Disclaimer: Glee doesn't belong to me.
A/N: I was busy the beginning of last week and sick by the end of the week. I'm feeling slightly better, and since this was almost completed last week, I struggled through to finish it. I might do a sequel, just don't hold your breath for anytime soon. Viola! The second, and final part of LATS. Hopefully everyone likes it. Please R&R. My next fic, coming next week, will be a Forwood fic.
Life, According to Sam
Sam Evans never pictured himself as a lawyer, but then again he doesn't imagine himself completely alone either.
His parents, bless their hearts, never nag him about settling down. Instead the politely tolerate the bimbos he brings over occasionally, though they never take a true interest since he never repeats companions. He's one of the best defense lawyers in California and although woman are plentiful, his sixty plus hour work weeks make a functioning relationship hard. He tried it one time, a few years back- it goes well until a big case gets put on his desk and he forgets to call her for six weeks. She's hangs up after he states says his name when he finally calls.
Sometime, when he's feeling particularly down on himself, he relives his relationship with Quinn and wonders what would have happened if she'd said yes instead. He can never picture her accepting his proposal, no matter how hard he tries. Occasionally, when he's really masochistic, he hires a private detective to give him a detailed report on her life. He reads the most recent reports while overindulging in scotch to numb the pain he still feels. Fifteen years later and he's still hung up on the girl who ripped out his heart and stomped on it.
If there's one thing Quinn knew, it was that there were no good, single men in New York City. After almost a decade of searching high and low, she still ends up with losers. Her latest boyfriend she dumps, she discovers, is married with kids.
As she rebuffs advances and sips her martini at the newest trendy bar in Manhattan, she wonders what her life would have been like she'd gone to Ohio State with Sam. Would she be happier? She'd like to think so. Would she be as successful? Probably not. Would it have been worth it to take the road less traveled? Absolutely, she almost guarantees it.
Her job- youngest Junior Editor at Vogue- is fabulous and filled with perks, her friends- three wonderful girls she met over her residency at NYU- are supportive of her failed love life, and her apartment- posh, art deco building has a doorman and hers overlooks Central park- is the envy of most people who know her. Though her love life is abysmal, her career has sky rocked without useless interrupts like a husband or children. Prada, Valentino, Versace are her children and most days, her weekly deadline and fifty hour work weeks are her husband. She should be happy, but she's not.
When his boss asks him to travel to New York to land a new client, he jumps at the chance. He looks up Quinn's address and sticks the post-it he scribbles it on in his wallet. He's anxious the entire plane ride to the Big Apple and it takes him three days in town, two nights of stalking, and one Clonazepam later he finally gathers the courage to use the post-it in his wallet.
"Quinn Fabray speaking."
Sam hesitates, even considers hanging up, but then he remembers he didn't block his number and she'll just call him back.
"Quinn… hi. It's Sam, Sam Evans."
His brain is not currently filtering things before it leaves his mouth, though he doesn't understand why he's nervous. He's spent the last fifteen years wishing a house would drop on her head, but the second he's this close to contact with her, he's sixteen again.
He waits for her acknowledgment.
"Sam." She shuffles some things around. "It's been years."
Not the response he imagined- though he never expected to speak to her again.
"Yeah. I'm just, in town, and I thought, maybe, we could get a drink together. Tomorrow? If you're free."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." She's eager. "Tomorrow is great. Super, really. Say nine-thirty-ish at, uh, Turks and Frogs. It's a wine bar on 11 street.
"Great, great. See you then."
"Yeah." Sam palms his face. What is wrong with him?
Considering it's the first conversation they've had in forever, it's not terrible enlightening or awe-inspiring. He changes his mind about showing up a million and purposely arrives half an hour later than they agreed on, hoping that she doesn't wait for him. Quinn's still at a table- flipping through a folder, sipping on a glass of Chardonnay, and even more beautiful than Sam remembers.
He would like to say that their eyes met, he fall in love with her again and they lived happily ever after. Instead, when their eyes meet, she flashes him a smile and he realizes that it was a good idea to see her again.
"Hi, sorry I was running late."
Quinn smiles sweetly at him, even they both know he's lied.
"It's fine. Gave me time to review some of the pieces a couple of designers forwarded to me."
"So you went into fashion?"
Not what he expected her career choice to be- he imagined her a lady of leisure, married to next presidential candidate- and even though he's reads all about her life, he still can't believe the Quinn became a fashion editor, not a doctor like she'd always told him she wanted to be.
"Yeah. Originally, I was going to go the pre-med track, but then had this elective- History of Contemporary Fashion- that my dorm mate wanted me to take with her and I kind of just knew, fashion was my chosen path. I'm a Junior Editor at Vogue. I review the latest designer collections and select pieces for photo spreads and article themes for issues."
Sam nodded in understanding. He'd wanted to be a graphic design artist when he and Quinn had been dating, due to his love of fantasy and comic books, so his family had been surprised when he'd become a pre-law student.
"I'm a lawyer, for Burtstein, Liteoman & Holms in Los Angeles. My first law class, my professor lectured about the importance of defense for those who can't defend themselves and truth and justice above all else. It struck a chord with me- that's what I wanted to do."
