Welcome to the story: Building From the Ground Up. Enjoy this chapter!


The school's parking lot was already busting as per usual as the kids of William McKinley High met up, grouped into little circles and walked into the school.

For British exchange student Troian Stonem, it was the first day of her career as an American student. Her hosts, the Tan family, welcomed her as if she was one of their own, and for the past two months she was integrated into Tessa's, the family's daughter and her guide to McKinley, hectic lifestyle. She'd been recruited onto the Cheerios after displaying her accomplished gymnastic skills when Tessa brought her to practice one day during August.

It was a nice change from England; there was no one that she knew here except the sophomore Cheerio and her older brother Aaron. Something about starting a new school made her stomach flip. It wasn't a nervous flip, but more of a flip of excitement.

She stepped outside of the small car and waved goodbye to Aaron as he locked the doors. She adjusted the top of her new uniform and tightened her ponytail. The only problem with her outfit was the fact that it felt like her body was being constricted within red and white walls. It would have been ideal if her skin had some actual room to breathe.

"Okay, so let me give you the basics for surviving this high school." Tessa flipped her long black hair and slung on her backpack. "This is obviously the parking lot, its extremely busy during the morning, so you have to get here early if you want any chance of getting a spot. Luckily for us, Aaron has a football meeting this morning, so we're here at a good time."

"I'll keep that in mind."

"Now let me tell you about some of the students here," she gestured at two people getting off of a motorcycle. The guy who was driving took off his helmet, revealing neck length dirty blonde hair that had somewhat shaped itself to resemble the helmet. "That fine piece of man is Duke Anderson. He's the quarterback and pretty much everyone knows that he's going to get a one-way ticket to some fancy football school. Somehow he manages to also be a wiz at computers. So if yours breaks down, he's the boy you go see."

"And the girl is his stepsister, Lilliana Santos." a girl with mocha colored skin got off of the bike and smoothed out her floral dress. "People have been talking about her all summer long. She was actually supposed to be a junior this year due to her above average testing scores but hey, it's Lima. Our school system hasn't really caught up with that yet. She's also apparently from Miami and was shipped to Lima by her mother just before summer started. Her dad, Mr. Santos, is the sportscaster for Channel 7 news."

She then pointed to three mustangs that were pulled up into spots near the front of the school. One person stepped out of each car, one girl and two guys, all of them blonde. "Those are the Ford triplets, their family is filthy rich. They're all hot, seniors and they're the kids of Tommy Ford, the owner of the Ford Auto Shop, rival to Hummel Tires. Everyone knows that they could carpool, but their father has them set up to take over the shop so he 'encourages' them to take their cars out so they can get used to them. Although, it's apparent that he's really trying to bribe them to stay in Lima."

"The one in the red car is Vance, he's the oldest and the tallest," A guy with dirty blonde hair and a letterman grabbed one of the surrounding Cheerios in a bear hug while Tessa pointed him out. "He's the football team's wide receiver and practically does every sport known to man. He's a huge player and enjoys partying and playing with girls hearts. The girl he's hugging is Jade. I think you met her at the last Cheerios meeting. She's the captain of the squad and the reason that one of our students transferred last year."

Troian scanned him and nodded her head in approval. "Damn he's a pretty one." That boy was definitely a regulation hottie.

The other boy, who came out of the yellow car, was already halfway in the school when Tessa pointed to him. "That's Grant, he's head of auto shop and co-captain of our school's swim team. A nice guy, actually. In the scheme of popularity, he's the lowest out of his two other siblings."

"I'm actually in awe of this family's gene pool."

"And lastly, there's Missy." A tall blonde shut the trunk of a blue mustang and adjusted her tank top. Troy couldn't see her entire face, but really appreciated what view she did have. "She's the person you go to if your car breaks down, even though Grant may be more known as the auto prodigy, Missy can fix practically anything. She was like, born with gasoline in her veins or whatever. And one last thing about her, a lot of the boys here try to date her but it never works so that marks her off for dating competition."

"And why is that?"

"Lesbian," she answered simply. "A very taken lesbian."

