Title: One Song Glory
Disclaimer: I own neither Glee nor Queer as Folk, and I make no money from this.
Summary: The Novotny-Bruckners move to Lima, and Hunter begins to attend school at William McKinley.
Rating: R (mostly for Hunter's dirty mouth)
Spoilers/Timeline: Starts at the beginning of season 2, and will include some but not all plot points from season 2. It's going to deviate some from the canon plot of season 2. Matt didn't leave, so New Directions is gonna have 14 members.
Pairings: None yet, except for background Finn/Rachel and background Mike/Tina
Notes: Okay, this is for all the people in VocalNewWarblers RP who pushed me to start this instead of working on all my pre-existing fic. Glee fic has taken over my life recently, which is why I haven't been posting on TTH much, but I'm trying to catch up.
In case you don't know who Hunter is, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffy6bhdtl3E
The doorbell rang while Michael and Ben were lugging boxes.
“Hunter, get the door!” Michael said.
“I'm on it!” Hunter replied, walking to the front door and opening it. A black man, a white man and a short girl were standing there. Hunter had met them a few times before. “Hi. Um, Malachi, Thomas and Rachel, right?”
“Right,” Rachel said. “And you're Hunter.”
“Yep. Come in. We're still unpacking.”
“We came to help,” Malachi said, smiling.
“And we brought dinner,” Rachel said, holding up a casserole dish.
“Cool. Ben! Michael! The Berrys are here!”
“Thomas! Malachi!” Ben came down the stairs and embraced Thomas Berry, giving the black man a quick hello kiss. He then greeted Malachi the same way. “Rachel, oh you look so grown up!” Ben gave his friends' daughter a big hug.
“Thanks Uncle Ben,” Rachel said.
“Hunter, why don't you show Rachel your room. She can help you unpack,” Ben suggested.
“Sure,” Rachel said. “Let's put this in the kitchen first, though, it needs to be in the oven for half an hour.”
“Follow me,” Hunter said.
“So, Hunter what grade are you going to be?” Rachel asked.
“A senior,” Hunter said. “How about you?”
“I'm just a junior,” Rachel said.
“What's the school like?” Hunter asked. “Who's on the top of the food chain?”
“Football players and cheerleaders, mostly,” Rachel said. “I keep hoping glee club will be cool. But we're still in the sub-basement.”
“How about swim team?” Hunter asked hopefully.
“Average popularity,” Rachel said. “Some of the worst jocks, like the football players and hockey players pick on them, but everyone else leaves them alone. Do you swim?”
“Yep,” Hunter said. “The swimmers are still taunted then?”
“Yeah,” Rachel said. “Hey, maybe you should try out for the football team. I could get my boyfriend, Finn, to put in a good word for you. He's the quarterback.”
“Ben would never let me play football,” Hunter grimaced. “Too much of a chance I'd get fucking cut or something.”
“What—” Rachel started to ask, grimacing at Hunter's language. “Oh, right. Sorry, I forgot.” Hunter was HIV-positive.
“Lucky you,” Hunter said. “Wish I could forget.”
“You're healthy, thought, right? You're not sick?” Rachel asked, worried.
“No, I'm fine right now,” Hunter agreed as they walked upstairs to his room. “It's just always there. Listen, Rachel, you won't tell anyone about me being positive, will you? Or that I used to be a street kid?”
“Promise,” Rachel said. “I'd never betray your secrets like that. Oh,” she paused as they passed a room with pink wallpaper. “Is that your sister's room?”
“Yep, JR. Michael and Ben get her for part of the summer, and all the major holidays. Her moms have her the rest of the year. They moved to Toronto when Prop 14 was gaining speed,” Hunter explained.
“Ugh, stuff like that pisses me off so much. It's bad enough that they don't want our dads to be married. But the idea that anyone could try and stop them from even being
our dads scares me senseless and pisses me off,” Rachel said.
“Me too,” Hunter agree, resting his hand on her arm. One thing he likes about Rachel was that she never flinched away from him like some people did. He had absolutely no interest in her sexually, but she was a good friend. “This is my room, it's kinda messy right now.”
“Oh, I like the wall color,” Rachel said. “Do you know where you want to put everything? I'm good at organizing.”
