Daniel didn't understand how he ended up at one of Kurt and Blaine's erotic coffee dates.
No, kidding about the erotic part. There was nothing sexy about the Lima Bean. And there was definitely nothing sexy about discussing Finn Hudson and his clear jealousy or dislike of Blaine. ". . . He gives me these looks, like, What does he think he's doing? I know what I'm doing."
It didn't take much for him to look up from his book when Kurt kicked his ankle gently as if saying, Encourage him. "I think you're doing amazing, Blaine." Daniel spoke with a bright smile after wincing and he leaned down to rub his ankle. Hey, guys -- he heard, causing him to sit up abruptly, hitting the top of his head with the bottom of the table.
". . . I'm sitting over there, checking out this guy," The owner of the voice nudged Daniel out of his chair, causing him to scowl, rolling his eyes. "and all of a sudden, I'm, like, Wait a second, I know that hair. What's up, buddy? I haven't seen you online."
Daniel raised a brow, glancing at Blaine, like -- What the hell are you doing? Are you cheating on Kurt? If you are, I'll literally kick you in the face. The latter waved it off, assuring him he most definitely wasn't.
A small, uninterested, "Hi, Kurt" caused Daniel to throw a glare Sebastian's way. It wasn't the fact that he'd said it really. It was the way he'd said it -- As if Kurt was the least important person in the world to Blaine and Daniel loved Kurt and Blaine's relationship. And either way, this guy was shady. Or looked shady. Both. You could see by his emphasis for words that didn't need to be emphasized.
"So, how did you and Blaine meet?" Daniel spoke up quickly with a forced smile, tilting his head. "I mean, I'm just so curious because you and Blaine seem to have known each other for so long. Surely as long as Kurt and Blaine have." He paused, "Has anyone told you you sound drunk? Maybe it's the emphasis. I mean, I know all about drunk people. Blaine, here, turned straight once."
Cue another kick from Kurt.
"Or . . . don't answer that." Daniel took the seat in front of the Warbler, Romeo and Juliet in his hands as he opened it up again, eyes scanning the words. He could literally feel Sebastian's eyes on him -- as if observing him. The fact that someone was staring at him jumbled with thoughts of being insulted and him not even realizing it.
He tapped his index finger against the book -- a nervous mannerism before letting out a deep breath, putting his book down and rising from his seat, grabbing his coffee cup. When he did, he noticed that Sebastian hadn't even been staring at him. His breath hitched before he walked toward the counter, asking for a refill.
Daniel turned at the sound of Blaine's voice and he smiled. "Hi. You left Kurt and Sebastian alone? You realize they're going to kill each other when they get the chance." He spoke teasingly with a snicker, shaking his head.
Blaine laughed. "Oh, I know. I know. Sebastian practically idolizes me. I don't know why."
Daniel did. Blaine was attractive -- even Rachel was attracted to him, he was talented, he had the whole good boy who would beat you up aura, he cared about others before he cared about himself. Practically the dream boy, no wonder Kurt had fallen in love with him. "Oh, please, Blaine. You know. You just can't admit it." He chuckled, shrugging.
The other boy raised a brow. "I don't -- "
"Dig just a bit deeper into the depths of his soul and you'll figure it out. It's not that hard to see -- You're just . . ." He hesitated with his words before breathing it out, "kind of oblivious." He grabbed his coffee cup -- all black, it energized him more than coffee with sugar -- before walking back to his seat.
". . . And one of us has the hard-luck case of the gay face and it ain't me."
Daniel took a seat, grabbing his copy of Romeo & Juliet again, looking up every now and then, hearing Kurt and Sebastian insult each other. He couldn't help but nearly choke on his coffee when he heard You smell like Craigslist.
He tilted his head and chuckled, looking up from his book. "He even looks a bit like Craigslist, don't you think, Kurt?"
"Like you're one to speak, babyface?" Sebastian raisedyes a brow, his usual smirk on his face as he rolled his eyes, causing Daniel to sarcastically smile at him. And then Blaine arrived and then something about having to run -- Oh, Daniel didn't know. He didn't care.
