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: As high as the show itself, plus extra for swearing, and violence in later chapters.

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.

The other Cheerios had been asking Mercedes about vocal training, so after class that day when some of them were hanging out in the parking lot, she started leading them in singing exercises, which quickly turned into coming up with impromptu songs about the Cheerios. A couple of the girls on the squad were practiced at coming up with improvised cheers, so they could reflect the events of whatever game they were cheering, and came up with some good ones. Kurt and Brittany got everyone going with clapping and stomping while they sang.

Kurt liked hanging out in the parking lot in uniform. Always with at least one other Cheerio, though. On days he wore his own clothes, he still pretty much made as fast of a dignified walk as he could to get to his Navigator after school. Just because Puck wasn’t leading dumpster-tosses anymore didn’t mean they weren’t still happening. But on days with the uniform, and in mornings when he had Finn and Quinn with him? It was nice to loiter, and bask in the knowledge that no one would lay a hand on him. Sometimes he even managed to scoop other Glee kids, like Trent and Tina, into his protective bubble, if he saw them getting tailed.

Today was a day with a big homework load though, so he waved goodbye to Mercedes and Brittany and the other Cheerios and walked across the parking lot without lingering. A coordinated movement by the dumpsters caught his eye, and he glanced over nervously.

But it was just Jacob ben Israel and a bunch of other guys from the same social strata at school, and…oh.

They were circling Puck.

Kurt kept walking.


Santana would really like to say she couldn’t believe Rachel Berry would bribe Zizes to bug the choir room just to call everyone out on not singing 24/7. Except that wasn’t really surprising at all, so Santana had to admit to herself that she just wasn’t paying enough attention to the room. She really should have been. Coach Sylvester had used Zizes and her minions to bug other sections of the school before, and it would have completely ruined Santana’s delicate balance if Coach Sylvester had realized how much fun Brittany and Santana had in Glee club.

Ugh. Seriously. The only surprise here was that a form of solo existed that Rachel Berry did object to.

Santana needed to get her head back in the game. And though Puck had lost his Mohawk and gotten whiny about it, the fact that people even gave a damn about his hair showed he was still a significant player in McKinley’s social hierarchy.

And since other Cheerios kept coming to Santana to giggle about Puck’s buzz- they didn’t come to Mercedes, or Kurt, or even Brittany, despite all four of them being in Glee with Puck –it meant Santana was still the most linked to him, out of everyone at school.

Double ugh.


Quinn leaned against the counter in the examining room, one hand underneath her stomach, the other braced on the edge of the counter. It was odd to be in one of these rooms, and not be the one on the table, especially since she’d had a check-up appointment just last week. Quinn still got Kurt to drive her and Finn to the appointments; she didn’t feel right asking Carole to drive, and the inside of Kurt’s Navigator still felt like the safest place in the world.

“Jesse still mad at you?” Quinn asked Rachel, who was sitting on the examining table.

“No,” Rachel said, drawing her lips tight and shaking her head. “Mt. Carmel’s on Spring Break right now, and a lot of his old friends there decided to go to San Diego, and they invited him too.”

“I see,” Quinn said. She shifted her hand to a new spot on the counter; it had gotten hot under her palm.

“He sent me an apology text from the airport,” Rachel said, with a tiny shrug. “He’s getting back the same time my dad’s are coming back from their conference, and we’re all going to meet at the airport and then get dinner.”

“Sounds nice,” Quinn said. The physician returned then, with the results of Rachel’s tests, to explain what had happened to her voice, and that it was in no way permanent.


Finn Hudson is having a good week. He went to a Reds game with Burt, and caught a ball and won a ticket for half-off at the motocross, and dinner out, and everyone knows free food’s some of the best food, right? At least that’s what Puck used to say after lifting candy bars at the grocery store. Finn’s never actually had free food before, so he’s looking forward to finding out if free hoagies taste better than hoagies that you pay for.

Making out with Quinn at lunch has become a regular thing, which means the guys from the basketball team who’ve been giving him crap for getting a ride to school from Kurt have been high-fiving him instead.

