All good things come to an end - and the not so good things so...When I set out to write this story I tried hard to avoid the usual Faberry cliches but have finally succumbed! Thanks to all reviewers - this is my first and last piece of fanfiction but it never would have been finished without the kind words of strangers. It is my intention to go back correct typos and possible rewrite sections so you might want to turn the story alerts off!
The lights rose as the music faded and the presenter faced the camera to introduce his two guests.
"Ladies and gentlemen tonight we have a special treat. Widely tipped for an Oscar nomination for her latest role, Tony winner and Broadway Icon Rachel Berry," thunderous applause almost drowned out the next part of his sentence, "and her partner Quinn Fabray." The camera shot changed to show two smartly dressed women laughing as they headed towards the sofa next to the presenter's chair. Rachel smoothed her hair behind her ears and sent a beaming smile to the audience. The applause gradually died down.
"I know you're usually a little reluctant to appear on talk shows so what brings you here today Rachel?" the presenter asked as they had discussed before going live.
"Well John, Quinn and I," Rachel moved her hand to gently grasp Quinn's, "are here to publicise the launching of a National Anti-bullying 24 hour helpline, chat forum and website."
Applause greeted the statement as on screen a logo, phone number and website address appeared.
"I hear you're involvement is a little deeper than doing publicity," he prompted.
"Well yes we've been working with a variety of child protection and youth charities for several years to get this project off the ground," responded Quinn her voice becoming steadier as she spoke, "It's been an ambition since high school."
She caught Rachel's eye, smiled at her and squeezed her hand.
"Any particular reason for this area of interest?" John asked
"Well, at the risk of sounding like a cliché, I was bullied at school.." Rachel responded to the audience's mix of dismay and disbelief with a mouthed "It's true."
"And so was I," added Quinn with a rueful smile, biting back the need to confess she did her fair share of bullying too.
"We took action then and decided if we ever had the opportunity we'd work to prevent other students going through what we did." Rachel added.
"Your school peers had a problem with highly attractive women?" joked John.
"Well, as unlikely as it seems now in this day and age, homophobia was the reason for this particular bout of bullying," stated Quinn.
"Or maybe a mixing of social strata," added Rachel.
"I believe Quinn you were captain of the cheerleaders?" a picture of Quinn in HBIC pose appeared on the screen behind them to be greeted with appreciative cheers and whistles," and not just any group of Cheerleaders but National Cheerleading Champions for your time in the club."
Quinn glanced down at her hands looking slightly embarrassed.
"Whereas, you Rachel were in the then low status glee club.."
The picture behind them was replaced by a shot Rachel wearing knee length socks, a plaid short skirt and a shirt with an enormous bow. The audience awed.
"Wrong picture I think. You look as if you're twelve" volunteered John
"Seventeen I can assure you," grinned Rachel before fixing Quinn with a mock glare," and I can guess where you got that photo from."
"A good journalist never reveals his sources," John quipped
"So, who gave it to you then?" replied Rachel with a grin to soften the comment.
The picture changed again to a shot of Quinn and Rachel in their prom dresses gazing at each other.
"Oh and that's the happy ending," added Quinn suddenly feeling a wave of emotion towards Rachel as she remembered that incredible evening.
"So how did the bullying manifest itself for you two?" asked John pleased to be back on track. Quinn couldn't resist the urge to place her hand on Rachel's knee.
"Well to be honest it all began with name calling and the throwing of slushies by the jocks and cheerleaders at anyone who wasn't in their gang," started Quinn
"We became specifically targeted after getting together and Quinn leaving the cheerleaders," explained Rachel placing her hand on top of Quinn's.
"Went before I was pushed out," muttered Quinn.
"Then there was a flurry of defamatory posters," added Rachel
"About?" the presenter prompted
"Oh usual homophobic nonsense the details elude me now," said Rachel airily.
Quinn knew every word of the faggot fathers' poster was burned into Rachel's brain and that Finn would never be forgiven. It had taken them a while to find out that Kurt had discovered what Finn was planning and had made Burt intervene. So only the one poster saw the light of day. It was a shame that Kurt didn't think to tell them as they had spent many a day psyching themselves up to face a poster campaign that never happened.