He let out a breath and a bright smile. "Well, that went great!" He turned to Kurt, "Hey, Kurt -- It turns out your boyfriend is much more oblivious than we thought. Why don't we inform him about why Sebastian Whatever-His-Last-Name-Is acts this way around him?"
"I know how --" Daniel cut Blaine off and spoke, "Hey, what's up, buddy? I haven't seen you online." He mocked. "Seriously? You know how he feels and you don't stop texting him? I don't get it."
Kurt threw a sharp glare in Daniel's direction. "Shut your blabbering mouth, Daniel. Of course Blaine knows what he's doing." He looked at his boyfriend. "And besides, I trust him. You do know what you're doing, don't you?"
Blaine nodded. "Of course I do," He spoke. "I'm not even interested him in that kind of way. He's just . . . He's nice."
• • •
"What we need to sell here is sex!"
Daniel cringed visibly as Sam did a body roll. He was back and suddenly, he thought he could take control of what they had to do for Sectionals. He liked the thought of sex as much as the next person, but did they really have to . . . go for that factor when there was going to be parents and teachers and students that would mock them for the rest of their lives?
"What the hell is that?"
"It's -- It's a body roll."
He let out a sigh, "Come on, I liked the Blaine spin." He crossed his arm across his stomach as he spoke quietly while all the boys, except for Blaine and Kurt "I'm not exactly comfortable with . . . that." He gestured toward Sam, looking at Mr. Schue with pleading eyes.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Okay, come on, it's a body roll. I'm sure you've --"
"I'm still a virgin for a reason, Sam. Literally all of you -- except Rory -- have lost your virginities and it's probably because you guys are comfortable with doing your supposed body rolls on stage."
So he wasn't exactly the most confident person about his body. It was normal for teenagers to not feel comfortable in their own skin. It started for him when he was skipping meals during The Depression Of The Early Teenage Years, as he and Santana called it to ease the tension a little bit. Even staring at his stomach was kind of frustrating when his thoughts took him to the bad memories.
It was as if the boys hadn't even heard him as they began to cheer Sam on about his 'body rolls,' 'sex,' whatever. He caught Blaine's glance of, Ay dios mio as he spoke up, "No, that's not what we need. We don't have to . . . resort to that. It's cheap. You know, it's . . . it's selling out."
Daniel chewed on his lower lip, Finn looking at him as if asking him to encourage Sam. "He's right." He shrugged. At Puck's look of Come on, dude, he raised his hands in surrender. "What?! He is! I'm not exactly comfortable here and he is right. I'm on the side of Science and Science is telling me You're not a stripper. By Science, I mean -- My brain, which apparently all of you lack if you think this is going to make us win Sectionals."
"Look, you two! I came here to win!"
"If you think that sexualizing ourselves is going to make us win, you couldn't be more wrong, Sam." Daniel protested, but again, it was like no one else could hear him. Their hearing was clearly selective.
Sam continued speaking, "And when you're desperate, sometimes you got to, you know, use your assets and do what you got to do to get back that advantage. This," Cue the body roll. "is the advantage."
Blaine scoffed, "Of course that's what you think, you have to think that in order to sleep at night."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"It means that I'm not for sale."
And that was when hell nearly broke loose. Just almost. If it wasn't for Mr. Schue and Finn, Sam probably would've gotten knocked out. Seeing Blaine lose his temper wasn't exactly something Daniel had been expecting to see.
When Blaine left, Daniel looked across the room. From Puck all the way to Kurt. He let out a sigh. "You guys play some equality card." He drawled sarcastically. "Are any of you going to --" He saw Kurt get up and run after Blaine before he even finished his sentence.
"Combine them. The body roll and the spin or just the hands. Those are the Warblers signature moves and the Warblers won their Sectionals. If we win, that's what we're up against at Regionals; Body rolls and jazz hands."
When Sam began doing a move that was very reminiscent of a body roll with a small spin, Daniel nodded. "Yeah, like that. Blaine has won much more show choir competitions than all of us combined, just remember that before you start talking about how our bodies are our assets or whatever."
After rehearsal finished and many smartass comments were made, Daniel threw his backpack over his shoulder before coming face-to-face with Rory Flanagan. He let out a small scream, tripping onto one of the chairs and taking a seat, hiding his face with his backpack. "I didn't mean to out you of the virgin closet. Please don't go all Leprechaun on me. Those movies are scary."
