Title: Starlight, Chapter 44b
Author: Sapphire (sapphiresfic)
Series: 'Starlight' (List of all the parts on my LJ)
Disclaimer: I am just borrowing them for the fun of writing, BUT I do own the plot, ideas and original characters.
A/N: I edited this chapter, so all mistakes are mine.
A/N2: Feedback keeps me writing, so please comment or review. :D
A/N3: Keep in mind, within this AU... There is no Puck/Quinn, no Finn/Rachel, Quinn is NOT pregnant at all, Puck's dad never left when he was a kid and Puck will be OOC so yes, totally AU, though you'll see similarities to the episodes.
Link to Chapter 44a
(For full header see Chapter 44a.)
As Saturday morning arrived, Noah and Rachel were both up and having breakfast with his family by eight. Rachel took a shower first, after breakfast, since it took her a little longer because of her cast and when she was done, Noah hopped in to take a quick one. Neither were too worried about it, because they'd be sweating from their practice in a few short hours, but still wanted to start the day refreshed.
Noah was going in baggy shorts, a McKinley Football t-shirt and tennis shoes, while Rachel dressed in a pair of Capri yoga pants, a sports bra, a tank top and a matching track jacket to her pants, along with tennis shoes. Both of them had a small bag packed with a towel and a change of clothes, if they wanted to change later and a little after nine the two climbed into his SUV and made their way to McKinley.
When they arrived, Noah drove around to the side of the school and parked in the lot near the auditorium's side entrance, which was the only door Will said he'd unlock. Parking next to Finn's car and near a few others they recognized, the couple climbed out and with their bags over their shoulders, walked hand-in-hand into the auditorium. The door that was unlocked was also propped open and as they stepped through it, they saw Quinn, Finn, Tina, Mike and Artie, along with all of the band members there, who had arrived earlier to set up the instruments for practice.
"Hey Noah, hey Rachel," Quinn waved when she saw them.
"Hey everyone," Rachel replied with a smile as they moved towards the group, "did you guys just get here?"
"Yeah, a few minutes ago," Quinn nodded, hugging Rachel as the guys greeted each other.
Rachel shared a hug with Tina and waved at the guys, "I'm actually looking forward to practice. The other day was fun. I've missed it."
"That's understandable," Tina nodded, "and we're really glad to have you back," she added.
"Thank you," Rachel smiled.
"Did Noah tell you that Kurt is bringing your costume?" Tina asked her.
"Yes, he did on the way here. He said you guys changed the shirt for us on our second outfit?" Rachel commented.
"We did," Quinn nodded. "All of the girls are wearing a sweater like they did in the 50s, so our arms are covered, but we went with a different shirt for the second outfit, because we know you're not a huge fan of your cast and probably would want to cover up as much of it as possible," she explained.
"Definitely," Rachel nodded, glancing at her jacket that was bunched up above her cast because she didn't want the arm to stretch too much by being around the bulky item, "I can't wait to get it off. Hopefully by the end of the month."
"That's great," Tina smiled, "it'll be gone by Nationals."
"Yes, thank goodness," Rachel laughed lightly dropping her bag next to Noah's in one of the chairs in the front row of the theater.
The friends continued to talk and the closer to ten it got, the more of the members arrived until they were all there. Will had been in and out and Ms. Pillsbury had also joined them that day, wanting to get familiar with their dances, since she'd be one of their chaperones on the trip.
Once the teens had stretched and were gathered on the stage, Will wanted to talk to them about Regionals briefly, before they started, so after he had their attention, he started, "by this time next week we should be almost to Detroit. I know we haven't talked too much about how Regionals is going to be different than Sectionals, but I thought since we had time today, I'd explain," he admitted. "I know some of you have asked me why we need two costumes and all of that."
"We have two performances, right?" Kurt asked.
"Yes, on two different days. I know at Sectionals we did three songs all at once and we were competing against two other schools. Now, all the schools like us, who won their Sectionals in the Eastern Region of the US will be competing in Detroit. Regionals actually starts on Friday, but since we're not performing until Saturday afternoon, that's why we're not leaving until that morning. Then we're going to do 'Beautiful' and 'You're The One That I Want' for the judges. Every school is doing the same thing, their ballad and one other song. We're scored and the top fifteen schools will go on to the second round, which will be Sunday, performing their final song, for us 'My Life Would Suck Without You'. The scores from that round, along with the previous round added together will place us and by Sunday evening we'll know the top five schools who will represent the Eastern US Region at Nationals. I don't know where it is this year, though. We won't find out until Sunday."
