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We Made It
Season 3, Episode 3
RoseWMI
Air date June 2012
Written by JamesonOTP
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We Made It is the third episode of Season 3 of Glee: The Next Generation and the forty-seventh overall.

Rose and Kevin's different plans for the following year put a damper on their relationship, causing them to have their very first fight since getting back together. Can they work it out? Miles' homelife comes to the forefront, showing it may not as perfect as people think. When Lana and Ana do a duet together, Hallie's insecurities lead her to believe that Lana and Ana's relationship may not be a thing of the past afterall. Meanwhile, Adam's cutting may become an even more serious issue when he might possibly not get the two spots he tries out for.

This episode is Rose-centric.

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Glee: The Next Generation Season 3, Episode 3: "We Made It"Edit

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

Miles discovered that one, Adam was a cutter, and two, he has a major crush on Nicole. So, Miles decided to take Adam under his wing and help him get swagger so he can win over Nicole. Too bad for Adam, Nicole is madly in love with Dillon. Things are going great for Bella for once. She dropped her Glee Club Co-Captain duties, joined the Cheerios, and is dating good guy Reece. Hallie and Lana are dating sort of in secret because Lana’s mother doesn’t want Lana to see her. Claude pulled a Blaine and transferred to McKinley to be closer to his boyfriend, Evan. Jaxon lost his dad, but things are going great for him and James. They got engaged and just broke the news to the Glee Club. Turns out not everyone is happy for them, mainly Evan and Mr. Schue.

And that’s what you missed on Glee!

____________________________________________________________

Jaxon crossed his arms as he sat in front of Emma. Emma cleared her throat.

“No rush to talk,” Emma said.

“I said everything I wish to say in Glee Club yesterday,” Jaxon said. “I am happy with my decision. It’s not my fault that Mr. Schue refuses to see how much James and I love each other.”

“Do you feel you’re ready for such a huge step?” Emma asked.

“The wedding wouldn’t even be until next summer,” James said. “We have the entire school year to adjust and prepare.”

“Well,” Emma said, thumbing through some pamphlets. “I guess there is nothing I can say to the either of you that would help dissuade you at this point. But perhaps this pamphlet will.”

Emma slid a couple copies of the same pamphlet over to Jaxon and James. Jaxon looked at James for a moment before picking it up.

“So You Wanna Move to New York and Throw Away Your Life to Get Gay Married as a Teenager,” Jaxon read. “Well that is so wordy and specific, how can I not let it change my mind?”

Emma smiled. “So you’re not going through with this?”

“Perhaps you didn’t detect the sarcasm,” Jaxon said. “No, I am going through with this because I know it’s what’s right for me and James.”

“What about the fact James will still be in school?” Emma said. “Do you believe Hiram and Leroy will let him transfer to a school in New York just to be closer to you, Jaxon?”

“I’m just going there for the summer,” James said. “I’ll stay with Rachel. She and I have already talked about it and she’s completely onboard. Then, I will return here to finish out my high schooling.”

Emma sighed. “I can see there is no changing your mind. Well, I guess I will have to give Rachel a call and see if I can talk to her, adult to adult.”

“This is what we want,” James said. “No one is going to stand in our way. Not you, Mr. and Mr. Berry, or Mr. Schue. Rachel’s on our side, she knows how I feel deeply inside. That’s all that matters.”

Emma nodded. “Well, okay. You two are free to go. But Evan, I still haven’t heard from you. Stay back so we can talk.”

Evan nodded as Jaxon and James got up and walked out the door.

“You forgot your pamphlets!” Emma called, but it was too late.

____________________________________________________________

Evan sighed as he walked down the hall, his head lowered as he walked. Claude joined him, but Evan didn’t notice at first. After a playful nudge from Claude’s elbow, Evan looked up.

“So what did you tell Mrs. Pillsbury-Schuester?” Claude asked.

“The truth,” Evan said.

“Which is?” Claude asked.

“Every single reason why I am upset with this whole thing,” Evan replied. “First, it makes me mad that I am one of Jaxon’s best friends and he still didn’t tell me the truth. And yes, Jaxon and I had sex, but that was way in the past and we were both drunk. I don’t see why everyone is trying to convince me that my feelings trace back to some supposed ‘unrequited love.’ That’s bull if you ask me. I feel like Jaxon and I are drifting apart since he met Lana. And Miles and Jaxon seem to be joined at the hip again ever since Breezy broke up with Miles.”

“So you’re upset that Jaxon seems to be pushing you out of his life?” Claude asked. “And you feel like you’ll be pushed completely out if he marries James, right?”

Evan nodded. “You get me, Claude. You’re always like in my brain or something.”

Claude smiled. “Yeah, I get that a lot. I’m a very perceptive person. Just don’t let it get you down, baby.”

____________________________________________________________

Everyone sat in the choir room, patiently waiting for Sue and Will to make their entrance. Jaxon and Evan sat on opposite sides of the choir room, not looking at one another. Miles had decided to sit with Jaxon, seemingly choosing a side.

Evan didn’t even give Miles a second look either.

“So,” Mr. Schue said as he walked into the room. “No lesson plan today or all next week. It’s a free week, so you guys can sing whatever songs you want. It’s up to you.”

“I swear, William,” Sue said. “That much freedom is a recipe for disaster.”

Will rolled his eyes. “I feel a little freedom is a good thing. I’m just loosening the reins a little bit. We’ll still be working hard to prepare for Sectionals. I just got back from Vocal Adrenaline’s Invitationals. Their new star soloist is named Riley Cabrera. He’s the best I have ever heard from them. He puts Jesse St. James to shame. We really have our work cut out for us this year. I even managed to videotape part of the performance on my phone to let you guys see and hear.”

