Just To Show You What I'd Done
When Quinn looks back on it, she realizes that her life was made and broken from moments. Quinn used to think she would be terrified because she's only ever been good at being terrified.
She knows that this moment should terrify her, and don't get her wrong, it is scary in a "her life is changing for good" sort of way. But overall, it's thrilling. And that goes to show how much of the old Quinn is left these days. It's a testament of her love for Santana, that Quinn is standing in front of these people (who could only ever be important) and promising Santana forever, instead of running.
It's weird to think about how she got here. Because even when she adds it up and takes away all the moments that made her this girl, they never seem to lead up to this moment.
But she guesses life has always had the skill of getting in the way.
Quinn is thirteen when she officially meets Santana Lopez. She's heard of her, but never quite seen her, and the presentation is far less than the hype. Quinn is all awkward stages and belly fat while Santana is all early development and lean muscles.
Quinn hates her because she can, and because she's Quinn. She's a Fabray, and Fabray's are really only good at the things that don't matter. Her skills vary, but often settle on three things: being a disappointment, absorbing words and phrases from her books, and hatred. So she hates all the pretty girls with their pretty smiles and their pretty lives, like she hates all things: effortlessly.
She hates that she's surrounded by idiots. She hates that they memorize the events in social media like it'll actually impact their future. She hates that they can have cheeseburgers for lunch while Quinn is stuck with a stupid salad. A salad that's almost as bland as it is disgusting.
She's in the eighth grade, and it's so hard that she hates herself, too. Because the schoolwork is easy, it's always been easy. But actually making friends with people she can't stand? That's hard.
Up until now her whole life has been in books, and it's hard to focus all of her attention on magazines and celebrities and conversation, when she could be reading something life altering and soul shattering. It isn't often that Quinn strikes up conversation with her peers, but when she does, it's awkward and unorganized and practiced. Most of all, it's not natural.
The people in her grade are so stupid, and Quinn often finds herself wondering why she wants to be like them so much.
Maybe it's because they look like their lives are easy, and Quinn's always wanted to experience a life that ebbed and flowed so easily. She's tired of feeling like a screw-up, like she's holding up the line in her "perfect" family tree.
So she spends the first half of her eighth grade year trying to be just like everyone else.
Quinn isn't like the other girls, not yet. She's in the last few stages of shedding off Lucy, and it's apparent, because she hasn't quite captured how to be cruel yet.
And Santana Lopez isn't-and is-many things, but cruel? For a thirteen year old, it was almost most certainly her speciality.
She took cruelty and harsh words and used them in a way that was almost too beautiful to watch, and Quinn was most definitely a fan.
Well, when she isn't busy hating her.
Quinn is busy reading outside when Santana waltzes up to her. Lima is nearing Spring and Quinn had spent the majority of her day trying to interact with her peers, only for her to retreat into herself hours later.
She hates being interrupted during a story, mostly because she just hates. It goes hand-in-hand with Spring. If Santana notices, she doesn't say anything. Santana's boldness at it's finest, and Quinn barely has time to acknowledge that it's endearing before Santana is standing in front of her. A smirk on her face and her hair up in a bun.
"What gives, Fabray?"
Quinn's thrown off by Santana's greeting more than she is by her presence, and it makes her hesitate. "Excuse me?"
Santana rolls her eyes as if the answer is obvious, and Quinn has to push down her irritation at the sight. ""Why are you out here being a fucking weirdo?"
"That sentence doesn't even make sense." Quinn responds on reflex, her mind automatically correcting Santana's mistakes with ease.
"I repeat; weirdo."
Quinn chooses to ignore Santana's blatant insult, her curiosity besting her. "Where else would I be?"
Santana stares at Quinn as if she's just told her that John Stamos is a homosexual, and it's disturbing, the amount of focus that Santana applies when she wants to. "You should be in there leading, instead of being led." Santana jerks her head towards the cafeteria and Quinn understands more than she wants to.
"I'm fine." Quinn replies. She isn't, is what she means, but the best things in life were always unspoken, so Quinn leaves it at just that.
"That isn't what I asked."
Quinn snaps her book shut in irritation. She squints up at Santana, and for a second, she almost admires Santana's bravery. It's almost heroic in a way, and Quinn can't take it lightly, so she doesn't. "But that's what I answered."
Santana raises an eyebrow as if Quinn's words were a challenge. There's a hint of mirth in her eyes that makes Quinn feel as if everything is unexpected, and Quinn isn't sure if she likes it or not. Santana sits down next to her even though she's obviously uninvited, and her boldness is almost as attractive as it is stupidly heroic.
