I felt slightly inspired by the last episode and added to an old abandoned fic and here we are. I listened to the new Parachute song, "What I Know" while I wrote this today so it felt appropriate to use it as the title. It kinda fits, I guess, in an abstract way. Also, the song is free on itunes so download it cause it's fun.
She's been walking around as if nothing ever happened, as if her world wasn't recently just turned upside down. She hates him. She hates him more than she's ever hated someone before in her life. She hates him because he's finally made her feel something.
It's just not for him.
"Don't you feel anything anymore?"
The words play in her mind like a broken record, some sort of cruel torture method that will never end. She's mastered the art of indifference, the art of shrugging things off and pretending they never happened. She's been doing it all her life. First, with the pregnancy, and then with- well, technically it never happened so there's no use thinking about it. She's good at it.
But then he came along and had to point out the one flaw that she's the most insecure about. He didn't mean to hurt her, she tells herself, he was just caught up in a passionate moment. She shouldn't hate him as much as she does. It's not his fault that he had no idea the feelings he actually brought up simply by voicing those words out loud.
She's been a zombie since then. Only speaking when spoken to, and tuning out everything else. Her fake smile makes her sick but it's all she's ever known. Frowns make wrinkles and wrinkles make for miserable people. Or something like that. But she's miserable even when she smiles so she doesn't know what to believe.
The reason she hates him so much, the reason that she can't even look at him without her blood boiling, is because he's made her realize that, yeah, she does feel something for someone. It's the only person she's ever felt anything for. The only person in her small world that can ignite such extreme opposite emotions that she gets whiplash on a daily basis. The only person that can make her smile without even engaging her. The only person that she's actually put before herself multiple times. The only person she wants is the one person she can't have. For so many different reasons. The same way that Rachel's always on her mind for so many different reasons. Not all of them make sense, but she supposes that's the one indicator that it actually makes perfect sense.
She's done trying to explain it, she's done trying to mask her attraction by dating someone she can't stand, and she's done hiding.
She shouldn't be mad at Finn. She should be mad at Rachel. Rachel's the one that lit the fuse approximately one month ago.
It was a month ago that she kissed her sanity goodbye. Quite literally, actually.
Quinn was having a bad day, and not just the bad day where you stub your toe and think your life is over. No, the kind of bad day where everything goes wrong. Including the toe stubbing. That's how it started, and everyone knows that stubbing your toe first thing in the morning is a bad omen. Had she just gotten back into bed after she stubbed her toe on her doorframe, the entire thing may have been avoided. But where would that have left her?
It was her first day back to school, since contracting Mono from Finn Hudson, at least. It really wasn't worth it, sure she saw some sparks, but it was probably because it had been so long since kissing him. He reminded her of when her life was relatively normal. When she had everything she wanted, two parents, her choice of colleges, and a chance at getting out of Ohio.
What better way to start off her first day back than with a physical injury? And to make matters worse, banging her thigh on the corner of her dresser made her feel like she'd just gotten shot in the leg. Not to mention her numb arm after she whacked her funny bone on the counter top. Things weren't going well for Quinn in the slightest.
The previous three weeks were actually just a giant bundle of suck. Having to spend her days bedridden while her mother was under the same roof was absolute torture, not to mention she'd been basically fed up with just about every soap opera that was on TV. She'd known all the characters life stories and while she was desperate to find out if John was the father of Amanda's baby on All My Children, she was thrilled to be strong enough to start school again. She hated being sick, she was weak and tired all the time, and the cherry on top was her mother reprimanding her for being so lazy all day. As if she had a choice.
Hoping to leave her bad day behind her at the house, she managed to get herself down to her car, and drove off to school. Her day seemed to lighten up a bit, she was genuinely happy to see some of her friends again, but the rain came down harder and harder with each class that passed by her. It appeared that her genius boyfriend was forgetting to get all of his girlfriend's missed homework assignments, and Quinn was in over her head with work that could have been completed already.
She found herself in the library just about every chance she got, hoping to put at least a small dent in her work. Sure, she didn't have Cheerios practice to worry about anymore but she really didn't feel like spending her days doing endless assignments.
She'd been so busy with her homework that she neglected to realize that a certain pair of eyes were watching her just about the entire day. She only caught on during glee, and once she realized why they were watching her, she sunk into her seat.
She completely forgot that by making out with Finn, she had to answer to Rachel. Of course, Berry was going to give her an earful, how had she not seen this coming? Another reason that kissing Finn Hudson was a pointless and terrible idea. Was she really that desperate to feel something?
