Ekk! Samcedes? It's CANNON! Cannon, I say. I haven't been so excited about a pairing since Klaine happened. AHHH!

Sorry. Haha. I had to write this, I simply had to because I'm insane about this pairing, and no one believed me when I called it.

I'm new at Glee- I stared watching it in January, and have been hooked ever since. And it's all Kurt's fault- he had to be so adorable, and sweet, and a bit bitchy.

Anyway, getting off topic there, sorry, I tend to do that a lot.

So it's staring off in Rumours, and progressing through to New York, and into their first summer together. I warn you now- there will be a lot of Klaine (Mostly Kurt though), because they're my OTP- and I'm an all round Kurtsie. He's brilliant. Insane, but brilliant.

Disclaimer: If I owned Glee, you'd probably be getting a Dalton spin off. Is there a Dalton spin off? There's your answer to whether or not I own Glee.

It takes Sam a while to find the Senior Commons in Dalton, and it never occurs to him that Kurt might be in there- not until he knocks on the giant oak doors and they slide open easily, revealing a group of eighteen boys in uniform.

Only a few people look up at his entrance, and he doesn't recognise any of them at first- but then there's that Asian guy, and he's gripping a gavel tightly in his hand and looking like he wants to whack a (bottle- he should know) blonde over the head with it. He averts his gaze, seeing a few other familiar faces- the other soloists from Sectionals are arguing about something, with many hand gestures and flailing.

He sees Blaine lying across Kurt's lap, staring up at the taller boy, who is playing with Blaine's curls, adoringly. When the curly haired boy sees Sam he raises an eyebrow and nudges Kurt with his elbow. Kurt says something to Blaine who waves vaguely in Sam's direction, and then Kurt sees him and he's pushing Blaine out of his lap and skipping over to say hello.

Sam's just standing there, a couple of hot pizza boxes in one hand, the other rubbing at the base of his neck, and attempting to avoid Kurt's inquiring eyes, feeling oddly exposed and slightly ashamed.

'What are you doing here, Sam?' is what he expects to come out of Kurt's mouth, or 'When did you start delivering pizzas?', but instead Kurt grins at him, and fishes his wallet out of his back pocket, and asks how much it'll be for the pizzas.

Sam stutters out an amount, And Kurt hands over a couple of twenties, telling him to keep the change, before grabbing the pizzas and whistling over the hubbub. "Food." He said, holding the pizzas out invitingly to the group of teenage boys.

They fall over themselves to get to the food, claiming slices for themselves. Kurt hands them over with raised hands and laughing eyes . The countertenor sends his boyfriend a look, which Sam couldn't interpret, and was pretty sure he wasn't supposed to see anyway, so he turns, pretty much ready to head home for the night- this was his last delivery.

Sadly, Kurt Hummel was a force of his own, and immediately followed him out.

The shorter boy placed a hand on Sam's shoulder, and he froze, turning slowly to stare at the porcelain skinned boy. "Could you...just not tell anybody. Please?" Sam can hear his voice breaking, and he knows he sounds desperate, but he doesn't want to see the pity in his friends' eyes, or hear the taunts from the rest of the jocks.

"I won't if you don't want me to Sam," Kurt's eyes are wide, and earnest and so blue, and Sam's never been more grateful for him than he is at that moment. "That doesn't mean that you don't have to explain." Kurt said, seriously now.

Sam sighed, and Kurt grabbed the material of Sam's jacket, and dragged him into a nearby room, sitting down on a arm chair, and gesturing for Sam to do the same. Kurt crossed his legs, resting his elbow on his propped knee, and cupping his chin with his hand, waiting, patiently and a little worried.

It was a pretty short story, and it only took a few minutes to explain fully, but it took a lot out of Sam, he felt lighter, and more relaxed, but also very tired- he just wanted to sleep now.

Kurt hadn't said a word, and Sam was starting to worry- what if he ended up telling Finn, or worse, Rachel? Weren't they good friends? "Okay." Kurt said, eventually, breaking Sam out of his angsty internal monologue.

Sam looked questioningly at the younger boy, okay- what? "You said that you had to babysit a lot- would you mind if I came over to help out? Teenage boys generally aren't very good at cooking, and I'm sure your siblings will appreciate some decently prepared food." And Kurt looked so sincere and like he really just wanted to help out, and Sam couldn't help but wonder...

"Why?" Sam blurted.

"Why what?" Kurt asked, bemused.

"Why are you offering to help me?- I don't want your pity Kurt." Sam said, half unsure of the statement.

"I don't pity you Sam- your situation is bad, I'll admit, but you're my friend, and I'll do whatever I can to help you out." And there was that brutal honesty again.

You're my friend...whatever I can...

Sam took a deep, shuddering breath. "Thank you, Kurt." Kurt smiled, sadly, and stood, holding out a hand. Sam took it and the brunette hauled Sam to his feet (who knew Kurt was that strong?).

"Anytime. So when do you want me?" Kurt asked, letting go of Sam's hand, a comfortable smile in place.

"Just whenever, we're in room 394, and I should be there most week nights." Kurt nodded, jerking a hand towards the door.

There was a silence on the way out to the parking lot, not awkward or anything, just silent.

"I'll see you soon, then?" Kurt said, and Sam smiled briefly at the boy, holding out a hand.

Kurt raised an impetuous eyebrow at it, his lips quirking, instead of taking the proffered hand and shaking it, he pulled Sam into a quick hug, before literally bouncing back into the school. Sam stared after him bemusedly. He was certain Dalton had changed something in Kurt- or maybe just made him more free to be himself, because he was sure that before Dalton Kurt would never have even thought twice about hugging another male that wasn't his Dad.

Not that Sam minded, it was friendly, and showed solidarity. He watched the light brunette meet someone just inside the glass doors. Kurt held out a hand, which the other, shorter boy took, gently in his own, pulling Kurt tightly into his side.

Yeah, Dalton had changed something in Kurt. And, Sam thought as he climbed into the delivery van, I'm sure it's a change for the better.

