This is it. Thank you all for sticking with me! I hope you guys have enjoyed reading half as much as I've enjoyed writing. :) I've included the epilogue in this chapter, so this is going to be the end, ladies and jellyspoons. :)


Chapter Seventeen


It's a short flight from New York to Ohio and the drive from the airport passes quickly with the buzz of anticipation crackling through the air. Blaine is chattering excitedly in the back seat about being able to spend Christmas together with their family. Sebastian wonders but doesn't ask exactly when Kurt's family because Blaine's as well. He has a hunch it started a long time ago.

Someone is peaking through the curtain as they pull into the driveway.

"This is going to be really awkward, isn't it?" Sebastian asks. It's a rhetorical question.

Kurt just breathes out a laugh and squeezes his hand over the gearshift. "You'll make it. I promise."

Sebastian sighs and unbuckles his seatbelt before letting himself out of the car, content with being the one to hang back at the car and gather up the bags while Kurt takes Blaine's hand and leads him toward the house as the front door opens and a small woman in a baggy sweater runs out onto the front porch to wrap them in a warm-looking hug.

He can't hear the conversation, but she's raising her hands to frame Blaine's face and kiss him on the forehead. Blaine absolutely beams at the affection. He notices when she points over toward where he's standing at the back of the rental car, so he figures he's gone unnoticed for as long as he possibly could. He shuts the trunk and heaves their big suitcase over his shoulder and walks up toward the porch.

"You must be Sebastian," she says, and her voice sounds just as warm and inviting as the hug she wrapped Blaine up into.

"Yes, ma'am," he says politely, setting down the bag.

She laughs quietly and waves her hand to dismiss the words. "Please, call me Carole." At Sebastian's smile, she stretches up onto her tiptoes to frame his face. "I see why these boys love you so much. You're adorable!" she coos, giving him an easy smile that makes him relax immediately.

"Thank you." He's not sure what to say, because all at once he feels almost embarrassed, as though it's his own mother fawning over him.

Luckily, Kurt diverts her attention. "Where's dad, Carole?"

"Oh, he's at the garage doing some last minute paperwork." She comes down from her tiptoes and walks toward the house, gesturing for the three to follow her. "He should be home any time though."

Sebastian excuses himself to take their things upstairs and Kurt and Blaine follow Carole into the kitchen for lunch. She makes a sandwich for Sebastian, expecting him to be right back down, but it's been almost ten minutes and he's still not back.

"I'll go see what's wrong," Blaine offers, kissing Kurt on the cheek before leaving the room.

"So," Carole prompts. "You three seem pretty happy together."

Kurt smiles. "We're so happy, Carole. I know it probably seems strange to you, but—"

"It's not strange, honey. Love happens how it happens." She waves a dismissive hand. "Just as long as the three of you are happy, and he's not playing any of the games he was playing in high school."

"He's not," Kurt assures, shaking his head. "He's a completely different person. Believe me, Blaine and I wouldn't be in a relationship with that Sebastian. We've been together for almost two months now and he's been nothing but amazing. We're in love, Carole."

"Then that's what's important," Carole says, nodding. She takes Kurt's hand across the table. "Just as long as he's good to you and you're good to each other."

She changes the subject after that and Kurt is starting to get a little concerned when Blaine isn't back with Sebastian yet when, as if on cue, his phone vibrates on the table.

From Blaine: Honey, you should come upstairs.

His brow knits in confusion and he quickly sends back, "Why?"

When the answer comes, it sends a cold chill down his spine. It's just a single sentence, but it says everything Kurt needs to know.

From Blaine: Seb got a text from his dad.

He excuses himself from the table and all but runs up the stairs, throwing open his door but shutting it quietly behind himself.

If Sebastian had looked upset and broken the first night they shared a bed together, it was nothing compared to the way he looks now. His face is buried in Blaine's shoulders and there are sobs tearing from his chest, his shoulders heaving with the effort. Blaine's arms are wrapped tightly around the crying boy's middle and it makes the scene all the more heartbreaking. Sebastian isn't one to let himself be comforted.

Kurt crosses the room and settles in beside Sebastian, running a hand through his hair in an attempt to make him look up. "Seb, honey, what happened?"

