A/N: Written for the Kurtbastian Hiatus Project prompt 'New Year's' and inspired by the Klaine Advent Drabble prompt 'midnight'. Warning for minor spoilers, anxiety, and what might be considered a slightly unwanted display of affection - but only unwanted for a second ;) A follow up to one of my previous one-shots A Thousand Ways to Fall.
It's New Year's Eve, twenty minutes to midnight, when Sebastian leaves the most exclusive party in New York to walk the city streets alone.
This isn't right, he thinks. This isn't how he wants to start the New Year – getting stupid drunk off of ridiculously expensive champagne and hooking up with some rando whose name he'll never remember.
This year, he had wanted to make a fresh start.
New Year - new start.
But the person he wants to be with is nowhere to be found.
Sebastian hadn't hunted Kurt down after he bumped into him at that deli in SoHo – not that he really needed to. He knows where Kurt works, where he goes to school. Well-meaning mutual friends have been kind enough to keep him informed.
He even has Kurt's address.
But Sebastian had only offered him friendship, and Kurt had turned him down flat.
Sebastian wanted to give him some space.
He had a crazy pipe dream of Kurt coming to him.
Lame and highly unlikely, he knew, but it kept Sebastian from showing up drunk on Kurt's doorstep in the middle of the night.
More than three months after their encounter at the deli, it became pretty obvious that Kurt looking him up wasn't going to happen.
New Year's Eve morning, when he woke, he started outlining a plan for how he wanted the next year to go, and he asked himself whether it would really be worthwhile to pursue Kurt Hummel.
Sebastian considered it for barely half a second before he decided that yes, it was worth taking the chance.
Which is why he left that party before midnight.
He knew that he had already caught the eye of several drunk revelers over the course of the night. He usually doesn't mind giving out midnight kisses. He does it every year. A kiss is just a kiss - not a promise, not a commitment - but he has no intention of starting the New Year with someone he isn't willing to spend the New Year with.
He walks away from the partyers roaming the streets, waiting for the ball in Times Square to drop. Hurrying his steps to put the obnoxious cheering and singing as far behind him as possible, he looks up and happens to catch a couple up against the brick outer wall of a bar, celebrating the ball drop early, wrapped in each other's arms and completely involved in a passionate kiss.
Sebastian doesn't stare, but it makes him wonder where Kurt might be, and who he might be kissing.
Sebastian has never been the lucky recipient of too many second chances in his life, so it's more than a little surprising when - in a city of 8 million people on the biggest party night of the year - he runs into Kurt again, walking in the same direction but on the opposite side of the street, heading for the subway.
"Kurt," Sebastian calls out, heading into the thin traffic of cabs and a few other cars to catch up to him. Kurt turns at the sound of his name and grabs sight of Sebastian right away. Sebastian sees Kurt stutter his steps, as if trying to decide whether he should stay and wait or just go. Probably concluding that it would be too rude to run off, Kurt stands still, shifting his weight from foot to foot, eager to be elsewhere. Sebastian smiles, ignoring the way Kurt rolls his eyes when he sees him. "Kurt! Wait up!"
"Hey, Sebastian." Kurt greets him with the same enthusiasm that a yearly cleaning at the dentist office brings. "Long time no see."
"Yeah," Sebastian agrees, wondering if he could get away with a quick hug, or would a handshake suffice, but considering the fact that Kurt looks as comfortable around Sebastian as he would be around a pack of wild dogs, and that his hands are thrust firmly into his coat pockets, Sebastian just waves. "How've you been?"
"Busy," Kurt says, eyes darting around, looking for an escape. "How about you?"
"I've been busy, too," Sebastian says, willing to play the chitchat game as long as necessary to keep Kurt talking – something he failed at last time. "I was actually wondering if you've been okay. Last time I saw you…" Sebastian's sentence drifts off when Kurt stops fidgeting, his eyes dropping to the ground, frowning with guilt.
"About that day in the deli…" Kurt starts, lifting his eyes back up to look at Sebastian face-to-face, "I wanted to say that I'm really sorry about being so rude to you. I know you were trying to be nice…"
"It's okay," Sebastian says when Kurt pauses for a breath.
"No," Kurt picks up again, "it isn't." He sighs, and it's a hollow sound. "I had just found out that Blaine moved in with his new boyfriend, and I guess seeing you…knowing how hard you tried to take him away from me…"
"It's all good," Sebastian cuts in, waving Kurt's comment away, not too thrilled at being reminded what an asshole he had been in high school. "Water under bridges and all that."
"Really?" Kurt asks, sounding honestly relieved. Sebastian nods and Kurt smiles, the anxious discomfort of earlier seeming to ebb slightly away. "Good. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Sebastian says, rattling his brain for topics of conversation, not ready to see Kurt run away on him yet. "I thought I heard that you went back to Lima. What are you doing back in the city?"
"Uh…I did leave," Kurt says. "I kind of bounce back and forth. I'm helping Rachel with the Glee Club at McKinley, but I'm still going to school out here."
Sebastian's brow furrows, imagining what kind of schedule Kurt must have if he's living and working in two different states almost simultaneously.
"Doesn't your school work suffer, though?"
"Not as much as you think," Kurt answers with a shrug. "Helping with the Glee Club is kind of a special assignment. I get school credit for it."
"And…you enjoy doing that?" Sebastian asks, choosing his words carefully.
