Authors Note: This little idea came into my head and then exploded, leaving me to clean up the pieces of my mind in the aftermath; the collage I made from those pieces is this story. _ Also, it is noteasy to type in text speak. I wanted to beat my head into the wall every time my word processor auto-corrected a purposely misspelled word.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

u no I luved u from the 1st time i herd u sing

Sam sighed, his breath entering and leaving his lungs in a rushing sound that was loud even to hisears. He stared hard at the screen on his phone, the cursor blinking mockingly at the end of the sentence he'd just typed out.

His thumb hovered over the send button, but in the end, like the coward he was, he chickened out. He scrolled down to the next option, 'Save as Draft', and the screen flickered, 'Message Saved.'Sam lowered the phone and the light from the screen died, leaving him with the same thoughts that this little routine always brought on.

'You are such a wuss. You can't even confess how you feel in a text message. You're going to lose out, you know. He's not psychic, idiot, he can't just guess how you feel.'

He fell backwards from where he'd been sitting on the edge of his bed, arms spread wide and eyes closed tight. He'd been doing this for a week, this start-stop-save pattern, and it had gotten him nowhere; the only thing it left him with was thirty saved drafts on his phone, all addressed to Recipient: Kurt Hummel.

He'd gotten Kurt's number from Facebook, being one of only 56 people to have access to the otherwise fully locked profile (the rest were the other New Directions members and Dalton boys). When he'd been exploring Kurt's page, Sam noticed that Kurt's number was posted… And before he'd actively known what he was doing, the digits were in his phone.

Sam had lost count of the number of times he almost pressed the call button; he'd sit there and stare at his phone for five minutes, trying to psyche himself up to just tap the name on the touch screen. In seconds it would connect him to Kurt's phone, to his voice, giving Sam the chance to say something, or if not that, at least to let Kurt have his number. Not that he thought Kurt answering and speaking to him would do any good, seeing as how he was completely tongue-tied when it came to Kurt. The interactions he'd had with Kurt had always gotten Sam one of two reactions: case number one being the 'You Are Such a Dork' smirk; case number two being the 'This Is So Awkward I Need to Get Away Now' look. The former sent Sam's heart racing, but the latter made said heart drop into his stomach.

Well, that was back when he at least got to seeKurt on a day-to-day basis. Now… Now the countertenor was at Dalton, home on some weekends, but Sam knew all too well that he wasn't exactly the first person Kurt thought of upon his return to Lima. Sure, he knew that every now and then most of New Directions would gather at someone's house to see Kurt, but… Well, no one really thought Sam had any reason to come and he was too scared to invite himself. It's not like he and Kurt were even really friends.

At least when Kurt was actually around all the time it had been easy for Sam to fantasize about slowly getting closer to Kurt, about becoming his friend and then something more as time passed around them.

But the unfortunate reality of the situation was that Sam was a coward - it was somewhat funny considering how he'd practically bulldozed his way into a relationship with Quinn. And starting that relationship was wrong of him to begin with, especially since thoughts of Kurt lingered in his mind due to his confusion about the whole duets thing.

He first discovered he was a coward when he realized that he might actually have feelings for Kurt, but had continued dating Quinn anyway.

It wasn't like he didn't love Quinn or that he was leading her on; he genuinely wanted to see her happy, wanted her. But even after the seeds for liking Kurt in thatway started growing, he couldn't find it in himself to break his promises to her.

So he shoved his feelings for Kurt into a corner of his mind and left them there to hopefully die out, scared as he was to let himself get any more involved.

That loathsome cowardice didn't end with staying with Quinn, however. It manifested itself in the way he started following Kurt with his eyes, but never made a move to get closer. He watched from a distance, observing Kurt's arrogance and strong armor, and wondering what lay beneath it all. Kurt's hidden kindness and depth of feeling came out when he let his mask slip around his closest friends; Sam had heard from Quinn just how caring and considerate Kurt could be.

