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Proud
Season 1, Episode 2
Deproud
Air date October 16, 2011
Written by JamesonOTP
Episode Guide
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Proud is the second episode of JamesonOTP's ongoing fan fiction, Glee: The Next Generation. The episode was originally released on October 12, 2011. The Definitive Edition was released later on December 28, 2011. It doesn't differ too much from the original, but has been re-released with a new special cover image.

Information

Starring:

Guest Starring:

Differences

If you don't wanna spoil the differences, you can skip over this. However, if you're not sure if you wanna re-read it without knowing how mach was changed or added, you can go ahead and read over it.

  • All songs have been expanded from the miniscule version originally used to longer, more complete versions.
  • Due to future events, Jaxon's reaction to Evan's performance has been slighlty changed.
  • Due to future events, a small scene has been added to show Evan's reaction to first meeting Breezy.
  • A small scene between Jaxon and Declan has been added.
  • Dialog between Hallie and Bella has been expanded.
  • A Glee-Cap has been added.
  • A few errors have been fixed.

The Definitive Edition: Proud

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

The Glee Club has went downhill in the couple of years since all of the original New Directions left. Will almost didn't even do Glee Club this year. But he did anyway, and thanks to help from Emma, Beiste, Kurt, Blaine, and Rachel, it seems like he may get people to join afterall. That includesJaxon Pierce, Brittany's cousin. Seriously, the kid can sing and dance and he's crushing on this new guy from Carmel. At the end of the day, Glee Club has added 5 more members, Honey Berry, Nicole Martin, Miles Larson, Kevin Rhodes, and Bella James. Meanwhile. Lucas Aguirre and Rose Mitchell also want to join, but Rose' ex is in Glee Club. Awkward!

And that's what you missed on Glee!

_________________________________________________________________________________

Insecurities. We all have them. I’ve always felt insecure. For as long as I can remember. No matter how pretty you are or how perfect your life seems, there is always something you feel is not right.

Bella struggled with her locker. The handle was stuck and no matter how hard she tried to open it, it wouldn’t budge.

This damn locker! I hate it. I just wanna get my books and get down to the auditorium so I can watch the auditions. It was day three and only two more days after today. Hopefully we can get the thirteen members we need to qualify for competition.

“Need a hand?” Miles asked, appearing beside her.

Thank God.

“Yeah if you can get it. I have the worst time trying to open it.”

Miles smiled as he hit it Bella’s locker with the palm of his hand right under the handle. It popped open and swung back, barely missing her. She dodged as she let out a slight gasp.

“Wow,” Bella said. “I am impressed.”

“That was my locker last year. Just takes a little elbow grease sometimes.”

“Thank you so much,” Bella said, grabbing her books.

“So, you’re a freshman I see.”

Bella nodded. “Yeah. This is my first year here.”

Miles extended his hand. “Well, I guess a proper greeting is in order. I’m Miles Larson. Sixteen years old. Sophomore.”

Bella smiled as he took his hand and shook it. “Isabella James, but you can call me Bella. Fifteen, about to be sixteen. Held back in first grade. Freshman.”

“Nice to meet you. So I’m going to watch auditions. Are you coming?”

“Yeah. Actually, I was on my way down there.”

“Cool. Mind if I walk you?”

“Not all at,” Bella said. “Lead the way.”

He’s nice, but I wonder what’s up with the sunglasses? Every time I see him around the school, he has them on. Even yesterday when it was storming and dark outside.

Miles grabbed the auditorium door and held it open for Bella. “Ladies first.”

Bella smiled. “Wow. A gentleman.”

“Yes. We’re a dying breed.”

“Yes you are,” Bella said with a laugh.

Bella walked down the aisle and took a seat beside Jaxon.

“Hey, Bells,” he said.

“Hey Jaxon.”

“What’s up, man?” Miles asked.

“I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to join Cheerios. Coach Sylvester asked me to join and I haven’t decided yet.”

“You do know you’d have to quit football, right?” Miles asked. “How can you cheer for the football team from the sidelines and help lead the team to Nationals on the field at the same time?”

“I can’t,” Jaxon said. “I just realized that.”

“So it looks like you got a choice to make,” Bella said.

