Title: Like a Hurricane (One)
Author: kben and meggygurl
Rating: R to NC17
Length: 3500 (30,000+ overall)
Summary: It's the summer between freshman and sophomore year of college. In the quest for a new lead singer for her band, Quinn's about to get a blast from the past. Rachel/Quinn (light Rachel/Brittany and Quinn/Rachel/Brittany, mentions of Quinn/Puck and Rachel/Puck)
Notes: This, uh, just kept growing. I hope these fics aren't getting boring, like "same old, same old". We tried to sidestep some of the established Faberry cliches, though some are just what make the 'ship work. Overall, an author crush on both of these incarnations of our ladies proved to be inevitable. Happy reading!
Quinn couldn't keep her fingers still. This was a common problem with drummers. There was always a rhythm to be had and it always wanted out. She was slouched in her chair, head flung over the back, feet propped up on the table, her well worn Chuck Taylors crossed over each other. Her hand stopped tapping against her legs just long enough to rake through her hair, which was mostly blonde but had a few accent streaks of fire engine red, a look she'd adopted her senior year of high school. Sometimes the color changed, but red was her favorite color, so it usually won out.
A flick of the wrist told her it was a quarter to six and at six the bar was going to kick them out. Which meant that someone pretty fucking awesome better walk through the door in the next fifteen minutes, because, so far, everyone who had auditioned for their recently vacant lead singer slot was simply not good enough.
Puck was in the bathroom and Alyssa was at the bar, chatting with the bartender.
"You're so sexy when you slouch."
Strike that. Puck was not in the bathroom. "Bite me, Puckerman."
He dropped into the seat next to her and looked over the list on the table. Quinn had made various notes next to people's names, such as: sucks, sucks worse than the last one, their parents should have been sterilized, never ever ever, I'd rather be on fire than listening to this.
"You know, Fabray, sometimes I worry that you've lost your edge," he commented as he looked over the paper.
Alyssa, the band's bassist, moved back to the table carrying three very strong drinks, handing two of them out. "Free booze for all. And I didn't even have to show any nipple." She looked down the list. "So, what crap excuse for a singer do we have to listen to next?"
"Rachel." Filled in a voice, handing over her sheet to Alyssa, who looked up at the girl in front of her. She had long dark hair that hung almost halfway down her back and curled around her shoulders. Half of it was pulled up, but a few wisps of hair framed her face with her dark chocolate brown eyes, smugged eyeliner, and red lips. Her tight shirt was ripped, showing off a dangly body piercing and her low hanging skirt exposed a glimpse of a tattoo. The skirt, if you can even call it that, was black and the fishnets underneath them accented her long legs perfectly. The outfit was capped by black Chucks that were clearly worn from walking around the city.
Rachel moved to the mic and picked it up. After a nod from Alyssa, she started to sing.
"From hundreds of miles you cry like a baby / You plead with me, shout, scream, tell me I'm staying / I know I know I know, I'm still your love"
Quinn hadn't bothered to look up at all, because everyone else who came in had been nothing but rock star wannabes and she figured whoever this Rachel was, she wasn't going to be very good. And the name, god, the name just made her think of Rachel Berry.
"Back from the last place that I wanted to fake you / Laugh with me, shout, scream now tell me you're staying / I know I know I know, you're still my love"
Though, now that Quinn was listening, this girl could actually sing. Like, really well. In fact, her voice sounded a lot like...
"The same as I love you, you'll always love me too / This love isn't good unless it's me and you."
Puck nudged her with his elbow. "Doesn't she remind you of--"
"Rachel fucking Berry," Quinn finished, her mouth hanging open.
Alyssa leaned over. "Hey, she's actually kinda GOOD."
"This love isn't good unless it's me and you..."
Rachel finished out the rest of the rest of the song, her voice trickling off. She put her hands on her hips and eyed the three. She had very much a "well?" look on her face.
"We'll let you know," Quinn said quickly, before rising from the table and moving for the door.
"Where the hell are you going?" Puck called after her.
"I need a cigarette," was the reply.
"But you stopped smoking last... year." It was pointless, because she was already out the door. He ran a hand over his mohawk, which was a little longer than how he'd kept it in high school. For a while, he'd shaved it off completely, but Quinn convinced him that the girls dug it because it perpetuated his bad boy image.
"It got me to sleep with you, didn't it?"
"Yeah, all of one time."
