Summary: A peek into the last year of Sam Dorian's life at high school.
Author's Notes: Final chapter, yaaay! I got the motivation to write this after I spent the afternoon watching movies and other crap. Anyhoo, I have a sequel to this if anyone wants that, plus another fic set after the season 8 finale. Enjoy!
May 19th 4:35am
I can't sleep. I don't know if it's the excitement of graduation or the nervousness I feel knowing in three short months I'm moving to Virginia to begin a whole new chapter of my life. Looking back, these last few months have probably been both the best and the worst, but I wouldn't swap them for anything. I have my Izzie (still feels weird calling her that), my parents, auntie Carla and uncle Turk and Danny but somehow knowing everything is going to be different feels strange. My real mom and dad split up before I was born, dad and auntie Elliot didn't stay together for long and now they're back together, I don't know, it's funny how when you get to thinking about life. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've been a kid for so long and now I'm taking that final wayward step into becoming a man. Does that make any sense whatsoever?
Putting his diary down, he sighed and went into the bathroom to get a glass of water. As he looked into the mirror, he couldn't help but wonder what today lay in store. He made his way downstairs and quietly turned on the TV. An old show from when he was a kid came on, making him suddenly nostalgic. He began to feel sleepy again and wasn't sure whether it was minutes or hours later when he felt someone get on the sofa with him and change the channel. He opened one eye and saw Kenzie sitting next to him.
“Hey Kenzie what time is it?” Sam asked, stifling a yawn.
“8:30,” she said, not looking up from the TV. “Will you make me breakfast?”
“Sure, cereal okay?” he asked, getting up and heading towards the kitchen.
“Yeah,” she replied.
Sam shook his head and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. He put some coffee into the pot and waited for it to percolate and leaned against the counter. He began to wonder what his dorm room was going to be like and whether he and Izzie would get to be in the same dorm as they were both going to the same school; she studying nursing and he studying pre-med. Soon the coffee was ready. He poured himself a cup before putting some cereal and milk in a bowl for Kenzie.
“Kenzie! Breakfast's ready!” he called into the living room.
“Can't I have it in here?” she called back.
“No, come on,” he said, before pouring himself some cereal.
A rather grumpy Kenzie sat at the table and ate her cereal in silence whilst her brother ate his breakfast. He heard his cellphone beeping in his bathrobe pocket, signalling he had a text message, getting it out he saw it was from Izzie.
Can't wait to c u today. Will meet u under the bleachers. Love, Izzie
Smiling to himself, he texted a quick reply back before shoving it back in his pocket. Soon he heard the door to JD and Elliot's room opening upstairs, quickly followed by Anna's. He sighed as he heard the rest of his family coming downstairs. He didn't want a big fuss today, all it was was graduation, nothing particularly special.
Nothing particularly special? Are you an idiot? His inner voice said to him. You're graduating from high school, nothing will ever be the same again.
Sam looked down at the bowl of cornflakes which suddenly looked unappetising, got up and left the room just as Anna, JD and Elliot appeared at the door.
“Sam, what's wrong?” his dad asked
“Nothing, I just have to... do a thing,” he made an excuse and went back into his bedroom.
JD looked at Elliot as he heard Sam's door slam shut.
“I wonder what his problem is,” Anna shrugged.
“He's probably nervous, I mean after all it is his high school graduation,” Elliot then rambled off into one of her rather long winded stories.
“Here it comes,” JD whispered to Anna who had an amused look on her face.
“...but then after all that happened...” JD interrupted her.
“He hung himself?” he asked with raised eyebrows.
“Um, anyway,” she quickly changed the subject. “Are you going to tell Kenzie the good news?”
“What?” Kenzie looked up from her bowl of cereal, milk all round her mouth. “Do I have to go home?”
“Nope, you can stay here for good with us,” JD smiled. “You're officially an American.”
“Yay!” the little girl leapt down and hugged her father, not grasping the concept of what it meant. “Can we go for ice cream later?”
“Sure sweetie,” JD laughed. “Now, go get in the shower, we need to get ready for Sam's graduation.”
