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Face Down
Season 3, Episode 15
FD
Air date October 2, 2012
Written by JamesonOTP
Episode Guide
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Miracle At McKinley
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SummaryEdit

When the truth gets out that Nicole is in an abusive relationship, it's gonna take outside interference to stop some members of New Directions from fighting violence with violence. Instead, Mr. Shue and Sue inspire Glee Club to rally around Nicole and fight back and take a stand in song. Claude finds himself caught between his former friends and new friends as the intensity heats up, putting his relationship with Evan at risk. Lana's had all she can take after the Christmas Eve revelation and decides to take matters into her own hands as she climbs to a rooftop and says her goodbyes. Can Lana be saved before it's too late? Can New Directions help Nicole? Who will be there to pick up the pieces when it's all over?

This episode is Lana/Nicole-centric.

Author's NoteEdit

Before you read any further, I ask that you understand that like Season 2, Episode 2: Goodbye, this is a very dark episode. It deals with serious and deeply emotional issues that may make some people uncomfortable. Sucide, cutting, and domestic violence are important issues that I have a personal mission to help educate people about. And while Glee: The Next Generation is a series that is meant mainly for fun and entertainment, and while this episode does provide entertainment factor through the drama of addressing those issues, I ask that you please note the seriousness of both issues. I have attempted suicide before and like Adam, I also had an issue with cutting. I have even lost a good friend of mine to suicide. My oldest sister was abused by her stepfather as a baby and I've had two aunts who were beaten by their husbands, so these are issues I do not take lightly. I do not wish for my addressing of these issues and the portrayal of them to become "glamorized" and inspire you. PLEASE, if you or anyone you know are suicidal, harm yourselves, or are victims of domestic violence, please know that there is help and support available. Don't let the cycle continue and please save a life that is worth living while you still can. Suicide is a permanent (and unfortunate) solution to a temporary problem.

For help with self harm and/or sucide prevention:

Visit www.itgetsbetter.org
or call The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

For help with domestic violence:

Visit www.thehotline.org
or call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

InformationEdit

Songs:Edit

DisclaimerEdit

Reader discretion is advised.
This episode deals with situations that may be offensive to some readers.
This episode contains content that has may include but is not limited to violence, sexuality, alcohol, and language and dialog of an adult nature, all involving teens.

Glee: The Next Generation Season 3, Episode #15: "Face Down"Edit

So here’s what you missed on Glee: The Next Generation:

Lana’s family issues came to a head when she overheard a fight between Callie and Alysia that revealed that—GASP—Alysia was Lana’s real mother, making Lynsay her sister. And what about Lana’s older brother, Wyatt? He’s actually her cousin. Turns out that Alysia couldn’t stand having Lana around to remind her of her dead husband so Callie adopted her and they’ve kept this secret until Alysia showed back up in Lima. Since the truth got out, Lana’s been a hot mess, but at least now she’s staying with Adam and his moms. Dillon has been abusive to Nicole ever since the pressures in his life have gotten to be too much. Then at Sectionals, it got even worse and now even Nicole is having her doubts. Adam’s been covering for her because they both just so happen to know each other’s secret—and neither plans to tell.

And that’s what you missed on Glee!

____________________________________________________________

As Nicole stood in the Warbler common room with Dillon, she wondered why she was here. After what happened at Sectionals, she wanted to break up with Dillon. The magic that their relationship once had, it was gone. There was almost nothing worth holding onto anymore.

And yet, here she was.

“You didn’t come see me for Christmas,” Dillon said. “I missed you.”

“Dillon—” Nicole said, but was cut off.

“If this is about what happened at Sectionals, I am truly sorry,” Dillon interrupted. “You know this, Nicole. I called you up and cried to you for an hour and a half, begging for forgiveness.”

“Dillon, I don’t think an apology of that importance should have been over the phone,” Nicole replied. “It needed to be face-to-face.”

“And that’s why I’m apologizing to you right now,” Dillon said.

“Yeah, as more of an afterthought,” Nicole mused. “You should have come to me first with your apology and gave me to me face-to-face.”

“I know that I’m a sorry boyfriend,” Dillon said defensively. “But you don’t need to remind me every day.”

“Dillon, this is the first time I’ve mentioned it since you called and apologized,” Nicole said. “I know you’re going through a lot right now, Dillon. Maybe you should take a full sabbatical from the Warblers and we could take a small break, nothing permanent.”

“No, Nicole,” Dillon quickly said. “I can’t do that. You just don’t get it, you don’t understand! You and the Warblers are the only things keeping me going. My father has been putting the pressure on me to keep an ‘A’ to ‘A’ plus average. My mother is harping on me about my college applications and extracurricular activities—and did you know that she wants me to apply for veterinary school? Trying to get into medical school isn’t easy. All the pressures, you just don’t understand.”

“Please stop saying that I don’t understand, Dillon,” Nicole said. “I want to attend NYADA, but I know that the competition is already stiff with Jaxon and Evan both applying. And just today, Miles said that he decided he wanted to give NYADA a shot, too.”

“You’d sing them all under the table,” Dillon said. “And you’re so much prettier than all three of them.”

Nicole laughed. “Well, I gave up on NYADA and I could make late application like Miles, but I know I won’t get in, especially with Jaxon as competition. He’s the complete package. My dad is trying to pull some strings with the Dean of Stanford—they used to be on the same golf team in college—so that I can get in there. If I can’t make it as an actress on Broadway, I wanna be a lawyer. I don’t know why but I guess it’s because I’ve been obsessed with Law and Order and LA Law since I was a kid.”

