Author's Note: So… how many people thought I'd dropped this story? It's okay- you can be honest.
Let this update be the first assurance that no, I haven't abandoned SOWK. However, this story is fairly complicated at the moment (oh I know it doesn't appear that way, just hush, it's complicated in my head where I'm trying to plan things out) so it takes a bit to actually force myself to sit down and write an update.
More to the point, I keep getting a little caught up in my other story, so I keep getting distracted. Never fear, though! School's out now and I'm hoping to have more time to write (or more energy?) so I hope to get updates out much more regularly. At the very least you can plan on getting a monthly update on this.
Oh! I have a tumblr now! If you haven't heard, I'll be using it to post bonuses and extras on the fics that I'm working on. And y'know, just fangirling over Glee and the like. Go check it out!
Somewhere Only We Know
Kurt went to sleep that night still fuming over Sebastian's utter lack of civility—or human decency, if one were to be frank—but when he awoke only a half hour later, Sebastian Smythe was the farthest thing from his mind.
Kurt bolted upright in bed and struggled to breathe past the stench of blood and gasoline that had followed him from his nightmares into the waking world. His chest was heaving, the cold sweat that had overtaken him caused the sheets pooled at his waist to stick to every bit of skin they touched, and try as he might, he couldn't get his eyes to focus. He fought desperately to free himself from the tangle of sheets ensnaring his arms and legs.
By the time that he found his feet, Kurt had begun to claw at his chest and throat as he struggled to draw a full breath. He could feel his blunt nails leaving angry marks against his skin, could feel the phantom sting of each scratch and yet somehow couldn't force his hands to still. The pain did nothing to draw him from his panic.
Miraculously, Sam slept on unaware in the bed on the other side of the room—the same as he somehow always did.
Somewhere in the back of his mind Kurt knew that he should wake Sam, should send him out after Finn or a teacher. Something, anything. Kurt knew damned well that he had worked himself into a full-blown panic attack by now. He even remembered what his shrink had told him to do in situations such as this. He certainly recalled dad's orders to immediately hunt down Finn or an adult when Kurt felt himself slipping like this.
Kurt knew what he was supposed to do.
Instead, he fumbled with the door handle leading into the hallway, and the instant he managed to pull open the bedroom door he began to run.
One of the best things that Sebastian had discovered about being an RA was the ability to come and go across campus as he pleased. If he were out after curfew and happened across a faculty member, he could simply claim to be out doing rounds or, if he were to be caught outside of his own hall, he could say that he was running an errand for one of his boarders.
He had even been caught sneaking a date out one evening and all it had taken to smooth talk his way out of that one had been to claim that Sebastian had found his companion in one of his boarder's rooms, and the professor had gone so far as to commend Sebastian on his diligent duties as a RA.
So basically, signing up to be a Resident Advisor at Dalton had been one of the smartest moves of Sebastian's life.
Tonight, he had gone out to a nearby bar to 'celebrate' his return to town, and he had even managed to find someone not entirely unfortunate looking to accompany him back to his dorm for a more private celebration. In fact, Sebastian might go as far as to claim that his latest conquest was pretty fucking easy on the eyes. Tanned skin, shaggy brown hair, a strong build, broad shoulders and a trim waist—and the boy wasn't even half-bad at dancing.
It also helped that the boy was currently drunk as hell and doing his best to hump Sebastian's leg while they walked.
"Woah, tiger, how about you save that until we're actually in the bedroom?" Sebastian drawled with a smirk, dutifully winding an arm around the other boy's waist to keep him upright as they made their way across the sidewalk towards the dorms. It wouldn't do for his date to fall on his face and knock himself unconscious before Sebastian had at least had the chance to defile him, after all.
The boy—Billy? Bobby? Benny?—was apparently quite the uncoordinated drunk, and already he had managed to nearly faceplant three times since they'd made their way out of the taxi and towards Dalton's grounds.
When he tripped on a crack in the concrete a fourth time, however, Sebastian had finally had enough. He pushed at the boy in annoyance—very nearly sending Billy-boy toppling straight on his ass—and offered him a look of ill-concealed distaste. "Jesus Christ, Benny. I brought you back here to fuck you, not to be your goddamned babysitter. Knock it off or go catch a goddammed cab."
The boy scowled as he caught his footing and actually managed to find his balance enough to straighten and glare at Sebastian. "My name's Billy, you jackass."
Sebastian huffed out a derisive laugh. "Does it matter?"
