Eleven heads turned to look at the former pregnant former cheerleading blonde. No one had ever heard her swear before. As a good, God-fearing Catholic, they didn't really expect her to know how to use the word properly.
"Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck fuck."
Apparently they were wrong. She seems to have mastered the art of the English profanity. Finn, getting a little worried at her freak out, "Uh, Quinn, what's wrong?"
"What isn't wrong, Finn?" If it were three months ago, everyone would have to agree with her. Those were bleak days: Finn felt betrayed, Quinn felt like a whore, Puck felt lost without his best friend and the rest of the club was caught in the middle of all the emotional turmoil. Regionals felt like a huge storm cloud, looming in the horizon, waiting to rain all over their demented parade of misfits.
But that was three months ago. Since then, the club has really pulled together. Rachel and Finn got together (unsurprisingly) and Finn forgave both Puck and Quinn for what they had done (surprisingly). Quinn had her baby and gave her up for adoption to a nice gay couple living in Columbus. New Directions came back with renewed vigor to kick Vocal Adrenaline in the balls at Regionals. Everything was coming up roses this fine June afternoon as the Glee club packed up after rehearsal for Nationals (Nationals! Boo yah!).
Apparently not, however, as the beautiful blonde shoved her books into her backpack aggressively, "It's June second."
"Oh, sweet Versace, my period is late. I'm pregnant!" Sniggers and laughs filled the air. Quinn glared at the male diva. "Oh, is it too soon to make pregnancy jokes?"
As hard as she tried, Quinn couldn't keep her glare in place and her face stretched into a smile, "There's that smile that we know and fear! What's up, Quinnie?"
"Kurt, don't call me that," her voice was that of a sister talking to her annoying, but loved brother, "but, if you haven't realized, we're all screwed."
"Quinn, I know you're worried about Nationals and I am as well, but it is very likely that we will overcome our challengers and come out on top!" Quinn sighed and looked at the pint-sized diva, "Rachel, sweetie, for once in your life, try to think of something other than show choir!"
Rachel crossed her arms and pouted, "Okay, if it's not Nationals, then what is it?"
"FINALS!" Quinn tossed her backpack to the ground and screamed, "We've been singing and dancing so much and focusing on not screwing up the precarious balance we stumbled on that we forgot that academics existed. That FINALS EXISTED!"
Tina's spine tingled unpleasantly every time Quinn said the word finals and she was pretty sure that only a half of it was to be blamed on the actual tests. Quinn made finals seem like they were about to step onto the beaches of Normandy during the World War.
Kurt and Mercedes exchanged a look of utter horror, "Oh. My. God."
"That's right, Mister and Miss Thang—" Kurt sniffed "—We're screwed. We have one week to prepare for those exams and I, for one, know that most of you belong to the Facebook group "Fuck, I Never Actually Learned This Shit."
Mike and Matt gave each other wary looks; they were the founders of the McKinely chapter of that club. Panic was starting to set in and a full-on freak out was imminent. Rachel, the leader she was, clapped her hands together loudly to gain everyone's attention, "Glee club, assemble! We have nothing to fear. I propose a club study schedule to keep everyone on top of his or her responsibilities. I have no doubt that we will all succeed." At this, Kurt and Artie glanced toward Finn and Brittany. If there were any two people that were going to defy that statement, it would be the girl who thought the square root of four was rainbows and the boy that cheated off of her.
Rachel was in full lecture mode, "Now, everyone write down your classes on a piece of paper and hand it to me. Tonight, I will form a schedule for studying that we as a group will adhere to in accordance to who takes what subject. Tomorrow, we will meet in room 204 after the last bell. Okay?"
Her fellow gleeks did as they were told and filed out of the room, grateful that if the were going to fail, at least they had eleven other people to drown their misery with.
The next day, as the majority of the club waited around for others to arrive, Kurt stood at the front of the class, chalk in hand. He was reviewing pre-calculus with Artie and Mike and together they tackled a trig equation.
"So on this side, we change the sin2x to 1-cos2x and that gets us closer to the expression on the right." The fashionable diva crossed out the equation and rewrote it, "Now we look at both sides and—"
"Not helpful, Artie. I could have sworn that this was the last line in the proof. Maybe—"
"You forgot the properties of tangent."
