Spoilers: Up to "Blame It On The Alcohol."
Ship: Hints of Rachel/Quinn. And all previous couples in canon.
Sypnosis: The controversies and reality of McKinley High's New Directions. Rachel finds it pretty funny that they have all come full circle.
Rachel and Quinn were never really friends.
Rachel had never really been friends with anybody.
Because despite the fact that New Directions had been through many trying and difficult trials together, they never really could stay consistant in their friendships with each other. Because at the very beginning of all this madness, which consisted of revulsion and fear and plenty of doubt, they had all practically despised each other.
They had been wary of each other; polite smiles exchanged at the most.
The only thing officially bonding the five together was the official love of music and the bitter knowledge of what a slushie facial felt like.
Then Finn Hudson was added into the mix; he was followed by his scheming Cheerio girlfriend and her two friends.
It only proved to be a false blossoming of confidence. It also proved to be a false reassurance that they maybe had more teammates that they could rely on when it came to humiliation. Instead they got no change in attitude and that same humiliation was applied to them when the 'popular' team members pretended that Glee didn't even exist. Or that they weren't there for ulterior motives.
And then a few more of the 'popular' kids joined.
And this resulted in the unveiling of a major lie and the falling from grace from someone who was at the top.
That was when the rocky bonds started that weren't really going to last all that long; false promises of friendships that would drop because of sheer selfishness and hesitancy to be different. Rachel really should have known that the many offers of friendship and the plastic smiles plastered onto each of her teammate's faces at the end of their first year together should have been a warning.
It wasn't just towards her; all of the fake smiles and promises of a better year were aimed at each other as well.
So it hadn't been suprising when Santana and Quinn had gotten into a physical altercation on the first day back. It hadn't been suprising to Rachel, at least.
It hadn't been suprising when Finn's eyes flickered with self-deprecation and the need to be something after he had been officially kicked off the football team. For all his rants about Glee being important and that popularity wasn't everything, he sure seemed to be a hypocrite. Maybe it was his crooked grin that had held her in the iron grip of love. Well, it had been genuine love on her part. On his part it seemed to be an endless confusion between her and Quinn and his failure to properly choose between them and keep his choice. And keep his promises as well, if she were fully honest with herself.
And it hadn't been suprising when Puck acted like his ex-girlfriend didn't give birth to a beautiful baby girl and then gave her away because of false promises.
And it wasn't the least bit suprising that Brittany had finally run into someone else's arms because of Santana's false ties to Puck.
And despite Quinn's attitude and her suddenly false reverence towards being independent and happy, it hadn't suprised Rachel that she was suddenly swept away once more by a sweet boy.
So despite Mr Schue's disappointed stares and his constant rants about being a family, she wasn't really suprised in the slightest. The others might have been in certain key points in their Junior year; the small diva wasn't at all, because she knew that they would always cut those strings they had with each other just as quickly as they formed them.
She shouldn't have really shed any tears when Santana confessed her ties with Finn the previous year; she had lost all ability to be suprised at this point.
She certainly shouldn't have shed any tears when he claimed that 'she messed him up good.'
Because she could recall thinking he was a hypocrite more than once and she could recall him 'messing her up' plenty of times in the past. Hell, she could even recall him 'messing Quinn up' a couple of times last year under false pretences that he actually had feelings for her in order to get a scholarship.
She wasn't suprised when everyone took his side except Puck; she still betrayed herself by feeling a little bitter about the obvious line drawn and all the masses that were on Finn's side.
And she nearly laughed when the obvious indiscretion of Quinn and Finn had arisen in the form of a scheming and predictable Santana. Honestly, she couldn't have expected it to be any more ridiculous then it really was at that point. And she all but rolled her eyes when Santana and Sam hooked up and Quinn was all but left staring bitterly at their retreating romance. And Finn was left predictably sulking as well. And she hadn't been the slightest bit suprised when her extravaganza - or her off-the-chain crazy Berry party, as Puck liked to call it - was turned into a total mosh-pit of drunk and bitter teenagers.
Well, the ones who didn't hook up were bitter.
And a few of the ones who did were certainly lying about the enjoyment of it.
But it could have been the alcoholic daze that really made the controversies and the secret desires of New Directions really come to light that night. Because she had seen Quinn's eyes narrow when she had taken in the form of an inebriated Santana perched quite intimately on Sam's lap. Like she had any right to complain over what had transpired after her cheating 2.0 wake.
And she had watched Finn stay completely sober and scrutinize everybody like he had never been drunk before.
