Accidentally In Love
Summary: Sebastian and Kurt ends up working together in Kurt's Aunt Merilde's bookstore. Sparks fly-Not of the good kind….
Pairing: Kurt/Sebastian, past Kurt/Blaine
Rating: R (for language and stuff)
Word Count:13000++ (OHMYGOD. What is this giant number-?)
A/N: Written for porcelain_fans 'The Chris/Carson/Kurt Song Challenge—Round Two'
Oh god, this is most probably the longest thing I've ever wrote in one go that isn't a series. Now it's 5am and I really, really need to just crash and sleep.
Again, my fics are unbeta-ed, and I apologize in advance for any mistakes. Hope you guys enjoy it! =)
The bell chimed, he looked up, a smile already on his face even as he opened his mouth to greet the customer.
Eyes locked. The smile immediately dropped from his face. His lips were set into a thin and firm line even as his jaw clenched.
Blue green eyes flashed with annoyance, tinged with slight anger and disbelief.
"For god's sake! What the hell are you doing here?" He snapped.
And there's that infuriating smirk appearing on that equally annoying face. Brown eyes that were wide with surprise just moments ago sparkled with barely concealed glee.
Kurt felt his fingers twitched against the spine of the hardcover book he was holding.
"Well, well. Imagine meeting you here, Kurt. Are you stalking me?" Sebastian drawled.
It took all of his resolve to not launch himself over the counter and punch the man in his face.
Kurt breathed in deeply. He could do this.
Reaching out, he twisted the doorknob and stepped in. The bell chimed as he did so. He looked around, and saw no one in sight. He could almost breathe a sigh of relief, when Sebastian stepped out amongst the book shelves, carrying an armful of books.
Kurt closed his eyes. It wasn't just a nightmare then.
"Sebastian." He gritted out. Be polite, and just ignore him. He told himself, he would only be doing this for two months. He can manage it.
Sebastian smirked at him. Kurt wondered if the man's lips were even capable of forming a smile, or were they just genetically programmed to twist into a smug curve that caused all sorts of violent thoughts in Kurt's mind.
"Hey, Kurt. You're late, by the way." Sebastian said, and god, even his voice was grating on Kurt's nerves. He told Sebastian exactly that before he realized it.
Sebastian, if possible, looked even more smug than usual. "Well, I could say the same thing about you. It's a wonder I can even hear it, seeing that it's so high pitched that when you shout, it could probably only be heard by animals."
Kurt just walked past Sebastian, reaching forward to hang his bag on one of the coat hooks.
Shouting at Sebastian seemed like a wonderful idea at that moment. Kurt took in a deep breath.
In, out. In, out.
He had tried Googling "Ways to be calm when you just want to punch someone with a smirky meerkat face", but that search turned out to be futile. Dismayed that Google had for once disappointed him, Kurt had given up and went on to search "Ways to Calm Down" instead and found a neat site which taught him to control his breathing and think good thoughts.
Both were utterly useless.
Sebastian was still looking at him with far more mischievous glee on his face than was appropriate and Kurt really, really didn't want to be put into jail for murdering his co-worker on his first day on the job.
That would be bad for business. Just imagining the hell that Aunt Merilde would put him through when she came back from her backpacking trip to Europe was enough to make Kurt squash down the surge of violent emotions.
Zen. He told himself. Inner peace.
He could work with Sebastian. He could be mature and calm and be a total grown up. Prove to his dad and aunt that he's capable of being a better man.
Then Sebastian quirked his eyebrow up tauntingly and everything was thrown out the window.
Kurt was up in Sebastian's face and pushing the man back against a bookshelf the next moment. Sebastian looked almost shocked at the sudden change.
"Look." Kurt hissed, "I'm here to help my aunt take care of this book store while she's off cavorting in Europe. And you're here because you've been hired as help by my aunt and nobody cared to tell me about it beforehand."
Sebastian opened his mouth to speak, but Kurt shut him off with a stern glare. "We are going to have to work together, and while I loathe seeing you every day for two months, I've got no choice. So for once, I would really freaking appreciate it if you would act like a half-decent human being for once in your life!"
Sebastian blinked at him. It was only then that Kurt realized how close both of them had gotten, with both of Kurt's palms placed on Sebastian's shoulders and their noses just inches away from each other. Kurt cursed that Sebastian was taller than him as he had to tilt his head up to look at the infuriating man.
Then all of a sudden, Sebastian's blank face of surprise morphed into one of genuine amusement and delight, and his lips twitched into a small smile.
Oh, so he can smile. Kurt thought absent-mindedly.
"You know, you're a very interesting person, Kurt Hummel." Sebastian murmured. He was still looking at Kurt like he was a new specimen to be observed and prodded at. Kurt fought the urge to squirm.
"Well, I try." Kurt retorted with a huff, "Better than you I suppose. Still trawling Craigslist and seedy gay bars, Sebastian?" He mocked.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Sebastian said, tone dripping with suggestiveness. "How about you then? Still sporting a hard case of that gay face, I see. Where's Blaine anyway? Wouldn't you normally be around him, pining like a lost puppy?"
Kurt loosened his hold on Sebastian's shirt. Sebastian's tone was teasing, but his words were more hurting than the man realized.
Sebastian gave a small, triumphant grin. Obviously taking Kurt's silence as an inability to formulate any cutting response, which was quite true, bar from the fact that Kurt couldn't form any retort even if he wanted to.
Memories flashed faster than lightning in Kurt's mind, and he paled. He thought he was over this. He was supposed to have been over this.
Sebastian continued on, oblivious to Kurt's distress. "I'm surprised you let him out of your sight. You seemed so possessive of him just not two months ago. Don't worry. I've lost interest in your boyfriend anyway. What makes me curious is why Blaine's still with you, when I've told both of you over and over again that he's too good for you."
Kurt stepped away.
It's only then that Sebastian noticed something's wrong.
Kurt's pale, but the tips of his ears were flaming red. Impossibly blue eyes were gleaming with tears, but still looking straight back at him unwaveringly. They were gorgeous.
Kurt took a deep breath. "Fuck you." He said.
Sebastian blinked, of all the times in the past that he had provoked Kurt with far worse insults and taunts, there was never an instance where Kurt cursed.
Those eyes were still staring at him. Sebastian felt something a lot like shame burning up his throat.
"Just fuck you. You don't know anything about me. Just keep away from me, and let's pretend that each other doesn't exist. That should be far better for both of us." Kurt's voice was as hard as steel, darkened with fury. But it's impossible to miss the way his bottom lip trembled, and the way he held himself, whole body taut and tensed.
"Kurt—" Sebastian said, voice coming out in an oddly hushed and tentative tone.
The bell chimed.
The next moment, Kurt was turning away, greeting the customer with a too cheery voice and a bright and happy expression, as if he wasn't just trying not to fall apart in front of Sebastian mere seconds before.
Sebastian leaned against the bookshelf, the cool, firm wood against him a useful anchor. His mind was still reeling.
What the hell just happened?
The bookstore was just off the main road of the Westerville shopping district. It was tuck into a small corner, mashed up between a café next door and a huge and shiny new bank on the other. The shop itself was designed to look like a building out of the Europe medieval period, with a sign that hung outside made from iron and wood itself. The irons twisted into vines and roses as they bordered the square wooden board that was painted dark red with the shop's name emblazoned on it in large golden letters.
The inside of the store was filled with rows upon rows of bookshelves, with the counter at the very front beside the door. The floor was made of wooden panels, and there was the odd carpet and rug placed on it, scattered between bookshelves. A few comfortable couches were put around the store, along with benches and step ladders. The store wasn't very big, nor was it small, it was just the right size, and surprisingly enough, everything was organized neatly.
There were two wooden but cushioned armchairs placed opposite to one another, a writing table of the right height between them, situated near the wall opposite to the counter. Kurt was sitting there now, head bent as he pored over a book.
Sebastian sat behind the counter, trying hard, and failing to not look at Kurt.
