When Kurt gets home from the airport and opens up his computer, there's an email waiting for him.

Kurt,
I talked to the Paris HQ today. I know you told me no about the internship, but I haven't given them a final answer yet. I'm presuming things have changed for you. Think about it, and then call them with your answer. I'll support you either way.

/ Isabelle

Kurt stares at the screen. He'd forgotten about the internship. It had just...fallen out of his mind. He couldn't go when he was engaged to Blaine, and in the few days that has passed with them not being engaged, Kurt has had other things on his mind. Kurt looks up, glances around for Sebastian to tell him-then it hits him. Sebastian isn't here. He's in Paris.

Looking at the screen again, at the numbers under Isabelle's name, Kurt fingers his phone.

This is a daring move. There is so much that can go wrong, but he also knows that it will be immensely rewarding. He's terrified, but if things go well, he will have Sebastian there to support him.

Kurt checks the time difference, takes a deep breath, and starts to type the +33 phone number. His heart beats wildly in his chest as he listens to the dial tones, and then someone picks up.

"Bonjour. Je m'appelle Kurt Hummel..."

x

Things move quickly after that. Kurt is due in Paris in two weeks, and as soon as he hangs up, he realizes that he has a lot to do before then.

He starts by calling his dad.

x

Kurt spends two days with his family, being cried over, cuddled with, and argued with.

"You sure this isn't just some...delayed teenage rebellion?" Burt asks late on Friday night. They're alone in the living room, Burt in the armchair and Kurt curled up on the couch.

"Which part?" Kurt asks dryly. "The breaking off an engagement part or the running off to Paris part?"

His dad shrugs. "You pick."

"No, no I-Dad, Paris is an amazing opportunity for me, it's not a rebellion. If I'd run off when I was sixteen, with no job, no place to live, no nothing, then it would've been a rebellion. Now I'm going there to work, I have a place to stay-"

"You hope," his dad interjects, earning himself a glare.

"And I'll have a life. And it's time limited. I'll come home in six months and when I do I'll have a life to get back to." Kurt knows he's talking to convince himself as much as his dad. "And Blaine...We're still friends, I think. But we just didn't work out. And we have tried, Dad," he says when he sees that Burt is about to protest. "We didn't expect it to just 'work out,' we're grown-ups, we're-we were in a committed relationship." Kurt sighs. "It just didn't work out," he says again.

"Alright, alright," Burt says, holding up his hands. "I hear you. Just. Six months is a long time, y'know."

"The airplanes won't stop working while I'm away. I'll still be able to come home," Kurt points out.

"But you won't," Burt says.

Kurt doesn't argue.

x

The hardest thing is to face Blaine again. Kurt times his arrival to New York to when he knows Blaine is at work. He hasn't called to tell Blaine he's coming, but he leaves his shoes and bag in the hall so Blaine will know he's here when he gets home.

He starts by locating his passport, then stands in front of the closet for a long time. He has no idea what he's supposed to do with all his stuff. Doesn't know if Blaine wants him to get them out of sight, doesn't know where he's supposed to store them if he does. Cooper bought the apartment for them so Blaine will keep that, and Kurt has no idea where he'll live when he gets back, but he's fairly sure Isabelle will help him. If she doesn't, well...Kurt will just have to deal with that, then.

Kurt is folding shirts into a suitcase when he hears the front door open, Blaine's footsteps stop, and then the calling out.

"Kurt?"

"Bedroom," Kurt croaks, then clears his throat. He knows Blaine heard him, though, hears the muted footsteps on the floors, and then Blaine is standing in the bedroom doorway.

"Hey," he says.

"Hi," Kurt replies, abandoning the packing for now. "I needed to get some stuff, I hope it's okay."

"Yeah, of course, it's-It's your apartment, too, so." Blaine shrugs and gives him the echo of a smile.

"About that," Kurt says, sitting down on the bed. He pats the space beside him and Blaine comes over and sits down. Kurt takes a deep breath. "I'm moving to Paris," he says. "For six months." He looks down at his knees as he says it and he can feel Blaine's eyes on him, but he doesn't look up to meet his gaze.

