Disclaimer: I do not own Glee but wouldn't that be awesome if I did?
All things considered, she's happy with her life. It's hectic and sometimes amazingly creepy and soul-sucking, but she likes it. She likes getting so much stalker mail she has to call the police and increase her security. She likes having to be in New York in the morning, L.A in the afternoon, and London by the evening. She likes that if she smiles too long or too big at someone the tabloids will assume she's having a mad, passionate affair.
But even her life isn't perfect. At odd times – when she's accepting an award, when she gets the call from her agent telling her she landed a role – she thinks of Finn Hudson. And sometimes she'll be so excited she'll whip her phone out and start dialing his cell number, only to remember that it won't go through, and if it does she won't be talking to Finn. She stopped crying over these moments years ago, but sometimes when she's alone, in an airport or hotel, she closes her eyes and remembers his face as he sang "Don't Stop Believing" or "Jesse's Girl". When she opens her eyes, he's not there.
"Ms. Berry? You're going to be called in three minutes." A weedy looking girl – sweet smile, horrible posture – says quietly to her right. Rachel smiles at her, nodding. When she was in High School she thought the best moment of her adult life would be winning a Tony. And it was – each of the seven times she won a Tony were some of the best moments of her life.
"And the winner of the Best Leading Actress Oscar is…Ms. Rachel Berry!" The crowd cheers and claps for her as she walks on stage, smile firmly in place because she just won an Oscar! She shakes hands with the presenter, accepting a hug and stands in front of the podium to say a few short words of thanks. If she told her younger self that she would like acting just as much as singing, she's sure her younger self would have scoffed and not believed her.
"I want to thank you so much for this honor. Of course, without a wonderful director this wouldn't be possible, so thank you Matt Lang! I would also like to thank my two dads, for without their support throughout the years I wouldn't be here. I would also like to thank," She pauses briefly, remembering when New Directions beat Vocal Adrenaline at Regionals the second time around in New York. "Mr. Schuester, my High School Glee Club director. Without him…I wouldn't have had the courage to go after my dreams." She remembers singing with Finn in New York square, right after Regionals was over. "I also want to thank the love of my life, Finn Hudson. I know you're proud of me, honey." She gives one last smile to the camera and the audience then walks back offstage before she can shed any tears.
Normally the last person she thanks is Quinn Fabray, her best friend, but remembering Finn…she had to thank him. He manager walks beside her, lips tight showing her anger at Rachel's "stunt", as they walk outback to their car. And of course the paparazzi are there, lying in wait and screaming questions.
"How do you feel tonight, Ms. Berry?"
"Any comments about your runner ups?"
"When did you and this 'Finn' meet each other?" That question causes Rachel to almost pause before she remembers that cell phones are the best invention in the history of human communication.
"Where is he now?" The last shouted question catches her attention and she turns her body sharply in the direction it came from. The crowd hushes, a low buzz of anticipation. Rachel smiles, the burn behind her nose signals that she is about to start crying uncontrollably.
"He's in heaven." Her smile turns bitter. "Only the good die young."
And her manager and she sweep into the Limo waiting for them and Rachel lets her head drop and the tears flow.
Quinn and Sam:
Quinn yawns and cracks her neck as she crawls out of bed. She brushes her teeth as she checks Twitter and the News on her mirror. The president did something, the mayor of her city is an idiot with a naughty side, and the results for the winners of the Oscars are up. She pauses briefly before squealing and pulling the list up, looking for Rachel's name.
Winner of Best Leading Actress…Rachel Berry
"YES, YES!" She jumps around, ecstatic, as if she herself won the award.
"Mom, what is your damage?" Her son, Samuel, asks moodily from the doorway. His school uniform is on and he doesn't look quite as awake as he should be.
"Aunt Rachel won an Oscar!" She shouts, knowing that'll excite him – Rachel is one of his favorite people after all. He smiles a little, dimples becoming more pronounced.
