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This was supposed to be a 3-week-long project, to tide us all over during the three-week hiatus in October/November. But as it was drawing to a close, I had this crazy idea - as is my custom - to keep going, see how long I could keep it up. I posted the first ficlet Oct 22nd 2009, and I have yet to stop! I wanted to reach further than I already had, so here I am!
She’s getting more comfortable in Glee Club, and this includes certain realizations…
TV Titles Cycle - So this is Cycle 20! I wanted to do something special, so here we are! Some of you may remember a while back me asking for episode titles from tv shows. I’ve always found that a lot of shows have great episode titles, so this is how this cycle came to be. Each story will be inspired and titled after an episode from a different show. The influence of the episode may vary from story to story, not seeking to rely completely on it ;) You’ll see…
Today’s Show/Title: “Dark Angel” - And Jesus Brought a Casserole
ORIGINALLY POSTED: March 31st-April 3rd 2010
161. The Confessions of Mike Chang [Mike; Confessions series]
162. Wisdom, Work, Wardrobe [Original 6; ABCs #23]
163. The Finer Points of Slushie Removal [Rachel & Quinn]
164. Xtra, Xpert, Xperience [Will, Glee Club; ABCs #24]
ORIGINALLY POSTED: March 27th-30th 2010 157. Vocal Directions [Kurt/Victor (OC)]
158. Understudy, Unison, Unit [Rachel; ABCs #21]
159. The Parade [Rachel]
160. Voice, Victory, Video [Will & Glee Club; ABCs #22]
ORIGINALLY POSTED: March 27th-30th 2010
157. Vocal Directions [Kurt/Victor (OC)]
He’d learned from his visit down to Akron at Victor’s birthday, that springing his presence on him, as a surprise, could lead to complications. So as much as he liked the idea of surprising him, he would call him before starting the long drive, and Victor did the same.
On this particular day, it was one of those endearing coincidences that, just as he was thinking of visiting him, Victor had called to ask if he could come by. Kurt assured him he could. His father wasn’t there, and it was by no means a relief or problem. Since he’d first met Victor, his father had been nothing but supportive, and any concerns he may have had were nothing more than a parent looking out for their child’s heart. Victor and his father actually got along, which was yet another endearing thing.
He knew by the time Victor would arrive it would be lunch time, and he would be hungry. So he got to work cooking up something for him, setting the table. He was barely done when the doorbell rang. His heart did its usual leap when it knew he was about to see Victor.
When he did open the door and see him though, he could see something, deep within his face. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s… wrong, not particularly…” he started, as he was walking in. After a moment, realizing he probably had to explain… “So your club knows about me, and that went better than we thought it would… and I hadn’t told mine because we both thought we might not get so lucky twice…”
“Hadn’t?” Kurt paused him and repeated the word. Victor let out a breath.
“I told them,” he nodded. Kurt nodded back, feeling uncertain at asking…
“Okay, when I say I told them, I should say I told one, Cat, and someone else overheard and told everyone else, so… that’s the ‘them.’” He could understand him telling Cat. Kurt had never met the girl, but from what he understood, she was to Victor what Mercedes was to him.
“How’d they take it?” There the look that had been hidden at first was let out. “Hold that thought, let’s… are you hungry?”
“Starved,” Victor nodded, welcoming the momentary distraction. As they sat and started to eat, Kurt looked at him, Victor would look back. When they couldn’t ignore the subject anymore, Victor finally continued the story. “They know you’re with New Directions.”
“Well we’re still a little club, I’m sure…”
“Well they know about Rachel, how could they not…” Kurt smirked.
“But they haven’t even seen us perform, have they?”
“They haven’t… but I have.” Kurt frowned, confused. Victor smiled sheepishly. “I may have… defended you guys.” Kurt put his fork down, amused, curious.
“You defended us?”
“More like… extolled.” Kurt smiled, which just made Victor chuckle. “I’m sorry, they just got me… all riled up, annoyed, I… I wasn’t going to let them just… talk, about you, and… the others, and I… I told them how amazing you all are… Should have seen them, just… gobsmacked. So you’re not some little club anymore, not to them,” Victor shook his head, looking back at him.
Kurt just looked at him, feeling so much how all the trust and the hope he had placed in him was so right. It was in him, so strong and it pushed him… impulse. They kissed, for the first time, over the prepared meal. When they pulled back, they looked to one another, smiling.
“Shouldn’t let all this get cold,” Victor indicated their half-eaten plates.
“Okay,” Kurt agreed, as they sat back to eat. Suddenly he was the one who was starving. After a while though, even if he was still riding the high of the kiss, there was still a matter that needed to be addressed. “It’s not going to be a problem, is it?”
“The Montagues,” Kurt gestured, and Victor smiled to himself. “Right?” He nodded, still smiling.
“It’ll be fine, don’t worry so much. So they have issues with it. It’s not going to change anything with us. Cat wants to meet you though,” he nodded.
“Set it up then,” Kurt nodded back.
“Consider it done.”
Kurt watched him for a bit. He couldn’t imagine not having him in his life like this. Sometimes he wondered if being able to see each other more often would change them for better or worse… He wished he had the chance to find out though…
“What?” Victor asked, noticing him staring. He blinked, breaking out of his daze. He smiled.
