The Wedding Singer,
Written by WickedSong.
Three months later...
All packed up and nearly ready to go, Sam looked around his living room with that familiar feeling of dread and fear that leaving a place that felt like home and going somewhere new brought. He had felt that so many times in his life but for the first time there was a mixture of anticipation and excitement for what his new life would bring him.
It was finally time to start new and fresh in New York. At college.
Both prospects were scary and not at all like he'd ever expected. College? He hadn't really thought about that. He thought his dyslexia would make it too difficult for him to get in. As for New York, that was a scary dream and he hadn't ever thought about it, not when he had been there eight years ago and not when he had applied even months ago.
But it was there. He was really going.
He was really starting over this time.
Mercedes found the door she was looking for but it was open and boxes littered the apartment. Some were packed, some were still to be packed. Despite the door being open she still knocked the door, deeming it the politest option. A blonde middle-aged woman came to the door, looking slightly frazzled and busy. But she still smiled.
"Hello darling," she said. "What can I do you for? Sorry for the mess. My son's moving..." Something clicked or must have or, Mercedes didn't know really because the woman turned and hissed, "Stacy, come here!"
Stacy Evans walked up to her mother and gave her a questioning look. "Yeah?"
Mercedes looked at the two feeling awkward and when Stacy turned to look at her she quickly wondered if she had made the right decision in coming here.
Well, she was about to find out.
"Sammy, someone's here to see you."
"Oh really, who?" Sam asked his sister as she walked into the room, a smirk on her face. He smiled back at her, unsure, but it quickly faded when he saw who followed her into the room.
Chocolate skin, hazel eyes, curls that went past her shoulders.
It wasn't unlike when they had met again almost five months ago and yet that felt like a lifetime ago.
"I think mom is calling me. Bye!" Stacy zoomed out of the room, closing the door behind her hastily. The click the door made forced the two still in the room to snap out of their trance-like state just looking at each other.
"I guess you're wondering what I'm doing here," she wondered aloud.
Sam didn't answer immediately, looking for the right words but when he did, he felt as if he had to get rid of the words now or else he'd burst from keeping them in any longer. It was almost like every thought from her wedding day until now. "Of course I am. I thought that letter was it. You're married Mercedes, you married Shane. You can't just show up out of the blue. I thought we were just going to act like we'd never even met and now you're here."
"Give me a minute. I want to explain. I have-"
"I gave you your space. I apologised. I don't want to be a burden or a regret in your life anymore. Every part of me wanted to come to your wedding and tell you face to face how I feel. That wouldn't have been right though." He forced a weak smile. "You're Mrs. Tinsley now."
It hurt to call her 'Mrs. Tinsley.' That cut like a knife.
"If you don't let me speak in the next-"
But he cut her off again, knowing he was probably going to ruin any ties they could have in the future but knowing it was for the best. "No, I'm doing this for us, OK? You should just go. I'm leaving for college in a couple of days and I have packing to do."
She looked like she was angry, furious. He half expected her to slap him and he would take it. He deserved it. What kind of dude showed up at a rehearsal dinner drunk and then sent a note as an apology without any face to face contact?
But she didn't slap him, only shook her head. "Fine, Sam. If that's how you want it to be between us then I won't bother you anymore. I guess this is goodbye."
And with that she opened the door and walked out the apartment. He hated watching her leave but he was doing it, and he kept stressing this to himself, for them, for him and his fresh start, for her and her marriage.
Sighing heavily, and feeling tears prickle the side of his eyes, he picked up a box, resolving to keep busy to keep his mind off of that exchange.
It's for the best, he kept saying, hoping that it suddenly became true and right.
"Son, put that box down right now."
Sam turned to his mother in the doorway and looked down at the box marked 'Breakable – handle with care' scribbled on it.
"Why?" he asked apprehensively.
She just shook her head at him and he quickly placed it back at his feet. With her hands she ordered him to move it to the side and he did so without question this time.
"You didn't look at her hand and I know why, Sam. Why would you want to? Why remind yourself, right?" Why was she telling him this, he thought and he felt angry that she was burdening this point. Yes, he knew. Yes, that's why he hadn't looked. Why was this relevant? "But , unless I'm mistaken, a symbol of marriage is a wedding ring. Sweetie, if you had looked you would have noticed that she didn't have one on."
In about three seconds he formulated a response to this. Firstly he wondered why she was telling him, secondly he realised and by the third he was already running, avoiding all the boxes, down the hallway of the apartment building and towards the elevator. Before he could get there though he just noticed Mercedes get on it.
His next best choice was the stairs and if he was really fast and if those on the floors below all needed into the elevator he may be able to catch her.
This wasn't over. Not yet.
She wasn't sure why she thought that would've been a good idea in the first place. Of course he wouldn't have wanted to see her. He was still under the impression she had married Shane and that was all her fault. She quickly stopped herself from feeling too much sympathy though. He had refused to listen to her and her pride stopped her from trying.
Maybe it was a sign.
She played it in her head as she waited for the slowest elevator in the world to get to the lobby. Not just that but her wedding day – or the day that would have been her wedding.
She had just finished reading the letter and she had been looking at the faces of all her friends. In an instant she had realised what Sam had been saying in the letter. That when you know, you know. And if she didn't know about Shane when she was about to make the biggest commitment of her life then she had no right to make that with him.
