Haven't written in a while, but I hope you enjoy.


'Christ, she's beautiful,' was the first thought that ran through the mind of Rachel Berry, her back pushed harshly up against her locker. The diva's shoulders were firmly pinned back by a pair of soft hands and the most angelic face was merely inches away from hers. Honey blonde locks framed the girl's face as she snarled at Rachel, magnificent hazel eyes boring into hers. It took all of Rachel's concentration to pull herself out of the thrilling trance and back to why she was being cornered.

"You need to step off of my boyfriend!" Quinn Fabray growled loudly, her chest heaving in anger. Finn had recently opened up to her about Rachel's not so subtle advances and her patience was at an end. "He doesn't love you anymore, and if you haven't noticed, he's taken. So you need to back the hell off!"

The petite brunette quivered under her glare and she found herself having little space to move. Normally she'd be fiery and full of retorts but she'd never felt so intimidated in her whole life. Out of nervousness, Rachel's wide brown eyes shifted downward and stayed glued on Quinn's collarbone, terrified. The blonde's perfume was almost hypnotizing and the diva could hardly speak.

"I-I...Quinn, I don't know what you're talking about-"

A loud bang made Rachel yelp, and she realized that the infuriated blonde had slammed her palm against the locker beside the diva in frustration. Quinn's other hand was still holding a tight grip on the shorter girl's arm.

"You know damn well what I mean, Berry!" she hissed, "I see the way you look at him, all lovesick- do you understand how pathetic you're acting, how much more you can accomplish with your life if you're not constantly trying to impress him?"

Quinn was seething but something in her strangled voice seemed desperate. Rachel fidgeted against the locker, biting her lower lip as she frantically avoided eye contact with the furious angel.

Frenzied, Quinn shouted, "Look at me!"

Rachel's eyes snapped up at the demand and she felt herself freeze, the emotion in the blonde's hazel eyes bold and serious. Quinn must have noticed the sheer terror that radiated off the diva and she took a small step back, dropping her hand from Rachel's shoulder. Her voice was a degree softer but it was still overflowing with bitterness.

"Look, Furby, every day you preach to us about how you aspire to be this fanatical Broadway dream," she paused, searching the brunette's face before lowering her voice to a whisper, "I think we both know that Finn will only hold you back," Quinn's chin trembled slightly and she seemed to be struggling with something mentally before she whipped away from her, stalking briskly out of the McKinley hallway, leaving Rachel very still and out of breath.

xxx

A few hours later, Quinn Fabray found herself lying restlessly atop her bed, staring at the ceiling of her bedroom. Exhausted, she turned her head gently to the right and reached for a small tattered book that was placed neatly on her nightstand. Running her thumb over its fraying pages she flipped open the petite book with a small smile, letting her eyes scan over the verses of poetry. Quinn had owned this book since she was a child and its gentle words of wisdom and compassion greatly calmed her nerves. The book was composed of various poets of whom she had grown to adore, finding herself running to the poems rather than her parents throughout her childhood. She led a very prim life, and things such as nightmares or broken hearts were trivial to Mother and Father.

In past years, one could find a very small Quinn Fabray trembling in the dark, grasping to the tattered book like a teddy bear when denied affection from her parents. Lying in the night as she listened to her father bellow at her mother, young Quinn would clench her eyes tight, reciting lines of poetry in frightened whispers, "Go placidly among the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence."

Now seventeen and almost a woman, the fragile blonde found herself peacefully distracted by poetry, of which she was positive she could recite from memory, until a very shrill knock startled her out of the tranquil thoughts. Poetry book still in hand, she ventured curiously into the hallway to see who had stopped by her house. Leaning over the balcony to peer downstairs, Quinn's blood ran cold at the man who was standing boldly in the center of her living room.

Hazel eyes wide and flooding with fear, Quinn backed up a few steps, feeling her back connect gently with the wall so she could hide in the shadows.

Her mother Judith, however, had spotted her from her place on the bottom of the staircase. She was glancing at Quinn with aging eyes. "Quinn, darling. Come downstairs, we have some important news to discuss with you," the older woman's voice was steady but weak and the words made Quinn's heart sink in desolation.

Grasping the book tightly to her chest, she stepped out of the shadows and approached the top of the stairs. Quinn could already feel the man's eyes driving holes into her body, despite the fact that she was opposite him. Delicate frame trembling, she parted her lips, her vision already clouding over in distress, "M-Mom, please. You promised you wouldn't," she whispered but the loud footsteps of her father made Quinn turn her head.

