Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or it's characters.


By the end of the day, Rachel had already explained to Wes, who was sitting on Sarah's bed across from her, what Puck, Santana, and Sarah already knew.

"Wow." Wes said, "When you said that things were complicated with your Mom, I had no idea it was like that."

"I haven't seen her in almost a year, so it really came as a bit of a shock." Rachel said wiping her eyes, "I honestly didn't expect to see her here of all places."

"How are you?" Wes asked, sitting next to Rachel and wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

"Not that great." Rachel said, leaning into his broad shoulder. "I mean I was completely unprepared for this and I don't know what I'm supposed to do now."

Wes rubbed her arm. "Do you...do you want to transfer back to Mckinely?"

"No."

Wes jumped at the sound of her voice. She sat up straight and looked him straight in the eye. Her voice lost all it's shakiness and emotion and was now strong and firm.

"Absolutely not." she said, "Shelby Corcoran has ruined a lot of things for me, I am not about to let her ruin the best thing thats ever happened to me. If I have to face her everyday in order to stay in this school then I will. I am not running away, she had her chance with me, and she didn't take it. That's her loss not mine."

"You're sure?" Wes asked.

"Absolutely."

Wes smiled proudly and hugged Rachel close, "That's my girl."

(Meanwhile)

Sarah had called a meeting with her friends, who in turn brought friends of their own, by the end of the hour they had a classroom packed with Crawford students, with Rita, Mira, and Kayla at the forefront, listening to Sarah speak.

"You want us to do what now?" Kayla asked.

"Look I can't tell you all of the details," Sarah said holding her hands up, "All I can say is that Rachel has some issues with the new teacher Ms. Corcoran, and I need your help looking after her."

"You want us to take care of this Corcoran bitch?" Rita asked, cracking her knuckles and gestering towards her crew.

"Rita! No!" Sarah admonished, then looked thoughtful, "Well maybe-but not yet!"

"So what do you mean by looking after her?" Mira asked.

"Just help me make sure she's never alone," Sarah explained. "At least around Ms. Corcoran. Rachel was really upset when she saw her, and I want to make sure that Rachel feels absolutely welcome and safe at Crawford."

"What exactly happened between them?" Kayla asked.

"If you guys want to know, then you have to take it up with Rachel. It's not my story to tell." Sara explained. She checked her phone. "I better get back, I left her alone with some of her old classmates, and David told me Wes was going to visit her today."

"Hey Sarah," Rita said, "Let Rachel know that we got her back."

"Thanks Rita." Sarah smiled, "I'm sure she'll appreciate it."


Rachel walked Wes to the entrance of the school, "I should be hearing from the board tomorrow on whether they'll approve of my joint glee club idea."

"They'll approve." Wes said, "I doubt anyone can say no to Rachel Berry."

Rachel giggled and gave him a quick peck on the lips. "Bye!"

Wes smiled and got into his car, Rachel continued to wave at him until his car was out of sight.

Meanwhile in an apartment complex just a mile from campus, Shelby was putting Beth to sleep.

"Goodnight Baby." she said, Beth gurgled before she closed her eyes and fell asleep.

She walked back towards the boxes that needed unpacking and came across a picture of Rachel. It was taken the day of the New Directions' first victory at sectionals; there was Rachel on the stage in all her glory her arms outstretched belting out the big note in Barbara's 'Don't Rain on my Parade'. Shelby had taken it from her camera phone when she realized who Rachel was.

She traced Rachel's face and felt a sense of nostalgia. Shelby had been so excited when she saw Rachel for the first time, hell she had even had Jesse meet with her so that she could get to know her better. Her eyes watered as she remembered their last encounter. She had never expected to see Rachel so soon after they had parted ways, and she honestly had no idea of how to handle the situation.

'I'll do my best to make Rachel feel as welcome as possible.' she thought.

Maybe this was her second chance with Rachel.


The next morning Rachel woke up with her alarm, she yawned and stretched herself out. She looked to the bed next to her and saw it empty. Rachel was confused for a moment and then saw the note on her desk. Sarah had left a note.