"So are we coming home Sunday night or Monday? Because Sunday is Valentine's Day and we don't have school Monday, so I'd at least like to spend some of the weekend alone with my boyfriend," Quinn commented.
Finn blushed a little, but all of the couples understood what she was asking, "I know," Will nodded, "and I guess that's up to you guys. If we make it to the second round and we find out Sunday night if we go on to Nationals, we have two options. We could drive home after the announcement that night and get home really late, or we could get an early start Monday morning and be home that afternoon."
"I'm just gonna throw this out there... My family, Rachel, her dads and I are going up Friday night and coming back on Monday," Noah said, "given what happened at Sectionals, we're going up so I can be there and we can make sure things are settled with security for all of us," he added. "I know it'd be more fun if we all went together, but since it's out in the open that I'll be there, unfortunately I can't right now."
"We are?" Rachel turned to look at him, "when were you going to tell me?" She wondered with a laugh.
"My dad's gonna to talk to your dads today, to confirm, but they've already talked about it a little bit, ever since dad and Mr. Schue found out what day we'd be performing," Noah said, "sorry. I wasn't completely sure until this morning, when you were in the shower."
"Oh, alright," Rachel shrugged, "I guess it doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm with you," she smiled.
"That's understandable, Noah," Finn commented, "we are all staying at the same hotel, right?"
"Yes," Will nodded, "we are."
Realizing they had taken up quite a bit of practice time talking, they put their plan to a vote and most everyone agreed to leave early Monday morning, so Will settled with that and they got on to practice.
Starting out, Mercedes, Tina, Quinn, Brittany and Santana worked on 'Beautiful'. The four girls would join Mercedes on stage in the middle of the song to be her back-up and while Rachel had been gone, the five had come up with a simple routine to go along with it. They were more than willing to teach it to Rachel, but she'd seen them do the full routine on Thursday and insisted that she'd rather sit it out, since they'd already mastered it and Rachel was worried she wouldn't have time to pick up everything for it.
For the next little while, Rachel and the guys stood off to the sides of the stage, watching and cheering on the girls as they ran through the song a few times. Will and a few of the guys pointed out mistakes and the girls worked on fixing them on their next time through. Once they were able to do their full performance twice without any problems, Will congratulated them and suggested they move on.
Noah and Rachel's duet was up next, since it was also going to be for their first performance. It had a lot of partner dancing, but Rachel was thankful she only had to use her right hand for any hand holding or other things, so her cast didn't get in the way. Most of the teens were pretty familiar with the steps, because they had worked on them some, but everyone was still off beats at time and aside from Thursday, Rachel and Noah hadn't danced together in almost a month, so they agreed they'd have to take some time on their own to practice to relearn the other and get comfortable with the routines again.
Over and over again, the teens worked on the dance steps and slowly they began to get somewhere. They were far from perfect, but it was a start. After working for almost an hour on the same song, the teens were starting to need a break, which actually worked out because the handful of people who were joining them for Noah's party were starting to arrive; Carly first, followed by Rachel's dads and Finn's mom with the cake.
Will and Emma had set up a large table in front of the stage and Carole sat the cake on it and the guys headed outside to help David and Alan bring in the cases and bottles of soda that they had picked up for everyone. When everyone was back in the auditorium, sitting or standing on or near the stage, Carly handed over her signed permission slip to Will, confirming that her parents were alright with her going to Detroit and she'd be joining the club.
Everyone happily welcomed her to New Directions and as she and Rachel hugged, Arin skipped into the auditorium with a grin on her face. Noah noticed her enter, so he knew his parents were also there and was curious why she was grinning like she was, "Arin, what are you so happy about?" Noah asked simply as she walked towards him.
"It's a surprise," she said, "but you'll find out in a second."
"Uh, okay," Noah eyed her curiously and then glanced at the door as four people walked in, their parents and two others right behind them, Taylor and his dad Daniel. "No way! Seriously?" Noah gasped along with everyone else, "dude! What are you doing here?" He asked loud enough that Taylor could hear him.
"Dad and I were in the neighborhood and thought we'd stop by and celebrate my best friend's big Grammy win," Taylor replied as the four reached the table and piled the pizza boxes on it.
"Neighborhood? I thought you were doing press for your movie that's premiering on Monday," Noah said hoping he hadn't forgotten something he'd been told as he walked towards his friend.
