Into the Night (with me)Author
: I own nothing but the plotread on ff.net 2.A Sympathy for the Devil
How could I tangle myself in this? –Kurt kept on repeating himself as he rode towards the Smythe’s. He had already gotten lost twice and was reconsidering his decisions. He could go back home and send Willa a polite text: ‘sorry, couldn’t make it, family issues’. Or something like that. –God, he couldn’t come back even if he wanted to, he was lost in the middle of nowhere and his GPS was not working anymore. Someone once said: When you have no idea where to go, keep moving forward; could such an encouragement quote be useful even to solve geo-location problems?
Also, why did they buy a house in the middle of a reservoir in the first place! The only form of life he had been seeing in miles were trees and birds.
While his head was busy searching for a plausible excuse to give his dad about why he didn’t go to the Smythe’s party – “I got lost and headed back” didn’t seem that good – he actually spotted some signs of life. The hint of a house. As he slowly approached, he could see it was not a house, but a mansion
. A huge, majestic mansion
As he stopped his car in front of it, all he could think of was: “holy shit”. He didn’t know how much time he spent staring the mansion –estate?– in awe, but in the end he was catapulted into reality by a knock on his car window. He jumped and turned his head towards the window, only to find a smiling Willa motioning him to lower it. As he did so, she greeted him and told him to leave the car in the parking lot which was a little bit further down the road. Willa may have noticed the panic in his facial expression ‘cause, without saying much, she nodded and reached the other side of the car, climbing inside
“Com on, I’ll guide you. Don’t worry, everyone gets lost the first time they come here”, she explained him, trying to make him feel better.
“How do you-?”
“Kurt, it’s almost 8. You were supposed to be here at 6”, she cut him and he blushed a little.
“How did you know I wasn’t going to show up?”, he asked then.
“You are nice human being, you would have texted me”
“You are good at reading people, aren't you?”
“Besides”, she added “I saw the look your father gave you the other day. There was no way you wouldn’t have showed up. At least without a really good explanation”.
“I’ll say that again. You are really good at reading people”
“Of Course I am!”, She replied with pride, “I wouldn’t be on the road to be lawyer if I wasn’t!”
“Oh, so I must beware of what I say before I get sued?”
“Ha, So cliché. But I am not an actual lawyer, not yet at least. I’m in the middle of law school!”, she explained him. “Here, do you see that empty spot over there? You can park your car there”, she exclaimed, pointing at an empty spot in the private parking lot –right next to a silver SLK Mercedes.
“This place is amazing! Beyond amazing, actually!”, he commented as they got down the car.
“Just a little bit isolated here in the middle of the woods but, don’t get me wrong, the bumpy road and all is totally worth it”. He smiled at Willa and, as he recalled the awful time he had trying to reach the place, he understood why Sebastian didn’t wanted his parents to drive him home that night. They would have gotten lost and disappeared forever.
Also, the fact that someone like Sebastian had been capable of showing so much care about the neighbor… left Kurt pleasingly astonished.
“Don’t you fear of I don’t know serial killers? Wolves?”, he said pointing at the woods that confined to the house. At his words Willa started to laugh loudly.
“Don’t worry”, she said at last “the only wolves here are my brothers and the only serial killer would be me, when they make me angry!”.
It was then that a simple realization struck him. They were not living in the middle of a wood. They owned the wood.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, it’s wonderful!”, Kurt continued as they approached the front door. “But wait a second, did you say brothers?”.
“Indeed. Sebastian is the youngest, then there’s me and dulcis in fundo Ollie, who’s supposed to be the bigger and wiser of all of us”
“Who’s the bigger and wiser of us?”, a male voice asked. Kurt turned his head to the right to face a beautiful, beautiful young man
, probably in his late twenties.
–The Smythes genes were good ones, he observed. Really, Really good ones.
“Not you, big brother!”, Willa replied. “Ollie, this is Kurt. Kurt meet Ollie. Possibly the dumbest brother I’ll ever have”
“Thank you, Will”, he said
“Stop calling me that!”, Willa exclaimed annoyed.
“Like what?!”, he responded, putting up an innocent face.
“You know”, she pointed out crossing her arms around her chest
“I’m sorry, miss Wilhelma Smythe of ball-buster"
“I hate you”
“I know you do”
Kurt thought they could have gone back and forth like that for a while. At least now he knew where Sebastian had learned to play his teasing game. Feeling that would have lasted for ever if no one stopped them, he cleared his throat to remind them he was standing there beside them.