Internally, Troy etched that name into her brain for safekeeping. She didn't know if she was going to use it, but it was there just in case. There was no arguing about how hot she was and she really wouldn't mind getting a closer view.

Her train of thought was broken as Tessa moved farther into the school. They passed by a blonde girl in a wheelchair. "That's Scarlett Thorn, rumors say that she's destined to be in that chair forever. Some say that the condition she has is incurable." The girl overheard and sent the Cheerio a look. Tessa cringed and quickly averted her stare.

"That fucking sucks."

Suddenly, out of the girls locker room came a flood of cheerleaders. Tessa immediately started conversation with a redheaded girl as Coach Washington filed her way through the girls.

"Oh," she looked at Troy with relief. "Here's our pyramid base, we thought you were abducted by that crazy Asian family with the white ass, adopted son. We were about to call the police."

Tessa frowned. "That's my family, Coach."

"Right." The new cheerleading coach polished the bronze medal around her neck and walked past the two girls. Before she left completely, she turned around to face her squad. "Practice right after school, do not be late!"

All the Cheerios gave their oath not be late and wandered off in separate directions. Troy was about to follow them down the hall when she spotted a familiar face walking by.


A girl with gorgeous brown hair and dark green eyes stopped dead in her tracks. Emilia Clarke took in the Cheerio standing next to her who had gently tanned skin and sleek raven colored hair. Her accent reminded her of home but she was positive she had never met the girl in her life.

"Do I know you?"

Troy lifted an eyebrow in offense. "Yes, I believe you do. I'm Troy Stonem. We went to primary school back in London together." The new Cheerio scanned her eyes for any recognition. "St. Willard Prep in London? Is this even ringing a bell to you?"

The other girl paused for a second before she answered with nonchalance, "Oh."

The Cheerio's jaw opened slightly at the vibe of superiority she was getting from this girl. "Oh? Is that really all you have to say? Wouldn't you say something like 'Wow I haven't seen Troian Stonem since prep school'? Isn't it a bit peculiar ending up at the same school after all this time?"

"Sorry," the girl explained with fake concern. "I don't associate with cheerleaders." And with that, she was gone.

"What? Are you joking? What a bitch. She acts like she's hot shit but who is she trying to fool?" Troy gritted her teeth in anger and started after her. "Who are you trying to fool you fucker?"

"You have quite the sailor's mouth." Tessa took her by the arm. "C'mon lets get you to class before you explode with rage."

"Let go of me."

"Troy," she sighed. "Judging by your extremely red face and clenched fists, I'd say you need a little time to cool down and collect your thoughts. Now just head to class and meet up with me in front of the courtyard. I want you show you all the different clubs we have!"


"Just go to class."


Lily Santos strutted down the unfamiliar hallways, trying to find her first period class. She had just gotten away from her stepbrother Duke, who had become all protective the minute she stepped onto campus. It was strange to have a sibling after all the years of living with her mother. Almost like a shock to her system.

She grunted as she found herself in the same exact spot as she was at the start of the morning. Lily looked around for someone to help her and finally spotted a stern looking boy putting books into his locker.

Lily wasn't intimidated and simply leaned against the locker next to his. "Hello."

"Jesus!" He jumped and slammed his locker shut. "Do you always go around scaring people this early in the morning?" His southern accent coming out as he spoke.

"Only on Mondays."

"I really don't care." He gave her a rude look, slipped on a plaid over shirt and started walking away.

"Look Mr. Not So Southern Gentleman, its not like I wanted to ask for you help, because I know you have just the sunniest disposition and the brightest personality I've ever seen," She deadpanned, jogged after him and shot him a seething look. "All I need to know is how to get to the Chemistry room without going around in another circle of the entire school. So you're going to help me get there because I'm done running around this confusing place."

Once he turned around, he gave her a once over and smirked a little, looking a little surprised. "Well okay babe, all you had to do was ask." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

"Not a chance, also I'm going to throw in the fact that I don't even know your name."

"Trenton Cole, junior and the sexiest southerner that McKinley has to offer."

"Lily Santos," she swatted his hand away from her arm. "New sophomore and no you have no chance so stop trying to be smooth. Its not working."

