Warnings: Faberry. That's Rachel Berry/Quinn Fabray. That's girl/girl. Femslash. Don't like, click on the "Back" button.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
It's not a secret to anyone in McKinely High that Rachel Berry is a penny-size, strong opinionated, self-absorbed diva, with a full stack of confidence, who takes great pride in her, how she likes to say, "many virtues".
Her voice is her most valued possession, followed closely by the Wicked poster signed by Idina Menzel that is hung on the pastel yellow wall of her room, next to the trophy shelf she started when she was eight months old.
Everyone with ears is very aware of the firsts on her list of priorities, for she takes any given moment to make it public. What they don't know is how much Rachel really cares about her physical appearance and how high on the list this trait is.
She is not so naïve to think that she has a fashionable style with her daily clothes, because, as Santana so graciously reminds her often, she dresses like "a crossover between an old granny and a stripper with an argyle fetish".
But the unbeatable brunette doesn't care at all, partly because she likes to think those clothes transpire seriousness and that's the idea she wants to give, but mostly because she knows under those endless layers of plaid and wool, there's an extremely fit and attractive body.
Rachel Berry prides herself on her long and smooth legs, her slim waist and firm breasts. She secretly has the guilty pleasure of standing in front of the mirror and admiring her figure. And that's what gives her the strength to get up every morning an hour before its needed to work out on her elliptical.
Of course, the first day of school after summer break is not going to be an exception.
The pint-size diva wakes up for a start with her "wake up/work out" playlist blasting from her i-pod. She's awfully perky in the morning- anyone who has suffered of her overexcited self would tell you that much- and she jumps from her bed, not wasting a heartbeat to change into her shorts and sports bra.
Her elliptical, the STA-r57 is one black and silver stylish machine, that looks a bit like a space ship and her dads bought it online from a specialized store on the other side of the country. They weren't convinced at first. Mr. and Mr. Berry stated how unnecessary it was to have that specific elliptical seeing as it would have to be sent and it'd increase the final cost. Rachel moaned and whined and even prepared a Power Point presentation to explain the advantages of purchasing the STA-r57 over other "less professional exercise machines". Needles to say, she got her elliptical.
Singing softly to the tune coming from her i-pod, she plugs in the machine and almost unconsciously turns it on, selecting her favorite program.
She starts slow, savouring the burning in the muscles of her thighs and arms. Ten minutes later, her pace increases and she starts panting, the first beads of sweat making her skin glisten.
Her mind drifts off to her somewhat scary approaching future. A new year of high school is about to begin and so many things are going to change. She's a junior now, more responsibilities and crucial decisions are coming her way, weighing tons on her shoulders and determining her future. Besides, Glee club got another year, meaning they'd have to work harder than ever if they wanted to make it to Regionals this time.
On top of that, facing Finn after their break-up just a few days ago is going to be awkward, even more because she's not sure if she did the right thing. Finn is a good guy. He has the intellect of a pebble and he's capable of boring her to tears, but Rachel can't help but think she rushed on her decision.
On the other hand, she's excited because for once, she's going to start a school year with friends.
The brunette has never been eager to meet anyone after the summer break, mostly because she has never had anyone to miss during vacation. Not like she's had time to miss them all that much when they have been having parties at Puck's and sleepovers at Kurt's once a week. And really, if she's being realistic, she knows they may have not missed her either.
Granted their friendship got better after Sectionals and have been improving since, but they still think she's insufferable most of the time and talks too much and still groan when she suggests an idea, but those groans are now followed by a playfull eye-roll, a half smirk, or a friendly nudge.
They all care for her in their own special way. Like Puck, trying to get into her pants, Santana with her less mean and more teasing insults, Brittany being... well Brittany or Kurt on his quest to change her wardrobe "for the honour of all the style defenders who fought arduous wars against bad taste and lost their minds on the argyle battle fields."
The only person she hasn't seem able to win over yet, is Quinn.
Rachel reaches for the towel hanging on the small hook attached to the elliptical and scrubs her face forcefully.
It's frustrating, really. She doesn't understand why the blonde who was once so focused on making her life a living hell is now so distant. Yes, she's still kind of a bitch to her- old habits die hard- but it lacks the intensity it used to have; that fire in Quinn's eyes, that sting in her voice.
