Pairings: Sebastian/OC(s), one-sided Sebastian/Blaine
Spoilers: Spoilers through all aired episodes, but this is a fairly radical AU.
Warnings: Non-con/dub-con, casual ableism/homophobia/racism, mild violence, age difference, implied ephebophilia, mention of suicide, minor self-injury, parental abandonment
Betas: idoltina, penguinutopia
Word Count: 3024
Summary: Sebastian's been waiting for this, but that doesn't mean he's ready.
When Sebastian is sixteen he throws words and fists and his school bag at a boy. He is shouting when the police arrive and he doesn’t remember why.
They get home from the police station (he’s a minor, released on his own recognizance, he gets to go home) and no one is speaking. His mother clenches her jaw and his father refuses to look at him. “It’s fine,” Sebastian scoffs, sitting across the table from them. “It’s not like anyone was hurt.”
His father has a glass of something golden and dangerous, and he sets it down on the table with a clink. “It’s the third time you’ve been involved with the police this year,” he says.
“So?” Sebastian says. It’s not like these things have consequences, not for boys-- men-- like him.
“So that’s enough, Sebastian,” his father snaps. “I’m calling Labor in the morning.”
Sebastian has been waiting for the other shoe to drop since he was thirteen and his parents moved back to Ohio. It’s not like he hasn’t had a good run on the outside (but he’s just sixteen, some little voice inside his head whispers, and he crushes it ruthlessly), and he’s expected this. “Fine,” he says. “I’ll be home in the morning-- don’t wait up.”
He’s not sure what his parents expect him to do-- crash his car or slit his wrists like an idiot, maybe-- but they let him go. He drives to Scandals and drinks the overpriced, watered-down cocktails, finds a man who clearly thinks Sebastian’s out of his league, and leads him into the back room.
It’s probably the last time he’s going to be in charge of his own sex life for a while (because while his parents can’t be serious about marking him, they are probably planning his grounding to the minute), so he pushes the other man down in front of him and takes what he wants, leaning back almost lazily against the wall as the other man’s mouth sinks down around his dick. He closes his eyes and loses himself as much as he can in the sounds, the way the vibrations from the music sink into the sheetrock and echo back through him, in the feeling of the other man’s mouth on him, the scents of spilled alcohol and sweat.
After he comes he shoves the other man off, uncaring of the way the man reaches back for him-- for reciprocity or a kiss, he doesn’t care. Tonight is for him-- tomorrow he’ll go home, talk his parents out of it, head to Dalton in September (it might be his third school in two years, but all that means is that he’s a master at fitting in).
He heads back to the bar and orders another drink, because his fake ID says he’s 22 and he’s got the body language to prove it, then heads back to the dance floor. There’s got to be someone else here in this ass-end of nowhere that’s worth a dance and a grind.
Tonight is for him.
Morning comes and his parents haven’t changed their minds. His father looks half-surprised to see him, which makes Sebastian wish that he’d at least scratched the car.
But most surprisingly, they aren’t alone. There’s another man at the table, wearing a somber but cheap suit (like an undertaker or an extra in an FBI flick)-- his entire manner practically screams “government,” and Sebastian almost bolts there and then. But there’s some instinct in him that says stay (they’d catch him if he ran, anyway; he doesn’t have anywhere to go), so he sits down at the breakfast table and takes a piece of toast.
“Good morning,” he says mildly, like he’s walked in from his bedroom, instead of from one of the top three nights of his life.
“Sebastian,” his mother says, half-stern and half-gentle, “this is Mr. Pearson.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Sebastian says, prep-school manners carefully in place.
“Have your parents explained what’s going on?” Mr. Pearson asks.
“He was out all night,” his father says. “We spoke briefly yesterday, but--”
“Come on, dad, you didn’t expect me to--” Sebastian interrupts, stopping short when his father slams his palm flat on the table.
“You will listen to me,” his father hisses. “We can’t abide by this any longer, Sebastian. You’re being sent to Labor.”
“It wasn’t that bad--” Sebastian tries, but this time it’s his mother who talks over him.
“If it were just the boys, Sebastian, we could-- I have made allowances for your preferences,” she says, steel-voiced. “But the police have been involved, twice now, and your father and I have no other choice.”
“There are other choices,” Sebastian spits. “You don’t have to fucking mark me--” He’s well aware that he’s losing control of this confrontation, that he never really had any to begin with. He can see that the papers on the breakfast table are incomplete, he knows about the three-day waiting period. He stands up, hands empty. It won't do any good to shout or fight back, not this time-- he can wait it out, wait for his parents to realize that this is a terrible decision, that Sebastian is-- he's normal, he's fine. He's a teenager, he's supposed to make dumb decisions and regret them when he's older.
He’s got time. “I’ll be in my room,” he says. “I’ll be down for dinner.”
