A/N: This is based on a Glee Angst Meme prompt here: glee-angst-meme .livejournal .com/ ?thread=12958438#t12958438
Will prided himself on his tolerance. For all Puck's juvenile delinquency and Rachel's self-centeredness and Brittany's ditzyness, he never hurt his kids. No matter what he thought of them, Will let everyone join his Glee Club. He tried to put aside their issues to find what good was there for him to bring out.
This was especially hard when he was dealing with Kurt. Will saw the disgusted expressions of the students at McKinley and adults at the competitions. No wonder the student body called the club homo-erections. Every year it seemed like Kurt became more outrageous. At least when he was a sophomore Kurt would tone it down, not be open about his deviance. But by his junior year he was practically a one-man gay pride parade. Of course, even then Will didn't find Kurt too unsettling. It wasn't like the boy really acted on his desires. He was still a child who needed guidance. This year, though, Kurt dragged his boyfriend to the school. Will remembered the audition, with Kurt giving Blaine a good luck kiss before Blaine sang a pop song originally by a woman. Suddenly Kurt's gayness, all those uncomfortable comments and crushes, had been fully realized. Kurt was no longer just some child; he was a tall, developed man dating another man. When Will saw them together, all he could think about sometimes was the depraved things they did. In the choir room they were always all over each other, too. Nuzzling together and shoving their faces into each other.
Will is still tolerant of them invading his Glee club, though their behavior nags at his senses. They have no right to flaunt their relationship in everyone's face. Didn't they think it would make people uncomfortable? And the bad behavior was rubbing off on the other kids. Brittany and Santana, who were already over sexualized, had taken what was obviously silly experimenting and made a real "relationship" over the summer. So he had to watch their constant petting as well.
Will was going to be a good teacher, though. The school rules had an anti-discrimination section that included gays, and he wasn't going to violate it directly just to pick a fight with a few misguided teenagers. He remembered the Berrys' lawsuit against the school board a few years ago about changing the contact cards to allow for the inclusion of a two-father household. He also remembered the imposing, strong figure of Mr. Hummel as he protested that his son really deserved to be able to sing some girly song, with no regard for how stupid Will's glee club would look with Kurt screeching like a ten year old girl. No, he didn't outwardly discriminate against Kurt. He let the boy dance with everyone else in the group, and let him do vocal harmonies. Finn and Rachel were talented and relatable, they deserved the attention he put on them.
With all the gayness permeating his space, Will was happy to see Dave Karofsky on the day of auditions. That such a well know jock had decided to join glee would probably help the club's reputation. If Glee Club was going to be the powerhouse it was during his glory days, it was going to be through kids like Dave with a popular name and a winning smile. Kurt seemed to have gotten over whatever issues he and Dave had last year, and the other members were equally pleasant toward Dave. Yes, even though Will wasn't pleased with every aspect of the club's interactions, he was looking forward to this year.
However, for all his hopes concerning nationals and the future of Glee, Will was just not feeling very pleasant today. He had overslept that morning, and had barely had time to shower and gel down his hair before he had to be in his car to get to work. His classes had been unusually rowdy. A couple girls got into a very heated fight in the cafeteria at lunch that was going to force the staff to be required to attend another crowd control and conflict resolution meeting that evening to discuss the strategies used to stop these kinds of fights between students (as if these meetings were anything but a waste of everyone's time.) Finally in his free period he got into a new argument with Emma. This day was supposed to be a breeze for him, but it was turning into a nightmare.
At least he could anticipate a light day with his kids in the Glee Club. It was the third week of school, and he had known that some of his students were already starting to struggle with their new classes. He had decided earlier in the week that a duet competition would be just the thing to take some pressure off. There would be plenty of performances to take up class time and most of the kids could pull something together pretty fast with only two people to please.
Of course, now that it was the day of the performances, he realized too late that he should have assigned the pairs. Walking in, he was met instantly by Rachel's over-eager face as she held some music sheets. Finn stood awkwardly behind her, smiling nicely. "Mr. Shue, as Finn and I do have the kind of love only elsewhere seen in great works of poetry, I feel that we should set the example today for this competition."
