In which Rachel doesn't like Blaine's new boyfriend and Blaine just wants to be wanted.
A/N: Takes place somewhere in season 1, after Blaine has transferred due to bullying, but Sebastian already goes to Dalton because it's an AU and I can totally do that.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Rachel walked into the Lima Bean with a bounce in her step. The assignment for glee club this week was "Showmanship," something she clearly had a handle on. As she waited in line for the latte she'd been craving, she ran through the mental list of songs that best enhanced her showiness.
Absently, her eyes drifted across the coffee shop: the college kid listening to his iPod, the elderly couple holding hands, Blaine, the business woman hacking away at the keyboard on her laptop –
Primly forgetting about her latte, Rachel beamed and rushed over to where her brother was sitting alone at a table for two, his fingers drumming restlessly against his thigh.
She slid in to the seat across from his and he looked up, vaguely uncomfortable, but she supposed that was because he felt guilty for not seeing her as much as he promised he would.
"Blaine, I've missed you so much!" Rachel cried, reaching out and taking her little brother's hand. "I know Dalton's been keeping you super busy but I do wish you would come around more often. The other day I needed an emergency duet partner, but everyone was already partnered, and I just thought to myself, 'If this school wasn't so stupid and Blaine was here, this wouldn't be a problem –,"
"Rachel," Blaine cut off. "I'm glad to see you, too. But I'm kind of . . . here with someone. Like . . . on a date."
As strong as her good mood was, she suddenly soured, inexplicably hurt and confused.. Blaine was . . . dating? But he was only fifteen . . . and gay in Lima, Ohio, not that it should matter . . . Rachel was a year older, very much into the opposite sex, and she couldn't get a boyfriend . . .
"Oh," Rachel sad. "Well then."
Blaine shifted in his seat, opened his mouth to speak – but a smooth voice cut across his with a deep, "Hey, sexy."
Rachel looked up. Standing above them was a tall, handsome boy with swept back hair, light eyes, and a smirk she already found annoying. He had two coffees, one of which he was holding out to Blaine.
"Oh, um, thank you!" Blaine said, taking the proffered coffee from the boy. "Um, Rachel . . . this is my boyfriend, Sebastian Smythe. Seb, this is my sister, Rachel."
"Ah, so you're the famed Rachel Berry," Sebastian said, offering Rachel his free hand. "Blaine here just thinks the world of you."
Normally, the remark would have won Rachel over immediately. But as she took Sebastian Smythe's strangely smooth hand and looked into his guarded eyes, she felt uneasy.
"Sebastian, would you please excuse us for a moment?" Rachel asked, trying to be polite. "My brother and I need to talk.
Sebastian looked at Blaine's downcast face. "Um, ok," he said slowly. "I guess I'll just . . ." He took a step in the opposite direction.
"No, no, no," Blaine said, almost automatically. Rachel smiled a little because she already knew what Blaine would say – not just to his boyfriend, but to anyone, because he was Blaine. "You stay, we'll go."
He stood, giving Rachel a dark look.
"Hurry back," Sebastian said with a wink.
Rachel wordlessly followed Blaine out of the coffee shop.
"Why didn't you tell me you had a boyfriend?" she immediately burst. "It's not like we haven't talked at all in the past month – there's still Facebook and telephone and text and I know how you appreciate some good snail mail –!"
"I'm just testing the water's right now, ok?" Blaine said, sounding frustrated. "I've never had a boyfriend before. I didn't want to get ahead of myself."
"I don't like him," Rachel tried a new tactic.
"You just met him!" Blaine exclaimed incredulously.
"Yes, but – who refers to their boyfriend as 'sexy' when said boyfriend's older sister is sitting right there?"
Blaine flushed at the reminder. "He didn't know you were my sister."
"Please, Blaine, we're practically identical," Rachel snapped. She sighed, voice going softer. "Plus, I thought you were – I know you're a romantic, Blaine, you always have been. When we'd watch Disney movies together and all you dreamed of was a prince – or when we both agreed that we wanted someone who would call us beautiful, not just sexy, as nice as that would be? When's the last time Sebastian called you beautiful, Blaine?"
Blaine faltered – but then he was shaking his head, eyes hard. "You don't know him. Don't act like you do."
They fell into a strained silence.
"Listen," Blaine sighed at last, "I have to get back to my date. I'll be sure to . . . to drop by more or something, ok?" He made to go back inside.
"Kurt would have called you beautiful," Rachel mumbled.
"What?" he asked.
Meeting his eyes boldly, she raised her voice. "I said Kurt would have called you beautiful! He's a romantic like that, too. But you probably remember, seeing as it was one of the things you used to like most about him."
For the first time, Blaine looked more than a little uncomfortable or hesitant, but truly conflicted. She wondered if he thought about Kurt a lot or not at all. He used to gush about him – Kurt's eyes and Kurt's hair and Kurt's voice and how Kurt thought tulips were more romantic than roses, too! It always weirded Rachel out a bit because when she and Kurt weren't competing for the same boy or solo, he was one of her best friends because they really did understand each other. But looking beyond the weirdness . . . it was sweet. And this Sebastian kid gave her a bad feeling.
"What – no, I – Kurt wasn't . . ." Blaine breathed in and then out, slowly, deeply. "Ok. So maybe I used to like Kurt a little." And I'm not talented, Rachel thought bitterly. "But Sebastian likes me and that's all I want. So I'd appreciate if you would respect that and just . . . butt out for once."
He opened the Lima Bean door.
"Blaine!" Rachel cried, feeling horribly desperate.
"What, Rachel?" he ground out.
"Just . . . call, ok?" she asked meekly. "I want to make sure you're doing better. I love you."
He didn't meet her eyes again, but she saw the way his mouth quirked up the slightest bit at the corner.
"I know," he said. "I love you, too." And he disappeared into the coffee shop.