There's another hitching sob and Sebastian finally meets his eyes. Kurt's heart breaks at Sebastian's face, tear stained and spotty red from crying. "He—He—" He chokes out, his breathing bordering on hysterics. Thinking quickly, Blaine hands Kurt the phone and holds Sebastian tighter, shushing in his ear.

The message is still on the screen and Kurt's blood boils as he reads:

"Son, I'm not going to sign any paper. I told you that I will not endorse any course of action that doesn't result in you pursuing your law degree. I've heard from Jack Hoskins that you're living in a slum and that you've pawned the watch I gave you for food. None of this would be happening if you had just calmed down and stayed at school. If you want any support from me, you'll go back to law school. See this as your wake up call. You can't be happy living like this, and you can have everything back if you just do as your told. I'm sorry, son, but this is for your own good."

Kurt has a million questions about how Sebastian's father could have possibly known the things he knows—like pawning watches for a Thanksgiving dinner—but mainly he's just outrageously pissed off. He bites it back and takes a deep breath, shifting in closer to Sebastian to rub a hand across his back in a gentle rhythm.

"Seb, honey, we will think of something, alright?" Kurt soothes. "You're going back to school. You're going to be a writer. And you're going to make enough money selling your first book to never have to rely on your father for anything."

Sebastian chokes on a hiccup and looks up toward Kurt, his eyes devastatingly sad. "L-Love you… "

Kurt kisses him on the forehead. "I love you, too."

There are still tears streaming down Sebastian's cheeks but they both know better than to ask him to talk about it. Sebastian isn't one to discuss his emotions and hurt freely, so they sit in silence, Blaine holding Sebastian and shushing quietly in his ear as Kurt soothes him by sliding his hand across his back until his breathing evens out.

Now that Sebastian has cried himself out—actually cried himself to sleep—Kurt lets his anger take hold again. He kisses Sebastian on the forehead and Blaine on the lips before sliding off the bed and crossing the room, unzipping Sebastian's laptop case and sliding out the financial aid form.

"What are you doing?" Blaine asks, his voice quiet to avoid waking Sebastian.

"I'm getting this damn paper signed if I have to resort to violence to get it done," Kurt bites out, his voice low and furious. "Go to sleep and just be there for him, okay? Don't tell him where I went."

Blaine nods and shifts himself and Sebastian until they're lying flat. "Be safe, Kurt."

Kurt hums out an affirmation and turns on his heel to leave.

The house is just as grand as he had been expecting, more of a mansion than a house. He doesn't let the grandeur intimidate him and he climbs out of the car, striding toward the front door with purpose and determination.

He rings the bell and a well-dressed man who is clearly and unmistakably Sebastian's father answers. Kurt doesn't let himself be thrown off by the judgmental appraisal the man gives him. "Can I help you?"

Kurt straightens up and squares his shoulders. "My name is Kurt Hummel. I'm dating your son—"

The man raises his hand to stop Kurt's words. "If you're here about that damn paper—"

"I am here about that damn paper. Your son does not want to be a lawyer. He wants to be a writer and he's damn good at it. I'm not sure whether or not you genuinely want what's best for him or you're just trying to lay on the guilt so that he goes back into law, but being a lawyer is not what's best for him. He was miserable when he was in law school. Fathers are supposed to encourage their children—"

"Stop right there, kid." The man raises his hand with a derisive scoff. "You don't get a say in this. This is between Sebastian and myself."

"Clearly Sebastian doesn't get a say either," Kurt bites out, shoving the paper into the man's face. "He's not going to go to law school. I want him to do what's best for his own life, and I don't want to have you standing in the way of that."

Mr. Smythe straightens up and squares his shoulders. "You've got a lot of nerve to come knocking on my door and telling me how to raise my son—"

"I'm not telling you how to raise your son, though you could clearly use some pointers. I don't care how you feel about Sebastian or his future. It doesn't concern me one way or the other. What I care about is that you are standing in the way of Sebastian pursing his dream, and that's not something I'm going to let happen." Kurt's voice rings with finality and he crosses his arms, leveling the man with his best intimidating glare. "Now you're going to sign this goddamn paper so that I can go home to my boyfriends and my family, because I am not leaving until your name is on this piece of paper."

