Sitting back at his desk, Blaine Anderson took a deep breath as he waited for the arrival of his last scheduled appointment. His first experience of parent-teacher conference night seemed to be going pretty well, but his students were kindergartners. Kids that age were great, not yet the evil little hormone balls they became in middle school. Sure, there were the occasional behavioral issues, Sophie’s habit of climbing the furniture, Jimmy's fondness for eating paste, etc., but all in all, they were good kids.
Including Lily, whose parents were 5 minutes late.
Just as he had that thought, blonde head poked in through the partially open door. “Mr. Anderson?”
“That's me,” Blaine replied, rising to greet the man who stepped into the room. “Mr. Evans?”
He nodded and gave Blaine a rather heart stopping smile. Quickly, Blaine tried to rein in any inappropriate reaction, as it wouldn’t be appropriate to check out the father of one of his students, but Mr. Evans was a handsome man.
“Sam,” the blonde said, shaking Blaine's outstretched hand before folding himself into one of the visitor's chairs by the desk. “Sorry I was a bit late. Got caught up at work .”
Blaine nodded and settled himself in his own chair. “That's all right. I know these things can be a little hard to fit into already busy schedules.”
Seemingly reassured by that statement, Mr. Evans…Sam nodded. “So how's Lily doing in class?”
“Wonderfully,” Blaine replied honestly. “Both socially and academically. She gets along with the other students, doesn't have trouble sharing -- which can be an issue for only children -- and she participates in group activities, both as a leader or a team member depending on what the situation warrants. Her basic math skills are on track and her reading comprehension is better-than-expected.”
“Oh, that's great to hear,” Sam breathed, release clear in his voice. “Her mother, she was real smart. I was pretty sure Lily was gonna take after her in that way, but she’s still so young, so I didn’t know if it would get worse for her later or something.”
“Worse in what way?” Blaine asked, honestly curious.
“Trouble learning,” Sam responded, sounding suddenly more tired. “I’m dyslexic, so school wasn’t very pleasant for me. I haven’t noticed Lily having the troubles I did, but I still worry.”
“All good parents worry.” It was a true statement, but one Blaine wouldn't have said to many other parents, as they tended to look at him like he was a child. Most of them were least a few years older than he, at 23, was, but Sam looked to be about his age.
For the next 10 to 15 minutes, Blaine showed Sam around the room, pointing out several of Lily's drawings on the wall. She seemed to enjoy drawing superheroes, always aided by 2 policemen, one blonde and one brunette.
Sam's grin had widened further upon seeing the pictures. “She loves The Hulk,” he said with a chuckle.
“Hmmm, who doesn't?” Blaine hummed in agreement, then asked, “You wouldn't happen to be a police officer, would you?”
“Good guess,” Sam replied. “Sometimes, instead of reading at night, she makes up stories where we go out and fight super villains with the Avengers and Puck, my partner.”
He pointed to the dark haired drawing and Blaine blinked. “His last name wouldn’t be Puckerman, would it?”
Sam looked at him, clearly puzzled. “Yeah. How'd you know?”
“Rachel is in my theater group,” Blaine told him him. “I know her husband is a police officer and I figured Puck had to be some kind of a nickname…Puckerman….”
Now Sam was laughing slightly. “Are you Blaine?” he asked and, when he got a nod in response, he continued, “She’s told us a bit about you, says you’ve got a great voice.”
Coming from Rachel, that was quite a compliment. “I get by,” he said modestly, hoping his cheeks didn’t flush at the compliment.
“You’re coming to their barbeque on Saturday, right?”
“How did you…she mentioned that?” Blaine was surprised she would tell her husband’s partner the guest list for a small party.
Sam nodded. “She’ll be so disappointed she didn’t get the chance to introduce us. I think she was hoping to play matchmaker.”
At a loss for words now, Blaine simply parroted the word, “Matchmaker?”
“Usually I try to avoid her set-ups, but you seem nice. And Lily loves you, so bonus points.”
