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Season 2, Episode 5
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Glee: TNG: Season 2, Episode 5: "Popular"Edit

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

India tried to blackmail Lana over kissing Hallie, but Lana wasn’t having that. She came clean to Bella about it and Bella seemed mad, but not too much. She’s been feeling guilty for how she treated Hallie. Hallie even pretty much told Bella she hasn’t been a great girlfriend lately…and that she didn’t see fireworks when they kissed. India’s back to her mean self, trying to reassert her Queen Bee and HBIC status and it’s working. But’s she’s loosing Hallie as a friend by trying to push her toward Bella and she quit New Directions for the Femme Fatale to sabotage Lana’s attempts to get to Hallie. Now it seems like the only friend she has left is Nicole. Who would have thought that? Evan and Lucas are totally a couple now since Evan asked Lucas out, but Evan has yet to come out to his parents. Also, James is going through an identity crisis and thinks he should be a bad boy, but Jaxon isn’t too happy about it.

And that’s what you missed on Glee

____________________________________________________________

There was silence in the choir room as every stunned face looked at the doorway.

“I halfway expect her to come back,” Rose said, breaking the silence.

“India is not coming back,” Hallie said. “She’s left us. She’s too proud to come crawling back.”

“What the hell is wrong with her lately?” Jaxon asked. “All that progress she made since last Christmas, gone.”

“Who cares?” Miles said. “Not me. Not after what she did.”

“Guys, no matter what has happened, India is still one of us,” Will said.

“The good India is still inside her,” Nicole said. “But without her popularity, she’s lost. She’s trying to get it back the only way she knows how.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” Lana said. “She’s after me. She joins the Femme Fatales, she’s closer to me. Apparently, she’d throw you all under the bus to get at me.”

“I’d like to throw you under the bus,” Bella said.

“Bella!” Will scolded. “Stop it! Member of the Femme Fatales or not, Lana is one of us.”

“Well, maybe she could act like one of us,” Bella said. “Instead of forming alliances to take other people down and then turn on her own partner by macking on her girlfriend. And how about when you slushied India, huh?”

“I stand by what I did,” Lana said. “India was bullying someone. I just gave her a taste of her own medicine.”

“That’s enough with the anger and hostility!” Will shouted. “I am sick of the constant infighting in this Glee Club. Starting tomorrow, you have a new assignment and it doesn’t involve music. You’re all gonna have one week to do something nice and selfless for another person in this room. That goes for you Femme Fatales, too. I’m having a talk with Sue and I’m sure she will agree.”

“Like what are we supposed to do?” Kevin asked.

“Spend time with another member you might not give the time of day. Get to know them and figure out something that you could do for them that is nice, selfless, and will benefit them. Then, do it. You don’t do that, you’re out of New Directions. I’m tired of this war you have going on between one another. One way or another, it ends.”

____________________________________________________________

Lana Addison. That name pisses me off so much. It was one thing to come into this school, acting like she runs it. It was another thing to mess with Hallie’s relationship with Bella. But when she threw that slushie in my face, she made an enemy.

India Wilson does not play nice. I seek and destroy. And what better way to do that than to ruin all her chances with Hallie? Of course that meant I had to become a Femme Fatale. That, I could handle.

I would get inside the belly of the beast and destroy her from within. First, I would ruin her chances with Hallie. Then, I would cause the Femme Fatales to lose Sectionals and make it look like Lana sabotaged them on purpose. I would rejoin New Directions as a hero and they wouldn’t dare let in Lana, the girl who sabotaged Sectionals to get back into the same Glee Club as her crush.

Then, maybe Lana would go back where she came from.

India smiled mischievously as she stepped into Sue’s office.

“Good afternoon, Zimbabwe,” Sue said.

“I quit New Directions. I want to join the Femme Fatales.”

Sue lowered her reading glasses and studied India for a moment. She slid them back up and sat up straight.

“Welcome aboard.”

India smiled from ear to ear as she walked out of Sue’s office. She was practically walking on air until she rounded the corner and right into Louis and his friends.

“Well, well, well,” Louis said, holding a large purple slushie. “Look who we have here. India Wilson, former most popular girl in school.”

“Former?” India asked, taken aback.

“Hallie Grace stole your popularity and now you’re just a loser like the rest of that Glee Club.”

Louis started to raise the slushie as India began to back up and cower in fear

“You really don’t have to do this,” India said.

Louis laughed. “Oh, but I do. See, I also have a reputation and that reputation is dependent on me throwing this grape slushie all up in your face.”

“Louis, think about what you’re--”

SPLAT! The slushie hit India full on in the face as she let out a yelp. Louis laughed as he walked off.

