Will walked down the halls of Mckinley high, the Glee audition list in his hands, ready to post. He had nothing but hope that his New Directions would rise, and inspire kids in school to join the club, after all, he’d made a deal with Figgins about Regionals. As the day went on, he had a few sign-ups from the sheets all over the school. Kurt Hummel, Mercedes Jones, Rachel Berry, Artie Abrams, and Tina Cohen-Chang.
The next day, he had a few more, Barry Allen, Caitlin Snow, and Francisco Ramon. Four boys. Four girls. He had eight kids sign up to try out. He knew of the first five kids, but the new three must have just come from a new school. He’d have to look into that, he thought, as he took the paper off the wall and headed to the auditorium.
He called off the first name on the list; “Mercedes Jones, you’re up!” when she walked on stage, he prepared to write notes, noting the confidence she held herself with. She introduced herself and what song she had chosen.
“My name is Mercedes Jones and I’m singin’ R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me. R-E-S-P-E-C-T take care of T-C-P Oooooooh babaaaayyy.” next was Kurt Hummel, who sang Mr. Cellophane. Then Tina Cohen-Chang, who sang I Kissed A Girl.
When Rachel Berry walked onto the stage, Will instantly sat up straighter. This girl was a sophomore, but he’d heard her sing a few times before when Sandy was in charge of Glee. She had chosen the song On My Own from Les Miz, on Broadway. She had sung beautifully, in her voice he could hear the passion and talent. She had ambition, and she was no doubt going to be a strong player on his new team.
Checking Rachel off the audition list, he looked to the next names. ‘Bartholomew Allen’. He sighed. He had looked into this kid’s records. He had come from Central City, had been bullied no doubt. This boy would need glee, and he was honestly excited to see this boy reach out for something that could do him so much good. The other two, Caitlin and Cisco, as the boy requested to be called, had followed their friend to Mckinley high, not giving up when he pushed them away. William wanted to see how this Trio would stand against the hierarchy of the school they had transferred to.
“Bartholomew Allen, you’re up!” Will called. When all three of them walked onto the stage, he was confused, but let them prep for their set. “My name is Barry Allen, and we prepared a special song for you today. Is it alright if all of us go at once Mr. Schuester?”
“Of course, show me what you got,” Will replied, noting the tightness of this group.
“We prepared a bit of a mashup, Singing in the Rain, and Umbrella.” Barry said nervously. They each grabbed a mic and the music started. “Uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh” Caitlin sang as Cisco started the rap. “Shyeah Holla, good girl gone bad, take three, action, ho!”
“You had my heart, and will never be worlds apart. Maybe in magazines, would you still be my star. Baby cuz in the dark, you can’t see shiny cars. That’s then you’ll need me there, with you I’ll always share. Cuz I’m...” she started.
“Singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain, what a glorious feeling I’m haaappy again. I’m laughing at clouds, so dark up above, I’m singing, singin’ in the rain.” Barry sang, voice full and happy.
They all sang in harmony, “You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella eh eh eh under my umbrella-ella-ella eh eh eh eh ehey” then Barry took control of the male lead, Caitlin singing the female lead, “these fancy things, will never come in between, you’re part of my entity, here for infinity.”, Barry echoing behind here in perfect sync “these fancy things… in between… entity… here for infinity.”
Cisco and Caitlin took lead in harmony, “When the world has took its part, when the world has dealt its cards, if the hand is haard, together we’ll mend your heaaarrt.” Barry took the solo, “Cuz I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain, what a glorious feeling, I’m haaaapy again. I’m laughing at clouds, so dark up above, I’m singin’, singin’ in the rain.”
Then, Cait and Cisco follow the normal melody, “You can stand under my umbrella-ella-ella eh eh eh under my umbrella-ella-ella eh eh eh eh ehey” while Barry followed a solo, “ You can stand under my umbrellaaaaaaa… just singin’ in the rain, I’m singin’, singin’ in the rain.”. They all came together, “It’s rainin’ rainin’, oh baby it’s rainin’ rainin’. Baby come here to meee, come here to me.”