At mass the next week, squeezed in between Stacie and old Mrs Jenkins, who was their ex-neighbour, Sam was trying to listen to their Pastor- because believe it or not he did have quite strong religious beliefs. It was getting increasingly difficult, because Stacie was squirming uncomfortably, and Mrs Jenkins was breathing heavily, and Sam was shivering, because it was cold for late spring in Ohio, and he didn't bring a coat.

He doesn't expect anyone else will find out- he trusts Kurt to keep his promise, and he's sure that their Pastor has overlooked their situation, because it's been over a month since they got kicked out of their house, and if he hadn't done it by now, he wasn't likely to bring it up any time soon.

Of course, Sam had thought too quickly, and it was brought up at the very end of the mass, as they were praying for the needs of others.

"And we send our thoughts and prayers to the Evans family, who have recently been touched by the effects of the recession."

Sam could feel the stares, one in particular that was hauntingly familiar, boring into his back, accusingly, and he knows that he has to book it out of there if he wants to avoid Quinn's wrath, because, man is she scary when she wants to be.

He blesses himself a final time, and shuffles out of his pew, rushing for the back door.

He gets outside and down the gravel path, and is so close to escape that he can almost taste it, but then nails are digging sharply into his wrist and he's being dragged off to the side, and interrogated, and Quinn's hissing lowly, and quickly, and he can't make out a word she's saying, and he doesn't really want to put up with this, because he has to go back and get his siblings, because his parents will be out all day, again.

"Quinn." He said, bitingly, and she gapes, and shuts her mouth, primly.

"I have to go get Stevie and Stacie, but I'll explain everything tomorrow." She glares, an eyebrow quirked. "Please." She sighs and releases his arm.

"You'd better." She snaps, twirling on her heel, and storming away.

Kurt had been coming over a lot since he found out- just over a week ago now- and increasingly so since he'd returned to Mc Kinley on the previous Tuesday.

Stacie simply adored him- and not only because he would dress her up to look pretty, and watched Disney movies with her, and Stevie couldn't get over the fact that Kurt could beat him at Call of Duty- Sam couldn't and Noah couldn't, and not even that Finn guy could beat him.

"It was a nice challenge, playing you." Stevie had said, when he'd first been defeated by the countertenor. Kurt had laughed, loudly, and pulled the small blonde into a hug, ruffling his shaggy locks.

He made dinner one night, when the two teens had left the kids to watch some movie or another. Kurt had sat, making idle conversation with Sam, swapping stories of Dalton and McKinley respectively (Kurt had missed a lot, after all).

He had watched while Sam made an attempt at making edible food. After a few minutes of struggling with a tin of beans, Kurt had stood from his seat at the table, and taken the tin from his hands, and quickly put it through the tin opener, pouring the contents into a pot, and turning the cooker on to the correct heat setting.

So Sam had watched in awe at the ease at which Kurt manoeuvred his way around the tiny kitchenette. Kurt had rolled his eyes at Sam obliviousness, and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like 'boys'.

The four of them sat down with the food, even though Kurt claimed that he wasn't going to eat anything.

Kurt's was really cool about everything, Sam had noticed, not sending him pitying looks or bringing up the Evans' situation, and causing awkward silences, or conversations. He was acting like it was completely normal, and for that Sam grateful- so grateful that he couldn't express it adequately.

He shot Sam a look as he left that night, one that said that he knows that this is difficult for Sam, and that Kurt will be there for Sam, and he wonders if this is how Kurt felt when he took that punch from Karofsky- standing up for the younger boy when his own almost step-brother wouldn't.

The friendship and solidarity that Kurt left him with after every visit made Sam feel like maybe he wasn't so alone, and maybe, it would be okay.

"Hey." Rachel strode up to him, a determined air about her, and a bright smile on her face. It immediately made Sam wary.

"Why are you talking to me?" Sam asked, suspiciously.

"Can't I say hello?" She said, blinking innocently, fingering a packet of something.

"I guess I just- Santana told me never to speak alone with you because you'd try to steal all of my gold. " It was a lame excuse, but there was something about Rachel's type of crazy that freaked him out, and could make any guy with a brain run for the hills.

She looked slightly confused, but pressed on, plastering a fake smile to her face now. "Okay, u-um, anyway. I got you this." She held out the packet of what turned out to be lip chap, and he took it from her apprehensively, only a little afraid of where this was going. "I know everyone is always making fun of your lips," She explained, when he shot her a questioning glance. "But I think they're cute, and worth weather proofing." Her smile was 100 watts, and frightening, but he smiled a half, crooked smile back.

"So considering that we're both single and I think your lips are cute, I was wondering if you would...go to prom with me?" She asked, hope glimmering in her doe brown eyes.

"As in your date?" He asked, incredulous.

"Yeah." She confirmed.

"No." He rushed out.

"No...no as in-" She stumbled over her words looking slightly hurt, and Sam almost felt bad.

"As in no prom. I don't think I'm going." He said, averting his gaze from her imploring eyes.

"Are you worried that Finn will be jealous?" She looked too hopeful, and Sam thought that it kind of sucked that she was asking him out when she was still in love with Finn.

"Look you're just not my type." He said, gently, knowing that she was probably fragile from the whole 'Fuinncident'. He wasn't even lying to her, she wasn't his type- Quinn hadn't really been either, and Santana had been a rebound. "Hey Rachel, so thanks for the lip chap."

As he walked away he saw one girl who was defiantly his type walk by, her arm wrapped securely around Kurt's, her plump lips smiling brightly at something the countertenor had said to her.

He sighed because he knew it wasn't going to happen; he couldn't even afford to take her out for a coffee- that was if he ever got the courage to ask her out.

He forced his way through the crowd, heading for the choir room for lunch time rehearsal, knowing there'd be an irate Quinn waiting for him.

Quinn had a short temper, and she wasn't pretty when she was mad. She cornered him outside Glee, her nails holding him in place.

"When, exactly , were you planning on telling us?" Quinn asked, her eyes raking him up and down, with a harsh gleam in her eyes.

"I wasn't- please tell me you haven't told the others." He pleaded, eyes suddenly wide and horrified at the very thought.

