Part 10

"Hey, Q, I'm really not going anywhere, so you don't have to dig your nails into my arm anymore."

"I know."

"Maybe we should call you Man Hands."

Q-Tip has chosen to ignore this one, which is sad, because normally this would've been the start of an epic bitchfest to top Zizes and Q's run for prom queen. But she's far too focused on her mission of finding Berry, wherever she's run off to, to tangle with me, I guess. I kind of miss the old days, when the slightest change in intonation could set her off. It was hysterical watching her get all worked up for absolutely nothing.

This isn't as fun. There's too much of an aura of worry or some shit around her for it to be a good time for me.

Still, this isn't about a good time. This is about finding Berry and straightening this shit out, so I grit my teeth and bear it. Well, not the nail-digging part. I manage to wrench my arm free of her grasp after a little struggle, but she doesn't even notice, and I realize she's muttering under her breath.

"This is all your fault. You have to go messing around in people's lives like it's some kind of game, and look what happens. Why couldn't you have just left this one alone, hm? Would that really have been so freaking difficult?"

"Yep," I answer, and she jumps a little, pausing to glare at me before marching off again.

"Why? Why couldn't you just leave Rachel alone?" she barks, and I scowl at her.

"Why did you?"

She does a quick double-take, brow knit tight. "What?"

"You obviously knew Berry was a closet case, same as you and me, but it looks to me like your white ass didn't get around to doing anything about it until today—which, by the way, that was the absolute worst attempt at claiming your woman that I have ever seen."

"I wasn't trying to claim her," she hisses, suddenly not meeting my eyes and I know she's feeling all sensitive and shit. "I was just…"

I soften a little, matching her pace. "What, Q?"

"I wanted to let her know she has another option, and that it's okay. But I didn't want to scare her off by being completely obvious about it, and then you had to go and muck it up anyway!" It's amusing to me how she can start off talking so lowly, vulnerably, and end practically shrieking at me.

"You can say 'fuck', Q. God will not smite you, I swear, and if He's pissed when you get up there, you can tell Him it was peer pressure," I offer, and she shoots me a weak glare. "Look, Quinn, I get the whole wanting your woman thing. And I don't know what the hell happened between you two, but I do know you handled it all wrong."

She glares at me, affronted. "How—"

"Because I know you, and you're just like me. We're fuck-ups, Q. It's what we do. Add to that that what Berry needs is a supportive friend, not a longing lover, and, well…"

Q's gaze trails ahead of her as we walk in silence for a few paces, and I realize that that's what Britts has been trying to do for me all along, why we keep doing this weird push and pull with our relationship ever since I admitted to myself what Berry will only admit enough to join the golf team. She's had to tow the line between being a friend who'll push me to get my head out of my ass a bit at a time and being the woman I want to be with when my head's screwed on top of my neck like it should be. I've just been confused as fuck and completely missed it. Damn.

And Q…well, to me it looks like Q couldn't even see the line, so she just stayed on that one side and expected Berry to work her shit out on her own. Which never, ever works. Believe me. It just does not. Even Hummel, the proudest gay in possibly the entire Midwest, couldn't slip out of his closet until Jones gave him a taste of acceptance from a friend.


Jesus! Way to scare the shit out of somebody, Q. I shoot her a quick glower that she completely misses because she's too busy hurrying toward Berry, who's already trying to scurry back into the girl's bathroom. Ah, well, I'll get her later.

I trot to catch up while Q-Tip pushes the bathroom door shut, basically cornering the little diva with her body, and says, "Wait, Rachel. I—"

Berry won't face her head-on, and I can see she's been crying. I may feel a twinge of guilt. Possibly. It could just be an itch, or something I ate. In any case, it only gets worse when Berry notices me and her eyes widen in alarm before she gives Q a betrayed look—and starts crying again. For fuck's sake. What is with all the crying today? I don't know how much more of this shit I can take.

"What do you want from me?" she sobs, covering her face with her hands. "Why? Why are you doing this to me?"

Q glares at me a moment before focusing all her energy on Berry, and instantly there's a shift. She suddenly looks like a big, romantic sap. Great. I'm stuck in a hallway with a crying diva and Romeo, the female version. Kill me now. Just do it.

Q is cupping Berry's cheek, but it's not gaining her any attention. "Rachel." Nor is that, so she takes a breath and says in a voice I'm pretty sure I've only heard her use when we were trying to get Lord Tubbington out from under the dresser that time we decided to have a water balloon fight in the house, "Rae."

And she's got Berry's attention. Wow. I've got to learn that trick.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I tried to kiss you after prom," Q says, and my jaw practically hits the floor. Berry's just listening intently. "Not…not because I didn't want to, but because it scared you…back to him." She bows her head a little and Berry sniffles and oh, my, God.

