My first Glee fic ever! I'm a bit nervous about this – I'm not sure how to get the characters right yet. So that why this is a little AU. I'm going to do angsty oneshots of all the glee girls, from then on it might expand. They'll all have their own issues.
Each chapter will have a synonym for "destruction" (because of the first quote). Enjoy!
WARNING: This could be triggering for anyone who suffers from an eating disorder or (later on) self harms.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
"How many ways can you say 'self destruction'?" - Skinny by Ibi Kaslik
- Obliteration -
"We get sick of being impressive. Rather, we tire of having to seem impressive. As a rule, most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place."
- Wasted by Marya Hornbacher
To the outside world, Rachel Berry is determination in its purest form, with a minor in "obsession" and "hotness" and an annoying edge to boot, because no one is that perfect.
Inside, she has been cut off from all landlines, left to float through space with no direction. And Rachel Berry does not deal well with being out of control.
Something has to change. Now.
She guesses it all started since birth, since she never knew her real mother and had two gay dads who weren't quite sure how to talk to her about anything even remotely related to girl puberty. When she was nine they gave her a tub of popcorn and a health video, fearing all future questions. She didn't ask any, because she realized they wouldn't know the answers and it would only make things more awkward. No matter how hard they tried, the sheer fact that they weren't female screwed her over, just a little bit.
Throwing herself into performing eased the pain. It dragged her out of a hole and into the light. The spotlight made people see her. They saw her and envied her and wanted to be her.
All she ever wanted were some friends. But determination tends to push them away.
She likes to get into peoples faces and tell them what to do – it's a bad habit she's trying to break. She's never been much of a team player. Her social status gets her slushies to the face, online bashing, and insults scrawled across her locker. She puts on a brave face, because one day she'll be a star and they'll be filling up her eco-friendly gas tank, but in her heart every incident is like machine gun fire.
They never seem to run out of ammunition. Even in grade school, when the best they could come up with was pulling her hair or making her eat dirt, it stung.
She's not pretty and she's not smart. Anybody could sing and dance like her if they really tried.
And here is Rachel Berry in a nutshell: Confidence? Fake. Self-esteem? Fake. Smile? Fake. Fake.
She is molding herself into the perfect model of success, looking for a way to stop the pressure cooker from broiling her alive. And then it comes to her in sixth grade, when a twelve-year-old-version-of-Quinn-but-with-red-hair tells her she's fat. She goes home and looks in the mirror.
Yeah, she is kind of chubby. Her thighs jiggle when she walks.
Despite this, it starts slowly. She's on a never-ending diet for three years, restricting her food to carrot sticks and peanut butter crackers. It isn't working, so freshman year she decides to eat what she wants and become a vegan, because she feels sorry for all those baby animals, and she's heard a rumor that vegans loose weight faster than everyone else.
Then Quinn Fabray walks into her life and makes it a living hell.
Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's fate, but that's the first day Rachel purges her salad and her peanut butter crackers and her ricecakes. It's not as hard as she thought, but it's not as easy either. It seemed like such a… untouchable. Like someone would burst in the door any minute and put her in handcuffs. Nothing happened, besides puke in the toilet bowl. It hurts her throat and she thinks she scratched herself with her fingers, but she's okay.
She expects to feel something afterwards, but that's just it: she feels nothing. All the pain and torture she felt before is gone, flushed down the pipes. She feels nothing, and feeling nothing is better than feeling like shit.
So she flushes and brushes and flosses and sprays air freshener, and life continues on. She isn't thinking about how vomiting might hurt her vocal chords or screw up her body so she can't dance. She is on a high off of feeling nothing, so she goes back to her homework with a secret little smile on her face.
Glee is simply another way to reach the top, and maybe make some friends in the process. She manages to partially do the latter, even though they don't like her. Of course not; she's simply part of the group. She can sing, can't she? They need her.
But she's replaceable. Expendable. Not very special at all.
