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Ain’t No Sunshine
By PaBurke
‘Verse: Glee AU
Warning: off-screen character death
Summary: Shannon Beiste truly had not thought that she would need to act on the guardianship Will and Emma had entrusted to her.

Shannon Beiste looked down at Emma’s big doe eyes paired with Will’s dimpled chin. Henry Schuester clutched his father’s guitar, fighting not to cry again. He had gathered every instrument of the house and made himself a nest under the baby grand piano that had been a 5th wedding anniversary from Emma to Will. A normal child faced with losing his parents would cling to a stuffed animal, but not Will’s son.

When Shannon had agreed to be Henry’s guardian, and then Emily’s three years later, she never thought she would need to act on it. She thought she could spoil them on their birthdays, be proud of their accomplishments and then send them home when they got annoying. (And nothing was more annoying than an hour of a three-year-old singing ‘You are my Sunshine’ at the top of his lungs.)

Now, Will and Emma were dead. Killed by a drunk graduating student on their annual-we-survived-another-year-of-teens date night. Shannon spared a moment to pity CJ Scott. The boy might have been a star baseball and basketball player, but to the kids at McKinnley High, he would forever be hated for killing the two most beloved adults of the school. Shannon tried not to hate him for killing her best friends.

Will and Emma were dead.

Last year, their annual date had been superseded by Emily’s early arrival. The baby girl had ignored all of her mother’s carefully planned timetables and decided to show up three weeks early. Shannon worried over the girl whose birthday would always be overshadowed by her parents’ death.

Shannon heard a sniffle and immediately hurried to Emily’s room. The baby was awake. Shannon gathered her up and grabbed all of her blankets as an afterthought. Emil snuggled close, seeking comfort. She didn’t comprehend the events that had upended her life; she was simply picking up Shannon and Henry’s stress. Shannon placed Emily next to her brother and arranged the blankets around the both of them. Henry accepted his sister and they held tight to each other.

Shannon kept watch, humming because that would comfort Will’s children.

She cried in private when she realized she had been humming ‘You are My Sunshine’ for four hours.

The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow
By PaBurke
‘Verse: Glee AU (pt2)

Mama Shannon was fond of saying, ‘It might take a village to raise a child but it took the Village People to raise you two.’

Henry Schuester never truly understood that. Until 5th grade, he had thought that everyone had an Aunt Rachel that gave them singing lessons and when she was too busy, an Uncle Blaine or Uncle Kurt that would fill in for her. Henry assumed that everyone had a crazy Aunt Brittany or an energetic Uncle Mike for dance lessons. Didn’t everyone have an edgy Aunt Santana or a funky Aunt Mercedes for wild, spur of the moment shopping trips? Henry had thought so until 9th grade. Henry pitied the kid that didn’t have an Uncle Puck to call when they did something so wrong or so horrible that there didn’t seem to be a way out. When he was a senior, he was still calling Uncle Puck for help and all his friends were jealous. Uncle Finn was for encouragement. He always called right before a performance (even if he was stationed on the other side of the world) and said the perfect thing. Each and every one of them had told stories of their parents, whom Emily didn’t truly remember. Henry remembered his father as a blurry happy face that danced around the living room with him. He remembered strong hands that played the guitar or the mandolin. His mother had loved him and hugged him and had kept a really clean house and was always washing his hands and face.

Aunt Quinn had mostly been in the background during Henry and Emily’s youth. She gave stylish but sedate gifts every year. She was rarely around because she was successful business woman. Emily was in complete awe of her. Aunt Quinn had given Henry a classic, high priced suit as a graduation gift. Henry hoped that he would get to use it someday soon. Now, as she sat Henry and Emily down, she handed them the savings account book. She had been responsible for investing the moneys give by hundreds of grateful students mourning the teachers that had been Henry and Emily’s parents. Henry’s eyes popped at the total amount. Aunt Quinn had invested it well.

Henry and Emily turned to Mama Shannon, their rock forever and ever. Mama smiled, “It’s okay, guys. It’s all yours to do with as you like. College, car, whatever.”

“Instruments?” Emily asked cheekily.

Mama rolled her eyes and muttered something about their father. “Divide the money up fairly and try to buy something practical with most of it.”

“Yes, Mama,” they chorused (on a C-chord, just because it drove her nuts). They thanked Aunt Quinn profusely.

Henry had an idea. “Can we give most of it back to Aunt Quinn to take care of until we have a plan?”

“That’d be fine,” Aunt Quinn spoke over Mama’s chide of not to be a bother. “I’d be honored. You two have a bright future ahead. I’d love to be part of it.”

Maybe the Village People had raised Emily and Henry, but Henry thought they turned out okay.