He thought about him almost constantly, and saw how he suffered in the halls. Still, though, he did nothing to stop the bullying. He never confronted the people who threatened Kurt, shoved him into lockers, threw him into dumpsters, and slushied him in the hallways. He shrank away from doing anything with the sad excuse 'What could I really do? We'd just both end up hurt even more.'He was scared, he was scared and he knew it, and the guilt from not having the guts to protect someone he cared for nearly ate him alive.

Where his feelings for Quinn were light-hearted and happy, his feelings for Kurt were intense and frightening.

But he couldn't completely stay away.

He talked to Kurt fleetingly in the halls and in glee, mind brimming with words to say. Afraid, he held them firmly behind his teeth, and because he couldn't speak, the interaction was strained and he fumbled - making it so he couldn't even get close enough to call himself Kurt's friend. And what friend would do the things he did? He ran away every time he saw a fellow jock coming with a tell-tale cup in their hands, after all.

He manned up and did get in one good punch when it all became too much and Artie was attacked in the locker room, but he never said all the things he wanted to say.

His punishment for his weak will and cowardice came in the form of Kurt's breathless announcement: he'd be transferring to Dalton immediately.

When the words had left Kurt's mouth, Sam's hand on Quinn's had tightened to a death grip, his heart lodging in his throat and his pulse pounding so loud in his ears that he missed the reactions of everyone around him. He was deaf to the chatter, and couldn't hear a word that Quinn was saying as she spoke to him in low tones. His whole body felt cold and then hot, pin-pricks like waking limbs racing out from his stomach, his hands going clammy even as he continued to harshly hold Quinn's soft, small hand. He got himself together only after too many minutes, but even then the world was still dark.

Because he'd known, hadn't he? He'd known since he saw that text on Kurt's phone from someone named Blaine.

He'd known, and he'd seen the look on that sweet face, saw him give a smile that reached his eyes for the first time in weeks. Of course Sam was too late.

Courage.It was certainly something that Sam was desperately lacking.

The coward who was too afraid to race lost by default, after all.

So when Kurt had told them, told himhis decision, Sam went numb. When he left, a piece of Sam left with him. Despite his initial reaction to the news, Sam stil tried to tell himself it was a fleeting crush, a physical attraction that would die the longer he was with Quinn and the further away Kurt was. But one month later it wasn't dead at all; if anything the feeling inside him was burning him from his core to his skin, and it was hard to stay focussed on anything anymore.

His grades slipped, and he knew that he'd fucked up almost all of his final exams. The words had scrambled in his mind worse than ever, letters breaking off and regrouping into things that made no sense. They turned backwards and upside down on the paper, and he couldn't make his hands write what he needed to and nothing was clear at all.

He lost his appetite; he broke up with Quinn. He lost the skip in his step and the smile in his eyes and when she couldn't do anything to bring it back she left. She didn't know the cause of his depression - no one did - and only watched with sad eyes as Sam slipped further away and drifted through the days.

The regret in Sam was overwhelming sometimes. He thought of Kurt so much it was driving him crazy. He went even crazier when he thought of him with someone else, someone who wasn't a coward, who had stepped up and tried to make Kurt happy. These thoughts crushed Sam into dust, because he knew, he knewthat the chance was gone.

Or at least that's what he'd convinced himself was true.

He left his phone on his bed and stood, walking to his computer and sitting down. His mind threatened to spin into a downward spiral, so he logged onto Facebook in desperation to see if Kurt had posted anything new.

(He knew how pathetic he was.)

He pulled up Kurt's profile and glanced at the latest post, the same one that had been there since December 24th, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas… Today was the 30th. He sighed heavily and wondered for the millionth time where Kurt was, what he was doing, and wished that Kurt would throw him a bone and update his status.

He sighed heavily and opened up the chat, one name catching his attention:

Mercedes Jones.

He brought his cursor over and clicked on her name, the chat box popping up. He gathered himself, releasing a breath and typing a message and hitting "enter" before his nerves caught up with him.

u herd nething from kurt? he nvr checks his fb.

He held his breath for the full two minutes she took to respond.

hi to u 2.

