Disclaimer: I own nothing. All belongs to Glee writers and creators. (And it's also not really sponsored by Folgers.)
A/N: Thanks for all the various reviewers who reminded me I had yet to write this. :) Also, I poke fun at Matt and Finn at this, but it's lighthearted fun, I assure you. Mostly.
This Morning: Sponsored by Folgers
Monday morning's glee rehearsal didn't get started until fifteen minutes after it was supposed to. Why? Because half the club didn't show up until then. Will wasn't exactly surprised in the cases of the three Cheerios and two of his football players, but Rachel? It was almost unheard of for her to be late to anything, let alone glee. He decided to let it go, even though the girl's smile was weak, she was holding her forehead, and her feet were dragging. Maybe she just hadn't slept well.
Now, however, he was wondering if he should've let it go. They were running through 'Somebody to Love' for the umpteenth time and while the other five late kids were valiantly trying to pull through, but mostly just mumbling their lyrics, Rachel was repeatedly going hoarse and grabbing her throat. That wasn't good for many reasons; one being that she was looking more frustrated and distraught by the minute. Another being that if she was losing her voice…well, let's just say Sectionals wouldn't look so pretty.
He decided to examine the others. Kurt, Mercedes, Artie, Tina, Mike, and Matt all appeared to be fine, if a little disturbed by Rachel's poor performance today. Finn, who was standing directly next to the incapacitated diva, couldn't stop staring at her like she had three heads whenever she went hoarse, but other than looking a little tired and going no higher than he absolutely had to, he was fine. Puck, directly behind Rachel, was grinning at the back of her head and occasionally glancing at the Cheerios—who were on the exact opposite side of the room—and waggling his eyebrows. Other than the grin at Rachel, that wasn't unusual.
Santana was smirking deviously, which wasn't anything out of the ordinary either. It was just a little creepy. Brittany was wearing her usual expression, and Quinn…was staring straight ahead. He saw Santana nudge her in the ribs at one point, but the girl wasn't moving her gaze from where it was for anything. She was stoic and determined and completely focused on that spot on the wall.
Will was a little confused. Rachel looked a little frustrated. Scratch that, really frustrated.
He waved his hands. "Okay, cut, guys."
The singing tapered off and the diva stroked her throat uncomfortably as he approached her.
"Rachel, are you feeling all right today?" he asked gently, smiling when she grimaced.
"I'm so sorry, Mr. Schuester, I'm afraid I have no idea what's come over me. Per—"
"Don't be so hard on yourself," Puck interjected, grinning widely. "Hell, if I spent the entire night screaming Q—"
"Shut up, Puckerman!"
Quinn had come back to life, Will saw. Her eyes were ablaze and focused on Puck, who blanched a little under the combined glares of Rachel and the head cheerleader. Santana, for some reason, found all this amusing and had started snickering uncontrollably. Quinn flushed and promptly smacked her best friend soundly on the arm. Somehow, that just made her laugh harder.
Check the little. Will was really confused, and he wasn't the only one.
The two biggest gossipers in the club had been conferring this entire time, but it was Mercedes who blurted, "Okay, what the hell happened last night?"
Two hours earlier…
The first scream sounded about the time Puck had gotten the first cup of coffee poured. It was promptly followed by a second scream, which was followed by Santana shouting, "WILL PEOPLE SHUT THE FUCK UP?" and coming into the kitchen for the cup of coffee Puck had gotten ready just for her. She was the devil incarnate if she didn't get her coffee the morning after a night of drinking, which was saying something, since he was pretty sure she was secretly a demon the rest of the time.
Meanwhile, in his bedroom, two very naked girls were clutching his sheets and their foreheads simultaneously, having just realized that not only were they in bed with each other, but they also had massive headaches that weren't helped in the least by all the screaming.
Rachel was the first to stop groaning, and hence the first to start panicking. "What are you doing in my room? In my bed? Why are you naked? Why am I naked? How did you even get in here?"
Quinn rolled her eyes, because evidently the alcohol had made the whole never ending slew of questions thing permanent. "This isn't your house, nimwit. Do you remember last night at all?"
"Not as yet, and from the looks of things, I don't want to!" she yelped, and the blonde pinched the bridge of her nose between her fingers. The brunette shifted uncomfortably beneath the sheets. "Um…where are we?"
"Puck's? Remember, we dared, you accepted, we drank…a lot, evidently," she replied, keeping her voice meaningfully low.