She sighed, deflating, "No, I wanted to hear the truth from you first, before barging in there and telling everyone. I know how fast stuff spreads around at this school." And Sam remembered that she'd been pregnant the year before and how badly she must have been treated, and how he wasn't going to end up like that.

He gave her the same version of events he'd given Kurt back a Dalton, and she'd nodded, and then he explained how Kurt found out, and she seemed confused, because he never was all that close to Kurt before.

"He's helping you out?" She asked, eyebrows rising into her hairline. "Is there anything I can do?" And this was more out of pity and obligation that out of friendship- he'd rushed into things with Quinn, and he later realised that he didn't really know her at all.

"Um, sure." He said, because it felt rude not to invite her over now that she'd offered. "Meet me at room 394." She nodded briskly, and retracted her nails from his skin, and squeezed his forearm in a manner he assumed was supposed to be comforting.

"When?" She asked, looking briefly around to make sure nobody was eavesdropping.

"Well, Wednesday night suits- Kurt can't come over because he has a mid-weekly date with Blaine." Sam said, aching for an escape route.

She nods and flounces into Glee, leaving him staring dumbly after her.

When he shakes himself out of his stupor and enters the choir room he can't help but feel that this practice won't be any help, because Mr Schue is late and it's already a good twenty minutes into their lunch break.

Sam was right, Mr Schue showed up late muttering something about Ms Pilsbury and fruit, telling them that he'd see them after school, and to 'enjoy the rest of your lunch'.

After school Quinn's sitting down, legs crossed and a notebook resting on her lap. She's scribbling away in it, and he rolls his eyes a little, opting to stand. He meets Mercedes' eyes for a brief second and can't help but smile at her.

She gives a shy smile back and mouths 'hello'. He repeats the motion, and has no idea why they aren't speaking, but he thinks she looks adorable, and can't help but laugh, she giggles quietly, lowering her eyelashes a little, and looking away.

He kind of hopes that maybe she's blushing, because he can feel the slight heat on his face, but he can't tell. Maybe if he were a little closer he'd be able to see- or feel- the heat on her cheeks, but that might be a little weird.

Finn interrupts their little moment by rushing in, a fresh copy of the Muckraker in hand, shouting loudly.

"What the hell is this, dude?" He asks, "What blondie former cheerleader is having a secret moonlight motel rendezvous with another big lipped blondie?" He shoves the paper under Sam's nose, and Sam grabs one side of it eyes scanning the bold headlines.

"Where does it- where does it say that?" He asked, unable to find the article, and wondering how the hell someone had managed to get that in print so quickly.

"Right on the front page of the school newspaper." Finn retorts, jabbing a finger at the offending article.

Quinn appeared at Finn's side then, her hand curling around his bicep, "You don't seriously believe this do you?" She asked, staring up at him.

"Well why shouldn't I? Why wouldn't he do the same thing that I did to him?" Said Finn, he eyes blazing with anger, flickering between his girlfriend and Sam.

"Because it's gossip Finn." She soothes, trying to bring his attention away from the paper.

A distraction comes in the form of a raging Latina, who is also brandishing a newspaper, slightly more crumpled than Finn's copy.

"This is your fault." She shrieks, taking large angry strides towards Brittany, of all people. "You told everyone that I played for another team on your ridiculous melted cheese show. "

Brittany blinks at her, confused. "Wait, are you mad?" She questions, he head coking to the side a little. "You do play for another team." Brittany explained at the Latina's fierce look, "You were on the Cheerios, but now you're only in the New Directions."

Santana looked ready to blow, but at the blonde's words her eyes softened a little. "And you couldn't have thought of any other way to say that? " Santana accuses. Brittany just looks speechless, probably still unsure of what she did wrong.

It doesn't matter because suddenly Finn's in Sam's face again, "I swear I'm gonna punch your face off. " He shoves Sam's chest, and in his periphery Sam sees Mercedes jump a little, glaring at Finn.

Sam will think about that later, but he gives as good as he gets. "Hey, you've got a lot of nerve accusing me of cheating when you're the one who snuck in and stole my girl." Sam shoves him back, and, suddenly can't really bring himself to see reason- how much of a hypocrite can one person be?

Quinn attempts to step between them, "Stop it! Stop it, both of you!" He efforts are futile, but it doesn't really matter because Mr Schue steps between the two boys.

"Hey." The teacher said, looking from one to the other, pushing them apart. Quinn retreats, and Finn, glares at Sam over Mr Schue's curls, and storms away. "Hey Finn where are you going? Hey, we've got rehearsal!" Mr Schue calls after the upset teenager.

"Not today." Finn declares, and is gone.

Sam looks over to Quinn apologetically, and she jerks her head up and looks away.

He doesn't see the sad smile on Mercedes' face as she watches the two interact.

Sam gets a lot of dirty looks the next day, from the jocks, from a few random girls, and from Puck- who had no right to say anything, even though the rumours weren't true.

He stepped into Glee apprehensively, taking the nearest available seat-which just happened to be beside Mercedes- and sliding down in it as best he could.

Mr Schue introduced them to April Rhodes, whom everyone seemed to know already, as smiles and happy looks were exchanged all around him.

She sang a song from an old Fleetwood Mac album that Sam hadn't heard in quite a while, but he remembered the beat and the woman- April- had a nice voice, clear and sweet, and it harmonised with Mr Schue's really well.

He tapped his foot to the beat, and when he looked around at the others he shared a small smile with Mercedes, and saw Kurt stare at him thoughtfully.

Sam turned back to the front quickly after that, keeping his head down.

He tuned all sounds out soon enough, catching the beginning of one of Mr Schue's lectures, before zoning out.

Kurt had given Sam a lift back to the motel after school, and decided that, since Sam's parents were out, he would stay and help with dinner again.

Sam actually learned something this time around, as Kurt showed him the correct way to make a baked potato, telling him that they'd have to leave it for a while, and dragging him back into hang out with Stevie and Stacie.

Stacie immediately held her hairbrush out when she saw Kurt, and he laughed brightly, and took it from her tiny hands, and sitting criss-cross apple sauce behind her. Sam jumped up beside Stevie on the bed as Kurt took Stacie's long blonde locks in hand, and brushed through the fine strands gently.