Obliging, she ran upstairs. JD, Elliot and Anna had their breakfast and discussed plans for after Sam's graduation. Meanwhile, Sam sat in a pair of jeans and a shirt on his bed going through his emails. He decided to make one last entry in his journal before he left high school.
May 19th 9:45am
It's just suddenly hit me. I'll be a high school graduate in just over two hours. I'm done with my childhood, I'm now a man. So why am I feeling so nervous? Is it because I have my whole life ahead of me? Heading off to college? Making a go of things with Izzie? I just can't seem to pin it down. Hell I'll probably be feeling the same after I've finished college and heading off to med school. I do know I want to be a doctor, marry Izzie and have a couple of kids. Hmm, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Who knows what the future is going to hold? All I know is I'm just going to go where life decides to take me.
Feeling satisfied, Sam placed the diary back in his backpack before stuffing a couple more items into the bag and heading downstairs. He saw his parents and younger sister still deep in discussion about something.
“I'm just heading to the airport to collect mom,” he called as he grabbed his keys off the table next to the door.
He frowned when he didn't hear an acknowledgement from the kitchen but headed on his way anyway. He fished in his pocket for his hands free headset and put it on. As soon as he started the car, he heard his cellphone ring
“Hello?” he answered.
“Hey Sammy, it's Izzie,” his girlfriend said, happiness in her voice. “Listen, I have to go to the mall before I meet you so you can pick me up if you want to after I get back.”
“Sure, sounds good. I'm off to the airport to pick up mom,” Sam said, as he headed down towards the freeway to go to the airport.
“Okay, I'll see you then,” she said. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” he replied, before clicking off his headset.
Driving the 20 minutes to the airport gave him time to think. He hadn't seen his mom for a couple of months and he still felt guilty that he had chosen to live with his dad when he was 12 years old. It wasn't that he didn't love his mom or anything, it was because he had felt closer to his dad the whole time they were in South Africa and didn't want to leave to go back to Texas. He pulled up in a parking space at the airport, looked up at the terminal building, locked the car and headed inside.
Meanwhile JD and Elliot were still in their pyjamas whilst Anna and Kenzie were upstairs getting ready for Sammy's graduation. JD looked down into his coffee cup as if it held all the answers to the world's questions.
“What's wrong?” Elliot asked, sitting down in the chair next to him.
“Nothing. It's just... well Sammy's graduating today, heading off to start his life and I can't help but wonder if I've screwed his life up,” he sighed.
“Screwed his life up?” she replied. “I hardly think so.”
“But I've put him through so much; I've been married twice, pulled him from pillar to post with new siblings, new countries, I just can't help thinking I've been a bad role model these past few years,” he said.
“Sweetie, you're the kindest, most loving person I've ever met, you haven't screwed up Sammy's life, if anything these experiences might make him a better person,” Elliot reasoned.
“You really think?” JD looked up at his fiancée with his big blue eyes.
“Yeah,” she smiled back, standing up and giving his shoulders a gentle squeeze before gathering the dishes to put in the dishwasher.
JD got up and went upstairs to check on his girls. As he passed Sammy's bedroom, he paused there for a moment. Sammy's room was a typical teenage boy's room; posters of women in skimpy outfits, his widescreen TV, trophies from his soccer and football games, his computer and of course clothes everywhere. He closed the door and went on to Kenzie's room, quickly noticing that she wasn't there. He heard noises from Anna's PS3 so came to the conclusion that the girls were playing video games instead of getting dressed. He opened the door and saw Kenzie and Anna furiously pressing buttons on the controllers as they played a car racing game.
“Haven't you two been in the shower yet?” JD asked.
“Can't, there's no hot water,” Anna replied, not looking up from the TV.
“Well why didn't you come and tell me?” he asked again, sitting on Anna's bed.
“Didn't want to,” she said. “This is more fun.”
“Come on girls, it's Sammy's graduation. The last thing he wants is for us to be late,” JD said.
The girls looked up at him for a minute before turning their attention back to the television. Frustrated, JD turned off the TV, causing the girls to scowl at him.
“Daddy, why did you do that?” cried Kenzie.
“Because you two need to get washed and dressed so we can get to Sammy's graduation,” he said sternly.