Kurt had been avoiding him for nearly a week now. Well, not so much avoid as disregard and ignoring him completely, seeing that they had to spend up to 8 hours a day together. The pointed silence was really getting to Sebastian.
He had tried talking to Kurt, but every single time the counter tenor just refused to look or even listen to him, and after three days, Sebastian had been pissed off enough that he had given up completely.
He glared back at Kurt for two days. However, glaring took too much effort and concentration, and before he realized it, it had turned to staring and looking at Kurt instead.
Sebastian had gone to do some digging after Kurt's outburst. After discretely asking around The Warblers and stalking Blaine's Facebook page, he had found out that Blaine had broken up with Kurt just one month ago, which was right before Kurt's graduation. While they seemed to have remained friends, the reason for them breaking up was still unclear.
However, judging from Kurt's reaction to the mentioning of Blaine, it's clear that the countertenor was still affected by it. Sebastian thought that he would feel more sadistic joy in seeing the both of them breaking up, but somehow, every time he thought about it, he could only see Kurt's tear-filled eyes, still so defiant and full of fire even when the man himself looked so fragile.
It made Sebastian feel weird. He felt guilty.
Guilt was not an emotion he was used to, especially not after the Karofsky debacle.
Sebastian sighed softly.
He would have to make it up to Kurt somehow.
Kurt locked the door to his aunt's house. Aside from looking after her shop, Kurt had also promised to take care of her house. He's staying there at the moment, a feat that hadn't been easy to accomplish. Burt hadn't wanted him to stay alone, instead preferring that Kurt drove to Westerville and back again every day, like what he had done when he went to Dalton. Finn had supported Burt, and while their care and obvious protectiveness was heartwarming and nice, Kurt really couldn't stay at Lima any longer. Everyone seemed to be stepping on eggshells around him, and while he really, really appreciated their concern, he just wanted them to act normally.
So much had changed in one month, and Kurt was just too stifled. He didn't think he could handle one more of Mercedes and Rachel's pitying and worried glances when they think he wasn't paying attention, nor could he handle Finn, Sam and Puck all trying to cheer him up by pulling him along on their supposed Bro-Nights. All of the Glee members tried their best to cheer him up. Mike and Tina even hugged him on one memorable occasion, sandwiching him between both of them, with Tina's breasts pressing against his back and his face smashed up uncomfortably on the vicinity of Mike's collarbone and neck. Kurt will deny to his deathbed that he got a bit teary-eyed from their combined warmth and burrowed deeper into Mike's admittedly, very amazing and hard abs.
As much as he loves them, Kurt just really needed a breather. So, he practically pounced on the chance to look after the shop when Aunt Merilde mentioned it to Burt.
His aunt's house was just a street away from the bookstore, and Kurt walked down the pavement, savoring the warmth of the sun on his skin. He felt better already, at least he thought he did, until Sebastian came in and ruined it all.
Kurt sighed. He really didn't want to deal with Sebastian at the moment. He knew that he shouldn't be angry, but he still couldn't forgive Sebastian for saying the things he said. Sebastian may not know it, but his words hit too close to comfort than he might realized.
Kurt shook his head. He didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to think about Blaine.
Instead, he let his mind wandered over to Sebastian.
Sebastian had been acting very odd recently.
After a period of ignoring him (which Kurt thought was working out quite nicely for both of them, seeing that there hadn't been any screaming, face-to-face arguments recently, and that nobody had died—Yay for him!), Sebastian had now changed his attitude again.
When Kurt walked into the store two days ago, Sebastian was already there, two cups of coffee in hand as he greeted Kurt with a cheery "Good morning." Baffled, Kurt took the cup of coffee thrust forward to him, and was surprised to realize that it's exactly how he liked it.
He almost blurted out: "You know my coffee order?", only to remember the memories associated with that particular question and just scowled and moved away.
Sebastian had looked oddly defeated.
Then there was the problem of Sebastian staring at him. The man stared at him at all times, it made the hairs prickle behind Kurt's neck, and whenever he looked up and caught Sebastian looking at him, the man just shrugged nonchalantly and gave him one of those trademarked confident smirks.
Then there were the compliments. Sebastian would just toss out questions and remarks like:
"Are those Marc Jacobs?"
"You look good in those pants, Kurt."
"Hmm, a furry tail? Kinky."
Sebastian always smiled when he said them, but Kurt couldn't help but feel that the man was teasing him or making fun of him. He's pretty sure that this was a ploy on Sebastian's part.
He didn't know what Sebastian wanted to achieve by showering him with attention and compliments. Thinking about it just made him come up with tons of conspiracy theories, each more absurd than the last, but all having the same main idea—Sebastian was clearly trying to lure him into a false sense of security, before striking him down like the lioness that preys on a gazelle. And Kurt would most probably end up either killing Sebastian in retaliation or end up being torn to shreds.
Needless to say, thinking didn't help to make things better, it made it worse.
God, how he wanted to just choke Sebastian with his bare hands. Kurt let out a strangled gurgle from his throat, earning him a few concerned look from passer-bys.
Great, now random strangers thought that he's crazy.
Reaching the store, he pushed open the door with more force than was necessary, and sure enough, Sebastian was there again today with a cup of coffee held out.
Kurt snatched it away and drank, big gulp after big gulp. The liquid wasn't hot enough to scald his throat, but it did leave a trail of warmth and bitterness trailing down his oesophagus and pooling in his stomach. Damn it, the coffee today had been done perfectly as well.
That's it, he'd had enough.
He slammed the cup back down on the counter and glared.
"You." He prodded one perfectly manicured finger into Sebastian's chest. Kurt refused to think about how obviously firm it felt, or how Sebastian clearly had toned abs. Nope, not thinking about it at all.
"We need to talk."
A few minutes later, both of them were settled in on the chairs, with their coffee cups placed on the table. It felt like they were back in The Lima Bean again; ready to insult the other within an inch of their lives.
"What's wrong with you?" Kurt asked.
Sebastian tilted his head, "Now that's a way to start a conversation." He said dryly.
Kurt just glared at him. Don't punch him, don't punch him, don't punch him…Violence is not the answer.
Sebastian smiled into his coffee as he took a sip. "Nothing's wrong with me, Kurt."
Kurt fixed an ice-cold gaze upon him. "Really?" He said, "Then pray tell, why the hell are you being so weird lately?"
"I'm being weird?" Sebastian replied, sounding genuinely confused.
Kurt resisted the urge to throw his hands up in the air. That would just be juvenile and ruin the lines of his clothing.
"Yes!" He exclaimed, exasperated. "You-! You being all seemingly nice, and bringing me coffee every morning, and there's the faux compliments. And, you keep staring at me!"
"Is it so hard to believe? That I could be nice? Besides, faux compliments? Please. Everything I've ever praised you is true. I'm not teasing you." Sebastian replied, looking calm and as cool as a cucumber. Even so, Kurt had to squash down the urge to inflict violence. He flexed his fingers and clutched his cardboard cup tighter instead.
"Well, what do you expect? We weren't always on the best terms, if you remembered."
"Kurt." Sebastian rolled his eyes. "I'm just being logical here. You're my boss' nephew, and we are expected to work with one another for quite some time. We can't just ignore one another, that's just insane."
"Are you saying that you want us to be friends?" Kurt exclaimed incredulously.
"You can't be serious."
"I am. Come on. Would it be so bad?"
Kurt gave a look of someone who'd just choked on a piece of particularly sour lemon.
Sebastian smiled, expression genuine and looking as innocent as he could be. Kurt squinted, too innocent, in fact.
In the end, Kurt sighed, and after a moment of contemplation (which was more like a moment of trying not to strangle Sebastian or strangle himself), he schooled his expression and tilted his chin up, regarding Sebastian coolly, and said: "Fine."
"Fine. Let's be friends. Or at least, tolerate one another. But please for the love of Gaga, would you stop acting like you've gotten a complete attitude surgical implant? We both know that you're not normally this nice or charming." Kurt muttered, completely resigned.
Sebastian leered at him. Offering a lascivious grin, he leant forward and said: "You find me charming?"
