Title: Talking, Talking, Talking
Word Count: About 2400
Pairing: Brittany/Santana, Brittany/Quinn
Disclaimer: Not mine, never has been and unfortunately never will be :(
Summary: We find out the reason for Quinn's drunken midnight ramble.
A/N: Hey all! I know it's been absolutely ages since I updated, and I have no excuse other to things being hectically busy in RL. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see I didn't even expect to have this update up for a while yet. Because I'm so busy I'm taking a bit of a break from writing; now this fic is not technically on hiatus because there might or might not be updates, depending on what's happening in my life, time available and inspiration, but basically I'm not going to try to force myself to write until mid-June when my exams are over (I'm still around on twitter and FF though if anyone does need to PM me). However, if you notice it's July and I still have not updated, I give you full permission to pester me until I do! (long AN ik, bt the last few have been short so I'm making up for it, lol.)
This chapter, this is more a character study of Quinn than anything else, so I'll be curious to read your thoughts at the end.
Santana stirred her coffee idly as she watched the blond sitting across from her. Quinn's expression was stoic, her eyes on the table unseeing. Santana sat back and reached for a breadstick, the movement drawing Quinn from her thoughts and her gaze flickered up to meet her friends before darting away again as she had a sip of her drink. Santana waited it out, not needing to ask because they both knew what they were there to discuss. Her patience lasted through ordering and two breadsticks before she selected a third breadstick and breaking off a small piece, pelted Quinn with it.
Quinn looked up, pretending to glare at her mildly amused friend whose only response was to pelt her with another piece, drawing chuckle from the blond. Their amusement died down after a moment and Santana raised an eyebrow, silently questioning.
"I just couldn't face sympathy and today." Quinn said, Santana knew it was as close to a thank you as she was going to get for interceding with Brittany. She nodded for Quinn to continue. Taking a deep breath Quinn prepared herself to explain. "My mother is moving to Seattle with her toy boy."
The bitterness in her tone was not lost on either of them.
"You're not going with?"
"It's only a few months until we graduate and then I'd be moving out anyway to go to college. I can handle taking care of myself for a few months." The way Quinn said it told Santana that these were not her arguments but her mothers. She could picture Judy Fabray sitting there and making out like she was doing her teenage daughter a favour by leaving her to live on her own while she went gallivanting with her latest beau.
"Shit." Santana muttered as she processed what Quinn was saying.
Quinn took another sip from her cup, shrugging slightly as though this didn't matter to her.
"My mother is leaving me here in Lima alone, for my last few months in the house I grew up in so she can move in with Neil." Her voice was without inflection or emotion. "She couldn't even wait a few months."
"It wasn't up for discussion?" Santana already knew the answer but she asked anyway. Quinn let out a humourless laugh.
"We're Fabrays. She's the mother, I'm the child, she makes the decisions, end of story."
Everything in that statement made Santana want to rebel, and tell Quinn to stop just accepting everything without complaining, but she knew better. This was where Quinn and she differed; they both had parents who had let them down and denied them affection time and again; were absent more often than not and still expecting silent obedience, but where Santana would fight and demand to be heard, even knowing she'd be ignored, Quinn would accept the futileness of it all and move on.
So instead Santana just nodded. Quinn knew it wasn't a sign of agreement but rather the she was accepting Quinns decision. Santana began to fiddle with the breadstick that was still in her hands, needing to keep them busy.
Quinn was grateful that Santana didn't press for more or try to get her to talk about it; if she had wanted that she would have gone to Brittany. Santana she spoke to because the other girl allowed her to say things out loud, test the waters and let them become real without having to explain herself, explain what she was feeling or be coddled. She didn't get pulled into sympathetic hugs and pitying stares. She knew it wasn't because Santana was uncaring; but Santana understood, and it worked for them.
They sat in silence for a couple minutes before they were interrupted by the arrival of their food. Quinn was pouring dressing over her salad when Santana spoke.
"My house is always available, if you want." Santana offered quietly.
"And what would your mother have to say about that." Quinn dismissed
"Well I can come over to yours then." Santana tried again, ignoring the comment about her mother, though slightly irritated that Quinn wasn't picking up on what she was trying to convey.
