AN: This story is completed and will have five chapters. -Dorian
WARNINGS: If you don't want spoilers, don't read. Okay? Character death, violence (noting graphic), depression...ish. Well, it's angst, so you should have figured that last one out. And yeah. That's pretty much it. - Dorian
They have rules.
After almost four years together they are firmly established.
To the rest of the world they are friends, because honestly, trying to deny that wouldn't fool anyone. Besides, Sebastian absolutely refuses to be introduced as anything less.
They don't show affection in public, because they're friends.
On Sunday evenings they have go out and have Sunday dinner, just the two of them.
Hunter dates the occasional girl so Sebastian fucks the occasional guy, never the same person twice in both cases. Because at the end of the day, they want what they already have.
They have finally admitted it. They're a couple, they love each other and they want to be together.
Most days anyways.
They don't tell anyone because people talk, and Hunter can't stand people talking about him. At least not about that. And if people talk, sooner or later it'll reach Hunter's parents and his old friends from Colorado Springs. And that would equal disaster, according to Hunter.
Sebastian hates it. To stand it, he's come up with some rules of his own.
Sundays are 'Shirtless Sunday'. No shirts allowed until they go out for dinner. If Hunter refuses, Shirtless Sunday is followed by Maniac Monday, where Sebastian spends the entire day driving Hunter mad by rearranging his drawers, putting glasses on the table without a coaster underneath and, as happened one very memorable Monday, dyes Mr Puss fur pink.
Tuesdays are Terrible Tuesday, because the weekend is so very far away, which means bad-movie night, a bucket of popcorn and cuddling.
Sebastian have yet to come up with more weekday rules, but he's working on it. They have also told Sebastian's father about their relationship. Sebastian doesn't like to keep big secrets from him, and, well, he'd just needed to tell someone. He's so proud to be with Hunter, even though Hunter is not proud to be with him.
Sebastian put the last box down on the floor. Finally done. Hunter shut the front door behind him with a tired sigh. He hadn't changed much since high school, hair a bit shorter, shoulders a bit broader, face a bit older.
"Welcome home," Sebastian grinned, looking around their apartment with a small sense of awe. They'd graduated Yale two weeks ago, leaving New Haven to visit their respective families and pack their remaining stuff.
"New York, baby!" Hunter cheered, running up to the window, as if to make sure it's really true. They'd been so lucky Sebastian's father had managed to get them an apartment here, in Manhattan, in fucking New York city. Samuel Smythe had bought Sebastian the apartment without batting an eye, insisting nothing else was good enough for his only son. Sebastian felt a surge of affection for his father, suddenly missing him. It wasn't the pain he felt when he thought about his mum, but still, Nevada was far from New York.
"This is amazing," Hunter breathed, turning towards him grinning. Sebastian loved to see him like this, no pretences, no masks, just Hunter being himself. His flatmate walked up to him, putting his arms around his waist, nuzzling his throat, before leaning his face against his neck. Sebastian held him close, letting himself be swept away by Hunter's excitement. As always, he felt smug about being slightly taller than his boyfriend, and knowing Hunter resented it made him love it even more.
Sebastian began pressing kisses on the top of Hunter's head, the side of it, nipping his ear. Hunter's breath puffed against his neck as he laughed. Turning his head, Sebastian began pressing kisses on his face, hands sneaking up under his shirt.
"Bas, I'm disgusting. We're disgusting," Hunter protested halfheartedly, trying, and failing, to look stern. He'd adopted Sebastian's childhood nickname years ago, after he'd heard Samuel use it.
"You're right. We should shower," Sebastian said, beginning to back him up towards the bathroom, Hunter laughing.
"We should at least find our towels first," Hunter insisted between kisses.
"I'll dry you off with my tongue, no probs." Hunter's back hit the bathroom door, Sebastian pressing him up against it. "I promise I'll be thorough." Framing Hunter's face with his hands, he deepened the kisses, cutting off any further arguments.
Emerging from the shower, Sebastian deduced having their own apartment was great so far. He sat down on the edge of the bathtub, looking at Hunter while the other frowned at his reflection.
"More hickeys, Bas," he sighed, though not angrily.
"Just marking my territory," Sebastian drawled. "I should be able to do that in some way." The last part unintentionally came out sounding really bitter. Hunter turned towards him frowning.
"Leave it." He stood. "I'm not having this discussion again. Not now." He walked out of the bathroom, shivering a bit, body still wet from the shower.
Our apartment. Mine and Hunter's. That means something.