Kurt knew from the heat creeping up his neck and cheek that he was blushing.
"Shut up." He snapped. But even he knew that it was a weak comeback.
Sebastian grinned and leaned back, palms up in a placating manner. Kurt felt like he had just lost some unnamed war. "Okay. So, to get things straight—Well, as straight as we can be, anyway—" And three, two, one, cued The Smirk, and Kurt rolled his eyes, "We'll agree to tolerate one another, and that we'll both make an attempt to be nice. You'll cease being a mute emo teenage boy, and I'll cease being a weird, nice android. Does that sum it up?"
"God, I want to slap you." Kurt murmured.
Seeing the glint in Sebastian's eyes, Kurt quickly added, "Don't say 'kinky', or this truce wouldn't last even a second."
Sebastian just smirked at him knowingly and hummed in agreement.
A hand extended forward at him. Kurt glared back.
Oh, hell to the no. He was not shaking hands with the enemy (ex-enemy?).
Sebastian looked at him imploringly, wiggling his hand as he did so.
Kurt let out a long suffering sigh.
He reached forward and grasped onto Sebastian's hand, intending to just give a hard squeeze and pulling back immediately.
Sebastian, however, had other ideas. He clutched onto Kurt's hand, and pulled him forward.
"Pleasure, Kurt." He purred, again with a smirk painting his lips.
Kurt did not blush. He most certainly did not blush. He just rolled his eyes in a very elegant, disparaging and sarcastic manner that implied that Sebastian was inferior to him. But he absolutely Did. Not. Blush.
Sebastian looked like the cat that got the canary.
Kurt couldn't help but think: Oh god, I just signed a pact with the Devil. What has my life become?
Kurt was so distressed over the whole I-actually-befriended-Sebastian-freaking-meerkat-faced-Smythe that he actually wore a poncho with rainbow colored stripes the next day. Sure, he paired it with killer skintight black jeans and knee high laced-up boots, but still—a rainbow colored poncho.
He dawdled outside the store, unsure of what to expect, before deciding that screw it, Hummels are not cowards. He straightened his back, tilted his head and walked in confidently.
Sebastian took one look at him and said: "Fuck, did you turned blind sometime last night? Because if you didn't, the other possible reason for you wearing that atrocity is brain damage. Or were you trying to celebrate the Rio Carnival? If you are, I can tell you now that even all those costumes are way better than that thing you're wearing."
Kurt had never wished that he could glare someone to death as much as he did at that moment.
"I see that you're back to your usual self."
Sebastian just made a vague gesture at his whole torso and turned away with the most offended look on his face.
"At least I will still be more fabulous than you." Kurt drawled, and Sebastian looked back, making an exaggerated gesture covering his eyes and moaning: "My eyes, my fucking eyes."
Kurt grinned, cold and evil. "Khaki pants and polo t-shirts every single day? You look like you're forty and should be spending all your time in a golf course instead. And that hair? Sorry, it's infinite times worse than this poncho that I'm wearing, so imagine the pain I feel just looking at it. It makes me want to bring out the garden shears. Do you even look at yourself in the mirror before you come out?"
Sebastian's expression turned almost begrudgingly respectful, and the corners of his lips twitched. Kurt found himself trying hard not to smile back.
"I look like a gentleman. While you look like a toddler tried to finger-paint you with rainbow colors and then vomited all over you in the end. It's just tragic." Sebastian held out a cup of coffee for Kurt, smirking all the while.
Kurt took a sip. Nonfat mocha, exactly the way he liked it.
Sebastian was still looking expectantly back at him, eyebrow cocked in a blatant challenge.
Kurt took another sip.
Oh, it's on.
Two days after that, Kurt was the first to reach the shop. He was tidying up the books left on the counter when Sebastian came in.
Sebastian placed a coffee in front of him, clearing his throat as he did so, and Kurt reached out for it, taking a sip before looking up.
He almost choked on his nonfat mocha.
Sebastian was wearing dark jeans, a form fitting light blue v-neck shirt, and a black jacket with gold trimmings at the edges. Kurt's jaw dropped.
The man cleaned up really nicely. While the normal striped-tees and polo shirts just made him look sleazy and kind of boring and old, this effortlessly casual look suited him completely. The jeans accentuated his height, while the tight shirt and jacket showed off his well defined chest and muscles that were usually hidden up. Instead of looking tall, lanky and cheesy, he looked broader, handsome and very, very attractive.
Sebastian quirked an eyebrow at him, mouth tilted up into an amused and confident smile.
Kurt averted his gaze. Taking another hasty sip of his coffee, he coughed and said: "Thank god you took my advice. Do you know how hard it's been for me to look at your atrocious clothes day in and day out for nearly two weeks now? I swear, one more day, and I would have ripped them all off and burned them along with Rachel's sweaters."
Sebastian propped his elbows on the edge of the counter and bent down. Kurt caught a whiff of no-doubt expensive cologne, together with a rich, earthy and crisp scent of what seemed to be the man himself.
Kurt tried his best not to groan. He not only looked decadent, he smelled wonderful as well.
"Hmm, I never would have guessed that you actually wanted to see me out of my clothes so badly. Ripping them off would ruin your manicure, Kurt, and that won't do when you get bitchy and want to claw someone's face off, would it?"
The knot in his stomach disappeared immediately. Kurt fought the urge to bang his head, repeatedly, on the counter.
Of course, this was Sebastian Smythe. The guy who claimed that he found his 'One True Love' in a seedy gay bar in a relationship that lasted a mere few hours. The guy who spent most of his previous encounters with Kurt either trying to insult him to death or plot against him and tried to steal his boy—ex-boyfriend.
Who cared if Sebastian looked inexplicably like a model that walked out of a fashion magazine? So the man was handsome, Kurt wasn't so blinded by pride and dislike that he couldn't admit that. But that doesn't change his personality, at all.
Kurt couldn't believe that he actually got flustered over Sebastian, of all people.
Clearly, the breakup with Blaine must have been hard enough on him that it actually addled his brain for him to actually feel a frisson of attraction towards Sebastian.
Thank god that Sebastian's such a major jerk.
"Please. I wouldn't touch you even with a ten-foot diamond pole and Patti LuPone begged me to do it, in song."
Sebastian tilted his head and just looked at him.
Kurt carried on, unperturbed and burning with the dizzy sense of relief that he's not gone completely wonky as to actually fall for Sebastian. Somehow he felt the need to completely iterate that fact—with words. Words that would show Sebastian how completely unperturbed and not-attracted Kurt was to him.
"And these manicures? These manicures can easily be done, and I definitely won't hesitate to ruin them if I were clawing your face off with them." He waved a finger in front of Sebastian's face in what he thought was a very threatening and frightening manner. He narrowed his eyes, set his mouth into a menacing line and all that.
Which was completely not the case when Sebastian just looked at him some more, and then threw back his head and laughed.
It wasn't even his usual Evil Chuckle, or his Mocking Laugh of Insincerity. It was full blown and genuine laughter.
Kurt was thrown, and he scowled, which just made Sebastian laughed even harder.
"Oh god. Oh god. You're actually quite an adorable lunatic, aren't you?" Sebastian muttered between breaths.
"I'm not a lunatic. I'm as sane as sane people could be, which you wouldn't know, because you are the one acting like you've been dropped on your head as an infant. Which, come to think of it, would actually explain quite a lot." Kurt trailed off, scrutinized a red-faced and breathless-from-laughing Sebastian, and asked in a horrified tone: "Were you actually dropped on your head when you're little?"
This just sent Sebastian back into peals of uncontrollable laughter, choking out words like "Unbelievable." "You're insane, so completely, adorably insane." And "Oh god, oh my fucking god."
"I'm not adorable." He spat, and glared some more for good measure. "I'm manly and handsome and fabulous, but I'm not adorable. Not. Adorable. At all."
To his dismay, Sebastian just kept on laughing, and Kurt was tempted to throw the whole cup of his coffee at the man. Screw his surprising good looks and his surprising good figure and how surprisingly attractive he looked when he laughed and smiled so genuinely.