And maybe Puck still isn’t talking to him outside of basketball practice and matches, but well, that’s Puck. Finn can still be happy for him, right? Happy that Puck’s dating Mercedes Jones, the Cheerio friend of Quinn’s who’d fainted a few weeks ago. Mercedes seems nice. And Puck brought in some horn players for his solo in Glee, which turned in to a duet. It’s always cool when they get to work with other musicians.

Finn wonders if Puck talked to the horn players directly, or if he asked Brad about bringing them in. Finn’s never really worried too much before about how their non-regular musicians get their info on Glee practices. Susie Saunders is in Jazz Band and orchestra, and she played violin for Defying Gravity. Maybe she knows. Finn can ask her.

Finn’s week gets even better when Kurt picks them up for school dressed a lot like Burt. Quinn’s weirded out, but Finn likes it. One of the guys from the basketball team actually comes over to say hi to Finn when they get out of the truck and walk across the parking lot. It’s like they don’t even recognize Kurt, like he dropped off the grid. Like he’s in camo!

Doing the drums for Pink Houses is fun. Finn’s surprised that Brittany’s the only one who really applauds like she means it, though. Finn thought it was cool; he didn’t even know Kurt could do that with his voice. He’d applaud too, if the band was allowed. But they’re not supposed to let the singers know what they think of performances.


“Just…watch out for Santana,” Quinn told Mercedes quietly at her locker. She kept her voice down, reluctant to discuss anything to do with Puck in the hallway, but there hadn’t been a good moment in Glee club. Quinn had already nervously shushed Mercedes once when Jacob ben Israel walked by.

“I can handle Santana,” Mercedes said.

“I’m sure you can,” Quinn said, not actually with any belief. “Just…be careful, please.” Mercedes was one of the few people at McKinley Quinn would trust to fight fair over anything, and Santana…wasn’t.

Quinn hated being proved right, later, when Santana and Mercedes had a duet-battle in the choir room, and Santana got in a cheap shot after Mr. Schuester separated them. And Mr. Schuester kept his hand on Mercedes’ shoulder, and let Santana walk out of the room.

Briefly, Quinn felt a twinge of longing for Miss Sylvester’s style. Cheerio politics were complicated and vicious, but the one time two Freshman had made the mistake of getting into a fight during practice, Miss Sylvester had kicked them both off the squad.

But if Mr. Schuester did that, Quinn reflected, he soon wouldn’t have anyone left in the New Directions.


Finn tells Fretter about the Reds game over Skype voice-chat. He’s really excited about catching that ball, he didn’t know you won stuff for that, it’s really cool. Burt’s really cool too, Finn tells Fretter. Not a war hero or anything like that, not like Finn’s dad was, but they like the same sports teams, and Finn feels like he can tell Burt stuff he couldn’t tell his mom, or Quinn, or Puck.

“You said Puck’s been avoiding you anyway,” Fretter says.

“Yeah, I only really see him at basketball practice,” Finn says. “He’s even ignoring me in Glee club. Most of the singers ignore us band guys, but Puck didn’t used to.”

“Weird,” Fetter agrees. “You ready for this match?”

“Yeah,” Finn says. “Let my grab my controller.”

They leave the Skype voice-chat open, but Finn doesn’t bother talking much during their matches. Fretter’s got a mouth-operated controller hooked in to his Xbox 360 controller, so they can’t really trash-talk each other when they fight anyway.

Once a month or so, when their schedules mesh up for almost a whole day instead of a handful of scattered hours, Finn goes to Fretter’s house, so they can be in the same room while they play. Sometimes they fight each other, but mostly they team up and wipe the floor with opposing teams. Finn tends to pull attention to himself and draw fire, and Fretter sneaks around and sticks grenades on their opponents.

Fretter says sniping people is satisfying, but their utter surprise when they realize they’ve got a grenade on them is his favorite part of the game.

“Hey, that’s Artie’s handle,” Finn says, when a new match starts. “He’s that guy from Jazz Band I told you about, who raps. Man. We should team up with him sometime.”