Will pulled out his phone and played with it for a second. He held it out toward the students as Vocal Adrenaline danced around onstage on the screen.

“Ooh, dream weaver, I believe you can get me through the night,” Riley sang. “Ooh, dream weaver, I believe we can reach the morning light. Fly me high through the starry skies, maybe to an astral plane. Cross the highways of fantasies. Help me to forget today’s pain.”

New Directions was stunned. Jaxon and Lana looked at one another, a look on their faces that read “we’re screwed.”

“We might as well give them the damn championship right now,” Lucas said.

“That’s not the type of attitude we need to have,” Will said. “There’s no point rolling over and playing dead this early in the game.”

“Mr. Schue is right,” Natasha said. “I am not giving anything to Vocal Adrenaline. If they want that trophy, they’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”

“I love that spirit,” Sue said. “This girl is great.”

“I can’t believe so many of you are ready to give up,” Will said. “Just because this Riley kid can sing, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have what it takes to finally take Internationals.”

“The first year we faced Vocal Adrenaline, they destroyed us,” Kevin said. “And this Riley whoever dude is much better than Archie.”

“When we win Internationals and we’re standing on that stage, confetti raining down on us,” Will said. “We will hoist that trophy high, look at one another, and say that we made it.”

“Besides,” Jaxon said. “Half of the fun is not just the victory, but how we get there.”

“Exactly,” Will said. “Now, who would like to come up here and sing something?”

Bella’s hand shot up. Will pointed to her. Bella smiled as she got up and walked to the front of the choir room.

“Well, since we have complete freedom to sing what we want I chose this song,” Bella said. “It’s dedicated to Reece, who has been nothing short of amazing.”

“I think I may puke,” Sue said.

As the music began, Bella stood at the microphone stand, looking out into the audience of her peers.

“I found God on the corner of First and Amistad,” Bella sang as she grabbed the microphone stand. “Where the west was all but won. All alone, smoking his last cigarette. I said, where you been? He said, ask anything. Where were you when everything was falling apart? All my days were spent by the telephone that never rang. And all I needed was a call that never came to the corner of First and Amistad.”

Bella took the microphone off the stand and stepped forward.

“Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me. Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded. Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me. In the end, everyone ends up alone. Losing him, the only one who's ever known who I am, who I'm not, who I wanna be. No way to know How long he will be next to me. Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me. Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded. Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me.”

Bella walked over to the piano where Brad sat. She sat next to him and began to play the piano as she sang.

“Early morning, the city breaks. I've been calling for years and years and years and years and you never left me no messages. You never send me no letters. You got some kind of nerve, taking all I want.”

Bella stopped playing, letting Brad resume as she walked fiercely to the front of the choir room.

“Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me. Lying on the floor, where were you? Where were you? Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me. Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded. Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you? Just a little late, you found me, you found me. Why'd you have to wait to find me, to find me?”

“I think the diva is back,” Will said with a smile.

____________________________________________________________

Rose paced in front of the Cheerios. Sue sat behind her, megaphone in hand.

“As you know, Hallie Grace has quit, leaving a spot open for my co-captain,” Rose said. “That means that Coach Sylvester and I will be choosing a new one starting today. No one is gonna have this handed to them. They have to work for it.”

Bella looked confident as she glanced to her left at Ana, who also looked as equally confident.

“You want this, you have to prove it,” Rose said.

“Excellent, Red,” Sue said.

Adam raised his hand from behind Ana. “Um, can a guy be a co-captain?”

“I don’t see why not,” Sue said. “If he has what it takes to be co-captain material, I don’t care if it was McGruff the crime dog.”

Adam smiled as she leaned forward and gently squeezed Ana’s shoulders. Ana looked back at Ana and smiled.

“Alright,” Rose said, with a clap. “Let’s warm up.”

It feels great to be the head Cheerio, I’m not gonna lie. Beneath all this spunk and attitude, there lies a somewhat insecure girl who just has a need to fit in. But trying s hard to be liked, I often come off as fake. Eh, it’s just how it is. At least Kevin knows the real me.

I guess in a way, I am kind of fake because the person I put on to be is slightly different.

The real me is not quite as confident. I used to be so hard on Kevin about his body dysmorphic disorder, but sometimes I felt like a hypocrite. I mean, is anyone truly one hundred percent happy in their skin?

But when I wear this Cheerios uniform, I feel hot. I feel powerful and fierce. Like no one can stop me. Rose Mitchell isn’t the type of person to blend into a crowd, be pushed over, or walked all over.

Now, about my future co-captain: there are a few good choices. Of course, all of them are in Glee Club, but it’s really not a favoritism thing. It’s just I know more about them. Their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities, what they are capable of. I know whether or not they would be good Cheerios co-captain material.

Right now, my top choices are Bella, Ana, and Adam. Bella is a fierce diva. She has the right attitude and drive. But my concern is, will she butt heads with me and try to take my title of head Cheerio away from me? I’ve worked hard for this and finally, it’s been realized after two years. Then, there’s Ana. Ana is great. She’s a strong dancer, graceful and agile. She can pull off jumps no one else can. But, sometimes she’s not focused. Just the other day she was texting during a routine. And of course, Adam. He’s by far the best male Cheerio we have. His drive, his focus, and dedication are spot on. But he’s not a great dancer and he has trouble memorizing his routines. Not to mention, no matter how hot it is, he will not wear a short sleeved Cheerios uniform.

