Title: Same Thing
Spoilers: Season 1
Summary: Quinn Fabray, twenty-one years-old, in a band and now living in LA. Of all the people she'd expect to meet, she was never one of them.
A/N: This was written for the gleeslash's Birthday Prompt Battlefor the prompt 'Rockstar!Quinn/Groupie!Rachel'. Originally posted on LJ.
Quinn rolled her eyes as she watched Finn stare at a girl striding towards the bar, wearing a strip of fabric that only just passed as a dress. Seriously, the expression of pathetic longing was making her sick, and she wasn't going to hold her tongue any longer.
"Finn, you're drooling." She smirked at how he tried to discreetly wipe his mouth. "Just think of the mail if it gets too much."
Puck laughed and gave her a high-five from across the table, while Finn sulked in his corner. He was a genuinely nice guy and a brilliant drummer, and at twenty one years-old she could still see in him all the qualities that had made her date him back in high school. But then again, alcohol still held the same qualities that had landed her pregnant at sixteen.
It said a lot that they were able to sit together now, let alone form a band, and look back at everything that had happened in their year as sophomores without all the resentment and bitterness, on Finn's part, which used to rise suddenly from just looking at his best friend and ex-girlfriend. It had taken a long time for him to forgive them, and even longer for Quinn to stop feeling guilty about sleeping with Puck, giving her daughter up, and for all the pain her lies had caused.
It still hurt a little when it came up every now and again, but it wasn't something they brought up to use against each other. They weren't in high school anymore. She didn't have to be the Head Cheerleader, the President of the Celibacy Club, or pretend that she wasn't already a disappointment to her mother and father.
As soon as she graduated from McKinley, Quinn had packed her belongings and took the first plane out of Ohio. It wasn't until she was 35,000 feet in the air and on a random flight to LA, did it hit her that there wasn't anyone she needed to impress.
She'd finally grown up.
If anyone from Lima saw her now, they wouldn't recognize her, especially not since she traded in her baby doll dresses for ripped skinny jeans and for body ink.
Quinn had been living in LA for over a year when Puck had decided to surprise her with a visit, and the exaggerated double-take he did when she had opened her apartment door was something that still made her smile. Finn's reaction was even better. He had dropped by with Puck a few months later, and had introduced himself not knowing who she was, which made it a slightly awkward for her. They hadn't exactly left high school on the best of terms.
She snapped out of thoughts. "Yeah?"
"Drink up, we gotta go set up soon," he said, finishing his beer in three long gulps. "I have to go hunt down our good-for-nothing bassist."
Quinn sighed and slouched in her chair, as Puck went to find the fourth member of their band. They were on their third bass player in two months, and honestly, after tonight they were going to have to start searching for their fourth one.
Her glance flitted from the crowd of people gathering at the edge of the stage, to the bar where Jimmy, the barkeep, gave her a quick nod before getting back to work. They had really lucked out that the band they were opening for had chosen a venue where they were regulars. It would have sucked to play a set where no one knew or cared who they were.
She turned just in time to catch sight of a girl with her back to her, with long brown hair that seemed lustrous even in the dimness of the club. Her eyes unconsciously slid down the length of the short, black dress, fixating on the sashaying sway of her hips and how the bottom of it rode up, revealing a dangerous amount of smooth skin.
Her head tilted to the side as she tried to keep the girl in her line of vision as she rounded the corner, but instead she came almost nose to nose, and quite shockingly, with Finn.
"Oh my God!" Quinn exclaimed, closing her eyes quickly. What a way to ruin a perfectly, lovely image. "Finn, back off, haven't you heard of personal space?"
"Yeah, tell that to the girl you just undressed with your eyes." A blush rose on her cheeks.
"I was not undressing her with my eyes." She was just admiring those fabulous legs.
"Right," he said, sporting a large grin. "If you need any help, I can lend you the mailman."
That earned him a hard slap on the shoulder, which Finn made a halfhearted attempt to block. Quinn shook her head and got up, making her way to where Puck was waiting for them with a solid grip on the back of their bassist's collar.
"Come on, Hudson, we have a gig to play."
The lights were hot against her back as Quinn strummed a succession of chords into their last song, the powerful bass line and heavy pounding of drums reverberated with every beat of her heart in her chest.
Here on stage, with the roaring crowd shouting in her ears and familiar steel strings beneath her fingers, she felt like she was on top of the world.