“Well, these boxes have my books in them, but they're in the boxes by size instead of alphabetical. They need to go onto the shelves alphabetically,” Hunter said.
“I can do that,” Rachel said.
“So, do you have a lot of friends?” Hunter asked.
“Not really,” Rachel said. “I have a boyfriend, Finn, and Kurt, who is more of a frenemy, or a friendly rival. Kurt gets picked on a lot because he's the only openly gay student at school. I get picked on a lot because of my dads. You'll probably get picked on if people find out you have gay dads too. McKinley isn't exactly the world's most gay-friendly environment. But I have New Directions, that's the Glee Club. You should try out for glee club,” Rachel suggested.
“I'll think about it,” Hunter said. “I have been thinking about going into drama. I tried out for the last play in school, and I liked it. And I used to work at Disney World, as Dopey.”
“I think you should go out for drama and glee. As a senior, you're basically guaranteed a solo,” Rachel said.
“Where will I find the hottest girls?” Hunter asked, smirking.
“Cheerios, mostly. But the most popular Cheerios are actually in the glee club.”
“You're not going to leave me alone until I join the damn glee club, are you?” Hunter asked, only pretending to be annoyed.
“Nope,” Rachel said resolutely.
“What other kind of clubs are there?” Hunter asked.
“The regular kinds, chess, AV, French club, Drama club,” Rachel said.
“No GSA?” Hunter asked, surprised.
“Not in Lima,” Rachel made a face. “I'm really glad you guys moved onto our street.”
“Do you take the bus in to school or does one of your dads drive you?” Hunter asked. “Or is it close enough to walk or bike?”
“It's close enough to walk,” Rachel said.
“So, tell me about your friends. About the people. What can I expect?” Hunter asked, as they continued unpacking.
“Well, my boyfriend, Finn, is the star quarterback of the hopeless football team. They actually won a game last year, when Kurt acted as kicker, and taught the team how to dance.”
“Your gay friend?” Hunter asked for clarification.
“Yeah. Anyway, he was on the football team for a week. Later he was on the Cheerios with Santana and Brittany. And our friend Mercedes, she's Kurt's BFF, but she was only on the squad for a little bit. Noah, Mike and Matt are on the football team with Puck. Artie is one of the best guitarists and bassists in the club, and he's in jazz band. He's a paraplegic, and is in a wheelchair. He was dating a girl named Tina, who is a goth, but the rumor is they broke up over the summer. So I don't know for sure. And Quinn used to date Finn, until she cheated on him with Puck, and got pregnant. She was head cheerleader, but she got kicked out. She had her baby, Beth, last spring, and gave her up for adoption. She was adopted by my biological mother, actually. It's an open adoption, so Quinn and Noah get to see her sometimes, but I think Quinn is trying to put it all behind her. She went from queen be to biggest laughingstock so fast.”
“Well, I've never been most popular, but I definitely know what it's like to be the least popular,” Hunter said, making a face. “Are those all your friends?”
“Mostly. You should watch out for Jacob Ben Israel. He's the head gossip-monger. If he finds out one of your secrets, he'll tell the whole school within minutes. Of course, if he knows you're friends with me, he'll first try to bribe you for my underwear or something. He'd been obsessed with me since the fifth grade. But if he finds out your positive, he'll tell everyone,” Rachel warned.
“So look out for this Jacob kid?”
“I'll point him out to you. He's easy to spot, since he wear his hair like Phil Spector at his murder trial. And then there's Azimio Adams and Dave Karofsky. They're the biggest bullies. Azimio is on the football team, and Karofsky's, like, back-up for football, but the star hockey player. If you're on the swim team, the other swim jocks will leave you alone, and if you join the glee club, Puck and Finn won't pick on you, but Azimio and Karofsky will pick on you just because you know people who are gay. They're that homophobic.”
“Thanks for the breakdown. Anything else I should know ahead of time?”
“Slushies,” Rachel said.
“Slushies? Like the drink things with the ice?”
“Yes. If you see somebody carrying one in the hallway, duck. It's an acceptable McKinley tradition to throw a slushie in an unpopular person's face.”
