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it’s such a cold, cold world (and i can’t get out)

Chapter Text

Quinn's eyesight has always been poor.

Certainly, it's devolved a lot since she was a kid, but it's never been great.

She recalls perching thinly rimmed glasses on the bridge of her nose at just seven, keeping her head down and her untrimmed bangs in her face to divert any attention from the new accessory. Lucy was intrinsically unlikeable, and her new glasses did not provide a change of fate.

At fourteen, when Quinn decided to dismantle and rearrange her shell, she started using contacts.

The telltale stinging and burning that paired with picking the lenses from her restless eyes became routine, and Quinn learned to adapt.

It wasn't until looks of misplaced desire and (frankly pathetic) appreciation were being directed at Quinn that she deemed perfect vision overrated. The picking and pulling at her eyes, the incessant burning that she subscribed to when she started using contacts was simply not worth it. And neither was being able to witness people witnessing her.

Initially, Quinn wanted to be viewed in this very way because she had despised the way they used to watch her. She resented the way they seethed at her from every direction, expertly unrelenting and exceptionally cruel. Now, it was just the same; it was arguably worse than before. They were still watching her closely, and still drawing conclusions that were painted big in their eyes (conclusions that were frankly flattering but always in the negative.)

This fueled Quinn to snap and snark and seethe, inclined her to ruin and run from the truth and contentment that had betrayed her, had failed to carry her safely away from the war she'd long since began with herself.

Perhaps Quinn did not long to be seen, period. Everyone saw her for what she wasn't. Every time.

Contrarily, Kurt's vision is excellent.

Quinn doesn't need to ease tiny rubber lenses into his blue-gray eyes. She doesn't need to pop pills into his pink mouth, nor does she need to run a mile every morning at six in his lithe body.

All of which are tasks Quinn Fabray begrudgingly carries out every morning. Only today, Quinn is not herself.

As her feet (Kurt's much larger, socked feet) meet the cold tile of the floor, the motivation she felt upon grasping that she's in a man's body today and not a woman's (everything's easier when you're not a woman) dissipates.

It's fading out at an impressive pace, really, as Kurt's body is aching. Her body is aching.

Initially, Quinn feels the skin of her underarms demand attention as sharp pain runs through the collection of nerves there.

The soreness dwells.

Quinn's learned through experience its best not to panic (because really, how much worse can this get) and briefly ponders the cause of pain in such areas before concluding: this is what puberty for men feels like.

Which is great, great for Kurt, and great for her. Great.

She hot-irons an already crisp cream-colored collared shirt and throws a black tailored blazer over that, then pulls on a pair of black trousers to match. She realizes the ensemble probably is too basic for Kurt (and possibly too Blaine) so Quinn searches for jewelry in Kurt's beside dresser, rustling through the heavy pieces of sterling silver until her fingers (Kurt's larger, boy fingers) curl around a large, spherical broach. It's shaped like a lions face, heavily detailed with large red and gold gems and smaller emerald beads. The lion is roaring.

Quinn thinks it could offer her some courage today, so she snaps it onto the front of his blazer.