Rating: PG-13 for language
Warnings: Suicide of an OC and discussions of said suicide and past bashing
Spoilers: 314 (On My Way)
Word Count: 2400
Summary: Sebastian receives some unsettling news at the office that follows him home. Future fic.
Author’s Notes: Thank you so, so much to hotsexywarbler for the beta! You’re the best :)
Sebastian slams his car door shut. He then opens it and slams it again for good measure. It's his first outward display of frustration since receiving the news this morning, and barring the fact that he holes himself up in his office the entire day; no one in the DA’s office is the wiser to how it’s affected him.
There was a case he spearheaded last year involving a gay teen that was bashed within an inch of his life at his school dance. Obviously, the circumstances of the case hit a little too close to home, and if Sebastian was a little more tightlipped about work at the time, Blaine didn’t ask; his boyfriend merely related more colorful stories about his students and didn’t blink when Sebastian stuck more closely to his side as the trial progressed.
The similarities between the case and Blaine’s experience cease with the attack itself, seeing as the plaintiff’s parents pressed charges. The trial went in the plaintiff’s—Aiden’s—favor; Sebastian made certain there was no other outcome. His aggressors were convicted of second degree assault and sentenced to seven years in prison, five of which were mandatory.
The win was overshadowed, however, by the tactless media attention the trial garnered. All parties were casted equally in a negative light depending on which liberalist or homophobe covered the story, and ultimately, Aiden and his family had to move out of Boston to have any chance of a normal life. Sebastian hadn’t heard from them since.
He finds out just as he enters his office this morning that Aiden committed suicide earlier this week. No note. No explanation. Just a tub full of bathwater and slit wrists.
Sebastian feels time slow as he absorbs the news, nods once to his PA, and heads into his office without another word. His first thoughts after the shock wears away are ‘shit’, ‘fuck’, and ‘what a waste.’ Then he closes his eyes and forcibly pushes the thoughts firmly to the back of his mind, already knowing he won’t be able to focus otherwise.
He manages to get through the day, despite the fact that his thoughts turn inadvertently to Aiden during every quiet moment, and he’s aggravated that it distracted him at all.
It comes to a head after he parks his car in front of his and Blaine’s condo: the anger, the frustration, and the undeniable regret. Aiden’s mother had called him personally because she recalled that he and Aiden bonded during the trial and would have wanted to know. He knows it isn’t her intent, but the reminder drives it home even more deeply that in the end, Sebastian hadn’t helped Aiden at all.
“You can’t help everyone, Sebastian. It’s best that you learn that now.”
It’s something his father has always told him. Regardless whether it was his father’s career that jaded him into believing so, Sebastian always took the words to heart if not just to absolve any guilt he felt when something went unexpectedly wrong.
It doesn’t help today. If anything, it makes him feel like he’s cheating.
Sebastian is only a few steps away from the front door when he hears the music. It’s loud and Blaine is either cleaning or cooking and Sebastian sincerely hopes it’s the latter because he hasn’t had much to eat today other than a few cups of coffee and a bagel.
When Sebastian gets inside, he winces at the volume and the vocals of Belinda Carlisle declaring that heaven is a place on earth. If that were true, he has to wonder what hell is like given what Aiden’s family is likely going through. Not that he believes in either place, but still.
He kicks his shoes off toward the rack by the door and shrugs off his coat as he heads to where the music is loudest. When he reaches the kitchen, he’s about to snap at Blaine to turn it down when he’s rooted to the spot at what he sees.
Blaine is dancing around the kitchen—a wooden spoon in hand—and is singing with abandon. He hasn’t changed out of the clothes he wore to work as evident by the partial green handprint Sebastian sees on his otherwise white sleeve, and he clearly doesn’t know he is being watched.
Sebastian can’t help but stare and the tightness he’s been feeling in his chest throughout the day is gradually loosening to just a dull ache.
It’s times like these when he catches Blaine unawares and sees how obviously happy he is that Sebastian wonders how he got to this point and with this man in his life. It’s ridiculous and should never have happened and yet...
