A/N: So, this is part of the Expect The Unexpected series I'm working on, which is, frankly, exactly what it sounds like. As part of my everlasting quest to defy any and all possible cliches, something completely unfathomable occurs with one member of the Glee club in each fic of the series. The goal? To have each character (even Matt and Mike, poor underfed pups) so far out of their league, but still remain in character. This is installment number ten (wow!), but none of them are connected plot-wise, so there aren't any prequels you have to read for any of them. Some will be tragic, some scary, some mysterious, some humorous. Enough jabber - please enjoy!
It was nearly two in the morning when Will was startled out of a deep sleep by the incessant ringing of the telephone. Groggily, he fumbled to answer in coherent English. "…Hello?" Slowly, the sleep faded from his face, his eyes widening as he listened to the voice on the other end. He threw the covers back and stood up. "Just – just let him be. I'll be there as soon as I can, I promise."
It took him less than five minutes to throw on a jacket and pull his car onto the street, heading for the Lima suburbs as fast as the speed limit would let him, and it took him less than ten minutes to show up on the Hummels' front doorstep. Burt threw open the door almost immediately, looking harried. "Schuester," was his simple greeting.
"Hi. Where is he?"
"Downstairs, in the basement," Burt said, closing the door as Will entered the kitchen. Carole Hudson was sitting at the kitchen table, her eyes watery and exhausted. "Thank God you're here," she said when she saw him. "I'm so sorry, Mr. Schuester, I didn't know who else to call—"
"It's fine," he cut her off. "Just show me where he is."
She gestured her head towards the hallway. "First door on the left."
Burt squeezed her shoulder as they passed, Will heading down the steps first. When he reached the bottom, he found Kurt standing off to the side of the staircase, his arms wrapped tightly around his chest, his mouth pressed into a thin line, staring at the far corner of the room.
Will felt his stomach drop.
The white walls of the bedroom had been marred by chaotic times, dates, diagrams of the planetary orbits and constellations, musical note sequences that probably not even Mozart could have understood, snippets of philosophical theories by people Will had never heard of, mathematic equations for everything ranging from physics to chemistry, verb conjugation charts for at least six different languages – including Mandarin – and countless other nonsensical scribblings, all penned in black Sharpie from the ceiling to the floor. A few pieces of Kurt's meticulously arranged furniture had been overturned, the vanity mirror smashed on the floor where it had been tipped over to make more room on the wall.
And crouched in the corner, hastily scrawling even more words onto the wall, was Finn.
He was muttering to himself as he wrote, his hands shaking slightly and his arms streaked with black ink, a few splotches on his face. At some point a marker had cracked open or leaked and bled all over Finn's hands, which were stained black all over. He growled and crossed out whatever he'd been working on, starting anew on the wall beside it.
"He's been like this all night," Kurt said quietly, startling Will out of his temporary shock.
"All night?" Will echoed.
"Since about five," Burt replied in a low voice.
Will took a deep breath before approaching his student. "Finn?" he ventured. "Hey, buddy."
Finn's bloodshot eyes snapped up, meeting Will's for only a second before returning to his writing. "Hi," he said, his voice strained.
Will crouched next to him, peering at the complicated sequences of numbers and letters. "What are you working on?"
"The trajectory of Dysnomia around Eris," Finn answered flatly without looking up. He scrawled a few more numbers down and paused for a second, his marker hovering above the equation for only a moment before he crossed it out again with a frustrated huff and started yet again. "I can't get this damn thing right."
Will reached out a tentative hand and grasped Finn's shoulder. "It's okay to get it wrong, you know."
"No!" Finn snapped, making Will jump. He seemed to have surprised himself with the force in his own voice, though, and he relaxed, shaking his head. "No," he said, quieter. "I have— I have to get it right. I'm not stupid, I can do it."
"Nobody's saying you're stupid, Finn."
The quarterback didn't respond, and after a minute Will stood up and went back to where Finn's step-brother and -father were standing. "Has anything like this happened before?"
"Not this badly," Kurt said in an almost-whisper, keeping one eye on Finn as he spoke. "I mean, pretty much at the same level as what he's been doing in school and Glee, but I've never seen him like this. This is new."
"If he gets any worse, I'm calling the hospital," Burt said decisively.
Will was about to agree, but then Finn's voice cut him off, trembling like he was about to cry. "Mr. Schue?"
Will turned back around. Finn had stood up, his expression pinched as if he was in pain. He ran a blackened hand through his hair. "Yeah?" Will said.
"I…I can't sleep."
And then his knees buckled, and Finn crashed to the floor.
A/N: Please leave a review and tell me what you think of it. If you enjoyed the first chapter and are interested in the concept of this series, add me to Author Alert to be notified when the other installments in the series are posted. So far, all but Quinn's and Brad's installments have been posted - please check them out!