Author: cloogle PM
Mercilessly, she continues to assaults my senses until I think I can no longer bear the frenzy of sensation in my pelvis, abdomen, heart and head. Nothing feels quite like desire. Nothing hurts better than love. She is the best I never had. AU.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Quinn F. & Rachel B. - Chapters: 26 - Words: 139,749 - Reviews: 1,392 - Favs: 1,151 - Follows: 1,658 - Updated: 12-10-12 - Published: 02-23-11 - id: 6770186
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: The Glee episode referenced at the end of this part is Uninvited, which can be found on my profile. Thanks again for all your comments. :) I'm so glad everyone is enjoying the angst.
"Glaciers have melted to the sea. I wish the tide would take me over. I've been down on my knees and you just keep on getting closer." - The XX - 'Crystalised'
I have moved on. I make a point of reminding myself of this fact nearly every day. Empowerment is the key to life-long success and happiness. My new boyfriend, Alex, is lovely, tall and handsome. This is important, trust me. It's good. I'm good. I'm fine. Existence is what I make it, right? Love clings to my heart, coating it like candle wax. There will always be a part devoted to Lea, but I refuse let it burn away by tormenting myself with an infatuation for someone who will never fully reciprocate. I have let that area of wax harden, become shell-like and dormant. A volcano become mountain, no longer tectonic. I acknowledge it, that's all. Do I sound like I'm trying to convince myself of this? Maybe a little. I've self-helped myself to such an extent that I could hold coherent conferences on the matter.
She and I have drifted apart. It has helped seal the wounds. Our circles have become less and less venn-like. I don't think it's fazed her. Actually, she's barely noticed. It's been a month since she asked to share my bed... platonically, of course. Occasionally, she floats by to daub a little affection my way, but that's all. It's amicable. I transfer my attentions to my other friends, especially the Glee boys who keep me sane.
Lately, however, Lea and I have a lot of scenes together, mostly fighting. I swear I'd never get my anger out if it weren't for my character being such a bitch. But I always apologize afterwards. Her face crinkles every time I do so, and sometimes she tries to stop me. It's too sweet. She doesn't understand that, under the surface, I'm apologizing for drifting away from her. She can't help what happened inside my head, and it's not her fault that I'm a fool with a rogue heart.
Standing in line for craft services, I hi-five Lea when we notice that, for the umpteenth time in so many days, we've accidentally ordered the same lunch as each other. Not much of a coincidence given the limited options, but it makes us both smile.
"Wanna come back to my trailer?" she asks hopefully. "We've got some time to kill." I'd like to see the look in her eyes but she's wearing large sunglasses so I can see only a hint of fluttering eyelash and dark iris.
I hold up my plastic container. "I'm gonna go back to mine and chill out, if that's okay."
"Of course. You do what you want, Miss D." She sounds a teeny bit pissed at me.
We've been here before. It's also the umpteenth time I've shot her down in favor of being alone. "Maybe another time?" I wince as I ask.
Her bottom lip quirks strangely, as if there is a vitriolic speech about to pour from her mouth. "Sure." When she walks away, I see a stiffness in her posture. She's snapping her fingers rapidly like she's trying to remember something or, maybe, attempting to forget. She swings around and rubs at her eye underneath her shades. "Have I done something wrong?"
My heart drops. I'd rather she had been angry, but then I should know her better than to expect that from her. "What? No." I skip forward, reaching out but not touching. "You never do anything wrong."
"Then what is it?" She throws her free arm up.
"Nothing," I placate.
"It can't be. I must have done something, Di. You think I haven't noticed how different you've been towards me?" Her frown is deep and her body language is open and demanding.
"It's not like that." My jaw clenches. Over by the fence, I spy a lone paparazzo snapping our exchange. I close my eyes briefly, put my arm around Lea to pull her out of sight. We walk to my trailer. I despair at what they will print. If they caught the ever-so-slightly heated conversation, the headlines about life imitating art would no doubt follow. They love the idea that we hate each other off screen as well as on. However, those articles are easier to stomach than the internet rumors implying that we're engaging in trailer sex twice a day.
I gently push Lea up the steps and slam the door behind us. She, unlike me, never seems to let the media get to her. "Well?" she asks with panicked impatience.
I'd forgotten that we'd been semi-arguing slash engaging in an affinity-orientated catharsis. Turning to face her, I lean back against the trailer wall. "Sorry."
She steps over to me, empties my hands - which I fast pull behind my back - and removes her sunglasses. "Honey, I don't want you to be sorry. I want to know what I can do to help." She frowns with concern. "I want to know how to win back your friendship."
"You haven't lost it." I can't explain myself properly. My expression shows more worry than hers does. I prepare for emotional purging on both sides. This could get messy.
"You barely talk to me. We never spend time together. Not alone anyway." She shakes her head with sorrow.
"We spoke today when -"
"I can't help but miss you, even though I see you nearly every day. What happened to our talks?"
