Aug 10, 2016 21:36

Charlotte, Greg, Olivia, and Brian get the bulk of their things unloaded and moved to their rooms in close to thirty minutes, but settling in takes the majority of the day. In between rapid fire conversation, which seems to take precedence over anything, and switch topics like the wind, they break for lunch, a walk on the beach, and an impromptu game of badminton using a half-size set for children that Olivia digs out of one of the utility closets. Kurt knows that he must look absolutely ridiculous chasing a birdie using a racket the size of a fly swatter, but he’s having too much fun to care. He collides with Sebastian more than once, who has been fighting him the whole game for badminton supremacy even though they’re on the same team.

The first time is probably an accident. The next three times, probably not.

The game ends in an all-out puppy pile, with Julian on the bottom.

Teasing comments get tossed around about Sebastian whipping them up one of his fabulous gourmet meals for dinner, but Greg kindly rescues his son by ordering in from a Thai place nearby. After dinner, the contingent of newcomers decides to go for a secondary stroll down the beach, giving Kurt and Sebastian the golden opportunity to sneak into the shower together. But when they shower till the water runs cold and the family has yet to return, Kurt becomes suspicious about what they could be doing.

He sincerely hopes that they haven’t taken it upon themselves to give him and Sebastian privacy, which would imply that they know what the two of them are doing up in the beach house alone…which they are, but he doesn’t feel comfortable about everyone not only knowing about it, but adjusting their schedules accordingly.

“Don’t sweat it, babe. They’re probably busy going over last last last minute wedding business, and you know how that gets,” Sebastian reassures him as they snuggle in bed. They opted to sleep in Sebastian’s room since Kurt’s back had caught a twinge from a combination of the weathered porch floorboards and the persistent ocean chill. Sebastian could be right. It seems like Sebastian’s parents and Olivia are always going over “last minute wedding business”.

After the wedding takes place, what will everyone have to talk about? The honeymoon probably. Then kids. Liv’s life is moving forward, milestone by milestone, and her family is there with her every step of the way.

And Kurt feels slightly envious.

Kurt is in no way ready for marriage and kids. Hell, he doesn’t even know if he’ll be able to attend college yet or not. But he had plans, too - graduate from college with honors, perform in a Broadway musical, marriage by thirty legally. Thoughts of his acceptance, his plans, the money, all of it settles heavy like a sickness in his belly.

“Good,” Kurt says, letting the sickness lie since there’s nothing he can do about it right now but ignore it, “because I like having you, and the house, all to myself again.”

“Yup. There are some perks to privacy,” Sebastian agrees, his hands sliding down Kurt’s chest and stomach to slip underneath the waistband of his pants. Kurt squirms, but he submits to Sebastian’s hands, Sebastian’s gentle touch welcome whenever and wherever.

“Could you imagine if we were going to the same college together?” Kurt sighs as Sebastian feels him, not stroking him, not bothering him, just exploring his skin. “People would hate us and our three hour long showers.”

“You know, if it gets too close for comfort here, we could escape for a little while. Go to a hotel or something.”

Kurt wonders if that offer is as much for Sebastian as it is for Kurt, but it warms Kurt’s heart nonetheless. Sebastian might be running away again, distancing himself from his family for a while to take a breather, but he’s planning on taking Kurt with him.

“I appreciate the offer,” Kurt says, “and that’s definitely something to consider, but, to be honest, I kind of like this. I like being in a house full of people. Hearing the sound of someone walking down the hall to the kitchen, or closing the door to their bedroom, knowing that someone’s around if I need them, it’s kind of comforting.” Kurt lays his head back on Sebastian’s shoulder, unintentionally emphasizing that connection. “That must sound weird to you.”

“No, it doesn’t.” Sebastian drums his fingers against Kurt’s thighs, gentle palpitations mimicking the spray from the waves sprinkling the windows. He may even be playing musical notes, using Kurt’s legs as a surrogate piano while he thinks. If Kurt could only concentrate, he might be able to decipher the tune… “I can understand what you’re saying. I guess I’m just so used to it, I take it for granted.”

Kurt feels his chest tighten at the words he’s about to say, at the things he’s about to admit, but learning about one another means knowing the good and the bad.

The joy and the pain.

