Title: There's No Better Cure For Me Than This
Author: amaltheaz / pseudohuman
Length: 4,745 words
Pairing/s: Quinn/Rachel, small mentions of Quinn/Finn and Quinn/Puck
Spoilers: AU – Except, Quinn does get pregnant but doesn't get kicked out. Oh and Mr. Fabray is not in the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, or anybody in Glee. And this is so not used for profit.
Author's Note: I remember reading a discussion about Quinn and religion in the rachel_quinn comm and I wanted to leave a reply but y'know, I have a serious case of shyness. So instead, I opted to write a fic about it. It's Quinn-centric (and slightly OOC... maybe very OOC, lol), and also somewhat autobiographical. The angsty parts of it anyway. Happy and cheesy ending though 'cause... there's only so much angstercising I can do before I get an ulcer or something, lol. I don't know if it came out that I envisioned but y'know... I tried.
Author's Note #2: Song title comes from a song called Coma Therapy by Strata. Not really relevant to the story but I was listening to it when I got the idea for this. And it's an awesome song anyway. And A Little Fall of Rain obviously comes from Les Miserables.
There's No Better Cure For Me Than This
2010 (Present Time)
Quinn remembers the first time she said it out loud.
She was 15 and her mother had walked in while Quinn was doing her English homework, struggling with Othello. They found themselves sitting on the floor of Quinn's bedroom, opposite each other after Mrs. Fabray asked if they could talk. Well, not asked, more like, said that they should. The older Fabray rarely initiated conversations with her youngest, but Quinn knew that anytime her mother said they should talk ("Just talk. It feels like we don't talk anymore."), in that deceivingly congenial tone of hers, Quinn could only feel wary and her heart would begin to beat with trepidation even though she knew she had done nothing wrong.
It wasn't right, for a child to be afraid to interact with her own mother, the very person who gave her life, the one who made their house a home. But such is the case of one Quinn Fabray. She found her mother's love overbearing and suffocating, but she knowingly accepted it because she knew her mother didn't know a different way to love. Quinn knew though, that there had to be a different way to love; a love that would free her rather than cage her. But for all her fifteen years, this was all she knew, and she couldn't help but think it was all she would ever really know.
They talked about the mundane things like how school was going ("It's fine.") and how Quinn was dealing with her studies ("Dealing fine."). She flippantly mentioned the Cheerios and how Coach Sylvester had taken them to Nationals, after which Mrs Fabray jumped up and (strongly) suggested that Quinn join the Cheerios because didn't she love to dance and wouldn't being on the cheerleading squad help her make friends? And Quinn realized that she had been backed into a corner because she couldn't think of a reason why she shouldn't join the squad. She did love to dance and she could stand to make new friends, so she reluctantly agreed.
Quinn began her confession with sweaty palms and a nervous thundering heart, and finally, "I think I am", and she actually felt sort of relieved that she at least voiced it and hoped that maybe her mother would help clear things up for her. But when asked, she was unable to cite the reasons why she thought she was and no, she was not really sure. She just had these thoughts that she couldn't stop and her voice wavered with fear and insecurity which Judy heard, and seemed to hold on to it like a lifesaver. Her baby could still be saved. So the older Fabray took hold of her daughter's trembling hand, her tender grip choking on its pulse, suffocating its flow.
Her icy blue eyes locked with Quinn's hazel ones and she confidently told her, "Don't worry baby. I will help you find your way back to the right path. We will fix you so you can earn God's forgiveness."
Quinn didn't actually know what she was supposed to feel. But that big neon sign that was hitting her right then? Was telling her what she thought she was? Was wrong and would not be tolerated in this house. So Quinn shut her mouth, buried it all deep inside and didn't breathe another word about what she thought she was.
Because she'd sooner hammer nails into her hand before having that conversation ever again.
Quinn discovered that saying it and thinking it were two very different things.
