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Blaine knows that, in theory, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line but that concept doesn’t always apply to things in real life. Walking or traveling somewhere? Sure. Math equations? You betcha. But trying to tell one of his friends that he likes him? Not even just liking him, because when Blaine feels things he feels them deeply; he’s pretty sure he’s in love with him. Trying to let Sebastian know that in a straightforward manner?

Yeah, no. There’s no easy way to do that.

He figures out this ridiculous revelation on a Wednesday when he rushes back to the dorms after class in freezing rain. The weather wasn’t really calling for this and Blaine should know because he’s an excellent planner but he ends up leaving his room that morning without the appropriate shoes or a coat.

Sighing as he steps into the warmth of his room, he sheds a black peacoat, the sleeves too long for his arms but he kinda enjoys how it feels, like it might envelope him. He picks up hints of Sebastian’s cologne as it wafts off the collar and pulls a hanger out from his closet to hang it up to dry.

“Have you resorted to stealing articles of his clothing?” Tom asks, nearly making him jump out of his skin. He’d come in so quickly that he didn’t notice that his roommate was still in bed.

“No,” Blaine amends, straightening the lapels of his Dalton blazer before unbuttoning it to sit down at his desk. “Sebastian lent it to me because he still has a class in the same building I came from. It’s practically snowing outside.”

Tom groans and dramatically pulls his comforter up and over his head for a few minutes, making the corners of Blaine’s mouth pull up. It’s no mystery that Tom prefers summer and warmer months, the cold snow and rain turning his roommate into a cocoon.

He runs his fingers through his damp curls and pulls a few books out from his satchel, chewing on the inside of his cheek as he considers telling Tom what his ideas are for getting Sebastian to realize that he likes him. Or maybe he should focus on his History paper instead…he keeps going back and forth about whether this is a terrible plan.

Cooper gave him advice to be direct and this is coming from someone who actively points while they’re acting so, maybe he should listen. But there’s this deep seeded insecurity winding its way through Blaine’s chest like ivy on his ribcage—what if Sebastian doesn’t like him like that? Blaine’s always been overly confident; ever since his last high school he makes it a point to stand up for what he believes in. But he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of loving someone and, in turn, letting someone love him.

The problem is also that his feelings are directed towards Sebastian Smythe, who flirts like he breathes and has probably been with most of the guys at Dalton—and he just transferred here last year.

Blaine doesn’t want to get hurt and he’s hoping by being less direct he’ll be able to tell if Sebastian likes him or not without completely embarrassing himself.

“I can hear you thinking.” Tom says, voice muffled by the comforter until he takes it off his face to fix him with a look. His roommate reminds him of Sebastian sometimes, mostly from his looks—boyish charm, handsome smile, and bright eyes. They’re both on the lacrosse team together.

Blaine smiles a little sheepishly, shrugging his one shoulder, “I have a plan to let Sebastian know how I feel.”

He sits up and leans against the headboard, scraping his fingers through his hair, “Does it involve saying the words ‘Sebastian, I like you’.”

Pursing his lips, he narrows his eyes a little. “Not…exactly.”

Tom puts his hand up to prevent him from speaking, “Then I’m not interested.”

Blaine stands and puts his books down, a soft aggravated sigh leaving his lips as he crosses the room to sit on Tom’s bed near his legs. “Come on, I need someone to hear me out,” His roommate opens his mouth to say something but Blaine continues talking, “Without telling me it’s crazy.”

Tom rolls his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest as he leans back against a few pillows. “It’s crazy alright, I don’t need to know exactly what it is to know that.” Silence passes between them for a few moments, Blaine rubbing the back of his neck because…maybe Tom, like Cooper, is right?

But every time enough confidence starts building up like a wall inside, something pulls a brick from the bottom—and everything comes crashing down.

“Listen,” Tom says after a moment, reaching out to touch Blaine’s wrist to get his attention, “I just think…you need more of a direct approach. Sebastian’s a straightforward guy, he’s not gonna spend time trying to decipher whatever plan you’re coming up with.”

Blaine lets out a slow breath, closing his eyes a moment as he considers what’s being said. He knows his roommate is just looking out for him and a small voice in the back of his mind says that his description of Sebastian is on point.

And yet…

“But I planned a solo,” Blaine says quickly and Tom’s eyes nearly roll back into his head and before Blaine can continue, he hikes up the comforter and haphazardly covers his head with it.

A soft laugh builds up in his chest as he tries to wrestle the fabric away, his curls becoming a bed of static as he lets out a slow breath when the blanket is back on his lap. He runs a hand through his locks, standing so that he can go back to his side of the room.