Russell Fabray placed a firm hand on his wife's back before looking up at his daughter, "This household isn't stable without my presence, Quinn. Your mother has approved of my return and I am here to put back the pieces of this shamble of a family," his voice was a lowly grumble that resounded through the high ceilings of the house. Judy Fabray's eyes were now downcast and it made Quinn's stomach churn in disappointment.

There stood a few moments of silence before Quinn felt her hesitant fear morph into outrage, "Family?" she mirrored with a sad laugh full of distaste, "We've never been a family. How dare you come back here after all you've done to us?"

Russell cleared his throat and pressed his hand further into Judy's back, pushing her forward an inch, "My husband has done nothing to me," her mother spoke slowly, her words rehearsed and robotic. She lifted her eyes and met Quinn's gaze with a blank, sad stare.

Quinn shook her head in denial, walking down the steps heatedly. "Look at what you've done to her! She was finally getting her life back and you have to come here, a-and ruin it for the both of us!" she screamed, coming face to face with her father.

The man's face was rough and horrid as he watched his daughter come near him. She took a moment to take in his presence, reveling on how she felt rotten just by standing near him. His graying hair was hastily combed back and his crystal blue eyes were terrifying as they pierced forward. He mumbled something to his wife, making her leave the room. Turning back, he towered over Quinn. "You do not speak to me without being spoken to," he declared darkly.

She felt her body heave in rage, tears springing to her eyes, "How dare you step foot into this house you hideous, ignorant pig—"

A loud slap reverberated throughout the house and Quinn yelped in agony, dropping her book. Immediately she felt her father grab her, throwing her roughly into the wall. Crippled over in pain on the floor, the blonde heaved in a breathy cry, looking up at her father who looked drunk with power and rage.

"I am the man of this house now, Quinn Fabray. My word is law and you will not disobey me again, you useless slut of a daughter," Russell leaned over her, his upper lip curled in disgust. "How much can one person possibly sin?" he hissed in a harsh whisper, making the girl flinch and whimper. He started at her for a long dreadful moment before fixing his tie. Running a hand through his hair, he made his way to the kitchen to where his wife was now preparing food. Speaking over his shoulder, he grumbled, "Supper is in ten minutes. Don't be late."

Watching him retreat, Quinn began to weep, her hand cradling her bruising cheek. She tried to push herself onto her feet only to feel a sharp, fiery pain shoot up the base of her back. She let out a cry, feeling defeated as her watery gaze shifted to the poetry book that lay a few feet away from her on the floor. Shakily she retrieved it, brushing off the cover, and despite the incredible ache in her body, she forced herself to stand. Quinn held the small book to her chest as she had done many times previously, before turning determined toward the front of the house.

Her purse lay idly on the table in the foyer, and she grasped it quietly, placing her book safely inside. Retrieving her coat, Quinn threw one last glance over her shoulder, accidently making eye contact with her mother who was emotionlessly sautéing vegetables on the stove. She heard her mother say her name in nothing but a whisper, but Quinn sniffed sadly, slipping silently out of the house.

The previously blue skies were now graying and dark, the clouds trembling with thunder as Quinn stumbled to her car. She felt the beginnings of rain pat down upon her golden locks as she climbed wearily inside. Turning around, she vaguely checked to see if her school books and gym bag were where she left them in the back seat. Confirming that she had at least a change of clothing, the blonde placed her purse in the passenger's seat and let out a broken sigh. Pulling out of the drive, her trembling lips whispered, "Go placidly among the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence."

xxx

Quinn drove around aimlessly for an hour, hot tears flowing down porcelain skin. The rain was now violently beating down against her windshield and her shattered heart was beating frantically in her chest. In the darkness of her car, she found herself grasping at the cross that was hung around her neck. Soon after, Quinn's silver car was pulling into the empty lot of her church and she parked in the back, out of sight. Her small, trembling hand grasped at her key and she turned off the engine. There was only a moment of silence before a long, guttural cry erupted from her throat, ringing throughout the car. Body shaking in pain and grief, Quinn gripped her steering wheel for support.

The angry sky mirrored Quinn's desperate cries but the booming thunder didn't stop her from hearing three polite knocks that fell upon the window of the passenger's seat. Slowly she lifted her head, meeting the concerned, chocolate brown gaze of one Rachel Berry.

Rachel.


Poem referenced is Max Ehrmann's 'Desiderata'.
Please review? :)