Quinn's gaze moved from the faces in the crowd to the bar, and she nearly stopped playing when she saw the same girl sat on a stool, drink in hand and chatting to a guy next to her. Still with her back towards her.
She was so distracted by the sight of those legs, that she nearly missed her cue.
"Quinn, what the hell happened back there?" Puck rocked on his chair, crossing his arms, exhibiting his 'guns of badassery' as he called them. Some things never changed.
"Sorry, just got side-tracked." It was true.
"She was probably having eye-sex with someone in the crowd," Finn added, as he reached the table with three beers.
That got Puck's instant attention, and he leaned forward to ask, "Is she hot?"
Quinn frowned at him. "How do you know it's a she? It might be a guy."
"If it's a dude, Finn will eat his drumsticks," said Puck, with a sneer. "Hey, I'm all for you getting it on with a chick, I just don't want it affecting you on stage–"
"I got it, alright," she interrupted. He always got very serious when it came to the band, and could never shut up about it when he got started.
"–But we could totally fit you making out with some hot girl in the set somewhere." Puck quickly caught the flying drumstick that was hurtled his way.
"In your dreams, Puckerman."
Quinn grabbed a beer and proceeded to ignore him, choosing instead to watch the bouncers chuck out a few drunks. But her eyes kept wandering to the bar, where the girl was sat. Each time she caught herself staring, quite intently at the back of this girl's head, she whipped her head back to Finn and Puck and whatever inanity they were talking about. It was getting ridiculous, and Jimmy was starting to give her worried looks.
"Okay, Fabray, you either man-up and go straight up to her and ask her if she wants to tap this hot piece of badass," Puck said bluntly, having had enough of her attempts at trying to get whiplash, and plus, it was making him dizzy. "Or you're going to buy us the next five rounds."
"He's right though, man-up, it's not like anything is stopping you." Finn shrugged. "You're practically a rockstar."
Puck turned to Finn. "I bet fifty that she chickens out before she even makes it to the bar."
"Give her some credit, fifty-bucks that she gets her number."
Quinn didn't know whether to laugh at Puck, or feel insulted that they were both placing bets on her like a race horse, and that they thought she needed to 'man-up'. But she definitely knew there was no way she was paying for the next five rounds.
"I'm sitting right here, you know."
Finn grinned at her. "You in?"
"Fine, but you're splitting that fifty if you win." She sighed and downed her drink. There was no backing out and she needed the buzz if she was going to embarrass herself.
She threw a vicious glare at Puck. "And if you win, I'm never speaking to your ever again."
Taking a deep breath, Quinn stood up. The short stretch of floor between their table and the bar seemed to get longer and longer with each step she took. By the time she sat on a stool, a seat away from that girl, her palms felt sweaty and her heart was pounding inside her chest in a way that she was sure they could just jack her to an amp, and not need to find a new bassist.
"Q, what can I get for you?" Jimmy offered her a friendly smile as she leaned against the wooden bar top.
"Shot of vodka," Quinn replied quickly. "Actually, make that a double."
He paused for a second in surprise. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," she squeaked out.
He wasn't convinced, but he noticed how she kept darting a glance to her right and couldn't help chuckling as he went to grab a glass.
"Alright, this one's on the house," he said, setting down the double shot and giving her a knowing wink before whispering, "She's quite a talker, that one."
Quinn thanked him quietly, taking hold of the glass a little too tightly. She peered over her shoulder to see Finn give her a goofy, thumbs-up, while Puck drank silently, clearly unhappy that he wasn't going to be making any money tonight.
She played nervously with the glass, wondering how to go from this point. She frowned, suddenly irritated at herself, and her hands stopped their fidgeting.
She was Quinn Fabray. She could part crowds with just her presence, and she wasn't going to allow some hot brunette in a short dress, who she didn't even know to floor her. Straightening her posture, she threw back the double shot of vodka like an expert.
"Hey, can I buy you a drink?" she asked, resisting the insane urge to cough at the burn the liquid left in her throat. She'd forgotten how strong the stuff was.
Quinn's jaw dropped to the club floor in disbelief as the brunette turned around, a wide smile plastered on her face. Had it been a horror movie, she would have screamed.
"Man-Hands!" She all but yelled, the childish insult slipping out reflexively. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Hello, Quinn, nice to see that you haven't changed much." Rachel's smile didn't falter, despite the name calling.
