Was it possible to lose everything? He had worked so hard to become the man that he was and to be honest, to keep the things that he had been given. There was no way that he could be brought down by the likes of people like Sam Evans and Matthew Rutherford! Will Schuester glanced at his pregnant wife, Terri, as she passed by his office, getting ready for some type of event. He sighed. That baby… It wasn’t his, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t have a baby with her, but damn if anyone would ever find that out. His father, on the other hand, whose sperm was clearly still alive and kicking, gladly donated to the cause of another Schuester heir. Will just didn’t want that heir to have to inherit shambles, if Matt Rutherford was to succeed.
Already, questions were being thrown in the politician’s direction – questions of his ties to known white supremacists, when he has a peaceful platform against hate… and other very annoying bullshit! Matt Rutherford was one bothersome nigger, but he certainly specialized in results, even if they were merely speculation and suspicions. Will’s father barely said anything positive to him, every since Rutherford began broadcasting the ANTI-SCHUESTER=ANTI WHITE POWER campaign from his website.
Much of the information that he was putting out were things that Will and family already had alibis, scapegoats and etc for. Will did NOT expect to be greeted with the most current and ruthless information that Matt offered: White Supremacists in bed with Will Schuester… You have NO idea who it is that you’re dealing with! That was so bizarre and baffling. Of course, Will could easily say that Matt was just trying to stir up trouble in their community, but he needed to make sure that Rutherford was silence, before his biggest secret came out. He stood to lose too much…
Matt and Andrea walked into POM, with their laptops, and Sam looked at the two of them, puzzled. Andrea immediately began talking, “We’ve finally figured out exactly how we’re going to get this thing situated.”
“Y’all need to come up to the apartment?” Sam asked.
Matt gave him a look, “Duh?” The two followed Sam to the elevator and went up. They begant o set their things up and Matt asked Sam, “It’s going to sound like a trick question, but would you prefer that Will Schuester died a horrible death or watched everything in his life be completely destroyed?”
“It’s not a trick question. I’m tired of seeing anybody die,” Sam said and sat down at the table, next to Matt.
“Well, with what I have on him, it may be that both things happen. He’s been keeping something from his buddies, and it’s something that can shake the very foundations of their infrastructure in this area. He could singlehandedly destroy everything that they’ve worked so hard to build,” Matt said, excitedly. Sam could not ever remember seeing Matt be this thrilled about anything.
Andrea smiled and said, “These terrorists are about to learn today.”
Sam clapped his hands together and asked, “So, what is it that we’re working with?” Matt smirked and pushed the laptop in front of Sam.
Sam stared at it and tilted his head. “It means exactly what you think it means,” Matt told him.
“Normal” no longer even seemed like an actual thing, but Mercedes supposed that she at least did not feel like she was in a constant state of panic. Matt’s website listed her and her friends by name as endangered citizens, targeted by white supremacist terrorist organizations; so naturally, they were not going to attack blatantly. The buddy system helped to minimize the possibility of subtle attacks, as well. For instance, at the moment, she was out with Tina, Santana and Stacie.
They were in Santana’s jeep, listening to music and heading back to the shop, after Tina’s self defense class, eating and shopping. They planned on having a huge garage sale, soon – for things from the shop, as well as things from the Evans house that had been separated as items no longer wanted or needed. Stacie was looking inside of a magazine and Tina was looking out of the window, routinely checking the rear view for bogies and drifting into her own thoughts as the mundane scenery passed them by.
Tina had been troubled in the recent days. While she and Mike had gotten back into a somewhat regular day to day, she still would see suspicious vehicles pass by them too slowly when they were getting out of one of their vehicles, or get the weird vibe that someone was watching them, at other times. She was getting calls from a private number, frequently and the current news announced that Dave Karofsky at the moment withdrew from the public eye and the political trail for “personal reasons.” That made him harder to keep up with and THAT made Tina wary as hell…
Mike came out of the hospital walking with one of his coworkers. Tina had this thing about him not being alone when he went to his vehicle and things of that sort. The two guys were talking about what they would do when they got home and what they would eat. “I just want to take a shower and cuddle with MY FIANCEE until I fall asleep in a lanky ball of Mike wrapped around her,” he said. Mike had been calling Tina his fiancée like the word was running out of style and generally got louder when he said it. He couldn’t have been happier with his woman wanting to marry him as much as he had been wanting to marry her.
Tina had been so damaged when Mike met her. She had gotten into a fight and smashed her fist pretty badly. Some jerk trying to get into Mercedes pants at a club one night and actually was prickish enough to shove Quinn when she tried to cockblock him. Tina saw her father when that happened and her fists spoke to the man who she hated more than anything. Mike was working as a paramedic, at the time and his truck responded to the call. Tina held out her hand and he examined it, “Did you decide that you no longer needed this hand?” He asked.
“I decided that I would risk losing it to put a woman beater in his place,” she said.
Quinn patted her on the shoulder, “You really shouldn’t have. He was just a drunk idiot.”
“He shoved you!” Tina snapped. “I can’t sleep on that.”
Mercedes folded her fingers into each other and asked, “Is Tina going to be able to use her hand again? She works with her hands.”
Mike smiled at her and said, “She’ll probably be alright. I’m not a doctor, and she needs one, but let’s hope for the best.”
