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golden // kingbury

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   Before you came round, my heart wouldn't beat much faster. 

   Wednesday, October 10. The day Samuel Seabury planned to end his life. He couldn't find a reason to stay alive. He felt pointless, like every choice he made would end in disaster. No one would even care he was gone. He had disappeared from class about 10 minutes ago and not a single soul had probably noticed.

   George Fredrick, a stuck up prick who only cares for himself. Or, at least what everyone thought he was like. 

   George sat at his desk, next to his best friend, Charlotte, the both of them paying no mind to the history lesson happening in front of them. He peers over at Alexander Hamilton, who is attentively listening to George Washington, their history teacher. Alexander was always the first to finish tests and had the highest grades in the class Show off.

   Before you came round, I was ready to slow down. 

   George snuck a peak at his phone, checking notifications and the time. 

   Wednesday, October 10, 2:45 pm.

   He sighs, wishing this day would end quicker. George never paid attention in class anyways. He came from a wealthy family and could always use the money to get him a passing grade. Where's that Samuel kid? He's been gone for ten minutes.

   George never really talked to Samuel, but he's seen him around the school, often looking bored. Kind of like him but Samuel seemed like a tired of life bored. George is actually an attentive person, just not when it comes to school.

   Suddenly, a loud scream is heard from outside, and every student's eyes widen. What the fuck? George thought to himself. He looks at Charlotte who is visibly frightened. The classroom door is shoved open and behind it lies Charles Lee, tears forming in his eyes. "Mr. Washington! Please call 911!"

   Everyone has their eyes on the raven-haired boy as Mr. Washington says in a soothing voice, "Charles, please calm down. What might be wrong?

   "I-it's Samuel Seabury. He's on the roof, and I-I think he might jump!" 

   Almost everyone gasps in terror at Charles' words. "Do not worry, please. Everyone stay seated-" Washington tries to tell his class, but just about everyone gets up and rushes to the front of the school, where the highest point of the school is. 

   Before you came round, I was heading for a small disaster. 

   Sure enough, Charles was telling the truth. A 5"7 ginger boy wearing a pastel blue sweatshirt and black jeans is seen on the roof of the school, standing on the very edge. 
   George stands wide-eyed, looking up at the gray sky and at the ginger boy, who looks... empty. Charlotte who is standing right next to him is shaking with fear. 
He has to stop him. In any other instances, he wouldn't give two shits but... George has been in this situation before. He can't bear to see another person kill themselves. Not again. 

   Before you came round, I was ready to blow me down. 

   Running to the entrance of the building, he passes by hundreds of cowardly students, none of which even tried to help the boy. Damn cowards. I should knock some sense into all of you. He crashed through the door and races up the stairs, ignoring principal Adams' advisory to let the fire department handle the situation. 

    After about five flights of stairs, George is at the highest point of the school. He opens the door carefully to see Samuel Seabury, standing on the edge of the platform. His mind is rushing with thoughts of what to say. He starts with a simple (and out of breath), "Hi, Samuel."

   "Hi," Samuel says with a monotonous voice. George feels chills go down his spine as a strong breeze goes by.

   "The wind gets really strong up here. You should back up a bit, you know. I wouldn't want you to fall."

   "...That's kind of the reason why I'm up here."

   "But... why? A lot of people care about you down there. It would devastate them if you did something irrational." 

   George hears Samuel pause for a moment. He must have hit a nerve. He moves a bit closer to the ginger, in hopes to pull him away from the ledge.

   "Charles Lee is down there, frozen in shock. Elizabeth and Margarita Schuyler are bawling and crying for you to stop. They don't want you to do this."

   "...They can find better friends than me, Fredrick." Samuel turns around to see the snow white haired boy looking at him with concern. Both boys' hair flow to the side as the wind continues its rampage. Samuel's bloodshot eyes remain emotionless and so does his voice as he asks George, "Why do you give a damn whether I jump off this building or not? From what I've seen, you only care about yourself."

   Let it go, paint my body gold. Take our bodies higher and higher. 

  George is now standing inches away from Samuel. He looks down at his feet and holds back tears. Memories of his past flood his mind as he tries to prevent himself from breaking down. "Because Samuel-" his voice cracks in the middle of his sentence, "-I've lost someone close to me to suicide and it's extremely hard to forget. A lot of people down there care about you and you know I'd hurt them if you did walk off this building right now. I may not know you well, but it'd sure as hell hurt me if you did."

    George holds out his arm, 

   "So please, don't do this. Whatever you're going through, I'll be there for you."

   The wind still howling, Samuel looks behind himself and down at the ground flooded with people. 

   "Don't do it, Samuel! Please!"

   Samuel hears some people yell at him from below. 

   "..."

   When Samuel turns back around, he is visibly frightened and sobbing. He grabs George's hand and steps down from the ledge. George is pulled onto the floor by Samuel, who falls into his lap. 

   We can go, until the morning glow. We can go higher and higher and higher. 

   Samuel pulls the white-haired boy in for a large embrace while mumbling, "I can't do it, I'm so sorry."

   George wraps his arms around the ginger as he hears the faint sounds of fire engines approach the school. He ignores the sirens and the cries of relief from students below. He instead keeps his attention on Samuel. 

   "Don't worry, Sammy, everything will be okay."

   Wednesday, October 10. The day George Frederick saved Samuel Seabury.

Chapter Text

   For the next few days, the only thing people talked about at school was Samuel. 

   The school was closed the day after the incident. On Friday, during homeroom, all students were called to the auditorium for an assembly, talking about bullying and self-harm. 

  "We wouldn't be here if Sea-bass didn't try and belly flop off the roof. That kid's fucking crazy," says James Reynolds to one of his asshole friends sitting next to him.  He apparently didn't care about was anything Principal Adams' was saying. James Reynolds was a bully and more of a prick than George, and honestly, that's saying something.

  George, who sat in front of him, turns around in his seat and glares at the man. George says in an intimidating, yet whispering voice, "I suggest you shut the hell up or you'll fucking regret you ever opened your mouth." 

   The boys quietly laugh and brush off George's threat, who is furious. Sitting next to James was Maria Lewis, a smaller girl who hid her face behind her hands in embarrassment. She mouths to George, "I'm so sorry..." who only responds with a turn back around to the stage of the auditorium. 

   At the end of the assembly, all of the students migrated out the auditorium to their first-period class. As George is about to walk out the door into the hallway, he hears the voice of Principal Adams' boom behind him.

   "Fredrick, may I have a word with you?"

   "...Sure."

   He is pulled over to the side of the auditorium as Principal Adams begins to speak, "I'd like to thank you for your bravery in saving Samuel personally."

    "Whatever, it was nothing. I just did what everyone should've got up and tried to do." George says with a nonchalant look. 

    Adams sighs, "Okay Fredrick. Thank you anyways. You may go to your next class. Also, as I've told Charles Lee, Maria Lewis, and the Schuyler sisters, Samuel is staying at Manhattan Hospital if you would like to visit him."

********  

   "Hello and welcome to Manhattan Hospital! How may we be of service today?" says a cheery woman, sitting behind a large desk.

   "Hi, I've come to visit a patient, Samuel Seabury."

   "Sure sweetie! Just sign in on this paper. I'll have someone bring you to his room."

   George cringes at the nickname but complies and signs the paper.  He takes his phone out of his pocket to check the time. 

   Saturday, October 13, 11:34 am.

   He writes down the time and goes to sit down in a chair near the entrance. George decided to visit Samuel in the hospital to see how he's feeling after Wednesday. 

   He reaches into his left pocket and takes out two golden rings, with a crown carved into each of them. He clutches the rings in his hand. He closes his eyes and gets lost in his thoughts until-

   "George Frederick?" says a nurse peering out from behind the double doors leading into where the patients stay. He snaps himself back to reality and puts the rings back in his pocket. He jumps up from his seat and follows the woman behind the doors.