He blinked at her response, but it was the typical catty girl he knew. He started to type an apology, but she beat him with her next message.

my boy is good. home for the holidays. y?

Sam hesitated, nerves tingling under his skin. He bit his lip, exhaled, shut down his whirring mind, and typed back.

havnt seen him sinse he left n wanted 2 no if he was ok.

He waited again. She was definitely taking her sweet time responding, in Sam's opinion.

see 4 urself. come to the new year's party at his and finn's. starts 8.

He answered before he could stop himself.

ill b thare. ttyl


Sam closed his browser and leaned back in his computer chair, eyes blanking as he zoned out staring at the screen.

The thought of seeing Kurt filled him with both dread and joy, and made his brain overload with what if's and possibilities.

What if Kurt had a boyfriend? What if he brought that boyfriend with him to the party? What would Sam do then? Would Sam finally be able to tell him how he felt? If he did, would he make an ass of himself? What if Kurt ignored him? What if Sam couldn't say anything?

…What if everything went right and they talked all night and kissed when the clock struck midnight?

He shut his eyes and dropped his head back, stomach suddenly twisting with nerves and fear, that cowardice creeping up from the back of his mind. What would he do if he kissed Kurt? What then? How would he deal with being labelled gay and subjected to the same bullying that Kurt had dealt with? Could he even deal with that at all? He was terrified of being hated, of being treated like garbage when he'd managed to start over at this school as someone popular. Would it be worth it to expose the other half of his sexuality when he didn't even know if Kurt would return his feelings?

He raised his hands and dug the heels of his palms into his eyes, grimacing.

He pushed those thoughts away, tired of feeling scared, and tried to calm himself. He had get his brain to shut up for just a secondso he could clearly assess the situation.

He could see Kurt on New Years Eve. It would be the first time he'd physically seen him since the day he left McKinley. He hadn't even had the guts to contact him, be it via Facebook message, text, or phone call. What could he possibly say now to get Kurt's attention? What kind of person would Kurt think he was if he told him just how long he'd been in love when Sam had hardly done anything to be there for him in his time of need? He just… he didn't know.

But he wouldn't know unless he tried.

And he was so fucking sick of running.

He wanted Kurt to the point where he was damaging himself with depression over the fact that he hadn't seen him in two months. It was clear that he couldn't continue on the way that he was, because the more time passed, the more he fell apart internally. He was this pathetic mess that was lost in a whirlwind of overpowering feelings, and he knew that it was time he did something about it.

He glanced over to where his phone lay innocently on his bed, his mind blazing with a newfound resolve. His eyes hardened and his brows furrowed as he rose from his chair, determined, and snatched his phone from the bed. He pushed a button and the phone came alive with light. His breathing was firm and steady as he unlocked the phone and went to his text messages, opening his drafts and sending out the first one highlighted.

u no I luved u from the 1st time i herd u sing

His eyes widened, he exhaled forcefully.

And then he had a panic attack.

First his breathing picked up sharply, and he wheezed heavily as he started hyperventilating and his thoughts went into overdrive, racing across his mind in and feeding into an inferno of doubt and second-guessing and fear and ohgod what did I do?

His hands started shaking and his vision went fuzzy as he collapsed onto the ground, gripping his head in his hands, eyes unseeing but moving rapidly. His pulse was going haywire, beating in his temple louder and louder until it was all he could hear and his ears rang from the noise.

A knock sounded at the door, snatching him out of his hysteria temporarily. He manually slowed his breathing, willing himself to calm down so that no one else would know what was going on.

A worried female voice came gently from the other side of the door.

"Sam? Sam, are you okay? We heard something hit the floor really hard just now… Did you fall? …Sam?"

He choked on his air as he struggled to breathe. He inhaled sharply before trying to speak.

"I… I'm… I'm fine. Tripped on a shoe. I'm good."

He deserved an award for his voice not breaking as he spoke.