When Mike saw Tina again, she was at a forced community service gig at the community center. He was wearing a volunteer firefighter outfit and noticed her right away, as she out away her belongings into a locker, getting ready to head out for the day – glad that Shane allowed her to take care of her stint here. “How’s the fist?” Mike asked her.
“I’ve heard it doesn’t taste too good, so don’t test me,” she answered and shut her locker. When she turned around and saw him smiling, in that uniform, she froze. She recognized him, but he looked different. She was too livid when she had seen him weeks ago in the ambulance to pay him much attention aside from her typical memorization of faces, for her own safety and mental security. But, now, especially in that uniform, “Wait a damned minute… are you a paramedic or a fireman?” She asked, flustered that this man was having some kind of effect on her.
“I am a paramedic who volunteers as a firefighter,” he answered, “And my name is Mike, Tina.”
“You remember everyone’s name that you respond to a call for?” She asked, suspiciously.
“No, but I remember the pretty one who was too scary for me to ask for her number,” he laughed and backed away a little bit. “So, they gave you community service, even though that guy shoved your friend?”
“I got community service and anger management. Anger Management is a pain and a joke, but the community service alright. My friend owns the center, so I basically just hang out with him all day and run errands here and there for him and I get my credits.”
“You’re friends with Shane?” Mike asked, surprised.
“Yeah. I’ve known him for years,” she said with a shrug, before clutching her purse and hurrying away, “I have things to do. A real job to be at…” After that, they both began to ask Shane about the other one until it drove him crazy and he finally set them up, making both of them think that he was asking the other to meet him, and sneaking a double date upon them with he and Mercedes. He and Mercy were long over, but for this, she had to observe herself – Tina actually having a crush on somebody did not happen too often.
It took months before Mike got Tina to be his girlfriend and it had taken years and a heap of mass trouble and confusion for her to finally open up to him, fully… which he still wasn’t sure if she was completely honest about everything. Sometimes, it seemed that she was still hiding things from him…
“Michael Chang Jr.?” He heard a voice call.
Mike peered into the darkness and did not recognize the gentleman, so he continued towards his vehicle with a polite, “No thanks!”
“I have something for you!” The gentleman yelled. Mike’s coworker stopped and looked at the man.
“Keep walking, Chandler!” Mike urged, now panicking. Both of them rushed to their vehicles and the man threw something towards Mike’s car. It landed on the windshield, but Mike jumped into his car, and let Chandler into the passenger’s seat.
“Who is that, Mike?” The male asked in a soft voice.
“I don’t know, but that means it could be trouble,” Mike said and waited for the man to retreat into the darkness before stepping out of his car and retrieving whatever it was, in case it was important. He drove Chandler to his car and waited for him to get inside before pulling away. As he waited, he opened the envelope signed to him. There was a disc and some paperwork in it. When he pulled off, he slid the disc into his player and drove listening to Sam and Tina talking.
“I’m not going to ask you anything,” he said. “But, if you want to tell me something.” Mike listened as he turned to leave the parking lot and kept it playing while he wished the lady at the gate goodnight.
Tina was saying, “I thought that Dave was a better guy than our father. He seemed so nice when we met him. He seemed really sweet and caring and like he wished that he could know my sister and I. He found us, after my mom killed herself. I had moved out of Mercedes’ POM apartment and gotten my own place and my sister came to live with me. He gave us his condolences and told me that he was trying to get a handle on some things in his life. A girl from high school had been stirring up trouble for him and he had people angry with him. I followed Mercy’s lead. I did what I thought she would do. He seemed so nice, Sam and even though I hated Paul, this was supposed to on some level be our brother…” Mike tried to ignore the jealousy and hurt that threatened to creep up as he heard Tina be so open with Sam when it had taken her so long to do the same with him, but he told himself that it was because he had so faithfully and loyally loved Tina so openly the past few years that she was comfortable enough to open herself up sooner. But… she didn’t really do that with very many people. It made him think about how he felt when Tina and sam had been suspiciously together on the night of St. James’ death. He pushed that aside, too and continued to listen.
Mike screeched to a stop when he heard the words, “I held the weapon, to make sure that he didn’t lose his motivation. It was his choice - to die or have everyone find out the truth about him. He preferred to die.” He stared at the player and barely noticed cars blowing their horns angrily at him as he threw his emergency lights on. “No one ever even suspected me, because no one knew about who he really was…” Mike covered his mouth with his hand and shook his head. “Did you really not know anything about any of that when you came to me for help?” “Help?” Mike repeated, trying to compute it as Sam assured Tina that he didn’t know. “Help. Oh, God!” Mike said and clenched the steering wheel. He didn’t want to hear another word, but he couldn’t bring himself to cut it off. “This stays between us,” he heard Tina say… then nothing.
“Help…” Mike repeated. He put together the pieces. Sam went to Tina for help… when he killed Jesse St. James, and she helped him. Besides that, she killed her brother, and she confided in Sam about it. Mike placed his head on the steering wheel and cried for a moment, then, he headed fro home. No wonder she had been so shaken up about the place being bugged. No wonder she blamed the bugging for Kim being killed! Try as he might, Mike could not think of one way to push these thoughts from his head.
