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you've got me wrapped around your little finger

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This is how it goes: Rachel likes to think that it all started when he started wooing her when she started junior year in college, but he likes to joke that she was too wasted to remember that truth or dare game.

-

It's the year he graduates high school and moves to New York after getting into Columbia's art program. Rachel and Kurt are having a Halloween party, and Quinn's visiting with her date. He's dressed as a Lou Gehrig this year to commemorate his move to New York and Rachel promptly introduces him to everyone at the party.

The only problem is that he's not even finished his first beer and he's already having difficulty making eye contact with Rachel, because she decided to dress up as Catwoman this year. After his third shot, he's thankful for the baseball cap on his head for hiding the tips of his ears turning red every time he looks at her.

It's after his fifth shot and third beer when they begin playing truth or dare. He's perfectly aware that one of Kurt's gay friends has been eyeing him all night and that the empty beer bottle is now pointing at him – what he's not aware of is that they're very much drunk when they ask him after he chooses truth, "If you could kiss anyone in this room right now, who would it be?"

His skin immediately heats up and he says Rachel's name a little too quickly for it to be subtle. Quinn bursts out laughing and Rachel, almost if not more inebriated than him, looks at him with a sly smile.

He wants to smile back, but Kurt's friend frowns sadly and it's his turn to spin the bottle.

It's a little while later, after Kurt confesses to wanting to go to a male strip club for his twenty first birthday, and Rachel is dared to sing Barbra off-key ("Quinn Fabray, you abhorrent human being!"), that the bottle is once again pointing at him. When he sees that it's Rachel grinning at him, his first thought is 'Dare.'

It's when her grin turns into a smirk that he realizes he's spoken out loud.

"Okay, Samuel. I dare you to kiss me."

"What?" he says with wide eyes.

She's already on her knees, edging closer to him. "You said you wanted to do so earlier, I'm merely giving you the honor of gracing me with your lips.

"Wow, Rach, no wonder you're full. All that ego must've filled you up before dinner."

"It was the candy!"

"So you admit to stealing my candy then?"

"Shut it, Fabray!"

She's suddenly kneeling before him, and he's lost the ability to move – or think coherently because Rachel's lips are on his, and she's cupping his cheeks, and wow her lips are super soft.

His mouth is moving against hers a moment later, and before long Quinn's pulling them apart to the sound of catcalls, "Alright, alright, break it up!" She says, trying to look stern but failing to do so whilst laughing.

When Rachel moves back to her spot next to Quinn, he realizes his cap has fallen off and that both of their faces are beet red.

-

He's played the part of the perfect gentleman until the part comes where he has to officially ask her out. His plan goes from spouting romantic dialogue from some of her favourite musicals, to singing her a song, to surprising her and just taking her to the date itself. He scraped them all when Quinn told him that it was either too tacky, too soon, or too presumptuous. Respectively.

He decides then that if truth or dare worked for him the first time, it can work for him again. When he asks her truth or dare, they're taking the M train back to Brooklyn after class. She gives him a curious glance, yet goes along with it.

"Truth," she says.

"How busy are you this weekend?"

She gives him a confused grin but says, "Well, Kurt and I were thinking of going to Callbacks this Saturday but…why do you ask?"

He grins, "Truth or dare?"

Her eyes narrow, "Samuel…"

"Come on, just go with it."

She lets out a little huff that makes him want to chuckle, but he keeps his cool and levels her with his best puppy dog eyes, "Truth or dare?"

He supposes she's feeling a little braver this time around, because she purses her lips and says, "Dare," with those narrowed eyes.

"Do you want to go on a date with me?"

Her eyes instantly widen and he swears he can see her cheeks flush. When she nods, and says yes, he's also pretty sure she's using all her self control not to lose control, a shy smile gracing her features.

He has to give her credit for that, because he somehow manages to pump his fist and say, "Yes," a little too loudly.

She laughs at him for that, and seriously – he never expected that laugh to make the butterflies in his stomach do flip flops before.