Groaning, Anna and Kenzie headed off to the two showers; the main bathroom and the en-suite one in JD and Elliot's room. JD then headed downstairs where he found the kitchen and living room spotless and Elliot sitting reading a magazine.
“The girls dressed yet?” she asked, looking up.
“Just doing it now,” he replied, getting a mug out of the cupboard and pouring himself some more coffee. “They were playing their video games again. I think we should get rid of the TV out of their room, they're always on that thing.”
“They're kids, JD,” Elliot said. “They've finished school and they've got nothing on for the summer.”
Meanwhile, Sam sat in a Starbucks waiting for his mom. She soon appeared, carrying her overnight bag and her purse.
“Mom!” Sam ran into her arms.
“Hey, Sammy,” Kim greeted, hugging her son tightly. “Feels like ages since I've seen you.”
“I know,” he sighed. “I've decided I want to spend the whole summer with you.”
“That'd be great. I can't believe it's your high school graduation already,” she sighed. “Where has all the time gone?”
Sam gave a small smile before they headed back to his car.
Anna and Kenzie finally bounded down the stairs, dressed for Sam's graduation. JD and Elliot were waiting in the living room, dressed, Elliot holding her car keys.
“You girls ready?” she asked.
“Yes mom,” the chorused.
“Let's get going. I promised we'd meet Turk and Carla for a coffee before we head to Sam's school,” JD said.
They headed outside and got into Elliot's BMW and drove off towards the nearest Coffee Bucks where Turk and Carla were waiting with their son Adam.
“Hey guys,” JD greeted as the kids ran off to play in the park across the street.
“Hey Vanilla Bear,” Turk said, giving him a bear hug. “So, graduation already?”
“Yeah, can't believe it and my son and your daughter are together before graduation so you owe me twenty bucks,” JD said rather smugly.
Turk whined as he handed over the money. Elliot and Carla looked at each other before they headed into the coffee shop.
Back at the airport, Sam loaded his mom's bag into the trunk before closing it and getting into the car. He put his seatbelt on and backed out.
“Nice car,” Kim noted.
“Thanks. Dad and Elliot bought it for me for my birthday and graduation,” he replied.
“Oh, that reminds me. I have a gift for you, but I'll give it to you after you've got your diploma,” she said.
“Okay,” Sam smiled. “I have to go and pick up Izzie and my friend Danny and then we're going to head over to my school.”
With that, the headed down the freeway back towards the city.
Anna and Adam sat on the swings whilst Kenzie played on the slide.
“You happy Sam's graduating?” Adam asked.
“Yeah, it means I don't have to put up with him bossing me around when mom and dad aren't around,” Anna replied.
“But you are gonna miss him, right?” he asked.
“Sure, I guess,” she shrugged. “I get to be a big sister now.”
“You're lucky, I'm the youngest,” he sighed. “I always wanted a younger brother or sister. Preferably a brother. I mean I love playing football and soccer with my dad, but it would be nice to have another younger sibling to look after.”
“You can help me with Kenzie,” Anna said, giving him a smile. “She'll probably want a brother to look after her as well.”
Anna leaned over and gave Adam a kiss on the cheek before giving a sweet smile and running off towards the coffee shop. He looked shocked for a minute before turning to Kenzie who was amusing herself on the climbing frame.
Sam pulled up outside the front of the mall where Izzie was waiting outside holding a bag from Tiffany's.
“Hey Sammy,” she said as she got in and put her seatbelt on. “Hi Kim.”
“Hey Izzie, you all ready for graduation?” Kim asked as she turned to the teenager.
“Yeah I can't wait,” she smiled. “I get to spend the whole summer with Sammy.”
“Really?” Kim raised her eyebrows in intrigue.
“Um... shall we just go?” Sam asked, slightly embarrassed.
As Carla, Turk and Elliot conversed, JD was looking out of the window at the park across the street, watching the parents with their kids. He sighed sadly and wondered about the past few years, where he had gone wrong; getting married and divorced twice, losing touch with and then finding his daughter again and finally his oldest son who was now 18 and getting on with his life.
“You okay sweetie?” Elliot asked, breaking JD out of his reverie.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” he said. “Do you want to go out to dinner tonight after we get back?”