"Well, it's not surprising since you haven't grown an inch above my knee." Technically, it wasn't true, because judging by the killer heels on Rachel's feet; she was probably about the same height as Quinn if she were standing.
"You do know that it is not anatomically possible to be the height of your knee, and although my driving license might add a few extra inches to my stature, I have actually grown since high school."
Quinn stared at her blankly. She hadn't heard a Rachel Berry monologue in about three years, and it left her feeling a little blown away. That or it might have been from focusing on Rachel's lips as she talked.
It was weird. Of all the people she would expect to run into in LA, Rachel Berry was not one of them. The last time she had seen her, it was at their graduation ceremony, a square hat bobbing in a sea of red gowns, going on and on about how she was going to 'rule New York!'
"What are doing here?" she repeated, dragging her attention away from Rachel's lips.
"I'm here with the band!"
Quinn was torn between wanting to ask Jimmy for a bucket of ice or to go into her verbal arsenal and throw another insult at Rachel for being so perky. Apparently, having spent the last few years in New York had done nothing to dull Rachel's ability to annoy Quinn with just the sound of her voice.
"So what, you're a groupie?" Quinn's eyebrow rose incredulously at Rachel, who looked absolutely affronted.
"I detest the connotations that go with that word. I much prefer the term, 'band-aide'," Rachel explained. "It's summer and I have the time, so I'm here to support Jesse's band on their first performance outside of New York."
"Jesse? Jesse St. James?"
"You do know that he might get bottled off stage the minute he walks on," she warned, thinking about Puck and Finn sitting back at their table with a growing number of empty beer bottles. They never did manage to avenge Rachel after she got egged in sophomore year.
She wasn't there at the time, but she had heard from Puck about the way Mr. Schuester had stopped the guys from going Braveheart on Vocal Adrenaline for what they did. Quinn didn't care if Jesse St. James got knocked unconscious from a wayward bottle, because she thought he honestly deserved it, it was just that she liked playing here and didn't want to be permanently kicked out.
"Well, if he does, it's long deserved –"
"Are you two dating?" Quinn interrupted, to stop another longwinded rant. Of course. She kept telling herself. Failingly.
The question had been on the back of her mind, but she hadn't meant for it to come blurting out like it did. She bit her lip, wishing she could take it back. Their unexpected reunion was already weird enough as it was, especially on Quinn's part, since she realized that she had, unknowingly, checked Rachel Berry out and called her hot.
And to her, that was a sure sign of the apocalypse coming.
"No! He's a friend, and also the sole reason why I now have a phobia to all types of domesticated birds, namely poultry."
She nodded, not wanting to examine the slight relief that washed over her at the answer.
"Anyway," continued Rachel, the corner of her mouth twitching up into a smirk. "Since attending Julliard, it has been brought to my attention that Jesse isn't really my type."
Quinn swallowed thickly, feeling something shift. Her heart, which had been perfectly fine a moment ago, accelerated at an alarming rate, like it was working extra hard to keep her alive. She realized belatedly, just how close they were now sat. Rachel – definitely not her – must have moved into the seat between them at some point.
She tried not to notice how Rachel's legs kept brushing up against her own, or how she seemed to appraise Quinn from under her dark eyelashes. She should feel disgusted; it was Rachel Berry after all. Geeky, argyle-wearing, Streisand-obsessed Rachel Berry. She should not be feeling uncomfortably hot under her collar or feel the need to shift in her seat so much.
Although, the person sat in front of her was neither wearing argyle nor knee high socks, and certainly did not appear like they would be susceptible to belting out show tunes on a regular basis. In fact, dare she even think it, Rachel Berry looked… normal.
God, the world was definitely ending.
"Oh, is that so?" She cleared her throat, hoping to sound casual and not strangled.
Rachel hummed a response, leaning closer and closer, the scent of her perfume sending Quinn into a heady daze and overwhelming her senses.
"So, you look good on stage." Rachel drew back, allowing some room for air, for which Quinn was infinitely glad for.
"I enjoy it," stated Quinn, turning her head to gaze at the empty stage.
She nearly jumped a foot off her stool at the sudden touch of warm fingers upon her arm. She wrenched her eyes away to glare at the brunette, a frown on her face to disguise the heavy shock she was feeling and the tingly shivers that were running down her spine.
Rachel lightly traced the Roman numerals tattooed around her forearm, not really touching, but touching enough to leave her yearning for more. She wanted to tell her to get-the-hell-off-her, but her throat refused to cooperate and just trying to breathe was getting hard.
