So, this is for Halloween and it's going to be seven chapters. I'll be posting Monday and Fridays with the last chapter being on Halloween. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Chapter 1 – The New Girl In Town
Rachel shivered slightly as a cold gust of wind hit her. She'd hoped to leave the cold, windy days back in New York, but Ohio was turning out to be much of the same. She had only been there for four days, but so far, it had rained every single one of those days. Thankfully, there was a lull in the rain, so she wasn't going to show up for her first day of school completely soaked.
Rachel wasn't the type of person to get nervous over many things—she'd sung on stage with hundreds of people looking at her without batting an eye—but the closer she got to the school, the harder her heart began to pound. She had never been the new kid at school before, but that's exactly what she would be walking into McKinley High. And to make matters worse, she was coming in nearly two months into the year.
When she finally reached the front door of the school, she stopped for a moment, looking up at the building. It was a lot different than the building she was used to, looking more like the high schools she had seen on television and in movies rather than the Gothic style building she'd spent the past two years in.
"Are you going in?"
"Yes, sorry," Rachel said, looking over her shoulder. "I'll get out of your way."
"You new here?" he asked.
"Is it that obvious?" Rachel asked, smiling.
"It's not a big school and I don't think I've ever seen you around," he said, pulling his backpack up higher on his shoulder. "I'm Finn."
"Rachel," she replied. "It's nice to meet you."
"If you, uh, need someone to show you around, let me know," Finn said, giving her a crooked smile.
Rachel nodded and smiled back. "I'll keep that in mind."
Finn opened the door, holding it open for her, and Rachel walked into the brightly lit hallway.
"Can you tell me where the principal's office is?" Rachel asked.
"At the end down there, on the corner," Finn said, pointing down the hall. "You'll probably want to see Miss Pillsbury. She's the guidance counselor and she usually knows more than Figgins does. Her office is right next to his."
"Thank you, Finn," Rachel replied.
"No problem," Finn said. "You want me to walk you there."
Rachel shook her head. "I think I can find it, but thank you for the offer."
Rachel gave him another smile and then began walking down the hallway, where Finn had indicated. Halfway down the hall, though, Rachel stopped in her tracks, flinching as the girl walking in front of her was suddenly hit by something in a large cup. The people around them were laughing and the girl ran off, disappearing into a nearby bathroom. When the shock finally wore off, Rachel looked down to see if she had also been hit by the red substance, but it looked like it had actually missed her by a few inches. There were splashes of it on the lockers and on the floor, but she'd managed not to get any of it on her coat, dress, or shoes.
Part of her wanted to run after the girl to make sure she was okay, but before she could decide whether or not she should follow, another girl walked into the bathroom behind her. Hoping she was her friend and not someone who was just going in to laugh at her, Rachel continued on her way down the hall, stopping just outside the office for Emma Pillsbury.
"Miss Pillsbury?" Rachel asked, knocking lightly on the door frame.
"Yes, hi," the redheaded woman said, standing up from her seat. "I'm guessing you're Rachel!"
"I am, yes," Rachel replied, smiling.
"Great!" Miss Pillsbury said, her face lighting up in a smile. "I have your schedule right here. We don't offer a few of the classes you had in New York, but I think you'll find these classes quite enjoyable and educational. Your first class is just up the stairs out there and a little bit down the hall, on the right. You can't miss it. Oh, and here's your locker number and combination."
"Thank you," Rachel said, taking her schedule and the locker information from the woman.
"If you need anything, my door is always open," Miss Pillsbury said.
Rachel looked at her schedule as she left the office, and then followed the woman's directions to room 211. When she walked in, half the seats were already occupied, so she walked to the closest one and took her bag off her shoulder.
"You don't want to sit there."
"Why not?" Rachel asked.
"Because the girl who usually sits there will just make you move," the boy, who was impeccably dressed, answered before pointing to the seat behind him. "This one is usually empty."
"Thank you," Rachel said,
"I'm Kurt," he said, looking her up and down.
"Rachel," she replied.
Kurt nodded. "And where are you from, Rachel?"
"New York," Rachel replied.
