A/N: Uh... yeah, yet another new story. But it's just a one-shot, so that's alright, right? I know the whole Warblers-seeing-one-or-more-New-Directions-performances idea is way overdone, but I still wanted to write this - at least they come across it by accident now... I suppose this is post-'Sexy' but pre-'Original Song', even though I doubt there's that much time in between those episodes, so it's probably a little AU-ish too in that aspect. Also, I tried to make sure the conversation was actually possible alongside the commercial, but the beginning is not quite right. Sorry 'bout that :)
Oh, before I go, two more 'observations' from the latest episode - what on earth do the Warblers discuss during meeting (and, why was there a meeting without Kurt there?), and what was up with Puck during Candles? That was all :)
Anyway, hopefully you'll enjoy this! :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee...
With only a little over a week left before Regionals, the last thing the Warblers should be doing was slacking off and watching a movie instead of rehearsing. There had been so many practices already, though, that the council had decided to take a break for a change. Besides, classes had been over for a couple of hours already, so the Warblers who did not board (alright, that was just Kurt) weren't even at Dalton anymore.
Even though it was an unofficial Warbler movie night (not that there were any official Warbler movie nights), not many people were actually paying attention to what was happening on the screen. Some were texting or playing with their mobile phones, and others were just talking with each other.
Whatever their activities, they were interrupted by a commercial. Nobody remembered touching the remote control (mainly because Wes was protecting it with his gavel), so it was a shock for all of them when the commercial turned out to be very loud.
It wasn't just loud, it was singing.
"Hey," Nick muttered, blinking. "Isn't that – "
"Sounds like that Van Halen song," Jeff said, and others were nodding too.
"You know, we could probably pull this off too," David mused. "Theoretically, that is." Wes nodded enthusiastically as they watched the kids – because honestly, they couldn't be much older than the Warblers themselves – all jumped onto either the left or the right mattress when a tall guy came storming forward.
"Hey – " Blaine now exclaimed. That guy looked very familiar… and, to be honest, so did all the other kids.
"What, Blaine?" Thad asked, turning away from the screen to look at Blaine instead. Blaine, on the other hand, kept his eyes glued to the screen. He didn't want to miss a second of this. It was just too hilarious, and it had barely even started.
"I think this is New Directions," Blaine replied. "But," he added after a very quick shot of a boy who couldn't be anyone else but Kurt, "not something recent."
"You are way too familiar with our competition if you recognise them after just two seconds, Blaine," Thad told him before looking back at the tv.
Blaine just shrugged. "Not necessarily. I mean, the guy singing is Kurt's stepbrother, and I knew him before I knew most of the others."
"He's tall," Jeff observed. "He doesn't look one bit like Kurt…"
"I said stepbrother, Jeff," Blaine repeated, slightly annoyed, and Jeff grinned back sheepishly.
"And the girl?" David asked.
"His ex, Rachel," Blaine replied without thinking.
"The girl you went out with?" David prodded, smirking happily as Blaine coughed awkwardly.
"You went out with a girl?" Jeff asked, and a few others looked surprised as well. "Why didn't we know?"
Blaine just muttered something. He would explain later. Maybe.
"They're going crazy on those mattresses," Nick spoke up. "It looks like fun…"
"I'm sure we can all ask Kurt how much fun it was on Monday," David said, grinning wickedly, and Blaine winced. "And don't you dare warn him, Blaine. I want to see his face when he hears we saw this commercial."
Only a few seconds later, Mercedes was belting out a note that had all the Warblers pay attention again, if they had been slacking off. If the council really wanted to sing this song, and if they were really going to annoy Kurt with it, they would be seeing this video more often anyway.
"That's Kurt's best friend," Blaine found himself saying. When Wes raised an eyebrow at him, he shifted in his seat. "At McKinley, at least…"
"How long ago was this shot, exactly?" Wes then asked. "Because Kurt looks at least five years younger here."
Blaine had to admit that there was a certain truth in that statement. It might be the hair. "I think New Directions hasn't been around for that long," he responded, trying to remember what Kurt had told him about that subject, but he couldn't think of anything else. Besides, Kurt walking backwards in between those mattresses doing that finger thing? That had him slightly distracted.
Maybe Kurt could be sexy after all. But only when he wasn't trying so hard.
Wes even had the audacity to laugh at the face Blaine was unintentionally making, so Blaine made sure to wipe his face clean of emotions while trying not to laugh at the antics of the other team. Although – most Warblers were laughing and actually moving along with the music, so he figured he could laugh. Nick was right, it did look like a lot of fun. The Warblers would never do such a thing, though. Blaine wondered why they had done this commercial, and how they even landed a spot in it.
His stomach clenched a bit, though, as he compared the Kurt in this commercial – so happy, young and innocent – to his best friend Kurt. He looked so carefree, just jumping around on mattresses with his glee friends. Blaine knew that Kurt, just like everyone else, had simply grown older, but the bullying he had faced must've had a huge impact too – he couldn't be innocent and carefree anymore, he had had to grow up. It wasn't a pleasant thought.
During his pondering, Rachel had concluded the performance with a few spoken sentences that must've been meant to draw customers.
"That was definitely interesting," Wes said. "It's something to keep in mind for Nationals."
"But how old is this commercial if they seem so much younger?" David asked. "And why is it airing only now?"
"On it," Lance shouted from the other side of the room, already with his phone in his hand. A minute later, he announced, "Mattress Land is new in Westerville, but apparently… there's been a store in Lima for ages."
"We'll just ask Kurt how old they were in this when we see him," Jeff said, shrugging, and with that, the discussion was concluded.
That night, Blaine dreamt of mattresses.