At Billy's sneer Sebastian just shook his head and turned, continuing on towards his door without so much as a backwards glance. "Have fun finding your way back to your corner, Bobby."
Sebastian didn't wait around to hear Benny's response, nor did he acknowledge the curses the other boy was shouting at his back. Instead, he continued across the grounds with his hands shoved deeply into his pockets and his expression twisted into a perpetual scowl.
So much for his chance to unwind tonight.
He was nearing Holcombe Hall when he spotted a figure running along the sidewalk towards him. Sebastian squinted slightly in an effort to discern whoever the runner might be, but the lights illuminating the walkway were doing their usual sub par job, and the most he could make out was that the figure was certainly male.
It took a moment for him to decide whether he should be annoyed or delighted at the chance to flex his authority as a RA, but after Sebastian's rather spectacular parting with BobbyBillyBennywhatever, he decided that the curfew breaker was nothing short of a sign that there was indeed a God.
Which meant Sebastian probably owed Nick an apology or seventeen.
"Hey!" His shout echoed across the otherwise deserted school grounds as Sebastian neared the runner. He took no small amount of triumph when the figure visibly started and his stride faltered in surprise. The boy was still too far away for Sebastian to identify, but they at least slowed to a stop at the sound of his voice.
Such quick obedience likely meant that his curfew breaker was a Freshman, maybe a Sophomore at the most. Clearly, this night wasn't going to turn out to be a complete disaster after all.
"What the hell do you think you're doing out of bed? Curfew was three hours ago." Sebastian kept his voice too-loud, half hoping that the sound would stir a faculty member and convince them to investigate the commotion. A commendation for his superb performance as a Resident Advisor would certainly do wonders to improve Sebastian's mood.
His scowl deepened when the other boy visibly tensed—but not from nerves, oh no, even from a distance Sebastian could tell that the set to the kid's shoulders was nothing if not offensive—and he quickly closed the remaining feet between them. " I asked you a question, kid."
He drew up short, blinking in surprise when he finally recognized the other boy.
And then Sebastian's lips tilted into a smirk.
Oh yes. Tonight was absolutely his lucky night.
Kurt Hummel scowled at him, eyes bright in the darkness. The low light from the lamps and the moon overhead caused the boy to look devastatingly ethereal in the moment, his flawless skin all but translucent save for the splash of color across his cheeks and staining his lips. He had clearly been running for some time if only judging by the light sheen of sweat that slicked his skin and caused his clothes to cling in delightfully sinful ways, and his breaths were unsteady and too-deep as he struggled to catch his wind.
Suddenly, Sebastian wasn't so sure if he wanted to destroy the other boy or to maul him. This of course only incensed him further, and before Sebastian was even aware of drawing breath to speak he was verbally flaying the other teen.
"Well what do we have here? Working to keep your girlish figure while everyone else is asleep, are we Hummel?" He flicked his gaze over Kurt's body disdainfully, though secretly Sebastian was using the opportunity to appreciate the fact that Hummel's nightshirt was all but clinging to him like a second skin. "I'm sure bulimia would be the easier option, wouldn't it? Though it might be a little too messy for someone as undoubtedly squeamish as yourself."
Kurt's glare sharpened and he took a step towards Sebastian.
Sebastian's breath caught for a single moment as Kurt opened his mouth to retort, but the other boy's mouth worked wordlessly as he seemed to struggle to find the words he was looking for.
Or the voice to speak them.
Kurt's expression twisted as he flushed in humiliation—the blush that rose to his cheeks was painfully obvious, even in the dim lighting of the street lamps—and he turned his gaze away from Sebastian sharply. His eyes were suspiciously wet, all but fucking glistening in the dark and fuck if that didn't tug at something low in Sebastian's stomach, but Kurt's jaw was tight and his shoulders were stiff, and not a single tear escaped.
"You do understand what a curfew is, Hummel?" Sebastian demanded mercilessly. "I'm sure you've never actually had one seeing as it's so utterly incomprehensible that your parents ever felt the need to give you one—let's face it, you have to leave the house before you actually need a curfew, right?—but here at Dalton, things are a little different. We have curfews, and we enforce them."
Kurt was glaring at him again, and maybe it was because of the boy's actual inability to respond that Sebastian kept pushing. Most likely, it was just the fact that Sebastian was in the mood to be a complete jackass. "Seeing as this is your first offense—at least to my knowledge, god only knows what Anderson's let you get up to in by absence—I'm not going to report you. However, if I catch you out of your room after hours again I won't hesitate to turn you into the Dean. He's not quite as understanding as I am, you see, and so you'll likely be packing your bags faster than you could say—" Sebastian caught himself, smirking cruelly, "well, you couldn't 'say' anything, could you? Excuse my slip."
