Hello! Thank you to all who reviewed/alerted/favourited etc. you are all awesome! This chapter could have been longer but I decided to cut it short and I have to say I am quite proud of this chapter's quote from Hunter. It gives the idea of what will be coming up, yes I am using the story that they used on Glee. Personally I wish they had found a nicer way to have gone to Regionals...but yay for more Trent!
By the way, does anyone know which fandom I quoted in the last chapter? Brownie points if you get it because it is so obscure. Here's a hint: a film containing this line came out in 2009. The sequel is being released this year. Also, there is also another TV series turned film hint in this chapter, can you find it?
I have three calls for you guys, some shoutouts! Firstly, I have posted an original story, well the first chapter, on Wattpad! It's called A Helping Hand and I have the same penname - PenMagic. Do comment and let me know what you think if you want to! Also, if there are any Harry Potter fans in the house, do go and check out theblueanchor's The Potters and the Austfergan's Gateway. I beta the story and its a second in a series, they would love to know what you think! Finally, I promise, a shoutout for any Hunger Games fans, there is an awesome SYOT still open by TonyOctober 2.0 called Triple The Deaths: The 150th Hunger Games. They are in need of tributes and as you are all so awesome, I am sure you can come up with some creative characters!
There, now I've finished rambling and let you get on with the chapter, I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. I am off to write 3 essays which I've been told are all due this week...fun...
'School is not always a song and dance, and neither are show choir competitions. If you want to win and be the best, you have to go that extra mile, whatever it might take to run it.' – Hunter Clarington
A week after Hunter's arrival and abrupt taking over of the Warblers, things had started to get back to normal. Sebastian was not one to hold grudges for a while but after that, he seemed to forget about it and one such matter was held in Hunter. The hostility and annoyance had held for a total of 2 days, 13 hours and 44 minutes, Nick and Jeff had timed it as they seemed to like doing as part of their quirky little habits. As Dr. Taylor had said, their voices actually did sound much better than they had ever done. There was a reason that Hunter had managed to place 8th at Nationals with his group, he was utterly ruthless.
"No, no, no, NO Jeff!" Hunter sighed for the fourth time that hour as the Warblers, in their rehearsal room behind the library, tried to learn the choreography for a new routine that would be performed the following day at a pep rally.
Jeff looked hopelessly at his boyfriend and Nick shrugged in reply. They had only been a couple for a few weeks and already boys were starting to send them friendly teasing loos. The thing was that Jeff had never really been the most talented dancer and it seemed to be showing more than ever right now. Hunter was the master of dance routines and this one was even more complicated than Sebastian's ideas had been last year that had been bad enough.
But Hunter was at his wits end. Being given so many assignments to apparently catch up, clearly his 4.0 GPA wasn't enough…and now he was trying to teach this bunch of mismatched definitely not dancers, the warm up routine. "This is ridiculous." He said a few minutes and several fails later. "This is clearly too much for you and we are how many weeks away from facing New Directions?"
He looked around the group with his arms stretched, expecting an answer. "Two weeks and four days." Came a mumble from somewhere.
Hunter nodded before starting. "Exactly – wait that's it?" He asked incredulously, boy time was going fast. "Right, thank you Cameron. My point is further proven; we have 25 days until we face Sectionals and the only club that you are yet to beat. We have to get to Regionals."
"But how are we going to do it?" Came a moan from the side of the room. "We can't do the routine and while the song is great, the only part of the routine that we can actually do is your backflip and that doesn't even involve all of us!"
Hunter smirked; the backflip was his signature move. The faculty had installed another fine oak chair at the Council Table, Wes would have been outraged but he wasn't there anymore. "You guys just need some motivation." Hunter explained as he made his way and sat down in his seat. As he did so, he caught sight of a glass case that contained only one trophy, from Sectionals last year and a brilliant thought popped into his head. "We need a trophy."
The boys looked at Hunter as if he was crazy. "But we need to win a competition to get a trophy." Sebastian spoke slowly, as if to a child. "We can't just magically conjure one up unless you're Professor of Charms at Hogwarts as well as Lieutenant Clarington."
Sebastian had meant the remark to be snarky but he should have learnt by then that Hunter was equally quick and skilled with his comebacks. "Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfigurations clearly states that you cannot create things out of nothing. Ergo I cannot create a trophy for us to sit and admire at out of nothing, whether I am Professor of Charms or not." He stood up and leaned forward, his hands placed equidistant resting on the table. "Now we know some people who do have a trophy, a very large trophy that in their possession. A trophy that should be ours."
"New Directions." The obvious reply was whispered by Trent who was staring at Hunter with an intense curiosity. "So what are you proposing?"
Hunter's smirk grew. "We bring it back to its rightful owners and then make sure they know it's us."
"That's totally counter-intuitive though!" Jeff had got over his dismal dancing mayhem earlier and was now trying to understand what crazy idea Hunter was trying to convey. "They could sue us for breaking and entering. What would be the point then?"
