|The Flip Side
Author: MoreTroutyForYourMouth PM
I do not own Glee or any characters associated with Glee. Mercedes and Sam come from different worlds - but what happens when those worlds collide?Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Humor - Mercedes J. & Sam E. - Chapters: 11 - Words: 39,772 - Reviews: 98 - Favs: 78 - Follows: 119 - Updated: 10-09-12 - Published: 03-08-12 - id: 7906139
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
And we're baaaaaack! Thank you, oh so patient readers and reviewers! I do apologize again for the lengthy hiatus. Your continued support has been lovely and please keep it coming. Let me know what you think. Feedback is always massively appreciated. I know this is probably shorter than what you'd like after such a long break, but I just needed to get back in writing stride and I hope to start Chapter 12 tomorrow, so maybe you'll have that by the end of the week. Thoughts? Concerns? Comments? Questions? Please call 1-800-... Huggles!
Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors. I'm only part human. ;)
The next morning, Quinn and Sam shared a warm goodbye. Although she'd missed her twin brother and had a wonderful time: reconnecting with Blaine, meeting Kurt, meeting Lamont and most of all meeting Mercedes, she couldn't wait to get back to her east coast brood. In just 3 short days, she'd felt like she missed as much as 3 years of her baby girl and baby boy's life. They were far past infancy, but in their mother's eyes, Dominic and Olivia Abrams would always be gurgling, cooing bundles of joy. Mr. Abrams wasn't far from her mind either. Unbeknownst to him, when his stunning wife returned he'd receive the biggest, sloppiest kiss she could muster. He'd also get some interesting news about his brother-in-law's progressing love life.
Artie and Quinn had worried about Sam long before his unfortunate stabbing. For several years after the teen pop wave died down, Sam had suffered through depression. He was never in danger of taking his own life, but he was definitely considered "shaky" at times. A string of casual hook-ups with former groupies left the younger Evans twin grossly unfulfilled. Matters were not made better by Quinn and Artie's impending nuptials in the summer of 2016. It seemed like everyone was moving on from the Unicorn Records days but him. The one woman (outside of his sister and mother) whom he could trust and loved him unconditionally seemed to be non-existent. Sam feared he would always be alone and this was a frightening thought considering his natural need for companionship. He loved being alone with his music, but he longed for someone to share his life with.
College was Quinn's pursuit, not his, and after one semester at UC Santa Barbara, Sam moved back with his parents in Bel-Air and passed the time writing music. He would produce for other artists on occasion under the alias "Pete Samuels", so despite the tabloid lies at the time, he was very much alive and working. Sam never fully embraced the pop star moniker. It was undeniable that the throngs of heated tweens and teenagers screaming his name and clamoring for his autograph was a delight to his developing male ego. However, there was a bit of shyness to his nature that he tried desperately to hide. Sue Sylvester made it quite clear to him early on that he had to be available and present for his public. She impressed upon him that shyness ultimately meant low exposure and reduced interest, which computed into low record sales, which equaled "as good as dead in the industry." Letting his natural charm supersede his natural timidity, he powered through and garnered plenty of interest during his time in the spotlight.
His pals Artie and Kevin gave it their best try at finding him some worthy candidates for his affections, but none of them were ever the right fit. Sam would never tell another soul, but there was always a part of him that pined for the sweet girl he met on that summer night in 2010. In reality, they'd spent less than 20 minutes time together, but the connection was so palpable that it lingered for years. He'd spend hours wondering where she was and what she was doing. He wondered if she ever thought about him. How he wished he'd had five more minutes to get her contact information that night. Truth be told, he was still a bit too shy to ask. Sam was so instantly attracted to this mysterious, sweet, bubbly girl named MJ. That had literally never happened before. She was special. His heart knew it; his soul knew it.
That night on the long bus ride back to the west coast his mind danced with fantasies of meeting her again. Too excited to sleep and inspiration flooding his brain, he scribbled out the lyrics to a love song he'd never record. These were sacred words for that lovely soul named MJ that he quietly hoped would cross his path once again. It was that night that he vowed to only fall in love - truly in love- with someone that touched him the way MJ had. The chances of this vow actualizing were slim, but he had a long, uncharted path before him as was the nature of that crazy thing called life.