"That's pretty rad." He says, which means that when he goes to school he'll be shoving it in everyone's faces. She nods, washing her mouth off and turning the mirror monitor off. She leaves the bathroom as he dashes in to lather hair product on his head – she didn't blame him, he inherited the curliest of hair and without gel it went everywhere. Everywhere.
After getting dressed she went into the kitchen and the refrigerator monitor clicked on, a morning show airing. Quinn didn't pay it any attention until a name popped into her ear: Finn Hudson. She whirled around, staring at the monitor with wide eyes.
"Finn Hudson, a new Thank You from Rachel Berry. She said he was the love of her life and then later stated he was dead. It has been confirmed that Finn Hudson was her High School sweetheart and that he is indeed deceased. Details on his death are not available to the public eye it would appear and there has been no formal statement from Rachel about things."
Quinn leaned against a counter, closing her eyes as she remembered Finn – beautiful, stupid Finn.
"Mom?" Samuel asked quietly. She opened her eyes and smiled at her baby, her 17 year old baby. God, Finn wasn't that much older than Sammie was when…
She hugged her son, not finishing that train of thought. "I'm alright, just remembering a boy I once knew." She pulled away with a smile. "Now, you have all your books and things? You're staying with your Dad for awhile while I go meet Rachel in L.A. for work, remember?" She asked and Samuel rolled his eyes. Sometimes she felt like rolling her eyes at her job too, she was a music supervisor why did she need to be where the filming was taking place just to put a soundtrack to it? They weren't going to let her really work until more than three-fourths of the thing was done anyway, so why did they need her?
"Yes, mom, I know." He said, clearly exasperated with her constant reminders. The front door opened and a cheerful voice boomed out a greeting.
"In the kitchen, Sam!" Quinn shouted smiling as Sam's head poked around the corner with that utterly goofy smile of his.
"Hey, kid. Shouldn't you be getting to school?" He asked confusion in his voice. Samuel's eyes shot to the nearest time piece and he made a mad dash to the front door, yelling out a good-bye.
"Hey, sweetie." Sam said, leaning over Quinn to give her a kiss on the cheek. She smiled up at him, bemused.
"You do know we're not married, right?"
He blinked adorably.
"I wasn't aware we had to be for me to greet you."
Quinn burst out laughing. Sam smiled down at her and for an instant Quinn thought that she was in her Cheerios uniform and Sam was in his football jersey and they were talking in the halls of McKinley High. She shook her head as she grabbed her bag that had been packed since last night for this trip.
"How's Alice?" Quinn asked. Alice was Sam's current wife – only wife, technically, as Sam and Quinn had never gotten married, just had a child together. Quinn liked Alice; she was a fiery brunette who strangely reminded Quinn of a mellower version of Kurt.
"Oh, she's fine. We're gonna take Samuel to see her family – you know, so he knows what family reunions are like without paparazzi." Quinn could hear Sam's smile as he spoke and giggled herself.
"Yeah, that might be a nice thing for the poor boy to know." After all, out of all the people that usually attended their family reunions only Sam was someone with no "adoring public" – Sam was just a really high up and powerful IRS agent, that's it. He worked for the government and thus had no real paparazzi
"How's Rachel?" There was something more to that question, she was sure of it. She turned suspicious eyes on him.
"I ask you how your wife is and you immediately ask me how Rachel is? What the hell?"
"Well, I don't know…there were a few times back in High School when you called her name and not mine…" He trailed off teasingly. Quinn rolled her eyes.
"Oh yes, because you have so much room to talk, Mr. I-call-my-football-coach's-name-when-making-out-with-my-girlfriend." She laughed at the memory – Sam had been mortified when she had taken Sue's advice, though why she had done that was beyond her, and she had never let him live it down. She grabbed her keys and turned around to find that Sam was right in her space, smiling down at her.
"No good-bye kiss?" He smiled down at her and she rolled her eyes at him, but did stretch up on her tip-toes to press her lips to his. And he descended on her, pressing her against the wall that was behind her and Quinn was once again reminded of the halls of McKinley High.