“Oh, sorry. I’m Oliver. Don’t listen to her. Everything she said about me is false. Except for the fact I am astonishingly charming. That part is true”.
“Have you started memorizing the words in the dictionary again?”, Willa teased him. Oliver snapped his tongue and gave her an offended look. A few instants after they started laughing in unison.
“Come on Kurt, let’s get this party started”, she exclaimed and guided him towards the pool. They didn’t came in from the main entrance
“I want to show you the scenic path”, Willa had explained. The walked past the front and reached the back garden.
Well, the back lake – to be precise. The Smythe’s estate was beautifully inserted in a clearing. A lake separated the mansion from the woods. The view was indeed scenic
From a back door they entered the house and the two siblings led him towards the inner (but outside) pool
, located in the heart of the “house
Sebastian was very lucky. More than Kurt could have expected him to be. –Speaking of which, the place was full of people (thirty? forty? maybe more, it was had to tell) but Sebastian was nowhere to be seen; he looked among the crowd but couldn’t spot him.
Willa must have noticed him scanning through the crowd, since she pointed out:
“Sebastian is not here”.
“Oh”, Kurt said and a strange feeling overwhelmed him. –Was that disappointment? Was he really disappointed that Sebastian was not there? Again, Willa must have noted his inner change of mood –Was he really that an open book to her?
“Sorry, I meant he is not down here.”
“Bear with him. He’s in a bad mood”, Oliver intervened “like all the time”. Willa shook him a look and spoke:
“Oh, don’t listen to him. He’ll come down anytime soon. In the meanwhile, will you have something to drink?”. Kurt was not only feeling uncomfortable, all alone in a huge place where he knew no one, but was also getting more and more “curious” –or rather intrigued – by Sebastian and his whole life. He couldn’t explain why, but he wanted to know more. It may be because of the beaten down version of him he had seen the previous week, or because of the aloof of mystery surrounding him. He didn’t know. What he knew, though, was the stingy feeling he had felt in his guts since he had discovered he was not there, exacerbated by the fact he was not in the mood to be there. What was that supposed to mean? And, mostly, why did he cared?
The quickest and simpler explanation he could come up with was that he had wanted to see him because needed to see he was okay. As for a few days ago, when he woke up and realized he couldn’t let the thought of him go ‘till he was sure he was okay, it was no different this time.
He thought that he was going to let him be only if he saw with his own eyes that was he was okay and that he had imagined it all, the pain and the emptiness he had seen in his eyes –would he ever forget his gaze on him of that night?.
Yes, that was the simpler explanation he could think of. But also the only one bearing less complications to his life. He admitted wanting to see the Spawn of Satan, but it was for a good cause, to clear his conscience or something like that. And the disappointment he had felt was due to the fact that he had missed chance to find out he was okay and, thus, finally free his head from his annoying presence.
Yeah, his feelings were totally messing with his brain.
“Earth to Kurt… Are you with us?”, Willa was saying. –God, he should stop overthinking.
“Yeah, sorry, I… wasn’t paying attention”
“Okay”, she said softly, looking at him as if she wanted to read his thoughts.
“What were you saying?”
“I was asking you if you wanted something to drink. Ollie here makes the best cocktails in the whole State of Ohio”
“Well, I wouldn’t miss the chance!”, he replied distractedly and followed them towards the open bar. Without the annoying presence of the only person he actually knew for more than a few days, he was feeling more out of place than ever, surrounded by all these wealthy people, all part of an élite Kurt could never be part of. He suddenly felt like an intruder, a stranger to anyone, in every possible way since there wasn’t a thing he and all these people could share. What was he going to talk about with Willa, or Oliver or anyone? About his college life at NYADA, his knowledge of cars due to his father’s mechanic shop?
Willa was nice and Oliver was fun but, there was nothing he actually partaged with these rich élite kids which lived so far away from him; and he was not talking of the physical distance but rather of the “spiritual” one. They grew up and lived in different planets and there was no bridge that could possibly cut that distance.
He suddenly felt as if he was lacking air and excused himself to the restroom.
Willa wasted no time catching up with him
“Feeling a little out of place?”, she questioned and he looked at her bewildered. “I am very good at reading people, remember?”. He limited himself to smile.