“Not again,” India said as she ran off toward the bathroom to get cleaned up.

India leaned over the sink, washing slushie off her face. She heard the door open but didn’t pay attention to who had entered.

“You look like you could use some help,” Hallie said.

“I don’t need anybody’s help,” India said.

“That’s your problem, India. You don’t think you need help when you obviously do. Let me help you.”

“Why would you do that?” India asked. “I thought you hated me.”

“I don’t hate you. Maybe I should since you’re butting your nose in where it doesn’t belong and you’re pissed at me because I’m more popular and I got made Cheerios Captain. But the truth is, we became close friends last year and I am not willing to throw that away over something stupid.”

Hallie grabbed a paper towel and wet it. She began to help India clean her face off.

“So I guess this is your assignment for Mr. Schue?” India asked.

“Yes, in a way. Look, India, I know you don’t like Lana but’s she’s a good girl.”

“Please, Hallie, don’t. You belong with Bella, end of story. You two are perfect for each other. I think about you two apart and it breaks my heart. Hallie, you’re a great girl. You only deserve the best.”

“And Lana’s not the best?”

“Lana is trouble. I’ve heard everything about her, the trouble she’s caused. She got kicked out of her last school.”

“And you don’t think those are just rumors?” Hallie asked, grabbing a dry paper towel.

“Why do you care about Lana so much, anyway?” India asked.

Hallie didn’t answer as she dried India’s face.

____________________________________________________________

The Femme Fatales moved into position in the middle of the gym as the music began to play.

“Does he love me, I wanna know?” The Femme Fatales sang. “How can I tell if he loves me so?”

“Stop,” Lana said, throwing her hands up. “We’re seriously not gonna do this song are we? It’s lame and old fashioned.”

A girl named Scarlett put her hands on her hips. “Tell me about it.”

“You girls think you can do better?” Sue asked, sitting straight up.

“No offense,” Lana said. “But we need something modern. We’re gonna bore everyone to sleep who was born after the nineteen sixties.”

Sue crossed her arms. “I like your attitude, Lana.”

India stood off to the side, glaring at Lana.

She’s going down, India thought.

____________________________________________________________

Nicole sighed as she pushed past the jocks who had blocked her way away from the lunch line. She looked around for an empty seat. She found one, rushed over to take it, but was beaten by Cheerio.

“Sorry,” she said sarcastically.

“Come sit by me,” India said. “I smell my nice deed for the week.”

Nicole reluctantly followed India over to a table. India sat down and Nicole followed suit.

“High school can be murder if you’re not popular,” India said. “When you’re popular, the students part for you, people clear seats for you. It’s amazing, Nicole.”

“Just once I’d like to make my way down a hall without being trampled,” Nicole said, poking at her mound of mashed potatoes.

“Nicki, now that we're friends, I've decided to make you my new project!” India said, smiling from ear to ear.

“You really don't have to do that,” Nicole said.

“I know. That's what makes me so nice!” India said

Nicole looked baffled as India put her arm around her neck.

“Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I,” India sang. “And let's face it, who isn't less fortunate than I? My tender heart tends to start to bleed. And when someone needs a makeover, I simply have to take over! I know I know exactly what they need! And even in your case, though it's the toughest case I've yet to face. Don't worry, I'm determined to succeed! Follow my lead, and yes indeed, you will be popular. You're gonna be popular! I'll teach you the proper ploys, when you talk to boys, little ways to flirt and flounce, ooh! I'll show you what shoes to wear! How to fix your hair! Everything that really counts to be popular. I'll help you be popular! You'll hang with the right cohorts,you'll be good at sports, know the slang you've got to know. So let's start,'cause you've got an awfully long way to go!”

____________________________________________________________

Nicole sat in a chair in front of India’s make-up mirror. India stood behind Nicole, assessing her.

“Don't be offended by my frank analysis,” India sang. “Think of it as personality dialysis, now that I've chosen to become a pal, a sister and advisor. There's nobody wiser! Not when it comes to popular. I know about popular. And with an assist from me, to be who you’ll be, instead of dreary who you were...uh, are. There's nothing that can stop you, from becoming popular, lar. La la, la la, we're gonna make you pop-u-lar. When I see depressing creatures, with unprepossessing features, I remind them on their own behalf to think of celebrated heads of state, or specially great communicators. Did they have brains or knowledge? Don't make me laugh! They were popular. Please! It's all about popular. It's not about aptitude, it's the way you're viewed, so it's very shrewd to be very, very popular like me.”

Nicole stepped out from behind a the changing curtain in India’s room, completely made over. Her hair had been bleached and then dyed blonde. She had on glamorous make-up, a skimpy outfit, the whole nine yards.

