Just a sypnosis about my warning last chapter: about the review thing, it honestly was meant to be stated as a fact and as a joke. It honestly doesn't mean a big deal to me. I'm actually quite inspired by a lot of the good authors of the fandom taking time out of their day to leave me positive feedback. :) It's quality, not quantity. And for constant messages about characterizations, that's just me telling everyone my plans. Because I have already gotten two private messages telling me my story seems to be moving quite slow, and that they should be starting to transition right now. Yeah, I really don't think they read my author's warnings. And the last post was not a show of arrogance, though it may be perceived as such, I genuinely wanted to apologize about my lack of update, because I did promise an update a week. So I do apologize if that came off as rude or arrogant, that's honestly not what I was trying to do.

And I wasn't dissing the PWP's either, I've read a few good ones in this fandom. And as for the cliche ones we have all read at some point, I wasn't dissing them either, though it did sound like I was. I was saying that's not what I was doing. I appreciate any Faberry story, so don't think I'm dissing author's works, I'm just saying I'm doing something different. I don't believe I have outright bashed anyone, so don't claim I am. And as for characterizations, I'm not being snobby, I'm just saying what I plan to do. And to the 'concerns' over Quinn not changing, she will, but it will be an extra slow transition. But she certainly won't be sweet as sugar. And to those who actually have an eye for these things, I plan to delve deeper into these characters more than the show did. It will stay in the point of view that leans toward Rachel, but you will be able to watch these characters change slowly. So that was for the 'I do not appreciate HBIC Quinn. People change in high school.'

So yeah, that was in response to the major heat I recieved from several authors; review form and private message form. But thank you for the positive reviewers that made up for the negative ones. This chapter is for you.

Oooh, you flamers got me firing up even more now. :)

Wow, when did I become the Kanye West of the fandom? Oh, it makes me laugh.

/

/

Part One.

The image of Quinn burned in her mind the rest of the night.

Even as she performed her nightly MySpace video.

It wasn't an overwhelming sympathy or pity she felt for the girl, it was more like a realization that came to mind every time she recalled it. It was the startling realization that Quinn Fabray was more similiar to Rachel than anyone at McKinley High School. Sure, the surface areas were different; social circles, career paths, attitudes, finance situations. But it was actually underneath all that. Quinn was ambitious, and stopped at the nothing to get to the top and stay there. Both her and Rachel could be unnecessarily harsh while talking to someone; she would actually like to think of it as a difference, seeing as she was giving out her opinions and knowledge, and Quinn was just completely vicious for no apparent reason at all. And while Rachel didn't like the confrontations that Quinn seemed to thrive on, she would admit that she could be just as fierce and unyielding as Quinn could be. And the both of them seemed to strive for praise from just about anyone.

The comparison of their personalities was actually a bit eery for Rachel.

She honestly didn't know why she felt an odd hope flutter in her chest as she stared at her laptop, awaiting responses to her newest video.

She bit her lip as she noticed all of the Cheerios online.

Maybe for once she wanted to be praised by her enemy. She didn't care if they acted harsh in school, that was a normal day at McKinley, but it would be nice if she could even get recognized for her talent away from the prying eyes of the school. Maybe one would actually compliment her, because she honestly had put her heart into this video and sang her absolute best. She would probably call herself a fool later on after another inevitable disappointment, but she could hope, because what is more of a confidence booster than getting praise from the enemy?

Maybe it wasn't all the Cheerios she wanted praise from; only one.

Her eyes lit up as she noticed a new message appear on the screen.

Sky Splits: If I were your parents, I would sell you back.

She slammed down the top of her laptop harder than necessary, her face angry.

She huffed as she realized maybe it was too difficult for the Cheerio to put aside her childishness for once and be honest with her.

All she could do is put her chin up and grab her water bottle, walking away from her computer.

Whatever she had just hoped for from Quinn was now all over, and all that was left was that familiar sting of resentment. She honestly couldn't believe that she was fooled enough to think the girl was not superficial. Because given her actions and her daily comments everyday, she clearly was. She couldn't believe that earlier she had actually contemplated approaching Quinn and offering her friendship. Rachel knew now that it would never happen, because although they were similiar, their past and the resentment they felt for each other were too overwhelming to move past.

She realized that now.

All that she thought earlier about Quinn Fabray; she took it back with anger and tears stinging her eyes.

Part Two.

By the next day Rachel had forgotten about her anger and hurt.

She currently had bigger and more pressing matters at hand.

She had thrown her plans of confronting Noah alone out the window. Because he was constantly surrounded by girls, and the rare moment of when he wasn't, he was with Finn. So Rachel marched down the hall, determination plastered across her face, as she headed toward the boy's locker. She would most likely be slushied and sneered at, but that had happened so much it was almost a daily ritual by now. She was tired of planning and plotting and never getting anywhere with it. She was going to approach this situation head on. She let out a breath when she realized he was all alone at his locker, leaning up against it and smirking at the girls passing by.

