When their usual day for tutoring comes around and Kurt hasn't confirmed via text as he normally does, Sebastian doesn't feel very surprised. He knows what Kurt thinks of him, and shouting at him has probably not improved that image. He's still annoyed with himself for actually caring enough to sink to that level. Their last meeting has left him feeling just like he had after apologising for the things he did to their Glee club and Kurt questioned his sincerity - all he can think of is that he's not good enough. Which is a pretty shitty thing to feel. He used to think his dad had the monopoly on that, but apparently, Kurt Hummel and his judging eyes come in a close second.
On top of that, he's probably going to flunk French now, unless he can find a new tutor soon.
To cheer himself up, Sebastian goes down to the hotel's pool. It's seven pm on a Friday, so he has the place to himself. Everyone else is off enjoying their weekend; something he would do too if he had money and, oh yeah, wasn't grounded. He switches on the heating for the jacuzzi and goes to swim a few laps in the large pool while it starts up. He is just about to climb out and relax in the hot tub when he hears someone.
"You were right, you know," Kurt says, stepping into the light. Mist from the pool swirls around his legs, and the water reflects light patterns on his face.
Sebastian stops his wading towards the ladder and looks up at him, for a moment not sure if he's really there.
"It wasn't the worst thing I have thought about you."
Kurt's words remind Sebastian of his little tirade, and something hard comes over his face. Putting on a mask of indifference feels like slipping under a warm blanket for Sebastian. "Oh yeah?" he replies, making sure Kurt hears how he doesn't care at all.
"Mmm," Kurt confirms, crossing his arms over his chest. "In high school, I used to think you were evil incarnate."
Sebastian lets it slide off him like the droplets of water that are coursing down from his hair. Then he realises Kurt used past tense. "And now?" he asks despite himself.
Kurt sighs deeply and looks a little annoyed. Either with him or with himself, Sebastian can't tell. "Now…I think I maybe owe you an apology for jumping the gun."
Sebastian does a double-take. It's rather unsettling to be apologised to when you were expecting to be insulted. He drops his guard for a moment, and then quickly schools his face into a neutral expression again. "Do what you want," he says, hoping it sounds flippant.
"I always do," Kurt replies. He looks around the pool. "So, have you practised your vocabulary?"
Sebastian just looks at him.
"Two sessions ago I told you to memorise the words from chapter five of your textbook. We didn't go over them last time," Kurt continues, sounding as if he isn't standing by the edge of a pool with water slowly drenching his suede shoes.
"We're gonna do this now? Here?" Sebastian asks. "I didn't think- I haven't… I don't have any money on me," he quickly decides. That's what Kurt cares about most, and which is the sole reason he is here.
"Your mom already paid me," Kurt says casually. "I like this pool. Are your parents paying the hotel extra to rent it for you or is it just a coincidence that you're the only one using it?"
Sebastian is about to snap onto the taunt about his parents' money when the other thing Kurt said gets through to him. "You talked to my mom?"
Kurt nods. "Well, yes. I thought you'd be at your hotel room so that's where I went first. She's quite nice in person. We only spoke on the phone so far. I told her it's okay to pay me 35 dollars an hour from now on."
Sebastian lowers himself into the water until he's submerged to the bridge of his nose, peering out of the pool at Kurt like an angry crocodile for a moment, intent to stare him into going away. Kurt doesn't budge. Then the urge to know (and to breathe) gets too big. Sebastian puts his feet down and rises up from the water again. "Did you tell her about the rest of the money?"
Kurt pauses, and Sebastian knows he's doing that deliberately.
"No," Kurt finally says. "I figured you had already spent it anyway so you couldn't give it back, and she'd probably be angry."
"Probably, yes," Sebastian agrees, which is the understatement of the century- especially if word would have gotten out to his dad. "Thanks, I guess."
Kurt shrugs. "I didn't do it for you. I didn't want them to dismiss me. I still think it's pretty wrong to steal from your own parents."
Sebastian waits it out. Kurt might say he's only here for the money, but apparently he's also here to lecture him on his morals. Sebastian has almost checked out mentally, pondering what Kurt would look like in Speedos, when the other man continues.
"But since you won't be doing that again, I figured we should let the past rest and focus on the future. One in which you pass your French exam." He cocks his head and gives Sebastian a pointed look.
"You really want to tutor me here?" Sebastian asks.
Kurt makes a show of looking at his wristwatch. "I have until 8:30, so either we do this now or I go home. I don't have time to wait until you finished showering and styling your badly grown-out buzzcut."
Sebastian opens his mouth, comes up empty for a barbed reply, and snaps his jaws shut again. (He actually agrees that his hairstyle is kind of in the middle of something-and-nothing right now, neither short or long). "But I was about to get into the jacuzzi," he protests instead, and then a brilliant idea hits him. They are alone; Kurt is still hot, and they aren't surrounded by his singing and dancing NYADA competitors now. It's worth a try, even if the chances of success are very slim.