"Samuel, I want you to behave yourself." Quinn demanded playfully.
From his hospital bed, Sam reached lovingly for his sister and enveloped her firmly. He may have been recovering from an unpleasant puncture to his abdomen, but his brute strength was ever present. He nearly squeezed the air out of his sister's lungs.
Quinn squeaked out "Sam – I- can't-breathe." He released her and smiled liked a cartoon shark. His eyes danced with excitement despite the fact that this was the last time they'd see each other for an indefinite amount of time.
"Sorry." Sam drawled with light apology.
"No, I know you're excited about Mercedes. Just please don't hurt the poor woman…or yourself, baby brother." She smiled sweetly as she grabbed her midsection; feigning bruised ribs from Sam's overzealous embrace.
"How do I look?"
"As handsome as ever."
"No really, does my hair look ok? Shit, I should have shaved!"
"Oh my god Sam, the way you two look at each other, I'd say a little case of beard burn is no problem for Mercedes Jones."
The corners of Sam's mouth turned up in a shy smile and his eyes darted down quickly. A hint of blush colored his cheeks as he thought lovingly of finally kissing those delicious lips of hers. In all honesty, his concern about shaving wasn't forethought of their mouths meeting but a desire to look as presentable as possible from a post-op hospital bed.
"Damn, I can't wait to see her."
"I know." Quinn uttered assuredly. She delighted in seeing her younger brother so excited and full of life. Never mind the past few days under medical care, this was the happiest she'd seen him in almost a decade. He was definitely rejuvenated to say the least.
She spoke again, "Just be you and be patient. You've waited this long. If she needs time, just give it to her."
Their eyes met as Sam nodded with seriousness. Quinn knew him better than anyone and it was unlikely that she'd be wrong where this situation was concerned. Flashing him a motherly look, she reached for his hair to give it a ruffle. He quickly leaned back defensively and she couldn't help but chuckle to herself. She cupped his face in her hands and planted a sweet peck on his stubbly jaw. Their hands clasped one last time and Quinn was gone.
He'd been up since 6am. Nurse Shapiro checked in around that time, then at 8am shortly after Quinn's departure. He was sure that any minute Mercedes would burst through the door for 10 am had finally rolled around. A mix of giddiness and nerves swirled within him. It had been a long 24 hours and then some for Sam. He hoped that when he saw her his words wouldn't fail him.
The door creaked open. The pit of his stomach lurched and he gave a slight wince as he took the last few seconds to steady himself. His eyes settled on….Nurse Shapiro…again. Sam grimaced involuntarily at the swarthy 46 year old with raven hair and olive tinted hazel eyes.
"Nice to see you too, Sunshine." Nurse Shapiro squawked in defense.
"Oh, no, I just….I thought….where's…." Sam mumbled.
"I don't know honey. I haven't heard from her. She's usually here on time. Maybe car trouble? Although…she would have called by now…" Nurse Shapiro trailed off.
It was then that Sam began to worry. A miserable feeling took hold of his chest. Despite Quinn's insistence and her revelations, perhaps Mercedes' mind had changed overnight and she was now avoiding him for good? He pulled his mouth in with disappointment as he gazed down at his hands. His thumbs twiddled absently and his jaw clenched. Nurse Shapiro managed to get a breakfast order out of a sulking Sam and left him to his own lamentations. Breakfast came and went and still there was no sign of Mercedes. Once noon approached, he had given up on her appearance for the day. Perhaps she had taken the day off last minute and she'd come back on Monday. He wouldn't give up just yet. Like Quinn had said, he'd waited this long, he could wait a little longer.
There was a swift knock on his door. He answered "Come in" dryly. His eyes settled on the handsome Dr. Anderson to a bit of displeasure.
"Hi Mr. Evans." Blaine spoke as he beamed.
"How is everything? Are you in any pain or discomfort?"
Sam snorted internally. "If you only knew."– he thought to himself.
"Good to hear. You seem to be healing quite nicely. Keep this up and you'll be out of here by next week."
