A/N: This is set approximately a week and a half after Bonding. The stories in this 'verse are posted as complete unless they are specifically marked otherwise, so if you want to get Alerts for updates, use the Author Alert feature. Thank you to SolariaLunar21 for looking over this. Please review!


Sebastian leaned against the bike racks. He would have preferred somewhere less dusty, but they were right in front of the doors closest to where Dave's truck was parked, so he knew it was the best spot to wait. He'd skipped his last class and Warbler practice to meet Dave at the end of his first week back at Thurston. Dave wasn't expecting him until the next day at his house, but Sebastian thought it would be fun to surprise him.

He'd been getting texts and calls from Dave, as they'd agreed, and Sebastian had seen him the previous afternoon, but this first week back had been difficult for Dave and Sebastian wanted to be there for him. Dave had been emotionally exhausted last time they spoke, not depressed or upset exactly, rather he was run down from long, mentally draining days. Sebastian figured he could use some support. He'd brought a bag with him, intending to stay the night, or even the entire weekend, if Dave needed him.

Mr. Karof—Paul had told Sebastian several times he was always welcome, and that the guest room was his anytime he needed it. Sebastian had become a bit of a fixture at the Karofsky household since everything had happened, and Dave's father told him often that he appreciated that his son had a friend he could really count on. Sebastian suspected that if – when – he and Dave moved past the friend-zone they were currently residing in, Paul Karofsky would be reaching for the champagne rather than the shotgun. It was interesting to be approved of, especially by someone who actually bothered to get to know him instead of someone who had heard his mother bragging about what a perfect son she had raised.

Students started filtering out of the building, so Sebastian took a moment to smooth out his blazer and straighten his tie. It wouldn't do to look poorly put together, especially while in his Dalton uniform and visiting a public school. As teenagers began to pour out more steadily, the whispers and curious glances started, mostly from the girls. Sebastian pasted on his most charming grin as he waited and stared at the doors. Out of his peripheral vision he could see several girls trying to gain his attention as they walked by. As he glanced over the crowd, he made eye contact with a young brunette who gave him a tiny smile. He winked at her and she blushed, giggling to her friend and watching him hopefully as she kept walking. When she moved out of his immediate view, he looked back towards the doors. He could almost hear her disappointed sigh as he smirked.

"Dude…those chicks loved you. You must be able to pick up like that." Sebastian glanced over to the teen who was snapping his fingers in emphasis.

Well, well, well.

Sebastian recognized him easily. He'd made a point of knowing exactly who had caused Dave problems, in case the opportunity ever arose for Sebastian to exact a little payback. He'd been hoping to see this particular asshole one day, though he hadn't expected Nick to start a friendly conversation with him about women, of all things. How ironic. It was strange that homophobes seemed to think Sebastian was God's gift to women, but he got a kick out of it, nonetheless.

"Yeah, I can't complain." Sebastian feigned a grin, throwing just enough arrogance into his tone. He knew how he sounded, as though he were picking up women whenever the mood struck him. A few months ago, Sebastian would have said that about men and been completely truthful, so he knew exactly how to behave.

"I'm Nick," the jock said, holding out a hand to him.

I know who you are, asshole.

"Sebastian," he replied, shaking the offered hand and resisting the urge to wipe his palm off on his slacks in disgust.

"So…what's your secret?"

"I'm hot. Not really a secret, though." Sebastian smirked and Nick laughed at him, clapping him on the back as though they were old friends.

"So am I," Nick countered, his gaze following another pair of girls as they batted their eyelashes in Sebastian's direction, "but you're still getting the attention. How do you do it?"

Sebastian took a moment to brush an imaginary piece of lint of his shoulder then shrugged and indicated towards the lapel of his jacket. "They have no idea who I am, I'm a mystery. But even if I wasn't…girls love the blazer."

"Private school's the key, huh? That'd drive me crazy. Still," Nick added as the watched a number of the passing girls look Sebastian up and down, "can't deny it seems to be working. You waiting for someone?"

"Yep," Sebastian answered, popping the 'p' and curling his lip in a way he knew would be misinterpreted perfectly.