His mother hesitated, and the knob to his door turned, but then she seemed to think better of it, and must have decided not to enter. Sam was grateful; his face was flushed red and he knew he was sweating, badly.

"If you're sure. Let me know if you need anything, okay? And dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes, so make sure you're down by then."

He let out a shaky sigh, closing his eyes and starting to pull himself up off the floor, using the edge of his bed as support.

"Sure, Mom. I'll be down in time."

He waited until he heard her footsteps fall away before he let himself drop to the bed, face buried in his pillow as he shook in the aftermath of his "episode."

His thoughts flooded with the possible outcomes of sending that one little message. After all, Finn and Quinn had his number, and it would be easy for Kurt to ask one of them if they recognized it.

But then again, Kurt had no reason to suspect Sam. And the only other people who really had access to Kurt's profile were the Dalton boys and a few scattered others - those would be the only people who could get Kurt's phone number. If Kurt's suspicions went in that direction, then he wouldn't have any need to ask Finn or Quinn whose number it was.

But the message also had the damn area code (he cursed his parents for changing his number when they moved), and there couldn't have been that many students at Dalton from nearby cities…

Fuck.Just… fuck.

He heard the sound of an opening a chest in The Legend of Zelda, and he almost felt the panic take him again. He managed to shove it down, however, and sat up to look at his phone where he'd dropped it on the floor. He moved to pick it up.

1 Unread Text From: Kurt Hummel

He froze for a moment before his thumb unlocked the phone and revealed the message.

Who is this? I hope you know who you sent that last message to, because if this is a joke, I am most certainly not amused. I don't appreciate being messed with by some fool who can't even spell properly.

Okay, so. Not quite the reaction he'd expected, but he'd take this as a good sign; Kurt wasn't really flipping out that much, and he hadn't called immediately like Sam had expected him to. He opted to reply quickly.

i'm not messing w/ u. i no this is kurt. i don't want u 2 no who i am yet. sry i can't spell. i'm not gud w/ words. but im 4 real. im in luv w/ u

Sam looked over that message before sending it. Did Kurt know he was dyslexic? But fuck, it wasn't like Sam could take the time to look up how to spell everything before responding. He'd have to take his chances with it.

He hit send.

He stared hard at his phone, chewing his lip as he waited for a reply. A moment later the opening theme to Inspector Gadget blared to life, the phone flashing Incoming Call From: Kurt Hummel. Hearing his ringtone scared the shit out of him, making him almost jump off the bed from where he lay on his stomach.

His mind frantically thought about his voicemail, and he remembered that, thankfully, he'd been too lazy to set it up. All it the automated voice would repeat was his number.

The theme soon died off, and his phone gave three beeps to signify the missed call. Sam exhaled, lowering his phone and trying to wrap his head around exactly what was going on. The Zeldatune sounded again.

Okay, I'll hand it to you - it's clever that you don't have you're voicemail set up. At least you're not as much of an idiot prankster as I originally assumed. But you know it's only a matter of time until I figure out who you are. I'm not above tracing this number.

Sam thought quickly, trying to think up something to cover his ass and get Kurt to back off for a minute so that he could maintain his anonymity for a bit longer.

don't find me yet. im not reedy 2 say who i am. ill tell u later, but 4 now just let me talk 2 u. pleas.

The reply came quickly:

Fine. Talk. I'll decide whether or not I actually believe you at a later date.

Sam started to type something back, but was interrupted by another incoming message from Kurt. That boy could text far faster than Sam could ever dream to.

I expect you to reveal yourself soon, however, and if you don't do so by New Years then I'll have your number blocked. I'm considering going ahead and doing that now. You're from Lima or somewhere close to that hell hole, and there isn't anyone there I'm willing to believe would say they "luv" me.

Sam smiled slightly to himself. At least Kurt had agreed to his terms; he realized that Kurt really had no reason to give an unknown person any chance in hell, especially someone so obviously from Lima. This told Sam that something in Kurt was cracking - he had to be lonely. If he had a boyfriend he would have said as much in his text.