Rather than sticking around to hear what else Sebastian was ready to throw at him, Kurt turned abruptly on his heel and began to make his way back to Holcombe without a backwards glance. His spine was painfully rigid and his shoulders tightly set, but it wasn't until Sebastian's gaze fell on Kurt's feet as the boy ascended the steps that he actually felt his throat lock.
The other boy was barefoot, and even in the dim light Sebastian could tell that Kurt's feet were an angry, bloody mess. It was also at that moment, watching Kurt pick his way up the stone steps of the dormitory, that Sebastian realized that the brunette was limping.
Something like guilt curled tight in Sebastian's chest, and after only a moment's hesitation, he quickly moved to follow Kurt.
Kurt, of course, didn't. If anything his pace quickened as he let himself into the deserted dormitory and made a break for the main staircase. However, even on Kurt's best days Sebastian was faster.
He caught up with Kurt as the other teen was almost halfway up the staircase. Instincts borne of years of lacrosse had Sebastian taking an easy step around Kurt, effectively cutting him off by standing firm on the step above the brunette. The glare that the motion afforded him from the other teen was admittedly fairly impressive. Even if Sebastian would be dead on the floor before he admitted as much.
Now that the pair had moved to the well-lit halls of the dormitory, Sebastian was able to see the dark bruises beneath Kurt's eyes, the way that his face was too pale despite his impromptu marathon, and the way the stiff set of his shoulders was meant to downplay the way the rest of his body shook with exhaustion. Where his eyes had appeared too-bright outside, it was now apparent that they were equally dulled with fatigue.
Sebastian was startled from his scrutiny when Kurt abruptly shoved past him—or tried to—in an attempt to continue up the stairwell. However, Sebastian was once again too quick on his feet (which now seemed almost criminal given his opponent) and easily countered the move with a simple backwards step. He instinctively reached for Kurt's wrist to still him.
He wasn't anticipating Kurt's near-violent reaction to the simple touch. The brunette suddenly swung against Sebastian's grip, using his free arm to elbow Sebastian sharply in the side and at the same time twisting his own body so forcefully that Sebastian's only option was to release Kurt's wrist or risk dislocating the other teen's arm.
Sebastian quickly dropped his hold on Kurt and stumbled back another step, his hand going to his side gingerly. "What the hell was that?" he all but snarled, directing his most scathing glare at the other boy.
Kurt's chest was heaving once again as if he'd run another lap or ten around the grounds and he was cradling his hand to his chest as if Sebastian's touch had burned him. Whatever color his face had been missing moments before had suddenly reappeared with a vengeance. The glare that he was directing at Sebastian did a poor job of masking Kurt's terror.
The breath punched out of Sebastian's lungs like a physical blow.
"Christ, Hummel," he breathed, his voice almost as shaky as Kurt's breathing, "what are you running from?"
Kurt stilled, eyes widening at being caught out.
Sebastian had to curl his hands at his sides to keep from reaching out and snagging the boy's wrist again to ensure that he didn't bolt. His jaw set carefully as he held Kurt's gaze, knowing a challenge when it was presented to him. After a tense moment, Kurt finally glanced away sharply.
He gave a tiny shrug.
Sebastian's scowl returned full-force. "Fine. Come with me," he didn't bother glancing back at Kurt as he gave the order, instead turning and continuing up the steps. When he reached the landing and still hadn't heard the tell-tale creak of floorboards at his heels, Sebastian turned to offer Kurt a most unimpressed glance. "Unless you're planning to camp out on the stairwell, of course."
With that, Sebastian made his way down the hallway and towards his own dormitory.
His room was situated at the farthest end of the corridor on the second floor. It was the only single-occupancy room on the floor, of course, which was undoubtedly meant to make the position of Resident Advisor look all the more appealing to new classmen. However, the real reason behind the private bedroom was for situations where discretion was necessary—when his boarders felt the need to come seek Sebastian out in private, whether in hopes of escaping their troublesome roommates or with whatever other problem was plaguing them on any given day.
Admittedly, the latter reasons were the ones that Sebastian counted as the negatives of the entire arrangement, but he reckoned that occasionally having to play big brother to some whiney freshman was simply the price he had to pay for his freedom. It also didn't hurt that by the second week of classes, most of Sebastian's boarders had already learned to seek out the first floor RA if they were seeking anything other than a verbal lashing.