“Well, that’s easy. Football.”

Miles bumped knuckles with Jaxon. “Good choice.”

“Coach Sylvester has been pressuring me for a decision by tomorrow morning. Guess I’ll break the news to her first thing tomorrow.”

Bella turned her attention back to the stage. A girl with short brown hair had taken center stage.

“My name is Rose Mitchell and I’ll be singing ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift.

Jaxon looked over at Kevin, who looked slightly uncomfortable.

We were both young when I first saw you. I close my eyes and the flashback starts, I'm standing there. On a balcony in summer air. See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns. I see you make your way through the crowd and say hello, little did I know. That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles and my daddy said stay away from Juliet. And I was crying on the staircase, begging you please don't go. And I said Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone. I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run. You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess. It's a love story baby just say yes.”

Kevin’s discomfort was even more evident now. Jaxon looked at Rose and then back at Kevin.

“Kevin? What’s up?”

“Rose and I used to date. That was our song.”

“Oh,” Jaxon said. “Awkward.”

“So I sneak out to the garden to see you. We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they knew. So close your eyes. Escape this town for a little while. 'Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter and my daddy said stay away from Juliet. But you were everything to me, I was begging you please don't go. And I said Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone. I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run. You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess. It's a love story baby just say yes.”

“Excuse me,” Kevin said. “I gotta go.”

Kevin stood up and made a beeline for the exit. Jaxon started to go after him, but Bella grabbed his arm.

“Just let him go, Jaxon. I know Kevin and he just needs his alone time.”

“Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel. This love is difficult, but it's real. Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess. It's a love story, baby just say yes. Oh, oh. Romeo save me I've been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you but you never come. Is this in my head? I don't know what to think. He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said marry me Juliet, you'll never have to be alone. I love you and that's all I really know. I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress. It's a love story baby just say yes. Oh oh, oh oh, cuz we were both young when I first saw you.”

“Great job,” Emma said. “Since Mr. Schue is feeling a little under the weather and could not be here today, I think Kurt should take his place. Kurt?”

Kurt stood up. “Well, as Mr. Schuester’s personal show choir consultant, and therefore second in command, I would like to say welcome to New Directions.”

Beiste looked at the sign-up clipboard. “Evan Marx?”

Evan stood up from the row behind Jaxon, Bella, and Miles and walked to the stage. He handed Brad a piece of sheet music and took his place behind the microphone stand.

“I’m going to be singing ‘4 am’ by Melanie Fiona.”

“Great song choice,” Blaine said as Kurt nodded in agreement.

Sitting here feeling kinda crazy. But not just any crazy. It's the kind you feel when you love somebody. And I know that my baby is calling somebody else baby. And I can't sit still. Look how gone it got me. Who knew that my heart could ever bruise? You see this scar here on my chest, I'm hurting and he don't even care. It's 4 AM and my lover won't answer. He's probably somewhere with a dancer. Sippin' champagne while I'm in his bed. It's 4 AM and I think I might lose it. This crazy brother thinking I'm stupid. He must have bumped his head. I only know it's 4 AM.”

Jaxon watched the performance, enthralled.

“Sitting here and I’m getting heated. Pour me up a drink, I swear I need it. I think I’m about, ‘bout to hurt somebody. Swear this man is begging me to leave him. Getting sick of being so mistreated. Another night without, without his arms around me. Who knew that my heart could ever bruise? You see this scar here on my chest? I’m hurting and he don’t even care. It's 4 AM and my lover won't answer. He's probably somewhere with a dancer. Sippin' champagne while I'm in his bed. It's 4 AM and I think I might lose it. This crazy brother thinking I'm stupid. He must have bumped his head. I only know it's 4 AM.”

“Woo!” Kurt exclaimed, clapping zealously. “Great job. And I applaud the decision to sing it from the women’s perspective and not change the gender of the lyrics.”

“Well, actually, I’m openly bisexual and I was dedicated to a certain guy,” Evan said, winking at Jaxon.

“Did he just wink at me?” Jaxon asked, taken aback.

“I think he did,” Miles answered.

“I also applaud the tactful way you replaced the expletives. You made the cut,” Kurt said. “Congrats.”

