You guys give me life, honestly. I'm so grateful for everyone who even just thought about reading this fic. It means the world.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. I will never own Glee.

Chapter 3.

Mercedes had woken that morning to a tiny fluff ball curled up on her stomach, and she'd had a tough time moving Mittens, simply because she was so cute that Mercedes hated to disturb her.

She took Mittens to school, cradled in her arms, and was intercepted by Puck and Fluffy, who looked disgruntled at being carried about and was wriggling in Puck's arms.

"Mr. Schue says we have to leave them in the choir room. He set up a pen, or something for them."

Mercedes nodded, idly scratching behind Mittens' ears as they headed for the choir room. "Are they going to be left alone all day?" Mercedes asked, worried now. She didn't like the idea of leaving Mittens without someone to look after her.

"Naw. Ms. P is supposed to check in on them throughout the day. Feed them and stuff." Puck replied, shifting Fluffy in his arms, and hissing when he took a swipe at Puck's arm.

Mercedes would have laughed if she wasn't still so worried about Mittens. "Ms. Pillsbury?" Mercedes asked, biting her lower lip, "It she going to be okay dealing with so many kittens?"

Puck gestured for her to go into the choir room first, and shrugged in answer to her question. "Mr. Schue said she's alright with it."

Mercedes nodded, knowing she'd just have to put her doubts out of her head and trust her teachers. Mr. Schue met them, smiling, and directed them to the pen.

Mercedes snuggled Mittens close before setting her down and watching her pad about the floor, sniffing. Fluffy joined her and the two nosed at each other, curious but hesitant.

"Tell Ms. Pillsbury thank you, Mr. Schue." Mercedes said, and he nodded, his eyes crinkling.

"Get to registration you two, and you can check in on them later." Mr. Schue instructed, looking far too amused at their reluctance to leave their kittens.

Puck grumbled, but nodded, heading for the door. Mercedes followed, not too happy either. It was strange how quickly she'd become attached to Mittens, how protective of her Mercedes felt, she mused as she took her seat in her registration class.

At least she wasn't the only one who felt that way.

Mercedes didn't see Sam until lunch time, at which point he ran up to her, eyes wide and looking concerned. "Where is she?" He asked.

"Mittens is with Ms. Pillsbury, Sam." Mercedes said, raising an eyebrow at him as he deflated, looking relieved "Go get your lunch and then we can go and see her, okay?"

"Yeah, okay." Sam said, "I'll be right back."

Mercedes watched him leave, amused. She speared some of her pasta and ate it, shaking her head. He was mad as a hatter, that one, she thought fondly.

He slid in beside her a few minutes later, tray hitting the table with a dull thud and he proceeded to shovel his food into his mouth as fast as he could. Mercedes watched him with a sick sort of fascination, no longer wanting to finish her own lunch.

"Hungry?" She asked sarcastiacally.

"WnfeMifnsse." Mercedes couldn't make that out, and decided against asking him to repeat himself while he was still stuffing his face.

When he was finished, though, he stood and headed for the door, glancing back to Mercedes briefly, and gesturing for her to follow him.

She stood, grabbing both of their trays and leaving them up, before going after him.

When she reached the choir room he was already sitting on the floor by the pen with Mittens securely in his arms, talking quietly to her. Her heart felt light at fuzzy at the sight of them and she knelt by him, looking down at Mittens, who was flexing her paw against Sam's thigh.

Some of the others were lazing about; Rory was tickling Cordelia, and Tina and Brittany were rolling a ball of wool between them watching Sylvester make tiny kitten jumps after it, her paws flailing after it. Kurt and Quinn were talking animatedly, with Lady sitting between them and looking awfully disdainful for a cat.

The other kittens were sleeping in the pen, Tigger and Bubbles curled up together, and Ollie lying sprawled out by himself near a water bowl.

"I take it you missed her?"

"Yeah," Sam replied, smiling sheepishly, "Did she behave last night?"

"She did. She curled up beside me and when I woke up she was lying on my tummy."

"I bet that was an adorable sight." Sam said, nudging her side with his elbow.

"She is pretty cute." Mercedes agreed with a tiny smirk.