"Darling, its all part of my charm."

"Oh you actually have some?"


A girl with curly brown hair smiled as she finally got the camera to turn on. Chloe had been asked by her friend Curtis to take over camera duty today. As an aspiring newspaper writer, she had to start somewhere. Sure, the equipment was heavy but it was worth the price of getting news for the school.

"We're ready to go Curtis!"

A boy spun towards the now recording camera. "Curtis Machovsky here at William McKinley this year to cover news for you all. The annoying yet somewhat loveable Jacob Ben Israel has finally graduated high school and I have been left in charge of his job as reporter and head of the school's newspaper. I feel honored to finally be serving you all, after being stuck behind that camera for the past three years. No offence Chloe."

"None taken. I guess we all have to be at the bottom at some point." The pale skinned camerawoman put the device on her shoulder and gave him a thumbs up. "Let's get this started."

The reporter fixed his thick-rimmed glasses as he took a quick glance in the lens and gripped his microphone with determination as he found his first victim. He gestured for the crew to follow him.

He reached a blonde boy wearing a leather jacket. "Jackson Palmer. Resident bad ass, also known as McKinley's own James Dean Wannabe," he all but yelled. "Will you tell us how your summer was? We're all aware that you quit glee last year after the Incident. So how did you cope with the sudden loss at Nationals? Did you go wrestle with a great white shark? Or did you hook up with the entire girls volleyball team again? And do you think you'll tryout again for the New Directions this year?" The boy shoved the microphone farther up, making it bump right into Jackson's chin.

"Piss off," Jackson spoke slowly as he straightening out his jacket. "Not in the mood today Machovsky."

"You better be Palmer, because we need your interview for the blog." Curtis sent him an encouraging look as he inched the microphone closer to the boy's mouth.

"Then find someone else Sweater Vest," he mocked. "I'm sure anyone else at this school would love to have a camera recording them." He smacked the camera and walked out of the shot. It caused Chloe to recoil and stumble back.

"Well that didn't go as planned." He looked calmly into the lens. "Do I really wear sweater vests that much?"

Chloe reluctantly nodded her head. "It's like you have an attachment or something."

"Let's be real though," he said. "They're practical, comfortable and easy to organize and store."

"How about we just move on to the next interview?"


The pair made their way through the thinning hallways and found two girls, a blonde and a brunette, conversing near one of the rooms.

Curtis moved in close to the thin blonde wearing a cream colored sundress and then faced the camera. "Well, look who we found everyone! Here's your very own Farrah Fairchild, senior and president of the God Squad, the Celibacy Club and the extremely frightening Jesus Enforcers. Please tell the audience what this year holds for you and your clan of disciples."

"Well Curtis," her voice raised a little bit as she spoke into the microphone. "Us faithful followers of Jesus will be helping set up for Prom as well as holding fundraisers for the school. We look forward to being highly active this year and making the Lord's word law."

"Okay then," the reporter looked a little worried but shook it off and continued with the interview. "Two more questions Farrah."

"Go ahead!"

"How was your summer? We heard that you finally lost your virginity to your lovely boyfriend Chris. We all know how special that moment can be for each individual and-"

Chloe's blue eyes bugged outwards and then quickly gave Curtis the 'stop' motion as Farrah's face turned a brilliant cherry red.

"How dare you?" she looked disgusted. "I respect my body and know that abstaining until marriage will be more spiritually filling than having mindless sex like some of us." She looked pointedly at Vance Ford as he passed by with a Cheerio on his arm.

"Kiss my ass," he smirked and continued walking.

"Anyway," she cleared her throat. "No I did not lose my virginity this summer, and whoever gave you that rumor should abstain from telling lies and instead should pray more." She added with vigor and then grabbed the cross hanging on her neck. "Now, what I actually did this summer was community service with Chris and then I started my college applications."

"How is that going?"

"Pretty well, but I need another club to join because it'll look amazing to have ten clubs on my college app."

"Any ideas to what you'd like to join?"

She paused to think for a moment before she answered, "I already asked Principal Patterson if I could create another club but she said that we didn't have the funding for it, so I'm going to have to join another this year."