Stevie elbowed Sam, and he flinched. "What's wrong little man?" Sam asked, wrapping an arm around his little brother.

"Nothing, I'm just glad that you've got Kurt- he's really awesome." Sam stared down at Stevie, whose bright blue eyes were innocent and sincere.

"What do you mean?" Sam asked, not really sure what Stevie was getting at with this line of conversation.

"It's just that those other guys you have 'round aren't nearly as nice as Kurt is, and he doesn't make fun of you ever- at least not in a mean way, and I think that Stacie's, like, in love with him or something- and he told me that if I ever wanted anyone to hang out with I'm allowed to call him at home and he'd come over right away." And Stevie looked almost defensive at the last statement, an unsaid 'so there' hanging at the end of the sentence.

"That's awesome, Stevie. Kurt's a really good friend of mine, and I'm glad you like him." Sam said, ruffling Stevie's hair, "Wait, what do you mean, Stacie's in love with him?" Sam asked, confused.

"She's always hanging out with him when he's here, and she likes staring at him all the time, and she never stops talking about him, even at school. All the other girls are jealous." Stevie confides.

Sam has to swallow a chuckle. "Well, maybe we'll have to break it to her gently." Sam said, crossing his ankles, and slipping a hand behind his head.

"Break what to her?" Stevie asked, looking almost afraid.

Sam's not really sure what he should tell Stevie, but he figures that his little brother has been lied to about their situation enough in the past few months that he deserves the truth about something. "Well, Kurt has a boyfriend." Sam replied, waiting for his brother's reaction.

Stevie looked thoughtful, concentrating so hard that he went momentarily cross-eyed.

There was a shift on the mattress, and Sam idly noted that Kurt and Stacie had gone into the kitchenette.

"They can do that?" Stevie asks finally. "I mean, two guys can be boyfriends like a guy and girl are boyfriend and girlfriend?"Sam nodded, and was relieved to see that Stevie was scrunching up his nose, and going 'ew', or worse.

"That's awesome... But if Kurt's boyfriend ever hurts Kurt imma have to go crazy on him." Stevie nodded briskly to emphasise his point, and crossed his arms over his chest in an attempt to look intimidating.

Sam laughs loudly, and pulls Stevie into his side, hugging the younger boy tightly. "Thank you." Sam whispers, and before Stevie can ask 'what for?' Kurt shouts in to them.

"Dinner's ready."

Sam and Stevie scramble over each other to get there first and Sam ends up face planted on the floor. He just giggles a bit to himself, and stays there, feeling no compulsion to move.

He can feel eyes staring at him amusedly, and he turns his head to the side to see Kurt staring at him from the door to the kitchenette. The brunette pushes away from the doorjamb and holds out a hand, which Sam grasps, allowing the younger boy to haul him to his feet.

"Thanks." Sam mumbles, looking over Kurt's shoulder to see his siblings around the tiny table that's shoved into the corner of the kitchen, squabbling playfully, and eating their dinner like they hadn't a care in the world.

Sam looks back at Kurt, and he really feels the gratitude, and he could cry because, where would Sam have been this past week or so without Kurt? Kurt who's just smiling and waving off his help like it's nothing?

"Seriously, Kurt. Thank you." And Sam really didn't know how to express himself, because Kurt really was too much, and somehow it's not weird that they're still holding hands, because yeah Kurt's gay, but he has a boyfriend, that he loves, and Sam doesn't swing that way, so why should it matter?

Sam does the only thing he can think of to do then, what he would do had it been anyone else- he pulled Kurt into a hug.

Kurt seems shocked at first but easily snakes his arms around Sam's waist and it feels nice to have someone just hold him for once, so Sam squeezes Kurt tightly, and buries his face in the crook of Kurt's neck.

It's not a hug anymore, but more of a cuddle, and Sam can't remember he just cuddled with somebody for the heck of it, and he thinks, being in Kurt's arms, that he should try it more often.

When Sam pulls away, he's a little embarrassed, and he avoids Kurt's eyes, but the countertenor just laughs, and tell him to quit being stupid. "Everyone needs a good cuddle now and then- Blaine's an absolute cuddle-whore, it's insane. My arms are always open." And he tacked something on at the end, but Sam's certain that it's his brain messing things up, because there's no way that Kurt said 'and I'm sure Mercy wouldn't be opposed either." But then Kurt winks and Sam knows he did hear it, and he could kill Stacie, because she was supposed to keep his crush on the fierce, self proclaimed diva a secret.

Sam puts his burning red face into his hands and groans. "Please, don't tell her." Sam pleads, his voice muffled by his hands.

He spreads his fingers a little and sees Kurt nod.

"If you're sure." Kurt agrees.

"I...just...I can't even do anything about it, you know? I can't do anything for her." Sam knows he must sound desperate, but he didn't want Kurt telling Mercedes in case she didn't feel the same way- that would be almost as bad as her reciprocating his tentative feelings for her, only to have her hopes dashed when she realised that they couldn't even go out on a proper date.

"Yeah, Sam. I know. Go get your dinner. I'll wait in here." Kurt said, reassuringly, and Sam does sit with his siblings who have stopped arguing and now look dog-tired. He scoffs his food, suddenly ravenous.

He gathers their plates and drops them in the sink, mentally reminding himself to wash them later. He frog marches Stacie and Stevie into the bedroom and orders them to get into the pyjamas. They comply right off the bat, but Stacie peeks her head out of the bathroom moments after she goes inside.

"Can you sing us to sleep, Sammie?" She asks, her voice laced with sleep, and her eyes lids droopy. Sam doesn't really feel like singing, but he knows that if it'll help them sleep he'll do anything.

"Sure, sweetie." He said, and made a shooing motion with his hands, and her blonde head disappeared back behind the door.

When she comes out Stevie goes in, ordering them not to start singing without him. The authority in his voice and the seriousness of his request are pretty adorable, and Sam kind of misses being that age.

Kurt places a hand gently on Sam's shoulder, and Sam looks at him. "Should I go now?" He asked quietly, but not quietly enough, because Stacie heard, and protested immediately.

