Jul 04, 2020 21:21


So, here's the second half of that chapter that I promised! In Cacophony's author's notes, she mentioned liking the book 'Good Omens'. And since it's one of my favorites, I put a nod to it in here. If you can find it, you'll win my respect :D

Chapter Text

Kurt trails behind Blaine up the long staircase that leads to the second story of his house - and his bedroom - at a safe distance, traveling a path he knows so well he could walk it with his eyes closed. Kurt used to race up these stairs, full of excitement, knowing Blaine was at the top waiting for him with hugs and kisses. Blaine’s touch always made Kurt feel at home here even when the rest of the Andersons were stand-offish and seemed irritated by his presence.

Kurt keeps his eyes trained one step ahead as he makes his way up the staircase. He can’t look at Blaine. He doesn’t feel like he knows him anymore, which is the strangest feeling of all.

Kurt had refused to go up the staircase first. He didn’t want Blaine looking at him.

He didn’t want Blaine admiring him, as conceited as that sounds.

Blaine doesn’t have permission. Kurt doesn’t belong with him anymore.

They get to the top step and turn right. Halfway down the hall is Blaine’s room. They reach it in twenty paces and Blaine opens the door.

“Come on in,” he says without turning around. He crosses the room, switches on a desk lamp. Soft, white light hits Blaine’s face and he looks tired. Worn down and tired, his curls a disheveled mess atop his head, like he’s been running his fingers through them incessantly, maybe even tugging at a few. He drops down on the edge of his bed, still freshly made from the morning he left. Kurt helped him make that bed, right before Blaine’s parents drove him to the airport and out of Kurt’s life for the summer.

Kurt wishes Blaine had had the dignity to stay in San Francisco till August. What the fuck did he think he was going to accomplish by coming home? Isn’t he risking his spot at his music camp by leaving? Did he request time off?

Or is there something else tangled up in this?

Is there a chance they kicked him out?

Kurt can dislike Blaine all he wants over his cheating, but he’s a talented musician. Too talented for any music program to kick him to the curb.

No. Blaine came home to see Kurt.


“Do you want to sit down?” Blaine asks, having the nerve to pat the space right beside him.

Kurt doesn’t answer. He stands off to the side between Blaine and the door, arms crossed over his chest, not even removing his coat.

Sebastian’s coat, actually.

He’s making his intentions clear. He’s not about to stay for any longer than necessary.

He’s going to get his answers from Blaine, and then he’s going to go.

“Explain yourself,” Kurt says, snappier than he was going for, but his body is done keeping calm about this.

“Wh-what … what do you mean?” Blaine looks up at him, hazel eyes pleading, hands folded in his lap, back bowed as if this is all too much for him to bear.

“You know exactly what I mean!” Kurt originally thought he was going to be more patient than this, but the patience he had built up is wearing thin. He’d even worried that driving Blaine home, then following him up to his room, would soften his heart to him, bring old memories rushing back, make what Blaine did seem forgivable - a lesser offense. No, he wouldn’t kiss him or sleep with him, and not just because Blaine cheated - BLAINE CHEATED! But because Kurt has something in his life so much more wonderful now that he holds dear, and there’s no way in heaven or on earth that he would jeopardize it for the fairytale Disney prince that was Blaine Devon Anderson.

“I … I don’t want to hurt you,” Blaine says.

“Too late, because you’ve already done that!”

Blaine nods, eyes drifting to his folded hands. “If I … if I explain, if I tell you everything, would you consider taking me back?”

Kurt’s throat goes dry, a simmering rage rising in the form of red splotches on his cheeks. “You do realize I have a boyfriend now, right? I mean, I’m sure Cooper told you. He can’t seem to keep his mouth shut about things like that.”

Blaine’s eyes close, his brow pinching. Kurt should feel Blaine’s pain tug at him, every wrinkle furrowing his brow should pluck at his heartstrings and make his chest ache. He remembers a time when nothing hurt quite like watching Blaine cry. Not even his own world falling to pieces. But there is no tug. There is no ache. “You can’t … you can’t be serious. I thought you were just dating Sebastian to hurt me!”

“It’s not all about you, Blaine!” Kurt snaps. “I’m dating Sebastian because I like Sebastian. In fact, I love Sebastian and he loves me! So no, I have no intention of breaking up with him to go back to you, a boy who broke up with me for the summer and then slept with someone else after just NINE DAYS! And when you did, when I felt like my life was over, when I felt like I was going to die, do you know who was there for me!? Sebastian! So you’re going to sit there and explain to me what you did and why you did it because it’s the decent thing to do! No other reason!”

