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Author's Chapter Notes:
I have taken liberties with "Scream", originally sung by Zac Efron in High School Musical 3. Thought it might suit Len - minus the flying basketballs, of course!

Len felt nervous, and she couldn’t shake the feeling. An ordinary classroom door had turned into a horror, and she hung back, unwilling to enter.

“I can’t,” she said, shaking her head.

Performing incredible manoeuvres in the small space available, Artie pivoted back to her, stopping just short of her toes. “Yes, you can,” he told her sternly, and grabbed her hand. He towed her towards the door, and she automatically opened it for him – and then couldn’t get out of the way and was ushered inside.

Finn, Mike and Tina all gave her friendly grins, which helped a little.

“You guys, this is Len,” Artie announced. “We’ve been working on a little something. Mr Shue?”

The teacher gestured towards the open space that had been cleared at the front of the classroom, and folded his arms expectantly. Artie slipped a cassette into the player on the table and hit a button. Music started to seep out, filling the room.

Len froze, paralysed with fear, but a small part of her mind was counting the beats, and she opened her mouth... And then she was singing, moving as Artie had taught her, and when she dared to look at the Glee Clubbers, they were smiling and tapping their feet. Her nerves disappeared. Artie gave her two enthusiastic thumbs up.

The day a door is closed
The echoes fill your soul
They won't say which way to go
Just trust your heart

To find what you're here for
Open another door
But I’m not sure anymore
It's just so hard

Voices in my head
Tell me they know best
Got me on the edge
they're pushin', pushin',
they're pushin'
I know they've got a plan
But the ball’s in my hands
This time its man-to-man,
I'm driving, fighting inside

A world that's upside down
Spinning faster
What do I do now? Without you

I don't know where to go, what's the right team?
I want my own thing so bad I'm gonna scream!
I can't choose, so confused! What's it all mean?
I want my own dream so bad I'm gonna scream!

I'm kickin' down the walls
I gotta make 'em fall
Just break through them all
I'm punchin', crashin', I'm gonna
Fight to find myself
Me and no one else
Which way? I can't tell,
I'm searchin', searchin', can't find the
Road that I should take
I should turn right or left
It's like nothing works without you

I don't know, where to go, what's the right team?
I want my own thing so bad I'm gonna scream!
I can't choose, so confused! What's it all mean?
I want my own dream so bad I'm gonna scream!

Yeah, the clock's running down,
hear the crowd gettin' loud!
I'm consumed by the sound!
Is it him? Is it love?
Can the music ever be enough?
Gotta work it out, gotta work it out!
You can do it, you can do it!

I don't know where to go, what's the right team?
I want my own thing. So bad I'm gonna scream!
I can't choose, so confused! What's it all mean?
I want my own dream. So bad I'm gonna scream!

When she’d finished, Len was out of breath, waiting anxiously for a reaction. She was bowled over when it came – the others clapped, cheered and laughed, and Mr Shuester looked thrilled. He came forward to shake her hand.

“Welcome to Glee club!” he said.

“What I want to know,” said Finn, “is did it help?”

Len took a deep breath. She was elated, on top of the world. “Yes,” she said, nodding. “I think it did.”

As the noise ebbed, Rachel stood up. “Now, about these auditions...”

Mr Shuester sighed. “Rachel, you can’t expect to hog the limelight here. It’s their school and their play. We’re here to help, that’s all.”

“Uh-huh,” said Rachel brightly, not having listened at all. “I intend to audition for the part of Lucia. I already know the solo off by heart.”

As Mr Shuester covered his eyes briefly with one hand, Len spoke up. “I don’t see any reason why Rachel shouldn’t audition,” she said. “Didn’t Miss Ferrars say that was the whole point of holding auditions – so that everyone can see that the best person gets the part, and it’s fair? This way we won’t have any trouble like the term Yseult tried to sabotage Mary-Lou.” She stopped, realising the others hadn’t been here when that had happened. It was odd – she’d got used to their presence. But they looked interested and quizzical, so she explained as quickly as possible.

“And it was all because Yseult was a new girl, so nobody would give her an important part. They couldn’t know what she was capable of, of course.”

“How do you know that about anybody if you don’t audition?” asked Rachel.

“Well...” Len considered. “You would show how well you could do in a small, non-speaking part, and if you did well and proved you could be trusted with it, you might get a bigger role next time.”

Rachel looked horrified.

Len continued, “But... I can see how your way might be better. In fact, I might audition for Lucia too.”

Now Rachel looked seriously worried, but Len went over to her with a smile and put out her hand. “Good luck!”

Rachel took it tentatively. “Aren’t you going to warn me off and threaten to curse me for all eternity if I get the part?”

“Of course not,” said Len, shocked. “Why would I do such a thing? The best person will be chosen, and that’s what will be best for the Play, and for the School!”

Her heartfelt speech should have moved some of the visitors to ridicule and laughter, but strangely, it didn’t, although Mr Shuester did fix certain amongst them with a warning glare.

Rachel smiled sincerely and said, “Good luck to you, too, Len. May the best woman win.”

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