt looked at the message alert on the screen.

It was from Sebastian.

Kurt nearly fumbled the phone to the floor with the speed which he grabbed it to read the message.

2:23 A.M.

To: Kurt

From: Sebastian

Just texting to see that you're safe.

Kurt held the phone in his hands, reading the brief message over again. He wanted to send Sebastian a text back, but he wasn't in the mood to talk, as shameful and ungrateful as that sounded. Kurt didn't abide by senseless violence, but apart from the evening ending in a fist fight, Sebastian's intention for driving all the way out to Scandals was to make sure that Kurt was safe.

Sebastian saved Kurt from Blaine.

Not that Kurt needed saving. Kurt was confident he could have defended himself well enough.

But it was nice to know that Sebastian cared.

So, Kurt gave Sebastian what he was willing to give for the moment.

2:27 A.M.

To: Sebastian

From: Kurt

I'm fine. Thank you for everything.

Kurt tried to send the message three times but it wouldn't go through. He decided to try one more time. It finally went through, but another text crossed its path and hit Kurt's phone immediately afterward.

2:27 A.M.

To: Kurt

From: Sebastian

I'll be thinking about you tonight. I wish you were here.

Kurt gasped. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to scream. He wanted to hit something over and over and yell, "It's not fucking fair!"

Kurt had made a decision about all of this on the drive home. It wasn't solidified, wasn't definitive…but it kind of was.

And this last text from Sebastian didn't make going through with his decision any easier.


"I'll kill him," Burt said, pacing the floor of the living room after Kurt told his father what had happened the night before. "I'll beat the crap out of him and bury him under the porch."

"No, dad," Kurt said. "No, it's not worth it."

Kurt wanted to rush to his dad's side and sit him down in his recliner, remind him about his weak heart and how he needed to stay calm, but he couldn't. His father needed to vent, heart condition or no. Burt Hummel was allowed to be angry.

"So, is this asshat the reason why you want to leave Dalton?" his father asked, running a hand over his head for the 90th time in the last half hour.

"Not the entire reason," Kurt contended. His father shot him a skeptical look, but Kurt held his ground. "Not even the biggest reason."

Burt sighed, stopping his pacing and staring down at his feet.

Carole, sitting on the sofa opposite where Kurt sat in an armchair chair, looked from her husband to her stepson.

"Well, shouldn't we go to the police?" she asked, wringing her hands in her lap, caught someplace between indecision and action.

Carole knew going to the police was the right thing to do.

She also knew that she wanted to drive out to Westerville and strangle someone unconscious with her own two hands.

But she maintained her calm for her husband, who had a vein throbbing in his neck so badly that it looked like it wanted to explode.

Kurt bristled at the thought of going to the police. What would the police be able to do? And what about the scuffle between Blaine and Sebastian? If that matter hadn't already been dealt with, would Blaine use it as an excuse to get back at him?

If Kurt went after Blaine, would Blaine go after Sebastian?

"I think that we should," Burt said, somewhat unconvincingly. From the hopeless look on his face, Kurt knew his dad was having some of the same thoughts as he was. What would the police do? Would they take Kurt seriously? Kurt wasn't physically injured and he hadn't been…raped (Kurt supplied in his mind, swallowing hard). Provided that the police department in Ohio wasn't full of bigots, was there anything legally that they could do?

"It's Sunday," Burt said, making the announcement as if it were the start of a plan. "Let's go talk to the police first before we hit Westerville, and if we're not satisfied by what they have to say, I'll…I'll consult a lawyer."

Burt sighed long, dropping down on the couch beside his wife, and Carole wasted no time wrapping her arms around her husband's sagging shoulders.

Kurt sat back in his chair, his eyes glued to his father's careworn face. He didn't mean to cause his dad this much trouble. Maybe he should have gone back to Dalton and kept this to himself, except that ignoring what happened and letting it blow over didn't feel right – not only on the level where it affected Kurt personally, but in a place where he owed it to other future boyfriends of Blaine Anderson to know exactly what that boy had put him through.

