“When doesn’t she?” Santana grumbles, simultaneously crossing her arms and her legs–an expression of utter boredom on her face.
Predictably, there are muffled snickers throughout the room, and the nervous smile on Rachel’s face wavers before falling away, leaving nothing but the nervousness. Quinn feels an unwanted pang of sympathy for her, but it disappears pretty quickly the moment she remembers that Rachel is probably about to sing some pathetic love song at Quinn’s boyfriend again. As if it wasn’t enough that she’d recently attempted to break them up by trying to convince Finn that Quinn was cheating on him with Sam. (Quinn willfully ignores the entire prom debacle and her own regrettable behavior in that bathroom.)
So Quinn crosses her arms and aims a glare at Rachel, satisfied when the girl’s expression wilts even more. But then Rachel, being Rachel, takes a determined breath, demurely folds her hands in front of her, and addresses the room.
“Fellow glee-clubbers, I present this song without commentary.”
“That’s a first,” Santana mutters, but Rachel ignores her, nodding to the band. The guitarist–Quinn never can remember his name–does an impressive, Spanish-flavored intro, and then Rachel’s flawless voice joins in, softer and filled with more emotion than Quinn can ever recall hearing from her–and that’s really saying something with Rachel.
“To really love a woman,
To understand her, you gotta know her deep inside;
Hear every thought, see every dream,
And give her wings when she wants to fly.
Then when you find yourself lyin’ helpless in her arms,
You know you really love a woman.”
A trickle of annoyance passes over Quinn at the start of the song, certain that Rachel is trying to send some unsubtle message to Finn, but then those brown eyes lock onto hers, sending an unexpected jolt of something zinging through her blood.
“When you love a woman, you tell her that she’s really wanted.
When you love a woman, you tell her that she’s the one.”
There’s something about the way that Rachel sings that line, still staring at Quinn with so much emotion in her eyes, that makes Quinn’s heart race and her stomach flutter with awareness, and her annoyance turns into something else entirely.
“'Cause she needs somebody to tell her that it’s gonna last forever.
So tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman?”
Rachel finally pulls her eyes away from Quinn, letting them roam around the rest of the room, and Quinn feels strangely bereft at the loss. No longer trapped in that intense, dark gaze, she manages to glance around the room to see a mix of confusion, interest, and surprise on the faces around her. From the corner of her eye, she notices that, at some point, Santana had reached out to take Brittany’s hand, and they’re both smiling softly at each other and gently swaying in time with Rachel’s song.
Quinn’s gaze is pulled back to Rachel as if sensing those eyes on her once again, and it’s just in time to hear–
“And when you can see your unborn children in her eyes,
You know you really love a woman.”
Quinn’s heart does this odd little swoop down into her stomach, and suddenly she just knows that Rachel isn’t singing this for Finn. She thinks about the easy forgiveness that Rachel had given her after being slapped; the words she’d gifted to Quinn–prettiest girl I’ve ever met, but you’re a lot more than that–and something inside of her shifts and settles.
Rachel continues to sing, alternating between staring out blindly into the room and seeking out Quinn’s gaze, and Quinn shivers when her voice builds with passion as she reaches the bridge.
“You got to give her some faith, hold her tight,
A little tenderness, gotta treat her right.
She will be there for you, takin’ good care of you.
You really gotta love your woman.”
Rachel does manage to tear her eyes away from Quinn again, but Quinn can no longer do the same. It’s like she’s seeing Rachel with brand new eyes, and it’s making her question more than a few things about her own passionate responses to the girl over the years.
When the music finally fades, there’s a smattering of applause around the room, and Rachel is once again fidgeting nervously in front of them. And once again, Santana is the first to make a comment.
“So…have you?” she asks Rachel with what seems to be more genuine curiosity than snark. “Ever really loved a woman?”
Before Rachel can answer, Finn cuts in. “She was totally singing that for me.” He turns to look at Rachel. “And, like…I’m really flattered and all, but I mean, I did all that stuff for you when we were together, but then you cheated on me anyway. So I’m with Quinn now.”