Glee ended before Quinn could come up with a game plan or explanation, and she was panicking as she noted that Rachel was taking her sweet time in packing up. Quinn decided to just get it over with, she really didn't have the strength to continuously dodge the girl. She might not have been sick or contagious anymore but she also wasn't back to her full self. She couldn't wait to pass out after dinner.
"How are you feeling?"
It surprised Quinn, Berry almost sounded concerned.
The blonde shrugged, not necessarily lowering her defenses but not entirely trusting either, "Better," she answered simply.
Rachel merely nodded, "So you kissed Finn?"
Here it comes, thought Quinn. She stepped down from the second riser to the floor where Rachel was. Everyone was gone and it was just the two of them, the sooner she got it over with, the sooner she could move on and forget all about her mistake with Finn.
"I did," she answered simply, there really was no denying it. They both got mono and she was pretty sure they learned their lesson. Well, she was pretty sure at the time.
Quinn wasn't exactly expecting Rachel to ask that question because Quinn had never even asked herself that question. Why would she kiss Finn? And why would she kiss him more than once?
"I don't know," Quinn replied, while Rachel probably wasn't particularly thrilled with this answer, it was really all Quinn had to offer her.
"Did you see fireworks, too?"
How Rachel knew that, she'd never know. Most likely Finn.
"Why are you asking me this?"
"Because Finn claims he saw fireworks," she answered.
"So what if he did?"
"He thinks you're a better kisser than me."
"I probably am."
"I don't believe that."
"What do you want from me, Berry?" Quinn asked agitated, this was taking longer than anticipated.
"I just want—"
The end of the sentence never came. Well, it did, but it was in the form of lips on her own. It took Quinn about five seconds to realize what was going on, she hadn't even had time to properly react. It was over before it began and it left her feeling more confused and dazed than she had ever been. Why was Rachel Berry kissing her? Why did she even allow it to go on for as long as it did? Something needed to be done.
"—proof," Rachel finished, her eyes slightly glazed over as she stepped back, her attention was on Quinn's lips before she shook her head and coughed. "I can't understand how he saw fireworks."
Quinn was gearing up to shout off obscenities and insults to the shorter girl who felt it was appropriate to attack her in the middle of the choir room. She registered Rachel's words and they stopped her.
"What do you mean you can't understand it?"
"Well no offense, Quinn, but that was below par and I don't know what all the fuss is about. You're not a very good kisser, it was kind of weak."
Well of course it was weak! She was blindsided. Not to mention that she was coming off of a three week sickness that was surely still incapacitating her strength. Rachel Berry had a lot of nerve to kiss her and then complain about it. Quinn knew that she was a phenomenal kisser and just about every person she'd ever been with has told her such. How dare Berry, waltzing around pretending she was some goddess, who gave her the right to judge how good a kisser Quinn was? Like she even had that much experience to compare it to. Why was she even getting worked up about this? The solution was quite simple really, Quinn realized, she could show just how talented a kisser she was. Berry would be seeing explosions by the time she was done with her.
Quinn's bag hit the floor at about the same time Rachel felt a hand on her neck, and before she could process what was happening, she was crashing into the tiny body and lips were covering hers. Rachel's eyes were wide for a moment, probably afraid that Quinn was about to punch her at first, but when she saw that was the furthest thing from the truth, she relaxed and her eyes slid shut. Quinn could feel the concentration Rachel was using as their lips melded in a way that neither girl had experienced before. Her tongue being worked in a sloppy and beautiful mix that she wasn't sure anyone else would compare to. She hoped Rachel knew she was wrong, that the fuss was entirely appropriate. She was just proving a point but she still couldn't help but simply die when Rachel allowed her hand to slide into the loose waves of Quinn's blonde hair. The brunette was flush against her and her hand was still gripping the back of her neck with white-knuckle force, her other hand squeezing the side of Rachel's hip. Pulling her closer was never part of the plan, but then again, enjoying it wasn't really part of the plan either.
The moan that Quinn felt enter her mouth spurred her forward, she felt braver and she'd entirely forgotten the point of the little lesson. She was pretty sure that Rachel wasn't too keen on the lesson anymore either, and it wasn't like she was complaining, unless the moans were her way of protesting. Her only concern was not breaking whatever was going on because she'd have to be an idiot to make what was stirring in her lower abdomen go away. Blindly, she began guiding Rachel backwards by pushing into her, and as badly as the brunette wanted to push back she found that she could be led anywhere that Quinn needed her to go. Anything to keep doing this.
