Title: Handle Me - Chapter 3
Pairing: Eventual Kurtbastian.
Rating: Eventual NC-17
Word count: ~2500
Betas: shawolxaddict & bononoh
Warnings: Mentions of (past) self-harm
Summary: Written for this prompt on the GKM. Blaine breaks up with Kurt because Kurt has a pussy. Kurt is ashamed over his anatomy, and finally settles for never finding someone who’ll love him completely. Cue Sebastian.
A/N: The storytelling has so far been very Kurt-centric, and it will continue to be, but from this chapter and onwards there will be sections that are more Sebastian-centered. You’ll notice when you read it, but I just thought I’d warn you so you’re not completely thrown off by it.
Also available on livejournal.
(Tue 20 nov, 1.24 pm)
Kurt: Are you going home for Thanksgiving?
Kurt actually writes So elaborate, but he erases it almost immediately. He doesn’t want to know why Sebastian’s not going to Ohio for Thanksgiving, he just knows that he’s fine with it. Kurt has to work, both at the shop and on his project. He can’t afford to go home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Finn is only coming home for Christmas, so it wasn’t a hard choice to make.
Kurt: Can you come over tomorrow? Around 2?
Sebastian arrives ten minutes to two, ink smeared across his cheek and his shirt wrinkled. Kurt presses his lips together and turns away before he can blurt out a comment.
“Hey man!” Alex greets from the couch when they enter the living room. “How’s the essay going?” he asks, giving Sebastian a once-over and frowning.
Sebastian shrugs. “Okay, I think.” He turns to Kurt. “How do you want me?”
Kurt is a little surprised at the lack of snark in Sebastian’s comments, he seems really…tired? Kurt points to the usual spot on the carpet.
“Pants off. I’ll try to be quick,” he says. Sebastian gives him a brief, questioning look, but he doesn’t say anything. He complies while turning his attention to the television.
When Kurt is done, Sebastian reaches for his pants and pulls them on, but he doesn’t flop down on the couch. This is the first time Kurt notices that Sebastian didn’t bring a bag.
“Hey, if you’re really…,” Kurt starts, but stops himself. He’s feeling bad for Sebastian, yes, but it’s not Kurt’s problem that he has to rewrite his essay. He’s not going to put his own project at risk because Sebastian needs more time to study.
Alex looks up at the unfinished sentence. “You want help with the essay?” he asks. Sebastian shakes his head.
“I didn’t bring it.”
A disapproving look flashes in Alex’s eyes. Kurt doesn’t think Sebastian notices.
“Oh well. Are you busy tomorrow?” Alex asks. Sebastian frowns.
“Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving,” he says. Alex shrugs.
“Yeah. So? Both Kurt and I are staying here; if you don’t have plans you can come by. You might even get dinner.”
“Seriously?” Sebastian asks, and it’s genuine, not condescending. It’s throwing Kurt off.
“Well, Kurt’s cooking, so really, it’s up to him. But let him win a couple of more times on We Sing, and I’m sure you’ll be able to persuade him.”
“Let me win?” Kurt repeats and crosses his arms over his chest. Sebastian smirks and Kurt tries to not be a little relieved at that.
“You know I was going easy on you, Hummel,” Sebastian says. Kurt narrows his eyes. It’s not true. Kurt is, quite frankly, a better singer than Sebastian, and he knows that Sebastian knows it, too. This conversation is entirely pointless.
“No,” Kurt says. “You weren’t. But I’ll give you that you were at least a challenge, which is more than you can say about him.” He nods to Alex, who throws his hands up in the air.
“Hey, I can’t be good at everything!” he says, defensively. “But okay. Sebastian, if you want to give Kurt another challenge, you are welcome to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow; with a study session beforehand.”
Sebastian looks at Alex and then at Kurt, trying to see if there’s any hostility. He doesn’t find any, apparently, because he shrugs and says “Okay.”
So Kurt Hummel is having Sebastian Smythe over for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The world never seems to stop amazing Kurt. He follows Sebastian out into the hallway and leans against the door while Sebastian laces his shoes.
“What’s up with you today?” he asks. He barely manages to keep himself from slapping a hand across his mouth. Sebastian looks up at him in surprise.
“What?” he asks.
“You’re just…nice,” Kurt says, somewhat lamely. Sebastian arches an eyebrow. “The meanest thing you’ve called me today is ‘Hummel’,” Kurt clarifies.
“I didn’t realize you liked being insulted. Sorry?” Sebastian says, confused.
“Why?” Kurt asks again. Now that he has asked, he actually wants to know the answer.
Sebastian sighs and drags a hand through his hair. “Because my roommate is a homophobic ass who keeps side-eyeing me every time I’m in our room doing something other than sleep?” he says.
“What?!” Kurt doesn’t know if he’s more confused or upset.
“But- he must’ve known like…before? You’re not…,” Kurt trails off, looking for the right word. “Subtle,” he finishes.