And maybe, if Kurt shares some of his pain with Sebastian, Sebastian might be willing to share the pain he’s carrying with Kurt.

“You know, after my mom died, it was just me and my dad for a long time,” Kurt confesses. A small lump of memories wastes no time forming in his throat. God, even that small admission seems to want to do him in. “He had a heart attack not too long ago. I don’t know if…if Blaine ever told you…” Not that Kurt knows why the subject of his dad would have come up during any of their conversations, but it seemed that, for a while, Blaine was telling Sebastian everything. Minor details of Kurt’s dad’s ordeal were highly exaggerated for the public eye when his father started running for Congress. Sue Sylvester accused him of having a baboon heart, but most of the mud-slinging came from that asshole Reggie “The Sauce” Salazar, whose slanderous campaign ads played a part in outing Santana Lopez to all of Lima. “He passed out at work, and he had to stay in the hospital for a while. He was…he was unconscious and I…I was home for the first time without him.” Kurt wipes his eyes against the pillowcase. Sebastian moves his hands to Kurt’s stomach and holds him close. “Without him at home, I couldn’t sleep. You know all those things that kind of annoy you about other people you live with? The things you work your way around because there’s really no way to stop them?”

“Yeah,” Sebastian says, his throat tight.

“Well, my dad, he” - Kurt giggles - “he snores. Like a chainsaw.”

“So that’s where you get it from?”

“Ha ha,” he says dryly, pinching Sebastian on the back of the arm. Kurt knows that Sebastian is trying to lighten the mood, but it’s a hard mood to lighten. The doctors and the cardiologists constantly assure Kurt, Carole, and Finn that Burt is fine, that he came through his health scare with flying colors. He eats better, he watches his weight, he takes his medication, he goes for walks. He’s learned techniques to handle the stress that comes with being a Congressman. In most respects, he’s in exceptional health for a middle-aged man who’s suffered a heart attack. But there’s always that chance that things will go south again, and every day, Kurt faces that fear.
“Anyway, while he was gone, I didn’t hear his snoring through the walls. I didn’t hear anything at night. I’d put on music and that would help, but it didn’t hide the fact that I knew he wasn’t there, and it…it made me feel so alone.”

“I’m sorry,” Sebastian whispers. “I didn’t…I didn’t know any of that.”

“It’s alright,” Kurt sniffles.

“No,” Sebastian insists. “No, it’s not. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I mean, I know I’m not the greatest son that ever lived, but if anything like that happened to one of my parents…” Sebastian swallows and Kurt feels it, strong enough to dislodge the lump in his own throat. “I don’t think I’d know how to handle it, and I have Liv and Julian for support. I’m sure I wouldn’t have done it with the backbone you did.”

“Thank you. I lucked out. I had my friends from Glee to lean on, and Finn and Carole had recently joined our family at that point so they were there for me, too. It just…there were things I had to do, responsibilities I had to take on with the doctors, and the insurance company, and at my dad’s shop. Things I would have never dreamed of having to handle as a teenager, even if it was just finding other people to handle them for me. It was kind of a turning point for me in that it made me realize who I was as a man by myself, without my father standing beside me.”

“And how did that feel?” Sebastian asks, fortifying Kurt with kisses to the back of his head and neck, giving him the strength to continue on with his story.

“I hated it.” Kurt hiccups in an attempt to not cry. “I mean, I could do it if I had to, but…I’m not ready to lose him. Not yet.” Not ever.

Sebastian cradles Kurt in his arms, and Kurt is glad to have him, glad that Sebastian was there to listen to him get that off his chest. It’s been a while since he’s talked about it, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been there, lodged in his mind, hanging out in the background as Kurt made his plans to leave. In a way, and he hated to admit it, he tried to overlook it. It’s difficult enough worrying about his father’s health when he’s right there with him, dealing with the twice-shy feeling that any second he’ll get called out of class again and told that his father has had another heart attack, but that this one’s worse. This one he won’t recover from. But living hours away, not coming home every night to see for himself that everything’s okay? Not being within driving distance of the hospital if everything’s not? Of all the things that Kurt has had to come to grips with, that’s the one that’s been the hardest.

But his father has already told Kurt that he can’t let his health be the reason why Kurt doesn’t follow his dream.