She stopped directly in front of him.

She cleared her throat exaggeratedly when he didn't notice her presence; he was currently cocking his head to the side and following a brunette Cheerio's movements down the hall.

His head snapped towards hers. His brows seem to furrow as he gazed at her. Rachel felt the urge to swat his arm and give him a proper lecture on respecting women, because he was currently glancing at her up and down fervently. She could feel her stomach clenching in anticipation as he evaluated her. He finally seemed to finish his evaluation, and the cocky smirk reappeared on his face.

"Not bad," muttered Puck.

Rachel couldn't contain her scoff.

"So, my dear, what can the Puckasaurus do for you today?"

Rachel pushed aside her dwindling patience. He currently turned his body around so that it was facing her, his side against the locker and his arm above her head; famous smirk still alight on his face. His face was close to hers, and she had to push down the sudden unpleasant twisting of her stomach as she smelled the tobacco on his breath.

Rachel spoke in confidence. "Hello Noah, I am Rachel Berry, and after watching you perform with Acafellas, I am here to extend you an invitation to join Glee Club."

She watched as his face contorted into several emotions. It finally seemed to settle on stunned. He seemed to glance around, looking to see if this was a prank from someone. Rachel could only fidget her hands in anticipation as he leaned back up against the locker, a sneer on his face. He crossed his arms, and cockiness seemed to reappear.

"It's Puck," sneered the mohawked boy, "so don't call me Noah."

Rachel could only blink in disbelief. That what he was on about?

She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, Puck."

He nodded at her and raised his eyebrow.

She continued on bravely. "So do you think you would be interested in joining Glee Club? Because you have a good voice and I think you should embrac- "

He scoffed and uncrossed his arms. "I'm not interested in joining your little Queer Parade, Berry."

She could feel indignance build up in her. She put her hands on her hips and lifted her face close to his. He regarded her with arrogance and daring. She decided that she was tired of playing nice, her version of nice, and she was going to hit him where it hurt. She knew the boy prided himself on his conquests and his 'studliness.' She also knew that he was quite prideful on being Jewish, and she had heard him complain to Finn a few times, when she was not spying on him, that he needed more Jewish friends and Jewish pride. So Rachel planned to use these two cards, and if these didn't work, then she didn't know what would. Rachel didn't consider this blackmail or manipulation at all, she considered this a quicker form of consideration.

"You're right," stated Rachel, pompously, "I thought you might help a fellow Jew out, but I guess not. Besides, we need studly guys in New Directions."

She watched as his face transformed in a rapidness that startled her. He looked considerably offended.

She turned around on the spot, making sure that her hair whipped him in the face, before strutting away. She did a silent countdown in her head as she heard rapid footsteps, following by a strong hand grasping her arm. She gasped in suprise when she felt him push her aginst the locker, a sneer on his face. She couldn't help but feel a tremor of fear go down her spine. His arms pressed against the lockers above her head, and she could see the muscles through the simple white t-shirt he was wearing. When he noticed where her gaze was directed, he smirked.

"Please," smirked Puck, "everyone knows I'm the studliest guy in this school."

She was astounded by his cockiness, and even though she heard about it through people, she didn't think it was this bad.

"I could wear a dress to school and still be considered a stud."

Rachel rolled her eyes, trying to seem as if his closeness and attitude didn't bother her. "Then why don't you prove it?"

"I know what you're trying to do," exclaimed Puck, angrily.

"And what am I trying to do exactly?" Rachel couldn't quite tone down the mocking in her voice.

She watched as he seemed to be torn between being impressed by her mockery of him, and being on the brink of frustration. His hands seemed to come up over his mohawk and clench together tightly; a clear sign of building frustration. But he also raised his eyebrow at her, and he seemed to be scrutinizing her again. He finally seemed to release the tension he built up, as he released his clenched hands from his head and moved them to his pockets. His shoulders loosened and he lost the frustration and anger from his face. He released a breath and looked down both ends of the hallway, watching the some of the students just mess around. A few of them seemed to be watching Rachel and Puck with rapt attention, almost expecting something to happen. He bit his lip and looked back at her, nodding his head.

"I'll think about it," muttered the boy gruffly, "but that's not a yes."

Rachel beamed.

"And this conversation never happened," finished Puck.

She nodded her head.

"Thank you," spoke Rachel, genuinely, "I know that Quinn and Santana certainly need a familiar face in there, it might take their aggressions off of- "

Puck choked out, "Fabray and Lopez are in Glee?"

"Yes," nodded Rachel, "though it's quite apparent that they are rather reluctant to be."

"Fabray in Glee Club," murmured Puck.

"I tried to get Finn in as well but it was completely fruitless," grumbled Rachel, not entirely over her bitterness concerning that.

"So Fabray is in the club, but Finn isn't?" His question had something she couldn't quite identify.

She just nodded in confirmation.

