It’s all Tina’s fault really. She may not have started it and okay, it probably would have happened without her eventually, but Tina’s the one who brings it up, so Blaine’s going to blame her.
It begins at a Glee club meeting when Tina, flush from the success of her Men of McKinley calendar idea, says, “There’s one more thing I want to talk about.” She turns to Blaine with an almost frightening intensity. “Blaine, we need to have an intervention.”
“Are we finally addressing his hair gel abuse?” Kitty says before Blaine even has a chance to wonder.
“Maybe it's all the clubs?” Sam says, turning to Blaine with earnest concern. “Dude, you’re gonna burn yourself out.”
“No,” snaps Tina. “It’s about how he was dancing with Sebastian Smythe at the Sadie Hawkins dance last weekend!”
There’s a moment of drawn out silence during which Blaine kind of wants to die before Ryder says, “Um, who’s Sebastian Smythe?”
“You’ve seen him,” says Artie with a dismissive wave. “He was one of the Warblers’ lead singers at Sectionals.”
There’s a moment’s consideration, then Unique asks, “The boyband one or the blowjobs one?”
“Boyband,” Blaine says, vaguely offended she has to ask.
“Oh, he was cute!” Marley says and Kitty and Unique nod in agreement.
“Good dancer,” Jake offers with a shrug.
“He’s also evil!” interrupts Tina. “He tried to blackmail us out of competition last year and almost blinded Blaine with a rock salt slushie.”
“Which I forgave him for,” Blaine says firmly, glancing around the room to make sure everyone hears it.
“Well, he also stole our trophy and cheated at Sectionals.”
“Wasn’t that Hunter?” says Artie.
“Sebastian was actually pretty helpful getting us reinstated,” says Finn.
“Yeah Tina, I really think he’s changed,” says Sam.
Tina throws her hands up in exasperation. “Guys, this is literally the opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing!”
Blaine stands up before the situation can escalate further. “Look, everyone, I appreciate your support, but this is not an issue. It was one dance, that’s all.”
“So you’re not going to see him again,” Tina asks, eyes narrowing.
He hesitates before answering, which he immediately realizes is a mistake because now none of them will believe him if he says no. “We were planning on getting coffee this weekend,” he admits, crossing his arms defensively. “But just as friends.”
“You sure about that?” asks Artie.
“Yes,” Blaine snaps. “Two gay guys can just be friends you know.”
Artie raises his hands in defeat, but almost immediately Sam asks, “So you don’t want to date him?”
“Why not?” It’s Brittany this time.
She shrugs. “Why don’t you want to date him?”
Blaine’s mind draws a blank in the way it does while playing word games; like of course there are a millions songs that start with the letter p, just because they all dropped out of his brain the second he was asked doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Unfortunately, while he’s floundering the other glee club members begin to voice their assent.
“You did ask him to the dance didn’t you?”
“I think you’d be cute together.”
“Yeah, you could use a new boyfriend.”
That pushes him into action. “I’m just not ready to start dating again, okay?” he snaps.
There are some muttered fine’s during which Tina takes the opportunity to say, “Right. I mean obviously someday you’ll date someone new, just not Sebastian.”
Blaine sits down with a huff
“Okay,” says Finn, stepping forward and clapping his hands together like Mr. Schue used to. “Thank you Tina. Does anyone else have anything to add?”
The meeting ends soon after that but the conversation follows him home. Why did the New Directions have to be so nosy? He was looking forward to that coffee and now all he can think about is how it’s going to look. Of course people will think they’re dating, Sebastian might think it.
He takes out his phone and quickly sends him a text calling off their date, no not date, hang out or whatever, claiming something came up, then tosses his phone face down on his bed so he doesn’t have to see the response. It’s better this way, he tells himself. Now he doesn’t have to worry about it.
He does worry about it. Sebastian takes the cancellation with grace, which makes Blaine hideously aware of how easy it would be to uncancel.
Thankfully, the making of the fundraising calendar quickly becomes intense to the point of absurdity, which to be honest they should have seen coming. It’s the perfect distraction and Blaine is more than happy to throw himself into the constant workouts and weird dieting, grateful to the point that it takes him much longer than it should have to realize Sam is having some sort of break down over it. Once he does, addressing that becomes his top priority.
It’s heartwarmingly easy to get footage of people talking about how awesome Sam is. Finn turns out to be a great resource, and so does Mercedes, though as Sam’s ex-girlfriend that’s less of a surprise. Brittany just spouts some wildly inaccurate fun facts about him but for reasons beyond Blaine’s understanding, Sam is into her brand of nonsense so it’ll probably make him happy. She also calls Santana, who almost gives Blaine a heart attack by emailing him some video out of nowhere. It’s mostly her making fun of Sam through song, but he includes it anyway because hey, at least she cared enough to put some effort in.
