Chapter 1: Rivalry
Sweat drips down her face, collecting in pools at the dip of her collarbone. Her feet pound against the dewy grass, her thighs burning in exertion. Her breathing comes out laboured as her lungs fight to regain they oxygen they’ve lost. Adrenaline pumps through her lean body as her eyes look around her, trying to find a clear spot amongst the chaos around her. Shouts are heard, cries of pain are hauled into the crisp Fall air. Bodies run past her, trying to stop her from getting to her goal. She takes no notice of them, her eyes firmly planted onto the cool, collected eyes of her teammate's. With one look they silently exchange words. With a burst of adrenaline, she pushes herself harder and runs into a clearing. As soon as she does so, the teammate kicks the ball over to her, the black and white ball flies over the heads of her opponents and straight to her feet.
Quick as a flash, she's making her way down the field, dodging the attacks she's getting thrown at her. She's almost there, almost able to taste the victory on her tongue as the clock ticks the seconds away in her head.
An unexpected force collides into her feet. One moment she’s watching the ball, the next she’s watching as the grass quickly plummets towards her. Sticking her arms out, she softens her landing and allows herself to roll through the green blades and land on her back.
Her eyes close when the whistle sounds, not signalling a foul, no. Signalling the end of the game.
She groans and smacks her forehead. When she opens her eyes again, she's faced with the only thing she hates, the only thing she despises.
Brown eyes twinkled down at her, an evil, sadistic smile traces the owner’s lips. The bright blue uniform bores down at her with as much arrogance as the person wearing the uniform.
This couldn't be any worse.
"Oops, sorry," their voice says with false sincerity "Let me help you up" a small, tanned hand reaches down towards her.
She looks down to the offered hand and notices tiny marks dotted about the otherwise perfect skin. Some are new marks, with a pink hue to them, whilst others are now scars. A blonde eyebrow raises in question and she looks back up to the owner. There’s a brief flash of something in the brown orbs, but it’s gone as quick as it appeared.
"Like hell you will" the annoyed, gruff sound of her best friend says, coming into view and viciously pushing the other girl out of the way.
"Calm down, Lopez," They say, still smirking at her as Lopez helps her up from the ground.
"I'll calm down when you grow a few inches taller, Berry." Lopez says with a growl before turning to the girl in her arms "You alright Quinn?"
Quinn places a hand on her shoulder and nods "Santana, let me." She whispers in Santana's ear before stepping between her and Rachel.
She dusts grass off of her shorts and clears her throat "Fair game, Berry. Shame it was only a friendly" she says, smiling sweetly at her opponent.
"Yes, shame, because if it wasn't a friendly, we would've destroyed you and your pathetic team." The evil smirk turns into a snarl as Rachel speaks.
"We only drew because the ref didn't call you out on your foul. What did you bribe him with this time? A blow job behind the bleachers after the game? Or did you already do it? Someone should tell him to get his dick checked out, god knows what STDs you’ve passed on to him."
Brown eyes flare up in anger at her words and she takes a menacing step towards the blonde captain. Quinn smirks when the tiny brunette still has to tilt her head to look at her. "I wouldn't push me if I was you, Fabray" Rachel warns, her face getting close to Quinn's.
"Oh I'm just getting started, Berry," Quinn growls back.
"Girls, shake hands and leave, I don't want any trouble on my pitch!" The ref says, walking up to the two bickering girls.
Hardly containing their disgust, the girls shake hands. As Quinn goes to walk away, Rachel tugs on her hand forcefully, bringing their bodies flush together, her breath blowing into Quinn's ear. The air is palpable around them. Quinn finds her throat closing at their close proximity, her breathing becoming ragged.
"You think this is the end of it? You have no idea what you're getting yourself into. I'll see you at the Tournament" she growls before pulling back. Quinn manages a scoff in return. Rachel gives Quinn one last look before turning and jogging over to her team.
Quinn watches the smaller girl go, her anger slowly dissipating. The words “Berry” glare back at her from the girl’s top, accentuated by the blue and white swirl of the Carmel high school’s mascot, the greyhound. Without realizing it, Quinn’s eyes drift down, landing on the wiggling bum of her rival for a moment. She bites her lip and tilts her head to the side. Upon catching herself, she shakes her head vigorously and walks away to Coach Roz and the rest of her waiting team.
"Never in my life have I seen such poor play happen on the pitch..." Roz's voice floats over to Quinn when she moves to stand beside Santana. They both look at each other and roll their eyes, knowing what type of rant Roz will go off on. "Little miss petunia here," Quinn looks over, realising Roz is talking about her, "Was only just able to keep possession of the ball before the little brown ball of annoying ran over and attacked her."
"She came out of nowhere Coach, we tried to stop her." Ramona, the team’s best midfielder says from next to Quinn.
"I do not care where she came from, your job is to keep her away from Fabray. I did not win three bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics in synchronised swimming or bring our Female Olympic soccer team to victory in the recent London Olympic Games on trying . I did and that's it. Get your sorry asses into the locker rooms."
The girls on the team all grumble, not too happy about going to the lockers. Due to how cheap Figgins is, the McKinley Soccer Team must share their locker room with any visiting team.
This, Quinn was dreading.
She doesn't know when, why, or how her feud with Rachel started, it just did. One day they were friends, the next they weren’t. Quinn still remembers when the Berry’s had first moved in and how excited she was to have a new friend.
Ten years ago
Seven-year-old Quinn sits on her doorstep, watching in excitement as removal men carry the furniture of their new neighbours into the house next door. She's been waiting to see any hint of a kid her age living there. So far, she's been disappointed. Not a single box has shown any sign of a kid moving in.
No one else has turned up yet, it's just been the removal men bringing in a dining table, chairs, a coffee table, a coach and a few beds. The boxes they carry are taped up, stopping Quinn from seeing what's inside.
She stands on her tiptoes, peering over the fence when she hears the sound of a baby. Her eyes light up in excitement and she eagerly waits to see who’s making that sound. When she spots a baby doll poking out of one of the boxes, Quinn finds herself jumping on her toes in excitement. They have a child! Finally, she'll have someone to play with!
Green eyes dart over to the street when the sound of a car pulling up fills the otherwise quiet neighbourhood. She watches as a tall, dark-skinned man steps out of the driver's side, soon followed by a smaller, pale man with thick-rimmed glasses. The taller man steps around the car and hugs the smaller one, placing a kiss on his head.
Quinn's eyebrows furrow at the sign of affection. She’s never seen two men show affection to each other like Dad and Mom do.
"What are you doing Quinnie?" Quinn hears her Mom call as she walks out of the house. Upon reaching Quinn, she places a caring hand on her head. Quinn feels her mother’s fingers lovingly playing with her hair and turns to her with a smile.
"Mom, can a man kiss another man?" Quinn asks.
The fingers falter for a moment, before continuing the comforting touches. "Of course, love is love, no matter where it comes from." Satisfied with the explanation, Quinn turns back to the two men, who are now fussing about with something in the boot of their car. "Russell! Our new neighbours are here!" Quinn hears Mom call out.
Quinn becomes confused as she sees more and more children toys leave the moving van, but still no sign of a child. They even walk past with a swing set at one point, but the child still has yet to be seen.
The two men spot Quinn and her Mom watching and approach them with big smiles on their faces. The taller man holds his hand out for Mom to shake. Quinn's eyes widen at how large his hands are.
"Hello, I'm Leroy Berry and this is my Husband Hiram Berry, I take it you're our new neighbours," Leroy says.
Mom smiles back and shakes his hand, moving to shake Hiram's as well "Judy Fabray. My husband will be out in a minute to welcome you."
Right on time, Dad appears at Quinn's left side and immediately picks her up, "Hey kiddo!" he says, tickling her sides. Quinn giggles, hitting away her Dad's hands.
“Russell, dear, this is Leroy and Hiram Berry,” Mom says to Dad, getting him to notice the new additions to the neighbourhood.
Dad turns his attention to the men and smiles, "Hello I'm Russell Fabray, this is our Daughter, Quinn" He holds out a hand to Leroy, who shakes it with a pleasant smile.
Leroy, the scarier looking one turns to Quinn with a gentle smile. “Hello Quinn, it’s lovely to meet you. This is my husband, Hiram.” From that one, gentle smile, Quinn finds herself feeling at ease with this man and his husband. She manages a small smile and wave, too shy to say anything.
Hiram, with his funny looking glasses, gives Quinn an over exaggerated bow and a charming “M’Lady”, making Quinn giggle at his silliness.
"Rachel, our daughter, is here somewhere," Leroy says, starting to look around for their daughter.
Quinn’s eyes widen at that, she didn’t know that two men could have a baby too. She’s going to have to ask Mom about that later.
"Most likely bossing the removal men about," Hiram says with a roll of his eyes and a lighthearted chuckle.
"How old is Rachel?" Mom asks.
Quinn looks round for any sight of this girl, eager to know how old she is.
"She's going to be seven in December."
"DAAADDDYYYY!" A voice of an angry girl comes travelling through the neighbourhood, followed by the stomping of feet.
"Speak of the devil." Hiram says with a good natured roll of his eyes, making Dad and Mom giggle.
Quinn's eyes widen as they land on an angry brown haired girl. She stops stomping to look up at her Dad's with an angry pout. Quinn can't take her eyes off of her, she's the most beautiful girl she's ever seen. Long flowing brown locks and big brown eyes adorn her face which immediately captivate Quinn.
"The men won't listen to me! They're just laughing when I tell them something!" The girl says, her pout still prominent.
"Rachel, honey, this is Mr and Mrs Fabray, they're our new neighbours," Leroy says, gesturing to Mom and Dad. Rachel looks away from her Dad's, her pout immediately disappearing, only to be replaced with a big megawatt smile. She steps forwards and curtsies.
"Hello, Mr and Mrs Fabray. I'm Rachel Barbra Berry" Judy and Russell both blink in surprise at how polite and formal the young girl is. They shake themselves out of it and smile warmly at her, offering Hello's back.
Quinn wiggles about in Russell's arms, wanting to be let down. Once he does so, she shyly steps towards Rachel, noting how much smaller the girl is to her. Rachel's eyes land on Quinn, making Quinn lose all the air in her body. Her eyes are bright and sparkly, shining with happiness. It makes Quinn smile.
"Hi," she says, then, imitating Hiram earlier, she gives Rachel a bow. "I'm Lucy Quinn Fabray.” Quinn stands up, ignoring her Mom and Dad’s giggles. She’s met with a bright, beaming smile from Rachel, causing butterflies in her stomach. “But you can call me Quinn.” Rachel takes a shy step towards Quinn. "Nice to meet you Lucy." With the shy grin and gentle blush covering her cheeks, Quinn doesn’t care that Rachel called her the wrong name. No, she doesn’t care at all.
Since then, Quinn doesn't really know when the rivalry started. Their parents got along perfectly fine. Hiram and Judy always had tea round each other's houses, gushing over soap oprah's and fashion magazines whilst Russell and Leroy would bond over sports.
Quinn would come home from school to find Leroy and Russell sat in the living room, the TV switched to ESPN, both holding a bottle of beer and laughing together. She'd walk into the kitchen and see Judy and Hiram sat at the kitchen island with cups of tea and laughing together. But yet, you'd never see Rachel and Quinn bonding like their parents.
They went to elementary and middle school together and both became friends with Santana and Brittany. They were thick as thieves. When Rachel had told Quinn about her singing lessons, Quinn all but begged for the same. Soon, Quinn had picked up guitar lessons as well, and she and Rachel would dance about in their living rooms, Rachel singing away as Quinn strums on her tiny guitar.
When Quinn had decided to join the soccer team, Rachel joined too (after some coaxing from Quinn and the promise of protecting her nose for her). Nothing was to split them apart.
Then, high school happened. Quinn was heartbroken when Rachel told her she would be going to Carmel High instead of McKinley with Quinn. But the blondee understood - Carmel gave Rachel a better chance at pursuing her Broadway dreams. McKinley had better sport facilities, with one of the strongest female soccer teams in the state, and being more athletic than Rachel, Quinn went there.
They had spent the whole summer before freshman year together, talking about how they’ll see each other everyday regardless of their high school affiliations. However, this was high school, and it didn’t take long for both girls to become part of the petty rivalry between Carmel and McKinley.
She remembers seeing Rachel at the mall with friends she made at Carmel. Quinn had run over to the girl, forgetting about Santana and Brittany behind her, too excited to tell Rachel about how she joined the New Directions glee club at McKinley. At the name, the two friends Rachel was with - a well groomed boy and a stout black girl - had turned their noses up at the blonde. Rachel was just about to congratulate and jump around in happiness with Quinn until she had seen the looks from her new friends.
“I hear you joined Carmel’s soccer team!” Quinn said when Rachel gave no reply, but had stared blankly at her in response.
At that moment, Brittany and Santana swaddled beside Quinn. “Like they’ll have any chance against us though, right Q?” Santana said, sneering over at Rachel’s friends. Santana had taken to the rivalry like a moth to a flame.
Quinn went to chastise Santana, when Rachel’s cold voice stops her. “I doubt your pathetic excuse for a glee club will even be able to qualify for Sectionals. Not a single title under their name. You’re group are hardly what we’d call competition.
” The blonde stared at Rachel in shock, not believing that this is the same girl she spent all summer with. Seeing that Santana and Brittany were looking at Quinn expectantly, the blonde stood tall. Fine, if Rachel wants to throw away their friendship over a petty rivalry, so be it. She thinks that was bitchy? Quinn will give her bitchy.
“You think you’re better just because you’ve gone to a fancier school, Berry? McKinley’s Tigers will wipe the floor with your snivelling Greyhounds. I’ve seen the way you work a ball, quite frankly I could have done better in my mother’s womb. You’re going down, in glee club and in soccer.”
With that, Quinn turned on her heel and walked away. She curled her fists to her sides, willing herself not to cry.
Thus started their hatred. When Quinn had been named the captain of the soccer team, it wasn’t too long until Quinn heard from Leroy and Hiram that Rachel had also been named soccer captain. So, when Rachel became captain of Vocal Adrenaline, Quinn fought tooth and nail to become captain of The New Directions.
The only thing Rachel didn't try to win against Quinn was skateboarding. She refused to even touch a skateboard in fear of falling off and somehow damaging her voice, therefore putting a halt to her Broadway Dream. Quinn had remembered this little rant of hers when eleven year old Quinn had shown Rachel her first skateboard.
So, she one-upped Quinn in another way. She stole her boyfriend. This little fact is what made Quinn realise that she absolutely hated Berry's guts. Puck had held a party at his house during Freshman year and stupidly allowed anyone to come. So, Rachel, her soccer team friends and glee club members came along. This caused massive tension amongst the party-goers as everyone feared that a fight would break about between the two rivalling soccer and glee teams. Particularly between Quinn and Rachel. But oh how they were wrong. No one expected what happened next to happen.
Quinn walked in on Rachel and Finn - her boyfriend and Quarterback for McKinley's football team - playing tonsil hockey in Puck's bathroom. That's when all hell broke loose. Luckily, Rachel only walked away with a black eye and Quinn with a bruised nose. If Quinn hadn't been using Finn as a beard to cover up her homosexuality, then she probably would've been angrier. The fight was for show, she couldn’t let the student body at McKinley think Rachel got away with it. Quinn also made a show of teaching Finn a lesson for cheating on her at school. Suffice to say, Finn couldn’t walk without wincing for a few days. Despite everything, Quinn had silently thanked Rachel for this - of course, she wouldn't do it to her face. It allowed her to finally come out and be who she was.
But it wasn't just that that makes Quinn hate Rachel. No. It's her cocky, I'm-better-than-you attitude. It's her confidence, her ambition, her strive to get what she wants, her demanding nature that makes her hate her so. The way her hair falls perfectly round her face, the way she's still beautiful - stop. Don’t think like that.
Nevertheless, Quinn has forever since then been getting Rachel back for stealing Finn. Their rooms faced each other perfectly, their windows where perfectly aligned and everything. So, whenever Quinn brought home one of the girl's waiting to be with her, she'd always keep her window wide open and make sure she's extremely loud and the girl she's with is very vocal. She'd only stop when she'd hear the angry shouts of Rachel and the slamming of the brunette's window, a smirk on her face.
Yes, those days she loved the most.
Quinn looks up from her gym locker when the sound of the shower stool opening sounds through the empty room. What? Isn't she the last person in here? Quinn looks down, seeing that she's still got her towel wrapped around her dry body. Strands of her hair are starting to dry and frizz. Woah, she must've zoned out for a while.
Quickly shrugging off the towel, Quinn pulls her clothes on, wanting to get out before whoever is here sees her. Just as she's bending down to tie up her shoe, the very last person she wants to see steps into her peripheral vision.
She turns her head, her eyes immediately landing on the wet and long tanned legs of Rachel Berry.
"Stop staring, Fabray" Rachel growls, causing Quinn to dart her eyes up to look at her. Quinn clears her throat and places her foot on the ground, noticing how only a small towel covers Rachel’s body. If you could even call it a towel, Quinn would say it’s more of a dishcloth with how short it is.
"Like I'd waste my time staring at your b-body" Quinn retorts, hating herself for stumbling on the last word. She hates to admit this, but from all the dancing and soccer Rachel plays she does have a nice body. Quinn had the pleasure - uh, disgust - of receiving a sneak peek at her body a week ago.
"Funny, you did exactly that last week." Rachel smirks at Quinn, spotting the fearful “Uh-oh I got caught” look in her eye. "Yeah, I saw you staring at me as I got changed after my shower last week. Enjoy the show?"
Quinn scoffs and hoists her bag up onto her shoulder, making sure that her soccer boots won't dig into her side ."If I had to choose between staring at your naked body or eat dog shit, I'd eat the dog shit - at least with that, I can get the taste away easier, with you I will forever have the image of your body engraved in my mind, forever giving me nightmares." Quinn smiles sweetly at her.
Rachel glares at Quinn, her eyes narrowing as she sizes her up. Neither speak for a while; only continuing to stare at each other. That is, until Rachel moves her hand up to her wet hair and plays with the strands, watching as Quinn's eyes follow the movement. Quinn tries to fight it, but she can't help but watch as Rachel's hand descends from her hair, brushing the edge of her towel covered breast, running down her side then gently hooking to the bottom of her towel. Quinn doesn’t miss the smirk on Rachel’s face and silently curses herself for falling for this.
"Hmm...you make it sound like a bad thing." Rachel says, tilting her head to the side.
Quinn's eyes dart up to Rachel's face again and she swallows thickly, trying to gain a little composure before she smirks and leans in close to the brunette. "Trust me, it is." She growls before grabbing hold of her skateboard and walking out of the locker room.
She sighs in relief as soon as her board hits the pavement and she starts skating off down the road. She almost lost her cool then, almost. Rachel had her hooked, but luckily Quinn wiggled away and slapped Rachel in the face with her ponytail on her exit.
As she arrives at her home, she smoothly jumps off her skateboard and picks it up, easily strolling into the cosy home. She walks into the kitchen, spotting her Mom cooking at the stove and Hiram standing next to her, chatting away about the latest gossip on the Kardashians.
"Hey Mom, Hello Hiram" She greets the smaller of the Berry men and slides onto the island countertop, picking up one of the freshly washed berry's and popping it into her mouth.
"Hello Quinnie," Judy says, giving Quinn a kiss on the cheek.
"Hello Quinn, how are you?" Hiram asks, dropping his conversation with Judy to talk to Quinn.
See, the thing is, Quinn actually likes the Berry men. They're basically her surrogate Father's to her. Especially when she realised she was gay. They were the first people she spoke to about it. Hiram held her as she cried in his arms over the realization and the worry of being kicked out of the house. The Berry men proceeded to assure her that would not happen and promised to help her whenever she needed - especially if they need her there when she told Russell and Judy.
Luckily, when she did tell them, Russell and Judy smiled at Quinn, told her they loved her no matter what, and then proceeded to ask what take out they should get and what movie they should watch. This brought more tears to Quinn's eyes.
So the Berry men are pretty fucking awesome people. Their daughter, however, is not.
"I'm fine thank you Hiram, yourself?" Quinn asks, after swallowing the strawberry. Immediately she picks another one out, placing it into her mouth and piercing the flesh with her teeth.
"I'm very well. My daughter wasn't too harsh on you today was she?" Hiram asks with concern. He, much like Leroy and the Fabray's do not enjoy or understand the feud their daughters have and constantly worries they'll seriously hurt each other one day. Especially after they pushed each other out of a tree during one of their neighbourly dinners. Now they sit them on opposite ends of the table and keep away from conversations that will make them clash. These dinners rarely happen.
Quinn shakes her head "Nah, fouled me pretty hard but other than that it was okay." She grabs another strawberry but Judy slaps her hand away, causing her to drop it. Quinn looks at the fallen strawberry forlornly.
"No more, they are for after dinner." Judy says, shaking a spoon in Quinn's face.
“Hmm” The speckled man hummed disapprovingly. Hiram looks down at his watch when it starts to beep and gasps dramatically. Quinn finds herself smiling at this, seeing so much of Rachel in his actions. Not that she notices Rachel or anything.
"Goodness look at the time! I best be getting back, Rachel will be wondering where I am. Thank you for the tea Judy. Bye Quinn."
"Bye Hiram!" Quinn calls out, watching the small man run out of the door.
"Quinn, can you set the table please? Your Father will be home soon."
Quinn groans, she goes to protest, but the spoon is waved in her face again,
"Now, Quinn," Judy says in her 'I'm-your-mother’ voice.
Quinn huffs and jumps off the counter, grabbing the forks and knives and moving to set the table.
Chapter 2: Dinner Is a Troublesome Thing
The rivalry between Quinn and Rachel continues. Artie endures a very entertaining dinner.
Quinn walks through the school doors like a powerhouse. This is her school, every corner, every wall, every paint chip on the lockers. Everything is hers to rule. And the best part? Everyone knows it. She may not be the tallest or muscular student, but she is the scariest. When she wants to be.
When Quinn walks down the corridors with Santana and Brittany flanking her, the student body part like the red sea. All of them hurriedly move out the way, some falling to the ground in their haste.
Quinn suddenly stops though, her eyes surveying the crowd. Some students seem to be whispering and pointing at her, giggling or snickering as they do so. The air is not like it usually is.
"Something's off," she says, glaring at the students who dare laugh her way.
"Q! Q!" Artie rolls his way through the crowd, stopping just in front of them.
Quinn smiles at her best friend. Their friendship did baffle many students at McKinley, why would the most popular kid at the school hangout with the handicap kid? The answer to this is that Artie had helped Quinn - along with the Berry Men - come to terms with her homosexuality and was by her side, holding her hand as she told her parents. Artie was Quinn's first friend in elementary school (besides Rachel), she was friends with him before his accident. Quinn was there for Artie when he had his accident, helped him come to terms with his disability and she did the one thing that he'll forever repay her for.
She saved his life.
But we'll get to that later.
"What's up Artie?"
"You need to come to the girl's soccer locker room." Quinn nods and immediately starts following Artie down the hallway.
As they come to the locker room, Quinn stops in her stride, her shoes squeaking against the linoleum tiles. A crowd of students are gathered outside the entrance, a few are giggling, some look on in shock.
She clears her throat, causing the crowd to part and allow her through. She stops short of the entrance, already spotting what was wrong.
From the furthest wall to the closest, the entire locker room was covered in toilet paper. They had been teepeed. Quinn's eyes zero in on a small post-it note on her locker. Not wanting to risk walking in and being attacked by anything, she grabs the nearest kid and pushes them in.
"I can't be in here! I'm a guy!" The freshman kid squeaks out. Quinn just glares at him, watching as he gulps then walks over to her locker and grabs the note, passing it to her and running out of the room, shaking himself.
Quinn shakes her head at him and looks down at the note, her anger intensifying when she recognises the handwriting.
'This is just the start of it. Be prepared'
She crumples up the note and throws into the nearest bin, seething in anger. How the fuck did she get into the locker room? How did she get into the school!
"Berry?" Santana asks, walking up next to Quinn. Quinn only nods stiffly, too angry to speak.
"You called?" The voice of the Devil speaks up, causing Quinn and Santana to spin round, coming face to face with Rachel, a few of her teammates and a sheepish looking Finn. Of course, Finn helped her.
Quinn takes a deep breath and eyes the smaller girl. The brunette lifts a challenging eyebrow at her and cocks her hip, smirking as Quinn's eyes follow the movement before flickering back up to her own.
"How did you get in?"
"Well," Rachel clears her throat and leans into Finn's side "It helps to have a boyfriend who goes here."
"What in god's name-Miss Berry!" Roz walks through the crowd, having seen the commotion on her way to her office. She turns towards the tiny brunette, hands coming to rest on her hips, unimpressed expression on her face. "Did you do this?"
Rachel fakes innocence. "No, I was just about to offer my help to Quinn for when she cleans it," she says with a sickly sweet tone, putting on a fake smile.
Roz looks over her shoulder at Quinn and raises her eyebrow, unimpressed at Rachel's attempt to sweet talk her way out of this. Quinn shrugs but nods, silently answering Roz's question. Roz turns back to the smaller girl, her gaze going to Finn "Jolly giant, can you confirm that Miss Berry had nothing to do with this. Bearing in mind that if you lie, I'll make sure Coach Beast throws you off the team and that my girl's here," she nods her heads to Quinn, Santana and Brittany "Order slushy attacks on you daily."
It’s highly unethical for a teacher to threaten a student with bullying, but Quinn accepts it and sends a glare over to Finn.
Finn pales at the thought of it and stutters out "R-Rachel and her teammates did it. She asked me to get her in." He winces in pain as Rachel nudges him harshly in the ribs "I'm sorry, Babe but she threatened to have me slushied!"
Quinn's anger boils at the use of the pet name. Quinn runs her eyes over Rachel's outfit. An incredibly short skirt hangs just under her thighs matched with a blue tank and a black jacket. It’s a requirement for those in Vocal Adrenaline to wear their uniforms. It’s eerily like the cheerios here at McKinley. Quinn thanks god every day she decided against trying out for the Cheerios. She’s heard what Coach Sue is like, no way does she want that.
Quinn’s eyes focus intently on Rachel’s legs. There’s a harsh poke to her ribs and she glares over to the perpetrator, seeing Santana look at her in confusion, before subtly directing her to Roz. She looks over to see Roz raising an expectant eyebrow at her.
"I'm sorry Coach, can you repeat the question?"
Roz rolls her eyes "Girl you got to get your heads outta those clouds! I said, seeing as Miss Berry and her teammates made this mess, they should clean it and you will monitor them. Is that okay?"
Quinn looks at Rachel and smirks, liking the idea of being able to boss Berry about. "It's more than okay coach."
"I'll also be contacting Coach Treadwell and inform her of your little stunt. I expect she'll have a suitable punishment ready for you when you make your midget ass way back to your school." With that, Roz walks away, also clearing students out of the way and sending them to lessons.
“You can’t speak to me like that!” Rachel shouts at Roz’s back.
Quinn watches in delight when Roz turns around, her signature “don’t fuck with me” look in place. Rachel shrinks back at the look and Quinn just about manages to not jump in joy.
Finn shrugs helplessly and walks off to his lesson. Quinn watches in as Rachel stares daggers into his back. Santana smirks at Rachel, purposely bumping - sorry, shoving - her shoulder as she and Brittany walk past.
"Are you going to be alright Quinn?" Artie asks, looking up at Quinn in slight concern.
Quinn removes her eyes from Rachel and looks down at her friend. "I'll be fine, go wheel your ass off to class." She says, giving his chair a slight push in the right direction. Artie waves at her and wheels down the hallway, leaving Rachel and her teammates with her in the hall.
"Dating robot's now Fabray? I thought you were a raging homo?" Rachel asks with a sneer, silently ordering her team into the room.
Quinn folds her arms together and smiles mockingly at her. "Sounding a little jealous there, Berry. You want a try at being sapphic?" She watches in delight as Rachel blanches at this, at a loss for words. Quinn’s smile falls. "In" she says, pointing to the room where Rachel's team is starting to gather up the toilet paper.
