A/N: my life is over re: kurt and sam living together

The thing is — Kurt looks good. Really good. Kind of the same, but taller and older and prettier — which is something Sam doesn't say out loud, but wants to. He helps carry in Sam's suitcases and his arms show prominently in his shirt, and Sam doesn't stare (but wants to). And he says, "It's great having you back," and his eyes don't really meet the words, and Sam says nothing.

Finn tells him stuff about Kurt and Blaine, kind of grudgingly, like he doesn't really enjoy talking about it. Sam doesn't really ask, but maybe he does it without thinking — because Finn talks about Kurt and Blaine a lot, and Sam pretends not to listen a lot.

Finn says that Kurt's happy (and he's grumbling about it) and Sam tells him that he looks happy, nonchalantly, but he doesn't, and Finn knows it, but he nods anyway.

And Kurt doesn't come home some nights, and Sam doesn't notice (but he does), and some nights he's up until Cartoon Network is playing Little Einsteins waiting for the door to creak open and shut, waiting for Kurt to come home, and he doesn't, and Sam notices.

In the mornings it's kind of a weird, awkward rush to the bathroom, because Kurt and Sam both need ample time to make their hair look presentable. Sam stopped dying his with lemon juice ages ago but it still looks like a hot mess before he's showered, and Kurt swears seven times a day that his looks like Medusa's wayward cousin before he has gel in it, and Sam sort of gets the reference.

It's bad, though, because Sam hasn't thought about like-liking boys since — well, since, and Kurt comes out with a towel around his waist and Sam doesn't look but wants to, and then he does, and the shower is cold but he doesn't mind.

The thing is — Kurt has this weird affect on people. He makes you want to be like, a better person, a good person, a nicer and kinder and smarter person. And he doesn't know it, but he makes you want to kind of beat off in the shower furiously in the morning and then cry in your bed for the rest of the day because you swore you haven't been gay in months.

And he makes Sam want to smile when he doesn't, and he does good things for bad people, and when he comes home late with red-rimmed eyes, he makes Sam wish he was braver and meaner so he could punch his boyfriend in the goddamn mouth.

But he doesn't, and Kurt doesn't ask him to, and when it's late and his eyes are red, Sam passes him the Cheerios without looking twice and Kurt smiles with his eyes the way Tyra says you should, without even trying.

Kurt says he got into NYADA, which is a really long acronym for some kind of performing arts school, and, okay, Sam doesn't know anything about it, but he knows that Kurt's grinning like he's won the lottery and there's a strange surge of pride in his stomach that shouldn't be there.

Finn celebrates with Chinese takeout, which is apparently a celebration, and they sit on Kurt's bed eating pure concentrated sodium, and Sam hasn't ever really been in here before and he can't stop staring.

There's a poster on the wall of that Twilight dude, the werewolf one who's super in love with the chick in the movie that Mercedes made him see. On his dresser is a framed picture of him and Blaine, which induces a sort of gag reflex in the back of Sam's throat, in a way it probably shouldn't, but it does. Kurt is talking about how the chances of him getting in were like, really slim, and Sam listens to every word and doesn't even have to pretend.

He thinks about Mercedes, though, halfway through the whole conversation, how he has to try so hard to listen to her, how he kisses her and tastes something metal on the inside of his cheek. He thinks about how listening to Kurt is effortless in comparison.

Sam kind of wants to vomit, and he stops chewing his shrimp fried rice and contemplates puking all over Kurt's bedsheets while he's gushing about the acceptance letter clutched in his hands, but he doesn't, and he instead stares at the spot on Kurt's wall right next to the werewolf poster and then looks at the picture of Blaine and he hates himself, the way he shouldn't, a pulse beating on the inside of his head.

Sam misses home a lot, which is understandable, but still kind of weird for him, being so far away. He thinks he might have developed insomnia, definitely, because when he can't stop thinking about his mom and dad and his little siblings, he ends up in the kitchen eating what's left of Finn's Captain Crunch and staring at a chip in the wall paint.

