sapphireej: (Out of the Blue)
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Title: Out of the Blue, Part 83b
Author: Sapphire ([livejournal.com profile] sapphiresfic)
Disclaimer1: 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: This story is mostly AU after Mash-up (1x08), but with some of the topics discussed in the later episodes and music used, I may sneak in a conversation, cover the same topic, or use the same song, but I will put my own twist on it and may use some of the music.


~*~

A/N3: This chapter contains Nationals, which will feature a song from Glee's episode '1x22 - Journey'. See notes and 'Disclaimer2' at the bottom for the chapter.

~*~

Link to Part 83a
(For full header see Part 83a.)

~*~

When McKinley's turn finally came, the teen couple got ready to start their ballad. They were going to be entering the stage from opposite sides, so Rachel walked down to the other end and Puck signaled the band after Rachel nodded at him that she was ready.

As the music began, Puck stepped out, immediately beginning the song, "highway run into the midnight sun. Wheels go round and round, you're on my mind," he sang, slowly walking towards the center of the stage.

Rachel took her cue and stepped out from the curtain as his words ended and she picked up with the next lines, "restless hearts, sleep alone tonight. Sending all my love along the wire," she walked towards him. Reaching her boyfriend, she took his hands and they stood facing each other, singing the next few lines together, "they say that the road ain't no place to start a family. Right down the line it's been you and me. And loving a music man ain't always what it's supposed to be," Puck paused to let her continue, "oh boy, you stand by me," she sang, and Puck joined her for the last line of the chorus, "I'm forever yours, faithfully."

The two broke their hands apart as the music slowed again and they stepped a few feet apart and Rachel sang the beginning of the next chorus, "circus life under the big top world," she sang motioning above towards the lights, "we all need the clowns to make us smile," the two sang together, before Rachel added, "oh, through space and time," and Puck echoed her words, before they continued together, but also walked towards the sides of the stage, "always another show. Wondering where I am, lost without you. And being apart ain't easy on this love affair," even though they were apart, they turned to face each other on opposite sides of the stage as they began walking back together, "two strangers learn to fall in love again. I get the joy of rediscovering you," they sang together and Puck smiled, then continued with a few words, "oh, girl, you stand by me," before they met again, joining hands together to finish the second verse, "I'm forever yours, faithfully."

As Rachel and Puck finished their words, the other members began filing onto the stage, taking places in specific spots. Puck reached up resting a hand on Rachel's cheek and smiled at her, giving her a silent promise that those words were not just part of the song to him; he meant them. The moment only lasted a few seconds, but Rachel returned his smile and the two moved to take their places in the front of the club. On cue, the whole group began with some vocal runs, Rachel and Puck echoing words of the chorus to each other every few moments. At the end, Puck and Rachel joined hands again and sang the last line together as the club stopped, "I'm still yours... Faithfully."

The band stopped at the same moment their words did and the venue erupted into applause. The club members bowed together in thanks and waved at the audience, then everyone dashed off stage as the lights dimmed a little, preparing for their second song of the day.

Once backstage, the guys quickly took off their black dress shirts and red ties, handing them off to their girlfriends, friends or their chaperones, leaving them in red 'McKinley Titans' t-shirts, their black jeans and a pair of black and white Converse. To finish off their new 'costume' they wrapped white bandanas around their foreheads and gathered together at the side, motioning to the band to start.

With final words of luck sent their way, the guys headed out on the stage, using the beat of the music to get there. "Take it back to the place where you know it all began. We can be anything we wanna be," Puck sang, glancing at Finn, who continued, "you can tell by the noise that the boys are back again. Together makin' history."

"It's time to show how to be a superhero. Just like a showdown with Will Smith and Bobby De Niro. We're the best, no doubt. Doin' it like we used to do. This is our [time] and I'm telling you all!" The guys all sang the bridge, following Mike and Matt's choreography without missing a beat. Most of the time they were doing the same moves, but sometimes half of them would do something opposite, but it'd come back together to match again, using some hip-hop dance steps; something they hadn't seen much of during any of their show choir competitions.

