Three... two (!!) week Glee hiatus, the horrors! To try and make it go by faster, I decided to do this project. I'll put up one new ficlet every day (I hope...) up to the day Glee returns! So be on the lookout! :)
"Glee in her Heart"
For as long as she could remember, Quinn had shown little care for the whole concept of Glee Club. She didn't know how it had started, it was simply a given. Besides, she was a Cheerio, what should it matter.
When she'd decided to join, it was with only one goal – to keep an eye on Finn, and on the one who had trapped him in her little musical trance – Rachel. Then, when Coach Sylvester had caught wind of this, rather than being chastised, she'd been given a new purpose – spy on them, help bring down the club. If that were to happen, she just might get Finn back… so she'd accepted.
It was easy enough to plant the seeds of doubt. Get everyone riled up… at first. It hadn't taken long though before she began to be the one made to doubt. Only there it wasn't the merits of Glee that she was doubting, it was the methods of her own Coach Sylvester.
It was subtle enough that no one even realized she was being swayed… not even herself.
She realized it even less in the weeks after that, as her mind was fully occupied in dealing with the discovery that she had become pregnant, and not by her boyfriend.
She was sure the moment the Glee Club found out, they would exact their revenge on her. After all, she'd deserved it, right? She'd worked up quite the score card in putting them down, this would be sweet revenge to them.
Only the counter strike didn't come. And of all people, it was Rachel Berry who had extended a hand of support to her.
It was after the departure of April Rhodes that Mr. Schuester, in an effort to help them connect to their experience, had placed a task upon them.
"I want you guys to select and, next week, perform a song that speaks to your being here right now," he'd said. For the others, in most cases, she could see their minds already browsing through their catalogues. This would be easy… for them. They'd joined for wanting to be there.
What was she supposed to sing about? Jilted lovers? Spies?
Was it even the answer to Mr. Schuester's question? He didn't want to know why they'd joined, he wanted to know what being there meant for them. It would be fine if she even knew what it meant to her.
Deep down, she'd already begun to figure it out. It had come to her after cheerleading practice, after being on top of the pyramid.
She'd been feeling nauseous right before, and she worried about going up there. She was feeling a little better by the time she'd been lifted into position, though not 100%. She just had to keep it together until she could climb back down.
After Coach Sylvester had called an end to practice, expressing her heavy disappointment in the process, Quinn spontaneously thought "Thank goodness for Glee practice."
It had taken her off guard for certain… but it was a revelation, undoubtedly.
On the one hand, there was the logic inevitability. In a few months, she wouldn't be too much of an asset on the Cheerios. The image of being laughed off the football field for being too heavy to be lifted atop the pyramid had been a recurring nightmare.
And then there was Glee. The night after that revelation-filled cheer practice, she'd had the nightmare again, same laughing crowd, same Sylvester sneer… But as she ran, she saw… Mr. Schuester, Rachel, Tina, Kurt, Mercedes, Artie… they were waiting for her on the sidelines, ready to welcome her. Off the field, Brittany and Santana broke rank from the Cheerios, and Finn, Puck, Mike, and Matt joined from the football team. They were surrounding her, and she felt… warm. She slept on that night, in dream, safe from the nightmare.
The next morning, she was well-rested, yes, but her mind bugged her. What was the dream saying?
No matter how many times they would tell her, how many times she'd see it, part of her continued to resist giving in. That was what it felt like, deep down, that admitting herself fully and willingly as a member of the Glee Club would mark the end of one life she'd fought for throughout her life and state her as a part of a new life, one she had not wanted, not planned, despised and mocked.
Would it have been like this if it hadn't been for this baby? Would she have gone through the motions, been Coach Sylvester's spy but otherwise utterly discontent to be among Mr. Schuester and the club?
No, she wouldn't have.
She liked the singing, dancing, the costumes… Sometimes it was as though people didn't recognize her if she didn't have her ponytail and her uniform. She felt like more of a person, individual, in Glee Club. She still liked it, cheerleading… But it was different.
Still, being in "New Directions," she was getting to do something she was truly beginning to cherish, to love. She looked forward to practice, not just showing up to it. Sure, it wasn't ideal, having to constantly watch Finn off with Rachel, but that was an inconvenience, and if she didn't account for it, the rest of the experience was something amazing.
As she arrived home, Mr. Schuester's task was still on her mind. The whole ride, there was what she could only describe as the essence of a song, stuck in the back of her mind. She'd been trying to pry it out, so she could get a hold of it. She could feel it, this was the song that would say it all, carry her thoughts in lyrics and notes, to them, and to herself.
She tried to hold on to one lyric, any lyric.
"Mother says I was a dancer before I could walk / She says I began to sing long before I could talk."
Yes, that was a good start… She knew the song because of her mother. She went to look through her music. She looked at each album, hoping seeing the title would help.
"But I have a talent, a wonderful thing…"
She had this sneaking suspicion like she'd tire out her eyes scanning each track list only to find it at the bottom of the very last one. But then, on the sixth one she picked up, she stopped on one title, and she knew… this was it, the mystery song.
The title in itself gave her pause. She'd felt this was the song, now to find out why…
When the day came to perform it, to Mr. Schuester and all the others, she suddenly felt like the shy kid having to step up in front of class on their first day at a new school. It wasn't performing that gave her chills. If anything, she felt a deep need to sing it. But the transition she knew would come with sharing her choice, how she felt about Glee Club… she wasn't ready.
She told Mr. Schuester she was feeling sick and excused herself. She sat in the bathroom stall for a while, waiting for… something. By the time she got out and returned to the rehearsal room, everyone else had left. She went to pick up her bag and started to leave.
She stopped at the door, looked back. The microphone beckoned her. She did really want to sing her song…
She put her bag down and went to stand at the microphone. She had no music, no back-up, no audience but herself – she couldn't ask for more. She took in and released a breath… and she sang. She felt the emotion rise in her as she went along, but she didn't let it overwhelm her. By the last verse, she was entranced.
"So I say / Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing / Thanks for all the joy they're bringing / Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty / What would life be? / Without a song or a dance what are we? / So I say thank you for the music / For giving it to me."
As her voice silenced, leaving her breath, it took her back to the room, and she saw, standing in the door, Mr. Schuester. He didn't say a word. He smiled, pressed his hands together, and left.
She bowed her head with a happy smile… she was glad for Glee, even if no one knew but Mr. Schuester and her. In time, maybe she'd share it with everyone else.