So here's what you missed from last time on Glee:

There's a brand new New Directions in McKinley, and they're just weeks away from their first Sectional's competition, which they think they're totally a shoe-in for, even though they haven't seen anyone else perform.

Caroline Fabray, younger sister to Quinn, has been fighting a war with Captain of the Cheerios and HBIC Nikki Hardy, and now has decided to step up her game by finally becoming the thing she never thought she would: a Cheerio. Her big reason for this move is because another teammate, Cheerio (and all-around gossip monger) Michelle accidentally exposed Care's best friend Katie as secretly dating star quarterback and big-time jerk Carter Macy, which she was only doing to keep the football bullies from picking on the Gleeks. However, only the blonde and her kind of crush Dylan knows that, so to everyone else it's a huge question mark on what those two were thinking.

So now Caroline and Katie are both part of Sue's Squad, with Caroline as co-captain, which is certainly not as bad of a situation as it could be, and means that the majority of girls in New Directions are Cheerios—how weird is that?

Meanwhile, Coby is an out football player that still pretends to date his friend Nina at home because he doesn't think his parents would accept him if he told them he actually dug guys. And there's Everett, Michelle's theater geek brother, who thinks Chubs is about the coolest guy ever—but is there something else there? Considering how little the guy has to say offstage, we really may never know.

And Coby's friend Wally? Well, while he loves a challenge, he will totally flirt up any girl that walks and talks (and sometimes not that much).

Plus there's Emma and Ashwin, who are trying to find their footing around one another, which is really difficult since he's not really over her yet but she pushed him away towards some other girl. Not to mention Liam, who's always hanging around and pushing both of their buttons even though he claims to not like either of them.

And that's what you missed on Glee!

A/N: We don't own any of R/I/B's characters, or Glee itself, or the songs that we use for the music-based story. Damn Fox!

In five different rooms, five mirrors gazed appraisingly at the girls before them.

Annie grinned as she slipped her top over her tanned frame in the bright natural lighting of her spacious bathroom.

Stassi pursed her lips as she stood profile and examined the fluidity of the zipper tracing up her form in front of the reflective surface showcasing an empty locker room surrounding the Armenian girl.

Nina's fingers firmly grasped the laces of her shoes as she tightened the bows, staring at the bright white of the footwear contrasting against her Eastern-European tone as she appreciated the order of the moment, before sighing at the sounds of something crashing in the living room, followed by a loud wailing, and slipping back into the chaos to tell off Ari for the millionth time for kicking her soccer ball inside with Emmett in ricochet range.

Katie reached her cream colored hands up toward the top of her head in the McKinley girl's bathroom for the tenth time and tightened her blonde high pony, her double expressing some obvious discomfort with the sudden change from her normal loose style to the ultra-structured design of the Cheerios. She looked over at Caroline, whose hazel-green eyes glanced from her reflection to her friend's blue gaze.

"Wow," the girl commented, glancing at their reflections.

The blonde scoffed. "Still think this is a good idea?" she asked.

The new captain shrugged, but chuckled. "If I have to face a lion, I'd rather have a chair," she told her friend in determination.

Michelle admired her pale complexion through a tiny compact mirror as she finished touching up her make-up against her locker, before continuing to walk through the halls of McKinley with her head high, though she remained deep in thought. It had been a very quiet weekend. Usually, she would spend all of her time bouncing between parties and talking on the phone with various Cheerios (and more recently Gleeks), and spending time with her big brother as he forced her to sit and do her homework.

Instead, she had been put under house arrest by her fathers, courtesy of Mr. Moore giving her a completely unjustified D on her Algebra test, and had been unable to get ahold of any of the Gleeks and only a handful of Cheerios (who only talked long enough to say they were busy). Stranger still, even Hiccup had been seemingly evading her, spending every waking moment either in his room or at the theater. The one time she tried to come in, he'd huffed at her that he was busy and to go bother someone else.

But now it was Monday morning, although five minutes until first bell and the tiny Hepburn look-alike still couldn't find anyone.

Michelle was about to call the early morning a loss when she finally spied a trio of red skirts swishing as they made their way down the hall. The tiny girl grinned and scurried to catch up to the others.