She wrapped a leg around his waist and he curled his fingers around it. She ground down against him and he moved his mouth to her neck. His cell phone rang in his pocket and before he could move his hands she yanked it out of his chest pocket and looked to see who it was. Alice.
"Hello?" She answered and Sam lived her up a bit so she had no choice but to wrap both her legs around him. He thrust against her and she moaned.
"Quinn? Oh for heaven's sake, don't you have to be at the airport soon?" Alice laughed on the other line. Quinn rolled her hips down to meet Sam's and he groaned into her collarbone.
"Yes, I have about three – well, one now – minute that I can spare."
Alice giggled. Honestly, Quinn wasn't sure what to call their relationship. Quinn and Alice got along fine, and they both slept with Sam, though he was married to Alice. Sometimes the girls made out with each other, but it wasn't like they were in love with each other, they just liked each other's company and Sam was into both of them, so why not?
"Well, I was calling to tell him that if he got back here I didn't have to get changed, but if he's with you…"
Quinn moaned again.
"What are you wearing right now, Alice?" She breathed out as Sam worked a hand under her blouse.
"Oh, nothing special…your old Cheerios uniform and a blond wig. I was gonna let him call me 'Quinn' and everything. I was thinking that I could tell you all about it when you got a free moment." Alice's voice was fucking sexy. Quinn wiggled away from Sam, who groaned but obediently moved away.
"You promise to tell me everything?" Quinn asked her stomach all aflutter. Alice giggled again.
"Oh, yes, Quinn, I'll tell you every. little. detail." And she hung up. Quinn tucked Sam's phone back into his pocket.
"Go to Alice – you'll like what she's wearing. I gotta go and see if I can't make sure Rachel's newest film has at least two songs sung by Kurt in there…My life is not simple, it isn't." Quinn said, kissing Sam once more before grabbing her things and leaving.
Artie, Tina, Mike:
Artie watches as Mike and Tina show off their fantastically awesome and awe-inspiring dance moves to a crew of movie producers and big-wigs. The director looks like she's about to leap out of her seat and start flailing, so Artie suspects the show is going well.
The show ends with Mike twirling Tina onto his right leg and dipping her. The moves are insane. Everyone claps, Artie included because no matter how many times he sees it, the moves are still insane looking and awe-inspiring.
"I think that choreography is exactly where we are going and looking for. Can you teach it?"
Tina stands up in a flourish and smiles demurely at the audience. "Of course we can. Especially to Rachel, since we've worked together before." And Artie knows she's thinking why the fuck do you think we're here, just to show off? Of course we can fucking teach it! He rolls forward as Mike stands and takes Tina's hand.
"Well, I think now is a time to discuss finer details, perhaps?"
That night, as they're back in their own apartment, Mike and Tina are still excited at the job they just landed while Artie is just watching a football game. When he suddenly doesn't hear them anymore he turns his head, only to have Tina straddle him while Mike sits down next to them.
"Hi." She says flirtatiously and Artie arches an eyebrow at her. "So…Mike and I were thinking…" And Artie knows this is going to end badly because when those two think together things turn ugly.
"We want you to film us having sex." Mike blurts out, staring intently at the game, trying to ignore what he just said. Artie blinked and felt his jaw drop. What the fuck?
"Uh…you do know I've had sex with both of you right?" Artie asks, somewhat confused as to where the hell this is coming from. Tina nods and Mike flushes, twisting a little more in their direction.
"We were just wondering what it would do to us…because you'd be in the room too." Tina says, tracing patterns with her finger in Artie's shirt. If this had happened in High School he would have jumped on the opportunity because back then he still wanted just Tina. If this happened in College he would have jumped on the opportunity because back then he still wanted just Mike. But now these two were firmly in "friend" category and he didn't feel anything romantic for them.
"…So, this isn't some weird attempt to get us in a threesome like Quinn, Sam, and Alice?" He asks, because if it is he has to say no. Tina shakes her head and Mike finally turns to look at Artie.
"We don't want you like that, we were just wondering because the only other person we've been sexually active with was you, so…it made us curious." He says. Artie looks at the two of them, two of the most important people to him, and nods slowly.
