Fic: This Is The Distance (And This Is My Game Face) [Kurtbastian, NC-17]

Title: This Is The Distance (And This Is My Game Face)
Media: Fic
Author: GlassParade (aka glitterdammerung on Tumblr)
Beta: Tina (idoltina on Tumblr) and Christine (bononoh on Tumblr) and Riah (lurkdusoleil on Tumblr) (I was really paranoid about this one too)
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Sebastian Smythe and Kurt Hummel
Genre: Smut
Spoilers: None, future-fic. 
Word Count: 6000+
Summary: Never forget a moment, remember every sin, imprint this on your memory like a tattoo on your skin.
Author’s Note: Title is from the song ‘Vienna' by The Fray.

Europe Is Our Playground ‘verse: 
Paris | Prague | Copenhagen | Barcelona | Amsterdam | Gibraltar | Venice | Dublin |Thessaloniki | Rome | and so we travel onward…

Message From Kurt: I don’t understand. We have one night and you decide to take the train to get here?

Sebastian lets the phone fall to his lap and stares blankly at the passing scenery. There’s no answer he can give to that, not one that won’t give him away, at least.

The sooner I get there, the sooner this ends.

I’m putting off the moment I have to watch you leave.

Why would I want the last night I ever spend with you to come any faster?

He’s already trying to build his walls back up, to be aloof and untouchable. But he can’t remember, exactly, how to do that now. He does remember why he’s always had them in place - he knows it well, most especially now - but how he got there, he doesn’t know, can’t recall, can’t reach.

He’s corrupted, now, the iron rusting and the nails corroding.

And he has no idea what to do with that.

Pushing down the confusion of anger and desperation that threatens to choke him, Sebastian stuffs his phone into his bag and doesn’t reply.

For Sebastian, each lick of his tongue across one of Kurt’s hipbones is a brand, searing the taste and feel of Kurt into every part of his consciousness. Each press of his fingers into the firm muscle of Kurt’s thigh or waist or ass is a prayer that he remembers every moment of tonight, of every night they’ve had.

Kurt memorizes the vibration of the sighs and moans that rattle Sebastian’s chest, commits the feel of the weight of Sebastian’s body to the deepest recesses of his mind so he can call it up and dust it off whenever he wants. He sinks his teeth into the golden brown skin of Sebastian’s shoulder, the marks of his bite raising in a purple-red relief that Kurt wishes were a tattoo, so that every time Sebastian looked into a mirror, he would remember everything.

After an hour of staring at his phone, Kurt gives up and tosses it down on the nightstand, flopping into the pillows of his bed with an exasperated sigh.

He’s been riding high on adrenaline and exhilaration for days now, plunging himself into the euphoria of a new life unshackled from his past. Plans, emails, designs, his brain and his phone have been on high alert for a week, constantly buzzing, Tina, Rachel, his father, everyone. Kurt Hummel has not felt so alive with purpose in quite some time, and he feels fairly justified in letting it go to his head a little.

But not so much that he hasn’t noticed Sebastian rather uncharacteristically trailing in his wake, supportive but bemused and seemingly overwhelmed by Kurt in a way that sits oddly in Kurt’s mind. Even in Rome, even with Alessandro, he’d been present yet absent, allowing his body to enthusiastically participate - and oh, how it did participate - but taking some part of himself Kurt doesn’t understand out of the equation. It had been incredible, but…it hadn’t been what they’d had before.

Probably just as well, Kurt figures.

What they’d had before Rome was why he was leaving, even though he didn’t want to.

It’s just that he had to get out before he couldn’t anymore.

Each one tries to suck the other’s breath away and replace it with his own, tries to push every cell of his being in to permeate the other’s body. They struggle and strive and groan, working desperately to leave the invisible yet indelible marks of their presences on each other’s.

Fingers slide through thick hair and pull, making gasps and laughter spill and mingle across lip and skin and tongue. Noses trace collarbones, palms cup biceps, breath slips and slides across stomachs, tongues dip into bellybuttons.

Lips open wide to slide over the straining head of an erect cock, the salt sweet taste of the come beading at the tip leaving a tingling taste across the palate at the top of the mouth that enfolds it. Long moans of satisfaction fill the air along with the scents of sex and sandalwood and quiet pleas for more, oh, god, yes, more.

