20 October 2011 @ 01:12 am
fic: Running the Banner Down (Prologue)  
Here it is - the first part of this somewhat intimidating plot bunny. I've never written anything quite like this, so... it's a bit of an on-the-road adventure for me too.

Title: Running the Banner Down
Rating: PG for now, will increase as we go
Pairings: past-Fuinn, past-Finchel, Klaine (mentioned), Finn/OC, Kinn (eventually)
Spoilers: Everything up to the current hiatus. It's set after the end of season 3, anyway.
Summary: When you try your best, but end up left behind and broken-hearted, there's only one way not to end up a Lima loser: get the hell out of town.
Credit: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] epanaphoric for her patient, thorough beta work, and to [livejournal.com profile] overlimits for bouncing ideas around with me and taking a first look at this!


 Prologue
 
I never thought I’d die alone: another six months, I’ll be unknown.
Give all my things to all my friends.
You’ll never step foot in my room again, you’ll close it off, board it up.

Remember the time that I spilled the cup of apple juice in the hall?
Please, tell Mom this is not her fault.
 
*
He hadn’t thought it would be so hard. In his mind it had been simple: he would only need to pack a few items, just like every heroic runaway in the movies. But it was so damned hard to leave behind all the stupid little things in his room. His comic collection, his favourite football, his—his drums.
 
A tight knot formed in Finn’s throat, refusing to let go, as he looked around, surveying the mess scattered over his floor. But then, he replayed in his mind the events of last year, and suddenly his belongings didn’t seem so important anymore; on the contrary, they seemed alien, foreign; they didn’t belong to him at all. Perhaps to the old him, and well, that was someone he didn’t care to be anymore. Which was a pity, because everyone else had loved that guy.
 
The difference to how things stood now was staggering.
 
His football trophies glinted sardonically at him in the dim light of the room. He’d been so proud of them! He always had been a loser, but at least back then, he’d still felt things might change one day. God, he really was the moron everyone thought him to be.
 
Biting his lip, Finn weighed his backpack in his hand. Light enough. There was still room for a few things. He grabbed a book, hidden in his nightstand drawer: ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. His class had been given it as an assignment during the first term of senior year, and he’d never completed it. That, however, didn’t mean he hadn’t liked it, or that he didn’t like reading. Sure, it wasn’t as great as video games, but it could still be pretty cool. Only, it always took him a while to figure out what the author was getting at, and everyone would always treat him like a moron when he asked. Much better to just never mention so much as cracking a book open.
 
Shoving the book inside his backpack, he wished for a moment he still had the baby blanket his father had gotten him. Not that he would sleep with it or anything, just… for comfort. To have something of home along the way. But no, the blanket was still with Quinn. She had given up the baby, but kept the blanket, and then she’d wanted the baby back, too . Quinn had always wanted it all. And Finn had got none of it. Bitterness rose in his throat like bile at the thought of the baby girl he’d believed – wanted – to be his, and he swallowed it down, grabbing his army knife from the bottom of his wardrobe (his Mom had forgotten to hide it again).
 
The thing was, the whole ‘not living up to people’s expectations’ thing had gotten pretty old pretty fast. He was supposed to be the golden boy, wasn’t he? Starting quarterback, Glee club leader, and his grades weren’t that bad. Well… not as bad as Brittany’s, at least. All the girls had crushed on him. And a boy, too.
 
But two years down the line, and what was he? An unexceptional quarterback on  a mediocre team. Sure, since Coach Beiste had stepped in, they might not have sucked as badly as they’d used to, but the Titans were definitely not scholarship material... and neither was he. Just another misfit in a club that didn’t need a leader anymore, and definitely didn’t want him to have that job, each and every one of its members clear-minded and heading for their own personal dreams. And finally… the boy who’d thought he was too good for Quinn, and had turned out not to be good enough for Rachel.
 
(And that was in a whole different chapter as far as heartbreak went. Rachel had been… well, she was everything that was hurting Finn right now, times a thousand. He’d thought she was the love of his life, and for a few crazed, brilliant moments, he’d thought he was hers, too. It still burned far too much to think about, so he wouldn’t, okay? Okay.)
 