This wasn't at all how Blaine pictured parent-teacher night ending, but he couldn't complain.
Comments? Should I continue this?
Saturday was unseasonably warm, so Blaine pair a short-sleeved red polo with light weight black slacks, bringing a cardigan in case the temperature dropped. Having only moved to the area a few months earlier (before the school year began), he had yet to nail down the local weather idiosyncrasies.
Rachel had said to arrive at noon, so at 11:55, when he parked a few houses down from her address, he assumed he'd be right on time. Clearly, several other people arrived early. Plate of sugar cookies in hand, he made his way up the walk, hearing voices echo around from the back of the house.
“Evans, you’re a cop! At least pretend to be bitter and jaded like the rest of us.”
Blaine smiled a little when Sam's voice replied, “Not happening, Santana. Someone's got a smile instead of scaring…Ow! Hey!”
“Not in front of the kids, Satan!”
Having followed the voices around the side of the house, Blaine chuckled to see Sam squirming and trying to dislodge the arm a beautiful Latina had wrapped around his neck in some kind of a rough game. Others scattered around looked on in amusement and the big guy with the close cropped mohawk and a toddler perched on the shoulders was rolling his eyes. “If you're going to fight her, at least try to win!”
“Noah, Sam is a gentleman,” Rachel chided, appearing from nowhere. “He isn't going to overpower a lady.”
“We're talking about Santana, Rach.”
“Still…Blaine! You made it. And you brought cookies. Come meet everyone,” Rachel said quickly, and cringed as something crashed inside the house. “Oh no, I left Finn and Brittany in the kitchen….”
She ran off without further explanation and her husband turned to Blaine. “I'm Puck. This is Hannah,” he pointed up the toddler. “So…Rachel’s playing yenta with you and Sam?”
Clearly, Sam was out to his friends, so Blaine felt comfortable enough to nod. “That's what he said.”
Puck eyed him. “Sam’s my partner and my bro. I'd say all kick your ass if you hurt him, but you're kinda tiny so I feel weird…and then sick Santana on you.”
By this point, Lily had jumped onto Santana's back, giggling and saying, “I’ll save you, Daddy!”
Smiling, Santana released Sam. “It's your lucky day, Trouty,” she laughed, peeling Lily offer back and settling her onto her lap.
“For some reason, I feel I should fear her,” Blaine said quietly and Puck nodded in agreement.
“If you do, it means you're not stupid. She's the girl that had razor blades in her hair in high school and now carries a gun.”
“I'll remember that.”
Lily had noticed him and was waving happily.
As he approached the table, Sam smiled and Santana poked him with a grin. “Santana Lopez, meet Blaine Anderson. He's Lily's teacher.”
“You don't say,” the woman drawled. “Where are you sending my girl to school, the Shire?”
Sam shrugged at Blaine. “For her that's actually a very pleasant greeting.”
“Mr. Anderson, what are you doing here?” Lily asked. “Auntie Rachel got me a new book. Do you want to see?”
“Aunt Rachel invited him,” Sam told his daughter with a smile.
Nodding, Blaine agreed. “She did and I'd love to see your book.”
Lily grinned and scampered off. Santana rose more slowly. “Well, I'm gonna go find Britt. I heard a crash earlier.”
As she strode away, Sam waved Blaine towards the now empty bench. “Just a warning, our group can be a little…much, sometimes. A lot of big personalities. If it gets to be too crazy for you, just find me…or Mike and Tina or Joe,” he nodded over to an attractive Asian couple who were chatting with a dreadlocked man. “They're more mellow than….”
“Noah! Jacob! Do not throw Hannah around!”
Puck and a younger man who bore a resemblance to him were gently tossing a giggling Hannah between them. Rachel did not approve this activity and was waving a spatula at her husband.
Choosing that moment to return, Lily ignored the Puckerman’s drama and clambered onto her father's lap, holding out a book to Blaine. “See!”
“Sheet music?” Blaine is expected a storybook of some sort, but instead he found collection of music appropriate for young child. “Are you learning the piano?”