"Just outside," Rachel answered. "I'm going to move to the city as soon as I graduate, though. I'm going to be on Broadway."
"Ambitious," Kurt said, looking slightly impressed.
Rachel glanced toward the door as three girls in cheerleading uniforms walked into the classroom. Two of them had their pinkies linked together, trailing slightly behind the third. For a split second, the blonde in front locked eyes with Rachel, but then the dark haired cheerleader said something, causing her to look back.
"You can thank me later," Kurt said.
"What?" Rachel asked, taking her eyes off the blonde cheerleader.
Kurt motioned to where the three girls were sitting down, the darker haired girl sitting in the seat Rachel was going to take.
"You'll see," Kurt said.
"We always sit over here," Kurt said, looking over his shoulder at Rachel. "This is Tina, Mercedes, and Artie. Everyone, this is Rachel. She's new here."
"Hello, everyone," Rachel said, taking a seat next to Kurt and across from the girl he'd indicated as Tina.
"You're in my math class, right?" Mercedes asked.
"I think so, yes," Rachel replied before looking at Tina. "Are you okay? That was you this morning in the hallway, wasn't it? What did they throw at you?"
"It was a slushy," Tina answered. "The football players and cheerleaders like to throw them at us."
"Why would they do that?" Rachel asked.
"Welcome to McKinley," Artie said.
Rachel had been bullied at her old school, but at least the students there hadn't stooped to throwing frozen beverages at her. There bulling had always been more mental than physical.
"C'mon," Mercedes said, nudging Tina. "We gotta go practice. The rest of you wanna come?"
"I'm good," Artie said.
"What about you two?" Mercedes asked.
"I think I'll stay here," Rachel said, having no idea where they were going. "But thank you."
"Me too," Kurt added.
"Suit yourself," Mercedes said with a shrug.
Tina followed Mercedes out of the cafeteria, leaving Rachel, Kurt, and Artie at the table. Just as they walked out, the three cheerleaders Rachel had seen in her English class walked into the room, heading straight for the table with all the other cheerleaders and what she could only assume were the athletes. Rachel noticed Finn was among them, sitting next to a boy with a mohawk.
As she watched them walk across the cafeteria, she couldn't help noticing how everyone seemed to part for the trio. Some of them looked a little afraid, and Rachel wondered if it was because they were afraid they were going to end up with a slushy in their face like Tina had or if it was something else. They particularly seemed to be weary of the shorter of the blondes, and Rachel had a feeling that she was the leader of the group.
"Earlier, why did you say I would thank you for not letting me sit in that seat?" Rachel wondered, taking her eyes off the cheerleaders, and looking at Kurt.
"Because the one who sits there, Santana, is more than a little crazy," Kurt replied.
"Totally crazy," Artie added, nodding.
"And the other two?" Rachel asked.
"Brittany is the one on the right," Kurt said. "Not very bright. Everyone knows she and Santana are together, but no one says anything because they're all afraid of Santana. The other is Quinn. She's captain of the Cheerios."
"The Cheerios?" Rachel asked.
"That's what the cheerleading squad is called," Kurt said. "They've won Nationals for the past eight years or something."
"Why does everyone seem so afraid of them"? Rachel asked. "Are they simply your typical mean girls?"
She noticed a look pass between Kurt and Artie, but neither of them said anything.
"What?" she asked.
"They're definitely the mean girls of the school," Artie said. "Or at least Santana is. The other two aren't so horrible."
"Why do I have a feeling there's something you're not saying," Rachel said, looking between them.
"There have just been rumors," Kurt replied.
"What kind of rumors?" Rachel asked.
"About their families," Artie said.
"Supposedly their families have been close for generations," Kurt added.
"That's not so strange," Rachel replied.
"It's not just that," Kurt said. "Some people say they've seen weird things happen around them. But I'm not one to gossip."
Artie snorted. "You're always one to gossip."
"What kind of weird things?" Rachel asked.
Kurt shrugged. "Why are you so interested?"
"I guess I'm just a naturally curious person," Rachel said.
"Well, you'll have to ask Tina if you really want to know," Kurt replied. "She knows more than I do."