   When the two make it to Samuel's room, George reads the sign on the door.

   Patient 74159, Samuel Seabury

   The woman pushes open the door and motions for George to go inside. He complies and sees Samuel, sitting on his bed and reading a book.

   The white-haired boy says in the most cheerful voice he can manage,  "Hello, Sammy!"

   Samuel looks up from his book to see George, waving at him from across the hospital room. "O-oh hi George!" He says with his cheeks turning red. He places the book on a nearby counter as George walks over to the bed and says, "May I sit here?"
"Y-yeah."

   George notices that Samuel now stutters constantly when speaking which makes him quite worrisome. 

   George plops down next to Samuel, whose face suddenly changes from flustered to upset. "Hey, what's wrong Sammy?" Samuel looks down at his book for a while. "O-Oh it's nothing! Why wouldn't I be alright?" he says, forcing out a cheerful voice. He looks back up at George. "...Thanks for, you know, stopping me."
 
   "Don't thank me. You were able to come to your senses and stop yourself. I hardly did anything. You should be thanking yourself."

   The boys sit in silence for a while.

   "How's hospital life been?"

   Samuel exhales loudly and replies, "T-Tiring and boring. They did a whole bunch of mental state checks and things like that. Honestly, I-I don't see what good that does. People could just be telling the doctors what they want to hear, Y-you know?"

   "Yeah, I guess." George's face turns into a warm, yet worrying smile. He could tell that Samuel probably lied about his mental state to get out of the hospital sooner. "When do you get dispatched?"

   "Tomorrow morning, actually. I wish I could stay longer though. The doctors and nurses are actually nice, and they treat me with respect... I don't even think my parents are gonna g-get a therapist or something for me."

   More deathly silence.

   "Sammy, I want you to know people out there care about you deeply, okay?"

   "...O-okay."

   "Oh, Sammy! I brought you a gift!" He takes the rings out of his pocket and opens his hand to reveal the present. Samuel begins to blush once again and says to George, "You must really love showing off your money, d-don't you?"

   George giggles and says, jokingly, "Well, I do try my best." He winks at Samuel who breaks out in a fit of laughter. "These are promise rings. We each promise each other something, and as long as we wear these rings, we try and keep the promise to each other."

   "O-oh so we can promise anything?" says Samuel in curiosity as he stops his laughing fit.

   "Anything, Samuel." George gently lifts the ginger's hand from off the bed and gently slides the ring on his pinkie finger. "My promise that I wish for you to keep is that if you ever feel sad or suicidal, or any problem you have, come to me. I'll help you to the best of my ability."

   Samuel looks down at his feet. He wants to seal their promise but...
He looks back up at George.
"...O-okay," says Samuel in a low, whispering voice. George let's go of Samuel's hand and gives Samuel the other ring to put on his hand.

   Samuel gently grabs the white-haired boy's pale hand and puts the ring on his pinkie finger. "The promise I want you to keep is, to be a bit nicer to others. You've kind of made yourself a reputation as an ass, and I don't want you to be known for that when I know you are so much more than that."

   "Of course, Sammy. It's probably gonna be hard because I'm naturally like that but for you, I'll try and change." The two of them let out a small giggle and smile. Samuel lets go of George's hand and they both talk and talk until at least 3:00.

********

   "George, time to go." Says his chauffeur, Daniel. George frowns and glances at Daniel who shakes in fear at the boy's signature spine-tingling glare. Samuel grips George's hand and looks at him with a kind-hearted expression. "I'll be at school on Monday; don't worry." George exhales loudly and spares the young chauffeur. He gets up from the bed and walks over to Daniel. He waves at Samuel who smiles and waves back.

   Poor Daniel had to listen to an hour-long rant about how amazing Samuel Seabury was on their way to the Fredrick home.

Chapter Text

   Samuel laid awake in his cold, dark hospital room, unable to get an ounce of sleep. His mind was boggled with so many thoughts. 

   He knew his parents would have his ass on a silver platter once he got home from the hospital. His parents would have troubles paying the hospital bill and probably are mad at him, in more than one way. They probably wouldn't even assign Samuel mental therapy.

   More importantly, would he still be teased and bullied once he went back to school? It seemed like there was always trouble piling up in his life.

   Samuel tossed and turned in his bed trying to shake the thoughts from his mind. He wanted to call George so he could talk but it was very early in the morning. And he didn't even have his number. He shuts his eyes in hope that he would be able to sleep.

*****

   George glances outside the car window, looking at his high-school.  He sees hundreds of teenagers crowded around and entering the school. The car door is opened by Daniel, who looks at George with terrified eyes but tries to look as kind as possible. George steps out of the car and pulls out his phone, not looking back at his chauffeur. 

   He walks inside the school and in the the direction of his locker to put his backpack down. It's not like he would be using it or anything. He leans against his locker and brings his phone closer to his chest and looks down at it. He spots the golden ring on his pinkie finger and lets out a small sigh.

   Would Samuel show up to school today? George ponders for a while on the topic. In the top right corner is the clock at which he glances at.

   Monday, October 15, 7:50 am.

   He unlocks his phone and is about to browse his social-media when-
"Hey George!" He looks up from his phone to see Charlotte walking towards him. Her french braided hair sways with every movement she makes. "Hey, Char," says George, looking back down at his phone. She frowns at being ignored so she reaches her arm up to George's snow white hair and pushes a chunk of it into his face who growls is frustation.

   He looks back up at Charlotte. "I've told you not to do that! Now I've got to fix my hair..."

  George puts his phone back in his pocket and fiddles with his hair as Charlotte, in a jokingly sassy tone, says, "Maybe, I wouldn't have done that if you haven't brushed me off like some dust."

   "Whatever, Char. Ugh, why won't my hair stay in place?" says a frustrated George. Charlotte sees something twinkle out of the corner of her eye while waiting for George to finish messing with his hair. She looks over to see a golden ring on his pinkie finger.

   "When'd you get that ring, George?" she says in curiosity. "This weekend. Why do you ask?" says the boy. "No reason, just asking."

   "...You jealous I didn't get one for you?" George says in a cocky tone.
"Bitch, please. You wish. I have just as much money as you. If I wanted one, I most definitely could get it for myself." She scoffs and gives George a playful glare.

   The homeroom bell rings and hordes of students move toward their class. Charlotte and George each go in their opposite directions to their homeroom. 

   George opens strolls into class, late as usual as his homeroom teacher tells him to take a seat. As he is walking to his seat, he sees Samuel Seabury, sitting in his regular seat. George lets out a small smile when he looks down at Samuel's hand and sees the ring. He sits down in his chair next to, unfortunately, Alexander Hamilton.

   From about three seats in front of George, sits Samuel, who is smiling, ear to ear. His desk-mate, Aaron Burr, looks over at him and asks, "Uh, Seabury, are you doing okay?"

   "Oh! U-uh, I-I'm fine!" He whispers to Aaron who looks down, to avoid eye contact. Aaron lets out a content hum and diverts his attention toward their teacher. "Also... I'm glad you're alive."

*****

   As the 4th-period bell rings, Samuel gets up from his seat and puts his supplies in his blue bookbag and swings it around his arm and puts his other arm through the strap. He walks out of the classroom, making his way down the hallway and into the cafeteria.

   Today was... interesting for Samuel so far. Lots of people gave him glances and looks of all kinds throughout the day. He was approached and comforted by his friends who couldn't visit him in the hospital. There was also a note from Maria in his locker saying that his friends will be here for him.

   Even the teachers asked him about his weekend and if he needs help with classwork. All the attention was overwhelming to Samuel. He continues to walk down the hallway until he is pushed against his locker by a figure he can identify easily.

    He feels the back of his head begin to throb in pain as he sees James Reynolds and his friend loom over him. The hallways are almost empty and the people that do see the scene walk past in ignorance. "So, Sea-Bass, looks like you came back to school," says James.

