Chapter One- Awake My Soul
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes,
I struggle to find any truth in your lies,
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know,
This weakness I feel I must finally show.
A sense of foreboding had been with Quinn since she woke up that morning. She had laid in bed for ten minutes past her usual wake up buffer time and had seriously contemplated staying home from school. She just wanted to roll over in her sleep warm bed and bury her head under her pillow. She could tell her mom she felt nauseous and it wouldn't exactly be a lie. She just felt like something bad was going to happen if she went to school that day. The bomb episode of Grey's Anatomy kept pushing at the back of her brain. Meredith had felt like she was going to die that day.
Is this what that feels like?
She had gone to school anyway.
The day had dragged by and the feeling in the pit of her stomach didn't ease. Unable to focus on any of the lectures or activities in class, she knew she was going to be behind. She thought maybe the other Glee kids might have felt a little off too. Finn had looked constipated most of the day, Santana had been oddly subdued, and Rachel, constantly vigilant and irritatingly loud, had acted as if she had blinders on.
By the time Glee club came around, Quinn was feeling seriously nauseous and wanted nothing more than to crawl home and curl up into a little ball on her bed.
It wasn't to be though.
They were rehearsing a number that they might use for sectionals. Quinn scoffed internally at the very idea. They were never ready for sectionals until the day before, and in the case of Nationals, they had practiced all night and into the morning the day of the competition, so the likelihood that anything they were practicing so early in the year would go through was zero to negative ten.
All of them were in their places, Rachel and Finn in front because they (once again) had the lead, and the others staggered around somewhat strategically. Somehow, Quinn found herself on Rachel's right, but she was entirely too consumed by the strange feeling rushing through her body to really be irritated about it.
It was the third time they were running through the choreography and everyone, even Brittany, was having trouble. Not because the steps were hard, but there was an undeniable tension in the air and it grew more suffocating with every passing moment.
Halfway into the song there was a moment where her partner (Mike today) was supposed to spin her out before pulling her back in. The cue came and Mike spun her away from his body. When their arms were fully extended his fingers tugged against hers. Both of their hands were sweaty, and he wasn't holding her tightly, so her hand slid right out of his and her body continued on its trajectory. Right at the second that they lost contact, the air in the room changed and Quinn suddenly felt like her skin had been set on fire.
She had felt the exact thing once before. The previous year in Bio Lab she and her lab partner had been about to dissect their fetal pig. The boy she was working with, Rick Something, had been too much of a wuss to make the first cut so Quinn had to. The scalpel had sliced cleanly through the half-thawed flesh and she carefully separated the two flaps of skin to expose the cavity of the body. The chemicals used to preserve the animal had wafted out, almost like one of the waves of heat that hit her in the face when she opened one of the ovens in Home Ec.
The feeling was exactly like it was then. She couldn't breathe, her skin was prickling all over and her hands and feet felt dead on the ends of her limbs. And she was spinning, physically as well as mentally. Her brain lost its ability to control her body. Her motion sent her wide and she collided harshly with Rachel, and in a tangle of limbs they fell harshly to the tile with the brunette underneath.
Through the haze of delirious pain she could see that she wasn't the only one that tripped or felt the strange pain of fire spreading over their skin. They were stumbling around like drunks and Artie looked like he had passed out in his wheelchair. Quinn looked though cloudy eyes at the girl beneath her. Rachel's face was creased with pain and vaguely the blonde guessed that she probably hit her head on the floor. She didn't have a chance to roll away and help the other girl sit up, because in that moment the burning pain increased a thousand fold and Quinn let out a pained shout. She heard a quiet whimper and some other shouts around her.
Her eyes are open, despite the pain, and looking down at Rachel when her sight cut out abruptly. Instead of blank blackness like the back of her eyelids, it was like she had been suddenly plunged into an endless white abyss. It was so bright that it burned so she snapped her eyes closed, but the white was still there.
The blindness lasted for all of five seconds and then it was rather suddenly gone, and the fire was gone and she could just feel a strange buzzy feeling all over her body, like a really weak needles-and-pins type feeling, and she found herself still very much on top of Rachel Berry in the choir room.