Sebastian's the one's who's the lunatic. Kurt thought bitterly, and frowned even more in retaliation.
He didn't throw his cup of coffee in Sebastian's face though.
Nobody could judge him for his lapse in judgment. It was extremely good coffee.
Kurt was surprised at how well he got along with Sebastian once they've agreed to the pact. And with 'well', he meant that he and Sebastian bicker and snipe and insult one another all the time without any actual blood-shed from either part of them. He's still amazed to hear Sebastian drawl out an insult and realize that his tone was good-natured, sarcastic or teasing but never filled with any real heat or disdain.
They've fallen into this weird routine now. Sebastian mocked Kurt on his sometimes weird clothing choices and Kurt huffed in disdain and insulted him back whenever Sebastian acted like a jerk or bragged about any of his recent conquests and bar outings. And while they disagree and like to pick on the other on a lot of things, sometimes it does feel like they're just bantering for the sake of bantering, and sometimes even their bickering sounded suspiciously friendly rather than in the 'you're the bane of my existence and I'm just putting up with you and disagreeing with everything you say'-way.
Kurt noticed that Sebastian's never once said anything really hurtful to him since that disastrous day though. He had also noticed that of all the things Sebastian spoke of to him, there was never once that he said anything about Blaine or the obvious lack of any romantic relationships in Kurt's life.
He refused to think about what this might mean, despite the fact that he might have changed his opinions about Sebastian being a heartless and evil bastard.
But he definitely wasn't getting chummy with Sebastian though. Not in a hundred million years. They were just—getting along, oddly enough.
Sebastian's still a bastard and a jerk.
It's just that he's now a bastard with heart and soul and possibly a bit more compassion than what Kurt regarded of him.
It shouldn't have surprised him that their established routine was disturbed a month into their working partnership.
To put it simply: They ran out of things to disagree on. To Kurt's horror (and Sebastian's amusement, Kurt could see the insufferable smirk, god damn it), they found themselves in a state of mutual agreement.
He, Kurt Hummel, had something in common with Sebastian Smythe. They agreed with one another.
Oh, how the mighty and fabulous had fallen.
Kurt's apparent horror had led to Sebastian laughing his head off.
Somehow, this resulted in them having dinner together, which spurned on another routine for them in this already odd and twisted blob of pact-thing they have going on.
Kurt swore that The Pact, as he had grown to call it, had started mutating, and was probably going to undergo some serious evolution, which would inevitably lead into another freak-out on his part.
But more on that later.
It all started, rather simply, with a book.
He and Sebastian sat opposite one another at the table, Kurt was reading a book, while Sebastian was counting up the money they had earned for the day, while making notes on the accounting ledger. They hadn't closed the shop yet, but it was already five thirty in the evening, and usually no customer came in after five.
It was quiet in the shop, just the occasional sound of Kurt turning the page, or Sebastian mumbling under his breath as he counted and tapped on the calculator to tally up an amount.
These peaceful and harmonious moments and situations weren't rare. In fact, it happened more and more often. They didn't argue with one another as much as they used to, and while they still insult one another, it was more friendly and harmless banter done because they were Kurt and Sebastian. There was probably some rule in the universe that stated they needed to jibe at the other, it's would be like, in their DNA or something. However, as reluctant as Kurt was to admitting it, he had grown comfortable around Sebastian. Sure, he still wanted to punch the smug jerk sometimes, but they had sort of become used to one another. Sebastian now smiled at him rather than smirk, and Kurt counted that as some sort of good sign that Sebastian wasn't plotting some sly, evil plan against him.
Sebastian placed down his pen and closed the ledger. "Done!" He said, triumphantly. Kurt didn't bother replying him, engrossed in the book he was reading. Sebastian leaned forward, "What book are you reading?"
Kurt flipped a page. "Daddy Long Legs."
He waited for Sebastian's response. They had never once had any agreements about any of the books they read. They disagreed on ever single book to every single series. When Sebastian caught Kurt reading Pride and Prejudice, the noise he made could have offended every single fan out there. When Kurt saw Sebastian reading War and Peace, the single syllable he uttered 'Ugh', was enough for Sebastian to narrow his eyes at him and threaten to throw the whole thick volume at his head. When Sebastian found out that he loved the Twilight series, he didn't speak to Kurt for the whole day, choosing instead to throw various disgusted and offended looks over his way, and performing a weird gesture that looked a lot like drawing a cross in the air to seemingly ward off Kurt and the books themselves.
The only time their taste in literature concurred was their mutual love for Enid Blyton books. Even then, they spent the whole day arguing which series was the best. Kurt adored The Five Find Outers, while Sebastian's a firm devotee for The Famous Five. The amount of profanity and insults thrown that day was truly epic, and they scared away not one, but four customers who were caught in their warzone as they flung barbs with the swiftness of arrows and the sharpness of daggers at one another.
On the plus side, a poor woman bought the whole set of both series after she made the mistake of asking for the perfect storybooks for her twelve year-old nephew and Sebastian and Kurt both descended upon her like vultures.
To say that he and Sebastian do not see eye-to-eye in books would be the understatement of the Universe.
Kurt was already mentally preparing up a tirade and lecture on how brilliant Daddy Long Legs is, along with the morals and significance that it showed and brought to light. On how he loved the way the author wrote and the premise of the story itself and how lovely each of the characters are. He was prepared to fight tooth and nail to convince Sebastian that no amount of hatred that he spewed was ever going to convince Kurt that it's not a brilliant book.
It was a process Kurt was already familiar with, after all the disagreements that he had with Sebastian. He was all prepared to battle, so he was pretty much thrown when Sebastian's eyes lit up instead and said:
"Oh! I know this book, it's brilliant. Must have re-read it more times than I could remember, though it does surprises me that someone like you actually reads it. Makes you more cultured than I thought then."
Typical of Sebastian, finding a way to insult Kurt even when he's actually being all amiable for once.
But for once, the not-so-subtle insult doesn't register. Kurt imagined that he must have looked pretty much like a goldfish for a moment there, mouth dropping and moving but with no words coming out of him.
Sebastian raised his eyebrows in a patented judging look. "Don't look so shock. Or is this actually your first time reading the book? Then I can assure you that it's every bit as good and if you don't like it then there must be something wrong with you."
"No!" Kurt blurted. "I love this book! I've read it so many times that I've lost count as well."
Sebastian smiled. "I like it too. It's one of the first books that I've ever read when I was younger. I have a copy of it back home. I like to re-read it every once in a while, it never quite fails to cheer me up at times."
Kurt smiled back. "I know! It's the same for me too. Reading about Judy's progression and experiences just makes me happy, and while I know that some people hate it, I just liked it from the very first time I read it."
Sebastian's looking at him, lips still curved into a grin, but something in his eyes was soft and understanding, and Kurt felt a sense of hearty comradeship, it's always a thrill to find someone who loves the same things as he does.
"Oh, and Jervis, don't get me started on him. Truthfully, there was a time when I actually wanted Judy with Jimmy instead, he's such a nice guy, and he likes Judy in return. Jervis has a different, darker side, I think, and he's sometimes kind of a jerk, but I can see why Judy likes him though."
Sebastian mocked gasp. "Judy should be with Jervis, how dare you!"
Kurt rolled his eyes. "I know. Like I said, it was just a thought, and well, who doesn't like good endings, right? I think I would actually be pretty pissed if Judy didn't get with Jervis in the end."
Sebastian nodded. Kurt nodded back. They stared at each other, smiling.
Then, Kurt's eyes widened and his jaw dropped, a look of abject horror and shock creeping across his face.
"Did we—Did we just agreed on something?"
"Yes. Yes, I think we did." Sebastian replied cheerily.
Kurt blinked at him. "We agreed. We had an understanding. We both like Daddy Long Legs." He intoned.
The corners of Sebastian's eyes were crinkled, his lips pursed tightly, he looked like he was trying hard not to laugh.
"Oh my god. We actually agreed on something."