"You have to sing for us, too, Kurt." She said, her eyes wide, and her lips pouting. "Please?" She pleaded.

Kurt smiles gently at her.

"Sure Stace, sure." Said Kurt, going to sit beside her, tucking her under the blankets, and plumping her pillow. Stacie cuddled into the bed, and grinned toothily up at Kurt, seeming pleased with her new nickname, and then over at Sam, who was watching them interact fondly.

Sam joined them, taking Stacie's other side, but leaving enough room Stevie, who jumped onto the bed making it bounce, and nearly causing Kurt to go flying off the edge of the giant bed. When both kids were settled and comfortable, they both turned to Sam with doe eyes, and the blonde teen shrugged helplessly at Kurt, unsure as to what he could sing.

Kurt's face lit up with a grin after a few minutes, and he began singing a lilting lullaby that Sam had never heard before. It was sweet and soothing, and Sam watched as Stacie yawned, a muffled "Pretty." Escaping her lips as her eyes closed.

Stevie, unlike his sister, was attempting to stay awake to hear the end of the melody, but Kurt smiled, and placed a hand over the boys' eyes, forcing them shut, and smiling gently when Stevie kept his eyes closed and his breathing gradually evened out.

Kurt held the last note of the lullaby for a few seconds, and then it was silent.

When Sam was certain that they were both out cold, he stood, and gestured for Kurt to do the same. The countertenor, stood, and stretched a little, shrugging his jacket on and slipping his messenger bag over his shoulder. He fiddled with his hair for a minute, checking himself in a compact mirror.

He sidled up to Sam, speaking quietly, "I left the clothes I told you about the other day on top of your suitcase, they should fit you well enough." Sam whispered his thanks, and lead the way outside, allowing Kurt to half-shut the door on his way out.

Kurt placed a warm hand on Sam's bicep, and said, "I'll see you tomorrow." And Sam grasped Kurt's upper arm, squeezing it in thanks.

"Yeah, thanks." Sam said.

Sam watches Kurt leave, hands slipping into his jeans pockets, waiting until the younger boy climbs into his car, before heading back inside, his hands rubbing together for heat.

The kids are sound asleep, and Sam grabs his school bag, flopping on his bed, and taking out his calc homework.

He puzzled the questions for a long while, before giving up, slamming his books shut and throwing his pen a the nearest wall. Numbers had never been his strong point, and they only served to give him a headache.

Sam rolled off the bed, crawling over to his suitcase, and jerking the plastic bag off the top of it.

It's mainly old t-shirts and jean, with a couple of jackets, that aren't too flashy, and are kind of Sam's style. He inspects a long brown one, with a turquoise pattern snaking up the back, and decides that he could totally wear it to school tomorrow. He sets it off to the side, and refolds the remaining articles of clothing, setting them into his half empty case, and thanking God for Kurt Hummel.

It's just as he closes the lid of his case that his parents wander in, looking exhausted and weary. Sam frowns at them. "No luck?" He asks, and when they shake their heads dejectedly Sam feels his heart plummet, and it's all he can do not to curl up on his bed and cry; instead he swaths himself in blankets and reminds himself firmly that crying doesn't help anything.

Sam stops by Kurt's locker shortly on Wednesday morning, to thank him again, for the clothes. Kurt waves him off casually, and tells him not to worry about it. "I'll see you Glee later, Sam." Kurt said, almost distractedly staring into his locker, Sam peeks inside and see a picture of Blaine, decked out in full Dalton uniform, with a cut out collage of the word 'Courage' hanging beneath it.

Sam snorted audibly, and walked away, muttering to himself, 'Bye to you too Kurt." He passes by Mercedes and Tina, who are standing by Tina's locker and he smiles at them, and he thinks that he sees Tina nudge Mercedes and giggle, but it was likely a product of his imagination.

He also walks by Rachel, who's wearing a bright pink button up cardigan, and clutching a folder to her chest. She looks him up and down, eyes wide, and her strides lengthen, and pick up pace, and she's got this scary look of determination on her face, and when he looks back at her, she's heading straight for Kurt.

He doubles back, and slips into an empty classroom near Kurt's locker, and picks up on their conversation.

"Stop it." Rachel commands.

"Stop what?" Kurt asked, sounding a little exasperated.

"I am begging you." Rachel pleads, "Sam is cute, but he's not worth losing Blaine over." Rachel wheedles, and Sam is gobsmacked because, seriously? Quinn and Kurt?

Kurt's remark was dry and witty, "Oh, how I've missed your insanity." And Sam wanted to laugh because it was so Kurt, that he was surprised he hadn't seen it coming.

"He's wearing your jacket, Kurt." Rachel scolds. "I remember that jacket, you wore it April of last year, you said it was your earth day jacket because it was made out of recycled hem." She took a quick breath, and picked up her rant. "I know how these things work; I remember when Finn and I used to date, sometimes he would leave his letterman jacket at my house and I'd wear it to school the next day." And it would make sense to anyone on the outside- if Sam was actually gay, and Kurt wasn't so in love with Blaine that they'd probably end up married some day.

"Okay you need to bone up on your Fleetwood Mac-ology." Kurt sounded a little tired of Rachel, and Sam couldn't really blame him. "When they made Rumours they weren't speaking to each other. Not even 'pass the non-dairy creamer'. They only spoke about the music. And it was that focus that allowed them to make their masterpiece." Okay, Sam wasn't really sure where he was going with this.

"You're deflecting." Rachel accused, and Sam imagined that she was pointing a finger at Kurt, looking scandalised.

"No, I'm being a team player." Kurt corrected. "And any minute spent on this vicious, hurtful and hateful gossip is a minute taking away from preparing for nationals." Sam wishes he could see the look he just knows Kurt is giving Rachel at that moment, because he's sure Rachel's reaction to it would be priceless.

There's the slam of a locker, and the sound of retreating boots.

Sam knows that Kurt blew Rachel's accusations off pretty easily, but some of Rachel's words had been floating around his mind all morning.

But he's not worth losing Blaine over...But he's not worth losing Blaine over.