The guys shook hands and gave each other a hug and as he pulled back Taylor shrugged, "well, I was doing press, in New York. Dad called your dad yesterday, because I knew I had the weekend free before the premiere, so we were gonna stop by and when Ethan told him about what you all were doing today, we decided to take an extended layover here in Ohio before heading back to California for the premiere," Taylor explained.
"Awesome. Thanks for coming," Noah smiled.
Taylor returned his smile, "I'm glad to be here," he said, waving at the others, "hey everyone."
"Hey Taylor," several of them responded, waving back at him or nodding towards him as they started to gather around the table to start getting pizza.
Turning a little, Taylor smiled at Rachel, "hey, Rachel. You're looking a lot better than the last time I saw you," he admitted honestly, moving to wrap his arms around her in a hug.
Rachel gladly accepted his hug, "thanks. I feel a whole lot better since I saw you last, too," she replied when they pulled apart.
"Glad to hear it," he nodded, glancing at the girl standing next to Rachel, who had a shocked expression on her face and he figured she was surprised to see him, "hi, I don't think we've met. I'm Taylor," he commented, holding out his hand.
Carly blinked, but took his hand and shook it, "I'm Carly," she said, trying to keep her composure, "we, um, actually met when you were here in December for Noah's concert, but I'm sure you wouldn't remember; you met a lot of people that day."
"That's true, so unfortunately, I don't remember, but it's nice to finally meet you. I've actually heard a lot about you," he admitted, "all good I promise. It's nice to put a name to a face."
"Really? You have heard about me?" Carly asked surprised.
"He has," Noah nodded, "come on, we can talk and eat," he said, motioning to the pizza.
While Taylor had been talking to Noah, Rachel and Carly, the others had started to get pizza and find places to sit and stand around the area between the stage and the front row of seats. After getting a few slices on each of their plates, Noah moved up to sit next to Finn on the edge of the stage, their feet hanging over and Taylor sat next to Noah. Rachel and Quinn stood on the floor by their boyfriends and Carly was standing with them, the six of them talking together, while others around were sitting together doing the same thing.
The Glee Club and the adults there were all used to Taylor just randomly showing up, but Carly was the only one still shocked and a little starstruck. She had only met him at Noah's concert in December, because when he was in Ohio the month prior, he hadn't visited anyone except Noah and was gone before Carly and the Glee teens got to see Rachel once she was rescued. Slowly as conversations continued, the shock wore off and Carly was as comfortable with him as she was around everyone else and noticed that all of Noah's friends treated Taylor like just another one of the guys, just like Noah, which she was happy to see.
Biting into the first piece of pizza, Rachel had some memories flood back to her, but surrounded by friends, family and her boyfriend, she was quickly able to push them aside and enjoy the food for the first time in quite a while. Noah was really happy that she had tried and successfully managed to eat the slices she'd taken and even another slice, after the two went back to get more. He was glad to see she was past her issues with pizza.
"Another step in recovery," Noah commented happily, setting his plate on the stage, since he was now standing in front of it, and pressed a kiss to her lips, "great job."
"Thanks," Rachel blushed, "I know it may be small, but to me it was kind of a big deal."
"Everyone is different. Some things bother them that don't bother others. I'm just glad you didn't swear off pizza for good," he admitted, "because it's one of my favorite foods."
Rachel laughed lightly, but nodded, "I had a feeling it might be. I'm sure it's probably easier to order a pizza than cooking some nights when you're working a lot, huh?"
"It is," he nodded, slipping his arms around her, and giving her a quick hug. As he pulled back he noticed his mom walking towards them, "hey mom, what's up?"
"Are you done eating?" She asked.
"Everyone seems to be done or almost done with eating, so Carole and I would like to get a few pictures of you with the cake before we cut it and I thought you might want to say something before we do cut it," she explained.
"Oh, alright. Sounds good," he agreed, kissing his girlfriend's cheek before following his mom over to the table where the cake was.
The three-tiered cake was decorated with musical notes, a banner with 'Congratulations Noah' on the middle tier and on top sat three small and one large handmade and edible Grammy awards. Noah really liked it and for a few minutes, stood next to it so the two moms could get a few pictures of him with it, before he took off one of the smaller awards and bit off the top.
Everyone laughed at what he did and snapped a few of their own photos of him near his cake. Rachel, Taylor and Finn had moved up to be near him and were also taking pictures, Rachel with her camera, Taylor and Finn with their phones, while the other teens and adults started to gather around Noah. After a few moments, Finn and the guys started chanting 'speech', so Noah took the hint and thought about he wanted to say.