Kurt must have looked a sight, because Sebastian just lost it then, deep chuckles reverberated from his chest, and he was choking a bit amidst laughter, all the while looking at Kurt incredulously, like he couldn't believe how impossibly ridiculous Kurt was.
It was the hint of an amused smirk that did it, Kurt was indignant (and still that tiny bit miffed and shocked), and he acted on pure reflex.
He chucked the book at Sebastian's head.
"Stay still! What are you, a six year old?"
"You're the six year old! Who the hell throws a book at someone as handsome as me?"
"I really want to throw another one at your big head right now. And how many times do I have to say it, I'm sorry, okay? It was reflex."
Sebastian scoffed. "Reflex? Is that what they teach you in public school? Just throw books at random, unsuspecting people?"
"Shut up. You were laughing at me. I was annoyed." Kurt mumbled.
"You can't blame me, your face is hilarious. Still, a book? You're lucky it didn't catch me at the edges. That would hurt far worse."
Kurt grumbled something unintelligible. Sebastian suspected that it wasn't something nice at all.
"And here I was, thinking that we were having a moment."
Kurt practically shrieked: "We were not having a moment!"
"We totally were! I thought there was some pretty major mutual agreement thing going on there. I thought it all felt friendly, not gay bar I-want-to-hook-up-with-you kind of friendly, rather more like Hey-we-actually-like-the-same-things-so-cool kind of chumminess."
Kurt pressed the packet of ice harder.
"Please do shut up, Sebastian. You seem to be saying more idiotic things than usual."
A silent moment passed.
"It really did hurt you know." Sebastian muttered, not looking at Kurt. His shoulders were slumped and he looked defeated. Kurt wondered if he was talking about the lump on his head, or something else.
A pause. "I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have done it." Kurt whispered, easing the pressure of the ice pack, and using a tissue to wipe away the moisture on Sebastian's hair and forehead.
"Not going to stab me in my back while I'm not looking then? I thought we were okay, Kurt."
"We are. Okay, I mean. I didn't know what came over me. Sorry."
Sebastian reached up, grabbing as Kurt's hand when he pulled away. "You could make it up to me."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "For the last time, I'm not letting you take me to a seedy gay bar to educate me on the 'ways of life', Sebastian. Nor am I going to ever allow you to burn my knee length sweaters."
Sebastian shrugged. "Not what I meant, and those knee length sweaters can actually stay, you look pretty nice in them in a very gay sort of way."
"That wasn't what you said the last time I wore one. I'm pretty sure there was the mentioning of me looking like a girl and the bastard child of—"
Sebastian cut him off with an impatient wave of his hand.
"Have dinner with me."
"What? Did the book permanently damage your brain?"
"I'm serious. Make it up by having dinner with me. Parents are off on another Caribbean cruise, and I'm stuck eating take-outs alone for a whole week." Sebastian said.
And he looked so painfully earnest and a little bit vulnerable with his dark blue sweater and an ice pack held to his head and his hair all rumpled, that Kurt couldn't help but say yes.
If someone had told him just four months ago, that these few things would happen, he would have listened:
He would get his heart shattered to pieces when he broke up with Blaine.
He would be avoiding all his closest friends and hiding out in Westerville.
He would be spending nearly all of his time with Sebastian Smythe.
He would be getting along very well with Sebastian, and not talking to Blaine at all.
He would be eating a lot of breakfast, lunches and dinners with Sebastian Smythe.
He would have listened, and he would then proceed to laugh his head off at the absurdity of all these things. He would then cheerfully submit the person into a mental faculty, if he didn't murder them first.
As it happened, nobody told him any of those things.
So Kurt just sighed, pondered at what his life had become, and proceeded on to chastise Sebastian to get his filthy feet off his Aunt Merilde's coffee table even as he placed down two plates of homemade grilled chicken smothered in a honey mustard sauce and vegetables.
When they both sat side by side on the furry rug, eating their dinner and watching the Lord of The Rings trilogy (it's Sebastian's turn to choose the movie), sharing a large bowl of mashed potatoes placed between them, their spoons clanging together at odd intervals, Kurt felt something a lot like happiness.
And like all things associated with Sebastian recently in his life, Kurt wisely chose to not analyze it.
It was a month and a half in, and Kurt had just received email from his aunt stating that she'll be back in two weeks. He and Sebastian had most definitely become pseudo-friends by now, with Sebastian spending most of the day, and dinner with Kurt. Dinner was mostly homemade and taken at Aunt Merilde's house, because Kurt refused to eat unhealthy, greasy food prepared outside.
They still insulted one another like enemies, but they've actually learned to agree. Surprisingly enough, Kurt found himself sharing similar interests with Sebastian, and also actually listened to the man and tried out new things as well.
So far, they've both found mutual love in anything written by Tolkein, Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett and quite a few more authors. Sebastian managed to talk him into reading a few books of the crime/thriller genre, though Kurt still refused to read anything by Tolstoy. Sebastian remained adamant on his hate of vampire/werewolf stories, despite Kurt trying to lure him into the genre by recommending Anne Rice novels. However, he did started to read Pride and Prejudice, and Kurt counted that as a win. Both of them read and loved The Hunger Games trilogy.
They talked about random things. From vivid discussions about TV Shows, to inane chatter about what would be the perfect unassuming domestic pet that would most likely to kill their owner (the answer was kittens, not cats, kittens). Their conversations ranged from meaningful to completely useless, but Kurt found that it was fun to talk to someone this way. Sure, he still chatted with Mercedes, Rachel, Finn, Sam and the Glee group regularly, but it was different. With Sebastian, it's like they've already seen the worst of one another, and gotten all the bad blood out, there was really no need to be anything but free and honest in expressing his own opinion. While Rachel would be offended at the simplest things, and Mercedes would yield to him if she felt guilty. Sebastian wasn't like that, he wasn't afraid to give as well as he got, and wouldn't give in when Kurt's being an idiot or when he disagreed. It's kind of a weird, fiery and disjointed dynamic that worked really well for both of them.
Kurt found himself feeling less and less heartbroken, and more and more like his old self again.
Sometimes he would find something that reminded him of Blaine, or their relationship, and rather than the choked-up, suffocating feeling that welled in his chest, Kurt was able to just think about it with a certain detachment of someone reminiscing on a fond memory. The sharp pangs of heartache were more or less gone, and Kurt could even think about Blaine without the overwhelming grief and anger that he once felt. He was slowly, but definitely healing, and was smiling more and more. Even Burt had commented that he sounded happy and looked well when they spoke on Skype a few days ago, and Kurt had surprised him again by replying with: "Yeah, I am feeling well, much better since Blaine and I broke up."
He never spoke about Blaine, and the apparent surprise and subsequent relief on Burt's face was enough to tell him all he needed about how worried his dad had been for him.
Burt's only response was a sort of crooked smile, eyes shining suspiciously bright, and said, voice gruff, "You'll be fine, Kurt. You'll be just fine."
Kurt had just grinned back, sort of tearing up as well, but still bravely keeping it in, as enough tears had been shed on the matter already, he really didn't wanted to cry anymore, and replied: "Yes, dad, I think I'll be."
Of course, the day after Blaine walked into the shop and everything went to hell.
Kurt and Sebastian were bickering over the TV series, Merlin. Kurt was seated at the high stool at the counter, and Sebastian leaned on his elbows by his side. Both of them were munching on burgers, their fries all pooled together in a paper bag as both of them alternate between reaching inside to grab one. It wasn't everyday that Kurt acquiesced to eating fast food, but Sebastian had been grinding on his nerves with a constant tirade of his craving for greasy fries and burgers.
Sebastian gulped down a mouthful of soda, "How can you not want Merlin with Gwaine?"
Kurt glared at him. "Merlin should be with Arthur. The whole series is expanded on their relationship."
Sebastian reached out and plucked away the fries in his hand, "Arthur married Guinevere. Your ship is already destroyed and sunk. And you know that what they have is only epic bromance. Clearly, Merlin should be with Gwaine, unattached, and very willing to lay down his life for Merlin."