“Does your father pressure to get straight ‘A’s?” Dillon asked.

“No, not really,” Nicole answered. “A’s or B’s are fine, as long as I try my best, but I usually do really pretty well. Captain of the Brainiacs Team and all, you know.”

“My dad would disown me if I brought home a ‘B’ even once,” Dillon said. “To him, even an ‘A’ minus is unacceptable. And the correct phrase is ‘I usually do pretty good.’ Well refers to the state of ones’ health and good refers to the state of ones’ aptitude.”

“The way you said aptitude makes me feel like you’re saying I’m dumb,” Nicole said.

“That’s not what I meant,” Dillon said. “What I meant is that…well, it doesn’t matter. It’s just not the same, what we’re dealing with. I have enough pressure on me that if I were a piece of coal, I’d turn into a diamond. Your level of parental pressure is more lax, there’s just no comparison.”

“Dillon, you sound like a know-it-all,” Nicole said. “It makes me feel like you’re patronizing me.”

“Well maybe if you eliminated those ‘B’s from your academia, then you wouldn’t feel patronized,” Dillon snapped.

“Dillon,” Nicole said, her eyes revealing how much that remark stung. “This is not the Dillon I know. I think it would be best if we did that break. And you should consider a leave from the Warblers, too.”

“No!” Dillon said, snapping. “Don’t you do this to me, Nicole! I said I was sorry! Does that mean nothing to you?”

Nicole stepped back, shaking her head. “Dillon, I don’t like what you’ve become. I’m leaving, okay?”

As Nicole turned around, Dillon grabbed her wrist so tightly it hurt and yanked her around to face him.

“Dillon, that hurts!” Nicole exclaimed.

“Look at me!” Dillon shouted. “I’m not done talking to you!”

Nicole struggled to break free. “Dillon, that’s enough. Please, let me go.”

Dillon let Nicole go, pushing her away as he did so. Nicole lost her balance and fell backwards over the coffee table. She screamed out in pain as she grabbed her knee.

“Oh my God!” Dillon exclaimed. “Nicole, I’m sorry! Are you okay?”

“My knee,” Nicole said, crying. “I can’t stand up. I think I tore my kneecap or something.”

Dillon looked around, panicked. He knelt down beside Nicole and lightly touched her knee.

“Ow!” Nicole said as the tears ran down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry,” Dillon said, crying. “I’ll take you to the hospital. Just please don’t tell anyone what happened, please. Please, do that for me, baby.”

____________________________________________________________

Lana sat on the Grays’ sofa, eating a bowl of rocky road ice cream. As she drank down the last little bit of melted ice cream, Janice walked into the living room.

“Jerry Springer?” Janice asked, looking at the television.

“It makes my family seem less dysfunctional by comparison,” Lana replied.

“Ah, I see,” Janice said. “You’re almost out of rocky road, so I called Abbie and told her to pick up another couple of half-gallons while she was at the store. Do you wanna talk?”

Lana shook her head.

“You know school started back today,” Janice said, as she walked over to the sofa, pushed some of Lana’s blanket aside, and sat down. “I understand that you wanna mope around, but I think that you should see your friends again.”

“I don’t wanna go back,” Lana said.

“You can’t give up on your future, Lana,” Janice said. “Not when you have such a bright one ahead of you. It would break my heart to see such a great talent go to waste. And your phone battery died two days ago and you still haven’t charged it. Lana, I love you like my own, but this isn’t healthy.”

“I feel empty inside,” Lana said. “I feel like I died inside and I’m just a shell destined to roam the earth until the apocalypse comes.”

“No more zombie movies for you, kiddo,” Janice said.

“But Zombie Hedge Clipper Massacre is coming on Starz tonight,” Lana said.

“Well, doesn’t that sound like an Oscar-caliber film?” Janice said. “Let me know if Paris Hilton wins the best actress Oscar.”

Lana smiled. Janice reached over and rubbed the top of Lana’s head.

“There’s that beautiful smile,” Janice said. “I missed seeing it. But seriously, Lana, you can’t hide behind rocky road ice cream, Jerry Springer, a dead cell phone, and zombie movies forever. Eventually, you have to face everyone at school, your family, and most importantly, you’re gonna have to face this issue—and the inner demons you have a result of it—head on.”

“I know,” Lana said.

“And in the meantime, we’ll try to work something out with your family, like your father suggested. It’s just a shame he had to turn right around and head back to Boston for a work related emergency.”

“That’s how it always is,” Lana said with a sigh. “At least he never disappoints me…he lives up to all the expectations I have for him, which is to never stay home more than twenty-four hours.”

“I know,” Janice said. “Look, you need to eat something with substance. I made some Brunswick stew. And trust me, mine is the best you will ever eat. Care for a bowl?”

Lana nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

Janice smiled as she patted Lana’s knee, got up, and walked to the kitchen.

____________________________________________________________

The next day at school, the choir room was minus two people. Jaxon looked beside him at the empty seat that belonged to Lana.

“She’s still not here,” Jaxon said solemnly.

“This is really hard on Lana,” Will said. “I think she just needs a little more time to process this in private.”

“She’s had ten days,” Aldy said. “I mean, she came to the New Year’s Party, spent half the night there, and bailed. She seemed okay then.”

“People deal with things differently,” Sue said.

“She was putting up a front,” Hallie said. “I know Lana.”

“Her phone goes straight to voicemail,” Jaxon said. “She won’t even accept my calls when I call Adam’s house.”

“I’m the only person whose calls she accepts,” Hallie said. “And even then, it feels like I’m talking to a complete stranger.”

