miggy: (Default)
miggy ([personal profile] miggy) wrote2011-09-01 12:18 pm

Fic: "Special" (Chapter 2/?)

Title: Special
Character(s): Ensemble. Seriously. It covers pretty much everyone, plus some Marvel Universe characters.
Rating: R across everything, to be safe.
Word Count: 4700
Spoilers: Through S2
Full-Series Warnings: Violence, potential character death, and other elements common to comics
Summary: Being a part of something special makes you special. (Also, having superpowers.)
Notes: IT BEGINS. Also, some lines in this story will be very sad to Sam fans, given Chord's status. Sorry! Sorry! I love the dork! HE WILL LIVE ON IN COMIC BOOK VERSE.

Also, you might notice that I am back to my original Corny avatar. Like I said, I waited. :D

"Summer vacation only means a vacation from classes, boys," Shannon Beiste said loudly as she raised her whistle to her mouth. "Not a break from practice. Run a mile, and if I like your time then I might not make you run a second." The whistle blasted.

Finn set off jogging. He wasn't going to complain. Thanks to her leadership, an athletic scholarship might be in his future when it had been utterly impossible during the era of Tanaka. Of course, part of why Tanaka had been such a terrible coach was that he was such a pushover. They'd only met for two practices a week during summer break; Beiste demanded twice as many, and longer. They didn't even get to head immediately home once they'd been set free from the school year. She said she wanted to "remind them of their priorities." They'd already had to show up on Wednesday to express interest in the team next year, which meant running wind sprints and doing push-ups.

"Next year's gonna be awesome," Finn said to Puck as they set a steady pace down the track. Puck grunted agreement. He saw a familiar shock of blond hair and grinned. "Hey, Evans! So you get to be on the team again?”

Sam grinned back and shrugged. "Coach and I talked. We're gonna try to work something out." Varsity football wasn't cheap for the players. It was only when Finn had heard rumors that Sam might not be able to play at all that he realized how much his own mother had sacrificed over the years to put him through his chosen activities.

"Cool," Finn said.

Sam nodded, but then frowned at something up ahead of them. "Uh, okay. Someone's taking her threat pretty seriously."

The trio looked to see Mike already a hundred feet ahead of their group, and they were at the head of all the other players. Even as Sam said there was no way to maintain this speed and that they should take it down a notch, some sort of competitive instinct seemed to flare within Puck. He sped, caught up to Mike, and matched him step for step. Finn decided to stay back with Sam; those guys were running like crazy. They'd exhaust themselves.

The two looked fine when they finished, though. Coach Beiste's eyebrows raised appreciatively as she checked her stopwatch. "Not bad at all, Chang, Puckerman. Might have to push you a little more and see what you're made of. Looks like you've been holding back. The rest of you... not so good. But these two made up for it. Let's move on."

"You heard the lady!" Finn said loudly and clapped his hands together. "D-line, head to the far end of the field for some backpedal drills! Offense, grab gloves, we're doing punches and machine guns." He turned and looked expectantly at their coach.

She was surprised and took a second to say, "You heard him! Go!" As the other players moved to where Finn had instructed, she called out, "Hey, Hudson! Good to see you paying attention last year. That's just what I would have picked."

Finn hesitated before he smiled awkwardly back and went to join his teammates on the field. She had picked those; he'd heard what she'd told them and had just repeated it as the captain. Weird. Maybe the sun was getting to her.

He was exhausted by the time he left, but it was a good workout. He was on top of his game. He was threading his passes where no one expected, guiding people fluidly in scrimmages, and picking the perfect play every time. It was amazing what one year under a good coach could do, Finn thought happily as he rubbed a towel across his hair and got dressed. About the only downside was that Artie had bailed on them without giving any warning, but Finn wasn't too surprised. He probably wasn't worried about getting abs for Tina next year, and so he'd have more important things to worry about. Like that nerdy quiz team or whatever.

Finn tapped along with the radio all the way home. He really did feel great. The end of the school year had apparently shot a hundred watts of energy straight through him. He was going to get so much done that summer: practice, hanging out with friends, working at the garage for way more money than other people's summer jobs....

(Sure, yeah, he'd been told he wasn't allowed to touch anything there until Kurt gave him the explicit "okay," but he was still getting paid during training.)

It was going to be a good summer. Finn hopped out of his truck and clicked the garage door closer. He then set off running down the driveway, ducked under the descending door, and pretended for a triumphant moment that he was Indiana Jones as he walked into the house. "Hey, I'm home!"

"Carole's upstairs taking a nap, she had a headache," he heard from the dining room. "And it's summer season at the garage, remember."