Becky and Santana were arguing about placement as they readied the tables for the sale. Lauren and Artie shook their hands and laughed, then went back to handling their duties of pricing things, according to a long, ridiculous comprehensive list that Santana had made. Stacie couldn’t stand the thought of being out there and saying goodbye to so many things that had been a part of her now shattered family life – even the miniscule things that no one too much thought about… Like the box of assorted photo frames that Dwight had taken all of the pictures out of, stating, “A photo book will be easier to keep up with.” Stacie had gone into the box and kept a few of them; for instance, there was the one that Mary and Dwight’s wedding picture had been in, and the one that had kept a recent photo of her parents in the middle and had three other circles – which were generally updated as the three children got more recent photos. She hoarded a few items that Dwight said they wouldn’t need. He noticed her do it to a few items and of course, he didn’t grieve her about it. Stacie deserved to be able to hold on to whatever made her feel just a little bit better about all of the changes and all of the loss they were dealing with.
Presently, she waited in the backroom, still decorating it for her father, to make it more homey to him. She was staying in the guestroom in Mercedes’ apartment and Dwight had taken the backroom that Sam previously slept in. Stacie had gotten closer to Mercedes, Tina and Santana, and wasn’t even offended or hurt when Santana started calling her their “token blond” (though Mercedes didn’t appreciate it.)
Nobody had heard from Quinn, but everybody noticed that Joe began taking frequent trips out of town… and everyone speculated as to who he was going to go see. Sam was not completely healed, but he had gotten much better and was trying to help out with whatever he could – which frequently resulted in Tina wrapping on his knuckles with something and scolding him for trying to take things too far.
Dwight and Sam stood together, talking about how they both wanted to do something extra special for Mercedes and her friends for all the help that they had been giving them with everything when a familiar face appeared before them and he said, “Dwight and Sam Evans! As I live and breathe – it has been years…” Dwight’s lip dropped and he stepped forward, with Sam actually being the one to place a hand in front of his father to stop him from getting closer to the man.
“Will Schuester,” Dwight said with venom in his voice.
“In the flesh,” Will commented. “Look, I heard about your wife’s passing.” The man placed a hand over his heart and said, “I am truly sorry for your loss. We all know that Mary Evans touched everyone that she ever met.” Dwight stormed forward, now, with Sam not trying to hold him back, namely because Sam was stepping forward, too. However, Tina, Lauren, Artie, and Matt all jumped in front of them, staring at Will.
“What the hell do you want, Schuester?” Tina asked and folded her arms.
“The hatred that the news has been reporting happening to you people and this place is unnerving. I just want to help,” Will offered, politely. He looked in Matt’s direction and said, “Matt – you know how helpful I can be to people in need. You should warn your friends… Excuse me, I meant tell your friends.”
Matt looked at Will with hate in his eyes, feeling it all get stirred up inside of him as he responded, “I don’t know what you expect me to tell my friends about you, but you know damned well that I have a thing or two to tell your friends about you.”
“Matt, after all that I’ve done for you, you repay me with slander and rumors and discord. I would think that all of you would want to go back to your normal lives, but all of you seem to insist upon ruining yourselves with these hopeless acts of violence and crime against me,” Will said, shaking his head. “When some of you have so much to lose,” he said, directly to Sam, then cut his eyes over to Mercedes, who was playing with her dogs, none the wiser of what was happening some feet away from her.
Sam tried to break through his shield of friends to attack Will for even the suggestion that he might do something to Mercy! Matt caught him by the chest and shoved him back, towards his father. Matt faced Will again and said, clapping his hands together to accentuate his seriousness, “You think that you are untouchable, but you are not. Your threats don’t have power here, Schuester.”
“I would never threaten anyone, Matt. That’s something that you don’t seem to understand about me.” The insinuation was clear. Will was promising them. “That’s it. You people hate reason. You hate rationale. You are animals with no home training. Launch your smear campaign, if you wish, but trust me – I have a far more convincing campaign and you’ve given me no choice but to move forward with it. Good day to you and yours,” Will said. He walked off, placing a hand around his wife, who Sam had just noticed was talking to Mercy and petting the dogs. He glared at both of them as he rushed over to his terrified Mercedes.
“Mercy?” He called. She threw her arms around him. “What did she say to you?”
“She told me hi and I recognized her voice. I tried to play it off, but I was so terrified. I didn’t know where anyone was or if she was alone.” Mercedes was trembling in Sam’s arms. “She complimented the dogs and asked me if I’ve went to see Emma recently – all really general stuff… but she sounded so menacing. It sounded off, just like when Stevie told me that he was going to do great things, when we were in Kentucky. It wasn’t what was said but something in how they said it!” She said. Her voice was shaky, but she wasn’t crying.
Sam rubbed her back and said, “Come on, I’ll take you inside and you can just hang out with Stacie.”
“No. I don’t want her to know about this. I don’t want to scare her. Give me a moment to collect myself, then I’ll go inside, alright?” She suggested.
“Okay, Babydoll,” Sam said and squeezed her tightly. Will had outright threatened her. It was nonverbal, but it was a threat against her. He didn’t know what that bastard had planned, but Mercy seemed exposed being outside and unguarded, so he stayed near her and Dwight, Lauren and Tina came over, as well.
Matt was collecting his things, Sam noticed and appeared as though he would leave. “Matt!” He called and made his way to him, “Where the hell are you going, Man?”
“If he’s planning something, I have to be inside of my office, Evans. I don’t know what he has in store, so all of my eyes and ears need to be on guard for whatever it is that he’s got up his sleeve,” Matt said.
