Sebastian/Blaine, r-rated for some words, for Casey the birthday girl!

paragraphs between ( ) are flash-forwards

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Portugal

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They grow up across the street from each other. It's a straight line from Blaine's blue front door down the footpath leading up to it, across the sidewalk, a precocious dip onto the street, several yards of sun-warmed asphalt, the opposite sidewalk before the grassy mats of another front lawn, right up to Sebastian's red front door.

On a good day, and given his mom isn't looking, Sebastian can sprint the distance in about 4.3 seconds. When his mom's out gardening he has to circumvent the grass and it takes approximately 6.7 seconds to get from his front door to Blaine's. On a rainy day he never checks. He can't risk the water damage to his stopwatch.

The door opens without him needing to ring the doorbell, and he's greeted by his favorite smile, before he and Blaine walk to school together, recounting last night's Dragon Ball Z episode in great detail even though they both watched it, trading whatever part of their lunches they don't like.

The two of them meet at three years old; he's wearing circles in the grass while his mom tends to the rose bushes, and Blaine's mom comes over with a small boy clutching her right hand. Their moms talk for the first time (he moved to Westerville a few weeks ago for his dad's job) and the boy with short dark curls makes his way over.

He stops long enough to realize this boy looks about his age and there's a dinosaur on his shirt and gosh, does he love those.

"I Blaine," the toddler sputters, while drooling all over a cookie he's trying to inhale.

"Bash'tian."

"No, sweetie," his mom calls, "It's Se-bas-tian," she enunciates, but he's been tripping over the intricacies of those syllables since he learned to talk. Besides, the boy in front of him is now smiling and produces a juice box, who cares about what his mom says?

"Wanna share?" Blaine asks, his hazel eyes too big for his adorable face.

The rest, as they say, is history. What follows are play-dates and their parents socializing and trick-or-treating in matching costumes, invites to birthday parties and exploring the neighborhood with Blaine's older brother Cooper and a friendship that will go down in the annals of Westerville history.

They're not each other's only friends, but they're each other's best friends, which affords Blaine privileges in his life regular friends don't enjoy. From the age of three onward one can't say Sebastian Smythe without adding Blaine Anderson in the same breath, and vice versa. They walk to school together, they sit together at lunch, walk home, and help each other with their homework – Sebastian's really good at math, and Blaine's really good at English so they guide each other through it, followed by video games, or soccer, or intricate adventures they come up with themselves.

In the summer they set up a tent in Sebastian's backyard as well as Blaine's, and take turns sleeping in them, so they don't upset their moms by thinking they prefer one to the other. Blaine's mom is strict but fair, and if they keep to the rules they can usually do whatever they want. Sebastian's mom is more lenient and has the best snacks, but she gets pretty upset when they don't do as they're told. Blaine's dad doesn't bother much with them unless Sebastian stays for dinner; then he'll talk about ancient Rome and Greece and tell stories about mythological beasts that could tear full grown men apart. Sebastian's dad never bothers with them at all.

When they're old enough to go out on their own they start exploring the woods not far from where they live and pretend there aren't any paths; in their imagination they're the sole survivors of a zombie apocalypse and they have to live off the land to survive. They learn how to make fire and make their own compass out of a stick of grass and some still water; they make poor bows out of branches and some string and use a Swiss army knife to make arrows.

One day they make it as far as a small lake, flanked by trees on every side, no signs of civilization anywhere. They make a flag out of a long stick and an old rag and plant it in the sand. They even name it, this little oasis of theirs.

"We're not telling anyone about this, ever."

Blaine nods, hooking his pinkie in Sebastian's. "Not even Cooper."

If Sebastian were to draw a Venn diagram of their lives, one circle his life, the other Blaine's, they'd overlap completely, because the logical relations between their finite set of friends, family and places they go all match perfectly.

Blaine will crunch his nose and look at him funny, since they're both barely nine and well, Blaine's not very good at math, and ask, "What's that mean?"

"It means we're like–" –he draws a near perfect circle in the sand with his index finger–, "this."

