Sebastian doesn’t touch him.
This is a generalization, an easy summary. But it’s true. Maybe it’s a deference to the fact that Blaine isn’t his (yet, spelled out in each bold look and careless insinuation) or maybe he thinks his words are enough.
Maybe he’s right. Blaine feels his words like fingers slipping under his shirt.
For the first time he’s complimented in a way that never feels like he should apologize for his virtues, but he knows for the sake of his virtue he must be ashamed.
“I really care about him.”
What do you do, when faced with a river bearing down on you? You change its course, maybe, but you can’t change the irresistible pull of water. Blaine never manages a No, or a Leave me alone, because the bank is slowly crumbling beneath his feet and his toes have never been warmer than when they dip in.
They go dancing, at Scandals.
Blaine expects to be touched, but they’re more like orbiting planets. Blaine twists in the wind (the vacuum of space, the absence of understanding?) like an unspooled thread, buffeted by sharp handsome angles and heavy probing looks.
He’s getting hot. He fumbles, fingers shaky, with his bowtie.
“Here, let me.” Sebastian deftly undoes his tie, fingertips brushing his collarbone, his throat, just a fleeting kiss.
Blaine is on fire. Sebastian looks away, and they keep dancing. Warbler dance combos and the disco light and he looks to Kurt -- not the first time tonight, but he needs Kurt here, he needs Kurt, his boyfriend -- but Kurt is unmoved. The unmovable force, the boulder in the stream, and Blaine, clinging to it.
Sebastian has boots on. Blaine can’t help but laugh.
The first time is awkward.
It’s meant to be. Love smooths over the hesitance, the giggles at weird noises and strange sensations, the brief flash of insecurities. Blaine tries to imagine where to put his hands -- puzzle pieces, they’re supposed to click -- and wonders what Sebastian (confident, sexy, experienced) would do, the image drowning him. It’s Sebastian’s hand, Sebastian’s mouth, Sebastian’s fingers --
Blaine forces his eyes open, stares into Kurt’s eyes, and loses himself to another ocean.
He has to get surgery.
When he wakes up from it, he’s groggy, but he’s aware. The room is brimming with flowers, stars in your multitudes playing in the strung-out spaces of residual painkillers. He only has one eye but he can still see the bouquet of yellow roses.
He gets out of bed, carefully, and checks. There’s no name.
Blaine picks them up, brings them to his face, inhales a rush of -- and how morbid, that something can die but still seem so vibrant, so right -- a rush of anger.
He throws them in the trash.
“Just give me a chance.”
Nobody has ever apologized to him before, like this. ‘Like this.’ He doesn’t know what this is, even though he is familiar with the art of apology. ‘Like this.’ He’s not sure it’s forgiveness. He’s not sure what forgiveness feels like. Isn’t it an absence, of anger? But he is not absent. He is there, and seeing the once-familiar planes of Sebastian’s face thrown into emotional relief, and he is still upset.
He lies in bed that night, and his toes are cold.
The radio plays Glad You Came . A lot.
Whenever he hears it he’s back there, to a place that’s not really a place. It’s not the McKinley Auditorium, with Sebastian electrifying the stage. It’s conceptual, the junction of memory and desire and regret and history, a four-way stop -- X marks the spot, cross his heart and hope to die, Blaine residing in clichés because what he feels is beyond his understanding.
He’s being haunted. Maybe this is Sebastian’s chance.
He forgives, he forgets, he moves on.
A brief flicker to the smooth forward march of saying goodbye:
“It was Sebastian, wasn't it?”
He’ll never ask what Kurt sees there, what Blaine has given away, things he doesn’t even see himself but maybe --
Maybe Kurt’s seen him turn the dial up, when certain songs come up.
Maybe Kurt’s seen him, angry and open, over a betrayal anyone else would expect.
Maybe Kurt’s seen him, the way he’s always seen Blaine, love and a threat, elements that are drawn inexorably towards what (he thinks) Sebastian represents.