"Yes because you're not already juggling two girls." Quinn knew exactly what Santana was not saying and was only half serious this time, mainly just teasing the latina because it wasn't often Santana showed her her caring side.
"Quinn." Santana sighed exasperatedly, "Do I really need to explain what I'm saying?"
Quinn met her friends gaze, and Santana saw the amusement in her eyes and realised Quinn was playing her after the second offer.
"No," Quinn relented "I know, and thank you."
They ate in a comfortable silence for a few minutes before Santana decided to raise the second thing she wanted to discuss.
"So, next topic, what was with your drunken midnight stroll to B's?"
"It was hardly midnight." Quinn argued, clearly not wanting to discuss it.
"Fine, but next time just call someone so we can avoid night time rambles and showing up drunk in front of impressionable twelve year olds? Better yet, call before you even start drinking and either B or myself will come over so you're not alone when drunk."
Quinn nodded in acknowledgment and Santana dropped it. She'd leave that conversation to her girlfriend; Brittany was better those talks anyway.
Quinn was relieved when her phone went off the following morning with the customary Good Morning message from Brittany. It was something the dancer had taken to sending her every morning since the drunken driving debacle. Just little texts, talking about something that would be happening in the day or other times just the nice morning weather or a simple good morning.
This morning's one of the simple ones; just a 'Good Morning' and the glaringly obvious lack of smilie face telling Quinn that the dancer was still upset with her, though she appreciated that the message was there at all; having not expected it.
As second text came through a moment later asking if they could get together after school. Quinn sighed, but knew she couldn't really put it off much longer. She sent off a message agreeing and suggesting Britt came to her house since her mother had a spa appointment and would be out the whole afternoon.
At school they interacted as though the day were any other, but the way that Brittanys smile didn't quite meet her eyes, and the set to her shoulders when Quinn spoke with her made it apparent that things were not mended between them, though by an unspoken agreement neither brought up what was wrong, both waiting until they were seated comfortably in the Fabray living room after glee that afternoon.
"I shouldn't have asked Santana to intercede yesterday." Quinn apologised first.
"Then why did you?"
"I wasn't ready to talk about the night before."
"You could have told me that." Brittany pointed out.
"I know," Quinn agreed.
"Q, if you don't want to talk to me about something you can just tell me. I'm not going to try force the information out of you."
"I'm sorry." The words felt foreign to Quinn, who was not used to using them. Brittany knew how hard it was for Quinn, who had always been prideful, to say that, and accepted the apology.
Brittany decided to move on to other topics. "Can I ask what led up to you showing up on my doorstep or should I rather not?"
"S didn't tell you?" Quinn asked in surprise; with Santana and Brittany unless you specifically asked on not to talk to anyone else about something there was 99.99% chance they would discuss it with each other.
"Only that it had to do with your mom and her boyfriend. She said she'd let you tell me today."
Quinn began to explain why her mom had invited her out to lunch.
"Can you not talk to her about it. It's only a few more months until we graduate." Brittany suggested, not understanding how Judy could even suggest this instead of waiting. It didn't make sense for Quinn to go with, and change schools this close to graduating, but why her mother didn't hold on to the last few months of her daughter living at home made no sense to the other blond.
"The decisions already been made." Quinn replied. Brittany didn't reply, waiting to see if Quinn would say more."It's just...It's my father all over again."
Brittany frowned, not seeing the connection and immediately concerned; remembering only too well how much Russell Fabray had put Quinn through before her mother finally managed to get out of the relationship when they were 13.
"Not like that." Quinn immediately replied when she saw where Brittanys mind was going. "I mean that I'm just a secondary concern again, and she's choosing him over me."
Quinn took a deep shuddering breath, feeling herself becoming emotional and trying to reign it in. Brittany reached out to take Quinns hand reassuringly, her own heart breaking at the look of hurt and hopelessness on her face. All she really wanted to do was gather Quinn into a hug, but she knew that would not be appreciated by Quinn and only send her walls flying back up. Quinn was just like that; she needed affection, probably more than most people Brittany knew, but show her too much at the wrong time and she would recoil away. She couldn't let herself accept it.
"It's not that I particularly care about living on my own for the next few months...she's away most of the time now anyway but ...I wish that one day she would pick me first." Quinn whispered and Brittany's grip on her hand tightened. Taking another breath, Quinn shook herself out of those thoughts.
