Clothes strewn everywhere; a tie thrown on a chair, a jacket covering the TV screen, a sock hanging from a closet door. It was obvious that the person that took those off was either very drunk or very tired – and last night, Sam was both.
A little, blurry, blonde figure slowly merged into his sight, and he realized - a little too late - that his little sister was in midair, hurtling towards him. "Stacy!" he tried to shout before she hit, but he knew it wouldn't help. His 6 year old sister was a waiting-to-burst volcano and she would not take no for an answer. He shut his eyes, feeling his head pound and grasping her for a hug when she hit his chest, giggling.
"Mom went to the post office and dad went job hunting they said I should tell you that when you wake up from your coma because you slept the entire day and I thought maybe I should wake you up because I was bored," Stacy said without stopping to breathe. Her eyes glittered with joy – he always loved how you could tell what her mood was by her eyes – but this was definitely a little too much for him to deal with right now. He picked her up and put her on the bed beside him, his brain operating as a separate individual from his body; pulling the blanket away from him, forcing himself up mechanically, reaching for a pair of pants, locking himself in the tiny trailer bathroom.
The shocked face that greeting him from the mirror was definitely his, but that wasn't what he was trying to affirm. His head lurched closer, his bloodshot eyes staring back at him, wondering what he could remember from the night before. Flashbacks of blinding glitter; a jeweled crown faintly bedazzling from high above; bodies gyrating to the music; formal wear with unimaginable price tags – everything that makes good prom material – and then something else that prom brings with it. A headache. He moaned, leaning on the sink, clutching his throbbing head. Pictures from last night were flashing through his loaded mind, as if chasing each other with a tease, quicker, faster, always attempting to outrun the previous one – Puck, a beer in his hand, trying to do a handstand - Tina laughing at Puck's injuries - Mercedes leaning against the wall, a serene smile on her face, somehow looking so different from how she looked before.
Did she really look different or was his perception altering? Sam pushed his forehead from the mirror and decided that it wasn't exactly the best time to focus about anything not directly related to curing his hangover before an accidental head explosion. He tried to ignore the loud noises emanating from the television as Dora The Explorer was obviously searching for something very important, his lanky body reaching clumsily for the bottle of Advil on his bedside table, hindered by his unwieldy legs causing him to stumble as he dragged himself across the carpeted ground.
Cracking a bottle open while you can hardly think is difficult. Cracking a bottle open while you can hardly think but still can't stop attempting it is much, much harder. Sam had hangovers before, and every time he swore he would never get through it again. To be honest, he tended to shift the blame to Puck for the whole thing – the last thing Sam could remember with definitive clarity was Puck jovially patting his shoulder, his booming voice urging Sam to finish his third beer in a row. After that, everything was a blur – images blurring, voices merging, time flurrying – but Sam gradually began recollecting vague details – mere snippets, little glimpses into a window of the insane night they had.
It all really started after prom ended. They didn't want to go home - everyone was way too pumped from dancing and laughing and what they liked to call "Kurt's victory upon the royal tradition" – but they didn't have anywhere else to go, so Puck suggested sitting in a park near the school and drinking the cartons of beers that he "accidentally" had stowed away conveniently in his trunk. Thinking back, maybe it wasn't such a good idea – but they would have agreed to anything in their delirium. Sam remembered sitting on a swing, listening to his friends laughing and speaking and teasing each other, his toes grazing the grass laced with dew every few seconds.
Sam snapped out of his reverie, opening his eyes and looking, scanning, searching the room for something. He was just about to snap Stacy out of her television-induced trance when the trailer's door suddenly flung open with great gusto and an energetic blonde boy dashed through it in a storm, his tiny hands clutching something, a blur of metal and plastic. Sam lunged for him, grabbing him by the waist and tickling him, wresting his phone away from the boy's grasp while he was struggling to breathe.
"Didn't I tell you not to play with my phone?" Sam asked his young brother, in mock anger, unable to stay serious while Stevie squirmed on the floor, laughing. The little envelope blinking in the corner of the phone's screen caught the older guy's attention and he left his brother to calm down.
He didn't know what to expect from his messages after the night he had shared with all his friends - could they even remember the foggy events of the previous night? He pressed the voice mail button and went outside, closing the door behind him.
"You have two new messages," the digitized voice blared at him, the shrill noise disorienting him for a few seconds, and then it abruptly switched to Finn's excited voice, his words slightly slurring together as if he'd been drinking. "SAM! DUDE! WHERE ARE YOU?" – at that point Sam moved his phone a little bit further from his ear – "PUCK IS ABOUT TO DO A HANDSTAND AND IF HE CAN'T MAKE IT HE HAS TO – " Sam could faintly make out giggles from the other side, and then his own voice from somewhere behind Finn, before the message came to a halt and he re-adjusted back to silence.