Rachel doesn't miss it. At all. If anything she likes this Quinn better, even being bitchy and distant, she's way more human than her old-pre-pregnancy self. But the brunette can't help but wonder why is the blonde behaving so evasively and unfriendly with her, when it's so clear to everyone that her hatred for the short diva has diminished or, dare she think it, disappeared.
Rachel gives the final sprint and promises to herself she'll break Quinn Fabray's walls by the end of this year.
The control panel beeps signaling the end of the exercising time and the panting and sweating girl jumps off of the machine, grabbing her water bottle from her night stand and drinking carelessly, too high on sport endorphins to care about the trickles of water running down her chin. She wipes them with her hand, right before bending over to unplug the machine.
There are moments in life when you are so caught up into yourself that you don't assimilate your surroundings enough to detect a failure. Any other day, you would stop, analyze the situation, say: "oh, how stupid of me", and proceed to rectify. Any other day, Rachel Berry, the always over-analyzing girl, would have excruciatingly observed, dissected and organized her plan of action. Today, she has about a nano-second between grabbing the plug and feeling the powerful current of electricity viciously biting her hand and running up her arm and body, to think: "oh, how stupid of me".
She yelps and it sounds way less than it really is; even thought it lasts just a second, it hurts like anything else she has ever felt. She doesn't know how but, when the sensation of thousands of white hot needles prickling her skin from the inside turns to a soft tingling, she finds herself lying flat on her bed.
Her head feels light, like she just inhaled carbon monoxide. Her breathing is uneven, just like her heartbeat and her mouth tastes strongly like iron. She figures she has bitten her tongue accidentally.
She's still trying to process what happened, how can she be so stupid to mix water and electricity, when there's a knock on the door.
"Honey?" Comes the voice of her Daddy. "Can I come in?"
Rachel scrambles to a seated position and clears her throat before answering.
"Yes, Daddy, come in."
Leroy opens the door, smile white and kind and leans against the door frame.
"Ready for your first day as a junior?"
"Yeah, I'm-" The brunette croaks out. She swallows a blood tasting lump and tries again. "I'm as ready as ever."
"Good." He says oblivious to Rachel's internal freak out. "I actually came to ask you if you want waffles for breakfast."
"Daddy." She starts sternly, forgetting for a moment the little electrifying happening and adopting her best scolding tone. "I am still a vegan. Stop trying to convert me and Dad to your murderous eating habits. Besides, do you have any idea what those saturated fats do to your arteries? Haven't you read the magazine I lent you? As you should know, Woman's Health is a very respected source of health information and tips which, even if you are a man, can be of great help for-"
"Okay, sweetheart. Still vegan. No waffles. Got it. I'll just peel you a banana, that good?" He says sardonically.
"That would be great Daddy, thanks."
Leroy snorts good-naturedly and closes the door, shaking his head, amused.
'I swear I have to find out how to remove the subscription to that health magazine before it tears apart this family.'
Rachel gasps outraged at this and struts into her bathroom like only she can.
It's only when she closes the door behind her and watches herself in the mirror that she realizes how lucky she is to still be alive.
She slips out of her clothes and into the shower, wondering what are the odds for this to happen and reaches for her shampoo, catching for the first time a glimpse of something unfamiliar on her hand.
The ugly red burnt mark crosses her palm from between her middle and ring finger to her wrist where it fades to a light pink and, like it always happens with this kind of wound, it starts hurting right when she acknowledges it.
Twenty minutes later, she's showered and dressed, her hand is neatly bandaged, and she's preparing herself to lie to her parents for the first time in her life.
"Good morning, Dad." She says cheerily, sitting on the kitchen stool and digging into her plate of cut up fruit and glass of soy milk. "Where's Daddy?"
"Morning, cupcake. He left for work already. He asked me to tell you to have a good first day." Hiram answers with his back to her, fumbling with the toaster. 'Stupid machine with its stupid buttons. Easy technology, my ass.'
"Dad!" Rachel exclaims bewildered, not used to hearing either of her dads curse.
"What?" Hiram asks confused.
His daughter just shakes her head disapprovingly and returns to her breakfast.
"Oh honey, what happened?"
Suddenly her right hand, that was aiming for her mouth with a grape, is captive between both of Hiram's hands and he's inspecting the bandage with wide, worried eyes.
"Oh, that. It's nothing, Dad, I just got burned with the BaByliss, while curling my hair before."
Thank who ever is up there for her great acting skills.
"Oh well. Good, I was worried for a second there. I should have figured it was just your clumsy self."