“Why, miss Nicole, look at you! You're beautiful!” India said.

“I-I have to go,” Nicole stammered.

“You're welcome,” India said as Nicole hurried out the door.

“And though you protest your disinterest,” India sang. “I know clandestinely, you're gonna' grin and bear it.You're new found popularity. Ah, la la, la la. You'll be popular. Just not quite as popular as me.”

India smiled to herself as she sat on her bed.

Yes, my plan is gonna work. I do my ‘one good, selfless deed,’ and I can use Nicole’s imminent popularity to catapult my own back into the McKinley social scene. It’s perfect. Why didn’t I think of it sooner? Lana, yes, she’s a pest but my flailing popularity is much more important right now. I refuse to be slushied again. It just does something to a person.

____________________________________________________________

Lucas stood in the middle of the choir room, holding onto the microphone stand. He looked at Evan and smiled.

“I went through a lot last year, and all of you were there for me,” Lucas said. “I’m greatly appreciative of that, but there was one person who was there more than anyone. Evan. You are my true love, I realize that now. I spent all my life crushing on one person who tossed our friendship to the curb when he found out the truth about me. This song is for you.”

“You've been on my mind,” Lucas sang. “I grow fonder every day. Lose myself in time, just thinking of your face. God only knows why it's taken me so long to let my doubts go. You're the only one that I want. I don't know why I'm scared, I've been here before. Every feeling, every word, I've imagined it all. You never know if you never try to forgive your past and simply be mine. I dare you to let me be your, your one and only. Promise I'm worthy to hold in your arms. So come on and give me a chance to prove that I'm the one who can walk that mile until the end starts.”

Evan smiled warmly at Lucas. Jaxon reached over and patted his shoulder.

“I've been on your mind, you hang on every word I say. Lose yourself in time at the mention of my name. Will I ever know how it feels to hold you close? And have you tell me whichever road I choose you'll go. I don't know why I'm scared, I've been here before. Every feeling, every word, I've imagined it all. You never know if you never try to forgive your past and simply be mine. I dare you to let me be your, your one and only. Promise I'm worthy to hold in your arms. So come on and give me a chance to prove that I'm the one who can walk that mile until the end starts. I know it ain't easy giving up your heart. I know it ain't easy giving up your heart. Nobody's perfect, trust me I've learned it. I know it ain't easy, giving up your heart. Nobody's perfect, trust me I've learned it. I know it ain't easy, giving up your heart. I know it ain't easy giving up your heart. I know it ain't easy giving up your heart. So I dare you to let me be your, your one and only. Promise I'm worthy to hold in your arms. So come on and give me a chance to prove that I'm the one who can walk that mile until the end starts. Come on and give me a chance to prove that I'm the one who can walk that mile until the end starts.”

Evan wiped a tear from his eyes. “That was beautiful, Lucas. Really.”

Lucas smiled as he walked over and hugged Evan. “I hoped you’d like it.”

“Lucas, I was thinking maybe it’s time that I come out to my parents,” Evan said.

“Are you sure?” Lucas asked. “I know you’ve been afraid to.”

“You give me the strength and courage,” Evan said.

“And I can come along,” Jaxon said. “In case you need support.”

“You’d do that for me?” Evan asked.

Jaxon nodded. “Of course.”

Evan smiled as he walked over and hugged Jaxon. “You’re a great friend, Jaxon.”

____________________________________________________________

Hallie watched as Lana walked down the hall, on her way back from her Femme Fatales meeting.

There she is again. No matter how hard I try to push her out of my mind, she keeps finding her way back. I must be a sign. I don’t understand how one moment everything could be perfect with Bella and then it starts to fall apart. And of course, who is there to pick up the pieces of my broken heart and mend them back together? Lana.

I’ve never doubted my love for Bella. Ever. But then, Lana came along and it’s like I don’t know anything anymore. I’m so confused. Is it right to feel this way?

“Hallie?” Jaxon said, putting his hand on her shoulder. “Is everything alright? You’ve seemed different lately.”

Hallie shrugged. “I don’t know, Jaxon.”

“Well, we’re friends. You can tell me. I have two ears to listen and a shoulder to cry on.”

Hallie nodded. “I know. If I did tell you something, could you keep a secret?”

“Of course,” Jaxon said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yu have to promise me that you wouldn’t say anything, not even to James,” Hallie said.

Jaxon held out his hand, pinky extended. “Pinky swear.”

“Jaxon, I love Bella, I really do. But I think that maybe, I love Lana, too.”

Jaxon did a double take. “What? Are you sure?”

Hallie sighed. “Lana’s been there and she has a way of saying all the right things. Whenever Bella has let me fall, she’s been there to catch me.”

