The first thing she'd done after getting the call telling her she'd gotten the part was call everyone and let them know.
Well, actually, that's incorrect. First she called Kurt and screamed for a few minutes.
She phoned the entire group. Every single member of the old New Directions. They had all said they'd try to come, but they couldn't promise anything because then again, it was in NY and some of them were very far away.
The first to arrive were Kurt and Blaine, of course. Kurt had been told before everyone else and had immediately agreed to come – no matter when the show premiered.
The past 7 years had treated the two well. They were still together, happy as they were back in their early years as a couple. Kurt still had his hair slicked up the way he'd figured looked best after many years of failing hairdos. Blaine had never managed to get over his gel craze, but he had reduced the amount to a minimum – just enough to keep the curls under control. The two were wearing suits. Kurt had given in to Blaine's wishes and left the bowtie at home after Blaine had mentioned yet again how ridiculous they would look if BOTH of them wore bowties and mentioned Finn's comment about how they sort of looked like twins that way – which was beyond disturbing.
The happy couple looked around and after realizing that they were indeed the first settled down on a bench to wait.
Not more than five minutes later in walked Quinn Fabray, still gorgeous as ever. She had long hair now, down past her shoulders. A slight limp from her car accident still affected her walk. She was worried that she'd arrived at the wrong place but when she spotted her friends in the back of the room a look of joy spread on her face and she ran over to them.
The three chattered away about life after school while waiting. Much had changed over the years. Kurt was now a full-time designer and Quinn was studying law. Blaine had recently auditioned for a guest role in the hit show Smash with hope that he could one day star on TV in a role that would allow him to act, dance and sing.
The room was starting to fill up so it took the group quite a few minutes to notice the two women walking around the room, reading signs in hope of understanding where they were supposed to go. Quinn immediately recognized the dark haired and light haired girls and their linked hand confirmed her suspicions. She called out to the two and they turned, huge smiles dominating their features.
Just like Blaine and Kurt, Santana and Brittany had stayed together through the years that had past. Santana had stayed in Lima, helping Brittany pass her senior year and graduate. They had both found jobs around the area and saved up their salaries for a trip. Around two years ago, thanks to their savings and Santana's graduation money originally meant for New York, the two boarded a plane to Europe. They spent an entire year traveling. They had gotten Rachel's call only a week after they landed back home and were very excited at the idea of a New Directions reunion. They had tried keeping in touch with their old friends but the traveling had its issues and they hadn't spoken to anyone for quite a while.
The group was increasing in size and they decided to move near the entrance so that the rest who had yet to arrive would spot them easily.
They kept chatting as they waited. Brittany and Santana easily took control of the conversation with their stories about their adventures in the far away continent.
Sam, Puck, Tina and Mike walked through the doors together about ten minutes later. They had all gotten to the theater at the same time and reunited before going in to find everyone else.
And again, another high school couple that survived through time. It was getting quite hilarious, actually. Everyone joked about how people always said that high school couples never made it, and yet here there were three – proof that it could happen.
Over the last seven years Mike and Tina had finished college and moved to NYC, just like the two boys and Rachel. Mike had joined a small dance performance group and Tina went on to study medicine. Sam and Puck moved to LA together and went to volunteer at shelters for homeless kids. It had taken them less than two days to figure out that the pool cleaning business wasn't going to work out and they both decided they wanted to do something meaningful. A neighbor had mentioned the new programs in the city. They both went to see if they could join. One song with the two of them jamming on guitars and the kids in the shelter fell in love. They'd stayed there, making money off of shifts in cafes and fast food restaurants in the evenings.
By now almost everyone had arrived. Quinn said that Joe wouldn't be coming because he had the chicken pox and had to stay home. Rory had moved back to Ireland after graduation and had cut off all contact with the choir group. Sugar had called Quinn to let her know that she wouldn't be able to arrive for unexplained reasons. That left Artie, Finn, Mr. Schue, Emma and Shelby. Actually, they were only sure about Artie – they just assumed the rest would be coming too and decided to wait for their old teacher and guidance counselor.
The cries of surprise from the young adults when their older friends arrived made more than a few people turn around and frown at them. Shelby, Will and Emma had come together. Besides Quinn and Puck, who Skyped with Shelby and their daughter on a daily basis, no one had seen Beth since she was born, so the little girl wrapped around their old teacher's leg surprised them all. Beth had grown up to resemble both of her parents. She had her mother's pale skin and flowing blonde hair and her father's hard, strong stare and confident stance – even for an eight year old.
Shelby introduces the bunch to her daughter as "friends of mommy". It takes less than a minute until Blaine breaks into a rendition of an old pop tune and has Beth clapping and dancing around. The rest join in and soon they're too loud to be ignored and the entire crowd waiting around for the doors to be opened turns to watch.
Because of the commotion in the theater no one notices when a brown haired bow in a wheelchair rolls on to the carpeted floor. It takes him a minute to recognize the song currently being sung by his old girlfriend Brittany and he takes over, bringing cries of shock from his friends. They all join in, singing with him.
They get to perform about five songs but eventually someone from the inside of the theater opens to doors leading to the performance hall and the crowd piles in, racing to catch their seats.
After a few minutes the only ones left in the room are the old New Directions and the three adults. Everyone is waiting for Finn.
Finn's life was known to them all. Rachel had them all up to date with what had happened. After joining the army Finn went gone through intensive training and moved to some secret army base outside of the United States. A few years ago the papers had reported an accidental explosion in an army base. Immediately everyone looked up Rachel's number and phoned, in hopes of getting good news. Finn had made it out alive but he had gotten seriously injured. He was flown back to the US and spent a year in the hospital recovering. He had lost a leg. Once he was released from the hospital he flew to NY and moved in with Rachel.
Finn arrived a few minutes after the performance theater was opened. He knew he was late and wasn't prepared for the group facing him from the back of the room. He knew Rachel had told them what happened and was glad he wouldn't have to tell the story yet again.
Puck was the first to detach himself from the group and walk up to his old high school buddy. The two hadn't spoken in over two years. Puck walked straight up to him and hugged him. After a minute of shock Finn wrapped his arms around him too. This was some sort of sign for the rest and they all crossed over and joined, forming a group hug. K=no one said anything about the accident or Finn's artificial leg, which the ones who were closest to him could feel through his suit pants.
Everyone was here now. The entire gang. They spread out in a circle, dominating the empty room. Each one took in the entire group, remembering the days when they were all together. They held hands for a minute and then turned around and headed inside.
Rachel had managed to get them all seats together. They had the entire front row to themselves. The lights dimmed soon after and the musical began.
A few acts passed with no sign of the old "golden star" and then suddenly a voice rose out from the back of the stage and through the crowd of actors broke through Rachel Berry. She had that same glow in her eyes as she always did when she was singing, and there was an extra jump in her step as she walked up to the front of the stage. She couldn't turn directly to face her old friends but she took a second and glanced down at them. They all smiled back and she knew they noticed the small gesture.
The musical continued. Rachel was absolutely brilliant. She was amazing – her voice strong as ever. When the whole thing was over and Rachel came out to take a bow the theater erupted in cheers and yells. The sound of clapping shook the stage.
But loudest of all were the odd bunch in the front row holding up cardboard golden stars and yelling over the crowd the familiar words of that old Journey song that had started it all.