Not bothering getting dressed, his clean clothes are in some box anyways, he walked into his room. Because of course they had separate bedrooms, having only one bed would be difficult to explain. Pulling his bedclothes out of a big plastic bag, he began making the bed, distracting himself from his thoughts. He's aware of Hunter watching him from the doorway, but he can't make himself look at him right now. He's angry. He gets so angry, so frustrated sometimes.
You choose this too.
There was no denying that. He could have told Hunter to fuck off, he had told him that their first week at Yale, when he'd still been so hurt after graduation and a silent summer. He'd even told him a few times at Dalton.
But one of them always came back and this whole wonderful mess began again.
"Bas." Hunter touched his back gently.
"Don't say you're sorry," Sebastian rasped, throwing his pillows onto the bed. "I'm just-"
"I know." Hunter took his hand, turning him towards him. He'd put on a pair of boxers, suspiciously similar to a pair of Sebastian's. "I love you." He kissed him chastely.
"Love you back," Sebastian said quietly.
I wouldn't be here if I didn't. I wouldn't put of with this if I could spend my life without you.
"I am s-"
"I said don't," Sebastian snapped. Hunter carefully carded his fingers through Sebastian's moist hair.
"How about, you're very distracting, please put some clothes on, and by the way you promised to help me dry off?"
Sebastian's lips quirked up."How about I don't put some clothes on, dry you off and make you very distracted?"
"That... is a very good plan, mr Smythe."
"I went to Yale, mr Clarington, as well you know."
"I can tell, not everyone can come up with master plans like that," Hunter said, giving him an impressed look.
Sebastian's smile faded. "You'll be sleeping in here though, right?" He hated asking, hated that he had to ask, hated that it made him feel so fucking vulnerable. Hunter looked taken aback.
"Well, yes I- I sort of figured-" He kissed Sebastian. "I sort of figured that was the plan?" Sebastian relaxed.
"Just checking," he said.
"The other bed is just for show."
"I... figured. You think we can make Mr Puss sleep in that bed?" he said, trying to lighten the mood.
"Like you'd let him."
"And that's the entire tour," Hunter said as they returned to the living room.
"Thank you mother."
"How do you like New York so far? You've been living here for..." She narrowed her eyes in thought. "Almost three months now. My, how time flies."
"I like it very much," Hunter smiled as the front door opened. "Oh, hi Sebastian." Was it just him, or did that come out sounding awkward?
"Hi." Sebastian gave Hunter a nod, a polite fakeawful smile on his lips. "Mrs Clarington." Another nod. "I'll be out of your way," he said, walking into the kitchen.
I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry.
"Not very sociable, that one," Hunter's mother remarked.
"He's just started his new job, lot's of new impressions," Hunter told her. "He's been exhausted all week," he lied. "He just need a time out on his first day off." Truth was, Sebastian loathed Hunter's parents. It wasn't personal, just the fact that they were one of the reasons they needed two bedrooms. He'd told Hunter it felt false, talking to them, pretending he was something he wasn't, so he'd rather not talk to them at all. That conversation had been the beginning to one of their worst fights so far.
"It's an advertising agency," Hunter answered vaguely, knowing his mother wasn't really interested. He wanted to keep going, to tell her how excited Sebastian had been when he'd gotten the call, about Sebastian's boss being really pleased with him, and how good he was at his job, how proud Hunter was of him. Instead he said nothing, keeping his polite mask on, listening attentively to his mother like a good son.
"I see. And how do you like your internship?" Hunter had gotten an internship at another advertising agency, though he worked in a different branch than his boyfriend.
"It's great." He forced a smile, wondering if Sebastian could hear their conversation through the closed door. Suddenly he felt sick.
I need to get out of here.
"Let's go out for lunch," he said hurriedly, taking her arm.
"But she's only eleven," his mother protested.
"I thought we could go for a walk first." Hunter forced another smile.
"Have fun with your mommy?" Sebastian was lying on Hunter's bed, gently petting Mr Puss lying on his chest. The two of them had really taken to each other, Hunter was a bit jealous to be honest. They'd lived across the hall from each other in college, and Mr Puss had suddenly moved from Hunter's room to Sebastian's, to everyones great amusement.
"Yeah." Hunter nudged him to make room, curling up next to him, arm across his stomach below the purring cat. "I'm exhausted," he said, putting his head on Sebastian's chest, nuzzling the cat's soft fur.
"Sightseeing is hard on the body," Sebastian drawled. Hunter sighed contently as Sebastian began threading his finger's through his hair.
"Mmm." Hunter rubbed his face against his chest. "How was work? Didn't get a chance to see you last night. Or this morning, I left kinda early to pick her up."
"It was fun. The after work too, it's a fun gang. Apparently our boss is retiring in a few months."