Blaine blinks up at him, his eyes still too big, his face still too adorable, his own tummy still rumbling with a sensation he doesn't understand the variables of. "We're a circle?"

"Yeah." He beams. "We're a circle."

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(On the night of his graduation his friends drag him out to a tattoo parlor – he's twenty-two and not nearly this stupid, but while his friends get tattoos they'll probably regret first thing in the morning, he asks for a small circle, a simple circle, on his ribs.

"The most perfect of mathematical shapes," Mike bellows and takes another swig of whatever he managed to buy off the bartender earlier.

And he nods, yes, sure, because it's a mathematical shape.)

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I know everyone you know

You know everyone I know

Our Venn diagrams are one circle

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"Sam asked me out," Blaine blurts out one day, while he sits hunched over the extra exercises Mrs Cole handed him after class, the beautiful curvilinear shapes of integrals leering at him from the white page.

"Evans?" he asks, slightly confused, even though he knows full well who Sam is and what he means to Blaine, and that the potential of a date had oscillated between them for a while now.

He just never thought–

At least not so soon after–

Not with Blaine still in doubt whether or not he even liked boys that way.

Blaine's talking again before he can finish the thought. "Do you think I should say yes? I mean, I like him. But I'm not sure I like him like that. But that's kind of the point of going on a date, right? Finding out?"

Blaine's rapid ranting betrays him; he does like Sam, it's easy to see in the way the blond holds Blaine's attention whenever he speaks, how Blaine laughs louder than anyone else at Sam's impressions, how he stares when he thinks no one's looking. And he thinks he knows that because he's been staring at Blaine in much the same way, since, well–

He frowns. "Yeah."

"You don't think I should go." Blaine's face falls, his eyes, those big impossible eyes pinning him down, asking for advice, one best friend begging the other to see him through this decision unscathed. But all he wonders is when exactly Blaine's jaw set so firm, when did he start using moisturizer to fix those continually chapped lips of his? When had Blaine carefully started taking note of his appearance, his hair styled with gel, his nails trimmed neatly? When exactly had Blaine's shoulders set so stark underneath his shirts?

"You like him." He recovers. "You should go."

Blaine smiles at him and it fills his chest and stomach with a warm sense of pride, even if he's none too sure he means what he said. When exactly had they stopped being kids, two pirates fighting for their right to survive, and turn into teenagers who go out on dates, who are trying to find their place in the world they live in rather than the imaginary places they carved out together?

When had Blaine gone and grown up?

It must've been somewhere in between their talk that day at the lake, the "I think I like boys the way I'm supposed to like girls" confession he found mirrored in his own most secret of desires, and all the days he'd missed, lost in his own interests and other friends, too busy to notice his best friend growing up into a fine young man who would attract other boys' interest.

Of course Sam had asked Blaine out. He was probably paying attention.

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(The first time he heads to Scandals and lets some guy palm him through his pants oddly coincides with Blaine's first date with Sam. It's the second time he ever kisses a guy, lets his tongue catch behind teeth and sink deep into something he'll do again, and again, and again, but he didn't need a second try to be sure.

He knows he likes boys the way he's expected to like girls.)

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You grow up when I'm not looking

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Ages fourteen through sixteen slowly spin them into the people they're set to become. They're not each other's only friends, not by a long shot, but they're still best friends. Best friends who give each other space to cultivate hobbies they don't share, to spend times with friends who do, to go out on dates or party at clubs, or whatever else doesn't fall into the union where the circles of their lives meet.

Sebastian's more into the exact sciences and playing sports, while Blaine joins the Glee club and a local community theatre. Some of Blaine's friends become his friends, like Santana, and some of his friends become Blaine's, like Nick and Jeff, but their circles are ever expanding with variables that don't overlap.

They've long since given up the tent in the backyard and the exploratory missions into the woods, though some summer days they find themselves at the lake, their secret getaway Blaine hasn't even told Sam about.

"You and Sam are going camping?"

Blaine nods, his eyes closed to the sun, lounged back in the sand. "For a whole week."

He mirrors Blaine's position, a smile curling around his lips. "You going to third base?"