"Hey, a lot of guys would have killed to get into my pants."
"They still would."
"Yeah, well, sorry. Lost cause. Not even the 'hawk works now."
Puck turned back to Rachel. "That was great. Are you, um, willing to make the time commitments and stuff?" He looked to Alyssa. "I mean, I like her."
"Of course I'm willing to make time commitments. Why would I audition for a band if I was unwilling to participate in it?" Rachel started.
"I vote yes." Alyssa said, nodding.
There was a sudden gasp from the short brunette. "Noah Puckerman?"
A look flashed over Puck's eyes when she called him by his actual name. "Yeah, it's me. Still, though, it's Puck." He glanced at Alyssa. She knew his name was Noah. But it seemed kind of... nerdy.
The door to the bar opened and Quinn's voice carried inside. "We have to be out by six," then it shut, again.
Rachel hadn't seem Quinn in years, and she'd honestly not recognized the blonde. So it never clicked who the drummer was. "So, Puck. Am I in or do we have to wait for your drummer to finish shooting up or whatever she's doing out back?"
Once again, the door swung open. This time, Quinn re-entered. She kept her attention on Puck. "Smoking is horrible, how did I do it for two years?"
"Quinn, you didn't, like, smoke something you just found out there, did you?" Puck asked.
"Yeah, asshole, I just picked it up out of the dumpster." She smacked him in the arm. "I bummed one off some skateboarders and got two puffs in and wanted to pretty much die. So, don't worry. I'm still on the wagon." Finally, she looked directly at Rachel. "So, what, did they tell you that you're in?" Her eyes roamed over the brunette, taking in the sight of her. This was not how she remembered Rachel Berry at all.
"We haven't really, yet." Alyssa looked at Quinn. "Keep it in your pants, Q."
Rachel didn't even blink. "No, and I would like to know if you're just wasting my time now or if I'm in." She eyed Quinn. "And I would rather be judged on the merits of my voice than my looks."
"I'm not checking you out." Quinn swung her gaze around to Alyssa. "I wasn't checking her out." She quickly gathered up the pages on the table and shoved them in her bag before slinging it over her shoulder. "But a front woman has to look the part. She's all right, I guess. Whatever she lacks in aesthetics she makes up for in vocal talent. She's never had a problem with that." The blonde tossed her hair over her shoulder, a signature Quinn Fabray trait she'd held on to since junior high. "You should hear her sing Endless Love."
"Quinn Fabray?" Rachel asked in disbelief. "You're in New York? And your hair..." She blinked. "Wow, I kinda forgot you existed, no offense." Rachel lied easily. Brittany still had a framed picture of her, Quinn, and Santana up in her room.
Rachel had to flip it face down whenever she was in Brittany's bed because she could feel Santana glaring at her.
"It's a big city, Berry. It's not like you were the only one allowed to move here." Quinn picked up her drink from the table and quickly finished it off. She reached into her bag and pulled out a card. "We rehearse four nights a week at this address." The business card was for a music store in SoHo. Under the logo and the store owner's name it read: Quinn Fabray, Drum Lessons. She flipped the card over and jotted her cell number on the back. "If you can't make it, just text that number. I tend to screen so if you call I probably won't answer."
"I'll make it." Rachel said, taking the card. "Thanks, see you all later." She waved and moved out of the bar.
Quinn watched her leave, trying to catch any other tattoos that might suddenly surface. As soon as she was out the door, the blonde rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fuck. This is probably the worst idea, ever."
"Give her a chance, Q. You know she can sing," Puck said, his own gaze still trained on the door.
"So what? Did you like, BOTH fuck her or something? Really Noah, is there anyone in this city you haven't fucked?" Alyssa smirked. "She's the only one with any talent we saw today. We have a gig in a week. We need a singer. I don't care if this girl fucked your entire social group, she can sing. She's in."
"Oh, please," Quinn scoffed. "She wishes." She shook her head. "We knew her in high school. And I switched schools junior year, so I haven't seen her in, like, three years."
"Trust me," Puck assured her. "It's been less than half that long since I've seen her and she did not look like that at graduation." He looked at Alyssa. "We... once. After graduation. We were both drunk."
"Of course." Alyssa said, rolling her eyes. "You would have slept with every member of the band you're in." She picked up her stuff. "I have to get to my paying job now. Someone has to pay the bills."
