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: [personal profile] 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.

Trent still mostly kept quiet at lunch, but Tina was talking now, and Rachel joined them occasionally. Santana and Brittany started sitting with Quinn instead of the other Cheerios, and getting Mike, Matt, and Puck to sit with them instead of the rest of the football team, as well as Quinn’s boyfriend.

Jacob ben Isreal tried to get an interview with Quinn at lunch once, but Puck just stood up and cracked his knuckles, and Jacob ran away.


Artie did a double-take as he rolled into the choir room for Jazz Band practice; the AV club had brought the wheelchairs in for the rest of Glee club yesterday, but one was still left in the middle of the room.

“Dude,” Finn said, stopping next to Artie instead of heading straight for the drum-set. “I thought those were just for the Glee club?”

“They were,” Artie said. He rolled over and examined the chair; it was definitely one of the ones from yesterday.

“Did the AV club buy too many?” Tracer asked, getting set up.

“No,” Artie said. “I told them to buy twelve, and they did. I don’t know why this one is still here.”

“But there’s only twelve of you,” Finn pointed out. “And you’ve already got one.”

“I assumed Mr. Schuester wanted one too, since it was his idea,” Artie said. He pushed himself away harshly, and settled into his usual spot to tune his guitar.

Brad, who had been the first one into the room, and spent the conversation making sure the piano was in tune, stood up. Then he pushed the piano bench out of the way, walked over to the lone wheelchair, and sat down.


Finn’s kind of weirded out seeing Quinn covered in flower and laughing; she’s hardly laughed at all lately. But even if it’s from hitting Puck with an egg, Finn’s happy to see her laughing.

Finn tells him mom about the bake sale, which is kind of for Glee club and kind of for Jazz Band, since it’s for Artie, and she helps him make a batch of chocolate chip cookies to donate to the bake sale. So on their first day, Finn comes over and hands Quinn the plate of cookies, and hands Puck a dollar and buys a cupcake.

They’re not that great, but Finn doesn’t say so. He’s the first person to buy one, and hangs out eating it. Becky Jackson is the second person to buy a cupcake, though Finn’s not sure if the dollar counts as hers or Brittany’s, but maybe it doesn’t matter, because eventually it’ll be Artie’s dollar.

By the time lunch is over, the money-box still only has two dollars in it, and no on bought any cookies.


At lunch, the band and orchestra students all sat together to work out their schedules. This was Wicked they would be playing for, after all, and they wanted to make sure they had it down as a group. It turned out there was only one half-hour block all of them could meet during before the Diva-Off.

It could have been worse; they’d already played several songs where they’d only had the chance to practice individually, not together. Sometimes a song notification came so late that they each only got one or two run-throughs before playing it in Glee club.

Brad had been right, though; the whole Glee thing was making them a lot better at paying attention to one another, and to the singers, rather than their sheet music. It helped that Hudson kept a really good beat. Drums weren’t called for in everything, but when they were, that was when the band did their best.

Packing up the remains of her lunch, Susie Saunders , who’d be playing violin for this particular song, noticed Jacob ben Isreal at the next table over, scribbling something in his notebook.

That night, he wrote a whole post on the upcoming Diva-Off, mostly praising Rachel’s talent, and threw in a few scathing lines for Kurt even thinking he could approach Rachel’s stunning levels of sheer performing perfection.

The post kind of made Susie want to puke, and she resolved for the fiftieth time to stop reading Jacob ben Isreal’s blog.


Mercedes' face lit up when the rumor about the Cheerios holding an open try-out finally hit the Glee kids, and Kurt did this tiny little jump of surprised joy, fluttering his hands together to clap in delight. It reminded Mike of a butterfly.

Mike exchanged a contemplative look with Matt, but when Matt shook his head Mike nodded; Cheerios practice overlapped with football practice lot, and went longer most days. Better to stick with the sport they knew.


“I can’t believe I said that,” Artie said, morosely spamming the b-button on his game controller.