“Like I would ever go near you.” Rachel finally manages to say, although it lacks any bite as she pushes her way past Quinn into the locker room.
"Make sure you clean everything. " Quinn’s smirk deepens at the glares Rachel and her team send her. Satisfied they will continue to clean, Quinn turns on her heel and walks down the hallway.
Santana slides up next to her, Artie rolling beside her as they begin to walk down the hallway to Glee.
"How are we going to get them back? Egg their house? Put paint in their lockers, gas bombs?" Santana asks, getting more and more excited with each idea she comes up with.
Quinn only chuckles and shakes her head, walking into Glee club. She spots Puck tuning his guitar and walks over to him. Her shadow looms over him, causing the mohawked boy to look up. Upon spotting her, Puck smirks and places his guitar down, leaning back in his chair.
"What can I do for you, Quinnie?" Puck asks, chuckling when Quinn glares at him. Only a select few can get away with calling Quinn that, and unfortunately, Puck is one of them. Doesn’t mean Quinn likes him saying it.
"You're having a party this Friday, right?"
"Yeah, to celebrate the start of Soccer season, why?"
"Tell Finn he can invite anyone he likes, including Rachel. I have something planned for her."
Puck scratches the back of his neck. "Don't be too harsh on the girl, okay Q?"
Quinn narrows her eyes at him dangerously "Why do you care?"
At the question, Puck feigns indifference and moves into a casual position. "I don't. She seems alright I guess," he says with a shrug.
Quinn isn't convinced but chooses to ignore him and makes her way over to the empty seat beside Artie, smiling and ruffling his hair as she sits down.
"Alright guys," Mr Schue says, walking into the choir room "Time to start thinking about Sectionals," he says with excitement.
Artie and Quinn look at each other and roll their eyes, hoping they don't fall asleep as Mr Schue lectures them.
"Ready to get your ass kicked Abrahams?" Quinn asks as she and Artie walk into her house, throwing her bag off to the side. She waits in the doorway as Artie wheels himself in and smiles, running over to her Xbox and setting up a game of Fifa.
Artie scoffs and takes the controller Quinn holds out to him. "Girl, you know I'm going to whoop yo ass again."
Quinn laughs and sits down on the sofa. "I let you win that game."
The brown haired boy only shakes his head. "Time to settle this."
About thirty minutes into the game and the two teens start to get competitive. Quinn, playing as Chelsea, already has two goals whereas Artie, playing as Manchester has one. Artie passes the ball to one of his characters, charging down the field, getting ready to score when out of nowhere, Quinn's blue character comes in and slide tackles him, sending him onto the ground.
"Yes!" Quinn shouts when the timer blows, signalling the end of the game. "In your face Artie!" Quinn says joyously.
Artie rolls his eyes "I went easy on you. Round two!"
"I'm sorry to cut this short, children," Judy says, walking into the lounge "But the Berry's are coming round for dinner soon so that will need to be turned off. You're more than welcome to stay Artie."
"Thanks, Mrs J," Artie says, smiling at the women. Quinn watches her mom leave the room before groaning and falling back onto the settee, placing her head in her hands.
"Fucking hell, I'm going to have to talk to her some more?" Quinn mutters to herself.
"You know, ya'll never told me why you two don't get on," Artie says, putting his controller onto the coffee table, wheeling himself up to the TV to turn it off before making his way next to Quinn.
Quinn sighs and lifts her head up, green eyes looking to kind, blue ones of Artie. She puffs out her cheeks for a moment, trying to gather her thoughts. She releases the air and blows a piece of hair out of her eyes before speaking.
"You and I both know that I have no clue." She gets up from the settee and starts to make her way into the kitchen, Artie rolling himself behind her. “High school rivalry I guess.”
Artie doesn’t look convinced by that argument. "There must be some reason as to why you're at each other's throats, I was in the same class as you guys when you were thick as thieves."
Quinn smiles at Judy and picks up an apple. She hops up onto the island and takes a big bite out of it. "Mmmph mmph mpmmpsh," she says around the piece of apple. She hisses when Judy hits her hand with a spoon, silently berating her for her manners. Artie chuckles at the exchange, patiently waiting for Quinn to finish eating.
"I dunno, one day we were best friends the next she stopped speaking to me. I didn't understand what had happened and then she started to be horrible, so I was horrible back" Quinn shrugs and takes another bite, a bit of the apple dribbling down her chin.
"What's this you're talking about?" Judy asks, spinning around with a pot full of pasta. Quinn scooches out of the way to allow Judy to empty it onto the plates.
"Why Rachel and Quinn hate each other," Artie says. He ignores the glare Quinn sends his way with a cheeky smile.
"Oh don't be so silly, they don't hate each other. They just haven't realised how much they-"
"Guess who I've got!" Russell sing songs to the house, interrupting Judy. He strolls into the kitchen, Hiram, Leroy and Rachel following him. He rounds the counter and places a big wet kiss onto Judy's lips, causing Quinn to scrunch up her nose. She looks to Artie and pulls a disgusted face, Artie chuckles at the silly expression.
Russell moves away from Judy "Hey, now don't be like that kiddo," Russell says, moving to stand next to Quinn "Someday you're going to come home from work and want to greet your wife in the same way."
Quinn shakes her head "That may be," she jumps off of the counter and throws her apple core into the bin "But it doesn't mean I enjoy my parents showing affection in my presence." She turns round to smile at Hiram and Leroy, giving them both individual hugs and saying hello to them.
"Don't worry about Quinn, Rachel does the same thing when Hiram and I kiss," Leroy says to Russell, walking over to Judy and placing a kiss on her cheek. "Mr Abrahams," Leroy says, upon seeing Artie sat next to Quinn "My, haven't you grown."
"I saw you last week Sir," Artie says, laughing.
Leroy waves his hand about. "A lot can happen in a week, my good man. And how many times do I have to say it, call me Leroy." he winks at Artie before moving to talk to Russell.
"Rachel darling you have yet to give me a hug!" Judy exclaims, manoeuvring her way through the kitchen towards Rachel who was silently watching Quinn and Hiram speak to each other.
She looks away from the blonde and her Dad, smiling at Judy and welcoming the hug Judy engulfs her in "Hello Judy" Rachel says, moving away from Judy once they break apart.
"We were just speaking about you," Judy says, gesturing to Quinn and Artie who both look on with a deer caught in headlights look on their faces.
Rachel raises an eyebrow, smirking over at Quinn. "You were?"
"Mom!" Quinn quickly interrupts "I think the sauce is ready."
Judy's eye widen comically and she rushes back to the oven "Oh yes, yes!" she takes the pot of sauce off of the stove and begins to pour it over the pasta "Don't worry Rachel, I have your vegan substitute right here!" Judy says, picking up a separate pan.
Rachel steps further into the room "Thank you very much. Here, let me help you." She grabs hold of the plates Judy was juggling with.
Quinn scoffs and mutters, “Goodie goodie,” under her breath. Judy and Artie both hear her, one looks at her with silent admonishment, the other rolls his eyes.
When Rachel turns around, her eyes look down Quinn’s face, a smirk on her face. Quinn’s eyebrows furrow, is she looking at her- “You’ve got a piece of apple.” Rachel says, interrupting Quinn’s thoughts. She adjusts the plates in her hands, then gestures to her own chin. “Right there.”
Quinn’s eyes widen, cheeks blushing in embarrassment and she quickly wipes at her chin, removing the apple. She catches the smirk Rachel gives her before the tiny brunette turns away to take the plates to the dining table. Russell and Leroy trail behind her like dogs, eager to eat. She hears Artie chuckling beside her, and without looking, kicks at his chair. Artie swats at her leg in retaliation.
"Now stop it,” Judy says, turning to Quinn with a bowl of spaghetti and mixed salad. “Honestly Quinn you would think you were raised by wolves with how messy you eat. Take these through, please.” She says, placing the bowl in Quinn’s hand and giving the mixed salad to Artie.
Quinn rolls her eyes and takes it, walking into the dining room with Hiram, Judy and Artie following her.
"Bon appetit everyone!" Judy says as everyone takes their place. Quinn holds back from fighting with Rachel when she sees Rachel take her seat. Her eyes narrow when Rachel smirks her usual smirk. That bitch knows it’s Quinn’s spot. Quinn instead, settles into the seat opposite Rachel, besides Artie.
"This should be fun" Artie whispers to Quinn, causing her to chuckle, secretly hoping that she can get away from the dinner without having to interact with Rachel.
This proved to be a difficult task as Rachel seemed to make it her mission to anger Quinn at the table. Every so often, Quinn would feel a foot hit against her shin. It seemed to hit her in a rhythm of three. Hit hit hit. Hit hit hit. Hit hit hit. Over and over again. She had to bite her tongue to keep herself from launching herself over the table and punching Rachel in her perfect face over and over again.
Why oh why did Quinn have to sit opposite her? Couldn't she have picked the seat opposite Judy or Hiram? No, not Hiram, that would mean Quinn would be next to Rachel. That would be worse! What if she started to poke her in the thigh with her fork, but then what if that turned to her finger poking her thigh? Then the finger would become Rachel's small un-manly hands softly caressing her thigh, getting closer and closer to-
Quinn looks to her left upon feeling a sharp jab in her side. She sees Artie looking at her with raised eyebrows, having jabbed her hip with his elbow. She looks away from him, seeing that all conversation has stopped and everyone was looking at her. Leroy and Hiram with raised eyebrows, Russell with a baffled look, Judy with a curious one and Rachel...Rachel had that damn smirk spread across her face again.
"Quinn?" Judy asks gently.
"Are you okay?"
Little did Quinn know, that whilst her previous thoughts were going through her mind, her face had slowly become red and she had let out a high pitched squeak, halting all chatter at the table.
"Yeah, yeah I just need some uh-some water" Quinn squeaks out, her throat suddenly dry. She reaches forward and grasps onto her glass, taking a long sip from it as the red drains from her face, restoring her natural colour.
Everyone shrugs and goes back to chatting amongst themselves, apart from Rachel, who continues to stare at Quinn with the same smirk, seemingly knowing what Quinn was just thinking. Quinn growls when the three beat rhythm begins to hit against her shin again. Her hand tightens around her glass as she glares at Rachel.
"Stop it," she growls. Rachel only ignores her and begins to hit her faster "Stop it!" Quinn shouts, once again silencing conversation.
"What's the matter?" Russell asks, slightly exasperated.
"She keeps kicking me!" Quinn says, pointing her finger to Rachel.
"I do not!" Rachel exclaims.
"Yes, you do you hobbit!" Quinn shouts, standing up from her chair and placing her hands on the table, leaning over to glare at Rachel.
"Lucy Quinn Fabray, how dare you speak to a guest like that," Judy says, a warning tone in her voice.
Rachel stands, matching Quinn’s posture, their faces inches from each other. "I'd rather be a midget freak then a Frat Boy Lesbian!" She huffs out.
"Rachel Barbra Berry!" Hiram gasps out.
“Rachel.” Leroy’s warning voice rumbles. Both girls ignore it.
"How does that work?" Quinn asks, "I don't even like rap music!" She throws her hands up in the air angrily.
“It doesn’t have to make sense you insufferable douche!”
Artie chortles out a laugh at Rachel’s insult. Quinn blinks owlishly at the brunette. “Did you just call me a -”
"ENOUGH!" Russell's booming voice fills the room, shutting the two girls up. Artie looks between everyone with an excited puppy look, desperately wishing he had some popcorn and a video camera.
"I am so very sorry to cut this dinner short Judy and Russell, but we must be heading back." Leroy says, standing up from the table, placing his napkin onto the tabletop "Thank you very much for the dinner Judy, it was wonderful like always" Leroy sends one look to Rachel, silently ordering her to follow him out.
“I’ll see you out,” Judy says, standing and moving to usher the other family away.
"Thank you for having us," Hiram says before following his Husband and Daughter out of the home. He and Judy begin to apologise to each other as they go.
Russell and Artie stay silent, listening to the front door shut closed, signalling the Berry's departure before Russell breaks the silence in a calm voice "Artie, would you please excuse us." Artie nods and wheels himself away from the table and into the living room.
"Sit down Quinn." Russell orders to the still standing Quinn. Quinn nods and slowly sits back down, staying silent the entire time.
She fiddles with her cutlery, nervous for what Russell will say. Will he shout at her? Will he stay calm? It's always the worst when he doesn't shout. She's always waiting for him to shout, wanting him to shout at her, but instead he calmly tells her to go to her room and nothing else.
"How could you?" Russell asks softly, his hands clasped in front of him. "Your mother put so much hard work into this meal and you go and ruin it?"
"I'm so sorry," Quinn whispers.
"Don't apologise to me. Apologise to your mother! Apologise to Rachel and Leroy and Hiram! Especially Rachel with the way you spoke to her."
"She was kicking me and-"
"I AM TALKING!" Russell shouts, his face becoming slightly red. Quinn sinks into her seat, knowing that when Russell shouts like that, he is really quite angry. "Whatever this rivalry you two have must be sorted out! I will not have your petty arguments ruining our dinners! If you can't sort them out then keep them away from our home."
"I'm so sorry Mom," Quinn says, locking eyes with her mother. Judy had walked back into the dining room at that moment.
Judy shakes her head "It's fine. Just make sure you apologise to Rachel, you had no reason to speak to her the way you did." Judy gets up and starts to clear the table "If you excuse me, I've got some washing up to do." with that she walks into the kitchen, leaving Russell and Quinn in the dining room.
"I want you to take Artie home then when you come back, go over to the Berry's and apologise. Once home you are to go straight to your room with no access to your laptop or TV, understood?" Russell says, waiting for Quinn to nod. When she does so, he gets up from the table and walks over to her, placing a kiss on top of her head, surprising her "I love you Kiddo, but you've got to stop the arguing okay?" He walks away to help Judy with clearing up.
Quinn silently gets up from the table, grabs her coat and keys and walks into the living room, smiling weakly at Artie who rolls himself towards her.
"How bad was it?" he asks as they make their way to the front door.
"Not that bad. I have to apologise to them but don't have my laptop or TV for the rest of the night." She says, opening up the door and wheeling Artie down the driveway.
"You still going to get her back though, right?" He asks as she helps him into her car.
She puts his chair in her boot and walks round to the driver's side and hops in.
"Oh yeah, she doesn't know what's coming to her," Quinn smirks at Artie and backs out of the driveway, heading towards Artie's.
Chapter 3: Parties At Puck's Never End Well
Puck throws a party, giving Quinn the perfect opportunity to get her own back.
Quinn huffs loudly as she stares at the Berry household. Why does she have to do this? She didn't start the argument, Berry was kicking her! What was she supposed to do? Let her continue? No fucking way.
She sighs once again and reluctantly gets out of her car, walking with heavy footsteps up to the big mahogany door glaring down at her. Her eyes focus on the bear door knocker shining its teeth as it roars.
As her hand reaches out to grab hold of the bear, the door swings open, revealing a grumbling Rachel, angrily tugging on her jacket. She pauses in her movements when she finally spots the blonde standing before her. Her eyes narrow, her lips pull up into a disgusted scowl as she leans her hand against the door frame, sizing Quinn up with her gaze.
"What do you want?" The brunette asks with malice.
Quinn bites down on her tongue to keep herself from making a retort back. She takes a deep breath whilst closing her eyes, silently chanting "you're here to apologize" in her head. Opening her eyes, she focuses on the inpatient and uninterested face of Rachel.
She goes on to say it, it's on the tip of her tongue, but with the way Rachel is looking at her, she can't say it. Instead, she blurts out something else, something that's been pushing up her throat since she could remember.
"Why do you hate me?"
Rachel is caught off guard, leaning back slightly in shock before regaining her composure. "I don't have time for this." She shrugs her jacket on properly before walking out of the door, letting it slam behind her.
Quinn doesn't move from her place on the doorstep, so when Rachel turns back round, they end up nose to nose. Quinn gulps nervously as she stares into Rachel's eyes, captivated by the liquid pools of brown swimming in her irises and the way she has a small twinkle shining at the edge of her pupils. She's broken out of the spell when Rachel roughly pushes past her and heads down the driveway.
The blonde quickly follows, having to jog a little to catch up to the power walking Diva. She slides in front of her, almost causing the petite brunette to walk into her. Luckily Rachel catches herself before she does and sends an annoyed look Quinn's way.
"You didn't answer my question."
Rachel shakes her head and glances everywhere but Quinn. "I thought it was obvious," she says gruffly, pulling her jacket tighter around her body.
When Quinn continues to stare at Rachel blankly, Rachel rolls her eyes exasperatedly. "Because you’re McKinley scum." She goes to move around the taller girl's body, but a hand on her chest stops her.
"That's not it. What's the real reason?" Quinn asks, not convinced by Rachel's answer.
Rachel growls angrily and stomps her foot. The brunette refuses to look at her. Quinn waits patiently for her answer, and it seems like Rachel is having an internal battle with herself. Brown eyes glance to Quinn and there’s something in her eyes, almost like regret. But before Quinn can really focus on it, the look is gone.
"Can't you just get through that thick head of yours that not everyone will love you!" With that, Rachel barges past her and walks further down the street.
"Where are you going?!" Quinn shouts out to her, worried that Rachel is walking on her own at night.
"None of your business!" Rachel shouts back, disappearing into the darkness.
Quinn scratches her head and kicks the gravel. Fuck! She thought she almost got an answer then!
With frustration, Quinn trudges up to her home, heading straight to her room where she collapses onto her bed, automatically falling into a deep slumber.
Her hands hold the red cup in her hand tightly as she awaits the arrival of Finn. Cheers sound around her as a game of beer pong plays, music pounds through her brain as the partygoers dance, bumping and grinding sweaty bodies against each other. She brings the cup up to her lips, scrunching her nose up at the bland and bitter taste of beer that fills her mouth. She quickly swallows it and places the cup on the nearest counter, swiftly grabbing a wine cooler and popping the top off. Not wasting any time, she quickly drinks half of its contents, sighing happily when the sweet taste of berries tickles her taste buds.
"Someone's thirsty." She looks her head to the side, smiling when her eyes land on the blue hair of Ramona. Ramona smiles back at her, leaning her side against the wall Quinn's leant on.
"I'm a little nervous," Quinn says, taking another sip from her wine cooler.
Ramona smirks at her, a brown eyebrow cocking up. "Party jitters or waiting for a special someone?"
Quinn almost says a special someone but realises how odd that would be to say. The only person she's waiting to turn up is Berry and...and she isn't special in any way.
"Party jitters" she finally says after a few minutes of thinking "Last time I was here, I almost had sex with Puckerman, don't want to make that mistake again."
"Well, maybe all you need is a distraction," Ramona says with a flirtatious smile, leaning into Quinn closer.
"I-" A commotion in the hallway stops Quinn from speaking. She can hear voice bickering and decides to investigate. Leaving Ramona without a word, Quinn walks through the crowd, who part upon seeing her walking in the direction of the noise.
She stops when she gets to the front, seeing Santana standing at the threshold, her arms folded over her chest and an annoyed expression on her face as she stares at Finn. Quinn looks over to Finn, spotting his 'I'm sorry' face before changing her focus to the brunette by his side, a few of her friends from Vocal Adrenaline behind her. Quinn spots the faces of Kurt, Mercedes and Tina, all three of them looking at her with awkward smiles. Unlike the rest of Vocal Adrenaline, Kurt was friendly towards Quinn and the New Directions. Mercedes and Tina never really seemed to buy into the rivalry between the two schools either.
When Quinn had first met Kurt and Mercedes, it was that fateful day in the mall. They had turned their noses up at her. However, when Blaine, a member of new directions accidentally bumped into Kurt one day, they got to talking. Talking turned to flirting, and soon they were dating. So Kurt, and by extension, Mercedes became a welcome presence around the New Directions, and thus around Quinn.
Her eyes focus on the proud and evil smile on Rachel's face staring at her. Quinn holds back her smirk, Rachel just fell right into her trap. She feigns anger as she steps past Santana and up to Rachel, ignoring Finn who shifts slightly to try and block her view of Rachel.
"What are you doing here?" She growls out. She watches nervously as Rachel's eyes look her over, a slight hint of doubt in her eyes. Quinn panics, thinking Rachel can see past her facade. She mentally releases a sigh of relief when the brunette’s signature smirk is back in place, not seeing past Quinn's acting.
"Finn invited me. Is that a problem?" Rachel asks in a sickly sweet tone.
"Finn, you dumbass! You invite Berry to a party for OUR Soccer team?" Santana growls, moving to attack him. Quinn puts her arm out to stop the feisty Latina and turns to her, leaning to whisper in her ear.
"Leave this to me," Quinn whispers. She sees the understanding looks Santana gives her then moves away to address Finn.
Finn scratches his head "Puck said I can invite anyone." he says with a shrug. Quinn sighs and shakes her head but steps back, allowing them room to move into the house.
"Fine. But if you start anything or talk to me." she says this to Rachel "You're out."
Rachel scoffs "Why would I choose to speak to you?" With that, she flips her hair over her shoulder and struts past the blonde into the living room, grabbing the wine cooler in Quinn's hand on her way.
"So, how are you going to get her back?" Santana asks as the crowd leaves, going back to partying. Quinn smirks and taps a finger to her nose, walking back to where she was stood before.
Quinn tips back her fifth wine cooler, finishing it off. She grimaces, but not at the taste, oh no. At the sight before her. Finn and Rachel are on the make-shift dance floor together. Rachel's got her arms up in the air, swaying side to side sensually whilst Finn gropes at her hips and waist, swaying awkwardly with a red face. Quinn's stomach flips in disgust when she makes out Finn silently mouthing 'mailman' over and over again. She notices Rachel watching her, an intense look in the brunette’s eyes.
"Berry’s looking fine tonight, don’t you think?" Quinn rips her eyes away from Rachel’s to see Puck, standing next to her with a smile. Quinn ignores him. “Don’t kid yourself Q, you want all up in that.”
Quinn looks back over to the dancing couple, eyes finding Rachel’s again. Her head feels dizzy and light. Must be the alcohol. "I have no idea what you’re talking about." She growls out, her voice suddenly hoarse. She grabs the cup out of Puck's hands and downs its contents, coughing slightly when vodka burns her throat.
"I think you do." He says knowingly. Quinn pierces him with a glare and he finally seems to find some common sense and shut the hell up.
"Hey Puck" Quinn looks up, seeing a sweaty Finn standing in front of her "Quinn."
Quinn nods at him, trying to ignore the noticeable tent in his trousers.
"Can I use your bathroom?" Finn asks Puck who smirks at him.
"Mailman not work again?"
Finn blushes and shakes his head "No."
Again? AGAIN?! How many times have he and Rachel gotten so hot and heavy that mailman didn't work? The thought makes Quinn’s stomach twist uncomfortably.
"Where's Rachel?" Puck asks. He and Quinn both notice the singer is missing from the dance floor.
"Outside, said she needed some air," Finn answers before taking off to the bathroom.
Puck spots Quinn's smirk and quickly stops her from walking "No no no. Quinn, don't. Leave her alone okay?"
Quinn glares up at him "Why do you care about what I may or may not do to Berry?"
"What? I-I don't" Puck says, quickly dropping his arms. However, Quinn doesn't believe him and narrows her eyes at him.
"You do." she takes a step toward him, he automatically takes a step back.
"Did you sleep with her?" Quinn asks, taking more steps closer to him, which Puck matches with a step back.
"WHAT?! No! No" Quinn raises an eyebrow at him, causing him to relent and admit the truth "We go to the same synagogue alright. We're friends, she helps look after my little sister when I can't or Mom's working late shifts. She's...there's a lot about Rachel you don't know, Quinn and if you do anything to hurt her, it will hurt her more than you know."
"Why didn't you ever ask me to help out with your sister?" Quinn asks, slightly hurt that Puck couldn't approach her and ask for help.
Puck scratches his head "You're always preoccupied with how you can torment Rachel and with soccer and glee."
Quinn glances outside for a moment, her eyes widening when she spots Rachel jumping into the pool butt naked. Berry is...naked...in Puck's pool...all alone. Perfect.
"Look, I'm sorry about everything Puck, I'll try and help out more, but there's something I've got to do." she runs past Puck, grabs hold of Santana and drags her outside with her.
Quinn silences Santana's process with a finger to her lips and points to the pile of Rachel's clothes in the grass, smirking evilly. Santana grins at Quinn, already liking the blonde's plan and nods. The both sneak over to the clothes as quietly as possible. Quinn grabs the towel Rachel's put out whilst Santana grabs Rachel's clothes. Quinn signals for Santana to go hide the clothes, whilst she stands in the shadows of the trees in the back garden to confront Rachel.
She watches in delight as Rachel hoists herself out of the pool and gasps, looking around for the towel and clothes, trying to cover up her body with hands. With quiet footsteps, Quinn walks to the side of the pool, feeling the pool lights brighten up her face.
"Looking for this?" Quinn asks, causing Rachel to gasp and spin round, her eyes focusing on the towel Quinn's holding between her fingers limply, her arm stretched out over the water.
"Give that to me," Rachel growls, walking over to Quinn and making a grab for it. Her fingertips only graze the soft cotton of the towel as Quinn releases it, letting it fall into the water of the pool.
"Oops," Quinn smirks, raising an eyebrow at Rachel in a challenge.
"Berry's naked!" Quinn hears shouted from inside the home. Then, right on cue, the back doors slide open and outcome the crowd of students, all giggling and laughing at Berry's humiliation.
Quinn looks back at Rachel, a frown falling on her face when she sees Rachel's shoulders shake. She can't see her face as the brunette's face is turned towards the ground. But when Rachel raises her head to look at Quinn, Quinn feels her heartbreak. In their years of rivalry, Quinn has never seen such a broken and upset look directed at her from Rachel. Tears flow down her cheeks from the humiliation. Quinn hates seeing Rachel like that. All she wanted to do was to prank her, not make her cry. But she guesses that this was a prank that went just that little bit too far.
Quinn bends down and picks up the now soaked towel. She looks between it and the shivering girl in front of her. The soccer captain takes an unintentional step towards the girl, frowning when Rachel takes a step back. Hazel eyes dart up to the house, where aside from Finn and Rachel’s team, everyone is laughing and pointing at her. She looks back to the tiny brunette.
Quinn's eyebrows furrow together when she watches as Rachel desperately scratches at her nose and hands. It's then when she spots the pink scars on the back of Rachel's hands, and a few small ones on her nose. She looks further down the girl's body, seeing smaller ones on her stomach, some healing. They’re just like the ones she saw at the soccer game.
"Quinn!" She hears shouted but doesn't look up. She continues to watch Rachel cry and scratch, desperately wanting to reach out and cover the girl up, away from the crowd of people. It's only when Puck's arms encircle Rachel, wrapping her in a new towel does she look up.
She steps back in shock at Puck's furious and disappointed face "Is this what you wanted?" He growls, hiding the crying girl from prying eyes. Quinn just stares at him blankly, not able to form any words to reply. "Well, congratulations. You've humiliated her." Puck takes Rachel's clothes that Kurt and Mercedes had taken from Santana and guides Rachel into his house, all the while shouting for everyone to get out.
The partygoers disperse, all still giggling about Rachel and make their way to their cars or home. Quinn only finds the strength to move when Santana walks into the garden, smirking at her.
"We got her Q, big time." She says, but Quinn doesn't hear her, she marches past her into the home and up the stairs, desperately looking for Puck and Rachel, still holding the soaked towel.
After looking into Puck's room and his little sister's room, she finally finds them in his Mom's room. Rachel's sat on the edge of his Mom's bed, her head on Puck's shoulder as she cries. She dressed in her clothes again, hair dripping wet. Puck holds her close to him, rubbing her shoulder comfortingly and occasionally kissing the top of her head. Upon spotting Quinn in the doorway, he removes himself from Rachel and walks up to her, blocking her view from Rachel.
