A/N: This started as a small idea in the back of my head and evolved into something much bigger. This is my first complete fic and is 15 chapters long. It is a response to how crappy the first half of season 2 was and picks up right after the hiatus. Most of it was written before the show came back so spoilers only include up until the Super Bowl ep. There is an OC, because I felt it necessary, but don't let that discourage you. Besides posting here, I will set up a Livejournal account which will also have corresponding pictures to each chapter and a Soundtrack.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything Glee or song related, just Dylan.
Dylan sighed as she watched the leafless trees whip past the passenger side window. Her eyes caught sight of a road sign that gave the exit for Snow Shoe and memories flooded back of the numerous times she had made this crossing. Except this time there was a difference. This time there was no going back. Lost in her memories, she began playing a game with herself, one she'd been playing since she was a little girl. When she was younger it always fascinated her, the way the trees would move slower as she focused on only one tree instead of letting them all blur past. Of course, after a few minutes she began to feel nauseous and reminded herself of why she rarely played this game anymore. Time doesn't move in slow motion. If you're not careful, life will zoom past and leave you behind. You have to be on your game at all times, ready to meet everything head on.
Abandoning the gray trees to the passing countryside, Dylan turned back towards the interior of the car and chanced a glance at her father while letting out another sigh.
"What's wrong, Dylan," her father asked, tapping his fingers to the beat of the song coming from the stereo.
Before answering, Dylan listened to the lyrics softly emanating from the speakers. They almost seemed ironic, "Brakes on brakes on. The car is runnin' empty, downhill, head on. This crash is comin' slowly." Her eyes followed the road they were traveling on, up and around the mountains they were passing through. "Or watch the slow death of your way of life… It plagues my mind and it keeps us right here. And it keeps us here…"
"You know what's wrong, dad," Dylan replied, once again turning away, this time checking her phone in an effort to detach herself from the conversation, lyrics hanging in the back of her mind.
"Listen, we talked about this. We agreed this was best."
"No, dad, you determined it was best," A familiar rage began to mount in her throat. "I thought I was very clear that I did not want to be uprooted. Especially now."
"We both know there was nothing for us back in New Jersey, D. This is a good thing we're doing. A chance for new opportunities."
"Ugh! Are you serious? Dad come on, I had everything back home. I was happy. There were plenty of opportunities for me back there. And for you too! You just couldn't stand to be there anymore. You're just being selfish."
"How can you say that, just last month you were telling me how disappointed you were that your High school doesn't have a better art program. You will have so many more options at McKinely." Her father had started to raise his voice to retort against her, in a manner that reflected their father-daughter relationship.
"Yeah, well I said that in passing, dad. And that was before. I loved my school, I had plenty of opportunities. The last thing I wanted was to end up being pulled out halfway through the school year to end up in some shit-hole town, in the high school my father graduated from, with him as my teacher!" This was something Dylan could not deal with, her father, a has-been artist, returning to his hometown to teach at his old High school. It was hard enough for her to finally break out of her sister's shadow back at her old High school. But this, this would be worse. It would take all of her effort to put up a good front. She could be an actor with the amount of times she had to pretend something didn't phase her.
"Do not swear in this car, Dylan Lynne! Lima is good town. You know this, we've been there enough visiting grandma. I always thought you liked Ohio."
Dylan gave her father a look of disgust. She hated Ohio, always had. Was he that clueless to not realize that she was miserable during every family vacation they had been through? They always consisted of her locking herself in her room, watching re-runs of Bones and reading fanfiction. She just never said anything about it because, well, it was family and family was important. So instead of giving him an honest answer, she just huffed and turned back towards the window.
"It's what mom would have wanted for us, Dylan."
Her breath caught in her throat. It really hadn't been something they talked about and that's probably the reason they never came to a mutual decision about what they were going to do after the funeral. It had all happened so suddenly, Dylan was still recovering from the whip-lash.
"Please, Dylan, why can't you just look at it from my perspective for once?"
That did it. That pushed her over the edge. "Oh, fucking, god, dad, are you kidding? You make it seem like mom's illness was a burden on your life! You always talk about how you missed out, how you lost your career. What about me, dad? What about Angie? Did you forget about her? I'm sorry that your daughters are such a burden on your ambitions. What happened to mom affected us too, you know. I'm the one that virtually grew up without a mother. She's only been physically gone for a month, but she's been absent from my life for much longer."