Cait and Cisco singing, “It’s rainin’ rainin’ oh baby rainin’ rainin’ baby come here to me,” while Barry took the other lyrics, “I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain, the sun’s in my heart… and I’m ready for love.” To finish their song, they harmonized, “My umbrella, my umbrella, my umbrella, my umbrella.”
Will was amazed. Not only did they all have great voices, but they had to have put so much effort into a set like that. He could imagine his New Directions learning the mash-up, with a dance.
These kids he had in front of him, could put together a set for any competition and make it great. These three would be amazing additions to his New Directions. He stood and clapped for them, “Amazing guys, absolutely amazing. A great song choice and amazing mashup.” William loved the movie Singing In the Rain, as well as the song... it was one of his favorites. “I’ll see you in Glee Club,” Will said as they scampered off stage laughing.
William was excited. He got a boy who could pull off the male lead with ease, an amazing female lead, a female voice with more soul than he could’ve imagined, a rapper, a boy who could sing high notes like any female, and a kick-ass group of kids that were loyal to a fault. A great group of kids.
Practice that day had been a disaster. He had given the lead part to Artie, and he tried to have them sing ‘Sit down you’re rocking the boat’, ironic if you ask him, considering Artie was in a wheelchair. They had been awful, each one competing for the spotlight in some way, except for Barry and his squad. They kept quiet, didn’t socialize with anyone other than themselves, and while they sang just fine when they had picked a song out, they just seemed closed off from the group.
Barry mostly had been that problem, Shue had figured out, the other glee kids were interested in the new students they hadn’t seen before, so they approached the trio. Barry shied away, while Cait and Cisco looked to Barry, who urged them to talk with the other kids, approached with kind smiles and nice chit chat.
Shue had made a personal note to talk with Barry about his closed-off nature, as well as offer him the regular male lead, which he would do at the end of this disastrous rehearsal of his new club. Rachel was furious about how bad that they were, and then stormed out like a diva, a true Broadway girl, she was.
After trying to get Rachel to stay, he dismissed the rest of the group but caught Barry before he left the room with his friends. “Barry. I need to talk with you,” he said kindly. Barry turned, confused and intrigued. He waved for his friends to go, who told them they’d meet him at home.
“What’d you want to see me for, Mr. Shue?” Barry asked inquisitively.
“I saw how you acted in Glee today. It made me curious, you were so confident in your audition.” Will expressed his concerns for the boy genuinely. As soon as he finished his sentence, Barry had closed off, Will could see it in his eyes. He’d approached the topic too fast for the kid.
Barry shifted for a few minutes, trying to get comfortable with the topic. He wasn’t planning to say anything at all, too uncomfortable to actually get a proper sentence out. Mr. Shue beat him to the punch and spoke once more. “Your audition Barry… it was amazing. You and your friends sounded amazing, YOU were amazing. Not just your voice, but your passion. I could tell you have a connection to that song, by the gleam in your eyes and the happiness in your voice as you sang. With that passion in mind, I’d like to offer you the male lead for Regionals. You have the strongest voice out of the boys without competition. As our strongest male, it’s natural for you to lead at a competition, and it’ll help you open up.”
“No. No way Mr. Shue. I can sing sure, but I’m not soloing. Ever. I can add what talent I may have to your group, and give it my all. But we both know that any other boy you find could sing circles around me. I won’t lead, because if I do, we’ll lose.” Barry said, eyes wet as he left Shue’s office.
“Barry!” Shue yelled, worried, the boy stopped, and slightly turned his head, but not making eye contact with Will. “I know people are cruel. But these kids… they’ll welcome you with open arms. Just as Caitlin and Cisco no doubt did when they met you. Give them a chance, open up and express yourself, you’ll find that everyone is here for you.” Shue said with a sad smile.
“I can’t,” Barry whispered. Will saw a tear sliding down his face as the boy turned away and ran from the office. He sighed. He’d have to work harder to get Barry to open up, to someone if not to him. He didn’t know the details of Barry’s past, what could’ve possibly happened with that boy. He just knew the obvious, it was on record that Barry was bullied at his school, but all the reasons were kept classified at his old school, Central City High.