Sam caught up with Kurt just before the end of lunch- he found the younger boy, sitting in the middle of two rows of bookshelves, surrounded by open texts, scribbling furiously into a blue and green swirly notebook.

"Hey, Kurt." Sam, whispered, aware that the librarians wrath wasn't something you wanted to evoke.

"Oh, hi, Sam." Kurt said distractedly, glasz eyes scanning a paragraph, and muttering rapidly to himself.

"Listen, I overheard your conversation with Rachel earlier." Sam began, but was cut off with a snort.

"Oh, that. Ignore her, Sam, she's insane." Kurt consoled, sparing Sam glance, before diving back into the text on his lap.

Sam sighed heavily, and slid to the floor beside Kurt, shaking his head trying to get rid of those horrible words.

"Is what she said true?" Sam, asked, in a small, frightened voice, not really wanting to know the answer, but knowing that he needed to hear confirmation that he wasn't distancing Kurt from Blaine.

Kurt grumbled little, and snapped his book shut, stuffing it into his messenger bag.

"She said an awful lot- Rachel tends to do that." Kurt said waspishly, raising an eyebrow at Sam's sheepish grin.

"I want to know if you spending so much time with me is affecting your relationship with Blaine." Sam muttered.

Kurt laughed, the almost-sneer dropping from his face instantaneously. "God, no...just no." Sam was highly affronted- he was genuinely worried about Kurt!

Kurt saw the petty look on Sam's face and quietened himself. "Sorry." Kurt coughed. "I want you to know that you're almost as insane as she is." Kurt informed him primly, slotting the books he'd removed back into their places.

When Sam just looked incredulous, Kurt sighed. "Listen, firstly, Blaine and I actually trust each other- if he heard these ridiculous rumours he'd talk to me about them before jumping to conclusions." Kurt stated. "And secondly, I've told him that I'm spending time with you, for reasons I'm not in any position to disclose. He said that's fine. He knows that I care about him too much to cheat on him. Like I said. Trust."

Sam exhaled sharply, relieved. Kurt dusted off his grey jacket, and slung his bag over his shoulder.

"Now," Kurt smirked, "Quit being an idiot and get to class. I'll see you later." And he practically skipped out of the room, humming lightly, and chucking to himself on the way.

Sam stood, shaking his head. He'd been an idiot. He should have known really- just because he'd gotten to the dysfunctionality of the New Directions didn't mean that there weren't healthy, working relationships out there.

He sat beside Mercedes in Glee again, Kurt leaning forward on her other side. She gave him a discreet 'hello' smile, and wave, and turned back to her conversation with Kurt, that seemed to revolve around his date with Blaine later, and some new line of fashion that Sam had never heard of before.

Sam relaxed into his chair, and decided that listening to Mercedes gush about something she loved was a brilliant way to spend Glee.

Quinn arrived a little later than she said she'd be that night- they've already had their dinner, but she clicks with Stacie right away chatting amicably about dolls and the latest Disney movie, and how Stacie wants to grow her hair out to be exactly like Rapunzel's.

Sam does his homework while they play dress up, and watch TV, and he can see Stevie sulking a little in the kitchen.

Sam finishes up his Spanish II with a period and shuffles into the kitchen. "What's wrong little man?" Sam asked, sliding to the floor beside Stevie, poking his side.

Stevie squirmed and tried to fight a smile, "I don't like her." Stevie complained, huffing.

"Why not?" Sam asked, a little confused. Stevie hadn't actually spent any time with Quinn, and she wasn't all bad, when she wasn't being all 'scary Quinn'.

"She's no fun." Stevie explained, slowly, as if it should be obvious. "I can't believe you went out with her." Stevie raised a blonde eyebrow at him.

Honestly? Sam didn't know why either, but that wasn't the point.

"Cheer up," Sam poked him again and stood. "Come on, we'll monopolise the telly for a bit, tell them to take their gossip elsewhere." Stevie grinned and skipped into the bedroom, regally informing the girls to hand over the remote.

Stevie kicked Sam's ass at CoD, and eventually Sam had to get up and pace, aggravated. Sam could see Quinn staring at him amusedly, smiling, and whispering something into Stacie's ear, making the younger girl laugh. Sam rolled his eyes at them, and checked his watch.

"Bed, guys." He declared, and Stevie groaned, calling dibs on the bathroom. Stacie agreed and asked Quinn to finish of her platt. Quinn's hands made quick work of Stacie's hair, and she stood, brushing her dress off, and grabbing her denim jacket from the back of a chair.

He told the kids to climb into bed, and he'd be back inside in a minute.

He walked Quinn out, and she hugged him tightly. "If you ever need me to call around again, just let me know." She whispered, breath tickling his cheek. He hugged her tighter, knowing that things were still a little awkward between them, but that she meant well; and maybe this was the start of mending a friendship.

"Thanks, Stacie had a lot of fun." He said letting her go.

"She's sweet." Quinn replied, smiling, and headed off, her long blonde hair swaying in the breeze.

Sam thinks that he should probably have a chat with Stevie about thinking a little better of Quinn.

The next day was spent entirely with his family, discussing where they'd go from there on out, and he couldn't remember any question that had been asked after he'd answered it, and he couldn't think straight, because it was all so difficult, and confusing and he was only seventeen and he shouldn't have to deal with this crap yet.

And to top it all off, he had to go to work in an hour and he was just so tired.

He got up, shrugged on his jumper, stuffed his regulation hat on his head and booked it out the door, knowing he's have to walk to the Pizza Hut, and it was a good couple miles off.

Glee was going well- no one was arguing, and no accusations were flying, not to mention that Rachel's cover of 'Go your own way' was pretty amazing.

He bopped along, feeling the beat and letting go, he could sense Quinn's aggravation at Rachel but it didn't really matter because he was having fun- and this was the one place where nothing but the music mattered.

He let himself go- he could vaguely see Mercedes air-drumming, and Mike was singing in his ear, Puck was going all out on the guitar, and it sounded pretty wicked. Sam played the air guitar along with the small solo.

"Really nice." Sam complimented, as the last strain of the guitar faded.

Rachel smiled at them all, stepping away from her microphone, looking accomplished.