“Please tell me it’s at least not something by Celine Dion.”

Blaine toes his shoes off and crawls up onto his bed, crossing his legs before he puts his history textbook onto his lap, “No, I’m not that desperate.”

Tom snorts because yeah, he doesn’t believe that either.

--

The first time he drops a hint, he feels like he’s not being blunt enough.

He can literally hear his roommate chastising in his ear because, alright, maybe he should have realized that singing a solo to the Warblers wasn’t the most obvious of sentiments. But the song is called ‘Yours’ and really, how many more clues does Sebastian need?

How he feels is so all-consuming that the words seem directly printed on his skin, like tattoos, as he wanders into the Senior commons. He tugs at the bottom of his blazer and smiles as other Warblers say hello to him, moving to where Sebastian is standing. Unfortunately, Hunter is sitting on a desk next to him.

Sometimes when he thinks too long about all three of them being co-captains, his head begins to hurt. It’s almost like a bad joke, a running scale slipping between them because Hunter is all the way at one end (kind of an asshole, merciless, no-nonsense, wants things done in a perfect way) while Blaine is at the other (the kindest co-captain, understanding, accepting, maybe a bit of a doormat). And Sebastian is in the middle, capable of going either way depending on his mood.

“You’re late.” Hunter says as he hops off the counter, clapping his hands together.

Blaine shrugs his one shoulder, “My priorities don’t center around being on time for you, Clarington.”

Sebastian smiles a little behind a sip of coffee, “Little feisty today, Blaine.”

“Absolutely delicious,” Hunter winks though Blaine isn’t sure whether it’s towards him or the other co-captain. He crosses his arms over his chest and leans back against the desk, scrunching his nose as he watches him cross the room to close the door to the commons.

“I think he’s into you.” Sebastian says after a moment as Hunter works to quiet the room. He begins talking about upcoming events, specifically sectionals, but Blaine’s having a hard time concentrating.

He looks up at his friend, trying not to make a sound of disgust because, “Hunter is into anything that moves.” He shakes his head, “I’m sure the only reason he’s even interested is because I can’t stand him.”

Sebastian smiles a little, licking his lips, “I’m sure that has everything to do with it.”

“He’s not my type.” He says quickly even when Hunter shushes them with a look that would make most academy boys wilt. Blaine just gives him the stare right back, elbowing Sebastian when he begins to snicker.

After a few moments of patient listening, Sebastian puts his cup of coffee down on the desk, leaning down so that he can speak in Blaine’s ear. His breath tickles his neck and he tries not to squirm at the contact or lean closer so his body is pressed against the other as he speaks.

“So who is your type?”

Blaine all but swallows his tongue and tries to rake together a semblance of a response but luckily, and he thinks he’ll never say this sentence again, Hunter interrupts with a question thrown in his direction.

“What?” He blinks, turning to look at him.

Hunter’s jaw works, clearly not entertained by having to say it twice. “What, you got gel in your ears this morning? If you two are done eye-fucking, I asked what we have planned for the week of Valentine’s day.”

Sudden excitement whirls in his belly as he takes a few steps forward to the center of the room, smiling at the Warblers as he speaks, “Okay, so I was asking a few of you about this and most of you seemed on board, so—”

“Most of them don’t have a choice,” Hunter tuts, taking a seat on one of the leather couches, a scrawny kid moving quickly so that he’s not too close.

“Let him talk, Hunter.” Sebastian interrupts, rolling eyes before fixing Blaine with a small nod of encouragement.

“Like I was saying, I talked about hosting a dance that we could open up to other schools and a kissing booth. And then there’s the obvious impromptu performances in the cafeteria and campus green.” He grins when a few people laugh and clap because of course that’s a Warbler staple.

“A dance.” Hunter clicks his tongue off the roof of his mouth.

“I like the idea,” Peter brings up, a quiet sophomore with fire red hair and a gentle singing voice. “Most of us have boyfriends or girlfriends from other schools; we rarely host dances.”

“Are you trying to tell me you have a boyfriend, fire ant?” Hunter smiles slowly, like a shark sensing blood in the water, “Because that’d be a damn shame.”

“Alright,” Blaine interrupts, shaking his head as he takes a step forward, attempting to put the conversation back on track. “So all in favor of a school dance?” He raises his hand and the whole room echoes, his eyes falling onto Sebastian who is watching him with a soft, amused smile.

At least he’s also raising his hand.

“All in favor of the kissing booth?” Blaine asks next, check-marking his mental list.

