A/N: Well, this didn't start out terribly angsty, but it sure as hell went that way. Do let me know what you think.

Chapter Six

"Hi."

"Hey you."

The school auditorium.

There was something about this place that made it more than just a good place to find some privacy (and to know if anyone was coming in to spoil the moment). It was a place that had first become a part of Quinn and Finn's relationship when he had dragged her here, still wearing his muddy football uniform, a month into their relationship, and they had proceeded to have the most intense kissing session of her young life. Breaking away from him, she had been dizzy, and he'd been immediately concerned that he had done something wrong. He'd started apologizing, saying that they had been going too fast. She'd had to grab his big hands and plant one on him to finally shut him up.

But she had stopped there. He was right in a way; she wasn't ready for anything else yet. I mean, Finn was my first real boyfriend…aside from those dates with Henry White when I was fourteen.

And when he tried to kiss me, I hit him.

Yeah, a lot had happened since then.

Finn stood across from her, wearing one of those striped polo shirts that made him look so dorky…and adorable, at times. He had a happy, puzzled look on his face. He didn't know why she had come up to him after he'd been talking to Rachel and told him, in no uncertain terms, that she would be in the auditorium after school, and that she wanted to see him. After all, they had had kissed last night, after seeing a movie.

But Finn was not good at hiding anything, and he really wasn't good at hiding when he was bored and distracted. And last night, Quinn knew he had been both. She hadn't even mentioned the Prom once, and he still seemed as though he was somewhere else. Or with someone else.

Quinn had gone for one of the sundresses that had been taken out of their Cheerios-related retirement during her pregnancy the previous year. This one was pale blue. Finn had said he liked it, once. Said it brought out her eyes, though that color combination seemed to be an odd one to have that effect. He is an odd boy.

Quinn rubbed her hands together. She did that when she was nervous. Then she walked up to him, grabbed his broad shoulders, and leaned up to kiss him. He let her do so, but when she tried to deepen it, he pulled back.

"Whoa! Hey, Quinn, what's going on?"

"I can't kiss the boy I'm dating?" she asked, a bit of hurt in her voice.

Finn grinned stupidly for a moment before his focus returned. "Well, sure, but - you want to talk to me, right?"

"I might," she admitted, avoiding his gaze.

"What's that supposed to mean?" There was a note of frustration in his voice.

Quinn met his eyes with a hard gaze. "You like me, right? You want to be with me? This relationship is important to you?"

Finn looked even more befuddled. "I mean, yeah. Of course it is. I-I definitely wanna be with you, Quinn. I told you that."

"So why…" her voice broke, and she took a deep breath, trying not to lose it – not here, not in front of him. "…why couldn't you stop looking at Rachel during Regionals?"

Finn jerked back in surprise. "Wait, what? What do you mean?"

"Finn," she said firmly, gazing deeply into his eyes, as much as it hurt at this moment. "I know that you still have feelings for her. Even if you don't realize it somehow, it's obvious to everyone else. And that's fine; I mean, you were together for a while, so it happens. But…" I need you right now. I need you to stay with me. I want you because even though you're an idiot, you are my idiot, and sometimes, you are just so kind and amazing, and then I think about how much I love you.

"You're jealous?"

"Damn right I'm jealous!" she snapped. Finn's eyes went wide. "I just got you back. Because you came back to me, somehow, even after everything that happened last year, even after I picked Sam over you this year. And I want to keep you. I don't even know why, sometimes, but I do."

"Quinn, I…"

"Let me talk," she commanded, though her voice was breaking. "Finn, I hate myself sometimes. You should know that."

"Wha..?"

She struggled onwards. "And I don't want to be this…this bitch who's standing in the way of…true love, or whatever you want to call it. I want you to want me. I…I need…I want you to love me again," she said hoarsely. Because I don't love myself anymore. She broke at that moment, covering her face as she let out an anguished sob.

Finn stood there, looking like he'd been hit over the head. Then he moved a bit closer, but he still didn't come to her side, still didn't hold her. "Quinn, why didn't you say something?"

"Because I don't show weakness. Not in front of anybody, and definitely not in front of you!"

