Sebastian can't remember ever having a life out of Hailsham. He can't remember having parents or babysitters, though he supposes the guardians come close. He tries to place himself inside those books sometimes. It's weird imagining someone tucking him into bed and kissing him goodnight. And while he scowls and sticks out his tongue when someone mentions the idea, a part of him wants that.
Today it's bright and sunny out as he crosses the North Playing Field. They're going to go play football. He can see Blaine standing there, looking uncertain. Sebastian knows that Blaine doesn't like playing football. He also knows that Blaine had a tendency to pick blue and green crayons when they do art. And that when Blaine can't sleep, he sings Can't Take My Eyes Off of You to calm himself down. It's a song off of a cassette he got at a swap meet-type event, and sometimes he asks Sebastian to sing it to him.
He knows this all because as long as he can remember, he and Blaine have been best friends. At least, he assumes Blaine thinks the same thing because though they've never said the words to each other, they certainly act the parts.
Before he can reach Blaine, though, another boy, Kurt, comes over and wraps his arm around Blaine's shoulder. Sebastian pauses, taking steps backwards to his spot. Kurt's another one of Blaine's friends, though Sebastian doesn't know him that well. He does know that many people – Blaine among them – always says that Kurt's works will end up in the Gallery.
Sebastian feels a slight pang in his heart – one he can't place – as Kurt's other hand slips into Blaine's and Blaine smiles broadly.
Sebastian loves rare moments like these. He loves lying out in the sun when they don't have to run or play football or go to lessons or do art. He can just close his eyes and lie down. At the moment, he feels like he's drifting somewhere between being asleep and being awake, but it's nice. His mind feels clear, and Blaine's just a few feet away.
Part of him wants to curl over into Blaine, but he's far too lazy, and the sun feels good at this angle, anyway. His eyes stay shut as he lets out a soft sigh. He starts to drift off when he hears Blaine's voice call out. It's fuzzy at first, and it's only when he's fully conscious that he realizes that Blaine wasn't calling for him anyway.
"Kurt. Kurt, are you awake?" Part of him wants to respond that he's awake and tell Blaine to ignore Kurt, but he doesn't say anything. Instead, he just listens. Listens as Blaine tries once more. "Kurt?"
"Hm." It's a quiet reply, and for a second, Sebastian thinks he's made it up until he hears Blaine speak again.
"Kurt can you sing to me?" Sebastian's chest tightens as he hears the grass rustle, no doubt from one or both of them scooting closer together. He waits with baited breath, thinking that surely Kurt will tell him that he doesn't know what to sing.
Instead, he begins softly, "You're just too good to be true – can't take my eyes off of you…" Sebastian doesn't know why, but somehow he feels betrayed.
"Sebastian, can we talk?"
"I'm busy." It isn't true, and it's obvious. He's sitting in his room, tinkering with an old toy. It's a small red car, though the paint is now cracked, and it squeaks when it rolls. He got it at the same swap meet-type event that Blaine got his cassette.
"No, you're not." Blaine walks into the room, sitting next to Sebastian. For a moment, Sebastian makes an effort to keep on staring at the car, rolling it lightly up and down his leg. More than anything, he wants to curl into Blaine and close his eyes, but he doesn't let himself. After a moment, Blaine's hand falls on top of his, and he does what Sebastian wants, leaning his head on Sebastian's shoulder.
"What do you want?" Sebastian sighs and manages to lighten up a little as he moves the car over to Blaine's leg, running it slowly up. He can feel Blaine shiver, and he looks up at Sebastian with a warm smile.
"That tickles." Sebastian can't help but smile back. Blaine's eyes are wide and innocent as Sebastian teasingly moves the car up to his arm. His fingers brush against Blaine's skin, and Blaine falls against him, laughing. His eyes scrunch shut as his mouth opens into a wide smile, and he buries his head into Sebastian's neck. When he peeks up, Sebastian's smile softens.
"Hey," Sebastian says after a long moment, and Blaine just wraps an arm around him. His thumb runs down Sebastian's side to his hip, and Sebastian can feel his cheeks heat up a bit despite the innocence of the situation.
"I kissed Kurt." Blaine's voice is a failed attempt at being casual, and his fidgeting hands give away how nervous he is. Sebastian stops for a moment, not sure how to react. His face hardens as he shrugs his shoulders and continues walking.
"So, I had sex with Thad." It's true. Thad had asked him two months ago. The experience had been awkward; neither of them knew what they were doing. Still, it's the best thing Sebastian can think of to say because he's not about to act like he cares. He doesn't.
"Oh." Blaine picks at his thumb nail for a second before continuing. "Aren't you going to ask me how it was?"
"I already know what it feels like to kiss, Blaine. More than you do." He refuses to look at Blaine.
"It was sweet. I think he likes me." It's as if Blaine doesn't understand that he doesn't want to know. Sebastian's jaw tightens, and he lets out a low, disinterested hum. "Can't you at least pretend to be interested?" Sebastian comes to a stop, crossing his arms over his chest. As he faces Blaine, he manages a tight, forced smile.
"Close enough." Blaine grins and gives him a small nudge before continuing. "We were just sitting there, and I've been wanting to do it for a while…" Slowly, Blaine's voice fades, and his eyes fall to Blaine's lips. He can't help but what they taste like.
"It's cold." Sebastian looks up to see Blaine walk into his room. "I'm still not used to the cottages. They're different than Hirsham." Sebastian lifts up his blanket, and a grin spreads across Blaine's face. He quickly leaps across the room, moving in next to Sebastian. His arms wrap around Sebastian as he curls into him, his head falling to Sebastian's chest. Sebastian lets himself fall against Blaine as well as he tucks in the blanket around them.
