A/N this is a oneshot based on the rumor that Jesse will be returning in season 2, episode 20 to 'help a friend'. This got me thinking, because Jesse isn't on friendly terms with anybody in ND. But what about Blaine? Very little is known about Blaine's backround...
This is an idea that came to me and wouldn't leave until I wrote it down. I know there aren't many people who read this pairing, but if anybody does, please review. This is a whole different style of writting for me (I don't usually write angst) and I would really like to know how I did.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee
The One All The Girls Want
The news had spread like wildfire. That dorky freshman with the crazy hair and the thick glasses was gay, and obviously needed to be avoided like the plague.
When the news first reached Jesse St James, he had shrugged it off with a simple "Blaine who?". After all, he was the star of Vocal Adrenaline and one of the most popular guys in school; the one all the girls wanted and all the guys wanted to be. He was best friends with the quarterback of the Carmel High football team and dating a hot cheerleader, who also happened to be the best friend of his Vocal Adrenaline team mate Giselle. Why should he care if some random freshman was into other guys? He had never even heard of Blaine Anderson before his girlfriend came to him with the news.
Simply put, he just couldn't care less. He and that Anderson id didn't even run in the same circles. To him it was just another rumour circling through the school.
He didn't hear anything of this apparently gay kid for about two weeks, and honestly he had completely forgotten about him and the crazy gossip that accompanied his name. But then Carrie, his girlfriend, pointed him towards the small teen, muttering "That's the queer," and then pulling herself and Jesse as far away from the fourteen year old as possible.
Jesse looked him over, frowning slightly. When Carrie had whispered those words he had expected to see a flamboyant boy with perfectly styled hair, designer clothes and possibly a face covered in make-up. But this kid wasn't like that at all, in fact if his girlfriend hadn't pointed him out he probably wouldn't have given him a second glance.
The boy was short for his age, and skinny, with wild curly black hair and thick eyebrows that were slightly covered by his equally thick glasses. His clothes were nothing out of the ordinary, a simply blue long sleeved shirt, black skinny jeans and red converse. He looked completely normal, maybe a bit on the attractive side (if it weren't for those ridiculous glasses), but other than that there seemed to be nothing wrong with him.
And yet, there seemed to be a sign on his forehead that said 'AVOID AT ALL COSTS'; nobody looked him in the eye (although they did glance at him with obvious disgust), and people moved as far away from him as they could when he walked by them. The boy seemed aware of this, and he kept his eyes trained on the ground.
For a second, Jesse almost felt sorry for the kid. But that thought was erased when he found himself staring into what were easily the most stunning honey coloured eyes in the world; in fact, all thoughts were erased as he stared into those eyes. He forgot where he was, what he was doing, who he was with… he almost forgot how to breath.
He must had stopped moving, even though he couldn't remember doing so, because his feet felt rooted to the spot, and he couldn't bring himself to try and move them. He just stared into those eyes, full of pain and hurt and sorrow, with just a glimmer of hope beginning to shine through.
All too soon he was forced to look away as someone grasped his hand firmly and pulled him away, saying "Stop staring at him! You'll catch the gay," and he remembered. Carrie, he was with Carrie. At school, in the hallway.
He felt the strange urge to pull his hand out of Carrie's grip and slap her across the face for being insensitive. He glanced back at the younger teen, whose cheeks were now tinged with little red spots, and then turned back to his girlfriend acting like nothing had happened. She was already talking about something Giselle had told her earlier, and Jesse couldn't help but steal a quick glance at the boy with the beautiful eyes one last time. His eyes were once again on the ground, and he was walking faster than before, as if trying to get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
For some reason, Jesse felt like following him.
He didn't see or hear of Blaine Anderson for several days, but this time he didn't forget about him. In fact, he found that he was all he thought about. Actually, his borderline obsession with the boy was actually starting to freak him out.
He wasn't concentrating in class, he was out of it during glee practice, and he couldn't find it in him to even pretend to be paying attention to what the people around him were saying. Why was everyone always talking to him anyway?
Oh yeah, because he was Jesse St James, the boy every girl wanted and every guy wanted to be. He shook his head, forcing himself to pay attention to what his teacher was saying. He needed to get that gay kid out of his head. They weren't even in the same social circles, in fact they weren't even in the same social stratosphere. Jesse was popular, and nobody dared even make eye contact with Blaine out of fear of 'catching the gay' as Carrie had so rudely said.
Finally, unable to stand it, he raised his hand and asked for permission to go to the nurses office. The teacher nodded absentmindedly and Jesse stood up, ignoring the looks that everyone was giving him. Maybe there were downsides to being popular… everybody seemed to want to know what was going on with you all the freaking time. It was kind of annoying.
He wandered through the hall, glad for the silence. He sighed, pushing a hand through his perfectly styled hair, and fought the urge to slam his head against a locker. Maybe that would make him forget about his 'experience' with the Anderson kid.
"Just leave him alone, okay?" Jesse's eyes were instantly drawn to the voice he recognized so well as his girlfriends, although he had to say he was surprised to see her out of class. Carrie wasn't one to skip.
He was even more surprised to see who she was with. He felt his throat go dry as his eyes fell on Blaine Anderson, standing awkwardly between Carrie and a row of lockers. Carrie had her hand resting on a locker, her arm stretched out as if making sure Blaine wouldn't try to escape. The short freshman was avoiding eye contact with her, keeping himself as pressed up against the lockers as he could. What the hell?