His entire body language seemed to transform in the blink of an eye. One of his hands came up and scratched the back of his neck, and the hand in his front pocket moved to his back pocket; a subtle sign of nervousness. He glanced back down the hallway and frowned, biting his lip and shifting his feet. Rachel didn't know what his sudden nervousness or complete turn of thoughts was for. She thought he had already given her his answer concerning the means of the club, but apparently he was reconsidering after she mentioned Quinn being in the club. Due to her sixth sense, she had that foreboding feeling that this was something that nobody else seemed to know or realize. It was now tugging at her brain and she could feel an inkling of what it might be concerning.

But as he started muttering to himself, and couldn't even bring himself to notice Karofsky's dumbfounded look at seeing the two together, it just confirmed it for Rachel. It was only logical, now that she thought about it. She caught the way he mocked and sneered at Quinn sometimes, but when the blonde kissed Finn's cheek or grasped his hand and smiled at him, Puck seemed to scoff and look away. It was rather popular, the 'pretend to hate someone you really like' scenario, but with Noah Puckerman he seemed to disguise it so well that if you blinked, or just didn't have a sixth sense like Rachel did, you would miss it. It was somewhat obvious as to why he would want Quinn, she surmised, because Quinn was probably the one girl who would not give him any attention at all. A girl chose his best friend over him, and she realized that had probably never happened to Puck before.

He sighed and crossed his arms. "Fine, whatever, I'm in."

She beamed once more. "Excellent. Practice is every day after school and you have to audition with a- "

He sneered and bumped his shoulder with hers roughly. "Whatever."

She watched as he began to walk off, before turning his head back around.

"And we never had this conversation."

Rachel could only look to the ground, a bright smile adorning her face.

Part Three.

The rest of Rachel's day seem to go by rather swimmingly.

Not even an insult concerning her parentage made by Santana could bother the ecstatic brunette.

Of course, Glee rehearsal was completely abysmal; not suprising at all. She didn't even want to imagine what the rest of New Directions would do without her. The Cheerios just didn't care and the other four were talented, but had no sense of direction or music taste whatsoever. But not even the daily failures of New Directions could dampen her suddenly optimistic spirits. Of course, her optimism certainly didn't go unnoticed by the majority. Kurt just looked at her like she was crazy, muttering something related to 'hideous argyle finally took over her brain and mated with her crazy' under his breath. Mercedes had sniggered and bumped fists with him. Tina and Artie had remained blissfully unaware, talking to each other by the piano and blushing. Brittany just stroked the back of Santana's hand and hummed to herself, as her two Cheerio counterparts had just stared at Rachel speculatively; one looking contemplative and the other just plain annoyed.

Rachel had remained blissfully unaware of those around her, even as the bell rang for the end of the period. Normally, she was the last out of the class; she lagged behind and talked to Mr. Schue about certain solos she would be more than happy to take on. Today, she was the first out of her seat and in the hallway, her pink backpack behind her as she walked happily along the hallway. She was currently in search of Puck, because although she had talked with him earlier, he walked off before she could give him advice for the auditioning process. And if he attempted to walk away again, then she could 'casually' bring up Quinn and the effort she put into her audition piece. She would like to the think of it as a manipulation in his best interests.

She searched for five minutes before giving up. She had searched both floors of McKinley, as well as peeked outside and glimpsed into the gym. She heard the two minute warning bell go off above head. She just sighed in defeat as she watched all the students wrap up their conversations and begin to head to class. She leaned against the wall that lead to the parallel hallway, and just watched briefly to see if she might possibly spot him. She didn't. So she tightened her hands on her pink backpack and was about to round the corner to her next class.

Then she heard a suprising conversation.

She easily recognized the voices. Quinn and Finn.

Finn sounded slightly confused, and slightly hurt. "What's with the silent treatment?"

Quinn just sounded angry. "I don't know, maybe my boyfriend could have jumped in to defend me when his football buddies were being assholes."

"Y-you heard me Quinn, I told them to stop," stammered Finn.

Rachel shrunk at Quinn's fierce reply. "Once! You told them once to stop! A very heroic effort on your part Finn."

"I-I'm sorry Quinn. Okay? I'm sorry. But ever since you joined Glee they've been really laying it on me." Finn's voice took a frustrated edge.

"They've been really laying it on you," snarled the blonde. "I am so sorry that you have to go through this."

Rachel couldn't help but remain frozen with her back against the wall. She honestly had no idea that the Cheerios were recieving any negativity after joining New Directions. They certainly never showed it, as they continuously kept their struts and smirks in place. Apparently their situation was a lot more complicated than anyone realized. She jumped when she heard a locker violently slam shut.

"I know this is hard on you," muttered Finn, his voice attempting to sound soothing, "but hopefully this will all be over soon."

Quinn just sighed in annoyance. "Yeah."