“Nicole’s not here, either,” Evan said, looking at Nicole’s chair on his right side.

“Yeah,” Honey said. “What happened with Nicole?”

“Maybe she’s just invisible,” Kevin said.

“I’m not even in the mood to slap you in the back of the head,” Miles said.

“My mom is the head nurse at Lima General Hospital and she said Nicole was admitted to the emergency room last night.” Adam said. “She has a moderate tear to her meniscus.”

“How did she get hurt?” Evan asked.

“And why wouldn’t she tell us about it?” Rose asked.

“I don’t know,” Adam said. “It was probably just an accident, they happen all they time. Nicole is a bit of a klutz and maybe she didn’t think it was important to tell us.”

“I’ll tell you what happened,” Monique said as she walked into the choir room.

“Monique,” Will said, surprised. “You came all this way just to tell us what happened? It must be pretty important then.”

“It is,” Monique said. “I think it might possibly save Nicole from even worse injury.”

“What do you mean?” Will said, standing up. “Is it really that serious?”

Monique nodded. “I had made the long drive to Dalton to see Chuck…”

Monique smiled as she leaned in and pressed her lips to Chuck’s. Chuck smiled as she pulled away.

“I love you,” Chuck said.

“I love you, too,” Monique said, blushing.

“Want me to see you out?” Chuck asked. “I wish you could stay forever.”

“I do, too,” Monique said. “But if we both get into NYADA, we’ll see each other more often next year. And don’t worry, I’ll see myself out.”

“Goodbye, beautiful,” Chuck said with a smile that made his eyes twinkle.

As Chuck headed back up the stairs, Monique made her way across the concourse. As she got to the common room, she caught herself looking casually, not intending to find anything, much less what she found.

That’s when I saw it, Monique narrated. Nicole and Dillon were arguing.

“This is not the Dillon I know. I think it would be best if we did that break. And you should consider a leave from the Warblers, too.

“No! Don’t you do this to me, Nicole! I said I was sorry! Does that mean nothing to you?”

Monique stopped, watching them.

“Dillon, I don’t like what you’ve become. I’m leaving, okay?”

As Nicole turned around, Dillon grabbed her wrist so tightly it hurt and yanked her around to face him. Monique uttered a barely audible gasp as she watched in horror.

“Dillon, that hurts!”

“Look at me!” Dillon shouted. “I’m not done talking to you!”

“Dillon, that’s enough. Please, let me go.”

Monique swallowed the growing lump in her throat as she backed slowly away. She covered her mouth to stifle a scream as Dillon pushed Nicole and she toppled over the coffee table.


The scene faded back to the choir room as Monique faced New Directions, desperately trying to wipe the tears from her cheeks.

“He asked Nicole not to say anything if he took her to the emergency room,” Monique said, crying. “He begged her not to. That monster begged her not to tell because he was more worried about what would happen than he was about her.”

“I’ll kick his ass,” Miles said, standing up. In front of him, Jaxon shook his head as he gritted his teeth.

“No, Miles,” Will said. “You’ll only make things worse for Nicole. Monique has come forward as a witness to what happened and Dillon will get aptly punished, I’m sure.”

“What will become of Dillon?” Claude asked.

“How can you think about Dillon at a time like this?” Bella asked. “I mean, seriously?”

“Because Dillon is still my friend,” Claude said.

“Look, Mr. Schue,” Miles said, ignoring Claude and Bella. “I may not always get along with Nicole. I may think she’s the most annoying person in this choir room most of the time and frankly, her braininess is really lame. But, she’s one of us and that makes her family. And I’d hurt someone over her.”

“Like I said back when we faced the issue with Chad Riker-Smith and Louis Stephenson’s Straight Alliance, if you must fight back, fight back in song only,” Will said. “Violence solves nothing, especially when you’re fighting violence with more violence.”

“Fighting back in song got Lucas bashed,” Miles said.

Lucas bowed his head, struck by the memory of his bashing. Honey squeezed his hand.

“No,” Will said. “Chad was unstable and it would have likely happened anyway, Miles. Trust me, if you fight back with your fists, you’re no better than Dillon. Fight back in song, as lame as it sounds. It does hurt, okay? Why do you think people write and dedicate songs to people? And why do you think people get upset over it? You damage their ego, you do more damage than a fist could ever do.”

As the bell rang, Miles slung his backpack over his pack and started out the door, angrily marching down the hall.

“He's drunk again, it's time to fight,” Miles sang. “She must have done something wrong tonight. The living room becomes a boxing ring. It's time to run when you see him clenching his hands, she's just a woman. Never again.”

“I hear her scream from down the hall,” Adam sang as he joined Miles, looking just as angry. “Amazing she can even talk at all. She cries to me ‘go back to bed.’ I'm terrified that she'll wind up dead in his hands, she's just a woman. Never again.”

“Been there before, but not like this,” Miles and Adam sang. “Seen it before, but not like this. Never before have I ever seen it this bad, she's just a woman. Never again.”

“Just tell the nurse, you slipped and fell,” Miles sang. “It starts to sting as it starts to swell. She looks at you, she wants the truth. It's right out there in the waiting room with those hands, looking just as sweet as he can. Never again.”

“Seen it before, but not like this,” They both sang as they stormed down the hallway. “Been there before, but not like this. Never before have I ever seen it this bad , she's just a woman. Never again.”

“Father's a name you haven't earned yet,” Adam sang. “You're just a child with a temper. Haven't you heard ‘don't hit a lady?’Kicking your ass would be a pleasure.”

“He's drunk again, it's time to fight,” Miles sang. “Same old shit, just on a different night.”