"Okay," Blaine says, slowly. "With Sebastian, or...?"

"No. Or-Yes, in a way, I guess, but-I've gotten an internship at the Vogue headquarters in Paris. Sebastian will be there, yes, but I don't know if he'll even talk to me, so I'm not...following him, or whatever."

"What, you just suddenly got an internship in Paris, just like that?" Blaine says testily. Kurt sighs.

"No," he says patiently. "They started talking about it two months ago. I said no, because I couldn't take it while we were together-"

"What-" Blaine tries to interrupt, but Kurt holds up a hand to stop him.

"I'm not blaming you. It wouldn't have worked, it's just a fact. Some people can spend years apart, and we wouldn't have been able to last for six months. You know that; I know that. It's what I told Isabelle, too. It's why I didn't even tell you. I'd honestly forgotten about it until she emailed me the other day, and...well." Kurt shrugs. "Why not? It's an amazing opportunity, and I might as well do something different."

"Yeah, sure," Blaine mutters, and it would be so easy to pick that up and snipe at him, but Kurt doesn't have the energy. He wants to finish packing so he can head over to Rachel's.

"What do you want me to do with my stuff?" he asks, standing up again to resume the folding of his shirts. "Box it, pack it, store it, leave it?"

Blaine stands up and shrugs, without turning around. "I don't care," he says, and then he leaves.

x

Kurt ends up packing up most of his stuff in boxes, taking advantage of the time Blaine spends at work to be in the apartment. He leaves the things he can easily live without or are easy to replace. If Blaine wants to give them back in six months, then fine, but otherwise it's no big deal. After trying to have another conversation that also ends in Blaine walking away, Kurt makes the decisions about their shared economy. They've been splitting rent, utility bills and food evenly while living together, but since Kurt has had more money, the wedding fund is almost completely his doing. He plans on keep paying the rent for a few months, at least, until Blaine can rearrange his life enough to deal with all of it on his own, so he transfers a big chunk of the wedding money back to his own personal account. He explains this to Blaine in a letter that he puts into the drawer with the bills and checkbooks.

He puts his keys on the kitchen table and takes a last look around the apartment. Blaine is at work. Kurt would've preferred it if he was here, so they could talk, so Kurt could say goodbye, but it's not exactly his decision. He doesn't have a say in anything in Blaine's life anymore.

x

The last days before Kurt leaves pass in whirlwind. He has a lot of things to finish up at the New York office, and even more things to deal with before he can step onto that plane. He makes a lot of calls, gets a backup plan in case things with Sebastian really don't work out, and just...a massive amount of things that apparently need to be fixed when you move to another continent, even if it's just temporary.

"Take care," Rachel says when they're at the airport, fiddling with the collar of Kurt's shirt.

"I will," he says.

"And if it doesn't work out this time, maybe you should just..."

"Forget it, let it be, move on?" Kurt finishes for her with a half-smile.

Rachel takes a deep breath, as if she's about to object, then lets it out again. "Yes," she says instead. "The way you broke down last time, Kurt, I mean, I appreciated the dramatic flare and the character building part of it, but it was really uncomfortable seeing you like that."

"Yeah, I know," Kurt says. "I'll do my best."

Rachel lets go of his collar and hugs him, hard. "Call me when you've talked to him," she says into his shoulder. "Even if it's night here, I'll sacrifice my beauty sleep for this."

Kurt tightens his grip around her waist. "Thank you."

x

Just as he's about to board the plane, Kurt's phone buzzes with a text. It's from Blaine.

Blaine: I'm sorry

It's only two words, but they still make Kurt light-headed with relief. Blaine doesn't hate him, at least.

Kurt: It's okay. I'm sorry too.

They still need to talk, but it can wait.

x

It's late when he arrives in Paris, and even later when he's finally in a cab. He rattles off the address to the driver, reading from his phone, and then goes into his contacts and hovers over Sebastian's name. Kurt thinks about calling him, but he's been dreaming of surprising him at the door since he made the decision to come here, so he waits.