"It's okay to want that." Brittany murmured gently.
"No; she's my mother."
"No.' Quinn repeated louder, glancing at Brittany apologetically "I can't allow myself to want that."
"But why?" Quinn paused, wondering if she should just take the opening and explain herself, if she was going to open up about things, B was one of the only people she would do it to.
"If I let myself want her to choose me, to actually show me that she cares about me more than her next spa appointment, that she loves me and doesn't just find my presence an inconvenience...if I let myself want that, it changes nothing. And if I tell her and she makes an effort for a while then what happens when she forgets again? I don't know if I could handle that."
Quinn had closed her eyes as she admitted the last part so it came as a surprise when she felt Brittany's arms close around her and she had to make a conscious effort to resist her reflex reaction and pull away, even if the hug was comforting.
Brittany waited for Quinn to relax into her, wishing she could offer more comfort than this. She wanted to assure Quinn that she was the most important thing in her mothers life but she knew it wasn't her place, and honestly, terrible as it sounded, even in her mind, Brittany wasn't sure if it was even true.
They separated and it was clear that there was no more they could really say on that point.
"I shouldn't have come over here yesterday." Quinn apologised.
"You shouldn't have been drinking alone without telling anyone yesterday." Brittany corrected, "And while I'm not happy that you came over completely drunk while Stacy was around, and that you also walked the streets alone, in the middle of the night, while out of it; I am glad you came to me, and that you didn't drive." Brittany offered her a small encouraging smile, which Quinn hesitantly returned.
"I guess you want to give me some sort of punishment?" Quinn asked awkwardly after a second, trying to hide the butterflies that had suddenly decided to have a party in her stomach. Brittany was surprised to realise how irritated she was by that statement, though she couldn't quite pinpoint why..
"I don't want to, but I will if you agree and will benefit from it." Brittany replied, deciding to ignore her odd emotions for now. "Do you think I should?"
"Well I did ruin your evening with Stacy." Brittany shook her head.
"Unless you did it to be spiteful, I won't ever punish you for that." Brittany said firmly. "You came to me when you needed me, there is nothing wrong in doing that, even if it does 'ruin my evening'. It's a part of being best friends; being there for each other in their time of need. Besides, punishments should serve as a deterrent for the future and I don't want you to ever feel like you should hesitate before coming to me, regardless of the state you're in."
Quinn fell silent, thinking.
"I feel like there's something you want me to say, or admit to, but I'm not sure what." Quinn admitted after a few seconds, feeling like she was missing something obvious.
"Not necessarily." Brittany responded, still annoyed, though now also frustrated by what Quinn was not seeing. She didn't let it show though, not wanting to push Quinn in any way. It was important that if she did have to punish Quinn, it be completely by Quinns own admission. "If you don't feel like you deserve to be punished then that's fine with me too. I've already forgiven you for the parts directly affecting me so this would be purely about you forgiving yourself. And you don't have to decide today either, I'm not going anywhere."
Brittany waited a couple more moments to see if Quinn was going to say anything else, biting back her frustration when it was clear that she was lost in her own thoughts and not going to say anything. Sighing and deciding that Quinn probably just needed time to herself, Brittany stood up to leave, worried she'd also say something she shouldn't if she stayed much longer.
"I'm going to get going...homework." She excused as Quinn nodded distractedly and rose to see her out. "I'm always there, and I know my family wouldn't mind if you wanted to stay for a while." Brittany added as they reached the door.
"Thanks." Quinn replied, accepting a second hug though they both knew it was unlikely that she'd accept the offer - there was no way Quinn could stand staying with the Pierces for more than a night or two – they lived a little too relaxed a lifestyle for her to be comfortable.
Once Brittany was out in the car she sent off a quick text to Santana to find out where she was, glad when the latina replied that she was home alone. Quickly reversing from the Fabray's driveway, she headed over to her girlfriends house.
AN2: So, now you know what was going on with Quinn, but my next question is what do you think is going on with Brittany (To my twitter followers, I asked a question about a month ago that might hint to where things are going to go with Brittany)? Looking forward to your thoughts on everything in this chapter!