"W-what are you talking about?" muttered Blaine, and Jesse realized that he had never heard the boy speak.
"My boyfriend, okay? I know about your stupid crush," Jesse's heart started beating erratically in his chest. What?
"Yes, Jesse St James! You know, the hot junior you keep making bambi eyes at?"
"Don't even try that with me, okay? Just keep your queer ass as far away from us as possible, got it?" and with that she stormed off, thankfully not seeing Jesse. Jesse didn't move for a few seconds, unsure about how to proceed. He let his eyes fall on Blaine, who was clutching his arms around his own tiny waist and looking like he was going to cry. All Jesse wanted to do was wrap his arms around the small boy. Before he could change his mind he walked up to him.
"Hey, are you okay?" Blaine jumped, obviously shocked to see him, and then flushed a deep crimson. His brilliantly coloured eyes were filled with unshed tears, and his bottom lip was quivering. He quickly broke eye contact with Jesse, looking down at the floor, nodding slowly. Jesse nodded, biting his lip.
"I'm sorry about her," he said, and Blaine looked up at him again, the tears now falling down his cheeks freely. He had so much hurt in his eyes that it was hard to find the small trace of confusion, and once again that little spark of hope, but they were definitely there.
"Why?" he managed, and Jesse almost tackled him to the floor in a giant bear hug. Somebody should not be allowed to look so helpless.
"Because she was out of line. I'll talk to her," Blaine looked away from him.
"You don't have too," he mumbled, "I'm… I'm used to it"
"I want too," Jesse put a hand on Blaine's shaking shoulder, making the younger boy look up into his eyes again, and a small smile formed on the star of Vocal Adrenalines face, "Nobody should be used to shit like that"
He wasn't sure where all of this was coming from. Jesse St James was not one to care about other people, especially people who were under him in the social pyramid that was Carmel High. But something about this boy just made him want to punch ever bully in the face. He wanted to protect him. And that scared him.
"Are you going to be okay?" he asked after a few seconds of silence. Blaine silently nodded, wiping the tears from under his eyes. Jesse stared at him for a few more seconds before pursing his lips.
"Alright then," and with that he walked away, forcing himself not to glance back at Blaine. He could hear the younger boy sniffling, and Jesse had to once again resist the urge to just wrap his arms around the boy and make him forget about everything.
The news that Jesse St James and Carrie Jackson had broken up spread fast; nobody knew the cause (some thought Carrie had been cheating on Jesse with Jesse's best friend Josh, others that Jesse had been cheating on Carrie with Giselle, and a few random people swore that Carrie wasn't putting out for Jesse and that was why it was over) but that wasn't the point. The point was that the it couple was gone, and it seemed to change the whole dynamic of the high school.
Of course, Jesse knew why he and Carrie had broken up. After he had told her to back off Blaine she had hurled some very tasteful insults at him. He had tried to get her to calm down, but she refused, saying that she had seen the way he looked at Blaine and that he never looked at her like that. He didn't even try explaining that it was different, that for some reason he felt the need to protect Blaine and obviously she didn't need protecting.
The most hurtful comment had been tossed out right before he ended things.
"I should have known you were too perfect. Obviously you'd be a fag too"
It was over. He couldn't be with her anymore. Not knowing she hated Blaine for being who he was. When he told her this she started screaming at him.
"Since when are you two so chummy anyway? God, as far as I know you two have never even talked before. Are you seriously choosing him over me?"
Jesse had taken a deep breath, "It's not about choosing. I don't like how you're acting around him, and that's it"
"Go to hell"
And that was it. The high schools power couple was through. Jesse was actually surprised that Carrie hadn't been spreading it around the school that he had dumped her for Blaine…
No, because of Blaine. Not for Blaine. Saying for Blaine suggested he liked Blaine. Which he didn't.
He just… thought about him all the time. And felt overly protective of him. And couldn't look into his eyes, because he lost all type of coherency when he did that.
Either way he was thankful for his ex-girlfriends silence.
After the fourth cheerleader that day came up to him to ask him on a date, since he and Carrie were splitsville, he accidentally let slip that he liked someone else. Not because he actually did, simply because he thought that this would keep the popularity hungry lesser cheerleaders away from him. After all, if Carrie was the way she was, didn't that mean they would all be that way? As far as he knew, all cheerleaders were the same. Or, at least that's what he told himself was the reason for rejecting them.
After about a week of silence from both Carrie and Blaine, Jesse was starting to get anxious. He had been trying to keep an eye on Blaine, without actually risking talking to him, because that would be social suicide considering he had just broken up with his girlfriend for a mystery someone that people could very easily think was Blaine. He noticed that Blaine was becoming even more distant from the rest of the world, avoiding the cafeteria at lunch time and walking faster down the hallway. He almost had half a mind to go up to Carrie and ask her if she had done anything to the small boy, but the way she had called him a fag kept playing over and over again in his head. And he simply couldn't risk that happening again.
Finally, about a week and a half after his break-up with Carrie, Blaine surprised him by going to talk to him. He made sure Jesse was alone, something the older boy eternally grateful for, and nervously thanked him.
"For what?" Blaine licked his lips, which only made Jesse notice how pink and soft looking they were. Stop he told himself inappropriate thoughts.
"For… you know… standing up for me, I guess. Also, I'm sorry"
"For what?" Jesse repeated, and Blaine flushed. Obviously it had taken all his courage to even approach the popular junior. Jesse allowed himself a small smile, and the thought that Blaine floundering was extremely endearing.
