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.

Quinn gave serious consideration to visiting Jacob ben Isreal’s blog to see what exactly he wrote about her, but couldn’t bring herself to type the address in. She was familiar with how he wrote about Rachel and the Glee club in the past, and the few times he wrote about his experiences in Celibacy Club. She told herself she didn’t need to know the details.

The next morning some hockey player, Dave Karofsky, threw a Slushy in Finn’s face and laughed off their anger like it was nothing.


Finn thinks he knows now, at least a little bit, why Jordan from Jazz Band was so pissed about getting Slushy’d. It really sucks.

Quinn says they need to get cool again, and fast, as she gets his face cleaned off. She kisses him on the forehead before leaving him at the drum-set and settling into her seat with the other singers in Glee club.

Mr. Schue’s tells the club they need to find a song to combine with his “personal favorite”, Bust A Move, which right now Finn thinks also kind of sucks. Like, it’s Mr. Schue’s favorite, but what if someone else doesn’t like it?

Like Puck, who totally blows off doing the lead, which Rachel snipes at him for. But like, she said “leading man ambition” in this room just after Puck blew the song off, and Finn counts five other guys in Glee. Maybe Rachel was mad that none of them jumped on the chance to do the song? But maybe they hate it too-

Finn’s train of thought derails then, because he has to start playing the drums while Artie covers the bass line. That’s cool, he likes playing with Artie.

Mr. Schue’s singing the main part of the song, which is, okay, cool, it’s a fun song, and-

Did Mr. Schue just sing “you wish you could sex her” at Quinn?

Oh not cool.

For the first time, Finn fumbles his drumsticks, and gets The Eyebrow from Brad. That’s enough of a reminder to stick to the beat, stick to the music, don’t listen to the words aside from needing cues, don’t think about the song too hard, just play the gig man.

Finn’s got the rhythm back enough to look up in time to see Kurt walking away from Mr. Schue with a disgusted expression.


Miss Pillsbury wasn’t surprised to see Finn, but she was surprised that Quinn was there too, since she hadn’t come past the counseling office since getting the pamphlets. From their talks, Miss Pillsbury knew that Finn wasn’t happy about Quinn’s zero-discussion policy on the pregnancy, aside from scheduling clinic visits. But perhaps with the news in the open (and Miss Pillsbury would have been hard pressed to avoid hearing that bit of gossip) Finn had convinced Quinn to talk about things…

“We need to be cool again.”

Or not.

She did her best to make all the students who came to her to be comfortable with themselves, she really did, but like she had told Will all those many weeks ago, kids did tend to follow what they thought was cool, not how they really felt.

But despite the Slushy to her boyfriend’s face that morning, Quinn hadn’t even suggested dropping un-cool Glee club as a way to get back to the top. That was probably a good sign.

Hopefully the sunglasses would do some good. It was too bad they had latched onto that piece of advice, instead of the advice about being themselves.

Much later that afternoon, Miss Pillsbury confirmed that she really could zip herself into Cousin Betty’s wedding dress all by herself.


Finn was next to Matt Rutherford from Glee club, and way down at the other end of the line was Kurt, with Mike Chang in between him and the rest of the team. Coach Tanaka had never cared too much if someone missed a practice, as long as they didn’t do it twice in a row, so the fact that he was so bent out of shape over Puck being gone was weird.

Then Coach Tanaka got to the part about the Thursday 3:30 practice being mandatory, and Kurt stood up. Coach Tanaka didn’t even notice as Kurt walked towards the locker rooms, boombox in hand. Kurt dropped the boombox in front of the door to Coach Tanaka’s office, and went through his usual pre-shower routine. He was just stepping into the shower when the rest of the team came through the door.

“You’re fast today,” Finn said, stepping into the next shower stall.

“No point lingering,” Kurt answered, rinsing the shampoo out of his hair as the other showers filled up. His annoyance with the whole stupid vendetta the teachers at this school had with each other was making his voice louder and even higher than usual. “It’s not like I’m coming back.” He worked in the conditioner and starting scrubbing the sweat and grime from his skin.

“It’s not Thursday yet,” Finn said, like that made a difference.