"Looking good Care!" she greeted cheerfully, causing the girls to turn to face her. "Top tier suits you and—hey, wait!" she cut herself off as Caroline, Annie, and Nina rolled their eyes and continued away from her. "You guys wait up!" she called again as they didn't hesitate in their steps, running after them.

"Hey, what's wrong?" she asked in puzzlement, eyes widening in surprise as the three threw incredulous glares at the tiny Cheerio. Had she missed something? She glanced at each in turn. "What?"

Annie continued to stare in disbelief. "Seriously, Chelle? You're going to play dumb on this?" When the tiny freshman continued to only shake her head in mystification, the sophomore huffed. "You're memory cannot be that glitched."

"What are you talking about?" the other asked, completely flabbergasted. "Glitched about what?"

Caroline narrowed her eyes, "What you did to Katie last week, Michelle? It was awful, inconsiderate. The blogs are still talking about it, and she's still avoiding the halls; you should feel ashamed of yourself."

The flyer looked from face to face. "You guys, come on—that was so last week. Bert and Ernie will find something else to talk about soon enough. And it was totally an accident—I would never purposely hurt any of you guys. Plus, Kit Kat's a Cheerio now: no one's going to mess with her anymore."

Nina sighed and stepped forward, placing a hand on Michelle's shoulder. "Chelle, how things ended up isn't the point. You don't think things through; you and Lindsay will do anything for a juicy story, consequences be damned. "

"And until you get that through your head and start thinking about the repercussions for your actions, we don't want to be anywhere near you," Annie finished, nodding curtly to emphasize her point as she and the girls turned their backs on their friend and continued their trek, leaving Michelle staring after them.

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

Stassi sat alone in the balcony seats of the Auditorium; although she could easily have waited for her friend at the girl's locker now, the darkened seats overlooking the dimly lit stage in light of recent evens started to seem more homey; more safe.

"Strange, considering I'll probably never sing up there again," she mused aloud.

"Why?" a voice asked from behind her. "Are you planning on removing your larynx within the next week?"

Stassi turned and watched as the Asian HBIC fluidly moved from the top of the stairs into the seat just behind hers. "And besides," her BFF continued, twirling her pink streak away from the rest of her dark hair. "If you randomly take a vow of silence, who's going to keep it real amongst the Gleeks?"
"There are seventeen people on that team," the other junior replied. "I'm sure one of them could step up to the plate. Maybe Droplets."

"Never with the same penchant for zingers as you've got in you," Nikki argued with a smile.

Stassi shrugged and looked out past the rail once more. "Let them figure it out for themselves then," she said. "It's no longer my problem; I've had enough of all of this melodrama."

"Hard to avoid when you spend as much time with them as you do."

"Did," the brunette corrected. When Nikki pointedly said nothing, Stassi turned to stare at the girl incredulously. "Right?"

Nikki gave her friend what, for her, passed as a sympathetic smile and leaned forward. "A—" she began.

"No," the girl preempted, repeating as the Captain looked to speak again, "No, Nik. I did my job; I gave up everything for this gamble—for Sylvester; for you. Now it's over—I'm done. I want back in."

Her friend sighed. "A; a vague treaty is far from brokering peace. As long as Mini-Q still thinks she's in charge, there's going to be friction. And you dropping the Lyrical Losers the moment that Fabray shifts power seats? How's that going to look?" She arched her eyebrows significantly. "It's a blatant show of your hand on your part and you know it."

Stassi grimaced, but said nothing, instead slumping into her seat and reaching into her bag to find a new box of Tic Tacs.

"So what?" Nikki commented. "You're going to get back at me by making yourself fat?" She reached over the other girl's shoulder and gently pulled the candy away from her. "You're better than this A. What's going on in that head of yours?"

The brunette sighed and shrugged. "I don't know," she admitted. "There's something about those people—it just muddles everything."

Nikki's eyebrow shot up in surprise. "You're not actually trading sides on me, are you?"

Her counterpart exhaled noisily as she sat straighter; the last thing she wanted to do was admit she was confused about where she stood to her best friend. "Of course not; I just hate how I feel there," she told her captain, feeling that it was close enough to the truth.

