So, apparently people actually like this! \o/

I'm sorry for the huge gap between chapters. As a wise man once said, procrastination is the enemy of success. And by god, do I know that.

I'd like to thank anyone who has reviewed this, you guys are amazing. I've had some absolutely lovely reviews, and to be honest they're really what made me want to keep going with this after all this time. So thank you lovely people! And thank you Felecia for yelling at me over AIM when i get lazy xox 36

Here goes!

The next month goes by far too slowly. Jeff stays true to his word and comes out to their friends, letting the word spread around the school instead of making a huge announcement. Everybody's great with it, just as Nick knew they would be, and Jeff seems a lot happier.

Nick's proud of him. He really is.

He's very, very happy for Jeff. He's happy that Jeff can be himself; he's happy that Jeff is able to explore that part of himself.

He's happy when Jeff gets asked out by three guys in one week.

Yeah. He really is.

Nick's not sure how he gets through the next few months. He knows Jeff's trying to figure himself out, come into his own, and Nick's trying to be a good friend. It's hard though, because he's the one Jeff comes to when it doesn't work out with some boy. He's also the one Jeff comes to when it does work out and he gets to hear all about Jeff's first kiss with Ryan one night after a date. Nick smiles for him and gets excited, because that's what Jeff wants from him. That's what best friends do for each other. He can't sleep that night and for days he can't shake the frustration that Jeff's first kiss wasn't with him.

He feels stupid when he thinks that. Why would it ever be with him? He's just Jeff's best friend, that's all he's ever going to be. He's nothing special, not like these guys Jeff seems to want. He's not as outgoing or friendly, he's not an awesome singer and he can never seem to get things right.

He's just Jeff's best friend, Nick.

Just before December, a new kid turns up in their year.

Blaine Anderson is funny, friendly, gorgeous and a little on the quiet side. He's also the only boy other than Jeff that Nick has ever looked twice at.

It takes Blaine a couple of months to settle into life at Dalton. Nick isn't sure what the curly-haired boy's story is, but he's heard rumors that Blaine had a hard time at his old school. Nick doesn't ask any questions, people come to Dalton for a lot of different reasons, some of them good and some of them bad.

Blaine has this charisma, this power that draws people to him, and that's what Nick blames when he starts feeling butterflies whenever Blaine's around him. He really doesn't expect anything to come of it, not when Blaine's still so quiet and withdrawn and Nick doesn't even know if Blaine's gay.

Wes and David seem to have an idea that he is. Nick thinks that maybe they know something he doesn't. He sits next to Blaine in World History, so he at least gets to talk to him every few days. He finds out that Blaine came from Columbus and that he likes musicals and top forty music. He also has ridiculously attractive eyes that Nick can't look right at or he gets all mixed up and looks like a dick.

After a month or two, Blaine starts to come out of his shell. He joins the Warblers and turns out to be really good, so good, in fact, that Wes starts giving him solos. Nick's more than a little jealous, but he likes watching Blaine sing.

One day at lunch, they're sitting together and Blaine asks Nick if he wants to go to see a movie sometime. Nick blushes, swallows, and says yes before he can even think about it.

He convinces himself that it isn't a date. That idea is shot to hell when he talks to Wes later and finds out that yes, it is actually a date and Blaine's been trying to ask him out for weeks. Nick just stares at them.

"And you guys told him I was gay...?" he asks slowly.

Wes shrugs. "We told him we're pretty sure you just haven't figured it out yet. He was the one that made the decision to ask you."

Nick can't even begin to figure out what to say to that.

Blaine was awesome, funny and confident. Nick knew he should be over the moon that this gorgeous boy was interested in him at all. Well, he was over the moon about that, but it's hard to remember that when he's sitting in the choir room with Jeff and he's laughing ridiculously hard over the way Jeff's dancing to their latest routine like he's in Riverdance and throwing him a wink.

It's even harder to remember that when they're in their dorm room and Jeff's fallen asleep against his shoulder during a movie and his hair smells so, so good...

Yeah. Blaine's great.

Nick's just really liking what Jeff's got going here. And at the moment, Jeff's actually single for once and they're spending a lot of time together.

Sometimes, Nick has no idea why he doesn't just tell Jeff how he feels, lay it all out on the table. Then he looks over at Jeff, smiling and laughing as he kicks Nick's ass at Mario Kart, and Nick remembers that there is no way in hell he can ever jeopardize what they already have. Jeff is the only constant thing in his life, the only thing that makes any sense, and Nick will deal with the pain for as long as he has to as long as it means he can have Jeff in his life, the way they are right now.