"I… I heard you and Carrie broke up and I- well, I can't help but feel like it was my fault"
Jesse shook his head, putting his fingers on the boys chin and forcing him to look up into his eyes. He completely ignored the small jolt of electricity that flew threw him at the skin on skin contact, and how he basically forgot what he was going to say when he found himself staring into Blaine's amazing eyes.
"It wasn't your fault. Carrie and I… it was a popularity thing. She was hot, friends with the head cheerleader and I'm the star of Vocal Adrenaline. It was over the day we started going out" this wasn't entirely true; he had actually liked Carrie for a small amount of time, but that ended as soon as Blaine came into the picture. Not that he would be telling Blaine that.
"Uh… right, okay, yeah," Blaine nodded, jerking his head out of Jesse's grasp, as if just becoming aware that he was talking to one of the most popular boys in school. Strangely enough, Jesse hadn't even considered the difference in their social status or how earlier that year he wouldn't have even allowed himself to look at a boy like Blaine, because, hello, he was Jesse St James: the one all the girls wanted and all the guys wanted to be. That was definitely a first for him.
"Are you okay?" he asked cautiously, and Blaine nodded, "Carrie hasn't done anything to you, right?"
Blaine shook his head, "No, I'm fine"
"Okay… it's just… you've seemed more detached than usual…" Jesse wanted to hit himself. He had basically just admitted that he had been watching Blaine, because how else would he have known? The two hadn't spoken since that day in the hallway.
Blaine's face turned an even darker shade of red; obviously he had noticed Jesse's slip up, "I'm fine," he repeated.
Jesse nodded, slipping his hands into his pockets, "Alright good. Well, if you ever get any trouble then just… come talk to me or something. And I'll tell them to back off"
Blaine bit his lip, as if he was considering saying something, before he simply nodded and scurried off without even saying goodbye. Jesse leaned against the wall, letting out a defeated sigh.
Never in his life had he met anyone like Blaine Anderson.
The first time he saw someone push Blaine into a locker made him feel like someone had punched him in the stomach.
He had been walking towards his French class, going over the past tense of every irregular verb he knew in his head. Josh, his best friend, had called out to him before jogging to catch up with him and they had fallen into their usual conversation.
Josh had been talking about the next football game, against some school called McKinley, when Jesse had caught sight of Blaine out of the corner of his eye. He had a large binder held tightly against his chest, and he was walking quickly towards Jesse and Josh, his eyes trained on the ground.
He seemed to notice someone staring at him because he chanced a glance in Jesse's direction just as he was walking by him and his friend. Jesse felt his heart stop when he saw the pain in those deep honey coloured eyes, something he desperately wanted to erase. And before he knew it Blaine was pressed up against the lockers, his eyes shut as a loud bang rang through the crowded hallway.
"Don't look at us, fag," he heard Josh spit at Blaine. Blaine looked like he wanted nothing more than to curl up into a ball on the floor and simply stay there forever, but instead he simply stood leaning against the lockers, his eyes shut tight. Jesse didn't know what to do. He simply stood frozen there as Josh continued walking.
Something was building up inside him, and he wasn't able to identify what it was until he heard Josh call his name.
It was anger.
The hallway was full of people, quickly running to get to their respective classes, and he was pretty sure that everyone had heard, if not seen, Josh push Blaine against the locker. And yet nobody was doing anything. Nobody was telling Josh off. They were simply minding their own business, some glancing at Blaine with hints of sympathy, but nothing more. Why weren't they doing anything? Why didn't anyone say something?
Why didn't he say something?
"Jesse?" he turned towards his best friend, his eyes leaving Blaine when he heard his name being called out again. He quickly caught up with the quarterback, forcing himself not to glance back at Blaine, knowing Josh would have something to say about that.
As he continued to his class, he could feel himself becoming slowly sick to his stomach; the fact that he cared more about what Josh thought of him than that Blaine had just been shoved up against a locker, rather harshly, made him want to throw up.
It seemed like as soon as Josh pushed Blaine against the locker people started thinking it was okay to push the gay kid around. Or maybe they had been doing it already and Jesse just hadn't noticed until then. One thing was certain though, he hated watching it happen.
And he hated that he wasn't doing anything about it.
He hadn't spoken to Blaine since that time Blaine had approached him to thank him, and Jesse had to admit that he missed hearing the boy. In a totally platonic way. Was it completely wrong to want to help this kid out? Obviously he was having a rough time of it.
His confused feelings over what was happening and why it affected him so much came to a head when he saw Josh and one of his friends from the football team dump a large cup of what he guessed was Coke over Blaine's head. He felt his heart constrict as he saw the fourteen year old stand in the middle of the hallway, his hair drenched with the sticky drink and parts of his shirt starting to stick to his body. Blaine shut his eyes, his head bent towards the floor as the two jocks laughed at him, high fived, and then walked away; but not before waving at Jesse as if nothing had happened.
Jesse once again found himself unable to move, simply staring at the small boy as he took a shuddery breath and then slowly began walking towards the bathroom. Jesse watched him go until he disappeared into the men's room.
He continued standing in the middle of the hall until the bell signalling the beginning of his next class jolted him back to reality. Making a split decision, he quickly made his way into the bathroom before he could change his mind.