So, now I have my candidates, but where to go from here?

____________________________________________________________

After Cheerios practice, Rose hurried out the door to meet Kevin. She stopped when she heard someone calling her name. She turned around and saw Ana.

“Hey,” Ana said. “Sorry to bother you but I was wondering how good my chances were for co-captain?”

“You want the truth?” Rose asked, slinging her duffel bag over her shoulder.

“Of course,” Ana said.

“You are amazing with routines,” Rose said. “But your focus needs work. I’d suggest not texting during a routine for starters. One wrong move during the pyramid formation, and it could equal disaster. It could be dangerous, if not fatal for the top of the pyramid.”

Ana nodded. “Yeah, sorry. I’m a text-aholic.”

“Just start there,” Rose said. “But truthfully, right now it’s too close to call. I have three strong finalists and they’re gonna fight just as hard to improve as you. Just do your best and we’ll see what happens.”

Ana smiled. “Thanks, Rose. I’m not gonna let you down.”

____________________________________________________________

The next day, New Directions had gathered in the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion to watch Lana and Ana’s surprise duet. Hallie sat beside Jaxon, her arms crossed.

“I have a feeling that I’m not gonna like this,” Hallie said.

Will’s face went pale as he recognized the music. He looked at Sue, who seemed to be as much in shock as he was.

“Is this what you had in mind when you gave them that freedom, Will?” Sue asked.

Will buried his face in his hands as Lana walked out onstage. She was dressed in a short sleeved, white leather cat-suit. She also wore a pair of white high heeled thigh-high boots, a rhinestone studded belt, white fishnet gloves, and a red and white feather boa around her neck.

“Oh my god,” Hallie said.

Jaxon looked impressed. “I’ve finally been outdone. Although, it’s hard to swallow the image of Lana wearing high heels.”

“What do you wanna bet she falls and breaks something?” James asked.

“I like it, like it,” Lana sang as she strutted onstage. “I like it, like it. I like it, like it. I, I like it, like it. I like it, like it. I like it, like it. I like it, like it.”

“Na na na, come on,” Ana sang from behind a partially see-thru curtain in the back.

“I like it, like it.”

“Na na na, come on.”

“I, I like it, like it.”

“Na na na na na, come on.”

“I like it, like it.”

“Na na na, come on. Come on, come on. Na na na na na.”

Lana stepped center stage as strobe lighting began to flash to the beat.

“Feels so good being bad,” Lana sang. “There’s no way I’m turning back. Now the pain is my pleasure cause nothing could measure. Love is great, love is fine. Out the box, out of line. The affliction of the feeling leaves me wanting more. Cause I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it. Sex in the air, I don’t care. I love the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.”

“Cause I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it,” Lana and Ana sang. “Sex in the air, I don’t care. I love the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me. Na na na na, come on. Come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it.”

The curtain fell from in front of Ana, revealing her. She wore a sleeveless black leather cat-suit, pink Mary Jane pumps, a rhinestone studded belt, black fishnet gloves, and a pink and black feather boa. Ana seductively strutted to stand beside Lana.

Natasha whistled as Hallie cut a glance in Natasha’s direction, not too happy.

“Just one night full of sin,” Ana sang as she squatted down and slowly raised back up. “Feel the pain on your skin. Tough, I don't scream mercy. It's your time to hurt me, yeah. If I'm bad, tie me down. Shut me up, gag and bound me ‘cause the pain is my pleasure. Nothing comes better, yeah. Cause I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it. Sex in the air, I don’t care. I love the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.”

“Na na na na, come on,” Lana and Ana sang. “Come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. S...S...S and M...M...M. S...S...S and M...M...M.”

“Oh, I love the feeling you bring to me,” Lana sang. “Oh, you turn me on. It’s exactly what I’ve been yearning for, give it to me strong.”

Ana walked to the back of the stage and grabbed two sets of chains that hung from the ceiling. She hoisted herself into the air and began to do some aerial gymnastics moves.

“And meet me in my boudoir.” Ana sang as she did the splits in air, pushing the chains apart. “Make my body say ah, ah, ah! I like it, like it. Cause I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it. Sex in the air, I don’t care. I love the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.”

Ana brought the chains back together, and slid down them like a firefighter pole.

“Cause I may be bad but I’m perfectly good at it,” Lana and Ana sang as they danced side by side. “Sex in the air, I don’t care. I love the smell of it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me. Na na na na, come on. Come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. Come on, come on, come on. I like it, like it. S...S...S and M...M...M. S...S...S and M...M...M. S...S...S and M...M...M.”

As the song came to an end, Ana spanked Lana on her butt. Lana turned around shocked. Ana winked to Natasha in the audience. Beside Natasha, Taylor laughed. Hallie jumped to her feet, her face red with burning rage.

“OH HELL NO,” Hallie said. “I will ring that scrawny little neck of yours!”

Jaxon jumped up and tried to grab Hallie, but she quickly pulled away from his reach and stormed toward the stage. Ana’s face was white as a ghost and her eyes wide.

“Uh oh,” Ana mouthed.

Ana turned and ran toward the chains, hoping to use them to slow down Hallie, who was making a very angry beeline toward her.

“Baby?” Lana asked.

Hallie turned around and grunted at Lana. Lana’s eyes went wide and she quickly decided it would be best not to say anything with Hallie this angry.

Sue watched, thoroughly entertained as Hallie chased Ana through the chains, weaving in and out of them like a maze. Will looked at Sue, confused.