"What do they stand for?"
"Oh… Well I never thought you'd ever be one for body ink," Rachel replied nonchalantly, fingertips continuing their caress of each character.
Quinn was grateful for the change of subject. It wasn't really something she wanted to be thinking about right now, especially not with the way Rachel's wandering and very unman-like hand was slowly traveling up her arm, moving to the inked roses on her bicep, and inching its way under the short sleeve of her shirt.
She watched unblinkingly, mesmerized, before nodding at the simple star on the inside of Rachel's wrist and forcing an answer out of herself. "I can say the same to you."
"I'm probably a little addicted." Rachel shifted slightly, her hand stilling but not leaving its place as she revealed a single music note on her left shoulder.
"That's… typical of you." Was all she could come up with, as she exerted a painstaking amount of willpower to not lean in and kiss that tiny area of skin.
"I've got quite a collection you know."
Quinn's brow rose as if to say oh, now do you?
"Yes, some are noticeable enough, while others…" Rachel paused, as her eyes trailed up the front of Quinn, stopping briefly at the open collar of her shirt, before looking her straight in the eyes. "…Take a little bit more searching."
The room felt a few degrees warmer and even more suffocating than ever.
"So, how about that drink?" asked Rachel, a sly smile sliding onto her lips.
Quinn's back slammed against the door of the stall. She vaguely registered pain, but the hot mouth moving hungrily upon hers made her forget everything other than the nimble fingers hurriedly undoing the buttons of her shirt, while the other hand fisted into her blonde hair, tugging her into a deeper kiss.
It was all lips, teeth, tongue, and gasps and pants, and all she could do was grip tightly at Rachel's waist, pulling her closer, more flush against her aching body. She ran kisses down the column of the singer's neck, biting slightly and relishing the shudder that she caused and the moan she elicited on a particular part between neck and shoulder.
Soft hands traversed tantalizingly slow up her uncovered front. Her head hit the stall wall with a thud and her back arched as Rachel's hand moved under her bra, pushing the garment out the way, kneading roughly then gently then roughly again. It was too much, but not enough at the same time, and she whimpered as a tongue replaced the hand, circling and flicking.
She complained with a sound of frustration when her mouth was removed, and with hooded eyes she saw Rachel give her an infuriately smug look. Rachel went back to feather-light touches to the inside of Quinn's thighs, fluttering against the material of her black jeans, but never close to where she needed them most. This was getting unfair.
Who'd have thought that Rachel Berry was such a tease?
Quinn slipped her leg between Rachel's, pressing hard at the apex of her thighs, exacting her own brand of revenge. Rachel's eyes closed tight, a loud drawn-out moan issuing from her slackened mouth. The jerking of her hips were stilled by Quinn's hands on her petite waist, and her smirk grew wider at the keening whines and the nails that were running scratches down her back.
The smirk was wiped from her face by a small cry of pain that melted into a heavy groan, when Rachel's teeth suddenly bit hard into the skin of her neck. The nipping, licking and sucking at that sensitive spot, distracted her from the clumsy fumbling at her belt buckle and then the buttons of her jeans.
It was only when she felt the waistband of her underwear being playfully tugged did Quinn have the coherency to realize that her jeans were undone, and if Rachel didn't do something more soon, she was going to explode from all the pent up frustration.
Quinn dropped kisses on Rachel's shoulder, as she teased the fabric at the bottom of her dress. She heard her name being called distantly and hands placing themselves on her own shoulders.
She froze immediately, though her mind was hazy with arousal and probably from the vodka she had earlier, she still had enough purchase over herself to stop when told to.
"Yeah?" She watched Rachel try to gather herself, her perfectly styled hair now mussed and her chest heaved with every panting breath she took. Quinn probably looked no different, if not worse.
"I'm ironically turned on by your rock-chick image, but I'm not about to lower myself and do it in a restroom at some club, which is highly unsanitary and unhygienic, not to mention that it is probably riddled with disease spreading bacteria–"
"–And I watched a documentary where they brought in UV lights to show the extent of the bacterial contamination, and as far as this stall looks, I bet the walls are just teeming with–"
"Barbara Streisand called and she wants her nose back!" That stopped Rachel instantly, but the glare she was giving Quinn was enough to burn a hole through her head.
"Okay, I got it, we won't do anything."