Rachel released a breath when she noticed their voices getting further away. She carefully peeked her head around the corner. Quinn and Finn were both walking back down the hallway, with Finn's arm around the blonde's shoulders; he was grinning, seemingly trying to lighten the mood, and Quinn just continuously shook her head. The blonde rolled her eyes a few times, but she seemed to lean further into him.

She felt something deep in the pit of her stomach, something akin to discomfort. She put it down to the same realization that things may be more complicated than she originally thought.

She watched as they paused at the very end of the hall. Finn leaned down and kissed Quinn's cheek, before grinning at her and adjusting his backpack. Rachel felt that same discomfort as before as Quinn seemed to lose her annoyed expression briefly, leaning forward and adjusting Finn's collar before shoving him lightly towards the direction of his classroom.

As Finn entered his classroom, Quinn began to turn the corner of the hallway before pausing. The blonde remained motionless with her hand on the wall, halfway around the corner. Rachel had not time to even duck her head back behind her wall when Quinn turned her gaze onto her. The blonde's eyes widened as she finally noticed her presence. Rachel could only swallow nervously as Quinn's eyes seemed to narrow on her, staring at her with that intensity that made the brunette want to duck and cover, or stammer and apologize, or just do something. She pushed aside her fear and met the Cheerio's gaze head on, attempting to look less fearful of the blonde's reaction to her spying, again, than she actually was. The considerably odd moment was over when Quinn lifted her chin and sneered, giving her one last look before rounding the corner.

Part Four.

Rachel could never truly comprehend why others didn't consider her a team player.

Sure, she fought for every solo that came around, and she was completely honest with others; that shouldn't matter in this case.

Because she sure as hell considered herself a team player right now. She was actually suprised she was doing this on Kurt's behalf; though he didn't know about it. The two of them came to a truce yesterday at the end of school, after the two got furiously dumpster dumped by Karofsky and one of his hockey buddies. That was the first time Rachel had ever cried in front of someone other than her fathers.

Flashback:

After hearing Quinn and Finn's argument, Rachel made her way to Algebra class in a total daze.

She had always been decent in math, and had always payed attention, but all she could really do is stare down at her desk and tap her pencil.

Thoughts of the Cheerios and their confusing predicament, as well as Puck's acceptance to join on behalf of Quinn, swirled in her brain like one of the difficult math equations that were now on the board. Because Rachel hated feeling confused more than anything; she liked knowing things. So all she did was sigh in relief as the bell for the final period rang; she leapt up out of her seat and quickly shoved her notebook in her roller backpack. She made her way to her locker and grabbed her things, before making her way outside to wait for one of her dads to pick her up. She waited patiently for fifteen minutes, and by then most of the cars in the school parking lot were gone.

She couldn't help but huff in annoyance, because her dads had always been quite prompt on picking her up on time.

She was about to pull her cell phone out of her backpack, when she felt two strong and familiar arms hoist her up. She could only shriek as she was roughly juggled over the hockey player's shoulder.

"Karofsky! Y-you put me down this instant!" Rachel couldn't contain her fear. "I don't know if you know this, but my fathers have very strong ties to the ACLU and- "

"Shut up, Berry," growled Karofsky. He tightened his hold on her, and now it was borderline painful.

Rachel wheezed, "You just wait till Figgins and your coach hears about this, because when they do- "

"You won't do nothing," laughed Dave, his voice edging on maliciousness.

She whimpered when he squeezed her hard, to the point where she could scarcely breathe properly. A feeling of familiarity came to her as she watched the entrance grow in distance. She had been in this position before, and she knew exactly where he was taking her this time. Her eyes widened when she heard the fastly approaching sniggers and guffaws, signifying more than one person was doing the dumping today. She closed her fists on the cloth covering his shoulder's, and began to feel her body twisting in defiance on its own accord. She heard the hockey player grunt in anger as he struggled to contain her.

"Hey Davey-Boy!" An unfamiliar voice. "Who you got today?"

"A Glee freak," hissed Dave, struggling to contain the furious and hysterical brunette.

"Alrighty than. Two for two huh, buddy?" The same unfamiliar voice, guffawing.

If Rachel wasn't so concerned over her well-being, then she would certainly be correcting the boy's obvious incorrect use of the English language. All she could currently do is hiss and struggle in the stocky boy's arms; annoying him even further as he began to curse and dig his fist into her side painfully.

"You gonna just sit there," spat Dave, "or help me with this little bitch?"

"Sorry bro."

Rachel screamed as another pair of hands grappled her, effectively stilling her body from its defiance. She could only breathe harshly in anger and fear; the two of them had each seperately grabbed her arms and her legs, now doing a back and forth swinging motion. She looked to the her right, where the dumpster was located. It was quite high up, and she didn't even know if they could launch her that high. She honestly wasn't afraid of getting thrown in the dumpster now, at this point it was inevitable, but now it was the overwhelming fear of hitting the side of the dumpster. They were now swinging her high up, and for the first time Rachel felt herself crying openly.

She clenched her teary eyes shut and screamed as they suddenly let go and launched her into the air.

