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feelings that remain the same

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Sebastian checks his watch for the second time as he waits for a burnt Americano, leaning back against a pillar in a Starbucks near his apartment. It’s past ten PM and all he wants to do is go back home, take some notes on a chapter he needs to read for next week and go to sleep. It’s not that he minds his late classes. Everyone has to take them at some point and he figures its best to get them out of the way in the first semester than wait until the year starts getting crazy, but on a usual night he’d be on his couch by nine-thirty.

“Sebass?” Someone calls out and the muscle in his jaw works as he takes a step towards the counter to pick up a cup with a scribble on it that definitely does not look like his name.

He bites down on the tip of his tongue so he doesn’t snap at a worker he’s encountered before in this poor excuse for a Starbucks because the last thing he needs is someone to actively destroy his coffee order.

“Thanks.” He drawls and moves to the small table cart near the door to put sugar into his coffee.

He wouldn’t be dragging ass in the first place to go back to his apartment if he didn’t know who’d be there when he opened the door, Kurt’s baby face having the ability to dig under his skin even after all these years.

Sebastian pushes the door open with his shoulder and leaves the lid of his coffee off to take slow, languid sips, digging in his pocket for his keys as he reaches the apartment complex. It’s not that Blaine asks him to be scarce or anything when Kurt’s over but Sebastian would rather not be in the same space with Hummel for longer than necessary. It’s like a powder keg develops in his chest, behind his ribs; more time spent in proximity means the larger possibility he’ll explode and say something—well, he won’t regret it, but he’d rather not upset his boyfriend.

Blaine somehow has the ability with those doe eyes and wild curls to make him feel guilty for things he’d never in a million years care about otherwise.

As a general rule, Sebastian doesn’t regret many things in his life—it’s a waste of his time to contemplate on past mistakes when he’s a different person. When he reaches the elevator in the lobby, he presses the button with his number on it a little too hard and leans against the wall as the floors disappear beneath him. He’s only ever been really sorry about one thing and no matter how many years pass, it’s something that sits in his bones and lives in his muscles.

I’m sorry about your eye—he can still hear the genuine inflection in his voice, filtered with a high pitch of teenage angst and Lima Bean chatter.

He shakes his head purposely to knock it out of his thoughts but it sticks there like gum on the bottom of his shoe. It’s probably because he lives with Blaine, sees him every day, has the opportunity to think about all the stupid decisions he’s made that almost made him lose him forever.

He still has no idea how he’s ended up here; that Blaine not only decided to forgive him but give him a second chance, that he agreed to date him, that he wanted to. Sometimes Sebastian thinks he’ll wake up one morning and his boyfriend will realize his mistakes and leave on the spot.

For some reason, that has yet to happen.

He takes his time to walk to his apartment, taking another long sip of coffee before he hesitates outside the door. Sebastian almost presses his ear to the wood to hear what’s going on inside but then realizes that’s completely stupid, this is his place and maybe if he walks in, Kurt will want to leave.

So he unlocks the door and shuts it a little louder than necessary before taking his shoes and coat off, dropping his backpack on the floor. He wanders into the living room and Blaine’s arm is around Kurt’s shaking shoulders and –Sebastian’s eyes nearly roll back into his head because is he crying?

Blaine’s face is pinched with empathy because that’s exactly who he’s always been; almost too soft, too gentle, too kind, it wraps something fierce around Sebastian’s heart and squeezes like a vice grip. The same caring and forgiving nature that made Blaine give him a second chance in the first place is the same reason he often finds himself getting hurt. He bites the inside of cheek as his green eyes meet hazel ones before he moves into the kitchen to give them a little more privacy.

It’s one of the things he loves about him, unquestionably, because Blaine is good and thoughtful and a bunch of things that Sebastian is not. He balances him in a way that he didn’t think anyone else could; an equal. But it also means that people easily take advantage of someone like Blaine, using him like a doormat and wiping their feet as they leave.

Sebastian leans against their kitchen counter for a few moments, his palms flat against the cool surface. He strains his ears to listen to the conversation in the living room, Blaine’s gentle voice trying to soothe his friend who keeps heaving hiccupping sobs into a tissue. He clenches his fists and decides he literally needs to leave the general area if he’s going to make it through Kurt being in his apartment, so he works his way down the hallway to their bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes.