This is Kurt’s time, and no matter what, he has to take it - no fears, no doubts, nothing holding him back.

If only…

“Hey, why don’t we stop with the heavy for tonight and prepare ourselves for tomorrow?” Sebastian suggests, tucking the blankets around himself and Kurt until one of them can barely move without the other. “There are other things to fear now that the parentals and my siblings are here.”

“Really?” Kurt cozies into Sebastian’s arms, feeling nothing but his warmth and the lure of sleep dragging him under. “Like what?”

Sebastian’s smirk branding the back of Kurt’s neck is as much sympathy as it is fond teasing…with just a hint of foreshadowing. “A whole day with Olivia.”

Kurt wakes up early, before Sebastian, which he feels will become the norm. He doesn’t begrudge Sebastian sleeping in. Kurt cherishes this alone time - a sliver of privacy before he clocks in with the rest of the world. Blaine, when he and Kurt spent the night together, always got up before him to make him breakfast in bed. Waking up in the morning to a handsome boy serving him breakfast was the caliber of romance that Kurt had always dreamed of finding. It had started out sweet, but Kurt began to miss those times when he could be alone with his thoughts, when he could find his center and psyche himself out for the day ahead. It was difficult to carve out time for himself otherwise. Between school and Glee, competition rehearsals, the school musical, and Mr. Schuester’s insulting insistence that he attend “Booty Camp”, Kurt’s dance card on most days was full up.

His after school schedule wasn’t any less cluttered. His afternoons were kind of a repeat of school in that everyone he hung out with at school, he hung out with after. By the time evening rolled around, he didn’t have the energy for much more than his skin sloughing routine and the occasional chat with Finn over a mug of warm milk. He hopes these crack-of-dawn yoga sessions are something he can continue from here on out. Whether he’s in New York, finding every loophole around the credit limits at NYADA, or at home in Lima, braving the community college circuit, he feels that starting early and attacking the day head-on is a good habit to keep.

As he heads down to the beach with a towel and a bottle of water, dressed in Sebastian’s white t-shirt and grey sweatpants (also holding hard to the habit of wearing Sebastian’s clothes because why the hell not?) a random thought pops in his head. Instead of hanging out in Lima for the year, depressing the crap out of himself wearing a Lima Bean apron and mourning his wasted acceptance to one of the most prestigious performing arts academies in the country, why not move to wherever it is that Sebastian’s going and attend community college there?

As soon as Kurt gives that idea a thorough thinking through, it sounds pathetic and needy, but still - why not? His life should be an adventure. And they love one another, right? Sebastian seems to want this relationship for the long term, so he shouldn’t object to Kurt relocating to the same city and laying temporary roots - get a part time job and his G.E. requirements out of the way, with the added bonus of the two of them spending more time together and seeing where this relationship goes. Then when he registers for NYADA again, provided he gets in, he can apply for federal aid as an independent student, entirely unsupported by a parent (minus the checks that he knows his father will slip him from time to time, but no one needs to know about those). That way, he stands to get all the money he needs to cover his tuition and housing. And if he doesn’t get in to NYADA again, there are other schools. NYU for one. Some of acting’s biggest names have matriculated at NYU, people he admires - Anne Hathaway, Idina Menzel, Gina Gershon, even Chelsea Clinton. Heck, Liv went to NYU. She’d probably be tickled eleven shades of pink if he told her that he was seriously considering attending her alma mater. Maybe she could write him a letter of recommendation. It’d be too late to apply now, but next year. Next year for sure.

NYU might even have a mid-year acceptance program. A lot of colleges do. He can ask Liv the next time he sees her, put this plan into motion.
Kurt walks on to the sand with a skip in his step. He feels lighter, relieved, like he’s once again moving forward instead of stuck in one place, sulking the loss of the future he had so meticulously orchestrated. This seems like a good plan, a feasible plan, an exciting plan if he does say so himself.

But, and this is a huge but, it hinges partially on whether or not Sebastian would mind Kurt moving to the same city he’s going to.

All of a sudden, Kurt’s back to pathetic and needy.