The man's eyes narrow to slits. "Do you have any idea who you're threatening right now?"

"There are no threats. I've simply said that I'm not leaving until this paper is signed," Kurt says conversationally before rolling his eyes. "And I'm not sure who you think you're impressing with your 'Do you know who I am?' game right now, so drop it. I'm not intimidated by you the way your son seems to be, and I know people too who are much higher up on the ladder than you are, so let's just let that go. I'm not going to cater to your ego and beg, because I know how much you'd love that. I'm sure you just eat it up when Seb does it—"

"You don't know what you're talking about!"

"Don't I?" Kurt asks, his voice mocking. "I know that, if you truly cared about your son, you would have picked up one of his numerous phone calls instead of letting him grovel to you for weeks before sending him a text message. That, to me, doesn't seem like something a caring father would do. That sounds like something a manipulative jackass who wants to control his son's life would do. You're clearly more than willing to just write him off without a backward glance, so do it."

Kurt shoves the paper in his face. "If you're serious about wanting Sebastian to be completely cut off, here's your opportunity, because this paper is to say that he is no longer a dependent of you, that he's living on his own with no help from anyone. It says that he has a rich father who doesn't care enough about his son to support his dreams and let him change his major from something he hates to something he loves. Something that makes him happy and that he's good at."

"He'd be a good lawyer," Mr. Smythe remarks off-handedly before rocking back on his heels as Kurt explodes in front of him.

"But he doesn't want to be a fucking lawyer!" Kurt shouts, his voice trembling with rage. "He's not ever going back to law school! You know how much education means to him and he can't fucking afford it because you are a pigheaded jackass! Your son is working at a job he hates just to barely scrape up enough money for food and rent each month, and you refuse to do anything to help him!"

Kurt is fuming as he takes a pen from his pocket and holds out the paper. "So you are going to sign this stupid fucking paper so that we can get on with our lives and never have to think about you again!" Kurt is shaking as he forces the pen and paper toward the stunned man on the doorstep. "I am done with you controlling his life and making him miserable."

The man takes the paper slowly, looking more than a little shocked by Kurt's outburst, and he's silent as he signs his name on the line. Kurt wrenches the paper from his hand and turns on his heel to leave, hearing the door slam behind him. It doesn't matter. He's gotten what he wanted, and he's smiling as he gets back into the rental car, tossing the signed paper onto the seat.

Things are awkward around the Hudmel house. Burt came home about a half an hour after Kurt left and is sitting in his easy chair when Blaine and Sebastian make their way downstairs. He greets Blaine tensely and asks about Kurt's absence. Blaine just shrugs, lying smoothly and saying he 'just had to run out for a few things' before pulling Sebastian down onto the couch to watch the game in silence.

And that's how the atmosphere stays for almost an hour. Sebastian is leaning heavily against Blaine's side, cuddled in close as they watch television and Burt keeps throwing subtle, appraising glances toward them when he thinks they aren't looking. Finally, he takes a swig of his beer, not looking away from the television, and asks, "So…this whole thing works for you, huh?"

Blaine and Sebastian are caught by surprise and exchange a questioning look before Blaine says, "Yes, sir."

"And you're happy?" He takes another drink.

Again, Blaine answers, "Yes, sir."

There's silence for a moment before Burt nods once. "Alright, then."

Blaine breathes out a sigh of relief and pulls Sebastian closer, pressing a quick kiss to his temple as Sebastian drifts in and out of consciousness, still exhausted from crying earlier.

Conversation starts slowly, pretty much limited to the game, bad calls and poorly aimed throws, but it's something to break the stalemate.

It's not much, Blaine thinks, but it's a start.

The next day is a whirlwind of activity, shopping and cooking. Kurt and Carole bake cookies while Blaine and Sebastian go out to visit their old Warbler friends for coffee.

Being away so long made Kurt forget just how much he enjoyed Carole's company. She's funny and sweet and all of the things he always wanted for his father to find. There's easy conversation as they work together rolling out tray after tray of cookies.

At Kurt's suggestion, they run back to the store to buy a few Christmas cookie tins and tissue paper to box up some of the too-many cookies and take to the neighbors, and they're just starting to frost the last batch when the front door opens and closes quietly.