Some of the room raises their hands, which he supposes he can understand, not everyone on the Warblers is bi or gay. But if they put enough of the right guys in the booth, they can raise money for sectionals or other group expenses.

“As long as you’re in the booth first, Anderson,” Sebastian says, eyes traveling up and down his body in thought.

Blush appears on the back of his neck and gently kisses his cheekbones. He clears his throat, “Uh we’ll…we’ll have a sign-up sheet.” He takes a moment to think about what else he should mention, “Oh, we also need to come up with a few songs to practice. I have one that I’d like to share.”

Hunter groans, his head tipping back onto the couch but a few others look pleased at the concept of Blaine singing. Honestly, there is a reason he continuously gets solos and while it might have to do with him being nice, he likes to think it’s more about his talent than anything else—because the Warblers trust him as a performer.

A few others join him in the center of the room to harmonize and he’s not about to sing the whole thing because they have other agenda items; the whole point is to give them a taste of a love song…and for Sebastian to listen to these lyrics. He never feels as confident as this, putting his feelings into song, sharing a piece of himself with the world around him.

Performing feels like a second skin, a place where he can be himself—especially with the Warblers keeping tune and pace beside him. They begin singing a soft melody, one of the boys sitting at the piano they have in the room to add a few notes here and there, a ball of energy sitting right beneath Blaine’s ribcage as he turns and sings,

“I wear your winter coat
The one you love to wear
So I keep feeling close
To us beyond compare—”

He glides around the space, careful not to jump on any furniture this time because this song doesn’t call for it—also he nearly broke his damn ankle the last time, so, probably should stop doing that. The room seems to move with him, harmonizing once they pick up the beat, boys smiling at him, admiring his confidence as he continues.

“And I will find my strength to untame my mouth
When I used to be afraid of the words
But with you I've learned just to let it out
Now my heart is ready to burst—”

He puts his hands to his chest, demonstrating the motions as he comes to stand in front of Sebastian, purposely sitting next to him and bumping their hips. The taller smiles a little as he listens to him sing, matching his melody on the next few notes because their voices always did sound good together.

“'Cause I, I feel like I'm ready for love
And I wanna be your everything and more
And I know every day you say it
But I just want you to be sure
That I'm yours.”

The song comes to a close, Blaine’s cheeks a comfortable rosy color as the Warblers clap at his example. He dips his chin a little, always feeling touches of embarrassment licking his nerve endings when he’s the center of attention. Regardless if he enjoys every second of it.

Hunter slams a gavel onto a table, where in the hell did he get that, and interrupts the clapping, “All in favor of no obscure song choices?” The room buzzes with patches of laughter and Blaine rolls his eyes before settling back onto the desk.

He lets Hunter run the rest of the meeting, Sebastian offering him a sip of his coffee to which Blaine gladly takes. He brushes their shoulders together as he leans down, motioning to something across the room,

“Peter hasn’t been able to take his eyes off you since you sang.”

Blaine swallows, something sick curling up in his chest and blooming outwards, prickly and heated like thorns against his veins. His eyesight follows to where Peter is sitting, soft and shy, offering him a smile in his direction.

He straightens his back, tilting his head to look at Sebastian because… “Oh, yeah he’s. Guess he recognizes talent when he sees it.” He’s not sure what else he’s supposed to say?

The taller smiles a little, their fingers brushing as he takes his cup of coffee back. “Right, I’m sure that’s the only thing he’s noticing.”

When the meeting is over, Blaine’s never left the Senior commons so fast.

--

The second hint puts him in a situation he regrets.

He doesn’t mean for it to happen but suddenly he’s spending a night at Scandals and he’s pretty sure this is literally one of the seventh circles of hell. He doesn’t mind going to house parties or anything like that, he knows how to have fun. He doesn’t condemn drinking or even smoking for the most part, other than the fact that it’s not for him; so bars don’t bother him in general. He loves getting a little tipsy because that’s when the music feels like it’s a part of him with wildly thumping beats and words slipping into the pores of his skin.

He loves dancing and spending time with friends who equally love moving to music that has nothing to do with the Warblers or competitions.

But there’s something about Scandals that just digs under his skin in the worst way. For one, it always feels like the place is made for older men to look for younger ones to take advantage of. He rarely is comfortable just hanging out with people there. The drinks are either too strong or too watered down and even with the specials, he doesn’t really have an income. He’s been looking into getting a job at the Dalton café but he needs to figure out what volunteering responsibilities to step down from because currently he doesn’t have the time to stretch his limits.

Regardless, he should have canceled this whole thing when Sebastian misinterpreted the invitation.

“I think we should hang out more,” Blaine says as he carries a cup of coffee to a nearby table.