He knows that Blaine didn’t have the easiest transition into their relationship, which is another reason he’s surprised that Blaine’s still dating him. Sebastian doesn’t have many friends, just a few acquaintances at school, but that’s fine because he doesn’t feel like he needs anyone. He has Blaine and honestly, sometimes that’s all that matters. But his boyfriend is different, he thrives on big friend groups and making bonds easily. Blaine could become best friends with the cream cheese spreader at a bagel shop if he stood there talking to them long enough.

So when he decides he’s going to date Sebastian, a lot of his old friends from high school don’t get it. They don’t even try to understand and many stop talking to him. His natural reaction is to say fuck them but Sebastian knows that Blaine isn’t like that and despite his better judgement, he tries to reason. Sebastian remembers that for a while he’s angry because what is wrong with these people that claim to be Blaine’s friends? That they won’t even listen to him when he assures them that he knows what he’s doing, that he’s happy. The only two that stick around are the younger Puckerman brother and that blonde guy with the big mouth—Sebastian should really start remembering his name because he’s been around the apartment more than once.

He changes into a comfortable pair of olive-green joggers and a white t-shirt, slipping into the bathroom to wash the day off his face.

Then there’s Kurt.

Sebastian’s history with Kurt has never been easy, which he supposes is what happens when you try to steal someone else’s boyfriend. And he has to bite his tongue on this one because, in the end, he did. It doesn’t quite happen like he thought it would in high school. It took time and effort and pain and the possibility that Blaine would never speak to him again let alone be in his life but Sebastian finally got something he never deserved in the first place.

He moves down the hallway and leans against the doorway, his eyes glancing over Blaine who is handing Kurt another tissue, working his hand up and down his back.

It seems important to note, now more than ever, that Blaine chose him because he wanted to—when he was out of high school, making a name for himself in New York and most importantly, single.

And yet, there’s still that old fear that winds so tightly in his chest, a ball of nerves that threatens to overcome him—there are not many people that Sebastian feels threatened by, but Kurt is somehow one of them. This guy that wears sequins as a fashion statement with his voice high pitched enough to warn dogs three blocks away…and who is emotionally manipulating his boyfriend on his couch manages to somehow make him feel like he’s in high school all over again.

Maybe it’s because Sebastian never thought he’d have Blaine in the first place.

Blaine looks over his shoulder as he senses his presence and the taller motions to the invisible watch on his wrist. Blaine nods, clearing his throat and that seems to be all Kurt needs to realize what time it is.

“I didn’t realize it’d gotten so late.” He says as Sebastian wanders into the living room, sitting down on a chair opposite the couch.

“It’s alright,” Blaine offers gently, standing to walk him to the door. “We can talk tomorrow if you need to.”

Sebastian does his best not to roll his eyes but fails miserably, the only bright spot is that Kurt definitely sees him do it before he straightens his shoulders like he’s going to maintain some sort of dignity before he leaves. He doesn’t really know how Kurt and Blaine had their falling out when they broke up because his boyfriend doesn’t talk about it. He is aware of how nasty Kurt had been when he heard that Blaine was dating Sebastian and it takes everything in him to even offer a smile in the other’s direction as he begins leaving their apartment, because he remembers how upset Blaine was at messages Kurt had sent him.

Nasty barbed wire block texts that had Blaine’s lower lip wobbling and those big hazel eyes filled with tears and Sebastian just doesn’t fucking get it, because the last thing he’d do is let someone like that back into his life.

But if Blaine’s anything, he’s warm and kind and forgiving to a fault—and the last thing Sebastian is going to comment on is that.

He moves to the couch and spreads out on the cushions, leaning his back against one of the arms before reaching for the remote to put some white noise on in the apartment. It’s mostly so that he doesn’t have to hear Kurt talk anymore and he glances up when he finally hears the apartment door close.

Blaine looks tired and Sebastian knows that Kurt probably caught him right after he was done at the theater, not to mention the number of classes he has in the morning. He’s still dressed in his clothes from practice and gently drags his fingers along Sebastian’s shoulder as he passes him to walk into the bedroom. He emerges five minutes later with a freshly washed face, comfortable draw-string pants and a knit sweater that practically engulfs him.