It had been a fairly messy affair and people still questioned what she had done but she had to do it. There had been no fireworks between the two of them though. She had only calmly explained to Shane once she had asked Quinn to get him for her. At first he hadn't understood. And she realised that perhaps this was sudden to him – it had been eight years after all.
But somehow along the way they had been living separate lives. Whenever he was in New York the only time he would have come home was to do with wedding planning or getting together with their families – and even sometimes he wasn't there for that. They were strangers.
And while it had hurt, they had both agreed that their hearts weren't completely in it anymore.
Mercedes was jolted out of her thoughts by the doors opening and she finally found herself in the lobby.
Walking with a steely resolve she was almost out of the apartment complex when she heard someone shouting her name.
"Wait! Wait! Mercedes! Wait! Excuse me, excuse me, I have to-OW! No, wait, I'm okay. Mercedes!"
She turned to see Sam standing up, dusting himself off and running over to her. Everyone who had been watching as he had been shouting and falling down the stairs turned their attention back to their own business and Sam was beside her.
"What do you want? Want to burn more bridges? Go for it."
"You didn't get married. You didn't."
She held up the hand which should have had the wedding ring on it but didn't. "Guilty. I'm surprised but not surprised that you didn't notice."
"Look, I know I'm an ass sometimes and I was definitely one up there but...do you think we could talk about this. What happened?"
She looked up at him. "Want to go for a walk?"
He smiled. "That sounds nice."
After recounting the story of her wedding day gone awry, Sam still had some questions for Mercedes.
"But whenever I talked to Quinn she would-"
"I told her that if she heard from you she was to mention me as little as possible," Mercedes revealed, shrugging her shoulders. "Following the wedding, I went to New York as much as possible. For the last three months I've been recording and making sense of it all."
"Have you made sense of it all?"
"If I hadn't I wouldn't be here."
He took that explanation and continued walking silently, until they came to a bridge. They both stood, looking at the water. Neither was sure whether to stand closer or move further away.
"So what did you make sense of then?"
"When you know, you know," she replied. "You said that in your letter. I didn't know about Shane. We broke up in college for a while but when we got back together it was never the same. We were so different in the relationship after that, separate people. It's terrible and I'll always look back at the times I had with him and feel happy but," she shook her head. "it's not a regret. It's a memory."
"And what am I?"
That was the question. What were they now to one another?
"You're what I keep coming back to. I asked Kurt about how he knew about Blaine and he said that it was like Coach Sylvester said at her sister's funeral."
"An invisible tether."
They both inched a little closer.
"I don't know what we would have been and you said it in your letter, we can't turn back time and find out," she said, looking straight at him.
It was almost as if he read her mind and he continued. "But Shane wasn't whatever you're looking for and who knows if I am either?"
"But you could be."
"And you could be for me as well."
Again, a little bit closer, that gap almost closed.
"If you're not and I'm not I want to know that at least we've tried," was her quick reply. "Aren't you sick of eight year old ghosts tripping us up?" She gave a small laugh and he joined in.
"Not really. If it brought me back to you." He nudged her shoulder lightly and she returned this.
And yet again, they moved closer, and the gap was closed. Their hands somehow found each others and she rested her head on his shoulder and he smiled down at her.
This wasn't them jumping right back into something. This was taking their time and just standing holding hands and seeing if maybe they'd still be holding hands in a minute. And in the next minute. But neither could deny that it felt kinda right.
"So where are you off to for college?" she asked quietly, thinking about what they were, how it would work but she needn't have worried.
"New York," he said, smiling.
"Well, that damn tether's doing it's work, isn't it?" questioned Mercedes, laughing a little.
He laughed along with her and they weren't aware how long they stood there. All they knew was that this was easy. It was something that wouldn't always be easy. But for now it was.
And there was that tether. Always bringing them back to each other.
Where, somehow they knew, they belonged.
I had you going there, didn't I? Didn't I? Come on, admit it, you thought I had them get married and I was really going to end the story like that. I'm not going to lie, I was so tempted but then I actually depressed myself and didn't do it. I'm not weak, just a sucker for true love and happy endings! :D
I hope you all enjoyed and didn't find the Shanecedes break up too random or badly done. I've been kinda building up to distance and separate lives for a while so hope you got that. Was the Shanecedes worth it in the end? You all be the judge.
I can't believe that is the story done. Finished. It was the air I breathed for a while; walking up and down from school formulating plots and dialogue and situations. I am going to go ahead with the deleted scene of the Gleeks reading the letter however so keep your eyes peeled for that as an additional chapter.
Now to the thank yous. I wish I could thank you all individually but because there are so many who reviewed and added to their alerts and favourites, I just can't get through you all. So thank you. If you reviewed, added to alerts or favourites thank you. Even if you silently read without any that again thank you! You do not know how much it means to me.
But I have to give a special thank you to my most loyal reviewers and that is; emzjuk, shanti-noel03, mariposafria and Princess976. I am pretty sure that they reviewed all/most of the chapters and I give my undying thank you to them but also to everyone else. I am giving a group hug here and EVERYONE is welcome into it.
So thank you for reading and *oh god, I said I'd be cool and not cry* keep your eyes out for that deleted scene which should be posted soon,