"She was my wife! No one expects to have to deal with that kind of pain when they grow up, Dylan. And Angie left. She walked out the moment she graduated and I was left to take care of your mother by myself." He yelled back at her.
"What! I was there! I've always been there, and Angie didn't leave the family, she went to chase her dreams. You should encourage that as her father, and support her instead of blaming her for abandonment."
"She could have followed her dream closer to home…"
Dylan answered with another huff of disgust, "you really make it all about you don't you. I think I've sacrificed more than any normal 16 year old has."
"Why can't you just accept it and adapt? There are too many memories back there Dylan," his tone had deflated quickly, to Dylan's surprise. He now seemed tired and unhappy. Dylan loved her father, she really did. He had made so many changes to adapt to a life-altering situation. She just he would understand how much she and her sister had given up as well.
"I never said I wasn't going to be able to adapt. I have no intention of slowing my life down because of this. It just doesn't mean I'm not allowed to be upset," she replied, softening her tone as well.
"I know, you'll fit right in. And besides, McKinely has a better athletics program, too, and softball season is right around the corner." His tone was hopeful this time around.
"Oh, believe me, I've got that one taken care of. First order of business as a matter of fact," Dylan responded with a sly smile inching across her face. Yeah, it was going to be tough leaving her old school and picking up a in a new environment halfway through the school year, but Dylan always told herself that nothing was worth doing unless it was challenging so instead of slowing time down; she vowed to meet the challenge head on. Maybe it could be fun after all.
The thing that sucked the most about moving to Ohio was the lack of public transportation. Coming from a city, Dylan was used to being able to get from points A to B with no more than a buck fifty in her pocket and a good pair of sneakers. But now she was stuck having to take a school bus or wait for her father to be done for the day.
It was still weird knowing that her father taught at the school she was attending but it was another hurdle she would have to get over. At least she would be able to get her license sooner here. She was actually late; all the other juniors already had their cars. Well, it wasn't her fault Jersey decided to push the age up to 17 for new drivers. But to save her from commuting with her dad, teacher, whatever he was, Dylan vowed to make friends with someone in possession of a car.
However, until then, here she was, lugging her softball bag down the hallway towards the parking lot where she would wait until her father finished organizing equipment in his new classroom. Classes didn't start until tomorrow but being a new teacher, her father needed to assimilate himself into McKinley before the students arrived.
On the bright side, while softball training didn't begin until early spring back home due to lack of facilities, here in Lima, softball training started right after winter break. So, naturally, Dylan had tried out the first chance she got. She now proudly sported a new McKinely softball uniform, complete with her old number and name sprawled across her shoulders; Frost. Guess thirteen really was her lucky number, seeing as no one else had claimed the jersey and she actually managed to make the team.
Halfway down the hall, Dylan stopped. She looked up and realized she had no idea where she was. Having caught herself in her musings she hadn't been paying attention to where she was going. Damn, this school was bigger that her old one. Why couldn't school buildings be simple? As she stood in the middle of the hallway chewing on her lip, trying to figure out which direction to turn to, her ears perked up as she perceived the beginnings of a melody begin to travel through the corridor. Interested, she began to follow the sound of the music. She was already lost, so what's the harm in exploring a little? It would probably help her in the long run.
As she approached a pair of double doors near one of the building's exits, the music became louder. She instantly recognized the song and became more intrigued when she could distinguish people singing.
"Everything is everything. What is meant to be, will be. After winter, must come spring. Change, it comes eventually…"
As quietly as she could, she cracked open one of the doors and peered in before entering into the room. She found herself at the back of an auditorium, and a nice one at that. Down at the bottom, she could see people on the stage. A few band members and a handful of others who seemed to be dancing and singing. Twelve people to be exact. And one other person sitting directly across from the stage.
Dylan stood at the back of the auditorium, entranced by what she saw on the stage. The students danced and sang along to the music perfectly. She had never seen anything like this before. Sure there had been a choir at her old school but they were just a regular boring, uptight, no talented choir. But this, this was epic.
"I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth, who won't accept deception instead of what is truth," the words were sung by a soulful black girl standing in the front of the group. A girl wearing a cheerleading uniform came up and joined her in the next part of the song, "It seems we lose the game, before we even start to play. Who made these rules?"
