Hey look guys, Blesse fic from Rae. Shocker. Anyway, just a quick note before y'all dive in. This story was inspired by Gavin Creel's debut album entitled "goodtimenation" which explains the title. His album is a work of genius and you all should go buy it and listen to it and love it. But regardless of whether you do that or not, it's worth noting that this fic is going to have lines from the lyrics in here, and that it will also pull from every single song. If you've heard the album before, you know there's a wide range in variety to be found. So there's that.
Alllllso, it's Jamie's (navigatethismaze) birthday, so this is for her. Happy birthday, Harry!
The sound of his phone ringing is what wakes him. It's a departure from his usual awakening, to the soft tones of Josh Groban crooning his favorite song, growing steadily louder until the silvery voice breaks in on his dreams, possessing them until he realizes that, oh, right, that's my alarm.
Groggily he reaches for the device making the offensive sound, squinting at the screen, trying to read the name flashing in front of him with sleep-hazed eyes. It's on the fifth ring when he finally realizes who it is, and then he groans and rolls over, burying his face into his pillow for another two rings.
Then he answers, of course.
"Finally," the brisk voice on the other end is unforgiving. "I've called you three times now, Blaine. How many beers did you inhale?" But he doesn't pause to get an answer. "Nevermind, that's not important. What's important is that it's five in the morning and I have no coffee so it's your job to entertain me until you leave for work. So. Details. Spill. Go."
Blaine groans again, scrubbing at his face with the hand that isn't holding the phone to his ear. A tutting noise comes from the other end of the phone.
"Come on now," he prompts. "You would have woken up in half an hour anyway, and you know better than any how much caffeine withdrawal crushes my soul. And how much this shit hole of a town personally offends me with its continued existence." An impressive sigh, then he continues. "Tell me what happened last night, since I wasn't around to claw his eyes out on your behalf."
Another groan. Then:
"Kurt, I'm hung-over and miserable. No offense, but fuck off."
"I refuse!" Kurt trilled back at him. "And you know you love me, so you know this is for your own good and that you couldn't possible hang up on me in my hour of need."
"You sound pretty awake already," Blaine shot back, tossing his phone onto the bed beside him and burying his face into his pillow again. Now that consciousness was slowly creeping up on him, he started realizing just how much his head really, really hurt. He could hear Kurt still talking on the other end of the line, so he rolled his eyes and picked it back up, interrupting Kurt mid-sentence.
"Let me begin when everything ended," he starts, resigning himself to having to recount the entire story.
He's backstage, in the small green room that is in fact painted green, wiling away the few minutes he has left by checking his phone. They always sit in silence backstage, reveling in the moments of solitude and quiet they have, before bursting out onstage and commanding everyone's attention. Some might think they'd be just as jovial, just as excited as they are onstage while they're backstage, pumping each other up for the night to come.
That is not the case and has never been the case. While all of them love their job, love the perks of being the most desirable person in the room, of being the center of attention, of getting to perform and have casual sex – if they so desired – while getting paid by the hour, it made those minutes of quiet almost like a ritual. The calm before the storm.
Jesse scrolls through his text messages, smiling at the one his sister had sent him a few hours ago, reminding him that he is expected to attend her baby shower, even though he's of the male persuasion. There is one from his manager, which makes him frown, because Jesse has never really liked the man. He isn't very good at this managing business, anyway, because had he done as promised and actually gotten Jesse's first album out there, he wouldn't have needed this job.
Not that Jesse's complaining. Just like the others, he loves this job, loves just how casual and laid-back everything is, but it would be nice to make a career as a different kind of musician. But that is a matter to worry about another time, because Ali's set is up first, and it's Jesse's job to go out into the crowd first, to find himself his first dance partner of the night. That's always how it goes; one of them slips out into the crowd, and just as people realize who he is, another one begins their set.
And that's how the nights work here at the Escape.
Jesse tosses his phone aside, sidling into the short and narrow hallway between this room and the door that led to the room, bypassing the curtain that led to the stage. He could easily enter from the stage itself, but that would defeat the purpose. So he slipped through the door, positioning himself against the wall, scanning the crowd briefly, looking for someone to approach.
