A new story? Already? Hooray! I thought of the idea when I watched Scott Pilgrim the other day, and absolutely needed to publish it.
Title: Rachel Berry vs. The World
Pairings: Rachel/Quinn, Mike/Tina, Santana/Brittany, mentions of Quinn/others
Setting: Mid-season two, with Rachel and Finn broken up, and Quinn and Sam also are no longer an item. Spoilers from anything aired, I suppose.
Disclaimer: Don't own Glee, unfortunately, nor do I own Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Enjoy my cracky, Faberry brainchild!
In the beginning, Rachel should've theorized all possible outcomes of dating Quinn Fabray.
It wasn't like it was a difficult undertaking. Well, not really. Okay, maybe it warranted a step-by-step Powerpoint, and a mild mental panic attack before she could pluck up the courage to even approach Quinn—(she's intimidating, okay, and it's not like Quinn was known for her kindness)—let alone ask her anything remotely related to dating.
Quinn's reaction was also unexpected.
"Okay," Quinn had answered, shut her locker, and sauntered off to glee practice.
Rachel had been left gaping soundlessly in the corridor, and was ten minutes late to the choir room, earning a puzzled look from Mr. Schuester and surprised glances from the others, because Rachel Berry was never late to glee club. That was just unheard of. Unheard of as Sue Sylvester being nice for a straight year, or Principal Figgins allowing overspending on the school budget, or something wild, like all of the Cheerios getting slushied. Hence, Quinn's acceptance to date was very unprecedented.
She didn't know exactly where her crush on Quinn started. Maybe it was observant appreciation, or the gentleness that Quinn's eyes seemed to hold when she was not insulting someone, making them look like pools of warm hazel instead of cold, hazel orbs. Or the way Quinn seemed to defy all normal boundaries and luck of getting bad traits from one's parents or uncertainty about one's appearance; she just appeared to be stunningly beautiful in every way, almost unfairly.
Rachel internally admitted that, yes, maybe she had been 'admiring' Quinn along. Well, you know, when avoiding slushies and hurtful jibes.
During that practice, Quinn simply looked calm and collected as per usual. How was that possible? Quinn Fabray had agreed to go on a date with Rachel Berry—Rachel Berry!—and was utterly nonchalant about the entire thing. Nothing, not a grimace or a sneer or a defeminizing insult to swipe at Rachel's confidence, just relaxed silence, listening to Mr. Schuester's lesson about some country icon that no one cared about. Who ever listened to Mr. Schue? Or his monologues? That was just unconstitutionally weird.
Rachel dawdled at her chair with her bag, pretending to shuffle her notes into the proper order while Quinn seemed to be spacing out, absently chewing on her pen cap. Normally, Rachel detested such a habit with anyone else but when her eyes unconsciously zeroed in on the action, Quinn's voice broke the silence of the empty room.
"You stare at me a lot, Berry," Quinn observed, amused. "I don't know whether to be creeped out or flattered."
"I don't know either," Rachel blurted out stupidly.
Quinn laughed under her breath.
"Considering the fact you asked me out, I'll take it as a compliment."
"That's g-good. Right, yes. Not being creepy is...good."
"If I've already caused you to stutter without doing anything, I can't wait to see how you react later," Quinn commented with a positively sinful grin. Rachel blushed.
"If you don't mind me asking, why did you agree to a date with me of all people in the first place? Not to rock the metaphorical boat of our first date together, but the last time I voiced something aloud, you threatened to punch me in the face," Rachel remarked tentatively.
Quinn sighed. "I don't know. You're different, I guess."
"Finn was stupid and a cheater, Puck was too promiscuous and all the baggage we shared wasn't basis for a real relationship, and Sam talked my ear off about Avatar and other lame things, in addition to the fact I'm suspicious of his sexuality...I just want something simple with you," Quinn explained, "and for the 'punch you in the face' comment...I didn't really mean it."
"Oh. But what about the other irreversible quirks of my personality that would continue to irk you? If we were on a date, then you wouldn't be able to escape without a polite excuse—although, I wouldn't begrudge you to be rude to me, considering our history—or the fact that will also probably talk your ear off, quite similar to Sam, except with Broadway hopes and discussions about glee club, I suppose. Or, or, I might accidentally go into an endless tirade about Judaism when you are in fact a loyal Christian!"
Quinn raised an eyebrow as Rachel stopped speaking, apparently finished with her babbling speech.