While she stood there, arms crossed and a small smile on her lips, she observed the performance in front of her. There were seven girls and five guys. One of the boys was in a wheel chair. He was kinda funky looking up on stage but he managed to keep up with everyone else, and he was rapping lines form the song, "More powerful than two Cleopatras. Bomb graffiti on the tomb of Nefertiti. MCs ain't ready to take it to the Serengeti." 'Impressive,' Dylan thought to herself. There was an Asian guy who had killer dance moves, some awkward large white kid who had zero dance moves, some stout looking kid with a Mohawk (A Mohawk? Seriously? How old is that?) and some blonde haired boy with a Bieber-cut. The kid in the wheel chair finished his rap, "Now hear this mixture. Where hip hop meets scripture, develop a negative into a positive picture…"
"Sometimes it seems we'll touch that dream, but things come slow or not at all. And the ones on top, won't make it stop, so convinced that they might fall," The entire group was harmonizing together now and Dylan watched as the members alternated singing the lines back and forth. "Let's love ourselves then we can't fail. To make a better situation tomorrow, our seeds will grow. All we need is dedication!"
After making her way through the guys, Dylan moved on to the ladies, but didn't have the chance to check each one out before the song came to an end. Realizing the music had concluded and that everyone on stage was now exchanging hugs and high-fives, Dylan broke her silence and began clapping.
"Woo! Yeah!" she shouted, "you guys are amazing!" She received an array of strange and confused looks as her applause trailed off. "What?"
"Who are you?"
Dylan jumped. She turned to face a short, cute, brunette girl who she recognized from the stage. "Whoa, how did you get over here so fast?" she inquired, looking about herself trying to assess the situation.
"I know my way around an auditorium, thank you very much," the shorter girl informed her, "now I'm sorry but were you just applauding us? Where did you come from? Who are you?"
"Wow um okay, slow down there," Dylan replied, holding her hands up defensively and then adjusting the heavy softball bag on her shoulder before finally removing it and resting it on the floor. Dylan glanced around and realized that the majority of the group had found its way towards the back of the auditorium as well. "I'm Dylan," she said as she reached a hand out towards the brunette, "and um, you guys are really good… sorry?" she added as she noticed the hesitation in the small girls reaction to her extended hand.
"Well yes we are! But I um, I guess we're just not used to that type of acknowledgement. My name is Rachel Berry and I am the captain of this Glee club!" She finally reached out and accepted Dylan's extended hand.
Sturdily shaking Rachel's hand, Dylan glanced around at the other members surrounding her and back at the stage to see a few remained on it. "A Glee club huh? Like show choir? Cool. I've heard of groups like this before." Dylan noticed the awkward white kid begin to sport a crooked smile and enthusiastically begin to nod, only to glance down next to him to catch a glimpse of brown eyes glaring before turning back to Rachel.
"Well of course you have, show choirs are very popular in High schools across the country… just not really here in Lima." Rachel informed Dylan.
"Really? Didn't have em where I came from, but you guys are awesome," Dylan smirked.
"And where is this place you came from?"
Dylan turned back towards the direction of the tall, awkward boy to have the small sea of people split to reveal a slim, brunette Latina sporting a 'WMHS' cheerleading outfit. Matching the girl to be the owner of the glaring brown eyes she had seen earlier, Dylan turned to give the girl her full attention. Watching as she eyed her up and down with crossed arms and a look of disgust on her face. Too bad, if it wasn't for her demeanor this girl would be hot.
"She's obviously from Lima, Santana, she is wearing a McKinley…," Rachel quipped inspecting Dylan's attire, "um uniform… I'm sorry what type of uniform is that?" She asked confused. Dylan raised an eyebrow in her direction.
"Shut-up hobbit," the Latina, apparently named Santana snapped. "Obviously she goes to McKinley, but she has to be new, otherwise she wouldn't be telling us Glee club is cool."
"Um… okay, well it's a softball uniform, Rachel," Dylan informed her, "and I'm from Jersey." She directed towards Santana.
"We have a softball team?" an Asian girl next to the Asian dancer boy asked.
"Yeah…." Now Dylan was confused. But she decided it was actually pretty funny and gave out a small chuckle.
The small group of people remained silent for a few strenuous seconds before they were interrupted by a young man who Dylan only guessed to be a teacher of sorts.
"Hey guys, great job up there, and who is this?" the man asked.
"I'm Dylan," she extended her hand a second time.
"Oh wow, thanks, nice to meet you," The man readily accepted Dylan's hand. "I'm Will Schuester, I'm the choir director and Spanish teacher, are you new here?"
