Author's Note: This is mostly Quinn, but has a little Quinn/Puck. Spoilers through Preggers.
When Quinn was younger, she'd arrange her teddy bears and dolls in a horseshoe on her bedroom floor, grab her little plastic hairbrush from the vanity, and sing. The songs of choice tended to be the hymns from the past Sunday's service, along with the occasional song from her sister's radio, so it varied from week to week what her captive audience heard.
Her sister thought she was crazy.
As she got older, and her audience found themselves packed into storage containers and shoved into the attic next to the Christmas decorations, she took her concerts to the shower. Her hairbrush was traded for a loofah, and her repertoire became more advanced. In addition to the old classics, she would practice for her middle school choir's concerts.
Her parents didn't appreciate hearing their sixth grade daughter sing "I know I meant to say no, but he's irresistible" in front of all of their friends from church, as well as people they didn't know, though; her father's rants and ravings when they got home that night drove the point in.
"Your voice is supposed to honor God, not unnatural urges!"
She was forced to hand her choir director her resignation the next morning, the note written in a distinctly male handwriting.
When she was alone, or after everyone else had gone to bed, she would clear her voice and do the vocal warm-ups her choir director had taught her, before singing until her voice gave out – or she heard someone approaching her.
"The sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun…"
She knew she didn't have the strongest voice, and even if she had stayed in choir, she knew that she wouldn't have ever won a solo. That was fine.
She would only sing for herself now.
It was early in her sophomore year – her hard-won Cheerios skirt swishing against her legs as she walked home from school – when someone else heard her sing for the first time since sixth grade. She was hitting the crescendo of the chorus, and skipping over the crack in the sidewalk like she always did even though she knew it was nothing, and then she heard a voice from behind her.
"Shit," Noah Puckerman – no, he had gone through a stage that summer, and was only responding to Puck now, of all things – said, as he drove up in his beat-up family pickup, "I didn't know you could sing, Fabray."
She whipped around to face him, her ponytail careening to impact the side of her cheek. "I'll have you know, Puck, that I'm a girl of many talents." She turned back, grasping her books tighter against her chest.
"So the football team says," he said, as his eyebrow rose upward, "is it true?"
"I'm not dign –"
"You know what? Fuck you." The tires squealed as he peeled away, leaving her standing behind on the sidewalk, slightly shell-shocked at the conversation that had just transpired.
She walked home in silence, threw her books on the kitchen table – ignoring the protests of her mother – and ran upstairs. As she lay on her bed, watching the late afternoon shadows create interesting patterns on her ceiling, she hummed softly to herself.
Today, if it proved one thing, was the proof she needed that no one ever needed to hear her sing again. It was personal, too personal.
Life, as it were, has a way of challenging pre-conceived notions.
Not even a year later, she found herself auditioning for New Directions. "The things I do for Sue," she muttered, after she finished the audition. She was weak, she was willing to bend, and she had bent so far already, seeing as how she had broken her vow of chastity.
And now, she'd have to convince her parents that this time, everything would be different.
She held her newborn baby in her arms.
"Hush little baby, don't say a word," she began to sing.
And from the chair next to her, a male voice joined in, "mama's going to buy you a mockingbird."
As Quinn and Puck sang to their daughter in duet, she smiled. It almost, almost, seemed perfect, for that one fleeting moment, as reality was held at bay. Of course, once everyone else streamed in with their congratulations and flowers, the façade would fall away, but for now, she could make herself believe that they were the only people who could hear her.
"…you'll still be the sweetest little baby in town."