Hunter acknowledged this point. "We leave them a message. We leave them a videoed message with the trophy. And think gentlemen, we are Dalton boys, but so is one of their members." A couple of boys were starting to see where this was going. "And if a Dalton boy is seen with a McKinley trophy, someone they haven't seen before, they are going to send someone to come and get it back aren't they?" The boys were all sitting down on the sofas now and Hunter sat back down, still leaning forward, and rested his elbows on the table, splaying his hands out in front of him. "Now gentlemen, of the 12 or so members of the New Directions, which one are they most likely to send?"
He waited as the realization dawned on all those who hadn't figured it out yet. "Blaine." Someone whispered.
Hunter nodded. "Exactly. So we get our legend back, shake the opposition and boost our confidence for Sectionals, therefore killing three birds with one stone." Hunter smiled. "Gentlemen, Operation Repatriation is a go."
As he watched Hunter lead the meeting as to how exactly they would break into McKinley at night and film this video before making it back in time for breakfast, the two schools were at least a good hour and a half away from each other, Nick watched Hunter with an intense curiosity. He was a strange boy, totally focused when planning and had good ideas that actually worked for once but there was something that wasn't quite right. He had barely anything of his own in his room; Nick had visited just yesterday to borrow a book for History, no memories of the Academy, nothing. It just didn't add up. There was some information that Hunter wasn't willing to be parted with just yet. Of course Nick wasn't going to force to him to part with this information just yet but if it jeopardized the chances of them winning, it was imperative that they knew, there was always a chance that something could go wrong. And this was Dalton Academy, something always did go wrong.
"Nick?" The voice of his boyfriend snapped Nick out of his stupor and he turned to his boyfriend who was sitting at the Council Table.
He smiled, trying to make up for the fact that he had definitely not been listening in on the conversation. "Sorry Jeff, Council. Could you repeat the question?"
There were a few chuckles. "We were asking if you could help in the raid." Hunter repeated. He had softened slightly since his abrupt first arrival but there was a definite firm air in his voice.
Nick shrugged. "Sure." He pursed his lips. "Council, may I ask a question?" Hunter nodded. "While this is a great idea and the thought of having Blaine back and bursting into random song every other day fills me with great pleasure, surely we should be concentrating back on the pep rally tomorrow that we were looking at?" Clearly people had managed to easily forget this 'small' event and there were a few wide eyes, even on the Council Table. "I can see that we were struggling with the current song selection. May I be so bold as to make song prepositions?"
Hunter was mentally kicking himself for completely forgetting the rally in the midst of all this excitement. That was why the group had initially met in the first place. "Of course Nick, anyone is welcome to. However, as this is my first Warbler and indeed Dalton pep rally, I need to clarify a few things with you all. The Warblers are expected to showcase how many songs?"
"Two." Came Trent's steady reply. "And we are expected to showcase different leads each time per year."
Hunter nodded. "Okay, so how many have you done this year?"
Trent checked the notes, as the official Warbler secretary it was his job to know this kind of stuff. "Two as well. So far we've had Sebastian, Jeff, Nick and Ethan take major leads."
Hunter tapped his pen that was always in his blazer pocket, on his lips. "So that still leaves us with 12 boys including myself who haven't taken leads."
"We can have more than one soloist in the songs." The voice came from the left side of the room.
Hunter raised his eyebrows. "Yes, very much so. What songs were you proposing Nick and who would take the leads.
Nick stood, smoothing down his blazer. This was his time to prove that he had ideas, and good ones at that. "I would suggest that we have two soloists per song, one senior or junior and one sophomore to showcase the younger talent. We know that we have a great crowd pleaser in our repertoire of Teenage Dream that I would suggest we reuse." There were some definite cheers of approval from the assembled boys. "Of course it is up to the Council to decide on the soloists but I can make recommendations. My other suggestion," he took a deep breath, it was a risky song choice but it could work," is something that we can use to help our co-ordination and dancing. I would propose we sung Greased Lightning."
Why hadn't Hunter thought of that before? "Nick, you are a genius. Any boys wishing to be considered for a solo should raise their hands now." All of the boys who hadn't performed this year raised their hands and Hunter smiled. "Right, change of question. Who has been in the Warblers the longest, since freshman or sophomore year? I'm looking to the seniors at this."
It was Trent and Nick who raised their hands. "We, with Blaine, were invited to join in our freshman year." Trent reasoned.
Hunter nodded once more. "Brilliant, I want you two to discuss who would be best suited for the solos and get back to me." He nodded once curtly. "I'm going to go and print off the sheet music for our songs and we'll meet back here in half an hour. Meeting dismissed."
As he nodded again, no gavel to sound the end, the boys stood and started to talk. Hunter observed some of the boys as they conversed momentarily before he left. What was easier about the group was that they all talked to each other regardless of age or any differences. Seniors were sharing jokes with the sophomores and vice versa. It was an atmosphere he had not experienced before and he missed it almost as soon as he stepped out of Warbler Hall.