“I am speechless,” Will said.

“This is better than Jerry Springer,” Sue replied.

Will looked back at the stage and saw Miles, Jaxon, and Adam holding Hallie back. Taylor stood beside Ana, egging her on as Natasha, Claude, and Evan tried desperately to keep her still.

Will sighed. “Okay, that’s enough for today.”

____________________________________________________________

Rose sat quietly in the Spanish classroom during lunch the next day, filling out college applications. Kevin walked in quietly and sat down in the desk in front of Rose.

“Filling out college applications?” Kevin asked.

“Isn’t that obvious?” Rose asked, perhaps a bit snippy.

Kevin frowned. “You’ll be leaving me next year. Guess I never really thought about it until now.”

“Yeah, well I’ve got great grades. I think I pretty much have my choice of colleges to attend at this point.”

“Maybe you could stay here and attend Ohio State,” Kevin said. “That way, we wouldn’t be too far apart.”

Rose rolled her eyes. “Ohio State?”

“I read that it is one of the biggest universities in the country and is home to some of the best and brightest students in the nation. That’s you, Rose. The best and the brightest.”

“I can basically go to any school I want to, Kevin. Why would I go to Ohio State? I don’t wanna be stuck here all my life like--”

“Like me?” Kevin finished.

“That’s not what I meant,” Rose said.

“But it was what you were gonna say,” Kevin said. “Face it, Rose. You deserve so much better than a stupid idiot like me who couldn’t even pass last year. I’m gonna be stuck here all my life and the last thing I want to do is drag you down with me.”

Kevin got up and started toward the door.

“Kevin, wait,” Rose said.

“Go to Harvard,” Kevin said. “I don’t stand a chance there so you should get in easily. Find you a nice Harvard law guy and date him.”

“What?” Rose said, standing up. “Kevin, are you breaking up with me?”

“I have to because if I don’t, you’ll never get out of Ohio. It’s the only chance you have to follow your dreams. You don’t need some dumb jock boyfriend holding you back. You’re a caged bird, Rose. It’s time for you to fly.”

Kevin walked out the door as Rose stood there.

“That was actually a smart thing to say, Kevin,” she said just out of his earshot. “The whole caged bird comparison.”

Rose sat back down at her desk. She grabbed the half finished college application and wadded it up. She wound her arm back and threw it as hard as she could, making it into the wastebasket across the room.

Rose closed her eyes hard. When she opened them, she was in her room, realizing that she had been replaying the events over and over in her head all afternoon.

She sat in front of her mirror, absent mindedly rolling a tube of lipstick between her thumb and forefinger.

“Said you're gonna be here in a minute,” Rose sang, staring in the mirror. “Sitting in the mirror getting pretty. Gotta look my best if we're gonna break up. Gotta look my best if we're gonna break up. I can hear you knocking on the front door and I know exactly what you came for. Trying to say goodbye but it's hot and heavy. Trying to say goodbye but it's hot and heavy. You touch me and it's breaking me down, and me down, and me down, and me down. I'm telling you, let's just give it up and get down, and get down, and get down. So come on!”

Rose got up and walked over to her bed. She ran her hand along the blanket as she flashed back to the night she lost her virginity to Kevin.

“Won't you give me something to remember? Baby, shut your mouth and turn me inside out. Even though we couldn't last forever, baby, you know what I want right now. Hit me one more time, it's so amazing how you shook my world and flipped it upside down. You're the only one who ever drove me crazy 'cause you know me inside out, inside out.”

Rose reached over and grabbed a scented fabric rose from a vase on her bedside table. She lifted it to her nose and smelled it. She remembered Kevin walking into the Valentine’s dance, producing if from his sleeve, almost like magic.

“I know that we probably shouldn't do this. Wake up in the morning feeling stupid. Said that we were done but you're all up on me. Said that we were done but you're all up on me. Tell me how we got in this position. Guess I gotta get you out my system. Trying to let you go but it's not that easy. Trying to let you go but it's not that easy. You touch me and it's breaking me down, and me down, and me down, and me down. I'm telling you, let's just give it up and get down, and get down, and get down. So come on!”

Rose once again closed her eyes, flashing back to the first time she met Kevin. They were both in eighth grade but never really noticed one another. Rose stood on Kevin’s doorstep and rang the doorbell. The door opened and as they laid eyes on one another, it was instant attraction.

“Hi, I’m Rose. Your teacher set me up as your tutor to help you pass your SATs.”

Kevin smiled as he held the door open for Rose.

“Come in. My name is Kevin Rhodes.”

Rose smiled. “Rose Mitchell.”

Rose sat down on her bed, forcing herself back to reality.

“Won't you give me something to remember? Baby, shut your mouth and turn me inside out. Even though we couldn't last forever, baby, you know what I want right now. Hit me one more time, it's so amazing how you shook my world and flipped it upside down. You're the only one who ever drove me crazy 'cause you know me inside out. Inside out, out, out, out, out, out. Inside out, out, out, out, out, out, inside out. So come on!”

Rose flashed back one final time, this time to her first date with Kevin. They walked hand in hand through the mall, drinking smoothies. They chased each other in slow motion around the carousel. Finally, they made their way to the photo booth where they goofed off as they had their picture taken. The very last picture was a kiss between them. The photos dissolved into the very same ones, which she now clutched.

“Won't you give me something to remember? Baby, shut your mouth and turn me inside out. Even though we couldn't last forever, baby, baby, you know what I want right now. Hit me one more time, it's so amazing how you shook my world and flipped it upside down. You're the only one who ever drove me crazy 'cause you know me inside out, out, out, out, out.”

