A/N: Hello, all! Greetings and welcome to my first fic here. This is actually a revision of the original first few chapters that I'm going over a few months after starting it, but it still holds true that this is my first thing published for this fandom and my first venture into Kurtbastian. Just a few warnings, this story will contain triggers including, but not limited to: mentions of eating disorders and disordered-behaviours, self-harm, mentions and references to suicide, infidelity, and just general angst to go around. It takes place right before 'Michael' and the slushee incident, but shortly after 'Yes/No.' Most canon events will stay the same, except for the ones that would be directly influenced by Kurt and Sebastian's interactions.
Enough of my prattling on, you didn't come to hear that! On to the story itself.
It seemed like months since Sebastian had stepped foot in the place, even if it had only been a few weeks in actuality. And he'd be damned before saying it out loud, but he had actually started to miss it.
He hadn't been planning to go to the coffee shop he had just decided to get in his car and drive after days of studying for mid-terms. He had started dreaming of covalent bonds, he was pretty sure that meant it was time for a break. Only after getting there did he realize how accustomed he had become to the Lima Bean, the scent of coffee beans and scones that all coffee shops gained at some point. The atmosphere of the place was what made him prefer it to ones closer to his home. It was small and warm, neither too noisy nor too busy for his liking. It was cozy, though he was loathed to call it that.
It would be a cold day in hell before he'd admit to actually growing fond of something in this stupid little state.
He grimaced to shake that thought from his head as he glanced up from his drink (some seasonal peppermint-mocha thing he had decided to try and he made a mental note to pick up again next winter) just in time to see a fellow patron enter through the front doors of the Lima Bean.
Oh. Things may turn fun after all. Sebastian found himself smirking as he realized this trip might prove to be more fun than he initially thought. He had missed hunting for Blaine's ass while he had been off cramming. Taunting Hummel came in a close second, though.
Hummel shook his head from the doorway to knock the snow off his hat (looked more like something he'd picked up at the freak show section of a travelling circus) and wrapped his coat tighter around himself. He made his way to the counter, texting with one hand with his other in his pocket, not taking time to scan the shop and looking like all he cared about was getting coffee into his system. Sebastian wouldn't blame him for that, the temperature must have just barely broken double digits. From the spot at the table he'd claimed for himself, Sebastian's brain automatically began to think of the best way to approach Kurt and just what aspect of his outfit would be fun to poke at today right as two things dawned on him.
One: Kurt was alone. No Blaine, no glee posse. Just him.
Two: He'd clearly been skipping out on his beauty regiment.
Gayface had bags. Dark circles under his eyes, noticeable to Sebastian from half-way across the coffee shop. He was sure Kurt had some sort of nightly ritual where he applied God knows how many different creams and lotions to his face to retain that New Baby Glow. The paleness of his skin was also obvious, not that he had ever been tan in the first place. Only now, it seemed unnatural. His outfit was long-sleeved, but the hand holding the phone was out enough for Sebastian to make out the clear contorts of Gay-face's bony wrist.
None of that could be a good sign of any sort. Despite his attempts to irgnore the nagging in the back of his brain, Sebastian leaned forward and found his attention focusing more and more on Kurt as the older boy placed his order..
Doing so only made him notice the bagginess of Hummel's clothes. His shirt collar was lower than what it should have been, slightly exposing his collarbone, and despite the register blocking most of his view, Sebastian could tell the rest of the outfit was hanging off of him.
Hummel didn't seem the type of person to continue wearing clothes that weren't perfectly tailored to his frame. It wasn't his style- literally or figuratively. Hell, he was such a walking stereotype, Sebastian was almost positive the kid could just take the clothes in himself if he so desired to. And maybe that was the point. Maybe he didn't want to.
That thought did nothing to ease Sebastian's suspicions.
If anything, they were just heightened.
He watched as Kurt paid for his coffee, making his way over to his usual table. He was obviously slower than the last time Sebastian had seen him. Smaller, too. Weaker, the voice in his head decided for him. The clear lack of sleep, the loose clothes, a general decrease in livelihood. Small enough to be overlooked individually, even all together if people around him were THAT blind. He reminded Sebastian of someone. The resemblance was almost scary.
Screw the almost, it was terrifying.
Sebastian made his decision without a second thought, picking up his drink and walking over to what he had begun to call "the Klaine table." He'd planned on tormenting the guy already, why push it back when he had the perfect chance right now?