Sebastian snorts. “I, unlike you, can actually pass as straight.” And there it is, he’s back. “He didn’t have a problem with it until I started ‘acting gay’,” Sebastian explains, and his expression is one of complete disgust.
“So, like ten minutes after you met him, when you started hitting on him?” It’s mean, but Kurt doesn’t understand why this is a problem now, because at the end of the term Sebastian should be used to it. He shouldn’t have to be, but that’s another issue.
Sebastian glares at him. “I haven’t- Apparently he deemed hanging out with two fashion designers as ‘too gay’,” he says.
“O-kay…? Why would you even- it’s not like we’re the only ones you ‘hang out with’.” Kurt can’t keep the quotation marks out of his voice because really, what they’re doing does not qualify as ‘hanging out’.
Sebastian doesn’t answer. They’re both silent for a few moments, before Sebastian grabs his coat and shrugs it on. Then he leaves the apartment without a second look.
So many things make sense now. The only thing that doesn’t is why Sebastian doesn’t have any friends, but if Kurt is being completely honest, that kind of makes sense, too. At least if he’s still going at it like he did in high school.
(Wed 21 nov, 9.17 pm)
Kurt: Invitation to dinner still stands.
Sebastian: Dont want your pity party
Kurt: It’s a free dinner. What you make of it is up to you.
Sebastian arrives just as Alex is leaving.
“Hi!” Alex says brightly when he almost runs into Sebastian in the doorway. “I’m just doing a quick run to the grocery store, but then I’m all yours. You can help Kurt out in the kitchen in the meantime.”
“Uh, okay.” Alex leaves. Sebastian takes off his shoes and coat before entering the kitchen.
“You decided to turn up after all?” Kurt asks with a quick glance at him, focusing mostly on the sauce he’s stirring. Sebastian shrugs.
“I still need help with my essay. And as you said, free food.” He glances around at the mess that is the O’Malley/Hummel kitchen. “You need help with anything?” he asks.
“Uhm…could you chop the vegetables? They’re in the fridge. Cutting boards are by the sink and knives are in that drawer,” Kurt says and points.
Sebastian collects the things and sets himself up at the kitchen table. Alex’s iPod is docked to the sound system above the table and is currently set on a Justin Timberlake playlist. Both Kurt and Sebastian are humming along under their breath, otherwise they’re working in companionable silence. When the playlist skips to 4 minutes, Sebastian turns around.
“Hey, where do you want…what are you doing?” he asks. Kurt is standing with his back to Sebastian, swaying his hips and doing what seems to be extremely well-rehearsed and coordinated steps to the music. It’s not a full-blown dance, the kitchen and the situation doesn’t really allow for that, but Sebastian’s mouth still goes dry. At his voice, Kurt stops dancing and turns around. He’s blushing.
“Oh, that’s…it’s a reflex. Since my time on the Cheerios,” Kurt says, trying to shrug it off. Sebastian puts down the knife before he accidentally drops it on his foot.
“You were a cheerleader?” he asks. Kurt frowns slightly, looking at Sebastian as if he’s trying to figure out if he’s being mocked or not.
“Yeah, I…it wasn’t for long. I helped them win Nationals. Didn’t really keep me from being slushied, though, so.” He keeps the tone light, as if sounding like he doesn’t care will keep Sebastian from making fun of him. “You want somewhere to put that?” he asks and points to the chopped up vegetables.
“Uh…yes. Please,” Sebastian says. Kurt raises an eyebrow, and yes, that might be the first time Sebastian has ever said that word in the presence of Kurt Hummel.
“I can beg. With the right initiative,” he smirks. Kurt rolls his eyes, and just like that they’re back on familiar grounds again.
“Second cupboard, second shelf,” Kurt mutters and turns back to the stove. He stands still this time, and Sebastian can’t help but feel disappointed.
They have dinner together at the kitchen table, and it’s actually nice. Kurt is surprised at how easy the conversation flows between the three of them. He realizes with a start during dessert that while he misses his family, he has never once during dinner wished that he was in Lima instead of being here.
(Sat 24 Nov, 11.15 am)
Blaine: Are you home? Can we meet up? I miss you :)
Kurt reads the text during his lunch break. He takes a deep breath to stifle the emotions that are threatening to break him down completely. He shuts down the message, not bothering to reply. He has nothing to say to his ex-boyfriend.
Sebastian and Alex are on their way out when Kurt comes home.
“Hi honey, how was…work?” Alex’s voice falters when he takes in Kurt’s appearance.
“Hell,” Kurt replies, dragging a hand through is already rumpled and wet hair. He catches himself in the hallway mirror. He looks like death warmed over and he has oil streaks all over his face and snow still stuck in his collar. “There was this car,” he says while he takes off his coat and unlaces his boots. “I have no idea what they’d done with it, but fucking everything in it was broken.”
“You know how to fix cars?” Sebastian asks.
