TITLE: Maid of Honor

AUTHOR: TaleWeaver

DISCLAIMER: All things Glee belong to the trinity of R.I.B. (none of whom are me). All concepts borrowed from the novel 'Maid of Honor' belong to Charlotte Macleod. All songs, theatre productions and other pop culture references mentioned belong to their creators and copyright holders, and I made no financial profit from this work. 'Uptown Wedding' is my own invention, however; it's supposed to be the high society version of the reality show 'Bridezillas'. I went through most of the NYU Tisch website to research their audition process, but I needed to take some artistic license to make things work for my story. Please go directly to their website for further information.

RATING: M. Language, adult concepts, sexual references.

PAIRING: Finn/Rachel, Sam/Quinn, Puck/Quinn, Will/Emma. Maybe Santana/Brittany if you squint.

SUMMARY: (Inspired by the movie 16 candles and the book Maid of Honor by Charlotte Macleod)

(AU) High school senior Rachel is about to audition for NYU Tisch, but no one seems to care in the frenzy of her older sister Quinn's wedding. Her mother's busy creating the society wedding of the decade, her father's too busy trying to pay for it all (and slowly coming unglued dealing with his ex-wife) and her sister's too busy sneaking around with her bad-boy ex. The only one who seems to notice Rachel getting ready for the biggest audition of her life is Finn, the best man, who's not only her long-time secret love, but another of her sister's exes and way out of her league - or is he?

RESEARCH NOTE: I originally intended to have Rachel auditioning for Juilliard, but I went to their website and found out something disturbing: Julliard's vocal training is for OPERA singers only! I checked with an awesome writer's LJ I'm a member of (called little_details) and had it confirmed. Since we've had no evidence that Rachel can play a musical instrument at the level needed for a music degree, Rachel could only study for the acting degree, and take singing lessons as an elective; also, her studies would be very regimented, and the singing might not even be offered until her senior year. But NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (which doesn't include the music program, strangely enough) not only has a Musical Theatre major, but is also one of the most highly regarded Performing Arts Universities in the US. It's also Mark Morrison's alma mater, and Lea Michele was accepted, but turned it down to keep performing on Broadway instead.

DEDICATION: She'll never see this, because I never let anyone I know In Real Life read my stories, but I'd like to dedicate this story to my lovely sister-in-law. Not only did she NOT become a Bridezilla, but her choice of bridesmaids dress was so nice that I actually have worn it several times since. Also, many thanks go to my beta, mida212, for services not only rendered, but possibly above and beyond the call of duty.

* MOH *

Quinn and Rachel were adopted by Will and Terri Schuester as children, but Will and Terri divorced during the first year of New Directions; instead of faking a pregnancy, she really did fall pregnant and faked a miscarriage after getting an abortion. Emma has been in counseling for both OCD and fear of sexual intimacy for some time; she's been dating Will for about two and a half years now, but she refuses to marry him until she feels truly healthy.

As for our Gleeks: Quinn (the bride), Sam (the groom), Puck, Finn, Santana and Brittany are currently all about 20 and in their second year of college; Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Tina, Mike, and Artie are seniors in high school.

All of them revived the glee club in high school as freshman and juniors, with Matt as a senior (I always thought Matt graduated at the end of season 1, at least partly because it didn't seem quite right that only sophomores and freshmen wanted to be in Glee club. Shouldn't there be at least a couple of seniors interested in music/dance and packing the resume for college?). However, the Gleeks on the football team had a somewhat easier time of it, because Bieste took over as coach during Puck, Sam and Finn's junior year as in canon. She doesn't tolerate bullying your teammates, especially when you should be working on your football skills. Not to mention, Will and Emma swiftly became her good friends, so the issues that Ken Tanaka had didn't occur.

Finn and Quinn dated the summer before and during the first semester of their sophomore year of high school, but broke up that December when he found out she slept with Puck while she was dating Finn during the previous summer (but Beth wasn't conceived). At the start of their junior year, Quinn decided she wanted Finn back, and joined the glee club to get close to him again, as much as because of Sue's orders. Finn was suspicious of the timing (right after football season started, with him as the QB) and wasn't sure he actually wanted her back at all, so he kept her at arm's length. She then found out that from Santana right before their first Regionals (their junior year) that Finn slept with her during sophomore year ('Special Ed' combined with 'Sectionals'; Santana's revelation from 'Power of Madonna' replaces 'babygate'; Sue still leaks the set list though). Finn blasts Quinn for thinking she has any right whatsoever to judge him about what he did after they broke up, and Quinn gets together with Sam instead at the end of the championship game in 'Sue Sylvester Bowl Shuffle'. Sam was the quarterback at Ohio State with her, so she kept dating him. Thanks to Rachel's voice getting them to Regionals, then Nationals, and Kurt sneaking in the application behind his back, Finn's at NYU on a music scholarship.

Thanks partly to Rachel's friendship, developed during his time dating Quinn, Finn gets over his replacement-daddy issues earlier, and Kurt never really develops stalker-crush levels over Finn, so not only does the Hummel/Hudson household meld during 'Theatricality', Carole and Burt marry between year one and two.

... and that's what you missed on alterna-GLEE!



McKinley High School Choir Room


Rachel's scream bounced off the walls, and the handful of students scattered around the choir room all covered their ears. Rachel's considerable lung power was only enhanced by the acoustic tiles.

