Author's Note: I love Blaine. And since so much of him is a mystery, I thought I'd practice doing some character work. I'll leave this as a one-shot for now, but if people want more I can go farther with it.

Blaine stared at the three senior Warblers behind the table in frustration. "Come on. Just do this. For me." He had been here trying to convince them to allow Kurt to audition for at least twenty minutes.

"You know, that sounds suspiciously like something someone was saying last week, when he was trying to get us to Kurt into the Warblers without auditioning. 'Just let him in. For me.' Oh, that was you, wasn't it?" Wes responded.

Wes was head of the council because he was a senior with a great baritone, created gorgeous harmonic arrangements, and was unmatched at shutting people up and making them listen. Now if only he wasn't so unbelievably snide sometimes. "Look. Yes. Fine. But he's really good, and he's having a hard time. He deserves it."

"There are lots of guys in here who deserve a shot at a competition solo, Blaine. That doesn't mean they all get one. Wes is right. He's actually lucky just to be in here at all without auditioning," David told him.

Blaine had an incredible urge to run his fingers through his hair – an old nervous habit. But he had made himself stop that after he got to Dalton, just like he had made himself stop biting his nails. For the past year he had looked in the mirror every morning and listed the attributes that made the new Blaine who he was. He was put together, collected, reasonable, dependable, stable. He wasn't going to let that fall apart.

Besides, he gelled his hair so firmly into place now that his fingers probably couldn't move it.

Wes let go of the gavel handle he'd been toying between his fingers. "You know what, Blaine? We'll make a deal. Kurt can audition for a solo if you admit why you're doing this."

"What does that mean?" Blaine asked with an incredulous smile that fooled no one.

"That you like him and everyone knows it."

"You think I can't be nice to another gay guy without having a thing for him?"

"Oh, I know you can. That's just not what you're doing."

"Stop it," David said. "Both of you. Blaine, yes, everyone knows you like him. And not because you're both gay. Because you're being obvious. You grabbed his hand and ran down the hallways with him. After he saw you sing "Teenage Dream," he asked all of us if we were gay. The people at this school are not blind. Or stupid. We don't have to hear you say it," he shot a glance at Wes. "But being a mid-year transfer is hard, I know that, and the faculty has made it very clear that whatever he came from at his old school was grave. So I don't think the council is opposed to extending a particularly warm welcome in the form of an audition." He looked at Matt, their third council member. Matt almost never spoke until it was time to make a decision, which made him nearly impossible to argue with. "Matt? Agreed?"

"I do. He can audition."

David looked back at Blaine. "Happy?"

Actually, he was humiliated. He didn't feel like singing with these people ever again. But he wasn't going to let that show. He had already let too much show, as he was just now finding out. "Thanks."

He grabbed his bag and left, trying to remember where Kurt would be right now so he could tell him.

Blaine sat alone in the common room where the Warblers practiced, holding his head in his hands. Their three aspiring soloists were out in the hall, and he was supposed to go tell them what the council had decided. Instead, he was considering going out the side door and running away. Why not? Running away was something he was very good at. Much better than he was at looking people in the eye and crushing their dreams. Or one person's dreams, to be precise.

"Is this a joke?" he had asked them when they gave him the responsibility to break the news.

"Blaine, you're the heir to this council next year. And leadership is not always pleasant. We're trying to prepare you for that," David had said. "We chose the people whose auditions best fit our style. And you know that."

Of course he hadn't argued. It wouldn't have gotten anywhere. And David was right, which was what had made "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina," so torturous to sit through.

Blaine loved musicals. They had kept the auditorium at his old school locked. He used to pick the lock with a coathanger, bring in his mp3 player and sing ballads to the empty auditorium. Chess, Beauty and the Beast, The Fantasticks, Rent, Phantom of the Opera. Evita. silently as a new Warbler during his first year, he had realized that the Warblers didn't do showtunes. Top 40 only. It kept them "accessible". So Blaine set aside his mp3 player for the radio, and learned melodies and harmonies to every pop and rock song he heard. What they wanted, he would give them. Anything he worked on, he could be counted to deliver. He became their go-to soloist doing Train and Katy Perry. Really he had never seen a Katy Perry video and wanted to break out with the lead from "Totally F-ed" during practice. But of course, he didn't.

Blaine knew Kurt was a countertenor, but that was it. He'd never heard Kurt's voice until five minutes ago. And if he didn't know Kurt was an atheist, he'd say he belonged in a church choir. The purity in his tone was angelic. Blaine had been stunned. He'd sat there staring, and he could tell everyone around him saw him staring, and he didn't care. As soon as Kurt finished singing he was going to stand up and kiss those red lips that he'd been staring at for weeks, and gaze into those eyes that were so big and blue and just slightly watery, and nothing was going to stop him.

Funny, because that's what he always said to himself right before something stopped him. He saw Kurt start to raise his hands to directly channel Patti LuPone, and he saw the look of uncertainty cross David's face and derision cross Wes's. That was all it took to remember that he wasn't a) in the house of a Broadway theater watching Kurt onstage or b) in heaven. He was at Warbler's practice. Instantly he had motioned at Kurt to cut the hand motion, and while Kurt had acquiesced, the damage had been done.

It wasn't a group song anyway. There was no way to harmonize on "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." And so by the end of the performance Blaine had been torn between adoration and dread. It was a beautiful song by a beautiful voice, but it wasn't going to work. Even the heart-stopping emotion Kurt had put into it that clearly revealed the song as reflecting his feelings about the transfer. Fantastic. It made Blaine want to pull Kurt into safety, into some small world made for the two of them where he could hold Kurt and never let go.

But he didn't have that world to give Kurt. He only had this world, the Dalton world. And that song was too personal for this world.

Blaine didn't mind the Dalton world. It worked. He had chosen to become a new person for Dalton, after all. He had wanted things at the new school to be as easy as they could. So like a suit of armor, he put on the suit of Blaine every morning. He wrote his fury and fear on paper in the morning, and he sung his passions out in the empty courtyard at night. And in between, nothing bothered him.

And those feelings for Kurt – that adoration, that desire, that longing – would have to be written and sung out in secrecy, too. He had a duty to the Warblers. And it wasn't right for Kurt, either. He wanted things to be easy for Kurt, who was so obviously uncertain and scared. And complicating his life with romance would not smooth the way. He would be honest. Well, partly honest. He'd tell Kurt why the solo didn't work, and then he'd tell Kurt how to fit in. Because while fitting in wasn't necessary, it was the path of least resistance. And Kurt shouldn't have to do any more struggling.

He got up off the couch and opened the door out to the hallway. He ignored the sarcastic voice of old Blaine, which was saying in his head, oh, that's perfect Blaine. Because you know what, if he avoids struggle in his life, he'll be just like you.