Her words tug something deep in the pit of my stomach. "I miss it too." I miss it more than she does. Of that I am certain. Most of all I miss the laughter.
"Then I must have done something wrong. Did I say something? Is it the scenes we've been doing? I know they've been pretty intense."
Intense. I blink rapidly. "I don't like calling you names." This is true. I'll stick to truths. Sometimes I want to slap Quinn. How dare she be that mean to Rachel? Except... I like the fire that I'm allowed to feel; the aggression I inject into my lines might just as easily be spoken with apathy. Everyone knows that a fight is often two steps away from a frantic embrace. I close my eyes as I admit this to myself. Shouting 'I hate you' is as powerful as whispering 'I love you'. While I still have that outlet, I can't mend.
"It's fine; it's just acting." She looks bemused. "We just hug it out and go back to normal."
Why isn't she laughing? A serious Lea is a dangerous Lea. I knew this time would come. Normal can't come yet; I'm not ready to go back. Going back now means plunging back into turmoil. "I -" There's a knock at the door. It swings open and Cory's cute, hopeful face appears. I'm saved!
"One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is Di!" he sing-songs as he pulls himself up the rail. "Oh! Hola, Lea."
"Later, Cory," Lea demands from behind me. "Please."
He raises a finger in appreciation for her desire. "Be kind, rewind," he says to himself as he reverses down the steps and then walks backwards waving.
Not saved. I sigh. The trailer door shuts and it's just me and her again. I hold my stomach and move to sit cross-legged on the bench-like couch without taking my shoes off. I'm trying not to made a big deal out of this, and so shrug casually. "I'm sorry if you think I've left you out of my life. I don't allocate time for my friends like equal slices from a pie chart." It sounds cutting and I see her cringe.
"I'm sorry for thinking I was special to you," she bites back. Oh hell. Tears have appeared in her eyes.
I feel like I've stamped on a dog's paw. The muscles in my shoulders tense and I find myself unable to swallow properly. "You are." Pinching at the bridge of my nose, I try to continue: "You don't know..." Maybe I should tell her. She's a big girl and she can handle it. Her arms hug tightly to her waist as she looks down on me. "You are incredibly special to me," I say from my pathetic, almost groveling position. I don't want her to pity me or to pat me on the head and say: 'Poor Dianna, so in love with me. It must be so hard for you to be so close, yet know you'll never have me'. Not that she would lord it over me like that, or even word it like that. "I've... I've just been in a weird mood lately." Coward. "A little stressed."
She's giving this some thought. Her frown deepens. "Okay," she breathes, eyelashes fluttering. "I just don't want to lose you from my life." Pressing the heel of her palm to the corner of her eye, she sits down to the left of me and lays a hand over my bent knee. "I can't. Not an option," she adds in an ear-tingling whisper.
"It won't last forever. I'm just doing a lot of processing recently. Sometimes I need to be around people who don't get me the way you do." Tentatively, I rumble my fingertips over the peaks of her knuckles. She flips her hand for me to hold but, instead, I trail backwards and brush my thumb across the tattoo on her inner wrist. It feels beautiful; more so when her pulse jumps under my firm touch. "I feel transparent when I'm with you," I explain.
"That's nothing to be afraid of. You can be vulnerable with me," she says, watching my fingers intently as I cause goosebumps to rise on her forearm.
I feel like crying. "I wish I was like everyone else." The sentence comes out wrong. I mean that I wish I felt the same way that everyone else does about her. Unless they're all head over heels too. It's very possible and, if true, there should be a name for the syndrome she has proliferated around the globe. Familiarity only further fans the flames of this fever. Say that five times and fast. I dare you.
"No. Don't you say that," she chides. "Don't you ever say that." Clearly I've hit a nerve. Making the best of who you are is something of which Lea is staunchly in favor. "Don't you see how wonderful you are? How perfect, unique and captivating?" Reaching across me, she delves her left hand into my loose hair, takes a hold of my head and palms my ear. She makes my heart soar and sore all at once. A breath rasps from my throat. I wish her touch wasn't so invigorating. I blink and a tear slips down my cheek. Her thumb is there ready to catch it. "Oh, Dianna," she soothes.
Our rapprochement is complete. Harmony restored. More than restored. She now knows that I'm topsy-turvy over something. But what? Maybe I should etch another food type onto my no-go list and explain my behavior that way. 'Hey, Lea, I'm weird because I've turned frugivorous and I'm crabby because I miss the no-egg challah bread you bake, hence the avoision'. Hm. No. I'll give up cigarettes and blame the lack of nicotine instead. I look into her eyes. She cares a lot about me, that much is abundantly clear. I'd forgotten how much I miss her eyes.
Every time I sail away, she stows aboard and rocks me despite calm waters. Somehow I must keep this ship on an even keel.