Rose sunk down on her bed and began to cry. Her phone vibrated on the bedside table. She reached over and grabbed it. It was a text from Kevin. She decided not to read it and sat her phone back on the table as she turned over and buried her head in her pillow.

____________________________________________________________

Miles stepped back, winding up and releasing the football. Jaxon took off, keeping his eye on the ball. He breathed a sigh of relief as he saw that Kevin caught it. Kevin ran as fast as he could and dove into the endzone.

“Way to go,” Coach Beiste said, blowing her whistle. “That’s it for practice, guys. We have two guys here for that open kicker position.”

Miles and Jaxon walked together toward Coach Beiste. Jaxon’s eyes went wide.

“James?” He asked.

James smiled. “I’m so ready to play with you guys.”

“Me and my dirty mind,” Miles said, laughing.

Adam stood beside James, tugging at the sleeves of his shirt. He looked up at Miles, who gave him an encouraging smile.

“Alright guys,” Beiste said. “Say hello to James Holland and Adam Grey. Both are trying out for kicker. I want you guys to make them feel right at home, got it?”

Louis laughed. “Don’t pick Holland. Last thing we need on the team is Jaxon’s boyfriend. We can’t afford to have our star running back making out with our kicker in-between plays. We’d be laughing stocks.”

“Watch your mouth, Stephenson,” Jaxon snapped.

“Enough!” Beiste said. “First up is Adam.”

Coach Bieste thrust a football into Adam’s arms and patted him on the back.

“Show me what you got, kid.”

____________________________________________________________

Adam walked sullenly down the road. He kept his head down, not looking up as he watched the concrete pass beneath his feet, counting the cracks.

“Adam, is something wrong?” Lana asked as she pulled her car to a stop beside him.

“No,” Adam said. “It’s nothing.”

“Don’t lie to me, Adam. We’ve been friends for most of our lives. I know you well enough to know something’s wrong. We’ve barely hung out, you’ve seemed withdrawn, and now you look like someone killed your puppy.”

“I’m fine, okay?” Adam replied.

“Get in the car and let me take you home. Then if you decide you wanna talk, we’ll talk. Or we’ll ride in silence if you prefer. But you won’t be alone.”

Adam nodded as he walked toward Lana’s car. He opened the door, got in, and set his backpack in the floorboard.

“I uh, just have been stressed,” Adam said. “I really like Nicole but she doesn’t know I exist. My math homework has been really hard. I won’t get picked for Cheerios Co-Captain. And then today I tried out for the kicker position on the football team, but James got it. I missed one of my attempts- the fifty yard attempt. James made all his.”

“You can’t always get what you want,” Lana said.

“But I’m nothing, Lana. I’m an insignificant speck on this big world. I’ve done nothing notable with my life so far. All last year, it felt like no one knew anything about me. I was just Coach Sue’s punching bag.”

“Then why are you on the Cheerios?” Lana asked.

“I enjoy it for the most part and I feel important. I love to dance, even though I’m not the best at it.”

“You’re much better, Adam,” Lana said. “Ever since you started changing, you’re growing more into your body. Haven’t you realized that you’re less awkward. And you’re doing dance moves you wouldn’t have been able to have done last year.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“You have to stop being so hard on yourself, Adam. The only person who doesn’t see the real you is yourself. You’re your own worst enemy. You have to let that go.”

Adam nodded. “Thanks, Lana.”

Lana smiled. “What are best friends for?”

____________________________________________________________

Miles walked into his living room, backpack slung over his shoulder. He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw his mother, Amanda Larson, and stepfather, Blake Larson, sitting on the sofa and looking serious.

“Your mother was cleaning your room,” Blake said, handing an un-crumpled sheet of paper to Miles.

Miles took the paper and looked at it, his heart sinking.

“You got a B on your English test?” Blake asked. “How is that even possible? You speak English.”

“I guess I didn’t study,” Miles admitted.

“You didn’t study?” Blake asked, standing up. “You’re planning to go to a good college, right? Do you think that you’re gonna get in when you don’t study and you making grades less than an A? You do want a future right? Or do you wanna be like your loser father, huh? You wanna end up a deadbeat like that?”

“Blake,” Amanda said.

“I’m talking, Amanda. I’m trying to make a point to your son.”

“Our son,” Amanda corrected. “You adopted him and he has your last name, Blake.”

“I said I’m talking, Amanda.”

“Stop it!” Miles said.

Blake turned around and looked at Miles.

“What did you say to me, boy?”

Miles swallowed the growing lump in his throat as Blake reached out, grabbing Miles by his wrists, holding them so tight that it hurt.

“You don’t talk to me like that, boy. You don’t pay the bills in this house. I put this roof over our heads, dammit! You will talk to me with respect, you got it? Now go to your room, Miles.”

Miles looked at his mother, who shrugged, am empathic look on her face. He nodded and sulked up the stairs to his room.

“Can you believe how he talked to me?” Blake asked as he sat back down on the couch. “That boy has a mouth on him. Someone needs to teach him a lesson about respect.”

____________________________________________________________

James sat alone in his room, looking at a picture of his family. All three of them looked happy, even his dad, who had placed his hand on James’ shoulder.

He blinked hard, a tear falling from his eye and landing on the glass of the picture frame.

____________________________________________________________

Miles threw his backpack in the corner and flung himself down on the bed.

