The instant that the jocks had disappeared from sight, Kurt whirled on Sebastian and shoved him as hard as he could.
"What is the matter with you?" he snarled. He advanced on Sebastian only to shove at him again, but Sebastian caught him by the wrists before he could get the chance, stilling Kurt's movements with disgusting ease.
Sebastian's expression was icy and distant.
"How long as this been going on?" he demanded coolly, still holding Kurt by his wrists in a vice-like grip.
Kurt only glared at him.
Sebastian hauled him closer so that their chests were touching, but there was nothing intimate about the contact. Even though Sebastian's features remained schooled, there was really no missing the barely contained fury simmering just beneath the surface of his emerald eyes.
"I'm not playing around right now, Kurt." Sebastian's voice was as thunderous as his eyes. "How long have those guys been giving you shit?"
It probably wasn't wise for Kurt to snort in response to that, but he did anyways.
"Since we were in diapers?" he replied in dry amusement.
Unsurprisingly, Sebastian didn't find anything funny about Kurt's response. In fact, it only seemed to irritate him further.
"And you just—what, let them push you around?"
Sebastian's voice had risen in outrage, and Kurt's eyes narrowed in response.
"I don't let them do anything, Sebastian," he sneered, "But in case it slipped your notice, they both have at least a hundred pounds on me!"
"So have Finn and Sam do something about it, have your dad!" Sebastian countered hotly. "Any of them could take those dumbasses!"
Kurt was flat out glaring at Sebastian now. "It's not their problem."
He wasn't exactly sure why Sebastian looked so dumbfounded at his response, but Sebastian took long enough trying to find his next words that Kurt should have had the time to figure it out.
"Of course it's their problem, Kurt," Sebastian breathed, "You're family. Family protects each other."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "My dad is not going to have another heart attack because he's dealing with a couple of teenage jackasses, and Finn has enough on his plate to worry about. And—" Kurt spoke over Sebastian's protest, "And Sam did try to intervene last time, and he got a black eye for his troubles."
He felt his stomach roll at the mere memory.
Sebastian slumped so his back was leaning against the closed passenger door of his car, his eyes fixed unseeingly on nearby rain puddle.
Kurt couldn't recall a single time he had ever seen Sebastian Smythe look so defeated. It was as if every ounce of rage that had been coiled in his shoulders had evaporated into thin air, leaving him unsteady on his own feet.
It terrified Kurt.
"Why…" Sebastian finally began, his voice oddly stilted, "Why are you acting like any of this is normal, Kurt?" He lifted his eyes to catch Kurt's, and try as he might Kurt couldn't find the strength to look away. "You— I came out of the café and you looked terrified, and there was blood on your hand and that black kid looked like he was seconds away from tearing you apart and—"
When Sebastian's voice broke helplessly, Kurt couldn't have kept himself from moving to the other boy if he had wanted to.
"Hey," Kurt breathed, wrapping his arms around Sebastian's neck and tipping the brunette's head to rest on his shoulder, thrilled that with Sebastian slumped as he was that Kurt actually could hug him like this, "Don't do that. Don't you dare get lost in that pretty head of yours."
Sebastian snorted against Kurt's neck, but the sound was weak at best. "Did you just call me 'pretty', Hummel?" He lifted his arms to curl around Kurt's middle and hold him closer.
"Hush. I'm trying to be soothing."
"You're doing a terrible job."
Kurt huffed and tightened his hold around Sebastian's neck so that he was all but strangling him. "Bite me."
Sebastian actually snickered at that, effectively breaking the tension.
"I don't think you're ready for that, Kurt," he leaned back enough to throw Kurt a wink.
Kurt's face flushed. "You're ridiculous," he retorted, dropping his arms from around Sebastian's neck and falling back a step to put some space back between them. "And inappropriate—but then, I guess I knew that one already."
"Well I would hope so," Sebastian drawled, raising his eyebrows appraisingly, "Otherwise you're a much slower learner than I give you credit for. And believe me, Gayface, I don't give you much credit."
He softened the words by dropping an obnoxious kiss on the tip of Kurt's nose.
Kurt pushed his face away in mock annoyance. "Can we go now? It's freezing out here and, unlike you, I don't have my enormous ego to keep me warm."
