He cusses in front of his parents for the first time ever when they tell him they're losing the house.

It's not like a little cuss, either. He says the F word, and his mom looks at him like he's crazy, and his dad just kind of blinks. But whatever. It's the only word that even makes sense right now.

Look, he knows they're struggling. His dad lost his job three months ago, and things haven't been the same. They used to not have any problems with money, and they could like go out to eat whenever they wanted and like buy stuff without thinking about it. But they haven't been out to eat in probably a month and a half (McDonald's and Taco Bell don't count), and last week, he told his mom he needed new tennis shoes, and she said, "Maybe for Christmas."

Christmas? It's March. Christmas is a long time away.

But yeah, he gets it, okay? They don't have a bunch of extra money. And sometimes people call, and his mom or dad answers the phone and lies about not being home. Sometimes they don't even answer the phone at all. So yeah, he's pretty sure people are calling and asking for money, and he's pretty sure they don't have that money.

But seriously? They're losing the house? Like for real? They've got one week, and then they've got to be out?

He really can't help it when the only thing that comes out of his mouth is, "What the fuck?"

He calms down a couple hours later and apologizes for cussing.

He thinks it's kind of dumb that he has to because he's not a little kid, and like everybody he knows can cuss in front of their parents. Seriously, one time he was hanging out with his friends and Puck told his mom she was being a bitch. To her face. And all she did was roll her eyes.

But that's not how it is in his house. They don't talk like that. He's never even heard either one of his parents cuss ever except one time when his dad slammed his finger in the car door and said, "Damn!" Sam was like eight when it happened, but he remembers being shocked, and he remembers his mom getting super pissed off at his dad. So, yeah. They don't cuss in their house.

It's stupid, though. They're just words. And it's not like a word can really be bad unless somebody makes it that way. But that could be true for anything. Like what if book was a bad word? And that thing with pages you read was called a shit. If you dropped something heavy on your foot, you'd be like, "Book!" And that's just dumb, right? Or you'd be like, "I have to go check a shit out of the library."

Whatever, he's thinking about it too much.

But yeah, he apologizes, and his mom just says, "Honey, we know it's bad," and really, he's mostly just shocked that he's not like grounded or something. His parents are super strict, and they don't just let him get away with something like ever. Like in January, his mom went to parent/teacher conferences, and his algebra teacher said he sometimes talks too much in class. So his mom was really mad and took his phone away for a whole freaking month. So yeah, he's really shocked that he dropped an F bomb, and not only is he not being punished, but his mom is calling him honey.

That's how he knows it really is bad.

"What are we gonna do?" It's the only question that he can think of because seriously, what are they going to do? When he thinks of people losing their houses, he imagines them like going to live in a box on the street corner. He can't live in a box. Where is he supposed to shower or get dressed? Where is he supposed to poop?

"We're going to look for a new place." His dad sounds pretty calm and doesn't seem to realize that Sam's not an idiot and can tell that they don't have any money for a new place. Whatever, he doesn't point it out. "In the meantime, we'll be at the Extended Stay."

The Extended Stay. Like a motel? They're going to live in a motel? It's better than a box on the street corner, but seriously? A motel?

He wants to cry, but he doesn't because he's not a baby and also because he's not sure he's allowed to cry right now. His mom looks really sad, but she's not crying, and neither is his dad. They're both being really serious, so they probably expect him to do the same thing. He knows it's not a mistake that they're telling him this stuff while Stacy and Stevie are at a birthday party. Like, they probably expect him to be calm and rational and all that crap, but they're feeling him out just in case he goes psycho and starts throwing shit or something.

He doesn't throw anything.

He can't really think of anything else to say that won't make him sound like a spoiled brat, so he just goes up to his room and shuts the door and tries really hard not to think about the fact that he's only got another week in here.

"Shit, shit, fuck!"

He picks his literature book up off his desk and throws it at the wall.

Santana's way different from Quinn.

Like they're both kind of mean or whatever, but Quinn pretends like she's not and Santana basically shoves it down your throat. Also, she shoves other stuff down your throat, too.

Like her tongue.

They've only been dating a few weeks, but she's not shy or slow or anything like Quinn was. He can basically touch her anywhere he wants, which is super awesome because she may be a bitch, but she's hot. He could really do anything he wants with her, and he knows she wouldn't say no. But he never does because he's kind of scared of her and kind of scared that she'll make fun of him.

He's never actually, you know, done it before. But it's not like that's his fault. Quinn was the first girlfriend he ever had, and she told him like the very first time that they even made out that she was not having sex with him. And okay, he wasn't looking to have sex with her like right that minute anyway, but the possibility of it never happening (or at least not for a really, really long time) sucked. But he respected it, and he tried really hard not to like make her feel pressured or anything. Sometimes he would have liked to do more than just kiss her and touch her waist, but he's not an asshole or anything. He didn't ever try to make her do something she didn't want to do.

But Santana would do it. He knows she would. He probably wouldn't even have to ask her- he could just like start it, and she'd go with it. But he's seriously afraid that she'll make fun of him and tell him he sucks or like go tell the whole school that he was a virgin and didn't know what he was doing or something. So he just doesn't even go there.

Even if he really, really wants to.

He really shouldn't bring her to the house with everything that's going on, but she basically forces him to. She takes him home one day after glee, and when they get to his house, he tries to just kiss her really fast and tell her bye, but she doesn't let him go that easily. She like grabs his head and starts really kissing him, and he tries to keep focused and remember that they're in his driveway and that his parents and his little brother and sister are all right inside. But it's really hard to think about that when she's doing that thing with her tongue and all the blood from his brain is going somewhere else anyway.

"I gotta go." He finally gets to pull back for like three seconds and breathe, and it gives him enough time to try and make a break for it.

Santana doesn't give up, though, and she's all, "I'll come up and study with you," in this tease kind of voice that he knows means she doesn't really want to study.

"Probably not a good idea. My sister's sick." It's a total lie, but it's what pops out of his mouth, so he goes with it. "My parents probably don't want anybody over."

"It's not like we're going to be bothering your little sister, shit." She gives him this look that's less teasing and more you're a fucking dumbass.

"Santana-" The rest of whatever he was about to say (and no, he has no idea what that is) gets literally caught in his throat like a piece of popcorn that went down the wrong way or something. Santana's kissing him again, and this time she's got her hand on him down there, and seriously, he can't do anything but just tell her okay.

So they make it up to his room without actually running into anybody, and he's glad about that because he's pretty sure his current state of mind is pretty obvious from the outside. And he really, really doesn't feel like having either of his parents notice that.

He could seriously get used to blow jobs. He knows that's pervy or whatever, but it's the truth, okay? He really likes it. Like a lot. And Santana's all about it, so it's not like she minds or anything. He's kind of surprised by that because he didn't think girls were supposed to like it or whatever, but she doesn't seem to care. She just does it, and it feels really good, so she must be awesome at it.

It's not til after all that when they're just making out on his bed that Santana stops and looks around and is like, "Where's all your stuff?"

Normally he wouldn't be able to think while there's a hot girl straddling him, but he's got enough sense to know this is important, so he just thinks real fast and says, "Yard sale." It's not like a total lie because his parents are taking stuff every day down to the consignment shop and selling it. So it's kind of like a yard sale, just not really. But whatever, he's sure as hell not telling her the truth.

Santana just kind of raises her eyebrows, though, and says, "Good. Now you got rid of that junk, maybe you can actually get something nice."

He tells her she has to leave.

He knows it's gonna happen on Saturday, but he figured it would be later on in the day. He doesn't expect it to be 7:30 in the morning when his mom's shaking him and telling him he needs to get up.

It takes him a second to even realize what's going on because he's sleeping on an air mattress in the living room with his brother. He can hear his dad in the kitchen talking to someone, and he doesn't know who's in there, but he knows what's going on. His mom looks like she's about to burst into tears, so he does them both a favor and just doesn't look at her when he gets up. She distracts herself with Stevie, and it's a good distraction because that kid is hella hard to wake up.

He goes upstairs to his room so he can change clothes and throw the last of his stuff into the duffel up there. He seriously, seriously wants to cry when he looks around at the totally empty room and realizes it's the last time he's ever going to see it. It's stupid because he hasn't even lived here a year, and he didn't even feel like this when they left Nashville. And he'd lived in that house since he was three. But it's different- he's not sad to be leaving this house, he's sad because it's officially real.

And that scares the crap out of him.

The motel is exactly like he imagined it would. Only smaller.

It's gross. He's not like a snob or anything, but he's never really not had nice things. Or at least decent stuff. But this is gross and kind of dirty, and he hates it the second they step foot in there. There's a full bed, an armchair, a little table with two chairs, a dresser with a 19 inch TV on top of it, and this little kitchen thing that's got this tiny little stove and a mini-fridge. All of that's shoved in one room, and between all that and all the stuff his dad brought over last night, there's like not even room to walk.

"We have to live here?" Sam can't really blame his brother for asking the obvious or for sounding so disgusted by it. He pretty much feels exactly the same way.

But Stacy's all happy and like, "I think it's cool!" before she's climbing up to stand on the bed and bouncing. He tells her to get down because he can tell that his mom's about to break and lose it completely, and he doesn't want Stacy to be the one she takes it out on.

He should say something or do something to like make it better. But he can't. He can't because this is crappy, and his parents are idiot assholes if they try to pretend like it's not. He thinks about telling them that, but he's like one-hundred percent positive that his mom would turn around and slap him or something, so he doesn't.

He just grabs Stacy around the waist and puts her back on the ground.

He doesn't sleep at all that first night. Probably not even for a second. If he thought sleeping with Stevie sucked, it was nothing compared to sleeping Stevie and Stacy.

At least they get the real bed, but it's not like it's huge or anything. It's just a full-size bed, so there's not a ton of room. But he's the tallest one in his family and like wouldn't even fit on the roll away cots. So he gets the bed, and that should be a plus or something, but it's really not when you gotta share it with two other people. Stevie could sleep through the zombie apocalypse or something, and when he's out, he's like out. Stacy is the one who's bugging the crap out of him because she can't be still for five seconds even when she's asleep. She's kicking and rolling all of the place and stealing all the cover, and then she decides to actually lay on him, and whatever, he can't even bother throwing her off. She's clinging to him like he's her teddy bear or something, and he can turn his head just enough to see that she's got her actual teddy bear under her other arm.

She pitched this giant fit before bedtime when she realized that it was still in the car and Dad told her she'd have to wait til they got a chance to go through all that stuff. She started crying, saying she needed it, and Sam's smart enough to know that it's seriously going to be something like a tantrum that sends his parents over the edge, so he just grabbed her and took her outside and pulled every bag out of the trunk for her to go through til she found her bear. Then she hugged him and took off running back inside because she said she was cold, so he had to load all that crap back into the trunk because it's not like they've got room for anything else in the room. But whatever, at least it shut her up.