“I can’t believe you did either,” Trent said, rapidly flicking his thumbs over his own controller. Artie was really down today; Trent had actually beaten him during their first match. “Not even Puck mentions his penis in casual conversation. Sex, yeah, but not his actual penis.”

“It wasn’t a casual conversation,” Artie snapped, and killed Trent’s videogame avatar.


“Hi Kurt,” Quinn said, appearing out of the crowd at his locker. “I need a lift tomorrow afternoon. Are you free?”

Kurt ran his fingers down the scarf he had hanging on the inside of the door, and spoke to the back of his locker. “I thought with the news being all over school, you wouldn’t need the subterfuge of my baby any longer.”

“I can’t let my parents know,” Quinn said. “No one outside school bothers with Jacob’s nasty little blog.”

“So you’d like to keep keeping your car away from the clinic,” Kurt surmised. He shouldered his satchel and closed his locker reluctantly. He turned, and offered Quinn his arm. She accepted, and they began walking towards their shared English class. “Gas for my baby isn’t cheap, you know.”

“I’ll let you give me a make-over,” Quinn said, smiling brightly.

“Damn you for knowing my kryptonite,” Kurt said, sighing fondly. “Deal.”


Terri loved Facebook, it was so helpful; she had learned Quinn Fabray wasn’t just in Will’s Glee club, she was also the president of the Celibacy Club, former captain of the Cheerios, blonde, and the owner of an adorable red Volkswagon Bug.

It was actually testing the door of that Bug that taught Terri that Quinn also didn’t lock her car door.

Cheerio’s practice went on a lot longer than it had when Terri went to McKinley, she had learned from Facebook. But they should be out by now…

A splash of blonde, and Terri perked up. There was Quinn Fabray, walking towards the parking lot with an incredibly tall boy. Finn Hudson, her boyfriend, if the internet was right. School quarterback.

Terri wanted to talk to Quinn alone, but maybe it was better to talk to both parents…

They didn’t walk over to the red Bug. Instead, a figure in between the couple in height, clutching a brown leather satchel, appeared from behind them and lead the way towards a huge black truck.

The boys got into the front, and Quinn Fabray vanished into the back seat.

Terri rested her head against the dashboard and groaned.


Quinn would never admit it, but the back seat of Kurt’s Navigator was her second favorite place to be during Sophomore year. The first was libraries, any library really, and the third was Glee club.

All three places felt removed from everything else. She was already on Honor Roll, no one batted an eye seeing her reading or doing homework in the library, and no one talked to her there either. Glee club had complicated strings of social relations, like the rest of her life, but arranged in different ways, and once a number started the rest didn’t matter. It was a lot like how she felt during a Cheerio’s routine, but without the undercurrent (and overcurrent) of terror.

The Navigator might be taking her to the one place she couldn’t forget her situation in, but it was safe. And fun. Quinn knew she could just stay quiet, or sing with the radio, and Kurt wouldn’t make a judgment about either, or if he did, he wouldn’t say so. And Finn clearly felt the same way as her. Rocking out to the radio, pointing out sights they passed by, Finn dropped all the social stresses and posturing he carried.

Quarterback Finn Hudson, whose social standing Quinn kept a sharp eye on, was the one who helped keep her own status up, and would get her that shiny Prom Queen crown.

The goofball in the front passenger seat was the one to make her smile, though.

Quinn’s car was small and cute and from her Daddy, and when she was driving it she was in control. Finn’s mom’s car was clunky and smelled old and made funny noises, but Finn insisted it was reliable, and Kurt, at Quinn’s request, had given it a check-over and tune-up and reported that Finn was right.

Puck could have gotten permission from his mom to use their car for this, Quinn knew, even if he didn’t tell his mom the real reason he kept offering. His car was a lot like Finn’s. Quinn always turned him down.

Being in the middle back seat of the Navigator was like being in a tank.

Nothing could touch her.


Quinn didn’t need Puck’s help buying vitamin supplements, and worse, she didn’t want it. Puck couldn’t drive her to the clinic, he couldn’t get the rest of the school to leave her alone, he couldn’t keep the Slushies away.