She felt her back graze the edge of it as she miraculously landed on the inside of it with a painful thud. She winced when she felt the body she had landed on shift and hiss.

"I-I'm so sorry," stammered Rachel, tearfully, "I-I really didn't mean to land on you and- "

"It's fine," hissed a familiar voice.

"K-Kurt?" She hated how small and fearful her voice sounded.

A body shifted and a deep sigh resignated. "Hey Rachel."

Her heart broke as his tone of voice matched hers. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," muttered the feminine boy. "You?"

"I'll be okay," murmured Rachel, "because in these types of situations I always tell myself that it could always be- "

"Rachel, please," groaned Kurt, stepping in on the beginnings of a typical rant.

"Sorry," whispered Rachel.

The top of the dumpster had been shut as soon as Rachel landed on Kurt, leaving the two in complete darkness. She could only hear and feel the boy's movements as he moved trash bags over to the side, pressing his body back against the back wall of the dumpster. She cringed when she felt a sticky like substance on her hand, immediately pulling it out of the trashbag it was in. She couldn't contain her sniffles as she clumsily moved her position parallel to Kurt's against the opposite wall. Another tear fell when her hand landed in another trashbag. She was so lost in her hurt and mounting fury that she couldn't even bring herself to contemplate the unsanitary atmosphere. She heard Kurt let out labored and shaky breaths.

"We should just get out of here," sighed Rachel.

"No," said Kurt, his voice shaky and fearful.

"Wha-why not?" muttered Rachel incredulously. "I certainly don't plan to spend the rest of my evening in this ridiculous- "

The feminine boy quickly interjected. "Because they're still out there."

"No, they're not," huffed Rachel, "because we would have heard them making those obscene noises they call laughter. It sounds more like a monk- "

"They are," spat Kurt. "The last time I crawled out of here they were waiting by the front doors; they hosed me down."

Rachel's mouth snapped shut. She let her head rest against the metal behind her, and wiped her eyes with her hands.

"Why did they dump you today?" Rachel didn't want to disturb the quiet and slightly morose atmosphere, so she kept her voice quiet.

"Those assholes don't dump someone for a reason," replied Kurt, staunchly. "They do it because they can."

Rachel knew that was true first hand. She recalled several times that they just grabbed a random freshman walking down the hallway and just humiliated them for the sake of amusement. It made her wonder how the teachers never really seemed to do anything about it either. Sure, if they saw you slushie a person in front of them they would give you detention, but other than that they didn't do a single thing. You could even have half of the school as a witness and Principal Figgins would say that you needed sufficient proof. She honestly didn't know how this could keep continuing year after year. No wonder a small group of the teenage population had killed themselves in Lima in the last decade. And Lima was a considerably small town.

She supposed that it was a demonstration of power around here. It was quite repetitive. Most of the football jocks who terrorized in high school went on to be Lima losers. And the popular cheerleaders in high school just went on to be housewives. Every once in a while you would see a jock or a cheerleader get a scholarship to Ohio State or some other nearby college, but that was a rare occasion. It took a lot to get out of this pathetic and miserable town, but Rachel was determined not to be a Lima loser. Even if she had to take a crappy apartment in New York until she could be discovered for her impeccable talent, she would certainly take it to get out of this cow town.

"They caught me just after school," continued Kurt. "Because I was heading toward the football field."

"Why were you going to the football field?"

Kurt was silent for several moments, and she was about to ask him again when he finally replied.

"I was planning to try-out for the team," mumbled Kurt. Rachel's mouth fell open.

"You wer- why were planning to try-out for the football team!" She was completely baffled.

"Because I wanted to impress my dad," mumbled Kurt, his voice apprehensive. "I wanted to make him proud."

"I-I'm sure he is proud of you Kurt," reassured Rachel.

Kurt laughed with bitterness. "He certainly doesn't seem proud when someone calls his phone and claims his son is a faggot."

End Flashback.

And that was why she was currently in search of Finn Hudson. She and Kurt had never really agreed on anything, but yesterday her heart broke for him. Her dads were gay, and they recieved a lot of discrimination for being so, so Rachel had a soft spot for Kurt and his situation. So she decided that she would approach Finn Hudson and see if he could get Kurt a football try-out. She thought about approaching Puck again, but she knew she would be walking a thin line on that request. It took everything she could use to just get him to join Glee, so forget asking him if he could get Kurt Hummel a try-out. And while Rachel had lost all respect at all for Finn, she knew he would be the more reasonable person to approach in this situation. And luckily Quinn hadn't been by his side for most of the day. Undoubtedly there had been a lover's spat that had occured, which Rachel felt oddly satisfied by.

