Kurt stirred, frowning in his sleep. "Bas?" he mumbled, his hand brushing the sheets, feeling around blindly. As he found nothing, Kurt tore open his eyes and sat up. The bed was empty. "Bas!" he called out, panic rising in his throat.
"I'm right here babe," Sebastian said, rolling closer to Kurt. He sat in a wheelchair, a hospital blanket draped over his legs.
Kurt took a few steadying breaths, taking everything in. "I'm sorry," he said, rubbing a hand over his face. "I'm awake now. How's your hand?"
Sebastian held up his splinted fingers. "Stuck in a permanent F.U."
Kurt smirked. "Practical. Alex will be jealous."
Sebastian grinned and laughed a little.
There was a knock on the door, and after a few moments, Marc came in. He was carrying a small bouquet of yellow roses.
"Hey," he greeted them. "I talked to Paul on the way in, he said you don't need surgery. That's great news!"
Sebastian smiled at him and nodded. "Yeah, they just cleaned it a bit and put this on it." He held his hand up to show to off the splint.
"I'm so relieved," Marc said honestly. "He also said you can come home tomorrow. I'll get your room all set up for you tonight, make it nice and comfy."
He handed Sebastian the flowers.
"Thank you," Sebastian said quietly. "For everything."
Kurt smiled. It was good to know that Marc and Paul weren't just fair weather dads who could throw lavish parties and give expensive gifts - they were really coming through for Sebastian now.
He got up from Sebastian's bed and stretched his back. "I'll go get a vase, I saw they have some in the kitchenette by the coffee machine."
Marc handed Kurt the flowers and Kurt left the room.
"You don't have to thank us Seb. You're family and we care about you. This is what you do for family, okay?"
Sebastian lick his lips and caught the bottom one between his teeth. He nodded.
"You want some help getting back into bed?"
Sebastian nodded again and, with Marc's help, settled himself back on the soft mattress.
"How were the dogs?" he asked to distract himself from his thoughts.
Marc smirked. "Loud. It took me a while to get to sleep. They're very intuitive, you know. They sense when something's up." He sat down on a chair by the bed. "I guess they got a little agitated because I smelled like hospital."
Kurt came back in and carrying the flowers in a basic glass vase. He set them by the bed and wrinkled his nose a little.
"Do you think I could use the shower here?" he asked.
Marc looked at Sebastian, who nodded subtly. "Kurt, I'll be at home again this evening. Paul is on a long shift so will be staying here overnight. Why don't you come home with me? You can shower and sleep, and then in the morning we can go to your apartments and pick up some clothes and personal items for you both."
Kurt frowned. "I don't know, I kind of want to stay..."
"Yeah, but there's only one bed and Seb needs his rest too," Marc argued.
Kurt shrugged. "That's okay. I already slept, so..."
"Baby," Sebastian started, reaching his good hand out to Kurt. "You slept for like, an hour...two at most. And if you don't sleep you'll end up here as a patient with sleep deprivation."
He kissed Kurt's hand. "I love you for wanting to stay, but you should go and get a proper night's sleep and a shower...nothing is going to happen to me, I promise."
Kurt still hesitated, but the thought that Paul would be there to keep an eye on Sebastian finally helped him see reason. What could he do, anyway, apart from keep Sebastian from his rest?
"Okay," he agreed. "If you're sure...I guess I can do that. Is there anything special I should bring from your place?"
Sebastian smiled at him. "My glasses? So I can tell how much of this blurry vision is the concussion and how much is just my crappy eyesight?"
Kurt grinned and nodded. "Sure thing. Anything else?" he asked eagerly, wanting to feel helpful.
"My laptop? And maybe some books, please?"
"We're not leaving just yet Kurt, I only just got here," Marc said kindly. Seeing Sebastian again now that he'd slept and was cleaned up made Marc feel a little reassured himself. Sebastian was in good hands.
"Yeah, you wouldn't want to miss this delicious dinner, anyway," a friendly nurse announced cheerfully, pushing a cart stacked with aluminium-covered trays. She took out three portions and handed them to Kurt.
"Um, thanks? But we're only visitors..."
"That's ok, honey. The boss signed off on it." She winked at him. "Enjoy your meal."
A little stunned, Kurt handed Sebastian and Marc a tray. "Paul really calls the shots around here, huh?" he said.
"He's worked here a long time," Marc said smiling. "They've offered him Chief more times than I can count, but he likes surgery and teaching too much."
Kurt secretly loved the pride he could hear in Marc's voice. They loved each other so much. It made him miss his dad and Carole. They had more in common with Sebastian's dads-by-choice than it would seem at first glance.