"Thank you for answering these questions. Now there's only one more thing that the viewers at home would like to now," he directed the camera's attention to the girl standing next to the blonde. "Who is this lovely student you were conversing with before we got here?"

Said girl straightened up her posture and gazed into the lens. "Hello," she began. "I'm Emilia Clarke. I just moved here a couple months ago from Vermont, but I'm originally from London."

Farrah moved into the shot as well. "Her dad is the new priest for my church so we've been hanging out during the summer."

"That's fantastic!" Curtis held out his hand for her to shake but she looked at it with slight distaste. The reporter withdrew his hand and shrugged. "Anyway, I hope you enjoy your stay here in little old Lima." He looked back into the camera. "This has been your daily newscast, please tune in next time to catch up on the latest McKinley High news."


During lunch, all the students gathered on the patio to see all the different clubs that the school had to offer.

"I think we should just give up now and go home before things get messy," Oliver Lovely stood at a small wooden booth in the middle of the lunch area. He adjusted his red beanie as one of the legs fell off of the stand, tilting the entire set up. He gazed at it cynically. "I mean our name has practically gone down the metaphorical drain and wow look at all the students purposefully avoiding us. Also, you know something's wrong when the objects around us start breaking. It's a bad omen."

The courtyard was bustling full of students but none of them seemed interested in even making eye contact with the three students sitting around the slowly breaking booth.

A bored looking Scarlett sat in her wheelchair and spun in mindless circles around the tables. "I agree with Ollie. I mean look," she gestured to the proper looking girl handing out flyers directly opposite them. "Farrah over there is getting more people to sign up than we are."

"I'm surprised Sister Christian isn't waving her bible around in the faces of the unsuspecting new kids." Alec Steinman strummed his guitar as the kids walked right past the New Directions booth, his light brown cardigan blowing lightly with the passing breeze. "I know when I was a freshman, all I could think of during the school club fair was getting away from her and her Jesus Enforcers."

"I think it's the fact that we lost more than half of our members," Oliver tried shoving the peg back into place with no avail. "Missy, Zig and Duke aren't even here yet and I have a feeling that we'll get at least one person because of their combined good looks."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I meant nothing personal by that Scarlett, just that it's a proven study that if you're gene pool is blessed by the-"

"Never mind, I don't want to know."

Alec set his guitar down in his case as he searched the crowd for a familiar face. "Well I'm pretty sure that we'll get another member this year."

The blonde in the wheelchair turned around. "What makes you think that?"

"My half-sister, Penny, is a freshman this year and she's been looking forward to this day since the beginning of summer."

"Really? Because I dreaded coming to this teenage wasteland the moment middle school was over," said a voice from in front of the booth. The three immediately recognized the tone of the voice and smiled. "Just kidding, I just wanted to say 'teenage wasteland' at least once this morning. Now I can check it off my bucket list."

"Hey Ziggy," Alec shook hands with him as he moved to sit atop one of the red tables. "How was your summer?"

The boy scratched his head and nodded. "Pretty great actually. Mom wanted to take a trip to Alaska, so like typical Novak behavior we ended up booking the last flight possible and stayed in the smallest motel ever invented. Honestly the bathrooms were the size of my hands. But my moms had fun so I can't really complain."

"Sounds interesting."

"Quite actually," he smiled. "But its good to be back here. I hope we actually get some people to join. After the catastrophe of last year, I'm still having doubts about who's willing to be in glee." The kids all agreed with his statement and sat in silence, watching the other clubs hand out food and flyers to get people to join.

Alec shook his head. "It seems like there's some sort of double standard around here that if we win, they're all happy and we're slushy free," he paused to collect his thoughts. "But when we lose or screw up, our faults are placed under a microscope replayed over and over."


The New Directions had come home from Nationals last year with their first loss in two years, breaking the standing record of real wins of a national title for the school. No one waited for them when they got back from Chicago and their gift was a silent judgment from each and every one of their peers. In a way, the kids of McKinley really had no right to be telling them about how bad their loss was. Originally, the kids who had been counting on them to win were the ones throwing slushies and tossing them into dumpsters during previous years.

