Summary: Blaine doesn’t know why he’s still in Paris until Sebastian gives him a reason.
For Cassie, who needed a little pick-me-up.
Paris is cold and grey, dirty in the hazy February chill. It’s not quit raining, but the air seeping through the cracked open window is thick with condensation. It settles on the tongue and tastes of ancient grime. The city feels old. It is old, but it hasn’t felt like it until that morning.
Blaine sits in the large window, on the padded bench, knees drawn up to his chest. He’s wrapped in Sebastian’s robe, naked underneath, and the too-long fabric drapes and pools around him. The heavy air brushes across his cheeks and sits in his chest. The world stretches out vast beneath him. From the penthouse suite, the lines of the city are clear and obvious, sharp emptiness slicing through tightly packed humanity. Blaine swallows and slides his finger along the cool windowpane, traces the dark line of a road. Many of the Parisian streets are narrow; a contrast to the grand Haussman boulevards, and sometimes Blaine feels like the soot-streaked buildings are leaning in towards him, crowding into him. He feels small. It’s so different from the way he feels when Sebastian is towering over him. He doesn’t like it.
Over his shoulder, Blaine hears the rustling of sheets and the change in Sebastian’s breath that means he’s waking up.
Blaine doesn’t know why he’s still here. They’ve been in Paris two weeks now. Two weeks of lazy mornings with espresso and croissants, newspapers Blaine can’t read, and Sebastian’s warm lips on his naked skin. Two weeks of late nights in expensive clubs; Sebastian’s possessive hands on his hips and his bright eyes making sure the other boys know to stay away. They can look, but only Sebastian gets. Blaine knows why he came to Paris, but he doesn’t know why he stays. Sebastian has family in the city – a grandfather with more money than a small country and a wicked sense of humor that sets Blaine’s cheeks ablaze and makes Sebastian laugh. His eyes are sharp like Sebastian’s, too knowing, and Blaine both hates and loves the way the older man seems to be able to see right into Blaine’s soul. Blaine’s pretty sure that the old man knows exactly why Blaine stays.
Behind him, the mattress shifts. Sebastian inhales.
“Blaine?” Sebastian’s voice is deep and gruff with sleep, tinged with an accent he started slipping into the third day.
“’m here, Bas.”
Blaine hears a pair of feet hit the floor and the quiet shuffle of Sebastian coming towards him. He’s sure Sebastian won’t mention what day it is.
“What are you doing up already?” Sebastian’s big hand cards through Blaine’s messy hair and his thumb strokes along Blaine’s temple. “It’s not even seven.” Sebastian bends low and presses a dry kiss to his cheek. Blaine’s eyes close. Somewhere in the distance a church bell rings.
“Couldn’t sleep.” Blaine looks up. Sebastian is naked and his skin is pebbled with goose bumps. The bedroom has grown cold with the window open and Sebastian doesn’t mention what day it is.
“Do you want to go out for breakfast?”
“Not really.” Blaine doesn’t think he can bear another cramped café, enveloped in smoke and car exhaust as his coffee goes tepid. Sebastian’s eyes narrow a little. The green is nearly city-grey in the dim light of the morning.
“Hey.” Sebastian’s fingers catch under his chin and tilt his face up. “What is this? I can’t have pissed you off already.”
Blaine swallows. His throat aches a little.
“It’s Valentine’s Day.”
Something passes across Sebastian’s thin face and his lips twitch. His hair is a wild mess and he almost looks amused. Blaine’s chest feels tight. “Is it?”
“You know it is.” Blaine has a gift for Sebastian wrapped and hidden in the closet.
Sebastian bends again and presses a kiss to Blaine’s lips. “Oh good, because otherwise this would be a little much for just another morning.”
He brings his other hand up. He’s holding a small, unwrapped box, gone unnoticed by Blaine until then. Blaine shivers in Sebastian’s too-big robe.
“What is that?”
“It’s a present.” Sebastian’s voice is warm and fond.
Blaine takes the box. It’s old and carved with a delicate pattern that Blaine thinks he would recognize if his heart weren’t pounding quite so hard in his chest.
Inside rests an antique pocket watch, set in a heavy silver case with a smooth enamel dial. Blaine’s breath catches. Blaine thinks he can hear the steady ticking of the time; it’s already set to the current hour. He doesn’t know what to say.
“Bas.” The watch is cool to the touch. It feels like he’s known it forever.
“It was grandfather’s,” Sebastian says. His voice is soft and his fingers are warm on the back of Blaine’s neck. “It’s yours now.”
Blaine blinks slowly; the watch ticks another second. He reaches out to draw Sebastian down to him. Sebastian smiles against his mouth as he settles on the window bench between Blaine’s legs.
Blaine knows why he’s still in Paris.