Sebastian doesn’t have the knowledge or energy to fight Kurt’s decision.

He doesn’t even like that he wants to.

But he is not willing to put himself on the line any more than he has during this whole thing. It snuck up on him, got him attached without him even knowing it, and there is a small part of himself that very much resents that weakness.

The larger part is terrified that if he exposes his weakness any more, it can be used against him. And he’s gotten himself into trouble with that in other ways already. Tied himself up with ropes more binding than whatever this is he feels for Kurt.

Because that’s it, right? If Kurt hadn’t ended it, Sebastian would have had to, wouldn’t he? The thought of an indefinite long distance relationship with Kurt is unbearable, to have but not to hold, to be pushed down firmly under his father’s thumb in Ohio while Kurt lives in New York, no. No. That’s not a life for anyone to live anyway, and he won’t drag Kurt into it.

He’s run and run and run for as long as he can but now he has nowhere to run anymore, no reason to stop putting off the inevitable. The whole time he’s been in Europe, he’s never come up with any way to get out of his mess with his life intact. Because his life doesn’t really belong to him. Even this vacation from reality he’s been on isn’t his, it’s just a fantasy, just a dream.

Fuck. He’s always hated waking up.

When he presses the first slick finger inside of Kurt, Sebastian makes sure to have his ear close to Kurt’s lips so that the sweet low groan and sucking gasp of pleasure feels like it is sliding in to wind itself into and all around the crevices and tunnels of Sebastian’s brain, pushing into every fold of memory and making itself at home so he’ll always hear it.

His own mouth is busy at Kurt’s ear, too, teeth nipping sharp into Kurt’s earlobe and peppering his aural memory with a shivery gasp as he pairs the bite with a deft twist of his finger inside where Kurt is tight and warm.

In retaliation, Kurt reaches down with the arm he doesn’t have gripping the headboard behind him, and he wraps his fingers around Sebastian’s cock, and when Sebastian laughs out a groan as he tilts his head back and bites his lip, closing his eyes tight, that’s the face Kurt will see on the backs of his eyelids every time he goes to sleep.

You don’t fall in love with Sebastian Smythe, Kurt reasons, because he’s not going to fall in love with you back. That’s just not how he works. Never has been. Kurt remembers like yesterday - I met the man of my dreams there.

And are you still together?

No, we broke up about twenty minutes after we met.

Kurt would be lying if he said there wasn’t a single part of him that hoped for that to have changed. It’s quite a large, part, actually. An alarmingly large part of him has grown comfortable with Sebastian, against all odds and everything he’s ever known about the man. It’s gotten too easy to imagine a life in New York where Sebastian prominently figures - making pasta together in Kurt’s tiny kitchen. Coffee in the mornings before they go to work. Little secret smirks exchanged as Sebastian saunters through the living room in nothing more than a towel and a toothbrush as he goes to answer the door and greet the missionaries who like to bring Kurt pamphlets and try to save the soul he doesn’t really believe in.

And of course. Of course, there’s the nights. And days. And beds and tables and random bathrooms and anywhere else it would be remotely possible to snatch five minutes or more for hitching breaths and roaming hands and biting kisses.

They fit. They shouldn’t. Not ever. And yet here they are, about to separate and go back to their ordinary lives and Kurt doesn’t want to do it. He wants more. Wants to see what it might be like to have a maybe-love that’s comfortable in a different way than what he’d had with Blaine. To embrace the unfamiliar and unpredictable. To risk something that could end with a lot more pyrotechnics than the lighthouse art colony dream with Blaine had.

To…maybe…perhaps…love someone that isn’t Blaine.

He pulls back from the thought like it’s a raging inferno. Not because of the idea of loving someone other than Blaine - that’s all his life is going to be, now, and he’s finally okay with that - but because of that someone maybe being Sebastian Smythe. Sebastian, who hasn’t given him any solid indication that he’d feel the same or that he’d welcome it if he did.

The last thing Kurt needs is to read into something that isn’t there. Plenty of other fish in the sea if he’s finally ready to date again. Besides, Sebastian’s life isn’t his own, how could they even make it work? Kurt is in a position to know how horribly wrong long distance relationships can go, and that had been long before he had become a globetrotting fashion designer.