I know how it is, he thought. Mom is down there crying because of how he treats us. And he’s sitting there, begging her not to cry because he loves us. Talking about how his job puts so much stress on him and he doesn’t mean to take it out on us. That he can’t quit because he makes too much money. We don’t want or need for anything and he’d be damned if he let us struggle.

Miles run his hand through his hair as he let out a sigh of frustration.

“Momma please stop crying, I can't stand the sound,” Miles sang. “Your pain is painful and its tearing me down . I hear glasses breaking as I sit up in my bed. I told dad you didn't mean those nasty things you said. You fight about money, bout me and my brother and this I come home to, this is my shelter. It ain't easy growing up in World War III. Never knowing what love could be, you'll see. I don't want love to destroy me like it has done my family.”

In his own room, James looked down at the picture of himself, his mom, and his dad.

“Can we work it out? Can we be a family?” James and Miles sang. “I promise I'll be better, Mommy, I'll do anything. Can we work it out? Can we be a family? I promise I'll be better, Daddy please don't leave.”

“Daddy please stop yelling, I can't stand the sound,” James sang. “Make mama stop crying, cuz I need you around. My mama she loves you, no matter what she says, its true. I know that she hurts you, but remember I love you, too. I ran away today, ran from the noise, ran away. Don't wanna go back to that place, but don't have no choice, no way. It ain't easy growing up in World War III. Never knowing what love could be, well I've seen. I don't want love to destroy me like it did my family.”

“Can we work it out? Can we be a family?” James and Miles sang. “I promise I'll be better, Mommy, I'll do anything. Can we work it out? Can we be a family? I promise I'll be better, Daddy please don't leave.”

“In our family portrait, we look pretty happy,” James sang.

“Let's play pretend, let's act like it comes naturally,” Miles sang.

“I don't wanna have to split the holidays,” James sang. “I don't want two addresses.”

“I don't want a step-brother anyways,” Miles sang. “And I don't want my mom to have to change her last name.”

Miles stood up and walked over to look at a picture of himself, his mom, his stepdad, and his older brother hanging on the wall. They were all smiling, like everything was perfect.

“In our family portrait we look pretty happy,” Miles and James sang. “We look pretty normal, let's go back to that. In our family portrait we look pretty happy. Let's play pretend, act like it goes naturally. In our family portrait we look pretty happy . Can we work it out? Can we be a family? We look pretty normal, let's go back to that. I promise I'll be better, Mommy I'll do anything. In our family portrait we look pretty happy. Can we work it out? Can we be a family? Let's play pretend act and like it comes so naturally. I promise I'll be better, Daddy please don't leave. In our family portrait we look pretty happy Can we work it out? Can we be a family? We look pretty normal, let's go back to that I promise I'll be better, Daddy please don't leave.”

“Daddy don't leave,” James sang. “Daddy don't leave, Daddy don't leave. Turn around please. Remember that the night you left you took my shining star?”

“Daddy don't leave,” Miles sang. “Daddy don't leave, Daddy don't leave. Don't leave us here alone. Mom will be nicer. I'll be so much better, I'll tell my brother. Oh, I won't spill the milk at dinner. I'll be so much better, I'll do everything right. I'll be your little boy forever. I'll go to sleep at night.”

____________________________________________________________

As James laid on his bed, looking at the picture, there was a knock at the door. He gently put the picture back on his nightstand and made his way downstairs to answer the door. It was Jaxon.

“Surprised to see me?” Jaxon asked.

James smiled. “Surprised but glad. What brings you here?”

“I was thinking we could go on a little date, maybe. Just you and I.”

“We’re engaged, Jaxon. Aren’t dates something you do when you’re dating or when you’re older and you manage to pawn your kids off on someone else for the night?”

Jaxon laughed. “No. Dates are very important for everyone. That time together, having fun is essential if you ask me.”

“Then, where are we going?” James asked.

Jaxon smiled as he took James’ hand.

____________________________________________________________

James was in awe as Jaxon pulled up at the fair. He looked around at all the rides, simply amazed by what he saw.

“I’ve never been to the fair,” James said.

“Until now,” Jaxon said. “I try to make all your dreams come true.”

Jaxon got out of the car, walked over, opened James’ door and took his hand.

“Such a gentleman,” James said, blushing.

“There's a place off Ocean Avenue where I used to sit and talk with you,” Jaxon sang. “We were both sixteen and it felt so right. Sleeping all day, staying up all night. Staying up all night.”

Jaxon and James ran hand-in-hand into the fair, looking around at all the attractions.

“There's a place on the corner of Cherry Street. We would walk on the beach in our bare feet. We were both eighteen and it felt so right. Sleeping all day, staying up all night. Staying up all night. If I could find you now things would get better. We could leave this town and run forever. Let your waves crash down on me and take me away, yea yea, yeah.”

Jaxon took a ball from one of the workers and threw it at the pyramid of milk bottles. He missed it as James laughed at him. James took the second ball and hit it dead on. James pointed at a white unicorn with purple hair and a silver horn. The worker handed it t James, who gave it to Jaxon, who smiled.

“There's a piece of you that's here with me. It's everywhere I go, it's everything I see. When I sleep, I dream and it gets me by. I can make believe that you're here tonight. That you're here tonight. If I could find you now things would get better. We could leave this town and run forever. I know somewhere, somehow we'll be together. Let your waves crash down on me and take me away, yeah.”

James tried to swing a mallet and hit the bell, but it fell short. Jaxon took the mallet and swung, making the ball shoot up the chute and hit the bell. The worker handed Jaxon a blue monkey. He smiled as he handed it to James. James took it and held it close.