Everything totes makes sense now! I remember thinking Q and Berry were looking a little more chummy after the whole Hummel-Queen thing, but everything seemed to go back to normal the next day, so my guess is that Q drove Berry home and tried to kiss her, but then she went all gay panic on her and ran off, which was why even though Finnconsiderate was a total douche bag to her at prom, she was all clinging back to him because she had to have been thinking, "Okay, this dickwad is the only thing I've got left and this way he can't have her, either." But then he fucked things up for her.

He breaks up with her, she goes all batshit crazy with revenge because her girl doesn't want her and on top of that the jackass doesn't want her and he's going after the girl she wants again, which she knows she can't do a fucking thing about, and so that's what all that 'I just want somebody to love me' shit was about. She totes had a specific 'somebody' in mind, and if that somebody isn't Berry Canary here, I'll eat my Indigo Girls tickets. I knew she put weird emphasis on 'she' with the whole 'she has love' thing.

"I never meant to hurt you in any way, Rachel, you have to know that," Q-Tip is saying, and I bring my focus back around just in time to see Berry give her a small nod and Q breath a sigh of relief before she drops her hand from her face. "And you also have to know that I had nothing to do with Santana's little…outing in there."

And now she's glaring at me, and Berry won't quite meet my gaze, but she manages to sniffle out, "Why did you do it? I-I know you hate me, but I never thought you hated me this much."

I scoff. "I don't hate you, dwarf."

Now both of them are staring at me, blinking incredulously.

"Look, I used to, but this, sadly, wasn't one of my brilliant revenge plots." I heave a sigh. "All right, I'm gonna admit a few things here, and if either of you ever tell anybody what went down in this hallway, you will be feeling my razor blades, got it?"

Q just rolls her eyes, but Berry gulps and they both nod, so I grit my teeth and prepare to…open up. Ugh.

"I'm sure you both know that I'm as gay as Berry, Berry Quite Contrary over here, and I'm heels over head in love with Britts."

"I-I believe the expression is-is head over heels." Of course, Berry just has to interrupt. I glare. "But please, continue." She bites her lip sheepishly, and the smile Q gives her makes me want to heave.

"It's been a few months, but I know B wants me to come out a little bit more. At least to the glee club. And yeah, Berry, I know I should move at my own pace or some shit, and I am. I wanted to take this step, but…I was scared. So…when I found your picture in the yearbook, on the golf team, I was…" Ugh, I can't say this. "Iwaspsyched."

I see them exchange a confused glance, and it's Q who raises her eyebrow and says, "What?"

I groan, muffling my voice with my hand as I repeat, "I was psyched."

Again, with the glance exchanging, and Berry says, "I apologize, Santana, but I believe you're going to have to speak up a little. We're having a difficult time hearing y—"

"I said I was PSYCHED, okay?" I huff, and roll my eyes for good measure. "Look, I was the only…closeted gay person in this school before. Besides Karofsky, but we all know he's not coming out of his closet until we all travel by jetpack." They both look surprised and I seriously have concerns about their gaydars, but that's not really the issue here. "Hummel is so out you can spot him by satellite, and even though no one says anything, everyone knows that the golf team is chock full of lesbians. So yeah, I felt alone, and then I found out that you were…just like me, and I didn't feel as scared about…coming out anymore, as long as you were coming out with me. Even if it was just to glee club."

There's complete and total silence. Q looks like she totally gets where I was coming from, but also like she could kill me for doing it to Berry. And Berry just looks shocked. I'm gonna go ahead and congratulate myself for striking Rachel Berry speechless.


I'm feeling just like a little bit uncomfortable here, so I decide to add: "It still doesn't mean I like you."

Q tries to hide her smirk and eye-roll. Berry just sighs, shaking her head a little, even though I could swear she's trying not to smile, too. She should just give in. I'm awesome, and she may as well stop trying to fight that inevitability.

"So this whole time…that's what this was about? You not wanting to come out alone?" Berry finally asks, disbelieving.

I dip my head. "Pretty much."

"Why didn't you come to me, talk to me about it beforehand at least? We could have…come out when we were both ready, together," she points out, frowning now. She's probably just upset she didn't get to come up with an 'Operation: Coming Out' PowerPoint.

I shrug. "Because it was the last day of school and I didn't have time for that shit if I wanted to prove to Britts I was still moving forward."

"Oh, my God." Berry is shaking her head in disbelief, looking like she wants to pace really badly, so it's just sort of turning into her swaying her body back and forth while Q looks on all concerned.

"Listen, Berry." When she just keeps muttering to herself, I snap louder, "I said listen up. I'm only saying this once." Now she's looking at me. Good. I look her straight in the eye, and if you're wondering, yes, it is a little painful when I say, "I'm sorry, Berry."

