A/N: So, I imagine that fans of my Grey Maiden Harry Potter AU will be a bit surprised to see this, but I got into Glee this fall, and got a bit hooked on it at the end of my winter break. Despite it's cliche-ness and what have you, I've always thought that Finn and Quinn had the most truly adorable scenes in the show. It may be that I happen to find Dianna Agron extremely easy on the eyes, and Finn holds a special place in my heart as a well-intentioned softie, but regardless, I like them, despite all of the drama and lies. They were together for maybe eight or nine months total, after all, as strained as the last stretch was. Anyway, here's my little Fuinn one-shot. Enjoy, and please don't flame. It's annoying and childish. Especially when it's over pairings in a fictional TV show.
A note on Quinn's religiosity: it does seem to be a genuinely important part of her character. And based on my own experience, it's when you are going through the most difficult times that you reach out and look for something larger than yourself.
Quinn Fabray, cheater, liar, no-longer pregnant teenager, ex-Cheerio, formerly disowned daughter, and above all very confused and exhausted young woman, sank back into the hospital bed, exhaling deeply. Her body was some way from fully recovering from the ordeal of bringing forth new life, and her mind was still fuzzy from the painkillers. Her soul…who knew where to begin, honestly?
Seeing the look on Puck's face as they gazed into the nursery, at the daughter that both had, however unwittingly, brought into the world, had torn something deep inside her.
Self-loathing had become second nature to her in the previous months. It had started with her infidelity, then her lies to Finn, her relentless demands that he provide for her when she knew that the baby was not his, that he just grow up, for her. Then her parents had thrown her out, and she found herself living with the boy she had cheated on and his mother, living a lie that became more complex and difficult by the day. Then the secret had got out, and Finn had ended things, and in the process, finally made her understand just how reprehensible and selfish her actions had been.
If she had dwelt on that, she might not have been able to go on. Puck insisted that he was there to step in for Finn, but as she had suspected from the beginning, and the 'sexting' incident with Santana had only proved, he was a poor substitute. But he was sweet, and kind in his own way, and, when he was thinking about the baby, so damn eager to prove that he could be a good father, and a good boyfriend.
And that made it so, so much harder when she realized just how badly he had wanted to keep the baby. Wanted to keep her, to keep them together. And she had not wanted that. It was simply too much. As much as her life had changed, she did not want to compromise her future, the future she so treasured, a future with a college education, a good job, and, eventually, setting down with the right someone.
And so she had broken another heart.
I have hurt so many people.
She felt empty inside. For the better part of nine months, she had never been alone, not for a moment. From the instant she had learned of the tiny life growing within her, there had always been someone to distract her, to fret over, to care for. And now she was gone.
Her pride and status had not been the only things that had taken a battering from her experience. Her faith, instilled from an age before she could even comprehend it by her rigidly Catholic family, had gotten her through a lot of things before. Jesus had been there for her when she failed to make the Cheerios her freshman year, before she joined mid-season after a series of injuries. She'd sufficiently impressed Coach Sylvester with her work ethic, grace, and athleticism over the rest of the year and the summer's Cheerios' camp that she had been named Head Cheerleader at the start of her next year. God had been there when her sister had left for college, and when Quinn's efforts to keep in touch with her had been rebuffed. She almost never saw her sister anymore. And the wisdom of the Holy Spirit had helped her more recently, or so she had thought, when an awkward but strangely adorable jock by the name of Finn Hudson had blurted out something about wanting to go out with her to Breadstix, and she had decided to give it a go.
There I go again, sounding like the perfect little Catholic, Holy Trinity and all.
Quinn had always known on some level that her life was a mess of hypocritical paradoxes. She wore her silver cross proudly around her neck, over a cheerleading outfit that, in Santana's words, "could only have been designed by a total perv." She was taught about forgiveness, and she routinely bullied girls lower down on the popularity ladder, especially one Rachel Berry, and had been doing so for years.
And then there's the part where the president of the Chastity Club fornicated with her boyfriend's bestie.
Here she went again. The self-loathing, the revulsion at who she was and what she had become, it was all coming back, trying to break through the barriers of cold indifference that she relied upon to maintain any semblance of public confidence or composure.