“Well, isn’t it a little soon to think that you’re in love with her? I mean, you’ve know her all of what, a month?”

“Jaxon, I know how I feel, And yes, while it’s irrational, I love her. And for goodness sakes, you and James were dating two weeks into the school year last year.”

Jaxon nodded. “Yeah, we did kinda take it fast. That’s why I’m saying what I’m saying to you. There is a lot at stake here, Hallie. I will fully support whatever decision you make, but there are two people’s hearts at stake here and you’re dating one of them. Make sure you think it through and whatever you decide is what you really want because there’s no going back.”

Hallie smiled. “Thanks, Jaxon. You’re completely right. Either way, someone is gonna get hurt. I just have to do what I feel is right for me. No time for indecision.”

____________________________________________________________

Evan stood onstage in the auditorium, a spot light and dancing lasers the only light. He stepped forward, a headset microphone on. He looked out into the empty seating and took a deep breath.

“I've been everywhere, man, looking for someone,” Evan sang. “Someone who can please me, love me all night long. I've been everywhere, man, looking for you babe. Looking for you babe, searching for you babe. Where have you been? ‘Cause I never see you out? Are you hiding from me, yeah? Somewhere in the crowd.”

As the beat of the music picked up, Evan began to dance, giving himself in to the beat.

“Where have you been? All my life, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? I've been everywhere, man, looking for someone. Someone who can please me, love me all night long. I've been everywhere, man, looking for you babe. Looking for you babe, searching for you babe. Where have you been? ‘Cause I never see you out? Are you hiding from me, yeah? Somewhere in the crowd. Where have you been? All my life, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life? Where have you been, all my life?'Where have you been, all my life? You can have all you want, any way, any day to show me where you are tonight. I've been everywhere, man, looking for someone. Someone who can please me, love me all night long. I've been everywhere, man, looking for you babe. Looking for you babe, searching for you babe.”

Evan topped to catch his breath as the music stopped. He heard applause and looked up to see Jaxon standing in the aisles.

“That was really good,” Jaxon said.

“I’m practicing,” Evan said. “I want a solo at a competition. There are still two available and I don’t plan to slow down until I get one.”

“Keep doing that and you will get one in no time,” Jaxon said. “You ready for this? You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”

“I want to,” Evan said. “I feel like it’s time for me to start being honest with my parents. I kind of owe them that.”

____________________________________________________________

Bella shut her locker and started toward the door. She stopped in her tracks when saw Louis.

“Well, well, well,” Louis said, his arms behind his back. “Second on my list of people to slushie, Isabella James.”

“I’m dating Hallie, the most popular girl in the school,” Bella said.

“You’re still a loser,” Louis said readying the slushie.

Lana rounded the corner, and upon seeing Louis, she sighed started toward Bella.

“Hope you like orange!” Louis said.

Louis released the slushie and gasped in shock when Lana threw herself into the path, taking the slushie for Bella.

Bella opened her eyes and was surprised to see Lana dripping with orange slush.

“Lana?” Bella asked, surprised.

“I owed you after what I did. Consider us even,” Lana said as she walked away.

Bella stood there, stunned.

____________________________________________________________

Evan and Jaxon walked slowly into Evan’s living room, where Evans parents were sitting.

“Hello,” Mrs. Marx said, standing up and greeting Jaxon. “You must be Jaxon. Welcome to our lovely home.”

“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Marx,” Jaxon said.

“Please call me Kristen,” Mrs. Marx said.

“I had no idea you were half black,” Jaxon whispered to Evan.

“Actually I take more after my mom. My sister takes more after my dad,” Evan whispered back. “She’s black.”

“I know that this can be quite a shock,” Lorenzo Marx said as she stood up. “Seeing as I’m black but it’s actually more common than a lot of people think. Remember those twins that were born years ago where one was white and the other was black?”

“Why haven’t you ever told me?” Jaxon asked. “I’m your best friend.”

“Everyone just assumed I was white. That was always easier to me than trying to explain the fact that I have and African American father and a bi-racial sister who looks black. You know how kids at McKinley are, Jaxon.”

“So what do I owe the occasion?” Kristen asked. “Should I set an extra place at the table? We’re having spaghetti tonight.”

“Actually, my parents are expecting me back for supper,” Jaxon said. “But thanks so much for the offer.”

“Mom and Dad, I have something I need to tell you,” Evan said, looking down.

“You can tell us anything,” Lorenzo said, putting his hand on Evan’s shoulder.

“All my life, I’ve felt like I didn’t belong and that something was different,” Evan said, a tear rolling down his cheek. “And at first, I thought that it was because I was biracial. But I realized it was because I was a different type of bi as well. I’m bisexual and I’m seeing a guy.”