Sebastian knows he’s worn without having to ask; the way he walks into the living room and lays down on him with little to no warning says more than any words can. He lets out a long sigh and allows Blaine to get comfortable, wincing as his knee jabs his inner thigh but quickly realizes that he doesn’t care. He thinks this might be his favorite version of his boyfriend; completely warm and solid, a little bit tired, pressed evenly against him. Anything seems manageable when Blaine starts to relax muscle by muscle against his body, like he’s melting directly into his pores.

It feels like there’s a duality like this, both of them needing the other to be complete.

Sebastian drags his fingers through Blaine’s loose curls, always satisfied that they’re not sticking to his head like they were in high school. They’re a little longer than normal, unruly, and licking against his forehead and Blaine keens into the touch with a soft noise of approval.

“You know,” Sebastian says after a moment, his other hand working up and down Blaine’s back, “If he’s going to be here so often, you should start charging by the hour.”

Blaine rolls his head, propping his chin on the other’s chest so he can look up at him. “He’s going through a bad break up.”

Something mean and nasty curls underneath his tongue and it takes every fiber in his being not to say it. Instead, “Can’t imagine why.”

The shorter huffs and gently squeezes Sebastian’s side, “Don’t be mean. He needs friends and support.”

“Oh you mean like how he was there for you when you told him you were dating me.” It slips out before he can stop it and he feels more than sees Blaine’s reaction, the slight stiffening of his shoulders and spine.

Blaine plays with a loose string on the sleeve of Sebastian’s t-shirt, “I can’t just ignore him. You know that his friendship means a lot to me.”

Sebastian lets out a slow, patient breath and leans his head back against the couch cushion, his one hand resting on the back of Blaine’s neck. “He’s still in love with you.”

The shorter bites down on his lower lip and leans up a little even though his elbows are awkwardly pressing into Sebastian’s chest, “You can’t know that.”

A laugh slips up and out of his throat because seriously? Sebastian lifts his head to give him a look, his hand moving to cup the other’s cheek because how can he be so naïve? “Blaine, I know that because if I were him, I’d still be in love with you too.”

He wants to tell Blaine so many things that seem ridiculous to mention now; he wants to drudge up that stupid fucking slushie and apologize all over again, he wants to ask him if he really wants to be here—if he’s sure, he wants Blaine to know that it’s probably impossible for people to fall out of love with him. That anyone he’s ever met and had a connection with don’t forget him so easily. That it’s because of who he is that the warmth he shares with others becomes a part of them.

Blaine pillows his chin, a devious sparkle in his hazel eyes that Sebastian almost misses when he says, “Oh, well if that’s the case. I better let Kurt know I’m still interested.”

Sebastian narrows his eyes, his hands slowly moving down Blaine’s sides until they rest on his hips and squeeze, “That’s not cute.”

“It’s a little cute—” His sentence is cut off with a definitive squawk as Sebastian sits up and uses the momentum to flip them over. He blankets Blaine’s body, a slow smile breaking out on the shorter’s face as he tips his chin up to kiss him.

“I love you.” Blaine whispers against his lips, because he feels like he has to, to offer comfort and support to his boyfriend even though it’s not necessary.

Sebastian hums, nips at his lower lip with his teeth and slides his hands up and under the knit sweater so he can feel his skin. “I know.” He whispers back and solidifies that statement with another kiss.

--

Sebastian doesn’t really know, nor does he really care, about the current relationship Kurt’s in or why it’s falling to shit. His Facebook and Instagram accounts are relatively idle unless Blaine wants him to post something—his boyfriend’s the one that uses social media to keep tabs on his friends and family. It makes the most sense for Blaine to be more involved that way, being the social butterfly that he is; Sebastian at least enjoys his Insta-stories when he’s at the theater doing what makes him the most happy.

But out of sheer curiosity, Sebastian starts clicking through Kurt’s Instagram because he’s in-between classes at the Starbucks near his apartment and he can’t quite stop himself. His page is mostly pictures of food, coffee, and fashion but there are some posts of this guy who’s strikingly handsome. And Sebastian comes to the same conclusion as he usually does because what is it with Kurt somehow snagging attractive guys? He settles on the fact that he must have a magic dick because no other answer seems plausible.

He shakes his head and takes a sip of his coffee, rolling his thumb over Kurt’s Instagram timeline and pauses when he comes across a few pictures of him and Blaine. They’re clearly from a while ago, Blaine’s in his Dalton uniform in some of them and in others he has on bowties that hurt his eyesight and too much gel in his hair. They look happy and a sickly sweet satisfaction curls in Sebastian’s stomach at the thought that Kurt doesn’t get to have Blaine like that anymore.