“She grabs the gun, she's had enough,” Adam sang. “Tonight she'll find out how fricking tough is this man, pulls the trigger as fast as she can. Never again.”

“Seen it before, but not like this,” Miles and Adam sang. “Been there before, but not like this. Never before have I ever seen it this bad, she's just a woman. Never again.”

“We’re going to Dalton,” Miles said to Adam as he turned to face him.

____________________________________________________________

Lana sat on the sofa, home alone, watching the clock. She let out a sigh as she watched the second hand tick by until the clock said it was five pm. She sighed again.

Surely Adam hadn’t forgot that they were supposed to watch the premiere of Zombie Hedge Clipper Massacre together. As she turned the TV to Starz and the opening credits began to roll, she got up and shuffled toward the kitchen, opened the freezer, and took out a half gallon of rocky road.

“No bowl this time,” Lana said. “Straight from the container.”

Lana sighed again as she watched Paris Hilton and David Hasselhoff fighting off zombies.

This is supposed to be so much more fun. Are you kidding? A really cheesy, B-movie about zombies created by a mysterious new chemical in a new brand of weed killer that terrorize a landscaping company who are forced to fight back with hedge clippers? You had me at four words: cheesy, B-movie, zombies, and hedge clippers. Or is hedge clippers two words? Okay, so maybe that was five words. Still, the old Lana would be eating this movie up. But, the new Lana that was moping around on the sofa just wanted to drown in her ice cream.

Lana looked back at the clock. 5:24 pm. Yep, Adam wasn’t showing after all.

____________________________________________________________

Miles, Adam, and Evan walked through the Dalton concourse, until they reached the stairs. As they started up the stairs, a young man stopped them.

“Excuse me,” the young man said. “But you three don’t seem to be students here. Can I help you?”

“We’re looking for Dillon Cregger,” Miles said.

“Friends of his?” The young man asked.

“You can say that,” Adam said. “He’s dating our friend, Nicole.”

“Miles?” Chuck asked, coming down the stairs. “Evan and Adam? What are you three doing here?”

“You know these three?” The young man asked Chuck, who nodded.

“They are friends of mine,” Chuck said.

“Good,” the young man said. “Then you can deal with them.”

Chuck looked at the young man and the back at his friends. “You have to excuse Patrick. He’s a prefect and he takes his duties pretty seriously.”

“We’re here to see Dillon,” Evan said.

“You’d be out of luck,” Chuck said. “He hasn’t been here since he took Nicole home last night. “I assume that he is staying at his apartment right inside Westerville city limits.”

“He didn’t even attend his classes today?” Evan asked.

“Nope,” Chuck said. “He requested that the teachers send him his lessons via Dalton Academy’s online site.”

“Dalton has an online site?” Miles asked.

“For when a student is sick or unable to attend class physically he can do so online via our online site,” Chuck replied. “If I may ask though, why are you guys looking for him? Is it something important? Can I be of any help to you guys?”

“The moment Dillon gets back here, let us know,” Miles said. “You have Claude’s number, so put it to use.”

“What is going on?” Chuck asked.

“You don’t know?” Evan asked.

Chuck shook his head. “Looks like ole Chuck is left out of the loop again.”

“Dillon and Nicole got into an argument and he pushed her,” Adam said. “She fell over the coffee table and got hurt. And, she told me that he’s been hitting her for sometime.”

“What?” Miles asked. “This isn’t a one-time thing?”

Adam shook his head as he sighed. “She made me swear not to tell, but since the cat is out of the bag anyway, Dillon’s been abusive to her for a while now. He gets stressed, he snaps and hurts her.”

Chuck bowed his head, looking at the floor.

“You don’t believe us,” Evan said.

“I know Dillon,” Chuck said. “And I know that he’s not like that. Things change, I admit, but since I never saw him do it, I can’t jump to conclusions. As one of my best friends, that’s not fair. I wish not to judge unless I’ve witnessed it myself. Things can look and seem one way, but not actually be like that. I don’t wanna find myself in the middle of this. If you do find him, and you feel that this is true of him, what happens is up to you. But I don’t wanna be included in this. Please, just understand.”

“I do,” Evan said. “But I also know Nicole and I know she wouldn’t lie.”

“Then we are both between a rock and a hard place,” Chuck said. “Because we both have loyalty to our friends and don’t wanna believe the worst about them, but we also have to realize that one of us is wrong.”

“Then I guess we wasted all this time for nothing,” Miles said.

“Like I said, Miles,” Chuck said. “Please understand my point of view, too.”

Adam turned around and walked toward the door, looking down at the floor.

“I'm running backwards in the rain, got my hand up for a taxi,” Adam sang. “I finally got her name, then we slipped into the backseat. I whisper, ‘are you okay?’ She nods her head with feeling, I could see the pain and I cannot explain how. I am captivated by the way you look tonight. And I've seen what you've been into, so I will never cross the line. I won't tell you any lies, I was sent here for the rescue.”

As Adam climbed into Miles’ backseat and waited for Miles and Evan, he took his cell phone out and began to thumb through pictures that he and Nicole took while goofing off Christmas Eve.

“She couldn't see past his stare, when desire took them over. With a quick and simple prayer she cried, ‘God bring this to closure. I cannot take this anymore and I know that what I'm waiting for is so much bigger, so much better, get me out, please deliver.’ So I'm here breaking down your door, calling out your name. I want to take away the pain. You know I'm here like I was before, screaming out your name, waiting for the change.”

Adam thought back to the first time that he saw Nicole, as he walked through the cafeteria with Lana on his first day at McKinley.

