Hey guys! so last chapter :D ENJOY and all that
Nationals soon arrived and with it a whole lot of nervous drama. Kurt and Quinn were both reluctant to leave their boyfriends in Lima for so long. Quinn mostly because their relationship was so young and new. She didn't want to risk it so soon. But Kurt just felt like someone was slowly pulling off a limb when they tried to part him from Blaine for so long, it was awful. But Harry and Blaine were both supportive about the whole thing. They encouraged them to enjoy their time in the Big Apple and to see as many sights as possible. It wasn't such a big deal to either of them having seen most of the world growing up, but to most of the New Directions this was the furthest they'd ever been from Lima their whole life.
Rachel was freaking out of song options and busily rifling through every music catalogue she could find for ideas. Mike was dragging Brittany into dance rehearsals as much as humanly possible to make sure they would at least have some form of amazing dance to front them with and make the group look good on that score, even if the rest of them were just swaying in the background. Everyone else was just muttering about arrangements and packing and all sorts of hyper enthusiasm for their trip.
On the morning they were due to leave, two days before the competition Blaine and Harry turned up at the bus to the airport and hugged their partners wishing everyone good luck and a good time. The nervous energy of still not having chosen a set list yet was making everyone slightly twitchy. But the overall energy was excitement for going to New York finally.
Upon arrival the other end of a pretty long plane ride the energy had dropped slightly and they'd settled into a sort of peaceful low buzzing energy. Mr Schue looked grateful that they'd finally settled down a little and stopped singing random travel songs. After three renditions of hundred bottle of beer he had developed a rather fixed smile and an eye twitch. Kurt was pretty sure Puck had started the last go through just to see if he would crack.
"Alright room assignments" Mr Schue called as they all piled into the rather grand and huge reception area of the Hotel.
It was a much nicer place than Kurt had expected them to get to stay, he'd been sure they'd end up in a dive Motel. But this place was fancy, with complementary fruit baskets and bath robes. They were all rather giddy at the prospect as they eyed up the other refined guests, moving around in business suites and all looking the height of New York chic.
"Can't we all just pair off or something?" Santana asked linking her pinkie with Brittany.
Mr Schue's lips twitched but he shook his head.
"No guys, you've all got room assignments, and groups to stay in, during the free time you have in the day, no one is allowed to go off alone or in anything less than a four. This City is huge guys, and your safety is important, I also however know it would be unrealistic to expect you to stay indoors the whole time and work. So room lists!"
There was a slight rustle and then the whole group formed a circle around him, ready and waiting to get grouped up, since Mr Schue did have a point they couldn't argue with, this place was way bigger and more chaotic that Lima, they would need to be aware and wary not to get lost or mugged most likely.
Kurt braced himself to leave the bathroom after laying out all his cosmetics, he expected the room to look like an explosion had gone off. But Finn had just thrown his suitcase in one corner and flopped onto his bed. Sam was sprawled face down on his bed with all his clothes neatly put away in an open cupboard and Puck was sitting on his bed sorting through shirts and underwear. Kurt was impressed that they hadn't managed to start a pillow war or something else crazy in his absence.
"Dude I totally didn't expect us to have so much room" Puck grinned up at him once he spotted him hovering in the doorway.
"I know right, this place is huge!" Finn grunted
"It's a family suite" Kurt offered lightly.
They all settled down pretty easily after that for the next hour before dinner was due in the Hotel restaurant with the entire group coming back together. They were supposed to be mind storming for ideas to share. But they were all pretty bogged down after the long day of travel.
Dinner was a chaotic affair. They had one big table and everyone was talking and laughing and planning things to try and do in their free time. Kurt and Rachel wanted to try the next morning for Tiffany's and the Gershwin theatre, only to look, but just so they could say they'd at least seen them. Finn was mumbling something about Rachel's birthday this summer and some sort of football mega store. Kurt wasn't too sure if he was combining both aspects which would be a train crash, or if he was just planning them both, he sure hoped so. Tina and Mike were planning on trying to visit a ballet that was going on a few blocks away, something they were both actually interested in.
Kurt was still in slight shock that he was actually in New York! He pinched his arm and winced and then grinned giddily at Rachel who was quite literally vibrating in her seat.
"There's a late night Ice skating arena around here somewhere, anyone want to go?" Sam called from down the table.
He had a whole map of New York out on the table, studying it with a serious frown.
"Ice Skating?" Quinn asked dubiously
"Yeah, sure a group activity, we need to get our team spirit on!" Puck cheered bumping fists with Mike and Artie.
"But skating?" Mercedes muttered arched her brow at her boyfriend.