There’s also a current picture from three days ago with a geotag of Blaine’s theater in Brooklyn—it’s a selfie with Kurt in the foreground and Blaine in the background, smiling with a cup of coffee that Kurt’s clearly brought him. Sebastian didn’t know that Kurt went to visit his boyfriend at the theater, let alone bring him caffeine fixes. Despite the annoyed spark that strikes the back of his spine, he’s not about to tell Blaine who he can and can’t see—he trusts him.

He just doesn’t trust that sequin wearing weasel.

Sebastian glances at the time on his watch and sighs because he should really start making it out of here to his last class of the day, wondering if he should get a refill before he leaves. The line is longer than when he first came in but he’s going to be cranky if he doesn’t have something to get him through the class so, waiting is his only option.

He makes a mental note to start flirting with the pretty, blonde barista behind the counter who keeps giving him small smiles—because maybe, at least, if she sees him walk in she’ll motion him out of a long line and give him his refill without waiting.

It takes him a moment to realize that he recognizes a pair of voices directly next to him, over the tall display of coffee mugs and high-priced snacks. A crinkle appears between his eyebrows as he takes a step closer in line, looking through the display to see Blaine and Kurt sitting at a table with their own cups of coffee.

Jesus Christ, will the universe not let him escape this guy for once?

He’s about to forgo the coffee altogether when he hears his name pinpricking his eardrum and he turns his attention to his boyfriend who suddenly looks uncomfortable in his seat. There’s a soft pinch to his features, like he’s sucking on a lemon,

“Kurt, you know I care about you…that won’t change but I’m here as your friend.”

The other looks put off but he straightens out his shoulders and decides to try again, which in Sebastian’s opinion is bold seeing as how Blaine’s already told him how he felt. “This…relationship just made me realize how easy it was with you. How much I still love you.”

His hand slides across the table and touches Blaine’s wrist, who hesitates in pulling away because he’s surprised despite the fact that Sebastian told him exactly how this was going to end. He looks…crushed, for a lack of a better word, because Blaine’s genuine in how he feels about people, in wanting to help and Kurt’s practically tearing that concept apart with a crowbar.

“Look, you’ve been upset and hurt for a while about your relationship trouble, that’s all this is. And you know I’m with Sebastian now, I love him.”

Kurt pulls his hand away as if he’s been physically burned and Sebastian can’t quite help the glowing ball of pride threatening to burst right out of his stomach. He takes a step forward in line, craning his neck a little to eavesdrop because he’s not about to give up now.

“You love someone who almost blinded you? Who tried to steal you away from me in high school?” He shakes his head, disgust clear in his tone. Though Sebastian figures it’s not really about him; Blaine’s wounded his pride by not accepting his advances—he understands this reaction all too well.

It might be the only thing he and Kurt have in common; to lash out when someone’s hurt them.

“I thought you had better standards than that, Blaine.”

Now, Blaine stands quickly from the table because he’s upset more than anything else. The shorter has always been relatively good with confrontation, in standing up for what he believes in, but it dawns on Sebastian that he doesn’t want to get into a fight with Kurt because he might lose his patience.

“You don’t get to talk about him like that. He’s come a long way from who he was in high school, just like we all have.” Blaine picks up his coat and slips it over his sweater, grabbing his bag because he’s met with Kurt right before he has to go to the theater for practice. “And I’m…I’m willing to help you through whatever you need, but I’m not going to sit here while you insult my boyfriend.”

Kurt bristles at being told off but he simply wraps his hands around his mug because they both know that once Blaine puts his foot down about something; that’s it. He nods his head once, “Well, I wouldn’t want you to be late for practice.”

Blaine shakes his head as he leaves Kurt behind to stew, making his way outside before Sebastian can round the corner in line. He lets out a satisfied sigh, wanting more than anything to announce his presence to Kurt as he waits for a refill of coffee. And maybe he would have, in the past, with a satisfied sneer as he rubbed salt in the wound.

But as Blaine said, he’s not that guy anymore. Not exactly, anyways.

He gets his refill of coffee and slips out of the café, walking towards the subway to get to class. His phone vibrates in his pocket with a text message,

Blaine Anderson (4:34 PM): I’m not feeling well so I might be home early from practice.