The edited video ends up making Sam cry when Blaine shows it to him so he counts that as a job well done, brushing off Sam’s thanks with a “Don’t mention it.” It’s only what he deserves, Sam’s the best; to be honest, whatever this thing is with Sebastian is probably all that’s standing in the way of Blaine developing a deeply embarrassing crush on him. God, he’s been without a task for two seconds and he’s already thinking about Sebastian. What a mess.
They finish the calendar and sing to the empty auditorium to celebrate, laughing and running in circles around the stage. It’s nice to perform for fun rather than for competition practice or to give voice to whatever latest club drama has consumed them. It’s the kind of thing the Warblers used to do.
Sam pulls him aside after, looking unusually serious. “Hey, I heard you canceled your date with Sebastian?”
“It wasn’t a date!” Blaine says automatically. “How did you even - never mind. It’s not a thing okay? You don’t have to worry about it.”
Sam ignores him, stepping forward with wide-eyed sincerity. “Look, dude, you were such an awesome friend to me this week and now I wanna help you. You deserve to be happy too, you know.”
Blaine crosses his arms with an uncomfortable shrug of his shoulders. “I know.”
“Do you? Because it’s been months and it kinda seems like you’re still punishing yourself.”
“I’m not,” Blaine insists, remembering the last time Sam gave him this talk. You’re one of the good guys, he’d said and Blaine had believed him. Well, he’d tried to. Perhaps he could use the occasional reminder.
“Then why are you avoiding Sebastian? Is it because of Tina? Because I can talk to her.”
“It’s not Tina,” Blaine says. He sighs, loosening his arms as he admits, “If I do this, Kurt’s never going to forgive me.”
Sam frowns. “Kurt’s already moving on with that NYADA guy. You should get to move on too.”
“But it’s Sebastian. He’s the one - I mean it’s different than if it was just some random guy.”
“So, maybe Kurt won’t forgive you, but maybe he never would have anyway and maybe that’s okay," Sam says in a rush. "You can’t spend the rest of your life doing whatever you think Kurt wants just in case he decides he wants you back.”
“That’s not what I’m doing,” Blaine says, though now that Sam’s said it he’s not so sure.
Sam nods, though he doesn’t look like he believes him. “If you actually don’t wanna see Sebastian, that’s fine. I just wanted to make sure you’re not blowing him off just to make yourself unhappy.” With that, he leaves, clapping Blaine on the shoulder has he goes.
Blaine stands alone in the auditorium going through the list of reasons why he’d canceled his (not) date, the list he’d gone over dozens of times this week whenever he found himself hovering over Sebastian’s name in his contacts, and tries to find one, just one, that isn’t in some way related to Kurt. All he comes up with is the fuzzy feeling he’d had when he’d danced with Sebastian at that stupid school dance, the one he’d been so sure he would never feel again.
Awareness of Blaine’s presence at Dalton spreads throughout the school in what seems like seconds. Whatever the time, it’s enough that when Blaine finds Sebastian he’s already alone and pretending not to be waiting for him.
“Do you want to get coffee with me on Saturday?” he asks without preamble, before he can lose his nerve.
“I thought you were busy,” Sebastian says, cocking his head slightly as he regards him.
“My plans changed.”
Sebastian leaves him in a deserved few seconds of agonizing uncertainty before he nods. “Yeah, coffee sounds good. But you know you could have just texted, right?”
Blaine takes a deep, steadying breath. “It felt wrong to ask you on a date over text.”
“Oh, so this is a date?”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Blaine says hurriedly, though Sebastian’s tone was hardly discouraging. Then again, maybe he just thinks the idea is funny. “I’d be happy to get coffee with you as friends too. But-” and he has to steel himself again. Looking at Sebastian it’s hard not to remember that awful night when he’d ruined things with Kurt forever. And with it comes the memory of the worst part, the part he’s tried so hard not to think about, which is that it wasn’t awful. The morning after had been, but before that...
“I like you,” he finally admits and it’s like a weight off his chest.
Miraculously, Sebastian’s smile isn’t even a little bit smug. “I like you too.”
Blaine ducks his head to hide a stupidly wide smile of his own. “So, Saturday?”
Sebastian nods, then, “You know, you’re already here. Might as well hang out.”
Blaine can already sense a hoard of his former classmates descending on this room, fear of Sebastian being the only that’s kept them at bay this long, but it could be nice to see everyone again now that Hunter's gone. “Sure, why not. But before I forget, I have a present for you.”
Sebastian watches curiously as Blaine starts digging through his bag. “We made a calendar to raise money for our trip to Regionals and I brought you a copy, free of charge.”
Blaine grins. “Trust me. You’ll like it.”