This will be interesting.
Noah cracked his neck as he stared into the mirror, preparing to go outside and walk through the rabid dogs that called themselves journalists. He may not be an international superstar like Rachel or Kurt or a world renowned dance choreographer like Mike, Tina and Artie; but he was a world renowned lawyer and that came with its own set of paparazzi.
And his paparazzi wasn't there to make him look good or speculate about things that didn't matter, no, his paparazzi was all about ripping his clients apart when they're already vulnerable and fragile.
When Puck – he may have stopped introducing himself as "Puck" but mentally he never stopped being "Puck" – graduated high school, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. He liked to sing and play guitar, but not enough to try and go for the stars like Rachel and Kurt, the crazy psychos. He wanted to go to college, but college takes money of which Puck had…none. At least not enough to attend full time. So, he had no idea what to do with himself.
Then came that horrible night with Finn and Kurt, the night he still has nightmares about, the night that changed his life forever.
It started off as a normal night. Puck and Finn were over at the Hummel-Hudson residence hanging out, Finn was out of college for Winter break and Kurt was back in Ohio for the same thing. Finn was attending the community college nearby and Kurt was at an Arts College somewhere in New York with his boy Blaine. Blaine was in Chicago with his family and Kurt was back in Ohio.
The three young men got bored at home and so they went out to, of all things, shop. Yes, it was Kurt's idea and yes there was nothing else to do. They were lucky the mall stayed open till midnight otherwise they'd be even more bored out of their minds. It happened when they were going back to their car.
In the trial afterwards it came out that Karofsky had been stalking Kurt since their junior year in high school and that was how he knew that Kurt was even back in Ohio. He and a group of his drunk, worthless, pathetic "friends" knocked Puck out with a two-by-four and dragged Kurt and Finn away. They had meant for it to be just Kurt but Finn was easily as big as all of them and a decent fighter – and he hadn't been broadsided like Puck had been.
In the trail they showed video footage from the mall cameras – Karofsky and some other big guy eventually had Kurt pinned the ground and the third and fourth guy managed to subdue Finn. They were both put into the back of a pick-up truck and it drove away. They were held captive for three days without food or water and by the end of it…Kurt had been molested and almost raped and Finn had been murdered in front of him.
The whole incident made Puck realize what he wanted to do – he wanted to be a lawyer. And not just any lawyer, no, he wanted to deal specifically in Hate Crimes. So he did – he attacked his dream with the same insane determination that Kurt used to get over what happened to him and stay with Blaine, with the same crazy determination Rachel used in every aspect of her life.
He straightened his tie and walked towards the door, he had an old friend to see and he'd be damned if the rapid dogs made him miss this.
The airport is crowed with people and paparazzi – and yes they're two different categories – and Kurt is bouncing on his heels as David, his manager, rolls his eyes good naturedly in his direction. And Kurt is wearing heels, a pair by Mercedes, with wicked tight and fabulous pants and an even sweeter shirt that complements Kurt's torso excellently. And his whole outfit, except for his underwear, was designed by one Mercedes Jones. Kurt has made it his life's mission to never wear anything other then her wares and so far he has been successful in that wish.
Then people start coming into the terminal and Kurt's eyes are glued to the line, looking for –
Blaine. Blaine, Blaine, Blaine, Blaine,
"Blaine!" Apparently his brain to mouth filter is still somewhat broken, because as he's moving quickly towards his husband his voice shouts the thing his mind is screaming and –
Kurt throws his arms around his husband, who he hasn't seen in person for a full month because Blaine was filming some mini-series, and kisses him as if they're alone. Blaine responds enthusiastically, clutching Kurt close and his tongue instantly finding its way into Kurt's mouth.