Hunter was half-asleep when Sebastian spoke again. "Missed you." Hunter tightened his arms around him briefly.
"Me too," he mumbled.
"Don't drool on me." Sebastian pulled playfully at his hair.
"Shut up." Hunter quickly wiped his mouth on his sleeve. "So, Shelia called earlier."
"The one with the fluffy hair?" Sebastian asked. Hunter squashed his annoyance. Sebastian knew very well who she was, Hunter had showed him several pictures.
"That's the one. She and the gang are coming to visit soonish. In two weeks maybe."
"I'll go visit my dad," Sebastian immediately said.
"Sebastian. Please, for once, make an effort to get to know my friends," Hunter said tiredly.
Sebastian had managed to avoid Hunter's friends from Colorado throughout college, for the same reason he avoided Hunter's parents. It made Hunter feel furious and guilty at the same time, because he got why he was doing it, but he was still pissed off about it.
"Will you tell them?" Sebastian asked.
Hunter closed his eyes, the guilt winning out. "No."
He wanted to, but he couldn't. No matter what Sebastian claimed, he couldn't, because what if they all turned their backs on him? Or started to act differently, treating him differently. Talked about him, calling him stuff behind his back. What if he lost them completely?
What if you lose him? The thought made him tense up for a second.
"Then why bother?" Sebastian said acidly.
I hate these stairs.
Shelia sneaked a glance at Pete, tall and gangly with jet black hair, and Corey, shorter but still tall and muscled with ginger hair and some adorable freckles, walking behind her. If they didn't complain, then neither would she.
She eagerly knocked, practically bouncing with excitement. Pete gave her an amused smile, ruffling her light brown curls. She mock-glared up at him, the glare a bit less effective as she only reached his shoulder.
"Hunter!" Shelia threw herself around his neck as soon as he opened the door, the guys standing behind her, unable to walk past as she clung to her best friend. It was their third visit to New York, but it had been a few months since the last one and Shelia had missed him so much.
"Hi!" He hugged her tightly to him, before stepping aside to let them all in. "This is my flatmate, Sebastian." He gestured towards a guy their own age sitting on the couch. Sebastian's hair was slightly gelled, he'd dressed in black jeans, a matching blazer and dark green t-shirt.
Shelia shot him a smile he completely ignored. They hadn't met him before, he was always out of town or otherwise occupied whenever they visited.
Since Hunter likes him, I'll make an effort to get to know him, she decided.
"Charmed," Sebastian drawled, briefly taking his eyes of his e-reader.
Hunter quickly installed his old gang, Pete, Shelia and Cory, in his room, two in his bed, one on the floor, himself on the couch in the living room. "I was thinking we could go out to dinner tonight, and party tomorrow," Hunter suggested as he pulled out some spare pillows from his closet.
"Sounds great," Shelia enthused. She loved New York. Before Hunter moved here she'd only been here once, and when he'd told her he was moving here she'd been ecstatic, exclaiming 'I'll visit you everyday!' And now she'd seen New York in the summer, New York in the winter and she was about to experience New York in the spring.
"Bas, you coming with us?" Hunter asked as they walked back into the living room.
"No. I've got fun plans," Sebastian drawled, throwing his e-reader on the couch beside him.
Why are the hot ones always divas?
"She hot?" Pete tried to joke. Shelia rolled her eyes as Sebastian gave him a cool smile.
"Yes, he is." Complete silence greeted the answer. "Problem?" Sebastian raised an eyebrow.
"Of course not," Pete said quickly, a bit flustered.
Well, at least I know why he didn't smile back.
"Guess I'll see you later," Hunter said quietly, looking at Sebastian who had picked up mr Puss, ignoring Hunter in favour of petting the cat.
How can Hunter live with such an asshole?
"Mmm." Sebastian reached for the remote to the TV, not saying anything else as they walked out. After walking down three flight of stairs Hunter patted his pocket.
"I forgot my wallet," he said, running back up the stairs.
"Do you think it bothers him?" Pete asked them as soon as Hunter was out of earshot.
"What?" Shelia asked distractedly. Hunter was acting weird, but why?
"You know. Sebastian being gay," Peter clarified, making a face.
"What's wrong with that?" Cory asked, looking surprised.
"As long as he doesn't try anything with me," Pete muttered. "We should look the door tonight."
"Don't be daft," Cory said with an eye-roll. Shelia was considering smacking Pete for being an idiot when Hunter came back down.
"Got it!" Hunter held up the wallet, jogging down the last steps.
"You need to exercise more if that small run makes you face flush like that," Cory teased him.
"Let's go," Hunter said loudly, ignoring the comment, and the four of them left the building.