It was by no means an unusual position for the two men to be in. They've been together like this plenty of times, taking advantage of the fact that Blaine liked having his bed pushed up against the wall. Jesse would curl up in the corner between the headboard and the wall, Blaine settling comfortably with his head in Jesse's lap. Neither had any real explanation for why they found this so natural, so right, but neither bothered to question it.
Sometimes they fell asleep like that, waking in a few hours to find that Jesse's neck was sore from how his head had been resting against the wall, Blaine curled up around himself, oftentimes with one hand on Jesse's thigh. Though his neck would crack and simply running his fingers through his curls would tell Jesse how squished they now were on one side, he still liked waking up and finding Blaine still there.
Moments like these were when Jesse let himself really look at Blaine, look at the man who'd won him over and convinced him that maybe falling in love doesn't have to be scary. His brow relaxed when he slept, his face peaceful and devoid of the stress that oftentimes crossed it when he was awake. Sometimes Jesse reached down and would gently trace the shell of Blaine's ear, the curve of his lips, the roughness of his jawline, never touching with more than a fingertip. He would marvel over how different Blaine looked now, more carefree and yet careworn by the added years at the same time. And yet while he slept, he was at peace.
That was when Jesse liked Blaine best. When he wasn't stressing over his final projects or the fact that in a few short months he would be out of school for good, unable to change his mind and take this class instead of that class, purposefully signing up for too many credits because he knew he would always choose wrong and want to fix it later. "It's easy to drop a class when you're already three credits above average," Blaine had once explained. "Much harder when dropping means you're right on the cusp between part-time and full-time." Jesse never understood his logic, having breezed through his own college education and giving little care to whether he passed with a 4.0 or a 2.5, because he was going into the performing arts. College would just give him four extra years of practice, not a surefire way to succeed.
Blaine's work ethic would be the death of him, Jesse had once decided. The recently-turned 22 year old spent more time in the library than he did in his own apartment, more than once canceling on Jesse at the last minute because of a project or an essay or some other bullshit project. Those were the days when Jesse would sneak himself into Blaine's dorm hall, following another student when they swiped their ID card, breaking into Blaine's room and kissing the breath out of him before he'd even registered that he had company.
There was something exhilarating about dating a college student, though he himself had been just that only eight months ago.
He was good at forcing Blaine to stop working, to make him realize that he really didn't need to pour over his already grammatically correct term papers one more time, reading every single word at least three times to make sure it was spelled correctly. No, Jesse would humor him for a few short minutes, pretending to proofread for him, only to pull Blaine into his lap, declaring the paper perfect, and kissing him to shut him up. Was it a little manipulative to use his boyfriend's obvious lust after his body to his advantage? Probably. But Jesse couldn't bring himself to feel guilty about it, not when he was positive that he was the reason Blaine actually fell asleep at night rather than surviving on caffeine and sugary energy drinks.
But for whatever reason, regardless of how much Jesse liked lying together with Blaine, their bodies pressed close together as they hung on, feeding off each other's company, he still liked it when Blaine rested his head on his lap best of all. He liked being able to see Blaine, to see all of him, especially able to see his face. Blaine's facial expressions gave him away, ever the expressive one, and Jesse had long since discovered how enamored he was with Blaine's eyes to bother wondering if that had anything to do with it. So they would sit like that, together on Blaine's bed, sometimes in silence and sometimes talking quietly together, just reveling in each other's presence after Jesse had succeeded in distracting Blaine from his work.
Then summer was upon them, the sweltering heat permeating the building Blaine lived in, reminding everyone there why nobody liked living in that particular hall. No air conditioning at the beginning of a California summer meant living in what could only be described as gunk. The air inside was humid, the building smelling of sweat and deodorant at the same time, making its occupants feel as if they were wading through a haze the second they stepped inside. Jesse almost choked when he came to visit, finding Blaine's door open, window thrown wide, an area fan situated at the end of his bed. Blaine himself was positioned at his desk, hunched over as he typed, an unbuttoned shirt that he'd no doubt been wearing before deeming it too hot draped over the back of his chair.
"Come on," Jesse seized Blaine's arm, making him jump. "We're going outside."
"But-" Blaine looked back at his laptop, open to a document that was no doubt the end of term paper that Jesse had been hearing about for weeks now.
"No," Jesse shook his head, dragging Blaine up out of his seat. "It's hot outside but it's worse in here." He released his grip on Blaine's arm, only to reach down and link their fingers. "There's a bench out behind your building; let's go."
"But-" Blaine tried again, plucking at his shirt with his free hand, no doubt objecting to going out in such attire.
"We match," Jesse shrugged this away, already walking towards the door, dragging Blaine after him. "You'd think that after four years in California you'd have learned by now that nobody cares what you wear when it's hot outside, as long as it wouldn't get you arrested for indecent exposure." Smirking, he leaned in closer, adding, "Though I'd love to get you outside like that sometime."
Blaine's face, already shiny and red from the heat, darkened in color. Looking at the floor, he mumbled, "I didn't take you for that kind of exhibitionist."
"Says the man who let me go down on him in a theatre," Jesse shot back without missing a beat. Blaine's face darkened even more.
"It's not like it was a movie theatre where we were surrounded by people," Blaine reminded him. "That was after hours in your locked dressing room."
"And didn't you enjoy it," Jesse stepped in front of Blaine abruptly, bending down to kiss him right in the middle of the hallway. He hooked a finger in the waistband of Blaine's jeans, pulling their hips together and squeezing their still linked fingers when Blaine tried to wriggle away. Jesse just followed him, taking a step forward when Blaine stepped back, steering him against a closed door with a thud.
"Someone-" Blaine tried to speak while Jesse kept trying to shut him up, managing to get out a very broken sentence, "lives- in... in there."
