Chapter One: A New Gleek

Will Shuester was walking around the school in a daze, going through the motions of his day as if on autopilot. His world was in shambles and he had no idea what he was going to do to put it right again.

How could Terri lie to him like that? For months, she made him believe he was going to be a father, working so hard to make sure his little girl was going to have everything she needed, only to find out the whole thing was a sham, a false hope, a lie…

Did she really believe that he would leave her if there was no baby? He knew that their relationship had changed, but that was because he had found something he really wanted to do with his life. Was that such a bad thing? Was he really such an awful and unapproachable person that it was easier to lie to him than to just be upfront with him and tell him the truth?

Finding out the truth had been so painful, so crushing. He had found Terri's fake baby bump and confronted her about, had the evidence in his hand and she still tried to hold onto the lie, tried to make him ashamed of what he was accusing her of.

That had hurt most of all, that he had proof of her lie and she tried to make him the bad guy and herself the victim, make him ashamed of doubting her honesty.

He couldn't stay there after that and spent the night at the school, barely getting any sleep as he tried to figure out when it all had changed, when had they became two separate people instead of the loving couple from his high school days?

She had said the reason they had worked out for so long was because he had been lacking in confidence, that she had been the strong one in their relationship. It made it sound like she wanted a doormat instead of a husband…

Will was drawn out of his thoughts by the sound of the Spanish class door opening and a new student being lead inside by none other than Mr., Figgins.

"Hello there, students, Mr. Shue, this is Joy Sanders. She has just joined McKinley and will be your peer from today on. Please welcome her with the utmost respect."

Finished with his little speech, Figgins left the classroom, and everyone's attention was focused on the girl currently standing in front of the class.

She was gazing across the classroom, looking at every student for a few seconds with eyes that Will could see were a grayish shade of blue and set in a face that was undecorated with any kind of make-up, unlike most of the other girl's at McKinley High. She was dressed in a dark blue sweater with matching jeans a few shades lighter than the shirt, immediately earning her popularity points due to the fact that her outfit was color coded and looked good on her. Her pale lips pursed as she took in her peers before she turned to Will, brown hair waving in her ponytail, clearly waiting for something to happen.

It took him a few minutes to realize she was waiting for him to assign her a seat so the class would stop staring at her, "Oh, yes. Finn, would you raise your hand so Mrs. Sanders-"

"It's Joy."

Will blinked a few times, surprised that she had spoken, before asking, "Excuse me?"

"My name is Joy, not Mrs. Sanders," The girl didn't add the usual joke that followed and instead said, "I don't like the 'Mrs." stuff."

"Alright then, Finn, could you raise your hand so Joy knows where to sit?" At his exaggerated use of her name, Joy grinned at him and Will found himself smiling back, for the first time in days.

"Sure, Mr. Shue," Finn raised his hand and a few seconds later, Joy was situated next to him, still smiling as she asked him to help her find out how much she had missed in the class.

Will went back to teaching his students, a little more interest in his movements as he took care to explain things more clearly so that his new student would be able to catch up to her classmates.

"Hey, Joy, is your dad a Colonel or something?"

Will was about to tell the hazer to keep their eyes on their own work, but Joy surprised him by taking care of them herself.

"No, he's a Major. Why?" Her gazed found her would-be tormentor and pinned him there, making him squirm under the scrutiny.

"N-no reason," The boy stammered, leading his friends to laugh at caught instead of the new girl.

"Hmm," was her only response before she went back to catching up with Finn's bumbling, but well-intended help.

Well, Will thought as he turned back to the board, outlining the lesson they were going to learn, this is going to be interesting


Will didn't know why he was surprised to see her at Glee practice later; something had told him that he would be meeting Joy again that day, but the moment she walked through the door, Will felt shocked that she would throw away any kind of high school social status/popularity on her first day there.

"Can we help you?" Rachel beat Will to the question, probably thinking that she was lost or needed one of them for something, but Joy turned to Will before answering.

"I would like to join Glee."

There were a couple of thuds as people dropped things in shock, but Joy didn't bat an eye as Kurt asked the question on everyone's minds, "And why would you do something like that? Do you like a face full of Slushie every day?"