“Oh, this is gonna be fun,” Hunter said, his tone laced with sarcasm, before flopping down on the bed.
“Are you sure you don't want us to go into school with you?” Ben asked.
“I'm sure,” Hunter said. “You already signed all the papers, and Rachel's going to walk with me so I don't get lost or anything. Besides, I'm almost eighteen. I think I can walk to school by myself.”
“Oh, let us worry if we want to,” Michael said, giving his son a hug.
“Good luck,” Ben said. “And remember, the nurse has already been alerted about your status, but try and tell the gym teacher if you get the chance. I don't want you getting hurt in gum class, and the teacher not knowing.”
“Okay,” Hunter said, sighing.
“Do you have PE today?” Michael asked.
“I think so,” Hunter said.
“Okay. You think you're going to try out for the swim team?” Ben asked.
“Probably,” Hunter said. “Gotta find out when try-outs are first. And Rachel's twisting my arm to join her glee club. She says she'll introduce me to the three hottest girls in school if I do.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Ben smiled. “But remember, grades come first.”
“I know, I know,” Hunter said. “I have my phone. See you later!” He walked out the front door and down four houses to Rachel's house. Rachel was standing on her porch waiting for him.
“Morning!” she said.
“You have entirely too much energy for this early in the morning,” Hunter grimaced.
“It's the first day of school!” Rachel said brightly. “This sets the bar for the whole year. Maybe this year, people will finally recognize my prodigious talent, stop bullying me, and assign me the popularity I so richly deserve.”
Hunter was too tired to come up with a biting retort, so he just rolled his eyes and let her babble at him the entire walk to school. In the parking lot, Rachel made a beeline to a very tall young man.
“Finn! This is my friend Hunter I was telling you about. Hunter, this is my boyfriend Finn.”
“Hey,” Hunter said, shaking Finn's hand
“Hey. Rachel said you guys are old friends or something?” Finn asked.
“Yeah,” Hunter said. “One of my dads went to college with one of her dads. They, like, dated for a little while or something.”
“Oh, you have gay dads too?” Finn asked.
“Yeah. I'm adopted, obviously.”
“Not obviously,” Rachel said. “I'm not adopted.”
“You kind of are. I mean, Thomas isn't your biological dad, right? Just Malachi.”
“We don't know that for sure,” Rachel said. “There's a fifty-fifty chance.”
“Rachel,” Hunter said, “you have looked in the mirror lately? You have Malachi's chin, and you're definitely not black.”
Rachel just glared at him.
“So, do you know where your homeroom is?” Finn asked.
“Not a clue,” Hunter said. “My guess is wherever the seniors with a last name starting in B go.”
“I'll show you, Hunter,” Rachel said. “Hey, do you know what time you have lunch?”
Hunter checked his schedule. “12:15.”
“Same as me,” Rachel said. “Look for me in the cafeteria, I'll wait for you.”
“Cool,” Hunter said.
Hunter had gym before lunch. He was actually glad for it, because at least he didn't have to worry about puking during gym, which always sucks. He had a free period right before then, so he had the time to search the gym teacher out before he had to deal with PE. He found the office and saw a massive woman sitting behind a desk. He knocked on the door and waited to be beckoned inside. When she waved him in, he closed the door behind him.
“How can I help you kid?”
“I'm Hunter Bruckner. I'm new, you are the gym teacher, right?”
“Coach Bieste. Yeah, I'm gym teacher for the upperclassmen. You're not going to try and beg off gym, are you?”
“No, I actually like gym, when I can manage it. But I'm supposed to disclose, I mean, I'm supposed to tell you,” Hunter took a deep breath to steady himself. She was a teacher, she wasn't going to freak out on him, right? “I'm HIV-positive.”
“That pretty rough, kid, but why are you telling me?”
“My parents said I was required to tell the school nurse and the gym teacher. I've been cleared to play sports, and I'm planning to try out for the swim team. I just have to tell you in case I get hurt in gym class.”
“Okay,” Bieste said. “If you do get hurt, what should I do?”
“Well, nothing unless I'm bleeding. It's high school, I'm sure I'll get knocked around some. If I'm bleeding, call everyone off, and throw me a towel. The nurse knows what to do, and if it's really bad, I go to the hospital. My viral load is really low, so it would take direct blood to blood contact for me to infect somebody,” Hunter explained.