A dark satin ponytail (save a single pink streak) fell forward as Nikki's face leaned in closer to the brunette's. "Anastassia Moran," she said softly, reaching to take her friend's wrist and causing the girl's expression to crack the faintest hint of a smile in response to her name. "Nothing's changed; we're the Deadly Duo, the fiercest bitches in this school; and nothing's going to stop us from being on top where we belong—together."

Stassi face lightened as she smiled, and Nikki matched it, scoffing teasingly as she held up her friend's arm. "Or we will, so long as you get rid of this arm flab," she jeered, causing her friend to blush as she tried to lower her arm. "Seriously, what have you been eating?" the girl continued with a grin, letting go of the appendage and erupting into giggles.

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

Andrew and Liam watched Teddy fidget nervously with his sweater as he stared into his locker mirror: top button done; top button undone; top button done; top two buttons undone; second button done again; start all over. Liam thought it seemed kind of like watching a cartoon flip book on loop.

"So," Andrew finally commented. "How are you handling the stress of dating a Cheerio Teddy?"

"Not just any Cheerio," Liam reminded his friend. "Co-captain of the entire squad. That's got to be not just a little awesome."

The messy blonde finally threw his hands up in frustration, slamming his locker shut and picking up his bag. "I give up," he told the others. "There is no way for me to look any less like a nerd no matter what I do."

"Well yeah," Liam said, adding in reassurance at his friend's miserable expression, "Hey, Care started dating you knowing full well you were a nerd."

"King of the Nerds," Andrew added. "And OCD twitchy."

"I think it's safe to say she won't mind that your wardrobe didn't change over the weekend," the taller boy finished.

"Yeah," Teddy replied slowly, nodding his head. "I guess…" He turned to his locker and began fiddling with the combination. "Just—"

"No," his friend interjected, grabbing the boy's shoulder and guiding him away from his door. "No more preening."

"You look fine," Andrew told him with a grin.

The junior took another couple of steps and allowed himself to take comfort in his friends' assurances. "It is kind of amazing," he admitted. "I mean, it's awesome that I'm dating Caroline Fabray either way, but with her as a Cheerio?" He shook his head in disbelief.

"Definitely a perk in this school," Liam agreed as they continued walking.

"You know, maybe once she gets settled," the lean sophomore continued as they sat down in the Multimedia Room, "you could use your charm to influence your girl to set Drew over here up with someone in a skirt, huh?" Liam grinned at his friend.

Andrew blushed and shook his head. "Sorry to disappoint," he countered. "But I already have a love, and her name is Vixia HF S100."

The boys laughed, and Teddy turned to his other friend. "What about you Liam?" he asked. "You want me to ask Care to put in a good word for you?"
"Nah," Liam replied as he held up his hand. "I like my girls with a little more depth to them- a bit of complexity and intrigue always makes for an interesting day."

"Anybody in mind?" the older boy asked.

"I don't know," the brunette answered with a smirk. "Maybe Drew's girl has got a cousin."

"Don't mind Liam," Andrew told Teddy as he rolled his eyes. "Guy's got standards higher than the Mission San Juan Batista. I can't think of a single girl in McKinley that he'd settle for."

"Settle?" Liam repeated. "Not in a million years. Me and George Lucas—we'll never stop."

"George Lucas got married, didn't he?"

Just then their conversation was interrupted by the scuttle of shoes and a familiar odd pair standing next to them.

"Hey guys," Bert greeted, checking the focus on his camera.

"Whatever you guys want, we aren't giving it to you," Liam replied coolly.

"Just get lost," Teddy added.

"Wow guys," Lindsay said, a puzzled smirk uncertainly frozen on her face. "You'll give someone frostbite with that level of cold."

"Look Muppets," Liam retorted. "What you guys pulled last week stank like Michael Bay's Transformer movies. So right now we're more than a little peeved at the both of you."

"Look," the overly-bronzed girl defended. "I'm sorry that what happened happened to someone that mattered to you, but it really wasn't personal."

"The Muckrakers is never personal," Bert affirmed.

"Come on guys," Lindsay continued. "You have to admit: the only reason this even bothers you is because it happened to someone you know—if it had been anyone else, you wouldn't even flinch."

"But it did happen to someone we know Ernie," Teddy retorted. "So we do care; and we're a club, so we've got to stick together about this. We're sorry."

