mzminola: knees-down view of a kid in white stockings and black shoes who is standing on tiptoe. (Default)
[personal profile] mzminola
Title: Drummer Boy
Author: mzminola
Fandom: Glee!
Genre: Alternate Universe
Premise: What if Finn never sang in Glee club, because he was already in Jazz Band?
Rating: high as the show itself, plus extra for swearing.

Warnings for the fic as a whole: Anything the show has is likely to show up here, so pretty much all of the bullying and phobias and barfing and other issues. If you are worried about specific triggers please let me know and I can give you a heads up.

Kurt always walked faster than normal to get to football practice, and changed into the under portion of his uniform in one of the bathroom stalls. He sealed his regular clothes and satchel in plastic bags before stashing them in his locker, and waited in the “strategy corner” with his helmet while the rest of the team changed. Some days Coach Tanaka sent him back to “get into your damn pads” and put on his jersey before letting him onto the field. Some days Coach Tanaka didn’t even seem to notice that Kurt hadn’t put anything on over his t-shirt.

The plastic bags protected his things from the urine his teammates occasionally poured between the slats of the locker.


Alicia Jones watched quietly as the rest of the cast and band for Cabaret was informed by Principal Figgins that several members of the school board had expressed concerns about the content of Cabaret.

“Not age-appropriate” and “not school-appropriate” was the consensus, and with those words, all the hard work they had put in over the past several weeks vanished into the ether.

Alicia expected Berry to fight the decision, maybe bring up MyTwoGayDads again, but she didn’t. Berry just told the rest of the cast that it had been a pleasure working with them, and walked off to Glee rehearsal.


Rachel arrived early at Glee practice, and found all the other club members there already, though not the band or any adults. Brittany, Matt, Mike, and Santana had pulled their chairs into a circle and were playing a complicated hand-slapping game. Puck was sitting to the side playing with his guitar, while Kurt fidgeted with Puck’s spare guitar-picks. Quinn was absent, a phenomena which was happening more frequently.

Everyone else was clustered around the piano, talking animatedly.

“What’s so exciting?” Rachel asked, walking over.

“We’re comparing theories on what’s up with Quinn,” Mercedes said after glancing around at the others.

“We thought it was something in her diet,” Artie said. “But Brittany and Santana told us all the Cheerio’s eat the same things, and that it’s never bothered Quinn before.”

“I still say that diet is crazy,” Mercedes said.

“I’m n-not arguing,” Tina said.

“But she does eat differently from them,” Trent said, looking puzzled. “She sits next to me at the back in math class, and snacks the whole time. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mostly.”

“Okay, that is new information,” Mercedes said.

“What’s the old information?” Rachel asked, curious.

Mercedes rolled her eyes. “She runs out of the room to ralph, she cries all the time, and now we find out she’s breaking the Cheerios’ diet? Something is up with that girl.”

Rachel thought back to the pamphlet Miss Pillsbury had given her after catching her trying to ralph in the girl’s room those many weeks ago. “Maybe she’s bulimic,” Rachel said with a shrug.

“Th-th-that or p-p-pregnant,” Tina said.

One of the strings on Puck’s guitar snapped.

“…oh my God,” Mercedes said.


The next day, Mr. Schuester told them who their competition would be, and Trent listened to everyone else celebrating.

“But…” Trent said quietly, and Matt turned toward him. “If they’ve been to Juvie, and they’re still willing to join a Glee club, doesn’t that mean they care even more?”

No one else heard, and Matt shrugged and patted him on the shoulder.


Finn hangs out in Glee club when the rest of the band isn’t there sometimes, just so he can chill with Puck, and walk with Quinn before and after the club. Some days he provides a backbeat for the singers, helping everyone stay on track. Some days Brad nods towards his backpack, and Finn spends the whole time doing homework.

There are a couple days when Quinn isn’t sure she feels up to club, and she and Finn sit in the library and he gives her a shoulder rub. He can’t do that every time though, because on the days Brad sends the Glee band a mass text with song titles, he knows he has to show up.

Quinn understands that; he’s getting graded after all, and Quinn’s always understanding about keeping your grades up. Some of the other Cheerio’s tease the bookworm girls at school, but never Quinn.

So Finn’s there to give a drumroll when Mr. Schue is telling them about things in competition. He’s really glad when Kurt asks about the above-ground swimming pool and lightning, because man he did not get that one either, and he’s really disappointed when Mr. Schue just tells them to “go with it” because he really wanted that one to make sense.

Mr. Schue says they’re gonna have the boys and girls compete, and Finn has a moment of worry that the band is gonna split up too, and he does not want to fight against Quinn, that would suck, but Puck’s his bro, and Finn shoots Brad a panicked look.

Brad, thankfully, just closes his eyes and shakes his head. Finn sighs in relief and pays attention to the singers again in time to hear Mr. Schue sending Kurt to the boys’ team, even though Kurt had been walking over to the girls.

Finn wonders if Kurt’s trying to do that feminism thing Quinn talks about sometimes, and then decides he really doesn’t want to know.


Trent woke up feeling like a log had rolled over him in the night, and wondered if this was karmic retribution for skipping out on the carwash.

There was supposed to be a test in one of his classes that day, though, so he made himself get out of bed and go to school. He made it through his test in the morning, and thought about sleeping in the library until it was time for his mom to pick him up from school, but the guys were going to meet up and work on their mash-up battle number that day. Trent decided he should at least get the music.

