Always go to the bathroom when you have the chance.
~King George V
It's two o'clock on a Tuesday, and Claire is currently standing in the first floor girls' bathroom that's located just outside of the gym. She's taking her time washing her hands—if anyone asks, she'll claim that she's merely very germ conscious, which she kind of is—but really, she's just trying to procrastinate for as long as possible before she absolutely has to go back to her Phys Ed class. They're currently playing volleyball, and she isn't exactly eager to go back in there and avoid getting whacked by the ball flying at her face. She's really not much of an athlete.
The door opens, and Claire jumps a little, internally sighing in disappointment that she'll have to finish up and go back to class. After all, lurking in the bathroom while someone else is in there could be considered kind of creepy, and she doesn't want to do anything that will draw attention to herself. William McKinley High School on the whole is a pretty bad place to be singled out unless you happen to be a jock or a cheerleader. She's neither of those—she's just a lowly freshman who tries to keep her head down and avoid the slushies that seem to be the favorite weapon of those same jocks and cheerleaders to decimate the nerd and loser population of the school.
Claire figures she can get away with another thirty seconds of washing her hands before she'll need to get moving, and she glances up into the mirror to check out whoever it is that's interrupting her procrastination time. A tiny brunette comes stomping into the bathroom, towing a little pick suitcase on wheels behind her. Claire recognizes the girl from her history class—Rachel Berry. She only knows her name because Mr. Kohl is forever saying it in that defeated tone after he's all but begged for someone else to raise their hand and volunteer an answer to one of his questions. Claire kind of wishes someone else would too—it won't be her because of the whole keeping her head down thing—since once Rachel starts talking she just never stops. Claire tends to tune her out, which is a feat that she's pretty proud of, to be honest.
Rachel stops in front of the sink beside her with a scowl, jerking on the faucets and grabbing a handful of paper towels. She isn't covered in slushy residue for a change, but there's an ugly, brown stain on the front of her white sweater that makes the weird bear embroidered on it look like he's just done his business across her stomach. Claire bites into her lip to keep from laughing, instead focusing on her own hands under the stream of water and the need to finally turn it off, dry her hands, and go back to dodging volleyballs.
She's just turning off the water when the door opens again, and Claire's mouth goes dry at the sight of red, white, and black. She averts her eyes, searching out the nearest towel dispenser as she shakes the excess moisture from her hands. Unfortunately for her, it's located on the other side of Rachel—right where the frowning, blonde Cheerio plants herself with hands on her hips.
"What did you think you were doing?" she demands sharply.
Her voice is pitched high with a nasal overtone, and Claire thinks it makes her sound slightly less threatening than her glare would indicate and certainly less threatening than that Santana girl in her Algebra class. She doesn't have any classes with the blonde, but she's seen her in the hallways, and—well, she's a Cheerio, so Claire pretty much steers clear.
"Why, yes, Quinn, the coffee that your unpleasant teammate spilled on me was quite hot," Rachel snaps back, still scrubbing at her sweater. "No, I am not seriously injured. Thank you for your concern."
Quinn—Claire has a feeling that she should probably remember that name—narrows her eyes even more, moving her hands from her hips to cross her arms under her breasts. "I warned you not to talk to me again. It's not my fault you're either deaf or dumb."
Rachel huffs. "I merely said hello to you. I wasn't aware that there was a moratorium on being polite."
"Well, there is," Quinn hisses, snatching the towels away from Rachel's hand and tossing them into the sink. "You need to forget whatever weird, little fantasy you have about us becoming friends. It's not going to happen. Are we clear, Berry?"
Rachel straightens her shoulders, blinking at her own reflection in the mirror. "Perfectly."
Quinn nods. "Good."
But there's something in Quinn's eyes that makes Claire feel like she's not exactly as happy to hear Rachel concede as she should be. She doesn't fully realize just how blatantly she's been staring at them until Quinn's gaze connects with hers. "Are you enjoying the show, freak?" she growls.