Blaine and Nick have a good first date. They go to see 2012, which is pretty crap, to be honest, and Nick misses Jeff's constant commentary and jokes in his ear. They have dinner afterwards, and Blaine wants to pay, which makes Nick feel... well, awkward and nervous. He really, really likes Blaine though, so he pushes the nerves down and makes a decision to kiss Blaine outside the dorms when they get back on campus. Blaine sighs into his mouth and cups his cheek, and Nick forgets he ever felt nervous at all.

His heart starts to beat crazy fast, It never felt like this when he was kissing girls. Blaine's lips are soft but insistent, he smells awesome and Nick feels like he's forgetting how to breathe.

Breathing was never that important anyway, right?

Nick realises that he's probably supposed to be kissing Blaine back, and he brings his hands up to tangle in Blaine's curls. This is so much better than he'd ever imagined. He can taste coffee on Blaine's lips before the other boy pulls away and smiles at him sheepishly.

"I had a really good time tonight." Blaine says, and Nick nods, not quite sure how to respond.

Blaine and Nick date for a month before things start to heat up. One night, they go out to dinner and Nick finds himself in the back seat of Blaine's car with his hand on the front of Blaine's jeans and his mouth fused to the other boy's, not quite sure how it happened. Nick gasps and pulls back, eyes confused and lips red. "Blaine," he breathes out, still half rubbing himself against the other boy. "This is a bad idea."

Blaine whines and pulls him down, kissing him hard. "I know." He says, fighting to still the movement of Nick's hips. Nick stops and moves off Blaine, still panting slightly. Blaine's not meeting his eyes and Nick sits back and waits for the other boy to say what's on his mind.

"Nick. I need you to tell me something. And I need you to be honest, okay?"

Nick blinks at Blaine, looking at him with questioning eyes. He's surprised when Blaine takes his hand.

"Uh... yeah sure, what's on your mind?"

When Blaine speaks, it's the last thing Nick expects.

"Nick... do you... like... Jeff?"

Nick's heart stops. Because he's been so careful, no one has ever noticed anything before. Is he that obvious? Or is Blaine just looking closer than anyone else?

Blaine's eyes fill with a mixture of sadness and resignation, and Nick wants to kiss him despite everything. "Why haven't you just told him? He's gay, you have a good chance."

Nick looks down at their joined hands. "No, I don't," he says simply.

Blaine swallows loudly. "Why not?" He's picking at the material of his pants under his fingers, and Nick feels like a complete dick for a long while. He sits still, looking away from Blaine and flicking the radio off.

"He doesn't want me. He wants David, or Ryan, or whoever the most recent guy is." Anyone but me.

Blaine looks at him with pity in his eyes, and Nick almost gets out of the car. He doesn't need Blaine to pity him, doesn't want that from anyone. He's not sure why they're having this conversation, it hurts and it just sucks so badly.

"You know, I don't think you have too much to worry about." Blaine says with a small smile. "If it helps at all, he's... Jeff's a smart guy, he's pretty sure of himself. He doesn't seem like the sort of person to just give it all away to anyone. I think he's just finding out who he is... maybe?"

Nick lets out a short, cynical laugh. "I wouldn't know. We don't talk about that stuff."

"I thought you guys talked about like, everything."

"Not that. We used to... It got too hard for me to hear, if you must know. We did for a while, then I guess he noticed I didn't like talking about it. He stopped telling me things. Which is how... how I like it."

Nick feels stifled, the heating in the car suddenly way too high as his head spins. "I... I need to go, Blaine," he forces out, opening the door and closing his eyes in relief as the cool air rushes over him.

Blaine just sits there, looking at his knees, nodding in understanding. "Yeah, cool, Nick. I'll see you tomorrow."

It isn't until Nick's walking up to his dorm that he realises that he just walked out on Blaine during what was technically a date. Feeling like a horrible, horrible person, he pulls out his phone.

Nick: Sorry I just walked out, I hope tonight wasn't too shitty for you. Thanks for listening, you really helped a lot.

Blaine: I won't pretend it was the best date ever, but I'm glad I could help. Are you okay?

Nick: Yeah. I will be. you're just the first person I've talked to about this.

Blaine: I'm here to listen whenever you need me.

Nick reads the last text as he turns into the hallway where his dorm is, but he's not the only one still up. Jeff's being held up against the wall next to the door, Alex's hands all fucking over him. He's making these little sounds against Alex's lips as they kiss, sighs and gasps, and Nick just knows that Alex is touching him. His stomach drops, he wants to be sick, he wants to go over there and rip Alex the fuck off Jeff and pound his fists into his face.

He wants this all to just stop.

What he does is turn around, pick up his phone and send Blaine a last text.

Nick: Are you still up?

Blaine: Just getting into bed, why?

Nick doesn't answer, he just walks to Blaine's room and storms in, eyes hard and dark.

