Title: Kurt Hummel Has Mail
Chapter: 1/6, plus bonus-sebastian
Pairing: Kurt/Sebastian, implied Kurt/Blaine
Spoilers: You've Got Mail, and Glee up to 3x14
Genre: AU, future!fic, romance, mild angst
Summary: Once upon a time there were two boys. One was caring, proud, and determined. He was attending NYADA. The other was arrogant, worldly, and intelligent. He was attending Columbia University. Not too long ago the second young man tried and failed to steal the first young man's boyfriend. He did, however, manage to succeed in seriously injuring the boyfriend's eye. Even after a change of heart and a sincere apology, the two boys were natural enemies. But when they coincidentally, and anonymously, met in cyberspace, they accidentally fell in love.
A/N: I made the decision to cut several events from 3x14 for this au. The only things that I kept for the purposes of this story are that Sebastian apologized for his behavior and New Directions won Regionals. This avoids bringing up events that may be considered triggers by some readers and it also avoids any spoilers I may have been exposed to from leaking into the story.
"I miss you too." Kurt sighed into the phone. "But you can't be late to school, call me later?"
"As soon as I get out." Blaine promised.
They said their goodbyes and Kurt practically bounded off his bed to retrieve the laptop cord from his desk. He'd gone to bed with the laptop but fallen asleep before recharging it. Now his phone was chirping, telling him he had new emails. Kurt hated checking it on the phone because he knew he'd want to respond right away and that was just easer on the laptop.
He grabbed the cord, moved it to the outlet next to the bed, and settled back against his pillows before turning the laptop on. Each of the startup screens flashed across while Kurt's foot jangled impatiently. Finally he was looking at his desktop and watching for the internet signal to be lit. The moment it connected he pulled up the browser and clicked the mailbox icon in the right corner; 5 New Messages.
The first one was from Rachel. Kurt thought being on the same campus as his best friend might mean less email. He'd been wrong of course. One from Finn that appeared to be forwarded to everyone in Finn's contact list and was most likely something he'd never ever want to see or read, he sent it to the trash. The next two were spam. Kurt always found it mildly disturbing that his spam was mostly erectile dysfunction cures and how to meet hot single guys. Finally he clicked on the one email he was looking for, from NY444.
Subject: Winter in New York
There's nothing quite like New York in the winter, is there? Maybe Paris in the springtime. I couldn't help but notice my fellow New Yorkers starting to really bundle up this morning. They're breaking out their thickest coats and scarves and walking around with second and third cups of coffee to keep their hands warm. I love watching the swirls of steam rising from all the cups as the crowd rushes off for the day. New York in the winter makes me giddy about simple things like leather bound books, fresh sheets of paper, and the scratch of pens in an otherwise silent room. I think of hot chocolate and cozy fires, and the afterglow of Christmas. If I knew your name and address I would send you a beautiful fountain pen and some clean white paper just so you could enjoy it with me.
Kurt sighed softly and reread the message several times as he imagined the swirls of stream rising from multiple cups of coffee and the scratching of pen on paper. He hurried to type out a response with a smile. He liked to pretend that he and NY444 had been dear friends for a long time, and that they met in some traditional way, such as sharing a cab on a rainy day or reaching for the same book in the used book store, rather than the way they actually met; online. Pretending they were close friends who knew each others names and faces meant starting each message as though they were in the middle of a conversation, which is what he did today.
Kurt sent the little message on its way before finally getting up to greet his own day. It was Wednesday, so class didn't begin until 11:00, and he had a date for some off campus coffee and breakfast with Rachel. Both of them had been disappointed to discover NYADA's choice brew was some stale off-brand and had promptly set about finding a nearby purveyor of finer roasts. Thus began Wednesday mornings at Joe, the Art of Coffee. They just called it Joe's. Most mornings Kurt could be found there on his own, but Wednesday was the one day he and Rachel's insane schedules didn't conflict, so they met at nine before grabbing a bite on their way back to school.
Despite all the recent changes his life had undergone, Kurt's morning routine remained the same; lengthy but completely worth the time and effort. This meant that Kurt was grateful every day for his bathroom. Not everyone was so lucky. This year there happened to be an odd number of young men accepted into the program and that left one man out, so to speak. Through sheer luck of the draw, Kurt was the one with the room to himself, equipped with its own private bathroom. The accommodations are small, but the value of privacy could never be overestimated.
