AN: I think it's really, really odd - but very Glee - that no one has mentioned the whole Sam-was-in-a-financial-situation-and-forced-to-take-a-very-degrading-job plot on the show. Maybe RIB forgot? So I thought about it and then this happened and I'm going to eat chocolate now.

Disclaimer: Glee is not mine. If it was Samcex would be a THING.

naked by Blackdandelion

When Kurt tells Mercedes about Sam's former career - of course it's Kurt, who gossips more than all those ladies on The View put together - she bites her tongue harshly to keep her jaw from dropping and giving him the satisfaction of seeing her reaction.

She's still spitting blood hours later.

It becomes the huge thong-clad elephant in the room.

Stripper Sam.

White Chocolate.

It's like everyone knows but they're all pretending that the other doesn't.

Until - of course there's an until, these arrangements never last - Finn - of course, it's Finn - opens his mouth.

It's a Tuesday and Mr Schue has a problem - when doesn't he? - with Kurt's outfit designs for regionals. He strolls around Mike and Tina who are modelling the clothes, a cute pinstriped dress for Tina and pinstriped pants for Mike with pink suspenders that match the girls' dresses, and gestures for the hemline to be raised and the neckline to be lowered.

Sam can see Mercedes wriggling about in her seat uncomfortably. Mr Schue's proposal means that the dress, already short, will end above mid-thigh and a lowered neckline means nothing for the other girls in Glee but with Mercedes' ample assets - that Sam so appreciates - that's a lot of cleavage to be dancing around in.

Mercedes doesn't like to show a lot of skin. If it were up to Sam she would never be wearing anything - actually, he takes that back, he still doesn't like how Puck leers at her. But she has these body image issues - to which he can totally relate - and she looks nauseous as Mr Schue asks Kurt if the waist on Tina's dress can be pulled in any tighter - Mr Schue is a pervert, Sam's known since Rocky Horror.

"I'm thinking summer and flirty," says Mr Schue.

Sam snorts. "Why do we have to be practically naked for it to be flirty?"

Everyone turns towards him. He knows he's been gaining a reputation since he's been back but if that what he gets for doing the right thing he really couldn't give a damn.

"What, like you have a problem with being naked on stage?" Finn asks - he's is Mr Schue's best man after all, literally.

And then the entire group chokes on their own spit and Sam walks out of the room.

She finds him in the auditorium not five minutes later.

"He's an ass," she tells him without small talk. He always liked that about Mercedes, she skips the small talk - the first time they were going to have sex, he kept droning on about the constellation of stars outside her window because he didn't know how to lead up to the actual act, but she just took of her shirt and asked if 'they were going to do this, or what?'.

"I don't really care about him."

She opens her mouth to say something, anything but he spins to face her and his eyes are all green and blazing in that way that makes heat pool her stomach.

"Is that why you don't love me?"

And she opens her mouth to say that she does love him, that she bloody well dumped Shane for him, but she needs time to adjust, time to realize he's back and he's not going anywhere.

"I do-"

"What? I'm too dirty, I was a whore. I let these old women take their hands and run them all over me-"

"Stop it!" she cries and for a second she thinks she might throw up.

But he can't stop, he's never talked about this before. "I took a shot of vodka every night to get up there, to meet the leers. The way they would just stick their hand down my shorts like I was nothing, like I was another toy for them to play with-" he's crying now and so is she and she just wants to hug him - "Did I tell you that I met one of them? She was Stacy's fucking teacher. Just looked right through me as if I wasn't there. As if she hadn't tried to do shots on my crotch for five dollars. This is it, Mercedes!" he yells and spreads his arms out and he's never looked more sad and more beautiful. "This is the only thing I can offer you, a disgusting piece of human garbage, I can't remember how many hands have touched me or how many women I've let lick my stomach for an extra buck. This is-"

And then she's there, pressing her forehead against his willing him to see that she doesn't care about any of this. That he's Sam and he's beautiful and she's his.

"Don't ever call yourself a piece of human garbage," she growls at him much later, when he's stopped crying in her arms. They lie on the stage, leaning towards the wall, his head nuzzled against her chest. Her heartbeat calms the erratic feeling that keeps surging through his body.

"You deserve better."

She shakes her head and smoothes a hand over his stomach. It doesn't feel like when the women at the club touched him - carnal, all oh-god-yes-whatever-your-name-is - it feels like love.

"You deserved better than what you got and what you had to do."

He strains upward to kiss her and they fall into the gooey moment, the love of it all. It's the best thing in the entire world - and Sam knows too much about the world - and it's his and it's now. He loves it.

And then three weeks later when Mercedes has to wear that dress with forty percent less fabric than Kurt intended, Sam makes sure to stand next to her the entire performance. When Puck and Finn ogle her cleavage and makes her want to throw up, Sam and Mike accidentally trip into both of them and send the duo careening towards the floor.

And when the performance is over and Mercedes wants to cry bitter tears over how humilated and naked she felt on stage, Sam drags her into a closet and pulls her into a kiss that makes her forget she could sing at all.

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Review, my pretties!