"Totally," he confirmed. "Sexy…sort of shy and quiet in public, but a total animal in the sack. Bit of an oral kink, too, I think. I definitely need to explore that more. And the best part – extremely blessed in the areas that count, if you know what I mean." Sebastian found it amusing that Nick actually had no idea what he meant, even if he thought he did.

"That's awesome, man. I need to find a piece of ass like that." The grin on Nick's face let him know that Sebastian had gotten his message across perfectly – Nick assumed he was there for some girl he was messing around with. Sebastian couldn't wait to see how he reacted once he realized that they had been talking about Dave.

"Mmm, definitely…first one I've found that made me want to go back for more."

"Nice. I'm playing the field at the moment. I'm pretty popular around here, but you know, I could stand to up my game a little. You can never get too much action."

"That's my motto," Sebastian agreed. It had been his motto. And maybe it would be again once Dave was ready, just with a specific person rather than whoever caught his interest on any given night.

"So, got any tips?"

Sebastian opened his mouth to respond, but was distracted by the sight of Dave exiting the school doors and making his way down the steps. Dave glanced up, and Sebastian could see the moment he'd been spotted. The other teen's face lit up and a genuine smile broke out across his lips. Sebastian just barely managed to stop himself from beaming stupidly as his stomach gave a jolt. Dave started moving towards him eagerly, but clearly noticed Nick because his smile fell away and his shoulders tensed. He picked up his pace, hurrying over to Sebastian and glaring at the jock nearby.

"Is everything okay?" Dave asked Sebastian urgently as he approached, positioning his body partway between them, facing Sebastian and half blocking Nick from view. "Is he bothering you?"

"Fuck off, Karofsky," Nick said as he grabbed Dave by the shoulder and shoved him out of the way. "Real men are talking."

Sebastian watched for Dave's reaction. He was glad to see that other than a sigh and an eye roll, Dave ignored Nick's words. He didn't seem to take them to heart, as far as Sebastian could tell, and that was definitely a good sign.


"Wait…Sebastian, you know this cocksucker?"

Nick had spoken so loudly, Sebastian would almost say he had yelled. Students that had been passing them stopped, curious at their interaction, and Sebastian decided to take advantage of the situation. He locked eyes with Dave – who looked curious and perhaps a little annoyed at Nick, but not particularly ashamed – and decided to take a risk. If Dave stopped him, he'd let it go. If he didn't…well, Sebastian had an entertaining plan.

He allowed his mouth to curl into his most wicked of grins, licking his lips suggestively and hooking a finger in the waistband on Dave's jeans. With a sharp tug, he pulled Dave closer, until he was pressed up against him, and looked over at Nick with a wink.

"Intimately," he drawled, tracing a finger over Dave's lower abdomen and keeping his gaze firmly on Nick, who had started to look uncomfortable. Dave made no move to pull away, though Sebastian could feel him staring as though he were trying to work out what exactly Sebastian had planned.

"What the fuck? But he's…that's…you're…he's a fucking fag."

The crowd around them was growing, and Sebastian let out a silent cheer. He schooled his features into the most shocked expression he could muster, and quietly hoped Dave would play along and not get upset. He figured Dave would be okay, he'd reacted well so far, but Sebastian knew he was pushing it a bit. If he thought he'd get another opportunity like this one, he would wait until he knew for sure, but there was no way anything like this would fall into his lap again.

"Well, if he wasn't gay, it would be kind of awkward," Sebastian replied with a raised voice and an offended tone, "but calling him a fag is pretty rude. And completely uncalled for, considering just a minute ago you were saying you needed a guy just like him."

The people immediately surrounding their little group went silent for a moment, before everyone started talking at once. Sebastian barely managed to keep his face blank, head tilted to the side as though he were genuinely shocked and confused at Nick. He felt Dave stiffen beside him, but a quick glance told Sebastian that Dave was trying just as hard not to laugh at Nick as Sebastian was.

"That's…that's not what I said!"

