Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
NOTE: Things written in italic are a DREAM and not a flashback.
Only If For A Night
"It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace."
Nothing was right. Without Sam, the world was dark and dreadful. She couldn't – or perhaps she wouldn't- see the beauty in the simple things. Not when he wasn't there. But there was something worse than being away from him, knowing he would never come back to her. Something much worse. It was the feeling that he was there, watching over her shoulder, that threatened to break her. No matter how many times she told herself he was gone, no matter how many times she looked at his side of the bed and saw it made, the way he had left it two weeks ago; she still expected him to walk out of their bathroom grinning, or to wake up beside him. Mercedes could have sworn on more than one occasion that she had heard his voice. Just a small, soft whisper of words in her ear. But she would turn around and see that she was alone. Still, she felt him everywhere.
"Mercedes, you'll get through this." Tina sat on the couch in Mercedes' small living room. She had insisted on coming over, not taking no for an answer.
Mercedes let out a shaky breath and sat beside her. This was the first time in two weeks that she bothered to do her hair and wear something other than pajamas, if you didn't count the funeral. "I'm not sure I can." she argued, her eyes filling with tears. "This wasn't supposed to happen. We were supposed to have kids and grow old together. We were supposed to die old and wrinkled on our porch swing on a bright summer afternoon."
"Mercedes," lost for words, Tina pulled her friend against and stroked her hair as Mercedes sobbed quietly into her chest. "I'm so sorry."
"I just don't understand why they had to take him. Of all the people... why Sam? He was the sweetest man. Why do the good die young?" asked Mercedes.
"I have no idea." Tina began to cry as well, gripping Mercedes tightly. "God, we all miss him so much."
"I just... I wish I could have told him goodbye. I wish I could have kissed him one last time. He was here one second and gone the next. No warning." she whispered.
Tine held Mercedes a while longer, both girls lost in their thoughts. Two weeks ago, on a Friday night, Sam had taken a short walk to the nearest corner shop. From what the police had explained, Sam had walked in during a hold-up. Nerves getting the better of him, the robber shot Sam multiple times, right in the heart. They told Mercedes he was dead before he had even touched the ground, as though that would make her feel better. The police men assured her they would find his murderer and deal with him, but Mercedes didn't care. What did it change? Sam wasn't going to come back. He wasn't going to magically walk back into their apartment and kiss her. Those days were over.
A week ago, they had flown his body from New York to Lima for his burial. Mercedes remembered every detail clearly. The pain in his family's face was heartbreaking. She remembered their friends weeping as they said goodbye to the corpse of a man that had died too young. But what she remembered the most, what haunted her, were the whispers. Samuel Evans was the handsomest corpse they had ever laid eyes on, said the whispers. It sickened her. So many people had given her hugs and wished her well. They looked at Mercedes with pity, which did not help her at all.
"You should go." said Mercedes, pulling away from Tina. "Thanks for coming."
"No problem. Are you sure, I can-"
"Please? I just need to be alone. I need to get myself together before we pack his things tomorrow."
"Alright." nodded Tina. "Call me if you need anything, I'll be at the hotel."
"Will do." said Mercedes as she led Tina to the front door. Once she was alone, she sat, her back against the door and wept.
Sam watched Mercedes sadly. There were so many things he wanted to tell her, so many tears he wanted to wipe away. She had moved from her spot behind the door and had made her way to their bedroom. Now laying on the big bed, she was curled into a ball, clinging to his favorite shirt. Her sobs were loud and violent. It broke his heart.
He walked to the bed and sat beside her. Mercedes didn't shift or acknowledge him, but he did not expect her too. He was nothing more than a spirit, a memory, trapped in the wrong world. Slowly, he began stroking her arm. At least today she had attempted to go on with her day. She hadn't bothered with make up since his funeral. In fact, the only thing she bothered with were showers and sleep. She had to constantly be reminded to eat, because otherwise she forgot or simply did not care. He was grateful for their friends who checked up on her regularly. Sam had seen it all, and had cursed himself million times for having hurt her.
He brushed a strand of hair from her face and lay a kiss on her forehead. This earned him a sharp intake of breath by Mercedes, who opened her eyes and glanced around the room slowly.
"Sam?" her voice was so quiet, so fragile.