"Don't even, Mercy. You know I was talking about you." Mercedes laughed, making Mittens jump and stare up at Mercedes.

"Hey, Mittens." Mercedes said, stroking her ear. Mittens' eyes shut lazily and she purred quietly. Sam smiled at them, his eyes warm and adoring.

"I can't come over this afternoon." Sam said, after a few minutes of comfortable silence. "But I'll be over later, though, so don't worry."

"Why?" Mercedes asked, fighting off a frown and concentrating on Mittens' moving tail.

"It's my turn to help Mrs. Hummel with dinner tonight, and I can't skip out." Sam explained. "I'm sorry."

"No. Don't be silly, Sam, it's fine" Mercedes told him, her free hand grasping his upper arm, "Come over and visit whenever you can, okay?" He nodded.

"I will. I won't leave you to look after her by yourself, Mercy." Sam mumbled.

"It's fine." Mercedes said, "I'll give you some time to be with her now, and I'll see you in English." Mercedes said, petting Mittens one last time and standing.

"Thank you." Mercedes just smiled knowingly at him and left, stopping by her locker to grab her textbook.

She sat down just before the second bell went, and waved at Tina, who was removing her books from her messenger bag, and appeared to be struggling to do so. Mercedes giggled and Tina stuck her tongue out at her, huffing a little when she couldn't get what she needed out. Mercedes bit her lower lip and turned away, waiting for Mrs. Garcia to arrive.

Mercedes slammed the front door closed and set Mittens down, allowing her to pad about while she grabbed a drink. Mercedes took her water up the stairs and switched her laptop on, dropping her bag onto the floor and sighing.

She'd received and ungodly amount of homework for over the weekend, and she was completely exhausted just thinking about it.

She set her water onto the bed, and headed back downstairs, jumping when a tiny yelp reached her ears. She looked down and Saw mittens cowering into the crook of a step, seemingly frozen. Mercedes sat down on a step, reaching for Mittens tentatively.

Mittens entire body was shaking as Mercedes pulled her into her arms. She slid down the stairs on her butt and stood carefully, shushing and petting Mittens. Mercedes heart was beating out of her chest with worry as she sat on the sofa, running her fingers over Mitten's ears and down her spine, handling her gently.

The poor thing had tried to follow Mercedes up the stairs and had gotten stuck, and God why was Mercedes so stupid? She shouldn't have left her down here by herself in the first place. She sighed, and stopped internally admonishing herself and concentrated on calming Mittens down.

After a few minutes Mittens stopped shaking, though Mercedes could feel her too fast heart beating through her ribcage. Mercedes sighed again, and nuzzled her nose into Mittens' fur, holding her close until she was calm and purring, stretching out and her eyelids drooping.

Mittens soon fell asleep, and Mercedes took her upstairs and put her into her basket so Mercedes could check her email, and relax for a little while.

During dinner Mercedes phone beeped, and she was just about to open the message with Sam's name on it when her dad told her to put her phone away while she was at the table.

She spent the rest of dinner spaced out, wondering what he wanted, not noticing the odd looks her parents were giving her. She collected the plates in a daze, scraping them and dumping them into the sink, wondering if she just texted back before she washed them…

She knew it was a bad idea, because one text would lead to twenty others, and she'd be standing by the sink an hour from now, with nothing done.

She sighed and rolled up the sleeves of her jumper and filled the sink with hot, soapy water, allowing the warmth of the water to relax her. She hummed to her herself as she washed.

It was a good half hour later before she was finished, and then she wrestled her phone out of her pocket, wandering into the sitting room.

I can't come over tonight at all. Sorry, Mercy. : (

She frowned and sat down beside Jacob, wondering why, and then reminding herself that he didn't really owe her an explanation. She quickly typed out an 'okay' and set her phone down on the arm of the sofa, grabbing a cushion and wrapping an arm around it, as had become her habit.

Jacob peered up at her, his wide eyes worried. He tugged on the sleeve of her jumper and whispered, "Are you alright, 'Cedes?" She smiled at him, pushing away her disappointment.

"I'm fine, Jay." She said, snaking her free arm around his thin shoulders and holding him close. "How are you?"