   Samuel began to tense up. These pricks were one of the reasons why Samuel wanted to end his life. They obviously didn't give a shit about Samuel's life or mental health.

   They just wanted to see him suffer for their entertainment.

   "W-what do you want J-James..." whimpers Samuel, rubbing the back of head, trying to soothe the pain. James lets out a menacing laugh.

   "What's wrong, Samuel? You gonna cry? God, you're such a fucking wimp. You couldn't even bring yourself to end your useless life."

   Samuel froze. In his mind, he thought James was right. He thought he was just a wimp who couldn't even bring himself to jump off the school roof. It becomes harder and harder for him to breath.

   James' friend, Tyler, grabs the terrified ginger' arm and inspects the ring on his pinkie. "Where'd you get this? From that rich asshole?"

   Samuel feels immense pain and anger. He knows George has a good heart, and he's not an ass. He has to stick up for him.

   "S-say what you w-want but George I-Isn't an ass," says Samuel, in stern voice. The duo look at each other and laugh. "Seabury, George doesn't care about anyone but himself," says James.

   Tyler lets go of Samuel's arm and once again pushes him into the lockers.  Samuel loses his footing and falls over, with his back against the metal. "We'll see you later, Sea-Bass," and with that, the two boys walk away from Samuel.

  Samuel begins to cry silently. I must really be a wimp... The hallways are silent, and only sounds are Samuel's cries until he hears a familiar voice which has a British accent.

   "Oh my god, Sammy!" Samuel looks up to see George slide across the marble floor of the hallway to him and frantically ask him many questions about what happened. "D-don't worry about it G-George... I-I just need to wash my face." says Samuel, wiping tears off his face. He uses the lockers to lift himself off the floor. George looks at him with worrisome eyes. "A-are you sure, Sammy?"

   In reality, Samuel wasn't okay, he was being bullied and nothing he did would make it stop. But, to make George happy, he nods his head and lets out a hum of agreement.

   "Want to sit with Charlotte and me for the rest of lunch?"

   "...T-that'd be nice, George. T-thank you."

 

Chapter Text

   The tapping of George's feet is heard throughout the empty hallway as he stands outside a closed bathroom door, waiting for Samuel to finish washing his face. 

   He looks down at his feet growls quietly, thinking about what might have happened to Samuel. He had suspicions on who may have caused this but didn't want to confront Samuel until he felt comfortable.

   "H-hey George, d-do I look alright?" George is pulled from his thoughts at the sound of Samuel's stuttering voice. He looks up from his shoes, and his blue eyes meet the ginger's hazel ones.

   His eyes are slightly red from crying but aren't extremely noticeable. "Handsome, as always," he says with a friendly smile. The ginger's cheeks turn bright pink. "Samuel, are you sure you don't want to tell me what happened?"

   The boy sighs and says, "I-I will, just n-not now. I really just want to eat." He pushes a strand of his short ginger hair out of his face. George nods his head in agreement. The boys exit the hallway and open the doors of the cafeteria.

   They walk past many different students as Samuel looks around the room to see any of friends and acquaintances.  At a table nearby the lunch line sat Aaron Burr, Charles Lee, and Theodosia Bartow, who are exhibiting futile attempts at making Aaron laugh.

   When the boys make it to George's regular table, they see Charlotte sitting with and talking to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. "Hey, Char," George says to Charlotte, with a bashful Samuel standing beside him.

   "Hey, George! These two decided to sit with us today!" Charlotte says looking at the boys.

   He turns to Thomas and James and says, "Why aren't you two sitting with Hamilton today?" Thomas spins in his seat and looks at the ginger and white-haired boys.
"Hamilton got in a fight with some kid named Tyler, and I do not want to be part of that."

   Samuel slightly smirks at the thought of Tyler getting beat up. "Hey, aren't you Samuel Seabury?" says James Madison turning his head to the ginger. Charlotte and Thomas also turn their heads to him. George frowns at James and chooses not to stare at Samuel.

    Samuel's smirk turns into a nervous expression as he answers in a whisper, "U-Um, y-yes? I-Is there something wrong?" James frowns slightly. "No, it's just... you've been the talk of the school since Wednesday, and I just wanted to put name to face." The others nod in agreement.

  Samuel exhales a breath of relief as he and George sit down at the table. "You guys almost gave Samuel a fucking heart attack," George says with anger.

   "Come on George! We we're just curious!" replies Charlotte in a slightly whiny voice. Samuel puts his hand to his head in embarrassment. "It's fine George. Y-You didn't have t-to say that to them." As George apologizes to Samuel, Charlotte looks at Samuel's hand and notices a familiar golden ring on his pinkie finger.

   "Wait a second; do you two have matching rings?" The two stop talking and look at Charlotte; cheeks flushed with red. "U-Um, promise rings t-to be precise," Samuel clarifies as he puts his left hand on the table, and George does the same.

   As Charlotte and George argue about how he's never bought her anything, Samuel reaches inside his backpack and pulls out a crushed salami sandwich. He sighs and takes a large bite of it.

   "So... Samuel, tell us about yourself, what do you like to do?" says Thomas, as he takes a bite of a strawberry. Samuel looks up from devouring his sandwich. Samuel swallows his mouthful of sandwich and says, "W-Well, I can play the ukulele, I-If that's even interesting."

   George suddenly begins to cough intensely. "What the hell, George.  What are you choking on, air!?" says Charlotte. George finally stops coughing, and when he does, he screams, "You can play the ukulele?!"

   Samuel takes another bite of his sandwich and lets out an agreeing,  muffled sound. "Why didn't you tell me, Sammy?" says George. Charlotte lets out an audible snort of laughter. "'Sammy?' Is that your nickname for Samuel?" He shushes at Charlotte who makes Thomas laugh as well.

   "I didn't think it was important, so I didn't tell you," Samuel says, with red cheeks. Did George actually just call him that in front of these people!?

   "What's your favorite song to play on the ukulele?" says James, who is now laying his head on Thomas's shoulder.

   "Well, I-I really like playing "Would You Be So Kind by d-dodie." Charlotte's eyes light up as she says with excitement, "I love her music! My favorite of her songs is One for the Road!" says Charlotte with excitement.

   They all begin to talk about musicians they like and give Samuel suggestion on songs he should learn. George smiles at the ginger-haired boy. He's happy that Samuel is confidently talking to his peers.

   Soon, the bell rings for students to head to their 6th-period class. Charlotte, Thomas, and James throw away their trash, pick up their backpacks and start to exit the cafeteria.

   "See you in 7th period, George!" Charlotte yells as she exits through the door, waving at the boys. Samuel and George exit the cafeteria once the crowd of people has left. "Hey, Sammy; would you maybe want to go to a coffee shop after school on Wednesday?" says George, putting his backpack on.

   "O-oh, of c-course!" says Samuel, waiting for George. "Great! I also may need your phone number, in case you may need to talk to me when we're not at school."

   George begins to get nervous. For once in his life, there's a person who doesn't think he's a total ass.

Samuel blushes and replies, "S-Sure!" He says his number to George as they walk out the doors of the cafeteria. "I-I'll see you in seventh period, G-George!" The two go opposite directions to their classes.

   George smiles the biggest he ever has in his life and waves at the ginger.

   He puts the number into his phone and looks at the time.

   Monday, October 15, 12:22 pm.

 

Chapter Text

Samuel and George both look out the tinted car window to see a large café with outdoors seating arrangements. The vehicle stops in front of this restaurant as Daniel opens the left passenger's door to let the boys get out of the car. Samuel looks at the café with astonishment. This place seems so-- high class, not to mention expensive. There were customers of all sorts sitting on the patio chairs, probably talking about important business and such.

"Now, your parents want you back by five o'clock, George. Please don't make me have to drag you and Mr. Seabury home," says Daniel with a stern look on his face. "Yeah, yeah. We'll be back in time. I'm seventeen, not six," says George, brushing off Daniel's statement. He rolls his eyes and mutters something under his breath. Daniel sighs and climbs back in the car to drive away.