She looks like she might pass out, and even Q is staring at me like I grew another head.

"I didn't realize how far in the closet you actually were, and I was only thinking about myself. It wasn't fair." Okay, that's it, I'm not saying anything more than that. Ugh. I'm never admitting when I'm wrong again—that was painful enough. I've hit my quota. Shake it off. "That said, I've got to wonder, Berry, who has your balls?"

I wonder how wide I can actually make Berry's eyes in one conversation.

"Ex-excuse me?"

"Seriously. I thought you'd be all out and proud and shit; I mean, you're proud enough about your dads. There isn't a person in the county who doesn't know you've got them, so I thought you'd be all over the being gay thing. What are you so fucking scared of, huh?" I eye her for a moment and she can't hold the contact for long.

"Everything, Santana. I'm scared of everything you are." She's so dramatic. "The way people will look at me, talk about me, think of me. Only I'll get it worse than you ever would, and you know why that is? Because I'm already a loser. I'm…socially awkward, and I don't dress to everyone else's liking, and I'm loud and opinionated and far too ambitious, enthusiastic, and selfish for the standards of today's frighteningly apathetic teenagers, I have a big nose and two gay dads and small breasts and I'm just…everything that you aren't." Q looks like she's about to hug her, but Berry, oddly enough, hasn't looked her way once since we started talking. "So yes, I'm terrified of coming out, because there are enough reasons to hate me."

I hate these awkward silences. I hate them even more when they're broken by sniffles, because Berry is crying again, arms folded tight against her small breasts, and Q sways toward her but halts when she lifts her head and speaks again.

"But you know, I could handle all that…if I didn't think my fathers would hate me," she sobs, voice cracking on 'hate' and my jaw may as well have just fucked the floor.

"What? The fuck are you talking about, Berry? Your dads are gay, if anyone—"

"Yes, exactly, Santana. My dads are gay, and I'm gay, and that is precisely the kind of prejudice-building cliche that they have been fighting against their entire lives. So forgive me if I'm inclined to believe that I would, in fact, be disappointing my fathers by further supporting it."

She huffs out a sigh and wipes her cheeks roughly with her sleeves, and I have to look at Q to see what the fuck she thinks we should do. Except she's useless, because she just looks heartbroken. Where's Brittany when you need her? Two emotionally stunted bitches should not be the ones expected to comfort the crying people.

"Rachel, you can't help who you are…your dads know that," Q says quietly, and Berry looks at her for the first time in a long while. More tears, lovely.

"I'm afraid they'll forget when it's their own daughter," she whimpers.

If Q was a cartoon, her heart would've leapt out of her chest, cracked in half, and fallen to the floor. That would be pretty funny to watch, actually, but I have things to say, so I turn back to Berry.

"Fuck 'em."

Ha, there are the owl eyes again. "Excuse me?"

"If Elton and Barry can't accept you for who you are, then fuck them." I shrug. "You can't repress who you are just because of your parents, Berry. Look how well that worked out for Q." Just in case they both forgot, which by the glare on Q's face, she didn't, I'm going to remind them. "Pregnant. At sixteen. With Puck's baby." Q looks like she's going to axe murder me in my sleep tonight. See? This is the kind of fun I wanted to have earlier. She is hysterical when she's angry. "So, if Bert and Ernie can't deal, whatevs. You can come shack up with me for a while." Her eyebrows just hit the ceiling. "And if my parents hate me, too, then we'll invade Q's house."

I grin cockily at her and Q just rolls her eyes before looking back to Berry, whose lower lip is trembling. Oh, for crying out loud, no more bawling! That was not meant to start the water works back up, damnit. I had enough of this shit when Q was a balloon.

"You…you would let me come live with you?" Berry asks in a whisper.

I can't do much but shrug, because yeah, Berry's annoying and yeah, I would probably want to kill her after like five minutes of her living with me and trying to bedazzle my room and organize our toothbrushes by color, but… "We lezzies gotta stick together, right?"

She grins at me, and it actually is…a little bit cute. But only because she looks like a five year old. When she starts to move forward, as if to hug me, though, I have to put a stop to this and put my hands up defensively.

"Whoa there, Streisand, I didn't mean 'stick together' literally."

And it appears Berry is actually growing a sense of humor, because she just smiles and shakes her head. Someone note the date and time. Or fuck that, go find the love of your life and spend the day with them or some shit, this could be the end.

"So you coming out with me, or what?" I ask, for confirmation, because I'm seriously not sure at this point.

Berry pauses, tilting her head to consider, and Q looks like if she was sitting, she'd be perched on the very edge of her chair. And then Berry smirks and oh, God, my life's over.