And now he can't sleep at all, so he just lies there and listens to the Coke machine buzzing outside. It's not dark enough in here, and this bed has too many springs that are sticking out wrong. He hates it. Seriously hates it.

But sometime, probably like 2 or 3 in the morning, he hears somebody crying and knows it's his mom. He can't deal with that right now, so he just pretends to be asleep when she gets up and goes to the bathroom and then comes out and fixes the blankets on the bed so that Sam and Stevie have some, too. She pries Stacy's fingers off his neck and kind of rolls her so she's more in the middle, and then she pulls the cover down around all of them. He's pretty sure he hasn't been tucked in since he was like six, but he doesn't hate it. He also doesn't hate the way her fingers sort of brush through his hair when she pushes it off his forehead.

He hates everything else, though.

They have to go to church the next morning, which seems really unfair when all their nice clothes are in a suitcase somewhere in the trunk. It also seems unfair when he hasn't been to sleep, and is finally getting tired at 8 when his dad's alarm goes off. He even asks if they have to go today, and his dad tells him not to be a jerk. Whatever, he wasn't even trying to be a jerk, he just doesn't feel like going anywhere today.

But he doesn't really have a choice.

They go to church in his family. Like always. The only times he can remember not going to church were when they were like on vacation or something. Or there's been a few times when he's been really, really sick, and his parents let him stay home. But other than that, for his whole life as far back as he can remember, he's been to church every single Sunday, and that didn't change when they moved to Ohio.

They didn't actually start going to this church til after he started dating Quinn. They were at another church, but Mrs. Fabray invited them one week, and his parents decided they liked this one better. It's not a huge church or anything, it's actually kind of little. But it's pretty cool, or at least it was when Quinn was his girlfriend anyway. Now it kind of sucks because it's not like he can just avoid her when there are seriously seven people in their Sunday School class. He's still not talking to her, though, even when she gives him those sad eyes or tries to say hi.

It especially sucks today because he's super tired and knows he probably looks like crap because all his clothes are wrinkled, and his mom couldn't find the iron. But he just does what he always does when he gets to class now- he sits down as far away from her as he can get and totally ignores her. He has no idea what they even talk about because he's not paying attention to anything, and he's seriously having to put one-hundred percent of his focus on keeping his eyelids open. He's super glad when class is over and he has an excuse to bolt because he's got to go get the kids out of their class.

He doesn't really pay much attention during church, either. He sits there with his family and struggles the whole time to stay awake. It's a little bit easier because at least in church they get to stand up and sit down and sing and stuff, so it's a little easier not to just fall asleep or whatever. But it's still hard, and when the sermon starts, he's back to like full focus on his eyelids and making them stay open. If he falls asleep in church, he's going to be in so much trouble, so he has to stay awake.

He's not paying attention at all, but he snaps out of it when his ears finally register something and it's the pastor saying one of their own families is going through a rough time and has recently lost their home. And all Sam can think after that is no, no, no, no, no, no, no because this cannot be happening. He doesn't hear what happens after that because his ears seriously start roaring, and he heard once that's what happens when your blood starts pumping really hard. He knows people are staring at him, and he always thought if he could have one super-power, he would pick flying. But that's definitely not true. He needs invisibility. Like he needs it right now. He doesn't have any super-powers, though, so he does the only other thing he can think of- he starts praying.

Please God, please, please let this be a dream. Let me wake up. Make me disappear. Make this not real. Please.

But when nothing happens, his brain thinks fuck you, and he knows it's talking to God even though it doesn't come out and say it. He feels sick after that, like he might seriously vomit or something, because he's never thought anything that bad in his whole life, and he can't believe he just did. In church.

People start coming up to them after church and like giving them hugs and talking to his parents and stuff. And he's seriously never been more embarrassed of anything in his whole entire life, and he kind of gets embarrassed pretty easily. He can see Quinn and her mom across the room, but he looks away like the same second she looks at him. He can't deal with it, so he goes and locks himself in the bathroom outside the sanctuary and just stays in there for however long, trying to make himself breathe and calm down. He still got that pounding in his head, and his face is bright red. He sees himself in the mirror and sees the wrinkled clothes and the way his hair's a little too long, and he freaking looks homeless.

He tries to apologize to God for thinking what he did earlier, but he doesn't really feel like he means it, so God probably knows that and knows it's not sincere. And it probably doesn't count, but whatever. He can't make himself feel something he doesn't, but he pretends anyway because God's already punishing him for something, and he doesn't really need anymore strikes against him even if he doesn't know what he did in the first place.

He stays in there for a long time until somebody knocks on the door, and he hears his mom say, "Sam? Are you okay?"

He can't hide anymore, so he unlocks the door and comes out, hoping everyone else is mostly gone. He doesn't hear a bunch of noise or anything, so it's probably safe. His mom's standing there in the hallway looking tired and upset but also like concerned or something.

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah." It's a lie, and he's probably getting marks against him for lying in church, but he can't help it.

"Are you sick?"

He just shakes his head because he doesn't want to talk about it. So he tries to just move toward the exit, but his mom's like intent on making him miserable or something because she says, "Sam," in this voice that means she's worn out and can't handle him lying.

He knows she's not going to stop til he says something anyway, so he turns around and makes sure nobody's around listening. "Quinn's going to tell everybody at school."

His mom has this look on his face like she's pitying him or something, and it's also kind of sad. But she shakes her head and just says, "Honey, no, she's not."

"Yes, she is!" And he's whispering, but he still keeps looking around in case somebody's watching. "Everybody's gonna know."

"She's not going to tell anyone. She's still your friend."

He wants to laugh. One, because his mom thinks she knows Quinn better than he does (and seriously, the Quinn around parents is not the same Quinn as the one at school). And two, because... Seriously? "She's not my friend."

"Yes, she is. I know y'all broke up, but-"

He cuts her off because he can't even listen to it right now. He's never told his parents why they broke up, and he figures now's as good a time as any if it will get his mom to shut up and stop defending her. "She cheated on me." He says it really fast so his mom'll be quiet. "With her ex-boyfriend. One of my friends. The same ex-boyfriend she was dating last year when she got pregnant with his best friend's baby! She's not my friend, she's a slut."

"Hey." She doesn't yell at him or anything, but he knows her voice tones, and that one is a warning.

"Sorry," he mutters because he's not supposed to call girls sluts (even when they are). "But I..." He can't even think of what he wants to say. "Why did you have to tell them?"

"It's church, Sam. They care."

He wants to tell her that no, they're probably just looking for something else to gossip about, but he doesn't. He doesn't because it's not even worth it. He turns around to leave again, but she's saying his name again and stopping him.

"No, it's fine," he tells her. "Sorry."

He feels like he's apologizing a lot lately, and he's not really sure he means any of it. But he doesn't know what else to do.

He avoids Quinn all day in school. He's kind of good at it because he's been doing it for a few weeks now. So he knows what halls to avoid during what time of the day and all that. He's got it down.

But it's kind of harder today because she starts showing up in his halls like she's looking for him or something. Every time he sees her, he goes to the bathroom because he knows she can't follow him in there, and he ends up being late to two different classes because he has to go out of his way to hide from her.

She texted him after church and asked what happened. He ignored her obviously because it's not like it's any of her business. Then she called him last night, but he didn't answer. He doesn't want to talk to her. Not about anything, but especially not about this.

But then she totally sneak attacks him after he gets out of PE and no crap like seriously pops out from behind this row of lockers. And it's not like he can run away or something because running way from a girl is nothing but a good way to make yourself look like a pussy.

"You smell good."

It's the first thing she says, and it's so freaking random that he just says, "New shampoo," because it's true and because he just got out of the shower. But then he realizes that she's probably just being a bitch, so he says, "What'd you expect me to smell like? Garbage?"

Quinn blinks at him and just says, "Sam."

He keeps walking and hopes she takes the hint and goes the other direction, but she doesn't. She pushes her way through the hallway crowds and manages to keep up with him. He wants to snark at her and tell her to be careful talking to him because her boyfriend might see, but it hits him out of nowhere that he seriously does not give a crap about her and Finn anymore. Like apparently getting kicked out of your house kind of trumps ex-girlfriend drama. It's almost refreshing in a way.

"Sam, please," she grabs his elbow, and he kind of wants to just shove her into the wall. "Can we just talk?"

He stops then, and this time he grabs her elbow and pulls her over to the side of the hallway where the lockers are. "Just go ahead and tell everyone," he hisses, and he doesn't even care that he sounds like he's almost speaking Parseltongue or anything. Like it doesn't even impress him. He's just mad, and he basically just wants her to know it. "You already ruined my life once, just go ahead and fucking do it again!"

It takes him probably five seconds before he feels bad, and then he feels like crap because Quinn looks like she's about to cry or something. And seriously, he shouldn't feel bad because she cheated on him, and he never would have done that to her. Not ever. Because he really thought he loved her (and he's still pretty sure about it). But she did it, and it really, really hurt, okay? Like he knows that makes him lame, but it felt really freaking bad. And when he looks at her, it still feels really freaking bad.

So he really shouldn't be saying, "Crap. I'm sorry," but he is because he can't stand to see her look sad. Even if she totally deserves it.

"Sam, I didn't..." She just stops talking, and he doesn't even really care about whatever she's gonna say because it's probably not true anyway. Like if she says she didn't mean to hurt him, that's crap because she could have just, you know, not. But she did, and she lied to him and made him look like the biggest dumbass in the school. So yeah, she meant to hurt him. But she doesn't finish that sentence. Instead, she just says, "What happened?"

"You heard what happened," and his voice is kind of snappy, but so what? How much plainer can it be than the Evans family lost their house? She's not stupid like at all, so he doesn't know what's so hard to comprehend about it.

"But I mean... I don't understand."

"You know my dad got laid off." And she does. Because she was his girlfriend when it happened, and he told her everything. And it kind of hurts even worse when he thinks about like what if she was still his girlfriend? He totally would have already told her what was happening, and maybe it would have been really nice to have somebody to talk to.

"I just don't... I mean, what are you guys doing?"

There's a part of him that still wants to tell her to just F off, but he doesn't. He's not a jerk, even when he kind of has a right to be, so he can't really tell her that even if she probably deserves it. "We're staying at a motel." He says it really quiet because even though he's sure nobody around them is eavesdropping, it's still really embarrassing to admit. And he looks down at the ground instead of at her face when he says it.

She doesn't say anything, and he doesn't have to look at her face to know that she's embarrassed for him. He knows she's probably thinking about how pitiful it is or something that people can't even manage to keep their houses. He wants to hit something really hard.

"Are you gonna tell everyone?" He looks up finally because it's important, and he wants to know the answer.