Samuel opens the door to the café, and both boys enter. A small bell is rung from above them. "Welcome to Phoenix Wing Café!" a female voice rings throughout the building as the boys find themselves to sit down in tall chairs near the back of the café. A woman holding a notepad and pencil walks up to the boys and says "Hello! What would you like to order today?" George looks at the woman and replies, "Earl Gray tea with extra cream and a ham and swiss sandwich."

"Great!" The woman looks at Samuel, "Would you like to order anything?" Samuel hums for a second, thinking about what he'd like to order. "U-um I'd like a hot pumpkin spice latte with a b-blueberry muffin."

"Great! I'll be back soon with your orders!" and with that, the woman speeds off. "K-kinda strange how you invite me out to a c-coffee shop, and you don't even order any yourself," Samuel says turning in his chair towards the table. "I actually don't like coffee; I prefer tea. I just said that 'cause this place is well known for their coffee," George sighs. He takes his phone out of his pocket and checks the time.

Wednesday, October 17, 3:17 pm.

He places his phone on the table and turns back towards the table as well.

"So how are you feeling, Samuel?"

It was the one week mark since Samuel tried to end his life. The ginger looks out the window in front of them. There is a garden full of roses and other flowers that all look slightly wilted. It looks like the cold was finally getting to them. "I'm alright, I-I suppose." He adjusts his pearly white scarf which is around his neck. "It's kind of cold in here, don't you suppose?" George nods in agreement, zipping up his red jacket. "It n-never got this cold in C-Connecticut," says Samuel, letting out a small laugh. "Oh yeah, you used to live in Connecticut until about five years ago, right?" George says. "Y-yeah, that's right. Thanks, f-for remembering." 

The woman who took their order earlier comes back with their drinks and food. "Here you go, boys!"

"T-Thank you!" Samuel says as nudges George in his arm and the woman puts the order on the table. "Uh, thank you," George says, incompetently. The woman smiles. "No problem, boys." The woman puts the tray under her arm and walks off.

George lifts his cup and takes a sip of his scorching Earl Gray tea. Samuel does the same with his pumpkin spice latte. "If you think it's cold here, you should check out Britain." George puts down his drink and smiles at Samuel. "When I lived in the United Kingdom, my sister and I would always get under some blankets and sit by the fire with some tea-"

George realizes what he's been saying and looks down at the table. He finishes his sentence but with a different and more monotonous tone than when he started. "-when it was cold." Samuel notices his shift in attitude. He looks at George with curious eyes. "Sister? Y-you never mentioned her, before."

"...Samuel, remember when I told you someone close to me ended their life and fucked me up bad?" George takes a bite of his sandwich, and Samuel takes a bite of his muffin. "Y-yeah?"

"...I know you would prefer not to have to hear this but could you listen to my pathetic sob story? Now would be the best time to tell you, I guess." George slicks back his gel-covered hair and sighs. "O-Of course," Samuel replies curiosity in his eyes. "...Alright then. Well for starters, you now know I have a sister." Samuel nods his head. "Her name was Caroline. Caroline Frederick. She was one of the kindest people you'll ever meet. Even to pricks like me, she was an angel."

"When we were young, we were close. She always helped me with homework, played games with me, stuff like that. When Mom and Dad weren't around, she cared for me." Samuel takes another bite of his muffin, attentively listening to the white-haired boy.

"...One day, when I was nine, I came home from school and needed help with my homework."

"Hey, Caroline! I need a bit of help on my homework!"

"I went into her room but couldn't find her."

"Sis? Hey, are you hiding from me? Cause if you are, I'll find you, easily!"

"I thought it was a harmless game of hide-and-seek. I checked everywhere; under her bed, in her bathroom, behind every nook and cranny."

"...until I reached her closet."

"I know where you're hiding~"

"I opened the door to her closet to unveil her hiding place."

"Aha! Found y-

...S-Sis?"

George looks down at his tea and sandwich. "...To cut it short, she hung herself."

Samuel sharply inhales. He can't believe George had to witness that. He felt his heart get heavier and heavier.

"I became a pretty fucked up kid. I had to go to therapy a lot after that. ...My parents moved us here in hopes we can leave behind the past. But, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to forget her."

George looks over at Samuel, who has eaten his entire muffin. "...Sorry, you had to listen to this." Samuel lays his head on George's right shoulder. "Don't be sorry. I'm glad you felt like you could tell me something like that. I mean, why else do we have these rings?"

Samuel's stuttering suddenly disappears for his statement.

Samuel wraps his hand around George's, "I'm sure she was an amazing person." George exhales softly. He looks down at Samuel, whose face shows sympathy for him. George gives a small smile to Samuel.

"Caroline would love you, Sammy."

◆◆◆◆◆◆

The boys step outside the cafe, to see Daniel, waiting in the valet parking area."Honestly, I-I don't understand where you get all this money from! That cost s-so much." Samuel says, holding George's hand as they walk to the car.

"Did you two have a nice time?" says Daniel, looking at the boys' hands. They both blush in embarrassment. "Shut the hell up, Daniel!" whines George. Samuel smiles at George's defensiveness. He could understand why people thought George was a prick.

But Samuel himself knew there was a kind boy who loved his sister dearly behind this white-haired boy's facade.

Chapter Text

"Great. Another uneventful Saturday," mumbles George, lying face down on his king-sized bed, ruby red duvet covering his face. He effortlessly grabs his phone from beside him and looks at the time, shifting his face to see the screen.

Saturday, October 20, 11:11 am.

He debates giving Samuel a call but remembers that he was out with Charles Lee today. George groans and turns his face back towards the duvet and sighs deeply in his boredom. A knocking on the door is heard from behind George's closed bedroom door. "Come in, I guess." the boy mumbles.

A tall man with black hair and blue eyes entered the boy's room. He looks at George with concern and asks, "Are you alright, Mr. Fre-"

"Just deliver the message, Philip," George says, cutting off the butler's sentence.

Philip lets out a disappointed sigh but obeys the boy's orders. "Miss Charlotte has requested that you will visit her home today. She'll have someone come by to pick you up in about twenty-five minutes." George sighs profoundly and rolls his body out of the large bed. He makes his way toward his closet to grab some clothes and walks over to his bathroom to put on the clothing and gel his hair.

He freezes in the doorway of the bathroom and turns to look at Philip who is about to walk out.

"I'm surprised you were able to stop making heart eyes at Daniel to get here," George says with a mischievous grin.

Philip gasps and blushes deeply at George remark. Unable to respond or deny the statement, he walks out of the bedroom, flustered as can be.

*****

"It's been so long since we decided to hang out at my house! It seems we're always at your house, huh?" Charlotte says walking beside George, guiding him to her lounge.

"Well, it's a bit more chaotic over here. God, how do you get shit done?" George says. The sounds of small children laughing are heard from the room next door. "Who knows, I guess I adjusted to the chaos as more and more little rugrats came along."

Two little girls run out of the room where laughing was heard and chase each other around the large hallway where George and Charlotte are walking. They both stop in their tracks, careful to not to bump into the girls. "Christine, Louise. Please do not break anything," Charlotte says, stopping the two girls' running.

The girls give her a look of disgust. "We're just running around, Charlotte! We won't break anything, right, Louise?" Christine says, nudging Louise's side. "Yup! Don't worry about it!" says Louise in agreement. The girls wave at George slightly, who silently stands beside Charlotte, unaware of what to say.

Charlotte seems unconvinced but lets the girls past. They continue their running around the house until they disappear upstairs. "How many siblings do you have in all?" George says to Charlotte, who exhales in exhaustion.

"Nine."

George winces at the number. Charlotte continues to lead the white-haired boy into the lounge. George plops down on the sofa and sighs. Charlotte grabs the television remote and does the same, sitting on the opposite side of the couch. She presses the power button and the flat-screen television flickers to life.

