Sam tapped his pencil against his notebook listening to Santana bounce back and forth from complementing him to insulting him. He was not stupid, it made him angry when people underestimated him, Fin, Quinn, even Rachel when she doubted he could sing lead at sectionals. What did he have to do prove he was worth something? Worth more than being called trouty mouth, more than being judged by his quirks and disabilities."Look Santana as much fun as it being called stupid and cute I have homework, would you and the rambunctious twins that live on your rib cage mind getting lost?"He said as politely as he could. She stormed of talking about Lima Heights Adjacent. He laughed and began to sing something in Na'vi. His thoughts went back to what she said. Quinn had cheated on him. It was as plain as the large lips on his face. He already knew it but the rude Latina had opened his eyes. Yeah he loved Quinn but if he let her and Finn think they could treat him like he didn't matter no one would ever respect him.

When Quinn came to him he kept thinking about how cute she looked in her carousel horse sweater."Stay focused Sam."He said before turning to look at her as she asked for a shirt to borrow for painting."We're not going painting, and I'm not your boyfriend."He said void of emotion. He closed his eyes as he saw how sad she was."Why?"Quinn asked coming turned to face her."Because you can't look me in my eyes right now and tell me you didn't kiss Finn."He said. Quinn's face turned red and she looked ill."I want to be with you Sam."She said instead of lying more or confessing. "I'm not stupid."He decided to say. Quinn didn't reply."He shook his head. She didn't even think enough of him to agree now."No harm no foul Quinn. It was fun while it lasted."He said before leaving.

Sam took Santana up on her offer but on his own terms. He liked Santana, she was pretty and funny but her rough edges were jagged and her mean streak was pretty bad. Sam thought being with her could make him strong too. She seemed to not take crap for anyone without a fight. She was nice to him in private but the stupid, dumb, trouty mouth, insults in public were pissing him off. The song was a edge and Santana had one more strike. Before he could break with her she was of with Dave. Saved him a lot of grief. He was off girls. Being in love with Quinn, dating Santana had taught him nothing but the glee girls were no good. He vowed never to date another.

Weeks later...
After prom Rachel got into Jesse St. James's car as Sam and Mercedes stood in the paring lot. "We walked here together, I can't wait to tell Ms. Berry about herself tomorrow."Mercedes said in her sassy way. Sam gave a light smile. He liked Mercedes. She didn't make him feel stupid but he made a vow."Well I'm here so no one will hurt you. I mean I'm kind of glad she's gone, she complained about Quinn and Finn all night."He said playing with his bolo tie. Mercedes laughed in agreement."Sam I had a lot of fun with you tonight. "He nodded as they crossed the road. After a few minutes of silence she kissed . His eyes were wide his expression was waiting on his mind to process. "Mercedes..."He started. Before he could finish she started to cry."I'm sorry. I didn't mean it."She lied."Just don't reject me, we'll pretend it never happened. I just can't take another rejection." Sam looked into her eyes. He knew that pain."I like you Mercedes. I wished I would have met you have met you before anyone else. I'm just not sure I can be what you need. I'm homeless, everyone thinks I'm stupid. You can do a lot better than me." He said holding her hand. He hated to see her smiled as they stood under the lamp post."They say you're dumb, a guy who believed he got Quinn pregnant in a jacuzzi, Santana who thinks James Earl Jones killed Martin Luther King Jr. and Quinn who was stupid enough to cheat on you. You're smart, weird in your own special way, and most of all you have a big heart. That's all that matters."She said. He kissed her. Being with Mercedes was the smartest thing he had ever done in his life.