Kurt just rolled his eyes, not that Finn was looking, and rinsed himself off. For the first time since joining the football team, Kurt wrapped his bathrobe around himself and stepped out of the shower while there were still guys waiting to use one.


“Noah,” Rachel said, pulling back after a knee-melting kiss. “Why did you really ask me out?”

“Because you’re smokin’ hot,” Puck said with a shrug. He leaned in to start kissing along her neck, but Rachel wiggled away and sat up primly on her bed.

“That’s a reason to make-out with someone, not date them,” Rachel informed him.

“What’s the point of dating someone if you don’t make-out?” Puck asked. “…do you not like making out with me?”

“It has been delightful,” Rachel said, and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “But that’s not all there is to dating. Or so a wide array of television, movies, and novels has led me to believe. I don’t actually have personal experience with this sort of thing.”

“Yeah, I know, you’ve mentioned that like five times,” Puck said. He tucked his hands behind his head and sighed, staring up at Rachel’s ceiling. “You know, after how all over me you were when I joined Glee club, I was not expecting our first date to have so much talking.”

Rachel smiled. “Perhaps your glamour has worn off a little.”


“That was Puckerman’s best song ever,” Tracer said, breaking open an Oreo, and then looking back and forth between the two sides.

“That’s because he picked Sweet Caroline himself,” Susie Saunders said. “All the other stuff was assigned by Mr. Schue.”

“Oooooooh,” said Tracer. “That makes sense.” He decided on a side and scraped the frosting off the Oreo-cookie with his teeth, then did the same to the other side. Susie didn’t understand why he took so long to pick which one to start with.

“Plus he was singing it to someone,” Johnny said. “Like specific, instead of just the audience.”

“Really?” Tracer asked.

“You didn’t notice him laying the moves on Berry?” Susie asked, astounded. Tracer shook his head. At the next table over, Jacob ben Isreal dropped his plastic cafeteria fork, and was hit in the eye by a bouncing piece of cheap pasta.


Artie settled his chair between the blow-dryers in the boy’s restroom, and kept an eye on the door while Trent helped Puck wash Slushy off of his face and hair. Puck’s shirt was crumpled up in the other sink, with the faucet running over it.

“That. Sucked,” Puck said. “Seriously. That. Sucked.” Once the corn syrup had been cleared, he covered his eyes with one hand while Trent ran water over his Mohawk. “Do you ever get used to it?”

“That’s the worst part,” Trent said. “Is that you don’t.”

“Fuck, I’m sorry I used to do this,” Puck said. He had stopped tripping and Slushy’ing the other Glee club guys after their mash-up of Confessions and It’s My Life, but hadn’t intervened when other jock guys did.

“It’s cool, bro,” Artie said. “I mean, you only ever did one at a time. How many did they hit you with?”

“Like, ten,” Puck said. He sighed again. “And it’s not cool.”


On the other side of the school, Kurt, Brittany, and Tina were discussing the merits of Poker Face versus Just Dance, a conversation that was interrupted by a loud, stunned shriek. The three of them turned in time to see two Freshman Cheerio’s high-five as they walked away with empty Slushy cups.

Quinn Fabray wiped purple Slushy from her mouth while Finn Hudson stared in shock. Kurt and the girls dashed over. Brittany wrapped an arm around Quinn and led her to the nearest girl’s restroom while Tina held the door open, and Kurt and Finn followed.

At the door, Kurt told Finn, who had only been hit in the shirt by the edges of the splatter, to stand guard. “Don’t let anyone in until we come back out, got it?”

“Yeah man,” Finn said. “Thanks.”

Kurt darted into the restroom, and saw that the girls had things well in hand. Quinn’s sunglasses had kept the Slushy out of her eyes, and now Brittany and Tina were rinsing the rest of it out of her hair. Kurt picked the cleanest-looking of the remaining sinks, and began to carefully line up his array of skin-care products he happened to have in his satchel, rather than his locker, on it.

“I am putting them both at the bottom of the pyramid,” Quinn hissed.

“W-w-would Miss Sylvester let you?” Tina asked.

“Quinn’s the squad captain,” Brittany said.

“But it was M-miss Sylvester who-”

“If she doesn’t trust me to captain things, she can kick me off herself,” Quinn said. Her jaw was tight. “And that hasn’t happened yet.”


