Stacy and Stevie were adorable in the way that kids are only supposed to be on television and in movies. They clung to Sam's neck and demanded piggyback rides around the one bed in the motel room.
Mercedes smiled when Stacey flung herself from Sam's back onto the bed. "Hi," she said to Mercedes, as if just now noticing her. "Are you going to paint my nails like Quinn?"
Mercedes blinked and glanced over at Sam, who shrugged. "Quinn and Stacey have a thing."
"Well, far be it for me to get in the way of a thing of Quinn's," Mercedes said slowly. She looked at Stacey's heart-shaped face and frowned. "And you are far too pretty for any makeup, Stacey."
Stacey beamed. "That's what mommy says! But she lets me put on chapstick sometimes. It tastes like cherries!"
Mercedes grinned and pulled out her own container of lip-gloss. They were meeting Blaine and Kurt (separately) for a midnight showing of some superhero movie--her cover story was moral support for Kurt, and Sam and Blaine just liked superheroes and midnight showings--and Kurt would notice if her lip-gloss was smeared off.
"I want chapstick!" Stevie jumped from Sam's back onto the bed, half landing on Mercedes' lap. " Me first!"
"Careful," Sam chided, but he was grinning at Mercedes. Stevie didn't seem to notice that when Sam rolled him off, Sam casually reclined next to Mercedes, his chest pressed to her back.
"Okay, guys," Mercedes said as she tried not to smile. This was just new enough that she thrilled when Sam touched her. She carefully painted a coating of lip-gloss on Stacey's mouth, then Stevie's. "it tastes like grapes."
She leaned back against Sam, and he draped an arm over her stomach, holding her closer. She smiled and felt warm, content. She could close her eyes and pretend.
It was the stupid pretending Kurt and Rachel did, planning for future apartments and bliss with Blaine and Finn. Rachel planned for three children, two girls with their father's tall frame and maybe her grace and legs, so they could go to Julliard. Kurt was more concerned with the squabbles he and Blaine would have over decor. He was sure they'd adopt at least one baby, eventually. Maybe.
But it was the idea of their boyfriends being more, that they'd live together and still be in love. They'd have families. Mercedes let herself think, for a moment, about having that with Sam, a little girl and boy who both wanted lip-gloss that tasted good. They'd have dark hair instead of blond, but maybe Sam's eyes. She'd like that. She'd like it even if they didn't, and just had their father's smile.
They’d all be in her and Sam’s big bed, with Sam against her back and touching her knee, whispering, “We did good, Mama,” into her ear, and the thought makes her face feel warm. It’s stupid; her dad has statistics on high school romance, why she doesn’t need a man right now, and her mom tells stories of all kinds of heart-broken girls who pinned their hopes to the wrong boy.
Mercedes doesn’t care. In her fantasy, she can think of Sam’s fingers on her knee, and their babies asking for just one more story, just one more thing, before they had to go to bed.
"Sammy needs chapstick!" Stacey demanded, pulling Mercedes back to reality. She didn't stop the little girl from plucking her lip-gloss away and going up on her knees over Mercedes.
She painted Sam's mouth, and it was messy and he was smiling. His eyes caught Mercedes', and she thought, if only for a moment, he was thinking about the same thing.