For the first time in what felt like far too long, the next couple of weeks passed without so much as a bump for Kurt. The Monday following the coffeeshop performance, Mercedes corralled the rest of the glee club into making peace with Kurt. Blaine had taken to keeping his distance, which Kurt was perfectly fine with. Of course, it made glee rehearsals a little awkward since he and Blaine were usually paired together for numbers, but Mr. Schuester had been saved when Sam offered to step in and partner up with Kurt.
Kurt met Sebastian at the Lima Bean three times a week after classes. They worked on homework, loaded up on caffeine and coffeeshop pastries (when Sebastian could guilt Kurt into one, which unfortunately was more often than not), and just hung out talking until it was time for the Lima Bean to close for the night. Jeff and Nick had accompanied Sebastian down only once since the Warbler's Invasion of Hummel House, but the pair had come down on their own the Saturday before last and spent the night at Kurt's to catch up on missed time.
Overall, things were beginning to look up for Kurt Hummel. So of course, that's when everything had to go to shit all over again.
Glee rehearsal had run late for the second time that week, and once again Kurt found himself driving a little faster than was strictly legal in his attempts to reach the Lima Bean. Sebastian had already texted him wondering where Kurt was, and Kurt was certain that the Warbler was beginning to get irritated at just how late Kurt actually was.
Twenty minutes was forgivable though, right?
Upon finally reaching the coffeeshop, Kurt slid out of his Navigator and made a beeline for the front door of the café. He spotted Sebastian through the glass as he neared and, sure enough, the Warbler's brow was deeply furrowed as he scowled at the empty seat across from his.
Kurt hurriedly made his way inside and dropped into the aforementioned seat with a sheepish smile.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Schue would not let us go today. He was trying to introduce a new number which always leads to at least half an hour of bickering between everyone in the club over his song choice, and then the word choreography is mentioned and the entire meeting just goes up in flames—"
Sebastian shook his head distractedly. "It's fine."
Kurt blinked. He titled his head and gave himself a chance to give Sebastian a more thorough once-over. "It's… fine?" he repeated, voice only a little bit incredulous.
Sebastian only offered a shrug and took a pull from his coffee cup. Kurt was fairly sure that there were actually red warning signs flashing at the edges of his vision.
The brunette glanced up from the book in his lap, his eyebrows raised in silent question. It really didn't help Kurt's urge to reach across the table and strangle the Warbler.
Rather than give into said urge, Kurt pointedly folded his hands on the tabletop and regarded his boyfriend expectantly. "Care to share what's put you in such an agreeable mood?" he prompted at length, only once it became painfully evident that Sebastian wasn't going to take the nonverbal cue.
His eyes narrowed in concern when Sebastian, in response, punched out a heavy sigh and lifted his hands to rub at his temples wearily.
"Sorry. It's just—" Sebastian pursed his lips in frustration before physically shaking off whatever was weighing on his shoulders. "It's nothing. You were saying something about the Rachel Berry posse?"
"Oh no, you're not getting off that easily. 'It's just' what?"
Kurt did his best not to be offended by the weary once-over Sebastian afforded him for his comment. It was a battle very nearly lost. Luckily, Sebastian simply heaved another sigh before reluctantly answering.
"My… dad," he replied at length, staring determinedly at the coffee cup now perched in his hands rather than looking at Kurt. "I'm seeing him this weekend."
Kurt frowned and sat up a bit straighter in his seat. "I thought you lived with your father."
"Most people do," Sebastian agreed tonelessly. His expression had grown more distant that Kurt had seen it in weeks. Something about seeing that look back on Sebastian's face made Kurt feel as if he were sitting on a bed of needles. "I don't bother correcting them."
Sebastian made a show of shifting around in his seat, turning his gaze to the latte in his hand rather than meeting Kurt's eyes as he continued.
"I live with my mother just outside of Westerville. Grayson lives with his family in Columbus."
Kurt's eyebrows flew towards his hairline. "Grayson? Is that your—"
"Father, yes," Sebastian supplied boredly.
It took a moment for the rest of what Sebastian had said to click in Kurt's head. "Wait, he lives with his—"
"Family," Sebastian interjected once again. Kurt wasn't fooled in the least by how intently the other boy was pretending to examine his coffee cup. "His wife and three kids, if you want to be specific about it."
Kurt wasn't sure what to say to that. Frankly, he figured he was doing a fairly impressive job of not simply gaping at the other boy.
Sebastian didn't seem to expect much input from Kurt, though, because he continued as if Kurt had spoken anyways.