"I am not clumsy!" Rachel gasps, earning a good laugh from her Dad.
"Oh, but you are. Did you forget that incident involving that pool stick on our last trip to New York? I'm sure your Daddy hasn't forgotten." He says, stealing a piece of apple from her daughter's plate, his eyes full of mirth.
"That's different! You know I lack the hand-eye coordination that game requires. That's not enough reason for you to declare my clumsiness."
"Whatever you say, sweetheart. Go to school, you're gonna be late." He kisses her on the head and she smiles reluctantly before jumping off of the stool and grabbing her stuff.
"I'll see you tonight at dinner, Dad. We have the first Glee Club meeting this afternoon, as I hope you remember, and it's probably going to take a while if we want to devise this year's plan of action to conquer Sectionals andRegionals." The brunette announces from the door.
"Mhm." Is Hiram's only answer, having returned to the toaster, watching it with his hands on his hips. 'You won't give me my damn toasted bread, I'll send you back to hell where you belong.'
"Oh my God, Dad!"
"What?" He shrieks, turning around quickly with his expression so innocent Rachel would have believed him if she wouldn't have just heard him.
"You really should think about watching your mouth, Dad. I'm still young and easily influenced and I could get into that really bad habit- which I wasn't aware you had- and I really do not want that, thank you very much."
"But..." He mumbles watching his daughter huff out of the room and the house, rooted in his place, brow furrowed. "I didn't say anything."
Rachel has to admit that she is having one of the strangest days of her life.
First, she was electrocuted and surprisingly enough, survived to tell the story with only a burn mark as a reminder. Then, her Dad starts cursing out of nowhere and acting all innocent about it, like it's the most normal thing ever.
But the weirdness doesn't stop here.
This morning while she was getting her books out of her locker, this girl she goes to English class with- Mindy or Mandy, she thinks her name is- walked behind her mumbling the strangest thing:
'So, if it's while I was drunk it doesn't count, right? I'm still a virgin, right?'
Rachel gasped, earning a look from the girl, like she just wasn't questioning her virginity in the middle of the hall.
Later, during her daily escape from Jacob Ben Israel, where he was trying to convince her to come to his house after school to read his last article, she heard him formulate the most sick, perverted fantasy, involving her and the boy wearing her panties.
It took all her might not to puke her guts out right then and there and she ran to the nearest girls bathroom and waited for class to start to get out.
But the pinnacle of the Twilight Zone-esque day so far, came when, heading to her Spanish class, she walked past a group of jocks and heard one of them say, loud and clear 'I'd so tap that'. Rachel spun around, stunned, cheeks tinged red and eyes wide, but she couldn't spot which one said it. After a rude "What's your problem, Stubbles?" from Karofsky, she ran to class.
She is now watching Mr. Shue conjugate the verb "Pensar" on the blackboard. Today, the class seems to be more chatty than ever, she really can't decipher what those murmurs say or who they come from, but they're seriously giving her the starters of a headache.
She reaches for a pencil in her backpack with her injured hand and winces quietly when the zipper scratches the bandage.
'Oh my God, is she hurt?'
Rachel's brown orbs scan wildly the classroom, looking frantically for the owner of the clear and feminine voice, but she only finds bored students and an over-excited teacher who's trying to point the difference between "Yo pienso" and "Yo creo". Unbelievably, it seems like no one is phased by whoever is talking loudly in the middle of a class.
'What happened to her? Did she punch someone? Ha! Yeah, Rach punching someone, I don't think so.'
At this point, the brunette is staring rudely back and forth, at every girl in the class, but no one of them seems to be talking. She closes her eyes, trying to pin point the direction of the voice, but every time she thinks she has it, she loses it again.
'Oh my God, what if she's cutting herself? OhmyGod, ohmygod! Hold on. Hold on, that doesn't make sense, the bandage is not on the wrist and hello! it's Rachel Berry, she wouldn't do something so stupid, she's smarter than that.'
The pencil on her hand snaps in her vice grip. She jogs her memory trying to recall that soft voice. Who is it? And why isn't anyone disturbed by her? Why isn't Mr. Shue saying something? Someone's shamelessly interrupting his lecture!
'Whatever. Why am I even worrying about Berry? I don't care about her. I don't.'
And that's when Rachel recognizes it. The indifference, the disinterested bitchiness.
She flexes her hand, letting the pieces of the broken pencil fall and turns around on her seat slowly, to the person sitting right behind her.