He set his tray to the side and rose to help Sebastian take the foil off of his. It smelled a bit like the food from the cafeteria at McKinley; a vision of overcooked vegetables, rich sauce and unidentifiable chunks of meat swam before Kurt's eyes- both of the times he'd tried to eat it, and the times he had to wash it out of his hair in the boys' room sink after the jocks tipped his tray over accidentally-on-purpose. His stomach churned a little, but he knew he had to eat something, and so should Sebastian.
"Yum, hospital food," Sebastian said in a monotone, then winked at Kurt.
"I guess this is...not so bad," Kurt offered, looking down on his tray.
"Wait till you try it before passing judgement," Paul said walking into the room. "Hey," he said kissing Marc on the cheek and then focusing on Sebastian. "I thought I'd come and see how your hand is doing, are you in any pain?"
Sebastian rolled his wrist and shrugged. It itched a little bit. He figured it was because of the splint - his fingers weren't used to being fixed in one position.
"No," he said quietly, awkwardly spearing a piece of broccoli onto his fork with his left hand. "My heads a little fuzzy, but I'm okay."
Paul nodded. "Fuzzy. Can you be a little more specific? Headaches? Auras? Are you seeing starbursts around the lights? Or is it more like feeling tired? Any nausea? Apart from the food, I mean."
Marc frowned a little. "Can you let him eat in peace?" he mumbled.
"I'm trying to find out if I can discharge him in the morning," Paul explained. "It's my responsibility."
"You can have my pudding if you sit down for five minutes," Marc offered.
Paul raised an eyebrow. "I'll take it, if only to stop you from eating it. Those are bad for you." He snatched the cup off Marc's tray and sat down in Sebastian's vacated wheelchair.
"My hero," Marc teased.
Sebastian smirked a little and then considered Paul's question. "I don't know," he said. "I guess I feel tired? I have a bit of a headache, but the kind I get if I've been reading a book all day?"
Paul nodded thoughtfully as he spooned the pudding out of his cup. "That's expected. I think some more rest will help with that. But let me know if you feel your vision overlap or if the lights are causing you pain, okay?"
He didn't wait for a reply but turned to Kurt right away."How are you, Kurt?"
Kurt swallowed a bite of mashed potatoes and licked his lips. Paul was a little intimidating when he did his doctor thing. "I'm okay," he started, but quickly added: "But Bas and Marc already convinced me to go home to your place for the night."
Paul nodded. "That's good. You need rest too, now that the adrenaline has faded."
He put down his empty cup. "I should do the rest of my round and head back to my office to meet with my team. I usually give them more time to prep when I am taking leave."
They all nodded and, with another kiss to Marc's cheek, Paul left the room.
Sebastian ate his dinner slowly, the potato feeling heavy on his tongue. "God," he grimaced. "How can they get away with serving this to patients?"
Marc grinned. "I guess most of the patients are drugged up and not in a state to refuse," he joked. "But Paul says the food in the staff cafeteria is the same. He's always complaining about it."
Kurt shrugged. "It's hardly worse than our school food. Dalton's was nicer...though that would be expected given what they charged for tuition."
Sebastian hummed and pushed the dinner container away, reaching for his pudding instead.
"Thank god I'm only here for one more night..." he mumbled. "At least, I hope so...God..I hate this." He put his half opened chocolate pudding down and looked at his legs.
"Paul sounded confident you get to check out tomorrow," Marc said.
"And then we can cook you something decent to celebrate!" Kurt suggested cheerfully. "Provided Paul lets me into the kitchen, of course."
Marc smirked. "I can't make any promises. His kitchen is sacrosanct. I can't even tell you what he spent on a new set of knives the other day, it was outrageous."
Sebastian half-smiled at their attempts to cheer him up. Scratching his hand absentmindedly, he sunk back into his pillows and listened to Kurt and Marc talk about Paul's possessiveness over the kitchen.
After a while, they noticed Sebastian was getting tired, so Marc and Kurt decided to go.
"Call me if you need anything, okay?" Kurt said for the third time and kissed his boyfriend's cheek. "I'll see you in the morning."
"Hang in there, Seb," Marc offered, squeezing his shoulder. "I hear the breakfast is slightly better."
Sebastian smiled and turned his head to kiss Kurt softly. "Have a good night."
As they left, it was quiet on the floor. Visiting hours had been over for a while. Kurt was glad the hospital was cutting them this much slack. They weren't even officially Sebastian's relatives. Things could have gone very differently if it hadn't been for Paul. Sebastian could have been really alone - throughout the whole thing. Kurt doubted his father would have showed up, even if Sebastian would have listed him as his emergency contact (which he knew he hadn't).
Sebastian sighed and scratched his hand again. Figuring he should probably try and sleep, he closed his eyes and settled down.
