A/N-Hello! It's the final chapter! I thought about ending it back there, but I felt you guys deserved to see Regionals and get something more conclusive! By the way, I am open to writing a sequel, so don't give up on Puckleberry or Puck/Quinn just yet...

None of these songs are my property.


Saturday May 31st, 2:54 PM, Regionals, Cleveland, Ohio

Rachel

Today is the day. The day we've all been preparing for since we sang Don't Stop Believing. Regionals! There are only three schools, and the first, Musical Vibes, wasn't very good. Apparently, they must've been the only team in their area, because all they did was sit on the ground and sing songs about global warming. Needless to say, they've already been eliminated. All the judges today are noted conservatives.

I'm sitting, getting ready to go on, when suddenly I see the very last person I want to see: Sienna. She and Vocal Adrenaline are up next, so we're going last. She unfortunately looks fabulous in her pale pink dress with a tank top and that flowing skirt. She comes in and sits next to me. "I just want to say good luck. And, I'm sorry."

"What?" I'm pretty sure I'm in a strange dream right now.

"I'm sorry, ok? I didn't want to play all those tricks on you. I didn't hate you. I just wanted my turn. I'm not going to pull anything today. May the best show choir win." She looks sad, and the concealer can't hide the puffiness under her eyes.

"What's wrong?" I ask, a little bit concerned.

"You know Jesse loves you, right? It was never an act." She says dreamily, seeming far away, "He loves you, and I kissed him that day. If he'd loved me, he wouldn't have followed you out there. You should be happy. He's a great guy."

"Jesse...loves me? But, it was for-"

She looks at me intently, "It was for Shelby in the beginning. But, I know Jesse. I've known him for a while. After a while, it was for him." She points at the bags under her eyes, "You see these? These are from crying, because Jesse called me last night. He told me he liked me a lot, but he couldn't be with me, because he loved you."

I put my hand on my mouth. She smiles wanly, and whispers, "Don't let him go."

Then, she heads out, and we're all called to the auditorium to watch Vocal Adrenaline. Their first number, Another One Bites The Dust, is even better than before. The duet between Jesse and Sienna in the chorus is really great.

Then, they set up for their next song. The rest of Vocal Adrenaline stands in the risers, as Jesse brings up a stool and a guitar. He sits, pulls up his guitar, and says in a slightly emotional voice, "Rachel? This one's for you. I think it says it all." The judges look at each other in confusion, and I sit there in total shock. You can't dedicate songs in show choir competition. Especially not to the lead singer for the other team. He strums out a familiar melody, and sings

Heeeyy, hey, hey, hey

Your lipstick stains,

On the front lobe of my left side brains

I knew I wouldn't forget you,

So I went and let you blow and my mind,

Your sweet moonbeam,

The smell of you in every single dream I dream,

I knew when we collided,

You're the one, I have decided,

Who's one of my kind,

He stepped down off stage, which is breaking at least 8 rules, and took my hand. I let him pull me up onstage and we dance, as he sings, to me and only me, even though the whole room can hear him,

Hey, soul sister,

Ain't that mister, mister

On the radio, stereo,

The way you move ain't fair, you know

Hey soul sister,

I don't want to miss a single thing you do,

Tonight

The whole song goes on just like that, just us dancing there, up on stage, in front of Vocal Adrenaline, New Directions, and everyone. Then, at the end, he simply says, "I love you, Rachel. I have since the moment we said hello in that music store." Then, like an answer to some unspoken question, I just kiss him, the most passionate kiss I've ever given anyone. There are whoops and hollers, and I only realize then that there was an audience watching us.

I see Finn, and want to say something, but as I walk off stage and open my mouth, he simply says, "You love him, and you don't have to apologize for that."

I hear Vocal Adrenaline start their next number, but I'm still in a bit of a love-filled haze,

I used to rule the world,

Seas would rise when I gave the word,

Now in the morning I sleep alone,

Sweep the streets I used to own,

I used to roll the dice,

Feel the fear in my enemies' eyes,

Listen as the crowds would sing,

"Now the old king is dead!" "Long live the king!"