When Trent fell asleep during the meeting, Puck and Kurt woke him up, and Artie wrote down the song names for the mash-up and promised to e-mail him when they got the song worked out. Trent mumbled something about going to the library to sleep, and Puck told him the nurse’s office was a much better spot for a nap, especially for skipping math.

Nurse Terri spent a few minutes asking if there was anyone else at school who might need medical assistance, such as pregnant girls, but Trent just shook his head and asked if he could take a nap. Apparently Nurse Terri didn’t want him to stick around “and get snot all over everything”, because she gave him a box of pseudophedrine and told him to get back to class.

Trent never knew he could feel this awake and unafraid of his peers.

It was amazing, and he walked back to the choir room and told the other guys so.


Artie grinned in exhilaration and triumph when their number came to a close. That was, if he said so himself, the best number they had ever done. Even better than Don’t Stop Believin’, though maybe it was because this time he hadn’t had to fight with Rachel over the choreography.

Like he’d said. Hand. Of. God.


Puck had to admit, he had been surprised by Trent just tossing over the box of pills to him. It was a move he expected from someone like Finn, not from a kid who actually made Honor Roll. Trent was a lot more outgoing and fun all hopped up, and between one of their classes they actually walked down the hall together, chatting about class and Glee and stuff.

Rachel Berry was still really intimidating or something though, because Trent clammed right up when Rachel walked up and started yelling at them.

“You cheater!” she accused.

Puck smirked. “I think the word you’re looking for is winner.”

“Oh please,” Rachel said. “Is it really winning if the playing field isn’t even? You took performance enhancing drugs.”

“So level the playing field,” Puck said. He slung an arm over Trent’s shoulder, and walked them around Rachel.


Quinn Fabray let Rachel Berry talk her into showing up for Glee practice again, because if she was going to do something, she was going to do it. The thought of Coach Sylvester ripping her uniform off had nothing to do with it. Nor did the fact that Rachel considered her an integral enough part of the team to seek her out in person for missing a few rehearsals.

It was a bit surprising that after their first lackluster run-through of their mash-up, instead of berating the group further, Rachel ran off to the nurse’s office, and came back with Nurse Terri, and a very timid looking man named Howard, who Quinn was sure wasn’t a school employee.

Everyone got two pills. Quinn palmed hers and just swallowed water. No way was Quinn going to take any medicine without calling the clinic and asking them about it first, not even an over-the-counter decongestant.

Besides, if she couldn’t summon relentless cheer and energy out of somewhere, then she had no business calling herself a Cheerio.


“Dude! Nice job!”

Rachel let her head drop against the door of her locker.

“Noah,” she said. “Please tell me you are not congratulating me on stooping to your level and cheating for the competition.”

“It’s not cheating if everyone did it,” Puck said. “Come on, don’t leave me hanging.”

Rachel lifted her hand from her locker, and saw Puck was holding his hand in the air, waiting for a high-five.

She sighed.

“Lower, please.”

Puck glanced up at his hand, then down at Rachel, and sheepishly held his hand out instead of up. Rachel gave him a lackluster low-five, and then followed through with a morose fist-bump.

“I feel awful about this,” Rachel said.

“Why?” Puck said. “Come on, it’s the same as if we’d both performed without the cold medicine.”

“No, Noah, it is not,” Rachel sighed.


“Which one do you think Miss Pillsbury’s gonna pick?” Tracer asked, setting down his lunch tray.

“I liked the girl’s,” Johnny said. “I mean, I knew Berry had that mega-watt Show Face, but this was like it was amped up to eleven.”

At the table next to theirs, Jacob ben Isreal paused mid-bite and leaned over.

“It was way too frenetic,” Susie Saunders said. “And what was up with that speech about the economy and angels? I mean, I know she wanted to explain why she put Walking On Sunshine together with Halo, but seriously, it was just confusing.”

“You’re just saying that,” Tracer said. “Because you’ve got a thing for leather.”

“I do not,” Susie said. “Anyway, Berry’s mix could never take on Vocal Adrenaline, and that’s the point of this competition, isn’t it? To come up with a number that can knock their robotic socks off?”

“I thought this one was for Sectionals, not Regionals,” Johnny said.

“Didn’t your cousin transfer to Carmel?” Tracer asked. “Are you calling him a robot?”

“Hank’s not in their Glee club,” Susie said with a wave of her hand. “Anyway, I hope Miss Pillsbury votes for the boys, and not because of the leather jackets. I honestly think It’s My Life and Confessions is a more interesting mash-up, and that’s all there is to it.”

“I wasn’t asking who you guys want them to pick,” Tracer said. “I was asking who you think Miss Pillsbury is going to pick.”


Mr. Schuester lectured the entire room on how disappointed he was in all of them, how if they pulled something like this for an actual competition they’d probably be disqualified, and as such he was declaring neither side the winner.

Trent wished he had stayed home that day. Guiltiness pooled in in his stomach and made it knot, and since he was over his cold enough to not need decongestants anymore, all of the fearless energy that had been carrying him through the past few days was gone.

Then Mr. Schuester told them that they had been appointed with a co-director.

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mzminola: knees-down view of a kid in white stockings and black shoes who is standing on tiptoe. (Default)

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