There was always something about Blaine Anderson; something that made it impossible for Sebastian to just dismiss or ignore him. It was true that Dave’s suicide attempt was the punch in the face that rattled him into truly believing his actions had consequences, but Blaine...Blaine who forgave him after everything he’d done and eventually allowed them to be friends again. Blaine who had been knocked down so many times, but got right back up and kept on going without losing his sense of self.
Blaine was the one who inspired Sebastian to be better.
He believes it’s the reason why hearing about Aiden disturbs his equilibrium so badly, besides the obvious reasons. He thinks he should have kept in touch with the teenager; Blaine certainly would have. Sebastian isn’t one to dwell on what ifs, but he can’t shake the gnawing thought that he could have done something more than just lock those asshats behind bars.
Because despite Aiden having a supportive family around him and in spite of making it through that night and the ensuing trial, for some reason that no one will ever know, Aiden still decided to take his own life. Sebastian just can’t make sense of it.
When I feel alone
I reach for you and you bring me home
When I'm lost at sea
I hear your voice and it carries me
Sebastian jerks at the sound of Blaine’s voice, blinks back to the present to see Blaine is still singing and bopping along to the beat as he chops something beside the stove.
The sudden thought that Blaine could have easily done what Aiden did years ago crosses his mind and it’s enough to make him feel a little nauseous.
It spurs him forward and he drops his briefcase and coat silently onto one of the kitchen chairs before making his way quickly across the floor until he’s behind Blaine. He wraps his arms around the other and finds it easier than he thought to sing, "In this world we’re just beginning. To understand the miracle of living."
Blaine startles out a laugh, spins around until he's face to face with him—eyes bright and smile wide—and kisses him enthusiastically in greeting. When they pull apart, Blaine with his lower back resting against the kitchen counter and Sebastian with his arms still wound loosely around the other, he says, mockingly, "So, it must have been a good day to pull out the eighties pop music. What, did little Monica compliment you on your bow tie today, Mr. Anderson?"
Blaine is about to shove him playfully on his shoulder when he stops and looks at him. He then raises his right hand and frames the side of his face. "What's wrong?" he asks, eyes crinkled in worry.
Sebastian shakes his head. "Nothing," he denies, and when Blaine continues to stare at him, he amends, "I'll tell you later. Just." He leans in again, kisses Blaine and pulls his body closer, needing him to be close. Blaine startles for a second, but folds Sebastian up in his arms just the same and kisses him back.
When he finally pulls back, he hides his face in the crook of Blaine’s neck and murmurs, “I love you.”
Blaine stills in his arms, just for a moment, before tightening his grip a fraction around the other and leaning his head against his to say, “I love you, too.”
They stand there for a while longer holding one another. Sebastian is sure Blaine has questions. He doesn’t normally seek out hugs or other displays of affection. That was more Blaine’s thing than his. So, when Blaine inhales a breath to speak, Sebastian braces himself thinking Blaine will ask him what’s the matter. Instead, Blaine asks if he wants to help him finish making dinner.
Sebastian’s shoulders relax and he lifts his head to say, “Sure. What do you need me to do?”
They finish making dinner and decide to sit in front of the television to eat it. It’s not until much later when they’re underneath their covers and Blaine stills his hand from traveling southbound that Sebastian knows he’s stalled long enough. Blaine pulls his hand up to his lips, kisses his fingers one by one, and then holds it to his cheek. “Sebastian,” he says simply and not exactly demanding, but it makes Sebastian turn his head away anyway and roll onto his back. His hand tugs out of Blaine’s grip as a result and Blaine compensates by holding his other hand.
Sebastian takes a breath. And then another. And then he tells Blaine everything.
He doesn’t feel much better for it. If anything, he’s still just as frustrated and conflicted as when he first heard the news. Blaine for his part listens and serves as a steady presence by his side.
When he finally pauses for more than two seconds, Blaine has the gall to ask him why he feels so guilty; that he did everything he could.