No. Sebastian will be in Ohio and Kurt in New York and if ever there was an experience Kurt didn’t want to relive, it was that of being separated from the person you most wanted to be around. This is all working out perfectly, really, for something that was a surprise. He needed to get back out there and Sebastian has helped him to do that and now a duly grateful Kurt can go back to his life with the knowledge that he isn’t wrong or broken or a bad person - he’s just human, and he can have relationships with other humans. It’s fine.

Absolutely fine.

He sets his clock to wake him up thirty minutes before Sebastian’s train is due in, rolls over, and ignores the tugging sensation of longing in his heart and stomach while he tries to take a nap.

All of Kurt’s world is centered around his cock, around Sebastian’s mouth and throat and tongue, the pull-push-pull of fingers working into and out of his body in rhythm while he has one hand wrapped tight around the top of the headboard and the other tangled hard into Sebastian’s hair. His lip stings where he’s biting down so hard as he desperately fucks himself up into Sebastian’s throat, chasing a horizon he can’t clearly see, wanting to be consumed, swallowed whole, buried in this night and these moments until there’s nothing else, ever.

Sebastian takes it, catalogues the sting on his scalp, the just this side of painful stretch of his lips, the ache in his throat as he lets his head be pushed all the way down to the base of Kurt’s cock. He returns the favor, writing himself onto Kurt’s body with the fingernails of his free hand, tracing red crescents into the skin of Kurt’s back as it arches up off of the sheets and Kurt goes rigid, the fingers in Sebastian’s hair clenching hard while he spills himself down Sebastian’s throat.

Kurt’s voice is ragged at the edges when he drags Sebastian up off his cock, eyes hooded over with pleased exhaustion when he catches his breath and demands, “Now.”

There has to be a way out of this, Sebastian thinks, staring down at the stack of paperwork on his lap. The paperwork he’s been hauling around in a manila envelope for the last couple of months without telling Kurt. The paperwork that to any other newly minted lawyer would be just about a Holy Grail, a contract binding them to work at a prestigious law firm in the Midwest, guaranteed employment in the profession they’ve worked so hard towards. All law students know that there are more of them in school than there are good jobs for practicing lawyers, and there’s a good chunk of his graduating class at Harvard who would gleefully stab him and then trample his bleeding body for a chance at what he’s holding in his hand. But to him, it’s nothing more than indentured servitude, a mockery of the life he’s discovered he wants, and he’s holding it like someone just handed him a bag of flaming shit.

The irony of having been a hellraising little asshole of a teenager now actually wanting the law-abiding life he accidentally fell into does not escape him.

But he doesn’t want this version of it, the version where he doesn’t get to choose how things go. Where he has to give up something he’s shocked to find out he wants in order to live a weak, watered down, faded photocopy of a life. A life with no color or light or fire to it, a life only lightly touched with his own hand, a life formed around him but not including him except in the most peripheral of ways.

It’s choking off his will to live just to think about it. Why do I have to spend the rest of my life paying for my mistakes? Shouldn’t following my father’s orders and finding out I actually want a life in law at all be redemption enough?

But it’s not, and he knows it’s not, he has to face that it’s not. And now that he’s being forced to thanks to his impending separation from Kurt and return to the chains of reality, the old familiar slow burn of self-hatred and fury is sparking back to life and that is dangerous and he doesn’t care.

"Wien Westbahnhof," comes the tinny overhead announcement, jolting Sebastian out of his murky cloud of thought. But as he slings the strap of his bag over his shoulder and prepares to disembark, he can’t shake the irritation and frustration of his entire goddamn life away, and he feels his mood growing blacker by the moment.

You know what? That’s just fucking fine. If he can’t figure out how to rebuild the walls that should have kept Kurt out, then he’s just going to have to push him away, and this should help him manage that beautifully.

Here, again, pressed together from the chest down like they’re trying to become one person, or maybe just to imprint themselves on each other, whichever is more possible and permanent.

“Now,” Kurt says again, but the command is wispy and Sebastian feels his lips curve in a smile against Kurt’s neck. Slow and lazy, he rocks his hips against Kurt’s, lets his cock slide over hipbone and Kurt’s slowly stirring erection.