But it was different, because they were alone.
Rachel Berry did not at all appreciate the way it felt to have Quinn Fabray, one of the most beautiful girls she'd ever had the (dis)pleasure of meeting, on top of her. No, she didn't like it one bit. Not the way Quinn's hips were nestled perfectly against hers, nor the way their legs had intertwined, nor the way that the blonde's heavy breathing caused their chests to meet on every inhale. She didn't appreciate it a bit.
What she did appreciate was the fact that she no longer felt like Santana had decided to make good on her threat to destroy her clothes by setting them on fire while she was still wearing them. It was nice to not have that searing pain taking over all her logical thought centers.
Above her, Quinn groaned quietly and shifted to the side so she was lying beside Rachel instead of over her. "Ow."
"Yeah," the brunette agreed, wincing as she tried to sit up.
"Are you ok?" Quinn asked when she noticed Rachel's difficulty. She was too tired and sore to worry about the way she had sounded genuinely worried about the diva's wellbeing.
"My head," Rachel whispered, gripping the back of said area with both hands. "I think I might be concussed."
"Just don't pass out or anything," Quinn ordered. She watched a lot of TV when she was pregnant and one of the things she knew about concussions was that if Rachel had one and fell asleep she could die. And sure, Quinn found the diva annoying most of the time, and she used to torture her with a fervor she could only describe as religious, but she didn't want the girl to die or anything.
"I wonder where everyone went," Rachel said, squinting one eye open to peer around the empty room. "Why would they just leave? Did we pass out? But if we fainted then surely someone would have called for an ambulance. Did you feel that weird burning?"
Quinn wanted to snap at her, she really, honestly wanted to. She didn't though, because they were incredibly valid questions. Where the hell was everybody? "Yes, I felt the burning," was all she said. It was the only answer she really had. But looking around the room Quinn started to notice some differences.
There were a lot more chairs and they were lined up in neat even rows on the risers. The shelves behind the piano were crammed full of books of sheet music. One shelf was dedicated to black binders with names written down the spines. The names themselves weren't strange so much as unfamiliar. The piano had been moved and the drum kit was different.
"The room's different," Quinn pointed out to her companion.
Rachel whipped her head around in an almost frantic way, taking in the details of the room. After a minute she stood on wobbly legs. Quinn followed her, though she was much more stable.
"Is this some sort of elaborate prank?" Rachel wondered out loud as she made her way to the piano. She trailed her fingers along the keys.
"If it is, I'm thoroughly impressed," Quinn replied. She was looking at the books of sheet music more carefully now. She came across the binders and drummed her fingers along the top of a couple of them. "While I wouldn't put it past the rest of the club to do something crazy to us while we're passed out, you would think Mr. Shue would've put a stop to it." She made a decision and pulled the first one, the spine said Abel, out of the shelf.
"Indeed, allow me to be frank, they would be more likely to take you with them and leave me to either die or be confused on my own."
Quinn looked up from what had turned out to be more sheet music, thoroughly annotated and marked with post its and little gold star stickers. She gave Rachel, still by the piano and not looking at her, a once over. "That was morbid, bitter and overly dramatic all in one sentence. Congratulations, you've out done yourself."
"No one likes me. Except Finn, and sometimes even he gets tired of me."
Quinn frowned. "Well no one hates you anymore. Even Santana doesn't want to kill you all the time. And that dopey looking freshman pretty much wants to give you her first born. So that's…progress right?"
Rachel sighed heavily, pressed down on a few notes and then turned away from the piano. "I guess. What are you looking at?"
"It's just a bunch of sheet music," Quinn replied. She had pulled another binder out during their conversation. "Some of it's the same and some is different. It's all been annotated though. And I don't recognize some of these songs." She shrugged and put the binder back.
"This is just weird."
Quinn was inclined to agree, but she did so only mentally. Telling Rachel Berry that she was right would only lead to misfortune.
