DISCLAIMER: I neither own Glee nor the characters. They are the property of Ryan Murphy and FOX. This is purely for fun. Enjoy! :)

A/N: Bienvenue and welcome to my new story! It's going to be very A/U, and unlike anything I have ever written before. I hope you like it.

Close Quarters

Chapter One: Big Man on Campus

"Hudson! Hudson! Hudson!" The sound of the chanting crowd was intoxicating as adrenaline poured through his body, making him hyper-aware of everything going on around him in that one pivotal moment. Time seemed to slow to a halt as he processed the scene surrounding him, picking up on every minute detail. A football stadium, drenched in lights, highlighted the players on the field like it was high noon instead of a late August evening. The chants of the crowd filled his senses and he tried desperately to block them out so he could focus on the task at hand.

There was less than a minute on the clock and Ohio State was tied with Toledo, 13-13. This was the last play of the game; his last shot at starting out the season on top. It wasn't easy being the quarterback of a college football team, especially when that college has given you a full ride solely based on how well you could throw said football, but in his junior year, he knew that anything was possible.

He called out the play to his other teammates, sweat dripping down his face as his heart continued to pound like a jackhammer. The ball snapped to him and he was on; ready to prove to his school that he was the leader, the one they could rely on. He was the play-maker, the captain; and he would do anything to make sure his team won and his scholarship and reputation stayed in tact.

He spotted his teammate at the far end of the field, sprinting for his life while about ten giant men ran straight towards the quarterback, hoping to intercept the play and ruin their chance at victory. Throwing as hard and as high as he possibly could, he could see the ball soar through the air before the opposing team pummeled him from all sides. Hitting the ground like a brick, the weight of the other players knocked the air right out of his lungs, but the roar of the crowd was the only thing he cared about.

The play was complete. His teammate had scored.

There was still enough time left in the game for one more play, and while it was moot to their victory, it had to be done. He set up the ball to complete the field goal, and the kicker ran over to him, a light skip in his step. Kurt Hummel might have been gayer than a three-dollar-bill, but he was the best kicker the team had; he might have been the best kicker Finn had ever seen in a lifetime of playing football. And he was a cool dude, despite the fact that Kurt hit on him all of the time. The skinny, yet strong, kicker winked to him while he placed his helmet over his hair very carefully.

"Victory party at the TKE house tonight, of which I'm sure you're well aware." Kurt shot him a sly smile and got into position while Finn rolled his eyes dramatically, thankful that his helmet hid his expression. Of course he knew about the after party- it was taking place at his frat house right outside of campus. He had been a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon since his first semester of sophomore year, and as a junior, and the QB, he basically ran the frat.

Even if he refused to live at the house. That place was a testosterone fueled-pig sty.

Finn started the final play of the game, smiling broadly while Kurt executed a perfect kick, launching the football through the goal posts. The crowd exploded as the final score was posted, 20-13. The first game of the season was a victory for Finn, and he couldn't wait to reap the benefits of being big man on campus for the third year in a row.

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His shower was nothing short of blissful when he returned to his apartment off campus. Just because he refused to live in the TKE house, didn't mean he wanted to live on-campus anymore. His scholarship covered tuition and board, so he'd had his board money refunded to him so he could live off campus for his junior year. No more RA's and smelly bathrooms and overly-friendly neighbors. He had found a nice two bedroom apartment in town, where the rent was cheaper to attract the college kids. His roommate, Mike, known to the rest of the campus as Panda, was another one of his frat brothers. Panda was a cool guy: he was much neater than his other frat brothers, and always enjoyed a good time, but because he didn't have the luxury of a scholarship, he had to make his rent money a different way.

By selling weed to the good students of Ohio State University. Even sometimes the townies.

He exited the bathroom to find the living room full of people, surrounded by a thick cloud of acrid smoke. Some of the guys he recognized as his other frat brothers, with a few girls mixed into the party. They were all in their Ohio State colors, and when Finn walked towards his bedroom in his towel, the stoned group of college kids all cheered for him.

"Getting ready for the party, Hudson?" Panda was surrounded by girls on both sides of the couch and he had to smile at his buddy. He didn't really know why people called him Panda, but he was pretty sure it was for the chicks: apparently the ladies thought he was just adorable.