Dear Gaga, (Though why he still insists on using her name in place of the God he doesn't believe in is beyond him because by the time he was getting into the music industry people barely even remembered who she was) it feels like he hasn't kissed Blaine in ages and that's just wrong. Blaine's hands are hot on the small of his back and they're pressed so close and –
Kurt finally becomes aware that his fans are squealing and the paparazzi is madly taking photos and abruptly stops kissing Blaine, pulling away to smile goofily – and he knows it's a goofy smile because he feels like he's 16 again and Blaine just serenaded him in front of a good portion of his school and his smile then was goofy, so this one probably is too – up at his husband. Blaine is smiling down at him fondly, eyes sparkling. Kurt blinks confusedly because why is he looking up at Blaine? They've been basically the same height since high school and Kurt's in two inch raised platform heels. He pulls away to quickly glance at what Blaine is wearing – a shirt from Mercedes' last year fall collection, some ridiculously sexy pants that make Kurt want to rip them off, and four inch platform boots.
"How can you walk in those? You have, like, no balance." He asks, incredulous. Blaine laughs and leans forward to kiss him on the forehead – their fans swoon and go "awww" – before Wes – Blaine's manager – and David are dragging them back into the real world. Blaine holds his hand and Kurt gets that giddy feeling he got the first time they held hands at Dalton – like he's about to fly.
"Did you see Rachel this morning? She won her Oscar last night." Blaine says as they get in the backseat of a limo.
"Of course I did, who do you think dressed her via satellite?" Kurt asked, arching his eyebrow. Wes and David laughed across from them.
"Oh, so that's why she was wearing Mercedes' newest dress – I had wondered!" Wes said. Kurt stuck his tongue out at him – Mercedes was his girl, of course he was going to pimp her fashion line every chance he got.
Blaine pulled his head around and kissed him, sucking his tongue into his mouth. Thanking his years of cheerleading and his long friendship with Mike and Tina, he somehow managed to twist himself to straddle Blaine's lap. Wes and David rolled their eyes and tugged their respective reading materials in front of their eyes. And this was awesome because they hadn't seen each other for a month.
They make out for twenty minutes, until Wes reminds them that they do have paparazzi following them, and even if they can't see through the windows, if they arrive looking ruffled it won't take a genius to figure out what happened. Kurt whimpers against Blaine's lips, but crawls off of his lap. He closes his eyes and thinks of Finn singing and instantly his erection is gone. It's been years since the incident, years since he woke up crying and screaming from nightmares, so luckily his thoughts don't go to the last, final time he heard Finn singing with a horse, ruined voice, but it does almost go there. He would think it morbid if not for the fact that he knows Blaine thinks about that incident to calm down too – after all, what better way to cool off then relive trauma? What better way to recover from it?
Blaine slings an arm around his waist and sings a few verses from his newest song into Kurt's ear – the song is literally about how much Blaine loves him, he's not even joking. And it's a top billboard hit. Kurt's song usually end up in epic billboard battles with Blaine's but at least Kurt also has theater to expand with – he stuck with theater when Rachel decided to do both theater and film.
"How in the world do you pull off the same exact expression from when you were 16? For a second I thought I was looking at you just after Blaine serenaded you with 'Teenage Dream'." David says good naturedly, smiling at the obnoxiously in love couple that he can't help but think of as family.
Mercedes' secretary tells her that a lawyer is here to see her, which makes her blink a few times before smiling widely and rushing out of her office. And of course, there he is, grinning at her with his hands in his pockets.
"Puck! You made it, oh this is awesome!" She exclaims, going over to give him a hug. Puck and Mercedes are often the only members New Directions – even though they're not at McKinley, not in High School anymore, they'll always be members of "New Directions" – that stay in New York for more than a week so they often see each other more often than anyone else. It's become a tradition for Puck and Mercedes, every 20th of every month they go out to dinner and catch each other up with everyone else – exchange gossip about their friends, essentially.
At the end of dinner comes the announcement: "Samuel is turning 18 soon, so Quinn and Sam want us all to get together and throw a party." Puck says and Mercedes smiles because really, Sammie is like a shared child.