She nodded happily. “Daddy says I'm almost big enough to play guitar like him! Can you play?”
Blaine nodded. “Guitar and piano.”
“Overachiever,” Sam teased, tickling Lily. “Puck’s bound to have a spare guitar lying around somewhere…these gatherings inevitably end in song.”
“Sam, Blaine, you've met!” Rachel said, hurrying over with Hannah. “Lovely. Could you keep an eye on her for a moment, Sam? Noah and Finn are about to play with the grill and I don't want her hanging on her father's leg when he lights himself on fire.”
“Sure,” Sam laughed, sitting Hannah on his knees beside Lily as Rachel tried to be subtle about hovering over by the garden hose.
“So, lunch, music and potential pyrotechnics,” Blaine mused. “Interesting.”
“A good time will be had by all,” Sam replied. “I hope we’re not scaring you off.”
Blaine grinned. “It will take a lot more than that,” he said softly, smiling as Lily and Hannah giggled over a toy the little brunette had pulled out of her overalls.
Sam met his gaze with a smile of his own. “Good.”
“Well, that was interesting.”
“What part?” Sam drawled quietly so as not to disturb Lily, who was peacefully sleeping on his shoulder. “The small lawn fire, Brittany's 10 minute argument with squirrels living in Rachel’s willow tree, the exploding BBQ sauce bottle, seeing Finn and Ryder’s plans to build a roof mounted slip and slide….”
“I still don't see how that wouldn't result in someone's death.”
“They want to aim at the pool… Did you like the random, pirate themed musical number? Because to be honest, everyone was on their best behavior,” Sam mused, stopping beside a Subaru. “I think Rachel might have threatened them.”
Blaine laughed quietly, watching as Sam expertly maneuvered Lily into her car seat without waking her. “That wouldn't really surprise me,” he said. “She's kind of a force of nature, isn't she?”
“I live in fear of the day when she and Santana decide to take over the world,” Sam said very seriously, closing the car door quietly.
“At least they like you,” Blaine mused with a little smile. “You’ll survive the purge when they come into power.”
Chuckling, Sam reached out and touched Blaine’s arm. “They like you too. Santana even gave you a nickname!”
“Would that be Hobbit or Frodo?”
“Both,” Sam laughed. “Sure, she’s pretty much settled on Trouty for me, but for years it was a variety of names revolving around my mouth. It’s her way of staking a claim on you.”
“Did you really date her? And Brittany?”
Sam grinned. “Yeah. That was back when Santana wasn’t ready to come out and me and Britt…well, we’re both half-dolphins and senior year was strange.”
“Half-dolphins? You all have your own language, don’t you?” Blaine mused, leaning a hip against the hood of the car.
“Brittany says sharks are gay dolphins, so bisexuals are half-dolphins,” Sam clarified, then shrugged. “Kurt and Britt are unicorns too, but I never really understood that, other than she thinks they’re magic…but blondes have magical powers too…Just don’t think about it too hard.”
“Okay,” Blaine agreed. “Brittany invited me to a ‘pool party’ at her and Santana’s home next weekend. I’m assuming that’s another barbeque?”
“Yeah, but bring a suit. She expects people to swim and play in the water at her pool parties,” Sam said with a laugh. “It’s always fun.”
“I guess I’ll see you there,” Blaine replied, though he was in no hurry to go. Spending the day with Sam (and his friends) had been really wonderful.
Biting his lip for a moment, Sam let out a quick breath. “Maybe…would you want to grab dinner sometime this week? I could ask Britt if she’d watch Lily on Tuesday after their dance class?”
With a broad smile, Blaine nodded. “I’d like that. Call me with the details.”
“Okay,” Sam replied in a rushed, relieved breath. “Okay, awesome.”
Pushing off of the car, Blaine reached out and squeezed Sam’s hand before saying, “I’ll see you on Tuesday then.”
“Tuesday,” Sam agreed, returning the squeeze before Blaine pulled away, thumb stroking over Blaine’s knuckles.