“I remember the look in your eyes when I told you that this was goodbye. You were begging me not tonight. Not here, not now. We're looking up at the same night sky and keep pretending the sun will not rise. We'll be together for one more night. Somewhere, somehow. If I could find you now things would get better. We could leave this town and run forever. I know somewhere, somehow we'll be together. Let your waves crash down on me and take me away, yea yeah.”

Jaxon smiled as he walked back to the car, holding James’ hand. James looked up at him, his eyes full of love.

“I love you so much,” James said. “You know exactly how to make me feel brand new.”

Jaxon took James in his arms. “Just putting a smile on your face makes me feel alive. I don’t care what I do in life, James. But if I can’t make you smile, then I’m not happy.”

James laid his head on Jaxon’s chest, smelling the scent of Jaxon’s cologne. Jaxon gently kissed the top of James’ head as he held him, watching the sun set.

____________________________________________________________

Lana shut her locker and made her way over to Hallie. Hallie looked her for a moment, not saying a word as she fished her books out of her locker. Once her books were securely in her arms, she kicked her locker closed.

“Baby, come on. It's been two days,” Lana said. “Are you really still mad?”

“Am I still giving the death glare?" Hallie asked.

“Uh huh," Lana said, a bit apprehensive.

“Then yes, I'm still mad.”

Lana frowned. “There is nothing going on between me and Ana. Ana and Natasha planned that as a sort of joke at my expense. It was nothing.”

“Nothing?” Hallie asked. “Your ex-girlfriend spanked you and it was nothing?”

“To be honest, Hallie, Ana isn’t really my ex. Our entire relationship was a rouse to help please my mother.”

Hallie sighed. “Still, I don’t trust Ana. I don’t like Ana. It’s like that saying about keeping your enemies closer than your friends.”

“Ana and don’t have feelings for each other. I have you and she has Natasha. There’s no reason to worry your pretty little head, dollface,” Lana replied.

“When are we going to be able to be open about our relationship?” Hallie asked. “You know, with your mom?”

Lana frowned. “I don’t know. But when this is all over, it’ll be worth just to know we made it through.”

Hallie smiled as she moved in toward Lana and pressed her lips to Lana’s, holding them there momentarily before finally pulling away with a smile.

“I love when you call me dollface,” Hallie said.

____________________________________________________________

New Directions stood on the stage in the auditorium as fog began to billow across the stage. As New Directions stood there, a strobe light began to flash. All of New Directions wore black leather pants, unbuckled straightjackets, combat boots, and solid white contacts.

“Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum,” New Directions sung. “Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum.”

“What's wrong with me?” Rose sang. “Why do I feel like this? I'm going crazy now.”

“No more gas in the rig,” Evan sang. “Can't even get it started. Nothing heard, nothing said. Can't even speak about it. All my life on my head. Don't want to think about it. Feels like I'm going insane, yeah.”

“It's a thief in the night to come and grab you,” Jaxon sang. “It can creep up inside you and consume you. A disease of the mind, it can control you. It's too close for comfort. Throw on your brake lights, we're in the city of wonder. Ain't gonna play nice. Watch out, you might just go under. Better think twice, your train of thought will be altered. So if you must falter be wise.”

“Your mind is in disturbia,” New Directions sang. “It's like the darkness is the light. Disturbia, am I scaring you tonight? Disturbia, ain't used to what you like. Disturbia, Disturbia. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum.”

“Faded pictures on the wall,” Evan sang. “It's like they talking to me. Disconnecting your call. Your phone don't even ring. I gotta get out or figure this stuff out. It's too close for comfort.”

“It's a thief in the night to come and grab you,” Jaxon sang. “It can creep up inside you and consume you. A disease of the mind, it can control you. It's too close for comfort. Throw on your brake lights, we're in the city of wonder. Ain't gonna play nice. Watch out, you might just go under. Better think twice, your train of thought will be altered. So if you must falter be wise.”

“Your mind is in disturbia,” New Directions sang. “It's like the darkness is the light. Disturbia, am I scaring you tonight? Disturbia, ain't used to what you like. Disturbia, Disturbia. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum.”

“Release me from this curse I'm in,” Rose sang. “Trying to maintain but I'm struggling. You can't go, go, go. I think I'm going to oh, oh, oh

“Throw on your brake lights, we're in the city of wonder,” Jaxon sang. “Ain't gonna play nice. Watch out, you might just go under. Better think twice, your train of thought will be altered. So if you must falter be wise.”

“Your mind is in disturbia,” New Directions sang. “It's like the darkness is the light. Disturbia, am I scaring you tonight? Disturbia, ain't used to what you like. Disturbia, Disturbia. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum. Bum bum be-dum bum bum be-dum bum.”

As New Directions struck their ending poses, Kevin looked as Rose. Rose returned the look as she tried to hide her frown. As New Directions piled off the stage, Kevin and Rose stayed behind.

“Can we talk?” Kevin asked.

Rose nodded. “Sure.”

“You never return my text or my calls anymore,” Kevin said. “I know I said some things that may have hurt you, but sometimes I really feel like you deserve better than me.”

“That’s exactly why I was so upset, Kevin. I get so tired of you tearing yourself down. So what, you’re don’t look like you stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. And so what, you’re not gonna win Jeopardy anytime soon. But you are far from undeserving, Kevin. You’re funny, you’re sweet, you are a great person. Why can’t you see that?”