Rachel,

I had early tennis practice at 6. I'll meet you in second period.

-Sarah.

Rachel let out a sigh and started getting ready. She may have put on a brave face for Wes, but truth was she wasn't ready to face Shelby. At least not by herself.

It was around 7:30 that she was ready, and also when she heard a knock on the door.

'That's strange.' Rachel thought, 'Who could that be?'

When she opened the door, she was surprised to find Rita standing there.

"Hey Rachel." Rita greeted brightly, "I'm Rita, one of Sarah's friends."

"Yes I remember," Rachel said, "But Sarah's not here."

"I know that." Rita said, "I'm here for you. We have the same homeroom and first period so I thought that you would want to walk together."

"Oh...um sure." Rachel opened the door to let her in, "Come on in. Let me just get my things together and we can go."

"Yeah sure thing." Rita walked in taking a look around. She saw that Rachel had no trouble settling in. Her side of the dorm was filled with posters and photos of Broadway, Barbara Streisand, and of course littered with gold stars.

"I see you made yourself right at home." Rita observed looking at her wall.

"Oh yeah," Rachel said gathering her backpack and a few of her books. "You guys and Sarah were so welcoming it just seemed right."

Rita noticed a few photographs on Rachel's desk, some of Wes, and then Kurt, the group photo of Rachel and the Warblers was there as well. Rita picked up the photograph of her fathers.

"So you have two gay dads?" Rita asked.

Rachel stiffened. She turned to face Rita and braced herself, ready to defend her fathers for whatever prejudices or comments came her way.

"Yes, those are my dads."

"They seem cool." Rita said. "What are their names?"

Rachel visibly relaxed, glad for Rita's acceptance, she walked over and pointed to their faces on the photograph. "Hiram and Leroy Berry."

"What do they do for a living?" Rita asked, leading Rachel outside and walking to class with her.

"My dad Leroy is an attorney at law, and my papa Hiram is a surgeon." Rachel explained, "My papa recently joined the Doctors without Borders program and Daddy decided to go with him to try and do good in the legal matters. But they couldn't go because they didn't want to leave me alone, then when I decided to come to Crawford they were finally able to go.

Rita whistled, "That sounds amazing! I mean, going all the way to foreign countries to heal people for no money at all, and your dad willing to do pro bono cases. They really sound like incredible people."

Rachel beamed with pride for her fathers and Rita's sincerity. "Thanks, I really couldn't have asked for two better parents."

Just as she said those words, the reached to door to their homeroom and first period class, where Shelby was waiting outside. And she heard every word Rachel said.

Rachel stopped in shock of facing Shelby. She was at a loss of what to do next, her fears and insecurities were coming back with a passion.

Fortunately Rita had come to her rescue.

"Come on Rachel." Rita said just as Shelby opened her mouth. She grabbed Rachel's arm and pulled her into the classroom. "Let's get a seat in the back."

"Yeah sure." Rachel quickly agreed, silently thanking Rita for her save.

Once they took their seats, the bell rang signaling the start of class. Shelby had wanted to have a discussion with Rachel, but she had no choice but to start the class.

"Alright, settle down ladies." Shelby said clapping her hands. She walked to the center of her room, her heels clicking loudly in the silence. "My name is Shelby Corcoran, and I'll be your music teacher this year."

She waited for a moment to see if she could elicit a response from them no such luck. "Alright then. Now I know that for most of you music is something that you guys can dance to, something like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, or 50 cent. But this year, I want to show you guys that music isn't just about fast beats or fancy dance moves. Music is a way for people to express their emotions. To release their pent up frustrations and anger or sadness and even happiness. Now I think a good way to start this year is to have one of you come up here and perform a song in front of this class. Now any volunteers?"

Again she was met with silence. "No? Ok then I guess I'll just pick someone."

She looked around the room until her eyes fell on Rachel. "Rachel? How about you?"

"I'd rather not. Thank you." Rachel said stiffly."

"Come on Rachel." Shelby said. "Don't tell me you have stage fright."

Before Rachel could open her mouth to defend herself Rita had already beat her to the punch.