“Yeah, I work at a car shop, that’s usually what we do,” Kurt replies, sounding way snarkier than what’s necessary.
“Kurt, I have to go,” Alex interrupts. “I’m meeting Kendra at school, she needs help with her designs.”
“Tell her I said hi,” Kurt says, and then Alex is gone. Kurt turns to Sebastian. “Are you in a hurry?”
Sebastian shakes his head. “No. I was just– I couldn’t stay when he left,” he says and gestures to the door that Alex just closed.
“Do you have time to stick around? I got an idea today and I want to try it out asap.”
“Sure.” Sebastian takes off his coat again and Kurt disappears into the bedroom. He grabs the shirt he’s been working on, while he tries not to think about how this is the first time he’s ever been alone with Sebastian. He grabs his sewing kit and goes back into the living room.
“I have to make a few changes first, so do you want to watch a movie or…?” Kurt glances at the TV. “You can play Wii if you want to. Practice you Mario Kart skills.”
Sebastian snorts. “If I do, Alex will accuse me of cheating,” he says. Kurt considers it for a moment.
“Yeah, he probably will. You can practice on We Sing though, I promise not to accuse you of cheating if you if you lose by less than a thousand points,” Kurt smiles. Sebastian rolls his eyes.
“Whatever. Focus on your stuff, I’m gonna take advantage of the sports channels you have but probably never use.”
“I was on the football team at McKinley,” Kurt sing-songs, grabbing his scissors as Sebastian turns on the TV.
“You weren’t,” Sebastian says without looking at him.
“I was. I was a kicker. There’s probably a movie on YouTube if you want proof.”
Now Sebastian is staring at him.
“Is there anything you can’t do?” he asks, incredulous.
Find someone who loves me.
Kurt fakes a smile. “Nope. I’m awesome at everything.”
They’re halfway through a Ski-cross competition when Kurt puts down his needle.
“Now, off with your shirt.”
Sebastian stiffens beside him.
“Are you– do I have to?” he asks. Kurt squints at him.
“What is your problem? It’s not different from undressing in front of strangers every other night. You certainly don’t seem to have a problem with that.”
Sebastian glares at him.
“Operative word being ‘strangers’, they don’t care,” he says angrily and drags his cardigan and t-shirt over his head in one go. “Happy?” he spits and throws the bundle of shirts on the floor, exposing his arms.
Sebastian’s forearms are littered with scars. They’re all in different shades of fading, but still pretty visible.
“Are you done staring?” Sebastian asks coldy. Kurt snaps out of it.
“Don’t. Just…don’t. Hand me the fucking shirt.”
Kurt hands him the garment – a bit reluctantly due to Sebastian’s mood – but he handles it with surprising care.
“There are no buttons,” he says when he tries to button the shirt.
“I haven’t had time to buy them yet,” Kurt replies and brandishes a couple of safety pins. “Stand up, please.”
Sebastian takes his usual spot on the carpet. Kurt stands before him, and it’s awkwardly intimate to stand and button Sebastian’s shirt with safety pins.
“I- I was gonna have the sleeves rolled-up, but I’ll just– think of something else,” he says quietly as he grabs the box of pins and starts to take in the shirt where it’s needed.
“Thanks,” Sebastian says, equally quiet.
“It’s why I was in France,” Sebastian says when Kurt is done and Sebastian is putting on his shirts again. Kurt keeps quiet, he doesn’t know what to say. “It got pretty bad during my sophomore year and my parents thought I needed a change of scenery, so they shipped me off to my aunt in France.” He leans back on the couch and fiddles with the hem of his cardigan. “They just didn’t want to deal with my shit themselves.”
Kurt doesn’t know what to say. Sebastian looks small where he’s sitting on the couch and everything feels like Karofsky all over again. Kurt has no idea how much of Sebastian’s words and insults have been genuine, and how much have been a defense mechanism. He’s not sure he even wants to know.
“Are you hungry?” Kurt asks finally. He’s not trying to ignore what Sebastian just told him, but he figures he can at least reach out a hand and let him know that Kurt won’t back away. Plus, Kurt is actually hungry. “I’m thinking chinese, I don’t feel up for leftovers just yet.”
Sebastian narrows his eyes.
“I don’t want–” he starts.
“You can pay,” Kurt interrupts. “I’m not– it’s not a pity party, or whatever you call it whenever you’re offered food. I’m hungry. You’re here.” The we’re friends is left unspoken.
Sebastian is quiet for a moment.
“Chinese sounds good,” he says then. Kurt thinks he might have seen a faint hint of a smile, but he’s not sure. It might be hunger hallucinations.
A/N: New chapter, yay! Next won’t take as long, I’m back with my regular boring life now. And I have betas, YAY! They’ve been kind enough to clean up the earlier chapters too, which is very, very nice of them.
While you wait, I recommend that you check out Kurt and Alex’s apartment. If you don’t, there will be things in the next chapter that you won’t understand.