Sarah’s sitting across the table from her Spanish teacher.
She’s sitting across the table from her Spanish teacher, and she can’t even text Emily about it, because as soon as she walked into the house and said, “What’s Mr. Schuester doing here?” her brother gave her a look and dragged her down a flight of stairs, then promised not only to break her phone, but to drive to every one of her friends’ houses and break all their phones too if she told a single one of them about this.
Which is just stupid, because hello, he’s going back to L.A. with Kurt tomorrow, so it’s not like she can’t just wait until he’s gone and tell everyone she knows that not only is their Spanish teacher into guys, but he’s dating her brother’s best friend from high school.
More importantly, he’s dating somebody Sarah totally had a crush on when she was little, and she’s not sure if she’s more weirded out by the fact that everybody her brother knows is gay, or that her Spanish teacher is dating the guy she was planning to marry, back when she was ten.
Not that she blames Finn. Mr. Schuester’s hot, after all, and not even in an ‘old guy hot’ kind of way. He’s just...hot, and nice and kind of a dork, sure, but it sort of works for him. All the girls at school have a thing for him, and it’s killing Sarah not to tell everyone she knows that she’s sitting across the dining room table from him right now, watching him cast these little sideways glances at Finn Hudson like maybe he’s not exactly sure what he’s doing there.
Nobody’s actually said out loud what he’s doing at Kurt’s house for Christmas, but she’s not stupid. She’s not blind, either, so she noticed the look on Finn’s face when it dawned on him that Sarah goes to McKinley now. She saw the look on Mr. Schuester’s face when Noah finally let her in the living room, too, just like she saw the way Finn gripped his arm and asked in a low voice if he could talk to Schue for a second. And maybe they should have gone down to the basement like Noah made her do, because it wasn’t hard to hear what they were saying when Finn barely dragged Mr. Schuester out into the hall before he started talking.
And okay, so maybe she had to pretend she needed the bathroom in order to follow them out of the room, and maybe she cracked the bathroom door and pressed her ear right up against it so she could hear Finn say, “Are you sure you’re okay with this?”
She heard Mr. Schuester’s shaky laugh, and she couldn’t see them or anything, but she’s spent enough Spanish classes just staring at him to picture his face when he said, “It’s fine, Finn. People are going to hear about us eventually, right? It might be a little strange at work at first, but I’m not going to hide this just because some people might not like it.”
They went quiet after that, and when she opened the bathroom door she couldn’t see them. But she heard enough to guess that Finn and Mr. Schuester are, like, doing it, and just the thought made her stomach feel kind of weird. Not in a bad way, really; more like pins and needles, or maybe like there was something warm and alive moving around down there.
After that she headed back to the living room and took a seat in a chair near the door, made a face at her brother when he raised an eyebrow at her and reached for her phone before she remembered Noah’s threat and let her hand fall uselessly into her lap.
A couple minutes later Finn and Mr. Schuester turned up again, and they weren’t touching or anything, but Finn’s cheeks were kind of red and when Schue caught her looking at them he smiled way too brightly. She wanted to tell them that she’s not a kid, that she knows what’s going on and they could trust her to keep their stupid secret. Except saying so meant she wouldn’t even be able to tell Emily and then swear her to secrecy, so instead Sarah kept her mouth shut and pretended to be fascinated with the basketball game on the flat screen.
She had no idea where her mother went. The kitchen, probably, to get in the way while Finn’s mom tried to finish making dinner. She didn’t know where Kurt was, either, but before long he walked into the living room, handing around fresh beers and then giving her a Diet Coke and a cheerful, breathless hello before he disappeared again.
Noah followed him out of the room, but he was back a few seconds later to park himself on the couch next to Mr. Schuester. He leaned back, stretched his legs out in front of him and glanced at the score before he looked over at her again. “Kurt friended you back.”
“I saw. Nice picture,” she said, smirking when he grinned and took a long swallow of beer.
“Yeah, we both clean up pretty good.”
Sarah rolled her eyes and popped open her Diet Coke, then she stared at the TV for awhile longer before she looked back at her brother again. “Is it nice in L.A.?”
“Weather’s better than Lima,” Noah answered, and when he leaned forward she could see Finn’s arm where it was draped along the back of the couch, fingers grazing Mr. Schuester’s shoulder every so often, like maybe he couldn’t stop touching. Every time it happened Mr. Schuester smiled, and Sarah wanted to roll her eyes, because gross, except maybe it was a little sweet, too.
Noah’s foot shot out to kick at hers, and when she scowled and kicked back he smirked and slid his leg back out of her reach. “Maybe you should come out sometime and see for yourself. Talk to Ma about spring break, maybe.”
“Really?” Sarah asked, forgetting to be annoyed in the face of the prospect of going all the way to California to visit her brother. Convincing their mother to let her go wouldn’t be easy, but it would be worth the effort just to watch Emily turn green with jealousy when Sarah told her how she was spending her spring break.
“Can we, like, see famous people?”
“That’s more Kurt’s department,” Noah said, but he was grinning, and for once Sarah let herself grin back at him.
Eventually Kurt turns up again to herd them all into the dining room, where her mother and Finn’s mom are busy setting out enough food out to feed, like, Sarah’s whole Spanish class. But it’s just her and Mr. Schuester from class, and when he sits down across from her at the dining room table and flashes a weird, embarrassed sort of smile at her, Sarah feels herself blush.