Rachel nodded, though she had no intention of asking Tina anything. She wasn't even sure why she'd really asked Kurt in the first place.
Rachel sighed to herself as she walked into the high school on Wednesday morning, closing her dripping umbrella. It was so windy out that the umbrella had been next to useless. Most of her lower half was soaked, and her shoes squished beneath her feet with every step she took down the hallway.
She quickly walked down the nearly empty hall to her locker. It was only her third day at McKinley, and she was already late for the first time. She couldn't even remember the last time she was late to class. She wasn't the type to be tardy or to miss school. The last time had been in the seventh grade when she had the flu, and even then, she had made her father go to the school to find out what she had missed that day.
Rachel hurried to her locker and put her combination it, hoping she remembered it correctly. Thankfully, it opened on the first try—something she'd been having difficulty with—and she opened her locker, pulling out her English and math books, and shoving her chemistry book and umbrella inside. As she went to close her locker door, though, it knocked into her bag, dumping half of its contents onto the hallway floor.
"This is not my day," Rachel said, throwing her hands up in frustration.
Rachel sighed as she knelt down and began picking her things up. She usually kept her bag organized, but she didn't bother trying to put anything where it belonged, throwing everything in as fast as she could. She was already late enough; she certainly didn't need to be even later. She didn't know what the school's policy on tardiness was, but the last thing she wanted was to get in trouble on her first week there. She'd never had detention before, and she didn't want to start now.
"I'm guessing this is yours."
Rachel glanced up and saw the red and white of a cheerleading uniform before looking up, locking eyes with Quinn, who was holding up her lip balm.
"Thank you," Rachel said after a moment, taking the tube from Quinn. "Everything decided to spill out of my bag when I was already late for first period."
"That always seems to be the way," Quinn remarked. "Your name is Rachel, isn't it?"
"Yes," she replied, a little surprised the other girl knew her name since they'd never been introduced. "Rachel Berry."
"From New York," Quinn said.
Rachel nodded. "I guess news travels fast around here."
"We don't really get a lot of transfers in the middle of the year," Quinn said.
"Believe me, I would have preferred to have started at the beginning of the year," Rachel replied. "Or, at the very least, when the spring term began."
Quinn shrugged. "Lima isn't always so bad."
"Yeah, I—" Rachel shook her head, suddenly remembering she was very late to class. "I'm sorry; I'm tardy and need to get to class. Wait, aren't you in my class."
"Yeah," Quinn said, looking over her shoulder. "Coach Sylvester wanted to talk to me. She's the Cheerios coach."
"I've heard," Rachel replied.
Quinn smiled and Rachel momentarily didn't care if she was late for class. It was the first time she had seen Quinn smile, and if it was possible, she looked even prettier than usual. Not that she was usually staring at Quinn or anything. It was just hard not to notice someone as attractive as Quinn was.
"Do they give out detention here for being late or will they suspend me?" Rachel asked.
"Relax," Quinn said. "Come on."
Rachel zipped up her bag and quickly walked after Quinn, who was already making her way down the hall. "They won't suspend me, will they? I don't think my fathers would be very happy if I was suspended the first week of school. Well, they would never be happy about it, but the first week just seems worse."
"I told you to relax," Quinn said, looking over her shoulder.
Rachel frowned but followed Quinn, nevertheless. She wasn't sure how she was supposed to relax when she was fifteen minutes late for first period, and as Quinn opened the classroom door, she braced herself for whatever was to come.
"You're late," their teacher said.
"Coach Sylvester needed help," Quinn stated.
"From both of you?" Mr. Jackson asked.
"Rachel was helping me so I could get to class quicker," Quinn lied.
"We're on page sixty-three," he said. "And don't be late again."
"No, sir," Rachel replied, quickly taking her seat behind Kurt.
Quinn took a little longer to walk to her seat, clearly in no hurry. When she finally sat down, she glanced over at Rachel, who gave her a grateful smile. She didn't know why Quinn had lied for her, but she didn't really care. She was just happy she wasn't going to end up in detention.