Santana looks towards the cafeteria, her cheeks flushing underneath the tiny flash of sun, and her hands crossed carelessly across her chest. "You could be a legend, you know?"
Quinn has half a mind to slap this girl with her nonsense, but she's intrigued now, and it's almost impossible to stop Quinn when she gets like this. "How do you figure?"
Santana looks at Quinn, her eyes narrow and her smile nonexistent. "I know who you are."
For a moment Quinn panics, because it's been so long since someone has called her Lucy Caboosey, and she's terrified that Santana has decided to backtrack time. "What?"
"Your sister Charlotte? She was a four time Cheerleading National Champion. She got a full ride scholarship to Columbia. Guys worshiped her and girls wanted to be her."
'Oh, her,' Quinn thinks. She hasn't thought about Charlotte in such a long time. It's easier to pretend the perfect sister exists then it is to acknowledge you'll never measure up to half of what that sister was. Quinn frowns at Santana's comment. Not many people remember Charlotte because she was five years older than Quinn, and already out of High School. "Okay?"
Santana nudges Quinn as if the answer is obvious. "Dude, don't you fucking get it? You're a shoe in for Cheerios. Sue Sylvester practically fawned over your sister and when she gets wind of you, she'll be begging you to be on the team. Cheerios is like top shit around here, you'd be a fucking celebrity."
Quinn frowns, she's genuinely confused as to why any of this matters. She's aware of her draw to Sue Sylvester. But she's also aware of her appearance and the fact that she can barely run for thirty minutes without dying. "And?"
"And," Santana says, her voice as clear as the day. "You could rule this fucking place. Change things, matter."
It sounds too good to be true and Quinn voices as much. "You seem to have forgotten that I'm not exactly cheerleader material." Quinn gestures to her body as if Santana needs any more proof.
Santana looks at Quinn dismissively. "Please, Fabray, I know good things when I see it. All you need is some proactive, a little bit of exercise, and contacts. I can help you with that and by fall, you'll be a whole new girl. Quinn the Queen." Santana laughs at the end, as if it's more funny than terrifying.
"I don't get it," Quinn responds, because she doesn't. "What do you get out of it?"
Santana shrugs and looks away. "When she promotes you to Captain, take me with you. Second in command, always."
"That's it?" Quinn is always one to look a gift in the mouth, whatever that means, because she doesn't think deals like this are ever simple. She doesn't understand why Santana would want to be second of anything when it's very clear that she could be first.
Santana smiles sadly. "I'm pretty sure you understand that sometimes it's just easier to follow."
Quinn nods, because sometimes it is.
"How about we agree that you'll just owe me one?"
It sounds simpler than it probably is, but Quinn takes it anyway. She hasn't had very many offers, but she knows her days are dwindling. Once she hits high school her status will be set in stone, and she can't handle being a nobody for forever.
Quinn spends the majority of the summer before her fourteenth birthday with Santana.
They enroll in dance classes together, visit the gym, and get drunk constantly. They sunbathe, watch crappy movies, and diet together. Santana helps Quinn buy her first bra and Quinn helps Santana pass her summer English course.
Whatever Santana's plan is, it's working. Quinn's body seems to finally catch up with her mind because she grows six inches, her acne disappears, her flabby skin becomes harder and tones, and her hair gets lighter with the sun.
By popular opinion, Quinn's officially beautiful, and it's almost as rewarding as the looks of appreciation from her parents.
Santana's looking pretty good, too. She's grown into her breasts, her hair is amazing, and where she was once all awkward angles, she's now soft curves. She's funny and knows when to keep her mouth shut, she teaches Quinn about teenager things and pushes Quinn to be braver, and more cruel.
They're not friends, not really, because neither girl really knows how to do that. Instead, they're comrades, pushed together by a cause and stuck together for the cause.
Still, Quinn often thinks that if Santana were one for sentiments, she might just tell her that she's the best not-friend Quinn's ever had.
It takes two weeks at Cheerio bootcamp for Sue Sylvester to notice them.
They're in better shape compared to all the other bitches, because they spent the majority of their summer preparing for this while the other girls took it as a time to have fun. the workouts are hard, but not impossible, so Quinn and Santana keep up relatively well.
The dancing is easy, as well, because of the classes. They stand out and it's amazing to finally be someone other than the girl who blends in.
As soon as Sue Sylvester spots them, it's incredibly hard for her to un-notice them. It takes one more week for Sue to inquire about Quinn and three days after that for her to promote her to Captain. She says it's because she knows talent when she sees it, Quinn knows it's because she only sees Charlotte. Either way, it's the opportunity Quinn needed and she takes it in handfuls.