"S-sorry," Claire stutters, stumbling back from the sink and quickly turning for the door. She doesn't want any more attention from the Cheerio than she's already gotten, so she ducks her head as she rushes past the other two girls, wiping her still wet hands on her t-shirt. She's only wearing it for Phys Ed, after all.
On her way out, she thinks that she hears a softly concerned, "Did you get burned very badly?" before the door swings shut, but she figures it had to be her imagination. Either way, she's so not going back into that bathroom to find out.
Claire makes it through most of her freshman year relatively unscathed. She'd taken some secondhand shrapnel from a wild, grape slushy in late April, but otherwise, she'd succeeded beautifully in flying under the radar. Her goal for the new school year is to do the same. It's the first day, and she's on her way to her homeroom on the second floor. She takes a detour into bathroom at the top of the steps—those two glasses of orange juice just went right through her this morning—and sees Rachel Berry in front of the mirror with her little pink suitcase at her feet and a bottle of hairspray in her hand.
Her hair is clipped back from her face, and she's dressed in her typical sweater and skirt combo, but there are no smiling animals plastered across her chest today. In fact, she actually looks kind of hot except for the men's tie that she'd inexplicably looped around her neck. Claire doesn't really get most of her fashion choices, and she still thinks Rachel talks too much, but she'd heard her sing the National Anthem at a pep rally last year, and damn—the girl has got some pipes. That's probably what makes her briefly consider greeting Rachel with a neutral, "Hey," but the sound of two toilets simultaneously flushing stops her short.
The stalls swing open in perfect sync to reveal Quinn Fabray and Santana Lopez dressed in their matching red, white, and black. "Getting ready for the tranny prom, Rachel?" Quinn taunts in her nasal voice, strutting over to the sink beside Rachel.
Claire flashes back to their bathroom encounter last year with a frown. Granted, she hasn't paid much attention to either one of them since then, but there's something in Quinn's expression—Rachel's too, for that matter—as she carelessly tosses out the insult that makes Claire think that this has become the norm for them. She feels kind of bad for Rachel, especially when Santana joins in with a sneered, "Don't forget to shave."
Rachel doesn't say a word, only creating a halo of hairspray around her head that almost looks like bug repellant for the two Cheerios. Claire bites back a laugh because they are kind of bloodsucking pests, but she tramps down her amusement pretty quickly and ducks inside a stall when they both glare at her on their way out the door. And ew—do they not wash their hands? She makes a mental note to never touch anything that they've touched without wiping it down first.
It's only when they're gone that Rachel's mask of indifference slips. Claire catches her sad eyes in the mirror as she begins to close her stall door and hesitates, offering Rachel a faint smile in the mirror. "I…I don't think you look like a tranny," she says quietly.
Rachel manages a grateful smile. "Thank you."
Claire nods and closes the door, feeling a little better for saying something. Then she forgets all about it because she really, really does need to pee.
It's late January when Claire rushes into the bathroom near the main entrance, hoping to at least dry out some of her soaked through blue jeans. Stupid ice and stupid snow and stupid maintenance dudes that never bother to shovel the sidewalks when the stupid school district decides not to cancel classes in the middle of a nor'easter. She'd just humiliated herself by losing her balance on the slippery pavement and taking a header into a snowdrift right in front of Max Sherman. He probably thinks she's a giant dork now!
Her forward motion stops instantly when she sees who's already in the bathroom.
The red, white, and black is long gone, replaced by a loose, yellow dress that does a fairly decent job of concealing the baby bump that everyone in the school already knows is there by now. It's been the hottest gossip going for months, and Claire can admit that she'd kind of thought that Quinn maybe had it coming at first. But now, seeing the constant sadness in her eyes and the protective hand pressed to her belly as she walks the halls, Claire can't help feeling sorry for her.
Even so, she doesn't quite get why Rachel Berry is standing there in front of Quinn with a concerned look on her face and a tentative hand reaching for her shoulder.