As soon as he walked through the door he felt like crying. Blaine was standing in front of the sinks, with no shirt on, giving Jesse a full view of what exactly those shoves into the lockers were doing to him. His back and shoulders were covered in small purple bruises, while some of them were larger, and had a yellow tint to them. It just strengthened Jesse's protective feelings towards him. He wanted to pick up a cloth and wash all those bruises away and then quickly erase the memory that they were ever there. For a split second he replaced the word cloth with his lips and wash with kiss, but he instantly shook that thought from his head. It wasn't the time for that.
One of the taps was running, and Blaine had stuck his head under it, silently running his hands through his unruly hair, trying to get all of the pop out. Jesse sighed, walking towards the younger boy before he placed a gentle hand on the small of his back, one of the few places not covered in bruises.
"Let me help you out," he whispered, and Blaine jumped, bumping his head against the tap of the sink and letting out a loud 'Shit' before pulling out from under the running water, rubbing his head where he had hit it and dripping water all over the bathroom floor.
"Sorry," mumbled Jesse, biting his lip uncertainly. Blaine stopped rubbing his head and looked up at him, his eyes full of unshed tears as he stared deep into Jesse's blue ones. Jesse, once again, ignored his urge to wrap his arms around the boy and hold him as close as he possibly could. He wasn't exactly sure what to say, so he simply repeated, "I'm so sorry"
"What for?" asked Blaine, his voice shaky and cracking slightly. Jesse knew this was because he was on the verge of tears, but he didn't say anything. He didn't want to embarrass the boy.
"For not saying anything"
Blaine let out a strangled sob and Jesse watched as the tears began to flow freely from his eyes, those beautiful, pain filled eyes that haunted Jesse every time he closed his own. The smaller boy wrapped his arms around this thin stomach, hugging himself as if he knew nobody else would. For a few seconds Jesse watched as sadness and sympathy filled him, and a few tears started to form in his own eyes as the freshman completely broke down in front of him. It literally broke his heart.
That urge to hold the boy closely was back, stronger than ever, and finally Jesse gave in. He pulled Blaine close, and wrapped his own strong arms around Blaine. Blaine let out a hiss of pain when Jesse's hands and arms made contact with the bruises, but Jesse didn't let go. He simply held the boy close, not caring that his shirt was becoming wet from Blaine's still dripping hair and tears.
At first Blaine didn't seem to respond, simply continuing to cry, but eventually he took fistfuls of Jesse's shirt and pulled himself closer, crying into Jesse's shoulder. When he did this Jesse began rubbing Blaine's back gently, careful not to press down on his bruises. The action only seemed to make Blaine cry harder, and his thin arms finally snaked around Jesse's middle as he sobbed. Jesse could feel ever shiver that the small boys body made as he cried, and eventually he found a single tear rolling down his own cheek. His heart continued to break with every second that he held the boy close to him.
Finally Blaine pulled away, wiping tears from his bloodshot eyes and not daring to make eye contact with Jesse.
"Why?" he croaked, and Jesse had to bit his lip to prevent further tears from escaping. Blaine sounded so, so broken. It made Jesse think that the younger boy didn't believe he deserved somebody helping him. And that just made Jesse want to hug the boy again.
"Because you don't deserve it," he said firmly, and Blaine looked up at him, his eyes wide and watery, "Nobody does"
"But why help me? I'm nobody… and you're Jesse St James" Jesse's heart started beating faster when he heard Blaine say his name, his voice still shaky. Jesse wasn't sure if he had the correct answer for that question; even he didn't know why he felt so compelled to help Blaine. He had seen people getting bullied all the time. Why should Blaine be any different?
"Blaine…" the small boy flushed when Jesse said his name, "What they're doing to you? Pushing you into lockers, pouring Coke over your head… it's wrong"
"I'm used to it," he replied, trying to shrug it off as the tears continued to fall down his cheeks. Jesse noticed how Blaine had began hugging himself again, and he hated how small that action made the freshman look; how helpless.
"You shouldn't be. That isn't something you should be used to. You should be used to walking down the hallways with a giant smile on your face, talking to your friends and… holding hands with the boy you like," he took a deep breath as a shudder ran through Blaine's body as he was reminded of his sexuality, a fresh set of tears falling from his eyes, "Not being bruised and sticky and feeling like you aren't worth it. Not being called a fag every day. That's… you shouldn't be used to that"
There was silent for a few seconds before Jesse spoke up again, "I have an extra shirt in my locker. Stay here… I'll go get it for you"
He started towards the door before he felt a hand on his arm, barely there, and a soft, "Don't"
He turned around and saw Blaine looking at the ground, his hand gently resting on Jesse's elbow, "Why not?"
"Because people will see. And they'll know it's yours. I can't… I can't do that to you"
Jesse, ignoring all of his brains protests that this was a bad idea, pulled Blaine up against him again and pressed a soft kiss to his temple. He felt Blaine continue to cry beneath him.
"Don't think about what people will think. Let me help you," and with another kiss to his forehead Jesse walked out of the bathroom and quickly made his way to his locker. The hallways were empty, until he heard the familiar voice of his best friend.
"Hey! St James! What the hell man, where you been? O'Connor's looking for you; he's not very impressed you skived off… why are you wet?"
Jesse wanted to punch his friend in the face. He was the one that was hurting Blaine. He was the one breaking him. But he didn't. He simply pulled the extra shirt he always kept in his locker out and then also grabbed the towel he sometimes used to clear off the sweat that gathered on his forehead after glee. He then slammed his locker shut and turned away from Josh.