"Grayson comes from old money. He has family in France, and during one of his visits he met my mother, Danielle. She was an art student at the university, and he was bored." Sebastian snorted humorlessly. "She was smitten, though. And naïve. She was convinced that they would ride off into the sunset together. Mind you, he was already married at the time." He sneered at Kurt's look of surprise. "Did I forget to mention the age difference? That's my mistake—Grayson was 28 when he met my mother. She was 19."
"He was in France for three months. Supposedly, by the end of his visit he had decided that he would stay in France with my mom. He was going to leave his wife and kids to be with her—and when they found out she was pregnant with me, the deal was all but sealed. But then Grayson gets a call from his wife, and while he's in the middle of explaining to her that he won't be coming home, she tells him that she's five months along in her own pregnancy and had wanted to surprise him once he was state-side again. Grayson was on a plane back to Ohio the next morning."
Kurt's jaw dropped. "He just… How could he change his mind, just like that?"
Sebastian smiled humorlessly. Kurt didn't even bother trying to fight the urge to reach across the table and take one of the brunette's hands in both of his, stroking his thumb against Sebastian's knuckles in an attempt to soothe the biting smile from his features.
"Just like that," Sebastian agreed. He gave Kurt's hand a quick squeeze. "Once he was back in Ohio, Grayson insisted that my mom move to the States so he could still be 'part of our lives' or something. He bought her a house, sent her a plane ticket—and my mom was still so stupidly in love with him, that she just dropped everything and did it. She gave up everything just to be in the same zip code as him."
Sebastian slumped back against his chair with a sigh.
"Now he's a state attorney, and my mom bartends six days a week to make ends meet. End of sob story."
Kurt's narrowed his eyes at that. "It's not a sob story," he snapped. "You're dad's just… kind of an asshole."
Sebastian let a genuine laugh slip at that. He sat back in his seat but kept Kurt's hand in his, offering him a hesitant grin. "My dad's definitely an asshole."
"So what's this about seeing him this weekend?"
Kurt instantly wanted to kick himself for asking when Sebastian's grin slid.
"The only time I ever really see Grayson is when he's dragging me on some 'family event' or to one of his parties. He tries to make a point of having 'all of his sons' present at his parties," There were actual air quotes involved in that statement. "The only consolation is that his wife hates it."
Kurt blinked. "You actually have to be around his other family?" He winced at his word choice, but Kurt was relieved to note that Sebastian didn't seem to notice—or care, which was more likely the case.
"Unfortunately. Despite all the other shit that he's pulled, Grayson tries to do his best by my mother and I. At least in his own way."
"Fucked up. I know." Sebastian's lips titled wryly. "Should I have come into this relationship with a disclaimer?"
Kurt snorted. "Believe me, you did. Admittedly, it may have missed a few key points, but it at least covered your affinity with polos."
Sebastian's eyes narrowed playfully as he tugged his hand from Kurt's. "I've worn a polo around you once—"
"Honey, that was one times too many," Kurt interrupted easily. He stood up and tilted his head towards the barista's counter. "Now, are you going to buy me a coffee, or am I going to have to go find another blazer-clad boy with daddy's credit card to do the job?"
Rather than take offense as Kurt was half-afraid he would, Sebastian simply stood with a dramatic roll of his eyes.
"I have no idea why I keep you around, Hummel."
Kurt smirked and bumped his hip against Sebastian's as the brunette fell into step with him as they made their way towards the register.
"I can think of a few reasons," he replied airily, pointedly ignoring the heated glance his response earned him from the Warbler at his side. He stepped up and ordered his coffee before Sebastian could get another word in.
Kurt sank onto the cushion between Sam and Finn and dropped his hands into his lap. He managed to stare at the television long enough to recognize what he thought was another James Bond movie (Sam and Finn had gone off on a Bond kick sometime within the past week) before speaking.
"Sebastian's dad is a complete asshole."
It took a moment, but both Sam and Finn slowly turned their attention from the television set to give Kurt twin looks of wary bewilderment.
Without looking away, Finn slowly lifted the remote to mute the tv set.
Kurt lifted his hands defensively. "I'm just saying. The guy is a Grade A douchebag. It's no wonder Sebastian's such an abrasive little shit most of the time—it's hereditary."
Sam apparently couldn't help a snicker at that.
Finn was still blinking in confusion. "Dude, when did you meet Sebastian's dad? Wait. Did you go meet him and he was a jerk to you or something? Because that's not cool. At all. Did Sebastian not do anyth—"
Kurt waved away Finn's worries distractedly. "No, Finn. It was nothing like that. Sebastian was just upset when I met up with him today because he's got to spend the weekend with his Dad. For the record, getting Sebastian to actually talk about himself? It's like pulling teeth. For such a self-centered little jerk, he's remarkably private."