Kristen looked over at Jaxon, but Evan shook his head.

“No, it’s not him,” Evan said. “His name is Lucas and he’s a really great guy.”

“That boy who was gay bashed last year?” Lorenzo asked.

“That’s the one who you visited in the hospital every day, right?” Kristen asked.

Evan nodded. “I’ve cared about him for a while now.”

Kristen walked over and after wiping the tears off his cheeks, she took Evan into her arms. “Evan Riley Marx, as your mother, I only want the best for you. If Lucas is as good as you say he is, then you deserve to be happy. As long as you are happy, I’m happy.”

Lorenzo walked over and took Kristen and Evan into his arms. “I love you son and I’m proud of you, no matter what.”

Jaxon stood aside, smiling. Kristen reached over and grabbed Jaxon.

“Get over here,” Kristen said with a smile, pulling him into the group hug.

“Maybe I should go tell Elise,” Evan said.

“I already knew,” Elise said from the top of the stairs. “Word travels fast at McKinley, bro. Anyway, I’m proud of you for all your bravery in being who you are.”

Evan smiled. “Thanks, sis.”

____________________________________________________________

The next day, Nicole stood outside McKinley, waiting to debut her new look. India walked up and stood beside her.

“You ready to feel what it’s like to be popular?” India asked.

Nicole swallowed the lump in her throat. “I guess it’s now or never.”

“We need some entrance music,” India said.

India pressed a button on her phone and “Yoo Hoo” by Imperial Teen began to play.

“Isn’t this the song from ‘Jawbreaker’ when they walk into the school?” Nicole asked.

“Now walk through those doors, Nicole. Your future is waiting.”

Nicole opened the doors and walked into McKinley, her head held high. Every set of eyes was on her as she walked down the hall. India walked close by, beaming as she basked in the attention.

“Woah,” Miles said to Kevin. “That girl is hot.”

“Oh my god, that’s Nicole,” Kevin said.

Miles did a double take. “Damn, Nicole is hot.”

Nicole smiled from ear to ear as she began to strut down the hall, feeling confident.

“You’re a star, Nicole. And it’s all thanks to me,” India said.

“Please,” Nicole said. “It’s Nicki now.”

____________________________________________________________

Sue ushered the Femme Fatales into the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion, shutting the door behind them.

“Alright, I convinced Will to let us use the auditorium for the afternoon,” Sue said. “Let’s see this ‘hip and modern’ number you’ve been working on, Lana.”

“Well, take a seat,” Lana said. “We’ll get changed into our costumes.”

Sue waited very patiently for the girls t get dressed. Just when she thought she should give up, the music began to play.

“Where’s all my soul sistas?” Karina sang. “Let me hear you flow, sistas.”

The curtains parted and revealed Karina, Jennifer, and Scarlett standing center stage.

“Hey sista, go sista, soul sista, flow sista,” Karina, Jennifer, and Scarlett sang. “Hey sista, go sista, soul sista, go sista.”

The spotlight followed Natasha as she walked out on stage.

“He met Marmalade down in old Moulin Rouge,” Natasha sang. “Struttin’ her stuff on the street. She said, ‘Hello, hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?’ Oh! Uh huh.”

“Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada. Hey, hey, hey,”Natasha and the other three sang. “Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya here, he-re. Mocha Chocalata ya ya, ooh yeah. Creole lady Marmalade.”

“What, what? What, what?” Karina sang.

“Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” All four sang. “Voulez vous coucher avec moi?”

“Yea, yea, yea, yea,” Karina sang.

“He sat in her boudoir while she freshened up,” Lana sang as she walked onstage. “Boy drank all that Magnolia wine. On her black satin sheets is where he started to freak, yeah.”

“Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada. Hey, hey, hey,”Lana and the others sang. “Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya here, he-re. Mocha Chocalata ya ya, ooh yeah. Creole lady Marmalade. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. Voulez vous coucher avec moi?”

“He come through with the money in the garter belts,” Karina rapped. “I let him know we bout that cake straight out the gate, uh. We independent women, some mistake us for whores. I'm sayin‘, why spend mine when I can spend yours? Disagree? Well that's you and I’m sorry. I’mma keep playing these cats out like Atari. Wearing high heel shoes, getting love from the dudes, four bad ass chicks from the Moulin Rouge. Hey sistas, soul sistas, better get that dough, sistas. We drink wine with diamonds in the glass by the case, the meaning of expensive taste. If you wanna giuchie, giuchie, ya ya mocha chocalata. Creole Lady Marmalade. One more time. C’mon now!”

“Marmalade,” the Femme Fatales sang. “Lady Marmalade. Marmalade.”