Sebastian raises an eyebrow, grabbing sugar packets from the cart before following him to a seat. “You mean, like we’re doing right now?”

Blaine chews on his lower lip, trying to figure out how he should put this because yes, this is nice but he means more of a date. Like an actual, real, honest to God date. “Uh, well, yeah but outside of campus.”

The taller nods slowly, putting too much sugar into his coffee and making Blaine scrunch his nose. He catches the look quickly and shakes his head, “Don’t even look at me like that. First of all, this coffee is always burnt, it needs a little extra sugar. Secondly, you drink lattes that have the same amount of sugar, or worse.”

Blaine pretends to zip his mouth closed, smiling because he’s not about to argue. He licks his lips, playing with a sugar packet between his fingers before he tries this again, “So, what do you think? Going somewhere that’s not here? With me? Later?”

Sebastian holds his gaze for a long moment, drumming his fingers against the table. “Yeah, I can think of a few places we could go.”

But of course, by a ‘few places’, Sebastian meant Scandals and by ‘we’ he meant with Hunter and Peter as well. So now he’s leaning against the bar, trying not to look as miserable as he feels as the room begins to fill with men ready to enjoy the night. He runs a hand through his curls, a little more loose than usual, the slight humidity in the bar wrangling his hair out of the confines of gel.

He wonders if being here for an hour and a half is enough dedicated time where he can slip out unnoticed. He stirs his straw in his Shirley Temple and digs the cherries out to pop them into his mouth. Hunter moves from the dance floor, Blaine can see him coming a mile away, his eyes lingering on Sebastian who’s dancing with a few other guys in Hunter’s absence.

Hunter leans his forearms against the bar, his skin kissed a beautiful pink from the exertion of dancing and alcohol. It’s a shame he’s such a dick because he’s not too terrible to look at and maybe in another life, he’d find his confidence appealing.

“You gonna pout all night? That’s not even attractive look on you, Anderson.”

And then he opens his mouth and Blaine is reminded of everything.

Blaine straightens his shoulders, licking cherry juice from his lips before he turns to address Hunter. “Don’t worry about me, I’m leaving soon.”

The other co-captain rolls his eyes before motioning to the bartender for a few shots of the cheapest vodka. Blaine scrunches his nose but notices Hunter does not order anything for him, only three shot glasses being filled. He glances back out on the dance floor—even Peter seems to be having a good time, taking every few minutes to press his gaze through the crowd to find him.

“That’s probably best, you’re bringing the entire mood of the night down.” Heat prickles underneath Blaine’s skin because he’s not about to be walked all over by Hunter Clarington but his next sentence jams his words right into his throat, “Sebastian isn’t interested in boys like you.”

His mouth falls open a little, suddenly too sober for his liking. This is completely ridiculous—how is it that Hunter's able to pick up on Blaine's hints but Sebastian hasn't got a clue? Because the universe hates me, his mind fills in for him as he shakes his head.

“I don’t…I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Hunter smirks, languid and far too amused. He’s seen the similar mannerism on Sebastian before, the two of them quite a pair when they want to be. “Right. Sebastian doesn’t date, he’s not about to waste his time on your doe-eyed feelings when he could have any guy in his bed whenever he wants.”

He straightens his back, taking the shot glasses easily into his hands so he can carry them to the dance floor.

“He’s not going to give that up for you.”

Blaine watches him leave, anything he wants to say somehow buried underneath his tongue. He takes a long sip of his Shirley Temple, hoping to remove the knot in his throat but it doesn’t do the trick. He quickly grabs his jacket and moves through the bar, needing to get some fresh air so he doesn’t do something stupid like cry. He should know better than to let Hunter dig under his skin because that’s what he’s good at; purposefully sharpening his words like knives.

But he can’t quite help it either because this should have been a date between him and Sebastian and now he’s trying to figure out if he should walk back to campus or get an Uber. He takes his phone out as the door to the bar bangs open, Sebastian nearly walking right into him.

“Where are you going?” He looks incredible even in this dim lighting, a pair of dark jeans and a black long-sleeved t-shirt. His hair isn’t as perfectly coifed thanks to dancing and running his hands through it and the soft blush on his cheeks from drinking has brought out the freckles that sit on his cheekbones.

“Back to dorms.” Blaine mumbles, trying to pay attention to anything that’s not Sebastian hovering so close to him.

“Don’t go,” He gently reaches for his wrist, thumb tracing over his veins, “You didn’t even get those moves I know you have on the dance floor yet.” He’s loose like this, a little bit tipsy, body warm and pliant against his skin.