“Just needed some… I don’t know… I know nobody and I panicked”
“It’s okay. I understand the feeling, more than you you’d think. I know less than 1/3 of the people in here”, she admitted sympathetically. “Do you even know where the restroom is?”, she asked, changing the topic.
“Come on, I’ll show you and Kurt”, she added “Don’t let your overthinking prevent you from having a good time…”
“Thanks for the advice…I’ll do my best to avoid that”
“Oh that was quick! I didn’t think you’d agree with me that easily! I tell this to Seb all the time but he hardly listens to me. He usually tells me off”, she admitted with a smile, but a sad look in her eyes that didn’t escape Kurt.
“So, tell me about you…”, she said as she opened the front door of the mansion.
As they entered, Kurt couldn’t concentrate enough on the answer she was expecting from him.
If Kurt thought that the exterior of the house was the most amazing thing he had ever seen, he had clearly been mistaken. He should have waited to see the inside. There was this magnificent hall
that led towards this huge lounge, dominated by a double grand staircase
, facing the entrance
. Kurt was so captured by the place that his brain stopped functioning properly. He walked with his nose up and, resisting no more, he exclaimed:
“Oh my god. Is that a crystal chandelier? Oh my gosh and that is a piano over there!”. Willa laughed. “Well, it actually is a decorative piano… the one we use… well, Sebastian uses, is in the private living room”.
“You have a decorative piano”
“And a private living room”
“Indeed. Well, actually that would be the formal one”
“I don’t follow”
“Well, it’s an etiquette thing… I don’t know… but there is a living room for formal, private events. Which is that one over there, with the piano”, she said pointing at a beautiful, warm room
on their left.
“The one we just crossed, instead, it was the main one”, Willa explained, but Kurt kept looking at her confused.
“You know, the one you use when you host a party in the inside or have important dinners with I don’t know Senators or businessmen or investors”
“Okay. But FYI, normal people don’t usually host parties with Head of States”, he commented sarcastically.
“Oh really?”, Willa joked. “Anyway, there’s also the private private living room… which is where we hang out really.”, she concluded.
“I’m really confused”
“We are too. We are just good at faking it”, she winked. “Which is why we just hang out in here”, she said as they set foot in a cozy open space, where a beautiful homey kitchen
that faced an even more homey and cozy living room
“This place is… I don’t know… WOW!”, Kurt exclaimed, too overwhelmed by the beauty of the place to think of good manners. Then somewhat he could shake some sense in his brain
“Oh my god, I’m being inappropriate, aren’t I? I am sorry I am rambling since we got in here and I didn’t mean to-”
“Hey! What did I tell you about overthinking?”
“You’re right… just… I’m not used to all of this, which is another reason why I felt-”
“Out of place”
“Yes”, he answered honestly.
“It had happened to anyone here, at some point”, she told him with a smile and then said: “You know I… we are actually from NY. Hell, we’ve been newyorkers for generations. Born and raised in the big apple, all of us! so, here in the middle of Ohio, in the middle of the woods… it gets… we… I feel out of place all the time”, she admitted softly.
“I am sorry I… don’t want to sound prying but, why did you move here in the first place, can’t you move back to the big city? Or somewhere like that?”, he asked and Willa smiled sadly, sitting on the armrest of the big black sofa. Kurt was standing in front of her, giving his back to a living-room cabinet, stuffed with framed pictures.
“There is no other place like New York”, Willa said at last. Then, she sighed and went on “You know, when you love someone and he is not okay you… you are willing to do anything to make him feel better. It’s what one does when they care about a person, they make the toughest decisions for his own good… even if it means letting go of something important, even if it means sacrifice… you don’t give up on the one you love”
“no”, Kurt agreed softly. He totally got the point. –He just wished Blaine had a better hold of that saying. He wished Blaine hadn’t given up on him… But, deep down, he knew he had given up on them too.
But she wasn’t talking about Blaine, she was talking about her family. In the end, she wasn’t much more lost than Kurt in that big house, in that little city, in the middle of the woods in a closed-minded State.