"So, how's Samuel doing?" She says, rapidly zipping through television stations. George sighs and sinks lower in his seat. "Better. His parents never got him therapy or put him on suicide watch which pains me, but, he's been making progress. He's almost fully stopped his stammering as well."

Charlotte finally finds a channel and stops pressing the buttons on the remote. "What the hell are his parents thinking?" she scoffs, in annoyance. "You going to invite him to your Halloween party?"

He shrugs and replies, "Why not, you know? I'd be the nice thing to do... whatever that's supposed to mean."

Charlotte lets out a small snort of laughter. "God, you're hopeless, George." He gives her an annoyed glare but she's not phased.

"I saw you two leave together after school on Wednesday," Charlotte says, still slightly giggling.

"Oh, we just to a coffee shop. Nothing really interesting." He replies. Charlotte turns her head to George, obviously not content with his answer. "Alright, alright. We went to Phoenix Wing, talked about how cold it was, and ate food," he says finally telling the dissatisfied Charlotte.

"Come on! I need more info!" she playfully pouts. George sighs quietly and looks down at the golden ring shimmering on his pinkie finger. "We talked about... Caroline."

Her eyes widened in shock. She knew George rarely spoke about his sister and that the topic almost always makes him reclusive and upset. "How'd he react?" she says, mid-gasp. "Mostly just shocked. It was my fault that we got on the subject. He said he was happy I felt comfortable with talking about her with him."

"I'm really sorry for pressuring you to tell me but I am happy you and Samuel are comfortable around each other. You two really click; it's adorable," she says sympathetically.

George's pale face turns a bright pink shade, caught off guard by Charlotte's comment. "You really think so?"

******

Daniel opens the door to the Frederick home and lets George enter. He turns his head to see Philip walking down the red-carpeted stairs. "Welcome back, Mr. Frederick! How was your visit to Miss Charlotte's home?"

George nonchalantly shrugs his shoulders as Daniel enters the home and closes the door behind him. "Are my mother and father home?" George asks Philip and isn't surprised at the answer.

"I'm sorry George, but Lewis and Augusta are not here at the moment," Philip replies, looking down at his feet.

"Figures," The white-haired boy mutters under his breath.

Daniel, who is standing behind to George, sighs quietly in pity. He pushes some of his curly brown hair from in front of his face. George's parents were barely ever home and that leaves Philip (and occasionally Daniel) to care for him. George walks past Philip, up the stairs, leaving the butler and chauffeur in the foyer but Philip calls out before he leaves, "We'll call you when dinner is ready!" George continues to climb up the stairs into his room.

He turns the doorknob to his room and opens it to see the familiar sight of his room. George takes off his red bomber jacket and white shoes to lay down on his bed.

Sighing deeply, he lays his head on his white pillows. The boy takes his phone out of his back pocket unlocks it and catches a glimpse of the time while trying to navigate to his messages.

Saturday, October 20, 7:56 pm.

He taps a conversation and sends a message to Samuel.

throwing a halloween party soon, wanna come? ;)

Chapter Text

Samuel and Charles walk down the busy sidewalk, slightly maneuvering around pedestrians to avoid bumping into them. The sky is a gloomy shade of gray that entirely looms above New York.

They continue walking until they reach a crossroad and pause at the neon red light, waiting for the light to change to green. What seems like hundreds of cars slowly drive past them, being mindful of the traffic.

Samuel catches a glimpse of what is across the street between the endless amount of automobiles. A rectangular slide and jungle gym is seen from where he stands.

Extremely puzzled, he asks the raven, "Charles, where the hell are you t-taking me?" Charles turns his body towards the boy and puts a finger up to his lips as if trying to shush Samuel. "You'll find out soon enough, dearest Samuel!" Charles declares, confidently. He sounds like a cheesy television host.

This only feeds to Samuel's curiosity, but before he can ask any more questions, the glowing neon red switches its color to green and the boys both step down from the sidewalk, onto the road.

Samuel is way more cautious as he crosses the street than Charles, looking in the direction of where cars are waiting for their light to change green. Charles, on the other hand, runs across the street paying no mind to the fact he could get hit.

The boys safely make their way to the other side of the road and get a clear view of the playground before them. Exhausted parents are seen running after their child, trying to make sure they don't break their necks in some way.

Samuel glances at the playful children as they run around and further tire their parents out. One little boy runs up to Samuel and says to him, "Hi, Mister!" Samuel smiles brightly at the little boy and replies with a small greeting. As the boy runs off, Charles nudges Samuel and teases, "Children love you, Sam. You literally cannot deny it."

The boys walk closer to the playground and begin to inspect a row of swing sets. Charles practically speeds past Samuel, who is still clueless to Charles' motive as to why they are here and sits down on one of the swings.

Samuel slowly walks over to Charles, who takes his phone out of his pocket and fiddles with it. He sits on the swing next to Charles and glances at his phone, looking at the the time.

Saturday, October 20, 12:07 pm.

Charles places his phone into his back pocket and begins to rock himself back and forth in the swing. "How are you and George getting along, if you don't mind me asking." Samuel shrugs his shoulders. How do you reply to a question like this?

"Fine, I guess? I would say we get along nicely but, I don't really h-have a clue at what he thinks." Charles nods his head in agreement and kicks his feet to go higher. "No one has gotten this close to him, other than Charlotte."

"He's had it pretty bad in his past. Cut him some slack."

Samuel loses his train of thought as he sees a feminine figure enter the park, by herself, that he has seen many times before. An older girl wearing a crimson infinity scarf and black sweatshirt walks to sit down on a wooden bench. Her wavy brown hair bounces with each step she makes.

"Is that Maria Lewis?" Charles begins to question, looking at the shorter figure. The ginger nods his head. After better examination, they realize that the girl is Maria. "We should go talk to her," Charles adds, jumping from his swing, and landing feet-first on the sand below him.

Samuel wishes he could stay on this swing. It reminds him of his childhood, which were better, more carefree days. He wants so badly to swing so high into the sky and watch his problems disappear behind him.

But, he can't.

Samuel is extremely reluctant to go to Maria but caves in and jumps off of swing to walk with Charles to where the girl sits. "H-Hey, Maria," Samuel speaks in a whisper, tucking his hands into his hoodie pocket.

The young woman somehow hears Samuel's low greeting and turns her head towards the boys, grinning slightly. "Hey, guys! What are you doing here?" she asks. "Being bored out of our minds, what about you?" Charles scoffs playfully, sitting down on the bench next to Maria and Samuel does the same.

"I just came to think.  The breeze helps me relax, you know?"

Maria turns to Charles, "How are Aaron and Theo?" Charles pushes a piece of his raven hair out of his face. "They're doing fine; thank's for asking."

Samuel so badly wants to have a normal conversation with his "friend, " but it's challenging when your friend seems attached at the hip to the school asshole.

"Why do you hang around James Reynolds, Maria? You know how he treats me and every time, I expected you to speak up for me, " Samuel suddenly demands, very frustrated and slightly infuriated.  The girl's eyes widen, and a look of guilt crosses her face. Samuel had been friends with Maria for a while, but he recently became distant with her at school.

Charles looks at Samuel in bewilderment. "You could have said that a bit less hostile, Sam," he whispers to Samuel.

The ginger realizes how rude he sounds and says, "I-I didn't mean to ask you so rudely. I'm -just very curious and confused." He looks down at his black and white shoes in regret. Maria shakes her head rapidly. "It's alright, Sam. I haven't been the best friend for a while. I deserve your hatred."

"I want so badly to leave him. I hate him with every fiber of my being if I'm honest." She admits pulling her legs up to her chest. Her feet barely fit on the bench seat, but her small size allows them to fit. Her brown hair covers her face as she eyes her knees. "But I'm afraid he's going to hurt me if I do. It's not the first time he's done it before."

Samuel brings his attention to Maria, eyes widened. Charles places a caring hand on Maria's back, and she grins slightly. "I am extremely sorry for not being a good friend and sticking up for you. I tried to show you I still cared about you with that note I gave you about two weeks ago. I should have told you to your face, though."