Quinn's looking all sad, but when he asks that, she actually looks surprised or something like she's shocked he would assume that. He doesn't know why she would be shocked, it's a totally valid assumption.

"No," she shakes her head, and he believes her because... well, he doesn't know why really, but it does. "No, I won't tell anybody." He just nods and kind of glances away because eye contact is sorta difficult right now. "Did you?"

"Did I tell anybody?" She must be crazy, and he shakes his head. "No."

"Not even Santana?"

"Why the hell would I tell Santana?"

Quinn looks uncomfortable, but she says, "She's your girlfriend, isn't she?"

And crap, yeah, she is. He guesses. He's really not sure what she is, and half the time he forgets that she exists, but yeah, she's probably his girlfriend.

"I don't tell her anything."

He doesn't follow that up with, 'But I told you everything.'

He can't sleep one night, and that's a bad thing because it gives him way too much time to just think. When he starts thinking about stuff, he realizes how much it all sucks (like he didn't know anyway), and then he starts feeling like maybe really depressed or something. It makes him wish he still had his iPhone because he could just Google one of those online depression tests at like WebMD or something and find out for sure. But all he has is some cheap prepaid phone that his dad told him needs to last at least until next month, and, "It'd be really great if you could make it last longer than that."

So it's a good thing that he's pretty much not talking to any of his friends at the moment. It's way easier to hide this stuff when he's basically avoiding everyone he knows.

But anyway, he can't sleep, and he knows he's the only one awake because he can hear both his parents snoring, and he can see Stacy and Stevie passed out beside him. He's just lying there, thinking about how much all this sucks and about how crowded and uncomfortable this bed is and how he can barely stay awake during school as it is.

And then he wishes he was still at his old school.

Seriously, this is the first time he's ever been to public school since like second grade. Back home, him and his brother and sister all went to this private day school, and obviously he was the first one that went to it (because he's the oldest, duh), but his parents sent him there because he couldn't read, and he used to come home crying because his teacher kept accusing him of not trying. So his parents took him out and sent him to private school. And then it turned out he had dyslexia, so everybody probably felt bad for secretly assuming he was just stupid or whatever (which they won't admit, but he knows is totally true). And anyway, the private school could really focus on that, so he stayed, and then when Stevie and Stacy started school, it just made sense to send them to the same place.

Then in ninth grade he started going to this boarding school in Chattanooga. And it kind of sucked, yeah, because it was all boys, and he was just starting to really like girls. But it was cool, too, because it made him feel like independent or something. Plus, it was really fun being around his friends 24/7 because he never, ever had to be bored or whatever.

Then his dad got this job last summer, and it was too late to apply to any of the private schools in Lima. But his parents told him that if he wanted to stay at McCallie, he could. He decided not to because he was being a baby and didn't like the idea of being that far away from his family. Like it was okay when they were just a couple of hours away, but Ohio seemed like another freaking planet. So he said no and moved to Lima with the rest of his family.

And now? He's really freaking wishing he didn't.

True, nothing would have changed with his dad and the job situation or whatever, but at least for Sam, his tuition and room and board and all that would've been paid upfront, so there's no way they could have like kicked him out in the middle of the year or anything. And he'd still have his own bed and his own room (well, almost his own room). He'd still have really good food- not Easy Mac and whatever else is stocked in the top dresser drawer where his family keeps all their food.

But then he realizes the rest of his family would still be homeless and still be living in this motel, so he feels bad for wishing he had it better than they would.

Rachel has this party, and he doesn't really want to go, but Santana tells him he has to. And plus, everybody else is going, too, so it's going to look real dumb if he doesn't go. And Santana will probably try to cut his balls off or something, and he just doesn't want to deal with it. So he goes.

There's nobody but glee kids here, and Rachel's basement looks like something out of some movie or something. It's totally weird, but he's not really surprised because Rachel's kind of weird. Santana hates her, and she starts talking shit about everything the second they get there. She tells him how lame this is going to be and how this whole house looks like a "freakshow for the freakshow" whatever that means. And anyway, she pretty much shoves him down on the sofa and climbs into his lap. He doesn't hate it, okay? Like if he has to deal with her at all, on his lap is one way he definitely prefers.

It really is kind of lame. Everybody's just kind of sitting around doing nothing, so at least Santana's making out with him. He hasn't really seen her a lot lately, and she's a really good kisser. Plus, it keeps him from having to acknowledge Quinn who keeps giving him weird looks. She hasn't tried to talk to him or anything, and she hasn't brought up their last conversation at all. He hasn't heard any rumors about himself, so as far as he knows, she's at least following through on the whole not telling anybody thing. He should probably be grateful or something, but he's still pretty mad at her.

Anyway, Puck finally breaks into the liquor cabinet, and it finally turns into a real party. He probably shouldn't drink as much as he does, but once he starts, he realizes it's a really good way to just forget about everything else, so he keeps going. And everybody else is drinking a lot, too. Something's up with Santana, though, because she keeps randomly crying, and he doesn't know what that is, like if it's the alcohol or PMS or something. He's seen her at parties before, like back during football season or whatever, but he never paid much attention to her. He was with Quinn then, and she pretty much had his full attention, even if she wouldn't ever let him get drunk because, "Bad things happen with alcohol." She was probably talking about like alcohol poisoning or something, but he never bothered to find out. Anyway, she's definitely drinking tonight, which is strange, and he can see her screaming at Puck across the room. Santana sees him watching Quinn, and then she screams at him and cries some more and then makes out with him some more.

It's kind of how the whole night goes.

They play Spin the Bottle, which he didn't even think was a real game people played, or at least people who weren't like teenagers in the old days, like the 80s or whatever. But it's kind of fun, and he gets to kiss Brittany who's been stripping all night and is wearing this hot pink bra that is awesome. And Santana's not happy about that, either, so she basically straddles his lap and shoves her tongue in his mouth and doesn't let him up for the rest of the night until she's telling him to call his parents and say he's staying at Puck's or something because, "You are fucking me tonight."

And he shouldn't. Like he should seriously have enough sense to know that he's drunk and that this is stupid. But he does have enough sense to know that he's drunk, and he knows that it's not exactly like he can hide that from his parents when he shows up to their one room motel residence. And he knows that he can't go home drunk if he wants to wake up tomorrow, so he sends his dad a text and tells him that no one can bring him home and he'll just stay with Puck and catch the bus in the morning before church. (Not that he would have let anybody take him home anyway. He seriously has no idea how he planned on getting home in the first place, so that was probably pretty dumb).

But he squeezes in Kurt's car with Blaine and Mercedes and Mike and Tina and Santana (if they get pulled over, they're all going to jail because this is seriously not legal), and Santana drags him out of the car when they get to her house. It's all dark and everything, so her parents are probably asleep. She just tells him to be quiet while she's unlocking the door, and then they go up to her room, and he's seriously in way too deep.

This is not how he should lose his virginity- drunk and with some girl he doesn't even care about while her parents are like two doors down. But he's sixteen, and he feels like the only guy he knows who hasn't already done it. In church they always tell them to wait and save it and all that stuff, but that's not realistic, right? Like nobody does that, nobody waits til they're married to have sex. That's like... forever away. Yeah, it'd be nice to like at least wait for somebody you really care about, but he really cared about Quinn, and she never even let him touch her boobs.

Plus, Santana's really hot.

She kisses him again, pushes him up against her bedroom door and grabs his head while she like moves her hips against his, and it feels kind of awesome. He tries not to focus on it too much because he's already sure he's going to end up embarrassing himself, and he doesn't really need to add to it by like coming in his pants or something. She's been grinding against him all night, and he's kind of proud of himself that he hasn't already lost it.

She's clearly not in the mood to mess around, though, because she's already grabbing his shirt and pulling it off of him. He can't really think straight, but he can think well enough to know that he likes this probably more than he should. He especially likes the way she says, "God damn, why do you ever wear clothes?" Yeah, she's totally taking the Lord's name in vain, but she's complimenting his body, and he's been kind of self-conscious lately because he hasn't really had a lot of time to focus on it. And he's not eating like he should, either, so there are like these little fat pudges right at his hip joint that are driving him crazy. But Santana doesn't seem to mind, so that's good.

He does think it's kind of unfair that he's the only one missing clothes, though, so he's super glad when she pulls that dress over her head. He's seen her with her shirt off before, but he's never seen her (or any other girl) in like nothing but underwear. He knows realistically that it doesn't show anything more than like a swimsuit does, but it feels different, and she's so sexy. Like for real. He's pretty sure her boobs are fake because that's what everybody says, but they look pretty awesome to him. And he's already touched them lots, but that doesn't mean he likes it any less, so he touches them now when she pushes right up against him again and shoves their mouths together.

She doesn't ask if he's a virgin, and he doesn't offer the information up, either. He figures that if he sucks at it, he can at least blame it on being drunk or something. She doesn't need to know that he's just never done it before and has no idea what he's doing. Of course, he doesn't know what he's doing, but he's pretty sure a lot of it is just based on pure instinct. And he's right.

It's pretty amazing actually, like way better than he expected since he doesn't even really like Santana. He kind of forgets that and almost feels like he loves her when she's got her legs wrapped around him and is telling him to go deeper. And he knows it's totally weird and pervy, okay? But he's kind of shocked that he can even go deeper. He's always wondered how that stuff even fits together down there, and even though he's seen porn or whatever and knows it fits, he still wasn't sure how it all worked. But apparently it does, and it feels awesome. She doesn't act like she can tell it's his first time or anything, so he thinks that's probably a good thing. It doesn't last very long, either, but she doesn't seem to think that's weird or whatever, so maybe that's normal. He doesn't know.

All he knows is that he's not a virgin, and that sex is really, really fun.

The next morning's not so fun, though- not when he has to wake up at 7 o'clock in the morning to catch the bus (Santana flat out tells him she's not getting up to take him home- not that he would let her anyway). He's totally hungover and feels like crap, and he's sure he looks like crap, too. He tries to wash his face and smooth his hair down before he goes home, but he's not really sure how much he actually accomplishes.

When he gets to the motel, his mom and dad and Stacy are all up. His brother's still asleep, but that's not surprising. He tries really hard not to make the fact that he feels like throwing up too obvious. His mom gives him this look that's just like she knows he spent all night underage drinking and having premarital sex, so he avoids eye contact as much as possible because he's never really been good with getting away with stuff.

When they get to church, he starts feeling really guilty. Like it's one thing to hide stuff from his mom, but it's not like he can hide it from God, and he feels like a hypocrite sinner or something stupid like that. But he can't help it, okay? He doesn't like feeling like that. He especially feels terrible when he has to excuse himself from Sunday School because he really does have to puke. It's gross, and he hates throwing up, but he feels a little bit better afterward, so maybe it's not too terrible. Quinn's not even here, which is not fair at all because if he has to suffer through Sunday School and church hungover, she should, too. But apparently her mom must have believed whatever lie she came up with because she's definitely not there.