Rachel stared at her. "Are you usually this calm when you wake up naked with someone?"
She shrugged. "I don't know, I've never had it happen before, but you're freaking out enough for the both of us."
Had the diva not been stark naked beneath the sheets, she would've tossed them aside and begun pacing for the following lecture. However, remembering that she was naked, and disregarding the obvious truth that Quinn had seen a lot more the previous night, she was left to fume and fold her arms petulantly over her chest and the sheets. Had she not been so busy organizing words in her head, she might have noticed that this movement strained the sheets tightly over her breasts and that hazel eyes were no longer focused on her face.
Fortunately for Quinn (or unfortunately, depending on how one looked at it), Rachel was too busy organizing her words to notice either detail.
"Well, you should be freaking out!" she exclaimed decisively. "I think this is the absolute perfect situation to freak out in, and your non-reaction is quite frankly insulting! You shouldn't be trying to make me feel as though I'm being irrational for waking up naked in bed with you, my longtime self-proclaimed enemy, and finding myself a little out of sorts! Particularly when neither of us has any recollection of how said waking up scenario occurred! You should be commiserating with me about our bad fortune and then collecting your clothing and leaving at once so we can proceed to forget this ever happened!"
Quinn licked her lips. Rachel huffed and drummed her fingers on her biceps, tossing her hair irritably. Puck's clock ticked in the silence.
"As a matter of fact, why aren't you?" she asked at length.
The brunette rolled her eyes and enunciated slowly, "Why aren't you?"
She blinked in confusion. "Why aren't I what?"
"Putting your clothes on and leaving. I can only assume you're privately enumerating the ways you'll seek revenge on me; after all, you must be downright disgusted with this situation, so why linger here?" she asked suspiciously.
Quinn glanced to her right briefly before stating plainly, "This side of the bed is against the wall. I can't get out until you do."
Rachel paused at this and surveyed the situation. Puck's wall was indeed a formidable obstacle to Quinn leaving the confines of the bed. However, the brunette had no immediate plans to get out of it herself. Unless perhaps someone lured her with pain medicine and five gallons of water.
Maybe some of her clothing was near the bed…. She peered over the side only to find that, well, they'd been flinging bras and panties across the room in their drunken stupor, rather than thinking ahead and placing them in an easily reachable area. If there was one reason Rachel was never getting drunk again, there it was. All of the careful planning she did when sober evidently went straight out the window, and that wasn't something she was willing to sacrifice.
She was startled from her thoughts when Quinn asked softly, almost to the point of sounding shy, "Why aren't you getting out of bed?"
Rachel scoffed instantaneously. "I'm not about to let you see me naked!"
She could've sworn there was a brief flash of hurt in those hazel eyes before they turned cold and she arched an eyebrow, glancing pointedly down at their sheet-covered bodies. The brunette sighed.
"I mean sober," she amended.
Quinn nodded and made a show of stretching, cracking her back as she strained her arms high above her head, and Rachel averted her eyes hastily when the white fabric started to slide down her porcelain skin. When she heard the blonde sigh with pleasure at getting the kinks out of her body, the diva was tempted to cover her ears and pretend it was all a dream. A bad dream, of course. She did close her eyes, at least, and repeated the mantra, I don't need to see that, I don't need to see that, I don't even want to peek, not at all, nope.
"Well, I guess we'll just stay in bed all day then," Quinn said casually, slumping back down next to her.
Rachel only moved when she felt the blonde shift the sheet back up, and the breath she'd been holding escaped her lungs in a whoosh. She tried not to gasp for air when she directed her gaze back to the cheerleader lying next to her. Her eyes were twinkling playfully and she was toying with a lock of blonde hair, one knee bent and exposing her creamy white thigh to the world, looking for all the world like a cat bathing in the sun. Not to mention, absolutely delicious.
It was only when that thought entered her mind that she realized what Quinn had said. Stay in bed all day? Alarms went off in her brain. They couldn't do that! They didn't even know what time it was! They might be late for school, or worse! Glee!
Ugh, but that would mean getting out of bed and letting Quinn see her…she shuddered. No way in hell. She was embarrassed enough already, and besides, the blonde didn't need more fuel for those horrid pornographic sketches on the bathroom walls.