Sebastian softens his expression with a half-smile. "You could join me…?" He braces himself. In his mind, Kurt's possible responses are tied 50-50 between A) prissy outrage or B) a disdainful laugh. He wouldn't have put any money on the third option: Kurt's eyes widen slightly, rake over Sebastian's near-naked form in the pool, and then narrow deviously.
"Too easy, Sebastian," Kurt replies. "How about I test your vocabulary, and for every correct word, I lose a piece of clothing?" He runs a finger under the revers of his jacket.
Sebastian stares at him. Is he for real? "Strip…French?" he asks, not sure if he really heard correctly.
Kurt nods, and the half-lidded look he gives Sebastian sends a shiver down his spine. Either Kurt knows he's going to win - or he has no intention to. Either way, Sebastian has nothing to lose.
"Okay, I'm in."
Kurt smiles and puts his bag down on a bench by the pool side. He takes out his text book. "Alright. Big."
Sebastian smirks. "Grand." Easy.
Kurt mirrors his smirk and sits down on the bench to take off one of his shoes. He rests his socked foot on the wood so it doesn't get wet. "Small."
The other shoe follows. Sebastian feels like he is winning already. Is Kurt just picking the easy words?
Kurt wriggles his toes on the bench. "Inexpensive."
Sebastian falters. "Uh," he starts, trying to visualise the list of words from that lesson. He hasn't looked at it for a week. He knows he knows this one. "In…. no, wait-"
Kurt, in the process of picking up his shoe again, pauses.
"Peu…coûteux," Sebastian lets out triumphantly.
"Your diction is atrocious," Kurt comments, but puts down the shoe and takes off a sock. They volley back and forth, and Kurt drives Sebastian crazy with just how many layers he is wearing.
As the jacket reveals a vest, a shirt and an undershirt underneath, Sebastian groans. He's still in the main pool, and his body is cooling down. He kind of wants to go into the hot tub already, but he's afraid the warmth might make him drowsy and unable to focus, and he definitely wants to win this game before Kurt has to leave. Kurt is barefoot now, and down to his skinny jeans and his sleeveless undershirt. His arms look fantastic. The cut of the shirt isn't bad for framing his torso either. If Kurt had looked like this in high school, Sebastian would never have gone after Blaine, bet or not.
The next word is wrong, and Kurt reaches for his other shirt. "Oh, come on," Sebastian pleads. "I'm freezing in here."
"You want to graduate, don't you?" Kurt asks innocently, but his hand stays and he doesn't pull the shirt over his shoulders. He pretends to think. "I suppose we could speed it up…"
Sebastian holds his breath.
"I'll tell you something in French, and if you are able to translate it, I'll join you." Kurt smiles. "It doesn't have to be literally. Just the gust of it will do."
Sebastian agrees. He has long since given over the reigns in this game. Whatever Kurt wants, he'll play. It'll probably be hard, but he has lived in Paris for a few months. He should be able to get some words and maybe he can guess the rest.
"Alright," Kurt says, and carefully folds his shirt before walking over to the edge of the pool. He starts to dictate, his French fast and fluent, and Sebastian struggles to piece together something coherent.
"I am sorry for saying- something, I don't… something bad? Bad things! About you. I apologise. I am an arrogant, childish boy who thinks he is better than everyone else and my French is awful-"
Sebastian scowls as he follows Kurt with his eyes. He is slowly circling the pool, speaking into the damp air like he is reciting a poem. Sebastian knows this is payback, and he's beginning to doubt if Kurt will actually hold up his end of the deal or if he is just doing this to humiliate him. He is about to put a stop to it when Kurt continues, very slowly, as if he's daring him to keep up.
"But I am not as bad as I want people to think I am. It's a pose. An-... uh… irritating pose. I promise to stop that immediately. I will not insult the people who are trying to help me. And I will… change… my hair?"
Kurt stops in front of him and nods approvingly.
Sebastian suddenly notices that he has taken off his undershirt.
"Deal?" Kurt asks in English.
"Okay," Sebastian agrees hoarsely. The cold water does nothing to cool him down now.
Kurt smiles and walks over to the jacuzzi. Sebastian wastes no time getting to the pool's ladder but swims to the edge instead and pulls himself out of the water. He nearly slips on the floor because he keeps his eyes on Kurt, ignoring the wet tiles. Kurt is peeling off his skinny jeans and for once, does not reveal yet another layer underneath…
Feeling he ought to keep up, Sebastian slips off his swimming trunks and climbs into the jacuzzi. Kurt is already in the water. He can feel Kurt's eyes on him and he flexes his pecs a bit for effect. Kurt's eyes, however, are pointed lower.
"I guess you really were freezing, huh?" he teases.
"Oh, shut up," Sebastian replies self-consciously. He almost breaks his promise about not insulting Kurt, but the other man moves through the water, graceful as a merman, and doesn't stop until he's right in front of him. It makes the words evaporate on Sebastian's lips. He licks them. "Are we doing this?" he asks. Kurt's advances are welcome, but confusing. A small part of him is still wary this might be part of some elaborate plan to mock him. (The larger part, pun intended, is quite ready to push all worries aside and just get down to it).