"Kurt?" Blaine calls. "Are you downstairs?"

"Yeah, sweetheart, I'm in the kitchen with Carole."

There are two sets of suspiciously quiet footsteps heading toward the kitchen and as soon as Blaine and Sebastian appear around the corner, it's clear to see that something is wrong. Sebastian keeps eyeing Blaine carefully and Blaine's face looks neutral to the point of being forced.

"What's the matter?" Kurt asks quickly, flitting glances between his boyfriends.

"We've been invited to dinner with my parents tomorrow night," Blaine says, his voice even.

Sebastian shakes his head. "I said we shouldn't go—"

"Seb, I told you, I have to go see my parents. They want to meet you," Blaine cuts in.

There's barely concealed contempt in Sebastian's voice and he crosses his arms. "No, tell Kurt exactly what they said…"

Blaine sighs and looks up toward Kurt with honest pleading in his eyes. "They said they want to meet my new friend."

Carole stands up at that and crosses the kitchen to pull Blaine into a hug. "Oh, sweetheart, they'll come around." She reaches down onto the table and holds up a cookie, smiling as Blaine takes it. "In the meantime, you've got us. Burt and I love you as though you were one of our own."

She pats Blaine on the cheek and he smiles as he takes a small bite of his cookie. "Thank you, Carole." His voice is quiet and still a little sad, but there's a genuine smile on his face, even if it is a small one.

"You're welcome, honey," she says easily, patting his cheek again before bringing a hand to rest on Sebastian's shoulder. "And the same goes for you, Sebastian. You're part of this family now, too."

"Thank you, Mrs. Hummel," Sebastian says gratefully. "That means a lot to me."

There's a playful smile on her lips and her voice is soft. "Call me Carole, please. And you're very welcome."

She leaves at that, and Sebastian makes a mental note to thank her later for cheering Blaine up. That's the kind of mother that Blaine deserves and he's happy that she's in his life, as well as Kurt's. He shrugs his shoulders. "So, what exactly are we going to do? I don't want to go over and have dinner with people who are just going to judge us and hurt Blaine."

Kurt stands up and crosses over to take Sebastian's hands. "It's not that bad, Seb. Blaine and I both know how to deal with his parents—"

"But you shouldn't have to," Sebastian whines, his voice just shy of petulant.

Blaine steps in and wraps his arms around Sebastian's middle. "They're my parents, Seb. Just because we don't see eye to eye…" Sebastian makes a face and looks like he's about to interrupt but Blaine shakes his head and continues. "It doesn't mean that I can just ignore them."

Sebastian glares at Blaine for a tense moment, looking very much like he wants to argue, before he sighs and throws his hands up. "Fine," he huffs out in frustration. "I just wish you'd rethink this, because I don't want you to be as upset as you were on Thanksgiving."

"It will be fine, Seb. I can handle my parents. They don't even get to me anymore usually. That was just a bad day, but you guys are going to be there this time, so…" He stretches up to kiss Sebastian on the lips quickly.

They let the conversation drop and Kurt quickly changes the subject to something less charged. Blaine perks back up and settles down at the table to help Kurt frost cookies as Sebastian watches them both with an air of superiority until Kurt remarks, "If you intend to eat a single one of these cookies, you'd better help us, your majesty."

Sebastian rolls his eyes but there's a smile on his face as he grudgingly picks up a cookie to spread green frosting over the top.

They're woken up early on the morning of the twenty-third by footsteps crashing up the stairs and a loud banging on the door that can only be one thing. Kurt's out of bed first and pulling open the door with a wide smile. It's almost immediate that he's wrenched off his feet into a bear hug.

"Finn! You. Are. Crushing. Me!" Kurt breathes out, the action difficult due to the fact that all of the air is being squeezed out of his lungs.

He's let go quickly and he gasps in a breath. "Sorry, man. I just missed you! I haven't seen you in forever!" Finn is still smiling as he looks past Kurt and into the room where Blaine is just now starting to sit up and take notice. He gives Finn a small wave which he returns quickly. There's a groan from the lump of blankets next to Blaine and Kurt turns just in time to see Sebastian cover his head with the pillow and mumble something that sounds like "too early".

