In school on Monday, Santana had steeled herself against the emotions that ripped her apart all weekend. She put on her best Cheerio sneer and walked around the school like she owned it.
Brittany however was following Santana around like a zombie. Blank looks blanketed her face more often, she didn't even try to answer any questions on the Spanish quiz Mr. Shue gave out. She just laid her head on the desk and stared out the window, while Mr. Shue watched from his desk, heartbroken.
When it came time for them to sing their final song for Mr. Shue, Brittany was happy once again, if only temporarily. They were all together again. Everyone was crying. Even Puck who tried to tell everyone he just had something in his eye.
The rest of the week went by with everyone falling back into their normal routines. Rachel hadn't been slushied, but she wasn't sure how long her reprieve would last. Quinn had been busy moving back in with her mom and she hadn't gotten to see Rachel much, which Rachel expected.
By the time Friday came they were all grateful summer vacation was almost there. Santana walked into the choir room with Brittany behind her wondering what Mr. Shue wanted them all together again for.
When he announced that they had one more year to prove themselves, Santana turned to Brittany who immediately hugged her. The light came back into the blonde's eyes. She wasn't a zombie anymore.
Brittany laughed because she was so happy. She had a reason to come to school again. Next year everyday wasn't going to be a struggle to get out of bed and drag herself to school only to be told that she was dumb and not good enough. Glee was what kept her happy and she was going to have it back.
Santana saw the light in Brittany's eyes and knew it was all worth it. Next year they had another chance. The weight of the world was lifted off of her shoulders and she sighed into Brittany's arms.
Rachel looked back at Quinn who was hugging Kurt. Maybe they did stand a chance after all. She looked at Finn next to her. He pulled her into a warm hug. He'd been her best friend over the past few days, which she needed with worrying about Quinn and her future at McKinley High.
When Mr. Shue started playing, everyone was silent. Santana and Brittany linked pinkies and Brittany rested her head on Santana's shoulder. Quinn and Mercedes held hands across Kurt who broke their hands apart and held each of their hands.
Everyone was happy. Rachel even laid her head on Finn's shoulder. He looked back at Quinn who was smiling at them. She knew they had become friends and was happy that Rachel had a friend in him.
Finn smiled and pulled away from Rachel a little. She looked at him confused. He stood up and made his way to Quinn. The blonde stood and hugged him before taking his vacant seat next to Rachel.
The singer beamed and looked back at Finn with a grateful smile. She felt Quinn intertwine their fingers so she looked back at the blonde. Quinn planted a small chaste kiss on Rachel's lips before resting her head on the songstress's shoulder.
"So," Mr. Shue put the ukulele back, "What are everyone's plans for the summer?"
"Cleaning pools," Puck stated getting up to sit back down.
"Getting a pool to have Puck clean it," Finn smirked. Everyone laughed.
Quinn glanced at Rachel. The singer answered, "Perfecting my Eliza Doolittle and going to Broadway with my dads to see Evita." She looked at Quinn.
"Getting back my bikini body," Quinn joked. Everyone laughed again.
Mr. Shue looked at Santana, who answered, "Spending two weeks in Colorado with my family."
"What about your Brittany?" he asked the blonde.
"Um, waiting for Santana to get back," Brittany stated with a nod.
Everyone laughed and there were a few 'aww's thrown in. Santana hugged Brittany and kissed her cheek.
"Redecorating my bedroom," Kurt said with a tilt of his head, "I was thinking Greek island meets Midtown." Finn groaned playfully and Kurt laughed.
"Well," Mr. Shue stood up, "This is the last meeting official meeting of the school year. Have a safe vacation guys. Here's the audition list for next year." He set a piece of paper on the piano.
"Audition list?" Mercedes asked.
He smiled, "Well, New Directions is the hottest new thing. Everyone is going to want to join us."
A round of lighthearted laughs circulated in the room.
Kurt was the first one to get up and sign it before hugging Mr. Shue and leaving. Then Mercedes, Finn, Mike, and Matt. Puck heaved himself out of the chair and shook Mr. Shue's hand before signing up again.
Brittany pulled Santana over and they both signed, waiting for Rachel and Quinn at the door.
"What do you say superstar?" Quinn smiled, "You coming back next semester?"
Rachel grinned, "Of course. Are you?"
"Someone has to sing backup," Quinn smirked.
"You can have all the Madonna and James Brown leads you want," Rachel said with a pat on Quinn's knee.
The blonde laughed and stood up. She held out her hand for Rachel. The singer took it and stood up, slowly walking with Quinn to the piano to sign up, hug Mr. Shue and walked out with Brittany and Santana.
After school they all congregated in Quinn's room, sitting on the bed going through all the pictures over the glee year.
"Oh!" Brittany suddenly looked up from her picture, "I finally found my wheelchair."
The other three girls laughed and Rachel asked, "Where was it?"
"In my shower," Brittany revealed as she picked up a picture of their Proud Mary number.
Quinn raised an eyebrow and looked at Santana who wasn't surprised in the least. Quinn asked, "Where do you take showers?"
"Mostly in the locker room and…" Brittany swallowed her words with a quick glance at Santana.
Santana took her hand, "Hey, you don't have to worry about that stuff anymore. Okay?" She kissed Brittany's cheek then turned to the other girls, "She usually showers at my house."
A knock on the door sounded and Quinn called, "C'min."
Judy opened the door. She smiled when she saw all of the girls on the bed, "I just wanted to see if you girls needed anything."