His parents don’t change their minds. His mother nods at him as he is led off by Mr. Pearson and two other men from Labor and his father isn't even there. He’d said his goodbyes to Sebastian the night before, stilted and uncomfortable. Sebastian wonders if they honestly think he’ll make a break for it-- if he was going to do it, it would have been when he’d spent three days locked in his room, not when he’s surrounded by trained professionals.
He rolls his eyes as they stuff him into the car. He stays silent on the two-hour drive to Columbus, only speaking when he’s asked a direct question.
Sebastian doesn't regret not fighting back, not yet. He wonders if he ever will-- if just accepting this had been the right thing to do, because it's ridiculous, to have been marked for having a half-dozen fistfights with people who deserved it-- it’s not like he’s a violent person by nature, not really. He’s always thought that if he were marked (and every kid he knows worries about it, for one reason or another), it would be because he’s more than a little bit obviously gay-- not that he has gay face, or anything. It’s just more expected; fighting is such a masculine thing to do that he’d thought his father might be proud.
Evidently not. Every mile between Lima and Columbus disconnects him from his parents that much more, and by the time they reach the processing center he thinks that maybe they were right, in the end-- maybe this is who he’s supposed to be.
Now that he’s marked he has two choices: fight and say fuck the system or give in, go quietly. Sebastian is strong-- he won’t break and fold, mold himself into something he’s not, but for some reason, he finds it... easier, not to fight back. He takes his anger and pushes it down, makes it into something he can control-- he is still furious, underneath, but he doesn’t hit back and he doesn’t yell, not like he used to.
His Foster is a joke, training is lame, but like hell is he going to stay an office drone or a farm hand at the DoL. He can go along with their stupid rules and requirements until he can get the fuck out of the state-- and then he’ll see. He signs himself up for One-on-One service against the advice of his Foster and rushes through the training just so he can leave.
The first prospective Holder he meets smiles with shark’s teeth and asks him if he’d like to get out of this hick state. Sebastian grins back and finds himself leaping at the chance to leave, to get out and leave Ohio in the dust.
He doesn’t mind the sex at all. He’s good at it, and it makes him feel good. Sure, his holder is a dozen years older than he is, but he’s inventive and Sebastian likes the things they do. Not everything is what he’d have chosen (the first time he has sex with a girl is memorable for all the wrong reasons), but Sebastian knows who and what he is, and he’s accepted this.
Sebastian only fights back once; it's the second time there's a girl, and she starts crying, softly, when he's down between her legs. He stops what he's doing, tries to pull back, but his Holder keeps his head in place, pushing him forward until Sebastian has to suffocate or keep going. Sebastian struggles and the girl doesn't move, like she's been tied to the bed even though Sebastian is the only one who's restrained.
He says no and it's actually a surprise to both of them, but his Holder kneels down behind him and sets his teeth to the side of Sebastian's neck, biting down hard enough that the skin almost breaks. "It doesn't matter if you want to or not," he murmurs in Sebastian's ear, too quiet for the girl to hear, "this is happening."
The next morning his Holder ties his hands behind his back and looks at him contemplatively before slapping him across the face hard enough that he sees stars. "You were weak, last night," he says evenly. "You won't be, again." And it doesn't end there, but Sebastian likes to pretend that it does, because otherwise he will want to hit back, he will want to throw words and fists in his Holder's face. Every blow, every slap, every open-handed impact against his cheeks, his back, tamps the anger down again, quells it and leaves it just barely glowing in the pit of his stomach. When it ends Sebastian is exhausted and aching, but he's cool on the inside, still and patient.
Most of the time, he can control his anger: he bites the inside of his cheek bloody on more than one occasion. He learns to fashion his anger like a knife, to be cutting and deadly with words, not with his hands. He uses it when his Holder wants him to, when it's most useful and deliberate.
His Holder doesn’t always want him-- sometimes he’ll want a girl (almost always blonde and soft, their bodies nothing like the high-fashion girls they see at parties), sometimes he wants a boy who isn’t Sebastian (the boys are more variable-- brown-eyed and brown-skinned or sharp-nosed and dark; once a tall boy with pale skin and hair who looked like he was half made of ice). Sebastian learns to be faceless, nameless, nothing more than a willing body and a willing mouth, when his Holder needs him to.
(Sometimes it is just the two of them in his Holder’s high-rise, fucking against the plate-glass windows or in his Holder’s bed, and his Holder will kiss the side of his neck and Sebastian will miss being sixteen and relatively innocent. He had had no grand plans for love, for anything more than a moment’s affection, but he misses it all the same. He has no illusions that his Holder is just waiting until it’s convenient to get rid of Sebastian-- he doesn’t miss the fact that the boys and girls he picks up for his Holder stay the same age, even as Sebastian gets older.
He does not use his Holder’s name. He is not permitted to.)
He slides through New York like an eel, like something soft and slippery and dangerous, something that would bite you as soon as look at you-- and he bites hard, he leaves marks on his Holder, on his own forearms (once on the top of his own kneecap, but that time is shoved in a box in the back of his mind along with the first blonde girl).