He wishes his own parents were cool like that.

He ends up in the principal's office with the whole rest of the glee club after Brittany pukes all over Rachel at assembly.

It's not fair, okay? Yeah, he drank some of that stuff, too, but he didn't puke on anybody. And he's not the one who brought it to school, either. Nobody would even know he had any if Santana and Brittany didn't snitch them all out after they got in trouble for throwing up and obviously being drunk. But they must have because here they all are, standing in the office waiting to get suspended or expelled or arrested or whatever happens when you get caught drinking underage.

His parents are going to kill him. Like he knows a lot of people say that, but he seriously doesn't think anybody else here has parents as strict as his, except maybe Mike. Like maybe some of the others will be in trouble (some of their parents won't even give a crap), but nobody else's parents are going to for real go ballistic.

For one, he's probably going to be grounded til college, no joke. For two, they're going to give him the guilt trip to end all guilt trips and tell him that they have enough to worry about without him causing extra problems, and they're gonna tell him that he's being a bad example for the kids. And all of that is true, okay? His parents have too much on them, and they don't need to be dealing with him getting in trouble when he's old enough to know better. He should be helping out, not acting like a dumb kid, and he totally deserves whatever is coming. He's already planning his apology in his head because his parents seriously shouldn't have to deal with him doing this kind of stupid stuff.

But then Figgins is telling them how awesome they are and how they're helping the school and scaring kids straight and stuff, and seriously? He has no idea what's going on, but they're getting yogurt coupons instead of suspension slips, so he's cool with it.

He still feels guilty, though.

Both his parents go out like every day looking for work and doing interviews and stuff. He knows his dad has sent his resume to every accounting firm within like a hundred miles of Lima, but nothing's happening. And his mom's never worked- well, not in a long time anyway- so it's not like she's got a lot of experience or something that makes people want to hire her.

The rent on the motel room is $175 a week, which sounds like nothing but is freaking everything when you don't have it. They are totally out of savings, and the only money they really have is what they made off of selling all their stuff. That's running out like super fast, too, and when that's gone, that's it. He asked about his college fund the other night and said maybe they should dip into it, and his mom broke down crying and told him it's been gone for months. She was really upset and kept apologizing, and he just told her it's okay because what else was he supposed to say? He couldn't exactly tell her what he was feeling, which was something like anger or bitterness or something. And okay, he knows it's technically his parents' money anyway, and he doesn't mind that they spent it trying to save the house or whatever. But they could have told him at least. But then he felt really bad for being selfish, and he's just tried not to really think about it too much since. He's probably not smart enough to go to college anyway.

He wants to help, but he doesn't really know what he's supposed to do. He's already sold basically everything he owns except some clothes and his laptop and his guitar. His parents won't let him sell his computer because he needs it for school, even though he's pretty sure they could at least get a few hundred dollars out of it. It's pretty nice and only like a year old. But they say no every time he asks, so he finally just gives up. He's already sold his entire comic book collection and every special edition Blu-Ray he's got. There's not much else he can do.

So he walks into Pizza Hut and asks if they're hiring. The girl behind the counter says they need delivery people for nights, and he asks for an application even though he doesn't have a car or any other way to deliver pizzas. He sits down in one of the booths and fills it out, and then the manager comes out and interviews him right there. He's never been on a job interview before, but he's pretty sure they're usually scheduled ahead of time and that you're probably supposed to dress nicer than jeans and a t-shirt, but oh, well. The manager's this woman who's maybe in her 40s. She doesn't look too thrilled to be there, but she tells him he can have the job and start next week. It's minimum wage plus tips, and really, that sounds about awesome right now. So she shakes his hand and gives him another form telling him to make sure his parents sign it.

And crap, they're totally not going to go for this.

"Absolutely not." His mom's the one who's most serious about it. She's not budging at all, and he can tell it's going to take a lot to convince her that him taking this job is a good thing.

"I can help pay for the room and food and stuff." He tries to keep his tone really calm and respectful because he knows that's the best way to get what he wants. But it's not working too well right now, and his mom's still shaking her head.

"It's not your responsibility to pay for it."

He wants to tell her that sure, it's not his responsibility, but nobody else is being too successful in keeping them off the streets. He doesn't, of course, because she wouldn't like that and also because he knows it would hurt her feelings. She's been working little temp jobs that last a week or two here and there, but they're not going very far. And seriously, if they don't find some way to pay the bills, they really are gonna be living on a street corner, and he can't let that happen.

He tells them that he wants to help and that he's old enough and should be doing his part. And his mom still looks like she'd rather kill herself before she lets that happen, but his dad looks like maybe he's coming around.

"How many nights a week?"

"I don't know. Three or four, I guess."

"Weekends only." His dad doesn't sound like he wants to be argued with, and weekends are better than nothing, so Sam just nods.

His mom tries to protest again, but his dad shuts her down. "It's just a few hours a week, and he can use the car if it's only on the weekend. It'll be fine."

His mom is pissed, but his dad signs the form anyway, and just like that, he's got a job.

He's happy to be able to help out and stuff, but he does think it's kinda gonna suck when he starts working on the weekends because that's mostly when he gets to hang out with Santana, and he's starting to like her a whole lot better now that he's decided sex is his favorite thing ever. He doesn't even really think he's too bad it honestly. Like she doesn't ever say he is or anything. Sometimes she tells him what to do, but it's cool because at least that way he can learn or whatever. She even makes him skip geometry one day so they can do it in her car, and he's too distracted by her boobs and his dick to realize that he's definitely getting expelled if they get caught. But they don't, and it's awesome. And yeah, sex is fun, okay?

But then they're in glee one day, and Ms Holliday says something about you sleeping with every person your partner's ever slept with and everybody has a random, and okay, like that really hits him. And he realizes that Santana... is kind of a slut. And yeah, he knows he's not supposed to call girls that, but it's the truth, right? It's not like it's a secret. She's probably had sex with all kinds of people, and all those people have had sex with whoever else, and yeah. It kind of takes him out of the moment a little bit.

So a couple days later, they're making out in her room after school (he told his parents he had extra glee rehearsal), and she starts to undo his pants or whatever, and he hears himself saying, "Who's your random?"

And seriously, he doesn't mean to say it, but there it is. And Santana's hand stops moving (totally unfair), and she looks at him like he's just about the biggest dumbass she's ever met. And also kind of like she's gonna cut his penis off and shove it down his throat or something.

"Who's yours?" And she narrows her eyes at him like this is a test and he better pass it or else.

He almost makes up some random name, but then he doesn't, and he just says, "I don't have one."

Santana for real glares at him, and then she goes, "Oh, my fucking god, if you were a virgin, I will fucking kill you."

She's probably joking. Or at least exaggerating. But she looks dead ass serious, and he doesn't really want to die. So he nixes the whole honesty thing and just lies some more. "No. I just... I don't have a random. I just have girlfriends." It's totally a freaking lie. Besides her, he's only ever had one real girlfriend, and she definitely didn't sleep with him. The girls from like middle school or whatever don't count, so yeah- Quinn and Santana. He's not about to make this fact known.

Santana's giving him this look like he's boring her, so he goes back to kissing her to make her forget that he even asked the question in the first place. He can deal with her randoms. That's what condoms are for.

Two days later, she sings a really nice song with Brittany, and then he goes home with her because her parents aren't getting home til late tonight. He's totally down for that, and he even tries to compliment her and tell her how awesome she sounded in glee. But she stops him pretty much the second they get in the house and says, "I'm not having sex with you anymore."

And okay... What?

His face must look just like that because she rolls her eyes. "Stop it, you look retarded."

"But..." He almost can't even form words. "But why?"

"Because I don't want to." And she's snapping at him like she's pissed about something. He has no idea what he did, but it must have been something really bad if she's cutting him off like that. "Oh, my god, shut your mouth. You look so stupid." He doesn't even realize his mouth is hanging open til she says something, and then he can't even think of anything to say back, so he totally says the wrong thing.

"But it's fun..."

"You're just like every other boy in this stupid school! Just like every boy in the whole fucking world! You only think with your dick, and you think I should just cater to whatever the fuck you want to do all the time? Fuck you!"

Okay. Like seriously? He doesn't even know where it's coming from, and he's super shocked to hear her going off like that. He's not... He's not trying to make her feel bad. He just doesn't understand.

"Santana, I don't... I'm not like that. I just... It's fine, I promise." He hates the words coming out of his mouth, but he's not an asshole. It still really, really sucks, though.

And that's how he ends up in celibacy club.

His mom texts him one day during his last class and asks him if he can get the kids after school. He usually only gets them on Fridays, but his mom must be stuck doing something, so he just says okay. Rachel's in this class, so he grabs her after the bell rings and tells her he's gotta skip glee because he has to babysit, and she gives him this look that lets him know she really wants to lecture him.

"We have Regionals in less than two weeks."

He doesn't roll his eyes even though he kind of wants to. Instead, he just nods and says, "Yeah, I know, but I can't help it. I have to watch my brother and sister." He apologizes because he does kind of feel bad for skipping at the last second, but Rachel just shakes her head and says okay in this stupid kind of offended voice.

The elementary school is a mile and a half away, but it gets out a half hour later than the high school does. So he gets over there at almost the same time the kids are getting out. The line of cars is forever long, and it's like the one time he's glad to not be driving. Obviously Stacy and Stevie think they're getting picked up, though, because they're in line with the rest of the car riders, and he has to walk all the way up there to get them. Stacy gets super excited when she sees him, even though he has no idea why, and she like bounces up and down and grabs his hand the second he's up there. Her teacher's one of the ones on duty out here, so he gets her attention before he just walks off with two of the kids she's supposed to be watching. She gives him this smile that always makes him feel uncomfortable and like she's judging him or pitying him or something. He knows she's fully aware of what's going on at home, and even though she probably thinks she's being nice and sympathetic, it really feels judgmental. It's the same way he always feels at church.

"Where's Mom?" Stevie asks the obvious while they head back down the street to the bus stop.

"I don't know. She just told me to pick y'all up." Stacy's still got his hand, and she's swinging it back and forth while they walk.

"Stacy got in trouble today."

"No, I didn't!" She stops swinging her hand and glares over at Stevie like she's about to punch him or something.

He gives her some crazy kind of look right back and goes, "Yes, you did."

"Shut up!"

"Hey!" Sam steps in and picks Stacy up because if he doesn't, he's gonna end up having to break up like a real fight, and he's not in the mood. She looks like she's about to cry or something, and he's really too tired to deal with this, but he tries to fix it anyway. "What happened?"

"We were supposed to be having silent lunch, and she was talking even though we weren't supposed to. So the monitor caught her, and she had to go stand by the wall." Stevie looks like maybe smug or something, probably because he's getting to tattle on something. Stacy still looks like she's about to burst into tears. Seriously, he so didn't sign up for this.