Well, he waits until the cab drops him off in a freaking taxi zone, and Kurt has no idea where to go next. He doesn't want to wander around aimlessly, looking for the right house on the right street, not when it's in the middle of the night and he has three suitcases with him, not when the rain is pouring down.

So he calls Sebastian. He locates a bus stop with a roof before pulling out his phone, then has trouble wiping his fingers dry enough to use the touch screen. The first two tries ring long enough to go to voicemail, and then Sebastian finally picks up halfway through the third.

"Fuck you," he says, and Kurt almost jumps at the harshness in his tone. "When I said all or nothing, I meant all or nothing, Kurt. It's in the middle of the fucking night, what the hell do you want?"

Maybe this won't go quite as well as Kurt had hoped. "I, uhm. I'm in Paris," he says tentatively. "On your block, actually. I think. The cab dropped me off, and I-" There's a click, and the line goes dead. Kurt stares at his phone. He tries again, but this time there's only one ring before voicemail.

Kurt looks around, tries calling again, gets to voicemail again. Then he gets an idea, pulls up the camera app, and takes a photo of himself against the houses. It's a blurry picture, with the rain and then only the streetlights as a light source, but it should be clear enough for Sebastian to recognize it and tell that Kurt isn't kidding. He sends the photo with the caption 'I'm serious'.

Barely half a minute later, his phone display lights up with Sebastian's name.

"You're an idiot," Sebastian says into his ear as soon as he picks up.

"Yeah, I know," Kurt says. "And I'm wet and freezing, too, so if you could tell me how to get to your apartment, that would be brilliant."

"Where are you, exactly?"

Kurt looks up at the sign and gives the name of the bus stop to Sebastian.

"Okay, if you go left, and then turn right at the playground, past the bike rack, it's the house furthest down on the left."

"Okay. I need to hang up because I need both my hands, but I think I'll manage."

"Yeah, otherwise just call again."

"Sure." Kurt hangs up, and looks out into the rain. It's not the surprise he had planned for, but it seems he'll have somewhere to stay for tonight, at least.

Sebastian meets him in the lobby of the building, taking one long look at Kurt and then grabbing one of his suitcases, steering them towards the elevator. He's in sweatpants and a hoodie, his hair a complete mess, and the glasses, again.

"You really are an idiot," he says, but he holds the elevator door open for Kurt.

They're silent during the ride up and through the corridor, all the way until they're inside Sebastian's apartment.

"Why are you here?" Sebastian asks as soon as the door is closed and locked.

"I wanted to see you."

"Okay? And then you were just hoping I'd want to see you, too?"

Kurt shrugs and tries to come off as casual, but he knows he's failing. "Pretty much."

A beat of silence, and then Sebastian closes the space between them and kisses him, hard.

"Complete idiot," he says against Kurt's lips, and Kurt can't help but laugh.

"Yeah, I must be, I went after you."

"Point," Sebastian says, then kisses him again. Kurt wraps his arms around his shoulders, and Sebastian jerks away, hissing. "You're soaked," he says, as if Kurt had no idea. "We should get you out of those clothes," he continues, a sly smile spreading over his face as he starts to pull on the buttons of Kurt's jacket.

Kurt knows this is too fast, knows that they need to talk about this, that they shouldn't rush into anything, but as Sebastian's warm fingers grazes his cold skin, he can't bring himself to care.

"Do you have a bed?" he asks, helping Sebastian with the buttons and then wrangling himself out of the jacket.

"Yeah," Sebastian nods, and starts backing into the apartment, not releasing his grip on Kurt.

Between the two of them, it doesn't take long before they're naked, and then Sebastian pushes Kurt backwards onto the bed.

"What do you want?" he asks, straddling him and leaning down to lick Kurt's neck. "Tell me."

"Fuck me," Kurt gasps, leaning his head back to give Sebastian better access to his neck. "Please."

"Okay," Sebastian says, and Kurt can feel his cock twitch against Kurt's own. "I can do that."

"Good," Kurt says and grabs Sebastian's head, forcing him back up so he can kiss him again. They get caught up in that for a while, the frantic slip-slide of their lips and the friction between their cocks when Sebastian grinds lightly against Kurt. Kurt runs his nails down Sebastian's back when he sucks a hickey onto Kurt's neck, and gets rewarded with a moan.