As it was Glee, Sam should have expected so sort of drama- it was kind of their thing, not to mention the vibes Quinn was giving off right now weren't exactly subtle, so it shouldn't have surprised Sam when she snapped at Rachel.

Rachel retorts, and his name is mentioned and then suddenly everyone is blaming him for everything.

I blame Sam for all of this...guilt...they both have boyfriends.

Puck's being such a hypocrite that Sam can't really handle this anymore, and this has got to be hard on Quinn and Kurt too, and they're just sitting there, taking all this crap for his sake, and it's not fair; on him, or them.

"Shut up! I'm not messing around with Quinn or Kurt or any one of those guys. They're just helping me." He snaps, turning around in his chair to face the rest of the New Directions.

Mercedes is the next one to speak, and she looks a little sad, and her voice is bitter. "Oh, is that what we're calling it now? " And those words hurt a lot, because somehow Sam always thought that she was different- he always thought that she would hear somebody- hear him- out before jumping to conclusions.

And if he's not mistaken there's a little hint of jealousy in her voice- and maybe he's imagining it, or just getting his hopes up, but he wants to tell her that she doesn't need to be jealous, because it's all lies, and he doesn't want anyone but her- but he can't because then he'd have to follow that up with something, and he has nothing to give her.

"Wait, hold on." Mr Schue interrupts, "How were they helping you out?"

Sam knows better than to lie to a teacher, and he supposed that it was going to have to come out at some point. He sighed.

"Kurt was bringing me some clothes and Quinn was helping me babysit my little brother and sister." He admitted.

Finn looks curious, and still suspicious. "Then why were you in that motel?" The Frankenteen asked.

"Because that's where I live now." Sam spat, "My dad lost his job a few months ago, and then we lost our house, so now we live in that motel in one room." There was a silence as everyone stared at him- everyone but Quinn and Kurt, the latter was glaring at his team mates, and Quinn was staring at her fingers like they were the most fascinating things on the planet.

"Are you all happy?" He added, standing, and he sees Mercedes flinch. "The truth's finally out." He can't look at them anymore, he can't be in the Sam room as them.

As he storms out he can feel her eyes following him.

When there's knock on the door that afternoon, Sam isn't sure who to expect- maybe Quinn, though it's more likely to be Kurt. So when he sees Finn and Rachel standing on his stoop it's his immediate impulse to slam the door in their faces- and he would have, if he hadn't been raised better than that.

"Um, I'm trying to get my sister to sleep." He mutters, trying to close the door.

"Dude please," Finn begged, grabbing the door, "Please, just let us in."

Stacie appears at his side, staring up at the two strangers.

"Hi, I'm Stacie." She introduces herself, smiling.

Rachel smiles awkwardly, "Hi, Stacie, I-I'm Rachel," Rachel replies, stuttering over her words a little. "This is Finn" She adds pointing at her ex-boyfriend.

"Hi." Finn said, looking down at Sam's little sister with gentle eyes.

"Well she's –she's up now." Sam states dumbly, opening the door wide, to let them in, seeing no other way out of this situation.

They look around, a little uncomfortable, Finn closing the door quietly. "It beats a cardboard box underneath an underpass, right? We keep the rest of our stuff in my dad's car." Sam explains, for lack of anything better to say.

"This is everything you own?" Rachel asked, shocked, her doe eyes wide.

"We sold everything else." His voice is curt.

Stevie pokes Sam in the back, and he looks at his little brother questioningly. "Can we watch TV?" Stevie asks, when he's got Sam's full attention.

"Yeah," Sam said, grabbing Stevie around the waist and chucking him onto the bed. "Sure, keep it low, though. Mr Jensen next door is on the night shift again. You want a snack?" Sam inquires, switching the TV on.

"I'll wait." Stevie replies, getting comfortable.

Sam grabs Stacie, who looks unsure as to whether she should stay with Sam or settle down and watch TV too. "You, too, get over there." Sam said, throwing Stacie up beside her brother, she face plants and giggles to herself.

Sam turns back to his guests, the smile that had lit his face falling at the looks on theirs (faces, that is) "I-I don't understand, what happened?"Finn asked, confused.

"We moved up here from Tennessee, you know, 'cause my dad got a great job offer and the economy went to hell, and it's last ones in first ones out. You know we spent all our savings on the move and a down payment on the house " He took a deep breath. "You know when the bank takes your house they literally...take it. They come by one morning and kick you out of your own house. Just lock you out."

God, when he got going there was no stopping his rambling was there?

"Why didn't you tell us what was going on?" Finn asked, and Sam was slightly surprised by the genuinely sorry looks on their faces.

"You see how information flies around that school right?" Sam asked, rhetorically, "You think everyone would've just treated me the same after they found out? I'd be even more of a freak. Kurt only found out because I got a job delivering pizzas at night and happened to bring one to Dalton."

"Yeah, he told us." Finn shot a look at Rachel. "Look, I brought these for you." Finn said, handing over a worn bag that was bulging at the seams. "I know Kurt was tryin' to help you out, bringing some of his old clothes, but I don't really think that sequined riding pants are for you. " Sam half smiled, knowing that they weren't his style- and that Kurt, himself, had obviously figured that out and had only sent him clothes that Sam would be comfortable in. "So it's some of my old stuff."

"Thanks." Thanks Sam mumbled, looking away from their kind gazes.

"So, um, what about Quinn?" Rachel asked, looking sheepish, slightly ashamed and a bit apologetic.

"We go to the same church. Couldn't really hide it from her and I kinda like having her around to do some girl stuff with Stacie." Sam told her, "Mom and dad are out all day, pounding the pavement looking for work, but...nothing. Not even sure if gonna be able to keep on the Glee club." He could hear the bitter edge in his own voice at the latter statement.

"What?" Finn exclaimed, "No, you can't do that."

"Yeah, um, we've come so far and I-I know that it's a rough time right now, but you can't quit." Rachel agreed, quickly, looking at him imploringly.

Sam shook his head, "You guys don't understand." He told them- he didn't really expect them to understand.

