Quinn never would have thought that Rachel Berry would be right about her having no one but the Glee Club when the pregnancy came out. But, she was.
And even after Finn had found out that the baby wasn't his, and the tall boy almost didn't go to sectionals because he was so mad at her and Puck, these group of misfits were all she had. They stuck by her, they probably didn't like her very much, but they were there for her.
She felt like a nobody though. Having been thrown out of Finn's, she had no choice but to go to Puck's. Going through the motions of being his girlfriend, but never feeling it. He was with her only because she was carrying his baby, and although he liked her. He didn't like her enough to be faithful.
But she accepted this because this was her only option. And she never really felt jealous whenever he'd clearly strayed. Although she felt she should.
What was worse than Rachel being right about the club was that she actually felt she belonged there. But if the opportunity arose, she would leave it all to be the popular head cheerleader again. She knew it was pathetic and shallow, but it was the image more than the reality she missed.
She missed everyone looking at her in awe, adoration and envy. She missed how they all parted when she walked by. But she never missed the gruelling schedule of the Cheerios, and the strict diet she was on.
The idea of screwing up her body now, was unthinkable to her.
And then there was Rachel Berry. Oh god, Rachel. If there was a choice of spending the day with the little Diva, and say, having all your teeth pulled out. Dentistry would win. She knew it was harsh, but the dark haired girl was so grating. Plus she'd tried to steal Finn from her, and had briefly dated Puck. She was there to mop up Quinn's sloppy seconds.
But no matter what Quinn would do or say to the other girl, she would always insist on talking to the blonde like they were friends. She was relentless. Some might say scrappy.
And she certainly would never have expected that one incident could cause the emotional domino effect that changed everything.
She and Puck were walking down the hall when Rachel, and her new boyfriend, the way too perfect Jesse St. James, joined them. Followed, possibly a smidge too soon, by Finn, who was bordering on stalking the brunette.
What the hell was it that made boys like her? Apart from her big mouth and no gag reflex.
Rachel had some lame idea for regionals, and was trying to convince everyone it would look Spectacular! So far she'd convinced no one.
So while the brunette was talking ninety miles an hour, Quinn noticed one of the Jocks from the football team, whose name she never bothered remembering, heading towards them with a slushy in his hand, and sheer determination on his face. His clearly intended target, much to the disappointment of the blonde, was not in fact Rachel, but her. He moved liked a heat seeking missile, and she was in his range. As he lifted up his arm to throw the beverage, Rachel jumped in front of her, taking the full hit.
Everybody was laughing, except Quinn. She walked around Rachel to face her, and the Diva was standing stock still with her eyes closed, and her face still scrunched up, dripping corn syrup on the floor.
The blonde looked at the three male Gleeks, but they just shrugged and continued to laugh. So she grabbed the smaller girl and dragged her to the nearest bathroom, screaming at the juniors who were in there putting make up on, to get the hell out. And they weren't about to argue with a pregnant teen.
She grabbed Rachel by the forearms, and moved her to the sink, then took some paper towels from the dispenser and soaked them.
"Why did you do that?" She asked wiping the slushy from the smaller girls face.
"The boys didn't look like they were going to do it."
"So, what? You're like my white knight now? Rachel, you don't just do that kind of stuff. What's the ulterior motive for this?"
She pulled out another towel, soaking that one too.
"Ulterior motive? I did it to protect you. Do you really think I had time to consider the benefits of being hit in the face with a slushy? Oh, wait. That's right, there are no benefits. Just ice cold pain and an all round squelchy feeling"
Quinn silently continued to wash away the mess, wiping the eyes, so that the other girl would finally open them, when she did open them, she looked annoyed, but the blonde's first thought was that they looked like chocolate. And her sweet tooth was acting up again.
"Okay. Say I accept that you did it to protect me. Why would you? We don't exactly get along."
She took a third towel, and started washing out the long dark hair, thinking it would probably look nice up. Rachel does have nice hair, and maybe if it were in a ponytail, or a bun, then it would be easier to clean when she got slushied.
"We do have our moments Quinn." The Diva gave her a shy grin.
Okay, so as grating as Rachel Berry was, there was a percentage, a small one, maybe five, going up to perhaps eight percent, which was…
Which is very small amount in the grand scheme of things. Really.
"So you're saying that you did it because we have on some very few occasions, been in the general area of civil towards one another?"
"No. Maybe. Look, I don't know why I did it. I barely had time to react to what I was doing. I just did it."
"Holy potatoes! I don't know." Rachel grabbed the paper towels Quinn was holding, and hurriedly wiped off as much slushy as she could then gave the taller girl a look that she couldn't read, and stormed out of the bathroom.
Now alone, Quinn stared at the soiled towels and then started to clean them up. When she was done, she looked at herself in the mirror, and frowned. Her face was getting fatter.