"What are you looking at, Berry?" Quinn snaps, but it has no sting to it.
"Were you... uhm, were you saying something?" The brunette asks, her voice quivering.
The blonde stares at her, expression bored and unamused. "No, I wasn't. Is that all you wanted?"
Rachel nods, confused, and turns her attention back to the front. She tilts her head, disconcerted, and wonders if she has gone mad. It would explain a couple of things that happened today.
'What the hell was that? Maybe... maybe she's not okay. Not that I care or anything, but... I could ask Brittany to ask her if there's something wrong or something... just in case or whatever. Yeah, it would be like, just in case.'
This time, she spins around so quickly she nearly falls off of the chair. And there is Quinn, looking at her like she just grew another head.
"What is your problem?" The blonde whispers harshly.
"I-I... I thought I heard... you just... uhm, nevermind." Rachel stammers blushing beet red. She almost squeaks in delight when, immediately after, the bell rings signaling the end of the class and school day.
She gathers her things in a rush and runs out of the room and to the nearest bathroom.
For the first time in all Glee Club history- not involving eggs- Rachel is late.
She walks in dragging her feet, brow furrowed and rubbing her temples, suffering a full blown headache now.
"Rachel, I almost thought you weren't coming." Mr. Schue jokes good-naturedly. Everybody knows she wouldn't miss it unless she was in a coma- which she is wondering if she is and if today is all a twisted dream of her over-active mind.
"Sorry, Mr. Schue. I was refreshing in the bathroom. It won't happen again."
She sits next to Mercedes, who glances worriedly at her and rubs her shoulder softly.
"It's okay, Rachel. We were just talking about our summer, you didn't miss anything." He answers cheerily, then claps his hands. "But we should start with the planning, right guys?"
There's a general sound of agreement and the brunette reaches for her purse hoping to find some Advil.
"You okay, Rach?" Mercedes whispers while Mr. Schue is busy suggesting his ideas for their next approach to Sectionals.
"Yeah, just a headache." She answers curtly. The other girl seems surprised by the absence of useless and endless rant.
'Man, she looks sick. I'd tap that still.' She hears Puck say.
"What about the hand?" Mercedes insists, genuinely worried.
'Hm, the midget hasn't jumped to suggest an awesome idea yet. This day is going better and better.' Santana mumbles. She glances at her and sees her playing with Brittany's fingers, focused on some point on the wall behind Mr. Schue.
"The hand?" She asks, closing her eyes shut, feeling seriously dizzy.
'I should buy the shoes. Hm, but if I do I'll have to buy the matching scarf. Oh well, might as well do some sacrifices for the sake of style.'
"Yeah, the bandage Rachel. Are you sure you're okay?"
'Oh God, she looks like she's going to faint. Shit! I should have known! I should have asked something! Wait, what?Shut it, Fabray, you don't have to do anything. You don't.'
"Oh yeah. It's just- I got burnt curling my hair."
'What did I ever do? I think I was a good boyfriend. I pretended to listen to her babbling, never stared to her boobs while she was watching... well, maybe that one time, but she didn't even notice!'
"Oh, that happened to me once. I was straightening m-"
"WOULD YOU ALL JUST SHUT UP?"
The small diva is standing in front of the entire Glee Club, nostrils flaring, breathing uneven and eye twitching. Everybody, including Mr. Schue, the band members and Brad, are stunned by her outburst, much different than any other she ever had.
"You- you've been all day... confusing me and- and talking and- and then being all... innocent, but I can't take it anymore. I'm... I'm out of here."
She grabs her things and storms to the door.
'Damn, that's kinda hot.'
Rachel stops dead in her tracks. She heard it again, loud and clear, and this time, she doesn't doubt who the voice owner is.
Walking back her own steps, she stares intently at Quinn, daring her with her eyes to deny it again.
"What. Did. You. Just. Say?"
Quinn looks taken aback by her piercing stare, but recovers quickly.
"Geez Berry, I didn't say anything. What? Now you're hearing voices?"
'Fuck. Me. If she keeps looking at me like that, I might not take responsibility of my actions.'
This time, Rachel was closely inspecting the blonde's face and there's no possibility for her to miss how Quinn's lips didn't move to speak the last line and, unless the ex-cheerio is suddenly a ventriloquist, it can only mean one thing.
"Yeah. Yes, I think I am."
I wish I was psychic so I could read your mind.
Leave me a review instead, yes?