Summary: Quinn was her addiction and Rachel was her escape.
AN: A Faberry chapter fic. Picks up after summer. A few things from season two like Sam will be present but not much else.
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Rachel stood in her shower, the water now running lukewarm from how long she had stood there but she didn't move to get out. In the distance, she could hear faint humming, a beautiful, gentle melody she had heard many times on nights like her present one. She knew once she shut the water off, the humming would cease and by the time she finished drying off, the opening and closing clicks of her bedroom door would echo coldly off the walls. So she kept it running. Certainly they knew she had been in there much too long, but they stayed anyway, humming away.
Another five minutes passed and the water was ice cold. Rachel grudgingly reached for the knob to shut off the tap and, like she predicted, the humming ended. Stepping out onto the cold tile floor, she reached for her towel, ears straining to hear the noises in the rest of her house. Without the ruckus of the running water, Rachel heard the springs of her bed groan in relief as someone got up from it followed by the jingle of keys. Wrapping her towel around her dripping hair, the final sound of the door rang out and she sighed.
She took up another towel to cover her naked body and stepped out of the bathroom into her room. She looked to her bed to see her pillows all back to normal and not a wrinkle on the bedspread. Her clothes she had been wearing were stored in her dirty clothes basket and her homework that had been tossed to the floor in their haste was stacked neatly on her desk.
Rachel grinned halfheartedly as she went to her dresser to retrieve her pajamas. Clothed, she fell onto her bed, laying on her stomach, nose pressed into her comforter. She took in a deep breath letting the scent of fresh, spring flowers tingle her senses and ran her hand over the opposite side of the bed, fingers catching the last bit of warmth left by the body that had once been there. No matter how hard she tried, Quinn could never erase her evidence of being there.
She stayed like that for as long as the warmth still lingered and the fragrance still wafted then rolled over onto her back and flicked off the lamp. Nights like those were rare, though they were becoming a little more frequent than before, and each time Rachel felt a little piece of her heart chip away until it was the mangled mess it was now.
She had tried to keep it intact, but when it came Quinn, before everything that had started now, her heart broke for her and the troubles she had been going through. When she had rejected her friendship, it broke even more because Rachel knew what Quinn wanted more than anything was someone beside her. She had her chance, finally, to be that person when she went to visit Quinn, now back at her old home. She was only stopping by to see how the baby delivery had gone and the adoption and Quinn lost it. As she listened to Quinn lament, something she had wanted to do but no one would ever listen, Rachel's heart shattered. That's when things began to change.
Rolling over, Rachel pulled her pillow from under her head to hug against her chest. A faint flowery scent floated off it that she savored for a few seconds before it defused into the air. It was truly pathetic the way she attempted to hold onto the tiniest remnants of Quinn, but with each passing day of simply seeing her, each choice day that she would lure her into a dark corner and kiss her, each rare occasion she showed up at her house at night being painfully gentle and charming with her, Rachel sank further and further.
What started off as an attempt to help a fellow glee club member find herself again had ended up in her getting herself lost in Quinn and made her own morals and good intentions go flying out the window. All she knew now was that she wanted Quinn and she probably needed her more than she needed Rachel in her lowest time of helplessness and it was killing her.
Rachel wondered into school the next day like every other day. It was early enough for her to miss the slushie throwers but not too early where she would be taken as more of a loser then what everyone already thought. Getting her things out of her locker, she retired to the choir room and sat down at the piano. Running her fingers over the keys, she thought of a song to play and began. She cringed at the cluster of wrong notes she hit then finally stopped unable to take it.
"Sounding a bit rusty there, Rach." Said Mr. Schuester as he came walking in with a stock of sheet music in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
"I recently had to cut back hours in my piano lessons because my dad's couldn't afford it on top of ballet, vocal classes and the acting coach I just started with." She replied, folding her hands in her lap.
Mr. Schue's eyebrows rose into his hairline. "That's a lot to be doing, don't you think?"
She nodded. "If I want to be on Broadway, I have to start training now and this," she waved at the piano, "is unacceptable. I may need to get a job so I can pay for my own piano lessons."
"Well, if you'd like, maybe you could ask Brad if he'd like to teach you." He offered.
"Though that would be a brilliant idea, Mr. Schue, I think he tolerates enough of me in glee as it is. No reason to put him, though two more hours of my intolerableness."
"If you say so, Rach," He offered her a gentle smile before walking back to his office.