The back of Blaine's hand lands on his chest as a slap, but he'd prepared for it, so he's not surprised.

"None of your business," Blaine laughs, letting the question pass as the good-natured joke it was meant to be. They don't talk about that kind of stuff anymore, not since that life-changing day at the lake. He's ticked off several bases with Michael, Simon and Bart respectively, but he is still, technically, a virgin. Or, he thinks he is anyway, he's not sure how it works when someone's gay.

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(His first real time, he decides, happens when he's eighteen, with a boy who's slowly teaching him how to speak French again. Benoît is twenty but opens up to him about his sexuality, about his struggles, about being shunned by his mom but not his dad, and even though it's the other way around for him, he's never related to anyone more.

He kisses Benoît deep and thorough and slowly ruts them together, and even though they have penetrative sex six weeks later, that first time with Benoît, that's his real first time.

Only because he decides one can't lose his virginity to a kiss.)

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We grow apart without knowing

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Could you meet me at our place?

That's it. That's all the message he sends Blaine before he grabs a jacket and storms out the front door, a straight line to the pavement before he makes a sharp left turn, walking, then sprinting towards the woods. His heart beats at his ribcage like it's trying to escape, the wind wheezes in his ears, the acidic burn in his calves a sharp reminder of the bitter taste in his mouth.

He stands catching his breath for ten minutes straight, tears in his eyes he refuses to spill, his anger a white mist at his temples. This has been coming for such a long time, he knows that, but all the trouble it carries in its wake, all the rearranging, his circumference fading, thickening, pulsing much like his heart.

Blaine shows up twenty minutes later breathing normally, and whatever mean streak he possesses almost resents his best friend for not hurrying, for not understanding the urgency in his message.

"What's wrong?" Blaine asks, sitting down next to him in the sand.

By now he's calmed down enough to fight the blunt force trauma his tears have caused, but he still doesn't look at Blaine. "My parents are getting a divorce."

Blaine gives the statement the space it deserves, the gravity of it carrying over the water, causing one unforeseeable ripple after the other. After twenty years of silent arguments his parents had finally decided to call it quits; his mom had been unhappy for years, and his dad had merely allowed room for her in his life. Sometimes he thinks half the reason they tried so long was for his benefit. But this doesn't benefit anyone.

"I had no idea it was that bad."

"It is that bad."

He hasn't told Blaine, after everything they shared when they were younger he had no need for Blaine to see the cracks fissuring in his family's life, their collection of finites shrinking, disappearing, meandering along the lines of what he loathes to think is normal for a relationship.

"My mom– she's moving to Paris."

Tears line his eyes again and he stares at his hands, wringing together painfully, the I'm going with her implied in his initial text message, the setting, the small eye of the storm they still have left.

"I can't live with him, Blaine." He shakes his head. His dad isn't abusive, he doesn't touch him or his mom, but he's indifferent, cold, everything he's terrified he'll become – a man who doesn't value the relationships in his life, a man who doesn't bat an eye when someone's hurting, or when his own son needs a hug. "I'll become–"

"You wouldn't," Blaine's quick to reply, covering his hands over his. "But I understand. We'll make it work."

For the first time that day he allows himself to cry. In the presence of the boy who still knows him best, the boy who always will, he pulls his legs up to his chest and wraps his arms around them, spiraling out of control while Blaine curls protectively around his back. He cries the tears he held back, Blaine's soothing Shhhs warm at his neck, and for a moment or two he feels closer to Blaine than he ever has.

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And all of a sudden I'm leaving

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The first few weeks are easy, a pleasant surprise after the warnings everyone gave them about drifting apart, about long-distance changing even the strongest friendships.

He wakes up to Blaine's texts in the morning, silly messages about Blaine's day, or a stunt Cooper pulled, or an inside joke he alone will understand. A few hours into his day he'll text Blaine with the same nonsense, about the crazy cat his mom bought, or how he can't speak French like he used to. Sometimes he'll even text in class, all so Blaine can wake up to his messages too.