Blaine’s eyes open again, moisture clinging to his lashes, but he doesn’t say a word. Why did Kurt think this would work? That he might get some answers? And that it might be easy? This innocent schoolboy act of Blaine’s that Sebastian had said he found so hot really rubs the nerves raw after a while, Kurt has discovered. How did he not see it before?

Because he was in love. That’s the answer. So very much in love with Blaine that the feeling overwhelmed him. It felt like a dream come true when the two of them met on that staircase at Dalton, like the answer to prayers he’d never admit to praying.

“You know …” Kurt decides to start since Blaine is leaving him no other choice. He focuses in on something that happened at the beginning of all this that has bothered him since day one “… I always wondered, the day you left, when you drove away, you had this look in your eyes. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but it’s haunted me.” Kurt watches Blaine’s reaction to those words as they land, sink in. His back bows further, his head sinks deeper - a confirmation that the theories Kurt had been entertaining all summer were true. His eyes narrow with repressed anger. “You knew, didn’t you? Before you left, you knew you were going to hook-up with someone? This wasn’t a ‘let’s do a trial separation and see what happens’. You had a plan!”

“I didn’t!” Blaine says, meeting Kurt’s eyes. “There … there was a guy, I’ll admit it, but I didn’t break up with you to be with him! I swear!”

“But you were going there to meet someone, weren’t you? Someone you’d already met?”

“Kind of?” Blaine sighs. “Yes. I … I met him on the camp’s Facebook page. He was … cute. And flirty. I was interested in him. But that’s it. I wasn’t planning anything.”

“That’s it? That’s all you have to say?” Kurt feels an uncomfortable heat building beneath his collar. “What we had was love, Blaine! Love! It’s supposed to mean everything! It’s not the kind of thing you dump because some other guy is cute and flirty and pick up again when it’s convenient! That’s not how it works!”

“I know!” Blaine says louder than he expected because he clears his voice and repeats in a softer one, “I know.”

“We talked about spending the rest of our lives together, and you threw that away for some guy on Facebook you thought looked ‘interesting’! And it only took you NINE DAYS!”

“I’m sorry, Kurt! I am so so sorry! I really am!”

“At the very least you could have told me the truth from the beginning instead of leading me to believe we were going to get back together when the summer was done!”

“But I wanted to get back together with you!” Blaine implores. “I didn’t want this break up to be permanent! That life we talked about, living together in New York and all our plans - I wanted that to happen! I still want it! More than anything!”

Kurt shakes his head, trying to rectify the idea that Blaine thought he would ever be okay with getting back together if he slept with someone else, especially under the circumstances in which they left, even if they had broken up. How did he honestly think Kurt would ever …?

Kurt stumbles back a step when it hits him. The answer is so simple, Kurt is surprised he didn’t figure it out sooner.

God! Why did he have to be so damned naïve all the good Goddammed time? He thought he was such a smart guy, so savvy.

But when it comes to Blaine, he’s a complete idiot.

“You had no intention of telling me about your little friend, did you?”

“Wh-what?” Blaine pretends not to understand, stalling to buy more time, but Kurt gets it. He doesn’t need Blaine to tell him to know it’s true.

“You were going to come back here, pretend everything was fine, pick up where you left off, and never tell me a thing, weren’t you!?”

“No, Kurt! I …”

“Were you going to get an STD test at least before you fucked me again?”

“Well … wh-what about you?” Blaine deflects, losing his patience.

“What about me? I didn’t cheat on you!”

“Oh really?” Blaine wipes tears from beneath red-rimmed eyes with his fingertips. “I saw the pictures on Facebook, Kurt! From what I hear, you were dating Sebastian pretty much from the moment I left!”

So it appears Cooper did tell him some things (even though he’d promised Julian he wouldn’t) but he didn’t tell him everything? Was he preparing Blaine for what he might see? Then why not tell him everything? What did it matter what he promised Julian, if Blaine was threatening to hitchhike across the country? Did he still want Kurt to have the chance to tell him?

Or did he explain, and Blaine chose not to listen?

Whichever one it was, that’s Cooper Anderson for ya - helping from the bottom of his heart in the worst way possible.