You may be wondering about me. The name is Evan Marx and normally, Glee Club wouldn’t be my thing. But I decided to get closer to a couple of people. Mainly, Bella and Jaxon. Ever since I laid eyes on the both of them, my heart started racing. I have a bad habit of falling in love with people as soon as I see them. I fall too quickly and I always end up heartbroken. But I know that if they just get to know me, maybe they’d like me. I look good, I’m popular…what’s not to like?

“Okay, one audition for today,” Beiste said. “Breezi- Breezil- Breezy? Eh, it‘ll work. Breezy?”

“Easy, breezy, beautiful cover girl,” Miles said.

Jaxon stifled a laugh. “That’s mean, Miles.”

“Sorry. It just popped in my head.”

As Breezy walked on stage, Evan turned to look at her. As she got in place, it was like she was in slow motion. Evan smiled at her, and she returned the smile.

“I’ll be singing ‘Wheel in the Sky’ by Journey,” Breezy said, readjusting the height of the microphone stand.

“Oh dear, God,” Rachel said. “Journey. I thought that was left far, far in the past.”

“I’m surprised Mr. Schue never made us perform it,” Kurt whispered to Rachel. “He practically made us perform the entire Journey catalog.”

“Winter is here again, oh Lord. Haven't been home in a year or more. I hope she holds on a little longer. Sent a letter on a long summer day. Made of silver, not of clay. Ooh I've been runnin' round this dusty road. Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. I've been trying to make it home. Got to make it, before too long. Ooh, I can't take this very much longer, no. I'm stranded in a sleet of rain. Don't think I'm ever gonna make it home again. The mornin' sun is risin'. It's kissin' the day.”

“She’s one of the few things our Glee Club never had,” Rachel whispered to Kurt. “A female rocker.”

“She’s really good,” Kurt agreed.

Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. Ooh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'. Don't know where I'll be tomorrow. Ooh the wheel in the sky keeps turnin'. Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'.”

Breezy took a bow as everyone clapped for her. “Did I get in?”

Kurt smiled. “What do you think? Welcome to New Directions!”

_______________________________________________________

Kevin stood aside, watching Miles tryout. Miles was good, there was no doubt. He was starting to worry about his position as QB.

“You’re both good,” Jaxon said, appearing behind Kevin. “But Miles lets his anger get the best of him sometimes. Beiste is gonna find that to be a deadly flaw and she’ll give the QB position to you. No worries.”

“Look at me, Jaxon. I’m skinny. I don’t have muscles. I can’t play much of anything but quarterback. If I don’t get it, I’m not gonna be an asset to the team.”

“You’ll get it, Kevin. You’re the best at being QB. You got the accuracy, the speed, the agility, the fancy footwork. You’re a shoe in.”

“But Miles has the looks that scream football player.”

“Looks aren’t everything. Talent, my friend, is.”

“Not always.”

“What’s wrong, Kevin? You haven’t seemed like yourself since auditions.”

“Rose. She’s my ex girlfriend. We dated for seven months but she dumped me because I had a problem.”

“What kind of problem? Maybe I can help?”

“No one can help.”

“What is it, Kevin?”

“I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I constantly obsess over my body. The fact I don’t have abs and that I’m so skinny and can’t seem to build muscle. It I don’t know what came over me. I snapped.drove a wedge between me and Rose and she dumped me until I could sort it all out. But, that isn’t happening. It gets worse.”

“There’s nothing wrong with you, Kevin. If you were gay, I might find you attractive. But you’re not so, don’t worry.”

Kevin laughed. “I don’t judge you based on the fact you’re gay.”

“And we don’t judge you based on the fact you’re not like the other athletes. But seriously, you should try to talk things out with Rose. At least get on friendly terms again if you’re gonna be in Glee Club together.”

“Rhodes, Pierce, and Weiner hit the field! Time for you guys to try out!” Beiste shouted.

_______________________________________________________

I hated these public showers. I didn’t look like the rest of these guys. I was so ashamed of my pale, un-sculpted, skinny body. They all had muscles and abs galore. Most had tans. And here I was, just plain ole ordinary Kevin.