How would he even bring this plan up? He’d have to tell Sebastian the truth about everything, which he’s been planning on doing, but also avoiding. He doesn’t want to lie about it, and besides, after the way he constantly hyped NYADA every day of his life since he first auditioned, Sebastian would never buy that Kurt simply decided not to go just because. And definitely not for him.

But there are worst things than having to explain why he needed the money in the first place…like Sebastian taking pity on him. Or Sebastian coming up with some way - an ultimatum - that would force Kurt to accept the money regardless. If Kurt refused to take it from Sebastian directly, he’d recruit another member of the Smythe family to do it for him. He’d have Charlotte sit him down and talk to him. He’d give Julian permission to hound him. He’d lay out every intricate detail for Olivia until she agreed to threaten him.

Kurt stumbles in the sand when he realizes that no, Sebastian wouldn’t bother playing games and risking that Kurt would be able to deflect those three assaults. With no time left to dilly-dally before September, knowing Sebastian, he’d probably do the lowest thing of all.

He’d rat Kurt out to his father, and he wouldn’t do it alone.

He’d institute his dad.

It is flattering to think that Sebastian might love Kurt enough to blackmail him into attending the college of his dreams, but that’s ultimately trounced by an ice-cold fist socking him in the brain just picturing it. Greg Smythe, Burt Hummel’s biggest fan, schooling his father over the maintenance of the Hudmel family finances, would be the height of humiliation, especially since the impetus behind that discussion would be Kurt - Kurt and how he immaturely derailed his own future by, admittedly, picking a less than sensible choice in solving his financial woes.
Kurt tries to fix this, see the silver lining so that he can recapture that lighthearted feeling he had a second ago. On the one hand, it might be good to have Greg teach his father how to properly manage a Congressman’s salary. (Kurt thought that things would be so much easier now that his father was making civil servant money. Who knew that you could close to triple your yearly salary while living a blue-collar life and still struggle to make ends meet?) Greg could teach his father the best way to diversify his portfolio, the difference between a stock and a bond, what an IRA and a 401K are all about (because Kurt sure as hell didn’t know), the most effective methods of padding his retirement fund (Burt Hummel won’t be a Congressman forever, and he’s always talked about spending his twilight years driving an RV across America…).

Yes, Kurt thinks, cheering on this new development, in full support of Sebastian tattling on him to their dads. Positives! Think of the positives! This will work!

But then, alternately, something Kurt had never in a million years considered casts a dark cloud over his celebrating. What if the Smythes know someone who can pull some strings at NYADA? Some member of the board, or chairperson of the arts council? What if Sebastian’s parents bypass Kurt’s dad altogether and go straight to that plan instead? Kurt can’t see them doing it if he outright asks them not to, but what if they do it as a surprise? Kurt will become that guy - the guy who got his tuition covered as a favor to a rich philanthropist. That’s worse than a pity loan. Oh, the Smythes will be discreet, and ask the administration to keep it a secret, but knowing how notoriously hyperactive rumor mills tend to be in performing arts circles, everyone would know about it before the end of freshman orientation. Kurt would never live it down. He’d also never get a part in a play, a solo, or an audition for as long as he was a student. It could potentially follow him after graduation, and his Broadway career would be over before it started.

Kurt would rather bury himself up to his neck in the sand and wait for the tide roll in.

Kurt finds an acceptable spot on the beach and decides to set up. He breathes in a calming lungful of salty ocean air as he buries his water bottle halfway in the sand and lays down his beach towel. He’ll clear his mind, greet the day, and hopefully he can find the answers he’s looking for lodged in the middle of his sun salutations.

He gets into mountain position. He breathes in again, focusing on the air as it enters his body through his nostrils, curling up to his head, filling his lungs, and swirling out to his body - blood and cells and skin swelling with it, trapping all of those impurities, emotional and physical, that are clogging his chakras. He breathes out long until he feels the tension in his muscles release into the universe, carried away on the wind and over the tide, back to where it belongs. He’s ready to begin when he hears a cheerful, “Woo-hoo!” summon him from the fuzzy outskirts of meditation. He opens his eyes and smiles as Olivia, dressed in an aqua sports bra and yoga capris that compliment her peachy skin tone, her dark curls pulled back into a ponytail, and carrying a lavender-colored yoga mat rolled-up beneath her arm, makes her way down the beach towards him.