She also watched the way he seemed to hover protectively over her and even go as far as to explain some things to her; she found it funny that he had thrown it back in her face like she would forget.
She watched the way Santana's eyes had glanced more than once over to Brittany throughout the entire night; the gaze seemed especially piercing once Brittany's drunk archetype was revealed. And she watched the way that Lauren Zizes had pushed Puck away like she didn't really find him charming and interesting in the least bit.
She especially thought that it was a crock of shit when Kurt's eyes narrowed menacingly on her and Blaine's kissing forms.
Because that was what happened when you played the game; you had to kiss the person it pointed to. Duh. Maybe she had been feeling a little selfish; Blaine was cute, and his statements over questioning his own sexuality while intoxicated just proved to her that there was no harm in honest confusion. Because she could remember Kurt and his struggles, and there was no harm in just being sure. So she hadn't appreciated the way Kurt had shifted uneasily in her presence and just tolerated Blaine with a scowl the rest of the night.
And for the first time in her life she had wanted to sneer when Santana had thrown a bitch fit when Brittany kissed Sam. Like she wasn't tapping both of them.
And for the first time since New Directions had started she had been completely and utterly suprised.
Because she certainly hadn't expected the bottle to land on her when Quinn spun it. She could remember just sitting stiffly with shock when everyone had turned shocked eyes onto her. She would have laughed if she had managed to get the shock - and slight disgust - off of her features in the correct timing. The blonde's expression had easily matched hers; it hadn't really suprised her.
She could remember the dead silence of when her and Quinn had leaned toward each other; it had taken several moments and several nudges and almost a diva storm-out.
She remembered Quinn's face contorting and her own mimicking the movement when they got so close that they could feel each other's breaths.
Maybe a part of her had wanted to see what it was like; what kissing the great Quinn Fabray was like. Maybe a part of her wanted to see these so-called fireworks that the boys always claimed to see. And when their full lips had come together in a hesitant peck that Puck had not constituted as a proper kiss, she hadn't really felt anything but a matching set of full lips. So when she had traced her tongue over the blonde's lips in order to placate Puck, she wasn't wisked away in an epic grandeur of realization. When their tongues tangled she wasn't blown away by the amazing force that was attraction.
Maybe her negative memories of the blonde made her taste the slight bitterness on her tongue.
She remembered pulling away with utter boredom and undescribable disappointment; the blonde oddly seemed to lean in further as Rachel attempted to pull away.
And she ignored the oddly dazed hazel eyes in favor of watching the reactions of her inebriated - and half turned-on - peers.
And the rest of the evening had passed by in a blur. She only remembered waking up and angrily cleaning the destruction left behind by her fellow teammates the next day. And she only remembered the confusion that had taken place the next day in the halls of McKinley. Well, she might have known what was going on; she just didn't want to readily admit it to anyone's face.
And over the next agonizingly slow weeks she watched as Finn tried to win her back on several occasions.
She was not suprised and quite annoyed at that very predictable act of desperation.
She watched as Sam and Santana met their inevitable doom because of Santana's lack of blonde hair and lack of fidelity. She was not suprised.
She wasn't suprised when Lauren had finally given into Puck's relentless pursing of her affections. And she wasn't suprised when Brittany and Artie had split and gone their seperate ways when it was obvious that their eternal affections rested with other people. And she wasn't suprised when Mr. Schue had turned to Holly Holiday when Mrs. Pillsbury had officially married Carl.
She was suprised when hazel eyes seemed to glance down shyly whenever Rachel would find her gaze roaming and landing on a particular blonde.
She was suprised when the former cheerleader seemed to walk in the hallway with her back straightened and no man officially hanging off of her arm for the rest of the year.
But she wasn't really suprised when the blonde had given her a genuine smile before parting that end of the school year; they hadn't placed at Nationals, but at least they had gotten there. And she felt her own lips return that smile and the sincerity of it. She could only watch as Quinn kept her eyes focused solely on her as she backtracked to the parking lot on that final day of the year. She watched as the blonde finally released her of her piercing - and dare she say, affectionate - gaze as she finally unlocked her car and got in. The bitterness had all but faded on her tongue and now she just tasted something sweet.
She knew what was in those eyes, and she maybe didn't want to know.
Because she had been suprised when a perfectly folded up note had fallen out of her locker and to her feet earlier that day.
See you next year, Rachel...
And she wasn't for sure what was to come next year, and she certainly didn't know what was to come for her relationship wise.
But she probably wouldn't be suprised.