They set up elaborate Skype sessions where their free time overlaps, watch movies together, talk for hours until one of them (usually Blaine) ends up falling asleep and he bathes in the comfortable silence stretched over the incredible scope their circles now bridge, meeting somewhere over halfway the distance.

But soon life does what life always has: it goes on. They both graduate high school and Blaine disappears into the woods with Sam for much longer than a week, he meets a guy named Benoît, and whatever time he and Blaine find after that are bite-sized portions of the buffet they gorged on before.

Once college starts one cancelled Skype date follows the other, and soon they talk once a week, once every two weeks, once every month, like it's the easiest damn thing in the world. It's not his fault, and it isn't Blaine's, life just has this way of scraping people down to the bare layer where reality lies.

"Blaine, I'm sorry," –he plunks down behind his computer, half-shrugged into his new leather jacket, nearly missing his chair– "I have to run."

"Oh."

He tries his damnedest to pretend his best friend's face doesn't riddle disappointment, otherwise he'll get stuck in a tantrum of apologies with himself as his greatest source of anger.

"Okay."

"I'm really sorry," he says, "but I made plans, and I can't–"

"It's okay, Sebastian," Blaine stops him short of saying it, of admitting he has a new life he needs to nurture too, that he has to make this Paris thing work the way Westerville used to, and sometimes, most of the time, maybe even always, he's allowed to put himself first. Blaine is his best friend in the world, his only best friend, but even best friends have to let each other go sometimes.

Maybe if the distance were shorter, maybe if there weren't several time zones in between them, maybe if, maybe then, maybe when? Maybe they're all just excuses to hide the fact that everyone was right. Long-distance changes friendships too.

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("I love you more than anything, Blaine Anderson." He smiles down at the man he exchanged I dos with earlier today, rings snug around their fingers, clothes scattered all over the floor.)

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So I say, I'm sorry I can't, I've got plans

'Cause I watched the time slip through my hands

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They're good at pretending things haven't changed, that there aren't over 4000 miles stretched between them and their radii barely graze anymore; there's only the miniscule union encompassing all their memories. It's something they let happen, because it needs to happen. They can't keep holding on to the past.

"Sebastian, I'm so sorry."

"It's not your fault." He sniffles, curled inside himself again, and he wishes like hell he could feel Blaine's arms around him right now. He hates that they're so far apart and that there's more than distance alienating them; he hates this stupid computer screen between them and he hates every guy in the whole wide world. Except for Blaine. "People break up, right?"

"Yeah," Blaine sighs, still bruised after his own break-up.

He's nineteen going on twenty and it's the last time he talks to his best friend for many years to come, save for a few Facebook notifications.

He forgets, in infinitesimal small ways, he lets go of the imaginary adventures, of the video games and movie marathons, of those tents in the backyard. Of the small beach by the lake where, once upon a time, Blaine became his zero conditional. He sinks into his world of logic and numbers, learns and calculates and studies until his veins run hot with mathematical equations.

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(In time he'll learn he never lost anything, and he never truly forgot either. Their points of departure were the same and their lives ran linear to each other for the longest time, and somewhere, at seventeen, that simply wasn't possible anymore. They tried, they failed, but cherished their memories of each other more than any other, learning that, despite everything, true friendship never dies.

"I love you too," Blaine whispers in the dead of night, a weightless mass beneath him and eyes like starlight, his lips warm promises along his jaw, down his neck, his desire quiet gasps he coaxes out with the shallow tilt of his hips.)

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But you don't know now,

One day you'll learn

Growing up is a heavy leaf to turn

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("You never intended to stay, did you?" Blaine asks, the postcard from his mom dwindling to the floor in a small fluttery spiral. Blaine tries to blink away tears but there's no fooling him; no matter what he says Blaine will see the seventeen-year old version of him leaving all over again, so he better make this count.

He tracks a step closer, aware that closing the distance between their bodies might not negate the asymptotic infinity ten years apart have caused. "Don't say it like that."

Blaine sniffles, arms crossed over his chest. "Like what?"

"Like I've been saying goodbye all this time."