Today he sang in the shower, like every other day, but the song was a lively rendition of New York, New York. This may be cliché but with no one around to hear, Kurt couldn't care less. He and Rachel had sung every New York themed song they could think of on the drive up with the Berry's, plus a good many that required lyric changes to fit in. Burt and Carole seemed only too happy to drive the U-Haul behind them, and even Finn offered to drive for Burt on the second leg of their journey. Kurt hadn't cared then and he didn't care now. He was happy, really happy, and his future was here.
In celebration of the colder weather, Kurt donned his favorite new scarf, the one with the faded turquoise stripes, and his thick black pea coat, and he felt a part of the crowd of bundled New Yorkers as he made his way across to Waverly. The icy wind tugged at his hair and pinked his cheeks, but it all just seemed a part of another beautiful day in the city of dreams. Kurt hefted his bag higher on his shoulder as he entered the warmth of the coffee shop. It was five till nine and Rachel wasn't there yet so Kurt stood in line alone to order his grande nonfat mocha.
Sebastian killed the alarm buzzing on the night stand. Even after five months of occasional hookups and sleepovers, he still could not understand why Chace preferred the world's most irritating noise to music. It was like having to wake up ready for a fight, and Sebastian wasn't a morning person anyway. He peered over at Chace who was already flying around the room, throwing on clothes, and going on and on about a lecture he'd been invited to attend that afternoon. Sebastian just groaned and tried to feign sleep when Chace came to kiss him goodbye.
"Remember, we have study group tonight so don't be late." He told Sebastian.
"I am never late. Go on, go away and leave me in peace." Sebastian grumbled but Chace just laughed as he headed out the door.
Sebastian waited for just a little bit, making certain Chace was gone and not about to come back in for something he forgot, before throwing off the blanket and rushing over to grab his phone. Sure enough, he had one new email. He thumbed the little icon and the window popped up with his inbox. Sebastian climbed back onto the bed and hurried to open the message.
Subject: Elevator Etiquette
Last night, as I raced to catch an elevator, a young boy held the door for me. He couldn't have been more than seven or eight. I thanked him as the doors slid shut and he promptly asked me what floor I needed so he could push the button for me. Once we were on our way I smiled over at the young woman he was standing next to, and she grinned back at me. They exited a floor ahead of me and the boy turned to me right before he left and smiled, telling me to have a good night. Chivalry is alive and well in our fair city and no matter what anyone else says, New Yorkers can be very polite indeed.
Sebastian read over the email several times, basking in the little moment, and thinking over the many little similar moments he had enjoyed since arriving in New York. Unfortunately he had to get on with his day and that meant minimal basking and a lot more moving. He showered quickly, threw on a dark pair of jeans and a button down, threw on his coat and hat, grabbed his bag and his phone, and headed out for his morning cup of coffee.
Every day was very strictly scheduled. Sebastian had never been one for too much order, but years of private school had taught him that keeping a proper schedule meant making the most of his time, and in turn he could make the most of his time off. So every day, at 8:30, he grabbed his cappuccino at Joe's and was back out the door within twenty minutes. Sebastian didn't do breakfast, it got in the way of his caffeine rush, so then it was back to campus with usually ten or more minutes to spare before his first class.
Today when he walked into Principles of Economics, he smiled at his friend Greg before sliding into the seat next to him.
"Good morning." He said cheerfully to Greg as he pulled out his laptop and settled in for their lecture.
"Uh, good morning to you too, Mr. Smythe." Greg answered sarcastically.
"What? It is a good morning. This is New York, after all." Sebastian stated in a matter of fact tone.
"Since when do you care about New York? And since when is any morning ever good for you?" Greg narrowed his eyes at Sebastian.
Sebastian wasn't exactly listening. "It's the chill in the air, and the multi colored scarves, and the fact what no matter what, chivalry isn't dead." He hummed lightly as he pulled up his class notes.
"You finally agreed to date Chace, didn't you?" Greg was smiling when Sebastian whipped his head over to look at him.
"What? No! I'm not crazy." Sebastian answered.
"I thought you guys were getting along really well." Greg was back to looking at him funny.
"Sure. Chace is super hot and always available. What's not to like?" Sebastian shrugged as their professor walked in.
"Whatever man, I never see you in such a good mood. He must be an amazing lay." Class started and Greg buried his self in his own work, leaving Sebastian alone with hazy happy thoughts of elevators and proper manners. Two things he'd never considered would go hand in hand.
After class, Greg stopped him before he could leave. "Hey, you haven't mentioned that internship thing you've been working so hard on, how's that coming?
Sebastian was surprised he hadn't thought of it all morning since he had been living and breathing it for the past month.