"What do you want?" He asks, his voice cold. He sees the towel in Quinn’s hand and rips it out of her grip, throwing it towards the washing basket in the room. Quinn doesn’t even notice the action, instead, her eyes are trained on the crying girl.
"Is she-Can I-" She stops all speech, falling silent. She doesn't exactly know why she's here, all she knew was that she needed to find Rachel, it was a gut instinct.
"No. Leave her alone Quinn. You've done enough today. Leave". With that, he slams the door in her face.
The only thought processing through her mind now is;
What will her parents do when they find out?
Quinn sits at the breakfast counter, her eyes darting to both her parents as she munches on her Cap'n Crunch cereal. Russell sits beside her, a newspaper held up in front of his face whilst Judy works at the stove, cooking up some eggs and bacon for her husband. It's silent apart from the crunching of the cereal in Quinn's mouth, the sizzling of the eggs and the occasional rustle of papers as her Dad turns the page. Quinn's leg shakes in anxiousness as she waits for her parents to shout at her and tell her to do some grovelling towards Rachel.
Why aren't they saying anything? Normally they would've pounced on her as soon as she made her way into the kitchen. But all that was exchanged was "good morning's" and hugs and kisses before they all lapsed into a silence. She hates it, she wants them to shout at her, tell her off, anything! Anything to get rid of this feeling of the calm before the storm.
"Is something wrong, Kiddo?" Russell asks, noticing Quinn's anxiousness.
Quinn swallows quickly "Are you not angry with me?" she asks softly, keeping her eyes firmly locked on her bowl.
"Why would we be angry with you?" Russell questions, his eyebrows furrowing together in confusion. "Did something happen at the party?"
Quinn silent for a while. Did Rachel not tell her parents? Did Rachel's parents not tell hers? Quinn shakes her head and scoots off of the stool "I'm going to the park." She says, placing her bowl into the sink.
"Be safe" Judy says, kissing her cheek before Quinn runs up to her room, having a quick shower and changing into a pair of shorts, a t-shirt and a grey hoodie.
She grabs her soccer ball and walks out of the home, bouncing the ball along the pavement as she heads to the park. She needs to calm down and sort through the million and one thoughts running through her mind. The image of Rachel's broken face and Puck's cold one flashes through her mind, making her cringe.
Never in the whole time, she's known Puck has he looked at her like that. Like dirt on the bottom of his shoe. He always looked at her with warmth or friendliness, occasionally flirtation but Quinn quickly put him in his place when he does.
She growls out in frustration as she gets to her favourite spot in the park and begins to do some kick-ups, placing all of her concentration on the ball. She blocks out the thoughts in her mind, getting into her zone.
Once Quinn starts going with a soccer ball, it's almost impossible to get her out of her 'Soccer zone' as Russell kindly dubbed it. She wouldn't see or hear anyone else, just the ball and her goal. It came in handy during matches. The only person who's taken her out of the zone is Rachel. That's why the matches against Carmel and McKinley get so rough because Quinn isn't able to get into her zone as Rachel is there, determined to distract her.
"Holy fu-" Quinn stumbles as she turns around, trying to keep the ball up. Her eyes had landed on a very close Rachel, frightening her and causing Quinn to lose her footing.
The ball falls with a 'thump' onto the damp grass and rolls over to Rachel's feet. With her right foot, Rachel rolls the ball towards her and flicks it up into the air, catching it in her hands with practised ease. Quinn rolls her eyes and holds her hand out, raising her eyebrows.
"Can I have my ball back please?" She asks, not in the mood to hold a conversation with Rachel, despite her desperately wanting to know why her parents hadn't shouted at her.
"I didn't tell my parents," Rachel says. She juggles the ball between her hands, her eyes trained on Quinn.
Quinn drops her hand "Why?" her eyes drop to Rachel's hands, seeing that they're covered up by gloves. It's not cold enough to wear gloves yet, though. Her eyes move to lock with Rachel's. It's then when she notices something strange.
She sees the same look she saw a few days ago. She can't place what it is, but it's different from the malice usually directed at her. Like the other times, as fast as it appeared, it's gone again, replaced by the hatred Quinn's used to seeing. She watches as a smirk pulls up on Rachel's face, her back shivering as she anticipates Rachel's next words.
"You wouldn't be much use locked away. I need to defeat you fair and square at the tournament."
Quinn feels her body deflate at Rachel's words. Why? Why is she disappointed by hearing that?
"Just so we're clear," Rachel continues, "I'm done playing nice." She growls before throwing the ball at Quinn who catches it just in time.
Quinn watches as Rachel walks away, completely baffled. What’s more baffling to Quinn is why her stomach is twisting uneasily, creating knots in her abdomen.
One thing Quinn can deduce from this feeling is that whatever is about to happen, won’t be good.
Chapter 4: Rachel
Rachel makes good on her threat.
The can swings in her hand as she paces backwards and forwards. It hits against her leg repeatedly with a gentle 'thump'. Over and over again, 'thump...thump..thump...' as she continues to pace. She ignores the feeling of the cool metal hitting her leg as she mumbles under her breath, hitting her palm against her forehead. Along with the 'thump' sound, is the scratching of blunt nails against her nose and hands.
'Thump, scratch, thump, scratch, scratch, thump' it goes as her shoes hit against the concrete. She stops and looks to the side, spotting a window with her reflection in it. She touches her face and hair, spotting many imperfections before spinning away from the mirror. She scratches at her nose again and sniffs.
"Just do it. It's been a week. You'll be expected to do something" She mumbles to herself. Taking a deep breath, she pushes the red doors open and walks through the empty corridors. Spotting the correct locker, she skids to a halt and quickly dials the number that first comes to her head - Quinn's birth date. When it doesn't open, Rachel frowns. She tries Russell’s birthday, Judy’s, Christmas...none work. One number comes to her head but- no, it would be silly for her to think this could- oh just try it, Rachel.
With shaking fingers, Rachel puts in the date she thinks of. Nine, zero, eight, zero, two. An ache fills Rachel’s heart when the locker clicks and she pulls the door open. She shakes her head at herself, a sad sigh escaping her. Shaking the melancholy off her, Rachel looks up, faltering when she spies a photo in the blonde’s locker. It’s from their first day of middle school together. The young Quinn and Rachel both beam at the camera, holding matching lunch boxes, the only indication over whose is whose is the gold star situated on Rachel’s.
Rachel feels her stomach tighten at the memory and forces herself to looks away. Looking down at the can of green goop in her hands, she pauses. In the back of her mind, there's someone stopping her, telling her no. She sighs and drops her hand. She shouldn't do this, it's not right. Quinn wasn't to know how badly her prank would affect her. Quinn didn't start the pranking, she just responded to Rachel's prank.
Rachel's head whips to the side, a gasp falling from her lips upon seeing the New Direction's manager. The can in her hands falls to the floor with a clank as she rushes off down the hallway, the director following her. She looks behind herself to check if he's following her still, only to hit into someone and fall onto her back with an 'oomph'.
"Well, what do we have here?" she looks up, spotting the unimpressed Coach Washington staring down at her. Rachel doesn't say anything, she only continues to stare at the woman "Seems like you've got your scrawny ass in a pickle," Roz says, rocking back on her heels.
"Miss Berry" The glee director comes to a stop behind her "You're coming with me to the principal's office," he says, helping the younger girl up.
"I don't go here though," Rachel says in confusion. She follows the director anyway, Roz walking behind her.
"With the amount you are here, you might as well be a student," Roz says.
Rachel's eyes widen when they arrive back at Quinn's locker. Standing in front of the locker, is the blonde herself, looking very confused. Rachel holds back a smile at how adorable the girl looks, her head tilted to the side as she examines her open locker. If she had floppy ears, she'd resemble a confused puppy.
Quinn looks over at them, her eyes settling on Rachel. Rachel is surprised when no hint of malice or hatred is thrown her way by Quinn. Instead, Quinn looks straight to her hands. Instantly, Rachel starts to scratch at her hands, becoming increasingly insecure under the blonde's gaze, her breathing quickens slightly as she becomes paranoid, the walls begin to close in on her. After what feels like hours, Quinn finally looks away and Rachel breathes a sigh of relief. She was seconds away from breaking the skin again.
"Mr Schue." Quinn says, finally addressing the teacher.
"I caught Miss Berry breaking into your locker." Quinn nods, her eyes darting to Rachel. Rachel fidgets, her anxiety increasing again. She tries to fight the urge to scratch at her nose, but it becomes too strong and so she scratches at it, hissing slightly when her nail scratches a freshly healed wound. She curses herself when Quinn’s eyes zone in on the action, the small frown back in place.
"We're taking her to Figgins office. I expect you to come along as well."
This diverts Quinn’s attention away from Rachel. "What? Why?"
"Because this will affect you as well." Mr Schue says before walking off again, this time with Quinn following them.
Rachel looks around nervously when she spots the small room situated before Figgins office. She gulps when they walk in, Mr Schue and Roz directing her and Quinn to the seats outside his office before they walk into chat to Figgins.
Rachel bites her lip, the need to scratch at something increasing tenfold. But she can’t, not with Quinn so close. It doesn't help that she can feel Quinn's gaze on her, causing her anxiety to grow.
"Are you okay?" Quinn asks in a surprisingly timid voice.
"I'm fine," Rachel growls out tersely, her hands tense around the arms of the chair, knuckles going white.
She can feel Quinn's eyes lighting up a flame on her arms, causing them to tingle. Rachel breaks and starts to scratch at her arms, feeling her blunt nails begin to rip into her skin. She jumps when she feels Quinn's hand lie on top of hers, stopping her movement. Rachel looks at Quinn sharply and narrows her eyes. Quinn looks back at her with a cold stare as they silently argue. Eventually, Rachel rips her hand away from Quinn's, ignoring the goosebumps travelling up her arm.
"Come in," Roz says, holding the door to Figgins office open.
Rachel runs out of her seat and sits down on the chair opposite the Principal. He looks at her with some surprise, but soon deflates and jumps straight into action.
"It has come to my attention that you two have been arguing for a while now."
Both girls nod.
"And so, Mr Schue and Coach Washington have come to an agreement with Dustin Goolsby and Coach Treadwell. For two weeks, Miss Berry will be attending McKinley."
"WHAT!" The girls scream at the same time.
"There's no way I'm going to the same school as her..."
"Why am I being punished for this!..."
The girls shout over each other, trying to get their points across, "Teenagers!" Figgins shouts over them, finally quieting the two down.
"It's only for two weeks. It will be up until the tournament and sectionals at which time Miss Berry can decide if she'd like to stay here at McKinley or go back to Carmel High."
"My Fathers will not stand for this!" Rachel says, getting up from her chair.
"Actually, we already contacted your parents and they agreed to it, stating they were fed up with this rivalry between you and Quinn." Mr Schue says, stepping in.
Rachel looks down at Quinn and glares at her. Anger boils within her body as she stares at the flawless girl still sitting in the chair, looking at her in confusion. "This is your fault!"
"Me? How is it my fault?" Quinn asks in outrage, standing up from her chair and towering over Rachel.
Rachel growls and shakes her head, storming out of the office. She doesn't like this. Not one bit.
She sits in her room, lazily throwing a ball up and down and catching it. She doesn't have the energy to do anything else. She doesn't feel like practising scales, or updating her Myspace or even using her epileptical. She just feels dead. Rachel mumbles 'come in' when a soft knock sounds at her door. Leroy's happy face pokes through. His smile falls when he sees the tired and dejected look on his daughters face.
"Baby, what's wrong?" He asks, walking into the room and closing the door behind him. He walks over to Rachel's bed and sits himself down, running his hand up and down Rachel's leg comfortingly.
Rachel sighs softly, starting to calm down slightly from her daddy's loving touch, "I feel drained."
Leroy spots the fresh scratches on his daughter's hands and frowns softly. He gently takes her hand and examines the wounds, shaking his head slightly. "Did you take your tablets today?" he asks softly.
Rachel nods and takes her hand back, hiding it away from his sight. She rolls over on her side, her eyes looking at her non-reflective window, spotting Quinn's open window. She wants the blonde to come home already and start to play her guitar. It always calms her down and makes her forget about everything when she hears the soft tune of the blonde's guitar and her melodic voice.
"I know you're upset about the agreement we made, but your Dad and I-as well as Judy and Russell- believe that it's the best thing to do. It also might help you, help you and Quinn remember why you were friends."
"They haven't told her, have they?" Rachel asks, sounding incredibly vulnerable. The way she’s been noticing Quinn looking at her scars...dread fills her stomach at the thought of Quinn knowing. She felt extremely vulnerable around Judy and Russell when her Dad's first told them. She made them promise not to tell Quinn.
"No, they haven't, just like you asked. But why don't you want her to know?"
"She’ll use it as ammunition against me, another thing to one-up me on.” Her argument is weak and she knows it.
“You and I both know Quinn wouldn’t do that. Not the Quinn I remember.”
“You don’t know her. Not who she is now.” Rachel shoves her hands into the pockets of her hoodie, curling in on herself.
“She’s only who you are making her be. From what I can see, Quinn is only reacting to the way you treat her. Why would you let something as menial as high school rivalry get between your friendship with her?”
Rachel sits up, looking at her Dad brokenly. It hurts to talk about Quinn like this. She regrets every day that goes by with their relationship how it is. “Because Daddy, that’s how it’s always been. Students from McKinley and Carmel have never, and will never, be friends. So it is either avoid Quinn or hassle her. If hassling her is the only way I can keep some form of contact with her, then I’ll take that any day.” Rachel removes her hands from her pockets and looks down at them, inspecting the old and new scars there. The oldest scars, the ones that have been there since that fateful day in the mall, are barely visible now. “Even if it means I hate myself for it.”
“Rachel Barbra Berry! You do not hate yourself!” Leroy says, his voice rising slightly in shock.
Rachel ignores him and lies back on the bed, flipping over to face the window again. She sees Quinn walking about in her room, throwing things here and there, making her messy room, messier.
She shrugs off the hand he places on her shoulder. “Can you go? Please?” Her voice is quieter on “please”, almost a whisper. She closes her eyes when she hears her Daddy walk back over to the door. Her voice stops him when she hears the door open. “I never forgot.” He knows what she’s referring to, and whilst she can’t see it, she just knows he is smiling softly at her.
When the door closes behind him, Rachel opens her eyes, focusing back on the blonde across the way again. She’s found what she was looking for, a notebook. Rachel has come to realise what that notebook is and finds herself smiling. She watches as Quinn opens the book, places it beside her, a pencil between her teeth. The blonde reaches for her guitar, and with skilful fingers, begins to play.
As the melody Quinn writes flows through the window, Rachel finds her eyes fluttering closed. Dreams filled with blonde hair and sweet melodies.
Rachel stands outside the park's gates, watching Quinn as she rides down the halfpipe, doing a flip trick as she flies into the air, before dropping back into the halfpipe. She sighs and leans her arms on the gate, smiling at the look of determination on Quinn's face.
Rachel scratches at her nose and her hands as she continues to stare before finally looking away. She winces slightly as she spots the red marks on her hands, she almost cut through the skin again. She looks back up, spotting that Quinn had moved onto the double rails, smoothly grinding across them.
"You shouldn't do this to yourself."
Rachel looks to the side, smiling softly when she sees Puck come to a stop next to her, a look of concern on his face.
"I know." She sighs.
She feels Puck lift her hands up, inspecting them. He gently runs his fingers over the scars on her hand. She knows Puck hates it when she does this and she knows that he hates he can't stop her from doing it. No one can, apart from her.
"Why do you do this?" Puck asks, dropping her hands and moving to the same position as Rachel "Why do you watch her when she's here or playing soccer, or listen when she sings and plays her guitar?"
Rachel looks down at her hands and rubs them self consciously "It calms me. Helps me focus. It also feels normal, like for one moment, things between us never changed."
Rachel shakes her head, tucking her hands into her pockets to hide them from view. She forgot to bring her gloves with her.
Rachel breathes deeply, biting her lip. "I hate it. I hate that I act the way I do to her. I hate that I’m constantly the cause of a frown on her face, of a sad look in her eyes. I hate the way my body reacts when I’m around her, I hate the way I feel. I hate that I can’t even hate her properly. I hate that the only way I can cope with all these feelings is with this. ” She lifts her hands up, showing the scars to Puck briefly.
“You can change that, you know. All it takes is one person.”
“You and I both know that it’s not that simple, Puck.”
“Why? Because of your reputation? Because of your dad’s? That’s bullshit and you know it.”
“No, it’s not. My father’s experience enough prejudice as it is. Imagine what it would be like when the town finds out they raised a gay daughter as well?"
"You need to tell her." Puck says softly, wrapping his arm around Rachel's shoulders.
"I don't. She doesn't need to know. She can't know."
Rachel doesn’t answer, feeling like she’s told Puck her reasons too many times now. She’s starting to feel like a broken record. Instead, she focuses back on Quinn, who’s currently doing a manual across the park. Rachel could watch Quinn skateboarding for hours. The blonde gets into the same zone she does on the soccer pitch. It’s just her and skateboard in these moments, and she looks in her element.
"Q's hurt though Rach. She has no idea as to why you started to act so horrible towards her. She did the only thing she knew how to: She guarded herself." Puck gains Rachel’s attention again. She frowns at his words. She knows all of this, why does he feel the need to tell her?
Rachel stares out into the park again. Quinn's now moved onto the quarter pipe, lining herself at the top to ride down towards the vert wall opposite.
"Could you leave, please?" she asks softly, not looking away from Quinn, her hands twitching in her pockets.
Puck nods and pulls Rachel closer to him, placing a kiss on the top of her head. As he does this, Quinn takes off down the ramp towards the vert wall. Rachel watches as she glances over at Rachel, double-taking when Puck kisses her head. Just as Puck walks away, Quinn rides up the vert wall, but her attention is on Rachel. Rachel gasps when Quinn tumbles at the top, falling down and skidding along the pavement.
Rachel calls out to Puck, stopping him from getting into his truck before running through the gate and up to Quinn. Rachel goes running off into the park as fast as she can. Quinn groans and sits herself up, looking at her bloody arm. Rachel immediately squats down and takes Quinn's arm into her hand, inspecting for further damage. She gently turns the arm, listening out for any hisses of pain from the blonde. Upon hearing none, Rachel nods to herself and lets go of Quinn's arm. When she looks up, Quinn looks at her with slight apprehension.
"Nothing seems to be broken," Rachel says to Puck once he joins her, trying to keep her voice steady.
"You alright Q?"
Rachel shifts uncomfortably under Quinn's gaze and goes to scratch at her nose, only for Puck's hand to grab hers, holding it away from her face. Quinn’s eyes twitch at the movement. She nods stiffly and picks herself up from the ground.
"Just a graze." The blonde mumbles, dusting the dirt off her clothes and knees.
"A graze!" Rachel squeaks out, "That's a gash! You're going to need stitches!" She says, still squeaking.
Quinn looks at Rachel with unease. Rachel notices this and clears her throat. She schools her features and the mask of indifference is on her face.
"I'll take you to the hospital." Puck says, picking up Quinn's skateboard. Quinn nods, casting one more curious gaze at Rachel and following Puck to his truck.
Rachel watches the blonde go and bites her lip anxiously. Great, now she's freaked the girl out. She should have just acted with bitchiness. It's not her place to care for Quinn.
She sighs and makes her way back home. She takes a detour to her old elementary school. She doesn't get out of the car, she just sits there and looks out to the playground. She spots the swing set. The swing set where she and Quinn would sit for the majority of lunch and talk to each other. They'd discuss singing, their lunches, what their favourite TV show was and so much more. She subconsciously scratches her hands as she stares at the playground.
After an hour of just sitting and staring, Rachel makes her way back home. As she steps out of her car, she spots Quinn exiting Puck's truck, her skateboard tucked under her left arm with a bandaged right arm. Shutting her car door shut, Rachel makes her way towards the blonde. Her heart clenches slightly when Quinn looks up at her and immediately takes a step back. She shouldn't feel hurt by the movement, she did bring it on herself after all, but it still hurts.
Her eyes glance to the blonde's bandaged arm before she looks back. She clears her throat before speaking. "How bad was it?" she asks gently.
Quinn raises an eyebrow at her question. "Needed a few stitches," she answers, matching Rachel’s tone, confusion written all over her face.
Rachel nods. "Don't get them wet." She orders.
"I know. The Doctor told me not to."
Rachel clears her throat awkwardly "I'm glad you're okay." Panic fills her body when complete surprise flows over Quinn's face, she quickly adds "Wouldn’t want to win on account of an invalid." before adding a smirk.
Quinn nods stiffly, face stoic. "Watch your back, Berry." Rachel starts to scratch at her hand "Just because you helped me today doesn't mean you're off scot-free. I know you tried to prank me earlier. Now it's my turn."
Rachel takes her hands away from each other as she feels the skin start to become sore. Self-hate fills her up from her toes, making her angry as she looks down at her hands. They look so disgusting with all these scars and wounds. Time to play to the audience.
"I wouldn't have it any other way. You may think this was going to stop with me coming to your pathetic school, but it's only made it easier for me to get my own back on you. Be careful, Fabray" she hisses before spinning round and storming into her home.
She ignores the concerned calls of her parents and marches straight into her bathroom. As soon as the door locks behind her, her lungs start to constrict. Air seems to escape her as she starts to breathe in and out heavily, desperately trying to gain air. Her heart races in her chest, her brain starts to pound against her skull. She tries to take a deep breath, but she only chokes, gasping angrily as it's seemingly impossible for her to breathe.
She looks down at her hands, staring at the scars and marks on them. Rachel begins to scratch at the freshly made scars, desperately wanting to pick the skin away, rid herself of this person she’s become. Her lungs slowly start to release themselves, air filling her up again as she hisses in pain once she breaks through the barrier of the skin. Her heart race calms as air fills her lungs again. Her breathing slowly comes back to normal.
With blood trickling down her hand, Rachel slides down the wall, barely registering Hiram and Leroy kicking the door open and rushing to her. She looks at Hiram as he wraps her hand in a bandage but doesn't see him. She's relishing in the feeling of her anger draining away from her.
She just registers her Daddy's arm circling her, feeling his tears drop onto her head. She manages to smile, relief flooding through her.
Chapter 5: It’s Just a Prank, Bro
Quinn and Rachel's rivalry hits a tipping point for their parents.
Quinn stares at the cabin in front of her. She's been here so many times as a little kid. Hiking along the mountains with her dad, kayaking with her mom. Every other summer, the three of them would pack their bags and head out to the rocky mountains. They would stay for a week. That week would be the best week of Quinn’s summer.
But now, nothing but dread fills her stomach. A car door shuts behind Quinn, feet trod through the wet, muddy ground, coming to a stand next to her. Quinn’s stomach twists even more as the car drives away. In nerves, or anger, Quinn isn’t sure, and to be honest she doesn’t really want to think about it. All she needs to focus is how she is going to spend the next five days with herself, her guitar, skateboard and…
There’s a scoff beside her, then: “This looks awfully depressing.” And Rachel Berry for company.
How did she get here, you ask?
Quinn leans against her locker, her fingers lightly picking at the stitches on her arm. She’s trying to not scratch at them, but my god it’s so itchy it’s becoming a distraction. Damn Rachel and distracting her, this would never have happened if Rachel hadn't of been at the skate park.
'Or if you hadn't of looked away'
Quinn growls at herself, not liking that her subconscious is contradicting her AND being correct. She drops her arm and sighs, letting her head fall back against the cool metal behind her. Something was different with Rachel that day. The way Rachel looked at her. She knew it wasn't the same as before. She didn't see any malice behind Rachel's shining eyes. She saw the girl she used to know, the kind, joyful girl who used to be her friend. It warmed her heart a little.
She wishes to have that Rachel back. The Rachel who kissed her knee when she fell off of the swings in elementary school.. The Rachel who picked up a daisy and stuck it Quinn's hair, shyly saying how pretty she looked.
Quinn doesn't like present Rachel. The spiteful, some times, miserable girl that she argues with. She knows she shouldn't have retaliated to Rachel when the arguing first started, but her ego got in the way and she...she couldn't help herself. Quinn can’t seem to shake her thoughts away from the scratching she’s recently noticed the girl doing. She always seems to have a permanent itch on her hands and her nose. Always scratching.
Upon thinking about scratching, she feels the unrelenting itch attacking her stitches. Groaning, Quinn lifts her arm up again and starts to scratch around them, desperately trying to stop it.
"You shouldn't scratch them." Quinn continues to scratch and looks to the owner of the voice. She smiles when she sees Ramona standing next to her. "They’ll get infected."
Quinn whines slightly "But they are so itchy!"
Ramona chuckles and holds out a tube of ointment to the scratching blonde. Quinn looks between the ointment and Ramona, raising an eyebrow in question.
Ramona rolls her eyes "It's to stop the itching."
"Oh" Quinn smiles thankfully. She rubs the ointment on her skin and smiles as her arm is finally soothed. "Thank you."
"No problem. I'll see you on the soccer pitch." Ramona gives Quinn a small wave before walking off down the hall.
Quinn smiles at her retreating body, her hand clutching the tube in her hand. She hears someone roll up behind her and make an appreciative sound.
"Yo Q." Quinn looks down and smiles at Artie.
"Hey." They both begin to make their journey down the hallway, chatting away to each other.
"...I need to think of ways to get Rachel back" Quinn says.
Artie stops outside of Quinn's classroom and raises an eyebrow at her "Isn't the whole point of her coming here for you two to settle things out?"
"There's no chance in hell we will. Mr Schue was crazy to think this scheme would work."
"You seem to be fixated on her a lot though." Quinn raises an eyebrow at Artie "You take extra time in planning ways to prank her, whereas with anyone else you just make a snap decision. Why take such care for her?"
Quinn furrows her eyebrows together in confusion "I-What?"
"All I'm saying is, you tend to take more care when pranking her, maybe you care for her." Artie shrugs, his eyes settling somewhere just above Quinn’s head.
"Whatever." The blonde says in reply, finding herself lost for words or comeback. Quinn reaches for the handle, not noticing the wide, alarming eyes Artie is giving her.
"No Quinn-" He doesn't have time to finish because whilst he was speaking, Quinn yanks the door open, causing a bucket to fall on her head.
Quinn stays stiff as she feels the sticky syrup travel down her back and her chest. She shakes with anger.
With stiff movements, Quinn takes the bucket off her head and throws it to the ground, her eyes zeroing in on the smirking eyes of Rachel sitting in her classroom in Quinn’s seat. The cheek!
"Miss Fabray?" Quinn looks over to the teacher who is obviously trying to hold back a laugh, go figure. "You can go clean yourself up."
Quinn nods at the teacher, sending one last glare to Rachel, before making her way through the crowd of students and to the bathroom.
Quinn decided to not get Rachel back that day. She wanted to watch the girl quiver with fear every time she would turn a corner or open her locker. It was amusing to watch the girl jump every time Finn would wrap his arm around her shoulders. Quinn would glare at his arm, silently wishing she could burn it off of the petite girl's shoulders.
The blonde is leaning against her locker, silently watching Rachel and Finn exchange words down at the girl's locker. They seem to be in a pretty heated discussion, Rachel's stomped her foot at least twice-to which Quinn found cute but will never admit- and Finn has his angry baby face on.
"Who you looking at?" Santana slides up next to Quinn, looking down at where Quinn is looking, a light bulb going off in her head. "You thinking of ways to fuck with Berry?"
Quinn shakes her head. "I'm watching to see what happens between these two."
"Why? It's just Frankenteen and the freak hobbit arguing."
"Because there might be something there that I can use against Rachel."
"You want me to find out? Maybe we can get Finnessa to cheat on her, get her back from when she stole him from you."
Quinn shakes her head. "No. I know what that feels like and it's shit." Her eyes focus in on Rachel scratching at her hands as Finn angrily gestures to her clothing. She’s still wearing the VA regulated clothing, donning their trademark blue and black.
Santana notices Finn's angrily growling at the clothing, a smirk forming on her face. "You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Rid her of those hideous clothes?"