He draws the back of his fingers down Blaine's cheek, smiles at the memory of the first time Blaine let him do that; Blaine's opening night on Broadway, the first cup of coffee they shared in almost ten years, the glow in Blaine's eyes that same three-year old's twinkle.

"I didn't intend to stay," he confesses, because it's the truth; New York was meant to be a pit stop, another few years sacrificed to school before he went back to Paris. But New York never actually became a pit stop. "Because I didn't have a reason to until I found you again."

"Your mom–" Blaine's voice is thick with disbelief.

"My mom has Francis." He strokes at Blaine's cheek reverently, enchanted by the way his eyes do that thing, that unquantifiable beautiful thing. "And she has my sister. She'll manage without me."

He omits the you're/I'm an idiot the same way Blaine refrains from saying it, and falls into a kiss instead, a kiss that encircles all of the things they don't need to say. But I can't manage without you.)

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Take me with you

'Cause even on your own

You are not alone

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("You don't need me to be a star," he adds solemnly, after he's made sure Blaine has heard him twice over; he can't pass up the opportunity to teach at Oxford, but he'll be damned if he separates Blaine from his dreams, from his passions, from a future completely attainable for him.

He turns and finds Blaine's eyes and he's never more disappointed in himself –in them– then when he finds those hazels glazed over with tears – they are stellar together, supernovas on the brink of ignition, but part of the reason they've worked since they were three is because they allowed each other the space to grow up, to love, to hurt, to find each other again.

"What about everything else?" Blaine asks.

And he asks, "What do you mean?" because you're everything to me is too unbearable to think about. He never knew that real love would hurt the way everyone claimed it did, but he's carried this particular hurt with him since that day at the lake when he learned what love looked like. And it looked eerily similar to Blaine.

"Marry me."

His lips part while he gives the request the space to breathe, to ripple into a future where they never separate again.

"Okay," he breathes, while his heart stutters an irregular pattern.

Blaine closes the distance between them and crashes their mouths together, arms around his neck and, "Take me with you," whispered in between every kiss.

And he's hardly the person to deny Blaine anything. "Okay.")

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Take me with you

'Cause even by yourself, my love

You are something else

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When he moves to New York for his doctoral degree he hasn't set foot on American soil for almost six years – if it wasn't school his finances got in the way, and his life of formulas and number theory felt complete enough not to abandon it on a momentary whim. He couldn't pass up his professor's offer to come here on a research grant though, the thought of getting paid for what he loves an offer far too enticing.

His mom was sad to see him go, mostly because he wouldn't be around to watch his baby sister grow up, but he assured her he'd keep in touch; by airmail, if he had to.

Four years sounds like a long time to be away from home, but he makes due. He's not alone, there are researchers from across the world; Shanti came all the way from India, Sunshine from the Philippines, and Connor from Australia. They all hang out, at school, outside of school, and at work. They're not best friends, but they are close; it's less lonely with people there who know what he's going through, or who don't think him the biggest nerd for liking mathematics so much.

And he dates, now and then, when he finds someone who doesn't find his brain too off-putting.

"Who was your first kiss?" Todd asks, slightly intoxicated, staring at him over the rim of his near empty beer bottle.

His eyes glazed over half a beer ago, and he's imagining all the ways he could strip the broad-shouldered jock out of his blue polo shirt, so much so that the sudden thought of Blaine hardly fazes him. "Some kid who lived across the street from me," he says, a bitter taste in his mouth after the hasty and thoughtless answer.

An hour later, with Todd's mouth wrapped around him in a bed too small for the both of them, Blaine's face swims in front of his eyes, like it does from time to time when he's had too much to drink or someone's features remind him of his best friend – he doesn't chase it away, doesn't push at it until all he sees is Todd again, no, he closes his eyes and goes back to that day at the lake, eons at the lake, hugs he shared with Blaine, sitting shoulder to shoulder, laughing, tickling each other until their stomachs hurt. He smiles and moans and twists his fingers into Todd's thick hair, pretending it's Blaine's.