When he looked up, seeing that Rory was not at all offended and instead wore a bright smile on his face. "I know what those movies have said, but I won't go all murder alien on ya'." He spoke with an Irish accent, although Daniel could understand him perfectly. Maybe it was his geniusness.
"Oh, yeah, cool, cool, cool. Of course . . . you won't." Daniel trailed off awkwardly, standing up and his body nearly coming in contact with Rory. "People in America don't usually stand this close together unless they're about to go all, like, Clary and Jace in that cave, so I am going to move a little, don't get offended and kill me." He stepped to the side, picking up his backpack and walked off the riser.
Rory furrowed his eyebrows, but shook it off as Daniel began walking, pretty much gesturing for him to walk with him. "How do you like McKinley so far? I know it's not the ideal school, but we can't all go to Dalton Academy, right?" He nudged him playfully.
"Well, I was friends with Brittany before the whole --"
"Leprechaun thing went down. I know. That was awkward." Daniel winced visibly, remembering it befoe pausing. "I mean, I totally get why you did it! Needing a friend and all! So, there was no problem with, like . . . manipulating her . . . into sex . . . and all by giving her . . . Lucky Charms." He blinked. "Oh, my God -- That is everything wrong in the world. You are everything wrong in the world."
Rory sighed, almost apologetically. "I was hoping we could put all that behind us. Like, with everyone, ya' know?"
He nodded. "Yeah, I get it, Rory. Luckily for you, I'm an awesome person and if I could forgive Finn for outing Santana, I can forgive you for . . . I'm not going to repeat it -- It's so wrong to forgive -- Hi, there -- you for that. I'm wildly popular. I know everyone." He explained at Rory's questioning look before stopping at a classroom.
"Uh, duh. I'm awesome. I'm president of the debate club. After Keith left, I was chosen as president. I'm probably th smartest kid in school. Besides Tina." He chuckled lightly. "I'll see you tomorrow, Flanagan."
And with that, he entered the room with a bright smile.
• • •
When Buenos Aires began playing through the speakers, Daniel's eyes widened as he gasped, holding onto Tina's hand. Evita was iconic and holy hell -- the Gerber Baby was singing Buenos Aires. He knew Harmony Sawyer -- They'd once met when she was dropping off her little sister at the same school his brother went to.
Tina swatted his hand away, a clear implication that You're worse than Kurt and Rachel, let me go! He mouthed the words, wiggling his shoulders as he bobbed his head to the song. Shaking her head, Tina laughed softly, elbowing him in the ribs playfully and softly.
When the song ended, he got up, dismissing himself as he walked out of the auditorium with a bright smile as he walked toward the choir room. And there was Sebastian Smythe with his smirky little face and his Craigslist smell and instead of his Warbler blazer, an expensive black sweater, tight black jeans, topped off with black combat boots.
"Mm, aren't you surprisingly attractive?"
Daniel crossed his arms, almost defensively as he tilted his chin up. "What are you doing here? Don't tell me Blaine invited you. I would be quite disappointed if he did. I didn't think he could stoop down so low. Or you would stoop down so low as to try to steal someone's boyfriend."
Sebastian gasped mockingly. "Oh, aren't you supposed to be the sunshine of your little group? And you dare say I stoop down so low? I really am offended. Don't know if I could ever cope with this monstrosity." He smirked, "Oh, wait! I can."
Oh, come on. He didn't need this right now. Why was he sticking around? Get out, get out, get out, he told himself. But nope, the more he told himself those words the more he just stepped closer.
"Sebastian Smythe -- Certain you've heard of me."
"Yes, in case you got amnesia, we've met." Daniel nodded sarcastically, "You still smell of Craigslist. And you still look like it, too!" He clapped mockingly, in a way Sebastian would be proud of. He was cold deep down, not that he would ever admit it.
Sebastian raised a brow, tilting his head as if to observe him. He squinted. "Ah, you've still got the babyface. Such a shame. Because I'm not attracted to you, you're clearly missing out. If you would've have better genetics --"
"Oh, would I satsify you? Quite nice." The sarcastic drawl escaped Daniel's lips without him not even realizing it. "Why are you here?"