Blaine was a sap like that.
Sebastian pushed open the door to his dorm when he heard light footsteps hesitating behind him. He still didn't spare a backwards glance as he entered the room and flicked the lights to life unceremoniously, pausing only to shuck off his leather jacket on the nearest surface before dropping onto the futon shoved against the far wall of the fairly-cramped room.
After a moment passed without Kurt making any move to actually enter the room, Sebastian glanced up in annoyance. "For Chrissake, new kid. It's not a fucking lion's den."
Kurt actually arched an eyebrow at that, and even without saying a word Sebastian caught the sarcasm behind the gesture loud and clear. In return, he leveled his most unimpressed look at Kurt until the other boy reluctantly made his way into Sebastian's room.
Sebastian nodded towards his desk chair. "Take a seat," he ignored the scowl Kurt shot him even as the other boy moved to perch carefully on the edge of the indicated chair. "Now—do I have your parents' number on file somewhere?"
The alarm that crossed Kurt's features was enough to cause Sebastian to raise a brow of his own.
"As your RA, I'm required to keep that sort of information on file. However, seeing as I haven't been here for the past couple of weeks I have a feeling that formality was overlooked." Sebastian reluctantly pushed to his feet and headed over towards a file cabinet situated beside his desk. After fishing his keys from his discarded jacket's pocket, he unlocked the cabinet and began to fish through the files in the lowest drawer. Unsurprisingly, he didn't find one labeled with Kurt's name. He glanced at the other boy distractedly. "Does Blaine have the information with his records, by chance?"
His eyes narrowed in annoyance at the glare that Hummel was sending his way.
"I'm sorry, is there a problem?"
Kurt only continued to glare.
Sebastian huffed in annoyance and rose from his crouch. After casting a quick glance around the room he abruptly made his way across the tiny space towards Kurt, and if he were to claim that the surprise that wiped the glare clean from Kurt's face didn't vindicate Sebastian's temper in the slightest, well, he'd he lying.
He placed a steadying hand on the back of the desk chair Kurt was sitting in and reached around the other boy, rifling through the mess spread over his desk before drawing back just as quickly. He dropped a (rather beat up) notebook in Kurt's lap unceremoniously as he pulled away.
Kurt blinked owlishly at the notebook, lifting his gaze to follow Sebastian's movement across the dorm as he searched for his messenger bag. Once Sebastian located the satchel and dug through its contents for a moment, he tossed Kurt a pen to join the notebook. Kurt made no move to catch the pen, either too surprised or too uncoordinated to manage, but Sebastian's aim was true and the writing utensil still landed on the notebook in Kurt's lap.
Kurt hesitantly took hold of the pen and glanced warily between Sebastian and the notebook in his lap.
Sebastian was scowling again. "I'm sorry—I thought that was the archaic means that you used to communicate, Hummel. Should I go find a rock and chisel instead?"
The barb had the desired effect. With another glare, Kurt turned his attention towards the notebook in his lap. He made a show of trying to smooth the ruffled papers before deigning to actually turn to a fresh page and carefully begin to write.
Sebastian wasn't the most patient person at the best of times. He certainly wasn't at three in the goddamned morning.
He moved closer to read over Kurt's shoulder as the other boy wrote out his message, though the instant that he did so the brunette stopped writing altogether in favor of glaring at Sebastian over his shoulder. Sebastian merely returned the glare with one of his own.
"Any time now, Hummel. We do have class in five hours."
Kurt's eyes narrowed and he snorted delicately through his nose—and how the hell does someone "delicately" snort anyways?—but deigned to finish his message.
Sebastian would have had to been both dumb and blind to miss the way that Kurt purposefully took an indecent amount of time to finish penning the note. However, the hour was beginning to get to Sebastian, and he just couldn't be bothered to call the other boy out on it.
Kurt finally tilted the notebook for Sebastian's scrutiny. He didn't even bother to lift the notepad from his lap.
Is there a particular reason you're asking me about paperwork at 3 a.m.? Or can this wait until tomorrow?
Sebastian shot Kurt a flat stare. "Do you honestly think I would bother asking at this godforsaken hour if I didn't need that information right now?"
Kurt glanced at Sebastian in order to offer him a glare of his own. Neither boy particularly paid attention to how close their faces had become—possibly because of the hour, or maybe simply because there was nothing vaguely intimate about the moment at hand.
Kurt grudgingly dropped Sebastian's gaze in favor of penning out a response. He didn't even bother to shift the notebook for Sebastian's perusal, knowing good and well that Sebastian could read the message from his place over Kurt's shoulder just fine.