The three boys whirled around to look at the doorway and the mohawked boy who stood in it. Puck dropped his bag on the teacher's desk and grabbed the chalk from Kurt's now lax grip, "Here-" he crossed out a line of writing, "you forgot that tangent is actually sine over cosine and that cancels this out and makes this equal to this. And now you've proved that tan(A+B+C)=tanAtanBtanC."
He turned around to dumbstruck faces. Kurt lifted his bottom jaw off the ground to ask, "What just happened and is the world ending?"
Puck shrugged and tossed the chalk on the ledge of the board, wiping his hands on his jeans, "I don't skip Math because I can't do it. It's just boring 'cuz I know it already."
Mercedes interjected, "So, you're smart?"
Puck shrugged again, "Only in Math and Chemistry. I don't care about the other shit."
Kurt gasped, "That is so hot."
Puck smirked at the gay boy, "Brains turn you on, Hummel?"
Kurt turned red, "No! Well, a little. I just thought you were a stupid jock. I like being surprised." He finished with his nose turned up in defense.
Rachel cleared her throat, "Okay, now that we are all here, we can begin. I took the liberty of making a color coordinated chart that splits us up by subject and time." At this, she took out a poster board with a large chart on it. True to her word, it was color coordinated. And sparkly.
"Uh, Rachel? I might need some tutoring just to understand the tutoring."
Rachel smiled at her boyfriend, "Not to worry, Finn. I'll explain.
"We have twelve people in this club and we are evenly divided among class lines. Mike, Matt, Artie, Tina, Brittany, and Santana are Juniors, leaving the rest of us as Sophomores. For history, which is what we will study first, we have Mercedes, Finn, and Puck in World History; Kurt, Quinn, and I in European History, and all the Juniors in American History. Now, the only thing that is not set yet is a leader for all these groups. Who is proficient enough in history to lead these groups?"
Santana raised her hand, "I got American History down, from Revolution to Cold War."
Rachel beamed and wrote Santana's name in the leader box, "Who else?"
Mercedes spoke, "World History is my thing." Her and Kurt high-fived and Rachel proceeded to fill in the next box.
"And, if no one objects, I am fairly proficient in European History and elect myself as team leader."
Kurt and Quinn had no objections and Rachel moved on.
"Okay, for Math, we have Finn, Brittany, Matt, Santana, Quinn, Tina, Mercedes, and myself in Algebra II and Kurt, Mike, Artie, and Puck in Pre-calculus. Who wants to lead those groups?"
Puck raised his hand, "I'm a Jew. We can do math." Rachel rolled her eyes and, after seeing Artie, Kurt, and Mike's nod of assent, wrote him in as leader of the math nerds. Matt signed up for the Algebra II group.
And so it went on. Quinn was to help the sophomores with their British Literature final papers and Tina got American Lit with the Juniors. Kurt was to teach the Sophomores Chemistry, while Artie lead the Juniors in Physics. Mike took care of Spanish.
"All that's left is Computer Science, which Tina, Matt, Mercedes, and Brittany are in. Who wants to lead?"
Brittany raised her hand excitedly, "I'll do it!"
They looked at her, everyone but Santana, who gave them a look back. "Brittany is the first in her class. She's not dumb."
Mercedes and Tina whistled, "Damn, white girl, you got skills." Brittany smiled.
Rachel filled in the rest of the chart and turned to her friends, "Okay, now that we have our assignments, let's get to it—"
Kurt coughed delicately and raised one finger, "Um, I have another test to study for and need help." His face turned red and he fiddled with the hem of his shirt, clearly embarrassed.
"Kurt, don't be embarrassed. All of us need help and that's why we're here. What test is it?"
Kurt mumbled something, which prompted Mercedes to elbow him, "Speak up, Kurt!"
"Gym, okay! I apparently don't get enough credits to pass with what I've done in class already and my teacher said that if I don't pass the President's fitness test, I fail gym."
Puck started laughing and Kurt turned to glare at him, "Sorry! Sorry! It's just funny."
Finn smacked him on the arm, "Shut up, Puck! Look, Kurt, I can help." Kurt beamed at the quarterback. Puck spoke up, "I'll help, too, Hummel." Rachel looked on warily as Kurt smiled sweetly at Puck. She knew that smile and apparently so did Mercedes, who Rachel shared a disbelieving look with. It was the same look he used to shoot Finn. Uh oh.
And with that, the Glee club moved into action.