"Yeah man, but I can see that you're already getting started." Finn smirked at his roommate while he coughed lightly in the thick smoke that permeated the apartment. He didn't mind the smoke really, he just didn't partake in the activity because of football and his scholarship. Nothing was going to compromise his free ride, he wouldn't allow it.

"You know it dude! We're heading out to the TKE house in 15 minutes, hurry your ass!" He laughed and nodded at the acquaintances that filled his living room as he retreated to his bedroom, his one place of solitude and peace. As much as he loved being one of the most popular guys on campus, he still needed his private space. If he had lived in the TKE house with his other brothers, then he would never have a moment to himself. It would be one giant, never-ending frat party.

And Finn had classes to attend.

He closed the door behind him, locking it and turning on his desk lamp. Random textbooks were piled onto his desk and he frowned at them, wanting to just ignore them altogether. One of the most important aspects of his scholarship was the fact that he had to keep a GPA of over 2.75 every semester. While that might sound easy for most students, it was borderline torture for Finn.

He had never been a good student. As far back as he could remember, school had always been a struggle for him. For a while, he never thought he would even attend college, much to the chagrin of his mother. When he had been awarded the scholarship, she had never been more proud. Her son, her Finn, was going to college; something she had only ever dreamed of. He wanted nothing but to make his mother proud of him; they were all the other had, and this was an opportunity he could not pass up. He had to do anything in his power to keep his scholarship and make his mother's dreams come true. This wasn't just about him.

The only problem was that Finn still struggled when it came to his academics. He still hadn't chosen a major yet, and instead took 100-level classes of pretty much any subject. But as a junior, he was starting to get anxious about school. He had to eventually pick a major and stick with it in order to complete his scholarship, but he could barely handle the freshman level classes, let alone a class on the 200 or 300 level. Besides, he had taken a class in almost every field and nothing had really captured his attention. All of his friends knew what they wanted to study, why they wanted to study it, and they had a certain passion about it that Finn did not feel. Right now the only thing Finn was passionate about was football, but sadly it wasn't even offered as a minor.

No, Finn had to make a decision this semester. He had to find a major he loved and stick with it for the long run. Even if he had to stay at OSU for another year to make up on all of his previous bullshitting.

But all that educational planning could happen after the victory party tonight. He hurried to get ready but Panda and his friends were already gone, leaving Finn to walk over to the TKE house by himself. Some of this semester's pledges were outside of the party, collecting money from the other guests in exchange for a cup and free reign on the kegs. When Finn walked by, all the pledges bowed their heads in respect for their frat brother, and Finn had to smile.

Oh, the joys of pledging.

Finn got his cup from one of the pledges without having to pay, being a frat brother himself and the star of the party. He walked inside the house where about ten of his other frat brothers lived. Inside the kitchen was two kegs, and the line of people was out the door and down the hallway. But Finn just strolled forward and high-fived the person at the front of the line. He wasn't even sure he knew the dude, but he took Finn's cup and filled it for him, and no one even bat an eye.

His life was awesome sometimes.

The whole ground level of the house was packed with people, so much so that Finn could barely recognize his frat brothers and his teammates in the crowd. The smell of alcohol and marijuana and sweat was thick in the air, but his light buzz dulled his senses enough that he didn't even notice. Everyone he walked by took the time to shake his hand or congratulate him on the win. His self-esteem was through the roof and he walked around like the giant 6"3 inch stud he was. Everyone was being extremely friendly.

Especially the ladies.

"Hi Finn!" He turned around when he heard the chorus of voices and smiled widely when he came face-to-face with the Monaco twins, Anna and Trish. They were in Sigma Delta Tau, which was his frat's sister sorority, so he knew them quite well. "You were so amazing tonight!" Trish twirled her hair around her fingers seductively while he caught Anna blatantly checking him out. It suddenly felt very hot in the crowded house.

"We were hoping we could take the celebration back to our apartment tonight." Anna whispered into his ear and his smile was wide and wicked. "Maybe we could recreate what happened during Spring Break last April?" What happened between him and the Monaco twins during Spring Break last year is still one of his frat's favorite stories to tell. Feeling salacious, he wrapped an arm around each sister and led them to the backyard so they could chat some more. He joined a group of brothers from his frat and spent the evening mingling and reveling in his popularity.