"Kind of. I mean, it's Glee Club, it's McKinley, it's Lima. It's everything I swore that I would leave behind and never go back to," Kurt says with a chuckle. "And I miss out on some stuff here, performances and all that, but hopefully it'll only be for a year."
Sebastian nods, chewing on an idea, realizing that if he really wants things to change, it's now or never.
"So, if your dreams are here in New York, and you swore you'd never return to all of that shit in Ohio…then why are you doing it?"
Kurt's hard-to-win smile drops along with his eyes as he suddenly finds his shoes interesting.
"Kurt?" Sebastian asks, knowing he's treading on thin ice. He hopes that he doesn't lose Kurt in the cracks if this conversation breaks down, but there are some things that Kurt needs to see – things Sebastian knows his friends back home aren't helping him see. "Is this about you trying to get Blaine back?"
Sebastian sees the moment Kurt shuts down on him, his eyes turning cold, his body becoming rigid.
"I'm not going to discuss that with you," Kurt says to the ground, voice hard, determined to kill this subject before they go any further.
"Kurt," Sebastian tries again, keeping his own voice as even as he can, "why would you go through all of that for him? Why would you put your dreams on hold for someone who's showing that he doesn't want to be with you?"
Sebastian watches Kurt's tight-lipped mouth move around words he's deciding whether or not he should say. When his head snaps up, his furious eyes say it all.
"I broke up with him," Kurt says, struggling to keep his cool, "but I see now that it was a mistake. Besides, I don't see why that should concern you."
Sebastian swallows hard but his voice is calm.
"I think you know why, Kurt."
Kurt's eyes open wide, more with indignation than surprise, and he turns on his heel, taking off the way he was originally headed, trying to leave Sebastian and his questions behind, but Sebastian follows.
"Here I thought you were being a decent human being for once," Kurt grumbles in a loud voice. "God, am I an idiot."
"You aren't an idiot, Kurt, but you're acting like one," Sebastian says in a raised voice for Kurt to hear. "If you broke up with him in the first place, then you must have had a reason,"
"I broke up with him over toothpaste," Kurt says, not turning to make sure that Sebastian hears, not caring what he thinks. "It was impulsive. I wasn't looking at the big picture."
"Is Blaine really the big picture, Kurt? Why do you need him back so badly?" Sebastian argues. Kurt doesn't answer, and Sebastian continues on, trying to get a reaction. "Are you afraid of being alone? Is that it? Are you afraid no one else is going to love you? Open your eyes, Kurt! How do you know if you don't give anyone else a chance?"
Sebastian sees Kurt's back straighten and he knows he's struck a nerve. He also knows that by prodding Kurt too hard, he might lose any chance he could have with him, but he's too far gone to stop now.
New Year – new start.
From the crowd up ahead, a countdown starts as the clock ticks away the last ten seconds till the New Year. Sebastian feels like that countdown is ticking for him. He feels like he's running out of time.
"If breaking up with him was such a mistake, then why are you here on New Year's Eve instead of with him? Huh, Kurt?"
"Shut up, Smythe!" Kurt tosses back over his shoulder, crossing the street in an attempt to lose Sebastian in the crowd.
"You're here because he moved on, Kurt," Sebastian persists, almost cruelly, following Kurt across the street and into the gathering group of people.
"He's in his apartment with his boyfriend right now, and at midnight they're going to be sharing a kiss. And where are you, Kurt? I'll tell you where. You're here…alone. But you don't have to be."
"I said shut up!" Kurt yells, his voice shuddering, not as strong as before.
"You think you weren't seeing the big picture then, but you're not seeing the big picture now!"
Kurt stops, stuck in place by all those words, all those allegations, while Sebastian advances on him.
"You're not seeing that there're better guys out there, Kurt," Sebastian says, his voice softening as he comes closer.
"For crying out fucking loud, Kurt! Move on. Find someone better. Someone who'll love you for you. Someone who won't cheat on you and treat you like dirt. Someone who will try every day to deserve you-"
Sebastian finally reaches him. He steps up behind him and Kurt spins around, arm raised, hand flying.
"One! Happy New Year!"
Sebastian grabs Kurt's wrist as it flies, right before he can slap him in the face. Without another word, without a single other breath, Sebastian pulls Kurt into his arms, tilts his body back, and kisses him. Kurt yelps in surprise, prepared to struggle for all he's worth, but when he opens his mouth to scream, Sebastian's tongue slips past his lips and silences him. Kurt pushes at Sebastian's shoulders, but Sebastian holds him tighter, kissing him deeper, and he feels Kurt melt in his arms. Sebastian doesn't know what came over him. He never meant to force himself on Kurt, but here they are, and Kurt has stopped pushing. In fact, he starts pulling, tugging Sebastian's right shoulder closer as his left hand sneaks up and threads into Sebastian's hair, light fingertips tracing over his cheek and his jawline, down the length of his neck.
Sebastian moans slightly when Kurt starts kissing him back.
The crowd around them starts in on the refrain to Auld Lang Syne before Sebastian starts to pull away, his breath catching when he feels Kurt chase his lips. Kurt's eyes are bright with confusion and shining from being kissed when he looks up into Sebastian's face.
"Wh-why did you do that?" he asks, regaining his feet but not exactly pulling away. Sebastian looks at Kurt, memorizes his face in this moment, running his fingertips down Kurt's trembling cheek, savoring that he gets to touch Kurt while he's too stunned to move.
"I'm just…" Sebastian rests his forehead against Kurt's and closes his eyes, ready to surrender to whatever is about to happen next, "I'm giving you something to consider."