Title: Bet You Didn't Know That (Part 13B)
Length: 4,851 words (Total so far: 13,162 words)
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, or anybody in Glee. And this is so not used for profit.
Spoilers: Um, this is my twist on 'Journey' (that's the name of the first Regionals episode right? I can't remember anymore, haha)
Author's Note: This is dedicated to my readers who are miraculously still here with me. This is also dedicated to my wife, Cheyenne because this was meant to be finished for her birthday (which was way back in November, yikes) and then for Christmas but a whole bunch of stuff happened in between then and now, so I'm just so, so sorry about this being so incredibly late. She has been my rock when I was going through a rough time. I love you, wife. You have no idea how super grateful I am to have you, even more so now.
I'm muchos rusty with writing BYDKT (it's been over a year, even more yikes) and I know this is quite short compared to my usual standard, but still, I hope this won't disappoint. And I will try not to make you wait for next installment for too long (try being the operative word here, lol).
Bet You Didn't Know That
Part Thirteen B
The blonde lets out a silent gasp in surprise, knowing just whom that voice belongs to, and for just barely a second, she feels her entire body tensing completely in shock.
It can't be.
It just can't be.
She has to be dreaming. Right?
It really can't be…
But from the alarmed deer-caught-in-the-headlights look in Rachel's brown eyes (Quinn wouldn't really be surprised if her own are mirroring that very expression too) she knows that she isn't dreaming at all. Her hands quickly fall away from Rachel's cheeks and she takes in a deep steadying breath as she spins around and she comes face to face with, much to her surprise, not just her mother but also her father. They are both dressed in their best outfits. Not exactly their Sunday best but still something that Quinn knows they wear to impress others. Quinn can't help but inwardly scoff at their attempts to look so above everything else but then, maybe it doesn't work on her because she knows the messy truth that lies behind the Fabray mask.
"Mom, Daddy, you're- you're here," she stutters embarrassingly, her hazel eyes widening and moving in between one parent to the other. "Wh- what are you doing here?" she utters in a breathless whisper that is just so filled with disbelief. Her hazel eyes dart in between the two adults, their plastic smiles fully on display and determination colouring their expressions. No matter how many times she blinks and she sees her parents standing before her, Quinn still isn't sure whether this is real at all. Not even the fluttering in her stomach, nor the wild hammering in her chest seems to be making her think that this is anything but a dream. The pregnant blonde tries to find some semblance of control over herself but she can feel the baby inside her, kicking not so very pleasantly, making her doubt very much that this is going to go well.
Deep down inside, a part of her is celebrating; the part of her that still seeks her parents' approval and their love; that part of her is rejoicing the fact that her parents are actually here and knowing that they are here for her. But a large part, the significant part that has been living with the Berry family for the past couple of months, the one that has her eyes and her heart opened to what a parent's love should feel and look like, remembers how the people who are supposedly her parents turned her away and how they didn't try harder after she turned them down when they came to see her at the hospital. They seemed more offended that she'd rather stay with Rachel and her dads than hurt, and though Quinn's mom made what she probably thought was an effort but really wasn't, they swiftly left when the younger blonde didn't back down. Her father didn't say anything. And as she watched them walk away from her, she couldn't help but think then that just as she had chosen not to go with her parents, they had chosen to not fight for her.
Rachel helplessly witnesses her girlfriend's emotional struggle, unable to do anything until frightened hazel eyes turns to meet her own and she knows instantly the role that she has to play. The smaller girl goes to take a step forward, slightly shielding the taller blonde from her parents but gives her enough room to do what she needs to do. She battles with the urge to reach her hand back, to grab Quinn's and entangle their fingers together to offer her support and whatever strength she can give to her. She will give it all if that's what Quinn needs from her. But while she's keeping herself still, she can sense the girl subtly leaning towards her, and even with the little distance that's already between them, Rachel can already feel the warmth coming from the body behind her.
It's enough for now.
"We would like to talk to you. Alone," Judy finally replies, stressing on their desire to not air their dirty laundry in front of the people that are currently surrounding the area, despite the fact she's sure that most of them already know the story anyway. It isn't difficult to notice the protective stance that the teenagers have taken, ready to take Quinn away from any impending danger. She is even less surprised at seeing Rachel Berry beside her daughter once again, like she was more than a month and a half ago when Quinn had been admitted into the hospital. She most definitely did not miss the way that Quinn was holding onto Rachel just a few moments ago but Judy chooses to ignore her suspicions, to push those thoughts to the far recesses of her mind just so she doesn't have to think about it. She knows that she shouldn't. After all, it's the same strategy she used when she realized that Quinn was expecting. But she can't bear to think about what this... closeness between her daughter and that girl means. Just... not right now.