Trent and Artie weren’t surprised to see Kurt saunter through the choir room doors at 3:20; Kurt had been the one to break the news about the Thursday 3:30 practice, after all. They were surprised to see that Puck was with him; so was Rachel, who ran over and talked in a dramatic fashion with Puck while Kurt walked over to Mercedes and Tina.

After a hug, Puck kept one arm around Rachel’s lower back and walked over to the group. “Sup guys,” he said, and held out his fist. Artie bumped knuckles with him enthusiastically, Trent much more tentatively.

Mr. Schuester arrived at 3:25, and 3:30 itself was a spike if disappointment, which vanished as soon as Matt and Mike walked in smiling.

“Looks like we’re still set for competition, guys!” Mr. Schuester said, rubbing his hands together. He went around the room, clapping the Matt, Mike, and Puck on the shoulder and thanking them for their choice. He didn’t bother to thank Kurt.


Rachel Berry found Noah Puckerman sitting on the bleachers, watching the football team practice. A particularly tall player paused to give Puck a chin-up nod, which Puck returned, before Rachel sat down on the step above him.

“You still haven’t been honest,” Rachel said as an opener. It was important to get everything on the table as soon as possible. “About your motivations for dating me.”

“I told you, you’re hot,” Puck said.

“Not hot enough to make Quinn Fabray jealous,” Rachel said, finally voicing what she had been thinking since Puck first asked her out. To her satisfaction and disappointment, she could read the truth of her statement in his face.

“She’s got a boyfriend,” Puck said, disgust in his voice. “They’re having a fucking baby.”

“Is that why you dated Santana?” Rachel asked softly. “Instead of just sleeping with her? Another cheerleader, a friend of Quinn’s, someone she’d see you with all the time?”

“No,” Puck snapped, crossing his arms. “…maybe. No. Yes. Not completely. Okay, maybe I thought it might make Quinn pay more attention to me, but that’s not the only reason. Santana’s a bad-ass. So are you.”

“Happy as I am to hear that I am a ‘bad-ass’,” Rachel said. “And as much I have enjoyed our romance, I can’t say that I like the thought of being a tool, Noah.”

“You’re not a tool,” Puck said.

“But you are dating me to make Quinn jealous,” Rachel said. Puck didn’t respond. Rachel let out a huff of air through her nose. “Well, you’re going to have to woo her on your own, because I’m breaking up with you.”

She stood up and brushed her skirt off.

“Why?” Puck asked, a world of hurt and wonder in his voice.

Rachel paused for a long moment.

“Because some day she’s going to realize how much there is to you,” Rachel said finally, with a decisive nod.


“Coach?” Finn asks, because he’s really not sure what’s going on, but he knows he needs to ask this.

“What is it, Hudson?” Coach Tanaka snaps back. They’re alone in the locker room, since it’s after practice.

“We don’t do it every week, but like, most weeks Jazz Band plays back-up for the Glee club,” Finn says. He’s noticed Coach Tanaka doesn’t really like Glee club, but this doesn’t have to be about Glee club, not if Finn says it right.

He hopes he says it right.

“And I play drums in Jazz Band,” Finn says. Coach Tanaka finally looks up from writing on his clipboard to look at Finn. “And we get graded for it. Like, Brad worked it out with Principal Figgins and everything. And it’s really participation-heavy, so if I miss every Thursday it’s really gonna bring my grade for Jazz Band down. And I don’t know what my grades are right now, they always change and stuff, but like…what if they drop down too far? And then I can’t play football anymore?”

Coach Tanaka gives Finn a long, hard stare, and Finn thinks maybe he didn’t say it right, and the locker room feels really distant, and his heart is getting really loud, but then Coach Tanaka waves his hand and looks back at this clipboard, and tells Finn “Thursday practice is cancelled indefinitely,” and that the other guys can come back if they want.

Finn doesn’t really know what indefinitely means, but it sounds good. He walks out smiling, and tapping the beat for We Will Rock You on his leg.


It was strange, seeing Quinn out of uniform. She had good style, Kurt admitted to himself.

It wasn’t as a strange as Slushy’ing a teacher though, and seeing Mr. Schuester covered in purple corn-syrup and ice was going to stay filed away in Kurt’s favorite memories for a long time.

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