"I'm not," Liam said.

"Except Liam," the junior corrected himself.

The tiny orange girl looked from one boy to the other, then finally back to her Asian counterpart and shrugged.

"Fine, fine," she replied. "I guess we'll just have to get a comment on the Carter's radicalism from a random sample."

The boys said nothing as the two walked away, but looked at each other quizzically as Teddy voiced what all three were thinking: "Carter's radicalism?"

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

"It's so stupid," Katie vented, sitting in her seat in the Music Room as Dylan lounged two chairs over during lunch. "And it's everywhere. The Muckrakers are calling him revolutionary—that he was the one that convinced Coach Sylvester to take me and Care on; that he'd been planning the whole thing for months." She scoffed. "As if the jerk even has the brain capacity for planning that far in advance. I bet he'd think gloves would beat a fingerprint scanner."

"What's Carter saying about all of this?" the shaggy-haired brunette asked calmly, silently glowing at the fact that all of this attention had made the new Cheerio even more determined to stay out of the public light, asking if he'd eat lunch in the abandoned classroom with her instead.

The blonde huffed loudly, her ponytail flapping in irritation. "Are you kidding? He's lapping it up. Any questions our 'secret dating' or the conditions thereof had caused have been instantly quashed by this whole thing, and he's ecstatic for it. I don't think he could become more popular if they found out he was related Adam Levine."

The boy shrugged in sympathy, but said nothing for fear that she'd notice he was all but giddy over the fact that, irritated as she was, she felt comfortable enough with him to talk to him like this.

"And on top of all of that, the guy had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to start dating again," she continued. "Lucky me, he was even willing to, and I quote, be seen with me in public, now that I'm cool and everything."

Dylan's grin fell a little as his head snapped up to fix on the blonde across from him. "What did you tell him?" he asked.

Katie lifted an eyebrow skeptically at the boy. She seemed to think he was adorable when he was nervous. "Are you kidding? After dumping a slushie on my head in front of the entire school? I told him he could take his offer and wait for me in the seventh circle of Hell." She chuckled, "Of course, then he said something about not bothering with that class, so I'm not entirely sure he got the point."

The blonde let out another amused giggle, and he laughed along with her, leaning back comfortably in his chair once more.

When her laughter died down, Katie, still smiling, let her gaze fall back on her teammate. "I had a really great time Friday night," she told him. "I didn't know you could be so cool."

Dylan laughed as he blushed. At the girl's insistence, they'd gone roller-skating to satisfy her love for twirling. Unfortunately, uncoordinated as he was, Dylan did not look nearly as agile, and spent much of the night on the floor.

"We should do something like that again," she continued, and the boy looked up at her wide-eyed.

"Really?" he asked in surprise.

"Well, maybe not roller-skating anytime soon," she laughed. "We wouldn't want to beat you up too badly. But yeah."

"Are you sure?" he asked reluctantly.

"I'm not a lesbian, if that's why you're asking," she teased him, causing a deeper crimson to cover his face.

"I just meant," he mumbled. "Now that you're—you know—"

Katie frowned. "What? This?" she asked, grabbing a fistful of uniform. "Just because some stupid piece of polyester makes people think I'm something else doesn't mean I'm going to become that," she told him. "I like you. And whether I'm a Cheerio or not, I want to hang out with you, not the Carter Macy's of this stupid school."

She scooted closer to him and placed her hand on his, sharing his smile. "Maybe that sounded a little stupid," she admitted, ducking her head between her shoulders a little.

"No," he countered quickly. "No; it was actually—" He frowned as a buzzing sounded from his pants' pocket.

Dylan took out his phone and checked the screen. He looked up at Katie apologetically. "I'm sorry—"

"—But you've got to take it," she replied knowingly, nodding as he stood and slipped into the hallway. She's only spent a few days with Dylan, but Katie was quickly getting used to his mystery phone calls that seemed to pop up at any and every time. She was positive they weren't from a girl(friend), because he never seemed excited or even happy to get one. The best she could figure was that they were from his dad or his brothers, since he answered them immediately, but she could never understand why they couldn't wait, and he expertly evaded any line of questioning about them.