It was a science, finding your first dance partner of the night. Jesse has learned through experience that you never go for someone who you find yourself physically drawn to. He's always been attracted to people with dark hair and dark eyes, so when he finds a blonde girl dancing alone at the edge of the crowd, he starts to zero in. This girl means nothing to him and will continue to mean nothing to him, and that's the way it has to be. You can't get attached; not yet.
He doesn't speak as he approaches her. His eyes lock on her, his body starting to move in time with the music playing, waiting for her to feel his gaze. They always do; he is the type of person who cannot be ignored.
She looks over and at first dismisses him as someone from the crowd who'd glanced over, giving him a small smile before pointedly turning her body a fraction away from him. But he keeps at it, keeps staring and moving towards her, and that's when she looks over again. She falls out of step with the music, but she's still smiling. Good sign. He's never been rejected before and he's not about to start making that a trend.
"Dance with me," is all he says, one arm going around her waist when he's close enough. She slides into his half-hold neatly and without hesitation. He doesn't offer his name and she doesn't ask for it; she either is content to remain anonymous or she already knows who he is. That's how things work here, after all. There are no names attached, just like there are no strings either.
Ali comes out onstage mere moments later. Jesse knows she has five songs to perform, and then it will be his turn, the others all switching off and on for the rest of the night. He can dance with this girl until the first song ends, then it's time to move on, find someone else, charm their pants off – maybe literally, but that remains to be seen – and then find one more person before it's his turn to sing.
It's almost frightening how calculating he has to be about all of this, but he can't bring himself to care. That's why he always goes for someone who doesn't interest him first; he needs to find someone to eyefuck the living hell out of during his set, and it won't do to lose track of them beforehand.
He starts looking over this girl's shoulder, already scanning the crowd for someone new. He spots another girl with dark hair tied up in a neat ponytail, her skirt too short, fanning out when she twirls, showing off the curved ass underneath. Jesse smirks, but his eyes pass over her. He knows someone who wants to get noticed when he sees them, and he'd much rather find someone who…
Who looks like that boy over there. The boy has a complacent, almost nervous smile on his face, and he isn't dancing so much as shuffling. But it's the kind of shuffling that makes it obvious he wants to dance, he just feels too self conscious to actually do so.
Jesse knows a first-timer in the club when he spots one. He is intrigued beyond belief, because first timers always have stories. They always find themselves in disbelief when someone approaches them. They're gentle and timid; in short, they're easy targets. Some may fault him for treating human beings like some sort of challenge, a prize that would be his if he employed the right tactics, but that's all part of the job. He's supposed to make people feel welcome and wanted, and there's no better way to get people coming back than giving them a first time they'll never forget.
"Thank you, darling, you're magnificent," he says into the blonde girl's ear, pressing a chaste kiss to her cheek before making his way towards this boy. It's harsh, just dropping someone like that, but that's, again, in the job description. He's not rejecting her and he's not stringing her along; it's the happy medium. He has no interest in her whatsoever, and he's not going to humor her for longer than necessary. He's also not going to make her feel like she isn't worth his time. But if she didn't realize he was one of the employees yet, she has now. They're known for swapping partners at an alarmingly regular rate. Everyone knows it's nothing to be taken seriously.
Jesse's still staring at this boy, watching as he claps politely at the close of Ali's song, then lowers his hands when he realizes that he's the only one who's applauding. A girl standing next to him gives him a pat on the arm, and he grins sheepishly, turning his head to say something Jesse can't catch. His expression softens, more to appear kinder than his intentions may be than out of any sense of endearment, and that's when this boy notices him staring.
He doesn't usually employ the 'let me smile at you and charm you with my pearly whites' technique because that has always been Shawn's technique, but he borrows the tactic in this case. A matching one – though still a bit sheepish – appears on this boy's face, and Jesse holds out a hand, inviting him to dance. He typically isn't one for the asking, either, doing what he had done with the blonde girl and simply walking up, his intentions already plain for her to see.
