Oh How the Years Go By

August 20th, 2012

"Quinn, could you get that?" Rachel called. "I'm finishing an online quiz."

"No problem." Quinn walked to the door and looked out. "Oh my god!" she yelped, pulling it open.

"Not god, but the next best thing," Kurt said, smiling. He and Blaine entered the small apartment and looked around. "Love your new place."

"How…what?" Quinn asked breathlessly.

"Can we talk?" Blaine asked.

She nodded and led them to the couch.

"Quinn, who was at the—KURT!" Rachel screeched, running into the living room.

"Found you," he teased, hugging her.

"How?" Quinn asked.

"You'd be surprised what companies put on their websites," Blaine said with a smile. "Stuff like the names of their assistant managers. We knew if we found one of you, we'd find you all. So Kurt took New York City and I took Chicago. We figured those were the only two logical places, really. I found Santana, looked her up on the Yellow Pages website, and here we are."

"I just sent her a text," Quinn said, putting her phone down. "I know she's done with work, so hopefully Brittany is too."

"Why are you here?" Rachel asked quietly.

Kurt and Blaine looked at each other. "We should wait until Santana and Brittany get here. That way we can tell you the full story."

"In the meantime, where's your bathroom?" Blaine asked. "It was a long drive."

"Down the hall on the left," Quinn said.

Santana and Brittany came rushing in twenty minutes later. After hugs, and tears from Brittany, the four girls listened to their friends recount their story.

"It was…chaos after you guys left," Blaine said. "The police searched all of our houses to see if we were keeping you there. Finn and Sam got questioned a couple of times. But really, no one had a clue you guys were planning to run away. The police figured that out after about a day and a half and left us alone. I talked to one of the guys investigating, to see if they'd found anything useful. He basically told us that they were only really looking for Rachel. The rest of you were 18 already, so you could be considered runaways, but not really. If they had found you that first month, and you'd been able to prove that you were in school, they only would've brought Rachel home."

"Schue had all the glee kids go to counseling," Kurt continued, rolling his eyes. "He was really worried about Blaine, Tina and me, because we hadn't stopped looking for you."

"We wanted to call," Quinn said. "But we were so afraid they had you guys tapped or something."

"And after you stopped being on the news?" Blaine asked.

"It took us a while to get settled," Santana admitted. "I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's true. We had…a few problems when we first got here."

"After that, it was just…easier not to look back," Brittany said.

The boys nodded.

"What about our families?" Rachel asked.

"They were all insane," Kurt said. "There's no other way to put it. They…didn't expect this. They interviewed everyone together at first, and Rachel's dads told them that Quinn's parents were going to send her away. And then Russell tried to cover that up like it wasn't really going to happen. And all of them kept saying that they thought the time apart was for the best…so you'd get over each other. They were all blaming each other and yelling. That's when the police separated everyone."

"Your parents know we're here, Brittany," Blaine said.

"Wait, what?"

"They don't know exactly where we are, but…" he broke off with a sigh. "After the dust settled, they were the only ones who kept in contact with the glee club. They wanted to make sure we were okay. And they knew we were still looking for you. It was weird, before we left…like a sixth sense. They knew we'd found you, but they didn't press us for information."

"We're supposed to pass on the message that they love you," Kurt said, smiling.

At this, Brittany began to cry again. She stood and walked back into the bedroom.

"I'll go talk to her," Quinn said.

"What have you two been up to?" Santana asked the boys.

"Kurt got late admission into Julliard," Blaine said, beaming with pride.

"Oh my god, Kurt!" Rachel squealed, hugging him again. "That's—so amazing."

"I start in January," he told her. "I'm so excited. And Blaine's captain of the New Directions now."

"As you should be," Santana said.

"We've missed you guys," Blaine said.

"We've missed you too."

"And we're not here to try and talk you into coming back," Kurt assured them. "We just…needed to know that you were alright."

"We're glad you came. What happened to everyone else? Did everyone graduate?"

"Puck didn't walk, but he took Geography in summer school, so he's good. Moved down to Texas to live with a cousin. He says his pool cleaning business is off the hook. Mercedes moved to LA. Mike's at a dancing school in London, and Finn stayed in Lima. He's working at Dad's tire shop and going to community college."

"I feel like I've missed so much," Rachel said.

"Same old Lima," Blaine said.

They talked until Quinn and Brittany joined them again.

"I want to go out to dinner," Brittany said.

"I'm on a quest for some good Chicago pizza," Blaine said.

"We know a place," Quinn told him. "Let's go."

The six of them walked out into the cool evening air. Rachel linked arms with Kurt.

"I'm super proud of you," she said. "And I'm glad you came."