As soon as Judy is done, Rachel is shaking her head, almost aggressively. Her bright brown eyes are dark and narrowed in such an unfriendly fashion that nobody has ever seen on the usually congenial brunette. "No. I am not letting her go anywhere with you. How can you even think that you have the right to demand anything of her when you were the ones that chose to walk away from her?" Her words are harsh and the anger leaves an unfamiliar bitter taste in her mouth. Rachel has never been one to say anything in such a manner, most especially to adults. It's just that the Fabrays did not leave her with the best impression of them and she can't help but feed on the rage that she felt that day. A spark of triumph stirs inside her when Judy winces at her words but it's dashed instantly by regret when she hears her girlfriend quietly whimper behind her and she reprimands herself for speaking too quickly without thought, remembering far too well the sleepless nights that followed because Quinn just could not stop crying. While yes, Quinn chose to stay with them, Rachel knew that the fact they didn't even try to fight her on it, greatly affected the blonde. She forgets about the older Fabrays, forgets caring about what they might think and grabs the blonde's clammy hand, squeezing it in apology. Relief fills her when Quinn squeezes back after a tense second, letting her know that Quinn is right there with her.
Her hazel eyes are steadfast and focused intently on her parents, on her mother and watching the older woman's lips form a terse reply that could not – did not – register though she hears the condescending tone, the one that never, ever failed to make her feel less than good enough, the very same one that always shook any confidence she ever felt. The things that she wishes to say to her parents, everything that she has ever wanted to say since that night they kicked her out of the house and even the day that they walked away from her in that hospital room – they're all swirling madly in her chest, warring with each other to rise up her throat, wanting to be given a voice. She isn't sure how to describe the emotions that are making her heart rage so wildly in her chest nor does she have a name for it. Quinn wants to show her parents the backbone that she knows she has now; the backbone she wishes she had the night her father demanded that she pack and get out of the house while declaring her a stranger. She wants them to see the strength that she never knew she had until she lived away from them and their draining influence, the strength that she feels when Rachel is holding her hand...
The smaller brunette quickly turns when she hears the harried tone in her girlfriend's voice. Quinn is biting down on her bottom lip, her hazel eyes coloured with a wild panic that disappears when she quickly snaps them shut and the light squeeze on her hand becomes stronger, almost painful and Rachel fights not to wince at the force of it. "What is it?" she whispers even though a knowing feeling grows inside her, validated when the blonde places her hand on her swollen stomach and she sees the puddle gathering at Quinn's feet, stealing the very words before she can say them.
Quinn watches Rachel's head snap back up, wide brown eyes meeting hers and the diva's jaw slackens. The shock is evident in her stare as the seconds begin to stretch as they pass by. Rachel's gaze finally falls back to the floor and her eyes widen even more, finally registering the reason for the small pool at their feet. The blonde takes it upon herself to look back to their friends who have been waiting not so very patiently behind them while she and Rachel faced off with her parents, and their eyes are almost as wide as her girlfriend's, their bodies completely frozen in their position. She shrugs calmly and gives them an impish smile, almost as if none of this is happening right now and she tilts her head towards the exit.
"So... Somebody should call for that ambulance soon, right?"
Rachel is breathless as she comes charging through the sliding doors of the hospital emergency room, her heart threatening to burst out of her chest after having practically leapt out of the driver's seat of her dad's car after coming to a stop at the hospital's entrance, leaving either Steve or Malachi with the task of actually parking it. She runs in as fast as she can and with each rushed step, trying to calm herself down from the very fast (and most likely very law-violating) drive from the Regionals venue while her brown eyes are searching hurriedly around the room for the familiar head of blonde hair or even the distinguishing Mohawk, just to tell her where she needs to go. A part of her is still boiling furiously at the Fabrays as they had pulled the "We're her parents" card when they were asked who was going to ride on the ambulance with them. Rachel growls once more at the flashing image of the arrogant smirks they gave her as they climbed into the vehicle before changing to the fake, plastic smiles they showed to everybody else, as if they had been there from the very beginning and here they are, intent on taking Quinn away from her.
And there is no way in hell is Rachel letting that happen without a fight.