When she left the room she headed towards her locker, and saw Rachel taking out her spare clothes from her own then headed towards another bathroom, so the blonde followed her. She couldn't let this go.
She opened the door and Rachel was putting her stuff out onto the counter.
"Oh God!" The brunette groaned.
"Before you say anything, I only wanted to say, what I should've said before, which is. Thank you." She said bending her head down. Cursing herself for acting so awkward in front of Rachel. When she looked up, she saw that the brunette was almost crying.
"What?" She ran through her previous sentence trying to figure out if there was something in what she'd said that might explain why Rachel was on the verge of tears.
"Jesse laughed. They all did."
Oh good, she hadn't said anything.
"I didn't." Quinn said moving closer the smaller girl.
"No. But there was a time, not that long ago when you would have."
That stung. So she had to forcibly prevent herself from insulting the Diva, because whenever someone said anything she didn't like she went in to bitch mode. It was like one of those puffer fish, one sign of trouble, and Vumph, defences up. She took a deep breath.
"That's fair. But just because they laughed doesn't mean anything. Boys are juvenile."
"I know that. I know that girls mature faster than boys. I've seen studies. But that doesn't make it hurt less that he didn't come to my aid. You did. And we aren't even friends."
Quinn wasn't especially good in these situations, but she felt the need to try and cheer the girl up. Because she took a slushy for her. A slushy. That was colossal.
Okay. So this was going to be small steps. The brunette hadn't really annoyed her in these last few minutes, so she would at least try and be nice.
Nicer. It was best if she didn't get too ahead of herself.
"You want me to slushy the three of them?"
Rachel laughed. Okay, this was progress. Sort of. "No. Although it would be fun. I can't get you to punish them for something that wasn't their fault."
"What about that guy who slushied you in the first place. We could do it to him. He's a prick anyway."
"What? He is."
"No. When this happens you just have to hold your head up high." Rachel said with a sad sigh.
"Take the high road." The blonde nodded sagely.
"Don't get on your high horse."
"Use high explosives."
They both laughed.
"I'll leave you to clean up and get changed. I really am thankful for what you did Rachel. You know it will happen again though, so do me a favour and not get in front of me when it does."
The Diva's face fell, and Quinn's brain told her to make it right.
"What I mean is. I feel bad about it. You already get more than your share, so I don't want you to take mine too."
"I couldn't stop myself though. So if I do, do it again, then I can't be held responsible. Okay?"
"Okay." The blonde smiled. "I'll see you at Glee?"
"Yeah." Rachel gave a little chuckle. "See you at Glee."
As Quinn made her way from the bathroom to her next class, she told herself that it hadn't been too difficult being nice to Rachel, but she had a feeling that the brunette might have some thoughts that they were moving into friendly territory, and she wasn't sure that was something she wanted, or, in reality, deserved. She decided that it might just be easier to ignore the Diva. Well not easier, Rachel was not an easy person to ignore. It would be better to ignore her. Yeah, that's it.
The next day, Quinn was surprised that Rachel barely acknowledged her. The singer had given her a timid smile and a nod when they passed each other in the hall but, that was it.
She left her final class of the day early because she was feeling like crap, and she was too hot and grumpy to care about what the teacher was saying. She figured she'd just go to the choir room early and work on some of her homework before everyone arrived. When she walked through the doors, her eyes immediately focused on the piano.
"What are you doing Rachel?" Quinn asked curiously. The singer was sitting on the piano bench staring at Brad, the ever present piano player, with glazed eyes. But the Diva ignored the question.
With a hint of instability, Rachel gently poked the pianists cheek with her index finger, and said "Ooh"
"Rachel!" Quinn shouted.
"Yeah?" The response was slow and tired.
"What the hell are you doing? You're making the guy uncomfortable. It's not enough that he has to put up with a bunch of highschoolers singing and dancing around him all the time, he has to be prodded too?" Quinn looked at Brad. The man gave her a smile
"I was just seeing if he was real." The brunette said simply. Like that was the most logical explanation in the world.
"Why would you need to check that?" Quinn asked, a little concerned that this was something that needed verification.
"Because I was thinking maybe he was God you know? He never speaks. You never do." She said turning back to him. He just smiled. "And, also, he's always around. At first I thought maybe it was for some unsavoury reason like he was a pervert or something, but that didn't make sense."
"You don't make sense Berry!"
Rachel ignored her and carried on with her thought. "So, I thought about it, and the only explanation I came up with was he was God. Like in that film where God plays skeeball, and gets hit by hockey sticks and is a coma and when he comes out of a coma he's Alanis Morissette, who needs Alan Rickman to speak for her because her voice would make everyone's head explode."
"You make my head explode." The blonde mumbled.