Reaching the chorus, the guys all continued, "the boys are back. Hey! The boys are back. The boys are back, gonna do it again! Gonna wake up the neighborhood! The boys are back. Yea! The boys are back! Climbin' up the walls, anytime we want! The word is out the boys are back!"

Keeping up with the dance, Puck started the next verse, "keep comin' with the right when we fight every single time. Undefeated here in our house, yeah!" Finn took over the next few lines, "we can rock, we can shock, anytime we like and tonight we're goin' all out!" He sang, and then Puck and the rest of the guys joined him to sing the bridge again, "it's time to show how to be a superhero. Just like a showdown, take the pedal to the medal! Go! We're the best, no doubt. Doin' it like we used to to do. This is our [time] and I'm telling you all!"

After one more time through the chorus, the guys stopped singing, but kept dancing for a few moments, then picked up the chorus twice more. At the end of the chorus again, the music stopped, the guys froze on the stage and Puck and Finn stood back to back and sang the last lines of the song, "I'm sure that you know by now... the boys are back!"

The lights dimmed and the audience cheered even louder than before, and then the guys bowed and waved, before jogging off the stage, definitely worn out from the upbeat dance they'd just done.

Congratulating them as soon as they got backstage, Rachel immediately dashed to her boyfriend, and threw her arms around him, "you all were amazing!" She exclaimed, happily.

"Thanks babe," he smiled, kissing her gently as he hugged her, "hopefully it made us stand out so we can go on to the next round."

"Well after the reaction by the audience, if we don't, I'd be very upset and surprised," Rachel admitted, as the club began to make their way towards their practice room.

~*~

The teens would have to wait until the next morning to find out if they'd move on to the second round; like at Regionals, they changed the schedule from the year before. Settling to waiting, everyone changed and congratulated each other, all of them hoping they'd be moving on.

In less than a half an hour, the large group was finally ready to leave, so they slowly moved out of the room and made their way towards the exit, where they were going to meet their families. What they didn't expect was additions to the people they already knew where there. Ethan's former team, their families and some of Ethan's side of the family, including his mom, who was holding her great-granddaughter, and some of his siblings and their families.

"Mom! Guys, what are you all doing here?" Ethan asked totally surprised.

"We came to support you all," Orla replied, stepping towards him with Abby in her arms. As soon as Abby saw her parents, she reached out for them, so Puck moved to them, taking Abby from his grandma and greeting her with a partial hug before stepping back to Rachel with Abby, "we thought we'd come up to cheer you on. We haven't seen you perform since last June when you did that show at the school, so this is the first time we could see you all together and it's not every day one of my grandchildren performs for a National competition, well, technically I have two grandchildren performing," Orla glanced at Puck and Rachel, "but I think you get what I mean," she explained.

Rachel smiled at her, "yes, we do and thank you all for coming. We all appreciate it," she explained.

~*~

Though not all of the members knew everyone, they were all happy to have an audience to cheer them on and they hung out there for a short time, but soon everyone was making their way back to the hotel in cars or on the bus.

Some of the members and their parents or chaperones began heading out to find someplace for dinner. The Berrys, all of the Puckermans, Ethan's visiting family, his former team, Carole, Kurt, Quinn, Finn and some of the other Glee kids, piled into various cars and headed towards to the Mexican restaurant Deborah, Ethan, Puck, Rachel, Finn and Quinn ate at the very first time they were in Detroit, who was already expecting their large group and were happy to accommodate them.

With two long tables, the teens took one and settled around it, while the adults sat down at the other table, everyone talking and enjoying some time to just relax. No one had to worry about work or school, aside from the reason the Glee Club was there, and Puck got a chance to catch up with his cousins, aside from the short times they'd talked or exchange messages online or when they saw each at his parent's baby shower.