Forgetting might be easy, but rarely is the easy thing the right thing to do.

Kurt, Burt, Carole, and Finn all climbed into Kurt's navigator after breakfast and headed to the Lima Police Department. They were met by an Officer Palesko – a man in his mid-forties who was surprisingly sympathetic to Kurt's situation (having a gay son himself). He told Kurt that he was brave for coming forward, that despite anything that anyone might tell him, it was absolutely the right thing to do…

But…

That's when Kurt's heart sank. He had expected it; he hadn't let his hopes get too high.

It still stung, though.

There wasn't much that they could do other than to file a police report about the incident and send an officer out to the school to talk to Blaine. Officer Palesko was nice enough to look up any possible calls into the department from last night/early that morning. No one from the bar reported any incident in the parking lot involving two young men. No 9-1-1 calls had been made with regard to anything going on at Scandals or the general vicinity.

It seemed like the only person concerned about a situation in that part of town was Kurt.

Which made Kurt wonder - how did the fight between Blaine and Sebastian end?

Probably between their dads, Kurt imagined. Blaine's father was the CEO of some company (Kurt could never remember which company or what they made or did – the Andersons didn't seem too fond of Kurt, so he didn't hang out at Blaine's house too often), and Sebastian's dad was a state's attorney. Kurt figured that neither man wanted to see their son behind bars.

Whatever happened between them, it was probably settled 'under the table', as it were.

The officer recommended filing a restraining order if Kurt felt he was in any danger, but Kurt wasn't entirely sure it was worth it. He promised his dad that he would think it over, though Burt was still determined he would be consulting a lawyer the next morning.

It was late afternoon before Kurt and his family traveled to Westerville to pick up Kurt's things. Kurt knew that both Blaine and Sebastian would have left for home like they always did on Sunday, and he was glad. He didn't feel like he owed Blaine an explanation. Not after what he did. But Sebastian deserved better than for Kurt to simply disappear in the night. He wanted to say good-bye to Sebastian in person – he owed him that - but he didn't have the strength to run into either boy right now.

Five minutes away from the dorms, Kurt received a text from Blaine.

To: Kurt

From: Blaine

I know you're on your way to Dalton. I canceled dinner with my parents. I need to talk to you when you get here.

Kurt's whole body seized up when he read the message. How the fuck did Blaine know? Kurt told no one. Blaine most likely assumed, and unfortunately he was right.

The Dalton campus was an unusual hive of activity for a Sunday evening when Kurt's father pulled his Navigator onto the grounds. There were a crowd of Warblers gathered by the double doors, waiting to find out why their fellow choir member and friend was about to drop out of Dalton – though most of them already knew.

This wasn't something that was going to be easy to sweep away.

Almost immediately Kurt saw Blaine break away from the crowd and rush his car. Kurt tried not to make eye contact with him, but from the corner of his eye Kurt could see the black bruise swelling his left eye shut, the cut on his cheek, and his upper lip split in two places.

Christ! Kurt thought. When Kurt had left, the two had only gotten a few hits in. Kurt wondered what Sebastian looked like in comparison. He hoped that Sebastian had fared better.

"Kurt," Blaine called out, trying to see him through the open window, craning to look past Finn's upper body. "Kurt! I'm so glad you're okay. Why didn't you call me when you got home? I was so worried about you."

"Not now, dude," Finn said, moving his body to block Blaine's view of Kurt and fixing Blaine with the most intimidating glare he could muster. "Kurt doesn't want to talk to you."

Blaine looked comically shocked by Finn's reluctance to help him talk to Kurt. He stood with his one good eye open wide as Burt parked Kurt's SUV in front of the dorms.

"Kurt," Blaine continued, not swayed by Finn's warning. "I don't understand. What's going on?"

Burt stepped out from the vehicle, moving in front of Kurt's window to confront Blaine when the boy came around to the driver's side of the Navigator.