“Matt – how do you know that his plan isn’t to shake you up and have you rush out of here and get smashed up by a whole bunch of cars on the way to your office?” Sam asked.
“I don’t, but this motherfucker killed my entire family, Sam. You lost your mother. Are you willing to just sit around and wait, afraid to be ready to fight back?” Matt posed. He looked intently at Sam with a determination in his eyes even stronger than any that Sam had ever seen, even in Matt. “Of course you aren’t. So just imagine how I feel about this. I’m too close to what I have been striving for since my family was butchered, and I am not going to let the shit fall apart, now.” He waved his hand in the air and a car pulled up that Sam had not even noticed. It was one of Matt’s personal cars. “If I don’t see you again, Sam… You better not ever quit until he gets what’s coming to him,” Matt said, pointing a finger at Sam. “You owe it to the people that you care about.”
“And I owe it to you,” Sam said.
“You don’t owe me, anything, Evans,” Matt said and shook his head. “I don’t even want anything from you. You’re a blip in comparison to that man. He owes me something. He owes everybody here something – a piece of his natural ass… and I intend to collect my chunk and pass the rest around.” Matt climbed into the back of the car and it pulled away.
Tina rushed up to Sam and held her hand out, “Where the hell is he going?”
“Back into his extreme revenge mode, I think,” he said.
Tina rushed into Emma’s with her bag on her arm. Brittany was sitting on top of the counter , swinging her legs and listening to a CD composed of the voices of cats “singing.” Tina forced a smile and said, “Hey, Britt.” Brittany held a finger up at her to silence her, then tilted her head and began to nod it, pointing her thumb to the CD player, with a huge smile. Tina sighed, shook her head and made her way to the room. Mike was sitting in a chair, seemingly just waiting, but she was so fueled up that she hardly noticed his odd behavior, at first. “You will never believe what happened today!” She said, frustrated and shaken.
“There is more and more that I’m finding unbelievable, but I don’t have much of a choice but to believe,” Mike said.
Tina stared at him for a moment, then asked, “What’s wrong, Mike?” Mike was never one for depression or even much sorrow, to be honest. But the way he looked – he looked like he had lost someone or something that meant so much to him. She was fearful for his answer. Oh God, have they touched his family?
“I don’t really think that I’m in any condition to talk about it, right now,” Mike answered, honestly. Tina went to sit on his lap and was bothered when he tensed up at her touch. “Could you give me some space, right now, please?” He asked, politely. She got up and put her hands behind her back, looking down at him.
“I mean, like real space. I don’t feel like being bothered,” he said.
She felt like the wind had been knocked out of her. “Er… okay. I mean, over the years, I’ve asked you so many times. I can’t help but grant you space the one time that I can think of that you’ve ever actually asked me for space.” She nodded her head, now seriously worried about what might be bothering him. She offered, “But, if you need to talk, you know that you can come to me with absolutely anything and I’ll always be here for you.”
That seemed to flip some type of switch inside of Mike. He went from being calm and polite, to short and snappy, “I suppose that works both ways in our relationship?”
“Of course it does, Mike!” Tina said, willing herself not to rush to him and shake him. What was going on, anyway? Mike scoffed, chuckled, then laughed. His face went through a display of emotions which told her a lot about the inner battle he was having, at the moment. Mike wanted to give himself time to think and to cool off before he spoke with Tina about this, but after he got home from his overnight shift, he still couldn’t sleep. She had been at the yard sale at Pieces of Mercy, for Sam’s family and the thought of them bonding even more kept Mike away for most of the morning and the fact that she had ever trusted Sam more than him, in the first place kept him up for most of the afternoon. “Mike, if you still don’t want to talk, I’m going to respect that, but just know that you are the one good and true thing in my life. The only constant that I have ever been nothing but happy about…”
That did it! Mike got up from the chair and reached for something. It was a disc, “Listen to this for me,” he said.
Tina’s heart caught in her throat with the range of possibilities of what might be on this thing. “What is it?” She asked.
“It’s a surprise! Though, I’m sure it was more of a surprise to me than it’ll be to you. Listen.” Mike put it into her CD player, and pressed play.
All Tina needed to hear were the first few words and her heart now sank. That tricky little organ was all over the place. “Turn it off,” Tina said.
“Oh, but the best part is the end, Tina!” Mike said, feigning excitement, with the hurt all over his voice. He waited as the conversation cut into him all over again and Tina let tears fall down her face. Mike was never supposed to know this. He was never supposed to know these things about her… “Oh – here it is, T! It’s the best part!”
“This stays between us.” Mike lifted both hands into the air, making a spectacle out of the line. He stared at her, stopped the disc and waited. “I love you…” She started. Mike slapped the CD player off of the table and it flew across the room and crashed into a wall.
“You trusted him more than me. You actually told him, what is probably your biggest secret, instead of the man that you asked to marry you!” Mike vented. “I have been jumping towns and watching my back and living a life in fear and nervousness to be with you and you fail to tell me something like this?”
“It was before we met. When I fell in love with you, I knew that I would love you for the rest of my life, Mike. But, I have never been able to know if you could love me for the rest of yours… not if you knew the truth about me and who I really am inside!” Tina cried.