Kevin wrapped a towel around his waist as he stepped out of the shower and headed toward the lockers. Jaxon was already there, putting his shirt on. John had also came out of the showers.

“I think Miles has the QB position on lock down,” John said to another boy.

“Yeah, he does,” the boy replied.

I don’t know what came over me at that moment, but I just snapped.

“That position is mine,” Kevin asserted.

“It belongs to whoever Beiste thinks performs the best,” John replied.

Miles stepped into the locker room. “Hey guys. What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you, Miles. The quarterback position is mine! It’s been mine. And now you’re come in here and try to take it? Back off!”

Miles was taken aback. “What? Kevin, I thought we were cool?”

“We were until you tried to steal my position from me! There aren’t a whole lot of positions that a guy like me can play!”

“Kevin, we’re starting over this year. That position belongs to whoever earns it.”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“Guys!” Jaxon shouted, stepping between them. “Come on! This is ridiculous! We’re a team and the three of us are in Glee together! We have to get along. Turn down the testosterone and cool it, please!”

“Good job, Pierce,” Beiste said, stepping into the locker room. “I don’t want to hear anymore fighting. Whoever works the hardest and plays the best gets the position. End of discussion. You want it? Earn it!”

Now before you say ‘Kevin, you’re such a jerk,’ please understand where I’m coming from. I’m not a bad person. I’m actually a really nice guy. I just have a couple anger issues and they’re made worse when I’m feeling really insecure. And ever since Rose tried out for Glee Club, my insecurities have been multiplied a hundred fold. I knew what I had to do. I had to take Jaxon’s advice and talk things out with Rose or it would only get worse.

_______________________________________________________

Lucas watched his best friend, Louis Stephenson, as he took his books out of his locker.

I love him so much but I don’t have the courage to tell him. Ever since I was old enough to write, I was writing songs. Music was my way of expressing how I feel. I had all these feelings for him bottled up inside. Feelings that were driving me insane. So, what was I gonna do?

Sing about them of course.

Some say love and friends, they don’t mix. But I can’t help the way that I feel. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think,” Lucas sang as he walked down the hallway.

Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. I know me and you, it seems weird but I think we should consider it. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think.”

Lucas opened the door to the auditorium and walked down to the stage. He walked up the steps and grabbed the microphone.

Your smile is like candy, so sweet and sincere. Your style is so sexy. I love when you’re near. Our vibe is like heaven, you and I are like wind. So cool, it’s refreshing. Where do I begin? Me and you would be like Christmas day. Cause when you smile, you shine like the month of May. But there’s no rush, we can take our time, okay? But I just had to let you know, in case it didn’t show. Some say love and friends, they don’t mix. But I can’t help the way that I feel. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. I know me and you, it seems weird but I think we should consider it. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. Hey yo, seeing you makes me think. I ain't felt this way in a minute. You and me, are you wit it? Yes, ‘cause I only got eyes for you ‘cause you know that I'd ride for you. I know you won't suffer with me as your man. I promise to show you the love that can win.”

Lucas was stalled by someone applauding. He was so into the song he didn’t notice anyone else in the auditorium.

“Great job,” Will Schuester said. “I could really feel the emotion.”

“I thought you were sick, Mr. Schue.”

“I was so I took a nap and now I’m feeling better. I came by here looking for Emma and I found something else instead.”

“I’m sorry,” Lucas said.

“Don’t be. A stage is for performing. Actually, I was wondering if you’d consider joining Glee Club. We need members and you have the talent.”

_______________________________________________________

Bella stood on the front porch of her friend’s house. She reached up and rang the doorbell and waited patiently.

Here I was at my best friend since Kindergarten’s house. Hallie Grace was almost like my sister and when I got her text message saying she needed someone to tlak to, I didn’t think twice about coming over.

Hallie answered the door. “You came.”

Hallie smiled as she hugged Bella.

“Of course I came. Why wouldn’t I?” Bella asked.

“Come in,” Hallie said. “Excuse the toys on the floor. Eva and Ethan have been playing and I haven’t had a chance to pick them up.”

