Author's Note:

Edited "Act One" of the show.

ACT ONE

Will Schuester, Artie Abrams, Tina Cohen-Chang, and Blaine Anderson walk down the hallway of McKinley High School just minutes after school has let out, heading for the choir room. They're all smiling and happy, still flying off the high of winning Regionals.

"First Glee Practice since Regionals! Pizza party time, holla!" Artie exclaims, hi-fiving Tina and Blaine.

"Yes, yes we can celebrate but we also have to focus our efforts and start planning for Nationals!" says Will, also clearly excited.

"We'll be fine… the new talent proved they can work well together, plus we've got months to perfect our routine," says Blaine.

"Right… and we'll know the next theme later next week so I can help pick the perfect duet for you and me, Blaine," adds Tina.

"We'll… discuss things like that in a few weeks," says Will, evasively. "For now, let's focus on strengthening the team as a whole."

As Will and others walk past the office, Sue Sylvester pokes her head into the hallway.

"William. Office. Now," she says, firmly.

"I'm glad you're back Sue, but this will have to wait, I've got-," Will begins.

"This can't wait. Emma sent me," replies Sue.

Will senses the urgency in Sue's voice and reads it on her face. The others stop, but Will turns to smile at them.

"Go on ahead, guys, I'll be there as quick as I can," he assures them.

Artie, Tina, and Blaine glance at each other and leave. Will and Sue walk down another hallway. Sue's face is turned from Will, full of seriousness and a hint of sadness. Will is confused and worried. As they walk, Sue addresses Will.

"You're going to have to stay calm, William," says Sue. "You are about to face the toughest challenge of your life."

"Sue, what's going on?" asks Will, worried.

Sue ignores him. "I can take over the meeting if you need me to, and I won't even charge my usual minimum rate of $250."

"You're not making any sense," pesters Will. "What did Emma…?"

Will trails off as they see his wife's office. Inside, Emma holds the phone with tears streaming down her face. Coach Bieste sits in a chair, her body wracked with sobs. Will turns to glance at Sue and sees tears in her eyes, too. He rushes into the office and takes the phone. After a pause, he collapses into a chair, holding his head in his other hand as Emma lays a sympathetic arm around his hunched shoulders.

Back in the halls, Marley Rose, Jake Puckerman, and Unique Adams stand at lockers while Marley trades books in and out of her bookbag. Other students mingle around them in the end-of-day rush.

"I'm just saying… maybe we could do a Kanye song… the judges might like "Stronger" if nothing else!" argues Jake.

"That's almost as bad as your Chris Brown idea… but not quite," says Marley. "Anyway, unless our theme is HipHop & R&B, I don't know if that'll get approved."

"Oh honey if that is the case then Unique will put forth a glorious rendition of Miss Jennifer Hudson so powerful it will leave you all in tears," says Unique, dramatically.

As the three walk towards Glee Club,they spot Ryder Lynn walking towards them. He makes eye contact and everyone freezes. Unique drops her gaze and walks away. The other two approach Ryder, who is unhappy.

"Hey… are you going to Glee Club today?" asks Marley.

"You know I'm not. I quit," responds Ryder, coldly. "And I don't even want to be in the same room as her… him… whatever, it."

"But you're one of the main reasons we won!" argues Jake. "C'mon, man, at least celebrate the victory with us. Free pizza!"

"… Fine," consents Ryder. "But that's it. After today, I'm done."

Ryder walks away. Marley and Jake exchange worried looks.

"What are we gonna do if he quits?" quips Marley.

"I don't know… we'll only have like 11 people, and that's not enough to compete, right?" asks Jake.

"I didn't mean that!" Marley replies. "I meant how are we going to patch things up between those two?"

"I'm… not sure. We may have to let them both calm down before we try to patch it up for them…" he mutters.

Meanwhile, in the choir room itself, Kitty Wilde, Sam Evans, and Joe Hart join Blaine, Artie, and Tina as they all sit in the choir room, discussing their upcoming struggles.

"Yeah, so… Sugar is apparently transferring?" reveals Joe. "I don't know what the details are but… bummer."

"It's more than a bummer!" exclaims Tina. "We've already lost Brittany to MIT and now Sugar… we're not gonna have enough people to compete!"

"At least her voice can be replaced," says Kitty. "Are we gonna have to cannibalize the band just to have minimum members again?"

"What about that girl, Lauren, from last year?" suggests Blaine. "Maybe she'd come back?"

