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I Was Unwise to Lower My Defences

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In the bottom of a drawer, under a pile of used notepads, lies an envelope.

It's a fairly nondescript envelope, when all is said and done. Red and plain, with the slightest hint of an embossed logo on the flap. There's a slight mark where the spine of a notepad has pressed into it, but otherwise it's pristine.

He finds it when he's looking for the notepad full of Warblers plans, scrabbling to find evidence of his extracurriculars for college interviews. Notepad after notepad comes flying out, skidding across the floor unceremoniously as soon as he realises they're not the one he's looking for.

He reaches back into the drawer and freezes as his fingers brush the envelope. He knows what it is immediately and it's with shaking hands that Sebastian picks up the only Valentine he has ever written.

It had started as a joke, initially.

One of the many things that had come out of his conversations with Blaine was that, underneath the copious amounts of hair gel and slightly dubious sweaters, Blaine was a complete and utter nerd. He'd laughed out loud the first time Blaine had let a reference to Star Wars slip, unable to reconcile the boy he knew with a film series so associated with 40-year-old men living in their mothers' basements. Blaine had flushed an adorable shade of red – not in embarrassment, but in annoyance – and before Sebastian knew what was happening he was on the receiving end of a passionate lecture about the merits of Star Wars and the impact it had had on popular culture.

Blaine's eyes had been bright, his brow furrowed slightly as he gestured wildly at the webcam and ranted about morality in science-fiction. And something in Sebastian had eased, a hard lump that he hadn't even known existed melting away into nothing.

"What?" Blaine's voice had been flat as he suddenly broke off from his one-sided debate. "Why are you smiling like that?"

Sebastian had put his hand to his cheek, startled; he hadn't realised he'd been smiling. It was only now that Blaine pointed it out that he became aware of the broad grin that had taken over his face, the ache in his cheeks that betrayed just how long he had been smiling so widely.

Fully dressed in his Dalton uniform with Blaine several miles away, Sebastian somehow felt exposed.

"I was just thinking how sexy you are when you geek out." He'd covered smoothly and that had been it for that line of conversation, Blaine spluttering and fully distracted by the line.

Star Wars had come up a few more times afterwards, whether through Sebastian's teasing or Blaine's ongoing attempts to convert him. Each time, Blaine's passion had practically lit up Sebastian's screen, pixels and colours somehow seeming to become brighter under the force of Blaine's fervour.

So when Sebastian had been out shopping and seen the card, it had seemed like the perfect response: teasing, but not so much of a mockery that he would anger Blaine.

'You're the Obi-Wan for me!' the card had cheerfully proclaimed, a cartoon old man grinning against a bright pink background. Mere weeks before Sebastian would have walked straight past it, completely missing the reference. Instead he had paused and stared at it for a while, before nodding decisively and taking it to the till.

He'd cackled the whole drive home, imagining the look on Blaine's face as he opened his unknown Valentine and saw the picture. As he signed his name with a flourish inside, he'd already been planning his witty response to Blaine's exasperated comments.

Printing Blaine's name on the envelope, he'd slowed down and started to reconsider. Somehow, seeing Blaine's name standing out stark and black against the red paper Huge. As if Sebastian was about to tip over some unforeseen edge and stumble into some strange new country.

The card had sat on his bedside table for days, unsealed and unsent. It greeted him in the morning, the first thing he saw as he woke, groaning. It was the last thing he saw at night, his stomach fluttering uncomfortably as he slipped into sleep wondering exactly why this had become such a big thing.

Eventually he had simply shoved it into his drawer just so he didn't have to think about it anymore.

Now, Sebastian traces Blaine's name on the envelope and knows why he couldn't bring himself to send it.

Because it hadn't been a joke. Not really. And the part of Sebastian that was aware of it had also been too cowardly to admit to it. Too afraid of ridicule and rejection, of opening himself up to someone.

He wonders whether Blaine would have seen through it. If he had, would he have thrown his arms around Sebastian and dragged him off to forcibly induct him into the 'wonder' that was Star Wars? Acknowledged that his relationship with Kurt was flawed and given Sebastian a chance?

Or would he have just stared at him, dark eyes wet and wounded as he tried to gently let Sebastian down?

Sebastian remembers the swooping in his gut as Blaine burst into the Warblers' meeting, the sudden pounding of his heart as Blaine ran straight to him, arms open and expression pleading. Even then, he hadn't understood. Not really. Even when he was choreographing the Warblers' part of Blaine's grand proposal, something hot and burning in the back of his throat, he hadn't understood.

Seeing Kurt and Blaine embrace on the stairs, surrounded by rose petals and applause, he'd understood.

And known that his revelation had come far too late.

Filled with a sudden rage, Sebastian yanks the card out of the envelope and starts to pull, desperate to destroy this symbol of his failure, of all his mistakes, of his stupid, stupid blindness...

Obi-Wan stares up at him and he stops, remembering Blaine's passionate argument one evening for why a lonely old man was the real hero of the series.

He bends the card back into shape as best he can. Slips it back into the envelope. Slides it into his bottom drawer and gently returns the notepads to their place on top.

On the DVD shelf behind him, six films nestle amongst his collection, unwatched but much cared for.