Turning so he was facing everyone, he draped his right arm around Rachel and kissed her forehead, before starting, "winning awards and being honored for something you've done feels amazing, especially knowing that fans all over the world, recognize my talent and enjoys my music. These Grammy awards mean even more because half of my album are songs that I wrote, some with dad's help," he motioned to him and then looked around, "some of you I've known for years and are my best friends, or brothers," he said, glancing at Finn and Taylor, "and most of you, I didn't get the pleasure of meeting until this year, but you all have become close friends to me, and even more," he smiled at Rachel, "it means the world to me that you all have accepted me and welcomed me into school, the club, and treat me just like any other kid born and raised here in Lima. I've always said I'm just a normal guy with a not-so-normal job and honestly, winning is amazing, but it's not everything. We've all had a rough few weeks, some more than others, and thankfully it's in the past and I know I appreciate you all being there for me, for us," he glanced at Rachel again, "and now that is all in the past and right now I'm really glad to be celebrating these awards with all of you. This is what is important to me; being here, with my friends and family, so thank you all for everything," he smiled, feeling tears in his eyes and looked around to see others wiping their eyes and didn't want everyone to start crying, so he decided to break the emotions by asking, "who wants to eat some cake?"
Lyrics mentioned above... I don't own the song, I'm just borrowing it...
Sara Bareilles - 'Love Song' - see the video on YouTube
I'm borrowing the underlined quote from Buddy Valastro... If any of you have watched TLC's 'Cake Boss', you'll be familiar with the quote. If not, the show itself is a reality show on TLC following Buddy Valastro, the 'boss' of his family's bakery 'Carlo's Bakery' in New Jersey and his family who all work at the bakery. Each week, they make immaculate cakes for clients from simple to huge, showing the process from initial interview with the client to delivery, along with all of the other bakery items they make. When they deliver the cake, Buddy usually talks with the client to get their reaction and then his 'tag line' or 'quote' that he usually ends his 'speech' with is 'who wants to eat some cake?', so I couldn't help throwing this in! (see info on Wikipedia - en . wikipedia . org/ wiki/ Cake_Boss )
A/N4: It's been a while, but I hope you like it! Please review and let me know! I'm not getting many reviews... This took me about a week to write this chapter and I literally just finished it a few hours ago and wanted to get this to you all. I've been sick and finally am feeling better. See my two 'helps' for some dilemmas I have. To everyone who has reviewed recently, I love you all! Thank you and I'm so sorry I haven't responded to all of them. I'm trying to get through them. FF's new way of replying is quite confusing. I don't want to spam people with multiple review replies.
Also, GleekyCaliGirl... I can't seem to find you on FF, so I'm not sure how to get in touch with you. I got your review and offer in 'Returning Home' and would like to talk to you! If you are them or know them, could you PM me here or I'm on Twitter / Tumblr as EJ8302 or SapphiresFic on LJ...
Help1: I'm so torn on what to do, you guys! I brought this up on Tumblr, and I got one response... 'Starlight' and 'Out of the Blue' are far from being done, and I also have 2 other WIPs, 'Broken Road' and 'Returning Home', that are close to being done. I've thought about and am wondering if you guys would be okay if I continued updating Starlight, Out of the Blue and one of those, about once a month, like I have been and then turning my focus onto one of the two that are close to being done and write/post about weekly to finish it... I'm finding having 4 WIPs is very hard, so would you guys be okay with that? One person said they'd like the idea, because that way they have a complete story to reread, rather than an update every few weeks to a month... Thoughts?
Help2: To go along with up above. I have 2 unposted WIPs. They are AUs and I've been working on them for over a year. Each of them have at least a prologue and 7 chapters written. One of them has 8 chapters, but I've been holding off on posting them because 4 posted WIPs is already a lot... Here's my dilemma. Next week, on Tumblr is 'Puckleberry Week'. Each day from 4/23 to 4/29 are theme days, we can write, draw, create a playlist, do something based on the theme and Puckleberry and post it for that day... (if any of you are curious about it, let me know)... Anyway, one of the days is for AUs, so I was thinking about working on/fixing up one of my unposted WIPs and posting the prologue and chapter 1 for the 'AU' day, but if I did that, it would be quite a while before I updated again and I don't know if you guys would be alright with that... Thoughts?