"Well, from what it sounds like, you're trying to stop this date before it even begins," Quinn stated, trying not to laugh at Rachel's anxiety. Standing up lithely from her seat, she wandered over to the petite brunette, who happened to already be backing up nervously out of instinct, until she bumped into the piano bench, and before she could move, Quinn was there, trapping her against the piano keys with a mischievous grin and impish eyes, and Rachel squeaked, flushing red in embarrassment.
"I think you should relax," Quinn hummed, breath tickling Rachel's skin, and Rachel found herself nodding.
"I want something straightforward, and compared to the others, you're simple. Understand?"
"I know your little idiosyncrasies, and they're sweet. I won't be annoyed."
Another bow of Rachel's head, and Quinn leaned closer, brushing her nose with Rachel's.
"You aren't relaxing," Quinn observed, almost inaudibly.
"Hard to," Rachel admitted, agitated with Quinn's promixity. "You aren't making it any easier."
"I don't like making things easy," Quinn murmured, making Rachel shudder slightly. Praise Barbra, the diva thought.
No wonder Rachel jumped into line next—all the silly boys preceding her were crazy about Quinn, and understandably so.
"You are really difficult sometimes."
"One of my traits," Quinn breathed, lips ghosting near Rachel's ear. "Think you can handle it?"
"I'm Rachel Berry," the diva whispered back, "I know what I'm doing."
"I hope you do," Quinn replied—unfathomable knowledge swirling in her gaze—as trademark smirk lifted her lips, and with a graceful twist of her body, was at her seat and slinging her Cheerios duffel over her shoulder before Rachel could even blink. Rachel, still leaning back against the piano keys, blinked at the sudden change of surroundings. Realizing her chance at an undoubtedly dizzying, amazing kiss to end all kisses—(because really, Finn was sort of sloppy and reminded her unpleasantly of a dog, Puck was overly aggressive and Jesse was just too extravagantly forceful)—was ruined, Rachel pouted. Quinn laughed.
"Just have to wait for that one, Berry. So, again, when are we going out?"
That was two months ago. They had gone on a date, which entailed of a movie, dinner at Rachel's house, and lastly, a walk, where they'd simply talked about anything and everything, ranging from eccentric music tastes to celebrity crushes to reading preferences to what places they'd like to visit in the world.
Quinn was right about the lack of drama in the relationship—it wasn't complicated and lacked any sort of problems or uncertainty, and made Rachel quite happy to experience it, if completely honest. Rachel certainly didn't mind Quinn's aloofness about dating a known slushie target/diva/glee club loser, and Quinn must've enjoyed Rachel's toned down personality when outside of McKinley. When Rachel breached the sensitive subject of appearing as a power couple at school, Quinn froze.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Rach."
"It's not that I'm not comfortable with you, I am," Quinn hedged, tracing lines along Rachel's forearm, "but I'm more concerned about the backlash from the club."
"Like who?" Rachel demanded.
"Finn, Sam...Puck," Quinn listed off, averting her eyes. "I think that's it..."
"They wouldn't mind," Rachel urged as Quinn's strange, solemn gaze found hers. "They'd just make lecherous suggestions and ask to watch or join while Finn tries not to blush and then makes an excuse to leave the room, all the while muttering 'mailman'. That we can deal with, right?"
"I'll think about it," Quinn countered, and Rachel rolled her eyes.
"Fine," she grumbled. "It's not like I remember this argument anyway."
Quinn grinned devilishly from her side of the bed and rolled over, straddling Rachel with a teasing look in her eye.
"I always make you forget everything, don't I?"
Rachel snickered. "Of course you do."
When Quinn sat down with Rachel at their usual table to wait for Brittany, Santana, Kurt and his new boyfriend Blaine, Mercedes, Tina, and Mike, she didn't greet her secret girlfriend with a customary smile and wave, showing their 'friendship'. No, instead, she leaned down and kissed Rachel firmly on the mouth before pulling away to sneer at a gaping cafeteria, with dumbstruck, flabbergasted Rachel, sitting still, as loud clatters of dropped lunch trays fell to the floor, demonstrating utter shock and amazement.
"I'm dating Rachel, does anyone have a problem with that?"
Nervous shakes of heads and muttered, submissive refusals immediately followed under the Head Cheerio's glower, and normal conversation started up anew, with only a few glances at them any indication of what had just occurred. Rachel was still frozen in place when the others arrived, looking mildly astonished.
"I think you broke her," Tina observed. "She looks catatonic."
"Maybe she's on dentist medication again," Mercedes suggested.
"Nope, that was all Quinn," Santana interjected, smirking, when Rachel finally blinked.
"Is this real life?"
"Sure she isn't on meds again?" Mercedes asked pointedly.