Rachel glanced down the hallway at Quinn, who was standing at her locker with Brittany and Santana. She wanted to thank Quinn for helping her the day before when she didn't have to, but she didn't want to do it with the other two there. Unfortunately, Quinn never seemed to be alone. She was always with the other two, and Rachel wasn't prepared to go up to all three of them.
From what she'd heard from others and seen with her own eyes, Santana was a little scary. She would usually assume that her bark was worse than her bite, but Santana didn't seem opposed to physical confrontation. Of course, maybe she just knew Quinn and Brittany would stop her before she actually had to do anything. Rachel had yet to see her in a fight even though she was constantly threatening to 'go all Lima Heights' on people. Whatever that meant, Rachel had no idea.
"Have you finished the chemistry homework?"
"Good morning to you, Kurt," Rachel said. "And of course I have; it's due today, after all."
"Care to help a friend out during study hall?" Kurt asked. "I've got most of it done, but if you could just explain how to do a few of the problems, I would be forever grateful."
"Yes, I can help you," Rachel replied.
McKinley was a bit behind her old school, so she had already learned what they were currently working on in nearly every class. Thankfully, that meant she didn't really have a hard time adjusting. At least not when it came to the classwork. Adjusting to the town had been an entirely different matter.
"What did you end up doing last night?" Kurt asked.
"I had quite a bit of homework, so I did all of that, including the things that aren't due until tomorrow," Rachel replied. "I thought it would be best if I got them out of the way, though. I also watched a little television with my fathers, but mostly homework. Speaking of which, do they always give this much?"
"It should start dying down soon," Kurt said. "They like to give more at the beginning of the year, but then I think they get tired of grading it, so they cut back."
Rachel shook her head as she pulled her English book out of her locker. "At my old school, they didn't give us so much busywork. They gave us homework when it was important, which I think is a much better way of doing things."
"Give it a week or two," Kurt said, shrugging his shoulder. "They usually stop by mid-October."
"Who stops what?" Finn asked, leaning against the locker next to Rachel's.
"The teachers stop giving so much homework," Kurt replied.
"Dude, I hope so," Finn said. "I've gotta keep a C average to stay on the team, and all this work is making it really hard to do other things."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Like I don't hear you playing those shooting games all evening."
Rachel frowned. "Do you two live next door to each other?"
"Didn't I ever tell you?" Kurt asked. "My dad and Finn's mother started dating last year. They moved in over the summer, and I imagine our parents are going to get married soon."
"Yeah, so if you ever come hang out with Kurt, you could hang out with me, too," Finn said.
Rachel smiled but didn't say anything as she closed her locker. As she turned around, her eyes drifted over to Quinn, who was walking down the hallway with Brittany and Santana close behind her.
"I gotta go see Coach Beiste," Finn announced. "I'll, uh, I'll see you later."
He gave Rachel a smile, which Rachel returned, but as he began walking away, her eyes immediately went to Quinn again. She was beginning to wonder if Brittany and Santana ever went anywhere without Quinn. As far as she could tell, they had all of the same classes and participated in the same extracurriculars.
"Looks like someone has a crush," Kurt remarked.
"I'm sure he's just being nice," Rachel replied, looking at Kurt.
"I'm not talking about Finn," Kurt said.
"I can assure you, I do not have a crush on Finn," Rachel replied.
Kurt smirked. "I wasn't talking about a crush on Finn. I was talking about your crush on a certain blonde cheerleader I always see you looking at."
Rachel felt herself blush; she'd hoped she wasn't being so obvious, but apparently she hadn't been as discreet as she'd thought. Or maybe Kurt was just more observant than the people she was used to being around.
"We should go," Rachel said, ignoring Kurt's remark. "I don't want to be late for class two days in a row."
Rachel sighed and laid her head against the steering wheel as she tried one last time to get the car to start. It had been the first day her fathers had let her drive it, and now she couldn't even get it to start.
"Please," Rachel whispered, turning the key again, but the engine failed to start.
Sighing, she felt around the floor for the lever to pop the hood, but she accidentally popped the trunk instead. After another moment, though, she found the one for the hood, and grabbed her umbrella from the backseat before getting out into the rain.