Eva and Ethan were Hallie’s twin one year kids. Hallie is a lesbian, but when she was 14, she was at party with an upperclassman. There was some alcohol and one thing led to another and Hallie was taken advantage of. Now she has a set of twin angelic babies. Of course, the upperclassman even denied what he did, much less being at the party. He refused to be a part of their life. Right before Hallie was set to take him to court to prove that he was the father, he died in a car accident. He was drag racing.

“I’ve been so depressed here lately, Bella.”

“Why?”

“I’m struggling to take care of my kids. My mother will only watch my kids when I’m at school. I can’t go anywhere.”

“That’s part of having kids.”

“I miss my life. Ever since I left you and went to Holy Name of the Mother Academy, my life has went downhill. I just now got my popularity back at this school after losing it there. I’m burdened with this huge secret that I can’t reveal without losing it all. Nothing is the same, anymore.”

“Join Glee Club. There are so many fun things we get to do. And great people to make friends with. It would be good for you.”

“I don’t know, Bella. It’s so hard living like this.”

Bella reached down and picked up a pink teddy bear and looked down at it. “Remember when we were kids, we used to sing together when something bothered us?”

Hallie hung her head down. “I’ve lost the will to sing.”

“Hallie, I know you’ve had a crappy life. You were taken advantage of a party and ended up pregnant. Your babies’ father wanted nothing to do with you or your children. Then he got killed in a car accident. Your kids will never know their father. But that’s not your fault. You have to stop blaming yourself.”

Bella took a seat beside Hallie, who had begun to cry. “Eva and Ethan deserve so much better than this.”

“No, Hallie. You are a wonderful mom. You’re trying so hard to be the best parent you can be. And that’s not easy because you have to be the mom and dad. And when they are old enough to understand, they’ll respect you for everything you did for them.”

“It’s so hard doing this on my own, Bella. And do you know how hard it is to be a lesbian with kids? Especially in high school? No girl would want to be with me. To live like this. I’ll always be alone.”

“But you’re not alone, Hallie. I’m here for you.”

Bella sat the teddy bear down on the bed and stood up.

“You may have lost the will to sing, Hallie, but I haven’t. And when we were little and we had a problem, we’d sing to each other to help us get through it. Well, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

“Bella, we’re not kids anymore.”

“We’re best friends. We’re in this together,” Bella said. She grabbed Hallie’s hand and began to sing.

I'm floating softly on my dragonfly. It knows that it has just one day to live. Would we change the way we cast our time? If we could see tomorrow won't be here. I'm breathing 'cause I know that you'll always be there. You'll always be there. And when you feel like falling, just know I'll be there. I'll always be there.”

Hallie reached up and wiped a tear from her cheek. Bella squeezed her hand gently.

Imagine all the colors in the sky. My stomach’s full of tiny butterflies. I'm feeling so alive it makes me scared. I wish I could have known and been prepared. I'm breathing 'cause I know that you'll always be there. You'll always be there. And when you feel like falling, just know I'll be there. I'll always be there. It feels likes it's warmer when your smiling. It feels like I've known you for a thousand lives. I'm flying above the world so hollow. Wherever this life will take us, follow. I'm floating softly on my dragonfly. It knows that it has just one day to live. Would we change the way we cast our time? If we could see tomorrow won't be here. I'm breathing 'cause I know that you'll always be there. You'll always be there. And when you feel like falling, just know I'll be there. I'll always be there.”

“That was beautiful,” Hallie said.

“You have to get your will to sing back, Hallie. Come join New Directions. The people there are really nice and they can help you with the things you are going through.”

“I can’t,” Hallie replied. “No one at school knows about what happened to me. No one else knows about Eva and Ethan. I’m so scared that people will judge me.”

“We won’t judge you, Hallie.”

“I’m just…It’s really hard what I’ve went through and I haven’t had time to adjust. I know people are gonna talk about me. They’ll call me names and there will be whispers when I walk down the hall. I’m not ready to go through that again just yet.”

“Well,” Bella said, putting her arm around Hallie, “when you are ready, you know where to find us.”

_______________________________________________________

First thing the next morning, Jaxon headed toward Sue’s office.

“Hey! Jaxon!” Declan called.

Jaxon turned around and greeted Declan.

“Hey. What’s up?” Declan asked.

“I was on my way to see Coach Sylvester about her offer to join Cheerios.”