The answer to Todd's question doesn't always come in the same iteration; when he's sober the thought of Blaine has the power to change his mood completely, it can make him sad and long for the past, or it can make him happy and grateful for the years he got with Blaine. It's a toss-up game of the same old maybe if, maybe then, like it will always be.

"Who was your first kiss?" James asks, his British accent playing with the words.

His arms are folded behind his head, goosebumps rising in the wake of the fingers James draws down his torso, two soft blue eyes eating him up. He conjures Blaine's face in his mind's eye, not the least bit accurate anymore, the steady shift in his chest incomprehensible.

"My best friend," he says, voice heavy with a kind of grief he can't equate to anything else in his life. He's not sure it's grief, rather than a good/bad kind of hurt he only associates with Blaine. "When I was fourteen."

"Was it some kind of dare?"

"No." He smiles softly, because it wouldn't have been much of a stretch. "We had– we had a real moment."

James leans up on an elbow, a fragile hint of jealousy crossing his features. "You were in love with him."

And he looks James straight in the eyes when he admits it; yes, he probably was in love, but too young to realize it at the time. James is a man he can be straight with, a few years older than him, taller than him if at all possible, but ever the young boy inside. They work because they don't have any expectations – James knows he's only in New York for another two years and there's an endless world of possibility in between then and now. No need to make that into more than what it is.

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("Exes?" Blaine asks, and giggles soon after, swallowing down another shot and replacing it upside down on top of the blanket they put on the floor. No reason to ruin their new hardwood floors.

"Really, killer?" He raises an eyebrow, eyesight hazy from too much alcohol, but had Blaine insisted they toasted to the fact that they actually managed to move in together. "You wanna do this now?"

"Nah." Blaine scoots closer, making a big acrobatic display out of crawling into his lap. "I don't care who you dated, or slept with, or were in love with. You're all mine now.")

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One summer turns into ten summers

One lover turns into ten lovers

But this memory is still with me

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"I think I like boys the way I'm supposed to like girls," Blaine confessed not an hour ago, but somehow they find themselves laughing again already. Blaine wouldn't have told him if he were scared of how he'd react, and he would never do anything to make Blaine uncomfortable, least of all when Blaine's confession lies at the core of all his heart's desires.

Most people would find it hard to believe, but he's known since he was very young.

After their talk Blaine falls silent, lost in thought as he stares out over the water of their special place away from home, a little bit smaller, life picking at the layers insulating whatever fragility that keeps him closeted to everyone else.

"Last one in the water buys the ice-cream?" he tries tentatively, catching Blaine's eyes with a raise of his eyebrow.

"We can't–" Blaine hesitates, while he calculates how long it would take to take off most of his clothes and sprint towards the water's edge. His legs are longer, and Blaine has that bowtie to contend with, so he can probably win this.

But Blaine jumps up before he knows it, his bowtie loosened with one flick of his wrist and by the time he's actually standing Blaine's already halfway out of his shirt. Damn. The next thirty seconds turns into a struggle with shirts and pants, a giggle-fit, and a big heap of clothing on the beach, before they're both running for the water, Blaine hitting it half a second before he does.

They splash about and push each other under and laugh until their lungs hurt, any fear forgotten, any doubt that their friendship might waver buried underneath the sound of their heart beating as one, the Venn diagram that comprises their life expanded once again.

"Thank you for listening, Sebastian."

He swims over to Blaine, coming eye to eye with him. "Of course."

"And thank you for–"

A shade of doubt colors Blaine's gorgeous eyes again and he's urged to close a little more of the distance, if only to show Blaine that he's there, that he understands, that there's nothing he could ever say or do that would chase him away.

"Blaine," he says softly. "You're my best friend."

In that moment they cease to be fourteen year old boys playing cops and robbers, smearing dirt on their faces to look a bit more haggard; they become two boys who have the same truth beating inside of them, the same cloak hiding it from sight, the same fear camouflaged around it.