“I am captivated by the way you look tonight. And I've seen what you've been into, so I will never cross the line. I won't tell you any lies, I was sent here for the rescue. Leave your burden, weak and weary, I will lead you home. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.”

Adam dialed Nicole’s number on his phone and pressed it to his ear.

“Hello?” Nicole said.

“I,” Adam began. “I lo—I was just wondering how you are doing?”

Adam sighed as he felt irritated at himself for not being able to say how he really felt.

“I’m alright,” Nicole said. “I can return to school the day after tomorrow. Just have to wear a knee brace and use crutches for two weeks, but I will be good.”

Adam smiled. “I’m glad you’re okay.”

And then it hit Adam. Lana. He looked at his watch. It was after seven o’clock. Zombie Hedge Clipper Massacre would be over and he wouldn’t even get to see Paris Hilton being violently ripped apart by a horde of the undead. But more importantly, he let his best friend down.

____________________________________________________________

As Adam hung up, Nicole lay back in her bed, her smile fading. She sat her phone aside and tried to clear her head.

When Adam came back different and more grown up, I started to notice him. Yes, he was beginning to fill his shirts out better, and he no longer looked so childish, I guess you could say. I was only a year older, but being an advanced senior and with his youthful looks, he always seemed more like the younger brother type. But he had gotten, dare I say, gorgeous over summer break. His eyes and his smile could light up the darkest night. And oh my lord, could it possibly be? Did I have feelings for Adam other than friendship?

I had only been in love one in my life and that was Dillon, so I wasn’t really sure what love feels like. When you’ve only felt it one, it’s hard to compare it anything, so I didn’t know for sure. But all I know that the ache in my heart left by Dillon went away instantly when I heard Adam’s voice on the phone. And now that the call was over, it had come back twice as much.

But could I love so soon after Dillon? And could I manage to break things off with Dillon without, God forbid, getting hurt even worse? I don’t know. There are some questions that Nicole Martin doesn’t actually know the answers to. But all I know is that if Adam and I were meant to be, and what I felt was in fact love, he’d have to be careful because after Dillon, I was at the most fragile I have ever been.

“My skin is like a map of where my heart has been,” Nicole sang. “And I can’t hide the marks, but it’s not a negative thing. So I let down my guard, drop my defenses down by my clothes. I'm learning to fall with no safety net to cushion the blow. I bruise easily so be gentle when you handle me. There’s a mark you leave, like a love heart carved on a tree. I bruise easily. can't scratch the surface without moving me underneath. I bruise easily, I bruise easily.”

Nicole leaned over and opened up her bedside table drawer. She reached inside and pulled out the bottle of Fantasy by Britney Spears that Adam had gotten her when he sent her that secret admirer present. She sprayed it in the air, just to sniff it as she ran her fingers along the hand written card he had sent with it.

“I found your fingerprints on a glass of wine. Do you know you're leaving them all over this heart of mine too? But if I never take this leap of faith, I'll never know. So I’m learning to fall with no safety net to cushion the blow. I bruise easily so be gentle when you handle me. There’s a mark you leave, like a love heart carved on a tree. I bruise easily. can't scratch the surface without moving me underneath. I bruise easily, I bruise easily.”

Nicole set the perfume and card on her bedside table as she closed her eyes and pictured the events of Christmas Eve.

“Anyone who can touch you can hurt you or heal you. Anyone who can reach you can love you or leave you, so be gentle. I bruise easily so be gentle when you handle me. There’s a mark you leave, like a love heart carved on a tree. I bruise easily. can't scratch the surface without moving me underneath. I bruise easily, I bruise easily, I bruise easily, I bruise easily.”

____________________________________________________________

Adam opened the front door and walked inside the living room. He looked at the clock. It was after nine. Lana was asleep on the sofa, uncovered. As the blast of cold air entered from where he shut the door, he walked over and pulled the covers over her. He took her half-eaten, melted rocky road and threw it in the garbage can, then turned off the television.

“Sleep tight,” Adam said, turning off the light and making his way up the stairs.

____________________________________________________________

The next morning, Lana and Adam sat at the table as Janice and Abbie finished breakfast. Janice sat a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice beside Lana’s glass of milk.

“Better than store bought,” Janice said. “And you know I hate to be like this, Lana, but it’s time for some tough love. You’re going to school this morning. Abbie won’t write you a doctor’s excuse for today, so if you skip, you’re unexcused. I know it’s hard, sweetheart, but you’ll never heal and move on if you don’t try. Your friends will be there for you and Adam will be by your side, right honey?”

“Yes, Ma,” Adam said.

“Like last night?” Lana asked. “You never showed.”

“I’m so sorry,” Adam said. “Some stuff with down between Nicole and Dillon and we went to Dalton. I forgot all about it until I was all the way in Westerville.”

“You went all the way to Westerville?” Janice asked, taking a sip of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Adam nodded, guiltily.

“I hope you didn’t start any trouble at that school,” Abbie said.

“No, Mom,” Adam said. “I was gonna try to get Dillon to come forward about what happened, but he wasn’t even there.”

“And so you just forgot about your best friend,” Lana said under her breath.

“I came in and you were asleep,” Adam said. “So I cleaned up, covered you up, and turned off the TV. I didn’t wanna wake you up to go to the guest room because you were sleeping so peacefully.”

“That’s my sweet boy,” Abbie said as she leaned over and kissed the top of Adam’s head.

“Eat up,” Janice said. “You kids have about fifteen minutes before you have to leave for school. And remember, Lana, that you can do it, sweetheart.”