"On one condition."


"I can't just tell you right this minute! You might back out, and what would be the fun in that?" she asks wryly.

The fuck? Where has this Berry been hiding? I could get down with this (not in the literal sense, but still). Still, I have to glare right now. I've got a rep to keep.

"Fine," I growl, and she reaches to shake on it, because she's still Berry Canary.

I roll my eyes but give her a firm shake and we exchange smirks (one a little more perfected than the other, obviously) before my attention goes to Q, who's practically giddy right now.

"How 'bout you, Q-Pie? Taking the brave road with us or sitting this round out?"

She's struggling with that, which surprises me a little, and then her gaze lands on Berry, who squirms a little uncomfortably under Q's gaze and looks away, prompting her to prompt quietly, "Rachel?"

"I don't know what you want from me," is all she says, and she's not being accusatory or anything; she just genuinely doesn't know, and come to think of it, I'm not really all that surprised by this considering Q went from apparently hating her guts to trying to kiss her to being pissed at her to longing for her from afar in like…a week. But that's the thing with Q, you know. You've got to be ready for the mood swings, or they will bite you in the ass.

Like right now, because Q looks torn between crying and throwing a fit.

"What do you think? God, is the only way to get through to you to talk like Santana?" she snaps, and Berry's jaw is flapping in a way that makes me wish I had a camera. "I fucking love you." Whoa. Go, Q! I'd clap, but she appears to be on a roll. "And I want you to love me, too, and not in the chickenshit way you're doing it now—all the way, with me, in public, no Finn, no boys, no beards. Just us. That's what I want, okay?"

I feel like Q deserves a medal. What? It's hard for me and her to articulate what we want. Usually we just expect you to know. Or we manipulate you into doing it.

Oh, fuck, I'm taking her medal back. Berry's about to cry again. I don't care if she's smiling, this needs to stop.

"I do love you," she says, and Q is all smiles and Berry puts her hand on her neck, drawing her down and—oh, come on! I don't need to see that!

I've decided to fake gag until they stop. It's not working. No, no tongues! Stop it!

"Okay, just stop, that's—no." I step to them, prying them apart by their shoulders and wrinkling my nose at them. "Never do that in front of me again. Ever."

Q just smirks at me, while Berry is blushing big time. "Because that's not hypocritical at all. I forgot, how many steps are there in the Brittany's Tongue Addicts program?"

"Okay, first of all, her tongue was like personally crafted by God Himself. And second, you should feel privileged to have two girls as hot as us making out in front of you. You two…" I wrinkle my nose again. "Cats. Heat. You get where I'm going with this."

Q rolls her eyes. "Can we go back to glee club now? The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can all find privacy away from each other."

Berry blushes and leans into Q, who grins, and fuck. They're going to be one of those sickeningly sweet couples you see that makes you want to fling food at them, aren't they? What have I done?

Oh, they're on their way back. Ah, well. I scurry to catch up, trying my best to ignore their whispers and giggles behind me because I really did enjoy my lunch today. It's only when we get to the choir room door that I choose to break the semi-silence with, "So how do you want to do this?"

Berry and Q exchange glances, and that's when that scary determined glint enters Berry's eye and she strides ahead of us, standing with her hands on her hips at the front of the choir room. I frown at Q and we come up behind her as she calls for attention.

"Fellow glee clubbers! And…Dave," she says, frowning his direction, and I almost snort when I realize I forgot to tell him he was free to go. "We three have something of great importance to inform you all, and we hope that you will all accept this information with the same compassion and understanding that you have extended to all of our various members during trying times." I'm expecting her to just blurt it, and brace myself, but then she turns to Finnadequate and says, "Finn, I apologize, but I believe it is time we terminate our short-lived relationship in light of…well." She frowns to herself and we all wait, but she never says anything.

Instead, she turns on her heel, grabs Q's neck again, and plants one on her. Q's arms are already around her and I see her eyebrows pop up a little in surprise, but she doesn't seem to be having a problem with the PDA and if she doesn't, then…well, you know what? Berry had the right idea.

I step up the risers and in one swift motion I've got Brittany's lips and tongue occupied, and I muffle her surprised little noise, grinning into her mouth, because fuck this feels good. I am kissing my girl in front of everybody, and there are no noises of disgust or anything. Just a few claps and whoops and the sweet, sweet sound of Finnessa stomping out and Wheels' wheels squeaking away. That's right. Mine.

Why is someone interrupting? Whose throat is clearing? Shut up!

I huff and pull away, glaring over my shoulder and snapping, "What?" only to see Berry smirking at me from Q's arms.

"The golf team meets at two on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer, Santana. I'll see you there."

Brittany giggles.

Shit. I suck at golf.