"Oh, he's asleep in our room." Our – the word makes Sebastian feel nauseous. He knows that things have changed for Kurt and Blaine in the year they've been together. The way they look at each other isn't quite as innocent, and sometimes he catches Blaine's hand slip to Kurt's ass. "I still don't understand why you two aren't better friends."
"I guess I just don't make friends that easily."
"But we're friends," Blaine insists, and he looks up at Sebastian with a pout. Sebastian can't help it as he leans down and presses a kiss to Blaine's forehead. Blaine doesn't seem to mind or find anything odd about it. And why should he? It's far from the first time Sebastian's kissed him on his forehead; he's done it for years.
"Because you're different," Sebastian says simply.
"I'm not gay." It's the first thing Joe, one of the guys who lives with them at the cottage, says to Sebastian when he wraps his arms around his waist.
Now, almost two hours later, they're lying in Sebastian's bed, the covers strewn messily over them. It smells like sweat and semen; it's not an entirely unfamiliar smell for Sebastian, either. He sighs and licks his lips before rolling over to face the rest of the room.
Sebastian's hand falls down, and he scratches at his thigh, only to feel Joe stiffen beside him.
"Can you stop that? It sounds repulsive."
"But it itches."
"But it sounds gross, and it looks like you're jerking off. I don't need to see that."
"Then close your eyes, princess." Sebastian continues scratching until Joe's hand reaches out, settling on his arm and jerking it back.
"I said stop it."
"So, you can handle the sex, but a little scratching bothers you? Besides, I'm scratching my thigh." Sebastian lets out an indignant huff before turning his head and leering at Joe. Joe lets go of his arm quickly as if burnt before turning around to face the wall. Sebastian lets out a victorious smirk and closes his eyes. He's almost asleep when Joe speaks again.
"But I'm not gay."
"Kurt's having his first surgery today." Sebastian turns around to see Blaine standing at the doorway. He hasn't talked to Blaine in eight or nine years, not since they've left the cottages. They didn't end on the best note. It's not uncommon for Sebastian to think back to the last time he saw Blaine – how the door slammed in his face and the car drove off.
"How did you find me here?" Sebastian can feel himself shaking slightly, and he takes a deep breath. Maybe Blaine isn't gone from his mind, but up until now, he's been nothing but a memory. He looks older, more mature. His hair is messy. He had always been so careful to slick back his curls, but now it looks as if they've grown out some, and he hasn't even bothered to brush them.
His build is fuller, and his shoulders broader. His cheekbones are more defined, and he holds himself as upright and proudly as always. Sebastian might even call him handsome if he didn't look completely weary and worn.
"I heard one of the other carers talking about a Sebastian Smythe. I thought maybe it was you."
"Maybe it is," Sebastian murmurs, and he turns back to the bed, hating the way his eyes prickle. "What do you want?" Sebastian focuses himself on folding the sheets, his throat tightening as his lips purse together. He lets out a low breath.
He hears footsteps behind him, and he tries not to anticipate anything. After a moment, he feels something light against his arm, followed by a squeak. He turns his head around to see Blaine running a small toy car, the paint almost completely chipped from it, up his arm. Sebastian's eyes water.
"You gave it to me a while before we left the cottage. I kept it. I carry it around with me, just in case I see you, so that I can give it back…" Sebastian extends his hand and offers a small smile as it drops in his hand.
"I'm here." Sebastian holds Blaine's hand, cooing softly as Blaine thrashes around in the hospital bed. His figure is pale and drained, and he looks like he could crumble apart.
"We need more sedatives."
"I need Kurt. Where's Kurt?" Blaine looks up at Sebastian with the same wide eyes from Hirsham, and Sebastian can suddenly see nothing else. Kurt completed a month ago, but he knows the anesthetic can sometimes make patients hallucinate or regress.
Sebastian reaches out, cupping Blaine's cheek. "Kurt's out. They called him in to work, but he should be back when you wake up, okay?" Blaine nods, and Sebastian feels tears prickle at his eyes. Blaine stares up at Sebastian for a moment before his eyes drift shut.
"We need you to get out," the doctors say, and Sebastian listens, though not before throwing a glance back at Blaine. He's taken it upon himself to care for Blaine. It's his fourth donation.
For an hour, he paces back and forth. He hates that feeling of hopelessness each time Blaine goes to operate, and he can't help but wonder each time whether it'll be his last. When the door finally opens, Sebastian rushes over, looking at the doctors with hopeful eyes. He knows immediately from their expressions that it can't be good.
"He's still unconscious," they say, and Sebastian moves with them as they take him back to his room. Sebastian doesn't go back home. Instead, he sits by Blaine's bed, holding his hand. He doesn't eat. He can't, anyway. It makes him sick to see IVs and tubes stuck into Blaine. His hand feels warm. Sebastian reaches up to touch his forehead, and his heart drops. He's burning up.
The clock shows 4:05 in flashing green lines when Blaine finally wakes up. He twists for a second, and Sebastian makes a soft shushing noise. "No, no, Blaine, it's okay."
"Kurt?" Sebastian knows he's delusional from the fever, but he can barely swallow his tears.
"Yeah," he croaks out.
"Kurt, sing to me."
Sebastian doesn't question it. He simply starts singing. His voice cracks, but he doesn't care. He sings pretending Blaine had called out his name instead. He sings until Blaine's hand goes limp and his breathing stops.