Meant To Be
"We accept the love we think we deserve."
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"So what are we talking about today?" Dr. Mika O'Neil can't help but smirk at Quinn Fabray. The woman sitting on her couch is so put together except at the start of their sessions. It's been two years now but still Quinn grimaces, each time she enters the door and finds her way to the soft brown leather couch. Rolling her neck and squaring her shoulders each and every time before finally sitting down on the very comfortable couch, although she never looks comfortable on it.
However Mika knows that a lot has changed and Quinn really is the better for it. She can't complain either considering the financial and legal advice Quinn had given to her. Even before she became her patient, she had been there to help when her brother ran afoul of the law.
They had been roommates at Yale, the geeky science nerd and the quintessential blonde cheerleader. It was a match made in hell or so Mika had thought. But Quinn had proven her wrong even then, not only extending friendship but sharing a love of Buffy and Firefly.
And when Quinn and Rachel Berry had got together sophomore year, she had missed the closeness but could never deny that Rachel was really what Quinn had needed to balance herself out. They fit somehow, finishing each other's sentences but more than that, there was this undeniable bond between them, forged by past experiences and tempered by time only to finally develop into love.
So even when Quinn went off to law school and she focused on her doctorate, they had still kept in touch, cards and letters, not only from Quinn but Rachel as well. Eventually tapering off until Tomo had gotten arrested for drug possession and the only lawyer Mika knew was Quinn.
She had come as soon as Mika had made the call, bringing another lawyer with her. And between the both of them, it had taken more than six weeks before charges were dropped and Tomo had been released.
Even if one of the other lawyers at the firm had handled Tomo's case, Quinn had still been instrumental in helping her brother avoid jail time. She had been so caught up with her own issues that she missed the fact that Quinn looked disconnected from everything. She was still beautiful but somehow, when she smiled, it never really reached her eyes, which just has this constant look of sadness to them. It took another week before Mika realised Quinn needed help but was just never going to ask for it.
So Mika offered or rather badgered her into her first therapy session. She still remembered Quinn sitting, back straight, knees together and her hands held tightly in her lap, just staring at her. Neither saying a word until about half an hour in when she decided to take a completely unorthodox direction and offered Quinn a drink.
The blonde had expected water but what she got was a shot of twenty year old scotch instead. The bottle had been a gift from Tomo when she graduated and she figured Quinn deserved it. It was a big gamble because she had seen Quinn get drunk more than a few times. She was on the cusp of it being a problem and Mika hoped that the sessions would help Quinn rein not only that problem in but also deal with what was bothering her the most.
But even if the alcohol had relaxed her such that she had finally leaned back into the soft leather, it still didn't loosen her tongue. So when the hour ended, instead of giving up like Quinn expected her too, Mika had just smiled widely and told her she would expect her next week.
It took three sessions before Quinn had said something even if it was just to tell Mika she was wasting her time. Again, Mika had surprised her by disagreeing and highlighting that Quinn had not only turned up on time but she knew that the blonde wanted to say something and it was ok to take her time.
In the meantime, Mika did her own version of homework, discovering that Rachel was in LA and completely thrown by the fact that she and Quinn were no longer together. It was inconceivable in her mind but the pictures from the magazines and the gossip sites all showed Rachel partying in LA and linked with various different people both male and female.
So when Quinn really did start to talk to her, Mika knew that she could help. Quinn was extraordinary even if she didn't see it herself and the guilt and pain she carried could be worked through if she just opened herself. Mika knows they're not there as yet but Quinn was finally actually kind of dating and having a life outside work so in her book, it was a great start.
"High school? Your father? Or shall we just do the high school boys and college girls you dated?" At least that triggered an eyebrow raise and just a twitch of Quinn's lips. There's something bothering her favorite patient and she really wants to get to the bottom of it. They've made so much progress that she hates to see Quinn take a step backwards.
"I'm working on an M&A. Boutique hedge fund trying to buy a small securities company on the west coast." Quinn's voice is soft as she looks at the small sand Zen garden on the side table. Her hand reaching out to grab the small wooden rake as she starts to draw circles in the sand, her voice falling off until Mika clears her throat.
"I flew in for a day, just to talk to their in house counsel. Red eye back to New York." Again Quinn goes silent, her concentration seemingly on making a pattern in the sand but Mika can see how tightly she's holding on to the rake and knows she's trying to stop her hands from shaking.