"Do you have-hnng-condoms and-" Kurt breaks off completely when Sebastian blows lightly over the mark he just left, and he can feel Sebastian's lips turn into a smirk.

"Yes," he says, then moves further down and starts working on another mark.

"Good," Kurt says, and is just about to relax and let Sebastian keep doing what he's doing, when he feels a hand sneaking in between them and down over Kurt's balls, between his legs and then pressing against his hole.

"You want it?" Sebastian whispers, easing up from his attack on Kurt's neck and removing his hand from between them to reach into the nightstand. "You want me to fuck you?"

"Yes," Kurt huffs out, frustrated, shifting on the bed to get into a better position for Sebastian to prep him. "Come on."

"I've been waiting for three weeks," Sebastian mutters as he starts to crawl down the bed. "Calm down."

Kurt is about to retort, but then Sebastian licks his cock, and talking back suddenly gets very low priority on Kurt's list.

"Oh my god yes please," he moans instead, reaching down and gripping Sebastian's shoulder, keeping him in place.

"Yeah?" Sebastian says, and Kurt can't see him anymore, but he can feel the smile against his skin.

"Yes, come on," Kurt urges, his fingernails digging crescent shapes into Sebastian's shoulders. He feels Sebastian hiss, digs his nails a little deeper, and gets rewarded with Sebastian licking his cock again, sucking a little on the head. "Mm-hmm."

It's a warm, sloppy mess of tongue, saliva, precome and the slight burn of Sebastian's stubble against the sensitive skin of Kurt's crotch, and then just as Kurt thinks he's about to go mad from the teasing, he hears the click of the lube bottle and seconds later he feels Sebastian gently probing him open with a finger.

It hurts. Kurt hasn't been fucked in over a year, and no matter how slow Sebastian goes, it's still painful. It's also stupidly hot, though, having Sebastian over him like this, so Kurt breathes through it the best he can, and when Sebastian adds another finger and twists, the pain is pretty much forgotten.

"You ready?" Sebastian asks when he's fucking three fingers into Kurt, his gaze flickering between his hand and Kurt's face. He's having trouble keeping his voice steady, Kurt can tell, and it's nice knowing he has that effect on Sebastian.

"Yes," Kurt says and nods for emphasis, then spreads his legs a little to give Sebastian more room. Sebastian wipes his hand on the sheet and rolls on the condom, slicks himself up, then moves in closer to Kurt. He presses his cock against Kurt's hole and Kurt squeezes his eyes shut as he tries to relax as much as possible.

"Hey," comes Sebastian's voice, surprisingly gentle and surprisingly close. "Open your eyes."

Kurt does, and Sebastian is right there in front of him, looking at him with the most tender expression Kurt has ever seen. It feels out of place considering the position they're in, and considering the state of their relationship, and Kurt has to force himself to keep his eyes open and not squeeze them shut again to avoid the look.

Sebastian closes the last inches of space between them and kisses him, pressing his cock into Kurt at the same time, and oh god, Kurt had no idea he'd missed it this much. He wraps his arms around Sebastian's neck, keeps him close on top of him even though it hinders Sebastian's motions quite a bit.

They start out slow, but Sebastian grows impatient and leans back again, grabbing Kurt's thighs to keep his legs spread. He thrusts in hard, making both of them gasp, and then keeps up the pace, fucking Kurt hard and fast until Kurt reaches down to grab his own cock. He's only been half-hard since Sebastian started fingering him, but the friction of his palm quickly brings him back.

Kurt would like to keep on doing this for hours, just drag it out and go with the ebb and flow of it all, but he's too tired. He's been on a plane for half a day, and that coupled with the nerves and anxiety of maybe, and maybe not, seeing Sebastian again, has him exhausted. He wants to come, and sleep, and then go at it in the morning again.

"Come on," he mutters, clenching his ass around Sebastian "Come on, just-"

"Harder? Faster?" Sebastian asks, while giving him both.

"Yes, please," Kurt pleads, jerking his cock harder in time with Sebastian's thrusts.