She quickly makes Santana her co-captain, and just like that, everything started clicking into place.
They rule the school with a fucking iron first.
It makes sense that them coming together could be so volatile, not for them, but for everyone else around them. They create chaos and destroy dreams, and as evil as it all feels...well, it also feels incredibly good. For once, Quinn finally holds power and her father finally looks at her like she means something. It's intoxicating, and as quickly as it comes, Quinn promises to never let it leave.
Santana seems to enjoy it as well, for reasons unbeknownst to Quinn.
They quickly pick the biggest tools in their grade to be their boyfriends, only because both boys are easy to manipulate, not because they'll ever be worth something.
Sure, Finn Hudson is sweet, but it's clear that he's on the track of being a Lima Resident Lifer, and Quinn can't get down with that. Noah Puckerman is more charming because he's not as stupid as he looks, he just likes acting like it.
Santana has her back one hundred percent and Quinn does the same for her. It's confusing, their friendship, because Santana keeps commenting how they're not friends, only allies. And, well, Quinn can't shake the feeling that they are friends, that Santana's her only friend.
She says as much on New Years Eve, when they're both drunk and laying on the roof of Santana's house. Santana invited her over under the disguise that she just didn't want to spend her night making out with Puck, but Quinn gets the feeling it was something else instead.
Santana looks at Quinn like she always does when Quinn says something crazy. "Don't be a fucking idiot, Quinn, of course we're friends."
Quinn shrugs helplessly, her demeanor meek. "But...you never say it. You say the exact opposite, actually"
Santana sits up, her shoes sliding down the roof at her movement. She grabs them quickly and turns her attention back to Quinn. "I don't need to say it for it to be true."
"But Santana, you kind-of d-"
"Oh, for fucks sake!" Santana interrupts, her hands waving in the air crazily. "Of course you're my fucking best friend, Quinn. I love you like I love Tequila, wholeheartedly."
Quinn smiles then, because it's probably the nicest thing Santana will say to her for months, but it's still there and it's real. "You love me?"
Quinn has to duck as Santana's shoes come flying at her head. "Shut up, you weirdo."
From anyone else, it would be rude, but from Santana it's almost affectionate, and Quinn thinks that maybe this was the plan she was supposed to take all along.
They end their Freshman year like they started it, on top.
She spends the majority of her days with Santana and they spend the weeks swapping between both of their houses. Quinn's parents are hardly home, they prefer to be out showing off their lives instead of staying in, so it makes for a quiet and empty household. Santana's parents are home more frequently, her house is generally packed with people and it's nice because it's homey. Santana doesn't say anything about Quinn's house, but often Quinn gets the feeling that Santana's coming to her house because she doesn't want Quinn to feel bad.
It's strange, but their friendship almost feels like a relationship, without all of the extra sexual stuff. They act like a couple so frequently that more than one person has looked at them confused. It doesn't phase Quinn, everyone else obviously doesn't get it, and they don't need to.
Sometimes she wishes that Santana and her could just get away and go somewhere where people actually looked like they were living.
She wonders, often, if Santana wishes the same.
Sophomore year started off almost exactly like the previous, with Quinn and Santana in charge. It proves to be worse than that though.
Two months into it, everything happens at once. Quinn discovers that she's pregnant with Noah Puckerman's stupid baby, Brittany S. Pierce joins the Cheerios, and Santana becomes captivated with someone other than Quinn.
Quinn honestly doesn't know how it happened. Brittany was just some girl who waltzed her way into Santana's heart, and she didn't like it, not one bit. Santana was immediately captivated. She started canceling their hangouts and bringing Brittany to their lunch dates. Before Quinn knew it, she was stuck at home while Brittany hung out with Santana, she was the girl who was uninvited.
She just didn't understand how the only person who loved her could leave her so quickly, especially for a girl as dense as Brittany. There was nothing substantial there, no reality that Santana could build a future on, so why did she pick Brittany over her? Why did she decide that Quinn was no longer worth being her best friend?
It hurt her more than it should have, and Quinn fell back into old ways quickly. Her desire was to hurt Santana like Santana was hurting her. So she got drunk and headed over to Puck's house. It wasn't supposed to be something to remember, and it's funny, because she thinks that's why God made it a night she can't ever forget.
It's the night she conceived Beth (the name she would have given her daughter-if it had been a girl-had she not proceeded to get an abortion), and it's the night she almost ruined everything.