~*~

For several hours the large group talked and ate, relaxing and for the McKinley students, didn't worry about the results of the first round, even though all of them had it on their mind. Everyone was happy to have something to do to pass the time, but as it got later, people needed to start getting home or to their hotels. Ethan's family that had come up was staying at a hotel a few miles away and everyone there promised to return to the venue the next day for the results and hopefully a second performance for the club.

Heading back to the hotel to make sure everyone got back, the large group said their goodbyes and parted, leaving the Ohio students and their parents and chaperones at their hotel. Slowly the group filtered off into their rooms, saying 'goodnight' to their friends, knowing they had an early morning the next day.

David, Alan, Rachel, Noah and Abby, returned to their room along with Deborah, Ethan and Arin and spent some time as the small family, talking while everyone pitched in to help make sure they could get Abby settled for the night and then headed off to their rooms, agreeing to meet around eight in the morning for breakfast in the hotel's café.

Once Deborah, Ethan and Arin left for the night, Puck, Rachel and Rachel's dads got ready for bed and even though they weren't in separate rooms, Puck had something he wanted to tell Rachel and he didn't mind that her dads heard, "you know, I almost lost it on stage today," Puck admitted to Rachel as he crawled under the blankets.

Rachel thought back to their performance to see if she could pick it out and then realized when, "at the end of 'Faithfully'?"

"Yeah," he nodded, "I know it's about a singer touring and trying to have that life with a spouse and family at home, but I realized something a few weeks ago and decided to wait to say something... It's a metaphor for us. I'm gonna be gone a lot, and it's not usually the best life for a family and when we do see each other, we'll be like reacquainting ourselves with each other and our life, while I have a whole other life in the Navy, but no matter what, we'll be faithful to each other; I swear I will."

"I believe you, Noah, and I promise I will be, too," Rachel smiled, pressing a kiss to his lips as she snuggled against him. "And I thought of that a few weeks ago, too, and had the same feelings. I wanted to wait because I didn't want you to be distracted when we sang it."

Puck smiled, glad she believed him, "I know you will be," he kissed her gently, "and I love that we think the same way sometimes."

"Me too," she agreed, "I love you."

"I love you, too," he replied, relaxing as he held her close to him.

~*~

Saturday morning, once everyone was up and had eaten breakfast in the café, they piled onto the bus and into cars and headed over to the venue around nine, meeting Ethan's family and some of his former team.

Filing into the large space, they found seats all together in the audience, and soon the venue was filling up with groups and chaperones from all over the country, waiting to find out the top five schools who would be going on to the second round. Just after ten-am, one of the female judges stepped onto the stage and like at every competition, they thanked everyone for coming and alphabetically announced the bottom ten schools who would not be performing again. McKinley was relieved to find out they'd made it to the second round and once the other schools had left, the judge started talking again. "Congratulations for making it this far," she said, clapping and everyone there cheered. Once they were settled down again, she went on, "as with most of our competitions, at this time, I'd tell you where you placed. As you know your round one scores, combined with your round two scores decides your final place. A school who makes it into fifth place in round one, could do amazing in the second round and their scores could bring them up to third place, for example, but a school who placed first or second might not put a hundred-percent into their performance, because they know they're on top, and it could cost them losing their place. With this in mind, the judges and I have decided that we will not be announcing your places, so everyone will be fighting equally for their spot. With that said, at eleven-am we will begin the second performances. We've randomly selected who will go on at what time and once you are done, be back here tomorrow at ten-am for the results," she explained, "at eleven, Clinton High School will go on. At eleven-thirty will be William McKinley, followed by Lake Highlands at noon. At twelve-thirty, Malibu and lastly, at one will be Carmel."

Most everyone one was pissed at the change and others agreed with their choice, but no one had too long to complain. Some of the schools were going on in a very sort time and had to change, so the groups, along with some of their chaperones headed to practice rooms and started changing into their costumes. McKinley had gone with simple jeans and t-shirts for their costume, so most of them had worn part or all of their costume to the venue, to save time on changing, giving them just enough time to run through their final song once more before they headed down to the stage, just as the previous year's first place winner, Clinton High School Attaché was finishing up.