What Will could do, was push his other students to approach Barry, and make sure to incorporate him into the group as much as possible. But Will had another problem, Rachel, who refused to be in Glee if Will couldn’t provide a good male lead for her to shine with. Now had to find another boy, to help their club win Regionals.
Will walked the halls, looking at his sign up sheets. Finding them defaced, he sighed. We walked into the boy’s locker room and looked at the list. Defaced. Of course, it was. He turned to walk when he heard a boy singing in the shower. He crept around the corner, to see a boy named Finn Hudson singing... ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling’ by REO Speedwagon. A classic, and a ballad. And he did a hell of a job singing it. A strong voice, and enough passion to light a fire.
Will did the one thing he never thought he’d do, he planted the pot Sandy had slipped into his coat into Finn’s locker, then called him into a meeting. From there, he blackmailed Finn into joining the glee club, or he had detention that would go on his permanent record and take away his sports scholarship.
Their first meeting with Finn was a whirlwind. Barry showed up with his group, and sang in the background as he said, but wouldn’t make eye contact with Will or even his friends. Will had decided on a song from Grease, ‘You’re The One That I Want’. Rachel’s vocals were powerful, as usual, she sounded amazing, but paired with Finn… the musical chemistry he saw, and the way they all sounded when those two led their group… he knew he found an amazing lead.
Barry was still a powerful voice, good competition to Finn, but the chemistry and openness Finn had with the group made him an ideal leader. He knew that if he pushed Barry, that he would be just as good of a leader. But for now, he would take baby steps, get his team together.
His team, with the new addition of Finn Hudson, was now a real threat, the sounded amazing with someone with a voice to lead. Even after a glow of excellence, there was still room for a diva. Mercedes was mad that Finn and Rachel got the solos, and then once she was cooled down after her diva moment, the group went back to practice.
They had an uphill battle to win, after all, Regionals wouldn’t win itself.
Will had taken his kids to Carmel High to see their competition, Vocal Adrenaline. The kids saw their talent and wigged out. Barry had watched with his eyes shining, excited to see a performance that great.
When Will got home to his wife, she told him that she was pregnant. It was something he always wanted, that they had wanted. Now that Terri was pregnant, he’d need to take Terri seriously, he had to get a new job, as an accountant at HW Menken as she wanted. He was having a baby, he would need all the money he could get.
He’d have to tell his Glee club that he was leaving. That was before he talked with Emma. She managed to say exactly what she needed to, to encourage him to consider not quitting the one thing he loves most. When he told his kids about his departure from Mckinley, it was expected that they weren’t happy and would do anything to get him to stay. Finn was not really into the glee thing quite yet and wasn’t showing up to glee after Mr. Shue’s news, so Rachel was pushing him to come back, unsuccessfully.
He wanted to come back, but he was afraid of the hierarchy of his school, he didn’t want to be on the bottom, getting slushied like everyone else. And when his wingman Puck presented him with Artie trapped in a porta-potty, it was his perfect chance. He got to say what was on his mind, and finally chose to do something he enjoyed.
He returned to glee and led the group of friends he knew he had. As he walked away, wheeling Artie with him, Journey’s song ‘Don’t stop believing’ came on. They went straight to the auditorium, and he won back his team. He would pick the music, Rachel would to the choreography, Artie was going to get the Jazz band, and Mercedes was on costumes. They would find things for Kurt and Tina, and Barry and his squad as time went on.
While Emma’s first talk convinced him to consider his options, she showed him the video of him winning nationals. Their talk was emotional but ultimately led to him deciding that he needed to provide money from his family. Before he could leave, however, she had gotten a couple of sentences in that sent him straight back to contemplation.
He walked away, past the auditorium, only to find his glee club, performing, not singing, but performing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. Finn and Rachel led the song, and the choreography was simple, something everyone could easily do. While everyone shined, especially Finn and Rachel, he could see Barry too. Shining and working as hard as he could to be of use to his group.
This is what made Will walk into the auditorium to really listen. Listen to what he helped create. When they finished their performance, Will walked down to the stage, applauding. He then told them that their song was amazing, but they’d need to work even harder to win Regionals. It was there that he finally knew he couldn’t leave these kids. He didn’t want to, and he didn’t plan to.