Sam brandished his trademark half smile and nodded absently. Blaine eyed his obviously troubled patient with concern. After such a wonderful reunion dinner with Quinn he felt compelled to take extra special care of the younger Evans twin.
"Sam…" Blaine began slowly. "Are you sure everything is alright?"
For a moment Sam contemplated questioning Mercedes' whereabouts but he thought it too forward at this stage. Dr. Anderson was his sister's friend, not his and he didn't feel very comfortable expounding on his deep interest in one of his nurses.
"Yeah Doc…just…probably getting cabin fever or something already."
Blaine nodded with understanding but remained 80% unconvinced. If there was one trait he picked up from the love of his life, Kurt Hummel, it was how to dig for information – relentlessly.
"If you're feeling strong enough to walk around, I'd be more than happy to accompany you on a short trip around the water fountain. Some fresh air would do you a world of wonder, I'm sure."
Sam thought for a moment. It had been 5 days since he'd been outside and actually seen the sun. For all he knew, the rest of St. Crispin's was nothing but a taupe hued extension of his room. Ten minutes later, Sam was relieved to see a colorful and friendly world outside of room 819. Bracing his wound and his IV stand he and Blaine made their way down to the water fountain at the hospital's front entrance. There was a cool breeze that tickled a bunch of bright yellow marigolds and hot pink begonias at the fountain's base. A sudden vision of Mercedes with one of those lovely begonias nestled in her chocolaty waves made his heart skip a beat. The two men sat for a moment on the very same bench where Mercedes spilled her secrets to Quinn.
Taking a deep breath, Sam let the fresh Midwest air permeate his lungs. His sun-starved skin warmed in the midday glow. Blaine's bright hazel eyes peered at Sam as he prepared to breach the silence.
"So, this was good, no?" Blaine chirped eagerly.
"Yeah. I've forgotten how quiet Lima can be sometimes."
"Oh, that's right, you've been living in Los Angeles all this time."
"Yeah. It's sunny, but loud. And lonely." Sam caught himself but not before letting an all too telling phrase escape. He prayed Blaine would let those last two words slide by without question.
"Lonely? How so?" Blaine piped up to Sam's regret.
"Aw, just, you know what they say. So many people but still lonely." Sam shifted uneasily while still clutching his wound.
"It must be difficult with Quinn being all the way in New York as well. I remember her telling me how close you two were, even in school."
"Doc, is this an intervention? Oh god, did Quinn enlist you to look after me?" He chuckled lightly.
Blaine threw his hands up in defense. "No, no…well…maybe just a little bit." He gestured commonly with his finely manicured thumb and index finger. The two men shared wide smiles and light chuckles.
"I'm ok. I promise."
Screwing up his face and shaking his head delicately in opposition, Blaine chimed in "You say that, but I can sense something's wrong. If it's not medical, it must be something else."
Blaine's kind and concerned face was a force to be reckoned with. His bedside manner was impeccable and his new skills at digging were making it difficult for Sam to keep up his charade of bravado. The blonde man winced and pulled his mouth in bashfully. The brunette man arched an eyebrow in expectation of a retort. Throwing caution to the small-Ohio-town wind, Sam looked pointedly at the doctor and said "It's Nurse Jones."
Blaine shifted and placed his hands on his thighs, bracing himself for an uncharacteristic complaint against his favorite lady friend.
"What's going on?"
"It's just- she…." Sam trailed off, feeling less brave than a few seconds prior.
Doctor Anderson interjected "Do you have an issue with her?"
Sam let out a heavy breath and uttered "Yeah, I guess you could say that."
Doctor Anderson's pulse jumped a bit. He hated conflict and was quite unprepared for the disparaging remarks (about his friend and respected colleague) that were likely to come out of his patient's mouth. Before he could counter, Sam piped up again.
"I haven't seen her all day. Do you know where she is?"
Blaine relaxed a bit and let out a soft breath. "Oh, um, she should be on the schedule?" He squeaked rhetorically.
"The day's almost over and she hasn't visited me once. I just, I hope I didn't offend her or something."