"Tell him I'll be late to class. He sent you, right? That's why you're here?"
"Of course he sent me! Where you going?"
Jesse turned to look at him, hoping his anger was apparent in his eyes as he glared Josh down, "I'm helping someone out. He's kind of going through a hard time, and he needs a shoulder to cry on"
Josh cocked an eyebrow, "Is that why you're all wet? Somebody's been crying on you? Who is it?" he could see the judgment in Josh's eyes and that word on the tip of his tongue. He ignored it.
"None of your business. Now, if you'll excuse me. Tell O'Connor I'll be there in about fifteen minutes"
"You got it man. You go fag it up with your new girlfriend," and with that he turned around and walked away before Jesse could punch him in the face like he wanted too; which was probably a good thing considering Josh was about twice his size and he himself had never thrown a punch before. Normally he would settle his differences with others via a sing off, which he would always win. Never once had he felt such a strong urge to hit someone.
When he got back to the bathroom he noticed Blaine had gone back to washing the Coke out of his hair, and this time he announced his presence by speaking instead of making physical contact, so he could avoid giving Blaine another bruise.
"Here you go. I also brought a towel… for your hair," Blaine turned his head towards him and looked him in the eye from under the tap of the sink, which he turned off and slowly got out from under. He stared at Jesse for a few seconds, not saying anything, and Jesse decided to make the first move.
He grabbed the towel and walked towards Blaine, holding it out towards him. Blaine turned his unwavering stare from Jesse to the towel, until Jesse cracked a smile and moved even closer, bringing the towel up to Blaine's head and drying it himself. When he was finished, the hair was slightly drier (at least it wasn't dripping onto the floor anymore) and he moved the towel over Blaine's naked chest, stomach and back, drying up the small amounts of water that were there. He felt Blaine's breath hitch, but he ignored it, forcing himself not to think about what he had heard Carrie telling Blaine a while back.
My boyfriend, okay? I know about your stupid crush.
"Here," he handed Blaine the shirt, and when the boy made no move to take it Jesse forced his thin arms up above his head and put it on him himself. It was much too large for Blaine, who obviously still hadn't hit his growth spurt and was extremely thin. Jesse smiled. He would be lying if he said it didn't look cute on him.
"I don't understand," mumbled Blaine, once again staring at his feet. Jesse raised an eyebrow.
"What don't you understand?"
Blaine took a deep breath, "You. I don't understand why you're doing this. I mean, what's in it for you?"
Jesse sighed, resting himself against the counter full of sinks and crossing his arms over his chest, "Nothing's in it for me. You obviously need help, and I'm offering."
"Stop Blaine. I want you to stop it right now. Look, I know, okay? I know the image I give out, and I know I'm a bit of a diva but… I don't know. With you it's different. Just, just stop putting these walls up. Let me in. I want to help you"
Blaine watched him silently, and Jesse allowed him time to process what he had just said. Honestly, if he was in Blaine's position, he would be shocked too; it wasn't every day one of the most popular boys in school came up to you and offered you friendship, especially when you were so low on the food chain that was high school.
Finally, Blaine shook his head, staring at Jesse with a hard look in his eyes. He stood up straighter and picked up his binder.
"I don't need your help," he stated clearly before walking out of the bathroom, leaving Jesse alone with a wet towel, a sticky shirt and a whole lot of confused feelings.
The next day, Jesse decided to try and talk to Blaine again, but this time in front of everybody. He didn't care that Josh was talking to some of his football friends by his locker; he needed to talk to Blaine.
He approached him carefully, the shirt he had forgotten the day before clasped in his hand. Blaine was obviously unaware of his presence, seeing as he continued to root through his locker, obviously looking for something.
"Blaine?" he asked, as soon as he was close enough. That one word didn't only draw attention to the one it was addressed too, but also to just about everybody in the hallway. Blaine's head snapped up towards him, his eyes wide with shock and… fear? What, did he think that Jesse was going to pour Coke on him or something?
"I uh… you forgot your shirt, in the bathroom? I thought I'd bring it to you," Blaine continued to stare at him as if he was pulling a cruel joke on him. He wasn't the only one; everyone else seemed to be paying attention to the conversation, as if waiting for the moment when Blaine was completely humiliated by Jesse. They, of course, were watching in amusment. Jesse didn't feel at all sorry that he was going to disappoint them.
"I washed it, so it's not like, sticky or anything," he continued, "My mom actually asked me some pretty interesting questions when she saw it" he chuckled and Blaine glanced around them, before turning back to Jesse.
"What are you doing?" he whispered and Jesse smiled.
"Giving you your shirt back? You just… you left so quickly yesterday, you forgot…" Blaine slammed his locked shut.
"Is this some sort of joke? What did you do to it?"
Jesse's eyes widened, "What? Nothing! Why would I…" suddenly it clicked. Why Blaine had suddenly closed off the day before, why he constantly seemed to be avoiding him. He thought this was all some cruel joke.
Blaine looked at him angrily, but he didn't say anything, just snatched the shirt out of Jesse's grasp and unfolded it, looking it over carefully.