“Sure,” she smiled.
“We'll watch the kids if you two want some time to yourselves,” Carla spoke up.
“We will?” Turk looked at her. “But I thought you wanted 'private time'?”
“Turk, it can wait. Those two need time alone,” she said in a low voice to her husband.
Just then the door opened and Sam, Kim and Izzie entered.
“Hey guys,” Sam said, pulling up a chair at the table.
“Hey Sammy,” JD rose and hugged his son. “I thought you were headed off to school?”
“I was but I wanted to get a smoothie before I go,” he said.
Sam and Izzie went to get their smoothies whilst Kim sat down on the chair Sam had vacated. There was an awkward silence between Kim, JD and Elliot.
“So... how was your flight?” he asked.
“It was okay. Plane food was disgusting as usual. And expensive,” she said.
“Yeah, never liked that,” JD said.
“Look JD, why are we so awkward with each other?” she asked. “I thought we sorted all this out years ago.”
“I know, it's just I keep thinking could Sammy's life have turned out any better if we'd stayed together and...” JD stopped. “You know what? It's useless raking up the past. Our son is graduating. It's about him.”
Kim gave a small smile and nodded. Sam and Izzie soon returned carrying smoothies.
“Shall we get going?” he asked.
“Yeah,” Kim said, getting up. “We'll see you in half an hour.”
“Okay,” JD nodded and watched them leave.
Elliot had observed the conversation and felt a flash on jealousy.
“Do you still have feelings for her?” she asked.
“Of course not,” JD looked at her like she was crazy. “You're the one I love. You know we have to talk for the sake of Sammy.”
She took this with a pinch of salt before giving him a kiss on the cheek and turning back to Carla and Turk.
Soon, Sam pulled up at the high school, directed his mom to the bleachers and then headed inside to get his cap and gown. As they got ready, Sam and Izzie shared a quiet moment.
“Izzie, I want to ask you something. I'm going away this summer to stay with my mom and I wanted to know if you wanted to come with me?” he asked.
“I'd love to, I'll ask my mom and dad tonight. After today I have a feeling they'll let me do what I want,” she smiled.
They shared a kiss before getting their caps and gowns on. Holding each other's hand, they headed to find the rest of the graduating class. JD, Elliot, Turk, Carla, Anna, Adam, Kim and Kenzie all took their places in the bleachers and waited for the ceremony to start. After a speech by the principal, he called the valedictorian who gave a speech about being the best they could and to go forward with a fresh outlook on life. Sam and Izzie looked at each other, knowing their future was together. The principal then called each graduating student in alphabetical order.
When Sam's name was called he took a deep breath and headed up onto the podium. As JD watched his son collect his diploma, suddenly the past few years flashed before him; Sammy's birth, his night of passion with Elliot, the birth of Anna, his divorce, meeting with Savannah again, marrying her, Kenzie's birth, his second divorce, his fall into a depression and finally getting back together with Elliot again. Weighed against everything, he finally realised that he hadn't screwed up his son's life.
Afterwards, Carla and Turk were hugging Izzie and telling her how proud they were of her whilst Elliot, Anna, Kim and Kenzie did the same for Sam. JD hung back, watching the scene. Sam looked up and saw his dad smiling at him. Making an excuse, he walked up to his dad.
“I'm proud of you, son,” JD said. “You know these past few years I've been wondering all these what ifs, you know if your mom and I had stayed together, if Elliot and I hadn't split up and most of all if I had totally screwed your life up but then I realised maybe I didn't do such a bad job after all.”
“Dad, you haven't screwed up my life. I've enjoyed all our escapades over the years and now I'm ready to leave, to go out and leave my own life,” Sam said. “And I wanted to say thanks for everything. Not just today but for everything. I love you dad.”
“I love you too Sammy,” JD said, tears appearing in his eyes.
With that the father and son hugged. There was someone clearing her throat behind them and Sam turned to see his girlfriend with a smile on her face.
“I asked my parents if I could go to Texas for the summer and they said yes,” she smiled.
“That's great. I'm thinking about making it a road trip, I want to test out my new car,” he grinned.
Taking her hand, they headed off to Sam's car to go to dinner and find out what the future held.