"I brace myself, 'cause I know it's going to hurt, but I like to think at least things can't get any worse." - Florence and the Machine - 'Hurricane Drunk'
I tug at the scarf looped around my neck; the tassels tangle and intertwine with my fingers. Nerves wrack my body. Formality is not my bag. Not today, anyway. I feel like I'm waiting to audition again, or like I'm sitting outside the Principal's office. I cross and uncross my legs nervously then begin rubbing my hands together vigorously, though, admittedly, not quite Lady MacBeth style. I try a little yoga breathing, but it just makes me want to smoke and, yes, I am trying to give up. Closing my eyes I wish myself to another place: a fireside, hillside, my childhood bedroom, anywhere. I feel like I'm about to get my contract revoked. I'm not, but this whole situation reminds me of the feeling you get when you walk past a cop: you can't help but feel guilty. It just happens.
"We'd really like to take it in this direction: bullying to mask true feelings." Ryan runs his hand over his head and nods. "Hell, I've been there." I don't ask if he was the bully or the victim. "It's just something I'm aching to cover. But I need to know if you're with me. I know you're an open woman, but I felt the need to ask."
"I..." I stumble over my words. "Gee, uh." I've been rendered almost entirely speechless. Narrowing my eyes, I attempt to form a decent sentence. "I haven't been playing it that way. Wouldn't that be an issue?"
"No, I don't think so." He shakes his head and pouts. "Quinn won't have understood her resentment of Rachel; she just would have felt the need to push. Slowly, she's going to realize that she's battling her own sexuality."
"Rachel..." I may as well be wearing a t-shirt that says: 'Blown Away' on it. I am agog. Surely Rachel is the last person Quinn would fall for. Ironic much? I panic. "Surely Chris should be the one to take on something this huge? Or use the Brittany and Santana thing?"
"We're moving Brittany towards Finn: they seem to fit. Santana will get her story, and there will be longing from her side. Kurt knows who he is; the journey wouldn't be as grand for him. But for Quinn... huge. She has no idea how to handle this." He's pointing his pen at my head and I can feel myself go cross-eyed. "Imagine being the least likely girl in school to fall for another girl. That on top of giving away her daughter and the divorce of her parents. Imagine how that would feel. She's biting back that resentment of being different. Stifling her emotions. Lashing out."
I continue to battle. "But... surely you could get one of the jocks to fall for Kurt? Same deal."
He frowns and looks perplexed. Sitting back he crosses his arms and hugs them to his chest. "You're one of the most generous people I know." He shakes his head. I don't want him to call me generous; that's not what this is about. "Who else would try to pass up a storyline in order to give a fellow cast member more screen time? You're amazing." He smiles. I remain mute. "But come on, Dianna. You've said you wanted to understand your character more." I have said that, plenty. "Imagine all the girls out there you could help: the confused and the lost." He's appealing to my better nature; I'm a sucker for that. If he uses the word 'imagine' one more time, I'm going to assume he's trying to pass messages subliminally.
Suddenly it occurs to me that the character of Rachel isn't gay, and that, although Quinn may like her, it will be unrequited. I feel a sharp jolt in my heart. Life imitating art is too true sometimes. I catch a glimpse in my head of where Ryan is taking the story: Quinn commits to her rite of passage; Rachel rejects; Brittany goes off with Finn leaving Santana available for Quinn to fall for. Double prom queen bonus. So, Mr. Ryan Murphy, this I can do. I grin widely. "Okay, let's do it."
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." - Oscar Wilde
I pull on a large sweater and a pair of baggy, gray slacks that I stole from my brother when he grew out of them. I wear them when I'm missing him, which I am. It's one of the rare occasions you'll find me in pants, save for those times when acting requires it. I pull the new Glee script out of my bag. A nice thick wodge of papers, topped by a single blue cover sheet. Tossing it onto my bed, I flip my iPod into the dock ready to look up any songs we might be singing.
My fingertips glide over the barely detectable swell of inked words. New lines, new story, new laughs. Joy. Plunging in, I don't even try to learn my lines, just absorb the general tone and smile at the funny parts. I can't wait to watch everyone in action. As I read the words, the voices that belong to each of my friends bounce around my head; it's nicely reassuring. Another Rachel solo, nothing new there. I smirk. It seems to be an easy set for me - no scenes with Lea so far - perhaps I can take my mind off the hook this week. Only last week I had to waltz her toward the lockers and shout in her face. It had made me twist inside. Primal.
The first group song has me psyched. I do love those guys. It will be tremendous fun. I read something and frown in case I'm wrong. I'm not wrong. I'm the central figure in an Alice in Wonderland style dream sequence. I could cry. Two of my great loves collide. I can't wait to step into the surreal darkness of that world. I feel so fortunate in my job. My stomach is buzzing with excitement. The writers really do know us ever so well.
Busy fantasizing, I fumble and drop the script. It flops onto the bed before me. The pages have splayed open and a single word catches my eye: kiss. This isn't unusual: it is a show about high school life after all. Problem is, it's a stage direction that involves Quinn and Rachel. I must be confused. Maybe I need glasses. I grab the paper and take a closer look. My eyes aren't betraying me. The paper crinkles in my hands.
I am required to kiss Lea.