Before they could speculate further, a tall boy opened the door to the room and stepped inside. He wasn't tall in the way Finn Hudson was, definitely not a large block of teen muscle. No, he was gangly and rather obviously had not grown into his long limbs and large hands. His face was boyish and tan and he had a few pimples on his forehead and a nose that was just on the side of too big for his face. His eyes were dark and expressive, with unnaturally thick lashes for a boy. His brown hair was almost too light for his complexion and it was reaching that stage of growth where it basically screamed "PLEASE CUT ME!" at everyone within a five mile radius.
He saw them standing there and stumbled to a stop, nearly tripping over his large feet. "Hi," he said in a voice that sounded on the verge of cracking. Rachel guessed that he was around fourteen and probably a freshman. She had never seen him before, but she was struck with a feeling of familiarity.
"Hi," Rachel and Quinn parroted in unison. They glanced at each other and then looked back at the boy. He shifted on his feet.
"I'm Alex," he told them by way of explanation, as if his name would somehow inform them of his purpose in life. When he got blank stares in return he expounded. "My mom is the choir director." He didn't miss the confused look they shot each other, he just didn't question it. Let them have their oddities, he reasoned. "I'm just here to pick up some sheet music she left in her office. The club is practicing in the auditorium today. You are in Glee Club, right?"
"Yes," Quinn replied quickly, before Rachel could say anything incriminating. She didn't know what was going on exactly, but she was definitely quick enough to realize she had never seen this kid before, he was young and way too sincere to be in on a prank. "We're new."
"Thought so," Alex replied, flipping a lock of curly hair out of eyes. "I was pretty sure I'd never seen you before."
"Did you say the choir director was a woman?" Rachel asked suddenly, Quinn's head snapped around to face her, her wide eyes shining with golden anger. The brunette ignored the look with some difficulty. This just wasn't making sense to her. She too could feel the boy's sincerity. He wasn't acting, so she had to wonder what was going on.
Alex quirked an expressive eyebrow. "Uh, yeah, Rachel Berry, I thought everyone knew that. She's like…one of the main draws to this shitty town. You guys are like…really new. Have you been living under rocks or something?" He shook his head and chuckled derisively when they didn't answer right away. He held up a key on a gold star keychain. "I'll be right back and then I'll show you to the auditorium." With that he left them and entered the office, closing the door behind him. Through the windows, Rachel and Quinn could see him perusing the selection of sheet music that was stored in the three filing cabinets in the small office. Or, they would have seen him if they weren't both staring intently at the place the boy had just been standing.
That was Rachel Berry's son, was the only coherent thought that Quinn could drum up, but not for the lack of trying.
Rachel's mind was blank, and not pleasantly.
"We're in the future." It was stated as a fact, because though Quinn was stunned, the reality around her wasn't up for debate in her mind.
Rachel was less convinced. "That's simply absurd, Quinn. Time travel is impossible. The technology is nonexistent and even if it did exist, there are far too many problems associated with the idea to make it a viable practice."
"Clearly," Quinn mocked with the same superior tone, "you're wrong. It is possible because we're living it."
"You can't possibly be telling me that you believe in time travel. Do you believe in Bigfoot too? There has to be some other explanation."
An angry flush settled over Quinn's delicate cheeks because, yes, she did believe in Bigfoot and sometimes in unicorns as well. "Oh, Really? Well what do you think happened then?" The blonde asked, pushing as much contempt into her question as possible.
"Well obviously I have suffered a grievous brain injury." Rachel's lofty tone did nothing to quell the blinding irritation that the blonde could feel swirling sickly though her belly.
"How am I here then?" Quinn demanded with a sneer, her ire spurring her on.
"You are a figment of my damaged subconscious. I'm clearly in a coma or something of the sort." Rachel looked entirely serious and rather unconcerned by her own explanation.
Quinn scowled, completely unsettled with being compared to a figment of someone's imagination, damaged or otherwise. Let alone someone like Rachel Berry. She reached over to the diva and gave her arm a vicious pinch.
The look of complete shock and pain that took over the diva's face was almost enough for Quinn to start laughing, but it wasn't quite enough to shove past her indignation over Rachel's grasp of the situation. "If you were in a coma you wouldn't feel pain. It's just like in dreams," she rebutted. Admittedly, she had pulled that right out of her ass. There's no way she would know that without having actually been in a coma but she hoped that Rachel wouldn't see past her falsehood. "That kid said he was the choir director's son. He said the director's name was Rachel Berry. I don't know many Rachel Berrys. And unless you and Finn somehow managed to manifest a kid out of dryer lint and your deep and unending love, we're in the future."
