Title: First Date (5/?)
Summary: Quinn needs someone for a charity event and there's nothing more charitable than spending time with Rachel Berry.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All rights for the characters and the world go to their owners (like Ryan Murphy and FOX). I, in no way, believe – or would lead others to believe – that I own Glee. I am merely a fan of the television show who has ideas for things that RIB could do/could've done.
Author's Note: Guess what I finally finished today? CHAPTER FIVE! I apologize greatly to everyone who grew invested in this story only to have me disappear for a month (or was it more?) because I never intended to string you guys along like that. This chapter gave me some trouble. I hope that you are all very pleased with the result and that you won't hold the wait against me. Please enjoy the chapter and tell me what you think when you're done.
FIRST DATE - CH. 5
Kurt's jaw practically hits the ground when I tell him. He must be truly shaken because he does not even try to mask his admiration towards me. For the first time in years, someone my age looks at me like a goddess gracing the face of the Earth. It is a pleasant change.
"I cannot believe you went on a date with Quinn Fabray," he says for the third time. His repetition grows old though. Perhaps that is why the Greek Gods took to staying on Olympus rather than sharing every bit of themselves with the mortals below.
I turn my attention to our surroundings. The chairs taunt me from their position on the risers. The whiteboard and the piano are also in on the joke for the red of the digital clock glints off of them to remind me of the time limit for this little conversation. The clock reads twelve-eighteen. I have less than two minutes until Quinn will walk through those doors and join me. And Kurt. Why does he have to eat in the choir room? It just makes this supposed distraction all the worse.
"And now she hates me," I remind him.
He interjects, "She hated you before, Rachel. She just wants to kill you now."
"What should I do?" I ask him.
If Quinn does not kill me today, I will write a memoir. It will be a glorious tell-all about my struggles and eventual triumphs. In it, I will talk about how my fathers are basically the epitomes of those perfect gay men who help their loved ones in a sassy and upbeat way that makes the audience feel warm and fuzzy and instills hope into LGBT youth that they too can be happy like these token characters in the big blockbuster hits. While Kurt, on the other hand, is the outwardly cynical, oppressed and defeated, regularly abrasive gay teen that just kind of rolls his eyes at everyone and makes the main character (in this case, me) feel as if she has the brain of a petunia. I'll even give examples.
Kurt's brilliant answer how to survive seeing Quinn again is example one.
He says, "Pray."
For once, I would like to join Noah in throwing him in a dumpster.
"That's not helpful, Kurt!" I say.
"Rachel, our deal was to dress you, not save you from your own disasters," he says.
"Was that not implied?" I ask. He rolls his eyes. I try another tactic. I step in and force my face into the pout that has gotten me everything I've wanted since birth. I beg, "Stay here with me. She can't kill me if there's someone else in the room."
Kurt chuckles and tells me, "Blood does not go with this outfit."
Then, as if that is some sort of magical excuse from the heavens, he picks up his little messenger bag and leaves the room. I almost run after him, but my phone jingles in my pocket. It starts with the low rumbling of vibrate and grows until 'No One Mourns the Wicked' rings throughout the room. My ten minutes are up.
I decide to place the piano between myself and the door. My feet slide slower than injured snails atop the worn flooring. Every step is one closer to my doom. I can practically hear the funeral march in my head. The combination of that and the opening number of Wicked nearly have me in tears before Quinn even walks through the door. The sight of her when she does quite literally feels like a stab the gut.
She holds her Cheerios bag, an object that has never seemed as menacing as it does now. She could have easily put a gun in there. Knowing her particular type of terror, I rule that out. She would want something simple that would not be traced back to her. A gun is too messy. A knife? No, she won't kill me in here. The door has glass on it and someone could see. Maybe she will stash my body inside of the drum closet as a physical representation of how I lead my life and how wrong it is in her pristine – and prudish – eyes.
"Are you hiding behind the piano?" she asks. Her incredulous tone is nothing new. Still, I step a bit to the side just to make my answer less of a lie.
She rolls her eyes so hard in response that I swear she saw the gray matter in her brain. I hope it physically pains her. No, that's mean. Kind of true though. How can she hurt me if she has a migraine? The answer is: she can't.