Blaine was now completely relaxed. From the hang dog look plastered on the green eyed man's face, he knew instantly what the matter was. Mr. Evans appeared to be in the pith of "Florence Nightingale Syndrome". It was a mostly untold common occurrence at St. Crispin's. Mercedes often came in contact with the most vocal of her smitten patients, but unbeknownst to her, there were far more occurrences concerning the sweet and bubbly young nurse. Blaine did his best to stifle a knowing chuckle and batted away the temptation to verbally illustrate "Here we go again."
"Would it make you feel better if I checked on that for you?" Blaine had now adopted an unintentional pathetic tone. Sam instantly felt stupid for divulging his concern.
"It's not a big deal Doc. I just – she's nice – her face was nice. A friendly face – is what I'm trying to say."
"I understand completely. I'll check on that once we get you settled back in your room." The two men made their way back up to room 819. Blaine left Sam to wallow in a heady mix of embarrassment, hopefulness, and confusion. Sam stroked his scruffy chin as his mind drifted back to the previous morning. He remembered how nice Mercedes smelled and the softness of her skin as he stroked her hand in consolation. He recalled the intense wanting within himself at that moment. She was so close to him; closer than she'd been in the past 4 days and his mind couldn't properly extrapolate the magnitude of what would have happened.
An hour and a half later, Doctor Anderson returned with a handsome Asian man whose face seemed vaguely familiar to Sam. Sam frowned slightly as he searched the faces of the two men before him. For a split second, panic rushed through him, until Blaine cleared his throat before speaking.
"Sam, this is Mike. Mike, Sam."
Mike's normally friendly face was colored with a bit of sadness. He looked as if he was wrestling with something but of course Sam could not glean specifics at this point.
"I'll leave you two alone." Blaine, who donned a serious face, remarked calmly as he exited. When the door clicked shut, Sam's eyes widened a bit and his mouth turned down uncomfortably. Who was this guy and why did Doctor Anderson look so serious when he left? Sam's mind raced and his fingers tapped nervously at his sides in anticipation of the stranger's report. Mike moved closer to Sam and extended his hand for a shake as he spoke.
"I'm Mike Chang; a good friend of Mercedes'."
A flash of relief came over Sam. "Oh" he began breathlessly "Yeah, she mentioned you." After shaking hands, Mike simply nodded and planted his hands in his back jeans pockets. He looked around uneasily but before he could speak, Sam began "Is Mercedes ok? I mean, Nurse Jones?" At that moment, Mike let out a small laugh with an undertone of knowing.
"Yeah, yeah, Mercedes is fine." Mike retorted. The intentional emphasis on Mercedes' name was understood by Sam as he gazed into Mike's eyes sheepishly.
"Mercedes." Sam repeated firmly with a newly confident expression. Mike nodded again.
"I'm sorry you had to wait so long to hear this, but I worked the late shift, so I'm slow moving today."
Sam screwed up his face with confusion and braced one of his hands on the railing of his bed.
"Mercedes told me everything."
Sam's face dropped immediately in utter bewilderment. He tried to protest, but Mike threw his hand up quickly in stoppage.
"Don't be alarmed!" He assured Sam. "She had a good reason for telling me."
Sam's heart beat wildly and he felt his throat begin to constrict with panic. He blinked his eyes rapidly and tried to steady his emotions by balling one of his fists tightly. He swallowed with force and waited for Mike to continue.
"Something happened to her family and she had to go away."
Sam's eyes dropped instantly as well as his heart. For some reason the way Mike delivered the line made it seem so final. He cleared his throat and winced as his eyes rejoined Mike's. He swallowed hard again.
"She wanted you to know that she doesn't know how long she'll be gone but that you should know it has nothing to do with you."
Finally able to speak Sam uttered "I've heard that one before." His eyes darting back down to his lap; his head began to shake as he clenched his jaw.
Mike fished a small sealed note from his shirt pocket and handed it to Sam. Sam's face screwed up in confusion again as Mike continued to speak.
"She also wanted you to have this. It will explain a little better than I can." Sam took the note gently and stared at the rosy paper; his gaze nearly boring a hole through it.