But instead, he was giving this a shot.

thnx. u rlly r amazing. dinner now, ill txt u later

And with that, Sam bounced down the stairs, the first real smile he'd had in weeks plastered on his face. His stomach grumbled angrily, and he realized that he hadn't eaten all day.

His appetite was back in full force.

It was when Sam started helping himself to his third heap of mashed potatoes in under ten minutes that Alicen Evans shared a questioning look with her husband. They hadn't seen Sam eat like this in weeks - not to mention the fact that he'd been moping that whole time - but now he was suddenly tearing into his meal and he'd actually been smilingwhen he came down the stairs.

He'd greeted them with a happy "Smells great!" and then proceeded to eat double portions without saying another word.

Something had to be up.

Charles Evans put his cutlery down on his plate and turned to his son.


Sam looked up at him, swallowing heavily before answering.

"What's up Dad?"

He glanced back at his wife.

"Did something… Happen? You seem… happy," he finished, unsure of how to word what he was really trying to say.

"Um," Sam glanced between his parents, "Am I not supposed to be?"

Charles scratched the back of his neck, something that he'd actually picked up from his son.

"Well, it's not that… It's just…" he looked at Alicen, eyes begging for some help with this. She cleared her throat.

"You've been acting odd this last month, honey, and, well… It just seems as though something changed in you tonight. We're just curious is all."

Sam looked back and forth between his parents, a small smile spreading across his face.

"Nah, nothing really happened, I just feel like... things are gonna be okay."

His mother smiled gently at him.

"Good. I'm glad."

And with that Sam turned back to his plate and resumed shoveling food into his mouth. A few minutes later he sat back and released a satisfied belch, which his mother immediately scolded him for. He smiled sheepishly, mumbled a "sorry" and asked to be excused.

He took the steps two at a time, racing into his room and grabbing his phone up off his bed.

1 Unread Text From: Kurt Hummel

Sam flopped on his bed, smiling, and opened the message.

Enjoy your dinner. Wash your hands before and try to remember to use a fork and not your fingers.

Sam's grin spread wider. God, he'd missed Kurt more than he thought he had. Just getting a message from Kurt was enough to get him to act like a happy idiot.

wat if i was eating soup? cant use forks then

He waited, glancing at his clock, which told him it was 8:00 P.M.

His phone signaled Link opening another treasure chest and Sam hurriedly checked the message.

It's called a spoon, oh special one. Though I'm sure you're unfamiliar with the concept and prefer to slurp yours straight from the bowl. I hope you wear a bib, but then again, your clothes probably deserve to be stained and ruined.

Kurt was definitely still on the defensive, but Sam honestly didn't care if Kurt spent the next half hour bitching him out for no reason. And anyway, this would keep things interesting.

i ddont dress that bad. and how else r u sposed 2 get all the soup if u dont drink it?

If I ever catch you drinking soup from a bowl I will slap it into your face.

hey hey calm down. nobody neds 2 slap any1 w/ soup.

That remains to be seen.

Sam hesitated, unsure of what to send next, but desperately wanting to keep up the conversation.

wut r u doin?

Trying to find some way to compare the concept of accepting death in three works of literature that have almost nothing to do with each other. It speaks volumes that I would rather talk to you and read your god awful chat-speak than agonize over this paper anymore than I already have.

sounds like it sux. sorryy u dont like how i tipe, but i cant text fast ne other way. u alrdy r faster then me

I'll forgive you then. I do have exemplary texting skills, after all. But you really should work on it, as you sound like a twelve year old girl using the internet for the first time.

Sam bit his lip, holding back a laugh.

harsh dude. fine, than ill try to be better about it

Ugh, somehow you lose your charm when you text like a normal person. How tragic, considering you must sacrifice grammatical aptitude in order to maintain said charming disposition.

Sam paused, frowning, because... Um, what?

so is it gud or bad 2 text like i norrmally do?

Text how you will. I can't stop you anyway.

Sam frowned again.

but if it annoys you i shoold try to do it rite

You annoy me anyway, so it's really not that big of a deal.