Still, he had friends. Tons of them. Well, people he could hang with, at least. When it came to people he could count on and open his heart to… well, Finn only really had one such person left, and that person was packing away suitcase after suitcase of clothes for his inevitable move to New York, where he’d wait for his boyfriend to join him so they could live out their fantasy of… God-knew-what; a sock-less world of matching bowties, Vogue issues, and canaries chirping from bedazzled cages?
 
Kurt Anderson. Even thinking about it made Finn shudder; he wasn't quite sure why, he was totally cool with gay dudes, and wanted Kurt to be happy, but... he just didn't like Blaine, alright?
 
In any case, Kurt and Rachel and Blaine planning to move to the city that never sleeps together left Finn sleepless for his own personal reasons.
 
He had… absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with himself. He knew, just knew he wouldn’t make it in the Big Apple (honestly, when had he ever been special enough for something like that?), but whenever he thought about staying behind in Lima his chest constricted and he felt panic creeping into his bones.
 
All in all? He’d never felt more lost. He’d never felt lonelier.
 
He wasn’t sure when, how, or why the idea of leaving on a trip had worked its way into his brain. God knew, it wouldn’t lead to any tangible benefits, or change his situation in the least. But if nothing else, it would let him escape the disappointed, pitying stares everyone levelled at him upon finding out he was biding his time working at Burt’s garage while they were headed off into the sunset to live the dream. Besides, he didn’t have any summer plans: with Blaine off at Six Flags, Rachel and Kurt were going to spend their time apartment hunting in New York, everyone would just be so busy, and… yeah.
 
He hadn’t told anyone, though. He was sure they would say it was a totally lame idea, and how could he be so immature? Finn could see it clearly in his mind’s eye—Quinn’s scoff, Rachel’s eyeroll, Santana’s cutting remarks, Kurt’s raised eyebrow. No thanks. If he had to be lame, at least he didn’t want people getting down on him for it. Puck was the only one who might take kindly to the idea, but Finn had the sneaking feeling if he brought his bro along, their “ride on the wild side” would very rapidly turn into a ride on the criminal side, and that just wouldn’t do. Besides, he really needed to do this on his own. Except…
 
Except, of course, his Mom would never, ever let him. He might be 18 now, but to her, he was still the same clumsy kid who she didn’t trust with a goldfish (not that he could blame her, honestly); hence the secrecy. Guilt had weighed heavy on his heart at the thought of keeping his big plan bottled inside – if there was one thing he was not designed to do, it was lie – but, he figured… it would all work out in the end. After all, at the rate things were going, leaving would probably hurt him the most; people around him would scarcely have time or mind to miss him. And yes, he knew he was giving himself a freaking huge pity party, but he’d tried not doing that, and none of them had been any the wiser for it…
 
So.
 
Backpack, duffel bag with clothes, sleeping bag, car keys, all his savings (he’d gone and gotten them from the bank one day when Carole had been working late; he’d intended on using them to pay his college tuition, but that hardly mattered now, did it?)…
 
 He thought about taking his high-school diploma with him, but figured his Mom would want to keep it, as some sort of proof her son wasn’t a complete deadbeat. 
 
Thinking about his mother made Finn’s heart squeeze painfully. He knew that his leaving without warning – even if only for the summer (…or was it?) – would hurt her; she loved him, even if he hadn’t achieved much of anything in his high school years, even if he had failed to get in to anywhere really good like he knew she’d wished for him. But she had a life of her own now, one that didn’t revolve around him anymore, with Burt and Kurt and everything, and… yeah. She’d live. But all in all, she’d probably be the only person Finn would miss once he left. Well… her and Kurt, anyway. Finn wasn’t sure when Kurt had become so important to him – a warm, bright presence flitting in and out of his vision, yet always to be counted upon in times of need – he only knew it felt good, and Finn didn’t want to lose that.
 
But bigger and brighter things were in Kurt’s destiny than having to deal with his washed-up kinda-almost-brother, so it wasn’t fair to want him to stick around. And Finn wasn’t going to be that kind of friend. Brother. Friend. Whatever.
 