Thinking it only occurred inside her mind. There was no need for fear or anxiousness to bloom inside the pit of her stomach to the point of hyperventilation. Though thinking it had the word 'fear' attached to it because Quinn knew once she said what she was thinking, it was up in the air and completely out there. She couldn't ever take it back. So thinking it meant Quinn still had a choice. She could either be really honest with herself and to the world, or she could keep it to just herself. Maybe just thinking it didn't mean she was lying to herself because she was not actually denying it. She was just not saying it to the world yet. The world didn't need to know who she really was, did it?
Thinking it meant she was safe. Safe in her little bubble where she had a boyfriend who doted on her; her mom was proud of her every move; and she was the HBIC of the school.
But then there was 'not saying it' to the people she knew. The people she saw every day, with whom she exchanged every day pleasantries. Quinn wondered then, if she was already keeping these secrets from them, what were they keeping from her? What if they shared the same secrets? What if their secrets were worse? What if to them, hers was?
Quinn tried saying it out loud. Tried to say that she is, rather than she thought she is. Just once to herself. She remembers the sweat gathering on her palms, her stomach warring against her insides, her heart beating faster and she could actually feel her breakfast rushing upwards to escape, choking her throat. Almost like her body was telling her not to do it.
Sometimes she would dream about it. Sometimes they were good dreams, the kind that raised her hopes and gave her a small dose of courage. But most times, they were not great dreams. In fact, they were proper nightmares where she lost everything and everyone. They brought no peace in her mind or her heart. She felt lost then.
She despaired that if she couldn't even say it to herself, how was she going to even convince anybody else that she wasn't kidding around? That this is a part of who she really is?
The next time she had this conversation, she was 16 and it was with Brittany. Albeit accidentally and very, very drunkenly.
Quinn was kind of (very) drunk and the then Head Cheerio didn't feel that same tight-reined control over her words like she usually did every day. Her confession came out in a jumbled ramble that was at first, over how annoying Rachel Berry was.
Rachel Berry: Man-hands. Rachel Berry: the very bane of her existence. Rachel Berry: currently with her boyfriend, Finn, "helping" him for their stupid Glee club. Quinn didn't know what it was about the brunette that bothered her, but every time she saw her, with her wide smiles and bright eyes, Quinn felt a little flurry of something and she could only that it was disgust because she could also feel her skin crawl. Rachel Berry made her feel this very physical reaction that she couldn't understand and she really hated that. It didn't matter to her that she noticed Rachel's silky brown hair, and deceivingly long tanned legs. It didn't matter that she was the one who actively sought out Rachel just so she could insult her. She just wanted to make sure that the small brunette knew her place in the food chain.
And suddenly there was talk about handcuffs which spiralled down into something that was like a lewd fantasy straight from Puck's porn collection.
She sobered up quickly when she heard shuffling, and she turned around to see Brittany. And Quinn had no point in hoping that Brittany absolutely did not hear what she said, judging from her fellow Cheerio's wide eyes and gaped mouth. But she was thankful that the taller blonde was a sweetheart, and would never judge a soul. Brittany only smiled as if she had known all along, and sat right next to Quinn.
Even more thankful when she told Brittany about everything (like really, everything). In the middle of it all, she tried to say the words again, she couldn't because she could feel her cross burning into her cold skin and the phantom grip of her mother's hand on her wrist, and when she began to cry, Brittany didn't hesitate to sweep her in a comforting hug. She heard nonsensical words about how there was nothing wrong with her and that she shouldn't be afraid, that she was going to be okay. She very vaguely noticed when Brittany passed her over to Puck who had come in and was uncharacteristically concerned over her well-being.
Her sobs grew harder when she realized how much she preferred the physical comfort from a girl rather than the self-proclaimed stud, who was telling her that she was a cool chick and that any guy would be lucky to have her as a girlfriend. So she kissed him. And she kept kissing him until the next thing she knew was morning and regret.