It must have been rough for someone who had grown up in New York and that had always been used to living in a certain environment, in a certain dynamism and open-mindedness, just being thrown in Lima, Ohio. That could have explained why Sebastian was so obnoxious –He was probably feeling lost, lonely and may be also as if no one could possibly get him, Kurt speculated. He and this people had more in common than what he’d thought at a first glance. Still… What had happened that made some wealthy rooted newyorkers move to dull Lima, in the middle of death-boring Ohio, Kurt couldn’t possible figure it out. But, with this piece of information, the whole thing he had about Sebastian and his life had just reached another level of interest.
“So here we are”, Willa said lastly to him “It’s a big change and we cannot go back but, you know what I think? Sometimes change is good, sometimes change is everything… and yes, I am not used to this kind of life and I often feel out of place myself and I may not like it here and I may not know anyone but-”, her train of thoughts was interrupted by a bunch of screaming kids –aged between 9 to 11, according to Kurt– that barged in running through the private private living room. One of them bumped into Kurt and made him lose his balance and fall backwards towards the cabinet. As he hit it, one of the frames fell and its glass broke into million pieces.
“You Okay?”, Willa exclaimed as they kids left.
“Yes, Damned it! I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to break anything”
“Don’t worry Kurt, it just matters that you’re okay! Those kids be damned! Stupid little-”
Kurt didn’t hear the rest of the rambling since he precipitated himself to clean the mess and contain the damages, if that could be possible. Willa must have noticed that, because she urged to say:
“Kurt! We have housemaids for that, leave it there, you may cut yourself!”, she exclaimed, bending herself to stop Kurt from trying to clean up that mess. Kurt was holding the broken frame in his hands. The damage was irreparable, but the picture (Of the Smythe’s siblings smiling bright at the camera) was fine.
“Here, the frame is gone but the picture is-”, he stopped in the middle of the sentence because something caught his attention. Behind the picture of the three of them, there was another one. This hidden picture showed a much younger, much happier Sebastian, laughing hardly as he looked with side eyes at another another boy –blonde, tousled hair, crooked grin– who was instead trying to hold a serious face –but failing at it completely. Sebastian had one arm across the other boy’s shoulder and God, he looked so blissful and carefree.
Kurt raised his questioning gaze to meet Willa’s, who was intently staring at the picture too. Her whole body was tensed and remained motionless for a while. Then she gently took the pictures from Kurt’s hands and stood up. She kept on staring at the hidden picture with a look that was saying 1.000 words –Kurt just wished to know which ones.
A few minutes passed, then she slowly turned her back to Kurt, put the pictures on a shelf of the cabinet (having care of placing the one of Sebastian and the young boy behind the other one) and, after a sigh, she turned again to face Kurt who was staring at her questioningly.
He wanted to ask a million questions, but none of them sounded appropriate. Thus, he said nothing. In the room an uncomfortable silence had fallen.
Kurt didn’t know then, but to Willa it was more than a frame that had crashed. It was Willa’s whole world that had crashed.
The frame could be seen as a metaphor: it doesn’t matter how far you run from your shadow, how much effort you put in hiding what you’d like to forget, because in the end it will all get back to you; and the unbreakable castle you built to feel safe, where everything’s great and bright, will be teared down, revealing itself to be made of unsteady, fragile glass.
You can’t run from your own shadow –you just have to learn to deal with it.
the title of the song was isnspired by this song: Sympathy for the Devil
, The Clash
I imagined the Smythe’s estate to be somewhere along Red Bank Road, in the Hoover reservoir, outside Westerville (OH). It would be isolated, by a lake and confining to a wood.
Also, my vision of the Smythe's mansion is truly captured by the Tranquility mansion, Lake Tahoe.
Oliver “Ollie” Smythe is played by Jared Leto. In his younger, facial hair-less, short-haired version.
The boy in the photo is portrayed by Ansel Elgort
Thanks to anyone who is following/liking/reblogging this fic. English is not my mother-tongue, so I try hard to revise it myself and I know that there will always be something that I miss. I am sorry for any mistake; feel free to signal them to me.
The title of this chapter (that was so long I had to split it in two) is inspired by this song: Sympathy for the devil, The Clash.
Also, this quote always inspired me a lot, and is in some ways related to this fic and this particular chapter, so I want to share its full version with you:Change; we don’t like it, we fear it, but we can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change, or we get left behind. It hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn’t is lying. But here’s the truth: Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. And sometimes, oh, sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is… everything.
Grey’s Anatomy, S4E1.