"Thought we were a secret," Rachel mumbled perplexedly to Quinn, who shrugged, twisting a strand of Rachel's hair around her finger.
"You know what this means, don't you?" Mike questioned seriously, his voice low.
Santana picked up on his drift and nodded vigorously, and Brittany copied her.
"Yes. Let me explain first, you idiots. She deserves that much," Quinn insisted, trying to get Rachel to eat something. Rachel chewed obediently on a carrot, still starry-eyed and dreamy, until Blaine took pity on her and made sure the brunette didn't accidentally eat something non-vegan. That would be a catastrophe of epic proportions. Blaine was new, having transferred from Dalton Academy to be with Kurt, but the ex-star of the Warblers was very familiar with a Rachel Berry blowup. And it wasn't pretty.
"Don't wait too long, Quinn," Brittany advised. "We won't."
"Brittany, please don't try to be ominous or sinister," Quinn admonished. "You aren't scary enough."
"Make sure she's ready soon," Mike warned quietly, standing up from the table with Brittany and Santana with a bewildered Tina wondering why he was leaving, "because we're all ready. We've been ready for this exact moment. If she's your real girlfriend, a contender for your affections, we'll be extremely...ready. She better be ready...also."
"Yes, Mike, thank you," Quinn replied irritably, and the trio of male dancer and two Cheerios departed from the cafeteria, whispering.
"I...am missing something," Tina declared, confused.
"Is Mike on something too?"
"'Cedes, why must you always assume someone is under the influence?" Kurt sighed.
"I watch CSI, Kurt. I'm thinking of being a police officer just in case my singing doesn't go through, which it will, obviously, but I'm just practicing," Mercedes explained.
"Ignoring this irrelevant conversation and extreme waste of my time," Quinn interrupted, "Rachel, you have to pay attention."
"This is very important if we're going to date at all," Quinn persisted. "Are you listening?"
"Yeah," Rachel answered, sitting up from her slouch, "I mean, yes. I am. Listening...to you."
"Right. Okay, in order for us to properly date, you'll have to defeat my Seven Evil Exes."
"Hold on," Kurt and Mercedes exclaimed.
"I'm lost," Blaine murmured. "McKinley's weird..."
"They're all evil?" Tina mused. "Bummer."
"I'm afraid I didn't quite catch that," Rachel insisted. "I have to do what?"
"You have to defeat my Seven Evil Exes," Quinn repeated calmly.
"But I—when did you—seven?" Rachel sputtered. When did Quinn have seven ex-boyfriends? Rachel could only think of three (ish)!
"You said you could handle dating me, remember?"
"Well, I did, yes, but—"
"Then you can handle this," Quinn declared earnestly. "It's not that bad."
"Not that bad," Rachel squeaked. "Not bad at all. Nope. Wrong! Wrong, completely wrong, Quinn! Not only will I have to 'defeat' a list of your ex-boyfriends, which apparently won't be opposed to hitting a girl (how savage), I have to take down seven of them! If I choose to do this insane idea, mind you. Who thought of this anyway?"
"The seventh ex," Quinn elaborated, rolling her eyes. "And you should choose to do this, because we can't date if you don't."
"Wait, isn't that a little presumptuous?" Blaine questioned.
"I have to agree, it's impossible," Kurt nodded.
"You don't think I can do it?" Rachel demanded, offended, rounding on the two boys.
"No! That's not what we meant!" Kurt yelped.
"Kurt and I just believe that it's a little unfair to you," Blaine offered weakly. Maybe Dalton was a safer place, the boy thought.
"Wait!" Tina exclaimed suddenly, comprehension dawning on her. "Is Mike one of your exes?"
"Not now, Tina," Mercedes hissed. "This is some real daytime drama going down. Shh!"
"No," Rachel slammed her hand down on the table, making the other occupants jump, alarmed. "No! I will do this, and I will win! Time and time again, Rachel Berry has been faced with adversary and turmoil, dodged projectiles, bullies, and heartbreak, but this is one challenge I will unquestionably win without any shadow of doubt! Quinn Fabray, consider your challenge accepted," Rachel declared to a proud, admiring blonde, "and tell your...seven...evil ex-boyfriends that I will be ready for their attacks."
Quinn grinned as Mercedes rolled her eyes, Kurt slapped his own forehead, and Blaine sighed.
Tina simply ate her lunch in peaceful silence, content to just watch the spectacle as it came. Rachel did always provide entertainment to McKinley High.
GLEE CLUB CAPTAIN/TONS OF OTHER CLUBS/KNOWN DIVA
16 YEARS OLD
"Now if you'll all excuse me," Rachel announced, standing up from the table, "I must practice—"
"—singing—" Kurt guessed tiredly.