Blaine doesn’t see it, doesn’t feel it, gets on his knees to bury it in the dirt and then lives there on the ground, begging and broken with stained hands.
He wishes Kurt could forgive, forget, move on.
He wishes Kurt could prove to him it’s possible.
Then -- “Everybody’s got a dark side.”
-- “Can you love mine?”
-- “Will you love me?”
It’s poetry. Songs are poetry, have always been, but he’s never seen it that way until now. Poetry, and love, constructions that are meant to transcend the limits of space, that conceptual place inside him that lights up with the fire of the stars when Sebastian slides his blazer on.
(Sebastian is touching him. He’s single. It’s poetry.)
They reconnect, and no one cares, but (because of this?) he doesn’t delete any of the emails or texts. Pixel pieces he builds up in his mind, a presence he can picture right next to him without any promises. It would be easy to see each other in person, but this is safer.
“Hey Blaine ...”
Realizing you missed someone only once you had them back was like looking down to see the sky below your feet, and you were already falling. Blaine takes the swoop of his stomach and presses it close to his chest, shoving everything up and away, his heart in his throat, hiding.
Friendship, but they’ve never really been friends; friendly, but he knows better than to play with fire.
(He likes to lie to himself.)
A friendly conversation:
(“So you’re a romantic type.”
“That’s how to get into your pants? Flowers? Chocolates?”
“No. And romance is more than that.”
“I never got into poetry. I’d like to.”
“Can’t help you there, but I can spring for flowers. What’re your favourites?”
Sebastian remembered. Blaine didn’t expect him to. Didn’t want (to want) him to.
(He’s trying to be honest.)
Sebastian agrees to help him, and they hug.
Blaine doesn’t even remember what it felt like; the moment frays at the edges, unravelling the more he tugs at it.
He supposes it was perfectly pleasant, polite -- comfortable.
Too bad he can’t try again. The moment’s been lost.
He watches Sebastian choreograph his proposal.
There’s an elegance to his hands Blaine never noticed before, a grace. A way to hold himself and point and turn, turn, here, there, it’s not hard -- how can Blaine have missed that? He wonders, in dreamy solitude, about a world where he came back to Dalton. His arrangements, Sebastian’s choreography -- that was Nationals material for sure. They could build something real together.
They are building something real together, right now.
They’re building Blaine’s future, with the man he loves.
Blaine doesn’t request any complicated choreography for himself. He can’t allow excuses for Sebastian to touch him.
Kurt wouldn’t like that, after all.
(Things don’t work out with Kurt, which anyone else would expect.)
(It takes a long time, but Blaine’s … okay, with it.)
(It’s all an aside. He’s stopped trying to make Kurt the focus of his life.)
Blaine isn’t sure how many times you can meet someone for the first time.
It’s almost poetry.
It’s definitely the river, finally wound its way around, churning up the earth and barreling down like a promise.
Blaine holds his arms open, and lets Sebastian in.
“I like the way you scrunch your nose.”
“When you’re that kind of ‘aww’ happy.”
“I didn’t know I did that.”
“You do. And it’s cute.”
“... Thank you?”
“It’s the little things.”
And all that counts // Is here and now …
Sebastian touches him.
It’s a simple splay of his fingers across Blaine’s hip, an unthinking construction of tendons and nerves, bridges on a roadmap that unfurls all the way out to his nails, digging briefly into Blaine’s side when Sebastian laughs.
They’ve gotten their yet, their wordless place, their soft looks and caring statements, the rush of water that’s painted an endless expanse inside him. It fills him up, but he’s not sure he’s satisfied, if he’ll ever stop pulling them in deeper, no more up and down or could have, should have, would have.
But maybe what it really is, all he never needed, is a lexicon.
“I’ve always …”
Things make sense, now. Blaine’s never been so rife with understanding.
“Come on, come here.”
And it’s only the beginning. Blaine kisses him, and it’s all the more.