His phone buzzed just as he was drifting off and he groaned, opening his eyes. He reached awkwardly to the table over his legs and looked at the screen.
Smiling a little, he swiped to answer and held the phone up to his ear. "Hey Alice."
"Oh my god, Seb, it's so good to hear your voice," Alice said. "How are you? I've been texting Kurt but he hasn't even read my messages yet!"
"I'm...okay, just a little banged up. I'm sure Kurt will text you, he's been sleeping this afternoon so that's probably why. How are you?"
Alice paused a little. "I'm fine," she said finally. "Brody and I have been looking at apartments and we have put ourselves on the list for two of them, it's very exciting! But-" she audibly stopped herself. "I want to hear about you . Does it hurt? Is your room okay? Are you sure you don't want me to come over?"
Sebastian bit his lip and rubbed his right hand against his hip. "My right hand is busted, I have to keep the splint on for four weeks, and I still have a concussion...my room's okay, the food is shit...I don't think they'll let you come," he sighed. "Visiting hours are over."
"Oh, right…" Alice sounded a little dejected. "I'm sorry." She sighed. "I wish there was something I could do."
Sebastian rolled over slightly and curled his legs up. "You can tell me about the apartments you've been viewing, are you gonna have a housewarming?"
"Okay!" Alice said eagerly. "Right, so this first place we went to was an absolute disaster…"
[The Next Morning]
The door opened and Paul walked in, dressed in his civilian clothes and holding a clipboard. He had already come to see Sebastian earlier for a last check-up, and upon finding everything in order, had gone to deal with the paperwork.
"Here you go, Seb," he said, handing the clipboard to Sebastian. "You need to sign these and then you're free to go."
Sebastian took the pen from the clipboard. It felt awkward in his left hand, but he managed to scribble a legible signature. Paul turned and handed the clipboard to a young colleague who had followed him in.
"Take these to the nurses station, please," he said.
"Yes doctor," the woman said. "And what should we do about the kid in 7?"
"Abbie?" Paul asked. "Tell her if she doesn't stop picking her stitches the wound won't heal and I'll have to chop off her arm." Paul grinned at the intern and she chuckled, backing out of the room.
Sebastian watched her go with a smirk on his face. "So, uh...should I be worried you're gonna chop off my hand, too?" he asked playfully.
Paul turned around, his expression neutral. "It'll probably be okay. But you might want to update your resumé just in case...I hear flairtending isn't all that easy with a hook."
Sebastian grinned at him.
Paul smiled back at Sebastian. He pushed the wheelchair closer to the bed and held out his hand. "Come on. The girls will be happy to see you."
The dogs were happy to see him. As soon as Paul opened the door, Poppy and Lola were at his heels, barking and wagging their tails. Paul whistled to get their attention and they sat down.
"Gently! Sebastian is hurt and needs to be looked after. Be gentle."
Sebastian smiled at them and held his uninjured hand out for them to sniff. Poppy licked it softly and Lola nudged his leg with her head.
"Marc and Kurt have gone to pick up your things," Paul said holding up a note that had been left on the side table next to the door. "Marc said he has set up your room for you, do you want to lie down? Shower?"
Sebastian looked around the apartment, feeling at home instantly.
"Shower, I think," he said. "I feel gross…" He hesitated. "Thank you, Paul, for doing this."
Paul squeezed his shoulder. "You're welcome in our home any time, Seb, you know that. And Kurt is too, of course." He thought about the night before. "He's tougher than he looks," he mused.
"Don't I know it," Sebastian said. "I don't know what I'd have done if it had been reversed...I'd have been a basket case."
The thought of anything happening to Kurt made his stomach turn over.
"No, you wouldn't have. You're tougher than you look, too," Paul said, nodding at him.
"You know, it's okay to take a little break and just sit, you know?" Marc said gently. "You don't have to power through like this."
Kurt didn't reply. He was sweeping through his apartment, picking up things to put in his overnight bag. He was grateful for the night he had spent in Marc and Paul's comfortable guest room, but now that he had slept, he felt ever more determined to get back to Sebastian as fast as he could.
"I think your phone is ringing," Marc called out as Kurt had gone into the bathroom to pack his toiletries.
Kurt dropped his bag and came hurrying out. He grabbed his phone without looking at the display. "Yes?" he said urgently.
"Hey Kurt, it's Dani-"
Kurt lowered the phone for a moment and sighed. For a moment, he had been convinced it would be Paul calling that Sebastian had collapsed or something else had happened to him. He gathered himself and dutifully raised the phone to his ear again.
"-thought we were gonna go to your bar yesterday? I sent you a couple of texts. What happened, did you and your sexy boyfriend get distracted again, huh? Just how long does this honeymoon phase last for you guys anyway? ...Kurt?"
