A/N: I haven't done this in a while. I'm rusty all over. Unbeta'd so everything is mea culpa.

A/N2: Not mine. Don't sue.

A/N3: AU; both seasons are fair game. Spoilers are unintentional.

A/N4: Reviews are always welcome. Please feed me. ;p

*o*o*o*

"One month—that's final."

Quinn Fabray let her jaw drop. Sure, she might have charged a little over 500 dollars on her mother's credit card that last time around. And maybe—maybe- it was a little too much money to spend on clothes she'd probably never get to wear… but to be grounded for a month just because of that? Four weeks? She's determined her mother desperately needed to remove whatever stick she has up her—

"And stop giving me that look—unless you want to be grounded well into the new school term."

Quinn narrowed her hazel briefly at the woman who was matching her glare behind the mug she had up against her lips.

With a silent huff, Quinn decided to shift her demeanor and try a different approach.

"Mom," she began slowly, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear "don't you think you might be over-reacting for just a tiny, little bit-"

Setting her mug down, Judy Fabray raised a fair eyebrow at her daughter and gestured to the credit card bill on the table to her left.

"Forgive me, Quinn, for over-reacting at finding out you just spent 567 dollars on clothes," she raised her eyebrow higher, "in one afternoon."

"But I really needed a new wardrobe for the new term! And the dresses were just so adorable they were begging to be bought! And a lot of those tops were actually on sale…"

Judy stood to place her mug in the sink before turning around to face her daughter with her hands on her hips.

"I'm sure the clothes were lovely, sweetie" she tried to soften the blow, "and you know I'd never stop you from buying anything that will remotely make you happy, but 600 dollars-"

"Five hundred sixty-six and thirty-nine cents."

The woman sighed and walked over to the sulking girl. "It's still little too much, Quinnie."

"I'm not going to stop you from enjoying your new purchases," she started walking out of the kitchen "as long as you're home within two hours immediately after school is out for the next four weeks."

Quinn threw her arms up in defeat and plopped herself on the chair vacated by her mother.

"What about Cheerios practice?" she called out.

"Figure it out," came the reply from the living room.

"Ugh!"

With brows furrowed, Quinn took her phone out from her jean pocket and furiously typed in a text message.

To S. Lopez: The next weeks will suck. Call me.

A few seconds later, her phone beeped with a new message.

From S. Lopez: Can't ryt nw, q. Haha sucks 2 b ya!

*o*o*o*

Quinn slung her backpack over her shoulder as she stepped out of her mother's Lexus the next morning, a Thursday. She was still set on giving the woman the silent treatment after being subjected to such unfair punishment. She was not in the mood for the pleasantry of goodbyes and wished for the fifteenth time that morning (and ninety-sixth that month) that her car wasn't in the shop.

"Have a good day, honey! Be home by six." She heard her mother say before driving away.

"Wonderful morning, isn't it?"

Growling, she turned to her left to glare at the Latina who had fallen in step beside her. Biting back a retort (because maybe Santana deserves the silent treatment as well) she put her bitch face on and began walking towards the front steps of McKinley High. A minute later, they were joined by a bubbly blonde who pecked the brunette on the cheek before moving to Quinn's other side.

*o*o*o*

"Ok, take five!"

Quinn took a moment to try and catch her breath as the rest of the cheerleading squad dispersed to take the much needed break.

Santana, wiping her brow with a small towel, walked over and handed her a bottled water. Smirking her thanks, Quinn took the offered drink and eagerly took a swig.

"Heads up!"

Out of the corner of her eye, Quinn saw a Frisbee in the air which landed on the field and rolled to a few feet away from them. She glanced at the disc on the ground for a second before taking another sip from the plastic bottle.

"Hey, a little help please!"

She heard Santana chuckle next to her. "Oh, this is gonna be good."

Making a show of pointedly ignoring the toy on the ground and the obnoxious voice that called for help, Quinn screwed the bottle's cap back on and turned to walk towards the rest of the squad milling around.

"Hey! Hey!"

A beat later, she heard the pound of feet on the grass.

"You didn't have to be such a bitch about it." The voice came a few feet behind her from where she knew the Frisbee had stopped rolling.

Putting her hands on her hips, Quinn slowly turned around to face the owner of the voice.

Rachel Berry, stooping down to pick up the disc, was shooting her a haughty glare. Raising a perfectly sculpted eyebrow, she returned the glare as she sauntered over to the shorter girl.