Kurt looked up from his phone briefly at his arrival, before turning back down with a scoff. "Well if it isn't the friendly neighborhood meerkat. Looking for your next costumer, Smythe?" Sebastian pasted his trademark smirk on at Kurt's insult. He'd hand it to Hummel, he was rather set in the delusion that his insults were clever.
"That an offer? Sorry, doll face, you're not my type. I like boys, remember? Though if you're offering to get me laid, you'd be better off just telling me where Blaine is. I've missed watching his pretty little ass walk about."
In reply, Kurt gave an exasperated sigh, clearly not in the mood for their usual antics as he began twisting the lid around his cup. He was still avoiding eye contact with Sebastian, and it looked like he was literally trying to throw all of his concentration into whatever he was doing on his phone. "Not that it's any of your business, but if it'll make you go away, he had to makeup a test after school.
"Thanks for the heads-up, then.. And no, it won't make me go away, but I appreciate you being presumptuous." Sebastian spoke as he pulled out the chair across from Kurt and eased himself into it. Kurt gave him an incredulous look, no longer playing with his coffee cup and glancing up from his phone. He continued to just stare at the boy for a good ten seconds before asking:
"What're you doing, Smythe?"
Sebastian shrugged, reaching over to pick up Kurt's own coffee cup and pull it over to himself.. "Free country, a guy can sit wherever he wants." He took the lid off himself and sniffed it before taking a sip, placing it back in front of Hummel right after. Black. Plain, black coffee. "So how's life?"
. . .
. . . maybe he should have thought this plan out before actually doing it.
Well, too late now.
The incredulous look on Kurt's face changed into one of slight annoyance. Well, more annoyance than what he usually had around Sebastian. "Small talk? Please. That involves subtlety, which I can tell has never been your forte. Now if you don't mind, my boyfriend should be showing up any time now. So what do you want, Smythe?" He asked as he pushed the coffee aside. What, did he think he'd get an STD from drinking it now?
Once again, Sebastian shrugged. "To talk. I mean, Blaine's not here yet, and I'm not in the mood to hunt down a new pretty boy to harass 'til he shows up. At least with you, I can enjoy watching you squirm to think of not-so-witty insults."
"Don't think I'm too keen on acting as your entertainment for the afternoon."
Whatever had him on edge was making this more difficult than Sebastian had anticipated. Not that he had anticipated much, seeing as this was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Really, when had those ever gone well for him? He should really look into working on that whole 'think before you act' problem. Too late to back down now, though. Sebastian was stubborn. He had already made up his mind, and there was no way he would leave until he figured out what was up with the kid. If he was wrong, well, thank God for that. He would probably buy Hummel an apologetic drink if it was just paranoia.
He doubted that, though. He'd always prided himself on his ability to read people, and the vibes he was getting right now were making him uneasy.
Besides, Hummel had been right: Subtlety was not his forte and it never had been. Propping his elbows on the table, he leaned across it close enough so that Kurt and only Kurt could hear him.. "You know, as painful as if is to admit, you seem smart, Hummel. So, you've got to know that not eating isn't going to give you that hourglass shape you want before bikini season, doll face."
Kurt looked at Sebastian as if he had just said the most ridiculous thing on the planet. "What the hell are you going off about, Smythe?"
"Does Blaine know you've been starving yourself?"
Sebastian could predict Kurt's reaction before he'd even finished asking his question. Mouth dropped open, eyes grew wide, and if possible, he grew just the slightest shade paled. He quickly pulled himself together, looking at Sebastian disbelievingly. "What?" He gave him a (clearly forced) amused smile. "Look who's being presumptuous now. You been spiking your own coffee with liquor again?" He reached to the side to pick his coffee cup back up, bringing it to his mouth for a drink.
"Enough, Hummel. Seriously." Sebastian made it clear from his tone of voice that he was no longer skirting around his suspicions. He lowered his gaze and brought his hand to rest on the table Kurt lowered his cup in favor of working his bottom lip between his teeth.. The one thing Sebastian had figured out about Kurt was that the kid was an awful liar, evident by his (poor) attempt to hide his anxiety at the sudden conversation change. "You wanna talk like big boys for a minute?"
Kurt drummed his fingers along the cup. "No offense, but I think you're a bit out of it. I'm not starving myself. That's a stupid assumption even for you." Kurt gave Sebastian a (forced) look of confusion.