Suddenly I felt like The Little Engine That Could—Could Crash and Burn in a Blaze of Glory. Yep, that would be me at the moment.

____________________________________________________________

Whispers. Whispers everywhere. Whispers about me. Lana Addison, the girl that went crazy. The girl that the world forgot. I had heard it all and all in one day back at McKinley. Once Glee Club was over, I was glad to get out of there. The hugs, the cards, and all the happy sunshine songs, they made me sick.


Lana stepped into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. She looked pale. Lana shakily turned on the cold water and wet her face. She turned the water off and reached for the paper towels. She tore some off, but before she dried her face, she stopped at the sound of whispering in the stalls behind her.

“Did you hear about Lana Addison?” One girl asked.

“Yeah, turns out she was adopted by her aunt because even her mom didn’t want her,” the other girl said as they both broke out into laughter.

“It’s bad when you’re that pathetic,” the first girl said.

“To be such a loser that your mother abandons you—could you imagine?” the second girl asked.

“How unfortunate for her,” the first girl said sarcastically. “If I was her and no one wanted me, I’d do the world a favor and off myself.”

Lana fought back tears as she shakily dried her face off. She started toward the door and heard the stalls behind her open. Lana pushed the door open and bolted out as quickly as possible. Upon realizing that is was Lana, the two girls broke out into laughter.

____________________________________________________________

Dillon sat alone in the auditorium, looking around at the emptiness as New Directions, minus Lana and Nicole, walked onto the stage.

“I don’t get what’s going on,” Dillon said. “I thought that I was here to help judge a sing-off between New Directions and Vocal Adrenaline.”

“I lied,” Evan said. “So sue me.”

“Then what am I doing here?” Dillon asked. “If Nicole said something—”

“See, Nicole didn’t have to say anything because your assault of her the other night was witnessed and they’ve come forward and ratted you out,” Miles said.

“Needless to say, we’re not too happy,” Evan said. “You’re a creep.”

“Lies,” Dillon said. “They’re all lies.”

“Don’t piss on my back and tell me it’s raining!” Miles yelled so loudly that it vibrated in the auditorium. “We know what you did, Dillon!”

Dillon stood up. “I don’t have to take your accusations or your screaming. I’m going.”

“Not so fast,” Evan said. “Why don’t you take a look at the exits.”

Dillon looked around at all four exits. Each one was blocked off. Wyatt, Reece, Chad, and Puck guarded each one, their arms crossed menacingly. Puck looked at Dillon and acted like he was about to charge. Dillon jumped.

“You have no choice but to hear us out,” Miles said.

Behind New Directions, the band sprang to life and Miles raised a microphone to his mouth.

“Hey, girl, you know you drive me crazy,” Miles sang. “One look puts the rhythm in my hand. Still, I'll never understand why you hang around. I see what's going down.”

“Cover up with makeup in the mirror,” Evan sang. “Tell yourself, it's never gonna happen again. You cry alone and then he swears he loves you.”

“Do you feel like a man when you push her around?” New Directions sang. “Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end. As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.”

Dillon sat back down, looking like all the air had been knocked out of him. Everyone waited for the next vocalist to step forward and sing, but it never happened. The band looked confused, playing the same riff, and waiting for someone to sing the next line.

“This is Lana’s line,” Miles whispered to the others. “Where is she?”

“I don’t know,” Jaxon whispered back. “She was supposed to be here.”

“A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect,” Hallie sang as she stepped forward to take Lana's line. “Every action in this world will bear a consequence. If you wade around forever, you will surely drown. I see what's going down.”

“I see the way you go and say you're right again,” Jaxon sang. “Say you're right again. Heed my lecture.”

“Do you feel like a man when you push her around?” New Directions sang. “Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end. As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.”

“Face down in the dirt, she said,” Jaxon and Hallie sang. “This doesn't hurt, she said, I finally had enough.”

“One day she will tell you that she has had enough,” Natasha screamed.

“It's coming round again,”Bella sang.

“One day she will tell you that she has had enough.”

“It's coming round again.”

“Do you feel like a man when you push her around?” New Directions sang. “Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground? Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end. As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found. Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end. As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.”

“Face down in the dirt, she said,” James and Ana sang. “This doesn't hurt, she said, I finally had enough.”

Dillon sat there in the audience, arms crossed, feeling about an inch tall as the song ended. Complete shame wasn’t even strong enough of a word for what he was made to feel.

____________________________________________________________

Lana walked down the street, heading toward the city part of Lima, where all the tall buildings were. As she walked, wearing her favorite Underoath hoodie and her ear buds in her ears, there was one song on repeat.

“It's caving in around me, what I thought was solid ground,” Lana sang. “I tried to look the other way, but I couldn't turn around. It's okay for you to hate me for all the things I've done. I've made a few mistakes, but I'm not the only one. Step away from the ledge, I'm coming down.”

Lana came to a stop, looking up at the building that towered over her.

____________________________________________________________

As New Directions paced back and forth, Jaxon pulled his phone from his ear. Hallie and Wyatt ran over to him.

“Any answer?” Hallie asked, her eyes pleading.

Jaxon shook his head. “Her cell phone is still dead and there is no answer at Adam’s.”

“Screw this,” Wyatt said. “I’m going to go look for her. She can’t be far.”

“Me too,” Reece said. “I will take the city portion and Wyatt, you can take the rural.”

“I’ll help, too,” Puck said. “I’ll also search within the city.”

“I’ll help with the rural,” Chad said. “We can cover twice as much ground if all four of us search.”

