"…five, six, seven, eight…"
Kurt counted the steps off under his breath, moving with the rhythm he fought to keep while stumbling through the new steps Blaine had taught them the day before. It wasn't like there was much to them. Kurt had started to realize after a while that basically all the Warblers did was sway in the background while Blaine sang the solos, so it wasn't like anything he taught them was technically challenging. Besides, Kurt was a McKinley High Booty Camp alumnus extraordinaire. He feared no triple-ball-change, never ran away from a grapevine or a heel-turn. Regardless of that, he still couldn't seem to get his feet to do what he wanted. No matter how hard he tried, he always seemed to be out of step.
That was the story of his life, really.
He had been out of step when he was a little boy asking his father for sensible heels for his birthday.
He was out of step in McKinley, hiding who he truly was, and then again when he finally found the courage to come out.
Even here in the hallowed halls of Dalton Academy, surrounded by people who accepted and respected him, he felt more out of step than ever, because being safe meant staying hidden. He didn't originally think it would matter too much, wearing a uniform and blending in with the crowd, especially with Blaine there to guide him, but conforming meant more than leaving his precious wardrobe behind.
Yes, he wasn't being Slushied or tossed into dumpsters, but he wasn't being true to himself, either.
"One, two, three, four…"
He continued counting, continued with the same monotonous steps, and subsequently continued to trip and stumble after every slow box step.
"Dammit," he muttered, straightening his blazer and preparing to give it another go. He didn't want to; he really didn't want to. He was still a bit sore about the Warbler council shooting down his suggestion for a Sondheim medley at Regionals in favor of Blaine's recommendation of another Katy Perry showstopper. He felt bitter, but he wasn't exactly surprised. The Warblers had ixnayed every song suggestion he had made since he got into the group.
Maybe it was time for him to just give up and stop trying.
"…three, four, five…shit!"
Another slow box step and another stumble, only this time he clipped the carpet with the toe of his loafer and tripped forward into a wooden desk.
Kurt heard a low rumble of laughter, heralding the arrival of the one boy Kurt dreaded running into.
"It's two, three, kick-step turn," Sebastian instructed with a smug smile on his face, "not two, three, fall into the front row and take out the audience."
"Ha, ha," Kurt deadpanned. "Very funny."
"Always glad to help," Sebastian said, finding a prime spot in the room to watch Kurt Hummel make a fool of himself. Kurt returned to his spot and saw Sebastian take up residence on one of the sofas. He groaned internally.
"Don't you have a blowjob to give in the janitor's closet at four?" Kurt jeered, getting back to his practicing. "If you don't leave now you're going to be late."
"Unfortunately, Blaine wasn't available today so my Tuesday afternoon b.j.'s been canceled," Sebastian answered without missing a beat, enjoying the way Kurt's cheeks instantly flamed at the mention of Sebastian's newest obsession – trying to get into the pants of the one and only Blaine Anderson. Sebastian knew all about Kurt's crush on sex-on-a-stick-and-sings-like-a-dream Blaine Anderson. Kurt wasn't exactly stealthy, what with the way he doodled Blaine's name into his notebook or his over-the-top heart eyes every time Anderson entered a room.
Sebastian couldn't attest to being quite as enamored with Blaine as Kurt was, but the boy did have one heck of an ass. No, Sebastian had decided the first moment they met that it would be way too much fun to mess with Kurt by deflowering his precious schoolboy Blaine.
It was that bashful schoolboy persona that had originally attracted him to Blaine, but more and more Sebastian was beginning to realize that Blaine was kind of…bland. Blaine was a bit on the predictable side, but Kurt - Kurt had all the fire and passion in their relationship. He had the venom and wit of Sylvia Plath, he didn't wither beneath Sebastian's insults, and his ass wasn't half bad, either.
Maybe Sebastian would have to reconsider his game plan. It seemed that he might be wasting his time pursuing the wrong conquest.
"Having sex or performing sexual acts on campus is against school rules, Hummel," Sebastian taunted. "I would think that a good, upstanding Dalton boy such as yourself would have the rule book memorized backward and forward." Sebastian lowered his eyes and gazed up at Kurt innocently – succeeding in coming across as innocent as a bloodthirsty jackal. "You wouldn't be trying to get me kicked out of Dalton, would you?"
"Not that that would stop you," Kurt bit back, staring at his feet so he wouldn't have to see the gloating smile on Sebastian's face.
"You're absolutely right, princess," Sebastian agreed, "and do you know why?"
"If I say I don't care, would you shut up and leave?" Kurt asked, performing a perfect half-turn in time to the music in his head.