Nick was not the only person who was worried about Hunter. As head boy, it was Jeff's job to ensure that all new students were made to feel welcome and at home at Dalton. Sure the first week or so of the year had been a nightmare with the new 50 or so freshmen but Hunter had been in a different league altogether. It was peculiar for a boy to transfer to Dalton in his junior year, but Sebastian had been reasonably easy to help and David had done a good job last year with him, inviting him to the Warblers. But Hunter was in another league altogether. A transfer a good 7 weeks into a senior year was completely unheard of and so it was imperative that the boys had been even more encouraging. Jeff had visited Hunter every day for the past week, making sure that he was settling in alright and making friends. In fact, after the whole taking over of the Warblers debacle, Hunter had been more confident with making friends in the seniors he had been introduced to both on his first day and the subsequent ones.
But Jeff was worried. Hunter was almost too focused and perhaps nearly desperate to get the trophy and Blaine back in the Warblers. Did the two boys have history? Was it really about motivation or did Hunter have something else in mind? It unnerved him and as he sat with Sebastian, something that didn't happen often as there had been a degree of friction between them after the Jackson off but they were on better terms now. This had been increased since they had been named head boy and deputy and were on the Council together.
"I'm worried about Hunter." Jeff muttered to Sebastian, low enough for no one else around them to be able to catch the conversation but loud enough so that he could hear.
Sebastian nodded. "We seem to be thinking along the same lines then."
Jeff was surprised; Sebastian had always seemed to be more blunt than observational. "What's the bee in your bonnet with him then?" He asked.
Sebastian bit his lip momentarily before answering. "He just seems off. As if he has an ulterior motive for doing what he is doing." Jeff nodded, both following and agreeing. "I know you don't see me as s an observer and I'm not normally, but when he gave up, he paused very slightly, just for a moment as if he had had an idea that wasn't the trophy idea to get us winning Sectionals. And I'm a BAMF; I should know an evil scheming glint in someone's eye when I see one. What?" He asked, a smile tugging at the side of his lips as he watched Jeff doubled over, laughing.
Jeff managed to control his breathing enough to speak as well as not to have another asthma attack. "You said BAMF, I have never heard a Dalton boy use that phrase."
Sebastian grimaced in horror. "I must have picked it up at that awful public school." He shrugged nonchalantly. "Anyway, we had a version of it over in France."
Jeff had a wicked smirk on his face. "Wait, there is actually that phrase in France? I'm disappointed in them; they must have only regained their dignity when you arrived." Sebastian smiled a nice change from his signature smirk. "Or left."
Jeff had pushed at that one to get a reaction. Junior year Sebastian would have come out with a witty and snarky comeback but instead, his jaw dropped before he punched Jeff lightly in the arm, his smirk definitely back now.
"Thanks Jeff," he spoke slowly and sarcastically, "really sweet of you."
Jeff shrugged, a slight smirk that was not commonly seen on him, tugging at the corners of his mouth. "My pleasure Bastian, anything for a friend."
They hadn't bothered to leave Warbler Hall and had sat down on one of the sofas now. Sure the Council Table chairs gave them a position of authority and power but they were as much normal Dalton Warblers as the next boy in the room. "You know, we could just check up on his background." Sebastian suddenly spoke after a pregnant pause. "I can, my father will have access to all his files."
Jeff shook his head. "It might just be the pressure of the transfer and extra work, Nick tells me he's been getting extra work for all the classes they share and I've been noticing the same thing. I think we should leave it; we don't want to resort to greater evils than talking to him about his past and stuff. We mustn't, it didn't get us very far last time."
Sebastian nodded, Jeff had a point. He had flipped out when they had tried to look up Sebastian's past. That had not gone down well and the whole thing had meant that they had barely scraped a win at Sectionals that year; it really had been a miracle. Then again, it hadn't been as if the other two competitors had actually been any good.
"Right, so what do we do?" Sebastian asked, his eyes fixed on the Council Table.
Jeff pondered this for a moment before answering. "We wait." He nodded; yes that was the right decision. "We wait and we watch. If Hunter's abnormal behavior keeps up after his grades have evened, then we can contact your father. I might have a couple of contacts myself. Scott and Alan both graduated from there."
Sebastian felt as if his head on a hinge with all this nodding but he did it once more as he recognised the names of Jeff's two older brothers who he had met once when they had come to Dalton to give a lecture on the army and the careers there.
"So," he spoke carefully, "we are in a way, launching our own little mission."
"Hunter is being watched." Jeff smiled. "Operation Hunter must commence."
Sebastian groaned before putting his head in his hands, his elbows digging into his thighs. "You really have been spending too much time with Hunter, you'll be calling yourself Private Sterling soon enough."
Jeff grinned and nudged Sebastian playfully. "Watch, it'll be Second-Lieutenant soon enough."
There was no reply, Sebastian merely groaned. He may fancy the heck out of Jeff but he wasn't going to get in the way of his and Nick's relationship. It was lust and not love, he had to focus his energy on somewhere else. And that was all going into the Warblers; they were going to beat those public school prats.
Not sure where the last bit came from but hey! Let me know what you think! Thank you for taking the time to read it!