"So my conclusion was that Brad is God, and we are his skeeball. Also, he doesn't have his voice because his Alan Rickman isn't around. You know what I'd like to hear? Alan Rickman singing Ironic. I bet that would be the best thing ever. What do you think Brad/God?"
The pianist smiled and nodded.
"What the hell are you on?"
"Vicodin. Which do you prefer? Brad or God? How about Brod?"
"What!" Quinn yelled as she stormed towards the singer. "Oh my God Rachel. I'm taking you home."
"Okay." Rachel said happily. Then leaned into Brad and whispered, "It's a good thing she doesn't believe me eh? You're hair is so fluffy."
Another smile and nod.
Quinn grabbed Rachel's things and helped the other girl up, lending her shoulder for support. Which the brunette took gratefully before turning to the man. "Bye Brod!" She waved.
"Jesus Rachel. Why the hell did you take that stuff?" Quinn asked after she had put the other girl into her car.
"I didn't mean to! I just picked up what I thought were paracetamol from the medicine cabinet this morning, and it wasn't until I started feeling really odd I looked at the label properly."
Quinn sighed, and put the car into drive, she knew where Rachel lived, and she didn't bother asking. After a few moments she heard the girl next to her singing quietly, she couldn't tell what it was at first but then she became louder, and the blonde couldn't help but laugh when Rachel practically shouted,
"Fuck land, I'm on a boat mother fucker"
The singer stopped when she heard the laughter. "What?" She asked Quinn sulkily.
"Nothing. Just not the kind of song I expected you to sing."
"Yeah, well, it's catchy." She shrugged.
After getting Rachel into her house, she took the singer up to her room and plopped her on the bed.
"Button, button who's got the button. My money's on the witch. Red is a bad girl."
"What the hell are you talking about now?" Quinn asked, even though she knew.
"I don't know." Rachel was silent for a second. "Quinn?"
"When a double u is capitalised, should we call it double v?"
"I want to smack you right now."
"Go ahead I can't feel a thing."
Quinn got up on the bed and kneeled next to Rachel's lying form.
"Wait! Quinn, I was only kidding. I don't want you to hit me." Rachel shouted sticking her arms out in front of her and scrunching her eyes closed.
The blonde pushed down the outstretched arms. "I'm not going to hit you Berry. I'm just getting comfortable. I'm a pregnant girl you know."
"I know." Rachel leaned up slightly, and got close to the blonde's stomach. "Hello Baby!" She said before falling back down on the bed.
Quinn wanted to, really, really wanted to be genuinely annoyed with the brunette, she'd been far less annoying than this in the past for Quinn to get pissed off at her, but she couldn't do it. With her current state Rachel was more than the maximum eight percent endearing. Probably like fifty. Plus Quinn still felt a guilty twinge from the slushy incident yesterday, as well as grateful. She was interrupted from her Rachel Berry adorableness thoughts by the girl talking again.
"When I'm hungry, and I can hear that gurgling sound, I always imagine wavy lines coming out of my stomach. Like Snoopy."
The blonde raised her eyebrows and smiled. "Me too."
"Really? I thought I was being weird."
"I know. I talk too much and I don't think before I speak, and people find my honesty too much and I can't make any real friends because I always say things that other people find offensive. I don't mean it to come out like that. I do it because I'm nervous about not being liked, and then I say something in my nervous state that makes people not like me. And I'm too ambitious." She paused for a second and sighed. "I don't think it's so bad to want to get out of this place and be something. I don't want to be stuck here and end up being just another Lima Loser."
"What people don't like about you Rachel is that you do have the talent to get out of this place. There is only a small amount of people that have what you do, and drive that you have. The rest of us have to accept that we will probably stay here and get a low paid job, and live our lives wishing they had a fraction of the talent you do so they can get the hell out of this cow town. Plus you talk a lot, and you're a little crazy"
Rachel looked up at her, she didn't speak, just looked, and it was making Quinn uncomfortable, but she couldn't break the contact. It was like those dark brown eyes were penetrating her soul.
"I could take you to New York with me." The Diva said quietly, still gazing up at the other girl.
"And why would you do that?" Quinn asked bitterly.
"Because the idea of you having to stay here," Rachel sneered when she said the word "Makes my heart wrench. You deserve more than that."
"It's probably exactly what I deserve." Quinn moved her position and mirrored Rachel's, lying very close to her, and looking up at the ceiling. She didn't pull away when the brunette intertwined their fingers.
"You haven't bee insulting me as much recently." Rachel said casually.
"I don't know. I don't feel like it?"
"You are an intelligent young woman Quinn. Answering the question with 'I don't feel like it' is something a child would say, I know that you are evasive because you aren't comfortable with showing yourself to others, so I'm really not expecting you to tell me the whole reason, but I would expect you to give me a better one than 'I don't feel like it' So I'll ask again, why?"