Kurt scowled and snatched back one of the fries. "I don't care. Merlin and Arthur, end of story. Besides, they are the most popular and obvious pairing of the series! Why do you always like those obscure pairings instead?"
"What? Gwaine and Merlin together is not an obscure pairing, it's practically canon."
Kurt waved a fry in front of his face, "Nope. Merlin and Arthur are canon. Not Gwaine and Merlin."
"Christ, you insufferable—"
The bell chimed, and they look up, ready to welcome the customer, instead, Blaine walked in, looking around the shop before seeing them.
Kurt gasped when Blaine locked eyes with him. He could feel the way Sebastian stiffened by his side.
Blaine looked from him to Sebastian, a look of confusion clouding his face, and then back to him again. "Kurt. Sebastian. What's going on here?"
Kurt sighed as he sat down opposite Blaine, Sebastian came over and placed two cups of coffee on the table, holding his own in a cardboard tray. He hovered for a moment, frowning and looking uncertain.
"Thank you, Sebastian." Kurt said, and Sebastian's eyes snapped to his, after a moment, Sebastian nodded, action stiff and jerky.
"I'll leave both of you then. I'll be behind the bookstore if you need me."
He gave both of them a final look, and walked away. Sebastian had been acting odd since Blaine came in. For once, he wasn't flirting all over with Blaine, nor was he acting friendly, in fact, the man had been almost cold and distant. If Kurt didn't know better, he would say that Sebastian was displeased at Blaine's presence, and that he's annoyed.
Which wasn't possible, Sebastian liked Blaine, even tried to steal him from Kurt before.
Blaine's eyes trailed after Sebastian's figure, and Kurt suddenly felt irrationally irritated. But then Blaine looked back at him, a frown on his brows and a puzzling expression on his face.
"Why are you here, Blaine?" Kurt asked.
Blaine flushed. He took a sip of his coffee, crossing his fingers over the cup, eyes downcast on the table. Kurt knew that Blaine's nervous, had seen these tiny gestures and memorized them so intimately when they were together. He looked away, suddenly remembering all the tics that Blaine had, and how even after separating for nearly two and a half months, he could still read and understand Blaine so well. He waited for the dull ache in his heart to come, as they were prone to whenever he thought too intimately about Blaine. His gaze fell upon the counter, half-eaten burgers wrapped up in their coloured paper, a few fries lying at the corner where Sebastian sat, and napkins strewn all around. It was a mess.
Surprisingly enough, the ache never came.
"I missed you." Blaine murmured, and Kurt's head snapped back.
"Blaine." Apparently, Blaine still knew him well enough too, because he immediately picked up on Kurt's stance and guarded tone.
"I know. I know I shouldn't be saying this. But still, I missed you, Kurt. I missed talking to you and having you around. I missed our movie sessions and just literally goofing around with one another."
Kurt bit his lip, he didn't know what to say, and Blaine carried on. "I know we've broken up, and that I hurt you a lot because of what happened in the end. This isn't me trying to take it all back, what I've said then, it's still true. I know I'm a jerk, and that I shouldn't even be asking you this, but just—I really, really missed you. And I want us to be friends, again."
Kurt let out the breath he's been holding in. He was surprised at how relieved he felt that Blaine wasn't actually trying to ask him to get back together. He honestly didn't know what response he would give if it were that question.
Blaine was still looking at him expectantly, with that earnest puppy dog expression that he was prone to have, and despite all their history, Kurt's heart softened.
He looked at Blaine then, really looked at him. It was the first time since they broke up that Kurt's seen him. Even towards the end, he hadn't been looking at Blaine when there was nothing left to say and all that's left was goodbye. He had hurt so much then, that he didn't have the smallest shred of strength to look at Blaine.
He thought back to all the moments they had together, from the very beginning since they've met. He remembered all the good times, and the bad. He remembered all the laughter, together with all the anger and sorrow. He remembered how easy it used to be to just talk to one another and had fun.
Somewhere along the way, when he and Blaine were lovers, they had gotten the relationship but lost the connection, and everything just fell apart.
It was with a start that Kurt realized that he missed Blaine too. Not the times as lovers, but all the other times, the times that they hung out and chatted and bonded over fashion, musicals and dreams under the warm scent of coffee in the air. The times where they talked about guys, and Blaine was trying so hard to be a mentor to him even as both of them were blushing like mad and Kurt was stuttering out his opinions. The times that they cheered and supported one another.
Kurt had missed Blaine. His presence had been such a large part of his life for nearly two years now, and somehow, he had carved a shape and place for himself in Kurt's heart.
Kurt felt dizzy with hope and happiness. He knew that it was silly, he was chatting with his ex, shouldn't there be some kind of drama with shouting and tears involve? Instead, all he felt was a calm that he hadn't experienced for quite some time in both his emotions and heart.
Blaine might have lost his place as a lover forever in Kurt's heart—and Kurt knew that the space vacated had now been mended and fixed with time and memories, and that he truly had gotten over Blaine—but he still had a permanent place as a friend.
Kurt missed Blaine, as his good friend, he realized that now.
"Okay." He said.
Blaine's eyes lit up. He looked at Kurt disbelievingly. "Okay?"
Kurt nodded, and allowed a small smile. "Yes. You're not the only one who has missed our friendship. I missed it too."
"Kurt." Blaine breathed, his eyes wide and awed. "I—I actually thought that you're going to turn me away. I've hurt you, so badly, before, and yet—how can you forgive me? I don't think I can forgive myself."
Kurt reached out and patted his hand. "I don't think it will be easy, but I think it's worth a try. I've done and said things I'm not proud of either. But, I think I've finally gotten over us, and I forgive you, Blaine. I really, really do."
"I don't deserve it. You should be angry with me. I never told you how sorry I am—"
"It's okay. I know now that it's a right choice, us breaking up. We never did function well as a couple."
Blaine sighed. "I wanted though, I wanted so badly."
Kurt smiled, wistfully. "Me too. But it wasn't meant to be. And Blaine, you might be a lousy boyfriend, but you've always been the perfect best friend I could ever ask for."
Blaine looked like he was about to cry, and Kurt found it funny how life works sometimes. Blaine was still the same person, the same person who'd hurt him and broke his heart. He had lost a boyfriend, but he had gained back his best friend instead.
Somehow, it seemed like he had struck a bargain, losing someone who couldn't love him as he deserved and yet gaining back someone who could stay by his side through thick and thin, a true friend.
He knew that it won't be easy, and that their relationship as ex-boyfriends would most definitely affect their friendship at times, but Kurt reckoned, with enough time, that won't be much of a problem for long as well.
And as Blaine pulled him up into a tight hug, Kurt hugged back, knowing that he had made the right decision and glad that he had got his best friend back.
While one aspect of his life was going well, he found that another aspect got bad. He was glad for his rekindled friendship with Blaine, yet he couldn't help but worry about Sebastian.
Ever since Blaine came to the shop, Sebastian had been acting really off. He was moody at times, downright overbearing at others, but most of all, Kurt kept catching Sebastian just staring at him, looking as if he was divining the Universe's greatest mystery.
Then there was Sebastian's sudden new found dislike for Kurt's friendship with Blaine. Whenever Kurt's phone chimed with a message from Blaine, Sebastian would scowl so hard that you would imagine that Kurt had just insulted every single one of the ancestors in his bloodline. And whenever Blaine called, Sebastian would just look at him, eyes dark and intent, before seemingly deflating and leaving Kurt alone with his conversation, choosing to seclude himself in corners of the store.
Other times though, he acted perfectly normal. They still bicker and banter and had long, mostly useless conversations. They still had breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Sebastian still loved to act like a smug, smirking jerk; and Kurt still sometimes acted like he was the most fabulous being on Earth and that everyone was inferior to him.
They got along well, but Kurt couldn't help but feel that there's some sort of barrier now between them. With every look and every unsaid sentence on Sebastian's part, Kurt could almost sense the ball of unease and confusion welling up between them.