That is, until the sound of a siren pierced the silence of the night.

All of a sudden cops were everywhere, infiltrating the party and pulling kids out on the street in handcuffs. It was common fact that more than half these kids were under 21, and there was plenty of drug use going on inside. He idly thought about his roommate Panda, but he knew that his bro would be able to take care of himself. He could see people running in every direction and he broke off from his other brothers, and unfortunately for him, the Monaco twins. He cut through the woods for cover and ran back to his apartment. Nothing could compromise his scholarship, especially not a stupid frat house party. Maybe he should stop attending them if they were going to be raided every week.

He ran until he was out of breath, still a bit buzzed from the beers he was able to drink before the party was narc-ed out. As he entered his empty apartment he went straight to the couch to play some XBox and get his mind off the failed party. He wanted to wait up for Panda to make sure his bro was alright, and he idly thought about calling the Monaco twins to see if they still wanted to come over. But eventually sleep caught up with him, and he passed out on his couch with his controller still in his hands, and the sun peeking over the horizon.

Panda still hadn't returned.

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Running a hand over his face in frustration, he stared at the empty bedroom in shock, unsure of what to do next. Panda had been arrested the night of the OSU/Michigan game with enough weed on him to be charged with intent to sell. In order to avoid jail time, he was stripped of his ability to use Financial Aid and student loans, so he had to drop out of school and move back home. He mourned the loss of his good friend, but Panda had left him in an awkward position.

He now needed another roommate.

It was hard to believe that it was only the first full week of classes. He'd been living with Panda all summer for football camp and he'd grown attached to his frat brother. Now he had to find a new roommate, someone he could get along with but would still respect his personal space. He'd asked some of his frat brothers; the ones who weren't slobs and had a chill disposition. No one was interested. He'd asked the Monaco twins to spread the word around Delta Tau but they said all the girls were too intimidated to live with Finn Hudson. Actually, their words had been: "Yeah, you can live with a Delta Tau, if you wanted to get raped every night."

He'd rather pass on that. He liked the ladies, especially the sorority girls, but living off-campus was all he'd dreamed about since freshman year. His chance to be independent and have the full college experience on his own terms. He didn't care if he lived with a guy or a chick, he just needed a roommate fast who wouldn't cramp his style. He had rent to pay and he would be damned if he had to move when the semester was already in session. So he turned to his football friends and asked around until someone had finally given him the name of a girl who was looking for an apartment.

That someone just happened to be Kurt Hummel.

He dialed Kurt's number and he picked up on the third ring, a slight lilt in his greeting. "Hello, Finn," he practically purred and Finn felt awkward already and he wasn't even in the room with him. "What can I do for you on this fine Monday morning?"

"Hey dude, did you talk to that chick about the apartment?" What was the name he'd said last night? Something with an R. . .

"Yeah, she said she was really interested. She wants to know if she could stop by after her morning class to check it out." It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders as the words sunk in. He pumped his fist in the air victoriously and stopped pacing around the empty room.

"Awesome, what was her name again? And how is it that you know her?"

"Rachel. Rachel Berry. She's in my advanced music theory class and she's a double major in both theatre arts and music."

He shrugged his shoulders, unfamiliar with the name. "I don't know her."

Kurt's scoff was sharp and without humor. "Don't let her know that. She's been the star of every show at OSU since Freshman year, she's a bit of a diva." He balked when faced with that bit of information. He didn't want some bossy diva ruining his chance at a perfect year, no mater how desperate he was. But Kurt plowed on, unaware of his hesitance, "But she kind of keeps to herself, so it shouldn't be that bad. Besides, she's really desperate. She said she's been sleeping on the couches in the Student Union Building since last week." Well, it was settled then. This girl sounded more desperate than he did, and he thought his situation had been bad. He idly wondered why she'd be sleeping on couches, but if she was willing to move in and pay rent up-front, then he could get over whatever quirks she seemed to have.

"All right, Kurt. Tell her to come over after her morning class and I'll be here waiting for her." He gave Kurt his address and thanked him profusely for helping him find a new roommate on such short notice.