Quinn wants Rachel. She just wants Rachel. Aside from the thoughts of uncomfortable and excruciating pain that came just before the ambulance arrived, that is the only other thought running around in her head since the moment she was carried away into the vehicle. Her mind is just crying out for Rachel, her hands, her entire body was itching for some contact of Rachel's skin, to feel her warmth, to breathe in her familiar scent that always makes Quinn feel like she's home, but she was so cruelly denied of that comfort when her parents ambushed their way into the van with them. Their words to her since then are such a blur to her that she can't remember much but she really doesn't care. There is just one person she needs right now and that is neither of them. Her hazel eyes are shining, burning with tears and she doesn't care that a roomful of people can see her tears. Not even her father who had always told her that Fabrays never cried, not even in the privacy of their own company. They just don't.
When Puck and Quinn see her run in and the girls finally catch sight of each other, the father-to-be isn't sure who is more relieved at seeing each other: Quinn, Rachel or him. After she was carried into the ambulance, Quinn has been so incredibly tense with agitation that her entire body now visibly melts at the sight of Rachel's face. And as soon as Rachel finally sees them, instantly rushing towards them, Puck can actually feel Quinn straining herself to not leap out of her wheelchair and into Rachel's arms, knowing that once she's there, she'll refuse to let go.
And while relief is pouring out of the brunette in waves, it is also just as clear to see that Rachel is still furious with Quinn's parents for practically pushing her out of the way after they were told to get into the van. They also spent the entire ride to the hospital, trying to convince Quinn that they're going to be there for her, no matter what. Puck doubts very much that the blonde was even listening to what they were saying though as she was a little too focused on the searing pain happening in her abdomen and screaming it out.
Plus, her yelling at them to shut the hell up was also kind of bad-ass.
When dark brown eyes filled with anxious concern lock with hers, Quinn feels like her whole body just let out the hugest sigh of staggering relief, her eyes following a blurry vision of the diva making her way across the room towards them, towards her. The blonde never takes her eyes off Rachel for fear that the pain is just creating a mirage of the diva that will disappear the very second that she blinks. It isn't until Rachel reaches her, taking her hand and immediately linking their fingers together; it isn't until she actually feels the brunette's warm touch that the chaos inside her diminishes. She finally feels grounded. "You made it," she whispers in awe. Despite her pain, her lips twitch up slightly when Rachel graces her with a soft smile, her heart thundering this time for the girl in front of her.
The racing pulse of her heart is slowing down and the brunette is breathing heavily as she rests her other hand on top of the swollen stomach, feeling for the baby and keeping her eyes on moist hazel ones. Even in such a wrecked state, Quinn is still the most beautiful girl she has ever seen. Bringing their tangled fingers up, Rachel gently kisses the back of Quinn's hand. "There's nowhere else that I'd rather be," she promises, leaning forward to press her forehead against Quinn's and the world fades around them.
It's more than a few hours later and the room is quiet when Puck walks into Quinn's semi-private hospital room, not an unsettling quiet but peaceful and frankly, after the day that they've had, peace is most definitely a welcomed setting. He has just come back from the nursery, from seeing his newborn daughter and he is filled with so many emotions that he isn't sure what to do with them. He's sure that Rachel would tell him to sing it out and for once, he actually thinks it's an awesome idea. Nothing can ever be more kickass than that first moment his dark (and most definitely, no matter what anybody says, not teary) hazel eyes met his baby girl's dusty blue ones. When she was first given to him, he felt that tug in his chest, the same one he felt from the first moment he knew that Quinn was carrying a girl, to when he first felt her kicks against his hand, to her first cries as she entered the world, and he just knew that he had surrendered his whole heart, his whole life, to the little girl in his arms. She is now and forever will be his number one girl.
He notices then, the scene that he has walked in on: Quinn is in bed, slightly turned to the side so that she's facing Rachel; their fingers interlocked and tired smiles on their faces as they talk quietly between themselves. It looks private, intimate, a moment that only belongs to them and he can't help but envy it. He can't help but envy that Quinn gets to share this beautiful day with somebody she loves. But then he sees Quinn smiling at him, beckoning him to come inside with a slight tilt of her head, and he feels that very same tug in his chest that pulls just a little bit harder when he sees the same smile on Rachel's face and he realizes that he did share this beautiful day with somebody he loves. Hell, he shared it with two somebodies that he loves. Though okay, not romantically, but at least… he isn't alone anymore.