He didn't know what Sebastian's problem was, and asking him things like "Are you alright?" and "Did you want to say something?" or even "Why are you staring at me?" was just pointless, Sebastian evaded every single question smoothly.
Still, Kurt observed every twitch of Sebastian's fingers and every clench of his jaw. Saw every unfathomable look on Sebastian's face and the way the man frowned. Spending so much time together had made him some sort of Sebastian-decoder, and he knew without a doubt that Sebastian was just bottling it all up.
All he had to do was wait until the man cracked.
It was after one of his calls with Blaine that Sebastian finally snapped.
He rose up from his seat by the table and stomped over the counter, slamming both hands down and leaned in.
"I don't understand." He growled.
Kurt blinked. "What?"
"I said, I don't understand how you can forgive Blaine so easily. Didn't he hurt you? You almost cried the last time I mentioned him, and now you're acting so close with him again?" Sebastian said, his eyes dark and swirling with barely concealed anger.
Kurt looked down at his clenched fists, to the line of his jaw and the firm set of his mouth, and oh.
Oh. Sebastian was worried about him.
The instant relief and joy warmed him. He was so convinced that he had done something wrong, and Sebastian's concern for him was both flattering and also eased his fears. He felt a bit giddy, like butterflies flittering around in his stomach.
"Sebastian." He said, voice sounding much too breathless in his ears, "I didn't know that you cared."
He couldn't lose the opportunity to tease the man. Sebastian straightened up and ran a hand through his hair, messing it up, and it was this loss of composure of the always cool and smirking Sebastian that made Kurt smile.
"Do you want to know what happened between me and Blaine? Because I think I'm okay now, I can tell you if you want to know."
Sebastian nodded, and Kurt dragged him over to the table, sitting both of them down.
"You knew that Blaine and I were happy, last time." Sebastian frowned, lips curling in distaste, but nodded all the same. "Well, actually, we weren't actually that happy. We had silly fights, all the time, and one of us was always backing down and giving in, when we should have been discussing with one another, reaching a compromise that's fair for both of us. Yet, we wanted so hard for it to work, that we both just kept silent and gave in. Then there was the entire thing about you, and then Karofsky, and a whole load of little things that were nothing, really. But we just sort of stopped communicating, you see, and all these little things just kept piling up, like secrets that we were keeping from one another."
Kurt sighed then, Sebastian was still looking at him, silent. "We talked. There's no doubting that we did that, a lot. But we didn't communicate. Blaine would act how he thought was best for me, and I would be doing the same. We didn't stop to ask each other what the other wanted, or even to tell each other what we wanted ourselves. Blaine knew, before I did, that there was something lacking, but I didn't."
Kurt paused. It was the first time he had ever told someone, and it was more difficult than he thought, even with his acceptance of the whole thing. He jolted when Sebastian took his hands, and cradled them between his palms. Kurt blushed, not only from the gesture, but also from how Sebastian's gaze was fixed on him, unwavering and firm.
"I really loved him, you know. I really did." Sebastian's fingers stiffened, just for a moment, and he went back to smoothing out non-existent wrinkles on Kurt's hands. Kurt wondered if he had imagined the whole thing. There seemed to be some significance to that action, though he had no idea what.
"And I think it's because he knew that I really loved him, that he wanted to try. He tried so hard to fix us, tried so hard to make everything work, and in the end, he just couldn't take it anymore. He was crying, you know, when he came to me that evening. I was shocked. I hadn't ever seen him cry before. And he just took my hand and told me everything. Told me how he loved me but that wasn't enough. Told me how he couldn't love me as much as I loved him. How he tried so hard, but it all kept slipping away. How he felt that our relationship wasn't enough and that we shouldn't settle. How he really wanted me to be happy but he couldn't be the one to give it to me. And how he thought that it would be better if we split up, because he couldn't bear to chain me to him when he couldn't give me everything."
He was clutching Sebastian's hand, tightly. "I was so hurt. I thought that I did something wrong. Or didn't do something. And I was so angry, with him, with myself, with everything. But I think some part of me knew that he was right. We fought, which was mostly me screaming at him, and then we broke up."
"Now though. Now I know that it was the right decision. We could have stayed together, but it wouldn't have been fair to either of us, and it would have been settling, not getting what we wanted and deserved. It had been hard after that, for a while. And I know that he must have suffered too, even though it didn't feel that way at first."
Kurt squeezed Sebastian's hands. "Don't be angry with him, Sebastian. Everything is okay now. It all turned out to for the best, actually."
Sebastian seemed oddly subdued. He just frowned and pursed his lips. Kurt wondered what he's thinking about, the grip on his hand had gone tight, though not uncomfortably so, and it was more of a firm, possessive pressure.
"You forgive him for everything then? You readily take him back?" Sebastian asked, voice scratchy.
Kurt cocked his head. "Yes. Yes I do. I've forgiven him completely."
Sebastian let go of his hand. "I see." He was looking anywhere but at Kurt. "That's good then, I'm happy for you."
With a nod, he walked away. Kurt frowned, flexing his fingers. He could still feel the warmth of Sebastian's hand.
He felt like he had missed something. Something important.
Kurt flexed his fingers again. They feel oddly empty.
Two days later, he chatted with Blaine about this guy that Blaine's met which seemed to be quite keen on pursuing Blaine and was most definitely gay and out. Sebastian's been acting normal every since their conversation, not displaying any of his previous displeasure at anything related to Blaine.
So, it surprised Kurt when Sebastian started scowling halfway through his conversation with Blaine and pressed at the calculator so hard that Kurt feared it might actually break.
"Is he handsome then?" Kurt asked, and could almost hear Blaine blushing all the way through the line.
"Yes. In a dark, rugged kind of way."
Kurt threw his head back and laughed. "Oh, Blaine. You're smitten. You should go out with him."
Sebastian scrunched up a paper and tossed it aside, the force in it made the paper ball bounce off the table and rolled onto the floor. Kurt quirked an eyebrow at the man sitting in front of him, but Sebastian was determinedly not looking back at him, glaring at the receipts instead.
"Really? Are you….Are you okay with this?" Blaine asked, almost timidly.
"Go, Blaine. I'm fine. Really." Kurt sighed; Blaine thought things over too much sometimes.
Across him, Sebastian's face darkened, his fists were clenched. Kurt wondered what had pissed him off.
Deciding that it would be better if he ended the call, he quickly said goodbye to Blaine and hung up.
Sebastian was glaring at a point over his shoulder. "Was that Blaine?" He asked.
"Is he going out with some guy now?" Sebastian gritted out.
"No, no yet. But he will be though. The guy seemed really great, so I suppose it's okay." Kurt said. He wondered what got Sebastian so furious. Was Sebastian jealous that Blaine's going out again? Did he actually still have feelings for Blaine?
The thoughts caused his insides to twist uncomfortably, and a feeling of dread settled in his stomach. For the first time in nearly two months, Kurt felt the sudden urge to cry or punch something.
"What did he want when he came here last time?" Sebastian suddenly asked.
Kurt blinked. "He wanted to be friends."
"What?" Sebastian said, "And you agreed?"
Kurt frowned, perplexed. "Yes. Well, it's Blaine. Of course I agreed."
Sebastian stood up, slamming his palms down on the table. "That bastard, that absolute bastard—!"
He moved, stomping toward the rack and took up his coat and bag. Sebastian's face was grim and his eyes burnt with anger, his movements jittery and every line of his body was taut with tension.
Kurt stood up. "Sebastian! Where are you going?"
"Where do you think? To find Blaine, of course."
He was out of the door before Kurt could think of stopping him.
Kurt slumped back down on the chair, like someone just punched him in the gut. His heart was palpitating wildly, and his chest was constricted almost painfully. He could feel a lump in his throat, and his vision was blurry.
He bowed his head even as he wrapped his arm around his stomach. He didn't understand what just happened. He didn't understand why he felt so awful. Did he eat something wrong this morning?