Rachel echoed his smile, eyes returning back to the piano. She tapped a few black keys until she found the one she wanted then switched to a white key and so on as she fished for the notes that matched the melody in her head. She had just told herself she needed to bring her composer journal next time so she could pencil in the notes when the bell rang.
Picking up her bag, she waved to Mr. Schue. "See you after school, Rach." He called after her as she left.
Destination already set in mind Rachel marched through the halls. She had been lucky enough to evade any slushie facials but she could never let her guard down and become complacent. Lollygagging in the halls was something she never did and she never took her time to go from class to class. Arriving in the classroom three minutes before the tardy bell was always better than meandering through the halls being bombarded with insults and frozen corn syrup drinks.
Turning the last corner to get to her English class, Rachel stopped in her tracks almost like she had been presented with a brick wall. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw Quinn slipping around the corner at the other end. It was another reason why Rachel tried to get to each class quickly, especially her first.
Seeing Quinn in the halls always gave her such a blanket of emotions she was knocked so off kilter it nearly sent her into vertigo. She was aware that the Cheerios practiced in the mornings in the gym just around from her English class, so she tried extra hard to get to first period before they came strutting out all caked in sweat and muscles still taught from their work out. She was a half a minute behind this morning.
Rachel ordered her legs to move but they wouldn't budge. Quinn's eyes slowly found her and her mouth dropped for a moment in surprise. Her hazel orbs darted left and right before settling back on Rachel and her feet moved, closing their distance. Rachel was about to continue her way but Quinn was demanding her to stay put with her eyes.
A nervous rush of butterflies filled her stomach as she waited for Quinn to pass the halfway mark in the hall. Not once had Quinn talked to her in school, well, not since they started their…affairs. For the first couple of weeks back to school, Quinn wouldn't even make eye contact with her like she was embarrassed and ashamed for what was happening. She eased out of it but not without that pained look of apology, conflict and possibly regret. On top of that, she never spoke a word to her.
Quinn stepped past the point that put them halfway apart when someone called out to her. "Damn, Fabray, I said wait." Santana came stomping up the hall with Brittany in tow.
"Sorry, I didn't hear you." Quinn replied. At the sound of her voice, Rachel lost her breath, a bubble of envy building inside of her. Why wouldn't she ever talk like that to her?
"Whatever," Santana rolled her eyes. She took note of her friend's frozen state. "I'm here now what're you waiting for?"
"I," Quinn blinked to Rachel, sympathy dripping from her eyes like tears. "Nothing. Lets get to class." She said abruptly resting one hand on her hip.
Santana and Brittany fell into their places on either side of her and began up the hall towards her. As they passed Rachel, Brittany shot her a friendly smile while Santana sized her up and sneered. She'd been expecting those. It was how the two Cheerios always treated her. It used to be worse, from Santana at least, but ever since Brittany started to show a slight fondness to her, Santana had backed down some in her vocal taunts but her harsh expressions were much the same.
The last look she was given confused her. Quinn smiled at her. It may have been an apologetic smile, a smile that showed just how broken over their situation was and a smile that thanked her silently for being there for her but it meant everything to Rachel. She would take that over the blank stares and the unreadable expressions she was always given.
And, just as she went to return it, two cups of cherry slushie were thrown into her face.
"She had that one coming the way she was standing there like a deer in headlights." Said Santana through a chuckle as the three of them looked back at Rachel standing petrified in the hall, dripping with red slushie. The two football players that had been a part of the act, high fived and walked away, shoving the empty cups into the chests of a pair of random students.
"Now her clothes are all ruined." Chimed Brittany, sorry in her voice but a smile was stretched on her lips.
"Oh well. We all know Berry's got, like, four outfits in her locker." Santana shrugged starting to walk off. "She might as well just buy a poncho and wear that around." The two girls were halfway down the hall before thy noticed Quinn wasn't with them. "Q,"
"Coming," Quinn whipped her head around to Santana. She fell behind them, glancing back in time to see Rachel rush into a nearby restroom, their eyes meeting just before she disappeared behind the closing door.
"Are you alright?" Asked Santana as they walked into History together.
"I'm fine," She replied pulling out her book and opened it on her desk.
"And I'm a virgin," Santana shooed away the boy who was sitting next to Quinn and sat down on top of the desk. "We've know each other since sixth grade. I know when something's wrong."
"Yeah, Quinn, what's wrong?" Came Brittany's voice from behind her. "San and I thought you would be happy being back on the Cheerios and she let you be captain again."