"So what did you do?" John asked
"Well Rachel was all for a passive resistance, turn the other cheek approach," Quinn explained looking out at the audience as Rachel smiled," but was finally spurred into taking direct action.."
The studio light dimmed as a grainy video of a younger Rachel making a speech about martial arts ran behind them. Quinn smirked at the shocked look on Rachel's face.
"Did you know about this?" asked Rachel forgetting the microphone attached to her dress.
"Who do you think gave them the clip?" Quinn replied rotating her hand so her fingers interlaced with Rachel's
The audience applause rose to a crescendo as on screen Rachel worked her way down the corridor wielding the hockey stick and finally thumping a locker. The lights rose in the studio again.
"It gained Rachel the moniker of ninja," offered Quinn helpfully as Rachel blushed.
"I'm not sure I recognise that particular martial art discipline.." John stated trying to catch the eye of Rachel to no avail. She sighed.
"That's because it's a dance routine from some community theatre production I'd done previously," Rachel said quietly as the audience burst into laughter.
"Needless to say we refrain from keeping hockey sticks in the house just in case Rach ever feels the urge to perform an encore," added Quinn
"Obviously I don't need to if you've kept the footage all this time. You were so impressed that I'd seen the football team off with a dance routine," replied Rachel her embarrassment softened by the applause at her revealing she been dancing her way out of trouble.
"What I was impressed with is that you, who had turned the other cheek for years, were motivated into action because of what had happened to me," Quinn's voice was now serious and she looked at Rachel as she spoke. A brief second of silence then Quinn pointed at the screen with her free hand, "just out of shot is a 5'6" pile of cherry slushy underneath which is me."
The screen shot changed to reveal the slushy pile
"Courtesy of the football team." Rachel added
"No fun to clear up." John offered
"No fun at all," replied Rachel, her eyes twinkling at Quinn.
"And about the hockey stick routine - children don't try this at home," said Quinn with mock seriousness directly to the camera.
"Not unless you've undergone years of extensive and rigorous dance training," added Rachel with a grin.
"Was the intimidating dance routine enough to stop the abuse?" asked John.
"No but Rachel never had a problem being pushed around in the crowded corridors again," quipped Quinn.
"Er No really we were locked into an escalating exchange of insults," Rachel answered seriously.
"So Rach decided we needed to be bolder in our action – something with an impact beyond the school," added Quinn.
"We thought a video would be difficult to ignore," said Rachel.
"So we needed to draw in reinforcements because neither of us were technically very competent. We also needed some outside assistance as we would be prime suspects in any event due to what had been happening." Quinn said.
"That's when my best friend Ali became involved," added Rachel with a fond smile.
"Ali Stevens I believe?" John asked.
"Yes she's currently in an off Broadway show," grinned Rachel.
"So you've known each other for a long time?' John inquired.
"Since they met in a ballet class at five," Quinn mentioned as behind her on the screen two young girls in ballet outfits gave gapped toothed grins at a camera. The audience awwed again.
"I believe you manage both Ali and Rachel," John asked Quinn.
"Well she tries," Rachel responded as the image behind them changed to a red carpet shot of both Ali and Rachel flanking Quinn and laughing uproariously at some Quinn quip.
"I'm not paid nearly enough for my efforts," mock grumped Quinn.
"But the fringe benefits make up for it. Eh?" added Rachel with a mischievous grin as Quinn blushed.
"So Ali was entrusted with the task of uploading our masterpiece while we went to the trouble of creating a rock solid alibi," continued Quinn
"Do you think we were being unduly paranoid?" Rachel directed her question to Quinn.
"With the benefit of hindsight yes but it did make the whole saga so much more exciting," replied Quinn.
"Anyway true to form Ali was fashionably late," explained Rachel.
"So rather than a alibi for lunchtime," continued Quinn.
"We needed to be noticed in our Biology.." Rachel recounted.
"Chemistry," corrected Quinn.
"Lesson. The details have faded with time" Rachel added.
"No I think that's one chemistry lesson everyone remembers. You were asking about the chemistry between two people along with a practical demonstration," volunteered Quinn.