“Hey, Liv,” he calls back with a wave.

“I saw you down here from the house about to get started,” she says. “Is it okay if I join you? I’m not interrupting or anything, am I?”
“Not at all. Of course you can join me.” You’re just the person I wanted to see, as a matter of fact. Kurt stands straighter, presses his palms together, and bows politely. “Namaste.”

Olivia bows back. “Namaste to you, too.” She starts rolling out her mat on a flat spot parallel to Kurt’s towel. “I’m surprised you’re down here alone. You and my brother seem to be attached at the hip. Haven’t you been able to persuade him to come down here and stretch out with you?” she asks with subtle innuendo.

“I didn’t think that Julian was into yoga,” Kurt quips back. Liv laughs.

“You know who I mean.” She twists back and forth at the waist to warm up her back muscles, her gaze resting on Kurt’s face with an underscore of intensity.

“Nah,” Kurt replies, ignoring the way that gaze raises his hackles the teeniest bit. He extends his arms over his head to lengthen his spine. “I mean, I’ve considered it, but I don’t think he’d be up for it.”

“Ha! He’d be up for it if you asked him,” Liv argues. Kurt gets the feeling, though he doesn’t know why, that she’s roundabout trying to prove a point.

“Sebastian?” Kurt shakes his head in amusement, picturing Sebastian on a towel between them, complaining loudly as he contorts his body into cobra position, or making lewd jokes as he bends into downward dog. Maybe Kurt could throw something more challenging his way for laughs, positions that it’s taken Kurt over a year to master, like firefly pose, or eight-angle pose. If Sebastian does yoga the way he dances…
But then Kurt pictures Sebastian dancing, and not in the way they have been back at Penny and Eduardo’s studio, but up on stage, thrusting his hips while belting out one of the many ill-chosen bawdy numbers The Warblers had taken to performing post-Blaine, the ones Blaine admonished them about for not being classy. As Kurt’s internal body temperature begins to soar, he curses himself for not throwing on a pair of underwear underneath Sebastian’s sweats.

That’s Sebastian’s fault, really, for mentioning the fact that he liked Kurt wearing his clothes sans underwear.

Would Liv object if he ran down the beach for a dip in the icy water before they got started?

“Well, do you see any other boy staring down here like a lovesick puppy?” Liv asks, poking Kurt in his exposed flank. “In fact, I’d better switch sides so I don’t obscure his view.”

Liv picks up her mat and moves it to Kurt’s other side while Kurt stares up at the porch where Sebastian sits, swinging back and forth on his swing, drinking a mug of morning coffee, eyes fixed (as far as Kurt can tell) not on him but on the water.

“No,” Kurt objects, “he’s staring out at the ocean. He’s probably not even completely awake yet.”

“Oh, please,” Liv scoffs, blowing a raspberry through pursed lips, “in all the years since Sebastian and Julian switched rooms, I’ve never so much as seen him step foot out on that porch. Now he’s sitting in that swing as if he does it every day, and you really think he’s looking at the ocean?”

The urge to ask her about that is so overwhelming, it makes Kurt want to scream, but as he doesn’t see a way to slip it into their amiable conversation, he lets it go. He screws up his face and considers what she said. Kurt sees Sebastian take a sip from his mug, but his head doesn’t turn; his eyes don’t seem to move. His gaze is flat and straight, glued to the horizon. Without any warning, Kurt performs a full Roman split, bouncing up and down on the sand for good measure. They hear a crash and Sebastian curse as he jumps up to brush searing hot coffee off his lap.

“Oh my God! Jesus Christ, Kurt!” Olivia laughs, doubling over. “You sure got him!”

“Yeah,” Kurt giggles as Sebastian stares down definitely at him, then disappears into his room. “I guess I did.”

“Yeah,” Liv says thoughtfully, her laughter attenuating. “It kind of makes me wonder…”

“Hmm?” Kurt asks, standing back up and tugging up the waist to his sweats. “Wonder what?”

“Well…it makes me wonder how come, with you guys dating as long as you have and probably going at it like rabbits…”

“Liv!” Kurt gasps, scandalized.

“Pfft! I was a teenager once. I know how it is,” she says, waving a hand to dismiss Kurt’s silly interjection. “But like I was saying…I wonder, with the way he reacted, it’s almost like my brother didn’t know you could do that. Like, maybe, he hasn’t seen you do it before.”

