His Name is Beloved
The day before Sam flew out to Nationals, Dave gave him flowers. They were orange lilies, and he told Sam that it meant "passion." Tied to each one was a ribbon with a line from another Shakespearean sonnet. Dave recited it and handed the fourteen flowers to him, one at a time.
"When I consider everything that grows," Dave began, looking at Sam with unblinking eyes, "Holds in perfection but a little moment." They were in the backyard. Dave didn't look like he cared, but he was focused on Sam so much... Sam was the one who was looking around to make sure no one saw.
"That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows," Dave continued in a soft, steady voice, "Whereon the stars in secret influence comment."
Sam smelled the flowers and looked at the ribbons, the impeccable writing on them. How long had this taken Dave? How did he even come up with this? He held back a laugh as he thought of Rachel – she and Dave had been talking these last few weeks. Maybe she was overjoyed by the thought of playing matchmaker, even if she hadn't gotten them together.
"When I perceive that men as plants increase, / Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky: Vaunt their youthful sap, at height decrease," Sam blushed at the almost obvious reference to erections, "And wear their brave state out of memory." Dave wasn't blushing, but he was grinning. He wouldn't like it so much if he were blushing – so Sam decided to make him.
"Then the conceit of this inconstant stay," Sam didn't let go of Dave's hand when he gave him the next lily; Sam leaned forward, eyes trained on Dave's. "Sets you most rich in youth before my sight," and Sam traced Dave's jaw with his tongue. It was warm, then very quickly cold, and Dave shivered as he recited the next line.
"Where wasteful time debateth with decay / To change your day of youth to sullied night," but that wasn't enough, so Sam slipped a hand over Dave's ass, then into the jeans. Dave stumbled over the ending couplet. "And all in war with Time for love of you, / As he takes from you, I engraft you new."
"Sam, we're outside..." He was definitely blushing now.
"I'm not going to see you for a whole week." Sam started sucking on Dave's neck; he wanted a mark that would last until he came back.
"You don't even care about the flowers," Dave complained.
"You're the one who picked a sonnet about boners." Sam still stepped back and cradled in his arms. "I'll put these in a vase – in my room." They kissed, and it was one of those careless kisses, the ones where Sam knew Dave wasn't worried about who might see.
New York was something else. Mr. Schue told them about how he'd won Nationals back in high school, but only Rachel, Quinn, Mike, and Tina listened. They were already nervous. Sam was nervous, but only when he actually thought about performing. Other than that, he was excited to be in one of the biggest cities in the world. Kurt was calling them all incessantly, asking them how New York was and how the competition was. There were five straight days of performances, and they got the first performance on Friday.
Rachel and Santana were sharing a room. No one else seemed to have figured out how it hadn't exploded yet, but Sam knew that when Santana was nervous, she tried to distract herself with people. Brittany might have noticed, but she was still busy trying to win Artie back.
"The problem is," Artie told Sam, "that I sort of want her to keep Santana out of her life, but Santana's her best friend. I feel like I'm overstepping it."
You are, Sam thought, but he didn't say anything.
Quinn was focusing on Friday completely, constantly practicing scales and choreography. Finn practiced with her, but he kept giving Sam nervous glances. Did he really expect Sam to start a fight this close to a performance? Then again, he didn't know that Sam had Dave.
Tina was taking coaching from Mercedes, who wanted to outshine Rachel for once. Mercedes worked well under pressure. Puck and Lauren were slacking off, too enraptured by the city they were in. Rachel was constantly snapping at them to practice. The more the week went on, the more irritable she got.
"I don't have enough time to practice!" she kept complaining.
"Rachel, you need down time, or you're going to lose your voice," Santana said.
"Don't you dare jink me!" the soloist shrieked.
"Fine! I hope you really break a leg!" the Latina countered.
Santana was knocking on their door an hour later with an apologetic look on her face.
"How are you doing?" Quinn asked Sam.
"Good. I'm not nervous at all. Everyone else seems to be exploding." They were in the hallway.
"Do you miss him?"
"I... Yeah. I want to text him, but he's afraid someone will see. I call him at night, though." Sam gave a little half smile before checking to make sure it was just them.
"Do you regret getting back together?"
"No. Not – not yet." Sam crossed his arms. Should he be telling this to Quinn? She was his ex, and she'd wanted to get back together with him. She was really chill about him and Dave, though, and Sam really wanted a friend to talk about this whole thing.
"Does anyone know about you two?"