Her back hit the piano, the piano that held such innocence in an inanimate way, the piano that was being bruised beautifully by Rachel's body. A strange sound escaped Quinn's throat as she finally felt Rachel grasping at her, and it only made Quinn grind harder into her. Rachel's hand made its way up to grip Quinn's head in place, pulling her closer than either of them were ready for, breaking both of them out of the trance they were under.
Quinn felt like she'd just ran four miles at a cheerios practice when she pulled away. Hoping to find a resting place on Rachel's shoulder, she lowered her forehead, at least until she caught her breath, but Rachel had managed to slip out from under Quinn's embrace. It probably wasn't hard, Quinn realized, she could barely stand on her own, let alone stop someone from escaping her hands.
"I um, I have to go," Rachel stuttered out, her hand over her lips.
Quinn's mind was screaming at her to fight Rachel, to demand an explanation for bolting, to at least admit that Quinn was a damn good kisser, but her body was hating her. She nearly collapsed onto the piano bench in order to catch her breath. Her legs felt like jell-o and her chest felt constricted. She didn't realize asthma was a side effect of mono.
She set out to prove that she wasn't weak and it ended up making her the weakest she'd ever been.
That was the last time she felt anything for anyone.
Rachel mostly avoided her and it caused Quinn to do something she really didn't want to do. She pursued Finn, dated him, and essentially used him all so that she could prevent Rachel from getting back together with him.
She realizes now that it's unavoidable. Finn evoked something within her when he said those words and she can't ignore it. She's been trying for days to just forget everything he said, forget the kiss her and Rachel shared weeks ago, forget what it felt like for Rachel to pretend it never happened. They went on, business as usual, and neither of them acknowledged it ever again.
And then Finn inadvertently reminded her, and after days of internal fighting, she now finds herself standing on Rachel Berry's front porch ready to pour her heart out.
She really doesn't know how she's come to arrive at Rachel's house. Maybe it's one of those inevitable things that she'll never be able to help. She has no game plan, she has no big speech prepared, and she doesn't even know what she's going to say when someone answers the door. But maybe it's supposed to happen this way.
Almost all of her memories with Rachel stemmed from something that was in the heat of the moment. Unplanned. Rachel tended to bombard her or piss her off enough to get her to react. Had it really been that obvious all along?
All she has is one passionate moment in the choir room between the two of them and a handful of soul baring conversations. Would it be enough?
The door opens and Rachel's shock is clear, she obviously wasn't expecting Quinn to be standing on the other side of her front door. Her shock transforms into confusion for a split second before it goes straight to worry. Quinn envies the way she can display all of her emotions so easily and it takes the blonde weeks of denial to finally realize what she's feeling.
"Quinn? Is everything okay? What's wrong?"
They really aren't friends. She can't just assume that Rachel wants to hear what she wants to say. Like she's doing her a favor by being there. She wants to believe that she can swoop in and sweep Rachel off her feet but only Disney movies work like that.
"I, um," Quinn starts, the nonexistent words that she hoped would come to her seem to rather enjoy laughing at her as she stutters. "Hi."
"Do you have a minute?"
Rachel frowns before opening the door wider and gesturing for the blonde to come into her home. She should be thrilled that she's made it this for but she hasn't really done anything yet so she saves the victory dance for when it counts.
She walks into the foyer and turns to wait for Rachel.
"Quinn?" her body spins violently as she hears her name from the other room, "What are you doing here?"
Finn looks nervous, like he knows exactly why she's standing there. He's rubbing his palms on his shirt as he stands from the couch awkwardly.
Quinn looks back and forth between them a few times. Rachel's avoiding her eyes and Finn's pretty much doing the same. She feels incredibly foolish and doesn't think the feeling will ever go away. It will be one of those embarrassing moments that she'll remember for years to come, still cringing when she recalls them in her mind.
"I should go," she decides suddenly. She never stood a chance anyway.
The universe gets credited often for creating signs for people. In reality, the person finds a pattern and clings to it for dear life, believing that it was meant to mean something.
Rachel's about to tell her to stay, at least, that's what she hopes the brunette's about to say, but she ignores the feeling in her chest and continues out the door before she can humiliate herself anymore.