"That Sebastian?" Finn asks, though Kurt's sure he already knows the answer. Kurt nods and Finn sighs, holding his hands up in what looks like surrender. "Listen, dude, I don't really get this…like…at all, but if you say that this works and you're happy, then I'm all for it."

Kurt stumbles over words for a second. "Finn…that's…Thank you." He hugs the taller boy and lets himself be wrapped up in another tight hug.

Finn steps back and smiles widely. "Oh, and mom says she wants you guys downstairs for breakfast in ten minutes."

The day passes too quickly and before they've really had a chance to prepare, they're standing on the grand front porch of the Andersons' house. Blaine looks nervous and Sebastian takes his hand—whether it's out of the need to comfort him or out of petty spite for his parents, Kurt isn't sure. He suspects that, knowing Sebastian, it's a little bit of both.

It's Blaine's mother who answers the door, pulling her son into a hug and kissing his forehead. "Blaine, sweetheart! I missed you so much!"

"I missed you, too, mom," Blaine says, his voice quiet and just a little shy. He turns around and gestures to his boyfriends. "Mom, you know Kurt." She nods and holds out her hand with a pleasantry. "And this is Sebastian Smythe. My boyfriend."

Sebastian extends a hand to the woman and she takes it, looking a little shaken. "Blaine, I thought that Kurt was…your special friend…"

"Boyfriend, mom," Blaine corrects. "And he is. I told you that I had something to tell you tonight." Blaine forces a smile and takes a breath. "Mom, I've been dating Kurt and Sebastian for almost two months."

She lets go of Sebastian's hand and nervously smooths over the front of her dress. "Well, Blaine. That's—" She seems at a loss for words, but Blaine is standing stoically beside his boyfriends. The only thing she offers is. "Don't tell your father."

Blaine shakes his head, confused. "Why not? We're not a secret. I love them both and they love me."

"Be that as it may," she says, a forced smile finding its way to her face. "I'm just not sure your father would understand. I'm not even sure that I do."

"What is there to understand, mom?" Blaine asks. "It's a relationship with three people who love each other." Sebastian squeezes Blaine's hand and Kurt takes a step closer to Blaine's side.

His mother is shaking her head. "Blaine, we have been very accommodating toward your lifestyle, but this feels like you're trying to punish your father and I for something…"

"What?" Blaine asks, his voice rising in confusion. "You think I'm dating Kurt and Seb to punish you?"

She holds up her hands and the fake smile is back. "Look, Blaine, your father and I love you very much, and I'm sure that Kurt and Sebastian are fine young men, but the fact of the matter is—"

"No," Blaine snaps. "There is no 'fact of the matter' and you haven't been 'accommodating to my lifestyle'—whatever the hell that even means. I love them and you think that I'm just using them to get back at the two of you for being bad parents?" He laughs once without humor.

"Blaine, I will not have you being argumentative." Mrs. Anderson's voice is stern.

"And I will not have you being ridiculous." Blaine crosses his arms and looks between his silent boyfriends. "This was a mistake. I came here hoping that, maybe, just maybe, I could get you and dad to see that I'm happy and accept that I am doing what's best for myself and my life, but apparently whatever I do that you disagree with is me passive aggressively punishing you. And I can't do it anymore."

He turns toward Sebastian and tugs on his arm. "Come on. Let's go back to Kurt's house."

"Blaine," Mrs. Anderson says quietly, looking defeated.

Blaine turns back toward his mother. "No. I've spent too long trying to pretend like I don't care that you and dad think of me as a blemish on the family." His voice is calm and even. "And I'm not going to do it anymore. I am happy with Kurt and Sebastian. I'm with them because I love them. They are not my friends. They are not my special friends. They are my boyfriends, and no amount of you denying it is going to change that. So, I am going to go back to Kurt's house where at least they accept me for who I am and don't think of my choices as a slight to them."

He tugs on Sebastian's hand again and prompts him to leave. Kurt fights the urge to laugh all the way to the car but there's a small smile breaking through his control. He's never been more proud of Blaine in the entirety of the time they've known each other. He can tell by the way Sebastian slides into the back seat next to Blaine and wraps him up in an embrace, that Sebastian feels the same way.