“For your information, we were fake dating!” Kurt explains.

“Fake dating!?” Blaine repeats with an incredulous laugh. “What the heck does that mean?”

“It means that he was paying me to pretend to be his boyfriend! To get his parents off his back about … stuff!” Kurt refuses to go into any more detail than that. Blaine is the last person who deserves to know. But a spark ignites in Blaine’s eyes at Kurt’s admission, as if he’s found an opening. As if he still has a chance. Kurt rushes to stomp that spark out before it turns into a full-fledged fire. “But that changed. It became real! And I’m happy now. Happy with him!”

“I know I was with someone! I know! I know I hurt you and I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for it to happen but it did! I had every intention of coming back to you, Kurt! Of moving to New York with you, of living happily ever after with you! But I didn’t ruin that, Kurt! You did! You did because what you did was way worse!”

Kurt stares at Blaine like he’s gone insane. “What!? What did I do that was way worse?”

“You fell in love! And with Sebastian Smythe!? You hate him, and if memory serves, he hates you, too!”

Kurt jerks back, the words Blaine hurled at him like hands against his chest shoving him. They carry with them so much past pain, so much humiliation, so many insults and schemes and conspiring, all against him. But they don’t make him back down because if Sebastian has proved anything to Kurt it’s that people can change.

Sebastian has changed.

Sadly, so has Blaine.

“This was your bright idea! You were the one who said that if we could survive the summer broken up and still wanted to be together, we’d get back together. If not, if we decided we’re better off apart, then we’d go our separate ways. Did that only apply to you and not me? You made up all these rules that only applied to you when there were two of us in that relationship! You wanted to be broken up, so we broke up! You wanted to sleep with someone, so you slept with him! Now you want to get back together, and I’m supposed to dump a boy I care very much about to go back to you, just because it’s what you want!?”

Kurt wants to go on and ask him, ‘Did you think of me at all when he kissed you? When you were fucking him or he was fucking you, did you almost say my name? Was my smell still on your clothes, or did you make sure to wash them twice before you packed them so it was gone completely?’ But none of that matters anymore.

Kurt is sorry it ever did.

“I knew this was going to happen,” Blaine mutters, shaking his head. “I knew that if he found out I was gone …”

Kurt catches that, and more cogs of this story start fitting into place and turning.

“What does that mean?” Kurt asks. “Did he … did Sebastian say something? Is that why you stopped talking to him on Facebook? Is that why you didn’t tell him that you were leaving for the summer? Because you thought he’d run to Lima and hit on me? And you didn’t trust me to say no?” Kurt’s hands fly to his face, covering his mouth, appalled at the words preparing to race off his tongue before he has a chance to say them. “Oh, but you can go off to San Francisco to meet up with some guy, even break up with me to do it, but I don’t get a chance at spending the summer with someone who maybe likes me!?”

Blaine doesn’t confirm nor deny, just stares off into space as if every word out of Kurt’s mouth is cruel and unfair, tearing him apart for no reason that he deserves.

And Kurt has had enough of this. He’s had enough of the self-pity. Enough of the emotional manipulation. Enough of the distrust.

He’s just plain had enough.

“Look, Blaine …” Kurt puts his hands over his face, breathes into his palms until his calm returns, then drops them to his sides “… we loved each other so much. But we’re so young, so immature, made so many bad choices …” He says that word we, we, we over and over even though he doesn’t entirely mean it. But deep down, there’s a part of Kurt that’s culpable. He let Blaine make that decision instead of taking ownership of his own feelings. He let Blaine command the conversation when he had so much more to say. Blaine controlled how they communicated, even with their mutual friends, but Kurt went along with it. The best he can do now is try to leave the hurt feelings in the past and let it go - not necessarily for Blaine. Not to make Blaine feel better. But so that Kurt can walk away with his head held high, into a future that he deserves … with someone he loves. “Let’s just … remember that and part as friends. Like you said. No mess. Just good friends.” Blaine drops his head and looks off to the side, turning his back on the conversation. It’s a signal to Kurt. Whatever he wanted to accomplish here, he’s done. "Maybe we weren’t meant to be together, but that’s not a horrible thing. It’s not going to … not going to kill us.”

Ironic, since that’s how Kurt felt for the first month Blaine was gone, but now he sees how ludicrous that was. He’s young. They’re both young. And this, too, shall pass.