If he wants all night to make Kurt fall to pieces over and over again, he’ll take it, and he knows Kurt will let him.

Distracted by his own efforts to bury his confusing feelings as deep down as he can push them, it escapes Kurt’s notice that Sebastian hasn’t smiled at all since they met up at the Palmenhaus restaurant.

At first.

He notices about the same time he realizes that Sebastian has also not really said anything in words with more than one syllable for the last hour. Or…well. Said anything. At all. Actually. Nothing of substance, anyway, just monosyllabic replies, snorts and grunts and sharp little laughs spiked with bitterness. Kurt’s stomach knots up as he takes in the circles under Sebastian’s eyes, the way he’s picking at his food, the complete lack of life in his face.

It’s not how he imagined this night going at all.

It hurts to swallow down the lump in his throat, and he has to grab his wine to help it slip away. “Did you sleep at all on the train?”


Doubtful. “You just look tired.” Instinct is pinging danger signals in his mind, telling him to find some way to fix this, but how? How, when he doesn’t know what’s wrong and Sebastian is less than forthcoming when he’s in a good mood, let alone stewing in this kind of simmering discontented malaise? All Kurt can think to do is aim for light and teasing. “If you’d come by plane you’d have gotten here sooner and we could have taken a…nap. Together.” With a smile that he hopes doesn’t look as nervous as it feels, he slips a forkful of veal escalope between his lips and pulls the utensil back out slowly, letting his tongue trace along the tines and his lips as he chews in a vague attempt at being suggestive. “Or something less…mmm, restful.”

His aim is bad, obviously, as he watches Sebastian’s jaw tighten and his mouth press into a narrow line. “Well, I didn’t take a plane, so I guess it’s too bad I missed out.”

It’s the longest sentence he’s uttered yet and frankly, Kurt could have done without it and without the biting sarcasm that ran through it. But he rallies, still determined to turn things around and make something good out of their last night. “Well, we have the rest of the night, if you’re up to it.” It’s harder to keep up the flirtatiousness in the face of the stony, unmoving lack of amusement across the table, but Kurt can do nothing but keep trying. “We can get dessert here, they have a delicious terrine of plu -“

"Why don’t you just go ahead and tell me what we’re doing and I’ll just go along with it?" Sebastian interrupts, leaning back in his chair with his arms crossed over his chest and his chin in the air, an expression of familiar, slightly sneering disdain twisting his face in a way that sends Kurt right back to high school and gets his back up in instinctual defense. "You obviously have a plan, so why don’t I just let you call the shots?"

This is shaky territory. Arguing with Sebastian is nothing like arguing with Blaine - comparing them is like trying to find more than superficial similarities between a thunderstorm and a freak tornado. Blaine would simmer for days, trying to hold back and reason his way through his pique before exploding in a burst of anger. Kurt had always been able to see the stormclouds gathering and after so many years knew all the best ways to cope, but this is completely new ground. He couldn’t say it had come out of nowhere, no, because he’s been watching Sebastian not be himself for days. But he didn’t know what to do then and he sure as hell doesn’t know what to do now except react.

"Are you done being a jerk or can I look forward to having two massive dicks in my bed tonight?"

Well, that was probably not…the best choice I could have made, he thinks as Sebastian sits up and leans across the table with a vicious smirk twisting his lips. Shit.

This much, at least, Kurt is familiar with, and he feels himself pull his shoulders back and lift his chin into the air, ready to do battle with the old enemy that’s wearing his current lover’s face.

Kurt drinks in the kiss, every kiss, all of the kisses, even though his lips are sore and Sebastian’s must be really sore by now. He molds his hands and fingers to the shape of Sebastian’s skull, tastes himself deep in Sebastian’s mouth, breathes in time with Sebastian breathing out.

They move slowly, just like the first time, but now it’s not a matter of getting to know each other, it’s a matter of remembering each other. Every little touch and breath and gasp and groan and the way Sebastian feels inside of Kurt, the way their foreheads feel when they break off kissing and Sebastian leans his head to rest against Kurt’s and they close their eyes to sharpen their senses of touch and taste and hearing and scent.

