The Land of Stories: Gleefully Ever After

Endgame

In which couples are paired off in a musical extravaganza…


Huh, Chris thought dazedly, I always figured there’d be more guys in heaven…

All around him, smiling female faces were swimming in and out of focus. Finally, he saw one that he recognized. “Brittany!”

“Hello, dolphin. Thanks for coming to visit me again. How did you know I would be here?”

“Um, I didn’t. Where are we?” Chris asked, feeling disoriented.

“At the bottom of the moat. My Cheermaids made this air-bubble for you, since your gills don’t seem to be working.”

“But what happened to the chair I was tied to?”

“I freed you. My fingers are magic, you know. Just ask Santana… Oh, and also I’m good with knots.”

Chris grinned at her. There was something very endearing about Brittany. “Santana’s here, you know,” he told her.

“Yeah, that’s why I came. I’ll do anything to get her to give me another chance. Come on – maybe you can help me convince her.”

Brittany grabbed Chris’s hand and pulled him out of the air bubble, propelling the two of them rapidly upward with smooth undulations of her powerful tail. As they neared the surface, Chris could hear a song, but it was difficult to make out the words. Just as he felt his lungs would burst, they emerged into the fresh air, to find Santana, standing on the edge of the moat, singing.

I am in misery
There ain't nobody who can comfort me
Why won't you answer me?
The silence is slowly killing me
Girl you really got me bad, you really got me bad
I'm gonna get you back, gonna get you back

Santana locked eyes with Brittany as she sang.

Your salty skin and how it mixes in with mine
The way it feels to be completely intertwined
It's not that I didn't care, it's that I didn't know
It's not what I didn't feel, it's what I didn't show
So let me be, and I'll set you free

I am in misery
There ain't nobody who can comfort me
Why won't you answer me?
The silence is slowly killing me
Girl you really got me bad, you really got me bad
I'm gonna get you back, gonna get you back

Brittany seemed to be struck dumb by the sight of her.

Say your faith is shaken, you may be mistaken
You keep me wide-awake and waiting for the sun
I'm desperate and confused, so far away from you
I'm getting here, don't care where I have to go

Why do you do what you do to me, yeah
Why won't you answer me, answer me, yeah
Why do you do what you do to me, yeah
Why won't you answer me, answer me, yeah

Santana reached one hand down toward the water, and Brittany grasped it tightly.

I am in misery
There ain't nobody who can comfort me
Why won't you answer me?
The silence is slowly killing me
Girl you really got me bad, you really got me bad
I'm gonna get you back, gonna get you back

As the song ended, Brittany at last found her voice. “Will you be my sand dollar?”

Though Chris had no idea what she was talking about, Santana apparently understood perfectly. “Of course,” she answered, slipping down into the moat. The girls’ lips met in a passionate kiss, and they disappeared together beneath the surface of the water.

Chris suddenly became aware of his surroundings. He hauled himself up onto the ground and lay shivering as he tried to make sense of the confusion around him.

Sir Cooper was shouting and pointing more dramatically than ever as he argued with Kurt, Blaine, Rachel, and Froggy a short distance away. Chris couldn’t make out everything that was said, but the gist of it seemed to be that Kurt was under arrest, and that no one was taking this news very well, with the possible exception of Rachel.

Blaine turned to her, with his best puppy-dog expression. “Queen Red, please…”

Rachel looked from Blaine, to Kurt, and then back again. She was obviously torn between her desire to please Blaine and her wish to see Kurt rot in prison. Finally she pulled herself up to her full (but diminutive) height and proclaimed, “I, Queen Red Riding Hood, do hereby pardon Kurt Hummelocks for all of the many, many crimes he has committed.”

Blaine threw his arms around her. “Thanks, Red!”

Batting her eyelashes, Rachel replied, “Anything for you, Blaine.”

Kurt gave a loud snort. “While I appreciate your pardon, Rachel, I feel the need to remind you that Blaine is my true love, not yours. According to the mirror – which never lies – you’re meant to be with Froggy.”

Blushing furiously, Rachel glanced over at Froggy, and then down at the ground, stammering, “Um, not to be offensive, or anything, but don’t you think it would be a little, um, unusual, for a queen to be with a frog?”

Froggy cleared his throat and began to sing:

It's not unusual to be loved by anyone
It's not unusual to have fun with anyone
But when I see you hanging about with anyone

(Here Froggy cast a significant glance at Blaine)

It's not unusual to see me cry,
Oh I wanna' die

Chris was surprised to hear that although Froggy’s speaking voice had been altered by his transformation, when he sang, he still sounded exactly like Finn.