"I think it would be best if you went inside, Blaine, and left Kurt alone," Burt said. Blaine opened his mouth to object, but when he saw Burt's jaw locked and his hands balled into fists at his sides, Blaine closed his mouth. He took a step back, but he wouldn't leave.

Burt glared down at Blaine. Blaine stared pleadingly back, and Kurt knew he would have to intervene, but he was saved by the quite wisdom of Jeff Sterling.

"Come on, man," Jeff said, putting a hand on Blaine's shoulder and tugging him away gently. "Just go inside. Let him go."

Blaine's eyes shifted to the right of Burt's body, catching a sliver of space where he could stare straight into Kurt's eyes, but Kurt turned away. He couldn't look at Blaine. This wasn't his Blaine. The boy he thought was perfect, the boy he thought he could fall in love with, either disappeared months ago…or he never existed.

Either way, the Blaine Anderson chapter of Kurt's life was over.

Blaine let Jeff pull him away, shaking his head in disbelief, muttering something to Jeff that Kurt couldn't hear.

"I know," Jeff said with a sigh, turning back to the Navigator and giving Kurt a tiny wave and a fond smile.

Kurt raised a hand and waved back.

Kurt would miss Jeff.

He would miss Nick, and Trent, and Thad, and Wes, and all of the Warblers.

Mostly, Kurt would miss…

"Sebastian?" Kurt lifted his eyes at the sound of Hunter calling Sebastian's name. There he was, standing in the spot that Blaine had vacated, sad green eyes staring at Kurt. His right eye was swollen – not to the extent that Blaine's was, but still the skin looked puffy and marked by a shiny indigo bruise. He had what looked like road rash on his chin and his lip was also split, but in one spot instead of two.

"Do you want me to get rid of this one, too?" Kurt's father asked, turning over his shoulder but keeping an eye on Sebastian as he spoke to his son.

"No," Kurt said, unlocking and opening the door. "No, him I want to talk to."

"Alright." His dad stepped aside so Kurt could get out. "I'm going to go talk to the dean while Carole and Finn go get your stuff. Are you going to be okay out here alone?"

Kurt's eyes met Sebastian's gaze, and Kurt smiled.

"Yeah, dad," he said. "I'm going to be fine."

Burt watched his son walk up to the strange boy, waiting a moment to be sure he would be okay, before he turned and followed his wife into the dorms.

Sebastian watched Kurt walk up to him with guarded eyes, his mouth set in a firm line.

"Hey," Kurt said, not sure where to start.

"You're leaving." It wasn't a question. Sebastian knew. His words sounded dry and defeated.

It matched the way he felt.

"Yeah." All of a sudden Kurt wished there was another way.

"So, I wanted you to choose between him and me, and you chose neither," Sebastian said bitterly, lifting his head past Kurt's gaze to look off into the distance.

"No," Kurt said, shaking his head. "I chose me."

For many different reasons Kurt had been teetering on the edge of this decision for a while now, but Blaine and the fight was the catalyst that tipped him over the edge. Kurt loved Dalton. He really did. The classes were harder, but the kids were nicer. There was no denying the school had other perks as well. Kurt looked up to see the biggest one standing in front of him with downcast eyes. But from the first day he put on that Dalton blazer, little by little, Kurt had begun to feel his individuality slip away.

Kurt was drowning there. He needed to break away from the safety net. He needed to stop hiding.

"This isn't about you, Seb…" Kurt reached out a hand and carefully put it to Sebastian's cheek, "and believe it or not, it's not about Blaine either." Kurt shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I have to go somewhere where I can concentrate on me for a while."

Sebastian nodded.

"I understand," he said, backing away, each step tearing pieces from Kurt's heart.

Kurt couldn't let him go yet. He had a few minutes left here at Dalton and he knew how he wanted to spend them.

Kurt stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Sebastian's waist. Sebastian stopped walking. He groaned, his voice thick like he was about to cry. He struggled a bit, but Kurt held on tight, and eventually Sebastian gave in and melted around him.