A minute later however, the shaggy-maned boy slipped back into the room, face lighting up at the sight of the girl still there, and Katie decided that if this was the only downside of dating Dylan Jamieson, she could totally live with that.

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

After school the kids met in the Music Room for Glee practice, and the shifts in the group's dynamics, while subtle, were apparent to all. Teddy, Andrew, and Liam had switched to seats closer to the center rows so that the former was next to his now-Cheerio Captain girlfriend in her new front-and-center position. Stassi still sat on the edge of the Cheerio's general center position next to Roxie and Dalton, but Coby and Ashwin had now moved up to the back, next to Nina and away from Emma, who now sat on the other side of Everett, who was purposely faced away from the other side of the room where poor Michelle sat quietly, separated by multiple chairs from Nina next to an indifferent Hayley.

If Will noticed the changes in the group upon entering, however, the news he seemed to be bursting with prevented him from commenting on it.

"Well guys," he told them. "As you know, our first competition as a group is only weeks away. Winning Sectionals is vital to proving to this school that Glee is still a championship team, and I think this group has more than got what it takes to follow in the old New Direction's footsteps.

"Now," he continued, turning to the Whiteboard behind him. "As everyone here is new to show choir competition, I was thrilled to have one of our rivals reach out to us and offer us a seat at their Invitational tomorrow morning."

"Invitational?" Michelle asked.

"It's when another group shows off their stuff to an audience; like a practice run," Annie supplied before suddenly placing a hand over her mouth in surprise. "I mean—" she corrected herself, wrinkling her nose and shooting a nasty look over her shoulder at the freshman.

"Exactly Annie," Will said, back still turned to the group as he finished his work. "And the group we're competing against this year is Rigby High School's Rhythmic Revolutionists."

"Rigby?" Everett spoke up, reading the board interestedly. "That's a lot of school time lost. Why are they inviting us?"

"Probably good-natured competitiveness," their teacher replied easily.

"Wait a second," Nina interrupted. "Rigby High School in Johnston?"

"That's the one," the vested man confirmed, eyebrows quirking in confusion when the Cheerio and Coby shared a look. "What?"

"Oops," the husky jock commented.

"Oops?" Nina hissed. "I told you this would happen!"

"What's 'oops?'" Caroline asked, looking back from one junior to the other.

"Well, there was kind of this thing at Scandals the other night…" the boy explained.

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

Saturday Night

Chubs threw his hands around in the air as his body moved semi-rhythmically on the dance floor. The guy was never known for his dance moves, but he found that confidence made for a damn good illusion.

He swayed back and forth with a cute guy with platinum blonde locks slicked back, allowing the stranger to wrap his arms around his waist to keep the junior from straying as they finished the song. As the tempo changed, however, Coby gave the boy an easy smile and began weaving his way off of the floor.

The larger teen snaked his way through the small grouping of people bobbing on the margins back toward the bar. He loved Scandals: the noise; the people; the pathetic ease with which one could get a bad beer.

He slid onto a stool and said to the cute brunette lazily peeling the label off of their bottle, "Hey beautiful; come here often?"

Nina glanced over at him, eyebrow arched at the lame line even as it made her smile. "Too much," she answered. "You tell your parents that you'll take me out for a good time, and then you bring me to a gay bar. There is literally nothing for me here."

"Not nothing," Chubs argued. "I'm sure any number of guys here could give you tips on skin care regimens or something equally feminine." He smiled at her distracted fingers. "Plus you could drink every one of them under the table."

"Yeah, not interested," the Bulgarian girl told him as he snagged the drink from her and took a long pull from the bottle. She'd grown up around alcohol, and wasn't in any mood to bring herself to that precipice of destruction. Plus, her date needed a designated driver.

Coby sighed in satisfaction as he finished swallowing. "Wow that tastes awful," he told her happily, and she rolled her eyes again. "You know, you should come out there with me—one dance."

"I think I'm okay guarding your drink," she told the boy with the goofy smile. "I'm already getting serious stink eye for distracting you from the floor as it is."

The husky boy grinned, waving his hand dismissively in the direction of the other boys that cluttered the dance floor. "Forget them," he said. "Especially that hot as fire kid that's been giving me bedroom eyes all night. I came with you, I'm here with you."