“Hey, hey, hey!” India sang, strutting onstage. “Touch of her skin feeling silky smooth, color of cafe au lait alright. Made the savage beast inside roar until he cried, more-more-more.”

“Now he's back home doin' nine to five,” Lana sang.

“Sleepin' the grey flannel life,” Natasha sang.

“But when he turns off to sleep memories creep,” India sang.

“More-more-more,” the rest sang.

“Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada. Hey, hey, hey,”Lana and the others sang. “Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya here, he-re. Mocha Chocalata ya ya, ooh yeah. Creole lady Marmalade. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. Voulez vous coucher avec moi? Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir. Voulez vous coucher avec moi?”

India,” Karina said.

“Oh, lady, oh,” India sang.

“Lana,” Karina said

“Lady Marmalade,” Lana sang.

“Karina,” Karina said. “Hey, hey! Uh, uh, uh. Natasha.”

“Oh, oh o-ooh,” Natasha sang.

“Femme Fatales baby,” Karina said. “And Adam, too.”

“Creole lady Marmalade,” they all sang. “Yes, uh.”

“Well,” Sue said, sitting there, motionless. “If I had known you were gonna do that song, the ode to prostitutes, I would have brought in that Nicole girl who’s parading around the school like a trollop.”

____________________________________________________________

Everyone sat silently in the choir room, staring at Nicole.

“Are we gonna pretend we don’t all see this?” Rose asked.

Will cut Rose a glance. Rose shrugged.

“Don’t you guys see? India gave me a makeover and I feel great,” Nicole said.

“It’s not you,” Honey said. “And I think if our good friend John was here to see it, he would be really disappointed.”

Nicole shook her head. “He’d be happy for me. What can’t you guys be happy for me?”

“I am,” James said.

“Yeah, because you’re dressed up like you’re late for a meeting of the Hell’s Angels,” Jaxon said. “I’m seriously upset by both of you. You’re not being true to yourselves.”

“You look like India’s mini-me,” Breezy said. “It’s not a flattering thing.”

“I think she looks hot,” Miles said. “If she wasn’t dating Dillon I’d totally ask her out.”

Breezy frowned.

“You’re not helping,” Bella said, swatting Miles’ shoulder.

“Speaking of Dillon, what does he think?” Will said.

“He doesn’t know yet,” Nicole said.

“Then don’t you think that you should show him?” Will said.

____________________________________________________________

Hallie stood in the courtyard, thinking about what she should do. She looked toward the sky, her hands in a praying position.

“The day I first met you,” Lana sang from behind Hallie. “You told me you'd never fall in love.”

Hallie turned toward Lana, a smile on her face.

“But now that I get you, I know fear is what it really was. Now here we are, so close yet so far. Haven't I passed the test? When will you realize? Baby, I'm not like the rest Don't wanna break your heart, wanna give your heart a break. I know you're scared it's wrong, like you might make a mistake. There's just one life to live and there's no time to waste, to waste. So let me give your heart a break, give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. Oh yeah, yeah.”

Hallie smiled as she looked at Lana. Lana walked down the steps toward Hallie.

“On Sunday you went home alone, there were tears in your eyes. I called your cell phone, my love but you did not reply. The world is ours if we want it. We can take it if you just take my hand. There's no turning back now. Baby, try to understand. Don't wanna break your heart, wanna give your heart a break. I know you're scared it's wrong, like you might make a mistake. There's just one life to live and there's no time to waste, to waste. So let me give your heart a break, give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. There's just so much you can take, give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. Oh yeah, yeah. When your lips are on my lips and our hearts beat as one. But you slip out of my fingertips every time you run, whoa-oh-whoa-oh-oh.”

Lana circled around Hallie as she sang.

Don't wanna break your heart, wanna give your heart a break. I know you're scared it's wrong, like you might make a mistake. There's just one life to live and there's no time to waste, to waste. So let me give your heart a break, give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. ‘Cause you've been hurt before, I can see it in your eyes. You try to smile it away, some things you can't disguise. Don't wanna break your heart. Maybe, I can ease the ache, the ache. So let me give your heart a break, give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. There's just so much you can take. Give your heart a break. Let me give your heart a break, your heart a break. Oh babe. Oh yeah, yeah. The day I first met you, you told me you'd never fall in love.”

Hallie felt herself drawn to Lana, moving toward her.

“I can’t,” Hallie said, pulling away from Lana. “Like I said, two kisses isn’t a mistake. And until I sort out in my mind who I truly love, I can’t hurt Bella. She doesn’t deserve that.”

“I understand,” Lana said. “I just wanted to let you know, I’d never hurt you.”

Hallie nodded. “Every time I see you, it makes things harder. I really got to go.”

