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Once in a Lifetime

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 photo ASuperHappyBirthday.png

**
**

It was official, his 19th birthday was pretty much a loss. None of his friends had so much as wished him a happy birthday and he’d spent the day on a strange, ‘artistic’ photo shoot, slathered in latex and body glitter.

He thought he’d left his body glitter days behind him when he’d retired from stripping.

Trudging down the hall, he pulled open the door to the loft he shared with Blaine, looking forward to sulkily eating some gelato.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Sam jumped as a wave of shouts greeted him and he gaped at the small crowd and bright party decorations. A broad grin spread across his face as he peered around, taking it all in. “Guys, you didn’t have to do this!”

“Of course we did,” Rachel said, swooping in for a hug.

Kurt followed her, offering, “It was mostly Blaine’s doing.”

Following Blaine and Kurt’s break-up, things in the loft had been pretty tense, though the pair did their best to remain friends. It was simply hard to heal and move on when they were constantly tripping over each other and things had become much smoother once Blaine and Sam jumped at the chance to move into the recently vacated space across the hall. Having their own space was much more relaxing than trying to keep to the bunk bed/attached dresser Sam had built when Blaine had stopped sleeping with Kurt.

Right now, that space was pretty full and Sam made his way through the small crowd to fold his arms around Blaine. “Dude, this is awesome!” he breathed into Blaine’s ear, glancing at the spread of snacks (including a veggie platter) and the big, round cake decorated to look like Captain America’s shield.

There was music playing, people were chatting and dancing and Sam enjoyed making his way around the room to say hello to everyone, but, as always, kept drifting back to Blaine. “You know, I thought you forgot it was my birthday,” he admitted as they made their way into the kitchen area for drinks. Thinking Blaine had forgotten had made him more depressed than anything.

Blaine turned to him and gave him a soft, fond smile. “I’d never forget you, Sam.”

That simple statement warmed Sam and he swooped in for another hug, one that lingered.

**
**

“They’re a sweet couple,” Thom, one of Kurt’s friends (why he was at Sam’s party, Santana had no clue), said, causing Kurt to roll his eyes and Santana to chuckle.

“They are,” she said. “They just don’t know it.”

“Wait…So they’re not together?” Chloe, one of Sam’s model friends, asked. “Cuz we all just assumed…I mean, look at them…..”

“Sam is straight,” Kurt put in coolly. “I tried. He wasn’t interested.”

Santana heaved a sigh. “Kurt, that was back when your idea of flirting was inviting him to sing a duet with you with no subtext that said, ‘Let’s sing then please suck my dick.’”

As she spoke, she looked over at Sam and Blaine, who were still hugging (surprise! Not.), Blaine’s happy little face turned into Sam’s neck.

“Cake!” Kurt suddenly called out, a little too loud and a little too shrill. “Cake time!”

Santana was pretty sure there was something more to that than his love of baked goods.

**
**

The cake was incredible, White Chocolate with buttercream frosting, which made Sam laugh, and everyone tried some (well, some of his fellow models abstained) before it was time for presents.

There were a lot of gift cards and alcohol, which wasn’t unexpected as he wasn’t super close with most of the people there. In fact, there were only a handful of actual, physically wrapped presents.

When Sam picked up a slim box wrapped in silver paper, Elliott piped up, “That’s from me!”

Peeling back the paper (he used to just rip it, but Blaine liked to keep it for crafts), Sam found himself looking at a half pan of Sennelier water colors. “Dude, these are amazing!” he breathed, then blinked. “And expensive. I can’t….”

Elliott shook his head. “Look at the tin. It’s dented in a bunch of places. The paint is fine, but the art store had it on deep discount.”

“Thank you!” Sam replied, throwing his arms around the other young man. “Seriously, I can’t wait to use them!”

His response seemed to please Elliott, who grinned as Sam picked up the next box. It was from Dani and contained a box of 10 80/20 bronze Martin Acoustic Guitar Strings. “Dani, thank you!” he said and, before he could continue, she held up a hand.

“Musician’s Friend Website,” she said with a grin. “Got them at like ¼ retail price. It’s a need to know site.”

She too got a hug.

“All right, all right, hands offa my girl,” Santana laughed, shoving her present into Sam’s hands. “Time for some fun!”

He did get a good laugh out of the singing Billy the Big Mouth Bass. The novelty fish was even wearing a custom made plaid shirt.

The newest anthology volume of The Walking Dead graphic novel was an awesome gift from Artie.

“You’re going to love my present!” Rachel said, pressing a slim box into Sam’s palm.

Inside were a pair of tickets to The Pirate Queen, a musical Rachel was currently in rehearsals for. “I’m told my grace is a revelation,” she said enthusiastically. “You’ll love it.”

“I’m sure I will,” he said, giving her a warm hug. “Thanks, Rach.”

Honestly, he probably would have gone to see her play at some point, just be supportive, so it wasn’t like he wouldn’t use the tickets.

The box Kurt presented him with was much larger and Sam unwrapped it to find a very lovely cashmere sweater in a deep emerald color. When sleeve was black, clearly some fashion statement Sam didn’t understand. “It’s gorgeous, Kurt. Thank you.”

Kurt preened as Sam carefully set the box aside, wondering where he’d wear such a thing. Fancy clothes made him nervous, constantly afraid was going to spill something on himself.