This is the last and final time that she has this conversation; and it is with her mother again. She still begins with sweaty palms and a nervous thundering heart. But this time, it is different. She's 17 now and so many things have changed since she was 15.
In the span of two years, Quinn Fabray was Head Cheerio and had ruthlessly climbed up the high school social ladder, thus becoming Queen with her boyfriend (now-ex) Finn Hudson by her side. Then in a spectacular fall from grace, got pregnant by ex-boyfriend's (ex-)best friend, Noah Puckerman, and lied to Finn (and consequently, everybody else) about the paternity of the baby. She joined Glee club, mainly to keep a watchful eye over Finn and make sure he didn't fall for Rachel Berry. Just because she wasn't in love with the quarterback, didn't mean that he was ripe for the plucking.
Over time, it came as a big shock to her when she realized that she actually loved being in Glee club. Because it is the only time she feels truly free to be herself and nobody else. Not the Quinn Fabray that everyone else saw her to be... But who she is, just Quinn. And the kids in Glee accept that. They accept her.
Not to mention the fact that she also might (definitely) have fallen for the female lead in Glee club.
She was even more surprised (and ultimately, kind of giddy) to find that said female lead reciprocated her feelings.
If you were to ask her, she wouldn't know what to say because really, she didn't know how it happened. Just that it did.
Since Rachel had spilled her secret, the brunette had stuck by Quinn, seemingly to make up for her mistake in telling a secret that really wasn't hers to tell. Quinn didn't want her there, didn't want her around, because Rachel reminded her of that time she got drunk and Brittany heard her ramble on and on about doing sex things with Rachel Berry, of all people. But in the end, with her dogged persistence and her skills of persuasion, Rachel was the one Quinn wanted in the room with her when she had contractions seconds apart, the one who held Quinn's hand all throughout the delivery. Even though her hand was severely broken in a few places afterward.
They had an hour or so before the couple adopting Quinn's baby arrived so they took the opportunity to spend time with the baby, who had Quinn's blonde hair and Puck's green eyes. The father of the baby had already seen and held the baby earlier, adamantly denying that he had tears in his eyes. Quinn was resting, when she saw Rachel holding her little girl, softly singing a lullaby and her heart filled with warmth. She felt that same urge she always felt with Rachel but never understood what it was. Right then, Quinn finally understood. And she knew.
She was in love with Rachel Berry.
She wanted to make a plan on how to woo Rachel. Wanted to show her small gestures of her feelings. Go slowly. There were going to be dates, flowers and chocolates and serenading because there was no surer way of getting into Rachel Berry's heart than singing to her. She had such grand plans. But then she saw Rachel plant a kiss on her baby's forehead, and she just couldn't stop herself when she asked Rachel to come closer after she put the baby down. Couldn't stop herself when she roughly pulled Rachel even closer, paying no mind to the brunette's surprised squeak, to kiss her.
And she definitely could not stop herself from smiling when she felt a swipe of Rachel's tongue on her bottom lip.
When Quinn was finally feeling up to it, they actually did go on those dates. Sometimes even double dates with Brittany and Santana (much to the annoyance of the brunette Cheerio). And it was like an unspoken agreement that nobody outside of Glee would know of their relationship. Well, except for Rachel's parents. Rachel couldn't hide anything from them to save her life really.
Their relationship was only a few weeks old, and they were taking it slow, still trying to find their bearings with each other but because of their strong friendship, the transition to girlfriends wasn't that difficult. Their relationship stayed relatively the same, only now, there were benefits. And Quinn could actually get Rachel to shut up just by simply kissing her. It was a win-win for everybody.
They were in Rachel's bedroom, studying. Well, Rachel was studying anyway. Quinn was thinking about her beautiful girlfriend and mostly plotting on distracting her from homework. But then in the midst of her thoughts, Quinn had a small sudden bout of insecurity. So she turned to her girlfriend, looking for reassurance. "Rachel, what if this doesn't last?"