“You say you love me, but you would be selfish enough not to let ME decide whether or not I could love you, with all of your flaws? I’ve always known that you weren’t perfect. I’ve always accepted that you live with secrets. I’ve always realized that some of those secrets might go to the damned grave with you, but what has me blindsided here… the thing that hurts so much about this is the fact that you TOLD HIM!!!” Mike’s fists were clenched and he was yelling. In all their time together, she had never seen him this way. They had arguments, but he had never yelled at her, before. When she yelled, he generally shut her down in a regular voice and left until they could both cool off. But… Mike was yelling… at her.
“I had to get it off of my chest and Sam was the only person that I knew could understand what I did and why I did it,” Tina was sobbing. “Mercedes hates violence and even when it’s justified, she feels bad about it. Quinn would’ve understood, but she had a lot going on with trying to wrap her head around Mercedes’ growth and the relationship with Sam and taking care of the shop and you… I never wanted you to ever know this about me. Mike, you’re a volunteer firefighter. You’re going to be a doctor. You believe in the Hippocratic Oath. You don’t even kill insects. You cup them into your hand and release them outside! You’ll never be able to look at me the same, and I knew that if I told you your view of me would change.”
“Tina, the only thing that has changed my view of you is the fact that you reached out to another man with more faith that he would accept you than you had in me. I thought that you knew by now that I love you so much that I would do anything for you! Finding out that you don’t realize that hurts more than knowing that you forced a rapist to kill himself. Would I have done it? I hope not, but it’s not that you did it that hurt me. It’s that I had to find out by one of them throwing it in my face!” Mike covered his mouth with both hands. “I can’t deal with you, right now. I can’t deal with the way that I feel about you, right now.”
“Okay. That’s understandable. Just, don’t be caught alone. They want you upset and they want you to storm out and isolate yourself so that they can get to you and hurt you, to make me suffer,” Tina said.
“I think that they want me to be so pissed off at you that I go to the police with all of their information on how Sam killed Jesse and you aided him in covering it up. I was given an entire damned packet of information on it. Did you know that Sam killed another guy in the exact same way? How stupid could he be? All they have to do is match up the angles and style of the murder – the same way they do with serial killers and they have him. And you let him suck you back into that. You let him pull you into his shit and you became a killer, again.” Mike said.
“Mike, I understand if you can never forgive me for keeping this from you, but please… Mercedes needs Sam. Right now, we all do. If we lose him, they win.”
Mike’s eyes widened and he stared at Tina. She stared back, wiping her eyes, but refusing to break eye contact with the man she loved. “Are you suggesting that I would turn Sam in? Even though I know that could mean you would be in trouble, too? I…” he shook his head and the tears began to flow from him. “I don’t think I can do this with you anymore, Tina. I have been loving you on your terms in your way, all of this time, and you still…” His voice faded into a soft, sad whimper, “Have no idea how much I love you.” He shook his head and said, more certainly, “And now I guess you never will.” Mike grabbed his tote bag and left, crying softly. Tina’s cries were much louder and harder.
When the police came to Sam, he was confused, but not frightened or shocked. He presumed that they were following up on the incident at Hank’s place, or something. They began to ask him about Jesse, though. Why had he not mentioned that he and Jesse St. James once terrorized girls? “What?” Sam suddenly asked.
“Several sordid recordings have come into our possession of the late David Karofsky sexually violating a variety of young ladies, all of which African American. These are recordings which feature the voice of Mr. St. James instructing Mr. Karofsky of what to do to the young ladies and your voice can be heard on these recordings, as well. Do you care to comment on this?” The detective asked.
“No, I do not,” Sam said and took a swallow.
“Mr. Evans, if you are worried about rape charges, unfortunately, we have no way of bringing charges against you without the confirmation from the females on the recording that what was happening to them was indeed rape,” the handsome detective said.
“As interesting as that fact is, I still do not care to comment,” Sam said.
“Do you realize what is happening to you right now?” The detective asked.
“Of course I do. You are trying to establish motive for me, to bring back up this idea that I killed Jesse St. James, as you were trying to convince yourself when he was initially killed,” Sam said. “But, I didn’t do it. I’m not the only person that you could perhaps set up a somewhat believable motive to have wanted him dead, and you don’t have anything to back up this theory that I did something to him but some recordings that my voice is allegedly in… recordings that are not confirmed rapes in progress,” Sam said. “Besides, even if I had been involved in something like that, that doesn’t mean that I killed Jesse and all you would have me on is what? Being in the room while someone was allegedly raped?”
“You are not cute, Sam Evans,” The man said. “But, it is kinda snug in your little world of being there for the crime without getting your hands dirty, isn’t it?” Sam flinched and shut his eyes, shaking off the reminder of Matt’s family. Thinking about them had become even more painful now that he and Matt were… in communication.
The detective gasped, like he suddenly remembered something, then looked at his partner and asked, “Do… do we still have those reports from the woman who INSISTED that we do something about the sexual attacks against her?”
“I believe that we do. Aphasia Bricks,” the other detective said looking down at his notes, “She complained several times that the police force was not doing anything about her rape claims from several years earlier against Dave Karofsky, Jesse St. James and.. yes, one Sam Evans. It’s here, in the notes.”
“Now, tell me, because you know that I’m still fairly new at this whole detective thing… does that count as a confirmation?”
“Only if we have the tape of Miss Bricks being raped accompanied by her claims,” the partner answered.
