Blaine woke up Monday morning shivering. Shaking his head, he climbed out of bed and shuffled to the bathroom, where he started the shower and peeled off his pajamas. Checking the temperature with his hand, Blaine stepped in and relaxed at the hot water.
It was probably hotter than was strictly necessary, but Blaine hadn’t been able to get rid of Eli’s touch off of his skin since the night he’d blown it. Blaine was showering two, or even three, times a day, only to find relief for a few hours.
He’d wanted Kurt to wipe it all away when he visited, to put his hands and lips where Eli had, to erase Eli from Blaine’s skin. But he couldn’t let Kurt do it without knowing, and once he did, Kurt obviously hadn’t wanted to. Not that Blaine had asked, because that would have just hurt Kurt more.
So instead, Blaine spent half an hour every morning and every night scrubbing at his arms and stomach and legs with a sudsy loofah and too hot water until his skin turned red. Then he got dressed, putting a little too much gel in his hair and bypassing his bow ties and bright pants most days.
That morning, he chose dark slacks and a red polo. He considered the white, but vanity set in, for the first time in a while, and he decided to go with the one that would pop against his skin a little. Because Kurt was coming into school, and Blaine… Blaine wanted to look good. He used less of the gel, knowing Kurt liked it better that way.
Then he gathered his books into his bag and made his way downstairs. In the kitchen, Blaine put a slice of bread into the toaster and poured himself a glass of orange juice. His mother had come home later than anticipated the night before and was still in bed. He drank the juice as he waited for his toast and took that with him to eat in the car.
He had nearly an hour long commute to McKinley, and spent it writing speech after speech in his head, trying to decide exactly what he needed and wanted to tell Ms. Pillsbury that afternoon. By the time he got to school, his stomach was full of nervous butterflies. He swallowed, killed the engine, took a deep breath, and climbed out of the car, shouldering his bag.
When he reached his locker, he shoved his coat inside and dug through his bag and the books left on the bottom, sorting out what he needed for the day. He glanced up from what he was doing and saw Tina walking with Artie, laughing. “Hey guys,” he said, wondering if they were going to respond to him today. He was never really sure, since they were taking Kurt’s side in the breakup. The new kids in the club had taken their cold shoulders and Finn’s awkwardness as signs that Blaine wasn’t someone worth knowing, too. Mercedes had actually unfriended him on Facebook.
Tina flashed him a short, tight smile before turning back to Artie. Artie just kept telling his story, complete with hand gestures, as she pushed him down the hall. Blaine sighed slightly and ducked his head back to his bag. When he finished, he closed his locker just before his face got slammed into it by someone twice his size.
Blaine shouted out in pain, but didn’t bother to look at who had done it. He just rubbed at his forehead as he made his way to Calculus. When class started, the teacher passed out a test that Blaine had completely forgotten about. He groaned, resisting the urge to drop his head to his desk, and dug out a pencil.
The first ten minutes of school were really the worst. He wasn’t slushied later, there were no more surprise tests, and Brittany asked him for help on their history project, which he enjoyed explaining for her.
Then it was finally time for lunch.
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