Right on time, once their band had gotten settled, the group walked out on stage and took their places as couples on stage. They were lucky enough to have an even amount of guys to girls, so they could do partner dancing for this sing, so once everyone was settled, Rachel signaled the band to start their final song. The whole group began with some repeating sounds in harmony between the guys and girls, before Rachel and Puck, holding hands, stepped forward like they'd practiced, beginning their choreography as Rachel started with the first verse and the bridge, "what is love? 'Cause, baby I don't know. I got a funny feeling in my heart. If this is love - it feels like butterflies, so tell me baby is this how it starts? I know I've never felt like this before. You're like a drug you got me wanting more. I've got to let you know. I've got to let you know..."

With their partner dancing, even though Rachel and Puck were at the front of the stage, they were doing the same as the rest, and the couple danced back to the group as everyone started signing the chorus, "you're - you're my number one. I'd do anything for you; catch the rain from the sky, even hold back the tide for you. Baby baby, you're - you're my number one. With you I know I belong. I put the radio on and it's always playing our song," they sang, continuing on with some similar harmonies from the beginning, helping show all of their vocal ranges.

Quinn and Finn stepped forward, just like Puck and Rachel had earlier, as Quinn began the second verse and repeated the bridge, "tell me what - what have I gotta do? 'Cause I wanna lay a claim on you to make you mine - for now and for all time, so tell me baby what I gotta do. I know I've never felt like this before. You're like a drug you got me wanting more. I've got to let you know - I've got to let you know..."

Returning to their friends, the group began singing the chorus once more and at the end of it, Rachel sang, "and there ain't nothing I won't do! I'd walk on water just to be with you!" She smiled at Puck, as everyone went on to sing the chorus again, with the band and even though the song wasn't over, the band stopped after chorus, allowing the group to sing the final chorus a cappella.

As they reached the end, Quinn and Rachel turned to their boyfriends and sang the last few words together, "'cause baby, baby, you're - you're my number one."

When the lights went out on stage for the final time with the Seniors, the moment was bitter-sweet. The audience went crazy, cheering loudly for them, and the club thanked them by waving and bowing before heading backstage, but once behind the curtains, everyone began hugging each other, knowing it was their last competition all together. Holding all of their emotions in as best they could, they headed back to their practice room to change and it was then that several of the girls broke down, Rachel being one of them.

Puck was just as upset, but he tried to hold himself together for Rachel as she clung to him, crying, "I know, babe, but it's okay," he murmured, rubbing her back.

"But it's never going to be the same again," she replied softly.

"Maybe not like this, but we'll always be friends of some sort and keep in touch with as many as we can. It's not like the Seniors and I are leaving and no one will ever see or hear from us again," he explained, his voice a little louder so everyone could hear.

"He's right, everyone," Will said from nearby, "and just because this is our final competition, doesn't mean it's over completely. We still are going to go to the middle schools like we did last year and do a show at school for the students and one in the evening for anyone who wants to come," he explained, "and I was going to wait until we got back to school after Spring Break, but I'll let you guys know now. Figgins has asked us to perform at graduation's commencement ceremony."

"Really? But what about us Seniors?" Quinn asked, wiping her own eyes as she stood in Finn's arms.

"We haven't worked out all the details, but we'll arrange it so the club can sit in one area, the Seniors can sit with the rest of their class, but you'll all be in one row of seats, so when it's our time to perform, you all can join us," Will told them, "this is a big deal for all of you, because this is the first time the Glee Club will ever perform at graduation. It's all something we wanted to do," Will motioned to Deborah and Ethan, who'd been in Glee years prior, "but we never got the chance. So it doesn't matter what we place now. We've made it this far as a team and it's not the end," he promised.