“Happy birthday, Sam,” Blaine said, handing Sam a small box and looking a little nervous.

Smiling, Sam opened the package and his breath caught in his throat. It was his grandfather’s watch, something the man he given to Sam years ago, just before his death. The only reason he hadn’t had to sell it during his family’s financial crisis was that it had been broken, the glass missing long before it came into Sam’s possession and not very expensive to begin with. It was purely sentimental trinket.

Obviously, Blaine had snuck it out of Sam’s drawer and taken it to be fixed. “Blaine,” he murmured, gently touching the glass covered face. Blinking rapidly in an attempt to keep the tears at bay, he looked at Blaine and breathed, “Thank you. This is….”

He couldn’t find the words and merely pulled Blaine into sniffly hug. The returning embrace was just as warm and Blaine murmured, “I thought you’d like to be able to wear it.”

“Yeah,” Sam agreed, calling back to remove the watch from the box and fasten it around his wrist. He looked down at it for a moment before folding Blaine into another long hug.

**
**

“You sure they’re not boyfriends?”

“Well… They don’t know they are.”

“Santana!” Kurt basically howled and she rolled her eyes as he continued to refuse to see what everyone else could.

Over in oblivious (B)romance land, Sam had managed to unwind one long arm from around Blaine to answer his phone. He was speaking slow and quiet and Blaine was gazing up at him with an excited expression. After a few minutes, Sam handed the phone to Blaine.

Well, that was a little odd, so Santana chose to drift closer.

“Yes…” Blaine was saying, obviously stunned. “Yes… I don’t actually have one… Could you send that to Sam’s agent?… Thank you so much! I look forward to seeing you soon!”

When he hung up the phone, they both paused for a second, simply staring at each other… Before shouting and flinging their arms around each other, jumping around like fools as they hugged.

That definitely got everyone’s attention.

“What happened?” Rachel asked, appearing at Santana’s elbow.

“We got Billy and Teddy!” Blaine shouted to her, grinning like a madman even as he and Sam stopped leaping around and settled for bouncing. “Oh my God!”

“I know!” Sam breathed, eyes shining and Santana had to smile. They were so happy.

“Hey, when you two go out to LA film your gay superhero show, can I stay in your apartment?” She asked, stepping forward to give them a congratulatory hug.

Behind her, Kurt clucked his tongue. “Santana, you are a lesbian. You have to stop using gay as a negative descriptor… And congratulations, Sam, Blaine!”

“Thanks,” Sam said as Santana released them and Rachel promptly wrapped herself around them. “But our characters are actually gay.”

“We talked about this last Sunday when we all had brunch,” Blaine said, but he couldn’t wait to the elated grin off his face even though she could tell he wanted to look put out over the fact that Kurt clearly hadn’t been paying attention when they had talked about their audition.

But, back to pressing concerns.

“So… Can I apartment sit?”

**
**

“Sure, Santana,” Sam laughed, disentangling himself from Rachel and accepting a glass of champagne from Elliott, who slapped him on the back companionably.

She smirked. “And I promise, nothing weirder will happen here than the things I seen you two getting up to.”

From her teasing tone, Sam knew she was referencing the time she walked into the darkened apartment to find them having a light saber duel... Really though, what else were glow-in-the-dark condoms for? It wasn’t anything sexual, they just got carried away and it wasn’t like they had never seen each other’s cocks before in the locker room….

“Thanks for that consideration,” Blaine was saying, then he turned to Sam eagerly. “I have them send information to your agent… My bit parts haven’t required one until now. Do you think she -- your agent is a she, right? -- will take me on? Who is your agent, by the way?”

With a slightly embarrassed smile, Sam said, “Well… I know this is going to sound weird, but… Kitty.”

“Kitty? Kitty Wilde?” Blaine asked, clearly startled.

“That’s my girl!” Artie crowed. “But seriously, how did that happen?”

Heaving a sigh, Sam said, “Well, back in September, I booked a job at an open call and I was having a mini meltdown trying to go over the contract and you guys were all really busy… So, when Kitty called I may have freaked out a little. She told me to send her the PDF and went over it, told me there were some issues I needed to address and that I needed an agent. I didn’t think I could get one, so I asked her if she wanted the job. She’s actually really, really good.”

Blaine blinked at him for a moment before nodding. “Okay… I can actually see her being good at that.”

Frowning, Rachel said, “Are you sure? I could put a good wording with my agent. He’s very exclusive, but he might be willing to take you on!”

“I’m good, Rach,” Sam assured her and Santana shook her head, fondly muttering something that sounded like weirdos.

“So, you two are going to play a couple, huh?” Dani teased with a gentle smile.

“We’re…,” Blaine began, but was interrupted.

“You two are playing a couple? That… That’s not… Sam isn’t gay!” Kurt sputtered and Sam frowned, not really knowing why he seemed so upset.

“Acting, Kurt. It’s called acting,” Blaine said quickly and Sam nodded.

“Besides, I’d totally rather kiss Blaine than some stranger,” he reasoned. Kissing his best friend had to be less awkward, right?

A flush rose on Blaine’s cheeks and he replied, “Yeah, I’d totally rather kiss you too.”

Artie started another round toasts then that totally drowned out Santana’s bemused snorts and Kurt’s grumbles. Not that anything was going to bring Sam down tonight.

He and Blaine had been cast on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

TBC………