"Practical demonstration?" John finally managed to get a word in.
"She kissed me in class," replied Quinn with a massive smile on her face.
"Our parents were horrified," added Rachel.
"As we would be horrified if it was one of our children behaving like that," replied Quinn.
"They're a little young to be smooching in science labs," Rachel said.
"I think the chemistry teacher was more horrified with you summarising chemistry as a mixing of colours and heating and freezing things than the kissing," mused Quinn.
"I was improvising, at very short notice I might add, as someone," Rachel's pointed gaze left no doubt to who that someone was,"hadn't planned for such an eventuality - Ms Cross if you're watching this," Rachel focussed her most sincere look at the nearest camera," I'm sincerely sorry."
Quinn's face popped up on Rachel's shoulder.
"No she isn't, she revelled in the badass status she gained from that incident."
As the audience laughed Rachel whispered to Quinn "I'm surprised you don't have footage."
"I didn't think the world was ready for a younger you making out with your best friends wife," Quinn whispered back.
That was one of the unexpected outcomes of the whole episode. Tina joined their friendship group, spent far too much time hanging out with Rachel Quinn and Ali, and the rest was, as they say, history.
"So anyway here's the first anti bullying video we ever made," introduced Quinn.
"On a shoestring budget I'd like to plead in mitigation," Rachel added.
"Yes, it's just something we 'threw' together," finished Quinn rolling her eyes at Rachel.
The studio lights faded and the video played. The audience clapped again.
"And the outcome was ?" prompted John.
"We were grounded for what seemed like a lifetime," moaned Quinn.
"Quinn became adept at climbing the trellis…oh you mean the video?" said Rachel slightly embarrassed at missing the thread of the conversation,"
The slushy machine disappeared from school almost overnight."
"Along with your dream of it being named after you," added Quinn.
'Yes. I'm not sure the new sports hall being named after me is entirely apt giving my lack of sporting prowess," Rachel said thoughtfully.
"I think it's more to do with your friendship with Sue," gripped Quinn.
"There was extensive compulsory training for all staff and students," Quinn brought the conversation back on topic.
"Followed by the implementation of a cutting edge anti-bullying strategy featuring student forums and involving both bullies and the bullied in finding positive solutions," added Rachel.
"McKinley High's still at the forefront of tackling bullying initiatives," Quinn explained.
"And the impact on you two ?" asked John.
"Well we had a much calmer, less stressful rest of our school career, a more popular glee club that enabled us to go forward and win Nationals.." smiled Rachel.
"Where you were talent spotted," added John.
"And a version of the rest of Rachel's career is on the biography channel," offered Quinn slightly miffed that she was hardly mentioned in the programme.
"Well perhaps after co-producing that video you'd like to make your own version of Rachel's journey to success," suggested John to Quinn.
"I'm extremely happy in the job I do," smiled Quinn in response, again squeezing Rachel's hand,"I couldn't ask for a better employer". She paused, "Any chance of a pay rise?"
"I can't afford to pay you what you're worth," replied Rachel grinning at her as the audience yet again awwwed.
"Rachel, Quinn thanks for sparing the time to come and discuss the National Anti Bullying helpline and website and for sharing your experiences," Loud applause interrupted his speech as Rachel and Quinn muttered their"thanks for having us on the show" back. The Logo of the helpline and phone numbers and web address appeared on the screen behind them and the music for the end of the show began to play.
" One thing I was wondering and you've never told me after all this time," Quinn looked in Rachel's eyes and forgot about her microphone," just what did you say to Sue that led her to be your protector and then to get the new sports hall named after you?"
"You seriously want to know after all this time?" Rachel queried.
"Er um I well yes," mumbled Quinn.
"It's really that important to you?' asked Rachel.
"I feel we shouldn't have secrets," Quinn mumbled again.
Rachel raised her eyebrows inquisitively at Quinn.
"Okay, I'm just curious. Just tell me," Quinn pleaded.
"Look Quinn if it really bothers you that much what I said was," Rachel paused struggling to keep the grin off her face as she leaned in closer to Quinn's ear," forgotten a long time ago," and she then burst into gales of laughter as Quinn groaned.