Blaine Anderson is divorced.
It takes Sebastian a moment to register the change in status; he scrolls away then scrolls back and stares.
It doesn't matter, he tells himself. They’re living in different cities, different countries even. He has a job. He has a boyfriend. Sure, it's not serious, but it could be. He's not going to throw all that away just because the boy he had a crush on in high school is finally single. It's past time to move on.
Of course, he's been telling himself that since he was actually in high school. He’d watched Blaine run across the Dalton grounds in that ridiculous superhero costume and thought, Well, that's it then. He tried. It was over. He was done with Blaine Anderson.
And then Blaine ran into Dalton with three separate show choirs at his heels and Sebastian couldn't stop himself from thinking for one wild moment that he was there for him. But no, it was for Kurt, always for Kurt, and Blaine had his eyes set on forever.
Sebastian had smiled and helped him carry out his proposal because he’d owed him. Even now he still sometimes feels like he owes Blaine for everything he'd done when he was young and so very stupid.
When it was over, he watched Blaine drive away in a cloud of rose petals and that ridiculous yellow suit and thought, Well, that's it then. He was done with Blaine Anderson. For real this time.
He deleted Blaine’s number and unfriended him on Facebook, not wanting to watch the inevitable change in status from It's Complicated to Engaged to Married. He went to college - NYU. He was supposed to have been Ivy bound but getting caught up in a show choir doping scandal had ended that, and thank god honestly. New York was much more his speed than the likes of New Haven or Princeton.
He knew Blaine was in the city too but didn't look him up, didn't seek him out. He was over it. He really thought he was over it, right up to the very moment Blaine reappeared.
At the beginning of every school year all of the college's acapella groups gathered to perform for the freshman, hoping to attract new members. Sebastian had avoided it his own freshman year - he'd only ever joined the Warblers because they were at the top of the Dalton food chain and that was where he'd wanted to be - but to his surprise he found that he missed performing. So he picked a group that looked good and spent his free time making it great, becoming captain by his junior year.
As such, he was singing lead during his group's recruitment performance when he saw Blaine in the crowd, looking as surprised as Sebastian felt. Their eyes met, Blaine smiled, and he wasn't over it, not even close.
After the event ended and everyone had filed out they were both still there, waiting. They'd been there before, he remembered it so clearly that he couldn’t stop himself from saying, "Hi, are you a freshman?"
He'd assumed Blaine was just there visiting a friend or something, so it was meant to be a joke. A very bad joke that would only be funny to someone who remembered the exact wording of their first conversation four years earlier. But Blaine had laughed, raised his eyebrows and said, "Do I look like a freshman?"
He actually was a freshman though, sort of. Some of his credits had transferred from NYADA, where he was supposed to be a junior, but instead he was at NYU, a freshman once again.
Blaine was vague about why he'd left, just saying it hadn’t worked out before changing the subject to his brief stint as the coach of the Warblers. "They all talked about you," he teased. "You're a legend at Dalton." Sebastian would have called it flirting if it weren't for the ring on Blaine's finger.
"It's a shame we never actually got to compete together."
"Maybe we can finally fix that."
Before leaving, Blaine promised to audition for Sebastian's group. “Just a formality,” Sebastian assured him.
It had all been so easy that he'd had to remind himself that Blaine was married. It was over, whether Sebastian wanted it to be or not.
Blaine’s audition was amazing, of course, and he was accepted into the group immediately.
They didn't even make it a week before Kurt came to sit in on one of their practices, ‘Just to see what all the fuss is about.’
Sebastian had to close his eyes to keep himself from rolling them but behaved himself, conducting practice as usual, pretending Kurt wasn't there. Kurt watched him the entire time, stony faced, arms and legs crossed forbiddingly. Sebastian barely interacted with Blaine because Blaine never needed much direction and he must have passed inspection because Kurt didn’t show up again.