Because the truth was that she wasn't sure she could survive the existence of a Rachael Berry. Rejoining the Cheerios, getting her reputation back – they weren't just aspirations, hopes and dreams - they were forgone conclusions. They had to be. As grueling and emotionally shattering as her pregnancy had been, the wretched feelings of shame, horror, and embarrassment when she and Finn had been slushied by the better part of his offensive line had been some of the worst she'd ever felt.
Of course, some moments managed to top that: Sue Sylvester nonchalantly pointing out her 'minority' status as a pregnant teenager; her father telling that stupid story about the Indians game and then telling her that he no longer recognized his daughter; and Finn, oh God, her Finn, his face contorted with rage and sorrow, his eyes shining with the shock of betrayal, telling her that they were finished. She wasn't sure anything had been worse than that. She had never counted on her mother, just hoped that she might break the habits of a lifetime and actually care about Quinn as more than just a model young woman that she wished she had been. But Finn, Finn she had no doubt would be there to see her through this, somehow, even if the terrible secret should somehow be let out, he would understand, he would be there for her. Because he had to be.
But she had been lying to herself.
She had never deserved him anyway.
Finn was not exactly bright – he really astounded her at times with his utter lack of sense and occasional ignorance of the most basic knowledge. He still didn't know the state capital of Ohio.
But damn it, he was so sweet. Finn never wanted to hurt anyone. His naïve, simplistic outlook on the world was equally frustrating and endearing. His innocence was mind-boggling at times, but sometimes he had made her laugh when the rest of the world had been determined to drag her down.
Quinn was not nice. She was vindictive, petty, selfish, and demanding. And she had been a terrible girlfriend. Finn had insisted otherwise.
Of course he had.
Puck came in, his hands tucked into the back pockets of his jeans, looking down at the floor, his eyes darting up once in a while to meet hers, before her gaze drove him away.
She sat up slightly, straightening her back. "Puck?"
"Hey…uh, well, Finn wants to talk to you. I wasn't sure you would want that, after having the baby and all, so I thought I would check with you."
Quinn stiffened at that. Was God punishing her again, making her confront the boy she had hurt so badly in her sin just after she had been brooding about what she had done to him? Of course not; she was being silly and irrational. Hormones, maybe. "I…" she couldn't quite get out the words.
Puck shrugged. "Okay babe, I'll tell him you aren't feeling up to it." He seemed reluctant to get any closer. Quinn had not quite told him that things were over between them, but he seemed to have understood. Beth had brought them together, but now that she was gone…she supposed that he did not deserve that either, but, well, it was partially his fault that she had ended up in this spot, after all. It took two to tango.
"No, wait. I do want to talk to him," she blurted out, unsure if she really meant it. But she had a feeling that she was being offered an opportunity she did not want to pass up because she was a bit tired.
Puck raised an eyebrow, but said nothing before he turned and left.
The door to her room opened again, and there he was. "Hi."
"Hi," she replied softly.
"I just wanted to see how you were, you know? I mean…I'm sure you're tired, and stuff, but…" he scratched the back of his head, looking down, not meeting her eyes.
"That's very kind of you, Finn," she said. "It means a lot."
"Yeah, well, I felt like it," he said, still not looking at her. Then he did look up, for an instant. She saw uncertainty and confusion. She hoped that he saw the same.
"Thank you," she said softly. "I'm sure you've been busy."
"A bit, I guess," he replied. "I mean, we lost at Regionals, so Rachel's all upset. Well, everybody is, you know. Kurt was crying."
She smiled wryly at his apparent confusion. "You aren't the only boy that cries, you know?"
Finn flushed a bit at that. "Well, yeah, I know. I mean, it's Kurt, so I wasn't really surprised."
"Glee club meant a lot to him," Quinn observed.
Finn nodded. He took a few steps closer to the bed, looking to her for approval. She nodded slightly, and he put on that stupid grin of his and moved toward the bed. And then stopped. "Sorry, Quinn, I…well, it's hard, you know. And…and I told Rachel that I loved her."
Quinn felt a flash of some emotion she could not quite place, but associated with jealousy. The self-loathing set in almost immediately afterwards, and she closed her eyes.
"Oh, hey, maybe I shouldn't have told you that. It's no…well, I guess it is a big deal…but, you can't…oh damn it," he grumbled. "Quinn, after, after what you did, I had to move on – you hurt me, you know? You hurt me a lot. And I still don't understand why you did that."