"I have my first interview on Monday. Then it will be a few weeks before they tell me if I made the first round of cuts." Sebastian wasn't as nervous as he knew he ought to be. It helped that his resume was pretty full and included a supporting role in West Side Story at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He was years ahead of most of his competitors.
"Well, good luck or break a leg or something." Greg slapped him on the back before leaving.
"I won't need it." He told himself quietly.
Rachel joined Kurt ten minutes later, her caramel macchiato cradled between both hands. Kurt grinned up at her obvious attempt to warm her chilled fingers.
"Uhg." She mumbled as she sat beside him.
Kurt leaned over and gently bumped his shoulder into hers. "Don't you just love winter New York?" He said lightly, completely ignoring her obviously foul mood. "The way everyone starts bundling up and carrying around extra cups of coffee; scarves and pens scratching on paper."
Rachel set her cup down on the little round table. "What are you even talking about?" She asked.
"You know, it's winter. In New York. And we're here and everything is so wonderful. I'm wearing my new scarf and everyone looks so picturesque."
Rachel cast her eyes around the coffee house, dubiously eyeing several of the other customers. Kurt just carried on though.
"I need one of those nice inkwell pens so I can listen to the sound of the pen on paper in a mostly silent room." He sighed, staring off into the distance with a daffy smile.
"You are so in love, not even distance can dampen it." Rachel observed.
"What? No, I'm just…" Kurt took a quick drink of his coffee and then sputtered a little. "I mean, yes. I'm in love, with Blaine. Blaine's going to try and move out over the summer. We might even get a place together. Did you pick a song for your performance piece?" He tried to steer the conversation a different direction.
"I did, but we're not talking about that. Something's going on and as your best friend I demand to know what it is. I'm not telling you a thing until you spill it." Rachel crossed her arms and did her best to look imposing.
Kurt was hardly intimidated by her, they were too evenly matched for that, but he knew she would just keep pressing and he didn't want her mentioning anything to Finn or Blaine. "Alright." He said. "But this stays between us, strictly between us, and that means you can't use the fiancé clause to tell Finn about it either.
"Fine, yes, tell me?" Rachel was looking more than a little excited by the idea of some sort of secret, but Kurt decided she was his best chance for getting this off his chest and maybe even getting an outside opinion on the matter.
"Is it considered cheating if you're only involved with someone through email?" Kurt swallowed some more coffee to hide his nerves.
"Oh my, Kurt. Did you have sex?" Rachel's eyes were getting impossibly large.
"No, no sex, it's just email, I've never met him."
Rachel wasn't convinced. "No, I meant cybersex."
"Oh! No, it isn't like that at all." Kurt could feel his cheeks start to burn.
"Good." Rachel nodded, satisfied. "Don't do it, because they never respect you after that. You're too good to become some internet hussy."
"Rachel. Seriously, we just exchange friendly emails; I've never even had cybersex with Blaine." Kurt was finding this conversation to be more and more difficult to get through.
"Finn and I tried it." She informed him. "We prefer Skype to sexting and cybersex though. Finn's a very visual - "
"Okay! That's good, let's just move on before you traumatize me any further." Kurt was shaking his head and absolutely not thinking about Finn and Rachel's Skype sessions. "Anyway I guess it's not that important since I've been thinking I should just put an end to it because its making me - "
"Want to cheat?" Rachel supplied.
"Confused. Only a little so it shouldn't be too difficult to end it." Kurt was staring at his cup and trying to keep his tone light.
"Where did you even meet this guy?" Rachel was still curious.
"I forgot." Kurt tried, but Rachel was staring him down again.
"Fine. Right after school started I had this one really hard night. I was missing my old room and my comfortable bed. I missed my dad and Carole and all my friends, and I missed Blaine. I couldn't sleep so I wandered through a few chat rooms, sort of as a lark. Anyway I wound up on a site for out and proud New Yorkers. There was a room set aside for students and I only meant to read along really, but then we started chatting."
"About what?" Rachel's coffee was completely forgotten at this point.
"Music, books, plays, coffee; sometimes school supplies. Nothing serious and nothing personal. So I don't even know his name or where he lives exactly or where he goes to school."
"He could be anyone, Kurt." Rachel said seriously.
"I know." Kurt smiled at her.
"He could be… he could be the next guy to walk in here." They both glanced up at the door and then dissolved into laughter when the next guy that walked in was grey haired and holding hands with a woman who was most likely his wife.
My roommate has a new girlfriend. She thinks being my being gay means I won't mind seeing her in her bra and panties. She's very wrong. However I came in today to find a new room divider in place so I can only assume that despite his poor taste in women, my roommate at least has some class.