"What did you just call me?" she hissed as soon as she was within two feet away from the other girl.

Rachel straightened her back, still clutching the disc in one hand, and met her stare. "I said you didn't have to be such a bitch," she replied, enunciating the last word. "I was merely asking for your assistance and there was no need to-"

Quinn raised her hand up, palm facing forward. "I don't wanna hear it coz I don't really care," she took another menacing step closer. Behind her, Santana did the same.

Rachel's eyes flicked swiftly between the two girls as she obviously valiantly tried to keep up a courageous front. "Y-you—I'm not intimidated by…"

"Then you better be, if you know what's good for you, Treasure Trail." Quinn was now up in her face. "You don't get to call me names and expect to get away with-"

"What's holding you up, Rach?"

Quinn glanced up to see Sam Evans jogging up to them and she immediately softened her stance. She hadn't noticed he was even around until then.

With his floppy blond hair, blue eyes, and lopsided smile, Sam was an instant heartthrob the moment he first set foot in the school at the beginning of the term two weeks ago. He was immediately in Quinn's radar after she chanced upon him doing some laps around the field shirtless. He was trying out for the football team that day and since then was pegged to be starting quarterback, much to Quinn's delight. In her mind, he was suiting up to be an excellent replacement for Finn Hudson, whom he she had broken up with last year after he decided to quit football to focus on that stupid Glee club-the stupid Glee club which is also captained by the repulsive girl standing before her at the moment. And who, apparently—horrifically, is also on friendly terms with her Golden Boy.

"Hi Sam," Quinn greeted him brightly, fluttering her eyelashes, "I didn't see you there."

Sam stopped beside the short girl and took the disc from her.

"Oh, hey Quinn," he flashed her a charming smile. "You look really nice today."

From her periphery, Quinn saw Rachel roll her eyes. Deciding to let this one go, she focused on Sam instead, flashing him a shy smile of her own.

"So, Sam, will you be at Puck's party on tomorrow night?"

The boy briefly glanced at Rachel before shrugging his shoulders.

"Maybe," he ran a hand through his hair, "will you be there?"

At this, Quinn coyly bit her lip and looked at him from beneath lowered lashes, "Maybe."

She flashed him one last smile before twirling around to sashay away.

"So, um, I'll see you there?"

She heard him call out before she distinctly heard Rachel mock him.

"Will you be there? Really?"

*o*o*o*

Quinn was walking towards the parking lot with Santana and Brittany an hour later when she heard raucous laughter from a distance. Placing her WMHS backpack in the trunk of Santana's car, she found herself watching a group of kids across the lot.

Two boys she recognized from the football team—Mike Chang and Matt Rutherford—were laughing and exchanging high-fives with Sam as they sat on a metal railing. In front of them, Rachel was dribbling a basketball between her legs, obviously trying to keep Finn from stealing it. She watched as Finn, crouched low, lunged and tried to swipe the ball away from the short brunette. Rachel, in a surprisingly agile move, twisted her upper body to the right to evade Finn's arm, and swung her right arm to bounce the ball behind her back to her left side. There was a chorus of loud whooping as the other boys cheered in appreciation of her move.

"I didn't know Berry was so good with balls."

Quinn looked over her shoulder at Santana who was helping Brittany put her bag in the trunk.

"Takes to have one to be good with one."

"I'm not even sure that's how that goes."

Huffing, Quinn opened the car door and stepped in the car. Settling in the plush leather backseat, she looked out the window in time to see Finn wrap his arms around Rachel's waist from behind and lift her off the ground. She pretended (of course) not to notice the hem of the other girl's shirt ride up to expose a line of skin as the said girl laughed uproariously and tried to wriggle away from the hunkering boy.

"She's such a flirt."

"Who? Rachel?"

Quinn, surprised at Brittany's question, realized she must have said that last one out loud and turned away from the window.

"One moment she's a tranny, then she's a whore in the next" Santana met her eyes in the rear view mirror. "Make up your mind, Fabray."

She glowered at her before snapping, "It's the same bloody thing. She's disgusting."

"I like Rachel," Brittany chirped from the front seat.

She's honestly tired of all this Rachel talk already.

"Whatever." She deliberately changed the subject. "So what time are you picking me up tomorrow night?"

*o*o*o*

"What do you mean you can't pick me up?"