Right now, Quinn was trying her hardest to subsume everything she was feeling that she deemed not right. It happens more than Mika likes. Usually triggered by three people; Russell, Beth or Rachel. But progress had been made when she sees Quinn finally glance up to meet her eyes.
"There was this actress at the airport. I think the only...I think she guest starred on her show once. I don't even think they're friends." It's what's not said that matters here because Quinn Fabray had been more than friends with Rachel Berry once.
'So it was going to be a Rachel Berry session' those sessions along with the ones regarding Russell were always the hardest. Not on her because it was her job. But she could see them take their toll on Quinn. How she would walk into her office, standing tall and proud and walk out an hour later looking beaten and down. However, they were necessary to help Quinn get over her feelings of inadequacy and Mika knows that eventually she'll see Quinn walk out with the same demeanor she walked in with.
"She reminded you of her though, of Rachel?" Mika's voice is curious, hoping to spur Quinn on. It's more like a friendly conversation than a therapy session but it worked with Quinn as she sees the blonde nod slowly.
"And?" she knows that's not all to it as Quinn takes a deep breath, holding it in before slowly breathing out through her nose.
At least she was using some of the techniques Mika had suggested so she just waits patiently knowing that Quinn would either get up her courage to talk or she would just shut down and it would take two or three more sessions before they could inch forward again.
"Yes...No." The denouement said with a sigh, "She's doing really well in LA. People Choice Awards and an Emmy and two Golden Globes." Again, it's what's unsaid that tends to matter more.
"Those are just facts and she seems to be doing well professionally but is she really happy?" Mika doesn't have to wait for a reaction as Quinn finally keeps eye contact, her words low but definitely harsher than before.
"Of course she's happy. She has to be... otherwise what would she..." Quinn stops abruptly, really not wanting to have this conversation today or maybe this year. She had thought she had made peace with Rachel leaving. But she knows that it just meant she had finally pushed the hurt so deep down that it didn't resurface unless someone brought it up like Mika or worse yet, Santana.
"Let's talk about my father..." Quinn's actually amazed that talking about her father actually hurt less than talking about Rachel. But that was truly the case here because she knows that Russell Fabray couldn't hurt her anymore but Rachel Berry would always be able to.
The next time Rachel kind of spins into her orbit, Quinn was buying her usual cup of coffee from the cart run by Joel ,around the corner from her office,. She does it every day at around eight in the morning and like clockwork informs him that she's still available and even if he has the six grandchildren and his wife Pearl is standing next to him, she'll marry him in an instant if he just asks.
Except on that day, as she goes through her routine, she notices the left behind National Enquirer and all she sees is a shot of Rachel Berry on the cover, looking angry and lost and giving the person taking the picture the finger; the garish headline proclaiming drug use and a new story of a run in with police.
"You, ok there sweetheart?" Joel's voice pulls her out of her state of reverie as she nods to him before asking if she could take the discarded paper, not really sure why she wants to read the story but somehow feeling compelled to because once upon a time, she knew the girl in the paper and for the life of her cannot understand how Rachel ended up looking like she really was on drugs.
She really doesn't want to care but it's not like she can control her own heart. Quinn's tried her level best to forget those years and everything or rather that one particular person who had been everything to her. But somehow, reading the stupid story and looking at the pictures of Rachel looking so lost and sad resonated within her. She remembers waking up curled around the brunette, their bodies touching end to end and feeling like she was the luckiest woman in New York.
But things had begun to change even then, her hours at the law firm ate into the time they spent together, missing some of Rachel's shows and likewise not having Rachel there at her own Corporate functions. Quinn knows she could have tried harder, been less driven at work but it wasn't all on her either.
So she just pushed all thoughts of Rachel aside even if every now and then, she'd catch herself thinking of the brunette. Of that bright eyed annoying girl she knew that was destined for great things and whom she had fallen head over heels in love with and who now seemed to be wasting all that potential. But it wasn't her problem anymore and to be honest, she had her own issues and didn't want to waste time thinking of what ifs and things that was beyond her control.
However, the universe had never really listened to Quinn Fabray and her life would always be intertwined with Rachel Berry's whether she was ready or not.