Quinn crosses towards the piano and sets her bag on top of it, directly in the center of the two of us. I zero in on it. Red is the color of death. It's also the color of passion and love. And AIDS. But that is beside the point. I need to focus. Pay attention, Rachel. I have never had a problem focusing on her before. I guess all I needed to get over my crush was to believe she would injure me. I'm safe from Stockholm Syndrome then.
"Look up," Quinn says.
I do so.
Damnit. I don't know why I do. Why do I? Maybe I'm not over my crush. I'm so used to doing anything she wants or tells me to. She could tell me throw a slushie on my face and I probably would. Why am I so pathetic? She's horrible! She invited me on a date just to embarrass me. Actually, it wasn't even a date. She told me it wasn't a date. She practically warned me this would happen! I'm so stupid. How fantastic. September 10th 2009, mark it down as the day Quinn Fabray finally got Rachel Berry to say that she is stupid. It only took two years. Congratulations!
My frustration with myself must have shown in my face because her hands go back to her hips. I stand my ground.
"If you plan on murdering me, may I suggest doing so before the bell rings and people invade the halls? May I also suggest letting me go?"
Quinn quirks an eyebrow at me. She says, "I'm not holding you down, Berry. You're here because you want to be."
I try to offer a counterargument, but there really isn't a point. I did come to the room of my own accord.
"Fine," I say. The word has no point other than to show my annoyance. She wastes no time in showing her own once more.
She unzips the bag and reaches inside of it. A streak of fear runs through me and I realize that my fight or flight response leans towards the latter. Quinn smirks ever so slightly as her wrist becomes visible again, then her hand, and then… styrofoam? Why does she have Styrofoam? Suffocation? Packing me away to Israel at the request of Santana?
"Food trays," she says as if I'm an intellectually challenged puppy that keeps running into the glass door. My face resembles one for a moment as her statement sinks into my mind. Food trays. She has food trays, which means she has food, which could either mean that she wants to have a one-way food fight and then send me off into the halls with tomato sauce and chicken fetuses dripping down my green cardigan or… or she wants to eat lunch with me.
My head snaps up at the thought. Our eyes meet. For the briefest second, I see hesitance. In Quinn Fabray's eyes, I see nervousness. Nervousness! She wants to eat lunch with me. She wants to eat lunch with me! Oh my goodness I might go into shock. This is crazy. This is-is-is-
A fork gets pushed into my hand with more force than is necessary. The small plastic utensil bends slightly but remains about as in tact as my sanity. I stop staring at Quinn – who has gone back to going through the food trays – and glance down at the piano again. In its obsidian slate, my reflection shines up, confused and alight. Am I really smiling that widely? I force myself not to, but the joy remains in my eyes.
"She likes me," I whisper. The words feel exhilarating on my tongue. Her surprised and affronted face… not so much.
"I don't like you," she hisses as she shoves one of the trays towards me. "I bought you dinner for charity. It's not like I can be expected to eat your stupid vegan food. I brought it in hopes that the bland tastelessness would rub on your grating personality."
I inform her, "I have been a vegan since the age of nine. I doubt it will make any change on who I am to eat this with you." She says nothing. I add, "But we can give it a try."
She glances up. This time, I spot hope. I wonder if she spots my undying devotion. Maybe that's why she goes back to her own food so quickly.
"Why aren't you hiding anymore?" she asks.
Why aren't I? Have I forgiven her already? Forgive her for what? I don't actually have proof she wanted to do a prank. She could have just been spouting off things for Santana. Maybe my exit was premature. And so were the paranoia and the death march and the hiding. The anger, though, is not. She deserves to know how her words affect people.
"Why aren't you boasting with Santana about how you're going to destroy me?" I ask back.
Her fork stalls in the air. She brings it back down and clears her throat. She says nothing.
I tell her, "I heard you talking to her last night. That's why I left. I know it probably hurt your feelings to be the one rejected for once, but it hurts me to be the one rejected for the ten-thousandth time. I understand that my reactions are dramatic and at times humorous. I don't believe that allows you the right to manipulate and terrorize-"
"Don't eat the food," Quinn says. She closes her own food tray and reaches for her Cheerios bag.
What is she doing? I'm not done.
"That does not give you the right to-"
"Pick on you, whatever, I get it," Quinn says. She zips the bag up. She sighs and says, "Don't eat the food, Rachel. It's got milk and cheese in the sauce."
Then, much like Kurt before her, she picks up her bag and leaves the room. As she goes, I can't help but wonder-
What the heck is going on around here?
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