And neither of them knows if leaning in is the dumbest thing they'll ever do, or the best possible decision they'll ever make, but they do, eyes drawn to lips, Blaine's hands on his chest. It's a little awkward because they're both bobbing in the water, a little clumsy too, but he finds his footing the moment his lips touch Blaine's. His lips part and he wades half an inch closer, his mouth moving against Blaine's like it was meant to do just that since his inception.

It's his first kiss, and it's Blaine's first kiss, and a tiny voice at the back of his head wants it to be his very very last.

The voice disappears as quickly as it appeared, because they don't talk about it, neither of them feels the need to. They just lie on the beach and get dry, stare up at the clouds drifting by and try to divine weird shapes. Like they always do.

It's the last time they're ever, truly, a complete circle.

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("Where are you honeymooning?" Quinn, a Broadway friend of Blaine's, asks excitedly.

When his eyes meet Blaine's in a short but serendipitous moment, he knows what's coming.

Blaine giggles. "Portugal.")

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Circles bring me in circles

Your clothes underneath my clothes

Once upon a time in Portugal

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They call it Portugal, this magical place in their imagination, the spot around the lake, the water and the trees, where once upon a time a boy named Blaine Anderson and a boy named Sebastian Smythe shared their first (but not only) kiss.

And no matter what, no matter the years, no matter how many times he falls in love and gets his heart broken, no matter how many hearts he breaks himself, Blaine Anderson would always be his once upon a time in Portugal. His first friend, his one and only best friend. His first kiss.

The one who got away without him realizing he should chase behind.

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The poster caught his eyes a week ago, during one of his many wanderings through New York, when the chalk of the blackboard becomes a bit too stifling and he runs through his equations in the streets of undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in the world.

Now an identical image stares back at him from a smaller playbill, nearly mangled unrecognizable in his hands. He'd kept the bouquet of roses in his lap for fear of destroying that too, a bead of sweat trickling down his temple.

He never dreamed that this could happen, that of all the places in the entire world he'd find Blaine's gorgeous eyes staring back at him in an alley behind a small theatre where Blaine made his Broadway debut. His best friend made his Broadway debut and by some stroke of fate he'd been there to witness it.

"Sebastian," Blaine whispers, his eyes so wide, so big, and he knows in that moment, with all his years' experience stacked up over time, that he's been falling in love with his best friend from the moment they met.

"Hey, killer." His joy barely reaches his lips as Blaine's cast mates pour out of the theatre too. "I don't mean to keep you."

"No, this is–" Blaine waves a dismissive hand without looking back, without releasing his eyes, and then a wide smile brightens his entire face. "Hey."

"I heard about your show." He shuffles where he stands, because he has no idea how to do this, how to reconnect after losing Blaine so long ago. Do they pick up where they left off? "Didn't think I could miss it."

Blaine takes a step closer. "I didn't know you were in New York."

Same here, he thinks, but nods instead. "Almost four years now. For school."

"You should've told me. We could've–" but that hardly matters anymore, he sees the cogs inside Blaine's head catch up, before his eyes fall to the roses in his hand. "Are those for me?"

"Yeah."

He hands over the flowers, aware that he's shaking, that his heart's started seizing around this magnificent truth. He found Blaine again.

"They're beautiful," Blaine says, wading in the silence that follows, like there's no decade separating them at all. "You want to get some coffee?"

"It's your opening night."

But yeah, yes, he wants to have coffee, today, tomorrow, and every day that follows.

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(There'll be other opening nights. There'll be one where the cast invites him along, and one where the press expects to see him by Blaine's side. Because where else would Sebastian Smythe be?

There'll even be an opening night in London.)

.

"You know, you were my first kiss," Blaine muses, curling a leg around his hip, bringing their bodies impossibly closer, and somewhere behind those hazel eyes lies the clear invitation; will you be my last?

He smiles softly. "You were mine, too."

"What was it you said once?" Blaine asks, pulling back the sheets covering their sweaty bodies, urging his arm out of the way so he can have a good look at his tattoo.

"We're like–" –Blaine's index finger traces the circle on his skin– "this."

"We're a circle."

Two semi-circles making one complete circle, maybe, now that he thinks about it.

.

.

fin

.