It's after their date when he asks her again when he drops her in front of her apartment door, "Hey, truth or dare?"

She laughs, collapsing against the door and he's right there, standing inches in front of her, "Seriously? You're breaking character now? Right before the dashing and daring Mr. Taylor says goodnight to the reverent Julie Blake?"

He shrugs, not even trying to suppress the goofy grin he's been wearing all day, "Miss Blake is a patient woman, she said it herself. She can wait."

She eyes him for a moment, and with a mischievous flare, she says, "Alright. Truth."

He looks at her knowingly, "Did you enjoy your date today?"

She blinks at it, "Sam, we just spent the entire day, walking around my favourite city in the entire world, pretending to be a mysterious detective and a nightclub jazz singer. This is the probably best date I've ever had."

He has that urge again to do a fist pump, but his eyes glances down and he's caught at the way Rachel's teeth are gently biting her lower lip, "Truth or dare?"

He watches as her mouth slowly mouths dare, and subconsciously licking his lips, he looks up to meet her eyes, "I dare you to finish the act."

A breath of air escapes her lips and she says, "Kiss me, Mr. Taylor."

Before he can respond, her hands bury into his hair and her lips are on his.

For a split second, he's a bit jealous of Mr. Taylor, but then he feels Rachel's tongue graze his lower lip, and then he feels ridiculous, because it's his knees giving out and causing them to collapse against Rachel's apartment door.

-

After a couple years, it sort of becomes his thing to do. Rachel knows the game by the time they're half a year out of college, living in their own run-down apartment, and she's auditioning relentlessly for roles and he's going to interview after interview for a job.

He knows for certain that she finds it charming, but she still thinks it's a bit ridiculous. There are some days however, where she manages to surprise him.

"You're panicking."

He looks up from the cereal he's devouring to see her staring at him with an elbow on the table and her head resting on her hand.

"No, I'm not," he says, and shoves another mouthful of cereal in his mouth.

"You're going to consume that spoon with the way you're eating, and I'm not particularly strong enough to perform a Heimlich maneuver so I would recommend that you slow down. "

He nods and follows her instructions; she smiles at him and goes back to reading a script she has to learn. When the bowl is empty, he exhales deeply and shoots out of his chair. "Okay, I'm ready to go!"

He can hear her laughing behind him as he places the bowl and spoon in the sink, "Wait, wait, wait!"

He turns around and she's out of her chair, walking into his arms. "Look at you, you look so handsome," she says, running a hand over his shoulders.

He shrugs and gives her a small smile. She smiles, shaking her head reverently, "So nervous."

"I'm fine," he says, instantly.

"You're panicking."

"I'm not panicking – you're panicking, reading that script at nine in the morning," he says, fidgeting as she straightens his tie.

She laughs, smoothing down the tie and looking up at him with a soft smile, "Truth or dare?"

His fidgeting instantly subsides, and looks down at her with wide eyes, "What?"

She's all teeth now, "Truth or dare, Sam?"

He's blinking rapidly now, "Truth."

"Is it true that you've been researching and planning for this interview for weeks?"

"Yes."

"And is it also true that you pretty much know everything there is to know about the DC universe?"

"…More or less."

She suddenly leans forward and gives him a hard kiss that sends his eyebrows into his hairline. As Rachel pulls away, he's not so sure he wants to leave the apartment now with how tempting their kitchen countertop looks, and wraps his arms fuller around her waist. But then his eyes flutter open, and she's wearing that smile, the one where he knows she's up to something that's probably brilliant.

She whispers, "Truth or dare, Sam?"

"Dare," he breathes out.

"I dare you to go to that interview and kick ass. I dare you to show them just how amazing and talented you are, because if anyone deserves to get that job and more, it's you. Believe me, I would know."

He's sort of breathless to really respond properly, and breathing's overrated anyways, so he leans back down to kiss her again. She wraps her arms around his neck and he breaks away to bury his face in her neck, breathing in the smell of cherries.