"Spanish, really? Wow I actually think I'm in you class this semester," Dylan chuckled. She remembered a "Schuester" appearing on the schedule she received earlier in the day. "And yes, I'm new, just transferred actually."
"Oh yes! I do remember receiving a new roster with your name on it. Frost isn't it? Your father is the new photography teacher here isn't he?" Mr. Schuester inquired. This received even more questioning looks from the Glee kids.
Dylan reached back and rubbed the back of her neck, glancing up and making eye contact with Santana and holding it. Her glare was intoxicating, 'well maybe her demeanor is actually kind of hot.' "Yeah actually he is," She shrugged and laughed it off finally breaking her staring contest with the Latina.
"Well that's great! You should audition for Glee club, we're always looking for new members!" he said, eyes hopeful.
"Oh, um I don't know," Dylan stammered, glancing around at other hopeful faces, which dropped soon after her response. "I mean, I totally would but I really don't think I can sing." Dylan laughed and chanced a wink at Santana, who straightened up and gave her a confused look.
"Nonsense," Will replied, waving his hand down at her, "I'm sure you have a lovely voice, even so, that has never applied here, everyone who auditions makes the team. Why don't you come by the choir room tomorrow and sing us something"
"Uh… um…" Dylan stammered again, not really having an answer. She would love to join this club, but she was a clumsy, shit dancer and not to mention the fact she didn't think she could sing. "Well, maybe. I don't know about tomorrow, I have training," She said motioning towards her uniform, "so maybe after I get settled and have the time," she chuckled.
"Great! That would be fabulous," Will beamed down at her. "Well guys that's all for the day, welcome back and I'll see you all tomorrow, enjoy what remains of your break. I'll see you in class, Dylan." And with a smile and a nod, Mr. Schuester turned to exit the auditorium, leaving Dylan alone with the members of the Glee club. The remainder of which had made their way towards the back of the auditorium.
"Well Dylan, I hope you strongly consider joining our team, and you don't have to worry about having a strong voice seeing as you will most likely be singing back up during my solos any way," Rachel stood trying to make herself appear taller than she really was.
"Thanks Rach. I'll think about it, definitely," Dylan replied. But she had become distracted by a swish of blonde further into the auditorium. Another girl sporting a uniform that matched Santana's was twirling and dancing around the boy in the wheel chair. She stared, transfixed. Damn, she's gorgeous. Her trance was broken by a hand waving in front of her face.
"Hello? Hi? I'm Finn," The awkward teen was trying to get her attention.
"Hi," she sported a small wave.
"Yeah and this is Sam, Mike, Quinn, Tina, Mercedes, Lauren, Puck, Artie and Brittany" He pointed to each member individually and to the blonde and wheelchair kid behind them as the last two names on the list, who all gave a small wave except for Artie and Brittany who behind the group and were oblivious to the encounter. Brittany, Dylan thought, nice name. Suitable.
"As co-captain," he glared at Rachel, "I would also like to invite you to audition. Hopefully we'll see you soon." Finn told Dylan with an all-too-large smile before he turned to leave the auditorium. Most of the other members followed suit giving Dylan small waves as they walked past through the double doors.
Dylan turned to find herself face to face with Santana. "Hi," she said quietly, with a small smile. "Santana right?"
A nod and questioning glare was her only response.
"Ha, you're cute," Dylan said with a wink, "I like you." Dylan reaches out and playfully pushes Santana's shoulder.
"Sorry?" Santana asked seemingly a little taken aback.
"So, who's your friend?" Dylan asked, motioning towards the remaining blonde cheerleader. "She's like, really hot."
"Um well yes duh, of course she is, and yes I am cute, smoking to be exact." Santana offers, recovering from her momentary lapse and straightening her back with new found confidence. "That's Brittany," she says glancing over her shoulder.
Dylan observes her; curious to the sudden change in the Latina's posture once again upon looking back towards Brittany. Her confident posture now deteriorated into another low hunch and her face screwed up with her eye brows knitted together.
"Yeah? Well tell your friend she is like the hottest person I have ever seen," Dylan tested the waters. Santana spun back around and directed a death glare back at her.
"What are you implying, new girl?" Santana inquired.
Dylan chuckled, having obviously touched upon a tender subject for the fierce brunette. "Oh, just that if I get to sit next to her every day in Glee club, I'd definitely join even if I was mute."
