mzminola: knees-down view of a kid in white stockings and black shoes who is standing on tiptoe. (Default)
[personal profile] mzminola
Last chapter~

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 earlier 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.

A little thing like winning Nationals wouldn’t stop the Cheerios from continuing grueling practices. That was how they kept winning, after all.

That and a take-no-prisoners attitude, as Coach Sylvester reminded them when she revealed that she had been named as a celebrity judge for the Regional Show Choir Competition, and she intended to crush the Glee club.


Artie tried to focus on positives at the First Annual Regionals Setlist Nominations party at Mr. Schuester’s apartment, he really did. Kurt was only wearing his Cheerios uniform during actual Cheerios practice, for instance; he was wearing his usual amazing attire the rest of the time, and his bruises had healed. No one had gotten suspended, not even Puck. They’d successfully Funkified Vocal Adrenaline, Artie was pretty sure, though a Show Choir machine like that could probably shake off a Funkification in a matter of days.

That was negative, Abrams. Focus on the positive. Santana and Brittany were still part of Glee club, and everyone knew Coach Sylvester could force them and Kurt to choose between Glee and the Cheerios anytime she felt like it, and hadn’t.

But that was part of the negatives, too, really. Coach Sylvester was a judge. She had more power over them than ever before, she clearly despised Glee club, and she’d do anything to destroy Mr. Schuester.

There just didn’t feel like a point in picking a setlist, when you looked at it like that. When Rachel sobbed out a request to share happy memories from club, since it was going to be over soon anyway, Artie went with it.


Miss Pillsbury did her best to focus on the paperwork in front of her, as Will Schuester leaned on her office’s doorframe and told her about the funk the kids and himself were in, since he had a tendency to distract her, and if she was going to date Carl she really had to stop being so distracted whenever Will walked into a room.

But he was the Glee club’s faculty advisor, and her friend, and if he needed guidance, well, she’d do her best to give it.


Honestly, Santana thought, Mr. Schuester’s speech about life being “a whole lot of middle” made her want to vomit. But whatever. At least he was giving them a Journey medley to memorize and choreography to learn. He’d made Puck and Rachel the lead singers, to no one’s surprise.

He kept their trick of coming in through the doors to the aisles, rather than the stage. Santana was still proud of that idea- they’d won Sectionals, after all –but she was pretty sure Mr. Schuester was just copying a previously successful formula, instead of pushing them to out-do themselves.

Santana threw herself into learning her part of the routine.

Anything was better than sitting around moping.


Waiting for their cue outside the auditorium doors, Puck looked over at Rachel and asked “You ready for this, Jewish American Princess?”

She tossed her hair and smiled. “I was born ready, Puckasaurus-Rex.”


The high from performing came to an abrupt halt when Quinn’s mother Judy appeared outside their green room.

No one was really sure what they should do, really, so they hung back nervously, listening.

Then Quinn said, in a disbelieving voice, that her water had broken, and all hell broke loose.


The hospital was across the street, by a lucky coincidence for once, and everyone but Rachel rushed over. There was still the performance by Vocal Adrenaline left, and the intermission for the judges to vote, and once that was done there would be an announcement giving everyone ten minutes until they had to be back onstage, so the judges’ votes could be counted.

Rachel’s job was to call Mr. Schuester when that ten-minute announcement came, so as many of the New Directions could return as possible.

She couldn’t sit still, not full of worry like this, so she stood at the back of the auditorium and watched Vocal Adrenaline perform.


“Mercedes too!” Quinn said, as the nurses hustled her towards a private room. “And Kurt, I need Kurt!”

“Oh no,” Kurt said, as Puck grabbed his arm when he hesitated, and hauled him in after Mercedes. “No, I’m not really- this is more Brittany’s forte-”

But when they got over to the hospital bed and Quinn grabbed his left hand, Kurt reached out automatically to cover hers with his right one, and after that there was no way he was letting go.

Mercedes took Quinn’s other hand, and Judy stood by her and kept brushing back Quinn’s hair, and Puck stood near the end of the hospital bed totally unsure what to do while Quinn screamed at him, because if she didn’t scream at someone she was going to explode, and she couldn’t scream at her mom, not when she’d just come back.

Quinn’s daughter came into the world quickly, impatiently, and after she’s been weighed and wiped and wrapped, and finally handed back to Quinn, Mercedes took a picture of the two of them. With Quinn’s permission, she sent it as a mass-text to everyone in club.

Ten minutes later, they got the call from Rachel to come back.