Blaine clears his throat, the softest of smiles he doesn’t feel pulling at the corners of his mouth. “I have to study for a test I have on Monday all day tomorrow. I need to get some sleep.”

There’s something in Sebastian’s eyes that doesn’t believe him, “Did Hunter say something to you?”

And as much as he wants to hide his reaction, he can’t quite stop his face from pinching and he dips his chin to shake his head but Sebastian already knows. He squeezes his wrist, forcing Blaine to look back up at his face.

“Hunter’s just jealous because you’re the best-looking guy in there. He’s got the personality of a wet cardboard box.”

A laugh slips out of Blaine’s lips, Sebastian’s face brightening a little because clearly that was his intention. He turns his hand in Sebastian’s grip, his fingers splaying so he can feel the skin of his wrist. Their hands pull back just slightly, almost lacing at the touch.

“I dunno, he’s pretty prickly.”

“Fine, a wet cactus, then.”

Blaine grins, slipping his phone into his back pocket. They stand like this for a few moments, the night air kissing both of their skin and singing in their lungs. He wishes Sebastian didn’t have to go back inside or that he was strong enough to ask him not to.

“Don’t leave,” Sebastian says again, urging him towards the door. “Come on, dance with me. Don’t let Hunter think he’s upset you.”

Blaine lets out a slow and even breath, considering his words. Despite the fact that Sebastian has no idea what they’ve talked about, he’s right; this wasn’t the night that he pictured by a long shot…but Hunter shouldn’t get to ruin that for him.

“Okay.” He agrees softly and Sebastian smiles, throwing an arm around his shoulders as they walk back inside.

--

As it turns out, the night doesn’t completely suck. He gets a little more drunk than he’s used to but Sebastian keeps him relatively close for a while.

Until Hunter kisses Sebastian at the bar and Blaine takes too many shots to forget it and ends up kissing Peter in turn.

--

Blaine has one of the worst hangovers the next day to the point where he doesn’t get out of bed in risk of vomiting everywhere and Tom tends to him as much as he can. He brings him water and the trash can and food even though he’s not about to eat anything. He can’t even fathom trying to put food into his mouth—his stomach lurches at the thought.

“So this is better than just telling him how you feel, hmm?” He says, wiping sweat off Blaine’s forehead with a cool washcloth.

Blaine bites down hard on the inside of his cheek so he doesn’t say anything he’ll regret. And he doesn’t want Tom to stop taking care of him because he might die otherwise.

--

The third hint almost works.

As per request, Blaine is the first one to volunteer for the kissing booth. It’s a dollar per smooch and he has a supply of breath mints and antiseptic wipes safe for skin nearby just in case. He doesn’t get many takers, which is fine, until Hunter saunters over with his hands in his pockets.

“Only five dollars?” He looks into the basket, “Was that from someone pitying you?”

Blaine clicks his tongue off the roof of his mouth, “We could always set up a punching booth instead and let you run it. I’m sure we’d make more money that way.”

Hunter grins, “Cheeky; that’s cute. No wonder Peter is taking such a liking to you.”

He swallows down a few words at that, not wanting to draw any more attention to that than necessary. He really needs to talk to that guy at some point because it’s not that he’s not…flattered, of course he is. Peter is sweet and talented and would probably make another boy very happy.

But he’s not who Blaine is interested in.

“Will you get out of my line.” He says instead, trying not to snap but it ends up coming out that way anyways.

Hunter smirks, satisfied with himself that he’s managed to aggravate him but at least does what he’s told and leaves Blaine to stew with little to no prospects. He pops a breath mint into his mouth and nurses a cup of mint green tea, catching up on some history concepts as he waits for anyone who might be interested in paying the toll.

 “No takers?”

His stomach practically jumps into his chest before slamming into his knees as he looks up at Sebastian approaching the booth. He clears his throat and closes his history book, leaning his elbows onto the table.

“Guess not.”

“What is the world coming to when people aren’t lining up around the corner to kiss you?”

He smiles a little, pillowing his chin, “It’s still early, I’m sure I’ll get a few people.”

Sebastian digs in his pocket, pulling out a crumpled one-dollar bill. “I also have a five, but I don’t want to seem too greedy.” He winks, making Blaine laugh. He sticks it in the jar as Blaine moves out and around the kissing booth display, wanting to be able to stand to kiss him.

He’s keenly aware of their height difference as he pauses in front of him, Sebastian almost a head taller than he is as he leans down to capture his lips. It’s a soft, gentle peck until Blaine pushes himself up on his toes. He hears rather than feels Sebastian’s surprise, easily deepening the kiss as his hand moves to cup Blaine’s cheek.