"I'm here." he answered with a small smile, but it was a wasted phrase, since she couldn't hear him. Mercedes lay back down and before long she had fallen into a deep sleep. In dreams, they would speak.
She ran. Faster than she had ever run before. It was after her, the monster she liked to call 'grief'. It was gaining on her with promises of eternal misery. For a second, she had hesitated. Would it be so bad to give in? She would be with Sam and everything would be right again. She could just let herself go and fall into a blissful sleep, was it so wrong? But a voice called to her, telling her to reconsider, to run away from the monster that wanted to kill her. It was Sam's voice. And so she ran. She ran through the forest in a white satin nightgown, the trees and flowers a blur as she followed his voice. She ran until she reached a river. In it, Sam was floating on his back, his expression relaxed as though he hadn't a care in the world. He grinned when he saw her and gave her a small wave.
"You're finally here." he said as he swam towards her.
Mercedes stared at him, afraid that if she spoke he would vanish leaving her alone again.
"I've missed you." he said as he climbed out of the water. He wore his favorite boxers, which were soaking wet. He looked as good as he did before he had died, but there was something different about him. He seemed... ethereal.
"You aren't going to speak to me?" He asked, amused. "I thought you loved me." His tone was teasing, but only brought tears to Mercedes' eyes.
"I do, more than anything I love you." she sniffled and looked away from him. This was a dream, she knew it but couldn't seem to wake herself.
"Don't wake." he said, his voice was soft and mesmerizing. "I need one last night with you too." he took a step forward and lay a hand on her cheek. "You're so beautiful."
"Don't say that to me." Mercedes to a step back. "You don't get to do that to me. Not now. Not when you'll leave me in the morning."
"I never wanted to leave you, 'Cedes." he said as quietly as before. "I wish I could be there with you."
"So why aren't you? Why do I have to dream to see you?"
"You know why." he said smiling sadly. "Did you think I'd leave without saying goodbye?" he chuckled and pressed a soft kiss on her forehead. "I love you so much, you need to remember that."
"Don't leave me again, Sam. I'm begging you." Mercedes could barely speak, her throat was hurting so much. She wanted to hold him and never let go. To stay here, in the peaceful forest with the love of her life for eternity.
"But I have to, people are waiting for me." he smiled. She would have argued, screamed that she and a dozens of people were waiting for him too, in the land of the living. It would not have been of use. She knew him well enough to know when arguing would be a waste of time.
"What's it like?" she asked slowly.
"Being dead? It's nothing like the movies, I'll tell you that much. It's peaceful and warm. Don't feel sorry for me Mercedes." he said chuckling.
"Are you insane?" she asked, gaping. "You died. You were twenty-three. There are so many things you won't get to do." She was angry now, at how easily he seemed to cope with his death. Though she supposed she felt enough grief for the both of them.
"You'll do enough for the both of us." he stroked her cheek slowly. "When it's your time, you better have a bunch of stories to tell me. Live, Mercedes, for the both of us."
"Without you? I can't." she shook her head.
"I'll always be there, watching you. Even when you can't see me. You'll always be my wife, no matter what happens. You are my light. Besides, you already have a part of me in you." his voice was soft and his eyes, sad. "Can we be together? One last time?" There was a strange innocence about him that she hadn't seen since high school. He pulled her close and started laying lingering kisses onto her throat. His touch was cool but not unpleasant. She let out an involuntary moan.
"After tonight, I'll lose you right?" asked Mercedes, though she dreaded the answer.
"I'll always be here." he repeated and kissed he mouth. "Always." His touch was like poetry against her skin; warm, passionate, arousing. She never wanted him to stop, which was exactly why he did.
"I don't want your last memory of me to be about sex." he said carefully, moving away. "Take off your clothes. Mercedes arched a brow and cocked her head to the side.
"So, you don't want to make love to me, but you want me naked?" she asked in disbelief.
"We've never been skinny-dipping." he smiled and wiggled his eyebrows. "Last one in is a rotten egg!" he said as he stripped. Before Mercedes could even comment, he was in the water, grinning at her.
"Aren't you scared something's going to bite of your manhood?" she asked skeptically.
"I'm dead, babe. And, this is a dream." he winked. "Come on, don't tell me you're shy?"
"I'm not shy." she muttered, rolling her eyes as she stripped in turn and jumped in the river.