Rachel sends his a look that he assumes is supposed to be reassuring- it's not. "Yes we do." She nods at Finn who goes to the door, grabbing something from the stoop, and Sam's nervous about what it could be.

"Quinn told us you hocked your guitar." Finn explains, presenting his old guitar case with a flourish.

Sam grabs it and lays it out flat, kneeling beside it, and feeling the rough leather beneath his hands, familiar, and comforting. He flips the latches and opens it, and sees his old, trusty guitar lying there, the sticker he'd put on it when he was 12 still attached to it.

"Did you guys buy this back for me?" Sam asked, staring at them both, incredulous, his voice taut with emotion.

"The whole Glee club did." Rachel told him, smiling again. "Look Sam we'll do whatever we can to help," At this Sam buries his face in one hand, feeling his nose tingling, and the tears prickling, he rubs at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger, "Anything to keep you in the glee club, until you get back on your feet."

Sam sniffed and sighed a few times, trying to suppress the emotions welling up in his chest. "First time I've cried." He said, throat clogged up, feeling overwhelmed.

Stacie comes up behind him, curious. "Don't cry Sammy. " She pleads, when she sees his reddened eyes. She placed her hands on his shoulders and laid her little head on his shoulder blade.

"We need you Sam, okay?" Rachel said, earnestly."And you need the music." Sam stares up at her with red eyes. He grabbed his guitar from the its' case and set the case to the side, thanking them both profusely.

He's pulled into an awkward group hug, his guitar squished between the three of them. When they pull away they make their excuses and he escorts them to the door.

Sam shuts the door, guitar still in hand and flops in between his siblings, who curl up on either side of him, He loves the feeling of having his guitar back in his arms, the comfort and security it brings him. He strums a few chords, and revels in the calming sound.

"Hey everybody." Sam said, walking into Glee for Saturday afternoon practice, one sibling attached to each hand. "I kinda wanted to get these guys outta the motel for a little while, I hope it's okay if I brought them. " Sam explained when Mr Schue sent him a questioning glance.

"Of course, of course, yeah, come on in." Mr Schue said, smiling encouragingly at Sam's siblings.

Sam let go of them and they scrambled over to sit with Quinn. "I was also hoping that maybe they could help out with the number today- I have the perfect song that I wanna sing to them." Mr Schue looked doubtful, and Sam was quick to reassure him, "Don't worry it's good for the assignment Mr Schue."

Mr Schue smiled and placed a comforting hand on Sam's shoulder. "The more the merrier." He said, and lead the way to the auditorium.

Sam hung back, and walked with Mercedes.

"Hi." She mumbled, avoiding his eyes.

"Hey 'Cedes." Sam replied, smiling softly at her- yes it still stung that she had been so quick to judge him, but he knew that she was truly repentant.

She risked a glance at him, and when she saw his smile she sighed, relieved. "Oh, Sam I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have gone all diva on you. I should have known better." Her voice caught, and he wanted to reach out and hug her. "I should have known you wouldn't do that- heck I should have known that Kurt wouldn't do that to Blaine. I think he's still angry at me." She confessed.

"It's okay." He told her. "I understand why Kurt's mad at you though- maybe you should apologise, you know, just to let him know."

Sam held the auditorium door open for her, and she stepped under his outstretched arm, mumbling her thanks. When the door swung shut she wrapped her arms around his in a breath-taking hug- he quite literally stopped breathing for a second because he hadn't let himself imagine how good she'd feel in his arms.

He hugged her back quickly, not willing to let this opportunity fade away, before he'd taken full advantage of it.

Sam strummed the opening chords of 'Don't stop' letting the piano melt into the soft strumming. He launches into the opening verse, Quinn joining in soon after, and when the chorus starts everyone is suddenly there, and everyone's singing and dancing and enjoying themselves, and he veers off to the side, to stand with Stevie and Stacie.

He can't help but stare at Mercedes- she looks lovely in her most natural environment, and her face lights up when she sings, and she belongs on that stage, she owns it, even though she's not taking a solo- not even a few lines. and can't help staring at Mercy.

Quinn and Finn materialise beside the three siblings, taking Stevie and Stacie, respectively, out to dance.

Sam follows them, believing the words he's singing- because he has to have that hope- that one day (maybe tomorrow, or the day after, maybe weeks from now) he'll be living in an actual house, and that the money he makes delivering pizzas will be spent on coffee, or a movie; and maybe these occurrences will be with Mercedes, and maybe it'll be a date.

Maybe he won't have to worry about getting food on the table for his siblings, or how they're going to pay for the motel room, or if he can really afford to give up the shift to do homework.

And he's still singing, and playing his guitar, but then suddenly Kurt's there and his arms are slipping around Sam and tugging his guitar over Sam's head, and he panics a little because he's only just gotten it back, but then he's being hoisted onto Mike and Puck's shoulders, and Finn's hand is on his back, steadying him, and he feels, just for that moment that he's on top of the world, and that yeah, anything's possible.

From his vantage point he can see everyone staring up at him, he can see their smiles and feel the love and security, and for the first time since he transferred to McKinley he can feel that sense of family that everyone in Glee club is always going on about; all thirteen of them- they're his family too.

A weird, dysfunctional, incestuous family, but a family all the same.

He's set back down and he's twirling Stacie around, she's giggling and her eyes are lit up, and it's been so long since she's been so happy, and carefree- the way a child should be, and Sam's heart breaks a little for her.

He can see Mercedes smiling at him out of his periphery as he puts Stacie down and grabs Stevie, and Sam can't help but smile because he's surrounded by the people he loves the most. Sam's holding Stevie bridal style as the music fades to the background, and the two brothers are grinning stupidly at each other.

Then he's being hugged from all sides, by everyone- everyone but Mercedes, but he doesn't mind because the hug they shared before meant so much more to him.

He can see the bright, infectious smile on her plump lips and he thinks that maybe tomorrow would be worth waiting for, if tomorrow had that smile waiting for him.

So he wouldn't stop thinking about tomorrow, because it could only be better than today.

Well, let me know what you think. Reviews are like crack to me.

Coming up next: PROM!

Love, and hugs (maybe),

Heal My Bleeding Heart.