“And do we have that?” Sam’s heart beat in his chest as he looked at them. “That’s right, we do. Sam Evans, You are under arrest.” Sam nodded and placed his hands behind his back. Aphasia would clear this up for him. All she had to do was drop the claims and he would be released. She would… she would do that for him, wouldn’t she? But what about Mercy? Oh God… they would attack her when Sam couldn’t be there to protect her!
“What’s going on, Cooper?” Tina asked, rushing up to the detectives.
“Tina! You will get a kick out of this. Your friend, Sam Evans is a rapist and he’s being arrested for it, and held, while we search for proof of his murder of Jesse St. James…” Tina reached for the older man’s arm and pulled him aside. He raised an eyebrow at her and asked, “Why aren’t you thrilled? This is a victory for survivors all over the city!”
“Cooper, that shit is slanted. There’s too much going on. It isn’t as simple as it seems,” she told him. “I mean, what – do you think that I covered up for Sam? I’m his alibi from the night that Jesse was killed.”
Cooper said, “Tina, I think that you probably wanted to try to help a friend and either had no idea what you were getting yourself into, or you got confused on the time at which he arrived at your place.”
“Cooper, that’s not the case!” Tina snapped.
“Well, what is the case, Tina? Did you know about Jesse St. James’ video collection? You decided good riddance and teamed up with Evans for the alibi because you had no idea that he was Team Rapist, as well?” Cooper Anderson asked her.
Sam called out, “Tina – contact Aphasia. Get her to tell them that she’s dropping the claims and they have nothing. You don’t have to say anything else to any of them.” Tina watched him go and turned to look at Mercedes and Stacie. Stacie was watching and Mercedes was holding onto Stacie’s arm… Tina figured that Stacie had told her something. “Take care of your sisters, for me,” Sam said. He nodded his head at Stacie and Mercy and went along with the detectives.
“Tina, you have a great head on your shoulders. Even though I never really approved of Kurt for Blaine, I’ve always thought of you as a great friend for him. You don’t need to be involved with people like Sam Evans and please tell me that my brother isn’t!” Cooper said.
“Just go pretend to do your job, Cooper. Pretend that you aren’t in their pocket,” she said.
Cooper’s eyebrows raised, “Their pocket?” Whose pocket, Tina?”
“Will Schuester, Paul Karofsky and Russell Fabray… amongst others.” She bit her lip and shook her head, “Sam Evans is a good man! Even if it was possible that he killed Jesse St. James – you’re telling me that St. James was a rapist, and that you have proof of it, and I heard he was abusive towards his wife…”
“Where’d you hear that?” Cooper asked, taking something down in his notes.
“From… Noah Puckerman, before he was assassinated by the people whose pocket you’re in,” Tina said. Sorry, Puck! That was the first reasonable lie that came to her. They couldn’t check it, so it would be hearsay, but at least IF Cooper was on the up and up, he might be off of Sam’s ass with some prodding.
“And let me ask you this, Tina… if Paul Karofsky is a part of this, why would he allow for his son to be made a spectacle? His son was involved with these attacks – the same son whose suicide gained him sympathy votes and financial contributions for campaigns? Paul Karofsky would be ended by something like this, Tina. Be reasonable. This Evans kid deceived you all and you bought it.” Tina looked like she had just realized something, as Copper got into the car with his partner and they left with Sam.
When she came into the shop, Stacie asked, “Tina, what’s happening? Where are they taking Sam?”
“It’s alright, Stacie. They won’t have him for long…” She bit her fist and said, “But, something that Cooper just said…”
“Cooper? Blaine’s brother Cooper?” Mercedes asked, panicked. Cooper Anderson was not just some cop. He was a very successful and prolific detective who took on special cases and always got what he was working towards. She bit her lip and tried to play off her fears, for Stacie’s sake.
“He just said that something like what’s going on… what they think is going on… would destroy Paul Karofsky. That means that either my father has been booted out of the special club or Schuester has taken his destiny into his own hands, not considering his comrades.”
Mercedes asked, “Which one of those is best for us?”
“Depends on who’s included in the ‘us,’” Tina replied, sadly, as she called Matt. He might not answer Sam or Mercy, right now – presuming that they’d slow him down with sentiment or something… but he knew that if Tina was calling, that was worth his attention. If Tina was calling him, shit was real. When he answered, she said, “They want to divide and conquer. We need some leadership. Sam’s been arrested for Aphasia’s rape.”
“That’s that bullshit,” Matt said, but she could already hear him scrambling around. “I’ll handle it,” he told her.
“Are you coming around?” She wondered.
“No can do, Miss Cohen-Chang. I am on the verge of piecing together the final piece of the puzzle. I am about to reach out and touch Will Schuester’s ass!” He said. On any other day,that comment might have been a little comical…
Tina hung up and called Mike. She thought that he might not answer, but to her surprise, he did. “Hey… I know that things went badly yesterday and you were upset, but you say that you wouldn’t go to the police about Sam. You meant that, right?”
“Tina, if you really called me to ask me about Sam, you missed the entire point of our talk yesterday and I can’t be bothered with this,” he said and hung up on her. The next time she attempted to call., he didn’t answer.
Matt contacted Holly Holiday. He had Andrea to collect all of his notes on Sam’s possible involvement in Jesse St. James’ murder and meet Holly Holiday at the police station. He contacted Aphasia.