By the time he’s twenty, Sebastian seduces as easily as he breathes. He builds on his own clumsy teenage skills by watching his Holder talk and touch, learns to draw people in with those same simple tools. His Holder uses him for business, for pleasure; Sebastian does as he wishes because it’s so very fun.
He's not happy, not always, but he's content enough in his life, in his place in the world.
If he sometimes wakes up with his jaw aching and his teeth clenched tight, well. It's the price he pays.
The first time Sebastian sees Blaine it’s on TV.
Sebastian is curled up at his Holder’s feet as they watch the news, like they usually do when they’re not out. There’s the remains of take-out in front of them, scattered over the low table, and Sebastian is paying more attention to his Holder’s hand in his hair than whatever’s on the television.
“Imagine what we could have done with him,” his Holder says, low and pleased, using his grip on Sebastian’s head to direct his attention to the screen.
There’s a man speaking at a press conference, all dark curls and shaking hands. He’s probably around Sebastian’s age, but he looks years younger. Something in the way he holds himself makes him seem more vulnerable, more open. Sebastian doesn’t notice his bracelet at first, because the man is all alone at the podium, no Holder standing behind him.
“Pretty,” Sebastian says, equally softly.
“He wants you all free,” his Holder says. He sounds amused, and Sebastian is momentarily confused.
“Sir?” he says.
His Holder shrugs. “There’s a bill up in Congress right now, for your kind,” he says. “It doesn’t matter-- it won’t pass. But this boy wants it to so badly.” If his Holder’s voice were any louder he’d be laughing, Sebastian is sure of it. “I wonder how many times he sucked his Holder off to get this press conference.”
He smirks down at Sebastian. “Speaking of,” he says, and Sebastian grins up at him, reaching for his Holder’s belt.
And that’s all it is-- a blip on TV, a pretty Def trying too hard.
But that’s not where it ends.
“I’m sorry, Sebastian,” his Holder says, handing him a stack of papers.
“Sir?” he says, curious and confused and worried, because his Holder isn’t usually like this at all. He looks down at the papers-- the top sheet has the seal of the New York Department of Labor printed on it, and Sebastian’s stomach flips. “Sir, are you-- am I being sent back?”
His Holder shakes his head. “I’m offering you manumission, Sebastian.”
Sebastian’s mouth is dry; this is not what he expected at all.
“I do care for you, Sebastian,” his Holder says, sincerity written in his face, his eyes. “But this bill-- I don’t want you sold off to someone who isn’t me, and you’d go crazy, working for the DoL.”
“You don’t want me any more,” Sebastian says. There’s a buzzing in his ears, like a swarm of bees, and his hands feel numb.
His Holder smiles crookedly at him. “You know I don’t, Sebastian. I’ve had you for a long time.”
“I’m too old,” Sebastian states, because that’s it-- that has to be it.
His Holder nods, wraps an arm around Sebastian’s shoulders. He kisses the side of Sebastian’s head, and Sebastian can’t help but lean into it.
He is not in love with his Holder; he never has been. At best they have been co-conspirators, partners in seduction. The have shared thousands of nights and days-- Sebastian has been in his bed and by his side for ten years, and while there may not be love, there is companionship. Sebastian doesn’t have a place away from his Holder’s side. He's not sure he knows how to stand on just one leg.
His Holder shakes his head. “I’m sorry, Sebastian-- it’s done.” He leaves Sebastian standing with the stack of papers in his hand, walks out the door like it’s nothing, like Sebastian is nothing (which he’s always know, deep down, ever since his parents decided it and he hadn’t fought back).
He signs them blindly and leaves them on his Holder’s desk. But no, that’s not right-- Sebastian doesn’t have a Holder, not any more.
Sebastian has always thought that he might welcome this chance, the opportunity to really be his own person again, to make his own decisions and fuck the people he wants to fuck, but he finds himself-- adrift. It's not what he expected at all, this sudden freedom, and he feels unbalanced, like he's been pushed out of a nest and doesn't know how to fly.
There is a new Def waiting for his exit, he is sure of it. His Holder has never been shy about his preferences, and Sebastian may not know many other Defs, but he remembers what he'd been like, sixteen and unafraid. Now he's twenty-six and he knows what waits for him-- rehab classes if he wants them, an empty apartment and a chunk of cash if he doesn't.
His nails are digging into his palms of his hands and his anger is red and hot, burning strong for the first time in years. He warms his hands in it and lets in fill him, until he is brimming with it, until his teeth are hot with words that feel like poison. He is free, now. He can be angry if he wants to be.
There’s a Def in his rehab classes who is all dark curls and shaking hands, and Sebastian recognizes him abruptly as the one on the television, the only reason that Sebastian is even there to begin with.
This is Blaine, the Def who pushed Sebastian out, furious and cold and alone.
Sebastian wants to make him bleed.