Quinn smirks, a plan forming in her head. She remembers back to a few science lessons ago, she remembers the foam exploding everywhere, covering everyone. "I've got a plan," she says before grabbing Santana's arm and dragging her off to the science labs. Neither notice Ramona and Puck watching Quinn with disappointment, both of them having overheard their conversation.
"Quickly." Quinn hisses as Santana breaks into Rachel's locker. She looks up and down the corridors, double checking that the coast is clear before nodding at the Latina, telling her to open the door and set the trap up.
Santana giggles evilly as she begins to set up the trap, so when Rachel opens her locker door, the potassium iodide solution will pour into the hydrogen peroxide solution and detergent mixture that Quinn has placed on top of the girl's books.
The bell rings just as Santana finishes setting up the trap. She quickly shuts the door and the girls scurry away to hide behind a corner with a clear view of Rachel's locker. They discard the gloves they were wearing, watching with anticipation as Rachel walks towards her locker.
Quinn bites her lip, starting to doubt this plan. Last time they pulled a prank on Rachel, it ended in the girl crying in Puck’s arms. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea…
Just as she's about to move to try and stop Rachel, the brunette swings open her locker door. The clang of metal against metal is followed by a shocked scream as the foam flows over Rachel, drenching her in the foamy solution. Instantly, laughter fills the hallway, phone camera's going off as they record Rachel's humiliation.
Guilt rushes through Quinn when she sees Rachel begin to frantically scratch at her hands, fear and anxiety written all over her face. Quinn's heart breaks when they make eye contact. With Santana laughing loudly next to her, Rachel knows it was Quinn who set this up. Anger flares up in Rachel's eyes, fury ignites in them as she glares at Quinn.
Ramona appears out of nowhere and quickly wraps Rachel in a towel, walking her off to the girl's lockers. Incidentally, the lockers are down the hallway Quinn and Santana are standing in.
"Nice look Berry, you should wear it every day instead of that hideous uniform." Santana sneers at Rachel.
Quinn doesn't say anything, she stares at Rachel with guilt. Rachel doesn't meet her eyes refusing to look at the blonde. Instead, Quinn makes eye contact with Ramona. Ramona gives Quinn a look of disapproval and shakes her head. Quinn has enough decency in her to feel ashamed and hangs her head, finding it difficult to find any enjoyment out of this.
She doesn't see Rachel or Ramona for the rest of the day. Both seemed to avoid her like the plague. She tried to talk to Ramona, explain everything to her, but the blue-haired girl just turned in the opposite direction and walked away, pretending to not hear a word Quinn was saying.
To say Quinn was sorry is an understatement. She was ashamed.
Quinn charges down the field, looking for a clearing to run into. Her breathing is laboured as she looks around rapidly, trying to find any sort of opening. She can't, the pitch is like an ants nest. Team members litter every corner, blocking every opponent. There's nowhere for her to go.
Her boots sink into the muddy ground as she pauses in her running, trying to gain her breath back. She hunches over, trying to wet her pallet as her mouth goes dry. Her knees are dirty from the mud, her shorts stained with grass, the red of her boots can barely be seen through the mud coating every inch of them. This is how it's meant to be, all dirty and exhilarating.
A blur rushes towards Quinn and the blonde has no time to react.
Quinn doesn’t realise what’s happening until she's lying on her back, her vision blurry as she looks up at the cloudy sky. She feels a thumping sensation on her nose and the back of her head but doesn't know what's going on. One minute she was hunched over, the next she's on her back, unable to see properly and with something pounding against her nose.
"Q!" She hears someone shout but doesn't really register it. She smiles lazily when Rachel's head appears in her line of sight.
"Rachel." She whispers, she doesn't notice the way Rachel's smirk falls into a look of surprise, or even that she is trying to touch Rachel's cheek. As soon as Rachel was there, she's gone again, replaced by a worried Santana.
"Oh my god Q!"
"San?" Quinn asks, bleary-eyed. She vaguely makes out Santana crouching down next to her, holding a hand in front of her face.
"How many fingers am I holding up?" She hears Santana ask. It sounds like she's underwater, Santana's voice is muffled and waning in her ears. She blinks rapidly, trying to focus on the fingers held up in front of her.
She just about makes them out ."Th-three?" She asks, not quite sure of her choice.
"Oh thank god." She watches as Santana breathes a sigh of relief before standing up. "You're so damn lucky she hasn't got a concussion Berry or I would have killed your tiny short ass by now!" She hears Santana shout over to the left of her.
"Quinn?" Quinn rolls her head to the side, smiling when she sees Roz looking down at her "Can you sit up for me?"
Quinn furrows her eyebrows together and starts to push herself up on to her elbows. She wobbles slightly, her head spinning out of control and she lifts herself up. She pauses, waiting for the dizziness to pass before pushing herself up further. She feels someone's hand on her back and stomach, helping her up and holding her in place. She smiles at their touch and leans on the person, nuzzling their neck with a lazily smile.
"Quinn, honey, do you feel sick at all?" The person asks. Quinn shakes her head and snuggles into their neck, giggling when blue hair falls in front of her eyes.
"Ramona, can you take Quinn to the nurse please, have her check her nose out, I have a feeling she's going to get a nasty bruise there," Roz asks.
Quinn feels Ramona nod before the blue haired girl is helping her up to her feet. She sways slightly and presses a hand to her head, not liking the way her brain feels like is swimming about.
"Stop, stop, I’m all wobbly." She whines, hitting her palm against her forehead.
Ramona pauses, allowing Quinn to adjust. Quinn pulls herself away from Ramona so she's not a snuggled into her, finally getting her vision back. She blinks slightly, her eyes focusing on Rachel. Rachel's eyes are narrowed, focused on something else on Quinn's waist. Quinn looks down and sees Ramona's arm wrapped around her waist, keeping her from falling over again.
"Come on Quinn." Ramona coaxes gently, softly leading Quinn off to the nurse.
Quinn looks back at Rachel, frowning slightly when Rachel glares at Ramona before turning back to the game. Didn't Ramona help Rachel out earlier?
"Well, you're very lucky Quinn, you're only going to have some slight bruising around your nose." The nurse smiles at Quinn handing her an ice pack before rolling away to her desk.
"How long is it going to take to heal?" Quinn asks, wincing as she places the ice pack against her bruising nose. Her dizziness has finally gone and all she's left with now is the pulsing pain at her nose.
"Only a couple of days. I suggest you take tomorrow off to let it heal slightly. Would you like me to clean your stitches?" The nurse asks, pointing to Quinn's muddy arm "You really shouldn't have played soccer with your stitches unprotected, they can get easily infected this way and then the Doctors would have to chop your arm off."
Quinn's eyes widen in fear "What?!"
The nurse chuckles and rolls back over to Quinn with antiseptic wipes in her hands. She gently lifts up Quinn's stitched arm and begins to clean the dirt off. "I'm kidding." She pats Quinn's arm softly, still wiping away some of the dirt. She lifts the wipe up to show Quinn all of the dirt, both grimace as she throws it away, reaching for a new one.
A knock sounds at the door, dragging their attention away from Quinn's stitches "Come in." The nurse calls out.
The door opens and in walks Puck with a small smile on his face. Quinn smiles at him but then grimaces when a shooting pain flies through her nose.
"Hey Puck" Quinn greets from behind the ice pack.
Puck walks further into the room and stands by the bed awkwardly as he waits for the nurse to finish. Once done, the nurse smiles at Puck and draws the curtain, giving the two teens a little privacy.
"Rachel told me what happened." He says. He ignores Quinn rolling her eyes and carries on "She says she's really sorry."
"The why isn’t she in here herself?" Quinn scoffs "Forget it."
"Please Quinn, this has got to stop before someone gets hurt."
"Newsflash!" Quinn removes the ice pack from her nose, "I already am hurt! She kicked me in the face with a soccer ball!"
"I didn't mean you, I meant Rach. She's really vulnerable, more vulnerable than you might think."
Quinn glares at Puck "She’s a big girl, Puck. Rachel has proven that she is more than capable of taking care of herself."
"No she isn’t Quinn, and if you took your head out of your own ass for one second, you would know that."
"Yeah, well it’s not like she would even notice if I did. Rachel cares for one person and that’s herself." Quinn mumbles, removing the ice pack from her face and gently touching her nose. She hisses and places the pack back.
If looks could kill, Quinn would be six feet under right now. Puck is glaring at her with such anger she fears he may punch her. "You don't know the first thing about her!"
"And who’s fault is that? From what I can remember she’s the one who made it perfectly clear that she had no room for me as a friend anymore!" Quinn shouts.
"You kids alright?" The nurse asks from behind the curtain hesitantly.
"Yes Miss, we're fine," Quinn says.
As the nurse shuffles away from the curtain, Puck turns back to Quinn, this time speaking in just a whisper "She needs you, more than you know."
Quinn snorts, unimpressed. “Oh bite me.” She grumbles, not believing his words. Quinn eyes Puck for a moment and bites her lip thoughtfully. He fidgets uncomfortably under Quinn's gaze. She's the only one to make him do so, there's just something about her eyes that sort of look right into you. It's unnerving.
"You're sleeping with her, aren't you?" Quinn asks, her eyes narrowed.
Puck shakes his head "What! No! Why would you think that?"
"She and Finn were arguing yesterday, you're with her a lot and you care about her."
"She's my friend Quinn, nothing more! Besides, it's not me who she likes."
"It's Ramona, isn't it? She and Ramona are sleeping together."
Puck just shakes his head and pats Quinn's grass-stained knee "You figure it out. You're smart." with that he leaves the room, leaving a very baffled Quinn in his wake.
Quinn walks into Glee with a scarf wrapped around her face, avoiding eye contact with almost everyone in the room. She silently takes a seat beside Ramona, only giving the blue haired girl a head nod as a hello before casting her eyes to the ground.
She prays Mr Schue doesn't ask her to do anything today. Oh god, how she does pray. Just because she’s Co-Captain, doesn't mean she wishes to perform almost every meeting. But Mr Schue always seems to have a different idea. Without fail he always calls Quinn up to the front, asking her to give the group an example song that links with the weekly assignment. She once asked Mr Schue if he could pick on someone else, but his only reply was:
"You're Co-Captain of this club Quinn, that means you have to set an example."
It made Quinn so mad. She didn't even want to be Co-Captain, they all just nominated her because they couldn't be bothered to do it themselves and apparently she has ‘leadership’ skills. Quinn rolls her eyes at the memory. This damn club sometimes.
"All right guys, I'd like you all to welcome our new member: Rachel Berry!" Mr Schue says as he runs into the room, quickly followed by a smug looking Rachel. Puck and Finn are the only ones who clap, everyone else just looks at Mr Schue in shock.
"What! But she's the enemy!"
"She's a spy!"
"She's a danger to all of us in the room!"
Everyone shouts over each other, listing off reasons as to why she shouldn't be here. Quinn stays silent, as well as Finn, Puck and Ramona. She doesn't want any part of this. She just wants to sit through this and go.
"Enough!" Mr Schue says "I can't believe how horrible you are all being! Glee is the only place in this school where everyone is accepted, regardless of their past, present or future!" He glares at all of them "I am so disappointed in you guys."
"Give her a chance," Ramona says, everyone's head whips towards her. "So she made a few mistakes in her life, hurt a few people. But everyone deserves a second chance." She directs the last part to Quinn, pointedly looking at her. Quinn sinks lower in her seat, tucking her face into her scarf even more.
"Yeah." Finn says, deciding to stick up for his girlfriend "She's my girlfriend guys, give her a chance."
Rachel rolls her eyes at Finn, clearly not impressed by his attempt.
Mr Schue looks over at Quinn. "What about you Quinn? How do you feel about it?"
Quinn clears her throat and muffles something into her scarf. Mr Schue furrows his eyebrows together and motions for her to tug the scarf down. With great reluctance, Quinn does so, wincing when it pulls on her nose slightly. She refuses to look at anyone's reaction upon seeing the purple-blue splotch around her nose.
"She can join if she wants. Just don't spread any of your Vocal Assery germs to us. We prefer to not walk like we have sticks shoved up our ass." Quinn says, glaring at Rachel.
"Quinn!" Mr Schue berates. He goes to tell her off further, but Rachel beats him to it.
"Well, I wouldn't want to catch your dyke germs." A gasp fills the room upon the derogatory term used towards Quinn.
Quinn narrows her eyes at Rachel, her anger bubbling up inside of her. She can handle being called a lesbian, muff muncher, stem and queer, but no one can ever call her a dyke. That's the one term she does not take. Quinn stands up from her chair and storms down the risers, ignoring Mr Schue's protests and gets right up into Rachel's face.
"I dare you to call me that one more time." She growls, her fists clenching and unclenching by her sides.
"Rachel, Quinn, enough!" Mr Schue demands, trying to stop the girls, but to no avail.
"D-Y-K-E Dyke." Rachel glares back at Quinn, standing her ground.
Quinn wills her feet to move, to hit the girl. But she can’t, as she glares at Rachel, she can’t help but picture the younger face of her friend. It keeps her rooted the spot. Rachel notices Quinn’s lack of reaction and her glare falters. The room is filled with tension, the gleeks all lean forward in their seats, wondering who will throw the first punch.
Hearing Rachel’s voice wrap around that word, caressing each syllable, Quinn finds herself floored. How could it have gotten so bad between them, that Rachel, the girl who has two gay Dads, can even formulate such a disgusting word, let alone say it. But, there’s a twinkle in Rachel’s eyes, a twitch to her lips. It looks as if she wants to take the word back like she regrets even saying it. It’s this look, Quinn realises, that keeps her from pushing the girl.
It feels like a millennium has passed by the time Mr Schue decides it’s time to separate the girls. He steps between the two of them, levelling them both with a stony look. “Figgins office. Now.” He commands.
He leads the way, leaving no room for argument. All Quinn can do is follow behind him diligently. Rachel trails a few steps behind her. After a few moments of silence, Quinn glances over her shoulder to the brunette. The tiny singer avoids eye contact with Quinn, her index finger scratches her hand, gently, this time. Almost out of habit.
They come to a stop outside Figgins’ office. Quinn feels a thump to her back and sharply looks over her shoulder, seeing the end of Rachel’s backwards stumble and the dazed look on her face. Rachel sees Quinn’s expression and mumbles a “sorry”, causing Quinn’s eyebrows to rise to her hairline. That’s a first.
“Have a seat.” Mr Schue says, gaining Quinn’s attention. He holds his arm out before him, gesturing to the seats just past the door. Once they walk into the office reception, Mr Schue follows, walking straight to Figgins’ office.
Quinn sits herself down on the far left seat, smoothing her hands over her jeans. She fiddles with the zip on her McKinley letterman jacket as the two wait in silence. Rachel has yet to take a seat, still standing in the middle of the room.
Quinn watches as Rachel constantly touches her face and her hair, her hands running through the thick, shiny locks, self consciously. The brunette begins to pace, stop here and there occasionally, before running her fingers through her hair again. Quinn counts how many times Rachel does this.
Pace. Stop. Hair...Pace. Stop. Hair...over and over again.
As Rachel goes to repeat the cycle for the twentieth time, Quinn finally interrupts her.
"Rachel, will you please stop pacing and sit down?" Quinn asks tiredly.
Rachel stops and stares at Quinn with her big brown eyes, not saying a single word. Quinn looks up at her and raises an eyebrow.
"What?" She snaps.
"You-You called me Rachel" Rachel whispers in shock.
"That's your name isn't it?" Quinn growls, too wound up and angry to try and stay calm.
"Quinn!" Quinn's head snaps to the side when the booming voice of her dad floods the room. Quinn jumps up from her chair, a look of confusion on her face.
"Dad? What are you doing here?"
Russell stops in front of Quinn with a stern expression. "I could ask you the same thing! There I was, busy with my work when the principal calls and tells me you've been fighting!"
"You are in so much trouble young lady!" he stops and smiles at Rachel "Hello Rachel, how are you?"
Before Rachel can answer, another booming voice interrupts. "Rachel Barbra Berry!" Leroy storms through the doors and heads straight to his daughter.
Quinn watches sadness wash over Rachel's face as Leroy speaks. "Never in my life did I ever think I would be disappointed by my daughter! Your father and I raised you to avoid fighting because in the end-"
"No one wins" Rachel finishes sadly.
"Mr Fabray and Mr Berry, the principal will like to talk to you." Mr Schue says, walking out of Figgins office. Leroy and Russell glare at their daughters as they make their way into the office, closing the door behind them.
Mr Schue gives both girls a disappointed look before leaving the area. Quinn watches him go with a glare. She sits down again and places a hand on her stitches, trying to rub the itch away.
She jumps when a hand covers the one rubbing at her stitches. She looks to the side, noticing that Rachel had sat down next to her.
"It'll make it worse." She says softly.
Quinn glances down at the scars on Rachel's hands, "First-hand experience?" Quinn asks with no hint of malice in her voice.
At the comment, Rachel retracts her hand from Quinn's arm and tries to hide them away from Quinn's line of sight. She ends up tucking them under her sweater, her fingers starting to lightly scratch at the skin on her stomach. "I don't know what you're talking about," Rachel says with fake ignorance.
"Your hands," Quinn says, nodding to the hidden hands. "You scratch at them."
"I don't do anything," Rachel replies, slight panic in her voice.
"Yeah, you do."
"You're going mad."
"You're lying." Quinn narrows her eyes at Rachel.
"Believe what you want Fabray, but I can assure you I do nothing of the sorts. Your imagination is innovative." Rachel says with heat.
"I'm not imagining things!" Quinn shouts, she grabs hold of Rachel's hands and tugs them out from under Rachel's jumper and points to the short pale scars adorning her skin. "What are these then! How did you get them?" she asks, furious that Rachel was trying to brush her off.
"Quinn." Quinn looks up at her Dad. Russell stands in front of her, his face is blank as he stares at his daughter "Let go of her hands."
Quinn does so, knowing if she doesn't listen to her Dad, she'll get into even more trouble than she's already in.
"You've been suspended." Russell says softly "Both of you." He looks over at Rachel who's now huddled under Leroy's arm as he rubs his daughter's arm reassuringly. "They told us everything that's happened this week. The pranks, the fighting. Enough is enough."
"Russell and I have come to a realisation. In order for you two to work this out, you need to be away from others and be around each other."
What? How is that going to resolve anything? They’ll kill each other. Quinn doesn’t voice her opinions, knowing now is not the time.
"So," Russell says, carrying on from Leroy. "We've come up with an idea." He smirks "This is also counted as your punishment. For the duration of your Suspension - which is five days, excluding the weekend - you two will be staying in the cabin Quinn and I go to over the summer with clothes to last you the five days, food and two non-violent objects of your choice. But that does not include Cell Phones, laptops, tablets or any sort of communication device."
"What? You can't do that!" Quinn argues.
Russell smiles "Actually, we can. We are both of your parents."
Leroy also smiles and makes eye contact with Russell. They silently exchange words, both secretly hoping that this will work. They can't take the arguing anymore.
"What does Dad think of it?" Rachel asks from under Leroy's arm.
"Your Dad and Judy were the ones who thought of it."
"I refuse to go! There's no way I'm staying with that Neanderthal!" Rachel says pointing over to Quinn.
Quinn glares at her "Oh like I want to be lumped with a Hobbit." She bites back.
"You are doing as we say!" Russell commands.
"When do we leave?" Quinn asks gruffly, sitting herself down in the chair.
Quinn huffs loudly, chewing angrily on the gum in her mouth. She watches the trees whizz past her as they travel along the road Quinn's been down every summer since she was seven. She knows every tree, every branch and every leaf like the back of her hand. She should be happy about being here so early, seeing the lush autumn colours rush past her window.
Unlike all of the other times Quinn has visited here with Russell, Quinn is definitely not looking forward to it. For five days she's going to be alone, in a cabin with no way of communicating to anyone else with Rachel Berry.
The car rolls to a soft stop outside of the familiar cabin. Wasting no time, Quinn gets out of the car and pulls open the boot, dragging out her suitcase, skateboard and guitar. She trudges over to the side of the car, staring at the big dark oak door.
"Cheer up Quinnie!" Russell says, walking up to Quinn and slapping a hand on her back. "You'll gain a friend out of this."
Quinn scoffs, popping the gum in her mouth. "No, I won't."
"You will because if you two continue to fight, you're off the glee club and the soccer team, Figgins said so."
Russell gives Quinn an incredulous look. "Do I really have to tell you every fight you and Rachel have gotten into?" Quinn shakes her head "Good. We'll pick you up on Friday." He kisses her cheek before getting into the car, waiting for Leroy to say the same to Rachel before driving off leaving the two girls on their own.
Quinn looks over at Rachel. Rachel scowls at Quinn and places sunglasses over her eyes.
Rachel storms forward and into the cabin, slamming the door behind her. Quinn shakes her head and kicks a rock away from her.
"This is going to fan-fucking-tastic" Quinn growls before following Rachel into the cabin.
Chapter 6: Cabin Fever
The first day of Quinn and Rachel sharing the cabin together goes as smoothly as you'd expect.
A long chapter for you all. Enjoy!
Song: Nothing - Lewis Watson
Quinn lies on her bed, playing about with her bracelet. It's been three hours since Russell and Leroy dropped the girl's off and neither has said anything to each other. Hazel eyes wander around the familiar room, smiling when her eyes land on her old posters of different guitarists. They vary from old, 80s/70s guitarists to contemporary ones. Photos of her friends sit on her vanity. There’s one that’s hidden amongst Quinn’s collection of makeup. It’s old, the edges of the photo well won form handling.
In the frame is a photo of Quinn and Rachel. Back from when they were in middle school. It was taken the day Quinn and Rachel’s middle school soccer team won their first match. Both girls are grinning at the camera, one hand holding up their gold medals, whilst their other arm is flung over each other's shoulders. Rachel’s smile is beaming and bright, a smile Quinn hardly sees anymore. Quinn is next to Rachel, with a toothy grin, a gap in her front teeth, the first of her teeth to fall out.
Quinn remembers when she woke up that morning following her tooth falling out and finding money under her pillow. She had rushed over to Rachel’s house and excitedly told her not to listen to Noah Puckerman because the tooth fairy i s real. She must be, otherwise, Quinn wouldn’t have gotten this money. This fact had lessened Rachel’s anxiety over losing her teeth. The poor girl had freaked out when Quinn had shown her missing teeth, fearful of losing hers.
Sighing, Quinn rolls off her bed and walks out of the room to the living room. She spots Rachel laying on the biggest settee, headphones in. Quinn watches silently as Rachel sings along to the lyrics, her eyes shut as she embraces the music.
Music is one of the things that Quinn will admit Rachel excels at. You'd have to be deaf not to know how good of a singer the tiny brunette is. Some days, when Quinn has her bedroom window open, she'll hear Rachel singing in her room and lay on her bed, listening to the brunette's voice.
Rachel's eyes suddenly open and land on Quinn, spotting the blonde openly watching her. A blush creeps up on Rachel's cheeks as she makes eye contact with her before she looks down at her hands bashfully. Quinn holds back the smile that tugs at her lips.
"I'm going for a walk" Quinn mutters, tugging her shoes on.
"Wait, what?" Rachel asks sitting up, "You're just going to leave me here?"
Quinn raises an eyebrow at her and leans against the door, her hand resting on the doorknob, "Yeah, so?"
Rachel's mouth bobs open and closed, "S-so? You can't leave me here on my own! What if someone breaks in?!"
Quinn gives Rachel a look of incredulity "Berry, I've come here since I was little, no one else lives around here. It's just us in this cabin."
Rachel jumps up from the settee, her iPod forgotten as she stares at Quinn in horror, "Just because no one lives around here doesn't mean we can still be murdered! Haven't you seen 'The Cabin in the Woods'?" she says, placing her hands on her hips.
Quinn shakes her head and sighs. "Fine. Do you want to come with me?"
"Well, I need to decide if I do want to go outside. It's frightfully cold out there and I don't have a jacket with me so I could catch my death and-"
"Berry!" Quinn shouts, cutting of Rachel's rambling. Rachel's mouth immediately shuts, "Are you coming or not?" Quinn grounds out through clenched teeth.
Quinn doesn't give Rachel time to nod before she's out the door, walking along the gravel pathway just by the side of the cabin. She smiles when she spots her tree just inside the woods. She stops and runs her fingers over the bark, her finger tip gently grazing the graving she marked on the tree.
She had written that when she was little. It was done about a week after she met Rachel. She remembers how proud she felt when writing it, declaring her love for that Rachel to the woods. Then things changed. Rachel changed. Quinn changed. But yet, even though Quinn had the chance to scratch over the engraving every time they visited since then, she couldn't bring herself to do so. She got close to doing so a few years ago, but something stopped her.
Hope that she'll find the strength to break past her own walls and stop being a horrible to Rachel as Rachel is to her. Even as the years went on and nothing changed, Quinn still has a little bit of hope in her.
Quinn jumps and quickly spins around, blocking Rachel's view of the marking. "It's nothing."
Rachel raises a suspicious eyebrow and tries to look past Quinn, but the blonde moves to keep her from seeing it. Rachel growls and stomps her foot, "It's obviously something if you're trying to hide it from me."
"Like I said, it's nothing."
"Come on, let me see."
Quinn almost caves at the big doe eyes Rachel's giving her. The way her eyes sparkle in the sun transports Quinn back to a time where she would do anything Rachel asked her when looking at her with those eyes. It makes her knees feel weak.
She glances behind her to the tree then back to Rachel. She bites her lip before shaking her head, "No."
"Don't be a spoilsport"
"Oh my god will you drop it? I said no!" Quinn growls. Rachel veers back slightly and scratches her nose. She bites her lip and clasps her hands together, lightly swinging them in front of her.
"Sorry." She says, stepping back from Quinn.
Quinn nods and moves from the tree, making sure Rachel doesn't look to see as they walk up the hill, the leaves crunching beneath their feet. Quinn smiles when she pushes a big leaf out of the way, revealing a large serene lake gently moving with the light wind. She takes a deep breath, taking in the freshwater smell with a huge smile on her face.
When she opens her eyes, she spots a flat pebble resting a little bit away from her feet. Not noticing Rachel's look of wonder, Quinn bends down and picks up the stone. With a flick of her wrist, she sends the pebble skipping along the top of the water, before a soft 'plop' sounds, signalling the law of physics won. She picks up another and does the same, still not noticing Rachel watching her. She's forgotten that the brunette is even there with her, the nature taking over her senses.
She pauses mid throw though when she sees a small tanned hand grab hold of a clunky rock. She flinches slightly, thinking Rachel might throw the rock at her head. This time she does notice Rachel looking at her, this time with hurt. Quinn turns away.
Rachel scoffs slightly under her breath and copies Quinn's movements, flicking her hand out. However, a pout forms on her lips when the rock just crashes through the water and sinks down the bottom. She growls slightly when she hears Quinn giggle at her failure. With determination, Rachel grabs another rock and throw it, frowning again when it does the same as the other. As she goes to pick up another, Quinn's hand gently stops her.
"First of all, you're using the wrong type of rock," Quinn says with surprising gentleness. Quinn picks up a flat pebble in one hand and a rock in another. "You see the difference?" she asks, holding them out on her palms for Rachel to see, "The pebble’s smooth and flat, allowing it to glide across the water." She throws the rock up into the air and catches it in her hand, holding it between her fingers "But the rock, it's clunky and pointy. It'll break the water before it even has a chance to glide."
Rachel nods, watching as Quinn drops the clunky rock and stands up again. Quinn steps up to Rachel, hovering her hands over Rachel's hips. "Can I touch you?" she asks softly, not wanting to manhandle Rachel. She patiently waits for Rachel’s answer.
“Yes, please.” Comes the breathless answer.
The words make Quinn’s eyebrows rise in surprise. She watches, holding back a smirk when Rachel’s eyes widen comically. The brunette quickly corrects herself, clearing her throat and smoothing out her expression. “Yes if you can refrain from manhandling me.”