"What's your name?"
"I asked first."
"Like I care." Sebastian rolled his eyes. "Are you deaf, too? I mean, with those glasses, I don't see why you're not deaf. I would've liked you better if you were mute."
Daniel averted his eyes elsewhere, not meeting Sebastian's eyes. He wasn't offended -- He'd been told worse. He'd told himself worse. "And why exactly should I tell you that? After today, the only times I'll see you is --"
"Tell me or I will continue calling you babyface."
"Daniel Ramirez. My name is Daniel Ramirez. You are Sebastian Smythe and you're complicated." He said, eyes narrowed. "Why are you here?"
Sebastian faux-pouted, tilting his head slightly. "You thought I would actually answer? I'm obviously here for Blaine, Daniel." He said the name, once again, mockingly. Did all this boy know how to do was mock people? Most likely. Did Daniel mind being in his presence? Uh-huh. Was he going to say anything? Of course not. "And I heard about an . . . altercation between you and Froggy Lips, of course. Everyone heard about that."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "I told him what he needed to hear."
"Oh, of course you did, Pretty Boy and I didn't escape my mother's womb an asshole. That makes sense. Absolutely." Sebastian nodded sarcastically, his arrogont smirk never leaving his lips, no matter how he spoke. "You really are a pretty boy." He took a few steps toward Daniel, bodies nearly touching.
Okay, no. No. No. No. And hell no.
Daniel pushed Sebastian back. "I know, I have a mirror."
Sebastian chuckled. "And confident too. Interesting. So what are you doing around a whole bunch of misfits and a former stripper from Kentucky? If you were so confident, you wouldn't be around a whole bunch of juvenile miscreants."
"Do you satisfy yourself with being a bad person and insulting others?" Daniel scoffed, shaking his head. "You're a jackass."
"Oh, I don't know, babyface." Sebastian sighed dramatically, leaning against the piano. "I really am a good person. I just need someone to . . . sort me out. Teach me how to behave like a good little boy." He flashed an even wider smirk, "So, who even is Froggy Lips and why are you so against him?"
Daniel waved it off. He'd rather not speak about Sam right now. Or ever. Eventually, maybe. He didn't hold a grudge or anything against him -- Daniel was just . . . He was complicated. "Some blond who came barging into the glee club last year and then again, this year." He answered, "We don't need him in the New Directions really. Finn just has a bias."
The other boy gasped another time. "New Directions? Think they can go without a member? You know, I am so disgusted with the way you think. How dare you go around saying you don't need a member. And here I thought, you all understood loyalty."
Daniel scowled, fists clenched now, breathing deeply. "I didn't mean it that way. We've just always been a family in glee club and he came in and just --"
"Oh? But so did . . . So did Blaine, didn't he?" Sebastian blinked innocently. "Blaine, too, just joined this year. Froggy Lips must know much more about this little family of yours since he joined last year. So, is Blaine really the one you're against?"
"What?!" Daniel shrieked. "No! Blaine is my friend --"
"And Sam isn't?"
"Sam's different --"
"How so?" Sebastian smirked. "How is Blaine so different from everybody else? Don't tell me you're falling in love with him. Pride Float would be so upset and isn't he one of your best friends? Why would you do that to your best friend?"
Daniel groaned, throwing his head back. "You are so frustrating!"
"The truth is frustrating?" Green eyes sparkled mischievously, shaking his head, pushing himself off the piano, leaning toward Daniel. "Just wait until they both hear about this." He whispered, lips brushing his ear before leaning up and walking away.
• • •
Singing a song about how you would always be there for someone and telling someone else that you didn't consider them family isn't exactly the best feeling in the world. How had Daniel even end up in this situation? No, he'd brought it upon himself -- Sebastian Smythe had nothing to do with it.
As he pulled Sugar in with the rest of the New Directions, he smiled brightly. She wasn't as bad as people thought and maybe Sam wasn't as bad as he thought. As he turned around and noticed Quinn and Sam, he nodded toward them with a brighter smile.
Things weren't going to be bad, he told himself. They were going to be okay. Things were going to be fine.
So if by the time the bar closes and you feel like falling down, I'll carry you home. Tonight.