Kurt dropped his head onto the table. It felt like his heart was just ripped out of his chest and he was left bloody and gaping. This hurt as worse as it did when Blaine broke up with him.
Kurt snapped his head back up, eyes wide even as he laid a palm across his heart.
Memories and feelings rushed through him, tingling his every senses and prickling up the hairs on the back of his neck and arm.
Kurt understood now.
He liked Sebastian.
Sebastian didn't come back. Kurt locked up the store dejectedly, and then proceeded to order the cheesiest and greasiest pepperoni pizza and gouged himself on it.
How he got into these hopeless situations he didn't know, but it was just his rotten luck in romance rearing its ugly head yet again.
He had finished the whole pizza and was seriously considering throwing up when his phone rang.
It was Blaine.
He picked it up, half terrified to hear what Blaine wanted to tell him.
What greeted him was a litany of curses from Blaine's mouth.
"Shit, Kurt. Why didn't you tell me about you and Sebastian?"
Kurt's bewildered, "What me and Sebastian?"
Blaine was quiet for a moment. "You guys aren't-? But he, I mean, he came for you. He thought—I thought—"
"Blaine, you're not making much sense at the moment. What happened with Sebastian? Did he, did he confess to you?"
Blaine made a choking noise. "Are you kidding me? Confess? He came to beat the shit out of me!"
Blaine was laughing, a strangled and almost hysterical quality to his voice. "Shit. You and Sebastian, you guys are idiots! God, just talk to him, will you, clear things up, so that he won't feel the need to come and punch me the next time."
"Blaine, I don't understand, you're not making any sense." Kurt pleaded.
Blaine just chuckled. "Kurt, sometimes you can be most oblivious. Just talk to Sebastian, okay. Confront him about why he felt the urge to flatten me to the ground. You'll understand."
"No! Why don't you just tell me?"
"Nope." Kurt could almost visualize Blaine smirking. "Not my confession to make. Got to go then, bye!"
The call ended with a click.
Kurt tossed and turned the whole night, before finally falling asleep around five in the morning. He woke up disgruntled and weary, and remembered the events the night before.
Nothing made sense anymore. Sebastian's attitude, Blaine's cryptic words, it's like he's raveled in this web of events and he's the only one who couldn't see the whole picture.
He made his way over to the shop after a simple breakfast, and was surprised to see that it was already opened.
Quickening his pace, he pushed open the door to the store, and was reminded vividly of the first time he met Sebastian at the shop. Only, this time the roles were reversed, with Sebastian staring at him with a deer in the headlights kind of expression.
The next moment, Kurt was standing in front of Sebastian, gasping as he took in the purplish bruise covering Sebastian's left cheek. His lip was torn at the corner, and Kurt could see a few scratches on Sebastian's neck as well.
Sebastian looked sheepish, for once. Not his usual confident and snarky self.
Kurt took a deep breath. He really needed some answers.
"Sebastian. What the hell happened?"
Sebastian just shrugged, but he turned his cheek slightly, leaning into Kurt's touch.
A smirk now painted Sebastian's lips, but for once, Kurt didn't want to punch him; he rather wanted to kiss him instead. But he didn't think that would be such a good idea. So, he let his gaze and mind wander as he took in Sebastian's features. They were standing pretty close now, and Kurt could clearly see how the corner of his left eye was also swollen.
He traced the bruise gently, and when he shifted, their eyes locked.
Sebastian was looking right back at him, still with the same indecipherable and intent look that he had on whenever he thought Kurt wasn't looking at him.
But there was something else as well.
The corners of his eyes were soft, and his gaze was encompassing and tinged with something else. Something that looked a lot like affection.
Then it all clicked into place. Sebastian's attitude, his interactions with Kurt for all these weeks, his dislike for Blaine, his questions, his chatter, his harmless prodding, and his constant attention on Kurt.
It all made sense now.
Kurt reached up with both hands, holding Sebastian's face in place. Sebastian's eyes widened, but he didn't pull away.
"Tell me, Sebastian. Why did you fight Blaine?" His voice came out in a hushed whisper.
Sebastian gulped. It's a wonder to see Sebastian nervous, Kurt found it endlessly endearing. "I thought. I thought he was hurting you. I thought you're pining after him and yet he only wanted to be friends and that you're going along with it because you love him. I was pissed."
"And?" Kurt prodded.
Sebastian's jaw clenched. "And well, I got into a fight, what's more to say?"
Kurt shook his head, an amused huff escaping his lips. He should have known that Sebastian wouldn't say it so easily. The man was stubborn like a mule when he wanted to, and possibly had no experience at all in these matters. Kurt also knew that for all of Sebastian's bravado and cockiness when getting one-night-stands or flirting shamelessly, he hadn't once acted that way around Kurt. Apparently, Sebastian was kind of insecure and not at all daring when it came to something that mattered for once.
It's a good thing that Kurt's the exact opposite then.
"Would it help, if I told you that I'm not in love with Blaine, and completely over him for some time now? Also, Blaine means nothing more than a good friend to me, there is nothing there left for us. We will never get back together, that's already agreed upon. We are terrible as boyfriends." Kurt grinned.
Sebastian blinked. Something like hope and wariness passed through his expression. "Really?"
Sebastian looked at him, searching. "And that you're completely single and not at all pining?"
Kurt smiled. "Yes. Well, there's pining, but not on ex-boyfriends, I'm afraid."
Sebastian frowned. "What?"
"You see, there's this completely insufferable jerk who works with me. And I really kind of like him, but he just refuses to make a move and gets jealous over ex-boyfriends that doesn't matter at all."
Sebastian let out a shaky breath. A hand reached up to clutch at Kurt's left wrist, stroking the skin there.
"Kurt." Sebastian sighed. "I've been an idiot, haven't I?"
Kurt leaned forward, nuzzling his nose against Sebastian's. "I suspect that both of us have. It's time we sort this out, don't you think?"
Their breaths mingled together, and Kurt was so close that he could see the specks inside Sebastian's eyes. Their noses prodded gently against one another, like a dance, and yet their lips remained untouched.
Kurt could feel the hesitation and fear in Sebastian, he felt the same way too. There were thoughts, thoughts and memories of his previous heartbreak, the trepidation and anxiety gripping his heart. But these were never good reasons to stop something that could potentially be wonderful.
Kurt knew that. "Please, Sebastian. Take a chance?"
Sebastian looked back at him, and a confident, familiar smirk was seen. "For you." Sebastian said, and leaned in the last distance.
The first touch of their lips was a simple brush, almost like a greeting, and it was sweet and chaste, just a test. Then they were pressing more firmly against one another, lips rubbed together, and Kurt's eyes fluttered close even as Sebastian wrapped one arm over Kurt's waist and the other cradled the back of his head, tilting him just so that their lips dragged over one another in a tantalizingly sweet motion.
Kurt gasped, his breath hitched at the back of his throat, and wrapped his own arms around Sebastian, pulling him in even closer and pressing more firmly back even as his mouth moved insistently.
He smiled wickedly as he licked his tongue over Sebastian's lips, drinking in the low groan even as Sebastian tightened his grip on Kurt's hair and started giving back as good as he got, their kiss turning heated and devouring.
They parted for air, both of their lips bruised and tinged red. Kurt noted with great pleasure that Sebastian looked as debauched and overwhelmed as he felt. They held onto one another, their arms circling around waists and trapping both of them in a close and private perimeter.
Sebastian leaned his forehead against Kurt's.
"I've never done this before. A relationship, I mean."
"Do you want to?" Kurt asked.
Sebastian looked at him, and for half a second, Kurt was afraid of the answer.
Then Sebastian said: "It's going to be messy, for sure. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to mess up at some point, and that we're going to bicker like an old married couple and disagree over absolutely everything. The chances of us killing one another are still pretty high, and odds are your friends will hate me and my guts."
Kurt held his breath.
Sebastian smirked, playful and oh-so-attractive. "But I want to. God, I want to, Kurt. With you."
Kurt just pulled him in with a radiant smile and proceeded to thoroughly kiss away the infuriating smirk on Sebastian's lips.