Kurt waits for Blaine to speak - to agree, to argue, to try and win him back, to sing - but he says nothing. He stares at a far wall - a wall with pictures of Blaine and the Warblers and his family … and Kurt smiling back at him, putting Kurt’s words together. Or maybe shoving them away.

Kurt puts a hand to his aching forehead. Too much drama and too little sleep, bouncing around in his brain like sheep wearing stiletto heels. He doesn’t need this. What he does need - or correction, who he needs - is driving back to Westerville this very moment.

And Kurt wants to be with him right now, more than anything.

Why did he offer to drive Blaine home again? It’s getting harder to remember with every minute that rolls by.

Kurt looks at the boy in front of him - the boy he pined over; the boy he obsessed over; the boy he loved, for a while, more than he loved himself. But that’s over. He has someone else in his life that he needs to return to.

"Relationships are about trust,” Kurt says quietly. “And I don’t trust you anymore. Goodbye, Blaine.” He doesn’t reach a hand out to hold him, to hug him, to give him any comfort. That’s not what their 'relationship' is anymore. Even if they manage to become friends again in the future, even if Kurt finds some way to trust him, it probably won’t be about physical contact for a long, long time. That’s heartbreaking since Blaine has been the one he’s reached for when times were tough since the day they met.

Now, he has a new hand to hold, one just as sure and steady as Blaine’s used to be.

Kurt walks toward Blaine’s bedroom door when he hears his voice, shaking with fury, maybe some embarrassment, and thick with tears, talking to his back.

“Wh--what do you expect me to do now?”

Kurt stops a foot from the doorway, itching to leave. “I expect you to grow up. I expect you to learn from this. I expect you to accept that we’re over. And maybe, in time, we might go back to being friends again.”

“No.” Blaine sniffles through gritted teeth. “I … am never … going to forgive you for this, Kurt. Never.”

There’s a harsh sound in Blaine’s voice, one Kurt had only heard once before - when Blaine fought off Dave Karofsky in the halls of McKinley on the night they went to watch the New Directions perform.

When he fought Dave off to defend him.

Now that anger is directed at him, and it makes Kurt’s blood run cold. Not out of fear. In anger. In disbelief. It zaps any sympathy he might have had for Blaine straight from his body.

So much for not ending badly, Kurt thinks, remembering what Blaine said to him when he first told him about his asinine break-up plan.

“Good,” Kurt says, stepping out into the hallway, more than ready to go, the relief he gets from that one action telling him it’s the right one. “Now you know how I’ve felt most of this summer.”


Kurt half expects Blaine to follow him down the hallway to the stairs when he leaves his room, begging him to change his mind, but he’s relieved when he doesn’t. He doesn’t want another discussion like the one they just had. In fact, he never wants to have another discussion like that with anyone. He doesn’t need that kind of negativity in his life.

He prays that they can hop back into Sebastian’s Mustang and drive back to the beach as soon as possible. He needs the sea air and the warm sand on his skin scrubbing him clean again.

The house is eerily quiet as he make his way to the staircase, only the ticking of a grandfather clock on the opposite end making any noise. The Anderson house has never been particularly festive or warm before, but it’s never felt like this - like he’s the only person there.

Where are Blaine’s parents? he thinks as he hurries down the stairs. Do they even know that Blaine is home? Kurt gets an answer five steps from the front door. He speed walks across the foyer, nearly lunging for the doorknob, when a voice stops him.

“So does this mean you’re finally gone for good?”

That voice puts a chill in him, but more for the words that it says than its tone, which is sinister all its own. “Mr. Anderson?” Kurt turns to look at the man standing on the staircase behind him. “Wh-what does that mean?”

“It means that I was never happy with Blaine dating you,” Blaine’s father says, taking one step at a time down the staircase while he talks. “You’d have to be an idiot not to realize that.” He strikes Kurt in this moment like a superhero movie villain, expositing his master plan with the staircase as his prop. Kurt almost laughs out loud at that image, all the tension the night has heaped on him making this little performance of his surreal. How did he not notice that the Anderson family is full of drama queens? Tunnel vision, he supposes. “I mean, it took me a while to accept my son’s orientation and whatnot. His mother coddles him in that regard. I fought to fix it, but there was little I could do.”

Kurt bristles at the word fix. Regardless of the bullshit that went down between him and Blaine this summer, he feels sorry for him if that’s the way his father sees him. As broken. “I don’t understand. You’re not making any sense.”