Quinn struggled to get her breathing under control. One, two, three…let it out… "Finn, don't…just don't do that. I don't deserve it." She forced a smile onto her face. "I'm happy for you. You deserve someone special."
"But you hate Rachel," Finn protested. "Well, I guess, you've been a bit nicer to everyone than you were. But I never thought that you liked her, or anything."
Damn that boy and his good intentions.
Quinn laughed, but it was a mirthless laugh, a low chuckle with a hint of despair and pain. "She's not exactly my favorite person."
"Because I want you to be happy," she nearly shouted. She might have, too, if she wasn't so weak from six hours of labor. "Because you deserve that much. And because I have no right to be feeling sorry for myself right now. Not after what I did. To you. To everyone, really."
Finn stood still for a long moment, debating something in his mind. Quinn kept her eyes on him, pleading for him to understand, to not storm out in a rage and destroy the last hopes she held that Finn might, someday not too far off, forgive her.
She wanted to be forgiven.
Then, ever-so-slowly, he came over towards her, and sat down on the edge of the bed. "Why?" he asked, his voice hoarse with emotion.
"I was scared. Really, truly scared."
"I mean, I get that. But why? I mean, I pretended to be in a wheelchair to earn money for you, because you said you'd break up with me if I couldn't take care of you and the baby…You – you asked so much of me, Quinn. And you didn't – you lied to me. The whole time."
She nodded, tears blurring her vision. She saw the panic in Finn's eyes. He was better than most boys, but he had never known quite what to do with a crying female. His default response was just to hold her and tell it would all be okay, and though she realized she had never told him so, that was exactly what she wanted. She wanted a reminder that there was someone there for her, that she wasn't such a horrible person that no one wanted to touch her. Mercedes had figured that out pretty early, and it had made things a lot easier when she had moved in. Puck had never quite understood, and so she'd tried to avoid crying around him, to avoid making him uncomfortable.
"I'm sorry, Finn. I just – I wanted you to be the father. I was so ashamed, so lost, that I just liked to pretend that it was your baby."
"That's kinda messed up," Finn said. His eyes were also a bit red.
"Is it?" she asked softly, her voice breaking. "Is it so bad that I couldn't face the truth, that I wanted everything to be okay? Because – Finn, I know I was hard on you. But you would – you would have been a good father. You would have taken care of me."
"You mean that?"
"Yes. You would have been great," she laughed.
"Better than Puck?"
You had to ask that, didn't you?
"Yes. Better than Puck. Better than any boy I could have gotten myself into that kind of situation with."
Finn shifted so that he could look at her without craning his neck. She fought the urge to reach out and take his hand. He was so close, sitting there in his McKinley High letterman jacket, hands splayed out on his thighs.
Can we be in love again?
But no. She could not ask that of him. It had been wrong of her to ask that when she had, because she had still been lying to him, and desperate after Puck had let her down so badly.
"Say something," she blurted.
"Uh…thanks, I guess. Yeah, thanks. Quinn, I don't know how I feel about you right now. I hated you for a bit, you know. But I couldn't stay that way. I'm not good at that. It's too much work."
A joke. And she laughed. She laughed more than she had in weeks, and all of her sorrow and regret and frustration and love poured out in that moment of pure bliss.
Finn was looking at her with serious concern. She giggled. "What? It's funny!"
"Not that funny."
"Well, that's for me to judge, isn't it?" she replied smartly. Then she laughed again. A small smile tugged at the corners of Finn's mouth, and slowly, he began to chuckle. Not much. But it was something.
She sat up. "Yes?"
His face fell. "I think I need to go. It was good to see you, you know. To talk a bit. We haven't really, not since everything happened. Hope you, uh, feel better, too."
Quinn tried not to be too disappointed. It had certainly been too much for her to expect that she could patch things up with Finn so easily. He smiled nervously, and then rose to leave.
He turned back. "Yeah?"
Be in love again?
"…be friends again?"
Finn looked puzzled for a moment, then nodded, and gave her a genuine smile this time. "Yeah. Yeah, I'd like that."
"So would I," she replied. She waved a goodbye.
He returned the gesture, smiled, nodded, and then left.
Quinn Fabray lay back on her bed. And she remembered a particularly appropriate set of song lyrics.
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes – you just might find…
You get what you need!