Kurt drops his arms to his sides. Her intense gaze returns, no longer an underscore, but a fully bolded statement, and his body heat seeps into the sand. Kurt’s lips move, wiggling around words that would be lie after lie if he spoke them, and he doesn’t want to lie to the Smythes anymore.

Not about how he feels about Sebastian.

Liv waits with her hands on her hips, expecting an answer. She stares him down with a no-nonsense glimmer in her eyes, and all at once Kurt begins to understand what Julian and Sebastian meant when they said that Olivia is scary. Kurt had always been sure that he would like Olivia even more when he finally saw her claws come out.

He didn’t know that the first time he saw her in action, it would be against him.

“You…you know?” Kurt asks, swallowing hard, seeing his short life flash before his eyes. “Did…Julian tell you about...?”

“He told me enough,” she says.

“But…why?” Kurt asks, feeling betrayed by this loss of confidence. “He promised…”

“I overheard him say something about it over the phone to Cooper. In Julian’s defense, it took quite a bit of convincing to get him to say anything, but I think that, in the end, he thought the fewer people you two have to lie to, the better,” Olivia explains. “But in the end, you shouldn’t have to lie. If you have nothing to be ashamed of, then why not let everybody know?” Olivia closes in on him with a cocked eyebrow. “Do you have anything to be ashamed of?”

“No!” Kurt answers quickly. “No! Definitely not!” The words tumble over themselves, jumbling together on their way out of his mouth. Liv cocks her eyebrow higher, and he finds himself fearing for his safety. “Are you going to…hurt me? I mean, your brothers say you’re terrifying. I haven’t seen that side of you yet, and I was kind of hoping that when I did, the reason would be…you know…less me oriented.”

“Well, I am. Terrifying, I mean,” she resolves when Kurt mewls. “For example, one of Julian’s testicles may be significantly smaller than the other right now, but you…” - She puts an arm around Kurt’s shoulders and pulls him in close, ruffling his hair - “you I like.” She pecks a kiss on his cheek, chuckling when his smile shakes. “I always had a good feeling about you.”

He wants to object to the manhandling of his coiffure, especially since it took him so long to tame his unruly bed hair, but it’s the not the place for the mouse to argue with the owl when she’s decided to keep him as a friend and not make him her dinner. But very quickly, and without any prompting from Liv, fear makes way for shame, and Kurt drops his gaze humbly to the sand.

“Thank you,” he says. “I appreciate you having a good opinion of me, even now that you know what we did.” Kurt had tried not to think about it too much. He hadn’t wanted to feel guilty about lying to the Smythes before, but then everything changed. He had been genuinely frightened over how Olivia might react if she ever found out, and not because he was worried about her unleashing on him, but because he considered Olivia a friend. He considered them all friends, some of the best friends he’s ever had. Losing Sebastian would be devastating, but losing the Smythe family altogether would be quadruplely so.

Olivia sighs, releasing Kurt so she can talk to him face to face.

“In all seriousness though,” she says, taking his hand, “Julian told me about what my brother did to you when he met you, the horrible stuff he pulled on you and your friends…” Kurt’s eyes widen in surprise. From what Kurt knew, Julian had gotten his information regarding Kurt and Sebastian’s arrangement from Cooper. He didn’t realize that the two brothers had had some kind of heart-to-heart about this whole situation. But he would have never imagined that Sebastian would spill about their pre-dating history together. Even if it wasn’t the entire beast, the skeleton of it was apparently bad enough for Olivia to extend this apology on Sebastian’s behalf after hearing second-hand information. “And I want to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I’m sorry. I can guess why he did it…” Kurt opens his mouth, leaping to ask, feeling this is his opportunity, but she’s too quick at closing the gap. “I don’t mean his motive, I mean…his emotional state. But my mother wasn’t lying when she said that you’re the best thing that’s happened to this family. I don’t know why he chose you for this in particular, and I don’t know why you agreed to it, but you’re a saint, Kurt.” Her eyes dart away, back to the porch where Sebastian was sitting a moment ago, to the house, to the ocean. He’s about to object to her calling him that, about to make a joke so that he doesn’t come out as some sort of hero in all of this considering that he did this for money, but she raises a hand to her cheek and Kurt sees her brush away a tear. “In a lot of ways, you’ve brought the old Sebastian back,” she says in a wobbly voice. “A Sebastian that I was afraid I wouldn’t see again for a long, long time.” She chuckles. It sounds bittersweet. “So even though he’s been a total douche to you, I’m so glad you guys ended up together.”