"Ma'am, are you ok?" She hears the question but does not answer as she's curled on the floor, her hands over her head and trying to appear as small as she possibly could. She still feels the blood coating her hands and resists the urge to scrub at them knowing that in her state, she'd never want to stop and there was already a good possibility that people thought her mad and she didn't want to add to the evidence further.
"Ma'am, I'm going to have to ask you to stand up." It's the way the voice changes that she figures the nice police officer who started with the calming voice just saw Jesse's body slumped against the wall and his blood all over her.
And she wants to comply, she really truly does, only her limbs don't seem to belong to her and there seems to be this barrier preventing her from moving or talking or even thinking straight. And then she hears the screaming and it becomes so difficult to concentrate that she needs the woman who is screaming to stop because she wants to think, to tell these people that she needs help. She needs strong arms and hazel eyes to calm her down, to tell her that she's loved and to make everything alright.
Only Rachel can't remember feeling right in so long. And it really had been her fault and no one else's, her needs above Quinn's and Finn's and Jesse's. And the only thing she knows for a fact is that she's lost and no one will ever be able to find her.
It's only then that Rachel realizes that she's the one screaming, the sound ripped from her throat is so raw and so loud that she knows if she doesn't stop, it could hurt her voice. But even that thought does not help her because she feels the blood on her hands and knows that she's responsible for Jesse's death as much as she was for Finn's.
She feels them pull her up, her body now pressed against the wall as her hands are cuffed behind her back; her scream finally dying as she struggles for air, the officer not letting up as he presses into her back. But Rachel welcomes the pain and likewise, she welcomes the loss of consciousness as she finally blacks out.
"You know I'm going to make partner first so you might as well just go home wallow in your loserness." The acerbic tone is in no way softened by the wolfish smile on Santana's face.
"That's not a word. Are you sure you graduated college much less law school?" The one thing Quinn will always be grateful for is still having Santana in her life. Even if it their competitive relationship was a facsimile of High school, at least the woman would always be there for her, pulling her out of any funk and knocking her down a peg just to remind her that she was still HBIC.
"Summa Cum Laude, baby.." Santana smirks even if she knows exactly what Quinn was going to say next. They've been having this conversation for years and it still hadn't gotten old.
"Wasn't that at Fordham?" Quinn gets up and walks towards her bookcase, her Yale JD Degree not too prominently placed there but still visible. "Umm...correct me if I'm wrong but Fordham's still out of the top twenty rankings, right? Unlike...,you know, Yale." Her words are definitely softened by her smile because Santana was an amazing lawyer and Quinn knew that in a courtroom, the Latina didn't have many equals.
Quinn had excelled in corporate law and found her calling putting together Mergers and Acquisitions. The state of the economy driving so many companies to seek stronger partners or cheap deals and she had worked her way through thirty of them and counting. It wasn't arguing in a Court of Law or doing good by people but she drove the best deal she could and she enjoyed the work.
"Come on, I'll buy you a drink and we can really discuss who's a better lawyer." Quinn considers saying no because she really needed to finish the proposal for that hedge fund. Only Santana looks worried which meant something was either wrong at home with Brittany or there was something on her mind about a case.
Either of which meant copious amounts of alcohol and staying with Santana until she figured out that Brittany meant more to her than anything or another way to win the case that was plaguing her.
Quinn grabs her jacket and shuts down her computer all the while ignoring Santana tapping her foot, expecting her to hurry up more. And it only gets worse when the phone rings and instead of letting it go to voice mail, she grabs the receiver.
"Yes, I'm Quinn Fabray. No...I mean yes but...we haven't. My god, is she ok?" Quinn falls back into her chair. Her head in her hands as she tries to make sense from the call. Each word uttered by the person on the line sending her heart rate spiraling up as a cold sense of dread falls over her.
Rachel, her Rachel was hurt and in trouble and even if they hadn't been together in over three years, Rachel still hadn't changed her emergency contact and she was lucky enough to be there to take the call.
"Can I talk to her? ...Please...No, I understand. I'll take the first flight out that I can get."She does not realize she's crying until she feels Santana's arm around her shoulders. "Please just tell her I...Please, tell her I'll be there soon."
She drops the receiver before dropping her head on to her desk. The pain when it connects just reinforces the fact that whether she wanted it or not, Rachel Berry was back in her life.
End part 1