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Title: ...And I'm on the train that's bound for Santa Fe
Author: Diana Moon
Fandom/Characters: Glee: Kurt, Rachel, Santana, Mercedes, Tina, Puck
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~2,331
Warnings: None
Summary: Where does it say you gotta live and die here?
Notes: This was supposed to a shortish fill. I had the end scene in my head as soon as I saw the prompt. And then it just keep growing as I've yet learned the ability to write concisely haha. Thanks to T for being Alpha and N for being a quick beta. All the rest of the mistakes are my own. Written for this prompt: Glee, Kurt/Puck, most of them will live and die in Lima … 5 students everyone always knew would get out and 1 that surprised them (Kurt as one of the 5, Puck as the sixth, please) This came out a bit more serious than I thought, and I started writing it before the season began so it may reflect that a bit. Title & summary & lines come from the Newsies' song, Santa Fe (Kinda got carried away using the song lyrics haha). Comments are <3 but please enjoy!



The broship with Artie worked out. His grades went up, and he got to park wherever he wanted for free. Despite losing in New York, he figured it was a pretty damn good year. He still had Zizes after all.

Kurt (I'm alone but I ain't lonely)
Everyone thought Rachel would be the first to go, she being more vocal than Kurt that senior year. They both had a taste of the life they could have, back in New York, which to some, made them even more annoying. But it was Kurt who did it. In those last few months leading to graduation, Kurt turned himself around. He finally, managed to stop all semblance of holding out hope for Finn, even the hope of being actual brothers, and let the boy be. He stopped trying to help Karofsky, and blessedly the man stopped his on again off again advances.

And, he stopped devoting his entire existence to Blaine, though he’d be forever grateful to the Warbler. They had their glorious ups, and their dramatic downs but he knew he would do it all again. In a heartbeat. Not even the constant insults from the members of Vocal Adrenaline could bring him down any more. He still had his moments of bitchiness and tantrums, but to anyone paying attention, and there were at least a few, they were much fewer and farther in between than the past few years.

A part of him did feel guilt for going behind Rachel’s back. They were, in theory, supposed to do it together. His dad? Well he had his stepmom now, and of course he planned on keeping in touch with them. But he believed it was fate when the opportunity only presented itself to him. With his brilliant plan in motion, and outfits all set out, he wasn't going to let anything get in his way. Not even the distraction of a soon to be ex-boyfriend (because really, they both knew it wouldn’t last past high school) or a lonely former bully would hold him back.

The night before graduation, he was all packed up and ready to go, plane ticket to New York in his hand. He left a note for his dad, a simple white lie that he'd see him at school--no way could he have done this if he had to say goodbye face to face. He took one last look at his childhood home, a wistful smile on his face, and got into the taxi, humming Rose's Turn.

He only wished he could have seen the look on their faces when the A/V club showed his farewell video when his name was called in the morning.

Even with his growing pool cleaning business, Puck had tons of free time on his hands. Zizes was surprisingly becoming more and more distant, and Finn was no fun to hang out with any more. Stupid relationships. Though that didn’t stop him from coming around occasionally, only to find Kurt prancing about.

Rachel (For a dreamer night's the only time of day)
It took Rachel longer than she thought it would to finally make it to New York, though the shock of Kurt’s departure did have a bit to do with it. She couldn’t just leave her friends in the aftermath. Of course she told herself it had nothing to do with the fact that every college and university she applied to had wait listed her. She still wondered, from time to time, if there was a conspiracy from the universe, to put her down a peg. She had the grades, the extra-curricular activities and the talent. And despite all her enthusiasm, one letter had deemed to state that she was missing a certain “oomph”. It was heartbreaking, knowing she’d be stuck in Lima just that much longer, but at least she had Finn--who hadn’t made it into his top choices either. It wasn’t quite a cold comfort, but a comfort nonetheless.

She saw a few others trickle out, and wasn't surprised when half a semester later they trickled back in; to the safety that was their small town. But the patience she had learned from Glee finally won out. She got the letter she dreamed of for so long. Sure, she'd start a year behind but at least, she'll only be minutes away from the infamous theater district rather than hundreds of miles. She knew Finn would follow, when he was ready, or so she hoped. Besides, she needed to get one up on Kurt Hummel. Rachel grinned, clutching tight to her acceptance letter. A rivalry would look perfect in her future tell-all book.

At first, he told himself it was just another way to tip his karma towards the side of good, like the broship with Artie. It wasn’t because he actually enjoyed hanging around at Kurt’s house, or anything. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Kurt’s dad had a small comic book collection gathering dust. It was kind of neat, reading the old school storylines, even if Kurt would hover around and critique everyone’s costumes. “A cape with those heels? That just won’t do."

Santana (And I'm free Like the wind)
The heartbreak of losing Brittany forever took a real toll on her. When she finally had come to terms with who she was, and what she truly wanted in her life, her best friend had run off to get married. Sure, it wasn’t a permanent run-off, for almost all concerned; living outside of Lima is still staying stuck in Lima. She nearly pulled a Quinn though, fantasizing about gothing it up for a while, but she was tired of being a hypocrite even in her normal state. When Kurt pulled his coup de grace, she laughed and cheered him on. She still had a year left and she was going to make every second count.

She didn’t leave with a bang, but she certainly left her mark on Lima Heights. She knew it was a bit vindictive, airing out everyone’s secrets, but hell, everyone knew hers, so why not? Within days of graduation, and her eighteenth, she was packed up and ready to bust out. Throwing everything into the back of her Chevy, great steal at the used car lot, she blew a kiss to the town and drove off. “California, you better be ready, because Santana’s on her way!"