"Why was it silent lunch anyway?"

Stevie shrugs. "I don't know. I guess cause we were too loud yesterday."

That's so dumb. It's a freaking elementary school cafeteria- do they really expect it not to be loud? And come on, Stacy's in first grade. She likes to talk, and she can't sit still to save her life. Is it cool for them to single a six year old out and embarrass them like that? It's crappy, and he's kind of pissed about it.

Stacy looks really upset now, like she's afraid she's gonna get in trouble or something or like she did something really bad, so he just tries to shut it down. "It's okay. Just try not to talk when you're not supposed to, okay?" She nods, and Stevie looks kind of mad that all his tattling was for nothing, but whatever. "Don't tell Mom and Dad. It'll stress them out."

He doesn't put Stacy down til they actually get on the bus, and then he has to dig in his wallet to find his bus pass and find some money to pay for his siblings. The bus is pretty empty except for an older lady at the front who smiles at them when they move down the aisle. He sits with Stacy, and Stevie sits across from them. Sam tries really hard to act like he's super impressed when Stacy shows him her spelling test and how she got a 100 on it. He's just tired, though, and he kind of wants to just sleep for days.

When they get home, though, he can hear his parents arguing through the door. Actually, that's kind of downplaying it. They're screaming at each other, and they don't do that. Like ever. Yeah, sometimes they argue, but they don't yell, and they're not like hateful to each other. But he can hear it from outside the room, and he knows the kids can, too.

Shit, he doesn't know what to do. Is he supposed to just go in there and act like nothing's wrong or is he supposed to like take his brother and sister and walk around the parking lot twenty times while he waits for his parents to finish fighting? He doesn't think it's really fair if that's what he's supposed to do because it's seriously not his problem if his parents are screaming at each other. And it's not like he has a car and can go anywhere. So, screw it.

He makes as much noise as possible unlocking the door so maybe they'll notice and stop, but they probably can't even hear it over their own voices. They do stop, though, like the second the door opens, and both of them look kind of shocked like they forgot they had kids or something. There's like thirty seconds of really awkward silence, and then Stacy breaks it by trying to show off her spelling test. Sam thinks it's probably the crappiest thing he's ever seen when his mom glances down at it for half a second and then just walks out of the room without saying one word. She just leaves. And Sam looks at his dad, like is he going to just stand there while she's being an asshole? Apparently not because he leaves, too. And the door to the room slams so loud they're probably gonna get complained on.

Stacy really does cry then, and he can't deal with all this. He can't just leave her, too, though, so he picks her up again and messes with the 100 year old TV til he finds some channel playing cartoons. He drops her down on the bed beside Stevie and starts looking for something to eat because he's starving, and he knows they're hungry, too. Apparently he's the only one in this family who gives a crap about that, though, and he's not gonna let his brother and sister starve.

"I hate it here." Stevie sounds pissed, and Sam can't really blame him. "I wanna go home."

Sam doesn't know whether he's talking about Nashville or the house here, but he stops himself right before he tells him they don't have a home.

They're supposed to write songs for Regionals, and Santana gets up in glee one day and sings a song called "Trouty Mouth," and Sam's never wanted to hit a girl more than he does like right then.

He knows his mouth is bigger than normal, okay? God, he looks in the mirror every freaking day, it's not like he doesn't know. He doesn't need somebody singing a song about it and making him feel like even more of a freak than he normally does. He gets it, okay? He has a big ass mouth- people have told him that since like the day he was born. No, seriously, when he was a little bitty kid even, that's like what he remembers most- people saying, "Oh, my gosh, look at those lips!" And then kids made fun of him in school for it, and people still make comments on it all the time, and he's sick of it, okay? Like really, really sick of it.

So he definitely doesn't need some girl getting up in front of the whole class singing a song where she compares him to like fourteen different kinds of fish. Also, Santana's a stupid bitch, and he doesn't even feel like a little bit bad for thinking it.

She's pissed at him later after he shuts it down, but he doesn't care because he's pissed at her, too. He tries to just make a break for it after glee, but she catches him and tells him that she "worked really fucking hard" on that song and that he's an asshole if he can't even appreciate it. He tells her to shut up because he's still having to seriously restrain himself so he doesn't haul off and punch her in the face or something.

"Oh, my god, you are such a baby." She's got her arms crossed, and she's glaring at him like she's challenging him or something. "Why don't you grow a dick and stop being such a girl?"

"Why don't you stop being such a bitch?" And he says it before he thinks about it, but seriously? He doesn't even care. Yeah, he's not supposed to call people, especially girls, names like that, but sometimes the shoe freaking fits, okay?

"Oh, I'm sorry if your little feelings got hurt, you fucking pussy. God, you are so fucking stupid."

He hates that, too- people calling him stupid or an idiot or whatever. Santana's just talking out of her ass right now, but that doesn't mean she doesn't really think that because she does. Everybody does. Everybody thinks he's just some stupid pretty boy, and okay, maybe he's not like the smartest person in the world or anything, but he's not dumb. Sometimes he gets really defensive about it, too, like if it happens on the wrong day or something. People used to make fun of him a lot for having learning problems when he was little, and that stuff must stick because it still bothers him sometimes. It's still hard for him, okay? Like sometimes he still feels like the biggest dumbass in the world when he's in class because everybody finishes stuff faster than he does, and then he'll get tests back and everything's like circled in red because he still can't spell for crap. So yeah, it's hard, and he has to like seriously work at school and try a lot harder than most people probably do. And he really hates it when people call him stupid.

So he looks right at Santana and says, "Fuck you," and he doesn't even feel like a little bit bad about that, either.

Delivering pizzas sucks a lot more than he thought it was going to. He thought he was going to be making a lot of money, but he's hardly making anything in tips because he keeps getting stiffed way more times than people actually put any money in his hand. Also, it's boring- like really boring. But oh, well- at least he's getting his hourly, so at least he's making some kind of money.

His dad lets him pick up a shift on a Thursday when his manager calls and asks if he can cover it. Thursdays are even worse than Fridays and Saturdays because at least on those days he stays busy. Bored, yeah, but at least there's always something to do. On Thursday, though, he just sits there half the night waiting on random deliveries that come in. He finally gets this delivery to Dalton, and he really hopes he doesn't see Blaine or something because he's pretty sure he boards there, and he doesn't want to answer any questions.

So yeah, it's really no surprise that what happens is basically the exact opposite of what he hopes.

Not only does he see Blaine, but he sees the whole freaking group of Warblers including Kurt, and he wants to drop the pizzas and just leave. But he can't obviously, so he has to stand around awkwardly while they get their money together and wait to be noticed. He doesn't know what they're all doing hanging out together on a Thursday night, but then he realizes Regionals are like the day after tomorrow, so this is probably a practice.

Kurt finally notices him, and at first he's just kind of surprised but nice. Then he's all like, "Did they send you here to spy on us?" And Sam can't lie to save his life, so he can't just laugh it off and joke about it like a normal person would. No, his face has to like totally give him away, and even though there are legitimately like 101 reasons why he might have a part-time job delivering pizzas, he ends up telling the truth. Just to Kurt. And maybe just because he's so sick of lying to everyone all the time and hiding everything. It just kind of comes out, and he's super embarrassed.

Kurt swears he won't tell anyone, not even Finn. Especially not Finn. He tells Sam to call him if he needs anything or even just to talk or whatever. And it's nice even though Sam knows he'll probably never call. It's at least nice to know that he has the option. He's not sure really why he trusts Kurt, but he feels pretty confident that dude can keep a secret, even if he is a huge freaking gossip normally.

Plus, it just feels nice to tell somebody.

They win Regionals and qualify for Nationals in New York, and it's all really cool. Or at least it would be really cool if Sam didn't immediately think of things like plane tickets and hotel rooms and how much they all cost. So he gets back on the bus with the rest of his team thinking that this is probably the last time he's actually going to compete with them because there's no way he can afford a trip to New York.

He thinks about it the whole way back to Lima, and Puck asks him "what's up his ass," so he lies and says he has a headache. He kind of does, though, so it's not even a whole lie. He just doesn't feel like talking to anybody right now, so he's kind of glad that everybody's ignoring him. It doesn't last long, though, because Santana comes and sits next to him before they're even halfway home, and he bites down on his back teeth to prepare for whatever hateful stuff is about to come out of his mouth. They haven't really talked much since that day they got in that fight after glee, and he hasn't really missed it if he wants to be totally honest. He's like 99 percent sure they're still dating, just because she still makes it a point to sit with him at lunch and in glee or whatever, but she apparently has no more interest in actually speaking to him than he does to her. So whatever.

"Are you still mad at me?"

He shrugs, and then he shakes his head because he's not really. Like he doesn't want to be her BFF or whatever, but he thinks he would've had to care way more to begin with to actually hold a grudge this long.

"You looked really cute tonight." It's probably like the best compliment she's ever given somebody, so he should probably feel flattered. "You can pull off a tie much better than Puck or Finn can."

They talk about the competition some, and it's really stupid and pointless. But oh, well. It keeps him from thinking about other stuff at least. Plus, she's in this really low cut shirt, and he can see the top of her bra sitting like this. And... yeah. It's been a few weeks since she cut him off, and he's kind of missing it.

But then she tells him they should go get something to eat when they get back to Lima, and he's not really sure why she's being all nice to him or whatever. Her and Brittany seem weird lately, so that's probably why. Because he's like a hundred percent sure that if Brittany wasn't sitting with Artie, Santana wouldn't be sitting with him.

"I can't. I gotta go home." He blinks a couple times. "Church tomorrow."

She gives him this look like he's totally lame, and he kind of is. But he can't take her out to eat. "It's gonna be like 9 o'clock when we get home, I'm pretty sure you can go to fucking IHOP for an hour."

"I don't have any money."

"You have a job. Why the hell don't you have any money?"

He looks up at the bus ceiling and tries not to just tell her to F off or whatever. "I don't make a lot," he's just trying to BS his way out of it. "People suck at tipping."

"Next time you get paid, you need to remember you have a girlfriend before you go blow all your money on bullshit." She sounds serious, too, like she really thinks she needs to be his top priority. It's almost funny, kind of, because his "girlfriend" is just about last on his list of stuff he needs to be spend money on.

She leaves without offering him a ride when they make it back to school. He's kind of glad about that because then he'd just have to think up another lie about why she can't drive him home. He calls his dad to come pick him up, but he doesn't get an answer. His parents are down to one phone now, so it's not like he can turn around and call his mom. He doesn't know what the crap he's gonna do because the bus that goes by the motel doesn't even run after six on the weekends.

"Are your parents picking you up?" Mr. Schue's got his "bag" (purse) propped up on the hood of his car, and he's going through it.