“I thought that I was out of all of this,” she complained.
“I wish it was that easy. I know that you care about Sam. You wanna let him go down, or you want to get him out of this? The choice is yours. You’ll have to drop the charges and you’ll have to do it in person, if you want him to be released,” Matt explained. “I’m happier with you staying right the hell where you are, but I knew that if I didn’t at least tell you about your opportunity to help, here – I would never hear the end of it.”
“So this has nothing to do with you caring about Sam, now?” Aphasia asked.
“To hell with Sam. This comes down to a choice. They made a move, now it’s our move. If you leave him there, he’ll be destroyed, one way or another. If you come back, you might be a target, because I’m sure they’ve caught wind of how important you are to me and you know they want my ass to fall,” Matt said. Aphasia on the other line smiled softly about Matt actually admitting that she was important to him, even thought she already knew. It was nice to hear. Just as quickly, he continued speaking, “Tina was right. This is an attempt to divide and conquer. They just still don’t realize that there are non-whites who can pull together and be strong… Tina had to call and tell me about this. You know, if Sam stays where he is, Paul Karofsky’s career and life are over. That thought gives her life.”
“But, she would never want Sam to have to go down so she can have revenge,” Aphasia said.
“They don’t know that. They’re hoping that she would be willing to sacrifice him. They think that we’re not capable of doing what’s honorable and right for each other, which is hilarious, if you ask me, because they’re the ones who are currently hanging Paul Karofsy out to dry after years of service; that is, assuming that you wouldn’t come forward for Sam.”
“But, they know that I’ve risked my life and killed one of their men for this. They know that I would come out, so in a way, they aren’t hanging him out to dry. They just trying to make it look that way, probably to trip us up on what our next move is gonna be. These bastards are some snakes,” Aphasia said.
“I have a feeling that they’ll try to stop you, before you ever get down there. That way – they take out you and Sam, simultaneously,” Matt said, worried.
“My damn, this is tense, Matt,” Aphasia admitted. “What will you do if that does happen?”
“If you get killed?” He asked. She nodded, like he could see her, “Going for broke. I’d have to stop trying to do this the legal way and just kill every last one of them.” Aphasia laughed nervously. “But, I don’t think it’ll happen. At least I hope that you and Sam will be alright.”
“Me and Sam?” She asked.
“Stacie Evans is still just a kid. It’s bad enough that this stuff is making her have to deal with things no teenager should, but it would be a tragedy if another child is broken by these people. That girl loses Sam after all of this, she’ll break. Plus, Mercedes Jones loves him and she’s gone through all of this for that reason… and her friends that rally around him. They’re all very faithful and loyal people (except Quinn Fabray), they’ve all stuck together in their times, like a family. None of them should have to lose more of their family.”
“And you know that Sam is a good guy and you don’t want to see something happen to him,” Aphasia said.
“Are you headed this way, or not, Phai?” He asked, completely ignoring her last words.
It took a full twenty four hours for Aphasia to get back into town to drop the charges she had filed, so that Sam could be released. She, Matt, Mercedes, Tina, Stacie and Dwight were all waiting for him when he was let out. Matt masked well the slightly hurt feeling he got when Aphasia watched Sam tackle Mercedes into a hug. Aphasia, Tina and Matt stood back while Sam hugged his woman, sister and dad, then he came to hug them, too. Matt resisted Sam’s touch and shook his head, “Germs,” he told him. Honestly, Matt was never one for very much human contact, and he didn’t feel comfortable hugging Sam, either.
Sam was not even going to point out that he applied pressure to his gunshot wound a few short weeks ago. Instead he just chuckled and thanked Aphasia, “For saving my life, again.” Mercedes tried to hold back her sigh, but it came out pretty strong. Sam looked at Tina and noticed she looked odd. “Mike couldn’t make it?” He asked.
“Let’s not even get into that,” she said and turned, with her arms folded to head out of the door. The others followed and they all got into the cars that Matt had waiting for them.
“So, how close are we to cutting this bullshit short?” Sam asked Matt, in a low voice.
“Closer than close,” Matt replied, with a smirk. Sam glanced at Tina and grabbed her hand to get her attention. She looked up at him, then down at her hand and he noticed that it was empty… that her engagement ring was gone. She saw the question in his eyes and she turned away from it, pulling her hand back to herself.
When Matt, Sam, Mercy, Tina, and Aphasia were back in Mercedes’ apartment, Matt admitted: “The bad thing about your arrest is that it was simply a tactic. They are trying to stretch us out in different ways, divide and conquer. They wanted to either get rid of you or bring Phai out to target her… neither of those things have happened. I’m almost a believer in some kind of higher power or something with how things are starting to turnout.”
“Whoa – things haven’t turned out yet. You speak a little too soon, Sir,” Aphasia said.
“Yeah, but they didn’t accomplish either of those goals. The only thing that’s left is that I was the one who was trying to stick it to Sam for Jesse’s murder. I am the one who provided the research and viable evidence to back up my theory.” Matt sighed and shook his head, “And if they continue to pursue Sam for this murder, I can’t go back on my findings, or else they’ll try to discredit all of the information that I have on Schuester, as well.”