History went off without a hitch. Kurt had a way of remembering European history that involved European designers. Santana made connections between social movements and time periods that made understanding American history easy for her group. Mercedes regaled her group with interesting facts and figures about world civilizations. Mr. Schuester walked into the room to see three groups of intensely quizzing teenagers.
"Matt, the Stonewall Riots were not about the Civil War! They're about gay people!"
To which Kurt called from across the room, "Preach, Santana!''
"I'm trying, Fairy!"
Shaking his curly head, Schue left them to their devices.
Math was harder. Matt was this close to smacking his head into the blackboard at Finn's inability to get the concept of FOIL.
"Dude, you look for two expressions that multiply together to get the polynomial. Not that hard!"
"I'm sorry, but I don't get it!"
From the pre-cal group came Artie and Mike, "What's up?"
Tina looked at them, "We're doing FOIL. Why aren't you doing pre-cal?"
Artie shrugged, "We got it down and we didn't feel like watching Puck and Kurt flirt anymore."
Mike pointed, "Look for yourself." And look they did.
Kurt was giggling, face pinking prettily, "Noah, that's a horrible pick-up line!"
Puck smirked, "Oh, yeah, how about this? I wish I could be a derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves."
Kurt laughed, head thrown back. Getting his giggles under control, he looked at Puck, smile on his face, "I didn't know you were this much of a math nerd."
Puck doodled on his page, "Math is cool, dude. You have these rules and then these problems. It's like a puzzle. I like it."
"Exactly!" Puck looked up at Kurt at this exclamation, "That's why I like Math, too! It's so pretty. Nothing is better than a well-written proof."
Puck was excited now, "Yeah, yeah! Totally! Like trig. It's like what properties can you use to get to what conclusion."
Kurt shifted his chair closer to Puck's, "Exactly!"
They spent a long time staring into each other's eyes.
Rachel squealed with Mercedes while Mike, Matt, and Finn stared in shock at their teammates. Puck bisexual was something they could handle. Puck being a math nerd was something else entirely.
Turning away from the love struck guys, the rest of the club brought their focus to teaching Algebra II to Finn and Brittany.
That Thursday, the club holed themselves up in the library. It was a comical sight, the twelve of them sitting at one long table, each and every one of them with a laptop in front of them.
Kurt and Puck continued their flirtations, sitting next to each other and chatting on Facebook. Finn sighed, they were very distracting. As Kurt burst into laughter at a typed joke Puck sent, Finn turned to them.
"Guys! I need to concentrate!" Kurt and Puck had the decency to look guilty. "Sorry, Finn," they chorused.
Rachel got up and stood behind her tall boyfriend. She started to massage his shoulders and looked at his screen, "Wow, you are doing your paper!"
Finn looked up at her, "Don't sound so surprised, Rach. I'm having a hard time with it, though."
"Can I help?"
"I'm writing about Shakespeare's Sonnet 16 and don't know who he is talking about."
Rachel sat in his lap excitedly. Finn's hands automatically encircled her waist and he marveled not for the first time how tiny she was, "Well, no one knows. He is talking to a young man who we—"
"Wait! He's talking to a dude? Seriously?"
Rachel nodded, "Scholars don't know if he was gay or bisexual, but they know it is a guy who he was supposed to convince to get married and have kids, so the family can have a heir."
"But this is a love poem!"
"Yes. Somewhere along the way, Shakespeare seems to have develop feelings for this guy and we get a lot of ambiguous love/hate poems."
Finn's head was reeling, who knew dudes like Shakespeare had the same problems that he did. Weird. "Rachel?"
"I love you. You're so smart. Thank you for putting up with a dummy like me."
Rachel smacked him on the shoulder, "You are not dumb, Finn Hudson." Her face was fierce as she said this and then melted into an excited smile, "And I love you, too." With that, she wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him so tight, Finn was seeing black spots. Not that he minded. Rachel-hugs were up there on his list of Awesomest Things Ever, right next to Rachel-kisses and chicken.
Kurt, Mercedes, Brittany, and Tina sighed dreamily. "They are so cute," Kurt admitted with only a touch of disdain.
The moment was interrupted however, with a screech from Quinn, "Mike, you DID NOT read this book!"
"Aw, come on baby, don't be like that! Of course I read it!"
"Don't 'come on, baby' me, Michael Xiao Chang! I might not be in your Lit class, but I know that A Farewell to Arms is NOT about amputation!"
Kurt laughed so hard that he fell out of his chair.