She briefly entertained the idea that that's what this entire thing was—a prank, a hoax, a way to further humiliate her. It was entirely plausible, except for the fact that she was certain Quinn had been just as drunk as she, and giving her such extreme pleasure wasn't usually part of the prank. It certainly wasn't necessary.
Wait, extreme? Did she really have to be that…enthusiastic? Perhaps it wasn't that great. It might've been…she glanced at the hazel eyes currently sparkling with amusement. No. Extreme is a good descriptor.
Rachel slumped, letting her head rock back as she gazed up at the ceiling, still propped on her elbows like she had been since checking the location of her clothing. Well, they say you learn something new every day, and she supposed she'd learned that alcohol plus blonde head cheerleader equals bad. Or…really mind blowing followed by bad. She nodded to herself in approval of the equation.
"I wonder what Santana will have to say about this," Quinn mused, again startling the brunette out of her reverie. She sounded mildly amused by the thought, and even more so when she snorted, "Or better yet, Puck. I bet he'll have a 'mailman' moment."
Rachel barely heard the second part of that. Her brain had caught on Santana and gone into overdrive. If Quinn was referencing Santana, it could only mean one thing for Rachel: humiliation galore. The Latina wasn't the kindest soul, to say the least, but when it came to her fellow brunette, it was like letting a pit bull loose in a cage with a wounded bunny rabbit. Not. Pretty.
She could only imagine what Santana would 'have to say' about this situation, and…wait, Quinn looked amused? Was she thinking it would be funny to see people making fun of Rachel and dragging her down? Did she find the prospect of the brunette being known as Quinn Fabray's Big Drunken Mistake comical? Because Rachel wasn't good enough for Quinn, and people wouldn't hesitate to point that out. And…well, if the blonde found that funny, then obviously her opinion wasn't much different.
Before she knew what was happening, Rachel felt…wounded. Hurt. And her expression was showing it plainly, she knew, so she turned her face away from the cheerleader yet again and tried to come up with a way to cover it. She couldn't show weakness like this to her if she was only going to use this incident to humiliate her, so she took a deep, cleansing breath to fight back the oncoming tears at the thought of being Quinn's mistake, and thought fast.
"Nobody will have anything to say about it, because this little…blunder isn't leaving this room," she said, and hoped Quinn didn't put the harshness of her voice to her tears.
"You do realize they probably at least saw us kissing last night, right?" the blonde snapped viciously, and Rachel stiffened, bolt reflex in place and ready to be tripped.
"Then it doesn't leave this house," she retorted, keeping her gaze trained on a slowly blurring red sock on the floor, not daring to meet the palpably furious cheerleader's eyes.
Puck's clock seemed louder in the silence this time. Every tick made Rachel want to flinch, but she refused to let herself be swayed from her position. That is, until she heard Quinn huff harshly next to her.
"I see," she ground out, and flung the sheet off of herself.
Rachel closed her eyes in a grimace as the blonde clambered over her legs, hopping off the bed and rooting through the clothes strewn across the floor to find her own. She had pulled on her panties and jeans before she whipped to point accusingly at the brunette, eyes crackling with fury and…were they shining with…no, she couldn't possibly….
"Like you have any right to be ashamed? It's not like this is going to ruin your reputation," Quinn spat, obviously trying desperately to reclaim the higher ground. "I probably just gave you a boost. You never know, maybe the geeks in the AV club will want you now."
On the inside, the brunette was crying her eyes out. However, she was determined to keep the control in this conversation, and that weakness had to be kept to herself. So she glared at the beautiful blonde, who was slipping on her bra, and wrapped the sheet tightly around herself as she stood. This time she didn't miss the way hazel eyes traveled down her body, and it made her grimace at what she was about to say.
"I might not be desirable to the majority of McKinley's student population, but you were the one that wanted me last night." She shrugged. "You have no one to blame but yourself."
Quinn's jaw flapped wordlessly for a moment, and Rachel took advantage of the silence, sliding her clothes on beneath the sheet.
"Oh, right, like it doesn't take two to do this," the blonde blurted at length.
She was still shirtless, and the brunette fought valiantly not to stare at her chest as she pulled on the butterfly t-shirt she'd been wearing the previous evening so she could finally drop the sheet. Screw her bra. It could be a surprise for Puck later. Right now, she just wanted to get out of there and away from her humiliation.
"I was drunk," Rachel said simply, avoiding her gaze.
"And I wasn't?" Quinn snorted.