But Puck could fix Rachel’s wheelchair when it broke down.

And Puck could make sure Artie got his damn bus.


Hearing that note break made Susie Saunders wince; Tracer had walked by when Kurt was practicing his scales, and swore he heard a High F coming out of the choir room.

The whole thing reminded Susie of the time last year when the orchestra had played something really energetic, and she’d overshot on a hard stroke and pulled her bow loudly across the E string instead of the A. That had been during a concert. Her fellow second-violins hadn’t spoken to her for a week after that.

The conductor hadn’t cared, since she was buzzed on whiskey during the performance. Not enough for the audience to notice, of course, unless the audience was actually paying attention to the rhythm of her baton. The orchestra had long made it policy to ignore their conductor and follow the First Chair First Violin instead.

At least Kurt’s voice hadn’t failed on him during the actual Show Choir competition, right? If it was going to fuck him over at least it had been in the privacy of the choir room. Susie said as much during lunch the next day with the other Glee band kids, who nodded agreement.


Everyone expected Artie to be thrilled that Miss Sylvester was paying for new ramps around campus, including the auditorium, since it meant they could use the bake-sale money for their bus. Artie said he was thrilled, but he still lost three times to Trent during their videogaming get-together.

Artie spent the week eating lunch with either the Jazz Band or the AV club. He didn’t talk to Tina during Glee club, except for what was absolutely necessary for choreographing Proud Mary.

Neither of them were telling anyone why.


“Kurt,” Artie called. “How did you get up there?”

“I have my ways,” Kurt said. This particular window was higher than most, with a wide ledge. Like all of the hallway windows, it had no way to even open, so there was no way anyone could fall out. Kurt had discovered Freshman year that he could climb up to it and sit with his legs stretched out.

It was a good place for lunch when the cafeteria was too much.

“Mercedes asked me to find you,” Artie said. “You’ve been avoiding her for a couple days, she said.”

“There’s avoiding, and then there’s avoiding,” Kurt said. He tapped his fingertips on the glass of the window. “I can only hear sympathies on my broken High F so many times.”

He didn’t like avoiding Mercedes. She was the only person at school who hadn’t just assumed he was gay before he came out. Who didn’t see his love of fashion and music as a…as a side effect of liking boys.

“It was pretty hard to listen to,” Artie said. “Hard to watch too. Your face was pretty upset.”

“If it was so hard to watch,” Kurt said “One would think everyone would kindly drop it, instead of reliving it every lunch period for a week.”

“Well…” Artie trailed off, and Kurt paused in his tapping, then changed to a faster tempo. “Actually,” Artie continued, voice thoughtful. “You looked kind of upset before your voice actually broke.”

“That’s because I knew it was coming,” Kurt admitted.

“You…you failed the song on purpose?”

Kurt flipped his hand over and tapped the glass with his knuckles.

Why?” Artie asked, appalled.

“Why aren’t you talking to Tina?” Kurt shot back.

“…she got out of her chair before kissing me, and then told me her stutter was fake,” Artie said. From up on his window ledge, Kurt nodded.

“My dad got harassed at work because of the Diva-Off,” Kurt explained. He gathered his things and lowered himself down from the window ledge, dropping to the floor a foot away from Artie.

“Why didn’t you just back out of the competition?” Artie asked, as Kurt dusted himself off.

“My dad fought for me to have that chance,” Kurt said. “Mr. Schuester thinks I failed, but I at least look like I gave it my all. The next time someone wants to compete for a solo, he won’t be able to brush them off.” He inhaled slowly, straightening his spine and adjusting his grip on his satchel. “Which means you can’t tell anyone.”

“Not even when Rachel’s being really annoying?” Artie asked, spinning his chair so he could accompany Kurt down the hallway.

“No one,” Kurt repeated. “Or do you want me telling Tina how you still moon at her when she isn’t looking?”

“Harsh, yo,” Artie said with a sigh.

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