“I send him to the most exclusive private school money can buy, and still, among hundreds of boys from renowned families, he ends up dating you - a mechanic’s son.” Kurt notices right away how Mr. Anderson says it, with a heaping dose of contempt - so different from the way Greg talks about his father’s profession. “The idea of you became more palatable when your father was elected to congress, but not by much.”

Kurt’s face scrunches as if he just ate something sour, then bit his tongue to boot. Kurt has been called a great many insulting names, and by people he’s respected more. But this one might take the cake. “Palatable?”

“You come from nothing,” Mr. Anderson spits, stopping at the halfway point. He leans a hip against the banister, planting himself there as if he doesn’t want to come any closer. “You have no money, no pedigree ...”

Pedigree? What am I? A horse? Kurt crosses his arms over his chest. Sebastian had told him, hadn’t he? Money, status, family tree - these things matter to the Andersons.

They don’t matter so much to the Smythes.

“And that’s important because …?”

Mr. Anderson clicks his tongue hard against the roof of his mouth. “The fact that you have to ask that question shows why it’s important! You don’t come from the same background as my Blaine, the same breeding! He’s too good for you! But the only person who couldn’t see it was him!”

“Is that so?” It’s a lame comeback, Kurt will admit, but at this point, he can’t hear himself think, his ears burning so hot they’re whistling like a tea kettle. Whether Mr. Anderson knows it or not, he’s hit on the only thing he could say that could hurt Kurt.

He isn’t good enough for Blaine.

Blaine is too good for him.

Because Kurt felt that way in the beginning, thought everybody felt that way every time they looked at him.

Kurt’s breath hitches.

Didn’t Sebastian say that exact same thing to him at The Lima Bean about a dozen lifetimes ago?

“That’s so,” Mr. Anderson repeats, mimicking Kurt’s delivery. “It cost a pretty penny to send Blaine to that camp in San Francisco. He got in on natural talent,” he says smugly, “but I was willing to donate tens of thousands if he didn’t to ensure him a spot and get him away from you. If he insists on being a homosexual, at least he can be more discerning about his options. So I found him a place with better options.”

“I think we’re done here,” Kurt says, turning on his heel and resuming his walk to the door. He has to get away from this man and this house. There are some very expensive statuettes and vases on pedestals by the door.

Kurt doesn’t want to accidentally start throwing any of them.

“I hear you’re going out with the youngest Smythe boy,” Mr. Anderson tosses at Kurt’s back.

Another chill races down Kurt’s spine. How in the fuck would Mr. Anderson know that? Except, considering what Sebastian has explained about the circles his family and the Andersons run in, it would probably be weirder if he didn’t know by now. At the gala, the news that Gregory and Charlotte Smythe’s youngest son was dating a congressman’s kid made quite the buzz. Though Kurt can’t help wondering if Cooper told him, threw Kurt and Sebastian under the bus to distract his father from any possible news of him and Julian. If that’s the case, Kurt will forgive him.

For Julian’s sake.

And just this once.

“Have you now?” Kurt asks, turning back to face him. He refuses to have the man talk to his back. If he’s going to insult him, his lifestyle, his boyfriend, he has to do it looking Kurt in the eyes.

This way Kurt remembers how much to hate the man.

Mr. Anderson tsks. “He’s just as vulgar and classless as his brother. The two of you belong together.”

“You know,” Kurt says with a superior chuckle, one that he knows is going to burrow underneath Blaine’s father’s skin and irritate the shit out of him, “that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

“I just need to find a way to keep Cooper away from that Julian for good, and the Anderson family will be back on track.”

“You see, you just said the wrong thing to the wrong person,” Kurt says. “Because now I’m going to make it my life’s mission to ensure that Julian and Cooper live a long, happy life together, whether you approve of it or not. Good day, Mr. Anderson.” Kurt turns on his heel for the final time, muttering asshole under his breath, and strides confidently out the door.


To Sebastian (11:41 a.m.): Well that went down like a lead balloon.

To Kurt (11:42 a.m.): That bad, huh?

To Sebastian (11:43 a.m.): Yup. Just to let you know, I’m leaving Blaine’s house now.

To Kurt (11:44 a.m.): Really? That was quick.

To Sebastian (11:45 a.m.): As it turns out, he didn’t have anything more compelling to say than everything is my fault.