The brunette frowned, partly from the very irritatingly-hard-to-understand math equation that was in front of her, and partly confused about why Quinn was asking. "Sure, this might not last," she replied absentmindedly. The blonde's eyes widened in disbelief and blazed in quick anger, which Rachel noticed, quickly adding, "But that doesn't mean my love won't. I'm still your friend, Quinn and I'll love you anyway." Rachel saw the former cheerleader's defensive gaze melt a little but she knew that her girlfriend was still not satisfied with her answer. She sighed. "Feelings change, Quinn. Whether it be yours or mine, I can't promise 'together forever'. I don't want to look back and realize that I lied to you. So I can't promise that."
Even though she was still angry at her for saying that they might not last, Quinn understood what Rachel was trying to say. They were still young and they didn't know where life was going to take them. And she had always known that Rachel didn't like making promises she couldn't keep.
She sighed. "What can you promise then?"
Rachel cautiously and gently took Quinn's hand in hers, glad that the blonde didn't push her away. She interlaced their fingers together and looked deep into Quinn's eyes. "I can promise that I'll always be there for you, whenever you need me. I can promise that I'll always be honest with you, especially when you don't want it but I know you need it. And I can promise that I'll always love you, every part of you."
The taller girl was silent for a couple of minutes then she quietly asked, "Even the part that called you Man-hands?"
Rachel laughed. "Especially the part that called me Man-hands, and every other name you've ever called me." The brunette raised Quinn's hand up to her lips, and gave it a gentle peck.
"For always," she repeated, pulling the taller girl towards her for a kiss, happily distracted from homework.
"Are you mad at me?"
They were lying on Rachel's bed, Quinn's head resting on Rachel's chest, close enough to hear her heart beating. It was normal for them to be at Rachel's right after school if they didn't have Glee to attend. Rachel had been uncharacteristically quiet for most of the day. Quinn knew that for the most part, Rachel looked like she was acting normally. They had been together for a few months, but she liked to think that she knew her girlfriend well enough to know when she was upset. And she knew that it was about that incident in front of her locker when Rachel instinctively went to take her hand and Quinn pulled away before she could. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that Rachel's feelings were hurt because of course, who wouldn't want to hold their girlfriend's hand? But Rachel just smiled (too) brightly at her, walked with her to class and really, nothing was out of the ordinary. Rachel seemed like she was being the usual Rachel, but Quinn knew better.
She was listening to the regular thumps of Rachel's heart when she was nudged up to look into Rachel's brown eyes. The brunette is smiling the smile that Quinn was pretty sure had always been for her. "No, of course not."
"Because I love you, silly." Rachel noticed that Quinn wasn't accepting that reason so easily, so she decided on a new tactic. "Quinn, do you love me?"
The blonde spluttered in complete disbelief. "How could you ask that? Of course I do."
"Then that's all that matters." When Quinn didn't reply for a few minutes, Rachel sighed. "Look, would I like it if I were able to actually hold your hand whenever I want? Of course. Would I like it if I could kiss you anytime I want? Certainly. Would I like it if I could even just walk with you in the school hall without having Brittany, as much as I adore her, as a buffer so people wouldn't think twice about us even being friends? Definitely. But Quinn, I'm not going to push you to come out when you're not ready."
"And you are? Since when?"
"Since our first date after you kissed me."
For the second time, Quinn spluttered. "I kissed you? Excuse me, I'm pretty sure that it was you that kissed me."
"I was employing the Hitch method so I'm pretty sure you kissed me."
"You remember that movie we saw months ago, Hitch? There was that scene where Will Smith's character was teaching Kevin James' character how to get a perfect first kiss at the end of a first date. And he instructed him to move only 90% of the way and let the girl make that final 10%."
Quinn rolled her eyes. "You're such a dork."
"Maybe, but I'm your dork."