"Yeah, I'll leave asking her up to you," replies Kitty. "I don't want to get broken in half when she sits on me."

"We'll figure something out. This isn't like before," says Artie. "We don't have to blackmail people to join Glee Club anymore."

Marley, Ryder, and Jake enter. Unique enters through the other side and quietly sits in the back, her head still down as she plays with her phone. The others look at Ryder.

"Well if it isn't Catfish and her catch," announces Kitty. She then turned to Ryder specifically. "I thought you quit."

"This is my last day," replies Ryder, stiffly.

"Sorry, but today's party is only for current members of the New Directions," retorts Tina.

"Woah, guys, c'mon, let's relax," says Sam, bracingly. "Ryder helped us win just as much as everyone else. Besides, it's not fur sure he's quitting, right?"

"No, I'm definitely quitting," says Ryder. "As long as it's here, I'm not staying."

Unique winces when he says "it" and several others register shock at Ryder's tone. Marley is unhappy.

"Ryder, I'm sorry Unique hurt you, but don't throw everything away because of it!" she exclaims.

"And you even knew about it and didn't tell me! What kind of friends are you?" hisses Ryder.

"We can't afford to lose either of you!" cries Tina. "We can't compete!

"Well it should have thought about that before ruining my life!" screams Ryder.

"Stop saying "it" that's incredibly offensive!" yells Blaine.

"What else should I say?!" snarls Ryder. "It's definitely not a girl!"

"Ryder, take it easy bro…" Jake says, trying to calm him.

"Well if this is how every meeting is going to go, I might quit, too," muses Kitty.

"Guys, there's no need for this," pleads Sam. "Can't we just forgive and forget?"

"I can't forgive being lied to and taken advantage of," says Ryder, glaring at Unique. "Especially by you."

"I'm so sorry Ryder…" Unique mutters quietly.

"Sorry isn't going to cut it this time!" hisses Ryder.

As the bickering continues, Will walks into the choir room. His eyes are red, and he moves in a daze, not even noticing the arguing students. Artie is the first to notice him.]

"Mr. Schue…?" he asks, a scared look in his eye.

The others stop fighting long enough to turn and see Will's face. The room is silent as Will absently sits in a chair.

"What's wrong?" asks Joe.

"Don't tell me someone else quit…?" gasps Tina.

"What happened?" adds Sam.

Will speaks slowly in a voice choked with emotion. "Last night… there was an accident… near the college. I… I'm… I don't know how to… say this… but… I wanted you to hear it now… before you hear rumors…"

The Glee Club members stare at Will, various degrees of apprehension and worry on their faces. Blaine, Kitty, and Artie seem to be putting two and two together, as their eyes widen in horror.

"Finn… was…" Will continues. "He was struck and… he died on his way to the hospital."

There is stunned silenced. As the news sinks in, Tina, Unique, and Marley dissolve into tears. Sam covers his face with his hands and collapses into a chair, his body shaking with silent sobs. Joe, Jake, and Blaine stare in horror and shock. Artie's hands shake and tears come to his eyes. Kitty and Ryder also fall into seats, totally at a loss.

"No… it… it can't be…" says Artie.

"I'm so, so sorry to have to be the one to… tell you this…" Will says, struggling again. "But I wanted you to hear it from… me first…"

SAM

"This… this is just a bad dream, right…?" mutters Sam. He pinches himself and realizes the truth, his face crumbling again. "No…"

"W-what h-happened?" Marley asks, sniveling.

"According to the police… it was after a party let out. As Finn was crossing the road… he… he…" Will begins, but is unable to continue.

Sue, who had been watching from the doorway, enters and picks up the slack for him.

"Some kid who was tripping out from a mix of heroin and angel dust hit him in the crosswalk," she says. " Reports say he pushed two girls out of the path of the car just before they got hit. Finn Hudson died a hero."

"Did they catch the son of a bitch who did it?" asks Kitty.

"The police have a suspect in custody," confirms Sue. "And between Burt Hummel's political status and my archive of blackmail on every elected official in the tri-county area… I'll make sure he pays dearly."

"The court case isn't for a while… Right now, we need to focus on Finn's family," reminds Will, pulling together. "They'll need all the support they can get. I've talked to Figgins; we'll have grief counselors here tomorrow if you need to talk to someone. Emma is available, too…"

"Oh God… how… how is Kurt?" asks Blaine.