He took a deep breath, looking around his room one last time. He’d been happy here, although it seemed like a lifetime ago. There were so many things he loved, but so little he actually needed. Life was funny that way, and Finn Hudson was learning it for the first time in his young years.
 
He pushed the door open quietly. Going downstairs without waking anyone (or tripping over his own feet) would be a challenge.
 
(You can do it, Finn, you can do it, he repeated in his mind like a mantra. Stealthy like a ninja. Silent like a… silent thing.)
 
When he reached the hall, he still couldn’t believe he’d done it. The clock on the wall glared at him, hands pointing out the time – 3.40 in the morning. On the shelf beneath it, a tiny, funny-shaped object caught Finn’s attention; Kurt’s crazy hippo brooch. A half-smile tugged at Finn’s lips – that boy really was something, wasn’t he? He picked the brooch up, wondering if Kurt would miss it. Well, of course he would, Kurt was a freaking maniac about all of his stuff, but…
 
Finn shrugged, and pocketed the small object. After all, Kurt was going to get his Xbox with all of his Tekken games (and Finn knew Kurt loved those, no matter how much the boy tried to deny it) so it was only fair that Finn got something, too.
 
For the hundredth time, he considered leaving a note. He’d thought about it, picturing a thousand different messages in his mind, but words always had a way of turning against him when he least expected it, fading into entirely different nuances, shifting treacherously under his feet like quicksand, never enough to express what he really meant. Eventually it was simply too disheartening to bother with it.
 
He unlatched the front door – the sound ominously loud to his hyper-aware ears – then locked it behind himself once he was out (it was a risk, but what if some weirdo broke into the house and robbed his parents or beat up Burt or tried to do horrible things to his Mom or Kurt? Not cool, man. Not. Cool.)
 
His eyes strayed to the mailbox, and he weighed the keys in his hand for a moment. Surely, even if he was leaving, he would still be a part of the family, right? They wouldn’t shut him out or anything. He had a right to keep his keys, didn’t he…?
 
He closed his eyes briefly, his brow creasing. Then, taking a heavy breath, he reached forward, dropping the keys into the mailbox with a loud clunk. Fair was fair. He’d let everyone down – himself included – so if they wanted to let him down by not wanting him back… he’d have to live with it. He shuddered, and told himself it was the wind.
 
It was pretty chilly for late June, and the cool night air against his skin woke him up fully, although he’d never gone to sleep in the first place. Beneath the crushing weight of his frustration, confusion and sheer loneliness, he could feel a twinge of excitement struggling to rise to the fore.
 
Heading to the barely-held-together piece of junk that passed for his car, he slung his meagre luggage into the backseat. He knew his Mom and Kurt were light sleepers, and one or both of them would probably hear the engine as it roared and sputtered to life, but that wasn’t an issue. By the time they realised he was gone, it would be too late. Hell, he’d even pushed both pillows under the bedsheets, because duh, he’d watched those movies.
 
His skin tingled with nerves and excitement. Before the sun rose, he’d be far, far away from Lima. Headed where… he hadn’t decided yet.
 
Sitting in the driver’s seat and looking at the familiar streets in front of him, Finn allowed himself one last regretful thought about the promising young man Finn Christopher Hudson had been, and the train wreck  he’d managed to become in less than three years.
 
Then he turned the key in the ignition, and pressed his foot firmly to the gas.
 
*

I never conquered, rarely came. Sixteen just held such better days.
Days when I still felt alive, we couldn’t wait to get outside.
The world was wide. Too late to try.



--TBC
 
Tags: , ,
 
 
Current Mood: excited
 
 
( Post a new comment )
[identity profile] daisy70.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
Interesting and well-written first chapter,I liked it.I can't wait to read the rest. :)
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:04 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'll be working on it.:)
[identity profile] aoitsukikage.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Aw, Finn ;____;

...That pretty much sums up the chapter for me. I can understand his motivations but still. The fact that he took the hippo brooch makes me ridiculously happy, though.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
"Aw, Finn" pretty much sums up the entire season so far , for me. WHY WON'T ANYONE ACKNOWLEDGE HIS TROUBLES.