Santana's glare deepened, releasing her crossed arms and clenching her fists down by her sides, "That's her boyfriend," She pushed out through clenched teeth.
"Oh? Huh, guess you're that kind of town," Dylan spoke mostly to herself.
"What the hell is that suppose to mean?" Santana seemed shocked. As she stood there mouth agape at Dylan, Brittany came bouncing up the isle pushing the other boy's wheelchair.
"Hey San, Artie and I are going to get some tacos, wanna come?" The blonde asked the brunette.
Snapping out of her daze, Santana answered, "No, Brittany, I do not want to go get tacos with you and your boyfriend." Tense Santana again. Dylan was impressed with her ability to change her attitude so quickly. That takes years of practice, talking from personal experience.
"Oh… who's your friend? Hi I'm Brittany!" Brittany enthusiastically took Dylan's hand and shook it. "She's cute San," Brittany directed towards Santana. Santana turned to look at Brittany with a questioning look on her face.
"I'm Dylan, I'm new," Dylan blushed slightly, rubbing the back of her neck once again.
"Awesome," Brittany said. Her smile was amazing, but her eyes were the brightest blue Dylan had ever seen. They were hypnotic; she couldn't tear her eyes away from them and was left with no choice but to return her smile.
"Brittany, we should go," The spell was broken with Artie's voice. Dylan realized he was tugging at the hem of Brittany's uniform and she turned to face Santana. Surprisingly, Santana wasn't looking at Dylan, but rather, she was staring at Brittany, with a look of disbelief and sadness.
"Okay. Bye Dylan! Bye Santana!" and with a flash of blonde, she and Artie were out the door, leaving the two McKinley-clad girls in their wake.
"Wow," was all Dylan had in her to say.
"Okay, seriously, you need to get off of your high horse, new girl, and back the fuck off," Santana snapped back, warning her.
"What?" Dylan turned to accept Santana's challenge. "Are you really going to stand there and tell me that she's dating that boy?"
"She is. What are you implying?" Dylan received a questioning glare from the other girl.
"Wow girly, you have no idea do you?" Dylan questioned. "Well figures, in a place like this."
"And what type of place is this?"
"Oh, you know, the epitome of high school stereotypes. Where everyone the social hierarchy is all there is to life and that people will actually give a shit about who was cool, geeky, lame or queer after this is all over" Dylan deadpanned.
"Queer…" Santana stated, more repeating it to herself than stating it as a question. "No, you're wrong."
"Am I? No, I'm not, 'cause, you've just met the best gaydar in all of north Jersey."
"Gay-what?" Santana asked in a shocked tone.
"Gay-Dar you know like Ray-Dar, except for gay people?" All she received was a blank stare. "Okay then… Let me put it to you this way, Brittany, she beeped."
Dylan chuckled. "Santana," Dylan places one hand on Santana's shoulder and looks her directly in the eyes. "Brittany likes girls."
"What? No, no she doesn't!" Santana swatted Dylan's hand away and took a step backwards, "She's my best friend, I would know…" Santana drifted off turning towards the door Brittany had exited from earlier.
"Santana. It's obvious. Maybe she's not gay but she definitely likes girls. I mean she's going to eat tacos for Christ's sake."
"What do tacos have to do with anything? And what, are you saying you're gay then?"
"I date people, they happen to be girls," Dylan states.
Santana just blinks at her, not sure what to make of this new intruder in her perfect little niche. "Um, I have to go," She finally replies.
"Sure thing, hot stuff," Dylan jokes as Santana passes by her to get to the door. But just before she's out of reach, Dylan grabs her by the hand and pulls her back. Caught off guard, Santana squeaks and finds herself pushed up against an unfamiliar body, a hot breathe gently whisping over her temple and heat radiating against her.
Dylan turns in and whispers quietly into Santana's ear, "Just so you know, you beeped too," her lips barely brushing against her cheek as she pulled away.
Santana jerks back and is left standing in shock, unable to formulate words. Dylan grin and throws a wink in Santana's direction before gathering up her bag and heading towards the auditorium exit. "See you at my audition," She says with one last beaming smile.
Santana is left standing alone in the auditorium. "How did she?" Frustrated with herself, Santana breaks her stance and kicks one of the auditorium seats. "Ha, beeped, yeah right, she doesn't know me." But Santana can't help getting a feeling of dread knowing someone might have figured out what she herself hasn't even come to terms with yet. Great.
Song: Everything is Everything - Lauryn Hill