Kurt comes home late, tonight, at around two, and his eyes aren't red-rimmed but he looks so very tired the way Kurt can. The door clicks shut, softly, and the only light in the kitchen comes from the orange light of the streetlamp outside, filtering in through the bent blinds.

Kurt flicks on a light. "Hi."

"Hey." Sam talks with his mouth full, wiping his lips with the back of his hand. "Where've you been?"

There's a silence where there shouldn't be, a question that shouldn't have been asked, and Sam's about to stutter out a dumb apology when Kurt says, quickly, "Oh, you know," like it's an answer.

The moment that follows is deafening in all its quiet, the awkwardness kind of palpable, and after a second Sam just laughs. "Yeah, I know."

"Yeah?" And Kurt laughs too, pulling up a seat next to him and snagging the crumbs of the Captain Crunch. Sam thinks Finn is probably going to be pissed, the way a little kid would whine if someone ate the last cookie in the jar, and he entertains the thought and doesn't focus on Kurt's close proximity (but he does).

And Kurt doesn't talk about Blaine, which Sam is grateful for, but he smells like sweat and something else, something saltier and maybe sadder, too, and Sam's cereal cuts the roof of his mouth and he adjusts himself in his pants more than a few times. Kurt doesn't notice. Sam wishes he would.

Blaine breaks up with Kurt on a Thursday.

Sam knows this because this is the day that Kurt sits crying in his room for a full 24 hours, from midnight on, and it's not really like Kurt, but maybe Sam hasn't been around long enough to know what's "like" Kurt or not these days. Finn doesn't talk about it but his jaw clicks a couple times in a threatening way, and Sam doesn't ask about it because he knows that'd be overstepping some kind of boundary.

Mercedes "breaks up" with him on the following Friday, like a surprise, telling him she regrets what happened and something about Shane and Sam gets it, kind of, because sometimes your heart is so attached to someone else that you can't really move it closer to someone else's. He doesn't want to get that. He does.

Finn says that Kurt needs them, and Sam nods like he understands. Kurt comes out of his room on Sunday and takes the newly-replaced Captain Crunch right back in there, shutting the door, and Finn shrugs like he doesn't care but he probably does, and Sam wants to say something but he can't.

It's late when Kurt knocks on his door, in matching pajamas and everything. Sam mumbles for him to come in and Kurt flops himself onto Sam's cot, not speaking or anything. And it means something, but it doesn't, and Sam screams underneath his skin.

"You okay?" Sam is making a real effort pretending not to be in love with Kurt Hummel.

"Yeah, probably. I just needed a friend." It's not working. Sam thinks people can see it from space, maybe that's why Mercedes dumped him, maybe that's why Finn wants him to be the one to do something about Blaine.

But Sam's not going to do anything. Sam's not going to punch Blaine in the mouth like he wishes he could, because Kurt is worth more than two guys fighting to the death. He's worth NYADA and other special things and Sam isn't worth it, Blaine isn't either, but Sam, especially. Sam turns on Cartoon Network and they pretend that Family Guy is still funny and he's not in love with him, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.

The night is old and the morning is young, the television playing Little Einsteins in the background, the air thin and moist, when Kurt kisses him, for the first time, and it's a Monday when Sam tastes the sweet hint of Captain Crunch and maybe Kurt can feel the cuts on the roof of his mouth, because he laughs like there's a secret, and Sam doesn't breathe at all.

"You okay?" Kurt breathes short and rapid puffs of air into his mouth and Sam thinks he needs the oxygen.

"Yeah," Sam says, whispers it, and he touches reverently the spot of skin just behind Kurt's ear, and the non-gelled hair that doesn't at all resemble Medusa, and the line of his jaw where there isn't even a hint of stubble.

Sam can't help himself and glances at Kurt's dresser, just for a hairbreadth of a moment, where the picture of Blaine is turned face-down, and the sweet sense of relief is like a prayer, and he closes his eyes like he's been staring directly into the sun. Kurt's nose tickles the tiny hairs near Sam's ear and he says, "I knew it."

The first lights of morning are coming in pale and blue through the window, and Sam whispers, "Me too," like he knew all along.