The introduction to what will eventually be a 5-6 part story. Quinn POV, with plenty of Tina/Artie, and some Kurt and Mercedes for good measure.
Happy June, Gleeks! Thank you for all the reviews for Venom and Monsters; I'll be sure to get my Sue Sylvester back on as soon as I think of enough verbal barbs to get me thrown out of most respectable institutions. And to those of you who have read Swift and Exacting and Smashing Moral Ambiguity: I hope you enjoyed Puck and Finn slashing Vocal Adrenalines' tires as much as I did.
I own a pretty extensive iTunes library of Glee hits, but nothing else yet.
Her smoking pre-pregnancy body notwithstanding, what Quinn really missed more than anything was her feet. Maybe it was that she hadn't been able to see them for about five weeks now; maybe it was the extra time she had to spend picking out shoes in the morning, choosing what would be the least uncomfortable on her swollen, puffy soles. Whatever the reason, even more than her taut stomach and formerly proportionate cleavage, Quinn wanted her normal, shapely, size 6 feet back. Just another month, she reminded herself. The first thing I'm going to do after this baby is born is get a pedicure with a foot massage.
"So, guys. As you all know, this is our last rehearsal before Spring Break," Mr. Schuester was saying. "I know some of you have vacation plans, but for those of you staying in town, Rachel has volunteered to coordinate extra rehearsals. So if you're going to be around, be sure to let her know." He smiled at everyone. "You guys have been working really hard, and I couldn't be more proud. We're in great shape for Regionals, so let's give ourselves a round of applause, and have a great week off!" Quinn clapped halfheartedly as the room responded with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
Spring Break. The Old Quinn of eight months ago would have been thrilled. No school, no studying, no worries, just relaxation and a plane ticket to somewhere like Miami or Cancun. Now, she was kind of dreading the week off. Mercedes' family was driving to Oregon for a 5-day annual family reunion, and Quinn was less than thrilled to be tagging along. She'd gotten used to (and kind of liked) her friend's Mom and Dad, and Mercedes' two brothers were actually pretty cool, now that they had started looking at her face instead of her stomach when they talked to her. But two days of driving each way, five days of strangers staring at the pregnant white girl, and sleeping on a pull out couch did not sound particularly appealing.
The Old Quinn would have had an arsenal of scathing remarks to make about the situation. The New Quinn didn't say a word. She didn't have anywhere else to go.
"Hey, um, Quinn?" Quinn looked up from her purse to see Tina standing a few feet away, shyly playing with the strap on her bag. Her cheeks were slightly flushed with, what…fear? Embarrassment? Quinn didn't know her well enough to tell. But she'd always seemed nice (if really quiet) and she was close with Artie and Mercedes, both of whom had treated Quinn far better than she had any right to expect. So Quinn smiled as kindly as she could, hoping to put her at ease. "Hi Tina. What's going on?" she asked.
Tina dipped her head awkwardly, before looking back up and meeting Quinn's eyes. "Mercedes was saying at lunch that you were going with the Joneses to their family reunion over the break. She was worried it might be cutting it close to your due date." She twisted her mouth apologetically as Quinn's hand dropped to her stomach.
The same thought had occurred to Quinn when Mrs. Jones had first mentioned the trip. Giving birth was going to suck enough, but giving birth in Oregon, where she didn't know anybody or have any of her doctors? Really, really not what Quinn had in mind.
"Anyway," Tina pressed on, "we were wondering if maybe you might want to come over and stay at my house for the week. There's plenty of room for you, and that way you wouldn't have to travel or anything. And I live pretty close to the hospital, in case Drizzle comes early. Oh! I meant Beth, sorry." Tina's eyes were huge with alarm, and Quinn couldn't help but crack a smile. "It's okay," she reassured Tina, who looked slightly mortified. She shrugged her shoulders. "Sometimes, I still think of her as Drizzle in my head," she admitted. Tina relaxed a little at that, and returned Quinn's smile with a small one of her own.
Quinn glanced over at Mercedes, who was in the middle of an animated discussion with Kurt. (No doubt about something fashion and/or diva related—Quinn had quickly learned that the two topics comprised 90% of the pair's conversations.) If Tina had been talking to Mercedes, then her new roommate was probably fine with the idea of Quinn skipping out on the family road trip. "If it's all right with the Joneses, it sounds like a good plan to me," she said, answering the original question. "Do your parents mind?"
Tina smiled sadly. "It's just me this week," she explained. "My parents travel a lot, for work. I have friends over a lot, but it would be nice to have someone stay over."
Quinn watched her scuff her boot on the floor. Now that she had brought up the topic, she couldn't ever remember Tina mentioning her parents. Like, ever mentioning her parents.
She was pretty sure telling Principal Figgins that her Dad was King of the Vampires didn't count.
Quinn had met, or at least seen, everyone else's parents at the invitational earlier in the year. She hadn't really thought anything of it at the time, but in the few minutes that everyone was getting fussed over and having their pictures taken, Tina had been swinging Artie's little sister around by the arms, chatting with Mrs. Abrams.
That settled it. "I'd love to come stay with you," she said honestly. "My things are all at Mercedes' house, though, so I'll have to go back over there to finish packing."
"Told you she'd say yes!" Quinn hadn't realized that Mercedes had come up behind her. Accurately reading the half apprehensive, half guilty look on Quinn's face, Mercedes laughed and waved her hand at Quinn. "Don't worry, it's cool. Trust me, you're doing us all a favor: my Mom's been having nightmares about you going into labor in a truck stop bathroom all week. She'll be thrilled." She turned to Tina. "We can bring her by whenever. Wanna do dinner?" Tina grinned and hitched her bag onto her shoulder. "I'll call for pizza," she agreed, before giving them both a wave and heading toward the door.
"Get bacon on Little Mama's half," Mercedes called after her. Quinn raised a delicate eyebrow at Mercedes, who snorted. "You'll thank me later. Crazy woman eats pineapple and mushroom pizza. Now that just ain't right." She shuddered as the two girls started for the parking lot. "Now I am all for culinary experimentation, but there are some lines you just do not cross. Give me pepperoni any day."