"The more loss for the rest of us," a voice spoke up from behind them, and the two turned to see a grinning candy-apple redhead taking a seat next to them, signaling the bartender as he joined their conversation. "You've got balls man, being you and bringing a chick here all the time."

"Hey Red," Coby greeted Gabriel Millan with a grin, clasping hands with the other boy as Nina nodded in greeting. "Didn't think you came in here any other time beside Karaoke Nights."

"I'm here any night there's something worth being here for," the boy countered with a wink, nudging the bigger boy's shoulder and causing him to blush. "So what brings you two out on this glorious night?"
"We're celebrating," the husky junior proclaimed loudly with a lack of what little inhibition he normally had, causing Nina to laugh. "Because we are the champions! May all lesser clubs bow before us!"

"Really," Red laughed merrily.

"He's in sort of a pre-celebratory mood," Nina explained. "We actually haven't even competed yet. Kind of counting his chickens."

"It's good," the other boy affirmed smoothly, holding his drink out for Coby to happily toast. "Ambition is one of the sexiest attributes a man can have."

Nina rolled her eyes, and was about to make an exit from the budding flirting, when the other boy continued, "So what is this championship in?"

"We joined a Glee Club," Nina explained, causing Coby to bust out laughing. "We actually are pretty good."

"A Glee Club?" the newcomer commented with interest. "Really? I guess that means your Sectional is coming up?"

"Our first," Coby answered, to which Nina explained, "We actually haven't performed competitively yet."

"But it doesn't matter," the buzzed junior insisted. "Because we are the New Directions, one times National Champions, and we are going to be destined for greatness, or die trying. Or try dying. Or tye-dying."

"Wait," Red asked paused. "You guys are the New Directions?" Nina nodded curiously, and he continued, "Yeah I've heard of you guys—didn't all of your members graduate last year?"

"We're starting fresh," the only girl in the club agreed. "But we've got more than enough members and some decent talent—I think we'll be a force to reckon with."

"How do you know so much about us?" Coby asked with a smile.

"Eh, I may do a little singing myself," the boy answered with a humble grin. "Down in Johnston. You may see us around, you never know."

"Let's hope not," Nina told him, glancing over at the smiley drunk next to her. "Okay, Coby, I think it's time to go."

"But there is a hot blonde somewhere that needs me," he whined.

"And I'm sure he'll find you if it's meant to be," she insisted. "It was nice to see you Gabe."
"You guys too," the boy said with a sly grin. "We'll have to do it again sometime soon."

As the two stumbled toward the door, Coby grinned. "That guy is so nice," he stated.

"I guess," Nina replied, glancing back at the club. "Let's hope that conversation doesn't bite us in the butt."

~~New Directions: A New Generation! ~~

"I'm sorry," Annie asked. "You were hitting on the competition?"

"I didn't know he was the competition!" Coby argued with a slight blush.

"And you two basically told him we were greenies?" Hayley scoffed.

"Does it really matter?" Caroline asked.

"Ninety percent of all competition is mentality, Junior," Stassi explained irately. "Telling them that we'd never been in front of a judge before is definitely going to give them a confidence boost."

"But it's not going to make them any better vocally," Dylan argued.

"You guys, Gabe can pretty much melt clothes off with his voice," Coby admitted. "Throw him in front of a pack of even semi-decent vocalists and you've got the makings of a Justin Beiber-induced riot."

"Guys! Guys!" Will called out. "It's going to be fine. You are an amazing group of kids who are going to blow them out of the water in this competition. The whole point of this trip is just to get an idea of where your hard work is going. Let's not worry any more than we have to."

"In that case, we may not be worried enough," Coby murmured to Nina.

A/A/N: So a short chapter as we ease our way back into the fray, but I hope you were as entertained as we were writing it! Congrats to anyone that caught Coby's reference to Animaniacs (one of ray4ruffles favorite shows ~ever~).

A/A/N: For a look at the OCs for the Sectional rival Glee Club, go to raybelle. deviantart gallery/?offset=24#/d54f0p6 , featuring Gabe Millan, Colette St. Knox, Shala Simons, and Jazz Smith. Thanks to Laiquahen, G6-flying, and TheGreatWritter for making our jobs that much easier.