Finn nodded. Right; Burt had said that things picked up when people needed to make sure their SUVs and trucks were ready to pull trailers. It was why he wasn't supposed to actually start working there for a few weeks. He needed the safety net of a slower pace.

Though he considered just heading to his room, Finn had the vague idea that it'd be rude. Besides, he was hungry and dinner wouldn't be for at least an hour. He swung through the dining room toward the kitchen and saw Kurt busily checking things off in a notepad. "Is that the play you're working on about Pippin?"

"Pippa," Kurt corrected, but his initial irritation faded. "I'd be distraught at you not remembering such an icon's name, but I instead choose to take it as a sign that my lessons on the history of Broadway are sinking in. Half a success."

"Right," Finn agreed so he could get out of that conversation and jammed his head into the fridge. He rummaged through his options, wondered at what point diet pop had become a thing that was bought on purpose, and emerged with sandwich ingredients. "You want one?" he asked as he held up his bounty.

"No thanks. I need to keep my hands clean." That answer made Finn really consider what Kurt was doing: sorting through a fresh set of pictures to fill another New York album. Oh, right; he'd forgotten to make one for Mr. Schue and had given their teacher his.

"So, what cover did you get?" Finn asked as he slathered mayo on his bread. (It was wheat rather than white, but it turned out that he didn't mind much. Diet pop was still just wrong, though.) He remembered Kurt very carefully sorting through the box of mini albums he'd picked up and reserving one of Times Square for himself. There were Broadway signs on it, apparently.

"I got...." Kurt began as he leaned over, retrieved the last album from the box, and stared unhappily at it. "Yankee Stadium."

Finn smirked. "Want to trade me for Central Park?"

"A thousand times yes," Kurt instantly said. "I'll put this one together perfectly for you, don't worry." Finn didn't worry, of course; they'd just been in New York. It wasn't like he was going to forget the trip if Kurt didn't get this album made for him right that second.

"It's so weird," Kurt murmured as he stared at the photographs spread in front of him. "I'm getting the strangest feeling of déjà vu when I look at these pictures."

"That's the one that means...."

"That I've been there before." He plucked a photograph of Washington Square Park off the table, stared at it, and sighed.

"Well, you have been there," Finn pointed out. "You were there when you took the picture. That's how you were able to put together these albums." Unless he was missing something really obvious, it was pretty easy to figure out what Kurt must be remembering.

"That's not what I meant," Kurt grumbled, but then shook his head and put the picture back on the table. "I've always obsessed about New York. It probably just felt like I've 'been there' a thousand times before we ever set foot in the state for Nationals. That must be it." His efforts to convince himself didn't sound very successful. Finn focused again on his sandwich as Kurt mumbled something about how he'd given the two Times Square albums to himself and Rachel on purpose.

"Geez, just go buy a second set to get another cover like that," Finn said with a roll of his eyes.

"Did I say that out loud?" Kurt asked. When Finn looked up he saw that Kurt was blushing faintly.

Finn smirked and continued piling on cold cuts. If dinner was going to be late because his mom had a headache, he'd better add a few more slices. As he did, Kurt kept complaining. "That cover was just so perfect," he said in several muttered variations. "Even if it didn't show the Gershwin, it at least had a billboard for the show." Then he continued grumbling something as Finn, unfortunately, decided to take a long drink.

That juice promptly headed up Finn's nose. He coughed, sputtered, and wiped at himself as Kurt asked if he was okay and made a motion toward the paper towels. "You broke into a building?" Finn demanded in disbelief. He knew the two of them had taken off, but they'd broken in to a building?

The scant color in Kurt's cheeks fell entirely away. "What?"

"You broke into a theatre?" Finn asked. "You broke into a huge building in the middle of New York and got caught? Holy shit, dude, you could have been arrested!"

"I didn't say that," Kurt gulped. "I am very careful to not say that in this house where anyone could hear. Ever." What's going on?

"I don't know what's going on!" Finn immediately replied, only to freeze at the terrified expression on Kurt's face. "You didn't say that out loud. Your mouth. It didn't move."

"Oh no," Kurt said after a moment of horrible realization. "Oh no. This is... this is not good. This could be so very, very not good at all. Finn, this could be bad."

"Yeah, I've got that!" Finn yelped. Kurt lunged forward, covered his mouth with his hand, and pointed upstairs with a finger. His shushing noise earned a frantic nod from Finn, and satisfied, he removed his hand. "Um. Oh God. Okay. Think of something I would never, ever guess."

Kurt bit at his lip, looked to the side for a second, and nodded.

"What's a... croquembouche?" Finn asked awkwardly, but had no sooner formed the unfamiliar word than he nearly knocked over a chair in his attempts to lurch away. "Oh my God."

