Chapter 15

Puck looked at Rachel curiously as she hung up the phone. She had a peculiar look on her face as she turned back towards he and Sam and the twins. "So who was that?" He asked finally, "I hardly remember you guys have a landline, we always use the cells."

Rachel blinked as if coming back to herself with a thump and her mouth twisted, "I've been asked to sing at a funeral." She sounded a little confused and a lot apprehensive.

"Yeah?" Sam wasn't paying as much attention to his sister as he was his homework. "Whose?"

"Jean Sylvester's," Rachel said quietly and Puck felt his insides freeze. Part of his community service had been helping out at the residential home where Sue's older sister lived and he'd seen the coach there a lot. Sue hadn't ever said anything to him about it and in return he'd kept his mouth shut but it had been obvious to everyone who could see that Sue adored her sister.

"Shit," He said with feeling. "She say if she wants the rest of Glee too? Or just you?"

"She just had the funeral director call me," The tiny diva said softly. "He said that I'd need to arrange for an accompanist and the service was in a few days. He's emailing me the information."

"We'll need to get the word out so there's a good showing from the school," Puck said firmly. "Sue's been decent to us. We should be there for her."

"Did the director say what she wants you to sing?" Sam asked the practical question.

"Something that isn't religious," Rachel said quietly. "He said Sue want's something that is suitable for a funeral but is secular in nature." She frowned, "I've got an idea actually."

"If you can pull the music I'll learn it," Puck offered. Sam nodded his agreement. Before Puck could say anything else, his cell rang. When he got done with the call he looked at Rachel, "Well we're both singing apparently."

"Yeah?" Rachel tilted her head, "The director told me she wants me to sing before the eulogy. When would you need to sing?"

"When they're carrying her out," Puck said quietly. "Think I could get you to play your fiddle?"

"Got an idea for a song?" Sam asked quietly looking down at his little brother and sister.

"Yeah, an old one of Vince Gill's," The former delinquent nodded.

"It'll fit in with mine then," Rachel's voice was subdued. "We'd better get to work." She looked at Sam, "Would you start calling around to the football players and Cheerios? Start with Brittany. They'll have a hard time telling her no."

Sam nodded and got out his phone. As they mounted the steps to Rachel's room and the printer for the music Puck sighed, "I just wish there was something we could do for Coach Sylvester."

"We're doing it," Rachel took his hand and squeezed it as she opened her bedroom door. "It's really all we can do."

"Yeah, just doesn't feel like much you know?" Puck frowned uncomfortably.

"When you're trying to keep from choking up with tears and still sing with emotion, trust me, you'll know just how hard what Sue is asking of us is," Rachel told him dryly.

"Yeah, gonna have to really work on what I'm singin'," Puck admitted, "I'm not exactly a tenor."

"Good, that'll make it easier to just try to sing," Rachel sat at her computer and began to type in what she needed for her song. He smiled and kissed the top of her head as she worked. This was going to be a hard couple of days.


The last funeral he had been at had been his mother's. Sam was uncomfortably aware of this fact and when Brittany leaned over Tina to ask why he was so nervous he actually told her. Brittany switched places with Tina immediately and Sam felt so much better he wished he'd told her earlier. He liked Britt. He liked Mike and Blaine too. He was glad that the Glee kids had decided to attend, showing Sue that even if they weren't Cheerios they wanted to be there for her. Even Finn the idiot had shown up.

If he took a look behind him Sam knew he'd see a near army of McKinley red. The Cheerios had prevailed upon every student they knew, were friends with or could blackmail, into attending the funeral. A lot of the teachers were there as well as Jean's friends from the home. It was a pretty good turnout, and this time, there wasn't any whispering behind him about how the person whose funeral it was had died. Jean hadn't been killed like his mother had been. Her health had been failing and she'd died of pneumonia in her sleep.

It still sucked for Coach Sue but Sam didn't mind that very audible lack of similarity to his mom's service. Sam took a deep breath as Rachel and Puck walked towards the dais of the funeral hall and felt Brittany's hand slide into his. Giving her a grateful look he gave his attention back to his sister and watched as Puck slung his guitar over his shoulder and began the intro to the song. It was quiet, a barely there strum of chords and then Rachel was singing gently into the microphone. Her voice ached with pain, but her words were clear,

"Got a date a week from Friday with the preacher's son
Everybody says he's crazy
I'll have to see
I finally moved to Jackson when the summer came
I won't have to pay that boy to rake my leaves
I'm probably going on and on
It seems I'm doing more of that these days…
"

Sam knew that anyone unfamiliar with the song wouldn't understand Rachel's choice of music until she sang the chorus. He heard some confused murmurs behind him and someone else shushing the person as Rachel continued,

"I probably wouldn't be this way
I probably wouldn't hurt so bad
I never pictured every minute without you in it
Oh You left so fast
Sometimes I see you standing there
Sometimes it's like I'm losing touch
Sometimes I feel that I'm so lucky to have had the chance to love this much
God gave me a moment's grace
'Cause if I'd never seen your face
I probably wouldn't be this way…
"

The next verse made plain exactly why Rachel had picked this song, why the words practically vibrated with agony. Her voice had wailed on the chorus but the verses were stark with feeling,