Quinn was feeling a little put out, and also kind of disgusted by the explanation, and would never be able to walk into this toilet without Rachel's voice echoing in her head about the lack of a sufficient cleaning regime. She was definitely going to have a word with Jimmy about getting a decontamination unit in here.
Rachel nodded and extricated herself from Quinn, readjusting her dress and attempting to smooth down her flyaway hair.
"I'm going to… I'm supposed to be making a list of constructive criticisms on their performance… I mean I am a band-aide," Rachel said, her earlier eloquence gone.
She hesitated for a moment before kissing Quinn chastely on the cheek, the only acknowledgement that something had nearly happened between them, before she awkwardly edged out of the small stall and opened the door back out into the club.
The simple kiss, almost tender, seemed to burn her skin, even more than the heated ones they had shared. Quinn rested against the wall, feeling a mixture disappointment and annoyance at being left all hot and bothered, to a confusing elation that she had just made out with Rachel Berry. She grudgingly conceded and now understood why Puck and Finn had been so enamored by Rachel in high school. The girl was fucking hot.
Quinn looked down and sighed heavily. She was certainly a sight to behold, shirt gaping wide, bra askew and a strap slipping down one shoulder, belt hanging limply and her jeans undone in a way that she could only be described as invitingly.
She sighed again and began to redress herself.
This was so unfair.
"So how was it?" Puck waggled his eyebrows as Quinn slid back into her seat.
Quinn glared at him, in no mood to deal with him. She just wanted to go home and take a long, cold shower.
Puck brushed the hair covering her neck and his eyes widened comically at the amount bruises. "Whoa! She got you good."
"Was that Rachel Berry we just see come out before you?" asked Finn, pointing at a random spot behind his shoulder.
"Yeah, it was."
"I have no idea why Berry is even here, but shit, she really knows how to work her mouth!" Puck exclaimed, before having an epiphany. "Yes! I always wanted to be in a band where we've all got with the same girl!"
"Yeah!" Finn turned to Quinn, large hand in the air ready for a high-five, but recoiled at the dark aura that seemed to roll off their guitarist in waves.
"Shut up, Puckerman, you got me pregnant!" she snapped, pointing at Puck, before turning to Finn. "And we used to date."
"I'm going home." Quinn got to her feet, leaving them gawking at each other.
"Wait, does this mean I don't win the bet?" said Finn, long after Quinn had gone.
The doorbell rang as Quinn was sat on the couch restringing her guitar, freshly showered and ready for bed once she tuned the new strings.
She checked her clock, reassured that it was indeed one in the morning. Who in the world would want to visit her at one in the morning? Not even a drunk Puck would call at one. His time was normally four.
Putting her guitar down on her coffee table, she moved to the door warily, in case it got kicked down or blasted to splinters – she seriously had to stop agreeing to those movie nights with Finn. Making sure that her baseball bat was within easy reach, she opened her door to a gap and peered out. Her eyes widened at sight of Rachel no longer in a dress, but in comfortable sweats and a t-shirt.
"How did you find my–" Before Quinn could properly open her door she was almost tackled to the ground by a pair of lips.
Quinn's head reeled at the tongue sweeping across her bottom lip, and by the time she had regained a significant hold on her sanity, she was already breathless and being pinned to the back of her door. Again.
"Noah gave me your address," Rachel stated, answering Quinn's unfinished question. "It was a deal of sorts."
"What did you do?" asked Quinn, suspicious of the amusement evident in Rachel's voice.
"Well, let's just say there were tar and feathers involved. Lots of feathers." Rachel's face broke out into a huge smile, unable to suppress it any longer. "Oh, and Jesses' wardrobe consists only of the pair of whitey-tighties he's currently wearing."
Quinn laughed, hoping that her band mates had the brains to take some photos. But her laugh was silenced quickly and any other thought not involving how Rachel was pulling her by the string of her shorts to her couch, catapulted straight out of her mind.
"Wait, hang on." Quinn broke from the kiss, her eyebrow quirking up as her hand went to Rachel's wrist to stop her from taking off her t-shirt. "I thought you said you were a band-aide?"
Rachel seemed to think about it for a minute, but shrugged and swiftly brought her t-shirt up and over her head. Quinn swallowed audibly and couldn't, for the life of her, keep her eyes from drifting.
Rachel wrapped her arms around Quinn's neck, pressing herself as close as was physically possible.
"Groupie, band-aide, same thing."