"Then they'll be the first to know that your boyfriend can't keep his hands off you," Jesse decided, pulling away momentarily before dipping his head to kiss along Blaine's jawline instead. He could feel Blaine's body go limp, curling into him, knowing how much he loved it when Jesse paid attention to his jaw and his neck. Smirking, he pulled back, taking in Blaine's now rather disheveled appearance, how hard he was breathing, how wide his eyes were.
"Now let's go outside," he said cheerfully, taking Blaine's hand again and all but skipping towards the door. He could hear Blaine grumbling behind him, probably about how much he hated him and wanted to punch him in the face right now. Jesse typically wasn't one to play the role of the tease, cutting things short abruptly for no good reason, but Blaine of all people knew by now that even when Jesse did pull a stunt like this, he would more than make up for it later on.
And if Jesse was being honest, he'd much rather get Blaine outside and in that secluded area behind his building, getting him to forget about the fact that there could potentially be other people around, than to end up back in that stifling dorm room, where the heat made the thought of sex completely disgusting rather than appealing.
He'd assumed that Blaine would get all huffy once they'd reached the bench, sitting on the far end and glaring at him, legs crossed to try to hide what they both knew was there, but instead Blaine plopped himself down right next to Jesse. He sat upright for a grand total of maybe two seconds before laying down on the bench, resting his head in Jesse's lap. A soft smile crossed Jesse's face, because Blaine knew he loved it when they sat like that, knew that Blaine wasn't laying down because he particularly wanted to, but because Jesse wanted him to.
"I love you," Jesse told him, the thrill of being able to say such words aloud still not lost on him yet. He hoped that feeling never would die away, that the words wouldn't lose meaning with time, like they so often did. Because he did love Blaine, and a part of him always had, ever since they were small children, running hand-in-hand around each other's houses when they visited, worrying their parents with how often the little boys would kiss each other both hello and goodbye and sometimes just because they felt like it.
But this was different. Everything was different now, really. Because they weren't living two hours apart in small towns where Blaine had to worry about being openly affectionate with whoever he deemed worthy of such affections. They weren't just best friends who would occasionally get lost in the other's eyes, forgetting about the platonic part of their relationship and deciding that now was as good a time as any to show how much they cared for the other in ways much more physically intimate than most best friends were inclined to. Now they were so much more than that, still best friends and now boyfriends as well, not entirely sure where things were headed but both willing to sit out the ride because at the end of the day, they loved each other more than they'd ever loved anyone else.
Blaine didn't reciprocate the declaration of his feelings, but it didn't make Jesse worried. Neither of them really needed to say it anymore, already knowing how the other felt, but sometimes it was nice to say and hear it out loud. Blaine smiled up at Jesse, saying, "I'm still mad at you. For that."
"I'll fix it soon enough," Jesse promised, his gaze leaving Blaine's face and instead looking at his crotch, his smile turning into a smirk almost immediately. Blaine reached up, no doubt knowing where Jesse was looking, tapping the bottom of his chin and saying, "You better."
"I always do," Jesse reminded him, meeting Blaine's eyes only to watch as the man's pupils widened slightly at his words. "C'mere." He shifted where he sat, forcing Blaine to sit up and then guiding him closer. Their lips seemed to find each other on their own, as if by now it was merely a reflex. It felt so familiar, so normal, and yet every single time he kissed Blaine, Jesse could feel it all the way down to his toes.
The first time he'd realized that maybe he did love Blaine more than he let on, Jesse had panicked. They'd been so careful all throughout their teenage years and early adulthood to not cross that line, laughing together when people asked them when they were just going to be open about their relationship. But then suddenly the laughs felt fake, he found himself dreaming about Blaine and waking up in the middle of the night, only to then bite his tongue while he fixed his own problem, forcing himself not to say Blaine's name. He'd promised himself that he'd never fall in love, especially not with his best friend, and yet he'd done just that.
So he had panicked, spiraling down into the kind of depressed funk that people go into after a breakup, not a realization of their feelings. Blaine had called him out on it, too, causing Jesse to snap out of fear that he was losing his best friend, telling Blaine everything from the fake laughs to the way he just felt right when they were together to the horribly embarrassing dreams that he just could not fucking get rid of. And then just like that, Blaine was his.
He planned on keeping it that way for as long as Blaine would have him. Jesse knew they weren't the white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog type, knew that both of them had ambitions and would follow where their careers took them. But he also knew that Blaine was a hopeless romantic, the kind of boy who got hearts in his eyes while watching Disney movies, wanting his life to mirror the life of the heroes and the princesses he watched on screen. Once upon a time he'd been terrible at romance, knowing how to seduce but not woo, but now he and Blaine were stumbling through all that together, laughing at the failed dinners and the wilting flowers and knowing that they'd probably never get it right.
But none of that mattered, because they made each other happy. Sure, Jesse was a bit of a dick sometimes and Blaine never really knew when to stop trying so hard, but their acceptance of those faults was what got them through. Their willingness to take things one day at a time and to never dwell too much on what may happen when Jesse decides he wants Broadway and moves across the country, or what may happen if Blaine succeeds in getting that record deal he's always wanted and suddenly he's a household name. They both dreamed of their names in lights, of their acceptance speeches at awards ceremonies, but at the same time they lived in the moment.
And this moment had Jesse kissing the man he loved on a bench behind a row of tall flowers, listening to them rustle in the breeze and hearing the occasional bumblebee fly past with an abrasive hum. He was pretty sure that this was the kind of moment that he could live in for quite some time and never find himself tiring of it.
Well, until Blaine shifted where he sat, reminding Jesse of what he'd promised to do. He smirked into the kiss, wondering when on earth Blaine had turned into that kind of exhibitionist, slowly sliding off the bench and into the grass, pulling the man he loved down on top of him.