Will rubbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger, taking a deep, calming breath. "Fine, Rachel. I'd love to see what you've prepared." He offered a reassuring smile before slipping into one of the front row seats. He turned backwards, placing a stern look on the other seated glee club members. "This competition will be judged by you, like it was last time. Give everyone a chance, and vote for the pair who you think did the best."
Pausing to glance at the pairs sitting together, Will struggled to hold in his scowl. Of course all the couples would want to perform their own sappy, indulgent love songs to each other. Any other day he would have mustered up some excitement at hearing his kids sing, but today he really just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep. His fight with Emma hadn't left him in the mood to watch other people be serenaded. Plus, he really didn't want to watch Santana and Brittany or Kurt and Blaine corrupt a traditional duet.
He sat silently by as Rachel and Finn preformed their song, trying to project as many good thoughts as possible. He didn't recognize their choice, but it sounded like it came from a musical. He jadedly watched Rachel's eyes light up as she gracefully moved around the room, followed clumsily by a smiling, adorable Finn. Rachel's voice soared. Will could feel a stress headache coming in, but he tried to push it back to listen to his students. He clapped as it finished; at least they weren't making fun of the Priesthood this year.
Next Lauren walked confidentially up, followed by a suave-faced Puck. "We're singing 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' by Stevie Wonder. Now, Stevie isn't technically a Jew, but I saw a guy from Temple sing the hell out of this a couple weeks ago, so it still counts." He grabbed Lauren's slack hand, "Besides, anything for my woman." Lauren smiled before she could stop herself and started pulling Puck to the center of the room. Will let his mind drift as Lauren and Puck preformed an odd mix of what looked like spontaneous choreography interrupted by incredibly close singing. They took turns singing to each other as they moved. Puck burned with a passion that Will admired him for. They were a cute couple, despite the tough shells. When did he become so pathetic that his students had better love lives than him?
After Puck and Lauren sat down, Mercedes popped up with a slightly hesitant Dave Karofsky on her arm. Mercedes turned to the class, "Dave's gunna be the Stevie to my Aretha," she said, snapping her fingers for the band to start. The two kept to a light, fun choreography. They mostly relied on putting power into their voices. By this song Will was ready to end the lesson early. His head hurt, he could feel how messy his hair must have become, and he knew he had at least fifty Spanish quizzes to grade before he could hop into bed. He barely registered when Mercedes was finally done whaling out the final notes, but he jumped into the clapping. He was an educator, he needed to stick this out. He was almost halfway through, anyway.
For Will, the next couple performances started blurring together. Tina sang an eerie-sounding song as Mike danced slowly with her, moving with the words. Artie and Quinn had both been angry after their respective separations. They chose not to sing a love song, but instead a bitter version of "Good Riddance" that left Will feeling just as annoyed as them.
He managed to sit through Santana and Brittany's lackluster performance without too much hair-pulling. It's not that their voices aren't lovely, but "Songbird" is a little deep for some high school fling. It's not that he's trying to be shallow, it's just Brittany and Santana aren't really the kinds of people that epic love songs are written about. Still, he smiles tightly at them as they grab hands and move back to their seat. They might think their love is some eternal flame, but Will understands that this is a phase for the girls, something they're experimenting with.
In case anyone cares what songs the pairs sing in this, I'm adding my list here. It's not really important to the story, except to get a better feel for the room and the progression of things. The only really important song is "A Whole New World." I'm not good at song selection, but I needed some kind of build up to the next part. So, excuse any songs that are kind of a stretch. I just don't have a very good knowledge of modern music, and none of the gleeks have shown a preference for classic rock…
Rachel/Finn: Tarzan Musical – For the First Time
Lauren/Puck: Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Mercedes/Karofsky: Stevie Wonder & Aretha Franklin – Until You Come Back To Me
Mike/Tina: Florance and the Machines - Drumming Noise
Artie/Quinn: (For my story, they would have been kind of abandoned by their old love interests. So, I thought they'd be bitter? Imagine it a little slower.) Green Day – Good Ridance
Santana/Brittany: Fleetwood Mac - Songbird… Again. I just think it would be really cute if they sang this together in front of everyone when they came out and had a relationship.
Blaine/Kurt: A Whole New World