"Like I would know?" the blonde hissed in return.
"There's no need to take this out on me," Rachel informed her with a haughty look.
Quinn snarled and somehow controlled the urge to strangle Rachel violently. Her nails cut into her palms with the force of her saint-like restraint.
Thankfully, Rachel's future spawn, Alex, came out of the office with a stack of papers under his arms, further reminding the blonde that Rachel has to be alive to produce said progeny. And Quinn Fabray is anything but a baby killer.
"Alright, come on. I'll take you to the auditorium now." They both hesitated briefly to follow him, but Quinn gave in first, allowing him to hold the door to the choir room open for her. "You coming?" He asked when she was just exiting the room. The blonde turned to see that Rachel was standing just where she left her.
As much as Quinn's idea made sense to her, Rachel just couldn't accept that this boy would someday be her son. It was nothing against him, personally. In fact, he seemed like a nice boy. It was the fact that he was in Lima, the fact that she was in Lima that she couldn't accept. She absolutely refused to accept it.
"I…" she started. He was looking at her with a sort of befuddled expression and she could see that he obviously had her eyes. They're the same shape and everything. She knew because she saw them in the mirror every day. It was like he took them right out of her head. She suddenly wanted to cry because she could see that, yes, he was her son, or he would be, and he's so beautiful and handsome and she just knew that someday he would be hers. She could feel it deep in the pit of her being. It hurt.
She shook herself firmly. She was in the future. She was about to meet her future…self. The older her would know what to do. She would have to. She contained the feelings that threatened to rip through her grasp. She knew if she thought about the situation too deeply she would cry.
Rachel nodded. "Of course, I apologize."
Alex shrugged and arched an eyebrow. "Ain't no thing." He grinned and Rachel was immediately charmed.
The silence between the three of them was thick. It wasn't Alex's doing. In fact, he was perfectly comfortable. The tension between the two girls was the source.
They were halfway to the auditorium by the time Quinn decided to end the silence. "So are you in the Glee club?"
Alex jumped in surprise at being spoken to. "Uh, no. I'm in middle school. I don't belong to any clubs though so I come by here after school to hang out. It's better than being in an empty house for hours, ya know?"
He was walking in front of them, and not looking, but Quinn nodded anyway.
"Will you join when you get to high school?" Rachel piped up finally.
Alex shrugged. "Maybe, the whole singing and dancing on stage thing isn't really my scene. I mean, it's fun and all, but I've got talents in other areas," he paused and took a minute to think, his head tilting up slightly. "I might do it for fun. I've been dancing ballroom since I was like…five or something, so the dancing part would be nice; I'm just not the best singer."
Quinn cast a glance to the girl walking beside her and tried to gauge her reaction, but Rachel's poker face was in full effect. The blonde noted mentally that she could probably pick up some tips from her next time Puck tried to wrangle her into a game of strip poker.
The doors of the auditorium were closed but the sound of music could be heard through them. Alex propped one of the doors open for them and allowed them through first.
"I can't interrupt while they're in the middle of a number, so we'll just wait behind the table," he told them helpfully.
Alex led the way down the aisle toward where the director's table was. Only one person sat at it. The girls assumed it was the older Rachel Berry. Her silhouette was barely visible. The auditorium was dark but the stage was lit and nearly thirty people were on it in a formation with two, a girl and boy, in the front as the apparent leads. They weren't in costume and Quinn counted six girls and two boys in Cheerios uniforms, including the female lead for the number that was being practiced.
Both girls noted absently that they didn't recognize the song. This was a bigger deal to Rachel than to Quinn.
The kids on stage weren't singing, they were just acting out the choreography and both Quinn and Rachel were struck with the similarity this instance held with the time Rachel had found out who her mother was.
The routine went uninterrupted for approximately forty-five seconds after their arrival and Quinn had to admit that it was pretty good. Rachel was not as charitable and that apparently didn't change with age.
