Prologue: The Decision
Quinn Fabray stepped off the elliptical in her basement, taking a long drink of water before heading over to the modest rack of weights in the corner.
All summer, she'd been working out, signing up for dance and gymnastics classes, even helping to coach a pee-wee cheerleading camp, all in the hope of getting her early-sophomore year physique back.
Her pre-baby body, she shuddered, pushing the thought out of her mind. Most of the time she refused to even think of the 'b' word, typically only refering to her unfortunate pregnancy, not what resulted from it. She shook her head, thinking about a baby wasn't going to help her lose the weight. So she didn't.
Her mother was disappointed, at first, when Quinn went through with the adoption. Puck was furious, especially after he'd learned that Judy Fabray had offered to help take care of the baby.
Well, as someone who had been raised by Judy Fabray, Quinn felt qualified to say 'no, thank you' to that offer. She suspected that after the initial shock wore off, her mother realized how little she would've actually enjoyed raising Quinn's mistake, because she continued to hint (and sometimes outright say), that her daughter had made the right call.
"It would've been a hard life, for the both of you." She says, brushing Quinn's hair affectionately out of her face, "Now, Beth can have a real chance, and so can you. You can move on from this, Quinnie."
Quinn would nod and smile, but inwardly seethe everytime her mother refered to the baby by name. She hadn't wanted to name it, hadn't wanted to give it anything that she could cling to or remember, anything that would make her doubt or hesitate that she'd made the right choice.
She found that giving up a Beth was a lot harder than giving up a baby, but she did it anyway. She did it, and for what? For Puckerman to throw a hissy fit and call her an ice queen? For the people at church to act on the surface as though nothing had happened, but whisper as soon as she walked by. They had no idea what she'd been through, how much she wondered--
No. Quinn Fabray was done focusing on what might have been, and was only going to focus on what could and what would be. And Quinn Fabray what going to do what she'd promised from the start---she was going to get it all back. And more, like Mr. Schue said.
So she worked hard all summer, knowing that she'd have to be leagues ahead of everyone else if she was going to convince Coach Sylvester to forgive her, let her back on the team, and give her back the Head Cheerio position.
She also made sure to make an appropriate number of appearances at summer get-togetheres and parties. Though she'd fallen on the social ladder, she was still Quinn Fabray, her name still held a certain amount of admiration and respect; enough to get her invited to pool parties and bonfires held at the football player's homes and lake cabins.
It was at one of those parties she learned that Puckerman had been taking the loss of their... daughter... much harder than she was, and in a much more public manner. Mainly by getting outrageously drunk and making a fool out of himself. She couldn't help but feel relieved that he'd called things off with her---not that she'd ever admit to getting dumped (again, technically).
No, Quinn Fabray wasn't the most popular girl in school anymore. But she knew she would be.
As her mother called downstairs to her, reminding her that they had Bible study in an hour, Quinn thought that this past year may have been a test from God himself. She made her way up to her room, thinking more. She had strayed from His teachings, and maybe the pregnancy was punishment for that. And maybe her redemption, her climb back to the top of WMHS, was a test to see how badly she wanted it.
And she wanted it all, badly. The admiration, the envy, the fear, the Prom crown, the boy---
The boy. Quinn furrowed her brow as she turned the shower on, stepping in as the warm water hit her back. What boy? Quinn sighed, if she was going to be the most popular girl in school, she'd have to be seen with someone on her arm---her counterpart, as it were.
Last year that had been Finn. She'd thought for a while that it might've been Puck, and that was part of the reason she started flirting with him in the first place. Look where that got her.
She scowled. It wasn't fair. She'd worked so hard---twice, now---to be where she was, and she was supposed to accept that all of it hinged on getting the right boyfriend?
She rinsed her hair and mused. She had worked hard to transform herself from Lucy to Quinn. She didn't like to think of what she had been like before high school, but she had to admit that she'd come a long way. Why should that all go down the drain because she doesn't pick the right guy?
She turned the shower off as she thought more of what she'd made of herself. Made...
Inspiration struck. Why should she have to pick the perfect guy for her, her most-popular counterpart, her future Prom King, when she could make him instead?
She was Quinn Fabray, she parted the hallways like the Red Sea and ordered slushie attacks on anyone she wanted. She was pretty, and popular, loved and feared, and way more influential than either Finn or Puck had been.
She decided who was popular and who wasn't, so why should she have to have her boyfriend chosen for her by the losers and idiots at that pathetic excuse for a school? She made herself a Queen Bee, and Quinn Fabray decided that this time, she was going to crown her own King. Everyone else would just have to fall in line.
Quinn smiled, looking forward to the beginning of the school year even more than she had been previously. For now, though, it was time for church.