"Of course it is. We were talking about the guy I was here to see. Sexy, well endowed, animal in the sack…remember? You said, and I quote, 'I need to find a piece of ass like that'." As Sebastian spoke, as clearly and loudly as he could without looking as though he were playing to the crowd, the expression on Nick's face grew more and more amusing. It looked like a strange fusion of panic, disgust, and horror. If he didn't think it would ruin the moment, Sebastian might have actually giggled. He slipped a hand into Dave's, squeezing gently. Dave squeezed back, and Sebastian felt reassured.

"That's fucking disgusting, you lying little fairy! You and Karofsky need to go and pull your gay shit somewhere else, decent guys like me don't need to see it."

Sebastian hadn't actually lied yet; he'd only reshaped the truth a little. He had something else he wanted to say which wasn't honest at all, but he figured it was more like a prediction of the future than a blatant fabrication, so that wasn't so bad.

"What's wrong? Scared we are going to start sucking and fucking each other right here in front of you? Oh please," he paused, squeezing Dave's fingers and hoping he wasn't taking it too far, "why would we bother? We enjoy plenty of that when we're alone, there's no reason to get you involved."

Or at least we will enjoy plenty of that, once Dave's ready.

Dave made a choking noise, but he didn't protest. Sebastian was fairly sure that the students around them didn't hear it, but apparently Nick did, because he turned his attention to Dave. Or maybe he just realized that he wasn't going to be able to ruffle Sebastian in a verbal sparring match.

"You're fucking twisted, Karofsky. You're just a pathetic loser who couldn't get a girl so he started looking for pretty little boys. So are you at least the one giving it? Or do you like having this guy's cock in your ass? Either way it's just wrong."

"You think I'm pretty, Nick?" Sebastian asked, mockingly. Nick spluttered, but Sebastian cut him off before he could argue. "Why the fuck do you care so much about Dave's sex life, anyway? Worried you won't measure up? Maybe it bothers you to know he's getting more than you are? Or are you just jealous?"

"Fuck you, man, I'm not jealous! He doesn't have anything I don't have."

"I've seen eleven inches that I highly doubt you have," he replied scathingly, with a very obvious glance at Nick's crotch and a raised eyebrow. Dave let out an almost inaudible groan beside him, but didn't say a word. A few of the girls in the crowd around them were giggling, and Sebastian felt smug as he could see an angry flush spreading across Nick's face. He looked just about to explode.

"You're an asshole," Nick shot back. Then he paused and added, "And I'm not fucking jealous."

"Well, if you aren't jealous, then your deep obsession with Dave's sex life must be caused by something…else."

"Fuck you, asshole!"

"You keep saying that. Are you trying to proposition me? Because to be honest, I've got a much better offer right here," Sebastian commented breezily, patting Dave's chest with a smirk. "Or maybe you're interested in both of us? You do seem quite fond of talking about Dave."

"No fucking way," Nick countered, heatedly. "No…that's just…no! Just because you guys like to suck each other's cocks doesn't mean everyone else wants to!"

Oh, he's making this too easy.

Sebastian blinked innocently. "For someone that's supposedly straight, you spend an awful lot of time talking about assholes, cock sucking, and suggesting that we fuck."

Dave's hand tightened on his for a moment before letting go altogether. Sebastian glanced over at Dave, but the other teen's eyes were focused warily on Nick.

"Shut up, fag. That's not funny," Nick hissed, purpling with rage and looking as though he were on the verge of a breakdown.

"I never said it was. But really, if you don't want to look like a self-loathing closet case, maybe you should find something else to talk about. All this focus you're applying to homosexual activities and to our sex life in particular is probably starting to make people wonder about you."

For all his baiting and snarking, Sebastian hadn't actually expected Nick to physically attack him. Not that he was naïve about these sorts of things, but perhaps he'd gotten too used to Dalton's strict policies. So, although he should have known that the jock was exactly the type of person to turn a situation violent, he hadn't considered it at all.

Clearly, Dave had.

Almost before Sebastian had even registered Nick's movements towards him, Dave was between them, growling angrily and shoving Nick to the ground; hard. The jock landed a few feet away, but was back up and trying to attack Dave immediately. He didn't get very far at all – Dave had dodged one poorly thrown punch and hauled Nick towards him within seconds. One of Dave's hands was fisted in Nick's collar, and the other was on his shoulder. Nick was wincing, and Sebastian could just barely see the way Dave's thumb was digging deep into a spot near his shoulder, leaving him in what looked like a lot of pain.