"Oh my God," Kurt repeated.

"I just read your mind."

"You just read my mind."

Finn tried not to pass out. "Does this mean I'm a mutant? Will I be dangerous? Will I have to go to that school with all the other mutants?" His breath caught. "Will I grow scales or something?"

"You're going to be fine, just calm down," Kurt said intently. "If our parents find you completely freaking out then yes, bad things may happen, so stay quiet."

He nodded in short jerks, but then Finn couldn't hold back his nervous questions. It was too easy to picture himself with some physical marker that was impossible to hide: glowing eyes, bigass wings, blue fur. He'd seen the X-Men. He knew how they rolled. "Will I grow a tail? Some of them have tails. What if it's already coming in? Will you check?"

"I'm not going to look to see if you have a tail, Finn!" Kurt said disbelievingly. When Finn kept insisting on it he grabbed Finn's hand and slammed it against the boy's waistband. "There. Feel."

"Oh," Finn said sheepishly as he felt his tailbone and the smooth skin covering it. "Guess I could have just checked for myself."

"This is fine," Kurt decided as he began to pace a short circuit around Finn. "Maybe you're not a mutant." That would be really good, Finn thought. It was okay if people could point to where you got freaky powers: radiation, genetic testing, magic. Explanations made things okay. Everyone panicked if they just came out of nowhere, though. "Have you... snuck into any government labs recently?"

Finn looked flatly at Kurt.

"I'm trying to be helpful," Kurt hissed. "Because I don't know if you've noticed, but yes, mutants tend to look... mutant-y. So it would be very good for your sake if there's some other explanation!"

"Not all of them do, though," Finn said weakly. "That girl who walks through walls doesn't. She looks normal."

"Your taste for tiny Jewish brunettes is duly noted." Kurt hesitated, pulled back, and asked, "So, are you hearing my thoughts right now?"

He'd stopped in his panic, but now it was like someone pointing out the feeling of his clothes against his skin. Once made aware of it, Finn couldn't stop thinking about the sensation. Kurt's previously ignored thoughts filled his mind. They swirled like a storm, almost impossible to read, except for one: what if he does change? What'll happen to him?

It was harder to pretend that he might not be one of those hated mutants when he was hearing the possibility straight out of a person's head. "You know it might happen," Finn said in a tiny, scared voice. "You know I might turn into a freak. Oh God, I can't... I can't. I can't!"

"You probably would have changed by now," Kurt said reassuringly. "You hear about it happening younger, right? Maybe your powers just took longer to show because, um." Because they're mental powers and it might have been like beating down a brick wall.

Finn jerked back with tears in his eyes. Kurt flinched when he realized he'd been heard. "I'm sorry. I'm not used to this. At all. Don't worry, okay? Carole will still love you the same as she ever has. And Dad... he did really good when I came out," Kurt suggested with false cheer. "This is sort of like that. Vaguely. If you squint."

This was like coming out? He wasn't ready for this. He wasn't ready to suddenly be on the world's most-hated list, to be faced with a list of what was acceptable that didn't include him, and to possibly grow horns. (That last one was probably what made it different from coming out.) "I can't tell them yet," Finn whispered. "I'm too scared."

"Okay," Kurt said slowly. "That's okay. We'll just deal until you are. If you ever are. No pressure." He began to pace again, but stopped mid-stride to eye Finn in curiosity. "Are you...?"

"Humming 'Born This Way,'" Finn agreed. Well, he had to do something to keep his mind off things. Wow, would his shirt ever look different if they'd done that assignment after this little discovery. 'Mutie Freak.' It'd be memorable, that was for sure.

"I'm not one to question the application of pop music toward an emotional crisis. I'm just surprised that you would go for it," Kurt said and tried to laugh. That faded and he leaned in to say with quiet intensity, "It'll be okay. We'll figure out what you can do next and it'll just... it'll be okay. I promise."

Kurt couldn't promise anything, but Finn really just wanted to hear that his life wasn't over. He accepted the lie and nodded. "Thanks." But then his phone rang and he closed his eyes. "I can't. I can't talk to anyone right now, I just...."

Thankfully Kurt scooped it out of Finn's bag, checked the number on the front, and groaned and answered the call. "Puck, look, now's not a good time." He paused. "What?" He swallowed hard enough for Finn to see. "Did anyone notice? Are you sure?" He held up his hand when Finn mouthed 'what?' and focused on the phone. "I don't... I don't think Finn's feeling very well, but I'll come over." He shrugged as he said it, like he couldn't believe he was apparently serving as Noah Puckerman's white knight. "Yeah, right away. What's your address? Go inside and wait for me, I'll be right there."