"Yeah." Sam swallows a little bit because he knows Mr. Schue's not gonna leave til everyone else is gone. He's not really sure what to say, so he just goes, "Well, I can't get ahold of my dad, but he's probably on his way."

He's probably not because he told Sam to call when they got back to town. But maybe Mr. Schue will buy it and just leave or something if he thinks Sam's ride is on the way.

"You sure? I can take you home if I need to."

He can't let that happen. There's no way he'll be able to explain why he's getting dropped off outside a motel instead of a house, and... no.

"I can take you." Quinn pops up out of nowhere, and he's kind of shocked because he thought she was already gone. She's like the last one here, though, and she just smiles like nothing's wrong. "It's on my way."

It's not. It's like completely out of her way in the total opposite direction from her house. But he knows what she's doing, and he's grateful even if it makes him feel like crap.

Mr. Schue's all like, "Awesome! See you guys on Monday," and then Sam's climbing into the passenger seat of Quinn's car and feeling really freaking awkward.

"Thanks," he mumbles while she starts the car, and he buckles his seat belt.

Quinn just shrugs like it's no big deal. Things are weird between them, and this is already uncomfortable. "Um, you gotta tell me which way to go."

He tells her which way to turn out of the parking lot, and the whole ride is pretty much silent except for when he tells her where to turn and stuff. He starts getting really super nervous the closer they get to the motel even though it's not like she doesn't already know where she's taking him. But it's embarrassing, and he almost feels like he wants to throw up when they finally get to the parking lot. Quinn's trying really hard not to judge, and he can see it on her face. It's not like he can really blame her or whatever, but it feels like crap.

"I'll give you gas money at church." He won't look over at her because this is humiliating enough as it is. "I don't have any cash on me."

He can see her shake her head, but he doesn't want charity from her, even if it's just like a five mile car ride. "It's fine." She's mumbling now, and whatever, he's still gonna give her money tomorrow.

This is the worst thing ever.

He chews on his lip a little bit and then opens the car door. He could invite her in or something, but he'd basically rather die. So he just says, "Thanks," and gets out really fast.

When he gets inside, his whole family is up playing some card game at the table, and his dad goes, "I thought you were going to call when you got back."

"I did." His dad pulls his phone out, checks it, and makes this face like oops, and Sam doesn't even try to stop himself from rolling his eyes. "So thanks." It's sarcastic and smart-aleck, and he's probably gonna get in trouble for it, but he doesn't give a crap.

He goes to the bathroom because he doesn't want to look at them or talk to anybody. Honestly, he wants to punch something, but he doesn't because they can't afford to pay for whatever he might break. He hates this so freaking much, and he doesn't even know how much longer he can keep it up.

At least they're not expected to come up with all the money for New York on their own. Mr. Schue's got all these fundraiser ideas (well, really two), and they're supposed to be using the money to get them plane tickets and stuff. They better sell a lot of taffy, though, because there's no other way he'll be getting there, that's for sure.

And he really, really wants to go.

So. Santana breaks up with him. Except she totally doesn't. He's literally sitting in glee one day, and then like five minutes into it, she's holding hands with Karofsky and saying she's in love. So yeah, that's how he gets dumped. Or whatever.

What kind of makes it even worse is that nobody even seems to remember that they've been dating for like two months now because seriously nobody brings it up. Sure, they're all like WTF Karofsky, but nobody's like WTF you have a boyfriend. Sometimes he feels like he doesn't even exist. And he doesn't get it. Why is every girl he knows a cheating whore? What is he doing wrong?

He stops her after glee, and she just gives him this look like she's all calm and collected and expecting this.

"Um, what the hell?"

" What's wrong?" She raises her eyebrows like she's asking this question for real. God, she's so... Ugh.

"I thought we were going out?"

And then she really pisses him off because she puts on this stupid little smile that makes him feel about three inches tall, and she talks to him like he's some kind of slow five year old or something. "Come on. That's been over for weeks, and you know it."

"Really? 'Cause this is the first I'm hearing about it."

"You're just a boy, Sam."

"And what? You want a girl?" 'Cause yeah, he's kind of freaking confused.

She looks at him like she wants to shoot him or something, and her fake smile turns into some kind of evil glare. "A man, Sam. I need a man."

He wants to tell her like forty million things, but he can't get the words to come out right, so he just walks away because he can't even deal right now.

Seriously, girls suck.

They have Thursday and Friday off for spring recess, and he wants to spend it working, but his mom tells him he's going to use it for studying. His grades have never been awesome, but they're slipping even more than usual now, and his last progress report definitely wasn't something to brag about. He wants to be pissed that she's basically grounding him without really grounding him and telling him he has to do a bunch of extra studying, but he can't be because he knows she's trying to help. It's hard for him to catch up if he's behind, and she knows it. So he just does what she says.

It's kind of hard to concentrate, though, with his brother and sister being loud and hyper and his dad on the phone all day calling around for job leads. He tries to block it out, but it's not easy. And then somebody's knocking on the door, and great, it's probably that mean lady who's staying next door coming over to complain that the kids are too loud. She does it all the time, and he wants to like buy her some earplugs or something and tell her to go screw herself.

His dad's on the phone, so he's the one who has to answer the door. He has to step over his brother and sister who are both in the floor playing Sorry and arguing over whose turn it is. He tells them to be quiet because he doesn't want to open the door to exactly what that woman's probably complaining about. But when he does open it, it's not that lady anyway. He's not sure who else he would expect, but it definitely wouldn't be Quinn.

On instinct, he steps outside and pulls the door closed behind him. He's not even really sure why, but he feels invaded or something, and he needs to hide what's behind that door even though she obviously already knows.

"Hi." She smiles, but he can tell she feels uncomfortable.

"What are you doing here?" It's probably rude, but it's basically all he wants to know right now. Quinn's smile kind of disappears, and she opens her mouth and then closes it. Then she just kind of motions for him to follow her, and he does because the further away she gets from their motel room the better.

They go to where her car's parked, and she pops the trunk. He doesn't know what's going on til she says, "My mom and I made these for your brother and sister."

He looks down in the trunk, and there are two Easter baskets sitting there- one's obviously for a girl, and the other's for a boy. His face feels really hot, and he's not sure whether it's straight up humiliation or that mixed with some kind of anger. He doesn't need to be a dick, though, but he also doesn't need anybody's (especially her) charity.

"Thanks, but you don't have to do that."

She looks disappointed, probably because he's being totally ungrateful. But she's obviously trying to be extra nice or something because she just shrugs. "Well, we already did. And my mom hasn't got to make Easter baskets in a long time, so she was really excited..."

He's being dumb. He knows he is, and it sucks because they're probably honestly trying to be nice. But it's just so hard to accept it. Especially after everything he went through with Quinn, and yeah, he should be over that by now, but he's not. Because he really, really cared about her, and it sucked finding out she didn't give a crap about him. She's kept her promise, though- she hasn't told anybody about his family, and he's got to at least be grateful for that. Plus, it makes him feel like crap, but he realizes that without this, Stacy and Stevie are gonna be in for a seriously rude awakening about the Easter Bunny on Sunday morning. He hasn't even thought about that.

So, yeah. He says, "Thanks," in this really quiet voice and actually means it.

There's a couple of beats where nobody says anything, and then Quinn says, "Do you want to go get some coffee or something?"

He probably shouldn't. His mom's long weekend plan of catch up on schoolwork probably doesn't include going to hang out with any girls, even if it's just for coffee or whatever. But his mom's also not here right now. And she can't exactly get mad if he has permission, can she?

"I gotta ask my dad. Make sure he's not going anywhere or something." Quinn nods, and he almost tells her he'll be right back, but then he decides that he might as well just attempt hospitality as much as possible. "Do you want to come in?"

She does, and he's ridiculously embarrassed when she's inside the room for the first time. Besides the fact that it's, you know, a motel, it's junky and kind of messy, and it's not anything like the nice, clean house he used to be able to bring her to. He doesn't really look at her, but from what he can see in the corner of her eye, he can tell she's trying not to show too much shock at their new living conditions. Stacy jumps right up, of course, and like squeezes the crap out of her, but that's not a surprise because she basically hero-worships Quinn and loves her and has since Sam first started dating her.

His dad's off the phone and flipping through some files on the little table. He looks up to smile at Quinn when she says hello, and Sam's glad his mom's not there to embarrass him with small talk attempts or whatever. Sam asks him about the coffee, and he nods and says it's fine, so now it's on his dad if his mom comes home in the meantime and is pissed.

The car ride to the Lima Bean is kind of awkward, but he's making a real effort to not be a jerk. He's glad that Quinn doesn't say much about the motel, though, because he doesn't really know what he's supposed to say about it besides the fact that at least they're not on the street corner somewhere. That's about the only positive he can come up with. Actually, it's something he thinks about a lot, like every time he starts feeling sorry for himself or mad at the world or whatever- he always just thinks about all the people who actually live on the street, and it kind of puts stuff in perspective.

She doesn't offer to pay for his coffee or anything, and he's like really super glad about that. It makes things way less weird, and when they sit down with their drinks, it almost just feels like normal hanging out. Or as normal as it can be when the girl you're with is an ex-girlfriend who cheated on you and basically broke your heart. Then she makes it even more "normal" by bringing up his other ex-girlfriend.

"So. Santana and Karofsky?"

He doesn't mean to like literally grimace, but he does because seriously. WTF? That's still basically his reaction to the whole thing.

He also doesn't mean to say, "Well, at least she didn't lie to my face," and sound so bitter about it, but it comes out anyway.

Quinn looks kind of surprised that he said it, maybe embarrassed or something. Then she looks down at the table for a second and then back up at him and says, "I'm really sorry."

He shouldn't feel bad for making her feel guilty, but he does. He can't help it. Plus, this is the first time she's apologized for it, and he can kind of tell she means it. She probably doesn't apologize a lot, at least when there's really nothing in it for her. So he nods, and it's enough to like build some sort of a bridge of forgiveness or something. Or maybe that's lame. Whatever. It does something.

He actually starts hanging out with Quinn kind of a lot after that. Or maybe she starts hanging out with him. She takes him home after glee, and she comes over a couple of nights and helps him babysit. It's a lot easier to do his homework and stuff when she's there to distract the kids. She's really nice to them, but she always has been. He knows his sister can be super annoying and clingy, but Quinn always acts like she doesn't mind. She just pays attention to Stacy and listens to her and has like actual conversations that seem to keep her entertained enough.

She's over on Thursday, and she's helping Stacy dress some Barbies or something. Sam's kind of watching them while he works on his English homework and tries to help his brother with science at the same time. His parents are both gone to some meeting at church, so it's just them, and it's really not that bad.

"Are you going to that mall thing on Saturday?"

Quinn's brushing some Barbie's hair, but she looks over at him. "That thing for Rachel?"