When they're getting ready for bed that night, Kurt crosses over to his desk and digs in the top drawer. "Hey, Seb," he calls, getting a mumbled response from the bathroom. "Come here when you get done brushing your teeth."

Blaine is sitting cross-legged on the bed looking more at peace with himself that Kurt thinks he ever has and he wants to run over and kiss him, but Sebastian is coming out of the en suite bathroom, so instead he holds up a manila envelope and Sebastian cocks and eyebrow. "What's that?"

"I know it's not quite Christmas yet, but I want you to open this now." He hands the envelope to Sebastian who is still eyeing him speculatively.

He lifts the flap and pulls out the paper inside, his breath catching in his throat as realization dawns on his face. "Kurt, how did you…?" The question trails off and Sebastian lifts a hand to cover his mouth as he turns to toward Kurt.

"I went and paid your father a little visit, and after a brief discussion over coffee, I managed to persuade him to sign the paper," Kurt lies, shrugging.

Sebastian laughs out an incredulous sound. "I'm sure that's exactly how it happened." He sets the paper and the envelope on the desk and pulls Kurt into his arms, kissing him full on the lips. "You have no idea what this means to me, Kurt." He hugs Kurt tighter and kisses the side of his neck. "I love you so much." There's emotion in his voice and Kurt can't help but tighten his hold and bury his face in the crook of Sebastian's neck.

He barely catches the adoringly flirty glance he gets from Sebastian before he feels himself be lifted off his feet and carried toward the bed.

A strange sort of kinship has arisen between Sebastian and Carole and it makes Kurt feel warm inside to see the way they joke and talk to each other, truly enjoying each other's company. Carole spends most of the evening in the kitchen, getting trays of cookies and cheese and crackers set up to be placed around the living room that night while they all open presents, and Sebastian never seems to leave her side.

Kurt and Blaine sit on the couch, listening to Burt and Finn talk about everything that's been going on at the garage—something about a new lift—and letting themselves drift on the warm, homey feeling of the scene.

The Christmas tree is placed off to the side in a corner, surrounded by presents and decorated with colored lights and old ornaments. In addition to the childhood photos in badly made Christmas-themed popsicle stick frames—one of which, a chubby-cheeked, toothless little boy whom Kurt vehemently refuses to admit is his first grade yearbook picture. (There's a similar picture of a four year old Finn wearing nothing but a Santa hat and Spiderman underpants, so Kurt figures it all balances out.)

There's a fire crackling in the fireplace and Finn is starting to complain about wanting to open presents. Kurt laughs and drags Blaine into the kitchen to see how long until Carole wants to start, but he finds Carole and Sebastian sitting at the kitchen table with big cups of eggnog and less-than-sober smiles, laughing and whispering back and forth.

When everything is set up and it's time to open presents, Finn crawls under the tree and hands them out. Sebastian is stretched out over Kurt and Blaine's laps, his head resting against Blaine's collarbone and looking pleasantly drunk and Carole is sitting across Burt's lap in the easy chair, her arm draped around his neck as she watches her son pass out presents before he settles in on the floor beside the couch.

Paper is torn open, gifts are gushed over, and more eggnog is had until there's a comfortable buzz setting in over everyone and the room falls into comfortable silence. Slowly, everyone starts to file out for bed, Burt and Carole heading up first, Carole leaving with a parting kiss to each boy's head, and Finn claims the easy chair, only to fall asleep in it moments later.

Blaine starts to nuzzle at Sebastian's neck, eliciting a contented sigh. "Love you," Sebastian mumbles, his voice sounding sleepy and just a little rough.

"Love you, too," Kurt and Blaine answer in unison, shifting in closer until they're wrapped up in each other.

Kurt lifts a hand to brush a stray lock of hair from Sebastian's forehead before sliding his thumb across the apple of his cheek, feeling warm and happy and completely in love. "We should go to bed now."

Blaine looks up and leans over to kiss Kurt, slow and lingering, on the lips until they hear Sebastian whine quietly. Blaine pulls away with a quiet smack and smiles gently at Kurt. "We should definitely go to bed now."

