Author's Note: This title sucks. But I really hope that the story doesn't. It was inspired by the moment in 'Britney 2.0' when Mr. Shuester was scolding the glee guys and Blaine tried to say something and the teacher cut him off, causing him to mumble into shameful silence. And then I took it into my brain and made it EXPLODE! Blangst-fest.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.

Sam knew it was a bad idea to lip-sync at the assembly. But, if it could somehow snap Brittany out of her downward spiral, it would be worth it. It just didn't really feel right, and he could tell that the rest of the glee club agreed.

But they had to help out their friend. And the routine she choreographed was pretty good. Except, she stopped trying for the last few practices and it was starting to get sloppy. Brittany would pull it together for the performance, though…right?


She didn't pull it together. It was a disaster. The entirety of the New Directions was completely humiliated, and thank God that Blaine ran over and shut the curtain. He kind of looked like a really tiny superhero with a giant cape, come to think of it. Also, Brittany was as sad as ever. So, it was a pretty big failure on all fronts.

And now they had to go into the choir room and get a lecture from Mr. Shuester. Sam thought that their teacher's disapproval hurt a lot more than the jeering crowd and, by the looks on everyone else's faces, they felt the same. The glee club was sitting down on the risers, slouched in their chairs and silent, when Mr. Shue finally got there.

He came into the room like a tornado, but stood painfully still when he reached them. He had his arms crossed and his eyes were hard with disapproval. "I'm so disappointed in you guys," he said softly. Sam lowered his head and wrung his hands in his lap. He saw the movement around him as his peers reacted generally the same way. "How could you lip-sync at an assembly?" Now he started to raise his voice, and it echoed around the choir room, "Never have we cheated like that, in all the years of this glee club! It's disgraceful! What possessed you to do this?"

Blaine spoke up in a small voice, "We just wanted to help Brittany—" his words faded out as Mr. Shue interrupted harshly.

"Well, you didn't really help, did you Blaine?" he snapped. Sam didn't think he'd ever seen their choir director look so mad…or Blaine look so small. "Now we're the laughing-stock of the school! Such a disgrace!"

Blaine hesitantly spoke again, "We're really sorry—"

"Doing things like this behind my back is unacceptable!" Mr. Shuester said, once again cutting the boy off. He shrank even further down into the plastic seat as the teacher turned to him. "Blaine, you call yourself the leader of this club, how could you go along with this?" His eyes were blazing.

"I-I'm sorry," Blaine said quietly, and Sam started to get worried. It sounded like Blaine was trying not to cry.

Mr. Shuester didn't seem to notice. He was too caught up in his raving. "Well, sorry doesn't cut it! How are we going to gain back the respect of the school, guys?" He was standing close to the front row when he once again addressed their current soloist, looming over him, "What do you suggest we do, Mr. New Rachel? Any brilliant ideas like the last one?"

"I didn't—"

"I don't care, Blaine! You claimed leadership, now claim responsibility for your actions!" The teacher was raging and Sam noticed Blaine's slim form start to shake.

"I'm sorry," the soloist choked out. His shoulders were up defensively.

Sam saw that Mr. Shuester was going to shout at him again and stood up. "Mr. Shue!" he yelled, and everyone but Blaine looked at him in surprise. The boy from Dalton simply curled even smaller. "Stop it!"

The choir director looked a little bewildered as he started to realize himself. Sam shook his head in disbelief. "It wasn't Blaine's fault," he said, and saw most of the New Directions nod. "So lay off him." He pointed to Blaine. "Can't you see what you're doing to him?"

Mr. Shuester stared at Blaine—at his defensive posture, his shuddering breaths, the way he completely avoided eye contact—and just looked at him like he was seeing him for the first time. "Blaine," he said, his anger totally deflating.