"Yeah." Supposedly they're all showing up at the mall on Saturday to do something that's supposed to convince Rachel not to get a nose job or whatever. He just heard about it today and almost forgot til just now.

Quinn shrugs one shoulder. "I don't know. I don't know why everyone's trying to stop her. If she wants to get a nose job, she should just get a nose job. I think those composites were pretty."

Those composites that looked like Quinn and Rachel's love child were creepy as crap, and he's not even playing. Rachel looked totally different, and he's still not sure whether it was a good thing or a bad thing.

"What's a nose job?" Stacy grabs the tiny little hairbrush and starts messing with of the other dolls.

He listens to Quinn explain plastic surgery to his little sister, and he tries to block it out because it's just pretty dumb if you ask him. Or whatever, maybe he shouldn't judge because sometimes it turns out really awesome- like Santana's boobs for example. Still, it's not like he wants his six year old sister thinking she needs to get plastic surgery to make herself look different, so he breaks in.

"But you can just be happy with yourself and not have to have surgery because you're already pretty enough."

Quinn gives him this little smile like she's proud of him for being so nice or something. But he's serious, he doesn't want Stacy thinking that kind of stuff is all that matters because it's not. It's not like she's old enough to know much about it anyway, but she latches onto key words, so she stops brushing her doll's hair for a second and says, "Do you think I'll be pretty when I grow up?"

"No." Stevie speaks up for the first time in like twenty minutes, and Stacy doesn't waste like one second before she throws her Barbie at his head. Stevie, of course, grabs it and pops its head off, and Stacy makes some loud dramatic gasp like this isn't something that happens like all the time (it totally is). Sam just rolls his eyes and grabs the doll so he can fix it- he's really good at it because his brother has some kind of fascination with removing body parts from his sister's dolls.

"You're already pretty." Quinn manages to distract Stacy and satisfy her with that. Stacy's all smiles and like fascinated now or something.

"I hope I look like you when I grow up."

Quinn laughs and grabs a dress out of the pile of doll clothes on the bed. Sam gets the doll's head back on and tosses it back over. Stacy's not wrong- like if she's going to wish to look like somebody, she might as well aim high, right? Quinn's for real the prettiest girl in the whole school. Hell, she might be the prettiest girl he's ever seen in real life who's not like on a magazine cover or on a Victoria's Secret runway. She's beautiful.

She knows it, too, though, and maybe that's part of her problem.

It's a creepy coincidence that the very next day posters go up all over school of some girl called Lucy Caboosey who just happens to look a lot like Quinn if she had a different nose, different hair, and was fat.

And it's like out of nowhere, a lot more stuff about Quinn suddenly makes sense.

He tries to call her after school, but she doesn't answer. And then the next day he goes to the mall with the rest of the glee club, and they goof around, and it's pretty fun. He doesn't get to just hang out a lot anymore because he's always babysitting or working. Actually, he's barely working anymore- one day a week if that. There are too many delivery people now, and everybody wants the weekend shifts. So since he's the youngest and works the least amount of hours overall, he's basically getting screwed. But still, it's not like he has a ton of free time or anything where he can just hang out with his friends. So it's pretty fun.

Quinn doesn't show up, but nobody seems surprised. Probably because no matter what they're pretending to be lately, she and Rachel aren't friends. Or like even close. She's mentioned a couple of times, though, or at least those new prom posters are. He hears Tina laughing about it with Santana, and it kind of pisses him off because Tina's usually pretty nice, or at least she's supposed to be. He also thinks it says a freaking ton that Finn's here at the mall for Rachel instead of wherever his girlfriend is, especially when she's probably super upset.

He's got the car, so he drives it over to the Fabrays after he leaves the mall. He's not really sure it's his place or whatever, but he figures it's the least he can do. If she's being a good friend to him, he should try to repay the favor probably. But whether or not she'll actually talk to him is a different story.

She answers the door, and he's actually kind of surprised. She's not dressed up at all, and her hair's up in some messy ponytail- not all tight and perfect like the ones she always wore for Cheerios. She's not crying or anything, but he can tell she's upset, and she doesn't really say anything when she opens the door. She just looks at him.

"Wanna hang out?"

It's lame, but she opens the door up more and lets him in. Then she turns around and walks to the living room without saying anything else. He follows her and sits down on the other end of the couch from her. It's weird, and he hasn't been here since before they broke up.

"Where's your mom?"

Quinn just shrugs. "I don't care." Fair enough. Her mom's kind of psycho anyway. He doesn't really know what he's supposed to say here or how he's supposed to bring it up. Like seriously, how do you just bring something like that up? Luckily he doesn't have to because Quinn finally sighs really loudly and goes, "So now you know. Now everyone knows."

He could play it dumb and ask know what? But he doesn't because that's just stupid. It's also demeaning or something. Maybe. If that's the right word.

"Screw them, Quinn." Them being like everybody in their whole freaking school. "Whoever did it is just jealous."

"Lauren," she kind of snaps at him. "Lauren did it."

He didn't know that, and he's pretty surprised to be honest. Yeah, Lauren's mean or whatever, but why would she go to all that trouble to like humiliate somebody like that? It doesn't even make sense. And it's really, really shitty if you ask him.

He doesn't get it. Mr. Schue's just like wrong when he always talks about glee club being a family and all that crap because they're not. They do like really mean things to each other a lot, and somebody's always fighting or stealing somebody's boyfriend or saying really rude stuff to each other. It's annoying, and sometimes he wonders if any of those people in glee are even really friends. They don't act like it a lot- not unless they're actually winning a competition or something, and sometimes not even then.

"I don't get why everybody always does mean stuff to each other. Not if we're supposed to like be a family or whatever."

Quinn rolls her eyes, and he can tell she's about as enthused about her glee club family as she is about her real family, which is like not at all. "We're not a family. We're a bunch of bitchy girls who like to make each other's lives a living hell. You don't understand that because you're a boy. Plus, you're like the nicest person alive anyway." She sucks in this breath that's all shaky, and he doesn't know what that's about.

But when he thinks about it, she's kind of right. Most of what happens in glee is because the girls are just mean to each other. Like Santana's mean to everyone. Quinn's mean to Rachel. Mercedes complains and tells everybody she's better than them. Rachel told Santana she was destined to be a stripper. It's just stupid stuff like that. He doesn't know why girls are so mean to each other, but it's true. The dudes aren't all awesome, though, and sometimes they do crappy stuff, too- like make out with each other's girlfriends for example.

"Everything about me is fake, and now the whole world knows it."

He kind of wants to point out that McKinley is definitely not the whole world, but it might as well be. At least for right now while they're stuck there in high school hell.

"You're not fake, Quinn. You're beautiful." He hates it as soon as he says it because it sounds like some kind of line from a cheesy romance movie or something. And honestly, she's not his to romance. He doesn't want her to be, either, because she cheated on him, and no matter how much he might like her or be attracted to her, he doesn't want her to be his girlfriend.

But even though he hates it, Quinn seems to think it's the perfect thing to say. Her eyes do that thing where they almost look like glass, and she gives him this dazed smile that means she really likes what he's saying. He's seen it before, and she used to tell him sometimes that he was the best boyfriend she ever had because he always knew exactly what to say. Too bad she didn't remember that when she was kissing Finn...

"I'm never going to win prom queen."

She says it all quiet, like she's almost ashamed for caring so much. She kind of should be. She's obsessed with winning prom queen- it's probably a big part of the reason why she cheated on him in the first place. Finn is more popular and would give her a better shot, and he's not going to call her out on that, but he knows it. And he's pretty sure she knows it, too, even if she likes to live in denial. Or won't admit it anyway.

"You're not even going to care about that in two years." She looks at him, and maybe he's wrong. Maybe she is going to care about it, but so what? It's not important. None of this is important. "And who cares what you looked like when you were twelve?"

She kind of rolls her eyes again. "You don't know what it's like to have people make fun of you every day for something you can't help."

And... okay. Is she serious? "Um, you missed Santana's ode to my mouth..."

And that helps or something because Quinn smiles a little bit. Good that she can take pleasure in his pain or whatever that saying is. "I heard about it."

"Yeah. So."

"Santana's just jealous because she has to draw her lips on with lip-liner, since hers are nonexistent."

They laugh over that, and like he doesn't know if that's true or whatever, but it's still funny. And Quinn's not looking like she wants to cry or anything, so that's good. Maybe he's helping or something.

He hasn't been to work in two weeks because there aren't any shifts for him. He doesn't even know why he has a job if he never gets to, you know, actually work. He's getting really stressed out actually, which is probably the opposite reaction of most people (at least most people his age) who don't have to work. Normally, he'd be happy if he got to spend his weekends free just hanging out with his friends, but he's not. He's stressed out because his mom and dad aren't working, either- not even temp jobs. There's just like nothing, and no work means no money.

They've already sold basically everything they own. They've even sold most of their clothes. He seriously has like two pairs of jeans, two pairs of shoes, and like ten shirts left. All the other stuff's in a consignment shop somewhere. He hears his parents talk about selling the car even though they obviously need it for like a whole bunch of reasons, and his mom keeps mentioning that she still has her rings and looking like she's going to explode into tears at like any given second.

It's the rings thing that finally pushes it to the edge. They've got to renew their room for the next week, and they literally have $22 between them. Obviously that's not going to work, and Sam can look at his parents and tell they're about to fall apart or something. His mom says she'll sell her rings, and his dad gets all upset and tells her no. And then it starts a fight, and his mom is yelling that if they don't do something, they're going to be living in the car by the weekend. Stacy starts crying, and Sam tries to get her to stop because it's only going to make things worse, but obviously that doesn't help. It's seriously the worst it's ever been, and he's never been so happy to leave for school as he is that morning.

But school sucks all day because all he does is think about what's going on at home and wonder what's going to happen if they can't the money together. Like are they seriously going to go live in the car? They barely even all fit in the car. He almost has like a panic attack or something in biology, and he gets like super hot and feels like he's gonna puke, so he gets up and goes to the bathroom and like locks himself in a stall for ten minutes while he figures out how to breathe.

He doesn't pay attention to anything in glee, not even when Rachel like literally calls him out for not participating. She's probably just pissed at him because he turned her down for prom, but there's no way he's spending all that money on some stupid dance. Not to mention, obviously, that he doesn't have the money. He might have been rude when he told her she wasn't his type, but it's not like he could tell her the truth or whatever. So if she's pissed at him, she'll just have to be pissed.

He packs up his stuff when rehearsal's over and goes to grab his guitar from the closet where they have to keep them during school. He seriously makes a split second decision and has to wait til Finn's gone before he can catch up to Quinn and ask her for help.

She drives him to this pawn shop in West Lima that he knows will take his stuff even though he's not eighteen. This is where he sold all his comic books, and they didn't say anything to him about being underage or whatever. Quinn asks him if he's sure he wants to do this, and hell no, he doesn't want to. But what choice does he have? Sell his guitar or go live in a car? There's not really much of a choice there.

