Three... Two (!!)... ONE (yay!) 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! :)
Rachel (& Quinn)
"Pop, are you sure they're up here?" Rachel called down from the top of the attic stairs.
Her fathers were "Dad" and "Pop," had been that to her since she was little. It went back to one day when she was six years old and had to explain before her classroom what her parents did for a living. She'd been called a liar by a boy in her class because, the way she said it, "her father" was doing two jobs at the exact same time. Tried as she might to explain that "her father" – the first – did one thing, and "her father" – the second – did another, it only got her laughs.
So "Dad" and "Pop" were created. It was easy to tell that, biologically, "Dad" was her father, but the distinction did not exist to them.
"I put them up there myself," Pop's head appeared in the door, smiling indulgently. Rachel smiled back and nodded. She'd gotten her organized tendencies from him.
Continuing in her search for a couple of shirts she wanted to find for a performance, she was distracted, finding a few boxes in the corner, opened.
"Hey, Pop?" she moved to the stairs again. A moment later, he returned.
"Yes, Rae-Rae?" he smiled.
"What are those? In the corner?" He climbed up to see what she pointed to.
"Oh, we emptied storage. These were from the old place, from when you were a kid. I was going to ask you to take a look. A lot of it is yours, from what I saw." She smiled, interested now… curious. Forgetting the search for the shirt, she knelt by the boxes.
She pulled the nearest one closer. From what she saw, they were children's books. She grinned, recognizing the bindings from years ago, handling them time and time again.
One in particular drew her eye – a thin red book. She pulled it out, stared at the colorful cover. There were crudely traced letters in the corner, which she read to be her name… there were no golden stars yet.
When she pulled it open, the sudden push of air through the pages allowed for something wedged between to come loose, tumbling into her lap. She closed the book, looking down to see what had fallen out…
A picture. She saw herself right away – she was wearing the old red tutu she would wear day in and out when she was about four; she recognized it from other pictures.
She was standing arm-in-arm with a girl her age, the tulle of her blue tutu crossing with Rachel's red as the two girls looked back over their shoulders with giddy smiles.
She sat there for a moment, holding the picture, intrigued. She turned the picture over, but there were no names written, no date. The only words on the back were clearly written in Dad's handwriting.
"The All-Mighty Sunshine Girls"
She wanted to say she remembered… there was some part of her that felt as though she knew what it was about, who this girl was, and yet… she couldn't place any of it.
She was going to wait until later, but really… her patience did not extend to curiosities and discoveries. She got up and moved down the stairs, trying to find Pop. When she did, she smirked. He was dancing about, headphones on his head. She bowed her head and moved along, searching for the one who had written on the back of the picture.
"Hey, Dad?" she found him sitting at his desk, doing a crossword puzzle. She came to stand at his shoulder, looking down at the folded up newspaper.
"Yes?" he looked back, patting her hand, which was now on his shoulder. She handed him the picture. When he saw it, his face immediately lit up with nostalgia. "Wow… Where'd you find this?" he asked, impressed.
"In the attic. I don't remember this," she sat next to him.
"You don't?" he looked to her, to the picture.
"I remember the tutu," she shrugged. Dad nodded, as though saying 'you would.' "Who is she?" he looked back at her, confused. He handed the picture back to her.
"Don't you two still go to the same school?" she looked back down at the image. Now it seemed as though the blue-tutued blonde's smile was familiar.
"Uh, I don't…" she frowned, trying to figure out… "No…" she blinked. 'Can't be…' she thought.
"You and Quinn used to run through the old house with 'the promise of sunshine.' You'd just twirl about… dispensing it," he mimed the action himself. Rachel looked back down to the picture.
"The All-Mighty Sunshine Girls," she repeated. He laughed.
"Pop came up with that. You two loved it," he looked back to Rachel, who was staring at the picture. "You really don't remember?"
"I don't…" she admitted. "We were… friends?"
"That's putting it mildly," he nodded. "Hard to believe you two have moved away from each other so much."
"I wouldn't know…" Rachel got up, drifting off, still puzzled.
The picture continued to baffle her… haunt her. How did she not remember? More than that, what had turned them from "all-mighty sunshine girls" to bitter rivals? She tried to remember as far back as she could, in her knowing of Quinn… She only ever remembered the way things had become.
It came to the point that she wanted so much to know what had happened between them that she considered talking to the one other person who could possibly know. She could just go to Quinn and show her the picture, ask if she knew…
She put it off for days. When she'd return home, to her room, she'd see the red-covered book on her dresser, with the picture left on top. In the end, her desire to know trumped all other thoughts.
As she got to her locker, she took her time, waiting… she looked back out of the corner of her eye when she heard a locker door open behind her. There was Quinn, picking out a textbook. Rachel looked back into her locker, to the notebook she'd slipped the picture into. Her fingers moved to it, hesitated an instant before she took the notebook. She closed her locker, looking one way before turning the other and approaching Quinn at her locker. When she turned and saw Rachel, she grabbed her books and closed her locker.
"What?" she asked, almost bracing herself. Rachel looked down to her notebook. She couldn't just start off out of nowhere.
"How are you? Are you… doing okay?"
"I'm fine. You know, as fine as I can be right now…" she replied, though her eyes followed a pair of snickering girls as they walked by, making no effort to disguise who they were talking about.
"Well, that's good, right?" Rachel spoke awkwardly.
"If you say so," Quinn sighed and walked away. Rachel watched her go.
It was better that she waited. Quinn probably didn't remember anyway… There could be something to be said for mysteries.