Sebastian held Kurt so tightly that his arms trembled. He pressed kisses in Kurt's hair and whispered things Kurt couldn't hear, but then again, maybe Sebastian didn't want him to. Burt and Finn shot them confused looks as they walked out to the Navigator with Kurt's things, and when Carole saw them together, she sighed.

After the last of Kurt's things were safely stowed into the trunk, Burt waited as long as he could before he broke up the pair.

"Kurt," he said, clearing his throat, "we have to go."

"Yeah," Kurt called back, nodding against Sebastian's chest. "I know. I'll be right there."

Sebastian took Kurt's hands in his and looked into Kurt's face, his eyes soaking in every detail. Kurt thought Sebastian was going to kiss him. He was completely prepared to be kissed…and Sebastian did. He lifted Kurt's hands to his face and kissed across his knuckles – one hand, then the other. While he did, he pressed a square piece of paper in the palm of Kurt's hand.

"Uh…I wrote this when I got back this morning," Sebastian confessed. "I didn't really know what to say. I didn't know if you would ever talk to me again. I didn't know you would be leaving, but it doesn't matter. I mean every word of it, so please…consider it." He placed one last kiss to the back of Kurt's hand and whispered, "Two hours away isn't all that far."

Kurt's lips twitched, holding back a sob. He reached up to touch Sebastian's face again but this time Sebastian dropped Kurt's hands and walked away, not willing to indulge in this pain any longer.

Kurt watched him go. Sebastian didn't head back to the dorms. He walked around the corner of the building and disappeared from sight. Kurt felt a hand on his shoulder; this time it was Carole.

"Come on, sweetie," she said. "Did you want to go give your room a once over?"

"No," Kurt said.

"Then, it's time we got going."

Carole held Kurt's arm as he turned and walked back to the Navigator. He climbed into the back seat and shut the door. Holding the note in his hand, he rested his head against the window and shut his eyes. He didn't fall asleep. He just didn't want to talk to anyone on the ride home. He didn't want his family to ask questions he didn't have the answers to.

Back in Lima, they unloaded Kurt's things from his SUV and carried them to his room. Kurt spent a few hours before bedtime gearing up to start over again at McKinley High.

"It'll be great," Finn reassured him before turning in for the night. "Everyone misses you. It'll be great to have to whole group back together again."

Kurt wanted to agree, and earlier that morning he would have, but now it didn't feel the same. He didn't say that to Finn. He thanked Finn and wished him good-night, plastering a tired smile on his face to appease his stepbrother.

Kurt waited until he climbed into bed before he opened Sebastian's letter and read it.

Dear Kurt –

I want to say I'm sorry. God, I owe you so many of those, I think that's how I should start all of our conversations from now on until I catch up. "Hello, Kurt. How have you been? By the way, I'm sorry. Did you get the answer to question 19?"

I'm sorry for how I've treated you. I'm sorry for all the awful things I said. I don't really have an explanation other than I'm kind of an ass and I don't know how to deal with these things called 'feelings'. I've never really had to before.

But there are some things I'll admit I'm not sorry for.

I'm not sorry you found my journal.

I'm not sorry that I finally got to tell you how I feel.

And no matter what I might have said to the contrary, I'll never be sorry that I met you.

I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I'll be honest and say that I hope you dump Blaine. If you do, please consider me as an alternative.

I would consider it an honor to take you out for coffee sometime.

Sincerely;

Sebastian Smythe

Kurt spent an hour rereading Sebastian's letter. It was a good thing he didn't read it at Dalton. Those words might have had the power to break him.

Kurt folded the letter carefully and tucked it under his pillow. He turned off his phone and put it in the drawer to his bedside dresser. He emptied his head and dreamt of nothing. He let the kisses on his hands turn into scars, like all of the other kisses Sebastian had given him.

The only thing that kept him from crying himself to sleep was the last thing Sebastian said – "Two hours away isn't all that far."


Kurt thought the halls of McKinley would feel like home to him again, like being welcomed back by an old friend, and to a degree it did. He slipped into his own comfortable and fashionable armor of retro McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, and prowled the halls with his head held high, knowing that nothing McKinley could throw at him could break him.