“You’re not considering it, are you?”

“No way. I can’t do it and football, too.”

“So, you made it into Glee Club. Cool. I’m happy for you.”

“There’s still time to join, Declan,” Jaxon said.

“Like I said, it’s not my thing. I can’t dance or sing. Anyway, Jaxon, I was wondering if later tonight you wanted to go grab a bite to eat. We haven’t had much time to hang out since school started back.”

“I would love to.”

“Alright, cool. I’ll wait for you then.”

“Sure. See you, man.”

As Declan walked off, Jaxon reached up and knocked on Sue Sylvester’s door. After a couple of seconds, Sue answered it.

“Ah if it isn’t Boy George. Have a seat, Mr. George. Or can I call you Boy?”

“It’s Jaxon, actually.”

“So, Boy, have you considered my offer to join the Cheerios?”

“That’s why I’m here, actually. I want to tell you that I really appreciate the offer--”

“I know you do, Mr. George. Please continue.”

“And I’m already on the football team and I just can’t do both at the same time. So I’m sorry, but I have to turn it down.”

“Turn it down? ARE YOU INSANE? NO ONE TURNS DOWN SUE SYLVESTER!”

Sue stood up and began flinging anything she could get her hands on at the wall behind Jaxon.

“Um, so I guess I’ll be going now, Coach Sylvester,” Jaxon said.

“YOU HAVE MADE AN ENEMY IN SUE SYLVESTER, BOY GEORGE! WILL BRING YOU AND THAT GLEE CLUB DOWN! I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED IN MY LIFE!”

Jaxon ran for the door and kept running until he reached the concourse. He took a moment to catch his breath, leaning against the wall. That’s when Jaxon saw him. James Holland. Jaxon took a deep breath and started toward him and pretended to crash into him. Their books fell to the ground. At the same time, they both bent down to pick them up.

“I’m so sorry,” Jaxon said.

“It’s okay,” James replied.

“I feel like such a klutz.”

“Do I know you?” James asked.

“I think you’re in my homeroom and my Biology class.”

“That’s right. Now I remember.”

“I was on my way to homeroom right now? Can I walk you there?”

“You mean walk me as in you might kind of like me?” James asked with a smile.

“Or not. Well, maybe. I, I don’t know. Yes? No?” Jaxon stammered.

“Okay, no need to get all confused. It’s okay. You can walk me to homeroom.”

“Oh, cool. Thanks.”

James handed Jaxon his math booth. “I think I grabbed your book by mistake. I didn’t have my math book with me.”

Jaxon took his math book. “Thanks.”

“Well, lead the way. Oh, by the way, I forgot to ask you what your name was?”

“It’s Jaxon. Jaxon Pierce.”

“James Holland.”

“I already know.”

James raised an eyebrow. “Do you now? Done your homework on me?”

“Some of the guys told me about you.”

“What did they say about me?”

“Just that your name was James and you transferred from Carmel.”

“Did they tell you that I used to be in your competition, Vocal Adrenaline? I helped lead them to Nationals last year. Of course, we didn’t win.”

“How did you know I was in Glee Club?” Jaxon asked.

“I’ve done my homework on you, too,” James said with a smile.

“Well, here we are,” Jaxon said.

_______________________________________________________

At lunch, Kevin took the opportunity to talk to Rose.

“Hey,” Kevin said, standing in front of her table, his hands crammed in his pockets.

“Kevin, hey.” Rose said with a smile. “Sit down.”

“I know I haven’t talked to you since we broke up, but truth is, I’ve harbored some ill feelings toward you. I know they weren’t right and that you only did what you did because you cared. I’m sorry, Rose. I just want us to be able to be friends again. For the sake of the club…and us, too.”

“You do know why I did what I did, don’t you? It was exhausting building your ego up just for you to tear it down again immediately after. Kevin, there is nothing wrong with you and the sooner you understand that, then the sooner maybe can have another chance.”

“Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s gonna take time. But for now, I just want us to be able to be friends again.”

“I’ll always be your friend, Kevin,” Rose said, standing up and giving Kevin a hug.

“Thanks, Rose. I feel so much better now.”

_______________________________________________________

Bella saw Miles sitting on a bench in the open court, reading a book. She took a deep breath and walked over to join him.