She's speaking to herself under her breath as she lightly runs down the steps and towards her car. She's really not paying attention to anything and that's when the universe decides to give her something to cling to. She shouldn't run in sandals and she should really watch where she's going, it's really her own fault when she stubs her toe on the curb because she was basically asking for it. It makes the horrible feeling in her mind grow stronger, because, of course this would happen to her. Like she didn't already feel terrible about her life? But then it all disappears. Like the eye of the hurricane, or the sun shining after a day full of rain. It shouldn't mean anything to her but it does, and it's because she stubbed her toe the morning that Rachel kissed her for the first time. She realizes now what people mean when they credit the universe for something. She turns around and finds Rachel still standing on the porch, her arms crossed and confusion displayed so clearly on her face that Quinn feels like she owes her some kind of explanation.
Quinn ignores the throbbing pain in her toe and begins to walk back up the pathway. Rachel drops her arms to her side and she avoids the blonde's gaze like she has so many times before. For the first time in her life, Quinn finds herself wishing that Rachel would look at her and see everything she's been desperately trying to mask.
"You understood how he saw fireworks, didn't you?"
Rachel's eyes snap up to meet Quinn's finally and she opens and closes her mouth a few times. When she thinks back to this moment, she'll smirk as she remembers how she struck Rachel Berry speechless.
"What are you—"
"You kissed me and you understood what all the fuss was about so you ran."
Quinn no longer envies the fact that Rachel can show her feelings so easily, she thanks the heavens. It's the only reason she says the first thing that comes to her mind.
"You ran from me and this is me chasing you."
Rachel's eyes shine as they dart over the blonde's face and Quinn finds herself smiling slightly. They've never been able to have a conversation without at least one of them crying.
"Don't," Quinn starts after a few long seconds of silence. "Don't settle for him."
Rachel lets a tear slide down her cheek before she swipes it away with the back of her hand and straightens her posture a bit, "Why?" she whispers and shakes her head. "Why?"
"Because you're the only person I feel anything for."
"What do you want from me, Quinn?"
She sounds tired and exhausted, she sounds like this conversation is just as hard for her as it is for Quinn.
The blonde shakes her head as a humorless laugh escapes from her mouth, "I just want," she stops. Something so familiar about the words they're sharing, the role reversal, and the honesty that they've only been able to share with each other. She smirks as her eyes come back to meet Rachel's, "Proof."
Realization registers across her face but Quinn doesn't let her speak. Her hand finds the back of Rachel's neck and brings her closer. All she wants is proof that she's not crazy, that Rachel felt something just as strong as she did, that they can work if they just stop running from each other. Their lips meet hesitantly but the fuse that's been burning since that last time they kissed explodes and neither one of them remembers Finn until he pulls them apart after a few minutes.
"What the hell?"
Quinn's asthma attack comes back full force as she struggles to maintain a normal breathing pattern and Rachel's eyes are wide with shiny unshed tears.
"Go home, Quinn," Finn states lowly. She can hear it in his voice that he's trying not to lose his cool. "You don't belong here."
The blonde wipes her lips with the back of her hand before setting her attention back on Rachel. The brown eyes continuing to dart all across her face, her hand coming up to cover her lips, and her eyebrows showing exactly what emotion she's feeling.
She should turn and leave because she really doesn't belong there. She should turn and run just like Rachel did to her a month ago. But she can't because she's giving Finn what he wants. She's feeling something.
"No," Rachel startles both of them, and maybe even herself. She shakes her head more firmly, "No."
She turns to look at Finn, suddenly realizing that she at least owes him an explanation.
"I'd like Quinn to stay."
"Rach, you can't be serious. What about everything we just talked about?"
Quinn watches her carefully. Watches as she swallows as if she's preparing to belt her heart out on the auditorium stage and she finds herself just holding her breath. They've never had to deal with an audience before, they've never had to explain their actions to other people, everything they've ever talked about has always stayed between them.
"I appreciate you Finn, but that's all I can do. I'm s-sorry," she takes a minute to close her eyes and steady her breathing. "I'm sorry but I don't feel anything for you, anymore."
Finn stands still for at least a minute, not sure that he heard Rachel right, not sure that it all isn't some nightmare that he's having during Spanish class. He's hurt and Quinn should feel bad for causing this but she doesn't. She can't. Maybe he's been right all along, maybe she doesn't feel things anymore.
He storms away without saying another word and the weight of what has happened finally sets in on both of them. She's unsure of what to say now. Then again, she wasn't sure what she was going to say when she first arrived at Rachel's house either.
She settles for staring at the brunette and hoping that Rachel will know what to do now. All she does is smile and Quinn doesn't know what to do with it.
"Don't you feel anything anymore?"
She lets the words play in her mind one more time before she returns Rachel's tentative smile.
She doesn't just feel anything for the girl standing in front of her…she feels everything.
And that's about all that she knows for sure.