Quinn scoffs and rolls her eyes before gently placing her hands on Rachel's hips, not noticing that Rachel shivered as soon as her hands made contact. She gently turns Rachel's body so she standing side on to the water. "Hold the pebble in your hand," Quinn says, painfully aware how close she is to Rachel's neck. Seeing Rachel’s cack-handed grip on it, Quinn moves her hand forward and repositions her fingers. “Like this.” This time, when Rachel shivers, Quinn definitely notices. She pauses; surprised she's having such an effect on Rachel before shaking her head and getting on with it.
"Then you gently pull your arm back," She guides Rachel's arm with her hand, stepping even closer to the smaller girl and drawing her arm back. "As you swing it forward, you flick your wrist and let go." She says, again guiding Rachel's arm in the proper motion.
"Get it?" She asks, not yet stepping away from Rachel.
Quinn’s not sure if she’s imagined it, but she thinks Rachel just shuffled closer to her, rather than away. Rachel turns her head to look at Quinn. The blonde becomes painfully aware of how close they are. If Quinn was to turn her head a little bit to the left, their lips would be pressing against one another. She must be going delirious in the evening sun because she could have sworn Rachel looked down at her lips. "Could you do it with me?" The brunette asks, turning her head to look at the water again.
"Okay" Quinn's voice is hoarse, she prays Rachel hasn’t noticed. "1..." She guides Rachel's arm back, "2..." Her grip on Rachel's hand tightens slightly, "Three" She whispers before moving her and Rachel's arm forward and flicking hers and Rachel's wrists at the same time. Luckily, Rachel lets go of the pebble at the right moment and watches with glee as it skips along the water three times before dropping into the lake.
She squeals in excitement "I did it!" She says, jumping up and down and clapping. Whilst she jumped up and down, Quinn steps away from her body, putting a little distance between them, fanning herself down.
"I did it, I did it!" Rachel sings, dancing round in a circle, "Oh yeah! Oh yeah!" she says, adding a few hand movements into her dancing.
Quinn watches her fondly, an adoring smile growing on her face as Rachel continues to dance with happiness. Quinn's happy that for once, she's made Rachel happy rather than sad. Rachel spots Quinn's gaze and immediately stops her dancing, blushing profusely and refusing to look Quinn in the eye.
"Sorry," Rachel clears her throat "I got a little excited there."
"Let's skip some stones," Quinn says, handing a stone to Rachel. At the bright, beaming smile Rachel gives Quinn, she knows she did the right thing by dismissing the brunette's embarrassment.
For an hour, the girls stand there and skip stones. Neither of them say anything, content to let the silence stay between them. Both girl's continuously glance at each other, blushing and looking away every time they make eye contact.
It's only when the sun starts to set and the temperature drops, does Rachel speak ."We should head back."
Quinn shakes her head and takes Rachel's hand, "Not yet, you have to see this." She says taking her over to a slightly higher rock sitting at the water's edge.
"Sit down." Quinn gently coaxes, sitting down on the rock and peering up at the trees. Just peeking over the top of then is the sun as it descends down. Colours of purple, orange and red swirl in the sky, cascading down across the smooth water of the lake.
Birds fly out of the trees, the sun turning them into silhouettes as they fly further east before settling on a tree there. It's so peaceful and magical.
"When I was younger," Quinn begins to say, drawing Rachel's attention from the sky, "I would sneak out and come and watch the sunset. It was so peaceful. I never believed something could be so peaceful until I saw it. It's..."
"Beautiful." Rachel finishes for her. Quinn casts her gaze over to Rachel and smiles, her eyes running over the girl's profile. The blonde smiles with realising, so small it’s hidden from the brunette.
Quinn notices Rachel shivering slightly, her arms wrapped around her body. "Are you cold?"
"I forgot to bring a coat with me." She looks over at Quinn, spotting she's only wearing a polo shirt. "How are you not cold?" She asks in shock.
Quinn laughs lightly. "I'm abnormally warm during the winter," she pauses, watching Rachel shiver.
Taking a risk, Quinn shuffles closer to Rachel and places her arm over Rachel's shoulders gingerly. Quinn almost retracts her arm when Rachel stiffens under her touch. After a few painful seconds, Rachel relaxes in Quinn's hold and shuffles closer to her, placing her head on her shoulder. She sighs as warmth covers her like a blanket an unknowingly snuggles into Quinn a bit more. Quinn bites her lip, not exactly sure on what to do next. Finally, she decides on rubbing Rachel's arm to keep her warm.
This is odd to both of them. They shouldn't be so comfortable in a position like this. Quinn should be feeling awkward with this. But they don't. It feels natural to them like Quinn was meant to hold Rachel like this.
As soon as the sun sets, Quinn drops her arm from Rachel's shoulders and stands up. She awkwardly clears her throat and refuses to look Rachel in the eye. "We should head back."
Rachel only nods and begins to follow Quinn as she walks back down the path they came, passing the tree with Quinn's carving in it. Quinn looks back to see if Rachel is behind her. She sees the brunette trying to sneakily peak over at the tree and its carving. Quinn is about to stop her, however, whilst looking at Rachel, Quinn didn't see the rock poking out from the ground and trips. She flies over the rock and lands on the ground with a big 'thump', her arms grazing across the mud. Rachel gasps and hurries her footsteps, quickly sidestepping the rock Quinn tripped over.
Quinn groans and rolls onto her back. She quickly sits and looks at her stitched arm. "Oh man." She mutters, seeing the dirt and gravel stuck in her stitches. She looks at her left arm and sees it's caked in mud.
"Are you okay?" Rachel asks, coming to a stop beside Quinn.
"I guess," she says, pushing herself up to stand. She sighs and dusts the dirt off her trousers.
"Come on, let's get those clean." Rachel says, gently clasping Quinn's elbow and taking her back to the cabin.
"Ow!" Quinn yells, ripping her grazed elbow away from Rachel. She glares at the brunette who only glares back, her hands on her hips. "That hurt!"
"What did you expect! You've got a cut elbow and this has antiseptic on it." Rachel shouts back, waving the cloth around, "It's going to hurt!" She goes to grab Quinn's arm again but Quinn keeps it away from her. Rachel rolls her eyes, "Stop being such a baby!"
"I'm not-" Quinn pouts "I'm not a baby." She blows her fringe out of her hair. This only manages to get it more in her face.
Rachel rolls her eyes again and tugs Quinn's arm back to her, keeping a strong clasp on it as she dabs the antiseptic to the cut, cleaning off gravel and mud. She chuckles at Quinn's grunts and moans of pain. Quinn is starting to become annoyed with her fringe. She attempts another blow. The fringe doesn’t move away.
"There. Would you like an animal plaster to go over your boo boo, too?" Rachel asks in a child's voice, mocking Quinn.
Quinn's eyes light up "Do you have one?" She asks looking in the first aid kit Rachel has sat on her lap. She blows on the fringe again.
Rachel narrows her eyes at Quinn "No. They're for kids." Quinn slumps in her seat, looking dejected at the fact she can't get an animal plaster. Rachel sighs and takes Quinn's stitched arm, using a damp cloth to clean off the mud and gravel. "When do you get these out?" She asks with gentle kindness.
Quinn looks down at her stitches then back up at Rachel. "About a weeks time."
"You'll get a pretty cool scar from this"
"Yeah, I'll look even more badass," Quinn says with a bright smile. Rachel rolls her eyes again, feeling that if she does it one more time, they'll become stuck to the back of her head permanently.
Quinn doesn't say anything more as she watches Rachel clean her stitches with precision and ease. Her touch is soft and gentle as she dabs at the stitches, making sure not to get them too wet. Quinn tries once more to blow her fringe out of her face. Rachel stops her movements and reaches forward. Quinn blinks when Rachel’s fingers graze against her forehead, her touch gentle as she moves the hair out of Quinn’s eyes. Quinn watches Rachel as she tucks the hair behind Quinn’s ear. Brown eyes lock to hazel and they watch each other for a moment. Rachel’s fingers move from behind Quinn’s ear to the blonde’s neck. They stay there a moment too long, gently ticking the pale skin. Quinn blinks, not sure how to react to this moment.
Rachel seems to realise what she’s doing and removes her fingers like Quinn’s skin burned her, turning her attention back to Quinn’s dirty stitches. Quinn ignores the tugging in her stomach. She looks down to her arm, watching Rachel continue to clean them.
"I never thanked you," Quinn says, thinking back to how she gained the stitches.
"For what?" Rachel asks, not taking her eyes off of the pale arm.
"For helping me when I fell off my skateboard. I didn't expect you to, seeing how much you hate me. Thank you."
Rachel's movements pause momentarily "I don't hate you." she says softly. Quinn's heart soars and she bites back a grin. “I’m sorry.” The brunette says after a moment.
Quinn frowns at this and tilts her head. “For what?”
Rachel finishes her cleaning and begins to pack the first aid kit away. “For what I said, in the choir room.”
Quinn knows exactly what Rachel is talking about. Her expression becomes stoic. She remembers how Rachel’s voice wrapped around the words. It makes her feel sick. Rachel doesn’t notice Quinn’s change in mood.
“I shouldn’t have said it, and for that, I’m sorry.” Rachel puts the first aid kit to the side and finally looks up to Quinn, pausing at the expression - or lack thereof - on Quinn’s face.
Quinn swallows thickly. “Ok.”
“Ok,” Quinn says more forcefully, a frown adorning her face at the look of shock Rachel gives her. “What?” She bites out, glancing away from the brunette.
“You’re not going to forgive me?”
Quinn levels Rachel with a steely gaze. “You have two gay dad’s, you have experienced the abuse that is shouted at them on a daily basis. And yet you still felt the need to call me…” Quinn falters, a lump forming in her throat. “Call me a dyke. ” Her voice is biting around the word, so much so that Rachel flinches. “So no, I’m not going to forgive you.” Not yet. Quinn stands up, ignoring Rachel’s affronted look and storms past her to her room.
“I forgave you!”
Rachel’s shout gives Quinn pause. She shakes her head and turns around to face the now angry brunette. Rachel had followed her towards her door, hands on hips. “For what?” Quinn asks, glaring down at the tiny singer.
“For the pranks, the one at Puck’s party. For calling me Hobbit!”
Quinn laughs humorlessly at this. “You were pranking me too! And Hobbit is nowhere near as bad as the disgusting word you called me!” Quinn pauses, anger boiling within her. “And for the record, I tried to apologize to you for the pool prank, but Puck wouldn’t let me.”
“Well if you had left me alone, Puck wouldn’t have felt the need to do that!”
Quinn blows up at this, unable to hold back her anger. “How could I when you’re the reason this whole thing between us started!” She shouts. Rachel takes a step back from her and it almost gives Quinn reason to calm down. Almost. “I remember a Rachel who wouldn’t have dared call me what you did! Heck, even the Rachel who stole my boyfriend wouldn’t have done that.”
Rachel groans in aggravation at this, throwing her hands up in the air. “God when are you going to let that go! You’re gay anyway, why does it matter I kissed Finn?”
Because it should have been me. Quinn pushes that thought way down, momentarily shocked at the fact it even passed through her mind. However, she doesn’t let on that this happened, instead, she matches Rachel’s glare with an icy one of her own. The memory of seeing Rachel kissing Finn, walking in on them in Puck’s room, Finn’s tongue shoved down Rachel’s throat, floods back to Quinn.
It was Puck’s party, celebrating surviving freshman year. She had one too many wine coolers that night and had been on the hunt for Rachel. Not to torment her, but to bury the hatchet, as it were. This rivalry between them had been going on for a year, and quite frankly, Quinn was tired of it. All she knew was that she missed her best friend and wanted her back. Screw school traditions and loyalties. Rachel was her friend and she was the only person Quinn wanted to be loyal to.
So when Quinn opened the door to Puck’s room and found the two of them together, her whole world came crashing down around her. Not because Finn had cheated on her, but because it was Rachel. Rachel, the girl Quinn couldn’t stop thinking about since that day in the mall. The girl Quinn wanted to see more than anyone else. The girl Quinn simply wanted. Wrapped in the arms of Quinn’s boyfriend. Breaking Quinn’s heart into a million pieces. It was at this moment that Quinn chose to protect herself. This moment that caused her walls to build around her. She wasn’t going to let herself be this vulnerable again, especially not for Rachel Berry. Not waiting for a reaction from the two, Quinn had turned around and walked away, ignoring Finn’s pleas to her. The blonde had been so shocked, so hurt, that she hadn’t even noticed the look Rachel sent her. One of deep regret and longing.
Her stomach twists at the memory, her heartbreaking once again. Feeling her walls starting to crack, Quinn stands herself up straight, her chin tilting up slightly. “You’re right. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters to me. Including you.” Quinn says evenly, an icy chill to her voice.
Much like at that party, Quinn doesn’t wait for a reaction from Rachel and instead, turns around and walks into her room, closing the door behind her. She puts her back against the door, head tilting back to rest against the wood. She closes her eyes and bites her lip, willing herself to keep the tears away.
She hears a light knock on the door. Her hands curl into fists at her sides as she fights against the urge to open the door. “Quinn?” Rachel’s quiet, nervous voice travels through the wood, chipping away at Quinn’s resolve. She hears a sigh. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
Quinn doesn’t move until she hears Rachel’s door open and close. Only then, when she’s sure the girl is in her own room, does Quinn let the tears fall.
Quinn groans, rubbing her head and she drags herself into the living room, the smell of coffee guiding her into the adjoining kitchen. She really needs a cup of coffee. After the fight last night, Quinn could barely sleep, tossing and turning all through the night. She barely looks at Rachel, who’s standing at the stove, flipping a pancake over. She fills a cup with coffee then moves to sit down at the island counter.
A plate filled with pancakes is placed in front of her. Quinn flicks her eyes up to Rachel, who looks at her nervously, bottom lip worried between her teeth. Quinn shakes her head and pushes the plate away from her, despite her stomach rumbling. She knows this is a meek attempt at apologising from the brunette. But after what happened last night, how she expected Quinn to forgive her, carrying her usual air of false superiority, Quinn can’t bring herself to take the peace offering. She’s still hurt, by that word, by Rachel’s lack of guilt.
Rachel’s eyes steel at the blonde’s movements, clearly not happy her apology pancakes didn’t succeed. Quinn looks away to her mug, waiting for the angry yell, for the huff of annoyance. The usual. Instead, Rachel releases a dejected sigh. Quinn’s eyes flicker up when the stool in front of her is pulled out, and Rachel sits down.
“It’s just breakfast, Quinn,” Rachel says after a moment of silence. Quinn takes a sip of her coffee, ignoring Rachel’s comment. The brunette sighs again. “You’re going to need to meet me halfway here.”
Quinn looks up at Rachel. “What do you want me to say?” Quinn mumbles, already tired of this conversation. Rachel’s eyes narrow slightly.
“Look, we have six more days stuck here. We could at least try and be civil to each other.”
“Exactly. So, I’m choosing to ignore you.” Quinn says, finishing the last of her coffee. She eyes the pancakes she pushed aside for a moment, her stomach rumbling.
“You know that’s not what I meant. We’ve got to show our parents that somehow, their stupid plan of keeping us trapped here has fixed whatever issues we have.” Rachel chooses to ignore Quinn’s grumble of ‘you mean your issues’. “Otherwise, you’re off the soccer team, and I’m kicked out of Vocal Adrenaline.”
Quinn looks away from the pancakes and finally makes eye contact with the brunette since she walked into the kitchen. She frowns, remembering the threat her Dad had told her if she didn’t follow through with his plan.
“I don’t know about you, but I for one would not like to have my dreams of becoming a Broadway star stopped before I even have a chance to shine. I’m sure you feel the same about soccer and your future.”
Quinn scratches at the back of her neck and shrugs. “Soccer isn’t what I wanna do after high school.” She mumbles, mainly to herself. She misses the inquisitive look Rachel shoots her. Looking back at the pancakes, Quinn reaches over and pulls the plate towards her. She picks up her fork and glances at Rachel, who’s now beaming at her. It’s worth it, seeing that smile. “You already shine, Rachel,” Quinn says, before shoving a piece of pancake in her mouth. She notices the shy way Rachel looks down to her own mug.
They sit in silence as Quinn continues to eat her pancakes, relishing in how good they are. From what she can remember when they were kids, Rachel’s parents hardly ever cooked, as they always seemed to live off takeout. So where Rachel learnt these skills, Quinn has no clue. Although, she has a sneaky suspicion her mother might have a role in this.
When Quinn finishes the pancakes, she hums in satisfaction, patting her belly and wiping her mouth clean. Rachel grins at Quinn, raising an amused eyebrow. “Good?” The brunette asks.
Quinn nods, a lazy smile on her face. “So good.” She stretches, her back arching over the chair as she pops the kinks out of her spine. She feels her shirt ride up and pulls it down as she sits back normally. She picks up on the sharp look Rachel diverts away from Quinn, and raises her eyebrow in interest.
“They’re vegan,” Rachel says, voice gruff. She clears her throat. “The pancakes.”
“You serious?” Rachel nods. Quinn shakes her head, impressed. When Rachel goes to take the plate, Quinn bats her hand away and stands up, taking the plate to the sink. “I’ll do it.”
As Quinn scrubs at the plates and frying pan, she thinks about what to do today. Rachel wants them to try and be civil, for sake of soccer and glee club. If Quinn is honest, she’s not fussed about soccer. Sure, she loves the game and it would suck to be kicked off the team, but it’s not what she wants to do. But Rachel has her dreams riding on this week working out for them. Whilst Quinn knows Rachel is a strong enough singer to become successful without the help of Vocal Adrenaline, she knows it’s important to Rachel. And while Quinn may not be particularly happy with the girl right now, nor most of the time, she’s never tried to sabotage Rachel’s dreams. It’s something they spoke about as kids, Rachel gushing about New York to Quinn, describing the towering city as an entirely new world, just waiting to have Rachel Berry take by storm. What kind of person would it make Quinn if she tried to stop Rachel from achieving her dreams? It’s this that spurs Quinn to turn around, and say almost nervously:
“Do you wanna go for a walk today?”
Rachel looks surprised by the question and even chances a look around the cabin as if she’s looking to see if Quinn was addressing someone else. Quinn bites back a smile at this. “Uh, yes, where are we going?”
Quinn wipes the suds off her hands and shrugs, throwing the dish towel onto the counter. “Anywhere but this boring cabin.”
Quinn sighs, rubbing a hand over her eyes when once again, Rachel needs to stop and sit down on a nearby rock. She scratches the back of her neck and looks out to the valley. They've been walking for an hour and Rachel's had to stop every 20 minutes. Quinn's beginning to doubt that Rachel even does dance lessons with the lack of stamina the girl seems to have.
"I shouldn't have had the pancakes," Rachel says, leaning back on her hands.
"What do you normally eat?"
"Fruit. But for some reason, your father didn't think to stock up on them." Rachel grumbles.
"He made sure to have vegan things for you though," Quinn replies, folding her arms over her chest. She leans back against the tree, watching as Rachel stretches her arm back. Quinn's eyes dart straight to her stomach, a tiny slither of skin exposed by her jumper rising. She looks away before Rachel looks back at her and waits for the brunette to stand.
"Right, I'm ready," Rachel says jumping up and running on the spot, going through different lunges.
"We're walking Berry, not partaking in a race." Quinn drawls, strolling past the tiny diva.
"That's what you think." She hears Rachel say before she runs past Quinn. In the wrong direction.
"You're going the wrong way!" Quinn calls out, chuckling when Rachel stops and turns around, blushing slightly.
"I knew that!" She says, trying to defend her dignity.
Quinn chuckles and starts to jog, waiting for Rachel to catch up. "Prepare to eat my dust Berry," she says, jogging along Rachel. Rachel scoffs, speeding up slightly.
"On the contrary Fabray, are you prepared to eat my dust?"
Quinn only smirks and turns her jogging into a fast-paced run, easily speeding past Rachel with a happy laugh. She laughs harder when she hears Rachel grumble under her breath and try to catch up to her.
After racing for about ten minutes, the girls turn up at their destination. Quinn jumps up in the air with excitement, pounding her fist upwards in victory.
"I am the winner!" She shouts at the top of her lungs. Her voice echoes amongst the valleys.
"You cheated" Rachel huffs out as she leans on her knees, panting gently.
"When?" Quinn asks, knowing very well she did no such thing.
Rachel pauses and glares up at Quinn "Well you-you-" She huffs in annoyance and walks past Quinn.
Quinn smirks at her and walks towards her, waiting for Rachel to-
"Where are we?"
There we go.
"Well, if you shut up for a second you'll be able to hear." Once again, Rachel glares at Quinn before going silent and listening. Her eyebrows knit together when she hears water falling and crashing. She looks over at Quinn who has the biggest smile on her face.
"Is that...?" She trails off, pointing to the edge of a cliff.
Quinn nods excitedly, "We, Miss Berry" She misses the way Rachel smiles at her, stepping close to the edge and peering down, "Are standing on top of a waterfall."
Rachel slowly steps forward and peaks over the edge, gasping when she sees, just to the side of them, water pouring over the edge and crashing down to the small waterfall plunge pool at the bottom. Quinn smirks and decides to scare the girl. Reaching out, Quinn gives the girl a gentle push, only enough to sway her. Rachel screams and jumps back towards Quinn. Quinn grabs hold of her arms to stop the two of them from toppling over and begins to laugh, Rachel’s look of horror amusing her to no end.
"You should have seen your face," She says between giggles. Then, Quinn’s giggles become ‘oophs’ when Rachel starts to hit her arm and belly.
"You stupid idiot! I could have died!" Rachel screams.
"Calm down!" Quinn says, grasping hold of Rachel's hands to stop her from hitting her. "You wouldn't have died because I would have caught you."
Rachel continues to glare at her and stomps her foot. "Don't do it again," she whispers, the fight and anger leaving her body.
Quinn smiles at Rachel, "I won't." Quinn steps away from Rachel and strips off her jumper and shirt.
"W-what are you doing?" She hears Rachel ask.
"Going for a swim," Quinn says, shaking off her jeans, shoes and socks. She doesn't feel the cold air hit her body as she takes a running start.
Rachel turns just in time to see Quinn dive perfectly into the water below. Water cascades around Quinn ask she breaks through the waves. Kicking her feet against the sand beneath her, she pushes through the surface, hearing Rachel’s muffled calls for her. Quinn just about makes out Rachel’s form still on top of the cliff.
"Are you crazy!" She hears Rachel shout down at her.
Quinn only laughs and begins to paddle about in the water. "Come on! Jump in!"
"Unlike you, I value my life!"
"Oh please. Live a little" Quinn wiggles her eyebrows, regardless of whether Rachel can see it or not. Quinn treads water patiently as she watches Rachel give herself a pep talk. A couple of seconds pass of no action, then just as Quinn is about to swim out of the water, there’s a loud scream, a splash beside her and water spraying her face.
Rachel’s head pops up to the surface, Quinn laughs as Rachel sputters water out of her face. "I'm surprised you did it," Quinn says as Rachel swims over to her.
"That was amazing!" Rachel says, brushing her hair back away from her face and smiling widely at Quinn.
"Told you." She says.
Rachel smiles "I like to think that you merely informed me and I told myself."
Quinn scoffs before splashing water in Rachel's face. Rachel squeals at her before doing it back, laughing when Quinn attempts to swim away.
Quinn sits on the settee, her guitar rested on her lap as she starts to gently strum out a few bars. She shuts her eyes, feeling the music surround her as her hand moves up and down the fret, creating a melody of notes. Her damp hair falls in front of her face and Quinn brushes it away in annoyance. She needs to get it cut soon.
The fire burns in front of her, keeping her warm and toasty. As soon as she and Rachel got out of the water, they immediately regretted jumping in on such a cold day. The biting wind stung against their cold skin as they made their way back up to the mountain and put their clothes on again. Quinn kept blushing every time she chanced a glance over to Rachel.
Quinn looks up when she hears the bathroom door open. Rachel walks out wearing gold star pyjama shorts showing off her toned and impossibly long legs and a white t-shirt.
Rachel sits down next to Quinn, her gaze moving to Quinn's guitar, "I hear you play that almost every day, and yet I can't figure what song it is."
Quinn smiles and looks up at her, effortlessly continuing to play the chords. "You won't know it."
"I have you know, Quinn that I have an extensive array of musical knowledge. I have over 4000 songs on my iPod." Rachel says with a slight offence.
Quinn chuckles, "You won't know it because I wrote it." She admits shyly.
Rachel mutters a soft 'oh' and blushes slightly, "What's it about?"
Pale fingers run along the wooden body of the guitar, hazel eyes focusing on the edge of it instead of the curious brown one's waiting for an answer. To be honest, Quinn isn’t sure who it is about. She just sat down one day and started writing it. Quinn clears her throat awkwardly and rubs at her neck. “I-I’m not sure.” She admits, glancing up at Rachel.
"Can you sing it for me?" Rachel asks with a soft tone, shuffling a little closer.
Quinn scratches the back of her neck and nods. She clears her throat and begins to play the guitar, her hand sliding down the fretboard as she strums, playing out the familiar tune. She looks up at Rachel as begins to sing, her gaze never wavering.
'I'd be more of a morning person
if I got to wake up next to you
well, let me ask you something
would you be one too?'
Quinn swallows thickly at the look in Rachel’s eyes. It’s intense, the look, it’s one Quinn has only seen on Rachel’s face when she sings in competition. The blonde quickly looks away, looking down at her guitar as she sings.
' And I'd climb 1000 mountains
just to meet you at the summit
well let me ask you something
would you climb too?
Take my hand
and I'll show you the way
look me in the eyes
and tell me that you feel the same, '
Quinn looks back up at Rachel, a small smile gracing her features when she sees a hint of the old Rachel in the big doe eyes staring back at her in wonder.
'and if you want to run away
I won't hesitate
because I'd have nothing
if they take you away.
and I'd let you meet my parents
because I'm that they'd love you
let me ask you something
would yours like me too? '
She sees tears prick at the edges of Rachel’s eyes, and Quinn almost stops her singing in worry. But she continues on, suddenly wanting to sing this to Rachel, wanting Rachel to hear the song.
'And I hate it when we're separate,
I just don't know what to do
well let me ask you something
does it affect you too? '
Quinn watches as Rachel tries to discreetly wipe her tears away. It’s in this moment, seeing how the song is affecting Rachel, how Rachel is listening, that Quinn finally realizes who this song is about.
' Take my hand
and I'll show you the way
look me in the eyes
and tell me that you feel the same
and if you want to run away
I won't hesitate
because I'd have nothing
if they take you away.
If they take you away
If they take you..away '
It’s about Rachel. This realisation has Quinn standing up from the settee as soon as she finishes, her stomach twisting as she looks down at the teary-eyed Rachel in panic.
"What's wrong?" Rachel asks, standing up also. She takes a step towards Quinn, who immediately takes one back. Quinn’s stomach twists even more at the hurt look Rachel gives her.
“Nothing, nothing,” Quinn says hastily. She places her guitar in its case. “I just-uh-I need to-” Quinn stumbles over her words, her mind frazzled by the girl in front of her, the song she’s written and what this all means. How everything Quinn has been telling herself for all these years has been a lie.
“Quinn?” Rachel’s hand touches Quinn’s arm gently. The blonde jerks at this, and stumbles back, once again causing a look of hurt to cross Rachel’s head.
“S-sorry.” Quinn manages to mumble before leaving Rachel alone in the living room, for the second time this week.
Chapter 7: Feelings
Quinn tries to figure out her feelings for Rachel. Rachel deals with hers in another way.
*WARNING* Depictions of self-harm and talk of depression follow.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Quinn lies on her bed, thinking a mile a minute about what transpired in the living room. Did she really write that song with Rachel in mind? No, she couldn’t have. When Quinn started writing it, no one appeared in her head. She only wrote what she was feeling, no intentions or deeper meanings behind the words.