"Hey," his voice rough in his apology, betraying his own state of exhaustion, physically and emotionally. He won't be leaving the hospital anytime soon and he'll probably have to tolerate the very unaccommodating visitors' chairs for the rest of the night. He can't leave yet because his baby is still here, and fact of the matter is, he'd sleep on a freaking bed of nails just so he'll have more time with her.
He will always want more time.
Shuffling awkwardly into the room, Puck moves to stand just beside the seated brunette and he gets a much better view of Quinn. The exhaustion on her face matches exactly the way that he feels, if not more so, and along with the smile drawn on her lips, there is this soft hue to her hazel eyes, softer than he has ever seen them to be. He has only seen them look like that when she's staring at Rachel or when she's talking about or to the baby. Maybe there were moments during the past few months when he thought she was looking at him like that but whenever he tried to make sure, she always managed to elude him somehow. But now he has to fight to catch his breath when he realizes that he's seeing it right now, and it is most definitely directed to him.
It's not love, he knows that, nowhere near like the love that she feels for Rachel or for their baby, but it is a degree of affection, small as it may be, that she has never afforded to him before and he finds that he is surprised by how much it actually means to him to know that he has it now.
Rachel sees the way that Noah is staring at Quinn, sees the words that are just waiting to be said out loud and it dawns on her that there is a conversation waiting to happen and it is one that she cannot be present for. It isn't jealousy then but understanding that settles in her chest. She knows that it's not Noah's fault, nor Quinn's; that this is just something only they need to do. So the diva runs her fingers tenderly through her girlfriend's golden locks, a discerning smile pulling at her lips before she lets her hand fall away to cup a pale cheek. "I'm just going to go check on the baby and then get some of my stuff from my dads so I can change into something more comfortable," she quickly explains as she stands from her chair, answering the unasked question in hazel eyes, which really is the truth anyway, considering that she's been wearing the same dress from Regionals all day now. It's going to be a long night and she might as well get comfortable while she can.
"Do you need anything?" she adds, her heart clenching tightly at the way Quinn just leans into her touch while a tired but content sigh escapes the blonde's lips.
Puck watches Quinn's hazel eyes flutter at the gentle touch on her cheek before peering up to meet the diva's dark brown gaze as she answers with a tired, sweet smile that all she needs is Rachel, making the diva blush at her sweet reply. The Mohawked boy finds himself surprisingly resisting the urge to do what he usually does when he's around the two girls and make a lewd comment. He looks down to the floor instead, instinctively knowing that this is another private moment between them; a moment when they're just taking a second to reconnect, to reaffirm something. He doubts that it's something he'll ever understand until he finds for himself the very same love that they share.
Pulling her bottom lip in between her teeth, Rachel fights down the urge to grin like a lovesick idiot because god, how does Quinn just make her melt into a puddle with just one look and so very few words? Instead, she gently sweeps her thumb over the smooth apple of her girlfriend's cheek before leaning down to press her lips to the blonde's forehead. "I'll be back soon," she promises, reassuring her that she won't be far, that she isn't leaving her though there is still a reluctance that leadens her feet from actually moving out of Noah's way and out of the room. It's a reluctance brought on by the fact that she knows that Quinn's parents are still in the hospital, waiting to have a moment alone with their daughter, and Rachel really just wants to be there for Quinn when that happens. Her girlfriend is in no condition to handle a confrontation with Russell and Judy just yet.
When the tiny brunette turns to look at him, Puck does his best to maintain her intense gaze. He swallows thickly at the emotions that burn bright in her dark brown eyes, the silent instruction that tells- no, warns, that he doesn't do or say anything that will hurt her girl and that he'd better look after Quinn while she's gone. Puck tries to convey his gratitude and his submission to her precaution, knowing that Rachel would rather give up a solo before she'd ever leave Quinn's side but is doing it anyway because she knows that he wants to do this. That he needs to do this.
Two pairs of hazel eyes quietly watch the diva finally walk out of the room before turning back around to collide with each other's gaze. A look exchanges between them before Puck goes to take Rachel's previous position by Quinn's, wiping his slightly sweaty palms over his black trousers once he's sitting down. He opts to lean forward in his seat instead of resting back because this isn't going to be a relaxing conversation at all. He's filled with a kind of tension that he's been carrying for awhile now. There are just so many things he's been wanting - dying - to say to Quinn ever since she allowed him the chance to be there with her for the pregnancy but he really isn't sure how or where to begin.