This conversation was bothering Tina. She was unsure if Mike had anything to do with speaking to the police about Jesse. Even though Mike didn’t seem to know everything about the Aphasia-Sam history, the police probably used that to reel Sam in for the bigger thing… something that Mike did know about and admitted to her that he had been given proof of. Trying to get her mind off of him, Tina asked, “Ever tried lying? They do it. Weren’t they going to try to pin Jesse’s murder on you when they wanted Giselle to kill you?”
“Who do we have who around Sam’s height and maybe build that it can be put on?” Aphasia asked, thoughtfully. Usually, she was not the one for lying, but Tina had a point. If they didn’t start playing and fighting as dirty as these dudes, all kinds of shit would be hitting multiple fans for them.
“When outta luck, I vote blame Puck,” Tina said. Mercedes gasped. “Come on Mercedes! Don’t you think that he would rather take the blame for this and have that help us to tackle the bad guys or to honor his oh-so-fantastic name and let it tear apart major components of our attack? As a matter of fact, I think that the Lord is blessing this lie, because I lied on Puck, already; before the idea of blaming him for this and now I see, it’ll fit. I told Cooper that Puck was how I knew that Giselle was being abused. Everyone knows that they reacquainted some short time after Sam started messing around with her friend. Now, if Puck told me, what if he told others? Why can’t he have been the one to kill Jesse St. James for Giselle?”
Aphasia corrected, “To team up with Giselle to kill Jesse St. James for Giselle. Time to break out the footage.”
“Footage?” Sam asked.
“Yep. I have it on tape. Giselle straight up let him die,” Aphasia said. Sam tensed up at this, but she didn’t even notice. “It will look like she knew about it and why wouldn’t she know if her old friend Puckerman was involved?”
“I don’t feel right about dishonoring dead people like that,” Mercedes said.
“None of this feels right, Mercy. But, damn – we just have to do what we have to do,” Tina said. “We have a story that gets Sam off of the hook, and since it’s Matt’s research, he can come to the conclusion, that he was trying to pin it on Sam until he realized it was Puck. Hell, he could even say that Giselle TOLD his ass before she killed herself.”
“All the hearsay will do is to stir up misdirection, but I approve of misdirection,” Matt said. “What other potential problems did we face that need to be addressed?” Tina didn’t say anything else, not about Mike, not about herself. Matt gathered his things and announced that he was taking Aphasia back to the bus station and after the two left, Sam looked at Tina.
She got up, too and grabbed her purse, “I’ll see you two tomorrow,” she said and headed out.
Tina didn’t know if it was wise or safe to even go back to Emma’s, alone. There was a couple there that she didn’t know and Brittany and Santana would probably eventually be back, but it was Friday… They always did something on Friday nights and it would be late before they returned. She turned the light on in the bedroom and saw Mike’s bag on the bed. Tina put her purse down and went to the bathroom to see Mike in there, with a towel wrapped around him. He jumped when she peeked in. “Tina!” He covered his heart with his hand.
“Sorry,” she said and rushed out.
A few minutes later, he emerged, clothed and told her, “Chandler has a date over, and I’ve had a chance to cool off.” Mike sat on the bed and the previously pacing Tina sat on it, too, putting one of her feet beneath her. “We need to talk… Where is your ring?”
“Folded into a tear stained six page letter of why I don’t deserve you and never did,” she said and looked up at him, shyly. Mike shook his head, moved closer to her and wrapped her in his arm.
“Tina, things are not just going to go back to normal between us… mainly because they never were normal. But, let me tell you one thing, Tina… I put that ring on your finger and I am the only one who can take it off.” She reached into her purse and took out the letter, which Mike tore open, tore the paper in pieces and made them rain, then returned her ring to her finger. She cried. “Tina, we have a lot to work out. I want to start by you telling me everything. After that, I want to lay down and cuddle, and in the morning, I want biscuits.” Tina laughed at Mike’s request for biscuits, but she knew that he was joking. He just hated seeing her cry and now he was less mad than he had been the past couple of days.
Tina started from the beginning – from her mother and father… most of which he knew about both of them. She went on to tell him how she ended up in the institution, the promises that she made herself, and everything along the way that related to her personal growth and her demons. At the end, Mike was in tears, “Baby… why would you ever think that I would want you to carry this alone? Let me be here for you, in any way that I can.”
“You have been, Mike. You have been there for me from the start. You are the key to the cage around my heart,” she said. “I can’t ever lose you, Mike!” Tina said and threw her arms around him.
“You never will. You never will,” Mike assured her.
Cooper Anderson slid all of the mess on his desk aside. Things had gotten out of hand. Things had become spectacularly troubled, and when he thought that he had a break, things always shut down! He thought that he finally had a shot at taking down Will Schuester. If he could have made Sam Evans take a deal, Sam’s testimony could have put Will away forever. Now, not only was Sam Evans a dead end in the cases that he thought he could dangle over his head, but he had no leverage whatsoever to make him want to participate in taking Schuester down.
Detective Anderson grabbed his coat and rolled his eyes at the desk. Everything would be there tomorrow. On his way out, he ran into a young, light skinned black woman, “Detective Anderson?” She said. Cooper studied her. “You don’t know me, but I have reason to believe that you’ll want to look at this information. It concerns Will Schuester.” He accepted it and Andrea turned, pulled her hoodie over her head and left. Anderson looked at the note on the top of the envelop and read: Justice awaits inside.