Quinn nodded and smiled. Their lives have turned out so different than expected.
He tries to be nonchalant when he asks, but they both know he could never pull that off.
"Anyone special in your life?"
It's the only question he really wants to know the answer to and the only thing he requests the detective never include in the reports he receives. Just the essentials- where she is, where she works, her residence address, if she's alive, and her cell number. Occasionally some candid photos. Anything more and he'd really torment himself.
"My dog." She's smirking at him and he knows she purposely lead you on. "He's Maltese- a big sweetie and more reliable that any man I've met in the city so far."
They laugh together. She pulls out her wallet and hands Sam a couple of pictures.
"I have a lab myself, Sunshine. She's a shelter rescue." He mutters as he flips through the picture- admittedly he spends more time focusing on Quinn's image than looking at her dog.
They talk the night away. When the bar closes, they relocate to an all-night diner, and at six in the morning they go their separate ways.
"I had a really nice time." Her head is bowed, her hands linked in front of her and she's smiling shyly at him.
He almost can't remember why he and Quinn never worked out. They flirt most of the night and he knows if he really tried, they'd end up in bed together. Appealing as the prospect maybe, he can't go there again.
"I did too."
He starts to walk away when Quinn's voice stops him.
"Maybe I could call you sometime, maybe email you."
He has a choice- he can politely decline, let it be a no-hurt-feelings-one-off or he can cut her with his words and hurt her feelings- payback for how she ripped his heart out.
He hasn't made up his mind before he blurts out. "Yeah." He mechanically pulls a business card from his wallet and scribbles all his information on it.
Their hands brush when she takes the card, she blushes and he walks away, feeling her eyes on his back until he's out of sight. He can't wait to return to LA, with a new client to add to his company's portfolio and the vague hope that Quinn never contact him. After a decade and a half, she still has the ability to turn him into the geek he was in high school, the one who collects comic books and speaks Na'vi- something he quit doing senior year at Ohio State.
Quinn is his Kryptonite.
As soon as he's back in California he puts her out his mind- he goes back to womanizing, doubles his workload and avoids his personal email and unknown phone numbers that call like the plague. All to avoid her. It takes him two weeks to gather the courage to open his email.
Just wanted to make sure you got home alright. It was nice, seeing you again! Maybe we can meet up the next time you're in town?
It's short, non-comitial and contains an empty promise he could pretend they would one day fulfill, but despite how he tries to not let it affect him, it rattles him to the core. He can already feel himself being sucked into the vortex that is Life with Quinn Fabray.
He contemplates exactly what to write back- something polite, nice even, but not encouraging or friendly.
Flight was great. So glad to be home. Next time I'm in New York, I'll look you up.
He thinks he's victorious in dispiriting any further communication on her part, until she writes him again. At first, the emails are impersonal- they discuss NYC, LA, weather, world crisis, politics. Eventually though, they seg-way into personal matter.
She writes all about her life in New York- the emails are often witty, at times pessimistic, and occasionally have him laughing so hard his secretary bursts in to see what's got her straight-laced, serious boss in stitches. He stays true to his resolve of severing contact with Quinn for all of one day. The next day he counters with his own retelling of ill-fated romances and his dissertation on life, love and work so far.
While I do appreciate your unique perspective on my latest dating disaster, how can attempt to call a cat anything but? He tried to pay for dinner with coupons. COUPONS! Who does that? Top ten worst date ever. Nothing can top the guy who stole my wallet after I paid for dinner.
Anyway, the date did serve its purpose- it occupied my focus therefore relieving the stress that had built as I approach my first deadline as full-fledged Editor. The extra hours I put in to ensure the spread will turn out amazing paid off. I was complimented on my work. Be on the lookout! The magazine- featuring my amazing spread on the coming fashion trends- hits stores in two weeks.
Picked up the magazine this morning before work and memorized you spread during lunch. Many co-worker now suspect that I'm gay- mostly due to the fact that I've never brought anyone to company functions. Secretly reading Vogue didn't help speculations.
Although I know very little about fashion, I have been assured by my sister that's it the Bible on Spring fashion and 'a must-have guide to her survival at McKinley '. She asks that from now on, you tell her about coming fashion trends- she's got a clique to mold and a social hierarchy to conquer.
I'm in the midst of a landmark case. Have you heard of the Mackenzie-Holden International case? I, along with a team of three others, have taken the case and am spearheading the legal team. Long story short- what should have been a slam dunk win for the firm has been more difficult than previous anticipated. Mr. Mackenzie withheld some important documents that were recently uncovered by his replacement. The trial is in six weeks, and although I have nothing else save our emails in way of obligations, I'm going to have to double my current hours in order to fully prepare.
The life of a high-flying legal eagle.
I'll make you a deal- I'll watch the Green Arrow Saga if you watch the Mated Saga. An eye for an eye? Let it be known though, that I'll be on the losing even of this deal. My selection is awesome, yours- not so much.
You owe me!