The boy couldn't take it, though. With a muffled sob, Blaine ran out of the room. Joe, Marley and Tina moved to follow, but Sam stopped their progress. "Let me talk to him, okay?" he said to the Asian girl, "You talk to Mr. Shue." She nodded and Sam walked out of the room just in time to see Blaine disappear into the boys' bathroom down the halls. Sam didn't think that Blaine needed any of Joe's Jesus talk, Marley's wide-eyed innocence, or Tina's biting remarks.

The blonde hesitated when he approached the restroom door. He heard Blaine's voice from inside and pressed his ear against the wood to listen. "Dammit, Kurt, please pick up!" The sound was muffled, but Sam could hear Blaine's shuddering breaths and sniffles. "Kurt…this is Blaine. I just…I really need you right now. Something happened in glee and I just…call me back. Please." Then Sam heard the sound of a phone hitting the ground and some swearing. Well, now was as good a time as any…

Blaine looked startled when Sam came into the bathroom. He was sitting down, leaning against the wall by the sinks. His hair was a little messed up and tears glistened on his face and long eyelashes. He looked away, face burning up. "Oh, it's you," he muttered. Blaine's cell phone was lying next to him on the linoleum and he kept glancing at it periodically.

Sam hesitantly sat next to the shorter boy. "Are you okay, dude?" he asked.

Blaine let out a harsh laugh. "Do I look okay?" he asked sarcastically before burying his face in his hands, "Ugh, I can't believe I just did that…in front of everyone. They probably think I'm a nutcase."

"Naw," Sam shrugged, "They're just worried about you." He studied the other boy as Blaine stared at the ceiling. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Yes," Blaine replied simply, and Sam was surprised until, "But Kurt's not picking up his damn phone." His voice broke on the last word and it was then that Sam noticed how his tan hands shook and that he was barely keeping it together.

He hesitantly shuffled closer to the boy, not sure how the action would be received. Blaine didn't move, so Sam suggested, "What about me?"

"What about you?"

Sam shrugged, "I know I'm not Kurt, but you can talk to me, you know."

Blaine looked over at him with expressive hazel eyes and Sam just looked honestly back. "I don't know how to start," he admitted after a while. "You won't tell anyone, will you?"

"Not if you don't want me to," the blonde promised. Blaine nodded slowly, thinking it over.


"Okay what?"

Blaine gave him another look, "Okay, I'll explain…why I reacted like that." He let out a heavy sigh.

Sam simply nodded, and the shorter boy looked up at the ceiling tiles once more. "It's my dad," he admitted. There was a silence, but Sam didn't fill it. He wanted to give Blaine complete freedom to talk. "My dad…he's…verbally abusive," Blaine bit his lip. It was clearly hard for him to admit these things. "He drinks a lot after a long day at work…which is every day at work. My mom makes up these excuses to go on trips with her friends. That either leaves me alone with him, or just…alone."

Sam moved even closer to the other boy, simply as a show of comfort. Blaine once again didn't accept or reject the proximity. He kept talking to the ceiling, like Sam wasn't even there. "I don't know, I guess I kind of had a…flashback or something in the choir room and I just…" He took a deep breath, "It just brought back all the things he always says; Blaine's such a disappointment, Blaine can't do anything right, Blaine's such a fag, Blaine's such a coward. Even though neither of us is going to take over Dad's business, at least Cooper's successful. At least Cooper's straight."

Sam softly spoke up in the silence, "Does he hit you?"

The pause that happened after that was too long to be good. "Sometimes," the shorter boy admitted, "Just a couple of times, though, when I wasn't expecting it. I'm pretty good at boxing, so I can defend myself. But…there's something off-putting about fighting an adult, you know?" Sam didn't know, but he nodded anyway, "So I usually just take it.

"But then it happened here…in the choir room…in what I consider to be a safe place…and Mr. Shuester was just so…and I just couldn't…" He put his forehead down on his drawn knees and took a couple more breaths. "And why won't Kurt answer his phone?"

Sam didn't know what to do. So he just did what his heart was telling him to. He reached over and pulled Blaine in for a hug. That guy was strong, but he was still so small. After a few moments, Blaine finally gave in and started to cry into Sam's shoulder, clinging to him a little. "It's okay," Sam whispered, and he repeated that for about five minutes until Blaine calmed down.