Subject: Naked Cowboy
Today I saw a real, live, and in the flesh, Naked Cowboy. He was playing his guitar in his whitie tighties right there in time square. It was so cold today! I wanted to be enjoying the view, so to speak, but all I could think about was how cold he must be and how his mom wouldn't want him getting sick just to earn an extra buck or two.
I have a secret that no one knows except for my mom. I love museums. I spent my entire day off at the Guggenheim last week and I can't wait to do it again. I know I ought to give some time and attention to some of the other amazing museums around the city but I keep coming back to my main three; the Guggenheim, the Met, and the Museum of Modern Art. Does this mean I'm some sort of museum snob?
Subject: Hot Dogs
My step brother, and coincidentally my best friend's fiancé, came for a visit last weekend and all he wanted to do was eat. I'm not joking. He had to be coerced into seeing a Broadway show, and then he wanted to see The Lion King! Afterward we had to do what he wanted and that included trying a bagel, finding a pizza joint, and eating one of those lukewarm hot dogs from a street vendor's cart. We begged him not to do it, but he just went ahead, not caring about the potential for bacteria and illness. Then he went on and on about it being part of the whole New York experience. Clearly I am doing this whole NYC thing wrong.
Subject: used books
What is it about college that makes people think doodling in the margins of their course books is acceptable? I do not need to know about leprechauns granting wishes to strangers in public restrooms.
I have read the Twilight Saga so many times I've lost count. I know that few critics think the story has any worth, and that the majority of its readership are aged eleven to fourteen, and are primarily female. I don't care. I love these books. I fall into Bella's world and struggle with her as she tries to come to grips with all this information that's being bombarded at her. I ache for her every time she tries to protect the people she cares for. Most of all I hope and wonder as she balances the two boys she loves most in her life. They may not be the books I recognize as being my favorite, but for whatever reason I find them oddly comforting.
Kurt stood in front of his full length closet mirror checking his appearance one final time. Rachel would be here shortly and together they were riding over to the Ambassador Theater. Each spring and each fall, the Ambassador took in two college level interns, one male and one female. The interns would be responsible for a variety of tasks which were meant to expose them to different areas of the theater business. At the end of a successful run, the interns were granted a one time, one night spot, in the current show. The part would be non speaking, and mostly likely very minimal, but it was still Broadway. It would look amazing on a resume, not to mention the chance to actually apply for paying jobs at the Ambassador.
Kurt answered the door with a nervous smile and Rachel hugged him gently, so as to keep from wrinkling his clothes. This was the first day of interviews and they were lucky enough to catch an early appointment. At the end of the two weeks, the prospective interns would be told which among them could return for a second interview. This one was meant to be preliminary, with someone sort of low on the theater's totem pole. Here would be three interviews in total and by the beginning of March the final two would be chosen. Then they would begin their time right as the spring/summer season began.
They left campus, grabbed a cab, and held hands outside the theater, steadying their nerves. Rachel tugged Kurt around to face her and she gripped him tight by both hands. "We are doing this, and we will be fabulous. This is our dream, remember, nothing gets in our way." She told him fiercely.
"Nothing. Break a leg Rachel Berry." He kissed her cheek and smiled.
"Break a leg Kurt Hummel!" She let him go and together they held their shoulders straight and marched into the theater.
As expected there were a number of young applicants waiting around for their assigned interview time. Rachel sat primly in one of the chairs and proceeded to smooth the skirt of her dress, but Kurt was too nervous to join her. Instead he tried not to look at any of their competition and focused internally on his practiced answers to general questions that might come up. Kurt was lost in his reverie when suddenly Rachel was grabbing at his arm.
"Oh crap!" She swore, and Rachel very rarely swore.
"What?" Kurt asked, but all Rachel could do was jerk her chin in an effort to get him to look. He followed her gaze across the room. There, leaning against the wall and looking like he owned the place, was none other than Sebastian Smythe.
Kurt had to tear his eyes away. Sebastian hadn't seen him yet, he hoped, and Kurt didn't want him to catch him staring. He looked down at Rachel's panicked face and tried to be calm. There were tons of other guys here. It wasn't like Sebastian was his only competition. It wasn't as if they had never been pitted against each other either and that had worked out in Kurt's favor. He took a breath and held it in for a moment, just forcing himself to relax.
"This is fine." He told Rachel. "It changes nothing. Those internships belong to us, and not even Sebastian Smythe can get in our way." Rachel wasn't looking as confident as she had before and Kurt knew exactly what she was thinking. Sebastian wasn't competition to her at all; only to Kurt. Oh crap, indeed.