It's not unusual to go out at any time
But when I see you out and about it's such a crime
If you should ever want to be loved by anyone
It's not unusual
It happens every day
No matter what you say
You find it happens all the time
Love will never do what you want it to
Why can't this crazy love be mine?

As Froggy sang, Rachel’s expression slowly transformed from uncomfortable to intrigued to impressed.

It's not unusual to be mad with anyone
It's not unusual to be sad with anyone
But if I ever find that you've changed at anytime
It’s not unusual to find out that I'm in love with you
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh

“Oh my,” Rachel gushed, “what a lovely singing voice you have, Froggy. Would you like to perform a duet with me sometime?”

Before Froggy could answer, Sir Cooper cut in, jabbing his finger toward Rachel. “You may be queen of the Red Riding Hood Kingdom, but you have no authority to pardon Kurt Hummelocks for all of the crimes he’s committed in other kingdoms!” he declared, sweeping his arm in a great arc to encompass the rest of the land. He finished his gesture by pointing dramatically at Kurt and calling out to his guards, “Seize him!”

For a tense moment, Kurt’s hands reached for his sai swords, Blaine’s toward the hilt of his ax. A quick look around at the hundreds of soldiers apparently changed their minds, however. Kurt turned to Blaine with a defeated expression.

“This is one battle we can’t win, Blaine. If I have to spend the rest of my life in a dungeon, at least give me the comfort of knowing that you’re free, and safe, and happy. Go home.”

Blaine stared at him incredulously. “How could I ever be happy without you? You’re telling me to go home?!”

And I am telling you
I'm not going
You're the best man
I'll ever know
There's no way I can ever go
No, no, there's no way
No, no, no, no way I'm livin’ without you
I'm not livin’ without you
I don't want to be free
I'm stayin’ I'm stayin’
And you, and you
You're gonna love me, yeah
Ohh, you're gonna love me

It took a moment for Chris to recognize the gorgeous, stripped down version Blaine was singing as being the same song that Mercedes had performed in season one of Glee.

And I am telling you
I'm not going
Even though the rough times are showin’
There's just no way
There's no way

We’re part of the same place
We’re part of the same time
We both share the same blood
We both have the same mind
And time, and time
We've had so much to share
No, no, no, no, no way
I'm not waking up tomorrow morning
And finding that there's nobody left

Chris was struck by how much Blaine was, and was not, like Darren.

Darlin' there's no way
No, no, no, no way
I'm livin' without you
I'm not living without you
You see there's no way
There's no way

Tear down the mountain
Just scream and shout
You can say what you want
I'm not walking out
Stop all the rivers
Push, strike and kill
I'm not gonna leave ya
There's no way I will

In that moment, with Blaine at his most passionate, Chris knew for certain that his feelings for Darren had nothing to do with character-bleed. No matter how perfect Blaine was for Kurt (and he was perfect) Chris felt no attraction toward him. It was only Darren who held a piece of his heart.

And I am telling you
I'm not going
You're the best man
I'll ever know
There's no way I can ever, ever go
No, no, no, no way
No, no, no way I'm living without you
I'm not living without ya now
Living without ya

I don't want to be free
I'm stayin’ I'm stayin’
And you, and you, and you
You're gonna love me
Ohhh, you're gonna love me
Yes you are
You'll love me, yeah
Love me
Love me
Love me
Love
You're gonna love me

“Yes,” Kurt breathed, and in that one word was a promise of forever.

As the soldiers clamped manacles around Kurt’s wrists, Blaine tenderly stroked his cheek before surging forward to kiss him. Chris felt his eyes misting up, and couldn’t bring himself to watch as the soldiers dragged Kurt away.

Once the commotion had died down, Chris realized that he hadn’t seen Darren anywhere. Spotting the Huntsman standing at the edge of the moat, staring with concern at the place where his daughter had vanished, Chris stumbled over to him.

“Have you seen my friend?” he asked.

Will took a moment to shake himself out of his reverie before answering. “Oh, yes. He was struck in the head by a falling stone and knocked unconscious. The soldiers are fashioning a litter to transport him to Snow White’s palace so that her royal physician can attend to him. If he survives the journey, there’s a good chance that…”

Chris didn’t hear the end of Will’s sentence. Shock muted the world, and he sunk to the ground, as darkness claimed him.


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