"No one here can touch me," Sebastian drawled despite Kurt's objection. He made his way across the room to where Kurt struggled through the rest of the steps, doing his level best to ignore any malicious comments Sebastian might make. "First of all, my dad's a state's attorney." Sebastian ran his fingers lightly across the furniture as he stalked through the room. "Second, my parents donate a shitload of money to this dump every year." He rounded the sofa, picking up one of the flat throw pillows and hitting it against his hand, watching with a wince of snobbish disgust as a cloud of dust wafted up into the air. He tossed the pillow back down in vicious retaliation. "Finally, I'm a Dalton legacy…My grandfather came here….my father came here…" Sebastian leaned back against the wooden desk only a foot or so from Kurt. "And I fully intend to come here, if you catch my drift."
Kurt stepped out too far to the right and his foot slid out from under him.
"In fact," Sebastian continued, delighting in making Kurt flub up, especially when he looked like he had been concentrating so hard, "I could drink in here, smoke in here…" Sebastian's voice dropped dramatically as he continued. "I could strip you naked right now and fuck you here on this desk if I wanted to, and nobody would say boo about it."
Kurt stood up straight and glared at the boy who winked suggestively at him.
"Well, feel free to fuck yourself," Kurt snapped back, "just so long as it's not in here. I need to concentrate."
"Do I distract you?" Sebastian purred, inching across the desk closer to Kurt. Kurt didn't look up; he simply side-stepped away.
"No," Kurt lied, "but you reek like the perfume department at Bloomingdale's and your constant yapping is giving me a colossal headache."
Kurt turned his back to Sebastian, which he realized too late was a mistake when the irritating boy wolf-whistled, presumably at the sight of Kurt's swaying hips, but he had to find a quick way to hide the blush growing in intensity on his cheeks. Despite how repugnant he found the idea, the image of Sebastian bending him over the desk was one he couldn't seem to get out of his head. After all, Kurt had a crush on Blaine – charming, dapper, gentlemanly Blaine. Blaine would never make such crass comments to Kurt. Blaine would never whistle at Kurt's ass. Blaine wouldn't proposition Kurt on a wooden desk in the senior commons.
Sebastian was absolutely nothing like Blaine.
So, why did the idea of Sebastian get Kurt so hot under the collar?
Sebastian dialed down the flirting, but he didn't leave, content to watch Kurt fluster over and over again with a mischievous grin on his face.
"You know, you're dropping a step," Sebastian said, pushing off the desk he was leaning on and walking over to where Kurt gave it one last go, not wanting Sebastian to be right; anything but that.
"No, I'm not," Kurt argued, whining slightly. He performed the routine over, but Sebastian stopped him midway, reaching out a hand to grab hold of his elbow. His grip was more gentle than Kurt expected – his fingers wrapping securely around the juncture of Kurt's upper arm, and suddenly Kurt felt a jolt. A sparkle of energy shimmied beneath his blazer and shot up his arm, sparking like a spray of fireworks over his skin, so potent that Kurt could almost hear it sizzle. Both boys stopped and Kurt could see by the way Sebastian's expression shifted on his face – from arrogance to confusion - that he felt it, too. But all too soon Sebastian's cocky smile returned, growing from the curl of his lips until it reached his eyes. The moment was gone, whatever that moment had been, and Kurt searched his mind for a way to excuse it away.
The weather had been dry lately as the seasons began to change from fall to winter. He was also spinning around on an old, dusty rug. Put them all together and you get static electricity.
Yes…definitely static electricity.
Thank you, science.
"Now that I have your attention," Sebastian said, "watch me."
Sebastian took Kurt's place and started to move, his hips swaying from side to side in a way that made Kurt forget to focus on his feet. Sebastian saw and snapped his fingers in Kurt's face, chuckling softly when Kurt startled and stepped back.
"My feet, princess, are on the floor," Sebastian sassed. "Focus on my feet."
Kurt straightened up stiffly, blushing to his roots, but surprisingly Sebastian let it slide without another ruthless taunt. He performed the routine again. Kurt's eyes stayed glued firmly to Sebastian's feet so that they wouldn't stray, and to Kurt's dismay he discovered that Sebastian had been right all along. Kurt had dropped a step.
"Fuck!" Kurt gasped, exasperated.
"Well, if you really want to," Sebastian said, wiggling his eyebrows and stifling a laugh.
Kurt rolled his eyes and groaned.
"Your loss." Sebastian shrugged, brushing off Kurt's rejection and getting into place again. "I'm going to do it one last time," Sebastian said instructively, "and then you can give it a try."
Sebastian moved through the steps once more and Kurt paid close attention, eager to learn the routine and have know-it-all Sebastian be on his way…but for the life of him Kurt was finding it hard to remember why he wanted Sebastian gone so badly.
"Okay, enough watching," Sebastian announced, motioning Kurt forward with a wave of his hand. "Now it's time to perform."
Kurt grimaced at Sebastian's choice of words, but the tone of his voice wasn't the usual bordering-on-the-edge-of-mockery tone he usually affected. He sounded like he really cared if Kurt got this right or not…
…or he was desperate to cop a feel. Only time would tell.