"God, Kurt, you're-" Sebastian bites down on the last words and bends down over Kurt again, his hands above Kurt's shoulders. He leans in, mouths at Kurt's neck again, moving lower until he reaches his clavicle, and yeah, some things definitely do not change over the years, because just the lightest touch has Kurt squirming on the bed. Kurt feels the huff of breath as Sebastian laughs against his skin and jerks his cock even faster, just working towards getting himself off, he just needs to come, just-Sebastian sits back again, lifts Kurt's hips a little, and the change of angle is enough, makes him fuck Kurt just right, brings him right over the edge. Kurt comes in messy stripes over his hand and stomach, then lifts his legs and places his heels on Sebastian's ass, helps him fuck him. A few thrusts later, Sebastian gasps as he digs his fingers into Kurt's thighs and comes, then slumps down on top of him without even pulling out.

"Totally worth the flight ticket," Kurt says, breathlessly, earning himself another laugh from Sebastian.

"Seriously, though," Sebastian says, sliding off of him, pulling off the condom and tying it up before settling in beside Kurt. "Why did you come?"

They should probably clean up, Kurt should definitely shower, but it's an important conversation, and they might as well get it over with.

"I took the internship," Kurt says. "I'm here for the next six months."

Sebastian looks at him. "Where are you planning on staying?" he asks. Kurt can't read him, can't tell if he's teasing or if he's genuinely curious.

"Uhm." Kurt draws a breath, looks Sebastian in the eyes. "Here?"

"Yeah? You just...assumed?"

Kurt shrugs. "I have a backup plan. But I hoped. Took a leap of faith, you know." Sebastian's expression is still unreadable, and Kurt is starting to get worried. "I'm serious about the backup plan, there is one," he says. "If you want me to leave, I'll just-"

"No," Sebastian says, putting a hand on his arm to keep him where he is. "Don't. I didn't-It's just unexpected. I've spent one and a half week convincing myself not to call you, and I'm definitely not complaining about this, but can you give me until tomorrow, at least?"

"Yeah, sure," Kurt says, even though he wants to press Sebastian down into the mattress and not let him up until he gets an answer. "Do you have, uh," he gestures down to where his come is drying on his stomach. "I mean, I should shower, but-" he cuts himself off with a yawn, proving his point. Sebastian presses a kiss to his forehead, then climbs over him to get out of the bed.

"It can wait," he agrees, takes the condom with him and dumps it in the trash. He disappears into the bathroom, Kurt hears the water running, and then Sebastian reemerges with a towel in his hand. "Here," he says, throwing it at Kurt and then turning around to dig into one of the drawers. There's still light spilling out from the bathroom, illuminating his features beautifully when he bends over, and Kurt is pretty sure Sebastian is aware and that he stays bent over a little longer just for Kurt's benefit.

"You wanna borrow?" Sebastian asks, holding up a pair of briefs. Kurt nods and catches them when Sebastian throws them, dumps the towel on the floor before pulling the underwear on and crawling in beneath the covers.

"Why does it always rain when you do this?" Sebastian asks when he's crawled in beside him, not too close.

"Two times doesn't constitute as always," Kurt says, rolling his eyes.

"It's still two times out of two times."

"Well, you know me. Dramatic flair, and all."

"Yeah." Sebastian's smile is sleepy and his eyes are drooping. "Well, it's nice that you're here, but I have to be up in like...five hours," he says and yawns.

"I don't even know how long I've been awake," Kurt says, also yawning.

"Sleep?"

"Mm."

What with the travelling, the nerves, and the sex, it doesn't take long at all before Kurt is sound asleep.

x

Sebastian has just gotten into the shower when there's a knock on the door. Kurt groans, waits for a second, then calls "There's someone at the door!" through the open bathroom door.

"Can you take it? It's probably Michel, he's always early!"

"I'm naked, Sebastian!"

"He's straight as an arrow, he won't care!" There's a beat of silence, then the sound of the shower running stops. "On the other hand, please put on pants. The sight of you naked will be enough to turn him."