Yes, McKinley was familiar, from the sound of his shoes clicking down the linoleum floors in the halls to the smell of new sheet music in the choir room.

But Dalton had a claim on his heart that no other place had, and the more Kurt thought about it, the more he felt out of place again.

It had been two weeks since Kurt had left Dalton and he hadn't heard from Sebastian. Blaine texted him from time to time. At first, he begged him to come back, that he was sorry, that he would change, that he would be better. He recorded songs and left them on Kurt's voice mail. But over time Blaine must have realized that same-old same-old wasn't working, but instead of changing his tactics, he gave up.

That was fine by Kurt. At this point, he didn't care if he never heard from Blaine again.

Kurt had returned to McKinley in time to join the Glee Club on their way to Nationals, and he had a lot of catching up to do. Throwing himself into practicing was a good way to keep his mind off of…well, off of other things. He showed up to school early every morning to use the piano in the choir room – and to generally get away from prying eyes and ears.

If there was one thing he missed about Dalton, it was the independence. In the comfort of his own room, he answered to no one, and even though he enjoyed being surrounded by family again, there was something to be said about nursing a broken heart alone.

It was on a Thursday morning when Kurt arrived to school early to practice that remnants of his old life started to invade on his rehabilitated one. As he turned the corner to the row of lockers in the hall in front of the choir room, Kurt saw a flash of Dalton blue. His heart skipped in his chest. He sped down the hallway, but whoever was sporting that familiar blazer had already gone. Kurt peeked out the doors to the parking lot, but saw no one - only a few other early morning McKinley students. No one in a uniform. No one even wearing a similar shade of blue.

"Se-Sebastian?" Kurt called out, just in case, but nobody answered.

Kurt walked back to his locker, hoping he was right, wishing for a new note, but when he dialed in the combination and pulled opened the red metal door, he frowned.

Standing wedged between his French book and his AP Calculus book were two perfect roses – one yellow, one red.

Exactly like all the ones Blaine had given him so many times before.

Blaine.

It can't be, he thought. Kurt glowered at the roses. He loathed them. He didn't want to touch them. He pulled his French textbook out far enough to tip the roses out of the locker and onto the floor. Then he stomped on them, twisting his foot to annihilate the petals.

Then he stormed away.

That evening, Kurt told his father that he wanted to file for a restraining order.

After that, days passed with no roses and no phantom blazers racing down the hall, but it also came with no texts from Sebastian. His heart sank. Kurt knew that Sebastian had put the ball into his court, but he was hoping for a little something extra. Maybe it was unfair to want it, but he did.

He was hoping for a sign.

With Nationals a week away, all thoughts of notes and roses were forced to the side as Kurt tried to remember in which direction he was supposed to sway behind Rachel Berry in the background when it happened.

Kurt caught him, and it was unexpected for both of them.

There he stood, with his hand inside Kurt's locker, and his jaw dropped, his lips forming a ridiculous 'o' shape as he froze in his spot.

Kurt could feel his insides boil as he advanced with heavy footsteps, yelling from halfway down the hall.

"So, it was you!" Kurt yelled accusingly, tearing the door to his locker out of the Dalton boy's hand. "You put the roses in my locker?"

"Yeah," Sebastian said sheepishly, looking down at his shoes. "Yeah, I did."

Kurt scoffed, and Sebastian's eyes narrowed on him, his sheepish gaze turning into a glare.

"You don't have to be so fucking angry about it!"

"No," Kurt said quickly, trying to explain without sounding annoyed, "it's not that. It's…Blaine…always gave me red and yellow roses."

"I know," Sebastian admitted. "That's how I got the idea. I thought they were your favorite."

Kurt bit his lip at Sebastian's deduction, deciding not to mention that the last ones Sebastian gave him had been stomped into mulch.

"Sterlings are my favorite, actually," Kurt said. He reached past Sebastian to grab the twin roses, bringing them up to his nose and giving them a sniff.