"I didn't let her do anything." Santana said quickly shooting a look at Brittany. "Coach threw me down because of all the practices I kept coming late to."
"But, San, you said you-"
"Not now, okay, Britt?" Brittany nodded and turned back to her homework she was copying from Santana's. "So what's up? Puck still trying to get back in your pants? You don't have anything to lose since he already took it from you."
"Santana that's mean," Frowned Brittany.
"Nothing's wrong, okay?" Quinn clipped harsher than she had intended. "I'm fine. Just stressed out with Coach Sylvester's crazy new acrobatic routine and trying to get my GPA back up since I pretty much screwed it up last year."
Santana searched her face for a hole in her lie. Quinn did her best to keep her expression straight. Santana, if not better than Brittany, could read her like a book. She use to like it when they were younger because it saved her from having to start a lot of awkward conversations about boys and sex and other teenage things her mom and dad tried to shelter her from. Santana would pick up on it and go on from there. Now, she hated it.
Mostly because Santana, with her new instilled confidence she had gotten from the transition from middle school to high school, knew how to handle people and knew exactly how to break Quinn or what to do in order to get what she wanted. She feared, every day of high school, that Santana would tear her down and put herself on top. When she was with child, she hadn't doubted Santana would be the one to spread the news. She was shocked, and grateful, it hadn't been her but Santana had more power when she was captain and could've kept her off the Cheerios. Again, Quinn was surprised and thankful at her acceptance back into cheerleading and more so bemused at her reinstated title.
Other than that, Quinn didn't like her being able to read her now because her walls and shells had become increasingly fragile over the last year and the last person she wanted to see those cracks in her armor was Santana. Though she had been given every reason to trust her like she did in middle school, she couldn't shake it. She had lost too much, been too exposed, when she was pregnant. She didn't want that again.
"Fine," Said Santana as the teacher walked in.
Quinn watched her slip off the desk and go back to her seat behind her next to Brittany allowing the boy she had waved away to return to his seat.
She gave a sigh of relief as the teacher flicked on the projector and started on the lesson. If they were thrown into partners to work on an assignment, or even just given an assignment, Quinn knew she wouldn't be able to hold Santana at bay.
Opening her notebook, it fell to the page she had been doing her homework on the night before. She hadn't gotten far in her assignment and had started to journal instead of jot down notes. She quickly turned the page seeing Rachel's name. The other night had been wonderful but regretful all in the same.
She wasn't going to go to Rachel's. In the previous month, she had showed up on her doorstep three weeks out of the four. Each one ended up with them curled up with one another, their bare bodies tingling and burning with the lingering sensations of their heated roll in the sheets. Quinn didn't know when it had come to that. All she could remember was the one night Rachel came over in the summer for, maybe, the sixth or seventh time. She had gotten into an argument with her mom about the possibility of her father's return and she called Rachel over.
She thought she was back to being the strong Quinn Fabray she was but she broke down into tears as she explained everything. Rachel, being as genuine at heart as she was, wrapped her in her arms and Quinn kissed her. Simple as that. She turned her head and her lips were on Rachel's. She had expected for her to run away but Rachel just brushed away her tears and held her closer. Quinn guessed she past it off as something friendly, something she needed at that moment, and for a bit Quinn did too. Only thing was each time she saw Rachel, the yearning for it became stronger and not once did Rachel reject her. Now they were having sex.
The thought of it excited Quinn but made her stomach churn. She couldn't keep it up. Not only did it go against what she believed, or more so her family, she knew it wasn't healthy. Rachel was only trying to help her, be nice to her, offer her back the friendship she had pushed away back during their sophomore year. Quinn had taken a hold of it the second time and ran with it. It wasn't fair to Rachel, Quinn knew, it wasn't right especially since Finn had been trying to strike up a relationship with Rachel. She would end it and she tried.
She raced out of the gym to find Rachel but when she saw her in the hallway, all of her resolve slipped away like water through her fingers leaving her parched and thirsty and in desperate need of that oasis she found being with Rachel. It took her a bit to pull her mind back from the clouds but once she started, Santana ended her pursuit and all was lost. She almost ran after her into the restroom but with the others day she couldn't muster the courage to do it.
When the bell rang, Quinn left before Santana or Brittany could talk to her. She floated through her next few classes keeping to herself. Physics was particularly awkward since the class was full of boys, save for her and two other girls who were still intimidated by her so they partnered together. If that wasn't bad enough, half the boys were on the football team and just as crude, if not worse, as Puck and she was still at a lab station with Finn.