Lana nodded. “See you later, Dollface.”

Hallie smiled as she tucked a loose lock of hair behind her ear and walked up the steps.

I love you, Hallie Grace, Lana thought. I’ve never said that before. I’ve always been afraid to love. But you are the only person to break down the walls and get through to my heart.

____________________________________________________________

Dillon shook his head as he looked over Nicole. He was practically speechless.

“Nicole,” he managed.

“You don’t like it?” Nicole asked, looking disappointed.

“No. This is so far away from who you are that I can’t even begin to comprehend what value you find in it.”

“She looks hot,” Chuck said.

Dillon glared at Chuck. “Perhaps you could leave us alone to talk. Perhaps give your girlfriend, Chastity, a call?”

“I can take a hint,” Chuck said. “Bye, Nicole.”

Nicole smiled at Chuck as he left. Dillon grabbed Nicole’s hand.

“You could have any guy you want and you chose me. Looking like, you’re not gonna wanna be with me. You’re going to want to be seen with someone much more attractive, like Chuck, Kevin, or Evan. Jaxon if he wasn’t gay for that matter. Anyway, Nicole, I can’t be with you like this.”

“Dillon, are you breaking up with me?” Nicole asked.

“Nicole, you are so beautiful without all that make-up. You’re so bright and talented. You could make anything of yourself. You don’t need this. And if you feel you do, then you don’t need me. You need someone better.”

“Dillon, no--”

“I’m sorry,” Dillon said. “I have to go, Nicole. You know your way out.”

Dillon turned around, tears streaming down his cheeks as he walked away. Nicole lowered her head, a tear falling.

____________________________________________________________

The next day at McKinley, Nicole had ditched the outfit and settled on an oversized T-shirt and a pair of shorts. She was once again wearing her lucky sneakers and pulled her hair back into a ponytail.

She leaned over the sink, a pile of used paper towels beside her as she furiously washed her face free of the make-up.

After what seemed like forever, Nicole dried her face and looked in the mirror.

This is me, she thought. This is who I am. I love myself and I should never have let India convince me to change. I lost Dillon as a result. I alienated my friends. I got an offer from some dude to ‘go behind the school with him.’ Ew! And I even managed to end up on Miles’ radar. That has to be a low point in my life.

Now, I finally feel happy again. Yes, being hot and popular was fun at first, but when you think of all the sacrifices, it’s not that great. The biggest sacrifice, even more so than Dillon, was losing who I was. Never again.

This, normal, awkward, barefaced and pony tail sporting girl in the mirror is the real Nicole. Oops...forgot to take out the contacts and put my glasses back on. See? That’s better.

It’s never a good thing to look in the mirror and not recognize the person looking back.

“Aha, aha. Stupid girl, stupid girls, stupid girls,” Nicole sang. “Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back. Porno Paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl Go to Fred Segal, you'll find them there. Laughing loud so all the little people stare. Looking for a daddy to pay for the champagne. Drop a name.”

Nicole pushed open the bathroom door and walked down the hall, headed toward the choir room.

“What happened to the dreams of a girl president? She's dancing in the video next to 50 Cent. They travel in packs of two or three with their itsy bitsy doggies and their teeny-weeny tees. Where, oh where, have the smart people gone? Oh where, oh where could they be? Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back. Porno Paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl. Baby if I act like that, flipping my blond hair back. Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl.”

Nicole walked into the choir room. Everyone turned their attention to her.

“You’re yourself,” Rose said, a smile on her face.

“Disease's growing, it's epidemic. I'm scared that there ain't a cure. The world believes it and I'm going crazy. I cannot take any more. I'm so glad that I'll never fit in. That will never be me. Outcasts and girls with ambition, that's what I wanna see. Disasters all around, world despaired. Your only concern, will it mess up my hair? Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back. Porno Paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl. Baby if I act like that, flipping my blond hair back. Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl. Pretty will you love me girl, silly I'm so lucky girl. Pull my hand and hold it girl, stupid girl! Pretty would you love me girl, silly I'm so lucky girl. Pull my hand and hold it girl, stupid girl! Baby if I act like that, flipping my blond hair back. Push up my bra like that, stupid girl! Maybe if I act like that, that guy will call me back. Porno Paparazzi girl, I don't wanna be a stupid girl. Baby if I act like that, flipping my blond hair back. Push up my bra like that, I don't wanna be a stupid girl. Baby if I act like that, flipping my blond hair back. Push up my bra like that. Stupid girl, stupid girl, stupid girl.”

Everyone applauded as Nicole took her bow.

“Way to go, Nicole,” Will said.

“That’s right, the real Nicole is back!” Nicole said.