"Sheesh! Shatter my eardrums, why dontcha, Fabray?" Quinn heard Santana's over the phone. "I told you it wasn't my fault. Mama needed the car tonight. I was lucky Puck was able to swing by to pick me and Britt up,"

"But what about me?"

"Relax, Fabray. Whining doesn't suit you. I'll try to figure something out. Maybe I can get one of the guys to pick you up."

Quinn stomped her 3-inch heeled foot and let out a loud screech of frustration. She was thankful she had the house to herself, her mother having been summoned for an emergency meeting in Chicago the day before.

Her night was not turning out too well. She's all high strung enough as it is. She knew she was risking a lot by sneaking out for the party when she was still decidedly grounded (You better be sticking to the rules while I'm out of town, Quinnie. I don't want to have to ground you for an extended period of time.), thank you very much.

The party at Puck's was the first big party of the term and she just had to be there. Also, Sam had said he'd be there (Ok, so he said maybe he'd be there. But after yesterday's flirt-fest, she was sure he'd be stupid to not show up.) Frustration welled up in her as she glanced at herself in her full-length mirror. She was wearing one of the tops and skirts she bought during her spending spree and she knew she looked to damn good not to be seen in them tonight. She had to get her delicious ass out of that house and get to that party—even if it meant… stealing… a… neighbor's…car…

She hurried downstairs to the kitchen, opened the first cupboard, and eyed the Lexus key hanging from a hook inside.

"Santana," she bit her lip as she reached into the cupboard, "don't start the party without me."

*o*o*o*

It was around 10:15 when she felt her phone vibrate from inside her purse.

Quinn was in the middle of a very stimulating conversation with Sam about some elf who was looking for some Princess Zaldy or something. She hadn't planned on being this close to being bored to tears when she made her grand entrance into the party. She recalled opening Puck's front door with a flourish, basking in the adoring (and lustful) looks of everyone in the room, Britt and Santana walking up to her sides, the crowd parting as they made their way through, spotting Sam from across the room, giving him a come-hither smile, and coyly avoiding him the whole night. He finally cornered her in the kitchen with a breathless smile on his lips. They got to talking and three minutes into it, she was tuning him out. She was beyond relief for the offered distraction.

She touched his arm lightly, pulled her phone out and gave him an apologetic look.

"Do you mind if I take this?" She asked, gesturing to her phone in her hand.

"No, no of course not," he shook his head as he stuck his hands in his pockets.

"Thanks," she smiled brightly, "I'll be right back."

As she turned away from the boy, Quinn glanced down at her phone to check the caller ID.

Calling – Mom

*o*o*o*

"Yes, ok, ok mom. Just—yeah, I'm in the shower. Give me another half hour and I'll log in to your laptop. What?... Have I eaten? Yeah, yeah… What? Have I locked the d—Yeah, I've locked up. What? Am I repeating everything? No I'm not repeating everything… What? My ears are fine… Yeah. Ok. Just—just… What? Thirty minutes? Ok. Ok, then. Yeah…bye!"

Quinn flung open Puck's bedroom door and clutched her phone to her chest, feeling her heart hammering through the soft fabric of her top.

"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit…"

*o*o*o*

Quinn tapped her finger against the steering wheel impatiently as she willed the light to change.

This cannot be happening… This cannot be happening… Damn light! Change already!

She glanced at the illuminated time on the dashboard.

10:27

She wondered briefly how long she had been stuck at this intersection. She chewed on her bottom lip nervously as she counted down the minutes she had left before her mom calls her back.

Eighteen minutes.

Five blocks… I should be home in 10, up the stairs in 5, ok, ok… It's gonna be ok.

She gave a whoop when the light finally turned green. The vehicle in front of her, a Jeep, however, was taking its sweet time. Grumbling to herself, she released the handbrake and glared at the other vehicle through the windshield. The Jeep's brake lights blinked off as it accelerated slowly.

Come on!

When the Jeep had moved a few feet, Quinn pressed on the gas pedal. She unfortunately underestimated the Lexus' power and she realized this a second too late when she felt the 4x4 lurch forward.

She heard the sickening crunch of metal against metal seconds before she felt her heart jump to her throat.

"OH HELL! FUCK!"

Quinn pulled at her hair at the realization that she just crashed her mother's beloved Lexus.

She was not aware of how much more horror was in store for her until she noticed the door of the Jeep fly open and Rachel Berry stepped out.

*o*o*o*