With a sigh, Sebastian began to drum his fingertips on the table, not once averting his eyes from Kurt. "Look, Hummel, I'll admit it: my flaw is jumping to conclusions. Though to be fair to myself, it is my only flaw. So here's this: You explain to me why you look the way you do, I'll drop it. Hell, I'll buy you a muffin to say I'm sorry."
Kurt didn't answer him. At least, not immediately. "Look. . . what way?" His tone seemed legitimately inquisitive, his face still trying to mask the slight remnants of his anxiety..
Was that a serious question? Had Sebastian been anyone else, he would have asked Kurt straight up if he'd looked into a mirror at all lately. "Like you haven't actually eaten in days." Kurt visibly winder at this, which Sebastian chose to ignore. "God knows I couldn't care less if you made me getting Blaine in my bed that much easier. But not because you were an idiot who let yourself die a skeleton. Now," he paused for Kurt's sake, half-expecting him to have butt in and being relieved when he kept quiet, "you can either lie to me about it and I 'accidentally' drop a line to Blaine about it, or-"
"Don't talk to Blaine." That had caught his attention enough to cut Sebastian off.. They locked eyes, neither one letting up on the ferocity. Keeping his stare, Kurt hushed his voice like he was afraid to speak too loud and confirm Sebastian's accusations. "What does it matter?" He pronounced each syllable crisp and crystal clear in an attempt to demonstrate his impatience.
Sebastian took in a deep breath, unsure of how to respond. He didn't like Kurt, Kurt didn't like him. Usually, people who dislike each other aren't' too helpful. The only reason he'd even been paying attention close enough to notice anything was because he'd been planning to insult the guy. But this was different. And if Sebastian wanted Kurt to listen, there wasn't much point in dancing around the subject.
"I have experience in. . . I guess you would say 'dealing' with these things. First-hand experience, if you get what I mean."
Cliché, but it was the best he could think of without avoiding the topic completely. He could practically see the words soak through Kurt's brain. Taking the words in, Kurt raised one of those sculpted eyebrows of as he pieced things together.
"Wait, you. . ." Kurt stopped the thought could be formed as he caught a glimpse over Sebastian's shoulder. "Shit."
With a confused expression, Sebastian turned around to see what had Hummel paling even more. And he found himself smirking once again. Blaine was making his way up to the counter, sending a wave and look of confusion in their direction. Not that either of them would blame him, they weren't exactly the type who would sit down for any sort of conversation willingly. Still, Sebastian decided to use this to his advantage."Well, looks like I won't need to text Blaine making sure you ate."
"Bite me, Smythe."
"Don't tempt me." Sebastian said, deciding that now was as good a time as any to make his exit. If he hadn't managed to get anything through to Hummel by now, it was a lost cause (as much as if pained him to admit that.) Besides, humiliating Kurt in front of Blaine could only end in more animosity between the rivals, and the only outcome from that would be this entire conversation being rendered pointless. That would definitely not be helpful with this whole ordeal. "Just keep what I said in mind. You can get my number from Blaine, or you can Facebook me, or whatever you want if you need to talk. Which you do, so don't give me any bull about how you're fine. I practically invented that line." All there was left for him to do was hope (pray?) that he had said something of value to make Hummel come back. "Oh, and try ordering something with actual sugar in it next time. You look like you haven't slept in a week."
Kurt wanted to jump over the table and smack that smug little grin off the kid's face, but managed to keep his composure in front of his boyfriend. "Hey, Sebastian. What's going on?" Blaine asked when he came over to the pair, setting his bookbag on the floor and sliding into the seat Sebastian had just occupied.
"Just leaving, actually. Sorry, babe, but I'll have to ring you later." He threw in a wink to Blaine before making his way to the door, not bothering to look over his shoulder while sending one last message to Kurt. "Remember, Hummel."
"What was that about?" Sebastian heard Blaine ask as he went back to his original table for his bag. Hummel made up some quick lie Sebastian couldn't quite make out (there was probably an insult buried underneath it,) and he could feel himself being watched as he left.
This could take a while.
A/N: And there we go, end of chapter one! I sincerely hope you enjoyed, let me know if you did. And if you didn't, hey, constructive criticism is always appreciated! Though for the most part, I do hope that you liked it. Stick around and read on if you feel so inclined, leave a review, whichever you'd like. Either way, I hope you had a good time reading and I hope you have a wonderful day.