When Rachel got home, she told Brittany that she'd just joined a band with Noah Puckerman and Quinn Fabray. Brittany laughed for twenty minutes (which might have been due to the pot Rachel could still smell in her room).
Later that night, when Brittany was three fingers deep in her, Rachel kept seeing hazel eyes instead of blue.
The next morning, Quinn had a hangover. She'd gone out with her roommate, Jamie, and some of her friends for dollar drinks at the local bar. Through the haze of her headache, she tried to remember if she'd told Rachel that they actually had a rehearsal tonight. Once she could pull herself out of bed without wanting to throw up, she dug through her bag and found the sign in sheet with Rachel's number on it.
When she dialed, Quinn was treated to a ringback tone of none other than Rachel Berry herself singing "Don't Rain on My Parade". The blonde was torn between feeling nostalgic for their victory at Sectionals and thinking the brunette was a conceited diva.
"Hello?" A sleepy, thick voice that was clearly NOT the clean voice of Rachel Berry answered the phone.
"Hello? Um... sorry I think I might have called the wrong number." Quinn glanced down at the page she held in her hand.
"Are you looking for Rach?" Brittany asked, sitting up some, her hair a mess. "She's asleep. Poor thing was worn out last night. Sleeps like a log after that. Want me to wake her?" Brittany didn't wait, she just shook Rachel and loudly said. "RACH. It's the phone."
Rachel groaned and opened her eyes. "Okay, okay, B. Give it to me."
Brittany beamed. "Here she is!" She handed the phone over.
"Uh, hello?" Quinn said, again. "Wait, was that Brittany?"
"Yeah? Who is this?" Rachel was so confused and still somewhat asleep.
"Oh, right. It's Quinn." The blonde rubbed at her eyes. It was still too early for this.
"OH. Hi. Sorry. What's up?" Rachel sat up, trying to comb her fingers through her hair. She waved as Brittany kissed her forehead, then moved into her own room.
"I, um, just wanted to tell you that our first rehearsal is tonight. I think I... forgot to tell you yesterday." Quinn paused to take a drink of water out of the bottle on her bedside table. "And we have a gig next week. So, we really need to get you familiar with our setlists."
"What time?" Rachel asked, grabbing a pen off her desk and hovering over her wall calender. She was still insanely organized.
"Seven. We usually go till about ten."
Rachel wrote it down and nodded. "Cool. Thanks for letting me know. I'll see you tonight then? Do I need anything besides myself?"
"Just you and that killer voice," Quinn's tone was dry, though she was being serious. "See you at seven." She hung up before she said anything stupid. Not that she would. But it was early and she was hungover, so it was just a precaution.
"Okay." And Rachel hung up. Yeah, she needed to join Brittany in the shower now.
At 6:50 on the dot, Rachel was at the music shop, dressed similar to how she had been the night before, only with slightly different shades of dark and a red bellybutton ring dangling off the tan skin. She moved inside, drinking a bottle of water, looking around the building for any of her bandmates.
"Berry!" Puck's voice called out from down the short hallway. "Back here in the studio."
Rachel followed the voice, giving Puck a warm smile. She didn't have any negative feelings toward him. "Hey."
A drum kit sat on one side of the room, flanked by amps and monitors. There were vocal mics set up similar to how they'd be plotted out on stage.
"The girls will be here any minute. Quinn usually has to stop at the Starbucks with the longest line and be ten minutes late." He moved to his guitar case and popped it open, pulling the instrument out and resting it on the guitar stand. "We didn't get much of a chance to catch up yesterday. Sorry Q was so weird to you. She... I don't know." Puck actually knew there was something going on in his friend's head, but he didn't feel like it was his place to say something.
"No, sure. I get it. How have you been? I would hug you, but I'm not sure if that's allowed. You are a lead guitarist. You might try to cop a feel." Rachel grinned at him.
"Get over here." Puck put his arms out and pulled her into a hug. "Besides, I already copped a pretty good feel once upon a time."
Quinn happened to walk in right in the middle of the embrace. "Can we at least get through a couple songs before you two break apart the band with some kind of weird nostalgic sexual tension?" She set her coffee cup down on one of the amps and tossed her bag next to the drum kit.
Rachel laughed softly. "B owes me five dollars." She grinned at Puck. "It's good to see you and your stupid hair again." She pulled back and looked at Quinn. "Sorry, didn't know affection bothered you so much. No hug for Quinn. Got it."
Alyssa came in right then. "Oohhh. Do not hug her. She'll kill you."
