"Excuse me."

Blaine was coming down the stairs when he heard the voice from behind. The first thing he noticed was the blue eyes. The second thing he noticed was his hair.

"I'm new around here."

Looking him up and down, Blaine had to laugh. This guy definitely wasn't a student. He was in jeans and a polo shirt. No one ever wore jeans at Dalton. The attractive guy smiled.

"No, I mean I'm new to the building. I'm supposed to speak at a PFLAG meeting here. The lady at the front desk said the meeting was in the library but I seemed to have gotten myself turned around..." He held up the map they gave visitors.

Blaine grinned. "I can definitely show you where that is. I'm on my way there myself. I'm Blaine."

"Jeremiah." They shook hands. And that was it. Blaine was officially crushin on this guy.

"Never been to Dalton before, huh?" Blaine tried to appear casual as he led the way through the maze of students leaving for the day.

"Nah. Your headmaster's a neighbor of mine and we got talking one day at a Block Watch meeting. I don't have a whole lot of free time but when I can I try to do some volunteering. It's a good cause."

"You're going to speak?"

"Yeah, about the problems a lot of gay kids go through. Although it sounds like this school already has a lot of great policies, so we'll see if I have anything to add." He chuckled and Blaine smiled.

"Dalton is wonderful for that. I used to go to public school and it was kind of a nightmare for... a guy like me."

And then the guy put his hand on his shoulder and smiled. "I'm glad to hear you found a place where you can be yourself then." And Blaine could have died of happiness right then and there, if hadn't been that his Mom chose that exact moment to show up.

"Hey sweetie, how's your day goin?" She kissed him quickly on his cheek and then brushed past to grab a chair at the gathering meeting, not noticing Blaine's somewhat embarrassed and stiff response. Because, geez.
Blaine eyes glanced sheepishly back at Jeremiah. "...That's my mom."

"It's great your family is so involved," was all Jeremiah had to say.

Blaine thought about the lecture he really wished he'd have the balls to give his mother tonight. New rule. No kissing me in public in front of cute boys. It wouldn't matter though. There was some sort of Mother Rule that they were always going to find a way to embarrass a guy. Couldn't be helped.

The meeting went by fairly quickly, and seemed even more so because Blaine kept his eyes on Jeremiah the whole time. He spoke briefly about his experiences in high school with starting a gay straight alliance, and being taunted. He explained that he was out to the important people in his life but did not choose to be out to everyone in his life right now. He spoke about how helpful PFLAG had been in his school, how it had helped a friend of his who struggled with suicidal feelings, and how when he graduated he'd resolved to try to give back however he could.

Mrs. Anderson raised her hand at the end. God please don't embarrass me Mom.

"I think it's great that you've come to share your story here. My family is certainly very grateful for Dalton's zero tolerance policy and the peace of mind that affords us regarding our son." Blaine felt his face warm up. You gonna talk about the guys who beat the living crap out of me now? "But of course we worry about his future life and expect some things will be different than they were with our other son. I'm really interested in hearing, if you'd be willing to share, how it's been dating and making your way as a... gay man in this community now that you're out of high school."

Oh. My. God. Did my mother just ask this guy what his romantic life is like?

Jeremiah smiled warmly. "It's a good question. I imagine that it's a different experience being a young gay man here in Ohio than in New York or San Francisco. But the gay community here is pretty tight. We look out for each other and there are a lot of social events available if you go looking. Other than that I can't really say much because I am, unfortunately, single." That bit of information got Blaine's attention. There were other questions but Blaine wasn't really listening. This guy was seriously adorable. Obviously he'd never be interested in a high school kid like him- would he?

At the end of the meeting, Blaine took it upon himself to look extra helpful in putting away chairs for the meeting, looking for an excuse to hang around a little longer. His mom was in the corner working out the details of a bake sale the group was holding next month. Jeremiah was shaking hands with the headmaster, who was asking about brochures.

"Oh, man, I wish I'd known you'd be interested, I have a whole stack of them at home. I can come by later this week if you like- Thursday morning?"

"Wonderful. I'd love to have some that we can keep in the student center."

Jeremiah was marking the time in his iPhone when the headmaster noticed Blaine.

"Blaine, thanks for pitching in, that's what I like to see. Great job representing Dalton."

Blaine blushed. "Just... helping out, sir."

Jeremiah looked up and grinned at the familiar face.

"How'd I do?"

"It was great. You're a really great speaker." Blaine hoped he didn't sound like an idiot.
"Ah so you've met our Blaine. You should hear this kid sing."
"Sing?" Jeremiah asked, interested.

"Blaine is one of our Warblers. A capella group here at Dalton. Very competitive. Just heard from Wesley that you earned your first competition solo, Blaine. Those usually end up being snatched up by senior members, so it's pretty impressive. Congratulations."

"Yeah I think David's still on the fence on that one, sir."

"Ah, he'll come around. You'll do Dalton proud." The headmaster patted Blaine on the back and then went over to talk to Blaine's mother.

Jeremiah watched him leave and then leaned over to Blaine conspiratorially.

"So how'd I really do?"

Blaine smiled. "You were fine. Honest. Best speaker so far this year."

"Thanks. Used to be terrifying but I've done this spiel a couple times now so... It's just challenging when you have a weird mix of parents and students, trying to keep it interesting for everyone."

"No I think you did great. Even my mom liked it!" Jeremiah laughed. "So you're coming back Thursday morning?"

"Yes I have some brochures your headmaster-"

"Well, if you can come by around 10, I have a study hall. I'd love to buy you a coffee at the student center and hear more about your volunteer work."

Jeremiah tilted his head. "Sure. That would be great. You... have a really great school here Blaine. And maybe you can tell me more about this singing group of yours. Music is another passion of mine."

Yeah. Blaine was definitely crushing on this guy now.