As soon as the door is closed, clothes are shed quickly and they tumble into bed together, kissing and touching, lazy and unhurried, touching and kissing just for the sake of being close until it's not enough anymore and kisses grow a little more urgent, sounds a little more desperate, and Blaine wraps his legs around Sebastian's waist, urging him closer, deeper, faster before his body goes rigid and he's crying out his release as Sebastian's hips snap forward once, twice more before he's finishing, Kurt following shortly after as he rubs against Blaine's side.

Kisses turn lazy again and they fall asleep sweaty but happy and completely content.

"I'm gonna go see if Kurt needs any help in the kitchen," Blaine says, kissing Sebastian quickly on the lips before leaving him alone with Burt. Sebastian shifts uncomfortably in his spot. While they've reached some sort of peace, it's still awkward between himself and Burt. He can count on one hand the number of exchanges they've had since they got there.

Burt sits up straight in his chair and mutes the TV, turning to face Sebastian. "Those boys your with," Burt starts, his voice even but ringing with authority. "I love both of 'em and I want to make sure that you've got nothin' but the best of intentions with them, because Blaine's just as much my son as Kurt."

Sebastian nods. "Yes, sir. I understand."

"Good." Burt nods once. "Now, I've heard quite a bit about you over the years, and it wasn't until recently that any of what I heard was good."

Sebastian waits because he's sure Burt's not done, nor is he looking for input.

"But, if we were all judged by the crap we pulled in high school, everybody would be screwed," Burt adds.

"I apologized to Blaine for—"

"I don't care what you apologized for or didn't. That's between you and them." Burt waves his hand in dismissal and Sebastian nods. "What I do care about is that you're messin' with two kids who I happen to care a whole lot about."

"So do I, Mr. Hummel," Sebastian says because it's the truth.

Burt lifts his baseball cap and rubs a hand across his head. "Yeah, I think I'm startin' to see that, kid. I just need to make sure those two aren't gonna get their hearts broken."

Sebastian shakes his head and his voice is earnest when he says, "I would never hurt them. I love them both and the idea of either of them getting their heart broken by anyone is unacceptable."

The words must have had just as much sincerity as Sebastian meant for them to have, because Burt nods once and his expression is softer. "That's what I like to hear."

They get called for Christmas dinner then and Burt stands up and reaches out to Sebastian. "You keep those two safe, kid. Their hearts are too damn big for their own good."

Sebastian shakes his hand and smiles widely. "I will, sir."

Kurt helps Carole clear the table as Burt talks with Sebastian.

"So, what is it you're going to school for, Sebastian?" he asks, leaning back in his chair.

"Well, I was in pre-law for a couple semesters, but I'm changing my major to English," Sebastian answers.

Burt nods and makes an acknowledging sound. "What are you gonna do with that? Teach?"

"No, sir, I want to be a writer." The words are quiet, spoken almost like a secret.

Burt's eyebrows shoot up. "Well, that's somethin'. I've never met anyone who wanted to be a writer before. I wrote a letter to the Times once about the arts in schools and they published it as an editorial," he boasts, sitting forward and taking a drink of his soda. "What is it you're gonna write?"

Sebastian smiles widely. "Science fiction, mostly."

"He'll be good at that, Burt. He already lives in his own world. All he's got to do is put his weird imagination on paper," Blaine laughs and Sebastian smacks him on the shoulder, smiling brightly. "He's let me read a few of his short stories before. He's really good."

Sebastian blushes and looks down with a mumbled, "Stop."

"Well, you're gonna have to send me a copy of your first book then," Burt says before laughing and adding, "Just make sure to sign it so I can get rich sellin' it."

"I will, Burt," Sebastian mumbles, still embarrassed. Blaine laughs quietly. He's never seen Sebastian look so flustered, so he leans over and kisses him on the temple. Burt just smiles.

"Blaine, how's that music degree of yours coming? Did you pass all your classes? I know Kurt said you were worried about one of 'em," Burt inquires.

There's honest emotion in Blaine's voice when he answers, and Sebastian can understand why. This man, who isn't even his father, cares enough about him to know how he's doing in school. He didn't forget that Blaine is a music major. Blaine swallows before answering. "I'm doing well. I passed my class. I did an extra credit assignment and passed the class with an A."