"The… whole family is shaken and devastated. I imagine that Kurt will be back in town in a couple of days," says Will.

"Is… there a funeral date?" asks Tina, momentarily gaining her composure.

"No… I'm going to talk to Carole and Burt tonight. Once I have any information, I'll pass it on," says Will.

"What about the others…? The other New Directions members?" asks Jake.

"I'll be in contact with them. For now… please, go home. See your families. Get some rest. Practice is postponed until further notice," says Will, turning them loose.

Later, the Glee Club Members file out of the choir room, many still crying or wiping their eyes. In the halls, rumors have clearly started spreading as several students talk in hushed voices, throwing sad or pitying looks at the various Glee kids as they pass. They thin out, as Blaine, Marley, Jake, and Sam walk ahead.

"This… is too much… I can't… I won't believe it…" weeps Marley.

"I… I gotta call Britt… wonder if she knows…" mutters Sam.

"Yeah… Poor Kurt must be a wreck… oh, God, and Rachel too… I'm gonna call 'em," realizes Blaine.

"I could have sworn my brother said he was going to that party… I gotta make sure he's all right…" says Jake, pulling out his phone.

Meanwhile, out in Lima, Puck walks along the street, talking into his cell. He begins to pass an electronics store with dozens of televisions in the window. As Puck chats on the phone, his voice is upbeat, flirty, and playful.

"… haha oh yeah… I had a great time with you and your friend. You know… my buddy and me are playin' again next weekend at Phi Sig… yeah, the drummer dude. … well that sounds awesome and… oh, hang on… got another call…" he says, checking the phone and seeing who it is. "… ah, shit, family. Hey, I'll call you back a little later, sugar… aight, bye… Sup, 'lil bro?"

"Hey… are you all right?" asks Jake.

"Dude, I have never been better! Wait till I tell ya about last night's party… you're gonna lose it!" exclaims Puck.

"Noah… have… haven't you heard the news?" asks Jake in a pained voice.

What news? And what's with using my first name, dude, I thought we talked about… that…

He trails off as he looks as the television screen. A news reporter is talking and his/her voice gets louder as Puck trails off. The news story is about the previous night's accident.

"… and police have identified the deceased pedestrian in last night's deadly car accident on the corner of 4th and Maple," says the reporter as Finn's pictures appears behind her. "Police say Lima resident Finn Hudson was killed when crossing the street, and police have arrested a suspect, charging him with—"

After seeing Finn's picture, Puck's eyes grow wide and his hearing begins to go. Jake's voice echoes in the phone as Puck stumbles and sits against the telephone pole. He frantically hangs up the phone and dials Finn's number. It rings several times before going to voicemail. He tries again, and again, growing more frantic and saddened by the moment.

"No… no… c'mon man… c-c'mon man… pick up…" he begs.

After the fifth try, he hurtles the phone away from him and breaks down, slumped against a parked car, crying into his knees.

Later that night, Will, Emma, Sue, and Bieste approach the home of Burt and Carol. Everyone is silent. Only Sue seems to be fully there, mentally. Bieste and Emma are carrying a tin-foil-covered cooking pan and a Tupperware bowl, respectively.

"Shannon, what in God's name did you make?" asks Sue.

"I made them dinner… they're gonna have to keep their strength up and I… I know I wouldn't be able to focus on cooking right now…" says Bieste.

"She's right… Carol already lost her first husband… losing her son, too, will be even harder," says Emma, quietly.

"I just… hope we're not intruding," says Will. "I can't even imagine what they're going through right now…"

They knock on the door and Burt peers out the window at them. At first his face registers a little bit of anger, but it immediately softens upon seeing them. Burt opens the door and ushers them in.

"Uh… sorry about… that. We've been… getting hounded by the media all day since they released Finn's name…" says Burt.

"Those vultures…" hisses Sue.

"Burt, I… … I… don't know… what to say… but… I'm so sorry," he finally spits out.

Will hugs Burt as the two try to fight back tears again. Burt only a little more successful than Will. He moves on to Emma, who hands him the bowl.]

"I know how hard it must be, so we thought we'd take the load off of you for a while…" explains Emma. "It's just broth, but I've added more essential nutrients and… um… it should… suffice…"

Bieste sets the huge pot on the table. She removes the tinfoil and reveals an entire cooked chicken on a bed of potatoes and asparagus. She sniffs loudly and struggles to speak.