Claire has been pretty much flying under the radar like she wanted—except when it comes to Max—but that doesn't mean that she's been living under a rock. She's heard all about the verbal smack downs that Quinn and Rachel have had in various parts of the school, mostly over Quinn's big, doofy boyfriend—well, ex-boyfriend now, Claire supposes. Rachel had dated him for, like, a minute after that, but now she's got some conceited, wavy-haired senior who'd transferred in—and who even decides to transfer in to McKinley?—following her around. He's even more annoying than Rachel ever was.
Quinn takes a jerky step back when she notices Claire and bats Rachel's hand away, her sad expression instantly transformed into annoyance. "You can't help me," she mutters to Rachel. "So stop trying." And then she's hastily brushing past Claire and stalking—actually, more waddling now—out of the bathroom.
Rachel watches her go with pink cheeks and a worried frown. Then she seems to shrug it off, plastering on a big, fake smile as she meets Claire's eyes. "She's having a rough time," she confides unnecessarily, nervously tucking her hair behind her ear. "I'm sure you understand."
Claire raises her eyebrows. "Um…sure?"
Seemingly satisfied, Rachel nods and grips her pink suitcase, passing by Claire on the way out the door with a pleasant, "Have a nice day."
Claire only shakes her head. She can't say it's been very nice so far, but it's certainly been interesting.
Junior year is off to a pretty decent start. Claire feels like she'd lucked out with her classes by actually getting the handful of teachers in this place who aren't complete wastes of space, and she's been dating Max for three months solid. He's kind of a jock, even if the swim team isn't all that popular, but it's enough to keep the slushy target off his back and hers by proxy. They have lunch together every day, and they maybe get a little delayed on the way to fifth period, but her art appreciation class is an easy credit, and Mrs. Kipner is what Claire likes to call an eccentric flake, so she's not all that worried about being a few minutes late getting there.
She jogs into the bathroom in the arts and music wing because she didn't have time to go before lunch, and she suppresses a groan when she sees Quinn Fabray reapplying her already flawless makeup in front of the mirror. The girl is back in the signature red, white, and black of McKinley royalty, and Claire has to wonder how freaking unfair the high school hierarchy has to be that someone like Quinn can end up right back on top like nothing ever happened last year. She doesn't even look like she had a baby, and yeah, so maybe Claire is a little bit jealous of her perfect—well, everything.
Quinn doesn't even acknowledge Claire's presence, which is absolutely fine by her. She slips into an empty stall, wishing that Quinn would hurry up and go away so she can at least pretend that she has a little privacy while she does her business. Instead, she hears the door open and Rachel Berry's unfortunately familiar voice saying, "Hey, Quinn, can we talk?"
Claire rolls her eyes, resisting the urge to bang her forehead off the side of the stall. Why does this keep happening to her?
"What do you want to talk about?" Quinn asks, and Claire is actually kind of impressed that it sounds relatively civil.
"About Sam. I heard that you backed out of doing the duet with him." Claire furrows her brow, trying to remember if she knows anybody named Sam—not that she pays much attention to the geeks in the glee club. She'll certainly never admit that she might actually like some of their performances.
"Look," Rachel continues, "I understand that your reputation is important to you, but wouldn't you want to do whatever it takes to be on top of the proverbial pyramid in every aspect of your life?"
"Singing with Sam won't change that," Quinn responds coolly.
"Oh, but winning the competition will, and partnering with Sam is really your only shot at it," Rachel rushes out hopefully.
"What's your angle?" Quinn asks suspiciously. Claire doesn't actually have any idea what the hell is going on, but she's kind of wondering the same thing. She'd gotten stuck in a group with Rachel last year for a history project, so she instantly recognizes that falsely helpful tone that precedes an attempt to manipulate someone into doing things her way.
"What's your angle?" Quinn repeats impatiently, barely giving Rachel time to answer. "Me winning means you losing, and you'll do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen, so what is in it for you?"
Claire finds that she's waiting for the answer as much as Quinn must be, and she thinks that maybe she is kind of a weird, bathroom creep after all.