Quinn sighed. "Maybe the baby has given me a soul." She answered.
"Yes. Like Darla." When in doubt, go with a Joss Whedon-verse analogy.
"Well I do hope you don't plan on thrusting a wooden spike through your heart to forgo the birthing experience."
"No." Of course, sometimes the analogy can go too far.
"Good, because it would be very messy." Rachel hummed quietly to herself for a few seconds. "I don't think you were soulless before, just a cheerleader."
"Is there really much of a difference?"
They fell into silence. Still looking up at the ceiling, still holding hands. Quinn knew it wouldn't last, this was Rachel Berry after all.
"I wonder what Brod is doing now?" Rachel asked.
The pregnant girl laughed so much that tears ran down her face, and she was glad that it was one of the few times in the day when she didn't need to use the bathroom. After a few minutes she slowed down, but when Rachel started to chuckle she was gone again for another ten minutes. She squeezed the hand she was holding, and Rachel squeezed back. Eventually the laughter subsided and with the occasional sigh, she calmed herself down.
"That's the first time I've ever heard you laugh. A real laugh I mean." The brunette turned to face her.
"I don't remember the last time it happened. Probably before puberty hit."
"That's a shame. I enjoyed hearing it. I wish I could make you laugh like that all the time. I don't even remember what I said. Actually, I don't remember much of what I've said since I took those Vicodin"
"You remembered Brod."
"Brod! Yes. He is a ubiquitous being. He cannot fool me."
Quinn heard the front door close, but Rachel was still coming up with words to describe the pianist. She got up from the bed to head downstairs, reluctantly letting go of the other girl's hand, as she was walking out she heard Rachel say "Omnipotent" and she chuckled. The tall African American man didn't look up when he heard the footsteps on the stairs.
"Hello Sweetie. How was your day?" The man asked.
"Oh." He said when he looked up at the girl who was definitely not his daughter. "Hello. Where's Rachel?" His voice was soft and low.
"Sir, she accidently took some Vicodin whilst in school, I had to bring her home."
"Accidently?" He asked suspiciously.
"Yes Sir. She said that she had taken them this morning from the medicine cabinet."
"I knew I should've kept those in our bedroom. How is she?"
"A little loopy Sir."
"What's your name?"
She hesitated, she had made Rachel's life a living hell and she probably told her dads everything. "Quinn Fabray Sir."
"Well Quinn. I don't want to seem rude, but if you don't stop calling me Sir, then I'm going to have to be a little annoyed with you, because it makes me feel old, and when I feel old, I go through a whole container of cookie dough ice cream, and then I feel old, and fat.. Call me David, please."
Quinn laughed; she was doing that a lot today. "Sorry." She put her hands over her swollen stomach. "But you should try being six months pregnant. That makes you feel fat. And now you made me want ice cream."
David Berry's laugh was loud and deep, and eerily calming. Quinn thought that you could put it on a CD and play it to help you get to sleep.
"We have some in the freezer. If you get it, you can eat as much as you like."
"No, that's okay, I don't want to intrude."
"Nonsense. You took care of my baby, you didn't have to. Stay, if you can of course. It would be nice to meet a friend of Rachel's."
"Okay. Thanks." How could she refuse that? No one could refuse this man. Maybe he was a God too, along with Brod.
"I have to check on my girl. Our house isn't too big, so I think you should be able to find everything."
Quinn walked through the hall looking at the photos on the wall of the Berry family, she stopped and looked at one of Rachel when she was young, six maybe, she had a wide grin plastered across her face, probably because she was missing her front teeth, and was proud that she was finally becoming a big girl. She went through the progression of the Diva's life on the wall, ending on the one next to the kitchen. It wasn't a portrait, it was her, and who Quinn guessed was her other father sitting on a bench in a park, she was looking at the other man seemingly unaware of the camera, and she was laughing, her hand was on her stomach, like she was trying to hold it all in, Quinn only thought that because that's how she had felt only a few minutes ago. It was like you were laughing so much your insides couldn't cope and needed to escape this amazing torture.
"That's my favourite picture of her." She turned and looked at David Berry smiling. "She's so beautiful when she's not concerned with how people perceive her, and is just natural."
"Yes, she is." Quinn mentally froze, wondering why she had said that and if the man beside her was wondering just what kind of friend she was to his daughter. "How is she?" She asked quickly.
"Awake. She's talking about Brod the Supreme Being, then she started singing 'Brad the God, Brad the God, Never speaks, he'll only nod' I can honestly say I came away feeling totally confused. Do you know what she's talking about?"
"How crazy would you think I am if I said yes?"
"Not crazy, just privy to information about my daughter that I'm not. And that's fine. As long as she's not going crazy. So, ice cream?"
She gave him a shy smile. "Yes. That sounds amazing right now."