Kurt walked over to Sebastian warily, eying his hands with suspicion before taking a spot in front of him.
"Okay, we'll take it from the refrain," Sebastian said. "Are you ready?"
Kurt didn't look back over his shoulder at Sebastian when he nodded, too focused on the strange lump growing in his chest – a lump that crowded around his heart, making it hard to breathe.
Kurt started to move, repeating the steps he saw Sebastian do, picking up the missed step after the slow box step and just like that he had it down. It was so easy this time around that Kurt wanted to cheer in triumph.
"One more time, Hummel," Sebastian said, not waiting for Kurt's approval. "Five…six…seven…eight…"
Kurt moved again and this time Sebastian shimmied up beside him so that they were dancing side by side. Kurt could see him clearly now from the corner of his eye, but what struck him more was the way they moved together, playing off each other – each sway of their hips, each touch of their feet on the floor, each turn, even their posture was nearly identical as they danced this way.
Kurt swung his arm out on the last step and felt his hand slide into Sebastian's grip. Sebastian pulled Kurt close before he had a second to think about objecting and held him in his arms, twirling him around a la Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, dipping him deeply and then setting him free – way too quickly for Kurt's liking.
"Wh-where did you learn that?" Kurt asked, laughing to cover up his breathlessness.
"I took ballroom dance at my parent's country club for six years," Sebastian said with a one-shoulder shrug, "because, of course, that's what every boy wants to do on a Sunday morning - learn the foxtrot in the arms of a smelly old lady."
"You poor thing," Kurt said sincerely but still with the echo of a laugh dying in his throat. "If it's any consolation, you're really good at it."
"Thank you," Sebastian said, bowing slightly. "Maybe I could teach you."
The words slipped out past Sebastian's lips unguarded and both boys stopped cold. Kurt stared into Sebastian's eyes, waiting for the raunchy remark or rude comment that was sure to ruin the moment, but none came. In fact, there was something new in Sebastian's intense green eyes that Kurt hadn't seen before.
Fear. Fear of rejection.
Fear of being rejected by Kurt.
Kurt swallowed hard as the lump in his chest grew bigger, and everything around him seemed to stand still, waiting for his decision. His hand moved slowly from his side, in search of that other hand that fit it so well.
"Th-that would be…"
"Kurt!" a relieved tenor voice and a long sigh broke through the tension. Sebastian straightened up in a snap, and Kurt's hand dropped back to his side. "Here you are! Trent told me I might find you in here." Blaine breezed through the room, acknowledging Sebastian with a smile and a short nod before crossing the to Kurt. "He said it looked like you were having trouble with the new routine. I can help you, if you want."
"Well…" Kurt started, his eyes shifting between Blaine's soft, honey-colored eyes and Sebastian's almost emerald ones, "I…"
"Don't worry about it, Blaine. I took care of it," Sebastian interjected without his usual flirtatious fire.
"Oh." Blaine turned back to Sebastian, surprised that he hadn't left yet. "That's nice. Thank you, Sebastian."
Sebastian nodded, his eyes lingering on Kurt's face as he spoke as if they were still the only two people in the room.
The three became silent and another tension grew - not a tension bred of promise and excitement, but an uncomfortable one – one that Sebastian was itching to get away from.
"Well, I'll just leave you guys to it," Sebastian teased, winking and grinning like normal, though there was a degree to which Kurt felt that his heart wasn't in it. "You take care of that Warbler, Blaine."
Sebastian turned on his heel and walked toward the door. Kurt watched Sebastian leave, weaving his way through the sofas and the rest of the outdated furniture, stopping at the door to offer one last tight-lipped nod in good-bye. Kurt raised a hand to wave but Blaine slipped in front of him, grabbing his hand and blocking Kurt's view of the door. When Blaine moved aside to drag Kurt into position, Sebastian was gone.
"Okay, Kurt," Blaine said, rubbing Kurt's shoulders in that familiar way he used to relax him…and it worked, too – or at least, it did. The fact that it didn't at the moment unnerved Kurt. "Show me what Sebastian taught you. Five…six…seven…eight…"
Kurt took two steps to the left, and then one to the right, with Blaine moving beside him, and he sighed. The world seemed to fall back into place, and that moment with Sebastian before – that strange, confusing, exciting moment – had passed. This was the way things were supposed to be…until he stepped out again to the left and tripped over his own feet.
"Oh, Kurt," Blaine cooed, and the sound of pity in his voice nearly enraged Kurt. Sebastian didn't pity him. He treated him like he was human. "You should have come to me if you had a problem with the steps. Let's start from the beginning." Blaine started again and Kurt tried to follow, but the outcome was the same. He could dance beside Blaine all he wanted, but he would still be out of step.
Blaine started talking, but Kurt couldn't really hear him, his mind reeling with the memory of how easy it had been to fall into step with Sebastian.