"Look, I agree, okay. You're probably not going to beat Finn and I," Rachel concedes, "but I just thought that, as...as the team captain, it would be good for the team to have some healthy competition for second place."
Claire doesn't hear a verbal response from Quinn, but she does hear something like a huff before the door opens and closes again. A few seconds later, Rachel mutters, "Right where I want her," and then her footsteps carry her away, leaving Claire finally, blissfully alone. Her bladder is incredibly happy about that.
The night of Junior Prom, Claire doesn't really care about who wins prom queen. She thinks giving it to Kurt Hummel is a pretty shitty joke, but it's not like she can do anything about it. She didn't vote for any of the actual candidates anyway, and she's in the middle of a fight with Max because his friends are assholes, and he keeps defending them instead of being the decent human being that she thought he was. And on top of that, she just found out that he rented a motel room for them without even asking her—like she's just expected to give it up to him in some fleabag motor inn outside of town because they've done it a few times already. It's such a ridiculous cliché.
Her feet hurt, and her dress is too tight, and it's so hot and stuffy in the gym that she feels like she's drowning in a sea of her own sweat. She doesn't feel very sexy right now anyway, even if she wasn't pissed at her stupid boyfriend for acting like a jerk, so she decides to head to the bathroom to cool off in more ways than one.
At this point, she isn't even fucking surprised when she opens the door and finds them. It's just been that kind of night.
Rachel is wearing this pretty, pink, strapless dress, and Quinn—well, Quinn looks like a princess in icy blue. She might still be a major bitch, but she's a gorgeous one. Claire really doesn't see the point in denying the truth. They're both leaning against the sinks, and there are tear streaks glistening on Quinn's cheeks. Rachel is offering her a tissue or maybe a paper towel that Quinn takes as she finishes saying something about, "When all this is gone," and wipes her eyes.
Claire pauses in the doorway, half in and half out of the bathroom, trying to decide whether she should retreat or just march right in and wipe the sweat off her face and to hell with Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray and whatever weird bathroom drama they're playing out this time. But then Rachel says, "Look, you have nothing to be scared of. You're a very pretty girl, Quinn. Prettiest girl I've ever met…but you're a lot more than that." Then she moves to tenderly dab at Quinn's eyes with another towel in her hand.
And okay—Claire knows that Quinn is back with the doof, and Rachel seems to be here with that narcissistic Jesse guy—but this is hella gay. She backs out of the bathroom and closes the door quietly, not wanting to interrupt whatever moment they're having. With a frustrated sigh, she decides to try the bathroom at the other end of the hall.
Claire is already counting down to graduation even though it's only the second week of senior year. She can't wait to get out of Lima. She and Max had broken up for good over the summer, and she's pretty much sworn off dating for a while. She'd forgotten how much freedom there is in being single. She doesn't have to sit through anymore gory, horror movies or try to understand the appeal of NASCAR, and best of all, there's no one trying to convince her that she shouldn't apply to UCLA or Stanford because it's too far away.
She cuts across the quad between third and fourth periods to avoid the crowded hallways, stopping at the bathroom next to the library. There's a girl with a nose ring and messy pink hair escaping from her knit beanie who's lighting up a cigarette inside, and Claire shakes her head because—gross. She hates confrontations, so she doesn't say anything about the smoke and heads for an empty stall. She's inside and only starting to push the door shut when it's slammed back open, surprising her and sending her stumbling back a step. She barely avoids falling into the toilet.
The girl with the pink hair is looming in front of the stall, leaning into the metal frame with one arm braced above her head and the other extended across the open door with the lit cigarette between her fingers to block Claire from escaping. Claire has a fleeting thought that she probably should have picked a different bathroom before—holy shit! The girl with the pink hair is Quinn Fabray!
"Hey, you," Quinn demands with a menacing smirk, her breath reeking of nicotine. "This bathroom is off limits unless you pay the toll."