A shiver travels down his spine at the sensation of their mouths moving together and he nearly reaches out to hold onto the lapels of Sebastian’s blazer but he knows that this eventually has to end. And it does.

Blaine licks his lips, his eyes traveling down to Sebastian’s, trying to will himself to say something, anything—

“I think that was more than a dollar.” Sebastian comments, his typical smirk masking his expression as he takes a step back from him.

He can feel how pink his cheeks are and wonders if his lips are the same shade, Sebastian’s mouth a rose-colored pink that he wants to run his thumb over. His body is thrumming with heat, his stomach fluttering as he opens his mouth to say something more—

I guess I’m next.” Peter’s voice sounds from behind Sebastian, a gentle smile to his lips as the taller turns to look at him.

And just like that, everything crashes around him.

He clears his throat, nodding his head because there’s a small line now behind Peter and—did that happen in the time he was kissing Sebastian? He swallows, watching Sebastian wink at him before he puts two more dollars into the jar before letting Peter step forward.

Was Blaine only imagining that their kiss meant more than a few bucks in a jar?

--

The fourth hint is, ironically, the charm.

He’s so busy trying to run this Valentine’s day dance with the Warblers that he forgets to do normal things to attend it: like make sure he has a suit, get a date, have a good time? Tom finally sits him on his bed and forces Blaine to take a breather (literally, he makes him sit there for ten minutes and breathe in and out through his nose). And ironically, he does feel better after that—no matter how many of the first few minutes he spent squirming in place because of how much more planning he still had to do.

It turns out, all the hard work pays off. They transform the Dalton ballroom into a sea of red and white with hints of pink. Heart balloon archways and gold colored accented bows on the back of chairs complete with mood lighting and the Warblers as entertainment. Blaine wears a black suit with a maroon colored button-down, his tie a velvet black. He doesn’t snag a date, even though Peter asks him but it…feels wrong to entertain him when he’s not interested.

Peter was understanding but visibly crushed and Blaine tries not to think about it for too long because he doesn’t want to feel like he’s the worst. So he hangs out on the outskirts of the dance for a few minutes, watching a few Warblers go in with their dates, smiling at others who seem so happy to celebrate a night dedicated to love.

And he is one of those people, despite how lonely he feels.

“Broke too many hearts to go in?”

He turns to look at Sebastian, who is fixing his tie and the sight of him nearly punches Blaine right in the stomach. It’s a simple black suit with a white button-down shirt but he’s wearing a red tie that brings out the soft flush to his cheeks. And suddenly Blaine feels nervous, not sure how words work as they trap under his tongue and behind his teeth. He then rounds on the question because,

“I’m guessing you heard about Peter.” He rocks back on the balls of his feet, sticking his hands in his pockets.

Sebastian shrugs his one shoulder, “It was kind of hard not to,” He admits, “His crush on you is about as obvious as his bright red hair.”

Blaine hums a little, hoping that he’s at least able to get over it with a grain of salt. He has too much on his conscious already to carry that with him. Speaking of obvious, “You look…” He shakes his head, trying to come up with something that fits. “Amazing.”

Sebastian smiles a little, “I know,” He reaches for Blaine’s velvet tie, feeling it with his thumb. “You’re quite the sight yourself, Anderson. Save me a dance.”

He lets out a slow breath as he watches Sebastian head into the dance, under the heart shaped archway and straightens his tie with shaking fingers. He’s got to tell him tonight, hopefully dropping more than a hint—he just prays he has enough confidence when the moment presents itself.

--

The Warblers interchange themselves throughout the night to perform on stage, sometimes all of them getting a break to play music from a playlist. Blaine’s sung a total of three songs, enjoying every moment he gets to look out into the crowd and check the vibe. Everyone seems to be having a really good time, which just works in his favor because Hunter never thought they should have a dance in the first place.

Between ticket sales and the kissing booth, they’ve made a profitable about of money for whatever the Warblers may need for the next semester. He loves being a co-captain, he loves being able to give back to a group that’s been so much to him. It’s not just singing and dancing but the Warblers feel like family, a support system he never had at his other school.

He takes a slow drink of punch and turns to look into the crowd, spotting Sebastian by the raffle table. He straightens his shoulders and sets his drink down, fingers brushing against the palms of his hands as he moves through people dancing to reach him.