"Flattery will get you nowhere!" Kurt calls back, even as he shuffles over the bed to grab the first pair of pants he can get his hands on. They're Sebastian's, but Kurt doesn't care. He yanks them on, then stumbles through the apartment while buttoning them up. He drags a hand through his hair when he's in front of the door, trying to make himself semi-presentable, then opens it.

His jaw drops.

"Mrs. Smythe!" he says, too loudly and definitely too shocked. He's only wearing pants, Sebastian's pants, and she can probably tell they're his. Kurt is also acutely aware that he has a blooming hickeys on his neck, where Sebastian was a little too enthusiastic last night, and a bite mark near his hip from before Sebastian got into the shower. He crosses his arms over his chest self-consciously but holds his head high. "I didn't expect to see you here," he says.

"Well, I can certainly say the same to you," she replies. "And it's Ms. Riendeau, if you don't mind," she adds coolly.

"Sure," Kurt says, equally coolly. "What are you doing here?"

She raises her eyebrows in reply, but Kurt doesn't cower. "Sebastian has a meeting," he says, and Mrs.-Ms. Riendeau scoffs.

"Sure he has," she says, obviously not believing him for even the fraction of a second.

"Look," Kurt says, moving forward, "I'm sure he's-"

"Mom!" Sebastian says, coming up behind Kurt. "What are you doing here?" He stands close, puts his hand on the small of Kurt's back. "I have a meeting in, like, five minutes."

He's still only in a towel, and Ms. Riendeau pointedly looks between both of their bare chests. "Sure," she says again. "Sebastian, honey, I really need you to-" She's interrupted when a blonde guy shows up behind her, looking momentarily confused at the commotion, before he spots Sebastian.

"Bonjour," he says politely to Ms. Riendeau, then looks at Sebastian with a smirk. "You need a few minutes?"

"Uh, yeah," Sebastian says, looking from Kurt, to himself, to his mom. "You brought breakfast?" The guy, most likely Michel, nods, and holds up a paper bag and a tray with two coffee cups.

"I didn't know you had company, though."

"I'm gonna...go shower," Kurt says, awkwardly and backs away. "And then I'll go for breakfast."

"Sorry about this," Sebastian whispers in his ear, then kisses his cheek. Kurt gives him a weak smile back. "Mom, you need to leave," Sebastian says then, turning back towards his mother. "I need to work."

"But he's allowed to stay?"

Kurt stops in the doorway to the bedroom. He's out of sight, but not out of hearing range.

"Not that it's any of your business, but he lives here," Sebastian says shortly. Kurt stops breathing. They haven't talked about it yet, they woke up when Sebastian's alarm went off, exchanged blowjobs, and then this. But unless Sebastian is lying to his mother just to shut her up, Kurt is pretty sure he just scored himself a boyfriend. And a place to stay for the next six months, of course.

"Sebastian, sweetie. You know what he did to you-"

"I need to work, Mom. I'll call you." Kurt hears the front door being shut, and slips into the bedroom.

"I know you heard that," Sebastian says a few seconds later, while Kurt is bent over his suitcase, digging out clothes and toiletries. "And I just wanted to let you know that I meant it."

Kurt stands up and looks at him. "Okay. Good."

Sebastian crosses the few feet of floor between them and grabs Kurt's face to kiss him. "This is our last shot, though," he murmurs against Kurt's lips. "I can't deal with anymore on and offs like that."

Kurt nods. "Yeah." He doesn't think he can deal with more on and offs, either. "I agree."

"Sebastian?" Michel calls from the kitchen.

"I'm coming!" Sebastian yells back.

"Not literally, I hope!"

Kurt snorts. "I can see why you two get along. Do you always talk like this?" he asks, waving his hand between Sebastian and the doorway.

Sebastian shrugs. "Pretty much. He wasn't great with English when we met, so we worked out a system."

"Makes sense." Kurt puts his hands on Sebastian's shoulders and gives him another kiss. "Get dressed and get to work. We'll talk later."