Kurt fills his nose with the sharp, clean smell of the Italian pine scented soap Sebastian prefers, pushes away the wishful thinking of what it would be like to always find it in his shower in New York.

Sebastian inhales sandalwood, tastes salt and sugar, touches smooth, warm skin and thick hair rumpled by his own hands.

"Forgive me." It’s difficult keeping his voice steady, Sebastian is so angry right now, but he tries. One, because he doesn’t want to give away just how pissed off he is. Two, because the mess he’s in really isn’t Kurt’s fault and he doesn’t want to swing his anger like a wrecking ball at the wrong building. "It’s just I’d hate to step on your toes and ruin the perfect goodbye you clearly have planned."

"You did a pretty good job of it already, actually," Kurt snaps back, his cheeks bright red and eyes a hot blue with anger. "Wasting hours of our last day together on a train, being a complete shit as soon as you got here, why did I even bother?"

"You’re the one who decided to make this our last day together in the first place," Sebastian sneers back, not managing to hold back the snort of contempt that punctuates the sentence but feeling a little swirl of pleasure at the way it makes Kurt’s mouth tighten up with anger. Good, now he’s not the only miserable one. But careful, careful…he remembers what Kurt’s like when backed into a corner. And yet. "No, go on, Kurt, why don’t you tell me about your perfect Hollywood ending for your perfect Hollywood summer of discovering yourself all over again? Did it go just like you always dreamed?"

The words come out, and he can almost see them hit Kurt, does see Kurt recoil away from them for a split second and that’s Sebastian’s only warning that he’s pushed too much, too far – and it’s not enough warning to brace himself for the push back that he knows he deserves.

"I have a life to get back to, Sebastian! You might have a better understanding of why that would be important if you’d fucking stop running away from your own!"

He deserves it, he knows he deserves all of that and more after the Hollywood ending crack, yet it’s still such a punch to the gut that Sebastian feels himself falling back against his chair in shock for a full minute, just staring at Kurt. And while Kurt seems instantly regretful of the words, his mouth falling open in what Sebastian knows is going to be an apology, he doesn’t want to hear it.

He doesn’t deserve to. This entire mess - being in Europe at all, being in…something…with Kurt, making Kurt angry enough to lash out, the ruination of the last time they’ll be together - all of it is entirely Sebastian’s fault. If anyone should be apologizing, it’s him. He knows that.

But he can’t get the words out. He can’t ever get any of the right words out.

Sebastian manages to fish out some Euros from his wallet before grabbing his bag and fighting up to his feet on legs that are so shaky he doesn’t know how long he can stand up. And there’s no way he can manage words at all, so he just hurls the bills down on the table and runs out, wondering how far into the Burggarten he can get before his body gives in to anger and hurt and sends him collapsing to the ground.

Kurt’s hand slips between their bodies, knuckles brushing against Sebastian’s stomach as he squirms and slides his fingers down to grip his cock. A shaky laugh bursts from Sebastian’s mouth into Kurt’s and shakes their intertwined bodies because Sebastian’s abdomen is sensitive and ticklish, especially when he’s aroused, and Kurt knows it, it’s one of his favorite things.

Sebastian is as close as he will ever, ever be to another person, as close as it’s possible to be, and he drags his hips back, his cock out, and he is hanging on to control with every ounce of willpower he possesses, not giving in to the urge to wreck Kurt, to pound into him in a frenzy of need and want and the desire to make sure he is never, ever forgotten.

Kurt doesn’t remember leaving Palmenhaus.

It’s a five minute walk back to the Hotel Sacher - ten if he’s really slow about it - and there’s not a moment about it he can remember except that it’s October in Vienna, so it is a little gray and a little chilly and it’s even managing to rain the exactly perfect amount to be a scene in a movie.

Why don’t you tell me about your perfect Hollywood ending?

The words still sting. What was he supposed to have done? Pretended this was like any other night they’d spent together? That wasn’t his style. This wasn’t like any other night, it was special in ways that were beautiful and painful at the same time, and he’d wanted to show that. He’d wanted to say thank you for everything, because god fucking knew how much longer he’d have wallowed in self-pity and useless guilt if Sebastian hadn’t shown him how to remember what real living was.