To Kurt (11:46 a.m.): At least he took responsibility for his actions.

To Sebastian (11:46 a.m.): …

To Sebastian (11:47 a.m.): No. Everything is MY fault. As in he’s blaming me for everything that went down.

To Kurt (11:48 a.m.): Oh really?

To Sebastian (11:49 a.m.): A-ha.

To Kurt (11:50 a.m.): And what, pray tell, was your heinous sin?

To Sebastian (11:51 a.m.): I fell in love with you.

To Kurt (11:51 a.m.): …

To Kurt (11:52 a.m.): I … don’t know how to respond to that.

To Kurt (11:52 a.m.): Should I say I’m sorry?

To Sebastian (11:53 a.m.): To who?

To Kurt (11:54 a.m.): To you.

To Sebastian (11:55 a.m.): Don’t you dare!

To Kurt (11:56 a.m.): Alright! Alright!

To Sebastian (11:57 a.m.): More happened, but it’s too much to text. I’ll tell you when I see you.

To Sebastian (11:58 a.m.): I’m going to swing by my dad’s for a bit before I go to your place. Okay?

To Kurt (11:59 a.m.): You could always borrow some of my clothes, you know.

To Sebastian (12:00 p.m.): I know. Mostly I want to say hey to my dad. Let him know I’m not dead. Tell him the good news.

To Kurt (12:01 p.m.): What good news?

To Sebastian (12:02 p.m.): That I’m going to NYADA in the fall ;)

To Kurt (12:03 p.m.): I love you, you know.

To Sebastian (12:04 p.m.): I know.

To Sebastian (12:05 p.m.): I love you, too.


Kurt pulls up to the curb in front of his house and turns off his SUV. He sits a moment, takes in the view of this modest, suburban house that they’ve only lived in a couple of years. It’s nothing special on its own, but it became a home when he, his dad, Carole and Finn moved into it. He should probably take more time to appreciate it while he has the chance.

After all, how much time does he have left here?

He grabs his bag and heads up the walk, unlocks the front door and creeps into the living room. “Dad?” he calls into the emptiness. “Dad, are you here?”

He should be there. His truck is parked outside. But not Carole’s car, which means they could still have gone out somewhere. He should have called ahead, but it was the last thing on his mind - one of those tasks he would start to do, then get distracted by a humongous metaphorical asteroid heading straight for him.

“Hey, kiddo! Is that you?” he hears coming from the kitchen.

“In the living room!” Kurt puts his bag down on the floor and suddenly his dad is there, all open arms ready to give him a proper hello.

“Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Burt squeezes his son tight, pats him hard on the back. “Are you home for good?” he asks hopefully.

“No,” Kurt says, hating to disappoint him. “Just for the day. We’re planning on heading back.”

“Oh.” His father’s smile dips, but he recovers it and rolls on. “Well, okay then. Do you have a minute? Because I need to talk to you.”

“What a coincidence,” Kurt says, “because I need to talk to you, too.”

“Should we flip a coin to see who goes first?” Burt teases.

“No.” The smile Kurt gives his father’s joke trembles at the corners. Because he misses his dad. He misses him a great deal. “You go first.”

“Okay …” His father clears his throat. He shifts his weight on both feet and puts his hands on his hips, getting into what Kurt affectionately refers to as lecture mode, and Kurt knows immediately what his father is about to say “… when were you plannin’ on tellin’ me about that NYADA bill?”

“I …” Kurt should have a better response to that than one syllable and a choke, but it hasn’t been a morning conducive to answering questions “… probably … never?” Burt sighs heavily, rolls back and forth on his heels. “I didn’t want to add another thing to your pile of stress!” Kurt explains. “I was trying to figure it out myself!”

“Well you don’t have to worry about it now,” his father says stoically.

“Wh-what do you mean I don’t have to worry about it?” Oh God, Kurt thinks. I’m not going to NYADA. It doesn’t matter that Sebastian gave him the check. He ran out of time to get the money to them and now his acceptance is null and void! But they said I had till the 10th of September! the logic side of his brain argues. Did they change the rules out from under him? Can they do that? Or did they find someone better, someone more talented last minute and decide to give them his spot? Wait - they can’t do that either, can they!?

It doesn’t matter whether they can or can’t, it might already be done, which means he failed at the one thing he wanted more than anything in life.

His dream, the one he put his pride on the line for, is officially over.