Becky didn’t understand why anyone would willingly stop being a Cheerio.

And she was pissed that Mercedes Jones would abandon them so close to Nationals.

She admired Jones’ guts, though.


“Hey boo,” Kurt said, finding Brittany after talking with his dad. His voice was even softer than it had been when he told her to go away earlier, and he’d taken his baseball cap off, and was turning it over and over again in his hands.

“Hey,” Brittany said.

“Do you know if anyone’s using the auditorium today?” Kurt asked her. Brittany shrugged.

“No, everyone’s busy,” she told him. He tightened his lips and nodded, then swallowed hard.

“I think we should stop dating,” Kurt said.

“Okay,” Brittany said, nodding once. “I want a break-up hug, though,” she told him.

“Okay,” Kurt said. His baseball cap brushed against Brittany’s shoulder when they hugged. She smiled when they pulled apart.

“You’re the first boy to break up with me,” Brittany told him. “Usually they just stop calling.”


They’re at the edge of town, on their way to the motocross track, when Burt pulls in to a caul-de-sac and stops the truck.

“You think if we called your right mom now, she could take you?” Burt asks.

Finn shakes his head. “She’s got work late tonight.”

Burt sighs. “You okay if we re-schedule this, kiddo?” Burt asks. “I’m real sorry, but Kurt’s been pretty bent outta shape lately. I’m kinda getting’ worried.”

“Oh,” Finn says. He taps on his knees for a sec, and nods. “Yeah, yeah it’s cool. We can go some other time.”

“I’ll drop you off at your house,” Burt says, and starts up the truck again.

The next morning, when Kurt picks Finn and Quinn up to drive to school, he’s dressed in tight white jeans and tall boots and blue plaid shirt buttoned all the way up. Quinn smiles as she gets in to the back seat, and compliments Kurt’s boots. Kurt smiles back at her through the rear-view mirror, and compliments her scarf.

Finn doesn’t say anything. When they get to school and walk across the parking lot, Finn sees some guys in Letterman jackets, some who played hockey in the Fall, some who played football. Karofsky, who played both and had Slushie’d him once, points at Finn and mimes something obscene. The other guys laugh, and Finn ducks his head and hunches his shoulders.


“You got a minute?” Puck asked, leaning his shoulder against the locker next to Quinn’s, both hands jammed into the pockets of his jeans. Please don’t let her walk away this time, please please please…

“You get half a minute,” Quinn said, her eyes darting around the hallway before looking straight into his.

“I want to be there,” Puck said, the words coming out too fast and jumbling together. Quinn’s eyes widened though, and she looked around the hallway again, so it must have been comprehensible enough. “When she’s born, I wanna be there. For both of you.”

Quinn glared at him, then closed her eyes and sighed, shoulders falling. “Fine. But don’t talk to me about this again until then. Got it?”

“Thanks,” Puck said. He darted in to kiss her cheek on his way past her, and disappeared down the hall.


“Hello Rachel,” Jacob ben Israel said. Rachel suppressed the urge to sigh, and kept her eyes ahead of her as she walked. Maybe he’d take the hint this time and stop talking before she had to say something scathing.

“I thought you’d want to know that the comments on my post reblogging your Youtube video of Run, Joey, Run puts you and Noah Puckerman at a ninety percent chance of getting back together.”

“It’s called acting, Jacob,” Rachel snapped, increasing her pace.

“Your video implies a fondness for a bad-boy attitude, which further analysis shows Puck to have more of than your current beau, one Jesse St. James, despite his recent change in hair style, though some commenters who subscribe to the rumor regarding your fondness for Jew-fro’s insist you’ll be staying with St. James due to the naturally curlier nature of his hair, in comparison to Puck’s.”

“My relationship has nothing to do with hair, Jacob,” Rachel hissed. The door to her classroom was only ten feet away now. She put on a burst of speed, leaving Jacob and his last comment behind.

“Does this mean Puck is still in the running for your affections?”

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