"You're leaving?" Finn asked with a sense of absolute betrayal.

"Puck just—" Kurt cut himself off, took a deep breath, and said almost too softly to hear, "Puck just ripped a tree in half."

Finn's eyes went wide as he processed the implications. "I'm coming with you."

Kurt didn't argue and they bolted for the garage. Lady Gaga filled Finn's mind. It took him almost a full cycle of the song to realize he was hearing Kurt's thoughts, not his own; Finn had gotten the song stuck in his head.

"Turn on some music," Finn suggested when the song started up again.

Like he knew, Kurt glanced at Finn out of the corner of his eye, nodded, and flicked it on to FM radio. It drowned out Gaga, but not the thought that replaced her in Kurt's mind:

What's happening to them?

* * *

Puck didn't answer when they rang the doorbell. Finn reached up, felt over the bricks outlining the door, and plucked free the key he knew the Puckermans kept there for emergencies. "Puck?" he asked carefully as he let them inside. "You okay, man?"

"So this is Puck's house," Kurt said as he edged through the door. "My first visit. What a banner day. Puck? Hello?"

"In here," they heard from the living room. Puck was sitting on the couch with his hands resting on his knees. He stared at them like they belonged to someone else. "She made me promise that if she brought home a good tire, that I'd turn it into a swing," Puck said blankly. "We had a big tree branch out back that could hold her."

"Little sister," Finn explained when he felt Kurt's confusion. His stomach twisted when he realized he'd felt it, not seen it, and he immediately tried to think about anything else.

Puck's hand moved in loose circles as he gestured at the back yard. "I said yes, because how is she going to bring home a tire? She doesn't have a car. Her bike has a tiny basket. And then she rolls one up the driveway today, says she's going to her friend's house, and she wants her swing when she gets back." Puck swallowed. Now his gaze was focused somewhere far away. "So I threw the rope over the branch and I just... tugged a little to see how much give it had. It was just a little. I swear."

Both visitors followed his pointing finger and walked down a hall to peer through the back window. A massive branch lay on the grass. Its jagged end was still yellow and fresh; it hadn't been exposed to the elements for long.

"It could have been rotten inside," Kurt said carefully when they returned. And while that was true and logical, the way he kept glancing at Finn revealed how worried he was about whatever was going on with the two boys. Finn didn't even have to read his mind to know that. "A rotten branch would be easy for anyone to pull down."

"It's not. It's solid all the way through." Puck swallowed again. His Adam's apple bobbed convulsively. "It's like when I dented my locker today. Remember that, Finn?"

Finn closed his eyes, tried to get rid of that memory, but had to admit, "Yeah. He just closed his locker and it dented."

"Shoddy public school construction?" Kurt supplied.

"And then I was freaked out, so I wanted to test. I picked up my bed with one hand," Puck continued and Kurt finally gave up.

"Okay. So... you have superpowers. Superpowers that just showed up today."

"Like mine," Finn admitted before he meant to, and shrank down at Puck's wild-eyed stare. "Um, yeah. I can read people's thoughts. I guess." Puck opened and closed his mouth, and then, despite his earlier panic, seemed almost amused. "Shut up, me having brain powers is not funny!" Finn snapped. "You and Kurt are both jerks." He realized he'd heard Puck's thoughts, dropped his head into his hands, and groaned. It would be terrific if he could stop reminding himself of his status as a card-carrying freak.

"So you both had powers just come out of nowhere. Powers that you presumably do not want to call in to the newspapers and report, but could cause a lot of trouble. You both... you... why did you call me instead of your girlfriend, Puck?" Kurt almost whined. "Seriously, do you know how much I've had to deal with today?" Finn shot him a dark look; yeah, Kurt was the one who'd had a lot to deal with.

"I didn't," Puck said. "I called Finn. You jacked his phone."

"Fine. Whatever." Kurt rubbed his temples tiredly. "I can't believe I'm talking to two varsity football players about their superpowers; my life has gotten so weird in just a couple of years." His head whipped up and his eyes were wide. "Football players. You're both football players and you had practices this week after focusing on basketball season for months."

"Yeah, and?" Finn asked warily.

"Maybe... maybe Coach Beiste slipped something into your vitamin supplements. Your Gatorade. Your whatever."

Finn and Puck stared blankly at Kurt, but the gears were turning. "You think Coach Beiste did this to us?" Puck asked. "Seriously?"

"Well, it's a possibility!" Kurt began a fresh round of pacing. "She's known for turning teams around out of nowhere, she'd want strong players, and, well...." He trailed off and gestured at Puck.