Kurt let himself drop into the couch. "I'm here. Sorry, Dani. I completely forgot. I was at the hospital."
"Oh my god, are you okay?"
"Yeah. It's Sebastian. A, um...fight broke out at the bar on Friday. He has a concussion and two broken fingers-"
"Geez...But I should see the other guys, right?" Dani suggested supportively.
"Yeah...yeah," Kurt mumbled. "Look, he's getting out today and I was just getting some stuff ready-"
"I understand. We'll catch up when he's feeling better. Tell him we wish him all the best, alright?"
"Sure. I will. Uh...say hi to Elliott for me." Kurt didn't have the concentration to tell them about the benefit now. For the moment, he didn't want to think about Satire at all.
He hung up and looked at Marc.
"Is that the...um...version you want to go by for now?" Marc asked carefully. "A fight?"
Kurt shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe? I don't know what Sebastian wants." He was suddenly uncertain if he'd said the wrong thing. But telling everyone how Sebastian was attacked meant owning up to what they'd been doing to incite it.
"I don't mind," Marc said quickly. "I just want to know so I don't put my foot in it when I talk to your friends."
"Thanks, Marc." Kurt got up. "I should finish packing. I'd like to go and get some things for Sebastian's place, too."
Sebastian stepped under the hot spray of his ensuite shower, holding his arm out of the way so that he didn't get his hand wet. Paul had wrapped a plastic bag around it, but he still wanted to be careful.
He stared at the porcelain shower base, shuddering a little as the water flowing around his feet turned grey. He moved slightly and winced as a sharp stinging pain shot through his back.
"Ow," he mumbled, moving away from the spray. He craned his head to look at his back and saw a long deep scratch over his shoulder. "What the-?"
He started examining the rest of his body. There were bruises and scrapes everywhere, and it hit him with sudden clarity that someone had put them there. This had not been an accident. The closer he looked at the marks on his hips, the more he realised they looked like fingerprints. An onslaught of visions hit him as his imagination filled in the gaps of how they ended up there. He tried to shake them off.
He reached for the shampoo that Paul had said he could use and awkwardly managed to squeeze some directly in his hair with his left hand. He closed his eyes and started massaging it in.
Suddenly, he found himself tightening his own fingers in his hair, making a fist against his scalp and tugging experimentally. He dropped his hand immediately.
Sebastian opened his eyes wide. His heart was beating wildly. He looked around and realised he was alone. He lifted his hand, for a moment staring at his own palm like it was a foreign object. He realised he was tearing up, and held his head under the spray to get the soap out of his eyes.
What was wrong with him? At first he'd been thinking about Kurt and their choreography, until suddenly, he wasn't.
He stood under the warm water for a while, letting it run down his face. Slowly, he could feel himself relaxing, and he slumped forward a little, lowering his head on a sigh and directing the hot jet of water to the back of his neck and his shoulders. He rested his face against the wall of the shower.
He was being held up against the bathroom wall, his face pressed hard into the greying tiles. The outline of the tiles and grout cut into his cheek. Someone's breath was hot in the back of his neck, and there was the unmistakable sound of a belt buckle coming undone.
Sebastian pushed away from the wall in disgust and felt a wave of nausea hit him. He sidestepped to balance his feet on the wet floor. What the hell?
He shook his head as he tried to make sense of the visions flashing in his mind. It didn't make sense . He turned off the water, feeling cold despite the steam that had fogged up the room. He reached for a towel and wrapped it around his waist, covering up the marks on his hips. He took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and wiped his hand over the wet glass of the bathroom mirror.
The swelling on his head had gone down but the bruise was large and a deep purple colour, almost black, and it covered most of his forehead. He ran his finger over it gingerly and winced.
"Seb?" The sound of Paul's voice calling him from behind the door made him jump. Sebastian cursed silently at how easy he spooked and shuffled to open the door a little.
"It's almost time for the next dose of painkillers," Paul said, discretely fixing his eyes on the hallway as he spoke.
"Okay, thanks," Sebastian replied quietly. "I'm almost done."
Paul nodded. Something about Sebastian's tone caused him to glance his way. He opened his mouth to say something, but then seemed to think better of it and closed it again.
"Don't take too long," he said, looking away again. "If you miss this round you won't be able to have any more until morning."
Sebastian hummed softly and closed the door again. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, trying to calm his raging heartbeat. As he glanced back at the mirror, it had fogged up again.
Sebastian finished drying off and went into the guest bedroom. There was a small pile of clothes set neatly at the foot of the bed. He recognised the sweatpants as his, left over from when he stayed at Christmas. The t-shirt and hoodie had to be Marc's, as they were definitely not Paul's style at all.
Smiling a little, he sat on the end of the bed and slowly started to dress.