Sebastian grinned and pulled open the passenger door, stepping aside so that Kurt could get inside. When Kurt offered him a raised eyebrow in disbelief, Sebastian's grin never wavered—until Kurt folded his arms and made it clear that he wasn't moving until Sebastian did. Then Sebastian rolled his eyes in feigned annoyance.
"Get in the damned car, princess."
"You're such a charmer," Kurt preened sarcastically, smirking as he stepped around Sebastian and finally ducked into the car. "I don't have any clue how I managed to catch you."
He eyed Sebastian playfully.
"I'm thinking it must have been flypaper."
Sebastian's eyes narrowed and he pointedly shut the door before Kurt was quite settled, very nearly slamming Kurt's foot in the door.
Kurt was still laughing when Sebastian climbed into the driver's seat.
He pretended not to notice the tension that kept Sebastian's shoulders drawn tight for the rest of the ride.
Two and a half hours later, Sebastian and Kurt were set up at the Hummel's kitchen table with their homework spread in front of them, both bent over their respective textbooks and scribbling away in notebooks and on worksheets. The sound of the television was carrying over from where Finn and Sam were watching some action film with far too many explosions and even more screaming. From the kitchen, the sounds of Carole beginning work on dinner went nearly unheard thanks to the ruckus from the living room.
Kurt set his pen down on his notebook sharply, lifting his hands to rub at his temples and punching out an irritated sigh. "Guys, can you please turn that down? We're trying to study in here."
Finn craned his neck as he twisted to look at Kurt over the back of the couch.
"Sorry, dude- it keeps getting too quiet and then all the sudden it's loud again. We're doing our best."
The garage door opened then, and Kurt and Sebastian both glanced back at the kitchen to see Burt hanging his keys on the rack by the door.
"How about you boys take your movie upstairs for now?" Burt said, moving into the living room to shoot Finn a glance that said his suggestion was actually a little more of a command.
Finn scowled but turned the television set off and rose to his feet, nodding to Sam before trucking up the stairs two at a time. After a quick, sheepish wave to Burt, Sam quickly followed right behind Finn.
Burt shook his head at the pair before he turned to face Kurt and Sebastian, his eyes doing a quick sweep of the mess that had become of the kitchen table before he propped his hands on his hips. "You boys workin' hard?" he finally ventured, lips quirking in dry amusement at the look Kurt shot him for his efforts.
Sebastian glanced between his homework to Kurt's and quirked his lips into a wry half-smile. "Something like that, sir."
Burt nodded. "You staying for dinner, Sebastian?"
Sebastian blinked at that and glanced at Kurt for help.
Kurt fought the urge to roll his eyes. "Yes, he is," he supplied wryly.
"-If that isn't a problem, Mr. Hummel." Sebastian quickly added. Though he was keeping his tone carefully level, there was really no missing the way that Sebastian was sitting a little too stiffly while in Burt's presence.
Kurt wasn't sure if he should find it endearing or irritating. Or amusing. Seeing Sebastian out of his element was so rare of an occurrence that Kurt was honestly fighting back the urge to try and sneak video of the exchange with his phone.
Burt's lips quirked in amusement. "I'm sure it's not a problem, kid. Carole's got enough food in that kitchen to feed a small army." He paused to consider his statement. "Or at least Finn."
He clapped a hand on Kurt's shoulder as he turned to head back into the kitchen, doing his best not to look too pleased at Kurt and Sebastian's snickers in response to his words.
"Dinner'll be ready in twenty minutes or so, so you boys be sure and pack it up before then."
Kurt shook his head in amusement. "Sure thing, dad."
Dinner passed with little fanfare.
Though Kurt had been a bit wary at the idea of his father and Sebastian sitting in the same room for an extended amount of time, both men had effectively surprised him. Kurt's dad hadn't once alluded to where he kept his shotgun hidden, and Sebastian had managed to last the entire meal without a single innuendo.
Kurt was debating chalking the evening up as an undisputed success.
And then Sebastian had to go and open his mouth and ruin Kurt's zen.
It was after the kitchen had been cleaned up and the table cleared from dinner. Kurt and Sebastian had reclaimed their spots at the table and continued on their homework—Kurt really was getting his ass kicked by his makeup Calculus homework, much to his chagrin—and after almost a half-hour of relative silence, Sebastian had set aside his pencil and cleared his throat purposefully.