"That makes sense," Puck agreed and nodded at Finn. "I'd totally kick ass on the field like this. Or knock someone's ass right off them. Can you do that? There'd probably be a penalty," he mused.

Finn decided that Puck was deliberately distracting himself from the danger of their situation. That was sort of insightful. But had he guessed it, or did he know what Puck was thinking? Frowning, Finn asked, "But then why am I all...?" as he gestured at the side of his head.

Kurt seemed stymied for a second, and then smiled proudly and answered, "You're the quarterback! You need to guide your team on the field and anticipate the other team's moves. It all fits together."

"Mike was out ahead of everyone when we were running," Finn remembered and Puck agreed solemnly. "It's true! She gave us superpowers! That's so wrong!"

“You know, now that it’s not just me ruining stuff on accident… it’s actually kind of cool," Puck said as he folded his arms across his chest. His gaze meandered down to those arms and he started flexing his biceps.

"The entire football team being superpowered is pretty much my worst nightmare come to life, but let's take this one step at a time," Kurt said. "You said Mike showed something? Let's go talk to him." He firmly escorted them both out—Puck first scribbled a note to his sister about how the branch wasn't safe and so he hadn't made her swing—and led them to his car. "Wait!" he said when Puck reached for the car. Kurt leaned forward, opened the door, and gestured Puck inside.

"Thanks?" Puck said sarcastically.

"If you're bending locker doors and ripping trees apart on accident, I don't want you mangling my baby," Kurt said. "Get in, but don't touch the seat belt. I'll do it."

"You'll 'do it?'" Puck repeated. He froze for a second when he realized Kurt was strapping him in to his seat and pulling the belt low and tight across his lap, but then relaxed and grinned. "So. Is this a turn-on?"

Kurt shuddered delicately.

"Me, being all big and strong and hot? Like Captain America or something?" Puck added as his grin slid into a full-on smirk. "Hell, I'd be kind of turned on. You must be going crazy."

"Noah Puckerman is flirting with me: my life is complete. Well, it's good to see your heteronormativity dial has been turned down from eleven," Kurt said. "Now stay quiet, I need to think. Since I have somehow wound up as the caretaker for this... zoo."

Finn shot Kurt another wounded look as Kurt took the driver's seat. When he saw it, Kurt groaned, rested his head against the wheel, and then jerked it back up as a short honk blared at them. "Sorry. Hopefully Carole didn't use all of the aspirin," Kurt muttered as they backed out of the driveway and shot down the road. "Tell me how to get to Mike's?"

"Do you think we need costumes or something?" Puck mused to Finn, who turned in his seat to gawk at him.

"Directions! Mike!"

Finn told Kurt where to drive, then refocused on Puck. "What? We are not doing anything with this until we know what's going on! People will panic, we'll be all over the news, government guys might want to talk to us...."

"So we'll use masks," Puck said. "Oh, come on, you can't expect us to do nothing with what happened! Yeah, I freaked at first when I ripped crap apart without meaning to, but a whole bunch of us all being superheroes? That kicks ass!”

"If the football team suddenly starts running through members of opposing teams, then the news might figure it out anyway," Kurt noted as he took a turn a little faster than was safe. Finn's hand clutched the door handle until they steadied. "But Finn's right, Puck. Until we know more about what's going on, it's important to not... draw... attention." When Kurt trailed off Finn looked and saw him frowning in thought.


The car turned without warning. Kurt ignored their protests that he was headed in the wrong way from Mike's, and Finn soon realized why: there were sirens in the distance. A lot of sirens, and Kurt was driving toward them. He and Puck shared a nervous glance. They had no reason to think sirens meant anything even remotely related to them, but it was a strange day and there were at least three distinct sounds ahead. There weren't many events in Lima that called for three emergency vehicles, if not more.

They came to a halt down a few houses from the fire truck. It looked like they'd caught the blaze just in time. Streaks of smoke damage were above two windows, but there was nothing more. The police car and ambulance seemed to be there as precautions rather than required backup. "Do you recognize the place?" Kurt asked, as he clearly didn't.

Sounding like he wished he could give any other answer, Puck said, "Yeah." He unfastened his seat belt, leaned forward between the other two boys, and pointed at a cluster of people standing on the sidewalk. Finn saw who he meant, almost hidden by her father as she stood there in shock: Santana. "You think she's okay?"

All the boys went silent as Santana looked down at her hand, back up to the smoke damage, and then shook where she stood. "She did it," Finn said softly as the words ran through his mind. "She doesn't know how, but she did it."

"I think it might not just be the football team," Kurt said weakly.

Puck clapped him on the shoulder. "Good going, genius."


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