The guy behind the counter is like forty and way overweight and has the nastiest beard Sam's ever seen, but he says he'll give him $400 for his guitar, so he takes it. He feels like an idiot when he has to just touch the strings one last time before he gives it up, but he can't help it.

Quinn doesn't say much on the drive back to the motel, and she doesn't come in or anything when they get there. He's glad, honestly, because he doesn't want to talk to anyone right now. When he gets in the room, he hands his mom the cash, and she looks at it like she's confused, and then she asks him where he got it from.

"My guitar." He doesn't say anything else, and he pretends not to hear her when she calls after him. He just wants to be alone, and the bathroom is literally the only place to do that. He starts feeling sick again, like he did in biology, but it's dumb because now at least they've got a place to stay still. Four-hundred bucks will cover the room for two more weeks.

He's just being a baby. He shouldn't be this upset over something stupid, but it's not stupid, okay? At least not to him. Guitar's seriously the only thing in his whole life that he's ever been good at. The first time he held one, he was nine, and his uncle got him one for his birthday. He didn't know how to play or anything then, but he was pretty good at playing by ear. All he had to do was listen to something and then figure out how to do it himself. There weren't like any numbers or words or anything else to confuse him- all he needed were his fingers and his ears, and he could actually do something for like the first time in his whole life.

And now that's gone. Just like everything else. And he wonders what depression feels like because he's starting to worry he might have it.

But then his brother's knocking on the door asking if he's done and saying he's gotta pee. So he leaves the bathroom and goes back out to the "real world." His mom tries to say something else to him, but he just tells her he doesn't want to talk about it, and she drops it.

Things go from bad to real bad, and he's not even sure why he's surprised.

Two days later, Finn comes up to him before glee and tries to kick his ass because there's something in the paper that's obviously about him and Quinn, saying they're "rendezvousing" at a motel or something, and the reason he doesn't like instantly panic is because he's too busy making sure Finn doesn't like beat the shit out of him. And truthfully? He's been looking for a reason to fight Finn for like months now, and he's kind of just hoping for a thrown punch, so he'll have an excuse to hit him back. The only reason he doesn't get a chance to is because Quinn puts herself in the middle, and then Mr. Schue comes in and yells at them to knock it off.

And it's not til after Finn storms off and he sees Quinn staring at him that he realizes it's all about to hit the fan.

Kurt's been back at McKinley for a few weeks, but he's never once mentioned anything about what Sam told him that night at Dalton. They talk in glee and stuff, and sometimes they see each other in the halls or something and like are friendly enough, but they don't have any long conversations. Kurt doesn't bring it up, and neither does Sam. And that's good because really, what is there to say?

But one day he's digging through the junk in his locker looking for his geometry book, and Kurt comes up looking kind of nervous and is just like, "Hi."

It's kind of a weird greeting, but okay. "Hi..."

"Um, Quinn told me that you guys had to get rid of a lot of stuff when you moved." Moved is the nice way of saying got kicked out of your house. Kurt looks like he's fifteen different degrees of uncomfortable. "I just cleaned out my closet, and I don't really know how much... style," it looks like it's literally causing him pain to say that, "we have in common. But you're welcome to look through it and see if there's anything you, or maybe your dad, might want."

Kurt's wearing a leopard print scarf and some kind of suspenders. Sam's wearing a plaid button down and jeans he's already worn twice this week. Their "style" isn't really the same. But still, it's a really nice gesture or whatever, so he smiles and says thanks, and Kurt says he'll bring some stuff by later for them to dig through.

The very next day, some douchebag with a hockey mullet shoves him into a locker, calls him a fag, and asks him how many cocks he can fit in "that big ass mouth." He's confused enough that he doesn't fight back or even say anything really because he honestly doesn't know what's going on. Then Becky walks by and shoves a copy of the school newspaper at him.


He just kind of stares at her til she walks away because seriously? What in the hell? But then he sees it right there on the front page again under the same stupid Blind Gossip section that said he was rendezvousing with Quinn. Somebody saw Kurt at the motel last night, and now apparently Kurt's cheating on his boyfriend with Sam. Fantastic.

Honestly, though, he's just sick of all this. He doesn't even care if people think he's gay because whatever, he's not, and it's not his problem if other people know that or don't know it. But he's sick of all these stupid stories making up lies and saying he's helping all these people cheat because he's not a cheater. And that's what pisses him off more than anything- that everybody just believes that he is or doesn't question it or whatever. So yeah, that really pisses him off.

And then there's the fact that somebody is obviously spying on him, which means that even if right now, they're just making up stories about him having affairs with Quinn and Kurt, sooner or later, they're gonna see the rest of his family, and then everybody's gonna know the truth.

It makes it worse that it's not just random strangers who think he's some kind of cheating jackass, but his so-called "friends" believe it, too. He gets these dirty and suspicious looks from like the whole glee club that day, and he kind of wants to scream at them to all mind their own fucking business, but he doesn't. He's not sure it's even worth it because obviously they're not his real friends anyway.

Stevie's sick the next day and running a fever. His mom's got a temp job this week, so she really can't stay home with him, and his dad's got an interview in Columbus. Obviously Stevie can't stay by himself (because he's eight...), so Sam stays home with him after he swears to his mom that he doesn't have any tests or anything that day.

It's pretty boring, but Stevie sleeps most of the day, so he's able to catch up on some homework and actually get kind of a lot done. And then that afternoon, the mom of one of Stacy's friends brings her home, and she's starting to feel sick, too, so she pretty much climbs right into bed, too. And it's like seriously the most peaceful day he's had in a really long time.

Quinn comes over after glee with pizza and makes the kids get up and eat, and then she sits down beside him at the table and says, "I literally want to kill Rachel Berry. I'm not even joking."

He laughs anyway because obviously Quinn's not gonna kill anybody- at least he hopes she's not... But she looks super pissed off, so he asks what happened, and she tells him that Finn and Rachel went on a freaking stake out to spy on them and that they both accused her of cheating in front of the whole glee club.

A stake out? Seriously? "They're not the ones who told the paper... are they?" This doesn't even feel like real life right now.

Quinn shakes her head and goes back to pulling all the cheese and toppings off of her pizza. "I doubt it. But I'm so pissed. I can't stand either one of them."

"Then why are you with him?" He probably shouldn't ask it because it probably comes across like some kind of double meaning or something. But it's not. He just wants to know why she would be with someone when they don't trust each other at all.

She's like frowning and stuff, and he's pretty sure she's about to snap at him or something. But she doesn't. She just shrugs one shoulder and goes, "Better than being alone."

He doesn't know what to say to that. Or why she would even say it in the first place. He doesn't get her sometimes, and he's pretty sure she doesn't even get herself sometimes.

It's all over the next day. Like he literally just reaches this point where he can't stand it one second longer, and it's like something inside of him just explodes.

Rachel starts it, getting in Quinn's business and accusing her of cheating. Then everybody else jumps in, and it's like he just can't take it anymore. He just finally yells at them to shut up because if everybody keeps accusing him of crap, he's gonna end up like punching somebody's face off and getting expelled or something. Part of him is just fed up, and another part of him just feels really bad for Kurt and Quinn. They're in the middle of all this, too, and everybody keeps accusing them of stuff, too. It's just not fair. So he just tells them to shut up, and when Finn can't help pressing just a little bit more, he finally just tells the truth.

"Because that's where I live now! My dad lost his job a few months ago, then we lost our house, and now we live in that motel. In one room."

And all he registers around him is like total silence because everyone's in shock. His ears are ringing, though, and he feels so mad that he almost has to like force himself to even breathe. He's so embarrassed and humiliated, and this is probably the worst he's ever felt in his entire life. But he just wants it to stop, so there it is.

He storms out of the choir room because he seriously cannot even look at any of those people right now. If he does, he's either gonna end up in a fight, or he's going to end up telling each and every one of them exactly what he thinks about them. And that's not going to be good for anyone. So he just leaves because he can't deal with their stupid bullshit right now.

He's almost all the way down to the double doors at the end of the hall when he hears Quinn saying his name and hears her shoes running down the hallway after him. He wants to just keep going because he really doesn't even want to talk to her right now. But he's not a jerk, and she's like the only real friend he has or something, so he stops and waits for her.

"I'll take you home." She's out of breath and looks like she might cry. But she also looks kind of scared like she's nervous to be around him or something.

He just shakes his head. "It's okay. I just wanna walk."

She gives him this look. "Sam..."

"I said it's fine."

And she just drops it and nods. Then she looks back down the hall in the direction of the choir room and says, "They're not worth it."

"They can all go to fucking hell for all I care."

Quinn doesn't say anything, but he knows she's not kind of surprised to hear that. He doesn't say things like that, and he kind of hates himself a little bit for getting pushed to that point. But then he kind of hates all those guys, too, for pushing him to that point. He's just so angry.

It's like he doesn't even realize he's punching a locker til after he does it, and there's like this super bad stinging all through his hand and wrist. And Quinn's like, "Sam!" and grabbing his hand, either to like stop him from hitting something else or just to comfort him. Maybe both. She holds his fist there between both of her hands, and he just looks at her looking at their hands.

Then she hugs him, and it's not like he's not used to hugging her or whatever, but this one feels different or something. He still can't really breathe right, and it's like she's trying to force him to or something. Like seriously, she's breathing in and out like super slowly, and he can feel her chest pressed right up against his. It's like he has no choice but to copy her and breathe that way, too. She keeps one hand on his back, and then she puts the other on the back of his head, and he seriously has to fight the urge to like shove his face in her shoulder and cry. He's pretty sure she'd let him, and he's positive she wouldn't make fun of him or anything. But he's not going to. He hasn't cried yet, and he doesn't plan on starting now. But whatever she's doing works because it calms him down, and he doesn't feel like he wants to hit somebody anymore.

"Are you sure you don't want a ride?" She takes this little step back when she decides that he's okay, and he nods because he really does just want to walk home. Quinn looks sad, but she nods and gives him this little smile that's not even close to being real. "Call me later, okay?"

And he nods and swallows. And then he says, "Thanks," real quiet because she's a good friend, and she deserves it.

She does that smile again and goes back to the choir room. He watches her walk away, and he feels this pain down low in his stomach, and he knows what it is. It sucks because he feels like he's still mostly in love with her, but they're not together, and they're never gonna be together, either. Because they had their chance, and it didn't work. And he hates that because she's the only person in the whole world that he really trusts right now.

He doesn't know why nothing in his life ever works out like he wants it to.

A/N: So, um, yeah. I really don't know where this came from or why it ended up being so massive. I also don't know why it ended right there, but it felt like the place. Anyway, thanks for reading and kudos if you made it all the way to the end!