Samuel feels a fire roar in his stomach, but not at Maria, at James. 

"We'll put a stop to this, Maria. He shouldn't do that t-to you at all." Samuel promised. Charles nods his head in agreement. A chilled breeze flows past the trio as Maria brings her head up to the boys, their faces showing genuine concern and determination. "I don't deserve friends like you, Samuel."

******

Samuel unlocks the door inside his room and sits down on his twin-sized bed, with a royal blue duvet. He runs his hand through his ginger hair, simultaneously turning on his TV. It's no flat-screen, but it works just fine. While scanning through channels, he hears a notification on his phone go off. 

The ginger grabs his phone from beside him and unlocks his cellphone. A message from George? he mutters to himself. He goes into his messages to look at the text.

throwing a halloween party soon, wanna come? ;)  

He chuckles slightly at the message and quickly sends a response.

more info needed cause there is a 110% chance i'm not doing anything that day-

and could you invite maria lewis? james r. is more of a prick than i thought. maria isn't like him, at all.

Chapter Text

It's a Monday morning and George is already ready to go home and never look back. Today is the day of progress reports, and George wants to rip out his snow-white hair for forgetting.

"George Frederick?" his homeroom teacher calls out. He reluctantly gets up from his seat in the back of the class and trudges to the front of the class, where the teacher's desk is. She hands him a sheet of paper, which is suspiciously facing down. He practically snatches the paper out of the woman's hand and walks back to his seat next to Alexander. He turns the paper over and looks at the report.

Student Name: George Frederick III

Period 1- Mathematics: D+
Period 2- Physical Education: C+
Period 3- Language Arts: F-
Period 4- Science: D-
Period 5- Foreign Language: F-
Period 6- Photography: A-
Period 7- History: F-

Note: A mandatory Parent/Guardian conference is to be scheduled with George's legal guardian.

George rolls his eyes in annoyance.
Not soon after George, Alexander is called and practically floats to the teacher's desk to pick up his most likely flawless paper.

Alex slaps the hand of one of their classmates, John Laurens in celebration of his grades on his way back to his seat. He hears a few peers snicker at the boys while George just scoffs.

After a few more names are called, a familiar name is said. "Samuel Seabury?"

George watches the ginger walk up to the desk. He gently takes the paper and looks at it, as his face turns somber. He makes his way back to his seat and places the paper on his desk. Aaron asks Samuel something that George is unable to hear and Samuel shakes his head and says something back.

George begins to worry. Samuel couldn't have gotten a bad grade. Ever since freshman year, Samuel has had the top grades in all his classes.

Suddenly, Samuel raises his hand and in a croaky voice, he asks "M-May I be excused to the bathroom?"
The teacher, who is just as confused as George, nods her head and watches Samuel get out of his chair and push past Aaron to get out the classroom.

What the fuck just happened?

*****

"Why do you think he was upset, G?" Charlotte says, who is sitting on the stairs outside the school entrance. She sets her holographic backpack beside her on the left side.

"Please don't call me that. His mood changed after progress reports were given." He explains to Charlotte, as he sits down next to her, taking his red backpack off and setting it at his side.

"It might have just been a bad grade, George." she reassures, but the white-haired boy replies, "Have you ever seen Samuel fail a class, Char?"

"...I guess you're right. I don't think I've ever seen him fail. Why don't you invite him to your house? You could ask him what happened without the possibilities of people sticking their asses in other people's business."

"God no, especially not today. These grades are fucking atrocious, and I'm in for a fun parent/teacher conference soon." He says sternly and with sarcasm as he begins to fiddle with his jacket zipper. His face shows slight disappointment, but he quickly brushes it off. Charlotte sighs at George's hopelessness.

They both see an arm reach to tap George's shoulder and both turn their heads to see Samuel. They both wave at him, hoping he didn't hear them talking about him. Charlotte asks Samuel to sit and complies, taking a seat beside George on the stairs. His ginger hair looks a mess like he's ran his fingers through it millions of times.

"G-George? Would it be okay if I could come over your house to do some homework?" the white-haired boy hears Samuel's tiny voice say to him.

George lets a small cough leave his mouth in shock. What are the odds that Samuel would have asked him this right after him and Char were talking about it. "I don-"

"-He'd love to have you over, Samuel!" Charlotte says, cutting George's statement off. George turns his head and blankly stares at Charlotte, too surprised to glare at or scold her. "What the fuck, Char," he mouths to Char.

"You sure, George?" Samuel questions.

"...Sure Sammy," He replies, sighing profoundly and diverting his attention back to Samuel. He didn't want Samuel around if he got scolded for his grades but talking to Samuel about Maria and what happened in homeroom is probably more important. Why the hell is Char always right?

Charlotte hums in satisfaction and throws her holographic backpack over her shoulder as she sees the Schuyler sisters walk along the pavement near the stairs.
"I'm gonna leave with the Schuylers', so I'll see you guys tomorrow!" Charlotte declares as she walks towards Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy.

A charcoal gray car drives up to the front of the school and see Daniel at the wheel, waiting for George. Samuel waves slightly at the man, who smiles slightly in return.

"Well, here's our ride. You ready, Samuel?" He watches Samuel take out his phone and check the clock.

Monday, October 23, 3:05 pm.

"Ready as I'll ever be."

Chapter Text


Samuel had never seen or been inside such a grand house. His eyes had been widened in awe of George's stately home. Daniel closes the front doors after letting the boys enter the home. "George, your house is so-"

"-large? Yeah, I get that a lot," the white-haired boy replies. "Well, let's hurry; We wouldn't want you out too late," he adds, gently tugging on Samuel's arm. Maybe if we're quick-

"Phil! We're home. And George brought a friend," Dan calls to Philip. Damn it. Phil enters the foyer through the downstairs living room doorway, wearing a blue button-down shirt and black dress pants. "Hey Dan, George!"

Phil looks in surprise at Samuel. "Hi! You're a new face around here. George hardly brings friends over." Like Dan, Phil's body lumbers over Samuel, but they both seem like they wouldn't hurt a fly. "Oh, I'm Samuel," The ginger replies smiling slightly.

"I'm Philip Michael Lester, but you can call me Phil if you'd like. I'm the Frederick household's butler," Phil says confidently.

Dan chimes in from behind the two boys, "I forgot to formally introduce myself as well. I'm Daniel Howell. Almost everyone calls me Dan, though. You could probably tell that I'm the chauffeur. "

"Nice to meet you, Phil," Samuel beams to the butler. George, being the impatient person he is, grabs Samuel's hand and says, "Well, this has been nice, but we've got homework." He then practically drags Samuel up the red velvet stairs. At the top of the stairs, he hears Dan point out, "By the way, we know you got your progress report." Screw it. I'll deal with that later. Samuel waves at Dan and Phil as he gets pulled away.

"I am very sorry about that. I thought we could get past without them asking about the progress reports," George admits when they enter a hallway up the stairs. "It's alright, George. Please don't worry about it," Samuel replies in a soft voice. The ginger realizes he's still holding the white-haired boy's warm hand and gently pulls his hand away, giggling in embarrassment.

George, slightly disappointed Samuel pulled his hand away from them holding hands, says to Samuel, "Thanks, Sammy. Well, there's a lot of places we could sit here." George begins to point at various doors and what is behind them.

"-And that's my bedroom. So, where you wanna go?"

"Um, the lounge would be nice,"

"Alright, come on, then!" George says, leading Samuel through the wide hallway. He opens a door and allows Samuel to enter first.

The upstairs lounge isn't as large at the downstairs one but it sure is larger than regular homes. They both take off their backpacks, laying them beside the crimson red couch and take a seat. George lays his head on the right arm of the sofa while Samuel sits upright on the other side. "Why'd you try and run from Dan and Phil?" George chuckles quietly. "My grades weren't the best. Take a look if you'd like," the white-haired boy reaches into his backpack on the floor and pulls out a folded white sheet of paper, handing it to Samuel. He unfolds the paper and inspects it.