He had hoped the messages on his phone would have given him a clue about last night and frankly, they had failed him. He could vaguely remember that part of the night – Puck trying to do a handstand on top of a slide in the park and failing miserably, and later on, his punishment – skinny dipping in the park fountain. (Actually, Sam kind of regretted remembering that image – he would have gladly buried it far away in the back of his mind.) But he could not remember what he was doing while Finn called him. The reasonable option seemed to listen to the second message – he was just hoping that it wouldn't raise further memories of a naked Puck, his hands raised above his head in abject humiliation and defeat, singing "My Heart Will Go On" at the top of his lungs.
"Sam?" This time, it was Quinn's sing-song voice that echoed from his speakers. "Sam? Sam Saaaaammi Sam Saaaaaaam Sammmmmmiii…" The boy whose name was just called a dozen times started to get a little confused when she finally strung together a full sentence. "I FORGIVE YOU. Do you forgive me? Do you love me? I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. You are like my little pet blonde Justin Bieber...my very own pet blonde Bieber...Blonde Bieber... Did you know that? I'm not even mad at you, for going away with Mercedes and saying you would come back and you didn't – isn't it funny that I was sober back then – " Quinn seemed to find this piece of information absurdly hilarious, and she started giggling without control, but Sam didn't even listen anymore.
His forehead gently pressed against the bumpy, cool wall of the trailer. His thoughts were clear now; he could remember exactly what happened last night.
Mercedes rested her weight against a tree, laughing at the quite drunk members of her Glee club and letting the breeze blow her hair. This was an amazing night – as much as she thought it would be horrible, it was actually flawless. She got to dance with her friends, to sing in front of the entire school and to rock a fabulous dress – what more could she want? She was watching Puck and Finn debating about something when she suddenly became uncomfortably aware of someone leaning on the wall besides her. She turned her head to face a person that she only ever started to actually know tonight. Sam was smiling at her with his honest eyes, his hair untidy and darker in the moonlight.
"What are they arguing about?" she started a conversation, trying to avoid his blue eyes that kept looking at her.
"I have no idea," Sam said. He continued gazing at her, and she realized he was probably just as drunk as the others were. "You look pretty like that. I mean, not just like that, I just – I mean, you look pretty always – " Sam's eyes turned from honest to confused, and Mercedes strained to keep the corners of her mouth from tingling.
"Do you want to take a walk?" Sam insisted on going on after her, apparently deciding to stop futilely attempting to comment on her dress, an area of expertise he was unfortunately lacking in.
Mercedes considered her options. Sam was nice to her through the whole night, and it was either taking a walk with him or staring for hours at her drunken friends. And amusing as that might be, she was over-hearing discussions about Puck taking his clothes off, and viewing Puck nude was an experience she vehemently did not want to have. Another quick glance at the person standing next to her, anxiously pushing fingers through his hair, and she decided to take the offer.
The trees were waving slightly to the summer breeze as they were walking past them on the school's street. The parking lot was empty save for the cars that the Glee club members arrived in. They lied atop the hood of Blaine's car and Sam offered her the beer bottle he was still clinging to. She took a sip from the cold bottle and turned to place it beside them when she realized he was gazing intently at her every movement.
"You look different." She realized, again, how honest his eyes were as she found the courage to look directly at them. "Yes," she responded, "You've said that already."
"I had a lot of fun today," He lowered his gaze, looking at his hand, "And it's all because of you and Rachel. I wouldn't have had come if it wasn't for you." And suddenly he noticed that his hand was above hers. "And I wouldn't have enjoyed it if it wasn't for you."
Her hand felt warm and fuzzy and that feeling climbed up right to her head. She didn't know what to think – all this fuzziness and warmth toward Sam came from nowhere. If you told her a week ago that she'd be sitting alone with trouty mouth in the middle of the night, breath-taken by his touch, she would have probably brushed you off as a rambling lunatic and not given it a second thought. But here she was, not able to move her eyes from their hands, not able to inhale air in fright of ruining the moment, not even daring to say anything.
Mercedes never actually wondered how Sam's lips would taste until tonight. As they leaned against her, her hand in his blonde, straight hair, she couldn't understand why she never wondered. All this time those soft eyes of his were right in front of her – and she didn't even notice. And in second thought, she noted to herself, maybe being a trouty mouth wasn't all that bad after all.