"You really are the Superwoman to my Clark Kent," he says against her skin and places a kiss there.

She runs a hand through his hair, "I love you too."

-

It's their fifth year together when he asks her.

They're at a Yankees game, and it's finally down to the top of the seventh inning when he looks over at her, almost bouncing on the edge of her seat.

He smiles, "You okay, Rach?"

She doesn't even spare him a glance when she says, "Samuel, I don't understand how you're not panicking right now. We're down two runs, the Red Sox have the bases loaded, and there's only one out."

He tries not to laugh at her enthusiasm. When they started to officially go steady, it didn't take him long to get her into baseball, but it did take her the entirety of the regular season to understand the plays and lingo after many weeks of studying.

Suddenly, Rachel and the crowd are on their feet screaming when the batter sacrifices with a bunt, and secures the third base runner a stolen run.

Rachel collapses back into her seat with a ragged exhale, "I swear to Barbra, if they don't strike out this whatshisface, I'm going to go down there and do it myself."

Sam just laughs, finding watching Rachel, in all her passionate glory, is more entertaining than anything.

When whatshisface hits a pop out, the inning finally ends to commence the seventh inning stretch, and Sam just nods when Rachel excuses herself, claiming she needs a drink.

It's a little while later, she returns with two cups of beer, and a kiss. When she pulls away, she smiles at him and she takes a long swing at her beer. He takes this opportunity to check his watch, and just in time.

He takes a sip of his beer, and places an arm around her shoulders, "Hey, Rach, truth or dare?"

She smiles over the rim of her cup, "Truth."

He barely suppresses the urge to roll her eyes, five years and she never fails to start with truth. "What are you going to do if we lose this game?"

She sits up straighter, her hands lower to rest on her legs and she glowers at the field, "I'll crush someone's face."

He chuckles, and asks again, "Truth or dare?"

"Hmm...truth," she grins slyly.

Okay, so this might take a little nudging along.

He takes a long gulp of his beer before setting it aside, and inches closer to her, "Do you love me?"

She looks over to him at that, blinking. "Of course I do, you know that."

"And every night, you really do dedicate your performance to me?"

She smiles, "Well…some days it's my dads, other days it's Quinn…"

"Rachel."

Her smile falters at how serious he's become, and she nods, a hand rising to caress his cheek."Every night, forever and ever."

His head instinctively leans in her hand, and he whispers just so she can hear, "Truth or dare, Rachel?"

"Dare," she says with a slight tremble.

"I dare you to answer the jumbotron."

She frowns deeply at him for a moment in confusion, before whipping her head around to look at the large screen. A loud gasps escapes her then, when she finally catches sight of "Rachel, Will You Marry Me?" that had been scrolling across the jumbotron for the past four minutes.

When she turns back to him, her eyes are filled with tears. He smiles and chuckles when a drop falls on her cheek.

"You have no idea how long it took me to decide how to do this," he says, and wipes away the tear with his thumb and pulls out a small tiffany blue box from his pocket, feeling his own cheeks hurting with how wide he's smiling. "I've been carrying this around forever."

Her eyes widen at the sight of the box in his hand, and they soften when he opens it to see a simple silver ring, with a square cut diamond. Okay, so maybe he wasn't the richest guy in the world, and he found the box at a thrift store and got the ring from eBay, but if there's one major thing he learned about life, is that it's always the thought that counts.

He plucks the ring from the box, and grasps her hand in his, "So moon of my life, will you marry me?"

Rachel blinks at him again for a moment, causing more tears to splash down her cheeks, and then suddenly she pulling him into a hard kiss.

"Yes, my sun and stars," she says against his lips, and begins to kiss him all over his face, chanting yes, yes, yes.

By the time the ninth inning is over, they've lost the game, but he doesn't care, and he's pretty sure Rachel doesn't care anymore either, because he's pretty much won at life anyways, and it isn't close to being over.

Like baseball, it can go on forever.