No Escape: Alternate Ending
by Creedog VanDrey
Summary: Life doesn't always give you happy endings. But sometimes it does.
Spoilers: Through Episode 1x13: "Sectionals"
A/N: So, this has been bugging me for ages. I hate what I did to my readers, so I thought I'd give you an alternate ending. This is not really how I intend for the story to end, but I wanted to give the story a second chance.
Alternate Ending: Just the Thought of You
Hank woke up.
He'd been having nightmares for the past two weeks. Tomorrow was the day he was finally going to get revenge on Rachel Berry, and ever since he and Brad laid out the plan, he'd dreamt of it going wrong every night. He always died.
The first time, the bomb had worked perfectly, killing Rachel, but the police had arrived in seconds and shot him on sight.
One, he dreamt that he'd had a threesome with Brittany and Kurt, and Brittany had strangled while she was on top of him.
Last night was the most elaborate yet. He'd had to kill almost every member of the club, only to be double-crossed by Santana.
: : :
Hank was convinced that his dream was coming true. He was watching the glee club from the outside window. Tina asked to sing a song. It wasn't the same song as his dream. It was "Something Wonderful" from The King and I.
But it was followed by Will insisting they practice "Somebody to Love." So stunned by fear that his nightmare was playing out, Hank forgot to detonate Rachel's chair before she got up. In his dream, he hadn't arrived until after they'd started the song, and now he'd missed his opportunity in real life.
Checking his watch, he realized he'd have to risk detonating the bomb in the middle of the song. It was nearing 4:30 and if any of the glee clubbers touched the door, things would become a thousand times more complicated.
Like the dream.
This time, he thought, he would time it right. He flinched half a second earlier and grinned when Rachel Berry's body went flying into the piano.
: : :
There was instant pandemonium.
An explosion from the risers had thrown both Tina and Rachel to opposite sides of the room.
Finn raced toward Rachel. Artie rolled to Tina. Santana grabbed a panicking Brittany and pulled her to the floor, while Puck did the same to Quinn, trying to get her to calm down, despite his own harried state.
Will leapt straight into action. "Nobody go towards that door. Finn, how's Rachel?"
Will's question was answered by a shriek from Rachel. A piece of plastic was deeply embedded in her right shoulder.
"Finn," she muttered painfully, "it hurts. It hurts so badly." Finn almost laughed at her using perfect grammar even under duress. He helped her onto her back, and she screamed that her other shoulder hurt. Sure enough, her left shoulder was badly dislocated or broken from crashing into the piano.
Will moved to Tina. Her arm was badly burned and bleeding, and she was gasping painfully. But she was alive.
Attempts to call 9-1-1 were in vain. The cell tower was out.
: : :
Hank wasn't wasting any time. Things would not be going sideways, forcing him to pick off all the glee clubbers one by one. He inserted a loaded magazine into his pistol. All those trips to the shooting range with Brad would actually come in handy. A bullet into the brain of Rachel Berry, a bullet in the chest of anyone who tried to stop him or was just in the way.
He yanked the wire connected to the door handle, disarming his booby trap.
Fish, meet barrel.
: : :
While Quinn helped Finn wrap strips of his windbreaker around Rachel's bleeding wound, she tied Rachel's other arm to her torso to immobilize it. Santana was kneeling beside Tina. The girl's coat had been removed, revealing badly blistered skin and a few minor cuts.
Mike held tightly to a struggling Brittany. As she started to slip through his hands, he yelled her name.
Santana screamed from across the room, "Mike, let her go and I kill you."
Mike didn't wait to hear the threat through; he grabbed hold of Brittany's arms and held them against her chest and all but lay on top of her. She was quite strong, which didn't surprise Mike; she was a dancer, but so was he.
Puck watched the door warily, looking back every so often to make sure that Mercedes was keeping Quinn from breaking down.
: : :
Hank decided to go in with guns blazing. So to speak. He had limited ammo. A swift kick to the door. An upraised gun. A single warning shot.
He almost felt sorry for whoever got in his way.
That wasn't true. He did feel bad. No one deserved this. Except for Rachel.
He was a Player. An angel of death.
Crack went the door.
Crack went the gun, firing into the far wall.
Crack went his arm bones as Puck, who was hiding just beside the door, swung a wooden stool with all his strength into Hank's arm.
Crack went the back of his head as Matt rushed him, picking him up, carrying him out the door, and slamming him into the opposite wall full force, demonstrating his skills as a tackle.
: : :
When Hank came to, he was being attended to by a paramedic. His left wrist was handcuffed to his left ankle.
He looked around. Mr. Schuester and most of the glee club was huddled around a pair of police officers, giving statements. Rachel was not present. Neither was Tina. They were likely being taken to the hospital. Puck and Quinn were separated from the group; Quinn was being examined by another paramedic, rather reluctantly it seemed, while Puck hovered over her.
Santana was hugging Brittany tightly, Hank noticed, and he entertained the thought that maybe his dream was right about the two. He thought about the weeks he'd spent covertly scoping out the choir room and the glee club meetings. He'd picked up a lot subconsciously, he supposed.