And anyway it’s not like Kurt wants an ending in the first place, but what the hell else is he supposed to do? As Sebastian himself had pointed out in Dublin, sometimes things happen the way you don’t want, and you have to make the best of it, right?

His absentminded feet carry him back to the hotel and up to the room they were supposed to share. And there it is, Sebastian’s suitcase that they’d sent back with the cab driver that had dropped him off. Leaned up neatly against Kurt’s laptop bag as it had been so many times these last couple of months. Looking right at home and making Kurt wonder again about the life that it might be interesting to have with Sebastian…

Sucking a deep, harsh breath through his nose, Kurt spins on his heel and slams back out of the room, headed straight down to the hotel restaurant.

So close. Kurt spreads his hand out across Sebastian’s back, pressing his palm and fingers down to feel how the raised area at the base of his fingers dips perfectly to fit into the valley of Sebastian’s spine, how his palm and the muscle of Sebastian’s back lay flat against each other, how he can feel the heat of blood under the surface and every little shift as Sebastian fucks him with that agonizing controlled slowness.

But Kurt knows that control is coming apart because when Sebastian is going to come, he always, always gets the same smile on his face like he just discovered sex for the first time and knows it’s never not going to be awesome.

As it turns out, sufficient anger can get you all the way across the park to the memorial monument to Mozart that’s been there for 120 some-odd years. And the amount of anger Sebastian feels at being helpless in his own life, at not understanding his feelings, and not wanting to let Kurt go, well, that’s pretty fucking sufficient.

Dumping his bag to the ground, Sebastian slumps down on the marble steps and tilts his head back, casting a sour gaze up to the angelic, slightly smug sculpted face of the world’s greatest known composer. “What do you have to be happy about?” he asks, ignoring the startled glances of passing tourists. “It’s not like you had a hell of a lot of control over your life, either.”

The corner of the thick stack of paper that is his formal employment contract is still peeking out of the space at the top of his bag; he can’t help but glower at it. Stupid future, he thinks, and it’s childish enough that it drags a tired chuckle out along with a sigh that feels like it should utterly deflate him. “Stupid future,” he repeats, aloud this time, running a hand through his hair, the last of the anger he’d started the night with abruptly draining away and leaving only regret.

He shouldn’t have ruined tonight for Kurt. Once again, there goes his natural selfishness wrecking up the joint, leading him to make bad decisions and terrible mistakes. Once again, someone gets hurt because he’s a jackass, and once again he just walks away from the wreckage.

But this time, at least, he can do something. For one thing, he can sack up and say that he’s sorry for being a jerk. And he can take the last few hours left in their hands and make them a refuge from the morning. Give Kurt the goodbye he deserves and send him back to his life with something good to remember.

Sebastian stands up, dusts off his backside, and picks his bag back up, ambling off back through the park with an apology already held warm in his mouth.

As if after two months Sebastian can’t tell when Kurt is trying to make him come first. Like him tightening down around Sebastian’s cock isn’t a dead giveaway, like his little smirk isn’t the best kind of tell-tale. Like Sebastian can’t read him like a book.

Like Sebastian doesn’t know after all this time that he can send Kurt over the edge with one well-angled tilt of his hips timed with a nip of his teeth where Kurt’s neck leads into the strong curve of his shoulder.

And so Kurt does end up losing that little contest of stamina, but the long moan of ragged completion that Sebastian pours into his ear immediately after Kurt digs his fingernails into the tight globes of Sebastian’s ass is a more than sufficient consolation prize.


Sebastian’s amused question is accompanied by the scrape of a chair away from the table where Kurt is etching intricate nonsense pictures into the top of what’s left of his cheesecake. Kurt glares over, sticking his fork into the abused pastry. “What?”

"We’re in the Hotel Sacher. Home of one of the most famous desserts in the world." Sebastian’s bag hits the floor at the same time as his ass hits the chair, and he’s got a smile Kurt would almost swear is fond on his face. "And you get a cheesecake."

"I like cheesecake," Kurt grumps, sagging against the back of his chair and crossing his arms. "What do you want?"