Burt smiles proudly. "You've always been a bright kid. I'm proud of ya."

"T-Thank you, Burt," Blaine answers, his eyes suspiciously bright. Now it's Sebastian's turn to kiss him on the temple and pull him closer.

"No need to thank me, kid," Burt dismisses, smiling. "Just keep your nose in the books. You too, Sebastian." He stands up. "Now, I'm gonna go catch the end of Deadliest Catch."

Kurt comes back and drags them upstairs to pack. The flight leaves at 4:00 AM. (One of the woes of traveling on such a tight budget.)

Sebastian pulls Blaine down onto the bed as they watch Kurt move around the room like a whirlwind. Blaine lets his head fall against Sebastian's shoulder. "I wish we didn't have to go home yet. I always forget how much I miss your family until I come back to see them."

"Yeah," Kurt empathizes. "This trip did go really well, didn't it?" He sets the bag by the door and climbs in bed beside his boyfriends. "I mean, aside from what happened with Blaine's parents…"

"I'm glad that happened," Blaine says quickly. There's not a shred of doubt or pain in his voice. "It's just…I've been living to make them happy for so long that it's almost a relief to not care anymore. I've got a family that loves me right here—" He gestures around the room. "And that's what matters."

"Yes it is," Sebastian affirms with a nod. "They do love you, Blaine. I got the talk from Burt—" Kurt's face screws up in horror and Sebastian laughs. "It wasn't that bad. He just said that he loves you both and that if I hurt you, he'd hunt me down and rip my heart out."

Kurt laughs freely and kisses Sebastian on the lips. "You know, the sad thing is, I'm not even sure if you're lying right now."

Sebastian kisses him back quickly and tightens his arms around Blaine as Kurt shifts in closer before lapsing into comfortable silence.

"This is our first Christmas together," Sebastian muses a minute later. "I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd live to see the day that I'd have a boyfriend who would bring me home for Christmas to meet the family." Sebastian laughs and kisses the top of Blaine's head before doing the same to Kurt's.

"Well," Kurt starts, smiling softly. "You did."

"Yeah, I did," Sebastian says under his breath and a soft smile spreads across his face.

After seeing Sebastian's grade point average from his stint in pre-law, he got into NYU's English program on a full-ride, and a last minute trip to the bookstore near campus had resulted in Sebastian being hired on the spot. He was there less than two months before being promoted to manager—a promotion that entailed a three dollar an hour pay raise.

Combine Sebastian's new job and pay raise with the fact that the head of the costume department for the off-Broadway company loved Kurt's work so much that she hired him and gave him a slight pay raise, the three boyfriends are now able to afford life's little luxuries like cable and coffee and socks, and springtime in New York—well late springtime—is beautiful. Winter semester classes have come and gone, (Final exams ended yesterday.) and now everyone is free to just enjoy the approaching summer.

And Kurt, Blaine, and Sebastian are capitalizing on the good weather and their newfound prosperity to go out for coffee at the expensive hipster coffee shop at the end of the block.

They're just about to leave when a girl comes walking toward them, digging something out of her bag as she walks. She makes it to where they're standing and looks up, pointing toward Blaine. "Hey, I saw your set last night. You were amazing!" She pulls a jewel case from her bag and holds it out toward Blaine with a sharpie. "Would you sign my EP?"

Blaine freezes and it's clear he's in shock. No one has ever approached him before, and it looks like he might be about to cry. He takes the pen and case with shaky hands and signs his name across the front. She smiles widely and asks if he's playing again soon. "Y-Yeah…I'm playing at The Grind on Wednesday…"

"Cool!" She exclaims. "Thanks!"

"Y-You're welcome," Blaine answers, a wide smile spreading across his face.

Sebastian pulls Blaine closer. "You're going to want to hang on to that. It's going to be worth money someday."

The girl waves as she goes back to her table, and Kurt reaches down to take Blaine's hand as Sebastian wraps an arm around his waist. "Come on, piano man, let's go home."


A/N: Reviews are always appreciated. :) Especially while I'm crying in a corner, because I don't want this to be finished.