She decided to wait by his locker, and hoped that Quinn didn't miraculously decide to show up and show her disdain for Rachel. The warning bell went off, so she began to fidget anxiously. Because they were at their final class of the day, and she was not dumb enough to proceed to the football field and have a little replay of yesterday after school. Her anxiety went away when she noticed his noticible form move quickly down the hallway in a haste to get to his locker. Luckily, the halls were mostly cleared by now. He approached the locker and seemed to freeze when he noticed Rachel there. His eyes widened and his eyes quickly scourged the halls for the threat of Quinn. After a couple of seconds to realize there was no threat, he apprehensively approached.

"Um-hi," said Finn. "What-what are you doing by my locker?"

"I needed to ask a favor of you, Finn," replied the brunette, her voice hopeful.

His eyes widened. "You already know that I can't join Glee."

"I know," reassured Rachel. "That's not what this is about."

He seemed to sag in relief, before looking nervous again. "What kind of favor?"

Part Five.

It had taken a lot for Finn to agree.

Rachel needled him for a good five minutes before he gave in, causing them both to be late to class.

He was obviously reluctant, but he said he would talk to Coach Tanaka and his teammates about it. So she would wait for his confirmation before telling Kurt, because she didn't want to give him hope and then let him down. She had given a very nervous Finn her phone number and had told him to call her and let her know. He had folded the torn paper and had put it in his pocket, half-waving at her in goodbye as he took off to his last class. Which is why for the second day in a row she couldn't focus in Algebra. So she rushed out the door again in her haste to leave the school. Luckily she had ballet class after school, and she just wanted to go to her dance class and just think about things. Ballet had always helped her unwind and think. She was almost out the door when a voice stopped her.

"Rupaul," barked Quinn, "we need to have a little chat."

Rachel's eyes widened when she heard the blonde's voice. She slowly turned around to face her.

"Very well," spoke Rachel, cautiously. "To what do I owe this honor, Quinn?"

She gasped when a hand roughly grabbed her arm and pulled her inside an empty classroom. The blonde turned and closed the door behind her. Her entire posture screamed anger, so the brunette concluded she had found out about her and Finn's discussion in the hallway earlier. Rachel leant against the wall next to the doorframe, just praying that Quinn would just show a little mercy. She jumped when Quinn's arms came over her head and slammed harshly into the wall behind Rachel; the blonde leant in close, and there was that damn intensity in her eyes again. The brunette blamed her almost buckling knees on the fear she felt.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" Quinn's voice was low, and oddly husky, but there was pure frustration in it.

Rachel mocked, "I don't know what you're talking about Quinn."

If she was going to die, then she certainly wouldn't give Quinn Fabray the satifaction of seeing her fear.

The blonde's eyes widened, and then her face morphed into something that was almost animalistic. Her lips were pulled back in an almost snarl, and her brows were creased angrily. And those darkened hazel eyes bore into her like a predator. The Cheerio released a deep breath and pulled a torn piece of paper out of the pocket of her letterman. Quinn smoothed out the creases of the paper; long, manicured fingers twirled it around. The brunette averted her eyes when she saw her name and number in a pink marker, along with her signature gold star.

"It's not what you think, Quinn," sighed Rachel. "I just gave him my number because I had asked him for a favor concerning- "

Quinn roughly shoved the small piece of paper at Rachel's chest, before leaning forward and almost pressing against Rachel.

"When are you going to learn your lesson, Berry?" Quinn murmured in the same low tone. The blonde looked incredibly frustrated.

"R-really, I promise it's not what you think," spoke the brunette.

"Isn't it?" Rachel froze when she could actually feel the breath of the blonde against her face.

"I-I don't want your boyfriend Quinn," reassured Rachel. "I really just needed help from him concerning football."

Quinn seemed to momentarily forget about her anger, raising her eyebrow in incredulousness. She gazed at Rachel like that for a few moments, almost as if she was attempting to determine if the brunette was lying or not. She then seemed to release a breath of almost laughter, her lips quirking up as she looked towards the ground. Her pony tail swished from side to side as she shook her head. The brunette didn't know why, but that feeling she had in the locker room, when she first discovered Quinn in her misery and weakened state, came back right then and hit her again. Her eyes zeroed in on the blonde-haired Cheerio as the girl kept looking at the ground, torn between a moment of amusement and bafflement. Rachel felt her own lips quirking up as she watched this enigma of a girl have a considerably out-of-character moment.

She felt her stomach lose that odd feeling as Quinn looked back at up at her, losing her temporarily human expression, before transforming back into that signature look of anger.

"I don't care how or why you needed Finn's help, Stubbles. It will not happen again. Are we clear?"

Rachel nodded. The blonde looked temporarily satisfied.

"Say it," spoke Quinn, looking daring and expectant.

"I promise it won't happen again," grumbled Rachel, rolling her eyes.

"Good," clipped the blonde. "See that it doesn't. Or our next meeting will be a lot more...unpleasant than this one was."

"Really Quinn," snorted Rachel, "I wouldn't exactly call any of our meetings completely pleasant."