But thinking about it, Quinn feels stupid for not realising before. No wonder it had hit her like a train wreck. She had become so caught up in the school rivalries and the refusal to see Rachel as anything other than her rival , that Quinn’s mind found the best way to evoke any other feeling about the girl, was through music.
This is not to say Quinn is completely fine with this realisation. No, Quinn is freaking out right now. Not freaking out because it’s Rachel, but because of how long she’s felt this way. She never hated the girl, that’s something Quinn easily admitted to herself a while ago. But, to like her in that way? Those are feelings that have been buried deep down. Feelings Quinn freely had when they were younger. Heck, there’s a marking on the tree in these very woods proving it. Yes, these are feelings Quinn has buried in recent years. And the blonde can pinpoint the exact moment she buried them.
The day she opened Puck's bedroom door to find Finn sticking his tongue halfway down Rachel’s throat.
Quinn had thought she felt betrayal at that moment. Betrayed by someone she thought could be her friend again. And yes, there was a slither of betrayal in Quinn’s heart. But most of all, Quinn felt heartbreak. It was as if someone had stabbed her in the heart and twisted, seeing Rachel in the arms of Finn.
Quinn is bought out of her internal dilemma by the sound of whimpers. They started soft and gentle, causing her to mistake them for the whimpers of wolves. But they begin to grow in volume and travel through the walls. Quinn curls her fists into the sheets below her, struggling to decide whether to go an see to the cries or to stay put.
She can't do that though. She can't ignore them, that's not the type of person she is. But how would Rachel react? Quinn just left her in the living room, alone, for the second time. That must be the cause of Rachel’s crying, and would she want to see the person who caused them?
Go, or don't go?
The whispers of her conscience float around her mind, trying to coax her ito what they believe is the better direction. Taking a deep breath, she makes her decision and gets out of the bed, hissing slightly as her bare feet touch the cold, wooden floor. With soft footsteps, she makes her way over to the other room. She pauses outside of the door, hesitating slightly.
She stares at the dark oak in front of her and shakes her head.
She can do this, she isn't weak. She can do this. With some determination, she gently pushes the door open and walks in, closing it behind her, careful to make sure the door clicks soundlessly.
"Rachel?" She whispers, her voice cracking the invisible barrier.
The whimpers stop and the sound of low, shallow breathing fills the room. Quinn bites her lip, knowing that Rachel is pretending to sleep. Shaking her head, she turns and opens the door. However, upon hearing a sob break through the air, she stops her movements. Without a second thought, she shuts the door and walks over to the double bed.
She opens up the covers and quickly slips in, shuffling behind the shaking body. A hesitant arm reaches out and wraps itself around the smaller girl's waist. Instantly, Rachel turns over and moves into Quinn's arms, her head resting on the blonde's chest. Her tears soak Quinn's shirt but she doesn't care. She gently rubs at Rachel's arm and tells her it's going to be okay.
She doesn't even know what will be okay. All she knows is that she has a strong, overwhelming need to wrap her own form of protection around the crying girl like a blanket and keep her safe. Quinn thinks back to the last time she held Rachel in her arms like this. It must have been the week before Rachel had her early orientation at Carmel. When they were younger, the girl’s had regular, weekly sleepovers. They would alternate between Rachel’s house and Quinn’s.
That week, they were round Rachel’s. Curled up on Rachel’s bed together, surrounded by her baby pink walls and Broadway posters, Quinn had held Rachel in her arms as they watched Funny Girl for the hundredth time. It was the film Rachel always chose when it was her turn to pick a movie. Quinn could recite the script word for word. Rachel had fallen asleep in Quinn’s arms halfway through the movie, something the tiny singer vehemently denied had Quinn teased her about it the following morning. But the blonde didn’t, because Rachel was exhausted, having been going to her dance and singing classes all week, preparing herself for her first week at Carmel. “If I cannot handle a few more training days at this age, how am I going to cope with the rigorous training of Broadway, Quinn?” Tiny Rachel had quipped whilst doing a pirouette in her room, right after Quinn had commented on her upcoming exhaustion.
As Rachel had slept in Quinn’s arms, the blonde looked down at her friend and smiled, her heart beating erratically in her chest at the sight of the sleeping girl. If Quinn had known that would be the last time she would hold Rachel until now, she would have never let go.
Sometime during Quinn’s reminiscing, Rachel’s tears and hiccups had calmed. Gentle breathing replaces them, puffing against the warm skin of Quinn's neck.
Quinn lifts her arm up and begins to shuffle away, preparing to venture back to her room. But as she goes to roll away, Rachel's hold on her waist tightens and a small “No,” escapes her lips. Sighing, Quinn rolls back. Even after all these years, Quinn can’t refuse holding the smaller girl. Quinn places her arm back around Rachel and shifts into a comfortable position. After watching the brunette for a few minutes, she finally closes her eyes and falls asleep.
She smiles when she feels fingers gently coast along her skin, drawing small patterns amongst the warm flesh. She rolls her head to the side and shuffles closer to the touch, enjoying the comforting feeling. A soft moan escapes her lips when the fingers gently scratch at her skin. The moan causes the fingers to stop their movements. Not wanting them to stop, Quinn pretends to sleep, sighing to herself when the fingers begin to move again.
Quinn opens her left eye to look across at Rachel. She watches Rachel's expression, her eyes focused on her fingers. Rachel's eyes flicker up to Quinn's face for a moment before she does a double take and moves her hand away.
“You’re awake?" she asks.
Quinn untangles herself from Rachel and moves to the edge of the bed. “Yeah,” She says, standing up and stretching. Quinn runs a hand through her hair, trying to remove the tangles in her locks. She really needs to get it cut.
“Yeah?” Quinn hears Rachel walk around the bed, then feels her stand beside her.
“What happened last night? Why did you walk off?” She asks, her voice small.
The blonde’s shoulders tense at the question. She can’t tell her, not yet, not when Quinn’s still trying to gather her thoughts together and just think . Quinn glances over to Rachel, her expression stoic. She shakes her head. “No reason.” She pauses, refusing to look at the dejected expression on Rachel’s face. “Why were you crying?” She turns her head to look at the smaller girl, whose eyes widen slightly.
Typical, Rachel expects an answer from Quinn, but as soon as it’s turned to her, she refuses to open up. Quinn softly scoffs at this and rolls her eyes. “Of course.” She mumbles, before opening the bedroom door and walking into the living room. She hears Rachel scurry after her.
“What is wrong with you?” Rachel’s question has Quinn coming to an abrupt stop. She turns around, eyebrow raised.
“Excuse me?” He voice is calm, collected. It needs to be, Quinn has a feeling that this conversation is not going to be easy.
“Why do you have to be so bipolar with me all the time! One minute we are chatting, having fun, the next you’re shouting at me and slamming your door. Or-or you’re singing to me then suddenly walking away. And now, you comfort me and then you stalk away!” Rachel comes toe to toe with Quinn during her rant. Quinn doesn’t move the whole time, keeping her steely gaze on Rachel the whole time.
Quinn has no defence to this, all Rachel’s done is point out facts. So, Quinn doesn’t answer her directly, instead finds a way that she can avoid telling Rachel the truth. Quinn glances down to Rachels' hands, noting the scars there. “I’ll tell you what,” Quinn starts, voice level. “I’ll tell you why, if you tell me how you got those,” Quinn says, pointedly looking down to the scars on Rachel’s hands.
Rachel steps away from Quinn and pulls on her sleeves, trying to cover her hands. “Get what?”
Quinn’s voice loses some of its bite and becomes gentle, upon seeing Rachel’s reaction to her ultimatum. She knows it’s going to get Rachel off her back, but it doesn’t mean she enjoys making Rachel squirm like this. “The scars on your hands.”
"You're delusional," Rachel says, avoiding eye contact with Quinn.
Quinn purses her lips and nods. “Fine." She says before walking to her room.
Once showered and dress, Quinn digs around in her wardrobe. She pushes boxes and old clothing out of the way, silently muttering under her breath.
"Found you!" she says taking out an old, dirty soccer ball. She bounces it against the wooden flooring, smiling when it bounces up and lands nicely in her hands. Satisfied, Quinn walks out of the room and towards the front door. She stops when she sees Rachel sitting on the settee, her back to her.
"I'm going out for a bit," she says, only getting a nod in return.
She sighs and opens the door, walking only a few feet away from the cabin to the tree with the old carving on it.
She places the ball onto the floor and easily kicks it up, continuing to kick it up into the air at a smooth pace, not even bothering to count the amount she's doing. Thoughts run through her mind, all linking to Rachel.
The sheer gall of the girl for assuming Quinn will open up to her about everything. Just because Quinn realised her true feelings for Rachel does not mean she trusts the girl with her secrets...her heart. Quinn could very easily tell Rachel how she feels, only to find out Rachel has gone and used that to play with her, to further sabotage Mckinley’s chance at winning glee and soccer. A few days of non-antagonistic behaviour does not erase the years of it. And for Rachel to think because Quinn comforted her, the blonde is willing to confess everything? She’s delusional.
Quinn smacks the ball against the carving on the tree. A few leaves fall down as the ball flies back over to the blonde. She catches it and begins her kick-ups again. The blonde shakes her head at herself.
No, the delusional one is Quinn. To think that her feelings for Rachel all these years was only hate and nothing more? No other feelings of hurt, betrayal, or love? Yeah, that’s a good way to lie to yourself, Quinn. The number of times she's found herself sitting on her bed, listening to the brunette sing. Or the many times she caught herself watching the brunette from her room as she changes, her eyes mesmerized by the singer's strong back muscles and toned stomach.
She always looks around for Rachel whenever she's in Lima Bean with Santana or Artie, or whenever they're at the soccer matches. She was always looking for Rachel, just wanting to see her face, hear a song leave her lips or see a smile on her face. Always. But what she got was an insult or a scowl thrown her way. Can you blame Quinn for hiding these feelings away? Burying them so far down that it took until last night for her to realise everything?
Quinn doesn’t even know why she’s bothering to give more thought into this. It’s not like Rachel feels the same.
Who knows. If it was anyone’s guess, Quinn would say that the most Rachel will probably ever see in her is a friend. That is if Quinn allows them to be friends again. Rachel did extend an olive branch earlier to try and get Quinn to talk. Instead, Quinn let her fear and insecurities get the better of her and push the girl away. Of course, Rachel isn’t ready to talk about the scars on her hands, it’s evident that it’s a personal issue, why should Quinn expect Rachel to be willing to tell her about it? It’s not like Quinn’s been a complete angel.
Maybe Quinn should apologise. She grabs the ball and looks up, noticing the sun is starting to set. Shaking her head at herself, Quinn walks to the cabin, intent on finding the brunette and taking the olive branch.
Quinn pauses when she walks into the cabin, finding the living room empty. She looks over to the kitchen and sees it’s relatively untouched. Frowning, Quinn walks over to Rachel’s bedroom door and knocks. Getting no response, she opens the door and peers inside.
A frown comes over Quinn’s features when she sees the brunette’s bed is empty. A clatter sounds from behind Quinn and she turns around, closing the door behind her. “Rachel?” She gently calls out. The sound of the shower follows Quinn’s call. Feeling her shoulders relax at the sound, Quinn starts to walk to her room, bouncing the ball as she goes.
There’s more clattering, this time louder. Then, a thud follows. A sense of panic encompasses Quinn and she drops her soccer ball. She speeds to the bathroom door. She turns the handle, only to find it locked.
She knocks rapidly at the dark wood, "Rachel?" Not hearing a response, Quinn knocks on the wood harder, becoming increasingly frantic. "Rachel!"
She takes a step back and looks around, trying to look for anything that can help her. There’s nothing in this cabin, not even an old pipe. She hears a sob emit from the bathroom, "Rachel! I'm-I'm coming in!" She huffs and takes a deep breath before shoving her shoulder against the door, feeling it jolt slightly. She does it again and hears the lock snap slightly. "One more," She whispers before slamming herself against the wood, stumbling into the room when the door gives way to her.
She pauses and peers around the room. Her eyes settle on the shower, Rachel slumped at the bottom, still fully clothed and-
Quinn reacts quickly and grabs the first aid kit from the cabinet before rushing over to Rachel. She shuts off the shower and bends down, not caring about her socks getting soaked. She grabs hold of Rachel's red hands and grabs the nearest towel, wiping off the seeping blood, trying to look for the source. Her hands frantically open the first aid kit, looking through the objects inside it, trying to find the right things. She looks at Rachel, her panic increasing when she sees Rachel's eyes beginning to droop.
Finding a wipe, Quinn begins to clear away the blood, seeing the source to be fresh scratches on Rachel’s hands. They’re deep, deeper than Quinn has seen any sort of scratch. Throwing the wipe away, Quinn grabs hold of the bandages in the box and begins to wrap them around Rachel’s hands. Making sure there is enough pressure from the bandage, Quinn ties a knot and cuts away any excess fabric.
She kicks the bag away and sits down next to Rachel. Quinn places her arm around Rachel's shoulder and wraps her free one around her front, cradling the girl in her arms.
She holds back her tears when Rachel starts to openly cry in her arms, resting her head on to Quinn's chest, grabbing at the blonde's shirt. Quinn rocks her side to side, gently humming to her. The blonde closes her eyes and wonders how the young, strong girl she used to know became so broken. No, she doesn’t need to wonder. Quinn has played a big part in this. It’s with this thought that a tear escapes and slides down the blonde’s cheek.
She hands Rachel a glass of water, watching the brunette chug half its contents before she places it on the table, pulling the blanket around her shoulders tighter against her body.
"Are you cold?" Quinn asks, her voice barely louder than a whisper.
Rachel nods and Quinn moves to the fireplace, adding more wood to the burning fire. She sits down next to Rachel, staring at the fire opposite them, her hands clasped together in her lap. She spots movement in the corner of her eye and looks to see Rachel scratching at the bandages on her hands. Quinn softly places her own on top of Rachel's, stopping their movements.
"You have to tell me, Rachel."
Rachel sniffs and looks at the coffee table, her gaze focused on the half glass of water. She swallows thickly and reaches forward, grabbing the cup again and finishing the water off.
"I need to know," Quinn continues "So I can help you."
Rachel scoffs "You'll make it worse" she whispers, her voice hoarse from her lack of talking. She closes her eyes after the words leave her lips, looking as if she instantly regrets saying them. Those four words are like a punch to the stomach for the blonde, knocking the air out of her.
"I-I'm sorry," Rachel says, her voice still low. "I didn't mean that."
Quinn looks down and nods, inspecting her own hands. "I guess-I guess I deserve it. I haven't exactly been the nicest person to you."
"No, you don't Quinn." Rachel finally looks up at her. She licks her lips and looks back down, not being able to hold Quinn's intense gaze for very long.
Quinn notices Rachel's nerves and scooches closer to her. She places her hand on top of Rachel's and smiles when the brown-eyed girl looks back up at her "Take your time."
"I-I have-" Rachel pauses and takes a deep breath, her hands starting to shake slightly. Quinn squeezes her hand reassuringly.
The blonde remains patient, knowing that this must be hard for Rachel, having to tell her supposed rival what is wrong with her. Or, rather, what’s affecting her so much to the point of self-harm.
"I suffer from depression," Rachel whispers.
The fire crackles loudly, piercing through the silence of the cabin. Quinn blinks once, not knowing how to process this information. Rachel, the girl whose smile shines brighter than the sun, the girl who was always laughing and giggling when they were kids, has depression.
Rachel takes Quinn's silence as a negative and takes the blanket off of her shoulders and stands up. "I'm going to bed."
Quinn snaps out of her thoughts at Rachel's words and takes hold of Rachel's hand, careful to not hold too tight. She tugs at the hand, getting Rachel to sit down and puts the blanket back around Rachel's shoulders.
“I don’t-I’m sorry, I’m kinda finding it difficult to-”
“To believe that Rachel Berry is mentally broken?” Rachel asks with a hint of anger in her voice, sharply cutting off Quinn’s mumbling.
Quinn shakes her head vehemently. “You’re not broken.” She whispers. “You’re just...chemically imbalanced.” Quinn realises she’s said the wrong thing when Rachel levels her with a stormy gaze.
“This isn’t something that is fixed by pumping my body full of medication, Quinn. It’s not just an imbalance of chemicals in my brain. And I’m not just sad, or ‘just having a bad day’. This is a constant. It’s something that takes time to tackle, Quinn.” Rachel’s voice is eerily cold and practised.
Quinn blinks, shaking her head and stumbling over her words to try and correct herself, realising she has stuck her foot in it. “No-no I know that, Rachel. I just- I wasn’t sure what was the best thing to say-”
“Then don’t say anything.”
Quinn’s mouth instantly shuts at that, Rachel’s gaze turns soft at Quinn’s look. Quinn watches as Rachel’s shoulder’s deflate and her body slumps forward, suddenly looking incredibly tired. Quinn looks down, fighting the urge to smile when she realises Rachel didn’t let go of her hand.
Quinn takes a deep breath and looks up, meeting Rachel’s eyes carefully. “Ok.” The blonde says. “Then tell me about it.”
The brunette laughs humorlessly at that, her free hand playing with a loose thread in the blanket. “What is there to say? I suffer from depression, Quinn. That’s it.” Quinn’s eyebrows furrow and she purses her lips. She doesn’t say anything however, because Rachel continues talking.
“There are days where I feel fine, I get up and go to school, have fun with my friends at lunch, dance and sing in VA and then come home, no medication needed. Some days, I need the medication to help feel better.” She takes a deep, shaky breath. “Then there are days when I have to force myself out of bed, put on a fake smile all day and even struggle to sing in glee club. Those are the days where no amount of medication will help, and so I cope in other ways.”
Quinn looks to Rachel’s bandaged hand. The thought of Rachel struggling to cope, upsets Quinn. The fact there’s not much she can do to help her, hurts her more. Quinn’s heart all but breaks at the thought of Rachel, Rachel Berry , feeling so worn down, so low that she has to force herself to sing.
“When did it start?” Quinn finds herself asking, looking back up from Rachel’s hand to her face. Rachel stares blankly, unblinkingly at the blonde.
“End of freshman year, the start of sophomore year.” The brunette pauses, and her mask of indifference slips slightly, a sad glimmer in her eye. “Probably before that actually, but that’s around the time I had my first breakdown and panic attack.”
Quinn sees she’s not going to get any more on the topic from Rachel, and so squeezes the hand still in hers reassuringly. Almost as if she’s saying thank you. She received a weak smile from Rachel in return.
They’re quiet for a few moments. Quinn thinks back to their conversation (argument) this morning. She can’t tell Rachel everything, but she can tell some, and that she will do. “I don’t trust you.” She finds herself whispering to the room.
A hurt look passes over Rachel’s face and when Quinn feels Rachel going to remove her hand from her grip, she realises her mistake. “No, no I believe you about this, Rachel,” Quinn says earnestly. Rachel studies her for a moment, and Quinn waits with bated breath for Rachel to relax. The brunette seems to find what she was looking for and her hand remains still in Quinn’s, no longer moving away.
“I meant about what happened this morning. I was trying to work some stuff out in my head and one of the big things that stuck out is that I don’t trust you. I-” Quinn pauses, licking her lips nervously. Rachel waits patiently for her to continue. “I’m struggling to keep my walls down and just be Quinn with you because of that. That’s why I reacted the way I did this morning.”
There’s a hint of tears in Rachel’s eyes at Quinn’s words. She smiles weakly. “I understand. I haven’t given you much reason to trust me.”
“I want to. I want to trust you. But, to do that, I gotta see the old Rachel who I was friends with. Not my rival. And I’ve gotta be me, the real me. The Quinn you were friends with. So then you can trust me again.” Quinn says, scooting closer to the brunette. She notices Rachel’s frown and furrows her eyebrows.
“I’m not that Rachel anymore.” She says, looking down at her lap.
“You are. I know you are.” Quinn pauses, waiting for Rachel to look at her before continuing. “The way I see it, we have two choices. Either we leave this cabin continuing this stupid rivalry or we walk out of here determined to change the status quo. We can say ‘fuck you’ to the rivalry, Rae.”
The old nickname falls from Quinn’s lips before she can stop it. But she finds herself not caring from the smile Rachel sends her way.
The girls sit in front of the fire the rest of the night, Quinn reading a book and Rachel listening to her music, foot tapping as she does so.
Rachel’s hand remains clasped in Quinn’s gentle grasp.
If any of you have similar feelings and/or thoughts as Rachel or think yourself, or someone you know could be suffering from depression, please ring any of the numbers listed below. As a person who suffers from depression, I know how difficult it can be to talk to someone about it. Do so before it's too late.
NHS: 111, Option 2, is the National Health Services' First Response Service for mental health crises and support.
Samaritans: 116 123 (UK and ROI)
MIND: 0300 123 3393
Papryus: 0800 068 4141
CALM (specialise in suicide prevention in Men): 0800 58 58 58
Samaritans: (212) 673-3000
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Asian American Suicide Prevention and Education: 877-990-8585
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386
Chapter 8: Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch
It's the last day of their cabin holiday. Emotions rise between the girls.
Hi. I've been gone a while, sorry. Got out of touch with the writing, but I'm hoping I can get back into it soon!
Song used: Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch - The Four Tops
The batter sizzles as Quinn pours it in the pan and swirls it around, making sure it's evenly spread. She twirls the spatula about in her hand as she softly hums, her hips moving to the rhythm. She loosens the pancake and flips it, shouting in victory as she expertly lands the pancake into the pan.
Fingers scratch at her blonde head as she waits for the pancake to cook. Quinn’s eyes flicker to the vegan ingredients spread out all over the counter and shrugs. She'll clean that up later. Right now she wants to make sure these are the best vegan pancakes Rachel's ever had.
After the heavy chat last night, Quinn woke up this morning with the intent of loosening up the mood. She intends to keep her promise she made to Rachel and be friends with her. Much like when Rachel made her pancakes the other day, Quinn’s doing it today, as a sort of peace offering, a fresh slate for the two of them. Quinn is also determined to help Rachel and her depression in any way the brunette will let her. She knows it’s not something that will go away with a few nice words said to Rachel. It’s something that will take patience and hard work. Whether it’s someone to laugh with, have hour-long chats about anything and everything, or just someone to quietly be with, Quinn will be that person for Rachel.
Like she said last night: Fuck the rivalry. It hasn’t helped their friendship and clearly hasn’t helped Rachel. So why continue it?
She looks over her shoulder upon hearing footsteps making their way over and smiles, spotting a very sleepy and sheepish looking Rachel Berry. "Hey, you're up just in time for breakfast," Quinn says, flipping the last pancake on to the plate. She grabs a fork and places them in front of Rachel who's sat down at the island, staring down at her bandaged hands.
"Thank you," Rachel says, not looking at Quinn.
"I hope they're good, it's the first time I've made vegan pancakes. They probably won’t be anywhere as good as yours." This makes Rachel look up in surprise.
"You made them vegan?"
"Tried." Quinn clarifies, taking off the tea towel that was thrown over her shoulder. "I tried to make them vegan."
Rachel smiles at her, "They look delicious." she says before cutting a piece of and popping it in her mouth.
Quinn leans against the island counter opposite Rachel, biting her lip as she watches Rachel's reaction. Rachel's eyes widen and she nods before a grimace takes over her face. She covers her mouth with her hand and tries to genuinely smile at Quinn, but Quinn spots her distaste.
"They're-they're really good." Rachel says after swallowing, looking like she wants them to be anywhere else but in her stomach. She goes to cut another piece but Quinn's hand stops her.
"They're awful aren't they?" Quinn asks, a pout on her lips.
"I wouldn't say awful..." Rachel trails off, not knowing how to describe them.
Quinn nods. "That's why I have back up!" Quinn says, a wide grin on her face. She pulls out a box of cereal, soya milk and a bowl. "Nothing beats a good bowl of cereal," Quinn says, pouring in the cereal and milk for Rachel. She hands her a spoon and takes away the vegan pancakes, throwing them in the bin.
She sees the bandaging around Rachel's hands and grabs the first aid kit. She sits down on the stool next to Rachel and gently takes her free hand. Rachel notices Quinn starting to unwind her bandages and goes to pull them back.
"You don't have to do that" Rachel says once she swallows a mouthful of cereal.
Quinn stops Rachel from moving her hand and continues to unwind the bandages, "You took care of me, now it's my turn" Quinn says, smiling up at Rachel.
Quinn places the old bandages into a carrier bag and starts to clean off the dried old blood with a wipe. Quinn tries to ignore the tingling in her fingers holding on to Rachel’s hand. However, considering the main part of cleaning her scars is holding Rachel’s hand, it’s incredibly difficult.
“You get manicures.”
Quinn looks up at Rachel, eyebrow quirked. She looks to her own fingers, admiring the manicure she got a couple weeks ago. “Yeah, you know I do, we used to go together,” Quinn says, glancing back to Rachel.
“I know. I didn’t realise you still went.”
Quinn wipes away the final trace of blood, seeing the cuts a lot clearer. They're no longer bleeding, but they look red and raw. Quinn resists the urge to place a kiss against the blemished skin. She reaches for a new bandage. “Why? Because I’m gay or because we stopped being friends?” She asks, no tone of anger or defence in her voice.
When Rachel doesn't answer, the blonde looks up. She begins to wrap a bandage around her hand. A blush covers the brunette’s skin. Once again, the blonde fights the urge to kiss Rachel's skin, this time her cheek.
Quinn smirks, now realising which reason Rachel meant. “Well,” She says, clearing her throat. She moves on to cleaning her other hand. “We’ve gotta keep our nails clipped,” Quinn says, a smirk growing. She glances up to Rachel again and sees the girl’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
Quinn deadpans at her. Then, with her free hand, Quinn curls two of her fingers. A blush covers Rachel’s cheeks furiously at the action and brown eyes flicker away from hazel in embarrassment.
“Oh,” Rachel says, voice squeaking slightly.
Quinn chuckles. Too easy. She finishes her work on Rachel’s other hand with a triumphant, “Done!” Her hands fall to her thighs with a slap and she waits for Rachel to look at her, recovering from her embarrassment. "Now, go get showered and meet me back here."
Quinn gets up from the seat and smiles at Rachel. "I'm going to bring the rebel out of you."
Quinn waits by the door, her skateboard hanging by her side. She quietly hums 'I'll make a man out of you' under her breath. Her fingers fiddle with her jacket zipper lazily, her eyes trained on Rachel's bedroom door.
The door opens, revealing Rachel in a blue sweater with a penguin on it and a very short skirt. Quinn’s jaw falls open at how short the skirt is, only just managing to close it before Rachel looks at her. Quinn smiles at Rachel, watching the girl throw on her pea coat and a fluffy scarf. Rachel notices her staring and pauses, beginning to scratch at her bandage covered hands.
“Nothing,” Quinn says, a soft smile still on her lips. “You’re gonna get cold in that skirt,” Quinn says, an eyebrow raising as she glances down at the skirt, just about managing to avoid staring at the brunette’s legs.
Rachel looks down a frown on her face. “I’m wearing socks.” Argyle socks. It completes the outfit that Quinn hasn’t seen Rachel wear in years.
Quinn drops her skateboard and walks over to the brunette, unwrapping her scarf from her neck. She offers it out to the smaller girl. Rachel looks at Quinn’s scarf, then holds up her own. “I have a scarf, Quinn.” She says.
The blonde rolls her eyes good-naturedly. “I know, but it’s the stupid Vocal Adrenaline approved silk scarf. That won’t keep you warm enough.”
“I happen to like my scarf, it’s stylish.” The brunette says with an indignant huff.
“I never said I didn’t like it. It’s not practical for the weather.” Quinn holds her scarf closer to the brunette.
“You’ll get cold.”
Quinn rolls her eyes. “We’ve been over this, I don’t get cold easily, Rae.”
The use of the old nickname seems to win Rachel over and she obediently removes her scarf (albeit with a small huff) before grabbing hold of Quinn’s and wrapping it around. Without thinking, Quinn reaches forward and tucks the scarf under Rachel’s coat and straightens the beanie on her head.