He shrugged, and didn't reply. He wasn't a talkative boy, but his hand on her knee and his head on her shoulder gave her enough comfort and reassurance about his feelings that she understood that sometimes words weren't really necessary.

She directed her eyes to the TV, which was have a re-run marathon of some cop show that her dad loved, and she watched it, only half paying attention.

During a break Jacob shifted and mumbled, "I like the kitten."

"Yeah?" Mercedes asked quietly.

He nodded against her shoulder, "She's fluffy and nice."

"I'm glad," She told him, a small smile working its way onto her lips. "Were you playing with her earlier?"

"Yeah, mum's got her on her lap now." Jacob said through a yawn.

Mercedes glanced over to see Mittens lying across Maria's lap, and huffed a laugh. "She's got all of us wrapped around her paws." Mercedes said.

Jacob didn't say anything to that, and she looked down to see him passed out, his breathing deep and even and his eyes flickering under his lids. She smiled and pushed his fringe out of his eyes.

"Dad?" She said, and he grunted, "Jacob's sleeping." The sofa shifted a little and then Robert was leaning over them, shaking Jacob gently.

Jacob's eyes fluttered open, and his brows furrowed together, "Up you get kiddo," Robert coaxed. "You've fallen asleep on 'Cedes." Jacob nodded, blinking sleepily and stumbling to his feet.

Robert helped him up to bed, talking softly to his only son, and then saying, louder, "You too, Rosie." The girl in question grumbled to herself, but followed them upstairs, her ponytail swishing back and forth as she walked away.

"Is she behaving?" Mercedes joked, shooting a pointed look at Mittens.

"She's a heck of a lot better than any of my own kids ever were." Maria replied, grinning wickedly.

Mercedes huffed indignantly, and walked over to scoop Mittens out of her mum's lap. "Come on, baby, away from the mean old lady." Mercedes cooed, cuddling Mittens to her chest, eliciting a laugh from Maria.

"Well, this mean old lady is going to switch the channel before your daddy gets back downstairs." Maria said, grabbing the remote and flicking through the channels, settling on a movie that Mercedes had never seen before.

She shrugged and sank back into the sofa, letting Mittens curl up across her upper thighs and stomach. Mittens let out a tiny meow, and Mercedes awed, booping Mittens' nose and watching her blink, confusedly.

"Is Sam not coming over, 'Cedes?" Robert asked, walking back into the sitting room and flopping down beside her.

Mercedes shook her head, "No, he can't make it tonight." Her dad shrugged and he reached out to pet Mittens absentmindedly.

"Well then, we can have a family movie night, right?" Robert asked, grinning up at her and winking.

"Sounds awesome, dad." She said, and Mittens let out a particularly loud purr.

"So we're all in agreement then," Robert said, laughing.

Maria picked out a couple of movies, most of them ones that they'd all seen before, and slotted one into the DVD player.

"Really, mum?" Mercedes asked as Maria slid in between her husband and her daughter.

"Yes, it's a favourite of mine." She replied, wrapping an arm around her husband.

"Urgh, fine." Mercedes agreed, letting Maria take her hand and squeeze it. "I get to pick the next one, though." Both her parents agreed to that, and they all settled down to watch Transformers.

Mercedes didn't get to pick out a second movie, though, because she fell asleep with her head in her mum's lap about half way through the first.

The rest of the weekend passed pretty quickly, and there was no word of Sam at all. Mercedes decided, at lunch time on Sunday, not to let it bother her and then decided to get stuck into her homework, before she procrastinated all her time away.

She left some treats by Mitten's basket, and pulled her books out of her bag, settling onto her bed, ready to stick it out for the long haul.

She agonised over Chemistry, staring at a lot of the questions in confusion before finally working out the answers, and she worked swiftly through her Geography work, and then switched her laptop on so that she could get started on her English essay.

She opened her iTunes and a Microsoft word document. Spreading her notes out around her, and rifling through loose sheets until she found the one she'd scribbled the essay title onto.

She was about half way through the first draft when she took a break. She drank some water and lay back on her bed and rubbed at her eyes, idly wondering if she could, maybe, take a small nap. Just for half an hour.

