Kurt and Sebastian and their careful, violent dichotomy of a relationship. Full title: "I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time" from Richard Siken's poem 'Little Beast'
I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time
Kurt stays because he knows that Sebastian can take it. He knows that Sebastian can take red lines scratched into his back, can take it when Kurt's grip is so tight that he leaves rings of bruises purpling like warped roses across the flutes of his hips. He knows that Sebastian can take it when he slams him up against the door of their flat and kisses and bites at his lips until they're both panting breathlessly into each other's mouths, rutting up close and hot and it's all too much and they don't know whether it's agony or ecstasy but they just can't stop—they don't know how to stop.
They tried talking, once, but it ended up degenerating into barbed insults and so many layers of meaning that their heads were left spinning and their tongues turned into knots—so they reached out and untied them in the best way they knew how. Words now, to them, are mere weapons of foreplay; ways to keep on their toes and wind each other up until Kurt grabs Sebastian and kisses him, hard, just to make him shut up. (Sometimes it's Sebastian, deftly undoing Kurt's belt and sliding a hand, fluent in the language of them, into Kurt's underwear.)
Sebastian stays because he knows Kurt can take it. He knows that Kurt can take the days of silence and the angry, too-close fucking up against the kitchen table at six fifteen in the evening, both of them still in their work suits with their pants snarled around their Oxfords and semen leaving stains on their best shirts. Kurt takes his empty fury and channels it into something passionate and so full of emotion that Sebastian wants to both run in fear and leap headlong into it, but all he can do is cling to Kurt and tremble and try and press as close as humanly possible and claw his way inside Kurt's very skeleton until he is etched onto every bone and organ and can read his name in the flex of Kurt's biceps, in the bumps of Kurt's spine.
They take each other at their worst, and push each other to be their best. There is no give and take with them—it's all take, all hungrily snatched kisses and swallowed moans and fighting for dominance every step of the way. But in taking, they are also giving; they're giving that blinding freedom that only comes with throwing your everything at somebody else and seeing them weather it, still standing proud and strong before throwing it straight back at you.
They both stay, because they know that they're strong enough for it. It's not too difficult to be strong enough to take the blistering maelstrom of passion and emotion that their fucking brings, but it's a hell of a lot tougher to be strong enough to hold up against those quieter moments when they're half-asleep on the couch together and everything is warm and fuzzy and relaxed and they're so delicate in the absence of their passion that they think they might just cave in on themselves until there's nothing left but shards of dust, shadowy remnants of what was once sharp and strong. It's in those quiet moments that they find their inner cores of strength—the shining steels of silver-spun iron that is usually obscured by the fury of their flames; steels which are just soft enough to allow them to bend together and take shelter in the quiet of each other.
Other people see the jibing and insults and assume that they're caught in some unhealthily co-dependent relationship, doomed to some tangled, destructive fate, but they don't see the quiet moments. They don't see the moments where they break and crumble only to fall in on each other and smile at each other with eyes soft from sleep, hair rumpled and toes bare and curling in the late evening chill of their apartment. They don't see the comfortable silence over coffee and toast in the morning, the fleeting touches when wandering around on a lazy Sunday, co-habiting the space but not together. Those moments belong to them and them alone; nobody else is allowed to see them so very vulnerable and nobody is allowed to see the way they reach for each other after a long week and allow themselves to simply be held.
Kurt will sometimes lie awake at night and think of the careful dichotomy that their entire relationship is spun from—the fucking (the cold feet late at night), the stabbing of words (the stabbing of bony elbows whilst not-cuddling on the couch), the deliberate impugning of each other's clothes (the way they steal old hoodies and t-shirts; their tacit agreement to never acknowledge that such clothes-sharing takes place). He'll lie in their too-small bed, a spring digging uncomfortably into his back and Sebastian making little grunting snores beside him, their bodies too hot under the covers and sticky from a combination of sweat and come. He'll lie there and think, and wonder why nobody ever told him that it was the quiet love that was the difficult part. He thinks of saying as much to Sebastian, but knows Sebastian will laugh that bright laugh that reminds Kurt of an August blizzard and will pull Kurt close until Kurt can taste on his tongue the taste of old lightning and cinnamon toothpaste.
So Kurt rolls over, pulling the covers away from Sebastian and smiling at his sleepy mutter of irritation, before letting one hand drape carefully over Sebastian's hip, mindful of the bruises left there from two nights before, and goes back to sleep.