“Nothing, it’s just… you’re kind of awesome…” Victor smiled back.
"UNDERSTUDY, UNISON, UNIT"
She debated going or not. She wasn’t one of them anymore, by her choice. She had moved on, she was going to have a leading role… it was all she’d ever wanted, so she should have been able to walk off in satisfaction, with closure. But then in a heartbeat, she was walking down the halls of McKinley.
She didn’t want them to see her… they probably didn’t want to see her either, after she’d come back to them one minute, only to leave them again the next. What else could they expect from her, after how she’d been… manipulated as she was? No… she’d stay in the back and she’d watch. She’d watch that tiny blonde woman who smelled like her old babysitter, Mrs. Butler, go and take her spotlight if she wanted it.
So she went, and she sat in the back, waiting to see just what would happen now. The lights came on, shining on her eleven former co-members and their new star… rusty star, shaking off that rust, trying to shine again.
But it was supposed to be her.
She was the one who should be up there. She could hear Sue Sylvester’s voice in her head, saying… she had everything she’d always wanted. It sure seemed that way. Only she could hear Finn’s voice, too. They were her friends. Those were her friends up there, backing up the rusty star, and all she wanted was to be up there with them.
Her fathers, both of them, had been telling her all her life that there would be times when she’d realize she’d made a mistake, and she’d hate how it made her feel to take that step but in the end it was the only way to get past it. She’d never known it so well as in that moment.
Watching them, on that stage though, she knew she wanted to be with them bad enough that it’d be worth the crawl. Maybe it wasn’t her fault she was so miserable in the “Cabaret” group. She was talented, she could do it, so she knew that wasn’t the problem.
No, it was that man… her old Glee director and once again tormenter, Sandy Ryerson. They had never seen eye to eye, the two of them. But then he was as much of a diva as she was, so why should it surprise her in any way?
Only it was more than that, and she knew that, too. It wasn’t just how Mr. Ryerson acted, it was that he was Mr. Ryerson, or in a clearer sense of the word, he wasn’t Mr. Schuester. And all around her she didn’t see the people with which she had started to bond. Even the jocks and the cheerleaders… it wasn’t common for them to share an environment and be glad for it, but… in that room they had found something that made them special, something they shared with one another and no one else, because maybe they were the only ones who could understand it.
She continued to stare as they finished their first number and they stood there, taking in the applause given by their audience. She couldn’t wait, wouldn’t… she belonged with them and she wasn’t going to wait. She just had to suck it up and go, just like her fathers had said.
Her legs shook for a second, but she got moving.
How was she going to get them to see that she did honestly and truly wanted back in, and she was ready to be among them in whatever way they’d have her? And the show… it was probably too late for that one, wasn’t it? April Rhodes was there, it was a number built for twelve, she’d just be throwing everything off.
As she was walking toward the room though, the pieces started to fall into place. She saw the pink cowgirl walking out, looking… liberated, thoughtful, hopeful… why was she leaving, they had more to do, it wasn’t over…
She reached the room and she could hear Mr. Schuester telling the others that April had left Glee Club, and the show would have to end early. Right there she knew this was her chance. The universe was smiling down on her, giving her a shot. She wouldn’t waste it.
She could hear the audience out there, but it was just a hum now, a drone, and in that moment she would pay no attention to it. She was breathing as regularly as she could, even if she could feel all her nerves on edge.
This was it, everything they’d been working on for all these months, all they’d worked toward. All the sacrifices they’d made, holding on to the belief that they could make it to this moment… they’d been so close to losing all of it for a moment, when they’d discovered their set list had been passed around and torn apart. They’d almost thrown the towel in…
But now not only had they pulled through, they’d put it on her to get them started with a bang. She’d never been as nervous as that moment. She swore she could see the last few months flashing before her eyes.
No one would take them seriously at first… to an extent, neither did she. It was hard to be confident with just the five of them, struggling. But she kept as positive as she could, and soon that positivity was rewarded with Finn. Suddenly they could afford to be a little more confident about their chances, but they still had ways to go.
It was hard to accept that this way would be advanced because Quinn and a couple other Cheerios had joined their ranks, for… whatever reason they had. She didn’t trust that it could be for any good reason other than to ruin the one good thing she had going for her. It took her a while to see them as being people she could trust, but in the end it was all about the gift that they shared. Even if they hadn’t started that way, she could see they genuinely wanted to be there now.
The same could be said of Puck and the guys, in a way. They were a surprise, a good one, really. She didn’t know Mike and Matt at all, except from the day to day of school. And Puck, well… he was the face on the other side of the-arm-that-slushied, but beyond that… they had really come through though. They could truly say, they would not have made it there without them, not just for the sake of meeting the number requirements.
She knew they could win. She’d known from the night of invitationals, the first time they’d all performed together. For the first time, they were a club, a real club. They weren’t rejects of cheerleaders or jocks, they were twelve kids in blue, entertaining the masses.