As the kids were in deep thought, Missy and Duke made their way over to the booth. "Hey guys!"

"How's my favorite Ford?" Oliver gave the blonde senior a hug and patted her on the back while Duke nodded at the teens.

"Just fine. Had a pretty good time this summer running dad's shop with my brothers," a girly smile then appeared on her face. "And I hung out with-"

"Your beautiful, amazing, fluffy, perfect girlfriend," Scarlett chipped out. "We're all aware Missy."

"As you should be," she spoke back. "She's the best."

"Anyway, how about you Duke?"

The boy shrugged and yawned. "Today I had to show my stepsister around the school and then she ditched me because I was 'weighing her down'. Other than that, during the summer I just helped out at Ford's Shop."

"He only helps me to get free repairs on his motorcycle."

"Not going to deny that."

The New Directions then noted that everyone else in the courtyard was moving farther and farther away from their little space. The people were sending glances at them as the gap increased.

"This is stupid," stated Zig. "We can't just sit here and let our club go to hell. We have to do something to get their attention. It doesn't have to be great or anything fancy. All we need it to be is something to show them that we're not out of the game yet. We need to…" He trailed off.

"Hundred dollars he says we break out into song."

"Not betting against that."

Scarlett already called the band over from their table and had them set up. "I already know what you're thinking. We got the instrumentals covered from the Jazz Band. Now we only need a song."

"Any ideas?"


After class was done, Troy met up with Tessa outside of the patio and they walked to one of the longer tables containing a bunch of Cheerios and a handful of boys wearing letterman jackets.

"Okay everyone, this is Troy. She's from England and she is the new addition to the Cheerios."

They waved and shared greetings and then got back to their little conversations. Both girls placed their stuff down and Tessa lead her to the top of the stairs where they had a good view of everything going on in the courtyard.

"This is the club fair," she explained. "All of the clubs set up little booths every year and try to get people to join them. Food and bribery are always used."

Troy gazed at all the colorful booths and then her gaze stopped on the blandest looking stand out of all of them. The wooden booth set up was all the way on the opposite side of where all the other ones were. Six students were mulling around it with one holding a guitar. "Who are those kids with the crappy stand?"

"Oh," the Asian cheerleader glanced around nervously at her popular peers and then dragged the Brit farther away from the table. "Those kids are part of the Glee Club. They sing, dance and perform." She bit her cheek and made sure no one was listening. "I was going to try out this year but after what happened last year, I'm not so sure I want to anymore." Troy looked confused. "So they were at finals, right? And right before they were about to go on, their two leads got into a huge fight. The entire club divided itself and more than half of the members quit. People associate them with failure hence why no one is going over there."

"That's stupid," she spoke with bitterness that wasn't even hers. "I think that they should get an equal chance to prove themselves again."

The other nodded her head, her ponytail swishing back and forth. "I'm not partaking in it, but I'll be silently rooting for them."

"Don't you want to do something about it though?"

"Like I said, I'd love to but with all my friends being against the whole thing and the fact my parents want me to pull really good grades because they say this is the year it really starts to count."

"Well that's good too I guess." the exchange student looked with curious eyes as the kids stood up and started to wander around the courtyard. A steady drumbeat started to play in the background as Troy scratched her head.

What is God's name was going on?


Zig walked over to the Jesus Enforcers booth and quietly observed their flyers as his friends spread themselves out to all sides of the courtyard.

"Hi Zigmund," Farrah threw a perky smile his way and shoved a piece of paper in his hands. "Finally decide to join the Enforcers and preach the good news to all of the sinners and gays?"

He internally shivered and shook his head but didn't say anything because if he did, he would have gone on a rant about his moms. So instead he decided to play it cool. He looked next to Farrah and saw a pretty girl with the shiniest hair he'd ever seen.

"Who's your friend Farrah?" He questioned while looking at the girl.

"This is Emilia," she spoke with pride. Pride from the fact that she'd made a new recruit so early on. "She's the newest member of one of the Lord's school clubs. She's decided to join Celibacy Club."

