A/N: Hey all! First and foremost I'm going to alienate half of you who click on this ficlet... It's probably going to make a heck of a lot more sense if you've seen the movie Black Swan. If you haven't, you'll still get a kick out of it, but it definitely won't have the same kapow. Along the same vein, it might be a bit spoilery if you want to see the movie, but hardly. Saying that, here we go! This was a twist on a Glee Kink Meme prompt, so it is rather smutty in the second part, but I enjoyed writing this immensely. I absolutely loved Black Swan and when I saw a prompt based on it I kind of went a little nuts haha!
This is part 1 of 2; it's a bit long to leave all in one chapter and I kind of want to see if there is any interest in the second part before I post it up. Although I will say the second part IS the smutty one. ;) Lemme know what you think!
You could have heard a pin drop in the suddenly brightened movie theatre as the screen went completely white, almost blinding the audience. No one spoke for a few long moments, everyone stunned into shocked silence. As feathers started to fall on screen and the credits began to roll, someone whispered in a voice loud enough for everyone in the theatre to hear crystal clear.
"So she turned into a giant bird?"
There was a murmur of laughter, and all at once everyone began to get up from their seats, gather their trash and coats and depart from the theatre, the quiet forgotten as people started talking animatedly about what they'd just seen.
Santana grabbed her Cheerios jacket and rolled her eyes, tugging Brittany up by the hand.
"No, Brittany, she didn't," Santana said in a soft voice, nonplussed by Brittany's earlier outburst. She linked her pinky with her best friend's and turned to the seat beside her, a hand on her hip. "Quinn, you ready to go? Movie's over."
Quinn was still sitting down, staring at the screen with her mouth agape, completely unaware her friends were standing and waiting for her so they could leave. She remained that way for an uncomfortably long time until Santana groaned and snapped her fingers in the head Cheerio's face.
"Come on, Quinn. Let's get moving. We have practice early tomorrow and I for one need my beauty rest," Santana said, starting to lead Brittany away down the aisle.
Quinn sat alone for a little longer, trying to digest what she'd just seen and make sense of it all. She'd heard Black Swan was a little intense, but she had no idea. She also didn't think she would be able to connect to a movie about a ballet, but here she was almost in tears from being overwhelmed with a feeling of empathy for the main character.
Nina was so much like her it scared her... Well, Quinn wasn't a ballerina, but, replace that part with her cheerleading and they were practically two sides of the same mirror or coin or whatever. Nina strove to be the best, and she had to watch her back to make sure her position as the leader wasn't stolen away from her.
Without having to think about it she likened Santana to Lily. Her friend, sure, maybe, if she really let her in they could be close friends. But because they were competition, like Lily was to Nina, Santana was kept at arms length. And they'd each made that choice rightfully so, at least in Quinn's case. When she'd gotten pregnant and kicked of the squad, Santana had jumped at the chance to take what once had been Quinn's crowning glory, the thing she was best at. And she wasn't all that willing to give it back once Quinn was allowed back on the Cheerios.
Now, Quinn spent every practice and game keeping an eye on Santana, watching the brunette for some sign that she was getting restless, tired of being beneath Quinn. She took careful notes on how often she and Sue talked in quiet whispers, of how many of the girls would flock to Santana for advice or extra coaching, how closely Santana studied her while watching her do a new sequence, and tracked any hint that maybe an assist wasn't done correctly or she wasn't spotted as quickly or firmly as was required. She watched as Santana got better and better, her moves seemingly more concise and better executed than Quinn's. She wondered if Sue saw the same things she did, losing sleep because she stayed up all night going over the day's events, searching for a shift in favor.
But then there would be times she was convinced it was all in her head. Santana was smoother because she practiced, the girls asked her for help because she seemed slightly more approachable, and missed or miscalculated spottings were just coincidence. Besides, she was still head Cheerio. Until that changed, she didn't have anything to worry about.
Still feeling a little mind fucked, she left the now empty theatre and found her two fellow cheerleaders standing by the entrance. Brittany was taking breaks from sucking down the last of her pop to bombard Santana with questions, still completely lost on what happened in the movie.
"So that one girl had sex with a bird? I didn't know you could do that."
"No," Santana said tersely, checking and reshaping her nails in the dim lighting, weary of Brittany's inquisition.
She'd known going to watch anything other than a children's flick was a bad idea, but she'd really wanted to see this movie and Brittany insisted on accompanying her and then invited Quinn along without even consulting her. Now for the past ten minutes all she'd done was come up with insane interpretations of the film and only half listening to Santana's replies, clearly stuck on her own skewed train of thought.
"I already told you she wasn't a bird, and no you can't do that. That sex didn't really happen anyway," Santana added, her eyes flicking over to Quinn as she walked towards them. "About time." She narrowed her eyes and her brows flew up when Quinn got close enough she could see her face in detail. "What the fuck, were you crying?"