Liv tugs on Kurt’s hand and takes a step closer. Kurt meets her halfway and puts his arms around her. He feels her body shudder, then a tear drop roll down his cheek.

“Thank you,” she says, her voice wobblier, but happier. Kurt smiles. Laughter through tears; it happens to be a favorite emotion of Kurt’s.

“My pleasure,” he says, because above everything else he can think of to say, those two words are more truth than any of them.

“Hey, you two. Are you just going to stand there and hug, or are we gonna see some yoga this morning?”

Olivia lets go of Kurt and wipes her eyes dry. She smiles at her brother jogging towards them re-dressed in dry blue jeans, a military green t-shirt with Ulan Bator on the front, and an uncharacteristically wide grin on his face.

“Sebastian,” she says. “So you’ve decided to descend from on high to join us? And you’ve changed your pants, I see.”

“Very funny, Liv,” Sebastian says. “So, are you two done with your fancy stretching or…?”

Kurt loves the way Sebastian and Liv fall in step with one another. The joking is kinder between the two of them, and in many ways, their age difference more evident than it is between Sebastian and Julian, who always seem to be competing for the exact same things, regardless of whether Julian is too old, or Sebastian too young. But levity aside, Kurt needs to tell him, and the sooner the better. He doesn’t know how to lead into it, so he blurts it out. “She knows, Bas.”

Sebastian’s smile, still bright, looks forced for a moment. “Knows?” he stalls nervously. “Knows…what?”

“Knows about us,” Kurt says. “About…us not being us until recently.”

Sebastian takes one look at his sister, her cunning eyes dancing with mirth, and his face blanches. “Is that why Julian’s walking kind of funny this morning?” he asks, ducking behind the shield of his boyfriend’s body.

“It’s only the one testicle,” Liv says, returning to her mat. “If he still wants to breed, he can.”

“Well, that’s reassuring,” Sebastian says around a gulp. “Is there any way to ensure that that doesn’t happen to me? I mean us?” Sebastian backpedals when Kurt glares at him, appalled at his lack of chivalry.

She gives it some thought as she shakes out her mat, then says: “Answer me one question?” She looks seriously at both boys. “Do you love him?”

“Yes,” Kurt says, taking Sebastian’s hand, which is there beside his the second he thinks to reach for it. “I do.”

“Thanks for the reassurance, Kurt, but I wasn’t asking you. I was asking you, Sebastian.” Her eyes shift to her brother’s face with a purpose. “Because this young man here deserves the world considering what he’s had to put up with from you, and I expect you to give it to him.”
“I know. I agree. And yes” - Sebastian’s arm winds its way around Kurt’s middle with a hand splayed possessively on his belly. It’s not for show, not for Liv’s benefit. It’s a reflex, what needs to happen every time Sebastian comes within touching distance of him. “I do love him. Very much.”

Olivia looks them over one last time, satisfied by that answer enough to go back to warming up. But that’s not the end of it. Kurt knows it’s not. Julian knows. Olivia knows. And if Olivia knows, that might mean that Brian knows. So that leaves two people at the beach house out of the loop, who may have to come in to the loop very soon.

“Do your parents know?” Kurt asks meekly, terrified that he’ll hear an affirmative answer. He hasn’t run into either Greg or Charlotte yet this morning, so Olivia’s reply will set the tone for his day - whether he’s free to go about business as usual and plan on how he’ll face the music later, or if he should start finding himself a cave along the beach to hide in.

“My dad doesn’t know…yet” - She starts getting in to mountain pose, closing her eyes against the rising sun - “and it might be best if we keep him in the dark for a little while longer.” As she raises her arms, one eyelid sneaks open. “But if I were you, I’d watch out for my mom.”

kurt hummel, acitw au, acitw, frankie writes, sebastian smythe, kurtbastian

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