Jaxon nodded. “Hallie, Miles, Evan, and James, you can all come with me. I’m going, too. I can stand knowing that Lana is out there right now and something may be wrong.”

They all nodded as they followed Jaxon toward the exit.

____________________________________________________________

Lana made her way up another flight of stairs, on her way to the rooftop.

“I could never be what you want me to,” she sang. “You pulled me under to save yourself. You will never see what's inside of me. I pulled you under just to save myself. Was there ever any question on how much I could take? You kept feeding me your bullcrap, hoping I would break. Is there anybody out there? Is there anyone who cares? Is there anybody listening? Will they hear my final prayers? Step away from the ledge, I'm coming down. I could never be what you want me to. You pulled me under to save yourself. You will never see what's inside of me. I pulled you under just to save myself.”

____________________________________________________________

Reece drove as fast as possible without breaking the speed limit. He pressed a button on his phone.

“Skyvi, call Jaxon,” he said.

“Calling Jaxon,” Skyvi said.

“Hello,” Jaxon said.

“Any sign of her?” Reece asked as he scanned the streets.

“Not yet,” Jaxon said over the speaker. “Wait, cancel that. I see her. She’s on the roof of the newspaper office.”

Reece slammed his brakes on, nearly skidding out of control. He made an U-turn and started in the direction of the newspaper office.

“I’ll be there in five,” Reece said. “Or three if I ignore the speed limit signs.”

“I hope it’s not gonna be too late,” Jaxon said.

____________________________________________________________

Lana stood on top of the rooftop, not moving, just thinking and saying her last prayers in her head as she sang.

“It's caving in around me,” Lana sang. “It's tearing me apart. It's all coming down around me. Does anyone, anyone care at all? I will never be what you want me to. You pull me under, I pull you under. I could never be what you want me to. You pulled me under to save yourself. You will never see what's inside of me. I pulled you under just to save myself.”

Lana began to tremble as thunder crashed and it began to rain. She looked up at the sky, letting the rain wash over her.

____________________________________________________________

Jaxon’s Ford Super Duty skidded to a stop outside the newspaper office. The front two doors open and Jaxon and James piled out. Miles, Evan, and Hallie jumped out of the cab. Hallie pushed her way past her friends, running as fast as he could.

“Sorry,” Hallie said. “I have to get up there!”

Hallie flung open the door and ran to the nearest stairwell.

“Miss?” A member of security asked as Hallie ran past. “You can’t run in here.”

Hallie ignored him, running up every last flight of stairs until she made her way to the door leading to the roof. Hallie didn’t even slow down. She charged the door, and flung the door open in one swift motion, and grunting as she went through the door and landed on the rooftop.

“Lana!” Hallie shouted as she picked herself up off the floor of the roof.

Lana looked back at Hallie. She was one step away from the ledge. “Hallie?”

“On top of the roof, the air is so cold and so calm,” Hallie sang, tears streaming down her face. “I say your name in silence, you don't wanna hear it right now. The eyes of the city are counting the tears falling down. Each one a promise of everything you never found.”

Lana turned to face Hallie completely, shifting away from the ledge.

“I scream into the night for you, don't make it true, don't jump. The lights will not guide you through, they're deceiving you, don't jump. Don't let memories go of me and you. The world is down there out of view, please don't jump. You open your eyes, but you can't remember what for. The snow falls quietly, you just can't feel it no more. Somewhere out there, you lost yourself in your pain. You dream of the end to start all over again.”

Hallie inched toward Lana, her hand outstretched.

“I scream into the night for you,” Hallie sang. “Don't make it true, don't jump. The lights will not guide you through, they're deceiving you, don't jump. Don't let memories go of me and you. The world is down there out of view, please don't jump. Don't jump.”

Hallie inched closer to Lana still, her hand still outstretched. Lana slowly reached toward Hallie’s hand.

“I don't know how long I can hold you so strong. I don't know how long. Just take my hand, give it a chance, don't jump.”

Lana took hold of Hallie’s hand. Hallie pulled Lana way from the ledge, not letting go of her hand.

“I scream into the night for you, don't make it true, don't jump. The lights will not guide you through, they're deceiving you. Don't jump, don't let memories go of me and you. The world is down there out of view, please don't jump, don't jump. And if all that can't hold you back, I'll jump for you.”

“Hallie,” Lana said, before she broke down into tears.

Hallie pulled Lana to her and hugged her tightly. “Never ever do anything like that again, Lana! You have no idea how much you mean to me.”

“Don’t let go,” Lana pleaded, her tears soaking Hallie’s shirt.

Behind them, the door opened and Jaxon, Evan, Miles, Reece, Wyatt, Puck, and Chad stood there.

“You’re safe in my arms,” Hallie said, squeezing Lana tightly. “You’ll always have a place in my arms.”

____________________________________________________________

Lana sat on the sofa at the Grays’ house, bundled up in a bunch of blankets as Janice sat with her arms around her. Hallie, Jaxon, Wyatt, Lynsay, Adam, Reece, Evan, Miles, and Bella all stood off to the side.

“You’re just lucky that the police didn’t arrest you for this stunt,” Janice said.

“I know,” Lana said.

“Here’s some hot chicken noodle and some Russian tea,” Abbie said, carrying a tray into the living room and handing it to Lana. “Eat up and let it warm you to the bones.”

“Lana, do you have any idea how scared I was?” Wyatt asked. “If something happened to you—”

Wyatt couldn’t finish his sentence. He turned around, trying to be masculine and hiding the fact that he was crying. Lynsay put her arm around Wyatt.

“Lana?” Adam asked. “I know I haven’t been there for you lately and I’m sorry.”