"Well it could be kinda fun, it says here it's an open air thing with market stalls and a ferris wheel and stuff, like a mini carnival, it's only here for two months coming up to summer and then it travels from city to city every week all through the summer months" he read off with a shrug.
"Might be fun to have a look around, better than staying inside and trying to force out a song" Lauren shrugged looping her arm through Puck's.
"Yeah come on, if it's lame we can always come back and write some more rubbish none of us are going to use" Finn grunted dodging a reprimanding smack from Rachel.
The next morning Kurt woke up with a swooping feeling of dread in his stomach. Today was the eve of the competition, they were all supposed to have time booked in a rehearsal suite in the hotel. Where the stage area would be marked out and every choir got time to make sure they could move about and practice in that space ready for the real thing. Only the twenty competitors starting Nationals off tomorrow got real stage time in the theatre the Hotel also had arranged to have built in their largest meeting hall, which turned out to be rather like a real theatre, with a stage and everything, because it was used for business lectures and productions and even theatre groups on occasion. But that room was off limits to everyone not performing the next day. The timing of everything was down to a fine line. New Directions were singing on the third and last day of the competition. They got half an hour to run through their performances on the actual stage in the evening after the competition finished for the day the second day. Hopefully they would actually have something to rehearse by then.
There went his stomach with a great big lurch again, reminding him forcefully that being at a huge competition without any form of plan was like dooming yourself to failure.
"We have got to find songs today guys. I don't care what else happens. By dinner this evening we will have a set list" he stated loudly over the breakfast clamour.
"Of course we will Kurt" Rachel nodded looking just as panicked and failing to hide it as him.
"Yeah totally, and we've always got a whole slew of backups if we don't manage to write anything. We can sing something we all know we're great with. There are plenty of songs we've done this year that would be useable" Tina nodded looking slightly nervous.
"Agreed, we got this covered guys. By this evening no matter what you do all day, after dinner we have a space in the practice hall and we'll be going over a selection of potential songs." Mr Schue suddenly announced coming up behind their table.
"Yes Sir" they all saluted, and then broke up into suitable groups for the day.
"I know just where we can get inspired" Rachel commanded grabbing Kurt and Finn's arms before they could even step away from the table.
"We need one more person to make it ok to leave the Hotel" Kurt reminded her as she practically dragged them towards the main glass fronted doors.
She was unusually strong for such a small girl, even Finn was trundling along in her wake staring at his arm in confusion.
"I know we do, I'm sure we can grab someone to take with us" she muttered eyeing the scattering group like a vulture hunting a field for mice.
"Well well well look who's here!" a cheerful voice called and they all whipped around startled.
Blaine was leaning against a marble and glass reception desk casually while behind him Harry seemed to be arguing with the staff.
"Blaine!" Kurt almost shrieked at a decibel only dogs would hear.
"Kurt!" he gasped teasingly straightening up with a bright grin.
"Where's Quinn?" Harry demanded over his brother's shoulder seemingly ignoring the impatient clerk for a moment.
"She's over there somewhere, we just gathered to discuss plans" Rachel piped up with a happy smile.
"Oh good, I hope she's happy to see me" he fidgeted with his collar and smart business blazer for a moment.
"Of course she will be" Kurt snorted grabbing Blaine up in a hug, he looked right at Harry over his shoulder with an eye roll.
"What are you two doing here though?" Finn interrupted as Harry started scanning the lobby for Quinn totally ignoring the now foot tapping guy behind the counter.
"Business trip. Dad had to come last minute and when he found out it was New York he asked if we'd want to come along, since we'd been whining like little girls for the past week" harry muttered distractedly
"Harry!" Blaine blushed
"What? That's what he said and I quote 'I'm going to New York, would you to whiny little girls like to come so your mother doesn't have to put up with any more of that nonsense?' then he laughed and gave us tickets for the plane" Harry told them while constantly scanning his surroundings.
"Clearly you lost your filter somewhere up at 30,000 feet" Blaine muttered with an eye roll.
"Quinn!" Harry yelled totally ignoring him and waving over his head like a lunatic.
"Harry!" Quinn squealed and then she raced across the lobby leaving a bemused Santana, Brittany and Tina in her wake.
It was a little like watching one of those reunions at the airport. She flung herself into his arms and squealed holding him until his face went red and he gasped for breath.
"What are you doing here, oh my God this is amazing, I can't believe your here, did you follow us just for the competition, are you ok, nothing is wrong is it?" she sucked in a huge breath and released him grabbing his shoulders and inspecting him thoroughly for injury.
"No, nope nothing wrong, except missing my incredibly beautiful amazing girlfriend" he beamed dropping a quick kiss to her cheek.