"That sounds awesome! I do hope the paparazzi will leave the poor kid alone this time…"
Samuel's sweet sixteen got crashed, badly, by paparazzi – it was a complete nightmare. Puck threatened to sue and Rachel and Kurt made vague comments about some of their more crazy devoted fans who would do anything they asked of them. It was Sam that utterly destroyed the company those poor fools were from, one tax invasion later and the business was shut down – Sam did work with the IRS after all. Though, now that Mercedes is thinking about it she really wonders what happened to the individual reporters because she can't recall ever seeing them again…
"So, I guess this means I have to design him a new outfit special for his birthday – Ohhhh, I can do a whole lineup for my guy's line based around it!" Mercedes is always excited for new opportunities for fashion and Puck laughs as he walks her back to her office.
"Did you see the latest news about Princess and Blaine?" And Puck rarely ever calls Kurt by his name, it's always "princess" – it started as an insult, then New Directions came and it was a nickname, then Kurt was in the hospital and traumatized and it became a comfort name.
"You mean the video of Kurt attacking Blaine's mouth and looking rather fine and sexy while doing it?" She says dryly, because half of her still giggles whenever she sees her boy and Blaine make out and the other half wants to remind them that they aren't teenagers, can't they show some self control?
"I gotta say Princess looked like he wanted to sex his man up right there. I'm pretty sure he forgot about the cameras." Puck laughs, remembering that the way New Directions found out about Kurt and Blaine back in high school was because Kurt obviously forgot they were in the auditorium minutes before the rest of the Glee Club were going to use it. Needless to say, in walks New Directions and there are Kurt and Blaine, making out like no one's business.
"Kurt does have a rather distressing tendency to forget about the rest of the world around Blaine, doesn't he?"
"You think this is hard? I was in Glee Club with both Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel, that's hard!" Santana screamed through her megaphone, curtsey of one Sue Sylvester. So was her position of McKinley High's cheerleading coach. Everyone else left Lima, Ohio faster then she could say "New Directions", but she and Britney stayed – even in the same high school.
For them it made sense, McKinley was the only place they could be themselves – it had Glee club and Mr. Shue, of course they stayed. It was easier for them, after all, the halls of McKinley weren't places they felt worthless or in danger like the rest of their fellow New Direction members, so they stayed.
Mr. Shue is the principle now, and isn't that weird, and Britney is the director of the Glee Club – Santana refuses to acknowledge that they still have the name "New Directions" – while Santana coaches the Cheerios as brutally and strictly as Sue did, just with a little less psycho crazy; she encourages diets and exercise, not eating disorders. And she still makes it to Nationals and has a crazy amount of trophies, just like Sue. She's just not always on a warpath against Glee club.
"Sloppy! Hit the showers!" She calls and her girls all head to the showers. She jumps down from the bleachers, heading for the hallway to see if Britney is done with Glee Club yet.
Britney twirls out of the Glee rehearsal room – they have their own room now thanks to Rachel and Kurt – and smiles when she sees Santana.
"Did you get the call that Sammie's eighteenth birthday party is soon?" She immediately asks, smiling brightly. It's been years, but no matter how many times Santana sees Britney's smile it makes her stomach flutter.
"Yeah, can you believe that? It feels like yesterday that we were 18, now our kid is turning 18…" Santana trails off, in a strange kind of awe over time. Yeah, yeah, she's well aware that Samuel is Quinn's son, but that child might as well be the group child, he's the only one they have so far! Especially since Beth wants nothing to do with them. The sting from that memory is ruthlessly pushed into the box that holds all her memories of Finn and locked tight. She can't spend all her days in mourning.
Britney's pinky finds her and Santana has a strange sense of déjà vu walking down these very halls years ago.
"I saw Rachel this morning. She won an Oscar but she wasn't happy. She thanked Finn." Britney sniffs at the end, holding back tears at the memory of the old Quarterback. Santana was shocked – Rachel was fucking strong. She searched her mind for something to say to cheer B up.
"He would be so proud of her." Comes out from some deep, dark place inside her and B turns to her, smiling bright, and they're in the middle of the hallway with students around them going home and Santana just can't help it, not when faced with that smile. She leans forward and kisses B, who wraps her arms around Santana's neck and sighs into the kiss.
Some things change, but others never will.