"See? Easy peasy." said Sam as she swam to him. He splashed her, and before Mercedes realized it, they were laughing and playing in the water. After what seemed like an hour, they had calmed down, the thought of death finally creeping back into their minds.
"Come here."said Sam as he beckoned her forward. "I have something to show you, but you have to close your eyes and relax. Just trust me." he held his hands up. "Palms against mine." he ordered. "Now, just relax. Do you feel it?"
She did. It was a joining, a blending of their souls. She felt warm and safe. She couldn't really explain it, but in that moment, she did not feel human. He was everywhere, intoxicating her senses. It was a sensation beyond pleasure, beyond anything she could have ever imagined. They were one, as they always had been, but now she felt it. It was lovely yet haunting.
"What's happening?" she asked quietly.
"Think of it as soul sex." he answered. Mercedes opened her eyes and gave him a look. "I'm serious. That's what souls feel when they come together."
"How do you know?"she stepped back.
"I'm not sure. I just do." he frowned.
"Well, souls must have amazing sex, because that had the force of an orgasm times a hundred." she said . He chuckled and followed her out of the water. She lay on the softer grass, looking up at the blue sky. He smiled to himself. She really was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on.
"I want to tell you something." he said as he collapsed beside her. "I used to hope you'd outlive me. The idea of living a single day without you terrified me. For me, there was no future without you by my side. If our roles were reversed today, I think I would have entertained the idea of suicide. So I can only imagine, that you are." He glanced at her and linked his fingers with hers.
Mercedes closed her eyes and sniffed. Of course he would know. He had always been able to read her. "I just can't do it without you." she whispered.
"Yes, you can. You're strong. Please, don't leave yet. There's so much waiting for you out there. Make me proud, baby." he smiled at her.
"Remember when you sang 'Hero' in high school?"
"How could I forget?"
"You always were, you know. My hero." Mercedes gave a short laugh and shook her head. "Even when you were being completely ridiculous. I wouldn't be the person I am today if you hadn't loved me. You need to know that. I never told you. I always thought I had the time. But every little problem I managed to fight... I was strong because you loved me, because you believed in me. You were my hero, always."
"We saved each other." he leaned over and kissed her. "But it's time to go now, Mercedes."
"I know." she nodded. "I just wish you could stay, God, I need you."
"I told you," he said grinning. "You already have a part of me in you. I'll always be here." He stood and pulled her to her feet. "Do me a favor?"
Mercedes nodded. "Anything."
"Keep in touch with my parents. You're their family."
"I lost you, Sam. I was never going to let them go too." she said and he pulled her in for a tight hug. After kissing her one last time, he stepped back.
"Do you think God would be offended if I walked to the Gates naked?" he asked, looking down at himself, and for the first time in two weeks, Mercedes laughed.
"He wouldn't dare. You're beautiful."
Sam smiled. "Not as much as you."
"I love you." said Mercedes. "Just, have fun on the other side, okay?"
He nodded. "I love you too. Hey, Mercy?"
"Grace." he said simply. And everything went dark.
The next morning, the headache Mercedes had been sporting for the past two weeks had disappeared. She was still heartbroken, but unlike last night, she now had hope. She took her time showering, enjoying the warmth of the water against her skin. When she stepped out, she gasped at the sight before her. On the mirror, written in the steam was 'Grace'. Sam's words still fresh in her memory, she stared at the name. 'You already have a piece of me in you' he had said. Mercedes shook her head. It couldn't be. But the more she thought about it, the more it started to make sense. In all her grief, she had not paid attention to details. She hadn't realized her period was late.
She quickly dug out a pregnancy test she had bought only a month before, when she and Sam had trying for a family. But Mercedes already knew, he had told her twice. She was pregnant.
Okay, so I'm not sure if I succeeded in this story. Anyway, Sam was a ghost and he visited her in her dream so that they could be together one last time before he moved on. Mercedes was/is pregnant. Um, about the name 'Grace'. I know it's not a wow-omg-that's-so-cool name, but that's not why I chose it.
'Grace' means blessing and that's exactly what this baby was for Mercedes. A blessing. Also, the Three Graces were goddesses of nature in Greek Mythology: Aglaia (brillance), Thalia (flowering), and Euphrosyne (joy). Mercedes was first told she was pregnant with a girl in a forest. Um, yeah. So I chose the name for what it means.
Anyway, please review. Or don't, but I love it when you do.