"Just because I haven't beaten the shit out of you yet," Dave snarled, his voice low and dangerous, "doesn't mean I can't. You had better fucking remember that next time you even think about trying to attack my boyfriend. Stay the fuck away from Sebastian."

"Fuck you, you fucking homo," Nick spat, cringing and sinking his shoulder low when Dave's thumb pushed harder. Sebastian could clearly tell that Nick's pride was wounded and it was making him reckless. "And fuck your little fairy boy, too. He needs to learn to keep his fucking mouth shut."

Sebastian knew he should keep quiet and let Dave handle it now that he'd involved himself, but he couldn't resist throwing another smartass remark at the jock. "Dave likes my mouth exactly how it is, actually."

Though Dave didn't look at him, Sebastian could tell he was amused by his words, at least as much as he could be while he was so angry. Nick looked as though he tasted something foul, which just entertained Sebastian further.

"Maybe you're the guy who needs to learn to keep his mouth shut," Dave responded to Nick, pretending to ignore Sebastian's suggestive comment, and pulled him up closer until their faces were inches apart. "I'm sick of letting you walk all over me. I'm fucking done. Next time you piss me off, I'll break your goddamn face."

At that, Dave shoved Nick to the ground again. "C'mon, Seb," he said, wrapping his arm around Sebastian's shoulders and pulling him gently in the direction of Dave's truck. Sebastian turned to leave with Dave, feeling oddly invincible.

Despite the inappropriateness of the situation, Sebastian couldn't help but embrace a rush of pride at the way Dave had stood up for him, and for himself. The pissed off, forceful Dave he had seen just moments ago reminded Sebastian of their first night together, when Dave had chased away a man that he believed was trying to take advantage of a drunken Sebastian. He reminded Sebastian of the guy he'd known before the suicide attempt. He'd found that side of Dave appealing even then, but seeing it now left Sebastian reeling. It wasn't just pride in Dave's newly rebuilt strength, there was also a deep aching desire smoldering somewhere beneath everything else, beneath the caring and the way they had fun together. It was something he'd been doing his best to ignore since the night they spent with each other, but it was burning red hot again. He liked to think he was a civilized guy, but something about an angry, protective, and yes, aggressive Dave managed to really get to him.

He took a deep breath and tried to calm down as they walked. He didn't want to do anything he would regret, like beg Dave to shove him up against that wall over there. Not that he didn't want that – he definitely wanted that – but Sebastian certainly didn't want to ruin whatever it was he and Dave had going for them.

He could hear a commotion behind them and glanced back to see that Nick's friends had crowded around him. One of them was trying to help Nick up, but ended up getting pushed away for his trouble. Nick had a furious look on his face; his ego had obviously been damaged.

They had gotten quite a distance away, almost halfway to the student car park, when Nick called out after them loudly.

"Where are you going, fag? Off to suck your boyfriend's cock?"

Dave glanced over at Sebastian, his eyes wide. Sebastian watched as Dave took a deep breath and visibly pulled himself together; his eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened angrily before he turned around to yell back. "So what if I am? Just because you have no sex life doesn't mean I need to give up on mine. It must piss you off to know that a fag gets more action than you do! Think about that while you're alone jerking off to crappy porn, asshole!"

Angry Dave is snarky, too. That's…really, really sexy.

When Dave turned back to face Sebastian, his expression changed from angry to panicked. Sebastian didn't want to let the jocks see how affected Dave was (he'd actually done a very good job of hiding it, not even Sebastian would have been able to tell if he wasn't looking right at him), so he moved quickly to Dave's side, curling into him and slipping his hand into Dave's back pocket.

He urged Dave forward, setting them back on the path to the car park, where Sebastian's car was parked only a few spaces away from Dave's. He could hear Dave muttering under his breath, sounding like he was stressing himself out.

"You okay, babe?" Sebastian asked quietly.