She's beginning to learn that no matter how many solos she nabs or how many boys she kisses, it won't cure the pain. At least – not like throwing up does.
It's in a league all its own. Ever since the first time, all she's wanted is to do it again and again and again-
So that's what happens. This is how cycles start, children. Watch carefully, and the vortex may just eat her alive.
Once it becomes the norm, she expects her paranoia to die down, but it doesn't. It keeps growing. She squirms underneath the stares of her fellow Glee club members, the way she can feel their eyes burning a hole in her back while she briskly walks away from the lunch table on her way to the bathroom (on the other side of the school, of course. She has a time table, and knows when each are usually empty at particular times of the day). They won't stage an intervention, because this is Rachel Berry we're talking about, folks. Rachel Berry is strong, giddy, and confident.
Rachel Berry might as well be one step down from perfect, whatever the hell that means.
Rachel Berry wouldn't be stupid enough to try to puke out all her insides.
She tries hard to deny it. Maybe one day she'll have a rare good day, and think to herself "I'm going to stop." But then, something always seems to ruin it. Another blow comes to shatter that smile off her face and says you don't deserve to be happy. These voices threaten her heart's survival. In a way, eating everything in sight is a way to defy them. Then, the guilt is so overpowering, she has to get rid of it. There is such an overwhelming fear, a bombardment of images of herself suddenly swelling to unfathomable sizes, that she runs to the bathroom and hides the gagging noises underneath tap water. She holds her breath as to keep out the monstrosities, and wipes the slime away with the back of her hand. Her lipgloss is gone, but her mouth has turned ruby red from pressure. Her eyes are shimmering with tears she would normally never allow.
She sits and waits for her body to return to normal, for the mask to reset itself.
With the mask at hand, lying is easy, so easy it's almost a joke. She's a pro at faking it; years of dance performances taught her to smile like nothing else and make it look real. She isn't so good at hiding food, but there are plenty of tips she can read online. She stares at them for hours, the blue glow of the screen shading her face, thousands of girls whispering their secrets, just like her.
It is not glee club where she feels most accepted, but at these sites. They talk about weight and numbers like it's no big deal. They're allowed to discuss calories and workouts and ways to purge without being stared at or escorted to the nuthouse. Rachel finally feels like she belongs somewhere when she reads their words. They're encouraging, strong, inspiring. They're proof that one day, this could work.
She makes numerous vows to try harder. She leaves without breakfast, forgets her lunch money, speed walks up and down the halls at an attempt to lose more. It never works. Her stomach gets the best of her, and soon she doesn't care. She's eating everything in sight, ever too eager to get down onto her knees and feel the release of taking back all of her mistakes. It's almost like magic, like cheating the system, because everyone always says life doesn't work like this, but it does. She can make it so.
All is well in the land of corrosion. And then someone hears her.
A pregnant Quinn Fabray follows her into the bathroom, and therefore ruins her life once again. She isn't sure if she makes it a hell, because she's pretty sure she was living in hell already. Whatever happens, it just makes it that much worse.
She bribes her. Begs. Begs and begs for her not to tell, but Quinn won't make any promises. It sets a fear deep rooted in her soul, cursing the world, wondering why they just can't all shut the fuck up and leave her alone.
Because Quinn Fabray says she remembers the days of laxatives and meal plans. She remembers binging on a doughnut after fasting for two days, fainting in the locker room, and facing the scale during Cheerios practice. Quinn remembers when two pounds meant life or death, and doesn't want that to happen to anyone else.
Too bad it turns out that Rachel Berry is determination in its sickest form. She will stop at nothing to reach her goals, even if that means losing everything to gain back her worth through ivory bones and blue tinted flesh.
Quinn knowing her secret won't stop her. No, it'll only power her determination even more. Because if we know anything at all by now, folks, we know that Rachel Berry is not a quitter. Not in the slightest.
So there's chapter 1, from Rachel's point of view! She'll be struggling with bulimia. I hope you liked it. If you've got time, please review! Next will be Quinn.