"Oh Harry!" she giggled kissing his cheek right back and drooping back from her toes to grab his hand and swing it between them.
After they'd stared cow eyes at each other for a solid minute the guy behind the counter coughed pointedly.
"Mr Potter Anderson, your room key and file" he smiled slightly falsely.
"Ah thanks" Harry nodded waving a grasping hand in entirely the wrong direction behind him.
"Geez it's like getting caught in a really bad rom com" Santana sneered coming up beside them with the girls who were all giggling.
"Thank you Gareth" Blaine sighed taking the keys and rolling his eyes at Kurt with a brow waggle.
"I still can't believe your here" Quinn breathed and harry beamed.
"I called Potter Industries here in New York and got them to call dad with an 'urgent' business problem" he shrugged innocently
Blaine made a slight choking sound and gaped at him.
"You didn't?" he hissed.
"What? You wanted to come too, this was way better than your idea" Harry pouted finally tearing his eyes from Quinn as they slowly moved to the seating areas dotted about the lobby.
"What was your idea?" Kurt grinned
"Nothing" Blaine smiled a little too brightly with a nervous flicker of his eyes towards Harry.
"He wanted to spend our summer holiday spending money, which by the way has to last the entire six weeks, while we travel around and back home, paying for things like days out and food and trinkets, on plane tickets, then call the school and tell them I had caught mono and we were both in quarantine, bribe our sister who popped by for one of her random visits home for a ride to the airport, and then buy her silence with art supplies" Harry grinned smugly.
"You're idea is way better" Quinn cooed.
"Until dad finds out anyway" Blaine snorted.
"Oh please dad already knows, why else would he buy us tickets and excuse us from school. He just prefers it happen this way so we're not let loose in New York all alone with no supervision" Harry scoffed
"I fear the day you turn your genius to evil" Blaine muttered
"You should" Harry grinned smugly and then smiled around hopefully.
"So does anybody have plans for the day?"
"We were going to the Gershwin theatre, just to look, so maybe we'd be inspired" Rachel inserted immediately, obviously fearing for her plans.
"Oh cool! I love that place, remember when we went to see Wicked there a few summers ago!" Harry beamed excitedly.
"I am so unbelievably jealous of you right now" Kurt laughed.
"Oh come on, it'll be amazing, just you wait and see, I heard Wicked is still showing there, maybe we can catch a matinee" Blaine grinned bouncing to his feet.
"I can't afford-" Quinn began
"Oh please it's a date, a gentleman always pays" Harry grinned pulling her to her feet.
"Uh..well I don't know" Finn began nervously looking at Rachel's envious face.
"Come on, it will be fun, besides you can't come all the way to New York and not see a Broadway show" Blaine coaxed
"Yeah your right" Finn relaxed and they were on their way.
They stopped by Tiffany's where Harry bought them all a breakfast roll and coffee, and the girls went starry eyed over the jewels. Then they were walking to the Gershwin and Kurt clung to Blaine so hard he was sure he'd have finger bruises all around his hand later.
"This is so amazing" Kurt and Rachel breathed as they came up to the huge towering building.
"Come on lets go in and see" Harry cheered and lead the way inside.
They were just in time to miss a tour group leaving.
"What I wouldn't give to be up on that stage" Rachel sighed.
"What's stopping you, no one is here" Blaine grinned shoving her and Kurt forwards.
"What? We couldn't" he whispered fearfully.
"Of course you can" Blaine scoffed
"I can't believe I am standing on the stage in Broadway" Rachel whisper screamed
"Me either" Kurt breathed softly touching one of the props.
"Let's sing something Kurt" Rachel whispered hopefully.
"Sing sing sing" The rest of their group had settled into seats and were grinning up at them. Quinn was snuggled onto Harry's lap like a cat peeking up from under his chin.
"Go on honey sing" Blaine encouraged and began to hum a familiar song.
Rachel began and Kurt joined her.
Suddenly they were Elphaba and Glenda. It was the most entirely perfect moment in his life. Kurt soared through the song feeling his whole heart swoop, he felt like he was glowing and flying and everything was just as it was supposed to be. He was on a stage in Broadway with the man he loved in the audience and one of his best friends was beside him. It was like a snap shot of what he dreamed of in the future just coming true.
"Woohoo!" Blaine cheered and they were all on their feet clapping and cheering them as the final notes died away.
"Our first standing ovation on Broadway, by the most important people in our lives" Rachel grinned gripping his hand firmly.
"You know Rachel your completely right. I could live off this moment my entire life and be happy" Kurt grinned sweeping a teasing bow to his applauding audience.