Glancing down to Rachel’s eyes, Quinn realises how close she’s gotten to the brunette, seeing different swirls of brown in her shining orbs. Quinn licks her lips, surprise taking her when she sees Rachel glance down. Did she-No she couldn’t have-
Quinn’s brought out of her thoughts by Rachel clearing her throat. “I think my beanie is fine, Quinn.” The brunette says, her voice barely above a whisper.
Quinn blushes and smiles in embarrassment. She takes a step back and picks up her skateboard. She opens the front door, allowing Rachel to walk in front of her before following her out. She closes the door behind her and walks to stand in front of Rachel.
Rachel peers round herself and throws her arms out at the side, "So what are we going to do?"
"You, by the end of today will hopefully be able to do this," Quinn says before dropping her skateboard on the ground and skating off, throwing in an ollie at the end before skidding to a halt. She jumps off the board and snaps it back with her foot, catching it in her hand before it hits her knee. She chuckles at Rachel's perplexed expression.
"I-I won't be able to do that" Rachel stutters out as Quinn makes her way back over to her.
"Yes, you will, just a little practice, right? You weren't able to dance as soon as you were born where you? No, it took you three years of practice, and what happened? You won your first dance competition"
"You remember?" Rachel asks.
Quinn smiles at her once more and places the skateboard down at Rachel's feet, the front pointed to Rachel's left side "Of course I do." Quinn replies in a tone that suggests it's the most obvious thing in the world, "Now, give me your hands". Rachel hesitantly lifts her hands up and places them in Quinn's. "Step on the skateboard."
Rachel does as Quinn tells her and looks up at Quinn, gazing at her in wonder. Quinn gives Rachel an easy smile, her heart fluttering at the happy sparkle in Rachel’s eyes. Taking a small step to the right, Quinn starts to pull Rachel along on the skateboard. Rachel squeaks, not expecting the movement and falls forward into Quinn's arms. Quinn only laughs and helps the brunette stand back up on the board again.
"Okay, let's try this again. You need to keep your balance when it begins to move," Quinn gently speaks. Rachel nods prepared this time when the board moves. "Good...good" Quinn says, pulling Rachel along. "Okay I'm going to let go of you now and give you a little push, do you think you could balance on your own?"
Rachel gives Quinn an unimpressed look, "I'm a dancer Quinn. If I didn't have balance I wouldn't win all the competitions" Quinn only laughs and lets go of Rachel's hands. Rachel wobbles slightly but remains steady. Quinn gives her back a gentle push, making the skateboard move a bit further. Rachel squeals in excitement and looks up, smiling widely at Quinn.
Quinn laughs, her heart fluttering in her chest at Rachel's smile and jogs over to the brunette, bringing her to a stop. "Okay, so you've got the balancing down, now it's time to try pushing the skateboard with your feet. You ready?"
Rachel nods, her face determined "I'm ready."
Rachel growls as she lies on the ground for fifth hundredth time (it's only been three). She attempts to stomp her foot, only to end up hitting her heel on the concrete. Quinn appears at her side and bends down.
"I told you to only do one push," Quinn tuts "But you have to get ahead of yourself and do three."
"I got impatient okay!" Rachel whines "I want to learn this quickly!"
"Skateboarding takes some time to learn, Rach"
Quinn watches as Rachel bites back a smile before saying "But it didn't take me long to dance or sing! Why is this taking so long?!"
Quinn looks down at her watch and chuckles "We've been out here for two hours, Rachel." She wraps her arm around Rachel's shoulders and helps her up, dusting some gravel off of her body.
"Exactly! I should be able to do it now!" This time, Rachel succeeds in stamping her foot angrily. Quinn rolls her eyes at her and pushes the skateboard towards Rachel, who stops it with her foot. It took her about thirty minutes to understand that when Quinn pushed the skateboard to her, she needed to stop it. Whenever Quinn pushed it to her, Rachel would watch it roll past her, a blank expression on her face.
"Look, just try, please" Quinn pleads, giving Rachel her best puppy dog eyes.
Rachel tries to scowl at her, but ends up failing as a megawatt smile takes over her face "Well when you look at me like that." She says, placing her left foot into the right position on the skateboard. She takes a deep breath and pushes off. Her right foot just wobbles in the air as she tries to balance on only one.
Quinn refrains from facepalming. "Rachel, you need to put your right foot down!" She says.
"Oh," Rachel says, quickly placing her foot onto the board. She moves forward a few more feet before she tumbles off it, falling to the ground once again.
"Again!" Quinn says, helping Rachel back up once more before running off to chase the skateboard.
"I was doing well until I put my right foot down" Rachel grumbles, angrily tugging at her coat "You just had to go and ruin it, didn't you?"
Quinn pauses and stares at Rachel with wide eyes, perplexed as to where the anger has come from. "Me? How did I ruin it? If it wasn't for me you wouldn't even be able to balance on a skateboard"
"I think you'll find I could do it much better without you!" Rachel grumbles.
Quinn nods and purses her lips, holding back a nasty retort. "Fine" she throws the skateboard on the ground near Rachel's feet. "You figure it out seeing as you don't need my help" She growls before stalking off towards a rock sitting by the house.
She sits down on the rock and watches Rachel, frustration bubbling in her chest and another feeling knotting in her stomach. Rachel glares at her momentarily before huffing and setting the skateboard in line with the route she wants to skate across. Quinn places her chin in her hand and forces herself to hide her amusement as Rachel tries to skate by herself. Every time the brunette trips off it, scrambling on her feet to keep herself up, Quinn has to bite her lip. Her teeth almost break through the skin when Rachel turns round to glare at the skateboard, as if it's human.
She has to keep herself from smiling at Rachel whenever she huffs and places her hands on her hips. Her foot tapping against the ground as she stares that the skateboard with an 'I'm disappointed in you' look.
After a few more huffs and puffs and growls and kicks, Rachel finally walks over to Quinn, the skateboard behind her back looking down at Quinn through her eyelashes. Quinn just looks at her with her eyebrow raised and her lips pursed.
"Quinn?" Rachel says in a tiny voice, her hand coming up to scratch at her nose. Quinn immediately takes hold of that hand and holds it down by Rachel's side.
"I need your help."
"Are you admitting that you can't do this on your own? That you need my help?"
"No, I just simply haven't yet mastered the art of skateboarding and so need a teacher of sorts to talk me through the steps of becoming a skateboarder."
Quinn finally smiles "So what you're saying is that you need my help but in a very Rachel Berry-esqe way?"
"Are you really going to make me say it?" Rachel whines, throwing her head back to look at the cloudy sky.
"I dunno, are you going to say it?" Quinn challenges.
"Quinn, you were right. I need your help. Can you please help me?" Rachel asks, pouting her lips.
Quinn smiles up at her and nods. "Let's go."
Three hours later and a lunch break, Quinn has finally convinced Rachel to try pushing the skateboard without holding onto Quinn’s hand. As much as she’s happy with this progress, Quinn’s hand is feeling colder now. Pushing that hand into her pocket, Quinn cocks her hip up and watches Rachel prepare herself.
But now, she's standing in position, silently hoping Rachel makes it over to her in one push. She looks over to her left and sees that the sun is beginning to set. They've had a few breaks in between the training, but Rachel has yet to learn to ollie. Quinn honestly didn't think it would take Rachel this long to just learn how to move the skateboard. Today is their last full day anyway. Tomorrow Russell and Leroy pick them up and on Friday Rachel makes her decision on whether she wants to stay at McKinley or go back to Carmel.
Regardless of what Rachel chooses, Quinn vows to stick to her promise and to continue saying “fuck you” to their school rivalry. This week away has slowly started to rebuild their friendship and Quinn will be damned if she throws it away for petty rivalries or any more than friendly feelings Quinn has. The best years of Quinn’s short life were when she was friends with Rachel. She can’t ruin what they are fixing by throwing in these new (old) emotions Quinn holds for the brunette.
"Ready Quinn?" Rachel calls out to the blonde. Quinn smiles and drops her hands, getting herself ready to catch Rachel in case she falls. Rachel nods once and places her foot onto the board and pushes off with the other. She keeps her arms out at the side as well as her right foot.
"Foot down Rach!" Quinn calls out as Rachel moves very slowly along the gravel.
Rachel nods quickly and places her foot down, moving them into the correct position. She begins to slow down and so pouts at Quinn who's still quite a bit away from her.
Quinn rolls her eyes. "Push again!" She shouts, mimicking the movement with her own foot.
"But I don't know how to do that!" Rachel shouts back.
"Just like before! Just one more push." Quinn stops talking and bites her lip, realising what she just said makes it sound like Rachel's pregnant.
"Okay!" Rachel says hesitantly, lifting her foot from the board. She turns her feet and places her right one on the ground, pushing against the ground with it. She shrieks when the board moves faster and quickly places her foot back onto the wood.
"That's it!" Quinn shouts as Rachel rolls faster.
As soon as Rachel rolls over to Quinn, standing in the correct position, Quinn wraps her arms around Rachel's waist and picks her up from the skateboard, spinning her around in a hug. Rachel's giggle fills her ear as she does so. She laughs joyously, relieved that Rachel finally did it.
Quinn sets Rachel down, her arms still wrapped around her waist, Rachel's arms around her shoulders. They both smile at each other, their eyes sparkling with happiness. Their breathing slowly evens out, along with their smiles. Eyes flicker to lips, tongues wet dry skin, and breaths become slow as their heads move closer together. Eyes flutter closed, nose's brushes nose's and then-
Rachel bursts out laughing when the sound of a grumbling stomach breaks through the invisible barrier that seemed to grow between them. Quinn groans in embarrassment and moves back from Rachel, hiding her face behind her hands and shaking her head.
"Someone's hungry," Rachel says through her poorly hidden laughter.
"Oh god," Quinn mumbles from behind her hands. She’s not sure if the embarrassment has come from her stomach or the fact she almost kissed Rachel. This isn’t what Rachel needs - heck, Quinn doesn't even know if it’s what Rachel wants! She has a boyfriend! She doesn’t want to be kissing Quinn. Quinn needs to control herself with this.
"Let's go cook dinner shall we?" Rachel asks, taking hold of one of Quinn's hands. The touch brings Quinn out of her thoughts. She gives Rachel a nod and lets her walk them towards the cabin.
But as they walk, with as much subtly as she can, Quinn removes her hand from Rachel’s and stuffs it into her pocket, pretending it’s under the pretence of being cold. She avoids Rachel’s eyes. There’s a stifling feeling in the air and Quinn knows she’s just hurt Rachel’s feelings.
After dinner and a shower, Quinn walks out of her bedroom, her body humming with nervous energy. During her shower, she couldn't stop thinking about what happened outside the cabin. Over and over again it played in her head, right up to the hurt look she knows Rachel gave her when she removed her hand from the brunette’s grip.
It’s not exactly easy for Quinn to ignore her feelings now. Not with the stripping away of pretences and hostility this week away has done for their relationship. She can’t pretend that what she feels for Rachel is hate or disgust anymore. Especially after their day today, happy and relaxed.
There’s a nagging feeling in the pit of Quinn’s stomach. One that’s telling her everything that has happened won’t continue. A suffocating thought relentlessly telling her it’s only for this week. The smiles, laughing, hand holding. All this is going to stop come Monday. It coils tightly in her stomach...
And yet, as Quinn looks over at the tiny brunette sprawled on the settee, earphones in, and reading her well worn Barbra Streisand autobiography, Quinn finds herself not caring. If all that has happened this week only stays as a memory in Quinn’s head...well, it’s better than it not happening at all.
With this thought, Quinn sneakily moves around the settee and crouches by an unsuspecting Rachel. She gently removes one of her headphones and quietly whispers, "What are you listening to?"
Rachel jumps up high, screaming. Her book falls to the floor with a thud . She turns and glares at Quinn. "Quinn! I was reading that! Now I've lost my page."
Quinn giggles, "Oh please, you've probably got every single page memorised," She says, sitting herself down next to Rachel, stretching her legs out onto the coffee table.
Rachel's mouth opens and closes momentarily. "That's not the point," she says, grabbing her book and placing it on the coffee table whilst swatting Quinn's legs away. "And to answer your question, I was listening to My Man." She says huffily, unplugging her earphones and neatly wrapping the cable.
"Why am I not surprised? I bet all you've got on there are Broadway musicals." She smirks, spotting the flare of Rachel’s nostrils.
"I have you know Quinn that I have a very varied taste in music and contrary to popular belief I don’t only like Musicals."
"Yeah, okay" Quinn scoffs, "Prove it." She knows full well Rachel has a mixed music taste. It’s almost as verbose as her vocabulary, but Quinn can’t help but rile the tiny girl up - it’s almost too easy.
Rachel narrows her eyes at Quinn and takes her headphones out of her iPod "Gladly. And I'll even grace you with my voice."
Quinn rolls her eyes and sits back, waiting for Rachel to pick out a song. A soft smile graces her lips when the song begins to play. Her smile grows when Rachel narrows her eyes at her, hands on hips and her foot tapping the ground as she sings. Quinn’s foot taps along to the beat.
“Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can't help myself
I love you and nobody else"
Rachel nods at Quinn, her scowl starting to form into a smile. She begins to move from her spot so she's behind the settee. She places her hands over Quinn's eyes, singing into her ear.
“ In and out my life
You come and you go
Leaving just your picture behind
And I kissed it a thousand times”
A blush covers Quinn’s cheeks when she feels a soft kiss be placed to her cheek. The hands are removed from her eyes and Quinn watches, a grin on her face, as Rachel moves back round the settee to stand in front of her. She could listen to Rachel sing all day. Laughter bubbles out of her when Rachel begins to do silly dance moves that match the lyrics.
When you snap your finger or wink your eye
I come a-running to you
I'm tied to your apron strings
And there's nothing that I can do
Can’t help myself
No, can’t help myself
Rachel pulls Quinn up from the settee, taking hold of her hands and getting Quinn to dance with her as she sings the chorus. Quinn finds herself joining in, unable to stop the grin on her face.
“ Sugar pie, honey bunch (Sugar pie, honey bunch)
I'm weaker than a man should be
I can't help myself
I'm a fool in love you see
Wanna tell you I don't love you
Tell you that we're through
And I've tried but every time I see your face
I get all choked up inside”
Rachel spins away from Quinn, facing her, a big grin matching Quinn’s. Quinn finds her singing has stopped and she let’s Rachel sing the next lines on her own. There’s a sense of seriousness to Rachel, despite the grin, as she sings. Quinn supposes that with a tempo in a song like this, you can’t really be completely serious when singing. Rachel walks towards Quinn, a new sense of passion behind her words.
“When I call your name
Girl, it starts the flame
Burning in my heart, tearing it all apart
No matter how I try, my love I cannot hide”
Quinn swallows thickly, her eyes unmoving from Rachel when the brunette comes toe to toe with her. Then, as quick as the seriousness was there, it’s gone when the song goes back into the chorus and Rachel is smiling and jumping on the spot, waving her arms around, shaking her butt away.
“'Cause sugar pie, honey bunch (Sugar pie, honey bunch)
You know that I'm weak for you
Can't help myself
I love you and nobody else”
Quinn finds herself joining in again, dancing as crazily as Rachel, forgetting all rules of dance and just letting her limbs lose. They laugh together as they sing, heads swinging, butts shaking and beaming smiles on their faces. The sense of space gets lost between the girls and amidst their dancing, they hadn’t noticed the closing of space between them. As Rachel jumps to her left and Quinn to her right, their bodies collide.
Thankful to her reflexes, Quinn reaches out and grabs hold of Rachel’s waist before the girl can tumble over. However, in the force of Quinn’s grab, she had pulled Rachel closer than necessary and finds her vision filled with bright, sparkling brown orbs. Without even thinking, Quinn moves her head forward, her hands tightening ever so slightly on Rachel’s waist. She stares into the brown orbs in front of her, looking for a sign to continue, and if she sees any apprehension, she will stop.
There’s a flash in Rachel’s eyes, and just as Quinn thinks this will happen...it doesn’t. Rachel steps out of Quinn’s arms, looking anywhere but the blonde. Quinn’s hands fall lamely to her sides. Idiot, she thinks, stupid fucking idiot.
“We should get ready for bed.” Rachel’s whispers words fill Quinn’s head. Quinn nods silently at the brunette and watches her walk off to the bathroom. When the door closes, Quinn sighs, her shoulders slumped.
Quinn lies on her bed, staring up at her ceiling. She’s been like this for the past few hours. She wills for sleep to come to her, but it just won’t. She can’t help but feel that she’s just ruined everything with what happened - or almost happened - in the living room earlier.
The blonde looks over to her clock and sighs when the red numbers glare a harsh 1:00am at her. Still no closer to falling asleep, Quinn huffs and sits herself up. She switches her lamp on, and reaches out for her copy of Stephen Kings IT on her bedside table when a light knock at the door stops her.
Her head snaps over to the door and she watches unblinkingly when the door opens without her permission and Rachel steps into her room. She closes the door, placing her back against it and meets Quinn’s confused stare.
Quinn glances away for a moment, looking around for anything that would spur Rachel to be in here. She looks back to the brunette and raises her eyebrow. “Uh-”
The sound of Quinn’s voice seems to flick something on inside Rachel and the brunette quickly moves away from the door, pacing in front of Quinn’s bed and talking a mile a minute. Quinn’s eyes follow her back and forth, her hand still hovering over her book.
“Okay so I've been thinking this over and I thought, what the hell? Or well, I freaked over the thought. I'm just so nervous I don't know how to react around you Quinn I don't know if everything I say will freak you out and - how do you not get nightmares reading that?” Rachel pauses her rant, her eyes staring at Quinn’s book.
Quinn looks at the book, then to Rachel, still trying to process what Rachel was rambling on about. “Um-”
“Actually don’t answer, it’s not important how you manage to read that without freaking out about Pennywise being in your room and jumping every time you see a random red balloon-” Rachel moves to sit herself down on Quinn’s bed, not stopping her rambling. Quinn continues to watch her in utter confusion. “Anyway, if I did what I've been wanting to do that would surely freak you out even more and so I've tried avoiding doing it but I can't anymore I want to do it too much now."
Quinn stares at Rachel with a perplexed expression, trying to work out whether Rachel took a single breath during that monologue or not. She doesn't notice Rachel take a deep breath and mutter 'here goes' or that the brunette has moved forward and cupped her face in her bandaged hands.
She manages half a syllable of “Wha-” when the softest pair of lips touch hers.
All she can think, and forgive Quinn for this cliche right now, but all she can think is that she must have been drowning up until this moment. Because the moment Rachel’s lips touched hers, Quinn felt like she could breathe again, like properly breathe. Like up until now, she heard the world in a muffled tone. But now, with Rachel’s lips pressing timidly against hers, she can hear everything; the hoot of the forest owl, the sway of the trees and the beat of her heart.
Being so caught up in this moment, Quinn had failed to reciprocate the kiss and instead had sat as still as a statue. However, when she feels the pressure start to loosen, and Rachel start to move away, Quinn moves forward. Her hand clasps the back of Rachel’s neck and she kisses her back, pressing deeper into the plump lips.
Full lips slip between hers perfectly, as if they're the missing piece to her jigsaw puzzle. It's perfect. It's wonderful. They're not doing more than pressing their lips together, but this is the single, most intimate and spectacular kiss Quinn's ever experienced. It's mind-blowing.
She finally pulls back and looks straight down at Rachel's lips, her thumb ghosting across the plump lips. They share breaths, neither one of them wanting to move away from each other.
"You have no idea how long I've waited for this," Quinn whispers, her breath hitting against Rachel's lips.
"I think I do," Rachel says back before pressing their lips together once more. This time, the kiss deepens slightly. They push a little harder, their tongues traces along the seam of their lips, wanting access to the others mouth.
Quinn pushes Rachel back into the mattress, pressing their bodies close together. lShe allows Rachel's tongue access to her mouth, both of them moaning when their tongues slide against each other for the first time. Quinn's hands press into Rachel's hips, itching to explore some skin. She grazes a small patch of skin that had shown itself when Rachel’s shirt rose.
But then a face appears in Quinn’s mind. A face that causes this moment to come crashing down around her. She pulls away abruptly. Rachel sits up, looking at Quinn with hurt and confusion.
Quinn closes her eyes, willing for the image in her head to go away. But it won’t, his dumb, hurt face looking at her.
“What’s wrong?” Rachel asks.
When Quinn feels Rachel’s hand on her cheek, she moves away, her eyes flying open. Rachel immediately moves her hand away, going to scratch at her bandages.
“I can’t do this,” Quinn says, breathing heavily, guilt rising in her stomach at the image in ehr head, and the image of the girl in front of her, her hands scratching at the bandages.
Rachel looks as if Quinn has slapped her, tears brimming in her eyes. “What?”
Seeing that Rachel has almost ripped through her bandages, Quinn reaches forward and grabs hold of her hands. Like she did earlier, Rachel rips her hands away from Quinn’s touch. “No Rachel, I didn’t mean like that. I want this, so much. But I can’t do it, not now. Not when you’re-”
“What? Depressed?” Rachel spits, her voice cracking with emotion.
Knowing that her behaviour has spurred this reaction in Rachel, Quinn pushes through the hurt she’s feeling at Rachel’s accusatory tone. His image still burns in her mind. She knows what this feels like, to be on the other side of cheating.
“Not when you’re with Finn.”
His name acts like a bucket of cold water for Rachel. Her tears stop, hands stop scratching. She no longer looks at Quinn with hurt but understanding. A soft “Oh,” leaves Rachel’s lips.
Chapter 9: I Couldn't Sleep
Quinn adjusts being back with society again.
Her suitcase lies open on the bed, waiting to be filled with the clothes stacked beside it. Yet, Quinn can’t find it in her to pack. She doesn’t want to leave. They created a world of their own here in the cabin and finally started to find their friendship once again. Sure they kissed, but it was just a kiss. Rachel was emotional, they both have had an emotional time and sought comfort from the only person they had. Right?
Who is Quinn kidding, she didn’t just react to their situation. She acted on feelings she’s had for a long time. But she knows, once they leave this cabin, these feelings need to go away. Because Rachel is with Finn, and as much as that hurts her to think, Quinn needs to respect that. She will be what Rachel needs her to be. And if that happens to just be friends, then Quinn will try.
The clothes beside her suitcase begin to move, and tiny hands come into view to place them in the suitcase. A sweet smell of strawberries surrounds Quinn and she turns her head to find Rachel beside her, wordlessly packing her suitcase for her.
“They’re not going to pack themselves,” Rachel says, noticing Quinn watching her. Satisfied with her packing, Rachel closes the suitcase and zips it up. Quinn watches her silently, eyes following the movement of her hand as it moves to place a strand of brunette hair behind her ear. Rachel sits down on the bed, reaching for the soccer ball placed on the floor. Quinn blinks, eyes landing on the ball now in Rachel’s lap. Her bandaged hands rock it side to side in a soothing motion.
“About last night…” Rachel starts, looking up from the ball to Quinn. Quinn finds herself nodding, eyes locking on to Rachel’s tongue as it swipes across her bottom lip. “I’m sorry.” Quinn finally meets Rachel’s eyes, her eyebrow rising slightly. “I-I don’t know what came over me and I didn’t mean to spring an attack on you.”
The blonde nods at Rachel. She finds herself sitting herself down beside Rachel. “I didn’t exactly refute it.” Quinn finds herself saying. She gently takes the ball from Rachel’s hands and drops it to her feet, starting to do small kick-ups.
“But still. It shouldn’t have happened. I’m with Finn and we’re friends.” Friends . Quinn releases a shallow breath. “Or trying to be. It’s not fair for me to do that to you or Finn.”
“It’s not fair on Finn.” Quinn agrees. She lets the ball drop to the floor, placing her foot on it to keep it still. “Are you going to tell him?” She turns her head to look at the brunette, finding the other girl’s gaze on the wall in front of her.
She's quiet for a long time. Quinn begins to think Rachel didn’t hear her. “I will.” Quinn doesn’t miss the open-ended sentence. She stays silent. Rachel doesn’t need her to push. “I just-” The singer finally turns her gaze away from the wall to look at Quinn. “ I need some time, to figure things out.” Brown eyes dart about Quinn’s face as if they’re trying to memorize her features.
She sighs heavily and brown eyes go back to gazing at the wall. “Like- Like if I’m going to stay at McKinley or go back to Carmel.” She tiredly runs a hand through her hair.
“You’ll figure it out,” Quinn says, toeing the ball at her feet. She meets Rachel’s eyes when the brunette turns to look at her again. “You always do.”
Rachel breathes deeply, her shoulders slumping like she’s got the weight of the world on her shoulders. How can a seventeen-year-old look so old and tired in one single breath? “Yeah.” The brunette finally says, trailing off. She begins to pick at the bandage on her hand.
“We agreed,” Quinn says, reaching out to stop Rachel’s movements. “Fuck the rivalry. I’m your friend, and I’ll be here if you need me.” She gives Rachel a small, tired smile.
The cabin door opens and the sounds of their parents fill the building, bursting their bubble.
The weight of her guitar is a welcome feeling, a sense of comfort falls around her. Her fingers strum at the steel strings, her eyes focused on her other hand moving along the fretboard. Her notebook lies beside her, not needed for the song she’s playing. Quinn’s eyes close as she unconsciously hums the song. A picture of Rachel forms in her head. They’re in the cabin surroundings. She can feel the warmth of the fire against her skin. Rachel’s gaze burns into her, just like it had a couple of days ago.
“New song, Quinnie?”
Her mom’s voice breaks Quinn out of her memory. She stops her playing, her right-hand stills against the strings. Opening her eyes, Quinn looks over at her mom standing in the doorway, a plate of cookies and a glass of milk in her hands. She stands there, an actual advertisement from the 1950s. Quinn smiles and looks down.
“Yeah, I actually finished it whilst we were away,” Quinn says, tapping her hand against the guitar’s body. The plate of cookies is placed on her desk and she feels her bed dip beside her.
“Seems like you and Rachel are becoming friends again.”
The younger blonde nods, a small smile gracing her lips. “Seems like it.” She feels her mom sigh next to her.
Her mom’s finger grazes against her temple, moving a piece of fallen hair behind her ear. “You need to have a haircut soon.” Quinn nods, eyes focused on the guitar in her lap. She feels her mom’s hand move to her back, patting soothingly. “Your father and I were so worried about you two. For a while, it seemed like you would never be friends again.”
Just like that, without any warning, tears spring to Quinn’s eyes and she hisses in a sharp breath. A sob escapes her and she feels warmth encompass her, becoming encased in her mom’s arms. No other sound leaves Quinn. Only one sob and quiet tears escape. She buries her face into her mom’s chest, her hand holding on tightly to the collar of her dress.
“Oh Quinn,” She feels the words spoken into her hair, “if only you would tell me what happened at Noah’s party. Maybe I could have helped and you and Rachel would have been friends sooner.”
The words sober Quinn up and she quickly pulls out of her mom’s embrace. She wipes a hand over her eyes and cheeks, wiping away any traces of tears. “I told you,” Quinn says, standing up and grabbing her guitar. “Nothing happened.” She places her guitar on her stand, her eyes moving up to her window.
Her body jolts when she notices Rachel in her own room, being spun around in a hug by Finn. “Well, something must have happened Quinn. I had never seen you so upset.” Her mom continues, worry coating her voice. Quinn doesn’t register her words, however. Her focus is solely on Rachel and Finn. Rachel nods along to whatever Finn is saying to her, a smile on her face.
Looking away, Quinn closes her eyes and takes a deep, steadying breath. She turns around to face her mom, noticing the way the older woman glances to the window behind her. “It doesn’t matter now. We’re friends again.” She walks away from the window to her desk. She grabs a cookie and her skateboard.
“It does matter because clearly you and Rachel need to talk about-”
“Mom.” Quinn interrupts, turning to face her mom still sat on her bed. Judy stares at Quinn imploringly. But Quinn refuses to tell her. She can’t tell her, it hurts too much to think about it. Quinn sighs, running a hand through her long hair. “I’m going out.” She says, moving to her bedroom door.