"I could tutor you if you want," He says to George.

"Nah, I'm fine. School has never really been my thing."

"Oh, and you texted me about Reynolds & Lewis over the weekend. What was that about?" George adds.

Samuel decides to come clean to George about the situation. Something like this can't be kept to himself. "O-Oh, Me and Charles Lee were at a park on Saturday and we saw Maria Lewis. She had told us that she actually hates Reynolds and wants to leave him but she's scared he m-might hurt her."

"What kind of hurt?"

"P-Physically."

George begins to feel guilt for how he's treated Maria. "Alright, I'll invite her. But we've got to figure out a way to expose James' ass for the abuser he is." Samuel nods in agreement. He begins to take a folder out of his backpack while George takes his phone out of his back pocket and checks the time.

Monday, October 22, 3:17 pm.

As Samuel flips through the sheets of paper in his folder, he accidentally pulls out two papers and one falls on the hardwood floor. George puts his phone beside him and rolls on his side to grab the paper.

Wait. This is...

"Sammy, is this your progress report?"

Samuel's expression shifts to regret and shame as he nods his head. "Um.. may I look at it?" George asks. He notices Samuel's hesitance but he eventually (and reluctantly) says yes.

Student Name : Samuel Seabury

Period 1- Language Arts: A+
Period 2- Science: A-
Period 3- Physical Education:B-
Period 4- Creative Writing:A+
Period 5- Foreign Language: A+
Period 6- Mathematics: B-
Period 7- American History:A-

"Sammy, your grades are great! Congrats!" George says with astonishment.

"Not to my parents they're not," Samuel mutters under his his breath.

"What do you mean? I haven't gotten gotten grades like this since the end of primary school!" George replies in confusion.

Samuel sighs. "I-I've never been able to please my parents with my grades since 8th grade. I was always the smartest kid and got over one hundred percent from kindergarten to seventh. But now, they see me as a disappointment, as if me getting a B isn't good enough for their fucked-up standards!"

"Sam-" George starts but gets cut off by the ginger.

Samuel's voice cracks as he begins to weep. "I'm always in the shadow of my former self, my former grades, a-always haunting me, saying I'm not good enough, that I won't go anywhere in life and no one will want me! I thought killing myself would make it stop b-but I-"

George realizes he's never had to deal with worrying about his grades since Caroline's death and he'll most likely never have to deal with the troubles Samuel experiences.

A sobbing Samuel is engulfed into a hug by George. He cries on the white haired boy's shoulder, some of his tears leaving water droplets onto the leather couch as he wraps his smaller arms around George's body.

"Don't believe a word they stay. You are one of the smartest people I've ever met and don't let them bring you down like this. If they do have something to say about this pointless sheet of paper, just remember that whatever you decide to become when you're older, you'll be successful."

They sit in silence for a while until Samuel manages to choke out between sobs, "T-Thank you, G-George."

Samuel pulls his head from on George's shoulder but keeps his arms around George's body. "I'll take you to the bathroom so you can wash up, alright?" George says, while his and Samuel's faces turn a bright shade of pink once they realize Samuel still has his arms around him.

Samuel nods his head. "Alright then. After that, I'll tutor you in American History a bit."

"Alright, but Britian's history is a lot more interesting." George playfully taunts at the American.

Samuel giggles. "Whatever you say, George."

Samuel knew in his heart he would be scolded for his grades. There was no avoiding it.
But at least he had George there to lighten the pain.

Chapter Text

t.w: non graphic violence/abuse, homophopic slurs.

Yesterday went worse than Samuel thought. He stumbles through the noisy hallways of school, trying to get to his locker. He has avoided contact with everyone at school, feeling too mentally weak to converse with anyone. Unlocking the door of his metal locker, he takes his lunch bag out of the locker. He also pulls his phone out of his back pocket, checking the time.

Tuesday, October 23, 11:39.

Samuel feels someone tap on his shoulder and he prepares to be hit, suspecting James is behind him. Samuel slowly turns around to see George, softly smiling at him.

The ginger exhales in relief at the sight of George. "Hi, George. We headed to lunch?" Samuel asks, closing his locker door.

"Well, I was thinking we could sit by ourselves at lunch. God knows what you had to hear from your parents yesterday. You might want to skip out on the noisy cafeteria."

Damn, does George know him well.

"I am sort of out of it today..." Samuel replies, running his hand through his ginger hair. "Avoiding all the noise might be nice today."

George nods his head in agreement and the two exit the school and go down the outside stairs, walking to the right of the school building.

The grass is a vibrant green and slightly damp from dew. The boys sit down, backs against the school walls. George reaches into his backpack and takes out a container of sushi, rice, and seaweed inside. "We get it, you're rich," Samuel playfully comments. George glares at Samuel, but it's less intimidating than normal. "Want some?" George teases.

"It's an upgrade from my lunch, so sure!" Samuel accepts, nodding his head. George notices that Samuel's voice has become more lively than earlier.

George takes a metal fork wrapped around a napkin out of his backpack and opens the container. "Now, open wide!" Samuel blinks in surprise but shrugs his shoulders and agrees, opening his mouth. George turns his body toward Samuel's and stabs one of the sushi rolls with his fork. He brings the fork to Samuel's mouth. Samuel moves his head forward slightly and bites the entire sushi off the fork, face turning a bright shade of pink.

"Wow, this tastes incredible! Who made them?" Samuel exclaims, still chewing on the sushi.

"Oh, Daniel made them. Philip usually makes my lunch, but Dan's sushi is extremely delicious." George says. Samuel nods in understandment, smiling as he finishes the roll.

"What'd your parents say to you about your progress report, Sammy?" George asks, his curiosity getting the better of him.

Samuel's eyes turn solemn as he swallows any tears that might leak back down his throat. "'...You're a failure to this family,' 'we raised an A student,' 'pulling that attempt of yours again won't change your grade, don't be dramatic'; thinks like that." George pulls Samuel close to him, under the white-haired boy's body.  Samuel lays his head on George's shoulder, his body slightly stiff at the unexpected action. He feels his cheeks heat up but stays quiet, silently enjoying the warmth of the taller boy.

He can almost feel the flame in George's stomach burning. He began to grip the metal fork in his hand and slowly chew his roasted seaweed. Samuel reaches into the container, picking up a seaweed and eating it as well.

The two stay quiet eating George's lunch, backs against the school for a while. George suddenly says something that catches Samuel off guard.

"Samuel, I don't make you feel uncomfortable, right?"

"What... do you mean?" Samuel asks. It's been a while since George called him by his first name and not 'Sammy.'

George sighs deeply. "I just- I sometimes act a bit to, I guess, flirty and forward a-and I don't even know how you feel about that. Talking to people has been hard since Caroline died. I just want to make sure you're comfortable."

Samuel lifts his head and  looks into George's pale blue eyes. "George, I'm not uncomfortable at all. It kind of makes me happy that you try and flirt. It makes me feel like for once, someone truly cares about me." Samuel giggles slightly.

Samuel takes the container and fork out of George's hand and set them on the grass. "You've done so much for me in these past few weeks. You've given me kindness when my parents didn't, even though they know I'm suicidal. T-The pain hasn't fully gone away, but it's slowly fading." George softly smiles at Samuel and holds his smaller hands. They're cold but incredibly soft.

They look into each other's eyes visibly blushing deeply, still holding hands. Then, the not so unexpected happens.

George's face bends towards Samuel and he closes his lips over the ginger's. Samuel inhales in suprise but  returns the kiss, both boys closing their eyes. The taste of sushi lingers on both of their lips. Neither of them use their tounges; not a taste of lust found in their movements.

Samuel is the first to pull away, letting go of George's hand as well.