Finn slides into the chair next to him, and his hand’s on Mr. Schuester’s shoulder again, just kind of resting there for a second as he sits down. Then he looks over at Sarah and his cheeks go all red in that way Sarah used to think was totally adorable, back when she was still a kid.
“Hey, Sarah,” he says, like they all haven’t been sitting in the same room for the last hour. “How’s your break going?”
Not as good as yours, she thinks, but she doesn’t say it. She doesn’t tell them that it’s okay with her if they just ignore her, either, because that’s probably too close to telling them that they don’t have to worry about her blabbing their secret all over the school. Except it’s not a secret, according to Mr. Schuester, and she wonders how long it’s going to take for the news about him to get around school.
“Okay,” she finally answers, mostly so Finn will stop looking at her like he’s desperate to hear the answer. “I’ve never had Christmas dinner before.”
They both grin at her then, like she just said something hilarious instead of just telling them the truth. She thinks about asking what’s so funny, but that’s when the rest of them start taking seats around the table. Kurt’s dad is at the head of the table right next to her, which means he’s sitting next to Mr. Schuester too, and okay, that’s kind of weird. The fact that Noah and Finn are going to be kind of brothers now is strange enough, but tossing Mr. Schuester into the mix is enough to give her a headache.
“How’s the Camaro running?” Kurt’s dad asks Mr. Schuester as Finn’s mom sets the turkey down in front of him. He stands up when she hands him a carving knife, and Sarah glances across the table in time to catch the look Mr. Schuester exchanges with Finn.
“Good,” Mr. Schuester answers. “Finn’s been amazing, really. I wouldn’t have first clue how to do some of the repairs he’s handled already.”
“I told Will I’d bring it into the shop tomorrow and let you look it over, just to make sure,” Finn adds, and he’s blushing again, but Sarah doesn’t get a chance to ask why he’s blushing about a car, because her mother takes a seat on Finn’s other side at that exact moment and levels a glare at her.
“Elbows, young lady,” she says, which, hello, they haven’t even started dinner yet, so she doesn’t get why it matters. She scowls and drags her elbows off the table anyway, using one of them to jab at her brother in the seat next to her. He elbows her back way harder than he needs to, but before she can yell at him he’s turning to their mother.
“Hey, Ma, it’s cool with you if Sarah comes to visit over spring break, right?”
Instantly their mother’s expression darkens, but she can’t put up as big a fight in front of company as she would if it were just them, and Sarah knows that’s why he’s bringing it up now. Everybody else at the table is just kind of staring, Kurt included, which means Noah probably hasn’t run the idea by him yet. Not that Sarah thinks he’ll care or anything, but it’s not like Kurt really knows her, and she knows Noah’s planning to move in with Kurt when they get home, so he should probably get a vote.
“Your sister’s not even sixteen yet, Noah.”
“I know,” he answers, casting a sidelong glance in her direction and he doesn’t actually turn to look at her, but she’s known him long enough to know it means he wants her to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking. “So a trip to L.A. would be a good birthday present. Besides, it’ll give Kurt a chance to get her suited up for the wedding. They’ve got way more dress stores in L.A. than they do in Lima, right, babe?”
Kurt nods when Noah looks at him, then he looks past Noah at Sarah, and when he smiles she decides he’s okay, even if he’s stupid enough to agree to marry her brother.
“That’s true. Even if we have to order something online, at least trying on different designers will give us an idea of the right size. That way we won’t have an alteration nightmare for the maid of honor on top of all the other last-minute wedding details. Considering there’s no bridal gown to worry about, the maid of honor’s dress is probably the most important part of the wedding party’s wardrobe.”
Sarah has to hand it to him; as it turns out, Kurt can rival even her brother when it comes to figuring out exactly the right thing to say to their mother. That’s all it takes to get Ima and Finn’s mom going on dresses and color schemes, anyway, and by the time they start grilling Kurt on how many bridesmaids they’re planning on, she figures the L.A. trip’s a sure thing.
“You know this means you’re actually going to have to try on dresses and shit while you’re visiting,” Noah says, leaning in and dropping his voice so their mother won’t hear.
“Duh,” Sarah answers, and the thing is, she doesn’t even mind, because that means she gets to go shopping in Los Angeles. “You really think Kurt won’t mind?”
“Nah, it’s cool,” Noah answers, then he leans away from her to slide an arm around Kurt’s shoulders, and when Kurt turns into him a little and smiles, she knows the conversation’s over. Her mom and Finn’s mom are at one end of the table running through a list of local wedding venues while Kurt looks more panicked by the second next to her brother; Kurt’s dad is carving the turkey while the side dishes get passed around; and Carole’s interrupting her own conversation every three seconds to point out what’s kosher and what’s not.
Across from her, Finn and Mr. Schuester are kind of leaning into each other, talking in low voices about cars, maybe, but it’s not like she can hear them over the sound of her mother talking over Kurt and Noah about their own wedding. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter; this is her family now, according to her mom, and that means there are probably more Christmas dinners in her future. She spoons some kosher mashed potatoes onto her plate and decides that she doesn’t really mind, even if it means sitting across the table from her Spanish teacher every once in awhile.