"You should come back to Dalton."
Kurt's head snapped up at that, his wide eyes doing little to help hide the surprise he felt at Sebastian's sudden declaration.
"I—what?" he stammered.
Sebastian finally looked up from his homework to fix Kurt with a startlingly grave stare.
"I'm serious." He twisted in his seat to face Kurt better, his arm bracing over the back of his own chair. "You went to Dalton the first time because of bullying, right? It doesn't look like much has improved since then."
Kurt snorted at that. "Oh, you'd be surprised."
Sebastian's eyes narrowed. "Was that supposed to be comforting? Kurt, those Neanderthals were seconds away from smearing your brains across my passenger-side window. If that's some sort of improvement, then this discussion is about to become a lot less abstract."
"Just drop it, Sebastian," Kurt replied too-lightly. He dropped his gaze back to the worksheet in front of him and did his best to look immersed in his homework, but of course Sebastian was Sebastian and wasn't about to let the matter drop.
"You need to at least talk to your father about those meatheads, Kurt. It's only a matter of time before things get out of hand." Before Kurt could refute that particular claim, Sebastian was speaking again. "At least consider Dalton. I'm not asking you to pack your bags and move into a dorm tomorrow. Though…"
Kurt finally glanced up at Sebastian in order to offer him an unimpressed stare.
Sebastian just rolled his eyes and went back to his own homework, mercifully allowing the matter to drop.
Shortly after Sebastian took his leave Burt appeared in the living room, casually leaning against the doorjamb leading into the kitchen and watching Kurt carefully.
When Kurt noticed his father's scrutiny he did his best to fight back the blush he felt coloring his cheeks, all too sure that Burt had witnessed the quick kiss Sebastian had dropped on Kurt's temple as the Warbler had made his leave.
He cleared his throat and lifted his chin, casually plucking at the collar of his shirt as Kurt reluctantly met his father's eye. "Did you need something?"
Burt studied Kurt for a moment longer before speaking.
"How serious is this thing?"
Part of Kurt wanted to pretend like he had no idea what his father was even talking about. The other part of him wanted to pull out the frozen yogurt, sit his father down, and gush until the older man regretted having ever posed the question in the first place.
Luckily, he was saved from doing either by Sam's, once again, impeccable timing.
"Well, Mr. Hummel, I don't think they're actually even dating yet, but it still looks serious enough to me," Sam volunteered helpfully, dropping into what had become his spot on the couch and snatching the remote off of the coffee table. "I mean, Sebastian seems pretty committed. Especially since he's all Sebastian Smythe."
Burt arched an eyebrow dubiously. "And what exactly's that mean?"
Kurt shot Sam a sharp glance that had the blonde backpedaling instantly.
"I—uh, just meant that, y'know, he's Sebastian Smythe, head dude at Dalton and all that," Sam quickly covered. He glanced shiftily between Kurt and his father. "He's sort of like the prep school version of a quarterback. So it's pretty cool that he's got such a level head about dating Kurt."
Sam glanced at Kurt for approval. It was all Kurt could do not to smack the blonde over the back of the head with the nearest magazine—which happened to be Kurt's newest issue of Vogue, and despite his temper Kurt refused to subject such a sacred text to Sam's stupidity.
He fought the urge to roll his eyes and folded his arms over his chest, just offering his father a tight nod. "Well I don't know about all of that," he drawled pointedly, unable to resist giving Sam another withering glance, "And he's co-captain of the lacrosse team. Never let Sebastian hear you compare him to a quarterback, or he'll have an aneurism on the spot."
Kurt inspected his nails so the other two men in the room might not notice the slight bit of pride that had slipped into his words at the mention of Sebastian's status on the lacrosse team.
Kurt Hummel was sort-of-dating the co-captain of a private school lacrosse team.
Stereotype his ass.
"And we're not dating." He quickly added, realizing his slip a moment too late.
Sam just grinned. "Dude. You're totally dating."
Author's Note: A wise man once said that a short update was better than no update at all.
Alright. I don't think anyone's ever said that, but it's the theory I'm going with, so work with me here.