1. Stop acting like I'm the reason you're awake. You weren't exactly sleepwalking outside.
2. What could you possibly need with my parents' number that can't wait until morning?
Sebastian straightened. "I figured they might want to know that their kid was out running his feet bloody at three in the morning." He glanced down at Kurt's feet pointedly. "Speaking of- we need to get you patched up or something. You're bleeding on my carpet."
Kurt's own gaze fell to his feet. He blinked owlishly, as if just realizing the bloody mess that had become of them.
Not that Sebastian particularly noticed. He had already turned and made his way into the tiny, en-suite bathroom attached to his room in search of a rag and his RA-mandatory first aid kit. When he returned to the room with both items in hand he moved to sit on the edge of his bed.
He gestured Kurt closer distractedly.
Kurt, of course, made no move to do as indicated. Sebastian could feel the other boy's eyes on him as he opened the first aid kit and set it aside on the bed next to him while he began to fish out a handful of antiseptic wipes. After a moment of fussing around with the kit's contents he abruptly cut his eyes over to Kurt, catching the other boy watching him and merely arching an eyebrow.
"Come here and give me your fucking foot, Hummel," Sebastian sighed. He made another impatient gesture for Kurt to move the desk chair closer. "The sooner you stop bleeding the sooner I can sleep."
Kurt continued glaring at Sebastian until, with a very put-upon sigh, Sebastian reached out and snagged Kurt's ankle with one hand while using the other to tug the desk chair closer to the bed. Once Kurt was close enough for him to situate the boy's ankle on his knee, Sebastian unceremoniously tore open one of the antiseptic wipes and swiped the cloth over the arch of Kurt's foot.
When the action caused Kurt to hiss and draw back his foot defensively, Sebastian remembered to add, "Oh yeah. This is probably going to sting like fuck," before he tightened his hold around Kurt's ankle and repeated the action. This time, however, he was prepared for Kurt to attempt to jerk away from the stinging touch, and with merely a tighter hold on the other boy's ankle Sebastian manages to keep Kurt's foot in place.
Sebastian goes about cleaning up Kurt's feet as quickly and efficiently as possible- partially because the other boy is clearly uncomfortable and pained by the process, but most because Sebastian is just fucking tired. Once Kurt's feet were cleaned and haphazardly wrapped in gauze Sebastian stood, making quick work of the mess of tossing the gauze pads and wrappers in the trash before just dropping the first aid kit to add it to the pile on his desk.
"You can crash over there for tonight," Sebastian nodded towards the futon before sparing a wince at his wording, "-this morning. Whatever. Just take some Tylenol from the kit before you pass out."
At that point, Sebastian was too exhausted to care that Kurt was eying him as if waiting for the punch line to some unspoken joke. He simply walked over to his armoire and tugged his shirt over his head before fishing out a pair of pajama pants to change into.
Rustling from behind Sebastian caught his attention, though, and he did spare a glance over his shoulder in time to see Kurt carefully picking through the still-open first aid kit.
"There's water in the mini-fridge by the desk," Sebastian offered tonelessly, unzipping his jeans before stepping out of them and leaving them to pool on the floor.
He was retying the string on his pajama bottoms when Sebastian realized that he was being watched. He lifted his head and spotted Kurt gaping at him, wide-eyed and stiff-jawed, and only lifted an eyebrow in response.
The action was enough to spur Kurt from his apparent stupor. The brunette flushed and quickly turned, crouching to retrieve a water from the fridge. He pointedly kept his back to Sebastian as he quickly tossed back his medicine and chugged half the bottle of water to wash it down.
Sebastian moved to his bed and shoved the dirty clothes piled on it to the floor before tugging the sheets back and climbing in. As an afterthought, just before he leaned back to settle in for the night, he twisted and snatched a pillow from his headboard and tossed it over to the futon. "Just don't rape me in my sleep."
Even without looking, Sebastian had the distinct feeling that he was being flipped off.
He waited a beat. "-and turn off the light so I can fucking try to sleep."
Sebastian wasn't sure how it was possible, but somehow Kurt managed to translate his responding "fuck you" loud and clear when he slapped the lights off and sent the entire room plunging into darkness.
Surprisingly enough, only a moment later Sebastian heard the tell-tale creak of the futon's springs as the other teen settled down onto the cushions gingerly. Whether or not Kurt ever actually slept was a mystery to Sebastian, though, because not too long after Kurt stopped shifting on the futon, Sebastian fell asleep himself.