Once the echoes died away, Mercedes stood up, walked several feet to the red-haired sophomore boy who'd just spoken, and smacked him hard in the back of the head.

"Jared, you fool!"

The pale, beautifully-dressed teenage boy sitting next to her empty seat scolded, "What in Gaga's space egg were you thinking, mentioning the 'W' word at a time like this! We need to do serious planning for Regionals, not send one of our leading vocalists over the edge!"

Jared shrugged one shoulder, his face apologetic. "I'm sorry, Rachel. I didn't mean to freak you out."

On the other side of Mercedes' original seat, Artie Abrahms rolled his eyes. Seriously, how could anyone not realize what a mistake mentioning the W word would be? Rachel and Mr. Schue had been living with this for six months now, and it had started affecting Rachel's friends four months ago. It was true that the rest of Glee club had only been splattered with the blowback for the last two months - but in the last couple of weeks, Sue Sylvester hadn't made a single comment about Mr. Schue's hair or sexuality. Artie had personally witnessed two separate occasions where Coach Sylvester's face had taken on the familiar sneer, only for her to take a deep breath and not make any comment whatsoever.

If Sue Sylvester decided to go easy on her self-proclaimed arch-nemesis... well, how much more obvious could it be that not only were they up the creek with the paddles long gone, but the roaring of the waterfall was clearly audible?

Former New Directions member Brittany Pierce had been known for giving a whole new meaning to the 'dumb blonde' stereotype, but she would never have made this blunder. Of course, she was in the wed- um, the WOTY, so she was even closer to ground zero than Artie himself, but if she was still at McKinley, even she would have known better.

Artie groaned and hung his head. Damn, it was getting to him again. He was starting to wonder if anyone who cared about Rachel or Mr. Schue was going to be able to think straight until the WOTY became a historical fact.

Maybe he should ask Kurt for some of the multivitamins he'd been slipping in Rachel's fruit smoothies?

"Paula, could you be more specific?"

Artie raised his head, blinked, and bit back another groan. While he'd been lost in his musings, Mr. Schue had not only arrived, but started the Regionals set list discussion. While Regionals wasn't until April, experience had taught them that early planning took a lot of the pressure off, and let them get in the necessary in-depth rehearsal as well as working on other numbers to keep things from getting stale.

While their newest recruit, Leah, made a passionate argument for a Metallica medley, Artie studied his teacher.

Mr. Schue's fair skin was now a least a shade paler than Kurt's porcelain complexion, and he had deep bags colored like bruises under his eyes. Mr. Schue had always had a lean build, but now he'd lost all the weight he'd gained over the past year from Ms. Pillsbury's cooking (for a recovering germaphobe, Ms. Pillsbury apparently had a real way in the kitchen, and a tendency to cook for five instead of three people), and Artie was absolutely certain that there was a lot more grey hair than last August, when the first announcement of the impending insanity had been made.

All in all, Mr. Schue looked about five years older than he had back when school started.

"...so I really think that 'Enter Sandman' would totally kick ass if we mash it up with 'All I have to do is dream'!"

Even with the awkward angle, Artie could see Rachel's lips go thin as she pressed them together hard, and she drew a deep breath in through her nose. Things had gotten a lot quieter during Glee meetings since Rachel had learned some self-control and tact. (Except for the week of the Hello Dolly vs. Funny Girl disaster. But Artie tried very very hard not to think about that. Ever.) Rachel opened her mouth exactly at the same time that tubular bells rang from her pocket. Artie recognized the first few bars of Elton John's 'Kiss the bride' and winced. So did Kurt, Mercedes, Tina and Mike.

Mr. Schue's eyebrows drew together in a weary frown. "Ignore it, Rachel. Take over for me here, will you?"

His shoulders heaving from a sigh, Mr. Schue left the choir room, leaving the door open just enough that he could head off any brawls (Leah was a brown belt, and she detested Sammie, who'd followed in Quinn, Santana and Brittany's footsteps as a Gleerio) and waited. Sure enough, almost as soon as Mr. Schue slumped against the wall, he answered his phone.

Behind him, Artie heard Tina mutter, "How many today, two or three?"

Mike replied gloomily, "Who knows, maybe she'll try setting a new record and make it four calls during Glee."

Mercedes had returned to her seat, and now leaned back so they could hear her as well as Kurt and Artie. "Cherry Slushie says that she's calling about the tablecloths."

Kurt rolled his eyes, "That was Monday. I'll take your bet for a bottled water, because it's bound to be about the place settings."

"That was last Wednesday, remember?" Artie hissed. "It's got to be the flowers. Make my Slushie a Grape."

"Flowers isn't specific enough," Tina pointed out as she leaned forward. "I'll take bouquets, you take reception decorations. Orange."

Mike sighed. "Lemon-Lime says that it's about why Mr. Schue hasn't already taken out a second mortgage on the house so that she can get the Archbishop of Columbus to perform the ceremony."

While Sammie nominated herself for a solo (though she was one of the weakest voices in the group) Mr. Schue's voice drifted faintly through the doorway.

"Terri, I don't even know the difference between blush and fuchsia, but the hotel won't change the curtains in the ballroom to match the napkins. They've already said so, remember?"

"...Taylor Swift!" Sammie paused for a second, before asking, "Wait, isn't the color scheme pale rose, ivory, and cobalt?"

Everyone else in the room nodded.

"Then what's blush and fuchsia got to do with it?"

Everyone else in the room shrugged.