“Good book?”

“It’s ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar. It’s on the required reading list. But, it has been a good book so far.”

“Cool. I’ll have to check it out.”

“Coach Beiste called us to the gym during 2ndperiod today. She told us who got what position. Jaxon is still halfback. Kevin got quarterback. And I’m a wide receiver.”

“I’m sorry you didn’t get QB. But, I’m sure you’ll make a great wide receiver.”

“I just wanted to be QB so bad.”

“I really wanted to ask you something. It’s kinda personal, Miles, but I just wanna know if there is anything I can do to help.”

“What is it?” Miles asked, putting his book aside.

“Why do you wear your sunglasses all the time? Are you hiding a black eye? Did someone hit you? Like maybe your dad?”

“My dad would never hit me.”

“Then what is it, Miles? I know what it’s like to hide something and I can that you’re hiding something. I’m your friend. You can trust me.”

“Promise you won’t laugh?”

“Why would I laugh at you, Miles?”

“Because I was in a car accident when I was a kid and I got a gash that runs from my eyebrow, over my eyelids, to the top of my cheek. And people think I look like a freak.”

Bella reached up and slowly pulled off Miles’ sunglasses. She smiled warmly.

“Miles, I don’t even see your scar. I’m too lost in your beautiful brown eyes. Don’t hide behind your sunglasses. And you’re such a great singer. Sure, you’re no Jaxon but you’re amazing.”

“There’s a part of you that you’re hiding, too.”

Bella shrugged. “Everyone has insecurities.”

“Tell me what you’re hiding. You already know what I’m hiding. It’s only fair.”

“I’m bisexual. My mom doesn’t really approve. We’re kind of always at each other’s throats over it. And I always feel like my singing could be better.”

“But Bella, you’re the best female singer in New Directions.”

“I see how it is. I tell you that you are beautiful and you don’t believe me, but I’m supposed to believe that I’m such a great singer.”

“You are,” Miles insisted.

“And you are beautiful, Miles.”

“I have a giant scar on my face and every time someone talks to me, they can’t take their eyes off it. I’m not beautiful, Bella.”

Miles quickly thrust his sunglass back on, got up, and started off. Bella tried to grab his arm, but he resisted and kept walking.

“Miles! Miles, please come back.”

“I’ll see you in Glee Club,” Miles said without turning around.

Bella sighed to her self and grabbed her back pack, staring toward the choir room.

_______________________________________________________

Why do I find myself always running? I’m always so much more insecure when it comes to girls. Especially one as pretty as Bella. I didn’t ask for this scar, but it was always gonna be a part of me. I had to live with it and I do that the best way I know how. I don’t acknowledge it, I ignore it, and I take away its power.

I will never let it have power over me.

Miles took his seat in the choir room.

Man, this has just been a terrible week. I somehow managed to fall into the background during Glee practice and I didn’t stand out at all. How am I supposed to help New Directions win at Sectionals if I can’t stand out? Then I lose out on QB to Kevin and get stuck being a wide receiver. Sure, I can catch a ball, but wide receivers aren’t the stars. The QB gets the girls, the glory, and the fame.

I’m not used to not getting what I want. My parents are loaded. But there is only so much money can buy. Happiness isn’t one of them.

My parents won’t even let me get corrective surgery to fix my scar. They wanna wait until I’m a little older. What’s wrong with wanting to look normal? If you can afford it, why not? Maybe if I didn’t have this damn scar, I wouldn’t be struggling with depression.

So yeah it’s true. Money can’t buy you happiness.

Bella walked into the choir room, her backpack slung over her back.

I always laughed at those movies where the hot girl walks in and the guy notices her and all of sudden she’s in slow motion. Well, I totally just had one of those moments. But I think I pretty much screwed things up with Bella. I kind of came off as a jerk earlier today.

Bella nodded silently at Miles and took her seat beside him.

“Miles-” Bella began but she was cut off.

“I’m sorry, Bella. You’ve been nothing but a good friend to me and I was a jerk. How can you ever forgive me?”

Bella smiled. “I can forgive you because that’s what friends do.”