She woke up to muffled laughter and meowing in her ear. She groaned and turned over, her eyes blinded by the sudden light. "Mittens?" She mumbled, squinting in the direction of the noises. A cold nose nudged against her cheek and she yelped, jerking back, while a loud laughed boomed.

"Sam?" She asked, even more confused than before. "What?"

"You're adorable, Mercy." He choked out, clambering onto the bed bedside her and picking Mittens up. "Yes, your mummy is adorable, isn't she?" He cooed, pressing a kiss to her fur.

Mercedes smiled, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and sitting up.

"When did you get here?" She asked Sam, piling her notes up and setting them to the side so that there was room for both of them on the bed.

"Only about ten minutes ago. I was talking to Rose for a bit." He admitted, "She's got quite the imagination, that one."

Mercedes nodded, "That she does." Mercedes agreed. "Is there anything specific you're here for, or?"

"I had to come and see my two favourite girls." Sam told her, bumping their shoulders together, and keeping the contact.

"Well we're very happy to see you, Sam." Mercedes said, rolling her eyes.

"Who said I was talking about you? I'm here for your mum and her food." Sam said, trying to keep a straight face.

"Uh-huh." Mercedes said, taking Mittens from him and setting her on the floor. "You can go downstairs and talk to her then."

Sam pouted, "Oh, come on, you know I was joking." He whined as Mercedes got up from the bed and started packing up the books she'd finished with. "Mercy you know I meant you."

"I know, you goof," Mercedes said, "Now go clean out Mittens' litter box."

Sam groaned, "Sure, give me the dirty job."

"Sam." Mercedes said.

"Fine, fine. That's so gross." Sam mumbled, and Mercedes bit her lip to hold back a giggle.

Mercedes laid back on her bed, watching Mittens pad over the quilt and sniff about for a few minutes.

"I'm going to put this in the bin." Sam said, and Mercedes let out a quiet 'hmm' and patted the bed by her arm, making Mittens look over. Mittens cocked her head to the side, her whiskers twitching, and then moved over beside Mercedes slowly, her paw swiping out to prod at Mercedes arm.

Mercedes smiled, and tapped her fingers against the mattress repeatedly. Mittens watched the movement with sharp eyes, she lowered onto her tummy and her eyes narrowed, her tail swishing back and forth. After a minute of intense concentration Mittens pounced, her paws wrapping around Mercedes hand harmlessly, Mittens' tiny teeth digging into Mercedes fingers gently.

Mercedes laughed lightly and pulled Mittens off her hand, and cuddled her to her chest, petting between her ears. "You're the most precious thing." She murmured, and Mittens' just purred as though in agreement.

"Like I said," Sam cut in out of nowhere, lying down beside them, "Adorable." He took Mercedes free hand, staring at her, making sure it was okay, and when she didn't protest he entwined their fingers.

"I missed this," He murmured, "I missed you."

She met his gaze, a sudden feeling of contentedness filling her chest, "I missed you too." She admitted.

Sam's smile turned unsure and he raised their joined hands to his lips, keeping eye contact with Mercedes all the while.

Mercedes didn't know what to do now, didn't know where tog go from this point, because they could be together now, it would be so easy to fall back into what they had, with the few minor changes that had affected them since they'd broken up, it would be natural.

And she was so irrationally afraid.

Sam could sense it, because he laid their hands down between their bodies and scooted closer to her. "It's going to work out," He whispered, "We can work for this together." He promised, squeezing her hand tight. Mercedes squeezed right back.

"I'm scared." She admitted. What if she just thought she was ready for a relationship again? What if she was deluding herself and ended up hurting someone- hurting Sam?

"So am I," He said, "But we've got each other, and I know we can do this. I believe in us, if I didn't I would never have fought for you."

"Okay." Mercedes said, letting out a long breath.

"Yeah?" Sam asked, a small smile creeping onto his face.

"Yeah." Mercedes said, and he pulled her into his arms, hooking his chin over her shoulder and letting her press her face into the crook of his neck.

Mercedes took a few shuddering breaths, and relaxed into his embrace, and giggling as Mittens squirmed out from between them and pranced away.

Well...I'm just going to leave this here, and hope you liked it.

Love and hugs,