“It wasn’t enough,” he spits out, drawing back from Blaine and pushing himself upright so his weight is resting against his left elbow. “In the end, it didn’t help jack shit.”
Blaine sits up, but doesn’t let go of Sebastian’s hand. “That’s not true,” he argues. “You didn’t let them get away with it, and I’m sure that meant something to Aiden—to his family. At the time, it was more than enough.” Blaine leans forward as he presses on. “You can’t beat yourself up for what happened after, Seb.”
Sebastian scowls, but Blaine doesn’t react other than to grip his hand tighter.
“It was enough,” Blaine tells him again, tone measured and placating as if Sebastian is behaving like one of his second graders and it grates on his already ragged nerves.
“Right,” Sebastian laughs bitterly. “And I should just believe you because you corner the fucking market in getting the shit kicked out of you at school dances.”
Blaine recoils away from him; his hand jerking out of his so fast he can feel the cool displacement of air.
“Fuck,” Sebastian swears, squeezing his eyes shut, too ashamed to face the other. “Fuck, Blaine. I didn’t—”
“That’s right,” Blaine cuts him off, slow and deliberate and voice trembling slightly with fury. “I would know. What I don’t know is what Aiden was exactly thinking or how he was feeling this week to do what he did. But I do know what I felt when I was in the hospital and my parents told me they weren’t going to do anything. I know what I felt when my father asked me what I expected to happen when I decided to go to the dance with Kyle. As if it was my fault that I had the shit beaten out of me. So, when I tell you that locking those bigots away so they can’t hurt anyone else is enough, you should fucking believe it because it would have meant the world to me then and it’s damn more than anything anyone’s ever done for me since.”
Blaine is visibly shaking now, his hands fisted tightly at his sides, and Sebastian crawls across the space between them, pulls him unwillingly to his chest, and whispers ‘sorry, sorry, sorry.’
Eventually the tension does drain out of Blaine’s body and he lets his head fall onto Sebastian’s shoulder with a huff.
“You’re an asshole, Smythe,” Blaine mutters and Sebastian grimaces at the use of his last name, but nods.
“So, I’ve been told. Repeatedly.”
Blaine scoffs at that, but doesn’t respond. Nor does he pull away.
“I know putting those two away matters,” Sebastian says quietly after a few beats. “I didn’t mean for it to come across like it didn’t.” He pauses, thinks over his next words carefully and at length settles on what he believes has been bothering him all day. “I just wish I knew what he was thinking,” he admits and hopes Blaine understands.
Blaine doesn’t answer. He simply raises his arms and finally hugs Sebastian back. Sebastian breathes a little easier after that.
“I want to attend the funeral,” Sebastian surprises himself by saying next and realizes it’s true.
Blaine nods. “Okay. I’ll book our tickets tomorrow.”
Sebastian’s arms tighten around Blaine and he smiles faintly because of course Blaine is coming with him. “Don’t bother. Patrice will get them for us.”
Blaine rolls his eyes. “I’m sure Patrice has more important things to do than to spend time buying us plane tickets, Seb.”
“Her job is to assist me, Blaine,” Sebastian counters falling easily into the familiar banter. He unwinds himself from the other and sits on the backs of his heels. “This will be her assisting me.”
Blaine merely sighs, his lips twitching to form a shadow of the smile Sebastian is typically exposed to. The expression is no one’s fault but his own and he extends a hand out to squeeze one of Blaine’s once in apology. “I’m sorry,” he says again.
“I know you are,” Blaine replies. “You’ve said it more than three times already, which is unheard of,” he adds with a familiar quirk to his lips, and Sebastian pushes him, albeit gently, on the arm.
Blaine laughs, smiling more genuinely now, and Sebastian knows he’s forgiven.
They go to sleep after that; Blaine forcing Sebastian to tuck his head underneath his chin for once and Sebastian lets him. Allows Blaine to mutter assurances in his ear that Sebastian certainly doesn’t need, but it impels him to think that next time...next time he’ll get it right.
Because what his father said was true: You couldn’t help everyone.
But that didn’t mean you couldn’t try.