Blaine will ask him to dance and then he’ll tell him how he really feels and hopefully—

Hunter manages to get to Sebastian before he can, gently tugging on his wrist to turn him a little as he speaks. Blaine can’t gage what they’re talking about, the music and chatter of those around him too loud. Whatever it is, Sebastian is rolling his eyes, disentangling his body from Hunter’s hand. Should he interrupt? Maybe swoop in and pull Sebastian to the dance floor? His body tingles with anticipation and he almost reaches out but then Hunter pulls Sebastian down into a kiss, the taller not resisting as Hunter’s hand rests on the back of his neck.

Blaine’s been hit before—at his other school, bullied to the point of leaving. He’s been in the boxing ring while others have checked him across the face, but nothing feels like this. He turns quickly and walks through the crowd to the bathroom, barely getting the door open before a sound leaves his throat.

It’s ugly and he’s shaking terribly, feeling so stupid that he thought he wouldn’t get hurt like this. But this is exactly why he never was straightforward with telling Sebastian how he felt.

He always knew it would end up like this.

The door to the bathroom bangs open and Blaine turns to see Tom, dressed in a soft grey suit with a red button-down. He can’t even tell him how handsome he looks, the sound getting pinched in his throat as tears fill his eyes. He leans back against the sink, crossing his arms over his chest as emotion wells in his throat, his head dipping as his friend takes a few steps forward.

He touches his shoulder, “Hey, what happened? I saw you rush through the crowd like there was a sale on bowties at the GAP.”

Blaine sniffles and shakes his head. “I was…I’m just stupid.” He chokes out, looking up at the ceiling as tears slip down his cheeks. He holds back sobs in his chest, which makes his sternum hurt, but he’s not about to do that here.

Tom sighs and reaches for the paper towel dispenser, handing Blaine a few sheets, “You’re not stupid. If Sebastian is fucking this up, he’s the stupid one. Okay?”

Blaine swallows and wipes the tears off his cheeks, looking up as the door opens again like Sebastian heard them talking about him a mile away. Tom stiffens beside him, his hand resting on Blaine’s upper back as the taller looks at both of them.

“I need to talk to Blaine, alone.” He says rather pointedly and Tom scoffs.

“Fuck off, haven’t you done enough?”

Sebastian’s shoulders straighten a little at being challenged, that sparkle of interest in those green eyes that tell Blaine he’s about to take Tom down a few notches by using his words. He’s incredibly scathing when he wants to be, loves a confrontation like Blaine loves solos. He’s not about to give him that satisfaction and leans up off the sink to address his roommate,

“It’s okay,” He whispers, waiting until Tom’s looking at him to repeat himself. “Really, I’m alright.” Blaine offers a small smile, thankful that someone has his back.

Tom sighs, rolling his eyes as he nods his head, slowly moving towards Sebastian and leaving the bathroom. The silence is palpable for a few moments, Blaine turning to look at his face in the mirror before splashing water over his skin. His cheeks are red from crying and he hopes this conversation goes quickly because he’s about done with this dance.

“You don’t have to explain. I saw you with Hunter.”

Sebastian shakes his head, an aggravated noise leaving his lips, “Hunter doesn’t know when to keep his hands to himself and that’s coming from me.” He watches Blaine for a few moments and this is the first time he notices that it looks like Sebastian doesn’t know what to say, or how to say it.

Then, “Hunter and I are too much alike, which is fine sometimes. But it’s kinda like you and Peter—”

Blaine noisily throws away the paper towel into the bin after he dries his face, “Okay fine, I get it. You’re not interested in me. You don’t have to keep rubbing my face in it.”

Sebastian blinks, somehow not connecting the dots as he says, “Not…interested in you.” It’s not a question.

“Yeah,” Blaine swallows, wanting nothing more than to be out of this bathroom. Maybe he’s got this all backwards, maybe Cooper and Tom had a point—if he would have been straightforward, this conversation would be over already. “That’s why you keep making it a point to talk about Peter? I mean, sure he’s nice and handsome but he’s not…” He sighs, letting his words float in the air for a few moments.

The music pulses in beats outside of the bathroom, filling the tiny space with vibrations.

“Not what?” Sebastian asks, taking a step towards him.

Blaine looks up at him, his breath getting caught in his throat but he refuses to cry about this anymore. He’s not going to be ashamed of his feelings; Tom’s right, Sebastian’s the idiot here.

He lifts his chin, a little defiant, “Not who I’m interested in.”

Sebastian purses his lips, nodding a moment. “You’re not about to tell me you’re secretly in love with Hunter, are you?”

His blood sings with frustration and he moves to walk past Sebastian to leave the bathroom, the taller quickly turning to grab his arm so he stops. He wrestles himself free, about to tell Sebastian where he can shove this idea about Hunter when—

“I keep pushing you towards Peter because I know what you’re doing.”