When Monday came around, all the Warblers were eagerly waiting for the full story – if only Kurt would arrive in time to tell them before class. They hadn't told him about the impromptu meeting until early that morning, and Wes and David were afraid that Blaine, or anyone else, might slip up and ask him about the commercial before practice if they didn't ask him before class.
"Why are we having a meeting before class?" Kurt immediately asked upon walking into the room. Seeing the others' faces, grin or smirk present on every single one of them, he added, "What? Do I have something on my face?"
"Why don't you sit down, Kurt?" Wes told him, pointing his gavel at a free spot in the room.
"Did something happen this weekend?" the younger boy asked somewhat suspiciously.
While Wes shook his head, David said, "Actually, yes. We may have found a song for Nationals."
"Nationals? Shouldn't we worry about Regionals first?" Clearly, Kurt didn't see the point in this conversation and Blaine supposed he could understand that – yes, the whole situation was funny to them, but to Kurt, not so much.
"Yes," David replied swiftly, "we should. But still. And a new store opened its doors in Westerville."
"You spent all weekend at a video games store again?" Kurt guessed, and someone in the back of the room snorted.
"No, we didn't go there," Nick responded; the council members looked horrified by the fact that someone else was taking over. "We just saw the… commercial."
Snickers filled the room as Kurt stared at Nick non-understandingly. "You saw a commercial. Wow. Sounds like an interesting weekend," he deadpanned, and Blaine figured they'd better just get it out.
"It was. There were a bunch of teenagers singing Jump while jumping on mattresses. I think the store was named Mattress Land," he told Kurt, unable to hold back a smile – especially when realisation dawned on Kurt's face.
"They're in Westerville too, now?" he squeaked. "And – "
"It was a very interesting commercial," David said with a grin.
"And a very long one," Thad added. "When did you shoot it? You looked like you were twelve – no offense."
Kurt folded his arms to his chest and let out an indignant huff. "If you must know, that was last school year, right before Sectionals. I was sixteen."
"Oh," Thad said eloquently, and a couple of others in the room were staring at Kurt with confused looks on their faces. "Right. Sorry."
Blaine shot Kurt an apologetic smile. Deciding not to press that issue any further, he instead asked, "How did you even get in a commercial? And why did you do it?"
"All Rachel's doing," Kurt replied, rolling his eyes just slightly, and he was interrupted by David.
"The girl Blaine went out with?" Blaine felt like facepalming, but he managed to refrain himself from doing that.
Kurt's gaze turned stony as he replied with a short, "Yes."
"So… what did she do?" Jeff asked, looking as if he was about to bounce up and down in his seat as if it were a… mattress?
"She talked the guy who took school pictures at McKinley into it," Kurt started with a sigh. "His… brother-in-law, I think, is the owner… or the manager, or something, of that store. And he needed people for the commercial, and Rachel made them pick us. She, and the rest of us too, thought that if we became local celebrities, nobody would harass us anymore. Clearly that plan failed." He added the final part a bit bitterly, and Blaine's stomach clenched again.
"Harass you?" Nick asked, confused, but Kurt waved it away expertly.
"That's a story for another time," he said vaguely, though Blaine wondered if that 'other time' actually existed.
"But the commercial must've worked, if they're using it again," Thad said, shrugging.
"For them, yes, but not for us," Kurt replied.
"Did you do other commercials before or after that?" David asked with great interest, and Kurt shook his head.
"No, we didn't. We got into a lot of trouble for this already, so we didn't want that to happen again."
"Trouble?" Blaine asked, frowning. "What do you mean?"
"We did the commercial without Mr Schuester – our director – knowing anything. We got paid in mattresses, and that night, Mr Schue walked out on his wife because she told him she was pregnant but she really wasn't. It was very dramatic," Kurt started, and Blaine actually laughed.
"Everything's dramatic at McKinley," he muttered, and Kurt nodded solemnly.
"Yes, it is. Anyway, he slept in the choir room that night, and he found the mattresses. He slept on one of the mattresses after taking it out of the plastic."
"So? What's wrong with that?" Jeff asked, but Wes was frowning, as if he had a feeling about what was coming.
"Apparently accepting payment, in whatever form, for anything professional like that negates the amateur status of a glee club," Kurt explained. "We almost became ineligible to compete at Sectionals last year because of it."
A few Warblers made noises of disbelief, and Wes asked, "But you did compete, right?"
Kurt have a firm nod. "Yes, in the end, we did compete. But that was only after Mr Schue convinced everyone that he was the one accepting payment – for something he didn't even know had happened – and that it wasn't us. He temporarily stepped down as our director to let us go to Sectionals."
"See, this is what happens when you perform off campus," Wes commented, and the other Warblers groaned.
Even David rolled his eyes and said, "That was a close call, then." Kurt nodded again. "But was it fun to do?"
"Oh, yes, definitely." As he said that, a huge smile appeared on his face, and Blaine wondered if that happened just from thinking about New Directions. If so, he was impressed. "It was an amazingly fun afternoon. I think it must've been one of the only times that everyone was just fully… relaxed and not thinking about everything else that was going on."
"I think we should be glad that Regionals doesn't take place in a mattress store," Wes said thoughtfully. "If it did, we wouldn't stand a chance. You say you got the whole thing down in just one afternoon?"
"It honestly didn't take that long," Kurt responded. "Sometimes we were just messing around a bit, and sometimes we were actually practising and shooting it."
Thad looked like he was about to say something when the bell rang, indicating that they would have to move if they wanted to make it to class in time. As Blaine caught up with Kurt in the hallway just outside the meeting room, he briefly thought about mentioning the change that must've taken place in Kurt in a little over a year – but when Kurt shot him a small smile, he decided to just let it go. For now, at least.
A/N: So... what do you think? Did you like it, hate it, something else? If you've got anything to say/ask about the story, please don't hesitate do leave a review, I'd love to hear what you think!