Hee hee. That was actually a really good suggestion I got, and I thought the brooch would be such a Kurt thing to take along. ;)
[identity profile] yutaka-oka.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 07:09 am (UTC)
That is great, really.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:05 am (UTC)
Thank you!
[identity profile] deepsorskies.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 08:15 am (UTC)
I'm ridiculously happy that someone is dealing with what Finn seems to be going through this season. I kind of wanna hug him every time he is in screen.

Very, very interesting start and very touching. I'm so looking forward to this fic!!
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:08 am (UTC)
Me too, believe me. That's part of the reason I' m writing this.:(

ajdksjgfls I hope not to disappoint!
[identity profile] overlimits.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:31 am (UTC)
adjkshf oh Finn, bb. DDD: YOU TEAR MY HEART OUT WITH YOUR SELF-LOATHING ANGST.

This is just so good so far, you've gotten me so excited for the next part. You draw someone into a scene very well. ;3; And goodness knows I could see this happening.

ngl, I sort of squealed a little when Finn took the hippo broach. XD Awesome touch.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 10:54 am (UTC)
SO MUCH MANLY BROODING. D:

adjslfsd I'm glad I've got you excited about it. I'LL NEED YOUR HELP TO PLAN HIS SHENANIGANS.

...I kinda wish it would happen on the show. Give the boy some screentime already.XD

Thanks! :D Like I said, not really 100% my idea, but it IS a cute detail.
[identity profile] woodsgal.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Awwwww poor Finn, seriously. Just because he's confused and hasn't done so well and....*hugs him*. Hopefully he'll do well for himself in this fic and the show.

And I do love how Kurt has become so important to him, so much so that he had to take the hippo brooch adjsdhsjad. He is so in love even if he doesn't realise it.

Awesome work and can't wait for more.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 11:48 am (UTC)
He does need a lot of hugs.:( But I'm confident he'll find his way on the show, too. After all he's probably the most relatable character in there at the moment.

Sobb, he just loves Kurt so much, even if it's not romantic yet.;__;

Thanks and I'll get down to work!:D
[identity profile] fishnetmom.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
So far, so good...I'm enjoying this.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear!
[identity profile] jantra79.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
Soooo, Kurt has a sixth sense - he telecommunicates - and is able to find Finn in the nick of time, right?

RIGHT???!!!!

I need my Kinn right now *pouts*

Great story so far. It's nice to hear Finn's pov.
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
Haha, who knows. Maybe he'll find Finn, and maybe he won't! ;)

(Hint: he does.)

Thank you! There's been a distinct lack of Finn on the show so far.
[identity profile] myownghost.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to see a story about Finn. He seems so lost, and he's been kind of a mess. I'll look forward to more chapters, hoping he finds himself AND gets found!
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
I miss my weekly dose of Finn Hudson, okay. And I hate that just because he doesn't complain loud enough, his troubles go unheard.

I don't know if he'll find himself, but someone's gonna find him alright.;)
[identity profile] iskra667.livejournal.com on October 20th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
That's really good, Babe! I'm pretty sure that's the first Finn POV fic I've seen that's not at least mildly snarky. A really unusual take on him and you piqued my curiosity :)
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 21st, 2011 10:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you think I got him right and was somewhat original! I'll try not to disappoint.

I'm sorry that I haven't got around to read your gleefics yet, but I've not been around on vc_media either... I've become such a bad flister since I got sick :(
[identity profile] itsahotone.livejournal.com on October 23rd, 2011 09:33 am (UTC)
...sob Finn I love yoooou don't go D: D: D:

(...this is snoopypez/santanaisbitho. I'm just too lazy to switch accounts. shh.)
[identity profile] starsandgutters.livejournal.com on October 23rd, 2011 10:12 am (UTC)
Sob, I love him too ;__; BUT HE HAS TO GO AND WORK HIS MANLY BROODING.

(Hello you!<3 Sob, I wish the real Santana was as nice to Finn as you are.XD)