It wasn't raining nearly as heavily as it had been earlier in the week, but there was still a steady drizzle. She quickly ran around to the back of the car and closed the trunk before everything inside got wet, and then walked around to the front. She struggled with lifting the hood and securing it into place, but she eventually got it, and then stared at the engine. She didn't know a lot about cars, but her assumption was that the battery was dead and she was going to have to find someone to jump it. Unfortunately, most of the other students had already left, and she wasn't entirely sure that it would be safe to do it in the rain even if she could find someone.
"Do you need a ride?"
Rachel hadn't heard the car approaching over the sound of the rain, but when she looked over her shoulder, she found Quinn sitting in her car with the window rolled down.
"I think the battery is dead," Rachel said.
"Come on," Quinn replied, motioning toward the passenger seat.
Rachel looked at her car again, hesitating only a moment before putting the hood back down.
"Let me grab my bag," Rachel said.
She quickly opened the door and grabbed her backpack from the passenger seat. She then took a look around to make sure she wasn't forgetting anything she could possibly need and locked the doors before walking over and getting in Quinn's car.
"Thank you," Rachel said, putting on her seat belt. "I don't know why it wouldn't start. It worked perfectly fine this morning."
"It's supposed to be dry tomorrow, so maybe you can get someone to jump it," Quinn commented.
"Yes, I'm sure one of my fathers will drive me in the morning," Rachel replied. "Hopefully that's all it needs."
She glanced at Quinn, who had no visible reaction to the mention of her having two fathers. Even in New York, she had been bullied by a few of her classmates for it, and she had wondered how much worse it would be when she moved to Ohio. So far, though, no one had said anything about it. Of course, she'd only mentioned it to Kurt and now Quinn.
"Which way?" Quinn asked.
"Oh, sorry!" Rachel said. "Right. I live on Maple Road."
Quinn nodded. "I guess you moved into that big, stone house."
"We did, yes," Rachel replied. "Do you live near there?"
"No, but I've been over there before," Quinn replied.
Rachel nodded and then looked out at the dreary sky. "You know, I don't think it's not rained a day since I've been here. It'll be nice to actually see what this town looks like in the sun."
"I actually like the rain," Quinn replied.
"Really?" Rachel asked.
"Yeah," Quinn replied. "It's—peaceful."
"I don't mind it when I'm at home and have nowhere to be, but it's less fun to walk in," Rachel said. "Especially when it's been so windy that an umbrella is practically useless."
Quinn glanced at her. "I've noticed."
They fell silent, and Rachel glanced at Quinn out of the corner of her eye. The radio was playing softly but could barely be heard over the sound of the rain and the constant swoosh of the windshield wipers.
"I, um, I wanted to thank you for Wednesday," Rachel said after a minute or two of silence. "I didn't get a chance to say it then, but thank you." She shook her head. "You really didn't have to do that."
Quinn shrugged. "It's no big deal."
"You lied to a teacher for me," Rachel stated. "I don't know if a lot of people would have done that."
"Really, it's nothing," Quinn replied.
"Well, even if you think it was nothing, I don't," Rachel said. "So, thank you."
"It's the next road, right?" Quinn asked.
"Yes," Rachel replied.
Rachel watched the houses pass by as they got closer to the place she now called home. The neighborhood was a lot different than the one she had grown up in. There was a lot more space between the houses and they were quite a bit bigger. While they'd had a nice house in New York, it was nothing compared to the house her fathers had bought in Lima. For nearly the same price, it was about twice as big as their New York home and had a spacious backyard with a small forest just beyond.
"Thank you for the ride," Rachel said as Quinn pulled into the driveway. "You certainly have impeccable timing. It seems like you're always there when I need help."
"It's no problem," Quinn replied, giving her a small smile.
"I guess I'll see you Monday at school," Rachel said, resting her hand on the car door handle. "Have a good weekend, Quinn."
"You too," Quinn replied.
Rachel gave Quinn a smile before getting out of the car and rushing over to the small awning at the front door. When she turned around, Quinn was just beginning to pull out of the driveway, and as she began driving back the way she'd come, they quickly waved at each other. As she turned to the door to let herself in, Rachel smiled to herself, grateful that things had gone as well as they had during her first week.