"I'm sorry," he said when he stopped crying and he moved away quickly to wipe his eyes. "I'm so fucking weak."

"No, hey," Sam said, placing a hand on his shoulder, "You totally aren't."

Blaine sniffed a little and was about to reply when his phone started buzzing. He picked it up frantically. "Kurt," he breathed when he saw the caller ID. He turned to Sam uncertainly, "I have to take this." The blonde moved to get up and Blaine added, "Um, Sam, would you mind giving Mr. Shue an explanation? He must be a little curious."

"You don't owe him one," Sam said simply. He was kind of mad at their choir director, currently.

Blaine nodded, "I know. But I think he has a right to know. I trust you, Sam."

Sam smiled crookedly, "I'm glad."

"Thanks…for being here. You're a good friend." The boy looked so sincere that Sam felt a surge of protectiveness in his heart for the former-Warbler.

He moved towards the door. "Anytime, dude, seriously," he said, "Now hurry up and answer your phone."

Sam could hear Blaine talking as he left, "God, Kurt, it's good to hear your voice…I'm better now. Sam helped me out…yeah…well, you know that thing with Britt?" Satisfied that the other boy was good for now, Sam made his way back to the choir room.

"Is he okay?"

"What's up?"

"Why was he upset?"

"Hobbits always return to the Shire, guys. Although, he might lose a finger…"

"You make no sense, Brittany."

"No, it's everybody else who doesn't make sense. I'm the sanest person in this room…besides Brad."

Sam held up his hands, "Guys, guys!" he called, and they all reluctantly settle into silence in which for him to speak. "I'm not going to tell you anything more than this: he's okay now, and he would really appreciate if you didn't make a big deal about what happened."

"But, how are we supposed to help him if we don't know what's wrong?" Artie asked, adjusting his glasses.

Sam looked at them all steadily. "You treat him exactly like you treated him before and you don't make a big deal about it," he replied. "Blaine doesn't want to make a spectacle about it, okay? He's kind of embarrassed. He'll talk to you about if he wants to, but don't pressure him."

They all kind of mumbled their assents and nodded. Sam turned to Mr. Shuester, who was watching the whole thing from near the piano. "Mr. Shue, we gotta talk," he said, feeling authorative.

Mr. Shuester led Sam into his office and they sat down on either side of the desk. "So, you talked to Blaine?" the teacher asked softly. "Is he okay?"

Sam nodded, pursing his large mouth. "Yeah, he's fine now."

"Can I see him?"

"No," the blonde commanded, "He's talking to Kurt right now. And, after that, I think he's gonna head home or something."

Mr. Shuester ran a hand through his hair, "So…what happened?"

Sam fixed him with steady eyes. He didn't think that he should explain, but Blaine wanted him to handle it so that he didn't have to. "You yelling at him brought back some bad experiences," he said simply.

"As in the bullying?"

"As in problems at home." Sam watched as Mr. Shuster looked down at his desk with a sigh.

The teacher rubbed his eyes. "What should I do?" he asked.

"Well," Sam said, finding it weird that he was giving advice, "Maybe you could set him up for talks with Ms. Pillsbury. But, besides that, you should apologize. And then leave it alone. Don't treat him like he's fragile, but also don't yell at him like that ever again. In fact, don't yell at anyone like that."

Mr. Shue looked properly scolded and he nodded thoughtfully. He stood up and the boy followed him. Before they returned to the choir room, he turned to the blonde teenager. "You did good, Sam," he said, clasping him on the shoulder.

Sam thought about Blaine, cowering in the plastic chair, hiding in the bathroom, crying into his shoulder. "I hope so," he said.

Author's Second Note: So. That was blangsty. What'd you think? Review and tell me. Also, if stuff is happening in your life, don't keep it hidden. There's always somebody to talk to, to help, if you go looking for it and accept it. It gets better.

Take care.

-Patricia Sage