Friday brought some trouble. Or a lot. Depends how you look at it. The afternoon ended with Artie and the rest of the Juniors in Principal Figgins' office.
"Arthur, tell me again. Why was Mr. Fadischi almost decapitated by a frozen fetal pig?"
Artie, who had never been in trouble in his entire life, sighed, "Principal Figgins, we were just studying for finals and wanted to test out Newton's equations of motion. So, we catapulted the fetal pig off the roof. Only Brittany miscalculated the initial velocity and the pig went off course into the teachers' parking lot. Good news: Science works. Bad news: Mr. Fadischi needs a new toupee."
It wasn't much better in the Chemistry group. Puck was unconscious, Rachel was deaf, Finn was apologetic, and Kurt's eyebrows were going to need some time to grow back.
The last day before exams had the Glee club in the gymnasium. In one section of the bleachers sat Brittany, Tina, Mercedes, and Matt with the laptops, learning Comp Sci. In another sat Mike, Rachel, Artie, Santana, and Quinn where they were conversing in Spanish. On the mats were Kurt, Finn, and Puck dressed in exercise clothes. The two large boys were helping Kurt train for the President's fitness test.
Conversations floated from one end of the large room to the other.
"So, if we enter a bi-conditional here, we can set up the program to test if a number is prime or not."
Matt, Mercedes, and Tina had some trouble accepting the blonde's unexpected intelligence, as their jaws have not left the ground since the lesson began. However, they followed Brittany's instruction without fail.
"Tengo un gato en mis pantalones."
"Uh, Rachel, why do you have a cat in your pants?"
"I was trying to say I enjoy singing and dancing."
"Yeah, you kinda missed your mark, Rach."
"Thank you, Michael. Your sarcasm is both inspiring and uplifting."
On the mats, the three boys weren't faring much better.
"Why do I have to climb this rope?"
"Because the President says you have to."
"I'm pretty sure Obama has a little more on his plate right now. You know, health care bills and all that jazz, Noah."
"Come on, Kurt! You won a football game! You can climb a silly rope!"
"Fine, Finn, but if I die, the world will never get the fragrance 'Hummel'."
"We'll bottle your scent in the last seconds of your life and chemically synthesize it."
"You're too kind, Noah."
"I try. Now get your ass on that rope."
Five minutes later, Kurt was halfway up the rope, face red with exhaustion and shining with a thin film of sweat. Finn and Puck could see him lose his drive.
"Hey, Mike? How do you say 'You're a wimp!' in Spanish?"
"Shut up, Noah! You're not helping!"
Finn motioned to the rest of club, "Guys, huddle up! Let's go!"
"Hey, Finn? Boy, you know I love you, but as much as your white boy brain wishes we were more like football, it's never gonna happen!"
Finn was sheepish, "Sorry, Mercedes. It's hard to turn the quarterback off sometimes."
"Get to the point, Finn. Fairy looks like he's going to defy Defying Gravity and fall off."
Kurt whimpered from the height he was at, arms straining and shaking.
"Exactly. He needs some encouragement! Let's help him along."
Artie interjected, "You mean by singing, right? Because my hover-wheelchair hasn't come in the mail yet."
Tina and Mercedes shared a look before smacking him on each shoulder simultaneously.
Puck snickered and started singing, "I can almost see it/ That dream I'm dreaming."
"OH MY GOD. NOAH, IF YOU DON'T STOP SINGING MILEY CYRUS, I WILL END YOU!"
Puck smirked up at the countertenor, "What? It's a ballad about climbing!"
"I WILL END YOU!"
Quinn, who felt for him, supplied, "How about Don't Stop? That's inspirational."
"No, no, no. It's too old. We've used it too many times."
"Santana, that's what makes it sentimental!"
"If I climb to the top, will you guys PLEASE shut up?"
They ignored him. Mercedes stepped up, "I got this. Follow if you know the song. But the day may come when you got something to lose/ And just when you think you're done paying dues."
Santana and Tina joined in, "You say to yourself "Dear, God What have I Done?"/ And hope its not too late cause tomorrow may never come."
Puck and Artie caught on to the song, "Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come/ Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come."
Kurt, who had moved up another couple of feet, was out of breath, "Oh, my God. You guys SUCK at this. What kind of message is that? Seriously, guys, SHUT UP!"