"No," Joy looked confused at Kurt's last statement, but continued on anyway, "I want to join Glee because I thought it would be fun, I like singing and dancing, and I have a reason to do both here. I don't really care what other people say, I like Glee."

Will looked at the rest of his kids to see what they thought of their new addition; Artie, Tina, and Mike seemed interested, Kurt looked bored, Finn was confused, Quinn and the rest of the 'cool' kids were trying to seem as if it was all beneath their notice, Mercedes was telling Joy about the daily rituals the Glee club had to go through while Puck was giving her his patient 'sexy stare' that she was completely ignoring.

"Why don't we hear how you sound, and then decide?" Will suggested the very same tryout the rest of Glee went through, the only difference was that the rest of the class would be watching Joy instead of just him and the pianist.

Looking a little nervous, Joy nonetheless nodded at the suggestion and went to stand by the piano. She seemed to consider her selection for a few minutes and the rest of the Glee members took that time to find seats, mixing up much more than when they first started.

Looking at the mixed-up seating arrangements, Will was gladdened by the thought that, no matter what, nobody had a cliché in Glee…

Finally making up her mind, Joy leaned over and whispered her song into the pianist's ear and moved around so that she was standing in front of the rest of her potential peers.

At the first notes of the song, a few Glee members' faces took on looks of recognition, but Will didn't have any time to think about that because Joy had started to sing:

Remember how you used to say

You couldn't wait till tomorrow for a brand new day

No fuss when ya had to ride the bus

You just add a little blush

To paralyze your school crush

Now you're older and the weight is on your shoulder

Make the world a little colder

No more hidin' in the old day

Be strong

Don't you give up hope

It will get hard

Life's like a jump rope

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

Cause it will get hard

Remember life's like a jump rope

It was like she knew; she knew what Will had been feeling, what nearly everyone at Glee had been feeling and was just singing what they couldn't say. Will watched as Joy put every ounce of feeling into her song and knew right then that Glee was going to be one member stronger when she was finished…

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

It will get hard

Cause it will get hard

There'll be a bump and there will be a bruise

There'll be alarms and there will be a snooze

There'll be a path that you will have to choose

There'll be a win and there will be a lose and

You gotta hold your head up high and

Watch all the negative go by

Don't ever be ashamed to cry

You go ahead

Cause life's like a jump rope

Several Glee members were swaying to the song, clapping along, Mercedes and a few others even singing. The smile on Joy's face stretched from ear to ear as she saw the effect her song was having on the class.

To his amazement, Will found himself moving and singing along as well, for the first time in days. It was as if Joy's singing was lifting the weight they all felt… somehow making it easier to bear…

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

It will get hard

Remember life's like a jump rope

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

It will get hard

Come on

Joy suddenly turned so that Finn, Quinn and Will were in her direct line of vision as she sang the next words, once more giving Will the unsettling feeling that she somehow knew

I want to tell you that everything will be okay

That everything will eventually turn itself to gold

So keep pushing through it all

Don't follow, lead the way

Don't lose yourself or your hope

Cause life's like a jump rope

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

The Glee club could no longer stay seated, they all rose and began to dance and sing along, one child giving the lead to the other, melody lines and harmony lines mixing, becoming the group that Will loved to see…

Nevertheless, he was a little startled when one of them grabbed his hand and insisted he danced along, which he did, feeling as if something inside of him had been freed…

You stomp your feet so hard you make it pound

Raise the bottom to the top

And now we're never coming down

Up down stomp your feet spin around

Clap hands to the rhythm

Then you slip down

You stomp your feet so hard you make it pound

Raise the bottom to the top

And now we're never coming down

No more thoughts of Terri, the baby that didn't exist, and the almost certainty of the end of his marriage filled Will's mind anymore; now, he was with his kids, doing something they all loved, and it was not lost on him that this feeling of euphoria was brought on by a girl named Joy.

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

It will get hard

Remember life's like a jump rope

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

It will get hard

Cause it will get hard

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

Life's like a jump rope

Up down

Up down

Up down

Up down yeah

Whoa oh

Cause life's like a jump rope

After holding the last note for a few seconds, Joy looked up to see Will Shuester holding his hand out, the first genuine smile seen in the choir room since the 'mattress incident'.

"Welcome to Glee."


Song is Jump Rope By Blue October