Finn glanced over Kurt's head at Sam, apparently still lost. "If he's calling him names, does that mean that they're fighting?"
Kurt didn't bother to resist the urge to smack Finn.
Sam snorted. "I'm pretty sure that's actually how Kurt and Sebastian show endearment. It's like pet names. Only with insults."
Kurt made a point of elbowing Sam for good measure.
Finn was still rubbing the back of his head sourly when he turned his frown back to Kurt. "So what's wrong with his dad?"
"The cliffnote's version is that his dad's got an entire second family and just keeps Sebastian around for photo ops and sympathy votes." Kurt scowled and folded his arms over his chest, trying to decide just how much he should even tell the other two. He had a feeling that Sebastian wouldn't appreciate Kurt spreading his business around. But that didn't help Kurt's need to vent whatsoever. "Obviously there's a whole lot more to that, but it's not really my story to tell."
Sam nodded in understanding. "Sounds pretty rough."
"I feel like I should apologize for ever bringing Sebastian over here in the first place—though, in my defense, Sam brought him over here to begin with," Kurt spared Sam a pointed glare, but the other boy didn't even have the decency to look abashed. In fact, Sam simply rolled his eyes. Kurt huffed and continued on his tirade. "I mean, my dad's practically perfect compared to Sebastian's failure of a sperm donor. I feel like I was rubbing my dad in his face."
Finn snorted. "I really doubt Sebastian thinks you let him come over here to rub Burt in his face. I mean, I'm pretty sure normal people don't really even consider the possibility of stuff like that."
Kurt raised an eyebrow blithely. "Did you just insinuate that I'm abnormal, Finn Hudson?"
He could practically see Finn trying to piece together the word in his head.
"It means not-normal, Finn!"
Finn flushed. "Dude, I knew that! Chill!"
Both Sam and Kurt gave Finn a look at that.
"I'm pretty sure that Finn's trying to say that you're probably just overreacting, Kurt," Sam finally offered. He was doing little to hide the amusement in his tone. "Sebastian comes over here to see you, not your family."
"Which is probably a good thing," Finn added helpfully, "Seeing as we're sort of crazy dysfunctional here."
Burt chose that moment to lumber into the living room and paused, glancing between the three boys on the couch warily. "Who's crazy dysfunctional?" he hazarded before moving across the room to drop into his recliner.
Kurt turned a longsuffering look on his father. "Us, apparently."
Burt blinked. "Not that I'm really disputing the fact, but why exactly are we dysfunctional this time?"
"Sebastian's got a dead beat for a dad, so Kurt's convincing himself that he's somehow hurt Sebastian's feelings by rubbing our flawlessness in his face," Sam deadpanned. He quickly ducked the pillow that Kurt swung at his head as a reward for his efforts.
"I hate every one of you."
"So are you two just going to continue to conspicuously avoid each other for the rest of the year?"
Kurt glanced over his shoulder at Quinn, finding her leaning against the locker next to his and regarding him with a quirked eyebrow. He blinked when she nodded to something behind his shoulder and turned to follow her gaze, finding Blaine ducking into his own locker further down the hallway with Tina at his side.
Kurt sighed and turned back to shove his Physics textbook into his locker.
"I'm not avoiding him, exactly," at Quinn's snort, Kurt shot her a look, "I'm not. It's just easier not to deal with him if I don't have to."
"Perhaps. But it certainly makes for an interesting glee rehearsal, don't you think?"
"Please," Now it was Kurt's turn to snort. "Who is it that keeps ending up in the center of the Finn Hudson love triangle?"
Quinn narrowed her eyes playfully and smacked Kurt on the arm. "That's different."
"Only because you three usually have your throw downs in the middle of rehearsal. Blaine and I at least tried to keep our business outside of the choir room." He cocked his head. "We were even fairly successful until Rachel decided to stage a singer-vention—which you were conveniently absentee from, I might point out."
"I was sick!"
Kurt rolled his eyes. "That's no excuse."
Quinn smacked him harmlessly on the arm again, but this time left her hand there to curl around his forearm and pull him in the direction of their next class. As fate would have it, just as they turned to begin towards their AP English classroom, Tina and Blaine were coming down the hall from the opposite direction. Kurt fought the urge to groan aloud.
The instant that Blaine noticed Kurt and Quinn was painfully obvious, because the other boy suddenly froze mid-step and stared at Kurt with wide eyes. Tina stumbled a bit in surprise at Blaine's sudden stop and turned to look at him in question, but when she followed his gaze and spotted Kurt she placed a sympathetic hand on Blaine's shoulder and offered Kurt a pinched smile in greeting.