The club paid him no heed, moving into the next verse, more loudly, "You can run you can hide/ Just like Bonnie and Clyde/ Reach for the sky/ ain't never gonna die/ And I thank the Lord for the love that I have found/And hold you tight cause tomorrow may never come."
They got so into the song that they totally missed the fact that Kurt reached the top until they heard the sound of a bell clanging. Looking up, they saw Kurt hanging off the top.
"YOU DID IT!"
"Yeah, not with any help from you losers. Never quit your day jobs."
Puck looked up at him, devilish gleam in his eyes, "You know, Hummel, your ass looks pretty fine from this angle."
And that is how Kurt fell all twenty feet down.
Twenty minutes and three ice bags later, the twelve sat on the exercise mats. Rachel, as usual, was the first to break the comfortable silence, "I'm really proud of us, guys. We really pulled through this week."
Kurt, who was lying on his stomach, with an ice pack on his left buttock, "Or pulled up and crashed down." Puck snickered and didn't stop, even after Brittany and Santana threw books at him, "But, yes, Rachel, this week has helped. My GPA thanks you."
"Truth time. Everyone, cough it up!"
"Cough what up, Quinn?"
"Your GPA. I know the Cheerios' team GPA sucks, but I don't think that's the case here."
Everyone eyed each other warily. GPA's were kind of personal. It might as well have been, 'Who is still a virgin?'
Finn grinned, "I don't mind. I know I'm an idiot—Ow, Rachel! Stop hitting me! Fine, I know I'm academically challenged, my GPA is a 76.4."
Tina was next, "90.4."
Mercedes whooped, "Girl! I got higher than you!" Tina stuck her tongue out at the excited girl, "91.5!"
Puck had an 83, which was much higher than everyone thought. More than a couple of people were amused that Rachel and Quinn had the same exact average: 94.6. Santana had an 88.9 average (Stupid math brought down my GPA last semester), while Brittany pulled a 79. Matt had an 89.9 and Mike had an 87. Artie had the highest so far with a 95.7.
"Damn, we're friggin' smart!"
"Michael, we didn't need to know everyone's average to know that we're intelligent. I recently read an article that showed performers to be above average in—"
"Hold up, Berry, we're missing someone," said Santana, who was calculating the Glee GPA. "We only have 11 averages."
Tina looked around, "Kurt! You haven't told us what your GPA is!"
Puck didn't let the opportunity pass, "Yeah, you're lucky gym isn't calculated into the overall average."
"I can't move, Mercedes?" Mercedes obliged her best friend and smacked the wide receiver.
"He's avoiding the question!" Rachel was adamant.
Kurt colored and played with the ice pack, "Let's not do this."
The rest of them made a fuss, "Come on! We shared!"
Finn, "Man, not cool! We're friends!"
Kurt sighed and they knew they'd won, "Alright. 98.7."
The club was silent, but not for long, "Mi Dio!"
"Where the hell have you been hiding those brains, boy?"
Finn whistled, "Guys! Chill!" Turning to Kurt. "I'm not surprised. Kurt, you're one of the smartest people I know." Fire engine red really couldn't come close to the shade Kurt turned.
One week later, the club came together in the choir room, report cards sealed in the envelopes they came in. It was the last day of school and they had two days off before they had to return to the school for more Nationals rehearsal. They were going to make the most of it.
Finn surveyed the room, everyone was decked out in summer gear, ready for Santana's pool party, "How did everyone do?"
Everyone cheered. Finn could agree with the sentiment, he had never seen so many B's on his report card ever. And he even got an A- on his Shakespeare paper!
Kurt placed his sunglass on his face, "So, same time next semester?"
Puck sauntered up to the fashionista, "Did you forget our deal, Hummel?"
Mercedes was curious, "What deal, Puck?"
"Hummel here agreed to going out with me if I scored higher than him on the math final."
Kurt's cheeks flared again, "Right, I forgot about that."
"What'd you get?"
"A 97, thank you very much."
The girls groaned, there was no way Puck got higher than that. "Well, damn. I guess I'm out of luck." Kurt's face fell. "I have to go out with you."
Rachel squealed, "Yes!"
Kurt's face was shocked. He grabbed Puck's report card, "You got a perfect score?!?!?!"
Puck smirked, "I've never wanted to ace a test more."
Santana broke up the moment, "Alright, you freaks. Let's hit the water!"
And with that, the twelve gleeks made their way to the parking lot, humming Kevin Rudolf's All Summer Long the entire way.