Quinn reached up a hand and wiped at her eyes, finding her face moist with tears. She frowned, having not realized she had cried at all.
"I guess so. It was really intense," she replied, surprised at the softness of her own voice. Brittany gave her an odd look but continued sipping on her straw, almost reflectively.
"It was good but I'm not going to cry about it," Santana said shortly, tossing her nail file back into her purse and looking at the other two with a bored expression. "Let's get out of here already."
They walked through the parking lot in the general direction of Santana's car, and Brittany continued on her earlier thought process.
"If the sex didn't really happen, then was the bird invisible?"
Santana stopped in her tracks, and Brittany was yanked back by the pinky when their arms were stretched to the limit between them. Brittany could tell Santana was mad, because her eyes were closed and she could hear her faintly counting under her breath.
"No, Brittany. There is no such thing as invisible birds," Santana said in the most controlled voice she could manage, considering she was really close to shaking Brittany as hard as she could.
"But they have invisible bunnies," Brittany countered. Quinn looked at the other blonde with a raised eyebrow, having stopped a few yards ahead of the pair as they bickered.
"What are you talking about?" Quinn asked, shaking her head slightly. Brittany rolled her eyes and sighed.
"The Easter bunny," Brittany responded, completely serious and oblivious to the fact that Santana was turning an unnatural shade of red.
"You know what, fine. Yes, she was a God damn invisible bird. And she ran away to marry God damn Big Bird, the end. Fuck!" Santana finally snapped, outwardly seething. Brittany didn't seem to mind, smiling happily and shrugging her shoulders.
"Now it all makes sense."
"I'm sure it does," Quinn added, her eyes a little wide. Brittany was a good person but she was a smidge on the eccentric side. At least she didn't have to worry about Brittany trying to take her spot on the squad.
On the ride home, Quinn couldn't help but keep going back to the movie in her head, replaying the parts that stood out to her most over and over again. It was just so creepy, and intense was definitely the right word for the experience. She couldn't stop thinking about it, even as the radio was blasting pop music and the other two girls were goofing around, laughing and singing along raucously. They were too absorbed in each other and the music to notice that Quinn was being abnormally quiet, but she didn't care.
Santana seemed the most unmindful, swinging her head back and forth and twisting her shoulders in time to the music as she drove, drumming her hands on the steering wheel to the beat. Quinn watched her almost wistfully, wishing she could be like that: carefree, happy, content. She had too much on her mind to entertain acting so heedless. But Santana didn't care if people saw her like this. She'd always seemed comfortable in her own skin, even the boob-job wasn't to enhance her self image; probably no one thought Santana was as hot as Santana knew herself to be. Quinn wished for that as well, the obvious self-worth Santana felt, the confidence of just knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt she was smokin'.
Quinn realized she was practically staring and snapped her attention away from the brunette, but then her eyes were drawn back to her when Santana didn't seem to pick up on her gaze. She would probably not ever be like Santana, not as long as she had to guard herself.
Part of Santana's charm was that she wasn't perfect, but that was just not in the cards for Quinn. Quinn had to be perfect, or she'd lose everything she'd worked and strived for her high school career. And that was okay, she guessed, although she felt a slight pang in her chest at the thought. She turned away from Santana then, instead looking out her car window the rest of the way home, trying not to think about it any further.
When Santana pulled into the Fabray's driveway and parked, she turned down the music and looked at Quinn thoughtfully.
"You okay, Quinn? You've been acting kind of weird all night," she asked, her eyes sweeping Quinn's face for some sort of hint as to what was wrong. She rested a hand on Quinn's leg, a thumb brushing against the fabric of her jeans in a comforting manner. Quinn nodded her head, a little surprised at what would definitely qualify as a display of emotion for another person besides Brittany from Santana.
"I'm fine. Just still reeling from the movie," she responded, trying to sound light hearted, pushing Santana's hand away gently. It wasn't like she would tell Santana any of this anyway.
Santana gave a slight hum as she furrowed her brow, considering Quinn's words and automatically dismissing them. Whatever. She tried at least; if Quinn didn't want to talk she was sure she'd find out through the Glee Club grapevine eventually.
Quinn waved good-bye to Brittany and the taller girl smiled and waved back enthusiastically.
"Good night, Quinn! See you at practice tomorrow!"
"Sure thing, Britt," Quinn said with a grin she couldn't help. She looked at Santana and her smile faltered slightly, thrown off by brown eyes burning into her own hazel ones with intensity she couldn't quite place. "Night, Santana."
The corners of Santana's mouth swept upwards, a rare genuine smile on her face as she regarded the exiting Cheerio.
"Sweet dreams, Quinn."