She had a point. However, the diva couldn't let go of the higher ground just yet. She had to make it out of this house with her dignity intact, at least. Before she arrived at school later and lost all sense of it when the cheerleaders told everyone just how easy she was when she was drunk. Or maybe they'd let the 'drunk' part slip. Rachel fought a shudder in favor of yanking on her skirt.
"Fine, have it your way. This was a mistake on both our parts and it will never happen again," she said nonchalantly, and even she was a little spooked by her acting ability. "I'd still rather you didn't tell anyone."
Clothed at last, she turned to the door and left the blonde to her thoughts, desperate to get to her penny loafers. That was all she needed. Then she could go home, cry for a little bit, and get ready for school. It was still mostly dark out, she saw, so hopefully all this wouldn't put her too far behind schedule.
A grimace crossed her face before she could stop it when she spied Brittany coming out of the bathroom in her pjs, toothbrush hanging from her mouth. The blonde grinned around the paste still foaming up her mouth and waved rapidly, and Rachel weakly returned it, hoping the toothpaste would keep her from holding her up. She just wanted her penny loafers.
So close. Against her better judgment, the brunette turned from the suddenly pouting Brittany to the fiery-eyed Quinn, who yanked her shirt the rest of the way over her head and stomped directly in front of the shorter girl, getting in her face. The proximity was disorienting, but Rachel stood her ground.
"You do not get to say that to me. I'm the one with the reputation; I don't want this getting out. You're right. You are a drunken mistake, and that's all you are to me," Quinn said determinedly. Rachel privately wondered who she was trying to convince. "You're the dirt on my shoes and from now on? I don't even want you to be that. Stay away from me."
Her eyes were wide, her breaths ragged, and her words desperate. She looked frenzied, and the brunette felt a twinge of sympathy for her. But all this was, was an attempt to save her reputation, to save face. Spying movement out of the corner of her eye and Brittany still beyond Quinn, Rachel decided to give it to her. She owed her that much, she supposed, after taking her dignity away in private.
"I will if you will," she said evenly.
But the blonde didn't take the easy bait. She didn't scoff, sneer; all she did was blink rapidly, avoiding the brunette's eyes, before snapping harshly, "Fine."
Rachel swallowed heavily, turning her eyes from both the adorably confused blonde with the toothbrush still hanging from her mouth and the distressed blonde wringing her sleeves in her thumbs. As she expected, there were three expressionless faces staring back at her from the kitchen doorway. Finn frowned when she met his gaze, looking puzzled—no big shock there—and Santana smirked at her knowingly before she retrieved her penny loafers at last and hurried from the house.
"Nothing!" Rachel yelped defensively.
"Absolutely nothing," Quinn agreed hurriedly.
Eleven disbelieving faces stared back at them.
"Honestly, what's with the third degree?" the brunette mumbled uncomfortably, staring down at her shoes.
Santana turned on her heel to face the inquisitive people in the back row, beginning delightedly, "So the other week we all came into glee with…uh." She glanced at Mr. Schuester, who rolled his eyes when she continued on. "Migraines, if you know what I mean, and Berry here—"
"No, don't start with the boring stuff," Puck said irritably. "What happened was we were all really…uh." He glanced at Mr. Schue. "Loud and—"
"God, look!" Quinn exclaimed, running a hand over her forehead. "Before we hear the twisted, lewd versions of what happened, why don't we tell you the truth?"
"But the other version sounds so much better," Kurt interjected.
The blonde glared at him and he hastily gestured for her to go ahead.
"You're not really going to tell them, are you?" Rachel hissed, venturing closer to her.
Quinn blatantly ignored her. "So, last night, the six of us were hanging out."
"You…don't hang out with Rachel," Mercedes pointed out, before she, too, was glared into submission.
"And Rachel and I made the mistake of deciding to—" she cleared her throat "—sing hard metal songs."
"That explains the hoarseness," Mr. Schue said, relieved.
The teenagers collectively rolled eyes at him.
"Wait, we didn't decide," Rachel interrupted, climbing up the risers to stand next to her fellow storyteller and facing the gossip-hungry group. They were practically salivating at her, and it was a little unnerving. She shifted closer to Quinn. "Quinn said she wanted to…sing hard metal." Her brow knit as she glanced at the blonde, who bristled.
"Yeah, I said I wanted to, and you agreed," she retorted pointedly, folding her arms.