The blonde then smiled at that, happy beyond anything that this tiny brunette is hers. Her voice was soft and affectionate. "Yeah, you are."
She leaned upwards to give her girlfriend a deep kiss, hoping to go a little further when the brunette pulled away. "And you can't say it didn't work, did it?"
Quinn flipped on her back, groaning. "Way to ruin a beautiful moment there, Berry."
Her girlfriend turned to rest on her side, looking down at Quinn."I never said I didn't have any flaws."
She smiled teasingly. "I know you don't. I'm very well aware of them actually."
"But you love me despite them, right?" Rachel asked, pouting exaggeratedly.
"Despite them, especially when I find them incredibly annoying to the point that I would actually help Kurt stuff a sock in your mouth. And I love you because of them when I actually find them endearing." She paused before adding, "Those are rare times though. I find you incredibly annoying most of the time."
"But what you're saying is, you love me, like, all the time?"
"Yeah, like, all the time. I think there may be something wrong with me."
"Then I think that it would be very succinct of me to say... Score," Rachel cheered then kissed her, lovingly brushing her tanned fingers through fine blonde hair. She pulled away, her fingers cupping Quinn's face. "Quinn, I don't expect you to do anything or say anything, okay? I love you. You love me. That's all we need to know. When you're ready to tell your mom, I'll be there for you. Good or bad."
Rachel smiled. "For always."
This time Quinn says, "I am" with a tone of conviction that alarms Mrs. Fabray and she wonders just when her daughter grew up so strong with her as a mother. She feels a pinch of something akin to regretful ache when she realizes that her baby grew up strong without her. In icy blue eyes, Quinn sees her mother caught up in her inner struggles, because there's nothing for Judy to hold on to this time. Nothing that she can sink her nails into; and to her, it feels like that cliff she had been clinging onto had given way and she's falling into the abyss. And she doesn't know what she's supposed to say to her baby girl while a sickening ball of disgust and hate is growing inside of her. Her maternal side, the side that kissed every scraped knee and sang lullabies at night, is telling her to protect her daughter from her wrath. To tell her daughter that she will always love her no matter whom she loves. But the thinly-veiled disappointment in Judy Fabray's eyes spoke volumes and Quinn knows.
She lost the battle.
"Does she love you?" Her mother's question comes out unexpectedly soft and resignedly frail, piercing the silence. "I assume that there is somebody. Otherwise you would have kept this for as long as you could." Quinn nods. "Does she love you?"
"Do you love her?"
"Does she make you happy?"
"Incredibly." She opens her mouth to say more but she sees her mother's eyes closing tightly, as if to stop the onslaught of thoughts entering. "Do you want me to leave?" Judy's eyes open, unsure but still so disappointed. "Mom, I can see in your eyes that you're disgusted."
She sighs. "Can you really blame me? My baby girl, my own flesh and blood, just told me that she's... Gay."
Quinn tries to swallow the lump of tears that are ready to come out because the way her mother says it, feels like a sucker-punch even though she knew she should have expected it. So she thinks of Rachel and how much they love each other, and she finds that strength. "Then you have to say it. Say that you want me to leave. Just because you won't accept it, doesn't mean that I won't. And I'm not going to let you make me think that I'm wrong. That I'm some abomination. Because I'm not. I know with my whole heart I'm not."
Her mother regards her silently, responding dispassionately, "You have one hour to pack." She gets up to leave her daughter's room, her hand on the doorknob when Quinn sobs out something she did not expect or want to hear.
"I love you, mom."
Her mother's voice is cool and collected, but Quinn can still feel the brewing anger underneath. "How can you even say that to me?"
She is calmer than she feels and her voice gentle, understanding and sad all at once. "Because I do. I understand why you're doing this. But you're still my mother. And I love you. I accept what you feel and who you are. I just hoped that I would be afforded the same easy acceptance."