Quinn's lips curl into a sneer. "Your lunch money, freak. Cough it up or you're going headfirst into that toilet."
Claire stares at her dumbly, wondering what in the hell happened to her over the summer. How do you go from a prom queen candidate to this? Because Claire has a pretty strong feeling that Quinn isn't kidding around with her threat. She can't believe that she's actually missing the red, white, and black right about now.
She opens her mouth to say something—to explain that she doesn't really have any cash on her, just a dollar for the pop machine—but she's interrupted (or maybe saved) by a throat being cleared and a hesitant, "Quinn? May I speak with you for a moment?"
Claire has never in her life been so grateful to hear Rachel Berry's voice.
Then something weird happens. Claire gets to watch, up close and personal, as Quinn's eyelids flutter and the hard look on her face softens. Her lower lip gets caught between her teeth and her eyes glitter with something that almost looks like longing before she blinks it all away with a deep sigh. Annoyance falls over her expression like a mask just before she pushes off the stall and turns around.
"So much for whenever I'm ready, huh?" she taunts Rachel, tagging a drag off her cigarette.
Rachel purses her lips, waving a hand through the air to disperse the smoke being expelled in her face. "This isn't about you coming back to glee. It's about," her eyes cut to Claire, and she smiles tightly. "Excuse me. Clara, isn't it?" she asks with forced politeness.
"Um, it's Claire actually," Claire mutters.
Rachel ignores the correction. "May we have some privacy?"
Claire doesn't have to be asked twice. She grips her book bag tightly to her side as she shimmies past Quinn, hearing a huffy, "Really, Rachel? Are you stalking me now or something?" as she races out of the bathroom.
She doesn't want to be any part of whatever lovers' quarrel they're having this time.
It's halfway through the school year, and she's already gotten her acceptance letters from UCLA, Northwestern, and Penn State. She still has a handful of schools that she's waiting to hear back from, but Claire is pretty confident that she's getting out of Ohio after graduation. Max wants her back, but she's so over him. She does think that she might like to start dating again though, and her lab partner, Scott, is smart and seems pretty nice, so she can ignore that incredibly lame pun about them having mad chemistry that he'd made in the middle of their CO2 experiment.
She heads for the bathroom on the way to class—so maybe she wants to primp a little before she sees Scott—but she's not two steps inside when she sees them again. Quinn had dropped the pink hair and torn tops not long after Claire's last freaky bathroom encounter with them, and she's pretty much decided that she must have been wrong about their epic gayness since Rachel has been attached at the hip to the doof since the beginning of the year—and really, Quinn had been smart to lose that one hundred and eighty pounds of dead weight.
When she hears, "Holy crap, are you pregnant?" come flying out of Quinn's mouth, Claire bites back a gasp and immediately stumbles backwards out of the bathroom. And okay, maybe she keeps her ear pressed to the door for a few minutes in an attempt to hear Rachel's answer, but it's only because Rachel is fucking talented and it would be a damned shame if she got herself trapped like that by her extra doofy boyfriend.
"What's your defect, Jenkins?"
Claire guiltily jumps away from the door to face Santana Lopez, glaring at her with arms crossed over her red, white, and black covered chest. She's kind of surprised that the girl even knows her last name, but she's more terrified of finding out if there really are razor blades in Santana's hair like everyone says. "I was…I just…"
"What? Perving on some poor, unsuspecting girls with their skirts down?"
"No," Claire denies quickly, straightening her shoulders. "I was going in, but I didn't want to interrupt them," and she gestures vaguely toward the door.
Santana lifts an eyebrow. "Did the golf team get some new recruits that I don't know about?"
Claire doesn't really know what golf has to do with anything, but she figures that she'd better give Santana some kind of response. "Um…Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray are in there. Talking," she adds.
Santana stares at her for a good ten seconds before she pushes the door open just enough to peek inside. Then she shakes her head and lets it close again. "I swear to God," she grumbles in annoyance, "they spend more time together in there than Britt and I do."