"Thanks for making me sound like the fucking Grinch," Quinn grumbled. She was still feeling the residual effects of her hangover from that morning. "These are the songs we know." Out of her bag came a two inch binder full of sheet music. "When we do gigs without any specific set list, we play anything from that book. So, be sure you know them. And not many of them are showtunes, so you might actually want to turn all the pages and look at the titles."
Rachel started flipping through them. "You left after only knowing me for a year, Quinn. Please do not assume you know anything about my musical tastes." She replied easily. She looked up at Puck. "Don't Stop?" She looked a little amused.
Alyssa remarked. "That one and Somebody to Love are our crowd pleasers."
Puck shrugged. "Some songs are just always popular."
"Yes, okay. Fine, you can handle the songbook. Can we play some music, please?" Quinn settled onto the drum throne and flipped her drumsticks through her fingers.
Rachel nodded, smirking some. "Okay."
Alyssa got her bass and turned for a moment. She shot Puck a look with a smirk in it. She thought Quinn's reaction to all of this was AMAZING. She wanted to know more.
"The songs we're working on for next week are already tagged, so find the first one and that's where we're starting," Quinn informed her. She gave the kit a few test hits, making sure everything was set up right.
"I think Walk Away is what we're starting with," Puck offered, trying to help Rachel find it in the book. His voice lowered as they both flipped the pages. "Don't worry about her. She's probably just hungover or sexually frustrated."
"I can hear you, assface." Quinn glared at him through the cymbals.
Rachel shot him a grateful look finding it in the book. "Thanks." She looked a little worried. "Okay. Uh, Quinn, can you count us off?" Rachel asked, her voice full of hesitation.
Alyssa rolled her eyes. If this girl was a joke, she was gonna be so pissed.
Quinn took a drink of her coffee and mumbled something like, "Of course I'll fucking count you off," from behind the cup. She set the drink down and complied with Rachel's request, starting the song.
Puck easily played the intro, quickly getting into the vibe of the music. He knew that, as long as they were playing, things would go smoothly, because Quinn loved the band. From practice jam sessions to live gigs, she was in it for the joy of playing. The money was just an extra (and highly beneficial) perk.
Rachel had her back to the band as though they were on a stage, after the few intro bars, Rachel launched into the song, closing the notebook and bouncing a little as she sang. She got into it, hitting every note flawlessly. About halfway through the song her eyes closed and she just let go, rocking it out.
Alyssa's jaw hung open a little. Fuck. This girl was good.
This song was one Quinn could play in her sleep. It was one of the first songs she'd ever learned when she picked up the drums her junior year. The same year she'd started at Westlake Academy for Girls in Connecticut, the private boarding school her parents sent her to after she'd given the baby up for adoption. They thought it would "straighten her out" when, really, it just made her realize she was incredibly gay and a bit of a rebel.
They reached the bridge of the song, which was normally drums, keys, and vocals, but they didn't have a keyboard player, so it was just drums and vocals, when the lead was strong enough (Rachel was the third singer they'd had in the six months the band had been together).
With a spin, Rachel turned to face the band when they hit the bridge, the same passion that had always been there when she sang apparent.
"I wanna love / I want a fire / To feel the burn / My desires / I wanna man by my side / Not a boy who runs and hides."
Due to her being in the middle, Rachel's eyes landed on Quinn and her drum set.
Holy fuck she was hot.
Quinn was caught up in the drumming, her hair in her face as she played. The red streaks were currently styled into small braids that swayed around with the rest of her hair and she pounded the rhythm of the song.
"Are you gonna fight for me? / Die for me? / Live and breathe for me? / Do you care for me? / 'Cause if you don't then just leave."
Rachel belted out, she turned and sang the rest to the audience. As the final notes died with the end of the song, Rachel pulled in a deep breath and turned the others. She wasn't stupid, she knew this was her real audition.
"Not bad, Berry." Quinn pushed her hair out of her face. Briefly, she flashed a small smile at her, but then it disappeared as she called out the next song title.
The rest of the rehearsal went smoothly, with Rachel handling the songs like a pro. Quinn hadn't expected any less from her, really.
Over the last three years, she'd spent a lot of time thinking about Rachel Berry. She wouldn't admit that now, like, to her face or anything. But her experiences at Westlake had opened up her eyes to a lot of what she was feeling inside. Which, of course, meant that she tried to suppress whatever emotions came up.