"I didn't write 'fag' on the back, if that's what you're thinking," spat Jesse, venom obvious in his voice. Blaine looked up, obviously startled to hear Jesse speaking in such a cold tone, but Jesse didn't care. How dare he think that Jesse was tying to mess with him? The one time he tried to do something nice…
"You know, I don't get you Blaine," he continued, completely aware that everyone was staring at him, "I try to be nice to you, I try to help you and you just… you keep pushing me away. I want to be friends with you, okay? I fucking broke up with my girlfriend because of you. So stop acting so self righteous. It's pissing me off"
And with that he stormed away, completely ignoring the shocked looks people were giving him, and fully unaware of the tears that had gathered in Blaine's eyes.
Blaine wasn't at school the next day. Jesse hadn't realized until Josh came up to him and said, "Your boyfriend's out today. Bet it's because you fucked his faggy little ass so hard he couldn't move this morning"
Without a second thought Jesse collided his fist with Josh's nose, leaving a painful sting on his knuckles that he completely ignored.
"Screw you, Williams," he spat, and he stalked away before Josh even had the chance to fight back.
After that, people started whispering behind Jesse's back. Nobody came up to ask him how things were in Vocal Adrenaline, nobody asked to borrow his Chemistry notes and nobody congratulated him on winning his latest sing off.
Strangely, Jesse found that he didn't care.
Blaine was back to school the next day, and Jesse kept looking for the best moment to speak to him. After Josh poured another large Coke over his head and he once again disappeared into the bathroom, he decided to just go for it. He didn't care what people thought.
He found Blaine once again shirtless, with his head under a tap. This time however there was a towel with him, as well as a clean shirt. Jesse leaned against the counter, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Do you need my help, or are do you still think I'm trying to embarrass you in front of the whole school?" he said, trying to keep the ice out of his voice. He failed.
Blaine slowly pulled his head out from under the tap, covering his crazy hair with it.
"I don't know what to think," he said, and Jesse raised an eyebrow.
Blaine rolled his eyes, "About you. About us. None of it makes sense to me"
"Why should it make sense? I want to be your friend. What doesn't make sense is why you keep pulling away"
"It makes perfect sense," replied Blaine evenly, "Your best friend, Josh? He's my main… tormenter. Why would I allow myself to become emotionally attached to someone so close to the one who insists on making my life a living hell?"
"He's not my best friend anymore," said Jesse evenly. Blaine looked at him, confusion obvious in his expression.
Jesse shrugged, "He called you a fag. I punched him in the face"
Blaine blushed, and Jesse noticed how it went down to his chest. Blaine sighed, releasing his hair from the towel and then reached for his clean shirt.
"I'm not worth it," he said, pulling it over his head.
"It's not about that Blaine!" said Jesse, but Blaine stopped him.
"Jesse," he took a deep breath, "I'm not going to allow you to loose everything because of me. It's a lost cause. Did you know I went to the principal the first time I got shoved into a locker? I even showed him the bruise forming on my shoulder," Jesse stared at Blaine as tears began to well up in the boys eyes, "You know what he said? He said, 'I'm sorry, but there is no proof that that was caused by you being shoved into a locker. Come back when you have more serious evidence'"
Jesse held his breath, "Blaine, I…"
"Don't say your sorry. I'm tired of hearing it. I'm tired of the… pity."
"I don't pity you Blaine, I want to help you!"
"You can't help me! Unless you can stop me from being gay there is nothing you can do!"
"I can be your friend! I can help you clean up after you get soaked by those assholes I used to call friends! I can tell people to stop making fun of you!"
"It won't change anything," Blaine said, the tears now falling down his face, "Nothing you can do will change anything. Just forget about it, okay Jesse? Forget about me"
He tried to move out of the bathroom, but Jesse didn't let him. His heart was now beating erratically in his chest, "Stop pulling away from me. Why do you find it so hard to accept the fact that I want to be your friend?"
"Because you're Jesse St James. You're… you're popular, and good looking, and you have everyone after you. Everybody wants to be your friend; why would you want to be friends with me?"
Jesse held his breath. That was right. He was Jesse St James: the one all the girls wanted and all the guys wanted to be. Mr. Popular, star of Vocal Adrenaline, best friend of the quarterback and boyfriend of the hot cheerleader. Except he wasn't that person any more. He didn't want to be.
"I don't know. But I do. Blaine, please! Stop pulling away from me"
Blaine just stared at him, shaking his head, "I can't Jesse. I can't with the knowledge that at any second you could be getting ready to shove me into a locker, or throw me in a dumpster or…"
"You're getting thrown in dumpsters?" Jesse was pretty sure that his voice cracked. The thought of this small, helpless boy being mistreated… it was horrifying. And being thrown into dumpsters? That was just a whole new level of bullying.
"It's only been for a few days… Williams keeps telling me that I gave you the gay and that I deserve to be punished for spreading my disgusting germs"
"That son of a bitch…"
"I can't be friends with you. I can't"
"I just told-"
"No you didn't. You're not telling me something"
"You act like that's a crime. We aren't friends Jesse, I don't owe you any explanations"
Jesse groaned, pulling his hands through his hair, "I'm trying Blaine! And I don't understand why you won't let me!"
"Because I-" Blaine stopped himself, wiping the tears away from his eyes. He shook his head, "I'm a lost cause Jesse St James. Just forget about me"
"Don't make this difficult…"
"You're making this difficult! You, Blaine! Why can't you just accept the fact that I want to help you?"
They stared at each other, and Jesse became aware that he had actually been yelling. He shook his head, and turned around, stalking out of the bathroom.
Forget Blaine. If he didn't want to be his friend, he would just stop trying.