~*~

Will's announcement helped the teens relax and realize that even though it was their last competition, they still had several performances to go before it was really 'the end'. They even began brainstorming what songs, from the last two years, they'd want to sing for the trips to the middle schools, at McKinley and what 'graduation' or 'moving on' songs were out there to learn for the ceremony in June.

Missing Lake Highlands' performance, the teens rejoined everyone there cheering McKinley on and they all watched the final performances of Malibu High School and Vocal Adrenaline. Both teams were just as good as McKinley and everyone knew the judges would have a tough time deciding who the winner was, which is why they wouldn't find out until the next day.

Gathering up and making their way towards the exits, Ethan's former coworkers congratulated them all and left, knowing Ethan and Puck had plans for the rest of the day and in the next few months, they'd all be able to see each other, for weekend barbeques.

Of the tickets that Puck and Ethan had gotten for Father's Day the year before for the Detroit Red Wings, the last game they had happened to be that day, so while their friends and other chaperones and family members were hanging out, they were going to the game.

Ethan's family from Northern Ohio that had come up, was leaving later in the day, so once everyone returned to the hotel to change, some went out into town for lunch and to 'sight-see' a little, while others stayed at the hotel and for the first time, use the indoor, heated pool they had. The Puckermans, Berrys and Ballards spent most of their time in the hotel's café, and soon Puck and Ethan were saying 'goodbye' to their relatives, knowing they'd be gone before they got back, and headed to the game.

~*~

Once Ethan and Puck had left, Ethan's family stuck around a while, but had to get going. They had only planned to stay one night, thinking the announcement for who won would be that day, so they hadn't reserved their rooms for a second night. Rachel and Deborah promised to let them know what they placed as soon as they found out and soon the Ballard family members were wishing them luck and saying 'goodbye', and then started their trip back to Ohio.

Abby had napped throughout the few hours they'd been in the café, and as it got time for her to eat dinner, Rachel, Deborah, David and Alan went up to relax in their room, while Arin hung out with Ben and Susan's daughter. Getting Abby fed and settled into her playpen the family took the time to enjoy the downtime, knowing the rest of the week, even though the teens were out of school for Spring Break, would be busy.

~*~

Puck and Ethan got back from the game around nine-thirty and found their families in Puck's room that he was sharing with Abby, Rachel and her dads. The guys talked a little about the game and how the Wings had won, before they separated for the night to meet back up the next morning.

Though not needing to pack that night, everyone started to, knowing after the announcements they'd have a short time to come back to pack before leaving and they didn't want to rush the next day.

When morning arrived everyone was up early again and after breakfast in the café, they piled on the bus and into cars and a little after nine-am, they were on their way back to the venue for the final time. Now that there was only five schools, it was a lot less crowded and they found seats near the stage and settled to wait for the judges again.

Just after ten, the same judge from the day before moved up onto the stage, where a large table was sitting with five trophies and five plaques, each trophy being larger depending on the place they were for. She started talking again and asked for a representative for each school to come up on stage, so Will went up for New Directions, along with Shelby for Vocal Adrenaline and the other teams directors. At first, the plaques were given out for the ranks from round one. Malibu High School took fifth, Lake Highlands took fourth, Vocal Adrenaline took third, McKinley was second and Attaché was first. Brief celebrations and cheering from all the schools went on as their directors got the plaques

After getting everyone settled down, the judge announced who officially placed fourth and fifth, the same schools as from the first round, so once their directors had gotten their trophies and shook hands with all the judges, they left the stage leaving Shelby, Will and one other director up there. In a surprising twist, Attaché too third place, a huge change from winning the competition the year before and taking first place in the first round. Disappointed, but understanding, the director accepted the trophy and returned to his team, leaving Will and Shelby standing on the stage.

"We're left with two schools from Ohio state. Last year, newcomer to the competitions, New Directions from William McKinley High School took second place, while Carmel High School's Vocal Adrenaline took third; a team with multiple first place trophies under their belt. Inside this envelope, I have the winner," she paused, opening it up, more for show than anything, since she already knew who it was. "...and the winner of the '2010 to 2011 School Year National Show Choir Competition is... William McKinley High School's New Directions!"