The boy ducks his head – he's so clearly new at this and it actually is a little bit endearing – and takes Jesse's hand. His face is flushed and Jesse watches it positively flare in redness when his other hand reaches down to rest on the boy's hip. He hesitates when Jesse starts moving in time to the song, clearly still nervous, but Jesse doesn't let that deter him.
"Hi," the boy says, and Jesse could laugh, he's so naïve. He clearly has no idea how this works, that Jesse isn't interested in talking. But he plays along.
"Hi," he echoes, his voice softer than he'd intended so the boy had to lean in to hear him. Which hadn't been his intention at all. "First time here?"
"That obvious?" the boy's posture slumps, and Jesse can feel him pulling away slightly. He responds by giving the boy's hand a squeeze, the hand on his hip moving up to his waist and curling slightly around to his back, tracing a gentle circle there.
"Yes," Jesse says honestly, his voice still soft. He ducks his head slightly, curls brushing against the boy's temple as he speaks into his ear. "But nobody else will be able to tell when I'm through with you."
He can practically feel the boy blushing now. His body actually quivers, and he takes too big a step forward, pressing himself against Jesse for a fraction of a second before trying to jump away. But Jesse's arm tightens around the boy's waist, keeping him there, wordlessly telling him that he doesn't care. The boy laughs nervously, still pulling a bit against Jesse, but after a few second's worth of tension he finally relaxes.
"Are you a regular here?" he finally asks.
"No," Jesse answers honestly again, wishing that he'd waited until the end of Ali's set, because how perfect would it be to announce that he is a performer and then just hop up onstage? But Ali still has three more songs to go, and he can't interrupt her set. So he doesn't answer, just lets the question hang, ducking his head again to brush his nose against the skin right in front of his ear. As predicted, the boy stiffens, falling out of rhythm with the music, completely taken aback by something as simple as that type of physical contact. It's silly, because their faces are pretty much the only part of their bodies that aren't touching, but Jesse's really starting to find this boy incredibly endearing.
"Just relax," he says, starting to trace that circle on the boy's back again. "You're supposed to be here to have fun, not jump out of your skin." He can feel more than hear the boy's nervous chuckle, but doesn't miss how he seems to slump against him this time, instead of away from him.
"Okay," he agrees.
The song is fast, but they're moving slowly, not at all like the couples moving almost frantically around them. It's not at all what Jesse's used to; he typically gets wandering hands and pointed pelvic thrusts, but this boy keeps his touch light, one hand still holding Jesse's while the other rests between their bodies on his shoulder. It's a bit like a school dance, and Jesse feels it wouldn't be a stretch to say that this boy's only experience in dancing may come from that exact arena.
When the song ends, he feels the boy shuffling away, but he keeps his hold firm.
"Am I supposed to ditch you after one song?" he breathes, and he feels another laugh.
"I'm glad you're not," the boy confesses. Then he leans back, going a bit cross-eyed as he looks at Jesse's face, saying, "My name's Blaine."
"And it's a pleasure," Jesse smiles at him, not offering his own. If Blaine minds, he doesn't say anything, because when Jesse tilts his head forward to press their cheeks together as Ali's next song starts up, Blaine doesn't pull away or say anything. In fact, he just leans into the touch, subtly enough for him to think that Jesse wouldn't notice.
When Jesse is the one to pull away almost ten minutes later, Blaine hardly looks like the timid, awkward boy he'd spotted across the room. He looks content and almost lazy, and the way his hand tightens on Jesse's shoulder makes him realize that he doesn't want him to go. It's quick and the movement subsides almost instantly; it had clearly been a reflex.
"Surprise," is all Jesse says, leaning in to press a chaste kiss to the corner of Blaine's mouth, then he takes three long, fast strides to the stage and hops up onto it, sliding into place behind the microphone just as Ali slips backstage. The beginning notes of his first song start up instantly, and Jesse looks out into the crowd, his eyes locking on Blaine as soon as he spots him.