They spent the rest of the day running around New York, seeing the sights, taking goofy pictures as a group and with the partners. They even went into a few of the huge designer stores, Kurt nearly had an embolism when Blaine just casually bought him a McQueen scarf. But Harry bought Quinn a pretty little pair of real diamond studs so he didn't feel too badly. Finn had looked at Rachel apologetically as he presented a pretty bead necklace from a vendor but she'd just beamed at him and let her put it on. They had a whole lot of fun trying to spot as many of the notable places as possible and even visited some hanging gardens. It was pretty strange to see a whole garden built up on a roof surrounded by a concrete jungle. But it was funny to see Harry freak out about some rare plant he found and almost attack the owner for information about its habitat and nursery coaxing.
By the time they returned to the hotel they'd almost forgotten just why they were in New York to begin with. But when they got dragged right into the practice room by a nervous looking Sam and Puck they jolted back to reality.
"We cannot come all this way to fall at the last minute" Mercedes was muttering to herself scribbling furiously on a piece of paper.
"I refuse to look like a Lima loser in front of all those people" Puck grunted
"There has got to be something we can do" Mike offered wringing his beanie in his hands.
"This sucks" Santana moaned flopping onto a sofa.
"Have you guys still not worked it out?" Blaine asked wide eyed.
"Harry too!" Harry waved cheerfully swinging Quinn's hand lightly as he beamed around at them all.
"Whoa!" Sam laughed hugging him and grinning.
"I know right, I'm so totally awesome" he mocked doing a hair toss and batting his lashes
"You're in a good mood" Sam grinned stepping back and eyeing him appraisingly
"I've just spent a whole day with the most amazing girl in the world in a wonderful city, of course I'm happy" he chirped.
"Nice" Sam laughed and smiled at Quinn who was blushing slightly from the compliment.
"So songs?" Blaine interrupted with a furrowed brow.
"This is a disaster" Mercedes screeched crumpling another sheet of paper with a glare that should have been able to set it on fire.
"We'll figure something out, even if we have to lock you all in here until your performance" harry laughed throwing off his coat and snatching up a pad of paper.
"Blaine and I do this all the time" he added with a calming smile
"He's right guys, come on a little focus and we'll get there" Rachel announced and plonked herself down on a bean bag to glare intensely at her sheet music.
The next day they were all locked away in a small conference room Mr Schuester had managed to get them assigned at the front desk. They didn't leave except for bathroom breaks, having deli lunches brought to them by the hotel staff. Everyone was tired, grumpy and a little twitchy by the end of the day. The first day of competition made them all realise just how close their performance was looming and all of New York's appeal couldn't stop the frenetic sense of doom descending. So no matter what happened none of them left that room working out a set list with a single minded determination that would likely have made even Coach Sylvester praise them if they were Cheerio's.
"Ok so one song down, two more to go" Rachel moaned once they all finally, finally agreed to use the fun upbeat song that they'd managed to create called Light up the world. It had parts for most of them to sing and it was bouncy enough to get the crowds moving. Another three hours later and they even had the workings of a second song done, with dancing sorted for both of them.
"We need one more song before we can relax guys" Harry warned them as everyone flopped down in relief as they ran through the two performances in a sketchy outline of what they could look like.
"I know, but hey we have tomorrow to get everything perfect at least so we're almost there" Finn moaned tiredly.
"This is a very good song Rachel" Harry praised running through her song on his guitar which he'd brought along that morning with a cheerful enthusiasm.
"I hope it's good enough" she whispered not at all as confident or boastful as she would usually be about it.
"I like it" he grinned at her.
Kurt couldn't help but wonder where it was coming from though, her and Finn were on a good footing in their relationship right now, but her song was pretty sad. Pretending as she'd called it was all about heart break and longing as far as he could tell.
"I don't think we could have come up with a better song Rachel" He offered softly, it was odd to see her look so uncertain.
"Thank you Kurt" she smiled with suspiciously wet eyes.
I have something you could use for the last one...if you wanted too" Blaine suddenly spoke up
"Ooh let's hear it" Mercedes beamed throwing her pad down eagerly.
They were all too tired and wrung out to even think about him not being an official member of their club right now. They'd take a guy on the street's lyrics just about then.
Blaine grinned and began to play gently on the little keyboard the hotel had supplied.
"I been alone, surrounded by darkness, I've seen how heartless the world can be, I seen you cryin', felt like it's hopeless I'll always do my best, to make you see-ee, baby your not alone..."
Once he was through the song he grinned slightly.
"it just seems it could be the perfect song with your two other choices, one about lighting up the world and one about heartache, this one is about giving love a chance" he rambled nervously.