~*~

Disclaimer2: I do not own the rights to these songs. I am just borrowing them for this work of fiction! Credit to the real owners!
- Rachel and Puck's duet was 'Faithfully' as sung by Finn and Rachel in '1x22 - Journey'. This song, since it was on Glee, has been saved for this moment. I always wished it was Puck and Rachel singing and now I got my wish!
- Puck and Finn's song was 'The Boys Are Back' from the soundtrack to 'High School Musical 3: Senior Year'.
- Rachel and Quinn sang 'You're My Number One' by S Club 7. I love their music. I'd had this song picked out for weeks before writing this chapter (in mid-March), and as I was finishing up with the guys performance and went online to look up the lyrics for this song, I was also was on Tumblr and one of the people I follow posted a tweet about S Club 7 getting back together, signing a new two album record deal! This is so very cool! Perfect timing for them to sing this song!

~*~

A/N4: This has been my plan since the previous Nationals. I hope you guys enjoyed. Please review and let me know how you feel. I only get a few reviews per update, so it's very hard to tell if you guys are still with me. I appreciate all of my reviewers and readers and if you don't review, I understand, but if you can, I'd really appreciate it. I'm not gonna be one of those authors who begs for a certain amount of reviews before I update again, but I do want to know. I've been working on multiple WIPs and have been dealing with some personal medical issues that could require surgery soon, so I'm trying to catch up with all of my fics so I can be ready if that does happen. My doctor is pretty sure it's gallbladder and I knew going to the doctor last week that it probably was, too, but my ultrasound results were 'normal', so now I have to go to a specialist to see if they can figure it out. The location of the abdominal pain I'm having and all the symptoms point to gallbladder and even though the ultrasound was normal, I know people who've had two or three ultrasounds before they found a gallbladder problem, so it still probably is. I wanted to let you all know in case you're wondering why my updates are spread out so much.

A/N5: (This note was written in mid-March, before all the spoilers for the season 3 finale came out, so a portion of this doesn't pertain to Glee now, but I just wanted to mention it anyway.) A subject was brought up in this chapter that I wanted to address. I'm well aware, because I've watched Glee's season 3, that since Finn proposed to Rachel and she said 'yes', a lot of people are concerned that the Glee writers are going to have her stay in Lima and give up her dreams for a guy she thinks she loves. I am concerned, too, because Finn is a horrible boyfriend to Rachel and she deserves so much more than what he gives her... I really don't think I could say anything extremely nice about season 3, so I'm not going to say any more... What I do want to bring up is that this story and the direction it began taking was way back when late-season 1 of Glee was airing, way before Glee took this horrible direction with a certain pairing. At the time, a lot of people were writing future fics, where Rachel goes off to Broadway and I just wanted to do something different; to show Rachel and Puck in a truly caring relationship and having Rachel realizing that she loves being a mom and being with him, that her dreams can change over time and there is more to her life than just being on Broadway. I don't regret, for one second, the direction this story has taken, and I'm going to continue to write it this way. Part of the reason I wanted to address this, is because I don't want to get 'hate' messages saying that I'm being a hypocrite by writing a fic where Rachel stays in Lima, while hating that it might happen in Glee... It's two completely different reasons and after so many chapters written, where this has been the plan all along, I don't want to just change it and send Rachel to New York. It doesn't fit with the direction of this story and I know on Glee, continuity doesn't mean a whole lot, but to me, it's important. I promise, you won't be disappointed in this story and I hope you all stick with me for this and it's sequel.

~*~


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Notes

Hi! This is EJ... AKA sapphiresfic on LJ, sapphireej on FF.net and EJ8302 on Tumblr and Twitter.

6/8/2012 - ALL LINKS in posts go to LJ. Over time I will correct them so they go to DW, but for now, it's a start.

June 2012

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