"Mama says that I just shouldn't speak to you
Jenny says that I should just move on
You oughta see the way these people look at me
When they see me 'round here talking to this stone
Everybody thinks I've lost my mind
But I just take it day by day…
"

Then everyone got it and Sam could hear more than a few sniffles from around him. He wasn't ashamed of the tears in his own eyes as Rachel's voice somehow carried and gave them permission to feel all the pain Sue was feeling,

"I probably wouldn't be this way
I probably wouldn't hurt so bad
I never pictured every minute without you in it
Oh You left so fast
Sometimes I see you standing there
Sometimes I feel an angel's touch
Sometimes I feel that I'm so lucky to have had the chance to love this much
God gave me a moment's grace
'Cause if I'd never seen your face
I probably wouldn't be this way…
"

Rachel's voice didn't waver, but tears were streaming down her cheeks as she sang the last few lines,

"Probably wouldn't be this way…

Got A Date a week from Friday with the preacher's son
Everybody says I'm crazy
Guess I'll have to see…
"

Rachel and Puck returned to their seats as Sue took the podium and began to read, "I miss my sister. Every night at ten or so, she used to call me on the phone, and when I asked her why she said her heart told her to…"

Sam felt Brittany shudder next to him and looked to see her face streaming with silent tears. Without really thinking it through he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and met Santana's gaze a few people down. The Latina looked torn between wanting to kill him and wanting to comfort Brittany herself and Sam barely kept from frowning his confusion. It seemed like he wasn't the only person at McKinley who was confused about their sexuality.

Coach Beiste stood and joined Sue at the podium, the cheerleading coach had lost her voice in her grief and could only stand and look at her paper, trying to catch her breath. Sam felt his lips curve briefly as the football coach continued the eulogy, one strong arm around Sue's shoulders. Coach Beiste was one of the best people he knew at McKinley. When the eulogy was finished Beiste helped Sue sit down and took a spot next to her.

The director took the podium and spoke, thanking all the students on Sue and Jean's behalf and then…well Sam could feel his throat closing up again, grief just seemed to choke him. "Funerals, painful as they are," The director said solemnly, "Are for the living. The dead, though sorely missed, no longer suffer the slings and arrows of this life. From what I have been told of Jean she was a kind, luminous spirit whose daily presence was a reminder of how joyous life can be if we allow it. It is up to us, those who remain behind, to carry forward the spirit of Jean's life. It is only in our memories, our works and our children that we live on in this world."

The director gestured to someone in the first row and as he continued to speak Rachel and Puck moved to the dais behind him, Rachel's violin in her hand while Puck carried his guitar. "Let Jean live on in your memories, in the kindnesses you do each other and in your hearts for the rest of your lives. Let her gentle spirit be your helping guide in times of doubt. And in your lives, honor she who no longer dwells among these earthly cares. Please rise while Sue's students sing Jean to her rest." He stood back away from the podium as everyone stood. Rachel's violin began to sing while Puck's hands moved over his guitar strings and the former delinquent's voice rose above the crowd.

Sam took a deep breath and let the music wash over him. Puck had somehow managed to infuse his music and words with mourning and joy,

"I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain…
"

The chorus was a cry of glory, of insistence that this life might be over but the next was just beginning,

"Go rest high on that mountain
For your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son…
"

Sam took a half moment to be amazed at the power and beauty in Puck's song, and the sheer talent it must have taken for him to prepare it in two days. He'd known Puck and Rachel had been practicing constantly but the effortless soaring notes made it all worthwhile,

"Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
I wish I could see the angels faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing…
"

When he sang this song, it was hard to remember that Puck was Jewish and didn't believe in the same afterlife as the Christians around him. He made everyone believe, made them feel the sorrow and hope the writer had infused into the words,

"Go rest high on that mountain
For your work on earth is done
Go to heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son…
"

One last refrain, the violin wailing along with Puck's voice, as Jean's casket was escorted out of the hall, and Sam could feel his eyes well up again, Brittany sobbing next to him,

"Go to he…a…ven… a shoutin'
Love for the Father… and.. the Son…
"

The violin sang one last time along with the guitar, a sweet painful chorus and then the music died. Sam took a deep breath and looked down at Brittany and then over at Santana, motioning for the Latina Cheerio to come and help her friend. He had to help Rachel and Puck pack up their instruments and drive to the cemetery. It was not going to be a short or easy day, not by a long shot.


Author's Note: Okay folks...we've come to the last bit of what I've got written and edited. I know where I want this to go but we're probably going to have a hiatus while I get the rest of it written. I love this story and I love these two together but I've run into some health issues and I have less time for writing.

I promise though that I am working on it. I'm still posting other things that are already written and only in need of editing while I try to regain some mental and physical ground.

I hope you enjoy this and bear with my while I try to get everything back on track.

I am curious though...I'm thinking of bringing Jesse St. James into the story as another...antagonist. He's such a manipulative little jerk and smarter than Finn so I was thinking he'd be a good person for Puck and Rachel to go up against. Any thoughts on that?

Thank you for all the faves and follows. I promise they aren't in vain. This will be finished, it just won't be as soon as I'd hoped.