Lana smiled. “I know, Adam. But you’re always there when I need it. Thank you”

Janice smiled as she pulled Lana in for a hug.

____________________________________________________________

The next day at school, not everything was back to normal, but at least no one tried to pretend that it was. But at least the entire Glee Club was back together, even if Lana had a cold from her rooftop stunt.

Adam sat on a stool in the middle of the choir room. Jaxon sat beside him, tuning his guitar.

“This is uh, dedicated to a very special girl,” Adam said. “And even though she may not know it, I am head over heels in love with her. I love her with all my heart and recent events have really showed me that. So, this is for you.”

Jaxon looked at Adam, who nodded. Jaxon began to play.

“I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh,” Adam sang. “I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away. I keep your photograph and I know it serves me well. I wanna hold you high and steal your pain.”

“’Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome,” Adam sang as Nicole stood up and began to sing with him. “And I don't feel right when you're gone away.”

“You've gone away, you don't feel me, here anymore,”Adam sang.

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again,” Nicole sang as she hobbled on her crutches toward Adam and stood behind him, her hand on his shoulder. “I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away. There's so much left to learn, and no one left to fight. I wanna hold you high and steal your pain.”

“’Cause I'm broken when I'm open,” they both sang. “And I don't feel like I am strong enough. ‘Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome and I don't feel right when you're gone away. “’Cause I'm broken when I'm open. And I don't feel like I am strong enough. ‘Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome and I don't feel right when you're gone away. ‘Cause I'm broken when I'm lonesome and I don't feel right when you're gone.”

“You've gone away,” Adam sang. “You don't feel me here anymore.”

Adam stood up to face Nicole. He looked her deep in the eyes.

“I love you,” Adam said. “I have since I first met you.”

Nicole smiled as she leaned in and kissed Adam on the lips. As they broke their kiss, Adam pulled Nicole close and held her.

As the rest of New Directions looked on, smiling with teary eyes, Jaxon turned to James and pressed his lips to his.

____________________________________________________________

As New Directions stood on stage in the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion, Nicole and Lana sat on two stools at the front of the stage. Behind them, there was a wall of artificial flames that wrapped around the sides of the stage. New Directions began to vocalize as the music kicked in.

“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,” Lana sang. “But that's alright because I like the way it hurts.”

“Just gonna stand there and hear me cry,” Nicole sang. “But that's alright because I love the way you lie.”

“I love the way you lie,”New Directions sang.

“I can't tell you what it really is,” Evan rapped. “I can only tell you what it feels like and right now it's a steel knife in my windpipe. I can't breathe but I still fight while I can fight. As long as the wrong feels right it's like I'm in flight. High off of love, drunk from my hate, it's like I'm huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate. And right before I'm about to drown, she resuscitates me. She freaking hates me and I love it.

“Wait! Where you going?”Miles rapped.

“I'm leaving you,”Evan rapped.

“No you ain't,” Miles rapped. “Come back we're running right back.”

“Here we go again,” Evan rapped. “It's so insane cause when it's going good, it's going great. I'm Superman with the wind at his back, she's Lois Lane, But when it's bad it's awful, I feel so ashamed I snapped. Who's that dude? I don't even know his name. I laid hands on her, I'll never stoop so low again. I guess I don't know my own strength.”

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,” Lana and Nicole sang. “But that's alright because I like the way it hurts. Just gonna stand there and hear me cry but that's alright because I love the way you lie.”

“I love the way you lie,”New Directions sang. “I love the way you lie.”

“You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe when you're with them?” Miles rapped. “You meet and neither one of you even know what hit them. Got that warm fuzzy feeling; Yeah, them chills you used to get them. Now you're getting freaking sick of looking at them. You swore you'd never hit them; never do nothing to hurt them. Now you're in each other's face spewing venom in your words when you spit them. You push, pull each other's hair, scratch, claw, hit them. Throw them down, pin them. So lost in the moments when you're in them. It's the rage that took over it controls you both. So they say you're best to go your separate ways. Guess if they don't know you ‘cause today that was yesterday. Yesterday is over, it's a different day. Sound like broken records playing over but you promised her. Next time you show restraint, you don't get another chance. Life is no Nintendo game but you lied again. Now you get to watch her leave out the window. Guess that's why they call it window pain.”

“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,” Lana and Nicole sang. “But that's alright because I like the way it hurts. Just gonna stand there and hear me cry but that's alright because I love the way you lie.”

“I love the way you lie,” New Directions sang. “I love the way you lie.”

“Now I know we said things, did things that we didn't mean,” Rose rapped. “And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine. But your temper's just as bad as mine is. You're the same as me but when it comes to love you're just as blinded. Baby, please come back. It wasn't you, baby it was me. Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems. Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano. All I know is I love you too much to walk away though. Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk. Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk. Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball. Next time I'm pissed, I'll lay my fist at the drywall. Next time, there won't be no next time. I apologize even though I know its lies. I'm tired of the games, I just want her back. I know I'm a liar. If she ever tries to freaking leave again, I’mma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire, just gonna.”

“Just gonna stand there and watch me burn,” Lana and Nicole sang. “But that's alright because I like the way it hurts. Just gonna stand there and hear me cry but that's alright because I love the way you lie.”

“I love the way you lie,”New Directions sang. “I love the way you lie.”

As the song ended, New Directions surrounded Lana and Nicole and took turns hugging them.

____________________________________________________________

In the Dalton Academy common room, Dillon threw an envelope on the top of the coffee table and threw his blazer and ties right beside it. He looked down at them one last time before turning and walking out the door.



THE END

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