Immediately after Puck fucks her, Quinn feels guilty, so she drives over to Santana's house because she can't think of anyone else. Her emotions are scattered and all over the place. She doesn't understand what's going on or why she's acting this way, but Quinn knows she needs to see Santana anyway, because she always knows what to do.
Quinn's wearing the babydoll dress that Santana had bought her for her fifteenth birthday, and somehow, that makes it all worse.
When she gets to Santana's house, she uses the spare key they hide in their plant to sneak in. All she wants is to cuddle with Santana and have her tell Quinn how they are going to make it out of this fucking town, all Quinn wants to hear are promises.
Instead, she gets reality.
She pushes open Santana's door and is almost ready to tiptoe in when something else greets her entirely. Brittany and Santana are asleep on Santana's bed, and they're naked, like buck ass naked.
Everything becomes intensely clear then and Quinn stumbles out, knocking into the door in the process. Quinn knows that Brittany saw her, because she always knows things like that, and she still runs anyway.
It's scary because Quinn just found out her best friend is a fucking lesbian, and yet, all she can think is that she doesn't want to share her with Brittany S Pierce.
It takes two days for Santana to try and talk to her. Three weeks for Quinn to find out she's pregnant. One more week for Santana to finally confront her (like sharp nails and all), after Quinn had been dodging her for nearly a month, and two more weeks for Quinn to get an abortion.
She's at home sitting on her bed when Santana comes barging in, her eyes weary and her mouth snarled. Quinn should be surprised, but honestly? She's been expecting it since the day she dodged Santana the first time. She's exhausted from avoiding the girl because when Santana wants something, she's relentless, and Quinn is always the one to cave first.
Quinn doesn't know what to say, this is Santana's floor now, so she keeps her mouth shut.
Santana slams her door shut and locks it, her eyes never leaving Quinn's. "Noah Puckerman? Fucking Noah Puckerman? You let him stick his dick inside of you?"
The words are so vulgar that Quinn frowns disapprovingly. "What's it to you?"
Her heart sinks when Santana looks at her. The girl looks torn between anger and heartache and it's almost exactly where Quinn is, too. "You're my best friend?"
"I wasn't your best friend when you were fucking Brittany." It leaves her mouth before she can stop it and she winces at how detached she sounds.
Santana freezes and it's a minor win for Quinn. "You know?"
Quinn huffs, her mind racing at the fact that Brittany didn't even her. "Of course I do."
Santana deflates physically, defeated. "Is that what this is about? You don't want to be my best friend anymore because I'm sleeping with a girl?"
"What?" Quinn answers confused. "No. That isn't i-"
Santana cuts her off, her fire returning to her eyes and her hands clenching next to her Cheerio skirt. "And then you go and get off with a jackass who gets you pregnant, and you don't tell me? I get to find out how you got an abortion from Puck-who, by the way, I fucking beat the shit out of before I shoved him in the damn dumpster-instead of from you, because you're pissed that I'm with a damn girl?!"
Quinn jumps up, her anger rising with Santana's. "I don't care that you're a freaking lesbian!" She practically shouts, which is effective in cutting of Santana's tirade. "I care that you chose her over me, you left me for her, you fucked her instead..." Quinn trails off before she can finish because she honestly doesn't know what's coming next, and she honestly doesn't think that she wants to get there. Not right now, not when she's where she is right now, in her parents house. Her piggy bank cracked open in her search for money for her abortion. Quinn doesn't need this, not now, not when everything is already falling apart.
Santana stares at her, just like she always has, except now Quinn feels uncomfortable underneath her gaze. She looks curious, and Quinn doesn't want to sate her. "What are you saying?"
Quinn shakes her head, admittance not an option. "Nothing."
"Don't lie to me, Quinn, not now."
Quinn stared back at Santana, everything at the tip of her tongue. But old habits die hard, and so she buries it along with the rest of herself. "Then don't make me."
Santana looks past her then, and it's almost as much of an answer as it is not an answer. Quinn doesn't get it, she can't make herself connect to this moment so that she can realize it's importance. She's too detached, too torn between Santana and her empty womb. She doesn't now how to exist in this moment with Santana, at least not anymore, and she doesn't know how to explain it either. She wants to explain it to Santana, she wants her best friend to understand.
But change doesn't work like that. Change happens slowly over the course of time, and if Quinn really thought about it, she could pinpoint the moment when everything started heading this way. Instead she takes notice of the change, just like everyone else does: suddenly. She notices how Santana doesn't fight her (because maybe she isn't ready to hear whatever Quinn has to say, either), how she looks past her instead, like Quinn doesn't exist outside of this moment. Maybe she doesn't.
"Sure." Is all Santana says.
Sure is all Quinn deserves.