Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.

Mercedes parked her car and already had the door open before she'd even turned off the engine. She jogged briskly to the emergency room entrance, barely noticing anything around her as she made her way to the front desk. She nervously gave the receptionist there her name and Sam's like Maureen had told her to and waited every achingly long moment as the woman looked up the file. Every extra second felt like a lifetime to Mercedes.

Finally, the woman turned to face her, smiling politely before enlisting one of the orderlies standing nearby to guide Mercedes through the hospital and into the OR unit where Sam was being kept.

Mercedes felt as if the walls of the hospital were a never-ending maze that was rapidly closing in on her. Her chest felt tight as she blankly navigated her way behind the orderly. There was no conversation between them, but the trip was far from silent as Mercedes took in the various noises in the hospital. Machines were beeping; people were talking, crying, and groaning. Phones were ringing. People were walking in every direction. It was all a blur to her. All she could think about was finally getting to Sam.

She saw patients in their rooms as she passed and wondered what state she'd find Sam in. The knot in her chest seemed to get tighter at the thought. Her mind went through every possible terrifying scenario. Would they even allow her to see him?

A few minutes later, she was walking into the waiting room for the OR unit. The orderly lead her to the service desk there, where a woman was carrying on a conversation with two police men and a doctor. The orderly gave them her name and the woman—Mercedes assumed this was Maureen—shot her a look that made Mercedes' heart squeeze in her chest. She was barely breathing by the time the woman started speaking, introducing her to the doctor and the officers.

Mercedes nodded politely at all of them, but all she was interested in hearing about was Sam. She jumped straight into what she wanted to know, asking, "Is Sam going to be alright? What happened to him?"

"He's in surgery right now. The impact was pretty severe and caused a lot of internal damage. He's lost a lot of blood," the doctor began.

Mercedes' knees felt wobbly as she listened and she struggled to keep her composure. She could barely focus as he spoke, catching only bits and pieces, as her breath came out in shaky pants.

The doctor went on—with the policemen jumping in to provide any missing information-using words that sounded really painful and serious. Each one was like a knife to Mercedes' heart.

"He was blindsided by a car that ran a red light…driver's side impact…totaled the car…extraction from the vehicle…sustained serious injuries…broken bones in the left arm and leg…fractured ribs…collapsed lung…punctured internal organs…unconscious at the scene."

Mercedes wasn't aware she'd completely fallen apart until she was being lead to a chair and Maureen was asking if there was anyone they could call.

Not twenty minutes later she was losing it in Tina's arms, sobs wracking through her body. She felt like she couldn't breathe, and they wouldn't let her see Sam yet. He still wasn't out of surgery—there was a lot of damage to attend to—and they didn't know when, or if, they'd be able to move him to the ICU where she'd be able to sit with him.

She could feel Tina rubbing her back and tried to take comfort in the gesture but it was no use. She let her thoughts drift back to how the tears had been different just hours ago. The future had seemed wide open and beautiful and now she'd never been so scared of the passing minutes in her life. She wished they would go in reverse so she could stop Sam from ever going on that trip. She'd hold him forever and never let him leave her again.

The sobbing got worse and Tina tried hard to comfort her, squeezing her tightly in a hug and whispering soothing words, but it wasn't working. The one person who could make it better, who'd always made it better, couldn't be there for her now. He might never be there ever again. Mercedes couldn't handle the thought of that.

This was not how it was supposed to go. They were going to get married and have a baby. They were supposed to have forever. He wasn't supposed to be in there fighting for his next breath, and she wasn't supposed to be out here feeling like her world was ending.

She needed him—especially now. She'd always need him. He couldn't just leave her halfway. They had barely just begun.

When she'd finally exhausted this bout of tears, Mercedes tiredly lifted her head off of Tina's shoulder. She looked toward the waiting room entrance, hoping to see Sam's doctor returning with an update. He didn't, but she saw Mike walking in, sliding his cell phone into his pocket before he took a seat on the other side of her. He sighed, scrubbing his hands over his face, before offering her a firm squeeze on her shoulder.

"I called your parents," he informed her, "and Sam's. They're all on their way with the kids." Mercedes felt another lump form in her throat and stifled it with a deep breath. Every time she thought she was fresh out of tears, there seemed to be more just waiting to be shed.

The Evans clan was a tight knit family. They loved each other fiercely and protectively. Sam's family would fall apart over this—every single one of them. They'd been through so much already and, just when things were finally settling—when normalcy seemed within reach—life handed them this. It really wasn't fair and she knew every one of them would be crushed, even as they tried to remain optimistic.

She was glad Mike had called because she didn't know if she would have made it through that conversation.

The next several hours seemed like a blur to Mercedes. She'd been in just about every position a person could be in on those uncomfortable hospital chairs. Considering that a lot of people had some of the worst nights of their lives here, couldn't someone have thought to at least make the chairs comfortable? Sam's doctor had been back but couldn't really offer any new information as Sam still wasn't out of surgery. It was still touch and go, they were still trying to fix the damage, but he was still holding on which was a good thing.

Her poor baby, Mercedes thought. Her goofy, adorable, dorky baby. He was the sweetest man in the world. Why was this happening to him? He must feel so scared and alone right now.

Then she was crying again and Mike tried his hand this time at providing comfort, extending an arm over her shoulder and pulling her into his side. Tina sat at her back in another row of chairs. She let her chin rest on Mercedes' shoulder and rubbed her hand up and down Mercedes' arm.

It wasn't Sam, but it helped Mercedes keep the terror and emptiness from swallowing her up whole.

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