Puck hated hanging around Kurt whenever Blaine would show up. There was nothing about that kid he liked, from the moussed up hair, to the pretentious clothing, to the possessiveness of Kurt. He always rolled his eyes at that, like there were that many homos running about during the school year. Still, it bugged him to no end.

Mercedes (And I'm outta here to stay)
It was halfway through the first year of community college when Mercedes first wanted to pull a Kurt. Despite all the esteem building that the Glee Club gave her, there was still a festering seed of doubt within her, so it hadn’t bothered her too much when her only option was to stay. She did her fashion thing on the side, saving up what she could. For what, she wasn’t sure yet, but life here was just stiflin’. It was too long since she really let her diva self out. With no more Glee, she hadn't the outlet any more, and with most of her friends scattered within Lima and out, it just bubbled up inside.

Problem was, she had no job opportunity like Kurt did. At least, nothing that would make her drop everything here and run off. Then she got a call about one of her designs. Guess it was a good thing she had started a blog on them, garnering exposure far outside the limits of her current clientele. The company wanted to use her exclusively, if she was willing to relocate. She wasn't, not yet at least, not until she could transfer into a good school down there. That didn't stop her from working on future designs to bring with her. She smiled to herself, it wasn't singing, but it would do, for now.

Through Kurt, he gets to know the others better. They seem different when they don't have to get together for another Schuester project. They were, actually, not bad to hang around with. Better than most of the people he used to…Damn, when did he get so introspective? It was probably when all the baby drama came rearing back. He was surprised when Kurt was sympathetic to it, at least when they were alone together. He even managed to get the guy interested in one of his video games. It didn’t hurt that the game had a plethora of clothing options for the character. But it was nice, not having to put up pretenses in front of his jock friends or even the Glee club.

Tina (How 'bout a change of scene?)
She was surprised at the letter. Sure, she received them every so often, whenever Mercedes was low and didn’t want to express herself instantly via phone or internet. This one was different though. Her best friend had only been gone a year, finding her way in New Orleans of all places, and here was a letter inviting her to come! Not for a visit but to stay there. It was tempting, now that Mercedes had the capital and her own little boutique. They could make fantastic clothes together.

But it wasn’t like Tina didn’t have a plan. She just wasn’t like the others who wanted to jump ship as soon as high school ended, oh no. She planned to get her degree, and despite her parents’ wishes, not marry too soon after either. Not that there were many prospects out there when she and Mike finally broke up. But she was happy with that. She could stand on her own.

So she called up Mercedes, and kindly thanked her for the offer, and hoped that when Tina was ready, there would still be a place for her. Some had doubted Tina was ever going to leave, but leave she did. When it was time. She said her goodbyes, and even gave some advice to the one everyone believed would keep to his roots in Lima Heights. Adventure was waiting for her and a good friend too. They were going to make waves.

Puck (Save a place...I'll be there)
"...Oh! One more thing. Noah Puckerman? Thank you. Your unexpected friendship this year and summer past was the highlight. Besides my dad, I think I'll miss you most. For the rest of you, don't get blinded by my rising star!"

Puck always knew he wasn't a bright guy. Well, not compared to the others--besides Brittany though he wondered--and that yeah, some things just took longer for him to understand than others. But he wasn't an idiot. Just because he'd let Little Puck take over sometimes didn't mean he didn't know what he was doing with his life. He had wanted to get out on a football scholarship, but had to let that particular dream go. So he toiled the first two years post-Lima High, post-Glee Club, and if he would admit it, post-Kurt. He was impressed when Kurt had set up that video. It was awesome really, though he was struck dumb when those final remarks echoed in his ears.

He didn't give much mind when the others started to leave. The ones that cared promised they'd keep in touch with him here, not surprised when they all didn't think he'd leave. Yeah, he had it good: full-time job, part-time schooling, and his dashing looks of course. But he had always wanted more. And no one, not even his baby mama or Zizes, had ever really made him see what it was exactly that he wanted. Not until Tina gave him that extra push, that "Stop talking about him and do something about it!" pep talk before she left, that it became plain as day.

He didn't think that out of all of them, he would be the one to keep tabs on Kurt. He had said it was just because it was too much fun to deflate Rachel's ego. Kurt didn't keep in touch with anyone besides his own dad, though he would occasionally send complimentary tickets to his shows, no doubt to also goad Rachel. Or so he thought.

Then the years were starting to add up (even if it had only been a couple), and he knew if he didn't make his move out of here, he'd be stuck. Still, Puck didn't really believe it, even as he went through the motions, claiming to anyone that asked that it was just a whim. That he just needed a break from it all. But then he saw the now nearly infamous Kurt Hummel on stage in New York. Sure, it was just a practice run, and he had to flirt and bribe his way in to what should have been an off limits theater. And hell, not even seeing the kid's name all over Broadway—along with some smaller bills of a fellow female Jew—that it all seemed real. That he was really here, duffel on his back.

Puck slowly strutted down the main aisle, cocky grin giving his usual air of "I'm a badass", even if inside he was wondering if this was all a stupid mistake, waiting for Kurt to finish that impossible end note and look down. He took in his former Glee teammate, the years being very good to him. He had shot up, possibly even taller than Puck, without the heeled boots maybe, and lost some of that baby fat, but it was still the Kurt he remembered, the Kurt he thought about.

When Kurt finally finished, taking a much needed breather, Puck cleared his throat. The startled yelp and look made Puck chuckle, but he kept quiet, suddenly any words he wanted to say dying on his tongue. The surprise turned into confusion and then into understanding. And it wasn't until Kurt was giving him that brilliant smile, the one so few ever really saw, that Puck knew he had made the right choice in coming. His own grin changed into a genuine--and relieved--smile as he spread his arms wide open.

Kurt laughed and shook his head in a coy manner before finally giving in. "Took you long enough."
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May 2012

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