The blonde looked aghast for the barest moment, before looking at Rachel frustratedly. She had now pushed herself close to Rachel once more, her expression radiating pure annoyance. She could see the blonde visibly gritting her teeth at her gall and bravery, and she felt an inane amount of satisfaction. And for some reason, her mind screamed for her to annoy the blonde more, to push her, but Rachel had no idea what that was about. So instead she just kept looking at Quinn, not backing down, but not speaking up again either. The blonde licked her lips quickly as she tilted her head up towards the ceiling, putting her hands on her hips. But the girl sighed as she tilted her head back down, stepping even closer to Rachel and one hand grabbing the collar of her white shirt.

"You know," growled Quinn, "if you weren't so annoying and pathetic, I would actually respect you."

The brunette felt her breath hitch at the blonde's insulting, but still oddly flattering submission. The blonde tugged her collar and pulled her back in closer.

"Remember what happens if you come near Finn again," whispered Quinn in her ear, her voice low and threatening.

The brunette's eyes felt oddly hazy when the blonde's breath washed over the shell of her ear. All she could do was watch when Quinn let go of her collar and roughly shove her back against the wall, causing Rachel to whimper in pain. She quickly ran her hand over the back of her head, where it had impacted with the wall. She just panted and leaned against the wall, still holding her head, as she watched Quinn just walk to the door nonchalantly.

The blonde turned back around.

"I'm glad that we could have this conversation, Berry."

And with that, her blonde pony tail whipped back around as she exited the classroom door with her signature strut.

Rachel just kept leaning against the wall, feeling oddly...electric.

Part Six.

Rachel clapped politely, even though it was obvious by now that McKinley was going to lose this game.

The stadium had half-way cleared out, because they were apparently along Rachel's line of thinking.

It was the first game of the season, and of course McKinley had gotten off to a great start. Finn had probably gotten sacked more times than any quarter-back in the history of McKinley High. And that was in this single game. The only thing that really kept her here was Kurt. She was suprised that her little plan had worked out. Two days ago, Finn had rushed up to her and quickly told her that Kurt had a try-out for kicker directly after school. He had said it incredibly fast, and he had continuously fidgeted and looked around like a paranoid loony. If Rachel hadn't of been so excited, then she probably would have guiltily laughed at Finn's behavior. It was obvious that he was still in the 'dog house' with Quinn.

After Finn confirmed the try-outs, which he reclaimed a small tidbit of respect in Rachel's book, she had immediately told Kurt. At first, he had been skeptical and a little angry that she had done that without him knowing. But after the first initial response, he had been grateful. He hadn't even snapped at her in Glee, only nodded his head at her in acknowledgement, which she happily returned. Even when she challenged Mercedes for the solo and stormed out after losing, he just nodded at her in the hallway, which seemed to baffle Mercedes. And at the very end of the day he had come up and patted her shoulder, after he told her he was nervous about the tryouts and she gave him nothing but encouragement. He had been reasonably nervous, so he couldn't even muster up a glare when she told him that football was like his singing; it just needed to improve.

He had come in school the next day and actually smiled at her, telling her he had gotten it. He had even looped his elbow through hers as they walked toward the choir room, picking up Mercedes at her locker. She had looked confused when, after looping her arms through Kurt's, she noticed Rachel on his other one. But Rachel and Mercedes and had put away their rivalry momentarily and laughed when Kurt began to strut arrogantly among the halls of McKinley High; signature haughty look in place.

"And McKinley High scores a touchdown!"

Rachel's head snapped up at the announcement, following the suprised yet ecstatic cheers of the remaining fans in the stadium.

She grinned, because now Kurt would get his chance to shine.

She watched as he nervously took the field, his shaking visible from even where she was sitting. She watched as the players lined up for the play, and watched as Kurt backed up and waited for the ball to be hiked, one leg further in front than the other and his arms hanging at his sides. The next minute was a blur.

The ball soared back, where the quarter-back caught it and quickly positioned it on the ground, the laces of the football facing the goal.

Kurt rushed forward, and with greater leg strength than Rachel thought he possessed, kicked the ball towards the two metal bars.

She watched with a bated breath, along with the rest of the audience.

The ball was perfectly kicked, and soared with astonishing speed towards the two bars, and she felt her heart alight with hope.

But then she felt her heart drop and breathing altogether stop; the ball soared no more than two inches on the outside of the left bar.

She put her shaky hands over her mouth when the crowd began to go crazy, people shouting and screaming obscenities; the football players just shook their heads and stormed off the field.

He had missed.

Part Seven.

The next day was astonishingly horrible.

The game was all anyone could really talk about; it spread along like wildfire.

Kurt had come to school, and unsuprisingly to Rachel, he looked like a complete mess. His hair was unkept and there were dark circles under his eyes. He didn't even have on his usual designer wear. She had approached him by his locker and talked to him, but he was completely detached to everyone around him. She had tried to approach him several more times, but he had stopped going to his locker. She finally waited until right before Glee started, when she knew she could catch him, which she had. She had tried every form of encouraging pep talk she knew, but to no avail. Kurt had finally snapped at her, and began to walk away from his locker. She had followed hastily, because she refused to give up, and she caught him just as he rounded the corner.