At this point, a police officer noticed he'd come to. He gave Hank a truly unfriendly look. Hank awaited the string of questions the officer no doubt had, but instead he was treated to his Miranda rights. Hank's eyes drifted away, tuning out the officer. His plan was ruined. He'd run every possible scenario he could think of, awake and in his dreams, but he'd failed miserably.
Then he saw his last ray of hope walked in.
: : :
"What?" Will remarked, "You're kidding me." He looked over the cream business card for a psychiatrist that Brad had just handed him.
Brad made his way to Hank, not saying a word or making eye contact. The cop finished his speech and asked the paramedic uncaringly when he could take the "scumbag" to jail, which had its own medical facilities.
Brad just pulled a water bottle out of his bag, unscrewed it, and held it to Hank's lips. Hank drank thirstily, knowing this would be his one kind gesture for a while.
But not forever. Brad was a genius. He was the master. He would get Hank out of this. He had already set the plan in motion, laying the groundwork: explaining Hank's psychological problems to Will and the cops.
For just a moment, Hank felt like he would still get his revenge.
Then he started coughing.
Crack, he remembered. The door. The gun. His arm. His head.
But not the water bottle. When Brad unscrewed it, the plastic ring didn't cracked. It had been previously opened. Chlorine was Brad's signature weapon.
"Finish it," he begged out loud. No one would know who he was talking about. But Brad would.
Brad shook his head.
No loose ends, Hank remembered. And remembering would be the last thing he ever did.
: : :
Emma saw a lot of the glee club members for the next few months.
Quinn was there every day.
"I'm just terrified about what could have happened to my baby."
"You're baby's fine," Emma said, for maybe the hundredth time, no less sincerely than the first.
Brittany had nightmares every night, and Santana's parents just understood that their daughter would be sleeping over at her best friend's house for the foreseeable future.
Artie visited a lot, too. Seeing Tina in pain had been difficult for him. She was scarred pretty badly, but Tina being Tina thought the scars were kind of badass.
Rachel was more angry than scared. She wrote choreography from her hospital room to adjust to for Tina's and her injuries.
Will came in a lot, too, unannounced. He was afraid he couldn't protect his kids. Emma told him that he had, and that he was like a father whether he knew it or not.
: : :
One year later…
New Directions won Sectionals. There was no debating they were the best team.
On the anniversary of the incident, they held a concert outside. They sung about overcoming adversity and mourned the loss of a troubled individual. Rachel and Tina sung a duet to close out the last song. With a single sweep of the arm, they gestured toward the pianist, eliciting applause from the crowd. Brad looked humbled.
After seeing his name on the program, he left the succeeding reception early.
: : :
Twelve years later…
All of the original members of New Directions attend their ten-year reunion. It isn't hard for them; they all still live in Lima.
Except for Matt. He transferred out of McKinley at the end of the year and everyone has lost contact with him.
Rachel is McKinley High's choir teacher. A poster for The Music Man is posted over the spot where the bullet struck the wall. For a while, it was just painted over, but the members couldn't help but notice the indentation.
Finn works at Hummel & Sons Tire and Auto. Burt and Carole had gotten married, but Burt succumbed to a heart attack eight years into their marriage. Despite this, the couple was happy in the intervening years. He left the shop to his son and stepson.
Finn and Rachel got married then divorced after five and a half years, but reconciled and are dating again.
Kurt hasn't yet settled down. He lets Finn run the shop, and runs the business side himself, allowing him to travel to visit his boyfriend in Warrentown. His boyfriend doesn't attend the reunion with him.
Puck and Quinn made the foolish decision to try to raise their daughter after high school. After a year, they gave away Beth to an adoptive couple. After high school, Quinn went to University of Northwestern Ohio and became a preschool teacher. She and Puck married after she graduated. Instead of college, Puck started his own pool cleaning business, which was very successful for reasons that Quinn doesn't allow herself to speculate about. They have two children.
Artie studied film in college but works as an accountant in between making TV advertisements for car dealerships.
He and Tina got married straight out of high school. They are what you could call happy. Tina works with both Mike and Brittany at the only dance studio in Lima. Mike is in love with Tina, but has no desire to break up her marriage, so he's still looking for "the one" at 28.
Brittany still has nightmares most nights. Santana never left her side. She became a lawyer specializing in marriage law to help facilitate legislation permittingsame-sex marriage. It's no longer banned in the state constitution, but both marriage and civil unions are prohibited by statutes. She is now a divorce attorney.
Mercedes was an art major at Ohio State University. After graduating, she married her boyfriend, a soccer player who loved karaoke bars. They have three children and she's a stay-at-home mom.
Will is married to Emma. They got married the summer after most of the original New Direction members graduated and moved to Kenton. They attend the reunion by special request from Rachel.
The original New Directions gets on stage and serenades the crowd with Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World."
Afterward, they remain together in a tight group for the rest of the night.
A/N: Again, I'm not really sure if I like this ending better or not. But I was stuck between be unable to write this chapter and being unable to not write it.
Maybe I'm not satisfied with the ending because I didn't write it for me, but for you. And I'm okay with that.