Title: Bet You Didn't Know That
Length: 2075 words
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, or anybody in Glee. Nada. Non. Nyet.
Spoilers: Everything applies up till the 'Ballad' episode.
Author's Note: First Rachel/Quinn story, yay! This may or may not be a one-shot but for now, it is what it is... What it is. This is also un-betaed so if there are any grammar/spelling mistakes, that will be entirely my fault. I have a thing about tenses too but yeah, I will try my best to not make an ass out of myself (even though that comes very easily to me, hah). And if it all seems very discombobulated then... I am sorry, my thought process is very messy.
Author's Note #2: The song that Rachel sings? (.com/watch?v=-QHfdw19lt0). This is basically my inspiration for this story though it bears no relevance at all whatsoever. I only imagined Rachel singing this song and this is what happened.
Summary: What she doesn't know, she doesn't need to find out.
Bet You Didn't Know That
It was just another bad day on top of many other bad days for Quinn, and she needed to escape the pitying looks and scathing words. It was the end of the school day and she didn't want to go back to Finn's yet and pretend (pretend to be in love; pretend that Finn really is the father; pretend that she doesn't notice Puck watching her with that menacing scowl and put-off pout on his face; pretend that she doesn't mind when strangers look at her thinking they know everything about her, thinking that her baby bump is public property and they just lay their grabby hands on it; pretend that she's much stronger than she feels) again, not just yet. Pretending was easier at first but time somehow manages to pile on the weight of the lies on her shoulders and it has come to a point where it's beyond unbearable. Quinn wishes for a moment (and not for the first time) that she wasn't carrying this baby just so she could lose herself in a tequila haze.
Instead Quinn goes to the one place that she discovered only just recently, a place where she can be at peace, even for just a little while.
Quinn reminisces the first time she was here, purely by accident. It was the day after her parents kicked her out, after Finn asked his mom if she could stay with them and she was sitting backstage in the school auditorium, hiding from Brittany and Santana, from Karofsky and his Daily Slushee Quest (apparently, being pregnant doesn't guarantee you immunity), from Ms Pillsbury and her big concerned eyes, and most especially, from her own boyfriend, Finn.
She figured that the last place people would think she would go, as in, if she were to make a list of hiding places, the school auditorium would be just above Rachel Berry's house. So she went to the school auditorium, because she was not that desperate to hide.
And it was there as she sat with her knees bent, her eyes closed and her head leaning back against the wall when she heard a voice piercing through her rushing thoughts. On her hands and knees, Quinn crawled over to peek through the curtains and she saw Rachel Berry standing by the piano, going through her scales. Quinn doesn't say a word to alert the budding star of her presence. In fact, she was kind of glad that Rachel didn't think to check whether there was anybody else in the auditorium because she didn't even want to try explaining to Rachel Berry, of all people, the reason she's sitting in a dusty corner backstage of the auditorium. As soon as Rachel began to sing, Quinn was sitting comfortably (as comfortable as a floor can be), rooted to her new hiding place, having decided there were worse ways to spend the afternoon than listening to Rachel Berry sing. Especially since Rachel didn't actually know she had an audience.
And what she didn't know, she didn't need to find out.
Quinn was very hyper-aware of the shiver running up and down her spine as she sat there, listening to Rachel singing Somewhere.
And no, it most certainly did not make her cry.
It makes perfect sense (as in 'common' not 'stalker/creeper') that she would check the auditorium timetable to take note of when Rachel would be there. It's not so that she'll find herself wasting over an hour waiting for Rachel because she totally does not mind completely if she's there and Rachel isn't.
But it would be preferable if she were there.
It was only a few days after, when she returns that she discovers how much she actually lo– likes (likes), listening to Rachel sing. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that her baby kicks (hard) in response to Rachel's singing voice. The baby-kicking thing is something new that Quinn discovers she likes and finds kind of much more pleasant than the morning sickness that never actually happens in the morning. The first time it happened was while everybody in Glee sang Lean on Me, Finn's fingers comfortably interlaced with her own as they both sat watching their friends profess their promises for them. Her tears fell easily and her heart ached from the love and care she felt from everyone in the room that she almost missed that first kick.
It most definitely did not happen when her eyes locked with Rachel's and her heart definitely did not feel like somebody sucker-punched it when she saw Brittany laughing and hugging Rachel.
And she definitely did not wish that she was the one hugging and laughing with Rachel.
It's only a couple more times after, when she hears Rachel sing Mama Who Bore Me that Quinn hesitantly admits to herself that it may have something to do with the fact that her baby kicks when Rachel is singing. And okay, maybe she kind of lo- loves it too.
It's not a secret that Rachel Berry is talented. Despite all the slushees, the pornographic pictures in the bathroom and the name calling; everybody knows for certain that Rachel is talented and that she will be one of very few who will leave Lima to pursue her dreams. And it was also pretty obvious that the girl knew it too. Hence the slushees, the pornographic pictures in the bathroom and the name calling. Rachel knows that too.
In fact, Rachel prides herself on knowing a lot of things.