"Quinn…"

"You have to make up your mind!" Quinn told him firmly. I can't watch this fall apart again. Not because of her!"

"Damn it Quinn, why is this always about Rachel?"

"Because she's there," Quinn hissed, her voice icy with anger and laced with pain. "She's always there. And you can't resist her, you can't decide which one you want. The hard as nails cheerleader who sometimes has a heart, or the sappy, emotional diva who sometimes turns nasty. And you've got to decide, Finn. Or we'll all just get hurt again."

Finn sat down, hard, staring into the empty auditorium. "I don't…I don't know what you want me to do, Quinn."

"I just want things to be the way they were," she whispered. "It was so much easier then."

"But they can't be," Finn protested. "They can't ever be the same again. Not after everything that's happened."

"I know," she breathed.

They sat there on the edge of the stage, what felt like miles between them, neither one able to look at the other.

"Look, I'm sorry, alright. I didn't mean to hurt you. Honestly Quinn, I didn't. I just – I get confused, and sometimes you kind of –"

"What?" Quinn asked harshly.

"Kinda scare me. Like, you know, right there."

Quinn winced. "I know I'm a bit intense at times."

"I mean, sometimes it's cool," Finn said.

She didn't really know how to respond to that. "Prom's coming up soon," she said, reverting to her default preoccupation.

Finn stared at her, his expression a mix of so many different emotions that she couldn't begin to piece them together. "What is it with you and Prom? It seems like you think it's all you've got to live for. It's not even our senior year, Quinn. We're juniors."

"Mom won then," she said softly.

"Huh?"

"Nothing. It's nothing important."

"You keep saying that, and I don't believe you anymore." He was catching on, apparently. Finn wasn't always as dumb as he looked. "You know, this Prom thing, it just makes me worry that you just want me around for that. And I tell myself that's stupid, but you talk about it so often, and then I wonder again."

He left unspoken: and I don't feel that way around Rachel.

Quinn stared at him, at his handsome face, those gorgeous eyes she lost herself in, and tried to think. Was she using Finn? Not just for Prom, but to make herself feel like a worthwhile person? Had she used Sam the same way?

She struggled, tried to come up with the words she needed, words that would stop this before it went too far. But then she would be lying to herself. Again.

And I've done too much of that already.

"Finn," she said tearfully. "I don't think I should be dating you right now."

"What?"

"It just doesn't feel right. I'm – I'm not being honest with myself. Or with you."

"But, Quinn…"

She held up a hand, her eyes pressed closed. "Please. Just let me go. Don't make this any harder than it already is."

"I can't believe this!" Finn exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air. "After all of that, after the cheating, and then those afternoon renday…ron-de, you know, times we hung out in the afternoons, and now you're dumping me?"

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

"Why was I ever so stupid as to think that this was a good idea? You-you went and slept with Puck, and then you yelled at me when I couldn't pay for a baby that wasn't even mine. You treated me like a complete moron, and I guess I was one, and maybe I still am!" He got up, face flushed with anger.

"Goodbye, Quinn. I'll see you around."

She stared after him, her lips moving but no words escaping her. The worst part was that she could not deny anything he had said.

Oh God. What did I just do?

She heard footsteps, and looked up to see him racing back towards her. She stood in stunned silence as he grasped her hands, leaned down, and kissed her, running a hand down her tear-stained cheek.

He stared at her, and she finally found the words:

"I won't stop caring for you. This is not goodbye, Finn. Not forever."

Finn grimaced, but when he blinked, she could see that his eyes were shining. He turned and walked away, and this time he didn't come back.

Quinn wasn't sure how long she sat on the edge of the stage, but eventually she heard her phone buzz. Wiping away her tears, she drew it out of her purse. She had a new text message.

Going to need a babysitter in a couple of nights. It's been about a year, and I think you should see her again. Call me back when you can.

-Shelby


A/N: As objectionable as I think that RIB's (particularly R's) depiction of Quinn has been these last few episodes, I do see a lot of legitimate reasons why a Fuinn relationship can't work at the moment. Quinn's broken, more than she realized, and Finn just needs to get his priorities straight. I'm not entirely sure where I'll go from here. But the end of the chappie should give you some ideas of where Quinn's development might come from.