"Well…It is on my bucket list," Kurt says, like that explains everything, and he runs a hand up Sebastian's arm, his fingertips tracing the muscles in his arm.
"What is? Sex in a pool? In public? Or sex with a guy you hate?" He never really marked Kurt down as a kinky guy, but hidden waters…
Kurt shakes his head a little. "I don't hate you," he says. "Not anymore, anyway."
It reminds Sebastian of the words Kurt made him translate. "So you really think I'm not that bad?"
"I think you try to be, because it's easier," Kurt replied. "Being nice to people, allowing them to be nice to you…it takes courage. The people you choose to trust have power over you."
There's something in his eyes that wasn't there a minute ago. Sebastian has seen it before: during their first French Q&A.
"Like Blaine?" he asks carefully. The hand that had been exploring his chest stills.
Kurt presses his lips together in a thin smile. "He cheated on me. Twice. That I know of, anyway. Probably more."
Sebastian winces. He would have been one of the guys Blaine cheated with Blaine hadn't turned down his advances. He never considered how Kurt would feel about that back then. He never really considered anyone's feelings about the things he did; not until David Karofsky. He isn't sure if he should apologise. Nothing ever happened between him and Blaine, and if Blaine's cheating is the reason Kurt is with him now, in the pool, he can't really feel bad about that either.
"It doesn't matter," Kurt continues as if he has read Sebastian's mind. "I'm better off without him." He looks back at Sebastian. "It's a lot more fun to be single in New York City than pining over someone who's far away." The mischievous look in his eyes is back. Sebastian's body picks up the cue and reminds his brain of the fact that they are both naked and this would be a great moment to get back into the mood.
"Is it?" he asks playfully, letting his hands glide through the water to wrap around Kurt's waist.
"Uh-huh," Kurt replies, giving in to the pressure of Sebastian's hands and moving closer. He straddles Sebastian's knees, but keeps the length of Sebastian's thighs between them.
"So do you do this often?" Sebastian asks, trying to raise his knees from the seat to make Kurt slide down against him, but Kurt braces himself for now. It's maddening to be this close and having to wait, but the look in Kurt's eyes tells Sebastian being patient will be worth it.
"Get naked during a tutoring session?" Kurt jokes. "No. But if you play your cards right I might do it more often in the future."
Sebastian grins. "That sounds like a very good motivation to learn my vocabulary."
"I thought so," Kurt agrees, and finally relents. He slides forwards on Sebastian's lap, spreading his thighs to rest them on either side of Sebastian's waist as he presses him against the wall of the hot tub with his body. His skin is even warmer than the water. He latches his lips onto Sebastian's throat in a hard kiss and rolls his hips forward.
Sebastian had not imagined making out with Kurt would be like this. Somehow he had always imagined him to be more passive, receptive, malleable to his touch. Instead, Sebastian feels like his body is being consumed, drawn into Kurt's embrace, like he really is a merman and Sebastian his drowning but willing victim. Kurt's hand is between their bodies now, stroking them together as he keeps up his kisses, leading up to Sebastian's ear. "Do you still have those condoms in your pocket?"
"Hnng— yes," Sebastian brings out, and Kurt stills his hand. He sits up and looks at Sebastian. His eyes are stormy with lust.
"Then why don't you-" he starts. The main lights over the pool switch on. Kurt freezes.
"Hey, what's going on here?" a voice calls out from the doors at the other side of the pool. A woman in a hotel uniform peers at them over her trolley full of cleaning utensils. "Mr Smythe?" she asks. "I need to start cleaning here."
Sebastian groans, briefly resting his forehead on Kurt's shoulder before replying. "Hey Miranda," he calls back. "Um. We're not exactly decent."
Miranda hesitates for a moment, then checks her watch. She picks up a 'closed for cleaning' sign from her cart and a pack of cigarettes from her pocket. She raises both up so they can see.
"Five minutes, boys," she tells them, and walks out, leaving her cleaning supplies by the door. They can hear her putting the sign out in front of the pool entrance.
"Wow," Kurt whispers. "She seems to like you. I'm impressed."
Sebastian smirks. "She says I remind her of her son."
"Poor woman," Kurt teases. He glances at Sebastian's lips for a moment. "I need at least three minutes to get dressed. Shall we just…?" He reaches back down to circle both of their erections in his hand.
Sebastian closes his eyes and sighs in defeat. It's better than nothing. Kurt nudges his jaw with his face.
"Hey," he whispers. "It's still weeks till your exams. Your mom's not always going to be in your apartment, right?"
Sebastian looks at Kurt. "Right," he agrees.
"Good. Because I have plans for you on that couch," Kurt announces.
Sebastian wants to say something, anything- some sort of comeback along the lines of 'not if I fuck you there first' - but the tightening of Kurt's hand and simultaneously applied kiss on his lips shut him up completely.
Maybe karma hadn't been out to get him after all.