Sebastian smirked.

"Of course they are," Sebastian said. "They're only the most difficult frickin' rose to get in butt-fuck Ohio."

"Are you saying I'm not worth it?" Kurt sneered.

"No." Sebastian shook his head with a sincere expression. "You're worth it. You're definitely worth it."

Kurt sighed into the flowers beneath his nose, looking down into their red and yellow petals.

"You haven't texted me," Kurt said. "I thought…I thought after everything you said…"

"Well, you didn't text me either," Sebastian interrupted. "I waited for anything. Any word from you…"

"I know, and I'm sorry. I really am."

Kurt sighed and looked around them, as if only now remembering that they were standing together in a hallway at McKinley and not at Dalton. "Why are you here?"

Sebastian shrugged.

"I remember what Blaine said used to happen to you at this school, and I feel kind of guilty…" Sebastian ran a hand through his hair. "Like, despite what you said, I'm the reason why you're back here; that I pushed you out of Dalton."

Kurt smiled at the sound of Sebastian's discomfort.

"Aww, the tin man has a heart after all," Kurt teased.

"What heart?" Sebastian replied, pretending to look offended. Kurt rolled his eyes and Sebastian laughed. "Okay, well maybe it was killing me…the idea of people fucking with you," Sebastian confessed, "people other than me, that is."

"I knew it," Kurt said, leaning with his back against the locker and staring up at the ceiling.

Sebastian looked at Kurt, running his eyes down Kurt's profile, biting his lip at the handsome figure he cut in his stylish clothes – not confined by a stupid uniform.

"So, if we started dating, would that be your nickname for me? Tin man?" Sebastian asked, his lips curling up in that enticing smirk Kurt used to abhor. Kurt wondered how Sebastian would react if he leaned in and kissed it off his face.

"Do you hate it?" Kurt asked, scrunching his nose.

Sebastian chuckled.

"No," he said. "Actually, I kind of like it."

"Good to know," Kurt said, reaching out a hand and shutting his locker door. "So, tin man, would you like to go grab a cup of coffee with me?"

Sebastian looked around them, at the relatively empty hallways and the closed classroom doors.

"What, you mean now?" he asked.

Kurt nodded.

"Why not? Even if you leave now, you're still going to be late for school, so what do you have to lose?"

"Well, aren't you supposed to be in class right now?" Sebastian countered.

"Pfft." Kurt waved a hand in front of his face. "I go to public school. We're all a bunch of rule breakers and miscreants here. No one will miss me."

Sebastian raised an eyebrow. Kurt tried his hardest to keep a straight face, but he broke.

"I have P.E. first period," Kurt said. "I couldn't care less if I missed it."

Sebastian shook his head.

"Well, then," he said, "let us away."

Sebastian offered his arm to Kurt, and Kurt took it, resting his hand on Sebastian's bicep, enjoying the feeling of holding onto him this way. They walked down the hallway together, the sparse students lingering by their lockers eying them as they headed toward the exit.

"Oh." Sebastian stopped when they had walked through the double doors. "There's one more thing."

He turned Kurt to face him. He crooked a finger beneath Kurt's chin, tipping his head up, and kissed him – kissed him the way he had been dreaming of kissing Kurt since he wrote the first words in that stupid journal.

The journal that was currently hiding - with all of its confessions and poems, with new additions stuck to the pages - inside Kurt's messenger bag.

Kurt felt Sebastian wrap an arm around his waist. Sebastian ran his fingertips lightly over the small of Kurt's back. When Sebastian sucked Kurt's lower lip into his mouth, he moaned.

This was the kiss Kurt had been hoping for the night he left Dalton.

He didn't want it to end, and when Sebastian began to move away, Kurt whimpered.

"Are we at that point yet?" Kurt asked, sighing against Sebastian's lips.

"Mmm, maybe not yet," Sebastian said. "So, maybe we save that one for later, and this one's for now."

Sebastian kissed Kurt again, and Kurt kissed him back.

A first kiss of many.