“I mean I talked to the girl down in financial aid and I handled it,” his father clarifies.

Kurt's eyes open so wide he genuinely fears they'll pop out of his skull and roll across the floor. “Come again?”

“Now before I explain, I want you to know, I didn’t open any of your mail. That would have been an invasion of privacy, no matter how nervous that last one made me. I guess the financial aid department has been calling you for the past week, and when they couldn’t get a hold of you, they contacted me. They wanted to know if you were still getting the last of the money together, or if you wanted to forfeit your spot to someone on the waiting list. Since I knew you’d never do that, I went ahead and took care of it.”

“But … how?” Kurt asks, begging his dad for an answer, how it was so damned simple for him to clear up when Kurt has been suffering all summer long!

Well, not suffering.

“I need details, Dad!”

Burt grins, proud to have gotten a smidgen of the upper hand over his kid for once. “Kurt, I know we haven’t talked about it much, but becoming a congressman has raised my net worth considerably. Nine plus thousand dollars has been a struggle for us in the past, but it wasn’t as huge a stretch this time.”

“I … I guess I didn’t realize that.”

“Well, maybe you should have talked to me about it first before running around, half-cocked, trying to find nine thousand dollars.”

“There’s a lot of things I should have talked to you about,” Kurt admits, ashamed that he not only didn’t talk to his dad about this, but that he hasn’t been talking to his dad most of this summer.

Not the way they used to.

His father leans closer, raises his eyebrows like he’s about to impart some wisdom. Or a secret. “Like about you and that Smythe boy?”

Kurt doesn’t even have to ask.

That question, mostly rhetorical, tells him that his dad knows. How all these people figured them out is unbelievable! Kurt thought he and Sebastian were doing a good job acting like a couple. Too good a job. Were they really that transparent? “How long have you known?” Kurt asks, sucker punched by a rousing case of deja vu. Maybe his third case so far? He’s lost track.

“It’s more of an I suspected than an I knew. You’re an extremely compassionate person, Kurt. You have high moral standards, always have. You get that from your mom. And like I said before, I know you and Blaine both forgave Sebastian for the things he did but …” His dad pinches his lips together and shakes his head, like there’s a two and a two he’s having a difficult time getting to add up “… I couldn’t see you dating him. But you told me you were happy, and you didn’t give me any reason to doubt you. If you did this, you must have had your reasons.” Burt pauses, hedges on this point. “And now that I know about this school debt, I’m thinking that might have had something to do with it?”

Kurt bites his lips together, so close to tears he can taste them in his mouth, but that doesn’t stop the squeak that should have been a much better answer from escaping his throat. He’d thought it himself, that dating Sebastian for money made him an escort … or worse. But his dad putting the pieces together this way and then making an inference to them out loud makes Kurt want to dig himself a hole and bury himself in it. It’s a little too much - much too much for this day in particular.

Burt puts a hand on Kurt’s shoulder, gives him a comforting squeeze. “No one’s judging you, Kurt,” he says softly. “And I’m not gonna interfere in the particulars of your life. You’re going to do what you’re going to do. I just want you to take care of yourself. Look out for you. Because you …”

“I matter,” Kurt finishes. “I know. And I am. I promise. If it’s any consolation, that’s all over.”

“You guys broke up?” his dad asks, strangely upset. “But I thought you said …”

“No. No, we didn’t break up. Actually …” Kurt smiles. It’s completely subconscious, springing up on his face as if in response to a private joke, or a sentimental story “… we’re dating … for real.”

“Good.” Burt pulls his son in for a hug. “That’s good. He seems like a decent kid all things considered. Comes from real good stock. Has a good head on his shoulders.”

“How do you know that? You’ve only met him a handful of times!”

“He’s dating my son. He must be a flippin’ genius!”

Kurt laughs and Burt joins him, not stopping or letting go of one another until they’re both in tears.

“Thank you for calling the school,” Kurt says, “ and for paying that bill. You didn’t have to do that.”

“Yes, I did, Kurt. Look, I know you’re an adult and everything now, being all of eighteen, but I’m still your dad. I’m gonna help you out when I can.”

“Are you disappointed in me?” Kurt asks, and yes, it might have been cowardly of him to wait and ask when his father was riding high on his good mood, but Kurt can’t take too many more emotional upheavals today.