But Quinn bets that Rachel doesn't know that every time Quinn hears Rachel singing, she feels it's the closest thing to God she's ever been. Bets she doesn't know that as soon as she opens her mouth to sing, Quinn closes her eyes to the world. Rachel's solitary figure, her shining eyes and her beaming face as her heart and soul pours out into song, are the last things Quinn sees before her eyes close completely, and she lets Rachel's strong, melodic voice completely override her senses. She listens until she actually feels the burdens on her shoulders come away and her soul feels that semblance of peace that she hasn't felt since discovering her pregnancy (or if she were honest with herself, since ever). The tightness in her face, from trying to maintain a poker face so that nobody in the school would have a clue just how exhausted she is, loosens and she feels her lips stretching slightly upwards into a serene smile. It amuses her to no end how 97% of the time Rachel makes her feel things that have absolutely nothing to do with serenity.
Quinn wonders how Rachel would feel about that.
On this day however (this being her fifth time now) lurking in her hiding place, Quinn is surprised to see Artie wheeling himself towards the stage, and behind him were three others kids who she knows are in the jazz band. She watches Artie lovingly take hold of his acoustic guitar on his lap, plucking the strings to make sure they're in tune. The other three were also checking on their own instruments. Quinn panics slightly, jogging her memory. She knows for sure that Rachel booked the auditorium so she wonders why Artie and the others are there. She lets out a relieved sigh she didn't know she was holding when she sees Rachel walking through the doors, deducing from Rachel's gentle smile and Artie's own that Rachel invited Artie and the jazz band to practice. Quinn feels a flutter akin to a charging anticipation to what they're going to perform together. She focuses her attention on Rachel, who is warming up before walking over to stand next to Artie.
Artie nods in reply, excitement shining in his eyes. With the smooth slide of his fingers over bronze guitar strings, Artie begins playing a melody that sounds somewhat familiar to Quinn's ears. It is only when Rachel opens her mouth to sing that the name of the song hits Quinn.
I go out walking after midnight
Out in the starlight
Just like we used to do
I'm always walking after midnight
Searching for you
While Quinn (and everybody else in Lima, Ohio. And Myspace.) knows that Rachel has an impressive voice, she has never heard that voice used in genres other than Broadway or the occasional pop song. And she's used to hearing the brunette's voice so crisp, clear and so powerful. And while it is still crisp, clear, powerful and controlled as always, there's a certain... Raw quality in its delivery that makes Quinn feel that same pleasurable shiver that she felt the first time she was watching Rachel. She admires how, even though it's obvious this isn't Rachel's niche, her confident voice doesn't waver and when she growls out a certain lyric that makes Quinn feel a warm quiver in the pit of her stomach, she can't help but picture Rachel singing this song in a smoky bar, illuminated by blue lights. And when she starts imagining Rachel, fixating her attention on soulful brown eyes and kissable lips and using adjectives like "beautiful", "hot" and "sexy" (and oh-my-god, did she just say "kissable"?) in her thoughts, she knows that something is rapidly changing.
It's only after the performance with Rachel's final note echoing into the empty auditorium, that Quinn is made aware of the bare traces of raised goosebumps on her arms that are beginning to fade and a familiar slick warmth in between her thighs. And when she feels her baby girl kicking harder as if in applause and appreciation, for the first time, Quinn wishes she could applaud along with her.
Quinn sees Rachel the next day at school, walking towards her locker. Brittany is talking animatedly to her and Rachel's smile is warm and affectionate and it seems she has developed a soft spot for the affable blonde. Quinn observes the tiny brunette interacting easily with Brittany, laughing and holding hands and she feels another kick in her stomach that makes her look down at her bump and wonder whether her baby girl is trying to tell her something.
When she notices Rachel standing in front of her open locker alone, she doesn't know exactly what propels her to do so but before she can realize it and change course, she is already standing directly behind Rachel and softly calling her name. Not "Man-hands". Not "RuPaul". Not "Berry".
She thinks maybe that the brunette didn't hear her, and before she could pretend that she didn't just approach Rachel Berry in full view of everybody rushing to home-room and call out her actual name instead of the many others she had given to her over the years, and just walk away, she picks up on Rachel's back stiffening. She watches as Rachel slowly turns to face her, a mix of curiosity and caution in her eyes. Watches Rachel bite her bottom lip as she waits.
Ignores the fluttering in her stomach when Rachel looks up at her through her long eyelashes, softly calls out her name, questioning and caution in her tone. Sifts through the merry-go-round of thoughts that makes Quinn feel completely at a loss of what to say.
Like how she's been watching Rachel sing for the past two weeks and that her baby just loves hearing Rachel sing. That she loves hearing Rachel sing. That Rachel's voice makes her feel whole and safe and warm and anything else that feels good. That okay, maybe it's not just Rachel's voice that makes her feel these things. That Rachel singing Walkin' After Midnight made her just a little wet. She gazes into Rachel's deep brown eyes and she wants to say these things. These lovely (and slightly dirty) things about her that would be a massive improvement to the ugly and offensive things that Quinn used to say to her.
But her brain short-circuits and she only comes up with an indifferent mumble, "See you in Glee," then walks away before a confused Rachel could respond.
She reasons that maybe it's better she doesn't tell Rachel these things. Letting Rachel know will change things that Quinn doesn't feel she's ready to face. Because Quinn kind of likes that she has this all to herself.
Because really, what Rachel doesn't know, she doesn't need to find out.
Not yet anyway.