Sam didn't let that comment damper his mood at all.

than y r u still talking 2 me if i annoy u so much. u think im cute

It's not about whether or not I think you're cute. At this point I'll take anything that will to get me to stop reading Tolstoy. I suppose you're actually a welcome distraction and I really shouldn't complain.

Sam was a little put off, but took a deep breath and tried to think about Kurt's position; he had no reason to trust that Sam had good intentions, so of course he would try to put him off.

But it was a good thing that Kurt preferred his, uh… text company over writing a paper. Sam sighed. Hell, he'd take what he could get.

Feeling a little better, he decided to play it flirtatiously, hoping to get a rise out of Kurt.

i culd distract u in other ways ;-)

Kurt's reply took longer than the previous few, and when five minutes passed, Sam started to worry that maybe he'd fucked something up. He snatched his phone off his chest immediately when his admittedly nerdy ringtone sounded.

Oh really now?

Sam smiled and sat up, crossing his legs indian-style and hunching over slightly as he replied.

im gud at watt i do. and id do alot of distracting things 2 u

You're unbelievable. Good god, who says these things? You made me laugh, though, I'll give you that. :-)

Sam's grin took over his face - it was truly pathetic how one little smiley face could light up his whole world. But he wouldn't think about that just yet. For now, he would enjoy how good he felt. He made to reply, but before he could enter even one letter, a new text appeared.

So what, pray tell, are the things you like about me?

Sam's mind immediately supplied him with all the things that made Kurt amazing: his smile and his laugh; the way he took on everyone around him in a silent challenge as he walked down the halls; the way he was still big hearted even after so much abuse; how his eyes lit up when he talked about music or fashion; how beautiful he looked even when those eyes were sad and lonely; how he was snotty; how he said whatever was on his mind; the way he bitch-snarked at people he deemed weren't worth his time; the way he coddled people he loved; how he stood up for his friends.

But all Sam could come up with to send was:

i dunno

He bit his lip and thought and replied as fast as he could with the first thing that made it from his brain to his fingertips.

the way u walk like ur not afraid of ne1

It took Kurt another few minutes to reply.

…The way I walk. Seriously?

4 srs. :-p the way ur so confadent. how u face down every1

Well I am better than everyone else, after all.

Sam laughed out loud - he could just see Kurt scoffing and sweeping his bangs to the side with his fingertips.

i'm glad u no u r. u shod no and u shod smile coz of it all the time. i like it when u smile.

My smile?

Sam nodded, even though Kurt couldn't see him.

when u rlly smile and ur eyes lite up.

It took Kurt longer than usual to respond to that message, just like when Sam had sent the suggestive "distraction" text. Sam's nerves clenched his overly-full stomach - they were absent when the texting was constant, but if Sam had time to sit and think about their conversation, anxiety started to bubble up from his gut - and that was definitely not a good thing.

His phone lit up again, easing Sam's restlessness.

You are outrageously cheesy and overly cliche, sir. (I'm assuming you're male, or I'm sorry to tell you that you really have no chance in hell with me.) You'll have to do better than these watered-down compliments if you want me to believe you are truly interested.

im definately a dude. and mebbe cliche but it's all true. i think ur beutiful.

And I think you're touched.

Sam blinked.

wat did i touch?

…Touched in the head, oh anonymous one. It means you're crazy.

u r if u can't see ur so amazing. i thot u were better then every1 else?

I am. But that doesn't mean you can get away with ridiculous comments about me being "beutiful."

ill get away w/ watever u let me ;-p

You're shameless. And sad as it makes me to leave you now, I really must get back to this monstrosity of an assignment. Good night.

nite. txt if u get bored again. ill b waiting

Don't wait up.

Sam sighed and flopped down on his back again, staying there for a moment before starting to laugh to himself, grin splitting his face. He forced any anxious thoughts about the future away and basked in the fact that Kurt wasn't rejecting him outright, that he'd see him tomorrow night. In that moment, Sam thought to himself:

'Maybe everything will be okay.'