Though they managed to work together without too much hostility, Quinn could taste the tension. Not to mention seeing him made her feel guilty for distracting the girl who he was after. Because of this, she left the class for lunch to redeem herself from that morning and speak to Rachel.
Walking through the cafeteria, she kept her hands firmly on her hips, eyes darting around to check and see if anyone was watching her. She didn't care to look for Rachel because she knew where she was. She was hyper aware of Rachel's whereabouts more than ever nowadays. Going to the back most corner of the cafeteria, she approached the table Rachel and one other student sat. Quinn thought she would be able to go through with everything until Rachel looked up at her. She fell yet again.
"Quinn?" Said Rachel, the bewilderment that had been on her face washing away just as quick as it came. She should've expected it. She didn't talk to Rachel in school. She just couldn't bring herself to do it since their meetings had become purely sexual rather than the innocent talking they did before.
"Rachel," She said back, dropping her eyes to the songbook Rachel was looking through. Chicago. She remembered Rachel had been watching that one night she had gone over. The musical would always remind her of being tangled on Rachel's floor exchanging sweet kisses until it dipped into something much stronger and fervent.
"Did you need something?" Asked Rachel, her voice even.
Quinn cursed her. She couldn't sound so calm as Rachel. She shook her head. "No," She said tersely turning away, hands still on her hips. "I'll see you in glee."
She spun and walked away waiting until she was in the hall before her swift walk became a hurried strides. The bang of the cafeteria's echoed behind her and she went faster to get out of eyesight of whoever had exited.
Rounding a corner, she rushed into a restroom, flipped on the water and put her hands beneath the cold stream of the tap. She let out a breath only to start gasping for more steady breaths. Her chest was tight and her heart hammered against her ribcage like a woodpecker beating into a tree.
"I can't," She whispered looking up at her reflection. "Why can't you do it? You need to do it." She tried convincing herself but the words didn't seem to mean anything.
The door to the restroom opened and she went to reach for soap to make it look as if she were washing her hands, but when she caught sight of who it was, she just turned it off and made to leave.
"Quinn, wait," Said Rachel stepping in front of her.
"Let me out." She ordered, firmness in her voice despite the lump in her throat.
Usually that would've made Rachel, made anyone, get out of her way but the girl stood firm. "Quinn, I know you needed to say something to me, and considering that you risked everything by finding me in such a public place like the cafeteria, it must be exceptionally important."
"Rachel I-" She started. She turned away from her, walking to the other end of the restroom and leaned against the wall. "We can't…Rachel this is…what is this?" She threw up her hands in frustration. "What are we doing?"
"To be technical, and not at all sarcastic, we're talking. Or, rather, you're trying to explain what it is you needed to tell me and I'm doing my best to listen." She replied. "But if you're referring to the other night then…I don't know what it is you'd like to call it.
She pressed her fingers to her temples. "Rachel I…I can't." She whispered, eyes closed.
A second ticked by. "You can't what? Can't tell me?" She asked. "If you can't now then you can another time. I'm not rushing you, I only thought whatever it is you had to say couldn't be said under the scrutiny of the cafeteria. You don't have to speak now."
"Rachel," Quinn spoke again.
She stood with her back against the wall, the coolness she was trying to get from it gone away. She could hear her pulse in her ears that matched the drip, drip, drip of a leaky water faucet. Another beat past and she opened her eyes coming near face to face with Rachel who now stood close to her.
Annoyed rage with herself filled Quinn to the brim. "I'm sorry, Rachel, I just…I can't." She said harshly.
Rachel didn't even cringe with the forcefulness of her voice. She only nodded and replied, "Okay,"
Unable to stand there any longer, Quinn slipped away and began for the exit. She reached the door, fingers already curled on the handle when she spun back around and marched back to where she left Rachel by the wall.
With a forceful hand, she turned her around and pushed Rachel against it with her body, her lips landing on Rachel's. She felt Rachel's tension relax with the kiss and Quinn let herself stop trying to fight everything back and enjoy the feeling of Rachel's lips sliding against hers once again, the heat of her body running into her, and the scent of her skin intoxicating her.
She needed this; she needed Rachel. No matter what, she couldn't tell her they needed to end this because, in each moment with Rachel, she felt more than she ever did when she was President of the celibacy club, when she had been granted her head cheerleading position again, when she was the top dog of McKinley High and everyone treated her like royalty.
She couldn't let Rachel go.
Til Next Chapter