"—ballet—" Mercedes muttered, rolling her eyes again.
"—debate skills—" Blaine suggested helpfully.
"—my karate," Rachel concluded pompously, eyes shining with the challenge, and flounced away from them, as Quinn watched her leave.
"She'll win," Tina remarked. "She's fierce like that."
"I hope she does," Quinn replied, pleased. "Because she's definitely the hottest out of anyone I've dated before. That whole speech was so...hot."
"Images, images burning into my brain," Kurt whined. "Thanks a lot, Quinn."
"No problem, Kurt."
This would not be an issue, she decided. It wouldn't. Rachel was confident she could triumph over this, as she had triumphed over issues that had plagued her since the beginning of her high school career. All relationships had their rough patches, right? And she was Rachel Barbra Berry, who never backed down from a challenge. She won Sectionals for the club last year, she could definitely do this. Facing seven malicious ex-boyfriends of her current girlfriend wouldn't be hard. It'd be easy, almost. Right?
She was only slightly worried.
"Who's there?" Rachel yelped into the silent corridor, hands held in front of her defensively.
It was only Jacob Ben Israel, and for once, he didn't appear to have an ulterior motive to speak with her. Instead, he simply held out a sheet of paper and a pen.
JACOB BEN ISRAEL
16 YEARS OLD
RATING: Just plain creepy
"What's this?" She questioned, as his repeatedly silent urging for her to scrawl her signature became annoying.
"It's a wavier," Jacob answered, when she'd signed it. "You just signed off to accept and attempt to block or parry any verbal and/or physical aggression in the event of facing Quinn Fabray's Seven Evil Exes and that you are forbidden to contact the ACLU in the event of your inevitable loss to the aforementioned League of Evil Exes."
"You don't think I can do it?" Rachel fumed. "Unbelievable! From a fellow Jew, too! How dare you?"
"It's just a statistical fact, Rachel," Jacob apologized. "You're facing seven...exes and the odds are stacked against you. I had a bookie check for me. It's a raw deal."
"Who sent you?" The brunette demanded. "Who am I facing first?"
"I can't say," Jacob stammered, and without warning, sprinted from her, disappearing down the hallway.
"I'll defeat you too if I have to!" Rachel called angrily after him, and huffed. She achieve this victory with flying colors or die trying. Quinn was hers and she wouldn't allow a group of silly, jealous boys to take the blonde away from her. And yes, reader, before you ask, she was that committed. What'd you expect? Laziness from Rachel Berry?
Her first adversary was slightly expected. It had been three days of nonstop paranoia and looks over her shoulder, which Quinn only made worse by distracting her.
"We're a couple, Rachel," Quinn whined. "Why can't I kiss you now?"
Rachel shut her locker, leveling a stern glare. "Because, as lovely as that would be, it would be the perfect time to attack me, when I would be otherwise preoccupied."
"I think you're being a little impractical."
"I disagree, I am simply trying to be ready," Rachel shot back. "You know, so I can continue having a relationship with you."
"I didn't make the rules, they did," Quinn countered. "They're just trying to make you prove your worth. They have very high standards."
"Oh, I'm definitely worthy."
"I know you are. I said that, slightly differently, multiple times last night," Quinn admitted, looking sheepish. Rachel smirked.
Before Quinn could employ with a patented smirk of her own, a thunderous boom echoed down the hallway, the origin from a megaphone's horn.
"RACHEL BERRY!" The megaphone roared. "IT IS I, THE FIRST OF QUINN FABRAY'S EVIL EXES!"
Rachel squinted at the boy behind it, and with a raise of her eyebrows, turned to a surprised, bashful Quinn.
"You dated Mike Chang?"
"He'll explain," Quinn answered timidly.
Mike strutted past jocks and geeks, shoving them aside and storming past squealing, indignant Cheerios, as the entire hallway stared after him, and at his clothes. Instead of wearing his normal casual attire of jeans, a T-shirt, and a jacket, Mike Chang was clad from head to toe in onyx-colored fabric, with obsidian gloves, a dark scarf around his neck, and black Adidas sneakers. In his left hand were two sheathed swords, and in his right, the megaphone, which he tossed to a helpful Jacob Ben Israel, just walking by.
"You're a ninja today," Rachel squeaked. "You just illustrated a stereotype. Well done."
"Yes. I am the first of Quinn Fabray's Seven Evil Exes," Mike declared, handing her a sword with practiced smoothness.
"You mentioned that," Rachel pointed out unnecessarily.