"You were great in there," he blurts out without warning and all his words come out in a rush, clumsily stumbling over each other. "Earlier, I mean, y'know, with the baby- delivering it-" And then suddenly he stops when he notices the crooked smile on Quinn's face, her perfect white teeth biting down on her lip, obviously keeping herself from giggling at the fact that he's on the verge of making a complete ass of himself, practically stuttering all over the place. Puck takes a deep breath into his lungs, his shoulders slumping down when he exhales, mentally blaming his less than badass delivery on his exhaustion.
The former pregnant blonde watches the father of her baby mentally struggle with the words in his head and she wonders once again, how she ever thought so badly of him before. She had had such a low opinion of him. Not that he tried so hard to disprove them before, when he was still chasing girls and 'cougars', avoiding going to classes and being a downright school bully. And add to that, the time that she did try to give him a chance, he ended up screwing it up by sexting Santana. But now, in a weird way, he kind of represents to her a symbol of hope that people really can change, whether by their own willing or by outside motivation. Or both.
Puck stops his mental self-flagellation and looks up in surprise at the blonde. Her smile is so heart-wrenchingly sincere and he thinks to himself how much different she is from the Quinn he had always known. His words finally come easily and he shakes his head because if anything, he's the one who should be saying that to her, and he does so as he pushes himself to sit closer to her, his knees reaching just under the railing of her hospital bed. "Thank you, for letting me be there for you both." He understands the confusion that takes over her face but he doesn't let it stop him. "I just- I know you were angry with me because I told you to trust me and then you gave me chance after chance to make it up to you but I- I screwed it all up-"
Realization quickly dawns on her and Quinn is fast to vehemently shake her head, stopping him in his tracks. She is absolutely refusing to place the blame that she never should have doled out in the first place. Shame fills in and it settles heavy in her chest at the troubled hazel eyes looking at her. Quinn sits up, meeting the Mohawked boy's gaze head on. "Puck, it wasn't just you, okay? I was there too. We both made mistakes that we can't undo. All we can really do from now on is just learn from them."
It's a conversation they should have had way before this day arrived but Quinn understands why they never did so. It was for the very same reason she avoided telling the truth, about her pregnancy, about the who the father actually is. Between them both, there was just so much pride and reputation at stake that neither wanted to venture and reach out to each other when they should have the most. But now, all their walls are down and it's all because of one little baby girl that they had created together. Puck lets out a tired sigh, nodding his head in reluctant acceptance of her assuring words. It might not have seemed like it but he had been carrying that guilt inside him for so long, he isn't even sure what to do now that Quinn absolved him of them.
"Are you ready for tomorrow?" It's an awkward question to ask, but still, he sits in silence, waiting for her answer even though he already knows what it is because he feels it too.
"No," she sighs softly. Quinn doesn't even attempt to shake her head or do anything except to lay her head back down on her pillow. Her hazel eyes lift to stare at the white hospital ceiling before she closes them and the blue, blue eyes of her baby girl flashes bright and vivid in her mind. The blonde takes in a deep breath, "I don't think I'll ever be ready."
Pucks nods slowly, understandingly. He gets it. Despite the fact that they've made this decision over a month ago, no real amount of time can truly prepare them for what tomorrow is going to bring. He's just so glad that he's getting this one night to be with his baby girl. He reaches out his hand to take hold of Quinn's, gently squeezing it to say that he feels her heartache too and his heart flutters when she doesn't pull away, letting him give her the comfort that she is giving to him. He thinks back to a few months ago when he would have given anything for her to be this receptive to him and his touch.
But he doesn't know this Quinn though, not very well anyway. The Quinn that he knows and fell in love with was Head Cheerio Quinn, Finn's Quinn. She was the bitchy, manipulative girl with a chip the size of Texas on her shoulder, that didn't want anything to do with him, the girl he tried so hard to prove to over and over again, that he isn't a Lima Loser. But he realizes now that it wasn't the real Quinn. Because the real Quinn? She's Rachel's Quinn. She's the girl that gets flustered and blushes like nobody's business when Rachel just barely glances her way; the girl that asked him to help her serenade the girl she loves more than life itself; and she's the girl who is totally and completely whipped by one Rachel Berry.
She also happens to be his baby girl's Quinn though, and when she feels her hand squeezing his back in return, he knows that it is only because of that, that she's his Quinn too.
END OF PART THIRTEEN B