As Blaine made his way back to his car, Blaine couldn’t keep the smile off of his face, especially when he glanced back and saw Sam grinning and watching him go.
Tuesday evening found Blaine sitting at one of the wrought-iron tables on the patio of Silly’s restaurant. Those still light out, the strings of twinkle lights strung up along the fence and the side of the restaurant were lit. He fiddled with the small mason jar that was his water glass and jumped a little when someone spoke beside him.
“Hope you haven't been waiting for too long.”
He'd been there about 15 minutes, but he had arrived early and turned with a smile. “No, not long… Oh my God, Sam! What happened?”
Sam was sporting a rather spectacular blackeye, but he waved a dismissive (and bandaged) hand. “Things got a little hairy at a domestic call. You look good.”
Blaine had gone for dress/casual, jeans, an Oxford shirt and blazer. Sam was also in jeans and an Oxford and looked wonderful in spite of his bruises. As he watched the blonde slip into his seat, Blaine asked, “Are you all right?”
“I'm fine,” Sam assured him, then smiled brightly. “Really hungry though.”
Because they were Silly’s specialties, each of them ordered a milkshake, Squirrelly Nut (coffee and pecan) for Blaine and Bananarama (bananas and cinnamon) for Sam. While they waited for their meals (both having decided on the lamb, grilled vegetables and brown rice), Blaine told him how his own day had gone, making sure to mention how Lily had been the first to volunteer to help clean up after free play.
She was a sweet girl and Sam so obviously adored her.
For obvious reasons (privacy of the people involved), Sam could go into details about his own day, though he did tell music anecdotes about his time in training and his probationary year.
Until that night, Blaine hadn't been aware that police officers joked with each other by hassling the new guys. Apparently, Sam had been sent 27 times to take witness statements from the same man. After the first few times, he'd realized the man wasn't quite right in the head, but he was still bound to write up the reports.
According to Sam, police work involved a lot of paperwork.
Two hours flew by as they laughed and talked and it seemed too soon that Sam was walking him to his car. “I'm totally looking forward to career day,” Sam assured him, referring to a day in two weeks where parents were invited to come talk to their children's class about their jobs. “Do you think I could bring Santana? I know it's good for little girls to see that they can do jobs like police work and stuff.”
“That would be… Interesting,” Blaine said, unsure about unleashing Santana on a class full of children…but will Lily didn't seem to be suffering any ill effects from being around her. “That would actually be really good.”
“Awesome,” Sam replied stopping by Blaine's car and shoving his hands into his pockets. “So… I'll see you at Brittany's pool party on Saturday?”
Nodding, Blaine agreed, “Yeah, I'm looking forward to it.” He was far too mature to say aloud that he was looking forward to seeing Sam in a bathing suit.
With a grin, Sam breathed, “Me too.”
They stood there for a moment, shifting, illuminated under a streetlight and Blaine chuckled at the absurdity. They were grown men dammit, not….
His train of thought was derailed as Sam leaned slowly toward him, pressing a soft, sweet kiss to Blaine's lips. Chaste as it was, Sam lingered, lips warm, gently brushing against Blaine's and so very perfect.
Closing his eyes, Blaine sighed, letting a hand curve around Sam's shoulder.
When they broke apart, he licked his lips and saw Sam blush adorably. “That was really nice,” he murmured, unable to voice a more articulate thought.
“Yeah,” Sam agreed, then swallowed. “I don't date much. Lily is my number one priority and most people my age don't get that… I've accepted it. But I really like you. I can't explain it….”
“There's a connection here,” Blaine said quietly, gesturing between the two of them. “And I completely respect that your great dad. It’s one of the things I really like about you.”
With a heartbreaking smile, Sam asked, “So, after the party, Lily is having a sleepover at Rachel’s… Do you want to see a movie Saturday night?”
“I really would,” Blaine agreed, leaning up and grabbing a quick kiss before stepping back.
They said their goodbyes and Blaine got into his car with a smile. He had a feeling this is just the start of something.