He just hoped things worked out with this Rachel girl. She was his last chance at a perfect year.

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At around 11 am, Finn heard a knock on his door that could only be his potential new roommate, Rachel. He had spent the morning cleaning up as best as he could. He was never the most tidy guy when he was living with his mom in Lima, but now that he had his own place he liked keeping it clean. He also wanted to prove to this girl that not all guys were slobs; it was a stereotype that he hated.

Running his hand through his hair, he looked at himself in the mirror once before entering the hallway. He didn't want to brag, but he knew he was kind of a stud. Football star, frat brother; he had no problem picking up girls and loved their company. He loved them so much he refused to have a girlfriend so he could share the wealth with the entire student body. He didn't know what he expected from this Rachel girl, but he was kind of hoping she wouldn't fall for him. That would be awkward.

He opened the door and had to bend his neck down to see the petite brunette that was standing on his doorstep. Before he could even take a second to appraise her, she stuck her hand out and shook his hand enthusiastically. "Hello there! You must be Finn Hudson, Kurt Hummel told me all about you. I am positively delighted that you were able to meet with me on such short notice."

It took him a second to process all she had said in such a small amount of time. He had never met anyone who could talk so fast. And energetically. It took him a second to remember his manners. "Well you're helping me out as well. Rachel, right? Come in, I'll show you around." He stepped away from the door and the girl marched into his apartment with purpose, examining everything with a critical eye. Sometimes he couldn't tell if she was impressed or disappointed with the apartment, and he was waiting to hear her opinion. He showed her the living room/kitchen area, her bedroom, the bathroom and the small patio they had, being on the second floor of the small apartment complex. After the mini tour, they stood in the living room a bit awkwardly, waiting for someone to speak.

"So, what do you think?" Why was he so anxious over this tiny girl's opinion? She hadn't said more than a peep during the tour when she'd seemed so energetic in the beginning. Maybe she didn't like it?

"To be honest, this is one of the nicest apartment's I've ever been in. How much is the rent?"

"400$ with utilities included. Plus we have internet and cable, so that's extra every month." Her head was bowed, deep in thought and for a second he thought she wouldn't take the room. His eyes lingered on her face while she was deep in contemplation and he hadn't even realized that this girl was kind of sneaky hot. He hadn't noticed at first because of the initial shock, but she did have a rather large nose. But her skin was flawless, her lips were full and rosy pink and her body was just plain smokin'. He was surprised they hadn't met before, he was sure he knew all the hot girls at OSU. He was snapped from his fantasies of his potential roommate when her voice rang clear in the apartment.

"Well as my roommate, I think it would be fair for me to share some of my own house rules with you, in case it is you who doesn't want to live with me." Finn was on pins and needles with this statement, but he nodded anyway, wanting to know what her rules were. "Nobody in the house after midnight during the week." Well, that rule wasn't so bad, he thought as he nodded his head for her to continue. "We clean up after ourselves- just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I'll clean up after you." Shrugging his shoulders, he knew it to be fair, but he never would have expected her to become his maid anyway. He wasn't one of those guys. "And finally, no smoking in the house. I cannot compromise my voice for any reason. If I want to win a Tony before I'm 30, my voice needs to stay in top form."

He had to smile to himself. Maybe Kurt had been exaggerating, this girl didn't seem like a diva at all! Having ambitions didn't make her a diva. He grinned widely at her, excited that he'd found a new roommate who didn't want to rape him every night. "I think I can live with those rules."

A small smile pulled up at the corners of her mouth until she revealed a perfect set of shiny white teeth. He almost did a double-take. Those were movie star teeth! And she had a beautiful smile. . . "Well then I will be back in a little while with my possessions! I shall see you later, roomie!" She gathered her bag and he walked her to the door, waving goodbye as she walked down the complex stairs to the parking lot, full of questions about this Rachel girl. She hadn't seemed that bad at all, and despite the random rules and her motor-mouth, she was actually kind of hot.

This was an arrangement he could live with.

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Salut mes amis!

So? Thoughts?

Until Next Time. . . *sings* Don't Stop. . .Reviewing!

Merci Mille Fois

The Minsk