Claire smothers a grin and averts her eyes, because everybody knows that Santana Lopez and Brittany Pierce do things together in the handicap stall—like sex things.
"Why are you still here?" Santana demands, turning her attention back to Claire.
"Go away," Santana cuts her off with scowl.
Claire does as she's told. If Scott really likes her, then he won't care if she's flustered and uncombed. She'd much rather be unbeaten and unbruised.
"This freshman just gave me a hug and told me to never change."
Claire recognizes the voice—of course, she does—and this time she doesn't resist the urge to (lightly) bang her forehead against the side of the stall, because her high school tenure at William McKinley High School couldn't possibly be complete without one final bathroom encounter with the banes of her lavatory existence. And she was only one zipper tug and one flush away from getting the hell out of here.
She already knows exactly who Quinn is talking to because she'd heard Rachel Berry humming as she'd gone about her doing her own business in here.
"Poor thing is too young to realize that change can be so good," Quinn continues. "Think, if we hadn't changed, we would have never been friends.
Claire rolls her eyes, because—really? Friends?
"It's still so weird having you call me a friend," Rachel muses, the awe clear in her tone.
And seriously? Are they still pretending that they haven't been obsessing over each other since the beginning of freshman year? Yeah, yeah, Claire knows that Rachel is still technically engaged to the doof. For some reason, she seems weirdly determined to throw away her future even though it turned out that she isn't pregnant after all—at least, Claire thinks she isn't. There was some half-assed, shotgun-style wedding attempt in February, but they didn't go through with it, and then Quinn ended up in a wheelchair for, like, a minute, and what the hell was up with that anyway? How does that girl keep bouncing back, better than ever, every single time?
In any case, Claire doesn't know a lot about pregnancy, but she's pretty sure that Rachel should be showing by now if she was knocked up. She's ridiculously tiny. A baby bump would be pretty obvious.
"Here," Quinn says softly.
"A Metro North pass from New York to New Haven. I got one for me into New York," Quinn tells Rachel, and Claire bites her tongue because, once again—that's hella gay. Those things have to cost some serious cash. "You know, everybody keeps talking about staying in touch," Quinn continues, "and I want to make sure that we do."
Claire leans forward, peering through the crack between the door and the stall as Rachel murmurs a touched, "Thank you." She can't say that she's surprised to see their arms wrapped around one another, and Rachel repeats her thanks, telling Quinn, "It's so sweet."Claire wishes that she could see them better because she bets that Quinn has that weirdly longing look on her face.
"Although I'm still not a hundred percent sure that I'm for teen weddings," Quinn says as she lets go of Rachel, and really, who in their right mind is? "I'm really happy that you and Finn are together. You guys were meant to be."
What the fuck? That's a big, steaming pile of bullshit, and Claire doesn't believe Quinn really means it for a second. Rachel seems to buy it though, thanking Quinn again and saying, "You know, it's weird because that's how I always felt about you and Puck."
Okay, so that's an even bigger pile of bullshit. No sane person in this school ever thought that Quinn Fabray and that Puckerman jerk were meant to be. Then again, Rachel Berry hasn't always been a beacon of sanity.
"Ancient history," Quinn dismisses easily, and thank God. At least one of those two has her head on straight.
"But you know what I mean," Rachel pushes. "When you two were together, he was really at his best."
Claire snorts, because—no, he really wasn't. He'd had sex with half the girls in the school. There's an odd silence after that, and she realizes that she's been busted, so she quickly flushes the toilet, unhooks her bag from the door, and glides out of the stall, careful to appear completely disinterested. They're both staring at her with matching frowns as she walks to the sink to wash her hands, but she's feeling oddly brave after all these years, and she's not about to sacrifice hygiene just because Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray can't seem to give it a rest on the intimate exchanges in bathrooms.
"I wish I could say I was going to miss these little moments of yours," Claire says conversationally to her own reflection as she turns on the sink, "but I'm really not."
For once, Rachel and Quinn are the ones to leave the bathroom first.