“I’ll be back for dinner,” Quinn says, walking out her bedroom door.
Judy sighs, and looks down at her lap, feeling useless. That’s when she spots Quinn’s notebook left open beside her. Picking it up, Judy scans the words. Looking up, Judy spots Rachel and Finn across the way. Understanding and realizing she’s invading her daughter’s privacy, Judy closes the notebook, stands up, collects the milk and cookies from Quinn’s desk and leaves her daughter’s bedroom.
Quinn sits at the top of the quarter pipe, her legs hanging over the edge. Her board sits next to her, unused from the moment she entered the park. Her need to...skate away her feelings, one might say, left her as soon as she opened the gate. She leans back on her hands, tilting her head up to the sky. She tries to focus her breathing and rid her thoughts of Rachel and Finn.
“Look who’s back from her vay-cay.”
Quinn looks down, a grin appearing on her face. Artie sits at the base of the quarter pipe, grinning up at her like a Cheshire cat. Grabbing her board, Quinn pushes it gently. It rolls down the quarter pipe, halfway up the other side, then back down, coming to stop. Quinn pushes off the edge and slides down the pipe. She picks up her board and walks over to Artie. She spots his dad’s car in the parking lot and sends a wave in Mr. Abraham’s direction.
Receiving a nod and a smile back, she turns to Artie. “I wouldn’t call it a vay-cay.” She says with a grin, giving him a fist bump. She drops her board to the floor and sits herself down on it.
Artie hisses jokingly through his teeth. “Ice queen was that bad huh?”
Quinn tilts her head to the side, a chuckle escaping her. “No, she wasn’t. I mean, the first few hours were hell on earth. But we realized there was no use arguing anymore.” She shrugs. “We’re friends now...or should I say again.”
Artie eyes her suspiciously. “There’s something you’re not telling me.”
Quinn shifts on the board and shrugs again. “There’s nothing to tell.” Yes, there is. She avoids looking at Artie. When he doesn’t answer her, she glances at him, spotting his raised eyebrow and ‘sure Jan’ expression. “If there was, you know I would tell you.”
“I’m not so sure,” Artie says knowingly.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’ve never told me what happened that night.”
Her gaze hardens and she looks away from him, jaw clenching. “Don’t feel special, I haven’t told anyone.”
Artie is unfazed by her hostility, a fact Quinn hates because anyone else at McKinley would have scurried away at her HBIC persona poking through.“The only ones who seem to know are you, Rachel and of all people, Finn.”
The blonde ignores him, choosing instead to concentrate on the gravel at her feet. She kicks a rock away. As if sensing he’s pushing his luck, Artie drops the subject. “So, I get to be friends with Rachel now. Good. I always liked her.”
Quinn whips her head to look at Artie. “What?”
He shrugs. “She’s always been nice to me. To my face anyway. And hey, the more people who don’t look at me in pity, or try to trap me in a porta potty, the better. She’s never done either of those things.”
“Has anyone tried to do that whilst I’ve been away?” Quinn asks, remembering in freshman year how often she would find Artie locked in a porta potty. When she gained popularity, Quinn soon put a stop to the prank.
He shakes his head, a smile on his face. “You know they’re too afraid to do so ever since you grabbed Puck’s balls in a vice-like grip in front of everyone. They’re too afraid to go against HBIC Fabray.” He shrugs, “Besides, Santana has been keeping an eye on me.” Quinn’s eyebrows raise in surprise. “She hasn’t said anything to my face or so much as talked to me, but I know she has.”
Quinn shakes her head, laughing at the thought of her second in command threatening anyone who came close to Artie. That’s Santana for you. Always denies having any feelings other than discontent for anyone who breathes in her direction. Besides Brittany.
Quinn and Artie look up to find Rachel standing in front of them, a shy, self-conscious smile on her face. Quinn smiles back at her and glances to Artie. He looks between the two of them then exhales brightly. “I gotta go, my dad needs to pick a few things up at the store.” He says, moving his hands to his wheels. “Catch you later, Quinn?”
“See you later, Artie. Say hi to your mom for me.”
“Sure thing.” He turns to Rachel and gives her a kind smile. “Hey, Rachel.”
She nods at him with a smile, “Artie.”
The girls watch Artie wheel himself away. Quinn keeps her eyes on him, watching as his dad helps him into the car then puts his wheelchair away.
Quinn looks over to Rachel, noticing her indicating to the space on Quinn’s board. She nods and shuffles up to make more room, waiting for Rachel to sit herself down. She directs her attention to the gravel again, finding another rock to kick away.
“Did you tell him?” Rachel asks, breaking the silence that had fallen over them. Quinn shakes her head, looking away from the gravel to the girl next to her. Rachel nods and exhales. “Good.” Quinn furrows her eyebrows and she frowns. Okay, that hurt a little. “I don’t want there to be a chance Finn finds out from someone other than me.” She explains. Quinn nods, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. She still hasn’t told him.
Quinn moves her hand to the stitches on her arm, scratching away an invisible itch. She feels out of touch at this moment. She’s searching for her brain to find any sort of conversation starter.
“You know,” Rachel starts, shuffling to get more comfortable. Quinn glances at her. “If we are going to be friends, you’re going to need to talk more. I know I can talk for the both of us, but that won’t make for exciting conversation. Not for you, anyway. I find myself very entertaining.”
Quinn chuckles at this and finds herself relaxing slightly. She scratches her neck, but still struggles to find her voice. What is up with her right now? Surely she couldn’t have been so affected by seeing Rachel with Finn earlier. No, of course not. She’s just not feeling chatty at the moment.
“You’re also going to have to look at me. Do I have a horrendous booger dangling or something?” Rachel jokes once again.
Quinn laughs and shakes her head, finally turning her head to look at Rachel. “No, you don’t.” She says. She pauses and bends her head a little, pretending to get a look up Rachel’s nose. “Not unless you have any preparing to blast out of there.” She says with a grin, earning a gasp and a slap on the arm from Rachel. The brunette quickly covers her nose in horror. Quinn laughs in delight at her reaction.
“Don’t go looking for any!” The brunette squeaks out. “Quinn,” She whines, finally moving her hand away from her nose, “That was mean.”
Quinn’s laughter dies down to a few chuckles. She shakes her head in amusement. “You’re gonna have to get used to a little teasing if we are to be friends again, Rach.”
Rachel flexes her hands and shuffles on the board again, her shoulder brushing against Quinn’s. “I know that. I remember when you told me you thought Barbra Streisand was overrated.”
Quinn snorts, remembering that conversation vividly. “Yeah, and it was only after you ranted at me for an hour and your dad coming to tell you I was joking that you realized.” She looks over at Rachel, giggling when Rachel pulls a snooty expression and throws her hair over her shoulder.
“Yes well, you should know I take Barbra very seriously.”
Quinn’s eyes dart over Rachel’s face, a grin on her face. “I know.” Her eyes settle on Rachel’s and they share a smile. “Have dinner with me.” Quinn finds herself saying. “Uh, with me and my parents. Tonight” Quinn stands herself up, brushing the dirt off her legs. Rachel stands with her.
“You want me to have dinner with you, after what happened last time?” Rachel asks, raising her eyebrow.
Quinn shakes her head, remembering how well dinner went last time. “We’re friends now. It’ll be different this time.”
Rachel bites her lip apprehensively. “Your mom won’t mind?”
“You’re kidding, right? You know my mom adores you. She was the one to invite you last time.” Quinn kicks her skateboard up vertically and grabs hold of it.
“That’s true. She does adore me.”
Quinn rolls her eyes at Rachel’s cheeky grin. She nods over her shoulder. “Come on then.”
“Rachel!” Judy bellows, wiping her hands on her apron as she walks over to the two girls. She beams brightly at the brunette and Quinn rolls her eyes at the smug grin Rachel gives her. Whilst her mom hugs Rachel and exchanges pleasantries with her, Quinn busies herself with taking off her shoes and placing her skateboard against the wall.
“Quinn please don’t leave your board in the hallway.” Her mom chastises, taking her attention off Rachel for a moment. Rolling her eyes again, Quinn picks up her board and opens the front door, placing it on their porch.
“Not that I’m not delighted to see you Rachel, but why are you here?” Quinn hears her mom ask. She spots her dad pulling up into the driveway and gives him a wave. Leaving the front door open, Quinn returns to her mom and Rachel.
“I invited her over for dinner if that’s cool with you?” Quinn says, giving Rachel a smile as she stands beside her.
If possible, Judy’s smile brightens and she nods. “Well of course it is! And now you and Quinnie are friends again, I’m certain we won’t have the same experience as last time.” She says, giving both girls a faux scowl.
“No,” Rachel replies, turning to give Quinn a smile. “We won’t.”
Quinn nods and returns Rachel’s smile, feeling a blush starting to creep up on the back of her neck. Her behavior that night was awful. “As long as you don’t kick me under the table.” She teases, giving Rachel a nudge.
“I recall you kicking me first.”
“Like hell I did,” Quinn says, giving Rachel a smirk. Judy’s eyes snap to her furiously. Rachel’s eyebrow rises and a smirk forms on her face. She opens her mouth for a rebuttal.
“That’s no way to talk when you are in the presence of two lovely ladies, Quinnie,” Russell says gently, a smile on his face as he enters the home. Her mom’s eyes soften at the sight of him. “Hello, Rachel.” He says, directing his attention to the brunette and giving her a kiss on the cheek.
“Am I not a lovely lady?” Quinn asks, put out when Russel greets Judy with a smile and kiss.
He turns around and gives her a grin. Walking over to her, he wraps her up in a bear hug. “Of course!” He says, ignoring Quinn’s squeaks of protest when he picks her up. “You’re the loveliest of ladies.”
Quinn gasps when he squeezes her tightly, her hand coming to hit his back playfully. “Put me down before you throw your back out, Old Man.” She says, wheezing out a laugh. She catches Rachel’s smile over Russell’s shoulder. He places her down and ruffles a hand through her hair, ignoring her “Hey!” and slap on the hand. When he pulls his hand away, Quinn’s hair sticks up as if it’s been electrocuted.
She hears Rachel laughing and playfully glares at the girl as she tries to smooth her hair out. “Rachel’s staying for dinner, Russell.” Her mom says, taking Russell’s coat and hanging it up for him.
Still struggling to smooth out her hair, Quinn gives up and huffs in annoyance. She tries to blow a strand of hair out of her face to no avail. Stifling her laughter, Rachel approaches Quinn and reaches her hands out to Quinn’s hair.
Quinn freezes at Rachel’s close proximity. She stares nervously at Rachel as the brunette starts to smooth her hair for her. “Great!” She hears her dad say, but his words are muffled. Like all the other times Rachel has been this close, Quinn’s senses become fogged with Rachel. She swallows thickly when Rachel pushes the strand in front of her face behind her ear. A chill runs down her spine when she feels Rachel’s fingertip brush the shell of her ear.
Her father’s voice breaks whatever trance she was in and Quinn takes a small step back, clearing her throat awkwardly. She glances to her parents and blushes at their knowing smiles.
“Sorry, Russell did you say something?” Rachel says, not looking at all flustered. Not at all how Quinn feels. Jesus, this is not how a friend should be feeling.
“Would your fathers like to join us?”
Realizing she’s not involved in the conversation, Quinn excuses herself to the kitchen. She grabs the nearest glass and fills it up with water, taking a long, deep sip. She rubs her palm across her forehead and wills her heart to steady.
“Are you okay, Quinnie?”
Turning around, Quinn nods at her mom. She finishes the rest of her drink and places the glass in the sink. “Just thirsty.” She says, wiping her hands on her jeans. She runs a hand through her hair, sighing when that damned strand of hair falls in front of her face again. She really needs a haircut.
Ignoring her mom’s concerned expression, Quinn enters the hallway again. She spies her dad in the living room, feet propped up on the ottoman, highlights of the game playing on the tv. She walks up to Rachel just as the brunette hangs up the phone.
“Daddy was called into work about an hour ago and Dad has planned to take him dinner. So looks like it’s just us and your parents.” Rachel says as Quinn approaches. “I’ll just go let your mom know,” Rachel says.
“Ok, I’ll be in my room. You remember where it is right? Upstairs and-”
“-Second door on the left. I know.” Rachel finishes with a smile. Quinn smiles back at her and watches Rachel walk off to the kitchen.
As she makes her way to her room, Quinn’s not sure if she should be relieved or not. Having Rachel’s dads here would keep her mom and dad distracted. But on the other hand, it could have meant more attention was paid to her. Sighing, Quinn flops herself down on her bed and stretches.
Her hand finds her notebook and she opens it, flipping through the various pages. Some songs here are from when she was a kid. The oldest one is from when she was ten. She smiles at the childish scrawl on one of the pages, amused by the lyrics of knights and princesses. This was definitely written at a time when she became obsessed with Disney.
The notebook snaps shut and Quinn quickly moves to place it under her pillow. She sits herself up and tries to act nonchalant as Rachel makes her way into the room. “Nothing.”
Rachel looks at her in amusement. ”Was that your songbook?” She asks, coming to stand near the bed. “Can I read it?”
“No.” She says quickly, shuffling to sit Indian on her bed.
The brunette hums. “You never did let me read it when we were younger.”
“It’s private. It’s like if I read your diary.” Quinn explains, watching as Rachel starts to inspect her room, moving around slowly. Her hands play with a loose stitch on her jeans and she waits as Rachel’s eyes dart around her room, settling on objects and posters here and there.
Rachel hums again, stopping in front of Quinn’s window. Her hand runs over the head of Quinn’s guitar idly. “You also said that when we were younger.”
Quinn shuffles on her bed. “Some things don’t change.”
Another hum. “Your room has.” The brunette removes her jacket, folds it carefully and places it over Quinn’s desk chair.
“I couldn’t keep the Peter Pan decorations and Avril Lavigne poster up forever. Would kill my dating game.” Quinn jokes, her eyes following Rachel as the brunette moves around the edge of her bed, perching herself down.
“Understandably,” Rachel replies, a smile on her face. Her eyes widen when she spots an object hidden beside Quinn’s bed. Quinn freezes, knowing exactly what Rachel has noticed. She lunges for the object. But she does so a second too late as Rachel beats her and swipes it from the floor. “But Mr.Teddy-” Rachel says, turning to present Quinn’s old, brown teddy bear. “-Mr. Teddy definitely doesn’t.” She teases, maneuvering her hand to nod his head and wave his paw.
“Mr. Teddy-” Quinn stresses, reaching forward to take the bear from Rachel. She places him in her lap and pats the top of his head. “-Is a valuable wingman,” Quinn says, fiddling with his arms. “Makes me more desirable. Shows I'm in touch with my vulnerable side.” She says, looking up at Rachel with a cheeky grin.
“Those are the two main things a woman looks for in a person. Desirability and willing to be vulnerable.”
“Precisely,” Quinn says, moving Mr.Teddy’s arm to point at Rachel. Rachel laughs, a full grin appearing on her face. Any awkwardness Quinn was feeling falls away at the sound of Rachel’s laugh. She places Mr.Teddy back in his spot, making sure to fold his arms nicely.
There’s a knock at her door, followed by her mom poking her head in. “Sorry to interrupt the laughing, Ladies, but dinner is ready.” She says with a grin.
After making their way downstairs, both girls helped Judy and Russell with bringing the dishes to the table. Dinner started with the usual questions of her dad’s day, followed by him going on his usual rant about his useless assistant. Then Judy spoke about her yoga class and how she was served by “that lovely girl” in Walmart again. Quinn answered her questions in her usual manner - around a mouthful of food, followed up by Judy telling her to swallow her food before speaking. Laughter was shared when Rachel recounted the disastrous situation in her kitchen when her Daddy attempted to make pancakes this morning. Then the conversation turned to one that makes Quinn’s stomach twist in knots.
“So Rachel, still set on NYADA this year?” Russell asks as he pierces a piece of broccoli.
Quinn feels her shoulders tense. She never enjoys conversations about college. It’s always the main talking point at family gatherings. It’s really the only one that her extended family are interested in talking to her about. Always the same questions:
“Have you thought about college yet, Quinn?”
“Your father tells me it’s soccer in the future for you.”
“Do female soccer players really earn enough?”
“Have you thought about a more rewarding vocation?”
“OCU is respectable enough, I hear they have nice plants.”
Blah, blah blah. Every time, Quinn answers the same way:
“No, not really.”
“Yes he is excited about the possibility of soccer,”
“I’m not sure, most players aren’t in it for the money”
“Yes they have very nice plants.”
By the end of the evenings she always finds her cheeks hurting from all the fake smiling she’s forced to do and fed up with any talk about college. Then there’s also the fact she hasn’t spoken to her dad about other possibilities she might want to pursue at college.
“Definitely. I’ve had my audition song prepped since I was five.” Rachel answers, a grin on her face. Rachel, on the other hand, never has a problem talking about college. Ever since they were kids, Rachel has knows what she wants to do and has been determined to get there.
Russell laughs kindly. “I remember. You stood in our living room and performed it for all of us.” He says, pointing his fork over to the area.
Quinn swallows her mouthful of carrots and reaches for her glass of water. Rachel nods, blushing slightly. Quinn remembers that moment vividly. It was the first time she had heard Rachel sing. The only way Quinn can describe the experience is like she was drowning and Rachel was coming up for a breath of fresh air.
“Quinn couldn’t take you eyes off you the whole time.” Now it’s Quinn’s turn to blush. She sends a playful glare to her dad. “Wouldn’t stop talking about you for a week: ‘ her voice was as good as an angel, Daddy. No, it was better than an angel, Daddy ’” Russell says, impersonating a young Quinn.
Rachel smiles over at Quinn. The blonde feels her cheeks redden and she takes a big gulp of water before directing her attention to her plate. “Honestly, she went on and on-”
“Russell.” Her mom says, a hint of warning in her voice. He ignores her and keeps talking. Quinn finds herself sinking further into her seat, staring imploringly at her plate hoping her broccoli will eat her. She can feel Rachel’s gaze burning into her skin and she glances up, finding Rachel looking at her with amusement.
“Don’t you remember Judy? It was so sweet. Never had we heard Quinn gush over someone-”
“Russell.” There’s no hint in her mom’s voice anymore.
He gets the hint and leans back in his chair, letting out a chuckle. “Well, I guess it was the same feeling I had when I saw Quinn kick a soccer ball around for the first time.” He reaches out and pats Quinn on the back. She gives him a weak smile. “I knew right then what she was destined to do, ain’t that right Quinnie?”
Quinn shrugs and stuffs her last piece of broccoli into her mouth.”Oh don’t be like that sweetheart,” He says, his hand rubbing circles on her back. Quinn struggles to hold eye contact with her dad, the pride in his eyes becoming too much. “OCU, that’s been the plan.”
She takes a sip from her water, washing down her mouthful. Quinn glances at Rachel again, meeting her increasingly worried eyes. “Sure,” she says, giving her dad a strained smile. The beaming smile on his face drops and his eyebrows furrow.
“Do you not want to play soccer, Quinn?” He asks, his voice becoming soft. Quinn doesn’t answer him, instead, she becomes interested in the corner of her napkin. “Quinn?” He pushes.
Her mom glances to Rachel, as does Quinn. The brunette is still looking at her, her bottom lip worried between her teeth. “Honey, I don’t think now is-”
“Hang on a moment, Judy.” Her dad interrupts. Quinn meets his questioning eyes awkwardly. “Quinn, if you don’t want to go to OCU we can look into other options, there are countless colleges who offer a soccer program.”
“I don’t-” Quinn clears her throat, and looks away from her dad. Her eyes land on Rachel. The brunette glances to her dad, then back to Quinn. She nods encouragingly. “I don’t know if soccer-” Quinn looks back at her dad “-if soccer is what I want to do.” She finishes in a whisper.
At this, Russell leans back in his chair, his hand dropping away from Quinn’s back. He gapes at her, blinking wordlessly. Quinn sighs heavily and turns her attention back to her plate. She busies herself with a rogue pea, pushing it around with her fork.
A chair scrapes across the floor harshly. Quinn flinches. She doesn’t look up when her dad stands and walks past her wordlessly. Only when she hears his office door close does she relax, her eyes rising from her plate.
Her mom gives her a sympathetic smile. Quinn tries to smile back but struggles to make the muscles in her face move. The silence is broken once again by another chair. Quinn looks over and sees Rachel place her napkin down on the table.
“I-uh-best get home. School tomorrow.” She says, making eye contact with Quinn. Quinn receives a soft smile from the brunette, which she returns. “Thank you for the dinner, Judy,” Rachel says, earning a soft smile from the older blonde. Quinn watches Rachel turn and leave the dining room. She listens as she goes upstairs to collect her jacket.
It’s only when she hears Rachel’s footsteps return and then sound of the front door does Quinn stand up from the table. She starts collecting the plates wordlessly with her mom. They begin to clear up the kitchen together, her mom washing up, Quinn drying.
When the dishes are done and her mom starts to clean the surfaces, Quinn speaks.
“He’s ok, Quinn.” She interrupts. “He’ll talk to you about it later.” Her mom stops her cleaning to open up a drawer and pull out a few leaflets. She slides them across to Quinn. Quinn’s eyebrows raise as she reads the front of them. Julliard, Berklee, New York College of Music, Manhattan School of Music and NYADA. She picks up the leaflets then looks up at her mom wordlessly. The older blonde gives her a smile. “Your father may have felt that way when he saw you kick a ball for the first time-” She says, her smile growing, “-But I’ve felt like that since you picked up your first guitar.” Quinn reads the letter again, the word NYADA becoming ingrained in her mind. “As soon as I heard Hiram mention NYADA to your father and me, I went and picked up a leaflet and any other music orientated college leaflet I could find. A mom always knows, Quinnie. Dad’s take a little longer to figure it out.”
A loss for words, Quinn moves around the counter and hugs her mom tightly. She sighs when she feels her mom’s arms wrap around her. A kiss is placed against the top of her head.
“For what?” Quinn pulls back from the hug, clutching the leaflets to her chest. She shrugs, not really knowing what she’s thanking her for. Her mom smiles at her and places a kiss to her forehead. “Go to bed, Quinnie. You have school tomorrow.”
Quinn stares up at her ceiling, unable to drift off to sleep. She turns her head to look at her clock. 3:20 am, only ten minutes since she last checked. She feels tired, her eyelids droop heavily, and yet she can’t seem to sleep. Sighing, Quinn turns herself over, pulling the duvet covers up to her chin. Her eyes settle on the empty space beside her, on the empty pillow. She reaches her hand out and runs it over the cotton. It’s cold to the touch. Her hand moves further down to the bed sheet. Also cold.
Deciding she’s had enough, Quinn throws her covers off and gets up. If she’s not going to sleep then she might as well try and be productive. She picks up the pamphlets her mom gave her earlier and begins to look through them. Julliard. God, going to Julliard would be incredible. She flicks through the others as she’s not very familiar with them. She pauses when she gets to the NYADA leaflet.
Her eyes flicker to her window. She opens the curtain, her eyes focusing on the window opposite. The tree between the two homes stands between them, its leaves rustling in the wind. Quinn glances over her shoulder to her bed.
Taking her chances, Quinn grabs her nearby hoodie and slides open her window. She shivers against the cold air and begins to climb out of her window. She used to do this all the time when they were kids. One foot after the other, Quinn uses the branches of the tree to make her way across. Her hands grip onto the branches above her. Ignoring the twigs scratching at her palm, she continues on her path.
After a few minutes, Quinn finds herself in front of Rachel’s window. She squats down, her hands resting on the branch below her for balance. Quinn briefly remembers all the times Sue Sylvester tried to recruit her for the Cheerios. If this were a different life, Quinn probably would have jumped at the chance. She’s sure got the balance and leadership for head cheerleader.
She taps against the glass lightly, listening out for movement. She steadies herself when she hears the rustle of bed sheets and the pitter patter of feet make their way to the window. The curtains are drawn open quickly. Quinn loses her balance momentarily when Rachel’s scream sounds through the glass. Quinn steadies her breathing, having felt her stomach lurch into her throat when she wobbled. She blinks once at Rachel, noticing the baseball bat raised in the girl’s arms. Quinn rolls her eyes as Rachel lowers the bat and opens her window.
"I thought you were a murderer," Rachel hisses at her placing the bat down.
Quinn raises an eyebrow, "What kind of murderer knocks first?"
There’s an entirely too long a pause. "A polite one."
The blonde shakes her head "Will you let me in? I'm freezing out here."
Rachel dutifully obliges and helps Quinn clamber into her room. "Why did you think this was a good idea?" The brunette chastises, fussing over her twigs and leaves that got stuck in Quinn’s hair. “You could have hurt yourself.”
“I used to do this all the time.” Quinn swats her hands away playfully before turning around and taking in Rachel’s room. Her eyes dart over the familiar yellow walls, the Broadway posters, the pictures of Rachel and her dad’s. She spots a familiar picture on Rachel’s desk, beside her open laptop.
She hears Rachel huff behind her. “When we were twelve, Quinn. You’re a lot bigger and heavier now.”
“Are you calling me fat, Berry?” Quinn quips with a smirk and eyebrow raise over her shoulder. She turns her attention back to the photo. It’s a copy of the same photo Quinn has. It's the photo of them after their middle school soccer game. All toothless smiles. Quinn smiles to herself.
“You and I both know that wasn’t what I meant.”
Quinn places the photo back and turns around, her hands moving to her hoodie pockets. “You’re room hasn’t changed.” She says, her eyes finding Rachel’s collection of stuffed toys placed orderly on her bed. She moves over and picks up Peter Rabbit. It’s the one Quinn gave Rachel for the first birthday she had in Lima. “And you teased me ,” Quinn says, holding up the toy.
Rachel rolls her eyes and takes the toy from Quinn. She pats the rabbit’s head, mimicking Quinn’s actions from earlier. “Unlike you, I show my teddy’s off with pride. Why are you here, Quinn?”
Quinn runs a hand through her hair, she may as well be honest. “I couldn’t sleep.” She looks pointedly at Rachel’s ruffled bed. “Guess you can’t either?”
A small blush appears on Rachel’s face. She fiddles with Peter’s ears, holding him close to her body. “No. My bed feels…”
“Empty.” Quinn finishes, giving Rachel a soft smile. She nods, “Same.”
They stand in silence. Quinn can’t help but feel that it’s gotten a tad awkward now. She doesn’t know what she expected when she climbed over here. She pulls her hands out of her hoodie and makes her way to the window. “I probably should go, so we can both-”
Quinn looks over her shoulder, her leg already half out the window, the wind nipping at her bare foot. Rachel stands to the side, looking unsure of herself as she clutches Peter Rabbit. “Will you-well could you-uh,” Rachel stops her stuttering and closes her eyes. Quinn brings her leg back into the room, hissing slightly when she realizes her foot has gone numb. Rachel opens her eyes, looking surer now. “Do you wanna sleep here?” The brunette shakes her head. “Can you stay here, tonight?”
A small smile graces Quinn’s face and she slowly nods. “Sure, sure.” She says, unzipping her hoodie and placing it on Rachel’s elliptical. Rachel smiles back at her and pulls back the covers of her bed. She waits for Rachel to get in before she approaches, limping slightly on her numb foot. Rachel giggles at her as she clambers into the bed. She notes that Rachel still holds Peter Rabbit.
Burrowing under the covers, Quinn moves her legs into a comfortable position. They graze against Rachel’s and the other girl squeaks out a laugh. “Your foot is cold.” She says over her giggles.
Quinn laughs with her and moves her foot away with a gentle “Sorry”. She turns to her side, watching patiently as Rachel settles herself in and places Peter Rabbit between them. Quinn raises a questioning eyebrow at her.
“He always sleeps with me,” Rachel says and Quinn makes out a blush on her cheeks.
Quinn finds herself smiling at this and she closes her eyes. “Goodnight, Rach.” She mumbles, feeling sleep starting to set over her.
She finally falls off to sleep with “Goodnight, Quinn,” as her lullaby.