Before making the call, after getting the picture from Mercedes, Rachel had gone to talk to Shelby Corcoran, to invite her to coach the New Directions.

Shelby wasn’t interested in Show Choir anymore though, just like she’d stopped being interested in Rachel.


Quinn insisted everyone go back to the auditorium, to be there to hear who won. It gave her time alone with her mother, while the nurses gave her fluids and snacks.

Puck came back first. He didn’t tell her how the voting had gone, but he didn’t need to. Santana had already texted her. She stared through the glass partition at the room full of babies, and talked quietly with Puck.

Then Shelby Corcoran appeared out of nowhere, and Quinn thought of Rachel walking like Sleeping Beauty, and Rachel covered in stuffed animal toys that were stapled on because she couldn’t sew, and Rachel quietly saying she’d finally had a duet with her mother and bursting into tears on Quinn’s shoulder.

And Quinn wished her pink ball of spikes from Lady Gaga week hadn’t broken, because she had a fierce longing to hold it between herself and Shelby Corcoran.

But saying the verbal equivalent of a ball of spikes would have been rude, would have been impolite, and Quinn just didn’t have the energy to go against her upbringing right now, not after giving birth.

The most she could do was refuse to answer when Shelby asked which baby was hers, but that didn’t do any good, in the end, since Quinn’s daughter looked so much like her.


Kurt and Mercedes were waiting for Quinn outside the hospital, but she went home with her mother, instead of in the Glee club bus, and said she’d see them at school on Monday.


Sunday night, Santana sent a mass text saying if they could get their asses up an hour early, they should all come to the choir room before school and hang out one last time. Kurt knew getting Finn up that early wasn’t going to happen, so he texted him that Kurt wasn’t going to pick him up Monday. Finn walked.

Rachel didn’t get up any earlier than usual, but she did cut several portions of her morning routine, and talked her dads into dropping her off early.

Quinn had her red Bug back.

Everyone showed up within a few minutes of each other, an hour before school started. They sat in a circle on the floor of the choir room, except for Kurt, who’d taken over the piano bench, and Artie, who had rolled up next to him.

“Are we really gonna stop hanging out?” Trent asked. Puck shrugged, and looked sad.

“Without an official club, most of you social deadweight,” Santana said, with a tiny shrug of one shoulder. “No offense. But if you can come up with an excuse for us to hang out, I’m all for it.”

“We could be an unofficial club,” Rachel said. “Meet like this, sing together. It doesn’t look like anyone’s using the room right now anyway.”

“Yeah, that’s because I bribed the Mathletes to beat it for today,” Santana said. “They meet here before school every Monday.” She ticked the rest of the days off on her fingers. “Chess Club has it on Tuesdays, there’s a Geography study group on Wednesday, no one knows what happens on Thursdays, but the doors are always locked from the inside on those days, and Friday is the Mock UN. They’re the ones who’re getting our usual afternoon timeslots now that the club’s disbanded. And before you go and say we can take their Friday morning slot, the Scrapbooking club is taking it, and they’re pretty vicious with those scissors.”

Artie blanched a little.

“How do you know all that?” Tina asked, frowning.

“Miss Sylvester told us,” Brittany said. “Back when she said she was gonna crush Glee club.”

“Well,” Puck said. “I know I said earlier, back at Mr. Schuester’s place, that this year was wasted, but uh. It really wasn’t.” He looked around the circle. “Did I ever tell you guys why I joined?”

Everyone shook their heads.

“Mr. Schuester blackmailed me,” Puck said. He grinned at everyone’s shock. “No, it’s cool. He found pot in my locker. Any other teacher, they’d have turned me in to Figgins, and I’d be in Juvie. Well, except Mr. Ryerson, but he’s my dealer anyway, so that’s kind of mutually assured destruction there. Nah. Mr. Schue just wanted me to sing.”

“Wanky,” Santana said.

“Anyway,” Puck said. “If I hadn’t screwed up and left pot in my locker, and if Mr. Schue had been any other teacher, I’d still be that asshole giving swirlies and wedgies, throwing Slushies at kids, and kids in dumpsters. And I’m glad I’m not that asshole.” He looked around the circle again. “So, sorry. For being that dude.”

There was a thoughtful silence for a moment, and then Mike admitted that he’d never danced outside his room until Kurt joined the football team. After that was a flood of talk from the circle; no one tried to remember good times from the club, not like they had at the disastrous Regionals Setlist Nominations party. Instead they said how the club had changed them, how other people in the club had changed them.