His words must have startled Dave, because the other teen's eyes shot over to his in agitation. "Holy fuck I can't believe I just said that...yelled that. Everyone heard me oh God, oh God. Oh shit."

Dave was beginning to seriously freak out and Sebastian knew he had to do something about it. They had just stopped by Dave's car, so he turned to face the other teen, sliding his hands up and down Dave's chest in a way he hoped was soothing.

"You were awesome, babe. That was so. Fucking. Hot."

Dave blinked at him for a moment before his breathing evened out and he frowned, his brow creasing. "Really?"

"Absolutely. I am…I am so proud of you. I don't even have the words for it, and you know me," Sebastian joked, "I always have words." Dave cracked a grin at that, and Sebastian decided he might as well be completely honest. "Christ, Growly, I'm going to gloss right over how ridiculously sexy you just were and how incredibly tight my pants feel right now, and point out that you were fucking magnificent. And not just because of how unfairly sexy you are when you're angry, but also because you found the strength you've been looking for. You stood up for me, and best of all, for yourself, against your worst bully. You were absolutely right about coming back here and I'm sorry I wasn't completely behind it. I underestimated you, but what you just did? That was amazing."

A hint of something flashed across Dave's face while Sebastian was talking about how sexy he found him, but it was replaced with a light flush of embarrassment (the good kind, Sebastian hoped), when he was praising Dave for his strength. Sebastian found it strangely endearing that Dave could go from angry to bashful in half a minute. He watched as Dave took a deep breath and glanced meaningfully over to the group of jocks still gathered, talking amongst themselves.

"What if it makes things worse?" Dave asked. He looked resigned.

"I don't think it will. To be honest, I think he'll probably avoid confronting you for a while now. I mean, yeah, he just bitched you out as we were leaving…but that's because his pride is really hurt. By the next time he sees you he'll have calmed down and realized he came out looking like a complete idiot. He'll probably want to avoid that happening a second time. If he doesn't, just think about today, embrace your inner Hulk and make him piss his pants again."

"He didn't piss his pants," Dave replied with a small grin.

"He did the way I plan on telling it," Sebastian smirked.

When Dave pulled away, laughing, to lean against his truck, Sebastian knew the other teen would be fine. He'd been in a miniature panic earlier, yes, but he was past it now. They were quiet for a minute as Dave dug into his backpack for his car keys.

"I never asked what you were doing here, I just realized."

Sebastian shrugged. "I thought you might need me. I uh…I brought some clothes and stuff in case you wanted me to stay over. I know your first week back hasn't been easy. I just thought…I figured you could use a friend. I wasn't really expecting it to turn into that," he answered, gesturing vaguely, before taking on a less serious tone. "I guess I can stop worrying about whether you can handle them."

"I don't even know where it came from. I just snapped," Dave admitted, before his eyes narrowed at Sebastian. "I know you were baiting him, and just so you know, I am going to be mad at you for that later. But right now…I'm still too angry at how he tried to jump you to be annoyed with you as well."

"I didn't actually expect him to attack me. I probably should have…too much time at Dalton, I guess."

Dave rolled his eyes at him, but he looked more like he wanted to hug Sebastian than yell at him, so he couldn't be too mad, right? Maybe it wasn't the time to bring up what Dave had said earlier, but Sebastian was only patient when he had to be, and he figured he'd pretty much lost the last of his patience to the clawing need inside him when he saw Dave intimidate the hell out of Nick.

If Dave wasn't ready, Sebastian would find a way to be patient again. Of course he would; he needed Dave in his life, however he could have him. But…Dave had been the one to say it, and Sebastian needed to know what that meant. "You called me your boyfriend."

The words hung between them for a moment, awkwardly. Dave cleared his throat and stuffed his hands in his pockets, dropping his gaze to the ground where he had started scuffing his shoe into the asphalt. Dave hesitated, and Sebastian watched him warily, finding his nervousness contagious. This could go two ways; Dave could have meant what he said, or he could be trying to figure out how to let Sebastian down gently. When Dave finally looked up at him, ready to speak, Sebastian curled his toes within his shoes, trying not to react before he knew what exactly Dave wanted to say.