One minute I held the key,

Next the walls were closed on me,

And I discovered that my castles stand

Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing

Roman Cavalry choirs are singing

Be my mirror, my sword and shield,

My missionaries in a foreign field,

For some reason I can't explain,

Once you go there was never,

Never an honest word,

But that was when I ruled the world


"And now, here they are, McKinley High's New Directions!"

Mike steps forward, and sings,

Just a small-town girl,

Living in a lonely world,

She took the midnight train going anywhere,

Santana joins him, and sings,

Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit,

He took the midnight train going anywhere,

Kurt sang,

A singer in a smoky room,

Mercedes joined him,

The smell of wine and cheap perfume

For a smile they can share the night

It goes on and on and on and on...

Finn and Rachel came forward, to huge applause,

Strangers waiting,

Up and down the boulevard,

Their shadows searching in the nights,

Streetlights, people,

Living just to find emotion,

Hiding somewhere in the nights!

Brittany sang,

Working hard to get my fill,

Everybody wants a thrill,

Matt joined her,

Paying anything to roll the dice,

Just one more time,

Tina took her place at the mike, with Artie

Some will win, some will lose,

Some are born to sing the blues,

And now the movie never ends,

It goes on, and on, and on, and on

Quinn is wheeled out to huge cheers, as she sings with Puck,

Strangers waiting,

Up and down the boulevard,

Their shadows searching in the nights,

Streetlights, people,

Living just to find emotion,

Hiding somewhere in the nights!

Everyone sings,

Don't stop believing,

Hold on to that feeling,

Streetlights, people

Don't stop!

Finn goes up to the mike, and says nervously, "Uh, hey. We had a kind of wild week. Quinn was...well she was having a tough time this week. But, we're here. We didn't have the time to do another song, but we thought this one kind of said it all, so enjoy."

Quinn wheeled up, with Mike, and sang,

There comes a time when we heed a certain call,

Mike joined her,

When the world must come together as one,

Rachel continued,

There are people dying,

And it's time to lend a hand,

To life, the greatest gift of all,

Puck came up,

We can't go on, pretending day by day,

That someone, somehow, will soon make a change,

Mercedes sang,

We are all a part of God's great big family,

Santana finished,

And the truth, you know love is all we need.

Then all the members linked hands and stood in a line across the middle of the stage, and sang,

We are the world,

We are the children,

We are the ones who make a brighter day,

So let's start giving,

Rachel sang,

There's a choice we're making

We're saving our own lives

Then everyone came back in,

It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me

They kept singing, with no choreography, no frills, just the simple power of the song. After they were finished, Mike looked over at Quinn, pulled her up gently, and kissed her long and hard, resulting in more wolf whistles, but he didn't notice. He hadn't noticed the audience since the moment Quinn sang the first line. There hadn't been anything else worth looking at.


Rod Remington came up on stage and said, "This was a very difficult competition to judge. The songs were great, the singers stunning," He winked at Santana, and then went back into serious mode, "But, there can only be one winner. This group had great emotional power as well as fabulous music..." The three groups stood with bated breath, "Come on up here, first place Regionals champions for 2010, New Directions!"

It was a perfect moment. There was kissing, from Rachel and Jesse, to Artie and Tina (they'd gotten back together). Then, all of them hoisted the trophy high and smiled for the photo. But, when the moment came for them to give their speech, they all elected Quinn to be their one and only speaker. "Hello, everyone." She started. "This week has had huge ups and downs for me. I wasn't even sure I was going to be here today. There was drama, heartache, euphoria, and a new beginning." She looked out, as if searching the audience for Beth, even though she had to be taken directly home. "But, I think the theme of this week has been that love has many forms. And, it always teaches you something. How to let go," She looked at Finn and Puck, "And how to start over again." She smiled at Mike. "This week was confusing, and painful, and joyful, all at the same time. But, hey, that's the way love's supposed to be. Thanks very much." And there was nothing more to say.

The End