“Alright, then, I don't see a problem. You have gym this coming period?”
“We're playing dodgeball. Try not to get hit in the face. And swim team try-outs are next Thursday at five.”
Hunter nodded, and left the office. He liked Coach Beiste. She didn't ask a lot of questions, and she didn't jump to conclusions or anything. He played gym, met some more students, took a shower, and went to lunch.
“Hunter, over here!” Rachel waved him over. She was sitting with a bunch of people he didn't know.
“Hey, Princess, what's up?” Hunter asked Rachel, squeezing in next to her, holding the lunch Ben had packed him.
“Hunter, this is Kurt, Mercedes, Tina, Mike and you've already met Finn of course,” Rachel introduced. “You guys, this is Hunter. He's a family friend.”
“So, where are all these hot cheerleaders you promised me?” he asked, grinning.
“Nobody's actually on the squad yet,” Kurt said. “Coach Sylvester is making us sweat. I already know I'm going to make the squad, but nobody else knows with certainty. Except Brittany and Becky.”
“I can't believe you went out for it again, boo. You're insane,” Mercedes told her best friend.
“I know, but I like the attention,” Kurt said. “It's nice when people pay attention to me without throwing things.”
“So, Hunter,” Tina started, “Why did you move to Lima?”
Hunter sighed, opening his lunch, and taking out the pita sandwich Ben had made him. One of Ben's attempts at keeping him healthy.
“We needed to leave Pennsylvania after Prop 14 passed. Some people were trying to overturn gay adoptions that had already been made legal, so my dads packed up and moved. Rachel's dad pulled some string to help get Ben a job at the university. It's hard living somewhere when your family has been made illegal.” Hunter grimaced.
“So you have two dads, like Rachel?” Mike asked, curious. Hunter nodded.
“Yeah, they took me in as a foster kid when I was fifteen, and they legally adopted me last year, right before Prop 14 passed.”
“I hate legislation like that,” Rachel said. “It's just like Prop 8 in California. It makes me sick. There's nothing wrong with my family.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Mercedes asked. Hunter, Rachel and Kurt all looked at her like she had three heads.
“How do you not know about Prop 8, Mercedes?” Tina asked. “I thought everyone knew what it was.”
Mercedes shook her head. “What is it?”
“It's a law, in California. There's a nearly identical one in Pennsylvania, where I'm from. It makes gay marriage illegal along with things like third-parent adoption, living wills, emergency hospital visitation. Well, there's a lot of little things that fall under the umbrella. Basically, they want to eliminate families mine and Rachel's. It's been all over the news,” Hunter explained.
“Ah, that explains it,” Mercedes said. “I'm not allowed to watch the news. My parents think it's bad for adolescent development or something, to know about all the bad stuff that happens. And they don't talk politics in front of me or my little brother.”
“That is like the complete opposite of my family,” Hunter said. They talked a while more, and then lunch was over.
Hunter's first week of school was weird. He'd made a few friends, and agreed to go to glee club try-outs. But Rachel was pissing him off. She'd done something in a fit of jealousy that made Hunter sick to his stomach. Rachel had sent a girl to a crack house. Hunter had been in crack houses before, and he knew the dangers this Sunshine girl was in. He knew Ben would be disappointed in him if he lost his temper with Rachel, so he tried to be calm when he told her how cruel, stupid, selfish, dangerous and wrong she was.
He made the swim team, and the glee club. There was another new kid, Sam, who made the glee club, but almost decided not to join, but Hunter, surprisingly, talked him into it. This school was definitely weird. It was the end of his first week when he'd been bullied for the first time. The guys Rachel had warned him about had gotten up in his face, and Hunter sparred with them verbally, hoping to avoid too much contact. He actually understood when the Sunshine girl decided to switch schools. As Hunter was leaving school after his first full week, he got a face full of slushie. Walking home, he came to the conclusion that William McKinley high school was going to take some getting used to. Oh well, at least the three cheerleaders he'd met—Quinn, Santana and Brittany—were nice to look at.
*End Chapter 1*