The girl smiled at him lightly. "I'm Emilia."

"Well, my name's Zigmund Novak but every just calls me Zig or Ziggy and hey I'm charmed to be in your acquaintance," he grinned and an idea popped into his head. "Emilia…"


"You should consider joining glee."

She looked confused and before she could reply, he tugged at his ear, signaling the band to start a smooth drum line.

The kids of New Directions each came out of where they stationed themselves and started to whistle along with the song. Ziggy suddenly jumped on top of the Jesus Enforcer's pale yellow booth and used the crumpled up flyer as a makeshift microphone. He balanced himself in the middle of the platform and went along with the music.

"Good Life" by OneRepublic

Woke up in London yesterday

Found myself in the city near Piccadilly

Don't really know how I got here

I got some pictures on my phone

The boy continued to dance atop the booth as the students finally started to realize what was going on. He sang the next part to the people looking in fear at the state of their precious booth. And with a smile, he patted Farrah's head as he jumped off during the final line of his solo.

New names and numbers that I don't know

Address to places like Abbey Road

Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want

We're young enough to say

On the giant cement steps, the teens began some choppy dance moves. They all sang the chorus together as Missy tried to make up some quick choreography with Ollie on the side.

Oh this has gotta be the good life

This has gotta be the good life

This could really be a good life, good life

The other students looked confused as to how to act to the song being performed in front of them. Obviously they still had it, even with only six members.

Say oh got this feeling that you can't fight,

Like this city is on fire tonight

This could really be a good life

A good, good life

Ollie and Missy finally found a routine that would work and jumped on the table in the center of the area. They performed two well-executed flips off the table and then started a small hip-hop routine. Ziggy jumped in the middle of them, trying his best to learn in the short amount of time. He tripped over Missy's foot and laughed as he got up off the ground, the kids in the quad looking at him like he was crazy.

From the side, Alec jumped down the stairs and ran next to Duke and Scarlett as he sang the next part of the song. His sang like he was simply conversing with his two friends.

To my friends in New York, I say hello

My friends in L.A. they don't know

Where I've been for the past few years or so

Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Alec took a seat on the concrete blocks and pretended to play the air drums while Duke took up the next part of the song with ease.

Sometimes there's airplanes I can't jump out

Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now

We are god of stories but please tell me-e-e-e

What there is to complain about?

Duke jumped off the step he was standing on and wheeled Scarlett to where all the New Directions were converging. As he ran with the chair, he scanned the crowd for his stepsister who was sitting with Trent Cole near the fence.


I'm taking a mental picture of you now

'Cuz hopelessly

The hope is we have so much to feel good about

The performers knew that they had to do something big to get the attention of their peers once again. And if they had to prove themselves again, then so be it. They were doing something that they loved.

Slowly, the song toned down a bit and the only instrument playing was the drum in the back. All you could hear was the voices and their stomping feet on the hard floor. The kids had huge smiles on their faces and were finally back into their element.

Sometimes there's airplanes I can't jump out

Sometimes there's bullshit that don't work now

We are god of stories but please tell me-e-e-e

What there is to complain about?

As the song faded out, Zig climbed onto one of the tables and cupped his hands together in front of his mouth. "So that's what you all get for thinking that we're not capable of coming back ten times stronger. We're going to California this year for Nationals and nothing is going to stop us along the way!" He shouted with vigor. "We encourage you to sign up and audition for glee because do you really want to go through high school without trying something totally new and exciting?" There was a silence and Zig nodded in approval. "That's what I thought." He stepped off the table and nodded to his friends as the lunch bell rang.

"I'd say that got our point across."


Okay guys, I hope you enjoyed that chapter and please PM if you have any questions. I have a polyvore and a tumblr up for this story. The links are up on my profile if you're interested in checking that out.

Before you go, I ask you to leave me some feedback and maybe answer these questions…

1. Do you prefer that I write out the auditions?

2. Who's your favorite character so far? We're not in too deep yet so its okay if you don't know.

3. What's the best way for you to read a musical performance? Do you like to know who is singing what or what's the easiest for you to understand?