For a moment, it looks like Sebastian’s going to get up and run out again, and Kurt absolutely will not be able to deal if he does that, for fuck’s sake, he just - but no, Sebastian takes a deep breath and swallows hard before leaning over and resting his elbows on the table, steepling his fingers together and pressing his mouth to his hands for a long moment. “I want to apologize,” he begins at last, flicking his eyes up to meet Kurt’s, and Kurt can see then what it’s costing him to say it, recognizes the trust implicit in Sebastian being able to let go enough to do it. Remembers another day a long time ago when he was a spectator to what might have been Sebastian’s first sincere apology and a shiver crawls down his spine.

Too many memories.

"You don’t deserve to get hit with the weight of my bad decisions," Sebastian is saying, and Kurt comes back to the present in time to see him leaning down to tug something out of his bag. "I’ve been carrying something around Europe myself, Kurt."

Intrigued, Kurt leans across the table just as a heavy stack of paper lands next to his cheesecake. “Smythe, Deaton, and McIlheny Partners,” he reads, scanning the top sheet. “This is your dad’s firm.”

"This is my contract to work for my dad’s firm," Sebastian clarifies, knotting his fingers together again until they’re white-knuckled. "What I’ve been running away from. As you know." He flags a passing waiter down and orders coffee. "It actually arrived about a week before you and I met up in Paris. Just faxed over to the front desk of the hotel, no note, no preceding phone call. Just this, a nice big slap to the face."

"You never said." Kurt flips through the pages, but they’re so much legalese, nothing he understands except their place in Sebastian’s life like a collar. "When you told me the story in Amsterdam, you didn’t say you’d been carrying this around for weeks already."

"Wasn’t much of a point," Sebastian reminds him, a rueful smile on his face. "I was trying to run away from it, remember?"

"I guess." He shoves it away and pulls his fork back out of his cake, scooping up a generous mouthful. "Why tell me now?"

The next silence is long, broken only by the hum of conversation around them and the drumming of Sebastian’s long fingers on the paper stack after he pulls it back across the table. “It’s not an excuse for my behavior - there is no excuse for me being an asshole to you - but you deserve to know what’s going on. And then you deserve my apology for making tonight all about my mistakes and how I’m not really coping with them.” Another deep breath. “I am sorry, Kurt. I shouldn’t have done that.”

Kurt bites his lip and pushes his cake aside. “I’m sorry too,” he murmurs low, shaking his head. “I…I sprung the end of this on you. I know I don’t…we don’t…we don’t have a claim on each other…” He ignores the way that makes his heart twist. “But you deserved better than me just making that decision.”

"No. It was your decision to make. You’re right, you have a life to get back to. And it’s time I stopped screwing around with mine." Scooping up the papers, Sebastian leans down again to put them back in his bag. When he sits back up, he sends a sad smile across the table. "Kurt, I…if you want me to go find another room or even another hotel tonight, I will, but…I’d like the chance to send you home with a better last memory of me than this."

Kurt doesn’t even entertain for one second the notion of being separated from Sebastian in these last hours. Not with that sadness in Sebastian’s eyes that he knows he can wipe away for at least a little while longer. “You’re not sleeping anywhere but next to me,” he replies, leaning back with an ease he doesn’t quite feel and a smile that he can’t quite turn into a laugh. “I want one last good night’s sleep.”

He knows the minute Kurt slips out of the bed.

Sebastian lays still, keeping his breath even and thanking god that he fell into his restless sleep while on his stomach, his head turned towards the wall.

Kurt hadn’t unpacked much the night before, so his quiet journey around the room to collect his things is short.

It’s not long before the bed dips again under his weight and Sebastian feels a warm hand on his shoulder, a soft kiss on the back of his neck.

The kiss burns hot into his skin long after Kurt sighs softly and crawls carefully back out of the bed. Sebastian hears the rustle of Kurt’s bags being picked up for the last time.

There’s a soft metallic rattle as Kurt’s hand pauses on the doorknob. And then he says it.

“I’ll miss you.”

Quiet as a mouse, he lets himself out. Sebastian waits for the door to click shut behind him and for heavy booted footsteps to fade out at the end of the hall before he opens his eyes and exhales a long sigh that presses him into the bed.

“I’ll miss you, too.”

He knows what he means.

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