“Alright, guys,” Will said as he walked in the door. “First of all, I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of New Directions. Lucas Aguirre.“

Lucas walked in to the sound of cheers and took his seat beside Rose.

“I have a very important lesson today because it’s come to my attention that all of you have been feeling down on yourself lately. Well, we’re never gonna win Nationals with that attitude.”

Will walked over to the dry erase board and wrote something. He put the cap back on the marker and pointed to the word he had just written.


PRIDE


“Every last one of you is an exceptional person," Will said. "You’ll go the distance to help one another. And while there were a few rough patches this week, you all worked everything out and pulled through. You’re all so willing to accept each other’s shortcomings. So then, why are you so unwilling to except your own? Miles, you hide your scar by wearing sunglasses all day, every day. Even when it’s raining outside. Bella, you hide your insecurities by immersing yourself in fixing everyone else’s. Jaxon, you hide your confidence issues by pulling a metaphorical Jekyll and Hyde on stage. Nicole, you were almost too shy to even audition. We practically had to drag it out of you. Kevin, how many times a day do you check to see if you’ve gotten abs yet?”

Everyone in the choir room hung their head down, silent. Will paced the floor as he addressed them.

“Rose,” he continued. “How many times have you been called fake just because you tried way too hard to please others instead of just yourself? Evan, you fall in love with everyone you meet and then you get angry with yourself and deride yourself for it. Honey, you’re ashamed of your thick, Southern accent. So much so, you think about everything you say so you can try and hide it. And Breezy, you wear your heart on your sleeve. You take everything to heart and let it hurt you. So, what? You’re not perfect. That’s what makes you special. Unique. One of a kind. None of you would be as amazing as you are if you were all perfect and just alike. You’re the only you there is. So be the best you that you can be. Perfect or not.”

Will once again pointed at the word on the board. “It’s pride. Take pride in yourself and love yourself. Stop finding reasons to tear yourselves down. It’s not worth it.”

Will took a bunch of papers off his podium and started handing them out. “This is the song I want you guys to sing this week. It’s ‘Proud’ by Heather Small. It’s a song about being proud of yourself and leaving your fear behind. Making a change for the better. I want this song to be your anthem this year, just like ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ was our anthem my first year directing New Directions.”

_______________________________________________________

New Directions stood on stage in a triangle formation, Miles front and center. They were each dressed in all white clothing. The backdrop behind them was black and said “PROUD” in giant gold letters.

As the music began, Miles looked behind him at Bella and Jaxon, who both smiled at him. He turned back around, ready to lead his first group number and this time, he’d stand out.

The music began and Miles looked out into the crowd at Will, Emma, and Kurt. Will gave him a thumbs up.

I look into the window of my mind. Reflections of the fears I know I've left behind. I step out of the ordinary. I can feel my soul ascending. I am on my way. Can't stop me now. And you can do the same,” Miles sang, loud and proud.

Will smiled at him.

What have you done today to make you feel proud?” New Directions sang. “It's never too late to try. What have you done today to make you feel proud? You could be so many people. If you make that break for freedom. What have you done today to make you feel proud?”

Miles and Jaxon switched positions, Jaxon taking the lead.

Still so many answers I don't know,“ he sang. “Realize that to question is how we grow. So I step out of the ordinary. I can feel my soul ascending. I am on my way. Can't stop me now. And you can do the same.”

What have you done today to make you feel proud? It's never too late to try. What have you done today to make you feel proud? You could be so many people. If you make that break for freedom. What have you done today to make you feel proud?”

Jaxon and Honey switched positions. “We need a change. Do it today. I can feel my spirit rising. We need a change. So do it today. 'Cause I can see a clear horizon.”

What have you done today to make you feel proud? It's never too late to try. What have you done today to make you feel proud? You could be so many people. If you make that break for freedom. What have you done today to make you feel proud?”

As the music stopped, Miles took off his sunglasses. He walked across the stage, down the steps, and over to a trashcan. He squeezed his sunglasses as hard as he could, breaking them into pieces. He opened his hand, looked at his broken sunglasses, and with a deep breath, threw them in the trash.

“Mr. Schue,” Hallie said, appearing in the doorway of the auditorium. “Can we talk?”



THE END

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