“No, I’m not,” his father says. “Maybe a little hurt, but not disappointed. But I understand. Dealing with small, basic financial matters are scary enough. Balancing a checkbook, making a budget, socking away for emergencies, getting a car loan. They don’t teach you those things in school anymore and they’re terrifying. I can imagine how you felt getting this news. And then feeling like you had to tackle it alone?”

“That’s … not all I mean,” Kurt admits, even when, for the sake of his sanity, it probably would be better to stop while he’s ahead.

“Kurt, I love the fact that you value my opinion,” Burt says. “As a parent, I know there’ll come a day when you won’t need my advice anymore.”

“I’ll always need your advice, Dad,” Kurt says, holding onto his dad, holding on to this moment for as long as he can. Father-son talks tend to do this to him, fill him with a sense of melancholy, especially lately, which is probably why he’s been avoiding them. Because way too often, they feel like goodbye. “No matter how old I get.”

“Then let me give you a little now.” Burt holds his son at arm’s length so he can look into his eyes. “You have to make the decisions that are right for you. Nobody else. Whatever makes you happy. As long as you’re not hurting yourself and it’s legal, I’m behind you all the way. I want you stop worrying for once and enjoy your life.”

“You’re right,” Kurt agrees, but rolling his eyes at the legal remark. Are private escorts legal in Ohio? What’s the sentence if you’re found guilty of being one? He hates that this is now something he’s going to Google when he gets back to his SUV. “I’m going to go do that right now.”


“Jesus, Kurt!” Sebastian moans, rolling his hips up, rubbing what’s left of his spent erection along the crack of Kurt’s rear. “I love your ass!”

“Thank you,” Kurt says, pushing back against him. “I’m rather fond of it myself.”

“So … Blaine’s dad said that to you?” Sebastian wraps his arms around his boyfriend’s naked body and holds it against him. He buries his nose in Kurt’s hair, breathes him in deep. “And he still has a neck and two testicles?”

“Amazing, isn’t it?” Kurt melts into Sebastian’s embrace, into the sweaty skin pressed against his own. “I’d call that growth, wouldn’t you?”

“I knew Blaine’s parents were a mess, but I never would have thought …” Sebastian shakes his head against Kurt’s shoulder. “I’d say you dodged a bullet there, babe. I mean, can you imagine that man ten, twenty years from now …”

“I can imagine him flat as a crepe because after the first year with him as an in-law I would have run him over with my SUV. Repeatedly.”

“We still can,” Sebastian says with an excited wiggle, as if he’d started thinking about it in earnest. “I know a place where we can hide a body.”

“I’m sure you do,” Kurt says with a patronizing pat on his arm, taking Sebastian’s murderous fantasies in his stride. But the joke washes aside, and Kurt sighs. “Do you think there’s any hope for Julian and Cooper? You were with Cooper when they saw one another. Do you think …?”

“Yeah.” Sebastian doesn’t interrupt Kurt. Kurt can’t seem to finish his sentence. The past few days have taken such an emotional toll on him, his whole body aches, down to his bones. “I think they’re going to be okay. They have a lot of talking to do … which I’m sure they’ll get to after all the fucking they’re doing right now.”

Kurt tilts his head back an inch to see Sebastian’s face. “Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack, babe.”

Kurt’s left eyebrow arches as he continues to stare. “You know, I question the way you talk sometimes.”

“It’s a hazard of having a brother and sister almost a decade older than you.”

“That makes sense.” Kurt turns away, inching his way back against Sebastian’s body so that he can feel more of his skin around him. Sebastian seems to know this and hooks a leg over his. “Sebastian, I need you to promise me something.”

“I’ll do what I can,” he says, kissing Kurt’s cheek, his skin hot to the touch.

“I know everything that’s happened in the past two days has been … intense.”

Sebastian makes a small sound that’s part genuine laugh, part huff. “You can say that again.”

“And I know that if you decide to leave …” Kurt’s voice, which he tries to keep calm, rational, pragmatic, splinters a hair “… take a break from all of this … and me … you’ll come back, but you can’t leave. If I wake up and you’re not here …”

Sebastian shushes him gently, puts a hand to his head and draws him to his chest. Kurt turns into it, rolling towards him and resting his forehead against his shoulder. “I’m still here, Kurt. And I promise, I’m not going anywhere. I’m not running away from you. Not anymore.”

kurt hummel, juliper, acitw au, acitw, sebastian smythe, glee, kurtbastian

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