When she hears the door click shut, it is only then that Quinn sucks in a breath and allows herself to feel the hot tears that had been burning wretched paths down her face.
Rachel opens her front door to find Quinn, huddled in front of her with a medium-sized duffel bag in her hand and blood-shot eyes and her heart breaks. But she doesn't speak a word. She just takes her girlfriend by the hand, pulling her towards her bedroom. She lays Quinn down on the mattress before spooning her from behind, taking hold of her hand to interlace their fingers. It is only when Quinn feels lips tenderly press against the back of her neck that she lets go, her body shaking in anguish as she cries guttural mournful sobs that hurt her throat, trying unsuccessfully to match the hurt in her heart.
She can't be more grateful that Rachel understands that she doesn't want to talk yet. The brunette just holds her as she cries, keeps holding her even when she stops. She doesn't breathe a word. But she knows Rachel, knows that she is going to want to talk about it eventually. But she isn't ready.
So as Rachel holds her, quietly singing A Little Fall of Rain, she falls asleep.
Hush-a-bye, my dear Quinn,
You won't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt you now
I will stay with you
Till you are sleeping
Hours later, Quinn wakes up to see Rachel sitting by the bed, her girlfriend's brown eyes watching her carefully. She looks down on the quilt, tracing the flower patterns with her eyes. She opens her mouth to speak but is stopped by Rachel pressing a finger on her lips. The brunette raises her other hand to gently cradle her face, making Quinn look up to see a soft, loving smile on her girlfriend's face. Her eyes close when Rachel leans forward to place a kiss on her forehead. Tears gather in her eyes at the brunette's comforting gesture.
"Let's get you something to eat, okay?"
Quinn nods in reply, and allows herself to be pulled up to stand. Rachel keeps hold of her hand tugging her towards the door when Quinn stops them in their tracks. The smaller girl turns to face Quinn, taking note of her appearance; dishevelled blonde hair and red-rimmed eyes. She combs her fingers through Quinn's hair, finally resting her hand on the back of the blonde's neck, her thumb stroking the skin underneath, assuring her.
"It's okay. My dads aren't here. It's just us."
The blonde nods again and this time follows Rachel down to the kitchen.
Afterwards, the girls find themselves lying on the couch in the living room, watching Annie, Quinn's favourite. Rachel is holding Quinn with the blonde's head tucked under her chin as her hand moves up and down Quinn's back. When the closing credits come up on screen, it is only then that her girlfriend chooses to speak, hoping that Quinn is ready. "I guess it was stupid of us to hope, huh?"
Quinn lifts her head to look straight into warm, brown eyes and despite her sadness, her breath still catches at the love in Rachel's eyes. But she can also see that Rachel is afraid.
Afraid that Quinn will lose herself in her despair. Afraid that she's going to lose Quinn.
The blonde's eyes close and she shakes her head. "No, it's not a stupid thing to hope."
"Do you think she'll ever come around?"
Quinn shrugs. "Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. I would like to think that she would. But she might not." She doesn't want to hope but it's all she has when it comes to her mother.
"Would you be okay with that?"
"Not really. She's my mother, the first woman to ever love me. The first to show me love. Even if it was a messed up kind of love. She loved me the only way she knew how and I can never fault her for that." She drops her head back down on Rachel's chest, a soft smile on her face when she hears that familiar steady thump, "But I'll survive."
Rachel shimmies down so they were face to face, but keeps her hand on Quinn's back. "Do you need me?"
She looks into her girlfriend's eyes, so loving and so real and she knows that she can never be without her. "Yes."
"For always." This time it is Quinn that repeats their promise and she smiles assuredly, her hazel eyes brimming with tears, happy though mourning for the loss of her mother. And as Rachel rains kisses over her tear-stained face, sealing the cracks in Quinn's heart, branding them with the love in her own heart; the blonde knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Rachel's love will heal her.
She's going to be her cure.
And there's nothing better than that.