“I know I can stand in the middle of the Cheerios, and be the hottest thing there,” Mercedes said.

“You’d have made captain if you’d stayed,” Santana said, and Brittany added “Totally.”

“I know now I’m the best music video director at this school,” Artie said.

Rachel and Trent said “I have friends now,” at the same time, and laughed.

“Changed for good,” Kurt murmured.


Miss Pillsbury couldn’t believe her ears when Will Schuester calmly said “A deal’s a deal,” and shrugged. A deal was not a deal, not when it was between two men over budgetary issues for gosh sakes. She had already tried fighting Figgins over the cancelation of the club, and now she had to try and convince Will it was worth keeping around too?


This would not do.

Glee club had been so good for the kids; Quinn Fabray gained friends she could trust, and had a place to smile even when her parents threw her out. Artie Abrams had been blossoming as a leader. Finn Hudson wasn’t even in Glee club, and used his time in Jazz Band as a way to vent his stress in a positive way, and playing for Glee club had been an extra outlet for him.

And as much as she wanted to punch Sue Sylvester in her smug face, Miss Pillsbury had to admit that being taken under Sue’s wing had been good for Kurt Hummel, and he’d have never come to her attention if it hadn’t been for Glee club. Neither would Mercedes Jones, for that matter, and she’d used her time on the Cheerios to try and move other student’s self-esteem to a more positive place.

But most of that fell under the rules of confidence, and she was too frustrated to spell out the non-confidential positives of the club to Will Schuester, if he couldn’t see them himself. She could only insist it was unfair, and that Sue was a cheater, and that some things were worth fighting for.

Then he had the audacity to turn the conversation towards their previous relationship, which it was certainly not about at all, it was about having one good thing at this school for the kids.

Then he kissed her, and if Rachel Berry hadn’t shown up and called him away just then, Miss Pillsbury wasn’t sure what she would have done.

As it was, she stood quivering in the hallway for a good ten minutes, before going back to her office, and writing down every idea she could think of to save the club.


No one was really sure what to say to Mr. Schuester, but everyone agreed a song was in order. They didn’t feel celebratory, not like they had after Sectionals, so they decided to sit on stools and sing, and not worry about choreography.

After a reminder from Quinn that Rachel was their captain, there was a unanimous vote for Rachel to introduce their song. They chose To Sir, With Love, and after running through it a couple of times, Rachel was dispatched to fetch Mr. Schuester.

Rachel introduced the song with a little speech she wrote during lunch, saying the club had touched them all, and that no matter what, they wouldn’t forget all they’d gone through. Then they sang.

Mr. Schuester cried.

From the shadows near the door, Coach Sylvester listened.


Miss Pillsbury found out that the Glee club had been granted another year during Finn Hudson’s weekly meeting with her.

“Kurt’s really happy about it,” Finn said, smiling. “He actually won’t shut up in the truck, every time a new song comes on the radio he starts saying who he’d have solo on it, or trying to turn it into a duet.”

“Are you still interested in playing for the club next year?” Miss Pillsbury asked.

Finn was sitting loose in the chair, elbows on knees and hands laced together. He pulled his hands apart to drum on his knees, and smiled. “Yeah, yeah I think I do. It was fun, you know?”

“Are you feeling better about being around Puck and Quinn?” Miss Pillsbury asked. At their previous session, Finn had admitted that he kept thinking about throwing a basketball at Puck’s head during game practice. But he also said he felt like doing that to most of the guys on the team.

“Yeah, I think so,” Finn said. “And if I’m wrong, I’ll be counting the beat anyway, so I won’t like, do that impulse stuff, so Brad won’t kick me out again.” He grinned at her.

“Has the counting been working out, then?” Miss Pillsbury asked. It had been one of her first suggestions, for Finn to count backwards from ten when he felt the urge to kick, or throw, or break something.

“Yeah!” Finn drummed on his knees again, and leaned back in the chair. “Like, I got frustrated in math yesterday, and I almost snapped my pencil. But I started counting. And like, I forgot it was supposed to be backwards, and I got up to fifteen before I remembered, and then I was gonna go back again, but I wasn’t sure if I should go back from fifteen, since I was already there, or just go from ten like you said. And by the time I got back to zero, I didn’t wanna snap my pencil anymore.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” Miss Pillsbury said.

After their meeting was over and Finn had left for his History class, Miss Pillsbury pulled out the list she had written, of ways to keep the Glee club going. She smiled at it, tapped the paper against the desk, and tucked it back into her desk’s file-drawer for safekeeping.

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