"Oh thank God!" Santana huffed smacking down her paper. "There isn't a song in me to find, if we had to stay in here much longer I'd have given myself a lobotomy" she ranted
"So...we have our set list?" Kurt asked tentatively
"Yes!" Sam yelled making everyone laugh and nod along.
"Most definitely" Rachel giggled.
"Can we figure out the rest of the choreography tomorrow then, because I think I may collapse soon" Harry yawned and blinked owlishly
"Wow, its two am" Tina whispered.
"We've been in here all night too!" Quinn sighed
"I need my bed" Mike yawned setting off a whole chain of yawns and sleepy agreements.
"Dancing and staging tomorrow straight after breakfast guys, we need to perfect this now" Rachel commanded and wobbled to her feet.
"Aye aye capt'n" Kurt saluted her blearily suddenly feeling the exhaustion.
"Good night everyone" Blaine laughed lugging Harry to his feet, he just slung his arm around his shoulder and tottered unsteadily already half asleep.
"But I dun wanna dance like a fairy" he murmured and Blaine grimaced.
"Geez that was when he was five" Blaine muttered with an eye roll.
"Do I want to know?" Quinn giggled.
"Eh he was supposed to be one of the Angel's in the nativity, but he refused to do the 'fairy' dance" Blaine grinned nudging his almost comatose brother into action as he staggered out of the door following the mass exodus.
The next day passed in a whirl of last minute costume adjustments and a flurry of arrangements and rehearsing until they were literally muttering the lyrics under their breath in the lunch queue.
Then the day they were to perform came and everyone was a nervous wreck. They spent the entire morning doing repeated run through in the green room assigned to them and then it was time for their call up. Harry and Blaine conveniently disappeared two minutes before they were called up and went to get their seats. Kurt clutched at Quinn and Rachel for support and nervously wondered just why Blaine had demanded that he get a solo singing the song he'd written. But no one had argued, all quite happy for Kurt to get the spotlight. Now Kurt just felt like they did it on purpose so they wouldn't have to go through the sickening terror he was stood off to stage left waiting behind a curtain for their group to be announced.
Harry and Blaine met them at the doors and smiled at them encouragingly. The list of placements was going up soon and all groups had been called back to see it. Kurt and Quinn quickly latched onto them and both Anderson brothers were yanked unceremoniously into the group as they waited for Rachel to come back with the news. She walked up with Finn, who'd gone with her muttering about lifting her above the crowd if he had to.
"We got fifth place" she smiled brightly.
They all exhaled, that was a pretty awesome place to manage on their first performance at Nationals. Usually getting into the top ten was saved for groups who had been singing there for years.
"That's brilliant news!" Harry and Blaine chimed and they all laughed releasing the tension.
"Let's go out and celebrate, since it's our last night here, it should be memorable" Harry beamed bouncing energetically on his toes.
Mr Schuester walked up at that moment with the medium sized trophy and a grin.
"You did good" he laughed handing Rachel and Finn the metal sculpture to hoist to happy laughter and cheering.
"Let's go eat!" Finn yelled enthusiastically.
They all grinned and made a ragged march to the hotel doors.
Harry held on to Quinn with one hand and with the other he linked hands with his brother silently. Blaine was holding on to Kurt with the other and they shared a joyful glance. This was what it felt like to fit in, to have a place they belonged, and were accepted no matter what. This was what they had been struggling for their whole lives. Quirky musically inclined totally opposites, but entirely bonded brother's who never completely fit in to any group because of how different they were. Now here they were in a group of complete misfits, helping them celebrate, like they were part of the group, part of the victory even though they hadn't even performed. This was what it was like to have unconditional love. They shared a warm smile before turning to their respective partners and kissing their cheeks. Revelling in the 'normal' of it all. Both getting that little thrill of acceptance and warmth that having that bond, that friendship and affection from people who had no reason to put up with their oddities but did anyway.
The future was looking up for the Anderson brothers. They could finally look forwards to it without worrying about what lied around a corner. They had friends, support and love. There was nothing more they could ask for.
Well this is it, finally over, the longest story I have ever written, I could drag it on but as you may have been able to tell by my straggly updates, this is just hard to get done right now. I've lost my enthusiasm, I keep getting stuck and stalling updates because everything looks so bad. I hope this has been as enjoyable for you guys as it was for me anyway. You've all been incredibly sweet and supportive and for that Thank you soooo much. It made me keep going even when I hated the whole thing and was convinced it should just get deleted. So thank you all. I hope you've liked it and this ending wasn't too abrupt. It felt like I could end with the season finale and let it be naturally. Thank you all for reading and being so awesome.