Things went back to normal after that. Suddenly, Jesse found himself becoming friends with Josh again, and asking Carrie to take him back. After two weeks people started to think of Jesse's 'Blaine phase' as temporary insanity, or some cruel joke that had been aimed at the gay kid. But Jesse knew that wasn't true. He knew deep inside he wanted to help Blaine, wanted to befriend him, and hold him the way he had held him that day in the bathroom. He wanted to keep him safe. But he couldn't do that if Blaine continuously pushed him away.
About a month after his argument with Blaine, Jesse began noticing that the boy was becoming even more sheltered than he was before. He looked scared to even step foot in the high school, and every time somebody walked by him he would shy away. He continued to get Coke poured over his head, he was shoved into lockers continuously and Jesse even witnessed Josh tossing him in the dumpster one day. But there was something else. Something was hurting Blaine, and it was more than just the bullying.
Jesse reminded himself that Blaine didn't want to be his friend, and so he should stop worrying about it; but he couldn't. So one day he found himself following Blaine home from school, just to find out where he lived. He jotted his address down and told himself he would go visit that weekend. He was tired of pretending like he didn't care anymore. And Blaine needed to know that.
On Saturday, at around 5pm, Jesse found himself standing in front of Blaine's house with his finger on the doorbell, regretting his decision to press it. He pulled his hands behind his back, awkwardly rocking back and forth on his heels before the door swung open to reveal a confused looking Blaine. He was wearing black skinny jeans, his red converse and…
Jesse had completely forgotten Blaine still had that.
"What are you doing here?" asked Blaine, crossing his arms over his chest. Jesse noticed that Blaine seemed to have grown a bit, and his arms were slightly more defined. He could also tell by the way the shirt hung on him that his shoulders had broadened. He took a deep breath, biting his lip in a last minute of uncertainty before speaking.
"Can I come in? I really want to talk to you"
Blaine looked him over, and then glanced at their surroundings as if expecting Josh and the other football players to jump out of nowhere and beat the crap out of him. He sighed and stood aside, allowing Jesse to step into the house.
"My parents are watching a movie in the living room. We can go up to my room," Jesse nodded before he heard who he assumed was Blaine's mother ask who was at the door. Blaine answered with a simple "Just someone from school," before nodding at Jesse to follow him up some stairs and into a large room.
He wasn't exactly sure what he had been expecting, but he was sure that Blaine's room wasn't it. There were no posters on the wall, no clothes littered the floor, and his bed was perfectly made. The room looked like a guest room, not the room of a teenage boy. Jesse knew his own room held posters of Broadway musicals, and some of his favourite singers, and he had pictures of himself and his friends all over the place. It didn't look like anyone even lived in Blaine's room.
"What do you want?" asked Blaine, sitting down on his bed with his legs crossed. Jesse took a deep breath and then daringly went over and sat down beside Blaine, also crossing his legs.
"It looks good on you," he said, smiling. Blaine raised an eyebrow.
"My shirt. It looks good on you"
Blaine hugged the shirt closer to his body, "I keep forgetting to bring it back," Jesse noticed the blush covering Blaine's cheeks, but chose to ignore it. He shrugged.
"Keep it," he pointed to the shirt, "I never wore it anyway; and like I said, it looks good on you"
"Why are you here?" Blaine was looking deep into Jesse's eyes, and Jesse could feel his heart beating faster. Why did Blaine always have this affect on him?
"I don't know," he answered honestly, "I guess I just miss talking to you"
"You make it sound like we were best friends since forever and then had a falling out"
"It feels that way to me. It didn't hurt this much to be apart from Josh," said Jesse, deciding to just lay it all on the table. If Blaine was still worried his intentions weren't honest, he would have to change that.
"It… hurt? To not talk to me?" asked Blaine, as if unsure whether he had actually heard him right. Jesse nodded.
"Yeah. Not like, physical pain, but emotional pain. It hurt emotionally to not talk to you"
"But we've only talked a few times," pointed out the smaller boy and Jesse shrugged.
"I know. It's weird… you've always had this weird affect on me"
Blaine's breathing hitched, and he bit his lip, inching a bit further away from the older boy.
"Blaine, I shouldn't have stopped trying. You needed a friend, and you needed someone to pursue you. And I should have done that"
"You didn't do anything wrong," replied Blaine, shaking his head, "I pushed you away"
"But why?" that as the question Jesse had been asking himself for the past month. Why had Blaine insisted on not being friends with him? He had never really given him a reason.
"I just…" Blaine took a deep breath, as if preparing himself for something he really didn't want to do, "You know how you said it hurt to not be around me this past month?"
Jesse nodded, and Blaine continued, "Well, for me it was the opposite. It hurt to be around you. You were so nice to me, and you stood up for me, and you helped me out when I was going through a hard time and you were so good looking that I…" he licked his lips, and Jesse followed the movement of his tongue with his eyes, "I was afraid of falling in love with you"
Jesse felt like someone had just punched him in the stomach. Blaine… liked him?
That didn't make sense. Why would Blaine like him?
Oh, right. Because he was Jesse St James, and everybody liked him, even if they didn't know him. He wanted to do a facepalm. How had he not seen that one coming?
"But it didn't help," continued Blaine, "As soon as you left, I felt this emptiness inside me, and I knew it was too late. I kept hoping you would come back, that you would try to talk to me again; but you never did. And… and it hurt even more than being with you"
Jesse took a deep breath, letting what Blaine had just told him sink in. Blaine didn't just like him. Blaine was in love with him.