"Yes sir," Sebastian smirks, kisses him again. "Later."

x

Despite not ever having lived together before, and barely seeing each other for five years, Kurt and Sebastian get along surprisingly well while sharing an apartment. It probably helps that Kurt spends almost all his waking hours at the office or commuting, but they're also good at giving each other space when needed. They fight, of course, it's unavoidable, with Kurt never moving his shoes from the hall mat and Sebastian never, ever closing the cupboards in the kitchen, and approximately one billion other habits that drive them nuts, and then there's also the tiny detail of their last breakup. But they make it through, they talk a lot, and they find a rhythm that works for them.

The thing that constantly gets them off beat, though, is Sebastian's mother. Kurt feels like the cliché of clichés when he slowly grows into something akin to mortal enemies with his one day, not at all hopefully, mother-in-law, but it's unavoidable. She hates Kurt, that much is clear, and no matter how much Sebastian talks to her, no matter how polite Kurt is, no matter how good his French is, she just refuses to cut him any slack. It drives Kurt mad, but she's still Sebastian's mother, so he tries his best to zen his way through the few interactions they're forced to have.

It works until a Sunday late in November, when they have her over for dinner. Ms. Riendeau is less than impressed by the food, as usual, until Sebastian says they made it together. Kurt takes care of the dishes while Sebastian and his mother have coffee, and he hears them, although mostly her, start talking about plans for Christmas. Kurt has been trying to push the subject out of his mind, because he's aware he's not flying back to Lima, but he hasn't really thought about what it means, not flying back. Not until Sebastian's mom starts talking about his grandparents, and cousins, and traditions, and-Kurt takes a deep breath, tunes them out. He can't start thinking about it now, either, because it won't do breaking out into tears while Sebastian's mother is still here.

Kurt doesn't talk to Sebastian about the conversation. He knows Sebastian knows he heard it, but it's family, and Kurt and Sebastian haven't been together for even six months. Kurt doesn't want to intrude, doesn't want to imply that Sebastian should abandon his family just because Kurt can't go back to his.

He turns the thoughts around in his head until he almost brings himself to tears on the subway home one day. There's a gay couple opposite of him, and one of them looks so much like Blaine that Kurt has to force himself not to stare. He and his boyfriend are really sweet to each other, leaning over to whisper things in each other's ears, and Kurt suddenly realizes that he doesn't know how Blaine is spending his Christmas. He hasn't spoken to his parents in years, but Cooper has, so while he spends his Christmas there, Blaine has spent his with Kurt since they got together. Even their first Christmas, when they'd only been together for two months, Blaine followed Kurt to Lima.

Sebastian isn't home when Kurt gets in, but he needs to talk to someone, so he calls the first person he thinks off.

"Kurt?" comes Blaine's voice in his ear. "Are you okay?"

"Can you spend Christmas with my family?" Kurt blurts out, surprising himself.

"What?" Blaine says, clearly taken aback.

"I'm sorry, I don't-" Kurt sits down on the couch, tugging on his scarf. He hasn't even taken off his coat. "I'm just, Sebastian's spending Christmas with Satan and her family, and I'm here, and I can't go home, and I want him to be here but I can't tell him that, but then I remembered you, and I don't want you to be alone either, because being alone at Christmas sucks, and it's, I don't-"

"Kurt, sweetheart, breathe," Blaine interrupts, trying to soothe him. "In, out, in, out, come on." Kurt does as he says, calms himself down, then clears his throat.

"I'm sorry for calling you like this," he says, wiping his nose.

"It's okay."

"I didn't mean to dump it on you like that, though."

"Kurt, it's okay," Blaine repeats. "Actually..." he sounds embarrassed, now. "Your dad called me just the other day, asking the same thing."

"What?" Kurt says, because he spoke to his dad yesterday, and he didn't mention anything.

"Yeah. He knows about my family, obviously, and since you're not coming home, and he knows we don't hate each other, he...called. And asked."

"What did you say?"

"That I should talk to you, first. I don't want to do it if it makes you uncomfortable. Which, I'm guessing, it doesn't."

"No. Okay. That's that, then." Kurt feels oddly empty. His family is making do just fine without him, obviously, and Blaine, too. And Sebastian has family here. Kurt feels suddenly superfluous in his own life.