Unfortunately, they had rounded the corner into a line of at least a dozen slushies.

Which was why they were currently in the girl's restroom, cleaning up after their little encounter with half of the football team.

When they had first gone in, there were two girls in there, reapplying their makeup. They had both whirled around to see Kurt and Rachel literally dripping with every color of slushie. They looked torn between laughing and cringing with horror. They just stood there until Kurt had snapped at them to get the hell out. They had both huffily grabbed their makeup and stormed to the door; one of them had turned around.

"This is the girl's bathroom," she had said haughtily. "You're not supposed to be in here."

Kurt, to the astonishment of Rachel, had grabbed the girl and shoved her out the door entirely.

"I'm more woman than you are," sneered Kurt. He had been shaking with anger. "And tell your hairdresser that perms are so last decade!"

And with that, he had slammed the door in the offended girl's face.

And since then, complete silence had loomed in the girl's restroom as they cleaned up. Rachel did her normal ritual with her towel on the edge of the sink, but this time she had to go into the stall and change into a new outfit afterwards. Kurt did the exact same thing as Rachel. It had taken a good twenty minutes for the two to clean up. They both left the bathroom and headed toward the choir room; the silence still remained. She paused at the door and took a deep breath, looking to Kurt to see if he was ready to go in. When he nodded his head in affirmative, albit rather weakly, she opened the door. Complete silence had washed over the choir room as they both entered; their change of clothes and depressed expressions no doubt alerting the others as to what happened.

They just quietly went to their seats, not saying a word. Kurt went to sit by Mercedes at the top, and Rachel was about to go to the front, but Kurt suprisingly grabbed her hand and tugged her up with him. Mercedes looked sympathetically at Kurt, bumping his shoulder with her fist, and shooting a nod at Rachel. When Mercedes turned back to look at the front, Rachel leaned over to whisper in his ear.

"I know things are incredibly hard for us right now," whispered the brunette.

Kurt just nodded his head, but said nothing.

"I know we're not at the top of the world," continued Rachel, her voice still a whisper. "But one day we will be. One day we'll be out of this damn town and we'll be winners."

He breathed a soft laugh through his nose and nodded.

"I can't wait," murmured the boy.

She smiled and turned her head back towards the front. Mr. Schue had just walked in the classroom, his expression held absolute excitement. He went over to the piano, laying down his satchel and pulling out several notes of sheet music. He dug through all of his papers before finding the one he was apparently looking for. He grabbed it and walked to the middle of the classroom, facing all of them. He was about to start talking, but then the door opened and a trio of three entered. Rachel's eyes widened and she bit her lip in excitement.

"Everyone," began Mr. Schue, his voice proud and excited, "please welcome Puck, Matt, and Mike. They are the newest members of New Directions."

Several things happened. The Cheerios gaped for several minutes, before jumping out of their seats and running towards the trio of football jocks. Santana leapt on Puck in a fierce hug, and she followed up with Matt. Brittany excitedly grabbed Mike Chang's hands and began talking at rapid pace. Quinn just lagged behind the group, with her hands on her hips and a smirk on her face. Puck tried to lean forward to hug her, but she just scoffed and punched him in the arm. He faked a hurt look, but Rachel could see his eyes lose their brightness briefly, before firing back up again as he smirked at her.

"Miss me Fabray?" His tone was quite cocky.

Quinn just rolled her eyes and waved him off with her hand. They all just kept chatting at the front of the room, almost forgetting that it was Glee Club they were in. It was almost nice to see. The weren't adorning their usual harsh or arrogant looks, they weren't throwing slushies in people's faces or making fun of anyone, they were like a normal group of friends. It was quite an odd thing to see, because Rachel had never seen them all so friendly to anyone before. They all were closer and more personal than she truly realized. When Mr. Schue told them to make their way to their seats, the boys obviously sitting by the Cheerios, Mr. Schue began to speak. But Rachel didn't hear a word he said, because Quinn had subtly turned her head in her seat and looked back at Rachel.

Rachel felt that odd electricity again as she looked at Quinn. It wasn't strong, barely there even, but it was there. She didn't even know what it truly was. Maybe a part of her was beginning to like the negative interactions between her and Quinn, because she felt like she grew less fearful each time they occured. Maybe a part of her hoped Quinn might accept a friendship in the far off future. She just didn't know. She still disliked the girl, a part of her probably always will, even if they become friends, but a part of her was left in a part of wonderous confusion that made her want to examine that odd something that was obviously there. When Quinn's hazel eyes bore into her for the briefest moments, before turning her attention to the front, Rachel had felt her face heat up. It was just like what she had thought earlier; wonderous confusion.

Rachel's head snapped back up when Mr. Schue said his next line:

"So...who knows West Side Story?"

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You likey? And open to suggestions on Rachel's father's names.