"She says she doesn't want to." Rita snapped. "So leave her alone."

Rachel looked a Rita, a look of shock clearly on her face. Rita noticed it, Sarah had told them that Rachel wasn't used to having friends at her old school, and Rita felt for the girl. After all, before Rita came to Crawford she was just like Rachel, a social outcast with no friends and no allies to help her not even the teachers.

Then she made herself friends at Crawford, and it took a long time for Rita to accept that. She didn't want Rachel to do the same thing. She wanted to help Rachel realize that she had friends at Crawford.

And she knew just how to do it.

"Well then, why don't you come up here Miss..." Shelby trailed off, unsure of Rita's name.

"Wilcox. Rita Wilcox." Rita said standing tall, "And I'll be more than happy too."

"Alright then." Shelby said, "Come on up."

Rita walked to the front of the class. "I want to dedicate this song to my new friend Rachel."

She took a deep breath and began to sing.

Sometimes you think you'll be fine by yourself
Cause a dream is a wish that you make all alone
It's easy to feel like you don't need help
But it's harder to walk on your own
You'll change inside
When you realize

The world comes to life
And everything's bright
From beginning to end
When you have a friend
By your side
That helps you to find
The beauty you are
When you open your heart
And believe in
The gift of a friend
The gift of a friend

The gift of a friend

Her voice trailed off as she sang the last note and she was met with a round of applause and cheers.

Rita walked back to her seat, but not before Rachel stood up and gave her a big hug.

"Thank you." She said, her voice thick with the tears that she was holding back. "Thank you so much."

"C'mon Rachel." Rita said, pulling her off gently, "You're among friends now."

Rachel nodded and wiped at her tears.

"I think I'm finally starting to see that."

The rest of the day, friends seemed to come in large quantities. After every class, either Sarah or one of her friends was there to walk her to class. She seemed to have at least one class with one of them, and Sarah was in almost all of her classes. For once in her life, Rachel finally felt accepted and welcomed. She finally felt like she had real friends.

The one thing that confused her was when Shelby tried to come near her. Every time Shelby approached Rachel, either Sarah, Rita, or someone else appeared magically in time to pull her away.

Her first day at Crawford was coming to an end, but during her last period a TA from the office walked in.

"Excuse me. Rachel Berry is expected in the office." he announced.

"Rachel." The teacher called her up, "The Dean wants to see you."

Rachel and Sarah looked at each other in confusion, then Rachel gathered her things and walked out with the TA.

Five minutes later Rachel was sitting face to face with the headmaster.

"Ms. Berry." The Dean stood up to shake her hand, "How nice to finally meet you. My name is Dean Kendall. I hear you're already making quite a splash here and it's only your first week."

"Yes sir." Rachel said meekly.

"Don't be nervous Rachel. I actually brought you here for good news." he explained.

"What do you mean?" Rachel asked.

"Well, normally the council doesn't make their decisions this soon, but you seemed to have made quite an impression on them. Long story short, they've approved your proposal." The Dean said, smiling all the while.

"Really!" Rachel squealed. "Oh thank you thank you thank you!"

"However there are conditions."

"Yes of course." Rachel calmed down.

"There must be a staff member to chaperone your rehearsals with the Warblers." Dean Kendall explained. "The rehearsals will be held at Crawford, and I expect both parties to remain strictly professional during school hours and rehearsals. You are not take advantage of this as an opportunity to socialize with the boys. Also your program is on a trial run. If your joint glee club with Dalton wins or places at Regionals, then it can continue but if not, then I'm afraid we'll have to terminate the program."

"I promise Dean we won't let you down." Rachel assured as she excused herself. "Thank you again for telling me."

Once Rachel was in the empty hallways, she released her excitement. "YES! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!"

She jumped up and down whilst pumping her fist.

"I've got to call Wes!"

She pulled out her phone and made the call.


So...what do you think?

Sorry about the late updates guys. My computers broke down, so I have to come to the library or use a relative's computer. It's been hard, but hopefully we'll get it fixed soon.

Let me know how you like this guys!

Until the next update!