It wasn’t as though they hadn’t run into obstacles, now that they had become a group. Most of those obstacles seemed to be stamped ‘Sue Sylvester.’ She wished she knew what it was they’d done to incur her wrath so much. Yes, they had a couple of her cheerleaders, but even before they’d joined…
There’d been the photocopy machine, the ‘Push it’… thing… But then the first real Sylvester interference that threatened them could come down to two words: Sue’s Kids. They’d been torn in half, and then more had been taken, until they were nine against three, and Rachel did not like it… not one bit.
But they’d all come back together in the end, in part to support Quinn as her secret was let out. They had come together, rallied around her… more than once they had reaffirmed their bond with means to show they were there for Quinn, and Finn, and the baby… They owed a lot to it, she had to imagine. It was not the ideal way to go about things, but they couldn’t deny it had brought them closer together, and if there was one thing that was for certain, it was that they needed that closeness.
They needed it, because without it they could lose their way. There had been temptation put out there for them to change, to resort to show tricks like Hairography. There was the yearbook, the dreaded co-captain position… but then she had gotten them on to the mattress store commercial. And sure, it hadn’t exactly ended up for the best, but it didn’t change that they’d come together and created something all on their own, as a group.
In the end it had cost them Mr. Schuester. And to add to their problems, on the verge of Sectionals, she’d gone and opened up the horrible can of worms, the secrets about Quinn and the baby… it didn’t seem right that it should all happen, when they were getting so close…
So if she was going to step in and do this song, she’d make up for her mistakes, she’d show that audience that McKinley, and New Directions… they were fighters. It didn’t matter what they threw at them. It would bounce off, they would prevail.
She breathed out, grasping the edges of the curtains to pull them open and push through… no one was going to rain on her parade.
"VOICE, VICTORY, VIDEO"
Will & New Directions
It was a few days after Sectionals that the idea had come to her. There she was, with the video of their Sectionals performance and win and, as much as it pleased her to have it, she knew there was one person who would love nothing more than to see it.
She’d made arrangements with AV to set it up in the auditorium, and the others had taken care of getting snacks, as well as the guest of honor.
“What have you guys been up to?” Mr. Schuester had laughed, being ushered along into the auditorium.
“You’ll see,” Tina had told him. Matt, Mike, and Puck took care of bringing Artie down with them, in a way his official carrying detail.
“Always full of surprises,” Mr. Schuester spoke as everyone took seats, passing slushies and other snacks around. Rachel looked back and gave a signal. The lights lowered, and everyone just smirked at Mr. Schuester’s confusion. The video was projected on to a screen on stage, and he looked back.
The emcee introduced New Directions, and Mr. Schuester smiled… now he knew. He nodded to himself, and those close enough to him could see the hint of tears in his eyes.
The music started, and Rachel’s voice came, which prompted the camera to make a quick turn to find her at the back of the auditorium.
“We wanted to make a big impression,” Rachel explained. “It was Mercedes’ idea,” she looked to her with a smile, got one back.
In truth, it was the first time most of them saw this part, having been behind curtains. All of them watched and listened attentively, much as they had as they watched Mercedes performing her later-stolen ballad.
They finally moved when the camera turned again, left and right, to capture the others’ entrance. Mr. Schuester applauded, just as the audience had. Seeing them all take their places on stage, smiling, ready, as a group… He could not have been prouder. Their club may have been small, but they could fill the room with their voices…
Rachel had presented them, taken her place among them, and their second song started. When it did, even though he’d obviously heard it before, he looked to Finn with a smile. Finn smiled back.
It was one thing to hear it through the phone, without the visual to go along with it. It wasn’t just about the performance though, as great as it was. They had been left to scramble, so close to the deadline, but they’d pulled through. They could hardly tell.
No, the best part of seeing all of it was the energy, coming and going, all over the auditorium. People were on their feet, supporting them, entertained by their spirit. He would have loved nothing more than to have been among them to experience it.
When the song ended and everyone cheered them on, it was matched in the McKinley auditorium.
“There’s more,” Rachel nodded to Mr. Schuester before he could say anything.
As they had kept their win a surprise to Mr. Schuester, this was not something he had been aware of. The second runner up was announced, and despite everything, they applauded them. When the two other groups came on stage, even though they were already aware of the result, there was a tenseness, a hush falling over the thirteen of them sitting there.
They cheered when they were announced as having won, then laughed. They could hear all of their parents, who were sitting in the vicinity of the cameras, cheering louder than anyone. Whenever they’d identify a voice they could recognize as one of their family members, they’d just grin.
The video ended, the lights came on, and Will looked to his Glee Club with a massively proud smile.
“Thank you, thank you guys, really,” he reached around for handshakes, high fives…
“It seemed only fair,” Rachel smiled.
“Yeah, we all wanted you there,” Finn went on.
“Well, barring any more interventions from you-know-who, I should be there for the next one, right? Regionals, guys,” he cheered, and the twelve of them hooted and hollered.
“We’re going to make Sectionals look like a dress rehearsal,” Artie nodded, and the others laughed.
“Here,” Rachel reached into her bag and pulled out a DVD case, handing it to Mr. Schuester. They had all wrote their names on the cover. “Now you have your own.” Mr. Schuester smiled.