Blaine’s mouth opens and closes for a moment, his cheeks coloring scarlet because oh.

Sebastian smirks a little, rubbing the back of his neck as he shakes his head. “Your…hints aren’t exactly subtle, Blaine.”

“Then I don’t understand, if you don’t like me why couldn’t you just tell me?”

He raises an eyebrow, “Oh because you’ve been so straightforward up until this point?”

Blaine hums softly, crossing his arms over his chest as he’s not quite able to meet Sebastian’s eyes. God, what a mess he’s made.

Sebastian takes another step towards him, waiting until Blaine meets his gaze before he speaks, “You’re confident, so much more talented than all the Warblers put together and you’re smart. Not even going to get into how perfect your ass looks in a pair of jeans.”

Blaine lets out a soft huff, rolling his eyes but he’s attentive to what Sebastian is saying, practically hanging on every word.

“You’re kind, much nicer than me, and not to just get something out of it either. You’re nice because that’s who you are and…you deserve someone better than me.”

That’s it? That’s what’s been going on? Sebastian has been easily reading his hints, not oblivious like he originally thought, but because he thought he was too good for him he was…

“Why don’t you let me make that decision?” He presses because while not a lot of people think Sebastian is a good person, this entire conversation is proving otherwise. Blaine chews on his lower lip, sinking into Sebastian’s space, the taller’s hands grabbing onto his waist. “I’m…not kissing you in a bathroom.”

Sebastian smiles, shaking his head as he leans down to brush their noses together. “Then let’s go somewhere else.”

--

They manage to make it to the hallway before Blaine yanks Sebastian into an empty classroom. Sebastian lifts Blaine onto one of the desks, slipping in-between his legs as he draws him into a kiss. Their lips move quickly, their breathing evenly paced as fingers begin removing layers of clothing.

They don’t get very far because Blaine doesn’t want this to be the location of his first time with Sebastian. But he enjoys the heat of his body pressed against his own, his legs wrapped around his waist, the feel of his quickening heartbeat when his hand rests against his chest.

Sebastian smirks gently, sensing that they’re slowing down and presses the softest of kisses to Blaine’s forehead and bridge of his nose.

“How about that dance that you still owe me?”

Blaine smiles.

--

He’s in the middle of a history paper when Tom comes back from lacrosse practice, noisily setting his gym bag down on his bed before taking his shirt off.

“How was it?” Blaine asks, finishing typing a sentence before he turns to look at him.

“Brutal,” He groans, toeing off his shoes. “If the weather wasn’t enough, I pretty much suck as goalie. But coach wants us to try out new positions.”

He nods softly, resting his chin on the palm of his hand. “I’ll have to come to your next practice, see what I’m missing.”

Tom smiles a little, licking his lips as he grabs his towel to shower. “That for me or for Sebastian?”

Blaine can’t help but smile, dipping his gaze. “Why can’t it be for both of you?”

Tom throws his dirty shirt at him and Blaine nearly knocks his chair over to avoid it, crinkling his nose, “Go shower, you smell.”

His roommate smirks, reaching for the door. “Oh, by the way, when I told you to be straightforward with Sebastian—I didn’t mean heavily making out with him in an empty classroom.”

Blaine laughs, hiding part of his face with one of his hands as he throws Tom’s shirt at his back before he can leave their room.

--

The fifth hint is unneeded but Blaine finds himself doing it anyways because he wants something out of it.

He wanders into a Warbler’s meeting, late because of fresh snow on campus. He’s half frozen and apologetic as Hunter rants at him for dripping everywhere when he’s in the middle of a tirade.

A lot of Warblers cover their mouths so that Hunter can’t see them smiling when Blaine rolls his eyes. Sebastian gently reaches for him when he wanders over towards where most of them are sitting, loosely lacing their fingers as he sits down on the arm of the couch.

“It’s snowing, a lot.” He shivers, running his other hand through his curls.

“Do you not own any coats?” Sebastian scrunches his nose. “You’re going to catch a cold.”

Blaine hums a little, “I guess you should warm me up then.” It’s somehow so pointed and nonchalant at the same time and he glances down at Sebastian who smirks with gentle amusement.

He pulls at him until Blaine is easily seated on his lap, his arms resting around his waist. When Hunter catches sight of them, he nearly chokes on his tongue—and Blaine tries not to erupt in laughter as Sebastian squeezes him around his waist.

When he turns to ask Sebastian a question about sectionals, the taller leans up and gently presses their lips together in a soft kiss.

And Blaine smiles, glad that he’s managed to catch the hint.