"We're fine mom," Quinn raised an eyebrow. Her mom had been really attentive lately almost to the point of it grating on her nerves, but she knew her mom felt guilty so she let her mom do whatever she needed to make her feel better.
"Okay," Judy said, "Well let me know if you do Quinny." With that her mom left.
Rachel started humming while looking down at a picture, her hair hiding the smile on her face.
Quinn grabbed a pillow from behind herself and hit Rachel in the face with it. The songstress looked up, "What?"
"Every time my mom calls me Quinny you start singing the 'Winnie the Pooh' song," Quinn pouted.
"It rhymes," Rachel grinned, "I can't help it." She inched forward toward Quinn.
The blonde was doing her best to remain mad at Rachel, but the smile on Rachel's face was making it hard.
Brittany leaned over and whispered to Santana, "Should we leave?"
Santana nodded with a smile, "Watching them have sex is not on my 'to do' list."
"We're not about to have sex," Quinn looked at Santana.
"Didn't you say you were never going to have sex again at the hospital?" Brittany asked Quinn.
Rachel quirked an eyebrow with a smug smirk on her face.
"I said a lot of things I didn't mean at the hospital," Quinn answered, "I blame the morphine. I meant I was never having sex with Puck again."
"What are you guys wearing tomorrow?" Rachel asked, "Since it's the last day of school."
"Uniform," Santana shrugged. It's not like Coach Sylvester would let her wear anything else.
Quinn slid off of the bed and walked over to her closet, "Now that I have my closet back, I have more than three shirts." She rubbed her hands together, "Where to start."
Rachel rolled her eyes and laid back on the multitude of pillows on Quinn's bed, "We're going to be here all night."
"Actually," Santana stood up, "You're going to be here all night. We have a date."
"A date?" Quinn turned around to look at them, "Like a real date?"
Brittany nodded enthusiastically.
They all said their goodbyes, promising to get back together soon.
On the last day of school, after the last bell rang, Rachel found herself walking into the auditorium. This last year had changed her life for the better. As she stepped out onto the stage and looked out at the empty audience, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment overcame her. She couldn't wait to get back on stage with her friends. She walked to center stage and took a deep breath. She was sad it was over, but happy it was also just beginning.
So she did the one thing that she could always rely on to get her through any hard or great time. She started to sing.
There is no future
There is no past
Thank God this moment's
Not the last
She looked to her right when she heard someone else's voice join hers. She smiled when Quinn walked onto the stage and stood next to her singing to the empty house.
There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret or
Life is yours to miss
More voices joined them. Brittany and Santana walked out of the wing to Rachel's left and stood next to her. She pulled Quinn to her and put her arm around her waist. Then slid her other arm around Santana's waist.
No other road,
No other day
No day but today
Finn walked out with his hands in his pockets, joining the song. Tina and Artie soon followed him. Mercedes and Kurt walked in a second after that. Everyone smiled as Puck walked past all the seats in the audience before jumping up on stage.
They stood in the middle of the stage, arms around shoulders and waists, one giant singing mass of people, of friends.
The girls started singing together and the guys sang together in a round that would have sent an audience to their feet. However this time they weren't singing for anyone but each other.
I can't control
(Will I lose my dignity)
(Will someone care)
I trust my soul
(Will I wake tomorrow)
My only goal
(From this nightmare)
After hearing the singing, Mr. Shue walked into the auditorium with Ms. Pillsbury, hand in hand. They stood in the middle of the isle and just watched the glee club sway together and sing better than they ever had.
There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path, no other way
'Cause I die without you
Brittany looked at Santana who was singing her heart out. She loved seeing Santana as happy as she was when she was singing. Brittany gently stroked Santana's back through her uniform. At the touch, the other Cheerio looked at her with a huge smile.
Santana's chest felt like it might explode. The look on Brittany's face couldn't be explained except that it was a look of pure, untainted love. She took a break in the song to kiss the blonde. Then they resumed belting out the rest of the song with the group.
Is just to be
(There's only now)
(There's only here)
The hand gropes
(Give in to love)
The pulse beats
(Or live in fear)
Life goes on
(No other path)
But I'm gone
(No other way)
Quinn looked to Rachel who was really feeling the song. She felt the pain and the hope in the song. Quinn wanted to take the pain away and she wanted to help the hope grow. They'd come really far from being adversaries at the beginning of her year. Now they were together and Quinn couldn't be happier.
Cause I die without you
(No day but today)
I die without you
(No day but today)
Brittany nuzzled into Santana's hair and closed her eyes. Santana smiled and rested her head on Brittany's.
Artie took Tina's hand and she smiled down at him, readjusting her hold on his hand.
Finn patted Kurt on the shoulder and nodded with a smile. Kurt nodded back, their silent agreement to forget everything bad that happened between them and to just be friends.
Mercedes looked over and caught Rachel's eyes. The blonde let out a sweet smile, thanking Mercedes for everything. Mercedes returned the smile, thanking Rachel back.
Puck gently squeezed Quinn's shoulder. She looked up at him with a small smile. They'd always be connected because there was a little mixture of their DNA out there in the world, listening to Shelby Cochran sing her show tunes to sleep.
As the last line came, they all looked straight forward, singing as loud and passionate as they could. Standing strong with their friends, their boyfriends, their girlfriends, their best friends, their confidants, and their teammates.
No day but today.
The song at the end is "Finale B" from the rock-opera RENT.
Well that's the end. I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.