"Oh. Right," Mike replied. "Anyway, Quinn and I shared our first and only kiss in the second grade. She had fallen off the swings, and I kissed her to make her feel better."
"I remember that," Quinn mused needlessly. "I did feel better."
"Therefore, I am the first, in order of importance," Mike added, and drew out his sword, which Rachel recognized as an unmistakable samurai weapon of choice.
"That's a samurai sword," Rachel observed. "You're a ninja. They're completely different."
"Ninjas and samurai are part of Japanese culture," Mike grumbled petulantly. "I can mix and match if I want to."
"No," Rachel insisted, hearing Quinn sigh and several jocks mutter impatiently, waiting for the fight, "Samurai were of noble birth and served the Emperor alone. Ninjas were of lower class and were usually disloyal mercenaries, thus being of lower status to the elite samurai. In addition to your wardrobe mostly leaning to a ninja's choice of garments, you have chosen a weapon used predominantly by samurai when ninjas mostly used shorter swords, namely the katana and smaller daggers with a combination of darts and shuriken, those star-shaped discs. This renders your entire outfit incorrect, if completed with the sword. Mike, your facts are mostly faulty."
"Where'd you learn that, Rach?" Quinn questioned curiously.
"Documentaries on the History Channel with my father, Leroy."
"Rachel, they're both Japanese and I'm Asian anyway, so it counts," Mike exclaimed irritably. "For once, stop your silly prattling and FIGHT ME!"
EXCELLENT DANCER/PROBABLE FUTURE BODYGUARD
16 YEARS OLD
Rachel unsheathed her own sword and the hallway scrabbled to move out of the line of fire, and Quinn flattened herself against a locker, watching intently.
[PLAYERS: MIKE CHANG, RACHEL BERRY]
Mike and Rachel circled, both waiting on the other to make the first move. Sue Sylvester took one glance at the scene as she walked by, shrugged, and continued on.
"Your move, Rachel," Mike offered.
"Stop being so nice, Mike," Rachel snapped. "You challenged me, you make the first move."
A clash of metal on metal echoed off the walls as the two competitors jumped into battle, swords flying with deadly precision and accuracy. Students hastily avoided the melee as it quickly moved into the cafeteria, as Rachel and Mike jumped from table to table, weapons colliding with a shower of noisy sparks, both opponents fiercely continuing their brawl. Mike swung his sword sideways, the blade slicing through nothing—Rachel had dodged—and stumbled slightly, nearly falling off the table. Rachel aimed a kick into Mike's chest and he sailed through air, landing hard on the salad bar, and sat up, infuriated, covered in lettuce and various toppings, including dressing.
"There's no chicken feet in this salad," Mike grumbled. "I love chicken feet. And you ruined my ninja outfit!"
"Too bad," Rachel replied coolly, and Mike jumped off the counter, recreating the fray and the two rivals had swords slamming together with horrible screeches.
Parrying one of Mike's swipes, Rachel swung her sword like a baseball bat and it sliced clean through Mike's abdomen. Rachel dropped her sword, hands covering her mouth.
"Oh my God, oh my God, Mike!"
Mike could only muster a weak grin before he exploded into a dozen coins, his sword clattering to the floor. There was a silence, and then loud cheers erupted in the cafeteria. Rachel stood, frozen, as hands clapped her on the back and Quinn leaned down, appearing out of nowhere, and kissed her, momentarily brightening her mood.
"I killed Mike," Rachel whimpered. Quinn snickered, as the dancer materialized on the brunette's left, grinning.
"No, you didn't," Mike replied helpfully, dressed normally again and stooping down to pick up the coins and pressing them into her palm. "These are for you."
[RACHEL BERRY RECEIVES +200 POINTS, +15 HEALTH, AND A LEVEL UP. EXCELLENT!]
[RACHEL BERRY'S NEW RATING: Cool]
"I can't accept these," Rachel insisted. "They were part of your anatomy, Michael. That would be disturbing to keep them."
"No, not anymore," Mike said. "I was granted temporarily regeneration, so just don't try to kill me again. Once is enough. Those coins though, will help you in the future."
"Yeah, you could buy me some candy," Quinn purred. "You know I love candy as much as I love—"
"That's my cue to go," Mike shrieked, and hurried away from them, his ears reddening in mortification.
Quinn laced Rachel's fingers with her own, and led the mumbling diva back to her locker, kindly handing her the textbooks she needed for the rest of the day.
"I did it," Rachel breathed. "I won!"
"Not yet," Quinn advised sternly. "Just the first one. You have six more Evil Exes to defeat. Can you handle it?"
"I'm Rachel Berry," Rachel declared. "I can handle anything."