Everyone jumped up and hugged Nicole in a giant, happy group hug. Bella was the first to let go as she saw Lana pass by the doorway on her way to the gym.

Lana took a slushie for me and I still have no idea why. She hates me, she wants my girlfriend…why then would she save me the embarrassment. Of all the nice things she could have done for anyone to complete the assignment, she picked that? It didn’t make any sense.

Maybe Lana wasn’t so bad after all. Then again, maybe she was right. Maybe she was better for Hallie. Would I have jumped in front of a slushie meant for India? No, I wouldn’t. Lana was a better person that I am. I am selfish, a diva, I admit it. Lana always seemed to be there for people when they needed it.

And as much as it hurt me, I had to admit it, Hallie should choose Lana in the end. I didn’t deserve Hallie and after everything she had been through, she deserved better. She needed someone who was like Lana, the first one to be there for people when they needed it.

“So,” Will said. "Did all of you guys do a good deed for one another?”

“I helped Evan come out to his parents,” Jaxon said.

“I let India be the top of the pyramid,” Hallie said.

“I helped Kevin with his math homework,” Miles said.

"Lana jumped in front of a slushie meant for me," Bella said.

Everyone looked at Bella in surprise. Hallie smiled as she thought about Lana's selfless act.

"Wow," Miles said.

"Are you for real?" Evan asked.

“That’s really good guys,” Will said. “But I’m not gonna check up on you guys. I just wanted to see if you really could do something nice for a change in light of recent events. And you guys did. I think we’re starting to get into the right mind set for Sectionals. So, I thought we should start preparing musically. I have a song I want us all to consider for our Sectionals group number, but you gotta come down to the auditorium to perform it.”

____________________________________________________________

Multicolored lasers danced all around the auditorium as the giant video screen displayed a pulsing multicolored background. Will was out of his seat, dancing along ot the beat.

“Party rock is in the house tonight,” Jaxon and James sang. “Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. Everybody just have a good time.”

“Party rock is in the house tonight,” New Directions sang. “Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. We just wanna see you shake that.”

“In the club. party rock, lookin' for your girl?”Evan rapped. “She on my jock. Nonstop when we in the spot, booty movin' weight like she on the block. Where the drank? I gots to know, tight jeans, tattoo 'cause I'm rock 'n' roll. Half black, half white, domino, gain the money, out the door.”

“Yo, I'm runnin' through these fools's like Drano,” Miles rapped. “I got that devilish flow, rock 'n' roll, no halo. We party rock, yeah, that's the crew that I'm reppin'. On the rise to the top, no lead in our zeppelin, hey.”

“Party rock is in the house tonight,” New Directions sang. “Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. Everybody just have a good time. Party rock is in the house tonight. Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. We just wanna see ya shake that.”

“Every day I'm shufflin',” Kevin sang. “Shufflin', shufflin'”

“Step up fast and be the first girl to make me throw this cash,” Miles sang. “We gettin' money, don't be mad now, stop, hatin' is bad.”

“One more shot for us, another round,” Aldy sang. “Please fill up my cup, don't mess around. We just wanna see you shake it now. Now you wanna be, you're naked now.”

“Get up, get down, put your hands up to the sound,” Honey sang. “Get up, get down, put your hands up to the sound. Get up, get down, put your hands up to the sound. Put your hands up to the sound, put your hands up to the sound. Get up, get up, get up, get up. Get up, get up, get up, get up. Get up, put your hands up to the sound, to the sound Put your hands up, put your hands up, put your hands up, put your hands up.”

“Party rock is in the house tonight,” New Directions sang. “Everybody just have a good time. And we gonna make you lose your mind. Everybody just have a good, good, good time.”

“Put your hands up,” Breezy sang. “Put your hands up. Put your hands up.”

“Shake that,” Rose sang.

“Every day I'm shufflin’,” Kevin sang.

“Put your, put your, put your, put your, put your, put your, put your hands up,” Bella sang. “Put your, put your, put your, put your, put your, put your, put your hands up.”

“I think that is our Sectionals number,” Will said. “Evan, I didn’t know you could rap.”

“Neither did I,” Evan said with a laugh.

“I used to rap,” Will said. “I can show you--”

“No,” all of New Directions shouted at once

“It’s okay,” Jaxon said.

“Well, speaking of Sectionals, I think I should reveal who won the Duets Deux competition. The winner is,” Will said, pausing for a drum roll provided by the drummer of New Directions’s backing band. “Hallie Grace! Congrats, Hallie! You get a solo at Sectionals!”

“Really?” Hallie asked. “I can’t believe it!”

“Congrats,” Honey said, hugging Hallie.

Beside Hallie, Bella looked disappointed but faked a smile for Hallie.

“Congrats,” Bella said.



THE END

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