"Kurt, maybe you should talk to Sebastian?" Blaine suggests gently.

"Yeah, I'll...do that," Kurt says, but he's pretty sure Blaine knows he won't. "I should probably go. Uhm. Thanks, for, you know."

"Yeah, sure. Take care."

"You, too." Kurt hangs up, then sits still for a few moments, staring out into the air. He starts when the door closes and Sebastian comes in behind him.

"Hey," he says, but then he sees that Kurt is still in his coat. "Are you okay?" He rounds the couch, takes in the phone in Kurt's hand, sits down beside him. "Did something happen? Is your dad-"

"What? No. I mean, he's fine. Nothing happened."

"Okay. So...?"

"So, nothing. It's-nothing."

"Okay," Sebastian says, but he obviously doesn't believe him. "If it's nothing, you want to take off your coat?"

"What? Oh, yeah." Kurt gets up and walks out into the hall to take off his coat and scarf.

"I talked to my mom today," Sebastian says when Kurt is out there. He sounds-weird, Kurt can't really put his finger on it.

"Okay?"

"I told her I'm not coming over for Christmas."

Kurt spins around and stares at him. "What?"

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"She explicitly said you weren't invited, and I don't want to spend Christmas without you, so. I told her I'm not coming."

He says it like it's no big deal at all, like he isn't abandoning the way he's spent the holidays for the last couple of years, just for Kurt.

"Okay," Kurt says on an exhale, not knowing what else to say. "Thank you."

Sebastian walks over to him, takes his hand and tangles their fingers together. "You don't have to thank me, idiot. I love you, and I know you've been worked up over this. I'm not losing you to please my mother. She fucked this up in the first place."

Kurt's mind is reeling. They're spending Christmas together. Sebastian just told him he loves him. And Sebastian's mother did-"What?" he says, dumbfounded. "She-what?"

"She's the one who forced me to change my number. Didn't I tell you?"

Kurt shakes his head. "No."

"Oh." Sebastian squeezes his hand. "I'm sorry."

"It's not like it matters now, anyway," Kurt says. It doesn't, and it feels so good that it doesn't. She fucked it up, sure, but they're here, now, and they're going to make it this time. Kurt is sure of it.

"I guess it doesn't," Sebastian agrees. "Besides, you're the one who knows I've been very, very naughty this year, so it's only appropriate that we spend Christmas together, so you can...punish me," he says, whispering the last bit in Kurt's ear, his warm breath tickling Kurt's skin.

"Oh, my god," Kurt says, rolling his eyes. "And you call me an idiot."

"Takes one to know one," Sebastian says, moving his mouth over Kurt's cheek until he reaches his lips.

"I guess. I love you, too, by the way," Kurt says, and Sebastian gives him a wide smile before he closes the last bit of space between them, and kisses him.


EPILOGUE

Sebastian wakes up when the first rays of sun hit his eyes. It's a little before eight, the alarm will go off in a minute, and Sebastian takes the time to look at his fiancé, still asleep. Kurt is spread out beside him, looking relaxed, and Sebastian hopes he'll see that look on him a lot more during the next two weeks. They've both been working hard to get here, but after today, the stress and pressure will be gone, and they can just enjoy themselves.

The mattress dips at their feet, and Sebastian looks down to see Madonna curling up on herself, burrowing into the covers. It's only September, but it's been a chilly month so far, and Sebastian understands her. He glances up to the window, sees nothing but clear blue sky through the curtains, and smiles. It'll be a great day.

Kurt stirs when the alarm starts to chime softly, and Sebastian reaches over to turn it off before facing him.

"Hey," he says, stroking Kurt's cheek.

"Hey, yourself," Kurt replies, unable to keep a smile off his face even though it's only eight in the morning.

"You ready for the happiest day in your life?" Sebastian asks, and Kurt inhales sharply, surprised. Then his smile grows even wider, and he nods.

"Yes. I am."

Circle me and the needle moves gracefully
Back and forth, if my heart was a compass you'd be North
Risk it all cause I'll catch you if you fall
Wherever you go, if my heart was a house you'd be home