Next to him, Quinn slid her arm through Kurt's more securely and returned Tina's smile with a sickly-sweet one of her own. Kurt recognized the smile as Quinn's patented HBIC smirk, which he remembered all too well generally meant that she was plotting someone's demise rather than being polite at all. "Blaine, Tina," she greeted airily, brushing her hair away from her face in a move too measured to be casual.
Tina's smile only faltered slightly. "See you guys in glee club?"
Blaine was doing little to hide the way that he was staring at Kurt, so Kurt did his best not to spare the ex-Warbler so much as a glance if only to avoid the weight of that stare. Instead, he offered Tina a tight smile of his own. "Of course. Save us a seat?"
He didn't bother waiting for the girl to respond before pulling Quinn further down the hallway towards their class. Quinn didn't miss a beat though and was right at his side step for step, her hips swaying with familiar sass as they made their hasty exit. Kurt used the arm crooked with Quinn's to tug her closer to his side so that he could tip his forehead against hers.
Quinn slid her hand from Kurt's arm to link their fingers together and squeezed his hand lightly as they entered their English classroom. "Of course."
"Come with me."
Kurt's head snapped up from where he'd been bent over his French homework, his eyebrows flying towards his hairline in surprise.
"I beg your pardon?"
Sebastian shifted in the seat across from Kurt anxiously. That alone was enough to make Kurt eye the other boy warily, but when he noticed that Sebastian was actually wringing his hands together nervously beneath the glass table, he actually felt a lump of dread settle low in his stomach. It was enough to make Kurt close his French textbook and set it aside completely.
Sebastian visibly steeled himself, drawing his shoulders back and taking a breath before plowing on. "Come with me to Grayson's event this weekend. He probably won't even notice that I'm there until it's time for the obligatory photo-op. He won't care if I bring a date."
Kurt chose his words carefully. "And if that date you brought along were a boy…?"
Sebastian didn't miss the words that Kurt wasn't saying.
"He knows that I'm gay, Kurt," he replied a bit incredulously. "Does any part of me really come off to you as closeted?"
Kurt couldn't help a tiny snort at that. "How am I supposed to know how you behave around Grayson? For all I know you could turn into a completely different person when he's nearby."
"If by different person, you mean I generally do my best to embarrass the man by trying to sleep with every one of his colleague's sons? Then yes. I'm on my best behavior."
Sebastian jumped when Kurt's foot pointedly collided with his shin at that.
"Let's not lose ourselves in a trip down Promiscuity Lane, Smythe."
Judging from the way Sebastian's affronted scowl shifted into something a little closer to an impish smirk, Kurt had few delusions that the Warbler hadn't caught the hint of jealously undoubtedly tinging Kurt's barb. Rather than appear sheepish about it, Kurt simply lifted his chin and stared the other boy down in silent challenge.
Sebastian reached out and took one of Kurt's hands between both of his. His thumbs stroked over the back of Kurt's hand soothingly, and despite himself Kurt felt a tiny smile tugging at the corner of his lips in response.
"The point is," Sebastian drawled, his voice softer as he lifted Kurt's hand to press a quick kiss against it, "It would mean a lot to me if you would come. I—I hate these things, and having you there with me? Well, it's the only way that I can imagine the evening being remotely bearable."
And really, how on earth could Kurt say no to that?
Ignoring every single one of the warning bells going off in Kurt's mind, he nodded with only the smallest of sighs. "Alright. I'll go with you." He couldn't bring himself to sound particularly enthused with the idea just yet, but the concession was worth it when his words brought a brilliant smile to Sebastian's features.
The Warbler, uncaring of anyone who might see, leaned across the table and pressed a firm kiss to Kurt's lips. It was so unlike anything that Blaine would have ever dared to do that it caught Kurt completely off-guard and made butterflies swell in his stomach. By the time that he even had the bearings to consider returning the kiss, Sebastian was already pulling away and sinking back into his seat on the other side of the table.
"I'll pick you up Friday after you get out of glee rehearsals," Sebastian declared, "We can go straight to Grayson's from there, it's only a couple of hours' drive from Lima."
Kurt sank back into his seat and did his best not to sigh dramatically. This entire thing sounded like a horrible idea, but there was no way he was going to be the one to tell Sebastian that. Not when the other boy was sitting across from him and smiling more honestly than Kurt had ever seen him smile before.
Looking back, Kurt should have known that his silence would inevitably come back to bite him in the ass.