"You do realize our breath's smell the worst. We just ate sushi." Samuel exhales, still looking into George's eyes, smiling at the white-haired boy.

"I couldn't resist, Sammy. Y-"

"Get your fucking hands off of me! I fucking hate you!" They both a hear the loud cry from behind the school. Samuel's eyes widen in realization of the voice.

"It's Maria." Samuel mutters, turning his head to where the voice came from. "We've got to go."

As much as both of them wanted to stay like this forever, they quickly get up from the grass, packing up George's things and quickly running to the back of the school.

"Talk to me like that again and I'll punch you in your neck, bitch." The boys hear James say. He stands over Maria's smaller body, clearly meaning  her pain.

"What the fuck do you think you're doing."

Maria's eyes gaze at the two boys as James turns his body to look at them, smirking. "Well, well. If it isn't the two f*gs."

Samuel winces at the name he's called, but George doesn't flinch, Still eyeing the situation before him.

"What the fuck is your problem, Reynolds?" George growls. He walks towards James, hands turning into fists.

"What I do to my girlfriend is none of your buisness." He says.

Maria narrows her eyes at James."I don't love you! Leave me the fuck alo-"

With one swift movement, she is slapped across her cheek by James, stumbling backwards. "What the hell!" Samuel says, scrambling to Maria's side.

While at Maria's side, he notices George's face looks empty and emotionless. There is still a hint of anger in his eyes, though.

Just like Samuel that Wednesday.

"...You know. My sister had to deal with fuckboys like you. And do you know what happened to her? She fucking killed herself," George remarks. He takes his backpack off his back, letting it fall onto the grass.

"Oh shit. He's going to try and fight him," Maria mutters, holding her throbbing cheek. "We need to go get a teacher or something. James hits... pretty hard." She begins to pull Samuel's arm. But Samuel doesn't move

"Boo-hoo. She must have been just a wimp as Seabass over here. No one cares about your sob story." James says, rolling his eyes.

Anger is the only emotion George feels at this point. "I'm fucking done with hearing your bullshit." George is about an inch or two shorter than Reynolds but that doesn't stop him from punching him square in the face.

"Come on Samuel! We gotta go!" Maria cries to Samuel. He feels his limbs unlock as he runs with Maria back to the school building.

God, what has George gotten himself into?

i tried to only make this chapter fluffy. i really tried, y'all,,,

Chapter Text

Everything hurt.

Maybe George's choice of fighting James wasn't the smartest of choices but it was all he could think of in the moment. After all, James had slapped Maria, insulted his dead sister and suicidal friend.

Do him and Samuel even count as "just friends?" I mean, he just kissed him less than an hour ago and he is pretty sure neither of them was uncomfortable.

George sits outside the principal's office, waiting for either Dan or Phil to collect him from school. He clutches an ice pack in his hand, covering his aching jaw. This fight has left him with a suspension of two days and almost getting punched in the throat.

He hears the door to Adams' office crea Samuel and Maria and Samuel exit out of the office, turning their heads to see George sitting on the floor.

"You didn't have to fight him, George. I swear, you're too arrogant," Maria mutters, sitting down next to George on the ground.

"Maria, he slapped you! What the hell was I supposed to do, let it happen?" George exclaims, looking at Maria's cheek, which looks like it has bruised from her slap from James. He looks up at Samuel to see he looks extremely distressed about the whole situation.
"George I swear, I'm fine. But, you really didn't have to pick a fight."

"Whatever; I did what I did and now I face the consequences. What'd Principal Adams say to you two?" George sighs, to exhausted to argue. "I'm getting sent home for the rest of the day, but not Sam. He refused to tell us what exactly would happen to James but... the only thing I can imagine that would happen to him is to get expelled."

"Good. I should help you press charges against that fucker." George growls under his breath. Maria lets out a weak smile. "Thanks for the offer, George."

He looks up at Samuel, to see him staring into the golden ring on his finger. "Sammy are you alright?" Samuel snaps out of his daze and looks up at Maria and George. "Oh- I was just-" Samuel stops in the middle of his sentence.

"No. I'm not. It has nothing to do with you two it's just... what James said about Maria, about me."

"About us. I know i-it's stupid, but stuff like that goes to my head really quickly and it's all I start to think about."

So all that stuff about being a coward and... a f*g. It's all fucking with his head, and badly. George realizes in his mind.

"Sam..." Maria's voice trails off. She lifts her body from on the ground and stands in front of Samuel, clearly looking upset. "James is a prick. Everything he says is one-hundered percent bullshit. Your friends know you aren't a coward, Sam. We'd never say such hurtful things to you.

"Sammy, I'm sorry you have to go through all of this. But, you're far from a coward. You helped Maria get out of her toxic relationship, made sure she was safe." George chimes in, getting up from on the floor and walking towards Samuel.

"..."

Samuel still doesn't look too convinced. George frowns but quickly his expression changes as he thinks of an idea to help Samuel.

"Hey, since I'm fucking suspended, why don't you come over tommorow? I think I've got someone who can help you."

****

"So, you want me to speak to Samuel about my experiences with depression?" Daniel questions. He sits on a chair in the downstairs lounge of the Frederick home while Samuel and George sit on a nearby couch.

"Yeah. Before my, uh, run-in with James, Sammy had been called a coward for attempting suicide and also called a... f*g by him." George clarifies and Samuel slightly flinches.

"Jesus..." Dan mutters.

"He's not really feeling up to anything so I was wondering if you could help him." Samuel weakly smiles at George's kind heart wanting to help him.

"Wait, Dan, you dealt with depression?" Samuel chimes in.

"I still do. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and have been seeing a therapist for about 3 years now." Dan corrects.

"Me too actually."

Wait, what?

Clinical?

"Samuel, you have clinical depression?" George asks, obviously extremely suprised. "Yeah, I was diagnosed with it while I was in the hospital, even though I... bended the truth on some of the tests they gave me."

"Samuel, are you getting therapy?" Dan asks. Samuel nods his head no.

George suddenly stands up from his seat on the couch and says "Well I'll leave you two to your conversation. I hope you'll get something out of this, Sammy." Samuel nods, and George walks out of the room.

George really didn't have to leave the room. He's not intruding on anything. Samuel ponders to himself but quickly pushes the thought aside.

"So, I've been told most of your story many, many times by George." Dan says, emphasising on many. "Why don't I tell you mine?"

Daniel suprisingly went through most of the stuff Samuel did as well, the bullying, the depression, the amount of pressure put on him in university.

"Samuel, I've been called so many names when I was at school. I lost motivation to do almost anything but, I learned I have to keep going forward and telling myself that I won't let my depression define or consume me," Dan says to Samuel.

Samuel suprisingly feels a lot better. Talking with someone who understands his feeling is probably what he needed.

"With the help of some really good friends and my therapy I've been in a good place for a long time now. Sure, I do have my days where i just wake up and know I'm depressed but Phil has always been there to take over if I have those days."

"Even though he can barely drive a fucking car without ramming into a pedestrian."

Samuel snickers at Daniel's comment. "Are you and Phil close?"

Dan's cheeks go slightly red and replies, saying, "Phil's worked here a bit longer but yeah, we're pretty close. When we're not working around the house, we mostly spend time playing video games together. He's a big klutz but he's always ready to help me if I'm feeling low."

That last sentence reminded Samuel a bit too much of him and George.

"Um, pardon me for asking but are you two dating?"

Dan is taken aback by Samuels statement as he starts fidgeting with his brown curly hair. "Um, no..."
"But Samuel, are you feeling alright now?

Samuel nods. "Thank you so much, Dan."

"It's really no problem." Dan smiles at Samuel. His cheeks form two small dimples on both sides of his face.

"Oh, and I'd be happy to pay for therapy for you. I find it... sickening that your parent aren't even doing that for you."

****
"So you got expelled huh? "

"Don't worry, George's Halloween party is coming up. He's gonna get what's coming for him there."

Wednesday, October 24.

Call ended at 7:55pm.