Blaine. Blaine Anderson. Was in love with him. He took a shaky breath.
"You… you love me?"
Blaine nodded, refusing to make eye contact with him, "I know that you must feel… really creeped out by me right now"
Jesse didn't know what to say. He wasn't sure if there was even a right thing for him to say. He couldn't tell Blaine that he loved him back, because he didn't. He couldn't tell him that he was flattered but wasn't interested, because that would be a lie. And he couldn't just leave, because that wouldn't only break Blaine's heart, but it would also break his own. So he did the only thing that he felt made sense.
He leaned forward and captured Blaine's lips with his own.
He felt Blaine freeze for a few seconds, but he didn't move back; he simply kept his mouth up against Blaine's and waited for him to respond. Eventually Blaine did, moving his mouth hesitantly over Jesse's.
It wasn't like any other kiss Jesse had had. It was slow and shy, and Blaine's lips were soft, but firm. It felt good, better than kissing Carrie. So he decided to deepen it.
For the next… Jesse wasn't even sure how long it was, they simply sat there, kissing. It was warm, soft and a bit wet, full of emotion and care. But Jesse knew it couldn't last forever, so he slowly pulled back.
Blaine was breathing heavily, staring deep into Jesse's eyes, and for a moment, Jesse did believe he might love Blaine. Not because he was gay, because he had never once thought of a boy the way he thought about Blaine, but simply because it was Blaine. Before he could say this though, Blaine spoke.
Jesse felt like someone had just pulled a rug from under his feet.
"To Dalton Academy. It's a private school, in Westerville"
Blaine bit his lip, which was still slightly swollen from his kiss with Jesse, "Because they have a zero tolerance harassment policy"
Jesse nodded, pursing his lips together, before connecting them with Blaine's again. This kiss lasted longer than the first, and it was full of unspoken emotions. Jesse knew in that moment that he didn't maybe love Blaine; he did love him. And he didn't want him to leave. But at the same time he couldn't ask him to stay.
He needed to let him go.
Blaine didn't attend school that Monday, and Jesse wasn't surprised to find that everybody knew about his transfer. Josh and his friends were congratulating each other on ridding the school of fags, and Carrie seemed glad that Jesse could now focus entirely on her.
He didn't mention Blaine, or the kisses they had shared at Blaine's house that Saturday. He hadn't told Blaine he loved him, afraid that Blaine would choose to stay if he knew; and when he had left he had told Blaine to keep his shirt. It really did look good on him.
Within a week it was as if Blaine Anderson had never once stepped foot in the school. He was gone, and nobody missed him. Except Jesse. Jesse missed him, more than he cared to admit. And he felt guilty, because a part of him still felt like it was his fault that Blaine had left. Maybe if he had tried harder he could have gotten Josh to leave him alone, and then everybody else would have done the same thing.
But what was done was done, and there was nothing left for him to do.
Jesse stared at the letter he held in his hand, wondering if this was a good idea. He knew Blaine wouldn't be home; he had told Jesse he was going to board at Dalton. He decided to just do it, ringing the door bell and waiting for one of Blaine's parents to answer.
It was his mother who came to the door, and at first she was confused as to what Jesse was doing there, but when he explained that he was a friend of Blaine's from his old school she had warmed to him instantly. He gave her the letter, asking if she could maybe send it to Blaine or give it to him the next time she saw him. She had agreed, asking if he wanted her to give him the address to Dalton Academy so he could go see Blaine and give him the letter himself. He shook his head and told her that it was better this way. Then he said goodbye and walked away without glancing back.
That was the last time he saw the Anderson house.
I'm so sorry. I know you hate hearing it, but I felt like I needed to tell you one last time. I'm sorry I couldn't change things. I'm sorry I gave up when you pushed me away. I'm sorry that the football team pushed you into lockers and tossed you in the dumpster and poured Coke over your head.
But mostly, I'm sorry that I didn't realize in time to actually do something to change things. I'm sorry that I was just another passerby, allowing them to torture you until you didn't even feel safe in your own hometown.
I owe you one, Blaine. I owe you for allowing them to drive you away. Don't let me forget it.
Your friend, Jesse St James
By the time Spring Break had rolled around, life was completely back to normal for Jesse St James. He often had to force himself not to think about Blaine, but other than a few mental slip ups everything was going great for him. Vocal Adrenaline had, of course, made it passed Regionals, and they were headed for Nationals with him leading the charge.
Carmel High had won the football championship of their area that year, and Josh and his team couldn't have been higher up on the social pyramid. As soon as this happened, of course, Carrie seemed to completely forget she was supposed to be in love with Jesse and ditched him for the wide receiver.
There were no hard feelings.
Sometimes he wondered if Blaine had ever really even existed. After all, he had only been at the school for about two months, and after he left nobody seemed to even remember him. At times he wanted to believe that Blaine wasn't real; that he had just been a very realistic dream, but he knew that wasn't true. Blaine was real, and Blaine had attended Carmel High for the first two months of his freshman year, before bullies drove him to his new safe haven in Dalton Academy.
He felt like life should be different for him, that the whole Blaine experience would have changed him. But it didn't. Maybe, if anything, it made him more aware of the bullying that occurred daily at the school, but nothing more.
He was still Jesse St James: the one every girl wanted and every guy wanted to be.