"Fabray! Your turns are sloppy, fix it yourself before I come at you with a screwdriver," the older version of Rachel, that Quinn had already dubbed Older Rachel because she was a very creative girl, barked into her mike.
Quinn jumped in surprise at hearing her own surname and began to look over every face on stage to find one that resembled hers even a little bit. She didn't really have to look though because the girl that had been singled out replied with a "Yes, Coach!" and Quinn realized that the lead was also a Fabray. She was too far away to make out many of the girl's features, but she could see that she had light brown hair.
She was a little confused about how this girl was named Fabray. She didn't have any brothers and no cousins in Lima. There were only two options that she could see. Either this girl was her younger sister, bred through her bastard father (she gagged a little at the thought), or Quinn had once again gotten pregnant out of wedlock. Her thoughts were interrupted by Older Rachel's continued critique.
"And Puckerman, if I see you grope her one more time I'm going to replace you, understood?"
The boy that been dancing lead with her possible sister/daughter ducked his head almost bashfully. "Yes, Coach!"
Older Rachel sighed. "Take a ten minute water break, then I expect you all to run through the number at least five more times before practice is over. And we only have thirty minutes left, so no mistakes."
The excited chatter of the students reached a crescendo before slowly dying down to a dull roar when most of them had exited stage left to get their water and chat on.
Rachel and Quinn stood where they were while Alex approached his mother.
"Hey Mom, you've got two new kids," he said, alerting her to his presence once the stage had cleared fully. The sounds of raucous laughter drifted over the otherwise quiet auditorium from back stage. He put the sheet music he had been sent to collect next to her.
"I was wondering what took you so long," was the reply.
Older Rachel turned to look at them. Her eyes met Quinn's first and the shock registered before they flicked to take in her younger self. The second that their eyes met, Older Rachel's knees buckled and she fell sideways against the director's table.
Alex caught her on instinct and his cracky voice was full of worry when he asked if she was ok. She didn't answer; her wide blank eyes were focused and unblinking on Young Rachel.
For her part, Young Rachel looked like she was about to pass out. She swayed dangerously on her feet and Quinn wrapped a hand around her arm to keep her upright, but it hardly helped. Her knees buckled too and so Quinn had to hold her up. The young blonde, a bit out of practice when it came to catching girls, nearly dropped her but managed to ease her down to the ground carefully instead of letting her just fall on her ass. The blonde made sure she hadn't passed out before turning her attention back to the stricken older version of her companion.
Incapable of deep thought at the time, Quinn had only one observation about this different Rachel, who, aside from definitely being older, didn't look much different from the girl Quinn was holding up.
Someone had finally taught the woman how to dress.
In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life.
A/N: So yeah…just so you all know, whenever I write femslash I tend to leave epically long author's notes. I'm not really sure why or how it started. My readers over in the Grey's Anatomy fandom seemed to like them. So I'm planning on keeping the tradition alive here.
This story is something I want to have finished by the time the third season airs because I know it will kill my head cannon. I'm going to be trying my damndest to get it done. REVIEWS ARE VITAL IN THIS PROCESS BECAUSE PRAISE MAKES ME WRITE FASTER SO IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU NEED TO TELL ME!
Um so…I was gonna write their first year of college before I wrote this, because it's actually very important later in the story…but then I was like reading around and I stumbled across this story I didn't like and my mom always taught me that if I couldn't say anything nice then I shouldn't say anything at all. So I decided to write this instead…because time travel is like my crack. I'm also a baby ficer apparently.
Ok, just part of my thought process and what happened to me while writing this. I was sitting in my bed, alternating between Tumblr and Word and I look down and this scorpion is crawling across my leg. I freaked. I managed to get the edge of my laptop underneath him and flip him off of me, but I didn't plan it very well cause I have this massive amount of pillows and blankets on my bed. So naturally I ran from the room crying for my mommy and I didn't sleep in there for three days even though I found and killed the scorpion. So yeah…
I don't know what scorpions have against me but I hate them.
I already got stung once last year when I was trying to put on my shoes so I definitely don't need that again.
OK YEAH TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK CAUSE I NEED REVIEWS TO WRITE…
Edited for quality 11-25-11