"Yeah, I did," Dave spoke softly, uncertainly. "I—is that okay?"

Several thoughts hit Sebastian at once, all of them screaming that it was so much more than just okay. But he went with the safest, because he definitely wanted this to be clear. "Only if you meant it."

"I did. I um…I know I wanted to wait. I guess I was worried that I would be too focused on us to figure out my own issues, but I don't think that anymore. You just…I don't know how you do it, and I know how stupid I sound, so please don't laugh at me over this, okay? But you make me feel…I don't know. Grounded, I guess." As he spoke, Dave rubbed the back of his neck and drew his eyebrows together as though he didn't quite know what to say. "It's like…like when I can't be strong, you'll be there for me. And I don't know if it's a bad way to deal with everything, like I'm sort of depending on you, and I guess I am in a way, but I'm also not exactly…because the thing is…knowing that you are there if I need you kind of makes me less scared of being strong myself, even when you don't really think I should be, like when I decided to come back to Thurston. Does this…God, I'm not making any sense, am I? I'm rambling, aren't I? Just…just ignore all of that. Let me start again." Dave took a deep breath, reaching out to curl his hand around Sebastian's. "Yes, I meant it. I want us to be together. As a proper couple. I want call you my boyfriend because you are…not just because it pisses off assholes."

The things Dave said probably shouldn't have sounded so sweet to Sebastian, but they did. And yeah, Sebastian could understand why Dave maybe thought that depending on him wasn't the right thing to do, but Sebastian disagreed. Anything that helped Dave get back his inner strength and confidence was good, in Sebastian's eyes. The idea that Dave felt that way about him, that he trusted Sebastian so much left him feeling…he didn't even know what he was feeling but whatever it was, he never wanted to let go of it. It was as if everything fluffy and wonderful and good in the world was centered in his stomach, and that was stupid, but it kind of made him want to laugh. How was Sebastian supposed to ignore what Dave said when it made him feel like that?

While Sebastian was worried about maybe floating away on a ridiculous cloud of…of happiness (what the fuck was wrong with him? Not that he wanted to fix it or anything), Dave was clearly still nervous. He was looking at Sebastian, really looking, like he was desperate for Sebastian to say something, and fuck, of course he was. Dave had just completely poured his heart out, obviously he needed a response but how on earth was Sebastian supposed to reply to something like that? How could he possibly come close to explaining how Dave made him feel?

But maybe…maybe Dave didn't need him to spill his emotions out all over the place, right after Dave had done so himself. Maybe Dave just needed him to accept what he'd said, without making a big deal of it, because Dave really did look uncomfortable, and okay, they were at Dave's fucking school, for fuck's sake. This wasn't the time or place for them both to get choked up. Sebastian could have his weird romantic break down another time and vomit up rainbows for Dave when the other teen was actually prepared to hear it.

"Well," Sebastian answered, as evenly as he could managed with his heart trying to crawl up his throat and out of his mouth, "if you want to call me your boyfriend, I guess I can get used to hearing it. Besides, Dave…you keep me grounded, too."

As soon as he'd spoken, he knew he'd said the right thing. The tension fell out of Dave's shoulders; his boyfriend – his boyfriend – exhaled loudly and grinned happily at Sebastian. He wondered if he would always feel just a little bit breathless around Dave, and, absurdly, if he should see a Doctor because what if it wasn't Dave's smiles, what if he was getting asthma or some other—


Pull yourself together, he's going to think you've lost your mind.

Sebastian smiled back at Dave, squeezing the hand entwined with his. He tugged on it, pulling his boyfriend closer until they were pressed together and Dave's lips were almost touching his own.

"What about them?" Dave asked, tilting his head towards the jocks. Sebastian could see out of the corner of his eye that they were watching, but the way Dave's breath tickled the skin of his jaw seemed far more important than a few homophobic assholes.

"Who gives a shit about them? You already put them in their place, Growly. Don't back down now."

Dave's eyes flashed and Sebastian was satisfied to feel Dave's mouth on his own, kissing him hotly. It was everything he remembered, better even, and Sebastian was glad – so glad – that he'd decided on an impromptu visit that day.