"But I was dr—" The brunette cleared her throat, glancing at Mr. Schuester. "I was hopped up on cold medication. I wasn't thinking clearly."
Quinn rolled her eyes.
"Rachel, you were sick?" Brittany asked, pouting suddenly.
"You didn't have to agree. You could've said no," her fellow blonde snapped irritably.
"As I said, my thought processes were debilitated by the cold medication. I clearly had no idea what I was doing."
"Yeah? Well, you sure seemed like you did," she bit back.
"Damn! Berry, have you, uh, sung hard metal with other girls?" Puck queried, eyebrows bouncing.
Rachel went beet red. "No! No, of course not!"
"She's just a fast learner with a very talented tongue," Quinn purred, almost right into her ear, and the brunette thought she might faint.
"I think the subtext is starting to become the text," Santana observed.
"Look, my obvious singing talent is not the point here," the diva managed to grind out, attempting to make it clear she was not talking about the metaphorical 'singing.' "The point is, we sang hard metal and consequently woke up with headaches and sore throats and deeply regretted it. No matter how enjoyable it was at the time."
Puck snorted. "I'll say it was enjoyable. You guys did it all night."
"Dude, your bed is creaky, by the way," Finn commented. "Kept me up."
"Wait, you thought it was enjoyable?" Quinn interjected, stepping into Rachel's line of vision.
"Of course," she blurted without thinking, then blanched. "I-I mean…yes, it was…satisfactory. I-I never realized the appeal of singing hard metal before, but after you showed me how…fun it could be, now that I remember it anyway, I-I wouldn't be opposed to doing it again. Although preferably without the cold medication this time."
"But probably with someone more experienced and better at it than Q, right?" Santana asked helpfully, a devilish glint in her eye.
Rachel squirmed uncomfortably, and the longer she was silent, the more dejected Quinn looked, to the point where the brunette just couldn't take it anymore.
"No, not necessarily. If Quinn would like to sing hard metal with me again, I think she's…quite proficient and I…would rather have her as my partner than anyone else," she admitted softly, shyly, and the blonde looked completely taken aback.
"But…but you said you didn't want anyone to know," she replied, matching the brunette's tone.
She smiled. "I was only saying it before you did. I mean, honestly, who in this room would want to sing hard metal with me, let alone have people know about it?"
"Definitely not me," Santana said immediately.
There were a few other 'no's, though Puck said, "I'd do it with ya," to which Quinn replied, "Hey, mine!"
And promptly blushed, until Rachel grinned at her.
Finn was scratching his head, and Brittany said, "I think that would hurt my voice, and Santana likes it when I scream her name." The Latina promptly facepalmed. "But I would sing other stuff with you, Rachel!" She grinned.
The brunette was distracted from chuckling at the enthusiastic and completely oblivious blonde by someone's warm fingers curling around her hand. She squeezed Quinn's hand reassuringly and the cheerleader smiled bashfully.
"I would love to…sing hard metal with you again," she murmured quietly, cracking a grin at the metaphor. "And maybe…other genres, too?"
Rachel bit her lip and smiled. "Like soft rock?"
She nodded and said sweetly, "Or like the music they play at Breadstix."
The brunette was practically aglow, while Finn was still scratching his head.
"But…that doesn't have any words," he pointed out.
Puck patted his shoulder.
"I think they play some pretty good selections on Fridays at, say, eight?" Rachel offered coyly, and Quinn smirked, shifting closer.
"Sounds perfect," she said lightly, dipping to press a kiss to her forehead. "But I think we should lay off the hard metal until then. I'm still kind of recovering from last night." A cheeky grin spread across her lips while the brunette blushed profusely.
"Okay, that was gross," Santana said. "Can we get back to practice now that they've got their shit sorted out?"
"Uh…yeah. Everybody, um…let's…from the top," Mr. Schuester fumbled, glancing uncomfortably at the cozy teenage girls still holding hands in the back.
As everyone moved back to their seats, Quinn and Rachel scooting their chairs unnecessarily close to one another, Matt cleared his throat.
"Uh, just so we're all clear, those two were drunk and had sex, and now they're dating?" he asked uncertainly, and Santana wasn't the only one facepalming this time.
"Dude, now I see why you never talk," Puck snapped, shaking his head disapprovingly.
"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that," Mr. Schuester said.
"Oh, so that's what the hard metal thing meant?" Finn exclaimed.