"Y…you're gonna need… protein… and… that'll last… for a few days… I'm… I'm so sorry…" she says, breaking down again.

She nearly crushes Burt in a hug and then stifles a sob, going back to the entrance hall to sit next to Sue, who is peering out the window through a small slit in the blinds.

"You… you guys… I don't know what to say…" says Burt, emotion welling up inside him. "You didn't have to do this. And Carol… I'm sure she'll appreciate it, too, but… she's just gotten to sleep for the first time in almost 24 hours… I didn't want to wake her…"

"No, not at all… we don't want to intrude," says Will, quickly. "How are you two holding up?"

"Truth be told… this is just as hard as when Kurt's mom died…," says Burt, sitting at the kitchen table. "And Carol… poor Carol… we just keep asking ourselves why Finn? Why now…?"

"Is there… anything we can help with?" asks Emma.

Burt shakes his head. "We just need to plan his funeral… God… you just… you never think you're going to need to worry about paying for a funeral for your kid, y'know…?"

Burt lays his head on the table and Emma stifles sobs again. Will, though sad, seems to come up with an idea.

"Burt… what if we were to organize a dinner of some sort for you?" he asks. "To help with the costs of the funeral? A benefit dinner for you and your family…"

"Will, I can't ask you to do that… Finn was like a younger brother to you; you must be just as devastated…" argues Burt.

"I am… but if I don't do something I don't know how I'm going to get through this…" says Will. "We'll get the Glee kids together, the football team… and we'll host a spaghetti dinner… that can help offset some of the funeral costs…"

"But… I…" stutters Burt, lost for words.

SUE suddenly stirs by the window. "They're coming back. You all stay here; I'll handle these idiots. Will, give me a date for this benefit."

"Uh… how about this Sunday? That'll give enough time for everyone to come back to town and for us to organize," suggest Will.

"I'm on it," says Sue, leaving.

Bieste takes up her post of sitting and staring out the window. Burt, still overcome with emotion, wipes his eyes. Everyone catches sight of a large, framed photo of Finn on the wall. There is silence.

"You… you really think the others will come back? Even the ones on the West Coast?" asks Burt.

Will nods. "I have no doubt that most of them are already on their way."

Various Glee Club members make their way back to Lima. Santana, Rachel, and Kurt sit holding hands on an airplane. Rachel and Kurt still don't have dry eyes and Santana stares off into the distance. Mercedes Jones is on another airplane, her hands clasped in prayer. Mike Chang and Quinn Fabray are both on busses, staring sadly out the window as rain drops slide along the glass.

Brittany Pierce walks through the airport, dragging a large, pastel-colored suitcase behind her. Although it has wheels, she's got it backwards as she drags it so that the wheels aren't touching the floor. She also has a turtle backpack on. As she enters the arrivals area, she spots Santana, who is sitting watching a television that's airing Sue's interview in front of Burt and Carol's house.

"… Santana? Is that you?" asks Brittany.

"… Brittany. Oh my God I've never been so happy to see you…" exclaims Santana.

The two run to each other and embrace. After a few seconds they let go and take a step back, looking up and down each other.

"You've lost… what, six pounds?" asks Brittany.

"Seven," corrects Santana. "Turns out being too poor to eat and dancing four hours a day is great for weight loss. And look at you, MIT student… how is it there?"

"Oh, it's super easy," exclaims Brittany. "Like, all my professors have basically told me that there's no point in my going to class… apparently I'm so smart I make it so that other students find it impossible to focus on learning. I'm holding a 4.0 since apparently in college your grades are just based on attendance? I mostly spend my time with these science nerd guys who obsess over these numbers and pictures I draw."

"… You're just… amazing. I'm so happy to see you… even though it sucks to be here…" says Santana, as the two turn to walk towards the exits. Brittany quickly stops her.

"… you haven't cried," she accuses gently.

"… what?" asks Santana.

"Santana, I know you," says Brittany. "I can tell when you're keeping stuff inside you. You haven't cried at all yet, have you?"

"Well, I had to keep it together," says Santana. "Someone had to get Rachel and Kurt here and neither one of them were in any state to navigate that hellhole known as La Guardia Airport…"

"It's okay, Santana… let it out… it's okay to be sad…" mutters Brittany, interrupting and hugging her again.

"It's... it's not fair, Britt… why did it have to be one of us…?" weeps Santana.

"I don't know… I… I don't know, Santana…" Brittany says, hugging her tight and trying to shush her tears.