"I I know I said I can't do this, and I shouldn't. But I just had to see Jeff getting jerked off by Alex fucking Bryant and I want to know, do you still think we can give this a shot?"

"Wow, Nick...are you okay?" Blaine stands up and walks towards him, and hand coming out to rest on Nick's shaking shoulder.

"Yeah," Nick crosses the room and sits on Blaine's bed, head down, silent. No, I'm not okay. What would ever possess you to think that I'll ever be okay again. "I'm..." he begins. "No. It sucks. This all just sucks. I think it'll be okay, I convince myself that we'll be okay, just as friends. But then something like this happens, or he goes out with another guy..." Nick can feel tear prickling his eyes and he tries to blink them away.

Blaine sits down beside him and pits a comforting hand on his back. "I... I know that I've never been through anything like this, and I don't know first hand what you're going through. But I can see that this hurts. And I...I wish I could do something to help."

Nick looks up, eyes meeting Blaine's fucking perfect hazel ones. Blaine is really, really gorgeous. Nick's not stupid, he can see that. He can also see the way Blaine looks at him, the adoration, the promise.

God, why couldn't I have just fallen in love with you instead?

He swallows and takes a breath. Blaine's hand is close to his on the bed. Nick takes it and runs his thumb over Blaine's palm. "Blaine?"

"Yeah?" Blaine's voice, usually confident, is breathless and slightly shaky.

"I know this is new for you... and it's new for me too if you want to go into details.." Nick swallows. "Blaine... I'd really like to give this a shot. If you want to." He looks up at the other boy's face, seeing the uncertainty.

Blaine's struggling with himself, his face open, unguarded.

"I...I think that would be okay," he says.

Nick squeezes Blaine's hand. "I'll understand if you don't want to... You know how I feel about Jeff and I don't think that's going to change anytime soon."

The next thing Nick knows, he's drawing in a sharp gasp as Blaine leans in and presses their lips together.


Blaine pulls off after a while and Nick reluctantly pulls his fingers out of Blaine's hair, not even sure when they got in there. He isn't sure what to say, he can't shake the image of Jeff and Alex, he can't get the sounds Jeff was making out of his head and the pain is dimmed, but it's still there. He shouldn't be using Blaine like this, but Blaine just feels so right, so amazing, and he said he wants this, so Nick takes Blaine's hands and pulls him over to the bed. He sits, still holding Blaine's hand. "C'mere..." he says, leaning in and closing the distance between them again.

Blaine's lips press softly, moving over Nick's gently - like he's too scared to push too hard, to scare Nick away. Nick can't stand it. He wants the pictures out of his head, and the the shiver that rushes through him as he swipes his tongue across Blaine's lower lip is getting somewhere towards making that happen. Blaine's tongue darts out to meet his as he lets out a groan, hands suddenly on Nick's shoulders as he pushes him back against the bed. Nick goes willingly, biting down on Blaine's lower lip as he hits the blankets. He finds his hands at the front of Blaine's shirt, tugging inexpertly at buttons that eventually come away to reveal dark skin and course hair. His hands skate over hot skin, Blaine's skin feeling weird under his fingers. Nick can't wrap his head around the fact that he's touching another person like this, that Blaine's kissing him hard and enjoying it, if the way he's sighing into Nick's mouth is anything to go by. Nick finds his lips pulling away, sliding over Blaine's neck and shoulder, the other boy's hands fiddling with the buttons of his shirt. He sits up, breath coming short as he lets Blaine push the shirt over his shoulders.

Blaine's hand is pressing against the front of his jeans when Nick's eyes suddenly fly open. He can't fucking do this. His stomach feels tight, he feels sick, and like a complete jerk. He shifts back, brushing his hair out of his eyes as he looks at Blaine. "I..." is all he can say.

Blaine nods, sad, but understanding. "You can't. I know. It's okay, Nick."

Nick lies down on the bed and lets Blaine pull him close, the other boy's touch softer now, less insistent. He falls asleep slowly, and even then it's a fitful sleep.

He dreams about Jeff.

Back in the dorm, Jeff has been texting Nick all night and then the texts stop and he can't sleep. He's feeling weird and he isn't sure why. Jeff has no idea what's going on with his head. Why can't he stop thinking about what Nick and Blaine together? It's not like he's jealous or anything, I mean, Blaine was hot but he's not really into him like that, and it's not like he has feelings for Nick or anything, right?


Oh shit. Oh shit.

He does.

He wants Nick.

He wants Nick.

His super awesome, super attractive best friend Nick who is currently out on a date Blaine Anderson - gorgeous, super confident Blaine, who Jeff had told Nick he should go on a date with.

Suddenly, Jeff feels like the biggest idiot on the planet.