The Fairest of Them All
The first film was torture- the others weren't better. But after watching the first two, I had to watch the third- just to get the complete story and because I'd already watched the first two. Didn't know you were so desperate for romance in your life you've resorted to bad teen movies where the guy is always shirtless- even in school, really?- and the girl falls for line like, 'I knew when I looked at you that you were my mate- fated to be the other half to complete me.' Can you say, loser?
You owe me!
Really, fairest of them all? Conceited much? Lady Lips, isn't an insult- you love my lips.
The Best Man You Know
In Need of a Haircut,
Best man I know? I know fashion designer and CEOs, how do you know you're the best of them all? And I resent the nickname- Barbie's a bimbo. I, on the other hand, am not.
Remember, as you scale the wall to success, take a breather and enjoy life. Being partner isn't all it's cracked up to be- just more work for you to do.
Same advice applies to you.
When his high-profile case is finally over and he's taken a day to de-stress, he realizes he missed the mark on executing his carefully laid plan to avoid forming any type of relationship with Quinn. They exchange emails daily, Skype bi-weekly, and play phone-tag often- he doesn't think about it at the time, his mind on other things. He rereads all the emails they've exchanged and finally picks up on the tone they've been using- instead of friendly, it's flirty. She's a black hole and he's been sucked in again.
He immediately panics and breaks off communication. He sticks to his resolve of ignoring the dialogue they've been engaged in over the past few months and his resolve only breaks when she shows up at his office.
"Quinn?" He almost drops all the briefs in his hands and his secretary jostles into him. "What are you doing here?"
She's sitting in his chair, proofing photos and jotting notes on a pad. She pauses for half a second, then returns to her work, as though he had entered her office.
"Sam, have a seat please."
She waves her hands to indicate the seats across from her. He's still so stunned that he follows her orders without protest and his secretary scurries off after Quinn raises an eyebrow. Her eyes go back to her work.
"You've been ignoring me."
He opens his mouth to say something- what he's not sure- but he refrains when her head snaps up suddenly and glares at him.
"I can't figure out why though. I know I haven't offended you and I know your work load is currently light- after finishing such a big case. So I had to hop on a last minute flight, take two working personal days off, to fly all the way across the country and investigate why you've cut me off."
He's thirty-three, but he now feels like a scolded child in front of her.
"I'm sorry." She further narrows her glare when he doesn't elaborate. Even after all this time, her patented ice queen, life-ruining cheerleader glare- which she'd up until then never used on him- is still just as chilling as it was in high school. They spend a few minutes in silence, but he snaps out of it when she angrily starts picking up her things.
"This- apparently- was a mistake." She's shaking her head at him and stomping her feet. "I don't know what I was thinking- coming here, putting myself out there. We didn't work out then because we just weren't meant to be. I thought it was because we were both immature- I wanted to try again."
She huffs past him, ranting and purposely knocking her shoulder into his. He catches her elbow, whirls her around until she's in his embrace, and then plants a mind-blowing kiss on her. He rubs circles into her skin, underneath her white, starched shirt and she fingers his tie while running one hand through his mid-length locks. He's just picked her up and placed her on his desk when they hear a knock on his office door.
She removes her hand from his trouser pocket and begins straightening her appearance while he leans against the desk and tries to will his erection away. When he finally answers the door, his secretary- and have the office- is nonchalantly trying to peek inside and at Quinn while providing some flimsy excuse as to why she knocked. He gets rid of her as soon as possible, then shuts the door and leans against it.
"Wow." Is the first thing out of her mouth. "Still… wow."
Their eyes connect from across the room.
"I've been think about doing that since we had dinner."
"Me too. I missed you."
"Me too. Breaking up was the stupidest thing we've ever done."
They've crossed the room while talking until they meet in the middle of his office. Quinn wraps her arms around his neck, stands on her tiptoes and gently kisses him.
"So, we're going to try again?"
They dated for a year, have been apart for fifteen and he can't recall a time he was truly happy without her.
"Yeah." He placed his hands on her hips. "I'd like that."
He cuts out of work early that day- something he's never done before- and shows her all the sights. He's a teenager again- holding hands, making out at restaurants, and grinning like an idiot. He holes them up in his apartment- ordering in for the necessities and shocking his secretary by taking a day off- until he has to drive her to the airport.
"I don't want to go home."
He doesn't want her to go either, but they live on separate coasts. They've yet to talk about how they'll make it work, logistically.
He kisses her deeply. "Call me when you get home."
He watches her go through security.
'I love you.' The text message read. He's booked on the next flight to New York ten minutes later.
Quinn hated how much lonelier the city seemed after her amazing getaway to see Sam. She gets home, unpacks and orders Chinese. She's already pulling out the total when she opens the door.
"You're not my Kung Pao Chicken." She's frozen in the doorway and Sam's smirking attractively at her.
"I'd like to I'm better."
She launches herself into his arms.
"What are you doing here?"
"It took me two seconds after your text to realize- I love you too. It's probably rushed, but we've wasted so much time."
"I'll move to LA."
"I'll move to New York."
They laugh at each other.
"I'll move here."
Her fairytale romance is sometimes a disaster, mostly a work in progress for decades, and stalled since high schools- but he gives her a happily ever after ending after all, just like her eighteen year old self thought he would.