"Say, what do you think about this one?"
Blaine, about to beat his high score in Scooter Hero, glanced up quickly from his phone to check out the white, knitted sweater Sebastian was trying on.
"It looks nice," Blaine said distractedly before going back to the game, and managed to save himself from dying in the last second.
"You think?" Sebastian asked, eyeing himself in the mirror in the fitting room. "I mean, knitwear isn’t usually my thing. But I like this one. And it’s on sale so…"
"Looks good," Blaine said, not really listening.
"Hey!" Sebastian called, snapping his fingers in an attempt to catch Blaine’s attention. But it didn’t succeed. That’s why Sebastian stepped over to Blaine where he was sitting on a stool, head bent down. Sebastian reached his hand out to snatch Blaine’s phone away from him. Poor Blaine was so deep into his game that he didn’t even have time react.
"Give me! I was beating my high score!"
"Like I care!" Sebastian countered. "You’re supposed to help me, remember? I gotta have something to wear to the dinner with Nathan’s parents."
Blaine chuckled at Sebastian’s distress. “I still can’t believe you’re meeting his parents. You’ve been seeing him what, two weeks? Actually, the thought of you meeting any guy’s parents is hilarious!”
Sebastian sighed and pulled the shirt over his head, not minding that the door to the stall was open. There was no one around but Blaine anyway. “Yeah well, last week when we were finally moving past second base he stopped me in the middle of the whole thing to invite me over. I mean who does that?!”
Blaine kept chuckling. “It’s because he knows you’ll do anything to get into his pants.”
Sebastian sighed as he looked at himself in the mirror, fingering on the sweater in his hands. “He’s totally using it against me, isn’t he?” Blaine nodded and Sebastian turned to him. “Well not all guys can be such saints as Daniel,” Sebastian remarked.
Blaine stiffened at the mention of his boyfriend, but tried to relax as Sebastian’s confused gaze hit him. “No one’s a saint, trust me. Everyone has flaws.”
Sebastian hummed. “You should try this one,” he said then and patted the knitted sweater. “It was really comfortable, I’m sure it’d be perfect on you.”
"I don’t know," Blaine said, not moving from his seat. "I don’t really need another one."
"Oh, come on, just try it," Sebastian urged.
"I don’t want to," Blaine snapped.
Sebastian raised his eyebrows in surprise at Blaine’s reaction. “Why won’t you try it on?”
Blaine’s arms were crossed over his chest and he was looking very unwilling, meeting Sebastian’s stare with a pair of unyielding eyes. He grind his teeth before answering reluctantly. “Fine.”
He stood up, took the shirt that Sebastian was holding out to him and went into the changing stall. He started unbuttoning his cardigan slowly and Sebastian moved his eyes away to give him some privacy. Blaine slipped the sweater over his head and turned to the mirror behind him to see how it looked.
"Looks nice," Sebastian encouraged.
"Feels nice too," Blaine agreed.
"See that wasn’t so hard, was it?" Sebastian said and saw how Blaine sighed in relief.
"I guess not. But I still don’t need it." Blaine started pulling on the hem of the shirt and struggled once he lifted it over his head and got stuck with his arms bent up in the air. "A little help?" his muffled voice said against the fabric while he wiggled his free fingers.
Sebastian laughed at him and took a step closer to help pull it off. “How is it too small? You’re way tinier than me and you still-” He stopped talking at once. When they had pulled the sweater over Blaine’s head, his t-shirt was got stuck in it and had been pulled with it, baring a good piece of his stomach. Blaine noticed how Sebastian stopped in his sentence and how his face had hardened into a tense mask. Blaine froze on the spot, waiting for whatever words that would come out of Sebastian next.
"I have seen sex bruises many times, and those are not it."
"Sebastian, please," Blaine tried and took a step back. Sebastian’s voice was dripping of venom and it stung Blaine, it scared him.
When Blaine protested it was like Sebastian felt like he had to push on harder. He leaped forward and pulled Blaine’s shirt up higher, exposing the black and purple bruising. He also saw the yellow ones on the side of them.
"It’s nothing, really," Blaine tried to defend it while knowing it was a lost cause. His hands fighted Sebastian’s away.
"Nothing?" Sebastian’s voice was cold. Hard. "It wasn’t even a one time thing, was it?" He noticed how terrified Blaine looked then but didn’t care. "Was it your dad… or was it Daniel?"
"It doesn’t matter," Blaine whispered and shot his eyes to the floor. He felt the familiar warm sting as the tears formed in his eyes.
"The hell it doesn’t!" Then there was a tense silence where they were just standing there. Sebastian couldn’t take how Blaine could be so calm and forgiving about something so big. Sebastian snapped. With all the force he could manage, he raised his hand and hit it palm first against the wall, making the whole cubicle shift. The loud sound echoed through the changing room like a canon ball through the thin walls. "Damnit Blaine!" he shouted, eyes filled with fury.
Now Blaine wasn’t afraid of what Sebastian was going to say anymore, he was afraid of Sebastian. He just wanted him to stop. Something in Blaine broke and his chest and shoulders heaved with powerful sobs that shook him from inside and out.
"I’m s-sorry," Blaine said, not sure why he was apologizing. "Dan started coming home drunk really late in the nights and I didn’t know what to do. He was always so angry and I was always scared. He started…"
"Shh," Sebastian soothed and wrapped his arms tightly around Blaine. His anger was gone in a second when his best friend needed him. Blaine was shaking violently in his arms. "It’s okay."
"No it’s not," Blaine said brokenly and buried his wet face in Sebastian’s shoulder. "I s-should’ve told you after the f-first time. I have no excuse."
"Shush Blaine, I mean it." Sebastian rubbed soothing circles on Blaine’s back and he seemed to relax a little. "Here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna go home with you and we’re gonna pack your things. Then you come with me back to my place and stay with me until you feel better. I’m going to hold you until you fall asleep and then you’re gonna live with me until you stop being afraid. You understand?"
Blaine nodded against Sebastian’s shoulder and let silent tears continue to fall down his cheeks because he had the best friend in the whole world. “Can we just stay like this for a while first? Daniel doesn’t get off work until six.”
"Of course," Sebastian said, gripping Blaine tighter against his chest. "Anything you want."