He didn’t see much of Blaine outside of practice at first. They were in different years and different departments and there were undoubtedly some clear, Kurt mandated boundaries between them. Sebastian was almost glad; he knew that he shouldn't get involved, that he should save his time for all the guys he actually had a chance with. Blaine wasn't even supposed to be there. Sebastian was supposed to be done with him. But when Blaine had started showing up at Sebastian's favorite coffee shop, well, it would have been weird if they didn't sit together right? And on the days they had the same time free for lunch it would have been rude not to show Blaine the best places to eat around NYU. There was no harm in it.
They both gave in around midterms and by then it was a relief to slip back into their old friendship, such as it was. Blaine had found that living with performing arts majors while you have actual papers to write and exams to study for made productivity a challenge, so he began to study with Sebastian. It actually helped Sebastian's productivity too, sort of, so really, it was all for the best.
Once midterms were over they’d kept hanging out though, ostensibly to study but often their study breaks would last the time it took to watch an entire movie or to order and eat a take out dinner.
Sebastian had pushed of course. He continually tested how much Blaine would let him get away with, how hard he could flirt, how close he could get. It was easy to tell when he'd gone too far because Blaine would always make up a hurried excuse and leave, avoiding him for a few days before reappearing like nothing had happened. Sometimes he'd do that when Sebastian wasn’t even trying; he seemed constantly on the verge of running. He always came back though, every time. And Sebastian would let him, even though he knew all Blaine would ever be was a waste of time.
There was one line Sebastian didn't cross, one subject they never discussed. He could always tell when it was Kurt calling because Blaine would invariably say he was studying, even if they hadn't been doing anything productive for hours. Sebastian never called him out on it; he'd been a dirty little secret before, he knew the drill.
It was the same when Blaine was upset - anytime he'd refuse to talk about it and insist he was fine Sebastian would know it was Kurt related. His refusal to talk about why he’d left NYADA suggested Kurt was at the root of that too. But Sebastian didn't push. He knew if anything could make Blaine leave for good it was Kurt.
So they pretended that everything was fine, that there wasn't always the shadow of a third person in the room with them. They got coffee, quizzed each other before tests, won a national acapella championship, even kept in touch over the summer. They got closer and closer and it got harder and harder to pretend that Blaine was just an idealized high school crush, just a challenge, just a friend.
Sebastian made it all the way to his spring semester senior year before it all blew up. Looking back, he can't even remember what had triggered it, just that suddenly he was saying everything he'd wanted to since Blaine had reentered his life out of nowhere, no, ever since that day Kurt had showed up at the Lima Bean with a fake smile and a possessive hand on Blaine's arm. As he talked he could see Blaine shutting down, knew he had gone too far, but he couldn't stop.
He'd watched Blaine turn and walk out of his apartment and thought, Well, that's it then. Blaine Anderson was done with him. For real this time.
Both of them were too competitive to let a fight get in the way of their second consecutive national championship, but the victory felt hollow. Sebastian decided on a law school in California instead of New York as he'd originally planned, thinking that maybe if he put the entire country between him and Blaine Anderson he'd finally be able to forget him.
Blaine was the one who reached out first. He was in California visiting his brother and called to ask if Sebastian wanted to meet up. He'd tried to pretend to think about it, but really, who was he trying to fool? They’d gotten lunch and it was all as easy as it had ever been. Sebastian had wondered then what it would take for Blaine to give up on him completely. He'd already hospitalized him, honestly, what more was there?
The next five years passed quickly. He and Blaine talked occasionally and met up whenever they found themselves in the same city, which was rare after Sebastian graduated law school and got a job in London. He'd considered going to Blaine and Kurt's much lauded LGBT production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, but decided he didn't need to pay to watch them act out a toxic crumbling marriage, so he'd just sent an obnoxiously large bouquet of flowers, unsigned.
Jerk, Blaine had texted.
You're welcome, he'd replied.
So now here he is, five years later, and the boy he's had a crush on since high school is finally, finally single. It doesn't change anything - he's far too pragmatic to uproot his entire life for a guy who may not even be interested. He can't pretend it doesn't mean anything though. He's accepted by now that he'll never really be done with Blaine Anderson.
So when a job opens up in the New York branch of his firm he doesn't hesitate before taking it.