Blaine Anderson (4:34 PM): I could make fajitas for dinner so we can eat when you get home?

Sebastian bites down on the tip of his tongue, typing out a message a few times before he finally sends one.

Sebastian Smythe (4:36 PM): Are you okay? Don’t make dinner if you’re not feeling up to it. We can just eat dessert in bed.

Sebastian Smythe (4:37 PM): And yes, by dessert, I mean you ;)

Blaine Anderson (4:37 PM): !!! Stop.

And yet Sebastian knows for a fact that Blaine does not want him to stop, can picture the pretty blush on his cheeks in the back of his mind’s eye.

Blaine Anderson (4:38 PM): I’m fine, I’ll talk to you when you’re home. Fajitas it is! xoxo

Sebastian licks his lips and pockets his phone, wanting more than anything to let Blaine know that he gets it—he’s been in situations where Kurt’s made him sick to his stomach in the past more times than he can count.

--

Sebastian takes in a deep breath when he walks into their apartment, dropping his bag after taking off his coat. He toes off his shoes and settles into the smell of Blaine cooking dinner, a soft pop song filtering in through the radio they keep on top of the fridge and his boyfriend bopping to the beat with ridiculously sinful hips. He leans against the doorframe, arms over his chest as he watches him a few moments, a smile tugging the corners of his mouth.

He finally decides to say something when Blaine takes out a cutting board for the peppers, “Please don’t end up in the ER again because you couldn’t stop dancing while you cut the vegetables.”

Blaine huffs, cheeks adorably pink at being caught. He leans up and plants a kiss to Sebastian’s jawline before he settles to cut a red pepper into even strips. “That was one time.”

“Once was enough,” He says as he dips two fingers into a bowl that has shredded cheese to pop some into his mouth, “How was practice? You feeling better?”

The shorter chews on his lower lip, rubbing the bridge of his nose with the back of his wrist before he puts the knife down on the cutting board. “Practice was fine, only a month to go before opening night and my calves are already so sore.”

Sebastian smiles a little, putting his hand on Blaine’s hip to pull him closer. “If you want, that won’t have to be the only thing that’s sore tonight.”

He squirms pleasantly against his boyfriend’s body, pressing himself up on his toes to kiss him, his arms wrapping around his shoulders. He breathes him in for a moment, Sebastian can feel the exact second he begins to unwind against him, their foreheads leaning together.

“I…I saw Kurt today,” He says, his lips brushing his own. Sebastian pulls back a little so he can see Blaine’s face more clearly. He cups his cheek and threads his fingers through a few loose curls by his ear. “You were right, I thought…I thought he wanted my help because he trusted me, because we had history and,” He shakes his head, like he’s not quite sure what he wants to say.

“I thought I was needed, you know?”

Sebastian’s face pinches a little and he squeezes Blaine tighter along his hips, shaking his head. “Hey, don’t beat yourself up. You are needed, and as much as I want to be angry at Kurt, I can’t exactly blame him for still being in love with you.”

Blaine lets out a slow breath when Sebastian kisses his forehead and while he’s not going to say it, he knows that Blaine feels a little bit used by the situation. He shuffles him closer into his body until he’s pressed along Sebastian’s chest, his nose and lips tucked against the skin of his neck.

He smooths a hand down his back, pausing every so often to scrub at the bottom of his scalp in a soothing manner. Blaine tilts his head, pressing a soft kiss to the underside of Sebastian’s chin before pulling away, a gentle smile on his handsome features.

Sebastian grabs another cutting board to help Blaine cut up the peppers, his boyfriend taking the red ones while he does the green. “So does this mean I can look forward to him not being in the apartment anymore.”

He smiles a little, even though he’s rolling his eyes, “I’d say that’s a high possibility, yes.”

Taking a small piece of pepper to put into his mouth, Sebastian hums, “Well, I guess good things really do come to those who wait.”

Blaine laughs, wiping his hands off a tea towel before purposely bending to get beers out of the fridge. He’s showing off his ass to Sebastian, glancing over his shoulder with his eyelashes suddenly looking ridiculously long, a soft pout to his lower lip and how does he do that?

“Then I guess you really have something to look forward to after dinner, as long as you can wait.”

Sebastian lets out a short huff, shaking his head as he has to look away because his boyfriend is a fucking tease. “With that ass and that face? I make zero promises.”