There are a few audible scoffs in the room, and Rachel frowns at him. So does Quinn because she really doesn’t like the way he’d phrased that.
“I wasn’t singing to you, Finn,” Rachel finally responds, cheeks turning pink. She looks up at Santana, nodding slightly. “And to answer your question, Santana…” Her eyes dart back to Quinn before dropping away. “I have. I…do.” Quinn inhales sharply–as does half of their club.
“I knew it,” Kurt crows, clapping.
“You did not,” Mercedes challenges dubiously as she pushes at his shoulder.
“I totally did,” Brittany announces matter-of-factly. “She’s totally a bicorn like me.”
A tiny smile pulls at Rachel’s lips, and she nods. “I am.”
Brittany points at Rachel and then back at herself before pumping her fist in solidarity.
“Hot damn,” Puckerman murmurs with a lascivious grin. “Who’s the lucky babe, babe? And can I watch?”
Lauren punches his shoulder, earning a whiny, “Ow,” and a mumbled apology.
Quinn holds her breath–caught between wanting Rachel to keep her mouth shut and hoping that she answers.
“After that song, I almost wish it was me,” Tina muses dreamily, much to Mike’s obvious surprise.
“I hear that, girlfriend,” Mercedes agrees with a nod, offering Rachel a supportive smile.
Quinn frowns, feeling her stomach twist, even before Finn says, “No. No. You love me,” he insists stubbornly, looking constipated.
Quinn scowls at him. “You sound like you want her to still be hung up on you.” The thought is even more enraging now.
His eyes widen. “Um…I…just…you know…” He gestures stupidly to Rachel. “She sang that love song at prom and told me what flower to get you…”
“She what?” Quinn asks breathlessly, thinking of her corsage–her perfect corsage.
Santana laughs wickedly. “Guess we know which woman Berry wants to breathe and taste.”
Quinn feels her face catch fire, and her gaze whips back to Rachel, who looks equal parts embarrassed and terrified. She swallows visibly before squaring her shoulders. “I can assure you both that I no longer harbor any romantic feelings for Finn.” She meets Quinn’s eyes again with a sad expression that makes Quinn’s heart twist. “If he makes you happy, Quinn, then…then I’m happy for you. Both,” she adds quietly before facing the rest of the club. “Thank you for your attention, and I hope you all can accept my bisexuality. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I…I think I need to be alone.”
With one last longing glance at Quinn, she turns and rushes from the room, and Kurt quickly runs after her with a frantic, “Rachel, wait.”
“Okay, guys,” Mr. Schue interrupts awkwardly. “Maybe we should adjourn for the day.”
Quiet mumbles of agreement sound around the room as everyone begins to gather their things together. Santana kicks Quinn’s chair as she passes by, giving her a meaningful look, but Quinn can only sit there, stunned.
“That was…really weird,” Finn mutters once everyone else has gone, still staring at the door. “I mean…Rachel’s never been into girls.” He looks at Quinn with a confused frown. “And she’s never even liked you.”
Her moment with Rachel in the bathroom at prom comes rushing back to Quinn, along with a dozen others in which Rachel had tried to be her friend, and she scowls at her insensitive boyfriend. “Shut up,” she hisses, suddenly disgusted with him and with herself. “She just…she shared something really personal with us, and you made it all about you.”
His frown deepens. “And you’d rather it be all about you, right? So you can get off on hurting her some more. Like…are you really that selfish?”
“Fuck you, Finn,” she spits, roughly grabbing her bag and standing up. “If you had a brain in your head, you’d have known Rachel didn’t pick that song for you,because you did exactly none of those things for her and you sure as hell don’t do them for me.” There’s something so very freeing in the realization that she doesn’t even want him to try anymore. “Rachel is a better man than you’ll ever be.”
And for once, Quinn doesn’t mean that as an insult to Rachel. In fact, as she walks out on Finn, leaving him to kick as many chairs as he wants, she thinks she might just want to find out firsthand all the ways Rachel Berry could really love a woman.
And Tina better back the fuck off.