Sam hesitated to tell her that Rachel knew. There were enough sparks between the two. "No. I mean, maybe a friend, but he hasn't told me whom." Whom. The word made him think of Dave, who'd taught him about it two weeks ago. Sam was already using it regularly.
"Maybe you should tell someone else." She gave him a sweet smile.
"It's almost summer. We can hold out until then."
Except Puck walked in when he was talking to Dave. He wasn't doing anything (not yet, at least), but it bothered him that he couldn't just tell Puck to leave. He could have said he was talking to a girl, but then he would have to produce a mystery girl at some point.
I bet I could ask Rachel would do it if I asked her before Friday. She would do anything to keep the team together. No, he'd done that with Santana. Rachel deserved a real relationship just like everyone else.
Then Friday came. He was so nervous, he was sick. He stood in the bathroom, dry heaving, for five minutes before Quinn came in with a Vitamin Water. He managed to keep it down, but he was sweating so much. This wasn't just Regionals or Sectionals where they were up against two other groups; this was Nationals, and there were nine other teams there today. In all, there were fifty. There was barely any point in performing, but he didn't want to say that. Rachel gave them all a squeaky pep talk with references he didn't understand. He wished they'd just gotten second at Regionals; anything would be better than this. Mr. Schue was no help; he was just looking around and sighing. He wasn't performing, just reliving his past. I guess he doesn't remember the bad parts.
When the curtain went up, all of that went away. The music started, they built their harmonies, and Rachel took the lead. Everything was calm for Sam. They still didn't win.
They didn't get trophies because only the people who placed got those. Rachel at least wanted a ribbon that said "4th place" on it, but that would have been humiliating, Sam though. Everyone else agreed that it would be too elementary school.
Tina and Mercedes cried. Rachel and Quinn huffed. Finn and Puck accepted it silently. Mike and Artie just talked and talked. Brittany stared off into the distance. Lauren didn't care; she was in New York. Sam didn't think anything. It was like everything in his head was on pause. Seeing Dave was the play button.
"So what happened?" Dave was holding both of his hands. They were in Sam's bedroom.
"We lost." Then it all came pouring out. He hadn't known how badly he'd wanted a trophy. They were five points away from getting third, too. "I knew we would," he sobbed on Dave's shoulder, "but we tried so hard... We worked all week. We were supposed to be relaxing! We gave everything, Dave, everything."
"You'll be better next year."
"I don't even want to do it next year."
Dave laughed. "Of course you do. You won't be able to stay away." He touched a lock of Sam's hair. "Your roots are coming in."
Sam sniffed. "So?"
"So I was wondering if you were going to keep it this color or not."
"I haven't thought about it." He couldn't take Dave touching his hair this much; he wanted him to take a fistful and drag his face down – down -
"You could cut it. They're almost long enough." Was Dave aware what he was doing to Sam?
"I'd look awkward with short hair."
"But you have all summer to grow it out." He smirked. Oh yeah, he knew how he was making Sam feel. "I think you'd look really sexy with brown hair."
"I'll look stupid." Dave dug his fingers into Sam's hair. Fuck – yes.
"You know what I'll do to you if you cut it, though?"
Why were his legs so tight? Or was that just his jeans? But he couldn't keep the smile off his face now, not when Dave was whispering dirty things in his ear, and Sam laughed and begged him to please, please do some of that now. Dave turned pink but promised it would be amazing. It was; Sam loved the feeling of Dave's lips on his skin, Dave's hands sliding over his muscles, Dave's pleading and grunts rushing to his ears. But afterwards, Dave stared and stared, and Sam was afraid he would run away again.
No, he said he wouldn't.
"Sam... what happens after high school?" Sam was staring at the ceiling, and Dave was face-down next to him.
"I guess you can play football at Ohio State -"
"I don't want to go to college in Ohio."
Sam looked over at Dave. He was scowling.
"I want to go somewhere far, far away from here. I don't – I don't want to be the dumb jock that bullies people. I want to stop being afraid. I can't do that here."
"Well, I want to go to Berklee College of Music. It's in Boston."
Dave smiled. "Really?"
"I really love glee." Sam cupped Dave's face in his hands. "Go out to the East Coast with me. Maybe it'll be easy out there, being yourself right from the start. I mean, people will care... but you can kick their ass."
"I can't go to Berklee."
"Go to another college, whatever. There are lots of colleges nearby." Sam kissed him, and it was sweet.
"I'm not afraid anymore."