"Come on, come on, I'll leave on a light for you," he begins, one hand closing over the microphone, pulling it smoothly out of the stand. It's hardly the first time he's sung this song, hardly the first time he's stared anyone down while singing this song, but this time sends a rush of adrenaline through his entire body. The way Blaine is staring up at him, his eyes still clouded with confusion but wide in wonder nonetheless, eggs him on. He wants there to be a different expression on that face by the time he reaches the chorus.
Jesse's been a crowd favorite since his first night performing. While some are afraid to sing certain types of songs, Jesse has always been a no-holds-barred kind of person. He takes creative risks all the time, doesn't censor his work, and leaves no doubt in anyone's mind what he's thinking. And if someone were to look up at him now and follow his gaze to Blaine, they would realize one thing instantly.
Jesse wants to fuck Blaine and he wants to fuck him right now. The only reason he isn't is because he has a set to start and finish. And then… well, it's hardly a secret that there is a back room for more than one reason.
He watches Blaine carefully, watches as the boy becomes completely dead to the world around him, doing nothing but staring up at Jesse, his eyes practically saucers. Jesse's surprised that his mouth hasn't fallen open, a line of drool shining there, but Blaine's mouth remains shut. He never breaks his gaze, never stops staring at Blaine for an instant, plowing his way through his set with only one purpose in mind. He wants to get Blaine so hot and bothered that when he jumps down off this stage and makes his way back to him, Blaine will meet him halfway.
Not for the first time, Jesse's pleased that he works somewhere that doesn't care if he makes his intentions this obvious, that doesn't care if he fucks half the club, so long as nobody fights and people keep coming in. They had had a fight break out once before, thanks to someone who didn't understand the meaning of 'no strings attached,' and since then they've made that a requirement any time one of the employees does take someone into the back room. It hardly makes for good conversation, talking about how it means nothing and there won't be a next time while you're stripping someone of their clothes, but safety first.
That's also why they keep a box of condoms back there.
And sure enough, halfway through this first song, Blaine's practically a puddle on the floor. His tongue pokes out to wet his lips, and Jesse's eyes zero in on that one little movement, mirroring it himself when there's an adequate pause in the lyrics. He can't see from here, but he's sure Blaine's cheeks turn an impressive shade of pink when he does so.
The room is practically on fire, as it always is when Jesse's the one singing (and eyefucking someone in the audience). His energy always gets people going, which is why he'll never be allowed to be the opener or the closer. You have to ease people into this type of performance, apparently, and while Jesse resents the fact that they assume he can't be subtle, he knows each of them have to play to their strengths. And this is definitely his.
Typically they retreat to the green room after their set, because going back out into the crowd right after you were the center of attention makes it that much more likely to get mauled. But tonight Jesse has a purpose in mind, and that purpose is standing right in front of him. So he hops down after finishing his last number, cutting his way through the crowd back to Blaine, ignoring the lingering hands that fall on his arms as he passes, trying to catch his attention.
Without any warning or preamble or any feigned hesitation, Jesse takes Blaine's face into his hands and pulls him into a kiss. Blaine doesn't respond at first, but his body immediately curls into Jesse's, both of his hands coming to rest on Jesse's elbows. It's clear that he's not opposed, and Jesse marks his hesitation to actually kiss back to their setting. Blaine is a first timer, after all. He probably thinks he can get thrown out for this type of display.
And then he does kiss back, so Jesse's hands leave his face, one trailing lightly down his neck and onto his chest while the other goes right back around his waist, exactly where he'd had it before. He pulls Blaine right up against him, pushing his hips into Blaine's, feeling and hearing him gasp into his mouth. Jesse shamelessly uses that as his opportunity to deepen the kiss, to which Blaine reacts to by letting out a small whimper that Jesse can still hear above all the music and the people around them. In fact, he can't really hear anything but the sounds Blaine is making, and it almost physically pains him to pull away long enough to say, "I think this needs to continue somewhere without an audience."
Blaine can't even speak. He just nods, and Jesse tucks Blaine neatly into his side, feeling the other's arms wrap around him, following wordlessly to that ever-coveted back room.