Dr. Claire Jenkins-Saxton isn't exactly sure why she let her husband convince her to attend their ten year high school reunion. They've been pretty happily living their own lives in Cherry Hill, New Jersey—far, far away from Lima, Ohio. She's never known Scott to be all that attached to McKinley since he'd received more than a few slushy facials during his time in these hallways, but he'd really wanted to come to this thing, so how could she really say no?
As it turns out, she and Scott actually do have some pretty mad chemistry, and they both ended up in med school at the University of Pennsylvania where they'd reconnected. They've been married for two years now, and they're just starting to talk about maybe having some kids of their own in the (not too) near future, so maybe that's why Scott is suddenly feeling all nostalgic for their own formative years.
The reunion isn't completely terrible. It's been kind of fun to see how some of their classmates have turned out—she knows that she shouldn't find it amusing that Max is already going bald, but he'd managed to insult her and Scott while congratulating them on their marriage, so fuck him.
Honestly, she's still in shock over how many celebrities and semi-celebrities their class had turned out, although she hadn't been surprised at all when Rachel Berry won her first Tony two years ago. She is kind of surprised that Rachel is actually here tonight, especially since her messy divorce was splashed all over the tabloids last year. Really though, Claire never believed that Jesse St. James with his giant ego was much of an improvement over Finn Hudson, God rest his soul. She feels kind of bad about all the times that she'd thought about Finn as a doof in high school, but—well, they were all pretty stupid kids back then, weren't they?
She only catches a brief glimpse of Rachel in the crowd before she mostly forgets about her, spending her time focused on the people that she'd actually considered friends. She's kept in touch with one or two, but most of them are pretty much strangers to her now, and she's realizing how quickly the time has passed. She's also realizing that apparently Sergeant Puckerman still likes to spike the punch, and it's going right through her, so she excuses herself in order to take a little trip to the bathroom.
There's a group of ex-Cheerios lined up outside of the closest bathroom, and she hears one of them say something about someone named Patty puking in there, so she decides to see if the one at the end of the hall is open. It is, and Claire walks into what she thinks is a deserted bathroom. She's just about to push open a stall door when she hears it.
"Ohh…oh, fuck yes."
Claire freezes, eyes widening.
A keening moan echoes through the bathroom, and she squeezes her eyes shut when her brain registers what's happening in the next stall.
Her eyes pop open once again, because Jesus fucking Christ, she still knows that voice. Of course, she knows that voice. It's won a Tony, after all.
"That's right, baby. Come for me."
And she knows that voice too, even if it is pitched lower now than it ever was in high school. She'd just thought that its owner was supposed to be in Chicago filming her latest movie. She'd obviously been misinformed.
Another moan tears through the bathroom, and Claire certainly knows what an orgasm sounds like. And damn—this sounds like a really good one.
She knows that she should turn on her heel and retreat, but she really has to fucking pee, and she's a twenty-eight year old, married doctor, and Rachel Berry and Quinn Fabray should both know better. But then she hears a quiet, "I love you so much, Rach," from Quinn.
And a breathless but satisfied, "I love you, too, Quinn. I really wish we didn't have to hide this."
"Just a little while longer," Quinn promises softly. "Then we can tell the world how we feel about each other and to hell with what anyone thinks."
If Claire was more of a romantic, she'd probably swoon. As it is, she bites back a whimper and clamps down on her bladder—she's not about to out them just because she couldn't wait to take a piss, so she tiptoes back out of the bathroom and resigns herself to dealing with whatever mess is waiting in the one right outside of the gym.
She pauses before she walks away, reaching into her purse and pulling out the prescription pad and pen that she always keeps on hand out of habit. She's careful to keep her handwriting legible as she scrawls a short message across it, and taking out a Band-Aid—hey, she's a doctor now so she's always prepared—she turns back to the door and sticks the paper up at eye-level.
It simply reads Out of Order.
Grinning, Claire leaves Rachel and Quinn to finish doing their business in private, which is a hell of a lot more than they've ever done for her.