“Because every day I’m reminded that I’m dumb,” Kevin answered. “My younger sister calls me dumb every day. Kids at school, and even some of my teachers.”

“What they think doesn’t matter,” Rose said. “And there is far more to being an exceptional human being than intelligence.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be called stupid every day of your life,” Kevin replied.

“Maybe not,” Rose said. “But I’m a teenage girl. I have insecurities. I get called fake by other girls all the time. Do you know what that’s like?”

Kevin shook his head. “But I imagine it hurts.”

“It does,” Rose said. “High school hurts, Kevin. Teenagers are mean. They prey on the insecure, try to tear us down. And you know what really sucks? That we let them.”

“I know that wherever you go, Rose, you’ll make something great out of yourself and I would really love to be there every step of the way.”

Rose smiled, but it quickly faded to a frown. “Kevin, I love you so much. I always have. But I think for our own sake, that we need to take a little while to straighten out our insecurities .”

“So that means we’re not getting back together?” Kevin asked.

“Not immediately. But soon,” Rose said. “Once we’re both better. We can’t focus on each other and nurturing a relationship properly if we can’t even focus on our own selves and nurturing our own needs.”

Kevin nodded. “I understand. But what do you say to one duet for old time’s sake?”

Rose smiled. “I would like that.”

“Hey yo, babe,” Kevin said.

“What up, Kev?” Rose asked.

“What we want?” Kevin asked.

“Want them to say?” Rose asked.

The band sprang to life as Rose began to dance around the stage. Kevin watched her, a smile on his face.

“Say you love me, say you love me, then put it in a love song,” Kevin and Rose sang. “Put it in a love song. Say you need me, say you need me, then write it in a letter for me. Oh oh oh. Say you want me, say you want me, then text me on the cell phone. Text me on my cell phone. Say you love me, say you love me, then put me in a love song, oh.”

“If you say you want me, yeah, you say you want me,” Rose sang. “If you do the right thing, we can be together. I'm not easy, yeah, you gotta work for it. I'm the real thing, and baby gotta please me.”

“All that talking, girl, you better walk it,” Kevin sang. “All that fronting, that's not how you do it. If you really need me like you say you need me, baby better show me, baby, better come and say.”

“Say you love me, say you love me, then put it in a love song,” Kevin and Rose sang. “Put it in a love song. Say you need me, say you need me, then write it in a letter for me. Oh oh oh. Say you want me, say you want me, then text me on the cell phone. Text me on my cell phone. Say you love me, say you love me, then put me in a love song, oh.”

What you gonna do when somebody convinces me to believe that she can do it better?” Kevin sang. “Sending me gifts and showing me the romance. All this, this, and that, can you do better?”

“All I'm saying: love is what I'm looking for,” Rose sang. “If you wanna keep me, baby gotta love me more. If you really want me, like you say you want me. If you really need me, baby better come and say.”

“Say you love me, say you love me, then put it in a love song,” Kevin and Rose sang. “Put it in a love song. Say you need me, say you need me, then write it in a letter for me. Oh oh oh. Say you want me, say you want me, then text me on the cell phone. Text me on my cell phone. Say you love me, say you love me, then put me in a love song, oh.”

“Gotta work it baby, work it out,” Rose sang. “If you want me baby, work it out. If you need me baby, work it out. Gotta work it out, gotta work it out .”

“If you love me baby, work it out,” Kevin sang. “Gotta work it baby, work it out. If you want me baby, work it out. Gotta work it out, gotta work it out.”

“If you want my love and all my time ,” Rose sang. “Part of my plans and part of my mind.”

“All of the things that you wanna do,” Kevin sang. “But make sure your love for me is true to you .”

“Oh, If you show me; make me believe,” Rose sang.

“So many possibilities,” Kevin sang.

“Oh, we can look to infinity,” Rose sang.

“If you wanna be with me, oh,” they both sang. “Say you love me, say you love me, then put it in a love song. Put it in a love song. Say you need me, say you need me, then write it in a letter for me. Oh oh oh. Say you want me, say you want me, then text me on the cell phone. Text me on my cell phone. Say you love me, say you love me, then put me in a love song, oh.”

“One, two, three, four!” Rose sang. “Gotta work it baby, work it out . If you want me baby, work it out. If you need me baby, work it out. Gotta work it out, work it out.”

“If you love me baby, work it out,” Kevin sang. “Gotta work it baby, work it out. If you want me baby, work it out. Gotta work it out, gotta work it out.”

“So um, I guess I will see you later,” Kevin said as he held his hand out for Rose.

Rose looked at Kevin before moving in and pressing her lips to his. He looked at her for a second.

“This doesn’t mean we’re back together,” Rose said. “It was one last kiss for old time’s sake.”

____________________________________________________________

Adam sighed as he zoned in on the piece of paper across the hallway. That one piece of paper might change his life forever. It was the results of the tryouts for Cheerios co-captain to see who the two finalists were.

“I found that if you take a deep breath, walk briskly, and don’t look up until you get there that you won’t be as nervous,” Nicole said as she stopped at Adam’s side.

“Thanks,” Adam said.

“By the way,” Nicole said. “I hope you get it.”

Adam followed Nicole’s advice as he approached the piece of paper. He looked up and smiled as he saw the results.

“I did it,” Adam told himself. “Now it’s just me and Ana.”

Adam turned around still smiling. He opened his mouth to tell Nicole the good news, but was shocked when a passing jock threw a slushie in his face.

“Cheerios loser,” the jock said.

Adam stood there, in a state of shock, as cold slush dripped off his face.


THE END

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